“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."

Thursday, October 02, 2014

So what's the most important story of the day?

Take your pick.


  1. Hong Kong protests continue amid Beijing 'chaos' warning

    HONG KONG — Crowds swelled, police prepared more riot gear and tensions rose Thursday night, as a midnight deadline for a threatened occupation of government buildings by pro-democracy demonstrators approached.

    Student leaders of the protest seeking free elections for the city vowed to occupy the government headquarters unless Hong Kong's top leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying resigned. Leung has refused to do so.

    Earlier Thursday, scuffles broke out as protesters tried to prevent police from moving what appeared to be tear gas and rubber bullets into the besieged government headquarters.

    Hong Kong's police spokesman, Chief Superintendent Hui Chun-tak, did not rule out the use of tear gas and promised to use "appropriate force" if the situation escalated Thursday night, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported.

    Police would "not tolerate any illegal surrounding of government buildings", he said. The government called on the protest to end to allow 3,000 government officers to return to work Friday after a two-day holiday marking the 65th anniversary of the Communist Party's rule over China.

    Police had used tear gas and pepper spray Sunday night to disperse protesters, a move that promoted even more demonstrators to turn out in subsequent days. Since then, police have shown restraint, and the demonstrators have been peaceful and orderly, even picking up their litter.

    In an effort to shift the protests, which have paralyzed business districts in this financial hub, the government offered a playground as an alternative protest venue. "If Occupy Central organizers agree to call on participants to move to the Macpherson Playground, we will talk to [them] and hope to make space for them," the Undersecretary for Home Affairs, Florence Hui Hiu-fai said Thursday, the Morning Post reported.

    Such a move seemed unlikely to succeed. The leaders of the three main campaign groups -- Occupy Central with Love and Peace, the Federation of Hong Kong Students and Scholarism –- told news media and massed ranks of protesters that supporters must stay united and prepare for a long fight. They also warned seniors and children to stay away from government offices for their own safety.

    The protests were sparked when the government in Beijing issued rules that required its approval for candidates running for chief executive in 2017, which would be the first democratic election of the city's leader. Protesters charged that Beijing was reneging on its promise of a totally free election in Hong Kong, which has operated with more personal liberties than the rest of China after the former British colony was turned over to China in 1997.

    Some protesters said the authorities are hoping the mass civil disobedience movement will fizzle out as people return to work or class. "The police want to let us collapse automatically, rather than using force to suppress us," said Patrick Tang, 21, an English student at Hong Kong's City University.

    1. "We need important action," such as entering government offices, "but in a peaceful and well-mannered way, so mainland media have no excuse to pick on us," said Tang, as he listened to one of many open-air democracy forums underway Thursday in the occupied streets of the Admiralty district.

      "The concern of me and everybody I think is that the campaign will decrease in size and eventually fail," said Wong Chifai, 22, a construction consultant. "I want more people to join, and stay as long as they can, so we can bring down the economy and force the government to talk to us."

      Social worker Remus Kwok, 34, who has been both protesting for the past five days, said the demonstrations have made citizens here "angry and disappointed" at the lack of democratic reforms. "I don't think the government will change anything, but now more Hong Kong people care about society and politics, so this is already a success," he said.

      One protester disagreed with the student leaders' threat to occupy government buildings."Getting into a confrontation with police doesn't seem peaceful to me," said Wilson Yip, 22, a recent university graduate. "If they try to force themselves inside and confront police, I don't see what kind of point that would make. It may make fewer people support the protests."

      In a commentary published Thursday in the People's Daily, the official publication of China's Communist Party, Beijing warned of "chaos" and expressed strong support for Hong Kong's chief executive and the police handling of the protests.

      News coverage of the protests have been all but blacked out except for critical commentaries and censors have blocked online searches and social media to prevent the demonstrators from spreading their message to the mainland.

  2. Fiscal austerity has put Europe back into Recession.

    1. Risk of third German recession pressures Europe

      LONDON (CNNMoney)
      Germany risks slipping into its third recession since the global financial crisis, piling pressure on Europe to do more to stimulate its stagnant economy.

      Tensions with Russia, slowing global growth and falling consumer confidence mean the region's biggest economy struggled to grow in the past three months, and may turn out to have shrunk for a second quarter running.

      The mood among German businesses has sunk to its lowest level since April 2013, and expectations for the next six months are the weakest they've been since December 2012.

      Across the eurozone as a whole, data released Monday showed that economic sentiment dipped in September for a fourth month in a row.

    2. Germany Is Refusing To Boost Europe For 3 Primary Reasons

      PARIS (Reuters) – Europe’s growth locomotive is on strike.

      With the euro zone economy stuck in a rut despite European Central Bank efforts to pump money into the system, pressure is mounting for Germany to use its healthy budget position to boost public investment, stimulate demand and spur growth.

      The answer from Chancellor Angela Merkel so far is an adamant “nein”, spelled out firmly to visiting French Prime Minister Manuel Valls last week.

      If her refusal is final, rather than a tactic to extract more reforms from European partners, it could dash the prospects of a three-way grand bargain sketched by ECB President Mario Draghi to revive the European economy.

      That could tip the euro zone back into another recession, worsen unemployment and fuel political radicalism.

      The International Monetary Fund, the ECB, the European Commission, the United States and euro zone partners are all pleading with Berlin to use what economists call its “fiscal space” to stimulate the economy through tax cuts and investment in ageing road, rail, energy and telecommunications networks.

      German officials acknowledge privately that the country has an investment gap, both public and private. It spends less than half as much of its economic output – just 1.6 per cent – on public investment as France or Sweden, less even than Greece.

      Yet the government is determined to stick to its balanced budget strategy, moving faster into surplus than planned, even though its own economy shows signs of slipping into the stagnation already gripping France and Italy.

      There are political, cultural and economic reasons for the refusal to loosen the purse-strings when most economists think Germany could afford to do so.

    3. Berlin makes three main arguments:

      1) Germany is determined to set an example by meeting its fiscal targets and running the first balanced federal budget since 1969 with no borrowing. The credibility of the euro zone depends on governments sticking to their commitments.

      2) Germany has less fiscal space than outsiders understand because it has an ageing, shrinking population and needs to run surpluses to meet future pension and healthcare liabilities.

