“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Why did the Drone Snap?

Rogue U.S. drone malfunctions kills five in Pakistan


Tue Sep 30, 5:20 PM ET

Kabul, Afghanistan, US Officials report that a US drone malfunctioned Tuesday evening, flying off course into Pakistan and performing an unauthorized attack which resulted in the deaths of five terrorists. Officials refuse to speculate on the reasons why this may have occurred but adamantly deny that the drones are "stretched too thin and on overload."

Frustrated by an intensifying Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, rogue U.S. drones have in the past month carried out six missile strikes on the Pakistani side of the border.

In the latest attack, a drone malfunctioned, flew into Pakistan and fired two missiles at a house near the town of Mir Ali in North Waziristan, at about midnight Tuesday (1800 GMT), two intelligence agency officials said.

The area is a known sanctuary for Pakistani Taliban and foreign militants near the Afghan border.

"We have reports of five dead including foreign militants," said one of the officers, who declined to be identified as he is not authorized to speak to the media.

He also said that a shortage of US software engineers was making it difficult to properly service the US drone fleet in South Asia. Officials add that recent attacks in the Khyber Pass have made it difficult to bring software technicians into Afghanistan.

The drones have been on continuous duty since the invasion and some drone advocates have predicted that the devastating malfunctions may intensify.


    No conflict here:
    If Obama is not elected, she'll sell a fraction of the books she would have if he was.

    IF they pull this off.
    And IF white folk still vote for the racist, Marxist, America Hater.
    Well then, what can I say.

    As I warned before, this B..... is already on the record as out for Palin's Pelt.
    Got so damned excited about the prospect, that she broke her ankle running around the house.
    Dhimmi Bush should bow and scrape and give her a glowing introduction, to put the finishing touch on this masterpiece of destructive, suicidal, bias.

  2. Has anybody from Fox ever moderated one of these Show Trials?
    Palin was great on Hewitt, btw.
    He probably has the audio up.
    McCain Camp only about 3 weeks late coming to their senses.

    She could win this thing on her own, but bi-partisan John has to go on spinning his fantastic tales about the wonders of co-operating with those who seek his/our destruction.

  3. At NYT article from 1999:


    Published: September 30, 1999

    In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities
    and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the
    credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other

    The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15
    markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage
    those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is
    generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae
    officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

    Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been
    under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand
    mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure
    from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

    In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been
    pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime
    borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are
    not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans
    from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates --
    anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional

    ''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the
    1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines,
    Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. ''Yet there remain
    too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our
    underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying
    significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.''

    Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one
    study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went
    to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional
    loan market.

    In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae
    is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any
    difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized
    corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a
    government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in
    the 1980's.

    ''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another
    thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident
    fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the
    government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up
    and bailed out the thrift industry.''

    Under Fannie Mae's pilot program, consumers who qualify can secure a
    mortgage with an interest rate one percentage point above that of a
    conventional, 30-year fixed rate mortgage of less than $240,000 -- a
    rate that currently averages about 7.76 per cent. If the borrower makes
    his or her monthly payments on time for two years, the one percentage
    point premium is dropped.

    Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, does not
    lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it purchases loans that banks
    make on what is called the secondary market. By expanding the type of
    loans that it will buy, Fannie Mae is hoping to spur banks to make more
    loans to people with less-than-stellar credit ratings.

    Fannie Mae officials stress that the new mortgages will be extended to
    all potential borrowers who can qualify for a mortgage. But they add
    that the move is intended in part to increase the number of minority and
    low income home owners who tend to have worse credit ratings than
    non-Hispanic whites.

    Home ownership has, in fact, exploded among minorities during the
    economic boom of the 1990's. The number of mortgages extended to
    Hispanic applicants jumped by 87.2 per cent from 1993 to 1998, according
    to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. During that
    same period the number of African Americans who got mortgages to buy a
    home increased by 71.9 per cent and the number of Asian Americans by
    46.3 per cent.

    In contrast, the number of non-Hispanic whites who received loans for
    homes increased by 31.2 per cent.

    Despite these gains, home ownership rates for minorities continue to lag
    behind non-Hispanic whites, in part because blacks and Hispanics in
    particular tend to have on average worse credit ratings.

    In July, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed that
    by the year 2001, 50 percent of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's portfolio
    be made up of loans to low and moderate-income borrowers. Last year, 44
    percent of the loans Fannie Mae purchased were from these groups.

    The change in policy also comes at the same time that HUD is
    investigating allegations of racial discrimination in the automated
    underwriting systems used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to determine the
    credit-worthiness of credit applicants.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Show 256 The Drama of Obama on Racism. Medved talks to author Wayne Perryman Podcast Episode The Drama of Obama on Racism Analyzing Obama's Speech on Race Wayne Perryman Books

    In Dreams, Obama left his mom's days on Mercer Island WA, completely out of the picture.
    (too hard to make up a believable story about racism there)
    Rev Perryman's kids attend the same upper-middle class school that Obama's Mamma did.
    Starling also grew up in the Seattle area, went to school w/Wright's Secretary!...see below:
    He almost wrecked Barack Obama's presidential dreams, and now firebrand pastor Jeremiah Wright has helped destroy a Dallas church worker's marriage - and her job, The Post has learned.
    Starling said,

    "This doesn't surprise me one bit. I am glad the story indicated that he had done this before.
    And he'll do it again of course.
    I've seen guys like him before, my whole life.

    Interesting tidbit, the woman who edits his magazine,
    The Trumpet, which honored Farrakhan and which put Obama on the cover more than once- she is a childhood friend of mine.

    She lived a few blocks from me and attended her father's church in Seattle. Her father is nothing like Wright, incidentally, but i know what she finds appealing about him.

    Guys like Wright are filled with a pretty kind of poison and they spread the disease orally: mouth-to-ears for most and with the opposite sex, mouth-to-mouth.
    What he has done in two instances now (that we know about) he'll do again and again as long as he draws breath.
    That Obama would choose a man like this as his mentor says poor things about his judgment.

    If he had half the good sense he claims to have, he'd have put a country mile between him and Wright after their first encounter.
    But he didn't and Spengler has told us why."

  6. Jeff Jacoby's latest piece
    Barney Frank's fingerprints are all over the financial fiasco.

    'THE PRIVATE SECTOR got us into this mess. The government has to get us out of it."

    That's Barney Frank's story, and he's sticking to it.

