“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."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Iran, an analysis you will not find on MSM

Here is all you need to know about the Iranian vote. There were forty million paper ballot votes cast. The so-called vote count was done in four hours. Not possible.

The Obama speech was a pebble thrown into a lake created by eight years of George W Bush.

The short analysis is this is a military coup by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and a counter revolution by the students. My anarchical heart is routing for the students. My street smarts tell me thay have a steep wall to climb, with a short ladder. No one can predict where this is going. All of us can hope.

The Ministry of the Interior was rumored to have authorized the use of live ammunition as the regime struggled to maintain control.

Supporters of Mr Mousavi, fought running battles with the police and Basiji, who have flooded into Tehran.

In one incident a witness told The Times how she watched from her car as riot police on six motorbikes opened fire on youths walking under a bridge after the rally.

“The riot police started shooting them with big guns,” she said. “It wasn’t like the films where there is just a small hole — the shooting was blowing off hands, limbs. It was terrible, terrible.”

The regime showed its first sign of alarm when Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, who at the weekend hailed the result as a “divine assessment”, instructed the Guardian Council of 12 senior clerics to investigate allegations that the election was rigged. However, the move was seen widely as a ruse to buy time.


  1. It's Iran, Deuce.

  2. They are freedom fighters finding their sea legs.

  3. Other than China, Russia and Venezuela, there will be extreme pressure to further isolate the regime. Trotten was correct. They need massive amounts of handguns.

  4. It's IRAN, Deuce.

  5. Leg-tingling about the president aside, Hezbollah lost the election in Lebanon for several reasons; chief not among them was Obama’s amoral speechifying in Egypt.--

    And The Media Get It Wrong On Mideast Elections

    Would be nice to know how many votes each side got, though it's not possible, it seems.

    It does seem Ahmadinejad was ahead 30 days out, least if some polls are to believed, what happened after that who knows.

  6. From Mat--what do you make of this---

    2 Japanese carrying $134 bil worth of U.S. bonds detained in Italy
    Thursday 11th June, 06:18 AM JST

    ROME —
    Two Japanese nationals were detained by Italian financial police last week after trying to enter Switzerland with $134 billion worth of undeclared U.S. bonds, mostly Treasury bonds, an Italian daily said Wednesday. The Japanese consulate general in Milan confirmed that the detention had taken place and said it was trying to confirm with Italian authorities whether the two were indeed Japanese nationals and their identities.

    According to the report in il Giornale, two unidentified Japanese in their 50s concealed the bonds, including 249 U.S. Treasury bonds each worth $500 million, in a suitcase with a false bottom that was searched by the Italian authorities June 3 when they were in Chiasso, at the border with Switzerland, about 50 kilometers north of Milan. The daily did not say on what charges they have been detained, but the two may have been detained on suspicion of attempting to take a large amount of securities out of Italy without declaring it because the paper said they had not declared the bonds.

    That's a lot of bonds.

  7. The Islamic Revolution occurred in 1979, during the administration of Mr. Carter.

    Six U.S. presidents have had ample time to assess and act against these Islamic paragons.

    After 30 years, the opposition to the thugs remains unarmed. On the other hand, governments, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are being armed up with some of the most advanced weapons systems in the U.S. arsenal.

    There is a lesson here.

  8. That arms really mean squat when deployed against a peaceful determined populace?

  9. That lesson going to the heart of what modern America is all about, allen.

  10. No, that is not the lesson, at all, ash.

    Proven false at Tinneman Square, amongst other analogous events.

    The revolution will fail if one of the armed power centers does not "switch" to the 'people power' side.

    If the people are not themselves armed.

    Trotten was right about the pistols, always was.

    There is bobbie, trying to discern right and wrong, by reading obsolete foreign polling. Slip sliding away, with no ideological core to set his course by, like his heros.

  11. Burka bobbie is telling US the mullahs will win, whatever we do. That they are omnipotent, compared to US.

    That the US has utterly failed in its' attempt at regime change, through soft power, as advanced by Mr Bush and Cheney. The fools, they never listened to Burka bobbie, who knew they'd fail, but offered no other course of action that could've been taken. Not once in six years did Burka bobbie let US know the 'other' way forward.

    Still does not, but bemoans that the US President does not follow a different course.

    Look at the polls ,bobbie, that's where rightous resolve resides!

  12. If there were better polls, well then, bobbie would know what he was suppossed to think.

  13. Bibi working hard at obtaining Olmert's nightmare, One State, where everyone votes.
    Including those on the West Bank and in Gaza.

    An Israel that is not a Jewish State, but just a State.

  14. Twitter Joins the Revolution:
    Faster, Please! » So How’s it Going in Iran

    But the key element is the people. They are only just beginning to understand the reality of their situation. Virtually none of them imagined that they would be in a revolutionary confrontation with the regime just two days after the electoral circus, and few of them can realize, so soon, that they can actually change the world. I think the Mousavis now understand it (they know that they are either going to win or be destroyed). It remains to be seen if they can instruct and inspire the movement.

