“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."

Monday, August 18, 2008

McCain Best Suited to Stand Against NeoSoviet Aggression

Over the past several years I have become increasingly wary and concerned over events in Russia and the cult of personality of Vladimir Putin. I have not counted how many posts have been made about Putin, but there have been many. The general tone presented Putin as a dangerous Soviet era thug.

Over the past three years, we have made a transition from the Schroeder-Chirac-Bush approach of inclusion with Putin, to one of increasing caution and now alarm. Europe and the US are once again reentering a twilight and dangerous period of adjustment with Russia and a Soviet revival. The "triumph of Democracy days" of the eighties and nineties is over. The world is once again devolving into spheres of influence and balance of power politics.

Putin is a tough, experienced and ruthless politician. He is leading a country that adores him and welcomes a resurgent Russia. The opposition to Putin has been crushed inside Russia. Outside of Russia is a different story. American power and leadership is once again necessary and will be appreciated. Iraq is over.

On Saturday night, I watched Obama and McCain at Saddleback Church. The comparison between an idealistic and inexperienced academic and a tough and battle-scarred veteran could not have been more obvious. You owe it to yourself to watch and compare. I enclose a brief video on the highlights of McCain.


David Cameron and John McCain are best suited to defy Russian aggression

By Janet Daley
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 18/08/2008


...In the United States, the story is taking a more predictable but no less riveting course. John McCain was always going to be the net gainer in a foreign crisis. Not only does he have precisely the experience - both personal and political - of coping with war and international threat, but his manner and his presence seem designed to be both reassuring and inspiring. This is a man who endured horrific torture as a prisoner of war but refused to be released earlier than the men who served under him, and who has had the political fortitude to put his own moral principles above partisan loyalty.

So if you are looking for a guy to stand up to the Russians - or anybody else, for that matter - without blinking, you are probably going to give McCain the benefit of the doubt over the very young, very untried Obama, whose experience on the world stage consists of a whirlwind series of speaking engagements.

Last Saturday night, the two contenders appeared on a platform together for the first time - not to engage in a formal presidential debate which would have been improper since neither has been formally nominated as yet, but to participate in a novel format staged by the Saddleback Church, one of the largest evangelical congregations in America.

Saddleback is a moderate outfit and its pastor, Reverend Rick Warren, is a famously benign and tolerant figure. He called his event a "civil forum" and stated specifically that his intention in chairing it was to restore civility to political discourse. He was scrupulously fair and courteous to both presumptive candidates, to whom he put the identical questions in separate interviews (out of each other's hearing). It was, as the commentator Charles Krauthammer said afterwards, a brilliant "controlled experiment" in which both men were subjected to identical examinations in identical conditions. I stayed up to watch the whole two hours of it between 1am and 3?am. It was as illuminating as any political event I have ever witnessed.

Mr Obama came first. He was, as we have come to expect, articulate, engaging and very relaxed ("comfortable in his skin", as is often said). He responded with charm if some ambiguousness to the tricky questions that arose on the evangelical heartland issues, most notably abortion, on which he is pro-choice. But the most interesting aspects of his performance (especially in retrospect when we had heard McCain) lay in what he did not say.

Asked whether he thought that evil existed and, if so, what should be done about it, he replied that it did and that we had to confront it "on our streets". The only international reference that he made in this answer was to Darfur. There was no mention of al-Qaeda, Russia or Georgia. In another answer, he described the most significant moral failing of the United States as not getting to grips with domestic poverty, racism and sexism. Asked to define the "rich" whom he has said should pay more tax so that government can improve society, he offered a figure of $250,000 a year. His performance was attractive and fluent in its own terms.

But within moments of McCain appearing to face the same queries, the Obama poise looked positively laconic and the Obama answers insubstantial. Where he had glided through the session with glib personableness, McCain electrified the hall. His answers were direct, detailed and full of the personal anecdote that his life experience has to offer.

Asked the question about evil, he cited al-Qaeda and Islamic extremism. (He would, he said, pursue Osama bin Laden to the gates of Hell if necessary.) America had a moral obligation to defeat genocide wherever it occurred, and he was "very saddened by Russia's re-emergence as an empire". Georgia had achieved democracy and deserved our support. On the definition of "rich", he said that he did not want to raise taxes for anyone in tough economic times. He made it clear, too, that he supported education vouchers to allow poor children greater opportunity.

Both men answered the question, "What is worth risking lives for?", with the word "freedom", but it was McCain whose memories gave it force. Ironically, the man whose age is thought to be a liability seemed more energetic and robust than his rival, whose cool sophistication looked somehow inappropriate for the times.


  1. Bush camp battles critics on Georgia response

    McCain and Obama fare better

    Jon Ward
    Monday, August 18, 2008

    "As the conflict in Georgia unfolded over the past week and a half, the Bush administration has found itself battling a familiar charge - that its response to a major crisis was slow and uncertain.

    The president's hesitance to roundly and immediately condemn Russia's Aug. 8 invasion stood in contrast to the response of the two major presidential candidates. Some observers said Mr. Bush was unassertive when he needed to be bold.

    White House aides have dismissed criticisms publicly and privately, arguing that Mr. Bush and his top national security officials have been dealing with events from the start and that a president must speak carefully during international crises until reports can be verified. They noted that the president sharpened his words last week as the invasion continued."... Washington Times

  2. Colorado 45.3 45.8 McCain +0.5
    Virginia 45.7 46.3 McCain +0.6
    Missouri 45.0 47.3 McCain +2.3
    Michigan 46.0 42.8 Obama +3.2
    Ohio 45.3 46.8 McCain +1.5
    Florida 45.4 47.2 McCain +1.8

    Real Clear Politics

  3. ..."McCain, like Republicans generally, reveres Ronald Reagan. But such reverence seems to involve an obligatory sunniness, which suits neither McCain nor this moment.

    A great political thinker of the last century, Raymond Aron, was right: "What passes for optimism is most often the effect of an intellectual error." McCain must convince voters that Obama's complacent confidence in the taming abilities of soft power is the effect of liberalism's scary sentimentalism about a dangerous thing, human nature, and a fiction, "the community of nations."

    McCain is hardly the change many people have been eagerly waiting for, but Putin is part of the change we must confront.

    Until Russian tanks rolled into Georgia, it seemed that not even the Democratic Party could lose this election. But it might if McCain can make it turn on the question of who is ornery enough to give Putin a convincing, deterring telephone call at 3 a.m."

  4. Russian statecraft [Victor Davis Hanson]

    "We are a little more than a week into the crisis, and already Russia has already gotten itself more than just fights with Georgia—but also issued creepy threats to Poland over missiles, and to the Ukraine over naval bases. Putin has galvanized into panic most of Eastern Europe and the Baltic states, prompted a radical change of policy in the United States, and embarrassed its once sure support from the appeasement bloc of the European Union.

    What will next week bring? A Georgian insurgency, replete with stingers, anti-tank guns, and ieds? Increased arms sales to the former republics? Tougher talk from Obama?