    As the Massachusetts Democrat has explained it in recent days, the current the current financial crisis is the spawn of the free market run amok, with the political class guilty only of failing to rein the capitalists in. The Wall Street meltdown was caused by "bad decisions that were made by people in the private sector," Frank said; the country is in dire straits today "thanks to a conservative philosophy that says the market knows best." And that philosophy goes "back to Ronald Reagan, when at his inauguration he said, 'Government is not the answer to our problems; government is the problem.' "

    In fact, that isn't what Reagan said.

    While the mortgage crisis convulsing Wall Street has its share of private-sector culprits -- many of whom have been learning lately just how pitiless the private sector’s discipline can be -- they weren't the ones who "got us into this mess." Barney Frank's talking points notwithstanding, mortgage lenders didn't wake up one fine day deciding to junk long-held standards of creditworthiness in order to make ill-advised loans to unqualified borrowers.
    It would be closer to the truth to say they woke up to find the government twisting their arms and demanding that they do so - or else.

  7. What gibberish this

    talking points notwithstanding, mortgage lenders didn't wake up one fine day deciding to junk long-held standards of creditworthiness in order to make ill-advised loans to unqualified borrowers

    What they did was not protest the Government's demands, instead they woke one fine day and the mortgage lenders repackaged the bad loans, in a deceptive manner, selling them to unsuspecting widows, orphans and themselves.

  8. Obama’s Assault on the First Amendment
    Andrew C. McCarthy

    I’ll be blunt: Sen. Obama and his supporters despise free expression, the bedrock of American self-determinism and hence American democracy. What’s more, like garden-variety despots, they see law not as a means of ensuring liberty but as a tool to intimidate and quell dissent.
    Item: There is a troubling report that the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Section, top officials of which are Obama contributors, has suggested criminal prosecutions against those they anticipate will engage in voter “intimidation” or “oppression” in an election involving a black candidate. (Memo to my former DOJ colleagues: In a system that presumes innocence even after crimes have undeniably been committed, responsible prosecutors don’t assume non-suspects will commit future law violations — especially when doing so necessarily undermines the First Amendment freedoms those prosecutors solemnly swear to uphold.)
    Regardless of the legal landscape, however, it is the political consequences that matter. Day after day, Obama demonstrates that the “change” he represents is a severing of our body politic from the moorings that make us America. If we idly stand by while he and his thugs kill free political debate, we die too.

  9. RCP reports, today, that FL & OH are now in the Obama camp, on the "No Leaner" map.

    Obama is inching ahead, un both those States.

    Electoral Votes
    "No Leaners"
    Obama/Biden 348 McCain/Palin 190

  10. Ah, the McCain campaign didn't know the debate moderator was an Obamanoid, but really one wonders how the hell they could have missed it.

  11. Ignorance is bliss, bob.

    Maverick is a happy man.

  12. Stupidity breeds contempt
    Tuesday, September 30th 2008

    ... The vast majority of Americans have lost confidence in their government and their institutions, and they simply don't trust anybody in authority to do anything right or honest.

    The vacuum of leadership can't be filled by warnings that everything will get worse unless you say "aye" and open your wallets again.

    Our leaders have cried wolf too often. Even when the wolf is really there, as it is now, nobody believes or trusts them.

    The very word leader is an oxymoron these days. You can't be a leader if nobody follows, and that's where Bush and congressional leaders, Democrats and Republicans alike, stand. Alone against the wrath of history.

    Barack Obama and John McCain, sadly, are on the same path to failure. Mediocrity. Neither took a clear position on the bailout before the vote, when it mattered. They knew it was unpopular, so they ducked. No profiles in courage there.

    Obama, a Senate ally reported over the weekend, was "curious" about the details of the legislation. Curious?

    McCain, whose zigzagging left even his defenders dizzy, claimed credit for the bailout passage Monday before learning it failed. Whereupon he shifted gears and blamed Obama.

    This is madness. Somebody is stupid all right, but it's not the public.

  13. New ABC News/Washington Post national poll conducted after the debate (Sept 27-29) shows that John McCain has picked up 5 points on Barack Obama during the last week, moving from a nine-point deficit to trailing by four:

    Obama 50 (-2 vs. last poll Sept 19-22)
    McCain 46 (+3)

    Obama leads by 4.8% in the RCP National Average.

    According to the poll, McCain has regained the lead among key swing groups: Independents favor McCain by 3 (48-45), white women by 11 (54-43), and white Catholics by one (47-46). McCain is still holding on to 20% of Democrats who voted for Hillary Clinton in the primaries, while 70% are supporting Obama.

    Meanwhile, there are no signs of racism among American blacks--

    In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, Obama leads McCain 95 percent to 2 percent among African Americans, a margin which, if it holds, would be a larger advantage than that achieved by any Democrat dating back to the first presidential network exit polls in 1972. Over that time, Republicans have averaged 12 percent support among African Americans.

  14. ON Topic...

    What are the chances that a drone flying over Pakistan fires 2 missiles and actually KILLS bad guys?

    Let's compare this to Hezbollah firing 8,000 rockets at Israel in 2006 and killing 26.


  15. As the McCain Campaign itself tells US, John "KNOWS" the Deal, he just ignores it:

    "If we have learned anything from the recent immigration debate, it is that Americans have little trust that their government will honor a pledge to do the things necessary ..."

    He has done NOTHING to rebuild that trust. In fact he operates in an untrustworthy manner, on the Immigration issue.
    Exemplified by his Pro-Amnesty Hispanic Outreach Director.

    Senator McCain was not joking when he said that he had not changed his position on immigration. A man by the name of Juan Hernandez is Sen. McCain’s Hispanic Outreach Director. Mr. Hernandez is a dual American and Mexican citizen who was born in Texas, teaches at the University of Texas and was on the Vicente Fox Cabinet as the head of a Mexican bureaucracy called the “Presidential Office for Mexicans Abroad.”

  16. What i do not understand about business is.....

    If you need credit to make payroll are you NOT making profit?

    I pay payroll from PROFIT, not credit...

    I this why I am not rich?

  17. McCain's up by 21% in your state Rat. Which is less than in Idaho, according to last week's polls. Which I think had him up among us by around 30%,if memory serves.

  18. Polls will show the Messiah leading into the election and then lose....

    McCain will win


    Democrats for McCain

  19. Sorry I just cant get my kids to sing songs about my great leader....

  20. So, we accidentally killed some terrorists?

    Well, we'll have to fix that.

  21. Well, wi"o" the rouge drones will not kill many "bad guys" in its' attempt to whack another Muslim.

    Not many at all, ones & twos, which could decapitate a criminal enterprise, but will never win a war.

    So, after seven years, are we at War, as GWBush promised or chasing criminals as Kerry urged.
    Seems that Mr Bush won the election, but Kerry won the policy debate.

