“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, July 09, 2008

Barack the Pragmatic

Don't Spare the Poleaxe

Don't Misunderestimate Obama

By Patrick Buchanan
Real Clear Politics

With 68 percent of Americans believing George Bush has done a poor job, and 82 percent saying the country is on the wrong track, the election of 2008 will turn on one issue: Barack Obama.

If Sen. Obama can convince the people he is "one of us," and not some snooty radical liberal from Chicago's Hyde Park, who looks down upon white America as a fever swamp of racism and reaction, a la the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the senator will be the next president.

The election of 2008 thus mirrors the election of 1980.

Then, the country wanted Jimmy Carter gone. Americans had had enough of 21 percent interest rates, 13 percent inflation and 7 percent unemployment. They wanted the Iranian hostage crisis ended, violently if necessary. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, America wanted a leader who would not kiss Leonid Brezhnev on the cheek but reassert American power.

The issue then was Ronald Reagan. Portrayed as some Al Capp cartoon of a crazed right-winger and B-Grade Hollywood actor given to spouting Reader's Digest bromides, Reagan was regarded as ridiculous by much of the media and too big a risk by much of the nation.

In one debate with Carter, Reagan erased the misperceptions and turned a close race into a cakewalk. That is Barack's opportunity.

A savvy politician, he has measured correctly the hurdle he must surmount and is moving expeditiously to alter an image of him forged by his own past associations and policy positions. In three weeks, he has jettisoned his new politics in a stunning display of raw pragmatism.

A prime minister must be "a good butcher," H.H. Asquith told Winston Churchill on naming him First Lord of the Admiralty, "and there are several who need to be pole-axed now." Four years later, Asquith would pole-axe Churchill over the Dardanelles disaster.

Obama is not lacking in this capacity that Richard Nixon, too, felt was an indispensable attribute of a statesman.

Samantha Power was tossed off Barack's sledge after calling Hillary a "monster" and suggesting Barack's Iraq timetable was not set in concrete. Robert Malley was canned for having talked to Hamas, though that was his portfolio at a think tank for conflict resolution.

Barack pole-axed pastor Wright and, though he said he could no more repudiate his church than his family, shortly after the second time Wright went off, Barack severed all ties to Trinity United.

Barack has spoken of how he cringed at the racist reaction of his white grandmother after she was accosted by a black man on a bus. Grandma has now been rehabilitated in a new ad as the loving woman who inculcated good old Kansas values into little Barack.

When his own surrogate, Gen. Wesley Clark, suggested John McCain's war service did not automatically qualify him as presidential timber, a storm erupted. Barack proceeded to cut the general's legs off.

His had been one of a few Senate voices to speak of Palestinian suffering. But Barack's address to the Israeli lobby read like it was plagiarized from the collected works of Ze'ev Jabotinsky.

When the Supreme Court declared every citizen has a Second Amendment right to a handgun, Barack stood with Justice Scalia. When Scalia said the court ought not to have taken away Louisiana's right to execute child rapists, Barack was with him again.

When Congress voted the telecoms immunity from prosecution for colluding with the Bush administration in wiretapping citizens, Barack stood with Bush and the telecoms. Fearing it might cost him his huge money-raising advantage over McCain, Barack tossed campaign finance reform over the side.

In Ohio, Barack was a populist opponent of NAFTA. He is now a free-trader. Yet when economic adviser Austan Goolsbee told the Canadians pretty much the same thing, Barack disinherited him.

As July 4 approached, Barack gratuitously dissed his friends at for their "General Betray Us" ad mocking Gen. David Petraeus. And that flag pin Barack got rid of after 9-11, calling it a "substitute ... for real patriotism"? It's back on the lapel.

Last week, Barack said that, after he meets with Petraeus and his field commanders in Iraq, he might "refine" his commitment to withdraw all U.S. combat brigades within 16 months.

And finally, Obama has co-opted President Bush's faith-based initiative and claimed it as his own.

What is Obama up to? Having secured the nomination, he is moving to convince the nation he is neither a black militant nor a radical, but a man of the center who will even listen to the right.

Though infuriating to readers of The Huffington Post, this may save Barack. For in Middle America folks worry less about politicians adjusting positions than about True Believers willing to go over the cliff with flags flying -- and taking us with them.

Reagan was no Barry Goldwater. He knew when to "hold 'em," and he knew when to "fold 'em." Yet, America still knew who Reagan was.

We may be misunderestimating Barack. But the question of 2008 remains: When all is said and done, who is this guy?

How's my guy doing?


  1. I think the election is up to guys like Rufus. It's guys like Rufus that hold the 1% or 2% of the vote that will tilt it one way or the other. A guy like me, I can moan about George and the Republicans, like my Senator for instance, Mr. Wide Stance, but I could never actually go in there and pull that lever for Obama, whom I think is the smoothest charlatan we've seen in a long time, maybe ever. I think Ruf holds the last card.

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  3. Barack will fill a 75,000 seat stadium.

    It has little to do with the facts, despite Joe Friday telling US, "Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts".

    So far Obama has proven more than capable of running the White House and a Government. The course he charts for it, well, Obama has no core values.

    Just pragmatic positioning.

    His flips are just not flops.

  4. As my brother often says:
    "The Market has no memory"

  5. Obama may have no openly stated core values that he will stand behind when pragmatism calls, but he has the same core values that he has nurtured for nearly 30 years, compounded by a profound ignorance of any other system of belief or political perspective.

    His core values would shine brightly in his choice of Supreme Court Justices, as they would in default redistributionist cure for all that ails us.

    ...and he is a shameless liar, race-baiter, and compulsive player of the race card.

  6. 15 things you should know about "The Race":

    Only in America could critics of a group called "The Race" be labeled racists. Such is the triumph of left-wing identity chauvinists, whose aggressive activists and supine abettors have succeeded in redefining all opposition as "hate."

