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

Thursday, August 06, 2015

In a Democracy Presidents can Come Ago, but Ignorant Bought and Paid For US Senators Can Last Forever



  1. The execrable Chuckie Schumer, and the other "bought and paid for Democratic Senators" are squalling in outrage over Obama's take no prisoners speech at American University.

  2. It seems that they object to Obama's observation of "common cause" between the Iranian hard-liners, and the Republicans (and, by inference, themselves.)

  3. Another week of extremely low Jobless Claims - 270,000

  4. Monday, in the income and outlays report, we saw that Year on Year Inflation is running at 3/10ths of one percent (0.3%.)

    The "Oh My God, Raise the Rates, Now" crowd seems to just brush on by this - in spite of the Fed's stated goal of 2% Inflation.

    If you wonder, "Why," you might be irretrievably naïve.

  5. .

    Some of the 'you' here haven't bothered to argue about the 'trends' in inflation. It's obvious that they will eventually change, moving up or even worse going down.

    What those 'yous' have argued is that FED policy after the first couple of years following the recession has been ineffectual in meeting its mandated objectives (price stability that is unless you confuse correlation with causation) and economic growth with full employment.

    Now, it is true that the FED's supply side inclinations have reached the point where they have self-mandated and publicly announced a third key objective of boosting the stock market, an objective that seems to please the top percentiles on the economic spectrum but which has done little for the rest.


  6. Rubio, and Bush

    The rest was a push.

  7. WASHINGTON — Senator Chuck Schumer, the most influential Jewish voice in Congress, said Thursday night that he would oppose President Obama’s deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program.

    “Advocates on both sides have strong cases for their point of view that cannot simply be dismissed,” Mr. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said in a lengthy statement. “This has made evaluating the agreement a difficult and deliberate endeavor, and after deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval.”

    Mr. Schumer had spent the last several weeks carrying a dog-eared copy of the agreement in his briefcase and meeting with Mr. Obama and officials like Wendy R. Sherman, the deal’s chief negotiator. With his decision, he paves the way for other Democrats on the fence to join Republicans in showing their disapproval.

    Continue reading the main story

    Congressman for Family of Iran Prisoner, Amir Hekmati, Backs Nuclear DealJULY 30, 2015
    Senators John McCain and Jack Reed spoke to Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz, right, after a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday.Top General Gives ‘Pragmatic’ View of Iran Nuclear DealJULY 29, 2015
    Secretary of State John Kerry, left, with Hossein Fareydoun, center, the brother of Iran's president, and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Vienna in July.Iran’s President Defends Nuclear Deal in Blunt RemarksJULY 23, 2015
    Verification Process in Iran Deal Is Questioned by Some ExpertsJULY 22, 2015
    “There are some who believe that I can force my colleagues to vote my way,” Mr. Schumer said. “While I will certainly share my view and try to persuade them that the vote to disapprove is the right one, in my experience with matters of conscience and great consequence like this, each member ultimately comes to their own conclusion.”

    Schumer put country - the USA - over career, an unusual move for him

    The deal stinks.

    Iran gets to turn in its own soil samples, for instance.

    And USA doesn't know what in some of the IAEA

    Only an idiot like Quirk could support this non sense.

  8. .

    I missed the also-ran debate but understand it had some interesting moments.

    On the big boy stage, I was impressed with some of the polished speakers there, Rubio, Huckabee, and even Cruz. Of course, the substance of what they had to say was another matter.

    Trump certainly didn't help himself any tonight although I did take a certain guilty pleasure in watching him go after Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace. But do the people currently supporting him care or are they so po'd by the current situation in D.C. they just don't give a toot. It will be interesting to see what the next polls say.

    Bush seemed kind of flat. I thought he came up a little short in his answer on common core. All in all I wasn't impressed.

    I felt the same about Walker. He had the words but not the music. I doubt many votes moved to him tonight.

    Christie's act seems kind of tired. It's like his 15 minutes of fame passed a few years back.

    Rand Paul, I like a lot of what he says (and does) but I think he took a few steps back tonight. The facial expression when he was arguing with Christie reminded me of Dana Carvey playing Garth on Wayne's World.

