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

Saturday, February 20, 2016

How about spitting on the GOP’s grave?

Robert Reich: The GOP died in 2016

Evangelicals, libertarians, capitalists, billionaires and Trump supporters are feeding on its carcass 

Robert Reich: The GOP died in 2016
This originally appeared on Robert Reich’s blog

I’m writing to you today to announce the death of the Republican Party. It is no longer a living, vital, animate organization.
It died in 2016. RIP.
It has been replaced by warring tribes:
Evangelicals opposed to abortion, gay marriage, and science.
Libertarians opposed to any government constraint on private behavior.
Market fundamentalists convinced the “free market” can do no wrong.
Corporate and Wall Street titans seeking bailouts, subsidies, special tax loopholes, and other forms of crony capitalism.
Billionaires craving even more of the nation’s wealth than they already own.
And white working-class Trumpoids who love Donald. and are becoming convinced the greatest threats to their wellbeing are Muslims, blacks, and Mexicans.
Each of these tribes has its own separate political organization, its own distinct sources of campaign funding, its own unique ideology – and its own candidate.
What’s left is a lifeless shell called the Republican Party. But the Grand Old Party inside the shell is no more.
I, for one, regret its passing. Our nation needs political parties to connect up different groups of Americans, sift through prospective candidates, deliberate over priorities, identify common principles, and forge a platform.
The Republican Party used to do these things. Sometimes it did them easily, as when it came together behind William McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt in 1900, Calvin Coolidge in 1924, and Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Sometimes it did them with difficulty, as when it strained to choose Abraham Lincoln in 1860, Barry Goldwater in 1964, and Mitt Romney in 2012.
But there was always enough of a Republican Party to do these important tasks – to span the divides, give force and expression to a set of core beliefs, and come up with a candidate around whom Party regulars could enthusiastically rally.
No longer. And that’s a huge problem for the rest of us.
Without a Republican Party, nothing stands between us and a veritable Star Wars barroom of self-proclaimed wanna-be’s.
Without a Party, anyone runs who’s able to raise (or already possesses) the requisite money – even if he happens to be a pathological narcissist who has never before held public office, even if he’s a knave detested by all his Republican colleagues.
Without a Republican Party, it’s just us and them. And one of them could even become the next President of the United States.


  1. even if he’s a knave detested by all his Republican colleagues

    He must be thinking of Ted Cruz here.

    And pathological narcissist ?

    O'bozo ?

    Hillary ?

    1. R.R. may be looking at a Republican House, Senate, and White House next year.

      In addition to Republicans controlling most of the states.

  2. The Bettors are making it a little better than 3 / 2 that the next President will be a Democrat.



  3. Little wonder then that Mr Gowdy is grabbing at straw

    2016 Presidential Election – Winner (Individual)

    Hillary Clinton DEM - 54 %
    Marco Rubio GOP - 14 %
    Donald Trump GOP - 14 %

    People putting their money at risk ... John Stossel says that is the 'best' form of prediction available.

    1. Yeah, Rat, the Betting Markets are recognized as the most accurate predictors, especially this far out.


    2. I hope it is wrong, Mrs Clinton and Mr Bush are the only two candidates that truly represent the ruling oligarchy, and for that reason their defeats should be celebrated.

    3. Eh, my mileage varies, somewhat. :)

    4. I have to support Clinton, because I want a Democrat in the White House (with Congress controlled by Republicans,) and Bernie can't get elected.

    5. I remember watching Mondale's Acceptance Speech at the Democratic Convention. When he promised a tax increase, I thought, well, so much for that.

      Sure enough, he carried his home state of Minnesota, and Washington D.C. He got wiped out in the other 49.


    6. The Dems ought to 'draft' Jerry Brown, then.

      I do not favor the Argentine model.
      Nor the Cuban.

      That is what Mrs Clinton and Jeb Bush represent, to me.

    7. Well, they might "ought" to do a lot of things, but if I want to see the gains in Healthcare, and Renewable Energy protected, I only have one sensible choice. :)

      I guess: "I'm With Her" :)


    8. Best hope she doesn't get indicted, then.
      Or referred for indictment by the FBI.

      It'd be the 'Death Knell" to her campaign, if either occur.
      Barring those eventualities, she'll probably win.

      Then the US will have achieved Third World status, politically

    9. I hope those war crimes you committed catch up to you and you are indicted some day...

      After all they are STILL indicting Nazi war criminals from 60 years ago....

      Their is plenty of time for your arrest, indictment, trial and conviction...

      How many civilians have you offed in Central America?

      Which nations are seeking your arrest?

  4. A Christian Nation


    1. " Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

      That has nothing to do with walls ...

    2. And Jack,what would you KNOW about any of that you g-dless prick of a human being...

      How many homeless could you fit on your occupied 350 acres?


    3. Good day to you, too ... "O"rdure

      It is plain to see that you have no understanding of Christian Values.



    4. But that is understandable, for a fella that equates Yahweh with Allah.

    5. Could you provide any link that says "Yahweh with Allah." from my avatar?

      Bet you can't...

      Bet you are just a big fat liar...


      So to use your own standards of Internet proof and protocols..

      Put up or shut up....

      But I lay you dollars to donuts that you cannot, will not...

      Go ahead Jack... wiggle, distort and make it up...

    6. Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack lied like a piece of shit...



