Home / Newsbrief: Fundraising Follies, SCOTUS Rulings Season, Hostage Crisis Continues

Newsbrief: Fundraising Follies, SCOTUS Rulings Season, Hostage Crisis Continues

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Clinton and Romney Lead in the Fundraising Follies

Despite the fact that they have two of the highest 'unacceptable' ratings among candidates in their respective parties, Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney have turned in fundraising reports showing extraordinarily high totals both compared to prior years' primary campaigns at this point and compared to their competitors. Clinton has raised a whopping $26 million so far and Romney isn't far behind with $23 million. These figures are triple the records set in previous campaign years, promising that this will be the most expensive election in American history. $4.2 million of Clinton's war chest came from online contributions and she has an additional $10 million carried over from her Senatorial campaign.

Other candidates lag behind, but are still exceeding amounts raised in prior elections. In second for the Democrats is John Edwards with $14 million and Rudy Giuliani is runner-up for the GOP with $15 million. John McCain and Barack Obama have not yet released their figures. Romney raised $6.5 million of his total at a single fundraiser in Boston last month and provided another $3.5 million of his own money. Giuliani is coming on strong. Almost all of his money was raised in March alone, plus he's been endorsed by billionaire business guru Steve Forbes and is bringing Forbes into his campaign as an adviser and fundraiser.

Also making the Republican contest more interesting is the growing speculation that actor, lawyer and former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson may enter the race as a Reagan-like candidate with universal appeal. Thompson is a moderate, pro-military Republican who is basically politically indistinguishable from Giuliani but doesn't have the same vulnerability on personal issues.

For more see The Boston Herald, Breitbart and Bloomberg.

The Supreme Court is Handing Down Rulings

With the Supreme Court in session, we're starting to get the first rulings and there's bound to be something to irritate everyone.

One of the rulings released today clarifies the responsibilities of the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act to regulate the carbon dioxide emissions of vehicles. It addresses concerns raised in a suit filed against the EPA by a number of environmental groups and 12 states led by California and Massachusetts demanding that clean air standards be enforced more rigorously on the federal level. The court's ruling basically says that the EPA is obligated to enforce the Clean Air Act itself rather than leaving enforcement mainly up to the discretion of the states. This is a victory for environmental interests, but increasingly irrelevant because automakers have already largely met or exceeded the standards set by the act. It would, however, make future environmental standards much more enforcable. Another ruling issued today rejects an argument from Duke Energy that older coal power plants should be exempted from emissions restrictions.

In another ruling, the court rejected an appeal on behalf of prisoners held at the military's Guantanamo Bay facility. The prisoners had claimed the right to be tried in regular courts and under U.S. law and to have their cases reviewed under the principle of Habeas Corpus. The ruling rejects their claims and upholds the Military Commissions Act and the provisions of the Geneva Conventions under which the prisonsers are currently held under military authority. Regardless of the very slow progress being made on actually trying and resolving the status of the prisoners, the court affirms that military justice is the appropriate way to deal with prisoners taken in the course of a war. This is being heralded as a vindication of administration policy by the White House.

Other rulings released today include one requiring publicly funded schools to equalize sports programs for male and female students, and one protecting the patent for the anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor against infringement by generic competitors.

For more see The San Francisco Chronicle, The Houston Chronicle and CNN.

Iran Hostage Crisis Continues to Escalate

While claiming that all of the British hostages taken a week ago have now 'confessed' to trespassing in Iranian waters, and also parading them on TV, the government of Iran is now suggesting that their fate will be resolved by international diplomacy rather than a show trial, if the British government will admit that the sailors intentionally violated Iranian territorial waters. This despite considerable civil unrest in Tehran with several bombings and an attack by a mob on the British Embassy. The mob was chanting slogans demanding that the hostages be tried in Iranian courts. At the same time statements were released by foreign ministers and heads of state from virtually every major Western nation promising 'appropriate action' against Iran, likely in the form of further and more serious sanctions. Continuing her efforts to become the spokesperson for the radical left, Rosie O'Donnell suggested that the hostages were deliberately ordered into Iranian waters to provoke a war.

For more see The Daily Express, The Brisbane Times and The National Ledger.

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • jasmine

    Hi Dave,
    For me all this Iran stuff looks like a setup from the beginning to now. Remember cheney mentioned afghanistan & Iraq in his 2000 inaugural speech and iran & north korea in 2004 inaugural speech. They are clear about what they want 3 yrs back itself for iran. It is only matter of logistics, excuses, fine words , creating precipitating events , if one doesn’t work, another will be created. you may be interested to see this article , on how british are using to precipitate this hostage crisis. It is for Black Money with the black magic of public perception.

  • JustOneMan

    Jasmine…yes that Cheney is a puppet master! He is coercing the Iranians to increase their nuke production and helping them send IUDs to Iraq. WI even hear that their is a picture of him in a small boat directing the Iranians to capture those British sailors!

    More proof that liberalism is a mental disorder!


  • Arch conservative

    Yeah JOM…it took alot of arm twisting back in 1979 but even then Cheney was able to bend the Iranians to his will and get them to take Americans hostage.

  • Arch conservative

    Looks like Jasmine and Rosie O’donnell are sharing the same hooka.

  • The Iranians aren’t stupid, are they? Surely they could have avoided taking those sailors hostage. Or are they also working for Cheney?


  • I actually think the first item here is the most interesting. Based on current fundraising levels this election is going to be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. The amount of media saturation for some of these candidates is going to be mind-numbing. They’re going to be on the air more than erectile dysfunction ads and I suspect it’s going to start to get irritating.


  • LOL. We don’t get erectile dysfunction adverts on European TV. I wonder if that says anything about the relative virility of European men as compared to you limpwood Yankees..?

  • Clavos

    Chris wrote:

    I wonder if that says anything about the relative virility of European men as compared to you limpwood Yankees..?

