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

Friday, July 04, 2014

4th of July - Why Washington DC gets away with being Washington DC


  1. There you go, a whole bunch of Bob's at the beach.
    They don't even know that there has been a draft to dodge.

    No civic knowledge, no pride of country, just 'enlightened' self-interest.

  2. George Washington University law school professor Jonathan Turley writes

    I am still amazed that we have come to this point of rapidly declining feelings of freedom and widespread dissociation with our political system. It is not the failure of our constitutional system and only partially the failure of our leaders. It is largely a failure in ourselves that we have become such grumbling drones — powerless, passive, and frankly a bit pathetic. Our government is openly trying to strip away core privacy protections and increase police powers at every level. Yet, we have fallen victim to the “blue state” and “red state” mentality — allowing politicians to constantly deflect criticism by referring to the other side as the greater evil. The result is predictable and … incredibly depressing.

    1. It was all so predictable, given the state of our "education" systems, the Media, Entertainment and etc.
      My reply to a comment at Wretchard's place:

      Clinton brought Lewinsky's in the Oval Office to the men, women, and CHILDREN of this country. (and, "incidentally" The World)
      ...not to mention the meaning of "is"

      The Bush's, esp 41, turbocharged the effect of this Cultural WMD by treating Slick's Willie as normal and acceptable fare in Polite Society.

      Now this:
      A guy who had a Terrorist Bomber write about his mispent drug addled youth and Communist Indoctrination, "Religious" hatred of America, and etc as fine raw material from which to craft a President of Hope and Change, who was here to fundamentally transform this monumentally flawed country.
      ...and he has.


  3. (Newser) – Earthquakes in Oklahoma are up more than a hundredfold in recent years, and a new study spies a pretty clear link between the shaking and the fracking that has given the state's economy a huge boost. Researchers took a close look at four specific sites where wastewater from oil and gas extraction was injected into the ground and found that the process could be linked to swarms of quakes in areas up to 20 miles away from the sites, reports the BBC. The four wells examined have been pumping four million barrels of water a month to a depth of around two miles underground. At one site linked to the wells, a small town called Jones, there have been more 2,500 earthquakes greater than magnitude 3.0 since 2008—a fifth of the total in the central and western US during that period.

    "It really is unprecedented to have this many earthquakes over a broad region like this," a study co-author tells Scientific American, explaining that wastewater injection can cause quakes by sending out waves of fluid pressure, causing faults miles away to slip. "Most big sequences of earthquakes that we see are either a main shock and a lot of aftershocks or it might be right at the middle of a volcano in a volcanic system or geothermal system. So you might see little swarms but nothing really this distributed and this persistent," he says. (In Texas, several small towns troubled by quakes are considering banning fracking.)

    1. If they had grown up in California, these hysterics would have been well-adjusted citizens who properly regarded anything below a 5.5 as insignificant.

      ...and regarded those who thought otherwise as sissies.

      But, hey:

      It's Texass

      Home of Compassionate Conservatism.

      ...but I'd vote for Perry in a heartbeat.

  4. For the 4th: A Conversation With Louie Zamperini


    Zamperini Mp3

  5. My name is teresita. I even have a Jew friend, I just hate IsraelFri Jul 04, 10:53:00 AM EDT

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Those people aren't any worse than your typical preacher/politician/blogger trying to 'splain his/her "religion."

  7. (Here, let's have Teresita say what she thinks instead of the Conga Line.)

    I have zero problem with Jews. None. I even study their scriptures.

    I do not call for the end of the State of Israel, only an end of US financial support for the State of Israel, specifically military support, since Israel is one of the ten biggest exporter of arms in the world, including sales to the Chicoms.

    1. Antizionism is what u claim to be

    2. Anti-Zionism-on-my-nickel more like it.

    3. You never earned a dime the taxpayers didn't pay you...

    4. Teresita RedingerFri Jul 04, 12:16:00 PM EDT
      (Here, let's have Teresita say what she thinks instead of the Conga Line.)

      Why you always tell us what we think instead of what we say...

      Teresita: I have zero problem with Jews. None. I even study their scriptures.

      Bullshit. You slander Jews, you slander Judaism on a regular basis. You distort and mislead what the Jewish Scritpures say.

      We have proven over and over again of your anti-Semitic bias.

      Teresita: I do not call for the end of the State of Israel, only an end of US financial support for the State of Israel, specifically military support, since Israel is one of the ten biggest exporter of arms in the world, including sales to the Chicoms.

      Then you are a ZIONIST, that supports the Jewish right of self determination in their homeland in Israel but your just cheap and have problems only with American military support for the Jewish Nation of Israel.

      You do not rant about all the other nations we give all sorts of aid to proportionality, so I'd say you support one standard for Israel and no standards for any other nation or peoples.

      You have said over and over again you an anti-zionist.

      Now you wiggle wiggle wiggle and put "revisions" on it.

    5. Neither did the State of Israel.

    6. Then you are a ZIONIST, that supports the Jewish right of self determination in their homeland

      I do NOT SUPPORT their right. I just won't lobby for the end of the State of Israel. Otherwise that'd be like saying Chuck Norris supports my right to live by not killing me today.

    7. can't have both ways toots...

      Zionism is the national aspiration of a Jewish Homeland in Israel.

      Being an anti-zionist is the same as saying that Jews have no rights to self determination.

      You proclaim to be "anti-zionist". So whether you lobby for the destruction of the Jewish state or not? You support the idea.

      That's anti-semetic.

      That's Jew hatred at it's core.

      Embrace it. You have made your historic choice.

      We, the Jewish people, upon listening to you? Realize that you seek our destruction, even if it's passively.

    8. Btw, Happy 4th of July, when squatters and occupiers from all over the globe declared their RIGHT to self determination.

      Guess America beats the shit out of the mud shack your ancestors used to live in...

      And it was MY families tax dollars that shipped your orphaned butt over here and paid and bled to free your historic land, the Philippines..

    9. Btw, what RIGHT do you have to live in the Americas?

      Squatter, occupying colonial imperialist.

      Wasn't America formed by COLONIES???


    10. “Envy is for people who don’t have the self-esteem to be jealous.”

    11. One standard for Israel and no standards for any other nation or people on the planet is hypocrisy.

    12. Israelis - they wear Brown ShirtsFri Jul 04, 05:50:00 PM EDT

      Book burners are held to the same standard, everywhere.

      They Suck

  8. Germany arrests suspected double agent spying for U.S.: sources

    BERLIN Fri Jul 4, 2014 11:25am EDT

    (Reuters) - An employee of Germany's BND foreign intelligence agency has been arrested on suspicion of spying for the United States, two politicians with knowledge of the affair told Reuters on Friday.
    The German Federal Prosecutor's office said in a statement that a 31-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of being a foreign spy, but it gave no further details. Investigations were continuing, it said.
    The case risks further straining ties with Washington which were damaged by revelations last year of mass surveillance of German citizens by the U.S. National Security Agency, including the monitoring of Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone.
    The man, who is German, has admitted passing to an American contact details about a special German parliamentary committee set up to investigate the spying revelations made by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the politicians said.
    Both lawmakers are members of the nine-person parliamentary control committee, whose meetings are confidential, and which is in charge of monitoring the work of German intelligence agencies.
    The parliamentary committee investigating the NSA affair also holds some confidential meetings.
    "This was a man who had no direct contact with the investigative committee... He was not a top agent," said one of the politicians, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The suspect had offered his services to the United States voluntarily, the source said.
    Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said: "We don't take the matter of spying for foreign intelligence agencies lightly".
    When asked whether Merkel had discussed it with President Barack Obama during a phone conversation on Thursday night, he answered they had talked about foreign affairs.
    The United States embassy in Berlin, the State Department in Washington and the White House all declined to comment.
    Germany is particularly sensitive about surveillance because of abuses by the East German Stasi secret police and the Nazis. After the Snowden revelations, Berlin demanded that Washington agree to a "no-spy agreement" with its close ally, but the United States has been unwilling.
    Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and WDR and NDR broadcasters reported that the alleged spy was first detained on suspicion of contacting Russian intelligence agents. He then admitted he had worked with Americans.
    Bild newspaper said in an advance copy of an article to be published on Saturday that the man had worked for two years as a double agent and had stolen 218 confidential documents.
    He sold the documents, three of which related to the work of the committee in the Bundestag, for 25,000 euros ($34,100), Bild said, citing security sources.
    Opposition lawmakers called for diplomatic consequences if the allegations should prove true.
    The head of parliament's committee investigating the NSA affair, Patrick Sensburg, said its members had long feared they may be targeted by foreign intelligence agents and had taken special measures.

