“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, June 04, 2008

Hillary In Or Out?

"I want to hear from you ... Share your thoughts with me."

I had a few hours to kill at Miami airport. The "D" terminal is plastered with large LCD screens of CNN (probably best watched under LSD). CNN was under its own ecstasy with their projection of Obama being the the Democratic Candidate and also bemoaning a reportedly inept speech by John McCain. I didn't see the speech but I got the drift.

Suddenly Hillary appears on all the screens to screaming banner waving supporters. I think she gave one of the best speeches of her candidacy, and it was a non-non-concession speech. The double non is in order because she is giving it some thought, but in the mean time she wants everyone to send emails and hopefully enclose some checks. She looked good and maybe her wait and see posture will work. She emphasized the Democratic Party should count every vote and by the way, she got more of them.

On a personal note, I watched the body language and facial expressions of black travelers and airport personnel. They were understandably moved and proud of their moment. So they should be. By the way, anyone see my guy's speech? How bad was it?


  1. With Friends Like These...
    Posted by: Hugh Hewitt at 11:32 PM

    "I can understand CNN's Jeffrey Toobin slamming McCain's speech as terrible and dull and poorly attended. He's in the tank for Obama, and on such things the left places great weight.

    McCain gave a serious talk that centered on the war, and especially on the point that if Obama had been in charge, we'd have lost by now and incredible chaos and perhaps genocide would be unfolding in that country. McCain also noted what he should refer to in every speech from now until November: Obama wants to sit down with dictators who would eat his lunch.

    McCain noted that because of the change of strategy in Iraq which he championed, al Qaeda in Iraq is crushed and Maliki is in command and growing stronger by the day. It could still go very wrong, as John Burns pointed out on today's show, but right now the surge has worked and McCain's speech dwelt on that key fact. This is the defining contrast of this election, whether we will pursue victory in the global war or pretend the war can be downgraded to a law enforcement action.

    McCain isn't going to draw the crowds that Obama does, especially on the night Obama secures the nomination. What a surprise, Obama wins the nomination and he draws a far larger crowd.

    McCain had a chance to give a message on national television and he gave the one of substance that matters.

    What McCain is going to do is draw serious contrasts between his ability to lead a nation at war and the lightweight with the sweet smile and teleprompter mastery. I don't expect the left to note such things, but I hadn't thought that the values of MSNBC which elevate cliched rhetoric and the celebration of style over substance had spread so far. I battled for anyone but McCain for a very long time, but now the choice isn't whether I'd prefer a different GOP nominee or whether McCain could use a better backdrop or more skilled advancemen. It is whether we fight the war to win or just give up. It is disturbing to see some on the right easily distracted from what William F. Buckley would never have lost sight of: This is a very serious business, and the nagging of our nominee over trivialities is a gift to Obama."

  2. On a personal note, I watched the body language and facial expressions of black travelers and airport personnel. They were understandably moved and proud of their moment. So they should be.

    I have noticed that out here in the lily(almost)white of late, believe it. One would wish it were a Thomas Sowell but there is definitely a little springier step, a higher head. Rightly so.

    Just caught a snippet of McCain. His voice sounded like that of the high pitched squeaky dead gibbering in hell compared to the Senatorial--Presidential--deep resonate booming voice of Obama. Didn't really catch what he was saying, but based on the tones of the voices, he's got his work cut out for him.

    Were there any LDS on LSD watching BHO or HBO on CNN or NBC on LCD at MIA with you, deuce?

  3. Oh yeah, in or out?, only Hillary knows the heart of Billary, and she may be uncertain.

  4. The new Carolingian order, therefore, was religiously intolerant, intellectually impoverished, socially calcified, and economically primitive. Measured by these same vectors of religion, culture, class, and prosperity, Muslim Iberia was at least four centuries more advanced than Western Christendom in 800 CE. An ironic intelligence from another planet might have observed that if Carolingian Europeans believed that Charles the Hammer's victory at Poitiers made their word possible, then it was a fair question to ask whether or not defeat might have been preferable. From the plains of Pannonia to the crest of the Pyrenees, the peoples of the West were obliged to accept the governance, protection, exploitation, and militant creed of a warrior caste and its clerical enforcers, an overlordship sustained by a powerful military machine and an omnipresent ecclesiastical apparatus. The European shape of things to come was set for dismal centuries following one upon the other until the Commerical Revolution and the Enlightenment molded new contours.
    Gradually at first, and then accelerating to a peak near the close of Charlemagne's century, free men and women--Franks, in the etymological sense of the word--all but disappeared, most into serfdom but others into the maw of bondage.

    Monogamy had always been problematic among the Franks and the other Germanic peoples. Charlemagne set a fine example that few of his nobles would have wished to emulate. His five unions blessed by the Church were contracted serially only after a death. The General Admonition, supplemented by capitularies, reinforced ecclesistical proscriptions on incestuous unions, polygamy, and divorce: one wife and one husband at a time and separated by seven degrees of consanguinity; no divorce except on grounds of adultery; remarriage allowed only after the spouse dies. And there was more. Concubines were denied property rights. Children born out of wedlock were barred from inheritance if there were legitimate offspring. The social ramifications for Western society could hardly have been more profound. Selection of exogamous mates imposed patience, discipline, and discernment. Though valued as property and for procreation, women of the upper classes gradually asquired greater influence as mothers in marital decision making. Relieved of the intraspousal competition for respect, power, and resources that characterized polygamous arrangements, Western women--notwithstanding the oppressive realities of patriarchy--achieved the potential for personal freedom that would set them apart from most of their sisters elsewhere in the world. With a fine sense of the blunt, Bishop Hincmar of Reims told Frankish men where things were heading. "Whether she be a drunkard, irritable, immoral, luxurious, and gluttonous, a vagabond, cursing and swearing," he said, " whether you like it or not, you must keep her." For all the cultural superiority of their situation to their Carolingian peers, Andalusian women were given no such guarantees by the Koran.

    from "God's Crucible"

    From such an incredible history comes forth the position of women in the Western world, and the likes of Hillary running for the most powerful post in the world. (at this time)

    The system of Charlemagne and feudal Europe was really a kind of Platonic system, the philosopher kings being the church, the guardians being the knights and warriors, and everybody else being the workers.

