Saturday, January 23, 2016

That time when the policies of President Obama started to bankrupt ISIS and nobody even noticed.

How many times do I have to tell you I've got this?
Courtesy of Vox:  

Though the American media often portrays ISIS as an unstoppable, terrifying juggernaut, the truth is that the group is in real trouble, and is actually losing ground in its core Iraqi and Syrian holdings. A new leaked internal document suggests the pressure may be even worse than we thought. According to the document, ISIS is being forced to slash salaries for its fighters by half across its holdings. 

The document appears to be authentic. "[I] definitely think this is real," Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, told me. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-Assad group watching the conflict, has heard from its own sources that ISIS is slashing salaries.

So at this point you are probably asking, "How did that happen?"

Funny you should ask.

Most of ISIS's money comes from extortion: essentially taking money from its citizens at gunpoint. But there's only so much wealth for the group to steal in the territory it controls without economic growth, and ISIS has no plan for putting together a real economy. Its oil infrastructure, which used to be quite valuable, has been heavily bombed by the US-led coalition. 

"Their cash had already been drying up," Gartenstein-Ross explains. "The coalition bombing their trucks bringing oil to market further depletes their revenue by adding a premium to doing business with ISIS. Plus, taxing a population that has very little source of income isn't a sustainable revenue model." 

So in short: ISIS has lost 25 percent of its territory since mid-2014. Its cash resources are running low. It has no friends in the region and lots of powerful enemies.

Okay so I kind of understand the strategic reasons for not yelling this from the rooftops and giving Daesh the opportunity to recognize what is happening and taking steps to circumvent these strategies.

However when I hear these Republican candidates bitching about the President having no plan to deal with the terrorists, or when they call him "weak" or "ineffective," I just want Obama to walk up to a microphone somewhere and shut their asses down.

As far as I'm concerned when it comes to the current crop of GOP presidential hopefuls there is not one among them qualified to wipe our President's ass much less take over his job.


  1. 66gardeners4:16 AM

    Weapons made in at least 25 nations, including the United States, made their way into the hands of extremists through decades of industry initiatives that saturated the region with destructive power. The weapons range from small firearms to heavy artillery and anti-aircraft missiles.

    "Irresponsible transfers of arms and failure to control the resulting stockpiles are a major cause of untold human suffering in Iraq," said the 45-page report titled "The Arming of the Islamic State."

    1. Anonymous5:18 AM

      Duh. What do you think happens when we take billions of small and large arms, tanks, bombs and loads of cash into a country? What happens when we pass out bug guns and then abolish the police force? What happens to tanks when we leave a country we invaded? Everything stays behind, and is then used by whomever claims it. It isn't like we hire moving vans to go to Iraq and pick up all the billions of dollars worth of equipment. Nope. It all sits there,. waiting for the next battles. The GOP built this. I am grateful that our President is tearing it down despite them. (or TO spite them?)

  2. That's an awfully harsh and unfair assessment Gryph. Several of those candidates could do a quite competent sphincter polish, I am quite sure.

  3. Anonymous4:50 AM

    Jeb! who claims to be his own man, has his Mommy, Barbara shilling for him now. Quite a spectacle. The Bush family has a very large ego, thinking that people will respect her. Bitch spawned a group that rivals the PayMe clan in low class behaviour.

    1. Anonymous8:26 AM

      All Teump has to do is play that tape of Babs Bush after Hurricane Katrina when she was describing the 'refugees' being housed in the Houston Astrodome. Priceless. And by the way, immediately after her tasteless racist remark, she was not heard of again!

    2. Anonymous12:15 PM

      Plus, didn't she say, a few years ago, that she didn't want to see another Bush as POTUS?

      I agree with her totally!

  4. Anonymous5:02 AM

    This not a Trump endorsement. But isn't it a good thing that someone, who isn't establishment, who isn't bought by congress/banks like Hillary, who is in business is, is running for president?

    What is business? Allocating money and setting policies to ensure a quality good/service is produced. A manager sets a tone, has convictions, and pushes people to do better. Is that not what government is? Sure Trump's public tone could change and he could acquire more finesse, but it's the same principle.

    Trump is a business man. What if one of the first things he said as a contender for president, post-primary, was "if a manager doesn't affect real results, he doesn't get paid and will likely get replaced." -> "Congress, I'm not gonna ding lower ranking individuals and soldiers' pay because YOU suck. I'm coming after your pay, which is already obscene for what gets accomplished."