    7. It is a series of comments you made in this thread, "O""rdure
      Find it for yourself

    8. Well, for posterity ...

      Pork Rinds for Yahweh Sat Feb 13, 11:58:00 AM EST

      ... restaurant owned by pro-Israel Arab Christian

      Hany Baransi, the owner of the Nazareth Restaurant, is an Arab Christian Israeli citizen, who is a refugee from the apartheid regime in power there.

      Let us not deal in half truths Idaho Bob.

      What is "Occupation" Sat Feb 13, 02:21:00 PM EST

      I see rat is impersonating me again,

      It was "Pork Rinds for Allah" back in the day...


      Pork Rinds for Yahweh Sat Feb 13, 02:56:00 PM EST

      An admission then that Yahweh and Allah are one and the same.

      Yahweh = Allah
      hat tip: "O"rdure

    9. So like I said, you cannot actually show the exact quote..


    10. It was informaion you supplied that led to the logical conclusion, your "hat top" does not require a quote, I never have said it was a quote. There are no quote mark on the statement.

      Just giving you a tip of the hat, for providing the information required to come to the conclusion you have led us to.

      Thanks you oh so much for the data sets regarding Judaism and Islam.

      That referencing Yahweh can be said to be an impersonation of Allah
      For that you deserve at least a 'hat tip. "O"rdure.


    11. Yahweh = Allah
      hat tip: "O"rdure.


  5. YPG Spokesman: Turkey manufacturing reasons to invade Rojava

    The Turkish state continues to accuse YPG for the bomb attack in Ankara which targeted Turkish soldiers and left 28 of them dead 2 days ago.

    YPG spokesperson Rêdur Xelil spoke to ANF regarding the accusations and said that the Turkish state was aiming to invade Rojava and accomplish what its proxy war has failed to do. Xelil emphasized that they never attacked Turkey but the Turkish state portrayed YPG as an enemy because of its hostility to Kurdish people.


    Highlighting that YPG and Rojava had nothing to do with the attack in Ankara, Xelil recalled the recent Turkish bombardment of Rojava which -he said- was aiming to accomplish what its proxy war has failed to do. Xelil noted that the gangs supported by Turkey were on the brink of defeat and the Turkish state’s plan to invade Rojava was connected with this imminent defeat.


    Xelil described Turkey’s bombardment of Rojava as provocation and said that the US did not take Ankara’s accusations seriously.

  6. Yahweh with Allah

    Another Jack invented distortion...

    Amazing the fiction that bounces around Jack's hollow skull....

    1. Jack lies, my neighbor's dog barks.

      arf arf arf arf arf

  7. Jack HawkinsSat Feb 20, 01:33:00 PM EST

    Good day to you, too ... "O"rdure

    It is plain to see that you have no understanding of Christian Values.


    Jack "the hater of Jews and Christians" Hawkins.....

    You are an excellent example of a PROOF TEXTER....

    No context, snipped out of place and time...

    It's apparent YOU might have an understanding of "Christian Values" but your lying, thieving, murderous ways are exact opposite of those...

    Should we call you "Satan" as well?

  8. Say it aint so Jack!!!!

    Hamas: We found tunnel detection device in Gaza

    Oh no, The Israeli are spying on Hamas tunnels!!!!

    It's a war crime....

    Quick Call the UN, Call Ban Ki-moon!!!


    Senior Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh said Friday that the terror group’s military wing last week found cameras and underground sensors designed to expose its tunnel project and related activities.

    Haniyeh said that 10 days ago the military wing “discovered an underground vehicle on which were installed cameras and sensors to monitor tunnels and fighters.”


    Think of those thousands of tons on concrete that SHOULD have rebuild homes that went to tunnels LARGE enough to hold underground vehicles....

    1. The UN’s Mideast envoy said Wednesday that threats by Hamas to continue building tunnels into Israel do “not help” reconstruction efforts in war-battered Gaza.

      Nikolay Mladenov was speaking during a visit to Gaza during which he toured the Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiyah, one of the hardest hit areas in the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, known in Israel as Operation Protective Edge.

      His remarks appeared to be a veiled criticism aimed at the group, which has struggled to balance its hard-line anti-Israel ideology and the pragmatic needs of ruling the territory. Reconstruction in Gaza has been sluggish, and Mladenov said only a third of funds pledged by international donors has been received.

      Egypt destroyed a Gaza tunnel Thurs equipped w power cables,lighting cables & telephone lines. Electricity in tunnels while homes are dark?


    2. Hamas operative was killed Tuesday in a tunnel collapse in southern Gaza's Khan Younis region, according to Palestinian sources.

      A Gaza health ministry spokesman confirmed the reports, saying Marwan Marouf, 27, a fighter in Hamas' Izzadin al-Kassam Brigades, was killed in the tunnel collapse.

      There were no immediate reports of additional casualties in the collapse.

      The incident marked the fourth Gaza tunnel collapse in recent weeks.

      On Wednesday, Hamas officials confirmed the death of at least two of its operatives in a tunnel collapse.

      Last week, seven Hamas men were killed when a tunnel collapsed close to Gaza's eastern border with Israel.

      More more, faster, faster.....

      Think of the cash it has spent building tunnels instead of schools, hospitals, sewers or homes...



    4. Syrian Civil War: Thousands Of Palestinians Killed In Ongoing Conflict

      A new report shows the Syrian conflict has done much more than displace half of the country's population. As many as 3,031 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict, according to a report published Monday by the Working Group for Palestinians in Syria, which called the deceased "victims of war."