  5. Guest on Bennet:
    " The Norwegian that loved his wife so much, that he almost told her once. "

    ...too bad he's an idiot:
    Thinks the base is gonna like McCain.
    Yeah, Baby!
    Comprehensive Cap and Trade.

  6. I missed McCain's speech, but I got the (pundits') gist as well. It bit the big one.

    Political pedestrian that I am, I had the same reaction to Obama's speech as David Gergen: Frankly mesmerized and finally hugely impressed by the sheer talent of it. (He also noted, FWIW, that this is the only time until September that the public will have a visual, side-by-side comparison of the two nominees.)

    Jonah Goldberg summed up Obama v. McCain last night as Godzilla v. Bambi, respectively. And without getting all ominous-like, I think Republicans are underestimating the weight and substance of this particular opponent. I repeat: Not an empty suit.

    Don't take my word for it. He truly scares the crap out of allies (not even primarily this one), who are "girding their loins." No empty suit does that.

  7. "...the high pitched squeaky dead gibbering in hell..."

    Talk about your descriptive phrases, bob.

  8. Maybe we should rally for Billary to run on a third party ticket?

  9. As For the Substance... [Jonah Goldberg]
    While it was beautifully and powerfully delivered, this is an enormous gust of gassy nonsense:

    "The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. This was the moment — this was the time — when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America. "

    Who knew we never cared for sick people or provided good jobs to the jobless until this very moment?

    Oh: One last thing: I don't want to come together with anyone to remake this country. Improve this country? yeah. Fix some problems? Sure. But this country doesn't need "remaking."

  10. McCain coulda gone to New Orleans and given well-deserved praise and optimism for the future based on the New, Competent, REPUBLICAN Governor, Bobby Jindall.
    ...but he used the occasion instead to bash Bush.
    Respectful, indeed.
    ...of his opponents.

  11. "He's tougher on Bush and Rumsfeld than he is on Obama." [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

    Even Bill Bennett — who's been one of the friendliest talk-radio hosts to John McCain — expresses frustration this morning on his show.

  12. Colin Powell for third Party!

  13. "...but he used the occasion instead to bash Bush."

    Because between now and November Obama is going to rub the stinking corpse of this administration all over McCain.

    So while the latter can exhibit (a lot) more finesse in distancing himself from a currently, deeply unpopular presidency, it's necessary for him to do so.

  14. Your opinion, not mine:
    Pessimism looses.

    ...everybody knows McCain's views on the illegal invasion are worse than Bush.

  15. Forbes says 80% of the rise in Oil Price is decline of the dollar.

  16. Forbes expects McCain to kick Obama's ass.
    ...inherited wealth trumps wisdom.

  17. ...everybody knows McCain's views on international treaties are worse than Bush.

  18. ...everybody knows McCain's views on energy are worse than Bush.

  19. ...everybody knows McCain's views on Gitmo are worse than Bush.

  20. Bush would veto Caps and Trade.
    McCain will champion it.

  21. Your opinion, not mine:
    Pessimism looses.

    It is possible to distance oneself from (the errors of) this administration AND convey optimism in re the nation and its future. In fact, given the present political climate, you can't really accomplish the latter without in some fashion acknowledging the former.

  22. Blanco and Schoolbus Nagin home free, Pubs get the blame.

    Big John's Mexemerica.

  23. Well, Doug. You face the same difficult decision that a lot conservatives face: Determining the lesser of all evils this autumn.

    It's not the first time (but you know that) and it won't be the last.

  24. Accept the MSM's account of recent history.
    Ignore Democrat disasters.

  25. Trish:
    My idea is a campaign to back any politician, Dem or Pub, that is dedicated to securing the border and enforcing current law.

    ...Mr. Pipedream

  26. Christ. McCain's not running to take the places of Blanco and Nagin. He's running to take the place of the guy who gave the nation Brownie.

  27. Mmmm, Brownie.
    Harriet Meirs ...virtual orgasm.

  28. ...still coulda promoted Bobby PUB Jindall.

  29. ...a NEW Pub, truly NOT Bush.

  30. ...optimism, not denial.
    (of being the ultimate DC insider)

  31. So look at it this way: At least McCain doesn't come with the freight of a long list of family retainers nor the Bush clan *personal* loyalty (as opposed to professional inegrity) fetish.

    (That I know of.)

  32. ...still coulda promoted Bobby PUB Jindall.

    Wed Jun 04, 08:17:00 AM EDT

    Hell, he could probably successfully adopt him as VP nom.

  33. "Hell, he could probably successfully adopt him as VP nom."
    ...but probably won't.
    But hope springs eternal.

  34. Bennet:
    Obama is:

    McGovern w/o military experience.

    Dukakis, w/o executive experience.

  35. I didn't see the speeches; but McCrazy's an asshole. I'll be voting for Obama.

  36. So, now, the unknowable becomes McCain's only "ace".

    If the US had not surged, the unknowable outcome is now known.

    What balderdash.

    There was the Anwar Awakening, begun well in advance of the Surge and not a part of it. There was the greatest "step forward" on the "road to stability". It came with a redefinition of the Mission, not more US troops.

    Basra and the South, that had been devlared a Coalition "Success" before the Surge began, or was even contemplated.

    No, it is quite possible that the US could have begun to withdraw combat capacity, turning over responsibility for combat operations to the Maliki Government sooner, and still be where we are today, but with under 100,000 US troops in the field.

