“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."

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Obama has words with Senator Robert Menendez, a paid Israeli-firster - World Zionists want a US war against Iran

Obama, Cameron warn Congress that more sanctions could endanger talks with Iran

The president said he would veto such a move

 Washington Post

January 16 at 6:37 PM  

President Obama sternly warned Congress on Friday that he would veto proposed bipartisan legislation to impose additional sanctions on Iran, saying such a move would undermine talks over Tehran’s nuclear program and risk setting up a military confrontation.

“My main message to Congress at this point is: Just hold your fire,” Obama said during a joint White House news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron after the two leaders met in the Oval Office.

“I said to my [Senate] Democratic Caucus colleagues yesterday that I will veto a bill that comes to my desk,” Obama said, referring to his appearance Thursday at a party retreat in Baltimore. “And I respectfully request them to hold off for a few months to see if we have the possibility of solving a big problem without resorting potentially to war.”
The United States and Britain are among the nations engaged in talks with Iran aimed at preventing Tehran from developing the capacity to produce nuclear arms. The talks follow significant economic sanctions imposed by the United States and an international coalition.

Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have called for more sanctions. While Obama said the negotiations, which have stretched on for a year, have less than a 50-50 chance of succeeding, he emphasized that Iran has frozen development of some of its nuclear capability while the talks continue. Obama and Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced recently that the talks would be extended for a few more months after the two sides failed to meet an initial deadline to complete a deal.

Cameron agreed with Obama and acknowledged that he had called U.S. senators to lobby them directly. More sanctions “would fracture the international unity which has been so valuable in presenting a united front to Iran,” Cameron said.

Obama said that if diplomacy fails, other actions will be explored, and it would not immediately spur the United States into a conflict with Iran.

“I am not, repeat, not suggesting that we are in immediate war footing should negotiations with Iran fail,” Obama said.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Friday afternoon that he spoke with Cameron about the issue. Corker is developing additional legislation that would require the administration to gain approval from Congress for a final nuclear deal with Iran.“I did talk with him about the fact that I felt Congress should be in position to approve any final deal that doesn’t interfere with the negotiations and strengthens the administration’s hand,” Corker said in an interview. “We approve civilian nuclear deals with India and Vietnam. Something of this magnitude, Congress should play a role.”

But Obama said Friday that additional sanctions would give Iran an excuse to break off the nuclear talks while blaming the United States. The president said that if the talks fail to bring a deal, he would be “the first to come to Congress about the need to tighten the screws.”

The remarks came a day after Obama delivered a blunt, face-to-face warning to fellow Democrats at the retreat in Baltimore. The push for more sanctions on Iran enjoys significant support from Democrats, and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) is one of the lead authors of a new sanctions bill.

According to people who attended the meeting, a question on Iran from Menendez prompted a blunt exchange between them.

Obama “was very firm and so was Menendez, but it was not heated or contentious,” said one attendee, who was granted anonymity to discuss a meeting that Democrats agreed wouldn’t be discussed publicly.

Obama and Cameron also pledged Friday to strengthen partnerships to protect against cyberattacks that pose national security threats, promising greater information-sharing and beefed up cybersecurity.

Cameron has been critical of companies encrypting information, saying it prevents intelligence agencies from gaining access to data that could be used in counterterrorism operations.

The British leader suggested this week that he would consider banning applications such as WhatsApp or Apple iMessage if intelligence agencies cannot intercept communications.

Obama did not endorse or criticize Cameron’s views on encryption, but the president said that if “we get into a situation in which the technologies do not allow us at all to track somebody that we’re confident is a terrorist . . .that’s a problem.”

The men also spoke of the need to counter extremists in the wake of deadly attacks in Paris last week and police raids in Belgium.

“This phenomenon of violent extremism, the ideology, the networks, the capacity to recruit young people, this has metastasized and it is widespread, and it has penetrated communities around the world,” Obama said. “I do not consider it an existential threat,” he said, but one that will ultimately be destroyed.

The men said that the countries must remain vigilant against the threat and that they would not be cowed by extremist groups, including the Islamic State in the Middle East and Boko Haram in West Africa. Cameron spoke of “countering this poisonous, fanatical death cult of a narrative that is perverting the religion of Islam.”

Obama said one advantage the United States has in combating homegrown terror is that America’s Muslims “feel themselves to be Americans.” The country’s tradition of assimilation is “probably our greatest strength,” he said.
Ed O’Keefe contributed to this report.