      3) The euro zone’s economic problem is largely one of supply rather than demand. Structural reforms of labour markets, legal systems, pensions and welfare to improve competitiveness are the only way to achieve a sustainable recovery. More public spending financed by debt would ease the pressure to make those changes.

      Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble spelled out a stonewall response in presenting the 2015 budget to parliament on Sept. 9: “We must not allow ourselves to entertain the illusion that we can solve our problems using more and more public funds and ever higher deficits.”

      There's more to read, go get it, if you have an interest.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Latest texting apps required gear for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong

    Student protesters raise their hands to show their non-violent intentions as they resist during change of shift for local police but backed down after being reassured they could reoccupy the pavement outside the government compound’s gate, Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014 in Hong Kong. Hong Kong police warned of serious consequences if pro-democracy protesters try to occupy government buildings, as they have threatened to do if the territory's leader doesn't resign by Thursday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E) (The Associated Press)

    A pro-government supporter, center, argues with pro-democracy protesters during a rally in Hong Kong, Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014. Shops in Hong Kong have closed and the local stock market has plunged but protesters are gambling their agitation for greater democracy will pay off by preserving institutions that made this former British colony a profitable asset to China. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu) (The Associated Press)

    HONG KONG – Just as protesters in Egypt depended on Twitter three years ago, the latest digital tools have become required gear for tens of thousands of people demanding democratic reforms on the streets of Hong Kong.

    Many of the demonstrators are glued to the smartphone app FireChat, which lets them communicate even if cellphone networks jam or go down. The protesters just have to turn on their Bluetooth connections within 70 meters (230 feet) from anyone else using the app to see the messages sent by the entire chat group, creating a daisy-chain effect.

    Cellphone networks and websites continue to work normally in Hong Kong, although protesters ran into slow network connections this week when trying to use their devices at the same time.

    FireChat was reportedly downloaded 100,000 times by users in Hong Kong in just 24 hours earlier this week.

    Frances Siu said she learned about FireChat via social media and quickly downloaded it before joining protesters in the city's tense streets.

    "I downloaded it mainly because we are worried the mobile network might be interfered with," said Siu, a 25-year-old nurse. "I don't use it much now, but it's there if I need to."

    Website developer Amy Ho said she was using the app to figure out where to go and what to bring protesters.

    "If this is your first time entering the Causeway Bay protest site and are unsure where the supply stations are, the app will share that information," Ho said.

    Protest leaders, meanwhile, have turned to another messaging app, called Telegram, which depends on a network to operate but encrypts messages.

  5. ‘Internal affair’: Beijing warns foreign countries not to meddle in Hong Kong

    China’s foreign minister made it clear Beijing would not allow other countries to meddle into its ‘internal affairs’, responding in this way to US Secretary of State’s call for Beijing to grant Hong Kong the “highest possible degree of autonomy.”

    The American and the Chinese heads of foreign offices exchanged their views on the massive protests in Hong Kong before their talks at the US State Department on Wednesday.

    "Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said
    . “All countries should respect China's sovereignty. And this is also a basic principle governing international relations. I believe for any country, for any society, no one will allow those illegal acts that violate public order.”

    Wang added he believed the current Hong Kong leadership was able to handle the large-scale sit-ins by itself.

    The remark was made after US Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated Washington’s support for “universal suffrage” in Hong Kong, the main demand put forward by protesters in the Asian financial hub.

    "We support universal suffrage in Hong Kong accordant with the Basic Law, and we believe in open society with the highest possible degree of autonomy and governed by rule of law is essential for Hong Kong's stability and prosperity,"
    Kerry said.

    Wang Yi received the same message from Barack Obama, whom he met later the same day, according to a White House statement about the meeting.

    "The United States has consistently supported the open system that is essential to Hong Kong's stability and prosperity, universal suffrage, and the aspiration of the Hong Kong people," the statement reads.

    Protesters in Hong Kong have been demanding election reform. They’re against the central government’s August decision to only allow Beijing-approved nominees run for the city’s leader post in the next election in 2017.

    1. Sunday’s massive crackdown on thousands of protesters, when police use of tear gas, pepper spray and baton charges did not lead to a dispersal of the crowds. What it did inspire is more anger with Hong Kong's current leader, Leung Chun-ying, with protesters starting to demand his resignation.

      On Wednesday, a leader of the pro-reform protests warned the demonstrators were ready to occupy government buildings if the city’s chief didn’t step down by the end of Thursday.

      An unnamed government source close to Leung says Hong Kong's chief executive is ready to wait for weeks for the protests to quiet down.

      "Unless there's some chaotic situation, we won't send in riot police... We hope this doesn't happen," the source told Reuters. "We have to deal with it peacefully, even if it lasts weeks or months."

      Rally participants, angered by police’s actions, tried to block their way. The city’s authorities issued a statement, urging protesters to quickly disperse.

      "The government and the police appeal to those who are gathering outside the police headquarters, CGO [central government offices] and CEO [Chief Executive's office] not to block the access there and to disperse peacefully as soon as possible," the statement said, as cited by AFP.

      Students began their sit-ins on September 22. Within a few days they were supported by leaders of the broader Occupy Central civil movement, turning the protest into one of the city's largest rallies in decades.

      The #OccupyCentral hashtag has eventually gone viral online with umbrellas, used by the rally participants to cover themselves from tear gas and pepper spray becoming symbols of the protest.

  6. ...eight old guys who get together daily for eight years... There are 100 if you count DR's many masks.

    1. It's all about the other characters, when the Israelis are on the wrong side of history.
      When the truth is discussed, the Zionists want to change the subject.
      But since he wants to talk about it ...

      Israel prefers Daesh (al-Qeada) in Syria, over the Alawites, Christians and their Kurdish allies

      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.

  7. Bombs slam into Islamic State stronghold on Iraq-Syria border

    RABIA, Iraq - Cheers erupted as the bomb dropped.

    Whistling rang out here on the Syrian border from the earthen mounds built up by Kurdish peshmerga bulldozers as everyone stared at the billowing smoke, waiting for it to clear so they could assess the damage.

    The British Royal Air Force (RAF) had bombed the Islamic State's last position in the Syria-Iraq border town of Rabia: an unfinished hospital where 30 militants are holed up, Alamo-style. Surrounded by 1,500 Kurdish troops, these are the remnants of an alleged 400-man force Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS, had sent to Rabia.

