Democrats & Liberals Archives

It Sucks, He Sucks, Everything Just Sucks!

Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize, and apparently that’s supposed to be a political negative for him. Why?

Well, apparently, because it means Europe approves of, prefers his foreign policy.

Well, why is that a bad thing?

Because Europe- well, what is the problem with Europe? Let's walk the question back on that. Does Europe want us to be unsuccessful in dealing with al-Qaeda? Of course not, not with the attacks in London and Madrid. Nobody wants to be next. Well, what's the problem with Europe?

Well, Europe doesn't jump when we say "Hey Froggy!", that's the problem.

I recall learning in my history that Anti-German propaganda had Hamburgers renamed Salisbury Steaks, and Sauerkraut Liberty cabbage. That's how we dealt with an enemy. Understandable, of course, if a bit nutty.

Why Freedom Fries then? Hell, the word "french" in french fries doesn't even indicate nationality. The french in french fries is a way of cutting the potato. But hey, let's not let the fact that french fries were actually invented in Belgium get in the way of the anti-French mania. But why were we anti-French? Why did we suddenly start cursing "old Europe", and greeting the "new Europe" of the "Coalition of the Willing?"

The Iraq war, that's why. That albatross of an armed conflict. But of course, it's also the idea that we actually have to talk with somebody else rather than just acting unilaterally. That is, of course considering, how well acting without many of our allies worked out. The principle is supposed to be that we are more free to act in our interests, better able to be able to do what needs to be done, that America's power by itself is sufficient to do everything we need to be done.

These were supposed to be the hard and fast facts about how America was supposed to be able to win. Instead, they became the characteristics of Bush's ineffectual foreign policy.

Yet somehow, not following these principles is supposed to lead to ruin. Supposedly, although we won the Cold War based on a more realistic foreign policy, we're supposed to embrace the xenophobia and unilateralism of a failed policy as a way to forestall disaster.

Color me confused. The negativism on all this seems to be based on views from folks whose views should not carry that much credibility, whose achievement has been to take our foreign policy off a cliff like a herd of lemmings. It seems like the lemming's haven't ended their swimming lessons.

The great irony of this is that modern Europe, peaceful and pacifistic, is largely a result of our last three quarters of a century of foreign policy. They gave over much of the peacekeeping duties to us, let us exercise our hegemony over their section of the world.

What does this prize mean, more or less? They want us back to our old selves, despite the long interregnum of nastiness and discord. They want an America that leads the world in peace, that is less interested in figuring out how to set off the next war, than in how to resolve the conflicts coming over the horizon.

Peace is a power in and of itself. It was the way the peace occured with Europe and other part of the world that lead us to become the world's premier economic power, and political power as well. It was global trade that allowed us to nurture the industries that brought us boom-times in the decade before all those disasters overtook us. Our victory was the order we left in the world, not the war we waged against our enemies.

The Republican's paradigm for foreign policy success seems to be to reject it's very best success, in favor of its worse failure. And why? Near as I can tell, to reject Bill Clinton's successes, to repudiate his post-cold war maintenance of the diplomatic realism of his predecessor.

And of course, Obama's return to diplomatic realism would prompt this, too.

Why does this seem to be the default assumption among some folks in the media? I guess its because we've been in that toxic, post-9/11 stew of Neoconservative unilateralism. What we, as a Americans, and observers of events in the media need to realize, is that the negativism about Obama's reward doesn't proceed from common sense appraisal of its worth, but rather from a rather esoteric and wrong-headed notions that one partisan group keeps on trying to perpetuate, long after their credibility has passed its expiration date.

We should be proud of Obama, and proud that America's services as the guarantor of peace and progress in the world are still in high demand.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at October 12, 2009 2:50 PM
Comments
Comment #289226

Don’t you get it?
The olympic committee was the world rejecting obama. Bad for Obama. The Nobel prize was the world appoving of Obama. Again, bad for Obama. And worst of all Obama hasn’t ended the partisan tone. Anybody see the big picture here?

Posted by: Schwamp at October 12, 2009 4:04 PM
Comment #289227

S.D.
He didn’t deserve it. and he even admitted it. If the committe gives the peace prize to someone who has a vision than, as stated in the blog previous,than I know thousands of people who have a vision of world peace some on this blog. The problem is now he has to produce, great if he succeeds, bad if he don’t. The world is now really WATCHING.

Posted by: KAP at October 12, 2009 4:20 PM
Comment #289229

Olympic Committee, “Bad President Obama you are not heading left enough” and Nobel Committee “Good President Obama keep heading out way”.

Posted by: Edge at October 12, 2009 5:09 PM
Comment #289233

KAP-
When has Obama not been under pressure to produce, to deliver results? When has the world not been watching?

Of course, the thing is, there are those who are looking for him to fail. There are those who want to find mistakes or twist successes like this into failures or problems.

Yes, Obama acknowledged that he was not getting the award for something he’d done. He didn’t, though, say “I don’t deserve this” the way the pundits on the right seem to believe he doesn’t deserve it. It seems, to them, that he deserves nothing. Nothing he does measures up, because their purpose is to move him out of the White House, and the Democrats out of the Congressional Majority. Their politics won’t allow him to get credit for anything, especially in fields where they’re not only making these pessimistic measurements and predictions, but also doing their best to actively make sure those dark prophecies fulfill themselves.

I’m asking the question: why are we framing this issue in a way that doesn’t serve to truly measure the merits of the gesture, only to impose a view that never would appreciate what Obama was doing, even if he was successful?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 12, 2009 5:39 PM
Comment #289234

I think you folks on the left are in an impossible situation. No one can live up to the expectations that Obama has put on himself and the left has accepted has “reality”.

First of all the Nobel Peace Prize and the Olympics are not as huge as the hype. It is only huge to political types that make up a small minority of voters.

The Nobel Peace Prize is only bad if you are thinkinging about Legacy. If he lives up to the Nobel Peace Prize he was “expected to” if he is anything less than an MVP for peace he is viewed as a disappointment even if his performance is good.

One of the issues that Obama and the left have to adjust to is that expectations are sooooo high, any chink in his armour that is pointed out gets a huge emotional response from the left.

(shh, let me let you in on a secret. Obama is a man with red blood. He therefore has many chinks in his Armour).

On the right it’s much easier because we can see the chinks. Here is one, Oh, there is another. That doesn’t mean that he wont be a bad president or that he isn’t a good president. It’s expectations that are all messed up, not Obama.

Second that. Obama might become all messed up, because of the unrealist expectations. I might say his rhetoric has brought some of this on. Also I think it has been so long since we had a liberal president. It has really been about 30 years since Carter. That is a lot of pent up expectations.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 12, 2009 5:42 PM
Comment #289235

After reading the twisting mess of trying to think like a person they despise, my brain is actually starting to hurt. There are so many fallacies, leaps of logic and twists of reality put down to paper in this article that you almost miss the irony of it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 12, 2009 5:42 PM
Comment #289236

Stephen, you’re right about what you say, just not in the context of the prize. Everything you said is true; about how the Right despises anything “European” and how all the idiot right wing followers do also. You’re right about a lot of things, but Obama should not have gotten the prize. He’s done some things internationally, but you simply cannot give the Nobel Peace Prize to a president who refuses to end wars he has said are, and knows to be a monumental mistake and embarrassment for America.

He did the right thing in expressing his shock and awe over receiving the prize, but the fact is that he was nominated weeks after becoming the president. That alone taints the win, as if his lack of achievement on the peace front didn’t already. Although silly, the Right’s explosion of opposition and nay-saying to his winning of the prize and use of its absurdity for political fodder is not surprising. Luckily we’re pretty much at the point where the people that hate him already will so and will continue to do so for no reason, and the people that like him can’t be shaken.

Posted by: Mike Falino at October 12, 2009 6:10 PM
Comment #289237

Rhinehold-
I could just as easily claim that your brain hurts because you’re not used to thinking logically. But that would be both unfair, and a cheap debate tactic.

If you’re going to call me out on being illogical, rebut my argument, so you can support your characterization for more skeptical readers.

Craig Holmes-
The Nobel Prize and the Olympic Games minor affairs? Not worth the trouble? Tell Einstein and Jesse Owens. Tell Leni Riefenstahl. Tell the Athletes of the world. Tell the Physicists of the world. Tell the Chemists. Tell Linus Pauling.

Tell Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu, and Lech Walesa that its a minor award.

I am not displeased to see this award given to him, nor afraid that expectations might somehow become unbearable upon him.

The are already high, and were going to be high because of who Obama succeeded. But at the same time, if Obama manages to get his country even halfway out of this mess, few people besides the Republicans, who seem actively bent on scuttling his efforts at every turn, are going to see his legacy as one he himself screwed up with high expectations. At worst, he becomes a victim of his Predecessor’s terrible legacy.

Besides, I don’t mind holding my President up to a high standard, and doing what I can to force him to live up to it. I take pride in the quality of the administration of my nation’s government.

I believe if Republicans had not settled for the lowest common denominator with Bush, they might have had the pride to do better for themselves. Instead, though, they doubled down their bets on him, and basically rationalized their way out of facing the damage he was doing to their party and the country.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 12, 2009 6:11 PM
Comment #289238

S.D.
He hasn’t up until now. Like I said, if he SUCCEEDS GREAT, if he FAILS BAD. Most people voted for Bush because of the two idiots that your party ran against him.

Posted by: KAP at October 12, 2009 6:33 PM
Comment #289240

KAP - you were one of those who voted because you thought bush would have a beer w/you? idiots? really even after one bush “speech”, gore, and kerry were the idiots?

i think it is a great source of pride for my president to be honored w/the prize. i think the world is happy the united states is not rattling the war saber. on a weekly basis the bush administration was threatening someone. this weekly emotional raping had very profound affect on the world. the world also saw two candidates for the presidency. one was speaking of ending iraq war, and the other was singing “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb bomb iran”.

perhaps he won the award just for not going to war against another country in the days after being sworn in. or threatening war. which to me is a major improvement. and the npp voters think so too.

Posted by: bluebuss at October 12, 2009 7:52 PM
Comment #289244

bluebuss,

And for all of this we get … North Korea this morning firing off rockets and demanding one on one talks which it appears they will likely get, Iran oppressing its people, Pakistan getting cozier in its assistance of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, an increase in the use of mercenaries in Iraq, backing up Russia in the Georgia dispute, the extension AND expansion of the Bush wiretapping…

I’m going to hold of on my opinion of his foreign policy ability until some of this checks out.

i think the world is happy the united states is not rattling the war saber.

I’m sure they are. Too bad he’s not THEIR president, last time I checked. Or is he running against Tony Blair for that job when the EU and NAU merge in a few years?

really even after one bush “speech”, gore, and kerry were the idiots?

Uh yup. Well, Gore was more of a lying opportunist and Kerry an ignorant wanna-be… but idiots is a good description as well.

Oh, and I don’t know about KAP but I didn’t vote for any of those three options the previous two presidential elections. I have some pride about my vote, I don’t want to waste it on someone less than what I demand out of a president.

or threatening war.

What about increasing the troops in a war…?

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 12, 2009 8:35 PM
Comment #289246

BB
I didn’t vote for Bush either.

Posted by: KAP at October 12, 2009 8:40 PM
Comment #289251

Stephen, I completely agree.

Posted by: Mike Falino at October 12, 2009 8:55 PM
Comment #289254

I don’t understand the level of frustration in the articles in the blue column. Don’t you have everything you want? Complaining about criticism from the minority? Didn’t a unicorn magically appear on your front lawn when BHO was inaugurated?

“expectations…were going to be high because of who Obama succeeded.”

I would say that expectations are actually lower considering 43. All 44 had to do is not make a bigger mess. Instead, he decided to own the mess, instead of saying, sorry, the previous guy made a mistake, we’re getting out of it.

Posted by: ohrealy at October 12, 2009 9:25 PM
Comment #289257

Did this just turn into a cat fight???

Posted by: Marysdude at October 12, 2009 10:14 PM
Comment #289258

Stephen:

Wow, you sure have a lot of emotion going.

It’s fine to be idealistic, it’s just not very practical. Obama is simply a politician.

Yes, it’s nice to have an American recognized. I am sure the Palistinians were proud when Arafat won the same prize. But still it does not make or break a presidency.

The country is moving away from your position and Obama. That doesn’t mean he wont be a good president or even a two termer. He is just simply moving down to average. His accomplishments are so far modest.

What is really strange watching the left is how fast you loose a gasket when anything but great praise is put on the man. It’s not a cult but it has some of the trimmings!!

Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 12, 2009 11:26 PM
Comment #289260

Stephen:

Here is how important the Nobel Peace Prize is. According to Gallup, Obama received a 3% blip that they expect to go away since it comes mostly from Independents who are a pretty disloyal group.

Rasmussen has no change at 49% approval. NO BLIP AT ALL!!

In terms of public approval of the President, I can’t see how it has changed much at all!!

Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 13, 2009 12:04 AM
Comment #289261

Deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize? This has nothing to do with with supporting the wars or not. It’s just pretty hard to justify giving Obama this award when he is clearly now committing to continue a failed war.

Posted by: Mike Falino at October 13, 2009 12:07 AM
Comment #289264

Good link Mike:

The deployment of the support troops to Afghanistan brings the total increase approved by Obama to 34,000. The buildup has raised the number of U.S. troops deployed to the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan above the peak during the Iraq “surge” that President George W. Bush ordered, officials said.

Maybe they could fly the award back on one of the empty planes we are sending our troops over to the middle east on? Save a little fuel…

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 13, 2009 12:12 AM
Comment #289265

I expressed my misgivings about the prize in other posts.

What I see here beyond that is an Obama pattern. He consistently wins on things that are symbolic or nominal, but loses when he or somebody else has to put up something concrete.

The world loves Obama, but nobody really changes their behavior because of that.

Otto von Bismarck said that when someone says he supports something in principle, it means he doesn’t plan to do anything about it.

I am more interested in what people do than what they say they are going to do. Obama has been long on the show part and not so good on the do.

As Craig notes - that bloodthirsty thug Arafat won the Nobel peace prize and immediately worked to make peace impossible. The Noble prize was also awarded to a central American author who lied about her experiences and of course to Al Gore and Jimmy Carter. The prize has moved downscale recently.

Posted by: Christine at October 13, 2009 12:14 AM
Comment #289266

Rhinehold-
For a Libertarian, you seem to expect our president to rule the world.

Yes, North Korea spent this morning firing off missiles. Short range missiles. Care to comment on the Freudian implications of that? Most of their missiles are about as stable as those contraptions cartoon characters build. It’s the same as those Nuclear Weapons.

Did your favorite style of diplomacy prevent that, prevent anything? Not a damn thing.

Did it prevent Ahmedinejad from rising to power, and the mullahs pushing their country towards their becoming a Nuclear power?

Did it prevent Pakistan from earlier trying to strike that deal with al Qaeda to keep them off their backs, a deal which later soured? No.

Obama did not back anybody, and in fact rebuked Russia for its invasion and strategic bombing of the place.

As for the Bush intelligence and surveillance operations? Folks think it’s just as simple as invoking the rights all over again, but it’s not. The question is about preserving the necessary and legitimate law enforcement methods, while returning the darkside practices to the oblivion they once enjoy. The last thing Obama wants to do is hamstring National Security or Law enforcement in the process of undoing Bush’s damage.

