“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."

Monday, May 09, 2016

The Cluster-FUKUS Continues in the Bush-Whacked Clinton-Supported Unending ME Disaster

(Obama, Clinton And Kerry Own This Video)

The war against the Islamic State hits hurdles just as the U.S. military gears up

BEIRUT — After months of un­expectedly swift advances, the U.S.-led war against the Islamic State is running into hurdles on and off the battlefield that call into question whether the pace of recent gains can be sustained.

Chaos in Baghdad, the fraying of the cease-fire in Syria and political turmoil in Turkey are among some of the potential obstacles that have emerged in recent weeks to complicate the prospects for progress. Others include small setbacks for U.S.- allied forces on front lines in northern Iraq and Syria, which have come as a reminder that a strategy heavily reliant on local armed groups of varying proficiency who are often at odds with one another won’t always work.

When President Obama first ordered U.S. warplanes into ­action against the extremists sweeping through Iraq and Syria in 2014, U.S. officials put a three- to five-year timeline on a battle they predicted would be hard. After a rocky start, officials say they are gratified by the progress made, especially over the past six months.

Since the recapture of the northern Iraqi town of Baiji last October, Islamic State defenses have crumbled rapidly across a wide arc of territory. In Syria, the important hub of Shadadi was recaptured with little resistance in February, while in Iraq, Sinjar, Ramadi, Hit and, most recently, the town of Bashir have fallen in quick succession, lending hope that the militants are on the path to defeat.
“So far, in terms of what we had hoped to do, we are pretty much on track,” said a U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss sensitive subjects. “We’re actually a little bit ahead of where we wanted to be.”

Islamic State claims responsibility for truck bombing in Baghdad

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a truck bombing on April 30 in southeastern Baghdad that killed more than 20 people and wounded more than 40 others. The terrorist group targeted Shiite pilgrims as they walked to a shrine. (AP)

The fight, however, is entering what Pentagon officials have called a new and potentially harder phase, one that will entail a deeper level of U.S. involvement but also tougher targets.

In an attempt to ramp up the tempo of the war, the U.S. military is escalating its engagement, dispatching an additional 450 Special Operations forces and other troops to Syria and Iraq, deploying hundreds of Marines close to the front lines in Iraq and bringing Apache attack helicopters and B-52s into service for the air campaign.

The extra resources are an acknowledgment, U.S. officials say, that the war can’t be won without a greater level of American involvement. The targets that lie ahead are those that are most important to the militants’ self-proclaimed caliphate, including their twin capitals of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq and, to a lesser extent, Fallujah, a key concern because of its proximity to Baghdad.

The Islamic State will have occupied those cities for well over two years before the offensives begin, far longer than any of those it has lost so far. The battle for Mosul, long a Pentagon priority, has already been delayed by at least a year, in part because of the Islamic State’s seizure a year ago of the city of Ramadi in the province of Anbar. Ramadi was recaptured in December, but only after a significant diversion of resources and time.

“The defenses that they have there are much more developed than what they had the ability to do in Ramadi, so it’s going to get harder the closer we get to Mosul, there’s no doubt about it,” said Maj. Gen. Gary J. Volesky, who commands the land-forces component of the U.S.-led coalition out of Baghdad.

After being caught unprepared by the Ramadi upset, he and other U.S. officials now decline to put a time frame on the Mosul offensive. An early attempt to sever one supply route to the city in March did not go well, with two newly trained Iraqi army brigades forced to retreat under intense Islamic State fire from the small but strategically important village of Al-Nasr, about 40 miles to the south. It was a reminder, said Col. Steve Warren, a U.S. military spokesman, that “we’ve got a foot on his neck but he’s still got some fight in him.”

As the war cuts deeper into the militants’ core territories, the pace will inevitably slow, officials say. “Now we’re organizing ­Mosul, and we are going to organize some other things, too, so there will be a natural pause, which isn’t necessarily a strategic setback,” said the U.S. official. “We have to pause, reset a bit and do some things.”

The deepening U.S. military engagement won’t, however, untangle the web of political complexities that appears to be tightening around a strategy critics long have charged is too focused on short-term military gains.

While scoring some significant advances on the ground, the strategy has not yet found answers to the wider political disputes that helped fuel the rise of the Islamic State and could yet undermine the long-term sustainability of military gains, said Robert Ford, the last U.S. ambassador to Syria, who is now with the Washington-based Middle East Institute.

“The Americans are so happy every time a village falls, they lose sight of the forest while looking at all the trees,” he said.

The recent dramatic storming of Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone by supporters of the Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr offered one example of the kind of conflicts that could erupt in Iraq well before the militants are defeated, he said.

“The problem in Baghdad underlines how tenuous the government situation is,” Ford said. “This isn’t something Apaches and F-16s can fix. You must deal with the politics as much as you deal with the military.”

U.S. officials say they have seen no fallout yet from the fracas in Baghdad, but they don’t rule out that there could be one if the political instability continues.

Of greater immediate concern, they say, is the upheaval in Turkey, where Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu last week announced his intention to step down after losing out in a feud with President Recep Tayyip ­Erdogan. ­Davutoglu has long worked closely with U.S. officials and had been seen as a moderating influence on the more unpredictable Erdogan, who frequently lashes out with criticisms of his American allies and has displayed fluctuating levels of enthusiasm for the fight against the Islamic State.

One major effort for which the United States needs Turkish engagement is a faltering offensive against the Islamic State in the northern Syrian countryside of Aleppo province, bordering Turkey. A force of Turkish and U.S.-backed rebels swiftly advanced last month into the key Islamic State town of Al-Rai, then was equally swiftly pushed back.

It was an early test of the fraught effort to train and equip a force of moderate Syrian rebels to take on the militants in northern Syria, which has now mostly been subcontracted to Turkey. Officials acknowledge that they were disappointed with the poor rebel performance, ascribed by both Syrians and U.S. officials more to divisions within the ranks of the rebels than any external factors.

Cutting the Islamic State’s vital supply route to Turkey is considered an essential prerequisite for any eventual offensive to retake Raqqa. The 250 Special Operations troops dispatched to Syria last month are charged with training an Arab force to lead the Raqqa offensive — but there won’t be a Raqqa offensive until the northern Aleppo part of the puzzle has been solved, U.S. officials say.
The recent resumption of fighting around the nearby city of Aleppo has come as a fresh reminder that the war in Syria will continue to draw resources away from the Islamic State fight. Peace talks in Geneva aimed at ending the conflict have deadlocked, eroding hopes that a political solution is in sight.

Russia, though not part of the U.S.-led coalition, had contributed to the building of pressure on the Islamic State by supporting the Syrian government’s recapture in March of the ancient city of Palmyra. But Russia has diverted its military resources from the Islamic State front toward Aleppo, considered a greater priority for the government than the Islamic State-held territories to the east, according to a person familiar with the discussions between Syria and its allies Iran, Hezbollah and Russia over military operations.

As a Russian orchestra played Bach and Prokofiev in celebration of the Palmyra victory at the city’s Roman amphitheater last week, Islamic State fighters overran the nearby gas field of Shaer, their first conquest in many months. 

