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

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Biden and Obama and their new best friend General David Howell Petraeus

General David Petraeus, the head of US Central Command, has replaced General Stanley McChrystal as commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, following the latter's removal.


  1. Wrong, 'Rat:

    Sure, it's taken a long time for the oil to reach shore due to wind and currents but LARGE slicks appeared almost immediately at sea.

    More recently:

    "While the cap was off, clouds of black oil gushed unchecked again at up to 104,000 gallons per hour, though a specialized ship at the surface managed to suck up and incinerate 438,000 gallons.

    The oil-burning ship is part of an armada floating at the site of the rogue well some 50 miles off the Louisiana coast.

    Oil, you see, is lighter than water, thus it rises to the surface!

    I've yet to see that link yet documenting your claim that "vastly more" oil is subsurface rather than that which rose to the surface.

    To say that a 50 day response time is not unreasonable is just absurd, but of a piece with you habit lately for endeavoring to cover and excuse Obama's incompetence and abominable performance in the Gulf.

    They could have been removing large quantities of oil immediately around the rig within the first week.

    A President Jindal certainly would, even GWB.
    ...but of course he receives no credit for the blanket waiver in your unique alternate universe.

    No way would GWB let the EPA stop Jindal's berm building.

    They're concerned because the areas are "environmentally sensitive," you see!

    No shit, Sherlock, that's why Jindal does not want them destroyed by oil.

    Like the Florida guy says, not sending skimmers in order to keep them elsewhere in case of a leak is like telling you they won't be sending a fire truck to your burning house, as they are keeping the truck at the station in case some other house catches fire.

  2. Everyone is singing the song of Obama's genius in pulling down McChrystal and pushing down Petraeus to replace him.

    This is the same Petraeus that called "Betrayus" in a national ad campaign.

    The Senate voted overwhelmingly to criticize for the ad. Two Democratic senators made sure they were not there for the vote.

    Guess who?

    This is called a stroke of brilliance, genius, in fact it is political expedience. It should please no one.

    Petraeus is not stepping down to replace a subordinate because his subordinate was inept. No, Petraeus is being used to cover for the incompetence of Obama.

    The story told by Rolling Stone is not about a general and his staff being insubordinate. They were doing the job assigned them, a job assigned by a deeply flawed commander in chief.

    They were doing a job that is guaranteed to fail and they knew it and they know that Job number one is to save Obama. Their failure was their inability to hide their contempt for their civilian masters.

    Why did Petraeus take the job? We will find out shortly.

  3. Obviously, Petraeus knows that Obama is a fuck-up. He also knows that the firing of McChrystal would be disastrous for his troops with Obama having announced a deadline for leaving Afghanistan.

    Petraeus has chosen to save what he can because of the leadership group of anally gifted Team Obama.

  4. Did Petraeus get Barry to agree to forget the deadline as a condition of taking on the mission?
    ...or did the good soldier simply follow orders?

  5. Former vice president Al Gore was accused by a Oregon masseuse in 2006 of inappropriate sexual contact, according to a police report from local law enforcement. (I guess he wanted to be like Billy)

  6. Well then, doug, Admiral Allen has to go.

    He is the man in charge, on the scene, obviously he is an inept Admiral. A career sailor that has no aptitude for the job he's been assigned.

    It's taken 60 days of crisis to make his incompetency at command and control, as well as visual observation, plain for all to see.

    Wonder when Obama will relieve him?

  7. How long did it take for Brownie?

    (and why didn't you do your duty as a citizen and inform the Federals of your intimate insights into the character of the man?)

    ('bout as likely to produce results as parents taking the time and effort to address their local Board of Education)

  8. "Their failure was their inability to hide their contempt for their civilian masters..."

    More than enough reason to fire McCrystal.

    Your point about the Obama's national security team being dysfunctional is pretty obvious. The kids just can't play nice together, just as was the case with Bush's initial team.

    The mission as defined by Obama is an impossible one. He should have declared victory and started leaving as soon as he came into office, just as Bush should have never gone into Iraq.

    Beyond that, as soon as Obama set a date for withdrawal he guaranteed failure.

    Even given all that, McCrystal needed to go. Venting among the boys is one thing. Drinking it up in Paris and talking to the press is another. You have to question the guy's judgment if he allows personal pique to cloud that judgment.

    I think Obama's right when he says nothing will change. Petraeus wrote the book on counterinsurgency that Obama and McCrystal were following. The mission as defined is doomed to failure regardless of who is in charge.

    Who can riddle Pretraeus’ reasons for taking the job? We will have to wait for the inevitable book to find out. With regard to Petraeus political ambitions, I'd have to see his positions on the other issues. Being a war hero wouldn't quite do it for me.


  9. Giant Plumes of Oil Forming Under the Gulf

    Published: May 15, 2010

    Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.

    “There’s a shocking amount of oil in the deep water, relative to what you see in the surface water,” said Samantha Joye, a researcher at the University of Georgia who is involved in one of the first scientific missions to gather details about what is happening in the gulf. “There’s a tremendous amount of oil in multiple layers, three or four or five layers deep in the water column.”

  10. I, for one, am glad Petraeus is in charge instead of the 'crystal.

    As Yon says McCrystal's experience in special forces represented only a small fraction of all responsibilities of the man in charge of the Afghanistan project/fiasco.

    I sent an mp3 of Yon interview re: McCrystal to the proprietors, in case you want to pester them for a copy.

  11. Samantha Joye, a researcher at the University of Georgia who is involved in one of the first scientific missions to gather details about what is happening in the gulf

    The results of which were known, 32 days ago.

    So, the turn around, based upon scientific evidence has been relatively quick, for the Federals.

  12. More damning than the matters refered to by Quirk is Yon's contention that a widespread opinion among the troops was that 'Crystal was not concerned about their welfare.

