“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, July 29, 2013

Can The Republicans become a populist party?



Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has sent a thought-provoking new memorandum to his GOP colleagues, laying out how the Republican Party can turn the ongoing immigration debate in Congress around so conservatives win and liberals and Democrats lose.

“The GOP needs to flip the immigration debate on its head,” Sessions writes in the memo. “The same set of GOP strategists, lobbyists, and donors who have always favored a proposal like the Gang of Eight immigration bill argue that the great lesson of the 2012 election is that the GOP needs to push for immediate amnesty and a drastic surge in low-skill immigration. This is nonsense.”

Sessions challenges the conventional wisdom and long-held establishment misnomer that Republicans lost the 2012 election because of the Hispanic vote. “The GOP lost the election--as exit polls clearly show--because it hemorrhaged support from middle- and low-income Americans of all backgrounds,” he argues.
“In changing the terms of the immigration debate we will not only prevent the implementation of a disastrous policy, but begin a larger effort to broaden our appeal to working Americans of all backgrounds,” Sessions says Republicans should do to turn the immigration debate around. “Now is the time to speak directly to the real and legitimate concerns of millions of hurting Americans whose wages have declined and whose job prospects have grown only bleaker. This humble and honest populism--in contrast to the Administration’s cheap demagoguery--would open the ears of millions who have turned away from our party. Of course, such a clear and honest message would require saying ‘no’ to certain business demands and powerful interests who shaped the immigration bill in the Senate.”

Sessions argues that what Democrats did in the Senate to pass the “Gang of Eight” bill would “ordinarily” be an “act of political suicide” for them.

“In Senator Schumer’s failed drive to acquire 70 votes, he convinced every single Democrat in his conference to support a bill that adds four times more guest workers than the rejected 2007 immigration plan while dramatically boosting the number of low-skill workers admitted to the country each year on a permanent basis,” Sessions wrote. “All this at a time when wages are lower than in 1999, when only 58 percent of U.S. adults are working, and when 47 million residents are on food stamps. Even CBO confirms that the proposal will reduce wages and increase unemployment. Low-income Americans will be hardest hit.”

Sessions said that it appears possible Schumer and the Democrats proceeded with such a plan because they think Republicans are not politically smart or intuitive enough to do anything about it. “How can they possibly succeed with a plan that will so badly injure American workers?” Sessions asked. “Perhaps Senator Schumer, the White House, and their congressional allies believe the GOP lacks the insight to seize this important issue, push away certain financial interests, and make an unapologetic defense of working Americans. They seem, in fact, to expect the GOP House to drag their bill across the finish line.”

Sessions believes that any immigration reform legislation should seek to address the needs of American workers, instead of the needs of businesses. He said it appears that some in the GOP establishment have confused the two. “Indeed, more than a few in our party will argue that immigration reform must ‘serve the needs of businesses,’” Sessions wrote. “What about the needs of workers? Since when did we did we accept the idea that the immigration policy for our entire nation--with all its lasting social, economic, and moral implications--should be tailored to suit the financial interests of a few CEOs?”

Ultimately, Sessions said, the GOP “has a choice.”

“It can either deliver President Obama his ultimate legislative triumph--and with it, a crushing hammer blow to working Americans that they will not soon forgive--or it can begin the essential drive to regain the trust of struggling Americans who have turned away,” he said.

He said that lawmakers in the House should not try to save, or fix, the Senate bill. “Like Obamacare, this 1,200-page immigration bill is a legislative monstrosity inimical to the interests of our country and the American people,” Sessions said. “Polls show again and again that the American people want security accomplished first, that they do not support a large increase in net immigration levels, and that they do not trust the government to deliver on enforcement. The GOP should insist on an approach to immigration that both restores constitutional order and serves the interests of the American worker and taxpayer. But only by refusing any attempt at rescue or reprieve for the Senate bill is there a hope of accomplishing these goals.”

Any effort to try to fix the Senate bill, he argued, would be “aiding the President and Senator Schumer in salvaging a bill that would devastate working Americans.”

Instead, Sessions believes, “Republicans should refocus all of our efforts on a united push to defend these Americans from the Administration’s continued onslaught. His health care policies, tax policies, energy policies, and welfare policies all have one thing in common: they enrich the bureaucracy at the expense of the people.”

“Our goal: higher wages, more and better jobs, smaller household bills, and a solemn determination to aid those struggling towards the goal of achieving financial independence,” he said.