      The causes of death included bombing and shelling, armed clashes, detention camp treatment that includes torture or starvation, and also things like drowning while fleeing the area via boat. An estimated 1,688 Palestinians lost their lives in Syrian detention camps, while 1,274 were killed outside those camps, a number that includes torture victims and missing bodies.

      And yet deuce, supports Assad, Iran and Hezbollah...




    6. I support the forces that fight against fascism.

    7. Bull cookies.

      Hezbollah, Iran and Hamas are the forces that are fascism.

      Mass executions and more.


    8. No, Zionism = Fascism

      Apartheid and Bible burning.

    9. Wow, deep thoughts coming from a hitman...


  9. Bomb bomb bomb.... bomb Libya!!!!

    American warplanes bombed a seaside town in Libya early Friday aiming to kill a militant commander linked to attacks on Western tourists. But the mission also highlighted the widening gap between American military operations and diplomatic efforts to bring peace and stability to a tumultuous region.

    The airstrikes on a training camp in Sabratha, targeting a Tunisian militant associated with planning two major attacks on Western tourists in Tunisia last year, did demonstrate the United States’ growing concern over Libya as a new base for the Islamic State and its willingness to use air power against militant commanders and infrastructure.

    At least 40 terrorists were killed in a US air strike Friday of an Islamic State base at Sabratha, west of the Libyan capital of Tripoli. American sources reported the presence at the base of the planners of two atrocities in Tunisia, the bombing of the National Bardo Museum in March 2015 in which 22 people died and the Soussa beach attack which killed 38 people, most of them British holidaymakers, last summer.

    Wow, I see we are WINNING!!!!

  10. Oh NO!!!!

    BDS FAIL....

    Banning boycotts of Israel will protect Britain's national security, Government says

    The Government says it is banning public boycotts of Israeli goods because the practice undermines “community cohesion” and Britain’s “international security”.

    Ministers have now issued a so-called procurement policy note notifying public authorities that they would face “severe penalties” if they continue procurement boycotts on ethical grounds.

    Say it aint so Jack!!!

  11. Oh NO Jack...

    French banking giant BNP Paribas is shutting down a major financing source for the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (“BDS”) campaign in Germany. This is the latest in an anti-BDS trend in Germany and, potentially, the first step in cutting of BDS funding in Europe.

    BDS FAIL.....

    BDS is just crumbling...

    Oh Wait, here is a success...

    BDS closed down a makeup shop!!!

    – A sustained campaign against Ahava, the Israeli cosmetics company situated in an illegal Israeli colony, forced the company to close its flagship London store and retailers in the UK, Norway,Japan and Canada to announce boycotts of the company. - See more at:

    Will the war ever stop?


  12. Oh wait another BDS Success....

    BDS fail: Pro-Palestinian group uses Israeli firm to build site

    University of Denver’s branch of Students for Justice in Palestine use Wix, an Israeli company, to build their website in support of BDS.

    Oh wait... FAIL

  13. February 20, 2016

    Hey, Seattle! How's that $15 minimum wage working out for ya?

    By Rick Moran

    The American Enterprise Institute blog reveals the not very surprising news that 10 months into Seattle's radical experiment of boosting the minimum wage to $15 an hour over a period of years, the city has suffered the worst job losses since the Great Recession.

    1. Let's be honest. $15 bucks an hour aint much when you think of the damage Obama and the FED has done to the actual value of a dollar in the last 7 years.

      So in the end? Give them the 15, raise the cost of water, sewage and electricity... raise the costs of deductibles and procedures (even with obamacare subs) that 20% left is more hefty than ever...

      The costs of tires? College fees? All rising... all on purpose...

      sure you can still eat Wendy's for a buck....


    2. Oregon just passed a minimum wage law that divides the state up into three areas - the coast, a mid section, and cowboy country.

      Coast get $15+, mid areas something like $13, the cowboys less.

      This is gross discrimination by the Democrat Party against the Republican cowboys and farmers out in the country. !!!!

    3. What is "Occupation" Mon Oct 06, 06:33:00 PM EDT

      exports have slowed....

      the good news?

      in bad times my business does good...

      after all, everyone can afford 2 bits to by some sweets to keep the kids from crying....

      always look on the bright side of life...

      it aint auschwitz....


    4. Right before the doors closed, for good.

      The "O"rdure bragged he could cut expenses by laying off workers
      That he did not need credit, until he did ...
      Then he couldn't get it, and blamed the "System" ..

      Instead of taking personal responsibility for his faulty business practices.

    5. Still trolling the past?


      I run a business, you kill people.


  14. It is interesting to see that Sodastream is about to abandon Israel..
    Profits count Zionism gets walked.

    SodaStream CEO threatens to close plant if Palestinian work permits rescinded

    “I’m not letting go of these people. I owe them six years of friendship and service. They’re staying here, and if they’re not staying here, then I’m not staying here. If I have to shut down this factory, I’ll shut it down,” said SodaStream’s CEO Daniel Birnbaum


    1. Israel is just LOSING
      Short sighted Fascists, its all they can do, when driven by hatred

    2. By all measurements by reasonable people?

      Israel is growing, is strong and it's enemies are hacking one another to death..


    3. If Sodastram leaves Israel, which of us will have the
      last laugh'.

      That Sodastream is even discussing leaving the hateful environment that the Zionist regime ha created is telling the tale

      The truth will out.

    4. Your reading comprehension is lacking once again.

      Go back and re-read...

      then spout..

