Pelosi's Foreign Policy

I was surprised to see Speaker Pelosi on TV talking about her recent Syrian debacle. You might think she would want to let the embarrassing image fade, but I guess she wanted to address some of the criticism her foray into foreign policy engendered. She ended up making it clear that she is in over her head. She figures she can reason with terror masters w/o having anything to offer them.

Maybe, she thought she had an offer from Israel, but the Israelis informed her that she was mistaken.

Pelosi is trying to create a Democratic (as opposed to American) foreign policy. She may want to check her copy of the Constitution about the respective responsibilities of the president and the speaker of the house. All Americans can vote to elect the President. The people of San Francisco can vote to elect Pelosi. But all that aside, she just is not very good at it. She must be a reasonably smart woman, but she sure looked dumb explaining her trip. (BTW - I could not find a link for the video. I would appreciate a post if anyone has it.)

The problem with Pelosi's Democratic foreign policy is that she does not seem to have bothered to learn from the experience of American foreign policy. I am not talking about her dissing the current president. I am sure that was one of her goals. However, we have a history with Syria that goes back before Bush. Consider that Clinton tried to get cooperation from the Syrians all through the 1990s. Then Secretary of State Warren Christopher went to Damascus 20 times. More than he made to Moscow and Beijing combined. They did not come around.

Perhaps she figures that her personal charm and earnest delivery will do more than generations of American diplomats have been able to achieve. I have no doubt Assad charmed her. Smiling dictators easily sway people like Pelosi. I bet she had a picture of Che in her dorm room.

Assad was happy to meet her. He was figuring out how to profit from the visit of the Democrat from San Francisco and how he could play one part of his American adversaries against another. Flatter Pelosi. Weaken the U.S. position. Dictators are good at this game. The photo-op allowed him to imply America (at least the softer headed part) was coming to him for favors. Of course, since Pelosi can offer little beyond her charming smile, she probably did little lasting damage. Assad probably laughed a little at the airheaded American, but he will not change his behavior in any significant way. She mostly just embarrassed herself, although she doesn't seem to know it.

Who knows? Maybe she can convince the Syrians to stop supporting Hezbollah or quit murdering leaders in Lebanon. Maybe not. As one Lebanese paper put it, "Unfortunately, foreign bigwigs come to town, their domestic calculations in hand; then they leave, and we're left picking up the pieces."

Posted by Jack at April 10, 2007 11:36 PM
Comments
Comment #215981
She figures she can reason with terror masters

Find me anywhere that she said that. Jack, this article is nothing but you making up a silly story about Pelosi and then pointing out how silly it is.

Surely a man of your intellect can come up with a valid critique of Pelosi’s visit without resorting to make-believe.

Posted by: American Pundit at April 11, 2007 12:09 AM
Comment #215983

AP

Read the WP editorial I linked for details. I wrote my own post after seeing her and Lantos on TV this evening. She clearly just does not have a clue.

It is true that Lantos is the one who talks about a Democratic (as an alternative to the American) foreign policy. I figured they must have talked. Lantos is a smart guy and not inexperienced in foreign affairs like Pelosi. I wonder why he has gone off the edge with her. Do you have any ideas?

Posted by: Jack at April 11, 2007 12:19 AM
Comment #215987

So, you think Bush’s foreign policy is an “American” foreign policy, rather than a Republican foreign policy or a neo-conservative foreign policy?

It sounds like you just don’t like that Democrats have a better grip on foreign policy than President Bush?

Was allowing North Korea to develop a dozen nuclear weapons an “American” foreign policy, or a Bush policy? Is the massive trade imbalance with China an “American” foreign policy, or a Bush policy? Is the quagmire in Iraq an “American” foreign policy, or a Bush policy?

Of course Democrats have a foreign policy philosophy — and it’s demonstrably better than the current Republican philosophy.

Posted by: American Pundit at April 11, 2007 1:47 AM
Comment #215988

…But the fact that Democrats have a foreign policy philosophy has nothing to do with Pelosi. She was briefed by the State Department before she met with Assad, State Department officials were there during the meeting, and she didn’t say anything to Assad that Bush hasn’t said.

In no way did Pelosi usurp the Secretary of State’s job.

Again, the premise of your article is just a fanciful flight of imagination on your part.

Posted by: American Pundit at April 11, 2007 2:14 AM
Comment #215993

I think Pelosi figures she may be President soon after Bush and Cheney get impeached. So she might as well get started cleaning up their mess. “As a co-equal branch of government whose responsibilities include funding American efforts internationally, Congress has every right to talk with foreign leaders and to assess first hand whether our national interests are being served by the policies adopted at any point in time by the White House.”
(from the Gavel blog)
So I say “Go Girl” but I think the girl part is what your having a hard time with Jack from the bigoted tone of your post.

What’s happening here is something called congressional oversight. It should be welcomed by anybody except those who for some unknown reason support the current administrations 6 year debacle of a foreign policy.

Posted by: muirgeo at April 11, 2007 6:18 AM
Comment #215994

AP,

I think she sends a more important message than that. I think she makes it clear that this administration is on it’s way out, and does not represent the American people’s will any longer. The Syrians are not dopes. They know Bush is a loser. They know he has visited his personal brand of adventurism on the Middle East.

She’s sends the message that there will be a continuum of power after this rogue president has been turned out. I’m glad for her sending that message. Jack’s fantasy is supported by nut case conservatives, who demostrate their out of touch behavior, daily. I’m hoping for an early end to this nightmare.

Conservatism, to me, is about conservative policy, not fanaticism for political advantage, as practiced by Bush. Asaad has now heard from the real conservative continuum of power in the U.S. Defeat of Bush’s policy will not be meaningful after he is gone.

Posted by: gergle at April 11, 2007 6:19 AM
Comment #215995

Jack,

Pelosi is really getting screwed over by the media. The plain fact is that Pelosi did have permission from Israel to send a message to Syria. We know this because Ehud Olmert’s spokesperson said so ahead of time.

From AP, 4/1,

JERUSALEM —Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, will convey a message to Syria from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, that Israel is interested in peace if Damascus stops supporting terrorism, an Israeli official said Sunday.

Pelosi met Olmert Sunday during the Israel part of her Mideast tour, which has drawn criticism from the White House because of her planned stop in Syria.

“Pelosi is conveying that Israel is willing to talk if they (Syria) would openly take steps to stop supporting terrorism,” Olmert spokeswoman Miri Eisin said. “But at this point the Syrian government, by openly backing terror all around the Middle East, is not a partner for negotiations.”

I know that Olmert denounced her after the fact, but he can’t rewrite history. Or at least can’t rewrite history without help. The MSM is twisting the facts to make the woman look delusional, when the truth is right in front of their faces.

Another thing that occurred to me when I saw the new Newsweek cover story about Arnold Schwarzenegger in time. Not only did he guy meet with Tony Blair, he signed a freaking treaty! It makes no sense to say that Pelosi crossed the line, and he didn’t. He went much further in terms of having his own foreign policy. (Another noteworthy thing about the article. Newsweek claims that Ahnuld’s love of big fast cars makes him more credible as an environmental activist. Take that, Al Gore!)


Posted by: Woody Mena at April 11, 2007 6:20 AM
Comment #215996

Couldn’t find the video Jack was referring to, but here are a couple of others.

Arlen Specter defending Pelosi, Lieberman Attacking Her:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8ijvLZI5zw&mode=related&search=

(One thing Lieberman was definitely wrong about. Pelosi did NOT break some sort of boycott of Syria. Republicans had gone their first.)

Chris Wallace calls out Newt Gingrich for his hypocrisy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSaDF1emvf0


Posted by: Woody Mena at April 11, 2007 6:54 AM
Comment #215997

Also a very eloquent defense from Richard Holbrooke:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMTNKwqXpoc

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 11, 2007 7:01 AM
Comment #215998

OK, I found a video of Lanto and Pelosi from Fox. Look under “Top Video”.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,264999,00.html#

She seems a bit tense, but I don’t see anything bad here.

If she made a fool of herself, her buddies at Fox left it out…

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 11, 2007 7:29 AM
Comment #215999

AP

I think the U.S. should have one foreign policy. Bush’s policy IS the American foreign policy. This idea is based on more than 200 years of American law and tradition. We can have many voices, but the bottom line is that the commander and chief is the one who sets policy with foreign nations. A Democratic (or any party) foreign policy is dangerous and divisive. Americans are not immune to the currents of history. History indicates that when countries develop such brazen divisions, adversaries exploit them, as Assad has exploited Pelosi, albeit in a small way.

The other problem for the Pelosi foreign policy, beyond the legal and historical faults, is that is really bad at it. Her diplomatic blunder was comical this time. Maybe next time it could be more trouble.

Muirego

You may want to revisit you American Government class notes. She has every right to talk to foreign leaders, but the idea (voiced by Lantos and Ellison her Dem trip mates) of a Democratic v American Foreign policy is just silly.

As I wrote, Pelsoi’s screw up will cause no lasting damage, but she probably should not get in the habit of making such visits.

Gergle

You put your finger exactly on the problem when you wrote, “Syrians are not dopes. They know Bush is a loser.” Pelosi is empowering people like Assad to divide the U.S. You are right. The Syrians are not dopes. They are looking for advantage in fracturing our country. They are not our friends (and were not long before Bush).

I will repeat again (so that nobody can say I overstate) that Pelsoi’s screw up was not a really big deal. She caused no lasting damage. But she should not make a habit of these things.

Woody

She has permission to deliver a message but she so screwed up the delivery that the Israelis had to jump in practically within minutes. People unfamiliar with foreign policy often mange to explain and extrapolate in ways that make the message wrong.

Thanks for the video clip. Fox DID do her a favor. I happened to see the whole thing live. She laid on a lot of foolishness between those sound bites.

I also had forgotten that Lantos and Pelsoi want to go to Iran. I hope the Iranians continue to deny them visas, but after Pelosi’s Syrian screw up, I bet they will be for forthcoming. They also are not dopes, but they know one when the see one. Maybe she and Lantos will wise up.

Posted by: Jack at April 11, 2007 8:06 AM
Comment #216002

Jack,

Josh Marshall had the same theory I did about the conflict between Olmert and Pelosi: White House pressure.

What we have here is “he said, she said”. Obviously it is embarrassing for Pelosi that he contradicted, but I don’t think an unbiased person can simply assume that Pelosi was wrong about what Olmert told her.

So what do you think of Ahnuld’s agreement with Blair? Does he get to make his own foreign policy? He was very explicit about going further than the Bush administration on global warming.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 11, 2007 8:30 AM
Comment #216013

Stephen,

Thanks for the link to Marshall’s comments.

John Kerry made some comments of his own at Huff Post:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20070410/cm_huffpost/045498;_ylt=AprbXxBwQV4nQULdfO4kVSzMWM0F

Posted by: KansasDem at April 11, 2007 10:17 AM
Comment #216014

jack,

Here’s your first problem:

Her diplomatic blunder was comical this time…Posted by: Jack at April 11, 2007 08:06 AM
Her trip was, as pointed out above, an excellent way to show that American power extends beyond Bush in terms of both competency and tenure (w has none of the first and is almost done on the second). It also satisfies her political base that someone with balls is starting the ball rolling, away from this most disastrous administration of all time. You can attempt to redefine it to your terms all you like, but it is not her you make look comical.

Your second error is failing to address the typical con hypcracy of the repubs having gone last week. Even redstate
is sick of your boss and his lackies abandonment of American interests in favor of their own political greed.

A third failure is ignoring history and Hasterts flagrant misconduct in Columbia during Clinton

The list goes on, but coffees getting cold.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at April 11, 2007 10:20 AM
Comment #216015

Jack,

Thanks, but you actually missed my point. The point was that Pelosi provided no fracture for the Syrians to take for their advantage. What she provided was a message of continuation of democratic leadership, in the face of an administration who has taken democracy to mean unitary rule. Bush may still hold the reigns of office, but he no longers dictates policy without oversight and restraint. Beligerant, hostile, and demagogic policy is not the continuum of U.S. policy.

The fear driven internal U.S.politics and opportunities for Hamaas as well as Al Qaeda in the middle east are about to dry up. Just as Reagan provided opportunity for entrenchment of Hammaas in Lebanon, Bush has provided opportunity for expansion of these groups. That anachronistic jag in policy is ending.

I only hope that Bush’s war will not visit upon us the same punishment that the Mexican adventure of Polk visited upon the U.S.. As Ulysses S. Grant, who had served under Taylor’s command, called the conflict an evil war that had brought God’s punishment on the United States in the form of the American Civil War.

Posted by: gergle at April 11, 2007 10:22 AM
Comment #216016

Chris Wallace calls out Newt Gingrich for his hypocrisy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSaDF1emvf0

Posted by: Woody Mena


Good one Woody. Newt was handed his hiney. Also interesting how Newt brags about all the discussion and debate between him and Clinton……Is that happening now? Speaks voumes.

Posted by: muirgeo at April 11, 2007 10:33 AM
Comment #216017
I think the U.S. should have one foreign policy. Bush’s policy IS the American foreign policy.

And as I (and others) pointed out, Pelosi never deviated from Bush’s policy toward Syria.

Frankly, Jack, you’d be a on a lot firmer ground telling us why you think “she is in over her head.” I know you guys have an irrational hate-on for Pelosi, but you should at least attempt some sort of rationalization.

Posted by: American Pundit at April 11, 2007 10:42 AM
Comment #216019

This is the state of Bush’s wars:

White House seeks “czar” to oversee wars

At least three retired four-star generals approached by the White House in recent weeks have turned down the position, the report said.
The White House has not publicly disclosed its interest in creating the position, hoping to find someone to fill the post before the job is announced.

Looks like Bush has burned too many bridges, at least in this area.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 11, 2007 11:00 AM
Comment #216020

As far as “one foreign policy” goes, here’s something to consider, Jack. Until the Bush administration, foreign policy was basically bi-partisan. There were no chasms in philosophy like we see today between President Bush and Democrats — and many Republicans, as well.

On foreign policy, Democrats share a similar philosophy with prominant Republicans like Hagel, Specter, Snowe, Collins, Lugar, Powell, Baker, Gerald Ford, Bush’s Dad, etc.

There was an article by Richard Haass, Bush Sr.’s special advisor on on the Middle East, recently. You’d be hard pressed to find any difference between his philosophy and the Democrat’s,

Syria, which can affect the movement of fighters into Iraq and arms into Lebanon, should be persuaded to close its borders in exchange for economic benefits (from Arab governments, Europe, and the United States) and a commitment to restart talks on the status of the Golan Heights.

We know for a fact that dealing with our enemies works and Bush-style isolationism is a failed policy. Bush’s Isolation of North Korea led to Kim building a dozen nuclear weapons. Recent direct negotiations brought the program to a halt.

Increasingly, it looks like President Bush is alone in pursuing a more radical foreign policy and disdaining an “American” foreign policy.

Posted by: American Pundit at April 11, 2007 11:02 AM
Comment #216029

Just wait a few years Jack. At that time, the Dems foreign policy will be “America’s” foreign policy and any Republican doing what pelosi did will be condemned.

Two sets of rules Jack. Two sets of rules.

Posted by: kctim at April 11, 2007 11:44 AM
Comment #216031

kctim,

You need to check your arithmetic. What Pelosi did, rightly or not, has been widely condemned. So the scenario you describe would happen under one set of rules, not two.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 11, 2007 11:53 AM
Comment #216033

kctim,

You need to check your arithmetic. What Pelosi did, rightly or not, has been widely condemned. So the scenario you describe would happen under one set of rules, not two.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 11, 2007 11:53 AM
Comment #216035
Two sets of rules Jack. Two sets of rules.

Exactly. Jack is employing two sets of rules. One to support the 5 Republicans that visited Syria last week and to support Gingrich’s activities ten years ago, and another to condemn Pelosi for doing the exact same thing.

Oh, wait. You meant that you speculate that Democrats might be hypocritical instead of pointing out that the Republicans like Jack are currently hypocritical.

Never mind.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 11, 2007 11:53 AM
Comment #216036

kctim,

You need to check your arithmetic. What Pelosi did, rightly or not, has been widely condemned. So the scenario you describe would happen under one set of rules, not two.

