“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."

Sunday, September 06, 2009

London says Obama and Clinton 'disingenuous'.

Oh, that's hard to believe, Barack and Hillary, you think? Of course they knew about it.


No.10 turns on Obama and Clinton for criticising decision to release Lockerbie bomber

Last updated at 3:14 AM on 06th September 2009

Whitehall said US President Obama and Hillary Clinton's reaction to Abdelbaset Al Megrahi's release was 'disingenuous'

Downing Street has hit back at Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for attacking the decision to release the Lockerbie bomber.

President Obama and the US Secretary of State fuelled a fierce American backlash against Britain, claiming Abdelbaset Al Megrahi should have been forced to serve out his jail sentence in Scotland – but a senior Whitehall aide said their reaction was ‘disingenuous’.

British officials claim Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton were kept informed at all stages of discussions concerning Megrahi’s return.
The officials say the Americans spoke out because they were taken aback by the row over Megrahi’s release, not because they did not know it was about to happen.

‘The US was kept fully in touch about everything that was going on with regard to Britain’s discussions with Libya in recent years and about Megrahi,’ said the Whitehall aide.

‘We would never do anything about Lockerbie without discussing it with the US. It is disingenuous of them to act as though Megrahi’s return was out of the blue.

'They knew about our prisoner transfer agreement with Libya and they knew that the Scots were considering Megrahi’s case.’
Mr Obama said Megrahi’s release on compassionate grounds was a ‘mistake’ while Mrs Clinton phoned the Scottish administration to complain in person.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Foreign Secretary David Miliband are said to have been ‘disappointed’ by the force of Washington’s response.

American politicians claimed the Anglo-US ‘special relationship’ had been damaged ‘for years to come’ because the UK had gone back on a joint pledge that Megrahi would stay behind bars in Scotland.

Former US Justice Department official David Rivkin said it was ‘duplicitous behaviour’

Read more:


  1. Boston's Hancock Tower and the coming commercial real estate crisis.
    The Skyscraper That Ate a Billion Dollars
    Boston's Hancock Tower and the coming commercial real estate crisis.

    the tale of the Hancock Tower isn't a morality play or an example of a bubble-era rise and fall.
    Rather, it's an omen.
    During the credit boom, the same forces that led to $600,000 subprime loans on tract houses in Modesto, Calif., spurred billions of dollars of reckless lending on urban office towers and suburban strip malls. As a result, the nation's offices, hotels, and malls now carry about $3.5 trillion in debt. Three years after the housing market peaked, falling rents and rising defaults—no surprise given the economy has lost 7 million jobs since December 2007—are posing a new threat to the still-fragile banking system and could inflict billions of dollars in fresh losses.

    The Hancock Tower was one of the first high-profile deals to go sour—but it won't be the last. The Blackstone Group, one of the nation's leading private-equity firms, has written down the value of its mammoth real estate portfolio by an average of 45 percent from the original cost.
    General Growth Properties, a pioneer of the shopping mall that carried $27 billion in debt, filed for Chapter 11 in April.

  2. Blowing up Russia

    Anderson wrote his article relying mostly on the account of Mikhail Trepashkin, a former senior Russian intelligence officer who investigated the bombings. Trepashkin points out a number of inconsistencies in the case and suggests a possible link between the bombings and those structures in Russia that brought Putin to power, first as prime minister, then as president.

    The article in question can be seen on Gawker. The whole story surrounding the connections between Putin’s rise and a series of apartment bombings remains fascinating – and highly disturbing.

    For those interested in this topic, the ‘case for the prosecution’ is set out in two books by historian Yuri Felshtinsky (an interview I had with him was published in NR in December 2007), Blowing up Russia (co-written with the murdered Alexander Litvinenko) and, in passing, in the more recent The Corporation (co-written with Vladimir Pribylovsky).

  3. Comedy Gold!... Leftist MSM Reporters Beat Up On Internet After Van Jones Resigns (Video)

    Comedy Gold...Gee, who would have predicted this?The Far Left reporters on Meet the Press discussed "the open sewer of internet disinformation" this morning after Van Jones resigned.

    Now, that is good comedy!
    What makes it even more hysterical is that they all take themselves so seriously.
    Too much.

