“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."

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Israel-firster’s Choice for US President: Marco Rubio

Rubio’s 7 Fallacies on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

By  | Feb. 26, 2016 | – –

In last night’s Republican debate co-sponsored by Telemundo, billionaire bigot Donald Trump, usually a resident of Mars, briefly came back to earth long enough to suggest he could broker a deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians by being even-handed. It is not a matter, he said, of good guys and bad guys.
Trump appears momentarily to have forgotten that he thinks there is something very wrong with Muslims in general such that they should all be barred from the United States and their places of worship should be closed down until Trump can figure out what it is. Or perhaps he forgot that the majority of Palestinians is Muslims (worldwide, Christian Palestinians are probably 20% of those with this heritage, but the Christians have been absorbed by Lebanon and the West in a way that Muslim Palestinians have not). I’m not sure how he thinks he can do a deal with the president of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, if he won’t let him so much as come to Camp David because he thinks all Muslims are racially suspect.
Marco Rubio is known to be the favorite of corrupt casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who made his money bribing the Chinese communist party to let him take advantage of people with a casino in Macau. Adelson is a far-right Jewish exceptionalist and the chief backer of far-right Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. (Adelson illicitly dumps a free pro-Netanyahu newspaper on the poor Israelis, surely a violation of the WTO, in hopes of driving more even-handed newspapers out of business).
New Jersey governor Chris Christie, unlike repeated also-ran Mario Rubio, had to drop out of the GOP race for lack of deep enough donor pockets. One of the reasons Christie is no longer in the race is because he inadvertently offended Adelson by referring to the Occupied West Bank and Gaza as Occupied by the Israelis, which they have been since 1967. Those territories have 4.5 million stateless Palestinians whose air, water and land is controlled by the Israeli army. But one of the propaganda ploys of the Zionist right wing is to go into high dudgeon if someone so much as speaks this simple truth publicly. The Israeli bully-boys of the Right have gone after everyone from the secretary-general of the United Nations to the US ambassador to Israel, and from President Obama to the foreign minister of Sweden, for daring to say the word Occupation out loud. (In the US, professors have been spied on, smeared as terrorists, blackballed, fired, bullied and even sent death threats by Likudniks for not toeing the imposed party line). It is as though they think they can sweep an epic set of war crimes under the rug by multiple and loud tantrums of passive aggression.
So, to please Adelson and other donors of his ilk, Rubio immediately jumped in to make a series of completely false and self-contradictory pronouncements on the Palestinians, about whom he knows nothing at all.
1. RUBIO: “Because — and I don’t know if Donald realizes this. I’m sure it’s not his intent perhaps. But the position you’ve taken is an anti-Israel position. And here’s why. Because you cannot be an honest broker in a dispute between two sides in which one of the sides is constantly acting in bad faith.” 
That Adelson would tell Rubio to say that being even-handed on the Israeli-Palestinian issue is anti-Israeli is no surprise. And I guess that Robo Rubio would read his lines the way they were written by lobbyists is also no surprise. 
It is, of course, the Israelis who have consistently acted in bad faith. Netanyahu even proudly boasted about this bad faith when he thought he wasn’t on camera:
Rubio 2. “The Palestinian Authority has walked away from multiple efforts to make peace, very generous offers from the Israels.” 
Rubio should look at Jeffrey Rudolph’s “The Hamas Quiz” 
“Who stated the following on February 14, 2006? ‘Camp David was not the missed opportunity for the Palestinians, and if I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well.’”
 “Shlomo Ben-Ami: Israel’s Minister of Public Security in 1999, Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2000-2001, and Israel’s top negotiator at Camp David and Taba negotiations. (What Ben-Ami recognized was that Israel in fact offered the Palestinians an unviable Middle East Bantustan — several blocks of West Bank land with huge Jewish settlements in between.)
“Mainstream commentators continue to reproduce the baseless Israeli claim that former Prime Minister Ehud Barak was very generous in the offer he made to the Palestinians at Camp David in 2000. The quote by Ben-Ami should be sufficient to end this harmful myth.”
Rubio: 3. “Instead, here’s what the Palestinians do. They teach their four- year-old children that killing Jews is a glorious thing.” 
Here again from Professor Jeffrey’s Quiz:
“True or False: The Palestinian school curriculum incites hatred and anti-Semitism.
-False. Nathan Brown, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University, after a detailed study on The Palestinian Curriculum, writes: “[T]he Palestinian curriculum is not a war curriculum; while highly nationalistic, it does not incite hatred, violence, and anti-Semitism.”
