Saturday, October 20, 2012

Exxon snubs Maliki over West Qurna 1

Looks like the Kurdish region promises a sweeter deal for Exxon. This will definitely put a brake on Maliki's ambitious plans to rival Saudi Arabia in oil exports, maybe even if Russian and Chinese oil companies rush in to fill the void, which seems to be what he prefers (more loot for him and the other bandits in power that way):

(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil wants to leave its giant oilfield project in southern Iraq, diplomatic sources said, in a move likely to aggravate the country's internal tensions and hamper Baghdad's ambitious energy expansion plans.

The desire of the world's largest publicly traded oil company to quit was due to prospects of slim profits from the estimated $50 billion West Qurna-1 project, the sources said. An exit from the project would contrast with a deal Exxon signed a year ago to explore in Iraq's autonomous northern Kurdish region, where incentives are better.

Baghdad deemed the Kurdish deal illegal and promised to punish Exxon by ripping up its contract for West Qurna-1, which has reserves of 8.7 billion barrels.
More

179 comments:

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
From the Reuters' piece:

      "Iraq's Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has gone
      so far as to ask U.S. President Barack Obama to
      force Exxon to pull out of West Qurna, saying its
      actions are a threat to peace.
"

I'd say the boys at Exxon have effectively called his bluff.

RhusLancia said...

So exxon wants out, and baghdad wants to kick them out? everybody's happy?

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Except for Bruno, who still thinks we went to war for all of those oil profits.

Hi Rhus! Long time no see. I hope all is well with you and your family.

RhusLancia said...

Hi Lynnette! All's well - how have you been?

Petes said...

Hi Rhus! Keeping well? How'r'the motorbikes 'n' stuff?

Petes said...

This spat between Exxon and Baghdad is old news. Will be interesting when it comes to a head though.

LOL @ "The Journal of Turkish Weekly" who wrapped the Reuters article with their own header paragraph:

http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/144040/exxon-may-exit-from-south-iraq-oil-project-.html

... in which Exxon is said to be flexing their "mussels". As the old joke goes -- what shellfish bastards!

Marcus said...

Hi there Rhus.

Rhus: "So exxon wants out, and baghdad wants to kick them out? everybody's happy?"

I don't think Exxon really wants out of West Qurna. And I don't think Baghdad really wants them out either.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Rhus] ...how have you been?

Not bad, I've been spending my time in piles of leaves at home and Brunoland here on Zeyad's site. :)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Exxon is said to be flexing their "mussels". As the old joke goes -- what shellfish bastards!

lol!

Petes said...

[Marcus]: "I don't think Exxon really wants out of West Qurna. And I don't think Baghdad really wants them out either."

I think you're probably wrong. Sharistani wrangled a ball breaker of a deal out of the IOCs who got the last round of oil contracts. Going from memory, didn't the round of offers circa June 2009 fail to attract almost any bidders, and then they got the current contracts away circa December 2009?

Exxon were probably not all that excited about winning West Qurna to begin with, but it was a toe in the door, and I would guess they didn't want to lose out long term to the likes of Lukoil (who got West Qurna phase II) and CNOOC. But the actual contract only involved flat rate services for infrastructure improvement, plus a less than $2/bbl bonus for any marginal increase in output at West Qurna.

Now, you could look at this two ways. Shahristani was right to play hard ball -- West Qurna is a jewel of the middle east, the second biggest oil field on the planet after Ghawar in Saudi Arabia. Exxon have the opportunity to ramp production from under 0.3 Mbpd to 2.5 Mpdb, making them a billion dollars a year on their bonus. On the other hand, that will take seven years or more, and it's far from being all profit for Exxon. They have annual revenue of $340 bn, so in fact this is kind of small fry for them.

Meanwhile, Exxon have clocked up a couple of years experience of working on the ground in southern Iraq, and maybe they don't like the conditions there, or find that things aren't going to plan. They're not the only ones getting cold feet. Statoil already sold their share of West Qurna Phase II, which they won along with Lukoil.

But most importantly, Exxon have been in the shit with Baghdad over their dealings with the KRG, who are offering much more lucrative contracts than Baghdad. It has probably become obvious over the past three years that the KRG isn't backing down in their dealings with Baghdad, and with over thirty (illegal, according to Baghdad) contracts already signed with IOCs, corporate monsters like Exxon may feel that the prize is getting away. It's probably also clearer that many of these contract will be fulfilled while still in legal limbo, since the signing of an oil law still seems almost as far off as ever, with the Kurds and Baghdad currently disagreeing over who will be the ultimate head of the Federal Oil and Gas Council (the Federal Oil minister vs. a panel appointed by parliament -- you can guess who wants which).

So, in short, I would say that after its rap on the knuckles, Exxon has called Baghdad's bluff. I don't think it would be doing this unless it was prepared to actually pull up the tent pegs and leave West Qurna. In fact, it seems to be actively seeking to do so.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Re:  American politics

Last Presidential debate.  Interesting opening.  Romney opened by adopting Obama's general foreign policy postions and claiming them as his own.  Obama seems nonplussed.  Thrown totally off stride.  If this turns into another Romney romp as was the Denver debate Obama's gonna be in trouble in the polls tomorrow and after.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
More on the debate:

I give it to Obama on points; Romney wins on style.  (Guy looks damn good when he's lying; looks much better than when he's struggling to find a way to characterize the truth as his friend.)  Given that style usually trumps substance (unless the substantive gap is just too big to bluff through), I'm guessing that the after-debate talk probably gives the win to Romney here, but not by a lot--close to a tie--small advantage Romney.
Personally, I give the debate to Obama, but I grade mostly on points. 

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Post Script:

Oh, yeah…
Romney was smart enough to stay far the hell away from the Benghazi thing this time.  The right-wing crazies will be disappointed, but we kinda knew by Saturday night that Romney'd learned his lesson there.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Last post for the night re:  American politics.

CBS first snap poll tells me I was much too hard on my fellow citizens. 

      CBS insta-poll: Obama wins debate, 53 percent to
      23 percent…
      "The first snap poll of tonight's debate shows --
      contrary to some assessments in the pundit class --
      a clearer win for Obama than last week's debate at
      Hofstra:
      @CBSNews BREAKING: CBS NEWS INSTANT
      POLL Who won the #Debate? OBAMA: 53%;
      ROMNEY: 23%, TIE: 24% (Margin of Error: 4%;
      Sample Size: 521)
"

Appears that smarmy grin Romney wears when he's bullshittin’ has started to wear thin a little faster than I gave the common folks credit for.

Marcus said...

I saw some clips and have to sat Obama seems to have done well. Now, I have to consider that our media is very biased and might very well pick snippets that favour Obama.

One thing I didn't like was the "1980 called and wanted its foreign policy back"-comment. Any "X called and wanted its Y back"-remarks sound like kindergarten taunts to me. It just sounds silly and way beneath anyone looking to look presidential.

Marcus said...

@Pete, 2:54 PM

Most of that seems to be a good summation of the facts.

My thoughts were that Exxon probably wants to keep West Qurna but that they are prepared to put it in play if Baghdad pushes too hard on their dealings with KRG.

Hard to say who's bluffing and who's calling.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
More in the morning re:  American politics.

It occurs to me that the Republicans are now having to swallow Romney abandoning the last remnants of his last neo-con incarnation.  And a quick check of the early morning's headlines convinces me that they're more than ready to swallow this sudden switch from party dogma to a seeming reasonableness.  Charles Krauthammer's okay with it.  He did make note of it, and then rather explicitly okay'd it as probably necessary to win the election in two weeks.  Eric Erikson, who must have also noticed it, decided to just ignore it entirely and proclaim Mitt the clear winner of last night's tet-a-tet.
I am a bit surprised at their willingness, after the first debate as well as the last one, to cheerfully accept Romney doing a public 180° on so many of their cherished right-winger dogmata.  They're really serious about wanting to beat Obama; they'll accept almost anything at this point to get that done.
 
             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

I still think that Exxon rather clearly called Maliki.  I suppose it remains to be seen whether Maliki was bluffing.  But, it's ‘bout time to show cards and find out.

Marcus said...

Lee: "I am a bit surprised at their willingness, after the first debate as well as the last one, to cheerfully accept Romney doing a public 180° on so many of their cherished right-winger dogmata."

Perhaps they're thinking it will be equally easy for him to turn back again if and when he's secured the win?

I just read a Swedish article claiming that Romney went very far to the right to win the Republican nomination and has now veered hard straight to the middle to aim at swing voters and especially any new women voters he might reach. I can't say I agree completely because I haven't informed myself enough to be sure, but I have seen at least some signs of two different Romneys IMO. That then begs the question: which, if either, is the one who would be President should he win the election?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "I just read a Swedish article claiming that…"

That article accurately describes the convention wisdom over here.  I pretty much go along with that; couple of embellishments I could include if you were interested in the details, but for now it's probably enough to say they got the outlines right.

      "That then begs the question: which, if either, is
      the one who would be President should he win the
      election?
"

It's impossible to say for certain.  There's not enough proof available.  But, this much can be said:  The Republican right-wingers are content to go along with Romney's late-breaking move to the middle because they're pretty much certain it's fake.  They're confident they'll actually get the right-wing Romney (who's currently being kept in hiding under the Mittness Protection Program).  And, they think they've got enough leverage on him to make him swing back to the right should he display any actual inclination to go moderate on them after the election.

And, I think they're right, on both counts.  It will not be necessary for them to use their leverage.  He'll come back home willingly.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

(who's currently being kept in hiding under the Mittness Protection Program)

ROFL!

I shared that with my co-workers, who found it hilarious. :)

Here is a good article by David Stockman regarding Romney and his "business" experience. David Stockman, mind you. That was interesting.

Unfortunately I fell asleep and missed the second half of the debate. I may have to watch the rerun, since it sounds like they are saying this was the best of them.

RhusLancia said...

Hi Marcus & Petes! Keeping well, riding and racing as much as I can- which isn't as much as I'd like!

RhusLancia said...

Lee C: who's currently being kept in hiding under the Mittness Protection Program

Good one indeed, Lee!