    According to Kurdish fighters, 50 Islamic State members had been killed during the past day of fighting while the rest fled across the border to Syria or moved east towards their stronghold of Mosul. Over the past twenty-four hours, airstrikes from the U.S.-led coalition have given cover to the Kurds as they began a push to retake a swath of land, including Rabia, snaking across the ever-important Northern Iraq-Syria border.

    1. On the ground, however, the airstrike quickly became a source of confusion.

      Not long after the dust had quite literally settled on the RAF bombing witnessed by USA TODAY Wednesday, Colonel Abdel Jaber Jamal, a deputy commander for one of the two infantry divisions deployed to Rabia, and Captain Dilshad Dawud, a scout for airstrike locations, disagreed over the provenance of the strike.

      "It was the Americans," insisted Col. Jamal, based on a hunch.

      "It was the British," countered Capt. Dawud, going off a rumor.

      Neither had spoken directly to anyone from the coalition forces, and neither was quite sure whether what they said was true. Nor could anyone else offer much certainty. Brigadier Hamid Hashim, the lead commander of Col. Jamal's division, for instance, claimed that, not only was this a British strike, but he had been in contact with a pilot who "had a woman's voice."

      The building the 30 Islamic State militants are trapped in sits in the center of town, which was rocked by the explosion. Within the next hour, a fire-fight broke out between the peshmerga - which literally means "those who confront death" and is the term used by Kurds to refer to their fighters - and what jihadis who remained in the unfinished hospital complex. Occasionally, the thud of a tank shell can be heard.

  8. The German 10yr is paying less than 1%.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Heavy fighting on Iraq-Syria border

      Heavy fighting has been reported across a key border crossing between Iraq and Syria, where Kurdish forces are battling Islamic State militants.Heavy fighting has been reported across a key border crossing between Iraq and Syria, where Kurdish forces are battling Islamic State militants.

      Iraqi Kurdish troops are said to have recaptured the town of Rabia, but suffered heavy casualties.

      Meanwhile, IS fighters have been trying to dislodge Syrian Kurdish forces on the other side of the border.

      It comes amid continuing air strikes by a US-led coalition on IS targets both in Syria and Iraq.

      Information from Kurdish sources suggests Tuesday's strikes by two British Tornado jets helped the Kurds retake an "important border crossing" at Rabia, says the BBC's Clive Myrie in Irbil, northern Iraq.

      These were the first British raids on IS targets.

      The Israeli proxy in Syrian, Daesh, is getting spanked.
      allen thought they had 'Blitzkrieg" down pat and were unstoppable, but no ....

      Close Air Support, it makes all the difference.

  10. The most important story may turn out to be that the Sunni Tribe in Rabia joined in with the Kurds.

    1. As for individual battles, that Rabia battle has to be way and above the most important, to date.

      If the Iraqi army can ever get over to that Southern crossing, and secure it, the headcutters will be cut off.

      And, that's a bad situation for a "guerilla" force to be in.

    2. The Kurds, they're Sunni Muslims, too.

      For the most part.

      The majority of Kurds today are Muslim, belonging to the Shafi school of Sunni Islam, distinguishing them in the region, (and to a much lesser degree, the Hanafi) Schools of Sunni Islam. - Wiki

    3. If the incursion of the Israeli proxy force, the Daesh, into Iraq unifies that country's disparate political groups, instead of further fragmenting it ...

      The Israeli will have suffered another defeat.

      What is "Occupation"Mon Jul 21, 09:33:00 PM EDT
      If there is one Hamas member still alive and spitting? Israel lost…

    4. hmm, I never thought about that. Of course, they're also allied up with the Shia Persians, aren't they?

    5. Pretty slick dudes, those Kurds. :)

    6. Udaho Bob never mentions he wants US troops to fight and die, to protect the Sunni Muslims of Iraq, does he?
      He uses "spin" to obscure the reality that the Kurds are an Iranian people (Wiki sources) that are Sunni Muslims.

      He wants the youth of the United States to be bled out, US treasure spent, fighting for people that have the capability to do it themselves, with just a little assistance from their friends, in the US and Iran.

      We are not about to send American boys 9 or 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves. - Lyndon B. Johnson

      LBJ should have listened to himself.
      Mr Obama should heed LBJ's words, and so should Hedaho Bob.

      I guess we could say that Hedaho Bob did heed the words of LBJ, and that's why he became a Draft Dodger.

    7. Rufus IIThu Oct 02, 10:55:00 AM EDT
      Pretty slick dudes, those Kurds. :)

      I've heard that somewhere before: I wonder where? :-)

    8. Maybe from Bill Clinton, he was described as being a "Slick Willie", and recognized those traits in others?

  11. This is NOT a prediction. The Ebola patient WAS symptomatic when among turned out of the hospital in Texas. That is bad!

    1. It is said he came into contact with about 80 people, before he went back to the hospital.

    2. Because he was symptomatic, the numbers of contact points could be exponential. Everything and everyone he touched is contaminated.

      I saw 80 as well, but I have also seen the admission that no one knows with absolute certainty. A major problem is stated above: every doorknob he touched , e.g., is a contact point and will remain potentially lethal for at least three weeks.


  13. Another major Cartel leader in Mexico has been arrested.

    Hector Beltran Leyva was captured today during a federal military operation.
    (Mexican Federals, not US, another illustration that America is made up of two multinational continents)

    He is leader of the Beltrán Leyva Cartel. He is the brother of Arturo Beltrán Leyva.

    There was a 5 Million dollar reward offered by the US for information leading to his capture, and Mexico's offer was 30 Million pesos. (2.5usd)

    Beltran had alliances both with the Juarez Cartel and Los Zetas.

  14. The big story may be the most mundane:

    How solar ‘socket’ parity took the world by surprise

    By Giles Parkinson
    One graph in the International Energy Agency’s latest Solar Roadmap report highlights how the dramatic cost reductions in rooftop solar PV has caught the world by surprise – and caused the likes of the IEA to revisit their forecasts, and for incumbent industries to review their business models.

    Four years ago, when the IEA did its last major Solar Roadmap report, socket parity (where the cost of rooftop solar is competitive with electricity from the grid) was just a distant dream – or so it seemed.

