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

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

GOP Likuds Force, after revealing it is totally unsuited for national leadership, is shamed by SOS Kerry

Amateur Hour

The letter 47 Republican senators sent to Iran is one of the most plainly stupid things a group of senators has ever done.

It is a useful thing when a political party reveals itself as utterly unsuited for national leadershipThis may be the one redeeming feature of Monday’s letter to the Iranian government signed by 47 (or, to put it another way, all but seven) Senate Republicans.
The letter—which encourages Iran’s leaders to dismiss the ongoing nuclear talks with the United States and five other nations—is as brazen, gratuitous, and plainly stupid an act as any committed by the Senate in recent times, and that says a lot. It may also be illegal.
The banalities begin with the greeting: “An Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” By custom, a serious letter to foreign leaders would address them by name. Who is it that the senators are seeking to influence: the supreme leader, the Parliament, the Revolutionary Guards? Clearly none of the above, otherwise it wouldn’t be an open letter. Nor, if this were a serious attempt of some sort, would Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (who was among the missive’s signatories) leave the task of organizing it to the likes of Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, an otherwise unknown freshman. As usual, the Republicans’ goal is simple: to embarrass and undermine President Barack Obama.
The idiocies begin with the first sentence: “It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system.”
First, I’m curious: How has this come to their attention? Second, the letter writers reveal that they don’t understand our constitutional system either. They point out to the Iranians, in the tone of a teacher addressing third-graders, that treaties must be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate, agreements need majority approval by both houses of Congress, and executive agreements can be overturned by Obama’s successor “with the stroke of a pen.”
Reading this, one can only wonder if these Republicans ever consult their staffs. As the Iranian leaders know, and as the Obama administration and the other P5+1 governments have made clear all along, the deal being negotiated is not a treaty, nor is it an agreement. Rather, it is a nonbinding international arrangement, to be signed (if it is signed) by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, Germany, and Iran.
Similar agreements have been struck on a host of arms control measures over the years, including President George W. Bush’s Proliferation Security Initiative, President Gerald Ford’s Helsinki Final Act, and several hundred bilateral and multilateral measures, guidelines, and memoranda of understanding struck over the decades.
In other words, contrary to the letter writers, Congress has no legal or constitutional role in the drafting, approval, or modification of this deal. It does, potentially, have one practical role: If the deal calls for the lifting of all sanctions against Iran, in exchange for a cutback in Iran’s nuclear program, Congress could vote down a bill to end the sanctions that it had once voted to impose. This is a small share of the sanctions, compared with those that the president and the European Union could release on their own, but if the deal calls for an end to all sanctions, Congress could throw a wrench into the works. However, this only states the obvious. Congress can insert itself into all executive prerogatives through control of the purse strings. This is very different from the powers that the letter writers pretend to have over the future of this accord.
The letter writers are also wrong in saying that a future president could “revoke” this deal “with the stroke of a pen.” In fact, there’s nothing to revoke. To nullify the accord, the president would have to reimpose the sanctions that this deal would have lifted (assuming that’s part of the deal). Future presidents could do this if they wanted. Presidents can do lots of things if they want. They could also declare a national emergency and suspend habeas corpus if they wanted. Such arbitrary acts would create their own crises; again, the warning has nothing to do with this accord.
The 47 Senate Republicans also expose a tin ear to the political resonances that their letter is likely to set off. As much as their constituents may dislike President Obama, I suspect that they dislike Iran’s mullahs more deeply. Do the senators think they’ll score points by cozying up to Ayatollah Khamenei?
It’s all too clear what they’re trying to accomplish, but it’s puzzling that their techniques are so ham-fisted. The explicitly partisan nature of the letter—all 47 signatories are Republicans—is sure to alienate the considerable number of Democrats who oppose, or at least look skeptically toward, any dealings with Iran. And of course, the letter comes in the wake of—and may have been inspired by—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s provocative speech to Congress, which had the same effect of pushing those Democrats, who were there for the co-opting, to cling more tightly to their president.
t’s also puzzling that the letter was signed by Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who are quick to defend the president’s constitutional right to wage war—yet, in this instance, try to constrain his right, declared in the same Constitution, to wage diplomacy.
Which leads to a final question: Did any of these senators, or their staffs, consider the possibility that, in drafting and signing this letter, they may be committing a felony? Consider 18 U.S. Code, Section 953, “Private Correspondence with Foreign Governments,” also known as the Logan Act. It reads in its entirety:
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.
Unless the 47 Senate Republicans view the prospects of an Obama diplomatic triumph as an injury, for which they seek redress from the Iranian mullahs, I suggest that they bone up on the American legal system before lecturing others on its meaning.


  1. .

    I have accused Kerry of being pollyannish in much of what he has tried to accomplish especially in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and some of the smaller stuff; however, I have never seen a SOS that works harder. The differences between him and Hillary are striking. Although, Kerry's efforts may fall short at times, he wears himself out trying to accomplish things he seems to really believes in. Hillary's claim to fame was in setting records for miles traveled with the only apparent aim of building up her frequent flyer miles.

    Whether they are 'effective' or not, the minimum we should demand of our public officials is that they 'do no harm'. In that sense, Kerry has done better than most SOS I can remember.

    I used to consider Bob Corker a fairly reasonable guy but by cutting off Kerry at the end of the video he offers another example (among others I have seen in the last year or so) that he is just another partisan hack. Cutting Kerry short might have been acceptable except for the reason he gave. He seems to be unable to distinguish between the Senate voting on an agreement and the Senate interfering with negotiations on an agreement before there is actually an agreement.


    1. The republicans are no longer a viable political party.
      I thought I could no longer be shocked by their seditious depravity, I was wrong.
      They colluded with a foreign Nation against our Commander in Chief ,publicly and incorrectly which is another embarrassment.
      They have no shame, they sold it along with their souls. I am beyond outrage , they went way way too far. I will work for their defeat , this hsit just got personal.

  2. Jerusalem - Hamas Officials Met Obama Aides Before U.S. Election

    Jerusalem - Ahmad Yousuf, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s political advisor, said that during the recent US presidential race a secret meeting between senior Islamist group figures and advisors to President-elect Barack Obama was held in Gaza.
    “We were in contact with a number of Obama’s aides through the Internet, and later met with some of them in Gaza, but they advised us not to come out with any statements, as they may have a negative effect on his election campaign and be used by Republican candidate John McCain (to attack Obama),” Yousuf said in an interview with London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat, published Tuesday
    Yousuf said Hamas’s contact with Obama’s advisors was ongoing, adding that he was still on good terms with some of the aides he had befriended while residing in the US.

    According to Yousuf, Haniyeh will send Obama a telegram congratulating him on his victory.
    “The policy Obama will instate in the Middle East will differ from that of his predecessor George W. Bush, although it is clear that the region and the Palestinian issue will not be at the top of his agenda,” Yousef told Al-Hayat, “(the president-elect) will focus more on the economic crisis, Iraq and Afghanistan.”

  3. The Real Reason Iran Killed This Woman for Defending Herself
    The execution of Reyhanneh Jabbari has brought worldwide condemnation of the Tehran regime. But the critics may be missing the real story.
    Long before Reyhanneh Jabbari was executed in Iran this weekend, she was tortured and beaten for months—and then sent to one of Iran’s most notorious prisons, one of her lawyers claimed. Her crime? Killing the man who tried to rape her when she was just 19.

    “They kept her in a solitary cell where she was chained,” Jabbari’s first lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, said in an interview with The Daily Beast. “They would blindfold her sometimes for days and they beat her face and her head.”

    Jabbari’s execution Saturday was widely condemned by human-rights groups such as Amnesty International on the grounds that it illustrates how Iran’s own legal system is prejudiced against women. (She was initially charged with the crime in 2007.)

    But Mostafaei said this was not right lesson to draw from the case. Instead, the exiled lawyer said Jabbari’s case illustrated how members of Iran’s intelligence and security services were effectively above the law.

    Jabbari was charged with murdering Morteza Abolali Sarbandi, a member of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).

    Mostafaei spoke to The Daily Beast from Geneva, where he is scheduled participate on a panel of dissidents and other experts to document Iran’s systematic abuses of human rights, organized by UN Watch, a group devoted to exposing the hypocrisy of the United Nations’ own human-rights body.

    The event is scheduled to coincide with the UN Human Rights Council’s one-year review of human rights in Iran.

    Mostafaei said he believed the UN body’s work on Iran was important for letting the outside world know about the state of affairs in his own country. But he said, “The UN council does nothing for people living in Iran.”