    Yon was embedded with both,
    respects the Hell out of Petraeus,
    'Crystal, not so much.

  13. Latest news is that Oil Companies relied on Government estimates of worst case scenarios.

    Will have to recheck, as I heard it in the background, but it said very little oil would reach land, and 50 Percent would evaporate in a month!

  14. The undersea plumes may go a long way toward explaining the discrepancy between the flow estimates, suggesting that much of the oil emerging from the well could be lingering far below the sea surface.

    The scientists on the Pelican mission, which is backed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agency that monitors the health of the oceans, are not certain why that would be. They say they suspect the heavy use of chemical dispersants, which BP has injected into the stream of oil emerging from the well, may have broken the oil up into droplets too small to rise rapidly.

  15. ... much of the oil emerging from the well could be lingering far below the sea surface.

  16. ... one researcher aboard the Pelican, Vernon Asper of the University of Southern Mississippi, said the shallowest oil plume the group had detected was at about 2,300 feet, while the deepest was near the seafloor at about 4,200 feet.

  17. Show me the skimmer that operates 2,300 feet below the surface of the sea, doug-o, please do.

  18. More American Fans than any other nation.
    That's what the kid said too.

    ...I assume that means other than Africa.

    At any rate, starting to resemble the Miracle on Ice.

    ...except this is the perverted, weird, non/anti-American "sport."

  19. "Show me the skimmer that operates 2,300 feet below the surface of the sea, doug-o, please do."

    Show me the link that says the
    "Vast Majority" of the oil is subsurface.

    ...and explain why, even if that was true, a MAXIMUM EFFORT to remove all surface oil should not have been pursued by the incompetent Admin.

  20. Having a tiny fraction of available equipment to handle slicks on hand is inexcusable.

    In the Gulf of F....... Mexico, fer Chrissakes.

    Or letting the EPA shut down Jindal's Berms.

    Worthless MoFo.

  21. You'd have to ask the Admiral, doug.

    The law that we are operating under, leaves the responsibility for the clean-up with BP, not the Federals.

    That BP did a poor job, lied to US about what was happening, not immediately evident. They had their 30 day window to fix their problem, before the magnitude of the leakage and spill become publicly recognized.

    The window closed, before they could get 'er done.

    Which is why BP should be held fully accountable, under the law.

  22. Naked woman steals police car, leads officers on chase, gets Tasered

    Hope she was wearing a sack.
    ...or two, just in case, for the mental welfare of the responding officers.

  23. Wrong, again, 'Rat:

    BP is responsible for the blowout, may be for all costs, but the Federals are responsible for heading up mitigation efforts.

  24. Should the Federals now nationalize Deepwater Horizon?

    Should the Feds take full responsibility for the disaster?

    Put Admiral Allen fully in charge of all the Deepwater Horizon's operations

    Is that your solution?

    As long as the flow continues, the "little people" down there, they're fully screwed over.

    No matter who is in charge.

  25. No, doug, the Feds are not in charge of mitigation.
    BP was, still is.

    Part of the cluster fuck of the Federal law.

  26. EPA's National Response Team Legally Responsible for Oil Spill Clean Up

    EPA and the “National Contingency Plan” Did any of you know that the US supposedly has a National Contingency Plan for dealing with very large oil spills?

    And that EPA has legal responsibility for maintaining readiness for such an eventuality?
    Who knew?

    I’ve watched hours of coverage and this hasn’t been mentioned anywhere. The National Oil and Hazardous Substances Contingency Plan Act was signed into law in 1994 (superceding previous legislation that went back to the 1969 Torrey Canyon oil spill.) Laws and regulations are collated here. The EPA has an online book describing the National Continency Plan.

  27. ... I’ve only browsed the legislation and manuals and it’s not an area about which I speak authoritatively. ...

  28. EPA and the “National Contingency Plan”

    The National Oil and Hazardous Substances Contingency Plan Act was signed into law in 1994 (superceding previous legislation that went back to the 1969 Torrey Canyon oil spill.)

    Laws and regulations are collated here. The EPA has an online book describing the National Continency Plan.

  29. Barney Frank turns Pilate and washes his hands of responsibility for Fannie and Freddie fiasco.

    In a move reminiscant of Waxman's attempt to make BP pay for Obama's ill-advised moratorium on Gulf drilling, the reconciliation committee pencils in a last minute change to the financial reform bill that could shift the cost of a Fannie/Freddie liquidation to the banking industry.

    Government run amok.


    "Bank execs panic over proposed change to orderly liquidation authority -- Dodd unhappy with Brown -- Zero hour arrives as derivatives, 'Volcker rule' remain unresolved

    "DOUBLE SIREN EXCLUSIVE – Bank executives were panicking last night over a proposed fix to Title II of financial reform literally penciled in at the last minute. The fear is that that the proposed change to the orderly liquidation authority could leave banks on the hook for a possible wind-down of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that could cost as much as $400 billion. In the House counter-offer below, Fannie and Freddie are penciled in as falling under the definition of “financial company,” meaning they could be resolved by the orderly liquidation process. This process is paid for by the sale of the failing company’s assets and/or through assessments on other financial companies, possibly putting the Street in line to pay for the liquidation of the troubled housing giants.

    More Dumping of Responsibility by Congress


  30. Arthur Dent said...

    "I suspect that the EPA is far too busy dealing with real emergencies like carbon dioxide emissions to worry itself about a minor oil spill."

  31. Great News Quirk!

    The real liabilities would bankrupt the banks.

    We'll be leavin Hugo in the dust.