    As this chart below shows, in 2010 the LCOE of rooftop solar (indicated in blue) was far above the variable rates of grid-based electricity. But in just three years, the LCOE (now in green) had caught up.

    iea socket parityIt is for this reason that the IEA has had to double its forecast installation of solar PV over coming decades. Most of this is due to “socket parity”, where the IEA says rooftop solar is “unbeatable” by other technologies. It says rooftop solar will account for half of all solar PV installations out to 2050.

    Some analysts think that the IEA is still being conservative, and may have to raise its forecasts again. But the stationary energy industry is not the only one to feel the pinch from the plunging price of solar PV, which has fallen around 60 per cent in the last three years.

    This graph, which we have published before, and which its authors, the US investment firm Alliance Bernstein, dubbed the “terror dome,” shows the comparative trajectories of solar PV and liquid fuels, previously considered untouchable by solar.

  15. With solar parity, meaning that solar power is cost competitive with power on the grid and then again competitive with the wholesale cost of grid power, politics changes.

    1. The thing is, fossil fuel prices will fluctuate, but over time, they will rise. Solar (and Wind, to some extent) will fall.

    2. The German village of Feldheim claims to be the first and only energy-independent village in the world. I’m quite positive there are villages in the developing world that are completely energy independent, so I’ll just take that to mean that it is the first energy-independent village in the developed world… (unless there are actually some energy-independent ecovillages out there).

      Anyhow, the is definitely the first energy-independent village in Germany, and one of the first in the modern world. The village does not use coal, natural gas, or nuclear energy in any way.

      Note, however, that this does not included transportation, as villagers do use conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. The marketing is really a bit loose with the term “energy” when it actually means “electricity and heat.”

      Other than for transportation purposes, though, the only things this village uses for energy are what nature provides to it within 5-7 kilometers. The village has its own microgrid and does not take electricity from the German grid at all.

      Everything started in 1995 when a student traveled around Brandenburg with a . . . .

      The article goes on to tell how much money they're saving (a lot,) and how the Big Utilities have fought them.

      Off Grid

  16. DROUGHT COVERS 100% OF CA........drudge

    Neat drought map.

    The Southwest and California have been droughty for a considerable number of years.

    What's up with this?

    Lake Mead is getting so low Las Vegas is worried...o my, the swimming pool darling....

    1. Though I hear Phoenix had a little shower recently.

  17. I think California gets its best rain during good, strong El Ninos - which we haven't seen, recently.

    “For years, Ankara has been tolerating the rise of the extremist Islamic State. But now that the jihadists are conquering regions just across the border in northern Syria, concern is growing that Islamist terror could threaten Turkey too.”

    This article is a snow job. Turkey has “supported” attacks against al-Assad’s government and that of Shia dominated Iraq. I do not believe Turkey is very concerned about “Islamist terror” inside Turkey, at the moment. Realistically, why should it?

    Are Turkish officials being assassinated?
    Are Turkish officials, military members, or citizens being kidnapped?
    Are car-bombs and suicide bombers attacking targets within Turkey?
    Have Turkish villages, towns, and cities been invested?
    Are Turkey’s Christians and their enclaves and places of worship being threatened?
    Does Turkey have an active rebellion going on within its borders?
    Has Turkish infrastructure and/or industry been the target of sabotage?
    Has Turkey’s border been breached by hostile combatants?

    No, and there is an obvious explanation for Turkey’s good fortune: even “Islamists” – a regurgitative term, if ever there were – do not bite the hand that both feeds them and could slap them down.

    Mr. Aragon is wisely and quietly feeding the fires that are consuming potential challengers on every side. When he believes that all sides are sufficiently bled, he will play his hand, whatever that may be. At the very least, I believe he wants al-Assad dead, Syria reduced to a malleable, de facto province, and the Kurds weakened and contained. He wishes to remain a member in good standing -- a low bar -- within NATO and should have no problem attaining that goal. Ultimately, he wants to see Turkey as the undisputed dominate Sunni power from the Mediterranean Sea to Baghdad; from the Bosporus to the Golan.

    For the better part of four centuries, the Ottoman Empire and the Persian Empire “peacefully” maintained a somewhat fluid but recognizable boundary, in part within present day Iraq. Mr. Erdogan could live with that. As a NATO member, Turkey believes it has much less to fear from a nuclear armed Iran than, say, Israel or the Arabian Peninsula.

  19. Sources: DOJ won’t file civil-rights charges against George Zimmerman for shooting Trayvon Martin
    Oct 2, 2014 11:21 AM by Allahpundit

    Told ja, ninner, ninner, ninner...........

    1. So your claims that Obama and Holder were racists ... were and are without foundation.

    2. You just posted the truth of that
      Tasty pudding, or bittersweet?

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. .

      So your claims that Obama and Holder were racists ... were and are without foundation.

      The tortured logic of rat-world expressed in a single sentence dimitiated with ellipsis.


    5. If Obama and Holder were racists, they would have prosecuted the boy, regardless of the evidence, just because they could.
      That they have not, illustrates the reality, they are not 'real' racists.

      Not the kind that would use the power of the State to further their hate or ideology, or popularity with their constituents.

    6. The fact you need it explained to you, Quirk, is telling.

      You don' get the jokes and can't draw a concluion beyond what your told

    7. .

      If Obama and Holder were racists, they would have prosecuted the boy, regardless of the evidence, just because they could.

      The tortured logic of rat-world expressed in another single sentence this time sans ellipsis.


    8. .

      Face it, rat, when you take the time to detail your thought processes, you merely dig the hole a little deeper.



    9. Nah, your limitations are not my concern

  20. Senate races :

    Alaska is as good as gone to the Pubs.

    Same with Iowa.

    There's even a chance for New Hampshire.

    North Carolina ?

    1. Looks like the GOP is losing Kansas, who'd have thought.
      Orman - 46.3
      Roberts - 41.0
      Orman +5.3

  21. An interesting addendum to the "Renewables vs. Fossil Fuel" story

    Oil, and Ethanol, Refineries use a lot of Natural Gas.

    Cellulosic Ethanol Refineries use None. They derive enough energy from the feedstock residue to not only power the plants, but to also have an excess to sell.