    I could see that coming a mile away.

    Actually, the ED ads always show a guy in his dotage; so it’s a case of we Americans are never ready to quit…

  • Chris, don’t you think the lack of ED ads in Europe might be because you’ve just given up alltogether?

    Or more realistically it might be because of regulation.

    We also have a hell of a lot of ads for penis enlargement pills which have no medical evidence to back them up.


  • Clavos, you can only see yourself coming from a mile away in your wildest dreams!

    Dave, as there are 500 million of us, I think we can safely say we Europeans haven’t given up at all. Indeed with a population over 1·6 times that of the US in about half the land area, I’d say we have a massive party going on.

    The fact that the US also has ads for penis enlargement pills also speaks volumes. After all, those companies wouldn’t be advertising if Americans weren’t buying – and hence needing – such products!

    Har Har!

  • If you’re partying so hard, how do you explain the declineing birth rate? At this rate you Euros will party yourselves right out of existence in a couple of hundred years. Then only moslem immigrants will be left in Europe and the breeding Jihad will be complete.


  • moonraven

    The really hard partiers do not choose to reproduce, Dave. Duh….Pun intended.

    And you can bet your bottom dollar that the president of Iran is not stupid. He also has previous hostage experience….

  • On Ahmadinejad the phrase has to be ‘once a terrorist, always a terrorist’.


  • moonraven

    Wrong, again.

    Never learn do you, Nalle? You fuckers are the terrorists. Everybody else is just patriotically resisting your agressions.

  • MR it always impresses me how little you learn and how you just dig a deeper and deeper hole with every ridiculous and idiotic statement.


  • Dave, you’re confusing sex and reproduction. The planet is over-crowded anyway so we’re just being socially responsible.

    Don’t let your paranoia get the better of you either; religion is a weakening force as its basic concepts are eroded by the positive social forces of increased awareness and education. Just as Christianity has been losing credibility since The Crusades, Islam is peaking and starting to wither, as more and more people recognise the well-intentioned but misguided ideas of faithists of all creeds.

  • moonraven

    Yep–dug my way all the way to the Middle East. Fuckin’ amazing!

    Stop your infantile projecting–If there is anyone here who is absolutely NOT open to learning it is you–because you have the almighty nerve to think you already know everything.

    That’s called Doin’ the Gringo Dance in every other part of the world, Nalle.

    I am glad you are doing it THERE.

  • Christopher, now I see that your last name matches the color of your glasses.


  • Optimism and love always trump cynicism and pessimism…

  • moonraven

    Not in the US, they don’t.

    In the US cynicism is god.

  • Clavos


    Optimism and love always trump cynicism and pessimism…

    If you believe (REALLY believe) that, I’ve got a slightly used bridge in Arizona I can sell you, very cheap…

  • Moonraven: Isn’t that, well, a bit cynical? 😉

    Clavos: We sold you that bridge in the first place. And I do believe it, optimism and love are the very stuff of life; cynicism and pessimism lead to nowhere but the grave.

  • Clavos

    Clavos: We sold you that bridge in the first place.

    I know. Which is why I’m optimistically betting you’d love to have it back.

    BTW, I have to confess the Swedish side didn’t get the turnip reference-too literal, I guess. (the Irish side didn’t get it either, but doesn’t care).

  • Clavos

    cynicism and pessimism lead to nowhere but the grave.

    So does life…

  • Yes, but more slowly and it’s a lot more fun.

  • moonraven


    I don’t know what put this Goody-Two Shoes approach in your bag of tricks.

    I have seen your other, really nasty self–so I am disinclined to buy this new caper.

    Much as I hate to agree–even partially–with clavos, I can say that everything leads to the grave. I have very recent immediate personal experience with watching somone die who was not cynical, but who simply did not have the willingness–or the courage–to heal himself.

    Gramsci said it best (and I think I have posted this on blogcritics before): Proceed with pessimism of the intellect and optimism of the will.

  • Any thoughts on the theory that Rosie O’Donnell was seen in a veil meeting with Osama bin Laden?

    My last attempt to get this back on topic.


  • moonraven

    Maybe you needed a better topic, Nalle.

    You seem to be compelled to bore the crap out of everybody.

    Even me–and I am clearly easily amused.

  • You’re right, MR. I should make up the news instead of reporting it. My mistake.


  • MBD

    “You’re right, MR. I should make up the news instead of reporting it. My mistake.”

    No mistake.

    You’ve done a good job.

  • moonraven: even though I have a certain sympathy for your perspective, I don’t think you are really tracking accurately what people say here so I seriously doubt you’ve seen anything at all. Maybe your brain needs mental “contact lenses”?

    Not that you’re alone in that condition; a lot of the political writing and commentary here is so trite and superficial.

  • moonraven

    Anything written by Nalle that he hasn’t plagiarized is trite and superficial.

    As for accurately tracking–whatever that means–Chris, we all respond from our own perspectives–and from that of the personae we create for this site.

    Just because I think you’re a pompous ass does not mean that my brain needs contact lenses. It is simply my opinion, based on what I have seen of your behavior on this site.

  • moonraven

    Regarding the topic–the NON-hostages are being released in Iran as an Easter present for the British people.

    Talk about making Tony Blair and the Brits look like what they are: mean-spirited little ponces who pal around with the Bully on the Corner US to destroy other folks’ cultures and countries in order to make themselves feel like big shots.

    Ahmadinejad asked why the West doesn’t respect family values.

    Good question.

  • moonraven: I’m not surprised that the phrase baffled you as you clearly don’t know how to do that. You may be creating personae but I haven’t the inclination to be other than real. I’d have thought a learned type like yourself would know better than to be so, um, cavalier.

    Hmm, pompous; that’s a new one, I’ll add it to the epithet list! Thanks for proving my point so eloquently, you really can’t see what is happening. Maybe you’re the anti-Nalle!

