Can’t Wait for Those Debates

Democrats and the media cut Obama a lot of slack. He would need to make a truly monumental mistake to lose the nomination. This and his pile of money make him the front-runner this fall too. The elite of the Democratic party, MSM and academia has already crowned Obama. Can they make their decision stick? Only if they can control the venues. Watch them try to limit the number and scope of presidential debates.

If you watch the election news with the mute on, you can see the extent of the Obama advantage. We see Obama speaking with adoring fans in the background or walking among the enthusiastic people. MSM shows McCain in tight close-ups, often sitting alone on his campaign bus. No matter what the narrative says, the pictures trump them. MSNBC ,BTW, is the worst offender, with scowling guys like Keith Olbermann serving as Obama guard and attack dogs. They jump an any misstatments by McCain, but let Obama fly by calling women he doesn't know "sweetie" or talking about the 57. We know he just misspoke, and it is indeed stupid to jump on these sorts of things, but the benefit of the doubt is extended only to Obama.

The Obama gaff machine just keeps on rolling. Of course, you would think he would get his own biography right. He claims that his parents got together inspired by civil rights marches that took place in Selma, Alabama in 1965. Obama was born in 1961. He also complained that we do not have enough translators in Afghanistan because they are deployed to Iraq. But I digress. Follow the link for more Obama gaffs you probably have not heard about and then imagine a Republican sayng exactly the same things. You would have heard.

McCain will never get a fair shake from MSM. Even if they report the words fairly, they will continue to use the endless visual loops of Obama & McCain the respective situations I mention above. Debates will even the odds.

That is why the Obama folks are afraid to let their man debate w/o extensive preconditions.

Obama doesn’t do well in debates because their structure limits the external stage managing of Obama fans. Hilary managed to zap Obama on several occasions. His media allies tried to explain it away and his fans were indignent that his greatness would be put the the vulgar test of truth, but they could not go back in time and change what Obama had said. That is why Obama avoided debating Hilary as much as possible. It was during Democratic debates that Obama made that silly talking to terrorists w/o preconditions gaff. It was during the debates that he made those dumb statements on affirmative action. Obama’s fans blame journalists for asking him hard questions. They are ordinary questions, but Obama usually does not need to answer them since his choreographers control most venues. It is easy to get the upper hand when the script hands it to you.

Let me modify the statement that Obama doesn’t do well in debates. This is a relative statement. Obama is an intelligent and articulate guy. He does RELATIVELY less well because it is a fair forum. Anybody would have that experience.

The usual Obama event is an Oprah style celebration of Obamism (Obomany? Obamer?) – Obama: how great thou art. He is surrounded by adoring fans and looking good. He can spin the questions any way he wants and give a well rehearsed answer to himself.

You can see the pattern almost every day on every news outlet. Obama paraphrase (i.e. spins) his opponent’s statement and then dispatches it. It goes like this. “Hilary Clinton says …Well let me tell Hilary Clinton …" Imagine it in Obama’s sweet cadence and you will know exactly what I mean. He can then count on the friendly media to run the particular footage. It is like a free campaign ad. His handlers are very good at handling Obama and his fans. If an opponent tries the same thing, the media carefully parses the statement, shows the opponent in a tight close-up and then cuts to Obama’s dance to answer that one. If Obama says something smart, Obama wins. If Obama says something dumb, Obama wins. If Obama says nothing at all, Obama wins. When so much of the media, entertainment and academic elite is helping out, you have the perfect environment to look good.

In a debate, Obama cannot as easily signal his cheering section to back him with the mood music of cheers or sighs and he may have the answer serious questions posed in ways that do not get the applause line. He is not able to spin his opponent’s words because the opponent is standing right there. Beyond that, the cheering section won’t appear on the news clips. In fact, Obama-friendly media will be limited to showing him in those tight close-ups or w/o the adoring fans in the background. In other words, they will have to show him in the same context they like to show John McCain.