  22. Idaho Vandals
    0-4, 11th in Sun Belt
    Saturday, October 4, 4:00 PM on ESP3
    Jim Wacker Field at Bobcat Stadium, San Marcos, Texas



    Texas State

    There was an interesting item just recently in the local news here. The Idaho Potato Truck has been found in a wheat field near the Coeur d Alene Casino near Worley, Idaho. As you might recall it was driven off the football field during an exciting moment in the game when security was distracted by some whack job in a Vandal jersey and huge Joe Vandal mask.

    A note was found attached to the steering wheel which read:

    Ha Ha Ha
    Your ignorant rural rubes
    I could steal the entire Kibby Dome with all of you inside it and none or you morons would notice.


    City Boy Q

    1. Needless to say Idaho will get slaughtered by Texas State but I might as well say it anyway.

  23. WikiLeaks Founder Fires NSA Data Accusations At Google's Eric Schmidt

    Assange's book, "When Google Met WikiLeaks", found its place on bookstore shelves Wednesday, the day after Schmidt's latest book, "How Google Works".

    The Huffington Post reports that in June 2011, Schmidt -- Google CEO at the time -- met Assange at a cottage in England for a long conversation. Schmidt may not have expected this, but Assange would use the conversation as material for a book of his own, per HuffPo reporter Ryan Grim. The book highlights Google's cooperative relationship with the U.S. government in terms of privacy, mass surveillance and Internet freedom.

    It points back to Assange's allegations that Google collaborates with the National Security Administration (NSA). ...

    Up to 100 possibly exposed to U.S. Ebola patient; four isolated

      How Contagious the Deadly Ebola Virus is Compared to 5 Other Major Viruses in One Clear Chart

      ... interesting ...

    Turkey approves military operations against 'IS' in Syria and Iraq

    If or when Turkey deploys, will it hit first al-Assad or IS? Yesterday, I saw some reporting on a Syrian army advance, using the cover of Allied airstrikes.

    Dowager Duchess of Devonshire - obituary


  27. allenThu Oct 02, 10:12:00 AM EDT
    ...eight old guys who get together daily for eight years... There are 100 if you count DR's many masks.

    … what a strange lot, indeed … never knowing if absence is by choice or death … having ones last thought be: I wonder what ever happened to that guy … Is there a neat psychological bracket for such a dysfunction fraternity – a weird oxymoron, to be sure … bizarre? … or just some old men with time and lots of opinions and tales to be told …

    Syria's army goes on the offensive as U.S. bombs Assad's foes

  29. In addition to everything else, this ISIS outfit seems to have perfected the slowest "blitzkrieg" in the history of warfare.

    They've been "5 or 6" kilometers from Kobani for approx. one year, now, and have been "steadily advancing" the whole time.

    (the last couple of weeks they have been "steadily advancing despite the U.S. bombing," although they seem to be just about where they were a year ago.)

    Them ISIS. They is military brainiacs.

    1. They don't call 'em "Daesh for Cash", for nothin'.


    3. .

      And yet, the citizens of Kobane continue to leave, most heading for Turkey.


    4. .


  30. US in bind as Palestinians push UN resolution demanding broad Israeli withdrawal

    U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power said on Tuesday that Washington's position remains that a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be reached through negotiations. Several Arab diplomats have told Fox News that they expect U.S. opposition to the text. They say, however, that if Washington vetoes the resolution it will isolate the United States in world opinion. The United States is one of five permanent, veto-holding members of the Security Council.

    Despite the U.S. position, the Obama administration nevertheless issued a striking rebuke of Israel on Wednesday just hours after President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met at the White House. U.S. officials warned Israel that plans for a controversial new housing project in East Jerusalem would distance Israel from "even its closest allies" and raise questions about its commitment to seeking peace with Palestinians.

    The new resolution calls for Israel to return all territory seized since the 1967 Six-Day War, a condition that Israel has not agreed to in any of the recent U.S.-backed peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. Netanyahu has argued that ongoing rocket attacks from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, as well as Israel's relatively small amount of territory, make it too perilous for his government to accept a return to the pre-1967 borders.

    Jordan, as the Arab Group's representative on the Security Council, would be charged with introducing the resolution.

    The draft calls for intensified efforts, including through negotiations, to reach a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and "a just resolution" of the status of Jerusalem as the capital of two states and of the Palestinian refugee problem.

    1. the Obama administration nevertheless issued a striking rebuke of Israel on Wednesday just hours after President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met at the White House. U.S. officials warned Israel that plans for a controversial new housing project in East Jerusalem would distance Israel from "even its closest allies"

    2. Ain't that gonna be somethin' ...

    3. Funny over 900 of those houses are for Arab citizens of Israel.


    4. A rebuke from Obama is met as praise across the globe by dozens of "allies" of the Americans.

      they do not trust or like obama.

      Rebuke away Hussein Obama.

    5. As more and more of the US comes to realize that ...
      Israel prefers Daesh (al-Qeada) in Syria, over the Alawites, Christians and their Kurdish allies
      Israel would accept al-Qaeda operatives taking power in Syria.

      There will be an ever greater likelihood the US will cut the funding to your Zionist polity.
      That is the objective that some many of US desire to see. That will be success.

      Cut the US funding, close off the loan guarantees.
      Then no one would much care what happens in the "Jewish Portion of Palestine".

    6. It just be another looting parasite "Off the Books".

    7. America needs Israel and Israel needs America. Just because you can't see the partnership doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

      No my anti-Semitic troll of a blog acquaintance, Israel will has learned that Obama is no friend. But unlike you? America solidly backs israel and understands that the Hamas and ISIS are the same islamic nut jobs.


    8. Wrong, again, "O"rdure, the US does not need a parasitic looter.
      Where is Israel, why is it not with US in the fight?
      The answer is clear, your Ambassador told US.

      Israel prefers Daesh (al-Qeada) in Syria, over the Alawites, Christians and their Kurdish allies

      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.

  31. Palestinian envoy: If UN rejects occupation deadline, we'll join International Criminal Court/

    United States expected to veto Palestinian bid for date for Israeli withdrawal at UN Security Council;
    Joining the court would enable the Palestinians to sue key Israelis for war crimes

    That will be very entertaining to watch. It wouldl also limit some folk's international travel plans


    2. The Palestinian rejection of the Camp David and Oslo Accords will be liberating Israel from bullshit formula of land for peace.

      It also will open up the opportunity to prosecute almost every Hamas and Fatah member for war crimes.

