“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."

Monday, November 05, 2012

British sources on the ground in Benghazi said they are extremely frustrated by the attack and are still wondering why they weren't called for help. “We have more people on the ground here than the Americans and I just don't know why we didn't get the call?"

Exclusive: Security officials on the ground in Libya challenge CIA account

Published November 03, 2012

Despite a carefully narrated version of events rolled out late this week by the CIA claiming agents jumped into action as soon as they were notified of calls for help in Benghazi, security officials on the ground say calls for help went out considerably earlier -- and signs of an attack were mounting even before that.

The accounts, from foreign and American security officials in and around Benghazi at the time of the attack, indicate there was in fact a significant lag between when the threat started to show itself and help started to arrive.

According to the CIA, the first calls for assistance came at 9:40 p.m. local time from a senior State Department official at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, to the CIA annex about a mile away.

But according to multiple people on the ground that night, the Blue Mountain Security manager, who was in charge of the local force hired to guard the consulate perimeter, made calls on both two-way radios and cell phones to colleagues in Benghazi warning of problems at least an hour earlier. Those calls allegedly went to local security contractors who say that the CIA annex was also notified much earlier than 9:40 p.m. U.S. military intelligence also told Fox News that armed militia was gathering up to three hours before the attack began.

One source said the Blue Mountain Security chief seemed "distraught" and said "the situation here is very serious, we have a problem." He also said that even without these phone and radio calls, it was clear to everyone in the security community on the ground in Benghazi much earlier than 9:40 p.m. that fighters were gathering in preparation for an attack.

Many of these security contractors and intelligence sources on the ground in Benghazi met twice a week for informal meetings at the consulate with Blue Mountain and consulate staff, and at times other international officials. They were all very familiar with security at the consulate -- and said the staff seemed "complacent" and "didn't seem to follow the normal American way of securing a facility."

Both American and British sources say multiple roadblocks set up by fighters believed to be with Ansar al-Sharia were in place in Benghazi several hours before the 9:40 p.m. timeline and that communications also alluded to "heavily armed troops showing up with artillery." Fox News was told by both American and British contacts who were in Benghazi that night that the CIA timeline rolled out this past week is only loosely based on the truth" and "doesn't quite add up."

Fox News was also told that the local guard force meant to protect the consulate perimeter "panicked" and didn't know what to do as the attackers took up positions. Sources say other guards simply "walked away".
One former Special Op now employed by a private company in Benghazi said that even the safe room wasn't properly set up. He said "the safe room is one of the first measures you take" and that he is "not sure how you can set a safe room without fire suppression and ventilation in case of fire." He also said, "Ambassador Stevens would likely be alive today if this simple and normal procedure was put into place."

As details emerge of serious security issues before the attack on Sept. 11, Fox News is also beginning to hear more frustration from sources both on the ground in Benghazi and in the U.S. Multiple British and American sources insist there were other capabilities in the region and are mystified why none were used. Fox News was told there were not only armed drones that monitor Libyan chemical weapon sites in the area, but also F-18's, AC-130 aircraft and even helicopters that could have been dispatched in a timely fashion.
However, George Little, a spokesman from the Pentagon, denied their presence in the area.

"On the night of the attack on American personnel and facilities in Benghazi, there were no armed unmanned aerial vehicles over Libya, and there were no AC-130s anywhere close," he said. 

British intelligence sources said that unarmed drones routinely flew over Benghazi every night in flight patterns and that armed drones which fly over chemical sites, some a short flight from Benghazi, "were always said to be on call." American sources confirmed this and questioned "why was a drone armed only with a camera dispatched?"

Another source added, "Why would they put a ragtag team together in Tripoli as first responders? This is not even what they do for a living. We had a first responder air base in Italy almost the same distance away." Despite the team arriving from Tripoli that night, sources said sufficient American back-up never came.

British sources on the ground in Benghazi said they are extremely frustrated by the attack and are still wondering why they weren't called for help. “We have more people on the ground here than the Americans and I just don't know why we didn't get the call?" one said.

Both American and British sources said, at the very least, the security situation on the ground and the lack of proper response were the result of "complete incompetence." The covert team that came in from Tripoli was held up at the Benghazi airport for more than three hours by Libyan officials. Sources said the team notified officials in Washington that they were being delayed within 30 minutes of their arrival.

They also point out that these questions "don't even address the military capabilities of our United Nations ally Turkey, who (has) forces available a similarly short flight away." Fox News has learned that Turkey had a number of embassy staff in town the night of the attack and that the Turkish consul general met with Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi the night he and the three other Americans were killed.

One source asked, "Were the Turks not warned? What forces were available from our ally Turkey? Especially since they had officials there in Benghazi also and had to be concerned … and where was the U.N. in all of this?"


  1. not that it makes any difference.

  2. Karl Rove called Hurricane Sandy the October surprise of the 2012 presidential election, and said the view it gave of a non-partisan President Barack Obama may cost Gov. Mitt Romney the race.

    The Republican strategist said in an interview with the Washington Post that the “stutter” in the campaigns took attention off of Romney’s argument about the economy and refocused the country on Obama being the “comforter-in-chief.”

    “If you hadn’t had the storm, there would have been more of a chance for the Romney campaign to talk about the deficit, the debt, the economy,” Rove said. “There was a stutter in the campaign. When you have attention drawn away to somewhere else, to something else, it is not to his [Romney’s] advantage.”

    Read Latest Breaking News from
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    1. I'm seeing a second career for Karl Rove as a scriptwriter for soaps: As the Wind Spins, So go the Days of our Wives and the Ways of our Dives.

