“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."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sarah Palin is Ready to Lead and More Qualified Than Barack Obama

There is nothing that I can add to describe the shameful and contemptible reporting tactics and shenanigans of our rulers and masters in the shameless American Theater of the Absurd called "The Media." Even the term is loaded with a smug self anointed importance. The Media.

Sarah Palin did fine today with ABC and she may as well continue with the rest of the alpha-beltway pack. She was a little bit too calm for me and I would have been back at Charlie Boy but then I would not get elected to anything.

Palin reminded me of an intentional border intrusion by fighter pilots, flying aircraft loaded with electronic recording equipment, for the purpose of getting a hostile to light up what they have, for intelligence purposes and future use. She is a quick study and will be ready to take on the best of the worst soon. Turn her loose on Chris Matthews and show the MSNBC jester what a reversal and mat burns to the face feel like. Hardball. She would crack his nuts.

See, there I go again, too aggressive. Let Sarah do it her way. The Republicans have nothing to worry about with her in a one to one with any of them.


Sarah Palin first major interview: 'Ready to lead the nation'
In her first major interview since being named as the Republican vice-presidential nominee, Sarah Palin adopted a tough tone on national security and claimed she was ready to lead the nation if necessary.

By Alex Spillius in Washington Telegraph
Last Updated: 6:26AM BST 12 Sep 2008

The Alaska governor categorized the recent Russian invasion of Georgia as "unacceptable". She said that if Georgia become a member of Nato, then war with Russia might be necessary in order to protect a US ally.

"Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a Nato ally, if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help," she told ABC News.

Mrs Palin has given only scripted speeches since her explosive arrival into the White House race three weeks ago, which has transformed presidential nominee Senator John McCain's performance in the polls.

Until her interview with Charles Gibson, a veteran foreign affairs specialist, aides had ruled out press conferences, where unplanned questions have tripped up many candidates in the past. Her only interview thus far had been with People magazine.

Mrs Palin is such a hot property that ABC was planning to roll out the interviews over Thursday evening and Friday. Aides to Mr McCain said more interviews were scheduled for next week, but made it clear hostile networks would not be selected.

Critics have questioned Mrs Palin's experience, as she received her first passport earlier this year to visit US troops in Kuwait and Germany and has less than two years as governor of a state with a population of 646,000.

To the disappointment of Democrats, she passed her first significant media test without any major gaffes, though she suffered some uncomfortable moments.

She was forced to admit she had not met any foreign heads of state, but said she was sure nor had plenty of other vice-presidential candidates.

When asked if she agreed with the Bush Doctrine (of pre-emptive warfare), she was unaware what it meant. She then defended a previous statement made in an Alaskan church that the war in Iraq was a "task from God". Mrs Palin said she was referring to a famous quote from Abraham Lincoln.

Saying she had no doubts about her readiness to be vice-president, or president should Mr McCain be incapacitated, she said: "I answered 'yes' [to McCain] because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can't blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we're on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can't blink."


  1. On second thought, just don't let her go on that panty-sniffer, Bill O'Reilly Show.

  2. I still say she shouldn't overdo it. Keep a little mystery. No Oprah, no Letterman, no Barbara Waters. Maybe a good selected talk show or two. Lars Larsen out here would treat her well, but he's only radio.

    One thing we know, we don't have to worry about her being drunk on the campaign trail, like we suspected of Biden.

    I agree, ready to lead and better than Biden. Maybe better than McCain.

  3. Intrade Real Time Quotes

    McCain 52

    Obama 46

  4. O'Reilly? MSM Centrist Dork?
    ...and a STUPID thing O'Reilly said to Ingraham is he BELIEVES Obama may never have heard Wright at his worst, 'Cause Wright knew who Obama was and would not want to embarass him.


    AS IF WRIGHT was on best behavior for a young Mr Barry Nobody?

    How dumb is that?
    The big guys are always looking for ways to excuse politicians and appear "fair."

  5. EVERYONE Knows What the Bush Doctrine Is .... [Andy McCarthy]

    Well, not exactly. A reader points out that Wikipedia thinks it means many things:

  6. Headline:
    " Palin tries to defend qualifications in interview"

    Headlines you won't see:

    Obama tries to defend his disturbing ties to criminals, terrorist, in interview.

    Biden tries to defend crazy ideas in interview.

    Associated Press tries to defend standards.

  7. Admiral Mullen is hoping for a “new, more comprehensive strategy for the region, one that covers both sides of the border.” That he will certainly get. What he may also get is a strategy that requires abandoning the large and growing U.S. military footprint in Afghanistan. And if that goes, so will the idea of “nation-building” in Afghanistan.

    The next U.S. president may discover that going after al Qaeda in the Hindu Kush and stabilizing Afghanistan are mutually incompatible goals.