  32. Mr. President, Take Control of the Gulf Cleanup NOW!

    The only useful purposes dispersants serve is they hide the amount of oil leaking, making the public relations and legal damages less while they drastically increase the ecological damage. Dispersants make it impossible to use booms to block oil coming ashore. They make it impossible to use skimmer ships to recover it before it gets near the shore. They make it impossible to burn the oil at sea. And finally, they are an additional pollutant being poured into the Gulf in massive quantities, killing marine life and threatening who knows what else. Chemical dispersants have never before been released in large quantities at 1 mile below the surface. Nobody knows what that will ultimately do.

    BP cannot be left in charge.

  33. Thu Jun 24, 09:31:00 AM EDT

    Stupid Mexicans let it get to the surface and burned it.

    Think of the CO2 released.

    Oh, the Humanity!

    (here, where EPA is supposed to be in charge, they REALLY WERE concerned with AIR POLLUTION!)

    ...and incompetent POTUS too ignorant to overrule them.

  34. COVINGTON, La. — The Obama administration’s point man on the oil spill rejected the notion of removing BP and taking over the crisis Monday, saying the government has neither the company’s expertise nor its deep-sea equipment.

    “To push BP out of the way would raise a question, to replace them with what?” Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen, who is heading the federal response to the spill, said at a White House briefing.

    Allen said federal law dictated that BP had to operate the cleanup, with the government overseeing its efforts.


    Mark Kellstrom, an analyst with Summit, N.J.-based Strategic Energy Research, said time might be running out for BP to continue calling the shots. “The rhetoric is growing up in Washington for the politicians to kick out BP and let the government take over,” Kellstrom said, though he added that it would be a mistake.

  35. Anonymous j willie said...

    "DR, Ash and any other economic knuckleheads who want to show your ass, please explain why it's a conflict of interest for the Judge to own a few shares in his portfolio, but not for those who make laws and regulate industries. "

    whaaat? conflicts of interest in washington - tell me it ain't so!

    do I really need to use the sarcasm font for that one?

    My purpose in posting the Judge's 'conflict' was simply to counter-balance the Michelle fucking Malkin citation before it. She is one shrill...

    Anyway, the appeal will hinge on matters of law I would suspect as opposed to the judges stock holdings.

  36. It's all up to the weather, now.

    Bad weather would cause destruction to wetlands almost equal to what it would have been without dispersants.

    And at sea, God knows what died in the Great Dispersant Scam.

  37. It is funny watching the gnashing of teeth over the Petreaus appointment by our dear host when Obama has simply carried on the Bush approach in Afghanistan. Us crazy 'lefties' think we shouldn't be there in any way near the current form we are now.

  38. "She is one shrill..."
    ...bag of meat with lipstick.

    Go ahead, say it Ash.

    GD Filipino B....!

  39. Petraeus one of the few decisions I agreed with Ash.

    ...but then again, I consider Malkin to be a courageous fellow human, so what do I know?

  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

  41. Are you aware that Salazar's case is based on a LIE, Ash?

  42. So what would you do Ash, flee, or knock the crap out of them, cause those are the only options.

  43. Michelle is a hell of a good girl. She's been point on damned near every thing.

  44. ...ah, there is a third option, Bob:

    A Longer War

  45. Well yes, I suppose we could hang around forever but it doesn't make much sense to me.

    Sky is clear here, about seventy degrees and the squirrels are playing in the back yard.

  46. 5 housing and financial stories showing profound weakness in the economy: new home sales break past record low dating back to 1963, prisoners using home buyer tax credit, SoCal inventory spiking, U.S. dollar multi-decade slide, and Fannie Mae cracking down on strategic default.

    Unfortunately the storyline regarding housing is all too predictable. For California, once the vice grips tightened around the option ARM and Alt-A universe in 2007 and 2008, the housing market in the state collapsed like a piƱata in the subsequent years.

    Now, all the mainstream analysts are “shocked” that new home sales have fallen into the abyss. Things are so bad, that new home sales on a seasonally adjusted basis fell to a record low level and Census data goes back to 1963. When we chart this as you will see, this is a historic fall.

    Yet this is all expected. The removal of the federal tax credit and pent up demand moved forward caused a bear market bounce for housing.

    All it took was one month worth of data to crush the entire idea that the housing market was somehow supporting itself.

  47. I'm for the B-52s.

    Quick, clean, no loss to our guys, and, fuck 'em.

  48. "I'm for the B-52s."

    Right on Bob.

    If they won't accept our nation building efforts, screw them. Let's bomb them back into the stone age.

    Oh, wait a minute, they are already there.

    Remind me again. Why did we go into Afghanistan (a decade ago)?


  49. Blogger Doug said...

    Are you aware that Salazar's case is based on a LIE, Ash?

    To tell you truth I have little knowledge of the case but it will be interesting to see how much executive power the POTUS has. It may very well be irrelevant that LIE could be the stock holdings of the judge.