One concern is that any hiatus in the fight could give the Islamic State a chance to regroup, refresh and revive its badly dented image of invincibility by launching new assaults, such as the one last week that killed U.S. Navy SEAL Charles H. Keating IV. Warren characterized the attack as an effort to “detract from the beat-down they’ve taken everywhere else.”

It was repelled, however, only with the help of intense U.S. airstrikes, underscoring the vital role the United States plays in securing recaptured territory.

“In the short term, as long as the Americans are there, I don’t think they’re going to rampage like they did in 2013 and 2014,” Ford said of the militants. “But were you to remove that air power and the capabilities the Americans bring, I could imagine them making gains again on the ground.”

Loveday Morris in Baghdad contributed to this report.
Read more


  1. Almost all these”moderate rebels” were armed with US made weaponry and many recycled arms were transferred from destabilized Libya to destabilized Syria, all part and parcel of the destabilized US destruction of Iraq.

    No one in the Pentagon or US government can fix this.

    No one in the Washington based Neocondom has an idea as to the final cost in lives and money.

    OOrah assholes.

  2. Necessary Roughness


    Growing numbers of people worldwide are turning their Facebook profile pictures into solid red squares in an attempt to call attention to a new, deadly phase of the Syria war. The latest round of violence was marked by the bombing of a refugee camp near the Syrian border with Turkey, which resulted in 28 deaths. That attack was probably the work of the Syrian regime of President Bashar Assad or its ally Russia.

    Only days earlier, a horrific bombing took place in the rebel-controlled city of Aleppo, targeting Al-Quds Hospital, which was supported by the Nobel Prize-winning organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. That airstrike, which came in the form of multiple barrel bombs (the Assad government’s signature bomb), killed dozens of civilians, including one of the city’s last remaining pediatricians.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry denounced the strike, saying, “We are outraged” at what “appears to have been a deliberate strike on a known medical facility and follows the Assad regime’s appalling record of striking such facilities and first responders.”

    Kerry’s statement reeked of hypocrisy. In October, U.S. planes struck an MSF hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, killing about as many people as last week’s Syria strike. MSF staff condemned the hospital bombing as “deliberate” and a “war crime,” given that the U.S. and Afghan forces had been made well aware of the hospital’s coordinates ahead of time. Almost at the same time that Kerry was chastising the Assad regime in Syria, the Pentagon’s internal investigation into the Kunduz hospital strike absolved the U.S. military of war crimes, saying only that minor violations had taken place.

    It is not far-fetched to compare the impunity of the U.S. government to that of the Syrian government. The Syrian government has been bombing and destroying its own country. The U.S. government has been bombing, occupying and destroying other countries—chief among them Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. For the Obama administration to attempt to set itself apart from Assad’s government is laughable.


    1. {...}

      A quick survey of the latest news emerging from Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya is a testament to the disastrous impacts of American wars. In addition to the slap on the wrist that the Pentagon gave itself for bombing the Kunduz hospital, a recent audit of the money that the U.S. spent on Afghan schools was found to be severely lacking in accountability. The office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) found that three U.S. departments spent $760 million on the impoverished country’s education system but failed to properly track how the money was spent and if its goal was achieved. The U.S.’ investment in schools was lauded as one of its most important reconstruction initiatives against the Taliban, and now it’s not possible to even measure the success of that effort. In fact, there is evidence that the successes of the schools was exaggerated, and that Islamic State is rapidly expanding inside Afghanistan, shutting down dozens of schools.

      Meanwhile, Afghanistan continues to be marred by constant violence, and the threat of Islamic State is prompting continued U.S. bombing of the country.




    In Iraq, public anger over a paralyzed and polarized government is so high that hundreds of protesters recently broke through security barriers in the Green Zone that protect the Parliament. Islamic State has overrun large swaths of the nation, prompting U.S. soldiers to return to a country it had briefly withdrawn from. The U.S. is supposed to be playing an advisory role on the ground, but the lines between ground war and advice are increasingly blurry, as a recent combat death of a U.S. soldier in Iraq illustrated. From the skies, the U.S. is back to dropping bombs on Iraq and even borrowed a macabre technique from the Israeli Air Force of “roof knocking” before dropping a bomb. The U.S. has so far admitted to killing 41 Iraqi civilians since 2014, but the actual number may be higher. A recent poll found that young Iraqis overwhelmingly despise the U.S.

    In Libya, a U.S.-led NATO war has resulted in violence and chaos almost from the moment Col. Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown and killed in 2011. President Obama has gone as far as admitting that the U.S. made mistakes, saying that his worst foreign policy mistake was “probably failing to plan for the day after what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in Libya.” Rebel groups and even Islamic State are now threatening the fabric of the country.


  5. {...}

    Even in Syria, the U.S. is playing a far less innocent role than it claims. While Obama has been equally berated and praised for not taking a more aggressive role in Syria early on, the U.S. has in recent months ratcheted up its airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria. According to USA Today:

    In November, pilots in the U.S.-led coalition had dropped 3,227 bombs in Iraq and Syria, a record number for a single month and more than twice as many as they had used in November 2014. Since then, the totals for bombs dropped per month eclipsed the previous year. In March, pilots dropped 1,982 bombs compared with 1,685 in March 2015, an 18% increase.

    Simultaneous to the intensification of the war, the U.S. has relaxed restrictions on civilian killings and so-called “collateral damage.” So far, the U.S. military has admitted to killing 20 civilians between last fall and this winter in both Iraq and Syria. But others have put the number as high as 1,000.

    A spokesman for the U.S. military, Col. Pat Ryder, said, “We deeply regret the unintentional loss of life and injuries resulting from those strikes and express our deepest sympathies to the victims’ families and those affected.” One of the main differences between the U.S. and the Assad regime on civilian deaths is that the U.S., when pressured, might sometimes apologize.

    (Incidentally, an Army captain has now filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration for waging an undeclared, and therefore illegal, war against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.)

    Today, refugees from all the nations the U.S. has devastated—Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya—are streaming out of their countries by the millions, looking for a better life than what their devastated lands offer them. Even in these circumstances, the U.S. is playing a deadly role, joining with European allies in blocking the chance to leave for desperate refugees.

    Rather than change Facebook profile photos to red over just the violence of the Syrian regime in Aleppo, we might adopt the same symbol to encompass a much larger geographical area, stretching from Afghanistan to Libya, that is bathed in the blood of countless victims of wars at the hands of the U.S., Syria and others.


  6. City Slicker Alberta Fire Advisory: Update -

    Relax, Quirk, your ass ain't gonna get burnt out.

    Calm down, son.

    They put a few retardant tankers on her and she's controlled.

  7. Kerry has given Assad until 1 August 2016 to begin to turn over power in Syria or there will be 'repercussions'.

    Pooty is planning the transfer of power even now.

    Meanwhile, O'bozo has promised that Mosul will be retaken 'eventually'.

    So, all is cool.

    1. It was O'bozo that caused all this hell in the first place by taking all the troops out way too soon.

      But, 'eventually' things will be OK.

      In the meantime we can continue to read the daily Rufus battle reports of 'the most intelligent military campaign of my life time' and hope the number of 'bed down locations' turned to dusty debris continues to grow.