  8. American officials say that they will notify Pakistan when they conduct limited ground attacks like the Special Operations raid last Wednesday in a Pakistani village near the Afghanistan border, but that they will not ask for its permission.

    "It's better to ask for forgiveness than for permission."

    Bernie Ward, on signing off each show

    hehehe--words he evidently lived by too, O Bernie, Bernie, where art thou now Bernie?

    Carry on, al-Doug.

  9. I forgot that about Bernie, the one w/the overstretched Rectum

  10. Chief Shame

    In his latest insider account of the Bush administration, The War Within, Bob Woodward provides a window into the cluelessness of the chiefs and their seeming disinterest in victory that will fascinate and appall students of civil- military relations for decades to come.

    In 2006, it had become obvious to almost everyone that we were failing in Iraq, with the exception of top U.S. generals. The general in command on the ground, George Casey, and his immediate superior, the head of U.S. Central Command John Abizaid, were focused on U.S. troop withdrawals the way Mr. Dick in David Copperfield is focused on King Charles’s head.

  11. Turns out I was right about incompetence, Rufus, but wrong about who it was:
    " Casey thought the surge was all about domestic U.S. politics. Adm. Michael Mullen — the new chairman of the chiefs — thought there was a conspiracy afoot to blame the loss of the war on the military. And Abizaid’s replacement at CENTCOM, Adm. William Fallon, shared their dim view of the surge.

    A bizarre multifront battle ensued, with the new commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, fighting against our enemies with the additional forces of the surge, and CENTCOM and the chiefs fighting against the surge. According to Woodward, “Fallon was determined to challenge the merit of every personnel request.”

    Keane, a mentor to Petraeus, became a back channel between Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney and the commander in Iraq. Keane warned Cheney, “The Joint Chiefs are more concerned about breaking the Army and Marine Corps than winning the war.” When Bush gave Keane a message for Petraeus saying he’d have all the forces needed to succeed, Petraeus replied, “I wish he’d tell CENTCOM and the Pentagon that.”

    Astonishingly, Chairman Mullen told Keane, “I don’t want you going to Iraq anymore and helping Petraeus.” Mullen worried that Keane was undermining him, never mind that Petraeus — who was fighting the war — found Keane’s counsel useful. It took interventions by Bush and Cheney to get Keane cleared again to travel to Iraq.

    “Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence,” Napoleon supposedly said. In this war, the chiefs have often made that seem a false choice.

  12. Calling Dr. Freud
    [Mona Charen]
    John Roberts interviewing Paul Begala on CNN just now slipped and said "we" when asking how Democrats should respond to Republican attacks.

  13. "“Governor Palin was responding to the criticism of her inexperience, her job as a mayor in a small town,” McCain explained. “Of course I respect community organizers. Of course I respect people who’ve served their communities, and Senator Obama’s record there is outstanding.”"
    He was an outstanding election rigging, education destroying, Terrorist loving, corrupt commie thug.

  14. In State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III (as excerpted in Newsweek magazine), journalist Bob Woodward of the Washington Post wrote that on March 16, 2006 Abizaid was in Washington to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
    He painted a careful but upbeat picture of the situation in Iraq."

    Subsequently "he went over to see Congressman John Murtha (D-Pa), the 73-year old former Marine who had introduced a resolution the previous November calling for the redeployment of troops from Iraq as soon as practicable."

    Abizaid said he wanted to speak frankly, and "according to Murtha, Abizaid raised his hand for emphasis and held his thumb and forefinger a quarter of an inch from each other and said, “We’re that far apart."

    On 1 October 2006, an interview of Woodward by CBS reporter Mike Wallace was broadcast on the television show 60 Minutes. The interview was about Woodward's book State of Denial and Wallace mentioned the Murtha-Abizaid conversation. Wallace asked Woodward to confirm that Murtha had told him of this tale of meeting with Abizaid; Woodward nodded his head in assent and said yes.[6]

  15. I bin thinkin about the last seven yers. What happened? It looks like the geehadees got tricked into blowin ther lunch money on Irak.

    The ones that decided to spend it on us woke up one mornin to find a pissed-off texican dead in the middle of ther OODA Loop.

    I jist hope the next prezdint does as well.

  16. Doug, the biggest mistake one could ever make would be to assume that those "Peace-time" Generals that look so spiffy in their starched, and fitted barracks duds have the "stomach" for a hard fight.

    It just ain't never been, "So." Reference: Memoirs of Abraham Lincoln

  17. 2164th wrote:

    "There is nothing that I can add to describe the shameful and contemptible reporting tactics and shenanigans of our rulers and masters in the shameless American Theater of the Absurd called "The Media." Even the term is loaded with a smug self anointed importance. The Media."

