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

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Obama’s agenda today - Getting prepared to kill people who have done nothing to us

  • Get to the office by 10:00
  • Get rid of Biden by 10:20
  • Further trash the stock market
  • Boost oil prices
  • Weaken IRAs and savings
  • Go to lunch
  • Do what Washington does best - Assemble a war party and kill a few thousand people
  • Call John McCain
  • Get in a round of golf
  • Shoot some hoops


  1. The Iaraeli firsters at AIPAC are tying in a presumed US attack on Syria to the claim that Iran presses ahead with enrichment

    1. Iran presses ahead with enrichment

      Your usage of the term "israeli firsters" proves you stand in the david duke camp of political thought.

    2. American attacks on Syria are likely to lead to direct attacks on Israel by hezbollah, hamas, iran and syria.

      Obama wishes to drag Israel into a war to hurt Israel.

      Otherwise, why has Obama not called the Congress back to session to have a discussion on the topic?

  2. No agenda there.

    AIPAC never rests in promoting US interests.

    1. Maybe you should actually READ the AIPAC's actual positions?

      IT would be enlightening to say the least.

  3. Of course Netanyahu is showing his hand at one of the potential outcomes of this insanity and war-mongering. In this little comment is providing a method for provocateurs to incite even more violence:

    Netanyahu warns Israel will respond ‘fiercely’ if it sees any attempt of a Syrian attack

    08/27/2013 17:42

    J'lem believes small chance of Assad retaliation, action against Syria will send clear message to Iran on nuclear program.

    With the US poised for military action in Syria and amid uncertainty as to how Damascus will react, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon made clear Tuesday that while Israel will not get involved, it will respond severely if attacked.

    “The State of Israel is ready for any scenario,” Netanyahu said at the end of urgent security consultations held in Tel Aviv. “We are not part of the civil war in Syria, but if we identify any attempt whatsoever to harm us, we will respond and we will respond with strength.”

    1. Israel has been under CONSTANT attack by Syrian & Iranian supported forces for decades.

      They live there.

      You don't.

      They have had their citizens kidnapped, dismembered, stabbed, blown up by these groups.

      Have you?

    2. 3 years ago syria had threatened Israel with harm if America did anything in Syria.

      Today, Iran has joined the club with direct threats to Israel if American strikes syria

  4. Once again, the real message in all of this is Iran. The true agenda:

    J’lem believes small chance of Assad retaliation, action against Syria will send clear message to Iran on nuclear program.

    J’lem loves it when the US sends their message.

    1. Jerusalem love it when it can build pizza parlors and bike paths.

      Instead? They are handing out gas masks, build bomb shelters

      What are you doing today?

  5. They can’t wipe the smile off their face.

    1. Gee, how sad is it that one of your worst enemies is going to get an ass kicking?

      Oh that's right, you dont view the Iranians, Hezbollah and Syrians as enemies of America.

      You are "down" with the Marine barracks take down?

  6. al Qaeda is happy.

    Saudi Arabia is happy.

    J’lem loves it.

    The Arab League, not so happy:

    CAIRO — The leaders of the Arab world on Tuesday blamed the Syrian government for a chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds of people last week, but declined to back a retaliatory military strike, leaving President Obama without the broad regional support he had for his last military intervention in the Middle East, in Libya in 2011.

    How are the non-otherwise aligned American’s loving it? They are not:

    (Reuters) - Americans strongly oppose U.S. intervention in Syria's civil war and believe Washington should stay out of the conflict even if reports that Syria's government used deadly chemicals to attack civilians are confirmed, a Reuters/Ipsos poll says.

    About 60 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria’s civil war, while just 9 percent thought President Barack Obama should act.

    1. the 1st 3 are all not friends, yet share a happiness that assad might get a kick int he pants.

      You are not happy, but maybe the relatives of the dead 100,000 are....


  7. Obama pressured to intervene in Syria. Most Americans say ‘no,’ says poll

    A senior administration official said Sunday there is 'very little doubt' that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons against civilians. President Obama is under pressure to respond militarily, but a new poll finds most Americans are opposed.

    By Brad Knickerbocker, Staff writer / August 25, 2013

    1. Chemical weapons, shemical weapons.

      Assad has been murdering Americans for decades.

      Paybacks are a bitch...

  8. This is starting badly and will get worse fast. The Neocon’s and their bitches in the MSM already have Obama cornered. Is he man enough to face them down for real American interests?

    1. Real American interests would have been to get off oil from foreign sources.

      real American interests would have been in not electing a President that supported the Moslem Brotherhood.

      REAL American interests would have been not to provide trillions to jihadists nations across the globe.

    2. Obama won in a landslide victory.
      He personifies the interests of the people of the ¨S.

      You should get a grip on reality, quot.

      Your anti-Americanism is showing.

      Your interests and thosebof the US, not one and the same.

      Take your Israeli passport and take a long walk off a short pier.

    3. Oh Rat, you speaketh!!!!

      Your points of view are interesting, this of course because you have confessed to leaking confidential information from the AZ FBI RIGHT here on this blog! You have admitted that you train cops, FBI agents and Homeland security in riding and shooting weapons and YOU admit you have a "leaker" as a source at the AZ FBI and on top of this you admit you are a POT HEAD!!!


      Also let's recap, you will not travel thru a TSA checkpoint for fear of being arrested on international warrants due to your "activities" as a paid black ops guy down there!


      And now you post lies about me?

      Ask your sources at the AZ FBI, they KNOW me, after all I did file a complaint about you specifically, if they KNOW who I am, as you say, they they KNOW I dont hold any other passport but American.

      So are you lying about your sources or are you lying about what they told you?

      Are you an active criminal leaking info from the AZ FBI? Or are you just a worthless blowhard?

    4. Obama is the President of the USA at this time.

      He hardly is being told by a bunch of "neocons" what to do.

      Unless George Soros and Valerie Jarret are "neocons"

    5. Mr Obama gets his direction from Lester Crown.
      Vacations with 'em in Aspen. That is when he is not in Africa, in photo ops with GW Bush.

      Obama won the election, by a wide margin.

      Mr Crown's investment paid off.

      George Soros, he does not carry Lester's influence.
      Is George even in the Forbe's Four Hundred?

      Carlos Simms, now he is on the list.
      Not sure if he is a neocon, he is not an Israeli

    6. Carlos Slim, not Simms.

      quot is back to denying he told us he carries an Israeli passport?

      So silly, he was so proud of it, now he is in denial.

      Must have been a class clown that spilled the beans, one of the many voices of quot.

    7. Hey Rat, you are the one bragging about your confidential sources at the AZ FBI, that I was under surveillance and I was a "national security threat"

      Those are your words. You mean to tell me you didnt find out about whether I carry a foreign passport????

      You are silly...

      More than that you are a buffoon.

    8. Would depend upon the crime.

      I have been known to exceed the posted speed limit.

