Sunday, May 24, 2015

Another day, another White House tantrum

BULLY BOY PRESS &     CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL AID TABLE


IT WAS A GOOD DAY FOR FADED CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O.

THERE WAS A VERY PUBLIC TEMPER TANTRUM THROWN IN THE OVAL OFFICE BUT, FOR A NICE CHANGE, BARRY O WASN'T THE ONE STOMPING HIS TINY FEET.


REACHED FOR COMMENT, BARRY O TOLD THESE REPORTERS, "WAH! WAH! IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE MY MOMENT!"



FROM THE TCI WIRE:

The lies about Iraq never end.  USA Today's dim-witted editorial board fashioned a series of hogwash statements that they hope idiots will applaud -- idiots on my side (the left) because it's little more than self-stroking.  And that the editorial board of any supposed objective paper thinks they can get away with lying demonstrates that the crisis in journalism which helped sell the Iraq War continues to this day.  Case in point:


Obama's policies have indeed made things worse. But in arguing that he should have kept troops in Iraq longer, his critics skip over the inconvenient fact that he pulled out on a schedule negotiated by Bush.


No, that's not a fact.

Here's a fact for the lying whores of USA Today's editorial board: The SOFA was a three year contract.  That's all it was.  It was not the end of the US occupation of Iraq.

I'm sorry that you're too damn stupid or too dishonest to tell that truth.

However, we told it in real time the day the White House released the SOFA -- Thanksgiving Day, 2008 -- look it up in the archives -- we published the SOFA in full and I wasted my Thanksgiving night reading and analyzing it.


I went on to repeatedly explain that this was the replacement for the yearly United Nations mandate.  That wasn't a controversial call and it had been made in the April 10, 2008 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing by then-Chair Joe Biden and by then-US Senator Russ Feingold among others.


It did not mean that the US left at the end of 2011.  It only gave coverage for 2009, 2010 and 2011.  A new contract could replace it.

For noting that reality, I endured three years of e-mails telling me I was wrong, I didn't know what I was talking about, the SOFA meant it was the end, blah blah blah.

At one point, I got very irritated and pointed out here that everyone who's broken a contract with a multi-national but managed to keep the seven-figure salary, keep standing.  Oh, what, only me?

Yeah, so just stop talking, stop pretending you know a thing about contract law unless, like me, you've walked out on a contract and did so with no legal consequences because you were smart enough to read and comprehend the contract and see where the wiggle room was.

Who was right?  The thousands e-mailing with their 'expertise' or me?

In 2011, Barack Obama began serious discussions about a new SOFA with the Iraqi government.  In 2010, he backed Nouri al-Maliki -- who had lost the 2010 elections -- because Nouri had promised he would allow US troops to stay on the ground in Iraq beyond 2011.  Vice President Joe Biden declared it was a "sure thing" with Nouri as prime minister.

And it could have been. But Barack wanted a smaller number than Nouri did.

Nouri feared a military coup.

Only a military coup.

He terrorized the Iraqi people -- with the Iraqi military and other forces -- and didn't fear them.

The politicians?

The US government had a way of keeping them in line -- a method former Iraq Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi described to Iran's Press TV in 2008 "as a matter of blackmailing" and "political blackmail."

That just left the Iraqi military whom Nouri encouraged to break the laws and disobey the Constitution.  And if they'd so quickly do that, why wouldn't they also launch a coup against him?

Nouri wanted thousands of US troops to protect him from a coup.

US Senator John McCain has repeatedly accused Barack of tanking the SOFA talks.  The reason he makes that charge is because McCain was repeatedly in Iraq including in 2011 when he spoke to various leaders about what was needed to get a new SOFA through Parliament?

Like Nouri, they wanted more US troops.  (Nouri also conveyed that to McCain but McCain was not relying solely on Nouri's stated needs.)

To put this before the Parliament (the 2008 one went before the Parliament and 'passed' -- it didn't pass, there weren't enough votes for it or members present), they needed to have a sizable force or it just wasn't worth the political risk they'd be taking (the risk being the backlash from the people as well as from Moqtada al-Sadr and his movement which represented the largest and most sustained element in Iraq calling for all US troops and officials to leave the country).

Barack wouldn't budge on the number and it wasn't worth it politically to Nouri who was also getting promises from Tehran that if he didn't extend the US occupation of Iraq, he could count on Iranian forces to suppress any attempted coup which might take place.


USA Today insists, "But in arguing that he should have kept troops in Iraq longer, his critics skip over the inconvenient fact that he pulled out on a schedule negotiated by Bush."

USA Today is the one skipping over inconvenient facts such as the one where Barack Obama attempted to get a new SOFA.  Here's Tim Arango and Michael S. Schmidt (New York Times) reporting in October of 2011:


President Obama’s announcement on Friday that all American troops would leave Iraq by the end of the year was an occasion for celebration for many, but some top American military officials were dismayed by the announcement, seeing it as the president’s putting the best face on a breakdown in tortured negotiations with the Iraqis.

And for the negotiators who labored all year to avoid that outcome, it represented the triumph of politics over the reality of Iraq’s fragile security’s requiring some troops to stay, a fact everyone had assumed would prevail. But officials also held out hope that after the withdrawal, the two countries could restart negotiations more productively, as two sovereign nations.



The tens of thousands is what Nouri stated he would back.  When McCain accuses Barack of tanking the talks, he's making that accusation based on the fact that it was known 5,000 was unacceptable to Nouri.

That doesn't make McCain's accusation true but that's the basis for his charge.


That's too confusing for the editorial board of USA Today.


So let's really underscore that Barack Obama sought to extend the SOFA.  This is from one of Barack's rare press briefings (this one is June 19, 2014) and he's speaking with CNN's Acosta.

Q    Just very quickly, do you wish you had left a residual force in Iraq?  Any regrets about that decision in 2011?


THE PRESIDENT:  Well, keep in mind that wasn’t a decision made by me; that was a decision made by the Iraqi government.  We offered a modest residual force to help continue to train and advise Iraqi security forces.  We had a core requirement which we require in any situation where we have U.S. troops overseas, and that is, is that they're provided immunity since they're being invited by the sovereign government there, so that if, for example, they end up acting in self-defense if they are attacked and find themselves in a tough situation, that they're not somehow hauled before a foreign court.  That's a core requirement that we have for U.S. troop presence anywhere. 