    (Additonal reporting by Washington bureau; Writing by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

    1. The controlling phrase, there, being "double agent."

      The Germans can get in line to

      Blow Me.

    2. Hell, the headline should be that the US wasted $34,100 buying documents of the parliamentary committee set up to investigate the spying revelations made by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

      What would the Germans know about the revelations of Edward Snowden that his old employers didn't know, already?

    3. America spies on everyone.

      That aint news,

  9. Celebrating the Red White and Blue: Remember how your tax dollars were commandeered to help the unions, and screw all those blue-haired white old lady GM bondholders. All at the hands of the patriotic American flag lapel pinned mutter fuckers on the Conga line.

    GM likely to build next Cadillac SRX in China

    By MarketWatch
    SHANGHAI-- General Motors Co. will likely produce the next generation of the Cadillac SRX crossover vehicle in China, as it looks at a bigger share of the country's fast-growing market for such vehicles, a company executive said Friday.

    "SRX really puts the Cadillac on the map," John Stadwick, a vice president of sales, service and marketing for GM in China said at a briefing. "Sales of SRX are exceeding our expectations globally, not just in China."

    GM introduced the Cadillac SRX, which melds the characteristics of a car and a sport-utility vehicle, in 2009. Sales of the car grew 23% in China to 14,496 units in the first half of this year from the year before, accounting for more than 40% of Cadillac sales in the country.

    Mr. Stadwick said the board has approved an expansion plan for SRX, which it now builds in Mexico and sells globally. But he said GM will "very possibly" manufacture the next generation of SRX in China to make it more price competitive. He declined to give a time frame. SRX is priced in China above 420,000 yuan ($67,524).

    The SUV market is one of the key segments "where we think we can really win," said Mr. Stadwick. "In the short term, we will add capacity in SRX."

    Sales of SUVs in China grew 38% in the first five months of this year, more than triple the growth rate recorded by the overall car market, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

    Luxury SUVs have sold well. Audi Q5, with a price tag of more than 380,000 yuan, is one of China's best-selling SUVs, with sales volume of 45,900 cars in the period from January to May.

    In a recent note, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP estimated a 20% annual growth rate for luxury SUVs through 2020. "Mass-market consumer preferences are clearly shifting toward the SUV body style, which provides more space, better road positioning, heightened sense of safety, and perhaps above all, enhanced image and status," it said.

    Despite recent massive recalls in the U.S., sales of Cadillacs rose 72% to 33,760 cars in China, more than double an expected 33% expansion in the country's luxury segment, said Mr. Stadwick. The growth "tells us that the things we are doing are being recognized by the consumers."

    1. The Chinese will work for even less than the $3.20 per hour that the Mexican workers are paid to build automobiles.

      At another Chrysler plant nearby, $35,000 Ram pickups fly off the assembly line at a rate of one every 80 seconds.

      The average pay at his plant, Rabago said, is $3.20 an hour, but he said wage comparisons to U.S. workers miss a Mexican reality. “When I came here 20 years ago, people didn’t even have indoor plumbing,” he said. “Now they have pickup trucks, satellite TV and send their kids to universities.”

  10. ...actually, they thought they would raise that skull and bones up the flag pole so the boys and girls in DC could make their patriotic bones for the coming election.

    1. Both John Kerry and G Bush flew that Skull & Bones banner ...
      As did George HW Bush

      As does Austan Goolsbee
      the youngest Chairmen of The Council of Economic Advisor's in the history of The White House, a building that has been staffed and led by a more than a few members of the society, and one can assume will be for many years to come.

      Read more:

  11. Every time Obama tries to slap a tariff on some Chinese Product the Right Wing explodes in a paroxysm of "Hey, America, how do you like it that Obama's making you pay more for . . . . .. . (fill in name of product, here.)"

    1. The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises

      So we really explode in a paroxysm of outrage that an Article II power is assuming Article I powers.

  12. I'm telling you; the most interesting story, for Americans, this week is a Monster statistic that has gone completely unremarked upon by anyone other than Doug, and his wingnut buddies. They knew not what they uncovered, but it was a whopper.

    First, you have to understand the meaning of the term "Part-Time for Non-Economic Reasons."

    "Part-Time for Non-Economic Reasons" is, basically, a situation where an employed seeks out Part-Time work, rather than have it imposed on him/her.

    Normally, about a hundred or two hundred thousand workers fit into this category.

    This month saw an amazing 840,000 Spike.

    Remember, these Are Not people that have been "demoted to part-time" by their employer. These are people who, by definition, have Chosen part-time work.

    Wha' happened?

    I have my theory, and it is based on something the CBO "said would happen." But, I don't know how to set about proving it. Yet.

    1. Maybe retirees that don’t want to spend the rest of their days chasing a ball or fucked up and retired at 62. Thrown in those that were too conservative with their savings and can’t live on.05% interest.

  13. .

    It appears BLS has taken the 4th off and headed for the beach. That's a shame as I am metagrabolized by that monster statistic. The first thing that popped into my head was that it might be college students taking on summer jobs. The last time I looked (a few years back) there were almost 20 million of them. It would be nice to see a breakdown on who made up that monster number.

    Part-time for non-economic reasons are people who voluntarily accept part time work. Typical groups in this category include students, people with childcare issues, family or personal obligations, retirement or Social Security limits on earnings, and other reasons.

    Normally, about a hundred or two hundred thousand workers fit into this category.

    Now, that is also what I consider a monster statistic. It seems exceedingly low.

    I'm sure like me Doug and the Wingnuts will be waiting in anticipation for that theory to evolve, once they get back from their world wide tour of course.



    Oh, here is an article citing additional stats on the June report.

    June Full-Time Jobs Plunge By Over Half A Million, Part-Time Jobs Surge By 800K, Most Since 1993


    1. .

      Note, all numbers listed above in the last three posts are unverified as BLS has gone missing.


    2. It's a holiday, gotta give those servers a day off.

    3. They promise to "be back in a few minutes." :)

    4. I, also, thought immediately of the students taking summer jobs, but, remember, these numbers are "seasonally adjusted," and those students do that every year.

    5. Quirk reported:

      "Oh, here is an article citing additional stats on the June report.

      June Full-Time Jobs Plunge By Over Half A Million, Part-Time Jobs Surge By 800K, Most Since 1993"

      For those who think things are humming along nicely, try getting a full-time job.

      Yesterday, I put up two links addressing the collapse of household formation. I think the assumption is that the young folks are the sole beneficiaries of living at home with mom and dad. Here's a thought: many moms and dads need what little income their stay at home children can bring in. We are witnessing multi-generational households doing their best to make ends meet. As an example, I have a young friend, through my son, who is employed by Stanford University, teaching and supervising student housing. He must live with two roommates if he hopes to have a marginally decent standard of living.

      For those who think all is well, experiment. Start applying online for employment. If anyone offers you a full-time job paying more than $10.00/hour, let us know. For that matter, if anyone offers a job interview, let us know.

  14. Maybe we will have one or two more “Dreamers” than we bargained for:

    Mexico City (AFP) - The Mexican government warned Friday that a vehicle containing radioactive material has been stolen, and issued a dire warning to the thieves against taking the potentially deadly material from its protective container.

    Federal civil defense officials said the vehicle had been transporting deadly iridium-192, a radioactive substance used in making some industrial products.

    The substance "can be dangerous for human health if removed from its container," the officials said in a statement, adding that the material can be lethal even if handled for only a brief time.