  3. It's all W's Fault. (He and Khadafy de-nuked Libya)

    BHO and Hill were right to remove security forces and the DC-3.

    The fools that went back several times trying to leave no one behind are traitors, inflaming the followers of the ROP, to anger and rage.
    ...from their normal state of peace and love.

  4. Fracking is too important to foul up

    By Michael R. Bloomberg and George P. Mitchell, Published: August 23

    In Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and even Texas, there is a fundamental debate over “fracking” — the hydraulic fracturing of shale rock that, together with horizontal drilling, unleashes abundant natural gas. Mostly, it’s the loud voices at the extremes who are dominating the debate: those who want either no fracking or no additional regulation of it. As usual, the voices in the sensible center are getting drowned out — with serious repercussions for our country’s future.

    The production of shale gas through fracking is the most significant development in the U.S. energy sector in generations, and it affords four major benefits that people on both sides of the debate should welcome.

    First, it’s good for consumers’ pocketbooks by helping to reduce energy costs. In the Northeast alone, fracking has helped stimulate major infrastructure investments that will soon bring the first new interstate natural-gas pipeline to New York City in decades.

    Second, fracking spurs economic growth by bringing industrial jobs back to the United States — jobs that left several years ago when domestic natural-gas supplies were considered scarce and expensive.

    Third, fracking reduces U.S. dependence on coal, which is one of the best things we can do to improve air quality and fight climate change. Modern gas-fired power plants produce effectively no sulfur dioxide or fine particulates and no mercury or toxic ash pollution. They use less water and generate about half the carbon dioxide pollution of coal. The more natural gas we produce, the more quickly we will be able to close dirty-burning coal plants.

    Finally, done right, today’s more nimble natural gas plants even allow more renewable power to be integrated into the electricity grid than coal does.

    Thanks to fracking, our national production of natural gas is up 25 percent from 2004-06 levels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That’s a major reason domestic energy prices have stabilized — and why the United States’ annual carbon dioxide emissions are at their lowest level in two decades.

    Fracking for natural gas can be as good for our environment as it is for our economy and our wallets, but only if done responsibly. The rapid expansion of fracking has invited legitimate concerns about its impact on water, air and climate — concerns that industry has attempted to gloss over.

    1. With so much at stake for the environment, jobs and energy security, it is critical that we make reasoned decisions about how to manage the use of hydraulic fracturing technology.

      Several states, including Colorado, New York and Ohio, are taking the lead in this regard, recognizing the need to establish an appropriate framework for regulatory safeguards. It appears that Texas, as the pioneer of hydraulic fracturing in shale formations, is poised to step forward in developing promising state guidelines as well. More such leadership is needed.

      To jump-start this effort, each of our foundations will support organizations that seek to work with states and industries to develop common-sense regulations that will protect the environment — and ensure that the industry can thrive.

      We will encourage better state regulation of fracking around five key principles:

      - Disclosing all chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process;

      - Optimizing rules for well construction and operation;

      - Minimizing water consumption, protecting groundwater and ensuring proper disposal of wastewater;

      - Improving air pollution controls, including capturing leaking methane, a potent greenhouse gas; and

      - Reducing the impact on roads, ecosystems and communities.

      The latest research, including peer-reviewed studies out of Carnegie Mellon University and Argonne National Laboratory, suggests that if properly extracted and distributed, the impact of natural gas on the climate is significantly less than that of coal. Safely fracking natural gas can mean healthier communities, a cleaner environment and a reliable domestic energy supply right now.

      Some in the industry accept additional safeguards to promote confidence that shale gas development can proceed in a manner that protects natural resources and powers our future. These early leaders should partner with government officials and environmental organizations to ensure that strong and reasonable state regulations are adopted.

      We can frack safely if we frack sensibly. That may not make for a great bumper sticker. It does make for good environmental and economic policy.

  5. George P. Mitchell
    George Phydias Mitchell
    Born May 21, 1919 (age 93)[1]
    Galveston, Texas, USA

    Nationality - Greek American

    Alma mater - Texas A&M University

    Founder/owner of Mitchell Energy; philanthropist

    Known for - Hydraulic fracturing pioneer, developer of The Woodlands, Galveston restoration, philanthropic support of sustainability

    Net worth - $1.6 billion (2004)[2]

    George Phydias Mitchell (born May 21, 1919) is an American businessman, real estate developer and philanthropist from Texas credited with pioneering the economic extraction of shale gas.[3]

    The rise [in shale gas] has been helped along by a variety of factors.... But the biggest difference was down to the efforts of one man: George Mitchell, ...who saw the potential for improving a known technology, fracking, to get at the gas. Big oil and gas companies were interested in shale gas but could not make the breakthrough in fracking to get the gas to flow. Mr Mitchell spent ten years and $6m to crack the problem (surely the best-spent development money in the history of gas). Everyone, he said, told him he was just wasting his time and money."

    —The Economist, July 2012[4]

    Mitchell was born to Greek immigrant parents in the port city of Galveston, Texas. Mitchell earned a degree from Texas A&M University, graduating first in his class in petroleum engineering. He started an independent oil and gas company, Mitchell Energy & Development Corp. and built it into a Fortune 500 company. He participated in the development of about 10,000 wells, including more than 1000 wildcat wells.[5][6]

    In the 1980s and 1990s the company pioneered new technology for horizontal drilling of natural gas. This technique, combined with hydraulic fracturing of rock, makes it possible to economically extract natural gas from shale rock formations.