    Much will depend on their ability to communicate. The regime has been waging a cyberwar against the dissidents, shutting down websites, cell phones, Facebook, and the like. As most people have learned, the basic communiations tool is Twitter, which somehow continues to function. Bigtime Kudos to Twitter, by the way, for postponing its planned maintenance so that the Iranians can continue to Tweet. Would that Google were so solicitous of freedom.

    We don’t know who’s going to win. The Iranian people know that they’re on their own; they aren’t going to get any help from us, or the United Nations, or the Europeans. But paradoxically, this lack of support may strengthen their will. There is no cavalry on the horizon. If they are going to prevail, they and their unlikely leaders will have to gut it out by themselves. God be with them.

  15. To start with, the BBC, long considered a shill for the regime by most Iranian dissidents, estimates between one and two million Tehranis demonstrated against the regime on Monday. That’s a big number. So we can say that, at least for the moment, there is a revolutionary mass in the streets of Tehran. There are similar reports from places like Tabriz and Isfahan, so it’s nationwide.

    For its part, the regime ordered its (Basij and imported Hezbollah) thugs to open fire on the demonstrators. The Guardian, whose reporting from Iran has always been very good (three correspondents expelled in the last ten years, they tell me), thinks that a dozen or so were killed on Monday. And the reports of brutal assaults against student dormitories in several cities are horrifying, even by the mullahs’ low standards.

  16. Well, Rat, one could always argue that the Chinese people were not determined enough. In any case revolutions can occur without a civil war. Sure, the guys with the guns need to come on board, or at least refuse to kill their own. There are a number of historical examples ranging from the "Velvet Revolution" to the tumbling of the Soviet bloc after the Berlin wall was smashed with hammers and bare hands.

    My comment yesterday pinning the current Iranian situation firmly to Bush (and the financial crisis) was written somewhat facetiously. That comment reflects a very US centric view of the world which I think represents a certain amount of US hubris. Sure the US is powerful and has much effect in the world but it hardly controls events. In fact it is what Bush didn't do that has played an important role in the current uprising there. He didn't go in with the Air Force and bomb the nuke facilities. Similarly what Obama is saying to the Iranians, and US and the World is important. If he shot of his mouth half cocked like McCain just did he could seriously harm the prospects for the revolution occurring. If the US were perceived to be agitating, blowing up things, distributing guns, stuffing ballot boxes, then the Mullahs would have a much stronger case. You know how a tyranny loves an enemy to backstop all and sundry. The Mullahs need to demonstrate to the IRANIAN people that the election was valid or offer another chance. If they don't their days will be numbered.

  17. "My street smarts tell me thay have a steep wall to climb, with a short ladder."

    Memorable turn of phrase, dear host.

    Everyone knows it, and that's why everyone's captivated.

    Save the irretrievably morose.

  18. The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

  19. And the cynical. Let's not forget the cynical. Win, lose, or draw they're ready, along with members of the regime, to tally it all up to one foreign intelligence service or another.

  20. Eeyore Lives!

    Tue Jun 16, 10:05:00 AM EDT

    Many a day I'm inclined to think that ought to be the Bar motto.

  21. Foreign Policy as Social Work
    It has suddenly become much more difficult to pretend that you are not betraying the Iranian people by engaging with the junta in Iran.

  22. One Nation,
    Under the Bar,
    Floored by Negativity!

  23. Whatever You Say . . . [Jonah Goldberg]
    I could swear that Matt Yglesias used to talk about how Ahmadinejad was ultimately reasonable. Now Ahmadinejad's a really bad guy because he's like . . . Sarah Palin.

    Ahmadinejad is in most ways a classic right-winger, a demagogic nationalist and cultural conservative. In a manner somewhat reminiscent of a Sarah Palin, however, he clothes this right-wing politics in a language of class resentment, painting his more pragmatic and reformist opponents as decadent elites out of touch with ordinary people. Unlike the populists of the American right, however, he merges this rhetoric with something resembling an actual populist economic agenda. The main element has been the use of oil revenue to expand the state sector of the economy in an attempt to distribute wealth more broadly throughout the country. This approach has gained Ahmadinejad a loyal following among the rural poor and public employees, but Iran’s objective economic performance has been disappointing, even during the great oil boom years.

    Daniel Halper responds:

    Yes, Yglesias is referring to the same Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who calls for Israel to be wiped off the map, who denies the existence of the Holocaust, who calls Jews (whoops, Zionists) the “true manifestation of Satan,” and so on. But the main distinction between Ahmadinejad from Palin? The former is in favor of redistributing the wealth, which automatically makes him better than Palin in Yglesias’s mind.

  24. Radio Free Europe:

    June 16, 2009
    Leading Iranian Reformist Arrested, His Office Says
    TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Leading Iranian reformist Mohammad Ali Abtahi has been arrested, his office said.