  • Hey, help me out folks, isn’t referring to the Brits as a cohesive group quasi-racist and entirely dumb?

    As for the hostage situation, I believe I was one of the first to conjecture that the British government set up Iran in order to make the country seem more radical and extreme. Of course Ms moonraven wouldn’t have noticed that as she already knows all the truth about everybody and everything. Not!

  • moonraven

    They are not hostages, Chris–despite your need to distort the world to fit into the teacup of the Brit worldview.

    Put the shoe on the other foot and tell me what they would have been called if the Brits had captured Iranis in British waters.

    Just do it. Now.

    Not baffled at all, Chris–just continue to be amazed that blogcritics would have someone like you or Nalle on staff.

    And your call to others to dogpack–straight out of Nalle’s bag of tricks.

    Maybe YOU are just another Nalle clone….

  • moonraven

    I would also like to know if it is blogcritics policy to have a Brit staffperson participate so “actively” in threads.

    Seems to me that you are really wanting to distract us from the topic and therefore distract us from the clear reality that the Brits were in Irani waters and dumb enough to be used for Iran’s propaganda purposes.

  • moonraven: try and follow closely now: I suggested the British government set up Iran. I’m not persuaded the British military personnel were in Iraqi waters because I suspect the Navy would have reacted differently in that scenario.

    Certainly, if I’d been in charge and the Iranians came into “our” waters to try and capture some of the people I was responsible for, I’d have blown them out of the water. As the Navy did nothing, it strongly suggests that it was indeed a set up.

    Maybe hostages was the wrong word, I wasn’t considering the nuance of that, but as a time-saving convenience, it seemed okay for a non-formal chat.

    Blogcritics doesn’t have any policy about its “staff” participating in the comments. I almost wish it did, ‘cos most of the other editors, busy folk that they are, are rarely to be seen.

  • Clavos

    Virtually every military vessel in the world today, from the liberty boats and admiral’s gigs on up, carry GPSs, which these days tell them their position within twelve feet.

    Those sailors were NOT in Iranian waters.

  • Hey, help me out folks, isn’t referring to the Brits as a cohesive group quasi-racist and entirely dumb?

    I think it’s more or less equivalent to calling citizens of the US ‘yanks’ or folks from Australia ‘aussies’ – not exactly racist, especially since natonalities aren’t races.


  • STM

    “Actually, the ED ads always show a guy in his dotage; so it’s a case of we Americans are never ready to quit…”

    George W. Bush phones Aussie PM John Winston Howard.

    GWB: “John, we need your help … we’ve run out of condoms for our troops.”

    JWH: “No worries George, I’ll get on it.”

    GWB: “We need five million, and they should all be extra, extra large size.”

    JWH phones lackey: “Mate, we need five million condoms for the Americans, extra, extra large size. Make sure each wrapper is printed: “Made in Australia, size: Small.”

  • STM

    “Hey, help me out folks, isn’t referring to the Brits as a cohesive group quasi-racist and entirely dumb?”

    Come on Rosey, what are we supposed to say old boy… a captured Naval Party consisting of sailors and Marines from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales?

    On a serious note, though. Chris… I don’t think the Royal Navy would have blown the Iranians out of the water no matter what. It’s not the invasion of the Falklands. They are currently under orders not to increase tensions, as the British area of control in Iraq is mainly Shiite and on the Iranian border and very prone to Iranian meddling. So far, they have done a good job in Basra and the south of not inflaming tensions.

  • STM

    They are being freed now anyway. Looks like the prisoner exchange worked nicely 🙂

  • Clavos



    Too bad you blokes have to lie about it…

  • STM

    Clav wrote: “Too bad you blokes have to lie about it…”

    Who’s bloody lying?? International diplomacy is a game of .. ah … one up-man-ship.

  • Did I miss something? Did we give them Noam Chomsky and Rosie O’Donnell in exchange for the 15 Brits?


  • STM

    Dave wrote: “Did we give them Noam Chomsky and Rosie O’Donnell?”

    Now, that’s really something to work towards. A secret strategy to bore the shit out of the Iranian people so they lose interest in politics thus bringing about the fall of their own government – which would probably be asleep at the time and wouldn’t know a thing about it.

    But no, some Iranian “diplomats” captured earlier by US forces in Iraqi Kurd territory seem likely to be released, along with a couple of others in the south.

    That’s the story I’m hearing, anyhow …

  • Plus Rosie would look way better in traditional Islamic garb – or a big garbage sack (and no need for breathing holes).

    Where are you hearing about the Iranians being released in exchange? The BBC is insisting there were no real concessions made and Iran is claiming they released them as a show of goodwill.


  • STM

    I heard it late last night our time in an Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) interview with Sir Richard Dalton, former British Ambassaror to Iran who dealt with the previous Naval Party capture.

    While Dalton was saying that it was not a hostage exchange situation, and denying there was any link with the five? “diplomats” caught earlier by the US, he looked a little tense and uncomfortable at times when that issue was being discussed, especially when it was suggested the “diplomats” were due to be released. Of course, that means jack … but still, it’s a timely co-incidence, isn’t it?

    Then lo and behold, Iran announces early today the Naval Party will be freed as a “present” to the British people.

    Yeah, right ….

  • STM

    Also Dave, Ahmadinejad had been complaining recently that the US hasn’t approved all visas for his UN visit – the flight crew, I believe. Perhaps he thought this might be a bit of payback. Who knows?

    You can bet there have been some machinations and some nefarious activity going on behind the scenes. The big problem for Iran in many of these situations is that the Revolutionary Guard acts of its own accord, leaving the Iranian diplomats to extricate themselves from the problem. While the British were likely in Iraqi waters, they were in a small runabout-type boat and only armed with assault rifles and sidearms, and I believe the ambush was by six heavily armed patrol boats of the Revolutionary Guard.

