“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."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Himno Colombia

Hat Tip: trisha

Bush presses for Colombia trade deal Obama opposes

By Doug Palmer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush pressed Congress on Thursday to approve a free trade pact with Colombia, one day after Republican presidential candidate John McCain went after his Democratic opponent Barack Obama for opposing the agreement.

"Congress is coming back to Washington next month. One of the top priorities should be to approve this vital agreement with Colombia as well as (other trade pacts) with Panama and South Korea," Bush said at a ceremony to sign a bill to renew expiring trade benefits for Andean countries.

His words reinforced McCain's attempt during the final presidential debate on Wednesday night to portray Obama as hostile to free trade.

McCain argued the pact would bolster ties with an important regional ally "helping us try to stop the flow of drugs into our country that's killing young Americans," while leveling the playing field for U.S. goods.

"Free trade with Colombia is something that's a no-brainer. But maybe you ought to travel down there and visit them and maybe you could understand it a lot better," McCain said.

"Actually, I understand it pretty well," Obama shot back. "The history in Colombia right now is that labor leaders have been targeted for assassination on a fairly consistent basis and there have not been prosecutions."

Obama insisted he supported free trade.

"But I also believe that for far too long, certainly during the course of the Bush administration with the support of Sen. McCain, the attitude has been that any trade agreement is a good trade agreement," Obama said.

The United States and Colombia signed the free trade pact shortly after the November 2006 election in which Democrats won control of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.

Since then, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, has refused to take up the agreement, leading to a showdown with Bush earlier this year.

Pelosi first cited concerns about a long history of murder and other violence against trade unionists in Colombia as the main reason Democrats wanted to delay the pact.

After Bush tried in April to force a vote, Pelosi said Congress needed to pass a second economic stimulus package and legislation to expand the federal "trade adjustment assistance" program before she would allow action.

Some business lobbyists still see a long-shot chance Congress will approve the Colombia pact this year, but their labor group opponents say that is far-fetched.

Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador have received duty-free treatment for most of their exports to the United States under a program that dates back to 1991 to create jobs outside the region's huge illegal drug sector.

Congress approved a trade deal with Peru last year locking in those benefits, but it has not gone into force.

The bill Bush signed on Wednesday extends trade benefits for Colombia and Peru through the end of 2009.

It also provides a six-month extension for both Bolivia and Ecuador and gives the White House the authority to renew benefits for both countries another six months.

In Bolivia's case, the extension could be moot since Bush began steps last month to suspend it from the program.

"Unfortunately Bolivia has failed to cooperate with the United States on important efforts to fight drug trafficking. So sadly, I have proposed to suspend Bolivia's trade preferences until it fulfills its obligations," Bush said.


  1. "Free trade with Colombia is something that's a no-brainer. But maybe you ought to travel down there and visit them and maybe you could understand it a lot better," McCain said.

    Roger that.

    Every Congressional delegation brought down has been a pocketed Yes vote. It's those that refuse who stand in the way.

    Pelosi and Reid: Those names are known far and wide here. Obama, he wouldn't come either. That's how political it is. Stick a finger in the admin's eye. Take advanatage of growing domestic anti-FT sentiment in doing so.

    We continue to hope. Colombia's earned it. And earned it honestly.

  2. That may have something to do with Obama being a lying sack of shit. Not to put too fine a point on it.

    A long read, but worthy of it except of course for the dopes that just do not want facts to occlude their mirage.

  3. Hear that, Obama?

    We, and the vast majority of Colombians, continue to HOPE.

  4. George W. Bush is the single dumbest stupid son of a bitch that ever was in the White House:

    "President Bush angered staunch ally Poland on Friday by excluding it from a group of newcomers to a program that allows citizens of certain countries to visit the United States without entry visas.

    At a Rose Garden ceremony, Mr. Bush announced rescinding visa requirements for six other former communist countries — Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia - as well as South Korea, effective in about a month.

    "For years, the leaders of these nations have explained to me how frustrating it is for their citizens to wait in lines, pay visa fees to take a vacation or make a business trip or visit their families here in the United States," Mr. Bush said.