    Both Barack Obama and John McCain will speak this week in San Diego at the annual conference of the National Council of La Raza, the Latino organization whose name is Spanish for, yes, "The Race." Can you imagine Obama and McCain paying homage to a group of white people who called themselves that? No matter. The presidential candidates and the media have legitimized "The Race" as a mainstream ethnic lobbying group and marginalized its critics as intolerant bigots. The unvarnished truth is that the group is a radical ethnic nationalist outfit that abuses your tax dollars and milks PC politics to undermine our sovereignty.

    3. "The Race" sponsors militant ethnic nationalist charter schools subsidized by your public tax dollars (at least $8 million in federal education grants). The schools include Aztlan Academy in Tucson, Ariz., the Mexicayotl Academy in Nogales, Ariz., Academia Cesar Chavez Charter School in St. Paul, Minn., and La Academia Semillas del Pueblo in Los Angeles, whose principal inveighed: "We don't want to drink from a White water fountain, we have our own wells and our natural reservoirs and our way of collecting rain in our aqueducts. We don't need a White water fountain … ultimately the White way, the American way, the neo liberal, capitalist way of life will eventually lead to our own destruction."

    2. "The Race" has perfected the art of the PC shakedown at taxpayer expense, pushing relentlessly to lower home loan standards for Hispanic borrowers, reaping millions in federal "mortgage counseling" grants, seeking special multimillion-dollar earmarks and partnering with banks that do business with illegal aliens.

    1. "The Race" thrives on ethnic supremacy -- and the elite sheeple's unwillingness to call it what it is.

    As historian Victor Davis Hanson observes:
    "[The] organization's very nomenclature

    'The National Council of La Raza' is hate speech to the core.

    Despite all the contortions of the group, Raza (as its Latin cognate suggests) reflects the meaning of 'race' in Spanish, not 'the people' -- and that's precisely why we don't hear of something like 'The National Council of the People,' which would not confer the buzz notion of ethnic, racial and tribal chauvinism."

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  8. Obama is all those things, and maybe more, doug.

    He'll get to name two or three Supremes, and subbordinate judges... bit if the GOP stands firm, in the Senate, we'll get a 21st century version of Justice Kennedy.
    If the GOP does not hold 40 seats in Jam09, they have no one to blame, but ourselves.

    Those that had Bush Derangenment will be proven correct. Following the Decider's course may come to be the key to political disaster, in the US. Democracy in Iraq may well be the key to Republican defeat in November.

    As Maverick leaves his tried and true style behind, reshaping his staff with Rovian acolytes.

    "Dance with the one that brought ya".
    Never been a trait of Maverick's

  9. "...bit if the GOP stands firm, in the Senate, we'll get a 21st century version of Justice Kennedy."

    I read that and I thought "noooo." and then I thought "Rat, you don't really know that." and then I thought "he could be absolutely right."

    Remember I said that on the eve of the Republican primary in Florida, McCain on a recorded phone call promised two things: That he would 1. Fix the borders and have border state Governors certify border security before attempting comprehensive immigration reform. 2. Nominate Constitutionalist Justices like John Roberts or Samuel Alito.

    According to Mark Krikorian, McCain is about as hard to pin down on immigration as Obama is on everything.

    I'm counting on McCain to be the "straight shooter" but rat doesn't think much of his character.

  10. I am always amazed that with each presidential election, the choice of candidates actually gets worse every time.

    Really bums me out that the best this country can do is the two clowns from the McParties that share the same view of FedGov Uber Alles, just to varying degrees.

    DRat is so very right that even a McCain win means another Souter or Kennedy in the SC, because McCain will bow to the senate. The R's better fight for those 40 seats like there is no tomorrow, or there will be no tomorrow.

    This next four years will be some of the most interesting America has had in quite a long, long time.

    FWIW, Jesse Ventura was on the news a week ago or so talking up running for senate in MN. He was sounding good, harshing on the two-party system and all (he's Reform Party I think) and then he jumped the shark. 9/11 was an inside job.

    So that's the loyal opposition. Good ideas but heavily prone to crackpot, moonbat asshattery.

  11. As my brother often says:
    "The Market has no memory"

    :) It's possible, entirely possible, I have been asleep all my life, but I can't recall hearing that before, but it sure rings true.

  12. Jesse Ventura vs Al Frankenstein, America's Choice.

  13. Doug, I think I mentioned it once before, but when I was at the U of Washington in the 60's, La Raza was a big deal on the campus there. Big signs, always a firey speaker or two at whatever function, etc.

    That was way back then.

  14. "Good ideas but heavily prone to crackpot, moonbat asshattery."

    I love a good chuckle in the morning. I am still laughing.

  15. Doug: His core values would shine brightly in his choice of Supreme Court Justices, as they would in default redistributionist cure for all that ails us.

    Liberal Justice Breyer was nominated by Ford. Centrist Kennedy was nominated by Reagan. Liberal Souter was nominated by Bush 41. Conclusion? It doesn't matter who nominates who, the court will always sort itself out 4-4 liberal-conservative, and there will be someone in the middle to break ties.

  16. Thank God I spent the sixties in the military.

  17. He was sounding good, harshing on the two-party system and all (he's Reform Party I think) and then he jumped the shark. 9/11 was an inside job.

    Pat Buchanan does that all the time. Starts off sounding rational then turns a corner.

    What's strange is that it seems to be a pattern. Or at least I have been noticing it more.

    This campaign more riveting than Christie Brinkley's divorce. Listening to the attorneys duke it out on Larry King and the same thing happened. The husband's attorney was slowly building a credible and somewhat sympathetic case based on woman scorned being out for revenge at the expense of the children. Then Larry King asked if Peter Cook was mad at Christie Brinkley.

    Well, no, he doesn't hate Christie, not at all, just wants to put an end to it all.

    The moral of the story, if you listen long enough, you won't find anyone you can listen to anymore.