And I’m sure you were positively livid at the Republican leaders when they were undermining Clinton’s foreign policy, right?

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 11, 2007 11:56 AM
Comment #216037

Actually Woody and LB, I really don’t care what pelosi did. I know it was nothing but a political stunt.
I also didn’t read where Jack gave his opinion on the Republicans who joined pelosi on her money wasting trip either. But, seeing how pelosi is part of the leadership of the party which is going to “save” America, I can understand why he concentrated on her.

And whats with bringing up clinton Woody? I thought we were supposed to forget the past? This is now and clinton was then is what the left always says. Forget the crap clinton did in the past, we have to worry about the present?

So, was I livid? Wasn’t then, but neither am I now.
And I can’t say that I’m surprised either. The ones complaining then are the ones excusing now, and they will be the ones complaining about it in the future.

Not speculating at all, history proves what I am saying.

Two sets of rules. One for “your” side and one for the “other” side.

Posted by: kctim at April 11, 2007 12:10 PM
Comment #216043

kctim,

I’m not sure what you are saying. Are saying that Democrats/liberals in particular are hypocritical, or are you saying everybody is hypocritical?

If you are simply saying the latter, well, we all have our biases. I think both Gingrich and Schwarzenegger both went farther than Pelosi in their way, but you would probably disagree.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 11, 2007 12:34 PM
Comment #216045
Not speculating at all, history proves what I am saying.

Making guesses about how people will behave in the future is by definition speculating. That you think history provides you with an iron-clad guide means that you have confidence in your speculation. It’s still speculation.

And I’ll point out again that you focus on the hypocrisy you imagine one side will present if given the opportunity, and that you let slide the hypocrisy that the other side is currently and actively presenting.

If your point is that both sides are hypocritical, then you have an argument (that’s missing half). But if you are trying (as it appears) to focus on how you think the Democratic party is more hypocritical than the Republicans, then you are supported by thin air.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 11, 2007 12:37 PM
Comment #216046

Woody
Dems are fair in most ways but hypocrites in a few.
Liberals are hypocrites in most ways and fair in few.
So yes, everybody can be a hypocrit, some just are moreso than others.

I never really like Newt and Arnie is too far left for me so no, I really don’t disagree that all 3 did wrong.
What I disagree with is when people blast Newt and Arnie but excuse pelosi.

Posted by: kctim at April 11, 2007 12:44 PM
Comment #216047

Here’s something to for ya: Imagine, on Pelosi’s trip to Syria, if Assaad took Pelosi on a ride (just the two of them) and he showed her the WMD’s (from Saddam); that some believe were moved to Syria before the war. Do you think that Pelosi would tell the President or Repubs in Congress or (especially) the American people?! Do you think her “patriotism” would trump her “dissention” for Bush and the repubs and (actually) “blow the whistle” on that (terrorist) thug Assaad?! Or, do you think she would keep it to herself or even cut a deal with Assaad so he won’t use them (or expose them) and they can continue to “stick it” to Bush?!!!


Posted by: rahdigly at April 11, 2007 12:51 PM
Comment #216048
What I disagree with is when people blast Newt and Arnie but excuse pelosi.

The argument from the left isn’t that Newt and Arnie did something wrong. The argument from the left is that if Pelosi did something wrong, then so did Newt and Arnie; that blasting Pelosi while ignoring the exact same actions by Republicans is hypocritical.

We bring up Newt and Arnie to point out the current hypocrisy on the right, not actually to complain about Newt and Arnie.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 11, 2007 12:53 PM
Comment #216049

LB
“on how you think the Democratic party is more hypocritical than the Republicans”

Come on LB, the Dems are responsible for this current pelosi crap and they are currently in power.
No sense in dwelling on the past, right?
If we want this type of hypocrisy to end, we must quit worrying about the past and stop it now.
At least that is what the left told us to do when the Reps were in power.

And ok, we’ll mince words.
History provides reason for me to “speculate” that the Dems will excuse their side when they do the same things they condemned the other side for doing.
Wait, they are doing that now with pelosi, so its not really speculating anymore.
Here we go. History provides reason for me to speculate that the Dems will condemn a Republican who does what pelosi did.
Wait, thats no good either really. Newt, Hastert and Arnie have already been brought up as doing it “worse.”
Carumba.

Posted by: kctim at April 11, 2007 12:54 PM
Comment #216050
the Dems are responsible for this current pelosi crap and they are currently in power.

Dems are responsible for the current pelosi crap? Huh? Considering that it’s Cheney that is hypocritically calling it bad behavior while ignoring the actions of his own party?

Please, the Republicans are the ones that turned a normal action by a legislator into an invented scandal.

Now you call us hypocrites for just pointing out the hypocrisy the Republicans engage in by attacking Pelosi while condoning the exact same actions by their people. That’s just sad.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 11, 2007 1:00 PM
Comment #216052

And Jack and KCTim continue to fight on for the political life of their favorite neocons, in spite of their protestations that they are independent thinkers. Their insistence on the Rove playbook are obvious and debilitate their credibility.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at April 11, 2007 1:34 PM
Comment #216053

“It’s better to not to say or do anything and let folks think your stupid that to say something stupid or do something stupid and remove all doubt.”

My great grandpa told me that several times when I was a youngin. Some might think that I didn’t listen, but I believe it to be some very sound advise.
Pelosi and her crowd defiantly need to follow it. But then it’s to late. Her stupid little trip has proved that she’s not very smart at all.
When did the Constitution give the Speaker of the House the power to make foreign policy?
Here the Democrats spend 5 years claiming that Bush is trying to destroy the Constitution and first chance they get they try to destroy it themselves. But then it shouldn’t surprise anyone, they’ve been trying to destroy it for the last 80 years.
And why aint it surprising me any that some of the same folks that have come down heavy on Bush condemning him when he’s made stupid moves and overstepped his Constitutional authority are now defending Pelosi for being stupid and over stepping her Constitutional authority?


Posted by: Ron Brown at April 11, 2007 1:35 PM
Comment #216055
When did the Constitution give the Speaker of the House the power to make foreign policy?

And when did she do anything here that would make this question relevant?

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 11, 2007 1:39 PM
Comment #216056

Rahdigly-
Wow! A Smorgasbord of Counterfactual Goodness!

Let me get this straight, then. Bush pressures the Prime Minister of Israel to disavow Pelosi’s trip, which he had announced the day before it happened and obviously therefore approved of, thereby manufacturing a scandal…

And now you claim that if Syria’s President took Pelosi on a tour of the country, and if Assad showed her the Allegedly Moved WMDs that you believe but cannot prove still exist, then Pelosi would help him keep the secret just to stick it to Bush.

I admire your courage. I would not dare go so far out on a limb without the support of evidence and facts. Seriously, how weak is the Republican position when they have to make up stuff in order to embarrass Democrats?

There’s a good reason why Democrats are asking so many questions about the US Attorney purge, and whether there was political pressure to muddy the electoral waters with frivolous voting fraud accusations. Because it happened.

I don’t mind a real debate on what the Democrats have done, or failed to do. This is not that kind of real debate.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2007 1:46 PM
Comment #216057

This is making a mountain out of a molehill, pretending that what Pelosi has done is any different from what politicians always do when visiting these countries, which is try and communicate and state the American position. If you ask me, the Newt comments were actually worse, because they outright insulted the administration he was supposed to be serving. As per usual, this is Bush playing politics, hyping up some talking point his “base” of lapdogs will take up without thinking.

Posted by: Max at April 11, 2007 1:57 PM
Comment #216058

Pelosi, and her supporters said she was delivering a message from Israel to Syria.
However, Israel denies authorizing a message, or that their message had changed.

Regardless, Pelosi is wasting the tax payers money galivanting about acting like the secretary of state, when we have pressing domestic problems that need attention NOW.

Pelosi is acting irresponsibly.

But that goes for most (if not all) politicians in BOTH parties. The evidence of it would fill volumes (or entire libraries).

Bush is delusional, stubborn, and incompetent.
Cheney is too, and a bad shot to boot.
Pelosi just showed us what she’s about.
Rumsfeld blundered to fight a war on the cheap.
Tenet said it was a slam dunk.
John McCain wants us to think Iraq is safe (his visit to Iraq was a big waste of tax payers money too).

And while our troops went with out armor, adequate medical care, and promised benefits, Congress was giving itself another raise (9 times in the last 10 years), voting on pork-barrel, graft, and waste, pointing fingers at each other, and fueling the circular, divisive, petty, distracting partisan warfare.

And the voters, too fond of wallowing in the petty partisan warfare, keep rewarding all of the irresponsible politicians for it, by repeatedly re-electing them, making them ever MORE irresponsible.

So, when are voters going to stop being distracted by the partisan warfare, stop demonizing the OTHER party, stop making excuses for THEIR party, stop rewarding politicians and Do-Nothing Congress for ignoring the nation’s problems that are growing in number and severity, and start recognizing and rejecting the politicians and partisan hacks that fuel the partisan warfare, to manipulate and control the voters, pitting voters against each other; the same way politicians pit American citizens and illegal aliens against each other?

When? Before, or after it is too late?

Posted by: d.a.n at April 11, 2007 1:59 PM
Comment #216059

Ron Brown-
If anything’s stupid, it’s the willingness of the GOP and others to buy this line of crap.

First, if we don’t talk to Syria, we got no leverage. We can’t offer sticks, much less carrots.

Second, I don’t find it very intelligent to let crap get out of hand in the Middle East. We want to protect and preserve our interests there.

Third, read the constitution. Pelosi runs the bigger part of one of the three co-equal branches of government in this country. The legislative branch passes laws concerning foreign policy, it appropriates budgets and writes the enabling acts for agencies and departments concerned with national security, homeland security, and foreign policy. If you think foreign policy is not her concern, then you ignore some pretty obvious facts to take that position.

And why? Because you buy the Unitary Executive vision put forward by the Bush Administration, a vision which more or less ascribes all power to run foreign affairs to the President, which takes the military power of Commander in Chief, and mutates it into a military dictatorship.

You cannot buy the anti-Pelosi argument in this case, and not buy the Unitary executive notion as well.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2007 2:05 PM
Comment #216060

Stephen
“Bush pressures the Prime Minister of Israel to disavow Pelosi’s trip”

I missed where the PM said Bush pressured him to say that. What news source reported that? Thank you for any info you provide. Been real busy here at work and have not been able to keep up to date with latest news.

LB
“Now you call us hypocrites for just pointing out the hypocrisy the Republicans engage in by attacking Pelosi while condoning the exact same actions by their people. That’s just sad.”

No LB, what is sad is how, for the past 6 years, we have been told over and over again that comparing current events to the past is wrong. We should just forget about what clinton did. But now, in order to prove your point, you are the side comparing your actions to the past.

That is what is sad.

Posted by: kctim at April 11, 2007 2:10 PM
Comment #216061

Dan-
I know you might think it’s independent and non-partisan to be equally cynical about both parties, but that just means both sides can bamboozle you equally well when they’re saying bad things about each other. Only by approaching both the good and bad without naivete and without cynicism can you be truly free of the partisan lies.

If Israel really did ask for her help in the beginning, and if the State Department knew about this in advance, and if Republicans both made trips before her, and with her, then these charges are just partisan crap, and you of all people should be ashamed to buy it.

It would be lazy to target Pelosi for this, and indicative of a Right-Wing bias. The real folks causing trouble here are the folks in the White House who are playing politics with our national security, and our interests in the Middle East.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2007 2:16 PM
Comment #216062

kctim-
Olmert’s people were announcing the trip the day before Pelosi went to Damascus. Why would Olmert so flatly contradict himself, risk alienating political contacts here in the US, and endanger the purpose of this talk with Syria?

Only one person could put any kind of pressure on Olmert to do such an about face: Bush.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2007 2:21 PM
Comment #216063

So Pelosi didn’t do anything wrong?

Ok> Let’s see what are some of the topics of discussion that would probably not approach the foreign policy position.

The NCAA basketball tournament.

David Beckham going to LA to play soccer.

Anna Nicole Smith and all the parameters.

The Duke athletes and their situation.

The late snow storm in the east and northeast.

The opening baseball season.

The NFL players and their problems.

Global warming (although this would come close to foreign policy discussion).

None of the above.

She screwed up any message that was to be relayed to Asswad from Olhmert. That discussion was foreign policy discussion. I am sure Iraq came up. And what promises did she make on behalf of the United States Government? She had absolutely no authority to discuss foreign policy with Asswad. She exhibited pure hypocrisy. Maybe if the Iranians issue visas to Pelosi and her group, they will be one way trips.
The more things change the more they stay the same.

Posted by: tomh at April 11, 2007 2:24 PM
Comment #216064

tomh-
1) On what basis do you conclude that she screwed up the message? Olmert’s after the fact denial, plainly contradicted by the press release from his office that preceded it?

2) The most I have heard about Iraq in her message is that she related America’s unanimous sentiment that we don’t appreciate them making things more difficult in that country.

3) Exactly what promises did she make on behalf of the US government? If you guys don’t know or won’t say, then all this is just pointless partisan speculation

4) On what grounds do you say she has no authority to discuss American foreign policy? She is after all a ranking member of one of our branches of government. If you said she should not be writing up agreements on our behalf, that’d be one thing. However, merely discussing things does not step beyond her duties, especially when the legislative branch plays such a large role shaping foreign policy.

5) Precisely what hypocrisy are you accusing her of?

6) Maybe if? Maybe if I dumped potting soil on my head and put some seeds in my hair, I could grow flowers on my head. You’re talking to a guy whose main hobby is writing fiction regarding events that would never happen in real life.

It’s ridiculously easy to create a straw man version of the Democrats and Liberals in this country and conclude how much superior, how much gutsier and more realistic you are. It’s much more difficult to consider the real consequences of years of Bush’s foreign policy.

You know what Syria’s response to all these years of the silent treatment has been? Nothing. They haven’t stopped supporting terrorists, or bringing them into Iraq. If it was so damn tough, so damn realistic, we would have seen better results by now. At least if we talk to these people, we can shake a stick at them, threaten bad things. Of course, with Bush’s overextension of the Army, that’s all we’ll be able to do.

Maybe Bush doesn’t want to admit he’s failed. How strange of him.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2007 2:54 PM
Comment #216066
And what promises did she make on behalf of the United States Government? … Posted by: tomh at April 11, 2007 02:24 PM
Yah, what promises did she make? If you know of any I’d like to know too. Hmmm, there’s as much evidence of that as, say, WMD’s in Iraq. And I bet you think Hastert did the right things in Columbia in 1999? Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at April 11, 2007 2:56 PM
Comment #216067

Stephen,
“And now you claim that if Syria’s President took Pelosi on a tour of the country, and if Assad showed her the Allegedly Moved WMDs that you believe but cannot prove still exist, then Pelosi would help him keep the secret just to stick it to Bush.”


Oh, relax Stephen, I didn’t “claim” anything. I merely threw up a “what if” scenario; something to think about. I said “some believe” they’re in Syria, just like “some believe” there’s a Santa Claus; it’s was a hypothetical story. I only brought it up to see how people truly feel about whether or not these politicians would put their country before their politics.

Posted by: rahdigly at April 11, 2007 2:57 PM
Comment #216069

And when did she do anything here that would make this question relevant?

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 11, 2007 01:39 PM

When she carried her stupid ass over to Syria and acted like she was speaking for the US and Israel.
I have to admit her arrogance equals Bush’s.

Posted by: Ron Brown at April 11, 2007 2:59 PM
Comment #216075
When she carried her stupid ass over to Syria and acted like she was speaking for the US and Israel.

So, is your objection to members of Congress traveling to other countries? If so, then do you also find it unconstitutional that five Republican members of congress also visited Syria in the past month?

Or is your complaint that she “acted like she was speaking for the US and Israel”, an accusation with no basis?

Or are you just parroting hypocritical complaints without thinking them through?

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 11, 2007 3:33 PM
Comment #216076
I didn’t “claim” anything. I merely threw up a “what if” scenario; something to think about… Posted by: rahdigly at April 11, 2007 02:57 PM
Like: “what if” Bush started this war as a neocon pustch to permanently install a dictatorial Repub President? “What if” Bush lied about his Nat’l Guard AWOL and knew he was lying about WMD’s in Iraq? Or is it more like “What if” the sun were purple? Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at April 11, 2007 3:35 PM
Comment #216077

Ok, let’s go through this again.