    Meanwhile who can figure out the politics here at home? Bush—who inherited (and continued a policy) from Clinton of expanding NATO to the east, integrating the former Soviet republics into the West, and isolating Serbia—is to be criticized both for doing too much in poking the Russian Bear while, being mesmerized by Putin's eyes, not doing enough to help Georgia?

    Once again for the Left, if it is a question of supporting Democratic states and those in them from tyrants—or finding new creative ways of blaming the United States first—well, the answer is a no-brainer.

    And from paleos one expected a sort of 'Georgia's bigmouth stuck his neck in a noose, so let him hang' , but the near gleeful admiration for the way 'ole Putin 'took care of business' in his backyard was over the top even for them.

    Obama initially sounded like the therapeutic high-school principal and his 'zero-tolerance' doctrine of moral equivalence ias he expels both the victim and the bully; but his calls for UN solutions, talks with equally at fault parties, and apparent trust in the wisdom of the EU and the power of NATO may not just scare Eastern Europeans but even those 200,000 who deified him at Berlin. (But in fairness, they were warned when Obama lectured them that the "world" had saved Berlin during the airlift rather than the US Air Force.) Nothing is scarier for a Western European than to be praised for his sophisticated dipomacy as a prelude to being asked to lead on his own in times of crises."

  5. Whoever wins Ohio is going to win it.

  6. The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 occurred during his presidency and he has received some criticism for the lack of support from the United States for the revolutionaries during this time. On November 2, 1956, the State Department issued the statement, “The government of the United States does not look with favor upon governments unfriendly to the Soviet Union on the borders of the Soviet Union.” [1] Early in the morning on November 4, 1956 the Soviet Union counterattacked and without outside support the revolution quickly fell.

    from wiki

    That's the way I remember it. We weren't in the mood in those days to get in another life and death struggle.

    If the Georgian war stiffens the Europeans it might turn out to be a good thing.

    I still can't understand what the Russians are doing. They say they're going to withdraw out of Georgia proper. If that is so I really don't understand why they went in in the first place. My hunch is they'll still be there many months from now.

    I don't like the new voting system Ohio has installed. I can drive back there and vote right on election day, if what I read is correct.

  7. Looking at your polls there, 2164th, It's looking like Mav needs to pick Romney to steal Michigan away from Obama. He may have no choice now. If he does that and squeaks out Ohio he may just take this thing.

  8. Why is it happening? Putin is a paranoid psychopath.

  9. The Shape of the Race Changes

    Indeed it seems like it is changing.

    I hope Obama picks that gasbag Biden. I've never know anyone who liked Biden. Except Biden.

  10. Polonium 210 Putin in some of his poses looks like a little street thug. I read he tried to join the KGB at age 15. I wonder how many people he had bumped off in his days in the KGB. I wonder if he bumped some of them off himself. I wonder what his childhood was like.

  11. Actually Bob, I met Biden a couple of times on the Metroliner to Washington. He commutes daily to DC.

    On another occasion I was at a wine tasting party in Delaware and met him. He is a real liberal weinie and has quite a mouth piece, but at this function they were almost all Republican businessmen and Biden was quite funny and took some good humored ribbing.

    Put a camera near him and it is another matter. I agree, he would be perfect for Obama.

  12. August 17, 2008

    Ten things above Obama's pay grade
    Helen Cadogan

    In no particular order:

    1. Cogency, concision, and conviction.
    2. Ease of manner without a teleprompter.
    3. Maintenance of American defense systems.
    4. Pro-American assertions.
    5. Rejection of moral and cultural relativism.
    6. Decision-making.
    7. Qualification to lead the United States.
    8. Loyalty.
    9. Respecting America and her symbols.
    10. Understanding Christian doctrine.
    Posted at 06:12 PM | Email | Permalink

    If he has no view about the beginning of life,then abortion is an amoral act.This is an odd position for a Christian who would
    "do unto others..."He simply refuses to define "others" thereby avoiding the issue completely.

    Posted by: james jackson | August 17, 2008 07:38 PM

    There is no doubt Obama lacks the pay grade to do the above listed items, but fairness forces me to point out that I would let him put air in my tires and clean the windshield. I'm a bit shakey on the air part but I'd give him the benefit of the doubt. I would however verify.
    Read the oil dipstick? Never.

    Posted by: Habu | August 17, 2008 08:00 PM

  13. I hope everyone goes to c-span and listens to McCain. God almighty I do not understand why Obama even has a shot at this thing.

  14. I'll watch it tomorrow. Nite, deuce and Sam.

  15. Just got home from work. Nite!

  16. I read somewhere a list of previous Olympics matched with Soviet actions.
    Quiet a few more than the one al-Bob mentions.
    What kind of a piece of crap was that Washington Times Article?

    EVERYONE else noted Barry's initial response as inadequate, and like every other "stand" he has taken, it quickly morphed.


    He advocated taking it to the UN, seemingly unaware that that would lead to the inevitable VETO by Russia!
    But since when has this dope smoking drug taking jive-ass ever been informed about of ANYTHING of substance?

    Folks voting for an Ignorant, Anti-American Marxist for President of the United States?
    ...I just don't know!

  17. Naturally, Bolton and Krauthammer are spot on, so my nit to pick concerns the inaccurate portrayal of the Messiah.
    Supposedly we provided Satellite Photos of the oncoming column of Soviet Crap.

    Seems to me the perfect response would have been to send a B-2 over to close the tunnel.
    Mission Complete!
    ...but, of course W had better things to do.
    Would have much prefered to look at Ms Walsh in the same edition that carried the news of our B-2 Precision Munition Operation than to see W Seal his WUSS Legacy in Infamy.
    But he did.
    Should surprise no-one, considering his pathetic performance for the last 5 years.

  18. ...furthermore, any Real President w/half a set of Gonads would have threatened to Veto the stupid housing bill unless, and until they took out the Millions for Democrat Front Organization ACORN, and Racists Inc, La Raza.

  19. Palin and Michelle Bachman both have more balls than the Wuss.

  20. "been informed about of ANYTHING of substance?"
    I left in a superfluous "of" over @BC too.
    The inevitable decline of mental function is officially in motion.

  21. We shoulda let LeMay make all the Biggest Post-War Decisions.
    Problems solved, and Gas would still be a Buck.

  22. Whomp, there it is!

    By Kamran Haider 1 hour, 8 minutes ago

    ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Nuclear-armed Pakistan's beleaguered President Pervez Musharraf announced his resignation on Monday in the face of an impending impeachment motion by the ruling coalition government.

    The former army chief and firm U.S. ally has seen his popularity slide over the past 18 months and has been isolated since his allies lost a February election.

    "After consultations with legal advisers and close political supporters and on their advice, I'm taking the decision of resigning," Musharraf said a televised address.

    "My resignation will go to the speaker of the National Assembly today."

  23. What will happen now? Anti-Americanism is pretty bad there but did Musharraf go down because of his suspension of Pakistan's Supreme Court judges? Will Pakistan find a way to roll back the Islamists or will it submit to them?