    Depth and breadth of vision and knowledge were sacrificed at the alter of the sound bite by the generation of immediate gratification.

    Of course Obama has changed his tune. Two years ago he was an obscure junior legislator emerging from an old-style municipal political machine with parochial obligations.

    In the course of two years "Bambi" had to grow up. Baggage like Rev Wright was never going to survive the federal stage and the scrutiny of the broader demographic which is still skeptical.

    Same for McCain. The "maverick" mode not being strong enough or credible enough persona. And McCain is old enough to actually have a history. Everybody seems to have missed it (too busy dissing Biden for some perceived subtext) but you could hear the envy in his voice when Biden commented how “clean” Obama was.

    Wages are flat. Cost of living is up. Market-based solutions are vulnerable during transitions. The next ten years are going to be up and down. Government-sponsored solutions are notoriously ineffective and inefficient. The triumph of optimism over experience. The issues of the day require nonpartisan solutions.

    Rather than griping about the quality or lack thereof of the presidential candidates, there it is.

    My decision is based on policy.

    And not to put too fine a point on it, but it wasn't that hard.

  18. And if I can put on my Trish "Virago Rules" cap,

    Get a Grip!

  19. off topic....

    any chance in updating the The Belmont Club link?

  20. Deuce, before you update the BC, Blogger has a new feature whereby you can list some blogs and it displays a snip of the latest post.

  21. "I'm not a politician, I'm a statesman," he told The Midwest Wine Connection.

    Here You Go, D-Day

  22. Fully off-topic.

    A sound bite for the focus-impaired:

    The largest transfer of wealth in all of mankind. Boone Pickens commercial

    Eyes on the ball.

  23. This is a staggering number, particularly for a country that consumes oil the way we do. The U.S. uses nearly a quarter of the world's oil, with just 4% of the population and 3% of the world's reserves. This year, we will spend almost $700 billion on imported oil, which is more than four times the annual cost of our current war in Iraq.

    In fact, if we don't do anything about this problem, over the next 10 years we will spend around $10 trillion importing foreign oil. That is $10 trillion leaving the U.S. and going to foreign nations, making it what I certainly believe will be the single largest transfer of wealth in human history.

    Why do I believe that our dependence on foreign oil is such a danger to our country? Put simply, our economic engine is now 70% dependent on the energy resources of other countries, their good judgment, and most importantly, their good will toward us. Foreign oil is at the intersection of America's three most important issues: the economy, the environment and our national security. We need an energy plan that maps out how we're going to work our way out of this mess. I think I have such a plan.

    My Plan to Escape the Grip of Foreign Oil

  24. Meanwhile, down Sam's way, the first case of Climate Change Syndrome is recorded.

  25. rufus and I, amongst others of course, discussed turning the Dakotas into a wind farm.
    T. Boon sees the same opportunity

    We'll start with wind power. Wind is 100% domestic, it is 100% renewable and it is 100% clean. Did you know that the midsection of this country, that stretch of land that starts in West Texas and reaches all the way up to the border with Canada, is called the "Saudi Arabia of the Wind"? It gets that name because we have the greatest wind reserves in the world. In 2008, the Department of Energy issued a study that stated that the U.S. has the capacity to generate 20% of its electricity supply from wind by 2030. I think we can do this or even more, but we must do it quicker.

    One look at the wind charts and a little common sense, the solution was clear. Even the Feds know the situation, with the blow hard, as this map of proposed turbine sites attests.

    That since the original OPEC use of oil as a weapon, in the 1970s, the US has not made any attempt to secure its' energy independence.

    It is a greater Security issue than Iran or Iraq and the spread of Islamoids. As we are funding their ideological expansion. We have known that the Sauds and other OPEC member were opposed to core US policies, since the days of that first use of an oil embargo as an economic weapon.

    Though wi"o" will take US back to the Barbary pirates and claim Islamophobia. Which perhaps is accurate. All the more evidence, if one agrees with wi"o", of the piss poor leadership, in the US, for the past forty years.

    From both political Parties.

    That first oil embargo, analogous to the first attack on the WTC towers.

    Now we are being struck with planes full of fuel, while our Government frittered away an opportunity more worried about water and sewer service in Baghdad than the energy and economic security of the United States.

  26. Bobal - Gotta hand it to Jesse, he called out Franken pretty good on the taxes.

    He and Big Al can compete for the tinfoil hat army vote.

  27. A year ago China released its own global warming strategy -- its own Garnaut report -- which bluntly refused to cut its total emissions.

    Said Ma Kai, head of China's powerful State Council: "China does not commit to any quantified emissions-reduction commitments . . . our efforts to fight climate change must not come at the expense of economic growth."

    In fact, we had to get used to more gas from China, not less: "It is quite inevitable that during this (industrialisation) stage, China's energy consumption and CO2 emissions will be quite high."

    Last month, India likewise issued its National Action Plan on Climate Change, and also rejected Rudd-style cuts.

    The plan's authors, the Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change, said India would rather save its people from poverty than global warming, and would not cut growth to cut gases.

    "It is obvious that India needs to substantially increase its per capita energy consumption to provide a minimally acceptable level of wellbeing to its people."

    The plan's only real promise was in fact a threat: "India is determined that its per capita greenhouse gas emissions will at no point exceed that of developed countries."

    Doomed to a fatal delusion over climate change

    from bob's syndrome link, above.

  28. T. Boone seems pragmatic as to the election day choices and possible results:

    The future begins as soon as Congress and the president act. The government must mandate the formation of wind and solar transmission corridors, and renew the subsidies for economic and alternative energy development in areas where the wind and sun are abundant. I am also calling for a monthly progress report on the reduction in foreign oil imports, as well as a monthly progress report on the state of development of natural gas vehicles in this country.

    We have a golden opportunity in this election year to form bipartisan support for this plan.

    Did I mention that it's 108 degrees, in the shade?