    2. And if Rufus should cease his reporting, there will be 'repercussions' heading his way.

    3. Without the reporting by Rufus one wouldn't know how badly we are clobbering the bad guys.

    4. Your "It's all Obama's fault" meme is worn out, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, even if he is pushing the "Yinon Plan" as hard as he can.

      Face it Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, the Israeli plan to destabilize the Middle East is at the core of the US policy debacle in that region.

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

    6. Keep posting that and you will be the only one taken out.

  8. They ( the mercenary foreign legion) never belonged there in the first place.

    Eight years is not enough to accomplish ending two senseless wars and not start others. A Republican controlled congress could not stop funding it.

    The entire Middle East and most of Europe is in turmoil because of Washington DC, incapable of tending to its own business such as basic infrastructure.

    They all should be arrested, tried, convicted and ( fill in the blank).

  9. I just got a look at the two tacos that Hillary is considering for VP.

    Good Dios they look like mom just crossed the Rio and dropped the kids this last decade.

    If Hillary gets in we're really fucked and there goes our 1st and 2nd Amendment rights and I'm moving to Montana and joining the secession movement.

    1. Hillary's Dos Tacos

  10. The Secesh River in Idaho was named by a bunch of southerners who came out this way after the Civil War.

    1. They basically said fuck it we got whupped and we'll hunt and fish for a living and to hell with the south, and they did.

    2. And, they added, the hell with the north, too.

  11. Strikes in Syria

    Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted eight strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Manbij, two strikes destroyed two ISIL vehicles and an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Mar’a, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions.

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

    -- Near Waleed, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL storage facility and an ISIL bed-down location, and damaged another storage facility and bed-down location.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 17 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Al Huwayjah, a strike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

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

    -- Near Fallujah, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL fighting position, two ISIL mortar systems, an ISIL vehicle bomb, and four ISIL rockets.

    -- Near Kisik, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position and suppressed an ISIL heavy machine position.

    -- Near Mosul, six strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL vehicles.

    -- Near Qayyarah, a strike destroyed 10 ISIL rocket rails.

    -- Near Sinjar, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and suppressed an ISIL heavy machine gun position.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike destroyed an ISIL mortar system.

    -- Near Tal Afar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL light machine gun.

  12. Crap shitter is back, stalking again, and dirtying our common cage, and Rufus is posting military news.

    (Crap shitter said we'd have cleaned Iraq out of all ISIS by Memorial Day last, that's why some folks call him General "Memorial Day" Hawkins)

    Time to hit the road.

    Got big day.

    Cheers to all except Dead Beat Dad and his disgusting anti-Semitism.

    2/3 of the folks here have told him straight out he needs psychological help, but he never takes the shouted hint.

    Cheers !


    1. P.S. -


      'Black folk have been voting Democrat and don't have shit!'.....Drudge

      Good for her. She ain't no dummy.

  13. .

    Never was a big deal.

    Tell it to the 90,000 forced out of their homes or those who have seen their homes and possessions destroyed, dipshit.


    1. As compared to what the Israelis do EVERY day to the poor victims of their genocide it's nothing..

      Heard that Israel had made tens of millions of Gazans homeless in a single afternoon!!

      Rat posts that the jews destroyed the same village 54 times in a year!!!!!

      Yeah quirk, it's nothing....

      Assad, Iran, Hezbollah with help from Russia and the USA have created in excess of 13,000,000 syrians refugees whose homes are destroyed.. In Iraq? Hundreds of thousands...

    2. .

      Not to mention that the fire has been burning for a week, that the city of Fort McMurray, the center of Canada's oil industry, is still shut down, that the fire having passed by the city is now moving east into less populated areas, and that smoke from the fire is expected to reach Florida soon.

      And think of the elk.


    3. .

      You like your buddy from Idaho are friggin nutz.

      Does everything have to be about Israel?


    4. When you are an Israeli-firster, yes.

    5. Fuck off, Quirk q. Dipshit.

      You've never even been in a forest, much less near a forest fire.

      It was no biggie.

      And, have you ever heard of Home Owners Insurance ?

      Everybody has it. It covers fire damage, moron.

      The evacuated will soon be back and life will go on.

      You're an idiot.

      Sometimes you almost make the classification 'dick'.

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    7. Not 90,000 homeless. 90,000 - if we can believe Quart - took a temporary hike to get out of the haze.

      My wife and I are wishing we'd be so lucky as to have our home burn down in a fire.

      We'd cash in and head to a condo in Vegas.

      Quart's never even been camping in a park, much less been out in a forest.

      He spends his time in some Detroit Barber Shop listening to Mafia stories and gossip about the latest hits......I swear to Christ that is what the man said......

    8. Honorable people would choose to shoot themselves rather than 'live' like that.....


    9. .

      Nope, that was more of dig at your posts a few days ago....

      As I've said, the only thing important to you is Israel. You take the simplest factoid and try to rationalize how it impacts Israel.



    10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. .

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry denounced the strike, saying, “We are outraged” at what “appears to have been a deliberate strike on a known medical facility and follows the Assad regime’s appalling record of striking such facilities and first responders.”

    For any who believe the administration’s story that US troops are no longer directly involved in combat operations in Afghanistan or wonder how major clusterf**** occur in war…

    U.S. Role in Afghanistan Turns to Combat Again, With a Tragic Error

    ...On the morning of Oct. 1, about 30 soldiers were in close-quarters combat against Taliban fighters — even though White House and Pentagon officials have repeatedly insisted that American troops no longer play that role.

    The Americans were not ambushed while advising local forces behind the front lines or struck by rocket fire while manning a fortified base. Nine months after President Obama declared an end to the American combat mission in Afghanistan, these Green Berets were at the leading edge of an offensive to retake Kunduz, where Afghan forces had melted away as insurgents attacked, leaving an entire city in the Taliban’s grip for the first time since 2001.

    The fight for the police compound proved crucial in rallying Afghan forces to retake the city.
    It also offered the starkest example to date of a blurry line in Afghanistan and Iraq between the missions that American forces are supposed to be fulfilling — military training and advising — and combat. Mr. Obama has portrayed that combat role as over. But as the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Islamic State in Iraq have threatened the delicate stability he hoped to leave behind, American forces are increasingly being called on to fight…



    1. {...}

      The investigators wanted to know how the strike occurred. But the interviews they conducted also revealed almost universal confusion among the Green Berets over their exact mission in Kunduz. The goal was simple: not to lose the city. But in a reflection of the ill-defined parameters of the United States’ mission in Afghanistan, no one involved in the battle seemed to know how far the group was supposed to go to ensure success…

      The specifics — such as what legal authority would govern the American mission — were left unaddressed. Some American troops in Afghanistan conduct raids against militants from Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. But fighting the Taliban is now supposed to be the job of Afghan forces, not Americans...

      Reflecting on this, the major said that “General Campbell was very much in a hurry to get back to D.C.” — where he was due to meet with President Obama and testify before Congress…


  15. {...}

    The Airstrike

    …The Afghans also came up with a plan to seize what was believed to be the Taliban’s command center: the local headquarters of Afghanistan’s spy agency, the National Directorate of Security. It was only about 500 meters from the police compound, and the Afghan troops would move against the N.D.S. headquarters on their way back from the airport. The Americans agreed to coordinate air support if needed.