    Mr McCain is revising history to suit his purposes and some here will let him. But that does not make it so.

  37. I saw McCain's speach, it was flat, dull and not very energizing.

    His typical delivery

  38. There is one potential running mate who has virtually no down side. Those conservatives who've heard of her were delighted to learn that McCain advance man Arthur Culvahouse was in Alaska recently, because they surmised he could only be there to discuss the vice presidential nomination with Gov. Sarah Palin.

    At 44, Sarah Louise Heath Palin is both the youngest and the first female governor in Alaska's relatively brief history as a state. She's also the most popular governor in America, with an approval rating that has bounced around 90 percent.

    This is due partly to her personal qualities. When she was leading her underdog Wasilla high school basketball team to the state championship in 1982, her teammates called her "Sarah Barracuda" because of her fierce competitiveness.

    Two years later, when she won the "Miss Wasilla" beauty pageant, she was also voted "Miss Congeniality" by the other contestants.

    Sarah Barracuda. Miss Congeniality. Fire and nice. A happily married mother of five who is still drop dead gorgeous. And smart to boot.

    But it's mostly because she's been a crackerjack governor, a strong fiscal conservative and a ferocious fighter of corruption, especially in her own party.

    Ms. Palin touches other conservative bases, some of which Sen. McCain has been accused of rounding. Track, her eldest son, enlisted in the Army last Sept. 11. She's a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association who hunts, fishes and runs marathons. A regular churchgoer, she's staunchly pro-life.

  39. (Avoid.)

    (Don't make me say that again. Please.)

  40. From the "Corner" at National Review

    Tuesday, June 03, 2008

    McCain's Speech [Amy Holmes]

    McCain's speech was creaky, ungracious, and unnecessary. I never understand why politicians don't take the opportunity, when so easily presented, to simply be gracious and hold their fire. Watching McCain, I couldn't help but think of the astonishing contrast Barack's triumphant speech to a massive and adoring crowd will be. It was not a comparison McCain should have invited.

    It would have been more statesmanlike — precisely the profile McCain is attempting to craft — to acknowledge this historic moment in American politics. A major party is on the cusp of selecting an African American to be their nominee for President of the United States. It's a tribute to America that we've come this far. It would have been magnanimous to leave it at that, and wait until tomorrow to declare with enthusiasm and relish, "It's on!"

  41. Let's take on the other Hewitt/McCain point ...

    That the "inexperienced" Obama will be handed his hat by the tinpot dictators, if they were to meet.

    Again, balderdash, projecting fear into the unknowable, to project the worse case scenario.

    Mr Obama met the most competent politicos in contemporary US history, and beat them, fair and square. The idea that Abracadamra is a more competent player than Billary is just not a viable one.

    Obama could and most likely will use these proposed meetings to set the stage for another era of US triumph and exceptionalism, as not.

  42. "That the 'inexperienced' Obama will be handed his hat by the tinpot dictators, if they were to meet."

    Fair enough. What do you expect him to gain - without losing?

  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

  44. Gain?

    A solidarity within the US electorate that all possible options had been tried, to convince the tinpots to change course.

    A promise from a "new face" that the US would not attempt a regieme change if the tinpots modified their behaviourss.

    If the tinpots do not change course, as predicted by many that dismiss the discussions as worthless, at least the US electorate will KNOW we tried. That we extended an olive branch, before any military option was taken.

    The discussions are for US, not them. That Team43 cared so little for the US electorates opinions on issues of war and peace is well evident, today.

    That Mr Bush's rhetoric was not matched by the US military's actions in Iraq, standing them up, as we stood down, caused the US Government to have lost considerable credibility with the US electorate.

    That credibility must be reestablished, at the highest levels. If Obama came to US, saying "I tried, but they are unreasonable", his portion of the electorate would believe him.

    Our portion already does.
    Reconciliation and unification, in the US, is required to move forward, in any direction.

    That is what would be gained.

  45. "That credibility must be reestablished, at the highest levels."

    Them first.

    (Deserves a longer response, Rat. I just can't at the moment.)

  46. Google: McCain/Dutko Worldwide

    Dutko worldwide/saudi arabia

  47. Just saw Obama speak to the Jewish group, American Israel Public Affairs Committee or AIPAC.

    He hit every point.

    Couple of standing o's

    President Obama ...

    Who'd jave ever thought.

  48. Bobal wrote:

    "Just caught a snippet of McCain. His voice sounded like that of the high pitched squeaky dead gibbering in hell compared to the Senatorial--Presidential--deep resonate booming voice of Obama. Didn't really catch what he was saying, but based on the tones of the voices, he's got his work cut out for him."

    And that, at the core, is what will deliver the presidency, by a solid margin, to Obama. Folks will yammer on about policy and what not but in the end, I believe, that is what is going to put him over the top. Take a look at the speeches last night. McCain rambled on about Obama, Hillary talked about Hillary, and Obama talked about America in glowing gushing terms finishing off with, of course but sadly in my view, "God Bless America".

    Note how even hard core conservatives, immediately after he speaks (like the heads on Fox) practically gush. Brit Hume tries hard not to and mostly succeeds but even those who really want to see Obama defeated are given pause. That will be a hard phenomena to overcome.

  49. p.s.

    The Bush administration has highlighted for me the two primary things the POTUS does. 1.) Makes decisions - he really is the 'decider' and 2.) Sales/Motivation - he gives speeches.

  50. ...finishing off with, of course but sadly in my view, "God Bless America".

    - ash

    Is that sad?

  51. And just to please our dear Rat, he did say, "God bless the Unites States of America."

  52. Yes, nothing is lost on that guy and I am speaking simply from memory of my late night viewings.

    Sad, to me, yes. For all the huffing, puffing, fear mongering, nuclear obliterating yammering about devout Muslims threatening all that we hold dear the simple constant invocation that America is blessed by God runs eerily parallel to that feared universe of the muslims. Politicians keeping it secular is my preference but hard to do and succeed in the United States of America.

