“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."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Obama thinks the Democrats will do very well in coming election


  1. I hear Obama has taken up the fiddle.

  2. "The Republicans are holding things hostage"

    r i g h t they got the votes to do that

    though they may in the future

    "If the political winds change, I'll stand with the muslims"

  3. Seeking to rally his struggling party, Obama cast Democrats as warriors for the hard-pressed middle class and Republicans as protectors of millionaires and special interests.

    Asked how he had changed Washington, Obama said the dreadful economy made it hard to demonstrate real progress.

    "I think that's fair. I'm as frustrated as anybody by it," Obama said.

    'Painfully Slow'

  4. Pay Up, Suckers!

    Privacy laws prevent release of individual tax delinquents' names. But we do know that as of the end of 2009, 41 people inside Obama's very own White House owe the government they're allegedly running a total of $831,055 in back taxes. That would cover a lot of special chocolate desserts in the White House Mess.

    In the House of Representatives, 421 people owe a total $6,524,892.

    In the Senate, 217 owe $2,774,836.

    In the IRS' parent department, Treasury, 1,204 owe $7,670,814.

    At the Labor Department, where Secretary Hilda Solis' husband had some back-tax problems before her confirmation, 463 owe $7,481,463.

    Eighty-one workers for the Federal Reserve System's board of governors owe $1,076,733.

    Over at the Justice Department, which is so busy enforcing other laws and suing Arizona, 1,971 employees still owe $14,350,152 in overdue taxes.

    Then, we come to the Department of Homeland Security, which is run by Janet Napolitano, the former governor of Arizona.

    Within that department, there reside 4,856 people who owe the tax agency a whopping total of $37,012,174.

  5. Michelle on vacation--

    "Let them eat cake" is the traditional translation of the French phrase "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche", supposedly spoken by a French princess upon learning that the peasants had no bread. As brioche is a luxury bread enriched with eggs and butter, it would reflect the princess's obliviousness to the nature of a famine.

    Although commonly attributed to Queen Marie Antoinette,[1] there is no record of these words ever having been uttered by her; they first appear in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Confessions, his putative autobiographical work (completed in 1769, when Marie Antoinette was 13), where he wrote the following in Book 6:

    Enfin je me rappelai le pis-aller d’une grande princesse à qui l’on disait que les paysans n’avaient pas de pain, et qui répondit : Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.

    Finally I recalled the last resort of a great princess who was told that the peasants had no bread, and who responded: "Let them eat brioche."

    Rousseau does not name the "great princess" and there is speculation that he invented the anecdote, which has no other sources.[2]

    In Chinese culture, there is a variation of this story that involves rice and meat, instead of bread and cake.[3]

  6. Arizona has possibly the best alternate school programs in the country:
    I wonder when they'll attack that?


    ...private schools don't have to go through local boards of education, they go through a single state department which eliminates local boards sabotaging private schools.

  7. Dems Could Lose 8 Empire State Seats in US House

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- For all the Democrats' strength and swagger in New York, the party could lose as many as eight U.S. House seats in the Empire State alone in November.

    The top of the Democratic ticket is formidable. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo enjoys a hefty, double-digit lead in polling for the governor's race and Sen. Charles Schumer is cruising to a third term against token opposition. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, an appointed replacement for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, is far head in the polls after initially being tagged as vulnerable.

    Gillibrand is expected to easily capture the party nomination in Tuesday's primary, and all three top Democrats stand as prohibitive favorites in a state where registered Democratic voters outnumber Republican 2-to-1. Complicating the GOP prospects, Republicans don't have a single A-list name running statewide this year.

    But recession-weary voters are unlikely to be as kind to some of the lower-profile New York Democrats who now control 26 of the state's 29 seats in the U.S. House.

    Democrats captured seven of their eight at-risk House seats in the 2006 and 2008 elections, when they made gains in suburban and upstate districts that had long been dominated by Republicans.

  8. In the race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, Rick Lazio, a former congressman beaten in his 2000 Senate race against Clinton, finds himself in a fight against millionaire Buffalo developer Carl Paladino,
    a tea party-style populist whose campaign signs read

    ''I'm mad as Hell, too, Carl!''

  9. That'll git her done:

    People who live in the in the Crestmoore neighborhood told reporters thay had complained to Pacific Gas and Electric about the smell of gas in the area and wondered why the utility had apparently not done anything about it.

    Tim Guiterrez, who lives in the neighborhood, said he was one of those who told PG&E about a distinct smell of gas.

    Guiterrez said a representative from the utility was in the neighborhood last week and told people to shut their garage doors and stay inside as they looked into the complaint.

  10. This should come as no surprise:

    HAVANA – Fidel Castro says his comments about Cuba's communist economic model were misinterpreted by a visiting American journalist.
    Appearing at the University of Havana on Friday, the 84-year-old ex-president says he meant "exactly the opposite" of the quote contained in a blog.