So many of the issues you needle Obama over are complicated issues. But you seem unwilling to face that. Instead, you act as if we could ride in and teach all of these people a lesson if we did things Bush’s war.

Wrong. We already tried his way, that’s when things started getting like they are now.

As for an increase of troops in the war? This is one of those issues. People are playing politics with this something fierce. However, they’re neglecting an important point: If we can’t restore or build people’s trust in the Kabul government, the troop increase is pointless. Strategy isn’t merely about wanting to win. It’s not about putting more soldiers in a battle when you’re losing. There’s got to be a purpose, and something’s got to be done right in the right places and time, with the right people.

By reducing it to a one dimensional sliding scale of numbers, we do discredit to real world military planning, which is more multi-dimensional.

ohrealy-
In one sense, you’re right. He didn’t have to be the greatest person in the world to look good after Bush.

Trouble is, Bush left behind a nasty mess, loads and loads of problems that are going to remain front and center in people’s attention even as people’s memory of Bush fades.

As for getting everything we wanted? You mean every Democrat pure and true, a decent economy with which to absorb the cost of needed reforms and infrastructure updates, etc.? Good god, man, the numbers weren’t wanted for their own sake. In the previous Congress, there were 112 filibuster threats. That’s more than in the two Congresses before it, and just shy of double of the previous record.

We wanted the numbers so we could at least have a hope of breaking the filibuster. We hoped that the Republicans would sense that their strategy was a bit strained, and that finally they might give it all a rest.

We can’t just will ourselves out of these messes, before or now. We have to do the hard wrok of planning.

Craig Holmes-
Says the guy whose party members can’t keep an even temper at a town hall.

I’m very pragmatic. What I see here is a time when being expedient, when just treading water and accepting political “realities” is just the quickest way to get yourself tossed out of office.

You say the country is moving away from me and Obama. I don’t get that sense. Certainly rising healthcare costs will not make more people happy with the Republicans for their getting in the way of reform.

What Obama is doing is what Democrats should have been doing: getting things done. The current Republican party is about benign negligence, puratively, but that approach hasn’t worked, and won’t work.

There’s no cult here, just people who are dead tired and sick of the alternatives they’ve already seen go terribly wrong beign pushed again in their face by the Republicans and the special interests.

People need things to get done, and get done right. The Republicans have no incentive to do either, but most people won’t settle for that anymore. I feel we Democrats have a compelling cause to fight for. Push us and resist us for long enough, and you’ll see more Democrats actively resisting your side over time. The crisises and the Republican obstruction are going to select out those who are lukewarm, and put in place the stronger, more confident, more defiant Democrats in their resistance.

In short, you’re going to weed out the weaklings. You’re wearing out the patience of the last people to want to actually deal with you an the Republicans. Then its a numbers game the REpublicans can’t win.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 13, 2009 12:51 AM
Comment #289270

“every Democrat pure and true”
What exactly does that mean? Who is pure and true and who isn’t? Is Bobby Rush pure enough?
“We have to do the hard wrok of planning.”
Thanks for that laugh! Ooh Oohmph, my brain hurts. LOL!
“getting things done.”
Like bailing out GM, so we can see more ads for the most inefficient vehicles in history.

In another forum, we still argue a lot about the effects of the writer’s strike. It’s greatest effect was giving BHO a break from criticism, which his supporters seem to think should be permanent. I’m developing a WGA based conspiracy theory.

Posted by: ohrealy at October 13, 2009 10:26 AM
Comment #289271

An interesting website with some things that have happened and are still happening on the economic front:

http://www.deepcapture.com/

Posted by: ohrealy at October 13, 2009 10:35 AM
Comment #289272

Yep, a cat fight…

Posted by: Marysdude at October 13, 2009 11:38 AM
Comment #289273
For a Libertarian, you seem to expect our president to rule the world.

I think you are confusing what *I* would want the president to do in his position and what I think his actions compared to the awarding the Nobel Peace Prize says.

Yes, North Korea spent this morning firing off missiles. Short range missiles. Care to comment on the Freudian implications of that? Most of their missiles are about as stable as those contraptions cartoon characters build. It’s the same as those Nuclear Weapons.

Did your favorite style of diplomacy prevent that, prevent anything? Not a damn thing.

Again, what is my ‘favorite style of diplomacy’? The point is that Obama’s style has us back to where we were before, North Korea demanding extortion money from the US and us negotiating that with him instead of making sure the countries actually in that region were involved in those discussions. That was the point of the multi-country talks instead of the one-on-one discussions that was demanded of us.

As for the Bush intelligence and surveillance operations? Folks think it’s just as simple as invoking the rights all over again, but it’s not. The question is about preserving the necessary and legitimate law enforcement methods, while returning the darkside practices to the oblivion they once enjoy. The last thing Obama wants to do is hamstring National Security or Law enforcement in the process of undoing Bush’s damage.

BS. Obama not only defended the practice that he excoriated Bush for during the election but argued for the EXPANSION of that power. You sound like the Republicans of the last 8 years saying that this was ‘necessary for our fight against terror and to keep us safe’.

It’s a different game when the roles are reversed, it seems.

So many of the issues you needle Obama over are complicated issues.

But Obama made it sound so SIMPLE when he was running for office. When Bush was in office, weren’t they complicated issues then? No, then it was that Bush was an evil brutal dictator-to-be and must be stopped at all costs…

But you seem unwilling to face that.

No, I don’t think it is ME who is unwilling to face reality, Stephen.

Instead, you act as if we could ride in and teach all of these people a lesson if we did things Bush’s war.

Wrong. We already tried his way, that’s when things started getting like they are now.

LOL, so nothing happened before Bush took over that led to the situation we are in now? It is all on Bush that caused the issues? Last time *I* checked, the WTC was bombed after Clinton took office, along with embassies and ships, but things were just fine then. The planning and preparation of 9/11 was done mostly during the 90s, but it was Bush’s fault that we have people not liking us?

You have an extremely ‘partisan’ view of historical foreign policy there, Stephen.

As for an increase of troops in the war? This is one of those issues. People are playing politics with this something fierce.

Yeah, how dare people play politics with complicated issues that involve troops and war. People who do that should be ashamed of themselves, it’s a good thing the Democrats would never have done that in, say, the last 8 years…

I guess those people who question the president during a time of war are just anti-american, right?

By reducing it to a one dimensional sliding scale of numbers, we do discredit to real world military planning, which is more multi-dimensional.

Yeah, at least no one would be crass enough to keep a running total of soldiers dead in a war effort that they opposed in order to decrease support for it…

And before you start going on about ‘my favorite type of foreign policy’, remember that I was one of the ones calling for an end to Iraq in 2005… Argue what I say, not what you want me to have said so you could give some pre-canned response next time.

As a Libertarian I want us out of other country’s affairs. But all the way, not just not telling people what to do but continuing to fund THEIR national defenses as we do for most of our allies around the world. However, when other nations defend people who are trying to attack us, threaten to attack us and work to fund and support those people, we sometimes need to act. But we need to act much better than we have been doing in the past 20 years…

Unfortuntaely, Obama doesn’t seem to be changing things for the better. There is a difference in saying that we are going to capitulate to other’s demands because we don’t want a fight and saying that we aren’t going to be involved in other’s petty disputes, just make sure to keep us out of it or else. The latter is us being strong but not pushing people around, the other is what we have been displaying recently…

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 13, 2009 11:40 AM
Comment #289275

ohrealy-
I’m glad you’re so pleased with yourself.

What I mean, is that it’s kind of a bummer having sixty Democrats, a number that can theoretically defeat any filibuster or filibuster threat, and just not have the party unity to make that effective.

I don’t give a flying crap about Bobby Rush. The local politics of Chicago matters little, means little to me. I want a Congress in Washington that works for the rest of us.

Here’s the good news: Unlike the Republicans, Democrats are not settling for second best, nor taking their folk’s guff. We’re letting them know early and often what we want.

Yes, we bailed out GM. Let me ask you a question. What was your marvelous alternative? Do you think that people like me lay awake nights fantasizing about handing free money to companies that don’t work? No, we went in there, and we forced changes, we restructured the company and everything, because unlike the Republicans, the Democrats that would hold their representatives and their President accountable would not settle for throwing good money after bad.

Let me ask you another question: where would unemployment be if we had allowed GM to go under?

Real world governance is complicated. I don’t say this to excuse anything, I say it because it’s a fact, and a tough fact to avoid dealing with.

Rhinehold-
Your point is that you have no point other than attacking my point. Pretty simple, really: repeat right-wing talking points about how poorly things are going on the diplomatic front, forget how poorly things went under those who are distributing those talking points.

You can’t divorce the crediblity of the critique in its logic from the logic of those who use it, because plainly, those using it make critiques about policy the way they do in order to encourage a change in policy heading a certain direction.

The Bush Administration tried intimidating talk. But unless you can and will follow through, and then unless you can actually win, it doesn’t work. The Bush Administration, with its belligerent attitude, spread itself thin, and this itself fed back into our ability to use the threat of force in force’s place.

Good policy, especially military policy, is neither as simple as what we would think it is, nor as easy to fit in ideological boxes.

The truth is, **** happens. It happens whether you got Democrats, Republicans or Libertarians in office. Nobody represents a cure for cancer here. The key is, who makes problems worse, and who makes them better. While certain headaches persisted for the Democrats under Clinton’s policy, I want you to notice that problems got worse under Bush’s policy. This is not because of ideology.

This is because the Neocons believed increased chaos was acceptable, and they thought they could stuff everything back in the box after they were done cleaning up the mess. They projected their narratives as to what they expected on things, and decided to mainly look for signs that things were going according to plan, rather than clues as to what was actually resulting from their efforts.

As for the crassness of keeping a running number on the number of dead in the war? Well, shucks, I guess its just too painful to keep people accountable. Those numbers were a primary indicator that things weren’t going so much as planned. We weren’t exploiting them for political gain, we were trying to break through the clutter of spin about the war.

If you’re going to argue against Republican policy, Rhinehold, you’d be well advised not to follow or use their talking points. It’s like trying to teach fire safety while doing a full body burn. You have to make your own arguments, otherwise you’ll be following their logic, and you’ll be changing nothing.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 13, 2009 12:33 PM
Comment #289276

iran is oppressing it’s people? does the media know this? this is some really new developments in the world. and yes, it started the day president obama took office. get real.

the difference IS president obama is not going around telling stories of airstrikes, and intense “we’re not going to stand for this” over and over again.

and btw - 9/11 did happen on bush’s watch. there was a memo dated 7/10/2001 warning the president of this fact. he was playing golf.

KAP - sorry to have misread your post. sounded to me as if you had voted for bush, my bad. and i certainly wouldn’t have wanted someone to say that about me. it is getting harder to find those who have voted for bush, someone must have right?

Posted by: bluebuss at October 13, 2009 12:41 PM
Comment #289277

regarding gm - you are right stephen. if we had not bailed them out it would have been a disaster. not to mention the retiree’s too.

and gm is junk? you do not appreciate power. these cars have power. i guess coming from a racing town, speed is king.

Posted by: bluebuss at October 13, 2009 12:51 PM
Comment #289280

“sixty Democrats”, actually 57, 1 died, 1 socialist, 1 independent, 1 comedian included in the 57, also .
“flying crap about Bobby Rush”, The Rep for the IL 1st, the district where BHO lived?

“What was your marvelous alternative?” Buy the most fuel efficient vehicles from them and auction them off, and buy more hummers for the army or sink them offshore to make artificial reefs. They’re in business to make a product, right, not collect welfare. This is a company that was actually capable of helping our country reduce its trade deficit by producing electric vehicles, but did the opposite instead. The electric vehicles don’t go vroom vroom, but I’m sure the drivers could get those sounds off a cd or mp3.

“where would unemployment be if we had allowed GM to go under?” There would be more employment at manufacturers that produce better vehicles, who would ultimately take up the slack. Where did the workers at Packard and Studebaker go, or other auto companies that went out of business?

Posted by: ohrealy at October 13, 2009 2:01 PM
Comment #289282
Your point is that you have no point other than attacking my point.

So, you didn’t actually read what I wrote. Good to know.

You can’t divorce the crediblity of the critique in its logic from the logic of those who use it, because plainly, those using it make critiques about policy the way they do in order to encourage a change in policy heading a certain direction.

So, what you are saying, and correct me if I am wrong, is that because I critique the president for the same thing as the Republicans, but for different reasons, then I am ‘in bed with them’ whether I want to be or not?

I’m sorry Stephen, but your continuing attempts to dismiss dissent because you work to try to find a way to lump all dissenters into the same group is getting very tiring…

Especially when you then go on to cry foul the second anyone might link you to some of the more undesireable in your own party that you freely choose to identify yourself with.

The Bush Administration tried intimidating talk. But unless you can and will follow through, and then unless you can actually win, it doesn’t work. The Bush Administration, with its belligerent attitude, spread itself thin, and this itself fed back into our ability to use the threat of force in force’s place.

And I made my point in my previous comment that Bush was wrong as well.

Do you really think that there are only two ways to go about foreign policy? That both Bush *AND* Obama can’t both be wrong for different reasons?

Good policy, especially military policy, is neither as simple as what we would think it is, nor as easy to fit in ideological boxes.

Sorry Stephen, but stating generalities doesn’t make your point. Stuff happens is the best you can do to defend the failures (or possible failures, it really is too soon to tell on most of this) that Obama is facing?

And the point, which you want to turn into something else, is that being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize while having more troops in play than Bush who is considered to be a warmonger seems a bit ‘ironic’. Can you not even admit to that irony, Stephen? Are the blinders on that tightly?

While certain headaches persisted for the Democrats under Clinton’s policy, I want you to notice that problems got worse under Bush’s policy. This is not because of ideology.

Got worse how? The planning of 9/11 happened during Clinton, there was nothing that Bush could have done to prevent it (If you have something that he could have done, please let us know.) The motivation wasn’t because Bush had or hadn’t done anything, it was done because of the actions that Clinton (and Bush and Reagan before him) took.

As for the crassness of keeping a running number on the number of dead in the war? Well, shucks, I guess its just too painful to keep people accountable. Those numbers were a primary indicator that things weren’t going so much as planned. We weren’t exploiting them for political gain, we were trying to break through the clutter of spin about the war.

LOL, that’s hilarous… ‘We weren’t exploiting them for political gain’. Right… But of course your opponents are. Because your motives are pure and your opponent’s motives aren’t.

As I said before, that’s a special kind of narcisism right there.

If you’re going to argue against Republican policy, Rhinehold, you’d be well advised not to follow or use their talking points. It’s like trying to teach fire safety while doing a full body burn. You have to make your own arguments, otherwise you’ll be following their logic, and you’ll be changing nothing.

Again, I guess you didn’t read what I wrote.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 13, 2009 2:06 PM
Comment #289283
The electric vehicles don’t go vroom vroom, but I’m sure the drivers could get those sounds off a cd or mp3.

This is what is going on with the Teslas, they are so quiet that people are walking out in front of them because they don’t hear them. There is some talk of mandating some sounds for them when driving under 35MPH for that reason.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 13, 2009 2:11 PM
Comment #289284

If it waddles like a duck and quacks like a dusk…it’s an independet or anarchist? Nope, it’s a duck.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 13, 2009 3:08 PM
Comment #289285

PS:

It’s really all that waddling and quacking that is so tiring…

Posted by: Marysdude at October 13, 2009 3:09 PM
Comment #289288

bush banned photos and videos of dead military personnel. he did this so the american people did not see it. esp. since he declared “mission accomplished”. allowing photos and videos of fallen american heros is not political. it is reality of war. they are reminders that some give all. with that being said, why did bush stop the photos?

yeah, the next time i am in a car maxed out at 35 mph, i will remember to put in my go fast sounding cd. oh yeah, don’t need to, i own a gm.