    5. My neighbor's dog is barking like crazy.

      arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arfarfarf

      Figured Jack must be posting.

      So I checked in and, yup, Jack is posting like crazy.


    6. My reading comprehension is just fine ...

      If you want to discuss the piece, start ...

      If not, what I wrote stands, without dispute.

    7. Sorry Jack, you are a walking dispute.

      You don't set the rules.

      What you wrote is shit.

      As usual.


    8. Prove it.

      But you cannot, can you?

      Yahweh - Allah
      hat tip: "O"rdure

    9. Still quoting a non-existing quote?

      PROVE it....

      Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack lied like a piece of shit...


  15. The Unemployment Rate in Seattle is 4.2%, Down from 8.2% a few years ago.


    1. Seattle, WA Unemployment Rate is at 4.20%, compared to 4.20% last month and 3.80% last year.

      So it's UP..

      according to the link you provided

      A few years ago? What is the participation rate?

      a FEW years ago?

      that would be 2013? few meaning 3?

      Sorry Rufus, it was higher 6 years ago...

      but that's ancient history

    2. Whereas, the unemployment rate for the whole state of Washington is 5.5%.

    3. .

      I keep arguing the point that no one factor can explain numbers that are affected by numerous factors. In other words, correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation. But you people just don't seem to get it.

      Here is the info on the minimum wage increase in Seattle.

      You will notice that the first increase took place on April 15, 2015 and as noted at the link below unemployment was 3.0% on that date.

      So to argue the Seattle employment situation is better because of the rise in minimum wage is obviously silly. However, to argue the unemployment rate went up because of the minimum wage increase is just as silly.


    4. You're right !

      Correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation.

      But, sometimes it does.

      Which is where you seem to always run into trouble.

  16. Things are close in Nevada. Hillary seems to be getting more union votes, The Bern more of the finger clickin' revolutionary kids.

    Hillary ahead right now by less than 1%,

    Will draws of the playing cards decide the issue ?

    Will Hillary be able to repeat her fab 6 for 6 coin toss feat of Iowa ?

    1. Clinton may be pulling out in front.......

  17. According to the Entrance Polls, Bernie should be crushing Hillary. But, so far, Hillary is running a bit ahead. Maybe, it's just that Hillary's best precincts are reporting first.

  18. Cowboy country must report last. I can't imagine cowboys voting for Bernie. But then I can't imagine them voting for Hillary either.

    Most of the votes so far are from Vegas, Reno, Henderson....

  19. Jack LOVES to claim BDS is hurting SodaStream.

    He also claims:
    Jack HawkinsSat Feb 20, 03:48:00 PM EST
    It is interesting to see that Sodastream is about to abandon Israel..
    Profits count Zionism gets walked.

    But let's look at his source....

    “These are ambassadors of peace, whom we bus in every day, and it’s been a long, terrible fight with the government to get them to keep their work permits, even though there are more than 100,000 Palestinians working inside Israel every day. But they won’t let my 74 continue to work. It’s just unbelievable.”

    So Israel allows more than 100,000 non-citizen arabs to come into Israel everyday, for better paying jobs!!!!

    "Jafar said there is a sense of equality at SodaStream.
    “My salary and benefits are good, and I can raise my family with honor.”

    And YET Jack claims aparthied!!!

    Shhhh don't tell the workers...

    More good news:

    SodaStream employs some 1,200 people in the Lehavim plant, which opened last year – including 400 from Rahat, 300 immigrants from the former Soviet Union and both about 100 Ethiopian olim and Israeli Arabs.

    Since its 1978 arrival in the country, SodaStream has positioned itself as the world’s top homemade sparkling water brand. Its product is sold in 45 countries, with revenues of $112.9 million for the fourth quarter ended December 31.

    Wow, I'd love to own a dying company like that...

    “We’ve grown to five times the sales of what we had a few years ago. We’re twice as big as Perrier,” Birnbaum said.

    But more than the sales, Birnbaum said he’s proud of the environment of coexistence the company has created.

    “It’s an incredible island of peace. People make think we make soda makers, but we really make peace, every day. And on the way, we also make some soda,” he said.

    Wow... some horrible colony...

    “We didn’t leave Mishor Adumim because of BDS, we had a consolidation plan and we simply ran out of room for expansion there,” Birnbaum said. “However, if it wasn’t for BDS, we might have stayed there another year or two, so it did have some effect."

    “So, you can say that BDS was responsible for 500 Palestinians losing their jobs when SodaStream moved.

    Thanks BDS.....

    Thanks Jack for shining a light on how great a company SodaStream is...

    1. Never said that Sodastram was not a good company.

      I said that they had been targeted by the BDS movement, successfully.
      That their market value had collapsed along with their sales.

      There were two options for this reality, either the company was poorly managed, or the BDS campaign was a success.

      There are no other options to choose from.
      Since we both agree that Sodastream's products are competitive, there are no other alternatives.

      You say Sodastream's management is first rate, so the reason for the loss of market value and sales must be BDS.

      The second part of the BDS story is you.

      You claimed the company was under valued, then its stock price declined 54%.
      That exemplifiess your lack of business sophistication, "O"rdure.


    2. Now you can try to explain the cratering sales and collapsing stock price without the cause being poor management, bad products or the BDS movement, but you have never NEVER even tried to make a case.

      Your absolute failure to perform, that's not my fault, too, is it?