  • Clavos

    STM sez:

    While the British were likely in Iraqi waters,

    If that’s the case, then the Iranians’ capture of them was a VERY risky move (or not, as it turned out). When nothing but talk happened, Ahmadinejad was sent a message-the wrong one-by the Brits and their allies…

  • STM

    No, they have done it before Clav. I think they are well aware that they are pushing the boundaries (literally in this case) but know we won’t do anything because should the ice cream hit the fan in Iran, it will have disastrous spin-off consequences in Iraq, where the Shia population, traditionally religiously allied to the Iranians, is far more amenable to the US-British presence than are the sunni extremeists.

    This is the problem, really. Also, as I explained in the other post, the Revolutionary Guard has likely done this without the government’s prior knowledge – which means they then have to find a way out of it that is face-saving (sabre rattling will always fulfil that niche nicely). Also, you never know what’s been said behind the scenes …

    Last time they did it in 2004, they subjected the British sailors and Marines to a number of mock executions. The naval men didn’t realise they were mock, though, until after they heard the empty click. Don’t worry Clav, sooner or later, Iran’s government will gets its comeuppance – most likely at the hands of its own people, who are mostly fed up.

  • If the British Navy just let the Iranians come into Iraqi waters and take away 15 serving members without defending them, that is an absolute disgrace. I would be ashamed of such craven cowardice or sly entrapment, whichever it may be.

  • troll

    Stan – while I appreciate your generally level headed approach to the world I have to wonder where you get your evidence for a statement like:

    *Don’t worry Clav, sooner or later, Iran’s government will gets its comeuppance – most likely at the hands of its own people, who are mostly fed up.*

    while polls that I’ve read about indicate that dissent is alive and well there they also show support for the Gov and do not justify the belief that Iranians are ‘mostly fed up’

    it is a worry as it could go either way imo but I await correction

  • moonraven

    Clavos now has the nerve to tell us that he was there on that British boat and that it was not in Irani waters. Don’t that beat all?

    Chris, condescend to someone else, you meanspirited little prick. Iran’s president said it was sad that Tony Blair did not have the balls to admit that his folks were in Irani waters.

    I think it’s sad, too.

    Balls are scarce as hen’s teeth these days.

  • Not a word about Obama’s fundraising surprise? Huh.

  • moonraven


    Evidence for your statement that the Irani people are mostly fed up with their president?

    I haven’t seen any.

    He is an extremely skilled player at the game of geopolitics–has put together alliances of one kind or another with all kinds of world leaders–of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, China–not to mention the petroleum pipeline agreement with Pakistan….

    You need to get out more–see what’sreally happening in the world.

  • moonraven

    Those of you who are interested in doing something besides screaming “off with their heads” in regard to every follower of Islam may want to read this article on http://www.commndreams.org:

    “Lessons in Capture, Release of Britons”

    The government of Iran makes the Brits and gringos looks like little punks….

  • Clavos

    MR asks STM: Evidence for your statement that the Irani people are mostly fed up with their president?

    Actually, Stan didn’t say the people were fed up with their president. Here’s what he really said: Iran’s government will gets its comeuppance – most likely at the hands of its own people, who are mostly fed up.

    And in support of that point, here’s what the NYT had to say: Even in Tehran, there were signs that the detention had been unpopular and a blow to the influence of Mr. Ahmadinejad, who is vying against the country’s pragmatists for more influence over Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader.

    “Iranian leaders never imagined the consequences when they seized the sailors off Iranian or Iraqi waters,” said Mehrdad Serjooie, a political analyst at the Center for Strategic Research, part of a group run by Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president and a challenger to Mr. Ahmadinejad.

    “The televised confessions of the sailors provoked sympathy from the international public opinion, and such conditions were pushing Iran further into isolation,” Mr. Serjooie said in an interview.

    Hossein Rezamanesh, an Iranian shopkeeper, said that the British detainees had been innocent victims of “a political game” in which the British and the Iranian governments were equally at fault.

    “They gave an official description of this incident, but they were settling their scores on other affairs,” Mr. Rezamanesh said in an interview, referring to the two governments. “Moreover, international pressure increased on Iran and the Iranians were afraid of horrible consequences. Thank God, our people were spared.”

    So, according to NYT, the natives ARE restless in Iran.

  • Clavos

    Here’s an interesting excerpt from the commondreams article cited by mr: …according to [Gary Sick, an Iran expert at Columbia University who served in White House under former President Jimmy Carter], Tehran’s behaviour during much of the crisis — including both the seizure itself, the precise location of which remains a matter of dispute, and its use of “confessions” by the British captives and threats to put them on trial — will probably have cost it much-needed international support.

    “I suspect that recognition of this fact accounts for Iran’s desire to end this dispute as promptly as possible,” said Sick. “For the same reason, I suspect that this ploy will not be repeated any time soon.”

    “I think the Iranians thought it was better to declare victory and put an end to the crisis before there was any further escalation,” noted [Trita Parsi, president of the U.S. National Iranian American Council (NIAC).]

  • moonraven

    Apparently when clavos reads: its own people, he think that does not mean Iranis? Don’t bother to answer.

    And now he drags out the New York Times opinion piece as evidence to support the statement that Iranis are unhappy with their government.

    He also trotted out the same and even less reliable sources in the past that supposedly gave evidence that the people of Venezuela were unhappy with president Chavez, too.

    Really fucking unhappy, Clavos. Sixty percent voted to retain their president–after he had already been elected TWICE in certified clean elections–in 2004, then 63% re-elected him in 2006.

    Guess they are so unahppy that they have to keep re-electing him so that they can have someone to complain about?

    Get real.

    Oh, and nice out-of-context quote from the article on Common Dreams. too.

    If it were up to you, I am sure the US would be invading every country on the planet for its resources–so that you can run your high-speed lanchas of what was that cargo again, nails?