    Mostafaei said Jabbari was lured to the apartment of the man from the intelligence service. That’s where he attempted to rape her, the lawyer claimed. Jabbari only stabbed him with a pen knife, but did not kill him. The lawyer asserted that an autopsy of Sarbandi showed how the pen knife wound was itself not fatal. Instead, a second man (also with Iran’s intelligence service) came to the apartment at this time and murdered Sarbandi. In the trial, Jabbari only referred to this second man as “Sheikhi.”

    While Jabbari confessed in police custody to the murder, Mostafaei said her confession was the result of torture.

    “Sheikhi and Sarbandi were members of the intelligence service,” Mostafaei said. “They used their influence with the judge. The court was not fair. If Mr. Sarbandi was an ordinary person, I am sure the judges would not convict Reyhanneh to death.”

    Mostafaei had to drop Jabbari’s case in 2010, the year he was exiled after taking up the case of another woman who was sentenced by an Iranian court to be stoned to death. Eventually that client was pardoned. Jabbari received no such relief.

  4. Since President Obama initiated high-profile, high-stakes talks with Iran, the United States has released more than $11 billion in frozen funds to the Islamic Republic, and that comes on top of billions of dollars in new investment. To put just the $11 billion in perspective, that represents more than twice the Congressional Research Service-estimated official budget of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the group responsible for killing hundreds of American servicemen in Iraq. Now, consider that Iran’s economy had shrunk between 5.3 and 5.8 percent (depending upon which Iranian figure is speaking) in the year before Obama began his outreach while, despite the crash in oil prices, Iran’s current growth is positive, and it’s hard not to conclude that for the Iranian leadership, Team Obama has been a dream come true.

    Given all that Iran has gained outside of the nuclear arena, what is most perplexing is how little the United States has received. Take for example the four American hostages which Iran now holds:

    Saeed Abedini. Iran has long been hostile to Christianity. While the Iranian city of Isfahan hosts a large Armenian community which thrives today, the Armenian Christians settled in Isfahan only because they were forcibly relocated there from northwestern Iran as the shah at the time doubted their loyalty. Non-Orthodox Christians have special difficulty in Iran. Past State Department human-rights reports, for example, depict the disappearance and murder of priests and, especially, evangelical Christians whose community is small but growing in Iran. Abedini, a 34-year-old from Idaho, was arrested during a 2012 trip to Tehran to visit family and sentenced to eight years in prison. He is a married father of two small children.
    Robert Levinson. A former FBI agent whom Iran alleges to have worked for a CIA contractor visited Kish Island, an Iranian free-trade zone which is visa-free, in an effort to research a cigarette smuggling case when he was seized by Iranian intelligence in 2007. While the Iranians have sought at times to deny responsibility or knowledge of Levinson’s case, the state-run Iranian press acknowledged Iranian involvement. He remains the longest-held Iranian hostage. Perhaps reflecting its role as the ­de facto lobby of the Islamic Republic, the National Iranian American Council has distinguished itself by omitting Levinson in its calls for the release of hostages.
    Amir Hekmati. A former American Marine, Hekmati was arrested in August 2011 while visiting family in Tehran. Charged with espionage, he was initially sentenced to death, a sentence later commuted. While some Iranians might look askance at his military service, it should be remembered that because Iran has conscription, many male Iranian graduate students seeking to come to the United States to continue their education or to visit family have served in the Iranian military. The charges were more ridiculous considering Hekmati sought and received permission from Iranian authorities in the United States before traveling. Hekmati had briefly launched a hunger strike which he subsequently suspended.

    1. Jason Rezaian. The Washington Post’s Tehran bureau chief, Rezaian was arrested on undisclosed security-related offenses on July 22, 2014, and initially held incommunicado. On January 15, 2015, an Iranian prosecutor announced that Rezaian would stand trial in a revolutionary court. His case is slated to be heard by one of Iran’s most notorious hanging judges.
      That three of the four men are Iranian American should be irrelevant. Immigrants and their children do not check their citizenship at the door when they visit Iran, even if Iranian authorities insist they enter only on their Iranian documents. Ronald Reagan famously obsessed over American hostages held by Iranian proxies in Lebanon. The “Tower Commission” found that Reagan obsessively peppered his staff with questions about their condition and the possibilities for their release. Never has the contrast between two presidents been so great. Obama seems more concerned with springing terrorists from Guantanamo Bay than in freeing Americans held captive by one of the world’s most repressive regimes. And, while Secretary of State John Kerry has reportedly condemned the Iranian detention of American citizens and called for their release, Obama and Kerry’s willingness to continue business as usual in negotiations and in payments to Iran suggests to the Iranians a lack of seriousness on the Obama administration’s part.

      There should not be a single press conference dealing with Iran where the first, second, and third questions don’t force administration officials to address those Americans in prison in Iran. The hostages should be household names. When the State Department counsels quiet diplomacy, what diplomats are seeking is enough distraction to sweep the problem under the rug. They should not be able to. Indeed, there should not be another meeting held, let alone incentive given or payment made, until they are happily at home and reunited with their families. Quite the contrary, there should be no end to sanctions and punishment until the Americans—all four—come home.

  5. Tuesday, March 10, 2015
    On this day, 70 years ago, U.S. burned 100,000 people alive
    "On March 10, 1945, U.S. B-29 bombers flew over Tokyo in the dead of night, dumping massive payloads of cluster bombs. The raids left a fifth of Tokyo smouldering under an expanse of charred bodies and rubble."

  6. Who funds the GOP Likuds Force?

    WASHINGTON -- As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress last week, making his case against the deal the U.S. and partner nations are negotiating over Iran's nuclear program, Miriam Adelson -- the wife of billionaire casino operator Sheldon Adelson -- dropped her purple Hermes purse from the gallery onto the floor of the House, hitting the foot of a congressman.

    The incident, a humorous side note to the speech, was also a helpful reminder of the not-so-subtle role some in the audience have played in promoting Netanyahu's opposition to the current U.S.-Iran negotiations.

    In the past four years, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson have emerged as the preeminent funders of the Republican Party through a network of super PACs and nonprofit groups. At the same time, they have been among the biggest funders of groups that oppose any deal with Iran over that country’s nuclear program.


    1. {...}

      Along with Adelson, there are three other donors who fund both anti-Iran groups and the Republican Party’s super PAC infrastructure: hedge fund directors Paul Singer and Seth Klarman, and Home Depot founder Bernard Marcus. These four right-wing, pro-Israel donors gave a combined $11.5 million to some of the biggest opponents of the Iran negotiations from 2011 through 2013, and pumped $115 million into Republican Party super PACs in the 2012 and 2014 elections.

      “Reasonable people can disagree on our country’s foreign policy, but I think everyone would agree it should be driven by the merits, not the ideology of big donors,” Adam Smith, spokesman for the campaign finance watchdog group Every Voice, told The Huffington Post. “Unfortunately, that’s the appearance Sheldon Adelson sitting in the House balcony gives off, and that’s a problem.”

      The groups that oppose an Iran deal, and to which these donors have contributed, include the American Coalition Against a Nuclear Iran, the American Israel Education Foundation (the private foundation arm of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), Christians United for Israel, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, the Israel Project and the Zionist Organization of America. The leaders of some of those groups sat with the Adelsons in the House gallery during Netanyahu’s speech. All have come out in opposition to the negotiations that the Obama administration and partner nations are conducting to place the Iranian nuclear program under international guidance.

      Now, many of these groups are promoting the latest effort to derail talks between the United States and Iran: a letter to Iran’s ayatollahs, organized by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and signed by 46 other Republican senators, warning that Congress will not lift sanctions on Iran as part of any deal that Iran would accept. The letter further states that any such deal could be canceled by the next occupant of the White House.

      The Israel Project is heavily promoting the senators' letter as part of an effort to move legislation in Congress to impose new sanctions on Iran and require the Obama administration to consult Congress on aspects of an Iranian nuclear deal, if one is reached. Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, called the letter an effort to promote a congressional role of “vigorous review, advice and consent” on a deal. Dubowitz has previously argued that any sanctions targeting Iran should aim for regime change instead of nonproliferation.

      Cotton has received a great deal of support from the donors who fund these and other groups opposing an Iran deal. Singer and Klarman have given a combined $350,000 to the pro-Cotton super PAC Arkansas Horizon. Singer also gave $2.6 million to American Crossroads, $100,000 to B-PAC and $10,000 to John Bolton Super PAC, all of which spent money to support Cotton’s Senate campaign last year. Klarman has directed $400,000 to American Crossroads. The Emergency Committee for Israel -- a nonprofit group, led by the neoconservative Bill Kristol, that opposes an Iran deal -- spent nearly $1 million to support Cotton in his election campaign.

      These donations are just a fraction of the total spent by these funders. Overall, the combined giving of Adelson, Klarman, Marcus and Singer accounted for over 10 percent of all pro-Republican independent spending in the past two election cycles.