Posted by: bluebuss at October 13, 2009 4:00 PM
Comment #289290

Stephen:

You say the country is moving away from me and Obama. I don’t get that sense.

Here is what I am looking at.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/obama_approval_index_month_by_month

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/generic_congressional_ballot

Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 13, 2009 4:32 PM
Comment #289292

49% approval? sounds pretty good. remember bush 17%. no clinton at 67%, but good.

not shocking, that’s just about how ppl voted last november too.

Posted by: bluebuss at October 13, 2009 4:43 PM
Comment #289298

ohrealy-
As I understand it, they are being forced to go toward a more ecological policy.

As far as unemployment goes, I don’t see the sense in letting a massive surge in unemployment occur, just so “deserving manufacturers” can get get a few of the good employees. This is about avoiding huge uproars in the market with nasty, persistent side effects, something some folks with political agendas have forgotten.

Or put another way, we shouldn’t destroy the economic village to save it.

Rhinehold-
You’re looking for counterarguments, rather than assessing the situation and determining whether taking an opposing position is even advisable.

Do you really think that there are only two ways to go about foreign policy? That both Bush *AND* Obama can’t both be wrong for different reasons?

If you’re arguing that, why are you equating their approaches and suggesting Obama’s no different?

Obama can be wrong, actually, and my point would be that simple opposition of a particular position doesn’t translate necessarily to being right. My whole point, if you read what I wrote more closely, was that Obama had to use his judgment on many of these issues. If he just proceeded with that simple binary logic, it would be easy, and incredibly convenient for him to just trash all of Bush’s states secrets stuff, to just pull out of both wars, so on and so forth.

I don’t want him to do that, even it exposes him to political liabilities in the short term. The blinders are on anybody who thinks that I think that bad policy ever makes for good politics in the long run.

And the point, which you want to turn into something else, is that being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize while having more troops in play than Bush who is considered to be a warmonger seems a bit ‘ironic’. Can you not even admit to that irony, Stephen? Are the blinders on that tightly?

I don’t see the irony because Barack Obama isn’t the reason they’re there for the most part. Recall Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson’s awards; you don’t have to be a pacifist to win. If you want real irony, try Republican efforts to nominate George Bush.

Sorry Stephen, but stating generalities doesn’t make your point. Stuff happens is the best you can do to defend the failures (or possible failures, it really is too soon to tell on most of this) that Obama is facing?

My point is, the real failures wouldn’t be failures to fulfill campaign promises. They would be the failures of his duties. I’m more concerned that he succeeds in doing the right thing, through deliberation and intelligent decision making, than that he fulfill a laundry list of things he said appealing to voters absent a previous term in office.

Got worse how? The planning of 9/11 happened during Clinton, there was nothing that Bush could have done to prevent it (If you have something that he could have done, please let us know.) The motivation wasn’t because Bush had or hadn’t done anything, it was done because of the actions that Clinton (and Bush and Reagan before him) took

Bush changed the main threat focus from Terrorism to Rogue States, which given the fact that we weren’t attacked by a rogue state on 9/11 was rather unfortunate. He didn’t take seriously the warning signs of the previous decade, instead focusing on Iraq and other nations from the get-go. Could he have prevented 9/11? You can’t say for certain, but it wouldn’t have hurt to have him paying attention.

Bush, also, after 9/11, engaged in several policies which allowed:

a) Bin Laden to escape, and remain unpursued.
b) the Taliban come back to prominence.
c) Iraq to become a training ground for terrorist tactics
d) Iraq (particularly Abu Ghraib) becomes a cause celebre for terrorist recruiters. Look folks, they really are infidel barbarians!
e) Bush harmed our relations with many countries, which makes going after terrorists and sharing intelligence harder.
f) Bush used methods like torture which sent us on wild goose chases after bad information that simply came to us because some poor fool wanted us to stop hurting them.

So on and so forth.

You express amazement that the focus on body counts wasn’t mainly political in nature. But really, among us who kept count, it was really about this: This was supposed to be a war won long ago, over for all intents and purposes. When we fought WWII, we didn’t end up doing the lion’s share of our fighting during reconstruction. Neither did we do that after the Civil War. Only with Bush’s incompetence, do we see the heaviest body count during what was once regarded as the peace.

Like many liberal critiques about Bush, it was about his failure to get things done right, a failure that was often aided and abetted by an unwillingness to face or make public the human cost of the war, because nearly all those deaths reflect a postwar policy that spiraled out of control into what essentially became the real Iraq war.

We’re looking at the substance here, rather than trying to protect our backsides.

Craig Holmes-
Rasmussen, eh. Have you looked at anything else, or are you counting on one poll, particularly one that tends to favor Republicans, to indicate where the country is on him?

Besides, such disapproval is ambiguous. His he not approved of because of what he’s done, or what he’s not done? The poll doesn’t say.

However, we can see one thing in most polls: The Republicans remain deeply unpopular. So, if they’re moving away from Obama (who still maintains stable 50+ numbers in most polls), who are they moving to?

You can try all kinds of rationalizations here, Craig, but if you read the Demographics, the groups that are going to dominate politics are not conservative or Republican, by and large, and as things go, your party will have to deal with that, and do so in more than just a “feet athwart history yelling stop” fashion.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 13, 2009 5:29 PM
Comment #289302

Stephen:

I know kill the messenger.

Try this:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approval-1044.html

And this:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/congressional_job_approval-903.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/01/opinion/01brooks.html


Like I said, Americans are pulling away from Obama and you.

So, if they’re moving away from Obama (who still maintains stable 50+ numbers in most polls), who are they moving to?

This statement is an admition that my premise is right. “Ok so Americans are pulling away, where are they going to?”

I think that is an open question. Independents are the ones that you are loosing. It looks to me like voters are pretty disenchanted with both parties.

In terms of defending democrats and Obama,I think you are on an island that is getting smaller and smaller. Mostly because you have such enormous expectations of him. He has to be great, or you are disappointed. If he turns out to be average or worse, it’s gloom and doom

He actually looks vulnerable to me to be a one termer, unless the Republicans continue to mess things up. (for several reasons).


Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 13, 2009 6:38 PM
Comment #289308

“car maxed out at 35 mph”
One of the problems with electic vehicles is that they actually go too fast too quickly.
“keep slamming our sitting president “
I certainly will. I only object to BeckRush spoiling it for me. I slammed the last guy even more and don’t care to see his name in print any more.

Posted by: ohrealy at October 13, 2009 7:04 PM
Comment #289325

Craig Holmes-
Gallup has him at fifty-six, which is three more than the majority the man was elected with. Also, check out the spreads. With Gallup, it’s a twenty point spread between approval and disapproval. With the RCP average, it’s thirteen points

Of course, with Rasmussen, it’s just a couple points.

Point is, Your polls aren’t the only ones out there, and Obama isn’t really doing too bad.

Sorry if I don’t comply with your request to be a pessimist, but I guess you need us to lose some enthusiasm for you to gain it. True enough, the main Republican strategy is to starve the Obama administration of even compromised victories if it can.

It’d make sense if we didn’t have to judge policy decisions on more than just what it does for future political campaigns. Unfortunately, this country needs its leaders to be serious about leading, and half the folks who have that job think it’s more important to serve their own party’s interests first.

What are their poll numbers, I’m curious. Do you know?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 13, 2009 11:15 PM
Comment #289328

Stephen:

I agree with you that Obama’s poll numbers are not “too bad”. They are kind of average maybe a little below average for a first year president.
It is refreshing to hear reality from your side.
I think it gives Obama a big boost to have a supporter fine with “not too bad.”

Just to correct you a bit, they are not “my polls.”

If you read Gallup’s fine print they think the 56% is a temporarty bounce because of the Nobel Peace Prize among independents that are not very loyal to Obama.

I don’t need you to loose enthusiasm for me to gain it. I don’t see the Republican party as the answer. Neither party has the answer. Obama is not the answer and the Republicans don’t have the answer. Neither party is willing to tell the truth about our future, which is if we don’t cut entitlements drastically America is going to decline and fade from the scene as a world power.

Let me give you an example. As the debt per GDP ratio rises the dollar should fall because we are becoming less and less solvant. With Obama’s budget proposals showing trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, you should see continued falling of the dollar as world investors loose confidence in our fiscal stability.

I am not battling between Republicans and Democrats so much anymore. I am fiscally conservative. It’s more between bankruptsy and solvancy, between keeping our standard of living, and watching it slide away for our children.

General Motors and California are very good examples of the future of our country. I see California leading the way once again. It has a triple “B” rating which is a bit above junk.

Obama isn’t even addressing the fiscal disaster. The CBO uses the term “grim” to discribe our future.

Again, the current health care plan in the senate is a gimick. It starts the tax increases now and then starts spending money in I think four years. ok 10 years of revenue and six years of spending. and then of course great elation that it does not add to the deficit on a ten year basis. The correct way to calculate would be to calculate from the day the full spending is in place and ten years from that point. See the deception?

The American people can sense the BS.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 14, 2009 12:31 AM
Comment #289329

SD
For the single act of stopping the provocative,neo-con,missile shield and rejecting their dream of re-starting the Cold War,(how they miss it), BHO deserves ten Nobel prizes.That,s already done, and done without a great deal of fanfare.
The potential for more accomplishments is certainly out there and the neo-con shills, like the Chenys, are gearing up to oppose him.
Of course he is being attacked. Peace is bad for business,some business anyway. The right wing masters of war and the fools that listen to them are sickening. Instead of being proud of our president like real Americans ought to be, they are showing just what stupid,racist morons they really are. What he needs now is support. He needs the support to reach an end to the Afganistan conflict. He needs support in spades to bring Isreal under control and advance the Middle East peace process. He will get it from real,thinking , Americans. He will never get it from the rightist scum. Part of that support is to call them out every time they start their BS without pulling punches.

Posted by: bills at October 14, 2009 12:50 AM
Comment #289338

Bills:

You don’t shop of the rack politically do you!!
That is a pretty far left strident post you just put up there.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 14, 2009 12:24 PM
Comment #289340

Craig Holmes-
You know, we started from a pretty decent fiscal footing. Then, the Right decided that tax cuts, two unpaid for wars, and major new additions to the cost of Medicare, all without any new sources of revenue, would somehow improve things.

Now they say, oh, we can’t spend anything, we have to cut back. Republicans are more serious about the politics of tax cuts and stopping the other side’s agenda than they are in bringing about true fiscal level-headedness. They’re not the adults in the room on the matter, and I don’t say that with any spite.

As for bankruptcy, and financial tricks, I think focusing solely on the number side of the economic equation is what gets us in this trouble.

The Democratic plan actually costs less in the long run, and helps reduce costs and fiscal outlays, long term. But the Republicans want to do that showman’s version of fiscal responsibility, which is not responding to problems, instead just leaving the economy to sort itself out.

Going about things that way, we let infrastructure rot, the Healthcare problem become a greater strain on the budgets of both people and governments. We let our country fall behind technologically, and so on and so forth.

Efficiency isn’t merely about balancing numbers, it’s about taking care of the problems that become sources of greater expense down the road, and making sure that for the dollars we’re spending, we’re getting good results.

We’ve got to start running this country properly, not just shuffling around the numbers out of sudden concern for the children. Not dealing with many of these problems will not only burden them with a lower standard of living, but quite ironically, it will mean greater fiscal difficulties as well, as the weaker and more burdened economy has to deal with the result of failing infrastructure, rising healthcare costs, and degenerating social services.

We’re not keeping them safe from any problems by trying to duck healthcare reform, especially the Public Option, which is key to forcing down costs.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 14, 2009 1:31 PM
Comment #289342

I wish I appreciated the Cheney/Bush intelligence level a little more. If I thought he was smart enough, I’d think he presented that Medicare Pharmacy program in order to slay that dragon. He could not have put a better bullet into Medicare than that one. But I’m pretty sure it was just his usual blundering ineptitude. Craig, that’s the reason you don’t have to worry about Medicare breaking our future economy…it ain’t gonna last that long.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 14, 2009 2:02 PM
Comment #289343

PS:

I’m seventy now, so do you think Medicare will last as long as I will live…or will it be the determining factor?

Posted by: Marysdude at October 14, 2009 2:06 PM
Comment #289346

Just what is it that Obama did to get the peace prize anyway? All I’ve seen him doing is running the United States down every chance he gets. Or is that all ya need to do to win the damn thing?

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 14, 2009 3:25 PM
Comment #289348

that is what kills me about repubs. silent for 8 years while the one who shall remain nameless destroyed our country - now have found their voices.

i have not seen a president fight for the poor, and sick in i don’t know how long, and yet he is labeled “running down our country”. thanks y’all.

Posted by: bluebuss at October 14, 2009 3:45 PM
Comment #289351

Stephen:

You know, we started from a pretty decent fiscal footing. Then, the Right decided that tax cuts, two unpaid for wars, and major new additions to the cost of Medicare, all without any new sources of revenue, would somehow improve things.

Now they say, oh, we can’t spend anything, we have to cut back. Republicans are more serious about the politics of tax cuts and stopping the other side’s agenda than they are in bringing about true fiscal level-headedness. They’re not the adults in the room on the matter, and I don’t say that with any spite.

As for bankruptcy, and financial tricks, I think focusing solely on the number side of the economic equation is what gets us in this trouble.

CBO says our future looks grim. Go ahead and put 100% of the blame on the Republicans if that helps you somehow.

Obama has said he will not sign anything that makes the deficit worse. Fine, accept that totally for argument.

So for argument sake, I accept that every part of the problem has been caused by republicans, and I accept Obama at his word that healthcare will not increase the deficit.

Now I want you to accept this. The Congressional Budget Office of the United States says our future is “grim” because of “unsustainable” deficit spending.

You have total control at this point. So what is the democratic plan to change course? The answer is that just like the Republicans before you, you don’t have one, otherwise Obama would not have promised no tax increases for those making under $250,000 a year.


Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 14, 2009 5:11 PM
Comment #289352

bluebuss
First, I’m NOT a Repubilcan.
Second, Just what do y’all call it when every time he opens his mouth in some other country he’s talking about how bad the US is? I call it running down the country. But then I’m sure y’all just might have a different view of it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 14, 2009 5:24 PM
Comment #289354

Ron Brown-
I hate that particular argument. Really hate it. I don’t critique America’s policy to be down on America. I love this country, and I seek what’s best for it, in policy and outcome.

I’m adult enough to realize that not every policy will grant the best outcome, and that we have to be wary about that. If we aren’t, then though our apologetics for the policy, and denial of America’s wrongdoing might represent our affection for our country rather plainly, it will end up being a naive way of demonstrating that love.

The better way to serve our love of our country is to have a certain pride about the level of quality of our policies, and to find it beneath us to let things get out of hand. That, I think, is Obama’s position, and I’m certain its my own. Patriotism to me is about vigilance about what my government does in my name, as much as anything else.

