“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."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

President Obama acting presidential.

Obama clearly is a work in action undergoing the metamorphosis from a college professor to being POTUS. This is a good thing for several reasons.

I was stunned when he speculated about releasing photos in the first place. There was no news about the existence of the photos, nor the questionable practice of humiliating prisoners of war.

In my book, being humiliated is preferable to being shot. The military was idiotic in allowing soldiers to have cameras and taking photos inside US military prisons. The officers that permitted that should have been fired. All of them. The NCO's and enlisted men involved should have had torn threads on sleeves where stripes were once posted.

Published photos would be inflammatory  and problematic for the US military and grist for America's enemies.

Obama wisely changed his mind about releasing them. That in itself differentiated himself from the inflexible and sometime stubbornness of George Bush. Obama has been persuaded by argument and logic. That is hopeful. Next.


Reasons behind Obama's U-turn
By Jonathan Beale
BBC News, Washington
The word "U-turn" may be unfamiliar in Barack Obama's White House, but the practice is not.

One week, the US president signals that the Pentagon will release photographs showing more abuse of American detainees in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of a new era of transparency.

The next he has announces that the White House will block their release and defend that decision in court - this time it is all about the vital importance of national security.

When a politician is caught red-handed doing a U-turn, the first question to ask is why?

This time it is not hard to find an answer. Just cast your mind back to those graphic images of US abuse in Iraq's Abu Ghraib jail.

Remember the hooded detainee standing on top of a box, as if about to be electrocuted? Or the faces of the US soldiers enjoying the humiliation? Or the fear of a detainee inches away from the teeth of a snarling dog?

“ President Obama has clearly concluded that - in this instance - national security trumps transparency ”
And then it is worth recalling the response and outrage right around the world.

America's image was more than tarnished. The photos became a recruiting tool for extremists.

Barack Obama says these new pictures are not as "sensational" as those of Abu Ghraib. But they are clearly bad enough for his generals to raise objections.

The current US commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan - Gens Odierno, and McKiernan - both told their commander-in-chief that publication would endanger the lives of US troops.

The president has apparently been persuaded by the power of that argument.

'Double standards'

It is perhaps harder to understand why Mr Obama thought it was a good idea to release the photos in the first place.

True, it was not his idea. It was the American Civil Liberties Union that took this issue to court, claiming it was in the public interest and would prove there had been a culture of abuse.

But the president seemed persuaded by the need for transparency. Openness has been a leitmotif of this administration - but easier to promise than practice.

There may have been other reasons that made it initially seem appealing. Releasing the photos would help break with the past - this after all did not happen on Barack Obama's watch.

The second question when examining a U-turn is what will be the political fallout?

President Obama has clearly concluded that - in this instance - national security trumps transparency.

There is no doubt that President Obama will have disappointed some of his supporters - and, let us be honest, they are those on the left.

But he will have reassured many more that his prime concern is the nation's security and the lives of US troops.

You do not have to be a political genius to work out where the sympathies of the mainstream lie.

America is hardly crying out for the release of more photographs that detail the abuse of detainees. It has still not recovered from the last lot.

This decision will inevitably bring with it charges of double standards.

After all the president was happy to release classified documents detailing interrogation techniques - the so-called "torture memos".

Pragmatic decision?

But the publication of the memos brought a firestorm of criticism. Most notably from Dick Cheney - who has never spent so much time in front of the cameras.

The former vice-president is touring TV studios, accusing his nemesis of making America less safe.

The publication of the photos would make that charge seem more convincing. Not publishing them, and the accusation is less likely to stick.

Barack Obama once again seems to have made a pragmatic decision. He can be accused of compromising his principles.

But this time most Americans will believe that its for the greater good.

As for his supporters on the left, it looks as though there will be more heartbreak ahead.

Hopes that the president would completely abandon the controversial military commissions to try terrorist suspects are slowly fading. An announcement may be made later this week.

This is not the last time that we will be hearing the word "U-turn" in connection with the Obama White House.