    3. Sounds like once again you have been proven WRONG and you just can't take it...



    4. Not wrong at all.

      If the collapse of the market value of the SS was not due to the BDS movement, was not due to bad products and not due to bad management ...

      What was the causation?

      You tell us management is first rate, okay
      You tell us the products are more than competitive, okay
      You tell us the collapse of market valuation and cratering sales was not the BDS movement.

      What was the causation?


    5. What was the causation?

      It certainly was not me

  20. SO Jack continues to make up shit and lie..

    No one believes him..

    He has lost all credibility here...

    Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack lied like a piece of shit...


    1. It keeps you posting, and that is a joy to behold.

      You validate my points, time and again with your nonsensical rants.

      Thank You for that, and the confirmation of what has long been suspected ...

      Yahweh = Allah
      hat tip: "O"rdure

    2. And you validate my point, you cannot back up shit...

      Jack you lie.

      You invent and distort.

      AND the readers KNOW...

      That's why they are all gone...


    3. Yahweh = Allah
      hat tip: "O"rude

      Please provide the exact quote.

      Put up or shut up...


      Bet you can't...

    4. Jack go and search...

      look and seek...

      you will find nothing...

      except what you have posted.

    5. but thanks for showing us that you are indeed pathological

    6. I never claimed it was a quote, "O"rdure.

      You claimed that Yahweh was an impersonation of Allah.

      Now, to the perceptive reader that creates an equality.

      That you are not perceptive of the meanings of what you write, that's not my fault.

      You stepped into it, and are not getting out. Not today, not ever.


    7. Yahweh = Allah
      hat tip: "O"rdure

    8. Pork Rinds for YahwehSat Feb 20, 05:40:00 PM EST

      What is "Occupation "Sat Feb 20, 05:19:00 PM EST

      Yahweh = Allah
      hat tip: "O"rude



    9. No that's not me, that's you impersonating me..


      try again ratboy.

    10. I have killed many kids.

    11. Here is your confession!!!

      ratSat Feb 20, 05:47:00 PM EST
      I have killed many kids.


    12. No, "O"rdure, you are wrong again, that does not lead to a Google account, which, as you know the 'rat' has, although not in that name.

      Validation come fro the Google account link, please provide that for verification purposes.


    After saying US cooperation with Russia in the Syrian conflict doesn’t extend beyond basic flight safety rules, the Pentagon has revealed it gave the Russian military the locations of US special forces in Syria, in the hope Russian aircraft would avoid the area.

    The disclosure reveals a modest breakthrough in military–to-military communication and cooperation between the US and Russia beyond the very basic “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) signed in October last year which focused on safety protocols for both Russian and American air crews operating in Syrian airspace.

    “We provided a geographical area that we asked them to stay out of because of the risk to US forces,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told reporters Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    The request was an attempt to maintain special forces’ safety “in a dangerous situation.” It was made outside the scope of the flight safety memorandum, Cook said.

    Up to this point, the Russian military “has honored this request,” he added.

    The MOU between the US and Russia arrived in October 2015, after the Russian Air Force began intense strikes against Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS/ISIL) in Syria. Currently the only official document regulating the two militaries’ conduct, it is limited in scope because Moscow and Washington have sharply different military goals in Syria.

    While Russia is focused on defeating IS and paving the way for a peaceful solution to the conflict, Washington and its Western allies accuse Moscow of targeting “moderate” opposition who are fighting the embattled government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    In December 2015, the US began deploying special forces teams of up to 50 operators into northeastern Syria to support Syrian rebel groups fighting there. Cook said that around the same time, high-level Defense Department officials shared information on the general location of those troops with the Russian Ministry of Defense. He declined to say whether the US and Russia had any formal written agreement.

    Air Force Lieutenant General Charles Brown Jr., head of the US Air Force Central Command, told journalists in a briefing from his office in Qatar that the request to Russia was informal.

    “I don’t have any assurances, really, from the Russians. But we told them … these general areas where we have coalition forces. And we don’t want them to strike there because all it’s going to do is escalate things,” Brown told reporters, as quoted by the Military Times.

    “The Russians have actually outlined some areas — some of the airfields that they're worried about, that they don't want us flying close to, and really, typically, we don't fly there anyway. So, that hasn't been an issue.”

    Lt. Gen. Brown repeatedly referred to “operational security” and declined to say publicly where US special forces troops are operating in Syria.

    1. Assad will be allowed to stay in power.

      400k syrians and others will be slaughtered.

      a few million arabs will be shoved up the ass of europe, destabilizing it (All Putin's plan)

      Hezbollah and Iran will now be allowed (thanks obama) to sit on the golan heights and southern syria's border.

      Russia will pocket 12 billion in weapon sales to Iran....

      then the war will start...

    2. So foolishly wrong, then ...
      Still foolish today

      What is "Occupation" Wed Sep 03, 08:25:00 AM EDT (2008)

      Let's see this week...

      Egypt embraces Hezbollah...

      Hezbollah attacks a lebanese army helicopter killing one

      hezbollah now has 4x the rockets it had in 2006, has new bunkers built under the noses of UN 1701

      Iran has announced a new sub, a new fighter plance (that flies 3000 miles)

      Russia has announced it is completing the iranian nuke reactor

      Nkor is rebuilding it's reactor...

