“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."

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Given the reality of where we are I doubt that there is any hope for internal reform. The title should be, “Look Who Bought American Democracy”.

Look Who's Buying American Democracy

We must get big money out of politics.
Robert Reich: 'When Americans think of how the economic rules are stacked against them, they naturally think of Wall Street.'
Photo Credit: screenshot via YouTube
According to an investigation by the New York Times, half of all the money contributed so far to Democratic and Republican presidential candidates—$176 million—has come from just 158 families, along with the companies they own or control.
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Who are these people?  They’re almost entirely white, rich, older and male—even though America is becoming increasingly black and brown, young, female, and with declining household incomes.
According to the report, most of these big contributors live in exclusive neighborhoods where they have private security guards instead of public police officers, private health facilities rather than public parks and pools.
Most send their kids and grand kids to elite private schools rather than public schools. They fly in private jets and get driven in private limousines rather than rely on public transportation.
They don’t have to worry about whether Social Security or Medicare will be there for them in their retirement because they’ve put away huge fortunes. They don’t have to worry about climate change because they don’t live in flimsy homes that might collapse in a hurricane, or where water is scarce, or food supplies endangered.
It’s doubtful that most of these 158 are contributing to these campaigns out of the goodness of their hearts or a sense of public responsibility. They’re largely making investments, just the way they make other investments.
And the success of these investments depends on whether their candidates get elected, and will lower their taxes even further, expand tax loopholes, shred health and safety and environmental regulations so their companies can make even more money, and cut Social Security and Medicare and programs for the poor—and thereby allow these 158 and others like them to secede even more from the rest of our society.
These people are, after all, are living in their own separate society, and they want to elect people who will represent them, not the rest of us.
How much more evidence do we need that our system is in crisis? How long before we make it work for all of us instead of a handful at the top? We must not let them buy our democracy. We must get big money out of politics. Publicly-finance political campaigns, disclose all sources of campaign funds, and reverse “Citizens United.”
Robert B. Reich has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. His latest book is "Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few." His website is


  1. The only way Citizens United can "get reversed" is if there is a Democrat in the White House when the S.C.Swing Vote dies.

    1. Hillary isn't the World's Greatest Democrat, but she Will appoint a Liberal if given the opportunity.

  2. Nearly nine out of 10 respondents thought that limiting outside spending would curb the influence of money in politics at least somewhat.
    One-third of respondents saw outside groups such as super PACs as an acceptable part of the financing of campaigns, compared with 51 percent who say they're unacceptable.
    At the same time, the survey takers found donor-disclosing groups like super PACs to be somewhat more palatable than the non-disclosing nonprofits.

  3. Ben Carson doesn't have any 'big money' behind him that I know of.....he rose on his merits and has dropped off because he showed very little knowledge of foreign policy.

    The biggest amount of 'big money' is actually given to the Democrats, so some type of reform might actually help the Republicans.

    Given the wide variety of candidates running for President this year, and all the debates, I'm uncertain money is making much difference.

    Jeb! is well funded, and he's at less than 5% sometimes.

    Carson is not well funded, and he was in the high teens or low twenties for awhile.

    The People!! have the whole smorgasbord from which to chose.....from the commie The Bern to the big money capitalist The Donald, and everything in between.

    1. If we had a parliamentary system, money might be more important.

  4. The 'mainstream' churches these days really suck....the Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc - are becoming irrelevant, to the delight of Rufus....Here's someone who is making a difference - our government is certainly not -

    December 8, 2015
    Lord Weidenfeld and Help for Christians
    By Michael Curtis

    In his moving book, Se questo e un uomo (If this be a man; or Survival in Auschwitz), the Italian Primo Levi wrote that attitudes towards the Jews during the Holocaust mostly ranged from indifference to hostility. In a world of total moral collapse, he said, there was a small minority who mustered extraordinary courage to uphold human values.

    It is a pleasure and it is important to make known the role of righteous individuals, Jews in origin, who in the past and the present, were and are not bystanders and stand, as Levi suggested, in contrast to the mainstream of indifference and hostility.

    On July 1, 2015 Sir Nicholas Winton died at the age of 106. His parents were German Jews who moved to London, converted to Christianity and baptized their son. Winton, a stockbroker, was a modest man, a great and good man, whose activities were not revealed until 40 years after they had occurred. Conscious of the peril in store for European Jews after Kristallnacht, (the night of broken glass) on November 9, 1938, Winton immediately initiated and organized the rescue of 669 children, mostly Jewish, from Czechoslovakia in 1938-1940.

    In this operation known as Kindertransport, Winton arranged for the safe passage by eight trains along with other transport from Nazi-occupied Prague of the children, to London. He battled bureaucracy in a number of countries, overcoming incomplete documentation of the children and even using forged documents, and found families in the UK willing to host the children.

    Winton joins the rank of those righteous Europeans who saved Jews from a Nazi death. Most well-known of these are Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist credited with saving 1,200 lives by employing them in his factories in Poland; Irena Sendler, the Polish Catholic nurse who smuggled 2,500 Jews out of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942-43 and gave them false identities; and the courageous Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg.

    1. Winton’s actions have inspired the prominent British publisher, philanthropist, and lifelong Zionist George Weidenfeld to organize a project, Weidenfeld Fund on a new rescue mission. Weidenfeld himself, born in a cosmopolitan Jewish family in Vienna in 1919, had been aided, as a penniless refugee in London in 1938 after escaping the Nazis in Austria, by members of the Christian group, the Plymouth Brethren, who had transported many other Jews in areas under Nazi control.