    Abtahi, a former vice president who backed reformist candidate Mehdi Karrubi in the disputed June 12 presidential election, was arrested early on June 16, the office said without giving further details.

    Reformist sources said another prominent reformer, Said Hajjarian, was arrested on June 15.

    Hajjarian is an ally of moderate Mir Hossein Musavi, who has formally appealed the result of the election that showed hard-line President Mahmud Ahmadinejad had won by a landslide.

    Separately, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted a senior police official as saying some "antirevolutionary" people had been arrested with bomb material and weapons.

    Whaddya wanna bet...not.

    But it won't take long to advance the theme.

  25. Doug - "It has suddenly become much more difficult to pretend that you are not betraying the Iranian people by engaging with the junta in Iran."

    "Piece" demands engagement! All we are saying is give Piece a chance...a piece of Israel, a piece of Kurdistan, a piece of Lebanon, a piece of China, a piece of India, a piece of Russia...

    Doug, "junta" is such an ugly, inflammatory word. It is a word used only when "good" neighborhood organizations, say, ACORN, are justifying the redistribution of the wealth of Bank of America. We all need to take a deep breath.

  26. There are reports of members of the Revolutionary Guards defecting to the dissidents. There is this report from an Iranian website (the only place i’ve seen it) according to which 16 senior Revolutionary Guards officials have been arrested:

    “These commanders have been in contact with members of the Iranian army to join the people’s movement. Three of the commanders are veterans of Iran-Iraq war. They have been moved to an undisclosed location in East Tehran.”


    So What's Going To Happen In Iran?--

    Nobody seems to know, but it certainly is a strange mix of elements, veil supporting woman liberationists, revolting Revoltutionary guards, revolutionary conservatives, people power and thugs imported in from Lebanon.

    That last might be significant, if you need to import thugs, because you don't trust your own, as some of them are going over.

    Like Rufus says, "It's Iran."

  27. Ash has a point, but it's hard to tell. The Iranians have, from all accounts, participated in elections and disputed the results in the past. What may be unprecedented is the sheer amount of anger in the streets.

    Did the relatively fair and free elections in Iraq, a result of shrub's policies, have any impact on the perceptions of Iranians on the meaning of a vote? Or even if Iraq hadn't happened, they would have revolted with such ferocity anyway?

    Such counterfactuals of history are tough to determine.

  28. I thought this NYTimes article gave some interesting insight into the politics of the Mullahs:

    In Iran, an Iron Cleric, Now Blinking

  29. The vicious attacks on people by the hired thugs of the regime are failing more and more as the mullahs' instrument of rule by terror. The police and official security apparatus are less and less willing to exercise brute force to suppress the people. That's exactly why the regime has imported Arab speaking terrorist groups such as Lebanese Hizbollah and Palestinian thugs.--


  30. Posted by: Joe B
    Jun 16, 06:43 AM Report Abuse

    If Ahmadinejad and the IRGC are ultimately overthrown, we have George W. Bush to thank for keeping up the economic pressure and political isolation on these oppressors. Similarly, the anti-Syrian March 14 coalition won in Lebanon almost entirely because of the good offices and effective prosecution of the war on terror by George W Bush, with a lot of help from our "no longer essential ally" Israel. DopeyPOTUS went to Cairo purposefully to make concessions to Hezbollah and Ahmadinejad. Now it looks like both will be discredited and swept out of power.

    Ha, ha. Talk about getting stuck behind the eight ball. And within a matter of less than a week! Now his a**hole State Department is farcically (no pun intended) spinning this as a victory for Obama foreign policy. WTF!!! We all heard the speech. He was pandering to TERRORISTS and almost spontaneously, their power seems to be collapsing before our very eyes. If anything, I think the Arab and Farsi world spontaneously came to the conclusion that if they don't help themselves, they certainly can't rely on the Fool in the White House to support their aspirations for Democracy.

    Dumb Democrats call it wrong every goddamn time. If we didn't have so many stupid college educated Americans suckered in by Hope and Change we wouldn't be in this mess. Let's hope Sotormayor, Walpin-gate, and the Obey's shilling for amnesty and socialized medicine finish off his approval ratings for good. Maybe we can end up in 2010 with our own Velvet Revolution to save our country from the corrupt Minority Occupied Government of Barack Obama.

  31. Finally, an imported opinion, other than mine and duece's, that supports the idea that Team43's policies have impacted Iran. That the sanctions have worked, if later than had been hoped for.

    To bad bobbie couldn't bring himself to write it. Still trying to feel the breeze of other folks opinions, so he'd know what he was supposed to think.

    I think it is important that the revolution be seen as homegrown, ash.

    Most 'good' operational scenarios would agree. Which is why, over six years a slow but steady supply of munitions could have been cached. Indeed it was reported, by Seemingly Blind Hirsh to have been an ongoing program.

    So, either it was and the US will not now turn it on, afailure of will and resolve. Or the US never did develop that insurgent network. In which case it'd be interesting to know how Hirsh was fed the misinformation and by whom.