Right-wing supporters of Israel, seeking reasons why Palestinians harbor resentment against Israel and Jews, often point to Palestinian textbooks that purportedly instill such hatred. Prof. Brown demonstrates that a better explanation is to be found in the harsh occupation administered by Israel. As Prof. Brown writes in his conclusion, “With the effects of conflict felt on a daily basis, what textbooks and teachers say is probably irrelevant in any case.” 
Rubio: 4. “Here’s what Hamas does. They launch rockets and terrorist attacks again Israel on an ongoing basis.” 
First of all, Israeli intelligence built Hamas up as a rival to the secular Palestinian Liberation Organization, and Israel agreed to let it run in the 2006 elections, which it won.
Second, here is what an Israeli newspaper wrote:
“Hamas maintains varying degrees of popularity due to Israel. Israel’s actions have shown “Palestinians that nonviolence and mutual recognition are futile….[H]amas’ greatest asset…is not rockets and tunnels. Hamas’ greatest asset is the Palestinian belief that Israel only understands the language of force….The people of Gaza will win [some] relief [after the 2014 ‘war’] not because Salam Fayyad painstakingly built up Palestinian institutions, not because Mahmoud Abbas repeatedly recognized Israel’s right to exist and not because Bassem Tamimi protested nonviolently in partnership with Israelis. Tragically, under this Israeli government, those efforts have brought Palestinians virtually no concessions at all. The people of Gaza will win some relief from the blockade – as they did when the last Gaza war ended [in 2012] – because Hamas launched rockets designed to kill.” 
Further, of course, the little home-made rockets, more or less high school science projects, that Hamas shoots out into the Israeli desert very seldom do any significant damage, though there has been some, and some lives lost. That there have been thousands is no more pertinent to military history than that thousands of rockets are set off on Fourth of July in the US (most of them more powerful than anything Hamas has). The Palestinians shooting the rockets belong to families expelled from what is now Israel in 1948, many of them crowded into refugee camps, who lost their land, their homes, all their money, and were then locked out of their former homeland in the world’s largest open-air prison. Many could walk home in a couple of hours if allowed to. Some are from Sderot, now populated by Ethiopians and Moroccans from abroad who are living in Palestinians’ former homes.
In contrast, Israeli F-16s have murdered thousands of Palestinians from the sky in the past decade, including thousands of innocent women and children and elders.
Rubio: 5. The bottom line is, a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, given the current makeup of the Palestinians, is not possible.
That is because Israel has flooded hundreds of thousands of Israelis onto Palestinian land in the Palestinian West Bank, and, indeed, keeps announcing more such outright theft on a colonial scale. 
“It is strictly illegal for the occupying power to attempt to annex occupied territory or to transfer its citizens into militarily occupied territory. Mussolini’s Italy pulled that stunt with the parts of France he occupied during WW II. When you hear that someone has violated the Geneva Convention, that isn’t just an abstract matter. It means that someone is acting the way the dictators acted during the war, because it is that kind of lawless behavior the conventions were attempting to forestall from happening again.” 
Rubio: 6. And so the next president of the United States needs to be someone like me who will stand firmly on the side of Israel. I’m not — I’m not going to sit here and say, “Oh, I’m not on either side.” I will be on a side. 
Rubio is just admitting that he is not and cannot be an honest broker in any such negotiations. In this, he is saying openly what the actual policy of the United States has been since 1948. 
Let’s quote his own words against him since he is admitting his bad faith: You can’t be an honest broker where one of the sides is acting in bad faith. In this case, both Washington and the Likud government are.
Rubio: 7. I will be on Israel’s side every single day because they are the only pro-American, free enterprise democracy in the entire Middle East.
You can’t be a democracy if you deny 4.5 million people the rights of citizenship or any significant say in how they are governed. The West Bank is ruled by the Israeli military on any issue that matters. Arbitrary imprisonment is routine. Torture has been credibly alleged. Live ammunition is deployed against protesters. Property is confiscated with no shred of legality. Neither the rule of law nor anything that could remotely be termed democracy exists under Israeli Occupation. 
As for the Israeli squatter economy, it is heavily subsidized by the Israeli government (which is to say, it is subsidized by American tax dollars), and in some ways is the last bastion of Israeli socialism. 
Since Rubio is so hot on free enterprise and on small government, maybe he would like to stop allowing Americans to take their donations to illegal Israeli squatting off their American taxes?
Related video:


  1. This is why I love America, you have the freedom to post pure garbage on a daily basis.

    Facts be damned! Full Speed ahead....

    7000 threads, with a overwhelming majority having an anti-Israel, anti-zionism, Jew bashing flavor and the market place of ideas has spoken..

    5 posters.


    1. ... and here you are. "O"rdure

    2. As is you, Jack "the Jew Hater' Hawkins...

      That leaves Bob, Quirk and Rufus

      Like I said.

      America has spoken, they do not post here in any numbers worthy of comment


    3. You continue to post here, "O"rdure.
      Your continued participation validates the sites worth.


    4. If you truly want to post on a site that no one reads, you always have your own.

    5. I am but a foil against your jew hatred

      No validation implied.

      You seem to always have that problem, reading in to things that do not exist...

  2. If you go back 1 year to FEB 2015 there is an argument going on about the USS Liberty, with the same 3 or 4 people (3 against 1) going at it. If you go back to FEB 2014 there is an argument going on about the USS Liberty with the same 3 or 4 people (3 against 1) going at it. If you go back to FEB 2013 there is an argument going on about the USS Liberty, with the same 3 or 4 people (3 against 1) going at it. Am I repeating myself?? GROUNDHOG DAY, or DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN. New name suggestions for this blog?


    1. Keep reading, MOME, and you just may learn something

      Or continue to remain locked in your present mode of Groundhog Day rote repetition.

    2. MOME the Jew hating, Israel bashing folks will hear nothing of official US reports, nor even the very IDEA that America put their prize spy ship into a war zone to spy on Israel (and maybe Egypt) without informing the nations that they were their.

      In normal legal venues the % of blame would be shared by all parties.



    3. The US Navy ship was in international waters, "O"rdure.
      It was not in 'war zone'

    4. Yes, MOME, they have gone over the USS Liberty incident an number of times. You can always hang out at the Belmont Club and blame Obama for everything.

    5. Jack HawkinsFri Feb 26, 10:26:00 AM EST

      The US Navy ship was in international waters, "O"rdure.
      It was not in 'war zone'

      Jack "The Jew Hater" Hawkins said....

      Are they 2 mutually exclusive things?

      Better go back to war college jack..

      cause you don't know jack shit.

      Now if the Liberty was 10 miles of the coast of Gaza as the sailors have told us?

      They were NOT in international waters...

    6. .

      What sailors?

      I have never seen that reference and would love a link.


  3. Does the murder of American servicemen bore you two patriots?


    1. The murder of US citizens does not bother Israelis.


    2. Rachel Aliene Corrie (April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003) from Olympia, Washington, was an American activist and diarist. She was a member of the pro-Palestinian group called the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). She was killed by an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) armored bulldozer ...


    3. Just when it seems that the Israeli Defense Forces could not possibly do anything worse than they did during last Summer’s War on Gaza, Israeli troops go and prove us wrong. This time the IDF has shot and killed an American citizen of Palestinian descent. That American citizen is a 14-year-old teenager who troops dead Friday afternoon.

      IDF troops shoot the young boy during clashes that erupted in a protest.

      IDF officials say that the boy was about to “throw a firebomb towards Route 60,” but his family and protesters say that he was holding a burning Israeli flag and that IDF troops shot him out of spite when they saw this.