  11. Woman goes postal at Kraft Foods plant, kills two coworkers.
    After she was disciplined, she went to her vehicle, made several phone calls, and then grabbed a .357 Magnum and used it to force her way past security guards at the front gate.
    Missing Kraft Food Security Guards found tarred, feathered, severely beaten

    Plant employees suspected.

  12. It's only early September but already the air smells distinctly different.

    And the lawn already has a smattering leaves.

    I hadn't taken any notice until a few days ago when I was outside and on the phone...

    Watched a leaf fall. Looked around.

    I'll be damned. It's autumn.

  13. Best of all he loved the fall,
    the leaves yellow on the cottonwoods,
    leaves floating on the trout streams.
    And above the hills
    the high blue windless skies.
    Now he will be a part of them forever.

    Ernest Hemingway, pagan at heart

  14. I've never been wild about autumn. Return to school, return to short sunlight, return to cold. Or cool.

    It can be lovely.

    But Spring is the thing.

  15. I like changes of season, period.

    I feel for Doug.

  16. Ernie never did get his religious views straight. He was conflicted. There's Christian symbolism in "The Old Man and the Sea" for instance, and he made some attempts to live a Catholic life with what's her name, but in the end, I think the above probably sums it up best.

    His real religion was writing, when he couldn't do it anymore, he put an end to it.

  17. "I like changes of season, period."

    I'm rather divided on this.

  18. He had some highs and lows, all right. His women never amounted to much more than a caricature, and he wasn't lacking in narcissism, but a lot of the great too. Plus a lot of b.s. He was good at painting a picture of a countryside, and saying a lot in a few words, least early on.

  19. Far as I know, he wrote the first American story about date rape, but I can't recall the title. Poor Liz I think it was, got left on the dock in the cold. At the University of Idaho library there's a display with his picture, mentioning this story, and a suggestion to the students it's not so romantic to do this.

  20. "...saying a lot in a few words..."

    There is something to be said for this. A lot in fact.

  21. Is it frolic Friday can I come out to play?

  22. Yes, you may.


    Sarah Palin fires back at Arnold the Austrian, who's been dissing her--

    Arnold should have landed; I could have explained our multi-billion dollar state surplus & US energy security efforts. What's he been up to?

  23. I knew I was doomed the rest of the week when that rain cloud on Wednesday drenched only my car sitting at a red light while the sun was out.

  24. Least you weren't in a Mustang convertible without a back window.

  25. PUtting on long pants is the first sign of autumn to me.

  26. What is proposed is not a mosque -- nor even an "Islamic cultural center."

    In fact, the proposed structure is known in Islamic history as a rabat -- literally a connector. The first rabat appeared at the time of the Prophet.

    The Prophet imposed his rule on parts of Arabia through a series of ghazvas, or razzias (the origin of the English word "raid"). The ghazva was designed to terrorize the infidels, convince them that their civilization was doomed and force them to submit to Islamic rule. Those who participated in the ghazva were known as the ghazis, or raiders.

    After each ghazva, the Prophet ordered the creation of a rabat -- or a point of contact at the heart of the infidel territory raided. The rabat consisted of an area for prayer, a section for the raiders to eat and rest and facilities to train and prepare for future razzias. Later Muslim rulers used the tactic of ghazva to conquer territory in the Persian and Byzantine empires. After each raid, they built a rabat to prepare for the next razzia.

    It is no coincidence that Islamists routinely use the term ghazva to describe the 9/11 attacks against New York and Washington. The terrorists who carried out the attack are referred to as ghazis or shahids (martyrs).

    Thus, building a rabat close to Ground Zero would be in accordance with a tradition started by the Prophet. To all those who believe and hope that the 9/11 ghazva would lead to the destruction of the American "Great Satan," this would be of great symbolic value.

    Faced with the anger of New Yorkers, the promoters of the project have started calling it the Cordoba House, echoing President Obama's assertion that it would be used to propagate "moderate" Islam.


    A rabat in the heart of Manhattan would be of great symbolic value to those who want a high-profile, "in your face" projection of Islam in the infidel West.

  27. Taking off long pants in autumn is always a good start to most any frolic.

  28. I keep meaning to read that book.

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. Still I'd rather have a beer with Buchanan than Obama.

  31. Koran burning canceled.

    Church/Flag burning, bombing, flogging, stoning and terrorism proceed as usual.

  32. Buck O. writes:

    I can't stand to see Pat spinning off into madness. I'm going to sedate myself by listening to some old Lyndon LaRouche tapes.

    LA writes:

    Bill O'Reilly has a position similar to Buchanan's. He wants a court to issue an injunction ordering Jones not to burn a Koran.
    And O'Reilly is supposed to be a commonsensical centrist!