  24. Judges definitely sped up the process.
    Seems like a dearth of commentary about the place.
    Probly 'cause nobody knows what the Hell to do about it.

  25. I watched the Saddleback Civic Forum live Saturday night. The format was the best ever. By the toss of a coin, it was decided that Obama would take the first hour while McCain waited out of earshot of the questions. Excellent!

    Obama, like any Senator tended to go on too long with his answers which were occasionally vague and as you would expect "more nuanced and considerate."

    McCain on the other hand was quick and certain with his answers and only occasionally strayed into a campaign-trail jingoism.

  26. Gut-wrenching decisions

    On the question of "what was your most gut-wrenching decision."

    Obama's anguish "against the Iraq war" is misleading in that it suggests that he held National office before the war started and that he alone stood against the war. As I recall, the Senate vote authorizing President Bush "any power necessary" was about 99-1. The one being the brave socialist from Berkeley. Mr. Obama was still a Chicago politician on the rise and it may have been gut-wrenching to make the decision to go on record against a war which was supported by a majority of Americans.

    He was country...

    But, let's give him the benefit of the doubt and say that "Okay, he bravely took a stand against the war before it was fashionable to be against the war." Had he been in the Senate, the vote would have been 98-2 as he stood shoulder to shoulder with his comrade from Berkeley, he with hammer and she with sickle in hand.

  27. I heard McCain got to answer more questions, as a result.

    I listened to the one local reporter that traveled w/McCain that day.
    Said it was hot and he was beat by Noon.
    I even gave Hillary credit when I saw pics of her flying around frozen New Hampshire and walking down the frozen walks.
    Quite an ordeal for old-farts.

  28. "1.Why did Russia cross the SO border in the first place?One of the goals of the involvement (may be the main one) was to defeat Georgian military and to humiliate Georgia, and her president M. Saakashvilly personally. (Why,-this is a another question, not on your list). Had they stopped on the border, it would not be a 100% defeat.
    2.Why has it refused to leave, so far? They start moving tomorrow. It has been just 1 week after the beginning of the conflict. The French Foreign Minister Mr. Kushner said yesterday: “If the sides stick to the agreement and have it implemented, this war is going to be one of the shortest in the history, and the seas-fire- the fastest to have been ever achieved”. So, it is not too late yet. Let the Russian to leave with dignity, as I said.
    3.Why was non-military infrastructure destroyed?
    This is something they copy from the NATO actions in Yugoslavia in 2003. They learned NATO’s recipe for this kind of situation. And the situation is pretty much alike. Yet they did not use as many infrastructural strikes, as NATO did.
    4.Why was rampaging by SO thugs allowed?
    They are not allowed. It is hard to control the looting thugs.

    seas-fire, men,

  29. "5.Why has Russia advanced its troops to 30km from Tbilisi during Rice’s visit? Well, I do not think they tried to capture Sweet Condi. Georgia is a “short distances country”.
    They just could not stop because of the momentum.

    Doug said,

    “They just could not stop because of the momentum.”

    Maybe we can provide Disc Brakes for their Deuce and a Halfs, and save lives on their next mission of Rape and Pillage.

  30. When Obama was a state senator from Illinois, who was his constituency? Were they white conservative Republicans or were they a pack of lefties that would be against any military venture? Where was the bravery in a pol going with the flow or in his case the Flo?

  31. In 2004, a U.S. District Court disallowed the ordinance under which Chicago required the use of at least 25 percent minority business enterprises and 5 percent women's business enterprises on city-funded projects. In the immediate aftermath of the ruling, Obama and Jesse Jackson were among the prominent voices calling for a black leadership summit to plot strategy for a restoration of Chicago's construction quotas. Obama and his allies succeeded in bringing back race-based contracting.

  32. A Chicago Defender story of 1999 features a front-page picture of Obama beside the headline, "Obama: Illinois Black Caucus is broken." In the accompanying article, although Obama denies demanding that black legislators march in perfect lockstep, he expresses anger that black state senators have failed to unite for the purpose of placing a newly approved riverboat casino in a minority neighborhood. The failed casino vote, Obama argues, means that the black caucus "is broken and needs to unite for the common good of the African-American community." Obama continues, "The problem right now is that we don't have a unified agenda that's enforced back in the community and is clearly articulated. Everybody tends to be lone agents in these situations."

  33. Of course the MSM is saying McCain's answers prove he is a pampered elistist who is out of touch. As if five years crippled in a bamboo cage is little Miss Muffet sitting on a Tuffet.

  34. Ms T, Maverick is a pampered elitiest, despite that stay in the Hanoi Hilton.

    A speed bump in the road of his life.

    Not that being pampered or elitest is always a bad thing, but it is Maverick's reality.

    Maverick is only best suited to stand against Russia, if one believes that confrontation is the best approach. If bombing the 58th on the 10th of August suits you, then Mav's your man.

    But since that window is closed, pick the next flashpoints & build your shelter, in the mean time.

    Things have changed since the Russians rolled, bob is willing to risk armegeddon, to "save" the Ukraine. Bent on saving Russians from Russia, NOW he'll risk NYCity.

  35. Jeesh, he's just an ignerant farmer, give the guy a break.

  36. Democrats for McCain..

    Obama is a disgrace..

  37. Why sure, doug.

    It's just an indication of how, now, the Russian threat looms larger, than it did before the tanks rolled.

    NOW, Ms Merckel will get on the bus, supporting Georgia in NATO, when, prior to the invasion she thought that was a terrible idea.

    Should the world redraw the maps, to defuse the flashpoints in Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Kurdistan, Georgia, Turkey and Europe, or rush towards armegeddon to freeze those current border lines in place?

  38. Even duece, has grown on that subject.
    Now supporting what once was thought of as a region to far, to be a US tripwire for armegeddon.
    NATO membership for Georgia, the policy that McCain will doggedly persue.

  39. Coulda turned out a lot better if W had sent a single B-2 over there.
    Wish we'd have given them Stingers and anti-tank weapons and etc, also.

  40. doug said...
    Coulda turned out a lot better if W had sent a single B-2 over there.
    Wish we'd have given them Stingers and anti-tank weapons and etc, also.

    maybe the BEST thing we could have done is NOT nip it in the bud...

    By Russia showing it's great bear claws the world has been shaken awake by the real threats that are there...

    the messiah would have us believe that all we need to do is TALK with those we disagree with...

    Israel has talked for decades to the palestinians, made numerous offers and prisoner releases, withdrawn from lands as good faith offers....

    what has that gained us?

    Iran's presence in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, all supplied by Russia....

    The EU and the Soviet's past occupied prizes are now waking up to a landscape that shows they need to get real....

    From Taiwan to Ukraine many are fearing what the use of raw use of military expansionism means...

    The Russians, Iranians have overplayed their hands, as a result of Russia's appetite there is now a better chance that the removal from power of russia's pawns, (iran, syria, hezbollah) is more likely.

    The Persians, Russians & Arabs live in a world of "pride", nothing will say "f&ck you" better than strikes now at their military power that slices and dices it...