    4. The murder of US citizens when done by Iran or the Palestinians does not bother you.


    5. Four dead in Ohio.

      Yep, and the the US changed its tactics afterwards.
      The Israeli cannot learn from its mistakes ...
      Israel denies making any mistakes.

    6. Jack, please tell us how many US navy boats has Israel attacked since 1967?


  4. Who are the true Jewish allies of Hamas?
    The destruction of the two-state solution and the suppression of nonviolent protest convince Palestinians that Israel only understands the language of force.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. Hmm, Income, and Spending, both up 0.5% in January. Good Numbers. Internals will be up in a few minutes.

    Also, Consumer Confidence came in a bit higher than expected, at 91.7.

  9. Nice, Deuce.....thanks

    Tony "Duke" Burton dead.

  10. Deuce is rightly outraged that 34 American soldiers were killed by Israel in 1967.

    Amazing how he is NOT outraged by the murder by Hezbollah of the Marine Barracks 20 years more recently, or the US Ambassador that was murdered by Yasser Arafat, or the scores of Americans that were killed in Paris, Greece, Rome, Israel by the Palestinians.

    Nor is he outraged by the thousands of American soldiers killed and wounded in Iraq by Iran or Iran's direct proxy.

    No Deuce has SELECTIVE outrage if the Americans were killed by Israelis or Jews.

    Only those killings matter...


    1. Those Marines were not in International waters, "O"rdure.
      They were in an armed camp, in Lebanon.

      The two incidents are not analogous.

    2. Dead US Citizens Jack, you cannot change the argument in the middle to suit your fiction.

      Try again, Jack "the killer of children in Central America" Hawkins...

      But now that you raise it...

      American troops occupying foriegn lands...


  11. Reaching a milestone in his campaign, Donald Trump scored his first Capitol Hill endorsements on Wednesday from Republican Representatives Chris Collins of New York and Duncan Hunter of California. “I think he will unite our party much quicker than most people think,” Collins said in an interview, predicting that Republicans will quickly coalesce behind Trump. What’s more, Collins added that plenty of members of Congress are already in Trump’s corner, even if they haven’t made their admiration public. “A number of members are supporting Trump but have different unique reasons why they’re not ready to step out and endorse him,” he said. That’s a stark contrast from the prevailing notion that the Republican establishment is anti-Trump.

    The endorsement is especially notable since Collins previously endorsed Jeb Bush, a reminder of how quickly things have changed in a so far highly unpredictable presidential race.


    1. .“What I expect is the Trump train, the juggernaut, is going to be unstoppable very quickly,” Collins said. “People are then going to say: ‘Of course I’m going to support Mr. Trump for president, he’s our presumptive nominee. He’s got it locked up.’”

      Though many may have thought Bush’s voters would defect to Marco Rubio, Collins isn’t the only former Bush backer who now wants to see Trump win. Interviews with voters who once supported the former Florida governor indicate that at least some have also switched to Team Trump. For certain Republican voters, it simply makes sense. Even if they don’t see Trump as the perfect candidate, and even if he wasn’t their first choice, they believe he may be the best hope to win back the White House.

      Patrick Digan, a 23-year old from Florida, was planning to vote for Bush until he dropped out of the race. It was hard for him to see Bush flail around so much. “He always seemed like he was the punching bag,”

  12. Highlights

    There's plenty of life in the consumer. Personal income jumped 0.5 percent in January as did consumer spending, both readings higher than expected. Also higher than expected are the report's inflation readings especially the core PCE which rose 0.3 percent for a year-on-year plus 1.7 percent.

    Details are solidly positive with components on the income side led by wages & salaries, up a very strong 0.6 percent for the third large gain of the last four months. And consumers didn't draw from savings on their January shopping spree, with the savings rate unchanged at a very solid 5.2 percent.

    Components on the spending side are led by durable goods which jumped 1.2 percent and reflect strong vehicle sales in the month. Spending on services rose 0.6 percent in the month.

    But the big story of the report is the core PCE, especially the year-on-year rate which is up from 1.4 percent to 1.7 percent and is pointing confidently toward the Fed's 2 percent line. Total prices, which include food and energy, rose only 1 percent but the year-on-year rate for this reading has been on a tear, moving from about zero late last year to plus 1.3 percent in January.

