“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."

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Clinton and Obama own the Libyan Disaster

New Hillary Emails Reveal Propaganda, Executions, Coveting Libyan Oil and Gold

Throughout the Libyan War there were widespread reports of field executions and torture of black Libyans carried out by militias aligned with the National Transition Council (some NTC aligned fighters shown above; Source: Wikimedia Commons).
New Emails Expose Hillary’s Dirty War in Libya
The New Year’s Eve release of over 3000 new Hillary Clinton emails from the State Department has CNN abuzz over gossipy text messages, the “who gets to ride with Hillary” selection process set up by her staff, and how a “cute” Hillary photo fared on Facebook.
But historians of the 2011 NATO war in Libya will be sure to notice a few of the truly explosive confirmations contained in the new emails: admissions of rebel war crimes, special ops trainers inside Libya from nearly the start of protests, Al Qaeda embedded in the U.S. backed opposition, Western nations jockeying for access to Libyan oil, the nefarious origins of the absurd Viagra mass rape claim, and concern over Gaddafi’s gold and silver reserves threatening European currency.
Hillary’s Death Squads
A March 27, 2011 intelligence brief on Libya, sent by long time close adviser to the Clintons and Hillary’s unofficial intelligence gatherer, Sidney Blumenthal, contains clear evidence of war crimes on the  part of NATO-backed rebels. Citing a rebel commander source “speaking in strict confidence” Blumenthal reports to Hillary [emphasis mine]:
Under attack from allied Air and Naval forces, the Libyan Army troops have begun to desert to the rebel side in increasing numbers. The rebels are making an effort to greet these troops as fellow Libyans, in an effort to encourage additional defections.
(Source Comment: Speaking in strict confidence, one rebel commander stated that his troops continue to summarily execute all foreign mercenaries captured in the fighting…).
While the illegality of extra-judicial killings is easy to recognize (groups engaged in such are conventionally termed “death squads”), the sinister reality behind the “foreign mercenaries” reference might not be as immediately evident to most.
While over the decades Gaddafi was known to make use of European and other international security and infrastructural contractors, there is no evidence to suggest that these were targeted by the Libyan rebels.
There is however, ample documentation by journalists, academics, and human rights groups demonstrating that black Libyan civilians and sub-Saharan contract workers, a population favored by Gaddafi in his pro-African Union policies, were targets of “racial cleansing” by rebels who saw black Libyans as tied closely with the regime.[1]
Black Libyans were commonly branded as “foreign mercenaries” by the rebel opposition for their perceived general loyalty to Gaddafi as a community and subjected to torture, executions, and their towns “liberated” by ethnic cleansing. This is demonstrated in the most well-documented example of Tawergha, an entire town of 30,000 black and “dark-skinned” Libyans which vanished by August 2011 after its takeover by NATO-backed NTC Misratan brigades.
These attacks were well-known as late as 2012 and often filmed, as this report from The Telegraph confirms:
After Muammar Gaddafi was killed, hundreds of migrant workers from neighboring states were imprisoned by fighters allied to the new interim authorities. They accuse the black Africans of having been mercenaries for the late ruler. Thousands of sub-Saharan Africans have been rounded up since Gaddafi fell in August.
It appears that Clinton was getting personally briefed on the battlefield crimes of her beloved anti-Gaddafi fighters long before some of the worst of these genocidal crimes took place.
Al-Qaeda and Western Special Forces Inside Libya
The same intelligence email from Sydney Blumenthal also confirms what has become a well known theme of Western supported insurgencies in the Middle East: the contradiction of special forces training militias that are simultaneously suspected of links to Al Qaeda.
Blumenthal relates that “an extremely sensitive source” confirmed that British, French, and Egyptian special operations units were training Libyan militants along the Egyptian-Libyan border, as well as in Benghazi suburbs.
While analysts have long speculated as to the “when and where” of Western ground troop presence in the Libyan War, this email serves as definitive proof that special forces were on the ground only within a month of the earliest protests which broke out in the middle to end of February 2011 in Benghazi.
By March 27 of what was commonly assumed a simple “popular uprising” external special operatives were already “overseeing the transfer of weapons and supplies to the rebels” including “a seemingly endless supply of AK47 assault rifles and ammunition.”
Yet only a few paragraphs after this admission, caution is voiced about the very militias these Western special forces were training because of concern that, “radical/terrorist groups such as the Libyan Fighting Groups and Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are infiltrating the NLC and its military command.”
The Threat of Libya’s Oil and Gold to French Interests
Though the French-proposed U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 claimed the no-fly zone implemented over Libya was to protect civilians, an April 2011 email sent to Hillary with the subject line “France’s client and Qaddafi’s gold” tells of less noble ambitions.
The email identifies French President Nicholas Sarkozy as leading the attack on Libya with five specific purposes in mind: to obtain Libyan oil, ensure French influence in the region, increase Sarkozy’s reputation domestically, assert French military power, and to prevent Gaddafi’s influence in what is considered “Francophone Africa.”
Most astounding is the lengthy section delineating the huge threat that Gaddafi’s gold and silver reserves, estimated at “143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver,” posed to the French franc (CFA) circulating as a prime African currency. In place of the noble sounding “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine fed to the public, there is this “confidential” explanation of what was really driving the war [emphasis mine]:
This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA).
(Source Comment: According to knowledgeable individuals this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7 billion. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya.)
Though this internal email aims to summarize the motivating factors driving France’s (and by implication NATO’s) intervention in Libya, it is interesting to note that saving civilian lives is conspicuously absent from the briefing.
Instead, the great fear reported is that Libya might lead North Africa into a high degree of economic independence with a new pan-African currency.
French intelligence “discovered” a Libyan initiative to freely compete with European currency through a local alternative, and this had to be subverted through military aggression.
The Ease of Floating Crude Propaganda
Early in the Libyan conflict Secretary of State Clinton formally accused Gaddafi and his army of using mass rape as a tool of war. Though numerous international organizations, like Amnesty International, quickly debunked these claims, the charges were uncritically echoed by Western politicians and major media.
It seemed no matter how bizarre the conspiracy theory, as long as it painted Gaddafi and his supporters as monsters, and so long as it served the cause of prolonged military action in Libya, it was deemed credible by network news.
Two foremost examples are referenced in the latest batch of emails: the sensational claim that Gaddafi issued Viagra to his troops for mass rape, and the claim that bodies were “staged” by the Libyan government at NATO bombing sites to give the appearance of the Western coalition bombing civilians.
In a late March 2011 email, Blumenthal confesses to Hillary that,
I communicated more than a week ago on this story—Qaddafi placing bodies to create PR stunts about supposed civilian casualties as a result of Allied bombing—though underlining it was a rumor. But now, as you know, Robert Gates gives credence to it. (See story below.)
Sources now say, again rumor (that is, this information comes from the rebel side and is unconfirmed independently by Western intelligence), that Qaddafi has adopted a rape policy and has even distributed Viagra to troops. The incident at the Tripoli press conference involving a woman claiming to be raped is likely to be part of a much larger outrage. Will seek further confirmation.
Not only did Defense Secretary Robert Gates promote his bizarre “staged bodies” theory on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” but the even stranger Viagra rape fiction made international headlines as U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice made a formal charge against Libya in front of the UN Security Council.
What this new email confirms is that not only was the State Department aware of the spurious nature of what Blumenthal calls “rumors” originating solely with the rebels, but did nothing to stop false information from rising to top officials who then gave them “credence.”
It appears, furthermore, that the Viagra mass rape hoax likely originated with Sidney Blumenthal himself.

[1] The most comprehensive and well-documented study of the plight of black Libyans is contained in Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO’s War on Libya and Africa (publ. 2012, Baraka Books) by Maximilian Forte, Professor Anthropology and Sociology at Concordia University in Montréal, Québec.



  1. How anyone could vote for Hillary Clinton is beyond me and who the hell is Barack Obama?

    1. Barack Obama's mama was CIA, and his sponsor was CIA. Barack Obama IS CIA.

      Period. End. Stop.

    2. I guess that explains that one.

      : )

    3. If it don't, it's as good as anyone else's.


    4. :) :)


      Definitely as unique and creative as any I've come across yet !

      Any theory on his true papa ?

  2. Nothing will change until the Neocons are flushed out of the system. The continuing Neocon reign has been a disaster for the West and for Russia. Nothing will change without a purge.

  3. Washington (CNN) A sense of anxiety is cascading through Hillary Clinton’s campaign, with an increasing sense of urgency the primary fight with Bernie Sanders is far more of a threat than once imagined, unlikely to be extinguished after the first contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.

    Clinton has gone from all but ignoring Sanders to fiercely engaging him in recent days, a reflection of public and private polling that points to a race that is uncomfortably competitive for the Democratic front-runner. She openly questions his electability and argues that he is out of step with the party on guns and other issues.Washington (CNN)A sense of anxiety is cascading through Hillary Clinton's campaign, with an increasing sense of urgency the primary fight with Bernie Sanders is far more of a threat than once imagined, unlikely to be extinguished after the first contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.