  1. noun
    1. a member of the People's party.
    2. ( lowercase ) a supporter or adherent of populism.
    3. Also, Pop·u·lis·tic. of or pertaining to the People's party.
    4. Also, pop·u·lis·tic. ( lowercase ) of, pertaining to, or characteristic of populism or its adherents.

    1890–95, Americanism; < Latin popul ( us ) people + -ist

    That is a funny one Deuce! lol

    1. Look at what is popular among the People.
      1. Obama

      2. Reread #1

      47 percent still approve of the Magic Won.

  2. You don’t have to agree with everything Josh Barro says or how he says it, but he has a point here:

    Namely, these strategies all accept the premise that middle-class entitlements are unsustainable and must be constrained, and that one purpose of this constraint should be to make the federal tax burden lighter and less progressive.


    You can almost picture the dialogue of Republicans with the persuadable segment of the public:

    Republicans: We are facing a disaster of historic proportions. We are all out of money.


    Public: Well, that sounds unpleasant. But I guess if we have no choice and we all…

    Republicans: That’s why we need to cut back on our unsustainable spending promises.

    Public: I guess you can’t spend money you don’t have.

    Republicans: That’s why we need to broaden the tax base so that the lower-middle-class have a positive tax liability and “skin in the game” and don’t go around demanding that the government spends other people’s money. Even some people who currently have a positive tax liability will have to pay a little more.

    Public: Sheesh, that’s rough. It isn’t like those people have a lot of spare cash, but if there is no other way…

  3. .

    I couldn't let this go without comment (from the last stream)

    It is not love that is blind, but jealousy.

    Lawrence Durrell

    Is there anything as invidious and pitiful as the jealousy of one so-called ‘fisherman’ of another?


    I KNEW Putin was a fraud when I first saw him fishing with his shirt off-

    >>>>Russian Bloggers Cast Doubt on Putin's Fishy Tale<<<<


    Oh, the perfidy, the calumny, the shame.

    President Vladimir Putin's opponents on Monday gleefully sought to prove the Russian strongman had massively exaggerated the weight of a pike he caught on a recent fishing expedition to Siberia.

    As if all of these slimy abusers don’t lie about their debasement in one way or another, some ways that even we dare not speak of on this blog, of the simple fish, a creature, if we proceed upward with the taxonomy in the hierarchy of scientific classification to the Kingdom level shares the natural designation Animalia with all the animals of earth including even MAN.

    Dare we raise taboo word, 'CANIBAL'?

    The images were clearly aimed at proving that Putin at the age of 60 is still comfortable in raw nature and has the physical energy to catch a huge fish and lead his nation in changing times.

    And yet, the Wizard of ID, a man who flaunts the fact that he gambols in cold northwestern streams while ‘going commando’ in perverse mockery of certain ancient Saturnalian practices like some demonic follower of Dionysius, dancing, drinking, screaming, tearing the flesh from still live ‘fish’ and eating them raw, suddenly finds himself embarrassed and/or offended that some other ‘fisherman’ would lower himself to remove his shirt to take in a little sun.

    And prominent opposition bloggers claimed Monday that Putin had fallen into the classic amateur fisherman's trap of exaggerating the size of his catch.

    One assumes the veteran ‘fisherman’ is better at lying.

    "Be sure, it's not by chance! You need to have the psychology of a victor and a risk-taker."*****

    And some would say, the perversity of a child who pulls the wings off flies.


    Hardeharhar indeed, sir.

    You can be the moon and still be jealous of the stars.

    Jealousy thy name is Bob. But, that is the least of your sins. Sir, I brand you ‘fisherman’.


    1. Not bad Quirk-O, but my sins are washed clean by my Hindu Niece who does not eat fish. Not even raw, like me.

      So there!

      It's true that almost all fishermen lie, some even going so far as to make up fake photos, like you used to do at "Souls" to fleece the sheeple. I can spot them the second I see them, these fakes.

      I have a question though - what on earth is the taboo word, 'CANIBAL'? Perhaps you were unthinking Hanibal?

      I have never been mugged on the river.

      Nor gotten skeeter bit nor sunburned.

      I am a Fisherman!

      Putin is Fraud.

  4. Simply asking “who, whom?”, as libertarian populism would have it, will only you take you so far.

    It’s only natural for those who cover politics in Washington to overdramatize the gory details of legislative sausage-making. Elections, however, rarely turn on process.

    And so, despite how much I may cheer each and every one of Tim Carney’s money-in-politics exposés, I can’t quite convince myself that Republicans are going to have any more luck at this than Democrats had against Halliburton.