    Russia's PRIDE of defeating the Georgian army is like that of a college student stealing a kindergardener's ice cream...

    Thank you Russia for helping swing the independent voters of the USA for crystalizing the importance of a strong national defense and the real situations that exist...

    The words of Obama that the War in Iraq was such a disaster ring more hollow as each day passes...

    The concept of ENERGY as a national security issue rises...

    Thanks china, russia & opec for being such greedy pricks....

  41. McCain, the tired old elitist that he is, is still eighty-eight times a better choice than Obama.

  42. gag reflex said...
    McCain, the tired old elitist that he is, is still eighty-eight times a better choice than Obama.

    Obama is a disaster

    This is why i vote for McCain.

    If the DEM's had a historically valid DEM running (aka scoop jackson) they would SWEEP into victory, but at this moment the DEM party has been hijacked by Dean, Carter, Kennedy, Sharpton, Jessie Jackson & Left....


    Party Unity MY ASS....

  43. When Obama was a state senator from Illinois, who was his constituency?

    Obama's Political Support


    Republicans controlled the Illinois General Assembly for six years of Obama's seven-year tenure. Each session, Obama backed legislation that went nowhere; bill after bill died in committee. During those six years, Obama, too, would have had difficulty naming any legislative achievements.

    Then, in 2002, dissatisfaction with President Bush and Republicans on the national and local levels led to a Democratic sweep of nearly every level of Illinois state government. For the first time in 26 years, Illinois Democrats controlled the governor's office as well as both legislative chambers.

    The white, race-baiting, hard-right Republican Illinois Senate Majority Leader James "Pate" Philip was replaced by Emil Jones Jr., a gravel-voiced, dark-skinned black senator known for chain-smoking cigarettes on the Senate floor.

    Jones had served in the Illinois Legislature for three decades. He represented a district on the Chicago South Side not far from Obama's. He became Obama's kingmaker.

    Several months before Obama announced his U.S. Senate bid, Jones called his old friend Cliff Kelley, a former Chicago alderman who now hosts the city's most popular black call-in radio program.

    I called Kelley last week, and he recollected the private conversation as follows:

    "He said, 'Cliff, I'm gonna make me a U.S. senator.'"

    "Oh, you are? Who might that be?"

    "Barack Obama."


    So how has Obama repaid Jones?

    Last June, to prove his commitment to government transparency, Obama released a comprehensive list of his earmark requests for fiscal year 2008. It comprised more than $300 million in pet projects for Illinois, including tens of millions for Jones' Senate district.

    Shortly after Jones became Senate president, I remember asking his view on pork-barrel spending.

    I'll never forget what he said:

    "Some call it pork; I call it steak."


    Now that United Airlines is facing liquidation, the PBGC can expect to absorb another round of unfunded pension liabilities.

    With the eruption of dysfunction in the Baltic, no one will notice.

    One of the BC posters made the point that "War on Terror" better labeled "Globalization Wars."

    Exactly right.

    We ain't seen nothin' yet.

  44. Bobal wrote

    "Take that care provided by other human beings away, that healthy three year old is doomed in a month or so."

    True Bobal but the key distinction is who must provide the care for the baby. Mother's decline to care for babies, they give them up for adoption, pass them on to other family members. They cannot simply abandon them but they can decline to care for them. Once a baby is born and can exist outside a mothers body any number of people and/or institutions can care for and provide for opportunity of life for that individual. When the baby is in its first trimester (approx.) there is only one person who can provide for that life and it is that person's choice as to whether to do so or not. Providing the opportunity for that life comes with costs ranging all the way up to possibly sacrificing that persons life. The State has no business legislating the choice that individual must make.

    You brought up Ariel Sharon and the approach is similar there. It is not the States choice (at least it shouldn't be - I do not know Israeli law on this issue) as to whether he be maintained on life support or not it is his families choice.

    How about this for instance Bobal:

    You are uninsured.
    You are in a car accident (say an illegal immigrant who was drunk and plowed into the passenger side of your car who died in the crash).

    You are injured but you recover. Your wife, however, suffered devastating brain injuries. The prognosis is that, if she survives, after many years of institutional care, she may be able to return home in a well chair, intellectually damaged (can't speak, no bladder control, little knowledge of here whereabouts and the people around her). You know her wishes, how vibrant she was and what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. Faced with these choices, these costs (they'll make you mortgage everything to pay for care), do you believe that the US government should legislate what your decision should be, force you to give here the 'opportunity' for life, however slim? Nonsense, that decision should be yours to make, and like in an abortion, you should be aware that you are taking a life if you so choose to do so.

  45. The further point in the Todd Spivak piece is that Obama alienated local Black caucus with his rapid rise to the top of State politics, courtesy of his *sponsor*, Emil "Pork? I call it steak" Jones.

    Obama's Big Donors are Key

    An Obama presidency will carry some serious financial obligations. Wall Street has made its bet on this election and it's pretty lop-sided.

  46. DR: Things have changed since the Russians rolled, bob is willing to risk armegeddon, to "save" the Ukraine.

    That's not what al-bob sez on BC. He sez: "Some of this talk is crazy as hell. What you gonna do without NYCity LA Washington D.C. Miami Dallas Seattle Houston Atlanta?"

    WiO:Democrats for McCain..Obama is a disgrace..

    Muff Divers for Maverick.

  47. Muff Divers for Maverick.

    Long before lesbians ever "dived" for the 1st time, Man was there 1st...

  48. Our Motto:

    "No Muff Too Tuff, We Dive at Five."

  49. WiO: Long before lesbians ever "dived" for the 1st time, Man was there 1st...

    The seabed is lined with the bodies of amateurs.


    a.. If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah.
    b.. If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla and Four-eyes.

    a.. When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have
    anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
    b.. When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.

  51. If's that the direction you want to go, that is.

  52. I think what bobal said was we ought to stiffen up Ukraine a bit. If NATO votes to bring them in then I'd trust the European consensus. I wonder if a majority vote is needed, or unanimous, to bring a country into NATO?

  53. What's going on here?
    Something smells fishy!

  54. The seabed is lined with the bodies of amateurs.

    Yep cull the wheat so they say......

    If not for male divers there would be no more new females in a generation...

    then no diving for those who PLAY at diving...

  55. Oh, just you, al-Bob, nevermind.

  56. Let al-Bob explain what happens when something gets "lodged" WIO.
    He and Larsen were discussing it earlier.

  57. Amazing story

    Premature baby 'comes back to life'


    A premature baby who was pronounced dead "came back to life" Sunday after five hours in Nahariya Hospital in northern Israel.

    The five-month-old baby that 'miraculously' began breathing after doctors assumed she was dead.
    Photo: Channel 2
    The baby girl, who was in a cooler at the hospital, suddenly showed signs of life and was being treated in the premature baby unit.

    Doctors estimated that the cooler brought the fetus "back to life."

    The mother, 26, from a Western Galilee village, was in the fifth month of her pregnancy when she underwent a series of tests, during which it was discovered that she was suffering from internal bleeding and that the fetus had ceased to show signs of life.

