Democrats & Liberals Archives

Judgment??? or... Experience???

It is a false choice. Good judgment is based on the intelligent application of experience / learning. Bad Judgment is based on the stupid misapplication of experience / learning.

I have another article to write, but this one needed writing.

According to mainstream reporting, in order to secure the nomination, Hillary needs to win all remaining primaries with a 60% margin. Clearly, she failed to even do that in Ohio, and has no chance of doing it in all the remaining primaries. Her only remaining strategy, based on her own statements is the super delegates. If she succeeds in turning the super delegates in her favor and overrides the will of the people, that will, IMO, split the Democratic Party and result in 8 more years of Bush style Republican rule. Among everything else, the Supreme Court will be completely lost.

A disaster??? Maybe - maybe not. You cannot create a disaster if one is inevitable anyway. The country may be lost no matter who wins: Corporate political control based on campaign contributions which is anathema to democracy... A huge standing army / military industrial complex which is anathema to democracy... A huge empire which is also anathema to democracy... ... may have us doomed anyhow. Reclaiming the American democratic republic based on the rule of Constitutional law would be an uphill battle even if Dennis Kucinich were President, nearly impossible with Obama - impossible IMO, with Hillary or McCain.

Since Hillary has no chance of winning the nomination without splitting the Democratic Party, she is essentially doing McCain's work for him. She is using the Bush / Rove tactic of terrorizing the American people by running ads about phones ringing in the White House and having someone with experience be there to answer them. She is making the primaries about experience - as if she had anymore than Obama. The lack of experience is exactly how McCain will attack Obama in the general election. She is softening Obama up for McCain by planting the false impression in the American people's mind that Obama lacks experience. What good was Hillary's (and McCain's) experience when it came to the Iraq war? Hillary and McCain both supported it. Their "experience" failed to give them the good judgment to make the correct decision.

Even if you accept the incorrect notion that the "surge" is working, you must know that going to war in Iraq was a mistake. Even setting aside the 10s of thousands of dead and permanently maimed Americans... Also setting aside the millions of completely innocent dead and permanently maimed Iraqis... Just the money that we have wasted in Iraq, so far, to say nothing of the money (and lives) that we are continuing to waste, could have completely broken our dependence on foreign oil. See my article titled: The Surge is Working.

Breaking our dependence on foreign oil would have allowed us to stop imperialist control over Muslim oil producing countries which would have taken the wind out of terrorist sails. Breaking our dependence on foreign oil would have allowed us to become honest power brokers in the Mideast and we could have nurtured, supported, and developed bastions of pro-western true democracy in Egypt, Lebanon, and Iran. Breaking our dependence on foreign oil would have allowed us to starve the terrorist (including Hamas and alQaeda) for money since they get their money from our purchase of oil. Breaking our dependence on foreign oil would have allowed us to export American energy independence technology thereby creating American jobs and keeping the American dollar strong. Breaking our dependence on foreign oil and not diverting our attention toward Iraq would have allowed us to finish the job and win against the real terrorist in Afghanistan. A few of the terrorist that came to Iraq would have came to Afghanistan and we could have finished them there. The rest of the few terrorist that we are fighting in Iraq would never have even became terrorist in the first place, because we would not be imperialistically interfering in their holy land since we would not need their oil. Having the good judgment to avoid the war in Iraq would have prevented us from giving Shiite Iran the gift of a friendly Shiite dominated Arab neighbor. See also my article titled: Iran has won the war. It is time to sue for peace.

So by any measure the Iraq war was a mistake. It has created ongoing danger for us. It has resulted in lost and maimed lives for us. It has resulted in lost and maimed innocent Iraqi lives. It has cost us the lost opportunity cost of energy independence. It has cost us the opportunity cost of the elimination of the need for energy related imperialist control over Muslim countries. It has cost us the opportunity cost of the prosperity of American economic growth and energy technology exports. None of this good was allowed to happen of course because of the dove tailing of the corporate interest and the corresponding political control through campaign contributions of the oil industry, military industrial complex, big utilities, highly consolidated mass media (for profit, instead of, for public service, news corporations), big agribusiness, and the auto industry. Their business model's demanded war - so war we have.

Where as the experience of Hillary and McCain led them to bad judgment, Obama based on his own life experience had the good judgment to oppose this failed war from the start. Either his experience is superior to Hillary's and McCain's experience. Or, he is smarter and makes better use of the experience that he does have. Or, both. In any case, his judgment, which is what really counts, is better, far better. Not only did Obama have the good judgment to oppose the war from the start, he had the political courage to stand up and say so in the face of the false patriotic war fervor that existed at that time and in spite of the fact that he could simply have kept quiet and remained non-committal about it. So he is a man of courage and judgment.

The only other thing that Hillary could be hoping to accomplish is to tie up the nomination and force Obama to accept her as a running mate. If that is the case, in the mean time, she is doing McCain's work for him by persuading the American public, with help of the corporate media, that Obama lacks experience.

I am not sure, but I do not think that Obama and Hillary would be a very strong ticket. They both have strengths. But they both have weaknesses. Hillary is hated by and would energize the Republican base. She would also energize the male chauvinist mostly in the Republican Party but also in the Democratic Party. She does have the enthusiastic support of the mainstream, moderate, sort of establishment Democrats. She has lost the enthusiasm of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. She would energize the black vote and the feminist vote. Obama will energize the black vote - don't need her for that. Obama will energize racist Republicans and the small racist fringe of the Democratic Party. I don't know - think he can do better - Edwards, Richardson, Biden... Biden! Biden would shut them up about experience... He has all the experience that they are ever going to need right there. Richardson too.

It is time for Hillary to get out of the race so that Obama can engage McCain. If we are to have a chance of reclaiming American constitutional democracy, we must defeat McCain. If Hillary does want to be a running mate, she should earn her stripes by engaging McCain - now and making the case that judgment is what counts - period.