      Weidenfeld, now 96, is a figure larger than life. He has had an extraordinary career, starting as a political commentator, acting as chief of cabinet of the Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann, cofounding a major publishing house, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, receiving many British and foreign honors, and being appointed a peer, a member of the House of Lords, in 1976.

      Weidenfeld is now repaying a debt to the Christian community. Essentially, the Weidenfeld Fund plans to rescue 10,000 Syrian and Iraqi Christians who are suffering from the unprecedented primitive savagery and the lust and sadism of ISIS.

      The project and the rescue effort has been helped by the UK Jewish National Fund, and by Martin Green, the Jewish philanthropist who is chairman of the Weidenfeld Fund which is also concerned with promoting better relations between Christians and Jews.

      Weidenfeld’s venture coincided with Operation Safe havens by the Simon Rufus Isaacs Foundation, an international, interdenominational Christian aid agency helping Christians wherever they experience discrimination, oppression, and persecution as a consequence of their faith. It works with “the persecuted church.” It directs its aid mostly to Christians in Muslim environments. Its patron is the well-known Jewish public figure, Lord Reading, Simon Isaacs.

      The Weidenfeld Fund acted in partnership with Barnabas and the Polish based Esther Foundation in the first rescue of 42 Syrian Christians families, 173 people in all, from Syria to Warsaw.

      The Weidenfeld project is pledged to provide financial support for the 10,000 while they adjust to their new life. It has been helped by the Esther Foundation, the UK Jewish National Fund, and by Martin Green, the Jewish philanthropist who heads the Euripides Foundation, concerned with better relations between Christians and Jews.

      Weidenfeld answers Islamic critics who complain that the rescue plan is limited to Christians in two ways. First, he is acting to repay the debt in memory of the Christians who aided him. Secondly, he challenges the Muslim community to provide help for the Christians who are being persecuted in their countries. Let others do what they like for Muslims.

      The rescue operation is not only meaningful in itself. It is also meaningful in two other ways. First, it symbolizes the need for a further political and military response by the U.S. and Western democracies to the horrors of the ongoing civil war in Syria and to the increasing threat to Christians as well as to civilization in general of the terrorist group, and the need to fight the evil of ISIS. Weidenfeld himself sees the Kurds are bravely fighting against terrorists. The Western world must have the will to defend itself as the Kurds are doing.

    2. The second factor is the seeming lack of interest by mainstream Christian organizations in the fate of the persecuted Christians. In Syria, Christians once constituted about a third of the population. In Iraq, the number of Christians has decreased from 1.5 million to 300.000 at most. Christians have been forced to convert to Islam, pay a religious levy (jizya), or get killed. Hundreds of Christians have been kidnaped in some cities.

      The statement of the World Council of Churches on October 12, 2015 is pitiable. Its general secretary, Rev Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit said the WCC was “gravely concerned” by the dramatic escalation of the military operations in the conflict in Syria and strictly condemns them. He recognized that the cycle of extreme violence in Syria and its tragic implications on the whole Syrian population have become unacceptable. He called on governments to support a political peace process. Though Tveit was “gravely concerned,” he believes that foreign military interventions cannot bring peace and eliminate extremism.

      Tveit and the WCC say nothing about the persecuted Christians. Like all Westerners of good will, Lord Weidenfeld and his colleague Sir Charles Hoare Bt., remain baffled by the lack of real support, and only meaningless rhetoric, from mainstream Christian churches and organizations to help Christians being persecuted in Syria and elsewhere in Muslim countries.

      Unlike Tveit and the WCC, Weidenfeld is calling and acting for the rescue of those persecuted Christians.

      Too many in the mainstream Christian churches have in recent years frittered away their time and energy in discussing the desirability of boycotts of the State of Israel. They are much less concerned in any real way to respond to the reality that the Christian community in the Middle East is facing its greatest crisis. What is significant in this is that it is being largely left to a proud Jew and Zionist George Weidenfeld to rescue Christians. When will those champions of boycott against Israel and Jewish institutions wake up to the truth?

    3. The Christians in the mid east are looking genocide in the eye.

      And what are the Lutherans, Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians etc doing ?

      Not much....noooooooot much....

      What's our government doing ?

      With our Moslem Brotherhood loving Prez in charge.....

      Not much......noooooot much....basically zero.

  5. The Russians are keeping it up.

    They are using Syria as a testing ground for all their new fancy military hardware, a little like the Germans used Spain -cruise missiles launched from submerged submarine -

    Russia launches new airstrikes in Syria; 1st from submarine 1 / 25

    By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, Associated Press

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has unleashed another barrage of airstrikes against targets in Syria, including the first combat launch of a new cruise missile from a Russian submarine in the Mediterranean Sea, the country's defense minister said Tuesday.

    The Kalibr cruise missiles launched by the Rostov-on-Don submarine successfully hit the designated targets in Raqqa, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin. The submarine was in a submerged position during the launch, he added.

    Putin noted that the new cruise missile can be equipped with both conventional and nuclear warheads, adding he hopes that the latter "will never be needed."

    Shoigu said Tu-22 bombers flying from their base in Russia also took part in the latest raids, performing 60 combat sorties in the last three days.........

    1. The Israelis also have nuclear capable cruise missile submarines, 4 I think, developed for them by, of all people, the Germans.

    2. Good Grief - Turks near Mosul ? -

      These incidents show that the situation on the front against IS in Syria and Iraq is getting more tense," the ministry said, adding that the Turkish military's deployment to a base near Mosul in Iraq without Iraqi government sanction has added to the tensions.

      "We consider such presence unacceptable," the ministry said.