    The answers could shed a light on how manipulative Team43 really was, in utilizing the MSM. Or whether Hirsh made the stuff up, whole clothe.

  32. Re: "hired Hizbollah and
    Palestinian thugs"

    Had the Bush administration allowed the destruction of these mercenary terrorists during the Lebanon War, they would not be available for hire.

  33. Here is a shocking development:

    Iran poll result splits world powers

    By Daniel Dombey in Washington, FT reporters and agencies
    Published: June 16 2009 14:13 | Last updated: June 16 2009 19:20

    The world’s big powers split on Tuesday over whether to recognise Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad as the victor of Iran’s presidential election, as France denounced electoral “fraud” while the Russian and China leaders personally welcomed him to a regional summit.

  34. I recall an image of an IDF NCO with his men beside some Israeli armour on the eve of the expected thrust up toward the Litani near the end of Just Reward. Just as they were bracing themselves for the assault, Olmert put everything on hold waiting for Washinton's blessings presumably. The expression on the NCO's face said it all.


  35. linearthinker,

    If only Condi had stuck with football ;-)

    Given the damage done, even a competent administration would spend years cleaning up the mess.

  36. linearthinker,

    Blessedly, in dealing with the Arabs, they never miss and opportunity to miss and opportunity (Eban). Moreover, they never fail to overplay that pair of deuces.

    Worrisome is the prospect of one day going up against the northern Chinese, who are neither religious fanatics nor morons (but I repeat myself).

  37. Allen, Two snips from Yoni on August 11, 2006:

    Israel Rejects UN Deal - IDF On The Move

    Aug. 11, 2006 19:20 | Updated Aug. 11, 2006 22:31
    40,000 troops could enter s. Lebanon

    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz ordered the IDF on Friday to send additional ground forces into Lebanon and up to the Litani river, some 30 kilometers from Israel

    Yes, No, Yes, No, - Maybe

    In the 2 1/2 hours since I posted the news story which confirmed what I posted earlier on Olmert giving the IDF the go ahead , now this that Olmert is going to accept the cease fire.

    Olmert is INSANE


    That was the setting for the scene by the tank in the gathering gloom.

    They went anyway, knowing in advance the outcome would be dismal.

    The once proud IDF, led by a plumber's union boss and a real estate speculator.


    Sorry for the diversion from Iran, deuce.

  38. Correction:

    The once proud IDF, jerked around by a plumber's union boss and a real estate speculator like two little boys playing in a sandbox, their nanny urging them to "play nice".

  39. Friday prayers day ought to be interesting.

  40. Goddamn, can't we have just one fucking day without someone whining about the corrupt fucking Israelis?

    Piss on the Israelis. Enough!

    All we give them is a lousy couple of billion. All they have to do is tell us to "stick it," and go kill all the Arabs they want.

    If they would rather have the bucks than kill the arabs that's Their choice. Taking the money, and then blaming big, old mean Condi is inane.

  41. ABC News, the All Barack Channel, as someone said, is now broadcasting from the White House.

  42. Effects of the Clampdown

    Here's an editorial note from a Reuters piece we just ran in our news section.

    (Editors' note: Reuters coverage is now subject to an Iranian ban on foreign media leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran.)

    We've been noticing today how, despite the fact that a lot seems to be going on in Tehran today, it's much more difficult to get images or accounts of just what's occurring. It seems like the blanket ban on reporters leaving their offices may be having a big effect.

    --Josh Marshall

  43. Cole:

    Tuesday, June 16, 2009
    Dueling Demonstrations in Tehran

    Borzou Daragahi reports from Tehran that supporters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came out in the tens of thousands to chant "Death to America," "Death to Israel," and "Khamenei is our Leader." This rally, called for 4 pm, was meant to upstage one scheduled at 5 pm by supporters of Mir-Hosain Mousavi. The latter crowd instead staged a small, quiet march on Vali Asr Street in the north of the city.

    Grand Ayatollah Hosain Montazeri, once thought likely to be Khomeini's successor, called for 3 days of mourning for the 12 demonstrators killed on Monday. Montazeri broke with the regime, rejecting an authoritarian interpretation of the 'guardianship of the jurisprudent' or mandatory clerical rule, and is under house arrest in Qom.

    On the other hand, Ali Larijani, the speaker of the Iranian parliament who quit as Ahmadinejad's negotiator on nuclear issues because of the president's confrontational style, nevertheless rallied to his side on Tuesday.

    I'd say that there are three factions: the hard liners, the pragmatic conservatives, and the reformists. Larijani is a hard liner, so what he said is not surprising. If the pragmatic conservatives continue to back Mousavi, however, that is a real challenge to the regime.

  44. Goddamn, can't we have just one fucking day without someone whining about the corrupt fucking Israelis?

    Probably never.

    Just scroll, rufus, scroll.