Posted by Ray Guest at March 5, 2008 7:10 PM
Comments
Comment #247139

Already blaming Hillary for things that have not even happened yet? Splitting the Democratic party sounds more like a scare tactic the Obamites are trying to use to frighten people, and threaten the Democratic party. If Hillary drops out, the media love affair with Obama hype will end overnight. The Hillary haters, whether Rpblcn or Democratic, always end up making fools of themselves, and provoking a reaction in her favor. Obamites have jumped to the conclusion that McCain and the Rpblcns are not capable of winning an election, and that primary victories are somehow translatable into general election victories in red states. Obama’s losses last night clearly indicate that he is very weak in places that the Democratic party needs to be strong.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 5, 2008 5:31 PM
Comment #247140

ohrealy,

“very weak in places that the Democratic party needs to be strong.”

Very weak. He made strong showings in both states.

No, I don’t think that the general election is won - not even.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 5, 2008 5:38 PM
Comment #247142

ohrealy,

“the media love affair with Obama hype will end overnight.”

Assuming that there is a media love affair with Obama, which I dispute, their love affair with McCain has not ended in spite of the straight talk express being traded in on the forked tongue trolley.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 5, 2008 5:43 PM
Comment #247151

Ray

“Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose”

That has been the story of the Democratic party for over 100 years…since the days of Tamminy Hall.

The GANG of 800 ….fat democratic insiders all..will ultimately chose the nominee, and 316 delegates from Michigan and Florida will go for not.

Maybe Hillary can’t get a majority…but neither can Obama. Mathematicially BOTH will go to the convention in their current mutual death grip.

Thus, the Mighty Eagle thinks that yes, the Repubs will snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and the Dems will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Seriously…if the Repubs do sneak in…you gotta be kidding me. The war…the ecomomy..sound like the Patriots-Giants pre-game..but wait..the Giants won, didn’t they?

You guys better watch it…or else we will have a replay of the ‘68 convention…and all self inflicted too.

Let’s see…Hillary is burning one million a day…so is Obama…against each other…

Meanwhile, John is filling his coffers,Republican “researchers” are now looking under every rock in Illionois,Indonesia and Kenya….Sounds like a fun sumer to me!

Hillary…woman..Obama…African American..Condi Rice…both rolled up into one… That is where I would put the pressure if I was John….

However, McCain isn’t the brightest bulb on the tree either.So, you guys might have a chance…if your party can get its act together….

Posted by: Sicilian Eagle at March 5, 2008 9:26 PM
Comment #247153

Sicilian Eagle,

You wrote:

Thus, the Mighty Eagle thinks that yes, the Repubs will snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and the Dems will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
I pray that the vision of the Mighty Eagle is clouded with cataracts…

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 5, 2008 9:36 PM
Comment #247154

Sicilian Eagle,

You wrote:

Condi Rice…both rolled up into one…
Best argument for putting Hillary on the ticket - or Republican Chuck Hegel or Bloomberg - national unity and all that rot…

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 5, 2008 9:44 PM
Comment #247168

Obama is very liberal in the old fashioned 1960-70s sense. Enough voters are too young to remember the consequences (or too addled by their clouded memory of the times) so that he can revisit these things. Changing back to 1978 is not the kind of change I like and as that becomes more clear to the American people, the Obama luster will fade further.

The thing that made Bill Clinton acceptable was that his government intervention was (at least rhetorically) in the nature of investment and building. I listened to Obama the other day. He is talking about mere redistribution and feelings of entitlement. In other words, Clinton is the Democrat of the 1990s; Obama is the Democrat of the 1970s. Neither is suitable to the 2008 conditions.

Obama makes a big deal about his opposition to the war in 2002. He was not in the Senate at the time, so he never had to put his vote where his mouth was. Even a broken clock is sometimes correct. Obama says he opposed the war in 2002. He never changes his mind, despite changing conditions in Iraq and the world. Perhaps he just is not paying attention. But the more insidious probability is he just cannot see the truth or is playing politics with it.

Whether or not Obama would have gotten involved in the war in 2002, we are currently IN Iraq. The choices now involve what we should do now. The Obama idea that we can just pick up our ball and go home is plain stupid. Perhaps it comes from his lack of experience, but it clearly also is part of his bad judgment.

Obama is a Hallmark card of a candidate. He has nice sayings, but is paper thin. A Hallmark card is nice for a day or two, but not for a long time.

Posted by: Jack at March 6, 2008 12:54 AM
Comment #247172

Ray

Again, not for nothing but a Clinto-Obama ticket would be very hard to beat, but not the other way around, I think.

I am saying this from a Republican point of view too.

First, Hillary has been vetted. A Lot. Anything (Whitewater,ect) that is brought up with her will be knocked down as old hat. On the other hand,Obama is like a Christmas goose waiting to be carved up by guys like me. Something is in that closet, and if an unvetted candidate is leading your party’s ticket who gets Obama-boated (my new campaing term…you heard it first on Watchblog), then the joint ticket will implode.

Lastly, if Obama is on the ticket,expect an uninspired pereformance by Hillary and her crew as back-up to him.

He has to make his bones, as they say.

This party is a cusp away from 16 years of the White House, but are too stupid to see it.

See? The Mighty Eagle IS capable of astute political analysis.

Posted by: Sicilian Eagle at March 6, 2008 7:11 AM
Comment #247173

Ohrealy: I agree

Jack: I am tired of the liberal bashing. I am a liberal and proud of it. Liberals have done many wonderful and great things for this country.

Ray: I read the other day that 73% of what the media says about Obama is positive. Only 51% of what they say about Hillary is positive. All the pundits are saying that she won the other night because she went negative. They gave no data to support this-they just decided in their minds that this was true with nothing to back it up. When Barack won it was because of his message again they had no data to support this they just decided it was true. This sounds like a Barack love affair to me. Some pundits are even admitting that the media has gone easy on Barack.

Posted by: Carolina at March 6, 2008 7:20 AM
Comment #247176

I listened to Obama the other day. He is talking about mere redistribution and feelings of entitlement.