    Stepchild Of McCainism

  5. On this day in 1958, President Eisenhower signed a bill into law that created NASA.

  6. Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Damn, Sam, that was great. Feller was taking a piss by that big pine tree, and, relieved, wandered off to the right. If that doesn't prove it, nothing will. All humans would simply piss where they stand,or squat, we all being, basically, uncivilized brutes.

      I was reading just today that the dreaded drones are being made ready to do Sasquatch surveillance and search.

      Surely no one could object to this use of drones.

      When we catch a few, perhaps we can interbreed, thus raising ourselves up a step or two in the scheme of all things.

      When was the last time you heard of the Sasquatch going to war, or making revolution, or doing corporate crime, or running around in flash mobs, or sending a picture of their dicks to unknown women?

  7. Spare the wolf, kill the elk, save the grizzly

    The return of wolves to Yellowstone National Park may be leading to an improvement in the diet of grizzly bears, a study suggests.

    When wolves were eradicated from Yellowstone in the early 20th Century, the elk population boomed, devastating berry-shrubs relied upon by bears.

    Details are published in the Journal of Animal Ecology.

    A team from Oregon and Washington links the reintroduction of predatory wolves with a fall in over-browsing by elk.

    There is a consequent recovery in the availability of late-summer berries, the favoured pre-hibernation food of the grizzly bear.

    The study indicates that the number of berries measured in bear droppings has doubled as elk numbers have decreased, following the wolves' return in the 1990s.

    The complex interactions of the Yellowstone ecosystem were revealed in data measured before and after the reintroduction of wolves.

    David Mattson, a US Geological Survey (USGS) wildlife biologist, commented previously on Yellowstone: "It's a complex system and grizzly bears are a kind of consummate connector of all of the species in that system."

    The study shows that berry shrubs have increased since elk populations declined, and as shrubs recover from over-browsing the fruit consumption of bears has increased.

    William Ripple, lead author, commented: "Wild fruit is typically an important part of grizzly bear diet, especially in late summer when they are trying to gain weight as rapidly as possible before winter hibernation".

    "Elk browsing reducing berry production is well known in Europe as well," said Atle Mysterud, an ecologist from the University of Oslo.

    "The study shows that new patches of berries have formed after the wolves were reintroduced. It is clear that berry production is very important for bears."

    But the reduction in elk may not be all good news. Yellowstone's northern elk population hit 19,000 in 1988, but last winter the herd was estimated to number just 3,900 animals.

    Double-edged sword: the bears feed on berries in late summer… and elk in spring

    Elk calves are an important food source for grizzly bears in the spring and Arthur Middleton of Yale University suggests that the decline in elk may pose a threat to the grizzly bear rather than a benefit, since their other spring food source, cutthroat trout, is also in decline.

    "This is an interesting paper and it is important that we understand the consequences of wolf recovery", Dr Middleton added.

    "But wolf re-introduction is not the only change that has occurred in recent years in Yellowstone. Bears eat elk and bear numbers have increased three or four times during this period.

    Bears eat about three times as many elk calves as wolves do and it may be that reduction in elk numbers and the increase in berry eating is feature of the increase in bear numbers.

    "Unfortunately, as wildlife ecologists working in a vast landscape such as the greater Yellowstone ecosystem it is very difficult to unravel the complexity of the patterns."

    The latest results demonstrate that acknowledging the many inter-relationships between species and environments in these systems is key to understanding that complexity.

    1. Interesting.

      "Unfortunately, as wildlife ecologists working in a vast landscape such as the greater Yellowstone ecosystem it is very difficult to unravel the complexity of the patterns."

      The latest results demonstrate that acknowledging the many inter-relationships between species and environments in these systems is key to understanding that complexity."

      Well, duh.

      Maybe we ought to leave it all alone?

      "But the reduction in elk may not be all good news. Yellowstone's northern elk population hit 19,000 in 1988, but last winter the herd was estimated to number just 3,900 animals.

      Double-edged sword: the bears feed on berries in late summer… and elk in spring."

      That's about the size reduction we've seen around here. After INTRODUCING, not REINTRODUCING an alien species from NORTHERN CANADA.

      I have it on the QT (from an Idaho Fish and Game guy I know) that the Idaho Fish and Game is ashamed and sick of all this shit, and is blaming everything of the FEDS.

      The only winners are the wildlife biologists, who don't know what they are doing, and don't care, as long as this swindle provides them big paycheck employment.