    And if you disagreed with the CHANGES, RESIGN

    McChrystal’s real offense
    By: Byron York
    Chief Political Correspondent
    06/22/10 8:40 AM EDT
    There is a lot of uproar about Gen. Stanley’s McChrystal’s disrespectful comments about his civilian bosses in the Obama administration, and President Obama would be entirely justified in firing McChrystal for statements McChrystal and his subordinates made to Rolling Stone. Obama is a deeply flawed commander-in-chief who doesn’t want to be fighting a war on terror, but he is the commander-in-chief. He should have a general who will carry out his policies without public complaint until the voters can decide to change those policies.
    But the bigger problem with McChrystal’s leadership has always been the general’s devotion to unreasonably restrictive rules of engagement that are resulting in the unnecessary deaths of American and coalition forces. We have had many, many accounts of the rules endangering Americans, and the Rolling Stone article provides more evidence. In the story, a soldier at Combat Outpost JFM who had earlier met with McChrystal was killed in a house that American officers had asked permission to destroy. From the article:
    The night before the general is scheduled to visit Sgt. Arroyo’s platoon for the memorial, I arrive at Combat Outpost JFM to speak with the soldiers he had gone on patrol with. JFM is a small encampment, ringed by high blast walls and guard towers. Almost all of the soldiers here have been on repeated combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and have seen some of the worst fighting of both wars. But they are especially angered by Ingram’s death. His commanders had repeatedly requested permission to tear down the house where Ingram was killed, noting that it was often used as a combat position by the Taliban. But due to McChrystal’s new restrictions to avoid upsetting civilians, the request had been denied. “These were abandoned houses,” fumes Staff Sgt. Kennith Hicks. “Nobody was coming back to live in them.”
    One soldier shows me the list of new regulations the platoon was given. “Patrol only in areas that you are reasonably certain that you will not have to defend yourselves with lethal force,” the laminated card reads. For a soldier who has traveled halfway around the world to fight, that’s like telling a cop he should only patrol in areas where he knows he won’t have to make arrests. “Does that make any f–king sense?” Pfc. Jared Pautsch. “We should just drop a f–king bomb on this place. You sit and ask yourself: What are we doing here?”

    Read more at the Washington Examiner:

  51. Does this make sense?

    Washington (CNN) -- Gen. David Petraeus told CNN on Thursday that he supports President Barack Obama's July 2011 deadline to start withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, a key point of contention between the president and many of his Republican critics in Congress.
    Petraeus -- tapped to replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the U.S. commander in Afghanistan -- also expressed his respect and appreciation for McChrystal's work and said the circumstances surrounding the change in command are "sad."

  52. General Patton arose and strode swiftly to the microphone. The men snapped to their feet and stood silently. Patton surveyed the sea of brown with a grim look. "Be seated", he said. The words were not a request, but a command. The General's voice rose high and clear.

    "Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bullshit. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. You are here today for three reasons. First, because you are here to defend your homes and your loved ones. Second, you are here for your own self respect, because you would not want to be anywhere else. Third, you are here because you are real men and all real men like to fight. When you, here, everyone of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players. Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American."

  53. The General paused and looked over the crowd. "You are not all going to die," he said slowly. "Only two percent of you right here today would die in a major battle. Death must not be feared. Death, in time, comes to all men. Yes, every man is scared in his first battle. If he says he's not, he's a liar. Some men are cowards but they fight the same as the brave men or they get the hell slammed out of them watching men fight who are just as scared as they are. The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared. Some men get over their fright in a minute under fire. For some, it takes an hour. For some, it takes days. But a real man will never let his fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country, and his innate manhood. Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base.

  54. Americans pride themselves on being He Men and they ARE He Men. Remember that the enemy is just as frightened as you are, and probably more so. They are not supermen."

    "All through your Army careers, you men have bitched about what you call "chicken shit drilling". That, like everything else in this Army, has a definite purpose. That purpose is alertness. Alertness must be bred into every soldier. I don't give a fuck for a man who's not always on his toes. You men are veterans or you wouldn't be here. You are ready for what's to come. A man must be alert at all times if he expects to stay alive. If you're not alert, sometime, a German son-of-an-asshole-bitch is going to sneak up behind you and beat you to death with a sockful of shit!" The men roared in agreement.

    Patton's grim expression did not change. "There are four hundred neatly marked graves somewhere in Sicily", he roared into the microphone, "All because one man went to sleep on the job". He paused and the men grew silent. "But they are German graves, because we caught the bastard asleep before they did". The General clutched the microphone tightly, his jaw out-thrust, and he continued, "An Army is a team. It lives, sleeps, eats, and fights as a team. This individual heroic stuff is pure horse shit. The bilious bastards who write that kind of stuff for the Saturday Evening Post don't know any more about real fighting under fire than they know about fucking!"

    The men slapped their legs and rolled in glee. This was Patton as the men had imagined him to be, and in rare form, too. He hadn't let them down. He was all that he was cracked up to be, and more. He had IT!

  55. "We have the finest food, the finest equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world", Patton bellowed. He lowered his head and shook it pensively. Suddenly he snapped erect, faced the men belligerently and thundered, "Why, by God, I actually pity those poor sons-of-bitches we're going up against. By God, I do". The men clapped and howled delightedly. There would be many a barracks tale about the "Old Man's" choice phrases. They would become part and parcel of Third Army's history and they would become the bible of their slang.

    "My men don't surrender", Patton continued, "I don't want to hear of any soldier under my command being captured unless he has been hit. Even if you are hit, you can still fight back. That's not just bull shit either. The kind of man that I want in my command is just like the lieutenant in Libya, who, with a Luger against his chest, jerked off his helmet, swept the gun aside with one hand, and busted the hell out of the Kraut with his helmet. Then he jumped on the gun and went out and killed another German before they knew what the hell was coming off. And, all of that time, this man had a bullet through a lung. There was a real man!"

  56. Patton stopped and the crowd waited. He continued more quietly, "All of the real heroes are not storybook combat fighters, either. Every single man in this Army plays a vital role. Don't ever let up. Don't ever think that your job is unimportant. Every man has a job to do and he must do it. Every man is a vital link in the great chain. What if every truck driver suddenly decided that he didn't like the whine of those shells overhead, turned yellow, and jumped headlong into a ditch? The cowardly bastard could say, "Hell, they won't miss me, just one man in thousands". But, what if every man thought that way? Where in the hell would we be now? What would our country, our loved ones, our homes, even the world, be like? No, Goddamnit, Americans don't think like that. Every man does his job. Every man serves the whole. Every department, every unit, is important in the vast scheme of this war. The ordnance men are needed to supply the guns and machinery of war to keep us rolling. The Quartermaster is needed to bring up food and clothes because where we are going there isn't a hell of a lot to steal. Every last man on K.P. has a job to do, even the one who heats our water to keep us from getting the 'G.I. Shits'."