  1. from yesterday's thread:

    First you say you will and then you say you won't.Obama, to his credit, said today that he's changed his mind and isn't too keen to release anymore "torture" photos.

    First you say you do and then you say you don't.That's what the Taliban have been saying about the Paki authorities who previously made a sweetheart deal to let the Taliban control certain of the Tribal areas.

    The point is that the vacillation is a bad thing. Hopefully, though, Both Obama and the Pakis have come to the right and final decisions.

    It will be interesting to see how the whirled reacts.

  2. Putting the old thumb screws to Pelosi.

    Congress and Waterboarding--


  3. The point is that the vacillation is a bad thing. Hopefully, though, Both Obama and the Pakis have come to the right and final decisions.

    There are a few times in my life where a little more vacillation and a change of direction would have been helpful.

  4. "Obama wisely changed his mind about releasing them. That in itself differentiated himself from the inflexible and sometime stubbornness of George Bush. Obama has been persuaded by argument and logic. That is hopeful. Next."----
    Panetta, the Military, CIA, and etc no doubt forcefully expressed their opinion.

    I find it bizarre to credit him for taking a position that only a hateful, self-centered, immature and inexperienced jerk would take to start with, because he then reversed himself when he became convinced it would be harmful to his popularity ratings.

    Like crediting someone who planned on raping a 14 year old child, but then thought better of it when he noticed a police car down the block, for acting like an upstanding moral agent.

  5. Pakistanis and IndiansPakistan, a country whose stability has been questioned of late, is building two large plutonium reactors unconnected to the electricity grid. Most experts think the Pakistanis are radically increasing their nuclear warhead production capacity. The question is why and what that development portends.
    MSNBC writes:
    Without any public U.S. reproach, Pakistan is building two of the developing world’s largest plutonium production reactors, which experts say could lead to improvements in the quantity and quality of the country’s nuclear arsenal, now estimated at 60 to 80 weapons.

    What makes the project even more threatening is that it is unique. “Pakistan is really the only country rapidly building up its nuclear forces,” says a U.S. intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the classified nature of the issue, noting that the nations that first developed nuclear weapons are now reducing their arsenals. … the billions in U.S. economic and military aid that have permitted Pakistan’s military to divert resources to nuclear and other weapons projects.

  6. Strong words, al-Doug. Strong words.

    My wife and I are trying to keep a sense of balance by writing down the things we feel Obummer has done right.

    We do have a few items on our list. They are minor items however, and outweighed by the bigger stuff.

    They did de-list the wolves, they have tinkered with some ag programs in a way I approve of.

    But then he goes and shuts down Yucca Mountain.

    I think the energy problem is the one that will get Obama.

    There's nothing realistic on the table to improve the situation.

    I'd think some of his advisors would say, "Hey, Barack, we got to do something. These windmills aren't going to cut it."

    But nothing yet.

  7. "the billions in U.S. economic and military aid that have permitted Pakistan’s military to divert resources to nuclear and other weapons projects."

    but but the israelis are the parasites, right? nothing to worry about here. Especially now that Iran and Pakistan are rapidly improving there relations with each other.

    enabling Iran through Pakistan

  8. When Pig's Fly Moment...

    Sanctions on Syria

    No Release of Photos....


    14,000,000,000,000 to 2

  9. Gas is creeping up to the $2.30/gallon level here.

    And I have finally got the answer to a life long question of mine: why is gas 20 cents less here than in Moscow, 30 miles up the road?

    Answer: we do get our gas here trucked in from the Tri-Cities area, and a little from Missoula.

    And I had thought it all came down from Spokane, which it does, to Moscow.

    So says my engineer.

    Energy is going to get Obama. They have no realistic program.

    Drill, drill, drill will sound good when gas goes to $6.00.

  10. Well, slim, the truth is no, not at all.

    The Pakistani have been and continue to be the greatest enemy the US has in the "War on Terror". They are the terror masters. Making the Iraniani look like school boys just learning to dip the girls pigtails in the inkwell.