      U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, said Washington expects Turkey to operate in coordination with the Iraqi government.

      "We have urged political dialogue between the Iraqi government and that in Turkey," Power said. "Our belief is that just as we operate in close coordination with and with the consent of the Iraqi government that all countries should do that."

      She voiced hope that the Turkish deployment could "be done in that manner where a sovereign government is making judgments about which capabilities are deployed and making sure that it has visibility into everything going on in its country."

      Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, said that while Russia so far has said 'no' to Iraq's request for help in fighting IS, that attitude may change. He added that the arsenal Russia has put on the ground in Syria signals Moscow's intention to have a lasting military presence.

      "It's not going to be a short operation, it's not going to be a short war," Trenin said. "Russia is there for a long haul."

  6. Meet the Farooks: The Modern Jihad Family

    How did this anything-but-moderate family not attract any law enforcement attention?

    December 9, 2015

    Robert Spencer

    When Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik murdered fourteen people and wounded twenty-one at a holiday party in San Bernardino, California, Farook’s family, having lawyered up, instructed its legal representatives to tell the world how shocked – shocked! – they were by the massacre. However, just as Captain Renault is handed his winnings immediately after telling Rick Blaine of his shock that gambling was going on in Rick’s Café Americain, so also in this case did the family’s shock seem increasingly less genuine the more that became known about them.

    Initially, however, the lie was fed easily to a credulous mainstream media. One of the Farook family lawyers, David Chesley, immediately found the nearest microphone and declared: “None of the family members had any idea that this was going to take place. They were totally shocked.”

    Even in stories that reported this, however, the story started to unravel. No sooner had the Associated Press quoted Chesley that it noted that he and another Farook family lawyer, Mohammad Abuershaid, said that “Farook’s mother lived with the couple but she stayed upstairs and didn’t notice they had stockpiled 12 pipe bombs and well over 4,500 rounds of ammunition.”

    Farook’s mother didn’t notice the twelve pipe bombs and well over 4,500 rounds of ammunition because she “stayed upstairs”? Was she an invalid, then, who never ventured downstairs at all? If so, why did the couple leave their six-month-old daughter in her care when they went off to shoot Infidels for Allah?

    And now it has come out that Mom did venture downstairs now and again after all, and that her eye may indeed have caught the site of a stray pipe bomb or two. According to the Daily Mail, “FBI agents found an empty GoPro package, shooting targets and tools inside a car belonging to” Rafia Farook, Syed’s mother. Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik mounted GoPro cameras on their body armor before they began their jihad massacre; apparently, like other jihad killers before them, they hoped to cheer and encourage the faithful with scenes of the bloodbath. Authorities are investigating the possibility that Rafia Farook aided in the planning and preparation of the San Bernardino jihad massacre.

    1. Rafia might have taken this car to meetings of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), of which she was an active member. ICNA openly supports Sharia and the caliphate, and has links to the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as to the Pakistani jihad group Jamaat-e-Islami.

      The family’s shock at the murders appears even more feigned in light of revelations from Syed Rizwan Farook’s father, who is also named Syed Farook. The elder Syed has characterized his ex-wife Rafia as “very religious,” like the killer, to whom he referred as Rizwan. “Rizwan was the mama’s boy,” he recounted, “and she is very religious like him. Once we had a dispute about the historical figure of Jesus, my son yelled that I was an unbeliever and decided that marriage with my wife had to end.” The son insisted on the divorce because he considered the father an “unbeliever.”

      What’s more, old man Farook said that his son was an open supporter of the Islamic State, and, of course, hated Israel: “He said he shared the ideology of al-Baghdadi to create an Islamic state, and he was obsessed with Israel.” Moderate “unbeliever” Papa then told his son to bide his time since, in the immortal words of Tom Lehrer, everybody hated the Jews: “I kept telling him always: stay calm, be patient, in two years Israel will no longer exist. Geopolitics is changing: Russia, China, America too, nobody wants the Jews there.” Moderate!

      So right in the heart of sunny Redlands, California, where Syed Rizwan and Tashfeen lived with their baby and Rafia (however safely ensconced upstairs, away from the pipe bombs, Grandma may have been), there was an open supporter of the Islamic State and an open supporter of the concept of the caliphate. Then we must not forget the winsome Tashfeen, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State during the attack, was linked to a jihadi mosque in Pakistan, and who had become, in one of her teacher’s words, “a religious person” who often told people “to live according to the teachings of Islam.”

      Despite all that and more, Tashfeen passed FBI and DHS background checks and was allowed to enter the United States. And as she and her loving hubby amassed pipe bombs and thousands of rounds of ammunition, authorities didn’t bat an eye. No report has indicated that they were ever questioned, or were under any kind of surveillance, or were on any watch list.

      After all, they were just pious Muslims – and anyone who believes that pious Muslims who are assembling pipe bombs might be up to no good is a racist, bigoted Islamophobe, right? But now the Farooks, the modern jihad family, and the fourteen dead left in their wake, stand as a lesson as to how urgently our law enforcement and intelligence operations need to adopt a realistic approach to the jihad threat, and to discard today’s prevailing politically correct fantasies. But the dead bodies are going to have to be piled up much higher for that reform even to become a possibility.

    2. It's not Leave It To Beaver, that's for sure, and Theodore "The Beaver" Cleaver and his bro Wally would never do such things, and June and Ward Cleaver would lower the boom if they ever caught their kids with pipe bombs, thousands of rounds of ammo, and semi-automatic rifles.