      In some cases, contributions from these donors have been the dominant source of funds for party-linked groups. The Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC tied to the hip of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), receives 44 percent of its funds from Adelson and Singer.


    2. These disclosures only scratch the surface of their donations.

      During last year's midterms, Adelson is reported to have moved much of his funding into nonprofit groups that do not disclose their donors. The Daily Beast has reported that Adelson made large donations to Americans for Prosperity, Crossroads GPS and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the 2014 election cycle. Adelson also is reported to have been the primary funder of the Republican Jewish Coalition’s $6 million in election spending in 2012.

      The octogenarian casino billionaire is also known for meeting with the candidates he is backing. In 2014, these included Cotton, the author of the controversial letter to Iran's leaders, and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.).

      Now, Republican presidential aspirants are seeking out the counsel of Adelson and Singer as they attempt to court the favor of mega-donors. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) recently dined with Adelson, while Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) hosted a party after Netanyahu's speech that the billionaire donor attended. Other potential candidates, such as Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisc.), Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) and Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio), attended the Republican Jewish Coalition’s 2014 meeting that Adelson hosted at his Las Vegas Sands casino.

      Singer, who replaced Adelson as the top super PAC donor in 2014, has not aligned himself with a particular 2016 candidate yet.

      This presidential sweepstakes for donor support was on full display last week as Adelson sat in the galleries watching Netanyahu’s speech. On the floor, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who is also mulling a presidential bid, was observed clapping less heartily at the foreign leader’s remarks than his fellow Republicans. Some conservative pundits later attacked Paul for his apparent lack of enthusiasm.

      Paul dismissed his critics, saying, "Hopefully there are some thinking folks out there who are not going to succumb that nonsense." And anyway, Paul noted, he met with the Adelsons while they were in town for Netanyahu's speech, so everything's OK there.

      "We have good relations and we had a great and very informative discussion," he said.

    3. .

      Rand Paul is no Ron Paul.


  7. from Iran Is Fighting For Civilization files -

    AnonymousWed Mar 11, 06:37:00 PM EDT

    The Real Reason Iran Killed This Woman for Defending Herself
    The execution of Reyhanneh Jabbari has brought worldwide condemnation of the Tehran regime. But the critics may be missing the real story.
    Long before Reyhanneh Jabbari was executed in Iran this weekend, she was tortured and beaten for months—and then sent to one of Iran’s most notorious prisons, one of her lawyers claimed. Her crime? Killing the man who tried to rape her when she was just 19.........

  8. A petition on calling for charges to be filed against the 47 senators who sent an open letter to the leaders of Iran, possibly in violation of the Logan Act, has collected more than 165,000 signatures in less than two days.

    Because the petition exceeded 100,000 signatures within 30 days, the White House is required to respond.

    The creator of this petition, known only by the initials C.H., alleges that the 47 senators “committed a treasonous offense when they decided to violate the Logan Act, a 1799 law which forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments.”

    The letter, which was published on Monday, warned Iranian leaders that any nuclear deal they sign with President Obama won’t last past his second term.

    1. .

      A bit presumptuous given that they must first win the 2016 presidential race.


    2. They will get murdered during the debates.Cotton and other Republicans disgusted a lot of voters with their disloyalty towards a sitting president. How do they answer a charge that they disrespected the office they want?

    3. Remember Bush?

    4. You are engaging in Daffy Duck talk there, Deuce.

      Nancy Pelosi went over to Syria at a critical time.....

      Anyway, the voters don't give a shit about it.

      A letter, ill advised I agree, to the mullahs isn't going change any votes.

    5. Pompous hubris on the part of the Republicans, to think that the US President can dictate to the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China.

  9. Kerry looked senatorial, patriotic and presidential. I could not stand the man but he has been working fabulously to keep this country out of war. Hillary is mortally wounded. Kerry doesn’t need the zionist money. He can represent a majority of Americans. None of the Likuds Force has a chance.

    1. Kerry, imho, has always been a well meaning hardcore policy wonk.

      He is nothing, if not, earnest.

      I found it interesting that a man not well respected for his public speaking was just getting, extemporaneously, interesting, when that twerp cut him off.

    2. .

      Kerry for president?

      No way.

      There are just some things the American public will never forgive...

      Bringing James Taylor to France to sing 'You've Got a Friend' after Charlie Hebdo was just a bridge too far.


    3. No, he had his chance and pooched it with his 'military walk' !!!

    4. Kerry is an arse, and his grandfather's ships moved opium to China.

      His wife is even worse.

  10. .

    The ironic world of Sheldon Adelson.


    1. Real profiles in courage from Christie.

    2. We ought to have a tax every four years on billionaires, a 4% tax on wealth that funds all candidates (no strings attached) that pass a primary threshold. No other donations or pacs permitted. It would save a whole lot of lives.

    3. .

      At least, there is no mention of Chris kissing his ring as he assumed the position.


    4. Let the rich pay for everything !!

      But I think as many, if not more, billionaires support the democrats, so it might be a good idea from the republican perspective.

      The idea is dead on arrival though, for a lot of reasons.

      Freedom of speech for one......

  11. I’m not so sure, but that fucking salute was pretty lame.

    The demographics are moving against the Republicans and those same demographics are moving against the boomers. Clinton would be another disaster in that she could possibly force a Republican win which would be a national calamity. Fortunately The Likuds Force, made it easier for the Democrats. Not that they have any answers either but the Republican party need to be euthanized for the good of the country.

    Rand Paul is a nothing compared to the old man. He has no chance. He lacks conviction and honesty. We really need someone who does not salute, someone prepared to take on the Lobby and hates DC. A populist that does not go to church, does not wear a lapel pin and believes that a strong economy and rising wages is more about US security than cops, surveillance, paranoid and runaway militarism.

    1. Rand Paul is somewhat sane, his old man was a whack job.

      I didn't like his idea of using drones and Hellfire missiles or whatever to do in liquor store robbers on the city streets, though.

      Your ideal populist sounds a lot like you these days, Deuce :)

      What this country really need is a wolf hating man of the earth who 'dodged the draft' by reading Shakespeare !

  12. @SenTomCotton
    Important question: if deal with Iran isn't legally binding, then what's to keep Iran from breaking said deal and developing a bomb?

  13. Tom Cotton should have stayed in the military. He would have been a fine major. The question is absurd. What if?

    The Cotton Captain of the GOP Likuds Force proved beyond a doubt that the governance of Iran, crazies and all, are punters compared to the US Congress when it comes to irrational actions.

    1. Good Lord !

      The governance of Iran sent little kids to clear Saddam's mine fields with little keys to heaven in their hands.

      The governance of Iran treats women......

      O well, think what you will.

  14. He reminds me of a Lt. who I could not stand. The little prick caught me leaving the side walk as he marched towards me so that I could escape the mandatory saluting zone. The asshole left the sidewalk to get in my zone and thought my reluctant presentation was not what it should be. He is lucky that I didn’t... but the with more thought I was lucky I didn’t either.

  15. Some Republican senators admitted Wednesday they were caught off guard by the backlash to a letter warning Iranian leaders against a nuclear agreement with President Barack Obama. And Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Republicans — many of whom blessed the missive during a brisk signing session at a Senate lunch a week ago, as senators prepared to flee a Washington snowstorm — should have given it closer consideration.

    “It was kind of a very rapid process. Everybody was looking forward to getting out of town because of the snowstorm,” McCain said. “I think we probably should have had more discussion about it, given the blowback that there is.”
    Story Continued Below

    On this at least, Democrats and Republicans found agreement.

    “I find it hard to believe that they understood the severity of what they were doing,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).
    Though none of the 47 Republican signers has expressed regret for co-signing it, the missive, authored by freshman Sen. Tom Cotton, is creating unexpected fallout in Congress. And it threatens to linger politically and legislatively.

    Read more:

    1. It is hard to believe that they really are as stupid as I thought. Outstanding! OOrah!

    2. I wonder if we could get Bibi to come for an encore two weeks before our election?

    3. "ANY Republican is better than Obama"

      Or was it "ANY Republican is better than a Democrat"

      The Deuce of long ago.....

      It's one quote I'm a little hazy on.


    4. Then go and look it up, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, don't make shit up and then attribute the statement to your betters.

  16. The latest from the Republicans is that the letter was just kind of a big joke. What? You didn't get it? Were you one of those 'public school' kids, or something?


    No. Really. That Is the 'new' story.

    Do you have to flunk an IQ test to be a Republican?

    1. Then you built on that accomplish by allowing yourself to get grubbered.

      The American People, he said many times, are SO dumb they will buy this bullshit......