    The theft in Mexico state prompted officials to issue an alert throughout the capital region and in neighboring states.

    1. Deuce, did you check the date on that story? It sounds identical to one from a few years back.

    2. Radioactive material stolen in Mexico: officials
      AFPBy AFP | AFP – 3 hours ago TODAY


  15. Washington Post Opinions

    Why we stuck with Maliki — and lost Iraq

    Ali Khedery is chairman and chief executive of the Dubai-based Dragoman Partners. From 2003 to 2009, he was the longest continuously serving American official in Iraq, acting as a special assistant to five U.S. ambassadors and as a senior adviser to three heads of U.S. Central Command. In 2011, as an executive with Exxon Mobil, he negotiated the company’s entry into the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
    To understand why Iraq is imploding, you must understand Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki — and why the United States has supported him since 2006.

    I have known Maliki, or Abu Isra, as he is known to people close to him, for more than a decade. I have traveled across three continents with him. I know his family and his inner circle. When Maliki was an obscure member of parliament, I was among the very few Americans in Baghdad who took his phone calls. In 2006, I helped introduce him to the U.S. ambassador, recommending him as a promising option for prime minister. In 2008, I organized his medevac when he fell ill, and I accompanied him for treatment in London, spending 18 hours a day with him at Wellington Hospital. In 2009, I lobbied skeptical regional royals to support Maliki’s government.

    By 2010, however, I was urging the vice president of the United States and the White House senior staff to withdraw their support for Maliki. I had come to realize that if he remained in office, he would create a divisive, despotic and sectarian government that would rip the country apart and devastate American interests.

    America stuck by Maliki. As a result, we now face strategic defeat in Iraq and perhaps in the broader Middle East.

    1. {...}

      Finding a leader
      Born in Tuwairij, a village outside the Iraqi holy city of Karbala, Abu Isra is the proud grandson of a tribal leader who helped end British colonial rule in the 1920s. Raised in a devout Shiite family, he grew to resent Sunni minority rule in Iraq, especially the secular but repressive Baath Party. Maliki joined the theocratic Dawa party as a young man, believing in its call to create a Shiite state in Iraq by any means necessary. After clashes between the secular Sunni, Shiite and Christian Baathists and Shiite Islamist groups, including Dawa, Saddam Hussein’s government banned the rival movements and made membership a capital offense.

      Accused of being extensions of Iranian clerics and intelligence officers, thousands of Dawa party members were arrested, tortured and executed. Many of the mutilated bodies were never returned to their families. Among those killed were some of Maliki’s close relatives, forever shaping the psychology of the future premier.

      Over a span of three decades, Maliki moved between Iran and Syria, where he organized covert operations against Hussein’s regime, eventually becoming chief of Iraq’s Dawa branch in Damascus. The party found a patron in Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s Islamic Republic of Iran. During the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, when Iraq used Western-supplied chemical weapons, Tehran retaliated by using Shiite Islamist proxies such as Dawa to punish Hussein’s supporters. With Iran’s assistance, Dawa operatives bombed the Iraqi Embassy in Beirut in 1981 in one of radical Islam’s first suicide attacks. They also bombed the American and French embassies in Kuwait and schemed to kill the emir. Dozens of assassination plots against senior members of Hussein’s government, including the dictator himself, failed miserably, resulting in mass arrests and executions.

      During the tumultuous months following America’s invasion of Iraq in 2003, Maliki returned to his home country. He took a job advising future prime minister Ibrahim al-Jafari and later, as a member of parliament, chaired the committee supporting the De-Baathification Commission, an organization privately celebrated by Shiite Islamists as a means of retribution and publicly decried by Sunnis as a tool of repression.

      I volunteered to serve in Iraq after watching the tragedy of 9/11 from the Texas governor’s conference room. The son of Iraqi immigrants, I was dispatched to Baghdad by the Office of the Secretary of Defense for a three-month assignment that ultimately lasted almost a decade. As special assistant to Ambassador Patrick Kennedy and the Coalition Provisional Authority’s liaison to the Iraqi Governing Council, and as one of the few American officials there who spoke Arabic, I became the Iraqi leaders’ go-to guy for just about everything — U.S.-furnished weapons, cars, houses or the much-coveted Green Zone access passes.

      After the formal U.S. occupation ended in 2004, I stayed in Baghdad to facilitate the transition to a “normalized” American diplomatic presence, and I often shared tea and stale biscuits with my Iraqi friends at the transitional parliament. One of those friends was Maliki. He would quiz me about American designs for the Middle East and cajole me for more Green Zone passes. These early days were exhausting but satisfying as Iraqis and Americans worked together to help the country rise from Hussein’s ashes.

      Then disaster struck. During Jafari’s short tenure, ethno-sectarian tensions spiked catastrophically. With Hussein’s criminal excesses still fresh in their minds, Iraq’s new Shiite Islamist leaders concocted retribution schemes against Sunnis, resulting in horrifying episodes of torture, rape and other abuses. Displaced Baath Party members launched a bloody insurgency, while al-Qaeda recruited young men to stage suicide and car bombings, kidnappings, and other terrorist attacks in a bid to foment chaos.


    2. {...}

      After the February 2006 bombing of the Askariya mosque in Samarra, a sacred shrine for Shiite Islam’s 200 million adherents, Shiite Islamist leaders launched a ferocious counterattack, sparking a civil war that left tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis dead. Jafari initially refused American overtures to institute a curfew after al-Qaeda bombed Samarra, insisting that citizens needed to vent their frustrations — effectively sanctioning civil war and ethnic cleansing.

      Washington decided that change at the top was essential. After the December 2005 parliamentary elections, U.S. Embassy officials combed the Iraqi elite for a leader who could crush the Iranian-backed Shiite militias, battle al-Qaeda, and unite Iraqis under the banner of nationalism and inclusive government. My colleague Jeffrey Beals and I were among the few Arabic-speaking Americans on good terms with the country’s leading figures. The only man we knew with any chance to win support from all Iraqi factions — and who seemed likely to be an effective leader — was Maliki. We argued that he would be acceptable to Iraq’s Shiite Islamists, around 50 percent of the population; that he was hard-working, decisive and largely free of corruption; and that he was politically weak and thus dependent on cooperating with other Iraqi leaders to hold together a coalition. Although Maliki’s history was known to be shadowy and violent, that was hardly unusual in the new Iraq.

      With other colleagues, Beals and I hashed over the options with U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who in turn encouraged Iraq’s skeptical but desperate national leaders to support Maliki. Leading a bloc with only a handful of parliamentarians, Maliki was initially surprised by the American entreaties, but he seized the opportunity, becoming prime minister on May 20, 2006.

      He vowed to lead a strong, united Iraq.

    3. {...}
      ’There will be no Iraq’

      Never having run anything beyond a violent, secretive Shiite Islamist political party, Maliki found his first years leading Iraq enormously challenging. He struggled with violence that killed thousands of Iraqis each month and displaced millions, a collapsing oil industry, and divided and corrupt political partners — as well as delegations from an increasingly impatient U.S. Congress. Maliki was the official ruler of Iraq, but with the surge of U.S. forces in 2007 and the arrival in Baghdad of Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Gen. David Petraeus, there was little doubt about who was actually keeping the Iraqi state from collapse.

      Crocker and Petraeus met with the prime minister several hours a day, virtually every day, for nearly two years. Unlike his rivals, Maliki traveled little outside the country and routinely worked 16-hour days. We coordinated political, economic and military policies, seeking to overcome legislative obstacles and promote economic growth while pursuing al-Qaeda, Baathist spoilers and Shiite Islamist militias. As Crocker’s special assistant, my role was to help prepare him for and accompany him to meetings with Iraqi leaders, and I often served as his proxy when the Iraqis squabbled among themselves. The United States was compelled to mediate among the Iraqis because we felt that the country would become stable only with united and cohesive Iraqi leadership, backed by the use of force against violent extremists.