  1. Over at Israeli headquarters, Aipac, we have the wisdom of their thoughts:

    Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed terrorist group, poses a direct threat to American and Israeli security. The group dominates the Lebanese government, fights for the Assad regime, and possesses an arsenal of more than 100,000 rockets. Hezbollah has killed more Americans than any terrorist group other than al-Qaeda and has carried out dozens of attacks in recent years.

    The United States should fully enforce sanctions on Hezbollah and expand sanctions targeting the terrorist group.

  2. Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed terrorist group, poses a direct threat to American and Israeli security.

    What threat is Hezbollah, an Israeli events creation, to American security? The threat to American security is Aipac and their paid stooges in the US Conga Line.

    Hezbollah has killed more Americans than any terrorist group other than al-Qaeda and has carried out dozens of attacks in recent years.

    Israel started multiple wars in Lebanon.

    In reaction to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, in June 1982, several countries brought a decision to deploy their troops in the country in order to separate the combatants and attempt to establish peace and order. According to this decision, from 11 August 1982, US, French, and Italian units started arriving in Beirut, establishing the basis for what later became known as the “Multi-National Force” (MNF). The first to arrive were French paras of the Foreign Legion, flown in directly from Corsica aboard Transall transport aircraft of the ET-64 already on 19 August. Six days later the first US Marines arrived, supported by the French carrier Foch (R-99), and its Super Etendards and Crusaders.

    The French naval fighters were very soon to be deployed in combat: in reaction to some Syrian troop movements, considered threatening for the MNF troops, on 20 August 1982 eight Super Etendards bombed Syrian positions near Ein Dara and Dahra el-Baidar. The strike was considered as a “signal” to the Syrians, and its results were consequently only marginal.

    The situation subsequently quietened, and remained stabile until April 1983. However, the appearance of MNF troops was considered an interference of Western powers by too many parties involved in the war in Lebanon, and consequently the were soon to be confronted with immense problems. The Israelis saw the Western intervention as support for their efforts and interests; the Muslims – and especially the Lebanese Shi’a – believed the Americans and other troops were there to support and reinforce the Christians and protect the Israelis; and the Christians believed that the MNF-troops would help them increase their influence in the country. Any hopes and uncertainties in this complex situation were eventually destroyed by the visit of Lebanese President Gemael in Washington: soon after the first shipments of arms for the Christian Phalanga started arriving, and the US special forces began training the reformed units of the Lebanese Army on them.

    Such a decision instantly changed the status of the MNF in Lebanon: within only a few days the foreign troops became dangerous opponents. The USA then poured even more il in fire then it permitted the Israelis to patrol areas under their control, and far outside the part of southern Lebanon held by the Israeli troops. The Israelis tended to attack any suspicious target without much investigation or any warnings, and this caused a number of civilian deaths. Consequently, the MNF-troops were finally considered enemy not only by the Syrians, but also by the Shi’a and all the other Muslim fractions in Lebanon.


  3. As usual our strategic ham-fisted IDF ally...

  4. You can read the true facts here:

    I like to keep it real. Attack someone else’s country and what sort of reaction do you expect? What would they do in Texas?

  5. Aipac is a far greater threat to US security than Hezbollah.

  6. President Obama touched on the power of the Israel lobby yesterday in a meeting with Democratic senators, but in its report on the meeting, The New York Times did a magic trick: it never used the word Israel.

    Obama met for two hours with a group of Democratic senators in Baltimore and pleaded with them not to apply more sanctions to Iran now negotiations are underway. He got an argument from Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey.

    According to one of the senators and another person who was present, the president urged lawmakers to stop pursuing sanctions, saying such a move would undermine his authority and could derail the talks. Mr. Obama also said that such a provocative action could lead international observers to blame the Americans, rather than the Iranians, if the talks collapsed before the June 30 deadline.

    The president said he understood the pressures that senators face from donors and others, but he urged the lawmakers to take the long view rather than make a move for short-term political gain, according to the senator. Mr. Menendez, who was seated at a table in front of the podium, stood up and said he took “personal offense.”

    Mr. Menendez told the president that he had worked for more than 20 years to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and had always been focused on the long-term implications. Mr. Menendez also warned the president that sanctions could not be imposed quickly if Congress waited to act and the talks failed, according to two people who were present.