    Ben Carson once again proved he was not ready for prime time.

    It was the first time I've seen Cruz in other than short soundbites and I didn't realize he is quite an accomplished speaker. I doubt if he has a large enough base to go very far.

    Rubio like Cruz is also a good speaker. It will be interesting see how far he can go in the race.

    Huckabee did pretty well.

    IMO, Kasich was the clear winner coming out of the debate. He came out late and his performance should help him move up a little.

    Overall, I was disappointed in Trump's performance, although when I heard some of his answers a second time, I feel my first impression might have been a little too negative.

    I was even more disappointed we didn't have more fireworks. That was what I tuned in for.

    Third, I have to admit that there is a little more to some of these guys than the picture I got in the soundbites.

    That being said, it is still their positions that matter not how well they state them.


    1. Trump dominated the debate.

      Ben Carson did well.

      They all did well though Rand Paul sometimes looked a little lost and out of place.

      Carly was best among the JV's.

  9. Jobs Report coming up. All experts taking the Under.


    1. Very lackluster jobs report, except for one Key Metric -

      Huge Drop in Part-Time Employment.

      Part-Time for Economic Reasons Down 180,000

      Part-Time for Non-economic Reasons Down 589,000

    2. That sent "hours worked" from 34.5 to 34.6 hrs. per week.

      That's equivalent to approx. 15,000,000 more hrs. worked per week.

    3. That alone, would be the equivalent of creating 435,000 jobs, or thereabouts.

    4. Not a single "expert" seems to have noticed this.

    5. Index of aggregate weekly payrolls:

      month on month change 0.6 (7.2%, annualized)

      Year on year change 4.9%

      Not gangbusters, but showing promise

      kind of the recurring theme of this economy, eh?

    6. There are 2,204,000 fewer working part-time for economic reasons than in July of 2010.

      July 2010

  10. ( On Wednesday, U.S. officials announced the United States conducted its first air raid against ISIS from the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey, while noted that the air strike was carried out in northern Syria.

    “Reuters” quoted officials as saying, “The United States carried out the first deadly air strike in northern Syria from a base in southern Turkey.”

    Turkey had agreed last month to allow the United States to launch strikes against “ISIS” from a military air base in Turkey, located near the Syrian border.

    1. Awesome!

      Now America is helping KEEP Assad (a proxy of Iran) in power!

      These kind folks (Assad, Hezbollah and Iran) have murdered over 360,000 civilians in Syria alone! Now lets not forget the 11 MILLION driven from their homes!!!!!


      And of course, those DEAD and starving Palestinians!!!!! tens of thousands that Assad (with Russian help too) kept penned up in a REAL ghetto… Not like Gaza of course (but the Jews own Gaza)


      Keep cheering Rufus…

  11. There was almost no discussion of the economy in last night’s debate, which is actually weird if you consider the Republican self-image. These guys portray themselves as high priests of growth, the people who know how to bring prosperity. And remember all the crowing about how Obama was presiding over the worst recovery ever?

    But now, not so much. The chart shows private-sector job gains after two recessions — the 2001 recession, and the 2007-2009 Great Recession — ended, in thousands. You can argue that the economy should have bounced back more strongly from the deeper slump; on the other hand, 2008 was a huge financial crisis, which tends to leave a bad hangover. Anyway, once the right is arguing that Obama’s better recovery wasn’t really his doing, it has already lost the argument.

    Now, am I claiming that Obama caused all that job creation? No — policy was pretty much hamstrung from 2010 on. But the right confidently predicted that Obama’s policies, especially his “job-killing” health reform, would, well, kill jobs; as Matt O’Brien notes, The Donald confidently predicted that unemployment would go above 9 percent. None of that happened — nor did any of the other predicted Obama disasters.

    Recovery should have been much faster, and I believe that there is still more slack than the unemployment rate suggests. But if President Romney were presiding over this economy, Republicans would be hailing it as the second coming of Ronald Reagan. Instead, they’re trying to talk about something else.