    The World Trade Center, its not standing, exemplifies that reality.

    That GW Bush paid them $10 bn or so in tribute, to the Pakistani, just another indication of his ineptitude as President.

    A misjudgement so great as to make the release of any and all the detainee photos and the "torture" memos an unimportant footnote, by comparison.

    The comparison that must be made is not Obama to Obama, but Obama to Bush43, in which case Obama stands head and shoulders above, a least as far as the police chase is concerned.

    Obama's learning curve much, much quicker the GW's. Proof is in the 6 stars over Afghanistan.

    As for Yucca Mountain, bob, it never has been used, now that it's closed, the status que remains. Obama the conservative, no change at Yucca Mountain, it is still not open.
    Same status it had under Team43, unopen for business.

  11. The energy that the US is short of, it is not electricity.

    It is liquid fuels.
    Oil, specificly.

    No amount of nuclear electrical generation will change that reality.

    Putting ethanol, form non foodstuffs, on the slow track, Team43 set US back. Promoting the least productive ethanol program, from corn, as the center piece of alternative fuels production.

    Selling out US energy security for votes. Pure political opportunism, policy that failed both the GOP and the US, long and short term.

    The US national interest is in the free flow of oil, through out the whirled. Anyone that hinders that flow, becomes the enemy of US interests.

  12. Yucca was going through a whole long, and idiotic, 'scientific' process to see if it was 'safe'.

    We ain't even doing that now.

    We're morons, ruled by morons, we have the technology on the shelf, but refuse to use it.

    Reprocess that stuff, you can put the leftovers in a high school gymnasium.

    I point you to Dr. Bill Wattenberg for your enlightenment.

  13. And, the idiotic 'courts' were involved as well.

    Idiocy. Morons.

  14. As a rabid critic of GWB,
    I credit him for not completely debasing our currency, as your hero currently is engaged in, 'Rat.

  15. Singing praises to the Marxist pounding nails into the free market's coffin.

  16. So the Obama decision that bob sees as the most damning, to date, is the one where Obama decided to implement "No Change", where he behaved conservatively, maintaining the Bush Team policy of leaving Yucca Mountain closed.

  17. No amount of nuclear electrical generation will change that reality.Oh yes it would. You could change burning coal over to making fuel, you could use natural gas for making fuel, instead of burning it to make electricity, you could make ethanol right by that nuclear power plant, as is proposed in Idaho.

    You are very wrong.

  18. Not my hero, doug, but our President.

    Obama has not debased the US currency, not in 110 days, that is beyond his or anyone's abiltiy. The debasement of the currency has been Federal policy since 1963 and JFK's visit to Dallas.

    The debasement of our currency, it is a bi-partisan program.

  19. You come up with the dumbest shit, Rat.

    You try to say I supported the old Bush policies.

    The policies I have supported are those of Bill Wattenberg.

    Gimme a break, wouild ya, and quite putting words in my mouth.

  20. Why don't you just blow your brains out finally, you are so depressing.

    You'd be on the far cutting edge of Ash's kill the old people policy, doing your last service to your beloved country, and we'd all salute you.

  21. Oh, you want it as the primary step to liquifying coal, aye?

    Never heard the plan for the entire fuel cycle laid out. Certainly would be interesting, but not the path we're on. That reality was decided by Mr Bush.

    Ethanol from corn, that is our salvation, bob. Mr Bush made it so.

    He set the priority trends in place.
    Bush put nuclear at the bottom of the list, exemplified by the fact there was not a single reactor built on his watch, nor even started. Nor did he get Yucca Mountain open, in the name of energy security.

    Obama is following the trends and policies that the Federals have had, for at least the eight previous years of governence.

    Again, Obama is acting as a conservative, no change in course.

  22. blah blah blah, just like Trish says.

  23. Since you are back on the 'kill the old people' foolery I'll drag what I left on the last thread for you up here:

    "Bobal, you've got the wrong end of the stick, you've got it back assward. The point was that if your wife runs out of money then the decision may be forced upon her to pull the plug, even against her wishes. Sorry dear, no money, no respirator say bye to Bobal."

    The point being it is the financial situation that forces the situation and not the family/medical issues making the call.

  24. "They are the terror masters. Making the Iraniani look like school boys just learning to dip the girls pigtails in the inkwell."

    i dont think its that simple, rat.

    an amalgamation of the two into a radical islamic nuclear superpower may be coming to our time soon.

  25. bob, you supported GW Bush, you've said so often, but for his immigration policy.

    Now you are abandoning the GOP for Dr Bill, who has not recieved a single vote, nor will he.

    So now you deride Obama for following Bush policies.

    Your standards are not performance based.

    And yes, bob, I think that the efforts to keep Patrick Swayze alive, for another few months is a waste of national resources.

    Just as building 3,500 sq ft McMansions was.

  26. That amalgamation of Pakistan and Iran is unlikely, as the Pakistani are agents of the Sauds, historicly.

    Both the US and the Sauds financed the Paki military expansion and development of nuclear technologies.

    The Paki are the balance to an Iraniani nuclear capacity, not an addidtion to it.

    If viewed from that perspective.

  27. I need some smelling salts, and a cushion, and a cigarette.

  28. You're an idiot Rat. The perfect example of what Dr. Johnson was getting at in "The Vanity Of Human Wishes".

  29. "The US national interest is in the free flow of oil, through out the whirled. Anyone that hinders that flow, becomes the enemy of US interests."

    then mr. rodentia claims:

    "That amalgamation of Pakistan and Iran is unlikely, as the Pakistani are agents of the Sauds, historicly."

    which was preceeded by rodentia's claim that:

    "The Pakistani have been and continue to be the greatest enemy the US has in the "War on Terror".

    News Flash: Rat uses Pretzel Logic to infuriate the masses!

  30. What I see, slim, is that when the Iraniani finally gain nuclear weapons capability, the Sauds will take delivery of its' warheads, those now stored in Pakistan.

    The Islamic Arms Race will have gone to the next level. The balance of terror, maintained.

    Remembering that the Israeli nukes, they always have been a MAD deterent. They still will be.

    If the Israeli were to use nukes, in a first strike role, it'd be the end of Israel, as an independent political State.

    Nothing less than the Israeli using nukes will stop the Iraniani from gaining warhead functionality.

    Cementing the US-Israeli-Saudi alliance.
    But the Palistinians and the Israeli have to come to reasonable terms, beforehand.

    Even if the Israeli are forced to bend, relocating 50,000 to 100,000 people.
    Their other options are truly worse.

  31. "Their other options are truly worse."

    this is of course due to the kins of the rat thinking.

    What you are so comfortably doing is comparing us to a prostitute that needs to pull tricks just to feed her nasty dependency on a drug.

    I, for one, refuse to believe we need to stoop to such low levels. Conversely, this falls right into your comfort zone. I am hereby stripping you of the title
    of "Captain America" and replacing it with "Captain Rat."

  32. There is no pretzel logic, slim, but the crux of the "War on Terro", above the poice chase level.

    The whirled economy is dependent upon Saudi and Iranian oil production and delivery.

    The US is dependent upon the whirled economy.

    So the Saudi terror masters have recieved a pass. The Wahabbist financiers of the "Golden Chain", those that fund the training camps and Islamic schools, hundreds of which have opened in Pakistan.

    To preserve the free flow of oil.
    We ignore attacks upon US military, in Iraq, that emanate from Iran.
    To preserve the free flow of oil.

    The past French President had to go to his nuclear attack submarine base, to publicly announce that the range of French warheads had been increased, by lessening the payload. 2 warheads would fly, instead of 4.
    He could now target Tehran
    The Car-b-que riots ceased.

    Proving, seems to me, that a MAD deterent does work, with the Mullahs.

    It's a MAD whirled that we police, to preserve the free flow of oil.

  33. Well, slim, President Bush said we were addicted to OIL.
    Like a cheap crack whore

    The current crisis, triggered by the oil shock of $4.00 gasoline, merely is a foretaste of what a real oil supply crisis will entail.

    The reason to maintain 50,000 US troops in Iraq, on a mega-base or two, not to nation build nor police the streets, but to provide security overwatch to the free flow of oil.

    You can keep any picture you wish, in your mind, but the reality of the challenges will not change, just your perception of it.

  34. If you believe, in your heart of hearts, that Osama and Doc Z are not action agents of both Saudi and Pakistani interests, well ...

    That's naive.

  35. The current economic crisis, just the first taste of withdrawal.

    Just the sweats and a little wrenching.

    Ever watch an addict detox?

    Look to the actions of Obama, Congress, the Federal Reserve and associates.

    The route they've charted, to revive US from the mindless exuberence of the Clinton/Bush years is not a detox, but an increase of the meds,

    The powers that be will not let the whirled go into a military induced oil shock, and will do whatever is required to try and prevent it.

  36. We elected two "Party Boys" in a row, 16 years of Animal House, on PA Ave.

    In Obama, the beat goes on!
    Party on!!

    Team America!!!

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. Just heard on the radio that Janet Napolitano was on the short list for Souter's seat on the Supremes.

    Wouldn't that be somethin'

    Peter Principle in profile.

  39. lineman complaining of lack of optimum performance, from an ethanol blend. Perhaps there is a sacrifice to be made, to achieve energy security.

    Perhaps the older technologies will not operate at optimum, pre-crisis levels, but they will operate. Until they are fully depreciated and without further functionality.

    Better that than to limit the ability to travel, due to a static supply of what would become Federally rationed gasoline.

    Remember the "Even-Odd" gas days?

    Just another foretaste.
    The problem is not new, just greatly aggrevated, now.

  40. Senators link Pakistan aid to focus on extremists.

    By LARA JAKES – 42 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators on Thursday linked U.S. aid to Pakistan to whether the nation denounces and battles extremists who have threatened security in its northwest and displaced tens of thousands of refugees.

    At issue is about $700 million that Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., said would, in part, pay to help Pakistan fight insurgents.

    "If Pakistan makes this fight against the extremists their own fight then the United States should be willing to help Pakistan achieve a more stable and secure future," Levin told Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, Joint Chiefs chairman, at a Senate hearing on the military's budget for next year.

    "But we can't buy their support for our cause, or appear to do so, since that would play into the hands of their and our enemy," Levin said. "We can and should support their cause assuming it is aligned with ours, of course, and if they make their case openly and clearly to their public."

  41. That is surprising news, about Mr Scott leaving the Walmart board. It was only a couple of months ago that I saw him on Charlie Rose, where he said he was staying on for two more years, consulting from the Board.

    Thanks for the update, don't really know what to make of it.
    Except to wonder why.

  42. BEIJING, May 14 (Xinhua) -- China will give one million US dollars in emergency humanitarian aid to Pakistan to help thousands of civilians displaced by ...

  43. A Grand Conspiracy Theory From Pakistan
    By Robert Mackey

    Somewhat disturbingly, the source for the “top story” on Pakistan Daily today is Pakistan’s president, Asif Ali Zardari. As an anonymous article on the site reports accurately, in an interview with NBC News which aired on Sunday, Mr. Zardari claimed that he “knew” that Osama bin Laden was an American “operator” during the 1980s.

    Mr. Zardari told David Gregory, in the part of the interview embedded below, that this knowledge dates from 1989, when, he said, his late wife, Benazir Bhutto, who was then Pakistan’s prime minister, had called the first President Bush to complain about Mr. bin Laden’s efforts to destabilize Pakistan, presumably on behalf of the government of the United States.

    Since Mr. Gregory made no effort to follow up on this statement by Mr. Zardari, we have no idea what information his belief about Mr. bin Laden is based on, but his statement does closely echo one he made in an interview with Fox News last September

  44. "Like a cheap crack whore"

    are these your words or his?

    2 things that won't surprise me:

    1-rat calling us the "whore of Babylon"

    2-rat revealing to us he is an end timer.

  45. 3. 'Rat single handedly destroying the EB, while denying BHO is destroying the country.

  46. BHO speaking to AZ State graduates:
    "pursuit of big money, material possessions.
    Reckless schemes.
    " the ultimate money grubbing crook ripping off the American Taxpayer.
    The Ultimate Hypocrite Worthless Bastard.
    'Rat's President.

    Fucking worthless piece of shit trashing the country while lining his fucking pockets.

  47. AZ State Morons cheering this disgrace screaming how America Sucks.
    Must be that AZ water.
    Napolitano, 'Rat, moron students...

  48. BHO's Commencement address a classic of Sophmoric Narcissism and ignorant, adolescent anti-Americanism.

  49. "I also want to apologize to the entire state of Arizona for stealing away your wonderful former governor, Janet Napolitano. (Applause.) But you've got a fine governor here and I also know that Janet is applying her extraordinary talents to serve our entire country as the Secretary of Homeland Security, keeping America safe. And she's doing a great job. (Applause.)"

    ...perhaps the only person stupider than Pelosi in Govt.

  50. "In recent years, in many ways, we've become enamored with our own past success -- lulled into complacency by the glitter of our own achievements.

    We've become accustomed to the title of "military super-power," forgetting the qualities that got us there -- not just the power of our weapons, but the discipline and valor and the code of conduct of our men and women in uniform. (Applause.) The Marshall Plan, and the Peace Corps, and all those initiatives that show our commitment to working with other nations to pursue the ideals of opportunity and equality and freedom that have made us who we are. That's what made us a super power. (Applause.)

    We've become accustomed to our economic dominance in the world, forgetting that it wasn't reckless deals and get-rich-quick schemes that got us where we are, but hard work and smart ideas -- quality products and wise investments. We started taking shortcuts. We started living on credit, instead of building up savings. We saw businesses focus more on rebranding and repackaging than innovating and developing new ideas that improve our lives.

    All the while, the rest of the world has grown hungrier, more restless -- in constant motion to build and to discover -- not content with where they are right now, determined to strive for more. They're coming.

    So graduates, it's now abundantly clear that we need to start doing things a little bit different. In your own lives, you'll need to continuously adapt to a continuously changing economy. You'll end up having more than one job and more than one career over the course of your life; to keep gaining new skills -- possibly even new degrees; and you'll have to keep on taking risks as new opportunities arise.

    And as a nation, we'll need a fundamental change of perspective and attitude. It's clear that we need to build a new foundation -- a stronger foundation -- for our economy and our prosperity, rethinking how we grow our economy, how we use energy, how we educate our children, how we care for our sick, how we treat our environment. (Applause.)

  51. ...delivered by an NEA Whore committed to the further destruction of education, esp for poor inner-city students, as in Washington DC.

  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

  53. That's the response in the home State of the GOP Standard Bearer, doug.

    The home of Barry Goldwater.

    The State of Hawaii, doug, cast its' electoral votes for Obama, Arizona was in the McCain column, Mr Obama is your President.
    America, Love it or Leave it.

    But then you're already a Pacific Polynesian.

  54. I will say, slim, that just the mental image of President Bush leaning forward almost in chummy confidence, elbow on the podium, the way he occasionally did in more relaxed days, uttering in earnest reference to something or other, " a cheap crack whore," makes me laugh out loud. He never would have said such a thing publicly but, oh, I can readily imagine it.

    Sometimes I miss those days. Before the Time of Troubles.

  55. I've never said America sucks, doug.
    Not once.

    I'm on Team America, fuck yeah!

    We got US a new coach, so far he's put together the first string, to go after Osama and Doc Z.

    I hope they do not fail, put bring the terrorists' turbaned heads back on pikes. If that is good on Obama, then so be it.

    As far as the domestic Federal program goes, my Congressman, John Shadegg will represent my position reasonably well, will your Congressman represent yours?
    How about your Senators, which side of the filibuster will they be on?

    You've allowed 'em to ruin Hawaii, a greater loss than the Elephant Bar, much as I enjoy it.

  56. He did say that Wall Street was drunk.

    The next step is easy to visualize.

  57. "Did you study education? (Applause.) Teach in a high-need school where the kids really need you; give a chance to kids who can't-- who can't get everything they need maybe in their neighborhood, maybe not even in their home we can't afford to give up on -- prepare them to compete for any job anywhere in the world. (Applause.) "
    This from the Crack Whore Crook that sends his kids to the school he and his NEA allies now do not allow poor kids to attend.
    Selfish, destructive, dishonest hypocrite.

  58. Deny the obvious, 'Rat:
    The man is dismantling our economy, support him if you must.

  59. For me, no fucking way.
    Fuck Yeah!

  60. yeah, i will give it to rat, "like a cheap crack whore" is kinda catchy. maybe we can get Toby Keith to title his next song this. shit, i dont know, if we are thinking this of our selves imagine what our pimp feels towards us.

    fun times with the pimps

  61. I do not deny that the Federals are dismanteling the economy, in a form of socialist destructive conservation, rather than capitalism's creative destruction.

    But that did not start on Obama's watch, nor will it end upon the swearing in of Team45, either.
    No matter who is leading that Team.

    My Congressman and Senators voted no, on Obama's budget, how about yours?

  62. "Now, ASU, I want to highlight -- I want to highlight two main problems with that old, tired, me-first approach.
    First, it distracts you from what's truly important, and may lead you to compromise your values and your principles and commitments.
    Think about it.

    It's in chasing titles and status -- in worrying about the next election rather than the national interest and the interests of those who you're supposed to represent -- that politicians so often lose their ways in Washington. (Applause.)

    They spend time thinking about polls, but not about principle.
    Stinking pile of shit.

  63. GWB was a fiscal conservative in comparison, 'Rat.
    Deny it if you must.

  64. Yes, doug, Obama is not a fiscal conservative, not at all, by any measure.

    My Congressman, my Representative in the House voted against the Obama budget. How did yours vote, on the budget?

    I assume that it was in the Aye column, not amongst the Nays.

    Start your revolution there, in your Congressional District.
    Where it really can matter.

    Incremental gains, one Congressional District at a time.

    I'm reasonably satisfied with my Representitive, as we continue to lose on every important issue, because the voters in Hawaii, Ohio and PA send liberals to Washington.

  65. Kyle no better than Inoyue.
    Heard him yesterday:
    You'd think he had nothing to learn by listening to the people.
    He won't.

  66. Lawyer, Senior Senator.
    Worthless pile of crap.

  67. And without the power of incumbency, when Mr Shadegg retires, the seat could easily switch. The Democrat able to offer more lucre to the electorate, as a member in the majority.

    The newbie Republican candidate not having a history of constituent service to fall back upon.

  68. Kyle can be counted amongst the 40 Republicans left standing, doug.

    For better or worse

    More than can be said of Inoyue

  69. But your Representitive, not the Senator, what about him or her?

    That is the level of political action an individual really CAN make a difference at.

    I knew JD Heyworth, when he first went to Congress, and he was no Thomas Jefferson.

  70. But he eventually lost, after 12 years in DC it was said he'd become a bully.

    I never saw it, but ...

    Now the Democrats have that seat. Harry Mitchell, Ex-Mayor of Tempe, where ASU is.

  71. Sorry dear, no money, no respirator say bye to BobalThat's the thing Ash, the very thing, in my case, there is going to be no respirator, so bobal will already be gone.

    There is to be no extraordinary care for ol bobal, he already having signed his life away.

    That's exactly what my living will does, pulls the plug. In fact it doesnt' really even let the plug get plugged in, in the first place.

    These are serious questions though.

    How does that go from Frost?