Craig Holmes-
The CBO is limited in its scope to predictable budget items for the most part, and conservatively modelled reactions on the part of the public. It’s underestimated the price of some programs severely, and underestimated the effects of prosperity on the fiscal situation at other times.

Healthcare reform has the potential to render savings that the CBO cannot model effectively because they proceeed from situations that are real enough for the average person, but which the CBO does not account for, given their unpredictable nature.

As of late, the CBO’s numbers have been politicized on both sides, a shame given the fact that they’re mainly supposed to be advisory, and their work is supposed to be taken with the qualifications I described. They’e become a crutch for those who don’t want change to claim that the change in question is too expensive; however they claim this even as the status quo they protect becomes unsustainable.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 14, 2009 6:19 PM
Comment #289355

Stephen:

Ok Steven, so let’s go a step further.

For the sake of argument, it’s 100% the Republicans fault that we are in this financial mess, and we accept that Obama keeps his promise that health care reform does not add to the deficit.

And again we go one more step and accept at your word that the Congressional Budget Office currently under the direction of your party, is not a valid source for making budgetory decisions because the future in unpredictable.

What source do you use or do you recommend that I use to be sure that we are spending money wisely? How do we make sure and know that trillion dollar deficits Obama is proposing for the next 10 years or so will not hurt our country?

Do you have a source?

Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 14, 2009 6:31 PM
Comment #289357

Marysdude:

I wish I appreciated the Cheney/Bush intelligence level a little more. If I thought he was smart enough, I’d think he presented that Medicare Pharmacy program in order to slay that dragon. He could not have put a better bullet into Medicare than that one. But I’m pretty sure it was just his usual blundering ineptitude. Craig, that’s the reason you don’t have to worry about Medicare breaking our future economy…it ain’t gonna last that long.

I understand that everything that is wrong with the world is the Republican’s fault.

Actually I agree with you on this one point. This one piece of legislation is one reason the Republicans deserved to be out of the majority.

So what is your solution? It looks like it’s another government program.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 14, 2009 6:40 PM
Comment #289359

“every time he opens his mouth in some other country he’s talking about how bad the US is?”
Please cite examples of this that aren’t actually some commentator putting words in his moutn.

It looks like “health care” is going to be whatever the insurance companies want it to be, and probably will continue to be problematic. If not, how will the politicians continue to get their bribes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6LB30iPqIM

Posted by: ohrealy at October 14, 2009 7:59 PM
Comment #289360

Craig Holmes-
The CBO is not an Oracle. Their track record is average, in no small part due to the fact that they only make conservative models based on stuff they can know for sure in terms of government spending.

If the Economy unexpectedly gets better, there goes the forecast. If a program functions badly in the real world, there goes the forecast. If an effect has something more to do with personal finance and nonlinear economic changes, if the Paradigm of the economy changes strongly enough, if America gets into a war, or out of one for that matter, all the calculations shift.

Five year forecasts would be wiser and more effective, but then, five years doesn’t grab headlines the way a decade does, despite the uncertainties.

Did you know that based on economic conditions, the CBO’s estimate of the deficit could be off by 900 billion in either direction?

I’m a fan of science fiction, and if there’s one thing that I’ve consistently seen, it’s that the prophets are always wrong about what’s to come. Look at the sixties sci-fi shows. The computers are big, take up rooms, have CRT displays, and are intelligent. What do we have? Flat panel LCDs, computers that fit in pockets that beat those that once filled the room, but are dumber than the most brilliant cockroach.

Superconductors were going to be the next big thing, but instead all the important advancements have been in semiconductors. Which is not to say things couldn’t go back in the superconductor’s favor.

In the next ten years, we’ll see more out of nanotech, and other fields, and so many other predictions will fall by the wayside.

If Obama redirects much of our resources towards dealing with problems like fuel efficiency, clean power generation, and the like, that can have an economic effect, which then itself would have consequences on how things turn out. If his decisions save more jobs, that will affect the fiscal picture. If his technology initiatives get us going and going on ahead on critical new technologies, then we might see plenty of return on investment. And if we get good healthcare reform, that will relieve a number of economic burdens, prevent certain fiscal costs, and improve the quality of life for many Americans.

Which is why you’ll see plenty of concern on Liberal sites for what comes out of Washington. We know we can screw this up, and unlike the Republicans, we’re not going to tolerate screw-ups.

As for this?

So what is your solution? It looks like it’s another government program.

I think the pessimism in what government could do was a major factor in the reckless, careless behavior of the right on so many levels, which is essentially what brought the Republican Revolution to a premature death. You guys, if you had kept your heads, kept your discipline, run the country well, could have had a majority for quite a long time, or at least a softer landing on turnover.

But because you expect government to be nothing else but corrupt, wasteful, and the wrong solution, you folks never had the will or the drive to solve those problems. You let bad things get worse, and that worsening of conditions all around was what killed the Republican majority.

The Republicans will have to prove that they’ve got better ideas now, because few people outside the party will take their word for it now.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 14, 2009 8:43 PM
Comment #289363
You’re looking for counterarguments, rather than assessing the situation and determining whether taking an opposing position is even advisable.

Nooo, I am making an observation about the irony of being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on the same week that the decision is made to send more troops into the Middle East arena of war than even evil President Bush was willing to send.

You are the one wanting to legitimize it, only you are arguing the wrong thing with the wrong person. My statement is not about whether or not sending more troops is a good or bad idea, I’ve never made a statement about that, other than to say whether or not the decision will be successful or not.

Do you really think that there are only two ways to go about foreign policy? That both Bush *AND* Obama can’t both be wrong for different reasons?
If you’re arguing that, why are you equating their approaches and suggesting Obama’s no different?

I’m NOT. Where have I done that again exactly? There are specific instances where they are, and specific instances where they aren’t. But to suggest that anything I have said is arguing that there is no difference in the approaches between Obama and Bush in the Middle East requires a strong imagination.

Obama can be wrong

Right….

and my point would be that simple opposition of a particular position doesn’t translate necessarily to being right.

And I’ve never suggested that was close to any kind of reality.

Is there a different person on here named Rhinehold too that you have been arguing with about this? I seem to have missed him…

My whole point, if you read what I wrote more closely, was that Obama had to use his judgment on many of these issues.

And, if I may be so bold, so did Bush. That didn’t make all of his decision right nor does it make Obama’s right. He will be evaluated on them individually just as Bush was (or not by his political opponents, but so will Obama).

If he just proceeded with that simple binary logic, it would be easy, and incredibly convenient for him to just trash all of Bush’s states secrets stuff, to just pull out of both wars, so on and so forth. I don’t want him to do that, even it exposes him to political liabilities in the short term. The blinders are on anybody who thinks that I think that bad policy ever makes for good politics in the long run.

Stephen, there is a difference between not getting rid of policies that the previous administration had and running against those policies as being the reason you should be elected and then EXPANDING upon them. I’m sorry, but you don’t get to have it both ways. Either he wasn’t using his judgment THEN or he isn’t NOW. Which is it?

And the point, which you want to turn into something else, is that being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize while having more troops in play than Bush who is considered to be a warmonger seems a bit ‘ironic’. Can you not even admit to that irony, Stephen? Are the blinders on that tightly?
I don’t see the irony

As I expected

because Barack Obama isn’t the reason they’re there for the most part.

NO, you don’t get to keep playing that game, Stephen. He is in charge of the military and has been for 9 months. He is not only the reason that they are still there (he has had the power to walk away for nearly a year now) but he is DIRECTLY the reason that the increased in troops are being deployed.
It’s time to take of your training wheels of complaining about the previous administration and start peddling this thing on your own Stephen. I thought Obama was a stronger person than that. Perhaps he isn’t, perhaps he is that weak-willed and small-minded that he can’t be responsible for anything this far into his administration… But that wasn’t the impression that I got that you had of him. So quit treating him like he is and especially quit defending him to us using that point.

Recall Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson’s awards; you don’t have to be a pacifist to win.

Right, and they got nominated for their awards the first week they took office again? Awarded to them less than a year into their administrations? I hadn’t read that…

Got worse how? The planning of 9/11 happened during Clinton, there was nothing that Bush could have done to prevent it (If you have something that he could have done, please let us know.) The motivation wasn’t because Bush had or hadn’t done anything, it was done because of the actions that Clinton (and Bush and Reagan before him) took

Bush changed the main threat focus from Terrorism to Rogue States, which given the fact that we weren’t attacked by a rogue state on 9/11 was rather unfortunate.

So why are we increasing our attacks on a rogue state now, a war that President Obama said while running was the ‘good war’?

He didn’t take seriously the warning signs of the previous decade, instead focusing on Iraq and other nations from the get-go.

Imagine that, worrying about Iraq who was shooting at our planes, funding terrorists and threating our country… If Iraq had attacked us while we were trying to track down anonymous people trying to do anonymous things with planes somehow, what would the cry from the left had been again?

Could he have prevented 9/11? You can’t say for certain, but it wouldn’t have hurt to have him paying attention.

THEN TELL YOUR FELLOW DEMOCRATS TO STOP SAYING THAT HE COULD HAVE. Heck, just read the comments of this article for a few…

As for your list of things that Bush did wrong, I am not DEFENDING Bush. I know the myriad things he mishandled and did wrong and have never once suggested that he was infallible. OR that he was even a decent president. But attacks that are over the top to defend ones own policies are not going to fly with me.


You express amazement that the focus on body counts wasn’t mainly political in nature.

Because I’m not an idiot…

But really, among us who kept count, it was really about this: This was supposed to be a war won long ago, over for all intents and purposes. When we fought WWII, we didn’t end up doing the lion’s share of our fighting during reconstruction. Neither did we do that after the Civil War. Only with Bush’s incompetence, do we see the heaviest body count during what was once regarded as the peace.

And you are right, Bush screwed it up. But the tallying of bodies was not for anything other than trying to show other people that we still shouldn’t be there. A position that I held as well! But those actions were POLITICAL. You were attempting to make a political point by ‘keeping score’. So don’t act high and mighty when your political opponents do the same thing, assuming to know their hearts…

We’re looking at the substance here, rather than trying to protect our backsides.

I hope you and the mouse in your pocket succeed, but meanwhile I’ll deal in the real world with the real political environment.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 14, 2009 10:21 PM
Comment #289364
Of course he is being attacked. Peace is bad for business

And this peace exists where… exactly?

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 14, 2009 10:23 PM
Comment #289365

>So what is your solution? It looks like it’s another government program.
Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 14, 2009 06:40 PM

Craig Holmes,

One solution might be to NEVER, EVER let the fox near the hen house again??? Republicans have hated those darned ‘socialist programs’ since their inception, and every time they have been in charge something bad has happened to them. I say, let them tax-n-spend Republican suckers run, but never elect them to office.

You write the term ‘government program’ as though it has icky stuff on it. Which means, apparently, you believe the ‘government’ is either evil or inept. Son, it’s what we’ve got…it ain’t gonna go away, so we’d better find a way to use it. Please remember…the government is us. So if it is evil or inept, so are we. If we are evil or inept, we get what we pay fer.

Social programs should always be run by those who believe in society. Those who believe in bidness, apparently hate society. How else can the phenomenon be explained?

Posted by: Marysdude at October 14, 2009 10:26 PM
Comment #289366
You know, we started from a pretty decent fiscal footing.

Um, except that the internet boon that Clinton had the good fortune of being in office when it occurred collapsed, the y2k artificial stimulator was a dud and we were stagnant as a country with barely positive growth round christmas time sandwhiched between some quarters of negative growth.

Then, the Right decided that tax cuts
As I recall, people were demanding something to help boost the economy. So the tax cuts for everyone (yes, they were for everyone) were put into place and the economy picked up.
two unpaid for wars

Yup, of course we were attacked at some point in all of that, which I noticed you neglect to mention. Which caused the government to intervene FURTHER, having the Fed lower rates to unsustainable levels and precipitating the housing bubble.

and major new additions to the cost of Medicare, all without any new sources of revenue, would somehow improve things.

And where is the new sources of revenue we are going to see for all of the new programs that Obama is wanting to put into place again? Oh yeah, the same promise we got from Bush, we’ll cut out waste from the Medicare system.

Good luck with that!

As for bankruptcy, and financial tricks, I think focusing solely on the number side of the economic equation is what gets us in this trouble.

Yeah, China will keep funding our social programs because we’re nice people! Not because of the financial and bankruptcy ‘tricks’.

“So there, we have figured it out, go back to bed America, your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed America, your government is in control again. Here, here’s American Gladiators. Watch this, shut up. Go back to bed America, here’s American Gladiators. Here’s 56 channels of it. Watch these pituitary retards bang their (censored) skulls together and congratulate you on living in the land of freedom. Here you go America, you are free… to do as we tell you. You are free, to do as we tell you.”

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 14, 2009 10:32 PM
Comment #289367
Please remember…the government is us.

Ooops, sorry, the interweb seems to have cut off the end of that statement… Let me repost.

Please remember…the government is us pointing a gun at our neighbor’s head.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 14, 2009 10:33 PM
Comment #289369

Our neighbor Iraq or Iran or Afghanistan or Pakistan or…just which neighbor are you referring to? Surely not your next door neighbor…damned 2nd Amendment anyway, that pesky thing.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 14, 2009 11:03 PM
Comment #289370

Yeah, my next door neighbor grows pot. Therefore the law stating that he can’t is the government pointing their guns at him (quite literally) because of his actions.

Are they right or wrong to do this? Sometimes they are, sometimes not. But to pretend that laws are not exactly that is akin to putting your head in the sand and singing a little song while the ATF guns down your neighbor.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 14, 2009 11:08 PM
Comment #289386

Stephen,
Hate the arguement or not, it’s the truth.
Just what do ya call it when the President goes to other countries and all he can talk about is how bad the US is? I aint heard him say one good thing about this country when he’s in other countries. Even when he was in Copenhagen.

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 15, 2009 9:11 AM
Comment #289398

Stephen:

Give for the sake of argument that:

1. All our problems were created by Republicans.

2. Obama will not increase the deficit with his health care proposals and will not increase taxes or fees of those earning under $250,000.

3. Accepting for the sake of argument your contention that CBO is too politicized to function and should not be totally relied upon.

4. Accepting for the sake of argument that the future in not predictable and that we shouldn’t be burdened with forcasts.

What do you accept as authoritative in terms of establishing a budget?

What I am wondering is if, what is authoritive in you thoughts is your belief system. Your sense of justice, and the nobleness of your cause.

It is not something objective like economic forecasts by the nations top economist. It looks like if there is disent either political as in the opposition, or factual as in forecasts by scientifically established methods, you dismis them when they disagree.

For instance, if I disagree you attempt to put me in a box. You Republicans!! If CBO numbers don’t add up, you immediatedly dismiss CBO. If I call you on that, then you dismis economics.

In the end, I am left with that there are no facts that you will accept without dismissing the messenger because with you it is a values mission. It is based not on facts so much as idealism, and a sense of purpose and cause. It’s a matter of right and wrong.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 15, 2009 1:36 PM
Comment #289399

Craig,

This is nation of people…if you want to talk data and mathematics, go to AIG, the execs there can help you with that part.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 15, 2009 1:41 PM
Comment #289400

Marysdude:

So I get that one solution is the keep democrats in power forever. So let’s accept that for now.

You have said, and I agree with you that Medicare is going broke.