  53. We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

  54. Obama is the "Universal" man.

    He hits every point.

    We must also remember what the New England Historic Genealogical Society has found ...

    Obama, the son of a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya, is "related to millions of contemporary Americans - perhaps even a significant percentage of the population," the researchers said.

    He is the "Every man"

    Never seen the like, but he was right on in the AIPAC speach. From a policy perspective, his rhetoric is on time and on target.

    What he'd really do, another matter, entirely

  55. For you and the Founders, trish,
    the Supreme Judge of the world
    rests within Divine Providence,
    but for ash, it resides in the ICC.

  56. I find it interesting that many (most - all?) governements reference something higher then them to confer legitamcy. For example, the British government, and the Canadian, appeal to the Crown, the monarchy, and the government 'answers' to it. Pariament is condoned and dissolved the the Queens representative. There is a hierarchy of power culminating in some absolute. The US reaches to the Divine as do many (all?) muslim countries. I guess the Soviet Union and China actually ackowledge man's supremecy in his own affairs? The buck stops 'here' as it were...

  57. ...appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world...

    That's how much confidence we have in ourselves. And in His confidence in us.

  58. DR wrote:

    "He is the "Every man""

    The essence of the succesful politician.

    DR wrote:

    "...but for ash, it resides in the ICC."

    In a sense, yes, for we are stuck in the world of man and we must act accordingly.

  59. The Queen's power, ash, resides in the "Divine Right of Kings".

    The Kings ARE Kings, because God wills it.

    To oppose the King is to oppose God's will.

    The Monarchy is an extension of God's power, on Earth. At least for England and the Empire.

  60. trish wrote:

    "That's how much confidence we have in ourselves. And in His confidence in us."

    Aye, there is the rub; the righteous of the world clash leaving destruction in their wake and upon victory claim backing by the Divine.

  61. Ash, not quite, the totalitarians, be they communists, fascists, or environmentalists refer to the state, the people, the environment, the earth. They create de facto deity. That is why it was so easy for the Russians to go from Catholic icons to Soviet icons and back again to Catholic. Iconography rules.

  62. To rats' earlier point, Barack is learning fast...""As president of the United States, I would be willing to lead tough and principled diplomacy with the appropriate Iranian leader at a time and place of my choosing -- if, and only if -- it can advance the interests of the United States."

    i like the "time and place of my choosing", power has already gone to his head. He will be fine as President, just fine indeed.

  63. Dennis Perrin often makes me smile. From his latest post:

    "I know -- I should be on the floor, blubbering about the awesome specialness of this moment, but my trick knee won't let me. It was inevitable that someone other than a middle-age or elderly white man would snag a corporate party nomination; and that Obama spreads it smooth like Sam Cooke laying it down for the ages definitely helps polish the process. You couldn't cast it better. Roaming around the libsphere, I see the predictable gushing, weeping, looking to heaven with beatific gleams. CHANGE is coming, we're breathlessly told. Big CHANGE -- CHANGE that'll burn away your clothes and leave you standing naked in the New Dawn, ready for rebirth. Feh. What can you do? Once the snake waving starts and the tongues channel Babylonian gibberish, all one can do is step outside the tent, take a few belts from a large flask, and hope that the worshippers don't get too excited and descend upon the town, torches raised, hyper-mad expressions on their faces. "

  64. Cynicism is the mirror image of and handmaiden to naivete. Ash.

  65. I've always cast it as "A cynic is simply a fallen idealist". Still, cynicism has its place and can inspire some good humor.

  66. Word History: A cynic may be pardoned for thinking that this is a dog's life. The Greek word kunikos, from which cynic comes, was originally an adjective meaning "doglike," from kuōn, "dog." The word was probably applied to the Cynic philosophers because of the nickname kuōn given to Diogenes of Sinope, the prototypical Cynic. He is reported to have been seen barking in public, urinating on the leg of a table, and masturbating on the street. The first use of the word recorded in English, in a work published from 1547 to 1564, is in the plural for members of this philosophical sect. In 1596 we find the first instance of cynic meaning "faultfinder," a sense that was to develop into our modern sense. The meaning "faultfinder" came naturally from the behavior of countless Cynics who in their pursuit of virtue pointed out the flaws in others. Such faultfinding could lead quite naturally to the belief associated with cynics of today that selfishness determines human behavior.

  67. Ahh, but one can be cynical, without being a cynic.

  68. I have discovered that that is not the case.

  69. Obama ties the Israeli and US together, at the hip.

    "... Let me be clear. Israel's security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable. The Palestinians need a state that is contiguous and cohesive, and that allows them to prosper - but any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel's identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.
    The danger from Iran is grave, it is real, and my goal will be to eliminate this threat.

    But just as we are clear-eyed about the threat, we must be clear about the failure of today's policy. We knew, in 2002, that Iran supported terrorism. We knew Iran had an illicit nuclear program. We knew Iran posed a grave threat to Israel.
    But instead of pursuing a strategy to address this threat, we ignored it and instead invaded and occupied Iraq. When I opposed the war, I warned that it would fan the flames of extremism in the Middle East. That is precisely what happened in Iran - the hardliners tightened their grip, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected President in 2005. And the United States and Israel are less secure.

    I respect Senator McCain, and look forward to a substantive debate with him these next five months. But on this point, we have differed, and we will differ. Senator McCain refuses to understand or acknowledge the failure of the policy that he would continue. He criticizes my willingness to use strong diplomacy, but offers only an alternate reality - one where the war in Iraq has somehow put Iran on its heels. The truth is the opposite. Iran has strengthened its position. Iran is now enriching uranium, and has reportedly stockpiled 150 kilos of low enriched uranium. Its support for terrorism and threats toward Israel have increased. Those are the facts, they cannot be denied, and I refuse to continue a policy that has made the United States and Israel less secure.