What do you suppose it is Jack that will bring into effect those feelings of entitlement? Could it be what the voters of this country are looking for? Perhaps a functional government mostly devoid of corruption working for its betterment? Maybe a legislature capable of negotiation and compromise? Maybe the investment of the voters money in infrastructure, health care, energy independence etc.? Rather than investment of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars in the procurement and security of oil in a foreign land. We are going further and further into debt to invest our children’s futures in the very crux of todays problems. It is true Jack that if our government were to somehow find a way to co-operatively address and apply a fix to these very serious issues I would once again have some feelings of entitlement. The only people who have had feelings of entitlement for the last seven years are the wealthy whose influence has been running the show to further their personal agenda.

Perhaps it comes from his lack of experience, but it clearly also is part of his bad judgment.

Please Jack, this is getting a little old. It was the unfettered bad judgement of a republican congress and irresponsible president that created most of todays concerns. We all understand your stance on Iraq by this time. Simply because you say that current policy is the only proper approach does not make it so. That is nothing more than your opinion. Perhaps staying in Iraq would be great for the Iraq’s. But imo it is not great for our country. We have issues that must be properly addressed right here at home. In other words that money we continue to throw away in Iraq is much needed here. It is my money too Jack and I have the responsibility of supporting the person I believe will use that money most appropriately.

I find it very refreshing that Obama presents an approach which is in direct contradiction to those which no longer work and have failed us so badly for the last seven years.

Posted by: RickIL at March 6, 2008 8:50 AM
Comment #247178

There is a very important special election this weekend in Illinois to fill Denny Hastert’s seat. We have been inundated with so many commercials for this race that I am already annoyed by both candidates. Obama is endorsing Bill Foster, and did a commercial for him. His opponent, Jim Oberweis is an immigrant-baiting employer of illegal immigrants, who has been seeking public office repeatedly in recent years.
If Foster manages to win this race, it will clearly indicate that it is going to be a very bad year for Rpblcns:

http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=4321

Posted by: ohrealy at March 6, 2008 11:36 AM
Comment #247187

Carolina

Liberals HAVE done many good things for the country, but they overshot the mark. Ronald Reagan was a liberal as a young man. He never repudiated this, but pointed out that the Democratic Party had left him.

What were liberal ideas such as equal opportunity, fair working conditions and civil rights have become mainstream. But some liberals pushed farther. Equal opportunity becomes entitlement to results or quota programs. Fair working conditions become guaranteed employment. Equal pay for equal work becomes comparable pay.

So if you are talking about the classical definition of liberalism – most of us are liberals to some extent now. What American liberals have become is a type of social democrat more interested in redistribution and equal results than in production and equal opportunity.

RickIL

Re Iraq – it is my informed opinion. Anybody who wants to check it out can see that the strategy in Iraq changed radically at the beginning of 2007. You can say that you think it is not working (although you would be wrong) but you really cannot logically say that it is just a continuation of the same policy, which was not working.

So when Obama says he would have voted against the war in 2002, perhaps he is telling the truth, but it doesn’t, or should not, inform his decision about what to do today.

Re entitlement – it is a difference in asking what your country can do for you versus what you can do for your country. Democrats used to answer that question differently than they do today.

There are also thing government cannot do for you, no matter how much you chant yes we can. The economy is a good example. Check out the real estate crisis and notice that it is worldwide phenomenon that started out side the U.S. The prices of homes are dropping. This is good because it lowers the cost of housing. Obama would reverse this? Two questions would be how and why?

Posted by: Jack at March 6, 2008 1:28 PM
Comment #247196

Ohrealy

I will be voting in that election Saturday. I rather doubt that Foster will win. This is and has been predominately republican territory for a long time. Oberweis will not get my vote. As I see it supporting him would send a signal that I approve of the actions of our current legislators. I live in Dekalb so of course with the college it is a mixed bag local ideologies. But the surrounding area tends to trend in a highly republican small town and farm region. I do agree though that should he lose it would be a huge affirmation of disdain for the republican party.

Posted by: RickIL at March 6, 2008 3:07 PM
Comment #247201

RickIL, I am wondering if Oberweis is a lousy enough candidate to tip it in Foster’s favor. Will the Rpblcns really vote for anybody who gets nominated? I wouldn’t even buy his milk when they had it on sale for a very low price. I saw some kind of ad with Obama this morning, and another this afternoon. On his website, it looks like they are running mates: http://foster08.com/
It would be a big boost for Obama with the superdelegates if he managed to help Foster win. You never know what might happen in a by-election like this. They must be spending a lot of money to pay for ads covering all of Northeastern Illinois. The DNC is also buying ads. I don’t know if the RNC did anything yet.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 6, 2008 3:35 PM
Comment #247203

Jack

I did not say that Iraq is not working. I think it is quite obvious that there have been improvements. I also understand that the continuation of those improvements are contingent on not so stable factors. I also understand that those who know are making best estimates of at least another decade of occupation to be effective. What I am saying is that we cannot sustain that duration of time, money, lives lost and at the same time properly attend issues at home. What should inform Obama’s decision is the ability to maintain a balance between issues here at home and Iraq. It is a matter of priorities. I personally put our domestic needs ahead of the wants of oil conglomerates and a country that seems to have no real motivation to help themselves so long as they can survive at our expense.

Re entitlement – it is a difference in asking what your country can do for you versus what you can do for your country. Democrats used to answer that question differently than they do today.

Are you serious? What a load of bunk coming from a staunch supporter of one of the most scandal ridden corrupt bunch of republican politicians to ever take advantage of the American people. Please drop the sanctomonius bull. Your party holds no moral value or higher standard that is readily visible. It is one thing to preach it. But to be recognized for it you have to practice it. Simply claiming it does not make it so.

The price of homes are dropping because of predatory lending and associated consequences. You can play that up as a good thing if you wish. It is only good for buyers who have the money and credit to get a decent loan. But for those who would like to use the equity in their homes to fund college, pay for health issues etc. it really sucks. It sucks because this is the result of an unregulated financial industry that was allowed to take advantage of the gullibilities of the easily led. It seems morality has no place in the business of finance. After all, we all know that in the eyes of profiteers, profits trump morality.