So, accepting now your premise to never let Republicans in power again, because it is all their fault

And also accepting what you have said that Medicare is going broke. (I agree on this)

And accepting your premise that Government programs are good.

And accepting Obama’s position that we aren’t going to raise taxes on those earning under $250,000, and that healthcare reform will not increase the deficit.

How are you democrats (because I’m accepting your premise of letting you be in power forever), going to fix the problem?

What is your solution? What do you think we should do?

Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 15, 2009 1:43 PM
Comment #289401

Marysdude:

This is nation of people…if you want to talk data and mathematics, go to AIG, the execs there can help you with that part.

So what I am hearing you say, is that for you economics is irrelevant. It that right?


Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 15, 2009 1:45 PM
Comment #289402

Stephen and Marysdude:

Do you accept Obama’s own numbers as relevant to the debate?

If we were to use the Office of Management and Budget which is run by President Obama, would that have any bearing on your thoughts AT ALL?

Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 15, 2009 1:56 PM
Comment #289404

craig - finally! everything is the repubs fault. so glad to finally hear it! as i said before, repeal everything bush ever did. if he gave tax breaks to the wealthy, repeal them. if he started wars, end them. reverse EVERYTHING!

mr. brown, first statement was a generalization of republicans, i did not say ron brown you republican. touchy are we? and i wish i had a nickel for everyone who now states they are not republicans, and did not vote for bush.

rhinehold so are you for your pot growing neighbor or not? little confused. knowing what libertarians think about weed, should he be shot or not?

Posted by: bluebuss at October 15, 2009 3:16 PM
Comment #289405

bluebuss:

craig - finally! everything is the repubs fault. so glad to finally hear it! as i said before, repeal everything bush ever did. if he gave tax breaks to the wealthy, repeal them. if he started wars, end them. reverse EVERYTHING!

Including tax breaks to the middle class? What about the millions that now pay no tax at all that were paying taxes under Clinton? Are you for adding them back onto the tax rolls?

Are you also for reversing the child credit? So you are on record for reversing everything correct?


Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 15, 2009 3:25 PM
Comment #289406

no child left behind = all children left behind. yes, i mean reverse EVERYTHING. i do not think that he did anything for the common ppl. everything was for his buddies, corporate chums, and the elite.

Posted by: bluebuss at October 15, 2009 3:43 PM
Comment #289408

bluebuss,

Surely you do not want to repeal the establishment of the new Marine Sanctuary in the Northwestern Hawaii Islands? As bad as Bush was, it is never appropriate to make a blanket statement such as “repeal everything Bush did”.

Posted by: Warped Reality at October 15, 2009 4:15 PM
Comment #289409

Craig,

It’s not a matter of who’s fault it is that Medicare is going broke. What I said is that Republicans have been trying to kill it since its inception.Democrats have their share of the blame for not seeing to better funding, and for going along with bills that were passed when it should have been obvious they were bad for the program, BUT Democrats have never drawn blood or made attempts to slay it.

The economy is important and so is a reasonably balanced budget, but governance is NOT a business…it is people, and people are not numbers, they live and breath. You dwell on how badly in debt we are leaving our progeny. I dwell on how, if we keep spewing green house gasses, not reforming health care, and allowing Wall Street to go unregulated, the debt we leave our progeny will not matter.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 15, 2009 4:31 PM
Comment #289412

Marysdude:


The economy is important and so is a reasonably balanced budget, but governance is NOT a business…it is people, and people are not numbers, they live and breath. You dwell on how badly in debt we are leaving our progeny. I dwell on how, if we keep spewing green house gasses, not reforming health care, and allowing Wall Street to go unregulated, the debt we leave our progeny will not matter.


Deal. If we were in congress you on the left and me on the right, I would be honored to work with you in leaving our children with a better environment, and lower debt. The common denominator between us is a desire to leave the next generations a better world.

In broad concepts, I would be ready to shake hands right now.

I refuse to accept that we cannot accomplish your whole list, and reduce or at least maintain our current debt level for our children.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 15, 2009 5:26 PM
Comment #289413

bluebuss
It seems that every time I disagree with a liberal I’m accused of being a Republican. Sometimes it just gets to me.
Fact is while I first registered to vote as a Republican I have never really been one. I changed my registeration to independent in 1970 because the Republicans were to liberal. And they still are.
While we’re repealing things, lets repeal everything any Democrat President has ever done. That along with repealing what any Republican as done should go a long way to giving this country back to the folks that realy own it. Ya know, the taxpayers.

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 15, 2009 5:55 PM
Comment #289414

Craig,

It’s probably a good thing I’m not in Congress, but I’d surely work with you to do those things. I’d expect you to do your conservative thing by reining in my exuberances, but if you’d act like your present leadership bunch, all you’d do to participate is say no, not, never, no maybes. Nothing ever gets done in ‘Negativeville’.

Before Social Security elderly folks were dropping like flies. After Social Security elderly folks were able to coexist with the mainstream.

Before Medicare elderly folks were dropping like flies. After Medicare elderly folks were able to coexist with normal folks in relative health.

Right now we are spewing poisons into our air and into our water supplies faster than nature can filter it out. We are killing our planet.

Unregulated business has brought us to our knees, and is, at this very minute, trying to drive the last nail in our coffin.

It is nice to be a numbers wonk, and it comes in handy when trying to convince people we may overstep our boundaries, but…BUT, numbers can’t put us back together, and numbers can’t stop our national disgrace or deterioration. Action is needed now, and conservative breaks are an impediment to the healing process.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 15, 2009 7:11 PM
Comment #289415

My bad…brakes…

Posted by: Marysdude at October 15, 2009 7:13 PM
Comment #289416

Marysdude:

It just takes longer to figure out creative solutions that make good sense peoplewise and numberwise. They are not mutually exclusive.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 15, 2009 7:25 PM
Comment #289417

marysdude for congress!

thanks for the reminder that we are all in this together, it is easy for me to get stuck in the mire. good post.

Posted by: bluebuss at October 15, 2009 7:48 PM
Comment #289418
Nothing ever gets done in ‘Negativeville’.

There was an interesting comment by mark in the Republican column some years ago when the Republicans were the ones saying that the Democrats were negative and had no ideas, etc. Almost word for word the type of rhetoric we see these days from the left against the right.

It seems like when the neocons say things like “stop being partisan” “don’t be so negative” and “we need to be united” it’s the final statements of a dying party that’s collapsing because of its own actions.

But, that’s different, isn’t it? Because they were the bad guys and the left are the good ones?

Those of us who distrust and dislike both parties are finding all kinds of mirror images like this these days, it’s very interesting to watch.

Before Social Security elderly folks were dropping like flies. After Social Security elderly folks were able to coexist with the mainstream.

Ok, so in the early 1930s elderly folks were ‘dropping like flies’. Well, the death rate of the ‘elderly’ was roughly 100% I suppose… So I guess you could say that was true, though I am hard pressed to find evidence that it was any better after SS, it was still 100%. By what measure are you using for this?

BUT, let’s assume this was true and in the 1930s, before SS, they were indeed dropping like flies and after SS was enacted it was all better!

You then say:

Before Medicare elderly folks were dropping like flies. After Medicare elderly folks were able to coexist with normal folks in relative health.

So, at what point in between the 1930s after SS was enacted and things were great for the elderly did they start ‘dropping like flies’ again and why didn’t SS help anymore? Medicare was enacted in 1965, was the late 50s so bad for the elderly as you describe?

OR, is it more likely, that this is typical liberal BS that uses emotive ‘you are killing the old people’ arguments to attempt to shame people into agreeing with you so that you don’t have to do the hard work of convincing them on the merits to allow the government to put a gun to their head and take their money from them?

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 15, 2009 10:14 PM
Comment #289420

Rhinehold-
It was the lack of troops in Iraq early on that figured as one of the big reasons that place went out of control. Don’t offer me politically symbolic platitudes on this issue and tell me, oh, isn’t this ironic. The question on the table right now is can we stabilize this situation before we get out, and if we can, what will it take, and are we willing to pay that price.

You should note: I never call Afghanistan a bad war. In fact, I wrote a whole entry saying, essentially, write off Iraq and deal with Afghanistan, or you might as well write off both.

But this rogue state notion. Man, why are we focusing on these particular ones? If it comes to a war between us and Iran, even with a nuke or two, guess what, Iran loses. North Korea, too. And if you’ll notice, Iraq isn’t faring too well.

But these wars, what good do they do us? You say:

Imagine that, worrying about Iraq who was shooting at our planes, funding terrorists and threating our country… If Iraq had attacked us while we were trying to track down anonymous people trying to do anonymous things with planes somehow, what would the cry from the left had been again?

Seriously. Iraq attacking us? Do you recall what kind of shape that military was in when we hit it? If somebody would be so stupid as to attack us, unprovoked, after 9/11, the results would be little different than the military victory that began this war. Only in that case, we would have the world by our side.

Yes, he shot at us. But as a strong nation, do we react to every little insult, every little provocation, or do we save our anger and aggression for genuine acts of war, that far exceed what we can tolerate?

You know, if we hadn’t been in such a determined hurry to get into Iraq both before and after 9/11, we might have noticed just how little of the claimed munitions could have been backed up.

And then we could have done the smart thing in Afghanistan, keeping our eye on the ball, concentrating our resources and our attention in one theater of battle, rather than dividing them between the two, with the more important mission getting short shrift.

As for body counts, the whole point of referencing that is recalling the fact that we’re supposed to be, nominally, in postwar Iraq. Yet unlike so many other wars that seemed to be won, this one wasn’t, and people were dying at an ever accelerating rate, because his decision-making approach was too politicized, and the politics of his war effort were too stubbornly and narrowly focused on apologizing for a losing plan.

Like John Kerry once said long ago, who wants to be the last man to die for a mistake? If we’re going to lose soldiers in battle, lets not waste their lives on crappy policy so politicians can cover their asses.

As for this:

THEN TELL YOUR FELLOW DEMOCRATS TO STOP SAYING THAT HE COULD HAVE

You know, I’m one of the fiercest critics of the Truther conspiracy theories. But one reason that I am a critic of them, is that I believe they’re the turd in the punchbowl of reasoned inquiry on the matter. I believe there were things that Bush, even in just the first few months of office, could have done to make counterterrorism more effective. And that could, repeat, could have made stopping 9/11 more likely. And that would have been worth it.

I also believe that there are things, recommendations Bush could have followed in the days and months afterwards, that would have made future such attacks less likely. But instead, he and his folks indulged in policy with the impression that if it was dark and tough, it was better than the stuff that could bear the light of day and fit within our laws.

For my part, while I concede that sometimes we need to put these guys in shallow, unmarked grave in somebody’s ditches, we should concentrate on policies that can be run openly and efficiently, which have worked in the past, and which reflect well on our country, thus defeating one of the terrorist’s strategic aims: forcing us to get down and dirty out in public in a way that undermines our image, and vindicates their vitriolic propaganda.

As for you saying this:

So don’t act high and mighty when your political opponents do the same thing, assuming to know their hearts…

Don’t give me that, especially when you say this:

But the tallying of bodies was not for anything other than trying to show other people that we still shouldn’t be there. A position that I held as well! But those actions were POLITICAL.

No, some of us wanted us to stay there until the job was done. Before 2006 dashed my hopes for a truly unified Democratic Iraq, I wanted us to do whatever it took. Then I decide that whatever we did, we’d never attain our original goals, and our best option was to make as graceful an exit as possible.

But before that point, I wanted Bush to shape up his act. Failing that, I wanted somebody to replace him, and do it for him. Failing that? Destroy the one party system that was enabling his BS.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 15, 2009 10:27 PM
Comment #289425

Rhinehold,

Your playing of the Devil’s Advocate is a GAME to you, but in real life it is somewhat boorish. I use a little hyperbole to sell a point. You use sarcasm to denounce it. The argument is not forwarded by either perhaps, but the hyperbole has a message, the sarcasm has none. ‘Dropping like flies’ equals hyperbole, but has grains of truth, but if you cannot tell the difference between my saying that those who live in negatieville will never accomplish anything, and the way today’s Republican leadership is reacting to every sane proposal that comes before Congress and those nay saying Democrats in days of yore, I feel very sorry for you. I’m seventy, and in my lifetime I’ve never seen a more concerted effort on the part of a party’s leadership to stop forward motion in my country as that that is happening now by the Republicans.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 16, 2009 5:49 AM
Comment #289426

Rhinehold-
Your debate strategy seems to be “Accuse the Democrats of doing the same things as the Republicans.”

But are we?

We were never this aggressive a minority in the Senate. To equate what the Senate Minority and then Majority Democratic Caucus did under Harry Reid and Tom Daschle with what the Republicans are doing is to literally underestimate the Republican’s obstructiveness by a degree of magnitude. And unlike the Democrats, the Republicans don’t care about offending people who might be among the opposite number on the issue.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 16, 2009 9:43 AM
Comment #289428

rhinehold - you did make me chuckle. but, seriously it is about quality of life. providing unemployment benenfits, social security, disability benefits, medicare, medicaid is improving one’s quality of life. maybe not yours, but there are those that need these benefits. these benefits were deemed necessary by democrat presidents. this president is going to try to provide 47 million ppl w/health insurance. it is a quality of life issue - a measured improvement in one’s quality of life. moral issue? yes.

social changes are made during a democrats presidency. that is what the president needs to do even if he risks a 2nd term. he has the presidency, he has the prize, now it is time for real change. switching to universal health care would be great change. insuring all americans. that is change.

republicans do not see the need for change. either reluctant, or turning their heads to the needs of fellow americans. which is it. i hope it is opposition to change, and fear of change. if it were the latter, we are all doomed.

Posted by: bluebuss at October 16, 2009 12:04 PM
Comment #289432

time to log off, and wait for cspan to air the 5 hour nonsense of stephen king, r-iowa 5th district. making it fun this weekend, everytime he says “acorn” i do a shot.

Posted by: bluebuss at October 16, 2009 4:52 PM
Comment #289433
It was the lack of troops in Iraq early on that figured as one of the big reasons that place went out of control. Don’t offer me politically symbolic platitudes on this issue and tell me, oh, isn’t this ironic. The question on the table right now is can we stabilize this situation before we get out, and if we can, what will it take, and are we willing to pay that price.

As was Bush’s situation in 2006 and you pushed back on the surge if I recall correctly. What is this if it isn’t a ‘surge’?

I point to your words in this comment and wonder what the difference is between Iraq and Afghanistan in them:

http://www.watchblog.com/democrats/archives/005218.html#223406

You should note: I never call Afghanistan a bad war. In fact, I wrote a whole entry saying, essentially, write off Iraq and deal with Afghanistan, or you might as well write off both.

I never said you did say it was a bad war, but it seems to be lumped in to the knocks on Bush when you want to run him down.

Is it a good war or a bad war? Was Bush wrong for going to war with the Taliban (who didn’t attack us, remember) or was he right?

But this rogue state notion. Man, why are we focusing on these particular ones? If it comes to a war between us and Iran, even with a nuke or two, guess what, Iran loses.

If you recall, the idea was that we were going to end support for all terrorism, not just al Qaeda. The idea was to send a message to all nations that supported terrorism and those that continued to do so would be dealt with. Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan were the top 3 countries who funded, used and otherwise supported the use of terrorism.

But these wars, what good do they do us? You say:

Imagine that, worrying about Iraq who was shooting at our planes, funding terrorists and threating our country… If Iraq had attacked us while we were trying to track down anonymous people trying to do anonymous things with planes somehow, what would the cry from the left had been again?