    The new approach has been widely adopted by the gas industry and spawned a new gas boom in North America. The Potential Gas Committee estimates that U.S. recoverable reserves will last 118 years at current production levels.[7]

    Extracting natural gas from shale rock is rapidly spreading to countries outside the United States. Some consider Mitchell's innovation important in the context of energy security, making the United States less dependent on foreign sources of energy. Mitchell Energy & Development Corp. was later acquired by Devon Energy.[8]

  6. "The new approach has been widely adopted by the gas industry and spawned a new gas boom in North America. The Potential Gas Committee estimates that U.S. recoverable reserves will last 118 years at current production levels.[7]"


    ...yet all we hear from Rufass, is how quickly this boom will be a bust.
    Facts be Damned.

  7. The man behind Mitt Romney's poll questions

    This is hardly an academic debate over the nuances of polling science. The basic issue is whether Newhouse’s internal forecasts and assumptions about the composition of the 2012 electorate are correct versus the ones made by the Obama campaign, which have tended to look more like public polling. If Newhouse is right, the majority of public pollsters will have egg on their faces. If he’s wrong, there will be post-mortems questioning his take.

    It is because of Newhouse’s strong reputation that many Republicans have believed his assertions that Democrats are misreading the math, and why members of Romney’s campaign have stayed positive even when things have seemed publicly to be slipping from reach.

    “Neil Newhouse is probably the most respected GOP pollster in the country,” said Nick Everhart, president of the Delaware, Ohio-based Strategy Group for Media, who has worked with POS repeatedly. “I think under-appreciated or respected when he pushes back hard on the public polling especially in Ohio, is that I feel like without question there isn’t a pollster in this country ever who has conducted or taken as many polls as Neil has in the state of Ohio. He’s practically an Ohio-based strategist the amount of work he’s done here, so it’s VERY hard not to take his comments and critiques of the rest of the public survey data coming out of the state seriously.”

    Everhart added: “Neil is just not the kind of guy who would be pushing back for the sake of earned media spin, he’s pushing back because he’s seeing serious flaws in all this public data.”

    Indeed, amid the partisan fog, what is getting lost is that both sides — Obama and Romney — are fiercely convinced that their numbers are the right ones.

    “Some people want to believe we’re living in a world where the electorate is going to have a partisan composition” like 2008, Newhouse told reporters last week on a conference call, citing the current political environment. “That’s a stretch.”

    “What’s fun about Neil is he’s kind of the gritty, blue collar, junkyard dog Republican pollster,” said Republican pollster Greg Strimple, who believes Newhouse’s data is accurate and describes him as generally cautious instead of risky in his assumptions. “He’s not a pompous, egotistical type.”

  8. “I think under-appreciated or respected when he pushes back hard on the public polling especially in Ohio, is that I feel like without question there isn’t a pollster in this country ever who has conducted or taken as many polls as Neil has in the state of Ohio.

    He’s practically an Ohio-based strategist the amount of work he’s done here, so it’s VERY hard not to take his comments and critiques of the rest of the public survey data coming out of the state seriously.”

  9. CNN poll reaches new heights of absurdity

    The poll, released earlier tonight, shows a 49-49 tie among likely voters. But to get that result CNN had to use one of the most skewed samples we’ve seen this campaign (see page 29):

    Among those likely voters, 41% described themselves as Democrats, 29% described themselves as Independents, and 30% described themselves as Republicans.

    A D+11 sample! By comparison, the electorate in 2008, when Obama-mania was at its peak, was merely D+7, according to exit polls.

    Tweeters were in a state of disbelief:

  10. A D+11 sample! By comparison, the electorate in 2008, when Obama-mania was at its peak, was merely D+7, according to exit polls.

    Dems are going to be whining like Uncle Walter after the Tet Offensive. "I thought we were winning this war!"

  11. Rasmussen says that if it were Scott vs The Squaw, personally, Scott Walker would win…

    …But Mass. voters want a Dem controlled Senate,

    …and predicts The Squaw will win.

    1. The thing is, it's just getting harder, and harder to find Anyone that will admit to being a Republican.

      Don't worry, there are a lot of Dems that are voting for the "White" guy, also.

    2. The message of "War and Depression" just ain't resonating like it used to.

    3. People are getting cavalier - no fear of god - and superstitious - scared straight over the v-word.

    4. "The thing is, it's just getting harder, and harder to find Anyone that will admit to being a Republican."

      That's odd. My daughter tells me in Idaho the dems don't admit to being dems on their literature now. No party affiliation ever mentioned.

    5. Better try another line of attack, Rduf, that one isn't resonating so well, sounds really lame and weak.

      I swear, you are enough to make a man give up on prayer.

    6. I swear, you are enough to make a man give up on prayer.

      At least I'm accomplishing something worthwhile.

  12. Replies
    1. The tremendously interesting topic that Isn't being discussed is the tremendous effect of the Tea Crazy wave in 2010 that turned so many STATE legislatures red, and the Redistricting that followed.

      The serendipitous timing of this wave, and the Census, virtually guarantees the Pubs the House of Representatives for the next 10 years. That's a Biggie.

    2. "Tea Crazy" = Sanity

      Sanity will rule the polling places again this time.

      Romney Wins!

      (can he carry the Senate in on his back?


  13. The Blood Sport gets bloodier.

    This election has always been a referendum on Barack Obama. For some, not on matters of substance. They can't have it both ways. It's hypocritical to distribute a vicious, false narrative about him while fancying yourself a patriot and a great American. Vilify a sitting president of the United States with fiction and innuendo, and you are neither.

    I objected when George W. Bush was the subject of undeserved, hyperbolic criticism, but the baseless scorn heaped upon President Obama makes Bush's detractors look diplomatic. The president, the office, and our nation deserve better.