The Iraqi government and Prime Minister Maliki declined to provide us that immunity.  And so I think it is important though to recognize that, despite that decision, that we have continued to provide them with very intensive advice and support and have continued throughout this process over the last five years to not only offer them our assistance militarily, but we’ve also continued to urge the kinds of political compromises that we think are ultimately necessary in order for them to have a functioning, multi-sectarian democracy inside the country.


Samantha Power has stated to various friends that Nouri was willing to give on immunity if Barack would increase the number of US troops and, when he wouldn't budge, Nouri wouldn't either.



But right there, Barack saying he was trying to get an agreement.


So USA Today needs to learn how to be factual and how to tell the truth.

The problem the press has is that they suck up to whomever is in office.

They're little whores to the powerful.


FAIR used to make that point but fell silent when Barack took the White House.

It's why they're useless and why everyone can laugh when a Republican is in the White House again and suddenly FAIR is aghast over the press worship and over the amount of money spent on inaugural balls -- when it was Bully Boy Bush occupying the Oval Office, FAIR thought it unseemly -- at a time of war -- to be holding these lavish balls.



I've been talking to several friends -- high up in the Democratic Party -- about the sudden interest in WMD.

It's been explained that this is how Hillary wins.

If the entire Iraq War is about WMD then Hillary can play the "I'm just a little girl who misunderstood intelligence.  I'm only a little girl."

So that's why we've suffered through this talking point for nearly two weeks.

Let's be really clear on something here, if Iraq had WMD, if nuclear weapons had been discovered in Iraq in April of 2003, it wouldn't have made the Iraq War "right," "legal" or "ethical."

WMD is a distraction.

That's all it was in real time.

It was a fear based talking point meant to silence debate and discussion and distract from the illegal nature of attacking a country that has not attacked you.

Hillary's not a little girl.

She's rather heavy and dumpy -- even for her age.  And she's a woman, not a girl.

Most of all she was an attorney.

She has a functioning knowledge of the law -- it's how she so often skirts it successfully and semi-successfully.

Even if the delicate flower was misled by intelligence -- she wasn't -- she still knew Just War theory -- it was very big when she was in college due to what was taking place in Vietnam.  So she needs to be asked about the Iraq War.  Not about the distraction of WMD, but about how someone who knows the law could support illegal actions, a war of aggression.



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Friday, May 22, 2015

Cranky has an explanation

BULLY BOY PRESS &     CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL AID TABLE


REVELATIONS HAVE EMERGED THAT CRANKY CLINTON USED HER PRIVATE E-MAIL AND SERVER TO SEND SENSITIVE INFORMATION.

IN AN ATTEMPT TO GET AHEAD OF THE SPIN, CRANKY IS INSISTING IT WASN'T JUST SENSITIVE INFORMATION, "I ALSO SENT FAKE NUDE PHOTOS OF NATE BERKUS, FAKE NUDE PHOTOS OF MARTIN LAWRENCE AND FAKE NUDE PHOTOS OF DICK CHENEY.  PLUS SOME REAL NUDE PHOTOS OF TIPPER GORE!  THAT LAST SET WAS A GOOF, YOU KNOW, FOR LAUGHS!"



FROM THE TCI WIRE:



Throughout this week, I've repeatedly stressed that the only politician with a national profile who can tell the truth on Iraq is former Senator Mike Gravel.  No one else can.

Today, Fritz comes along to prove me . . . right.

Former Senator Ernest F. Hollings comes along to prove that, while a train can whistle, a politician can only lie.

"Why America invaded -- and failed in -- Iraq," finds Fritz name dropping ("my old desk partner, Joe Biden"), envious of other countries ("What does Mossad say about Iraq?") but mainly just lying.  Lying to himself and others.

Fritz insists he was against the Iraq War . . . before he was for it.  See speaking to then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, sharp as a tack Fritz noticed Rumsfeld didn't answer him when he asked Donald, "What does Mossad say about Iraq?"  So Fritz knew he had to vote against the 2002 war on Iraq resolution.  Bully Boy Bush goes on TV making the case for starting war without provocation by declaring, "We cannot wait until the smoking gun is a mushroom cloud."  Then Fritz "knew" (his term) that the CIA told Bully Boy Bush that Iraq had WMD.

How did he know it?

I think he spread his legs while Peatsy Hollings, noted music hater, whispered in the vicinity of his anus, "Real men start illegal wars."

That makes about as much since as anything else in his long lie of a column.

Personal favorite?

This passage:

I remember debating a PNAC Resolution on Iraq in 1998. We finally agreed under Trent Lott, the Senate majority leader, to a resolution on Iraq by a voice vote so long as the last paragraph was worded: “Under no circumstance does this permit military action against Iraq.” At that time, we wanted to stir dissent and have Iraq headed for a democracy but under no circumstance invade.  

Yes, in the world of civil disobedience, no one has done more than the US Congress.  He wanted "to stir dissent"?

Again, politicians lie.

And then they lie again.

Fritz isn't just lying, he's also stupid.

It's a generational stupid on his part.

Fritz spends his retirement writing these columns and gets all excited when they're printed.  Not since Peatsy railed against the Prince-written Sheena Easton hit "Sugar Walls" has either spouse had an encounter with the modern world so many of us live in today.

Meaning?

Only an old fool who didn't grasp the internet would type that he voted for the resolution only after its last paragraph included "Under no circumstance does this permit military action against Iraq."

Only an old fool who didn't grasp the internet would type that claim.

Click here.

It's the resolution that passed the Senate (identical to what passed the House, by the way).

Where's the statement, Fritz?

It's not in the bill.