    Patton paused, took a deep breath, and continued, "Each man must not think only of himself, but also of his buddy fighting beside him. We don't want yellow cowards in this Army. They should be killed off like rats. If not, they will go home after this war and breed more cowards. The brave men will breed more brave men. Kill off the Goddamned cowards and we will have a nation of brave men. One of the bravest men that I ever saw was a fellow on top of a telegraph pole in the midst of a furious fire fight in Tunisia. I stopped and asked what the hell he was doing up there at a time like that. He answered, "Fixing the wire, Sir". I asked, "Isn't that a little unhealthy right about now?" He answered, "Yes Sir, but the Goddamned wire has to be fixed". I asked, "Don't those planes strafing the road bother you?" And he answered, "No, Sir, but you sure as hell do!" Now, there was a real man. A real soldier. There was a man who devoted all he had to his duty, no matter how seemingly insignificant his duty might appear at the time, no matter how great the odds. And you should have seen those trucks on the road to Tunisia. Those drivers were magnificent. All day and all night they rolled over those son-of-a-bitching roads, never stopping, never faltering from their course, with shells bursting all around them all of the time. We got through on good old American guts. Many of those men drove for over forty consecutive hours. These men weren't combat men, but they were soldiers with a job to do. They did it, and in one hell of a way they did it. They were part of a team. Without team effort, without them, the fight would have been lost. All of the links in the chain pulled together and the chain became unbreakable."

  57. I am sure Petreaus will make a similar speech telling the men why they are in Afghanistan and why they are leaving, taking the 5:15 home on July 7, 2011.

  58. I keep saying it...

    Obama wants us to have a teachable moment...

    We Americans are arrogant and we need to be humbled...

    Afpak is the school... Never again will America be so vain as to use war as a tool

    America NEEDS to apologize.

    It's an amazing day when an amazing American, Leader, Heroic figure gives up his career to make a point. Maybe the General (and his staff) were putting out a message to America...

    Is anyone listening...

    Obama the Community Organizer....

  59. From Dr comment above, was this quote:

    The scientists on the Pelican mission, which is backed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agency that monitors the health of the oceans,

    That's the same NOAA that made dramatically erroneous calculation about global warming...and those are University researchers who no doubt are deeply motivated to show adverse consequences of offshore drilling.

    I saw that article when it was first published, and think there was another one within days that said those findings were incorrect... will try to locate it.

  60. Quirk, it was fuckin' Osama, best I can remember.

  61. I find this article from last week more balanced and consistent with facts (oil is lighter than water and therefore rises to the surface) than the hysteria, ecological disaster tone of NY Times articles.

    Key takeaways:
    (1) The undersea clouds are tenuous. Oil concentrations measured so far have been very small – akin to diluting a half-ounce of oil in every 1 million ounces of seawater.

    (2) "Nipper is careful not to overexaggerate the potential impact of the plumes. Given the size of the Gulf, "you will hardly wipe out a whole population" of a given species "because the plumes are still small relative to the size of the Gulf," she says.

    (3) Scientists on one cruise would pick a spot where a previous ship had taken readings strongly suggesting oil was present in deep waters. Then, "67 hours later we'd go there, and there'd be nothing," says Larry Mayer, director of the University of New Hampshire's Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, just back from a plume-hunting cruise on the NOAA research ship Thomas Jefferson. "We'd go to a place where we had high readings 30 hours earlier, and there would be nothing."

    "That's why we're backing off this idea of a plume," which suggests a continuous layer, he says. Instead, several researchers are thinking of the undersea oil as more cloudlike – patches of dilute oil in tiny particles, much like water or ice droplets in clouds.

    Based on that, I'd say skimmers and burning would eliminate the vast preponderance of spilled oil. I would also submit that "plumes" carries a connotation of permanence that does not appear to be warranted. Thin cirrus-like clouds would be a more apt metaphor.

    DR, for your own health and safety, I suggest that you do your homework before you beat yourself to death flapping those gums!

  62. Marc Ambinder at the Atlantic:

    The Night Beat: Obama Borrows the Military Back

    Jun 23 2010, 8:50 PM ET | Comment
    Good evening.

    THE PRESIDENT'S POINT: Beginning in the early afternoon, a cadre of military and civilian soldiers loyal to Gen. Stanley McChrystal began to spread rumors throughout the capital city: that ground commanders in Afghanistan were threatening to resign ... that the CIA's chief of station in Kabul had stepped down ... that the commander of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), William McRaven, was irate and wanted to step down ... that commanders of the "special mission units" like McRaven's former subordinates at DevGru (SEAL Team Six) would refuse taskings from the National Command Authority ... that buried secrets were about to be exposed, like who actually leaked the McChrystal Afghanistan review to Bob Woodward.


    : )

    Awful, awful people.

  63. You see, doug, the NOAA folk are all wrong. There was no major sprewing of oil, early on.

    No miscalculations as to the flow rate. J Wahhabi knows the deal, we just need to import more oil, from his brothers on the Persian Gulf.

    No need to worry about polluting the Gulf of Mexico, or promoting Growth Energy, nor the US spilling $4trillion USD into the Persian Gulf, in the last decade, that's no big deal, for US.

    It has had no ill effect on our economy, J Wahhabi tells US so, and so it must be.

  64. But now that we've won back Doug's vote of confidence in the war by replacing the notoriously loose-lipped Stan with Dave Petraeus - who will undoubtedly encourage firing at will - I feel better.

  65. After delaying E85 Certification for 4 years the Two Oil Co. Execs on the UL board had to finally give up the ghost.

    UL Certifies E85 Pumps

    This is a Big Deal. There was no way any of the "Big Boxers" were going to sell E85 w/o "Certified" pumps.