    We can bring up his money issues and past business failures all we want. But everyone who owns a business has seen hard times and failure. Trump enterprises is currently successful from out viewpoint.

    1. Leland5:20 AM

      Sorry, 5:02, but THAT kind of success I can do without!

      If your definition of success is only the amount of money one can amass, then, yes, you are correct. He IS a success - from THAT angle.

      On the other hand, he is a despicable human being worthy of being a partner of Scrooge's with the added advantage of having a huge legal staff ready at a moment's notice to threaten and cajole those who attempt to "thwart" him.

      The man is a bully and a liar and very hateful. That kind of "success" is a major contributing factor in our world's miserable state of affairs.

      No THANK you!

    2. Anonymous5:21 AM

      Right. Michigan 'hired' businessman...Want to talk to Flint and Detroit about how that's working out? Government is NOT a business. It is a government, and is to work for the people, not for the pleasure and ego of a narcissistic CEO. And you know, the President has no say on Congressional salaries. He also can't fire them..they are elected by the people. So go ahead and vote for Mr. Success and his three wives. Don't say we didn't warn you.

    3. Anonymous5:27 AM

      Running a business is not like running a country and a country cannot be run like a business. Businesses exist to make a profit. Trump is in business to make money and when something goes wrong, he files bankruptcy and gets off scot free to go ruin another business. What the fuck do you think will happen when Trump finishes the Republican goal to bankrupt our country?

    4. A J Billings5:47 AM

      Trump's business "acumen" is questionable, since he got handed 1 million dollars as a gift in 1968 by Daddy.

      Yes, he built a billion dollar empire, but declared bankruptcy at least 3 times, stiffing creditors along the way.

      His abuse of eminent domain trying to force a widow to give up her house for a parking lot was reprehensible.

      The government, our "common wealth" is not for sale, (or shouldn't be) is not a business, and can't be administered or run like one.

      Trump is used to being a whale in a small pond of his own making. If he ever got elected, he would soon find out that Congress would be a shark tearing him up at every chance for being so utterly inexperienced at statesmanship.

      Other qualities are required for high office besides being a rapacious egomaniac money grubbing, foul mouthed, racist fool.

      Trump is above all a psychopathic narcissist of the first water.

      He has insulted blacks and latinos, and then claimed it was not a big deal

      He made truly disgusting comments about Carly Fiorina's face, and then claims he loves women.

      Sure he does, he's married 3 of them, and makes creepy comments about wanting to date his own daughter, and I think we all know the nasty truth behind that comment.

      Above all else, Trump is in love with himself, and constantly mentions how great he is, how handsome he is, how many people have come to his rallies, as though that is a qualification for anything except being a rabble rousing racist xenophobe.

      In closing, I'll say that anyone as base and clueless as to seek an endorsement from the despicable Sarah Palin needs their head examined.

      Trump and Palin are two sides of a psuedo-Christian, racist, white nationalist movement appealing to the most uninformed uneducated segments of American society.

      I don't know what audience you think you are addressing here at IM, but the astute and thoughtful readers here are not about to be swayed by the apologetics for a despicable egomaniac racist idiot like Trump.

    5. Anonymous6:13 AM

      Thank you, A. J.! Well said!

    6. Being a business owner should be a disqualifier for the presidency. A business owner's responsibility is to the bottom line and to investors, not to employees. If someone isn't productive or is an obstacle to increased profits, they need be ruthlessly dismissed. A business owner is the boss and can compel employees to carry out his or her bidding or strip them of their livelihood.

      The role of the presidency is completely the opposite. The president is supposed to represent the people (employees), not the corporate donors (investors).

      The president is tasked with crafting policies and signing legislation that will help all Americans, even those who may require more assistance and who are no longer as "productive" as they were (children, the elderly, the retired, people with disabilities, etc.).

      The president is not our boss or employer. He or she is not a CEO with us as his or her employees. The president is our employee and works for us.

      I am tired of hearing that you need to have business experience with meeting a bottom line to be the president. Few things could be more dangerous to the country. Does anyone think for a moment that someone like Trump would ever think that we have a right and an obligation to question him?

      And certainly there are plenty of businesses that are incompetently, unethically, or illegally run.