  70. Obama

    "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided"

    The soothing words of an Everyman speaking to a Jewish group or is he really willing to concede such an important chip so early in the game?

  71. But, it could also be the Palistinian capital, ash.

    It could remain undivided under UN or some other international body's control.
    A Jerusalem Triumvirate of Christian, Muslims and Jews rule over an international capital city.

    Well within the parameters of thw quote.

    Think boldly

  72. Sounds suspiciously like doublespeak the interests of wanting him to be my man (hence everyman) I'm inclined to accept that explanation ;)

  73. The more I think about it the more compelling your intrepretation is Rat. He's got some good writers/thinkers behind him.

  74. Cynically stated, if elected, Obama'a rhetoric will crash like a wave on the islamic beach, the beach remaining unperturbed, the wave receding.

    It wasn't rhetoric that got the muzzies out of France, Spain.

  75. See HERE Ash, the islamers smell blood in the water already.



    Published in the New York Post on June 3, 2008.

    Printer-Friendly Version

    John McCain needs to go on the offensive against Barack Obama over the Iraq war.

    Polls tell us that his support for the Iraq invasion is one of voters' chief problems with McCain. Obama's chief credential, on the other hand, is his early, consistent opposition to the war.

    Even with recent successes in Iraq, the war remains a heavy negative for McCain. But he can turn that around; here's how.

    When it comes to Iraq, Obama is most comfortable living in the past. He wants to endlessly replay the day when he castigated the war as unnecessary and cooked up by White House political types and ideologues. He's far less comfortable talking about Iraq now, and downright antsy when it comes to discussing the future.

    It's a lot easier to oppose a policy than to figure out how to replace it.

    Countless Americans remain deeply pessimistic about Iraq; recent successes get judged in the light of past, false optimism.

    But that also means voters have no problem envisioning disaster should we pull out our troops too soon - the possible slaughter of pro-American Iraqis, plus police and government officials; perhaps a takeover by Iran; a comeback by al Qaeda and other terrorist operatives.

    The key is to force Obama to face these dangers - and explain what he'd do.

    * He could deny the possibilities - and come off as a naive, wishful thinker; most unsuitable in a president.

    * He could waffle - but then McCain would press. If Obama kept it up, voters would see indecision or evasion - evidence he's in over his his head on foreign policy and national security.

    * He could say that he'd use diplomacy to handle the situation - but Americans are rightfully skeptical about the chances for a diplomatic resolution, especially if the United States pulls out its troops.

    As Frederick the Great said, "diplomacy without force is like music without instruments." McCain could always press and ask, "What do you do if diplomacy fails?"

    * Which brings us to the inevitable answer he must give: I will go back into Iraq with troops.

    But that begs more questions: Would he keep adequate force in the region? If not, it could take six months of convoys to go back in. And isn't it inevitable that a new invasion would lead to many more casualties than just staying there?

    This gambit narrows the real differences between McCain's and Obama's Iraq policies. Obama basically has to say that he'd keep our troops in the region. Voters can be excused for not seeing much difference between keeping them in Iraq and in Kuwait - especially when pulling them even back to Kuwait makes their return to Iraq seem almost inevitable.

    You can't run for president looking in the rear-view mirror and reciting what you said six years ago. You have to offer a plan.

    McCain has an easily understood position: Stay in and win. As Iraq improves and Obama is forced to admit the possibility - in Americans' view, almost the inevitability - of ongoing involvement, McCain's solution will appear as much the better one.

    gotta run, hope you had a good sail Ash

  76. naw, not such a good sail - windy (good) and rainy. We were over the line early so we had to go back and restart and play catch up. Then we tore a sail...

    If you want to know what it is like to own a sail boat without actually buying one here is what you do:

    -Get a stack of 100 dollar bills.
    -Get the biggest most powerful fan you can buy and set it up in front of your shower. Turn it on.
    -Put on a whole bunch of clothes --turn the cold water in the shower on full.
    Climb in an start tearing up those one hundred dollar bills.

    I haven't figured out how to emulate the motion could try doing the above while severly hung over.

    Anyway, to your post Bobal re: the Brietbart article - yep, change is needed and even the muzzies detect that.

    Regarding the DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN article on Iraq:

    They've got their fingers firmly lodged in the Chinese finger trap and that trap is buttressed by the quest for "VICTORY". Declaring victory and leaving opens the door to having to return if the victory should proves fleeting. Withdrawal entails accepting the consequences of doing so. Hopefully other actors will be brought in to the mix to keep the peace, if not, well, it sure could be messy. It already is anyway.

  77. I've never seen Palin, didn't know she had looks too.
    ...think she might be the one that just had a baby after having amniocentisis tell her it was Downs.
    Proudly announced the arrival of the welcomed addition.

  78. (even disguised clocks are sometimes right two times a day, Trish)

  79. Obama, tells US plainly what he will do, if diplomacy fails.
    Believe him, or not.

    They forget the example of Truman, and Kennedy and Reagan. These Presidents understood that diplomacy backed by real leverage was a fundamental tool of statecraft. And it is time to once again make American diplomacy a tool to succeed, not just a means of containing failure. We will pursue this diplomacy with no illusions about the Iranian regime. Instead, we will present a clear choice. If you abandon your dangerous nuclear program, support for terror, and threats to Israel, there will be meaningful incentives - including the lifting of sanctions, and political and economic integration with the international community. If you refuse, we will ratchet up the pressure.

    My presidency will strengthen our hand as we restore our standing. Our willingness to pursue diplomacy will make it easier to mobilize others to join our cause. If Iran fails to change course when presented with this choice by the United States, it will be clear - to the people of Iran, and to the world - that the Iranian regime is the author of its own isolation. That will strengthen our hand with Russia and China as we insist on stronger sanctions in the Security Council. And we should work with Europe, Japan and the Gulf states to find every avenue outside the UN to isolate the Iranian regime - from cutting off loan guarantees and expanding financial sanctions, to banning the export of refined petroleum to Iran, to boycotting firms associated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, whose Quds force has rightly been labeled a terrorist organization.