    Speaking of "The Media" I've always known that FoxNews was a tool of the Republican Party but this election cycle has made it even more absurdly, painfully obvious. Having Palin nominated has really brought the hypocrisy to the fore. As Rat noted "Where is the outrage over the First Dudes secessionist history when compared to Michele's "first time really proud" comment" to the spin meister's (Revolving door Rove for one) speaking on both sides the same issue depending on whether criticizing Obama or defending Palin.

    Are the American people really this dumb? Maybe, just maybe.

    Here is Krugman on some of the lies being issued by the 'pubs in this election cycle:

    "Blizzard of Lies

    Published: September 11, 2008

    Did you hear about how Barack Obama wants to have sex education in kindergarten, and called Sarah Palin a pig? Did you hear about how Ms. Palin told Congress, “Thanks, but no thanks” when it wanted to buy Alaska a Bridge to Nowhere?

    These stories have two things in common: they’re all claims recently made by the McCain campaign — and they’re all out-and-out lies.

    Dishonesty is nothing new in politics. I spent much of 2000 — my first year at The Times — trying to alert readers to the blatant dishonesty of the Bush campaign’s claims about taxes, spending and Social Security.

    But I can’t think of any precedent, at least in America, for the blizzard of lies since the Republican convention. The Bush campaign’s lies in 2000 were artful — you needed some grasp of arithmetic to realize that you were being conned. This year, however, the McCain campaign keeps making assertions that anyone with an Internet connection can disprove in a minute, and repeating these assertions over and over again.

    Take the case of the Bridge to Nowhere, which supposedly gives Ms. Palin credentials as a reformer. Well, when campaigning for governor, Ms. Palin didn’t say “no thanks” — she was all for the bridge, even though it had already become a national scandal, insisting that she would “not allow the spinmeisters to turn this project or any other into something that’s so negative.”

    Oh, and when she finally did decide to cancel the project, she didn’t righteously reject a handout from Washington: she accepted the handout, but spent it on something else. You see, long before she decided to cancel the bridge, Congress had told Alaska that it could keep the federal money originally earmarked for that project and use it elsewhere.

    So the whole story of Ms. Palin’s alleged heroic stand against wasteful spending is fiction.

    Or take the story of Mr. Obama’s alleged advocacy of kindergarten sex-ed. In reality, he supported legislation calling for “age and developmentally appropriate education”; in the case of young children, that would have meant guidance to help them avoid sexual predators.

    And then there’s the claim that Mr. Obama’s use of the ordinary metaphor “putting lipstick on a pig” was a sexist smear, and on and on.

    Why do the McCain people think they can get away with this stuff? Well, they’re probably counting on the common practice in the news media of being “balanced” at all costs. You know how it goes: If a politician says that black is white, the news report doesn’t say that he’s wrong, it reports that “some Democrats say” that he’s wrong. Or a grotesque lie from one side is paired with a trivial misstatement from the other, conveying the impression that both sides are equally dirty.

    They’re probably also counting on the prevalence of horse-race reporting, so that instead of the story being “McCain campaign lies,” it becomes “Obama on defensive in face of attacks.”

    Still, how upset should we be about the McCain campaign’s lies? I mean, politics ain’t beanbag, and all that.

    One answer is that the muck being hurled by the McCain campaign is preventing a debate on real issues — on whether the country really wants, for example, to continue the economic policies of the last eight years.

    But there’s another answer, which may be even more important: how a politician campaigns tells you a lot about how he or she would govern.

    I’m not talking about the theory, often advanced as a defense of horse-race political reporting, that the skills needed to run a winning campaign are the same as those needed to run the country. The contrast between the Bush political team’s ruthless effectiveness and the heckuva job done by the Bush administration is living, breathing, bumbling, and, in the case of the emerging Interior Department scandal, coke-snorting and bed-hopping proof to the contrary.

    I’m talking, instead, about the relationship between the character of a campaign and that of the administration that follows. Thus, the deceptive and dishonest 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign provided an all-too-revealing preview of things to come. In fact, my early suspicion that we were being misled about the threat from Iraq came from the way the political tactics being used to sell the war resembled the tactics that had earlier been used to sell the Bush tax cuts.

    And now the team that hopes to form the next administration is running a campaign that makes Bush-Cheney 2000 look like something out of a civics class. What does that say about how that team would run the country?

    What it says, I’d argue, is that the Obama campaign is wrong to suggest that a McCain-Palin administration would just be a continuation of Bush-Cheney. If the way John McCain and Sarah Palin are campaigning is any indication, it would be much, much worse. "


  19. mattie,

    If it wasn't for little boys like you I would have probably stopped posting here long ago.

  20. Doug:AS IF WRIGHT was on best behavior for a young Mr Barry Nobody?

    O'Reilly also mentioned that they were selling DVDs of the Worst of Wright in the church lobby, and B.O. never knew it. "What can I tell you?" was his reply.

  21. Ash

    you remind me of that pillow biting senator from Tenn., Steve Cohen. Are you guys roomies?