  45. I'm scrolling, boss; I'm scrolling.

  46. How did I miss that?

    There are the makings of a revolution in Iran. However, that revolution may be stiffled because the Iranian government has imported Hezbollah and Palestinain mercenaries.

    Now, some number of these butchers would have been long dead had not Condi, GW and Co. spared them.

    And that is the fault of the "corrupt fucking Israelis".

    Wow! How did I miss that?

    Sometimes it really does take a genius to see the obvious: There is no connection, whatsoever, to what is happening in Iran and what is happening in Israel.

  47. For those left behind by the speed and scope of Obama's Corruption:
    MORE Money for ACORN!

    AmeriCorps IG accuses prominent Obama supporter of misusing AmeriCorps grant money. Prominent Obama supporter has to pay back more than $400,000 of that grant money. Obama fires AmeriCorps IG.

    Byron York correctly identifies the bottom line in this matter.

    It’s that simple. A clear case of political corruption by a loyal supporter of our Dear Leader, and Obama responds by firing the government employee doing their job by reporting the corruption. This is what passes for “transparency” in the reign of democrat Barack Hussein Obama.
    » Obama’s Americorps scandal — and the First Lady’s meddling

  48. Obama co-sponsered the bill requiring 30 days notice of the firing of an Inspector General.
    Now he fires an IG with 40 minutes notice!

    Said IG is a 78 year old prosecutor with impeccable credentials going back to the Nixon era.

  49. Allen,
    Condi and Powell's sabotage of the Admin largely canceled out a majority of the good things that Cheney/Bush would have accomplished.

  50. I love the smell of cordite at cocktail hour.

  51. It’s that simple. A clear case of political corruption by a loyal supporter of our Dear Leader, and Obama responds by firing the government employee doing their job by reporting the corruption.--

    If we knew the full extent of all this, we'd, we'd---be planning on going to a Tea Party!

    How much ACORN money was it that was given out? Some billions, was it not? A person loses track.

    But what should we expect, guy's from Chicago.

    Lars Larson was just talking about how only two Republicans, one being Hutchinson from Texas, showed up for the Senate hearing for the new head of FCC. Senator Kay Baily did get in a good question, and the guy anwered it in an assuring manner, which means nothing. "I support the 1st Amendment, etc." This guy sailed through, and De Mint, who is the head Republican guy on the committee, who was given a list of questions to ask by some media types, didn't even show.

    Jimmah Carter wants Hamas taken off the terrorist list. Presumably some of these good guys are in Iran, right now.

  52. Doug,

    “The vice presidency isn’t worth a warm bucket of spit.”
    ___attributed to John Nance Garner

    Mr. Cheney may be excused. The remainder stand guilty as charged.

  53. That's so much more polished than "Bar Fight", deuce.

    As Trish might say.

  54. Another Senator can't keep his pants on--

    By Chris Cillizza and Paul Kane

    UPDATE, 6:55 p.m.: In a press conference moments ago, Senaor Ensign, R-Nevada, admitted the affair but seemed resolved to remain in political life. "Last year I had an affair," said Ensign. "I violated the vows of my marriage." Ensign did not name the woman with whom he had the affair, saying only that "the woman who I was involved with and her husband were close friends of mine." He added that he was "committed to my service in the United States Senate". Ensign took no questions.

    "the woman who I was involved with and her husband were close friends of mine."--

    Well that makes it all better.

    Shades of that mayor in San Francisco, Gavin Newsome, who was screwing his campaign managers wife, without asking.

    I've received a couple form letters from Ensign, begging for money. He seems a cut above Dirty Harry, at least. But what don't we know?

  55. I was told to give up cordite, and go cordial.

  56. Here's an ethics quandary. For both political parties. Which is worse, (or better) a male Senator having anonymous sex in some air port rest room with some Joe, or a guy having sex with the wife of 'his close friend'?

    On what grounds do we decide these things, or should we be talking about them at all?

    Or, do we just give up and say "They're all a bunch of fuckers?"

  57. Too bad we can't expect politicians to do the appropriate thing...

    "the woman who I was involved with and her husband were close friends of mine."-- using good English.

  58. And in good Vegas fashion, there seems to have been blackmail of the whitemale involved--

    Normal behavior among friends--

    Nevada Republican Sen. John Ensign said Tuesday evening he is “truly sorry” about an affair he had last year with a campaign staffer, going public with an embarrassing admission about his marital infidelity.

    The news certainly damages any hope Ensign has of running for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012 – he had fueled speculation about a presidential run with a recent visit to Iowa — and it may also hinder what has been a steady rise in Senate GOP leadership.

    Political insiders in the Senate and in Nevada told POLITICO that Ensign began an affair with a staffer several months after he separated from his wife. When Ensign reconciled with his wife, the sources said, he gave the aide a severance package and parted ways.

    Sometime later, a Nevada source said, Ensign met with the husband of the woman involved and had what this source described as a positive encounter. Sources said that the man subsequently asked Ensign for a substantial sum of money – at which point Ensign decided to make the affair public. In his Las Vegas press conference, Ensign declined to give specifics about the woman involved but did say she and “her husband were close friends and both of them worked for me.”