Seriously. Iraq attacking us?

Yes, Seriously.

Do you recall what kind of shape that military was in when we hit it? If somebody would be so stupid as to attack us, unprovoked, after 9/11, the results would be little different than the military victory that began this war.

And you keep wanting to say that the only way that Iraq would have attacked the US was through military means.

Do you not recall the anthrax attack? Do you know how easy that could have been (or perhaps was) Iraq who was behind that attack? They had the means and the desire, through their knowledge of the creation of anthrax and the use of terrorist groups, including their own intelligence organization who operated freely in the US at the time threatening former Iraqi nationals, to perform that act.

And you want to keep dismissing that possibility.

Only in that case, we would have the world by our side.

I doubt it, to be honest. It would have been a zionist black flag operation used to attack our own citizens in order to attack Iraq… That is what a large percentage of the world thinks of 9/11 now, you know.

Yes, he shot at us. But as a strong nation, do we react to every little insult, every little provocation, or do we save our anger and aggression for genuine acts of war, that far exceed what we can tolerate?

The idea was not to wait until the attack occurred anymore but to start taking threats by a country that has the means and desire to attack us and stop them from being able to do so. You can disagree with that if you want, that is legitimate, but then one has to wonder why we are in Afghanistan again?

You know, if we hadn’t been in such a determined hurry to get into Iraq both before and after 9/11, we might have noticed just how little of the claimed munitions could have been backed up.

How would we have been able to do that, Stephen? The only way would have been to have good inspections, the kind that we had after we removed Saddam from power and had control of the country enough to look. Before that, there was no chance of having any faith in any of the inspections because of the way that Saddam was acting.

And then we could have done the smart thing in Afghanistan, keeping our eye on the ball, concentrating our resources and our attention in one theater of battle, rather than dividing them between the two, with the more important mission getting short shrift.

And done what, Stephen? The Taliban were bad people but they didn’t attack us, they just protected those who did. After the fact, did it matter that we spread them to the four corners of the world? Why are we still attacking the Taliban in that case if you don’t think we should be attacking rogue states since, by definition, that is what the Taliban was?

As for body counts, the whole point of referencing that is recalling the fact that we’re supposed to be, nominally, in postwar Iraq. Yet unlike so many other wars that seemed to be won, this one wasn’t, and people were dying at an ever accelerating rate, because his decision-making approach was too politicized, and the politics of his war effort were too stubbornly and narrowly focused on apologizing for a losing plan.

And you are admitting that the purpose of bringing them up and focusing on them were political. I understand it, Stephen, but it is you who keeps trying to legitimize doing it but not willing to accept that the motive was political.

As for this:
THEN TELL YOUR FELLOW DEMOCRATS TO STOP SAYING THAT HE COULD HAVE
You know, I’m one of the fiercest critics of the Truther conspiracy theories. But one reason that I am a critic of them, is that I believe they’re the turd in the punchbowl of reasoned inquiry on the matter. I believe there were things that Bush, even in just the first few months of office, could have done to make counterterrorism more effective. And that could, repeat, could have made stopping 9/11 more likely. And that would have been worth it.

Could, might have, perhaps… All nice things but we are never going to be able to say for sure that there was anything that could have been done to prevent it because we never, once, had the information available to use to point to who, when, where, how…

The closest we had was the retrieval of a laptop that had good intel on it, but we were unable to get to that intel because of the walls that Jamie G put in place while in the Clinton administration.

You can say ‘well, if we had tried harder, maybe we would have known something’. I’m sorry but that is one of the most dangerous lines of thinking to go down, especially if you understand grief counseling. Try that line of questioning with a grief counselor and see how far they let you go down it.

It is valuable to examine and make changes to how we approach based on what we know now, but it is NOT valuable to try to blame people for not seeing those changes beforehand as being responsible for what happened, like Richard Clarke tried to do. And remember, he was the one who posited the Iraq-al Qaeda connection in the first place when Clinton was president.

For my part, while I concede that sometimes we need to put these guys in shallow, unmarked grave in somebody’s ditches, we should concentrate on policies that can be run openly and efficiently, which have worked in the past, and which reflect well on our country, thus defeating one of the terrorist’s strategic aims: forcing us to get down and dirty out in public in a way that undermines our image, and vindicates their vitriolic propaganda.

Like? I’m curious which of these policies were working before 2000? The ones that allowed them to attack our embassies? Our ships? Our planes?

Exactly what programs are you talking about that were effective, Stephen? Because looking back, I don’t see many that were.

As for you saying this:
So don’t act high and mighty when your political opponents do the same thing, assuming to know their hearts…
Don’t give me that, especially when you say this:
But the tallying of bodies was not for anything other than trying to show other people that we still shouldn’t be there. A position that I held as well! But those actions were POLITICAL.
No, some of us wanted us to stay there until the job was done.

That is besides the point, Stephen. Bringing up the body count was still a political act. You have already admitted to it so I’m not sure why you keep attempting to deny it…

Before 2006 dashed my hopes for a truly unified Democratic Iraq, I wanted us to do whatever it took.

I never wanted a ‘unified Democratic Iraq’, that wasn’t or shouldn’t have been our goal. Iraq was cobbled together as a single country by western forces decades before, by trying to keep it that way when, in reality, it should have been up to THEM to determine how their country was shaped together, seems to go beyond what I signed up for, the removal of Saddam from power.

Then I decide that whatever we did, we’d never attain our original goals, and our best option was to make as graceful an exit as possible.

Well, I was there in 2005 myself, but we did attain our original goal, to remove Saddam from power. Once that was done, and we had the little bugger, it should have been up to Iraq to determine their future, not ours. Rumsfeld failed BIG TIME by insisting on this ‘unified country’ crap.

PS, this is just a non-related comment that I wanted to bring up, as I ran across it while I was looking at some other old comments of yours… It was when the Democrats were the ones filibustering:

Filibuster A senators job is to vote? It’s to think. To act in the best interests of those they represent. It’s not their job to act as the executive branches rubber-stamp, especially not this one. The Republicans are taking a small majority and using it to push every issue they can on the rest of us. If the poor dears don’t get every confirmation they want, that’s just too bad. They should consider that maybe our founding fathers wanted folks to get in each others way, to curb the kind of political excesses that come of having people constantly getting their way.

That’s it, just wanted to put that out there…

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 16, 2009 5:10 PM
Comment #289434
Your playing of the Devil’s Advocate is a GAME to you, but in real life it is somewhat boorish.

Game? Hardly.

I use a little hyperbole to sell a point. You use sarcasm to denounce it. The argument is not forwarded by either perhaps, but the hyperbole has a message, the sarcasm has none.

No, the sarcasm has a lot of message attached to it. Mainly, in this case, quit trying to shame people into agreeing with you and start defending your views with facts, reality and logic. In fact, what I said at the time when I wrote it.

‘Dropping like flies’ equals hyperbole, but has grains of truth, but if you cannot tell the difference between my saying that those who live in negatieville will never accomplish anything, and the way today’s Republican leadership is reacting to every sane proposal that comes before Congress and those nay saying Democrats in days of yore, I feel very sorry for you.

Don’t feel sorry for me, feel sorry for the people who have such weak political views that they easily jump to the tactics that they fought against when the roles were reversed.

I’m seventy, and in my lifetime I’ve never seen a more concerted effort on the part of a party’s leadership to stop forward motion in my country as that that is happening now by the Republicans.

… Now you’re back to hyperbole again, aren’t you?

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 16, 2009 5:13 PM
Comment #289435
you did make me chuckle.
Thank you
but, seriously it is about quality of life. providing unemployment benenfits, social security, disability benefits, medicare, medicaid is improving one’s quality of life.

Maybe, if we weren’t taking so much from people when they are younger, we wouldn’t feel the need to ‘provide benefits’ to others.

But, even then, the idea of forcibly taking money from one person and giving it to another is IMO wrong. I would much rather set up an organization that took funds from people and distributed them to others that need them. Then the redistribution is done voluntarily and with honor, not by force and without honor.

maybe not yours, but there are those that need these benefits.

And I fight to help those who need it now because the government does a lousy job of helping those people who need help, even with that power of compulsion. I see so many advertisements on supplement medicare policies AND how to sue medicare to get your promised benefits that it makes me wonder who would even consider relying upon it when they get older…

these benefits were deemed necessary by democrat presidents.

Yup, because they weren’t concerned with being dishonerable.

this president is going to try to provide 47 million ppl w/health insurance.

By force. Huzzah!

it is a quality of life issue - a measured improvement in one’s quality of life. moral issue? yes.

And I am not a person who thinks that we should be legislating morality, either the kind that the republicans want to legislate nor the kind the democrats want to legislate. Morality should be up to each person individually.

social changes are made during a democrats presidency

Lincoln was a Democrat? I hadn’t noticed…

that is what the president needs to do even if he risks a 2nd term. he has the presidency, he has the prize, now it is time for real change. switching to universal health care would be great change. insuring all americans. that is change.

Yeah, it is change alright. Taking people’s rights to self-determination, privacy and decisions about their own bodies from them is certainly change.

republicans do not see the need for change.

Sure they do. Just not change we want. They want to change the meaning of marriage, change the meaning of free speech, change who can listen to who’s conversations, etc. To say they aren’t for change is to be ignorant of what they are trying to accomplish. It’s just as nefarious as the left, it is still change.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 16, 2009 5:29 PM
Comment #289436

“everytime he says “acorn” i do a shot. “

You would have found South Park especially entertaining last night.

Posted by: ohrealy at October 16, 2009 5:48 PM
Comment #289437

Rhinehold,

Now YOU are into hyperbole. I made a statement of my years of observation. Nothing exaggerated about it. Yu want to continue this stupidity or carry on with some thread discussion?

Posted by: Marysdude at October 16, 2009 7:28 PM
Comment #289438
Now YOU are into hyperbole.

How exactly am I into hyperbole?

As for your years of observation, I would suggest that you are falling into the ‘good ol’ days’ fallacy of comparing today with yesteryear. I’m not exactly a young buck either and I don’t this reaches the level of bitterness we saw in the 60s by a long shot.

Not even close.

And, the funny part is, there is nothing at all that the republicans can do about it. If the Democrats want something passed, all they have to do is show up and agree. If they can’t even do that, its their own fault, not the right.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 16, 2009 8:05 PM
Comment #289442

Rhinehold,

They had the means and the desire, through their knowledge of the creation of anthrax and the use of terrorist groups, including their own intelligence organization who operated freely in the US at the time threatening former Iraqi nationals, to perform that act.

Ummm, fact creating again? Got a citation?

Posted by: gergle at October 16, 2009 10:30 PM
Comment #289446

What kind of citation of historical fact would you like, gergle? Perhaps the fact that there are people who are experts in the field of anthrax who still, to this day, think that Iraq was behind the attack? (like Richard O Spertzel who said “I have believed all along that Iraqi intelligence had their dirty hands on this event. Based on ISG findings that Iraq had apparently decided in 1994 to not attempt production, but rather only research to enhance “break-out” capability and that the Iraqi and Syrian intelligence services had formed an alliance to develop the field “in chemical and biological of mutual interest,” I now suspect that Syria made the anthrax product with Iraqi Intelligence assistance. The cooperation included Iraqi scientists assisting the Syrians”). Not everyone is sold on it being Ivans…

But irregardless of it being Ivans or not, it is quite clear that Iraq had the means and desire to carry out such an attack.

What part of the quote don’t you agree with? Let’s break it down…

That Iraq had knowledge of how to make anthrax?

The common wisdom at the time was that if the anthrax had bentonine in it, it would indicate the type of anthrax that Iraq was known to have made. Are you suggesting that Iraq was unable to make Anthrax, considering they had it on them after the 1991 invasion?

ABC News did a series of reports stating that three or four (depending on the report) sources had identified bentonite as an ingredient in the anthrax preparations, implicating Iraq.

And another report tells us:

The Iraq Biological Weapons Program — Relevant Facts:

1. Iraq’s Anthrax Surplus: Iraq developed several biological weapons agents, according to UN documents: anthrax, aflatoxin (causes liver cancer), clostridium botulinum toxin, clostridium perfringens spores, ricin, and wheat smut (for destroying crops). In its final report to the Security Council, UNSCOM determined that Iraq had not accounted for 520 kilograms of yeast extract growth medium specifically for anthrax. This amount of growth medium is sufficient for the production of 26,000 liters of anthrax spores — more than three times the amount that Iraq declared before the UN. Iraq’s planned storage capacity for all its biological agents reached 80,000 to 100,000 liters.

2. Weaponized Anthrax in Iraq: Anthrax spores were not developed for laboratory use alone, but were actually weaponized on a large scale by Iraq. UNSCOM inspectors found traces of anthrax spores in seven warheads from long-range al-Hussein missiles, with a range of 640 kilometers and thus capable of reaching Israel. Around 200 biological aerial bombs were additionally produced. However, according to the UN, Iraq’s most effective biological weapons platform was a helicopter-borne aerosol generator that worked like an insecticide disseminator (perhaps this was intended for domestic use or against Iranian troops close to the Iraqi border). The disseminator was successfully field tested. Dispersal research for biological weapons was conducted by the Salman Pak Technical Research Center. Iraq engaged in genetic engineering research in order to produce antibiotic resistant strains of anthrax spores. The success of this research is unknown.

3. Iraq Possessed Drying Technologies for Biological Weapons: The Iraqis began working with drying technologies as early as 1974 in order to extend the shelf-life of these biological weapons. Iraq actually conducted drying studies for anthrax in 1989-90. Nonetheless, Iraq formally denied having a drying capability in documents it submitted to the UN Security Council dated February 1999. According to Baghdad’s National Monitoring Directorate, Iraq was blocked from importing a special spray dryer for anthrax from a Danish company, Niro Atomizer. Claiming that its biological weapons were kept only in a wet slurry form, and thereby possessed a limited shelf-life, Iraq argued that any remaining biological materials were no longer toxic, as it sought the lifting of UN sanctions. Butler wrote that Iraq was trying to refine its crude anthrax “to the more potent, longer-living form of dry, small particles,” but UNSCOM was not able to ascertain what level of proficiency had been achieved. Butler’s former weapons inspectors told ABC News on October 26 that Iraq had used bentonite as an additive to keep anthrax particles small.

Iraq used terrorist groups?

That can best be seen in my article ‘The Case for Invading Iraq’ in 2004. I don’t want to create too many links, but that should be easy to find, it was one of my first articles on here, just go to the middle column, about, select Rhinehold and scroll down to the bottom of the page, Novermber 2004.

An excerpt:

First, this is the list of wounded and killed by groups supported by Iraq:

* Abu Nidal Organization (ANO) - Killed 407 (10 Americans) and Wounded 788 (58 Americans)
* Ansar Al-Islam - Killed 114 (1 American) and Wounded 16
* Arab Liberation Front - Killed 4 and Wounded 6
* Hamas - Killed 224 (17 Americans) and Wounded 1,445 (30 Americans)
* Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) - Killed 44 and Wounded 327 (2 Americans)
* Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) - Killed 17 (7 Americans) and Wounded 43 (1 American)
* Palestine Liberation Front - Killed 1 (1 American) and Wounded 42

For a total of 811 people killed (36 American) and 2,667 people wounded (91 American). The source was the U.S. Department of State, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, 1968 - 2003: Total Persons Killed/Wounded International and Accepted Incidents.