  7. Don't waste the $60.00 dollars. The Study Koran is trash.

    The Study Quran doesn’t deny this; in fact, it acknowledges it … but only after seven windy paragraphs about what it means to be blessed and other related matters. Anyone who is still reading after all that chloroform in print, to borrow Mark Twain’s phrase, will come to this: <:):)>

    Based upon a saying attributed to the Prophet, though not considered to be of the highest degree of authenticity, one interpretation given by a number of commentators is that those who incur wrath and those who are astray refer to Jews and Christians, respectively (IK, JJ, Q, T, Z).

    (“IK, JJ, Q, T, Z” are shorthands for Muslim commentators on the Qur’an: Ibn Kathir; Jalal al-Din al-Mahalli and Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, “the two Jalals,” author of the Tafsir al-Jalalayn; al-Qurtubi; al-Tabari; and al-Zamakhshari.)

    The Study Quran doesn’t offer a single alternative interpretation of this verse (the editors could have invoked al-Nisaburi, to whose commentary they do refer on occasion. He says that “those who have incurred Allah’s wrath are the people of negligence, and those who have gone astray are the people of immoderation”). By introducing the interpretation by claiming it was based on a doubtful statement of Muhammad, and by only mentioning it at all after lengthy commentary about matters of slight import, the authors reveal an agenda of hiding the causes and justifications of “extremism”; of keeping readers from learning the reality of the verse’s historical and present significance.

    This pattern continues on throughout The Study Quran...........

    .............Robert Spencer, PJM: New English Quran Says It Often Means Opposite of What It Says

    December 8, 2015 9:33 am By Robert Spencer

    Over at PJ Media I describe a new volume of smoke and mirrors from Islamic apologists in the U.S. I could have made this article two or three times longer: the half-truths and word-twistings are scattered across every page.

    For example, The Study Quran translates Qur’an 48:29 as: “Muhammad is the Messenger of God. Those who follow him are harsh against the disbelievers, merciful to one another.” That’s fine as a translation of the Arabic, but the commentary on the verse, after dismissively granting the obvious, offers a particularly preposterous attempt at whitewashing the passage and convincing the hapless reader that it means the opposite of what it says: “That they are harsh against the disbelievers implies that they never relent in their opposition to them and fight them when necessary (IK [Ibn Kathir]). In this context it also reflects an aspect of mercy, for just as the sunlight is most intense on black surfaces and less so on white surfaces, so are the believers harsher or ‘more intense’ with the disbelievers. In this sense, the believers must display the truth to them with a greater intensity of light and insight. Among each other, however, there is less need for such intensity, because the truth is manifest as gentle warmth.”

    So you see, this Qur’an passage is really all about tough love. When the Qur’an says be “harsh” with non-Muslims, it really means be merciful to them. It doesn’t mean burn their churches and drive them from their homes and demand from them the jizya or conversion to Islam. No, no: all that would be…harsh. Instead, it just means be “intense” in telling them about Islam. But the believers don’t need this, as they are already Muslim.

    The Study Quran, therefore, would have you believe that being harsh equals being merciful, and that one must therefore be merciful to unbelievers when the Qur’an says to be harsh to them...........

  8. And, finally, further news of interest -

    Judicial Watch: Email Reveals Top Aide Huma Abedin Warning State Department Staffer That Hillary Clinton Is “Often Confused”

    NOVEMBER 16, 2015

    (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released more than 35 pages of emails former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin revealing that Abedin advised Clinton aide and frequent companion Monica Hanley that it was “very important” to go over phone calls with Clinton because the former Secretary of State was “often confused.” The emails, from Abedin’s “” address, also reveal repeated security breaches, with the Secretary’s schedule and movements being sent and received through Abedin’s non-governmental and unsecured Clinton server account. The emails document requests for special State Department treatment for a Clinton Foundation associate and Abedin’s mother, a controversial Islamist leader.

    The Abedin email material contains a January 26, 2013, email exchange with Clinton aide Monica Hanley regarding Clinton’s schedule in which Abedin says Clinton is “often confused:”

    Abedin: Have you been going over her calls with her? So she knows singh is at 8? [India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh]
    Hanley: She was in bed for a nap by the time I heard that she had an 8am call. Will go over with her
    Abedin: Very imp to do that. She’s often confused.

    The newly released Abedin emails included a lengthy exchange giving precise details of the Clinton schedule on the Secretary’s final full day in office, Wednesday, January 31, 2013. The email from Lona J. Valmoro, former Special Assistant to Secretary of State Clinton, to Abedin, other top State Department staff, and Clinton associates, reveals exact times (including driving times) and locations of all appointments throughout the day:

    8:25 am DEPART Private Residence

    En route to State Department

    [drive time: 10 minutes]


    1:40 pm DEPART State Department

    En route to Council on Foreign Relations

    [drive time: 15 minutes]

    1. If Hillary gets in the White House, I'd be about ready to throw in the towel.

      Imagine Huma, the moslem and CAIR and MB lover, and Hillary's constant 'companion', silently slipping all about the White House, exercising her deviant deceiving mind all the day long, and all night too.

      An easily confused Hillary would be putty in Huma's hands, and Huma would turn out to be the real President.

      Making it two Moslems in a row.

      "The future must not belong to those who slander Islam"

      "The Moslem call to prayer is the most beautiful sound on earth"

      Obama, M.B.


  9. The most dangerous threat that the US faced in the Twentieth Century was the Soviet Union from the late forties on. “Two Jews," Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, stole US nuclear secrets and sold them to the CCCP. The threat through the fifties, sixties and seventies to the US was immense. Should the US have banned any more Jews coming to the US? Could Jews be trusted?