  8. Dirty Rotten Cops

    A 95-year-old Illinois man died in a violent confrontation with police on Friday after refusing to check into a medical facility. After threatening police with a cane and a knife, the senior citizen was Tasered and fatally shot with bean-bag rounds.

    The Cook County medical examiner’s office said John Warna, a 95-year-old resident of a senior living community in Park Forest, Ill., died of blunt force trauma of the abdomen after police shot him with bean bag rounds.

    Police officers were called to the assisted living home on Friday to help employees of a private ambulance company involuntarily transfer Warna to a clinic for medical treatment. The senior citizen had allegedly threatened the facility’s staff and paramedics with a metal cane and a 2-foot shoehorn because he did not want to check into the hospital.

    When police arrived the scene around 8:42 p.m. Friday, they ordered the man to drop the items. Instead, he picked up a “12-inch butcher type kitchen knife,” the Park Forest Police Department said in an e-mailed press release obtained by the Chicago Tribune.

    Police told Warna to surrender and listen to their instructions. But when he refused, police stunned him with a Taser and shot him with bean-bag rounds. The senior citizen was still conscious and talking when he was then taken to the St. James Hospital and Health Centers and later the Advocate Christ Medical Center. But he died just a few hours later.

    Warna was declared dead at 2:30 a.m. Saturday, and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office on Monday announced that he died of bleeding in the stomach from the blunt force trauma inflicted by the bean-bag rounds. His death was ruled a homicide.

    Bean-bag rounds consist of a fabric filled with lead shot. The rounds can be fired from a regular shotgun, and are designed to deliver a blow that will leave the victim temporarily immobile. But when the rounds hit the chest, they can sometimes break the ribs and force the ribs into the heart. A shot to the head can cause a broken nose, neck, larynx or skull. And a shot to the abdominal area can cause internal bleeding.

    Bean-bag rounds can be especially dangerous when fired at close proximity, and present a serious risk of death or injury when fired from less than 10 feet away. It is unclear how far police were from the 95-year-old before shooting him in the abdomen.

    Neighbors at the senior living community told CBS News that there could have been better ways to disarm the old man and that the police response was unnecessarily violent.

    “If they were smart policemen, one could have got in the front of that man and one could have went through back door and thrown a sheet over him, put him down and put the cuffs on him before they shot him,” said neighbor David Atkins.

    Administrators at the Victory Centre nursing home said they have never experienced any problems with the resident before

    “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family as we mourn the loss of one of our own,” Emily Powell, executive director of the Victory Centre, told CBS.

    The Illinois State Police Public Integrity Unit is currently reviewing the case. Park Forest police have not yet commented on the incident.

    1. .

      Let's see, they tasered him and then proceeded to shoot him in the stomach.


    2. That is what happens when you militarize civilian police. The Boston Marathon Bombing was a vision of the future. Every cop within 50 miles became a Robocop, dressed in black, with black weapons in black military vehicles, shaven heads, bulked up like lineman. Those cops should be charged and convicted manslaughter. As I said, dirty rotten cops.

  9. I wonder if he could have been Obama’ grandfather?

  10. Philly Confidential

    Man gunned down in West Philadelphia
    POSTED: Sunday, July 28, 2013, 11:40 AM

    Police are investigating the shooting death of a man in West Philadelphia early Saturday.

    The shooting happened at about 12:40 a.m. on Filbert Street near 59th. Officers found the victim, a black male in his mid-20s, lying on the highway, suffering from two gunshot wounds to the chest and one in the stomach. He was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he died shortly after 7 a.m.

    Police did not report any arrests or a possible motive for the shooting, which was the weekend’s lone homicide.

    Police shoot gun-toting man in West Philadelphia
    POSTED: Sunday, July 28, 2013, 11:28 AM

    Philadelphia police shot a man in West Philadelphia early Sunday after he allegedly pointed a weapon at an officer during a foot chase.

    The chase began on Lansdowne Avenue near 56th Street around 2:15 a.m. According to police, officers responded to a fight on the highway when they observed a male acting suspicious in the vestibule of an apartment. Officers ordered the male to raise his hands and lift his t-shirt, but the male did not comply. When officers got out of the car, the male fled on Lansdowne, clutching his waistband.

    As one of the officers pursued on foot, police said, he saw the male turn in his direction holding a revolver in his hand. The officer fired his weapon several times, missing the suspect. As the chase continued, the male again pointed the weapon at the officer, prompting the officer to fire several more rounds. Finally, as the male turned onto 57th Street, the officer grabbed the male. During the struggle, the male turned towards the officer still with the gun in his hand. The officer fired several rounds, striking the suspect multiple times, causing him to the fall to the ground and drop the weapon.