You can question whether it was a good idea for Pelosi to go to Syria and represent Israel.

You can question whether she gave the Syria the same message that Olmert gave her.

What you CAN’T question is whether Olmert told Pelosi to bring a message to Syria. Before she went on her trip, both sides (Pelosi and Olmert) agreed that she was going to bring a message to Syria. That is a fact.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 11, 2007 3:36 PM
Comment #216081

Am I allowed to ask the number of lawyers and travel planners terminated under Clinton. Or does the statute end with Newt. I’m just asking liberals have funny rules.

Posted by: andy at April 11, 2007 4:14 PM
Comment #216082

LawnBoy
I don’t have a problem with Pelosi going overseas. In fact I wish she’d carry her stupid ass overseas somewhere and stay there. And she can take anyone in DC with her.
And I’m not parroting nothing.
If she wasn’t acting like she was speaking for the US and Israel, then why did the prime minister of Israel contradict what she told the nut in Syria? If she was lying about speaking for anyone no one would find it necessary to contradict her.
But it doesn’t surprise me that y’all are defending Pelosi for doing something that y’all would be screaming for the head of a Republican Speaker of the House for doing.
Republican does it = Time to hang someone.
Democrat does it = Best thing since sliced bread.
Typical partisan crap.
Fact is I don’t care what party they’re from. If they overstep their Constitutional authority, they need to kicked out of office post haste.
And Pelosi has done just that.

Posted by: Ron Brown at April 11, 2007 4:18 PM
Comment #216086

Dave120,
“Like: “what if” Bush started this war as a neocon pustch to permanently install a dictatorial Repub President?”

I see you answered a question with a question. Nice.

Posted by: rahdigly at April 11, 2007 4:25 PM
Comment #216088
Republican does it = Time to hang someone. Democrat does it = Best thing since sliced bread. Typical partisan crap.

It’s so funny that what you’re complaining about is exactly what you yourself are doing.

Oh well.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 11, 2007 4:39 PM
Comment #216090
Stephen Daugerty wrote: The real folks causing trouble here are the folks in the White House who are playing politics with our national security, and our interests in the Middle East.
The real folks causing problems is ALL of us.

With regard to Syria, the White House’s policies may be screwed up.
Maybe not?
But, is foreign affairs Pelosi’s job now?
What was the real reason for that trip ?

Besides, Israel already said Pelosi did NOT get it right ! ? !
OOOOoooopps !
So the Democrat response now is: “Uhh, well, ummm, the Republicans are still more corrupt”. “The problem is the White House”. As usual, the partisan blinders cloud the truth.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n , I know you might think it’s independent and non-partisan to be equally cynical about both parties, but that just means both sides can bamboozle you equally well when they’re saying bad things about each other. Only by approaching both the good and bad without naivete and without cynicism can you be truly free of the partisan lies.
First of all, it isn’t cynicism.

Yes, being objective is being non-partisan.
But, even if it was mere cynicism, cynical does not equate to getting bamboozled by both sides?
How does criticism, backed up by fact, equate to cynicism?

Funny! That’s some interesting, circular logic.
Criticism of the new IN-PARTY is now mere cynicism.
Perhaps you’d prefer that I join you in being cynical (uuuhhhheeeerrrr, I mean critical) of Republicans ONLY? : )

If anyone is being bamboozled, it’s those wearing the partisan blinders.

It’s fascinating how the arguments suddenly flip-flop when the IN-PARY and OUT-PARTY trade places.
Nevermind that 90% of the new 110th Congress is from the previous 109th Congress, which is probably the real reason why little (or nothing) ever gets done by Congress. BTW, what happened to those 5 day work weeks, no earmarks, ethics reform, and campaign finance? Seems to me that last BILL was laden with a LOT of pork-barrel. OOOooohhhh, … right. The Republicans are worse, eh? Well, while we’re debating who is more corrupt, allow me to join in. According to Citizens Against Government Waste. Democrats have scored much, much worse for decades than Republicans with regard to pork-barrel. BOTH are pathetic, but Democrats are worse.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: If Israel really did ask for her help in the beginning, and if the State Department knew about this in advance, and if Republicans both made trips before her, and with her, then these charges are just partisan crap, and you of all people should be ashamed to buy it.
Stephen,

* Sigh * .
Israel already said Pelosi got the message wrong, and said that Israel’s position had NOT changed.

People (regardless of party) are correct to question this nonsense by Pelosi.
People are correct to question this nonsense by Sen. John McCain (i.e. his visit to an Iraqi market and declared it safe; actually, what McCain did is worse).
People are correct to question ALL nonsense.
Yet, it always devolves into “who is more corrupt”?
Nevermind that BOTH are too corrupt.

Being objective:
McCain blew it (big time).
Pelosi blew it too.
And, Congress is blowing it too.
And the White House is too.
And so are the voters, too!

And, hopefully, voters will increasingly become aware of it and STOP rewarding irresponsible politicians; STOP re-electing them. It’s that simple, but so elusive.
Year 2008 would be a good time to start. I hope like hell enough voters are getting sick and tired of politicians in BOTH parties, and the White House too, because THAT is 50% of the problem is. The voters themselves are the other 50% of the problem.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I know you might think it’s independent and non-partisan to be equally cynical about both parties, but that just means both sides can bamboozle you equally well when they’re saying bad things about each other.
The fact is, most (if not all) politicians of BOTH parties, and the White House, are ridiculously irresponsible. The evidence of it is staggering. Visit Citizens Against Government Waste to get a sampling of the massive pork-barrel, graft, and waste.

It’s fascinating how roles have swapped since the IN-PARTY and OUT-PARTY have changed places, but the funny part is, 90% of the 110th Congress is in the 109th Congress.

So what changed?
What has Congress accomplished since 7-NOV-2006?
Minimum wage (for Samoa too, after a few questions about it)?
Lot of good a minimu wage will do without stopping illegal immigration.
What about all these other things Do-Nothing Congress is STILL ignoring?

Posted by: d.a.n at April 11, 2007 4:52 PM
Comment #216091

LawnBoy
One thing you will never catch me doing it defending someone that’s screwing up. I don’t give a rats butt what or who they are. Or what party they belong to or don’t. If they’re peeing on the carpet and trying to call it rain I’m going to jump all over them.
See that’s one of the perks of being an Independent. Ya don’t have to swallow all the partisan BS and defend it just to prove your a loyal party member. And ya also get to jump on every ones butt and take them to the wood shed for some good old down home whoop ass when they screw the pouch.
And in this case it’s Pelosi that’s screwed the pouch with her dumbassed trip and her WAAAAAY overly inflated ego.
Bet if ya could and get away with it you’d like to take Pelosi to the wood shed for her stupid antics. But being the loyal partisan…….

Posted by: Ron Brown at April 11, 2007 5:02 PM
Comment #216093
Bet if ya could and get away with it you’d like to take Pelosi to the wood shed for her stupid antics.

No, because I still haven’t seen any reason to think that a member of Congress visiting a foreign country with the knowledge and approval of both the White House and the State Department to be a stupid antic.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 11, 2007 5:15 PM
Comment #216097

Pelosi did not have the approval of the WH or SD. She did bring back Asswad’s 4 point plan. To bring back any plan is a support of that plan. If it is not in the interest of the US, then she should refuse to accept the plan. We sure spent a lot of money just for someone to go to Israel and then Syria just to say a few words which is not part of the official foreign policy of our government. In addition her headress was in accordance to Islamic custom that you wear headdress as a showing that you are submissive to Islamic custom and law. That then would make Pelosi the second person to be submitted to Islamic custom and law in the congress.

Posted by: tomh at April 11, 2007 5:56 PM
Comment #216104

LawnBoy
Typical partisan. Can’t see the forest for the trees.
SHE DIDNOT HAVE THE APPROVAL OF THE WHITEHOUSE, STATE DEPARTMENT, OR ISRAEL TO ACT AS AN AMBASATOR TO SYRIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Ron Brown at April 11, 2007 6:31 PM
Comment #216106

All photos seemed to indicate she had nothing more than a silk head scarf on….not a burka. She was a visitor in a country of religious beliefs that differ from ours. I don’t see that her showing respect for those beliefs is a bad thing, nor does it show that she subscribes to them. It’s like courtesy, and there is no reason to think she should have done any different.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 11, 2007 6:45 PM
Comment #216107
No, because I still haven’t seen any reason to think that a member of Congress visiting a foreign country with the knowledge and approval of both the White House and the State Department to be a stupid antic.
How about wasting the tax payers’ money?

Pelosi is not alone in wasting the tax payers money.
Lots of Congress persons have been visting Iraq.
How much does that cost?
What does it accomplish?
Pelosi isn’t the secratary of state, and according to the Israelis, she didn’t get it right.
And what John McCain did is worse.

It would help EVERYONE immensely if EVERYONE would STOP making excuses for THEIR politicians, STOP fueling the partisan warfare, and STOP rewarding irresponsible politicians.

It’s no wonder politicians are so arrogant, bought-and-paid-for, FOR-SALE, wasteful, greedy, irresponsible, and look-the-other-way.

Do that, and then you won’t have to get all bent out of shape trying to explain and rationalize the idiotic, irresponsible behavior of YOUR politicians’ behavior (in addition to NOT being used and manipulated).

How about WE ALL start holding ALL politicians accountable?

Again, what has this 110th Congress accomplished since 7-Nov-2006 ?
Not much.
Why not?
Ohhhh h h … right … it’s ALL the OTHER party’s fault.
No … it’s BOTH their fault, and it’s also most voters’ fault for tolerating it.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 11, 2007 6:53 PM
Comment #216109

I agree with d.a.n. It’s time we stopped sticking up for the stupidity of our reps. What Pelosi did was wrong and what McCain did was wrong. If any other rep pulls stupid stunts like they did should be impeached.

Posted by: KAP at April 11, 2007 7:21 PM
Comment #216110
Pelosi did not have the approval of the WH or SD
SHE DIDNOT HAVE THE APPROVAL OF THE WHITEHOUSE, STATE DEPARTMENT

Pelosi was briefed by State Department officials before her meetings with the foreign leaders and that State Department officials also attended her meetings.[Source]

Pelosi personally told Bush of the Syria trip and he did not object. [Source]

Perhaps I overstated somewhat, but the State Department accompanied her and didn’t object, and Bush knew of the trip ahead of time and didn’t object.

Again, how is it a stupid antic for her to have done her job, to have done the same thing that all members of congress do as part of their jobs?

There are no trees. There is no forest.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 11, 2007 7:22 PM
Comment #216115

Its seems to me that the left has always warmed up to and embraced Dictatorships and foreign enemies. Nicaragua, North Vietnam, Cuba, even as far back as the American Civil war. Foreign Policy is not the responsibility of local state legislators. Ted Kennedy tried to make a deal with the Communists while Reagan was President. Whats next, a Democrat ” peace accord” attempt with Bin Laden? I believe that the Liberal wing of the Democrat party will sell out this entire country to keep power and it will be the biggest failure in the history of Liberalism and Socialism. These displaced Communists got to go.

Posted by: George at April 11, 2007 8:07 PM
Comment #216117

When liberal/ Democrats are unable to legislate for the American people, Negotiate with Dictators and supporters of Terror. Way to go Nancy, Neville Chamberlain would be proud.

Posted by: George at April 11, 2007 8:29 PM
Comment #216120

LawnBoy
You’ve convinced me. If Pelosi’s spin doctors say it, it has to be gospel truth. *After all they would lie now would they?*
Noticed ya didn’t use all my comment. Way to cherry pick.

Again she made out like she was acting as ambassador for the US and Israel. And like d.a.n said, if nothing else she did just like every other politician and wasted our money on a needless trip. Then she had the nerve to go on the radio this morning and say that unlike Republicans, Democrats are accountable. But it seem like her and the rest are trying to duck that ‘accountability’ and defend her stupidity.


d.a.n
Took kinda news break over the weekend.
I aint heard. What kind of stupid trick did McCain pull. Do I need be calling him a stupid idiot too.

Posted by: Ron Brown at April 11, 2007 8:51 PM
Comment #216122

Gergle

Do you really believe that “God’s punishment” line? You might say that Bush is being punished for not running the war right, but the war was not morally wrong.

All

Most of you are making two variations of ludicrous arguments.

1.Others have done similarly bad things. This is the old teenage argument.
2.Pelosi SHOULD try to exert herself because you hate Bush enough to let her undermine the authority of the president.

As I wrote, her screw up did not cause very much damage. In that you are correct. It was like Hastert or Gingrich. At the time, did you think those were good moves?

AP

Re bipartisan - Your argument is disproved by what many of your enthusiastic colleagues have written. They eagerly bring up the examples of Hastert and Gingrich doing similar. In those times Republicans held the majority in the Congress. If they were disagreeing with the President, maybe everybody was not on board. We periodically have eruptions of this sort of thing.

Again, so that I do not get accused of making too much, Pelosi’s screw up did not cause too much damage. She seemed to have learned her lesson.

Lawnboy

Congress people have a right and maybe a duty to go to other countries to learn and meet people. As the Washington Post editorial describes, Pelosi stepped over the line. It is probably due to her inexperience in foreign affairs. When a local politician like Pelosi has such responsibilities thrust on her, it is not surprising she faces a steep learning curve. She caused no lasting harm, but needs to be rebuked.

Stephen

The conspiracy theory that Bush pressured Israel is exceptionally silly. Pelosi obviously misspoke. It is embarassing for her, but no lasting harm. I do not think anybody had high expectations of Pelosi diplomacy.

Max

No big deal. Pelosi make a rookie mistake. I assume she will learn from it. We do have to rebuke her, however, so that she takes the lesson. I am glad the “Washington Post” and others did so. Pelosi no longer listens to my advice.

Woody

Yes, she was given a message to deliver and yes she screwed up the delivery. She might have paid better attention.

Posted by: Jack at April 11, 2007 9:11 PM
Comment #216129
Others have done similarly bad things. This is the old teenage argument.

But I think it is useful to differentiate the bad things and try to establish why they are bad. If you think Pelosi crossed the line, you need to explain which line. If many other people have crossed the same line, then maybe there wasn’t a line to begin with.

Gingrich, Schwarzenegger, and Pelosi all did fairly different things:

-Gingrich said that the Secretary of State was a Palestinian agent, then met with Israeli leaders.

-Schwarzenegger signed a pact with a foreign leader, explicitly saying that he was going beyond Bush’s policy.

-Pelosi met with a bad guy, accompanied by some Republican congressmen and some members of the State Department. She carried a message from Israel, not the US.

So which of these people crossed the line? What are the rules?

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 11, 2007 10:00 PM
Comment #216131
As the Washington Post editorial describes, Pelosi stepped over the line.

By doing the same thing as five Republicans? What the hell is the line? As Woody points out, there’s really nothing you can point to as unusual or bad behavior.

I guess the line is that it’s unacceptable not be be a Republican - it doesn’t matter beyond that.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 11, 2007 10:13 PM
Comment #216132

The Logan Act, codified as Section 953 of the federal penal code, bars Americans who are “without authority of the United States” from conducting relations “with any foreign government…in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States.”
It is settled beyond dispute that the authority of the United States over the conduct of foreign relations rests exclusively with the executive branch. As John Marshall wrote, “The President is the sole organ of the nation in its external affairs, and its sole representative with foreign nations… The executive department is entrusted with the whole foreign intercourse of the nation.”
In 1936, the Supreme Court acknowledged in its Curtiss-Wright Export decision, “the delicate, plenary and exclusive power of the President as the sole organ of the federal government in the field of international relations.”
And, as explained in the Wall Street Journal by Professor Robert Turner, the congressional debate over passage of the Logan Act demonstrates that the law was understood to bar legislative interference with the president’s management of American diplomacy.
Disagreement with the President’s conduct of foreign policy doesn’t change the fact that, constitutionally, it is his responsibility and his alone; and that Congress passed a statute explicitly forbidding interference with that responsibility, by anyone, without exception.
Pelosi clearly committed a felony violation of the Logan Act. Her naive and amateurish effort to marginalize the President, placing short term partisan political gain ahead of the good of the country, is exactly the conduct the Logan Act was designed to prevent.