    This election has always been a referendum on Barack Obama.

    Half true. This election was a contest between one man, Obama, and one political party, the Republicans.

    The president, the office, and our nation deserve better.

    The entire word watches. One cringes while waiting for more sneering Chinese commercials: "You work for us now." Memo to China: We're building those boxes - now - as the circus winds down. Gonna make Sandy look like a gentle summer breeze.

  14. From DDR's link:

    Their best evidence? Obamacare -- crafted by the same people who wrote Romneycare. Critics ignore that the Affordable Care Act is premised upon personal responsibility and was born in a right-wing think tank. Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning website of the Tampa Bay Times, called the idea that Obamacare represents a "takeover" of the health care system the 2010 Lie of the Year. And while some have also labeled the president a "socialist" for signing the $831 billion stimulus, no one ever used such language when Bush acted similarly with the $700 billion TARP.

    In the final days, the critics have turned to Benghazi, drilling down on the shifting narrative regarding the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, but ignoring that, as the Wall Street Journal reported on Oct. 22, "The CIA was consistent from Sept. 13 to Sept. 21 that the attack evolved from a protest." There's another problem with the criticism. Romney now gets intelligence briefings, too. Perhaps that's why he took a pass on this kerfuffle when Libya was the first question at the final debate.

    So why the attention on the recent 9/11? Perhaps to deflect attention from Obama avenging the first 9/11. Most disturbing, the president's critics have sought to diminish that achievement by treating his order as a no-brainer. As a candidate in 2008, Obama was roundly criticized when he said (to me and others) that he would act on intelligence regarding the al Qaeda leader even if he were in Pakistan. To Bush that was "unsavory." To John McCain, that was "naive." Hillary Clinton said this was "a mistake." Joe Biden said Obama "undermined his ability to be tough." And Romney regarded that pledge as "ill-timed" and "ill-considered." Imagine the criticism Obama would have faced if the mission had failed.

    The reality is that there is much to be admired in the president and his rise to power. Replace Kenya with Poland or Germany, and you'd have observers rightly saying that only in this country could such a career path be possible. He is a loving husband and father who, with the first lady, is ably raising two daughters in the glare of the White House. He is an intellectual heavyweight. And his personal ethics have been above reproach.

    Real patriots vote for or against candidates based on substance, not smears.

    Originally published in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

    1. .




      Arguing that Obamacare has its roots in prior Republican plans or in Romneycare is meaningless. It's results that count. Obamacare is a construct built on an ideology. While it's intent is admirable, universal coverage and cost control, it fails on both of these measures.

      "The CIA was consistent from Sept. 13 to Sept. 21 that the attack evolved from a protest."

      Anyone, including the CIA, that thought the attack was anything but an assault by a bunch of terrorists after more than a day, two at the most, shouldn't be in the intelligence game. As an aside, it would be nice to see some documentation for the subject comment. I find it hard to believe the CIA would agree with it.


      Obama deserves credit for bringing down OBL. The final call was his and it involved risk on a couple of scores. However, let's be realistic. OBL was brought down four years after Ibrahim Saeed Ahmed was identified as the courier, for years of connecting the dots and doing the grunt police work needed to track him down. And in the end there was also the offsetting political risk to Obama if he failed to act and OBL escaped.

      Personal ethics.

      As for his personal ethics being above reproach, I guess that depends on what you claim are personal ethics. Is he messing around with some intern or having the Secret Service sent waitresses up to his room to boink? No proof of that. That he is a devoted father? I have no reason to doubt it. As for his relationship with Michelle, I'll leave that to the Enquirer and others to discuss. However, that he is a habitual liar and dissembler there is no doubt. That he has and continues to gut the constitution there is no doubt. That he is a proponent of comfort rooms? Well, I'll leave that one to Bob to answer.

      Smears? Well that is part of the Newsspeak we can expect to get from the editorial or op-ed pages these days.


  15. Isn't it interesting that the Republican Party, the "Party of Born-again Christians," is the party that's moving heaven and earth to suppress the vote in Ohio, and Florida?

  16. re: "lame and weak"

    I am still recovering from the shock and anger of the multiple post-2010 Tea Party debt ceiling "debates," all conducted with the hubris and dogmatism of The Tea Party as The Rise of the Machine. If "lame and weak" moves Washington back in the direction of moderate and thoughtful, I'll all for it. I'm not waiting for it but there is at least one voter who would willing engage if and when the public dialogue self-elevates from the muck of religion, rape and reproductive rights (and Obama being a closet Marxist Manchurian Muslim.) I listened to a young European historian present his analysis of the current American campaign: so-and-so said such-and-such, but "he didn't mean it." I am so relieved.

    Not to even get into how profoundly stupid we appear to the rest of the world. Those whacky Americans. Contempt, the first step towards marginalization.

  17. Now Jack Welch is advocating a "moon shot" drive to stimulate the energy transition. Hmmn, is that like central planning?

    1. The Pubs certainly have nothing against "Central Planning," as long as they are the ones doing the planning. :)

  18. Talk about having the "whip hand?" If Obama does get re-elected, and Harry Reid retains the reins in the Senate, the Romneys, and tea craziers of the world are going to be wearing blood-soaked shirts home from work.

    All they (Obama and Reid) have to do is take the next two months off, and the whimpering, and begging of the 0.1% will be truly astounding to see.

    1. The weird thing is; those "tea party craziers" were overwhelmingly everyday, ordinary Americans. Much more so that the Occupy crowd. Only left wing loons (and some Rockefeller republicans) insist otherwise.