  22. Ash, Paul Krugman? Are you sure?

  23. mattie,

    If it wasn't for little boys like you I would have probably stopped posting here long ago.

    You mean all this buzzing effort is for me? Gosh.

  24. As sure as I can be deuce. It was posted at the NYTimes site and it carries his byline.

    mattie, nope not all for you, but you do sometimes inspire me to make the effort.

  25. mattie, nope not all for you, but you do sometimes inspire me to make the effort.

    And I was convinced all the friendly buzzing buzzins were meant to keep mother hen happy. She doesn't open her beak all that often, being too tired.

  26. Rassmussen has Obama only up by two points in the Soviet of Washington. Washington, bobal. SurveyUSA has Rossi over Queen Gregoire by one point.

  27. So, are we to accept that what Palin expressed in that interview is the official foreign policy of the Republican Party? Georgia and Ukraine should be admitted to NATO and the US will go to war with Russia to protect them if necessary? Israel has carte blanche to do what she likes (i.e. attack Iran) and the US will stand behind them?

    The US could be at war very soon if this is indeed the platform of the party and they meet with success in the upcoming election. Seems to me bad foreign policy to put such war making decisions into the hands of others.

  28. wow, Palin could be in for a rough ride:

    James FALLOWS

    The Palin interview

    12 Sep 2008 09:01 am

    It is embarrassing to have to spell this out, but for the record let me explain why Gov. Palin's answer to the "Bush Doctrine" question -- the only part of the recent interview I have yet seen over here in China -- implies a disqualifying lack of preparation for the job.

    Not the mundane job of vice president, of course, which many people could handle. Rather the job of potential Commander in Chief and most powerful individual on earth.

    The spelling-out is lengthy, but I've hidden most of it below the jump.

    Each of us has areas we care about, and areas we don't. If we are interested in a topic, we follow its development over the years. And because we have followed its development, we're able to talk and think about it in a "rounded" way. We can say: Most people think X, but I really think Y. Or: most people used to think P, but now they think Q. Or: the point most people miss is Z. Or: the question I'd really like to hear answered is A.

    Here's the most obvious example in daily life: Sports Talk radio.

    Mention a name or theme -- Brett Favre, the Patriots under Belichick, Lance Armstrong's comeback, Venus and Serena -- and anyone who cares about sports can have a very sophisticated discussion about the ins and outs and myth and realities and arguments and rebuttals.

    People who don't like sports can't do that. It's not so much that they can't identify the names -- they've heard of Armstrong -- but they've never bothered to follow the flow of debate. I like sports -- and politics and tech and other topics -- so I like joining these debates. On a wide range of other topics -- fashion, antique furniture, the world of restaurants and fine dining, or (blush) opera -- I have not been interested enough to learn anything I can add to the discussion. So I embarrass myself if I have to express a view.

    What Sarah Palin revealed is that she has not been interested enough in world affairs to become minimally conversant with the issues. Many people in our great land might have difficulty defining the "Bush Doctrine" exactly. But not to recognize the name, as obviously was the case for Palin, indicates not a failure of last-minute cramming but a lack of attention to any foreign-policy discussion whatsoever in the last seven years.

    Two details in Charles Gibson's posing of the question were particularly telling. One was the potentially confusing way in which he first asked it. On the page, "the Bush Doctrine" looks different from "the Bush doctrine." But when hearing the question Palin might not have known whether Gibson was referring to the general sweep of Administration policy -- doctrine with small d -- or the rationale that connected 9/11 with the need to invade Iraq, the capital-D Doctrine. So initial confusion would be understandable -- as if a sports host asked about Favre's chances and you weren't sure if he meant previously with the Packers or with the Jets. Once Gibson clarified the question, a person familiar with the issue would have said, "Oh, if we're talking about the strategy that the President and Condoleezza Rice began laying out in 2002...." There was no such flash of recognition.

    The other was Gibson's own minor mis-statement. American foreign policy has long recognized the concept of preemptive action: if you know somebody is just about to attack you, there's no debate about the legitimacy of acting first. (This is like "shooting in self-defense.") The more controversial part of The Bush Doctrine was the idea of preventive war: acting before a threat had fully emerged, on the theory that waiting until it was fully evident would mean acting too late.

    Gibson used the word "preemptively" -- but if a knowledgeable person had pushed back on that point ("Well, preemption was what John F. Kennedy had in mind in acting against the imminent threat of Soviet missiles in Cuba"), Gibson would certainly have come back to explain the novelty of the "preventive war" point. Because he knows the issue, a minor mis-choice of words wouldn't get in the way of his real intent.

    Sarah Palin did not know this issue, or any part of it. The view she actually expressed -- an endorsement of "preemptive" action -- was fine on its own merits. But it is not the stated doctrine of the Bush Administration, it is not the policy her running mate has endorsed, and it is not the concept under which her own son is going off to Iraq.