  33. "Taking off long pants in autumn is always a good start to most any frolic."

    Then I'll have a frolic on the rocks please.

    It also could be a good start to the end of a week from hell. And when my plans for tonight were cancelled because of some unforeseen obstacle it really put a damper on the start of my weekend.

  34. When I put on long johns I know winter is here.

    Since I've been so mellowed out these latter many days, I've taken up listening to Mellow Music to wear the day away.

  35. Thanks So Much!

    For only the second time in my adult life, I am not ashamed of my country. I want to thank the hard working American people for paying $242 thousand dollars plus additional expenses for my vacation in Spain.

    My daughter Sasha, several long-time family friends, my personal staff and various guests had a wonderful time. Honestly, you just haven't lived until you have stayed in a $2,500.00 per night suite at a 5-Star luxury hotel. We only booked 70 rooms for our friends, staff and family.

    Thank you also for the use of Air Force 2 and the 70 Secret Service personnel who tagged along to be sure we were safe and cared for at all times.

    Air Force 2 only used 47,500 gallons of jet fuel for this trip and carbon emissions were a mere 1,031 tons of CO2. It costs only $11,500 per hour to operate Air Force 2 and each additional plane for the other members of our party group. These are only rough estimates, but they are close (who's counting?). That's quite a carbon footprint as my good friend Al Gore would say, so we must ask the American citizens to drive smaller, more fuel efficient cars and drive less too, so we can lessen our combined carbon footprint.

    I know times are hard and millions of you are struggling to put food on the table and trying to make ends meet. I do appreciate your sacrifice and do hope you find work soon. I was really exhausted after Barack took our family on a luxury vacation in Maine a few weeks ago. I just had to get away for a few days. Will write more from Martha's Vineyard where we will spend our sixth vacation this year with more of our family and friends.


    Michelle Obama

  36. It's still late summer in my part of the whirled but you can see that the plants are tiring.

  37. I've had this profound thought all day--

    Something's going to happen tomorrow.


    The wife transplanted the tomatoes and they are resurgent here.

    But I got to tell you, those guys that planted garbanzos are going to take a hit. They're gonna shatter make no mistake about it. Expect a price at the Arby's salad bar.

  38. price rise

    I expect to see soon a whole bunch of koran burnings on U-Tube.

  39. Mr. Whipple says, "Don't squeeze the Koran!"

  40. That Buchanan column makes some interesting points but I'm not sure if he is seriously calling for Obama to jerk the preachers chain or making a point about us dithering in the Muslim whirled in a so called War on Terror.

  41. What was I thinking? I know Buchanan has long advocated against our efforts in South Asia.

  42. This is an interesting paragraph from Buchanan's column:

    This episode reveals the gulf between us and the Islamic world. Despite all our talk of universal values, tens of millions of Muslims, in countries not only hostile but friendly, believe that a sacrilege against their faith, like the burning of the Quran by a single American oddball, justifies the killing of Americans. What kind of compatibility can there be between us?

  43. Is that "Goodbye", as in forever? Or just for the evening?

  44. Burning the Koran in Iran

    Even the moslems do it, must be ok.

    There are a number of burnings on U Tube, if you like that sort of thing,

    Don't go, Trish, don't go, not forever.

  45. If it was a single American odd ball, that'd be one thing. But the "War on Islam" storyline is not a singularity, not by any means.

    I read about this "War", here, almost every day. This Florida episode is only the latest installment in a continuing televised and written serial.

    Our Presidents continue to tell US that we are looking for the perpetrators of attacks and conspiracies against US. On 11SEP2001 and at other venues and times. Attacks perpetrated by oddballs and religious fanatics.

    As were the attacks by Dr. Theodore John "Ted" Kaczynski, Timothy McVeigh and the behavior of David Koresh and his followers in Waco.

    While Yaakov "Jack" Teitel bombed a Messianic Jewish family, a club full of homosexual Israelis and killed two Palestinians and there has been no denunciation of Orthodox Judaism as "hateful" or "evil".

    Nor should there have been.

    Crimes are committed by individuals and conspirators involved in terror cells, they do not represent the entirety of their religions or countries. Yaakov "Jack" Teitel being both born in the US and a resident of Israel since 2000.

    His behavior does not indict the US, Israel or Judaism, or does it?

    The same impulses that drive many here in the US to declare that we are "At War with Islam" drive the Afghans to extreme measures against US, there in Afghanistan.

    Afghanistan's history is replete with examples of insults against religion -- real or imagined -- fueling uprisings against foreign powers.The Quran burning threat is just the latest.

    It is the US that is occupying Afghanistan, not the Afghans occupying NYCity. It is up to US to maintain a higher level of discretion, or leave those folks to their own devices.

    Which is what I would recommend we do, as soon as possible.