  • moonraven

    An alternative opinion to white racist approaches to the Americas can be found on Mohawk Nation News

    We aren’t called First Nations for nothing, kimo sabe.

  • Clavos

    Wrong agin, mr.

    The NYT piece is not an “opinion piece” (except in your parochial view), it’s their LEAD FRONT PAGE ARTICLE in today’s edition.

    You totally missed the point (twice) about Stan’s quote, too: he referred to the Iranian’s unhappiness with their government, he didn’t say their “president.”

    And this is not a thread about Chavez; nobody but you has even brought him up–nice red herring…

    mr: once again, you’ve been NAILED.

  • moonraven

    No I have not.

    An opinion piece is one of opinion. I also put a link to an opinion piece. The NYT is so dirty after its beating the war drum and making up articles that I haven’t even looked at it for quite a while now.

    So don’t try to shit me, nalle–er, nails.

    Since you mentioned Chavez, and since our Brit sailor Chris has indicated that there is no need to stay on topic on these threads, here’s an opinion piece by Mark Weisbrot: It’s called “Is Hugo Chavez a Threat to Stability? No.” It ends with this;

    “No other government in the region accepts the Bush Administration’s charge that Chavez is a threat to regional stability – not even President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia, which shares a 1300 mile conflict-ridden border with Venezuela. When Uribe met with members of the US Congress last year, he refused to criticize Chavez – reportedly even in private. The vast majority of Latin American governments also supported Venezuela’s bid for the UN Security Council last year, even after he called President Bush “the Devil” at the UN, and despite all the pressure that the United States – whose economy is 67 times the size of Venezuela’s – brought to bear on them.

    What should the Bush Administration do about the non-threat from Venezuela? It could start by acknowledging that it was wrong to support the April 2002 coup that overthrew Chavez. The US Congress should have a real investigation of this involvement, as it did for the US-sponsored coup against the democratic government of Chile in 1973, which yielded volumes of information. The documents that we have so far on the Venezuelan coup from the State Department and the CIA show that the Bush Administration paid some of the leaders of the coup, had advance knowledge of it, and tried to help it succeed by lying about the events as they transpired. The administration also tacitly supported a devastating oil strike that tried to topple the government in 2002-2003, and funded opposition groups through the 2004 failed recall attempt and beyond. In fact, the US Agency for International Development, which is not supposed to be a clandestine organization, continues to pour millions of dollars into Venezuela, Bolivia, and other countries for activities and recipients that it will not divulge. This, too, needs to be made public.”

    (Mark Weisbrot is Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, DC)

    Mark Weisbrot, like this poster, KNOWS something about Latin America.

  • moonraven

    Oh yeah–now clavos tells us that the president of Iran is not a member of its government.

    Nice try, idiot.

    An article, by the way, can be of any type. An opinion piece is the only kind of article you have ever cited, however.

  • Clavos

    She shoots.

    She misses.

    The crowd walks out.

  • STM

    Moonraven: there have been a number of arrests in Tehran (over 100 at last count) over the past 12 months of women who have been demonstrating for women’s rights. The country’s constitution gives them the right to do so, but they have been arrested as “threats to national security”. A number of women have been beaten up and one arrested recently had her teeth smashed in.

    The Revolutionary Guard is very unpopular with most Iranians, and the current President is backed by the guard and indeed may even be part of it. There are two real factions in Iran, the moderates (by their standards, and we’re not talking the export of McDonald’s capitalism and Jeffersonian democracy here) and the radicals. Even the Shia clergy is starting to turn away from the radical faction.

    When you see the pictures of some of those arrested, they are all muslim believers, all wear the headscarf, many of them are mothers and wives …

    It is distressing to see how it is unfolding.

  • STM

    “You need to get out more”

    Lol. Actually, I need to get out less.

  • Clavos

    Hell of a good photographer, STM…

    Some powerful writing on that site, too…

  • STM

    And finally, if anyone’s bothering to listen, here is the truth about the capture of the Naval Party (Please note Chris Rose):

    They WERE in Iraqi waters, doing a routine stop of an Indian flagged vessel as mandated by the UN and agreed to by both Iran and Iraq. However, there is some disagreement over what constitutes the maritime border. The UN mandated border is the one used (including by Tehran), and they were not in Iranian waters according to that.

    They were in a rigid inflatable, and armed only with a few SA80s, the standard British assault rifle, and some side arms.

    HMS Cornwall, the destroyer they embarked from, was not in sight of the party and was about 20 nautical miles away. The Royal Navy Lynx helicopter escort normally used as protection for the Naval Party had returned to HMS Cornwall earlier with technical problems.

    As they were leaving the area, about 7 nautical miles from shore, they were ambushed by six very heavily armed Iranian gunboats manned by members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

    So it’s half a dozen Royal Marines armed only with assault rifles and sidearms, and 10 sailors, only some of whom had with sidearms, facing off against the crews of SIX large gunboats (about 50 men in all) armed with heavy machine guns, large-calibre anti-aircraft guns and cannons. Had they been stupid enough to stand and fight, they would have been dead within a minute … but they are instructed not to fight with the Iranians anyway because of tensions in the area.

    Cornwall was too far away at the time to offer any support.

    There is specualtion that the taking of the Naval Party was part of a plan to give Tehran a bargaining chip over the arrest of six of its “diplomats” in Kurdish Iraq in January, and indeed one caught in southern Iraq was freed by the US this week, a few days before the Naval Party was released. So it’s highly likely there may be some truth to this. Prior to the release of the Naval Party, the six “diplomats” were suddenly offered Iranian consular assistance by the US.

    So, there’s a bit more to all this than meets the eye.

    And as for Ahmadinejad pinning medals of valour on the Guardsmen crews of the six big gunboats for their capture of a few people on a little rigid inflatable, all I can say is medals of valour must come pretty cheap in Iran.