    How could she not know this? For the same reason I don't know anything about European football/soccer standings, player trades, or intrigue. I am not interested enough. And she evidently has not been interested enough even to follow the news of foreign affairs during the Bush era.

    A further point. The truly toxic combination of traits GW Bush brought to decision making was:

    1) Ignorance
    2) Lack of curiosity
    3) "Decisiveness"

    That is, he was not broadly informed to begin with (point 1). He did not seek out new information (#2); but he nonetheless prided himself (#3) on making broad, bold decisions quickly, and then sticking to them to show resoluteness.

    We don't know for sure about #2 for Palin yet -- she could be a sponge-like absorber of information. But we know about #1 and we can guess, from her demeanor about #3. Most of all we know something about the person who put her in this untenable role.

  29. How many SEC students does it take To Change a Lightbulb?


    An example:

    At GEORGIA: It takes two, one to change the bulb and one to stabilize the rolling beer cooler the bulb changer is using for a ladder.

  30. Ash: Georgia and Ukraine should be admitted to NATO and the US will go to war with Russia to protect them if necessary?

    That's kind of the whole point of having a NATO alliance: to be there when Russia invades. Contrast that with what Krauthammer calls Obama's "triumphal declaration that history would note that night, his victory, his ascension, as "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal," as if his mere presence would make everything all right.

  31. Hell, nobody (including me, I drew a complete blank when I heard this question) could have given a coherent explanation, yesterday, of "The Bush Doctrine."

    Gibson came across as a condescending asshole, yesterday; and today McCain/Palin bounce by 3 in the polls.

    The Media are pushing forward, maniacally on the stick, and refusing to believe that the "Houses are getting larger, and larger."


  32. Rufus: Gibson came across as a condescending asshole, yesterday; and today McCain/Palin bounce by 3 in the polls.

    I hereby coin a new pathology of the left:

    Palin Malignment Syndrome

    or PMS.

  33. Yes, Ms. T, article 5 of the NATO alliance does that. Is this the official policy of the GOP? We spent many years trying to avoid a direct military conflict with Russia (possessor of many nuclear bombs). Is it now the official policy of the GOP to admit Ukraine and Georgia to NATO and go to war if we must? Is it now official policy (does the GOP actually have official policy?) to defend Israel whatever she may do, what with being an ally and all?

  34. If I'm not mistaken, all four of the candidates have come out, at one time or another, in favor of allowing Ukraine, and Georgia (what about Mississippi, huh?) into NATO.

    And, as T noted, that's the "definition" of NATO. All for one, one for all.

  35. Which points to the folly of aggressively expanding it - either membership obligations become so diluted no one upholds their responsibility and/or we get drawn into war.

    NATO was originally conceived to counter the Soviet threat in Europe. It was a mistake to expand it after the Soviet threat diminished and it is a mistake to continue its expansion unless the terms of the alliance (i.e. article 5) are changed.

  36. Hell, Ash, NATO Is Article 5. Remove that chapter and NATO is nothing but a "social" club.

    Btw, she said, "Perhaps;" and that IS the correct answer. There are safeguards built into the treaty. No piece of paper can "Force" the U.S. into war if we "Don't Wanna Go."

  37. It is unrealistic to plan on a stepped-up missile and direct action campaign inside Pakistan and also plan on a free flow of large daily supply convoys from Karachi through the Khyber Pass.

    - Westhawk

    Were it known ahead of time that PakGov would cut off our overland in response to the missile strikes and raids, they'd not be undertaken. Somebody apparently knew what they were doing.

    Musharraf leaves and we no longer have to protect him politically. Then we cut a deal, as dear host put it. When Karzai leaves, the next guy's going to be cutting plenty of deals of his own.

    Getting control of the border is prelude to moving ahead in Afghanistan - a decades-long endeavor. "Nation building" in the Hindu Kush, albeit not with boots, ought to follow in tandem. (The Afghan refugee camps is a fine place to start.) Along with broader civil, military, and economic reform in Pakistan. That will require serious arm-twisting, but not in Islamabad.

    Pat Lang was first out of the gate in asserting that it's SOF v. a surge. As in Iraq, however, they were complimentary. And shame, shame on him for shit-talking the operators.

  38. The Great disqualifier. Now the left says "This idiot didn't know the meaning of the Bush Doctrine. She wasn't interested...She's not worthy to carry Obama's jock strap..."

    I have to admit when I heard about Gibson's "gotcha moment," I couldn't really say what the Bush Doctrine was. Still haven't checked it...

  39. It's the whole pre-emptive war thing - you know - the justification for attacking Iraq which didn't pose an imminent threat but still deserved invading.

  40. The "Bush Doctrine" is the Bush Doctrine. It is irrelevant to what the "McCain Doctrine" will be.

  41. The defense of Palin on this smacks of the transformation of "Anyone can be president" to "Anyone should be president". ...'aw shucks, if I don't know about it then I shore can't expect her to be up on it'...