    Not having the UL Certification also added about $5,000.00 to the cost of installing a high ethanol dispenser.

    All this in spite of 30 years positive experience, here, and Brazil, with selling High Ethanol Blends.

    The whole thing has been a Travesty. Just another case of BP, and the boyz, looking out for you.

  66. "Your point about the Obama's national security team being dysfunctional is pretty obvious. The kids just can't play nice together, just as was the case with Bush's initial team."

    Dysfunctional? Nah.

    One side just hasn't pissed on the other sufficiently enough to dominate.

  67. "Who can riddle Pretraeus’ reasons for taking the job?"

    Um, where the hell was he the entire time?

    Oh, that's right.

    Overseeing the whole enchilada.

  68. How much damage we can expect from the spill is all speculation at this point and may take years to fully assess.

    We know 11 people are dead. We know that maybe 50,000 were put out of work by the moratorium. We see some animals fouled by the oil and we see sporadic instances of oil washing up on the beaches.

    On the other hand, the gulf is pretty big and about every 40 seconds the Mississippi River alone pumps fresh water into it equivalent to all the oil that has been released to date by the spill.

    I'd like to see them doing more on the cleanup and faster but as far as speculating on the total damages caused by the spill, we won’t know that for a long time.


  69. "Third, you are here because you are real men and all real men like to fight."

    Which makes the Bar such a magical place.

  70. "One side just hasn't pissed on the other sufficiently enough to dominate."

    What is this? An opinion?

    What happened to that exceptional discipline?


  71. The big question is how does all this wrangling look to the Pakistanis, Taliban and The Emerald Wizard Karzai?

    And are we back to the future and the grunts in the field ask their question W who will be the last man to die in Afghanistan.

  72. Stan the Man was working directly for General P, not the President.

    Chain of Command and all that. So the idea that the President did not speak to Stan, on a regular basis, is understandable. General P provided the conduit, he was the primary link in the communication chain.

    We all know how much Obama is into delegation of authority, he delegates and goes off to the next project, whether that be work or play.

    Anyone know how often General P has spoken with the President?

  73. If I remember correctly, Quirk, trish had set a time limit of a day on her silence...

  74. Good point, in any case the Taliban should just hang out at The Afghani Riviera

  75. jwillie,

    Congratulations! In the almost total absence of Jews, it looks like you are DR Dumb's target of opportunity.

    By the way, I was unaware of your connection to Wahabi Islam. A reading of your posts suggests, instead, that you are simply in disagreement with the "Great One's" hyperventalative, ill- informed pronouncements - a sure sign of evil.

  76. Two types of folks, here.

    1) The "Truly" looney-tunes, and

    2) Those just out to get another Star, or Contract.

  77. Pensacola Beach - Closed

    Must be a figment of our imagination.

  78. Silence, friends, is the best thing there is.

    In silence, one can think of song.

  79. Destin, of course, is Next.

    Tampa Bay might have to Shut Down the whole City if the oil gets into the intakes of that Big Nuclear Power Plant, and the Desalinization Plant.

    Forget La; the damage to Florida might be $100 Billion.

  80. allen said...

    Congratulations! In the almost total absence of Jews, it looks like you are DR Dumb's target of opportunity.

    No Shit Sherlock...

  81. Jeeze Louise

    Not to worry, Rufus, BP makes enough windfall profits to pay for the Louisiana Purchase at today's prices. long as Barry's Boot remains firmly planted on their greasy necks.

  82. WiO,

    I think we have done the right thing...almost :}

  83. Thu Jun 24, 04:09:00 PM EDT

    Quirks Dumbest Post to Date.

    But I agree that both the Gulf and Mississippi River have a lot of water in them.

    The LA Basin has a lot of air in it, but if we replaced the current fleet with 1949 Buick Straight Eights, everyone would die of emphysema..

    Course we'll never know until later when the experiment is actually carried out.

  84. Did I, Ash, or Rat make multiple posts calling jwillie a "knucklehead?"

  85. trish said...
    But now that we've won back Doug's vote of confidence in the war by replacing the notoriously loose-lipped Stan with Dave Petraeus - who will undoubtedly encourage firing at will - I feel better.

    Thu Jun 24, 03:16:00 PM EDT


    Having a majority of your troops thinking you don't care as much whether you live or die as you do about the ROE's is not exactly an endearing quality. matter how far you run, or how little you sleep, or how much you (notoriously) spout off.

  86. If anything good has come of all this, it's "Joe Bite Me."


  87. "Having a majority of your troops thinking you don't care as much whether you live or die..."

    Except that local commanders set the ROE.

  88. They're even more cautious because it's a shitty war for the shooters.

    One unfortunate incident that goes political and you can be hung out to dry.

  89. Same Army, Same MSM, Different Generals.

  90. ...but he did have the good sense to kick out Yon and Party on in Paris with the Rolling Stoner.

  91. "Quirks Dumbest Post to Date."

    Where's that put me in the running here at the EB, Dougo?


  92. "One unfortunate incident that goes political and you can be hung out to dry."

    That's what happened to Yon.
    No MSM involved, either.

  93. 2nd smartest, Quirk, next to you know who.

  94. Oh shit, I see them pesky Jews are back.


  95. Jews don't qualify for the EB intelligence competition.

  96. I read Yon's fawning the-nation-once again-calls-upon-Dave-to-save-our-sorry-asses comment at the Corner.

    Gave me the dry heaves.

    But like I said, if the switch soothes the nervous cattle, I'm all for it.

  97. Barry consumes enough oil in one meal to keep Stan the Man running for a week.

  98. That's a great burger place, BTW.

  99. Haven't read that one, Trish.

    History may not treat that one well.

    Dave could save Mosul, but this is f...... Afghanistan.

  100. Who is Dr Caligari?
    (poster behind table)

  101. "Same Army, Same MSM, Different Generals."

    I have only one thing to say, the meek shall inherit the earth once we are done with it.


  102. "No policy can be successful if those sent to put it in place undermine one another with snide comments to reporters and leaked memorandums like the cable disparaging Mr. Karzai written by Ambassador Karl Eikenberry last year. For this reason, the president should finish cleaning house and fire Ambassador Eikenberry and the special envoy, Richard Holbrooke.

    Mr. Obama should then replace them with a team that has a single person clearly in control, with the power to hire and fire the others.

    Can't disagree with that, tho.

  103. "Mr. Obama should then replace them with a team that has a single person clearly in control, with the power to hire and fire the others."

    Like he should in the Gulf.

    Like W did with Gen Honore.

  104. Doug's link:

    "No policy can be successful if those sent to put it in place undermine one another with snide comments..."

    It never occurred to me until yesterday that the public is really, truly, completely unaware of the way that even very important people speak of other very important people.

    I mean, I've heard so much worse - and so much of it.

    Doesn't make it into Rolling Stone.

    Which is all to the good.

  105. And Stan never kept his Team on a short leash with regard to very, ah, colorful and free-flowing commentary.

    Because Stan never kept himself on one.

  106. "Pensacola Beach - Closed

    Must be a figment of our imagination."

    Hell, Rufus, Metropoitan Beach shut's down here every couple of years cause the storm drains can't handle the overflow of effluents coming out of the Clinton River when it rains too hard.

    All I said is it will take a long time to evaluate what the total damage will be. (Also, I was looking for some vehicle for throwing out that factoid I saw about the Mississippi River. I'd been carrying that around for a couple days in my back pocket. The rest of the post was kinda window dressing.)

    However, you are an experienced predicter. Why don't you (or Doug) tell us how this is going to all play out.

    Inquiring minds want to know. That way I won't have to keep monitoring the news.



  107. I said at the start, Q, that this was going to be the "slow motion train wreck" of All "slow motion train wrecks." I don't see any reason to change my mind.

  108. I've heard Holbrooke is the critic's choice.

  109. Mark Ambinder has the REAL dirt on Stan the Man.

  110. Current Situation:
     Florida beaches are open.
     Unified Area Command estimates release rate of oil from Deepwater Horizon at
    35,000 to 60,000 barrels per day. Optimization of the dual recovery system (LMRP
    Cap and Q4000) continues; total oil recovered approximately 16,866 barrels.
     This event has been designated a Spill of National Significance.
     Unified Area Command continues with a comprehensive oil well intervention and
    spill response planning following the April 22 sinking of the Transocean Deepwater
    Horizon drilling rig 130 miles southeast of New Orleans.
     More than 37,000 personnel are working the on and offshore response.
     Oil-water mix recovered: nearly 25.6 million gallons
     Response vessels available: more than 6,170
     Response aircraft available: 95
     Dispersant (in gallons): approximately 1,478,000 deployed
     There is no planned use of dispersants in Florida waters.

  111. Recovered Oiled Birds: 67
    Recovered alive*
    Released 2

    Died or euthanized 31

    Still in Rehab 34

    Recovered dead 2

    6/24/10 6 3 34 2
    Total # 2 31 48

    Two visibly oiled dolphins and two visibly oiled sea turtles have also been rescued during this event.

    *Primarily northern gannets and brown pelicans, pied-billed grebes.

    See the consolidated wildlife report updated by noon each day:

  112. The self imposed exile is tough on those fellas, out there lurking, but not participating in the flow.

    Sweet enough, for me.

    They want to interject, but get slapped up side the head, each time they do.

    Got tired of bein' whipped on, they did.

    Left the field, in defeat.

  113. Hiding in that metaphoric rain barrel, that's the way of their whirled.

    Or so they've said, and now it is all the better exemplified by their own actions and behavior.

  114. There was this woman on Fox talking about the Admin seeking "unity of rhetoric."

    I had to laugh.

    Unity of rhetoric? Didn't we used to call that message discipline?

    Why, yes. Yes we did.

    I say our unified rhetoric be something along the lines of All Is Well.

  115. Sounds to me that with regard Afghanistan, there is no consensus in the WH about the way forward.

    I'm not surprised. It seems that this Administration is unprepared to execute a war, respond to a natural disaster or manage a financial crisis.

    To be evenhanded though, they seem very capable of cultivating chaos.

  116. It was a brilliant and heroic choice, though.

    Fhe MSM unity of rhetoric on that one.

  117. There is no consensus in the Whirreled on Afghanistan.

    Gulf, another matter.
    He's the disaster.

  118. "Ambinder has the REAL dirt on Stan the Man."

    Give it up, Doug. Your bete noire is gone.

    The world has been set aright.

    Kick back, relax, and savor.

  119. Google has removed MoveOn's Betray Us from it's Cache!

  120. Google is an arm of the Obama Administration, doug.

    Big donors of both time and money towards his election and I think some current staffing.

    Some Board members or such, I do not recall the particulars, but Google was/is quite politically "progressive".

  121. "unity of rhetoric."

    heh, that's funny as hell, unity of rhetoric, that's what I got in my language classes

  122. Quirk said...
    Oh shit, I see them pesky Jews are back.

    Never left...

  123. I stole this from Maggies Farm. Fascinatin:

    The US standard railroad gauge (the distance between the rails) is 4 feet, eight and a half inches.


    That's an exceedingly odd number. Why is that gauge used?

    Because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the US railroads. Why did the English build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used. Why did the trams use that gauge? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

    Okay! Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts. So who built those old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in England for their legions. The roads have been used ever since. And the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot.