    The first answer was no, but the second answer as should Jews have been trusted gets more complicated. “Jews” stole US military strategy and nuclear weapon secrets as well as material and sold and gave them to Israel and the Soviet Union.

    “Two Muslims", attacked, killed and wounded Americans in San Bernardino. Trump wants all Muslims put under a strict control? Trump has determined the “Muslims,” as a group, cannot be trusted.

    Do you see anything that concerns you?

    1. The difference is in the direct violence, shooting people, blowing up things and people.

      Taqiyya - how do you know they are telling you the truth ?

  10. THE HILL

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton will win the general election if real estate mogul Donald Trump is the Republican presidential nominee, Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday.

    Biden made his prediction a day after Trump vowed he would block all Muslims from entering the U.S. if he's elected, a proposal the vice president called dangerous for the country.
    “I don’t know what his motive is, but I know what he’s preaching is a very, very dangerous brew for America,” Biden said of Trump during an interview with Bloomberg.

    “Is this just a guy doing Celebrity Apprentice for himself?” Biden said, referring to Trump's old reality show. “Is this just a guy who’s an entertainer? It may have started there, but, I now think, now, he wants to be president. But I don’t think there’s much chance of that.”

    If Trump is nominated, however, Biden said that Clinton “wins in a walk.”

    The vice president questioned whether the Republican front-runner believes in the attention-grabbing proposals he's laid out, including building a massive wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    “I believe he’s smart enough to know half of what he’s saying makes no sense," Biden said. "Build a wall? He’s got to build a wall that’s the best wall and the highest wall? A lot of this is showmanship.”

    1. .

      If Trump is nominated, however, Biden said that Clinton “wins in a walk.”


      However, he is so self-centered he may accomplish the same thing even if not nominated. If not nominated, he may decide to run as an independent taking about 2/3 (by some polls) of his low I.Q. supporters with him thus scuttling any chance for the GOP. He wouldn't even have to do well across the board. All he would have to do move a few swing states, maybe only one, from the GOP tally to move the election.

      So with Trump the GOP loses, without him the GOP loses.

      Why would Trump run as an independent after saying that he wouldn't?

      1. He never really said he wouldn't. His response was so open-ended as to be meaningless.

      2. Trump is a carnie barker. He is in this as an ego trip. Pledges mean nothing to him. The fate of the country other than how it affects him personally means nothing to him. Reich described him perfectly above.

      3. I saw his interview this morning in which he left open the chance that he would run as an independent.

      4. Anyone who watched the interview this morning, knows Trump is a RINO. He speaks of the Republicans as being 'nice people'. The tone of the comment is that they are a group, a group that does not include him, and we can assume a group that is useful at the moment but that he would drop in a minute if they don't buy into his bull.

      IMO, the GOP is screwed. Thank you Donald Trump.


    2. So you'll be voting for Hillary then.

      A mighty moral and ethical decision.

      There's still a chance she may get indicted.

      I want you to know that so you will not be overwhelmed if it should happen.

      I worry about tender Sheeple like you.

    3. .

      So you'll be voting for Hillary then.


      Please don't direct any more comments to me. You are a waste of time.


    4. Moron, it wasn't directed at you.

      It was internal dialogue for public consumption.

      Please, Quirk-O, don't direct any more comments to me. You are a waste of time. A nitwit.

  11. Syrian rebels have begun evacuating the last district they hold in the city of Homs under a ceasefire deal with the government, a monitoring group has said.

    Homs, in central Syria, was once dubbed the "capital of the revolution" and was the scene of some of the first protests against President Bashar al-Assad in 2011.

    Under the UN-backed deal, the entire city will return to government control.

    Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the UK based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said as a result three buses carrying around 150 civilians had left the district and more were to follow.

    Some 2,000 rebels and their families will leave the besieged Waer district of Homs city.

    Mr Rahman said about 750 people, including civilians, were awaiting evacuation to the northwestern province of Idlib.

    Idlib province is held by the Army of Conquest rebel alliance, which includes Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, which could send some of its forces to escort the buses.

    1. Not the UN.

      Russia’s air force and the Syrian/Iranian ground troops won this.

  12. SOUTHWEST ASIA, December 9, 2015 — U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

    Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

    Strikes in Syria

    Fighter, bomber, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted three strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike struck an ISIL oil well-head.

    -- Near Mar’a, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL mortar system.

    -- Near Abu Kamal, a strike struck an ISIL oil well head.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Rocket artillery and fighter, bomber, attack, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 22 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

    -- Near Huwayjah, a strike destroyed four ISIL bunkers and seven ISIL trenches.

    -- Near Albu Hayat, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL vehicles, two ISIL rockets, and an ISIL weapons cache.

    -- Near Kirkuk, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit, suppressed an ISIL mortar system, and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and two ISIL fighting positions.

    -- Near Kisik, a strike destroyed four ISIL rockets.

    -- Near Mosul, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Qayyarah, seven strikes struck an ISIL logistical facility, an ISIL training facility, an ISIL weapons cache, an ISIL weapons storage facility, two ISIL staging areas, and an ISIL tactical unit, and destroyed an ISIL bunker.

    -- Near Ramadi, four strikes struck three separate large ISIL tactical units, denied ISIL access to terrain, and destroyed three ISIL bed down locations, two ISIL light machine guns, two ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL recoilless rifle, four ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL tactical vehicle, three ISIL buildings, four ISIL vehicle bombs, an ISIL vehicle bomb making factory, an ISIL staging area, an ISIL compound, an ISIL resupply location, and two ISIL command and control nodes.