  • Stan, ever considered writting that up as a handy wrap-up article on the incident? The editors would thank you.


  • STM

    I will do it later Dave, if that’s OK.

  • Clavos

    Stan writes:

    And as for Ahmadinejad pinning medals of valour on the Guardsmen crews of the six big gunboats for their capture of a few people on a little rigid inflatable, all I can say is medals of valour must come pretty cheap in Iran.

    If they didn’t before, they damn sure do come cheap now.

    Unfortunately, Ahmadinejad now knows he can get away with almost anything, the rat bastard.

  • Inigo Montoya

    “all I can say is medals of valour must come pretty cheap in Iran.”

    better than the US where the Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to people who screw up.

  • STM

    It’s worth bearing in mind too that Iran is a country that still advocates and carries out the stoning to death of women, quite often on very, very scant evidence.

    Just so no one’s in any doubt here, I did say STONING TO DEATH. Nine women are currently held in jail in Iran and are sentenced to die by stoning. What they do is dig a deep hole, make the woman lie in it and then throw rocks at her until she is dead. It’s a process that can take some time, is obviously dreadfully painful, and leaves them looking like a raw piece of meat.

    One of the issues these arrested women are fighting against is execution of women by stoning.

    As for moonraven, who I’d see as a champion of the rights of the oppressed wherever they might be in the world, I can’t believe she has expressed support for a regime that advocates such barbarity against women.

    Ahmadinejad may well be good at forging alliances with non-aligned countries, but when his own people are battling this kind of madness, surely that adds some perspective to the real picture.

  • Stan, don’t forget that stoning to death applies to minors who have been raped, as took place a few years ago. Only in Iran do they punish the rape victim with death.


  • Iran isn’t the only country where they do that.

  • moonraven

    STM: When did god reveal The Truth to you?

    Were you there?

    I think not.

    I do not claim to know the truth of the incident, but no matter how it’s sliced, IMHO, Tony Blair comes out looking like the ball-less little sniveler he has always been. Even John Bolton (remember that horsefaced belligerant butthole?) declared the points 2 to 0 in favor of the Iranis: for capturing the Brits (1) and for releasing them (another 1).

    As someone who spends part of each year right next door to Iran, I can tell you that there is change in the wind in regard to women’s rights all over the Middle East.

    Gradually that change will come about–from within. From the other side of the fence, I do not know of any Saudi women, for example, that would trade their privileges for the lifestyle of Western women. (Admittedly, the only ones I know well are of middle and upper-middle classes.)

    Women in the US have had less than 100 years of voting rights. Equal opportunity in the workplace only became part of the culture in the 1970s. There is still a glass ceiling.

    If I were a man, I would not be patting myself on the back for my progressive countries’ situations for women.

    After all, 30 years or 100 years is a drop in the ocean of history since the patriarchy replaced goddess-worship.

  • Dave Nalle

    MR a number of the countries you hold up as examples of wonderfulness STILL have a substantial traffic in female slaves, including Venzuela and Saudi Arabia. As a woman I would think you would find that abhorent, but politics trumps all better human inclinations for you.


  • moonraven

    And the US has folks like you. Not even worth anything as slaves.

    But seriously, how many hundreds of years ago was Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation?

    Most of the other countries in this hemisphere had made slavery illegal just a bit earlier on.

    BTW, the slavery caper in Venezuela was another bit of US propaganda. I have never seen any real evidence for it. And, more to the point, neither have you.

  • moonraven

    As for Saudi, I would like you to show me on this thread–or any other–where I have said Saudi Arabia was a wonderful country.

    Put up or shut up, Texas Tinhorn.

  • Dave Nalle

    MR, I refer you to Libertad Latina and this collection of reports specific to Venezuela.


  • Clavos

    [Entire comment deleted by multi-lingual Comments Editor. DON’T do that again, Clavos…]

  • moonraven

    Nalle Tinhorn,

    You did NOT put up. As usual, you assume I won-t read links because you never do.

    Your first link only mentions Mexico and Central America. No mention of Venezuela.

    Your second link is pure gobbledegook from the US State Dept., the single biggest source of disinformation about Venezuela, and you apparently did not notice that in the very article THERE IS A CAUTIONARY NOTE SAYING NO ATTEMPT WAS MADE TO VERIFY THE CLAIMS AND THAT SOME MAY BE UNSUBSTANTIATED OR EVEN FALSE….

    Nice try, Tinhorn. Too bad you forgot that I am not illiterate and that I ALWAYS look at the sources. Unlike you uneducated ones.

    I am still waiting for you to show me where I said Saudi Arabia was a wonderful country.

    That should keep you bust til hell freezes over.

  • moonraven


    Something is wrong with the posting mechanism, BTW.

  • troll

    look again

  • MR, apparently pages with secondary links are too complex for you. That page is not from the state department, but it does have links to most of the major human rights organizations and their reports on human trafficking, slavery and child exploitation in Venezuela. It includes links to reports by the UN, the OAS and Human Rights Watch among other organizations, all of which have cited Venezuela for making little effort to crack down on slavery and especially exploitation of children.

    But feel free to ignore it as you do anything else that doesn’t agree with your preconceptions.


  • Clavos

    [Entire comment deleted by multi-lingual Comments Editor. DON’T do that again, Clavos…]

    I won’t mr. comments poobah, but you’re not as hot shit multilingual as you think you are. “Te chingó is vernacular for he got (as in bested) you, and in the context, was NOT a personal attack as “fuck you” is in English, and which you consistently do not delete.

    And while we’re at it, why is comment #30 in this thread allowed to stand? Talk about personal attacks!

  • Clavos

    mr says:

    Your first link only mentions Mexico and Central America. No mention of Venezuela.

    What’s this?

    Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation Between Venezuela and Ecuador.