    Clinton has gone from all but ignoring Sanders to fiercely engaging him in recent days, a reflection of public and private polling that points to a race that is uncomfortably competitive for the Democratic front-runner. She openly questions his electability and argues that he is out of step with the party on guns and other issues.

    It is all part of a coordinated effort to persuade voters who may be intrigued by Sanders' populist rage to take a longer view and embrace Clinton's candidacy, whether or not they were initially enthused about her.

    Kathleen Jurgens, an Iowa Democrat, walked into a Clinton rally this week in Council Bluffs torn between the two. But an hour later, she said she was sold on Clinton's pitch that she was the only candidate who could stop a Republican from winning the White House.

    "I really like Bernie. He's outspoken and he doesn't seem as political," Jurgens told CNN. "But at this point, you really have to look at electability and Hillary really impressed me."

    The unknown question causing heartburn for Team Clinton, from its campaign headquarters in Brooklyn to offices across Iowa and New Hampshire, is how many Democrats will join Jurgens and how many will stay loyal to Sanders in a year when an anti-establishment sentiment is coursing through the electorate.

    The persistent challenge from Sanders presents a critical challenge for Clinton. She's in a far stronger position in many states that hold primaries later in the nominating contest. But a loss in the Iowa caucuses on February 1 will will revive memories of Clinton's third-place finish there in 2008, which ultimately doomed her first presidential bid. She's facing an even tougher race in New Hampshire, where she won the crucial primary eight years ago.

    Clinton herself penned a fundraising email on Saturday that indicated the "primary race in New Hampshire is neck and neck."

    1. FOX POLL

      Bernie Sanders is ahead of Hillary Clinton by a 50-37 percent margin among New Hampshire Democratic primary voters.

      That’s according to the latest Fox News poll, released Friday.

      Martin O’Malley receives three percent.

  4. Washington (CNN)

    Bernie Sanders said Friday that former President Bill Clinton’s past sexual misconduct was “totally disgraceful and unacceptable.”

    Appearing at a town hall in Toledo, Iowa, on Friday, Sanders responded to an attendee who said that Hillary Clinton isn't qualified to be president because or her support for her husband.

    "Look, Hillary Clinton is not Bill Clinton," Sanders said. "But what Bill Clinton did was totally, totally, totally disgraceful and unacceptable. But I am running against Hillary Clinton, not Bill Clinton."

  5. The Germans cannot protect young German women from 1000 Arab and African sexual predators in Cologne on New Years Eve but what happens when German men step forward?

    German police have used water cannons to disperse PEGIDA demonstrators in Cologne. The anti-immigration movement were rallying against a rash of assaults on women, blamed on migrants in the city on New Year’s Eve.

    Over a thousand supporters of the far-right movement took part in the protest in the center of the western German city on Saturday. They chanted “expulsion,” while waving German flags and other banners inscribed with slogans such as “Rapefugees not welcome.”


    ON New Year’s Eve, in the shadow of Cologne’s cathedral, crowds of North African and Middle Eastern men accosted women out for the night’s festivities. They surrounded them, groped them, robbed them. Two women were reportedly raped.

    Though there were similar incidents from Hamburg to Helsinki, the authorities at first played down the assaults, lest they prove inconvenient for Angela Merkel’s policy of mass asylum for refugees.

    That delay has now cost Cologne’s police chief his job. But the German government still seems more concerned about policing restless natives — most recently through a deal with Facebook and Google to restrict anti-immigrant postings — than with policing migration. Just last week Merkel rejected a proposal to cap refugee admissions (which topped one million last year) at 200,000 in 2016.

    The underlying controversy here is not a new one. For decades conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic have warned that Europe’s generous immigration policies, often pursued in defiance of ordinary Europeans’ wishes, threaten to destabilize the continent.

    The conservatives have made important points about the difficulty of assimilation, the threat of radicalization, and the likelihood of Paris-style and Cologne-style violence in European cities.

    But they have also trafficked in more apocalyptic predictions — fears of a “Eurabia,” of mass Islamification — that were somewhat harder to credit. Until recently, Europe’s assimilation challenge looked unpleasant but not insurmountable, and the likelihood of Yugoslavian-style balkanization relatively remote.

    With the current migration, though, we’re in uncharted territory. The issue isn’t just that immigrants are arriving in the hundreds of thousands rather than the tens of thousands. It’s that a huge proportion of them are teenage and twentysomething men.

    In Sweden, for instance, which like Germany has had an open door, 71 percent of all asylum applicants in 2015 were men. Among the mostly-late-teenage category of “unaccompanied minors,” as Valerie Hudson points out in an important essay for Politico,” the ratios were even more skewed: “11.3 boys for every one girl.”

    As Hudson notes, these trends have immediate implications for civil order — young men are, well, young men; societies with skewed sex ratios tend to be unstable; and many of these men carry assumptions about women’s roles that are diametrically opposed to the values of contemporary Europe.

    But there’s also a longer term issue, beyond the need to persuade new arrivals that — to quote from a Norwegian curriculum for migrants — in Europe “to force someone into sex is not permitted.”

    When immigration proceeds at a steady but modest clip, deep change comes slowly, and there’s time for assimilation to do its work. That’s why the Muslim population in Europe has been growing only at one percentage point a decade; it’s why many of the Turkish and North African immigrants who arrived in Germany and France decades ago are reasonably Europeanized today.

    But if you add a million (or millions) of people, most of them young men, in one short period, you get a very different kind of shift.


    1. {...}

      In the German case the important number here isn’t the country’s total population, currently 82 million. It’s the twentysomething population, which was less than 10 million in 2013 (and of course already included many immigrants). In that cohort and every cohort afterward, the current influx could have a transformative effect.

      How transformative depends on whether these men eventually find a way to bring brides and families to Europe as well. In terms of immediate civil peace, family formation or unification offers promise, since men with wives and children are less likely to grope revelers or graffiti synagogues or seek the solidarity of radicalism.

      But it could also double or treble this migration’s demographic impact, pushing Germany toward a possible future in which half the under-40 population would consist of Middle Eastern and North African immigrants and their children.

      If you believe that an aging, secularized, heretofore-mostly-homogeneous society is likely to peacefully absorb a migration of that size and scale of cultural difference, then you have a bright future as a spokesman for the current German government.

      You’re also a fool. Such a transformation promises increasing polarization among natives and new arrivals alike. It threatens not just a spike in terrorism but a rebirth of 1930s-style political violence. The still-imaginary France Michel Houellebecq conjured up in his novel “Submission,” in which nativists and Islamists brawl in the streets, would have a very good chance of being realized in the German future.

      This need not happen. But prudence requires doing everything possible to prevent it. That means closing Germany’s borders to new arrivals for the time being. It means beginning an orderly deportation process for able-bodied young men. It means giving up the fond illusion that Germany’s past sins can be absolved with a reckless humanitarianism in the present.

      It means that Angela Merkel must go — so that her country, and the continent it bestrides, can avoid paying too high a price for her high-minded folly.

  7. Keep one thing in mind in RV (Registered Voters) Polls. Those kids that were 14 - 17 during the last Presidential go-round will make up about 7 to 8 % of the vote this year, will vote heavily Democratic,

    And mostly haven't registered, yet.

    1. That 18-29 cohort will make up about 19% of the vote; the Over 65 bunch will be about 16%.

      Take with a large chunk of salt any poll showing - as most of them, now, are - the young bracket at 12%, or so, and the oldies at 25 or 26%.

  8. Bernie is too old to be President, Trump and Hillary are pushing the very outer limits....

    Dez Nutz, forever young, for President !

  9. We need to cut to the chase.....Instead of getting into a detailed primer on Department of Defense and Department of State electronic communications, I'll give you the short version....

    January 10, 2016
    Hillary's Email: It's a Felony!
    By Mike Ford

    The constant "drip, drip drip," regarding former Secretary of State Clinton's e-mail is starting to sound like so much inside baseball. Secretary Clinton continues to stand on her statement that none of the e-mail she sent or received had classified markings. Other folks in the conversation comment that many of the e-mails Secretary Clinton wrote and received were "born classified," at the time she wrote or received them.

    We need to cut to the chase. Somebody committed a felony, likely several. If, as some reports have indicated, there was certain overhead imagery, marked or unmarked on Secretary Clinton's e-mail server, someone committed a serious crime. The way government information/automation systems are set up, someone had to take a deliberate series of felonious actions in order for that imagery to get there. Period.