    At the Tuesday press conference, a contrite Ensign admitted his affair, said his wife sought counseling after the episode, but added that he and his wife have reconciled. Ensign took no questions.

    Read more:

    In Ensign's favor, it might be argued this occured during a separation.

    What's a separation good for, if you can't have a little fun, the argument might go.

  59. Shouldn't it be--

    the woman with whom I was involved--


    Buddy Larsen is good on these topics

    something a floating proposition, or somethin

  60. God blessed all men with two heads. Satan cursed them to do most of their thinking with the smaller.

  61. I try out new hairstyles on my small head, Allen.
    Modeling saves Money.

  62. but where would it be used in Iraq or Afghanistan?

    the buff can also deliver it, of course sead would need to be accomplished

  63. "Mr. Cheney may be excused. The remainder stand guilty as charged"
    The Wuss went along with it.
    In drag, as
    The Decider.

  64. God blessed all women with two sets of lips. One for pissing and one for moaning.

  65. You Wouldn't Want To Shake Hands With This Man--

    Obviously needs FlyShooter, The Original Bug Gun.

    And some instruction on how to use a hanky.

  66. Hey, Linear:
    Grow up.
    Shameful behavior!

  67. A man that leaves bug guts on the palm his hand is a man that doesn't deserve to be interviewed.

  68. doug,

    Re: hairstyling

    You do not have a handlebar mustache, do you? I’m channeling Shari Lewis here…bad man…bad man…bad man…

  69. Hey, Linear:
    Grow up.
    Shameful behavior

    I'd never tell a lie. Rufus started it.

    At least I don't act like a dirty old man with STDs, Doug. owtte

  70. Clap, Linear, it's my only defense.

  71. Tourette's syndrome used to be my fallback defense.

    As in "Gee,'s just my Tourette's acting up.

  72. Then my friends would laugh, and the boss would get even madder.

  73. Hey, al-Bob:
    I forgot the name of the genius with that similar disase that once blessed us with his writings.
    (obviously forgot the name of the disease, too)
    Too bad linear missed him.

  74. That would have been Aspergersgentleman, al-doug.

    And you, you computer cad, had some of us believing poor old Buddy had died one night, as I recall. :)

    Rufus had put up a Native American funeral chant, and I was in Swedish mourning.

  75. What do Swedes do in mourning, break out of their chronic depression?

  76. Too bad linear missed him.

    I didn't. I thought him gifted.

    Then sometime later I came across an explanation of his godddamned-sonofabitch-fucking affliction.

    ..s-s-s-sorry folks...

  77. This comment has been removed by the author.

  78. I think they break out the aquavit.

  79. Carter’s rationale for thinking that, however, is really the smoking gun of his anti-Semitism; specifically, that Jews make up less than 100 percent of Israel’s population.--'-/

    Sweden has, or had, a state religion until a few years ago, Lutheranism. Before that was pagan, until around 1100AD or so.

    Here is a picture of a Tomte stealing hay. A Tomte, or Tomtar, was usually thought of as a protector of house, hay, and hearth in the old myths.

  80. They expatriate, doug

    Doing almost anything to get away from being a Swede

  81. 103. Andrea G.:

    Your missing citation:,1518,630463-2,00.html

    Der Spiegel quotes Voice of America saying that 5000 Lebanese Hezbollah are in Iran to help the regime in a “showdown”.

    Jun 16, 2009 - 3:19 pm

  82. Senator John Ensign, Republican ...

    That says all you need to know.

  83. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Washington and its allies face limited options in trying to halt North Korea's nuclear ambitions despite President Barack Obama's vow on Tuesday that Pyongyang will no longer be rewarded for provoking a crisis.

    Joined by South Korea's leader at the White House, Obama promised to end a cycle of letting impoverished North Korea create a nuclear crisis, then granting such concessions as food and fuel to get it to back down, only to see it renege later on its promises.

    Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak achieved a level of unity that eluded Washington and Seoul during the era of their predecessors, George W. Bush and Roh Moo-hyun, when North Korea exploited gaps between a tough U.S. stance and accommodating South Korean policies.

    "In the short run, that message is very powerful and sends a signal to the region that there's no daylight between the U.S. and its allies," said Nicholas Szechenyi of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington

  84. By Carolyn Cole
    June 16, 2009

    Reporting from Sakhra Valley, Pakistan--

    At a remote base camp in the heart of the Swat Valley, Pakistani army troops are hunkered down in a temporary compound, a large private home whose owner recently fled the advancing warfare.

    It is the third day of a nine-day operation to clear an area known as the Sakhra Valley, and the soldiers remain under attack by Taliban fighters who had made it one of their strongholds.

    Bullet holes riddle the living room windows and shattered glass covers the floors. From the balcony, soldiers fire back, using binoculars to spot enemy positions. In the courtyard, sandbags are filled to fortify broken walls and build sniper posts.