    7. Anonymous7:10 AM

      A. J. Billings and Nefer got Donald Trump's number perfectly. Many thanks to you both.

    8. Lori Klausutis7:35 AM

      Joe Scarborough, I haunt your glass house. People at IM have your number Joe.

    9. Anonymous7:55 AM

      Carly Fiorina was a CEO. Sorry, we don't need someone interested solely in enhancing their own fortunes as president.

    10. Well, the truth of the matter is The United States of America is not a business. And it should not be run like one. I am not of the belief that people who run businesses can run a country. Basically, some think someone who owns a few McDonalds and makes a good profit is competent to run for the presidency. It is not just about money. Its about domestic policy, foreign policy, world view and empathy for hundreds of millions of people. And all the crap that comes with it.

      I'm thinking Donald has none of those attributes. He inherited his money. He's loud, abusive and hateful. And if his family had been less rich he might be a pauper by now. Remember--we had a CEO president. W. He put us so far in debt and helped crash the economy by unfunded wars, not taxing corporations and basically just being clueless about how an economy runs.

      The country is full of humans---not spread sheets. Humans need things like housing, food and care when they are extremely poor. I wouldn't trust Trump as far as I could throw his bank account.

      And remember----the President doesn't pay congress nor can he take their money away from them. Their pay is in the Constitution.

    11. Anonymous 5:02 AM wrote: What is business? Allocating money and setting policies to ensure a quality good/service is produced.

      Huh? If you really and truly believe that, then the rest of your comment—I suppose—follows.

      Decades ago, a friend told me how, even longer ago, he was working for a large steel company and had this little conversation with his boss:

      "John, what are we in business to make?"
      "Well… steel!"
      "No. We're in business to make money. If we don't make that, then we can't make steel."

    12. Anonymous9:42 AM

      From your viewpoint Trump is successful because he is a billionaire. My standards are a much higher!!

      If you really looked at how Trump does business, you would find out that he is ruthless and unethical. The Washington Post was going to publish the truth about the bankruptcy of one of his casinos, how he swore to the gambling commission that he was going to use BANK LOANS FROM WALL STREET, what he didn’t tell them was he couldn’t get them and used junk bonds. The casino went bankrupt, the investors, contractors and a lot of “little people” lost a lot of money, and Trump didn’t because he was USING OTHER PEOPLES MONEY. Trumps threaten to sue the newspaper, they published away and he did not sue.

      That is just one example of what you consider successful.

      I don’t know if you are naive or just a Hillary basher. Yes Hillary has ties to congress, she was a senator and probable has ties to Wall Street because most people have ties to Wall Street-ever heard of BANKS and INVESTMENT FIRMS. You could have just as easily said Jeb or Cruz have ties to Wall Street. Jeb worked for Lehman Brothers at the time of the economic meltdown. Cruz’s wife works for Goldman Sachs.

      As mentioned, we have the pleasure (sarcasm) of a former CEO as governor in Michigan. All he has done so far is give tax breaks to corporations and ruined education.

      Because he runs things as a businessman, where money is the bottom line, they “saved” money by not treating the water in Flint for lead. Now thousands of people have lead poisoning. Children are going to be affected for the rest of their lives.

      Now Mr. CEO Governor is expecting big money from the FEDERAL Government to fix everything, because according to him that is the job of government, to hand out money to fix things.

    13. Anonymous10:18 AM

      O/T but it's refreshing how civil the discussion is when the topic isn't a Palin. Lack of trolls maybe?

    14. Anonymous12:42 PM

      5:02, I don't believe for one second that your post was not an endorsement of Trump. Go ahead and vote for him, there will be buyer's remorse about 6 months in to a four-year term. You'll be the biggest whiner when he turns out to be an economic disaster.

    15. Anonymous2:18 PM

      I was going to add my 2 cents, but it's pretty much all been said.

      Thanks to everyone above for for the insightful, intelligent, and thoughtful comments!

    16. Anita Winecooler4:33 PM

      Source, please, anon 5:02

      "We can bring up his money issues and past business failures all we want. But everyone who owns a business has seen hard times and failure. Trump enterprises is currently successful from out viewpoint."

      Whom are the "out (sic)" in our viewpoint?

    17. Really? The man who said he could stand in the middle of Times Square and shoot someone at random and not lose any voters? This is the kind of man you think is qualified to be President?