  42. Some people ,such as Governors, are just too busy to be Federal policy wonks.

    In fact, the busier and more successful often know little or nothing of the news. It's the idle hands, the slackers that all knowing and all seeing.

    The barflies...;)

  43. Is it now official policy (does the GOP actually have official policy?) to defend Israel whatever she may do, what with being an ally and all?

    Where are you getting this from?

  44. As for Iraq, at least, the Bushies had an idea what the end result should look like. Many didn't like it. Many were enraged at it. But, at least it could be visualized.

    Afghanistan? We got a Problem. Absolutely, No One, to my knowledge has laid out a "Vision" for the "Desired Result." How the hell do you chart a course when you have absolutely No Idea where it is you'd like to go?

    Afghanistan - Where "Heroic" Ideas, and Armies go to Die.

    What did the old Templar say? "Choose WISELY?" And, Slowly, And Carefully, And . . . . . . . . . .

  45. No piece of paper can "Force" the U.S. into war if we "Don't Wanna Go."

    Fri Sep 12, 02:36:00 PM EDT

    And no one can force the EU to take Georgia and Ukraine. The Russians drove this point home pretty nicely. Apparently they knew what they were doing, too.

    It's not just the EU now either, however. Russia has the ability to become a serious problem for us.

    They keep poking.

    Who's in charge of the climb-down?

  46. As for Iraq, at least, the Bushies had an idea what the end result should look like.

    - rufus

    News to me.

  47. Won't be no "climbdown." Everybody's satisfied. Russia yanked some chains, and, probably, slowed down any more plans to bypass Russia with Pipelines. Georgia got to "keep" hers. We got Poland to "sign on" with Missile Defense (Russia doesn't like that; but, Poland was going to do it, anyway.) Poland got some more hardware for the "local" boys.

    Putin gets to fly a couple of "targets" down to Venezuela, and "stomp," and "snort" around a bit.

    Purty nice bit o' work all around, I guess.

  48. I thought both Iraq and Afghanistan (in Bush's eyes anyway) were supposed to be come sources of peaceful democratic revolution for the region. Pretty clear eyed view however unrealistic.

  49. Aw, Trish, you heard all those speeches about "A Shining Beacon of Deemokrasy in the Mideast."

  50. Won't be no "climbdown." Everybody's satisfied.

    - rufus

    The Russians aren't.

  51. Diffrence is, a couple of years, in, he still believed it about Iraq.

  52. Rufus, there were obviously severe differences of opinion between the WH and OVP/SecDef on post-conflict Iraq.

  53. Trish, I know the Russkies aren't "Jist Tickled ta Death;" but, in my opinion, at least, this was all about Azerbaijan, Armenia, and the Stans.

    Putin, Really, Really hates that damned pipeline through Georgia. I've read that he, now, has the attention of the above-named, and there won't be any more of the hated Russia-Avoiding transportation of fuels.

    I've got a hunch that he's not all "that" dissatisfied with how it all played out. Just "My" Guess.

  54. I'm sure there were "severe" difference of opinion.

    It looks to me like Dubya was screwed, and then he got "Lucky" and "found" Petraeus." Of course, I've always been of the opinion that, sometimes, Great Leaders "Make Their Own" Luck.

    But, Obviously, That's just Me.

  55. Okay, when your guess goes horribly wrong a little closer to home - and trish becomes a virtual prisoner in hers - do you promise me an engraved, "Oops"?

  56. Are you referring to your "Present" address?

  57. It looks to me like Dubya was screwed..

    No doubt about it.

    That Taqqiyya General, Abizaid, and whoever allowed him in, should have been hanged.

  58. Abizaid, Sanchez, Casey, . . . whew.

    Ol' Abe was Lucky. He just had McClellan.

    Well, okay, before one of you "historians" jump on me I was being facetious. I'm sure he had more problem Generals than just McClellan.

  59. Hmm, THAT'S disturbing.

    Time to go "shopping." 5th Ave is nice this time of year.

  60. yep, yep, blame the generals 'cause it couldn't be any problem with our glorious leader.

  61. Everything goes back to Abizaid.

  62. So Ashley, you got Fridays off. Any particular reason for that?

  63. This comment has been removed by the author.

  64. Time to go "shopping." 5th Ave is nice this time of year.

    Fri Sep 12, 03:34:00 PM EDT

    So's Western Pennsylvania. Home of God, Football, and Big Hair. But the scenery's nice.

  65. Palin accents too, from what I hear.

  66. NahnCee said,

    Abizaid was initially introduced to us as being a warm and caring person of the Arab persuasion who would fit right into Iraq, and understand what was going on politically and socially because of his Arab background.

    I guess for him, it was more important not to kill any more possible Arab relatives in Iraq than to protect America and/or win a war against Arab terrorists.