      One of the biggest breakthroughs of this era was the Awakening movement, in which, thanks to long negotiations, Sunni Arab tribal and Baathist insurgents turned their guns away from U.S. troops and pointed them toward al-Qaeda, thereby reintegrating into the Iraqi political process. Initially hostile to the idea of arming and funding Sunni fighters, Maliki eventually relented after intense lobbying from Crocker and Petraeus, but only on the condition that Washington foot the bill. He later agreed to hire and fund some of the tribal fighters, but many of his promises to them went unmet — leaving them unemployed, bitter and again susceptible to radicalization.

      Settling into power by 2008, and with the northern half of the nation becoming pacified, Maliki was growing into his job. He had weekly videoconferences with President George W. Bush. During these intimate gatherings, in which a small group of us sat quietly off screen, Maliki often complained of not having enough constitutional powers and of a hostile parliament, while Bush urged patience and remarked that dealing with the U.S. Congress wasn’t easy, either.

      Over time, Maliki helped forge compromises with his political rivals and signed multibillion-dollar contracts with multinational companies to help modernize Iraq. Few of us had hope in Iraq’s future during the depths of the civil war, but a year after the surge began, the country seemed to be back on track.

      Maliki didn’t always make things easy, however. Prone to conspiracy theories after decades of being hunted by Hussein’s intelligence services, he was convinced that his Shiite Islamist rival Moqtada al-Sadr was seeking to undermine him. So in March 2008, Maliki hopped into his motorcade and led an Iraqi army charge against Sadr’s Mahdi Army in Basra. With no planning, logistics, intelligence, air cover or political support from Iraq’s other leaders, Maliki picked a fight with an Iranian-backed militia that had stymied the U.S. military since 2003.


    4. {...}

      Locked in the ambassador’s office for several hours, Crocker, Petraeus, the general’s aide and I pored over the political and military options and worked the phones with Maliki and his ministers in Basra. We feared that Maliki’s field headquarters would be overrun and he’d be killed, an Iraqi tradition for seizing power. I dialed up Iraq’s Sunni Arab, Shiite Arab and Kurdish leaders so Crocker could urge them to publicly stand behind Maliki. Petraeus ordered an admiral to Basra to lead U.S. Special Operations forces against the Mahdi Army. For days, I received calls from Maliki’s special assistant, Gatah al-Rikabi, urging American airstrikes to level entire city blocks in Basra; I had to remind him that the U.S. military is not as indiscriminate with force as Maliki’s army is.

      Although it was a close call, Maliki’s “Charge of the Knights” succeeded. For the first time in Iraq’s history, a Shiite Islamist premier had defeated an Iranian-backed Shiite Islamist militia. Maliki was welcomed in Baghdad and around the world as a patriotic nationalist, and he was showered with praise as he sought to liberate Baghdad’s Sadr City slum from the Mahdi Army just weeks later. During a meeting of the Iraqi National Security Council, attended by Crocker and Petraeus, Maliki blasted his generals, who wanted to take six months to prepare for the attack. “There will be no Iraq in six months!” I recall him saying.

      Buoyed by his win in Basra, and with massive U.S. military assistance, Maliki led the charge to retake Sadr City, directing Iraqi army divisions over his mobile phone. Through an unprecedented fusion of American and Iraqi military and intelligence assets, dozens of Iranian-backed Shiite Islamist militant cells were eliminated within weeks. This was the true surge: a masterful civil-military campaign to allow space for Iraqi politicians to reunite by obliterating the Sunni and Shiite armed groups that had nearly driven the country into the abyss.

    5. {...}
      Maliki ascendant

      By the closing months of 2008, successfully negotiating the terms for America’s continued commitment to Iraq became a top White House imperative. But desperation to seal a deal before Bush left office, along with the collapse of the world economy, weakened our hand.

      In an ascendant position, Maliki and his aides demanded everything in exchange for virtually nothing. They cajoled the United States into a bad deal that granted Iraq continued support while giving America little more than the privilege of pouring more resources into a bottomless pit. In retrospect, I imagine the sight of American officials pleading with him only fed Maliki’s ego further. After organizing Bush’s final trip to Iraq — where he was attacked with a pair of shoes at Maliki’s news conference celebrating the signing of the bilateral agreements — I left Baghdad with Crocker on Feb. 13, 2009. After more than 2,000 days of service, I was ill, depleted physically and mentally, but hopeful that America’s enormous sacrifices might have produced a positive outcome.

      With the Obama administration vowing to end Bush’s “dumb war,” and the continued distraction of the global economic crisis, Maliki seized an opportunity. He began a systematic campaign to destroy the Iraqi state and replace it with his private office and his political party. He sacked professional generals and replaced them with those personally loyal to him. He coerced Iraq’s chief justice to bar some of his rivals from participating in the elections in March 2010. After the results were announced and Maliki lost to a moderate, pro-Western coalition encompassing all of Iraq’s major ethno-sectarian groups, the judge issued a ruling that awarded Maliki the first chance to form a government, ushering in more tensions and violence.

      This was happening amid a leadership vacuum at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. After two months without an ambassador, Crocker’s replacement had arrived in April 2009 while I settled into a new assignment shuttling across Middle East capitals with Petraeus, the new head of U.S. Central Command. But reports from Iraqi and U.S. officials in Baghdad were worrisome. While American troops bled and the global economic crisis flared, the embassy undertook an expensive campaign to landscape the grounds and commission a bar and a soccer field, complementing the existing Olympic-size indoor swimming pool, basketball court, tennis courts and softball field at our billion-dollar embassy. I routinely received complaints from Iraqi and U.S. officials that morale at the embassy was plummeting and that relations between America’s diplomatic and military leadership — so strong in the Crocker-Petraeus era, and so crucial to curtailing Maliki’s worst tendencies and keeping the Iraqis moving forward — had collapsed. Maliki’s police state grew stronger by the day.

      In a meeting in Baghdad with a Petraeus-hosted delegation of Council on Foreign Relations members shortly after the 2010 elections, Maliki insisted that the vote had been rigged by the United States, Britain, the United Nations and Saudi Arabia. As we shuffled out of the prime minister’s suite, one stunned executive, the father of an American Marine, turned to me and asked, “American troops are dying to keep that son of a b---- in power?”

    6. {...}

      With the political crisis dragging on for months, a new ambassador for whom I had worked previously, James Jeffrey, asked me to return to Baghdad to help mediate among the Iraqi factions. Even then, in August 2010, I was shocked that much of the surge’s success had been squandered by Maliki and other Iraqi leaders. Kurds asked how they could justify remaining part of a dysfunctional Iraq that had killed hundreds of thousands of their people since the 1980s. Sunni Arabs — who had overcome internal divisions to form the secular Iraqiya coalition with like-minded Shiite Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen and Christians — were outraged at being asked to abdicate the premiership after pummeling al-Qaeda and winning the elections. Even Shiite Islamist leaders privately expressed discomfort with Iraq’s trajectory under Maliki, with Sadr openly calling him a “tyrant.” Worst of all, perhaps, the United States was no longer seen as an honest broker.

      After helping to bring him to power in 2006, I argued in 2010 that Maliki had to go. I felt guilty lobbying against my friend Abu Isra, but this was not personal. Vital U.S. interests were on the line. Thousands of American and Iraqi lives had been lost and trillions of dollars had been spent to help advance our national security, not the ambitions of one man or one party. The constitutional process had to be safeguarded, and we needed a sophisticated, unifying, economics-minded leader to rebuild Iraq after the security-focused Maliki crushed the militias and al-Qaeda.

      In conversations with visiting White House senior staff members, the ambassador, the generals and other colleagues, I suggested Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi as a successor. A former Baathist, moderate Shiite Islamist and French-educated economist who had served as finance minister, Abdul Mahdi maintained excellent relations with Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds as well as with Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

      On Sept. 1, 2010, Vice President Biden was in Baghdad for the change-of-command ceremony that would see the departure of Gen. Ray Odierno and the arrival of Gen. Lloyd Austin as commander of U.S. forces. That night, at a dinner at the ambassador’s residence that included Biden, his staff, the generals and senior embassy officials, I made a brief but impassioned argument against Maliki and for the need to respect the constitutional process. But the vice president said Maliki was the only option. Indeed, the following month he would tell top U.S. officials, “I’ll bet you my vice presidency Maliki will extend the SOFA,” referring to the status-of-forces agreement that would allow U.S. troops to remain in Iraq past 2011.