Marcus, it's sad but true that presidential candidates have to swing towards their base to win the primaries, then move back towards the middle for the general electorate. Obama did it, and Romney did too. You might recall how many on the right were not happy with Romney at all because of his record in Massachusetts and etc, and attacked his conservative credentials and whatnot. SO you have to look to their past and their record to see how a candidate will govern, and why I think Romney would be pretty good at real problem solving and bipartisanship. It's a moot point though, because Obama's going to win.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "I think Romney would be pretty good at real
      problem solving and bipartisanship.
"

I think I can lay out a real good argument for not expecting any attempt at bipartisanship out of a Romney administration if you wanna get into that.  (Or, we could just wait and see I guess.)

And, by the way, welcome back.

RhusLancia said...

Thanks Lee! I'm sure you could lay out a very good argument. But my money's on Obama (even if my vote isn't...)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "Here is a good article by David Stockman regarding
      Romney and his "business" experience.
"

Ah, the confessions of a vulture capitalist.  He's put his finger on the reason do not want Romney to preside over the much needed (and one hopes soon to be forthcoming) rewrite of our tax code.  (Although I do disagree with Stockman's assertion that ‘fairness’ should be an overriding principle driving the rewrite.  I'm naturally dubious of any financial arguments predicated on ‘fairness’.  That's too flexible and subjective a term for me to want to use as a guiding governmental principle.  I'm all in favor of fairness in general, but I'd prefer to have more concrete rational for taxing decisions.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "But my money's on Obama (even if my vote isn't...) "

I suspect that any hopes or notions you might hold about Romney's potential bipartisanship are not central to your vote anyway, so I wasn't expecting the argument to sway you in that regard.

Marcus said...

Lee, you asked in the last thread if there are no conservatives in Sweden, to which I replied that there hardly are any.

But what about the conservative movment in the US? Is there a real conservative choise in politics today? IMO the neo-conservatives differ from traditional conservatives enough that they would hardly qualify. And they seem to me to be in charge of the Republican party.

Marcus said...

"to which I replied that there hardly are any."

That should read: there are hardly any such choices among the political parties. (but I do believe there would be room for at least one such party, and while it would take time to build a political mandate I believe in time they could do well)

RhusLancia said...

Lee: "are not central to your vote anyway"

True, that's a few rings out from the bullseye, but still on the target for what I value in a prez.

Hey, where's Bruno these days? Back in prison again?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "But what about the conservative movment in the
      US?
"

Sure, there are plenty of old-fashioned conservatives left, but they're not in charge of the Republican Party any more.  And, the neo-cons aren't necessarily tea-bagger types.  Those latter guys run more towards the libertarian/Ayn Randian/social darwinist models, and many of them are isolationists.
Thing is, the Republican Party, like the Democratic Party is a coalition of interests.  In Sweden there'd be no less than three (3) distinct political parties (maybe more), but, with our winner-take-all/first-past-the-post system, the coalitions are built within the two dominant parties before the general election, not among parties after the general elections.  Just to take the Republicans for instance:  There would be a minimum of three ‘branches’ each of which would probably be a distinct political party under the Swedish system.

  1.  There are the business interests.  Wall Street types have come to dominate this group as income and financial inequalities have grown progressively larger in out society over the last thirty years or so.  Money equates to power and the money and power keeps getting more and more concentrated in fewer and fewer hands.  But smaller businesses tend to follow along and fall in.  They like low business taxes, low taxes on the wealthy and minimal or non-existant regulation save for regulations that might keep other folks from getting into business to compete with them.
  2.  There are the social conservatives (often looked down by the business wing, but necessary to pander to in order to make the coalition large enough to outvote the Democrats' coalition).  These are the Bible Thumpers and anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-modernity types who think America was a better place back in the 50s when Christian white folks ran the place as they saw fit.
  3.  There are the small-government types who think that government is the enemy of ‘freedom and liberty’.  They're pretty much convinced that anarchy is located someplace right next to nirvana.
  (And then there's the neo-cons, whose calling card is a global interventionist/American Exceptionalism theory that says that we Americans are so special that we should really be calling the shots world-wide and telling the whole world how to live.  These guys are interspersed among the three major branches of the Republican Party, probably more in the first two branches than in the third, which tends to hold most of the isolationists.  The neo-con designation denotes a foreign policy theory that can be compatible with any of the other main trends.)

Right now the social conservatives and Ayn Randian libertarians have the power in the Republican Party.  They tend to vote en bloc in the primaries, and now the Republican officeholders have become more fearful of a primary election challenge from their right (the social conservative/Randian libertarian coalition) than they are of the Democrats whom they'll face in the general elections.  So the party just keeps drifting to the right as the guys running for office try to outflank each other on the right to get through the primary and become the party candidate in the general election.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

He has been hanging out in the comments section under the September 6 post: "Maliki's office targets nightclubs", where we have been argu...er...debating a number of topics. Although I haven't seen him in a couple of days.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "Although I haven't seen him in a couple of days."

I'd noticed.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Oops, Lee snuck in with a comment. My comment was in response to Rhus's Bruno question. :)

Marcus said...

Very interesting Lee, and I'll reply with my own thoughts tommorrow, but tonight I have other stuff to see to.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Is there a real conservative choise in politics today?

I guess that depends on what you mean by conservative. I think the Republicans are still the social conservatives they have always been. But what seems to have changed is their views on budgetary issues. In the Reagan years they seemed more pragmatic in thinking, allowing for raising taxes if they needed to. Now, not so much.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Lee,

I would place Romney in number 1 and Michelle Bachmann in number 2. Although I think there is a certain amount of overlap, if I had to choose only one category, those would contain the issues of the most importance.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "I think there is a certain amount of overlap…"

Overlap, or ‘convergent evolution’ if one prefers, is actively encouraged, is sought after, to keep the coalition strong enough to defeat the Democrats' coalition.  Romeny didn't get to the right of Rick Perry on immigration by accident (and certainly not as a matter of conviction).

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "I'll reply with my own thoughts tommorrow…"

I expect to be engaged with the real world tomorrow.  But, I'll look in late day my time probably.

Bruno said...

Bruno is trying to stop posting on blogs and do something useful instead ... :)

Meanwhile, I'd like to point out that Maliki doesnt have a lot of options to replace Exxon with at the moment. He tried to get the Russians involved but they said that they couldn't handle it. I think he'd ditch them if he could.

Marcus said...

Hmm. I said I'd reply with my own thoughts but it turns out i don't have that much to add other than it was an interesting explanation. A few observations:

"the coalitions are built within the two dominant parties before the general election, not among parties after the general elections."

That's more and more the case here as well. One major factor behind that the Social Democrats lost out in the last two elections is an alliance (called the Alliance) between 4 parties on the right (our right, not to be confused with anything resembling the US right). The Social Democrats made the mistake to try to build an alliance of their own with the leftists and the greens and especially being in an alliance with the leftists cost them dearly. They used to have the advantage of being the only party who could go into the elections as a government alternative alone, even if they most often ruled as a minority government with support from different parties on different issues. That labeled them "government worthy", as you knew what you got with them. The Alliance basically turned the tables on that one, but the tables might soon turn back because within the Alliance the biggest party, the Moderates, is canibalising the smaller ones. Anyway, alliance-building before the general elections has become increasingly important.

"These are the Bible Thumpers and anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-modernity types who think America was a better place back in the 50s when Christian white folks ran the place as they saw fit."

They do have demographics against them though. Running with that platform in 20 years will probably be a dead end. At least if they can't reach out to other groups than whites. I heard Cubans in excile in the US is one group who tend to largely vote with the right because they see the right as tougher on Communism. Maybe their present fervour is in part caused by the realisation that they risk becoming obsolete?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "I heard Cubans in excile in the US is one group
      who tend to largely vote with the right because they
      see the right as tougher on Communism.
"

Specifically, tougher on Fidel Castro, whom the exiles still vehemently despise, as much for being Fidel Castro as for being a communist.

      "Maybe their present fervour is in part caused by
      the realisation that they risk becoming obsolete?
"

I believe that's true. I've thought that for a while now.  Glenn Hannibaugh keeps insisting that this is the most important election of our lifetimes.  And, for them, that's true.  Next election will also be ‘the most important election of [their] lifetimes’, as important as this one, if not more so; ditto for the one after that.  They're going to lose soon; they'd be dead in the water this time if the economy weren't such a persistent bitch.  (Count the number of governments which have fallen in Europe--right-leaning or left-leaning, doesn't matter--whomever was in power when the crunch hit got buster outta power in the next elections.)  They've got a losing message, longer term, and wouldn't have had a shot this time if the economy weren't such a bitch.  (The fact that Romney only got back on his feet after doing a truly incredible, and serendipitously well-timed, 180° during the first debate, and not getting called on it by Obama on the spot, is evidence of this.)  And, it's pretty much demographics.  Their ‘base’ is a combination of the Old South White Power structure (which is dying off), rural voters (in an increasingly not rural nation) and various forms of nostalgic reactionaries longing for the good ol’ days.  When they lose a couple in a row (and that day's comin’ soon ‘nuff), they'll have to clean up their own house to attract a wider audience, and the nostalgic, reactionary crowd are not going to take that well.  (Fidel's gonna die too, and soon, so they'll start losing their lock on even that block.)
It's even beginning to look like Obama might pull off an electoral win in spite of possibly losing the popular vote on account of Romney may run up a huge advantage in the Old South, but find out that his votes aren't scattered widely enough through the general population to win enough electoral votes.  (An oddity of our electoral system where states' electoral votes for president are awarded according to who won the state.  One can win Old South Dixie State by 1,000,000 votes and then lose in three More Moderate Not Dixie States, by a combined total of 700,000 votes, and one gets credited all the votes of only the one state where one ran up the huge majority, while one's opponent gets all the votes of the other three states where he only managed to pull a combined 700,000 vote majority.  So, the Dixie Candidate is 300,000 popular votes ahead in total, but loses three states out of the four.  It's happened four times in our history already, most recently when Dubya defeated Al Gore in year 2000.  It only happens when the popular vote is pretty close to a tie though.)  It's looking like there's a reasonable chance it may happen again this time.  There'll be hell to pay inside the Republican coalition if that happens this time.  But, the housecleaning is coming; the demographics are agains them and eventually it'll have to happen, and when it eventually has to it eventually will.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
typo correction:  ‘…got busted outta power…’

(I'll let the other ones ride.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "CINCINNATI, OH -- Republican presidential
      nominee Mitt Romney's campaign announced on
      Thursday that its Victory fund had hauled in a record
      $111.8 million dollars in the first two weeks of
      October.
"
      MSNBC

Holy crap!  That's a lotta money in a short time.