      At least he understands the concepts of bankruptcy, having declared it more than once without having to pay any consequences for it.

  5. Anonymous5:03 AM

    I think that Ted Cruz is a qualified asswipe.

    1. Leland5:21 AM

      Sorry, 5:03, but I wouldn't want that bastard anywhere NEAR my ass!

    2. Anonymous7:57 AM


  6. Anonymous5:15 AM

    Would it really matter? The #1 rule of Republicans for this administration is to allow the President NO VICTORIES. And if he does succeed in something (like killing Bin Ladin), they minimize it as much as possible.

    1. His successes have only made the Rethugs hate him more. A partisan cycle without end until the GOP is defunct as a party which we won't see any time soon while Wall Street/the Kochs/et al., have billions to destroy democracy and arrogant ignorants like SP/Trump continue to legitimize hatred.

      There is a yuuge base of angry white people (across the political and gender spectrum)
      in America that keep this insanity alive.
      Trump cap might as well read "Make America White Again".

      It's in the DNA of Americans; a country founded on hatred of government (& arcane religious "freedom"). They are dumb enough to burn it down if they don't get their way. Hang on for dear life if they don't get into Federal power once again, IMHO.

  7. Anonymous5:47 AM

    While the @sswipes bloviate for the cameras invoking fear and hatred, our President quietly goes about his business with no accolades needed.

  8. Anonymous6:11 AM

    I am looking forward to Trump getting is ass handed to him. And what would make it even sweeter is if Hillary is the nominee, a woman handing Trump his ass. Ohhhhh, that would be so SWEET!


    1. Anonymous12:04 PM

      And, Independents!

    2. Anonymous12:47 PM

      Would he say that he got schlonged by a woman?

    3. Anonymous1:14 PM

      12:47, LOL I would love to see someone in the media ask trump if he will be schlonged by Hillary if she wins?

  9. A. J. Billings6:15 AM

    Presidents constantly face no-win situations. I can't imagine coming into office after the titanic failures of GW Bush.

    Economy in free-fall, failed wars in two countries, 700,000 people a month losing their jobs, and probably 1/3 of the USA being opposed to you because you are a black man.

    President Obama has done a very credible job steering a steady course, and accomplishing some real successes in spite of constant opposition and vicious threats from the so called Christian right.

    He's far from perfect, and as an independent/libertarian old line conservative, I don't like some of his policies, but he's head and shoulders better than anyone currently running as a Republican, except maybe a "moderate" like Kasich.

    President Obama will be remembered as a rock of stability in the midst of abject failure by a Congress controlled by trolls and money

    1. Anonymous7:14 AM

      I always look forward to your posts, AJB!

    2. 66gardeners7:40 AM

      Same here 7:14
      IM may have a few trolls, but for the most part they are friends/family of Sarah Palin and entertaining to neuter.

      This is one of the few political site where you can always find constructive political discourse.

    3. Anonymous12:25 PM

      It's crazy but true that President Obama was my inspiration for dealing with a difficult HOA for the last 3 years.

      Thank you, President Obama, for keeping me from going 100% crazy (i only went 47% crazy by playing it cool and calm and for the long-term).

    4. Anonymous2:24 PM

      Funny how the nickname 'No Drama Obama' was meant as an insult. It turned out that an intelligent man who looks to long-term solutions to problems, values diplomacy above confrontation, and handles obstruction and racism with calm dignity is EXACTLY what this country needed.

  10. Caroll Thompson6:52 AM

    As usual, the President is a master chess player. Check and Checkmate.

    1. Anonymous12:22 PM

      The low-information voters are playing checkers with chess pieces, so they very Dunning-Kruegerly believe they are playing chess.

  11. dlbvet7:24 AM

    Best line ever Gryphen! "...there is not one among them qualified to wipe our President's ass much less take over his job."
    Well played!

  12. Anonymous7:56 AM

    He plans to BUY it for a cool BILLON-$,$$$,$$$,$$$.00>

    He will FUCK things up..

    1. Anonymous1:15 PM

      Bloomberg would hurt republicans. How is that fucking thing up?

  13. Anonymous8:09 AM

    Caroll, yes he is. He's always been the smartest one in the room. I trust President Obama more than ever. I'm very proud that a majority of Americans voted for him twice. I will miss him very much this time next year.