    A Chart You Don't Want To See

  12. Paul Krugman: From Trump on Down, the Republicans Can’t Be Serious

    They're all nuts:

    From Trump on Down, the Republicans Can’t Be Serious, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times:

    This was, according to many commentators, going to be the election cycle Republicans got to show off their “deep bench.” The race for the nomination would include experienced governors like Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, fresh thinkers like Rand Paul, and attractive new players like Marco Rubio. Instead, however, Donald Trump leads the field by a wide margin. What happened?

    The answer, according to many of those who didn’t see it coming, is gullibility: People can’t tell the difference between someone who sounds as if he knows what he’s talking about and someone who is actually serious about the issues. And for sure there’s a lot of gullibility out there. But if you ask me, the pundits have been at least as gullible as the public, and still are.

    1. For while it’s true that Mr. Trump is, fundamentally, an absurd figure, so are his rivals. If you pay attention to what any one of them is actually saying, as opposed to how he says it, you discover incoherence and extremism every bit as bad as anything Mr. Trump has to offer. And that’s not an accident: Talking nonsense is what you have to do to get anywhere in today’s Republican Party. ...

      The point is that while media puff pieces have portrayed Mr. Trump’s rivals as serious men — Jeb the moderate, Rand the original thinker, Marco the face of a new generation — their supposed seriousness is all surface. Judge them by positions as opposed to image, and what you have is a lineup of cranks. And as I said, this is no accident.

      It has long been obvious that the conventions of political reporting and political commentary make it almost impossible to say the obvious — namely, that one of our two major parties has gone off the deep end. ...

      Until now, however, leading Republicans have generally tried to preserve a facade of respectability, helping the news media to maintain the pretense that it was dealing with a normal political party. What distinguishes Mr. Trump is not so much his positions as it is his lack of interest in maintaining appearances. And it turns out that the party’s base, which demands extremist positions, also prefers those positions delivered straight. Why is anyone surprised?

      Remember how Mr. Trump was supposed to implode after his attack on John McCain? Mr. McCain epitomizes the strategy of sounding moderate while taking extreme positions, and is much loved by the press corps, which puts him on TV all the time. But Republican voters, it turns out, couldn’t care less about him.

      Can Mr. Trump actually win the nomination? I have no idea. But even if he is eventually pushed aside, pay no attention to all the analyses you will read declaring a return to normal politics. That’s not going to happen; normal politics left the G.O.P. a long time ago. At most, we’ll see a return to normal hypocrisy, the kind that cloaks radical policies and contempt for evidence in conventional-sounding rhetoric. And that won’t be an improvement.

      Economist's View

    2. LOL this coming from a Quantitative Easing Cheerleader…

      17 trillion printed without restraint, now other federal banks across the globe are doing it…

      talk about the kettle calling the pot black…

      meanwhile radical polices of the Obama administration still lead the way as russia swallows up it's neighbors, china expands aggressively and pumps and pumps and Iran is being welcomed into the league of nations as it continues to genocide tens of thousands.


  13. .

    For while it’s true that Mr. Trump is, fundamentally, an absurd figure...


    This coming from Paul Krugman takes the pot calling the kettle black analogy to a higher level.

    Krugman is a political hack and a liberal apologist more so than an an economist. He uses the same language as Trump in talking of his opponents, absurd, weird, gullible, cranks, and worse; but if you want absurd, it was Krugman that argued that through this period of low interest levels it was the rich who were really the people suffering. Now, that is absurd.


    1. Obama shovels money into the Markets. benefit the little guys.

      According to some here.

  14. Shocking Headlnes:

    Breaking: FOUR TOP HOUSE JEWISH DEMOCRATS Announce Opposition to Obama’s Nuclear Deal with Iran.

  15. .

    What's up with the Yazidi these days?

    Yazidi Child Soldiers Take Revenge on Isis

    Yazidi activist Khalil al-Dakhi, who has specialized in orchestrating rescue missions for ISIS-captured Yazidis, told The Daily Beast in mid-July that children taken by the jihadists are placed into military academies to be brainwashed into ISIS ideology and used as future soldiers. “They have 300 children in a Sharia school in Tal Afar,” Dhaka says. “They teach girls about becoming jihadi brides.”