    I was interested to see Senator McCain propose divestment as a source of leverage - not the bigoted divestment that has sought to punish Israeli scientists and academics, but divestment targeted at the Iranian regime. It's a good concept, but not a new one. I introduced legislation over a year ago that would encourage states and the private sector to divest from companies that do business in Iran. This bill has bipartisan support, but for reasons that I'll let him explain, Senator McCain never signed on. Meanwhile, an anonymous Senator is blocking the bill. It is time to pass this into law so that we can tighten the squeeze on the Iranian regime. We should also pursue other unilateral sanctions that target Iranian banks and assets.

    And we must free ourselves from the tyranny of oil. The price of a barrel of oil is one of the most dangerous weapons in the world. Petrodollars pay for weapons that kill American troops and Israeli citizens. And the Bush Administration's policies have driven up the price of oil, while its energy policy has made us more dependent on foreign oil and gas. It's time for the United States to take real steps to end our addiction to oil. And we can join with Israel, building on last year's US-Israel Energy Cooperation Act, to deepen our partnership in developing alternative sources of energy by increasing scientific collaboration and joint research and development. The surest way to increase our leverage in the long term is to stop bankrolling the Iranian regime.

    Finally, let there be no doubt: I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally Israel.

    Sometimes there are no alternatives to confrontation. But that only makes diplomacy more important.

    If we must use military force, we are more likely to succeed, and will have far greater support at home and abroad, if we have exhausted our diplomatic efforts.

  80. where you gettin' that stuff from rat?

  81. Ash secretly yearns for the mass killings that follow the ascendency of man to the divine head of state.

  82. Chairman Mao your ultimate Hero, Ash?

  83. The two happiest days in a boat owners life, Ash, the day he bought it, and the day he sold it.(I don't really believe this, as I used to have a small boat and got lots of pleasure from it)

    If you abandon your dangerous nuclear program, support for terror, and threats to Israel, there will be meaningful incentives - including the lifting of sanctions, and political and economic integration with the international community. If you refuse, we will ratchet up the pressure.

    As if that hadn't already been tried. By everybody.

    You can't negotiate with the koran.

    Ahmadinejad is looking forward to negotiating with this sucker. Has already said as much.

  84. I built a Redwood Strip Canoe, Sheik al-Bob!

  85. Well I didn't see McCains speech, but I have seen him speak.

    I've watch Obama give speeches though I ususally don't listen to the entire thing.

    But once those two go head to head on national TV is there any doubt as to who is going to win?

    Obama is THE best I may have seen..perhaps ever.

    McCains is going to be lookiing like what he is, the old old guy and his arsenal of experience vs. Obama is going to look and sound very weak.

    Unless "the Tape" surfaces or some other damning aspect of Obama we don't already know I think it's already over.

    And it should continue to make the times we live in very interesting, in the basest noir you can conceive.

    Since I'm a mind dead Republican I'm still voting for the war hero squid. The kid can wait.

  86. I didn't see either speach.
    My pain threshold has been permanently exceeded.

  87. To raise taxes, ban pickups, mandate a diet, call for shivering and sweating, send money overseas to end poverty, gut the military, support men marrying men, outlaw guns, and curtail industry because of 'warming' doesn't sound like a winner to me. If we elect this guy, we've lost our collective minds.

    Not to mention flood the country with the aliens.

    I hope that tape's out there. Obama will look better than McCain for sure, it's up to the working class tax payin' whites.

  88. couldn't even distract him with a homemade woodstrip canoe


  89. The link to

    Obama's Remarks at AIPAC Policy Conference
    Barack Obama

    Remarks at AIPAC Policy Conference
    June 4, 2008
    As Prepared for Delivery

    When he gave the speech, he emphasised the "Everything in my power!" line three or four times.
    Repeated in candence.

  90. I have been proud to be a part of a strong, bi-partisan consensus that has stood by Israel in the face of all threats. That is a commitment that both John McCain and I share, because support for Israel in this country goes beyond party. But part of our commitment must be speaking up when Israel's security is at risk, and I don't think any of us can be satisfied that America's recent foreign policy has made Israel more secure.

    Hamas now controls Gaza. Hizbollah has tightened its grip on southern Lebanon, and is flexing its muscles in Beirut. Because of the war in Iraq, Iran - which always posed a greater threat to Israel than Iraq - is emboldened, and poses the greatest strategic challenge to the United States and Israel in the Middle East in a generation.

    Iraq is unstable, and al Qaeda has stepped up its recruitment. Israel's quest for peace with its neighbors has stalled, despite the heavy burdens borne by the Israeli people. And America is more isolated in the region, reducing our strength and jeopardizing Israel's safety.

    The question is how to move forward. There are those who would continue and intensify this failed status quo, ignoring eight years of accumulated evidence that our foreign policy is dangerously flawed. And then there are those who would lay all of the problems of the Middle East at the doorstep of Israel and its supporters, as if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the root of all trouble in the region. These voices blame the Middle East's only democracy for the region's extremism. They offer the false promise that abandoning a stalwart ally is somehow the path to strength. It is not, it never has been, and it never will be.

    Our alliance is based on shared interests and shared values. Those who threaten Israel threaten us. Israel has always faced these threats on the front lines. And I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel's security.

    That starts with ensuring Israel's qualitative military advantage. I will ensure that Israel can defend itself from any threat - from Gaza to Tehran.

  91. Univ of AZ heads up the Phoenix Lander, 'Rat.
    Never considered that name.
    Son works for U.H. for Air Force.
    University of New Mexico also involved.