    The woman underwent an abortion and the baby, weighing 610 grams, was extracted from her womb without a pulse, hospital officials said.

    A senior doctor pronounced the baby dead and she was transferred to the cooler.

    The mother who miscarried on Monday after five months of pregnancy. The embryo started breathing in a cooler hours after doctors announced it dead.
    Photo: Channel 2
    Five hours later, the woman's husband came to the hospital to take what he thought was his dead baby girl for burial.

    When the baby was taken out of the cooler, she began to breathe. The premature baby was then taken to the intensive care ward, where doctors were attempting to save her life.
    Little kids and small children can often survive quite a while, in cold water for instance. They kind of go into a sort of hibernation or something. I've read other stories like this.

  58. I think bobal also speculated somewhere it might not be a bad thing to do to separate the Roosian from non-Roosian populations in some of these countries, for the sake of blessed peace, believing in no-fault divorce as he does. I'm sure he feels he doesn't have all the answers though.


    Russian tanks and troops moved freely around the Georgian city of Gori on Monday and appeared to be moving toward the capital despite Russia's announcement that it had begun a withdrawal from the conflict zone.

  60. You should keep that Baby Story Private, al-Bob, if the Messiah finds out, he'll pass a law so they can legally abort it.

  61. Doug said,,,

    If Bobby goes as a Robot Vacuum, we can send him as a remotely controlled IED.

    “Osama Killed by Bobby the Booby Trap“

  62. Well Doug it seems in the Obama Veep Sweepstakes, Bayh's weak spot is that he's against sucking a baby's brains out in parital birth abortions. That's a no-no.

    Some liberals, however, could have a tough time with Bayh because of his support for a ban on "partial-birth" abortions, a term that some abortion rights opponents use to refer to a type of late-term abortion.


    Lying in a post coital embrace two lovers (one with bra on head) decide to evaluate their latest love making session beyond the realms of just the word ...

  64. Ten days before Russian tanks and infantry invaded Georgia,
    all Voice of America (VoA) radio broadcasts to Russia were Terminated.

    ht - Larsen

  65. From Doug's link:

    Tim Shambles, president of the union that represents VoA employees, confirmed that BBG announced termination of the broadcasts in early in July and calls the Kremlin’s decision to invade Georgia less than two weeks after the airwaves went dead “a strange coincidence.”

    Even after the invasion, pleas to the BBG by VoA’s Russian experts to go back on the air fell on deaf ears. Two remaining surrogate services that employ foreign journalists sound like the “Kremlin’s mouthpiece,” according to an e-mail from a Russian listener.

    VoA employees are still working overtime to broadcast to Georgia, but they have also been informed that their mics will go dead Sept. 30. Dismantling such a proven means of communication with people trapped inside hostile regimes is so astonishingly stupid, it makes one wonder what planet members of the BBG board have been living on. And it’s not for want of funds, since Congress reversed the board’s proposed cuts in its markup of the agency’s 2009 appropriations bill just last month. Two years ago, when the cuts were first announced, a Russian TV camera crew showed up at VoA’s Washington headquarters with a sign in Russian that read: “America without a voice.”


    Isn't VOA under DoS control?


  66. Dr. Doom - Profile - Nouriel Roubini - Predicting Crisis in the United States Economy -

    On Sept. 7, 2006, Nouriel Roubini, an economics professor at New York University, stood before an audience of economists at the International Monetary Fund and announced that a crisis was brewing. In the coming months and years, he warned, the United States was likely to face a once-in-a-lifetime housing bust, an oil shock, sharply declining consumer confidence and, ultimately, a deep recession.
    When I pressed him on his claim that he wasn’t pessimistic, he paused for a moment and then relented a little. “I have more concerns about potential risks and vulnerabilities than most people,” he said, with glum understatement. But these concerns, he argued, make him more of a realist than a pessimist and put him in the role of the cleareyed outsider — unsettling complacency and puncturing pieties.

    Roubini, who is 50, has been an outsider his entire life. He was born in Istanbul, the child of Iranian Jews, and his family moved to Tehran when he was 2, then to Tel Aviv and finally to Italy, where he grew up and attended college. He moved to the United States to pursue his doctorate in international economics at Harvard. Along the way he became fluent in Farsi, Hebrew, Italian and English. His accent, an inimitable polyglot growl, radiates a weariness that comes with being what he calls a “global nomad.”

  67. Dept of Shit, you might well be correct, Linear.
    I have as much faith in Condi and Co. as I do in Russian Promises.

  68. Here's a line for you al-Bob, I'm afraid of getting the boot for piling on the corn in one thread:

    "Robbie the Robot Grows Up,
    Becomes Bobby the Bomb"

    ht not necessary, but appreciated.

  69. Globalization was premature.

    But now that it's here. Where are you placing your chips?>

  70. Looks like we'll have to rely on BBC to get the news into Georgia.

    Meanwhile, south of our border, 2682 have died in gang violence so far this year--

    30 dead in worst weekend of Mexico violence this year

    Mexico Grapples With Organized Crime

    More than 30 people died in the worst weekend of violence this year in the northern Mexico state of Chihuahua, the scene of daily drug gang turf wars, police said Monday.
    Heavily-armed assassins killed nine people in separate incidents late Sunday in the border town of Ciudad Juarez, local police said, following the slaying of 21 people the previous night -- including a baby and a four-year-old boy -- at a village dance in the town of Creel.

    Drug-related violence in Mexico has killed 2,682 people since the start of the year -- nine more than in all of 2007 -- with nearly half in Chihuahua state, daily El Universal reported Saturday.

    Ciudad Juarez -- across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, where local drug gangs are battling the powerful Sinaloa cartel -- has the highest murder toll, with some 800 so far this year, according to an AFP count.

    Federal authorities have deployed more than 36,000 soldiers across the country since early 2007, including 2,500 in Ciudad Juarez, in an effort to combat drug trafficking and related violence.

    But the murder rate has climbed dramatically in two years, from 1,410 in 2006.

  71. Globalization was premature.

    But now that it's here. Where are you placing your chips?

    Defense industry stocks.

  72. Oil and Gas Bubble

    You'd have to be a person with steely nerves to play around with these trades.

  73. So, bob, you'd let Germany and Poland tell US who we should defend and what US vital interests are?

  74. Does it take a unanimous vote for a nation to be admitted to NATO?

    Can't answer the question without knowing that.

  75. Well, however that may be, the answer's no. I wouldn't want us to get in the business of defending Tibet, for instance, even if Germany and France wanted to do so.

  76. Process is important in the three countries' efforts to join the alliance. Each of the current 26 allies must agree at Bucharest to extend invitations. The candidate states will be considered individually, and a lack of consensus on a candidate can block its invitation to join. From that point, NATO will send a protocol on each successful candidate to all allied governments, which will follow their respective constitutional processes to admit a candidate. Again, unanimity is required for a candidate state ultimately to join the alliance. In Congress, hearings will be held in the House and Senate. For candidate states to be admitted, the Senate must pass a resolution of ratification by a two-thirds majority to amend NATO's founding treaty and commit the United States to defend new geographic space.