      Just can't drive 55

    9. You have admitted to leaking confidential FBI intel

      You have admitted to being a pot head that also shoots weapons and has government contracts.



    10. Marijuana is legal, in AZ.
      No crime there.

      Shooting weapons is not illegal


      With the government?
      Which government, to do what?
      Where. When?

      Now contacts, I do have some of those.

    11. Wiggle, wiggle wiggle...

      Smoking dope and shooting weapons aint legal in any state..

      Your just a criminal.. Or a blowhard.

    12. You take two unrelated events and build a fantasy.

      Go eat some more chocolate.
      It suits you.

  9. Syria expert Günter Meyer warns of a US military intervention in Syria and says it would only strengthen al Qaeda’s position in the war-torn country.

    DW: What’s the likelihood for a US military intervention in Syria at the moment?

    Günter Meyer: A US military intervention is highly unlikely. That is apparent in President Barack Obama's very careful statements. On the other hand, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey has urgently warned about a military intervention. Even though it's possible to intervene right now, there is no exit strategy. The risk is very high that - once the regime has been toppled - power will fall to Islamists, namely al Qaeda fighters. After the Syrian army, they are by far the greatest military power in the country.

    What form might a military intervention take?

    The defense ministry wants to avoid putting soldiers on the ground by all means. Another option would be to impose a no-fly zone over Syria. But that can only be done if the UN agrees. It would require a lot of effort since all of Syria's air defenses would have to be destroyed. But Syria has been equipped with state-of-the-art missiles from the then Soviet Union. That is going to be a very complex mission that will cost several billions.

    An easier solution that's been suggested would be to use missiles to destroy the Syrian army's airfields. That would indeed be a possibility, because fighter jets would no longer be able to land. But destroyed airstrips could also be quickly rebuilt. And such a mission would also require the UN's approval. But both Russia and China won’t agree to that.

    What would be the goal of a military intervention?

    If a no-fly zone were actually to be implemented, that would mean a tremendous weakening of Bashar al-Assad's regime, because his military successes mainly depend on his complete sovereignty over Syrian air space. If that sovereignty is no longer intact due to landing strips being bombed, it will become harder for the regime to dominate over rebel fighters.

    To what extent would a military intervention change the situation in Syria?

    It would be very difficult indeed for the regime to stay in power. But there is a high risk that Russia would want to play a bigger role as well, and the risk that Iran will strike back, of course. Such an intervention could trigger a military conflagration in the region. It would also lead to a power vacuum that would be filled by those who are the strongest at the moment. And these are the members of al Qaeda. The opposition’s success would not only lead to a bloodbath amongst Assad's followers, but also help in installing an Islamist caliphate in Syria - with the strongest concentration of al Qaeda in the world.

    Would Syria’s neighbors be affected as well?

    The stronger the fights and the more regions involved, the higher the number of refugees in the neighboring states.
    What’s the position of US citizens in terms of a possible military intervention?

    US media are to a large extent controlled by the Republicans. They push for a deployment of troops in Syria to highlight US power and its responsibility as a hegemonic power.

    And how is the situation perceived by Syrians?

    They are divided. For one, there are those Syrian citizens who still support the regime. On the other hand, the majority of Syrians are against it. They would be in favor of an intervention. And then there are the rebel fighters who have lost their enthusiasm for the cause to some extent, since al Qaeda became a strong opposition force.
    Günter Meyer is a professor of economics and social geography at the University of Mainz. He also heads the Center for Research on the Arab World.

    1. "US media are to a large extent controlled by the Republicans."

      This will be news to most folks, whatever with the rest of his article.

    2. I guess there are Republicans and then there are Republicans.

    3. john McCain personifies the Republican Party.
      He is the face of it.

      Justifiably so.

      He is their Last Man Standing

      The MSM and John, they stand shoulder to shoulder

  10. This was on a previous thread but worthy of a second look:

    Robert Fisk

    If Barack Obama decides to attack the Syrian regime, he has ensured – for the very first time in history – that the United States will be on the same side as al-Qa’ida.

    Quite an alliance! Was it not the Three Musketeers who shouted “All for one and one for all” each time they sought combat? This really should be the new battle cry if – or when – the statesmen of the Western world go to war against Bashar al-Assad.

    The men who destroyed so many thousands on 9/11 will then be fighting alongside the very nation whose innocents they so cruelly murdered almost exactly 12 years ago. Quite an achievement for Obama, Cameron, Hollande and the rest of the miniature warlords.

    This, of course, will not be trumpeted by the Pentagon or the White House – nor, I suppose, by al-Qa’ida – though they are both trying to destroy Bashar. So are the Nusra front, one of al-Qa’ida’s affiliates. But it does raise some interesting possibilities.

    Maybe the Americans should ask al-Qa’ida for intelligence help – after all, this is the group with “boots on the ground”, something the Americans have no interest in doing. And maybe al-Qa’ida could offer some target information facilities to the country which usually claims that the supporters of al-Qa’ida, rather than the Syrians, are the most wanted men in the world.

    There will be some ironies, of course. While the Americans drone al-Qa’ida to death in Yemen and Pakistan – along, of course, with the usual flock of civilians – they will be giving them, with the help of Messrs Cameron, Hollande and the other Little General-politicians, material assistance in Syria by hitting al-Qa’ida’s enemies. Indeed, you can bet your bottom dollar that the one target the Americans will not strike in Syria will be al-Qa’ida or the Nusra front.

    And our own Prime Minister will applaud whatever the Americans do, thus allying himself with al-Qa’ida, whose London bombings may have slipped his mind. Perhaps – since there is no institutional memory left among modern governments – Cameron has forgotten how similar are the sentiments being uttered by Obama and himself to those uttered by Bush and Blair a decade ago, the same bland assurances, uttered with such self-confidence but without quite enough evidence to make it stick.


  11. {…}

    In Iraq, we went to war on the basis of lies originally uttered by fakers and conmen. Now it’s war by YouTube. This doesn’t mean that the terrible images of the gassed and dying Syrian civilians are false. It does mean that any evidence to the contrary is going to have to be suppressed. For example, no-one is going to be interested in persistent reports in Beirut that three Hezbollah members – fighting alongside government troops in Damascus – were apparently struck down by the same gas on the same day, supposedly in tunnels. They are now said to be undergoing treatment in a Beirut hospital. So if Syrian government forces used gas, how come Hezbollah men might have been stricken too? Blowback?

    And while we’re talking about institutional memory, hands up which of our jolly statesmen know what happened last time the Americans took on the Syrian government army? I bet they can’t remember. Well it happened in Lebanon when the US Air Force decided to bomb Syrian missiles in the Bekaa Valley on 4 December 1983. I recall this very well because I was here in Lebanon. An American A-6 fighter bomber was hit by a Syrian Strela missile – Russian made, naturally – and crash-landed in the Bekaa; its pilot, Mark Lange, was killed, its co-pilot, Robert Goodman, taken prisoner and freighted off to jail in Damascus. Jesse Jackson had to travel to Syria to get him back after almost a month amid many clichés about “ending the cycle of violence”. Another American plane – this time an A-7 – was also hit by Syrian fire but the pilot managed to eject over the Mediterranean where he was plucked from the water by a Lebanese fishing boat. His plane was also destroyed.