  92. Bobal,

    I fully agree that if Obama is elected we will have effectively slit the republics throat.

    The Democrats, as I have stated perhaps here, but I know in other places, will expand the SCOTUS should they end up with a supermajority in the Senate.

    A SCOTUS with twenty one judges, all the newbies being socialists, a trioka at the top with two more Chief Justices appointed,also out of the Marxist mold and you have a setting for the entire Corpus Juris to be redefined and the entire Constitution to be redefined.

    The concept of Stare Decisis will not be worth a penny. If they do that first thing then in two years nothing will matter regarding elections because they will legisalte through the courts as they have done so often in the past..this time the judges will all be young socialists and the case outcome predetermined by Marxist ideology .."economic democracy" and all that.

    Yeah, should that come to pass this country will be unrecognizable for decades to come, if ever.

    The Appellate Courts ditto; as well as all US Attorneys.

  93. Obama can deliver a stem winder of a speech. Non pareil.

    Extemporaneously, though he's not nearly go good. Many, hesitations and ums.

    One on one in debate, I think McCain has the edge. It will be interesting to see how Obama goes on the offensive. Currently, he's seeking to link McCain to Bush. Eventually they'll get down to the real issues. He also seeks to rewrite history as his policy speeches (few as they are) ignore or misrepresent what has been done and attempted diplomatically in the past 15 years. It's not as if Bush woke up one morning and decided that he was going to depose the peace loving, congenial, upstanding Saddam Hussein.

  94. McConnell was on Rush.
    What bliss it would be to have an adult instead of these two morons.

  95. "Hillarycare for Global Warming"

  96. At least this time the prediction has a historical basis, having been attempted by FDR, first, back in the day.

  97. Bet he counters McCain with a series of Lincoln v Douglas debates.

    Speeches, on varied toppic, of set duration, alternating. Then the topic changes. On each topic both get ten minutes to open, then five in rebuttal.

    McCain would get flustered.

  98. Fill a 90 minute time slot with in depth discussion, by the candidates of three topics.

    A series of five debates, fifteen topics of national importance to be discussed, in turn.

  99. No moderator, just a timekeeper.

  100. I doubt that McCain would ever agree to that format. Why should he?

    Mano y Mano.

  101. Habu makes a good point on the courts,but the problem is structural in that the courts have usurped power from the legislature. The civil rights movement of the 60's saw the opening for judicial mischief and no one has made a serious attempt to stop it.

  102. For the same reason that Obama woud or wouldn't do a series of "Townhalls".

    McCain might agree, if the other opportunities to meet mano a mano were limited.

    Obama seems prepared to work at a distance, firing salvos in speeches, the answering the rejoinders in his next speech.

    Limit the debates, until after the Conventions, at least. It will benefit Obama to do so. He builds his storyline, using the rhetorical tools that have succeeded for him, to date.

  103. That's neat Doug, I had to go downtown. I recall, when my brother and I got an old wooden boat, and caulked it up a bit, put it in the lake, sonabitch leaked like hell; didn't sink completely, just up to the oarlocks, made out of wood you know, but we had to take it back to 'dry dock.' It's hard rowing, when a boat's full of water.

  104. Many people around here have a Drift Boat like this one; you can buy a kit and put it together in the garage.

  105. I cheated and covered it w/fiberglass.
    Still was full of water one time in Moro Bay.
    Can't remember why, except that we were drunk.

  106. If I were McCain, I'd debate as little as possible, rely on playing Obama and Wright bites on the tube as much as possible.

    And I'd stay away from stairways with the cameras around, lest I fall over and look even more aged.

  107. Rezko guilty of 16 of 24 counts.

  108. McConell shuts down the Senate, requiring them to read the entire 500 pages of the global disaster.
    ...payback for Reid lying about court nominations.

  109. Remember that time in the stairwell in 2000 where he had some kind of fight w/a reporter?

  110. John would do better in a debate than letting Barry stand off and destroy him like 'Rat describes.
    I'm praying for some kind of divine intervention.
    ...maybe a Mexican smuggled Nuke wipes out DC?
    Heavenly Justice.

  111. Hillary this morning looked like she had cried long periods last night...

    Obama HELD up his speech for over an hour this am, i can tell you his speech was good, and even those of us in the crowd who did not like him were moved...

    after his speech and then hillary's we all were late for our senate apt's on the hill MANY in the lines for security commented on what a wonderful speech he gave and how great a speech giver he was... then the question was raised was it just a performance telling the crowd what we wanted to hear?

    how could bho surround himself with the scum that he has for 20 years and talk about israel, jews and such?

    was he lying then or was he lying now?

    Hillary is think is NOT out, just being playing her hand very tight.....

    if felt like a concession speech, but in retrospect was it?

    Now she waits for the rezko shit to hit the fan, the michelle obama CD to surface, the upcoming summer war in gaza and other events...

    the story is not over

  112. I dont know,guys (and gals), one good speech or a few good speeches does not make a president. It might get him elected, but it doesnt make him a good one, which scares the hell out of me. He won the Dems over with all his liberal shit, now all of the sudden, he is talking like a hawk...

    I think he is absolutely full of shit and an empty suit, and if this country elects him as President, we are alot more naive than I would ever imagine.

    How can you vote for the person who our enemies want elected?

  113. Maybe that October surprise you posted about earlier.

  114. ABC News is saying Hillary is dropping out on Friday.

  115. "If you abandon your dangerous nuclear program, support for terror, and threats to Israel, there will be meaningful incentives - including the lifting of sanctions, and political and economic integration with the international community. If you refuse, we will ratchet up the pressure."

    Incentives are offered to change a position; they become rewards upon movement to fulfillment.

    Nevertheless, and correcting for this error, this is the current policy.

    A little difficult to keep up the "new era" sanctimony when your aim is the status quo.

    (And the Israelis don't buy it.)