    Ahhh, those Boners ....

  22. There are no signs of racism in the McCain campaign if they can agree to a black moderator and not suspect that she might, just might, be in the tank for Obama. Either that, or no intelligence.

    That wayward drone seems to have done just fine all by itself. If they can find the error in the mechanism, and incorporate it into all the other drones, progress will have been made.

  23. As I said, yesterday, McCain will carry AZ, without me.

    It is a uni-polar election, here.
    There is no binary opportunity.

    Just a variety of protest options.
    First, do no harm.

    I choose to protest with Barr '08

  24. "The Wayward Drones" sounds like a pretty good name for a hip/hop group.

  25. Debate, Tanked

    My dictionary defines “moderator” as “the nonpartisan presiding officer of a town meeting.” On Thursday, PBS anchor Gwen Ifill will serve as moderator for the first and only vice presidential debate. The stakes are high. The Commission on Presidential Debates, with the assent of the two campaigns, decided not to impose any guidelines on her duties or questions.

    But there is nothing “moderate” about where Ifill stands on Barack Obama. She’s so far in the tank for the Democratic presidential candidate, her oxygen delivery line is running out.

    - Malkin

  26. Sorry I just cant get my kids to sing songs about my great leader....


    What kind of a father are you, anyways? Can't turn 'em into Obamadrones? Obamaclones? Obamadroneclones?


  27. If you'd hire a FreddieMac accountant, WiO, you could be whatever you wanted to be, show profit or loss, just as you choose.

  28. What's wrong with the Maverick theme song?

    ""Maverick didn't come here to lose"

  29. hehehe--Couric's ratings are down again.

    How long can the most unpopular newsreader in the world keep her job?

    I saw where some European newsroom had a nude newsreader. Would this improve Couric's ratings?

    You be the judge.

  30. Worked for Ken Lay, @ Enron, he hired Mrs Gramm.
    Got just what he asked for... and more.

  31. No music but a study in the character of a Maverick.

  32. dr: Not many at all, ones & twos, which could decapitate a criminal enterprise, but will never win a war.

    try whacking nkor's crazy leader (if he is still alive), mr dinnerjacket of Iran, The big forehead guy of Syria, The Bearded Monkey of Lebanon..

    Targeted whacking WORKS...

    we just need to get serious and start whacking...

    Time for kumbya is over... It's time to start whacking...

  33. .....How long can the most unpopular newsreader in the world keep her job?

    I saw where some European newsroom had a nude newsreader. Would this improve Couric's ratings?

    we've already seen her colon and trust me that wasnt anything special, just looked like an ass...

  34. US approves 25 F-35 fighter aircraft sale to Israel
    DEBKAfile Special Report
    September 30, 2008, 11:40 PM (GMT+02:00)

    US F-35 can strike air and ground targets
    The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency has approved the $15.2 billion sale of 25 F-35 Strike Fighters for Israel with an option for another 50, saying it is vital to US national security interests to assist Israel develop “a strong and ready self-defense capability.”
    DEBKAfile’s military sources report that President George W, Bush, in mid-financial crisis, fully discharged his promise of a defense package for Israeli before he left office. There was no announcement of the date of supply.
    Earlier this month, the Pentagon approved up to $330 million in three separate arms deals for Israel and posted its advanced FBX-band radar system to an Israeli Air Force base in the Negev.
    Israel is the first foreign nation to receive the up-to-the-minute Lockheed Martin F-35 Strike Fighter, which will replace the older F-16 fighters and enhance its air-to-air and air-to-ground defenses and by virtue of five exceptional features:
    1. An advanced radar for striking ground or air targets long distance while destroying any threat in its immediate environment.
    2. An electro-optical targeting system (EOTS).
    3. The pilot’s helmet-mounted displays (HMD).
    4. It is the first fighter plane in the world with a communications system linked to satellites.
    5. The capacity for carrying large quantities of ordnance - from joint direct attack munitions to AIM-120 and AIM-132 air-to-air missiles.
    The first consignment of 25 F-35’s has a conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) configuration, while the next 50 are short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft. In the event of an armed conflict, the Israel Air Force calculates that its long runways will be in danger of attack by Iran, Syria, Hizballah and Hamas.
    The deal was approved after senior Israeli and US officials met in Washington this month and assurances were tendered that sensitive technologies would not be passed to third parties.

  35. Congress has thirty days to squelch the deal, if they so chose.

    Interesting election issue.

    Some of the funding comes from US, which the Fort Worth Star Telegram points out in plain text:

    -Although Israel is placing the order, Darling said U.S. taxpayers will pick up most of the tab through annual foreign-aid grants targeted specifically to purchases of U.S. weapons systems. U.S. arms aid financing for Israel totaled $2.4 billion in 2008 and will rise to $3.1 billion annually from 2012 through 2018.-

  36. $3.1 Billion annually.
    6 million people.

    Let's do the math

    Seems the US is giving $517 USD to each Israeli, annually, to buy US weapons.

    The Chinese will have the technology, from Israeli sources, within two years of delivery.

    Betcha ameros to doughnuts

  37. $15.2 billion sale of 25 F-35 Strike Fighters

    600 million a copy?
    That can't be right.

  38. Betcha ameros to doughnuts

    Good. Sell that junk to Georgia. It will be in Russian hands within hours.

  39. Order Code RL33222
    CRS Report to Congress
    U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel

    The pdf report details the program.
    There is the $3.1 Billion annually for weaponry, plus an ongoing loan guarentee of $4.1 Billion USD.

    It also details

    Aid Restrictions and Possible Violations

    Cluster Munitions
    Israeli Arms Sales to China
    Israeli Settlements

  40. Debka files, not the most accurate, perhaps,

    Defense News
    By agence france-presse

    WASHINGTON - Israel has asked to buy up to 75 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in a deal worth as much as $15.2 billion if all options are exercised, the Pentagon said Sept. 30.

  41. No argument over Georgia, mat.

    A cesspool of Russian influences.

  42. So, 200 million a copy. Is that supposed to me feel better?

    I wouldn't take that useless junk, if it was given for free. Time for Israel to say no thanks, and build its own fighter industry with the Russians Chinese Indians.

  43. ..suppose to ^make me feel better..

  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

  45. Just a tad over $200 million per plane.

    That aspect of the story is told by Eric L. Palmer
    - The story of how money laundering of U.S. taxpayer funds return back to help a troubled aircraft program.

    The F-35 program needs cash. Major JSF partner nations aren't buying yet and expenses are getting high. Failure to manage and estimate development costs and other factors outside the control of the program: Such as a falling U.S. dollar and the rising cost of manpower and material are having a negative effect. So where does Lockmart/Pentagon search for an infusion of cash to help push it along? Israel.