    So the president addressed donor pressure on the senators! What donors? What others? This is clearly a reference to the Israel lobby in the Democratic Party. But our leading newspaper is opaque about a central political issue. Chris Matthews will in turn be just as opaque. Did the Koch brothers ever get this kind of immunity? Never.

    A few weeks back the Washington Post reported on these pressures inside the Democratic Party in a story on “the billionaire political kingmakers planning to bankroll much of the 2016 presidential campaign.” Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban, leading American Zionists.

    - See more at:

  7. Polite company must refer to Israeli firsters using their best euphemism. It must be like not daring to type god’s middle initial. G-d and the
    Z -- onists are very easily offended.

    1. Deuce ☂Sat Jan 17, 08:49:00 AM EST
      Hat tip: Ash on the ICC notice.

    2. Well appeasing American traitors that support Iran don't have a catchy "label" But we will try to invent one

  8. Submit
    Press Release : 16/01/2015

    The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, opens a preliminary examination of the situation in Palestine

    Today, Friday, 16 January 2015, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Mrs. Fatou Bensouda, opened a preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine.

    The Prosecutor's decision follows the Government of Palestine's accession to the Rome Statute on 2 January 2015 and its declaration of 1 January 2015, lodged under article 12(3) of the Rome Statute – the Court's founding treaty – accepting the jurisdiction of the ICC over alleged crimes committed "in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, since June 13, 2014."

    Upon receipt of a referral or a valid declaration made pursuant to article 12(3) of the Statute, the Prosecutor, in accordance with Regulation 25(1)(c) of the Regulations of the Office of the Prosecutor, and as a matter of policy and practice, opens a preliminary examination of the situation at hand. Accordingly, the Prosecutor has opened a preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine. The Office will conduct its analysis in full independence and impartiality.

  9. U.S. to ISIS:

    We can do this all day.

    Can you?

    The US and its allies conducted 29 airstrikes on Islamic State (Isis) targets in Syria and Iraq in a 24-hour period, the Combined Joint Task Force said in a statement on Saturday.

    Sixteen strikes around seven Iraqi cities destroyed vehicles, buildings, equipment and fighting positions, as well as hitting units belonging to Isis, which is trying to establish a caliphate in the Middle East, the task force said.

    In Syria, 11 airstrikes were carried out near the city of Kobani, destroying a tank and fighting positions. Kobani, on the border with Turkey, has been fiercely fought over. Other strikes in Syria focused on targets near Abu Kamal and Dawr az Zawr.

    The strikes took place between Friday and Saturday mornings, the task force statement said.

    Strikes, carried out by a multinational coalition which includes Arab countries, began in Iraq on 8 August and in Syria on 23 September.

    American Casualties - Zero

  10. Kroger is selling E85 as low as $1.08 / Gallon at one Texas store.

    yeehaw, cowboys

    1. .

      Kroger has a discount program on gas if you buy from their stations and have one of their discount cards. It's based on the amount of groceries you buy the previous month. I was there a couple days ago and the cashier told me that based on my purchases in December I could get $1.00 per gallon off if I want to travel to one of their stations.

      That would put me around the same price for regular.

      The nearest Kroger station is about 10 miles away but I may still take a ride over, fill up my truck and all my gas cans. It would probably be worth it.


  11. As for Iran: If Israel want'em bombed, let them bomb'em.

    WE need: day care, pre-school, a higher minimum wage, and Community College for OUR citizens.

    Not to mention: High Speed Rail, and more Renewable Energy.

  12. WASHINGTON -– The solar industry reports job growth 20 times higher than the rest of the U.S. economy, according to a new analysis.

    As of 2014, there were nearly 174,000 jobs in the solar industry, according to the report from the nonprofit Solar Foundation. That represents 86 percent employment growth since the organization began tracking job figures in 2010. By the end of 2015, companies said they expect to hire an additional 36,000 new solar workers.

    The solar industry installed 7,200 megawatts of new solar power last year, the foundation said.

    More than half of the solar industry jobs -– 55 percent -– involved installation, and 19 percent were in manufacturing. The report found those jobs pay an average of $20 to 24 an hour.

    "We can very definitely say that these solar jobs are good, well-paying jobs, which I think is important," Andrea Luecke, executive director of the Solar Foundation, said in an interview with The Huffington Post. "While the economy has improved since we started this census series in 2010, at the height of recession, there are still lots of people without college degrees looking for work. Solar provides that kind of work."