Marcus said...

If you guys were to guess the election now, what would your best bet be?

I'd say, for no other reason than starting off with a guesstimate, 70/30 in favour of Obama.

That's very much guesswork but it's based on some article I came across that claimed Obama had more locked down electorates than Romney and that Romney needs to secure a very strong majority of the swing states while Obamma just needs to get a few of them to his side. Dunno how much truth there is to that but that's what the article claimed and if I'm gonna guess I gotta guess based on something.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "I'd say…70/30 in favour of Obama.
     
"[B]ased on some article I came across that claimed
      Obama had more locked down electorates than
      Romney and that Romney needs to secure a very
      strong majority of the swing states while Obamma
      just needs to get a few of them to his side.
"

Real Clear Politics’ gave Romney more ‘locked down electorates’  by 206 to 201 (270 needed to win), up until this morning anyway.  As of this morning they've taken one state back away from Romney and put it back in the tossup category, and now they give Obama an edge over Romney 201 to 191.  (Although they figure Romney ahead in the popular vote by 47.8% to 47.1% that .6% difference is almost meaningless given the margin of error for their polls)
Figuring that Obama and Romney will win the states where RCP has figured them ahead right now even though they're considered close enough to call ‘toss ups’, then RCP figures Obama to win 281 to 257.

Odds of 70/30 for Obama are pretty close to the conventional wisdom at this point.  The internet betting site Intrade has it at 63.5% to 36.3%   (The 2% difference represents the house cut.)  Vegas odds are running about 66% for Obama, probably a little higher today.  I'd have put it at less until just here lately, like within the last 48 hours, but I think I see signs that the surge in favor of Romney after that first presidentail debate has begun to not just flatten out, but actually started to fall back a little.  And RCP did take back one state from Romney's in-the-bag column (North Carolina) and put down as in play again, so apparently they think they're seeing the same thing.  So maybe odds of 2 to 1 in favor of Obama, or even 70/30 in favor of Obama, aren't so far off after all.  But, I'd still want odds closer to 60/40 if I were gonna bet money on Obama today.

RhusLancia said...

Marcus, you're right in your analysis. I'd put it at 60/40 in favor of Obama myself.

You might like this map that tracks and averages all the various polls and puts them on an electoral map:

http://electoral-vote.com/

It has a "blue" editorial leaning, so you might not find it offensive on a Glenn Hannibagh scale neither.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Note to Rhus,

I notice that Glenn Hannibaugh are still desperately trying to push the Benghazi ‘scandal’, and they pretty much got nothin’, so they're taking some serious liberties with the truth.

JG said...

What a circus of an election. Not much of a choice really. They are both bought and paid for by big capital.

RhusLancia said...

It's unfortunate that Obama chose to politicize it so, but he's running a much smaller-minded campaign this time compared to '08. Romney was right to stay away from it at the third debate though. Fox is reporting that requests for help were made and denied:

EXCLUSIVE: CIA operators were denied request for help during Benghazi attack, sources say

That would be pretty scandalous, but we'll need non-Fox corroboration of course, then even so it would only matter after the election when people can see a little more clearly.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "It's unfortunate that Obama chose to politicize it
      so…
"

You don't often get a laugh out of me, but that one worked.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "That would be pretty scandalous…"

Quaere though:

How do you suppose FoxNews intends to jump General Petraeus, long held hero among the Hannibaugh listeners, and pin this on Obama without going through Petraeus?

Petes said...

It's rarely enough that one misses our Italian friend. But I would like to have seen the moment of glee when Berlusconi was handed down his four year sentence for tax fraud. Not that he's going to jail or anything -- that will require two level of appeals first.

But he still faces further charges on that little prostitution racket ... and that's on An Italian's home turf in Milan. They'll make something stick yet.

P.S. Marcus -- I don't think the US election is in much doubt. Much has been made about Romney's gains, and the popular vote may yet be close. But when you take the electoral college into account and look at the swing states, I think Obama has had it sewn up for a long time, and that looks unlikely to change. The rest is just media churn.

I agree with the troll -- if the Republicans can't hang Obama for the disastrous economy of the last four years (in spite of that being caused by the previous administration's policies, but your average voting public can be expected to be sufficiently amnesic) they may as well hang up their boots, even prominent right-wingers have commented.

Let's see if the GOP reinvents itself in the next four to eight years. Nature abhors a vacuum, so they say, and the way American politics are organised it seems very unlikely that any challenges will appear from outside the two-party system. And Civil War II seems a tad unlikely, in spite of the increasingly hostile culture wars.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "…if the Republicans can't hang Obama for the
      disastrous economy of the last four years…
"

It's more than just that thing about the ‘disastrous economy’.  They've been actively running this election campaign against Obama since they first caught their breath in January of ‘09.  They've never let up.  And, if the persistently sluggish economy hadn't given them a tremendous boost they'd have gotten their clock cleaned anyway.  The smart ones know it.
The tea-bagger crowd still don't.  They think they won the 2010 mid-term elections for the Republicans.  And, in spite of watching Romney's serendipitously well-timed 180 beginning on 3 October, and his surge after that, I think they're still gonna manage to convince themselves that the real problem was that Romney wasn't ‘pure’ enough.
They're not gonna let go of their new found dominant position in the Republican Party quietly and with good grace.  (‘Cause this is their last stand, and in their hearts they know it, as Marcus has observed.  They've got nothin’ else to lose.)  So, it's gonna get ugly.  There may yet be schism within the Republican Party before 2016 rolls around.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Post Script:

It was probably Senator Lindsey Graham, (R.) of South Carolina who diagnosed their problem most succinctly.  ‘We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."

RhusLancia said...

Lee: How do you suppose FoxNews intends to jump General Petraeus, long held hero among the Hannibaugh listeners, and pin this on Obama without going through Petraeus?

ABC is picking it up now a little. Obama doesn't answer about the request. re: Petraeus, the CIA allegedly denies having denied the request. So IF the request was denied, who did it?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "…the CIA allegedly denies having denied the
      request…
"

Interesting:

      "Fox News has learned…that an urgent request
      from the CIA annex for military back-up…was denied
      by the CIA chain of command
"
      FoxNews

There appears to be a discrepancy here.

So, we've got CIA agents out where they weren't supposed to be, trying to call in an air strike on a civilian populated neighborhood of an allegedly friendly nation, and not going through their chain of command? 
I can see where that might take some time to clear up before the request might be honored.  (I wonder if ‘denied’ means somebody said ‘no’ or does it mean they said ‘Let me get back to you on that’.  Might make a difference.)

But, in answer to your question, I'm still trying to figure out how the request might have been routed.  Don't know who might have ‘denied’ the request until we know to whom the request was allegedly submitted.  And there seems to be some confusion ‘bout that.
Do you think they called the White House maybe?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Post Script:

However, guess we have figured out a way to keep Petraeus safe.

RhusLancia said...

Yes, discrepancies. This article (about halfway down) puts a version of events together - no new info, mind you, just one version of what's been said so far. In here, it looks like it might be Panetta who could have held people back.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

   
Ah, yes, Panetta; Secretary of Defense, Democrat.  Boo, hiss,…  That'll work.  He's feisty though, even though he's old, he's still feisty.  He'll fight back too.  But, that'll work for now.  After all, this is pretty much livin’ at the Glenn Hannibaugh level, and they don't need much to work with.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
And, here we go…  Bill Kristol decides that, now there's a route to be found around Petraeus, now that Petraeus can be made safe, they simply need to jump Panetta entirely and prove by the assertion that the decision was indeed made by the White House, and by Obama in particular.  (Don't have time to screw around with Panetta; gotta make the leap and get up on Obama.  If the jump doesn't work, at least he falls short on Panetta rather than on Petraeus.)  Got that Muslim-lovin’ bastard by the short hairs now by gawd!   And, now he can quote himself when he goes on FoxNewsSunday tomorrow.  Surely Chris Wallace will cooperate and pose the proper question.

RhusLancia said...

So do you think nobody said "stand down"? Or if somebody said it, who? Panetta's quotes are closest to that mark so far, don't you think? OR do you think his quotes are false?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "So do you think nobody said ‘stand down’? Or if
      somebody said it, who?
"

I thought we were several hours past that point by now, but if you want to recircle…
FoxNews reports based on ‘sources who were on the ground in Benghazi’, who may or may not have been a local who may or may not have had a clue what went down.  But, assuming arguendo that they asked for permission to go to the consulate (which is not where they were killed), and were told to ‘stand down’…  Bein’ as they were CIA attached to a consulate safe house, I'd reckon that the request for permission to abandon their post in favor of the firefight at the consulate was probably made either to the CIA (Petraeus in charge and don't wanna be seen to suggest tarnish on him) or the State Department (Hillary again, and they wanna screw with her even less than they wanna screw with Panetta).  Likely one of those is where the denial of that request came from. 
However, that doesn't address the question of who might have ‘denied’ an air strike on a populated civilian neighborhood several hours later and a couple miles away, which is a whole ‘nother question.  And, on that point I noticed that the CIA statement says that:

      "No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not
      to help those in need; claims to the contrary are
      simply inaccurate.