  17. Now, if you need more evidence that Captain Tom should have stayed in the army, read on:

    Newly elected Tom Cotton of Arkansas is one of the youngest members of the Senate, only 37 years old, a graduate of Harvard and Harvard Law and a veteran of both Afghanistan and Iraq. Widely considered to be a leading light on the right in foreign policy and national security, Cotton was naturally given a plum assignment on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Last week he made his debut on the national stage by posing a series of probing questions about Guantánamo to Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Brian McKeon that left many people in the country wondering whether Pee Wee Herman was guest lecturing the semester he studied logic at Harvard.

    With a barely suppressed smirk on his handsome young face, Sen. Cotton asked,”How many recidivists are there at Guantánamo Bay right now?” Obviously the answer was none, since the recidivists he speaks of would be people who’ve been released from Guantánamo. Next he asked, “How many detainees at Guantánamo Bay are engaging in terrorism or anti-American incitement?” Pregnant pause. Then he answered his own question — “None, because they’re detained.” Oh Suhnap!

    Finally, he asked, “How many detainees were at Guantánamo Bay on September 11, 2001?” And since Guantánamo prison camp didn’t exist at the time, the answer is, once again, none.

    All of this strange “questioning” was done in service of advancing the idea that since terrorism existed before Guantánamo, Guantánamo is irrelevant to terrorism today. In fact, if one were to carry that string of logic all the way out, it’s clear that since terrorism existed before the American Revolution, America is irrelevant to terrorism today as well. Case closed.


  18. {...}

    Sensing a public relations advantage, the campaign arm for Senate Democrats on Wednesday quickly circulated newspaper op-eds criticizing Republicans who signed the missive, and strategists said the issue will soon show up in TV ads in states of vulnerable senators. Democratic leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) took to the Senate floor for a second time to blast Republican “gimmicks” on Iran and Secretary of State John Kerry called it a “stunning” breach of protocol after being teed up by a question from a Democratic senator at a committee hearing.
    On the legislative front, a fragile bipartisan coalition of Iran hawks, who had been approaching a veto-proof majority for legislation that could potentially scuttle any U.S.-Iran nuclear agreement, was showing signs of cracking, as some centrist senators warned they were close to backing away from the measure.
    Sen. Angus King of Maine, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, said in an interview he currently backs the legislation designed to give the Senate more input on a nuclear deal, but he cautioned that the Iran letter is making him think twice.
    “If I’m not convinced that this issue can be handled on the merits and not on a partisan basis,” he said, “then I’m going to change my mind.”
    The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee wasted little time in using negative coverage of the letter as grist for the campaign trail. Throughout the day officials took aim at vulnerable incumbents by blasting out a series of newspaper editorials including one from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which wrote that Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and his colleagues should be “ashamed” for signing the letter.

    Read more:

  19. I will have to come up with something on the democrats to counter this non sense about the GOP Likuds Force......

    Perhaps The Donks Iranian Revolutionary Guards Force, something like that.

    I'll work on it.

    1. Sorry, they were all GOP signatures on the moronic letter.

  20. Four people, not three, heard The Voice From The River (which would make a good title for a book, or short story) -

    March 11, 2015
    The voice from the river
    By Bill Schanefelt

    From their testimony, four people heard a voice asking for help that compelled them to search an overturned, half-submerged vehicle in search of the source of that voice, and when they searched the vehicle, they found the voiceless, dead body of a young woman and a voiceless, live baby that was nearly dead.

    Saul of Tarsus heard such a voice from the void (and saw something), and, from that, he gave us the roots of most Christian theology.

    The Church of Our Fathers understands both voices, but I don’t think that the Church of today understands, either.

    I recently wrote about Faith and the Church of today.

    That piece received, for me, an unprecedented level of comments and e-mails for which I am quite grateful and informed.

    To those who wrote, I can say that the reason I can neither confess the Faith of my youth nor avow atheism or agnosticism is that I see more questions than answers in the universe as I can see it and as others describe it. And yet, I see answers, albeit inexplicable ones.

    I first quit accepting the invitation to Communion because I could no longer acknowledge that the “resurrection of the body” was something that was explicable to me and that the Navy chaplains with whom I worked, golfed, and conversed had a difficult time trying to explain to me.

    Interminable other questions are either inexplicable or fully explicable within the context of Judeo-Christian teachings (such as the Singularity).

    And then, once in a while, something, that Voice from the River, comes along that is both inexplicable in the universe as I and most people can see it and that is fully explicable within the context of Judeo-Christian teachings.

    What do you think of the Voice from the River?

    The author is retired, his profile may be found on LinkedIn, and comments may be addressed at

    Read more:
    Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook


  21. Washington will defeat ISIS by waiting it out as the organization cracks from within.
    Andrew J. Bowen

    March 11, 2015

    The Arab League’s call this week for a multi-national force to push Daesh (the Islamic State) out of its strongholds in Syria and Iraq may will be appealing to those who fear the impact of the growing Iranian position in Syria and Iraq but remain concerned that the U.S.-led airstrikes aren’t an effective solution to an on-the-ground insurgency. Boko Haram’s opportunistic pledge of loyalty to Daesh stokes further fears about the group’s growing position in the international jihadi movement and the need for a more assertive solution, which both pushes Daesh back and stems its ability to recruit foreign fighters.

    However, Daesh is facing its own existential crisis in terms of both its organization and ideology. Confronted by war on a number of fronts, Daesh’s self-proclaimed Caliph, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, has struggled to create a state in practice, focusing more of the group’s attention on further expansion and elaborate media stunts than establishing an actual institutional polity.

    In theory, Daesh has an organizational hierarchy to “govern” its territory, but this structure is dependent on a growing number of Arab and foreign fighters, who have varying aims, motivations, and differences amongst them. As Liz Sly noted this week in The Washington Post, foreign and Arab fighters are unhappily co-existing with the local population and fighting at times with one another over Daesh’s war aims, their status within the new state, and the allocation of the state’s resources.

    This raises critical questions about whether Baghdadi will be able to maintain his “state” as he is increasingly pressed on multiple fronts. Numerous reports suggest that Syrians and Iraqis living under Daesh’s rule are finding that life in the new state isn’t what many had hoped for after decades of mismanagement under the former regimes.

    Beyond these organizational problems and contradictions, Daesh’s ideology—which, unlike Al Qaeda—focuses on on the “near enemy”—may help it form new alliances with groups like Boko Haram and militants in Libya and Yemen, which are also fighting various vestiges of state governments. Nonetheless, this ideology hasn’t been attractive enough to sustain the group’s territorial expansion to new areas of Syria and Iraq where local officials and fighters neither share Daesh’s ideology nor its vision.

    If history is any guide, Daesh’s ideology may also prove the group’s undoing. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al Qaeda, learned this lesson two decades ago in Egypt when, as the leader of the Islamic Jihad, he unsuccessfully challenged former President Hosni Mubarak’s government. Islamic Jihad’s failure in Egypt was largely the result of the brutality of the group’s tactics, which alienated the local population. Osama Bin Laden criticized the “near enemy” approach for this this very reason and, consequently, ordered Al Qaeda to target the “far enemy.”

    Beyond these organizational and ideological challenges, Daesh faces a host of military challenges, including the growing causality rate of foreign fighters and a slow loss of territory. The ongoing siege of Tikrit and a late spring or summer Mosul offensive will only compound Daesh’s increasingly strenuous position in Iraq. These offensives alone cannot eradicate Daesh from Iraq. At the very least, however, they will put the group on the defensive until alternative government structures can be built.

  22. Be "patient," and kill 40 or 50 headcutters / day.

    Sitting at approx. 8,900 daid psychopaths (killed by coalition bombing,) today.

    8,900 Dead Men, no longer Walking.

    Patience is a wonderful thing.

    1. The Carnage of Barrel Bombs in Syria

      Just as they headed out, another barrel bomb struck, landing next to the ambulance. The paramedic was the only survivor.

      After four years of war in Syria, stories like this are all too common. I am a surgeon operating in Aleppo, a city in the northwest still partially held by the armed opposition — though under increasing pressure from Syrian government forces. I have witnessed countless attacks like these and the toll they continue to take on my patients, my city and my country, which lies in ruins.

      The United Nations estimates that some 220,000 of my fellow Syrians have died during this conflict. I believe the true number of fatalities could be twice as high. After a barrel-bomb strike, an accurate casualty count is almost impossible; many bodies are buried under rubble and cannot be recovered.

      Be "patient," and kill hundreds of thousands of women and babies.....

      You CREATE more headcutters than you can count.

    2. "Rufus IIMon Aug 11, 07:46:00 PM EDT

      yes, what Rat is saying is all 100% True, Quirk. In this case you have a fairly small outfit spread out over 20,000, or so, square miles, and their primary fighting vehicles, and source of transportation are Toyota pickups with an automatic weapon in the bed. When those start blowin' up without warning, it's a serious situation.