    Sure, we are told that it will be a short strike on Syria, in and out, a couple of days. That’s what Obama likes to think. But think Iran. Think Hezbollah. I rather suspect – if Obama does go ahead – that this one will run and run.

  12. GENEVA — The UN-Arab League special envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said Wednesday it was clear a chemical substance had been used in an August 21 attack in the war-torn country, killing hundreds of people. Speaking to reporters in Geneva about the suspected chemical attack, Brahimi said "it does seem some kind of substance was used that killed a lot of people. Hundreds. Definitely more than 100, some people say 300, some people say 600, maybe 1,000, maybe more than 1,000 people."

    Some say the chemical substance was sarin. Some people say mustard gas. Some people say gunpowder, maybe nitroglycerin, maybe trinitrotoluene, maybe C-4. One hundred thousand people were killed before this and we've done nothing, but this crosses a red line. Or not.

    1. Certainly seems absurd, does it not. Fine and dandy to reduce an entire city to rubble via artillery but don't use gas. It's uncivilized.

  13. The New Pub "Leadership" may be worse than the old.

  14. Burning food to power a motor vehicle just because they hate oil only makes sense to their tiny, limited mindset but the most important factor is that they “feel” good about themselves. They are not called Enviro-fascists for no reason, they have that proof written in the blood of the many who have been sacrificed for their ludicrous, shallow ideals.

    Kentucky Student to Obama's Boss Michelle "Food tastes Like Vomit"..

    The Michelle Obama Dictatorial Mentality. Or Michelle Know Best or Obamacoolaid.

    Typical attitude these leftists are well known for is their obvious “WE know more than You” attitude. They actually believe that because they are in any position to force people to do what they want, they have every right to force people to do their bidding.

    They neither bother to consult or put out any methods of finding out what people would prefer or what compromise they would allow in order to do what they claim to know more about.

    That method would of course demonstrate how ludicrous their “We know what you want” attitude never works and always fails.

  15. Here is who will pay for the war- You

    When oil prices are on a roll, a Middle Eastern conflict is usually not far away. And it’s no different this time, with Syria in the driver’s seat of a fast-moving climb for prices of WTI crude CLV3 +1.27% and Brent oil UK:LCOV3 +1.01% .

    Brent rushed to $117 a barrel before backing off on Wednesday. WTI crude topped $112 at one point.

    But could Brent reach as high as $150-a-barrel? That’s not entirely impossible, says Societe Generale analyst Michael Wittner.

    1. The price of oil surges, and not a shot fired at or by the US.

      All the US had to do, move a couple of boats.

      Crank up the noise, create some more dither

      No one is talking Egypt.

  16. Agesilaos

    "And when people are entering upon a war they do things the wrong way round. Action comes first, and it is only when they have already suffered that they begin to think.”
    ― Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War

  17. Rufus IIWed Aug 28, 07:26:00 AM EDT

    Someone said, "If we learn anything from history, it's that we learn nothing from history."

  18. Rufus IIWed Aug 28, 07:33:00 AM EDT

    My daughter asked me, yesterday, "with which author I would like to share a couple of drinks?"

    I was a bit surprised when John Steinbeck jumped to mind.

    Michener was my second thought.

    It's kind of an interesting question to ask yourself.

  19. Michener would be my first:

    Salinas Valley's got nothing on Polynesia.

    1. John D MacDonald

      Spend some time at Cedar Key with T McGee

    2. Ol' Travis McGee, I read All of those books.

      He da man. :)

    3. I would like to have a glass of brandy, in front of the fireplace, and ask ol' Zoroaster about the origination of that monotheism thing.

    4. Believe it or not, I'd also like to have a glass of wine with Paul (actually, I'd like to get him rip-roaring drunk.) Learn a little bit about the "early" days, and how -and why - they did it. (I suspect "making a living" was involved.")

  20. Obama braintrust:

    Norman Schwarzkopf would be no match for Timothy Geithner.

    1. He attended the Community High School in Tehran, later the International School of Geneva,[23] and briefly the Frankfurt High School in Frankfurt, Germany.[24] He finally graduated from Valley Forge Military Academy.[Note 2] He was also a member of Mensa.[26]

      Schwarzkopf graduated valedictorian out of his class of 150,[27] and his IQ was tested at 168.

      Schwarzkopf then attended the United States Military Academy, where he played football, wrestled, sang and conducted the West Point Chapel choir.[26] His large frame, 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) in height and weighing 240 pounds (110 kg), was advantageous in athletics.[30]

      In his plebe year he was given the nickname "Schwarzie," the same as his father, and he was often pushed by older cadets to imitate his father's radio show as a traditional act of hazing.

    2. "War is a profanity, it really is. It's terrifying. Nobody is more anti-war than an intelligent person who's been to war. Probably the most anti-war people I know are Army officers

      ...And when they get ready to send me again, I'm going to have to stop and ask myself, 'is it worth it?' That's a very dangerous place for the nation to be when your own army is going to stop and question."[53]"

  21. “What do you think he’d say about Obamacare?” asked Joyner, when discussing King’s legacy.

    “Oh he’d like that,” Obama asserted. “Well, because he understood that health care, health security is not a privilege, it’s something in a county as wealthy as ours, everybody should have access to.”

    Obama reminded the pair that it was important for everyone to sign up for Obamacare on

    "We were just talking with some folks earlier about the fact that, for a lot of people, it will be cheaper than your cell phone bill," Obama explained.

    1. ...they went on to discuss his asking price for the Brooklyn Bridge.

    2. We're SO wealthy. least he, Timothy, and Ben are, for sure.

  22. Bobbo: Certainly seems absurd, does it not. Fine and dandy to reduce an entire city to rubble via artillery but don't use gas. It's uncivilized.

    It's tabu. Bad juju.

    Syria Expert Günter Meyer: US media are to a large extent controlled by the Republicans.

    Say what?

  23. Shorty the Pusher -

    1. I knew that Cracker got what he deserved first time I saw him.

    2. "Crackhead" would be more accurate.

    3. "Demetruis Glenn, 16, listens to his lawyer, Christian J. Phelps, before a first appearance in District Court in Spokane, Wash., on Monday."


      My fantasy always has been to be like Christian J. Phelps.

    4. "Adams-Kinard and Demetruis Glenn, both 16, are accused of attacking Belton when he resisted a robbery attempt in the parking lot outside his Fraternal Order of Eagles lodge last Wednesday night. Both were charged as adults."


      I'll bet The Eagles gang color is GREY.

    5. "The teens, who have previous convictions for assault"


      If Our President had had a son, he would have looked like Demetruis Glenn.