However, that fairly neatly dodges the question of what the CIA brass told the field agents.  Did the agents request the air strike up through CIA channels and get told ‘no’ by the CIA chain of command itself?  They, rather too conveniently for my taste, do not say.  They just skip right on past that point before taking up the subject, and telling us what didn't happen.  (Which denial doesn't actually match up exactly with any accusations I know to have been made to date.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
And, just by the way, FoxNews was reporting what may simply be rumor, highly spiced with innuendo instead of facts, and seems to cherry pick the facts it does mention.  Mostly what I notice it doesn't mention is that it looked like the the battle was over.  Everything had gone quiet for a couple of hours, and then, boom one last volley of mortar fire, and the two CIA guys got hit.  Surprise!
That seems to be what I piece together out of that story, but they don't make it easy.  Reckon that's on purpose they don't make it easy?  Or you reckon that's just poor writing skills?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Just to emphasize the point:  ‘ Mostly what I notice it doesn't mention is that it looked like the the battle was over. Everything had gone quiet for a couple of hours, and it appears that backup had already arrived, and then boom and etc."

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
It may be my imagination, but I think that FoxNews article has been revised without any acknowledgment of changes from the first publishing.  No acknowledgment that they've cleaned it up a bit.  That non-responsive CIA denial first quoted by Jake Tapper, that's now included in the FoxNews piece.  I don't think that was there before.

Xiao Kang said...

I think Obama will solve this problems

vegetarian said...

this is a great news.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
FoxNewsSunday, as I expected, Chris Wallace has just led a discussion centered on discovering how many rumors about the Benghazi incident can be mentioned on air within 10 minutes.  A couple of the ‘better’ rumors have already been denied and the denials printed, but he's acting like he doesn't know ‘bout that (and maybe he don't).  No doubt there's more to come when Bill Kristol gets some camera time.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Awwww…  No Bill Kristol on FoxNewsSunday today; they had a chance to get Karl Rove and took it.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Not to change the subject, since I haven't checked to see what is being discussed yet, but here is an interesting article on an oil boom taking place in...guess where?

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

{PeteS] Let's see if the GOP reinvents itself in the next four to eight years.

I think this election may very well be a deciding factor. There may be a sense of things slipping away. Here in Minnesota there is an issue on the ballot regarding an amendment to the Minnesota constitution to ban gay marriage. There has been a certain amount of speculation that the reason they(the GOP) have been making it such a hot button issue is to try to get the faithful out to vote. Gay marriage is not legal in Minnesota, anyway. Right now it is a near tie on that amendment. In which case it would not pass, because it takes a clear 50% majority to amend the state constitution.

Maybe Obama has the electoral college sown up, Rhus's neat little map shows at this point he has enough to win, but I think it will be the votes on these other issues that are telling. At least on whether or not the GOP's message still resonates. The majority of younger voters are voting against the amendment to ban gay marriage.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Lee] They've been actively running this election campaign against Obama since they first caught their breath in January of ‘09. They've never let up. And, if the persistently sluggish economy hadn't given them a tremendous boost they'd have gotten their clock cleaned anyway. The smart ones know it.
The tea-bagger crowd still don't.


If Obama wins and the split in the Congress remains, the Senate Democratic and the House Republican, it will be interesting to see what the second installmnet of the "fiscal cliff" arguement results in. Does Boehner rein in the House and will Obama muzzle the "Pelosi's" out there?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "If Obama wins and the split in the Congress
      remains…
"

That seems to be the most likely outcome.  The Democrats will pick up some seats in the House, but it's highly unlikely they'll take control.  The Senate will probably remain in Democratic hands--either side could pick up a seat or two.  Several Senate races seem to be highly volatile

      "Does Boehner rein in the House…"

Don't know that he can.  They may have to butt heads a time or two.

     "[W]ill Obama muzzle the ‘Pelosi's’ out there?"

Unlikely he'll muzzle them.  He'll make them come along still grumbling ‘bout it is most likely what'll happen.  And it'll be Pelosi who'll see to it that it happens.
 
             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
On the other subject:  Yeah, the gay marriage thing is on the ballot to make sure the Republican base turns out.  There's a marijuana initiative on the ballot in Colorado to assist in getting some Obama votes to the polls there.

RhusLancia said...

Lee C: "Just to emphasize the point:  ‘ Mostly what I notice it doesn't mention is that it looked like the the battle was over. Everything had gone quiet for a couple of hours, and it appears that backup had already arrived, and then boom and etc."

No, the Fox article says requests to assist by the CIA annex were made early and rejected. It goes on to say at least three people did "abandon their post" (as you say) and went to the consulate, where they did evacuate one body and "those who remained at the consulate" - some live people, I presume. The Fox article says at least two requests were made and denied in the early parts of the battle, in fact.


Lee C
* "So, we've got CIA agents out where they weren't supposed to be, trying to call in an air strike on a civilian populated neighborhood ..."
* "However, that doesn't address the question of who might have ‘denied’ an air strike"
* "Did the agents request the air strike up through CIA channels and get told ‘no’ by the CIA chain of command itself?"


I don't know how accurate the Fox article is, if at all, but it definitely claims the "stand down" was given early, when help was needed at the consulate, and not confined to air support.


Lee C "I'd reckon that the request for permission to abandon their post in favor of the firefight at the consulate..."

Biden allegededly appreciated the size of the balls of one of the guys who "abandoned his post" and helped where it was needed...

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
You seem to be conflating ‘calls for backup’ to go to the consulate with calls for an air strike on the mortar position, and they're not necessarily the same thing.  Very probably very different things in fact.  And nobody has challenged the CIA guys’ eagerness to go get in on the action at the consulate.
Furthermore, we don't know that ‘help was needed at the consulate’ when they first asked to go there.  It may have been effectively over by then.  The timeline given here is fairly general.

More to the point, while the Fox piece is a bit vague on exactly where the American Quick Reaction Force was at 4:00 a.m. local time when the CIA agents were killed (wonder why they're vague ‘bout that?), it nevertheless clearly says that backup in the form of a friendly Libyan militia unit had been there at the annex with ‘em for a good hour before they got killed by that final volley.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Post Script:

Don't let yourself get confused by the FoxNews/Glenn Hannibaugh rap ‘bout how there was a 'seven-hour battle’.  There were at least two, maybe three, separate actions.  There was the initial attack on the consulate, which was apparently a a fairly quick strike, and then over.  The CIA guys were said to have heard the opening shots around 9:40 pm, and they were back at the annex about midnight.  Two and a half hours out and back maybe. 
They shot at some folks during the trip, and may even have led the hostiles back to the CIA annex (earier accounts had referred to it as an ‘embassy safe house’)  Then they got action at the CIA annex after they'd come back--that's the second engagement.
Then there appears to have been a calm for an indeterminate period of time.  During which support arrived in the form a friendly Libyan militia.  Don't know exactly where the American support unit was (there was an American support unit in Benghazi by then)--maybe still on the way from the Benghazi airport.
Then comes the late mortar volley around 4:00 am that killed them.  (Before or after the American unit got there?  Don't know.)
This was not a continuous ‘seven-hour battle’.  Don't let yourself get sucked into that faerie tale.

Petes said...

Have been watching the weather forecast for the east coast of the US, of course. But over here, the temperature has been back in single digits (Celsius) for a few days, with an Arctic high pressure system oozing it's way from north to south. Some are already speculating that it is the onset of a negative Arctic Oscillation -- the pattern that gave us the freezing winters of '09 and '10. I hope not. It's a grim enough time of year already -- today is the first of ninety-one days on which the sun sets before 5pm. I can well understand why we built Newgrange fifty centuries ago as a monument to the return of the sun.

Marcus said...

I really hope they're wrong about that negative Arctic Oscillation pattern Pete. What I especially dislike are the practical problems with lots of snow. It sucks bigtime if you work in logistics.

Ideal for me would be a light snowfall in the middle of December so we got a white Christmas, which is always nice. Then sunny days and -5 degrees Celcius, with just a little occational snowfall for the kids to enjoy, until late February. Then the snow and ice can melt away all at once and the temperature can swing to +15 degrees and we'll declare springtime.

Nw we're getting no news at all about the upcoming election, but only storm news.

RhusLancia said...

Lee C: "You seem to be conflating ‘calls for backup’ to go to the consulate with calls for an air strike on the mortar position, and they're not necessarily the same thing."

I know, they are two seperate things. You seem most interested in the latter, brushing aside the former for some reason.


Lee C: "Furthermore, we don't know that ‘help was needed at the consulate’ when they first asked to go there.  It may have been effectively over by then. "

According to the Fox story, the CIA folks who 'abandoned their post' in defiance of the article's claimed "stand down" order did exchange fire at the consulate as well as evacuate one body and an unspecified number of live people. To me that means there was urgent work to do there.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "brushing aside the former for some reason."

The reason would be that this is not the only description of events at the consulate to surface.  I have read others.
Depending on accuracy of the stories told…  The consulate may have been hit and overun in pretty much one motion--there doesn't seem to have been a prolonged battle there.  The ambassador may very well have been dead of smoke inhalation before the CIA agents ever left their safe house.  There may have been no good that ‘military backup’ sent to the consulate could have done; not enough time to get anybody there.   So, perhaps all the CIA guys really accomplished by ignoring orders and indulging their own predilections instead was to get themselves killed.  ‘Exchanging fire’ with looters combing through the aftermath, and corralling a couple of those looters, may well have been of no significant practical benefit.
But, I'm inclined to await the results of a proper investigation before I draw any firm conclusions.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Post Script:

Two more guys coming in late against the at least couple score of hostiles, maybe more, may well have been deemed nothing more than a suicide run for the two more guys.  Even if they were ex Navy SEALS.  So, there is some reason to believe the hostiles had largely departed before the CIA guys got there, leaving mostly looters in their wake.  Else the CIA guys likely have died at the consulate.  They may have then led some of the hostiles to the location of their safe house.  And, there may well have been no urgent need to ‘recover’ the body they picked up during their trip.  The Glenn Hannibaugh tales of Ambassador Stevens having been sodomized and the body dragged through the streets (which tale Hannity was still telling on the radio as of late last week) are almost certainly bullshit off the git.

Bridget said...


" where they did evacuate one body and "those who remained at the consulate" - some live people, I presume"

"So, perhaps all the CIA guys really accomplished by ignoring orders and indulging their own predilections instead was to get themselves killed"

Perhaps not.  It took several flights to evacuate the surviving American diplomatic personnel.

http://en.rian.ru/world/20120913/175927337.html

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=117838

I just saw Tyrone Woods father on Fox.  He's the one you might want to try a Joe the Plumber hatchet job on.  It's a total no go on blaming the hero son for his own death.  No doubt some left winger crazies are already digging around in the man's garbage cans, but I'm hoping Hurricane Sandy will spare us the ugly spectacle.