      This isn't Patton's 3rd Army, supplied by the Cannonball Express. This is some gangsters on a rampage. And, they're on a rampage in the worst possible terrain for the equipment, and manpower that they have.

      A couple of battalions of even mediocre troops, underneath our air power, would have a very easy time of all this. This is about as close to a "gimmee" as you're ever going to see in War.

      Rufus IITue Aug 12, 12:15:00 PM EDT

      And, you damned right I know what I'm talking about. I've been where they are. As part of my 3 years experience in that business.

      Look, I've stated my opinion, and you've stated yours. We'll know in a couple of months, right?"

      Let's see a couple of months would have been last October and here we are now in March of the following year and now you are urging "patience". I guess you no longer stand by your oft stated date of July 04, 2015 for an IS free Iraq?

    3. The "patience" comment was totally tongue in cheek, dumbo.

      Daesh is getting "rolled up," everywhere.

      As for "July 4th," I might not be all that far off. When Mosul falls, it will be all but official.

    4. The only problem, right now, is that Iraq let the Iranians convince them to take Tikrit w/o coalition air support. That was dumb, and now that they're getting into Tikrit, proper, you will see them slow down, and possibly "stall out."

      That handful of planes that Iraq possesses just can't sustain a pace of more than 4 or 5 sorties/day. That's just not enough support for an army that, basically, advances by waiting for the artillery (not effective in close-in urban combat,) and air power to kill the opposition, and then shooting their rifles in the air and shouting "allah Akbar."

    5. Tikrit (Arabic: تكريت‎ Tikrīt also transliterated as Takrit or Tekrit, is a city in Iraq, located 140 km northwest of Baghdad on the Tigris River (at 34.61°N, 43.68°E). The town had a population of 260,000 in 2002.

      How many Sunni civilians have been killed by the Iranians and their proxies?

      Do you care?

    6. Evidently, not many



  23. .

    If the lady knows what she is talking about, the following provides an interesting look at the Iranian IRGC.


  24. Campaigning in the US may not have helped Bibi in ISrael.

    Election race tightens in Israel as polls show Netanyahu’s party trailing

    1. Gallup has his "favorability" down 7 points, and his "unfavorability" up 5 points since the address.


  25. Baghdad (CNN ) -
    About 75% of the besieged Iraqi city of Tikrit is now back in government control, the head of a key paramilitary force taking part in the attack told CNN on Thursday.

    The other 25% is in the hands of about 150 ISIS fighters who continue to hold out, said Main Al-Kadhimi, commander of the Hashd Al-Shaabi militia.

    1. Elsewhere in Anbar province, Iraqi security forces have managed to wrest back most of the town of Karma, near Falluja, from ISIS, said Sabah Al-Karhout, the head of the Anbar Provincial Council, on Wednesday.

      Iraqi security forces were fighting side by side with Shiite Hashd Al-Shaabi units and local tribesmen, Al-Karhout said.

    2. Wow. Even allowing for "Arab Exaggeration," that's pretty good progress.

  26. March 12, 2015
    Hillary's criminal liability in the e-mail scandal
    By Thomas Lifson

    Shannen W. Coffin, a lawyer who was formerly counsel to VP Dick Cheney, has delved into the detailed legalities of State Department officials and their records and believes that Hillary Clinton may well have committed at least one felony when she departed her position as secretary of state while keeping possession of her entire e-mail correspondence. In an article in National Review Online and an appearance on The Kelly File (video below), he explains how Mrs. Clinton may need to add an orange jumpsuit to her collection of pantsuits and long, roomy jackets.

    Under provisions of the State Department’s records-management manual:............................

    Read more:

    Whole article is good and very informative. Maybe her goose really is finally cooked.

    1. Is the President required to live in the White House or can one run the show from a Fed Med? What about work release? Parole conditions?

      So many questions, hehehe

  27. he Left Isn’t Pulling Ahead in Israel, It’s Just Fooling Voters w/a Fake Third Party
    March 12, 2015 by Daniel Greenfield

    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a Likud party meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem

    The Israeli left remains unpopular in terms of its ideas. It succeeds, to the extent that it does, through a variety of shell games.

    In this election, the left became desperate enough to rename its coalition The Zionist Party, which is a little like the Democrats running for office as The Capitalist Party. They focused on boosting Muslim turnout, which they appear to have done successfully.

    But all of it would be for nothing without a fake Third Party.

    The left has done well with fake third parties. It’s a testament to its basic unpopularity that it needs to trot out a fake third party.

    The fake third party this time is Kulanu, a media manufactured party headed by Moshe Kahlon a hack from Netanyahu’s conservative Likud party who is looking for his 15 minutes of fame and the goodies that come with it. Technically Kulanu is actually a fake fourth party considering that its role was filled last time around by Yesh Atid, which is still in the running.

    These fake third parties are typically focused on equality and reform, they play at being non-partisan and consisting of smart people who just want to fix a broken system. And there are idiots who fall for it every time.

    Currently the conservative parties are losing seats to Kulanu, because the party (obviously) targets their base. That is its whole purpose. It’s not so much that the left is gaining as that a stalking horse party for the left is gaining.

    The majority of Israelis do want Netanyahu by 48 to 34. But the left is really good at gaming a parliamentary system and voters are often unwilling to understand how they play into the hands of the left.

    I don’t think that we’re going to end up with the Herzog dynasty and Netanyahu will probably end up on top, but there’s no question that the left has played the game very effectively in this election. Obviously the money that has been spread around, including by US left-wing groups, was put to use. As were the assorted election consultants from Team Obama.

    Netanyahu, like Republicans and many Western conservative parties, is effectively stuck campaigning as the sane alternative to the left-wing crazies, but without actually delivering anything meaningful to inspire and encourage his base.

    And that’s not inspiring to anyone.

    Filed Under: The Point
    About Daniel Greenfield

    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.

    1. .

      Good lord, what bullshit.

      The irony is palpable. The high dudgeon expressed over phony newspapers, media, money spent from foreign supporters, interference from the US. Hilarious.

      Try reading the story I put up yesterday about Sheldon Adelson.


    2. .

      From the Times article above

      Israel has much stricter laws on individuals donating to political campaigns, so Adelson got around that in 2007 by founding a free, giveaway newspaper in Israel — Israel Hayom — whose sole purpose is to back Netanyahu, attack his enemies in politics and the media, and enforce a far-right political agenda to prevent any Israeli territorial compromise on the West Bank (which, in time, could undermine Israel as a Jewish democracy). Graphically attractive, Israel Hayom is now the biggest-circulation daily in Israel. Precisely because it is free, it is putting a heavy strain on competitors...


      Adelson then bought the most important newspaper of the religious-nationalist right in Israel, Makor Rishon, long considered the main backer of Netanyahu’s biggest right-wing rival, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett. Last March, in an interview with Israel Army Radio after the Makor Rishon sale, Bennett said: “It saddens me. Israel Hayom is not a newspaper. It is Pravda. It’s the mouthpiece of one person, the prime minister.


      The Washington Post said that last November at a conference of the Israel American Council, a lobbying group Adelson has funded, he joked in a public discussion with another wealthy Israeli: “Why don’t you and I go after The New York Times?” Told it was family owned, Adelson quipped, “There is only one way to fight it: money.” At this same conference Adelson was quoted as saying that Israel would not be able to survive as a democracy: “So Israel won’t be a democratic state,” he added. “So what?”


    3. .

      As to the GOP,

      We certainly know that Mr. Adelson does. And when it came to showering that cash on Republican presidential hopefuls and right-wing PACs trying to defeat President Obama (reportedly $150 million in 2012), and on keeping Netanyahu and his Likud party in office, no single billionaire-donor is more influential than Sheldon...


      Last March in Las Vegas Adelson organized his own private Republican primary. Politico wrote at the time: “Adelson summoned [Jeb] Bush and Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey, John Kasich of Ohio and Scott Walker of Wisconsin to Las Vegas. ... The new big-money political landscape — in which a handful of donors can dramatically alter a campaign with just a check or two.” When Christie, in his speech before Adelson, described the West Bank as “occupied territories,” some Republican Jews in the audience were appalled. So, Politico reported, Christie hastily arranged a meeting with Adelson to explain that he had misspoken and that he was a true friend of Israel. “The New Jersey governor apologized in a private meeting in the casino mogul’s Venetian office shortly afterward,” Politico reported. It said Adelson “accepted” Christie’s “explanation” and “quick apology.”

      Craven obsequiousness.

      Christie bows, then genuflects, kisses Sheldon's ring and assumes the position.

      Thank you, sir, may I have another.