      Russia has swallowed a portion of Georgia and now threatens Ukraine

      Russia threatens Moldovia

      Hamas still holds a yooung man for 800 days and has now rebuilt it's anti-tank/aircraft rockets, has thousands of surface to surface rockets and mortars

      iran just opened up another 3000 centafuges

      yep i see a long range drone attack on Iran by israel, followed up by syria, hamas & hezbollah attacks on israel

    3. Didn't happen, but then again?

      I didn't predict that 400,000 arabs would be slaughtered by their OWN arab brothers...


  22. A word on the minimum wage. The difference between an umemployment rate of, say, 3.8 and 4.2 might be an extra 2 weeks unemployed. BUT, for the next, say, 5 years, you make $600.00 / week, not $320.00 / wk.

    It's almost impossible to make the case that the poor working stiff (or, stiffess) comes out worse with a higher minimum wage.


    Syria’s army and allies, backed by Russian air strikes, recaptured 18 villages from Islamic State fighters in eastern Aleppo province on Saturday, a monitoring group said.

    The advance extended their control of parts of a road running towards the jihadist group's stronghold of Raqqa, and built on gains made in assaults that intensified sharply earlier this month.

    Damascus's offensive, drawing heavily on Russian air cover and ground support from Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian fighters, has brought the Syrian army to within 25 km (15 miles) of Turkey's border.

    The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syria's army and allied fighters recaptured 18 villages east of Aleppo, bringing under their control some 40 km (25 miles) of a highway that leads from the city to Raqqa.

    Syrian state television also said its armed forces had captured several villages in the area from Islamic State.

    The Syrian army in November fought its way to the Kweires military air base that had been besieged by Islamic State in eastern Aleppo province. Saturday's advances took place to the west of the base.

    Russia intervened in Syria's nearly five-year-old civil war in September with an air campaign to bolster Assad. Its air strikes have hit Islamic State targets but mostly other insurgents, including Western- and Turkish-backed fighters.

    U.S.-led air strikes are also hitting Islamic State in areas it controls in Raqqa, Deir al-Zor and Hasaka provinces in the north and east of the country.

    (Reporting by John Davison; editing by Andrew Roche)

  24. Syrian government forces fought off the heating power plant in the Neir al-Hosn settlement in the northwestern Syria's province of Aleppo, according to a source.

    BEIRUT (Sputnik) – Syrian government forces have regained control over the heating power plant in the northwestern province of Aleppo, a military source told RIA Novosti on Saturday.

    Read more:


    Al-Qaeda launches new offensive on Kurdish district in Aleppo, civilian casualties reported

    ALEPPO – Dozens of civilian casualties were reported on Friday in bombardment by militants of al-Qaeda on a Kurdish district in Syria’s northern Aleppo province.

    Militant fighters of al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda wing in Syria, launched an attack on the Kurdish district of Sheikh Maqsoud by mortar fire and “Hell” canon, bombing residential buildings in the war-torn district.

    “More than 20 civilians were killed and dozens more wonded in the district under heavy bombardment by Nusra and its allies,” rights activist Rezan Hiddo told ARA News in Aleppo.

    “Rescue teams have pulled dead bodies of dozens of victims from the rubble of the bombed buildings in Sheikh Maqsoud on Friday evening,” the local source reported. “We are still searching for victims stranded under the ruins.”

    Sheikh Maqsoud has been repeatedly exposed to Nusra-led attacks over the past few months, amid sporadic clashes between the Islamists and Kurdish fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG)–who are in control of the district.

    Hiddo pointed out that the Sheikh Maqsoud district suffers a sharp shortage of medicine and food supplies as a result of siege imposed by al-Nusra Front and the Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham.

    This comes just one day after Turkey’s military stationed on the Syrian border bombed the Kurdish city of Afrin and nearby villages in northwestern Aleppo, which caused casualties among civilians. The attack, which took place in the midnight on Thursday, hit residential neighborhoods in Afrin and its suburbs. Afrin is under the control of Kurdish forces from the People’s Protection Units (YPG). The city and its countryside have sheltered thousands of displaced people from war-torn Aleppo.

    The Turkish bombardment has also reached the villages of Deir Ballout, Hammam, Firera, Hasna, Sanar and Hakjeh –administratively linked to Afrin. Dozens of civilian casualties, including children, were reported in the heavy artillery shelling by the Turkish army on Thursday.

    Reporting by: Siman Jiwan

    Source: ARA News


    Usama bin Laden may have gotten the idea for the 9/11 attacks after watching news coverage of the 1999 crash of EgyptAir Flight 990, in which a jihadist co-pilot caused the airliner to nosedive into the Atlantic, according to a first-hand account from one of the terror chief’s top lieutenants.

    Bin Laden wondered why the co-pilot in the deliberate crash did not fly the plane into buildings, Nasir al Wuhayshi said in the latest AQAP newsletter, in an account translated by the Long War Journal.

    Al Wuhayshi, former adviser to bin Laden and leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in June 2015. AQAP’s Al Masra newsletter recently published two editions of Al Wuhayshi's "untold story" about the plotting of the Sept. 11 attacks that claimed the lives of 2,996 people, including the 19 hijackers.

    Al Wuhayshi's version of events -- the first part published online on Jan. 31 and the second on Feb. 9 -- details how bin Laden watched news coverage of the Oct. 31, 1999, EgyptAir crash, in which the first officer deliberately brought down the Boeing 767 after saying several times in Egyptian Arabic, "Tawkalt ala Allah," which translates to "I rely on God." The plane, with 217 on board, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean after departing John F. Kennedy International Airport for Cairo International Airport.