Hussein’s hospitality toward these mass murderers directly violated United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, which prohibited him from granting safe haven to or otherwise sponsoring terrorists.

Some of the high ranking terrorists that Iraq had links to are:

* Abu Abbas. Abbas masterminded the October 7-9, 1985, Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking in which Abbas’s men shot passenger Leon Klinghoffer, a 69-year old Manhattan retiree, then rolled him, wheelchair and all, into the Mediterranean. Abbas briefly was in Italian custody at the time, but was released that October 12 because he possessed an Iraqi diplomatic passport. After 2000, Abbas resided in Baghdad, still under Saddam Hussein’s protection.

* Khala Khadr al Salahat, a member of the ANO. Al Salahat and Nidal furnished Libyan agents the Semtex bomb that destroyed Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, on December 21, 1988, killing 259 on board and 11 on the ground.

* Abu Nidal. As the Associated Press’s Sameer N. Yacoub reported on August 21, 2002, the Beirut office of the ANO said that he entered Iraq with the full knowledge and preparations of the Iraqi authorities. Nidal’s attacks in 20 countries killed 407 people and wounded 788 more, the U.S. State Department calculates. Among other atrocities, an ANO-planted bomb exploded on a TWA airliner as it flew from Israel to Greece on September 8, 1974. The jet was destroyed over the Ionian Sea, killing all 88 people on board.

* Abdul Yasin. U.S. forces recently discovered a cache of documents in Tikrit, Saddam’s hometown, which shows Iraq gave Mr. [Abdul Rahman] Yasin both a house and a monthly salary. The Indiana-born, Iraqi-reared Yasin had been charged in August 1993 for mixing the chemicals in the bomb that exploded beneath One World Trade Center, killing six and injuring 1,042 individuals. Indicted by federal prosecutors as a conspirator in the WTC bomb plot, Yasin was on the FBI’s Most-Wanted Terrorists list. ABC News confirmed, on July 27, 1994, that Yasin had returned to Baghdad, where he traveled freely and visited his father’s home almost daily.

According to State Department reports on terrorism, before the removal of Saddam’s regime, Iraq was one of seven state sponsors of terror.

web.archive.org/web/20040218062659/http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/iraq/part1.html

Iraq’s intelligence organization was operating in the US threatening former Iraqi nationals

The IIS had stations of operations in countries all over the world whos job it was to threaten or silence former iraqi nationals who spoke out against the Saddam regime. I will find you some ‘references’ if you like, but no one I know has ever denied the existence of these groups and what they did… Is this the part you take umbrage with?

You tell me, gergle, what exactly do you have an issue with in my statement of historical fact?

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 17, 2009 12:11 AM
Comment #289458

Rhinehold:

Well, I guess one can dispute that the Anthrax was shown to be from a US Lab, but since the US did provide the Iraqi’s with Anthrax during Reagan’s tenure is beside the point.

In 2009 we do know that it is doubtful it came from Iraq. But I guess one could argue what we “knew” pre-invasion all over again.

The CIA had evidence that Curveball was a shameless fabricator months before Secretary of State Colin Powell cited the Iraqi’s reports before the United Nations. But in the Feb. 4, 2003, e-mail—written a day before Powell’s U.N. appearance—the senior CIA official sharply rebuked one of those skeptical analysts. “Keep in mind the fact that this war’s going to happen regardless of what Curve Ball said or didn’t say and that the Powers That Be probably aren’t terribly interested in whether Curve Ball knows what he’s talking about,” the CIA official wrote.

Here’s a link debunking you’re ABC news source:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/04/09/abc_anthrax/

You were vague enough to not be technically unfactual, but the crap you were trying to foist as “fact”, well, Whew!


Posted by: gergle at October 17, 2009 2:18 AM
Comment #289460

gergle,

Nothing you have written here says anything about the fact that the Anthrax attack on the US could have come from Iraq. After investigations after the fact, we find that it most likely didn’t, but that is a far cry from saying that it couldn’t have.

You are apparently missing my point. There was reason to be concerned about Iraq using methods other than military to attack the US. Between that and the fact that the sanctions were killing millions of people each year, we either had to lift them or do something else. What we were doing wasn’t working. Removal of Saddam, who was the one person who was responsible for what was going on in Iraq at the time, was the best course of action.

The other alternative, unless you were ok with the indefinate killing of millions of people each year, was to life the sanctions and let Iraq get on with their stated goals of resuming their WMD programs.

Did you have a fourth alternative that wasn’t thought of at the time that wasn’t acted upon?

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 17, 2009 2:26 AM
Comment #289462

Rhinehold:

Gee, that would have been a great argument for Powell to make, why didn’t he?

I don’t frankly believe for a minute that anybody with inside information seriously suspected Iraq of the Anthrax.

The decision had already been made to invade. The “evidence” you cited was manufactured to fit the policy, which my link and quote alludes to.

I think they knew it came from a US lab early on.

Posted by: gergle at October 17, 2009 2:36 AM
Comment #289464
I don’t frankly believe for a minute that anybody with inside information seriously suspected Iraq of the Anthrax.

First, you are missing the point. Which is that Iraq COULD have attacked us in this way. And yes, there were people who thought the Anthrax could have come from Iraq. Remember, there were those in the administration that thought 9/11 was Iraq’s handywork before it was determined that it was al Qaeda.

As for your belief that no one thought it was Iraq…

The Guardian reported in early October that American scientists have implicated Iraq as the source of the anthrax, and the next day the Wall St. Journal editorialized that Al Qaeda perpetrated the mailings, with Iraq the source of the anthrax. A few days later, John McCain suggested on the David Letterman Show that the anthrax may have come from Iraq, and the next week ABC News did a series of reports stating that three or four (depending on the report) sources had identified bentonite as an ingredient in the anthrax preparations, implicating Iraq.

Though the sources claiming the supposed inclusion of bentonite were not named, these reports were cited in the press, starting almost immediately, and for several years following, even after the invasion of Iraq, as evidence that Saddam not only possessed “weapons of mass destruction”, but had actually used them in attacks on the United States. Tom Ridge’s dismissal of bentonite on November 7, 2001 went ignored by most media.

There was validity on both sides on whether or not we should attack Iraq, its a shame that so many on the left refuse to acknowledge the facts that those of us who did support the removal of Saddam did so on sound grounds…

Iraq was a threat to the US. How much of a threat and whether the response we took to it was necessary or the right action to take is debatable, but to argue, as many on here have, that Iraq was tied up in a little box and had no way to attack us is naive.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 17, 2009 3:01 AM
Comment #289468

Rhinehold:

You’re missing MY point: the bentonite and “American” scientists and the ABC story you are referring to was clearly a propaganda operation originating from the Bush administration. One seriously hopes they didn’t actually send the Anthrax, too. That could be done by one seriously deranged “agent”, given that is the story we are now to believe about a “mad” scientist.

The people that “believed” it were carrying out policy. The rest were duped.

All wars have their propaganda. With Bush 41, It was misidentified Kuwaiti Royals telling stories about babies being ripped from incubators and mass rapes.

It’d be nice if you actually read my links.

Yes, it COULD have come from Iraq. or France. or England. or Aliens…I suppose. It didn’t.

Posted by: gergle at October 17, 2009 4:23 AM
Comment #289470
the bentonite and “American” scientists and the ABC story you are referring to was clearly a propaganda operation originating from the Bush administration.

So, people can’t make up their own mind, they are either part of a planned conspiracy or duped into believing something that is so obviously not true?

Just because there was no bentonite does not rule out Iraq, you realize that, right?

It’s weird how you think that those who disagree with can’t have come to that conclusion on their own, they must have been mislead, lied to, not given the same evidence you had because had they then they would agree with you, right?

Yes, it COULD have come from Iraq

Thank you, that was my only point.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 17, 2009 4:36 AM
Comment #289471

It helps if the thought process is given some significant part in those determinations. gergle has debunked your hypothesis with alacrity, and you, with a hyperbolous free-for-all, cling to a tiny fragment of ‘maybe/if’ strawman.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 17, 2009 6:23 AM
Comment #289473

Rhinehold,

Maybe I misunderstand, or you do. There WAS bentonite. It’s commonly called drilling mud. It’s an expansive clay soil that is ground up into fine particles or pellets. It’s common worldwide. My company uses it when drilling monitor wells. What the “unamed scientists” were claiming was it’s use to weaponize the anthrax was a signature of Iraq. That was scientifically nonsense. The as yet still “unamed scientists” were the Bush administration plants, the genesis of the ABC story and thus the propoganda.

It’s been debunked. I do not actually know if these were Bush operatives since the Bush administration has never admitted to this, nor has ABC disclosed it’s sources. But the fact that independent scientists called BS, makes it likely.
Just like the aluminum tubes for nuclear enrichment.

Bush 41 never admitted to sending around Kuwaiti Royals with false stories either, but it’s likely they did.

The tracing of the anthrax to a US lab has to do with the genetic strain of anthrax used. It didn’t take years to figure this out.

Posted by: gergle at October 17, 2009 9:29 AM
Comment #289476

rhinehold - so you are against “taking ppls rights to self determination, privacy and decisions about their own bodies” does that include abortion too?

ohrealy - wow. cartoons have come along way since kids smoking pot in a van chasing ghosts. cleaver, and thanks.

Posted by: bluebuss at October 17, 2009 1:30 PM
Comment #289481
It helps if the thought process is given some significant part in those determinations. gergle has debunked your hypothesis with alacrity, and you, with a hyperbolous free-for-all, cling to a tiny fragment of ‘maybe/if’ strawman.

I’m not sure what you are reading, but I never once made the assertion, or attempted to, that Iraq was behind the Anthrax attacks. My point was from the beginning that they COULD have attacked us with anthrax, or in a number of other ways, so were not ‘secure in a tight box’ as many would like for us to believe. That was one of the reasons they needed dealt, they spent a decade rebuffing UN Chapter 7 sanctions, were using the money from the Oil for Food program to fund terrorism and used and supported terrorist groups, was shooting at US and UK planes on a daily basis and had threatened, more than once, attacks on the US. That is just those facts, ignoring the intel from Russia that they were planning an attack on the US after the 9/11 bombing…

Unfortunately, now that I have made my point, I am sure I’ll have to make it again and again…

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 17, 2009 5:25 PM
Comment #289482
The tracing of the anthrax to a US lab has to do with the genetic strain of anthrax used. It didn’t take years to figure this out.

I don’t think I suggested it did or that Iraq was behind the Anthrax attack… only that they could have been and had the means, desire and technology to do so.

Which you have agreed to, so I’m pretty good with the debate being over with unless you want to keep arguing something I don’t agree with for your own practice?

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 17, 2009 5:27 PM
Comment #289483
rhinehold - so you are against “taking ppls rights to self determination, privacy and decisions about their own bodies” does that include abortion too?

Yeah, pretty much, I would have thought that my statement spoke for itself…

It includes everything, including abortion, and the right to smoke pot, and the right to drink Drain-o, and the right to terminate your own life, etc…

None of it is the government’s business. It’s called Classic Liberalism (or Libertarianism for those who like to push the neo-liberalism).

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 17, 2009 5:29 PM
Comment #289487

>Unfortunately, now that I have made my point, I am sure I’ll have to make it again and again…
Posted by: Rhinehold at October 17, 2009 05:25 PM

Coulda, woulda, & shoulda…your point is well taken, and I will not challenge it. Now, for the last twenty years we’ve been in more danger of a bio or chem attack by Mexican drug dealers than from Saddam. Should we have invaded Mexico?

Posted by: Marysdude at October 17, 2009 6:30 PM
Comment #289492

More in danger? That’s a bit of a stretch…

Have the Mexican drug dealers been shooting at our planes on a daily basis, threatening to attack us and attempted to kill a former president? Have they been in violation of several Chapter 7 UN resolutions for over a decade and giving millions of dollars to terrorists groups around the world?

When they start doing these things, I say we might need to think about it. But the last I checked, they haven’t…

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 17, 2009 7:30 PM
Comment #289495

Rhinehold,

I’m not sure what you are reading, but I never once made the assertion, or attempted to, that Iraq was behind the Anthrax attacks. My point was from the beginning that they COULD have attacked us with anthrax, or in a number of other ways, so were not ‘secure in a tight box’ as many would like for us to believe. That was one of the reasons they needed dealt, they spent a decade rebuffing UN Chapter 7 sanctions, were using the money from the Oil for Food program to fund terrorism and used and supported terrorist groups, was shooting at US and UK planes on a daily basis and had threatened, more than once, attacks on the US. That is just those facts, ignoring the intel from Russia that they were planning an attack on the US after the 9/11 bombing…

That’s got to be the dumbest argument for invasion I’ve ever heard coming from a Libertarian. The COULD have done it!!! Let’s Invade!!! What about Darfur, Myanmar, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, etc. They could have done it too and they have bad men there. We invaded Iraq to protect the Saudi oil fields. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it.

This is similar to a Glenn Beck non statement: It’s been said… It could be…., etc. There’s a website around that repeats the same kind of idotic argument … it’s been said…. that Glenn Beck raped a 13 year old girl, as parody of his style of empty arguments, that Beck is trying to get shut down through copyright infringement. He can’t argue libel.

The reason I showed the empty argument to be based on a false premise was to reveal the empty and bankrupt nature of the argument. Please note that I commented in my opening sentence about the vague nature of the statement.

Give it up. It’s a loser.

Posted by: gergle at October 17, 2009 8:09 PM
Comment #289498

Rhinehold-
One element of what I’ve said is that it’s results and strategic ends that shape my political view. I’m not against surges on principle. What I believed at the time was that the number of soldiers was insufficient to effect changes countrywide, and that the numbers would not stay in place long enough to do the good needed.

But what I also said, and what I was vindicated on, was that any such success in Iraq would depend on the cooperation of the Iraqis. That, not necessarily the temporary increase in troops, helped calm things down substantially.

And Afghanistan? You should understand before we go any further, that I do not make such simplistic equations between different wars. Different circumstances and different values are at stake. Bush was not wrong to go after the Taliban, who willingly harbored al-Qaeda, even in the face of al-Qaeda’s unprovoked attack. That is an act of war the likes of which cannot be ignored.

If you recall, the idea was that we were going to end support for all terrorism, not just al Qaeda. The idea was to send a message to all nations that supported terrorism and those that continued to do so would be dealt with. Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan were the top 3 countries who funded, used and otherwise supported the use of terrorism.

Yeah, I know what the idea was. But sometimes, if your ambitions get too grand, it becomes inordinately difficult to make an actual difference, because you’re diffusing your interests, resources and manpower too widely to concentrate force where you need it.

If you whack the people who attacked you, and the people who supported them, it’s not as if anybody’s going to mistake your intentions [mess] with the bull, and you get the horns.

If anything, spreading the resources and the concentration too widely ensures ineffectual responses, decreases your readiness, making it plain to people in objective terms that you are more vulnerable, and they can do more mischief in the rest of the world.

The message is plainer when it is short, sharp, and unmistakenly successful. Ambitions don’t win wars, successful strategies properly resourced do.

Iraq was in no position to truly threaten us. And I think we had made it unmistakeably clear that just having those WMDs was bad, do you think he would risk an attack that would be traced back to him? And what would be the point of one that couldn’t be?