105th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 2525

  To establish a program to support a transition to democracy in Iraq.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           September 29, 1998

   Mr. Lott (for himself, Mr. Kerrey, Mr. McCain, Mr. Lieberman, Mr. 
Helms, Mr. Shelby, Mr. Brownback, and Mr. Kyl) introduced the following 
  bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign 
                               Relations

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To establish a program to support a transition to democracy in Iraq.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Iraq Liberation Act of 1998''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) On September 22, 1980, Iraq invaded Iran, starting an 
        eight year war in which Iraq employed chemical weapons against 
        Iranian troops and ballistic missiles against Iranian cities.
            (2) In February 1988, Iraq forcibly relocated Kurdish 
        civilians from their home villages in the Anfal campaign, 
        killing an estimated 50,000 to 180,000 Kurds.
            (3) On March 16, 1988, Iraq used chemical weapons against 
        Iraqi Kurdish civilian opponents in the town of Halabja, 
        killing an estimated 5,000 Kurds and causing numerous birth 
        defects that affect the town today.
            (4) On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded and began a seven month 
        occupation of Kuwait, killing and committing numerous abuses 
        against Kuwaiti civilians, and setting Kuwait's oil wells 
        ablaze upon retreat.
            (5) Hostilities in Operation Desert Storm ended on February 
        28, 1991, and Iraq subsequently accepted the ceasefire 
        conditions specified in United Nations Security Council 
        Resolution 687 (April 3, 1991) requiring Iraq, among other 
        things, to disclose fully and permit the dismantlement of its 
        weapons of mass destruction programs and submit to long-term 
        monitoring and verification of such dismantlement.
            (6) In April 1993, Iraq orchestrated a failed plot to 
        assassinate former President George Bush during his April 14-
        16, 1993, visit to Kuwait.
            (7) In October 1994, Iraq moved 80,000 troops to areas near 
        the border with Kuwait, posing an imminent threat of a renewed 
        invasion of or attack against Kuwait.
            (8) On August 31, 1996, Iraq suppressed many of its 
        opponents by helping one Kurdish faction capture Irbil, the 
        seat of the Kurdish regional government.
            (9) Since March 1996, Iraq has systematically sought to 
        deny weapons inspectors from the United Nations Special 
        Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) access to key facilities and 
        documents, has on several occasions endangered the safe 
        operation of UNSCOM helicopters transporting UNSCOM personnel 
        in Iraq, and has persisted in a pattern of deception and 
        concealment regarding the history of its weapons of mass 
        destruction programs.
            (10) On August 5, 1998, Iraq ceased all cooperation with 
        UNSCOM, and subsequently threatened to end long-term monitoring 
        activities by the International Atomic Energy Agency and 
        UNSCOM.
            (11) On August 14, 1998, President Clinton signed Public 
        Law 105-235, which declared that ``the Government of Iraq is in 
        material and unacceptable breach of its international 
        obligations'' and urged the President ``to take appropriate 
        action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws 
        of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its 
        international obligations.''.

SEC. 3. POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES.

    It should be the policy of the United States to seek to remove the 
regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the 
emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.

SEC. 4. ASSISTANCE TO SUPPORT A TRANSITION TO DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ.

    (a) Authority To Provide Assistance.--The President may provide to 
the Iraqi democratic opposition organizations designated in accordance 
with section 5 the following assistance:
            (1) Broadcasting.--(A) Grant assistance to such 
        organizations for radio and television broadcasting by such 
        organizations to Iraq.
            (B) There is authorized to be appropriated to the United 
        States Information Agency $2,000,000 for fiscal year 1999 to 
        carry out this paragraph.
            (2) Military assistance.--(A) The President is authorized 
        to direct the drawdown of defense articles from the stocks of 
        the Department of Defense, defense services of the Department 
        of Defense, and military education and training for such 
        organizations.
            (B) The aggregate value (as defined in section 644(m) of 
        the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961) of assistance provided 
        under this paragraph may not exceed $97,000,000.
    (b) Humanitarian Assistance.--The Congress urges the President to 
use existing authorities under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to 
provide humanitarian assistance to individuals living in areas of Iraq 
controlled by organizations designated in accordance with section 5, 
with emphasis on addressing the needs of individuals who have fled to 
such areas from areas under the control of the Saddam Hussein regime.
    (c) Restriction on Assistance.--No assistance under this section 
shall be provided to any group within an organization designated in 
accordance with section 5 which group is, at the time the assistance is 
to be provided, engaged in military cooperation with the Saddam Hussein 
regime.
    (d) Notification Requirement.--The President shall notify the 
congressional committees specified in section 634A of the Foreign 
Assistance Act of 1961 at least 15 days in advance of each obligation 
of assistance under this section in accordance with the procedures 
applicable to reprogramming notifications under such section 634A.
    (e) Reimbursement Relating to Military Assistance.--
            (1) In general.--Defense articles, defense services, and 
        military education and training provided under subsection 
        (a)(2) shall be made available without reimbursement to the 
        Department of Defense except to the extent that funds are 
        appropriated pursuant to paragraph (2).
            (2) Authorization of appropriations.--There are authorized 
        to be appropriated to the President for each of the fiscal 
        years 1998 and 1999 such sums as may be necessary to reimburse 
        the applicable appropriation, fund, or account for the value 
        (as defined in section 644(m) of the Foreign Assistance Act if 
        1961) of defense articles, defense services, or military 
        education and training provided under subsection (a)(2).
    (f) Availability of Funds.--(1) Amounts authorized to be 
appropriated under this section are authorized to remain available 
until expended.
    (2) Amounts authorized to be appropriated under this section are in 
addition to amounts otherwise available for the purposes described in 
this section.

SEC. 5. DESIGNATION OF IRAQI DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION ORGANIZATION.

    (a) Initial Designation.--Not later than 90 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the President shall designate one or more Iraqi 
democratic opposition organizations that satisfy the criteria set forth 
in subsection (c) as eligible to receive assistance under section 4.
    (b) Designation of Additional Groups.--At any time subsequent to 
the initial designation pursuant to subsection (a), the President may 
designate one or more additional Iraqi democratic opposition 
organizations that satisfy the criteria set forth in subsection (c) as 
eligible to receive assistance under section 4.
    (c) Criteria for Designation.--In designating an organization 
pursuant to this section, the President shall consider only 
organizations that--
            (1) include a broad spectrum of Iraqi individuals and 
        groups opposed to the Saddam Hussein regime; and
            (2) are committed to democratic values, to respect for 
        human rights, to peaceful relations with Iraq's neighbors, to 
        maintaining Iraq's territorial integrity, and to fostering 
        cooperation among democratic opponents of the Saddam Hussein 
        regime.
    (d) Notification Requirement.--At least 15 days in advance of 
designating an Iraqi democratic opposition organization pursuant to 
this section, the President shall notify the congressional committees 
specified in section 634A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 of his 
proposed designation in accordance with the procedures applicable to 
reprogramming notifications under such section 634A.