    As the Sinjar tragedy unfolded, an estimated 40,000 Yazidis fled up the mountain for safety. Their survival appeared dire. ISIS was closing in and the top of the mountain offered scorching summer temperatures and little water or supplies.

    But buoyed by the American-led airstrikes, PKK-allied Kurdish units from neighboring Syria, known as the YPG, along with the PKK fighters from Turkey fought through ISIS lines, and by August 10 had secured a corridor to allow many of the stranded Yazidis to cross into Syrian territory.

    “The YPG were the first to come and rescue us. They helped us and opened a humanitarian corridor and gave us weapons,” says 20-year-old Sozdar, one of Ari’s comrades on Sinjar’s north side.

    “They trained us how to fight ISIS and many have been killed fighting for us,” she adds.

    Although the PKK and YPG ostensibly operate as different political bodies, they all share a belief in “Apoism,” a near-cult-like reverence for PKK founder Abdullah Ocalan, jailed on an island in Turkey. Shrines to Ocalan—who’s nicknamed Apo, the Kurdish word for uncle—have been erected on Sinjar. Plastered in bright red, green, and yellow, the colors of the PKK flag, with Ocalan’s face surrounded by the faces of martyrs in this fight, the monuments are now guarded proudly by PKK fighters and their Yazidi recruits.

    Built on Marxist-Leninist ideals and Kurdish nationalism, the PKK took shape in the late 1970s in the fight for autonomy against the powerful Turkish state. By the 1980s it was waging guerrilla war and its tactics—which included bombing civilian as well as military and police targets—got the PKK listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and its NATO allies, including the United States...


  16. .

    Peter Beinhart disputes Huckabee's hyperbole.

    Iran is Not Nazi Germany

    Mike Huckabee’s sin was being too vivid.

    Last week, after the Republican presidential hopeful said that by signing the Iran nuclear deal, President Barack Obama “would take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven,” a parade of organizations and politicians accused him of inflammatory language and bad taste. But in both the United States and Israel, Huckabee’s core assumption—that the Iranian government is genocidally anti-Semitic—is mainstream...


    The problem with Huckabee’s comment is not that his characterization of the Iranian regime was offensive. The problem is that his characterization was wrong.


    1. Has Farmer Bob stroked out?

    2. .

      Declared persona non grata.


      Be careful.


    3. Huckabee was too literal.

      Iran will murder the Jews of the world a few at a time.

      If given the opportunity?

      They'd nuke a few million.


  17. Rufus:

    Huge Drop in Part-Time Employment.
    Part-Time for Economic Reasons Down 180,000
    Part-Time for Non-economic Reasons Down 589,000
    That sent "hours worked" from 34.5 to 34.6 hrs. per week.
    That's equivalent to approx. 15,000,000 more hrs. worked per week.
    That alone, would be the equivalent of creating 435,000 jobs, or thereabouts.

    Record 93,770,000 Americans Not in Labor Force...

    Participation Rate 38-Year Low...

    Record 56,209,000 Women Not Working...

    JOB SHOCK: 100% of female employment gains taken by foreigners since 2007...

  18. Also,

    Record Number of Women in High School

    Record Number of Women in College

    Record Number of Women Drawing Social Security

    Record Number of Women Working at Walmart

    Record Number of Women CEOs

    Record Number of Women Not Giving Me Blowjobs on a Regular Basis

  19. There were 69,063,000 Women Employed in July of 2010.

    There are 73,526,960 Women Employed, Today.

    1. Toilets from Hollywood to Seattle are cleaner than ever thanks to liberals employing illegals as paid slaves.

  20. A day after Senator Chuck Schumer of New York announced his decision to vote against President Obama’s deal to curtail Iran’s nuclear program, he and the president each placed a call to Bernie Sanders.

    And both seemed to hang up happy.

    Mr. Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont who has become the progressive darling of the Democratic presidential primary, received a call Friday morning from Mr. Schumer, the most influential Jewish member of Congress, who was reaching out to a number of fellow senators explaining the rationale for his opposition.

    The subtext of the calls, of course, was Mr. Schumer’s desire to smooth his ascent as leader of the Democratic caucus. Liberals have already begun criticizing Mr. Schumer for his stance on the Iran deal, suggesting that it should disqualify him from becoming the party’s leader in the Senate.