Petes said...

Marcus, if you think snow is a logistical nightmare in Sweden, which is geared up for it, try experiencing it in a country that isn't. Try it with no snow ploughs, with insufficient gritting trucks and salt supplies, where nobody knows what winter tires or snow chains are, and an inch of snow grinds the place to a halt. Add in daytime temperatures below -10C in a country where elevations below 200 metres rarely see any more than a light overnight frost in the deepest winter; where there is no insulated plumbing and aging shallow water mains crack at the slightest provocation; where many people, if they own a hat and gloves, can't remember where they stowed them. THAT'S a nightmare.

Just watched a BBC Horizon program called "Global Weirding" about how colder temps in the British Isles are related to droughts in Texas and other extreme weather effects. It reported that in back to back years, Texas had record rains followed by record droughts. Soil moisture level in parts of Texas are 99% lower than average. The dry super-tropical regions of the planet are expanding. Meanwhile, warmer Arctic temperatures cause higher pressures and winds from the north east, which can block the jet stream west of the British Isles and allow Siberian air to dominate. Northern Europe freezes while southern Europe and Canada have milder winters, since the overall heat stays the same or increases.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "Perhaps not. It took several flights to evacuate
      the surviving American diplomatic personnel.
"

Yes, perhaps not, perhaps hey found Americans at the compound who were still in peril.  But, then again, maybe the immediate peril had passed.  The Fox piece does not suggest that anybody already at the consulate was still taking fire from hostiles; they mention ‘evacuate’ but cannot bring themselves to use the word ‘rescue’, and I can't imagine FoxNews passing up that tidbit had it been available 
There are other accounts that suggest the latter scenario, that the point of peril at the consulate had passed by the time they got there and the site had been left to looters and gawkers.  We shall know soon enough.

      "I just saw Tyrone Woods father on Fox. *** It's a
      total no go on blaming the hero son for his own
      death.
"

Of that I am certain.  I had the opportunity to hear him on Glenn Beck's radio show the other day, before the folks at FoxNews had the opportunity to clean him up a little bit and make him presentable for primetime.  I soon-after learned that he was also a call-in to Lars Larson's radio show out of the Great NorthWest.  I'm not familiar with Larson, so I googled him up.  Turns out Larson is a protégé of and occasional stand-in for Michael Savage, who's a total crazy, makes Beck look like a positively reasonable person.  So, I'm fairly suspicious that Papa Woods is tea-bagger from the git-go, maybe even one of those who're convinced Obama is a secret Muslim whose goal it is to destroy America from the inside; one of those; real good chance he's one of those.  Likely been one of those for quite awhile now.
But, then again, maybe he's normally a reasonable person.  Maybe it was just a coincidence that his first outreach was to get himself on-air with the likes of Glenn Beck and Lars Larson.  We shall know soon enough.

Marcus said...

Lars Larson. Sounds very much like some swedish ancestry with that name. Googled him though and he was born in Taiwan, so any link to Sweden is probably way back.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
        "…he was born in Taiwan…"

But to American parents.  Online photograph does not suggest any Oriental ancestry, but I don't know anything beyond that.

I hear that campaign yard signs along the east coast are becoming hazards.  They tend to go airborne and travel considerable distances at high speeds.

Marcus said...

This time the storm was apparently for real. It must be hard to know when to take warnings seriously and when not to. Of course the safe and sane thing to do is to take all warnings seriously but when so many times it turns out to be not so bad it must be hard not to let the guard down the next time.

Pete: "Marcus, if you think snow is a logistical nightmare in Sweden, which is geared up for it, try experiencing it in a country that isn't."

I could argue that southern Sweden isn't that well geared up for it. Last winter there was hardly any snow at all here so what do you think that means for the snow-removal budgets for this year? There's no money put aside for it because evidently there was no need last year and so the same must be true for this year, right? So if it happens to snow it'll take municipalities a long time to debate what needs to be done, who needs to give the go ahead and what account the money will be paid from before they contract out the necessary tasks. Of course some basic tasks are alredy contracted out in advance but typically not enough if there's a "real" winter. You could say we've got the equipment, we've got the people, but we're lacking the level of readiness one would wish for.

But I could see it would be worse in Ireland. At least here individuals are well prepared with insulated houses and warm clothes and decent tires. For instance I always have a shovel, a tow-line, a bigpack of candles, several lighters and a warm sleeping bag in the trunk of my car. Never used most of it but the shovel has come in handy many times.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

PeteS,

If you don't have a good all season tire, try a little weight in the back of the car. That will at least help slow a slide and give you a chance to maneuver. Although it won't help if someone slides into you. :(

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

My thoughts go out to all of the people on the east coast today. Know that there are people out here who will be willing to help.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

You gotta love the resiliency of New Yorkers:

"I am looking outside of my sixth-floor apartment, and I see that a new lake has formed in the parking lot adjacent my building," New Yorker William Yaeck said. "I would be concerned, but now my building has a view of the river."

Marcus said...

Lynnette @ Pete: "try a little weight in the back of the car. That will at least help slow a slide and give you a chance to maneuver."

Good advice. The most effect you'll get is if this is done with a back-wheel driven car. But also on 4x4:s and front wheel driven cars it helps. As little as 50 kilos make a difference. And if you use a couple of sandbags for the extra weight you also have sand at hand to put under the tires to create friction and maybe get out of when you're stuck with spinning wheels in slippery snow. So two 25 kilo sandbags in the trunk is not a bad idea. I've never resorted to this myself (driving a Toyota RAV4 that performs very well in bad conditions) but it's a common suggestion in Sweden during the winter.

Marcus said...

@Lynnette

"I am looking outside of my sixth-floor apartment, and I see that a new lake has formed in the parking lot adjacent my building," New Yorker William Yaeck said. "I would be concerned, but now my building has a view of the river."

I really like the NY mentality. Straight on, a bit boorish at times, but very much no-bullshit and with a cynical yet humane sense of humour. It appeals to me.

I, and several of my friends have said the same, would have liked to live in New York for a period of my life. A year o so. It'll probably never happen for me but if I got the chance I'd jump at it.

It's been seven years now since I was last in New York but I can't imagine I won't be going back there many times more. One of my most favourite places.

(My younger brother proposed to his now wife on the boardwalk to the river in NYC last 4'th of July during the fireworks, and they got roaring applause from the crowd. Then they married in Las Vegas with an Elvis impersonator performing the ceremony. Great stuff!)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Marcus,

One of the people I work with drives a RAV4 too. He's been very happy with it.

For me a must have is anti-lock brakes. I love them in winter. It doesn't seem nearly as bad driving in snow and ice if you feel you have some chance of stopping. Last winter after a rather large storm left us buried in snow I still managed to make it into work. I felt a bit like my car was "swimming" down the road, but I made it. Of course, I didn't stop, because to stop is to get stuck. ;)

My younger brother proposed to his now wife on the boardwalk to the river in NYC last 4'th of July during the fireworks, and they got roaring applause from the crowd. Then they married in Las Vegas with an Elvis impersonator performing the ceremony. Great stuff!)

lol! That sounds very...American. :)

Petes said...

Do they make cars without anti-lock brakes still? We tend to get lower spec cars in Ireland compared to other countries because of the crazy high tax, but even here ABS made it into even the smallest cars about ten years ago. Must remember the ballast trick though(although I would never drive a rear wheel drive car).

On a more serious note ... I have to say the pictures from the US east coast today are shocking. We knew it was a big storm, in a theoretical kind of way, but the extent of the damage is much greater than I expected. Seems like the wind speeds were not as high as might have been expected, but the storm surge was several feet higher. And, of course, water is always the big menace.

There was a foot of rain in New Jersey. Presumably huge amounts of rain (not to mention snow) are falling inland. Does this mean there will be days of rising rivers as the rain works its way back to the coast? And the moon position is still such that there will be high tides for a few days.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
I came across a new piece of data regarding the Benghazi incidents.  I had mentioned before that American ‘military backup’ had indeed arrived in Benghazi before CIA guy, Tyrone Woods, was killed in the late launched mortar volley.  We also knew that Libyan friendlies had made it to the safe house/CIA "annex’, whatever one chooses to call it, to help defend, and that the assault on that location had faded away for an indeterminate period of time.  (It's lookin’ to me like at least an hour, maybe a couple of hours, but that's still hard to pin down.)
What I didn't know was whether or not American backup, the ‘Quick Reaction Force’ sent from Tripoli, had actually made it to the CIA annex (we'll go with the ‘CIA annex’ description for now).  Turns out they had, the other ex navy SEAL killed at the CIA annex, Glen Doherty, was actually a member of that backup unit sent from Tripoli.
It may very well turn out that it was the arrival of more Americans that motivated the hostiles to send in that final volley.  (I've suspected that for more than a couple of days now, but didn't have enough to hang a hat it on ‘til now.  And, that may not be it, but then again, it might.)

Morocco luxury tours said...

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   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "Out of the whopping $127.5 million being spent on
      advertisements in the final week of this race, Team
      Romney has a nearly 2-to-1 advantage over Team
      Obama….
"
      MSNBC, First Read

Need I remind anybody that it was Romney's ‘carpet bombing’ negative advertising campaigns, which dispatched, sequentially, a string of no less than six then front-runners for the Republican nomination.  He knows how to win this fight.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

PeteS,

Do they make cars without anti-lock brakes still?

Good question. I tend to buy used cars, rather than new, so I am not sure. The last time I was car shopping was 6 years ago and at that time there were still used cars on the lot(1 to 3 years old) that did not have anti-lock brakes.

I have talked to people who actually prefer no anti-lock brakes. I have never understood that, myself, because it seems more instinctive to tromp on the brakes when in a slide. And the computer can do the pumping thing a whole lot faster than a driver.

Seems like the wind speeds were not as high as might have been expected, but the storm surge was several feet higher.

I have been hearing that there were even 20 foot waves on Lake Ontario.