Posted by: traveller at April 11, 2007 10:38 PM
Comment #216133
Pelosi clearly committed a felony violation of the Logan Act.

And this is where we leap from history lesson to a flight of fancy.

Up until this point, it was an interesting history lesson. Too bad you had to let partisan blindness change a normal trip into something very different that didn’t happen.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 11, 2007 10:49 PM
Comment #216137

What truly amazes me here is the blatant attempt to assign motive to this trip.
Traveller, et al, you don’t have any evidence that Pelosi’s intention was to undermine the President. None.
All you have is your opinions which seem to be based on rantings of pundits who think their opinions are the truth.

You guys bitched and moaned when Murtha talked about the soldiers involved in those family deaths in Iraq. You said he didn’t have the whole story.

You are doing the same thing you accused Murtha of. You are making assumptions based on no facts.

You don’t have all of the information and you are allowing someone else to form your opinions for you.

Posted by: Rocky at April 11, 2007 11:04 PM
Comment #216139

traveller,

Do you know how many people have been prosecuted for violating the Logan Act? Zero.

It is impossibly vague. If you take it literally, anyone who meets with an agent of a foreign government in regard to a controversial issue is breaking the law unless they have permission from the government. It has probably been violated thousands of times.

But if you really want to prosecute Pelosi, Gingrich, Schwarzenegger, and countless other people, then at least you would be acting on principle. If you just want to nail Pelosi, it’s just more partisan posturing.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 11, 2007 11:16 PM
Comment #216140

Woody & Lawbboy

The Washington Post link explains how she crossed the line. My other links support it. Please read the link and tell me how you disagree. I really cannot respond to a question you do not ask.

Traveller et al

Bringing up the Logan Act is a lot like the Dems trying to get their Fitzmas. It really doesn’t wash. We should not do that. We believe in fairness.

Posted by: Jack at April 11, 2007 11:25 PM
Comment #216141
d.a.n Took kinda news break over the weekend. I ain.t heard. What kind of stupid trick did McCain pull. Do I need be calling him a stupid idiot too.
Ron,

I wouldn’t call John McCain stupid, but what he did wasn’t just stupid, but strange too. It certainly raises questions about whether he is delusional, or his judgement is clouded by ambitions for the presidency, or a little of both.

It was one of the most lame and dishonest attempts I’ve ever seen to fool the public.
The public wasn’t buying it. Not even many Republicans. McCain went to a market in the green zone to show how much safer things are now since the troop surge. He was wearing a bullet proof vest, he was surrounded by dozens of troops, there were U.S. snipers on the nearby roofs, there were three Blackhawk helicopters and two Apache gunships circling nearby, and the troops swept the area in advance.

Afterward, John McCain tried to say things were safer in Iraq. He criticized CNN for not saying things hadn’t improved. McCain also said that General David Petraus drove about regularly in Iraq in an unarmored humvee (which is also false). The fact is, even if that market in the green zone was safer, it is not representative of the rest of Iraq, where civil war, death, and destruction rage on. In addition, there were sniper attacks in that same market 24 hours later, and other carnage.

Pelosi did a stupid thing too (wasteful of U.S. tax payers money, and told a little lie), but not quite as serious a what McCain did (who wasted U.S. tax payers money too, but also tried to tell a BIG lie).

Posted by: d.a.n at April 11, 2007 11:45 PM
Comment #216145

I see you answered a question with a question. Nice.Posted by: rahdigly at April 11, 2007 04:25 PM

And how is my quesiton different than yours?

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at April 12, 2007 12:10 AM
Comment #216157

LawnBoy,
Since I’m not a Republican I don’t think I’m guilty of partisan blindness, nor is my statement a flight of fancy, since Pelosi clearly did interfere in foreign policy.
You complaining about partisan blindness gave me a good chuckle. Thanks.

Rocky,
There is a saying that actions speak louder than words. Pelosi’s actions are shouting from the rooftops.

“You don’t have all of the information and you are allowing someone else to form your opinions for you.”

I refer you to the line in your post above that one.

“You are making assumptions based on no facts.”

How do you know what I’ve read about this subject?


Woody Mena,
I reread my post and couldn’t find “prosecute” in any form in it. Did I miss something?
You’re right that the Logan Act has been violated countless times. That doesn’t make it right or excusable. I’m tired of hypocrites like Pelosi condemning violations of the law as they ignore the ones they find inconvenient.
The Logan Act isn’t vague at all. It’s quite clear, at least to someone as brilliant as John Marshall, but then, he wasn’t blindly partisan.

Jack,
I don’t know the “Fitzmas” reference. What does mentioning the fact that there is a law forbidding Americans (all Americans) to do what Pelosi did have to do with fairness?

Posted by: traveller at April 12, 2007 1:13 AM
Comment #216162

Jack,

Do you really believe that “God’s punishment” line? You might say that Bush is being punished for not running the war right, but the war was not morally wrong.

Being an Atheist, no. That was a quote from U.S.Grant discussing the stupidity of Polk’s invansion of Mexico on equally flimsy facts. Texans like to point out that the Texas Rangers had to bail out the U.S. Military who became surrounded.

I was refering to Grant’s analysis of the Mexican war’s consequence…the U.S. Civil War, by anyone’s standard, a bloody and costly affair. The Mexican war was seen as a blantant attempt to expand slavery states power.

There may well be consequence to Bush’s blunder in Iraq. I doubt that Bush’s version of Manifest Destiney will reward us with new teritory, or even oil, in the middle east, but we are liable to see a wider war as a result of this stupidity and detour of American Conservatism. We are liable to be visited with terrible consequence and suffering, not thru the vagaries of God or even Nancy Pelosi, but thru the inevitable consequences of arrogance and stupidity of a President not unlike Polk.

I’m sure there were many who saw the invansion of Mexico as moral and just. Grant, who served in the Mexican war,and later the Civil War, apparently didn’t.

What amazes me is your abandonment of conservatism for defense of this war.

Posted by: gergle at April 12, 2007 4:02 AM
Comment #216168

Traveller

It is a law that nobody ever enforces except politcally. Like Fitzmas.

Gergle

When you are in the middle of a war, it is better to try to win.

BTW - The Mexican war added most of the SW to the U.S. I do not really have a problem with the result. It probably was not moral or just, but given the nature of the settlements in the regions and the governments involved, it was not immoral or unjust either. And given the nature of the time, I do not think GOd would have put it high on his priorities list.

Posted by: Jack at April 12, 2007 8:08 AM
Comment #216174
The Washington Post link explains how she crossed the line.

The editorial rests on two claims, both of which are baseless.

1) Pelosi passed an incorrect message from Israel to Syria. Pelosi said that she gave Syrian officials the message that Israel is “ready to engage in peace talks.” The Post falsely claims, “The Israeli prime minister entrusted Ms. Pelosi with no such message,” misinterpreting a statement from the Israeli Prime Minister’s office that simply reiterated its position that talks with Syria will not take place until Syria has taken steps to end its support for extremist elements. There is no evidence that Pelosi failed to communicate this message. In fact, Pelosi’s delegation specifically pressed the Syrian president “over Syria’s support for militant groups and insist[ed] that his government block militants seeking to cross into Iraq and join insurgents there.”

2) Pelosi is attempting to “establish a shadow presidency.” This claim is directly contradicted by the Post’s own reporting that morning, which states, “Foreign policy experts generally agree that Pelosi’s dealings with Middle East leaders have not strayed far, if at all, from those typical for a congressional trip.” Pelosi herself has “described the trip as little different than the visit paid to Syria the same week led by Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-VA),” and she went to great lengths to express her unity of purpose with President Bush on terrorism issues. The Post’s own reporting that day also cites several instances of members of Congress meeting with foreign leaders during the past 30 years. As ThinkProgress noted the previous day, in contrast with Pelosi’s trip, previous congressional actions abroad attempted to directly undermine President Clinton.

That someone wrote an editorial means nothing when the editorial is so messed up.

Pelosi clearly did interfere in foreign policy.

And that’s your leap. If you think this is true, then explain it. Instead you just make the leap and expect us all to follow.

That’s the problem with this whole debate - much pontificating without much information. I’ve been looking around at news and other sites trying to support or critique the various positions expressed here, and there’s really not that much hard information out there. The vast majority is from pundits.

Here’s what we know:
Pelosi went on a foreign trip during Spring recess with other representatives (mostly D, but with one R). They visited a few countries, including Syria, a country which has been visited recently by other Congressional delegations from both sides of the aisle. Before visiting Syria, the group visited Israel, where the Prime Minister gave Pelosi a message to pass to the Syrian leadership. In Syria, she attempted to give the message to Assad, and a press release described the message. The Israeli PM said that the message as described in the press release wasn’t what he wanted to say.

That’s it. Based on that, we have people claiming “shadow presidency” and violations of the Logan Act, and stupid antics, and all other sorts of bad behavior.

She didn’t do anything unusual. She went on a Congressional trip with other members of congress to a country that other delegations have visited. She passed a message as requested. Perhaps she messed up the message, but that’s really, really unclear. Perhaps instead Olmert changed his story. Perhaps the message was passed correctly, but a member of Pelosi’s staff messed up the press release.

Whatever happened, it’s very unclear at this point, and there’s not really that much information (just he said, she said stuff). However, the Republicans have done a great job of turning a normal unremarkable congressional trip into an artificial scandal that takes attention away from the myriad of problems going on in the White House. It’s been a great diversion, supported by no evidence at all. Well done.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 12, 2007 8:50 AM
Comment #216178

Traveller,

“How do you know what I’ve read about this subject?”

Unless you are capable of reading Pelosi’s mind, you don’t truly know what her intentions were now do you?

Everything else on that subject is pure speculation.

Posted by: Rocky at April 12, 2007 9:49 AM
Comment #216179

Traveller-
The Logan act does not specify what this authority is. Is it diplomatic authority that’s required, or simply being part of a body deciding an issue of foreign policy? The act does not say. Most laws begin with a series of definitions of what they mean by certain terms for this very reason.

The truth is, it’s also a rather useless law. Any agreement made with somebody else than the President and his Diplomats wouldn’t be worth the paper it was written on. Any person with sense in this country and in another government, would know this. If, though, folks on both sides felt that this “shadow government” had something to it, a violation of the Logan Act would be the least of your concerns. Such a person would be committing treason and or participating in an act of insurrection.

Pelosi, before you let your partisan engines kick into overdrive, neither lacks for some kind of authority over foreign policy, nor is part of a shadow government. She’s part of THE government. She’s not seeking to split a part of the united states, nor is she seeking to overthrow the executive branch.

Word is, from the State Department, that they helped her prepare for the trip. Now according to your logic, that would make the State Department an accessory before the fact, an accomplice to a violation of the Logan act. However, since the State Department represents the proper authority for diplomacy, according to you, then that kind of puts their blessing on it, doesn’t it?

So you tell me: what is this really about? It could be that the Bush administration doesn’t want Syria to remain in a state of ceasefire with Israel. We should note that it is Cheney who delivers the most concerted attack, not Bush. Cheney and his people have been pushing for war against Syria and Iran, making all kinds of insinuations as to their roles in collaborating with Saddam or the insurgents in Iraq.

I’m just spitballing here, but there’s plenty of evidence to support their willingness to expand the war elsewhere. Despite reports that have the EFPs manufactured mainly in Iraq itself, the Administration tried to allege that the main supplier was Iran. Despite a general consensus among even Bush’s own weapons inspectors that the WMDs were destroyed, many still put forward the theory that they were moved to Syria.

The historical record clearly shows Cheney as an ardent hawk, and an influence on the aggressiveness of the adminstration towards both critics and enemies.

The worst that I think Pelosi has done, is step out of the parallel world that the Bush administration has built for itself, and demonstrated the value of what they consider, unwisely enough, to be tantamount to appeasement: talking with one’s enemies.

There is no evidence that Pelosi took any stands, nor made any promises beyond the administration’s position. The message she was conveying wasn’t even ours. She did not invite Assad to make a separate peace with her, nor did she offer him anything. Other representatives had done the same, including members of Bush’s own party.

This is happening because Nancy Pelosi is Nancy Pelosi and this administration loves playing gotcha with politics, even at the price of working policy. These people were willing to breach national security on purpose to embarass a critic. What’s so difficult, then, for such people to use a sensitive diplomatic situation between two countries and the influence of the President’s influence over Israel’s Prime Minister to embarrass a political rival on false premises. Hell, what will these people not do for political advantage?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 12, 2007 9:54 AM
Comment #216182

Jack-
If she really wasn’t conveying a message to the Syrians, why did Olmert’s office not only authorize the passing of the message, but announce it ahead of time? If so, how valid is the op-ed from the Washington Post, based on unreliable accusations, as it is?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 12, 2007 10:09 AM
Comment #216195

d.a.n
If it’s so safe then why did he have a vest on? And why all the choppers and bodyguards? Maybe it aint so safe after all.
Sounds to me that McCain is trying to spin things in favor of Bush at best. Or just flat trying to get more of our troops killed at worst. I won’t argue either.
But your right. It was a very stupid thing to do. Ranks right up there in the top 10 of stupid things done by our elected officials.
Makes ya wounder just how qualified he is to be President doesn’t it? Not that he would’ve got my vote to start with. But crap like that is just flat wrong, and anyone that pulls them kind of stunts don’t deserve to be Dog Catcher, much less President.
Maybe McCain and Pelosi can have a run off to see who can pull the stupidest stunt. :) or is it :(

Posted by: Ron Brown at April 12, 2007 11:11 AM
Comment #216204
“Others have done similarly bad things. This is the old teenage argument.”

Woody,
“But I think it is useful to differentiate the bad things and try to establish why they are bad.”


Looks like the “shoe fits”, there. :)


George,
“Its seems to me that the left has always warmed up to and embraced Dictatorships and foreign enemies.”


Yeah, it’s like they (actually) trust the despotic leaders (Assad, Iranian Thug, Chavez, pot-belly Korean, etc.) over Bush and the republicans. Those despotic leaders lie right to their faces and the libs take that as a sign of “diplomacy” or “progress”. Please!


“Whats next, a Democrat “peace accord” attempt with Bin Laden?”


At this rate, that’s where they’re heading.


“I believe that the Liberal wing of the Democrat party will sell out this entire country to keep power and it will be the biggest failure in the history of Liberalism and Socialism. These displaced Communists got to go.”


I hear that!

Posted by: rahdigly at April 12, 2007 11:41 AM
Comment #216207

Stephen

This is happening because Nancy Pelosi is Nancy Pelosi and this administration loves playing gotcha with politics, even at the price of working policy. These people were willing to breach national security on purpose to embarass a critic.

After reading all the back and forth banter in this thread this is the most sensible and obviously clear anserw to the definitive questions being debated. You failed to mention that Nancy Pelosi is also a woman. I get the impression that there are a few here who have a real problem with women in power. Especially liberal women. I will not mention names but their prejudice stands out all too clearly.

The realities are that Bush foreign policy has been for the most part devoid of creative intelligent direction and a complete and utter failure to date. These folks are mired so deep in frustation and embarasement that they jump at any oppurtunity to create a diversion from their miserable failings. Judgeing by the size of this thread I would say they were succesful in playing the minds of most.

Posted by: ILdem at April 12, 2007 12:01 PM
Comment #216221
Ron Brown wrote: Maybe McCain and Pelosi can have a run off to see who can pull the stupidest stunt. :) or is it :( ?
Ron,

Should we laugh or cry?

I think the contest has already started.

  • The Dems don’t think House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did anything wrong.

  • The Repubs don’t think Sen. John McCain did either.
  • What’s that tell us about our future?

    At any rate, there is something I’m really very curious about … what’s up with Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA,2)? ? ?

    I heard Rep. William Jefferson was asking for his $90,000 of bribe money back (which the FBI took out of his freeze, which was nicely bundled in $10K stacks). Why is the FBI taking so long with this? It can’t possibly be because of a lack of evidence, can it? After all, William Jefferson was seen on video taking the bribe money and even commented “it’s not like we’re being video-taped”, and $90K of $100K was later found hidden in his freezer ($10K was already missing). So, what could be the reasons for that:

    • (1) He was framed? That’s what most of his constituents think, since they re-elected him.

    • (2) The FBI was the one who framed William Jefferson?