McCain will prevail over Obama in fair debate, just like Hilary did, even if he is a lot stiffer than the smoothest of smooth Obama. (BTW – McCain has a problem not looking stiff at the Oprah style events where Obama flows so well. He cannot physically lift his arms very far up because of injuries he got from his plane being shot down and subsequent torture by communists. Please remember that next time you notice his stiff appearance.)

Obama’s wonderful, soaring rhetoric will ring hollow when compared against reality. His words - judged on their own merits w/o the backing of the hallelujah chorus of his staged events and his frenzied fans – will be as shallow as his practical experience. Obama is a smart and articulate guy, w/o much experience, who would really like to be president. Usually we ask a bit more of our candidates.

I wonder if Obama would be willing to meet with McCain with no preconditions, or if that is only something he reserves for the despots who run places like Cuba, N. Korea or Venezuela. After all, he didn’t give Hilary another shot after she smacked him around at that George Stephanopoulos debate.

Posted by Jack at May 23, 2008 8:33 AM
Comments
Comment #253490

Jack

Your contempt for successful individuals who have attained that status without meeting your particular criteria is ringing loud and clear in this post. As evidenced in many past posts you tend to hold disdain and one might say loathing for good looking charismatic people whom you believe are not truly worthy of such attention. I am not begrudging you that right. Merely pointing out that this is an old ineffective ploy not in keeping with your usual creativity.

Many would disagree with your assessment of the media coverage matter Update: McCain rejects Hagee’s endorsement
.

However, Roy Sekoff of the Huffington Post was in full agreement with Abrams. “It is a complete double standard,” he insisted. “For some reason, the media remains in rapture to John McCain, the ‘maverick straight-talker’ of 2000. But that’s not what we’re seeing. … He worked for a year to get this endorsement.”

The obvious reason for not showing McCain with his massive adoring crowds is simply that there are none. At least not in comparison to the crowds, 70,000 in Portland, which show up for Obama.

Obama is a very intelligent individual perfectly capable of clever spontaneous reaction. He will do fine in the debates. The pressure will be on McCain to try and convince the voters that he is nothing more than just another GOP lawmaker. The latter not something one wants to be associated with in this election year. Thus far all he has showed us is more of the same old fear mongering, and a lot of flip flopping on issues in an effort to find a base that might actually believe he is any different than the party he has steadily locked arms with.

I think that maybe you are not convinced that the voters of this country are desperate for anything but the status quo where government is concerned. In order to be successful this election year McCain must convince over seven out of ten people that he can bring GOP credibility, accountability and a new direction in government. I see a long frustrating election process in his future.

Posted by: RickIL at May 23, 2008 10:26 AM
Comment #253492

I would love to see the debate format basically unmoderated with the two candidates just sitting down and discussing the issues back and forth.


McCain is old and slow while Obama is sharp and witty. But most of all McCain has the baggage of the disastrous state of the union as lead by the Republicans and Obama has the right ideas on his side.
People are sick of lobbyist politics and greed. They are sick of seeing our country sold out to multinational corporations. They are sick of seeing the middle class destroyed just to concentrate more wealth and power among the Republican donors and they are sick of chickenhawk warmongers using our soldiers for personal and political gain. They are sick of the corruption and the constitutional violations.

The message and facts are so clearly with Obama that his biggest danger is of being too nice too this respected elder who by any measure should simply be a sacrificial lamb sent to slaughter attempting to defend the indefensible.

Posted by: muirgeo at May 23, 2008 11:00 AM
Comment #253493

Uhhhh, RickIL,

You forgot to mention that although 70,000 showed up, BHO was the opening act for a rock concert there. But maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned that. Don’t want to burst any bubbles.

Jack,

You’re absolutely right about the media giving their “darlings” (read: Liberals) a free pass on monumnetial gaffes and castigating their “persona non grata” (read: Conservatives).

If the media had reported all the gaffes Al Gore has made, Al would be WISHING he had spelled “p-o-t-a-t-o-e” instead. What a boob. What a maroon.