    One such action appears to be confirmed yesterday in an article in National Review by Brendan Bordelon entitled: Clinton Pushed Aide to Strip Markings from Sensitive Documents, Send through ‘Nonsecure’ Channel:

    During a 2011 e-mail exchange, Hillary Clinton urged top aide Jake Sullivan to strip classified talking points of all markings and send them through “nonsecure” means after a secure fax line failed to function. On the night of June 16, 2011, Sullivan told Clinton that important talking points on an undetermined issue would be faxed to her the following morning. When Clinton informed Sullivan that the talking points had not yet materialized, he began a frantic search for the problem. “They say they’ve had issues sending secure fax,” he wrote to Clinton 15 minutes later. “They’re working on it.” “If they can’t, turn into nonpaper with no identifying heading and send nonsecure,” Clinton replied. (Emphasis mine)

    Instead of getting into a detailed primer on Department of Defense and Department of State electronic communications, I'll give you the short version. Although the State Department and the Department of Defense use different systems for their unclassified communications, they do share some of the same systems for their classified traffic.

    1. The unclassified systems used by Defense and State have e-mail, file sharing and teleconferencing capabilities. Those systems also have access to the Internet. Some agencies allow their employees to use their unclassified computers to conduct limited personal business, such as sending e-mails and looking at The Weekly Standard online, during their breaks. These employees can also send e-mail to private addressees from this system.

      The classified systems the agencies use jointly are:

      SIPRNet (Secret Internet Protocol Router Network): used to transmit material that is classified CONFIDENTIAL or SECRET. It may not be used to transmit TOP SECRET material.

      JWICS (Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System): used to transmit TOP SECRET information, to include highly classified satellite imagery. The JWICS system is where Private Bradley Manning obtained the information he later gave to Wikileaks. This is also the system the State Department uses to routinely receive and access satellite imagery and imagery analysis, along with other TOP SECRET information.

      What is important to understand is that, except for extremely rare and tightly controlled circumstances, JWICS, SIPRNet and the in-house unclassified systems do not connect to each other. Except for that very rare exception, the only way to get information from one system to another is to use a system I have yet to introduce, the SneakerNet. "SneakerNet" is IT slang, referring to someone taking information on one system, saving it to portable media, disk or thumb drive and walking ("sneakering") it over to the other system and uploading it, thereby bypassing the procedural safeguards inherent in separate, unconnected systems. An alternative, using the same concept, would be to print the data from a JWICS terminal (possibly inside the State Department) and then scan the hard copy into an unclassified system. This method would also work were someone get access to a hard copy document or photo handed out at a meeting.

      One of the advantages of this unconnected system of systems is that it virtually eliminates "spillage," the accidental release of one level of classified information into an arena not cleared for it. If there was reconnaissance satellite imagery or analysis of that imagery on Secretary Clinton's server or any other unclassified system, then someone had to take a series of deliberate and felonious steps to put it there.

    2. A photo would have had to have its markings deliberately removed. Then it would have had to have been copied from JWICS onto removable media (or printed out) and uploaded (or scanned) to either an unclassified computer & e-mailed to Secretary Clinton, or directly uploaded to her server. In the case that what was on her server was merely a written assessment of what the imagery shows, the above still pertains. Someone had to make a series of deliberate decisions and steps to either copy or transcribe the assessment from JWICS and send it via a nonsecure e-mail to Secretary Clinton.

      What this means is that the conversation about this being a mistake, accident, or minor error in judgment, is a flat out lie. In my humble opinion, this lie should be rolled into an obstruction of justice charge -- yet another felony.

      Disclosure: The last time I personally used any of these systems was in 2012. Systems and procedures have likely changed since then.

      Mike Ford is a former Infantry Colonel. He has served in Europe, Central America and in Southwest Asia, Commanding at the Detachment, Company, Battalion and Brigade Levels.

      Time for Hillary to plead the 'incomprehensible complexity' defense, cry from one eye only, wink with the other, and throw herself on the mercy of the jury which has been hand picked to include some feminist democrats.

      This Sneaky Sneakers Defense, with the accompanying theatrics, was first used by one "Q" in a case up in Michigan.

      The verdict there ?

      Not Guilty


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    I’m an Oregon rancher. Here’s what you don’t understand about the Bundy standoff.
    The Obama administration has pushed our livelihood to the brink.
    Resize Text
    Print Article
    Comments 3646
    By Keith Nantz January 8
    Keith Nantz is ranch manager at Dillon Land and Cattle in Maupin, Ore.

    Keith Nantz on his farm. (Courtesy of Mark Gibson/The Dalles Chronicle)

    This week, the Ammon Bundy-led seizure of a federal wildlife refuge thrust Oregon’s ranchers into the spotlight. While I don’t agree with the occupiers’ tactics, I sympathize with their position. Being a rancher was always challenging. And it has become increasingly difficult under the Obama administration.

    I grew up in a ranching community in northeast Oregon. Even as a kid, I knew I wanted to be a rancher. After eight years as a firefighter, I’d saved enough to start my own business. I wanted to work on the land, raising delicious, wholesome beef for our growing population.

    For almost a decade, I’ve done just that. Most days, I’m up before the sun rises. I spend my mornings tending to my horses, dogs and livestock. In the winter, when it’s bitter cold, I’m outside with my cattle, making sure their water isn’t frozen and that they’re properly fed. In the summer, I often work 15-hour days, cultivating my crops and tending to the animals. In the afternoons, I’m in my office, reaching out to customers and handling the ranch’s business side. Over the course of a given day, I act as a vet, a mechanic, an agronomist and accountant.

    I love the work, but it’s grueling. As a rancher, I’m always one bad year away from financial disaster. Every purchase I make — from new cows ($2,000 each) to a new piece of equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars — is a major investment. And my ranch operates on very slim margins, so I have to be savvy to make ends meet.........

    Been down that way many times. Nice country.

    1. .

      The post story is way too general to point out the extent of the government bureaucracy's interference with the livelihoods of the farmers and ranchers in the west.

      The fact is landowners and lessees just can't expect the same freedom of action with regard to the land that they had 100 years ago. That's just a fact of life. And there is always two sides to a story. That being said, the ruthlessness and vindictiveness of the governments response to the Hammond case is an object lesson on how far a federal government, driven by environmentalists and an agenda, will go to stick it to anyone they want to with no regard for what a normal person might call justice. It is instead a power play by the government designed to intimidate anyone that might object to their dictates in the future.

      The initial public demonstration in support of the Hammonds was a peaceful protest against an overarching and vindictive government response in the case. It was justified and should be duplicated and enlarged to increase public awareness of the problems these people face. (Unfortunately, there are probably too few farmers and ranchers to counter the environmentalists who would probably prefer the US turning into a country of vegans rather than have some scenic view or walking trail disturbed by cattle.)

      Unfortunately, when the peaceful protest broke up Bundy and the other armed buffoons with him occupied the government buildings. I have no problem with peaceful protests as long as the people involved understand the repercussions of breaking the law and are willing to accept the consequences to get their message across. Such demonstrations have a long history here in the US and can be effective. It's an American tradition.

      However, introducing guns and subtle (or not so subtle) threats into the equation is self-defeating and will likely only hurt their cause.

      The people who took part in the earlier peaceful demonstration for the Hammonds have denounced the occupiers, landowners in the area want them out, and even the Hammonds want no part of them. Yet, now the occupiers are being reinforced with militias from Idaho to 'protect the perimeter and prevent another Ruby Ridge'.

      My concern is the longer this goes on it only increases the chances of another Ruby Ridge.


    2. You've got no argument with me.

      I think they'd get better press and a lot more of it if they threw the guns away and they all stripped buck naked and vowed to not dress again until the Feds are gone.

    3. .

      The Oregon protests are a reaction to the harsh prison sentences meted out by the federal criminal justice system to a 73-year-old rancher and his son for starting two fires on their own land in 2001 and 2006. Dwight Hammond and his 46-year-old son, Steven, lit the first fire to eliminate invasive plants on their land, and the second as a backfire to protect their ranch from a natural fire. In the first case, 139 acres of adjoining federal land—grassland they lease from the government—was burned. The second fire, set to protect their winter feed from a lightning-caused wildfire, resulted in a single acre of public land being burned. For this infraction, they were subjected to a felony prosecution under a federal law aimed at arsonists and bombers who destroy federal buildings.

      Absurd, yes, but typical in our prosecution-crazed nation. The Hammonds were convicted and sentenced to prison: three months for Dwight, a year for Steven. The statute they were convicted of violating carries a five-year “mandatory minimum,” but U.S. District Court Judge Michael Hogan found that to be a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. So the Hammonds did their time and were released. But federal prosecutors wanted a much bigger pound of flesh; they appealed the sentence.

      The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the government. Their reasoning was that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld far tougher sentences for less serious offenses.” It cited draconian examples worthy of a Victor Hugo novel: 50 years under California's “three strikes” law for stealing nine videotapes, 25-to-life under the same law for the theft of three golf clubs, 40 years for possession of nine ounces of marijuana.

      Essentially, the justices were saying that official insanity in other cases, imposed either by Congress or state legislatures, was affirmed by the Supreme Court—so what could they do? But political candidates and elected officials are not hamstrung that way. The Oregon case could be a teachable moment for liberal reformers and fiscal conservatives alike. One would especially think politicians of color would use the Hammond case to make a larger point. Not about the media, but about this country’s sentencing laws...