    "These close friends of America told me that it was unfair that their people had to jump through bureaucratic hoops that other allies can walk around," he added. "I told them I agree with them."

    But Poland, the Bush administration's strongest ally in Central and Eastern Europe, which was the most vocal supporter of the Iraq war and sent troops early on, was absent from the ceremony."

  5. There are almost no muslims at all in Poland. You immediately know someone from Poland the second you lay eyes on them. They are as pro-American as it gets in Europe and that stuttering stammering lock-jawed cerebellum can't figure for fucking.

  6. Oh, Mr. Bluebird on my shoulder.
    (What's up Mr. Bluebird?)
    It's the truth, its actual.
    And everything is satisfactual.

    Zip-a-dee-doo-dah! Zip-a-dee-ay!
    Wonderful feeling.
    Wonderful day.

  7. I need to remove a blue feather stuck between my teeth.

  8. Laura Ingraham, Polish.
    Ron Dzuba, Polish.

    Ron was an Air Force guy that married the daughter of our Filipino friend that survived the Bataan Death March.

    Basil Cuizon.

    I even got to work w/Basil @ a Restaurant.

    When Ron retired from the AF, he became an air traffic controller in Mendocino County, I think.

    Salt of the Earth.

  9. pro-Barr

    1.1 Expression and Communication

    We support full freedom of expression and oppose government censorship, regulation or control of communications media and technology. We favor the freedom to engage in or abstain from any religious activities that do not violate the rights of others. We oppose government actions which either aid or attack any religion.

  10. ahh we're losing our country but some things never change. Today I'll have the pleasure of listening to the Idaho Vandies, Song of the Palouse, get the shit knocked outta 'em by--todays winner--Louisiana Tech.

    For an aficionado of defeat like myself, the fascinating thing to watch is the talent of the coach spinning new themes week by week in the after game interview, explaining what went wrong, how we're gonna fix it, and how the program is just on the edge of a renaissance.

    It's for those great locker room interviews 'splainin' away de-feet that we pay them the big bucks, around here.

    And they earn their money.

  11. Thank you for all the really good music this morning, folks.

  12. Dick Morris--

    While we don’t know the impact of the last debate, the polling indicates that McCain has been able to close the gap with Obama markedly in the past week. lists six polls with a field date ending on 10-13. Their average gave Obama a margin of 8.3%. There are seven subsequent surveys with a field date ending on 10-16 and their average is an Obama lead of 5.1. The seven polls whose field date ended on the 16th only include one night of post debate polling (usually of a three night sample). As the next few days of polling comes in, the situation should clarify itself.

    But we can say that Obama has lost more than a third of his lead in the last week.

    If the financial markets stop hogging the headlines and McCain exploits the tax and spending issue he developed (with the considerable aid of Joe the Plumber) it is very possible that he could close the race further, perhaps bringing it to a tie in the next ten days.

    This race is far, far from over!

  13. I wonder how many points the Bradley Effect is worth?

  14. Gag, I read a pretty good article that analyzed that election. The pollings were closing rapidly in the last weeks. And this idea of the Bradley Effect, the article argued, hasn't recognized that fast closing at the end enough.

    But,it talked about a couple of other elections also, and concluded that in those races, there seemed to be something to it.

    Conclusion: nobody seems to know.

    I think there might be something to it though, especially in a year like this, with this kind of supercharged atmosphere.

  15. Let me try again.

    The article argued that the Bradley Effect was based on an analysis of polls taken about a week, or a few days out , and did not recognize the rapid closing right at the end, that other data suggested.

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  18. Sorry I didn't get this up while the conversation was on music, but it IS worth noting the Levi Stubbs, arguably the best front man for any of the 60's and 70's R&B groups, passed away yesterday.

    Here's a youtube clip of their classic - "I Can't Help Myself", also known as "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch".

    Not many of the Old Soul singers left - Al Green, Smokey Robinson, Aretha and Patti Labelle are still kicking, but don't think any but Al tours, and he does so on a limited basis. Sucks, especially given how sorry pop music is today.