    A tad humid, too.

  29. The ornery part of any “comprehensive” plan will be liquid fuel.

    The apples and oranges and pears we will be driving for the next 20 years.

    I am personally suspicious of substituting one finite resource for another - natural gas for oil.

    At least the profits kept in-house.

    With a new monopoly.

    But it will be a “tax break” state-side across the board.

  30. That's why sweet sorghum ethanol is an important part of the fix.

    At least for those twenty years, but beyond as well.

    It's solar energy, through flora.

    If the Indians can make it work, economicly, we could as well.

  31. Then redefine imports to report Mexican and Canadian resources in a seperate Americas account.

    Not as imports

    From a National Security standpoint.

  32. As both Mexico and Canada are members of the SPP

    The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) was launched in March of 2005 as a trilateral effort to increase security and enhance prosperity among the United States, Canada and Mexico through greater cooperation and information sharing.

    This trilateral initiative is premised on our security and our economic prosperity being mutually reinforcing. The SPP recognizes that our three great nations are bound by a shared belief in freedom, economic opportunity, and strong democratic institutions.

    The SPP provides the framework to ensure that North America is the safest and best place to live and do business. It includes ambitious security and prosperity programs to keep our borders closed to terrorism yet open to trade.

  33. The SPP builds on this dynamic relationship by providing Canada, Mexico and the United States a partnership to build a safer, more secure and economically dynamic North America, while respecting the sovereignty, laws, unique heritage, and culture of each country.

    In order to give guidance and achieve results in advance of the April 2008 North American leaders’ Summit, we have reviewed progress achieved since Montebello and have directed officials to:

    Competitiveness: Continue to implement the strategy to combat piracy and counterfeiting, and build on the Regulatory Cooperation Framework by pursuing collaboration through sectoral initiatives, with an emphasis on the automotive sector;

    Safe Food & Products: Strengthen cooperation to better identify, assess and manage unsafe food and products before they enter North America, and collaborate to promote the compatibility of our related regulatory and inspection regimes;

    Energy and Environment: Develop projects under the newly signed Agreement on Science and Technology; and cooperate on moving new technologies to the marketplace, auto fuel efficiency and energy efficiency standards;

    Smart & Secure Borders: Strengthen cooperation protocols and create new mechanisms to secure our common borders while facilitating legitimate travel and trade in the North American region;

    Emergency Management and Preparedness: Strengthen emergency management cooperation capacity in the North American region before, during and after disasters.
    We also instructed officials to consider innovative ways to advance these five priorities, to enhance our dialogue and further our cooperation.

  34. While both Maverick and Obama have a pragmatic view of immigration reform:

    WASHINGTON – After months of treading softly on immigration, Barack Obama put the issue center stage Tuesday when he accused John McCain of setting aside years of support for a guest-worker program to appease conservatives and further his presidential ambition.

    The attack, delivered to a major Hispanic group, served the dual purpose of broadening Mr. Obama's appeal to a critical segment of the electorate, while chipping away at his rival's image as a maverick and reformer.

    "He used to buck his party on immigration ... but when he started running for his party's nomination, he abandoned his courageous stance," Mr. Obama told the League of United Latin American Citizens. "We need a president who isn't going to walk away from something as important as comprehensive reform when it becomes politically unpopular."

    Both candidates have walked a tightrope on immigration reform. The Arizona senator led a years-long push for new rules, cobbling together a package that included more border security and workplace enforcement with a guest-worker program and giving 12 million or so immigrants the chance to gain legal status.

    But a backlash from conservatives and two failures in Congress left him chastened. In the GOP primaries, he vowed to put security first before trying again for sweeping reforms – a stance he reiterated Tuesday at the LULAC convention a few hours before Mr. Obama spoke.

    "I and many other colleagues twice attempted to pass comprehensive immigration legislation," Mr. McCain said, adding that many Americans were skeptical after previous reforms failed to stem illegal immigration.

    "We must prove to them that we can and will secure our borders first. ... But we must not make the mistake of thinking that our responsibility to meet this challenge will end with that accomplishment."

    That puts US on course to about 40 million self indentifying Mexican nationals as US citizens. Regardless of the election outcome.

    With a population of Mexico of 110 million.

    The goal is economic and political assimulation of the parts, into a truly Continental Power.

    As Mr Washington originally envisioned.

  35. A tad humid, too.

    In Phoenix? Wow.

  36. Monsoon started a bit early this year, bob.

    We get hugh thunderheads that build in the afternoons, the moisture coming up from the Sea of Cortez.

    Then, predawn, it smells of rain coming, but the sunrise brings higher temps and we have to wait for the afternoon storms, to see any perciptation..

    Low: 83°F
    High: 108°F
    Humidity: 22%
    Pressure: 29.74 in
    Visibility: 10 mi
    Wind: S 5 mph

  37. I noticed Rat's Wind Map mentioned Boardman, Oregon which is on the Columbia River, and the wind does whip through there. Wind comes up through that river valley, blows like heck.

  38. Boardman, Elevation 298 ft (90.83 m) above sea level. Here in Lewiston we're around 500' or somthing. Moscow's about 2500' and the mountains go up from there, over to Montana. Interestingly, Missoula is on this side of the Continental Divide. When you go from here to Missoula you are going through the Bitterroots, which are the foothills of the Rockies. Though the Bitterroots are nothing to scoff at.

  39. Saw my first "Obama For President" sign on a new fuel efficient car in town, today. Upscale voter, upscale car, fighting the good fight for a cleaner America, and Hope We Can All Believe In. Change That Will Happen. Head for the bunker.

  40. Well, bob, with regards the redoubt, sure you're welcome, there's plenty of space.

    Tonto Basin, Arizona
    Tonto Basin is a census-designated place (CDP) in Gila County, Arizona, United States. The population was 840 at the 2000 census.