Presumably huge amounts of rain (not to mention snow) are falling inland.

Virginia Beach, VA received 9.54 inches of rain. Norfoik over 5. And snow is falling in parts of West Virginia.

Does this mean there will be days of rising rivers as the rain works its way back to the coast?

That's usually what happens here during spring melting. Keeps sandbagging crews busy.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Virginia Beach, VA received 9.54 inches of rain. Norfoik over 5. And snow is falling in parts of West Virginia.

Although those aren't necessarily inland, like you mentioned Pete. :)

Here are a series of photos from space showing how far back Sandy reached.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/29/us/gallery/sandy-sats/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

(Hopefully that link works better than the videos did.)

Petes said...

"Virginia Beach, VA received 9.54 inches of rain. Norfoik over 5."

I stayed down that neck of the woods a couple of years back (near Newport News) -- not that much earlier than this time of year and had idyllic weather. Now it sounds more like Ireland! :-)

"The last time I was car shopping was 6 years ago and at that time there were still used cars on the lot(1 to 3 years old) that did not have anti-lock brakes."

I tend to buy new (and keep forever). The car before last, though, was a midrange 1999 car bought in 2002, and very much had ABS. Took all the fun out of getting into skids. ;-)

"Here are a series of photos from space showing how far back Sandy reached."

Quite incredible!

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Climate change is real

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

I tend to buy new (and keep forever).

Well, I tryyy to keep forever. I really loved the last car I had, an Olds Cutlas, but unfortunately it met an untimely end due to a cement truck. *sigh*

JG said...

Freddie Starr arrested by police investigating Jimmy Savile case – reports

RhusLancia said...

Lee C: "And, there may well have been no urgent need to ‘recover’ the body they picked up during their trip."

I'm still wondering if the few went against "stand down" orders in going from the CIA annex to the consulate. How would anybody know if the danger had passed already? And that Amb. Stevens was already dead? And not worth recovering? Isn't protocol in cases like this for them to hole up in a safe zone (like they did) and wait for help to arrive?

As to urgency of recovering the dead, does nobody remember how the Fallujah bridge incident went done? Who would expect mere "looters" to respect any bodies they might find?

RhusLancia said...

done = down

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "How would anybody know if the danger had
      passed already?
"

If this is supposed to be the prelude to an argument in favor of sending our guys charging in blind then we'll need to take that up in more depth later.  The short answer to the question actually posed is that I distinctly recall Glenn Hannibaugh carryin’ on at great length ‘bout the video feed ‘in near real time’ being streamed out of the consulate to the State Department and CIA and maybe a couple of other places.

      "Who would expect mere ‘looters’ to respect any
      bodies they might find?
"

I have a distinctly unromantic attitude about dead bodies; I have discovered that I'm not nearly as worried about the sanctity of dead bodies as most people seem to be (although most people seem to be much more worried about the sanctity of their own dead than about dead bodies in general.  I tend to have a more general attitude about the subject.).  So, I may not be the right person to ask this of.  But, the short answer is, this is not Fallujah; the Libyans, in general, are rather grateful for our help in getting rid of Khadafi, rather than resentful for our having taken down their tribal hero, and there was no reason to suspect that Libyan looters were going to do anything more than avoid the bodies and go for the loot.

Petes said...

[JG$]: "Freddie Starr arrested by police investigating Jimmy Savile case – reports"

Who would've thunk it. Then again, who would've thunk that possibly the biggest perv of all time turns out not to be a Catholic priest. Must be disappointin' for y'all. And not only that, but it turns out the BBC was covering it up worse than a gaggle of scandal-averse bishops.

If this article is to be believed (and it has a believable ring about it), the whole entertainment industry is rotten to the core.

And Max Clifford appears to have decided that the best defence is offence.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
The CIA has released a fairly detailed timeline of the Benghazi attacks and the American response.  It appears to tell a tale, according to the analysis of David Ignatius, of ‘CIA misjudgment’, but apparently does not contain an admission that Barack Obama personally strangled Ambassador Chris Stevens with his own hands.  Accordingly, we can expect that the right-wingers will reject the document as a ‘CIA coverup’ at least until Wednesday.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Re:  American politics (one more before I lighten up on the subject for the day)
The last jobs report before the election is out.  171,000 new jobs (which should beat the ‘maintenance’ requirement of 125--150,000, depending on to whom one listens), but the unemployment rate inched up a little anyway, to 7.9% instead of inching down.  The predictable responses will follow soon.
I judge this a plus for Obama, if only because Romney's ‘surge’ following the first Presidential debate has flattened out, and he needs something to break in his favor, and this ain't a break in his favor.
(Romney supporters may contest my analysis, many are insisting that Romney is actually ahead, that Romney is currently winning this race.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Re:  American politics

FoxNewsSunday barely touched on the Benghazi incidents today.  Brit Hume, who did duty for Bill Kristol last week and served as the point man for last week's attacks, didn't mention it.  Last week he was carrying on ‘bout how only FoxNews was covering the 'scandal’ surrounding Benghazi and insisting that all the other news organizations should be getting onboard with FoxNews in that coverage; this week nobody mentioned Benghazi in front of Brit Hume (Although, Chris Wallace did bring it up with Obama's senior political strategist David Axelrod.  However, it was only in the context of carping that Obama had taken three days off the campaign trail in the wake of the hurricane, but didn't take a break from campaigning in the wake of Ambassador Steven's death.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Re:  American politics

Some Republicans, anticipating an Obama win tomorrow, are preparing to blame the outcome on favorable publicity for Obama following the hurricane hit on the east coast.  (Not all Republicans are anticipating an Obama win tomorrow--there are more than a few who think Romney's gonna win.)  In addition to the ‘favorable’ coverage for Obama, they believe that near saturation news coverage of the hurricane and its aftermath ‘knocked Romney's campaign off the news for three days and stalled his momentum’.
I will disagree.  I'd noticed that the polls had begun to turn against Romney well before Hurricane Sandy made landfall.  (See my posting timestamped 1:41 PM, above, responding to an inquiry from Marcus regarding the odds for each candidate's winning.)  Romney had topped out already, and was already beginning to slide back a little.  (This is a usual pattern, commonly known as ‘reversion to the mean’.  What happens is that candidates who are surging finally hit their peak, and then a few of the folks who'd switched to supporting them when they were ‘hot’ begin to remember what they originally didn't like ‘bout the candidate.  Meanwhile, the candidate isn't picking up enough new supporters to make up for the few who belatedly remember what they didn't like.  So, candidates almost always drop back a point or two from their high point in support before hitting their new normal.  Romney had already peaked and started dropping back before the hurricane hit.)
Furthermore, Romney couldn't quite figure out how to play the hurricane, and so he quit campaigning for two days.  There wasn't any Romney campaign to cover, so the hurricane couldn't have blacked out coverage of his campaign.  Rather, he took it offline himself.  (Obama quit campaigning for three days.)

So, if Romney loses tomorrow, it's not the hurricane that did him in.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Someone from the Republican party called me the other day to ask if I were voting on Tuesday and to run down the list of Republican candidates. I said I certainly was voting and he thanked me for my support. I was in a hurry so didn't bother to tell him that there was only one candidate on that list that I was voting for. Perhaps I should have taken the time to fill him in on my reasons for not voting for the others. Oh well, it probably wouldn't have done any good any way.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
I told them I was voting against every Republican on the ballot and would keep on doing that until they finally drove the tea-bagger wing-nuts back into the wings.  It's not true, but it is a good thing for them to hear.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

lol!

Someone I work with suggested that the Tea Party should just form its own party. Not a bad idea, since they have no real desire to be flexible in their stance on issues. That would give the more moderate legislators a chance to get something done.

Michele Bachmann is running ads about how she has worked with people across the aisle to get things done. I thought we had laws against false advertising.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

I voted.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "That would give the more moderate legislators a
      chance to get something done.
"

Which is precisely what they do not want to happen.  Which is why they'll fight tooth and claw to maintain their current hold on the Republican Party.
 
             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
      "I voted."

I had no doubt; probably even Rhus voted, although he's in New Mexico and it's going for Obama in spite of him.

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   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Glenn Hannibaugh (and the second stringers) are working hard to convince the faithful that Romney is winning.  They're sowing the seeds for a Republican dolchstoßlegende, a post-election argument that Obama stole the election.

RhusLancia said...

Lee C: I had no doubt; probably even Rhus voted, although he's in New Mexico and it's going for Obama in spite of him.

Sliced it by one state. So we will go red with or without my vote. My congressional district is dark blue if it makes you feel better; I think he's even running unopposed.

Happy Election Day!

Petes said...

LOL. Rhus is in one of the reddest of red states. I see Wisconsin just called for the Dems though, so the troll's home territory is safe.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Traditionally the American President gets blamed for a bad economy.  That's not necessarily rational, but that's the way it's always been.  By all the election history we know Obama should have been toast.
And the Republicans managed to blow the election anyway.
I understand that Romney is so far refusing to concede defeat.  That's rather bad sportsmanship, and suggests the possibility of some nasty days yet ahead, with some poor losers with some destructive power yet to deploy.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
(I'm not a golfer, but I think that'd be a hook rather than a slice)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Apparently Romney has thought better of refusing to concede and will take the stage shortly.

Marcus said...

Apparently Che Guevara won the US election if our leftist media has got it right. He was opposed by Hitler and he won. Now everyone in the realm celebrates and we'll get a world where everyone holds hands and are friends and work as much or little as we want to and share everything equally. (possibly sending the opponentss away for re-education but that's for tomorrow)

You'd think they'd learned after hailing him as the Messiah the last time around and then ending up dissapointed, but no. The dissapointments were just circumstances and they're still waiting for his inner Dalai Lama / Karl Marx to step up.

There was one positive for me in the case of a Romney win and that would have been the reactions in our media. Not that I'd ever vote to spite others, but I would at least have enjoyed that show.

Petes said...

Don't worry Marcus, you're not even in the top 5 Obamaphile countries in Europe according to this poll! ;-)

Marcus said...