    Upon viewing news coverage of the air disaster, Bin Laden wondered why the co-pilot chose to bring the plane down into water instead of crashing it into a building, according to Al Wuhayshi's account in the Al Qaeda newsletter.

    On Sept. 11, 2001 -- two years after the EgyptAir crash -- Al Qaeda would carry out the worst terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil, using four American planes and targeting symbolic U.S. landmarks.

    American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon and the fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pa., after its passengers tried to overcome the hijackers and steer it from its intended target -- Washington, D.C.

    According to the U.S. government, however, the 9/11 plot was in the works well before the 1999 EgyptAir disaster. The 9/11 Commission found that bin Laden's fellow mastermind, Khalid Sheik Mohammad, "presented a proposal for an operation that would involve training pilots who would crash planes into buildings in the United States" as early as 1996.

    Al Wuhayshi's insider account of 9/11 makes other notable claims, including the claim that Khalid Sheik Mohammad, a one-time Muslim Brotherhood member in Kuwait, wrote a play in his youth about downing a U.S. plane.


    Why Are Neocons So Desperate To Rescue Al Qaeda in Syria?

    Reading Dennis Ross and David Ignatius is a good reminder that the neocons live in a different world than the rest of us. They do not conform their analysis to reality, but rather they conform reality to their view of the world. Where most people would be encouraged to read that Aleppo in Syria was about to be liberated from its 3.5 year occupation by al-Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, the neocons see a disaster.

    On the brink of al-Qaeda’s defeat in Aleppo, the Washington Post‘s Ignatius is furious that, “President Obama won’t approve military tactics that could actually shift the balance.” Yes, he wants to shift the balance toward al-Qaeda because like the other neocons he is so invested in the idea of regime change in Syria that he would even prefer turning the country into another Libya than to see government forces defeat his jihadist insurgents. Failing to “shift the balance” toward al-Qaeda fighters in Aleppo only brings “greater misery for the Syrian people,” in the world of Ignatius.

    Ignatius’s Washington Post, which has never seen a potential war it did not want to see turned into an actual war, thinks it a tragedy that the Syrian army’s advance on al-Qaeda occupied Aleppo has “cut off all vital routes of supply from Turkey to the rebel-held areas of the city.” Those would be Turkish supplies in support of al-Qaeda and ISIS rebels, but the Post is too deceptive to mention that fact.

    It is as dishonest an inversion of reality as anything printed in Pravda of old.

    In the same vein as Ignatius, former Bush/Clinton/Obama Administration Middle East “expert” Dennis Ross writes to tell us, “what Putin is really up to in Syria.” In the above-linked article, The Los Angeles Times does not reveal that Ross is hardly an objective observer of the situation. As one of the founders of AIPAC‘s Washington Institute for Near East Policy – and a current counselor to that organization – Ross strongly supports AIPAC’s position in favor of regime change in Syria and Israel’s active role in assisting jihadist rebels from al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front in their efforts to overthrow the Assad government.

    So what does regime change neocon Dennis Ross want us to believe is happening in Syria? The Russians, he asserts, are playing a dirty game by stepping up their bombing campaign against ISIS, al-Qaeda, and affiliated rebels instead of pushing for a ceasefire. How funny that when the US/Turk/Saudi/Israeli-back jihadists were on the verge of taking over all of Syria not that long ago there was no talk from neocon quarters about a ceasefire or a negotiated political solution. Only now that al-Qaeda’s stronghold in Aleppo is on the verge of liberation by government forces are the neocons screaming that diplomacy should be given a chance.

    Russian operations are “designed to strengthen the Assad regime and weaken the non-Islamic State Sunni opposition in different parts of the country,” writes Ross. He doesn’t mention that particularly when it comes to Aleppo, the “non-Islamic State Sunni opposition” means al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front and affiliated forces.

    By relentlessly bombing Islamic State and other jihadist groups seeking to introduce Sharia law into secular Syria, “Putin is…undercutting our aim of isolating Islamic State and having Sunnis lead the fight against it.” Read that again. By attacking ISIS he is preventing the US from isolating ISIS. Doublespeak.

    What is Putin really up to in the world of Dennis Ross? He is not sincere about defeating Islamist extremism in Syria or even helping Assad’s forces win the war. No, Putin “aims to demonstrate that Russia, and not America, is the main power broker in the region and increasingly elsewhere.” Ah yes, the old argument about Russian expansionism. Baltic invasion, restoration of the USSR. All the neocon tripe.


  28. {...}

    Ah, but here is where Ross plants his seed, whispers in the Administration’s neocon power brokers’ ears:

    “Certainly, were Russia’s costs to increase, Putin might look for a way out.”

    Hmm, now we see what he’s getting at:

    …it is time we make it clear to the Russians that unless they impose a cease-fire on Assad and Hezbollah and insist that humanitarian corridors are open, we will have no choice but to act with our partners to create a haven in Syria – for refugees and for the organization of the Syrian opposition.

    In other words, tell Russia if you do not stop fighting al-Qaeda and its affiliates in Syria we will face-off in a WWIII-threatening stance to establish a “jihadistan” in part of Syria from where the hundredth or so version of a rebel fighting force can be re-assembled.

    Ross’s plan is not for the weak of heart. ” [W]e cannot threaten to create a haven without following through if Putin refused to alter his course,” he writes. Meaning of course that we must be willing to actually go through with WWIII if Putin does not blink, back down, and pull out of Syria just as Russia’s intervention is meeting its objective. Surrender when on the verge of victory in Syria or face a nuclear war with the United States.