    Within Tonto Basin is located the unincorporated community of Punkin Center.

    The population density was 26.8 people per square mile (10.3/km²). There were 726 housing units at an average density of 23.1/sq mi (8.9/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 96.07% White, 1.43% Native American, 0.95% from other races, and 1.55% from two or more races. 2.02% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

    There were 439 households out of which 9.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.0% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.3% were non-families. 33.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.91 and the average family size was 2.38.

    Lots of retired military, with the Marines maintaining a club house.

  41. Here is the google map.

    Just north of Roosevelt Lake.
    The biggest lake, the result of biggest dam on the Salt River

  42. Rat - what’s the question?

    I don’t oppose biofuels, but the energy balance is not as efficient as oil, gas, or even coal-to liquid. (Same thing with renewables, which I don’t oppose either obviously but the argument can be made that we should consider using coal for electric energy to ramp up regional supply.) A biofuel solution might be faster, but it will be more expensive, which might be offset by enhanced national security and job creation, the comparative spreadsheets not being comprehensive. They never are.

    This One America initiative is a dicey damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

    As a politician, I would walk that line very carefully.

    All slippery slope issues are like that.

    Where is this 40 million number coming from? I read the current estimate is between 12M and 20M.

    Even at 12M to 20M, the current border situation and clear trend is unacceptable. I understand the “messiness” at the heart of democracy, but we tend to forget that it is balanced by the order provided by “rule of law” which is absent on this issue. The immigration must be orderly and the immigrants must be fully assimilated into the tax base and the culture. The trend set by California is just ridiculous.

    Nothing profound here but common sense - an artifact of the past.

  43. Boardman, Oregon, where I think most of the folk are on welfare of one kind or another has--

    The racial makeup of the town was 55.24% White, 0.39% African American, 1.93% Native American, 0.70% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 38.74% from other races, and 2.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 50.12% of the population.

    How you can have 55% white and 50% Latino is beyond me, but I think Boardman is a good example of the immigration problem. I'd bet 30% or so of the town aren't really citizens.

  44. 840 souls in Tonto Basin. That sounds manageable. When things go to hell, I'll head south.

  45. You are only counting the "illegal" population, in the 12 to 20 million range.

    There is a self identifying Mexican population that the US census folk put this way in a report titled
    U.S. Hispanic Population: 2006,
    which is a PDF, doug.

    Total hispanic population
    43.2 million with self-identifying Mexicans making up 28.3 million of them.

    How do the Census fellows figure in the illegals, I'm not sure.
    But figure both numbers represent a low estimate of that population.

    But 28 plus 12 equals 40.

  46. Or that 40 million could be only 30 million.

    But the numbers are partially extrapulated from that Census report

  47. The legal portion that self-identifies as Mexican is larger than the illegal population, in the US.

    Two to three times the size of the illegal popu;ation

  48. So 30% to 40% of the Mexican population is living in SW US.

    For those who like to play the ethnic bias card (subliminal of course), is it any wonder that with a number that large, the criminal element came along for the ride?

  49. Moscow, and to a lesser extent, Lewiston, are really isolated, insular towns. That's why our local politicians can so many of them take this super liberal high minded view of many problems, like immigration. When it doesn't really affect you, or hasn't yet, you have the luxury of the kind hearted outlook. On the other hand, if you are in the Magic Valley down by Boise, and it is starting to hit home, and there is gun fire once in a while, your point of view undergoes a sea change. Some of these people in Moscow would have made the place a 'sanctuary city' for instance, if given enough rope. Thankfully we voted them out. Temporarily.

  50. Important thing to remember about Mexico is that it is not a poor country:
    Current Per Capita GDP is ~$16,000.
    Problem is getting our corrupt govt to force reform of their corrupt govt to start to allay the unworkable disparity of wealth problem.

    Mexico is projected to become the number 5 economy in the World in the medium future. (forget the date)
    Challenge will be to not have all the riches flow to the superrich as is now the case.

    ...esp once their Oil income really starts to disappear.

  51. DR

    looks like I will be heading to the Hualapai Apache Res. to chase odd-horned elk next month...

  52. And I am through with the immigration issue. It is corrupted by emotional volatility and misdirected thinking that falls well south of critical.

    Which is enough to prevent us from doing anything more defensive and economic than build a simple retaining wall.

  53. Tell us about Mr. Ammet and that beautiful Oxygen Lady, al-Bob.
    Two bad you lost two such distinguished public servants at the same time.
    boo hoo.

  54. Pickens comment # 3:

    " Hey, this is the man behind the SWIFT BOAT funding campaign...
    He's NOT to be trusted.


  55. Which is a bigger threat to America?

    SWIFT BOAT politics, or offshore oil?

  56. The Hualapai Reservation consists of four separate land bases in Arizona and California. The main portion of the reservation, consisting of 993,083 acres, is located in northern Arizona, approximately 110 miles west of Flagstaff, and 55 miles northeast of Kingman, Arizona. The reservation is adjacent to the Colorado River at Lower Granite Gorge. This "U" shaped parcel is approximately sixty miles wide, and is bordered on the north by the Grand Canyon National Park and by the Grand Wash Cliffs on the west.

    Occupying part of three Arizona counties, Coconino, Yavapai and Mohave, the main reservation's topography varies from rolling grassland and forests to rugged canyons of the Colorado River. Elevations range from 1,500 feet at the Colorado River, to over 7,300 feet at the highest point of the Aubrey Cliffs, located on the eastern portion of the reservation.
    Wild Life Hunting sells hunting permits for bighorn sheep, elk, turkey, antelope, and mountain lion (occasionally). Hunts take place on the tribe’s million-acre portion of the Reservation.

    Sounds like fun.
    Some horseback time, or truck, then some walkin'

    Never heard of that type elk, but that's not unusual, for me.

  57. For Doug - Carlos Salinas and his buddy Carlos Slim, second richest man in the world.

    First World country.