Pete, I'm not talking about the reactions of our population, but in our media. They do not represent the population at all but live in one zip code in the centre of Stockholm and only assosiate with likeminded people. They love Obama precisely because of his race and because he's to the left compared to Romney and because he seems "cool", not because of any of his actual policies.

I get that they hate Romney, and I get why they would favour Obama politically, it's the hero worship I just can't stand when I know he does not at all stand for what they ascribe to him. They have that in common with the rightist wingnuts in the US - they actually believe Obama is a Socialist and soft on foreign policy, but here they love him for it.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
The Republicans held control of a majority of state governorships and state legislatures in 2010 after the last census.  So, they held the whip hand in many places when it came to redrawing the district maps for the House of Representatives.  Not surprising then that, while the Democrats had the advantage in statewide races, the Republicans maintained an advantage in individual House seats.  So, the Democrats have increased their edge in the Senate, but only slightly cut into the Republican's advantage in the House.  Boehner and his tea-baggers still hold the majority there.  And Boehner issued his challenges and drew his proverbial lines in the sand even before Romney got around to accepting defeat last night.
So, it's not going to be all sweetness and light and ‘can't we all just get along’ in Washington D.C. starting tomorrow.
Fight's on.

(I didn't know Sweden had zip codes.  Any chance they'll give Obama another Nobel prize?)

Petes said...

Marcus, media organisations in Europe tend to be pretty left wing. Ours is. The BBC is. Europe as a whole is left wing, as evidenced by that poll (even though Obama would be a million miles to the right of most Europeans). Then again, I guess the left-right divide is simplistic -- most people would at least distinguish between economic policy, foreign policy, and the so-called social issues. On the latter, I suppose Obama would be at least as "left" -- possibly more so -- than a lot of Europe. The extreme antipathy towards Republicans, at least in this country, started with the US intervention in Iraq. Bush and his administration became the object of jokes and sneers, and the Republican party in general is painted as a bunch of conspiracy minded, uneducated, religion obsessed, xenophobic, conservative yokels.

Marcus said...

Lee: "I didn't know Sweden had zip codes. Any chance they'll give Obama another Nobel prize?"

We call them postal codes. And don't go blaming us swedes for the misallocated Peace Price, the norwegians hand that one out.

(although after giving it first to Obama and now to the EU there are many who think they need to be relieved of that responsibility, myself included. Then again I'm not sure we'd do it any better these days)

Marcus said...

Pete: "Marcus, media organisations in Europe tend to be pretty left wing. Ours is."

Here there was a survey that concluded that about 45% of journalists over all and 57% of the ones employed by the state owned media identified as Miljöpartists - the Greens. (I call them water melons, red to the core with a green shell)

That party got 7.3% in the last election. Yet 45% of all journalists, and 57% of the ones we are forced to keep in business with tax money support them.

Also that's a party that's prone to calling out lofty promises and ideas that have NO connection to reality but somehow they never get called on that. They are never confronted and asked how that's supposed to actually work in the real world. But they get a platform to speak their "visions" from without any opposition. Guess why? Because the media has their back, of course.

Can you see the problem with that?

RhusLancia said...

Happy Blue Wednesday!

Looks like status quo for the next four years (or at least two, 'til a blue wave hits the House or a red one the Senate).

RhusLancia said...

Lee C "(I'm not a golfer, but I think that'd be a hook rather than a slice)"

Depends on where you're standing. Your actual location is a closely guarded secret, so I defaulted you to the bottom of the map-ish.

Marcus said...

Pete: "The extreme antipathy towards Republicans, at least in this country, started with the US intervention in Iraq."

Here too the GWB war on Iraq was extremely unpopular.

But even more so it's about what you call the "so-called social issues" that completely drive our leftists nuts. The bulk of them would call YOU (you PeteS that is) a Nazi for your opinions on abortions. A rightwing Nazi-Taliban who hates women and is a patriarchal bastard pig and probably a racist, they'd call you. And they'd have the media platform to themselves to do it.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "Looks like status quo for the next four years…or
      at least two…
"

You think so?  I's thinkin’ the Republican Party's Civil War will break out probably no later than February.  You think ya'll can hold it off for two years?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
A little back-story stuff; gettin’ back to basic American politics here:
One of the underreported stories of the campaign is that Romney's family, Ma and the five boys, were behind that fairly sudden 180 Romney did just in time for the first Presidential Debate back on 3 October.  The story goes that they had themselves what amounted to an ‘intervention’.  They all decided and collected themselves and sat Pa Romney down and told him he was gonna lose the election if he kept trying to appease his right-winger ‘base’.  It was their idea that he do his 180 as he walked into that first debate, and they had to gang up on him to convince him.  Then, when they'd done that, they went to the long-timers who made up Romney's inner circle, Beth Myers, Eric Fehrnstrom, Stuart Stevens, a couple of others, and more or less informed them that Romney was gonna do the etch-a-sketch thing starting immediately, and to get ready for it.  That's the story anyway.  The Romney camp denies it, but then, they'd pretty much have to deny it.  And, there's no proof of it--Ma Romney and the boys certainly ain't talkin’.  But, we may later discover how much truth there might have been or not been.  There's a chance somebody on the staff will eventually talk.
But, that just gets us to the main point here.  Romney was losing when he tried to run as ‘severely conservative’ (his description).  He managed a late comeback when he abandoned that stance and did that late, mad dash for the middle ground.  (Helped in large part by a seemingly dumb-struck Obama, who'd apparently decided it was too late for Romney to make the move and was not prepared for it--wasn't too late, and Obama just stood there, flat-footed and surprised.)
The Republican right-wingers swallowed their pride and kept their mouths shut, ‘cause Ma Romney and the boys were right--Romney was obviously losing as a ‘severely conservative’ candidate, and they seriously wanted to win, anything to beat Obama.  So, they gave him a pass on that.
But, it didn't work.  And I don't think they're gonna keep quiet ‘bout it for long.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Oooooh sooo close! Just a few more swing votes and Michele would have been toast. *sigh*

Last I looked it wasn't quite close enough for an automatic recount. Graves is talking about doing one, but he would have to pay for it.

Congratulations to the state of Missouri, though, for fending off the blandishments of Todd Akin. *shudder*

We did manage to defeat both amendments to the state's Constitution, though. The first one was to ban gay marriage and the second one was for voter ID's.

However people feel about gay marriage that ban had no place in the Constitution. And if voter picture ID's are necessary a law will suffice. The Constitution was meant to be a flexible framework of government to work for all people. To discriminate against certain groups of people doesn't square with its intent.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Marcus] I get that they hate Romney, and I get why they would favour Obama politically, it's the hero worship I just can't stand when I know he does not at all stand for what they ascribe to him.

That kind of love fest can be very irritating. It's something that really annoyed me when our media did it. Nobody is perfect.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Rhus] Looks like status quo for the next four years (or at least two, 'til a blue wave hits the House or a red one the Senate).

Seriously, I hope not. One of my biggest issues with Bachmann was that she was so extreme in her views and, despite her ads to the contrary, unable to compromise and work with people across the aisle. I am so hoping that there will be a change in that regard. Otherwise we will all end up at the bottom of that cliff.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "Just a few more swing votes and Michele would
      have been toast.
"

She spent major amounts of money on a House seat, and she made major amounts of money from non-Minnesota sources.  Graves has issued a statement of congratulations, so he may have ditched the recount idea already.  In the meantime, she's pissed off her workmates in the House.  They really don't like her much; the leadership especially, so she'll be less of money draw in the future.  So, maybe next time….  (I was hoping to pick off Paul Ryan's seat myself--well, more like a day-dream perhaps; polls were fairly clear that Ryan was gonna hold his seat.  On the bright side, Allen West lost by 3,000 votes and is demanding a recount, and I think he'll have to pay for it himself too; although he's certainly got the campaign funds for it.)

RhusLancia said...

Lee "I's thinkin’ the Republican Party's Civil War will break out probably no later than February."

I think there's grousing enough already, maybe war will break out. We'll see. The schadenfreude for you must be delicious. Cheers!

Whomever is responsible for that back story, they were right. It got him back to who could win, who he is and who we need(ed) for the country at this time. Ah well. Biden v. a "Real Conservative" in 2016. yay.

Here is an article on Yahoo that's entertaining but sad:

Gross: Fixing 'Cliff' Will Mean 'High, Higher' Taxes

It's about higher taxes a'comin' (if you believe Obabma or many many others that is). A lot of the comments are like "wait - what?"

RhusLancia said...

"Obabma" - that's not a bitter play on his name - I just mistyped it. k?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "It got him back to who could win…"

That guy never would have won the Republican primary.  That guy didn't win the Republican primary.

RhusLancia said...

Right.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
I'd have to assume then that your vote for Romney was predicated on a combination of a WAG as to who was the ‘real’ Romney, and acceptance of the more general tea-party theme of anti-Obama at any and all cost.

RhusLancia said...

No, I think the real Romney was everything up to about Oct '11 plus everything after Oct '12. Ish.

I would have voted for a lesser 'R' candidate, sure, but as far as what I wanted from a preznit, Romney was about as close as anyone I've seen since I've been voting.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "I think the real Romney was everything up to
      about Oct '11…
"

Beginning approximately when?

General Dentistry San Jose California said...

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Bruno said...

"Iraq needs up to $US1 trillion ($A964.18 billion) over the next 10 years to rebuild its crumbling infrastructure and battered economy, its investment chief says."

http://finance.ninemsn.com.au/newsbusiness/aap/8561647/iraq-needs-us1-trillion-to-rebuild

But ... but what about the "reconstruction"?

@Marcus

"Apparently Che Guevara won the US election if our leftist media has got it right. He was opposed by Hitler and he won."

LOL. Good one.

Marcus said...

Yeah, it's laughable Bruno, but unfortunately it's not far from the truth, although it's of course an exaggeration.