    7. {...}

      I was not the only official who made a case against Abu Isra. Even before my return to Baghdad, officials including Deputy U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford, Odierno, British Ambassador Sir John Jenkins and Turkish Ambassador Murat Özçelik each lobbied strenuously against Maliki, locking horns with the White House, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill and Maliki’s most ardent supporter, future deputy assistant secretary of state Brett McGurk. Now, with Austin in the Maliki camp as well, we remained at an impasse, principally because the Iraqi leaders were divided, unable to agree on Maliki or, maddeningly, on an alternative.

      Our debates mattered little, however, because the most powerful man in Iraq and the Middle East, Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the head of the Quds Force unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, was about to resolve the crisis for us. Within days of Biden’s visit to Baghdad, Soleimani summoned Iraq’s leaders to Tehran. Beholden to him after decades of receiving Iran’s cash and support, the Iraqis recognized that U.S. influence in Iraq was waning as Iranian influence was surging. The Americans will leave you one day, but we will always remain your neighbors, Soleimani said, according to a former Iraqi official briefed on the meeting.

      After admonishing the feuding Iraqis to work together, Soleimani dictated the outcome on behalf of Iran’s supreme leader: Maliki would remain premier; Jalal Talabani, a legendary Kurdish guerilla with decades-long ties to Iran, would remain president; and, most important, the American military would be made to leave at the end of 2011. Those Iraqi leaders who cooperated, Soleimani said, would continue to benefit from Iran’s political cover and cash payments, but those who defied the will of the Islamic Republic would suffer the most dire of consequences.


    8. {...}

      Washington’s choice
      I was determined not to let an Iranian general who had murdered countless American troops dictate the endgame for the United States in Iraq. By October, I was pleading with Ambassador Jeffrey to take steps to avert this outcome. I said that Iran was intent on forcing the United States out of Iraq in humiliation and that a divisive, sectarian government in Baghdad headed by Maliki would almost certainly lead to another civil war and then an all-out regional conflict. This might be averted if we rebuffed Iran by forming a unity government around a nationalist alternative such as Abdul Mahdi. It would be extremely difficult, I acknowledged, but with 50,000 troops still on the ground, the United States remained a powerful player. The alternative was strategic defeat in Iraq and the Middle East writ large. To my surprise, the ambassador shared my concerns with the White House senior staff, asking that they be relayed to the president and vice president, as well as the administration’s top national security officials.

      Desperate to avert calamity, I used every bit of my political capital to arrange a meeting for Jeffrey and Antony Blinken, Biden’s national security adviser and senior Iraq aide, with one of Iraq’s top grand ayatollahs. Using uncharacteristically blunt language, the Shiite cleric said he believed that Ayad Allawi, who had served as an interim prime minister in 2004-05, and Abdul Mahdi were the only Shiite leaders capable of uniting Iraq. Maliki, he said, was the prime minister of the Dawa party, not of Iraq, and would drive the country to ruin.

      But all the lobbying was for naught. By November, the White House had settled on its disastrous Iraq strategy. The Iraqi constitutional process and election results would be ignored, and America would throw its full support behind Maliki. Washington would try to move Talabani aside and install Allawi as a consolation prize to the Iraqiya coalition.

      The next day, I appealed again to Blinken, Jeffrey, Austin, my embassy colleagues and my bosses at Central Command, Gen. Jim Mattis and Gen. John Allen, and warned that we were making a mistake of historic proportions. I argued that Maliki would continue to consolidate power with political purges against his rivals; Talabani would never step aside after fighting Hussein for decades and taking his chair; and the Sunnis would revolt again if they saw that we betrayed our promises to stand by them after the Awakening’s defeat of al-Qaeda.

      Mattis and Allen were sympathetic, but the Maliki supporters were unmoved. The ambassador dispatched me to Jordan to meet with a council of Iraq’s top Sunni leaders, with the message that they needed to join Maliki’s government. The response was as I expected. They would join the government in Baghdad, they said, but they would not allow Iraq to be ruled by Iran and its proxies. They would not live under a Shiite theocracy and accept continued marginalization under Maliki. After turning their arms against al-Qaeda during the Awakening, they now wanted their share in the new Iraq, not to be treated as second-class citizens. If that did not happen, they warned, they would take up arms again.


    9. {...}

      Catastrophe followed. Talabani rebuffed White House appeals to step down and instead turned to Iran for survival. With instructions from Tehran, Maliki began to form a cabinet around some of Iran’s favorite men in Iraq. Hadi al-Amiri, the notorious Badr Brigade commander, became transportation minister, controlling strategically sensitive sea, air and land ports. Khudair Khuzaie became vice president, later serving as acting president. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the Dawa party mastermind behind the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait in 1983, became an adviser to Maliki and his neighbor in the Green Zone. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Sadrist detainees were released. And Maliki purged the National Intelligence Service of its Iran division, gutting the Iraqi government’s ability to monitor and check its neighboring foe.

      America’s Iraq policy was soon in tatters. Outraged by what it perceived as American betrayal, the Iraqiya bloc fractured along ethno-sectarian lines, with leaders scrambling for government positions, lest they be frozen out of Iraq’s lucrative patronage system. Rather than taking 30 days to try to form a government, per the Iraqi constitution, the Sunni Arab leaders settled for impressive-sounding posts with little authority. Within a short span, Maliki’s police state effectively purged most of them from politics, parking American-supplied M1A1 tanks outside the Sunni leaders’ homes before arresting them. Within hours of the withdrawal of U.S. forces in December 2011, Maliki sought the arrest of his longtime rival Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, eventually sentencing him to death in absentia. The purge of Finance Minister Rafea al-Essawi followed a year later.

      Maliki never appointed a permanent, parliament-confirmed interior minister, nor a defense minister, nor an intelligence chief. Instead, he took the positions for himself. He also broke nearly every promise he made to share power with his political rivals after they voted him back into office through parliament in late 2010.



    10. {...}

      He also abrogated the pledges he made to the United States. Per Iran’s instructions, he did not move forcefully at the end of 2011 to renew the Security Agreement , which would have permitted American combat troops to remain in Iraq. He did not dissolve his Office of the Commander in Chief, the entity he has used to bypass the military chain of command by making all commanders report to him. He did not relinquish control of the U.S.-trained Iraqi counterterrorism and SWAT forces, wielding them as a praetorian guard. He did not dismantle the secret intelligence organizations, prisons and torture facilities with which he has bludgeoned his rivals. He did not abide by a law imposing term limits, again calling upon kangaroo courts to issue a favorable ruling. And he still has not issued a new and comprehensive amnesty that would have helped quell unrest from previously violent Shiite and Sunni Arab factions that were gradually integrating into politics.

      In short, Maliki’s one-man, one-Dawa-party Iraq looks a lot like Hussein’s one-man, one-Baath Party Iraq. But at least Hussein helped contain a strategic American enemy: Iran. And Washington didn’t spend $1 trillion propping him up. There is not much “democracy” left if one man and one party with close links to Iran control the judiciary, police, army, intelligence services, oil revenue, treasury and the central bank. Under these circumstances, renewed ethno-sectarian civil war in Iraq was not a possibility. It was a certainty.

      I resigned in protest on Dec. 31, 2010. And now, with the United States again becoming entangled in Iraq, I feel a civic and moral obligation to explain how we reached this predicament.

      The crisis now gripping Iraq and the Middle East was not only predictable but predicted — and preventable. By looking the other way and unconditionally supporting and arming Maliki, President Obama has only lengthened and expanded the conflict that President Bush unwisely initiated. Iraq is now a failed state, and as countries across the Middle East fracture along ethno-sectarian lines, America is likely to emerge as one of the biggest losers of the new Sunni-Shiite holy war, with allies collapsing and radicals plotting another 9/11.