    • (3) He’s guilty and the FBI is just dreadfully slow?

    • (4) There are bigger fish the FBI is after?

    • (5) It’s a cover-up? The FBI is trying to protect the bigger fish ?

    • (6) The FBI fouled up the case and lost the evidence (it happens)?

    It’s strange.
    After all, if William Jefferson is guilty, it far exceeds anything McCain and Pelosi have done. Yet, it gets very little attention.
    Why?
    Of course, Dems don’t want to talk about it.
    But why has this taking so long.
    It all started before Aug-2005.
    It’s been almost three years?

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 12, 2007 1:15 PM
    Comment #216222

    So any post about Condi Rice, that gets negative replies by the left means those people are sexists AND racists ILdem?

    Posted by: kctim at April 12, 2007 1:18 PM
    Comment #216226

    Could be any reason d.a.n. Political clout reaches very far into the government.
    One thing’s for sure. Everyone, even the Republicans, are strangely very quite on Jefferson. Maybe he’s got something on enough folks in high places to keep himself out of jail.
    Here he is caught on tape taking bribes and nothing is being done? Sounds very fishy to me.
    And right, it does way out do anything Pelosi and McCain has done so far.

    Posted by: Ron Brown at April 12, 2007 2:11 PM
    Comment #216239

    Really enjoyed reading all the great replies from WB’s liberal regulars here — nice work all around.

    I was also very happy to see Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats and Republicans engaging in some diplomatic foreign policy. Since the Bush administration doesn’t believe in that idea, it was very refreshing to finally see the practice resume.

    Posted by: Adrienne at April 12, 2007 4:34 PM
    Comment #216244

    How can you come to any other conclusion other than she did interfere with foreign policy actions?

    She brought back from Syria Asswad’s 4 point peace plan. He certainly did not reach into his jacket pocket and said to her upon leaving Syria, “Oh, by the way could you take this with you?” They discussed the issue, which is not under the catagory of “fact finding”.

    Posted by: tomh at April 12, 2007 5:03 PM
    Comment #216271

    kctim

    So any post about Condi Rice, that gets negative replies by the left means those people are sexists AND racists ILdem?

    I did not imply that all posts in this thread were sexist. I implied that a few gave me that impression. I have noticed a few people in particular in this and other threads who seem to always display an abhorance of all things Pelosi with particular disdain. These same people have done so before and particularly since the elections. I do know people who can not stand the thought of a woman in charge of anything. They display the same type of reactions I read here. I am also sure that yes we would not have a problem finding an equal amount who hold a particular distaste for Condi Rice because of color. Our nation is far from being free of discrimination and predjudice.

    You need to remember that I stated it was an impression I was getting. An impression being formed over several months of reading. I could very well be wrong. But to any who may be I say if the shoe fits…….

    Posted by: ILdem at April 12, 2007 8:52 PM
    Comment #216292

    Stephen

    I repeat. I believe they gave her a message. She screwed up the delivery and they had to correct it. You can imagine the sequence.

    IlDem

    I follow the simple policy of substition for sexism or racism. I believe you could substitute a man’s name in place of Pelosi and the post would sound the same.

    I believe Pelosi is inexperienced in foreign policy and soft headed. I would use the same sorts of descriptions for a male San Franciso liberal and show him a similar level of respect.

    She made the special point of bringing up her gender on many occassions. I just do not give a sh*t.

    Posted by: Jack at April 12, 2007 10:04 PM
    Comment #216333
    I believe they gave her a message. She screwed up the delivery and they had to correct it.

    According to all accounts, Pelosi got the message correct — caveats and all.

    Posted by: American Pundit at April 12, 2007 11:26 PM
    Comment #216339

    All accounts that do not include the Israelis. Sort of a big exception.

    Posted by: Jack at April 12, 2007 11:44 PM
    Comment #216377

    Its because she is a farrrrrrr-left liberal, not because she is a woman.
    Bringing up her gender is nothing but trying to ignore or excuse her actions and her unConstitutional beliefs.

    Posted by: kctim at April 13, 2007 9:32 AM
    Comment #216394
    All accounts that do not include the Israelis.

    The Israelis weren’t there when she delivered the message. However, Bush’s State Department people were there along with David L. Hobson (R-Ohio), and they know exactly what she said — which is why President Bush hasn’t brought the issue up.

    In fact, the WaPo, whose editorial you cite, reported that she reiterated Israels caveats:

    She reiterated U.S. demands that Syria stop the passage of insurgents across Syria into Iraq and stop supporting militant groups.

    There is just no factual basis for your belief, Jack.

    Posted by: American Pundit at April 13, 2007 12:05 PM
    Comment #216399

    Pelosi fumbled the message by claiming in Damascus, Syria that Israel was ready to talk — an assertion that Israeli officials were quick to deny.

    Pelosi is wasting the tax payers money.
    Perhaps she should just try to do her job:

      House rules invest the Speaker with substantial powers. These duties include:
    • - administering the oath of office to Members;

    • - recognizing Members for the purpose of speaking or making motions;

    • - referring bills and resolutions to committees;

    • - putting questions to a vote of Members;

    • - declaring a quorum (or the absence of one);

    • - counting and declaring all votes;

    • - deciding points of order;

    • - appointing House Members to select and conference committees;

    • - exercising additional committee appointment authority under party conference rules;

    • - making appointments to fill temporary vacancies in House administrative offices;

    • - appointing the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole and the Speaker pro tempore; and

    • - signing all bills and resolutions passed by the House.

    Where in that does is say the Speaker of the House has oversight or any involvement whatsoever in foreign policy?
    Pelosi took it upon herself to do something, and then she fumbled it, and was quickly corrected by Israel.

    Obviously, the Democrat party-loyalists are trying to shift blame and make excuses for Pelosi.

    Also, the Republican party-loyalists are trying to make excuses for John McCain, whose behavior was even worse … trying to outright lie to Americans about the Shorja market (in the green zone) being safer, strolling about looking at rugs and such while guarded by dozens of U.S. troops, 3 Blackhawk helicoptors, 2 Apache gunships, snipers on all nearby roofs, and the area was swept in advance. It was an obvious, irresponsible fraud, and also a waste of tax payers money.

    They are BOTH wrong.
    It’s a huge waste of time and money.
    When will voters finally get sick of this crap and start voting ALL of their lazy, irresponsible, selfish, arrogant butts out of office?
    Rewarding them by repeatedly re-electing them ain’t workin’ !
    While voters are so afraid of the OTHER party, they are failing to understand that THEIR own party is no better.

    And while the party loyalists are wallowing in the circular, divisive, distracting partisan warfare, the politicians are allowed (empowered) to continue running all about, fueling the partisan warfare and their lies, remaining unaccountable for any of it (even being rewarded for it by being repeatedly re-elected).

    There is one thing they both agree on.
    Congress just gave themsevles another raise.
    The 9th raise in 10 years.
    How about raises for the military?
    How about better medical care for the military?
    Instead, your illustrious Congress and White House are busy votin’ on pork barrel, flying around trying to act like the Secretary of State, lying to the Americans, and votin’ themselves raises.

    While the partisan warfare rages on, our troops are dying in an OCCUPATION of Iraq, the bickering goes on and on and on, as our continues to ignore the nation’s many pressing problems.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 13, 2007 12:29 PM
    Comment #216404
    Pelosi fumbled the message by claiming in Damascus, Syria that Israel was ready to talk — an assertion that Israeli officials were quick to deny.

    Totally untrue, d.a.n. Any quick scan of the newpapers will show that the Israelis are ready to talk, as soon as Syria stops messing around in Lebanon and stops its support for terrorist groups.

    That’s exactly what Pelosi told Assad. Your statement lacks the facts to back it up.

    Posted by: American Pundit at April 13, 2007 12:42 PM
    Comment #216410

    Good try AP but no cigar. She indicated the the Israelis were ready to talk now. If she didn’t then why did the refute her claim so fast?
    Fact is y’alls fair haired girl screwed it up. But y’all’s partisan blinders won’t let ya see it. And y’all’s party loyalty won’t let ya admit it if ya do see it.
    Don’t know, maybe she really a blond or something. :)


    Had to do that, my favorite blond is looking over my shoulder. :)

    Posted by: Ron Brown at April 13, 2007 1:17 PM
    Comment #216427

    American Pundit wrote:
    Your statement lacks the facts to back it up.
    Nonsense.

    The facts are substantial. I’ve read dozens of articles on both sides of the issue.

    Pelosi’s delivery of a message to Mr. Assad was that Israel was ready for peace talks. That left out ONE very important constraint. The office of the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, issued a statement correcting Pelosi, saying that such “talks could take place ONLY if Syria stopped assisting terrorist groups.”

    Even the articles trying to defend Pelosi admit that mistake. But that’s not all of it. It was a waste of tax payers’ money and it is NOT Pelosi’s job. Pelosi is NOT the secretary of state. And I’m getting sick and tired of Congress persons more interested in things outside the U.S. while many serious issues need attention her at home now.

    But, AP, it wouldn’t matter to you anyway.
    Your statements and inability to accept fault by anyone in YOUR party, or even admit the facts of a well know BILL S.2611 is destroying your credibility.

    You wouldn’t believe the truth if it jumped up and bit you. For example, you refute BILL S.2611 , Amendment 3985. You still believe no Congress persons (mostly Democrats) voted YEA to kill the vote to prohibit illegal aliens from recieving Social Security.

    I can produce half a dozen news articles saying Pelosi fumbled it, and hundreds of articles about BILL S.2611, Amendment #3985, which you don’t believe states what it states.

    American Pundit wrote: d.a.n, I’m beginning to suspect you don’t know anything about the bill [S.2611 Amendment #3985] other than what you read from these radical lobbyist groups.

    AP, you not doing your credibility and favors.
    The text of the BILL is there in BOLD letters, yet you deny it. Never mind that a Google on S.2611 Amendment #3985 turns up hundreds of hits, including a Wikipedia article to boot. But, in addition, I provided the links to the congress persons voting records and you still refused to believe it.

    If you’d like more information about BILL S.2611 Amendment 3985, just Google “S.2611 Amendment 3985”. Obviously, you failed to do that, OR blind partisan loyalty is clouding your judgement.

    Also, I heard Pelosi say herself that the President said he opposed the trip only after the fact. That’s false, because I heard the White House opposing the trip several days before arriving in Syria. That clearly is a mistake, or a lie. Again, this circular, divisive partisan warfare is a big waste of time and money. Where above in the duties of the Speaker of the House say Pelosi is not the Secretary of State?

    This partisan warfare, corruption, lying, waste, and other nonsense is Standard Operating Procedure for politicians these days, and that includes most (if not all) in and the White House.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 13, 2007 3:38 PM
    Comment #216462

    Dan-
    You can put that crap in flashing lights all you want to, but it doesn’t make your argument any better. You say that a Speaker of the House should not be involved in foreign affairs. Yet there are whole committees and sub-committees devoted to nothing but that. You talk about the war. Doesn’t Congress control some part of that? Like deciding about what kind of money and authority the executive branch gets for both?

    Why are you buying into the unitary executive theory? Why are you buying so quickly into an editorial contradicted by news reports. Why are you disregarding the word of Tom Lantos, a Congressional leader who says she repeated Israel’s message word for word?

    You have not business telling others that they must win free of partisan rhetoric if you can’t see your way past a fricking editorial. Shouldn’t that send up red flags for you? Shouldn’t that represent some kind of signal that you need to be a bit more skeptical? If I find a fact in an editorial, I go around and try to find it in a news report, and fill the story out.

    I believe that my freedom to critique my own party and others depends on me knowing the real truth. I will know when my party truly is getting off track when I establish that the facts meant to say so are true, and that the arguments for that are valid. I will also know what to go after the Republicans on, and what is just too weak.

    Your argument against Pelosi is fatally undercut by the fact that many parts of the House over which she presides are devoted totally or in large part to foreign and military affairs, as well as the fact that good reports from Israeli Newspapers say she did as she was told to do.

    Why do you take the word of Editorials, where people are merely giving their opinions, over quotes and accounts given by those who were there? Such reliance on weaker information for the sake of a negative message reflects a profound bias. Why accept the Republican talking points so quickly, with such uncritical examination of them?

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 13, 2007 6:18 PM
    Comment #216490

    Stephen,
    Your partisan bias clouds your judgement.
    Pelosi fumbled it.
    That’s a fact corroborated by Israel.
    Even if it wasn’t, you still turn a blind eye to the waste of time ane money.
    You can not be objective.
    You slam Republicans all the time, but rarely (if ever) Democrats.
    I’m not accepting Republican points.
    I call it like it is.
    Pelosi fumbled it.
    What McCain did was worse.
    That’s a fact.
    No partisan bias.
    You ought to try it.
    It’s like a ton of bricks off your shoulders when you are not constrained by the partisan blinders.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 13, 2007 8:38 PM
    Comment #216503

    From the United Jerusalem Foundation:

    Ms. Pelosi did not help matters by claiming in Damascus that Israel was ready to talk — an assertion that Israeli officials were quick to deny.

    From the israelinsider.com:

    Contrary to claims made by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Israeli government did not ask her to send the message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that Jerusalem was willing to reopen peace talks with Damascus.

    From the Jewish Daily Forward:

    Nathan Guttman, Thu. Apr 05, 2007
    Jerusalem — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drew public objections from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this week, after she reportedly relayed a message to Damascus that Jerusalem was ready to open peace talks with Syria. The Forward learned from an Israeli source that in Pelosi’s meetings with Israeli officials, the House speaker was told that Jerusalem was open to any peace overture from Damascus but Syria must first end support for terrorism. On Thursday, the Israeli press quoted sources close to the prime minister saying that Pelosi “chose to use only part of the message” that Olmert had conveyed to her.

    From the Washington post:

    Mr. Olmert told Ms. Pelosi that “a number of Senate and House members who recently visited Damascus received the impression that despite the declarations of Bashar Assad, there is no change in the position of his country regarding a possible peace process with Israel.”

    From israel.jpost.com

    According to officials in the Prime Minister’s Office, however, this was not what transpired during her meeting with Olmert.
    The officials [in the Prime Minister’s Office] said Olmert had told Pelosi that he thought her trip to Damascus was a mistake, and that when she asked - nevertheless - whether he had a message for Assad, Olmert said Syria should first stop supporting terrorism and “act like a normal country,” and only then would Israel be willing to hold discussions.

    From Jerusalem (CNSNews.com):

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered the wrong message to Syrian President Bashar Assad from Israel, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s office said on Wednesday evening… . Earlier in the week, Olmert’s spokeswoman, Miri Eisen, said by telephone that Olmert had told Pelosi that he didn’t think Assad deserved all the attention he was getting.

    From Jerusalem (CNSNews.com):


    Former Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom was quoted by the radio as saying that he was concerned about the effects of Pelosi’s visit to Syria. The trip might encourage European states to drop their isolation of Syria.

    From Jerusalem Newswire:

    Contrary to claims made by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Israeli government did not ask her to message Syrian dictator Bashar el-Assad that Jerusalem was willing to reopen peace talks with Damascus. This is according to a “clarification” issued by the Prime Minister’s Office immediately after Pelosi, who visited with Assad Wednesday, said Olmert had given her such a message for the Syrian dictator.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I believe that my freedom to critique my own party …
    Freedom and actually doing are two different things. None of us are likely to live long enough to see it.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You have not business telling others that they must win free of partisan rhetoric if you can’t see your way past a fricking editorial.
    Not mere editorials. Quoted statements.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Why are you disregarding the word of Tom Lantos, a Congressional leader who says she repeated Israel’s message word for word?
    Another Democrat? You call that objective?

    The fact is, someone is lying, and we may never know the truth, but the reports do not favor Pelosi.

    Still, forget that nonsense.
    From the United Jerusalem Foundation:

    Ms. Pelosi did not help matters by claiming in Damascus that Israel was ready to talk — an assertion that Israeli officials were quick to deny.

    From the israelinsider.com:

    Contrary to claims made by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Israeli government did not ask her to send the message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that Jerusalem was willing to reopen peace talks with Damascus.