  19. That is just a crazy assumption, that:
    A. anyone voting for David Brownlow is "thoughtless"
    B. that if a voter choose not to vote for David Brownlow, that they'd vote for Gordon Smith, instead.

    That is truly "thoughtless", bob.

    U.S. Senate candidate David Brownlow doesn't have any TV advertising, didn't participate in the debates and isn't accepting campaign donations.

    But polls show the Constitution Party candidate picking up as much as 8 percent of the vote

  20. ah, hell Rat, let's have a drink, and listen to the Vandies lose, this afernoon!

  21. B-52 Fly-Over at the start of the game!

    One big ugly fucker, or whateer Trish might say.

    Crowd up on their feet!

    Go Vandies!

  22. If that's what you want to do, bob, fine by me.

    This morning, on MSNBC, there were Matthews and Buchanan. Buchanan saying that if he had associated wit KKK church bombers, that Matthews would have been all over him, when Pat ran for President.

    But that Obama was getting a free ride with Ayers, from Matthews.

    Matthews response was that the KKK were racists and that the Ayers bombing had been "Against the War".
    Making the argument, without articulating it perfectly, that bombings motivated because they "against the" war were morally superior to church bombings.

    Buchanan repeats bombings are bombings,
    Matthews repeats "Against the War", dismissing that the various terrorist bombings themselves had any moral equivalency.

    Got that tingle up my leg.

    Any way, here is Buchanan speaking of the post 20 Jan 09 United States and the backlash that will be whipping on President Obamasan, if he maintains his polling leads until the polls that count in November, close.

    No Democrat has ever come out of the far left of his party to win the presidency. McGovern, the furthest left, stayed true to his convictions and lost 49 states.

    Obama has chosen another course. Though he comes out of the McGovern-Jesse Jackson left, he has shed past positions like support for partial birth abortion as fast as he has shed past associations, from William Ayers to ACORN, from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to his fellow parishioners at Trinity United.

    One question remains: Will a President Obama, with his party in absolute control of both Houses, revert to the politics and policies of the Left that brought him the nomination, or resist his ex-comrades' demands that he seize the hour and impose the agenda ACORN, Ayers, Jesse, and Wright have long dreamed of?

    Whichever way he decides, he will be at war with them, or at war with us. If Barack wins, a backlash is coming.

  23. Well, sure Rat, I got it. I agree. I just can't do anything about it.

    Vandies score 7-0!

    Guy that wanted to rent one of my apartments, then backed out,
    Tino, kicked the after score goal.

    Go Vandies!

  24. Tell me what to actually do about it, I'll help you out.

  25. I hate it Rat. I feel our country is coming apart at the seams. But, I don't know what to do.

  26. Mahoney Baloney
    comin' at you, doug

    Mahoney admits affairs, ethics panel to investigate
    By Susan Crabtree

    Once far ahead in the polls, the latest numbers show Mahoney’s numbers as plummeting well below those of GOP opponent Tom Rooney. Mahoney is particularly vulnerable because he campaigned on a theme of restoring morals and family values to the district after then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) resigned just weeks before the 2006 election following reports that he had exchanged inappropriate communications with former male pages who had worked on the House floor.

    Mahoney has apologized to his family and has denied violating his oath of office or breaking any laws.

  27. Pa. GOP goes to court over ACORN
    By Mario F. Cattabiani, Tom Infield and Jeff Shields

    Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writers

    ... Pedro Cortés, Pennsylvania's secretary of state
    Cortés called the suit frivolous and said the allegations are "aimed at doing nothing other than undermining voters' confidence just 18 days before the election."

    "The fact that apparently fraudulent registrations have been identified is a testament to the safeguards we have in place to prevent ineligible voters from casting a ballot," said Cortés, adding that the state has not received any complaints about the database system.
    Philadelphia Board of Election officials last month turned over nearly 1,500 possibly fraudulent registrations - all of them submitted by ACORN - to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

    At recent meetings of city election officials, Deputy City Commissioner Fred Voigt said some of those registrations were flagged because voters' signatures seemed to be in the same handwriting. In other cases, registrants' street addresses were found to be vacant lots by city investigators who did site visits.