    Now how accurate a picture does this fellow Palmer paint, that's for each to decide, for themselves.

  46. "Rogue drone" is a phrase so marvelous it deserves to enter the vernacular.

  47. We give the most advanced airplanes in the world with a virtual guarantee China will have the technology within 2 years. Geez.

  48. Re whack a muslim in Pakistan: It has a big effect in Afghanistan. That's why anyone goes to the trouble. And trouble it is.

    If you're of a mind with habu, however - which isn't much of one - it's a time waster.

  49. From "Russia Today"

    September 12, 2008
    US to invade Iran any day now?

    A few weeks ago the Russian newspaper Izvestia, a well-known and authoritive daily published nationwide and abroad, came forward with something that would have been looked upon as a conspiracy theory if published by a tabloid.

    A thousand US tanks in Afghanistan ...

    No wonder mat is parnoid about US, he reads the Russian News.

  50. A thousand US tanks in Afghanistan

    I wouldn't bother with them useless tanks either. Just disable the tankers that service them. Them tanks will not go far.

  51. A Rogue Drone can't randomly shoot off a couple of missiles without killing 5 Terrorists. Man, we Are in a bucket o' shit.

  52. Wiki:

    The M1 Abrams
    The tank can be fueled with diesel fuel, kerosene, any grade of motor gasoline, JP-4 jet fuel, or JP-8 jet fuel; the US Army uses JP-8 jet fuel in order to simplify logistics. The Royal Australian Armoured Corps' M1A1 AIM SA uses diesel fuel; it is cheaper and makes practical sense for Australian military logistics.

    The gas turbine propulsion system has proven quite reliable in practice and combat, but its high fuel consumption is a serious logistic issue (starting up the turbine alone consumes nearly 10 gallons of fuel).[8][verification needed] The engine burns more than 1 gallon per mile and 12 gallons per hour when idle.[9] The high speed, high temperature jet blast emitted from the rear of M1 Abrams tanks makes it difficult for the infantry to proceed shadowing the tank in urban combat.

  53. KRAUTHAMMER: The problem is that—the thing that Jim Angle had talked about, which is the spread on the lending, the seizing of the credit markets, even if the stock market holds up a day or two or three, if no one is lending and no one will lend at six and seven percent overnight, nobody will lend, no one is going to have any money and the economy is going to be in a crushing collapse.

    Everybody understands that. The reason that Bernanke and Paulson are running around with their hair on fire is because they're looking at the overnight lending numbers, and those are real. That's what's going to happen.

    That's why I think the markets reacted, assuming there is going to be a package. If there isn't a package, I think there will be a collapse that will make yesterday look like a picnic.

    10/01 12:26 PM

  54. Of course we're not going to Curtis LeMay their asses, trish.

    That is a non-starter.

    Does not mean it would be ineffective.

    I certainly hope that these raids in Pakistan are a force multiplier in Afghanistan. But even if they are, that does not mean the strategy will be successful, long term.

    All this time I was under the impression that US COIN Ops & Hopes in Pakistan centered around the Frontier Corps.

    Pakistan’s first line of defense against insurgent forces in its loosely-ruled western frontier region is not Pakistan’s regular army, but a long-neglected, locally raised paramilitary. A remnant of the British colonial era, the paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) has been maintained and stationed in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Baluchistan province by the government of Pakistan since independence.

    Although the FC is a paramilitary organization led and commanded by officers from the regular Pakistan Army, the oversight of FC-NWFP and FC-Baluchistan rests with the federal Ministry of the Interior.

    Those of the Ministry of the Interior, the most loyal to the General-President, back in the day.

    The current strength of the FC is approximately 85,000 personnel, with FC NWFP numbering 55,000 and FC Baluchistan having a strength of 30,000. Organizationally, these troops are divided into the following sub-units:

    FC NWFP: Chitral Scouts, Khyber Rifles, Kurram Militia, South Waziristan Scouts, Tochi Scouts, Mahsud Scouts, Mohmand Rifles, Shawal Rifles, Swat Scouts, Orakzai Scouts, Khushal Khan Scouts, Dir Scouts, Bajaur Scouts, Thall Scouts

    FC Baluchistan: Zhob Militia, Chaghai Militia, Sibi Scouts, Kalat Scouts, Makran Militia, Kharan Rifles, Pishin Scouts, Maiwind Rifles, Ghazaband Scouts, Bambore Rifles, Loralai Scouts, Mahsud Scouts, Mohmand Rifles, Shawal Rifles

    There are 60,000 or so of these Frontier Corps militiamen.

    Pakistan's Frontier Corps: Friend or Foe?

    By James Gordon Meek

    The dustup between the U.S. and its Pakistani counterterror allies over a June 10 firefight on the Afghanistan border has stirred up new questions about Islamabad's commitment to the fight and the loyalties of its border guards.

    ... Pakistani officials typically fail to acknowledge are the countless cross-border incursions by the Taliban and Al Qaeda and other militias enjoying safe havens in their country, who often fire rockets at U.S. and Afghan bases from the tribal areas on the other side of the disputed Durand Line.


    While the governments involved sort out who fired at whom, it’s worth noting that U.S. troops fighting along the border have long contended that
    the Frontier Corps - an almost exclusively Pashtun tribal militia overseen by Islamabad - has been viewed as often aiding or abetting Islamic insurgents.
    Pakistan defends the force by saying they have suffered hundreds of casualties fighting extremists.

    One U.S. veteran involved in the border fight recently told me about an ambush in which a Special Forces operator was killed. U.S. troops following a blood trail leading to a wounded attacker found he was a Frontier Guard officer carrying a map that identified multiple U.S. "hide sites" used to maintain covert surveillance of cross-border incursions.

    When I visited Camp Tillman near Lwara, Afghanistan three years ago for the New York Daily News, U.S. commanders complained bitterly about a number of incidents in which Frontier Corps troops looked the other way when Al Qaeda-led insurgents ambushed U.S. troops and never warned their American counterparts of interlopers they could plainly see from their rocky outposts.

    Last April, a Washington Post reporter visited the same area and was told by one soldier: "The Frontier Corps might as well be Taliban .... They are active facilitators of infiltration."

    The Paki Ministry of the Interior, a long history of supporting those that support the Taliban and their operations in Afghanistan.

    From 27 Jul 08,
    "The Hindu"
    Online edition of India's National Newspaper

    ISLAMABAD: In a move with potentially far-reaching implications, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), accused by Afghanistan and India for masterminding terrorist attacks against them, has been placed under the control of a civilian authority in the government.