    From the Jewish Daily Forward:

    Nathan Guttman, Thu. Apr 05, 2007
    Jerusalem — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drew public objections from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this week, after she reportedly relayed a message to Damascus that Jerusalem was ready to open peace talks with Syria. The Forward learned from an Israeli source that in Pelosi’s meetings with Israeli officials, the House speaker was told that Jerusalem was open to any peace overture from Damascus but Syria must first end support for terrorism. On Thursday, the Israeli press quoted sources close to the prime minister saying that Pelosi “chose to use only part of the message” that Olmert had conveyed to her.

    From the Washington post:

    Mr. Olmert told Ms. Pelosi that “a number of Senate and House members who recently visited Damascus received the impression that despite the declarations of Bashar Assad, there is no change in the position of his country regarding a possible peace process with Israel.”

    From israel.jpost.com

    According to officials in the Prime Minister’s Office, however, this was not what transpired during her meeting with Olmert.
    The officials [in the Prime Minister’s Office] said Olmert had told Pelosi that he thought her trip to Damascus was a mistake, and that when she asked - nevertheless - whether he had a message for Assad, Olmert said Syria should first stop supporting terrorism and “act like a normal country,” and only then would Israel be willing to hold discussions.

    From Jerusalem (CNSNews.com):

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered the wrong message to Syrian President Bashar Assad from Israel, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s office said on Wednesday evening… . Earlier in the week, Olmert’s spokeswoman, Miri Eisen, said by telephone that Olmert had told Pelosi that he didn’t think Assad deserved all the attention he was getting.

    From Jerusalem (CNSNews.com):


    Former Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom was quoted by the radio as saying that he was concerned about the effects of Pelosi’s visit to Syria. The trip might encourage European states to drop their isolation of Syria.

    From Jerusalem Newswire:

    Contrary to claims made by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Israeli government did not ask her to message Syrian dictator Bashar el-Assad that Jerusalem was willing to reopen peace talks with Damascus. This is according to a “clarification” issued by the Prime Minister’s Office immediately after Pelosi, who visited with Assad Wednesday, said Olmert had given her such a message for the Syrian dictator.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I believe that my freedom to critique my own party …
    Freedom and actually doing are two different things. None of us are likely to live long enough to see it.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You have not business telling others that they must win free of partisan rhetoric if you can’t see your way past a fricking editorial.
    Not mere editorials. Quoted statements.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Why are you disregarding the word of Tom Lantos, a Congressional leader who says she repeated Israel’s message word for word?
    Another Democrat? You call that objective?

    The fact is, someone is lying, and we may never know the truth, but the reports do not favor Pelosi.

    Still, forget that nonsense.
    Even if Pelosi didn’t fumble the message, what about wasting the tax payers money?
    That goes for BOTH Pelosi and McCain.
    Especially McCain, since he was caught red-handed in an unbelievable lie; a real blunder of a more serious magnitude and ramifications.

    Still, I think the purpose of Pelosi’s trip had to do a lot more with irking Bush and Republicans, arrogance (she’s not the Secretary of State or the Ambassador) than diplomacy in the Middle East.

    And I hope voters are getting tired of the massive irresponsibility of Do-Nothing Congress and the White House.
    Hopefully, voters will make that know in Nov 2008.

    What about wasting the tax payers money?
    I think the purpose of this trip had to do a lot more with irking Bush and Republicans than diplomacy in the Middle East.

    And I hope voters are getting tired of the massive irresponsibility of Do-Nothing Congress and the White House.
    Hopefully, voters will make that know in Nov 2008.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 13, 2007 10:45 PM
    Comment #216505

    From the United Jerusalem Foundation:

    Ms. Pelosi did not help matters by claiming in Damascus that Israel was ready to talk — an assertion that Israeli officials were quick to deny.

    From the israelinsider.com:

    Contrary to claims made by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Israeli government did not ask her to send the message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that Jerusalem was willing to reopen peace talks with Damascus.

    From the Jewish Daily Forward:

    Nathan Guttman, Thu. Apr 05, 2007
    Jerusalem — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drew public objections from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this week, after she reportedly relayed a message to Damascus that Jerusalem was ready to open peace talks with Syria. The Forward learned from an Israeli source that in Pelosi’s meetings with Israeli officials, the House speaker was told that Jerusalem was open to any peace overture from Damascus but Syria must first end support for terrorism. On Thursday, the Israeli press quoted sources close to the prime minister saying that Pelosi “chose to use only part of the message” that Olmert had conveyed to her.

    From the Washington post:

    Mr. Olmert told Ms. Pelosi that “a number of Senate and House members who recently visited Damascus received the impression that despite the declarations of Bashar Assad, there is no change in the position of his country regarding a possible peace process with Israel.”

    From israel.jpost.com

    According to officials in the Prime Minister’s Office, however, this was not what transpired during her meeting with Olmert.
    The officials [in the Prime Minister’s Office] said Olmert had told Pelosi that he thought her trip to Damascus was a mistake, and that when she asked - nevertheless - whether he had a message for Assad, Olmert said Syria should first stop supporting terrorism and “act like a normal country,” and only then would Israel be willing to hold discussions.

    From Jerusalem (CNSNews.com):

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered the wrong message to Syrian President Bashar Assad from Israel, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s office said on Wednesday evening… . Earlier in the week, Olmert’s spokeswoman, Miri Eisen, said by telephone that Olmert had told Pelosi that he didn’t think Assad deserved all the attention he was getting.

    From Jerusalem (CNSNews.com):


    Former Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom was quoted by the radio as saying that he was concerned about the effects of Pelosi’s visit to Syria. The trip might encourage European states to drop their isolation of Syria.

    From Jerusalem Newswire:

    Contrary to claims made by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Israeli government did not ask her to message Syrian dictator Bashar el-Assad that Jerusalem was willing to reopen peace talks with Damascus. This is according to a “clarification” issued by the Prime Minister’s Office immediately after Pelosi, who visited with Assad Wednesday, said Olmert had given her such a message for the Syrian dictator.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I believe that my freedom to critique my own party …
    Freedom and actually doing are two different things. None of us are likely to live long enough to see it.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You have not business telling others that they must win free of partisan rhetoric if you can’t see your way past a fricking editorial.
    Not mere editorials. Quoted statements.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Why are you disregarding the word of Tom Lantos, a Congressional leader who says she repeated Israel’s message word for word?
    Another Democrat? You think that’s objective? Did one of the Republicans also on the trip corroborate that?

    The fact is, someone is lying, and we may never know the truth, but the reports do not favor Pelosi.

    Still, forget that nonsense.
    From the United Jerusalem Foundation:

    Ms. Pelosi did not help matters by claiming in Damascus that Israel was ready to talk — an assertion that Israeli officials were quick to deny.

    The fact is, someone is lying, and we may never know the truth, but the reports do not favor Pelosi.

    Still, I think the purpose of Pelosi’s trip had to do a lot more with irking Bush and Republicans, arrogance (she’s not the Secretary of State or the Ambassador) than diplomacy in the Middle East.

    And I hope voters are getting tired of the massive irresponsibility of Do-Nothing Congress and the White House.
    Hopefully, voters will make that know in Nov 2008.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 13, 2007 10:50 PM
    Comment #216513

    Dan-
    Your facts are wrong because the Washington Post’s op-ed’s facts are wrong. They claimed that the trip was not authorized. But as reported in Israel, Message was not only authorized by Olmert’s office, it was announced beforehand, with Olmert explaining why it was so important.

    Why would Olmert issue such a denial? Well in another story, it’s revealed that even the Administration’s own Condoleezza Rice was hamstrung by administration officials going behind her back with Olmert. She had negotiated a two day humanitarian ceasefire with Hezbollah, only for Olmert to break that because Cheney had told him to ignore her.

    Is it so far fetched for Bush to enlist Olmert’s help in embarrassing a political rival?

    The real question here is whether you have an open mind. You jumped on an op-ed, a form of journalistic literature with considerably looser standards for presenting facts and backing beliefs.

    By now, you have that “do-nothing congress” thing in this nice little fading gif animation. Beyond the question of whether someone like myself will suddenly find myself in agreement with you over an animated GIF (which is why I don’t use them), there’s also the question of whether you were ever open to any other assessment of Congress’s performance.

    The answer is, no. You started calling it a Do-Nothing Congress even before it had the legal authority to do a thing. You were saying such things when you had nothing more than speculation about what would be done to present the rest of us as proof of what they would do.

    And what can we say to dissuade you? Nothing. You’ve convinced yourself that you are oh so rational about it, but the Pelosi incident here just reveals the extent to which your beliefs are ingrained beyond logical necessity. You never once checked on the facts, and have ignored multiple appeals to the facts on my part.

    You are simply not willing to give this Congress the chance to make any kind of progress. You have decided that they are the same.

    In some ways, you may be right. And certainly I want more out of my Congress. But I recognize that the world does not run on my stopwatch. I find the intense scrutiny that this Congress is giving the Bush administration very heartening. I see signs that the Democrats are making real dents in lightening the load on earmarks and corruption.

    I never expected a sudden transition to angelic nature by Congress. I expect it will take a few years for some of the poison of the last twelve to begin filtering out. The mess is big and complicated, and instead of ideal candidates, we deal with the imperfect, sometimes compromised ones that came before. But that’s a start in comparison with what we’ve had. Real political success is often a very painful process of bootstrapping our way to better government. That’s why I emphasize the long term.

    That’s why I also emphasize breaking the big old problems you present in the same dull old generalities into more digestible, and more actionable specifics. People have heard all the old saws about throwing the bums out, about punishing the wicked, but people analyze candidates in a much more complex and not entirely rational manner. Rather than waiting for pain to make people react, or dull their minds with tables of figures, my approach is to use the narrative form, to treat it like I’m writing a news story.

    That’s what I like about Josh Marshall. They go after facts, they build stories. They got the news on the fired US Attorneys long before the big news folks caught on.

    I’ve got my own particular point of view. I am Democrat, who believes most of the party line. But that is by choice, and also because of attitudes I have beyond my political sensibilities. You can berate me for having this strong point of view, but I am not the first nor the last human being to have his rational mind and his feelings about what’s going on in tension.

    What I like about Talking Points Memo, to a certain extent, is that getting the facts takes some of that tension away. I can be rational with passion for what I believe in. I believe that what we believe should be informed by what we can know and understand through the examination of the facts. I believe there should be a feedback in any healthy mind, with any healthy political attitude, between what we know and what we feel.

    People grow to feel certain things, and they can interfere with what they perceive elsewhere. But it’s an unavoidable part of how people deal with the world. We don’t deduce the entire character of the world. We can’t function that way, 24-7. The rational mind plods slowly, in comparison to our feelings, our memories.

    What I try to do is strike a balance. I try and keep reality in the feedback loop.

    It offends my sensibilities to get overrational about things, to let logic lose without testing things. The big secret to how a rational species can do irrational things and consider them only logical is that Human beings run not on one single formal system of deductive logic, but various different arrays of logical systems, plus a whole lot of nonrational emotional and sensory systems. We’re composite creatures relying on incomplete information, with no one system that can predict every eventuality.

    The key is not rely on one system of logic, but be able to switch between different applicable kinds, to know the different systems different people would use, and to match theory to observation.

    Warring against corruption is not just one battle with one system at hand to defeat the enemy. You have to be able to think and consider things on many different levels. It is less the end of an ultimate system of logic, than a goal sought by whatever legitimate approaches can be found to work to those ends.

    One Simple Idea? There’s no simple world to match it, and that error has lead you to remain susceptible to stories that disparage the current Majority leaders.

    Americans didn’t find themselves in the position they were before 2006 because of one and only failure in politics. it was series of stepwise retreats from accountability. Part of it was even brought on and sustained by promises of reform. Even to the end, they used the fear of spending and taxation by others as a means to scare people away from Democrats. They played to people’s preconceptions, and gradually rationalized any number of failures of accountability.

    Looking at all this, we have to realize that it’s not going to get done all at once. It’s going to be as long and as involved as our surrender of our sovereignty was.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 13, 2007 11:51 PM
    Comment #216516

    Dan-
    I present you with the founder of CNSNews

    Also, regarding the United Jerusalem foundation, I want you to step back and and ask yourself what their agenda is. If you know the situation, and if you can tell what the general spread of the quotes is here, you might realize that there is a strong right-wing element here. These people support at least the retainment if not the annexation of the occupied territories.

    Also, you’re analyzing Tom Lantos much too one dimensionally. The guy is the only Holocaust survivor in Congress, and one of the closest members of the Democrats to Israel, and aside from his liberal stances on issues could be considered quite close to the Neocon’s position. Do you actually think he would, given his history, allow Pelosi to have gotten away with what you said he did?

    Just because something gets repeated in the media doesn’t make it true.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 14, 2007 12:19 AM
    Comment #216521

    Stephen AP

    I am sorry that I have to base what I know on what is in the paper. Maybe you should get the Washington Post and other media to retract their statements and get the Israelis to take back theirs and maybe if everybody could just change their stories, Pelosi could be right.

    Or maybe it could be that Pelsoi screwed it up. I know elaborate conspiracy theories are more fun, but a politician inexperienced in foreign affairs making a simple (if serious) mistake makes more sense.

    Posted by: Jack at April 14, 2007 12:48 AM
    Comment #216530

    Jack, I believe the WaPo partially retracted that op-ed on their blog. If I get a few minutes, I’ll look for it.

    d.a.n: What Stephen said.

    Posted by: American Pundit at April 14, 2007 1:08 AM
    Comment #216532

    BTW, d.a.n, since you brought it up, here’s my response from the other column to your errenous belief that some in Congress voted to give illegal immigrants Social Security benefits:

    d.a.n, I checked up on that Amendment 3985. It turns out that it was voted down because it was superfluous. US law already forbids illegal aliens from receiving Social Security benefits.

    There’s no need for another law saying the same thing.

    That vote was nothing but a political stunt by Republicans trying to get people like you riled up.

    Posted by: American Pundit at April 14, 2007 1:12 AM
    Comment #216535

    Stephen Daughtery,
    Had you carefully read my comment, you would have seen that I said NONE of us really know the truth.
    You and I were not there.
    However, someone is lying.
    Either Olmert is lying, or Pelosi is lying.
    Somebody is lying.
    Olmert could be lying, but you can’t prove it.

    It appears Israel, in advance, was not thrilled about Pelosi’s visit, but she insisted on it any way.

    Or, are you now going to allege it was a conspiracy by Bush and Olmert to discredit Pelosi?

    This issue really isn’t very important.
    I don’t really care who is lying about this, because I’ve already seen Pelosi lie.
    I caught her red-handed lying this week.
    She said on Jay Leno that Bush ojected to her going to Syria AFTER she got back.
    That’s false.
    Days before Pelosi went to Syria, Bush had said he was against it.
    What I dislike about this entire stupid mess is that it is a huge waste of tax payers money, and yet another distraction from what Pelosi is supposed to be doing.
    Pelosi is NOT the Ambassador or Secretary of State.
    Pelosi is just doing this to irk the Republicans and Bush.
    But you seem to think so.
    Now you are theorizing that Bush enlisted Olmert to lie?
    That shows how far some will go to refuse admitting a fault. You read that theory in an editorial, but it’s what you want to hear, eh?
    Again, the majority of reports don’t look very convincing in Pelosi’s favor.

    Let’s assume for a moment that Pelosi didn’t fumble the message, and Olmert is lying as you allege.

    So what?
    Personally, I think she fumbled it.
    But, none of us can prove it, but if Pelosi isn’t lying, then Olmert is lying. Perhaps Olmert is lying because he also believes Pelosi’s visit was a bad idea. Doesn’t Isreal have a say, since it is their message?

    At any rate, don’t we have much more important things to worry about? ! ?

    Why hasn’t Congress completed the funding BILL?
    It hasn’t yet reached Bush’s desk yet, has it?
    And why did Congress (mostly Dems) tack on a lot of pork-barrel?
    What happened to the ban on earmarks?

    Stephen,
    I don’t play favorites anymore, don’t like many (if any) politicians, and don’t have partisan blinders with regard to each.

    But its very obvious that you demonize the Republicans all the time, but ignore or defend the politicians in your own party.

    And that is why the Dems are gonna crash and burn just like the Repubs. Making excuses for your policians emboldens them to be ever more irresponsible.