Posted by: Jim T at May 23, 2008 11:04 AM
Comment #253495

Jim T

Okay Jim, you got me. ;) How about Obama and the rock concert? Acceptable? Regardless the crowds are not comparable.

Posted by: RickIL at May 23, 2008 11:17 AM
Comment #253496

RickIL

Ugly guys like me always resented the good-looking kids who get it all. I cannot help it. It goes way back. But I did learn a truth beyond resentment. Good looks and cool demeanor rarely measures up to intelligence and experience.

Re crowds, you don’t need 70,000. You can make a really good picture with less than 70. Conversely, the close-up will negate any size crowd.

A picture can lie easier than those thousand words it is worth because the picture goes right to the emotional part of the brain. Obama’s guys know that. MSM is helping them do it.

And Obama undoubtedly does less well in debates than in his paid publicity. Hilary got him several times. People saw only debates, Hilary would be the nominee.

Jim T and RickIl

The rock concert thing is important. I saw a Hilary speech in Krakow. They waited until middle of the market day. The marketplace where she spoke is always crowded at that time. Some people came to see her talk. Other stopped to listen out of a vague curiosity. Some where just there, but they were counted.

I remember my first demonstration. Five guys showed up to protest our policy in Nicaragua. We kicked them out. They went and stood in front of a bus stop and fruit stand and unfurled their banner. Sympathetic journalists took the picture. The headline was “ Thousands Protest U.S. Policy”. It is an old trick. If the journalists cooperate, you an get away with it. Remember the million man march?

Muirego

Yes, Obama has lots of ideas. People are always thinking of new ones. You tend to have more ideas until you test them out.

Posted by: Jack at May 23, 2008 11:44 AM
Comment #253498

I was in Portland the day of the rally for Obama. We couldn’t get close to the Waterfront. Traffic was heavy, it was a beautiful day, and many people never even got close enough to the Waterfront to see Obama. The primary vote was imminent, and for the first time in memory, the primary vote of Oregonians actually mattered. We generally don’t see presidential candidates at all. The band for the rally was The Decemberists:
http://www.decemberists.com/
Anyone ever heard of them? I hope so. They are a great local group, but hardly a huge draw. A really large crowd for the Decemberists would be in the thousands, not tens of thousands. No disrepect to the Decemberists- they play smart, intelligent music- but the fact is 70,000 people turned out at Waterfront Park to see Obama. Period.

Posted by: phx8 at May 23, 2008 12:37 PM
Comment #253501

I don’t think debates are likely. BHO wants to make speeches instead of answering questions about his record, which he considers irrelevant to his campaign. He would be giving away his advantage by appearing on the same stage with JMcC.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 23, 2008 12:57 PM
Comment #253504

This is a variation on a post I attempted to make on the blue side, which is apparently no longer functioning I have adjusted it for relevance to this thread:
S.D.’s “most comfortable, most confident, most charismatic Democrat”, whose decisions are made by others, who admits his own poor judgement in his personal life, (much more to come later on that), whose opposition to the war was at a speech at a rally, who has been running for office continually for many years, without any record of accomplishment other than what his advisors told him would look good with the interest groups he would need to get to the next step on the ladder.

His supporters are you still obsessing about HRC, when he has already been endorsed by the other candidates that they like better than her now. He’s been obedient to Howard Dean, surely an important quality for a future POTUS. Why is it more acceptable when John Edwards talked about BHO voting “present” than when HRC does it? This is an Edwards clip on that. When HRC did the same thing, she is bad, worse than Edwards, and gets booed by BHO supporters who have turned his candidacy into a cult.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 23, 2008 1:11 PM
Comment #253505


Are you guys kidding? Come on, your kidding around, right? No one who follows politics can be that naive. A picture is worth a thousand words. Put Obama on a stage next to McCain and the visual impact alone will settle it. Unless a candidate says something ridiculous, most people ignore the content. It’s all been said before, and candidates are prepared to avoid questions and sidestep direct interchanges with the opponent.