Posted by: RickIL at March 6, 2008 3:39 PM
Comment #247206

Ohrealy

I will have to pay attention to the ads. Like you I have seen so many the last few weeks that I am sick of them. I am not only not voting for him to make a statement, but because I do feel he is the lesser of candidates. Other than inflation costs I do not believe we have been as seriously affected in this region with regard to foreclosures etc as other areas of the country. I spent about a half dozen seasons after retirement doing seasonal work with the agricultural industry and I was amazed at the degree of hatred for all things liberal and non white which still exists. Most of it simply because that is what they have always been told. Not the result of actual knowledge or experience. At any rate should Oberweis lose, it will be a definite telltale sign of just where our region stands with regards to what ails our nation. And I would imagine a really good thing for Obama in the eyes of the super delegates.

Posted by: RickIL at March 6, 2008 3:57 PM
Comment #247220

Barack Obama has more experience and time in elected public office than Hillary Clinton. That fact, though distorted by the Clinton campaign, is coming prominently to light. Combined with Obama’s having made the right call on Iraq invasion and Clinton the wrong one, sounds like a powerful 1-2 punch about to come at Hillary as we move forward.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 6, 2008 5:20 PM
Comment #247225

Rick, the prices of homes are dropping for some of the same reasons the dot.com bubble burst.

In other words, prices that were insanely overvalued beyond actual market value are coming back to earth and reality is setting in. Low interest rates and hype led a lot of people to speculate in real estate who shouldn’t have been. And there was an absolutely crazy building boom in some places that outstripped all legitimate demand for housing. Look at all those empty condos in Florida.

One thing you absolutely never hear about is the flipside to the so-called housing crisis. The fact that many responsible people who pay close enough attention to their finances that they would never sink their savings into a property they didn’t intend to live in or take out loans they’d not be able to pay back when payments balloon at the end of an ARM actually stand to benefit by the current situation.

If you want to quit renting and buy your own house to live in, and you have a good head on your shoulders and aren’t going to make stupid choices and buy more than you can afford, this is by far the best time to do it that we’ve seen in a very, very long time.

Posted by: Liam at March 6, 2008 6:06 PM
Comment #247227

I find it truly interesting how Obamawan, with his non-vote in either the house or senate on the Iraq war qualifies him as superior to someone who did actually cast a vote. What other non-voting pronouncements has he made that makes him qualified for the presidency? Better yet, what votes has he actually cast that makes him more qualified than HC?

Posted by: Jim M at March 6, 2008 6:12 PM
Comment #247232

Liam
Liam

I just read that mortgage defaults are currently at an all time high. The amount of loans in default is at 7.9% and not expected to peak until the middle of this year. I realize I did not cover the entire spectrum of reasons behind the mortgage problems. One also has to speculate that a number of those investing in homes beyond their means were doing so as a result of predatory lending. We simply can not write this off as a correction in the market being the main or only problem.

Posted by: RickIL at March 6, 2008 6:26 PM
Comment #247242

Thanks all for your comments.

Jack,

RickIL is doing a good job correcting you.

Jack - You are rewriting history. The surge / battle of the bulge is not working. After the surge is over we are still going more troops left in Iraq than we had before we started. The whole idea of a surge is that it is “a stitch in time that saves nine.” The so called temporary surge leading to draw down has became a permanent escalation. Permanent escalation is what you call success. That is not success. Iraq has became a “safe” place for AckwardMaDinaHandJob to visit and get a warmer reception than Bush.

That is not what I call winning. No political progress. Handing regional victory to Iran. Wasting tens of thousands of American lives - millions of Iraqi lives - eventually wasting over 5 trillion dollars.

“They” the big official ubiquitous “they” are saying 3 trillion, but “they” have not factored in 50 or 100 years of ongoing occupation, nor have “they” factored in rebuilding the American military, nor have “they” factored in the cost of $5 per gallon resulting from $100 per barrel crude, nor have “they” factored in the long term cost of tens eventually hundreds of thousands of devastated American lives (combat death, traumatic injuries, post traumatic stress, depression, suicide, homicide, rape, spousal abuse, child abuse, alcoholism, drug abuse, general dysfunctional families - all directly tied to BushCheneyHaliburtonExxon’s excellent adventure in Iraq). Victory - VICTORY!!! You dare to come on this thread and blithely say that the war is going great. I have to stop here!

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 6, 2008 10:45 PM
Comment #247243

Entitlements - ENTITLEMENTS!!! But you are OK with entitling BushCheneyHaliburtonExxon to devastate that lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans, millions of Iraqis, loot the treasury of trillions, the American people for trillions more all for their pleasure and profit…

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 6, 2008 10:53 PM
Comment #247244

Jim M.,

Obewan Obamawan - love it.

Jack,

Thanks for comments, as always. My metabolism is up. I have lost 5 pounds tonight.

If Iran is our enemy and you really want to mess with them… Iraq is a bag of fecal matter. Leave it on their door step and walk away. It will catch fire on its own. Then Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran will either have to have a regional proxy war or cooperate to stabilize it. Either way, they will be wasting their lives, their domestic political support, their money, their international prestige, and their international influence. We will be saving ours and using it to achieve energy independence. al Qaeda in Iraq will meet us in Afghanistan since the Iraqis will throw them out. All will be well. See: IRAN, ITS NEIGHBOURS AND THE REGIONAL CRISIS

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 6, 2008 11:20 PM
Comment #247245

Iraq really is not our bag of fecal matter - so why are we carrying it around… Hint: It is called codependency. It has been a “bag full” ever since the good Lord took a crap on Eden and Cain slew Abel. Cordin to some, that is where it all happened…

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 6, 2008 11:31 PM
Comment #247247

Ray, your frustration and anger with the Iraq situation has surfaced strongly, and legitimately. Jack has espoused Bush’s idiocy for so long, he truly believes he is near to the 2nd. coming. All that he has written in these columns has been merely his opinion and applied as he feels is appropriate.
I’m sick of it all! Just because we aren’t being inudated daily with Iraq news, deaths, hardships, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. The msm is merely occupied elsewhere.
It’s time major changes were made and we start the effort of making our country whole and healthy again. It took one C(himp)IC 7 years to do this to us, and I’m sure that we will be attacked from the first day of a Democratic Presidency for not doing something right, soon enough. Just maybe, we can make changes fast enough for our grandchildren to know our country as we once did.
Hillary has the intelligence and the 8 years of exposure to the inside dealings of the head office. Barack has the intelligence and Congressional attendance, and will be surrounded by multi levels of advisors to provide experience. Either way, the first day in office will display a Statesman so far advanced compared to the former inhabitant!!