You’ve bought into the propaganda surrounding that war, most of which was discredited. You’ve also bought into this notion that somehow, these small chances of attack justify these large actions. The only problem is, we only got so much military, and so much money to pay for all this action.

So to my mind, the strategically wise thing to do is to narrow the scope of your targets to those like to make an attack. Now you say, what about al-Qaeda? Well, I’ll tell you right here, that when the Twin Towers were hit, I immediately believed it was al-Qaeda. There was no other group I knew of that aimed for such coordinated high casualty attacks. And they had done it before, so it wasn’t like a question of could al-Qaeda attack us, or would, but rather when and where.

Name a successful attack, an known, successful attack by these people you keep on referencing. While we ought to keep an eye out for potential enemies, that doesn’t mean we devote the lion’s share of our resources to dealing with folks who have no substance to their record of attacks on us.

Besides, if there is a reason why so many people by those confounded, confounding, confusing conspiracy theories, its that instead of dealing with the known enemy who we know is responsible for the attacks on us, we instead deal with somebody who wasn’t even in the ballpark of reasonable suspects, and call that a part of the war on terror. The Conspiracy Theory would be far weaker if we had stuck to Afghanistan and getting Afghanistan done, because it would not have seemed as if the 9/11 attacks were a pretext to do something else.

How would we have been able to do that, Stephen? The only way would have been to have good inspections, the kind that we had after we removed Saddam from power and had control of the country enough to look. Before that, there was no chance of having any faith in any of the inspections because of the way that Saddam was acting.

Several years after this war started, some folks are still claiming there were WMDs. The problem is with an attitude that develops speculation, and then asks others to prove that speculation wrong. While it’s imperfect, the best angle is from the other approach. We speculated based on the facts, and then use the facts to test our theories.

And as for getting information out of unwilling regimes, there’s a word for what we use to get that information: spies. Get a human source in there who can verify things.

And done what, Stephen? The Taliban were bad people but they didn’t attack us, they just protected those who did.

That’s called an act of war, and when you do it with somebody who’s just killed 3000 people in a major city, and caused major devastation, there’s little mistake concerning your intentions. Or, if those aren’t your intentions, you shouldn’t be so naive as to believe you won’t be misunderstood badly.

And yes, we did scatter them, for a time. But that’s when we decided we were going to go to Iraq and start messing around there. We divided our forces and our attention, and they took advantage of that. Worse, they picked up on the tactics our enemies in Iraq were successfully using against us, and that’s helped make the situation even worse.

And you are admitting that the purpose of bringing them up and focusing on them were political. I understand it, Stephen, but it is you who keeps trying to legitimize doing it but not willing to accept that the motive was political.

There’s a political and then there’s political. What I mark is the difference between a practical matter that becomes politicized, and a political matter that’s having a problematic effect on practical policy.

What would politicize the body count would be merely to insist that this many people never die in a war. Truth is, though, I feel Americans would have accepted twice as many casualties, if:

a) they had come about during the initial invasion and war, rather than after we were supposed to have control of the place, and

b) if the threat had turned out to be real.

The fact Bush was in charge, or the Republicans, wasn’t what lead me to Oppose Bush’s policies. What lead me to oppose them was that despite all the boasts and promises, we did not find what were looking for, Bush’s strategies for the war did not work, and for the longest time, on both counts, he refused to own up to that mistake while it’s consequences were doing their damage.

The closest we had was the retrieval of a laptop that had good intel on it, but we were unable to get to that intel because of the walls that Jamie G put in place while in the Clinton administration.

You mean Jamie Gorelick, right?

In all actuality, the so-called “wall” didn’t just drop in overnight. The wall was there for the longest time, long before the Clinton Administration. What this reprehensible talking point was meant to do was scapegoat the previous administration for a policy that was

a) common to a number of both Republican and Democrat administrations in the wake of 50’s, 60’s and 70’s intelligence abuses

b) signed off on by the Bush Administration when it entered office, and

c) meant to undermine the credibility of the 9/11 commission, a bipartisan commission, which was to that date the only investigation into the full range of matters concerning that fateful event.

It’s interesting that you take such a position at face value. Why? You know how self-serving the Bush Administration’s politics were.

You can say ‘well, if we had tried harder, maybe we would have known something’. I’m sorry but that is one of the most dangerous lines of thinking to go down, especially if you understand grief counseling. Try that line of questioning with a grief counselor and see how far they let you go down it.

Grief Counselor? Good grief, Rhinehold. The whole preceding argument, the “wall” argument is based on that that very notion: something could have been done, if only they’d been allowed!

Same damn thing with the Iraq argument, and all the other neocon stuff. They’re not proof from that impulse, in fact they overindulge it.

In this case, Rhinehold, there are documented incidents where we could have known something potentially useful ahead of time.

The whole reason the Jamie Gorelick thing got raised is that the Bush Administration was afraid that facts would be revealed which would call into question how ready they really were.

Here again we see the difference between politically motivated arguments and arguments that bear on political matters, but deal first and foremost with practical policy. We see the difference between ass-covering and actually dealing with the problems.

It is valuable to examine and make changes to how we approach based on what we know now, but it is NOT valuable to try to blame people for not seeing those changes beforehand as being responsible for what happened, like Richard Clarke tried to do. And remember, he was the one who posited the Iraq-al Qaeda connection in the first place when Clinton was president.

Posited, but then discounted it. That’s the problem with the way the Neocons approached intelligence. They looked for things to add to their evidence, not evidence to carve away for the lack of quality. They’re afraid to dismiss information for fear of that information being the crucial connection.

But that kind of approach is ultimately self-defeating. First, it will have you jump at false threats. Second, it will lead you to commit to costly actions on less than conclusive evidence, meaning that you will be more likely to be committed to a strategically incorrect course of action.

It’s not namby pamby political correctness to do things this way, it’s efficient strategy, being able to to pivot faster and commit harder to appropriate courses of action, rather than letting yourself become bogged down in an array of misperceived non-threats. Iraq adds a strategic burden with the necessity of leaving that we did not carry into the place.

Like? I’m curious which of these policies were working before 2000? The ones that allowed them to attack our embassies? Our ships? Our planes?

Exactly what programs are you talking about that were effective, Stephen? Because looking back, I don’t see many that were.

London, Madrid, Bali. These are the attack Bush let happen. Americans and American allies died and were deliberately targeted in these attacks. Not to mention the fact that 9/11 happened on Bush’s watch AFTER he got a memo telling him that al-Qaeda was determined to attack within America’s borders.

But here’s the thing, you mistake what I mean. When I say, “concentrate on policies…which have worked in the past…” That is one part of an overall strategy. I want new ideas, better ideas, but we should not move to other ideas with the fallacious idea that if we were doing it before 2001, it was a failure.

But what I want in addition to that are means that can defeat these people not just in terms of adding them to some body count, or capturing, or killing them, but also in defeating their strategic aims and undermining their cause.

Part of their cause, in case you don’t realize it, is to sour relations between us and our allies, particularly in the Middle East. That’s part of their strategic aim. That’s part of how they will encourage greater recruiting.

In a war against an enemy, if you defeat forces on the battlefield, but those forces achieve their aim anyways, you’ve still lost. That is how suicide tactics (or martyrdom operations, as they call them,) gain their popularity. For them, sacrificing everything is not a problem. Doesn’t matter to them that they’re blowing themselves to Kingdom Come, that’s their intent. Their additional intent is to raise the stakes and raise the paranoia and the chances of our loss of self-control, until we react in a nasty and barbaric way.

They are provoking us into losing our cool and losing our senses.

One thing I learned in martial art’s classes and before, is that if you lose your calm in just a plain old-fashion fight, you lose your fight, often enough. Get your heartbeat above a certain level, and you’ll just be flailing.

The Republicans and others on the right, in their efforts to turn the fight against terrorism into a hot button issue, regardless of whether their motives were simply those of true believers, or just the truly cynical, have actually fed into this. By making the intense, sort of dark-side focus a factor in American politics, they have scared our traditional allies, and undermined our image with precisely those who we need to enlist to our aid in order to defeat al-Qaeda and it’s metastasization in the world.

So understand that when I insist that we go about things more rationally, I understand the risk, but I feel that it’s a strategically necessary risk. Yes, we might dismiss an important piece of information. **** happens. But that’s not **** that wouldn’t happen under the other approach, and worse yet, we would add to that self-defeating policies and approaches to intelligence. Calm might be risky in the fight with al-Qaeda, but it’s a risk that I believe will make us more likely to defeat them and their cause in the long term.

I never wanted a ‘unified Democratic Iraq’, that wasn’t or shouldn’t have been our goal. Iraq was cobbled together as a single country by western forces decades before, by trying to keep it that way when, in reality, it should have been up to THEM to determine how their country was shaped together, seems to go beyond what I signed up for, the removal of Saddam from power.

We removed Saddam from power. The problem is, we left a power vacuum in our wake. Yes, Iraq was artificial. So are many countries in many parts of the world, and many ethnic strifes smolder in the world as a result. Welcome to the post-colonial world.

But our goal was not to topple one threat to leave another to develop, one that this time would have a thirst for vengeance. Part of the point of reconstruction, both in WWII and now, was to leave our former enemies in stable, more friendly states than they were in before.

The problem of Iraq’s reconstruction was that the folks running the war expected the social and political dynamics to operate in an invisible hand way, spontaneously changing the order as it was changed when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.

The problem was not that making a real Democracy out of Iraq was impossible, but rather that the folks running the war and the post-war operations massively underestimated the challenge of reconstruction, and the military forces it would take to keep that country in a state of submission necessary for us to remake the political order there.

You see, you keep coming back to this idea of what you think ideal, but you come back to it and to it from a political position. I’m convinced that this is putting the cart before the horse. I’m convinced that it results in bad policy, because we assess what we can do to forward a particular method, instead of understanding the efficiencies and inefficiencies of the method in acheiving a goal, and that after we’ve established the necessity and the costs and benefits of that goal.

As for filibusters, to set things in perspective, when we set the record for them in the two Congresses between 1998 and 2002, both Congresses saw about 58 filibusters apiece. The 109th Congress almost beats both of those tied record years combined. The Republicans only fell short of that by four threats.

This is a matter of degree. The Republicans aren’t simply making about 29 threats one year, and 29 threats the next, they’re breaking the previous record in the first year of the Congressional session, and nearly doubling it by the next.

If they were merely raising the bar a little bit, say to sixty five or seventy, your dismissal would be arguable. But what do you say to 112 total threats? What’s the rationalization for that scale of obstruction of the majority, besides a dangerously self-indulgent view that in a Democratic Republic, what the majority of Americans want for their government shouldn’t be a guiding principle of the shape of government.

Americans are not children who need the Republican nannies to tell a majority that voted for Democrats what to do. If our judgment is flawed, we will figure this out for ourselves, and power will return to those who were right all along. If you think it is unfair for a majority to tell a minority what to do, what’s the fairness in a minority doing the same thing the other way around? It is in the balancing of minority rights with majority rule that we find the correct balance of power.

I think the Republican leadership’s worry is that our plans are workable, and sustainable, and that if we’re given a clean chance to succeed, many of their bitter charges against us will lose their credibility, and that will mean that the Republicans will not be able to proceed towards any new majority back the way they came.

The Conservative movement, as it was in the Twentieth century, in the heydays of Reagan and Gingrich, will be dead.

But you know what? The Democrats had to die to be reborn, in their way. Democrats like myself worked to defeat the Clintons in order to nominate and elect Obama. And many of us, myself included, were fierce advocates of the Clintons in those days (at least those of us who were old enough for political awareness at the time.)

So when I hear all this BS from the Republicans about how it’s the end of the world that we won, I’ll tell them, I know how you feel, but would you kindly save some of your dignity here, admit that your party has hit its rock bottom, and quit trying to dig deeper by getting locked in a rhetorical fantasyland? Figure out how to be Republicans and Conservatives for a new time with new attitudes, and quit measuring your political success by how much tar and feathers you can throw at your political opposition.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 17, 2009 9:47 PM
Comment #289499

Oh, and I would add one more thing about Iraq and partition: There are few who have living memories of Iraq as it was, who remembers when these parts of Iraq were separate political entities. But even then, these were not autonomous nations, but provinces of the larger Ottoman Empire, provinces that may not have necessarily been natural political creations themselves.

Yet what happens over time is that a nation operates like one nation, and what may have once been separate political units (like a certain set of states we know.) can become an integrated whole, or at least a nation whose divisions are accompanied by deeper ties and intermarriage as well.

Sometimes, the shape of words can mislead us, and here they mislead us by suggesting that yesteryear’s divisions are by necessity’s todays, and that the partition would be an easy course of action.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 17, 2009 9:59 PM
Comment #289503

>Have the Mexican drug dealers been shooting at our planes on a daily basis, threatening to attack us and attempted to kill a former president? Have they been in violation of several Chapter 7 UN resolutions for over a decade and giving millions of dollars to terrorists groups around the world?
When they start doing these things, I say we might need to think about it. But the last I checked, they haven’t…
Posted by: Rhinehold at October 17, 2009 07:30 PM

Rhinehold,

But, by your own assessment of Saddam’s Iraq, the threat from Mexico qualifies…coulda, woulda & shoulda. All we have to do is THINK there is a threat for it to qualify for an invasion. I THINK there is a threat from Mexico, therefore there IS a threat from Mexico…hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to war we go…

More hyperbole, I know, but I just couldn’t help myself.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 18, 2009 11:01 AM
Comment #289504

PS: Oh, and a little of your sarcasm to boot…what goes around, comes around.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 18, 2009 11:03 AM
Comment #289589

Stephen/Marysdude:

Up above you contended that CBO was too politicized to take their numbers seriously. I assume you mean also the organization Obama heads which is the Office of Management and Budget that calls for a new era of fiscal responsibility.

You will recall that I told you that CBO uses the word “dire” to discribe our long term fiscal future.

Yesterday Moody’s came out with this:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/33426521

A sustainable federal deficit is somewhere around 3% of gdp. If we continue on our present course, in 2012, you will likely be runnning for reelection with a threat of a downgrade in the credit rating of the United States on your back. I’m not sure a president has ever run with that legacy.

I understand the democratic position will be at that time that it was all George Bush’s fault.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 22, 2009 10:31 AM
Comment #289605

Craig,

I never said the CBO was too politicized, I only said you could not have it both ways. You were pointing out that the ‘Obama’ CBO was warning of ‘dire’ things in our future…but it was the ‘Cheney/Bush’ CBO that was saying the opposite, so by extrapolation, if you throw ‘Obama’s’ CBO at me, you must be prepared to catch the ‘Cheney/Bush’ CBO from me.

Actually, I believe we are headed for a ‘dire’ future. But, of the two options put forth,i.e., do nothing put forth by Republicans, and attack the four biggies (Finance, Energy, Health Care & Education), as forwarded by Obama, I’d rather go on the attack. I believe to the bottom of my being that remaining ‘status quo’ on these issues will/would be far more ‘dire’ than anything laid before Congress right now. Doing nothing is death to the country. Doing ‘something’ has a chance of lessening the impact of ‘dire’.

Frankly, anything bad in our near term can and should be laid at the door of Cheney/Bush. You may not have caught up yet with just how bad that fool left us. It may not have been all his fault, but he fixed NOTHING from before, and made things infinitly WORSE while in office.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 22, 2009 7:24 PM
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