  4. A lot of news for a holiday weekend. Big blow-up brewing with the Germans over that bombing of the tanker trucks.

  5. let's be honest.

    as the lockerbie bomber was being released America was releasing 75 sadr shit terrorists (some with American blood on their hands) in iraq...

    it's catch and release for islamic terrorists... even israel does it..

    it sucks... how about catch and kill for a while?

  6. Gee, we weren't a Week ahead of the "News" on this one, were we?

  7. Are we having fun, yet?

  8. yep, somehow the Bar seems to be at LEAST a week ahead of most issues...

    that is scary...

  9. A belated note of appreciation for the recently awarded oak leaf cluster.

    I've been off helping my son and doing some 4-wheeling with him up in the White Mountains of California since last Thursday.

    I just caught up with some back reading.

    Congratulations to Allen, also.

    Thanks, deuce, et al.

  10. BTW, everywhere you look now there are stories about Solar dropping below $0.19 Kilowatt hour (W/O Subsidies.)

    Rat, your time might be coming.

  11. It would make the mountain camp a viable home site, if the electric could be self contained.

    Still be needing the magic batteries, though. The deep cell lead boat batteries are just messy, expensive and troublesome, to say the least.

    Anyway, where's the news in the US being disingenuous.

  12. Policymakers should abandon fraught carbon-reduction negotiations, and instead make agreements to invest in research and development to get this technology to the level where it needs to be. Not only would this have a much greater chance of actually addressing climate change, but it would also have a much greater chance of political success.

    The biggest emitters of the 21st century, including India and China, are unwilling to sign up to tough, costly emission targets. They would be much more likely to embrace a cheaper, smarter, and more beneficial path of innovation.


    If we continue implementing policies to reduce emissions in the short term without any focus on developing the technology to achieve this, there is only one possible outcome: virtually no climate impact, but a significant dent in global economic growth, with more people in poverty, and the planet in a worse state than it could be.

    Focus On the Means

  13. Meanwhile, the government threatened Sunday to declare a "state of siege" in Port Gentil if post-election violence continues.

    Interior minister Jean-Francois Ndongou warned that he would invoke special powers if opposition supporters continue with the violent protests.

    Post-election violence engulfed Port Gentil after results, announced by the electoral commission declaring Ali Ben Bon winner of the presidential vote, were described as fake by members of the opposition.

    Poll Results

  14. A Panama-registered cargo vessel with two South Koreans and 18 Filipinos aboard sent out a distress signal saying it was sinking off the central Philippines, the coastguard said Monday.

    The coastguard identified the vessel as MV Hera, which was en route to China when it sent out a distress call late Sunday.

    "The vessel was reportedly taking in water because of engine trouble," coastguard chief Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo said on local television.

    Sinking Off Phillipines

  15. That should have been $1.90 Watt, or $1,900.00 Kilowatt. The "hours" thrown in didn't make any sense.

    I figure the "magic" number is $1.00 Watt, Rat. At that price, you can build a house with 10 KW capacity, put it in the mortgage (about $60.00/mo,) and, if you live in the Southwest, save $160.00/mo on your utilities. Maybe more in the future.

    They say China is causing a huge glut in panels, and we're liable to see the $1.00/Watt next year.

    China ain't ALL bad.

  16. Well, at least I learned where Gabon is, thanks for that, Sam.

  17. Demand does increase supply, which lowers prices.

  18. Commissioner for Rural Development, Prince Lanre Balogun, told THISDAY that the state government had to "take interventionary measure in order to provide electricity to over 100 communities across the state that are yet to be connected to the national grid.”

    Since the Federal Government had failed to make good its promise on time, the commissioner said, the administration of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) cannot wait endlessly before it delivers the dividend of democracy to the people of the state.

    Balogun had told THISDAY last week that the communities earmarked for the solar energy project “are not connected to the national grid," adding " The state government is determined to deliver the dividend of democracy to all the communities in the state.”

    100 Communitites

  19. Well, here ya go, Rat. Ask, and ye shall receive.

    What to do with a Used Prius/Volt Battery Pack.

  20. In boosting mileage, it’s all about feedback and engagement. Smart designed the Vine—a green vine that grows on the dashboard as you improve your driving habits and push up your mileage.

    It’s a great visual that shows you what and how you are doing as you drive. It’s a means of improving your driving habits—and saving you money on gas.

    Very cool.

    Fusion Hybrid

  21. "I don't think (Jones is) the issue. I think the czars are the issue," Alexander, R-Tenn., said on "FOX News Sunday."