SEC. 6. WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL FOR IRAQ.

    Consistent with section 301 of the Foreign Relations Authorization 
Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 (Public Law 102-138), House Concurrent 
Resolution 137, 105th Congress (approved by the House of 
Representatives on November 13, 1997), and Senate Concurrent Resolution 
78, 105th Congress (approved by the Senate on March 13, 1998), the 
Congress urges the President to call upon the United Nations to 
establish an international criminal tribunal for the purpose of 
indicting, prosecuting, and imprisoning Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi 
officials who are responsible for crimes against humanity, genocide, 
and other criminal violations of international law.

SEC. 7. ASSISTANCE FOR IRAQ UPON REPLACEMENT OF SADDAM HUSSEIN REGIME.

    It is the sense of Congress that, once Saddam Hussein is removed 
from power in Iraq, the United States should support Iraq's transition 
to democracy by providing immediate and substantial humanitarian 
assistance to the Iraqi people, by providing democracy transition 
assistance to Iraqi parties and movements with democratic goals, and by 
convening Iraq's foreign creditors to develop a multilateral response 
to Iraq's foreign debt incurred by Saddam Hussein's regime.
                                 


"Under no circumstance does this permit military action against Iraq"?

No, it's not in the resolution.

Well there was other action in the Senate, on Iraq, in 1998.

Maybe it was in another Iraq resolution?

It wasn't in this one.  Or this one.  Or this one. Or this one.


Now maybe Fritz isn't lying.

Maybe his mind is gone?

Or maybe in real time Trent Lott put one over on him and tricked him into believing the phrase was in a bill on Iraq in 1998 when it wasn't?


Again, find me a politician with a national profile who's not lying about Iraq.  Other than Mike Gravel, you really can't.




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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Cranky's still got e-mails

BULLY BOY PRESS &     CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL AID TABLE


LIKE JOAN CRAWFORD IN A ROSE GARDEN, CRANKY CLINTON TOOK AN AXE TO HER E-MAILS.

BUT A FEW SURVIVED.

INCLUDING WHERE SHE'S DISCUSSING BENGHAZI WITH SYDNEY BLUMENTHAL.

CRANKY'S UNNATURAL ATTRACTION TO BLUMENTHAL MAY BURY HER YET.

REACHED FOR COMMENT, CRANKY INSISTED, "I DID NOT HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH THAT MAN.  MAINLY BECAUSE HE DID NOT WANT TO."



FROM THE TCI WIRE:





In yesterday's snapshot, we noted how, excepting former US Senator Mike Gravel, no US politician with a national presence tells the truth about Iraq.

They all tend to repeat the comforting lies about how the US 'helped' Iraq and how a 'gift' was given (at gun point) and it's always noble and wonderful -- on the side of the 'giver.'  Very little attention is ever given to those that the 'gift' was imposed upon.

Damon Linker, non-politician, attempts to grapple, all these years later, with whether or not Bully Boy Bush and others lied about believing former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was sitting on Weapons of Mass Destruction.  At The Week, Linker notes this belief (or stated 'belief') was held by many Democrats in the five or so years leading up to the Iraq War:

I read or listened in real time to most of the statements quoted in this useful Larry Elder column from 2006. Bill Clinton in 1998 and 2003; Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in February 1998; Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger in 1998; Rep. Nancy Pelosi in 1998; General Wesley Clark in 2002; Sen. John Rockefeller in 2002; French President Jacques Chirac in 2003 — all of them, and many more, expressed the overwhelming consensus of the Washington elite of both parties that Saddam Hussein was hiding WMD and that this made him a serious threat both to our allies in the region and the United States itself.



And Linker concludes:


Twelve years later, rather than doing the hard work of figuring out why so many Democrats (including the party's presumptive presidential nominee in 2016) made the unwise decision to support the invasion, liberals have decided to go easy on themselves by treating the Bush administration not as foolish but as sinister, conniving, evil. What a relief it must be to exonerate oneself from complicity in a catastrophic mistake by portraying oneself as an innocent victim of a diabolical plot.


It's an interesting column, one worth reading and I applaud the effort.

I started speaking out against the Iraq War publicly in February 2003 (one month before the war started).

To me, today's discussion is b.s.

Whether it's a little government monkey like Mike Morrell making statements that no one should believe or the continued other nonsense, it doesn't really matter.

I didn't base my objection on WMD being present or not being present.

Apparently, there are a lot of idiots or, in fairness, a lot of people who were silent when it mattered that now want to pretend they were brave.

Brave would never having been declaring that the Iraq War had to be fought or not fought based on WMDs.

WMDs couldn't be proven or disproven short of the United Nations weapons inspectors being allowed to do their job.  (Bully Boy Bush did not allow them to do their job.)

I am never gong to build an argument around something I can't prove or disprove.

I don't know anyone in the early days against the war who was going around saying, "Saddam doesn't have WMDs!"  I'm sure some people some where did that.  But those of us that were speaking out -- especially on the college lecture circuit -- were not making that claim.

And I really find it dishonest that these Democratic partsians are today trying to pretend that WMD was the issue.

WMD was the side show.

I spoke out against the illegal war because it was illegal.

Just War theory didn't spring up in the last five days of 2002.

Its roots go back to Saint Augustine and Thomas of Aquin -- and even pre-date that if you pull in The Mahabharata.  Centuries of legal theory, centuries of ethical exploration resulted in the Just War theory.

Bully Boy Bush was trashing that.

There is no go-it-alone justification unless you are attacked.

The US was not attacked by Iraq.


There was no legal justification to go to war with Iraq.  There was no ethical justification.

What Bully Boy Bush did was upend the law, upend tradition and insist that there was a new justification for war:  You could now legally go to war with a country because you suspected that at some point in the near or distant future they might decide to attack you.

There was no imminent threat nor was the US responding to an attack that had taken place.

The Iraq War was a war of choice.

The choice being made -- not by the people of America, not by the people of Iraq -- was going to have long lasting implications.  For Iraq, the most immediate implication would be the tragedy of lives lost both during combat and in the immediate years following.  For the US, it would mean our government was not just embracing its inner thug, it was now fondling its inner thug in public.

There would be no more efforts to pretend -- and there haven't been.

Libya?

We bombed it.

I beliee Hillary Clinton's argument is: We did it because we could.

There is no more pretense that the US government follows the law.

It just acts as a big bully doing whatever it wants.

Now the uni-polar system doesn't last for long.

In part, that's due to the fact that bullies breed hostility.

Whether a multi-polar system will come into being or a bi-polar system will return (Russia versus the US again?), something will take its place.

But WMD is nonsense and b.s.

And not noting how certain Republicans and Democrats felt that the uni-polar system meant the US could (and should) do whatever it wants?

I'm really not into stupidity.

I feel like I'm watching five-year-olds trying to explain rain.

Only with five-year-olds, they're cute.

There's nothing cute about adults basing arguments 12 years after the start of the Iraq War on whether or not it was known that Iraq had WMD before the Iraq War started.

When the US government was moving towards going to war on Iraq and doing so without even the cover of a United Nations authorization, when they were doing it with no attack from Iraq and no imminent attack, they were upending the rules of engagement and destroying the traditions that engagement were based upon.

Generally, when rulers act as the US government did in 2003, they're not seen well in history.  Nazi Germany didn't feel the need to follow international law, didn't feel the need to embrace Just War theory.

The actions were criminal.






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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

She accomplished something, right?

BULLY BOY PRESS &     CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL AID TABLE

IN IOWA, A FOCUS GROUP HAS BECOME THE FIRST TEST CASE -- ASKED TO NAME A SUCCESS FOR CRANKY CLINTON DURING HER LEADERSHIP OF THE STATE DEPT, THEY COULD THINK OF NOTHING.


NOT ONE THING.


ON THE PLUS FOR CRANKY, NO ONE SAID ANYTHING LIKE, "SHE FARTED CONSTANTLY THROUGH ONE PRESENTATION AFTER ANOTHER."

BUT EVEN SO, YOU'D THINK FOUR YEARS WOULD ALLOW FOR ONE ACCOMPLISHMENT.

YOU'D THINK.


FROM THE TCI WIRE:



We're going to start with a  quick round of Name That Republican! 


December 1, 2009, US President Barack Obama declared "we are bringing the Iraq War to a responsible end."

Name the Republican, desperate for glory, who quickly added:

That we are doing so is a testament to the character of the men and women in uniform.  Thanks to their courage, grit and perseverance, we have given Iraqis a chance to shape their future, and we are successfully leaving Iraq to its people. 


The US gave Iraq something, did they?

Those damn Republicans always so full of themselves, seeing tragedy and crimes as a gift.  Shame on them, may they rot in --

Huh?

Oh, that was Barack.


Yeah, Barack's repeatedly lied about the Iraq War.


Most infamously he lied in his March 26, 2014 speech -- so much lying we needed the March 26, 2014 snapshot and the March 27, 2014 snapshot to cover it.


You can use those links for our comments but let's note reaction from others to that hideous speech.



William Rivers Pitt (Truthout) declared:

Truthout does not forget. We were at the forefront of the struggle against that disastrous war, and we will not stand idly by as an alleged "good guy" slaps a coat of paint over it to cover up the blood on the walls. President Obama sounds for all the world like a used car salesman trying to peddle a lemon, and that will not happen on our watch. 




DS Wright (Firedoglake) noted:

Yesterday President Barack Obama tried to claim that the United States government’s actions in the 2003 Iraq War were legal and different than Russia’s actions in Crimea because the US had “sought to work within the international system.” Apparently merely seeking to work within the international system is some kind of get out of jail free card. If one follows Obama’s logic then Russia need only to have “sought” a doomed UN resolution justifying the annexation of Crimea before doing so, this would have made their actions legitimate under Obama’s standard.



 The Voice of Russia offered:

Matt Howard and Ross Caputi, members of the Iraq Veterans Against the War, spoke with Common Dreams by phone and said that the president's narrative on the events that led up to the Iraq invasion, inside or outside the context of Ukraine, was simply "not grounded in reality." "We went from one lie, which was weapons of mass destruction, to another lie which was liberation and freedom," said Howard. "This idea that Iraq is somehow better off or that the US waged a so-called 'Good War' is ridiculous."



Grasp the above.  And there are two points here.

The first, a lot of people -- usually stupid people -- but some are also whores -- are glomming onto remarks by candidates for the GOP's presidential nomination to insist that this person or that person isn't fit to serve.

Now Jeb Bush brings his own problems on himself.

No one forced him to pick one position and then, after the press kicks him around the room for a day or two, rush to pick another position.

That's something worthy of comment -- it's probably killed his career, in fact.

But this nonsense of jumping on remarks?

Okay, let's do that.

But let's do that honestly.

In which case, there's Mike Gravel and who else?

Who besides former US Senator Mike Gravel has told the truth about Iraq?  The whole truth, not the half truth?  What politician?

Not Ralph Nader.

Ralph Nader's made himself useless and needs to find a rocking chair in an old folk's home.  Bernie Sanders?  Bernie's lied for years.  Yes, he voted against the war in 2002 but he never did join the Out of Iraq Caucus while he as in the House and he never really did anything to stop the illegal war after it started.

US House Rep John Conyers had no power and had to hold hearings in a basement room -- but he held hearings there.  What did Bernie Sanders ever do?

The same media that's all over this GOP politician or that?

They mocked John Conyers for holding hearings.  They mocked him, they laughed at him, they ridiculed him.

So I'm not really in the mood to get behind them today even though I don't particularly care for the people they're targeting.

I do care about fairness.