    Over half of all women in Latin America have suffered some form of violent act.1 33% of these women have been victims of sexual exploitation between the ages of 16 and 49.2 45% of these women have been insulted and harassed.3 Some examples of the sexual exploitation women in Latin America suffer are rape and prostitution. Both rape and prostitution occur in trafficking networks between Ecuador and Venezuela.

    Women and children are… trafficked into Venezuela. Women from countries like Colombia are trafficked into Venezuela through prostitution trade networks originating in Colombia.7 Children from Ecuador are trafficked into Venezuela to serve as prostitutes and work as street vendors and housemaids.8 The victims are usually children who are kidnapped, sold by their parents, or deceived by false employment opportunities.9 These children are first exploited through prostitution at the average age of 12.10 Children as young as 7 years old have been found to be sexually exploited.11 Of the 40,000 sexually exploited children in Venezuela, 78% are girls between the ages of 8 and 17.

  • moonraven

    It-s from the second link, nails. Just like I mentioned above==the one where the US State Dept. made it up and to which the disclaimer about UNSUBSTANTIATED AND FALSE was part of the article==not, obviously the part that you quoted.

    You guys never give up trying to cheat, but your skill level is about that of my third grade niece-s.

    Busted again.

    Busted always.

  • Clavos, you and I both know she didn’t actually read anything on those sites. She won’t acknowledge or pay attention to anything which doesn’t agree with her preconceptions.

    If she were to admit that the Bolivarian paradise is a major stop on the pedophilic tourist route and that it’s made possible by slavery then her whole house of cards would start to come tumbling down.


  • troll

    blinded by prejudice – literally

  • moonraven

    It-s patently obvious that I am the only one who DID read==with UNDERSTANDING==what was on the links.

    Anyone else can see for himself or herself that Link 1 is about Mexico and Central America==although Nalle probably still believes that Venezuela is in Central America==and that the second link, RIGHT AFTER what Clavos quoted, has a DISCLAIMER saying that it was culled from sites, unverified, and quite possibly Unsubstantiated or FALSE.

    All the countries in Latin America abolished slavery before the US did. Check it out.

    As for the gringo pedophiles==they go anywhere there is poverty: Mexico, Central America, South America, Thailand, Sri Lanka==because where there is not poverty the CHILDREN they are stalking are not for sale.

  • moonraven

    Venezuela will soon be rid of poverty, and therefore of you gringo pedophiles and other kinds of gringo predators.

    In the US, poverty is increasing by leaps and bounds==so very soon the pedophiles will not have to travel outside the US borders.


  • moonraven

    Clavos, Stop whining.


    And I am still waiting for my glowing review of Saudi Arabia to be posted on this thread.

    Which will never happen because I never said anywhere in this lifetime that Saudi was a wonderful place.

  • troll

    moonraven – you’ve arrived and are officially a liar

  • #88/ Clavos, I think you’re trying to be too smart for your own good, I know full well what Chingar means.

    As for the other article you link to, I think you’ll find if you get down off your high horse you may notice that a certain amount of comedy was being used. Giddyup cowboy!

  • moonraven

    Troll: You damn well better have some proof of that.

    It is typical of Dave Nalle that he posts “sources” but he clearly doesn-t read them==just does a google and throws them like spaghetti against the page==as I have NEVER read a single one of his “sources” that he has posted that has not either contradicted what he claimed or was simply not relelvant to what he had claimed.

    Hell, I have been teaching how to appropriately document supportive material since 1968 to university students that were a whole lot brighter than Dave Nalle….

    He just assumes everyone on this site is more stupid and obtuse than he is. In most of your cases, sadly, he is right.

    He did manage to do one thing, though==and that-s get everybody off the track for almost 20 posts now==by dragging in a completely unrelated reference to Venezuela and Saudi Arabia in post 79 because he couldn-t refute anything I said in post 78.

    I have a reason to call his redneck ass on his lies, but you guys are just shills and suckers.

    Hope the Easter Bunny treats you better than you deserve to be treated.

    I am out of here.

  • Clavos


    You might be somewhat bilingual. What you are NOT is bicultural. You obviously don’t understand vernacular Spanish at all.

    I saw NO humor in Bliffle’s comment; high horse or not, he called me a welfare cheat, which verges on slander and is not funny.

    Did you notice chingar has been used again in this thread? Since I didn’t say it, you don’t care…

  • Vernacular Spanish here in North America may be somewhat different from what Chistopher experiences in Spain as well, Clavos.


  • From Wikipedia: The following verbs are equivalent to the verb “to fuck” in English, though not always in all its possible meanings, and mostly limited to specific geographic regions.

    * Chingar is a rude reference to La Malinche, La Chingada, the mistress of Hernan Cortes. Mexicans, or at least the Mestizos among them, sometimes refer to themselves as hijos de la Chingada, her offspring, and in this sense it is not considered a profanity. In Mexico chingar means “to fuck someone” or “to screw something up”. Chinga tu madre (“go fuck your mother”) is often considered the strongest Mexican curse, and vete a la chingada roughly translates “go fuck yourself”. Other uses are somewhat more tame — a Mexican might say no me chingues, a fairly strong version of “don’t annoy me” or “get out of here!”, or if a Mexican is beaten in a business deal or in sports, me chingaron (“they screwed me”) might be used. Also used is the expession “estás corriendo en la chingada”, literally “you are running in that which is fucked”. Soy chingón could mean in English “I rule” or “I’m the very best”. ¡No chingues! means something like “No way!” (literally more like “don’t screw around”), ¡Qué chingón!, could be used to say “Wow, that’s cool!” in a more aggressive way. ¡Qué chinga! roughly translates to “What a heavy duty!” ¡A la Chingada! can be a curse at someone or an expression of shock. Machín is another variation on chingar, a contraction of lo más chingón, roughly translated, “the baddest motherfucker”. The word is understood in Spain and Puerto Rico, but not used.”