    1. Anonymous10:13 AM

      This ^^^^^

  14. Anonymous8:12 AM

    And then there's this brain trust:

    Cureboy675 • an hour ago

    Good morning.

    I usually have good vision of the future. I KNOW Mr Trump will pick Governor Palin as the vp.

    Guess what? I realized today that in less than TEN MONTHS Obama will be HUMILIATED on Election Day and the day after Mr Trump and Governor Palin will start moving they things in OUR WHITE HOUSE. Barry is going to pee his pants when he sees Governor Palin move in with all her guns. LOL.

    I will bet you anything the last words Governor Palin says to Obummer as he's forced to leave my armed guards is "Hey Barry. I think they looking for greeter at WalMart"


    1. Anonymous9:57 AM

      Poor guy, guess he is confused because all the clowns in his party keep bashing Obama, he doesn't realize Obama is not running.

    2. Obama is not running

      … and the Vice President's residence is at Number One Observatory Circle, not the White House.

    3. Anonymous12:01 PM

      It's pretty idiotic that the Republicans constantly run against President Obama when he isn't running or allowed to for a third term! Wish he could though!

      They haven't figured out YET that the majority of Americans like, respect and have enjoyed having President Obama and VP Biden as our leaders!

    4. 66gardeners aka jane dooley1:16 PM

      I upvoted this comment when I read it today

    5. Anonymous1:18 PM

      I saw a very nasty comment about Sarah on Breitbart. Stlouissix was the first of 71 people to upvote it.

  15. Anonymous8:39 AM

    Hillary has legal woes, the corporates call their capitalist wall street hero Bloomberg into the race.

    No Sanders supporter would jump onto to the Bloomberg corporate shipwreck!

    I wonder who would vote for him??? Maybe Clintons corporate voters. :)

    1. Anonymous1:19 PM

      Plenty of republicans would vote for Bloomberg if trump or cruz get the nomination. Hillary supporters are not going anywhere.

    2. Anonymous1:20 PM

      Suck a big one scarbrough

  16. Anonymous8:54 AM

    Governor Palin = the half term twit that quits

  17. Anonymous9:08 AM

    AJ Billings 5 :47 AM, Nefer 7:04 Am and
    Angela 8:16 AM Please send your comments
    to the Editorial section of your home
    news papers . Right on!

    1. Anonymous2:10 PM

      Agree 9:08. Well done you guys.

  18. Anonymous9:47 AM

    According to the document, ISIS is being forced to slash salaries for its fighters by half across its holdings.
    I know this is a serious subject, however I just can't resist:

    the fighters get salaries? I thought their payment was the 72 virgins when they reach "heaven".

    1. Anonymous12:56 PM

      An ISIS fighter's gotta eat and prolly has a mortgage on a nice 3BR, 2Bath plus 2 (Toyota) truck (with mounted turrets) garage.

    2. Anonymous6:26 PM

      Bummer. It's only thirty-six now.

      Wild Tortoise

  19. Anonymous11:58 AM

    President Obama is such a steady, quiet, hardworking and focused POTUS.

    Plus, I have enjoyed the fact he rarely toots his own horn.

    Looking forward to reading the book he will write and have published with regard to his presidency. Would think it'll be a major sell out!

    We've been watching and following this guy for a long time now and it'll be enjoyable seeing him named as one of the best presidents in the history of the USA. I hope I'm still alive when that has been noted in history!

    The Republicans have no one in the clown car that can ever measure up to the abilities of President Obama. All they want is war and more wars and all they talk promote is hate, fear and racism!

    We need to support Hillary Clinton and keep our government Democratic.

  20. Anita Winecooler4:44 PM

    While the entire GOP have acted worse than pedantic two year olds who can't get their way in a sandbox, now they're positioning themselves for territory in the litter box, and our President has kept working steadily and stealthily just below the noise getting things done. Their insults fall like water off a ducks back. The man earned the Nobel Peace Prize BEFORE he did the bulk of his work.
    I'm proud to have voted for him twice, this man will be one for the history books. He's effected positive change for so many here and around the world. It's been an honor to witness his quiet grace and hard work. I'll miss him and his family dearly when he leaves office. Something tells me he'll go on to do great things.

    1. Anonymous6:18 AM

      "...quiet grace and hard work." Indeed, and well said.


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