      It's time for a Crack Summit.

      Screw those Beer Summits:

      That's for White Crackers.

    6. "An affidavit from prosecutors says that while he was on the run for four days, Adams-Kinard told two friends that the beating was the result of a drug deal gone bad. Police seized a letter signed with Adams-Kinard’s name that gave a similar account.

      The letter said that after buying a “zip of crack cocaine from Shorty,” the teens “proceeded to sock him.”
      “I took his wallet and another ounce of crack from his pockets,” the letter said, according to the court document.

      “He was unconscious so I made sure he was still breathing, and then I took off.""

      The letter was purportedly an explanation the teen was writing to his mother, police said.

      Good to know some CAN make this shit up.

      ...when needed for Mom.

    7. ...police have said race played no role.

      "A lot of folks just want to throw these kids away and the key — or worse,” Phelps said. "I would urge people to wait for the facts to develop."

      "Mr. Belton's actions were both appropriate and justified," he said.



    8. Shorty the Pusher was found dead in the Eagles Club parking lot where he went to play bridge after a hard day's pushing. He was in his 2013 Dodge 4x4 Ram Pickup Truck with tinted windows. In the rear window was the rifle rack, with 3 loaded Fast and Furious AK-47's and the tool box was filled with ammo and kilos of cocaine. The rifles and cocaine have been tracked back to MS-13. It is speculated by Spokane Police that Shorty, long known by them to be a major pusher, had fallen asleep in the cab as no signs of resistance by Shorty to his attackers was found at the scene. The Chief of Police was quoted: "It's sad about Shorty, a brave WWII Vet who broke bad."

    9. If he'd been an innocent user instead of a pusher, he wouldn't have been asleep at the wheel.

    10. That Shorty, he looks just like Obama's grandpa.

    11. Ain't that the truth. It was Shorty's 'tragic flaw'.

    12. Cheryl-633120

      Spokane is a big town so I don't doubt there is plenty of things for young people to do. I've been there plenty of times and it looks to me like there are plenty of activities young people could be involved in that don't involve beating elderly people to death.

      My dad used to say excuses are like a__holes, everybody's got one and they all stink.

    13. Spokane is not like Detroit, where there is nothing to do but beat elderly people to death.

      They have no excuse.

    14. Yeah, this ain't Spokane:

      "A former feminist radio host, Janet, joins Amway as a saleswoman to find work. Another resident, Rhonda Britton, sells rabbits for "Pets or Meat";[4][5] Britton is featured killing a rabbit by beating it with a lead pipe. Prevalent throughout the film is Sheriff's Deputy Fred Ross, whose job now demands that he go around town carrying out evictions on families unable to pay their rent.

      During all of this, Flint's crime rate skyrockets, with shootouts and murders becoming all too common. Crime becomes so prevalent that when the ABC News program Nightline tries to do a live story on the plant closings, someone steals the network's van (along with the cables), abruptly stopping the broadcast.

      Living in Flint becomes so desperate that Money magazine names the town as the worst place to live in America. The residents react with outrage and stage a rally where issues of the magazine are burned."

  24. >>>Why pursue Snowden when Obama 'is giving away plan of attack to anyone?'
    'Assad may not even need to change his dinner plans'...
    Strikes 'likely to trigger terrorists acts against US, Israel'...drudge<<<<

    Notice that last item. It's all a plot so's The One can declare martial law in the US of A and declare himself Grand Protector of USA for Life.

    It is all part of the original plan by Lester Crown, the Power Behind The Throne, to take over the country.

    from 'Bobo's Original News You Can Use'

    1. We knew the second cumming, er term, would be more openly directed by Lester.

      Will we ever learn?

    2. I was worried about it. The worst has come true.

  25. .

    And now on an entirely different subject.

    Do most of you here realize that you "...suffer from a crippled epistemology..."



    A few days ago Obama announced five members of his new 'intelligence review panel'. It's uncertain if there will be additional members named. This was the panel that Obama promised would include plenty of 'outside experts'. From the make-up of the panel that was announced it appears that by 'outside' what Obama meant was that it will include former members of the administration that are no longer members of the administration.

    The panel includes Richard Clarke, a former U.S. cybersecurity adviser; Michael Morell, a former deputy CIA director; Geoffrey Stone, a University of Chicago law professor; Cass Sunstein, a Harvard Law School professor; and Peter Swire, who served earlier on Obama’s National Economic Council.

    From The Detroit News:

    Richard Clarke, anti-terror czar from 1992-2002, a man as guilty as any other for not connecting the dots leading up to 911. Mike Morrell, former head of the CIA, just retired after 33 years with the CIA. Peter Swire, served on Obama's economic council, served on the Obama-Biden transition team, and served with Clinton chairing a study group on how to update wiretap laws. Professor Geoffrey Stone, liberal advocate of a police state. He has been condemned by civil libertarians for his stated views on the Snowden leaks. Cass Sunstein, Harvard Law professor, former regulatory czar under Obama, a man who advocated government infiltration of conspiracy theorists.

    “The first challenge is to understand the mechanisms by which conspiracy theories prosper; the second challenge is to understand how such theories might be undermined.” It continues, “Because those who hold conspiracy theories typically suffer from a crippled epistemology, in accordance with which it is rational to hold such theories, the best response consists in cognitive infiltration of extremist groups. Various policy dilemmas, such as the question whether it is better for government to rebut conspiracy theories or to ignore them, are explored in this light.”

    The website went so far as to ask if Sunstein is “America’s Goebbels?”

    In another controversial stance, Sunstein advocated in a 2003 paper titled “Lives, Life-Years, and Willingness to Pay” for the University of Chicago that the government assign a higher monetary value to the lives of young people than to senior citizens with regards to health care spending. That’s a position he backed away from during testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee in June 2011.

    Yep, a well rounded group of liberal intellectuals who will no doubt assure our civil liberties. I repeat my previous question, is the president this dumb or does he just not give a shit.


    1. He gives a shit like fat ass Michelle practices what she preaches.

  26. NYPD Designates Mosques as Terrorism Organizations...drudge

    Finally, a Police Department with a little sense.

  27. That is what Ike warned US about.
    The Military Indusrial Complex taking over.

    General Dynamics doe exemplfy the MIC
    Lester Crown does personify General Dynamics

    Lester did give that little known Community Organizer a $3 million advance for three unwritten books. Dreams of your father never paid so well.

  28. ...well, that, Saul Alinsky, Chicago, Columbia, Grandpappy and his Commie friend, and...

  29. .

    “If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; may your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”

    Sam Adams (Politician and statesman, not beer)


  30. “Because those who hold conspiracy theories typically suffer from a crippled epistemology, in accordance with which it is rational to hold such theories, the best response consists in cognitive infiltration of extremist groups. Various policy dilemmas, such as the question whether it is better for government to rebut conspiracy theories or to ignore them, are explored in this light.”