    No memory of having starred
    Keeps the end from being hard
    I think of my aunt, who wore a carpet out tending to her mother.

    The carpet is still on my living room floor, all worn out where she stood, tending her mother for years.

    I remember those days, I recall my grandmom, who smiled at me once or twice, a little shriveled old thing, there in the big bedroom.

    When my aunt got to be 96, and barely survived pneumonia, I just couldn't do it any longer. I could not bath her by myself.

    With my lawyer, and our pastor, and her living will too, we decided her fate. We decided it according to what she had already decided to do, when she was of totally firm mind.

    Not a government decision. We did right by her.

    We put her in a Lutheran rest home here (Lutherans run a series of rest homes around the country) and she survived another 2 1/2 years. I visited her every chance I got, three or four times a week. She actually was happy there, when she got used to it, and they treated her right.

    They had a monthly meeting where a family member could come and have input to a particular patients case. I went a few times, then quit because I could see they were doing an excellent job.

    Some rest homes are not so good. I remember my friend Wayne went and visited Nels H.--- a local farmer, not so good. No one around, laying in a urine stained bed. Not a good rest home. Be careful in choosing a rest home.

    Well, we have to deal with these things as best we can.

    As for me, I'd take family involvement any day, over the government.

    A good Hospice is a truly great thing. If you get a little ahead on the money, and find yourself with some free time, you might take a day off from golfing and sailing, help out, and donate a little money to the hospice movement,too.

    There are many good people out there, believe me.

    There are some things that are so sad you don't want to think about. I have a cousin for instance, whose father had Alzheimers, and drove them mad, his body was in perfect shape, his mind totally gone, and he hung on and on.

    They did the best with him they could.

    And, since Alzheimers is an inheritable genetic disease, my cousin of course is worried about himself.

    What do I do Bob, he asked one time, what happens if I forget to shoot myself while I still have the sense to shoot myself?

    I'd rather depend on a family, and the church, and the lawyer, and the living will, than a government program.

  72. "But we can't buy their support for our cause, or appear to do so, since that would play into the hands of their and our enemy," Levin said. "We can and should support their cause assuming it is aligned with ours, of course...


    Sounds like the Fresno atty who is defending himself right now against charges that he defrauded clients. His defense is temporary insanity. Yesterday, he fired his lawyer in the middle of questioning with a psychiatrist in the witness box. The judge let him proceed to represent himself, at which point he began quizzing the shrink about his own sanity. It got better when he called himself as a witness, and proceeded to question himself from the witness box. Question: "Did you set fire to your own house?" Answer: "No!"

    The prosecutor was going crazy. The defendant/self-counsel had already told the judge if he allowed testimony by the fire marshal, he [the defendant/self-counsel] would "turn the trial into a circus."

    The judge wasn't pleased with that.

    At the end of the day, the allegedly temporarily insane defendant/self-counsel told reporters he had "never had such a great time."

    His wife was murdered awhile back, triggering his claimed insanity in dealing with his clients. He's been absolved of that crime.

    The trial goes on as we chat.

  73. Sounds like a normal day in court, or at the Elephant Bar, Linear.

    Would you be willing to defend me, to take my case, if I pleaded not guilty by reason of sanity?

  74. Bob @ Thu May 14, 03:56:00 PM EDT

    So much in that comment it's hard to know where to begin. All true and touching.

    My extended family has had good experience with using Lutheran care facilities, a husband hanging on now a few years after his wife passed on. Both with Alzheimers. Hard on my brother-in-law who carries the genes.

    Meantime, and not to brag although it may seem so, my mom at 95-1/2 drove herself to her cardiologist appointment to have her pacemaker recalibrated on Tuesday. She worries about her memory and not keeping up with her housework.

    There's much more I could say, but its probably best to just add: Thanks for those comments, Bob.

  75. Would you be willing to defend me, to take my case, if I pleaded not guilty by reason of sanity?

    Absolutely, Bob. You can count on it.

    Just don't fire me in the middle of questioning a friendly witness, ok?