    Doug said,

    Why win, when you can just leave?

    Joint Chiefs Chair Warns Obama & Clinton on Iraq
    February 28, 2008 5:47 PM

    ABC News' Jonathan Karl Reports: The Joint Chiefs chairman has a word of warning to Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton: A rapid of withdrawal from Iraq would lead to a "chaotic situation" and would "turnaround the gains we have achieved, and struggled to achieve, and turn them around overnight.

    Admiral Mullen's comments came in a response to a question about what the Joint Chiefs are doing to prepare for a new president, given that two of the candidates have called for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

  67. The Weekly Standard
    Jul 7, 2008 ...

    I will call my Joint Chiefs of Staff in and give them a new assignment and that is to end the war.”

  68. The Western Penn accent is a creature all its own.

  69. "So what is to become of our poor President Obama, barking out orders to his Joint Chiefs only to learn that they don’t carry out orders but just give advice? Will he claim he is powerless to end the war? Or will he eventually figure out that he has to get Odierno or Gates or Petraeus on the phone to make his wishes known?"

  70. The barflies...;)

    Well pat old bob on the back, there's a lot of stuff about the military I don't know, but I did know what the Bush Doctrine was--

    If you're in a gun fight and you think the other guy's gonna draw, you can shoot first and ask questions later.

    What Palin said on that, and I didn't listen, matters little to me, as she's new to interviews of that nature.

    By the way, the Russians made a big buy of American food stuffs before they invaded defenseless little Georgia. Chicken legs, pork bellies, that kind of stuff.

  71. What about The People's Republic of Oregon, Miss T? Seen any figures from there?

    That's surprising about the People's Republic of Washington. Sounds like it might be good for Rossi.

    Deeeno, Deeeno!

  72. Contrary to what Trish thinks I think, I don't yet think Palin is the Daughter of God, though, she may be . I'm weighing the evidence, checking for signs.

  73. Andy McCarthy say's there are multiple definitions of the Bush Doctrine, and it changed over time.

  74. You still in search of Stigmatas, al-Bob?

  75. Folks, we could pool our bar change and buy the investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. They're looking for a buyer. But which one of us would we elect CEO?

  76. Yes, Doug, I'm keeping my eye out for that. She has none on her hands, but, she dresses so conservatively, unlike most women today, I can't tell about the side and feet.

  77. Bobal, you buy it (assume the liabilities actually - probably get it for a buck) and give me a nice fat contract complete with bonuses and a purty golden parachute and I'll take on the job of CEO -- I need a good accounting team though 'cause I gotta last at least a day to get the parachute to open.

  78. :) Well Ash, with your deep experience of high end golf courses, international living and sailboat racing, you might be just the guy. It's what CEO's mostly do, I hear. Heard that on the combine radio one day :)

  79. But what's this talk about a metallic parachute?

  80. "The Media are pushing forward, maniacally on the stick, and refusing to believe that the "Houses are getting larger, and larger.""

    Saw a post on some Bone Pilots that forgot to lower the gear.

    ...ex Pilots, that is

    B One

  81. I PROTEST!


  82. "golden parachute" - standard corporate talk for 'big payment when you leave the job'. One basic purpose of it is to encourage a CEO to get a company sold (if they are trying to sell a company for example) which would leave him/her out of a job. Golden parachute's are handed out quite often to encourage executives to sign up. Sometimes their tenure can be quite short lived and why the heck should they sign on unless they get a promise of biggo payout? They are "stars", right?

  83. Wipe out in Idaho--you can put us in the 'safe' category, Senate wise--


    McCain up 39; LaRocco’s campaign taking on water as key staff jumps ship

    BOISE, ID – The respected polling firm Rasmussen Reports released an independent poll yesterday showing the McCain-Palin ticket miles ahead of Obama-Biden in Idaho, 68 percent to 29 percent. The poll also shows Lt. Gov. Jim Risch far ahead of his nearest opponent, Democrat Larry LaRocco. Risch leads 58 percent to 30 percent. Even though he’s been on the campaign trail for nearly two years, LaRocco’s favorable and unfavorable ratings are dead-even - 42 percent favorable to 42 percent unfavorable.

    “This poll shows the phenomenal support John McCain and Sarah Palin are receiving in Idaho,” said Sidney Smith, Executive Director of the Idaho Republican Party. “It also sheds new light on why LaRocco’s campaign manager left over the weekend.” Bob Stout, LaRocco’s campaign manager, resigned over the weekend, leaving the operation leaderless with less than two months to the election.

    “Once the 60-day deadline passes, you don’t leave a candidate if you think he has even a remote chance to win,” Smith continued. “Clearly, Bob could see the LaRocco ship was sinking fast, and it was time to go. Larry may have been a successful D.C. lobbyist, but he hasn’t persuaded Idaho voters to put their trust in him.