    The report found that 21.6 percent of workers in the solar industry were women. Latino workers made up 16.3 percent of the workforce, while Asian and Pacific islanders represented 7 percent. African-Americans made up 6 percent of solar staffers.

    Luecke said the recent growth is largely due the surge in solar installations.

    "The reason that installations are growing like gangbusters is because of cost reductions," Luecke said, noting that the average price of solar panels has declined 64 percent since 2010.

    Luecke said the foundation expects the trends to continue for at least . . . . . .

    Sunny Outlook for Job-Seekers

  13. Speaking of "High Speed Rail:"

    One of the biggest transportation projects the country has ever seen broke ground Monday in Fresno, Calif. In theory, the much delayed high-speed rail line would allow a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than three hours, with speeds of over 200 mph.

    The milestone comes six years after voters first approved an almost $10 billion bond act to fund the project. But that bond, plus about $3 billion in federal funds, still leaves the project about $55 billion short of the cost to get the line up and running by 2030.

    Still, the Los Angeles Times reports that Monday's groundbreaking itself is an accomplishment:

    "Over the last two years, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has prevailed in a series of court challenges to the project, won a federal exemption from state environmental rules, secured several key legislative victories that improved its future funding and made a politically savvy bet to move up by several years the inauguration of service in Southern California."

    Those successes aside, the project still has vocal critics. Republican California state Sen. Andy Vidak told NPR the project could . . . . . ..

    California Dreaming

    1. California will run a $5 Billion Surplus this year.

    2. The California Economy recently surpassed Russia's, and Italy's, and is about to pass Brazil's, to make it the 7th Largest in the World.

    3. Too bad they can't have a nice, conservative, fiscally responsible government, like, say, Mississippi. Or, Alabama.

    4. Been spending quite a bit of time in California.
      It does resemble a vibrant economy.

  14. How much has solar contributed and real estate?

  15. Of course, they do have a solar advantage by good geography.

    1. The Southern part does. As for the state, overall, I doubt that they have much of an advantage over Mississippi.

      And, none, whatsoever over Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, or Nevada.

      Hell, look what far-North, cloudy, crappy Germany has done.

    2. Texas is the state. They could power the entire U.S. many times (and, I mean "many" times) over with their Solar, and Wind.

    3. Wind Map

      NREL's Geospatial Data Science Team offers both a national wind resource assessment of the United States and high-resolution wind data. The national wind resource assessment was created for the U.S. Department of Energy in 1986 by the Pacific Northwest Laboratory and is documented in the Wind Energy Resource Atlas of the United States, October 1986. This national wind resource data provides an estimate of the annual average wind resource for the conterminous United States, with a resolution of 1/3 degree of latitude by 1/4 degree of longitude.

      The wind resource assessment was based on surface wind data, coastal marine area data, and upper-air data, where applicable. In data-sparse areas, three qualitative indicators of wind speed or power were used when applicable: topographic/meteorological indicators (e.g. gorges, mountain summits, sheltered valleys); wind deformed vegetation; and eolian landforms (e.g. playas, sand dunes). The data was evaluated at a regional level to produce 12 regional wind resource assessments; the regional assessments were then incorporated into the national wind resource assessment.

  16. One has to wonder if this is just a local event, or has the " longstanding tacit agreement " between the YPG and Assad broken down all across Syria?

    Kurds of the YPG battle Assad's forces in Hassakeh

    DIYARBAKIR, TURKEY/BEIRUT, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Syrian Kurds battled on Saturday with forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, Kurdish sources and a monitoring group said, breaking a longstanding tacit agreement between the two sides to focus on other enemies in a complex civil war.

    In Syria's predominantly Kurdish northeast, Assad's forces and Kurdish militia, mainly the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), have for the most part coexisted without clashing, focusing their firepower on the Islamic State insurgent group.

    However, violence broke out when army soldiers and allied militiamen took control of buildings in an area that both sides had agreed would stay demilitarized, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

    "There has been some serious fighting today. The PYD (the political wing of the YPG) arrested 10 soldiers and Baath party gunmen," Observatory head Rami Abdulrahman told Reuters.

    "There is now fighting in many areas of Hassakeh."

    The YPG and the government had divided Hassakeh into zones in a power sharing agreement, the Observatory said.

    1. Yep, wouldn't it be great to have our troops over there in the middle of that mess?

  17. This isn't a 3-sided death match. It is, at last count, a 1,146-sided death match.