    An official press release on Saturday said both the ISI and Intelligence Bureau have been placed under the control of Pakistan’s Interior Ministry “with immediate effect.”

    Often referred to as “a State within a State,” the ISI functioned until now as a part of the Pakistan military. Lt. Gen. Nadeem Taj is the current director-general of ISI.

    The IB was under the Cabinet Division headed by the Prime Minister.

    “In terms of Rule 3(3) of the Rules of Business, 1973, the Prime Minister has approved the placement of Intelligence Bureau and Inter-Services Intelligence under the administrative, financial and operational control of the Interior Division with immediate effect according to a memorandum issued by the Cabinet Division,” it stated.

  55. I just spoke on the phone with a PA attorney in Harrisburg, PA.

    Philadelphia is both a county and a city. All the Philadelphia judges are controlled by the Democrats.

    New voting machines are arriving already loaded with 2000 Democratic votes. Think anyone will be able to stop it?

  56. BERLIN, Oct 1 (Reuters) - France plans to propose at a meeting of big European Union countries this weekend that the bloc pursue a 300 billion euro ($424.4 billion) rescue package for the financial sector, a European government source said on Wednesday.

    "France will propose at the Saturday meeting a European rescue plan with a volume of 300 billion euros," the source, requesting anonymity, told Reuters.

  57. Rufus,

    Check out this presentation. The guy talks about econol. Very interesting stuff.

    Paul Stamets: 6 ways mushrooms can save the world

  58. Germany is opposed. We will see how that works out.

  59. Every time I read Whit's title to this thread I crack up.

  60. DR: $3.1 Billion annually.
    6 million people.

    Let's do the math

    Seems the US is giving $517 USD to each Israeli, annually, to buy US weapons.

    Dr, Dont you just love AID?

    I think all AID should be earned....

    At this time how much do we give to OPEC in protecting the shipping lanes?

    We gave the Palestinians 450 million last year alone...

    We give (and have given) ten's of billions to egypt as well as the rest of the arab world.....

    Let us not also forget AID in the form of rebuilding Iraq

    Let us not forget rebuilding europe and japan....

    aid comes in many forms and flavors...

    Personally I think we should always demand something from our aid.

    Just a point of interest.

    Under Prime Minister Bibi...

    The only leader of another country ever to end economic aid from the USA at their own asking...

    Military AID is a different matter.

    Just think how much could have been saved if the USA had held to it's treaty obligations & assurances during the LBJ years and forced Nasser to reopen the Straits of Titan to international (israeli) traffic...

  61. Nope, those voting machines are "State of the Art".

    Should have been focusing on voter fraud, not birth certicates.

    On maintaining a sizable minority in the House and at least 44 Senators, loyal and true.

    Instead of paying tomorrow for a gourmet mooseburger, today.

  62. Billions to those others, true enough, wi"o". But not at anywhere near the per capita rate.

    Not that it matters much, except as a backdoor move to get some more funding for the F35 program, without embarassing Congressional hearings.

    I'd vote to cut them all off, but that proposition is not on the ballot, nor promoted by any of the current candidates, save Bob Barr.

    So, there you go.

  63. Billions to those others, true enough, wi"o". But not at anywhere near the per capita rate.

    That's basically the same argument that says that any Jews participating in any activity is an over-representation as compared to their overall number. And we all know who likes to makes these kind of arguments.

  64. That is no argument, that is a fact.

    Draw any conclusions you want to,
    from that fact.

    That "others" see the world as it is, in that regard, means there is a core reality to their message.

    Denial of it, that does make it so.

    As you suggested, mat, and as I concurred, cut them all off.

    Leave Israel with its' allies in China and India.

    Suits me all to hell.

  65. Anyway, if you look at the number of fighters Israel is fielding as compared to the others, Israel receives the least amount of aid, on a per soldier basis.

  66. My Advice for Sarah... [Rich Lowry] different than that of the "free Sarah Palin" camp. It's probably right that the McCain campaign should have eased her into national media interviews, rather than throwing her into extremely high-stakes situations immediately. But the fundamental problem is that she doesn't yet know a lot about national affairs, especially foreign policy. So the most important thing is for her to cram, cram, cram. As she knows more, she'll be more comfortable and, naturally, give better answers. I hope the McCain people have given her time to do this. I remember back during the primaries when Mike Huckabee went through a period of particularly flagrant mis-steps on foreign policy. He was going on "Meet the Press" soon thereafter and everyone expected a disaster, but he had boned up on Pakistan and other things and did just fine. It doesn't take much to sound credible on this stuff...

    As every blogger knows.

    Problem is, I think, that Palin just isn't that bright. Which is another problem entirely.

    In this way, however, she may flatter a lot of similarly not-very-bright Americans. "She really IS just like us!" So the Free Sarah camp may have the better approach.

  67. Leave Israel with its' allies in China and India.

    Suits me all to hell.

    I'm sure it would. But that's no secret.

  68. I did not mentions, Jews, mat, but the Nation and citizens of Israel.

    They are not one and the same, amigo.

  69. This comment has been removed by the author.

  70. That is exactly my point you ignorant communist.

    I agree with you, Israel should recieve no US funding, no US weapons, not on a Nation to Nation basis, nor should any of the others in the area.

    On a Nation to Nation basis or through NGOs.

    That is the entire point.

  71. I did not mentions, Jews, mat, but the Nation and citizens of Israel.

    They are not one and the same, amigo.

    Yeah. You and Arafart being the authorities.

    Btw, that argument of quotas on Jews is not really that subtle. Not even for you.

  72. ISLAMABAD: In a move with potentially far-reaching implications, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), accused by Afghanistan and India for masterminding terrorist attacks against them, has been placed under the control of a civilian authority in the government.

    An official press release on Saturday said both the ISI and Intelligence Bureau have been placed under the control of Pakistan’s Interior Ministry “with immediate effect.”

    Often referred to as “a State within a State"...

    More accurately, a separate branch of the government. You'd have better luck going ahead and disbanding it. But then you have another problem.

    And what an interesting problem...

  73. Go float your boat with the Chinese and Indians, have at it.

    Get Israel out from behind the skirts of your American mama, amigo.

  74. Quotas, for Jews.

    Where that come you commi bastard?

    Get off your high horse of religous persecution. It ain't the deal, not here.

  75. Quotas, for Jews.

    Don't seem to hear you moaning about others, you sad sad man.

  76. HEY, BIG SPENDER.... During Friday night's debate, McCain repeatedly went after Obama for proposing policies the nation can't afford. Today, in a new ad, the Obama campaign returns the favor.