      Fanning the Flames in Oregon


    4. I think your argument would fare better if you concentrated on the problems of mandatory minimum sentences than with "vindictive federals"

    5. The Hammonds got screwed. It's absurd.

      I'm surprised that the 9th Circuit Court of Schlongs upheld the Government. Seems out of character.

      139 acre fire?

      Do you have any idea how many hundreds of thousands of acres are out there ?

      I'm surprised any jury even convicted them.

    6. Maybe it was a plea bargain. If so they really got screwed as well.

    7. If they had been out there growing dope the Schlongs would have understood and thought of it as a public service to keep the folks in San Francisco mellowed out....

    8. .

      I think your argument would fare better if you concentrated on the problems of mandatory minimum sentences than with "vindictive federals"

      Perhaps for you, Ash, I mean being Canadian an all.

      However, Bob's initial post was about the Oregon occupation and the reasons for it, the Hammond case. And in the Hammond case, the Hammonds were screwed as a result of 'vindictive' federal action. The case could have been handled reasonably at the lower court level (although given the damage done it should have probably been restricted to a fine) had it not been appealed by the Feds to make a point.


    9. and the point the Feds are making is that you must conform to Federal Law and the mandatory minimums as stipulated.

      The Mandatory minimum in the Hammond case is the problem - not "vindictive Federals".

    10. "This local article from Oregon reports on what appears to be a significant sentencing decision by a federal district judge concerning the application of a mandatory minimum provision. Here are the details:

      Rejecting mandatory minimum five-year sentences as “grossly disproportionate” to the crimes, a federal judge in Eugene on Tuesday sentenced an Eastern Oregon rancher to three months in prison and his adult son to one year and a day for deliberately setting fires on federal land. "

  11. Our Super-Feminist Hillary is cool with Moslem immigrants.

    January 10, 2016
    The President Who Fell From Grace
    By Clarice Feldman

    On Facebook, poster Stuart Browning lays it out clearly:

    You know that you’re being politically incorrect when you voice an opinion based on obvious and abundant evidence that everyone with eyes can see, and yet by doing so, you have violated certain social protocols and exposed yourself as a racist. Example: It should be glaringly obvious that Third World Muslim men do not know how to treat women. Men from the Middle East and North Africa see women as occupying a social position just slightly above that of livestock -- and, they see Western females as prostitutes.

    No one should be surprised by the Muslim male rampages on New Year’s Eve in Germany, Austria and other parts of Europe. These outrages didn’t just start with the arrival of refugees from Syria; they’ve been going on for awhile in European countries with large Muslim populations. Sweden is now known as the rape capital of Europe where nearly 100% of rapes there are committed by Muslims. Yet, the media there has gone out of its way to cover up these crimes. In England, there have been numerous outrages where both the police and the media conspired to prevent publication of any news that might disturb the notion of multicultural bliss. The British press will even use the code word “Asian” when describing crimes committed by Muslims, a word they can’t bring themselves to use because, as everyone knows, Islam has nothing to do with it.

    Yet all the “education” and “rehabilitation” of Muslim immigrants is not going to work. Culture is destiny. And the bone-deep culture of Third World Islam that these immigrants import into the heart of Europe will manifest itself in ways that go far beyond the sexual assault, rape and murder of western women. They will bring their 15-year-old brides from Pakistan and Syria. As their numbers grow they will insist on polygamy, the veil, child marriage, genital mutilation, honor killings and a government-provided Islamic education system. And then their numbers will explode at an even faster rate.

    The influx of Third World migrants carrying the virus of Islam is an invasion not fundamentally different from that of Mohamed in the 8th century or the Ottomans in the Middle Ages. Will Europe wake up? Let’s hope that the attention to what happened in Cologne on New Year's Eve will prod a sleeping Europe to action before it’s too late..........

  12. I get so sick of the media bringing out retired generals for their pontifications on political and military matters but, if you needed convincing that flag rank (generals) officers can be just about as stupid as anyone else, read on:

    The commander of the Navy's Carrier Strike Group 15, based in San Diego, has been fired due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command amid allegations that he used his government computer to watch pornography.
    Rear Admiral Rick Williams was removed from his position on Friday, a Navy release stated. Williams was relieved of his duties by 3rd Fleet boss Vice Adm. Nora Tyson after just six months in the position "based on the initial findings of an ongoing investigation into the alleged misuse of government computer equipment."

    Williams was found to have looked at pornographic images on his government computer during a routine inspection, according to The Navy Times source.

    The asshole uses the internet on government computers and didn’t think anyone would notice?

    1. He can easily get a job with Hillary and Huma, Inc.

  13. The inspector general’s study found that 68 million US adults do not have a bank account, instead relying on services such as payday loan centers. That costs them on average $2,412 a year in interest and fees.

    Sen. Bernie Sanders has a plan to solve low-income America's banking problems: get the mailman to hold their money.

    The Democratic presidential candidate has called for the U.S. Postal Service to offer basic banking services such as saving accounts, check cashing and even providing loans.

    Sanders envisions it as an alternative to traditional banking, one shorn of the "greed" of large commercial banks that would serve the needs of people without access to those services.

    It also would serve a second purpose: Helping postal worker unions. The additional revenue the Postal Service would bring in from banking may prevent any need for cutbacks and make privatization less likely
    "Sanders has been a leader in making sure that the Postal Service has the opportunities it needs to offer new services and products," said Warren Gunnels, policy director for Sanders' campaign. Entering banking would prevent any need to "eliminate Saturday delivery [or] shut down post offices and mail processing facilities," he said.

    Getting into banking would net the Postal Service $8.9 billion in new revenue annually, the Postal Service Inspector General's Office estimated in 2014.

    "I don't think you could say it would rule out any possibility of privatization, but it would certainly allow the Postal Service to get on a more secure footing," said Sally Davidow, spokeswoman for the American Postal Workers Union, which has endorsed Sanders' presidential bid.

    The union heads a coalition group called the Campaign for Postal Banking. Other members include the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association. Gunnels said Sanders is working with the unions on the issue.

    “Nonprofit financial services provided by the USPS could help struggling families nationwide achieve financial stability — and strengthen the USPS mission to serve the public," the coalition says on its website.

  14. .

    Paul Ryan turns the GOP presidential race toward a forgotten issue: Poverty

    COLUMBIA, S.C. — Republican presidential candidates on Saturday turned their attention away from border walls and terrorist threats and birth certificates, if only for a day, to focus on a topic that is dear to the hearts of some leading conservative thinkers but has remained far from the center of the GOP race: poverty in America...

    It created a spectacle that seemed far removed from the tumult of the campaign at large: A low-octane discussion of conservative policy that was short on candidate sniping and red-meat applause lines and long on mentions of block grants, school vouchers and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

    That was the intent of the event’s sponsors, the Jack Kemp Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute, and its leading moderator, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), who has promised to use his office to make the 2016 election into a battle of ideas rather than personalities. The Kemp Forum on Expanding Opportunity, as the event was billed, was focused on issues near to Ryan’s wonky heart and that of his mentor, the late Rep. Jack Kemp (R-N.Y.).

    “We’ve been fighting a war on poverty for over 50 years now, and I don’t think you conclude anything other than this war is a stalemate,” Ryan told a packed room at the convention center here at the outset of the forum. “We’ve treated poverty like they’re potholes that need to be filled up and then we move on. … We now have a safety net that is designed to catch people falling into poverty when what we really need is a safety net that is designed to help get people out of poverty.”

    While the forum was notable for delving into the policy weeds, it was also notably missing the two most aggressive Republican candidates, front-runners Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), offering a glimpse at what the 2016 GOP campaign might have looked like without the Trump-fueled rage against the Republican establishment.

    The six candidates who attended — former Florida governor Jeb Bush, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) — spent much of their time discussing tax plans that would, to varying degrees, cut federal government revenue and require significant cuts to long-standing social programs. But their approaches differed sharply, even if the format did not make for camera-friendly clashes.

    Christie, for instance, touted his initiative as governor to increase New Jersey's Earned Income Tax Credit — a program that boosts the income of the poorest workers — while Carson argued for a biblically inspired flat tax without any loopholes. He criticized low-income workers that do not pay federal income tax. “Everybody has to have skin in the game, and it doesn’t make any sense to me for half the people not to pay any taxes but have a say in how much the others pay,” Carson said, drawing applause. Huckabee pitched...

    All agreed on one notion: the failure of existing federal social programs to address the root causes of poverty. Each candidate called for reforms that would give aid recipients more incentives to work going beyond the major welfare reform of 1996 that made the central federal program for poor families into a program offering only temporary aid in most cases. Several floated reforms that are popular in the conservative policy sphere, including devolving federal programs by delivering block grants that states would have wide latitude to administer as they wish.