  58. They're not all bad folks, by any means. We have a girl that works in a smoke shop in Moscow, I think she is married to, or going with, the guy that owns it. Seems like the nicest girl you'd ever want to meet. Whether she is legal or illegal I don't know, but she is very nice, learning the language, etc. has that sing song voice I like. Always has fancy colors on her fingernails. Always cheerful.

    Doug, how did you remember Ammet? Well, we hit a critical mass, and the people got fed up, particularily when they voted down the Wal-Mart Super Store. Which is now back on the agenda, by the way. People wanted that Super Store, it was the kind that had foods and meats too. They were just tired of paying higher prices for the priviledge of having that 'small town atmosphere'. So, with this new group in, I'm trying to take the opening and drift my thing through too.

  59. ""A man takes a drop too much once in a while, it's only human nature.""

    (Humphrey Bogart)

    " "One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas.

    How he got in my pajamas, I don't know."

    (Groucho Marx)

  60. Watch a video of Ammet,
    you can't forget!

  61. (I like the one where the other guy says:
    "Why don't you just shutup!"

  62. Is that geeky USC Ammet related?

    Every single USC Library employee appears to be morbidly obese.

    Very impressive.

  63. Doug, would you be interested in a copy of "The Little Red Book Of Everyday Heroes"?

    It's not selling so well, and I think I can send you a used copy, cheap.

  64. Ammet went back to Genesee, Idaho, I think. About 15 miles south of Moscow.

  65. I wonder how they chose red?

  66. "Why don't you just shutup!"

    That was my friend John, from high school, if I remember correctly!

    wonder how they chose red?


  67. One blogger says that Jackson said he would like to rip a part of Barack Obama's anatomy off and Hannity would only say that it begins with an "n" and is below the waist. Fox News says they will now broadcast the highly anticipated tape tonight (and a whole bunch of times after) live on the Hannity and Colmes show.

    That should deliver some huge numbers in for the channel and it will be interesting to hear the entire conversation and what Jesse Jackson really thins of Barack Obama.

  68. CHICAGO (AP) -- The Reverend Jesse Jackson says "crude" comments he made about Barack Obama were in response to a reporter's question about speeches on morality that Obama has given at black churches.

    Jackson tells CNN that he felt there were other important issues to be addressed in the black community, including unemployment, the mortgage crisis and the number of blacks in prison.

    But Jackson says he made the comments -- which are described as "crude" -- Sunday during a conversation with a Fox News reporter during what he thought was a private conversation.

    Jackson says he's very sorry for the comments, and has called Obama's campaign to apologize.

    He says he "unequivocally" supports Obama's bid for the White House.

  69. Scale and Scope, outline below, with the McCain's camp spin.

    Obama plans unprecedented campaign staff numbers in Missouri
    The Kansas City Star
    How much would Barack Obama love to win Missouri?

    Let us count the staffers… 148, 149, yes, 150 …

    The Democrat’s campaign said Tuesday it is tripling its paid staff — to an unprecedented 150 workers, who will fan out from 30 field offices across the state, from West Plains to Maryville.

    “It’s unheard of,” veteran Democratic worker Woody Overton of Kansas City said of the effort and expenditure.

    “It’s unbelievable.”

    “Desperate” is the adjective John McCain’s camp uses.

    “When you feel like you have to put that many people in the state to cover it, means you think you’re in trouble and you have to have a surge,” said Jack Jackson, McCain’s Missouri co-chairman.

    Recent polls indicate the race in Missouri is close.

    McCain’s operation expects to have 12 to 14 full-time workers and 10 offices. The Arizona Republican now has four people on the ground.

    The Obama camp said it already has 50.

    Out numbered ten to one, just illustrates McCain's strengths?

    To add another chapter to the Maverick myth, perhaps. But not to win an election, to turn out the vote.
    That takes more than myth making.

  70. Let's see what the respected Jessie Jackson is all about:

    Rev. Jesse Jackson referred to Jews as "Hymies" and to New York City as "Hymietown" in January 1984 during a conversation with a black Washington Post reporter, Milton Coleman. Jackson had assumed the references would not be printed because of his racial bond with Coleman, but several weeks later Coleman permitted the slurs to be included far down in an article by another Post reporter on Jackson's rocky relations with American Jews.

    A storm of protest erupted, and Jackson at first denied the remarks, then accused Jews of conspiring to defeat him. The Nation of Islam's radical leader Louis Farrakhan, an aggressive anti-Semite and old Jackson ally, made a difficult situation worse by threatening Coleman in a radio broadcast and issuing a public warning to Jews, made in Jackson's presence: "If you harm this brother [Jackson], it will be the last one you harm."

    Finally, Jackson doused the fires in late February with an emotional speech admitting guilt and seeking atonement before national Jewish leaders in a Manchester, New Hampshire synagogue. Yet Jackson refused to denounce Farrakhan, and lingering, deeply rooted suspicions have led to an enduring split between Jackson and many Jews. The frenzy also heightened tensions between Jackson and the mostly white establishment press.

    Adultery and bastard child

    Jackson, who is a minister, has made a career out of preaching to inner city youth about avoiding drugs, crime and unmarried children. Well, two out of three ain't bad.

    He admitted this week that he fathered a daughter -- born in May, 1999 -- out of wedlock with Karin Stanford, a former poltiical science professor who ran his organization's Washington office. Ironically, Ms. Stanford wrote a book titled "Beyond the Boundaries: Reverend Jesse Jackson in International Affairs" (though apparently this one was all too domestic.)

    This is probably not his first affair, either -- reporters have said that Jackson's womanizing has been legendary for years, with his wife of 38 years, Jacqueline, suffering through it in private. In fact, as Jackson very publicly counseled President Clinton over his guilt in the Monica Lewinsky affair, he had already impregnated his adulteress.