    The new ad, which is scheduled to reach airwaves today, shows McCain telling a crowd, presumably about Sarah Palin, "I can't wait to introduce her to the big spenders in Washington." The voice-over says, "Big spenders, like John McCain. McCain's tax plan means another $3 trillion in debt. His plan to privatize Social Security -- another trillion. Tax credits sent to insurance companies, yet another trillion. So as we borrow from China to fund his spending spree, ask yourself: can we afford John McCain?"

    Tax cuts=spending.

    An oldie but a goodie from the Clinton years.

    The tax cut movement, however, has gone as far as it's gonna go and the wise politician will focus instead on slash and burn in re spending. Which is something McCain and Palin could actually pull off. Bonus: It has a nice, populist, pitchfork rebellion flavor to it. And that's the mood increasingly sweeping the country. (God help us.)

  77. Perhaps this same rogue drone is also responsible for the 5,000 deaths that Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney is accusing the DOD of during Katrina.
    The very best drones are capable of reprogramming and rearming on their own.
    I was able to buy one cheap that only wanted to hunt eastern grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis). Yall ever et biscuits and squirrel gravy?

  78. "I certainly hope that these raids in Pakistan are a force multiplier in Afghanistan."

    Sorry I overlooked this. No "hope" about it. We know it does.

    (Stop goading the White Russian, man.)

  79. He's no White Russian, he's a pinko, at very least.

  80. Cynthia McKinney went Green. Who knew?

  81. What, you think White Russians can't be collectivists, too?

  82. Not part of the US collective, trish.

    Only theirs. He's made that clear enough, time and again.

  83. Check out "Bonusgate" in Pennslyvania.

  84. Well, hell, no. He's not an American. He's an eastern European Israeli canuck with a Russian girlfriend.

  85. Look, if someone's got the goods on PA bonusgate, take it to DOJ.

    Otherwise, it's a wash.

  86. My point, exactly.

    An apologist for Putin, to be sure

    An agent of the KGB,
    at least in heart and fantasy.

  87. No more indictments before the Election, so it's over, politically, short term at least.

  88. Trish, she has gotten her act toghether since you last saw her no doubt.

  89. You don't need an indictment to fix a loaded voting machine problem. You also don't need local authorities to "help" you fix a loaded voting machine problem.

  90. The political darling of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Or so she was.

  91. I began my bloggin' career by pissing on the fenceposts and staking out the intellectual territory that things began to go wrong with the human race from the beginning of farming and the rise of the first cities. Which were closely followed by the walled cities. This allows me to periodically affirm that we are ungovernable, have lost an intimate tie to the mystery of things, politicians here and abroad are all shortsighted thieves in a guild, chaos always reigns, a man is always alone and one man alone doesn't have a chance, the end of the world may be near, is always near, at least for us all personally, and the best thing to do is live quietly with a good wife, if one is fortunate enough and able to do so.

    Back to regular programming....

  92. Are they pre-loaded, really?

    That is different than bonusgate, I do believe.

  93. Early ballot stuffing has begun in Nevada and Virginia too, I believe.

  94. Dear host's attorney friend asserts they are.

    I thought that's what bob was referring to.

  95. If we haven't been able to get our voting problems resolved in this amount of time, we're disfunctional without excuse. Didn't we set up some big commission after Florida to do just that?

    We never have any problems here in Idaho. Just how hard is it? One precinct is pretty much like another. And we've never had any problems with punch card ballots.

    Pre-loaded voting machines? Could this possibly be true?

    No one owes any allegiance to a 'government' 'elected' in that manner. Just the opposite, it should be opposed every inch of the way.

  96. 12 face charges in bonus scandal
    Millions in public funds used for political gain, probe finds
    Friday, July 11, 2008
    By Dennis B. Roddy and Tracie Mauriello, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    and this, currently

    Corbett: No more 'Bonusgate' charges before election
    By Alex Roarty

    In a move sure to ignite buzz across the Capitol, Attorney General Tom Corbett Monday announced his office will not charge anybody else before this fall's election in connection with "Bonusgate," the wide-ranging probe into the misuse of taxpayer money by the legislature.

  97. Bonusgate is just the usual everybody and his dog on the take scandal. Pervasive scandal.

  98. Yes, bob, it could possibily be true, but then again, it may noot be.

    There are honest brokers in the DoJ, one hopes. If not, well then, the Republic, let alone the election is lost, regardless.

  99. DR argues that all aid to Israel should be cut off, that BECAUSE she get's more per capita than let's say the arabs, some how this is wrong...

    Last time I checked friends HELP friends much more, than let's say giving aid to our enemies.

    So then the AID is given, with that comes the result of that aid...

    israel? drip irrigation
    arabs? bomb vests

    israel? cell phones
    arabs? ied's

    israel? a thriving multi-cultured nation
    arabs? arabs

    israel? solar technologies, electric cars
    arabs? oil & swords

    so DR measure your crass cash yardstick all you want, try learning to measure the RESULTS a little

  100. This comment has been removed by the author.

  101. No, no, no, amigo.

    Not cut off because it gets more per capita. That is an untrue claim not to found in my words.

    The truth is that all sides in that Arena should be left unfunded, by US.

    No more to Egypt, Jordan, Israel, or the Palistinians.

    Twenty years of payment and engagement have failed, time for a new tack.

    As mat suggested.

  102. The Chinese and the Indians will fill that gap we leave behind, wi"o"

    Trust 'em.
    Then trust 'em so more.

  103. 5000 people were executed!

    That's about par for the course. For Cynthia.

  104. A United States, on the verge of bankruptcy and financial meltdown, well it cannot contiue to follow the course that led US to this juncture.

    The over extension of US power and influence into the Middle East has not proved to have been cost effective. The expenditure of Hundreds of Billions of dollars in Occupation expenses, at home and abroad have to be factored in.

    wi"o" the US has no "friends" it has interests. Interests which it can no longer afford to maintain at a level which so many have become accustomed.

  105. 3:19 Which doesn't mean one shouldn't be fully engaged on the side of the good true and beautiful, as always. Just with some detachment amd humor.


  106. Newt has a plan.
    Fire Paulson and suspend Mark-to-Market.

    In 2004, the European Central Bank issued this now eerily prescient opinion of the mark-to-market rule:

    "With a real estate crisis or a stock market crash... [a bank] under [mark-to-market] accounting might aggravate the effects of
    the shock. Banks may be encouraged to react by panic selling and tightening lending standards, thus contributing to a further
    deepening of the crisis."

    No link, from email.
    Bob may already have seen it on TV, meeting his new responsibility.