    Economic news outside of the consumer has been soft but today's report is a reminder that the nation's most important supporter is alert and in the driver's seat. A strong consumer, who is benefitting from a strong labor market, together with the upward pivot for inflation will not make policy makers comfortable at next month's FOMC where a rate hike, though long dismissed, may be a serious topic of discussion.

    Personal Income and Outlays


  13. NYTimes -

    On Wednesday, Mr. Cameron, responding to a question in the House of Commons, told British lawmakers: “Yes, we are supporters of Israel, but we do not support illegal settlements, we do not support what is happening in East Jerusalem.”

    Israel conquered East Jerusalem, along with the West Bank, from Jordan in the Six Day War of 1967, then expanded the city limits and annexed the eastern part in a move that has never been internationally recognized.

    “I am well known as being a strong friend of Israel but I have to say the first time I visited Jerusalem and had a proper tour around that wonderful city and saw what has happened with the effective encirclement of East Jerusalem — occupied East Jerusalem — it is genuinely shocking,”
    Mr. Cameron said in Parliament.

  14. It looks like the pubbies' longed-for recession isn't going to arrive in time to help them in this election.

    Poor babies. :)

  15. Nice to have you around, MOME.

    Three deletions in a've earned your 'keyboard award' as I think of it.

    You've joined the elite here......WiO, Idaho Bob, and, now, MOME

    Welcome aboard !


    That was a feisty debate last night. I don't think it did the aggressors much good though.

  16. Good God, it was just the same comment, repeated over and over.

    Deuce left the original comment up.

    What the hell do you want?

    1. The same treatment meted out to you !

      You're nothing if not repetitive.

      That phony war score you put up each day for instance.

      None of it amounts to anything, yet you seem to see it as progress being made.

      It's a Pentagon Joke.

      Deb down locations, inoperable vehicles and an occasional backhoe being blown up.

      Like Quirk says, at $25,000 + fuel a shot it's a waste of taxpayers money.

      Obama is just running out the clock.

      Meanwhile ISIS is gaining some real strength in Libya, and further south too.

    2. BED down locations - bwahaha

  17. Paul Krugman: Twilight of the Apparatchik

    Why is the Republican Party is such disarray?:

    Twilight of the Apparatchik, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: ... As many have noted, it’s remarkable how shocked — shocked! — that establishment has been at the success of Donald Trump’s racist, xenophobic campaign. Who knew that this kind of thing would appeal to the party’s base? ...

    Seriously, Republican political strategy has been exploiting racial antagonism, getting working-class whites to despise government because it dares to help Those People, for almost half a century. So it’s amazing to see the party’s elite utterly astonished by the success of a candidate who is just saying outright what they have consistently tried to convey with dog whistles.

    What I find even more amazing, however, are the Republican establishment’s delusions about what its own voters are for. ...

    Here’s an example: Last summer,... when Mr. Trump ... promised not to cut Social Security,... insiders like William Kristol gleefully declared that he was “willing to lose the primary to win the general.” In reality, however, Republican voters don’t at all share the elite’s enthusiasm for entitlement cuts...

    1. Oh, and the G.O.P. establishment was also sure that Mr. Trump would pay a heavy price for asserting that we were misled into Iraq — evidently unaware just how widespread that (correct) belief is among Americans of all political persuasions.

      So what’s the source of this obliviousness? ... Most Republican officeholders hold safe seats, which they can count on keeping if they are sufficiently orthodox. Moreover, if they should stumble, they can fall back on “wingnut welfare,” the array of positions at right-wing media organizations, think tanks and so on that are always there for loyal spear carriers. ... They know that people outside their party disagree, but that doesn’t matter much for their careers.

      Now, however, they face the reality that most voters inside their party don’t agree with the orthodoxy, either. And all signs are that they still can’t wrap their minds around that fact. ... Even now, when it’s almost too late to stop the Trump Express, they still imagine that “But he’s not a true conservative!” is an effective attack.