  77. Thanks for looking that up. My outlook is that if all the other 25countries feel it's wise to ask someone to join, we ought to look closely at it with the presumption that it's probably ok.

  78. Facts about Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf


    * The second of three brothers, Musharraf was born into a middle class Muslim family in India in August 1943. His family moved to the newly created majority-Muslim state of Pakistan following India's independence and partition in 1947.


    * Entering the Pakistan Military Academy in 1961, the keen sportsman first saw action in the 1965 war against India and was decorated for gallantry. He had to endure the army's humiliating defeat by India in the 1971 war and served for seven years in Pakistan's special service commando group.


    * Promoted to the rank of general and named army chief in October 1998, Musharraf overthrew then prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 1999 in a bloodless coup. He first led the country as chief executive and then won a five-year presidential term in a 2002 referendum critics say was rigged.

    Musharraf Resigns

  79. bobal,

    My understanding of NATO is that it is an 'all for one, one for all' kind of alliance. It was originally designed to counter the Soviet Union. If any member state were attacked all others would come to their aid. The danger in making it as large as it is and adding more is that we increase the likelyhood of a member nation instigating a conflict thus drawing all others in. If you consider the disproportion of force the US supplies to the equation the US should be very careful whom gets admitted.

  80. 'Putin has given us an order that everyone must leave or be shot ...

    They said, ‘Putin has given us an order that everyone must be either shot or forced to leave'.
    They told us we should ask the Americans for help now because they would kill us if we stayed.”

    Vardo Babutidze, 79, was not lucky enough to be visited by Russian soldiers. Her husband Georgi, 85, was shot twice through the chest by an Ossetian paramilitary who came to their house to demand weapons.

    “We didn't have any guns, so he shot Georgi in front of me without saying a word,” she said.
    “A neighbour helped me to bury him in our garden and then I just fled.”
    Vladimir Putin's mastery checkmates the West
    Michael Binyon says Russia has been biding its time - but its victory in Georgia has been brutal and brilliant.

  81. Wheat, the staple diet of most, has seen a 20 per cent price hike since November 2007. Too much wheat is being smuggled into Afghanistan to serve the needs of the NATO armies.

    The poor are the worst hit, but middle-class families are also affected and, according to a June 2008 survey, 86per cent of Pakistanis find it increasingly difficult to afford flour on a daily basis, for which they blame their Government.

    Other problems persist. The politicians are weak and remain divided on the restoration of the judges sacked by Musharraf.

    Army Will Be In Power

  82. Like the Three Musketeers, Ash, "One for All, and All for One".

    The US Senate, per Rat's post, has to pass on the deal, as it amounts to a treaty. There seems to be a lot of hoops that have to be jumped through, so it's not as if it's a spur of the moment decision.

    Reading Doug's post, I can well understand why folks want to flee from Russian influence. Shoot the unarmed old boy in the chest a couple times, for a lark.

  83. Bailout Talk Hits Freddie, Fannie

    Shares of mortgage giants Freddie Mac (FRE) and Fannie Mae (FNM) fell 25% and 22%, respectively, both to new lows, amid reports that the Treasury Dept. might have to bail out the 2 gov't chartered companies. The move likely would wipe out existing shareholder equity in Freddie and Fannie.

    Financials Lead Market Lower

    Banks and builders tumbled as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shares dived. The S&P banking index skidded 6.3%.

    Pakistan Pres. Musharraf Quits

    Pervez Musharraf resigned as Parliament prepared to impeach him, ending a turbulent reign that began with a '99 coup. He defended his record, but Pakistanis celebrated in the streets in some cities.

    IBD's Top 10

  84. During Mr. Bush’s presidency, NATO has added seven new members — Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia — bringing the number of allies to 26.

  85. This pretty well sums up how the Russians see it.
    Ingraham, who lived in Russia, and speaks Russian, says we should not have been surprised.
    Champions in Hypocrisy:

    2×4: Yeah, and? By same token I could ask you,when U.S. criminally backed Albanian Islamist in Balkans did it ask non-Albanian population whether they want independence from Serbia? Who cared??? I did not see the majority of Westerners protesting. Remained silent and obediant. Well Russia bear just announced it’s pay back time.

    Preserving the territorial integrity of Georgia will not be possible without preserving the territorial integrity of Serbia in Kosovo and Metohija province.

    It is unacceptable to recognize the unilateral independence of Kosovo province from Serbia and, at the same time, keep repeating the territorial integrity of Georgia must be respected when it comes to South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

  86. NATO

    Czech Rep
    United Kingdom
    United States

  87. Winning that one for the Muzzies was one of our all-time brillian moves.

  88. The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the world's defence spending.

  89. Doug said...


    What do you want now, Doug?

  90. Slower Service.
    Next I'll expect the return of you know who.

  91. Ash: If you consider the disproportion of force the US supplies to the equation the US should be very careful whom gets admitted.

    By the same token, if the US is committed to defend that "geographic space" our foes should be very careful where they step. For even if our ground forces are engaged in a scrap right now, our air and naval assets remain largely uncommitted and quite formidable.

  92. The next step taken by Russia after partitioning Poland with Germany was to make three "Mutual Assistance Pacts" with Esthonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. These Baltic States were the most vehemently anti-Bolshevist regimes in Europe. They had all broken themselves free from the Soviet Government in the civil war of 1918 and 1920, and had built up, in the harsh manner in which revolutions are conducted in those regions, a type of society and government of which the main principle was hostility to communism and to Russia. From Riga in particular for twenty years a stream of violently anti-Bolshevik propaganda had flowed daily by radio and all other channels to the world. With the exception of Latvia, they had not, however, associated themselves with the Hitlerite Germany. The Germans had been content to throw them into their Russian deal, and the Soviet Government now advanced with pent-up hate and eager appetite upon their prey. These three states had formed a part of the Tsarist Empire, and were the old conquests of Peter the Great. They were immediately occupied by strong Russian forces against which they had no means of effectual resistance. A ferocious liquidation of all anti-Communist and anti-Russian elements was carried through by the usual methods. Great numbers of people who for twenty years had lived in freedom in their native land and had represented the dominant majority of it people disappeared. A large proportion of these were transported to Siberia. The rest went farther. This process was described as "Mutual Assistance Pacts."

    from "The Gathering Storm"
    Winston Churchill

  93. Not Exactly, Ms T

    "The Parties of NATO agreed that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all. Consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense will assist the Party or Parties being attacked, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area. ”

    Such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force does not necessarily mean that other member states will respond with military action against the aggressor(s). Rather they are obliged to respond, but maintain the freedom to choose how they will respond.

    The US would not close the tunnel and allow the Georgians the credit.

    A simple overflight, in the best bomber aircraft money can buy.

    Instead we're going to up the ante, in Georgia? Because, rest assured, that President McCain would establish a "special relationahip" with Georgia if NATO turns them down. It may be just that risk that is cause for Merkel's movement.