    Battles such as the one last Thursday — of which a Times photographer traveling with Pakistani troops received a rare firsthand glimpse — can prove costly. More than 40 Pakistani soldiers have been killed in recent fighting to retake control of central and upper Swat from Islamic militants who had terrorized residents unwilling to accept their harsh Islamic justice system. Authorities say about 500 militants also have died in the fighting in this onetime tourist haven just 100 miles from the nation’s capital, Islamabad

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  86. Barack Obama becomes President and the Islamo-fascists are takin' it on the chin.

    In Lebanon and Afpakistan, to be sure and in Iran, a bloody nose for the mullahs, at least.

    But Obama, of course, had nothing to do with it, America being impotent across the Islamic Arc.

  87. What is even funnier, the Bush stalwerts won't even claim the credit, for the foundation Obama is building upon.

    Disowning US policy, after 6 years of almost fanatic support, in just 100 days.

    Sunshine patriots, indeed.

    Just when US policy begins to show signs of success.

  88. Not even qualifying as Sunshine Patriots, these folks's behaviour hardly qualifies 'em as Sunshine Partisans.

    Bunch of bolos, washouts.

  89. Everyone knowing that a US President would never say one thing in public and secretly order other things, diametricly opposed to what he publicly said, as long as there was plausible deniability.

  90. These are the same folks that credited Obama for the economic crisis, last June. Before he was even the nominee.

    But as the Islamo-fascists are being rocked in their socks.
    Both militarily and politically, we are told, by these same folk that the US, and its' President are inconsequental to the process.

    Where as, when Mr Bush held the oval office, every time he touched the brim of his Stetson, the consumate poker player was sending the mullahs subliminal messages of cultural superiority.

  91. Resolve, fellas.

    Remember when it was the byword?

    Now more than ever.

    Stay the course, or no one else will.

  92. No one from Chi-town would ever say one thing, then do another.

    Behind your back.

    Nah, never. They're to morally ethical for that kind of behaviour, those from Chi-town.

  93. Not only the mullahs, Mr Bush was signally the Israeli. According to Bar patrons.

    Keeping them from defending themselves from existental threats, with the touch of his hat, and a grin.

    When are we takin' that routine to Vegas, it can play in the Lounge.
    Right before Rickles.

  94. Abracadbra may well have already won, bobbie.
    Stratfor may be right in their analysis.

    Or the revolution may take a year of simmering, before coming to a boil.

    The question remains, what became of the US backed insurgent network?

    Did it ever exist?
    Does it now?

  95. If Abracadbra won, the US and Mr Bush lost.

    Did Bush leave Obama the tools and Obama not utilize them, or did Bush just forget to take action and never build out that insurgent network?

    The question is of paramount importance, really.

  96. If the US had destroyed the Syrian armor, in 2003 & 2004, there'd be no Hezzbollah threat from Lebanon to worry of.

    We'd have broken the back of another State sponsors of terror.

    We stopped when it was still time to roll. More concerned about managing local Iraqi politics then winning the war on terror.

    The Standard of Mediocrity maintained.

    Senator John Ensign's and the Republican Standard, that of mediocrity.

  97. No grandstanding, no drama, from Team Obama

    ... on Monday afternoon, a 27-year-old State Department official, Jared Cohen, e-mailed the social-networking site Twitter with an unusual request: delay scheduled maintenance of its global network, which would have cut off service while Iranians were using Twitter to swap information and inform the outside world about the mushrooming protests around Tehran.

    The request, made to a Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, is yet another new-media milestone: the recognition by the United States government that an Internet blogging service that did not exist four years ago has the potential to change history in an ancient Islamic country.

    “This was just a call to say: ‘It appears Twitter is playing an important role at a crucial time in Iran. Could you keep it going?’ ” said P.J. Crowley, the assistant secretary of state for public affairs.

    Twitter complied with the request, saying in a blog post on Monday that it put off the upgrade until late Tuesday afternoon — 1:30 a.m. Wednesday in Tehran — because its partners recognized “the role Twitter is currently playing as an important communication tool in Iran.” The network was working normally again by Tuesday evening.

    The State Department said its request did not amount to meddling. Mr. Cohen, they noted, did not contact Twitter until three days after the vote was held and well after the protests had begun.

    “This is completely consistent with our national policy,” Mr. Crowley said. “We are proponents of freedom of expression. Information should be used as a way to promote freedom of expression.”

    The episode demonstrates the extent to which the administration views social networking as a new arrow in its diplomatic quiver. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton talks regularly about the power of e-diplomacy, particularly in places where the mass media are repressed

  98. From CNN

    ... the official said the Netanyahu government was working with Obama special envoy George Mitchell on what the official called a possible "accommodation" on the U.S. administration's demand that Israel freeze settlements.

    Under discussion, this and another Israeli source said, was a proposal in which Israel would agree to no new settlements, no confiscation of new land and a limit on so-called "natural growth" of existing settlements to allow access to vital services.