    “Our safety net in America today does not cure poverty,” Rubio said. “It treats the pain of poverty, the symptoms of poverty, but it does not cure it. The only cure for poverty is a good-paying job.”...

    Republican presidential hopefuls revive poverty message


  15. Credit scoring agencies have made it impossible for tens of millions of US citizens to open a bank account. Someone has to start putting a priority on creating domestic US jobs. Opening up banking possibilities to 68 million US Citizens seems as good a place to start as any other. Of course, the Republicans will hate it. They love America but hate the pool of Americans that probably provides the bulk of troops for our mercenary armies and can’t open a bank account till they join the military.

    Payday lenders and check cashing shops are a real burden to the working poor.

  16. I had a “stimulating” discussion with a business owner that was touting how his company creates jobs in upstate Pennsylvania. I was in his factory once and observed about fifty workers, 80% from Mexico and Central America. I asked him what he paid for a starting factory worker. $9 per hour. The Latin Americans can do that by living 10-15 in shared housing and sending half their pay to Latin America, paying 5% of the gross to Western Union.

    Raise the flag higher boys.

  17. Republicans talking about "Poverty." :) :)

    Mention "Raising the Minimum Wage," or "Helping with Childcare or Health Insurance," and see what they have to say.

    1. The Party that fights "Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the ACA, Healthcare for Children, Birth Control, Childcare, The Minimum Wage, Unions, Nutrition Programs, and . . . . . well, you get the idea" wants to "talk about Poverty."

      You betcha.

    2. .

      ...wants to "talk about Poverty."

      Somebody has to.

      The poverty rate is higher now than it was when Clinton launched the 'war on poverty'. Can't remember the actual percentage (but it was high) of people living from paycheck to paycheck who are just one major car repair or one major illness away from being in deep shit. Today, I pay no interest on anything; but I remember the days when I was younger when we would pay a couple grand in interest payments over and above the mortgage and the car.

      From Wiki: Poverty in the US

      The US Census declared that in 2014 14.8% of the general population lived in poverty:[43]
      10.1% of all white non-hispanic persons
      12.0% of all Asian persons
      23.6% of all Hispanic persons (of any race)
      26.2% of all black persons.

      In the 90's, I think the rate was around 12-13%.

      Sections of many inner cities (not just large ones) look like Kobane or Kabul. But the problems are rapidly spreading to the suburbs like crime and everything else.

      The percentage of Americans now receiving a federally-funded “means-tested program” now stands at 35.4%. When you add pensions, unemployment, Social Security, and Medicare to the mix, the percentage of Americans relying on government for part or all of their subsistence is 49.5% of the American population.


      But the 109,631,000 living in households taking federal welfare benefits as of the end of 2012, according to the Census Bureau, equaled 35.4 percent of all 309,467,000 people living in the United States at that time.

      When those receiving benefits from non-means-tested federal programs — such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and veterans benefits — were added to those taking welfare benefits, it turned out that 153,323,000 people were getting federal benefits of some type at the end of 2012.

      It’s important to separate those receiving retirement benefits, pensions, and even unemployment from those receiving “means-tested benefits” because in theory, the recipients of the former have pre-paid their benefits, whereas those receiving welfare have to have tax money appropriated to give them their benefits.

      I don't know what the answer(s) is/are but I do know that whatever we are doing right now isn't working and t hasn't really been working for a long, long time.


    3. Deporting the illegal immigrants, building a true border fence, will open up a lot of jobs.

      Whose is talking about that ?

      The Donald and Cruz, and the Republicans, not the Democrats.

    4. The War on Poverty is the unofficial name for legislation first introduced by United States President Lyndon B. Johnson during his State of the Union address on January 8, 1964. This legislation was proposed by Johnson in response to a national poverty rate of around nineteen percent. The speech led the United States Congress to pass the Economic Opportunity Act, which established the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) to administer the local application of federal funds targeted against poverty.

      As a part of the Great Society, Johnson believed in expanding the federal government's roles in education and health care as poverty reduction strategies.[1] These policies can also be seen as a continuation of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, which ran from 1933 to 1935, and the Four Freedoms of 1941. Johnson stated "Our aim is not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it".[2]

      The legacy of the War on Poverty policy initiative remains in the continued existence of such federal programs as Head Start, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), TRIO, and Job Corps.

      The popularity of a war on poverty waned after the 1960s.[citation needed] Deregulation, growing criticism of the welfare state, and an ideological shift to reducing federal aid to impoverished people in the 1980s and 1990s culminated in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, which, as claimed President Bill Clinton, "end[ed] welfare as we know it."

  18. With PowerBall looking to be $1.3 billion, I'm going to buy not just an air craft carrier, but a whole carrier battle group.

    Come on now, all you also are thinking what you'd being doing with the money.....

    In the old days, in New York, Chicago, Philly, when Eliot Ness was cracking down on this kind of non sense, I think it was called 'the numbers game'......

  19. If you look at the last 4 Presidents, the two Republicans, together, created, maybe, a million private sector jobs; whereas the two Democrats have teamed up for approximately 30 Million Private Sector Jobs.

    I know which "poverty-fighters" I want on My team.

    1. .

      Meaningless when it comes to poverty. You have to understand what it means in terms of a living wage that gets you over the poverty line and off the dole.



    2. I might buy your figure if it was 30 million public sector jobs.

    3. You both have to be fucking kidding me.

  20. Gas prices could drop to $1 gallon...Drudge

    If Rufus dares try attribute this wonderful development to O'bozo and the Democrats I'll go ballistic from one of my subs in my new carrier battle group.

    Be warned Northern Mississippi......

    1. (O'bozo has tried to force gas prices higher to 'save the earth' an' shit)

  21. This is not a laugher -

    LAFFER: Republicans Win 47 States...

    Trump 'Phenomenal,' Hillary 'Day is Over'...

    Mark Steyn had a good write up of The Donald the other day....went to his rally in teleprompters for The Donald....said he's really good at these rallies...

    1. .

      Only a gibbering idiot would require a teleprompter when your vocabulary consists of less than fifty words (half that of the typical 2 year old) that you keep repeating over and over again like some mantra in a mindless closed-end loop:



      It Is/Will Be

      The Best Ever
      You Won't Believe It

      They're All

      The Media

      I Will

      Make Them Pay
      Take Their Oil
      Send Them Back
      Torture Them Until They Squeal


      Very, Very, Effective


    2. I agree that O'bozo is a gibbering idiot with a very limited vocabulary.

    3. fromHot Air -

      Byron York Trump on buying politicians: “When I call, they kiss my ass”

      You may say this sounds crude corrupt, but I find it refreshing.

    4. And disarmingly honest.

      New ground is being here but only you can't see it.

      Which is really odd....

      Really really odd.......

  22. CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) Standards


    See also: Biofuels Standards

  23. BTW, Obama is the only President going back at least to Carter that has presided over a Decrease in Public Sector Jobs.

    1. Here is my source for Public and Private Sector Job Creation:

      Calculated Risk

  24. Expert Opinion (Scientific, not Pundit) is that it is very hard for any Party to win its 3rd Term.

    Those Academics are pretty much agreed that, for the Dem Candidate to have a chance, Obama's Approval Rating will have to be up around 48, or above - a tough pull (he's at 47%, today - per Gallup)

  25. Americans' Assessments of Living Standards Brighter in 2015
    by Justin McCarthy

    Index averaged +49 in 2015, up from +45 in 2014

    About four in five satisfied with living standards in 2015

    About six in 10 said standard of living getting better in 2015

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' positivity about their standard of living was higher in 2015 than in any other year since Gallup began tracking it in 2008. The average Standard of Living Index score of +49 for 2015 was up from the average score of +45 in 2014 and more than double the +23 score in 2008.

    Gallup's Standard of Living Index is a composite of Americans' responses to two questions: one asking whether they are satisfied with their standard of living, and the other asking whether their standard of living is getting better or worse. The index has a theoretical maximum of 100 (if all respondents say they are satisfied with their standard of living and say it is getting better) and a theoretical minimum of -100 (if all respondents are dissatisfied with their standard of living and say it is getting worse).

    In 2015, 79% of Americans, on average, were satisfied and 21% were dissatisfied with their standard of living. Meanwhile, an average of 62% said their standard of living was getting better and 22% said it was getting worse.

    The monthly Standard of Living Index was +49 in December, down slightly from the peak of +52 reached twice in early 2015. Scores were a bit more modest in the latter half of 2015, ranging from +46 to +49, mirroring the slight decline in Americans' broader confidence in the economy. However, the late 2015 monthly scores in standard of living and economic confidence are still better than most Gallup measurements from 2008 through 2014.

    The all-time low monthly average for the Standard of Living Index was . . . . . . . .


  26. At minus -2 degrees Seattle is at a distinct disadvantage playing Minnesota today.

    That football must catch like a frozen piece of ice.

    No football game should be played when it is below 32 degrees.

    1. (you talk about freezin' your balls off......jeez)

  27. .