      Maliki’s most ardent American supporters ignored the warning signs and stood by as an Iranian general decided Iraq’s fate in 2010. Ironically, these same officials are now scrambling to save Iraq, yet are refusing to publicly condemn Maliki’s abuses and are providing him with arms that he can use to wage war against his political rivals.

    11. STUNNING

      This should bring down the US Government.

  16. We, the Jewish people, upon listening to you? Realize that you seek our destruction, even if it's passively.

    "If you were against the new deal and its whole-sale buying of pauper votes, then you were against Christian charity. If you were against the gross injustices and dishonesties of the Wagner labor Act, then you were against labor. If you were against packing the Supreme Court, then you were in favor of letting Wall Street do it. If you are against using Dr. Quack's cancer salve, then you are in favor of letting Uncle Julius die. If you are against Holy Church, or Christian Science, then you are against God. It is an old, old argument." -- HL Mencken

  17. Replies
    1. Power to the purple fingers of fate!

    2. The Jews could be put down very plausibly as the most unpleasant race ever heard of. As commonly encountered, they lack many of the qualities that mark the civilized man: courage, dignity, incorruptibility, ease, confidence. They have vanity without pride, voluptuousness without taste, and learning without wisdom. Their fortitude, such as it is, is wasted upon puerile objects, and their charity is mainly a form of display - HL Mencken

      Sounds like someone Teresita would love.

    3. Arabs are nice folk, aren't they.

      Jews are not a Race, nor a class of people.
      If they are a race, a class of people then they stand guilty of being the greatest mass murderers of the 20th Century.

      So take your pick, individual responsibility, or group guilt.
      Which shall it be, Butt Boy?

  18. I resigned in protest on Dec. 31, 2010. And now, with the United States again becoming entangled in Iraq, I feel a civic and moral obligation to explain how we reached this predicament.

    The crisis now gripping Iraq and the Middle East was not only predictable but predicted — and preventable. By looking the other way and unconditionally supporting and arming Maliki, President Obama has only lengthened and expanded the conflict that President Bush unwisely initiated. Iraq is now a failed state, and as countries across the Middle East fracture along ethno-sectarian lines, America is likely to emerge as one of the biggest losers of the new Sunni-Shiite holy war, with allies collapsing and radicals plotting another 9/11.

    Maliki’s most ardent American supporters ignored the warning signs and stood by as an Iranian general decided Iraq’s fate in 2010. Ironically, these same officials are now scrambling to save Iraq, yet are refusing to publicly condemn Maliki’s abuses and are providing him with arms that he can use to wage war against his political rivals.

    1. ... his political rivals ... voted him back into office through parliament in late 2010.

      No one in the US Government had a vote.

    2. The hubris required to think that he US could or should control Iraq's political future is substantial and without basis in reality.

    3. It is the Russians that have supplied the aircraft for the Iraqi military's Close Air Support.
      The Russians that are supplying the helicopters, tambien.

      The US promised the aircraft, but never delivered.
      Still have not, will not until 2015, at the soonest.

    4. What arms have the US supplied?
      The tanks lost in Mosul were T-72s, from Hungary.

    5. The whole war was nonsense, from the git-go. A bunch of Occidental lunatics stumbling around in a foreign country without a clue as to whether it was "come here," or "sic'em."

      Some folks got rich, and richer (which was probably the whole idea from the start,) and the country bled 5,000 lives, tens of thousands of serious injuries, and a couple of Trillion Dollars.

      Now, Obama better be damned careful that he doesn't slip us back into that nightmare, again.

      Much better just to buy the oil from whatever bunch of assholes finally end up having it for sale.

  19. And it was MY families tax dollars that shipped your orphaned butt over here and paid and bled to free your historic land, the Philippines..

    What the hell are you talking about WiO? I told you I was born in the United States. And the Philippines was a fricken US Colony from 1898 to 1946, replacing four hundred years of Spanish rule before that. America freed the Philippines like Tony Soprano protected Artie's restaurant.

  20. So SO SORRY (in my most thickest Asian accent) You yourself have said so many times you are a product of the Philippines..

    Guess your lies and truths run together like pee out the dick of a herd of beer drinking bulls....

    1. Wayne Gerard TrotmanFri Jul 04, 04:27:00 PM EDT

      “The sad truth about bigotry is that most bigots either don't realize that they are bigots,
      or they convince themselves that their bigotry is perfectly justified.”

    2. I have never not said I was born in Vancouver, Washington, USA, WiO. Maybe you're just going by the coffee color of my skin.

    3. The best way to deal with a bigot? Shine a mirror in their eyes...

      I AM a bigot to those that seek the genocide of my people, no excuse needed.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. Teresita RedingerFri Jul 04, 04:47:00 PM EDT
      I have never not said I was born in Vancouver, Washington, USA, WiO. Maybe you're just going by the coffee color of my skin.

      "I have never not said "


      You, a practicer of spinning lies and tales, that lied, recanted, lied, recanted and lied again now seek to tell us what was "never NOT said"..


      Sorry, Xena, Ms T, Teresita (and the other names you have gone thru) you have lied so many times and told so many tales you have ZERO credibility anymore....

      As for your skin color? You bring it up more times than Rat gets up to pee at night...

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    7. My name is Teresita. The other people in the EB call me Ms T. Xena is a fictional character and I never called myself that. Over here in real life they call me Ruby because Teresita has too many syllables.

    8. Ruby makes me think of slippers, which reminds of Draft Dodger Bob's cat ....

      Think I'll stick with Ms T.

    9. Xena is a fictional character and I never called myself that.

      I call bullshit..

    10. Alas, not every Jew can be Nobel Prize material. Someone has to hold down the other side of the bell curve.

  21. The sunk cost fallacy has been used to describe the phenomenon where people justify increased investment in a decision, based on the cumulative prior investment, despite new evidence suggesting that the cost, starting today, of continuing the decision outweighs the expected benefit.
    Such investment may include money, time, or even — in the case of military strategy — human lives.
    The phenomenon and the sentiment underlying it are reflected in such proverbial images as "Throwing good money after bad",

  22. Teresita RedingerFri Jul 04, 10:19:00 AM EDT
    Jews in the US are good to go. Jews in the other neighborhood not so much. Colonialism went out with the Gibson Girl hairdos.

    So happy 4th of July....

    America, a collection of COLONIES....

    (Don't tell Ms T that)

    1. Like I said, Colonialism went out in the Gay Nineties. The Zionists come along in the Forties and go, "Me too!" just when everyone else was cashing their colonies in. Nowadays colonies are as passe as John Travolta's white leisure suit.

    2. Teresita RedingerFri Jul 04, 05:05:00 PM EDT
      Like I said, Colonialism went out in the Gay Nineties. The Zionists come along in the Forties and go, "Me too!" just when everyone else was cashing their colonies in. Nowadays colonies are as passe as John Travolta's white leisure suit.

      Once again teresita just don't get it.

      Israel aint a "colony" it's a rebirth.

      Sorry toots. But America is and was a colony nation.

      Now Israel? Liberated Homeland of the Jews.

      Teresita: The Zionists come along in the Forties and go, "Me too!"

      Your sense of history can be written on the back of a match pack.... Where do you come up with this crap? "Dummies Guide to Jew Hating & Israel Bashing"?

    3. Liberated homeland of the Jews, originally named the Hebrews, which in the Semitic tongue means Immigrants. Or if you substitute the Nile for the Rio Grande, "Wetbacks". Now if the Zionists had parked their butt in the northeastern Nile Delta you'd have a case.

    4. T? try again... you gang even google good history...

      If you substitute?

      OK, squatter...

      Happy 4th in your adopted lands...

  23. Great piece of work, Deuce! At long last we are getting some history instead of propaganda.

    Something that has infuriated me for years was the unanswered known participation of Iran in the murders and maimings of American troops in Iraq from the beginning. How the past two administrations could/can negotiate with those snakes is incredible.

    1. There are no permanent enemies. Hell, even Israel prefers Al Qaeda to Al Kuds these days.

    2. try again idiot...