    4. Think of all the good Sheldon has done for the people of Las Vegas, and our nation !

    5. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson think it is good that Adleson is funneling Charlie Chi-com money into the US politics

  28. Well The GOP Likuds Force stepped in it:

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — A petition on the White House’s web site calling for charges to be filed against 47 Republican senators who sent a letter to Iran’s leaders has garnered more than double the signatures it needs to draw a White House response.

    The petition, on, was filed Monday and had 214,178 signatures as of mid-Thursday morning. To require a response from the White House, petitioners must secure 100,000 signatures within 30 days.

    Some Republicans admit they were caught off guard by the backlash to the letter, which warned Iranian leaders against a nuclear agreement with President Barack Obama. Politico reported Sen. John McCain of Arizona, one of the signers of the letter, said Republicans should have given it closer consideration. Many Republicans endorsed the missive during a Senate lunch a week ago, and it was released Monday.

    “Everybody was looking forward to getting out of town because of the snowstorm” last week, McCain said.

    1. 100,000? Compare that to the number that of Bruce Jenner's sex gender transformation on Google…

      About 4,350,000 results (0.31 seconds)
      Search Results
      Bruce Jenner Sex Change Doctors Reveal Transgender ...

    2. A Google Search is not a petition. It is a search.

    3. Republican Letter - About 97,400,000 results (0.31 seconds)

    4. GOP Likuds Force - About 483,000 results (0.60 seconds)

    5. .

      “Everybody was looking forward to getting out of town because of the snowstorm” last week, McCain said. Others say it was all kind of a joke. Sort of like a jibjab skit.

      Don't you guys have a sense of humor?

      Probably one of if not the most important foreign policy issues in this term. The GOP rants about it constantly and yet the last thing they do before going on break is construct an elaborate joke about it that makes them look like a bunch of frat guys yuck yucking their way into spring break.

      Real funny, guy. Shame the rest of the world doesn't get the joke.


    6. The Republicans are abysmally Ignorant about foreign policy and the democratic pretensions of the United States, but that is no excuse. There is no good faith there, zero. They hate Obama because he is a “black” who is a thousand times more intelligent and successful than them, and because his too-calm style infuriates them all the more-they want nothing more than to pound his face into the ground with their meaty fists and that’s hard to do when he refuses a fight.

    7. Never the less, while the letter may be problematic, the Republicans are right on the issue. It is a treaty. The Senate has a duty to vote on it.

      It is the Democratic Party Jihad Al-Quds Force and Ayatollah Obama and the usual suspects here at this blog that are out to destroy the Constitution, and claim they are 'fighting for civilization' at the same time.

    8. When, and if, the Supreme Court rules on the issue you will see that Uncle Bob is right.

    9. Your good and warmhearted and compassionate and forgiving Uncle Bob is right.

    10. Children, sit up please, and focus -

      Republicans’ letter to Iran is far from unprecedented

      U.S. President Barack Obama smiles as he speaks to reporters as he sits down to a meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk in the Oval Office in Washington, March 9, 2015. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
      By Marc A. Thiessen March 11

      The Obama administration has excoriated Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and 46 other Republicans for writing to Iran’s leaders informing them of the Senate’s constitutional role in approving international agreements. Vice President Joe Biden went so far as to declare that “In 36 years in the United States Senate, I cannot recall another instance in which senators wrote directly to advise another country — much less a longtime foreign adversary — that the president does not have the constitutional authority to reach a meaningful understanding with them.”

      Really? Biden has an awfully short memory.

      In June 2000, when Biden was ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, President Bill Clinton set off for Moscow to negotiate a new arms control treaty with Vladimir Putin that would have limited the United States’ ability to build defenses against ballistic missile attack. The morning the talks were scheduled to begin, the president was greeted by on op-ed on the front page of Izvestia by committee chairman Jesse Helms (R-N.C.). “After dragging his feet on missile defense for nearly eight years, Mr. Clinton now fervently hopes that he will be permitted, in his final months in office, to tie the hands of the next President,” Helms wrote. “Well I, for one, have a message for the President: Not on my watch. Let’s be clear, to avoid any misunderstandings: Any modified ABM treaty negotiated by this administration will be dead-on-arrival at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. . . . The Russian government should not be under any illusion whatsoever that any commitments made by this lame-duck Administration, will be binding on the next administration.”

      The message was received in Moscow. There was no new arms control deal.

    11. Biden also surely remembers how in 1998, when the Clinton administration was negotiating a U.N. treaty to create an International Criminal Court, Helms did more than send a letter expressing his opposition — he sent his aides to Rome to join the negotiations and make his opposition clear. I was a member of that team. Meeting with the United Nations delegates (with Biden’s aides present), we delivered a clear message from the chairman: Any treaty Clinton negotiated that did not give the U.S. a veto over the ICC in the Security Council was “dead on arrival” in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. However, unlike the Obama administration, the Clinton team smartly tried to use Helms’s opposition as leverage to negotiate more protections for Americans.
      Iran letter: Is it treason?(1:02)
      An already heated battle between the White House and Republicans over negotiations to curtail Iran’s nuclear program grew more tense when 47 Republican senators sent a letter to Iran designed to kill any potential deal. But is it treason? (Jason Aldag/The Washington Post)

      Helms did not simply write to foreign leaders explaining the Senate’s constitutional role in foreign policy. Together with Biden, he went to the U.N. headquarters in New York to deliver the message in person. On Jan. 20, 2000, Helms became the first U.S. senator ever to address the U.N. Security Council, where he warned of steep consequences if the U.N. failed to accept the U.N. reforms he and Biden had passed. And he explained to the gathered world leaders what a mistake it was to try to ignore the role of the Senate in foreign policy. Citing the example of Woodrow Wilson’s failure to secure congressional approval for the League of Nations, Helms declared, “Wilson probably could have achieved ratification of the League of Nations if he had worked with Congress.” Helms and Biden then invited the Security Council to Washington, where he gathered all the U.N. ambassadors in the old Senate chamber for a lecture from Senate historian Richard Baker on the Senate’s role in U.S. foreign policy. (Russia’s then-U.N. ambassador, and current foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov turned to Helms’s aide after the lecture and asked, “Where in the bastion of democracy can I have a smoke?”)

      In this context, Cotton’s open letter to Iran is mild by comparison. It contains no warning that a nuclear deal is “dead on arrival” or declaration that Obama is a “lame duck.” The letter simply spells out the Senate’s constitutional role in the treaty ratification process and points out that any agreement Obama reaches with Iran that is “not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement.”

      The folly here is not in Cotton’s decision to write the mullahs, but in Obama’s petulant response that Cotton and his colleagues were “making common cause with the hard-liners in Iran.” Please. The deal Obama is negotiating is opposed not only by Republicans in Congress, but also by leading Democrats, the government of Israel and most Arab leaders. Are they all “making common cause with the hard-liners in Iran” too?

      Rather than having a temper tantrum, Obama should emulate Clinton and use congressional and international opposition as leverage at the negotiating table to get a better deal with Iran. And rather than rail against those who are speaking out against his deal, Obama should ask himself why so many are going to such great lengths to stop it. The problem is not their criticism, but Obama running roughshod over the concerns of Congress and U.S. allies. The fact is that any deal Obama reaches that does not have broad bipartisan backing in Congress and the support of governments in the region is in fact “dead on arrival” — even if Cotton and company are too polite to put it that bluntly.

    12. .

      Article by Mark Theissen, ex-speechwriter and spokesman for George W. Bush and Don Rumsfeld and author of books promoting torture, er sorry, enhanced interrogation techniques.

      Posted by Idaho Bob, native son of Idaho, a rustic state which self-describes itself as 'Land of Hicks', whose state bird is the DoDo, and whose state animal is the unicorn.



    13. .

      Just kidding. At least, about the dodo part.


    14. .

      Well, and the 'land of hicks' part.


    15. .

      But, of course, the unicorn part is true.


    16. Wrong, again, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, it is not a treaty that is being negotiated, between the P4+1 and Iran.

  29. AL-UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar – American refueling planes rumble into the air from this desert air base around the clock to top up coalition aircraft bombing Islamic State militants, whether they're Arab fighters flying out of regional bases or French warplanes catapulted off an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.

    The al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar is the regional nerve center for the air war against the militants who have taken over nearly a third of Iraq and Syria. That makes it the main hub for coordinating warplanes from the U.S. and 11 other nations in the coalition carrying out bombing raids.

    While the U.S. is doing the heavy lifting in the airstrikes, American officials say the allies' contributions are vital.

    "This is dangerous stuff. This is not political theater," said Lt. Col. David Haworth, chief of the current operations division for the Combined Air Operation Center.

    "I don't think what we are doing today would be even remotely possible without the coalition partners," he told The Associated Press, making a rare media visit to the base. "To say that we want to or we are capable of going it alone I think would be a terrible mistake."