    The major told investigators that he had not been concerned about civilians being hit. The N.D.S., with a documented history of torture, is feared by most Afghans. “Nobody squats in an N.D.S. facility,” the major told investigators.

    In the early hours of Oct. 3, the major was at his command post — a Humvee with a map laid across the hood — awaiting word from the Afghan force he believed was headed toward the N.D.S. building.
    By then, the major had experienced “significant fighting for approximately 51 hours,” the report said. He had hardly slept.

    After a confusing back-and-forth with Afghan officers, he came to believe that the Afghan commandos were under fire from the N.D.S. building. (They were in fact nowhere near it.) The major called in air support from an AC-130 gunship.

    He then climbed to a balcony in one of the police compound’s buildings, seeking a better vantage. He could hear intermittent gunfire. But he could not see much.

    The gunship was also struggling to find the building. It had the right coordinates, but its targeting system malfunctioned. It pointed the aircraft to an empty field. The crew members, however, spotted a building nearby that they and the Green Berets on the ground concluded was the N.D.S. building.

    It was not. They were looking at the Doctors Without Borders hospital, and they missed what should have been obvious signs. None of the people spotted inside the compound appeared to be armed.

    At 2:08 a.m. on Oct. 3, the gunship opened fire. The first round hit a courtyard where nine unarmed people were milling about.

    The attack continued until 2:38 a.m., the investigators found, and the gunship fired 211 rounds, killing 42 people. Military investigators would describe the attack as a violation of the laws of armed conflict and “a disproportional response to a threat that did not exist…”

    That day in Washington, General Campbell briefed reporters about the accidental strike on the hospital, saying the facts would be established by military investigators.
    But General Campbell was unequivocal on one point. “Our personnel are not directly engaged in the fighting,” he said.


  16. Paul Krugman: The Making of an Ignoramus

    Donald Trump is "frighteningly uninformed":

    The Making of an Ignoramus, by Paul Krugman, NY Times: Truly, Donald Trump knows nothing. He is more ignorant about policy than you can possibly imagine...

    Last week the presumptive Republican presidential nominee ... finally revealed his plan to make America great again. Basically, it involves running the country like a failing casino: he could, he asserted, “make a deal” with creditors that would reduce the debt burden if his outlandish promises of economic growth don’t work out.
    The reaction from everyone who knows anything about finance or economics was a mix of amazed horror and horrified amazement. ...

    So why is Mr. Trump even talking about this subject? Well, one possible answer is that lots of supposedly serious people have been hyping the alleged threat posed by federal debt for years. ...

    A lot of this debt hysteria was really about trying to bully us into cutting Social Security and Medicare, which is why so many self-proclaimed fiscal hawks were also eager to cut taxes on the rich. But Mr. Trump apparently wasn’t in on that particular con, and takes the phony debt scare seriously. Sad!

    Still..., how can he imagine that it would be O.K. for America to default? One answer is that he’s extrapolating from his own business career, in which he has done very well by running up debts, then walking away from them.
    But it’s also true that much of the Republican Party shares his insouciance about default. Remember, the party’s congressional wing deliberately set about extracting concessions from President Obama, using the threat of gratuitous default via a refusal to raise the debt ceiling.

    And quite a few Republican lawmakers defended that strategy of extortion by arguing that default wouldn’t be that bad...

    In fact, it’s remarkable how many ridiculous Trumpisms were previously espoused by Mitt Romney in 2012, from his claim that the true unemployment rate vastly exceeds official figures to his claim that he can bring prosperity by starting a trade war with China.

    None of this should be taken as an excuse for Mr. Trump. He really is frighteningly uninformed...
    Oh, and just for the record: No, it’s not the same on the other side of the aisle. You may dislike Hillary Clinton, you may disagree sharply with her policies, but she and the people around her do know their facts. Nobody has a monopoly on wisdom, but in this election, one party has largely cornered the market in raw ignorance.

    Economist's View

  17. If there has ever been a worse SOS than HRC, it would be Kerry. He got the SOS job because no one else would have it. No one. I sure hope HRC picks him as a running mate. Oh, please, please, please. There is a photo of John (Lurch) Kerry in the dictionary next to the word, "hypocrite". What a dipshit.

  18. But boy can he negotiate! :-)

  19. U.S. Workers Regain Faith in Finding Good Job if Laid Off

    by Jeffrey M. Jones

    63% say they likely would find a new job just as good
    Back to pre-recession levels after tumbling to 42% in 2010

    15% say they are likely to lose their job in next year

    PRINCETON, N.J. -- After plummeting in 2010, Americans' confidence that they would find a job as good as their current one if they happened to be laid off has been restored. Currently, 63% believe it is very or somewhat likely that they would find a job as good as the one they have, up from 42% six years ago. The current figure is similar to what Gallup measured in early 2007, before the recession.


  20. Anbar Deputy Governor: 140 ISIS militants killed in cleansing battles of Amiriyah

    ( Anbar – On Sunday, Deputy Governor of Anbar Mujahid Aifan al-Eissawi announced, that the so-called ISIS lost 140 fighters during the cleansing battles of Amiriyah City, while pointed out that the security forces will storm the city in the coming few days.

    Eissawi said in a press statement followed by, “The security forces are continuing the cleansing battles of Amiriyah areas (18 km south of Fallujah),” pointing out that, “Only four kilometers remained to reach new Fallujah bridge and the southwest axis of the city.”

    Eissawi added, “ISIS lost 140 militants in the cleansing battles of the southern and western sectors during the past five days,” indicating that, “Nine booby-trapped vehicles and three rocket launchers belonging to ISIS were also destructed during the battles.”


    1. Strikes in Syria

      Ground-attack, attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted nine strikes in Syria:

      -- Near Shadaddi, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions.

      -- Near Manbij, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.

      -- Near Mara, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL mortar system, an ISIL vehicle bomb and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

      -- Near Palmyra, two strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and three ISIL vehicles.

      Strikes in Iraq

      Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 16 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

      -- Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed an ISIL bunker.

      -- Near Albu Hayat, a strike destroyed an ISIL weapons cache and an ISIL fuel cache.

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

      -- Near Fallujah, five strikes struck five separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions, three ISIL weapons caches, 20 ISIL rockets, six ISIL rocket rails, an ISIL recoilless rifle, an ISIL vehicle bomb, an ISIL artillery piece, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL staging area and an ISIL front-end loader.

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

      -- Near Hit, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

      -- Near Kisik, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL assembly area and an ISIL tunnel.

      -- Near Mosul, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying four ISIL rockets, six ISIL rocket rails and an ISIL vehicle and suppressing an ISIL mortar position.

      -- Near Sultan Abdallah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL assembly area and an ISIL mortar position.

    2. CENTCOM intel officer fired for cursing after exposing cooked ISIS intelligence - 5/9/16
      The war against those who exposed the altered intelligence on ISIS continues. More

      Read it, weep, and try growing a brain, Rufus.

  21. Even President O'bozo knows more about making military predictions than our two Generals, 4th of July, and Memorial Day.

    (by the way, the first annual mocking celebrations of these two dates are quickly approaching)

    General O'bozo knows enough not to name dates.

    Even way out there dates.

    Instead, he goes for:


    He's a genius compared to the "r" bros, Rufus an' Rat.

    1. The last prediktin' Rufus done did was to say we will have wiped out ISIS by the time O'bozo leaves office.

      Even O'bozo knows not to say that.

      And I don't think Trump has any great plan, either. To really get rid of ISIS some long term occupation troops are going to be needed and I don't see them forthcoming from anyone.

      So, there we are....totally FUBARed because O'bozo took the troops out way too soon.....

  22. Our fucking 'Justice Department' is filing suit over the pissers/shitters in North Carolina.

    I can't believe it.

    It's looking like it might be time to dissolve the stupid union.

  23. "Dear Americans: Welcome to Canada

    Special to The Globe and Mail
    Published Monday, May 09, 2016 6:00AM EDT
    Americans of the world, unite! In Canada. We have space still, and we want you.

    Like you, we already take the tired, the poor and huddled masses of the world. Now we want your industrialists, your scientists, your men and women of letters. Give us your philanthropists, your musicians and your most brilliant students. We want them all.

    I confess to no schadenfreude about the absurdity of some of your current political theatre. Instead, I, like most Canadians, remain a deep admirer of American civilization, American achievement and American chutzpah.

    But it is manifestly in the Canadian interest to exploit this opportunity – ruthlessly, in proper American style – to pick off some of the world’s best talent in the service of the Canadian project and a Canadian 21st century. After all, modern Canada was created precisely as the antithesis of some of the more extreme U.S. passions and tendencies.

    And what an extreme time this is in the United States. Whatever the current opinion polls, there are plenty of scenarios that could see Donald Trump become your next president. A terrorist attack on U.S. soil before the November elections – no one would wish this, of course, but it is far from impossible – would almost certainly seal the deal. Pogroms would ensue, so disproportionate has been anti-Muslim rhetoric and hysteria in your country over the past 15 years and particularly over the past year.

    Canada currently accepts fewer than 10,000 American permanent residents per year, slightly more than from the United Kingdom or France. This is unacceptably low, especially given that we are your closest neighbours and that you integrate almost seamlessly into Canadian society. Many of your forebears were critical in building this great country, including major cities such as Toronto.

    1. So why have so few of you, in relative terms, made the permanent move up north in recent years? Alas, the fault is largely ours. We have been too passive in our pitches and insufficiently imaginative and decisive in seizing the moment when it arises. We have, in some ways, been insufficiently American in wooing you. This must change.

      What’s to be done? Consider this letter a call for the Canadian government to begin immediate, explicit and active communications about our sincere interest in having you immigrate to Canada – in considerably larger numbers. Our federal and provincial ministers should make this plain during their frequent working visits to your cities.

      Most importantly, and this is unfortunately not a very Canadian way of doing business, our public and private leaders should be personally contacting you, by phone and even in person, regularly and relentlessly – especially those of you who are the leading lights of U.S. enterprise, culture and science – to make the case for moving to the Great White North.

      Our top companies and universities should be working hand-in-hand with our governments to prepare targeted packages that would make your move to Canada irresistible and smooth at a time when your country’s politics are (to put it lightly) increasingly uncivil, and the future of your social peace increasingly unhappy. After all, this is exactly how the United States landed multiple future Nobel laureates from struggling countries over the course of the past century.

      Toronto may be approaching capacity population, but much of the rest of Canada, especially in the Prairies and in the Atlantic provinces, is still a huge growth proposition and will profit greatly from your talents. You will be welcomed wherever you go. Bring with you your incorrigible optimism, your dreams, your risk taking, your lack of complexes and your macro thinking. Leave your guns at the border.

      You may, at the last moment, be tempted to stay put and fight the good fight for a brighter American future. This temptation should be resisted. In exchange, we can assure you that, by all comparative appearances, you will be coming to live in the world’s best country."

    2. Why in the world would any Canadian wish anyone from some other country to move to Canada ?

      You should be concealing your attractions, not showing them off like a whore.

      "If you got it, don't flaunt it"

      I agree Canada is a great place and I pray it stays that way.

    3. ,

      And the wolves are great.


  24. .

    Honorable people would choose to shoot themselves rather than 'live' like that.....

    Evidently, those in Idaho already did. I've seen nothing even faintly resembling honorable coming out of that state in the time I've been on this blog.

    Not 90,000 homeless. 90,000 - if we can believe Quart - took a temporary hike to get out of the haze.

    Once again, the president of the Idaho Mensa Asylum proves he is unable to read a simple sentence and understand it.

    Here's what I wrote...

    Tell it to the 90,000 forced out of their homes or those who have seen their homes and possessions destroyed, dipshit.

    The response...

    Not 90,000 homeless.

    No one said there were 90,000 homeless. Anyone of normal intelligence would be able to noodle that one out from my post above. There were hundreds though whose homes were destroyed along with a lifetime of possessions, 1600 were reported as of a few days back.

    My wife and I are wishing we'd be so lucky as to have our home burn down in a fire.

    Understandable, but some have more tangible assets than a 30 year old double-wide.



  25. .

    Detroit just got out of bankruptcy and their school system is broke. Illinois is not doing all that great either.

    Their has been zero talk of bailing out any states or municipalities.

    That said the Obama administration is flirting with the idea of helping out Peurto Rico which is $70 billion in debt and unable to pay it back. Now Jack Liu says they are just talking about restructuring the PR loans.

    It would be interesting to see what form that restructuring takes. Loans guarantees? That would sound kind a like a bailout to me.


    1. Why don't you just burn your whole goddamnedawfulplacetown down and collect the insurance ? Or are you all uninsurable ? Is your whole damned city not worth more than a 30 year old doublewide ?

      Why not just turn Detroit over to the Canadian wolves ?

      Perhaps not even the wolves want it......

      What the fuck is wrong with you assholes anyway ?

      Why are you ALWAYS BEGGING from other people ?

    2. .

      Been tipping a few over at the casino, Idaho Bob?

      You sound a little sillier tonight than usual.


  26. .

    Is the Media Being Manipulated or is It Doing the Manipulating?

    The latest big news in D.C. is about Ben Rhodes and the way he manipulated the media to get the Iranian Nuclear Agreement signed. My opinion. Big deal.

    We are talking spin and on the deal the spin was flying in both directions.

    What is the more remarkable issue in the whole affair was that it highlighted what any observer should have already known, the credulity of the media and how easily they are manipulated.

    But now, an even bigger issue, IMO, as come to light, the potential ability of social media giants like Facebook and Google to skew the views of billions of their members and readers.

    Former Facebook Workers: We Routinely Suppressed Conservative News

    Zuckerberg is a noted lib. He even imposes himself into the current political debate with TV commercials. Now, its being reported that Facebook not only decides what subject and stories are important, chooses which stories to run or not run, but also writes the key stories.

    And if you think Zuckerberg isn't trying to sway public opinion read the following article...

    Want to Know What Facebook Really Thinks of Journalists? Here's What Happened When It Hired Some.


    1. Only a fool could support the Iran 'deal' as it was written.

      It is a sad sad joke.