Barack's remarks have been dishonest and disgusting.

Pretty much every national politician -- of both parties and of Bernie's laughable Democratic Socialist party -- has lied about Iraq.

Which brings us to part two of this.

Elderly poindexter Paul Krugman got praised this week when he shouldn't have been.

In 2008, Paul was for Hillary and against Barack and, back then, he could be honest about Barack.  But we all saw how quickly Paul could whore.  No one whores like an elderly whore locked away in academia.

In his ridiculous column, Paul declared:

1) the Iraq War "was worse than a mistake, it was a crime."

2) the lies were "actually obvious even at the time"


And I can agree with that.

I can even agree that there was a campaign of "insinuation" where charges were stated or inferred but there was never any proof provided.

Insinuation is also my biggest problem with the column.

Paul claims he stands for truth -- no whore stands except maybe on their head and that's only if the john paying for it is into that.

But he tells you about Bully Boy Bush and the White House and blah blah blah.

But that's not the truth, not the full truth.

It is the "fool truth" and many fools rush to embrace it and amplify it.

Paul's insinuations all go to the Republicans.

"Democrat" never pops up nor do any of the Democrats who supported the war -- not the ones who did so with the 2002 vote nor the many votes which followed after.

Paul's not providing the full truth.

Frances A. Boyle's not a politician.  Maybe that's why he can provide the full truth?



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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cranky worked hard culling those e-mails!

BULLY BOY PRESS &     CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL AID TABLE


TODAY CRANKY CLINTON WANTED TO GET SERIOUS.

AND YOU KNOW SHE MEANT IT BECAUSE SHE SET ASIDE THE SHEEP DOG 'DO TO GO FOR PAGEANT HAIR.

AND CRANKY INSISTED THAT SHE WANTS THE STATE DEPT. TO SPEED UP THE RELEASE OF HER E-MAILS.

AS SHE EXPLAINED, "THIS IS THE GOOD STUFF.  I TRASHED ALL THE BAD STUFF.  THIS IS WHAT I WANTED THE PUBLIC TO SEE AND IT REALLY TICKS ME OFF THAT THESE NEEDED AND NEEDFUL AND NEEDABLE E-MAILS ARE NOT GETTING OUT TO THE PUBLIC."

FROM THE TCI WIRE:

Last June, the Islamic State seized Mosul.

The Iraqi military fled.

In some sort of early anniversary celebration,  the Islamic State -- which still controls Mosul -- seized Ramadi over the weekend.


Oh, and  the Iraqi military fled.

Hamdi Alkhshali and Catherine E. Shoichet (CNN) reported, "The key Iraqi city of Ramadi fell to ISIS on Sunday after government security forces pulled out of a military base on the west side of the city, the mayor and a high-ranking security official said."  Al Jazeera added, "Iraqi special forces soldiers were reported to be fleeing the city on Sunday as the armed group succeeded in breaching their last holdout."

This after how many millions (more) US tax dollars have been spent training them?

Billions?

In mid-April, Stan noted how, since August, the White House has spent over $2 billion on fighting (with combat, not with diplomacy) the Islamic State.


You can argue that things stand today exactly where they stood a year ago.

No improvement at all.

And you can click here for the Guardian's post of the Iraqi military fleeing Ramadi and the Islamic State.

This fleeing is disturbing.

Especially when you grasp that they didn't just flee open spaces in Ramadi.

Reuters notes, "Earlier, security sources said government forces evacuated a key military base after it came under attack by the insurgents, who had already taken one of the last districts still holding out." They couldn't even hold their own military base.


Every time they flee, the Islamic State gets a stronger foothold and if the military confronts them -- if! -- it's much harder to do that after they've taken a city.

If?

Mosul remains under control a year later.

What does it really say about the Iraqi military and the Iraqi government that they want to act militarily and talk about doing so but they refuse to do so.

There is no progress.

Barack's spent over a billion on Iraq -- between weapons, US forces and 'aid' -- since August and for what?  Where is the progress?

Despite Barack declaring that the only solution was a "political solution," no real work has been spent on that. Instead it's been empty promises and the focus has been on the military which, as we see again today, continues to falter and fail.

What's the end game, Barack?

Is the US going to remain in Iraq forever to prop up the US-installed government?



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"She needs the money upfront"
"THIS JUST IN! YOU GOTTA PAY HER FIRST!"




Saturday, May 16, 2015

She needs the money upfront

BULLY BOY PRESS &     CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL AID TABLE



CRANKY CLINTON CONTINUES TO REFUSE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS FROM THE PRESS.

MAYBE THERE'S A REASON?

SHE GETS PAID 25 MILLION A YEAR TO SPEAK.

GREEDY CRANKY'S NOT GOING TO GIVE IT UP FOR FREE.



FROM THE TCI WIRE:


QUESTION: Did you consider that the Iraqi Government is fulfilling its commitment regarding the Sunni tribes, first? And is – or will the U.S. provide the Sunni arms directly without passing the Iraqi Government?

MR RATHKE: Well, our policy on arms transfers to Iraq is – remains the same. We – all of those arms transfers are coordinated through the Iraqi central government. That’s not going to change. And as I said, Prime Minister Abadi has made it a priority to reach out to the Sunni population in particular in Anbar, and so we support those efforts.

Namo, go ahead.


QUESTION: We have seen little progress in Prime Minister Abadi’s outreach to the Sunnis, because – I mean, if you just look at the cities and towns that have been falling to ISIS in Iraq, almost all of them have been Sunni towns. It’s predominately Sunni towns. Does that – what does that tell us? Does that – doesn’t that tell us that the Iraqi army, which is basically a predominately Shia army, is unwilling to protect Sunni areas? Or doesn’t that also tell us that Prime Minister Abadi has failed in his outreach toward – to the Sunnis? Because they have been demanding weapons and also some equipment that they need to defend themselves.



MR RATHKE: Well, and the Iraqi Government has been providing it. So they --



QUESTION: But they have failed.