      Things would be very different, obviously, if Mr. Trump were in fact to lock in the Republican nomination (which could happen in a few weeks). Would his raw appeal to white Americans’ baser instincts continue to work? I don’t think so. But given the ineffectuality of his party’s elite, my guess is that we will get a chance to find out.

      Economist's View

  18. Ole Deuce doesn't have much of a sense of humor today. I was merely pointing out that the same old tired USS Liberty argument keeps getting regurgitated month after month, year after year, and he got all pissy and tried to insult me by calling me a Patriot. That really stung. Ouch.

    1. .

      If you don't like it, you have alternatives.

      You can learn how to scroll. You can up with some interesting post on a different subject. You can leave.

      Or, you can continue to sit around and bitch about it.


  19. Well, then, Buckeroos, let's go on to sumpin else.

    Lookee, here;

    All those other cities right around Seattle (that Didn't Raise the minimum wage) have unemployment charts - replete with a small uptick in the unemployment rate - identical to Seattle's.

    A Chart even a hick can glom

  20. Counter-ISIL Campaign Continues, President Says

    WASHINGTON, February 26, 2016 — Even if there is a cessation of hostilities to get food and medical aid to besieged civilians in Syria, there will be no letup against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, President Barack Obama said yesterday evening at the State Department following a meeting of the National Security Council.

    “If implemented -- and that’s a significant ‘if’ -- this cessation could reduce the violence and get more food and aid to Syrians who are suffering and desperately need it,” the president said. “It could save lives. Potentially, it could also lead to negotiations on a political settlement to end the civil war so that everybody can focus their attention on destroying ISIL.”

    The United States will do all in its power to ensure the success of the cessation, Obama said. “At the same time, I want to make totally clear that there will be absolutely no cease-fire with respect to ISIL,” he said. “We remain relentless in going after them.”

    Coalition Increases Strength

    The president directed the national security team to continue accelerating the campaign against ISIL on all fronts. The coalition against the terror group is stronger, he said. He praised Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s efforts to get more contributions from coalition partners. “Just about all of our military partners have agreed to increase their contributions, buying into our conception of how we ramp up the pressure on ISIL,” the president said.

    He noted that Dutch aircraft are now striking ISIL targets in Syria, and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are expanding their roles in the air campaign. And the president thanked Canada for tripling its personnel dedicated to helping train and advise forces in Iraq.

    “Every day, our air campaign -- more than 10,000 strikes so far -- continues to destroy ISIL forces, infrastructure and heavy weapons,” Obama said. “ISIL fighters are learning that they’ve got no safe haven. We can hit them anywhere, anytime -- and we do.”

    1. Taking Ground from ISIL

      Iraqi and Syrian ground forces, working with coalition special operations forces, are pushing back ISIL’s forces, he said. “After intense block-by-block fighting, Iraqi forces recently succeeded in pushing ISIL out of Ramadi,” Obama said. “ISIL has now lost a series of key Iraqi towns and cities -- more than 40 percent of the areas it once controlled in Iraq.”

      The next phase in the campaign will target ISIL-controlled Hit in Iraq’s Anbar province, he said, with the ultimate goal of retaking Mosul -- Iraq’s second-largest city.

      In Syria, local forces continue their gains against ISIL. The ultimate goal there is to squeeze the terror group into its self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa and crush it, Obama said. “Raqqa is not the capital of a growing caliphate; it’s increasingly under stress as ISIL territory shrinks,” the president said.

      “This remains a difficult fight,” Obama said. “The situation in Syria and Iraq is one of the most complex the world has seen in recent times. ISIL is entrenched, including in urban areas, using innocent civilians as human shields. Even in places where ISIL has been driven out, it leaves behind utter devastation.”

      The president said the fight in Syria has become a proxy war between regional powers.

      “Beyond Syria and Iraq, I want to point out that we continue to go after ISIL wherever it tries to take root, working with partners from Nigeria to Afghanistan,” Obama said. “As we showed last week with our strike on an ISIL training camp in Libya, which targeted a senior ISIL operative, we will continue to use the full range of tools to eliminate ISIL threats wherever they are.”

      He noted that the United States will continue to work with Libya to establish a functioning government there.

      (Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)