    So, if you’re pleased with Pelosi, that’s your business. I think she’s wasting the tax payers money, time, and distracting us from more important issues. Of course, you don’t agree with that, which is why you can find NO criticism for her galivanting about acting like the Secretary of State and/or Ambassador.

    Regardless, you should be upset that this entire $#it storm she’s cause trying to act like Secretary of State / Ambassador to Syria.

    All of this nonsense is a perfect example of our Do-Nothing Congress, as it ignores the nation’s most pressing problems, growing in number and severity.

    This non-stop nonsense proves that nothing has changed. The 110th Congress (90% of the 109th Congress) is still as irresponsible as it ever was.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 14, 2007 1:21 AM
    Comment #216538
    American Puntit BTW, d.a.n, since you brought it up, here’s my response from the other column to your errenous belief that some in Congress voted to give illegal immigrants Social Security benefits: d.a.n, I checked up on that Amendment 3985. It turns out that it was voted down because it was superfluous. US law already forbids illegal aliens from receiving Social Security benefits. There’s no need for another law saying the same thing.
    Nonsense.

    Clever, but pure nonsense.
    The major flaw is this:
    If it was superflous, why not vote NAY to make it perfectly clear, rather than vote YEA to table (kill) it?

    And where does it say it was superfluous?
    It’s an immigration reform bill, with many changes, potential changes to Social Security, Medicare, etc.
    So nothing can be left to chance.
    Also, there were studies that were investigating the impact of giving Social Security to illegal aliens.
    You say it is already illegal.
    Then how is it that 32% of illegal aliens already receive welfare, receive Medicaid, use our schools, hospitals, ERs, drive around with fake driver’s licenses, and even vote in our elections.
    They are here illegally already.

    So it was not a mere stunt.
    It is necessary to make it perfectly clear what is legal and what is not, and Amendment 3985 made it perfectly clear that illegal aliens could NOT receive Social Security later as a result of having worked in the U.S. illegally.
    So, your claim makes no sense.
    Besides, you know damn well most Democrats want to make it easy on illegal aliens … because they see more votes.

    Also, if it didn’t matter, and it was truly superflous, then why not just vote against tabling the prohibition?
    There are lots of laws that already exist that are not being enforced.

    American Puntit That vote was nothing but a political stunt by Republicans trying to get people like you riled up.
    Of course you’d say it was some stunt or conspiracy.

    I expected that.
    If figures.
    The Dems can do no wrong (and the Repubs are no better).
    The blind partisanship knows no bounds.
    Keep wallowing in it and see what it gets YOUR party in 2008.
    I have a feeling more voters are starting to get fed up with this new 110th Congress.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 14, 2007 1:42 AM
    Comment #216591

    Dan-
    That none of us know the full truth is not an excuse for believing what we like. Olmert has once before broken his word to another person working American foreign policy on the suggestion of Dick Cheney, and that time it was with a member of the Bush Administration. If you want to ignore that pattern in determining who’s more likely to be lying, it’s your choice.

    The Article I linked to indicated the importance of the Pelosi trip. If they were so displeased, why was it that they let the meeting go on at all?

    Bush has been against any diplomatic discussions with Iran or Syria. Unfortunately, that means he’s done absolutely nothing about them. Others, including those in his own party and on the Baker Commission, have criticized this approach.

    You claim that foreign policy isn’t Pelosi’s business. False. It’s generally known that Congress deals in foreign policy. You don’t have to be an ambassador to meet with foreign leaders. You’re accepting what is essentially a Republican Talking Point, which has no basis in the actual constitution or the shape of our government.

    It’s funny, you know. You tell me that nobody knows the entire truth, but then you insist you know exactly why Pelosi is doing what she’s doing. To embarrass Bush. Right. It’s not as if his foreign policy and his inability to get Syria and Iran to do what he wants hasn’t embarrassed him enough.

    The White already compromised Olmert once, induced him to break his word with Condi Rice. What would be more likely, that Pelosi would screw up relating this important message that would put her ahead of Bush in the game, or that Bush would pull his usual tricks to embarrass his enemies. This is a guy whose underlings outed a CIA agent to embarrass and remove credibility from her husband. This kind of politics is not beyond him.

    You say “so what?” I say Bush doesn’t deserve a monopoly on foreign policy, after all he’s done. What’s wrong with trying to keep his policies, which have caused great tension between Israel and the rest of the Middle East. If Pelosi’s intentions were not good, why would Lantos even bother to come along. There are any number of other people who didn’t have a personal stake in Israel.

    They were trying to prevent a war. Does that even matter to you? It matters to me. So what if Bush gets embarrassed. Who cares? What matters is repairing the damage he’s done.

    Congress completed the funding bill, and it’s sent through both houses. You tie yourself in knots with your your argument. The only they haven’t done is send it forward to be signed, because they intend to give the president the chance to negotiate. Rather than play politics with the president’s veto, they’re trying to strike a compromise.

    What happened to the Earmarks? The Ban was temporary, while a law was worked out to make the author of the earmarks accountable. The Porkbarrel, what could legitimately be called that, was meant to get the majorities needed to do what the majority of Americans wanted.

    The truth is, I know I’m dealing with imperfection here. But you can’t seem to tolerate anything short of an ideal. And that is why your approach will never work. I am comfortable with Bootstrapping the process up, election by election, scandal by scandal, entry by entry, pushing the matter persistently, for the long term. You, though, want everything all at once. Instead of citing the comparatively large turnover as a hopeful sign, you instead despair in your words, criticizing the fact that only so many incumbents lost their seats. Instead of looking at it like a good start, you cite it as a failure. You don’t seem to have the patience to deal with society as it operates in the real world.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 14, 2007 2:45 PM
    Comment #216598
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n , That none of us know the full truth is not an excuse for believing what we like.
    True.

    Olmert or Pelosi is lying.
    Pelosi has lied and done sneaky stuff before.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Olmert has once before broken his word to another person working American foreign policy on the suggestion of Dick Cheney, and that time it was with a member of the Bush Administration. If you want to ignore that pattern in determining who’s more likely to be lying, it’s your choice.
    Pelosi has lied and done sneaky stuff before too.

    So, you can believe what ever you want too.
    You’re still ignoring the fact that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) didn’t want Pelosi to come in the first place, and neither did Bush. Besides, Assad is an asshole, and Pelosi suckin’ up to him is pathetic.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Article I linked to indicated the importance of the Pelosi trip. If they were so displeased, why was it that they let the meeting go on at all?
    You are ignoring the fact that they (the PMO and Bush) didn’t want it in the first place (see article above).
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Bush has been against any diplomatic discussions with Iran or Syria.
    And rightfully so. Assad is an asshole.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Unfortunately, that means he’s done absolutely nothing about them.
    What’s he supposed to do? Bribe them? Throw some money their way?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Others, including those in his own party and on the Baker Commission, have criticized this approach.
    So? Plenty criticize Pelosi for what she did too. You want to discuss who is more screwed up?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You claim that foreign policy isn’t Pelosi’s business. False.
    No. Your statement is false.

    I wrote Pelosi isn’t the Ambassador or Secretary of State, she’s wasting the tax payers time and money, stirring up a $#!+ storm just to irritate Bush and Republicans, and throw her weight around. Also, we have got many serious problems (a fact you keep ignoring too) here at home that need attention, without Congress persons running all around the world while our problems are continually ignored by the Do-Nothing Congress. That includes John McCain and his B.S. trip too.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s generally known that Congress deals in foreign policy.
    It doesn’t matter. You’ll rationalize away anything YOUR party does, defending their actions regardless, but never missing an opportunity to bash the OTHER party.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You don’t have to be an ambassador to meet with foreign leaders.
    Pelosi can’t make deals.

    And if she wanted to deliver a message, then why not pick up the phone and deliver it. It’s a bunch of B.S., but you’re not about to admit it.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’re accepting what is essentially a Republican Talking Point, which has no basis in the actual constitution or the shape of our government.
    I think Pelosi fumbled it. Had she know what she was doing, and if Olmert is the one lying, Pelosi should have made sure the meeting was verifable.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s funny, you know. You tell me that nobody knows the entire truth, but then you insist you know exactly why Pelosi is doing what she’s doing.
    What’s funny is you twisting the facts.

    I believe Pelosi fumbled it. But I can’t prove it, and neither can you. Pelosi has lied before. You say Olmert has lied before too. It doesn’t surprise me. That’s what most politicians do.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: To embarrass Bush. Right. It’s not as if his foreign policy and his inability to get Syria and Iran to do what he wants hasn’t embarrassed him enough.
    Iran and Syria are no source of embarrassment for Bush. It’s not in his power to control them.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The White already compromised Olmert once, induced him to break his word with Condi Rice. What would be more likely, that Pelosi would screw up relating this important message that would put her ahead of Bush in the game, or that Bush would pull his usual tricks to embarrass his enemies. This is a guy whose underlings outed a CIA agent to embarrass and remove credibility from her husband. This kind of politics is not beyond him.
    Did you read that in an article? Prove it. Not just news articles. Prove it.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You say “so what?” I say Bush doesn’t deserve a monopoly on foreign policy, after all he’s done.
    Who said he does?

    I said “so what” if Pelosi didn’t lie. I don’t care. She’s wasting time, money, and stirring it up to make it stink.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: What’s wrong with trying to keep his policies, which have caused great tension between Israel and the rest of the Middle East.
    Israel is quite good at that all by themselves. Besides, all the administrations have been supportive of Israel.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If Pelosi’s intentions were not good, why would Lantos even bother to come along. There are any number of other people who didn’t have a personal stake in Israel.
    It’s a photo op. What politician will turn that down. And what did the one Republican have to say. I didn’t hear him corroborating Pelosi’s version.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: They were trying to prevent a war. Does that even matter to you? It matters to me. So what if Bush gets embarrassed. Who cares? What matters is repairing the damage he’s done.
    Prevent a war? Nonsense. Where’s the evidence a war is eminent? Even if it was, what’s new?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Congress completed the funding bill, and it’s sent through both houses. You tie yourself in knots with your your argument. The only they haven’t done is send it forward to be signed, because they intend to give the president the chance to negotiate.
    You don’t know that. They’re all playing stupid partisan politics.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Rather than play politics with the president’s veto, they’re trying to strike a compromise.
    Yeah right. You really believe that, eh? Bush and most (if not all) in Congress are acting irresponsibly.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: What happened to the Earmarks? The Ban was temporary, while a law was worked out to make the author of the earmarks accountable. The Porkbarrel, what could legitimately be called that, was meant to get the majorities needed to do what the majority of Americans wanted.
    Could legitimately be called that?

    * SIGH * . The rationalizations and excuses never cease. So it’s OK to have pork-barrel now because the ban on earmkars was temporary?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The truth is, I know I’m dealing with imperfection here.
    That’s what you always say when you’re faced with the indisputable fact that the Dems are just as irresponsible and unaccountable as the Repubs. Government is FOR-SALE. Continually making excuses and rationalizations for YOUR party only makes them MORE irresponsible.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: But you can’t seem to tolerate anything short of an ideal.
    Nonsense.

    I’m not looking for perfection, and your accusation of such is pure nonsense, proving a partisan bias and the weakness of your arguments. Congress is NOT merely just slightly imperfect. Congress and the White House are very screwed up, FOR-SALE, bought-and-paid-for, greedy, arrogant, bloated, wasteful, and irresponsible. You used to say the same when the OTHER party was the IN-PARTY. The shift is fascinating now that YOUR party is the IN-PARTY. All we hear now is “WE are not perfect”, “I’m not looking for perfection”, “WE need more time”, etc., etc., etc., excuse after excuse.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And that is why your approach will never work.
    Think so, eh?

    We’ll see. Why are the third parties, independents, and anti-incumbent groups growing?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I am comfortable with Bootstrapping the process up, election by election, scandal by scandal, entry by entry, pushing the matter persistently, for the long term.
    Looking the other way won’t make YOUR party anything but MORE irresponsible.

    By the way, you never answered me.
    Did you pull the party lever didn’t you (in the last election)?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You, though, want everything all at once.
    Nonsense.

    I, and an increasing number of voters want results.
    Not all at once.
    That argument of all at once is lame, but that’s understandable when the argument is so utterly ridiculous.
    So, what has Congress accomplished?
    A minimum wage (even for Samoa after it was discovered Pelosi represented StarKist; the largest employer in Samoa)?
    What good is that when they refuse to enforce the law to stop illegal immigration, which allows millions of illegal aliens (cheap labor) to continue to flood across the borders; displacing 2.3 million American workers, and despicably pitting Americans and illegal aliens against each other?

    When is Congress going to get around to doing something?
    Making excuses for their do-nothingness ain’t gonna make ‘em more motivated to get anything done.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Instead of citing the comparatively large turnover as a hopeful sign,
    False. Less than 10% turn over occured. That is a historically small percentage (one-simple-idea.com/CongressMakeUp_1855_2008.htm).
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Instead of citing the comparatively large turnover as a hopeful sign, you instead despair in your words, criticizing the fact that only so many incumbents lost their seats.
    That’s exactly right.

    Rewarding irresponsible incumbnent politicians by repeated re-electing them will not make them more responsible.
    The logic is sound.
    It’s what voters were supposed to be doing all along.
    Unfortunately, too many are too lazy to vote, or stop blindly pulling the party lever.
    I used to be one of ‘em , but no more.
    It doesn’t work.
    It only makes them more irresponsible.
    It only lets the two-party duopoly take turns gettin’ theirs, voting themselves cu$hy perk$ and raises (they just gave themselves the 9th raise in 10 years; at a time when our troops are risking life and limb and funding for the troops is currently being debated).

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Instead of looking at it like a good start, you cite it as a failure.
    The facts speak for themself.

    Besides, I’ve been observing and studying them for 50+ years, and it’s all too obvious to me that they are too FOR-SALE, too irresponsible, too selfish, too incompetent, too greedy, too look-the-other-way, refuse many common-sense/no-brainer reforms, and the nation’s problems take a back seat to everything else.

    So, what has YOUR wonderful 110th Congress accomplished since 7-Nov-2007?
    Vote themselves another raise?
    Fly around the world paying attention to everything but OUR nation’s problems?
    Ignore Election reform?
    Ignore Campaign Finance reform?
    Ignore Ilegal Immigration?
    Ignore the $8.9 trillion National Debt?
    Ignore the approaching entitlemens/demographics/77 million baby boomer/generational storm?
    Ignore the $12.9 trillion Social Security debt and massive Medicare short falls?
    Ignore the PBGC $450 billion in the hole?
    Ignore the pandering, graft, and ethics reforms?
    Ignore term limits?
    Ignore ONE-PURPOSE-PER-BILL?
    Ignore Gerrymandering?
    Ignore corporcrisy, corporate welfare, corporatism, and other manifestations of unchecked greed?
    Ignore excessive money printing?
    Ignore inflation/deflation in excess of +1% / -1% ?
    Ignore healthcare (the biggest lobbyist)?
    Ignore tax reform?
    Ignore judicial dysfunction?
    Ignore voter fraud / disfrachisement?
    Ignore waste?
    Ignore barriers for access to ballots for third parties and indepedents ?
    Ignore 568 Article V Convention requests by ALL 50 states ?
    Ignore MANY badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer reforms, or anything else that may even remotely reduce their power, opportunities for self-gain, or reduce the security of their cu$hy, coveted incumbencies?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You don’t seem to have the patience to deal with society as it operates in the real world.
    Nonsense.

    Yet another lame excuse / rationalization.
    Funny that you had so much criticism for government prior to the last election (7-Nov-2006).
    I guess you just didn’t “have the patience to deal with society as it operates in the real world.” before 7-Nov-2006?

    Voters, increasingly, want results, but don’t see any.
    Most voters don’t give a [expletive] about sucking up to Syrian and Iranian leaders like Pelosi wants to.

    Keep it up, and see where it gets YOUR party if it continues its do-nothingness, fueling the partisan warfare, stirring it up to make it stink, and ignoring the nation’s most pressing problems.

    Also, if the Dems won such a landslide as you picture in your mind, why do the Dems still have a tiny lead in the House and Senate (historically speaking)?
    How could it be, when 90% of the 109th Congress are still in the 110th Congress?
    You vision of a vastly predominate Democrat Congress isn’t true.
    If the Dems were SO successful at convincing Americans to vote for THEM, why do they have such a puny lead?
    They’d better watch out, or that lead my become even more puny.
    Keep makin’ excuses for YOUR party and see what happens.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 14, 2007 4:09 PM
    Comment #216627
    Clever, but pure nonsense.

    d.a.n, I’m not that clever. I just googled the amendment and read up on it. It didn’t take any special skill on my part.