  107. Out of context from a Trish comment:

    His [Maverick's] plan to privatize Social Security -- another trillion.

    FWIW, in about 10 minutes last week I converted my equity funds to the gov't bond fund in the Federal TSP program. Outcome was that I made a few bucks on Monday instead of losing my ass. TSP, for y'all who aren't eligible, is the federal privatized plan that 'federals' can use to supplement their Social Security vesting. Trish knows about it. Installed under Reagan. Benefits that vast Democrat cohort in the federal bureaucracy; not safe for the unwashed civilians though. Privatizing too risky.

  108. That is an excellent point LT.

    Cynthia McKinney, Green Party Candidate for the Presidency of the United States of Amerika.

    Forget about the lunatic, McKinney. What does this say about the Greens?

    Actually, Israel would be better off without US influence and pressure. Friendship yes, but why every time they build a head of steam against the Palis do we feel compelled to step in? Israel should kick Palestinian ass all the way to Algeria.

  109. That is; they should have when they could have. Before Olmert.

  110. linearthinker said...
    Newt has a plan.
    Fire Paulson and suspend Mark-to-Market.

    But what alternative do you, or Newt, propose to replace Mark-to-Market with? Mark to Book? Fair Market Value? Both those alternatives are ripe pasture for financial difficulties.

  111. Officials add that recent attacks in the Khyber Pass have made it difficult to bring software technicians into Afghanistan.


    The software technicians are from India, have transited by land through Pakistan and are now held on the Paki side of the Kyber.

  112. Somehow I don't think the Israelis would be very happy losing all that money and other privledges heaped upon it by the US. Heck all we need do is threaten to withdraw some of the support to exert influence.

  113. The pre-Olmert period in what soon will be the post-Bush era.

    With the United States in financial straits, socializing a large swath of the US economy.

    Always with the promise of "future profits".

    Newt's program makes the most sense, it is not what the Senate is voting upon, tonight, though.

  114. I would think fair market better represents the value. It's not as if the real estate ever has no value. The problem is the paper is so far removed from the mortgage.

  115. The talking heads are saying that the final bill that will pass is the one (with a little lipstick) that was initially voted down.

    I don't think that will go down well with John Q. Public.

  116. So, whit, do you think the government should form panels that set Fair Market Value? What criteria would they use? It strikes me as horribly beaurcratic and arbitrary leaving Banks and the rest at risk of being undercapitalized.

  117. There certainly seems to be some opposition still but I definitely get the impression many people have calmed down a bit...well not so angry anyway... and feeling scared that we might see some horrible collapse. Though, I must say, I haven't seen much detail on what the collapse would entail other than a continuation of Banks not lending to other Banks trickling on down to tighter credit for Joe Blow and XYZ corporation.

  118. Newt, on Newt's Plan

    Reform or Bust

    Because existing rules requiring mark-to-market accounting are causing such turmoil on Wall Street, mark-to-market accounting should be suspended immediately so as to relieve the stress on banks and corporations. In the interim, we can use the economic value approach based on a discounted cash flow analysis of anticipated income streams, as we did for decades before the new mark-to-market began to take hold. We can take the time to evaluate mark-to-market all over again. Perhaps a three year rolling average to determine mark-to-market prices would be a workable permanent system.

    It is not widely understood that the adoption of mark-to-market accounting rules is a major factor in the liquidity crisis which is leading companies to go bankrupt. But it is destructive to have artificial accounting rules ruin companies that would have otherwise survived under previous rules.

  119. Mark to Book? Fair Market Value? Both those alternatives are ripe pasture for financial difficulties.


    And we're not having difficulties now? Linearthinking suggests fair market value seems like the foundation needed for rebuilding confidence. An essential.

  120. From Rat's quote:

    "In the interim, we can use the economic value approach based on a discounted cash flow analysis of anticipated income streams, as we did for decades before the new mark-to-market began to take hold."

    I am unaware of a recent change in valuations but it sure could be the case.

    In any case "anticipated" sounds awfully fuzzy and in the case of the mortgage securities there is no need to "anticipate" cash flows but determine actual cash flows. In fact I suspect people started to take a look at the declining yield of the beasts and started selling them off but, then, nobody wanted to buy them. Still, they've gt yield and thus it should be possible to value them and restart a market. I'm guessing the yield has gotten so low that using that to value them would still crater the balance sheets of the holders.

  121. Linear, just because someone, some panel, says "HEY, the fair market value is X" doesn't mean you'll go out an pay X for it. Hence Paulson desire to make a market for the suckers by actually buying them.

  122. From Rat's linked Newt website:

    "It is true that the root of this crisis is bad mortgage loans, but probably 70% of the real crisis that we face today is caused by mark-to-market accounting in an illiquid market"

    Now this sounds like simply playing with words to solve a real problem masking lack of capital by defining it differently. It's sort of like saying "Well my neighbor's house that is just like mine sold for 100k but mine is worth a fair market value of 150k because I paid 200k for it". If he is pledging his house to you as security on a loan you are giving him what valuation would you accept?

  123. and to further beat the horse - there were two thinks he refers to "Mark to Market" and "Illiquid Market". Which is more real? A semantic change or a liquidity change?

  124. I'm guessing the yield has gotten so low that using that to value them would still crater the balance sheets of the holders.

    My first reaction: TOO FUCKING BAD!

    It seems somebody has responsibility here. Let those who gambled pay the piper. Not me and my neighbors. I don't believe credit is so tight that a couple of percent added to near term loans is going to kill anyone. But, clearly I'm not an expert.

  125. If he is pledging his house to you as security on a loan you are giving him what valuation would you accept?

    Ever hear of the Appraisal Institute?
    There are some fairly sharp boys and girls there. They're trained and paid to do these valuations. Make them earn their money, instead of doing the damned "drive by" appraisals they've been getting away with for fifteen years.

  126. So, whit, do you think the government should form panels that set Fair Market Value?

    No, then it wouldn't the market setting the value.

    Appraisers using comparable sales data.

  127. Spanish intelligence document says Pakistan 'helped arm Taliban'
    A leaked Spanish intelligence document alleges that Pakistan's spy agency was helping arm Taliban insurgents against the Afghan government in 2005.

    By Fiona Govan in Madrid

  128. An apologist for Putin, to be sure

    An apologist for nothing. Not for your spit in the face diplomacy. Not for your crooked commie government. Not for your overpriced military junk. Not for your oil whoring. Not for your fake wars and military Keynesianism. Not for your one world empire.

  129. whit said...
    "No, then it wouldn't the market setting the value.

    Appraisers using comparable sales data."