I was just thinking…..jack is so proud of Bush and his incredible accomplishments…our SUCCESS in Iraq and continuing advancements.., maybe he’d like to stay there and be the token Bush occupation force. I’m pretty sure the rest of the U.S. forces are about ready to come home and try to go forth with their lives.

Posted by: Jane Doe at March 6, 2008 11:48 PM
Comment #247250

RickIL

The Obama defeat position is contingent on there being few consequences from a quick pull out. If it were just a matter of picking up and leaving, many people would be willing to abandon the Iraqis as Obama advocates. But if Iraq goes to hell, lots of other things follow. People talk about winning in Afghanistan because that is a more politically correct war. It is harder to win in Afghanistan than it is to win in Iraq AND if you pull out of Iraq it will make winning in Afghanistan more difficult. Is Obama really promising to move troops from Iraq to Afghanistan? No he also assumes everything will just be the same there.

His position is just childish. I suspect he knows it and I am confident that he is just lying to his followers about this as he did about NAFTA. Unfortunately, it will take a few months until he comes around and it could be costly.

Re the ask not … You can argue the ad hominem (or ad partyem I suppose) but it doesn’t change the argument against Dems to say that Republicans are not themselves pure.

Re home prices – if it is only predatory lending, how do you explain that the property boom was international and that the price drops started in W. Europe? Read the “Economist” Magazine a little more and get some international news. Beyond that, everybody knows prices are getting too high. It is hard for a first time home buyer. The price coming back down to a more reasonable level is a desirable thing. We need to manage it, not stop it.

BTW – your home statistic is missing a zero in front.

David

Maybe Obama has more experience than Clinton, but that is like being tallest of the Seven Dwarfs.

Ray

What happens if we pull out of Iraq right now?

In recent history the Iraqi were UNABLE to throw out AQI. That is what happened at the end of 2006. The Iraqis in Al Anbar tried to stand up to the terrorists and they were losing. The terrorists are more ruthless and better equipped. AQI will never be able to “take over” Iraq, but they can destabilize it to the extent that they can run operations there as well as just taking out the region as a potentially prosperous and stable place.

Please also do not talk about Iraqi lives unless you are willing to try to protect them. Implicit in your own statement is that insurgents are killing Iraqis. If we leave they will kill many more. The new strategy emphasizes protection of the civilian population from the insurgents. If we pull out, that protection goes with us.

Jane

I wish the MSM would come to Iraq more often. The problem is that the news is stuck in the bad old days of 2006. Things have changed remarkably.

Re the troops – everybody would like to go home. That is almost a universal feeling. But almost as universal is the idea that they want to finish the work here and do their duty. If you only let people serving in Iraq vote for president, neither Obama nor Clinton could win.

Nobody wants to stay in Iraq any longer than they have to. You guys mistake the NEED for something for the desire. If you have a serious illness, you might need an operation. Somebody might want to avoid the operation because it will hurt and be hard. A faith healer might tell you that you can just believe enough and the illness will do away. Obama is a faith healer on Iraq. If you have faith enough, I cannot dissuade you.

Posted by: Jack at March 7, 2008 12:50 AM
Comment #247253

I strongly disagree, you don’t need experience to judge a situation just based on the facts. If you make a bad judgment with all the facts in front of you experience or not, you just can’t read.

Posted by: Julian at March 7, 2008 2:36 AM
Comment #247264

Julian

Experience informs us that you are incorrect. Lots of things make sense in theory and don’t work until you try them out. Those who haven’t learned that from experience do not understand. That is why so many young people like Obama and that is why academics make such bad decisions unless they get out a little.

The first thing experience teaches you, BTW, is that the “facts” are never so clear. The second thing you learn is that each choice carries consequences, both good and bad, and usually none of your choices are ones you would like.

Posted by: Jack at March 7, 2008 4:18 AM
Comment #247270

Jack

If we pull out of Iraq we can devote a much larger contingent of troops to Afghanistan. Just what are those lots of other things you so commonly preach which we should expect upon withdrawal. just how will these awful things directly affect our situation. Do you know these things for a fact? Or are you maybe using the tactic of fear mongering to further the agenda of your boss? Please explain to us specifically what you are saying. Not in generalities.

RE-Republicans not pure. It is you who continually make claims or implications of moral high ground for republicans. The last few years have been testament to just the opposite. I have claimed none for the dem party. The very implication in itself makes a claim that dems or liberals are lesser so than their counterparts. It is an old outdated, cheap, false, underhanded and no longer effective ploy of hateful politics.

Personally I do not care about the European housing market. It is my understanding that we set the tenor or the world market. We suffer everyone else suffers, plain and simple. I also understand that it is the philosophy of the business industry that denial of accountability, much the same as our current administration, is considered to be in their best interests. I also understand that magazines like the economist are a mixture of statistics and speculation used for the most part to make educated guesses at just where trends are heading. Unfortunately the one thing they are not good at is reading human vulnerabilities. I also remember you attempting to persuade readers before the mortgage crises that times were never better. You even used the fact that home values have done nothing but increase for decades as proof that all is good and getting better. Now all of a sudden it is a convenient good thing which was bound to happen sooner or later. I have come to the conclusion that you have more ways of twisting words to suit your views than China has people. I do however agree that a decline was long overdue. It is not necessarily a good thing. That is dependent upon ones situation.

I checked, the mortgage statistic is not missing a 0. It is 7.9% past due or currently in foreclosure.

Posted by: RickIL at March 7, 2008 9:51 AM
Comment #247284

The housing market has experienced what the stock market calls the “greater fool” theory. In times of great market exuberance, some investors buy at the top of the market believing that there is a greater fool out there that will buy the stock for an even higher price. When no more “fools” can be found, the market falls precipitously.