  116. Anybody catch the way he looked to the left and up during his nomination acceptance speech?

    I think McCain going on immediate offense is a good move.

  117. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana is to visit Iran later this month in order to offer incentives for the country to halt its uranium enrichment.

    An earlier attempt by Japan to mediate between Iran and the 5+1 and to persuade Iran to stop enriching uranium was unsuccessful.

    Enriching Uranium

  118. Bits: Google Plans Major Expansion

    The agreement further cements the already tight relationship between Google and NASA Ames, which began in 2005, when the two organizations signed a memorandum of understanding that marked the beginning of negotiations on the development plan and other projects.

    As the press release notes, other collaborations between Google and NASA include: the Planetary Content project, which develops software that makes it easier for scientists to publish planetary data via the Internet and led to Google Moon and the NASA “layer” on Google Earth; the Global Connection project, which enhances the “National Geographic” layer in Google; and the Disaster Response project, which develops prototype software tools to help improve first response to large-scale natural disasters.
    Not mentioned in the press release is a separate agreement that gives landing rights to the small fleet of planes owned by Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt and co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Moffett Field, the NASA-operated runway that is generally closed to private aircraft and is also adjacent to the Googleplex.

    For those who keep score, the annual lease for the 42.2-acre parcel is $3.66 million, or nearly triple the $1.3 million the top Google execs pay each year to land two Boeing 767s and at least two Gulfstream Vs at Moffett Field.

  119. Obama and Clinton spoke by phone for a few minutes Wednesday. He told her he wants to "sit down when it makes sense" for her, said Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs.

    Clinton said that would happen soon, Gibbs said, but he also said Obama did not raise the issue of the vice presidency. Clinton campaign Chairman Terry McAuliffe confirmed that there had been "absolutely zero discussions" on the matter.

    The Clinton campaign issued a statement saying she was open to becoming vice president.

    Ending Bid Friday

  120. When he gave the speech, he emphasised the "Everything in my power!" line three or four times. Repeated in candence.

    Of course, he means "Everything in my power after I de-nuclearize the US, Israel, and Europe" as a good will gesture to get Iran to quit its secret nuclear program.

  121. As Pritchard was meeting North Korean officials in Pyongyang, the White House announced that the North had helped Syria build a clandestine reactor.

    North Korean officials denied the allegations, demanding that the U.S. present real proof.

    "According to officials we were talking with, the example would be shipping documents," said Nicole Finnemann, a KEI staff member who accompanied Pritchard on the Pyongyang trip.

    NK Compares Itself to Israel

  122. Eric Holder on Obama's Veep Search Committee [Andy McCarthy]

    So Sen. Obama, who is trying to distance himself from the Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, has named to his Vice Presidential Search Committee Eric Holder ... the top Clinton Justice Department official who was deeply enmeshed in the disgraceful pardons granted by President Clinton on his way out the door — pardons which included two Weather Underground terrorists, whose lengthy terrorism sentences were commuted. (And that is to say nothing of Holder's involvement in the infamous pardon of the international fraudster, Marc Rich.)

    Obama's Veep Search Committee [Byron York]

    Andy — You think Eric Holder is an interesting choice for the Obama veep search. But just take a look at Jim Johnson, the former Fannie Mae chief Obama has also chosen for the job. More specifically, look at the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight's May 2006 report on mismanagement and corruption inside Fannie Mae, and you'll see some interesting things about Johnson. Investigators found that Fannie Mae had hidden a substantial amount of Johnson's 1998 compensation from the public, reporting that it was between $6 million and $7 million when it fact it was $21 million. From the report:

  123. But F-series sales have dropped more than 30 percent since last spring.

    Last month, according to the new sales numbers released Tuesday, the Toyota Corolla and Camry and the Honda Civic and Accord all surged past the F-series. It was the first month since December 1992 that a car - not a truck - was the country's top-selling vehicle.

    The world doesn't seem to have come to an end as a result.

    Trucks Toward Extinction

  124. It's a sunny Friday afternoon in Bridgeport, Conn., and drivers are feeling the pain as they pull in to the Freedom Premium Fuels service station. Nate Carter, a polished young salesman for the Cumulus Media (CMLS) radio network, watches the gas pump tick past $60 and then $65 as he fills up his car.


    Every driver has a tale to tell about the effect of rising fuel costs. Some stories are of minor changes in daily patterns; others are more substantial.


    There are seasonal factors, too: Gas prices tend to climb during the summer, when millions of drivers hit the road on vacation. In total, Connecticut drivers pay the second-highest gasoline tax in the country at 62.5¢ a gallon, trailing only California.

    Tales From the Pump

  125. The Messiah has said we can't drive those pickup trucks and SUV's anyway. I'm just glad I've got the old trusty 1960 Ford F 600 to get me to the store. They can't take that away from me!

    We don't know how lucky we are to have these two electrifying, honest politicians looking out for us.

    Obama v McCain

    Chicago newspaper sings their praises.

  126. That Sarah "the Barracuda" Palin doesn't sound so bad. McCain isn't that imaginaive, however.

  127. RE: Questions Obama Needs to Be Asked this YouTube video of Obama endorsing Alexi Giannoulias in no uncertain terms.
    Obama calls him "outstanding" and lauds his ability to make "sound investments."
    [Mark Hemingway]


  128. The Obama campaign disputed any suggestion that Obama is tarnished by the association.

    Doug you're just too distrustful. You seem to think Obama smells just because he's been dancing with skunks. It's just an association, that's all it is. Just an association. And all his other contacts too. A man can't go through life without meeting lots of people, people from various backgrounds. We're lucky to have two electrifying candidates like Obama and McCain.

  129. If you don't believe me, believe Fidel Castro, Ahmadinejad, Hamas, Farrakhan, Hugo Chavez, Ash, and the German people.

  130. Maybe he was asleep when meeting with mobsters and terrorists. he was in Church.