    That sounds like what Mark to Market is - evaluating a given security/property based on what comparable assets trade for in the current market.

  130. five dead including foreign militants

    So what's the problem?

  131. Time to buy in Tasmania:

    A new report has found Tasmania's property market has ground to a halt, with August marked by falling prices and a drop in sales.

    House prices in Hobart fell 7.8 per cent for the month, with the median price dropping to $300,000.

    149 properties were sold, a 30 per cent fall compared to August last year.

    Prices Slump

  132. These different faces of al Qaeda include:

    1. The core vanguard group: Often referred to by Stratfor as the al Qaeda core, al Qaeda prime or the al Qaeda apex leadership, this group is composed of Osama bin Laden and his close trusted associates. These are highly skilled, professional practitioners of propaganda, militant training and terrorism operations.

    2. Al Qaeda franchises: These include such groups as al Qaeda in Iraq and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Although professing allegiance to bin Laden, they are independent militant groups that remain separate from the core and, as we saw in the 2005 letter from al Qaeda core leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, there can be a great deal of tension and disagreement between them and the al Qaeda core.

    3. The broader grassroots jihadist movement: This group includes individuals and small cells inspired by al Qaeda but who, in most cases, have no contact with the core leadership.

    2 Battlespaces

  133. Warrem Buffet certainly thinks it is a time to buy. Dropped 3 billion on GE today.

  134. Then Buffett injected $3 billion into GE which caused the stock to rally and close at $24.85.

    But Buffett is getting preferred stock and, as we saw in Goldman Sachs, is using his name to gain very favourable equity terms from embattled leaders. They give him good terms and know that the fact that he backs them means that their stock will firm.

    However, this glimmer of hope should not obscure the fact that after the bailout euphoria is over, the US market has more trials to come.

    Bargain Hunting

  135. More on: Some Trial Judges Confirmed
    [Ed Whelan]
    Three hours ago, I expressed the hope that the White House did a better job picking the other nine district-court nominees who were confirmed last Friday than it did in picking Anthony Trenga.
    Alas, a reader writes to inform me:
    I'm afraid I have some bad news for you.

    The appointment of Mary S. Scriven to the Middle District of Florida is cut from the exact same mold as the Trenga nomination. She and her husband are lifetime Democrats, politically plugged in to the Democratic machine, and her husband is a flagrant Obama supporter.

    This swift confirmation is even more perplexing when one learns the fate of Bill Jung, who by all accounts is a man governed by right reason. Please notice that Jung, nominated the same moment as Scriven, has received no hearing and no other attention and has been left for dead by our President and Republican senator.

    Re: Some Trial Judges Confirmed
    One of the ten district-court nominees confirmed last Friday was Anthony Trenga (for the Eastern District of Virginia), whose record of political contributions made him a bizarre pick for a Republican president and who shows no signs of sharing President Bush’s espoused judicial philosophy. Let’s hope that the White House did a better job of picking the other nine.

    Still More on: Some Trial Judges Confirmed
    [Ed Whelan]
    Yet another of the district-court nominees confirmed last Friday—Christine M. Arguello (to the District of Colorado)—has a record of federal political contributions that is entirely Democratic, including strong support of U.S. senator Ken Salazar. Who’s really been picking the judges?

  136. GWB:
    Single Handedly Dismantling the GOP.

  137. More voters say they trust Obama to fix the worsening economy.

    Quinnipiac surveyed more than 1,100 voters in each state between September 22-26. The margins of error range from 2.8-2.9 percent.

    The economy will certainly be front and center at Thursday's vice presidential debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden.

    Rescue Package

  138. Obama Supreme Court Candidate Deval Patrick—Part 1
    [Ed Whelan]
    Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick is another highly touted contender for a Supreme Court appointment by a President Obama. As the Boston Globe reported two months ago in an article entitled “Speculation swirls around a Patrick appointment”:

    Legal blogs have been spreading Patrick's name as a potential Supreme Court pick for at least a year. In recent months, both The New York Times and The Washington Post have mentioned Patrick either first or second in stories handicapping potential Obama high-court nominees.

    Deval Patrick has made his mark on the law in the field of racial preferences. Let’s take a look at his remarkable record:

    1. As assistant attorney general for civil rights in the Clinton administration, Patrick—in the words of Jeffrey Rosen in a 1994 New Republic article—“committed the Clinton administration to a vision of racial preference that fulfills the most extravagant fantasies of a conservative attack ad.” Specifically, Patrick argued in a brief in Taxman v. Piscataway that “it is legal to fire a white teacher over a black teacher purely because of her race.” As Rosen explains, Patrick’s position that “affirmative action” principles permit “firing someone on account of race crosses a crucial line” that had been “widely accepted by liberals and conservatives.” Patrick “blithely endorsed the most extreme form of racialism” and did so “with a series of evasions”.

    2. More generally, Patrick as AAG aggressively pursued and defended racial preferences and racial line-drawing across the board—in employment, government contracting, and gerrymandering—even in the face of contrary Supreme Court rulings. Patrick was notorious for his tactics of intimidation and abuse. Even liberal senator Carol Moseley Braun (whose seat Barack Obama occupies) decried Patrick’s “Gestapo techniques” that “run roughshod over citizens, over communities.”

  139. Adding Sweeteners, Senate Passes Bailout Plan

    The Senate strongly endorsed the $700 billion economic bailout plan, leaving backers hopeful that the easy approval, coupled with an array of popular additions, would lead to passage in the House by Friday.
    Draft of Senate Proposal (pdf)

  140. On Wednesday, Pakistani television reported that Baitullah Mehsud, the top Taliban commander in Pakistan and the man alleged to have been behind the December 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, had died overnight.

    Pakistani security officials and militant sources, however, said he was alive but seriously ill, possibly in a diabetic coma.

    Meanwhile, at least eight Islamist militants, mainly Arabs, died after a missile fired by a suspected US drone hit a house in a Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan.

    Baitullah Mehsud

  141. Re TSP: Yeah, with the exception that DOD doesn't do matching funds.

    Every unwashed, non-Federal American can do the same thing, though, with a mutual fund.

  142. The matching funds are the difference, plus a higher tax deferred amount than an IRA. I don't know the 409(k) system.

  143. My original point being that the unwashed are mandated to "contribute" into social security without the option of putting part of that donation into their own managed investment plan.

  144. You do realize that within seconds (or so it seemed) of the financial crisis breaking into the news, every liberal and his mother was screeching, "And the administration had a plan to give these criminals our Social Security contributions!" It's no longer just liberals.

    If it wasn't a goner three years ago, it's good and dead now.