    Jackson's organization paid Stanford $35,000 in "severance pay" and he has been giving her $3,000 per month in child support, which is generous to the point of sounding like hush money. Apparently, she turned down an offer of a million dollars from the National Enquirer magazine for her story, but they got it any way from other disgruntled Jackson employees all to happy to tear him down for free.

    Now he's famous for wanting to tear the nuts off of obama....

    jessie is just jealous that obama is a better snake oil salesman than he is (or ever was)

  71. Yeah, even if Barry was faking it, he should be de-balled for wasting precious air-time on responsibility that should all be spent on victimology.

    ...and paying Copyholder fees to Jesse, of course.

  72. This was news, to me, about the importance of that Missouri vote

    Since 1904, Missouri has always voted for the eventual winner of the election in a presidential election, with the single exception of the 1956 election. George W. Bush carried the state with a margin of 7% against his Democratic challenger John F. Kerry.

    This was a better result for President Bush than 2000, when he carried the state by only 3%. In 2004, he received 265,789 more votes than in 2000, while Kerry won only 148,033 more votes than Gore in 2000

    The Opfor has ten times my assets, I tell the world it is an illustration of their weakness.

    Team Maverick, old school and bold.

  73. Those paid ops probly ain't nuthin compared to the advantage Barry will have in "volunteers."

    (course the paid ops will radically increase the number of "volunteers.")

    He's got the Gov as one of his biggest supporters, too.

    Only chance John would have would be to have Bush's get out the vote team, INCLUDING volunteers.
    ...about the only thing Bush really committed himself to to completion.

    Ain't gonna happen.
    ...and no Murphy, to boot.

  74. I like the one about the two cannibals eating the circus clown. The one cannibal turns to the other one and says "does this taste funny to you?"

    Back to the regularly scheduled crudescence.

    Eyes on the ball. That's singular not plural.

  75. McCain is +5 in Missouri according to RCP.

  76. In fact, as Jackson very publicly counseled President Clinton over his guilt in the Monica Lewinsky affair, he had already impregnated his adulteress.


  77. The problem with polls this time, tho, Sam, is nobody knows how great, or lacking, will be the Obama youth/minority vote Surge.

    Unchartered territory.

  78. By the way, sometime in the last few days, I got an e-mail saying to apply for a paid job in the Obama campaign. I looked it over, then deleted it. Maybe should have kept it. I think I got it as I am on everyone's mailing list, left and right. Probably thought I was a Kos Kid, or something.

  79. That was OJT, al-Bob. were the BJ's.

  80. I didn't really mean to say we ought to cut his nuts out--

    Wed Jul 09 2008 16:28:20 ET


    Jackson Statement: For any harm or hurt that this hot mic private conversation may have caused, I apologize. My support for Senator Obama_s campaign is wide, deep and unequivocal. I cherish this redemptive and historical moment.

    _My appeal was for the moral content of his message to not only deal with the personal and moral responsibility of black males, but to deal with the collective moral responsibility of government and the public policy which would be a corrective action for the lack of good choices that often led to their irresponsibility.

    _That was the context of my private conversation and it does not reflect any disparagement on my part for the historic event in which we are involved or my pride in Senator Barack Obama, who is leading it, whom I have supported by crisscrossing this nation in every level of media and audience from the beginning in absolute terms._

    I just said we ought to cut his nuts out--

  81. oowwiiee

    And, our statue at the top of this thread must have been listening.

  82. I agree with WiO, Jesse is just jealous. Rev. Wright was jealous too. Farrakhan would be if he were able.

  83. Jackson said he has called Obama’s campaign to apologize.

    Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton noted that the Illinois senator grew up without his father and has spoken and written at length about the issues of parental responsibility and fathers participating in their children’s lives, and of society’s obligation to provide “jobs, justice and opportunity for all.

    “He will continue to speak out about our responsibilities to ourselves and each other, and he of course accepts Reverend Jackson’s apology,” Burton said.

    Obama Remarks

  84. When did I make the leap to silver and what for? If I'm silver everybody else should be gold. Completely undeserving but thank you just the same.

  85. Basically for Whit, as we were talking about parks, and cities--from the notes of last nights neighborhood meeting--

    Comment: Agree about mix of housing. At the previous meeting – where does road actually go? What about fire access? Told that there wouldn’t be all high density with this last development. She was told that the last was going to be townhouses, it is not apartments. Idea of a park is very nice but it’s much cheaper for the developers to buy out. Wants to have guarantee that there would be a fairly large park in that area.

    Marshall: The way the policy used to be, it was up to the developer, whether they wanted to donate land or money. It’s now up to the City. Way park designation works is that the city is split up into neighborhood parcels. Money stays in each neighborhood. Looks like an idea place for a park out there. Has great faith that Parks & Rec would feel the same way. Developments in the past have had to contribute money to the park fund. How much money is the equivalent to the land dedication. As far as the concern about the road going through. City has developed ring road concept, this is the north part. Road would eventually tie into Mix Road.

    Marshall is the former mayor, good guy, charged me $150 to run the meeting.

  86. The way it used to be, if the city wanted a park, they'd buy the land, like any honest person. But they've got their fangs into us now, and the Idaho Supreme Court said it's ok. And now, we've got park land everywhere, hardly ever being used. We've got park land out the ying-yang. But, that's the way it goes.

    What we have succeeded in doing in Moscow is pricing many people out of the market. Any decent lot is 100k or more now. Over the years the requirements have gone up and up. Bigger streets, sidewalks on both sides, paved streets(we didn't use to have that, and in some areas it was good, for traction in the snow in winter) underground utilities, now we have a requirement for big settling ponds for water run-off, and the parks, parks, parks. Some of this stuff is good, but it really drives the cost up.

  87. I thought you weren't going to the meeting?

  88. I didn't. Marshall did. Just got the notes from the secretary in the e-mail. There was about nine bitchers. Out of over 60 or 70 we had to send meeting notices to. So I quess that's not too bad. Basically, only the bitchers show up. Way o the world.