    -- Near Sinjar, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, immobilized an ISIL vehicle, and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

    -- Near Baghdadi, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL building.

    -- Near Fallujah, a strike destroyed an ISIL homemade explosives cache, an ISIL bed down location and an ISIL vehicle bomb making factory.

    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.


  13. What an ungodly stew --

    The West's Dilemma: Why Assad Is Uninterested in Defeating Islamic State

    By Christoph Reuter

    Unsurprising Cooperation

    Was it a coincidence? Likely not. There have been dozens of cases since 2014 in which Assad's troops and IS have apparently been coordinating attacks on rebel groups, with the air force bombing them from above and IS firing at them from the ground. In early June, the US State Department announced that the regime wasn't just avoiding IS positions, but was actively reinforcing them.

    Such cooperation isn't surprising. The rebels -- in all their variety, from nationalists to radical Islamists -- represent the greatest danger to both Assad and IS. And if the two sides want to survive in the long term, the Syrian dictator and the jihadists are useful to each other. From Assad's perspective, if the rebels were to be vanquished, the world would no longer see an alternative to the Syrian dictator. But the rebels are also primarily Sunni, as are two-thirds of the Syrian populace -- meaning that, from the IS perspective, once the rebels were defeated, the populace would be faced either with submission and exile, or they would join IS.

    In short, a Syria free of rebels would put both Assad and Islamic State in powerful positions, though not powerful enough to defeat the other. Still, such a situation would be vastly preferable to the alternatives: Being toppled from power (Assad), or being destroyed (IS).

    Relative to those two camps, the Syrian opposition in the West is hardly being paid attention to anymore. That is in part a function of their confusing structure: There are dozens of larger rebel groups and hundreds of smaller units, mostly at a local level. They cooperate, but alliances often crumble due to the ideological differences of their foreign supporters.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron presented numbers last week indicating the existence of some 70,000 moderate rebels. In addition, he said, there were two large Islamist groups: Ahrar al-Sham in the north, with 15,000 fighters; and Jaish al-Islam north of Damascus, with 12,500 militiamen -- and the al-Qaida-allied group Nusra Front, with its 6,000 to 10,000 men. Cameron had hardly finished reciting the numbers before questions were raised as to whether the 70,000 he cited were prepared to partner with the West in the battle against Islamic State. They have, though, been fighting against Islamic State since January 2014 -- but have primarily focused their fight on Assad.

    Significant Moral Question

    Sending ground troops into such a situation, or even lending legitimacy to the Russian-Syrian offensive, would unwittingly transform Europe into Assad's vassals. Beyond that, the dictator would have to be given troop reinforcements so that he could halfway successfully advance against the enemy.

    Even if one were to ignore all of the military problems, there is also a significant moral question: Would the West really want to go into battle with a regime that has used, aside from nuclear weapons, pretty much every weapon imaginable against its own populace in an effort to cling to power? And once Islamic State is defeated and driven away, what should happen with the cities -- such as Raqqa, Deir el-Zour, al-Bab, Manbij and Abu Kamal -- that they now hold? All those cities had been take over by local rebels long before Islamic State moved in. Who should such areas be given to?

    Certainly not to Assad. That would merely turn the clock back on this war by three years.......

  14. .

    As for the comment that a Hillary victory could possibly affect 'Citizens United', I doubt it.

    The oldest members of the court are all liberal and barring unusual circumstances among the conservative members, it is likely the liberals that would have to be replaced first and if replaced by other liberals would simply maintain the status quo.

    It will be a while before there is a major shift in the Court.


  15. I knew you'd end up voting for Hillary.

    You Sheeple are all the same.

    Hilarious and tragic at the same time.


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Ben Carson has put together a foreign policy team.

    Unfortunately, the damage has already been done.

  17. Big big wind out this way today.

    Got to run...tata

  18. Rufus was on record as saying Iraq would be ISIS free by July 4th, 2015.

    Didn't happen, so he extended the date to when Obama leaves office.

    Isn't going to happen.

    Ground troops are needed and Obama isn't going to do that.

    If you don't believe me, believe this guy -

    Former Army chief of staff: Of course you need ground troops to destroy ISIS

    posted at 12:01 pm on December 9, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

    Don’t tell Ray Odierno that Barack Obama doesn’t want to put boots on the ground. As he tells Joe Scarborough and the Morning Joe panel in this segment, the US already has boots on the ground — we just don’t have enough of them. A few dozen commandos won’t suffice, Odierno warns. Until we put a significant number of troops in the theater, our allies in the region won’t risk it either. And make no mistake, Odierno says, that’s what it will take to “destroy” ISIS. As the former Army chief of staff says, air power alone has never dislodged an entrenched army, let alone collapse a quasi-state:

    Odierno says that the US has lost its credibility in the region, both with Obama’s half-hearted ISIS strategy and the way in which he grasped at a bad deal with Iran. The point of putting conventional American troops on the ground for combat is to rebuild trust that the US is actually committed to this fight:

    Odierno singled out the Iran nuclear deal as an issue that has strained the U.S.’s relationship with its partners.

    The deal, which trades tens of billions in previously-frozen assets and economic activity in exchange for short-term restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, has strengthened Iran’s influence in the region. This is concerning to Sunni nations like Saudi Arabia and nations concerned about Iran’s support for terrorism like Israel.

    “With the nuclear deal with Iran, you’ve got to rebuild relationships with Saudi Arabia and others,” Odierno said.

    Odierno said that the U.S. must regain the trust of its partners so they will contribute more to the coalition effort against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group. Saudi Arabia has reduced its commitment to the anti-IS coalition in recent months in order to focus on the Iranian-fueled conflict in Yemen, on Saudi Arabia’s southeastern border.