  11. Now You See Him, Now You Don’t

    He came and he went: that was the joke that circulated in 1979 when 70-year-old former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller had a heart attack and died in his Manhattan townhouse in the presence of his evening-gown-clad 25-year-old assistant. In a sense, the same might be said of retired CIA operative Robert Seldon Lady.

    Recently, Lady proved a one-day wonder. After years in absentia -- poof! -- he reappeared out of nowhere on the border between Panama and Costa Rica, and made the news when Panamanian officials took him into custody on an Interpol warrant. The CIA's station chief in Milan back in 2003, he had achieved brief notoriety for overseeing a la dolce vita version of extraordinary rendition as part of Washington’s Global War on Terror. His colleagues kidnapped Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, a radical Muslim cleric and terror suspect, off the streets of Milan, and rendered him via U.S. airbases in Italy and Germany to the torture chambers of Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt. Lady evidently rode shotgun on that transfer.

    His Agency associates proved to be the crew that couldn’t spook straight. They left behind such a traceable trail of five-star-hotel and restaurant bills, charges on false credit cards, and unencrypted cell phone calls that the Italian government tracked them down, identified them, and charged 23 of them, Lady included, with kidnapping.

    Lady fled Italy, leaving behind a multimillion-dollar villa near Turin meant for his retirement. (It was later confiscated and sold to make restitution payments to Nasr.) Convicted in absentia in 2009, Lady received a nine-year sentence (later reduced to six). He had by then essentially vanished after admitting to an Italian newspaper, “Of course it was an illegal operation. But that’s our job. We’re at war against terrorism.”

    Last week, the Panamanians picked him up. It was the real world equivalent of a magician’s trick. He was nowhere, then suddenly in custody and in the news, and then -- poof again! -- he wasn’t. Just 24 hours after the retired CIA official found himself under lock and key, he was flown out of Panama, evidently under the protection of Washington, and in mid-air, heading back to the United States, vanished a second time.

    State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters on July 19th, “It's my understanding that he is in fact either en route or back in the United States." So there he was, possibly in mid-air heading for the homeland and, as far as we know, as far as reporting goes, nothing more. Consider it the CIA version of a miracle. Instead of landing, he just evaporated.

    Tomgram: Engelhardt, Luck Was a Lady Last Week
    Posted by Tom Engelhardt at 3:45PM, July 28, 2013.
    Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch.
    Now You See Him, Now You Don’t
    Living in a One-Superpower World (or Edward Snowden vs. Robert Seldon Lady)
    By Tom Engelhardt

  12. Got a billion or two to run for President. Can it get any more FUBAR?

    Consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader said Monday that despite the perceived rancor between the two parties in Washington, there are actually very few substantive differences between them.

    Apart from social issues, like abortion for example, the two parties still aren’t far apart on most major issues, Mr. Nader said.
    “That’s where the focus of the media is — immigration, this division on that, for example,” he said on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown.” “But on the domination of corporate power over our political economy, military industrial complex, Wall Street crashes the economy, they’re not that different. Their rhetoric may be different, [Massachusetts Sen.] Elizabeth Warren may be different, but generally speaking, the White House and the Congress are not that different.”

    Mr. Nader said President Obama is “a corporatist under a liberal sheen. So therefore he never speaks out against corporate crime. He’ll go all the way to India to promote Harley-Davidson motorcycles, but he won’t go to Wall Street to put the wood to ‘em.”
    “We got a no-fault government pursuing a no-fault corporate state — that’s not the American way,” Mr. Nader continued.
    Mr. Nader told Politico recently that he’s looking to find 10 or so “enlightened” billionaires and multi-billionaires and encourage them to run for president.

    “It’s fighting fire with fire,” he said Monday. “I mean, the system is a two-party tyranny, and third parties are starved; they’re excluded from debates, they’re pushed off ballots, they’re harassed, they’re litigated against. You know, I have some experience with that, and it’s just not going to work, at least on the first round. So we saw [Reform Party candidate Ross] Perot got 19 million votes even after he dropped out and came back in in 1992. Bloomberg could have turned it into a three-way race.”

    He said his suggestion was not for billionaire candidates to necessarily go all the way to November, but said, “They can change the agenda in the primary, or they can go independent and change the agenda.”

    Read more:
    Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter