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January 08, 2014


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hit and run

It was my understanding there would be no math, new or otherwise.


Once again, addition is easy but subtraction is hard.

Has there ever been a period of calm and peace in the middle east (as we know it - inlcuding North Africa, Iran and Turkey)?


JiB-- I'm no expert on the pre Euro-Colonial ME, but I assume that the Arabs and other ME ethnic/religious groups were just as violent, but with pre-Euro weapon technology, the body count was much lower.


first! (my own new math.)



That was, ahem, a rhetorical quesiton:)


Obama didn't land on the Middle East, the Middle East landed on him.


Wasn't Friedman, who first acquainted us, with 'Hama rules' the way Bashir elder quelled the Moslem bros. Doesn't the Al Nusra front, full of Ikwan tribesmen, including the son of a late Saudi gen, that was in one of my blog posts. Wasn't it funded by one of those enthusiasts of the Arab Spring, from the Nuami tribe of Doha, Isn't both ISIL and
Al Nusra, headed by veterans of Zarquawi's bloodthirsty Tawhid, one an actual relative of same. Didn't he tells us to trust the Moslem Brotherhood which was been the seed for every major figure to Zubeydah to KSM
to his many successors, rhetorical questions all.


Reading TomM and Narciso's takes on Friedman's musings, reminds me of that 'sport'.. is it the Afghans who play horseback 'polo' using an enemy's head as the ball?


I hold Flathead with the appropriate lack of regard, Bing West, called the Marines, 'the Strongest Tribe' that settled the quarrels in Anbar. Coll would tell you, when he wrote 'Ghost Wars' that what he are planning to do in Afghanistan, is the last thing you would ever do in this circumstance,

Now I really don't trust any side of this game, as you need a program to tell all the players, and even inside tips,Prince Bandar seems to recruiting his cadres from the barrel, ala the Untouchables, and it's turning out as expected. the new Islamist
Salafi moderate, Ayyoush, also has a similar pedigree.


Bushkazi, yes that's it, NK.



You mean Buzkashi. But its played with the headless carcass of a goat.

Although they have been known to play with infidel heads from time to time.


They should have tried with Solon of Scranton when he lectured Karzai, but you can only kick a hollow ball so far.


A local radio host just dumped this on me. I have to say Olbermann got it right.

"Keith Remembers The Life Of A True Role Model: Jerry Coleman ..."

Very well done.


Buzhashi-- well I enjoy reading TomM and Narciso treating Friedman's writing like the goat (or infidel head) in a good game of Buzhashi.


Breaking: Down Sandy's way.

Navy chopper down with 5 on board about 18 miles off Virginia Beach. Pray they are safe and the CG finds them.


I am a retired FSO who worked on Entry Strategies for Amoco [now BP] in the eighties/nineties. I have lived in three Arab countries during my stint at State.

When giving talks to Amoco execs, I used to remind them that the Iran/Iraq war was normal.. In the last 400 years, there have been 17 wars between the Persians and the Turks [who at that time controlled Iraq.

Friedman is a certifiable dunce.


--The Middle East is a highly pluralistic region — Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Druze and various tribes — that for centuries was held together from above by iron-fisted colonial powers, kings and dictators. But now that vertical control has broken down, before this pluralistic region has developed any true bottom-up pluralism — a broad ethic of tolerance — that might enable its people to live together as equal citizens, without an iron fist from above.--

What an effing cretin.
Islam, whether shia or sunni is overwhelmingly the dominant theological, ideological, cultural, political and social power in the ME. The only time or place that has been even slightly pluralistic in the ME has been those small niches such as Lebanon or Israel where Islam doesn't dominate.
Even in those mythological golden ages of yore Jews and Christians were forced to live in dhimmitude, subservience, to muslims; they just weren't forcibly converted or beheaded quite so often as normally occurs in ME islamic society.

Freidman's head might be nice place to set your teacup or a coffee table book, but it was never meant to be used for thinking or writing.


"Freidman's head might be nice place to set your teacup or a coffee table book, but it was never meant to be used for thinking or writing.".....

Or for a good game of Buzhkashi!!... no?.. too flat,..... won't roll true?


I'm curious if by pluralistic society does that include Jews and Christians in the area.


8 Reasons Why Chris Christie's Traffic Scandal Could Cause Big Trouble

I had a head's up on this from a very VIP New Jersey friend during a phone call the other day. He told me Christie is toast. The long knives are out.

I still say neither he or Hillary are the nominees.

Account Deleted

"In the last 400 years, there have been 17 wars between the Persians and the Turks [who at that time controlled Iraq."

With the recent closer linkage between the KSA and Egypt due to the failure of the Clinton/Obama Arab Spring fiasco, it's interesting to look at the combined force inventory available for immediate use should the Arabs decide to return to their favorite pastime of killing Persians. I wouldn't put any money on the Persians.


Persian/Arab war?-- I don't see how either side has the logistics to attack the other with mech, infantry or even air assets. I do see a scenario of the Mullahs using a nuke to turn Mecca and Medina to glass, and expedite return of the 12th Imam (peace be upon him.)

Beasts of England

That's disturbing about Christie, JiB. If only for the fact the Maddow has made the traffic scandal her raison d'etre. Ugh.

James D.

I said it before, when Christie was attacking Rand Paul over survaliiance, etc. - I will not vote for him if he's the Republican nominee.

This story is just further proof of what he is: a bully who's in love with the power of his office, who enjoys using it against people who are weaker than he is, and who surrounds himself with people who think and act the same.

Sorry, we've already got one of those in the White House; we don't need another one. Christie can go screw himself.

Tom Maguire
"In the last 400 years, there have been 17 wars between the Persians and the Turks [who at that time controlled Iraq."

Considering there historic role in the region, not to mention their current status as a major regional power, it is interesting how Turkey is left out of the mix.

James D.

I'll add this: even if the traffic scandal is overblown, or Christie really didn't know about it, his personal history is still full of similar behavior.

Fine, he went after some unions, and he put some bad guys in jail as a prosecutor. He is still a big government guy who has little or no regard for individual freedom, and that is precisely what we do NOT need for our next President.

Captain Hate

From JiB's link:

3) People only like bullies when they’re beating up bad guys.

A major part of Christie’s appeal among Republicans is his willingness to stick it to certain liberal special interest groups like public employees’ unions. Conservatives take comfort in knowing that one of their guys knows how to throw a punch. But nobody likes it when their own side starts getting beat up. Christie’s team didn’t just target a potential political opponent for revenge, they targeted his own voters. This incident could very well suggest to a lot of GOP primary voters that Christie’s brashness might have a big downside.

This is the downside of having a US Attorney in an elected position; like Client 9, Fat Boy is used to steamrolling people while realizing no negative consequences. Hopefully this blows him out of the water for 2016 now before the circular firing squad can commence.



And outside of Israel, Turkey has the most professional, complete armed forces in the region. Plus they are Nato but going in the wrong direction under Erdogan.


I used to respect Friedman's reporting from the Middle East. He had a good sense of the players and the dynamics.

He seems to have tossed it all aside in favor of "it's not Obama's fault".

The collapse in Iraq was foretold by the way we handled the negotiations with Maliki in the first place.

As Gates confirms, Obama simply wanted "out now". He didn't give a shit about the ramifications or aftereffects.

Hegemonism from Persia and further east is the central theme over the course of history. From Darius to the Mongols to Tamerlane, death and destruction came out of the East. Iran is backing subversives in the Gulf States, Syria, and Hezbollah and is shipping arms to the Palestinians.

This isn't done out of pan Islamic fervor. It is the way of empire.

That Obama has disengaged from Saudi and Israel so decisively is just one more rebuttal to Mr. Friedman's fantasy.

Danube on iPad

For four centuries before WWI much of that region (not including Persia) was under the thumb of the Ottoman Turks.


The Turks-- Erdogan has hit some political bumps in the road to forming the new Caliphate-- still he may yet succeed in becoming a Turkish dictator and then Caliph to the Umma.

TomM-- BTW-- did you fill your Spin Class needs?

Dave (in MA)

Traffic jams caused by politics can nip a GOP campaign in the bud, but 4 dead Americans in Benghazi, no biggie to the Donks.

James D.

Dave @ 1:42 - you're right.

But the thing is, to the extent the traffic thing is true, it really does say a lot about Christie and the people who he surrounds himself with.

If he's petty and spiteful enough to disrupt traffic and make people's lives harder because the mayor of their town didn't endorse him in an election he knew he was going to win by 20 points that really someone you want in charge of the NSA, the IRS, the Department of Justice and all the rest of it?

I certainly don't.


Gloria Borger on CNN sez that she is surprised that Gates brought the book out during Obama's Presidency, yet when Wolf Blitzer mentions that Hillary is bringing her own book out during Obama's Presidency there is no surprise, no response, no comment, no nothing from Borger.

Wolf and Borger also comment on how hard Gates went after Joe Biden, mentioning the "wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades," since in Borger's words, (which I think I got correctly), "Foreign Policy is Joe Biden's calling card!"

I have to go thru Newark and Seattle Airport's shortly so unfortunately I don't think that's the last time I'll be forced to watch CNN today.

Old Lurker

Rush just reported a Hertiage report which stated that Means Tested transfer payments have totaled $21T since the War on Poverty began, 75% of that since the 90's. And the percentage of the population in poverty is the same as before.

Among other obvious reactions to that, but for that wasted spending, we would have zero national debt, lower taxes and many more jobs.

Thanks LBJ et al on both sides. Thanks a bunch.

On a smaller scale, I almost threw my G&T at the TV last night when Fox News reported in a Bret Beir special how unemployment is stubbornly high in some regions even though other regions were short of workers. Five minutes later they reported how the Senate had agreed to extend unemployment benefits practically to a permanent status. NOBODY on Fox saw the gallows humor in connecting those two stories.

We are doomed by our collective stupidity.

Dave (in MA)

Yeah, you wouldn't want a petty and spiteful man in charge of the NSA, IRS & DOJ. :^)

If I'm picking the teams, Christie's my press secretary for the next R President.


I suspect this is just one of many similar Christie stories. He isn't conservative and he isn't principled. Even if he knows how to get things done in NJ, this is just not going to sell to either GOP primary voters or to the rest of the country.

I do wonder why it's coming out now, though. Why didn't it leak during his re-election campaign? Or why not sit on it until he gets closer to the nomination? Are they that afraid of him?


I wouldn't be sorry to see Christie taken out early. It might encourage more good candidates to enter the fray.

At this point, I think I'd go with Rick Perry.



I thought it was "Benghazi" played with the heads of . . .

No. That humor is too black. :-(

Captain Hate

in Borger's words, (which I think I got correctly), "Foreign Policy is Joe Biden's calling card!"

She says that like a bobblehead who has sat through Biden's insanity with nary a contrary thought.

Old Lurker

Careful there, Dave. I recall the WH Press Room is built over the old Nixon swimming pool. You'd better get the engineers in there to check the load limits of the temporary floor.


DaveinMa-- furthering your point. Where is the NYT local reportage regarding Warren Wilhelm kicking hundreds of working men and women (drivers, horse stall cleaners, metal workers, leather workers etc) out of work and crushing the joy of hundreds of thousand of people each year who take a park carriage ride, so as to enrich a parking lot baron in a real estate play, as a naked kick back for running adverts against Quinn in the primary?


Or why not sit on it until he gets closer to the nomination? Are they that afraid of him?

I was wondering that, too. Maybe they're so depressed over Obama's performance that they just can't help themselves from moving on to the next campaign.

Hopefully they're convinced that Hillary can beat any conservative, but would have trouble with a moderate Republican opponent.

Captain Hate

Are they that afraid of him?

For all of his disqualifying traits, he's a dogged campaigner who isn't afraid to get in peoples' faces, including moderators who are asking obviously leading questions. Unlike Romney or McRINO, he'd have put the JEF on the defensive many times and probably produced some surprising reactions.


Christie for Atty Gen in the Walker Admin!! Christie is a blowhard and a bully, but if he's OUR blowhard and bully going after corrupt Prog unions and Dem cronies... I'm all for that.


Why is it coming out now? Anything to change the topic from Obamacare / Iraq /Afghanistan / Gates' book and return it to normal Republican bashing in the run up to November. They can always recycle it for 2016 anyway.

Jim Rhoads f/k/a vnjagvet

I heard from anonymous but unimpeachable sources that Biden's foreign policy calling card contains the slogan no one's home. You would think a sleuth like Borger might have picked that up.


Christie vs. Shrillary? Jeez, the battle of whose got the bigger ass? Or just who IS the bigger ass?

Kill me now.


And the percentage of the population in poverty is the same as before.

True but the definition of "in poverty" has changed. Today's poor are vastly better off than their counterparts were 50 years ago. Absolute poverty has largely been eradicated and we are now talking about relative poverty, where the average "poor" person owns a TV, a cell phone with a service contract, a car, plenty of clothing, has heat and air conditioning and a full kitchen yet eats mostly fast food and takeout and processed foods from the grocery store.

So in some ways it has ended in victory - though the war department clamors for ever more entitlements and funds with which to purchase votes - but at a great financial and moral cost.

The impact on American society of the "unintended" consequences of the war on poverty which include but are not limited to millions of abortions, the destruction of marriage and the nuclear family, 50% of births out of wedlock and generations of young men growing up without fathers, all of which are still snowballing phenomena, have yet to be fully felt. They will be devastating, possibly terminal.


Biden is a barely functioning retard. That the dims hold out as some FP guru just shows how little they care about it in the first place.


Another one (and a lot more) bite the dust.

McIntyre of NC and Maloney of NY to retire

Plus Matheson (Mia Love, you go, girl!) and a few others in the mix.

McIntyre is already in the Rep column. Maloney is a tougher ticket to punch. Is she your district, Peter?

Account Deleted


Agreed. Minitru needs more squirrels. Chipmunks will do and they'll go for a gerbil in a pinch.

Danube on iPad

I think it's natural that as Christie appears more and more to be a serious presidential candidate there will be more and more stuff unearthed.


Where is the NYT local reportage regarding...

Yep NK,

From Ext's link:

In the documents, obtained by The New York Times and other news outlets Wednesday about the road closings in Jersey---

How come the Times is able to get documents and E-mails and all this other stuff super quick when the target is a guy with an R behind his name, but they can't seem to find a shred of paperwork when it's IRS-Gate, or Benghazi-Gate, or Climate-Gate, or Fast and Furious Gate, or any other damn Gate that might effect adversely on a guy with a D behind his name?


Greg Maddox (natch), Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas voted into the Baseball HOF.


Thanks all, that scenario, NK laid out, a nuclear conflict between then the Shah and the Saudis was in an old Paul Erdman potboiler, 'the Last Days of America' in 1975!. back then it was describing the early days of the Iranian nuclear program,

Re; Biden, one of the things that Hitchens was very keen on, was that partition was a very bad idea, of course no one told Peter Galbraith, who was Biden's tutor on the subject, or told him that there might an ulterior motive with the former pushing that position re the Kurds.

As for Stay Puft, that anecdote is very near beer, compared to standing up for Imam Rauf, throwing Schundler to the wolves, not taking a stand on Obamacare, and being for the panopticon system of surveillance,


In Westeros, some Houses have privilege and others have not, Gates is a mere knight to the House of Lannister, so he has none, fed to the dragons, is he, the rules don't work the same, for the Dutchess of Little Rock


State controlled media, daddy. But then you knew that.


Interestingly, it was the original Mohammed Ali, who bottled up the Wahhabis back in the Nejd after their first incursion into Mesopotamia. they came back after 50 years because of a rivalry between princes not much came of it. that was the era that Doughty visited the peninsula. and observed those interesting insights about the local tribes.

Dave (in MA) (on a MAC, yuk)

Around here, that's "Billerica's Tom Glavine".


Welcome to the dark-side, Dave:)


Of course, someone like the Amiraults are fair game, but perching on the spoils of a House retainer, something else again,

Dave (in MA)

JIB, only once in a while.


Anyone watching McConnell speak?

And the percentage of the population in poverty is the same as before.
Well, when you define "poverty" as the bottom X% of the wealth distribution, then the percentage of the population in "poverty" is exactly X%. All the time.

It's a variation on the joke about 1/2 the population being below average.


Why is the story on Christie coming out now, rather than closer to the 2016 elections?

Could it be a pre-emptive release by CC so that by 2016 it will be old news? It has worked before, JEF used it when referring to the Mexican gun running and other things.

It might also explain why the e-mails and documentation are so easily available.


Happy Birthday Elvis, wherever you are!

This calls for Butter-grilled Peanut Butter and Banana sandwiches tonight:)


Lets not forget that without poverty there could be no subsidies under ObamaCare. Got to start somewhere.


An Indiana National Guardsman was arrested outside Columbus on New Year’s Day after a state trooper found nearly 50 bombs and the blueprints for a Navy SEAL training facility inside his car, the Madison County prosecutor said yesterday.

Cop pulled him over for speeding. I am certain the NSA only needed a little more metadata before they could have swooped in.


How did the Ahia cops know to stop THAT PARTICULAR speeder.In the era of Big/Meta Data there are no coincidences.


Speaking of the dark side...

Gretchen Carlson just had a segment on brand new Children's Interactive Pajamas.

Apparently multiple stories are embedded in your kids PJ's, and you wave a Smart phone over a collection of dots on a particular location such as your elbow, and up pops a story that you read on your I-phone together:

On the plus side, this would be excellent for Pajama Boy:

He could have his cocoa, and then let his Jammies tell him all about ObamaCare, without bothering any of the rest of us.

On the minus side, he'd have to know his ass from his elbow.


...after a state trooper found nearly 50 bombs and the blueprints for a Navy SEAL training facility inside his car...

TK, Under this administration I'm surprised they didn't let him go.


All I want to know is which TP chapter he belongs to.


"This calls for Butter-grilled Peanut Butter and Banana sandwiches tonight:)"

On the menu at our house. Possibly some will also have bacon, though it is unorthodox.

Our girls call it "Elvis Day." They don't care much about Elvis - they just love the sandwiches.


It might also explain why the e-mails and documentation are so easily available.


Could be. But that would mean that Christie is burning his own staff. Not nice.


Shep seems very happy today to be reporting the news about the E-mails showing that Christie's Staff new about the punishment road closures. I don't believe I've seen such a Cheshire Cat grin on his face in a long, long time.


Daddy-- of course they arrested him, he's an old white guy.

Danube on iPad

"Today's poor are vastly better off than their counterparts were 50 years ago."

And most of them would be considered wealyhy in much of the rest of the world.

Dave (in MA)

With all those bombs he could be an advisor or an autobiographer to a future president. Let's take a look:

Andrew Boguslawski's Education
university of pittsburgh, wright state university
organizational leadership
Hmm... An organizer; maybe even some feather-passing in his past.


The liberals in Maine love Christie. He and other GOP governors who expanded Medicaid were praised today at a rally in Augusta urging Lepage and moderate legislators to expand Medicaid.The Maine People's Alliance and other liberal advocacy groups sponsored the event.Children were holding signs saying "health care is a right."


Dave,have you heard any updates about Jeff Jacoby's son? Howie hasn't mentioned it.

Beasts of England

38 degrees at the lake - I got the wet stuff!

Showered, shaved and ready!


Hmm... An organizer; maybe even some feather-passing in his past.

If only he'd had interactive pajama's I'm sure none of this would have happened.

Jeff Jacoby's son?

Reminds me sadly of Michelle Malkin's niece who disappeared a couple years back on the University of Washington campus.


Agreed, but it would not be the first time, staffers are sacrified for their leaders.

Plus a cushy job somewhere else, can take away the sting. :(

Jack is Back!

My friend in NJ says this is payback for the lane closure stunt and that the suits in Ft. Lee are plenty pissed, not just the Dems but the Repubs.

Jack is Back!

Forgot: There is evidently a letter from the agrieved mayor that set the whole thing in motion.


My prayers for your son to keep him safe.
Gates tells it like it is and another nail goes into the coffin of a Hillary 2016 campaign. I don't yet believe that all of the people could be fooled again into voting in an opportunistic baggage laden harridan as the next president. Surely 8 years of Obama has taught the masses never to trust a prog and anti-american person to lead us into the future. My guess is after the thumping of the midterms -Kerry will be the only dem dumb enough to try to win the White House in 2016.

Dave (in MA)

Marlene, all I know is something Clarice shared on FB yesterday.


We miss you. Please post more often as we love your comments!


wave a Smart phone over a collection of dots on a particular location 

I do not wish to know where pajama boy's dot collection is located.


For you weather/climate buffs out there, delicious stuff from Delingpole:

Jack is Back!

Christie issued statement but I can't C&P.

Dave (in MA)


3:35 p.m. CST, January 8, 2014


This is not an excerpt. It's the whole article.

Jack is Back!

Ben Domenech tweets:

RT @DavidMDrucker: The Jersey thing for CC to do would have been to say: Yeah, I did it; what are you going to do about it. F you.

A statement via release. No presser. Who prepared his previous presser of denial? What did he know and when did he know it?

This is not going away soon.

Cecil Turner

My main problem with Christie isn't that he just acted like a typical liberal politician (i.e., an overprivileged thug) . . . it's that he's no conservative.

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