    Once you get that silver, they can't take it away from you, Sam.

  89. Roger that, Bob. That's goin' in the pool room!

  90. On homeland security:

    John McCain

    Voted for the Patriot Act in 2001 and for its reauthorization in 2006. Was not present for vote on amending FISA in August 2006.

    Would revitalize U.S. public diplomacy and work to recreate an independent agency with the sole purpose of getting America's message to the world. Would set up a new civil-military agency patterned after the Office of Strategic Services in World War II.

    Barack Obama

    Will implement the 9/11 Commission recommendations. Provide greater technical assistance to local and state first responders and increase funding for reliable, interoperable communications systems.

    Develop a meaningful critical infrastructure protection plan. Will secure chemical plants and ensure safe, secure disposal of nuclear waste.

    Homeland Security

  91. Some of this stuff is kind of interesting, really, This demand for money or park land, for instance. I don't know who did it, some guy in Boise probably, but that idea of making the developer cough up land or money swept the state, and was challenged in the Idaho courts, on the ground that it was a 'taking' without compensation which is supposed to be a no-no under our Constitution. The Idaho court, probably following the California court, ruled it's ok, as the developer gets some kind of undefined 'benefit' out of the deal, just what the 'benefit' was no one could say. It's another example of slowing chipping away, with the government running the show. Here now we have parks all over that no one uses, and we all pay tax money to keep the lawns mowed, etc.

    It's a kind of a delicate balance. We should have parks, but how many, and who pays, well, the Idaho Supreme Court has decided. The last time, I had to pay a fee, and the money went into a fund, and has never come out for anything, as far as I can see.

    "It all depends on whose ox is getting gored."

  92. We have similar here only with public barbecues in parks. Every park has at least one. I'd guess 50% are never used nevertheless, government says we need them. We pay for them to be maintained.

  93. They were involved in the last development proposed by Mr. Peterson and has uncomfortable history. Really interested in shedding light on the kind of lack of trust that she has with this particular developer. When first worried about what would happen with 12-13 acres, spoke to planning and building committee and stressed development concerns. Spoke about the need for pocket parks. This is a wet space used for the road. Continuance of the road will increase loss of wet space. Planning and Zoning was against the development, then it went to Council. Went to City Council who overrode to allow the development. Never received any plans. Only time for input as a community was during this time. Once rezoned, becomes piecemeal development and we lose say. High crime, no open space, only open space is asphalt, problem with people crossing highway, no input into this and just an accident waiting to happen. Lawsuit against City will result. Nobody against development but this is writing off the east

    You see, this bitch for instance. Who doesn't even know me. The 'wet space' she is talking about actually comes from the city well, that belches when it turns on. I farmed around it for years, good citizen that I am, providing this bitch with the water to take her shower with, not asking the city for compensation.

    She doesn't know what the hell she is talking about.

    Never trust anyone that uses the word 'community' too damned much.

  94. US Airways says it will start removing in-flight entertainment systems on domestic flights in November to save about $10 million annually in fuel and other costs.

    Spokesman Phil Gee says the movie systems weigh about 500 pounds each, forcing planes to expend more fuel to get around the country.

    Jet fuel costs have skyrocketed in recent years, slashing profits and leading to thousands of layoffs and flight cuts throughout the industry.

    Domestic Flights

  95. Good .US Airways is a continuous flying advertisement. Credit cards, and duty free, head sets and bad sandwiches.

  96. I drop the subject now. But, I wanted to spout off. People really hate developers, not remembering that the house they live in was built by some developer in the past. I have done just a little of it. What I know is it is a risky business--if those buyers don't show up, and you have a loan with the bank, and you've built streets, and you're on the hook, you're screwed, and no one could care less.

    Rule One--Get a bank that will roll the loan over, if things go south.

    Rule Two--Keep a loaded pistol in your drawer if things go south.

  97. It would not be a limited war. Iranian officials have said that they would automatically presume an Israeli strike was western-backed and retaliate accordingly.

    Shirazi said the US fleet in the Persian Gulf would also be hit. In the past the Iranians have threatened asymmetric warfare using small boats and suicide bombers against much larger ships.

    It is a fair bet that shipping in the Straits of Hormuz – through which 40% of the world's oil passes - would either be blocked or seriously squeezed. Attacks on US and British troops could also be stepped up through proxies and allies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    No Room for Doubt

  98. Where do I find the official, certified, definition of
    "Wet Space?"

  99. Bush's wish, typeset rather than written in his own hand, had its own starry quality - a parting missive, perhaps, from a president who will not be back when the Group of 8 meets in Italy next year.

    "I wish for a world free from tyranny: the tyranny of hunger, disease and free from tyrannical governments," the president wrote. "I wish for a world in which the universal desire for liberty is realized.

    I wish for the advance of new technologies that will improve the human condition and protect our environment. I wish God's blessings on all.

    Speaking Softly isn't Enough

  100. For regulatory purposes under the Clean Water Act, the term wetlands means "those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas."

  101. The Center for Sex Positive Culture (commonly known as the Wet Spot or CSPC) is a non-profit, membership-based organization located in Seattle, Washington. The Wet Spot organizes events and provides space for several different sex-positive subcultures, notably BDSM, swinging, and polyamory groups. It caters to both heterosexual and LGBT people.

  102. Doug, you'll have to ask Maxi-Pads that.

  103. Naw, 'Rat:
    A Wet Space doesn't stay wet long enough to support a wet spot subculture, so it is not officially a wetland.

  104. Center For Sex Positive Culture

    jeez, I thought Sam was joking.
    Bondage seiminars,etc. pretty much anything to match your kinky desires.

  105. Everybody in the country will know the technical definition of a "wetland" when we start to cultivate biofuels acreage.

  106. This comment has been removed by the author.