    One of the sources said a potential obstacle was Israel's position that its laws and other administrative rules precluded it from blocking projects already approved and financed. But both sources voiced optimism some accommodation could be reached that created "no new facts on the ground.

    The Isareli agreeing to a change in rhetoric, but "no new facts on the ground."

    Doubt that'll be enough for Team Obamamerica.

  99. The Death and Life of Health 'Reform' A glimpse of a future without nationalized health care.

    But politics went on, and while the armies of wonkdom mourned, three little-known congressmen (Eric Paul, Ryan Cantor and Kemp Newtley) discovered an unexpected public enthusiasm for a flat tax.

    Through incessant Twittering over the heads of the media, they persuaded millions of voters they'd be better off with lower rates even if it meant giving up tax-free employer provided health insurance. It didn't hurt, either, that the wailing of insurance and medical lobbyists was over-the-top -- convincing voters that the tax benefit really was just a form of corporate welfare disguised as a mostly illusory benefit for individuals.

    Though the realization was slow in dawning, policy experts would eventually rediscover what they had known all along (but had conveniently forgotten in order to lend their voices to "solutions" that required ever more government spending) -- that tax reform, in the American context, is health-care reform.

    And, lo, it proved true, as 100 million intelligent, well-educated employees of Corporate America were allowed to see for the first time what "tax free" health insurance was really costing them. They saw how it distorted their behavior and caused them to allocate far more of their incomes to the medical-industrial complex than they would have chosen for themselves.

    Eyes newly opened, they demanded cheaper insurance options, covering fewer services (cancer wigs, family counseling, in-vitro fertilization), and opted for plans with higher deductibles and co-pays in return for much lower monthly rates.

    Because consumers were now spending their "own" money on health care, doctors and hospitals found it necessary to publish and even advertise their prices. A hospital that specialized in heart surgery, performing thousands of procedures a year, found it had both the highest quality and lowest cost -- and now marketed itself as such. Ditto specialists in cancer, diabetes and other conditions.

    For the first time, Americans spent less and got more. Spending fell overnight by 13%, which happened to be exactly what economists had predicted if the price tags were restored to health care and consumers were allowed to see clearly what they were getting (or not getting) for their money. As predicted, too, spending thereafter rose only in line with incomes.

    What's more, many fewer people remained voluntarily uninsured now that health insurance was no longer a gold-plated extravagance affordable only by those in the top brackets who could slough off 40% of the cost on other taxpayers. Existing programs for the needy, in turn, could be downsized and revamped into voucher programs. The federal budget benefited twice over -- from fewer claimants and from medical care that was less costly. Fiscal wreck was avoided

    The truth is out there.

  100. Obama's Lewinsky should be the moniker

    we understand the frustration, it's getting more difficult with each passing day

  101. I retired from the insurance bidness about 18 years, ago. I pretty much watched the whole health care thingie develop.

    We have wonderful science, technology, talent, and pharmaceuticals. This thing doesn't have to be the mess that it is. But, it is. I'm most disappointed that the Republicans ignored the problem until the wrong democrat got into office.

    Now, Obama, and the Dems are going to muck this deal up pretty badly, I'm afraid. That's a shame, because the "fixes" aren't that difficult.

    A young guy with Crones, or a young gal with endo can, easily, run up a hundred thousand dollar a year bill at the ER, while the cost to, actually, treat, and neutralize these diseases could be as low as a few thousand.

    But, the ER doesn't "Treat." They run a couple of very expensive tests, determine that it's not "immediately" life threatening, write a couple of prescriptions for pain meds, and send them home, only to be repeated a week, or two, hence. Ad infinitum. Your Taxes, and Health Insurance Premiums are Paying For It.

    The loss in taxes, due to lost work, alone, is astronomical. There are a lot of other problems. We could put together a pretty good list in just a few minutes. But, to fix those problems is going to go against some of the Republicans' core constituencies. I won't bother naming them. We all know who they are.

    The thing is you're going to have a hard time separating the truth from the carefully orchestrated "spin" of some rich, and powerful interest groups.

    And, of course, it's as bad, or worse, from the Dems' side of the aisle. Damn, I'm disgusted that we let that crazy son of a bitch get the nomination. Damn.

  102. God forbid it; but anyone trying to "impose" a "Piece Plan" on Israel is going to find that the IDF is not the dreaded Republican Guard.

    Presumably, arming up the Arabs is the preferred solution to the Jewish problem; i.e. Israel will be defeated if only the Arabs have enough of the right stuff. (That was the USSR's hope as well.) The Arabs will never have the right stuff - an F16 does not a warrior make.

    When the Romans twice defeated the Kingdom of Israel and captured Jerusalem, the Jews had no means of retaliating against Rome. Things have changed.

    For whatever it is worth, our sacred texts cover a time when the "nations" will collaborate to destroy Israel. The "nations" would be well advised to read those texts. Note: Armageddon.