  19. Well, I gotta go get poked, and prodded all day by the loving Drs. of the V.A. Man, they wear my ass out.

    Oh well, have a great day, everyone. I'll bet you'll be enjoying yours more than I'll be enjoying mine. :)


  20. Voting chaos in Florida: 30,000+ comments.

    I think that might be a record for Huff Post.

  21. According to the University of California, Santa Barbara American Presidency Project study of the top 100 newspaper editorial endorsements, Mitt Romney has seen a vast wave of switches from 2008 Obama endorsers. Obama, meanwhile, has seen only one newspaper that endorsed John McCain come around to endorse him. At the same time, many newspapers have also switched from Obama to "no endorsement."

    Read more:

    I guess all the Republicans are hanging out in the editorial rooms, Ruf. That's why you can't find them.

    • The country is stuck in a recession which Obama has made worse. After four years, he has no plan to remedy matters.

    • Foreign policy, arguably less understandable to voters, is disintegrating in front of their eyes. Benghazi is exploding all over Obama and is something he is unable to blame on someone else.

    • More people are on food stamps and welfare than ever before. People sense that Obama is not displeased with this condition.

    • Incomes are falling, and unemployment is not. College graduates cannot get jobs commensurate with their education. Despair is everywhere.

    • Net worth is falling, and prices are rising. People's standard of living has declined for four straight years.

    • Retirement is no longer an option for large segments of the population.

    This author argues the election will not even be close, things are so grim, and not getting better. His feeling is, people are not that dumb, to re-elect O under these circumstances.

    But, you never know. It might be thought of as an H.L.Mencken election.

    If Obama wins it will be confirmed Mencken was right and we are really really dumb.

  22. Fred Barnes thinks Romney will win -

    for the usual reasons, turnout, enthusiasm, terrible economy, independents etc.....

  23. Man that was a big turnout in Pennsylvania, in the cold too. Who knows....crowd looked really optimistic, even, optimal.

  24. Demographics as Destiny

    Regardless of whether Romney wins or loses, Republicans must move to confront its demographic crisis. The GOP coalition is undergirded by a shrinking population of older white conservative men from the countryside, while the Democrats rely on an ascendant bloc of minorities, moderate women and culturally tolerant young voters in cities and suburbs. This is why, in every election, since 1992, Democrats have either won the White House or fallen a single state short of the presidency.

    “If we lose this election there is only one explanation — demographics,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

    A Party Divided:

    But Republicans are divided on the way forward. Its base is growing more conservative, nominating and at times electing purists while the country is becoming more center than center-right. Practical-minded party elites want to pass a comprehensive immigration bill, de-emphasize issues like contraception and abortion and move on a major taxes-and-spending deal that includes some method of raising new revenue.

    But many rank-and-file Republicans in Congress and grass-roots activists won’t sanction amnesty for undocumented immigrants, are determined to advance restrictions on abortion and have no appetite for any compromise with Democrats on fiscal issues. And that doesn’t even get at the growing cleavage on foreign policy in the GOP between the party’s hawkish wing and the rising voices who prefer a more restrained role abroad.

    There’s not much of a moderate wing left in the GOP, but the pragmatism versus purity battle that looms on the horizon could be as fierce as Republicans have seen since the Goldwaterites sought to wrest control of the party in the 1960s.

    We could see a rather remarkable role reversal as the starry-eyed Democrats become the new voice of sobriety and pragmatism, while the next generation of Republicans become the Grim and Determined Believers; the old throwaway dismissal of Ideologue or Empty Suit? now being leveled at Republicans.

    1. Really? "Democrats the new voice of sobriety"? The ones who took references to God out of their party platform and booed when the references were put back in? The party of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid could only be called the "voice of sobriety" in a parallel universe.


    500 Military brass take out ad supporting Romney.

    All retired folks of course, beyond the reach of a President who has revenge on his lips.

  26. older white conservative men from the countryside

    This is at least partly true. One can find dozens of old poems from Roman times singing the virtues of country life over against the corruption idleness and vice of the city. Over the centuries, a real genre developed. In Egypt one of the earliest found writing was a fragment where some guy is bitching about the city. Jefferson spoke of it. 'If we get living in cities, we will eat ourselves, as they do in Europe' or something like that. See A Farewell To Arms, for instance, and dozens of other books. Taking it ever further, there are the mountains, in revolutionary rhetoric. The safety and sanctity and security of the mountains, over against the hell hole city which must be redeemed from above.

    My wife and I have always thought now that our cities are way way too big, and there are not enough smaller farmers, and rural life, and small villages.

    If you live life in a certain way, and it is work, you can even, like the Amish, get along without the main inputs of modern civilization. Though I do see them sneaking into Wal-Mart on occasion, and they do hire rides when really necessary.

    One might ask, these days, with the internet, and the DVD, and the cell phone, what one is really missing by living in the countryside, besides the traffic etc.?

    I think the best situation is a small college town, with country side all about.

  27. I could use a few pounds, but am afraid of getting a virus.

    1. I thought I saw, I thought I saw, I thought I saw an English ad.....


    2. Deuce, unlike Johnny Riggers,
      Who was fast on the draw
      But slow on the triggers
      And is buried at Tombstone
      Deuce is fast on the draw
      And fast on the triggers

  28. From the nonpartisan Urban Institute:

    Despite Criticism, The Affordable Care Act Does Much to Contain Health Care Costs

    This brief addresses criticism that the Affordable Care Act ignores the pressing issue of health care cost containment. The paper argues that there are important cost containment features included in the law. These include the managed competition structure of exchanges, Medicare payment provisions, and the excise tax on high cost health care plans. There are many other provisions that offer promise to make the health care delivery system more efficient: the establishment of medical homes and accountable care organizations, penalties for hospital readmissions, and experiments with bundled payments. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services credit some of these provisions to slowing the growth in health care costs.