    “They’ve got to believe we’re going to do what we say. That’s how you build this coalition,” Odierno said.

    It’s not just the Saudis who need their confidence restored in Obama. The New York Times’ Jennifer Steinhauer and Michael Shear report that Democrats are losing confidence in Obama’s handling of ISIS and the Middle East, too:

    Many of President Obama’s Democratic allies in Congress say they do not believe he is being aggressive enough in confronting the terrorist threat of the Islamic State after last week’s attacks in California, undermining Americans’ sense of safety, especially among voters who will decide the party’s fate in elections next year.

    1. The concerns began to surface last month, when senior administration officials went to Capitol Hill to urge Democrats to reject a bill to curb a Syrian refugee program and were rebuffed. That hostility grew with their increasingly uncomfortable efforts to defend Mr. Obama’s strategies in the Middle East after the attacks in Paris and California.

      And Mr. Obama’s address to the nation Sunday — which several congressional Democrats said was an idea they pushed — left them wanting more.

      “When you interrupt the nation with an urgent and unscheduled statement from the Oval Office, or the White House, there’s I think an expectation that the address will contain a new approach or a new element,” said Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee.

      This is a point that needs to be underscored, and one that truly shows Obama in a bubble. The speech he gave Sunday from the Oval Office — strangely with a podium in front of the desk — could just as easily been given the next day in the White House briefing room. It had nothing new in it at all; it was a set-up that had nothing to deliver. It was as if Obama’s handlers convinced him that the moment needed dramatic framing, and Obama agreed to it but failed to grasp why.

      Nate Beeler’s editorial cartoon from last month seems more pertinent than ever:


      Obama is lost in his own world, and even his close political allies are belatedly realizing it.

      After royally screwing the pooch by taking the troops out of Iraq, it is unlikely that Obama will now put any meaning number of troops back into Iraq.

      It would be admitting he was wrong.

    2. Even The Nation agrees -

      Bombing Hasn’t Worked. Bombing Won’t Work. And Yet, We Will Bomb
      The UK is grasping again for an old, failed tactic, thanks to the nationalist impulse to act fast after Paris.
      Gary Younge
      December 3, 2015


      A government building burns during heavy bombardment of Baghdad, Iraq, by US-led forces, March 21, 2003. (AP Photo / Jerome Delay)

      “If a man beats his head against the wall,” the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci once wrote, “it’s his head that breaks and not the wall.”

      In the wake of the horrific attacks in Paris, the British political class has been suffering terrible headaches. Britain’s neighbor and intermittent ally, France, has been attacked by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS); once again, the country seeks a clear and defiant response in support of a friend, just as it did after 9/11; once again, all its leaders can come up with is more bombing—this time, against ISIS in Syria. The logic is always the same: We must do something. Bombing is something. We must bomb.

      The logic of our political class is always the same: We must do something. Bombing is something. We must bomb.

      They have done this before, in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Not only did it not make anything better, it actually made things a lot worse: The chaos caused in the latter two countries created the space for ISIS to thrive. But they just can’t help themselves. And so they approach the wall once again, and apply their heads to it with somber resolve. It’s a tough and dirty job, but somebody has to do it.

      In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, there are two main issues to resolve: how to defeat ISIS, and how to minimize the chance of further attacks. The questions are related, and there are no definitive answers to either of them.

    3. It appears likely that no diplomatic or political solution can be achieved with an organization like ISIS, and thus some kind of military intervention might be necessary. But it’s clear that extending and intensifying the bombing will not yield a solution: The United States and France are already bombing ISIS in Syria, to precious little effect; adding British bombs to that will make next to no difference, not least because there are precious few targets left. If bombing hasn’t done the job so far, it’s difficult to see why it would now. If they are serious about defeating ISIS—as opposed to punishing civilians—they would have to commit ground troops. But the truth is, while these countries have the appetite for global domination, they don’t have the stomach for it.

      Which brings us neatly to the second point: The West’s desire to intervene in the name of civilization and Enlightenment values betrays a stunning lack of self-awareness. The military and philosophical force with which it makes its case for moral superiority, and then contradicts it, is staggering.

      As George Orwell pointed out in “Notes on Nationalism”:

      The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them…. Whether such deeds were reprehensible, or even whether they happened, was always decided according to political predilection.

      It’s as though Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Camp Breadbasket, and the CIA torture report never happened. The nationalist can’t understand why people look at the West’s record of intervention over the last 15 years and conclude that its humanitarian claims cannot be taken at face value. It does hateful things and then is shocked that people hate it.

    4. So any escalation of the bombings in Syria will inevitably produce blowback in the form of terrorist reprisals. Incredibly, there is considerable denial about this. Apologists for Western foreign policy insist these jihadis are part of a murderous death cult determined to sow fear and terror in the West. This, it seems, miscasts the enemy as simply psychologically deficient and actually diminishes the function of the very policies they endorse. The jihadis’ own accounts, on-the-ground reporting, military intelligence, and just plain intelligence suggest otherwise.


      SIGN UP!

      As Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller, the former director-general of MI5 (Britain’s CIA), recently told an inquiry into the Iraq War: “Our involvement in Iraq radicalized, for want of a better word, a whole generation of young people, some British citizens—not a whole generation, a few among a generation—who saw our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as being an attack on Islam…. Arguably we gave Osama bin Laden his Iraqi jihad so that he was able to move into Iraq in a way that he was not before.”

