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

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Debtor's Leverage: Owe the Bank $1 billion and you can't pay them, you have a problem. Owe them $1 trillion, and the bank has a problem.

America owes China $1tn. That’s a problem for Beijing, and Trump knows it

Cartoon of Xi shaking hands with Trump, who is carrying a large stars-and-stripes hammer behind his back marked 'tariffs'.
Speak softly and … Illustration: David Simonds/Observer

Forget the warm handshake. Take with a pinch of salt Donald Trump’s talk of his “very, very, great relationship” with Xi Jinping. The idea that Washington has ceased to harbour deep suspicions of Beijing just because the presidents of the world’s two biggest economies shared pleasantries over steak in Florida is fanciful.

Xi will certainly be hoping Trump’s cordial welcome was for real, because China has much more to lose economically from a trade war than America does. This might sound counter-intuitive given that Beijing can deploy the economic nuclear option if Trump makes good on his campaign pledge to slap whopping tariffs on Chinese imports. The US owes China more than $1 trillion and Xi could send America’s economy into a tailspin by sanctioning a dumping of US Treasury bonds.

Donald Trump threatens to put tariffs on Chinese products

But the problem with nuclear missiles is that they are never really intended to be fired, and if they are, there are no winners. Sure, China could cause enormous damage to the US, but only by damaging itself.

Indeed, the US-China relationship is a classic example of the old saw: if you owe the bank a thousand dollars, you have a problem; if you owe the bank a trillion dollars, the bank has a problem. Trump holds the important cards and it is simply a case of whether he wants to play them.

As Brian Davidson of the US’s Fathom consultancy has pointed out, the Chinese leadership is keen to avoid the social and political unrest a trade war with the US would inevitably bring. Beijing’s willingness to pump the economy full of credit to finance unprofitable investment demonstrates its determination to avoid a sharp rise in unemployment.

China depends on the US in a way the US does not depend on China. Nearly 4% of China’s GDP comes directly from exports to the US, while the equivalent figure for the US is less than 1%. There are several other countries that could provide the US with the manufactured goods it gets from China, but China would have real trouble finding an alternative to the US as an export market.

Trump has expressed in blunt, often bellicose, terms his unhappiness with the way China conducts its trade, but according to Davidson he has a point. “The US position in these trade negotiations is strengthened by international trade law, and by China’s systematic violation of obligations under World Trade Organisation rules. The US has scope to open, and win, lawsuits against China at the WTO, a point not lost on both leaders.”

Xi clearly hopes that Trump can be talked down from the aggressively anti-Beijing stance he adopted on the campaign trail, and arrived for his talks armed with a few vague promises about future Chinese investment in the US. This is not going to be enough to satisfy Trump, who has made action on America’s $350bn a year trade deficit with China a touchstone of his presidency. It was a coincidence that the Florida tête-à-tête took place on the night the White House launched airstrikes on Syria, but the message will not have been lost on the Chinese president: Trump’s impetuosity makes him hard to read.

Beijing has been left guessing about what it will actually take to stop Trump slapping a 45% tariff on all Chinese exports. The answer is that it will probably require Xi to remove the barriers that make it hard for hi-tech US companies to export to China. Even then, there is likely to be some US protectionism in sectors – such as steel – that are politically sensitive in the rust-belt states that carried Trump to victory.

There will be less talk in the months ahead of China “raping” the US, but that simply means the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has learned from one of his predecessors, Teddy Roosevelt, to speak softly and carry a big stick.


  1. 37 Copts - remnants of the original Egyptians - slaughtered so far this Palm Sunday.

    1. by the moslem brotherhood aka ISIS aka ISIL aka Hamas.

    2. Israel is the only place in the mideast Christians can actually celebrate their days in peace and security.

    3. The US strikes at the enemies of ISIS, then ISIS strikes at US allies...

      President Trump got played ...

      BIG TIME

    4. Ah, Jack, how's prison treating you?


      We at the Blog welcome felons that have admitted the error and evil of their ways.

      Sorta like a 12 step program....

      Have you apologized to Chocolate Emporium for cyber stalking?

      Have you gone to the AZ FBI as asked for forgiveness for using one of their agents as a source and leaking classified information?

      We are all looking forward to your recovery...

  2. Tell the Chinese we're not buying any more of their shit products until they get rid of Kim and his government.

    1. Yeah, another "good" idea, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson

      It would close down Walmart, the largest employer in the United States

      Is that part of your plan, or just an unintended consequence?

    2. Naw, Wal-Mart would just sell other goods, Deepest Coma.

      Now, go away.


    3. No, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, there is no other supply chain for Walmart to utilize.

      They are "Fully Invested" in their Chinese manufacturing centers.

      You really are an ignorant cuss, aren't you?

    4. As you noted, so dutifully below, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson

      Bob Sun Apr 09, 10:27:00 AM EDT

      I'm trying not to buy Chinese. It's tough to do.

      You are so ignorant, Robert, you cannot even acknowledge the truths that you, yourself, write.

      This quote certainly applies to you, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson

      “Think before you speak.
      Read before you think.”

      ― Fran Lebowitz,


      Walmart's purchasing from China destroys 400,000 manufacturing American jobs.


      I think a 40% reduction of Walmart's Chinese purchases can be lived with..

  3. I'm trying not to buy Chinese. It's tough to do.

  4. What is "Occupation"Sat Apr 08, 12:06:00 PM EDT
    QuirkSat Apr 08, 10:55:00 AM EDT.
    Less that 24 hours after the US attack, the Syrian air base is up and running again.
    Likely, $100 million spent on the strike.
    It might be a Trump tweet would have been a cheaper way to send a warning.

    To which I replied:
    The strike in no way was supposed to destroy the Syrian Airforce, but it did rattle Iran, North Korea, Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria,
    Where were the much touted S400's that the Russians said they had there?
    Notice not ONE of the Tomahawks were stopped by the superior Russian Military.
    No Quirk, the strike was fine, it said to the "axis of shit" we are not scared to use muscle on you.
    It will be interesting to see the ramifications from the strike in the upcoming weeks. Be they by the IDF, the Egyptians and others.
    Ripples in a pond...

    To which Quirk responded Sat Apr 08, 12:24:00 PM EDT.

    WIO: The strike in no way was supposed to destroy the Syrian Airforce, but it did rattle Iran, North Korea, Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria,

    QUIRK: Today, planes from the same airfield the US tomahawks hit were bombing the same town that was hit by the chemical attack.

    Interesting, repeating yourself and saying nothing.... Not a comment on my point in anyway.

    Sorry Quirk, your factual repetition that the Assad government used the airbase the very next day doesn't address my points.

    Where were the S400's that Russia had installed on that co-mingled airbase?
    The symbolic nature of the attack was never meant to destroy the Syrian airforce, 550 fixed wing aircraft, it took out 23.

    But the very fact that Trump was not intimidated by Iran and Syria, (I think Russia agreed in advance to the limited nature of the strike, infant I think Russia warned syria) It sent a message to friends and foes that the Obama administration policies are done.


    1. .

      IMO, the attack was a publicity stunt. It had no real purpose but Trump's thought that he had to do 'something' because people kept asking him what he was going to do. I listened all morning to people in the GOP, the media, and the Trump administration. Not only is there no clue as to whether or not we will have further attacks on Assad, there is no consensus within the administration on even something as basic as what our intentions are about Assad. There is also no confirmation on what our main objective is in Syria, ISIS or regime change. McMaster was on FOX this morning and he didn't seem to have a clue at least none he was willing to talk about.
      As for an overall strategy in Syria, forget about it. The closest we've had was Trump's promise to take out ISIS during the campaign.

      IMO, this was an ad hoc attack but not a one off. Because of the generally positive attitude by the pols and the media, we will see more of these attacks, likely whenever Trump wants to divert from any pressure he is getting from the press on whatever. Drip. Drip. Drip. Look for more of it.

      IMO, the rationale for the attack is hypocritical. Talk of a 'red line' is bullshit. Sixty people were killed in a chemical attack. Pictures were all over the news of children with oxygen masks on. The only reason those pictures were shown was because the kids were all in one piece. A week earlier, a single US air raid took out 200+ civilians in a bombing raid in Mosul. You didn't see pictures of people laying in the streets bleeding out with limbs blown off or women and children buried in bombed out buildings slowly dying in the dark. The media self-censors those photos as too gruesome to air. That is the real censorship Doug should be calling the media out for. they don't have the balls to show what the war in Syria from all sides including ours is doing to the people there.

      WIO: The strike in no way was supposed to destroy the Syrian Airforce, but it did rattle Iran, North Korea, Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria,

      What makes you say so? What evidence do you have? Do you really think this influenced North Korea? I don't. Hamas, Hezbollah? Wishful thinking. Syria? Possibly, but only in that it 'might' have caused friction between Moscow and Damascus but we've nothing in their actions so far to indicate that. We are speculating.

      But the very fact that Trump was not intimidated by Iran and Syria...


      Good lord, this is something that Trump, the president of the most powerful military in the world, has to prove to anyone? Syria and Iran? Hilarious.

      It sent a message to friends and foes that the Obama administration policies are done.

      Possibly. Up to the point of the attack, the Trump policy in Syria for the most part was the Obama policy in Syria. We will see if this attack does anything to change that.



    2. "IMO, the attack was a publicity stunt. It had no real purpose "

      Contradiction in terms:

      The real purpose was a publicity stunt.


    3. "You didn't see pictures of people laying in the streets bleeding out with limbs blown off or women and children buried in bombed out buildings slowly dying in the dark.

      The media self-censors those photos as too gruesome to air. That is the real censorship Doug should be calling the media out for. they don't have the balls to show what the war in Syria from all sides including ours is doing to the people there


      You really didn't have to ask:

      Where are my God Damned PICTURES of people laying in the streets bleeding out with limbs blown off or women and children buried in bombed out buildings slowly dying in the dark ???


    4. "Good lord, this is something that Trump, the president of the most powerful military in the world, has to prove to anyone?"

      He's the Commander in Chief of the most powerful military in the world, not the President.

    5. .

      Is that it, Doug? That's all you've got to do all day, sit around and nitpick? Do spellchecks?Hell, if that's all you've got to contribute, you might as well you might as well hang it up, old timer. Try some solitaire or crosswords.



    6. I'm sure someone other than me will get a chuckle out of my need for the pictures you described.

      Lighten up, young man.

    7. .

      Your comment about the pictures wasn't the reason for my comment about the solitaire and the crosswords.

      As for the pictures, maybe if people saw what we are actually doing in our humanitarian efforts to save the women and children with bombs, we wouldn't have guys like your bud suggesting we keep troops over there for reasons such as 'for the women'.

      NGO's report that deaths resulting from coalition (mainly US) attacks in Syria and Iraq have risen dramatically since Trump took over. Airwars reports about 1000 civilian deaths from coalition attacks in March alone.

      As for the umbrage over Syrian use of chemical weapons and claims of war crimes, you have to suspect a bit of hypocrisy at play given the coalition's use of white phosphorous and depleted uranium in the battle. Barrel bombs? What about the cluster bombs we have been selling to Sunni nations?

      It's a crock of shit. The more light that can be thrown on it the better.



    8. Quirk, as you have admitted, the middle east is not your wheelhouse.

      The very idea that America, struck with 59 Tomahawks, at a syrian airbase that had russian forces on it and the Russians didn't fire a shot of their much proclaimed S400's says it all..

      think hard on that

      look at it from the different angles.

      Did russia ALLOW America to hit assad?

      If ISIS did it? Why would Russia allow the hit? Is russia supporting ISIS?

      IF Russia and Assad allowed America to do it? This doesn't play well with the Arab honor society...

      Occam's razor demands the demands the most logical rational explanation.

      Russia didn't interfere because it knew it it wasn't worth it....

      Now how do you think Iran, Syria and Hezbollah are felling today?

      Russia cares about a warm water port, it could care less if Assad is deposed.

      The American hit on Syria? Sent ripples of fear thru Damascus, North Korea, the Mullahs of Iran, Hamas and Nasrallah...

      Taking out 23 fixed wing aircraft out of 550? Not a death blow to Syrians Airforce, but the "hymen" is broken.

    9. .

      As I said above...

      [WIO: The strike in no way was supposed to destroy the Syrian Airforce, but it did rattle Iran, North Korea, Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria,

      What makes you say so? What evidence do you have? Do you really think this influenced North Korea? I don't. Hamas, Hezbollah? Wishful thinking. Syria? Possibly, but only in that it 'might' have caused friction between Moscow and Damascus but we've nothing in their actions so far to indicate that. We are speculating.

      But the very fact that Trump was not intimidated by Iran and Syria...


      Good lord, this is something that Trump, the president of the most powerful military in the world, has to prove to anyone? Syria and Iran? Hilarious.

      It sent a message to friends and foes that the Obama administration policies are done.

      Possibly. Up to the point of the attack, the Trump policy in Syria for the most part was the Obama policy in Syria. We will see if this attack does anything to change that.]

      I see on Fox this morning that the Russians and the Iranians have issued a warning that the US attack crossed a 'red line' and indicated further attacks would be met with resistance. Bluster? Hopefully so. We shall see.


    10. Good lord, this is something that Trump, the president of the most powerful military in the world, has to prove to anyone? Syria and Iran? Hilarious.

      Where have you been for the last 8 years?

      Yes, Trump had to PROVE something..

      just wait and see..

      more to come

  5. The targets were mainly storage facilities, so I read.

    Not even intended to crater the runways....


    1. Cruise missiles CANNOT crater runways, "Draft Dodger".

      You really are an ignorant cuss, aren't you?

    2. You're right, asshole, and that's exactly what I said:

      Not even intended to crater the runways....

      We have Deep Coma, Deeper Coma, and now you, Deepest Coma.

      By the way, how's that all ISIS out of Iraq by a year ago working out for you ?


      Now, go away.



    3. Whether the attack was, or was not, "intended" to crater the runways, it was not possible for them to do so.

      So, whatever YOU think was the intention of the attack, cratering the runways was NEVER, EVER physically possible for the attack to accomplish.

    4. Wow, dense as always...

      BobSun Apr 09, 10:44:00 AM EDT
      The targets were mainly storage facilities, so I read.

      Not even intended to crater the runways....

      Jack, We realize that English is not your 1st language bit bob was very clear..

      Try reading it again, real slow...


  6. Interesting, repeating yourself and saying nothing

    Typical coma conduct...

  7. Since Deepest Coma has arrived I take my leave.

    Cheers to all you others !



    1. He who is the author of a war lets loose the whole contagion of hell and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death.

      Thomas Paine

    2. That man that doesn't support his own daughter is a piece of shit

    3. Now Bob, show some compassion for Rat aka Jack it took real decent person to understand that he would be nothing but a negative influence in his daughter's life, and to abandon her to be raised by her mother was the most honorable thing rat/jack could do. Face it, walking about and leaving her alone took a lot of courage. We need to be supportive of Jack/Rat's choice, this of how wonderful the girl turned out not having jack/rat involved in her life...


  8. Ryan and McConnell flip-flop on use of force in Syria to deter chemical weapons

    Real News. the GOP is flip flopping like they were John Kerry clones.

    Oh, that's right, they really are ...

  9. That 'man' that fathers children and then doesn't contribute to their sustenance is no man at all, but a monster

    1. A 'man' like that ought to be castrated

    2. A "man" like that does not post here, at the Elephant Bar.

      Never has, to my knowledge.

      We do know that Robert "Never Prosecuted the Rapist" Peterson cares more for the women of Syria than he does for those in Idaho.

      Or he'd have had his daughter report that rape to the local police.
      He told us that his experience on a tractor made him an expert on criminal investigations, and he decided that reportig the rape would not assist in catching the rapist.

      I do recall that Allen remarked that it sounded as if Bob was th prime suspect.
      Seemed to be a reasonable idea, when Bob's behavior and rape statistics dovetailed in creating suspicion.
      Bob's wife stopped sleeping with him, after his daughter was raped, and they moved to a new town, as well.

      A place where Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson would not be a known commodity in the community..

  10. Tillerson: ISIS, not Assad, remains top priority

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on CBS' Face the Nation, "our priority in Syria really hasn't changed... first and foremost we must defeat ISIS." Here's what else he said:

    "The issue of how Bashar al-Assad's leadership is sustained or how he departs is something that we will be working with allies or others in the coalition."
    And on ABC's Face the Nation: "We're asking and calling on Bashar al-Assad to cease the use of these weapons.

    Other than that, there is no change to our military posture."

    "We've seen what that looks like when you undertake a violent regime change in Libya and the situation in Libya
    continues to be very chaotic."

    UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has gone further, though, saying the US believes regime change is coming. She and H.R. McMaster both said the US is willing to "do more" against the regime.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.


  12. The salacious affair saga of Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is about to get really serious

    - March 23, 2016: A sexually explicit phone call between Bentley and a woman he calls "Rebekah" made its way to the media.

    The recording was made by his wife, Dianne Bentley, who was trying to ascertain the nature of Bentley's relationship with his top adviser. In the recording, you can hear Bentley talk about putting his hands on her breasts and saying:
    - - -
    "Baby, let me know what I am going to do when I start locking the door. If we are going to do what we did the other day, we are going to have to start locking the door."
    "You know I just, I worry about sometimes I love so you much. I worry about loving you so much
    - - -
    - March 24, 2016: Bentley says this to defend himself:

    "I love many members of my staff, in fact, all the members of my staff.

    Do I love some more than others, absolutely

  13. Decomposed bat is found inside bag of organic salad from a Florida Walmart

  14. Speaking of the multiculturalism that has penetrated the United States ...

    Look how much the cultures of Pakistan and Idaho mirror each other ...

    A raped girl is bad for the family: it shows that they can’t protect their women;
    that they have little social standing; and that they’re not respectable.

    It’s worse for the victim because once a woman, or a girl—or a boy—is known as the target of a rape she becomes so despised, so shamed, so worthless that she turns into public property.

    No one is raped only once.

    ― Louise Brown,
    The Dancing Girls of Lahore:
    Selling Love and Saving Dreams in Pakistan's Pleasure District

  15. Looks like there is another white "Christian" terrorist running wild in the Heartland
    A Dirty White Boy ...

    Manhunt Intensifies for Joseph Jakubowski, Man Who Allegedly Stole Guns and Mailed Manifesto to Trump

    by Daniella Silva

    Police in Wisconsin ramped up security at local churches on Sunday as the manhunt continued for a 32-year-old fugitive who is accused of stealing more than a dozen weapons from a gun store and mailing an anti-government manifesto to President Donald Trump.

    Over 150 officers from local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies were searching for Joseph Jakubowski, who they say allegedly broke into the Armageddon Gun Shop in Janesville, Wisconsin, on Tuesday and stole 16 high-caliber rifles and handguns.

    Police said Jakubowski is considered "armed and dangerous" and was in possession of a bullet-proof vest and helmet.

    Authorities said they were increasing security presence at local churches because of "anti-religion sentiment" contained within a 160-page manifesto they believe was written by Jakubowski and sent to Trump at the White House.

    Police said at a press conference on Friday that Jakubowski had been "highly agitated" by national politics recently and an associate of his claimed the wanted man had spoken of a plan to steal guns and carry out an unspecified attack.

  16. An air strike believed to have been carried out by the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State killed 15 people including four children in an internet cafe in a village west of the jihadists’ stronghold of Raqqa on Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

    It's alright, nothing to worry about, no gas was used. It was done with high technology high explosives, with all good intentions.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.


    2. Are there photos of those dead children, Faux News would surely show them to US?

      As would MSNBC and CNN, I'm sure.

      Dead is dead, no matter how those "innocents" were killed, nor does it matter, much, who killed them. They're still dead.

      That's why it's so much better for all of us to allow the Local Forces to fight their own fight.

      The US should put this in the "Lessons Learned" category

      We are not about to send American boys 9 or 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.
      Lyndon B. Johnson

      Mr Trump should heed the lessons of history, and his own comments from 2013.


  17. Flashback: UN Mission Report: "Opposition" rebels in possession of chemical weapons used against Syrians in 2013

    1. As I have said over and over again.

      ISIS/ISIL has murdered about 50 thousand civilians, raped and tortured.
      Assad/Hezbollah and Iran have murdered about 600,000, raped and tortured and caused an exodus of 12 million syrians..

      Both sides suck the big one.

  18. US Cruise Missile Strike Inflicted ‘Severe Damage’ on Syrian Airfield

    TOPICS:Global Hot SpotsNavyRussiaSyriaTerrorism
    TwitterGoogle BookmarkFacebookPrintMore

    The U.s. Navy on April 7, 2017, launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield in a strike that inflicted “severe damage” on the target and destroyed at least 20 aircraft, officials said. (U.S. Defense Department photo)

    The U.s. Navy on April 7, 2017, launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield in a strike that inflicted “severe damage” on the target and destroyed at least 20 aircraft, officials said. (U.S. Defense Department photo)

    Two U.S. Navy destroyers were in position in the eastern Mediterranean with dozens of Tomahawk cruise missiles targeted on a Syrian airfield and launched within three hours of President Donald Trump making the final strike decision, defense and White House officials said Friday.

    The officials said the strikes inflicted “severe damage” on the airfield and destroyed at least 20 aircraft as the culmination of a plan put together on quick notice to carry out Trump’s order to retaliate swiftly against an alleged Syrian chemical attack that had occurred less than 72 hours earlier.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was with Trump for meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida, said the initial damage assessments were that “20 percent of the 7th Wing of the Syrian air force” had been eliminated by the 59 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles, or T-LAMs, or, launched by the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers Ross and Porter.

    Defense officials said that at least 20 aircraft were destroyed on the ground at the Shayrat airbase north of Damascus and heavy damage was inflicted on bunkers, fuel and munitions storage facilities and air defense radars by the BQM-109 Tomahawks carrying 1,000-pound conventional warheads.

    The airfield’s two runways mostly escaped damage but Tillerson and defense officials said that the runways were not targeted since they could easily be repaired.

    “Initial indications are that this strike has severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment at Shayrat airfield,” said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman....

  19. Christians violently attacked in Sydney by Muslims: “F*** Jesus” “Allahu Akbar”
    By Pamela Geller - on April 9, 2017

    With the exception of an oped piece, Christians attacked by Muslims get no coverage. But Muslim hoax hate crimes? Front page news.

    By Miranda Devine, The Daily Telegraph, April 8, 2017:

    WHILE we constantly are lectured about Islamophobic violence, despite little evidence of its existence, there is official silence about its flip side: religiously motivated attacks on Christians.

    One Greek community leader, Rev George Capsis, has gone so far as to warn Christians not to wear overt religious symbols when they are travelling though Muslim enclaves of southwestern Sydney.

    But last Tuesday afternoon, 30-year-old Greek Orthodox Christian, Mike, discovered too late the risks of wearing a large cross outside his clothing while travelling on the train from Campsie to Bankstown with his girlfriend.

    He says he was minding his own business talking on his mobile phone, when four young men of Middle Eastern appearance allegedly violently ripped the crucifix off his neck, and stomped on it while swearing “F*** Jesus” and referring to “Allah”.

    He says they punched him and kicked him in his face, back and shoulders during the attack which began about 3pm, just after the train left Belmore station.

    When his girlfriend tried to defend him, two Arabic-speaking women also allegedly hit and kicked her.

    The crucifix, which his mother had given him, was bent, and the silver chain broken in two places.

    “I was born in Australia of Greek heritage,” says Mike. “I’ve always worn my cross. For him to rip it off and step on it has to be a religious crime… It’s not on to feel unsafe in your own country.”

    He says the men also destroyed his Ray-Ban sunglasses.

    Mike has a doctor’s report cataloguing his injuries, which include abrasions and bruises on his face, left shoulder, and upper and lower back.

    Mike’s face was cut during what he says was a religiously-motivated attack on a Sydney train last week. (Pic: Supplied)
    He claims that five uniformed railway “Transport Officers” watched the attack and did nothing to help him, although police were waiting for the train when it reached Bankstown station.

    Two police officers took the names of three alleged assailants and a statement from Mike, photographed his injuries, told him they would review CCTV footage from the train and that he should expect a letter in a month, which may require his attendance at court.

    1. After the assault, Mike was so shaken up that he contacted Baptist minister Rev Capsis, a pillar of the local Greek community, and former deputy mayor of Sutherland Shire Council.

      Capsis claims Mike is the fourth Christian who has complained to him of a religiously-motivated attack in the past six months.

      “This is not an isolated incident. There are gangs of these young fellows of Muslim background who have been harassing people they identify as Christian… You don’t hear about it because no one’s reporting it.”

      The other three attacks Capsis says have occurred around public transport in southwest Sydney: “It’s like their territory; they don’t want Christians or other types of infidels there…

      “People like Greek Orthodox carry a big cross. I tell them to be practical and if they’re in those areas and wearing a big cross and a group of young guys comes, hide it in your shirt. Why provoke it?

      “If this keeps up, someone will be hurt. It’s got to be nipped in the bud.”

      Mike says his cross necklace was torn from his neck and stomped on by attackers he says said “F*** Jesus”. (Pic: Supplied)
      After our media inquiries, police contacted Mike and reinterviewed him yesterday.

      A spokeswoman confirmed that detectives from Bankstown Local Area Command are investigating “reports of alleged religiously-motivated abuse on a Sydney train this week”.

      “The incident has prompted police to remind the community that any bias-motivated crime will not be tolerated.”

      Sydney Trains yesterday defended the inaction of its Transport Officers, with a spokesman saying they are not authorised to intervene in assaults and their primary responsibilities are customer service and fare evasion.

      If an incident takes place, such as the attack on Mike, they are trained to stand back in a “safe space” to observe, and contact police, if necessary.

      He confirmed that Transport Officers conducting operations on a train between Campsie and Bankstown stations on April 4 “requested Police assistance in response to a physical altercation between two groups of people”.

    2. Mike says his crucifix was torn from his neck and stomped on. (Pic: Supplied)
      Apart from the fact that this description of an unprovoked attack of six people against two is a curious downplaying of its seriousness, why are ticket inspections deemed more important than passenger safety? Surely, if taxpayers fund dedicated Transport Officers to ride the trains all day, they should be authorised to do more than just observe crimes and call police. Anyone can do that.

      In any case, Mike says he and his girlfriend are now too scared to catch the train.

      He doesn’t want his surname published because he fears for his safety, but has decided to speak out because he wants the attack to be taken seriously.

      “It’s a multicultural society. I don’t attack anyone’s beliefs but if they attack me for no reason, justice has to be served.”

      There have been isolated reports of anti-Christian abuse in recent years, such as churchgoers in Sydney’s west copping death threats from men driving past in a car bearing the Islamic State flag.

      Christians also increasingly are fair game for intimidation by the militant LGBTI lobby, but for the most part, Christophobia is downplayed.

      When the Australian Christian Lobby was car-bombed late last year, for instance, ACT police within hours made the extraordinary declaration that the attack was not religiously, ideologically or politically motivated.

      And, while the Executive Council of Australian Jewry has reported a 10 per cent increase in anti-Semitic threats or acts of violence last year alone, the only religious bigotry we hear about is Islamophobia.

      Police take it so seriously that during the Lindt cafe siege, they launched Operation Hammerhead to combat “bias crime” against Muslims, which didn’t occur. While the lives of the hostages were still at risk, hashtag activists sprang to the defence of theoretical victims of Islamophobia with the “I’ll ride with you” hashtag.

      But there are no hashtags for Christians like Mike when they ride on Sydney trains.

  20. “Peace partners”: Palestinian Authority defies US, will raise payments to suicide bombers families
    By Pamela Geller - on April 9, 2017

    The fallacy and the fantasy of the ‘peace process’ fiction writers and the two-staters continue to explode in the face of reality and the religious motive behind the jihad against the Jews.

    Kushner and the Democrats in the Trump administration cannot deny reality. Because it is the Jewish people and the Jewish state that suffers the consequences of leftists who deny reality.

    PA defies US, will raise payments to Martyrs’ families
    By Itamar Marcus PMW, April 8, 2017:
    In defiance of the US, which is demanding that the Palestinian Authority completely stop financial rewards to families of terrorist “Martyrs” (Shahids), the PA is now raising the payments to the “Martyrs'” families. These PA payments include lifetime monthly allowances to families of suicide bombers, and other murderers who were killed during or after committing their crimes.

    Muhammad Sbeihat, the Secretary-General of the National Association of the Martyrs’ Families of Palestine, which is the PLO organization dealing with the PA’s payments to “Martyrs'” families, explained last week:
    “In the upcoming period the allowances of the Martyrs’ families will be linked to the cost of living index, which will cause an improvement in these allowances, if only slightly.”
    [Al-Quds, April 4, 2017]

    The fact that the PA is raising the amount of the allowances to Martyrs’ families, even slightly, at this time is in direct defiance of the United States. Palestinian Media Watch exposed in 2011 that the Palestinian Authority pays salaries to imprisoned terrorists and allowances to families of terrorist Martyrs, and in 2016 exposed that the PA was lying when they claimed to have stopped payments to prisoners.

    After years of international condemnation of the PA, the United States Congress recently proposed The Taylor Force Act to cut off financial all aid to the Palestinian Authority because of these payments to terrorists and their families. When Taylor Force, an American citizen, was murdered last year in Tel Aviv, American legislators were incensed to learn that the family members of the dead terrorist would be rewarded with lifetime payments, thus benefiting either directly or indirectly from American financial aid.

    1. Similar legislation was proposed in the Israeli parliament last month, to deduct the equivalent amount that the PA pays to terrorists and their families from the tax revenues that Israel collects on the PA’s behalf.
      The following are the payment amounts, mostly based on PA law signed by former PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in 2011:
      1- Immediate (one-time) payment: 6,000 shekels
      2- Monthly (life-time) payments: 1,400 shekels/monthly, plus additions
      2A: Addition for spouse: 400 shekels
      2B: Addition for each child: 200 shekels
      2C: Addition for residents of Jerusalem: 300 shekels
      2D: Addition for residents of Israel: 300 shekels
      3- Monthly payments to families abroad: $350
      3A: Addition for spouse: $100
      3B: Addition for each child: $50
      Total expenditure per year (2016 budget): 660,315,772 shekels ($180,839,067)
      [Official PA 2016 budget]

      In 2016, more than 32,500 Martyrs’ families received payments.
      Raising the allowances at this time is a sign of the PA’s direct defiance of the US and other Western countries that fund the PA, many of whom have condemned the PA’s financial reward payments to terrorists and their families.

      Note: Payments to Martyrs families go to families of all Palestinian terrorists killed during the act of terror including suicide bombers, or in any combat with Israel, as well as families of those killed during riots, or disturbances, including non-combatants.

      In addition, at the ceremony where Sbeihat spoke, laptops were distributed to children of Martyrs including the daughter of a terrorist who murdered 9.

      The following is an excerpt from the article in the Palestinian daily, Al Quds:

      “The National Association of the Martyrs’ Families of Palestine distributed laptops to the Martyrs’ (Shahids) sons and daughters in the [Tulkarem] district who successfully completed high school studies last year, and are currently in their first year of university studies.

      This was during a ceremony that was held under the auspices of Tulkarem District Governor Issam Abu Bakr, who provided considerable financial aid to fund the computers…

    2. The Secretary-General of the [National] Association [of the Martyrs’ Families of Palestine Muhammad Sbeihat] mentioned the issue of stopping the allowances (mukhassasat) of many of the civilian Martyrs’ families (i.e., a few dozen families stopped receiving payments in February 2017, Ma’an [independent Palestinian news agency]) , and of some of the Martyrs’ wives who married the Martyrs’ brothers. He emphasized that the issue has been raised to [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, and that the Association and the [PLO] Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution are investing intensive efforts to deal with the issue as quickly as possible. He emphasized that Abbas and [PA] Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah are following the issue with the relevant parties, and expressed optimism about its resolution in a few days.

      He emphasized that in the upcoming period the allowances of the Martyrs’ families will be linked to the cost of living index, which will cause an improvement in these allowances, if only slightly. He emphasized that the Association will continue its efforts and demands to improve the allowances of the Martyrs’ families, and deal with the issue of the allowances of the families of the Martyrs of the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip in 2014 (i.e., 2014 Gaza War)…

      At the end of the ceremony, the computers were distributed to Ahmed Ali Ja’ar (PMW was unable to find additional information -Ed.), Badour Ibrahim Al-Ajami (PMW was unable to find additional information -Ed.), Bisan Fawaz Badran (i.e., daughter of terrorist Fawaz Badran) [and additional children of Martyrs].”
      [Al-Quds, April 4, 2017]
      Fawaz Badran – 27-year-old terrorist and top official in the Hamas Izz A-Din Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas’ military wing), according to Israeli sources responsible for the planning of two terrorist attacks in Netanya in which 9 people were murdered, and dozens injured. On July 13, 2001, Badran was killed in a car explosion. Hamas blamed Israel for the car bombing, but Israel denied responsibility. PMW has been unable to confirm which attacks he was responsible for.

  21. Dead Beat Dad will be asleep now.

    They don't give him late night privileges.

  22. Still reading the reaction from Europe and all around the world to Trump's cruise missile strikes in Syria.

    Haven't found anywhere that Trump is referred to as a 'Fascist' as one would expect after suffering through The Umberto Lectures which were brought to us against our will by Quirk.

    Most everyone supports the action, except the Ruskie, and Assad.

    Even Nan Pelosi was complimentary to Trump. Schumer too, and many other Dems.

    So, it seems either the entire world is full of shit, or The Umberto/Quirk Coalition is full of shit.

    Take your choice.


  23. The Long Road to Trump’s War

    Obama’s unwillingness to deal with Iraq opened the door to more mistakes to come.

    “All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory,” wrote the novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen. Americans understood Vietnam to be a grievous defeat that required fresh thinking. In the 1970s, they set out on a long reckoning with its consequences, pioneering the promotion of human rights and asserting congressional control over war powers.

    No remotely comparable reckoning has followed the Iraq war — largely because President Barack Obama found a way to avoid it.

    Mr. Obama, of course, opposed the war, a stance that propelled his rise to power. But like most critics, he laid blame for the war on George W. Bush’s administration and its supposedly abnormal arrogance. “I’m opposed to dumb wars,” Mr. Obama famously said.

    So when Mr. Obama took office, he and most of his supporters acted as though the change at the top had put the problem to rest. If you were appalled by Mr. Bush’s rash decision making, Mr. Obama would think carefully. If Mr. Bush’s torture stained your conscience, you could rest assured that Mr. Obama would not torture (although he might send in a drone to kill instead).

    The Obama years produced a paradox: Opposition to the Iraq war broadened, but it did not deepen. By 2014, a record low 18 percent of Americans judged it worth the costs, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll. Yet no antiwar politics followed.

    1. " Yet no antiwar politics followed."

      Only the NY Times could write that without seeing the irony.

    2. Ummm, Doug, the NY Times doesn't write anything. It is publisher. Publishers print a variety of news and opinions that often contradict each other. It's kind of like if you slammed Deuce for the opinions of Quirk.

  24. Unfortunately and predictably, new calls are being made for more strikes against Syria. The Trump administration is saying it has put Bashar al-Assad on notice that it will take further military action if Assad uses chemical weapons again.

    So far, no conclusive proof has been offered that beyond a reasonable doubt, it was done by the Assad government. Surely, the proof required to take us into war should be on a par with convicting someone of auto theft.

    While appearing to back away from wider military involvement in the Syrian conflict, there are those that are catching the fever:

    “The United States will no longer wait for Assad to use chemical weapons without any consequences. Those days are over,” the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, told a special session of the UN security council.

    This is idiotic, simplistic and dangerous. What are US interests in Syria that require us to confront a nuclear power? Syria is a sovereign state and the Russians are there by invitation to fight ISIS . ISIS was not invited and to mention it, neither was the US.

    Who will be in charge of Syria if we remove him? Who will enforce the rule of whoever replaces Assad?

    How have our previous adventures worked out over the pat 15 years in the Middle East?

    Prior to 911 our national debt was about $6 trillion. Today it is $20 trillion with who knows how much in contingent liabilities, yet the Neocons and the hawks want more of the same. This time, they say it is different.

    It is not. 80 people were allegedly gassed by Assad. No proof has been given. Since when is the United States obliged to go to war over an unproven incident? Since when is a country that dropped nuclear weapons on two civilian cities in a position of moral superiority?

    Was that a one and done? Well, no it was not. One generation after the nuking of two Japanese cities, the US sprayed more than 19 million gallons of herbicides over 4.5 million acres of land in Vietnam from 1961 to 1972.

    Agent Orange, which contained the chemical dioxin, was the most commonly used of the herbicide mixtures, and the most effective. It was later revealed to cause serious health issues–including tumors, birth defects, rashes, psychological symptoms and cancer–among returning U.S. servicemen and their families as well as among the Vietnamese population.

    But the hypocrisy does not end there. On the morning of March 16, 1988, Iraqi war planes and artillery pounded the Kurdish town of Halabja in northern Iraq with mustard gas and the deadly nerve agent sarin.

    Some 5,000 people - mainly women and children - died on the day, and up to 12,000 have lost their lives since. The method was the same as the Ghouta gas attack in Damascus, on August 21, 2013, just over 25 years later.


  25. But there is more:

    In 1988, during the waning days of Iraq’s war with Iran, the United States learned through satellite imagery that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage by exploiting a hole in Iraqi defenses. U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent.

    The intelligence included imagery and maps about Iranian troop movements, as well as the locations of Iranian logistics facilities and details about Iranian air defenses. The Iraqis used mustard gas and sarin prior to four major offensives in early 1988 that relied on U.S. satellite imagery, maps, and other intelligence. These attacks helped to tilt the war in Iraq’s favor and bring Iran to the negotiating table, and they ensured that the Reagan administration’s long-standing policy of securing an Iraqi victory would succeed. But they were also the last in a series of chemical strikes stretching back several years that the Reagan administration knew about and didn’t disclose.

    U.S. officials have long denied acquiescing to Iraqi chemical attacks, insisting that Hussein’s government never announced he was going to use the weapons. But retired Air Force Col. Rick Francona, who was a military attaché in Baghdad during the 1988 strikes, paints a different picture.

    "The Iraqis never told us that they intended to use nerve gas. They didn’t have to. We already knew," he told Foreign Policy.


    2. Yeah we need PROOF, beyond a shadow of doubt..

      Dont mind the 600,000 dead, the 12 million refugees...

      It's a pathetic game.

      Assad sucks, Iran sucks, Hezbollah sucks, Isis sucks, Al queda sucks, Hamas sucks...

      The only thing good coming out of all of this?

      Islam is beating the crap out of Islam.

  26. No we get the mindless mantra about "US interests". "US interests" in Syria no less. How about US interests in Detroit or US interests in sanctuary cities?

    If the US has valid legal interests in Syria, then it certainly follows the Syria has interests in Syria as do other countries that have relationships with Syria.

    Are US interests in Syria, more important than Syrian interests in Syria or superior to Russian interests in Syria?

    The majority of Americans have interests in Syria. Their interest is that they do not want to be there and are opposed to another propaganda war of "US interests".

    1. Trump has told us how Americans will be winning again with his masterful brain in charge. How can you WIN if your aren't even in the game? Onward Christian soldiers, onward!

    2. .

      Obama had no overall strategy in Syria. Every thing we did appeared to be ad hoc and reactive. Trump has continued that tradition. He has offered no evidence that we have an overall strategy. "We will destroy ISIS first and then worry about Assad later" is so general as to be meaningless. The Tomahawk attack was tactical not strategic.

      The Trump action is broadly supported and praised by the media, Congress (both Dems and GOP), our allies, and the resistance in Syria. It appears to have mixed results within the public in various allied nations. However, if poll numbers are any indication, the attack seems to have done nothing to improve Trump's sagging ratings among the American people.

      President Trump Job Approval

      RCP Average:

      Approve: 40.4
      Disapprove: 53.4
      (Disapprove +13.0)


      Direction of Country

      (RCP Average)

      Right Direction 36.6
      Wrong Track 54.6
      (Wrong Track +18.0)


      Trump Favorability Ratings

      (RCP Average)

      Favorable 42.7
      Unfavorable 52.4
      (Unfavorable +9.7)


      Trump's supporters on the alt-Right seem especially upset with his actions. However, Trump has proven he has little regard for past promises; and I suspect the public praise he is receiving from the politicians and the media are much more important to him than breaking a few promises.

      Likewise, I suspect he has quickly learned the lesson that other leaders have learned in the past, a good (as in approved of rather than having moral value) war is to the press and pols like a shiny object is to a kitten. When was the last time we heard about Nunes, the Trump/Russia connect, or budget cuts?

      I expect we will see more of these actions in the future.


    3. You make yourself seem the dolt by using such meaningless terms as Alt-right.

      Clean up your language and you might be taken almost seriously.

    4. .

      Bob, I've asked before. Please go away. Please stop attaching your idiocy to my posts.

      Any moron can do a simple google search and find out what 'alt-right' is, it's etymology, its latest incarnation, what it represents, where you can find it, and the names of some of its main players who self-identify as alt-friggin-right.

      I repeat responding to you is a waste of time. Please put up your own separate posts so that its easier to scroll past.


    5. Alt-right is a bull shit term that has no real meaning.

      Which is why it fits your use so perfectly.


      You johnny come lately....

    6. ....go Google your guts out.

  27. In the long run Christian soldiers fought for your rights to be an idiot, Ash.

    Whether you (or anyone else) should thank them for that or not is your choice.

  28. April 10, 2017
    Le Pen Could WinMarine Le Pen might well be the next president of France.

    The French electoral system requires a majority of the vote, which almost invariably, given the multiple political parties in France, requires two elections. Le Pen seems certain to be among the two candidates who will be in the second election, and polls show that she is running neck and neck for the top position, virtually guaranteeing that she will be in the runoff to determine the winner of the presidential election.

    The usual knock by the leftist elites is that Le Pen cannot win because she is on the "far right," a meaningless term, as anyone familiar with how the leftist elites in America treat those who stand up to them. What these snooty dolts really mean is that Le Pen upholds the historic values and culture of France.

    Although many Americans, even conservatives, have looked at France with disdain, that is a mistake. France was long a close and good ally of America. It was the French who gave us the Statue of Liberty. The French fought the Nazis, served as a loyal ally during the Cold War, and joined us in Desert Storm and in the war against global Islamic terrorism.

    France is not the enemy, but it could become one under radical Muslim domination. The French nuclear arsenal could destroy most of the major cities in America in a few hours. What we – and the rest of the Free World – need is someone who can restore France as a nation firmly within the bosom of Western civilization and as a nation in which Christianity, not Islam, holds the hearts of Frenchmen....

  29. Apparently there are 3 or 4 Indians (feather, no dot) in the US who are offended by the name "Tomahawk" missile. Perhaps we should call them "breaching tool" missiles as to not offend.

    Ash seems to be offended by anything "Christian", which is very TELLING on Ash's part.

    Let's just all be offended. All together now!

    1. I'm deeply offended by Quirk.

    2. He really doesn't have any excuse for his nonsense.

      He's just by nature offensive.

      Ash has the excuse of having no brains.

    3. Talk about offensive....

      Quirk subjected this site to nearly a week of pure horse shit from some moron named Umberto.

  30. From James Freeman, WSJ

    This morning Neil Gorsuch became the 113th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, vindicating the decision of conservatives to vote for Donald Trump in 2016. This may signal the end of the Republican NeverTrump movement, which in its heyday attracted the support of literally dozens of think-tank scholars and columnists in a broad coalition that stretched from Washington, D.C. to as far away as Manhattan. Speaking of Manhattan, Trump’s Gorsuch triumph is also bound to inspire a new movement, this time within the Democratic Party. Expect more internal dissent as party members review the historic political blunder committed by New York’s Charles Schumer, current Senate Minority Leader and a man previously viewed as perhaps the shrewdest and most effective legislator in Washington.

    By leading a filibuster against Mr. Gorsuch, Mr. Schumer inspired Republicans to follow the Democrats’ 2013 example on executive and lower judicial appointments and end the filibuster for all judicial appointments. This opens the door to a potential series of solid Trump appointees winning confirmation to the nation’s highest court. Now consider if Mr. Schumer had allowed the eminently qualified Mr. Gorsuch to receive a floor vote. Such a show of comity and fair-dealing would have made it next to impossible for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to persuade the most liberal members of his caucus to break the filibuster to confirm the next Trump appointee. Mr. Schumer failed to stop the Gorsuch confirmation and in the process he has destroyed his ability to stop any others.

    This column has often had fun at the expense of Vox, a website for young adults that features lightly researched material on current events. So it seems only fair to laud the Vox kids when they publish thoughtful commentary. Last week they offered, “The progressive case against filibustering Neil Gorsuch,” by law professors Daniel Hemel and David Herzig. They explained before the showdown how Mr. Schumer could still save his ability to stop other Court picks if he agreed to permit a vote on a nominee that even the liberal American Bar Association admitted was highly qualified:

    Quite a few Republican senators would prefer, all else equal, to see the filibuster stay rather than go. This is so for at least three reasons. First, some Republican senators have long enough memories ( Orrin Hatch (UT), John McCain (AZ)) or long enough time horizons (for example, Ben Sasse (NE)) that they value the filibuster for when Republicans are in the minority. Second, some senators, for example, Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME), realize that the filibuster is all that keeps them relevant. If it takes only 50 votes to do business, then the 51st and 52nd most conservative senators — the Republican “moderates” — are powerless. Third, some senators, for example, Lindsey Graham (R-SC), appear to have an affinity for Senate tradition that will lead them to support the filibuster except in an extreme situation.

    Perhaps Mr. Schumer should have applied what we might call the Vox Test: When the most politically active young adults in the Democratic Party are urging restraint in pursuing the liberal agenda, it’s probably a good sign that party leaders are going too far.

    1. continued:

      Mr. Schumer ought to know this without having to consult Vox. So if he was smart enough to avoid this mistake but made it anyway, this suggests he didn’t have the skills to convince other members of his conference to ignore the most hysterical elements of the progressive base in their demands for a Gorsuch goal-line stand. Either way, his leadership position is much less secure than before he lost last week’s “nuclear” war against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

      Mr. Schumer could potentially be reminded of his failure several times during the Trump era, as Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anthony Kennedy are in their 80s and Justice Stephen Breyer is 78. The Vox contributors had no trouble imagining a scenario in which Democrats “will wish they had not set in motion the events that led to the filibuster’s demise.” The authors imagined scenarios in which Democrats might have benefited from keeping the filibuster—even if they have relatively successful midterm elections next year:

      Imagine a 51–49 Senate with Murkowski as the critical vote, or a 50–50 Senate with Collins as the critical vote (and maybe Joe Manchin (D-WV) sometimes crossing over party lines). Let’s say that Kennedy or a Democratic appointee then leaves the Court, and President Trump names an avowedly anti-abortion appellate judge to fill the vacancy. Is it plausible that Collins, Murkowski, or Manchin a) might support the nominee on an up-or-down vote but b) might be unwilling to go along with McConnell’s use of the nuclear option?

      We think so. But more to the point: While it is not too difficult to come up with scenarios in which keeping the filibuster helps the Democrats defeat a very conservative nominee in the future, it is much harder to see how filibustering Gorsuch accomplishes anything for the Democrats.

      What President Trump has accomplished is filling the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia with a 49-year-old who is a formidable defender of the Constitution and who today called Justice Scalia a “very, very great man.” Behind closed doors, Democrats are likely providing very different descriptions of Mr. Schumer.

    2. .

      I disagree. Initially, I thought the Dems would simply make a show of it and then let Gorsuch through with only perfunctory resistance. But the more you think about it, what would that have bought them?

      Sure Gorsuch is well qualified. Sure he simply maintains the pre-existing split before Scalia's death. Sure, he was going to go through with or without the Dems. However, anyone who thinks that if a second seat opens up on the SC, the GOP would give up the chance to shift the balance on the court even if it required the nuclear option is simply nutz.

      Schumer played to his base which is still pissed about Garland not even being given a hearing much less a vote. He had nothing to lose. If he gets really lucky, and it's the Dems who get to pick the next (or any future justices for that matter) it was the GOP who set the precedent by using the nuclear option first.

      I don't think his move was as dumb as some make it out to be. Schumer's been playing this game a long time.


  31. Very important and GOOD day, today, regarding Mr. Gorsuch. IMO

    1. Hooray !

      Now if only Ms. Ginsburg would fall 100% asleep, never to wake up, during the next State of the Union Address we'll really be getting somewhere

  32. All these terms, and especially 'Alt-right', and 'far right', are a bunch of meaningless bullshit -

    April 10, 2017
    Le Pen Could Win
    By Bruce Walker
    Marine Le Pen might well be the next president of France.

    The French electoral system requires a majority of the vote, which almost invariably, given the multiple political parties in France, requires two elections. Le Pen seems certain to be among the two candidates who will be in the second election, and polls show that she is running neck and neck for the top position, virtually guaranteeing that she will be in the runoff to determine the winner of the presidential election.

    The usual knock by the leftist elites is that Le Pen cannot win because she is on the "far right," a meaningless term, as anyone familiar with how the leftist elites in America treat those who stand up to them. What these snooty dolts really mean is that Le Pen upholds the historic values and culture of France.

    Continual use of these meaningless terms puts both SMIRK'n'QUIRK firmly in the snooty dolt category.

    1. One snooty dolt here even goes so far as to repeatedly call everyone else 'dicks'.

  33. As predicted Trump Administration talking about additional attacks on Syria, for our interests of course.

    One question:

    What about the interests of the 60 million who voted for him? You know the dummies that believed him when he promised to work with those opposed to ISIS and keep us out of future ME wars. The promise to save us from the war-mongering depredations of Hillary Clinton.

    1. .

      It's not just Syria. Trump seems to be escalating across the board. Drone strikes are up by almost a factor of 3. Over a 1000 civilian deaths in March (Syria/Iraq)with about 3000 YTD. More ground troops and artillery sent to Syria. Obama level ROE restrictions for airstrikes opened up. Direct attacks in Yemen. Direct attack on Assad with more likely to come. Promises of troop build-up. Confrontation with Russia, China, Iran, and NK. Not to mention less publically acknowledged wars like Somalia.

      I attach it to the shift in influence in the administration from Bannon and Priebus to McMaster and Mattis. Read Mattis is looking for more troops for Afghanistan to break the current stalemate there.

      As long as Trump keeps getting good press for this escalation you can count on it continuing. Of course, as soon as something goes wrong you can count on the generals taking it in the ass. Again.


    2. .

      But as they say, the higher you go the stronger the wind blows. Hard to feel sorry for any of these guys.


    3. Don't forget the carrier strike force heading to Korea.

    4. For the last 16 years the West has been played for fools by North Korea.

      You recall we were sending them fuel oil, if only they would be a little reasonable, and, you know, not build nuclear bombs, and now missiles to deliver them to Hawaii and beyond.

      The solution of SMIRK'n'QUIRK?

      Piss and moan, and blame it all on Western belligerence.

      Such overt stupidity is why no one takes you two dicks seriously.

  34. From Jack Murphy, SOFREP

    KUSH goes to war.

    America never hesitates to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, often posting political campaigners to important positions in government rather than actual subject matter experts. For instance, Ben Rhodes was nothing more than a failed novelist, speech writer, and campaigner for President Obama, but none the less became a national security advisor. Contrary to promises about “draining the swamp,” President Trump has not broken this promise but rather filled his national security council with people who just made the swamp even more dank than it was before.

    These personalities include the quickly defrocked national security advisor General Flynn a self-described Leninist, Steve Bannon that is no longer on the NSC, and the non-counter-terrorism expert Sebastian Gorka.

    What Donald Trump is in danger of doing is creating a personalized regime centered around himself, something that has not really existed in American tradition. Examples include posting his family members into key positions around himself at the White House. This follows more of a Medieval Italian tradition than anything, trusting only those within the family on the assumption that those within would never do anything to hurt their own family. With President Trump’s wife remaining in New York City to care for their young son, Ivanka Trump has become the de facto First Lady. With her background in fashion and business, she now works as her father’s assistant at the White House.

    Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner is the President’s senior advisor, bringing to the table his experience in real estate, finance, and publishing. How exactly this translates into diplomacy or military strategy remains a mystery, and yet Kushner has been deployed to Iraq by his father-in-law president to meet with senior Iraqi leaders and show support for the Baghdad government. Pictures of Kushner hitting the ground went viral over the last few days as he wore body armor over a GQ style look that must have taken some time to cultivate out in the desert. One can only imagine what senior US military leaders were thinking, although by the time they make colonel or general they are probably numb to know-nothing politicians coming to visit.

    Kushner showing up looking like Patrick Bateman from American Psycho was probably not the “optics” that the administration was looking for. Someone should have reminded him that his riding lessons are in the Hamptons not in Baghdad. These optics appear to show the son-in-law of the king surrounded by his medieval serfs and conscripts, educating them about how to battle the barbarian hoards at the periphery of the empire. How Kush is actually positioned to solve anything in Iraq remains to be seen.

    Kushner is also in charge of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Good luck Jared.

  35. Northern Light Bulb in the News:

    Japan's Sankei Shimbun reported on the 9th that the Syrian missile strike in the United States shocked China, suggesting that the People's Liberation Army forces are moving toward the Yalu River, .

    The newspaper said the video was also broadcast on the Internet, but the authorities removed the relevant information, saying the move was a medical and aft support unit for the Shenyang bulb (the northern light bulb)

    1. Got that Sasquatch article printed up for my nurse, Doug.

      You'll be interested to know that today at the grocery store in Potlatch, Idaho a big Sasquatch Themed Sale is going on.


  36. Buchanan:

    'If You Try To Throw Out Assad We Will Be Fighting 4 Wars At Once; Including The Russians' Gordon Chang: 'We Do Not Know Where Trump Stands With China;

    Ivanka's Child Should NOT Be Singing To The Chinese Leader, Sends All the Wrong Signals

  37. Mother Jones Editor Accuses 'Tomahawk' Missiles of Cultural Appropriation of Native American Culture

    1. 'We don't want our beheading and scalping tool misused in this way'

    2. 'Join our protest at the Tomahawk Casino, where everyone is a winner.'

  38. .

    Don't forget the carrier strike force heading to Korea.

    Reminds of the Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times."

    Some websites are arguing that Kim Jong Un is shitting bricks over the Trump Syrian attack.

    China is purportedly putting pressure on the NK regime to put a stop on their nuclear program.

    Ol Kim vows the NK nuclear program will not be slowed by threats and some argue he may be accelerating it. He has indicated that regardless of sanctions the nuclear program will be the last to go.

    The North Korean population, normally kept in the dark about what goes on outside NK, are now being fed their regular '2 Minutes of Hate' broadcasts showing details of the US strike in Syria to gin up anti-American sentiment.

    The real question is who is more batshit crazy, Kim Jong Un or Donald Trump.


  39. The real question is who is more batshit crazy, Kim Jong Un or Donald Trump.

    Another perfect example of you being not only a world class dipshit but a disgusting asshole.

    Go fuck yourself.

    1. I can't believe you said that.

      You really are a world class ass hole.

      Why don't you go hang yourself ?

  40. There's no such thing as "more batshit crazy"

    Batshit Crazy is Batshit Crazy, period.

  41. "The man was able to get back on the plane after initially being taken off – his face was bloody and he seemed disoriented, Bridges said, and he ran to the back of the plane. Passengers asked to get off the plane as a medical crew came on to deal with the passenger, she said, and passengers were then told to go back to the gate so that officials could "tidy up" the plane before taking off.

    Bridges said the man shown in the video was the only person who was forcibly removed.

    "Everyone was shocked and appalled," Bridges said. "There were several children on the flight as well that were very upset."

    The flight was delayed around two hours before it could fly to Louisville, and it arrived in Kentucky later Sunday night. No update was given to the passengers about the condition of the man forcibly removed, Bridges said."

  42. Bill Clinton adds to George H.W. Bush’s kooky sock collection

    Former President Bill Clinton posted on Twitter that he took a trip to Houston on April 9, 2017, to visit with the man he beat in the 1992 presidential election, George H.W. Bush. The two have become close in the years after their presidencies, leading some to refer to it as a father-son relationship, per CNN. Clinton didn’t arrive empty-handed, either. Knowing Bush’s love of fancy footwear, Clinton brought with him a couple pairs of socks as a gift.

  43. A 31-year-old has been placed under arrest by a court in Bonn over allegations that he raped a woman at knifepoint while her boyfriend watched. Local media reported that the accused is an asylum seeker from Ghana.

    The 23-year-old female and her partner were approached by the suspect on April 2 while camping at the Siegaue Nature Reserve on the outskirts of Bonn, police said.

    The machete wielding man threatened the couple and then proceeded to rape the young woman outside their tent. Her boyfriend called the police after the ordeal and the young woman was taken to hospital.

    The police, appealing for information, received around 250 tip-offs from members of the public. The suspected perpetrator was arrested on Saturday in nearby Siegburg after a walker recognized him from an e-fit wanted poster.

    After spotting the law enforcement the man initially tried to run, flinging a rucksack at an officer. The rucksack, it turned out, was stolen from a barbeque party shortly before the sex attack occurred.

    Subsequent DNA testing matched the suspect to the crime scene and a judge issued an arrest warrant for the rape on Saturday.

    “Apart from the rape itself, we also found lots of DNA samples at the scene, which clearly belong to the detained person,” the Express reported police spokesman Robert Scholten as saying.

    According to the media outlet, the suspect, originally from Ghana, was due to be deported to Italy earlier this year as per the Dublin Regulation on refugees but he appealed the decision. The Dublin agreement sets out in which EU country asylum seekers and refugees in the EU are to file their claim, which is generally (but not always) the country of arrival.

    Police on its part released no information regarding the nationality of the suspect or his name.

    1. So? What's your point? No one should be given asylum?

    2. Single unaccompanied males should not be given asylum.

  44. .

    There's no such thing as "more batshit crazy"

    Batshit Crazy is Batshit Crazy, period.

    While some here might argue that the term batshit crazy represents something that is unique or that its use creates what is clearly a superlative form, I would disagree and argue that it can be used as an intensifier and also used to differentiate between the craziness levels of two separate dicks.

    I use the etymology of the term to make my case. Here are the definitions provided by the Oxford English Dictionary, along with the earliest citation for each:

    1. A worthless or contemptible thing; rubbish, nonsense. Cf. bullshit n. (1950 M. Shedd Return to Beach ii. 156: "I felt the minute hand of that bat shit of a Judas clock stand up to me.")
    Austral. Used in similative phrases as the type of something dull or uninteresting. Chiefly in boring as batshit. (1964 G. H. Johnston My Brother Jack iv. 58: "He would describe somebody as being ‘as silly as a two-bob watch’ or ‘dreary as bat-shit’.")

    2. Crazy, mad, insane. Cf. bats at bat *n*. 1 b. Orig. and freq. in to go batshit (cf. to go ape-shit at ape n. Additions). (1971 W. Calley Lieutenant Calley 104: "Most of America's males were in Korea or World War II or I. They killed, and they aren't all going batshit.")

    3.As an intensifier, esp. in batshit crazy. (1993 Toronto Life Aug. 6/4: "His mug is emblazoned with the words: full-blown bat shit crazy.")

    So, while batshit crazy certainly does seem to be influenced by the expression bats in the belfry as you suggest, its first meaning, in use by 1950, was simply a variant of bullshit. This use continued and overlapped with the "crazy" meaning: further citations are given for definition #1 from Dean Koontz's 1985 novel Door to December and from Seattle Weekly in 2002. Also, batshit as a standalone word meaning "crazy" appears to be older than the two-word phrase batshit crazy, at least as far as the written record shows.

    Example: In an obvious example of 'batshit' used with an intensifier, 'The Haole wasn't quite as batshit crazy as the faux farmer who was the most batshit crazy dick at the bar.' p. 242 of the (2011) The Chronicles of the Quirkster, Chapter 7 Elephant Bar Days.


  45. .

    Trump Administration Foreign Policy

    What is Trump's Foreign Policy

    You can check with the administration's spokespeople, Spicer, Tillerson, Haley, unnamed White House letter writing officials but always be sure to check with them a few minutes later for an update.

    I would put up the example of the evolution of Trump's Syrian policy but it is far too complicated. You will have to read the linked article.

    Trump likes to say he wants to remain flexible, to keep his enemies guessing. Evidently, this applies to his own administration too as evidenced by the question, 'where the Russians informed of the attack in advance?'

    The confusion was only heightened when The Associated Press quoted an unidentified American official saying that Russia had known about Syria’s chemical attack in advance. The White House summoned reporters for a background briefing but then made the session off the record, leaving the matter unaddressed. Hours later, a senior administration official issued a brief statement saying there was no consensus among the 16-agency American intelligence community that Russia had foreknowledge of the attack.


    Hours later, a senior administration official issued a brief statement saying there was no consensus among the 16-agency American intelligence community that Russia had foreknowledge of the attack.

    Well, that certainly leaves me guessing.

    Keeping them guessing sounds great, well, at least that is until they guess wrong.


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. .

      ‘The reason you don’t generally hit runways,” Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday, “is that they are easy and inexpensive to quickly fix (fill and top)!” Presumably he consulted his national security adviser, HR McMaster, for this doctrinal nugget. Which is strange, because McMaster served in the 1991 Gulf war. As the congressional report on Desert Storm states: “the early emphasis was on denying the use of the runways” – cratering them and then dropping mines to prevent engineers filling the holes. Only five days in did the US switch to systematically hitting aircraft in shelters.

      The difference? That was a war: this is theatre. Those who woke up cheering Trump’s missile strike on Friday morning need to realise what they were cheering for: a public relations exercise that killed nine civilians. Trump’s generals didn’t bother hitting the runway because they were not trying to disable Bashar al-Assad’s airbase, just send a message. The problem is, even three days later, we have no idea what that message is.