    Reform is a process with a strategic goal. It's not a single act of Congress. From Ezra Klein:

    If Obama is reelected, in other words, we will see the first iteration of a uniquely American universal health-care system. If history is any guide, it will become effectively permanent soon after it is introduced. The reforms will be reformed, of course, as experience teaches us what works (and what doesn’t) and as future politicians put their stamps on the system. But the basic guarantee — that the state will provide health insurance, or subsidies to purchase it, to those in need — will likely prove immutable.

    1. .

      From the nonpartisan Urban Institute:




    2. "Taking us as the conservative benchmark," said Heritage's Butler, if organizations were rated from very liberal to very conservative on a scale of zero to 100, "we'd rate 100. I'd put the AEI at 70, and the Urban Institute and Brookings at 40 to 50. They're not raging liberal think tanks."

      UI is clearly Center-Left.

      And there is clearly a difference of opinion regarding the effectiveness of cost containment measures in PPACA.

    3. .

      Sorry, I just find it funny that anyone would consider UI non-partisan especially on this subject given that one of the authors, Stephen Zuckerman, has filed amicus briefs on certain provisions of the healthcare law that were being litigated.

      From Wiki --

      "The Urban Institute is a Washington DC-based liberal think tank that carries out economic and social policy research, collects data, evaluates social programs, educates the public on key domestic issues, and provides advice and technical assistance to developing governments abroad."

      Liberal, conservative, center-left, etc. I guess are in the eye of the beholder. Non-partisan? Not so much. The only one I've seen call the UI non-partisan is the UI.

      I seem to recall most of their funding comes from government contracts and grants with the balance coming from foundations, think tanks, and individuals. That proves nothing except that with any of these organizations you have to be aware of any philosphy or undo influence that might skew results. The same would apply to the Heritage Foundation with their contributions from the Koch brothers or any of the numerous think tanks out there who issue studies or comment on politically sensitive subjects.

      I checked the link but haven't had a chance to read the entire article; however, I wasn't impressed by the short summary blurb from Mr. Zuckerman. You are right though. There is clearly a difference of opinion regarding the effectiveness of cost containment measures in PPACA. We have discussed many of them here before so I won't go into it further.

      It is safe to say I am in disagreement with much of what Mr. Zuckerman has to say.


    4. RE: organizational non-partisanship and Zuckerman

      The policy research organizations have ratings that reflect the sum of individual analysts. My argument would be that a fair number of the think tanks, outside of the far left and the far right, try to maintain a centrist balance over the spectrum of policy issues.

  29. From the non partisan Rural Institute: ( with a little outsourcing help) -

    "Our brief addresses the expanding cost of health care under the new Affordable Care Act.

    Healthcare Cost Estimates Rise Under “Affordable” Care Act

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, contains the largest new entitlement since the Great Society in the form of health insurance subsidies. As anyone with even a modicum of historical knowledge would expect, that entitlement’s cost is already growing much faster than originally projected. In fact, even though the subsidies have not yet gone into effect, they are expected to cost almost 25 percent more than initial estimates from just two years ago. Furthermore, the subsidies’ price tag is likely to continue to rise as a result of increasing healthcare costs, a sluggish economy, and a reduction in the number of individuals receiving health insurance through their employers.

    Our conclusion is that if you are older you are kissing your 'golden years' goodbye and if younger your service will be much less effective.

    In short, 'they got ya'.

  30. Meanwhile Ruf is at the V.A.

    I hope all is found to be well.

  31. The final electoral count will be:

    260 Obama/Biden

    Romney/Ryan 278

  32. Poll: Scott Brown leads Elizabeth Warren by 1 point

    Read more:

    The pale faced Cherokee may not win.

    Rehberg may win in Montana. But maybe not. It is really close there.

  33. Rufus IIMon Nov 05, 10:54:00 AM EST

    Isn't it interesting that the Republican Party, the "Party of Born-again Christians," is the party that's moving heaven and earth to suppress the vote in Ohio, and Florida?

    DougMon Nov 05, 11:31:00 AM EST


    It's just a bunch of Rufus crap, Doug. Of course he doesn't provide any evidence.

    And did you notice how Rufus, who hates all religious. stuck in that dig at Christians? I'm not a born again Christian, but currently identify with the Republicans.Republicans aren't all born again Christians. Rufus is an idiot, pure and simple as he is, by his own admission never reading anything and never going to and he is the man that invited William Blake to suck his cock.

    The old saying about throwing your pearls before swine takes on real meaning when one considers Rufus.

  34. The worst news from Benghazi --

    November 5, 2012
    The Worst News from Benghazi
    By James Lewis

    It is now apparent that the president of the United States countermanded standing Pentagon orders to help American personnel under attack. Ambassador Stevens and three others were left to die without AC-130 Spectres and rescue teams that are always on standby in the Africom theater. Only the White House could have countermanded those standing orders, and we know that POTUS had an emergency meeting with Panetta and Hillary within 55 minutes of the start of the attack. AFRICOM's General Carter F. Ham was fired -- presumably for wanting to rescue the Americans under fire.