    Would rat's group of buds at the Bowling Alley be best countered by cognitive infiltration or should they just be ignored?

  31. Foreign Policy:

    Last Wednesday, in the hours after a horrific chemical attack east of Damascus, an official at the Syrian Ministry of Defense exchanged panicked phone calls with a leader of a chemical weapons unit, demanding answers for a nerve agent strike that killed more than 1,000 people. Those conversations were overheard by U.S. intelligence services, The Cable has learned. And that is the major reason why American officials now say they're certain that the attacks were the work of the Bashar al-Assad regime -- and why the U.S. military is likely to attack that regime in a matter of days.

    But the intercept raises questions about culpability for the chemical massacre, even as it answers others: Was the attack on Aug. 21 the work of a Syrian officer overstepping his bounds? Or was the strike explicitly directed by senior members of the Assad regime? "It's unclear where control lies," one U.S. intelligence official told The Cable. "Is there just some sort of general blessing to use these things? Or are there explicit orders for each attack?"

    Nor are U.S. analysts sure of the Syrian military's rationale for launching the strike -- if it had a rationale at all. Perhaps it was a lone general putting a long-standing battle plan in motion; perhaps it was a miscalculation by the Assad government. Whatever the reason, the attack has triggered worldwide outrage, and put the Obama administration on the brink of launching a strike of its own in Syria. "We don't know exactly why it happened," the intelligence official added. "We just know it was pretty fucking stupid."

    American intelligence analysts are certain that chemical weapons were used on Aug. 21 -- the captured phone calls, combined with local doctors' accounts and video documentation of the tragedy -- are considered proof positive. That is why the U.S. government, from the president on down, has been unequivocal in its declarations that the Syrian military gassed thousands of civilians in the East Ghouta region.

    However, U.S. spy services still have not acquired the evidence traditionally considered to be the gold standard in chemical weapons cases: soil, blood, and other environmental samples that test positive for reactions with nerve agent. That's the kind of proof that America and its allies processed from earlier, small-scale attacks that the White House described in equivocal tones, and declined to muster a military response to in retaliation.

  32. Is the US government setting a new standard for culpability on military commanders in the field?

    Capt. Ernest Medina and Lt. William Calley come to mind.

    1. Don't forget Bolton, even if he is just a TV Personality imitating a military commander.

  33. Bomb first, ask questions and seek answers later, is the new policy formation. If necessary lie like hell, but enforce that 'red line'. Give the order, then go golfing, after saying 'I mean what I say, and say what I mean'.

    1. Speak like a putter, but carry a driver.

    2. ...he came like a lubricated pile-driver in Syria's Ass.

      He can't let World Politics interfere with his game.

  34. Delbert “Shorty” Belton’s real nickname shoulda been:


  35. .

    Yeah, and this ain't Spokane either.

    Maui: Police arrest long-time Maui resident who is identified in police reports simply as 'Doug'. He has been charged with the early morning hit-and-run death of a brown anole named Cutie Pie. Police discovered the body of the lizard in a garbage can on the accused's property after receiving an anonymous call thought to be from a neighbor.

    After the body was found, a search warrant was issued and police confiscated a surveillance video taken from the defendant's lanai. The video purportedly showed the defendant staggering out the door of his house on Wednesday morning with what appeared to be a pina colada in his hand. He moved to his car, a faded sedan, slid in and proceeded to back up and purportedly back over Cutie Pie who was evidently sunning himself on the drive. Police report Doug then got out of the car and saw Cutie Pie laying there in front of his left rear tire, his tail twitching weakly. As if to assure the lizard was truly dead, Doug then, according to the police report "got back in his car and pulled forward four feet again running over the victim and according to preliminary autopsy reports assuredly killig him". Police say that the accused then once again exited his car and taking a garden glove out of the back seat of his car, furtively looked around, then bent and picked up the lifeless body of the victim and dropped it in a nearby garbage can. Doug then got back in his car and quickly exited to the street taking out his mailbox as he sped away.

    Police indicated that they recovered a blood stained garden glove from Doug's car and are awaiting DNA results. A suspicious dent was also found in Doug's left rear tire.

    Neighbors were reportedly flabbergasted by these events.

    Mona Olikokihomahi said, "To think I will no longer see Cutie Pie's smiling face around that garden anymore. So sad."

    Bud Tookasawi, a long term neighbor of Doug said, "This comes as a real shock. He seemed like such a quiet guy, hardly ever came out in the sun. Who could have guessed he would have done something like this. It's scary. My wife is wored about the kids and is talking about moving especially if he gets off."

    Police report Doug has refused to make any statement at all.


    1. That's MoAna Olikokihomahi...

    2. aka, My Samoan Princess


      T'ugaita, Ta'avale, Pe'a, Fa'amgase

      ...can't believe that bitch turned on me.

    3. 'Doug''s defense lawyer, Kahuna Kalahakamonamea, said his defense would revolve around the 'alleged' bloody glove.

      "If the glove don't fit, you got to acquit" KK said to the press.

  36. Doug,

    If you need legal representation please don't hesitate to call. "A suspicious dent was also found in Doug's left rear tire." A dented tire? Plueassse! We can sue for malicious prosecution and get MILLIONS!!

    1. Believe it or not, Spud, I lost your number!

      ...please advise.

    2. everytime i see that gecko... THAT FUCKING GECKO...

    3. Watch what you say in public ;)

      Send retainer and number will follow.

    4. Everything's "New:"

      Our World's gone to shit...

      ...the new bread, which students don’t want to eat because it’s brown wheat bread, and the new milk, which is skim or one percent fat, not two percent or whole. The cafeteria’s chocolate- and strawberry-flavored milk offerings are now nonfat.

    5. Jack Miniard, the school district’s director of school and community nutrition, was on hand to explain that the federal government now governs both food choices and portion sizes in most American school districts including Harlan County.

    6. Fatasses of America, Unite!

    7. Never did figure out what this is about, another bit of evidence I'm ready for the Crematorium:

      "Young men and women visiting each other in a dorm will hardly be viewed as an “intimate revolution” when college begins this fall for millions of American students. But not all that long ago, co-ed dorms were viewed as a dramatic, and even a potentially dangerous, innovation. A November 1970 issue of LIFE magazine detailed the novel experiment as enacted by Oberlin College in Ohio — then in its second year of co-ed dorms and 24-hour visiting between men and women. LIFE’s managing editor at the time, Ralph Graves, knew what was coming when the piece published:

      “This week’s cover of a boy and girl living in a co-ed dorm at Oberlin College will, I know from experience, bring anguished letters from some readers,” he wrote. “Although co-ed dorms are a major phenomenon on the American campus … some readers will protest that we are ‘celebrating’ or ‘endorsing’ or ‘glorifying’ a controversial situation by putting it on LIFE’s cover.”