Similarly, many, not all, of the folks loosing homes to default didn’t purchase a “home”, but rather believed they were “investing” and hoped to sell quickly and make a profit. As the equity market has ups and downs, some great and some small, the housing market, never intended to be a short term investment, is experiencing the same. I have not seen a federal bail-out for equity investors and don’t wish to experience a bail-out for home speculators.

Posted by: Jim M at March 7, 2008 12:28 PM
Comment #247314

Thanks all for the thoughtful comments.

Julian,

You wrote:

I strongly disagree, you don’t need experience to judge a situation just based on the facts. If you make a bad judgment with all the facts in front of you experience or not, you just can’t read.
Experiance / learning is always a part of the equation. For example, at the most elementary level, if you have not learned how to read, “you just can’t read.” Life experience plays a roll in judgment. IMO, Obama has good judgment. Hillary and Obama need to make this about judgment because McCain has more “experience” than both of them put together. He has lived forever. He may not quite be “I am that I am” but he is “alpha and omega.” If you are going to tell the American people that experience is what Hillary is doing then you playing right into McCain’s hands in the general election. So, I think we agree in general principal. Experience is a factor in judgment, but judgment is about what you do with that experience, how you use it. McCain has plenty of experience. But what has he done with it? What has he actually learned from it? He has bad judgment. This campaign needs to be about judgment. Hillary is doing McCain’s work for him which is a measure of her desperation and is like peeing in the pool water. What she is doing should be socially unacceptable in the Democratic Party.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 7, 2008 4:27 PM
Comment #247316

Carolina,

Thanks for comment.

You wrote:

Ray: I read the other day that 73% of what the media says about Obama is positive. Only 51% of what they say about Hillary is positive.
I disagree. The mass media labeled Hillary the inevitable Democratic Presidential candidate literally years ago. How do other good candidates raise money and fight against that? For over a year before Iowa and New Hampshire the pounded a steady drumbeat that she was inevitable. How do other good candidates raise money and fight against that? After she was defeated in Iowa and it clear she she was facing a serious challenge the mass media continued to pound a steady drumbeat that she would be the inevitable nominee. How do other good candidates raise money and fight against that? For a long time after Obama became the front runner the news coverage still went to Hillary. Obama would win a primary and the headlines would be like: What is Hillary going to do about it? The most prominent pictures would be of Hillary - ect., ect., ect. The news coverage would be about the Clintons. Some of it may have been negative. Love me - hate me. Don’t ignore me. Negative news coverage is better than none. Every negative article written about Hillary was an article not written about Obama of any kind. What about Kucinich? The best candidate in the race. How much coverage did he get? Is there sexism in the media? Of course. Is there racism in the media? Of course. McCain is the media darling.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 7, 2008 4:47 PM
Comment #247322

Ray

The reason the Euro (and other market) makes a difference is because of what it says about causality. The drops started in Europe before they started in the U.S. Therefore, the U.S. could not have caused it in Europe. I am not saying that Europe started the American decline either. I am merely pointing out that we are dealing with a worldwide issue. The systems of finance are very different among the various countries. There must be a cause other than greedy American lenders, plain and simple.

Re good and bad times - Economies go up and they do down. We have had three recessions in the last 30 years. Some of our colleages have predicted thirty of the last three recessions. From 2003-2007 the economy was very good. This year there has been a worldwide slowdown. We will see how that works out. The slowdown that started during Clinton’s last year (2000) lasted two years.

Home ownership remains high. That is still a good thing. Lower prices will allow more people to buy homes. We should not keep them artificially high. I “lost” money on my home. Life it tough all over.

Re your statistic, do you have a source? I would like to see how they figure it.

Posted by: Jack at March 7, 2008 5:16 PM
Comment #247340

Jack,

First, I am talking about the Iraqis that we are killing and maiming - that is what we are responsible for.

You wrote:

What happens if we pull out of Iraq right now?
I suspect, as mentioned above, that there would be a regional proxy war. Not our problem. But we probably should not just pull out. A phased withdrawal with a date certain combined with regional diplomacy is a better plan I am sure. Obama is only talking about removing combat troops. My position is far more radical than his and has no chance of being implemented - unfortunately. We need to save the money that we are wasting in Iraq and spend on energy independence. That is what will keep us safe.

The only reason that “AQI” has a haven in Iraq is our presence. They are less than 2% of the insurgency - you are rewriting history again. Of course, the Iraqis cannot throw them out while we are there. Iraqis give them safe haven in opposition to us. They won’t even want to stay in Iraq when we are in Afghanistan. They came to Iraq because we are there. When we go to Afghanistan, we will draw them there. We draw them like flies on…

Gotta go. Bye.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 7, 2008 6:27 PM
Comment #247348

Jim M.,

Thanks for your comment.

I do not want to bail out the predatory lenders who created this crisis.

But you wrote:

Similarly, many, not all, of the folks loosing homes to default didn’t purchase a “home”, but rather believed they were “investing” and hoped to sell quickly and make a profit.
Wrong. The people losing home were not investors although investors did drive the over building of the market in hot markets. The people losing homes are the sub-prime mortgage borrowers. Poor and lower working class folks who have been the economic victims of the failed Republican economic policy of giving entitlements to the rich and powerful elite.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 7, 2008 8:52 PM
Comment #247350

Jack,

You are actually responding to RickIL here.