    “I talked to Chuck this morning,” Mr. Sanders said in an interview.

    And judging from Mr. Sanders’s comments, it went well for Mr. Schumer.

    Asked if he thought other Democratic senators would follow Mr. Schumer in breaking with the president on one of the most important foreign policy issues of his administration, Mr. Sanders said: “Yeah, I do. I think there is, on very, very difficult votes, votes of conscience.

    “It’s hard,” he continued, saying that the current Democratic leader, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, and the minority whip, Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, “will do their best to get a party line vote — and they are often successful or 98 percent successful.”

    “But there are votes – we are sent here by our constituents and you can’t go home and say, ‘Well I really thought this an enormously important vote, I should have voted yes, but the leadership told me to vote no, so I voted no’ — you can’t do that,” Mr. Sanders said.

    He added: “Chuck is a very smart guy and a very good senator. He and I will probably end up disagreeing on this vote.”

    A few hours later, his phone rang again. This time Mr. Obama was calling.

    Mr. Sanders, in an interview Friday afternoon, said the lengthy conversation he had with the president clinched his support for the administration’s Iran deal.

  21. The latest attack in Saudi Arabia could be the beginning of a resistant movement against the current regime, as well as with Yemeni hostilities carried out by the House of Saud, Catherine Shakdam, Beirut Center for Middle East Studies told RT.

    At least 15 people were reportedly killed in an attack on a mosque in Asir province in Saudi Arabia yesterday. A suicide bomber struck a mosque used by the army. The Interior Ministry claims the attack was carried out by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

  22. JERUSALEM (Ma’an) –The leader of a Jewish extremist group in Israel allegedly called for arson attacks on churches in front of Israeli students, Israeli media reported on Thursday.

    Benzi Gopstein, leader of anti-Arab group Lehava, allegedly called for the burning of churches at a panel held this week for Jewish yeshiva students, using ancient Halachic, or Jewish law, to condemn what he called Christian “idol worship.”
    When a journalist at the panel informed Gopstein that he was on camera and could be arrested for his comments, Gopstein said he is prepared to spend 50 years in jail for his remarks, according to a video of the panel released by the Haredi website Kikar Shabbat.
    After the release of the video, Gopstein said he “stressed several times” that he was “not calling to take operative steps,” instead he said that it is “the responsibility of the government, not of individuals” to abolish the Christian practice of idol worship.
    The Israeli government has taken steps to crack down on Jewish extremism over the past week, after suspected Jewish extremists torched two West Bank homes, burning an 18-month-old infant alive and critically injuring the baby’s mother, father and brother.
    Three right-wing extremists were arrested on Tuesday in connection to the arson under an administrative detention order after Israel’s security cabinet approved the use of the measure on Jewish Israelis. The arrests marked the first time a Jewish Israeli has ever been held under the policy of administrative detention.
    There has been a long line of attacks on Christian and Muslim holy places in both Israel and the occupied West Bank in which the perpetrators were believed to be Jewish extremists.
    Despite announcements by the Israeli government in May 2014 to crack down on violent attacks carried out by Israelis against Palestinians, prosecution rates on Jewish extremist remain remarkably low.

    Via Ma’an News Agency

    1. In the Gaza Strip and Palestinian control areas of the west bank, and much of the other 899/900th of the arab middle east it is legal to burn Jews...

  23. On the debate:

    Walker is a dweeb. OUT
    Christe a thug. OUT
    Bush a bore. Doubt he can win
    Huckabee a nothing. OUT
    Paul, not the Old man. OUT
    Kasich. IN
    Carson. OUT
    Trump. Who knows?

    1. Rubio is pretty.

      It doesn't matter; none of them can win the General

      (but, I think it will be closer than 2012. I'm going to stick with my prediction for a "three'ish" - or, maybe, even a "two'ish" - election.)

    2. Odds at Predictwise have, basically, not moved:

      Hillary Clinton 50%

      Jeb Bush 21%

      Scott Walker 4%

      Bernie Sanders 4%

      Donald Trump 4%