    2. .

      Then evidently those who run the IDF are fools. They supported it.

      Both the Israeli Military and Intelligence service agreed it was a decent deal. It was only the political ideologues in Israel who argued against it.

      Here, it was only the neocons and folks like you that whined about it.

      Before the agreement, everyone seemed to think that Iran was only a few months away from having the capability to build a bomb. Now, they are more than a year away, and that's if they cheat. And they haven't cheated.

      Now, you can say you think Obama should have gotten a better deal. That would be a legitimate statement, maybe even a reasonable statement. But only a fool would argue the deal shouldn't have been signed.


  27. This is the world Obama and HRC and their ilk have created:

  28. It's not normal to be Obama and HRCs world.

  29. Nor is it normal to be normal in Detroit.

    Here's the normal in Detroit -

    The 1967 Detroit riot, also known as the 12th Street riot, was a violent public disorder that turned into a civil disturbance in Detroit, Michigan. It began on a Saturday night in the early morning hours of July 23, 1967. The precipitating event was a police raid of an unlicensed, after-hours bar then known as a blind pig, just north of the corner of 12th Street (today Rosa Parks Boulevard) and Clairmount Avenue on the city's Near West Side. Police confrontations with patrons and observers on the street evolved into one of the deadliest and most destructive riots in the history of the United States, lasting five days and surpassing the violence and property destruction of Detroit's 1943 race riot.

    To help end the disturbance, Governor George W. Romney ordered the Michigan Army National Guard into Detroit, and President Lyndon B. Johnson sent in both the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. The result was 43 dead, 1,189 injured, over 7,200 arrests, and more than 2,000 buildings destroyed. The scale of the riot was surpassed in the United States only by the 1863 New York City draft riots during the U.S. Civil War,[1] and the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

    The preferred recreation in Detroit is to get drunk as a blind pig and raise hell. Nowadays instead of spikes in violence like the above, the violence is at a little lower level though spread out all year long. The older folks sit in barber shops and listen to stories of Mafia killings, and dream of being wolves in the forests they have never experienced.....once in a while a local genius is born....this is a q in their parlance, from I, affirmation of self and intelligence....said rare creatures dream of moving 'out west' but lack the initiative to actually do so and waste their lives away in advertising, and end up in old age in barbershops listening to stories of Mafia killings.....

    The sad cycle continues.....

    1. Took the US 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions to control the natives.....

    2. .

      You didn't provide much context. What the heck were you doing in 1967? Tipping cows out at Wayne's farm?

      1967 - The 12th Street riot

      In the early morning hours of July 23, 1967, one of the worst riots in U.S. history breaks out on 12th Street in the heart of Detroit’s predominantly African-American inner city. By the time it was quelled four days later by 7,000 National Guard and U.S. Army troops, 43 people were dead, 342 injured, and nearly 1,400 buildings had been burned.

      By the summer of 1967, the predominantly African-American neighborhood of Virginia Park was ready to explode. Some 60,000 poor people were crammed into the neighborhood’s 460 acres, living in squalor in divided and sub-divided apartments. The Detroit Police Department, which had only about 50 African Americans at the time, was viewed as a white occupying army. The only other whites seen in the neighborhood commuted from the suburbs to run their stores on 12th Street.

      At night, 12th Street was a center of Detroit inner-city nightlife, both legal and illegal. At the corner of 12th and Clairmount, William Scott operated an illegal after-hours club on weekends out of the office of the United Community League for Civic Action, a civil rights group. The police vice squad often raided establishments like this on 12th Street, and at 3:35 a.m. on Sunday morning, July 23, they moved against Scott’s club.

      That night, the establishment was hosting a party for several veterans, including two servicemen recently returned from Vietnam, and the bar’s patrons were reluctant to leave. Out in the street, a crowd began to gather as police waited for paddy wagons to take the 85 patrons away. Tensions between area blacks and police were high at the time, partly because of a rumor (later proved to be untrue) that police had shot and killed a black prostitute two days before. Then a rumor began to circulate that the vice squad had beaten one of the women being arrested...



    3. {...}

      An hour passed before the last prisoner was taken away, and by then about 200 onlookers lined the street. A bottle crashed into the street. The remaining police ignored it, but then more bottles were thrown, including one through the window of a patrol car. The police fled as a riot erupted. Within an hour, thousands of people had spilled out onto the street. Looting began on 12th Street, and some whites arrived to join in. Around 6:30 a.m., the first fire broke out, and soon much of the street was set ablaze. By midmorning, every policeman and fireman in Detroit was called to duty. On 12th Street, officers fought to control the mob. Firemen were attacked as they tried to battle the flames.

      Detroit Mayor Jerome P. Cavanaugh asked Michigan Governor George Romney to send in the state police, but these 300 more officers could not keep the riot from spreading to a 100-block area around Virginia Park. The National Guard was called in shortly after but didn’t arrive until evening. By the end of the day, more than 1,000 were arrested, but still the riot kept growing. Five people were dead.

      On Monday, 16 people were killed, most by police or guardsmen. Snipers fired at firemen, and fire hoses were cut. Governor Romney asked President Lyndon Johnson to send in U.S. troops. Nearly 2,000 army paratroopers arrived on Tuesday and began patrolling the street in tanks and armored carriers. Ten more people died that day, and 12 more on Wednesday. On Thursday, July 27, order was finally restored. More than 7,000 people were arrested during the four days of rioting. A total of 43 were killed. Some 1,700 stores were looted and nearly 1,400 buildings burned, causing $50 million in property damage. Some 5,000 people were left homeless.

      The so-called 12th Street Riot was the worst U.S. riot in 100 years, occurring during a period of numerous riots in America. A report by the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, appointed by President Johnson, identified more than 150 riots or major disorders between 1965 and 1968. In 1967 alone, 83 people were killed and 1,800 were injured–the majority of them African Americans–and property valued at more than $100 million was damaged, looted, or destroyed.


    4. .

      By the summer of 1967, the predominantly African-American neighborhood of Virginia Park was ready to explode. Some 60,000 poor people were crammed into the neighborhood’s 460 acres, living in squalor in divided and sub-divided apartments.


      460 acres


      Say Farmer Bob, I never asked. How big is that farm of yours? Is yours large? Small? Average?

      The average Idaho farm is around 474 acres, almost the same size as Virginia Park. Would 60,000 people fit comfortably on your farm Uncle Bob?


    5. You'll still fit in on the farm, Quarts, but you're pushing it.

      Listen up, Quarts, you started this by moaning about some little fire up in Canada. What the hell do you care ? I don't think anyone even died over it. So I point out maybe Your Highness ought to look to his own neighborhood, and now you're all pissed off all over again.

      The thing about the farm is there is zero infrastructure there. In its current configuration it will support zero people. That's why I am advising you to bring a warm sleeping bag. I will provide a tent.

      You've been back there in Michigan all these years. Do something to clean your own damn mess.

      I have no solutions for you. (see article below)

      But you are always whining about everybody else.

      There's dicks, then Quirk. That's about it.

      Just get busy yourself, and quit worrying about Idaho, and Israel, and the West Bank and Gaza and god knows what else, including some small meaningless fire in Canada.