MR RATHKE: No, but – I wouldn’t accept that characterization. The prime minister has been reaching out. He has made the commitments to enlist and to arm tribal fighters. And those aren’t just the commitments on paper, they’ve been happening. I was just talking about some of the most recent steps in answer to Michel’s question. And so in addition to his personal engagement in Anbar, there was just last week an induction of another thousand tribal fighters. So yes, more efforts are needed but Prime Minister Abadi has focused on this and he continues to pursue that.



That is Jeff Rathke and the State Dept's opinion.

It is not fact and should not be mistaken for fact.

The Congress begs to differ.

And too bad for the State Dept, Congress can cut off funding.

Now the White House and the State Dept can go around Congress if Congress cuts off funding -- the White House and the State Dept can do that by (a) breaking the law, (b) creating a Constitutional crisis and (c) courting impeachment of US President Barack Obama.

If they choose to pursue that, it will certainly liven up the remainder of Lame Duck Obama's final term in office.

Congress' opinion on the matter can be found below:







(l)
Requirements relating to assistance for fiscal year 2016
(1)
Assessment
(A)
In general
Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this subsection, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State shall jointly submit to the appropriate congressional committees an assessment of the extent to which the Government of Iraq is meeting the conditions described in subparagraph (B).
(B)
Conditions
The conditions described in this subparagraph are that the Government of Iraq—
(i)
is addressing the grievances of ethnic and sectarian minorities;
(ii)
is increasing political inclusiveness;
(iii)
is conducting efforts sufficient to reduce support for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and improve stability in Iraq;
(iv)
is legislating the Iraqi Sunni National Guard;
(v)
is ensuring that minorities are represented in adequate numbers, trained, and equipped in government security organizations;
(vi)
is ending support to Shia militias and stopping abuses of elements of the Iraqi population by such militias;
(vii)
is ensuring that supplies, equipment, and weaponry supplied by the United States are appropriately distributed to security forces with a national security mission in Iraq, including the Kurdish Peshmerga, Sunni tribal security forces with a national security mission, and the Iraqi Sunni National Guard;
(viii)
is releasing prisoners from ethnic or sectarian minorities who have been arrested and held without trial or to charge and try such prisoners in a fair, transparent, and prompt manner; and
(ix)
is taking such other actions as the Secretaries consider appropriate.
(C)
Update
The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State may submit an update of the assessment required under subparagraph (A) to the extent necessary.
(D)
Submission
The assessment required under subparagraph (A) and the update of the assessment authorized under subparagraph (C) may be submitted as part of the quarterly report required under subsection (d).
(2)
Restriction on direct assistance to Government of Iraq
If the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State do not submit the assessment required by paragraph (1) or if the Secretaries submit the assessment required by paragraph (1) but the assessment indicates that the Government of Iraq has not substantially achieved the conditions contained in the assessment, the Secretaries shall withhold the provision of assistance pursuant to subsection (a) directly to the Government of Iraq for fiscal year 2016 until such time as the Secretaries submit an update of the assessment that indicates that the Government of Iraq has substantially achieved the conditions contained in the assessment.
(3)
Direct assistance to certain covered groups
(A)
In general
Of the funds authorized to be appropriated under this section for fiscal year 2016, not less than 25 percent of such funds shall be obligated and expended for assistance directly to the groups described in subparagraph (E) (of which not less than 12.5 percent of such funds shall be obligated and expended for assistance directly to the group described in clause (i) of such subparagraph).
(B)
Additional direct assistance
If the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State withhold the provision of assistance pursuant to subsection (a) directly to the Government of Iraq for fiscal year 2016 in accordance with paragraph (2) of this subsection, the Secretaries shall obligate and expend not less than an additional 60 percent of all unobligated funds authorized to be appropriated under this section for fiscal year 2016 for assistance directly to the groups described in subparagraph (E).
(C)
Cost-sharing requirement inapplicable
The cost-sharing requirement of subsection (k) shall not apply with respect to funds that are obligated or expended for assistance directly to the groups described in subparagraph (E).
(D)
Rule of construction
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the groups described in subparagraph (E) shall each be deemed to be a country for purposes of meeting the eligibility requirements of section 3 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2753) and chapter 2 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2311 et seq.).
(E)
Covered groups
The groups described in this subparagraph are—
(i)
the Kurdish Peshmerga;
(ii)
Sunni tribal security forces with a national security mission; and
(iii)
the Iraqi Sunni National Guard.



That's Sec. 1223 of H.R. 1735 which passed the House on Friday (it remains a bill, the Senate has to pass their version) on a vote with 269 members supporting it (41 were Democrats) and 151 opposing it (143 were Democrats) while 12 members elected not to vote.


Wow, there is widespread Democratic opposition to this Iraq proposal.

No.

The Iraq issue is the least controversial element of the bill (well the changes related to the registration and tracking of sex offenders is probably the section that has the most support from Democrats and Republicans, but after that, Iraq's the least controversial).

If you're not grasping that, Democrats are noting publicly their problems with the bill.  Leo Shane III (Military Times) reports, "House lawmakers on Friday approved a $612 billion defense authorization bill for next year despite objections from Democratic leaders and a White House veto threat over plans to skirt spending caps with oversized temporary war funds."


That makes me laugh.

For two reasons.

First, I've been at these hearings, Armed Services Comittee hearings, and heard Democrats and Republicans on the Committee -- both sides -- insist that the military must be sacrosacnt and not part of the sequestration (automatic cuts) and blah, blah, blah.



And, for the record, in the Veterans Affairs Comittee hearings (House and Senate), we hear the same statements, the automatic cuts should not effect the VA.

Every committee works to protect its own turf.

And now Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader, is objecting to fudging numbers because . . . she thinks sequestration should just be eliminated when it comes to the military.

More money flows to the DoD than any other element in the budget but Nancy is opposed to cut being implemented on Defense.

Once upon a time, Americans believed in a thing called  "shared sacrifice."

Meaning we all share in the cuts equally.

But they don't want to do that -- it's not full of the high drama Congress and the White House count on.

It's like the issue of the homeless in America.

Congress doesn't give a damn.

Unless it's veterans.

If it's veterans homeless, oh, let's talk, let's do, let's fund.

But the American citizens that Congress is supposed to represent -- all citizens, not just veterans?