      Nothing in the piece explicitly demonstrates LIFE’s support for co-ed living. But the photographs depict a kind of ease and camaraderie within the co-ed dorms that suggest a definite uptick in quality of life for the beneficiaries of Oberlin’s new system. The shared living space bred a communal spirit, rather than promiscuity, according to men and women quoted in LIFE.

      “You gain so many brothers,” said one sophomore woman. “Platonic relationships come so easily.” Freshman David Jensen, meanwhile, noted with surprise that he found himself “taking [his women classmates] more for granted as people, something I’d never done before.”

      Self-consciousness about things like exposing one’s Medusan bedhead to members of the opposite sex first thing in the morning was evidently a non-issue, and grades remained stable.

      Still, not everyone was pleased with the burgeoning co-ed experiment around the country. Nineteen-year-old Peter Jay Ehlendt, for example, “a veteran of a year’s residence in a mixed dorm at Michigan State University,” gladly moved into an apartment far from “the broads.”

      “You couldn’t relax, or take to the halls in your skivvies,” he told LIFE of his time in a co-ed dorm. “You couldn’t swear or slop down a meal with the guys because there were always a bunch of girls hanging around.” Freshmen, he argued, couldn’t handle the overwhelming freedom that the living arrangements afforded them. There’s no discussion in the article, meanwhile, of whether gay men and women in wholly same-sex dorms might suffer a similar sexual vertigo upon being surrounded by constant temptation. (One might also assume, from these pictures, that there were no men or women of color on the Oberlin campus in 1970 — which is especially strange in light of the fact that Oberlin, founded by Presbyterian ministers in 1833, was the first American college to admit both women and African Americans.)

      Half a century later, living-arrangement innovations in college life have broadened and deepened. Gender-neutral rooms at places like the California Institute of Technology, Clark University and the University of Pennsylvania allow male and female students to live together in the same rooms, as opposed to the Oberlin system depicted here that featured separate quarters for men and women within the same dorm, while students who identify outside of “traditional” parameters (LGBT youth, for example) increasingly find safe and welcoming environments on campuses around the country.

      The final word, though, belongs to Bill McIlrath, then the associate admissions director at Oberlin, who addressed prevalent concerns that co-ed dorms — and similar variations of old-school themes — were simply the most obvious emblems of the decline of moral and ethical standards on campuses everywhere.

      “Some parents expect the Oberlin campus to be full of bomb-throwers, perverts and free-lovers,” McIlrath pointed out. “It’s not.”

      Read more:

    8. “Platonic relationships come so easily.” Freshman David Jensen, meanwhile, noted with surprise that he found himself “taking [his women classmates] more for granted as people, something I’d never done before.”


      I always thot they were aliens from another planet.

    9. ...that's what I was thinking about when I backed up over that damned Gecko.

    10. "Still, not everyone was pleased with the burgeoning co-ed experiment around the country. Nineteen-year-old Peter Jay Ehlendt, for example, “a veteran of a year’s residence in a mixed dorm at Michigan State University,” gladly moved into an apartment far from “the broads.”


      Always made sense to me.

      Then, on weekends, you'd try to get a piece of tail.

    11. Woulda been fun being roomie with a couple I have fond memories about, tho.

    12. DougWed Aug 28, 03:11:00 PM EDT

      ...that's what I was thinking about when I backed up over that damned Gecko.

      oh maaaan, there goes my cut in the lawsuit :(

  37. Just got back from a two hour drive. Had to rescue my wife who locked herself inside a storage shed.

    "Thank God for cell phones" she said.

    1. Say it ain't so. DO you lock yourself into a storage shed?

    2. She said the wind blew the door closed.

  38. This house seems like I'm locked in a storage shed.

    Been thinking about hiring someone to help clean out the junk.

    That would be my stuff, not my wife's.

  39. She's not coming back,Doug.

    Some of the clutter was hers, let the clutter go and enjoy the jewels she left you

    1. It's really none of your business, anon.

      He doesn't need your advice.


    2. Doug is open to advice from ANYONE.

    3. If he did not want the advise, consul and opinions of the anonymous posters he would be telling us of his woes.

      You are not very tuned in, are you anonymous, don't deal with people much, do you.

  40. .

    That's MoAna Olikokihomahi...




    We will have to have Bob check for toponyms and other signs of cultural dispersal to see if there is any evidence that would support a theory of Hawaii actually breaking off from the mainland some time in the misty past.

    I say that because of the striking coincidence. We have numerous Moesha's around here (although admittedly there are also numerous Tawanda's, Lakeitha's, and Makayla's).


    A dented tire?

    You're damn right a dented tire. Where else would you get a dent? Cutie Pie was only an inch tall when stretched out sunbathing (obviously a lot less than that now).


    1. You keep up with the untruths and the lawsuit could still fly even with Dougo's errant statements. Rubber just doesn't dent! Fenders do, tires don't.

      See YOU in court!!

    2. I feel like I got Geragos on my side Pro bono.

      What could be bad about that?

    3. But a lot wider and longer. There are trade offs don't you know.

      Might be able to tan her hide into a fitting glove.

      The Case of the Pancaked Lizard and the Bloody Glove

      Headline from Hawaiian Surfer -


      "If the glove fits, you got to convicts."

      "Big" Kahuna Kalahakamonamea, lawyer for the defense:

      "If the glove don't fit, you got to acquit."

    4. Geragos is the definition of when the rubber meets the road.

      ...or a f...... Gecko!

    5. .

      There is always one. Usually from Canada.

      Which sounds more interesting, a blood stain on the tire or a dent in the tire?

      You sometimes have the words, Ash, but you lack the music.


      This is the same clown that said there

    6. "If the glove fits, you got TWO convicts."

    7. .


      Cancel that last part. Inefficient editing.


    8. "Which sounds more interesting, a blood stain on the tire or a dent in the tire?"

      ...if it's Green, it's a Gecko's.

    9. I cancelled the whole part, but thanks.

  41. Obama compares MLK to Jesus...

    And Himself to God....drudge

    1. Humility Reigns.

      From the Whitehouse to Miley Cyprus.

    2. UN chemical weapons experts visit people affected by the apparent gas attack in Damascus suburb. Photograph: Stringer/Reuters

      Warplanes and military transporters have begun arriving at Britain's Akrotiri airbase on Cyprus, less than 100 miles from the Syrian coast, in a sign of increasing preparations for a military strike against the Assad regime in Syria.

      Two commercial pilots who regularly fly from Larnaca on Monday told the Guardian that they had seen C-130 transport planes from their cockpit windows as well as small formations of fighter jets on their radar screens, which they believe had flown from Europe.

      Residents near the British airfield, a sovereign base since 1960, also say activity there has been much higher than normal over the past 48 hours.

      If an order to attack targets in Syria is given, Cyprus is likely to be a hub of the air campaign. The arrival of warplanes suggests that advanced readiness – at the very least – has been ordered by Whitehall as David Cameron, Barack Obama and European leaders step up their rhetoric against Bashar al-Assad, whose armed forces they accuse of carrying out the chemical weapons attack last Wednesday that killed many hundreds in eastern Damascus.