    6. If you got 60,000 people sardined onto 460 acres you must have some real high rises.

      It's why I can't stand cities.

      They aren't worth it, even in the nice areas.

      What's the point of living in a $20 million dollar condo in Manhattan, for instance ?

      It's not worth it and I don't see why people do it.

  30. The Donald was talking up "DNA on the blue dress" today.

    As noted on Fox, this is an attempt to stir the 'curiosity' of 'millennials' and get them to googling, so they may see what they are dealing with in Mrs B.J.'The Enabler' Clinton.

    Will it work ?

    Who knows.

    1. (It hasn't worked with Rufus, that Defender of Women)

  31. Hey Quarts what was the human death toll from that conflagration in Alberta ?

    How many dead ?

    In the same period of time how many gunshot dead in Detroit ?

    1. .

      As far as I know, there were no deaths directly from the Alberta fire although I heard a couple girls died in a car accident trying to get away.

      As for Detroit, over the weekend, it was reported that 7 people were killed in shootings and another 14 were wounded.

      But now you've got me interested. What exactly is your point?

      I mean the fire has moved on from Fort McMurray although they still say it's too dangerous to allow people back in yet. And according to the Daily Mail, officials "said on Sunday that 34 wildfires were burning, with five out of control. There are more than 500 firefighters battling the blaze in and around Fort McMurray, with 15 helicopters and 14 air tankers."

      Are you still trying to rationalize you statement...

      Never was a big deal.


      What has crime in Detroit have to do with it? Trying to gig me? Heck, I told you before I live about 35 or 40 miles from downtown Detroit, 20 miles from the closest border.


    2. Returning to the farm, which you brought up -

      It still doesn't even have a simple electricity line to it, same situation as when grandfather raised all those kids there, and got them ALL through college, two of them at Columbia University's dance school, one at University of Washington and the others at the University of Idaho.

      At night, they had candles.

      They all walked four miles to a one room school.

      A car ?

      You got to be joking....

      Thinking it over, you're better off back east.

  32. Fiddling Away Black Futures

    Why the 2016 election will do little to improve the lives of African Americans -- no matter who wins.

    May 10, 2016

    Walter Williams

    Most black politicians, ministers, civil rights advocates and professionals support Hillary Clinton's quest for the presidency. Whoever becomes the next president, whether it's a Democrat or Republican, will mean little or nothing in terms of solutions to major problems that confront many black people. We've already seen that even a black president means little or nothing. Politics and political power cannot significantly improve the lives of most black people and may even be impediments.

    Blacks hold high offices and dominate the political arenas in Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and other cities. Yet these are the very cities with the nation's poorest educational outcomes, highest crime rates, high illegitimacy rates and other forms of social pathology. Let's look at this pattern, focusing just on Philadelphia, Detroit and Baltimore, cities with large black populations and black-held political power for nearly a half-century.

    In Philadelphia, only 19 percent of eighth-graders score proficient in math and 16 percent in reading. In Detroit, there is only a 4 percent proficiency level in math and 7 percent in reading. In Baltimore, it's a 12 percent proficiency in math and 13 percent in reading. These results are even more depressing when one tallies the percentages of students scoring "below basic" on the National Assessment of Education Progress test, often referred to as "the nation's report card." Below basic means that a student is unable to demonstrate even partial mastery of knowledge and skills fundamental for proficient work at his grade level. In Philadelphia, 47 percent scored below basic in math and 42 percent in reading. In Baltimore, it was respectively 59 and 49 percent. In Detroit, 73 percent scored below basic in math and 56 percent in reading.

    In terms of murders, shootings and other kinds of criminal behavior, these three cities are at or near the top. They also experience high rates of illegitimacy and single-parent households. Let me be absolutely clear about what I am saying. I am not saying that blacks having political power is the cause of these problems. What I am saying is that the solution to the problems confronting black people will not be found in the political arena. I am also saying that blacks working to secure the presidency of Hillary Clinton or Sen. Bernie Sanders are wasting resources that could be better spent trying to reverse the tragic destinies of so many black youths.

    1. The Obama administration, as well as black and white liberals, expresses concern with disproportionate numbers of black students suspended or expelled. They have created a practice called "restorative justice," where students are called on to repair the harm caused by their bad behavior. Under this regime, cursing a teacher or assaulting a teacher is no cause for traditional discipline. Instead, there's talking and pleas. But I'll bet the rent money that the black and white liberal elite would never send their own children to schools where teachers are routinely assaulted and cursed. They would never send their children to schools so unsafe that students must enter through metal detectors so as to prevent the introduction of guns, knives and other weapons.

      The disgraceful academic performance by black students is not preordained. In other words, it just doesn't have to be that way. The Washington, D.C., Opportunity Scholarship Program, a school-choice voucher program, has an excellent record, with 91 percent of its "at-risk" students graduating. But the Obama administration, doing the bidding of teacher's unions, has attacked the program. U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., questioned Secretary of Education John King Jr. about the D.C. scholarship program during confirmation hearings. King replied, "I do not personally believe that vouchers are a scalable solution to the equity and excellence challenge and prefer the route of public school choice." I would have asked Mr. King how that position differs from a position that says: "No black children shall be saved unless and until all black children can be saved." I don't think black people can afford such a policy perspective.

  33. Quinnipiac has Clinton and Trump tied in Florida and Pennsylvania and Trump ahead by 4 in Ohio.

    1. All together

      "Hillary is toast" !!

    2. Refuse to lose - vote Trump !!


  34. Quinnipiac has Trump Losing to Clinton by 1 in Florida and Pennsylvania

    Realclear Politics Fla

  35. Replies
    1. If Trump wins Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida he wins, doesn't he ?

  36. Realclear Politics Polling Avg. Pennsylvania

    Clinton +7

  37. .

    A few points in a political poll are insignificant six months out when the two nominees aren't even going head to head yet.

    A few weeks ago Clinton was over 11 points ahead of Trump on RCP. Today she is 6.4 points ahead.

    Is that a trend? Is Trump gaining the big MO? Or does it mean nothing right now, just an anomaly at this points in time driven by other factors? Who knows?


    1. They are being driven down by Bob's oft-stated belief that Hillary's going to prison.

    2. .

      Bob always has been a market mover though most merely bet against him.


  38. All good questions, Q. One thing for sure, it is creating pucker issues for Libs and old school Pubs.

  39. It's kind of unusual this year in that both candidates are so well known. For that reason, I wouldn't expect any "Major" shifts in popularity.

    Also, the electorate has become so super-polarized that I expect most of the "never-trumpers," and "hillary-haters" to return to their respective nests, and vote for their party's nominee.

    Right now, the polling averages are strongly influenced by Rasmussen's recent strange Trump +2 outlier. The four most recent non-rasmussen polls average out to Hillary +9, or so (that said, you have to be very careful when you start to find yourself in the "un-skewing" business.)

    All that considered, I'm still happy to stick with my Hillary +6 prediction; if she beats that by a bit I'll take it as a gift. :)

    1. And, yes, Ohio does look problematic to me. I wouldn't be the least surprised to see Trump win that state.

  40. Highlights

    The JOLTS report offers upbeat news on the economy with job openings jumping to 5.757 million in March from February's upwardly revised 5.608 million, boosting the job openings rate 1 tenth to 3.9 percent. And employers, as indicated in this morning's small business optimism report, may be having trouble filling the openings as the hiring rate fell 1 tenth to 3.7 percent.