      It will be a real pisser for those jet setting Palestinians to be declared international criminals for the hijackings, bus bombings and murders they have done across the globe.

      As for the Israeli's?

      Lots of luck, in winning anything in the ICC.

    3. It'll keep all of the Zionist leadership down on the farm, when the police are out lookin for those criminals when they leave.

    4. Don't hold your breathe.

      It will open up a pandora's box that will cause the ICC to become completely irrelevant.

      Obama, Bush, Blair? Putin? All could be put on "trial" for war crimes.

      But in the end? The Palestinians's unilateral moves are welcome.

      I support their efforts at statehood.

      That way, when they attack, and they will, their will be an address to send the bombs to.


      Time to give the fake nationalistic people what they want. Their own state to fuck up.

      Of course, any attack will be met with territory seizures and the so called "palestinians" will end up real refugees...

      I can hardly wait.

    5. But the truth is, you little piece of "O"rdure, is that your opinion, it just does not matter.
      You are inconsequential to the process. You do not really count, you are just "O"rdure.

    6. What does that mean?
      Nothing, at all.
      Jack Hawkins is a fiction, haven't you realized that, yet?
      desert rat, a figment of your imagination.

      Neither have any meaning, any substance on their own, at all.
      They don't even exist, except in the minds of the reader.
      You are the one that quantifies their very existence
      I just proves, again, how big a piece of "O"rdure, you truly are.

    7. It just proves, again, how big a piece of "O"rdure, you truly are.

    8. .

      Jack Hawkins is a fiction, haven't you realized that, yet?
      desert rat, a figment of your imagination.

      Neither have any meaning, any substance on their own, at all.

      Well heck, rat. I think everyone on the blog knows that.


  32. Gruesome imagery from Mexico, they found one of the missing students mentioned yesterday.

    Body with skinned face is confirmed as being one of the 37 missing normalistas

    1. Now the "Evil Doers" that did that shit, they can walk to the United States.
      It's not a threat for the fear mongers, not the like the faux threat presented by the head choppers across the pond.
      It i a threat that does not advance the Zionist cause, so little wonder it does not make it into the Mainstream US Media.

    2. Ah your friends and business associates south of the border!!!!

      Cant wait for them to visit you on your stolen lands.

    3. They won't be coming here, our little piece of "O"rdure.
      This part of the country is all booked up, cartel wise. The Sinaloa Cartel has AZ & Chi-town locked down.
      These upstarts, they'll be heading into the the 'New Territories, places like Ohio, Idaho, Arkansas ...

    4. The Sinaloa Cartel, it works hand in glove with the US Federals, the DEA, DIA, and other parts of the DC alphabet soup of agencies. Not much to do about, but read the notices in the "News", but that stuff, while published in Mexico, never makes it far in the Mainstream US media. Occasionally some inches in magazines, but not hardly a peep on the telly.

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. They're back!
    The USAF's Much Maligned A-10 Warthogs Are Deploying To Fight ISIS

    Now, Rufus may see his turkey shoot.

    1. Best plane for close air support in the US inventory.

  35. Jews arrived in New Amsterdam (New York) in 1654. Jews, then, had been in the U.S. before it was English and about 250 years before the great migrations to America's shores. How long has this young man's family been in the U.S.?

    This is why Israel and Jews, generally, waste their time arguing about their rights; the world is filled with fools. What Jews can do is arm up.
    Brooklyn coffee shop owner calls Jews ‘greedy infiltrators’ in rant

    1. Aren't the freedoms and liberties afforded to folks in the US just grand !

      No need to be "Politically Correct", if they don't really wanna be.

    2. I appreciate the lack of political correctness from possible adversaries; it signals to me the time to chamber a my first round.

    3. Training is everything, and everything is training" - 193rd Infantry Brigade commander, General K.C. Luer

    4. What? you don't carry chambered?

      i do, get an extra round too..

    5. When your enemy tells you he want to genocide you?

      Believe him.

    6. The Palestinians do believe the words of the Zionists that control a portion of Palestine, "O"rdure.

      Genocidal statement made by Israelis about Palestinians

  36. From Old Girl Friend in Vegas -



    Think this would get their attention?
    Don't forget to mark your calendars.
    As you may already know, it is a sin for a Muslim male to see any woman
    other than his wife naked and if he does, he must commit suicide.
    So next Saturday at 1 p.m. all British women are asked to walk out of
    their house completely naked to help weed out any neighbourhood terrorists.

    Circling your block for one hour is recommended for this anti-terrorist
    All patriotic men are to position themselves in lawn chairs in front of
    their houses to demonstrate their support for the women and to prove that
    they are not Muslim terrorist sympathizers.
    Since Islam also does not approve of alcohol, a cold 6-pack at your side
    is further proof of your patriotism.
    The British government appreciates your efforts to root out terrorists
    and applauds your participation in this anti-terrorist activity.

    God Bless Great Britain !!
    If you don't send this to at least 1 person, you're a
    lily-livered coward and are possibly aiding and abetting terrorists.

  37. SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian fighter jets have been authorised to begin striking Islamic State insurgents in Iraq, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Friday, joining a U.S.-led coalition that aims to roll back . . . . .

    Aussies in

    1. SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian special forces troops will be deployed in Iraq to assist in the fight against Islamic State militants, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Friday, and its aircraft will also join U.S.

      Those boys wear some good boots.

    2. They did in Nam, and that's a fact.

    3. I think I read somewhere, though, that they would be "training."

      Of course, there's training, and then there's "training.."

    4. Now, if we could just get us a couple of battalions of those ROK Marines, this deal would be over 'fore Christmas. :)

    5. The boots are NOT on the ground.

    6. Every mother's son in Vietnam was in complete awe of the Korean Marines. Their discipline made Marine Corps Boot Camp look like a hippie love fest.

    7. They are on their way, Israeli.

    8. I heard that the ROK played soccer, with the heads of VC.

      Can we get a confirmation of that?

    9. We just happen to have an MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) going that way, our damned selves.

      They're calling it some sort of fancy "task force," but it's an MEU.

      You know, as far as "spotters" go, there must be at least a hundred Contractors over there, right now, that could do that job.

    10. Rat, I never saw it;

      But, I sure as hell wouldn't bet against it.