    Bureaucracies live forever.

    So the next time you're handed a spec and are told "We've always done it this way", and you wonder what horse's ass came up with it, you may be exactly right. The Imperial Roman war chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war horses.

  124. Now a twist to the story.

    When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds.

    So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass.

  125. They're just afraid to participate anymore, Q.

    They do not like being made fools of, they like being alone in their rain barrel, better.

  126. re: that judge and his investments, seems DR again jumped to an erroneous conclusion. Why does anybody listen to that knucklehead?

    Much of the sensational reporting on Feldman’s investments was based on outdated information. The Judge was blasted for owning stock in Transocean, Ltd and Halliburton, two of the major companies involved in the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Feldman owned those stocks in 2008; however, he sold those shares long before issuing his ruling this week. In fact, this updated information will be released in the next report on his stock holdings.

    If Feldman held financial interests in any of companies involved in the lawsuit or the Deepwater Horizon rig, he would not have been allowed the take the case. The 5th District Court uses a sophisticated computer system to check whether judges have a conflict of interest in any legal proceeding. This system automatically determines whether a judge needs to be recused from a particular case. In this lawsuit, Feldman was allowed to take the case because he did not own any stock related to the parties involved.

    The attack was not based on facts, but it was a character assassination as a way to mitigate the influence of the scathing decision. If anyone should be questioned, it is the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar who disregarded the advice of his own scientific experts in declaring the deep water drilling moratorium. In the wake of the Judge’s ruling, Salazar said he would issue a “refined” moratorium, ask for a stay of the ruling and appeal the decision. Some legal experts predicted the preliminary injunction would lead the government to compromise on the moratorium. In fact, Salazar decided to be confrontational instead of working with business interests in Louisiana to find common ground.

  127. I just cut and pasted the AP wire.

    So obviously the answer, quit reading the paper, folks.

    The issue is not his extensive investments in the oil business, but his lack of understanding of Executive power, today.

    But J Wahhabi does not address that issue, as he's always been a fan of enhanced executive power, at least he was, back in the Bush days.

  128. Just as he is currently a fan of sending $350 Billion every year to his Wahhabi brothers in the Persian Gulf.

  129. "Never left..."

    Oh, I wasn't talking about you WiO. I was talking about Allen and his ventriloquist dummy, Anonymous.



  130. rufus wrote:

    "So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass."

    Welcome, rufus, to the wonderful world of engineering!

  131. So is Mee'mi Bob.


  132. Blue asked earlier:

    Does this make sense?

    Washington (CNN) -- Gen. David Petraeus told CNN on Thursday that he supports President Barack Obama's July 2011 deadline to start withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan


    Um. Yeah. About that deadline...

    Not gonna make it.

    Weren't gonna make it under Stan. Aren't gonna under Dave.

    That news will have to be broken gently to the progressives who are already a tad bit disappointed by this admin.

    Sometime after November.

  133. That was kinda interesting Rufus.


  134. :)

    Have you been following the goings on in Chicago?

    What a hell of a mess, makes the county commissioners look good.

  135. Heck, Bob, the current GOP in Congress would make anyone look good.

    Just heard of a program today put out by the House minority leadership.

    It's called You Cut.

    They put up a bunch of suggested spending cuts on the'You Cut" website and then ask the American people to choose among them so they can put them up for a vote.

    Friggin morons.

    It's embarrassing.

    You Cut Website


  136. Hey, Ash. This isn't you in this picture is it?

    G-20 Meets in Toronto


  137. You Cut.

    Jesus that's almost profane and I took heat for using the c word in a poem, last line, to a woman I truly love. Life ain't fair.

  138. "Dave could save Mosul, but this is f...... Afghanistan."

    You know, Stan was there in Iraq when Dave was getting his Sons of the Awakening gig on.

    Making sure that those who most needed killing got theirs.

    Stan is responsible for more death and destruction than Dave ever was or will be.

    If you groove on that kind of thing. Just sayin'.

    Dave is a CONVENTIONAL soldier. An enormously skilled one, but conventional nonetheless. He's not all about the killing.

    Even within the COIN framework, Stan was all about the targeting.

    I wish David Petraeus the very best. He knows this is going to eat him up. Rufus isn't wrong about that much. It's a true sacrifice on his part.

  139. She might drop in for a visit, bob, if you would stop obsessing. And threatening to share the Secrets of Successful Teabagging with her.

  140. I'll do whatever I'm told.

    Long as I can go fly fishing.

    That is the, what's it called, the Sine qua non.

  141. On the growing conflict in Central Asia, Medvedev expressed concern that without a "full fledged government" that can grapple with the ethnic discord, Kyrgyzstan will "degrade and break up into parts".


    Russia, the US and the international community have been coordinating their humanitarian efforts, and the Russian Federation was not planning to deploy peacekeepers, Medvedev said. Obama noted that any actions to protect civilians in the central Asian country would "not be done under the flag of any individual country".

    On his his way to Washington, Medvedev spent a day in California securing support in the high-tech community for building a Russian version of the Silicon Valley. Obama also noted the Russian purchase of $4 billion worth of Boeing aircraft, which he said would create tens of thousands of jobs.

    Economic Ties

  142. Protesters and community groups aim to intensify their demonstrations in Toronto today as businesses in the downtown of Canada’s largest city start to close ahead of this weekend’s Group of 20 summit.


    Police said they have arrested at least eight people in Toronto ahead of the G-20. An arrest of a man yesterday after police found weapons and hazardous materials inside his car near the security zone wasn’t related to the summit, police said.


    World Vision is using mimes and stilt-walkers dressed as pregnant world leaders at demonstrations in Huntsville and Toronto.

    G-20 Summit