      The standoff between Syria and the west intensified when a UN inspection team came under sniper fire as it approached the site of the suspected chemical weapons attack.

      A spokesman for the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said the vehicle was "deliberately shot at multiple times" by unidentified snipers while travelling in the buffer zone between rebel and government-controlled territory.

    3. There have been rumors that Ban Ki-moon bedded my Samoan Princess, but that's BS.

      I asked her.

    4. She bedded Ban Ki-moon.

      Said it was 'heavenly'.


    5. Bearded clam with a side of sauce ...

      Ki-moon was in heaven

  42. 'Brilliant' Bill Clinton says voting should be as easy as buying an assault weapon.

    I'd agree with that. I've had to show my ID and go through a quick FBI background check every time I've purchased a gun.

    Big Bill is finally on to something.

    1. He's been on to somethings since Hillary snared his dumb-ass.

    2. Actually "assault weapons" are hard to buy.

      You have to get a special tax stamp from the ATF.

      It's considered a machine gun.

      Now if you are talking about semi-automatic rifles?

      those are actually NOT assault rifles, even if they share some similar features such as having a trigger, barrel and can be painted black.

  43. 209.89 MPH in a Standing Mile on a motorcycle - running E85, of course. :)

    World Record

  44. I am trying to apply a Lacanian reading to Quirk's preposterous, false and libelous tale of Doug running down a poor lizard and fleeing the scene.

    Something deep and unconscious is astirring here, a mea culpa of sorts perhaps, but haven't worked it all out in detail yet.

  45. Doug admitted to the act, now you are questioning not only Q's story but Doug's acceptance of responsibility.

    You are a true conspiracy wack job, aren't you?

    1. .

      He suffers from a crippled epistemology.

      We may need to keep an eye on him.


  46. .

    Doug, let's cut through the BS here.

    I merely report, you decide.

    While I am doing the reporting on this incident while vacationing on the Big Island, I still maintain my day job. If you are looking for a lawyer, call my boys over at Laws-Is-Us, wholly owned subsidiary of Souls-R-Us International, Inc.. Garagos may be where the rubber meets the road but Souls-R-Us International through it's affiliates, Friendly Concrete, LLC (Camden, NJ, USA) and Vulcanize This, Inc (Amazonia, Brazil) made the rubber and laid the road.

    Friendly Concrete is a 'family' friendly company that caters to a select clientele on the East Coast. Vulcanize This is known for their innovation and numerous patents on safety items such as 'dentable tires'.

    I would have to have the boys make an in-depth investigation into your case but my first thought would be forget about the "if it don't fit, you must acquit" defense. Much too old school, too trite, way too 1990's.

    I'm thinking a bit out of the box here but my first thoughts center around your scoliodentosaurophobia, what we like to call the 'Fear of Lizards' defense. This may require that we indulge in the 'blame the victim' tactic, something I am usually wont to do, but let's face it, Cutie Pie is dead and nothing can hurt him now.

    If that fails, we fall back on the old 'non compos mentis' defense, old hat to be sure but a guaranteed winner in your case.

    Remember, Laws-Is-Us is perfectly positioned to meet you legal defense needs. Through our staff of former government operatives, we have the resources to make your problems quickly 'disappear'.


    1. .

      Just brainstorming here but maybe our opening argument includes some hard science mixed with an emotional jolt as in the following video.

      You can just see the effects scoliodentosaurophobia could have on a person. Maybe we give the jury a power-point presentation or an anime version of events from that fateful morning.

      Doug strolls out of his house looking happy as a clam.

      Gets in his car and proceeds to adjust the side-view mirror in a safety conscious manner when he spots it laying on the drive. What is that? It looks like a large used condom. He looks closer. OH! My God! It's a brown anole!

      Panic strikes. Begin to sweat. Breathing gets hard. Panic. Panic. Panic. Must get away. Turn on the key. Get out of here. Backed over something. No! Nooooooooo...!

      You know something along those lines.

      We'll have to flesh it out, of course.



      These shysters were the legal eagles that represented Quirk-O when I sued to take over Souls.

      One of the lawyers from Laws-Is-Us was given thirty days in the can by Judge for refusing to turn over to the court relevant documents in the case, another was disbarred, and a third was found to not have a law license or even legal degree at all. They pled on Quirk's behalf No Molly Detroito Contendo, whatever that is, and Judge threw the whole case out with a directed verdict in my favor. The jury was thankful as it was over the trial was over the Christmas vacation.

      Further Law-Is_Us was perpetually prohibited from doing further business in the United States.

      Choose you lawyer as you would choose a fine wine. This group is/was nothing but Ripple, and no longer exists. The address is nothing but a P.O. Box and they always ask for a heavy up front 'retainer'.

    3. .

      Lollipops and bubblegum fantasies, Doug. You've seen it before. We all have, usually concurrent with his delirium tremens episodes.

      The only court orders that exist amongst the parties were the two issued to the Wizard of ID, one that demands he wears an electronic ankle bracelet (not to be confused with the electronic shock collar his wife had installed) while serving home arrest for twerking at the local casino on 'kids night' and the other that he wear a redundant 50 foot chain strapped to his waist to protect his neighbors from any danger associated with his crippled epistemology.

      Of course there is that third oft violated standing court order brought by his daughter which demands that he not be allowed to touch any of the keys painted with purple nail polish on his computer keyboard.


    4. The twerking at the Casino allegation is totally false. There is no such court order, not even in the Tribal Court. I am a very valued customer of the Casino, fully trusted, always welcomed, treated on a first name basis.

      There is, I admit, an order about a 50' chain but it involved not myself but our dog, Roethke, who developed an uncouth habit of nosing and and marking as 'private keep away' the neighbor lady's roses. I attribute this to his namesakes love of roses, as evident in the poem 'The Rose'.

      There is no standing court order about my computer. While admitting my inexperience with computers - I have never taken a computer class nor read any book about them - I affirm my daughter and I worked through that issue in an amicable Family Counseling session. She is much more willing to help occasionally now that I no longer bug her every other day.

      It is evident to me that poor Quirk is back on the drank or whatever it was, plus codeine and possibly Molly today, by the nature of the gross exaggerations and out and out fabrications seen directly above.

      Take care of your health at least, Quirk, mentally and physically.

      And get on some blood pressure medication.


  47. August 28, 2013
    Obama has painted himself into a corner
    Thomas Lifson

    Not only is there no outcome of an attack on Syria that would benefit the United States, President Obama has already denied he has the authority to take such action. It takes ineptitude of historic dimension to fashion such a no-win situation in world politics.

    President Obama has already said a president can't take military action without congressional approval, and Vice President Biden has stated that it would be grounds for impeachment. During the 2007 presidential campaign, then-Senator Obama stated to the Boston Globe:

    The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

    As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent.
    There is no real wiggle room here, in the words "actual" and "imminent." There is no credible claim to any threat to the US. Secretary Kerry's speech yesterday was full of moral posturing but no claims of threat.