  46. You posted that once before Miss T as I recall.

    US Soldiers Charged With Atrocities

  47. Attacks perpetrated by oddballs and religious fanatics.

    I agree that statistical outliers jump out of any mix.

    And I (have come to) agree that these particular troublemakers should be treated as common criminals, with the emphasis on common.

    Where I disagree with the idea of 'religious fanatics' is the degree to which Islam is a religion with it's usual complement of religious fanatics - or whether it is a collection of fanatics finding common ground in a loosely constructed set of beliefs being labelled a religion.

    That set of beliefs, constituting what we call Islam, cannot be dignified with the label of religion.

    I could go on but that's the gist of it.

    Rauf and Daisy can go suck dirt.

    I also think the real concern over this burning thing is igniting domestic sleeper cells.

  48. That set of beliefs, constituting what we call Islam, cannot be dignified with the label of religion.

    Right-O, Cleaning Lady.

    I see it as a perpetual conspiracy of a bunch of old men against the women.

  49. 25 people were executed today in Ciudad Juarez and now this:

    MONTERREY, Mexico (Reuters) – Eighty-five prisoners escaped from a jail near the U.S. border on Friday, authorities and media said, the latest prison break underscoring the challenges Mexico faces as it battles powerful drug cartels.
    The prisoners, mainly cartel members, climbed over a prison fence in the border city of Reynosa, across from McAllen, Texas, in the early hours of Friday morning, local radio and newspapers reported, saying 85 men escaped.

  50. I see it as a perpetual conspiracy of a bunch of old men against the women.

    Against the physically disadvantaged - which is a larger group including children and handicapped.

  51. I have a customer that insists on calling me Claire even after many times of telling him my name.

  52. I sometimes have that affect on people.

  53. A conspiracy against women, criminal conspiracies like those folks that manage or patronize cat houses right, bob?

    Both the organized Lutherans and Catholics compare that type of sexual exploitation and oppression that goes on in cat houses to slavery.

    Do you agree?

    Or are those both false religions, too?

  54. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

  55. Obama is now becoming synonymous with vacation. I'm going on an obama for a week. I will be obamaing in Florida this fall.

  56. OB1 Kenyobi, Hugo Chavez & Fidel Castro - The Marxist Brothers

  57. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

  58. This comment has been removed by the author.

  59. A conspiracy against women, criminal conspiracies like those folks that manage or patronize cat houses right, bob?

    Looks like bob is leaving the honors to me.

    The sexual divide is as old as Adam and Eve. Not to confuse biology with ideology.

    I will raise the power theme. Rape is an issue of power. Prostitution is an issue of economics - and a few other things. Stoning is an issue that speaks directly to the 'inalienable rights' of all human beings.

    As an agnostic, I defend no formal religion. Islam is not a religion.

  60. Bob went out to the Casino for the T shirt drawing, I agree with The Cleaning Lady.

  61. Patty certainly has worked hard to deserve it, the bimbo, the air head, the silly goose.

  62. I betcha by October Patty Murray starts running anti-Rossi ads using the Sopranos title theme song.

  63. heh, probably, the dems in western Washington will stop at nothing, shameless, without conscience.

    At the Casino Lady Luck Cleaned Me Out, except my lovely Valkyrie Princesses came through right at the end, with 50 free spins, and I walked away ten dollars ahead, from nearly two hundred down.

    Thank God, my wife would have been pissed.

  64. Miss F plays blackjack, sometimes she's up, sometimes she's down, but it's her money.

  65. You'll agree Miss T Here's A Woman To Fight and Die For

    Am I right?

    Miss Fely has more sense than I, anything is better than the electronic bandits.

  66. I do notice though, attending closely, those beauty marks kinda migrate round her lovely face, and sometimes they're not there at all.

  67. I'll see your Haifa, Bob, and raise Melissa.

  68. And I call and raise you again.

  69. ahhh, you've got a thing for that Melissa, you've linked to her before, haven't you!?

  70. Don't deny it, I know you have.

  71. I'll even overlook the fact that she's a French cheese-eating surrender monkey.

  72. heh, g'nite Miss T, it's past my bedtime, and I need my pills to control my stimulations.

  73. "His real religion was writing..."

    Not a bad religion, when you think about it.

  74. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  77. "Hi, Trish."

    So about the space...

    We're going up to PA this week. Wanna come?

  78. This comment has been removed by the author.

  79. Have a good trip.

    Travelling is cool. I don't do enough of it lately.

    You know I've been up and down the east coast a lot on business but I have never visited D.C.

    I plan on making a trip soon.

    Right now I'm wrapped up in funerals and upcoming weddings.

    Life's full circle.


  80. "We're going..." ???

    Probably not.



  81. "I have never visited D.C."

    It's a wonderful place, really.

    And my daughter is the best guide.

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