    The quits rate is unchanged at 2.1 percent to indicate that workers are showing limited inclination to shift jobs. Similarly, employers are showing limited inclination to cut jobs as the layoffs rate fell 1 tenth to 1.2 percent. The labor market, despite economic slowing, remains the nation's chief strength.


    1. Highlights

      The small business optimism index rose 1 point in April to 93.6, ending a string of declines and bouncing back from the 2-year lows set in March. But small business owners are still quite pessimistic, citing the poor economy and the political climate as the two main reasons for not expanding. Five of the 10 components showed gains in April, four were unchanged and one declined.

      Both of the report's employment components improved, with job openings hard to fill posting the largest gain of the index by rising 4 point to to 29, while plans to increase employment rose by 2 points to 11.

      Although still the weakest of the components, earnings trends also improved, rising 3 points to a minus 19. In the one sour note of an otherwise mostly upbeat report, business owners were even less expectant of future improvement in the economy, with that component dropping 1 point to minus 18.

      Small Business Optimism Index


    3 minute read

    Budweiser Renames Its Beer "America

    Until the November election, Budweiser is swapping out everything on its can—including its own name—to be as patriotic as possible.

    Mark Wilson 05.10.16 7:00 AM

    With the backdrop of the Olympics and a comically botched election, this summer is bound to be what Ricardo Marques, a vice president from Budweiser, calls "maybe the most American summer ever."

    So Budweiser is going to potentially ingenious, potentially absurd branding extremes. The company has kept the same can you already know, but when you look closely, you’ll realize that it has swapped out its own name, "Budweiser," for "America." That’s right, Budweiser has renamed its beer America for the summer. "We thought nothing was more iconic than Budweiser and nothing was more iconic than America," says Tosh Hall, creative director at the can’s branding firm JKR.

    ADVERTISEMENT: New American Bud Can

    It's pretty obvious what Budweiser is doing here. Summer is peak beer-selling season—the entire industry sees a double-digit boost. Since 2011, Budweiser has released special summer-edition cans that feature images such as the American flag and the Statue of Liberty, upping the ante on its red-white-and-blue packaging with a full salute to patriotism—as a nod to Memorial Day, July Fourth, and the quiet American dream of drinking a beer in your backyard while charring various processed meats.

    But this year, Budweiser is going even further. The summer cans and bottles will run through the November election—which is to say that for seven months, every Budweiser sold in the U.S. will read "America."

    Now if they'd just change the beer so it tastes like German beer, or maybe even Coors, it might be worth buying....

  42. Damn !

    Isn't there any way to get this woman in prison ? ----

    If convicted, Hillary may get house arrest - 5/10/16
    As a protectee under the Secret Service Act, Hillary Clinton might serve time in her "gilded cage" mansion in Chappaqua if convicted a felony and sentenced to prison. More

    And -

    State Department emails from Clinton's IT expert appear to be missing - 5/10/16
    Another "coincidence" in the Clinton email saga. More

  43. ,

    In the words of Walt Disney, the lady is a tramp.

    That said, I saw Trump referring to himself in the third person today, always a bad sign.


    1. .

      Well, not exactly the words of Walt Disney but close enough for government work.


  44. The words that matter, they're not in the story ...

    The word of an actual indictment is missing from these fantastical ramblings ...

    The news of mass resignations, or at least that of the Director, from the FBI.

    When those words are written, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, then there will be something of substance to mull over. Until then, conjecture based upon rumors is all you have.

    No one really cares

    1. .

      A lot of people care.

      That doesn't include me. IMO, she's done a lot worse things than the e-mail fiasco. But if the heads of Goldman Sachs, UBS, Leahman Brothers, and all the rest didn't face criminal charges over the 2008 meltdown, there is no way Hillary is going to be indicted, not in an election year and not by the Obama administration.

      In 2008, the big banks had Geighner and Obama's DOJ to run interference for them. Hillary doesn't have Geighner but Obama is still there and it is his DOJ and State. You can't get an indictment if no one requests it. Despite the incompetence, corruption, and waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars uncovered various AG's and auditing groups during Obama's term, no one has ever faced criminal charges. It won't start with Hillary.

      This is all a lot different from the S&L scandal in the late '80s when over 800 bank officials went to jail.

      Hillary won't go to jail but the evidence is there for anyone to see. It confirms the fact that she is one, felony stupid or two, so indulgent and self-centered that she considers herself so entitled and privileged that she just doesn't give a shit.


    2. .

      Ending on a positive note, Hillary has declared that if elected she will declassify government files on Area 51.

      Evidently, she is going hard for the ufologist/ancient alien/cryptozoologist vote which is amazingly larger than the Hispanic and LGBTHUXQPTMSA vote combined.


  45. Strikes in Syria

    Remotely piloted aircraft conducted two strikes in Syria:

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

    -- Near Ayn Isa, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL artillery piece and an ISIL fighting position.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Rocket artillery and bomber, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 27 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, three strikes destroyed an ISIL tactical unit, three ISIL mortar systems, an ISIL vehicle bomb and an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Huwayjah, four strikes struck an ISIL vehicle bomb factory, destroying an ISIL tunnel system, suppressing an ISIL mortar firing position and denying ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Albu Hayat, two strikes destroyed an ISIL anti-air artillery piece, an ISIL staging area and an ISIL command-and-control node.

    -- Near Bashir, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb.

    -- Near Fallujah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Habbaniyah, a strike destroyed an ISIL mortar system.

    -- Near Kisik, a strike suppressed an ISIL tactical unit.

    -- Near Mosul, eight strikes struck six separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed 22 ISIL assembly areas, four ISIL supply caches, two ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL bulldozer, three ISIL rocket rails and an ISIL rocket position.

    -- Near Qayyarah, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units, destroying two ISIL artillery pieces, an ISIL mortar system and an ISIL bulldozer and denying ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Sinjar, two strikes destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and suppressed two ISIL mortar positions.


  46. Sanders Crushing Trump in Polls 53 Percent to 38 Percent, Seen as Strongest General Election Candidate


  47. IDF general triggers outrage comparing Israel to Europe 'processes' of 90 years ago

    In an unusual speech during a ceremony commemorating the Holocaust, Israel's deputy army chief compared processes happening today in Israeli society to events that unfolded in Europe prior to World War II.

    The 54-year-old General Yair Golan said that "If there is something that frightens me about the remembrance of the Holocaust it's the recognition of processes that occurred in Europe in general, and in Germany in particular, back then - 70, 80 and 90 years ago - and finding signs of them here among us, today, in 2016."

    Golan - himself a descendant of Holocaust survivors from Germany - was harshly criticized for his statements by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as other politicians, mainly from the right side of the political spectrum.

    This is not the first time prominent figures in Israel have compared the country's current government and society to Nazi Germany; however, the criticism usually comes from columnists, artists and activists.

    Golan's words have created such a stir because he is the second-highest ranked officer in the Israeli military

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