You wrote:

The reason the Euro (and other market) makes a difference is because of what it says about causality. The drops started in Europe before they started in the U.S. Therefore, the U.S. could not have caused it in Europe. I am not saying that Europe started the American decline either. I am merely pointing out that we are dealing with a worldwide issue.
The BushCheneyHaliburtonExxon adventure has resulted in the collapse of the value of the dollar and the beginnings of the collapse of the petro-dollar cycle which also drives down the price of the dollar. Europe holds a lot of dollars and has a lot of money in our stock market. The collapse of the dollar, and geopolitical uncertainty caused by war, drives the price of oil through the roof and reduces American and global purchasing power. All of this works together to drag the entire world economy into or toward recession - depression - stagflation. The problems in Europe are symptomatic of the failure the Republican economic policy of providing entitlements to the rich and powerful elite: Haliburton (war), Exxon (war), Raytheon and the rest of the military industrial complex (war), the rest of corporate America (economically and environmentally exploitive non-free market trade agreements and tax breaks). These failed Republican policies have damaged our economy and ravaged the economy of the world.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 7, 2008 9:13 PM
Comment #247354

Ray

Thanks for covering my thoughts in a much more concise and clear manner than I would have been capable of. People seem to be able to find a million and one excuses when it comes to the failures of this administration. They are painfully obvious. I would give my left nut for just a hint of a little accountability from them. I suspect they will take any admission of failure to the grave with them.

Jack

I first viewed the statistic on CNN. I then read it in the NY Times. I double checked it again this morning in the Times.

Posted by: RickIL at March 7, 2008 10:03 PM
Comment #247369

Ray

The problem with my fellow Americans is that they do not get around enough and so they see the world only from America.

I know you want to blame America first, but it is hard to see how a real estate cycle that began in the middle 1990s outside the U.S. and has played out its major aspect overseas before the U.S. could be our fault.

Property values in parts of Europe were sky high - even higher than in California or New York. They are comming down. Was it a good thing for them to be out of reach of ordinary people? I make good money, but housing prices in Washington, New York or San Francisco are often beyond my means. Prices rose so high in prime place in Europe, New Zealand, Australia and the U.S. that only those who already had homes (or inherited them) could afford to own them. This was/is a bad situation.

I am touched that Dems want to maintain this. Or maybe it is not such a surprise. I bet most of those fat cats sitting on big home prices in places like Washington, New York of SF are Dems.

Posted by: Jack at March 8, 2008 12:28 AM
Comment #247370

Ray

Re Iraq - I want the war in Iraq to be over. Everybody does. I believe the war was mismanged until 2006 and there are many things I think are being done wrong now. I understand that war is a very uncertain venture. Some of us also understand we cannot get what we ideally want w/o paying too high a price.

Democrats set up a false choice. They ask if we want to stay in Iraq or not. I do not want to stay in Iraq. I hate it in Iraq. I don’t know anybody who wants to stay in Iraq (well a few). But just leaving is not a choice that comes w/o consequences. We have to take various packages that contain things we like and things we do not.

Do you really think that Obama or Hilary would beat McCain if the election where held only among the guys in Iraq?

Posted by: Jack at March 8, 2008 12:37 AM
Comment #247424

Jack,

Thanks for your comment.

You wrote:

I know you want to blame America first,
you keep using this phrase. Then you cry about acrimony between the Dems and Repubs - boo woo. This is a typical conservative tactic. Frame the issue in a distorted way that makes it seem that conservatives are right. It is a brilliant tactic. Unfortunately it lowers the quality of political discourse. Conservatives win the fight at the expense of the truth. For example: Strategic withdrawal from Iraq is both consistently and variously framed as; “cut and run” and “surrender monkeys.” Conservatives framing the issue in this way is a brilliant cheap two faced political trick. Debate over. You win. Nobody wants to “cut and run.” There is just one teeny little problem that should not concern conservatives in the least. It is a gross over simplification leading to a massive distortion of the truth about what liberals are saying. But conservatives win - so who cares about the truth??? Who cares about real political discourse??? It is all about winning - you win - good luck with that. The conservative way of framing the issue is so simple, black and white, absolute, simplistic But go ahead, KISS it, it works.

If a liberal has the audacity to suggest that America put its own house in order… If a liberal has the audacity to suggest that America examine and take responsibility for its own actions… If a liberal has the audacity to suggest that America take a close look at itself before blaming everybody else for everything else… Then it is just the “blame America first crowd.” Beautiful. Condescending. Dismissive. Debate over. You win. Of course the truth is a little more complicated isn’t it? Conservatives are not interested in that. Winning is all that matters to conservatives isn’t it? American democracy dose not matter to conservatives, dose it? If it did, conservatives would be concerned about having an informed intelligent thoughtful sophisticated electorate. These highly effective tactics show that conservatives are far more interested in winning. They are more interested in manipulating the American people with catchy phrases that over simplify and distort the truth. One, (at least a liberal one), cannot consider or discuss America’s responsibility for anything without conservatives using the tired “blame America first” distortion. Brilliant. Effective. Cheap. Manipulative. Dismissive. Liberals are anti-American - no need to actually respond to the issues they raise. Debate over. You win. Good luck with that. “Sow the wind. Reap the whirlwind.” Why is there so much acrimony? I wonder.

Then you wrote:

but it is hard to see how a real estate cycle that began in the middle 1990s outside the U.S. and has played out its major aspect overseas before the U.S. could be our fault.
Not going to bother responding to that since I already answered that in my earlier comment that you dismissed with the “blame America first” chant.

The rest of your last two comments seem substantive which is what I appreciate and expect from you.

You wrote:

I am touched that Dems want to maintain this.
I don’t think that we should bail out home buyers or predatory lenders either - so we agree. However, I do think that we should have a bankruptcy law that works - you know - like we used to have. That is our societies best defense against predatory lenders. I am an atheist, but even I appreciate that Jesus tipped over their tables threw them out of the temple… Great man or Son of God or great liberal political leader… all I know is he had no use for em and neither do I.

I also do not like the stimulus plan which is only going to stimulate China.

You wrote:

Some of us also understand we cannot get what we ideally want w/o paying too high a price.
Agreed. Soooo we need to get out. Obama is not even planning to get us out. Hopefully we can change his mind after he becomes President. Let us hope. Right now, in order to have any chance of winning he must kowtow to corporate interests just like the rest. We know what happens to candidates who do not kowtow to corporate interests. Did you ever hear of John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, or Ralph Nader? Fringe freaks all. If a candidate does kowtow to corporate interests the corporate media will turn on him like the pack of rabid wolves that they are.