    You can read my response in the appropriate thread.

    Posted by: American Pundit at April 14, 2007 10:43 PM
    Comment #216679

    American Puntit,
    You provided NO evidence at all.
    That’s because you have none.
    This is all you wrote.

    d.a.n, I can’t make you acknowledge truth. I can only present it and hope that others will be less narrow minded.
    You call that proof ?
    Talk about narrowminded.
    Please show us specifically how BILL S.2611 Amendment #3985 is superfluous?
    And, if it was superfluous, why vote YEA to table (kill) it?
    Why not vote NAY to not table (kill) it?
    Where is this stuff you googled?
    Please show us.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 15, 2007 1:15 PM
    Comment #216686
    You provided NO evidence at all.

    Are you asking me for proof that it’s illegal for illegal immigrants to collect Social Security benefits? Do you think illegal immigrants are collecting Social Security right now?

    C’mon, d.a.n. Are you also in favor of a new law making it illegal to run a red light? It’s already illegal. Why bother?

    Posted by: American Pundit at April 15, 2007 1:41 PM
    Comment #216697

    American Pudnit,

    Where’s your proof.
    You said you googled BILL S.2611 Amendment #3985 and proved to yourself only that it was superfluous.
    Please show us why S.2611 Amendment #3985 was superfluous.
    Show us why it was tabled (killed).
    Interesting that 39 of 51 Senators that killed it were Democrats.

    American Pundit wrote: d.a.n, I looked up S2611 and couldn’t find any mention of giving illegal immigrants Social Security benefits. I call your bluff.
    American Puntit wrote: d.a.n, I went back and looked, but still didn’t see it. Perhaps you can point out the specific section of the bill that gives illegal immigrants Social Security benefits.
    American Puntit wrote: I’m beginning to suspect you don’t know anything about the bill other than what you read from these radical lobbyist groups.
    American Puntit wrote: d.a.n, I checked up on that Amendment 3985. It turns out that it was voted down because it was superfluous. US law already forbids illegal aliens from receiving Social Security benefits. There’s no need for another law saying the same thing.
    American Pundit,

    That was NOT what the BILL addressed only.
    The BILL also addressed Social Security for illegal aliens that may later become citizens and whether they would be eligible for Social Security benefits prior to becoming a citizen. There were studies being conducted to see what the impact would be on the Social Security system.

    American Puntit wrote: That vote was nothing but a political stunt by Republicans trying to get people like you riled up.
    Nonsense.

    Amendment #3985 of Bill S.2611 was NOT wasn’t superfluous.
    That was not why Amendment # 3985 was killed.
    The BILL dealt specifically with whether illegal aliens could collect Social Security while working in the U.S. illegally IF their status was changed later (i.e. given amnesty or legally immigrated).
    Just saying it is superfluous is false.
    Here’s the BILL S.2611, the facts, the analysis, links to all that voted on it, and other sources.

    American Puntit wrote: d.a.n, I can’t make you acknowledge truth. I can only present it and hope that others will be less narrow minded.
    American Puntit wrote: Are you asking me for proof that it’s illegal for illegal immigrants to collect Social Security benefits? Do you think illegal immigrants are collecting Social Security right now?
    Yes. Some do. Not only that, 32% of all illegal aliens receive welfare and/or medicaid.
    American Puntit wrote: C’mon, d.a.n. Are you also in favor of a new law making it illegal to run a red light? It’s already illegal. Why bother?
    You don’t want to bother because you are wrong.

    I’d of let it drop, except that you wrote:

    American Pundit wrote:
    d.a.n, I looked up S2611 and couldn’t find any mention of giving illegal immigrants Social Security benefits. I call your bluff.
    and
    American Puntit wrote:
    I’m beginning to suspect you don’t know anything about the bill other than what you read from these radical lobbyist groups.

    The fact is, you don’t know what you’re talking about and you are now avoiding the issue with insults …

    If you really had the proof you allege, you would have shown the so-called results of your google search.
    So, where is your evidence?
    Please show us what you said you googled which proved that Amendment #3985 of BILL S.2611 was superfluous and/or that was the reason it was killed?

    Admit it. You’re wrong.
    Here’s the urban legend write-up at snopes.com that states it is true and why:
    … it boils down to this: While the list of who voted which way is accurate, what was being voted on was a motion to table (that is, stick in a closet in hopes that it will never be seen again) a motion to deny former illeagl aliens credit for the Social Security payments they made while in the U.S. illegally. Last Updated: 4 June 2006

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 15, 2007 3:23 PM
    Comment #216744

    Dan-
    Olmert lied in a similar situation, breaking his word on a deal on behalf of Dick Cheney, this with Sec. of State Rice. If he’d screw Bush’s real representative, don’t you think he’d screw Pelosi over in a moment if asked?

    The Haaretz article lays it out. Olmert wanted that mission, it’s clear as a bell. The whole thing was announced. The difference between your argument and mine is that I can establish a similar lie under similar circumstances, which makes my explanation the more likely of the two.

    Whatever you call Assad, there are advantages to talking with him. Syria stands to benefit if it becomes rehabilitated, and he knows that. Assad stands to lose if Iraq’s troubles blowback into his country. Make him the right deal, and he becomes less of a problem.

    Pelosi is the leader of a body that takes care of foreign policy as part of its constitutional duties, under its constitional authorities on many matters. It’s idiocy to keep her locked up in our borders like a nun in a convent, to be fed bull by an administration that shapes intelligence to suit it’s disastrously inept foreign policy. I think you have noticed your share of these foreign policy problems. Unfortunately, you buy a very partisan, very politicized argument regarding the Executive branch as the only branch with foreign policy problems.

    On the subject of picking up a phone and delivering messages, It’s neither secure, nor altogether good protocol to pick up a phone and call. That’s very impersonal, and in some cultures, insulting. It also cuts off sight of body language and other nonverbal cues.

    On the subject of Valerie Wilson, read the the encyclopedia or two that’s been written about the case, for crying out loud. There’s proof aplenty.

    On the subject of support for Israel, you should understand that no other generation has allied itself so closely with the Israeli Right-Wing, nor given them such carte blanche to aggravate the situation. On the subject of the war, it’s all there in the Haaretz article, if you see fit to read it.

    If you want to play the partisan bias game with Lantos, dismissing all other factors from being important besides his party affiliation, that’s your call. I doubt he would cover for a Pelosi screwup that would endanger Israel.

    The War funding bill has passed both houses of Congress. It will be submitted, and we will see how stubborn Bush will be about this, and how much guts my side has. You’ve already spun it how you like. I’m waiting to see how it turns out. If they back down on this, I won’t be pleased. That’s the difference between you and me: you have your response here already planned out. You know who to blame and why. I’m looking for the way this is breaking down, so I know where the breaks and the failures of rhetoric are.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 16, 2007 12:38 AM
    Comment #216873
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n , Olmert lied in a similar situation, breaking his word on a deal on behalf of Dick Cheney, this with Sec. of State Rice. If he’d screw Bush’s real representative, don’t you think he’d screw Pelosi over in a moment if asked?
    Maybe. Like I said, they both lie.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Haaretz article lays it out. Olmert wanted that mission, it’s clear as a bell. The whole thing was announced. The difference between your argument and mine is that I can establish a similar lie under similar circumstances, which makes my explanation the more likely of the two.
    Why? They both lie.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Whatever you call Assad, there are advantages to talking with him. Syria stands to benefit if it becomes rehabilitated, and he knows that. Assad stands to lose if Iraq’s troubles blowback into his country. Make him the right deal, and he becomes less of a problem.
    How?

    Buy them? Bribe them? Why should we give Assad anything?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Pelosi is the leader of a body that takes care of foreign policy as part of its constitutional duties, under its constitional authorities on many matters. It’s idiocy to keep her locked up in our borders like a nun in a convent, to be fed bull by an administration that shapes intelligence to suit it’s disastrously inept foreign policy. I think you have noticed YOUR share of these foreign policy problems. Unfortunately, you buy a very partisan, very politicized argument regarding the Executive branch as the only branch with foreign policy problems.
    Where do you come up with these conclusions?

    Why do you call it “YOUR share of these for policy problems”.
    I’m not Republican, nor a Bush fan.
    You have a strange habit of viewing everything as “Dems” versus “Repubs”.

    I don’t support Bush’s alienation of our allies.
    But I don’t see much point in Pelosi runnin’ around stirring it up and makin’ it stink.
    Especially with the likes of Assad.

    Besides, Pelosi did it mostly just to irritate Bush and throw her weight around.
    It was all a big waste of time and money.
    It’s just one more of many ways politicians waste the tax payers time and money, as OUR nation’s problems continue to be ignored by .

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: On the subject of picking up a phone and delivering messages, It’s neither secure, nor altogether good protocol to pick up a phone and call. That’s very impersonal, and in some cultures, insulting. It also cuts off sight of body language and other nonverbal cues.
    Communications of that sort happen ALL the time via telephone.

    Not everthing needs to be done in person.
    In fact, most things do NOT occur in person.
    Ever heard of video conferencing?
    And you don’t think it can be secure?
    And what is so secret about Israel being agreeable to discussions?
    Especially since the whole matter was made public by Olmert’s statement.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: On the subject of Valerie Wilson, read the the encyclopedia or two that’s been written about the case, for crying out loud. There’s proof aplenty.
    I never even commented or disputed the Valerie Wilson matter.

    So, what are you talkin’ about ? (i.e. in your words: “for crying out loud”)?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: On the subject of support for Israel, you should understand that no other generation has allied itself so closely with the Israeli Right-Wing, nor given them such carte blanche to aggravate the situation. On the subject of the war, it’s all there in the Haaretz article, if you see fit to read it.
    That’s what I said.

    Israel is quite good at making things worse for themselves, stirring it up and makin’ it stink.
    You’re arguing several things I’ve never disputed.
    War? What’s new?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you want to play the partisan bias game with Lantos, dismissing all other factors from being important besides his party affiliation, that’s your call. I doubt he would cover for a Pelosi screwup that would endanger Israel.
    Me? Play the partisan bias game.

    No, Stephen. That’s your forte.
    Who knows who is lying. Neither of us were there. And what did the one Republican that accompanied them say?
    Maybe Pelosi did say Syria must stop supporting terrorism.

    Her problem is that she was foolish enough to go behind closed doors.
    She should have kept it in the open.
    Not very smart on her part, proving that she ought to leave it to those more experience.
    Even if Pelosi did relate the message correctly, then she set herself up.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The War funding bill has passed both houses of Congress. It will be submitted, and we will see how stubborn Bush will be about this, and how much guts MY side has.
    The BILL hasn’t been given to Bush yet.

    And it’s too bad it is full of pork-barrel and waste.
    The partisan bickering and games over this BILL is a perfect example of what is wrong with Do-Nothing Congress.
    Besides, the BILL has funding for the troops.
    I’ve already stated several times that “if Bush doesn’t sign it, he is the one that is stopping funding for the troops”.
    And Bush may be dumb enough to do just that.
    It wouldn’t surprise me at all.
    It will be just one more blunder to add to his long, long list of blunders.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’ve already spun it how you like. I’m waiting to see how it turns out.
    Nonsense. I’m not the one fueling and wallowing in the partisan warfare; constantly making excuses for ONE party, and demonizing the OTHER party.

    I’ve already stated above that if Bush doesn’t sign it, he is the one that is stopping funding for the troops.
    Too bad Congress also had to add a bunch of pork-barrel.
    How responsible is that while our troops need funding, risk life and limb, and some can’t get adequate medical care or promised benefits?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If they back down on this, I won’t be pleased. That’s the difference between you and me: you have your response here already planned out. You know who to blame and why. I’m looking for the way this is breaking down, so I know where the breaks and the failures of rhetoric are.
    Maybe, but can you do it non-partisanly?

    One more time, I’ve already stated above in other threads that if Bush doesn’t sign it, he is the one that is stopping funding for the troops. You won’t catch me defending much of anything Bush does, or any of his other co-blunderers. You seem to have this strange idea that I’m defending Republicans, and nothing could be farther from the truth. Just ask some Republicans in the red column. And in the last election, I’m not the one that pulled the party-lever. In the last election of 7-Nov-2007, I voted for some Democrats, some Libertarians, some Greens, and one unopposed non-incumbent Republican for a local office.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 16, 2007 6:00 PM
    Comment #217229

    Dan-
    My explanation is more likely because the guy did it before, under practically the same way, with the same beneficiary. It’s a fact based argument, rather than just being a generalization. Even if both lie, one person’s story is better supported by the facts, and its not Olmert, much less the Washington Post’s erroneous version of Olmert’s response.

    As for Assad, we could go from making friends with him all the way to making dire threats with him. This isn’t about his personal worthiness. This is about keeping our options open. The point is to work towards the goal of making Syria less of a problem for us.

    The tactic of Isolation only works when we can keep these folks hemmed in from other countries. That’s not happening, so it’s just letting them do what they want while we sit on the sidelines.

    As for potential problems with phone communications, I don’t think you appreciate just how vulnerable they are. Just tap a line, and you’ve got it. You could do encryption, but somebody’s got to handle the decryption on the other side, otherwise it’s worthless. As for secrets, that’s not necessarily the issue. I’m not sure if Syria even officially recognizes Israel, or vice versa. When states don’t recognize each other, back channel negotiations become the main artery of communication.

    You don’t defend Bush, but you defend policies remarkably like his, and one of those is just not talking to the bad guys. That hasn’t worked.

    I can see something else hasn’t worked. As much as you claim to be nonpartisan, you are dedicated to your cause, and though you don’t admit it, it blinds you to your own ability to assume things as a given that you have not really proven to the reader. You keep on calling Congress Do-Nothing, and allege the people are just going to get angrier, but it seems like they’re liking the job getting done, for the most part.

    Arguing hypothetical responses is both easy to do, and impossible to do right. You can argue about the evils of partisanship, but this is an Democracy where factions were meant to go at it, to put a check on each other’s actions. You talk about partisan warfare, but I fear you don’t understand just how politicized this administration has gotten, and just how much that’s done. This article might help you understand part of what the whole thing at the Justice Department is about.

    By stereotyping what the Democrats are doing as Partisan warfare, you’re missing part of the point of why Democrats were elected, and why the founding fathers put together the government like they did, which checks and balances.

    Americans elected us because they wanted somebody to hammer at the Bush Administration. They wanted folks who were willing to put the brakes on the nightmare that is the Bush Administration.

    Do we need to do more? God yes. God yes. But don’t get the impression that our actions towards the Bush Administration are unwanted by the public. We just need to keep in mind the reasons behind what we’re doing, and the need to not fall into the same traps that the GOP has.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 18, 2007 12:52 AM
    Comment #217240
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You don’t defend Bush, but you defend policies remarkably like his, and one of those is just not talking to the bad guys. That hasn’t worked.
    Pure B.S.

    I do not defend Bush or his policies.
    I do not support the continued occupation of Iraq.

    I constantly can come up with hundreds (or more) of instances to disprove that accusation.

    Have you not seen the 99 Bush Blunders?

    So, how in the world could you and others possibly allege I support Bush or his blunders, or his co-blunderers?
    I don’t, and I’ve been very vocal against it.

    The problem is that you and others have already drawn many incorrect conclusions. You may have an ally, but you squander it with constant accusations of supporting Republicans. Nevermind that I didn’t voter for any incumbent Republicans in the last election. Nevermind that I am the first to enumerate the Republicans corruption.

    That argument is pure nonsense and hundreds of my posts prove it.

    You are unnecessarily destroying alliances.
    Why?

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 18, 2007 1:32 AM
    Comment #218246

    Pelosi should be concentrating on her First 100 days policy promises, The democrats are 0-6 in promises so far. The only thing we have seen so far is debacles like the Syria visit and a lot of swatting with a rolled up newspaper. The whole revenge thing is very ugly and a huge waste of time that could be spent keeping promises made.

    Posted by: john at April 24, 2007 9:56 AM
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