    Some city election officials have been complaining for years about what they regard as shoddy work by ACORN in collecting registrations and managing employees.

    "This is what you get when you hire desperate people," Voigt said last week, blaming the recent problems on ACORN's practice of hiring poor people and then requiring them to meet quotas for the number of forms they submit.

  28. I don't know what you are getting at Rat.

    If you want to argue that all the voting is legite, that's fine.

    I disagree, but what's the point?

    I think we have a great deal of fraud going on, but I don't get your point.

    So what's the argument?

  29. How does all this argument help us to defeat Obama, our next Kenyan President.

    It doesn't.

    Get out there and vote for Sarah.

  30. Vandies are back behind now. I may go back to bed!

  31. The Audacity of Barack Obama
    By Charles Kesler

    Any politician who has taken on Bill and Hillary Clinton's national political machine and won should not be underestimated. Yet Republicans as well as many Democrats persist in underrating Barack Obama's electoral talents and, above all, his soaring political ambition.

    His writerly mind, professorial bearing, and effortless self-control make it difficult to take his measure as a politician. He can seem cool, detached, unusually introspective. As a wag at the Financial Times put it, if John McCain's life story is the stuff of Hollywood movies, Obama's is like an off-Broadway play--it lacks action but is full of internal monologues. Raised in Hawaii and Indonesia, his father a Kenyan, his mother a sweet Midwestern atheist, Obama as a young man thought himself something of an outsider wherever he went. Smart and popular, he seemed to prefer to maintain his emotional distance, partly because he was confused about his own identity (as he explains in Dreams from My Father, the autobiography he published at age 33), and partly because he feared being trapped in places that were too small for his talents.

    Interesting perspective.

  32. Bob it is simple. We have a new generation of MTV dolts who have been educated by MSM, Hollywood and the dogma of diversity and multi-culturalism minus one. You and me and most of us being part of the one.

    The ends justify the means. Just like we got caught unawares on 911, when guests burned down the house, we now see the fruits of our inclusion. WE thought that the Left wanted a seat at the table but they surprised us and have captured the restaurant.

    It is time for you to eat shit or die. It is reparations time. Buchanan was right about calling it for what it is and was, a culture war. We thought he was on the fringe and saw things from the astigmatism of the Right. He had it clear.

  33. My point is that the Federals are not sending in monitors, bob.

    George W Bush's Federal Justice Department.

    They have cause enough, based upon past civil & voting rights decisions and precedents.

    If the fraud is as rampent as you believe and as duece reports, that in Philly tens of thousand of bogus votes have previously and will again in the future, be cast.

    Then across the Country, where ever Acorn is based, there should have been more than 95 voter fraud convictions spread over a three year window.

    By a Republican Justice Department.

    Either there was not rampent voter fraud and no risk of future systematic fraud, or the "Fix" is already in.

    As evidenced by the SCOTUS Ohio v GOP decision.

    Why ask why?

  34. It is a coup, masterful and worthy of Trotsky and Lenin. The terms socialism means nothing to this generation. They have been socialized to their DNA. We have no one on the scene that can through the hammer and smash the illusion. They will be like every other narcissistic and foolish generation before them and eat their cold porridge.

  35. Trish started the thread talking about a no brainer. I am not so sure. Obama talks that he was eight when Bill Ayers was blowing things up and that justifies his aquaintance, well fuck I wasn't born when Adolf was blowing things up and I didn't march around humming the horst wessel song

  36. The whole of Chi-town politicos, duece, GOP and Dem had sat on those Boards with Ayers.

    Ayers was a respected member of that political community, still is.
    Chi-town is a place where, I was taught, the Democratic dead vote every cycle. Since before Nixon lost to Kennedy. It was old hat by then.

    But that has never been a issue, since Nixon made his decision.

    A one sided culture war.

    Soon the Obamaoids will be chanting
    "America, Love it or Leave it!"