      Al Qaeda to Al Kuds?

      don't make sense. this is an example of your "little knowledge is dangerous"

      I won't hold it against you...

      Try again.

    3. Israel - prefers al-QeadaFri Jul 04, 05:54:00 PM EDT

      Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren told the Jerusalem Post that Israel so wanted Assad out and his Iranian backers weakened, that Israel would accept al-Qaeda operatives taking power in Syria.

      “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.”

      Even if the other “bad guys” were affiliated with al-Qaeda.
      “We understand that they are pretty bad guys,” Oren said in the interview.

    4. thanks rat jack for correcting teresita.

      as for the post?

      israel wants each side to bloody the other...

      they both suck...

  24. What to fuck does Deuce's recitation have to do with fucking Jews and/or fucking Zionism and/or fucking Semites and/or fucking Judaism and/or fucking Israel!!! Fuck off!

    1. Israelis - they wear Brown ShirtsFri Jul 04, 05:47:00 PM EDT

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  25. Happy Fourth of July

    For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure - one world, if you will…If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it - David Rockefeller (Memoirs, page 405)

    We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine, and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march toward world government - David Rockefeller (Address to the Trilateral Commission, June 1991)

    Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization - Zbigniew Brzezinski (The Grand Chessboard)

    It is difficult to re-educate people who have been brought up on nationalism to the idea of relinquishing part of their sovereignty to a supranational body - Queen Beatrix (Bilderberg Group Member)

    The "house of world order" will have to be built from the bottom up rather than from the top down. It will look like a great booming, buzzing confusion, but an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will accomplish more than the old-fashioned frontal assault - Richard Gardner (Quoted from the CFR journal, Foreign Affairs, An American Quarterly Review, April 1974 Edition)

    Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we - George W. Bush (Freudian slip during BBC interview)

    ...if the American people had ever known the truth about what we Bushes have done to this nation, we would be chased down in the streets and lynched - George Bush Senior (interview with Sarah McClendon, December 1992)

    The 60 Minutes interview of Janet "For the Kids" Reno was a joke. She recently told a group of Feds, "You are part of a government that has given its people more freedom...than any other government in the history of the world" - Kenneth W. Royce (Hologram of Liberty)

    To stop terrorism and organized crime, the American people must give up some of their personal freedom and privacy - Janet Reno (Attorney General from 1993 to 2001)

    Civil liberties is one of the most precious gifts that we give our citizens - Tom Ridge (Pennsylvania Governor)

    …there is going to be a continuing trade-off between security and liberty and freedom going forward into the 21st Century - Gary Hart (US Senator)

    Is there a chance that some of your civil liberties may slip while we guarantee the security of this country?…Maybe, maybe - Stephen Steinhauser (FBI)

  26. Happy 4th shit kickers.

    I ain't got time for ya today much.

    Beautiful country up this way.

    Dodged 7 deer on the highways getting up here last night.

    Prius gets 50 mpg the way I am driving it.

    Happy 4th doesn't extend to Draft Dodger Jack 'rat crapper' Hawkins, PA.

    Bar b que and fireworks tonight !

    Lake cruise tomorrow. !

    1. They actually had a really really real old fashioned Fourth of July Parade this morning in this nifty little town.

      Fuck Washington, D.C. !

      Who needs 'em ?

      You ever been to Sandpoint, Miss T ?

      out for now

    2. Bob promotes cannibalismFri Jul 04, 06:01:00 PM EDT

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  27. Berlin demands US ambassador explain snooping on German parliament
    - DW correspondent John Berwick on German double agent

    Berlin has called on the US ambassador to explain allegations that Washington spied on a parliamentary committee investigating NSA surveillance in Germany. A double agent reportedly sold the US sensitive documents.

    On Friday, the German Foreign Ministry called on US Ambassador John Emerson to cooperate with the investigation into allegations that a double agent had spied on the Bundestag for Washington.
    Germany's top prosecutor, Harald Range, confirmed that a 31-year-old intelligence agent had been detained on Wednesday on suspicion of espionage.
    The suspect was a midlevel agent with the foreign intelligence agency, known by its German initialism, BND. He had been active as a double for two years, according to the daily Bild newspaper, citing security sources.

    1. Bob promotes cannibalismFri Jul 04, 06:07:00 PM EDT

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. I thought it was shoot wolves and distribute the meat to the poor people.

    3. Bob is a looney tuneFri Jul 04, 06:10:00 PM EDT

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


  28. What does the graffiti say?

    What your government does abroad today, it does at home tomorrow.

  29. The unmaking of a president


    President Obama is beset and overwhelmed by crises of his own making. His notion of retrenchment and “ending” wars has backfired spectacularly in the Middle East. Syria and Iraq are fast becoming the staging ground for a jihadist state. Iran remains defiant in its determination to keep its nuclear weapons program. Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas — Obama dubbed him a “man of peace” — has linked arms with Hamas and violence rages in Israel, the result of the kidnapping and murder of three teenagers, allegedly by Abbas’s partner. We have the worst of all worlds — except for the Muslim Brotherhood — in Egypt. A military government akin to Gamal Abdel Nasser’s socialist dictatorship controls the country and openly snubs the United States, which the Egyptian people are convinced was allied with the Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile in Europe, Russia has grabbed Crimea, eastern Ukraine is a battleground and “Russian reset” is a punch line.

    At home, the Supreme Court has slapped Obama down on recess appointments (one of about 20 unanimous decisions against his administration) and on his insistence on forcing the contraception mandate onto closely held businesses whose owners’ religious beliefs prevent them from making available four abortion-inducing drugs. In these cases, as in so many others, Obama’s arrogant attempt to aggrandize power resulted in humiliating defeats.

    1. We don't have an Empire, Palpatine, we still have a Republic, and the Jedis to defend it.

    2. 20 January 2017

      Start counting the days.

  30. Dead Man Walking:

    Iraq’s Maliki to Run Again, Rejecting Pressure to Step Down
    By ALISSA J. RUBINJULY 4, 2014

    BAGHDAD — Despite sharp criticism from almost every political party in Iraq and pressure from friendly foreign powers to step down, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki announced Friday that he would run for a third term as prime minister.

    He never suggested he would step down. But the chorus of criticism over his sectarian policies, which helped create the conditions that led to a large swath of the country falling to Islamic extremists, had left many believing that lacking supporters, he might relinquish power.

    They appear to have underestimated his desire to hold on to it.

    “I will not give up my candidacy for a third term,” Mr. Maliki announced in a statement read on Iraqiya, the state television channel.

    He noted that the bloc of lawmakers that supported his nomination was the largest in the Parliament and that they should not be asked to meet any conditions imposed by other legislative groups, such as supporting another different candidate

    Suggesting he was akin to a soldier who does not desert the battlefield, Mr. Maliki said he would “defend Iraq and its people” against “terrorists,” a reference to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Sunni extremists who have taken control of many cities in the north and west of the country including Mosul, the country’s second-largest urban area....

    Mr. Maliki’s language, which had an almost messianic tone, suggested he would prove difficult to dislodge and that the negotiations over forming a new government could drag on for weeks, if not months.

    His statement defied not just other lawmakers but also Iraq’s senior Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who on Friday said the Parliament’s inability to form a government at its first meeting on Tuesday was a “disappointing failure.”

    Speaking through his representative, Ahmed al-Safi, Ayatollah Sistani said that Iraq’s politicians must form a government “rapidly” and adhere to the constitutional schedule which calls for a complete government to be in place by mid-August. Most important, the ayatollah’s representative said, the government must reflect “national consensus.”

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. The purpose of the blog is not to support anonymous attacks on regular posters. You want to do that, start your own blog. See how that works out. Get used to it.

  33. You ever been to Sandpoint, Miss T ?

    Only passing through, to and from Newport to Libby, Troy, Kalispell, and points beyond. Husband's aunt lives in Columbia Falls. This bridge is at Kootenay Falls.