    Ambassador Stevens and his people were left to die to protect a deep-cover NSC-CIA operation. But what could be so important that 32 Americans had to be abandoned to the mercy of al-Qaeda? Benghazi was a major gun-running operation, funneling armaments from the crushed Libyan regime of Moammar Gaddafi to rebel forces opposing Syria's Assad. Ambassador Stevens was negotiating with a whole Star Wars barroom thug collection of bad actors, a reported ten different jihadist militias operating in Benghazi.

    The most damning Benghazi revelation is the Obama policy that led to the disaster: Obama's four-year policy of secretly supporting violent Islamists against civilized Muslims, like Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, and modern-minded people in countries like Turkey and Iran. We used to support moderate Muslims until Obama took over; now we support our deadly enemies. In Benghazi, some of those gangster types turned against us, tore the cover off the operation, burned out Ambassador Stevens, and killed American defenders with mortar fire. Our defenders had the AQIM mortar crew laser-marked for jet bombers and gunships that never showed up.

    "We have known that Obama is a third-world Socialist, because he boasted about it in his autobiographies. But until now we had no proof that his real sympathies are with jihad imperialism."

    Really all one need do is take a look at the White House visitors log, and check the names.

  35. " We used to support moderate Muslims until Obama took over; now we support our deadly enemies.

    D, at the Ho-Hum Motel, with his two dogs, two cats, and broken down car, has been saying this very thing for the last four years.

    1. BOB



  36. If Romney took Wisconsin, that would offer him a credible path to victory without winning Ohio.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    260 Obama/Biden

    Romney/Ryan 278

    If it should turn out this way Romney will look like a political genius for picking Ryan, the likes of which we have not seen before.

  37. Who's better for stocks: Romney or Obama?

    Here's Wall Street's answer from SocGen's Kit Juckes:

    Good Morning. Bond and equity folks, at least, have made up their minds how to read the US election. Romney cuts taxes and spending and eventually replaces Bernanke with someone less dovish. This helps stocks, is bad for bonds; Obama raises taxes and healthcare, bad for stocks and therefore good for bonds.

    And here's Wall Street's answer from Citi's Steven Englander:

    Romney win is really not priced in. In the first instance we think the reaction will be concern that he will tighten on the macro side prematurely and lead to a broad sell-off in equities and fixed income, and buying of USD, but we think he will quickly back-off from the Ultra-view of where policy is headed.

    Glad that's cleared up.

  38. I only play the alfalfa market.

    1. Which is way high now, cause of puttin' corn in the gas tank, thanks to Rufus, and the inevitable dry spells we is use to.


    2. Direct Deposit Casino Cash is holding steady.

      Chief Plenty Coups

  39. I'm going to post this one more time from Brad DeLong who asks: Why can't we have Republican vice-presidential candidates like this one?

    The Theodore Roosevelt Centennial CD-ROM: Too much cannot be said against the men of wealth who sacrifice everything to getting wealth. There is not in the world a more ignoble character than the mere money-getting American, insensible to every duty, regardless of every principle, bent only on amassing a fortune, and putting his fortune only to the basest uses —whether these uses be to speculate in stocks and wreck railroads himself, or to allow his son to lead a life of foolish and expensive idleness and gross debauchery, or to purchase some scoundrel of high social position, foreign or native, for his daughter. Such a man is only the more dangerous if he occasionally does some deed like founding a college or endowing a church, which makes those good people who are also foolish forget his real iniquity. These men are equally careless of the working men, whom they oppress, and of the State, whose existence they imperil. There are not very many of them, but there is a very great number of men who approach more or less closely to the type, and, just in so far as they do so approach, they are curses to the country.

    1. Instead we get the twin pillars of Religion and Free Markets.

      Five Questions for Romney:

      3. Are Governor Romney's values concerning material wealth on the one hand, and the 47% on the other, reflective of Mormonism? An unresolved debate as to whether Mormonism is a Christian religion was skewed in one direction when Governor Romney, in a lengthy, apparently off-the-record exposition of what appeared to come as close to his core values as one is likely to see, wrote off nearly half the population of this country: "My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." Simultaneously, he has never shied away from holding up his immense wealth -- hundreds of millions of dollars -- as a quintessential success story of capitalism. How does he reconcile both values with the core messages of Jesus, who consistently pleaded with his disciples to take care of the poor who are "always with you," and leveled some of his harshest condemnation towards those who sought "treasures upon earth"? Do Mormon values and Christian values diverge on these points? As one who has been obliged by his political party to wear his Christianity on his sleeve, Governor Romney takes a moral obligation to explain the dissonance.

      5. Has Governor Romney resuscitated the long-disavowed Mormon tradition of "Lying for the Lord"? While politicians are well known for bending the truth on the campaign trail, Governor Romney's recent claims about the automobile industry were so outrageously untruthful that they elicited unprecedented condemnations from Chrysler and GM--in the former instance causing CEO Sergio Marchionne to call him out personally, and in the latter eliciting from GM spokesman Greg Martin the charge of "campaign politics at its cynical worst." A New York Times editorial this week used what may have been unprecedented harsh language in chastising Governor Romney for the episode: "It takes an especially dishonest candidate to simply turn up the volume on a lie and keep repeating it." LDS Church members who qualify to enter a Mormon temple--and Romney is so qualified--must first certify to their bishops that they are, among other things, "honest in their dealings." Those with even a cursory knowledge of Mormon history are aware of the Senate hearings accompanying the seating of Mormon Apostle and Senator Reed Smoot a century ago, during which some church leaders intentionally gave false testimony and later boasted that they had "lied for the Lord." Is Governor Romney a product of an earlier age of Mormonism that is now strenuously disavowed by the institutional church in its qualifications for temple admittance, or is he merely a cynical politician for whom truth is a commodity?