    I know Larry LaRocco. Larry is a turd, and everybody else knows it, too. Bin runnin' for office all his life.

    This is his last 'roundup' though.

  84. Big news in North Korea, lil' Kim seems down for the count, may the devil take him. Be just as well if the Chinese run the country. They mostly do anyhow.

  85. Poor Dems gotta distance themselves from
    The Messiah
    if they wanna have a chance.

    Slimeball New of the Day:

    Chicago Thugs have Inquiry Opened into Troopergate.

  86. Geez, trish and I on 5th Ave on the same day.

  87. Bush:
    “Future generations will see our response to 9/1 as the , err, defining moment of our era.

    “What are you calling on the average citizen to do, Mr. President.”
    Bush: “They need to keep travelling, Enjoy their tax cut on a vacation. And shop. And do something nice for a neighbor.”


    "Galvanized by this Churchillian challenge, Americans flashed their easy credit cards backed by houses that never went down in value. And spent. And spent, and spent - on anything China could make. And invited the asshole 3 houses over for a hot dog and beer on the 4th for a few years."

    C4 (!)

  88. errr, that was rufus on 5th methinks...

  89. Iran renews nuclear weapons development
    Fresh evidence has emerged that suggests Iran has renewed work on developing nuclear weapons, according to Western security sources.

    By Con Coughlin and Tim Butcher in Jerusalem
    Last Updated: 1:08AM BST 12 Sep 2008

    Nuclear experts responsible for monitoring Iran's nuclear programme have discovered that enough enriched uranium, which if processed to weapons grade level could be used to make up to six atom bombs, has disappeared from the main production facility at Isfahan.

    American spy satellites have identified a number of suspicious sites, which the Iranians have not declared to nuclear inspectors, that intelligence officials believe are being used for covert research.

    The new discoveries emerged as it was revealed that Israel had asked America for military supplies, including "bunker buster" bombs and re-fuelling planes, suitable for an attack on Iranian nuclear installations.

    The Israeli paper Haaretz reported yesterday that Israel has also asked for permission to use an air corridor through Iraqi airspace, currently controlled by America, to Iran.

    So far the requests have been turned down by Washington, which is currently not as keen as Israel to consider a military strike against Iran.

    But concern that Iran has resumed work on building atom bombs has deepened following the revelation that large quantities of uranium has gone missing from Iran's conversion facility at Isfahan.

    The Isfahan complex, which enriches raw uranium "yellow cake" into material that can be used for either nuclear power or atomic weapons, is supposed to be subject to close supervision by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). But the Iranians only allow IAEA inspectors access to the final stage of the production process, where the uranium in gas form - UF6 - is stored.

    By conducting a careful study of the amount of material stored at Isfahan, and the amount of "yellow cake" known to have been processed at the plant, nuclear experts believe between 50-60 tons of uranium - which if enriched to weapons grade level would be sufficient to produce five or six atom bombs - has gone missing from the plant.

    IAEA officials believe the Iranians have deliberately removed the uranium at a stage in the production process that is not under their supervision. "The inspectors only have limited access at Isfahan, and it looks as though Iranian officials have removed significant quantities of UF6 at a stage in the process that is not being monitored," said a nuclear official. "If Iran's nuclear intentions are peaceful, then why are they doing this?" Nuclear inspectors have also been concerned to discover that Gholamreza Aghazadeh, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, recently ordered scientists to increase the amount of UF6 being diverted from Isfahan to another storage facility.

    IAEA officials have no idea where the missing uranium is being stored, but suspect it could be held at one of several suspicious installations that have been spotted by American spy satellites.

    The Iranians will be asked to give a full account of the missing enriched uranium when the IAEA's board of governors meets in Vienna later this month to discuss the continuing crisis over Iran's nuclear enrichment programme.

    The mounting concern over Iran's nuclear intentions has intensified Israeli efforts to prepare for a possible pre-emptive strike on Iran, which has led Jerusalem to presenting Washington with a "wish list" of military equipment.

    In the past America has been prepared to provide Israel with "bunker buster" bombs, known by their serial number GBU-28. They weigh over two tons each and are designed to penetrate deep underground, even through reinforced concrete, before detonating.

    Israel used them in unsuccessful attempts to take out the leadership of Hizbollah, the militant Shia group, during the war of 2006.

  90. hehehe--That damned Larry LaRocco, slime bucket if there ever was one, has spent a lot of the last two years, going around doing 'jobs that Idahoans do every day', like, clean the barn on somebody's ranch, milk a cow, cut a tree, hammer a nail, but it looks like all that work--the only he's ever done--isn't paying off.

    As I knew it wouldn't.

    Finally we'll have heard the last of Larry LaRocco. He'll have to go back to D.C. and lobby some more. What else is he trained to do?

  91. Yeah what the hell is Rufus doing on fifth?
    5th Street Mississippiville?