      Hell, they'd play soccer with the head of one of their own if he got caught napping on guard duty (or, even something much less serious than that, I'd imagine.)

      They were spooky. :) Damned fine spooky; but spooky. :)

    11. Their planes, flight crews, mechanics, avionics, ordnance, etc. are already there, and they've been flying support missions - aerial refueling, and whatnot, so they'll probably hit the ground running.

      I wouldn't doubt that they'll have jets in the air, tomorrow.

    12. Colonel Newland Hapersett, back in 1965, deployed to Vietnam with a Battalion of ROK. He may have told me about the soccer. He was in the first group that become "Green Berets", in 1958. He thought the world of ROK soldiers.

  38. CTV News - Islamic State insurgents carried out mass executions, sold women into sex slavery and recruited child fighters, according to a United Nations report that paints a grim picture of the extremist group.

    Which may be the reason that ...
    Israel prefers Daesh (al-Qeada) in Syria, over the Alawites, Christians and their Kurdish allies

    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 (Daesh / ISIS / ISIL) 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.

    1. While in Kurdistan, Iraq ....

      Iran becomes first country to arm Kurds - The Times of Israel

      Iranian forces arrive in Iraq’s Kurdistan

      Iraq FM lauds Iran’s support in fighting terrorism

      Iraq's Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'afari has expressed gratitude to Iran for supporting Baghdad in its fight against terrorism.

      "Iran has provided assistance to Iraq, as have some other countries. This is not a secret and we have to thank them for it," the top Iraqi diplomat said on Wednesday.

      Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Major General Gholam-Ali Rashid said on September 27 that the Islamic Republic was offering military advice to the Iraqi army.

      “Today, some of our commanders are giving [military] advisory assistance to Iraq and its army,” Sepahnews quoted the senior Iranian military official as saying.

      The comments came days after a senior general with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said that Tehran played a pivotal role in defending Iraq's Kurdistan Region against the ISIL terrorist group, noting that the territory could have fallen to Takfiri militants without Iran's support.

      “The ISIL would have captured Iraq’s Kurdistan [Region] if it were not for Iran. General [Qasem] Soleimani [a commander of the IRGC] stopped the ISIL with 70 men and prevented them (militants) from entering [the Kurdish city of] Erbil,”

      So, that may be why Hedaho Bob is so conflicted. The only ones that have rallied to his call to send combat troops to assist the Kurds, has been the "dreaded" Iranians. Bob's world is spinning, become 'topsy turvy'.

      Israel prefers Daesh (al-Qeada) in Syria, over the Alawites, Christians and their Kurdish allies

      The "Good Guys" are with al-Qeada and the "Evil Doers" are with the kurds

    2. It ain't no game for children. :)

    3. Sometimes you gotta do more than 'train", if you're going to make a difference in the world.

    4. Not to worry Jack, the moment you or one of your friends show themselves inside my home, business or show lethal intent?

      You will be dead.

    5. Not me, amigo, I am a fictional character.

  39. The Kurds are agaiinst the Sunni, the Sunni are against the Shia and the Iranians are for the Shia, therefore the Iranians are for the Kurds.

    1. The Kurds are Sunni, dumb shit.

    2. “Think before you speak.
      Read before you think.”

      ― Fran Lebowitz,

    3. Today, the majority of Kurds are Sunni Muslim, belonging to the Shafi school.

    4. He's talkin' about YOUdaho Bob

      “We have a large public that is very ignorant about public affairs and very susceptible to simplistic slogans ...”
      ― Zbigniew Brzezinski

      "Kurds Good - Sunni Bad" - Bob

      But Bob, the Kurds ARE Sunni - Reality

      "Don't try to confuse Idaho Bob, with facts, Reality" - Bob

    5. Wrong.


      As a whole, the Kurdish people are adherents to a large number of different religions and creeds, perhaps constituting the most religiously diverse people of West Asia. Traditionally, Kurds have been known to take great liberties with their practices. This sentiment is reflected in the saying "Compared to the unbeliever, the Kurd is a Muslim".[212]

      The Kurds (Kurdish: کورد, Kurd) are an ethnic group in the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan, which spans adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.

      They are an Iranian people and speak the Kurdish languages, which are members of the Iranian branch of Indo-European languages.[32] The Kurds number about 30 million, the majority living in West Asia, with significant Kurdish diaspora communities in the cities of western Turkey, in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Israel, Lebanon and, in recent decades, some European countries and the United States.


      Complexity always confuses our representative from Arizona.

    6. For instance, he can do:




      is beyond him

    7. And English is beyond your capacity to comprehend?

      Today, the majority of Kurds are Sunni Muslim, belonging to the Shafi school.

      If, as Yudaho Bob claims, that Alawites are Shiite, then Kurds are , without doubt or question, Sunni Muslims.

      Your adherence to the Standards you have already set, Robert Peterson, gives lie to what you are saying, now.

  40. When I was a combat journalist/reporter in 'Nam after I got a high draft number, during an interview with General Westmorland I asked him that very question "Do the really play soccer with human heads?"

    "No", he answered, "juist lil kicker"

    1. My notepad carrier and secretary, Q, didn't even believe that.

    2. BobSun Jun 22, 01:42:00 PM EDT

      When did I ever say I was a scholar??

      I don't recall saying that.

      I have a college degree in English Lit. from U of Washington.

      To avoid being drafted in part. ...

  41. Here's a favorite story:

    ANOTHER couple arrested for public sex at FL retirement community.........drudge

    The Woodstock Generation has officially retired.

  42. In his press conference remarks on Wednesday, Texas Governor Rick Perry noted that his is one of only 13 states in the United States to have completed U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) training in Ebola diagnosis, laboratory verification, and containment. That means there are currently 37 states unprepared to respond swiftly to a potential Ebola case. Even in the Texas situation, the patient first sought care on Sept. 26 and told the emergency room nurse that he had traveled to the United States from Liberia, but nevertheless, he was sent home with antibiotics. Two days later, in critical condition, the traveler was admitted for Ebola treatment.

    The Texas case has raised inappropriate fears, reflected in social media and news coverage -- especially the calls to cancel all flights and visas to America from West Africa. And so far, the reaction has failed to reveal anything new or truly frightening about Ebola, but it has drawn our attention to America's unique vulnerability to contagious diseases -- our health system.