    2. And Obama threatening Judeo-Christian values:

      "This is a huge election," said Ryan. "Please know that Mitt Romney and I understand the stakes. We understand the stakes of where this country is headed. We understand the stakes of our fundamental freedoms being on the line, like religious freedom -- such as how they're being compromised in Obamacare."

      The call was organized by Ralph Reed's socially conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition. The call was originally scheduled for Oct. 25, but was then rescheduled for Sunday night.

      Ryan added that Obama's vision was "a path that grows government, restricts freedom and liberty and compromises those values -- those Judeo-Christian, Western civilization values that made us a great and exceptional nation in the first place."

      Cognitive dissonance.

      And that's enough of that.

      Peggy Noonan has a feeling.

    3. Teddy Roosevelt himself was very wealthy. Having wealth does not in itself make indicate "ignoble character." I seriously doubt that Teddy would judge Mitt Romney as a man of ignoble character.

      The left was certainly banking on Evangelical rejection of Romney's Mormonism. Now that it hasn't materialized, the left itself must use that cudgel spiked with lies against Romney.

    4. I seriously doubt that Teddy would judge Mitt Romney as a man of ignoble character.

      Can't speak for Teddy but I would.

      As Teddy makes clear above, it's not about wealth.

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. I have little understanding of the juvenile behavior that provokes this type of posting but, in all honesty, I have no interest in being further educated.

  40. Robert Reich: The Real Reason Why America Is So Divided

    But I think the degree of venom we’re experiencing has deeper roots.

    The nation is becoming browner and blacker....

    In other words, white working-class men have been on the losing end of a huge demographic and economic shift. That’s made them a tinder-box of frustration and anger – eagerly ignited by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and other peddlers of petulance, including an increasing number of Republicans who have gained political power by fanning the flames.


    Not even this degree of divisiveness would have taken root had America preserved the social solidarity we had two generations ago.

    I can attest to the outbursts of misogyny. Ugly and predictable. Would also postulate that the rape/abortion kerfluffles derive from a similar if not identical source of frustration.

  41. Another good ISM Non-Manufacturing Number, Today


    With a strong increase in Employment


  42. The Washington Post asked a bunch of pundits/gurus/big-names for their electoral predictions.

    There's a big list of folks, and almost all see Obama winning.

    Among the names on the list. Jim Cramer, who has a SUPER aggressive Obama call.

    Whereas most folks see Obama just moderately getting over the 270 mark, he sees Obama winning 440 electoral votes, with 55% of the vote.

    1. :) Cramer's a nut-job.

      It's going to be close. One thing worries me. Obama has a big lead with "unmarried" women (a, historically, unreliable group - not because they're "unreliable," per se, but because they have a hard time getting free from their lower-paying jobs, and child-rearing duties,) and he's running well Behind with both "White," and "Married" women.

      I make it a one point contest.

    2. Not seeing that Rufus:

      A new NBC/WSJ poll came out tonight, and one number is particularly worrisome for Mitt Romney.

      According to an NBC analysis of the poll, Obama leads Romney by a whopping 10 points among female voters, a key demographic that tends to turn out reliably on Election Day.

      Read more:

    3. Yeah, but it's how they get to that number. Women aren't a monolithic bloc. Once you divide it into "Married vs Unmarried" it comes down to Obama has an approx 25% lead among Unmarried women (the least reliable half of the equation,) and Romney leads by 10% among "Married Women," a very Reliable bloc.

      And, of course, Romney leads BIG among Men.

      I like Obama's side a bit better than Romney's, but not enough to bet the rent money.

    4. Good point as usual.

      The phone won't stop ringing - 202 area code.

    5. Honestly, I'm getting nervous as hell; I'm sure I'm through making much sense for, at least, 15 hours, or so. :)

  43. ...Ever since they deserted Jimmy Carter—a Southern Baptist generally considered America's first evangelical, or “born again”, president—for Ronald Reagan in the election of 1980, evangelical Christians have been among the most reliable Republican voters.

    Determining just how many evangelicals there are is tricky. Asking people to label themselves in a poll often yields different answers than theological questioning does. That is largely because the word “evangelical” tends to repel blacks, most of whom would describe themselves as “born again”. They share much doctrinally, but little politically, with whites who call themselves evangelicals. But it is safe to say that over one-third of Americans, more than 100m, can be considered evangelical, with the greatest concentration in the South.

    The prominence of evangelicals within the Republican Party is increasing: they made up more than half of all Republican voters in the first 16 primaries and caucuses where entry and exit polls were taken, up from 44% in 2008. And fully 70% of white evangelicals consider themselves Republican these days, up from 65% in 2008.

  44. Best line I've seen this week:

    "Florida is trying hard to become The Next Florida.

  45. BOSTON -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was effusive in his praise of President Barack Obama when the two leaders toured damage from Hurricane Sandy last week, turned down a request by Mitt Romney to appear with him at a rally on Sunday night in Pennsylvania, The Huffington Post has learned.

    Christie's decision will only add to questions among Republicans about what the governor -- who is up for reelection a year from now -- is thinking, and why he went out of his way to heap praise on the president, and then refused to appear with Romney.


    1. .

      Those people who were pushing for Chris Christie to run for president now or in 2016 are nutz.

      He appeals to a certain percentage of disaffected voters but not enough for a presidential run.

      The more you get to know Chris Christie, the less you will like him.


    2. .

      Good heavens, Ruf, you have gone over the edge.

      The Huffington Post again.



  46. Replies
    1. I love Dionne, but my vote has to go to The Righteous Brothers.

      This is just their song.