    The low-rise Combined Air Operation Center, packed with rows of computer terminals overseen by big-screen monitors, brings together officers from across the coalition to help share information and plan missions.

    Helping the Dead Men Walking find a resting place

    1. Intelligence gathered by coalition members helps give commanders a deeper understanding of how the Islamic State group operates on the ground, Haworth said. For example, at times its fighters mass together like a traditional army unit, while in other situations they behave more like insurgent guerrillas.

      All information will be key in preparations for an eventual offensive by Iraqi troops and Kurdish fighters to retake the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the biggest city under the extremists' control. The coalition will no doubt be backing the assault, though officials here would not discuss plans for future operations.

      "If they (the militants) want to try and reinforce, whether it's Mosul or some other location, we want to make sure we're ready," Haworth said. "If they want to flee, we'll want to make sure that we have that contingency covered as well."

      American planes in general hit more of what the military refers to as "dynamic" targets — ones that are not pre-planned — and a mobile insurgency like the Islamic State group makes for a lot of dynamic targets.

      The Air Force estimates that half of all strikes in the battle stem from close air support for Iraqi ground forces. Another 30 percent involve hitting Islamic State militants traveling between Iraq and Syria.

      Many coalition members, meanwhile, might drop multiple bombs on a single preset target, such as a militant-held compound or mobile oil refinery.

      Since the bombing campaign began, American warplanes have handled 80 percent of the 2,780 airstrikes carried out as of Tuesday in Iraq and Syria, according to the most recent figures provided by the U.S. military.

      Primarily Western allies including Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan and the Netherlands operate over Iraq, and have handled about three of every 10 airstrikes there.

    2. The share of American strikes is even greater in Syria. There, Arab coalition members have conducted just 93 airstrikes, compared with 1,137 by American aircraft. The countries operating alongside the U.S. over Syria include Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

      By the military's definition, an airstrike refers to a particular target, regardless of how many planes are involved in hitting it and how much ordnance is fired at it. By another measure — strike sorties — three out of five times that a warplane takes off on a strike mission in the campaign, it's an American plane. Or by yet another measure, other coalition members have dropped a fifth of the munitions used so far in the campaign.

      Part of the reason for the large American role in Syria comes down to the monthslong battle for Kobani, where relentless pounding from the air helped Kurdish fighters finally fend off the Islamic State group's offensive trying to take the town, on the border with Turkey.

      Longer-range American aircraft like the swept-wing B-1 bombers that operate out of al-Udeid were particularly well suited for that fight. They are able to spend hours over the battlefield loaded with up to 24 tons of bombs that can be used in multiple airstrikes.

      "We brought a lot of loiter time, a lot of weapons" over Kobani, said Lt. Col. Joe Kramer, 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron commander.

      The number in Syria was also affected by the Emirates' decision to sit out the fight for several weeks after Jordanian fighter pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh went down behind enemy lines in December. He was eventually killed by the militants.

    3. The UAE, which boasts one of the region's most capable air forces, resumed airstrikes last month after the U.S. moved search-and-rescue teams closer to the battlefield. It and Bahrain have deployed some aircraft to Jordan, bringing them closer to the fight.

      Arab allies also give the coalition access to much-needed bases dotted around the Gulf. Canadian warplanes operate out of Kuwait, for example, while Australia has deployed F/A-18 fighters to an air base outside Dubai.

      In addition to Qatar, American planes fly out of bases in the Emirates, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as off the carrier USS Carl Vinson.

      Al-Udeid also hosts a forward headquarters for U.S. Central Command, which directs military operations throughout the region, including those still ongoing in Afghanistan, as well as Patriot missile batteries to protect regional allies against missile attacks.

      The base continues to grow: New ramp space to handle additional American aircraft opened just last month, and more dormitory buildings are being raised. A second runway is under construction.

      Without other countries' support, the coalition would not be able to sustain as many missions and would have less intelligence on militants' operations on the ground, officials say.

      Even less-heralded tasks such as refueling bombers and fighters — a crucial mission because of the long distances aircraft need to fly from bases outside the combat zone — would be harder without the allies' help.

      "To look at just strikes would be like to look at a baseball game of just home runs," Haworth said, describing the . . .

    4. It is Iranian ground troops and Iranian militias that are gaining the advantage in Tikrit, not air strikes.


      Factoid learned on The Savage Nation today:

      The Hebrew word for violence mangled over to English is ghamas = hamas

      This was revealed by a biblical scholar and linguist.

      The significance of this is left to the reader to ponder.

    5. Iraqi aircraft, built in Russia, are carrying the fight to Daesh in Tikrit.
      SU-25 and Mi-24 are supplying the Close Air Support the Iraqi need to take that city from the Daesh.

      Not only were US troop not needed, Coalition aircraft were not, either.
      Despite the US not providing Iraq modern aircraft, the Iraqi were not deterred.
      The Iraqi leaders were able to protect the democracy established by those "Purple Fingers of Freedom", with out US!

      The news just gets better and better.

  30. The Democratic Party and its masters in the Al-Quds Force - that sounds about right. I shall use that, and its variants.

  31. You never were much on original thought. Try harder.

    1. Ah, gee Deuce, something hit home ?

      There was a time when I would have said you were a thoughtful man.

    2. No offense, I know that you are capable of better.

    3. I know you are not, these days.

      You have been seduced by some political/religio meme that has as much relationship to the truth as the "hands up, don't shoot" meme had to the realities Ferguson, Missouri.

      No offense.

      That's how you come across these days.

  32. Examine your comment, there is no comparison. If you think there is a comparison , make your case.

  33. A guy that has said 'Iran is fighting for civilization' couldn't see the comparison no matter what I said. The Republicans are made out to be devils by comparison.

    So others can decide.

  34. Fox News is reporting that Obama is planning on having the United Nations vote on his treaty with Iran, rather than the United States Senate.

    With this duplicitous, disgusting news I am giving up for the day, and heading out to a happier, saner place, the Coeur d'Alene Casino.

    Cheers !!

  35. A Boner Story

    Agony of man, 42, who broke his PENIS during sex (and says he heard it snap)

    Man, from Boston, had accidentally hit his penis on his partner's perineum
    He heard a snap, immediately lost his erection and saw blood spurting out
    He felt searing pain and went to A&E where he was sent for an operation
    Had torn his tunica albuginea, the outer sheath of his penis' inner chamber
    Was checked 3 and 6 months later and had recovered from the ordeal

    By Madlen Davies for MailOnline

    Published: 07:35 EST, 12 March 2015 | Updated: 13:24 EST, 12 March 2015

    A man was left in agony after fracturing his penis during sex.

    The 42-year-old had to undergo emergency surgery after snapping a fibrous membrane inside the organ.

    His erect phallus had inadvertently collided with his partner’s perineum, the area in front of the anus.

    The man heard a snap, felt his penis become immediately flaccid, and noticed a rush of blood from the tip.

    He was rushed to the A&E department of a Boston hospital as he was suffering severe pain, according to a case report in the New England Journal of Medicine.
    A 42-year-old man rushed to hospital after fracturing his penis during sex. After accidentally hitting his erect penis on his partner's perineum, he heard a loud snap, saw a spurt of blood and felt searing pain (file picture)

    A 42-year-old man rushed to hospital after fracturing his penis during sex. After accidentally hitting his erect penis on his partner's perineum, he heard a loud snap, saw a spurt of blood and felt searing pain (file picture)

    Doctors found he had torn his tunica albuginea, the watertight and fibrous outer sheath of one of the penis' inner chambers, the corpus cavernosa.

    The corpus cavernosa runs along the length of the penis and is filled with spongy tissue, into which blood flows to create an erection.

    The tunica albuginea helps to trap the blood in the corpus cavernosa, maintaining an erection.

    Picture shows a cross section of a penis. The tunica albuginea is the white membrane of the large red chamber, called the corpus cavernosa, in the centre

    Picture shows a cross section of a penis. The tunica albuginea is the white membrane of the large red chamber, called the corpus cavernosa, in the centre

    1. The tunica albuginea is the watertight outer sheath of one of the penis' inner chambers, the corpus cavernosa.

      The corpus cavernosa runs along the length of the penis and is filled with spongy tissue, into which blood flows to create an erection.

      The tunica albuginea helps to trap the blood in the corpus cavernosa, maintaining an erection.

      It is a whitish and fibrous membrane.

      The snap had led to a tear in the corpus cavernosa’s sheath, which meant blood leaked out, creating swelling.

      It was forced out of his body through the urethra, the tube by which a man passes urine, which is why he saw blood coming out of the end of his penis.

      When he arrived at hospital, he was taken straight to the operating room for emergency repair.