    If you weren’t so busy being a crybaby, you’d notice the other use of chingar has also been excised from the record.

    As to Bliffle, I don’t think you’re best placed to judge his humour or the lack thereof but if you feel a civil crime took place, exercise your legal rights and sue his ass.

  • It-s patently obvious that I am the only one who DID read==with UNDERSTANDING==what was on the links.

    Give it up, MR. Whether you’re lying or just dead stupid is open to discussion, but don’t keep harping on something when you’re just dead wrong.

    Anyone else can see for himself or herself that Link 1 is about Mexico and Central America

    Can they? The name of the page references Latin America as a whole, and the SECOND article on the page is specifically about Venezuela. You hardly even have to scroll down to see that you’re dead wrong.

    the second link, RIGHT AFTER what Clavos quoted, has a DISCLAIMER saying that it was culled from sites, unverified, and quite possibly Unsubstantiated or FALSE.

    It’s not ‘culled’ from other sites, it references other sites with links to their reports. You can declare the UN the OAS the US State Department and Human Rights Watch to be lying, but I bet most people are going to take their word over yours.

    All the countries in Latin America abolished slavery before the US did. Check it out.

    Abolishing slavery on paper and tolerating illegal slavery because of governmental corruption are not necessarily incompatible.

    Troll: You damn well better have some proof of that.

    Everyone has proof of it. Your lies are so obvious that most of us just sit here reading with our jaws lying on our keyboards in disbelief.

    It is typical of Dave Nalle that he posts “sources” but he clearly doesn-t read them

    Except that in this case – as always – I clearly did read them and you did not.

    I have NEVER read a single one of his “sources”

    Just stop there, because that’s the nubbin of truth in your feeble tissue of lies.

    He just assumes everyone on this site is more stupid and obtuse than he is. In most of your cases, sadly, he is right.

    Actually, I assume that most people reading here are fairly intelligent. Some have demonstrated that they are not.

    post 79 because he couldn-t refute anything I said in post 78.

    Why would I be interested in refuting any of that? I hope it’s true, though I have seen no evidence to support it.


  • Christopher, Wikipedia isn’t exactly the foremost authority on linguistic issues.

    If you weren’t so busy being a crybaby, you’d notice the other use of chingar has also been excised from the record.

    Actually, it hasn’t. It’s in post #95.


  • Oh yes it has! Do try and keep up oldtimer…

  • Clavos

    or if a Mexican is beaten in a business deal or in sports, me chingaron (“they screwed me”) might be used.

    BOTH uses of the word were in this sense of it. Neither was a personal attack, except to your anglo mind.

    As to Bliffle, I don’t think you’re best placed to judge his humour or the lack thereof

    Since I am the butt of it, I’m perfectly placed.

    But never mind. As mr is so fond of quoting, “It doesn’t take a weatherman to see which way the wind blows.”

  • Well, I just think you’re just being a butt tonight Clavos. However it’s now nearly 3am here and I’m off to bed.


  • It has now, Chris. But it wasn’t at the time of Clavos’ or my comments or your earlier claim of deletion for that matter.


  • Clavos


    The piece I quoted in #89 is from the Libertad Latina site that Dave linked, mr. It’s the second link down in the column on that site.

    Dave’s right; you never saw it, even when I quoted it, because you never went and looked.

    Some “scholar” you are…

  • To be fair, it’s also cited on the second site I referenced. Both of them draw on that same State Department report, but both also have additional material and links.


  • Clavos

    In that case, I withdraw and apologize for my #108, mr.

  • She still never looked at the first link and just jumped to conclusions based on the 2nd one. Not sure it requires an apology.


  • Dave, I thought you’d be familiar with the concept of latency with your high net skillz. Guess I was wrong about you again.

  • troll

    moonraven – the proof of your lie is in the links:

    link 1 does indeed include information on SA countries (including Venezuela) from several sources contrary to your attempted misdirection in #s 84 – 90 – and 93

    your uncritical propagandizing for Chavez’ Venezuela is as reprehensible any of the compulsive shilling for the ‘American Way’ that goes on on this site

  • Christopher, I’d never let such things as latency interfere with my desire to scoff at you.


  • Dave, a rare moment of truth amongst all your doublespeak, you actually want to scoff rather than engage. Of course you do, that doesn’t require thought or honesty…

  • Christopher, tell me what deep and meaningful discussion we were going to have about when and/or whether you edited certain trivial comments?

    There’s a time for scoffing and a time for serious discussion. This was obviously a time for scoffing.


  • Burble, burble, burble, burble. What the fuck are you on about?

  • I thought I was pretty damned clear.

    Issues that matter to people are a place for serious discussion.

    Whether or not you edited some stupid comment when you said you did is a topic more appropriate for scoffing.

    Seems pretty damned obvious to me.


  • You’re never clear, Dave; predictable, yes, but clear, not at all often. Oh wait, that must mean you’re a politician!

  • moonraven

    I don’t know if I owe Dave an apology, or not, but in the first link, Latina Libre, when I followed it on Saturday ONLY the Mexico and Central America info was on the site. Could have been a site problem–I don’t know.

    Dave lied when he said the blurbs in the second link were not CULLED from anywhere.

    After the US STATE DEPARTMENT sourcing of blurb number one comes the note of Caution indicating in exact language that



    Nice try to unload the Condi Rice Poltically Illiterate Disinformation about Venezuela on us and for trying to disqualify me–the ONLY poster on this site who knows anything about Venezuela–by calling me a prejudiced liar.

    If you want to make a point about Venezuela and trafficking of persons, let’s see PROOF–not somebody’s opinion quoted by someone else.

    And show me where I said Saudi Arabaia was a wonderful country.

    I am still waiting for that [Personal attack deleted]…