    Despite duece's best advise?

  94. As a descendant of Swedes on my dad's side, I'm kind of ashamed that Sweden is not in NATO. Tucked in there between Norway and Finland, they have scooted through the worst of it without so much as a scratch, while obtaining all the benefits of the west. It makes some good sense as a strategy I quess but there's not much honor in it. I'd like to see Sweden and Finland in the club too.

  95. David Cameron also understands that votes might be had by attacking Russia – and Brown’s ineffectiveness, too. He blamed Nato for failing to expedite Georgia’s application for membership of the alliance, arguing that this had “encouraged Russia to believe it could intimidate and bully because the West was divided and uncertain”.


    It was brave of Britain to guarantee Belgium in 1914 and Poland in 1939 and in both cases to wage war for years without counting the cost, but it scarcely seems opportune to overreach ourselves just now and pledge to defend at any price the land of Stalin’s birth. What size of allied army would make such a commitment credible?

    A war in Iraq was a “hard sell” for Blair. Cameron might find it even harder to make a convincing case for battling Russia in defence of Georgia.

    World Role Slips Away

  96. hehehe McCain comes off better at Saddleback Church and some of the newspapers claim he was listening in on Obama's answers:)

    He cheated, he cheated!

  97. Good article, Sam. England is trying to find its proper place.

    Is it too much to hope that Britain can again find a role in foreign affairs of the scale achieved by Thatcher and Blair? It would need to be a middle ground between Brown, who has withdrawn from the world stage, and Cameron, who would regard an attack on Tbilisi as equivalent to Russians storming London.

  98. ms. t wrote:

    "For even if our ground forces are engaged in a scrap right now, our air and naval assets remain largely uncommitted and quite formidable."

    While many of our assets do remain uncommitted and formidable it hasn't acted much of a deterent for the Russians. What do you think Slovakia brings to the table, asset wise? I don't know but I'm guessing not much. More a liablility then an asset is my guess. What power would Georgia bring do you think?

  99. Nothing, but that's not the point. It's a deterent to the rooskies attacking them.

  100. None of those eastern European countries can stand up to the bear alone, but taken all together, and with Germany, France, England and mostly the US behind them, it gives the Russians pause.

    It's true NATO isn't worth much now, but maybe they will up arm a bit.

  101. The US says it sees no sign of Russia's claim it's pulling troops out of Georgia and it wants NATO to suspend talks with Moscow. Moscow is warning that relations will only deteriorate further if Georgia gains NATO membership.

    But the Georgia conflict could also shake up the balance of power in Central Asia. Moscow's first invasion of another state since the Cold War could have a sobering effect on its former Soviet neighbours.

    And there's also the question of how it's being viewed by the other big power competing for influence in the region, China.

    Georgia Incursion

  102. Ash: While many of our assets do remain uncommitted and formidable it hasn't acted much of a deterent for the Russians.

    Which NATO member has been attacked by Russia? It seems to me this is just two sets of ex-Soviets having themselves a family squabble.

  103. bobal said...
    "Nothing, but that's not the point. It's a deterent to the rooskies attacking them."

    But you then are putting NATO on the line. If we allow in a hot headed led country such as Georgia then we are obligated to back them up, whatever foolish thing he chooses to do. As Ms. T noted no NATO country was attacked. The hard question, it seems to me, is by allowing these folk into NATO, do we really want to risk our bluff being called? Are we willing to go to war against Russia over Georgia? Over the Ukraine? Slovakia? Estonia? If so, why?

    Take another NATO aspirant. Well, on these right wingnut blogs anyway but I haven't heard much serious diplomatic talk about it - Israel. Do you really want to admit Israel to NATO? The Zionists want to expand Israel to the lands of Eratz Israel and ends up in a war with a load of Arab countries. NATO backing means off we go...

    ...seems a foolish war for America to fight in my opinion.

  104. Russia should let alone the West! The West = a trap! The West does not have principles: lie, hypocrisy, arrogance, double standards! Russia should look at the East and aside Latin America! The West let cooks in the boiler and serves interests American neocons!

    luba, Moscow

    The Future of NATO

  105. bobal said...

    "It's true NATO isn't worth much now, but maybe they will up arm a bit."

    NATO was a powerful deterrent for the Soviets. Since their fall we have broadened NATO's tasks and diluted the alliance, so much so, some say it's toast. When guarding against Soviet attacks on West Europeans NATO stood stong - attack one of us, and we (with our buddies America) will fight back, hard. West European countries are still able to bring a fair number of assest to the table. They've chosen not to in Afghanistan. The helicopters exist but won't be deployed. The armies only willing to deploy where there is not fighting (a precious few NATO countries notwithstanding, Canada being one).

  106. Serious questions, Ash. Same arguement as 60 years ago. Why do the democracies want to defend Czechoslovakia, Poland?

    As for Israel, I'd like to see them in NATO, but that's just me, and it's very unlikely to ever happen. I may be misremembering, but I think Netanyehu may have floated the idea some time ago.

    Churchill had a good answer to such questions, but I don't have the right book here to look it up.

  107. After the Soviet Union fell, for that decade or so, they felt, like we did too, it was kind of over. Let things go to seed. But then 9/11 and now Polonium 210 Putin.

    I certainly don't see the US or NATO as the villain here. We're not the jihadis, and NATO and the EU are civilized organizations, not out to conquer the world.

  108. "Never let a cook in the boiler"--whatever that means.

  109. bobal,

    I think you want to be very, very careful on who you pledge to support, carte blanche, with the US military. Many, many folk want its backing simply because the power that it represents. From the US perspective however, granting our backing through NATO carries the very real possiblity that we will have to go to war under circumstances beyond our control. West Europes and US territorial intergrity seems like a reasonable place to draw a red line. Zionist Israelis desire for Eratz Israel and Georgia's desire for control of Souts Ossetia and Asbekeistaniananaan (whatever that place is called) does not. Europe is quaking at possible further Russian dominance of their oil/gas supplies. Should we go to war to protect their russia free access? Tough question that. Welcome to the modern version of Empire's attempt to expand/exist.

  110. Bobal, I think we are beyond good vs. bad here. It is not a matter of US bashing but rather the reality of global fights to control scarce resources. This is where I'm a big fan of free trade. Toss it out to the market, let the buyers decide. All this jockeying for control is....problematic. We are sinners in this game too.

  111. I agree there is a real question about being used.

  112. "...not out to conquer the world."

    Aye, but we are laddie, from the Russian POV (NATO designed as a deterrent to the Soviets attempting to ring the southern russian border). Cuba's but a single Island compared to the huge swath of land we're going for.

  113. It is instructive though, that nobody but nobody wants to be in the Russia sphere of influence.

  114. Nah, anybody can leave NATO anytime they want, isn't that so? And in NATO and the EU, boundary disputes, trade disputes and what not are solved through negotiation, litigation or some other civilized means.