    There is no shortage of people willing to remind Obama of his self-proclaimed obligation to seek congressional approval for action against Syria. More than a score of members of Congress have already done so. And on his left flank, Obama faces the pacifist and anti-imperialist wings of his base, already enraged over the NSA abuses. They made the same claims against Bush, so have their ammo stockpiled, to use a metaphor painful to them.

    Even worse, if anyone still takes Joe Biden seriously as a non-buffoon, he claimed that such action would be grounds for impeachment.

    It is precisely because the consequences of war - intended or otherwise - can be so profound and complicated that our Founding Fathers vested in Congress, not the President, the power to initiate war, except to repel an imminent attack on the United States or its citizens. They reasoned that requiring the President to come to Congress first would slow things down... allow for more careful decision making before sending Americans to fight and die... and ensure broader public support.

    The Founding Fathers were, as in most things, profoundly right. That's why I want to be very clear: if the President takes us to war with Iran without Congressional approval, I will call for his impeachment.

    I do not say this lightly or to be provocative. I am dead serious. I have chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee. I still teach constitutional law. I've consulted with some of our leading constitutional scholars. The Constitution is clear. And so am I.

    President Obama's presidency is in free-fall. He is antagonizing parts of his base as he embarks on action that has no upside and many downside risks. What if Russia, China, and/or Iran take retaliatory action? They have their own internal political considerations, as well as the goal of reducing American influence, at which they are so far succeeding quite noticeably. Do any of them think that Obama would be able to escalate back?

    My colleague Rick Moran notes (with some justice) that "both sides do it all they time. They're all hypocrites" when it comes to assertions of presidential or congressional prerogatives. But even if you grant that, President Obama has managed an extraordinary feat. The art of strategy consists in part of being able to look ahead 2 or 3 moves on the chessboard, and pick actions that leave more satisfactory options than Obama has structured for himself (and for our nation).

  48. Here’s why Obama is giving up the element of surprise in Syria

    By Max Fisher, Published: August 27 at 3:26

    Military thinkers from Sun Tzu to Napoleon Bonaparte have long emphasized the element of surprise. So it might seem strange that the Obama administration is not just clearly telegraphing that it likely plans to launch limited strikes against Syria, but also when it’s going to strike and what with. Even the likely target list is starting to come out. This is the opposite of how military tactics are supposed to work, right?

    Actually, publicly revealing when, how and where the United States (and some allies) will likely strike makes sense, given what Obama wants to accomplish. If his goal were to fully enter the Syrian civil war and decisively end it, then, yes, secrecy would be the way to go. But the administration has been very clear that it has a much more modest goal: to punish Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad for his suspected use of chemical weapons so that he, and future military leaders, won’t do it again.

    What’s about to happen, if the United States and allies do go through with the strikes, is less of a war and more of a ritual. This isn’t about defeating Assad, it’s about punishing him. And that calls for being really precise about how much punishment the United States imposes.

    If the U.S. military just fired off a bunch of missiles, it would probably cause more civilian causalities than with its current approach, and the amount of damage it caused would be tougher to predict. Maybe it causes less damage than the United States wants, and then Assad is not sufficiently deterred from future chemical weapons use. Maybe it causes more damage, and then Assad might feel compelled to respond, perhaps by striking Israel, and that’s how things spiral out of control.

    No, what the Obama administration appears to want is a limited, finite series of strikes that will be carefully calibrated to send a message and cause the just-right amount of pain. It wants to set Assad back but it doesn’t want to cause death and mayhem. So the most likely option is probably to destroy a bunch of government or military infrastructure — much of which will probably be empty.

    This is what the Clinton administration did in 1998 with Operation Desert Fox, when it and the United Kingdom bombed Iraq as punishment for cheating on weapons of mass destruction disarmament. The strikes were also intended to degrade Iraq’s WMD production capacity. The 100 or so targets were, as now with Syria, telegraphed ahead of time. Many of them were empty. Iraq knew it was coming and was mostly unsurprised, which meant that it didn’t escalate. The campaign was limited in scope and, although the history of Iraq and WMDs is obviously a thorny one, appeared to be largely successful at least at punishing Saddam Hussein.

    President Obama has long made clear that he worries that any involvement in Syria could lead the United States to get sucked into a long and intractable conflict that it would hurt more than help. But his administration also clearly believes that Assad’s suspected chemical weapons use could set a potentially dangerous enough precedent that it demands some military response. A Desert Fox-style limited, telegraphed, calibrated series of offshore strikes appears to be the balance that the administration is striking.

    Max FisherMax Fisher is the Post's foreign affairs blogger. He has a master's degree in security studies from Johns Hopkins University. Sign up for his daily newsletter here. Also, follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

  49. Prime Minister Cameron seems to be having second thoughts.

    UK Cameron backs down on urgent Syria strikes amid growing revolt...drudge


  50. A group of 15 year old boys discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet at the McDonald's next to Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because they only had six dollars among them, they could ride their bikes there and Jennie Webster, that cute girl in Social Studies, lives on the same street and they might see her.

    Ten years later, the group of now 25 year old guys discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet at Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because the beer was cheap, the bar had free snacks, the house band was good, there was no cover charge and there were lot of cute girls.

    Ten years later, at 35 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was decided they would meet at Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because the booze was good, it was near their gym and, if they went late enough, there wouldn't be too many whiny little kids.

    Ten years later, at 45, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet at Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because the martinis were big and the waitresses wore tight pants.

    Ten years later, now 55, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet at Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because the prices were reasonable, they have a nice wine list and fish is good for your cholesterol.

    Ten years later, at 65 years of age, the once again group discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet at Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because the lighting was good and they have an early bird special.

    Ten years later, at 75 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet at Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because the food was not too spicy and the restaurant was handicapped accessible.

    Ten years later, at 85 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet at Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because they had never been there before.

  51. Major Nidal Hassan Chop is going to get his 72 virgins.

  52. Syria resolution dies in the UN. Now if Obama goes ahead, he might lose his Nobel Peace Prize.

  53. Let's wrap this thread up, fun as it was.

    Q mentioned Cameron's second thoughts on getting involved with an attack on Syria.

    I listened to some of Obama's cadence today, speaking on the Mall about Martin Luther King. I was wondering if Obama saw the irony of his speech in his consideration of sending off another round of needless military violence into another Arab country.

    I found an interesting video with MLK talking about US involvement in Viet Nam. There is also a video of an interview with Obama after he returned to the White House. I detect a glimmer of hope.

  54. O'blunder really has gotten himself into a pickle.

    The coalition is collapsing before it acts.

    Some of the Members of the House even want to be called back into session.

  55. O'blunder really has gotten himself into a pickle.

    The coalition is collapsing before it acts.

    Some of the Members of the House even want to be called back into session.