    You both have to be fucking kidding me.

    No, not really. You offer up job numbers as what? An answer to the poverty question? If that's the case, why haven't poverty levels dropped.

    From a Congressional Research Service report from 2011,

    CRS Report: Welfare Spending The Largest Item In The Federal Budget

    Ranking Member Sessions and the minority staff of the Senate Budget Committee requested from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) an overview of cumulative means-tested federal welfare spending in the United States in the most recent year for which data is available (fiscal year 2011).

    The results are staggering. CRS identified 83 overlapping federal welfare programs that together represented the single largest budget item in 2011 — more than the nation spends on Social Security, Medicare, or national defense. The total amount spent on these 80 plus federal welfare programs amounts to roughly $1.03 trillion. Importantly, these figures solely refer to means-tested welfare benefits. They exclude entitlement programs to which people contribute (e.g.,Social Security and Medicare).

    CRS estimates that exclusively federal spending on these federal programs equaled approximately $746 billion, and further emphasizes that there is a substantial amount of state spending — mostly required as a condition of states’ participation on these same federal programs (primarily Medicaid and CHIP). Based on data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government Finance, Budget Committee staff calculated at least an additional $283 billion in state contributions to those same federal programs1, for a total annual expenditure of $1.03 trillion.

    By comparison, in 2011, the annual budget expenditure for Social Security was $725 billion, Medicare was $480 billion, and non-war defense was $540 billion.

    The exclusively federal share of spending on these federal programs is up 32 percent since 2008, and now comprises 21 percent of federal outlays (this share too is more than Social Security, Medicare, or

    As a historical comparison, spending on the 10 largest of the 83 Programs (which account for the bulk of federal welfare spending)has doubled as a share of the federal budget over just the last 30 years. In inflation-adjusted dollars, the amount expended on these 10 programs has increased by 378 percent over that time...

    Poverty funds continue to increase through both Dem and GOP administration, up over 30% between 2008 and 2011 as noted above; yet, for at least the last 15-20 years poverty rates haven't changed much. Maybe, they even increased a little. But the attitude remains the same. We've seen Obama in speaking about Obamacare bragging about the number of people he has put on Medicaid. We've seen the adds encouraging people to take advantage of food stamps. We've seen the latest budget. Business as usual.

    When a third of the country is on the dole, IMO, it would be foolish to suggest that either party shouldn't be talking on the subject of poverty. The conversation is overdue.


    1. Rufus has become a true magician with his numbers.

    2. What this country needs for President is a business man that knows how to work the politicians, knows how to make them kiss ass, knows how to grease the skids.

    3. Idaho Bob Sun Jan 10, 02:52:00 PM EST

      from Hot Air -

      Byron York Trump on buying politicians: “When I call, they kiss my ass”

      You may say this sounds crude, corrupt, but I find it refreshing.

  28. The Democratic Party owns the mess in the big cities, northeast USA.

    And they have no clue what to do other than more of the same.

    To be fair, the Republicans don't know what to do either, but they aren't the ones directly responsible.

    Back to the frozen football game....

  29. So, you put up welfare numbers for 2011, immediately After Bush completely destroyed the economy?

    Give me a break.

    BUT, just to play your silly game - What, pray tell, would those numbers be without the 20 Million Jobs that Clinton created, and what would they be today without the 10 Million Obama Jobs?

    This is about the silliest shit that you have Ever put up, Quirk.

  30. The answer, of course, is to elect the Republicans' Republican, Mr. Donald Trump - Master of Bankruptcies.

    Boy, Bankruptcy #5 will be a doozy.

  31. I wonder what all those babies in Flint, Michigan will think about Republicans when they grow up?

    Oh, right; they won't be able to think because the Republican Governor poisoned them with lead in their drinking water. I wonder what That will do for the "budget?"

    1. Or, the ten thousand, or so, that will die, needlessly, in Texas and Florida this year because the Republican Governors refused Federal Money to cover their healthcare expenses?

      Oh, that's right, they won't be able to think, either; They'll still be dead.


    Not in the fight against poverty.

    That IS the silliest thing that you've ever posted.

  33. SOUTHWEST ASIA, January 10, 2016 — 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, attack, bomber, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 11 strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Abu Kamal, a strike destroyed an ISIL crane.

    -- Near Raqqah, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units.

    -- Near Ayn Isa, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed four ISIL buildings.

    -- Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike destroyed 16 ISIL skid mounted gas and oil separation plants.

    -- Near Manbij, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL bunker, and wounded an ISIL fighter.

    -- Near Mar'a, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and damaged an ISIL building.

    -- Near Washiyah, a strike destroyed an ISIL excavator.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Coalition forces used rocket artillery, fighter, bomber, and remotely piloted aircraft to conduct 15 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

    -- Near Albu Hayat, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit, wounded an ISIL fighter, and destroyed an ISIL weapons cache and an ISIL building.

    -- Near Habbaniyah, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Haditha, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

    -- Near Kisik, two strikes destroyed five ISIL assembly areas and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Mosul, two strikes struck an ISIL headquarters building and destroyed an ISIL excavator.

    -- Near Qayyarah, a strike destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL weapons caches, and two ISIL assembly areas.

    -- Near Ramadi, six strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, wounded three ISIL fighters, denied ISIL access to terrain, and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL tactical vehicle, an ISIL training facility, an ISIL vehicle bomb and an ISIL recoilless rifle.

    -- Near Tal Afar, a strike struck an ISIL-used bridge.

  34. SeaSquaks Win !!

    In a marvelous cold weather turn of events, the Vikings missed a winning field goal from the 26 with 30 seconds or so to go.

    Squaks 10
    Vikings 9

  35. rat's incident of 'domestic terrorism', as he called it, is going well, quite peacefully right now -

    Oregon standoff update: things are pretty calm
    posted at 5:01 pm on January 10, 2016 by Taylor Millard

    Things are actually pretty calm in Oregon, where Ammon Bundy and federal authorities are facing off over the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The biggest news is a group which claimed to want to de-escalate the situation was told to leave by Bundy’s group. Pacific Patriots Network showed up Saturday to meet with Bundy’s group on being a security detail for the perimeter. But Bundy’s group told reporters later the group was told to go away. Via The Oregonian:.......

    Sounds like the folks are mostly sitting around bullshitting.....for now.....

    Missing are two elements of real terrorism:

    1) Element of Surprise
    2) Dead bodies, severed limbs, etc

  36. Robert Fulford: ISIL on the decline

    Robert Fulford | January 9, 2016 | Last Updated: Jan 9 7:14 AM ET

    - Iraqi forces secure an area near the Grand Mosque in central Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's Anbar province, on January 8, 2016, after retaking the city from Islamic State (IS) group jihadists.
    AFP/Getty Images- Iraqi forces secure an area near the Grand Mosque in central Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's Anbar province, on January 8, 2016, after retaking the city from Islamic State (IS) group jihadists.

    In the summer of 2014 a band of terrorists and assassins bounded onto the stage of history and announced plans to conquer the world. Naming themselves the Islamic State, but often called ISIS or ISIL or Daesh, they proclaimed themselves a caliphate, an ancient form of Islamic government.

    For a while, they seemed unstoppable. They stormed into two pitifully crippled states, Iraq and Syria, killing and enslaving wherever they went, pausing now and then to vandalize a precious historic site because it symbolized a heresy.

    Disciplined and unscrupulous, they set a terrifying pace. But at the moment they seem on a downward curve. Within Iraq, they have lost about 40 per cent of the territory they once controlled and have acquired nothing since last May. In Syria they have lost a fifth of what they had. The defeat of ISIL forces in Ramadi last month was not an isolated event. They have surrendered the cities of Sinjar and Tikrit as well.

    ISIL jihadist executes his own mother in public after accusation that she was a non-believer
    ‘Jihadi Junior’ appears in ISIL execution video, calling on fighters to ‘kill the kuffar’

    To achieve victory in Ramadi the anti-ISIL coalition had to marshal about 10,000 troops, heavy artillery, air support and U.S. intelligence. The result was delicately political as well as forcefully military. Which element in the coalition wins a battle is at least as important as the victory itself. As Kenneth Pollack of the Brookings Institution commented, “It was essential to put a Sunni face on the retaking of an overwhelmingly Sunni town, as well as have security personnel whom the Sunni populace would accept and trust. Iraqis haven’t forgotten the human rights abuses that Shiite militiamen committed after the fall of Tikrit.”

    There are Shiite soldiers along with the Sunnis in the coalition but reconciliation between Sunnis and Shiites — enemies since the 10th century — remains more a hope than an expectation. It was necessary to keep the participation of Iranian-backed Shiite militia at a minimum. They could not be allowed to take credit and the Americans did all they could to keep that from happening. Col. Steve Warren, a spokesman for the coalition, emphasized that Ramadi was a “a proud moment for Iraq” and for the Iraqi Army, the Counter Terrorism Service, the Iraqi Air Force and tribal fighters. Their progress was hampered by ISIL booby traps, snipers and the destruction of the bridges leading to Ramadi. But the nasty, sectarian competition within the struggle against ISIL was just as troublesome.