      If you declare war on terror, it stands to reason that terror will fight back. This in itself is no reason to discount military intervention. But it is a reason to be smart about how you do it. ISIS isn’t limited to a handful of states in the Middle East, places like Syria, Iraq, and Libya; instead, it’s a multinational phenomenon. Many of those who terrorized Paris came from Belgium and France. The West can’t bomb everywhere. And wherever it does bomb, it kills and injures large numbers of civilians. These civilian casualties, in their turn, stoke resentment and outrage, not least in the Muslim communities from which jihadis draw their recruits. Since 9/11, the West’s military interventions have created far more terrorists than they have killed, and have generally made things worse, not better.

      So any military intervention that does take place needs to be truly global—as opposed to Western—in its authorization and execution. If ISIS represents a true threat against humanity, as is claimed, then we should do the heavy lifting of mobilizing humanity to fight it.

      But such an effort takes time, and the bombing advocates want to know what we’re going to do now—as though “now” were its own point in time, unrelated to yesterday or tomorrow. The very people within the political and media elite who have got every major 
foreign-policy question wrong over the past 15 years are once more leading the charge into oblivion. It’s almost as if they’ve been banging their heads against the wall for so long they’ve stopped thinking straight.

      Maybe the Russians will end up using nukes.

  19. Max Boot, writing at the Wall Street Journal, agrees -

    Why Air Power Alone Won’t Beat ISIS

    Wars aren’t won simply by bombing the enemy, yet this delusion has bipartisan, multinational support.
    Islamic State fighters in Raqqa, Syria, in a photo released by the group Nov. 19. ENLARGE

    By Max Boot
    Dec. 8, 2015 6:46 p.m. ET

    Ever since the dawn of the air age more than a century ago, military strategists have been prone to the delusion that bombing by itself can win wars.

    Today the air-power fantasy is that dropping enough bombs on Islamic State jihadists will get the job done in Iraq and Syria. The approach is a bipartisan, indeed multinational, daydream, shared by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, and now by Britain and France as well.

    Military history offers little justification for such faith.

    As early as 1918, Billy Mitchell, an army general who is regarded as the father of the U.S. Air Force, proclaimed: “The day has passed when armies on the ground or navies on the sea can be the arbiter of a nation’s destiny in war. The main power of defense and the power of initiative against an enemy has passed to the air.”

    Mitchell and other interwar air advocates were convinced that bombers, in particular, were wonder weapons that would quickly break the enemy’s will to fight. The influential Italian strategist Giulio Douhet predicted that “normal life would be unable to continue under the constant threat of death and imminent destruction.”

    U.S. and British leaders of the 1920s and 1930s invested heavily in developing strategic bombing. As British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin put it: “The bomber will always get through. The only defense is in offence.” Yet when strategic bombing was unleashed in World War II, it didn’t prove nearly as decisive as its advocates had expected. “My Luftwaffe is invincible,” Hermann Göring had crowed, but the Luftwaffe couldn’t bring Britain to its knees in 1940.

    “Victory, speedy and complete, awaits the side which first employs air power as it should be employed,” said Air Marshal Arthur “Bomber” Harris, head of Britain’s Bomber Command. But even when the Royal Air Force and the U.S. Army Air Forces combined to unleash their bombers on Germany, they didn’t produce speedy victory. Germany managed to increase industrial production under bombardment.

    The limits of air power were revealed again in Vietnam. No one was surer of air power’s centrality than Gen. Curtis LeMay, the cigar-chomping chief of Strategic Air Command. “If we maintain our faith in God, love of freedom, and superior global air power, the future looks good,” he said. LeMay advocated bombing North Vietnam “back into the Stone Age.” The U.S. dropped more bombs in the Vietnam War than in World War II, but North Vietnam prevailed anyway............

    1. That is why it is imperative the US adopt the "Rat Doctrine" asap.

      It has a proven track record of success in the region.

    2. .

      Come on, rat. Give it up.


  20. 200 US troops arrive in Ein al-Asad west of Ramadi

    ( Anbar – A source in Anbar Operations Command annonced on Wednesday the arrival of 200 US troops to Ein al-Asad base west of Ramadi (110 km west of Baghdad).

    The source said in an interview for, “Aircraft belonging to the US Army landed in Ein al-Asad Base Airport (170 km west of Ramadi) transferring 200 US special forces soldiers,” noting that “These aircraft also transferred quantities of arms and combat equipment.”

    The source, who asked not to be named, added: “The US forces will have combat tasks in special assignments in the western regions, as well as cleansing the surrounding areas of the base and preventing ISIS elements from approaching it.”


    1. 65 ISIS elements killed in coalition strike in northern Ramadi

      ( Anbar – The commander of Anbar Operations Maj. Gen. Ismail Mahlawi announced on Wednesday the killing of 65 ISIS elements in an aerial bombing launched by the international coalition in northern Ramadi.

      Mahlawi said in an interview for, “The international coalition warplanes, supported by Iraqi security forces on the ground, were able to bomb a number of targets and gatherings of the elements of the ISIS organization in Albu Faraj and Albu Dyab areas north of Ramadi.”

      Mahlawi added that “The bombing resulted in the killing of 65 ISIS elements, in addition to causing serious material losses in the ranks of the organization”


  21. 'elements'

    First time I've heard that term for humans, I think.

    gatherings of the elements

    65 ISIS elements

    Who makes this stuff up ?

    Would this sound right? - "10 ISIS elements attacked a gathering of Christian elements in Iraq today causing the destruction of 65 Christian elements, an altar, three offering plates and 17 hymnals and stole the star from atop the Christmas tree'