    The unsubstantiated concerns kicked off by the Texas case include false claims that the virus was spread through the air between monkeys housed in a military facility in the 1990s; assertions that the virus -- which is only spread through physical contact with contaminated bodily fluids -- could mutate into airborne form; calls for denying travel visas to travelers from West Africa; and fears that there may be other Ebola-infected fellow travelers on the plane with the Dallas patient, now infecting Americans. Each of these views is patently wrong.

    So allen's report of the virus being passed on door knobs, is patently false, fear mongering.

  43. The concern is that it is a fast mutating virus, not a slow mutating virus like yourself.

    The fear is that it may mutate to become infectious through the air.

    1. .

      That is the same fear we have for the rat.


  44. Fear mongering will get you no where Robert Peterson.

    1. You are awash with fear, of motorcycles, Mexicans, and now 'rapidly mutating viruses' - get real Robert Peterson, there is nothing to fear, but fear itself.

      Which does not really explain why you are constantly afraid.

  45. The "Q" Question:

    Identity Politics: Fool Us Twice, Shame on Us

    Lloyd Marcus

    How many millions of Americans will go brain-dead and vote for Hillary, after having endured eight years of Obama?

    I personally can think of only one possible candidate.


    1. Thinking never has been your strong suit, Robert Peterson.

    2. A sampler:


      Yes, I am going to be a bit tacky. I tried to tell y'all back in 2008 – my black family, white friends, and associates – but none of you would listen. I kept thinking, am I the one who is crazy? Will anyone even consider looking beyond his race and taking a good look at Obama, the man?

      Instead, you verbally beat me up and called me an Uncle Tom for not going brain-dead with you and making an immoral, racist decision to pull the level for Obama solely because he is black.

      Well now look atcha. We have an insidious liar who hates America as founded and a blame-everyone-but-himself narcissist running our country. As our nation crumbles, everyone is running around asking, like in the Marvin Gaye song, “What's goin' on?”

      Folks, Obama is what you get when you sell your soul to identity politics, placing surface appearances above character, substance, and properly vetting candidates.

      And doggone it, it looks like many Americans are about to be manipulated into making the same stupid mistake again when Hillary Clinton throws her bonnet into the ring, running as the first female presidential candidate. The MSM will ignore all her scandals and disastrous policy failures. Hillary's gender will be the major qualifier for her to become leader of the free world. Sadly, millions of Americans will go brain-dead and vote for her, suckered again by identity politics.'

      Yea, Marcus

    3. Now Robert Peterson is afraid of women, well, a specific woman, but he has never treated women with respect.
      Bush v Clinton,
      Jeb is not as qualified as he daddy, and his daddy lost to Clinton.
      Rick Perry? not going to get it done against the MSM machine.

      CBS & NBC/Comcast have already voted with their wallets.
      ABC, their main Sunday News Show is hosted by a Clinton press secretary.

      That sinking feeling in your gut, Robert Peterson, that's your Zionist 'friends' putting Mrs Clinton into the White House.

      “The split in America, rather than simply economic, is between those who embrace reason, who function in the real world of cause and effect, and those who, numbed by isolation and despair, now seek meaning in a mythical world of intuition, a world that is no longer reality-based, a world of magic.” ― Chris Hedges,

  46. You see how very slow a mutating virus our representative from Arizona is - he cannot let a single thread pass without getting personally nasty.

    Tomorrow - Game Time Vandals !!!


    Cheers !

  47. Obama’s Secretary of Defense/CIA Director: Rise of ISIS is Obama’s Fault
    October 2, 2014 by Daniel Greenfield 18 Comments

    Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.

    Print This Post Print This Post


    You know that things are bad when a Clinton loyalist who was rewarded with heading up Defense and the CIA is running to sell you out.

    Obama’s former Secretary of Defense and Director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, has blamed the president for the chaos unfolding in Iraq.

    Time previewed Panetta’s upcoming memoir, Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace. In the book, Panetta said he and others in the Obama administration pushed for a residual force of U.S. troops to remain in Iraq but their efforts were stymied by White House.

    “The White House was so eager to rid itself of Iraq that it was willing to withdraw rather than lock in arrangements that would preserve our influence and interests,” Panetta wrote…

    My fear, as I voiced to the President and others, was that if the country split apart or slid back into the violence that we’d seen in the years immediately following the U.S. invasion, it could become a new haven for terrorists to plot attacks against the U.S. Iraq’s stability was not only in Iraq’s interest but also in ours. I privately and publicly advocated for a residual force that could provide training and security for Iraq’s military.

    To my frustration, the White House coordinated the negotiations but never really led them. Officials there seemed content to endorse an agreement if State and Defense could reach one, but without the President’s active advocacy, al-Maliki was allowed to slip away. The deal never materialized. To this day, I believe that a small U.S. troop presence in Iraq could have effectively advised the Iraqi military on how to deal with al-Qaeda’s resurgence and the sectarian violence that has engulfed the country.

    This isn’t new. This version of events was well known. I wrote about it a few years ago in The Great Betrayal. But it was limited mainly to conservative critics.

    Now Panetta, whose people were obviously the source of the leaks of that version of events, is openly putting it out in his memoirs. And it couldn’t come at a worse possible time for Obama.

    Panetta is rushing to excuse his own role and prevent himself from becoming a scapegoat for Obama’s latest “intelligence failure”.

    But it can also be seen as Hillary Clinton ramming a knife in Obama’s back and kicking him out on the way down. The last thing that Obama needed now was his own top defense figure coming out and saying that the rise of ISIS could have been prevented if he had the country’s interests at heart, instead of his own political agenda.

    Panetta is saying that Obama did not want to be associated with any agreement. He wanted the buck passed to the military. The military was tired of the buck. The White House’s message to Iraq was that it didn’t want to be involved. The message was received.

    Maliki climbed all the way into bed with Iran and the rest is well… current events.

    1. .

      It's amazing how all of these dicks who were there when the decisions were being made now saw everything so clearly. "My oh my, if only someone had listened to me."

      Clinton loyalist?

      It's hard to tell if Panetta is just covering his own ass, trying to sell books, or politicking for a new job under Hillary (or maybe all three).


  48. Well, the big news today, of course, is the Employment Report. I, personally, wouldn't be surprised if it comes in a bit weak, again; but the truth is, right now I wouldn't bet that pork chops are greasy.