    1. Islamists are the totalitarian branch of Islam. They believe in the dictatorship of belief, the elimination of infidels and a severe and merciless religious code

      ISIL has also been weakened by an element in politics they probably despise, public opinion. Wherever they go, the local people (Sunni as well as Shiite) hate and fear them. Daniel Pipes, one of the most eloquent writers on Middle East developments, sums it up in a sentence: “To know Islamists is to reject them.”

      Islamists are the totalitarian branch of Islam. They believe in the dictatorship of belief, the elimination of infidels and a severe and merciless religious code.

      Hostility to them develops across a nation as well as in a village. In Egypt the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood introduced a fairly moderate form of Islamist policy under their leader and president, Mohamed Morsi. After a year, massive demonstrations drove Morsi and his gang from office. They were replaced by the military government of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. He appears eager to exceed in brutality President Hosni Mubarak, whose forced resignation in 2011 was considered one of the glories of the Arab Spring.
      Read & Debate

      fbFind Full Comment on Facebook

      Globally, police have recently made progress in opposing Islamists. In Bosnia-Herzegovina they charged a gang plotting a murderous attack in Sarajevo. The attackers were described as “close to Islamic State.” The supreme court in Bangladesh has upheld the death sentence for murder of an Islamist leader. In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, an anti-terror squad (acting on intelligence provided by the FBI and Australian police) arrested six men suspected of planning suicide bombings. They had a black flag inspired by the Islamic State.

      The Islamists are far from defeated but their internal weakness might in the end do them the most harm. “The Shiite-Sunni conflict is boiling,” according to a former senior official of Israel’s Mossad, quoted the other day in the Jerusalem Post. Saudi Arabia’s execution of a popular Shiite cleric has led to a breakdown in diplomatic relations between a majority Sunni nation (Saudi Arabia) and a majority Shiite nation (Iran). If that moves down to the level of the jihad, it could produce another wave of homicide, one that will prompt many to echo the comment of Henry Kissinger during the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s. He said it was “a shame that there can only be one loser.”

      National Post

    2. Too many enemies, not enough friends.

      If the Lord were just some kind of more or less moderate Sunni State would emerge from all this, with the Kurds independent too.

      Whether the Lord is just is an ancient question.

      What is more certain is that He often takes a long time making up His damn mind.

  37. It's going to get worse. One almost begins to feel sorry for poor old Hillary -

    Hillary Health Horrors
    Medical experts raise red flags, question her claimed recovery from brain trauma.
    January 8, 2016
    Matthew Vadum

    Then there was a bizarre gaffe Hillary made in November.

    In a speech to the NAACP about forbidding prospective employers from asking job applicants about their criminal history, Mrs. Clinton, who is now under FBI investigation, offered what appeared to be a weird Freudian slip:

    "Earlier today, I announced that as president I will take steps to ban the box so former presidents won’t have to declare their criminal history at the very start of the hiring process. That way they’ll have a chance to been seen as more than someone who has done time."

    After examining a 2012 ABC News report about Clinton's concussion and blood clot, Board-certified neurologist Dr. Daniel Kassicieh of Sarasota, Fla., said Clinton's head injury appears to be adversely and significantly impacting her everyday performance.

    1. "Earlier today, I announced that as president I will take steps to ban the box so former presidents won’t have to declare their criminal history at the very start of the hiring process. That way they’ll have a chance to been seen as more than someone who has done time."

      Anyone care to try to decipher that ?

    2. I'd suggest she's thinking of hiring Billygoat, but he hasn't been convicted of anything.


    3. Is she hoping to be employed herself by some new President after her term ?


      It's really really bonkers.

    4. For my part, and thinking of the best interests of the human race as a whole, I don't much the idea of this woman having the nuclear football.

      Further, the nuclear football could well up in Huma's dear hands, and she's deep deep with the Moslem Brotherhood.


    The number of criminal cases filed with Cologne police has grown to 516, 40 percent of which relate to sexual assaults, police said. The German Justice Minister suggested that the Cologne attacks may have been coordinated with assaults in other cities.
    Police said that 19 suspects are under investigation, while a 19-year-old Moroccan was arrested on suspicion of theft during the mass assaults near Cologne’s train station on New Year’s Eve.

    Meanwhile, in Hamburg police are investigating 133 cases relating to assaults during New Year’s celebrations in the St. Pauli district.

    Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Bielefeld police have also registered cases of assaults. All of them were similar to those in Cologne, where among about 1,000 men gathered near the train station, groups described as migrants attacked women, groped and robbed them.


  39. Eastern Europe bristles after Cologne

    Eastern European governments were against taking in Muslim refugees before the events in Cologne took place. Now, they feel vindicated in their resistance and have redoubled their opposition.

    Whether Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary or Slovakia - governments and media in those countries are of one opinion: What happened in Cologne was just a matter of time.

    Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico put it more clearly than all the rest, perhaps because the Social Democrat wants to secure his party's absolute majority in national parliamentary elections on March 5.

    "That's what happens when you let migrants in," Fico told journalists on Thursday. “We don't want to let anything like that happen to us."

    Fico sees the problem, above all, with Muslims. His solution: It would be best if they didn't even enter the country. He was given rhetorical cover by important Slovakian media outlets - significantly, even from left-liberal newspapers.

    “SME" (We Are), a widely read Slovakian daily, sees broad naivety in Germany: "The refugee crisis has given rise to a well-meaning subculture that dedicated so much time and money to new arrivals that it appeared as if they thought that refugees' sufferings had put them on a higher moral plane."

    The Slovakian daily "Pravda" warned of "collective blame" against Muslim men, but said that it would be increasingly difficult to maintain that position: "The discussion about what the integration of such large numbers of immigrants would mean for European society was not necessarily easy before the New Year's Eve incident in Cologne. But further unpleasant and provocative voices have now been added to that discussion.”

    Poland's new conservative nationalist government feels vindicated as well. Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said of the Cologne attacks: “What is now happening in Germany shows that the problems are much more serious than European leaders unfortunately and recklessly believed."


    1. ’Media Stasi guards dictatorship of opinion’

      In the Czech Republic, current President Milos Zeman and his predecessor Vaclav Klaus have repeatedly stirred public sentiment against refugees. A few days ago, without referencing the Cologne attacks, Zeman mulled: "I think the whole invasion is being organized by the Muslim Brotherhood - with financial support from a number of states." He said that the Brotherhood sought to “bring Europe under its control, step by step."

      The conservative Czech newspaper "Lidove noviny," however, drew a direct connection to the Cologne attacks: "The events of New Year's Eve are the strongest argument yet for exercising caution when it comes to taking in refugees. Until now we were told that no-go areas were pure fantasy. Now, Justice Secretary Heiko Maas says: 'There can be no legal vacuum.' Is he fighting against something that doesn’t exist, or has he just admitted the seriousness of the problem?"

      One of the most pointed editorials on Cologne, and, above all, on the German media's coverage of events, came from the Budapest-based, pro-government "Magyar Idok" (Hungarian Times) newspaper on Friday: "If one had broadcast live images from the Cologne Central Station on New Year's Eve, the prevailing naive image of families fleeing desolation and war would have been utterly shattered. But thanks to the 'political correctness' of German journalists, such things went unsaid. They have created a media-Stasi that guards a dictatorship of opinion.”

  40. Now, more than ever: no refugees

    One thing is clear: The rifts that have developed in European politics over refugee policies have grown even deeper in the wake of the Cologne attacks. And that goes for practical cooperation as well. For instance, for plans to distribute refugees throughout the EU. That important aspect of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s plan for mastering the refugee crisis was wobbly even before the events in Cologne.

    Last fall, European interior ministers agreed to distribute 160,000 asylum seekers. At the time, Romania, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia were outvoted. The Eastern European countries firmly reject quotas. Slovakia, and later Hungary, went so far as to file complaints at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Yet, other EU member states remain unenthusiastic, too. Of the 160,000 people that were to be redistributed from Greece and Italy, only a few hundred have in fact found a place to stay in other EU countries.

    Another gesture further characterises the harsh mood in Eastern Europe: Slovakian Prime Minister Fico not only refuses to accept refugees, he also refuses to invest money in humanitarian refugee aid.

    Instead, money is to be directed towards defense: "We will clearly direct our finances for solving the refugee crisis into the defense of the external borders of the Schengen area. That is the only way to stop the unregulated influx of migrants.”

    As far as Slovakia itself is concerned, Fico has little reason to worry: During the entirety of 2015, a total of 169 people applied for asylum in Slovakia - eight received it. It is not known how many of those eight were Muslims.

  41. .

    So, you put up welfare numbers for 2011, immediately After Bush completely destroyed the economy?

    No. You are wrong.