    No one ever accused the neocons of thinking small. But with much of the Middle East a smoldering ruin due to the disastrous interventions they lied us into, no one should count out even their most insane-sounding plan being seriously considered somewhere in Washington.

    Daniel McAdams is director of the The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity. Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

  29. Airstrikes in Syria

    Attack, ground-attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted nine airstrikes in Syria:

    -- Near Hasakah, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Ayn Isa, a strike destroyed an ISIL armored front-end loader.

    -- Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike struck an ISIL main gas and oil separation plant.

    -- Near Manbij, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL anti-air artillery piece and three ISIL fighting positions.

    Airstrikes in Iraq

    Fighter, attack, ground-attack, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 16 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed an ISIL weapons cache and three ISIL rocket systems.

    -- Near Huwayjah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Albu Hayat, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

    -- Near Fallujah, a strike destroyed an ISIL anti-air artillery piece.

    -- Near Habbaniyah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Hit, a strike destroyed an ISIL tunnel entrance.

    -- Near Mosul, four strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions, four ISIL assembly areas, an ISIL petroleum site, and two ISIL command and control nodes.

    -- Near Qayyarah, a strike destroyed four ISIL fighting positions.

    -- Near Ramadi, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL anti-air artillery piece, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL vehicle bomb making facility, five ISIL staging areas, and an ISIL bed-down location.

    -- Near Tal Afar, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL tunnel system.

  30. There are 2.839 million people in Arizona.

    Hillary Clinton received 5000 plus votes in the caucus and is the big winner.

  31. Replies
    1. Talk about good sense.

      Nobody in their right mind would move a muscle for either Hillary or The Bern.


  32. America Is Now Fighting A Proxy War With Itself In Syria

    Confusion in the Obama administration’s Syria policy is playing out on the ground as U.S.-backed groups begin battling each other.

    Officials with Syrian rebel battalions that receive covert backing from one arm of the U.S. government told BuzzFeed News that they recently began fighting rival rebels supported by another arm of the U.S. government.

    The infighting between American proxies is the latest setback for the Obama administration’s Syria policy and lays bare its contradictions as violence in the country gets worse.

    The confusion is playing out on the battlefield — with the U.S. effectively engaged in a proxy war with itself. “It’s very strange, and I cannot understand it,” said Ahmed Othman, the commander of the U.S.-backed rebel battalion Furqa al-Sultan Murad, who said he had come under attack from U.S.-backed Kurdish militants in Aleppo this week.

    Furqa al-Sultan Murad receives weapons from the U.S. and its allies as part of a covert program, overseen by the CIA, that aids rebel groups struggling to overthrow the government of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, according to rebel officials and analysts tracking the conflict.

    The Kurdish militants, on the other hand, receive weapons and support from the Pentagon as part of U.S. efforts to fight ISIS. Known as the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, they are the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s strategy against the extremists in Syria and coordinate regularly with U.S. airstrikes.

    Yet as Assad and his Russian allies have routed rebels around Aleppo in recent weeks — rolling back Islamist factions and moderate U.S. allies alike, as aid groups warn of a humanitarian catastrophe — the YPG has seized the opportunity to take ground from these groups, too.

    In the face of public objections from U.S. officials and reportedly backed by Russian airstrikes, the YPG has overrun key villages in the northern provinces of Aleppo and Idlib. It now threatens the town of Azaz, on the border with Turkey, through which rebel groups have long received crucial supplies. Over the weekend, Turkey began shelling YPG positions around Azaz in response, raising another difficult scenario for the U.S. in which its proxy is under assault from its NATO ally.

    Yet as America has looked on while Russia and Syria target its moderate rebel partners, it has failed to stop the YPG from attacking them too. “That is a major problem,” said Andrew Tabler, a Syria specialist at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “It’s not just that it’s a nonsense policy. It’s that we’re losing influence so rapidly to the Russians that people just aren’t listening to us anymore.”

    Othman, the Furqa al-Sultan Murad commander, said the YPG tried to seize two areas of Aleppo under his control, resulting in firefights that left casualties on both sides. He had captured seven YPG fighters and was holding them prisoner, he added.

    Othman’s group receives weapons from the U.S. and its allies, including TOW anti-tank missiles, he said, and fights Assad as well as ISIS. The aid is part of a long-running CIA effort approved by Congress and coordinated from an operations room in Turkey with participation from international allies of the rebellion such as Saudi Arabia. Othman said he was in regular contact with his American handlers about the problems on the ground. “The Americans must stop [the YPG] — they must tell them you are attacking groups that we support just like we support you,” he said. “But they are just watching. I don’t understand U.S. politics.”

  33. Jack HawkinsSat Feb 20, 05:08:00 PM EST

    Never said that Sodastram was not a good company.


    1. I think he'd argue with himself on who stole the blanket.

  34. TRUMP 36% CRUZ 21% RUBIO 18%.........Drudge

    Early returns in S. Carolina

  35. I AM WOMAN!
    Dem turnout drops by a third vs. 2008.....Drudge

    Drops by 1/3.....this sounds like bad news for the general election for the dems......what old liar vs an old socialist...

  36. Fox calls S. Carolina for Trump. Massive turnout.

    Cruz and Rubio toe to toe for second.

    1. *TRUMP 34% CRUZ 21% RUBIO 21% .....Drudge

      Looks like the end of the road for Bush.