  34. I am long APPL January 2016 deep in the money calls for the last six months

    Apple has hired a top sales executive from Swiss luxury-watch maker Tag Heuer, as the iPhone and iPad maker purportedly gears up for an October launch of a smartwatch.

    Jean-Claude Biver, head of watch brands at luxury-goods conglomerate LVMH, which counts Tag Heuer among its subsidiaries, told CNBC on Friday that Apple had signed on Tag Heuer's sales director. A later report in Apple-focused publication 9to5Mac cited an unnamed source in identifying the new hire as Patrick Pruniaux, Tag Heuer's vice president of sales and retail. Reuters later confirmed.

    "If it had been a direct competitor, I would have felt a bit betrayed, but if he goes to Apple I think it is a great experience for him," CNBC quoted Biver as saying. Biver also told Reuters that Swiss watchmakers would have to keep an eye on Apple.

    1. I'd be short Apple myself, Samsung is eating their lunch on phones and slabs, this watch is a gimmick. Microsoft, however, will pull their collective dummkopfs out of their hinterns and push out Windows 9, which will be a hit like 7, so I'd go long on MSFT.

    2. My options are up 115% and I have no intention of selling them yet.

  35. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    Too bad you can't do that on non-holidays, Deuce. That crap is standard for around here.

  36. If you will recall, the CBO predicted that several million people would take advantage of the availability of Obamacare, and choose to work fewer hours.

    I think that is what we're seeing with the spike in "Part-Time for Non-Economic Reasons."

    It's the only hypothesis that I can come up with that even remotely "fits the data."

    1. So it's like calories on your birthday, they don't count.

    2. They're interesting.

      I don't know how "fattening" they are.

    3. .

      I have my theory, and it is based on something the CBO "said would happen." But, I don't know how to set about proving it. Yet.

      I knew you wouldn't be able to keep it to yourself for long.



    4. Didn't mean to - got on an NCIS Binge. :)

  37. .

    1984 Redux

    On July 4th, the United States will celebrate Independence Day once again. But who in the world are we trying to kid? Our founders intended to create a society where freedom and liberty would be maximized, but that is not what America looks like today. Instead, we live in a country that literally has millions of laws, rules and regulations. We have a government that is obsessed with spying on the entire planet and that tries to watch, monitor, track and record as much information about all of us as it possibly can. A “Big Brother” surveillance grid is being constructed all around us, and our militarized police are becoming more brutal with each passing day. Sadly, most Americans don’t seem too alarmed by any of this. In fact, a new Gallup survey has found that 79 percent of Americans are “satisfied” with the level of freedom in this nation. That is a very alarming statistic.

    If most people believe that everything is “just fine”, then our leaders are going to feel free to keep doing the same things that they have been doing.

    That is why it is so frustrating that so many American “sheeple” appear to be so apathetic about the loss of our freedoms and our liberties.

    But it was not all bad news in the Gallup survey. Let’s take a look at the good news first…

    More From Gallup and a Little Editorializing


  38. Good old American Bullshit doesn’t quite sell as well as it used to, but our ruling class keeps trying:

    Edward Snowden should have right to legal defense in US, says Hillary Clinton

    Former secretary of state tells Guardian that NSA whistleblower should return to US if he is serious in engaging in debate
    Share 241

    The Guardian, Friday 4 July 2014 11.22 EDT

    The former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has said Edward Snowden should have the right to launch a legal and public defense of his decision to leak top-secret documents if he returns to the United States.

    "If he wishes to return knowing he would be held accountable and also able to present a defence, that is his decision to make," Clinton said in a video interview with the Guardian on Friday.

    Snowden, who is currently in Russia where he has been afforded temporary asylum, has been charged with three separate violations of the US Espionage Act. These charges include stealing government property and sharing classified documents with the Guardian and the Washington Post.

    The broadly worded law makes no distinction between a spy and a whistleblower and affords Snowden almost no recourse to a defence.

    The former NSA employee is likely to face a number of additional charges should he return to the US.

    Who the hell does she think believes any of that bullshit? They will throw him in a Super-max, locked down for twenty three hours a day till he is so fucking crazy that he will agree to anything including a plea for 25 ore years in another Super-max.


  39. Hillary Clinton - Partner of Bill, two paragons of virtue and the all-American way.

  40. Anyone who believes in American justice is a fool.

  41. I just finished watching a fine, patriotic war movie - Sgt. York.

    Which, wonder of wonders, coincidence of coincidences, just happened to come out in 1941.

    Amazin', eh?

  42. Yeah, those old "Founders" were all about Freedom, eh. I bet they ALL freed their Slaves; anybody got a list of those who did?

    And, they gave the women the right to vote, didn't they?

    And, they would have never dreamed of discriminating against the indigenous people, or, god forbid, those not of the heterosexual persuasion.

    Yeah, we're so much less free, today.

    1. In the epistles to the Romans and in 1 Peter the Apostles, speaking for God, said it was wrong to disobey the worldly powers, for they were anointed of God. If our founders did as God commanded, then we wouldn't be celebrating a holiday today. Later, there are a big tussle because people read passages such as Exodus 21:21 that said, “but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property”.

    2. "Go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant -- they're quite clear -- that we would create law based on the God of the bible and the Ten Commandments." (Sarah Palin, May 6, 2010)

    3. John Adams: “The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” (Treaty of Tripoli, 1797)

      Thomas Jefferson: “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.” (Letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814)

      James Madison: “The civil government … functions with complete success … by the total separation of the Church from the State.” (Writings, 8:432, 1819)

      George Washington: “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” (Letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789)

  43. .

    WRT the question asked at the top of the steam, 4th of July - Why Washington DC gets away with being Washington DC ,

    How about the Cloward-Piven Strategy? It is a conspiracy theory (or is it?) designed to give give old Doug a tingle up his leg.

    In the mid-sixties at the height of the “social revolution” the line between democratic benevolence and outright communism became rather blurry. The Democratic Party, which controlled the presidency and both houses of Congress, was used as the springboard by social engineers to introduce a new era of welfare initiatives enacted in the name of “defending the poor”, also known as the “Great Society Programs”. These initiatives, however, were driven by far more subversive and extreme motivations, and have been expanded on by every presidency since, Republican and Democrat alike.

    At Columbia University, sociologist professors Richard Cloward and Francis Fox Piven introduced a political strategy in 1966 in an article entitled 'The Weight Of The Poor: A Strategy To End Poverty'. This article outlined a plan that they believed would eventually lead to the total transmutation of America into a full-fledged centralized welfare state (in other words, a collectivist enclave). The spearpoint of the Cloward-Piven strategy involved nothing less than economic sabotage against the U.S.

    Theoretically, according to the doctrine, a condition of overwhelming tension and strain could be engineered through the overloading of American welfare rolls, thereby smothering the entitlement program structure at the state and local level. The implosion of welfare benefits would facilitate a massive spike in poverty and desperation, creating a financial crisis that would lead to an even greater cycle of demand for a fully socialized system. This desperation would then “force” the federal government to concentrate all welfare programs under one roof, nationalize and enforce a socialist ideology, and ultimately, compact an immense level of power into the hands of a select few.

    Cloward and Piven claimed that this could be accomplished at a grassroots level through community activism, and, that it would facilitate a more compassionate federal authority, however, there are numerous problems with these assertions.

    The Cloward-Piven Strategy has nothing to do with grassroots activism, and accomplishes nothing tangible for the downtrodden poverty class. In fact, I would dare to say that Cloward and Piven as well as most social engineers are well aware that the concept ultimately only serves to give even more dominance to the establishment and pilfer even more freedom from the masses...

    Ten years ago I wouldn't have given this idea a moments thought. Yet in that 10 years, having seen what I have seen, I have become much more open to conspiracy theories.


    1. .

      Only a naif would believe that Obamacare was ever intended as anything but a stepping stone to single payer; states have typically become strapped from paying for unfunded mandates coming from the Feds, we've seen the explosion of welfare programs just in the past few years, food stamps, Medicaid, unemployment benefits; the latest issues with immigration; etc.

      Even if Cloward-Piven isn't happening by intent, it appears to be happening in practice.