    I put up welfare numbers for 2014 (at least according to Wiki).

    At QuirkSun Jan 10, 11:06:00 AM EST

    I put up the following as my first post on this subject following your ridiculing of the idea that the GOP might discuss the problems of poverty,

    From Wiki: Poverty in the US

    The US Census declared that in 2014 14.8% of the general population lived in poverty:[43]

    10.1% of all white non-hispanic persons
    12.0% of all Asian persons
    23.6% of all Hispanic persons (of any race)
    26.2% of all black persons.

    [While new numbers reflecting revised income levels defining poverty levels are issued every year, there seems to be a delay in publishing historical poverty levels. The numbers from above are the the latest I was able to find with a quick google search.]

    The data I put up from 2011 was info that popped up when I went for a google search under the heading
    'trends in means-tested welfare benefits'.

    Since the information was for aggregate data talking trends in welfare benefits spanning periods up to 30 years, I saw no reason why the information wouldn't be pertinent to the points I was making without being political on a party basis. While I didn't see any more CRS studies on the subject, I did see congressional testimony by the Heritage Foundation in 2011, 2012, and 2013 that pretty much tracked the same info as the 2011 CRS report.

    As far as I can see the data supported my opinion that

    Poverty funds continue to increase through both Dem and GOP administration, up over 30% between 2008 and 2011 as noted above; yet, for at least the last 15-20 years poverty rates haven't changed much. Maybe, they even increased a little. But the attitude remains the same. We've seen Obama in speaking about Obamacare bragging about the number of people he has put on Medicaid. We've seen the adds encouraging people to take advantage of food stamps. We've seen the latest budget. Business as usual.

    When a third of the country is on the dole, IMO, it would be foolish to suggest that either party shouldn't be talking on the subject of poverty. The conversation is overdue.

    As for your comment

    ...immediately After Bush completely destroyed the economy?,

    it merely reflect your simplistic thinking. Sounds like something Krugman might come up with.

    IMO, of course.



    1. You mention so many people being one medical bill away from "deep shit," but the Republicans have fought against the ACA, as well as Medicaid, and Medicare, as long as we've had those programs.

      On top of that the Republicans have fought back against every attempt at raising the minimum wage, and any and all jobs bills.

      And, per my above wiki link, when Johnson (not Clinton) signed the bill commencing "the war on poverty," Poverty was at 19%, which is considerably higher than it is now.

    2. Now that we have the preliminary niceties out of the way, we can get back to the crux of your argument which was that 30 Million Mother-Freakin' Jobs are of no consequence to the "War on Poverty" -

      which I will repeat, is the absolute dumbest thing that anyone not named Bob has ever posted on this site.

    3. Hell, I have to amend that last sentence. That is the dumbest thing ever posted on this site, Period.

      Even our Idaho Hick has never posted anything that silly.

    4. .

      Give me a break.

      Please, take one.

      BUT, just to play your silly game - What, pray tell, would those numbers be without the 20 Million Jobs that Clinton created, and what would they be today without the 10 Million Obama Jobs?

      Intuitively, things would be worse. However, your statement is so damn simplistic as to be worthless. It's as if you posit that because the last two Dem presidents had more jobs created in their terms than the last two Republicans there is no point in the GOP talking about the growth in means-tested benefits that have been growing much faster than inflation over the past 40 years. You offer us another of your number 42, as if there was nothing else to consider on the subject of poverty other than 'number of jobs created'.

      Let me just tick off a couple of other factors that we might consider.

      First, despite all those jobs, poverty rates remain high. The following are the range of rates:

      Bush 41 12.8 - 14.8
      Clinton 15.1 - 11.3
      Bush 43 11.7 - 13.2
      Obama 14.3 - 15.1

      Or, the fact that Obama's job increases of 10-11 million pretty much kept up with the growth in population, around 14 million.

      Or, the average unemployment rate (approximate) for each president;

      Bush 41 6.0
      Clinton 5.1
      Bush 43 5.2
      Obama 8.0

      Or the Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate:

      Bush 41 66.5 - 66.0
      Clinton 66.4 - 67.2
      Bush 43 66.4 - 65.8
      Obama 64.6 - 62.6

      Or probably a dozen other factors I haven't bothered to look up like

      - The number of lost jobs in the public sector reflective of a poor economy at the state and local level.

      - Average work week.

      - The quality of jobs being created. I suspect the jobs being created in the 90's were probably better than those created after 2009.

      - Wage growth.

      - That Bush 43 was a one-term president while the three other were two-term.

      - That Clinton was the only one of the four that didn't suffer through a recession.

      But none of these address the fact that there are about 80 of these mean-tested welfare programs that continue to grow like Topsy and at least should be seriously looked at.

      This is about the silliest shit that you have Ever put up, Quirk.

      Unfortunately, I can't say the same for you. You offer up another 42, but you've also come up with some beauts in the past.


    5. Clinton left Bush an Unemployment Rate of approx. 5.0%,

      and Bush left Obama an Unemployment Rate of 10.0%,

      and an economy that was in the deepest nosedive since the Great Depression.

      Then, the Republicans did everything they possibly could to make sure that the economy didn't get any better.

      To say that 30 Million Jobs is #42 is pure stupidity.

      To say that there are other factors involved does not negate the fact that, in the words of Republican Pundit after Republican Pundit, "The Greatest Anti-Poverty Program is spelled J. O. B. S.

    6. .


      And because Clinton chose Al Gore as his running mate and Al Gore invented the internet Clinton was really the father of the tech boom in 90's.

      You are the perfect Krugman minion.


    7. Well, I don't pretend to know whose minion you might be, but if he is running around telling people that 30 Million Jobs Created is analogous to the number 42 . . . . . .

      Well, I think I'd give up my minionhood.

  42. As for your comment

    ...immediately After Bush completely destroyed the economy?,

    it merely reflect your simplistic thinking. Sounds like something Krugman might come up with.

    IMO, of course.

    Your opinion is entirely correct.

    Rufus is an economic simpleton.

    Since the economy tanked at the very end of Bush's eight years he thinks Bush is entirely at fault.

    In reality look to Barney Frank and Dodd and the Democrats - and some Republicans too - who keep pushing all those stupid loans to people that couldn't possibly pay - and about which Bush warned in each of his eight State of the Union Addresses.

    Finally the balloon done burst.....and, voila !'s all Bush's fault.

    And Bush was never even in Congress, and never even voted on any of it.

    Rufus is a simpleton, simpleton, simpleton.....

    Hoot hoot hoot

    1. And hoot hoot Hoot, too !

      Simpleton, simpleton, simpleton

    2. And Rufus voted for Bush, too.


  43. Prince Riebus reads writing on the wall, sings different tune, begins to suck up:

    PRIEBUS: Donald 'Varsity', Positive Force......Drudge

    1. Having made a fool out of myself before, I'm out of the election prediction business, but my hunch is The Donald will win both Iowa and New Hampshire.

  44. As for the Poverty Rate, it started escalating with Bush's bombing of the economy is 2008, and kept increasing until 2011, when it topped out at 15.9%.

    Obama, with no help from the Republicans, has wrestled it back down to 14.8%

    Census Bureau

    1. O'bozo has cut it down some 1.1% from his own 2011 high ?


      You live in The World of One Eye Weeping and One Eye Winking.

      Whatever makes you happy, I guess.

      And the unemployment rate today is not 5%, it is about 9.9%.

    2. Okay, the U-6 Rate is 9.9%

      It Was 18% When Obama Took Over.

      Happy, asshole?

    3. If you want to 'blame Bush' at least blame him for something where he has some real responsibility, like Iraq.

      Granted the Congress voted for it, as did Hillary and Kerry, but Bush was the seller.

      And, it went all right after the Surge until O'bozo took the troops out against the advice of the Generals, and the whole area went to hell.

      Yet, Bush was for going in, as were you too.

      Blame Bush for Iraq.

      That at least has some reality on which to latch.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. .

      Rufus, if you truly believe that Bush was responsible for the housing bubble or that Clinton was responsible for the tech boom or eventual bubble, I believe you are mistaken.

      The point that was initially made was that the GOP was talking about poverty at one of their debates, an actual legitimate issue rather than how Rosie O'Donnell looks. And you argue they shouldn't be talking about it. And as your reason for saying that you offer a factoid about 30 million jobs created under two recent Democratic presidents. You offer up this factoid devoid of context and completely without reference to the fact that the poverty rate has remained fairly stable though high over the last four administrations. Then you expect people to agree with you that your comment on jobs explains everything we need to know about the subject of jobs and poverty.

      IMO the argument is short on analysis.


  45. Tomorrow, we'll discuss how Republicans are really just dressed-up slave traders at heart.

    And, how Tums were born of necessity when Republicans kept waking up in the night, with heartburn born from the suspicion that somewhere, out there, there was still some poor sucker with a quarter left in his pocket, and that he might waste it on food for his kids before the Masters of the Universe could track him down, and fuck him out of it.


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