  115. I dunno Bobal, the South Ossetians seem to be pretty keen. Careful of US tinted Rose colored glasses. However I shudder at the thought of living under a top down totalitarian government persecuting mouthy folk like me who insist upon spewing my nonsense. Canada's a pretty kewl place all in all.


  116. Certainly a military confrontation would be a mistake. Instead, the European Union especially can emphasize that Russia is acting in ways that will make the EU unwilling to negotiate on any partnership agreements.

    The EU and the U.S. together can promise to continue to consider NATO membership for those former Soviet republics that apply for it -- even for Russia itself, over time.

    Whether this will be a blow to Russia isn't clear. It might not be.

    Putin Picks a Fight

  117. Admitting Russia to NATO. Now that would change the dynamic. Think about that one.

  118. Life with Obama
    Abortion Champion

    Stanek says her friend had been told to take this baby and leave him in a soiled utility closet. She offered to take him instead. “I couldn’t let him die alone,” she says.

    Stanek was horrified by this experience. This was not an abortion — it was something worse. Could it be legal to take a living and breathing person of any size, already born and outside his mother’s womb, and just leave him to die, without any thought of treatment?

    Stanek’s effort to right this wrong would lead her to testify before various committees. It would lead her to a state senator, Patrick O’Malley, who would propose a bill to stop what was going on at the hospital.

    Her attempt to change a corrupt medical practice and bring hope to defenseless infants would put her on a collision course with a state senator named Barack Obama...

  119. William Ayers, Model Citizen?

    Amazingly, instead of disowning Ayers — which would make a lot more sense — Obama’s rebuttal document defends the man who implicated himself in terror bombings in his own 2001 memoir, Fugitive Days. The document calls it a “lie” that Ayers is an “unrepentant domestic terrorist” and that “the impression of Ayers’s good citizenship is incorrect.” It attempts, with endorsements from Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and two university professors, to make the case that Ayers is really a model citizen.

    A model citizen — at least if you overlook the sworn congressional testimony that ties Ayers to a murder...
    ‘They Wanted More School’
    Obama on education reform.

    In his book The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama tells of a “youth town hall meeting” he conducted in 2005 at Thornton Township High School, in what he describes as a predominantly black suburb of Chicago. To prepare for the visit by their newly elected and highly popular senator, students there were surveyed about the quality of their education, with the idea that they could present their concerns.

    Obama writes:

    "[T]heir number one issue was this: Because the school district couldn’t afford to keep teachers for a full school day, Thornton let out every day at 1:30 in the afternoon. With the abbreviated schedule, there was no time for students to take science lab or foreign language classes.

    How come we’re getting shortchanged? they asked me. Seems like nobody even expects us to go to college, they said.

    They wanted more school."

    Senator Obama probably did not know that the average teacher in Thornton Township District earned an impressive $83,000 that year, short days notwithstanding. (The figure does not include administrators, who made much more.)
    In fact, more than one-quarter of the district’s teachers made more than $100,000 in 2005, according to figures compiled from the Illinois Board of Education by Champion News under the state’s freedom of information laws.

    But Obama did at least identify the short school day at Thornton as a problem. Unfortunately, he has been less than audacious about the same problem in the nearby City of Chicago — a place where the teachers’ union that strongly supports him has been shortchanging children for decades in precisely this same way.

    The elementary-school day and year in Chicago proper are the shortest of any major U.S. city. It lasts five hours and 45 minutes, and the schools are open just 174 days per year. This is entirely a result of the intransigence of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), a staunch ally of Barack Obama and an early endorser of his presidential candidacy.

    The CTU has vigorously resisted all attempts to increase instruction time in Chicago schools. In 2007, the CTU thwarted Mayor Richard M. Daley’s attempt to make teachers teach for full school days. They negotiated a new contract that contained no extra hours but significant pay raises for the next four years.
    David Freddoso -

    Life Lies - 08/17

    Dreams From My Farmer - 08/05

  120. The Republican National Committee has touted the creation of a site called "BarackBook" that includes profile pages for many of the controversial associates that Sen. Barack Obama's critics claim he is linked to in some way.

    The front page includes a friend feed much like the actual Facebook does, where additions to the site are added each week, according to the RNC. Also included are links to various press releases from the party, as well as multimedia featuring some of the people mentioned within.

    Among Barack's "friends" are the already well-known real estate developer and Democratic fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko, controversial Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and far-left activist William Ayers. More recently, the RNC has added CODEPINK co-founder Jodie Evans, Arab activist Ali Abunimah, and Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.

    Obama's 'Friends'

  121. Sounds like "The Audacity of Stasis, definition #2" to me, Doug.

    - n., pl. sta·ses (stā'sēz, stăs'ēz).

    1.)A condition of balance among various forces; motionlessness: “Language is a primary element of culture, and stasis in the arts is tantamount to death” (Charles Marsh).

    2.)Pathology. Stoppage of the normal flow of a body substance, as of blood through an artery or of intestinal contents through the bowels.

  122. In the heady days after the fall of the Soviet Union, there was some talk of bringing Russia into NATO, odd as it seems.

    One day the Russians will look to the west for help with China, dad predicted.

  123. Oleg Deripaska didn't become Russia's richest man by making mistakes. But an investment in tiny Montenegro got the better of him, proving that even business-savvy oligarchs can stumble.


    Kombinat Aluminijuma Podgorica is not one Mr. Deripaska's finer investments.


    But if loyalty was part of the reason for making the KAP investment, it came at a price. Closing the smelter risks political disaster for Mr. Deripaska and might sour relations between Montenegro and Russia.


    It looks like Mr. Deripaska will have to endure KAP's losses, and a slight blow to his ego, for some time.

    Montenegro Miasma

  124. Where did the Ossetians come from?

    The current conflict dates to the 13th century when Ossetians, a mostly Christian people speaking an Iranian language, fled the Mongol invasion of Russia, migrating south over the Caucasus Mountains. By 1801, Russian manifest destiny absorbed the Caucasus, resulting in annexation of Georgia, including South Ossetia. Georgia has since see-sawed from independence when Russia is weak to suppression when Russia is strong. South Ossetians side with Russians because their North Ossetian kinsmen remained within Russia and Russia uses Ossetians as leverage against Georgians.

    Secretary Rice Brokers Another Disaster

    I don't really think she did--she didn't have many cards to play. The Russians didn't seem to make much progress getting out today. But, she can at least say they are violating her agreement.

  125. Russian peacekeepers. That's a good one.


  126. John Samford:

    I’m a natural optimist. I figure that terrs will get their hands on a nuke in the next few years.
    With only one device, the best place to use it is New York, New York.
    So I see the MSM, Wall Street, Madison Ave. and about a million Democrats gone in a few thousandths of a second. America will be a much better place.

    Understand, I’m NOT in favor of this, I happen to think it will happen and I’m looking at the positive aspects.
    Makes you wanna invite John over for lunch, don't it?

  127. (although there would be undeniable benefits in starting over in DC)

    Like if Mr Rogers swept them up and took them to his neighborhood, and left DC for us to sort out from scratch how to repopulate it.
    Win win.