It's a bit strange because the liberal right in out media can be assumed to be quite close to the Democrats in their opinions. But the left are usually against anything and everything related to the US. Their normal viewpoint would be that although the Dems are slightly preferrable to the Rebs there are all these issues where the Dems are also deplorable: (followed by a long list of grievances)

That's not happening to Obama though. The only explanation I have for the current love fest is that they are smitten with Obama in person.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "The only explanation I have for the current love fest
      is that they are smitten with Obama in person.
"

Possible alternate explanation:  The Republicans have spent four years running against their very own Imaginary Obama.  Glenn Hannibaugh have pounded the drum repeatedly for the faerie tale creation of Obama as a secret Marxist/Socialist who hates America and who has a secret agenda, a plot to weaken America.
Could be it's convinced them.  Or maybe it's just a knee-jerk reaction, a reflexive habit of coming out in support of anybody accused of being a Marxist.

(The semi-radical lefties over here did hold out a long-shot hope that maybe Glenn Hannibaugh was right, but, of course, they figured out quick ‘nuff there was nothing to it.)

Marcus said...

Lee, that may be a US explanation but it doesn't hold true here. Our media has largely ignored any Glenn Hannibaugh announciations for the last 4 years. They went from hailing Obama to bitching about the US to hailing Obama without any analysis or free thinking. The last hailing of Obama, regarding the elections, included villifying Romney, and that only started about a month ago.

Today? It's as if the US election is forgotten already. Hardly a word about it in any news outlet.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "Lee, that may be a US explanation but it doesn't
      hold true here.
"

I'm at a loss then, unless it's that they're still just over-awed that we elected a black guy.  The guy does have a ‘light up the whole room’ kind of smile, but still….

Which causes me to think of two related points.  The novelty of electing a black President faded pretty fast over here for most people.  There are the ‘birthers’ of course, but not even all them are motivated by racial animosity.  Most of it's just that they're conspiracy kooks and that's an available conspiracy theory.  But, that did have an interesting interaction with the Republican's fairly naked attempts to suppress minority voting this time around in several states where they controlled the state governments (which make the rules for running elections in their respective states).  The result was that black folks somewhat quietly got their backs up over the whole thing and black voter participation actually went up this time in several states where voter suppression had been attempted.  In Ohio, for instance, the percentage of black voters increased from 11% in 2008 to 15% this year.  They'd put the ‘birther’ controversy together with the attempted voter suppression in their heads, and, rather quietly, they collectively decided they were going to vote this time come hell or high water.  Wasn't much said about it in advance; it just happened.

And, while some Republican's are now going very public with what they view as an urgent need to reverse their party's stand on our millions of illegal Hispanic immigrants, none of them seem to have, as yet, figured out how badly they need to get rid of Glenn Hannibaugh; they really need to get those bastards off the air.  And they don't seem to recognize that yet.  (One exception, a conservative named David Frum; whom you've probably never heard of but whose name Rhus will probably recognize.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
In one piece of news on the American political scene that will perhaps be of more interest to Iraqi.  David Petraeus, a name they will recall, has resigned his post as director of the CIA.  Appears he had an extra-marital affair, and got caught.  No word on how he got caught, or who caught him out.
He had been getting talked about as a possible replacement for Leon Panetta, current Secretary of Defense, but that's not gonna happen now.

Spelling Bee said...

They're called Iraqis.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Today's winner in the anticlimactic category:
The Associated Press has just called the Presidential race in Florida for Obama.

Marcus said...

What about Petraeus? I thought he was THE hero for people Rhus and seeral million like him. Wasn't he THE MAN?

Petes said...

Iraq cancels $4.2bn Russian arms deal over 'corruption'

(...or pressure from the US?)

RhusLancia said...

He still is the man, Marcus. Sad end to a great career.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
And, as with many if not most heros, his passing affords us an opportunity to declare him a martyr, struck down by the enemy Obama in a cowardly sneak attack out of the dark.  (Film at 11:00 on FoxNews.)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Very sad end for Petaeus. Rhus is right, he was a good man. Unfortunately, he wasn't above temptation. I was kind of hoping that he at least threw it all away out of love. But I've listened to one interview with the woman he supposedly had an affair with and I can't see what he'd see in her except sex.

Marcus,

Last I heard the FBI had started an investigaton involving some harassing emails being sent to a woman. The sender turned out to be Paula Broadwell, who wrote a biography of Petraeus. In the course of the investigation they discovered sexually explicit emails between her and Petraeus. Apparently they had been having an affair. Broadwell sent the emails to the woman, who also knew Petraeus, basically because she felt the woman was a threat to her relationship with Petraeus (geez, that guy gets around).

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

PeteS,

I don't know about pressure from the US, but in the course of my digging around in the Oil for Food program for the never ending debate that Bruno and I are having, back door deals with Russia were allegedly a problem. So I wouldn't be surprised if there was corruption involved in this.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Not to change the subject from the Petraeus story, but I just wanted to mention that in this election Minnesotans have turned over control of the state legislature to the Democrats.

Taking over is a delicate task for DFL

Dayton said his party has been given a vote of confidence from Minnesotans that he does not intend to squander.

"People will have a sense whether the state is getting better for them or it's not," he said, "and that's how we will be properly judged at the end of this session, at the end of the two years."

Behind him are a new breed of DFL legislators, many of them suburban moderates with little patience for my-way-or-the-highway politics from either party.

"I think the first thing is not to overstep, and not to repeat the same mistakes we saw in the last couple of years," said Sen.-elect Melisa Franzen, who defeated former House Ways and Means Vice Chairman Keith Downey, a two-term representative who was trying for the Edina Senate seat. "It's not always going to be popular, to be a voice of moderation, finding that compromise."

Other DFL newcomers from competitive districts agree that the goal is to tamp down the hyper-partisanship.

John Hoffman, an Anoka-Hennepin school board member who unseated Republican Ben Kruse in the Coon Rapids-Brooklyn Park area, described a message he heard from a man while door-knocking early in the campaign.

"He said, 'I don't care if you're Republican, Democrat or Green, you've got to get something done. Quit the finger-pointing, quit shutting down government, and promise me you won't take a paycheck if you can't get your work done,'" Hoffman said.


Are you listening Washington?

Petes said...

ZEYAD - slightly belated happy 9th blogging birthday! Gotta get your comment restoration project underway sometime (for which I need your help).

I very much hope you are keeping well. How about an update on how your newfound independent living is working out?

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Life signs are always good.

*looks at Zeyad reproachfully*

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
I was gonna let this go, but Marcus seemed interested in the Petraeus situation, and after thinkin’ it over again, just for Marcus
This morning's rant from Glenn Beck has Petraeus as victim--and Glenn Beck had predicted it all along, and here's how it goes…
Petraeus was set up.  He was enticed to leave his generalship and take over the CIA as a civilian.  The FBI already had Petraeus dead to rights on the affair with that Broadwell.  The story that Petraeus told, that the affair beginning after Petraeus took over the CIA is a lie.  The affair began much earlier, when Petraeus was still a general in the Army, and the FBI knew it when they approved Petraeus' security clearance (no, don't even ask) to take the CIA post.  Then they let the info go public to get rid of Petraeus.  And, that was the plan all along; discredit Petraeus and then get rid of him, but they needed him to take the CIA position first. 
I kid you not.

Sean Hannity's goin’ a different direction.  He's right now trying to wrap it back into the attack in Benghazi on September the 11th.
The crazies are comin’ out on this one.  It's more fun than raggin’ fantasies on why Romney lost the election.)

Marcus said...

The Glenn Beck story seems insane. Did he really say that outright?

I saw some other commenters but they had a somewhat cleverer story, or not really a story but a supposedly damning question. It went like this:

"So Petraeus is taken down through this affair and it just so happens to happen in beetween the election and the hearings on the Benghazi thing. I don't buy it. Do you?"

The not outspoken suggestion being that Obama knew about the affair but didn't take Petraeus out before the election because he didn't dare to, but that he wanted him out of the way and discredited before some scheduled hearings on the Benghazi thing.

I can at least see people actually falling for that, or asking themselves if timing isn't suspicious. The Glenn Beck thing seems too unbelievable even for morons.

But another question, now that you brought that up just for me:

What, in your opinion, was the relationship between Petraeus and Obama like? If I was asked my spontaneous answer would be that it seemed quite good. It seemed to me Obama valued Petraeus skills as a military commander and that when he appointed him to replace McCrystal in Afghanistan it was because he genuinely believed he was appointing the best commander to the most critical posting.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "The Glenn Beck story seems insane. Did he
      really say that outright?
"

All that much and more.  He had theorized details to fill in the holes I left in the story.  I tried to listen to him today, but apparently the whole Glenn Hannibaugh conspiracy theory catalog was ridiculed on MSNBC last night, and that just made things worse.  They were rather too hysterical for me to follow this morning, and too manic for me to tolerate.  About 20 minutes of it, and I had to turn it off; totally incomprehensible to me, and loud.

      "It seemed to me Obama valued Petraeus skills
      as a military commander…
"

That's always how it seemed to me. I never saw any reason to believe they were buddies.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "…but that he wanted him out of the way and
      discredited before some scheduled hearings on the
      Benghazi thing.
"

The Glenn Hannibaugh circuit appears to be having some trouble settling on a conspiracy theory for them all to get behind.  They're all over the map today.  Near as I can tell whatever they finally settle on is going to have something to do with Benghazi (they're all hot on Benghazi, like that's gonna get ‘em something); the consensus seems to be settling ‘round discovering the affair to have a linkage to Benghazi and them unearthing an as yet unformed scandal.  Won't be too long though, and they'll pretty much converge their stories on something they all can promote.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
Final note for the day re:  American politics
Lest we leave the impression, post-Obama-reelection, that America is seriously racially divided…
Fairly good short synopsis here of the breakdown of the white vote in the last election.  Romney's roughly 60-40 advantage in the white vote is very largely a function of Romney rackin’ up huge numbers in the Old South and Southern Appalachia.  From the New Republic Online.  Obama managed to pull white majorities in much of the rest of the nation.  (The Republicans' problems with getting any substantial percentage of the non-white vote is, however, not a myth.  Obama got 70% of Hispanics, and 60+% of ethnic Asians, and roughly 70% of the Jews, along with pullin’ down 93% of the black vote.  Obama even won the Cuban-American vote in Florida; first time a Democrat has ever broken the Republican's lock on Florida's Cuban-American vote.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
‘Scuse please:  Obama got 73% of the ethnic Asian vote.

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