They don't give a damn.

Nor does Barack.

He's promised that veterans homelessness ends this year.

Well bully for him.

But when does the US government ever intend to end homelessness in America?

The crisis exploded during Ronald Reagan's two terms as president.

And he's more or less blamed for it.

But Ronald Reagan's not only out of the White House, he's dead.

What prevented George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Bully Boy Bush and now Barack Obama from seriously addressing this issue and ending homelessness in America?

The only thing that stopped them was a lack of caring.

(HW is infamous for stepping over the sleeping homeless while leaving various DC eateries.)





Paul Kane (Washington Post) offers that "Democrats largely opposed the measure Friday because of their demands for new negotiations to set up different spending limits on defense and non-defense agencies that were imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act."





I hope that's clear enough for everyone.



The second reason I laugh?



The Iraq measure in the bill was supposed to be so controversial.



It is to the White House but it's not to Congress -- not to Congressional Democrats, not to Congressional Republicans.







Well they bellowed, and they hollered
And they threw each other down
Down in this valley
This cruel and lovely valley
Oh it should have been an alley
In some low down part of town

-- "Memorial Day," written by Carly Simon, first appears on her album Spy







And didn't they, though?





Didn't the press -- mirroring the White House -- because goodness forbid they come up with their own behavior -- insist that this was wrong, so wrong, so wrong?



Didn't they tell you that this Iraq section was going to be rethought?  And maybe pulled from the bill?



Didn't happen.



Never was going to happen.



And only idiots who hadn't attended Congressional hearings would have bought and/or promoted that nonsense.



It passed.



And it's not the source of Democratic objections.



Even the White House has sat its wild ass down on this matter realizing that they never had a chance at turning Congressional opinion on that in the first place but certainly not after certain thugs in Iraq -- thugs in the Iraqi government -- thought they could publicly threaten harm to the United States?



Congress is many things.  Arrogant to be sure.  But it's not a weak-willed president desperate to cave and remain silent in the face of threats from another country.



More than anything else, those threats solidified support in the House for this already popular provision.





So the Democrats are bothered that, to avoid spending caps, the bill ups the temporary expendiatures.





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Friday, May 15, 2015

America's jaw drops open

BULLY BOY PRESS &     CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL AID TABLE

POLITICO IS REPORTING THAT HILLARY CLINTON HAS SOLD HER SOUL.

THIS HAS LED SHOCKED AMERICANS TO EXCLAIM, "SHE HAD A SOUL? WHO KNEW!"



FROM THE TCI WIRE:




 It's most likely the end of Jeb Bush's run for the White House -- even if he doesn't know that.

This week, the former governor of Florida got attention for remarks he made about Iraq.

His floundering political campaign immediately got massive attention.  This attention was big news for a candidate who had trailed Senator Marco Rubio, Governor Scott Walker and Senator Rand Paul in many polls of candidates vying for the Republican Party's presidential nomination.


Sunday it started with leaks of an interview to be aired Monday in which he declared that, had he been US President in 2003, he would have done what his brother, Bully Boy Bush, did: Invade Iraq.  We noted on Monday how this could give lift to his struggling campaign.  On Wednesday, as he modified his remarks, we went over this again, how it speaks to the Republican base and could advance his standing.  Thursday, Harry Enten and Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight 'discovered' the same argument.

They 'find' those answers too late.

Jeb Bush has made a spectacle of himself.

Monday through Wednesday, he was slammed by left pundits and by the MSM press.

This wasn't a bad thing.

Sarah Palin received that treatment and did not run from it.  She used it, she harnessed it and she rode it to political fame and to popularity on the right.

Jeb could have done the same.

The criticism of Bully Boy Bush was always that he was not his father's son, he was his mother's son.  Petty, cruel and mean like his mother, BBB never met a grudge he couldn't f**k.

Jeb, by contrast, suffered from the same image problems their father had.  George H.W. Bush was always having to prove that he wasn't the light weight he appeared to be, the one not quite on the ball, the one who didn't grasp the stakes.

Jeb is his father's son.

Which is why he can't connect with the Republican base.

But this week, he had his chance.

He could show he was someone who didn't betray his own brother to garner a few votes, he could stand for the (illegal) war that remains popular with the GOP base, he could show that he was strong enough to stand against MSM attacks.

And as he modified his statement -- via his own remarks and those of surrogates, he was still okay.

Then, today, he decides to walk the remarks back completely, to disown them.

That's it.

He's weak Jeb Bush, as weak as his father, unable to stand up to the press therefore unable to stand up for the needs and desires of the Republican base.

That was the 'crime' of his father.

That is why his father had only one term as president.

That is why it is Ronald Reagan who remains a GOP hero while Bush, who served as Reagan's vice president, is not anyone the base ever describes as a "hero" -- just someone who's most notable moment even now remains his throwing up on Japan's then-Prime Minister Miyazawa Kiichi.

Jeb spewed a stream of cowardice today.

And the GOP will embrace strength and even get behind false macho.

But they run from weakness (out of fear).

A Republican candidate who can be forced to retract his stated opinion because of a hostile media?

That's weak to the GOP base.

Even those Republicans who might have disagreed with him are going to be dismayed that, after taking a position, he so quickly abandoned it just because he couldn't take the heat from the media.

John Kerry had hoped to make a run for the presidency in 2008.

That dream went up in smoke.

We noted it in real time, the California incident where he shot off his mouth to the delight of some but ensured that he would never be seen as presidential.

Jeb's actions today are very similar.

This is probably the end of the road for his political dreams.

He doesn't grasp that yet.

Neither does Nate Silver's band of thieves.


But after they read this breakdown, Nate's band will probably, in a few days, be humming the tune I've composed.

Jeb will probably remain in denial as long as big money holds up, telling himself that by focusing on New Hampshire, he's ensuring the buzz of strong early victory.

He's probably not going to carry New Hampshire and, having already abandoned Iowa, it will likely be two losses in a row.  If he's stayed in that long, New Hampshire will probably be where the campaign money begins to dry up.

Of course, he's supposed to be the smart Bush so he might read the writing on the wall before 2016 and announce early he's shutting down his campaign.




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