    Republican strategist Ed Rollins said the administration needs to focus on bringing people on board who are competent and not controversial.

    "(Jones) got out of there, but the more fundamental thing is there are 31 czars in that White House," he said.

    Van Jones

  22. At hundreds a piece a few strung together would be a real deal.

    Backed up by a propane generator, since I don't think I'll be building a still.

  23. Why sure, Sam, we've been talking about the Czars for months and months.

    Little Caesars.

    But using the Russian vernacular, I always thought to be bad form. But it goes back to Nixon, I think, the Drug Czars were first. If memory serves. Then an Education Czar, Mr Bennett held that position with Reagan, no?

  24. With nationwide demand for firearm ammunition outstripping manufacturers' supply, empty shelves in Nevada gun stores have some consumers sweating bullets.


    The scarcity of ammunition is part of a trend that began immediately after the presidential election, retailers say.


    Although demand is extraordinarily high, and manufacturers are running at full capacity, more plants haven't been opened to supplement the need.

    Ammunition In Nevada

  25. James Elder’s visa has been canceled from tomorrow and he’s been ordered to leave the country immediately over comments he made on the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, Agence France-Presse reported, citing P.B. Abeykoon, Controller of Immigration and Emigration.

    “Unicef is seeking clarity from the Sri Lankan authorities on the visa status” of Elder, said Sarah Crowe, regional chief of communications of the UN agency, in a text message from Kathmandu, Nepal.

    Sri Lanka’s government defeated the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, fighting for a separate Tamil homeland in the north and east of the country. The army routed the LTTE’s last forces, killing its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and his commanders, in a battle on the northeast coast in May.

    Sri Lanka

  26. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond rose Monday morning to a three-week intraday high as gains in U.S. and Tokyo stocks on smaller-than-expected U.S. job losses spurred selling of the safe-haven asset.

    The yield on the No. 303, 1.4 percent issue, a key indicator of long- term interest rates, ended morning interdealer trading up 0.035 percentage point from Friday's close to 1.355 percent.

    The price of the key September futures contract for 10-year bonds lost 0.34 point to 138.76 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

    Stock Gains

  27. Beck kept up the pressure, and the mainstream media reported on it. As a result, Jones couldn't really muster any effective counter-attack.

    He had made mistakes, tried to apologize for them but was too late.

    The end result: Jones' resignation is a big victory for the right wing, whose members have been criticizing Obama on all sorts of issues since he took office in January.

    Conservative America

  28. Bob Potter, president of local general contractor Affordable Concepts, isn't sure how he'll swing the increased payroll taxes for his staff of 45, but he has asked his employees for suggestions. Whether it's cutting benefits or asking people to take on more work to negate the need for new hires, the company has to make some decisions.

    "We certainly need to do something," Potter said. "I don't have an absolute answer.

    It will probably be a combination of a lot of things."

    New Levies

  29. The envoy was at first scheduled to arrive Thursday, prompting rumors that the delay was over the approval of building plans in the West Bank. But both sides claim talks are progressing and that renewal of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations would take place as planned, on the sidelines of the UN Security Council meeting on September 23.

    Meanwhile, a number of ministers have expressed their disapproval of the plan to freeze construction according to US demands. Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom said Sunday evening that it was "not right to hold a debate over the freeze just in order to meet with Abbas".

    "If we are already speaking of a Palestinian state and a freeze, what will we talk about in negotiations?" Shalom asked during a conference he held in Tel Aviv.

    Deal On Freeze

  30. Hatoyama also underlined the need for industrialized nations to offer "financial and technological support" to developing countries that are working hard to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions.


    Hatoyama, who led the DPJ to a resounding victory in the Aug. 30 House of Representatives election, is set to be voted in as prime minister in a special parliamentary session on Sept. 16 and is expected to launch his Cabinet immediately.

    A key U.N. climate change conference is scheduled to be held in Copenhagen in December to create a global framework to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on fighting global warming.

    25% Cut From '90 Levels

  31. "By renouncing the dream of an independent Palestine, they would become fellow citizens with their Jewish neighbors and then demand equal rights within a democracy," he explained. "In this non-violent civil rights struggle, their examples would be Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela."

    Carter noted that in doing so, Palestinian leaders were taking into consideration current demographic trends.

    He said non-Jews were already a slight majority of total citizens in this area, "and within a few years Arabs will constitute a clear majority."

    1 State