You wrote:

But just leaving is not a choice that comes w/o consequences.
There will regional proxy / civil war if we leave now. They same will result 10 years from now, 50 years from now, 100 years from now. You will never pacify Iraq through occupation. The longer that you stay, the more resistance that you will engender. Iraqis in Iraq and America want us to leave. They need to be left to work out their own problems. It will never happen as long as we are there.

The consequences of leaving and the real reason that we are staying are the same. One: If we leave, the private, for profit, Federal Reserve Bank which finances the war, will lose a major cash cow and the petro-dollar cycle will collapse. It is collapsing anyway. We cannot bail it out with endless megatrillion dollar war. Two: If leave, the military industrial complex including; Haliburton, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Blackwater will lose a major cash cow. Three: If we leave, we will lose imperialistic control over their oil (Exxon). I would argue that the first two consequences are good things - very good things. The third consequence is serious business. We are oil junkies. We need the junk. I have answered that problem by suggesting that we use the money saved to put ourselves in rehab and establish energy independence.

The rest of the consequences will sort themselves out and both the Iraqis and us will be safer and happier in the long run.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 9, 2008 1:16 AM
Comment #247425

Jack,

Yes, I do think that Obama would beat McCain among deployed U.S. troops.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 9, 2008 1:23 AM
Comment #247466

Jack
You said [ The first thing experience teaches you, BTW, is that the “facts” are never so clear. The second thing you learn is that each choice carries consequences, both good and bad, and usually none of your choices are ones you would like.]

look they both read the same thing, on Iraq, on Pakistan and on Iran. One used good judgment in all 3, the other didn’t. So what good is all that experience if you get read the facts (clear or not )and make your own assessment out of it, before you say, that’s you use military force, in the case of Irag, vouch for a country’s good political standings, in the case of Pakistan, and say another country has nukes indefinitely and we won’t talk to them in the case of Iran. 3 strikes you are out also applies to politics.
All experience gets you is a line of friends you have to side with or you are out their club if you don’t.

On another note, If you watch Hillary’s speech in Mississippi, you noticed she seems to indicate the “White Power” arm raise quite often with her left arm. Look closey, I’ve never seen her do this in any of her other speeches. Just saying..

Posted by: Julian at March 9, 2008 4:11 PM
Comment #247488

I am typing too fast in this thread and getting a lot of typos. This one needed correcting:

I wrote:If a candidate does kowtow to corporate interests the corporate media will turn on him like the pack of rabid wolves that they are.
It should read: If a candidate does NOT kowtow to corporate interests the corporate media will turn on him like the pack of rabid wolves that they are.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 9, 2008 10:25 PM
Comment #248325

A few simple points.

There are NOT tens of thousands dead Americans in Iraq.

Hillary does not need to win 60%. All she needs is a climate that makes super delegates realize they need to vote for her because Obama is falling apart. There are any number of paths for her to victory yet. Neither of them will win it outright….the super delegates will settle it.

The democratic party will not be split in the general election. It will unite around whichever candidate it runs. It always does.

I agree that energy independence would have avoided a lot of problem for this country. Isn’t it interesting that when democrats controlled everything they didn’t give it to us? This issue cuts both ways. Politics as usual is not working, it does not provide us with the real security we need.

The idea that Hillary can’t win is as bogus as Obama can’t win. It’s a partisan statement not a statement of fact. The fact is that either one could and should win. The Republicans have a lot of negatives this year.

What’s hurting democrats now, is this race. All the negatives are coming out. Obama has lost his “change” and “higher road” stance and now we are hearing about his corruption, pandering, and acceptance of black racist teachings for 20 years in his church. This primary is damaging both of your candidates and badly.

Posted by: Stephen at March 17, 2008 11:00 PM
Comment #248478

Stephen,

You wrote:

There are NOT tens of thousands dead Americans in Iraq.

I never said that there were. In the first place I was talking about devastated American lives which broader category than dead and also broader than killed or wounded. I was talking about what we have lost, are losing, and will lose the future. However, there are 35,000 dead and maimed Americans right now. Toss in their loved ones and we have over 100,000 devastated American lives right now - AND THAT DOES NOT INCLUDE THE POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER THAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW AND ALL OF THE LIVES OF SOLDIERS AND THEIR LOVED ONES WHICH ARE DEVASTATED BY THAT RIGHT NOW!!! ADD THAT IN AND THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DEVASTATED AMERICAN LIVES
RIGHT NOW! That is the cost of the war RIGHT NOW! And if everybody came home yesterday the cost would continue to grow as more and more lives were devastated by the after effects.

I wrote:

“They” the big official ubiquitous “they” are saying 3 trillion, but “they” have not factored in 50 or 100 years of ongoing occupation, nor have “they” factored in rebuilding the American military, nor have “they” factored in the cost of $5 per gallon resulting from $100 per barrel crude, nor have “they” factored in the long term cost of tens eventually hundreds of thousands of devastated American lives (combat death, traumatic injuries, post traumatic stress, depression, suicide, homicide, rape, spousal abuse, child abuse, alcoholism, drug abuse, general dysfunctional families - all directly tied to BushCheneyHaliburtonExxon’s excellent adventure in Iraq). Victory - VICTORY!!! You dare to come on this thread and blithely say that the war is going great. I have to stop here!

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 19, 2008 4:10 PM
Comment #248532

American dead is closer to 4,000 not 35,000.

Posted by: Stephen at March 19, 2008 11:44 PM
Comment #249226

Stephen,

You wrote:

American dead is closer to 4,000 not 35,000.
Which part of: “I never said that there were.” - don’t you understand. I clearly said, and am talking about KILLED and MAIMED. The number of killed and maimed American soldiers in Iraq is almost exactly 35,000. That number does not include private contractors who are not reported, nor are they counted so the actual number is higher.


Posted by: Ray Guest at March 26, 2008 1:14 PM
Comment #249319

Clearly Killed is 4,000 not 35,000 Glad you agree with me.

Posted by: s at March 27, 2008 11:06 AM
Comment #249654

as for mccain’s experience:

www.mccainsexperience.com

Posted by: non at April 2, 2008 1:25 AM
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