      Doctors said the consequences of such a fracture include erectile dysfunction, as scar tissue known as fibrous plaques can form in the penis, meaning

      They warned it is also possible to suffer a curve or bend in the penis, and damage to the nerves in the genitals.

      Fortunately, the man, who was seen three and six months after surgery, regained his ability to obtain an erection - without any noticeable curvature or plaque forming in his penis.

      The news comes after MailOnline reported on the story of Edward Stalling, who endured a painful erection for several weeks.

      He has suffered a rare side effect to a sleeping tablet given to him in hospital.

      Mr Stalling was hospitalised for 10 days as doctors treated his prolonged erection.

      He developed fibrosis – where the arteries and muscles in the penis becoming hardened with fibrous tissue – as a result of the continued erection.

      He claims this has left him impotent and with difficulty urinating - and is suing the hospital for not making the side effects of the sleeping tablets clear to him.

  36. If President Barack Obama were more like embattled comedian Bill Cosby — in terms of being hyper-critical of black culture — the influx of crime committed by black Americans wouldn’t exist. At least that’s what former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani thinks.

    During a Thursday morning interview with talk radio host John Gambling on New York's AM 970, Guiliani managed to blame a everything from a high school brawl at a Brooklyn McDonald’s to Wednesday night’s Ferguson cop shootings on President Obama.

    “I hate to mention it because of what happened afterwards,” Guiliani said, “but [he should be saying] the kinds of stuff Bill Cosby used to say.”

    When he says "because of what happened afterwards," Guiliani is likely referring to the throng of sex abuse claims that have been made against Cosby in recent months.

    When asked about his take on the recent cop shooting and McDonald's brawl, Guiliani replied, “It all starts at the top. It’s the tone that’s set by the President.”

    According to Guiliani, President Obama, who increased Byrne Grants given to police departments to create anti-drug and anti-gang task forces, refuses to acknowledge crime committed by black Americans for historical reasons.

    Last month, Guiliani went so far as to say the unthinkable. During a Manhattan dinner party, Guiliani said, “I do not believe … that this President loves America.”

    [New York


  37. Told ya. :)

    BAGHDAD, March 13: The offensive to retake Tikrit appeared to stall on Friday, two days after Iraqi security forces and mainly Shi'ite militia pushed into Saddam Hussein's home city in their biggest offensive yet against the militants.

    A source in the Salahuddin Operations Command said Iraqi forces would not move forward until reinforcements reached Tikrit, of which Islamic State still holds around half.

    Using guerrilla warfare tactics, the militants have turned the city into a labyrinth of home-made bombs and booby-trapped buildings, and are using snipers to halt their progress.

    Hadi al-Amiri, the head of the Shi'ite paramilitary Badr Organisation and now one of the most powerful men in Iraq said the outcome of the battle for Tikrit was in no doubt, but Iraqi forces needed time.

    "We are not in a hurry, but we have a plan and we are following it," Amiri told Iraqi state television from the Tikrit frontline. "Even if the battle drags on for two, three or four days that is okay. We will celebrate the liberation of . . . . .


    1. Shiites conquering Sunni lands.

      How many Sunnis will be butchered?

    2. ME "fighters" just aren't interested in that down and dirty, up close fighting that's required to finish off a job.

      They all talk a good game, but their strategy for taking out a sniper is to get behind something, and wait for the helicopter to show up. I doubt that you can "train" it out of them. It seems to just be the way they are.

    3. Nobody cares, wio; we're there to protect the oil.

    4. Note to Rufus: WE are not even there.

      But, the Iranians ARE there.

    5. REPORT: U.S. exaggerating ISIS casualties...

      No senior leaders killed in 6 months...........Dridge

  38. Meanwhile, the coalition is keeping busy:

    WASHINGTON: The Unites States and its coalition partners staged 11 air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq since Thursday, the Combined Joint Task Force leading the operations said in a statement.

    Five strikes targeted and destroyed 10 of the militant group's fighting positions and two of its vehicles near the Syrian border town of Kobani, the statement released on Friday said.

    In Iraq, the air strikes near five cities - al Asad, Falluja, Kirkuk, Mosul and Rawa - struck two units of Islamic State fighters along with various equipment and an armed vehicle, according to the task force.

    The "B" Team is stalled, and the "A" Team is playing exhibitions

    1. REPORT: U.S. exaggerating ISIS casualties...

      No senior leaders killed in 6 months...........Dridge

      The "B" Team is stalled, and the "A" Team is making shit up.

  39. The Producer Price Index (PPI-FD) fell another 0.5% last month, after falling 0.8% the month before.

    That brings the Year over Year number to -0.7%.

  40. .


    I am metagrabolized, dazed and confused by the daily action accounts from our military corespondents. When things are going slowly for the US, we are urged to have patience. We have all the time in the world. When ME 'fighters' are slowed taking fortified positions in an urban setting they are accused of cowardice.

    Strange stuff.


  41. Man I tell ya, these Secret Service folks got a good job. (while it lasts) Sounds like it's nothing but booze and broads. The latest episode involved the second in command of protecting Obama, an old fifty something dude, by the picture, and a mate who got drunk as skunks and ran the car into the White House fence, among other obstacles.

    He's been 'transferred' presumably to a less stressful position where the behavior will continue unabated. It's hard to fire a government employee....

    Quirk one time, sensing the fun to be had, applied to work for the Secret Service. I remember asking him how the application process was going, but he didn't want to talk about it.

    Hard to get in, I guess, and hard to get you out.

    1. .

      Who has ever been fired in this administration?

      Under this administration, I can't think of a single department that hasn't had its own scandals even its own crimes, yet, no one is punished. At most, someone may be allowed to resign with full benefits, sometimes a couple months before they were going to retire.

      There seems to be zero accountability.



    2. Video: Secret Service follies continue with suspected DUI disrupting bomb probe
      posted at 10:41 am on March 13, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

      Get ready for more contentious hearings on Capitol Hill over the dysfunction at the Secret Service — and just be thankful it will be more explosive in a figurative sense than the latest embarrassment might have been in a literal sense. Two Secret Service agents coming back to the White House after a party ran their car into a barricade on March 4th. The barricade was up as part of an investigation into a bomb threat, and the two agents — one of whom is the #2 man on President Obama’s security detail — drove right past the package:

      Oddly, even though the agents who responded could smell alcohol on their breath, the supervisor allowed them to leave without taking a breathalyzer or sobriety test. Even more oddly, the Secret Service took four days to let the White House know about the incident:

      But shortly before 11 p.m., the two high-ranking Secret Service agents, returning from a work party at a Chinatown bar about eight blocks from the White House, drove their government car through the crime scene. According to people familiar with the incident, they drove through police tape and then hit a temporary barricade, using the car to push aside some barrels. An agency official said Thursday that the car was not damaged.

      The episode was caught on surveillance video. Investigators who reviewed the video of the incident initially said they could not be sure whether the pair drove very close to or over the suspicious item wrapped in the shirt, one law enforcement official said. But after reviewing more video later Thursday afternoon, the official said, they concluded that the agents’ government car drove directly next to the package.

      Secret Service officers on duty that night considered the agents’ behavior to be erratic and suspected they were drunk, according to current and former officials familiar with the incident.

      The officers wanted to arrest the agents — but a more senior supervisor at the complex told them to let the agents go, the officials said.

      And yet …

      Clancy placed the two senior agents involved in the incident in new “non-supervisory, non-operational” jobs pending an investigation — a less stringent approach than the service has taken in the past, when staffers suspected of misconduct were put on administrative leave or pressed to resign or accept demotion. Also, Clancy did not take action against a senior supervisor on duty that night who, according to officials briefed on the incident, ordered Secret Service officers to let the agents go home without giving them sobriety tests.

      The supervisor not only didn’t have the two agents tested, but then apparently didn’t report the incident immediately — and he’s still on the job? That’s an odd decision by the new director, Joseph Clancy, who only has that job because of the failures of his two predecessors to clean up the dysfunction within the department. Clancy, who had been a member of Bill Clinton’s detail and ran Obama’s detail during a 27-year career with the Secret Service, was thought to be a tough insider who could re-instill discipline in the agency. Instead, it may be that Clancy is too much a part of the agency to truly crack down on malfeasance when it erupts … almost literally, in this case.

      Whatever changes have been made — and a number of changes were made in the upper leadership two months ago — the message hasn’t gotten through.

    3. .

      Heck, what kind of judgment do these guys have? Rushing into a possible security situation while drunk. Hitting a barrier and in doing so running over a suspicious package that could have easily been a bomb.

      And these were amongst the Secret Service leadership ranks.


    4. Drove right through the Police tape.

      Heh, and like you say, these were the top dogs.....

    5. I think if I were Obama I'd be thinking about hiring my own private security detail.