But nothing can change the visual impact. McCain- an old, white male with limited mobility and a scar on his face; and Obama- a young, vibrant, telegenic black male.
McCain’s voice is old, and he tends to suggest concealed anger. Obama’s sounds young, and he exudes charisma and optimism.

I can’t believe anyone who follows politics would actually want to see McCain and Obama side by side, because it’s not a matter of content. This is very simple, politics 101. That is NOT a visual or aural comparison Republicans want voters to make.

Posted by: phx8 at May 23, 2008 1:19 PM
Comment #253506

Like Jack, I believe the McCain/Obama debates will offer much to define their differences, not only in their personalities, but substantive opposing policy beliefs.

Unfortunately, it won’t be a debate between conservatism and liberalism, but moderate vs liberal. Regardless, McCain is much closer to everyman than Obama and the debates will focus on this difference.

McCain will win every debate by his ability to convey a Reaganesque sense of love of country, love of freedom, and a steely presence that assures the listener of his ability to protect and defend our beloved country.

Obama will be defending bigger federal programs and spending, more taxation of middle American’s saving for retirement, a huge new national health care program to rival Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, a retreat from victory over terrorism, higher energy prices, more bowing to the UN, and a willingness to sit down with the worst tyrants in the world and give them even more authority and recognition.

Obama feeds on adoration and it will be absent in a national debate forum. Lacking visual and verbal positive feedback he will resort to simply repeating campaign oratory which is, even now, fading by its repetition as his calls for “change” without definitive policies, rings hollow.

His inexperience in answering tough questions will have him struggling for coherent sentences and rambling explanations reminiscent of John Kerry. American’s will hear his thinly disguised elitist racism and arrogant attitude towards everyman.

McCain will exude a positive attitude about America’s future and ask American’s to do something for their country. Obama will exhort listeners to demand more from government and less from themselves all the while blaming those in business and those who have succeeded for the problems in America.

These debates will be a lesson in democracy, self-reliance and capitalism with one extolling its virtues and demanding more while the other will be playing on the fringes of socialism, dependence, and more government control in our lives.

Posted by: Jim M at May 23, 2008 1:29 PM
Comment #253508

Jim M,
McCain may want to be perceived as a moderate, but by most measurements, he is very conservative. The whole trick for his campaign will be to convince the GOP he is conservative, and everyone else that he’s moderate. The problem is that, no matter how hard he tries, he will be associated with Bush and the GOP. And that’s NOT a good thing.

Bush has dismally low approval ratings and horribly high disapproval ratings. Over 80% of Americans think the country is on the wrong track. And on every single major issue that has been polled, Americans think Democrats offer the better approach.

And we haven’t even mentioned the economy or the War in Iraq.

On the issues, McCain generally offers a continuation of the BushCo platform.

Jim M, I think you make a really good comment, and attempt to frame the McCain v Obama match-up as positively in McCain’s favor as possible, but I seriously doubt people will share the desired GOP perceptions when it comes time to vote. They certainly do not share those perceptions right now. Over the past eight years, the percentage of voters who identify themselves as Dem v Rep has changed from roughly even, to a huge majority for Democrats.

Posted by: phx8 at May 23, 2008 2:18 PM
Comment #253511

phx8:

Obama is definitely better at giving speaches. But he was better at giving speaches than Hillary. Hillary was able to best Obama in many debates. Obama really isn’t good at tough questions yet.

I’m neither optimistic nor pessimistic at McCain’s prospects. It looks too early. McCain is closer to the center politically. We are at war an he is definitely more qualified.

On the other hand wow are the issues in favor of democrats as well as the opinion polls about Bush. In addition, the money is by far in Obama’s favor. But then look at how Obama is limping across the line against Clinton!!

Obama is making the most stupid mistakes. Being willing to sit down with just about anyone with out any preconditions really shows his inexperience. That is a huge fair issue. What a blunder!! I notice Dem’s trying to say that the Republicans wont talk with anyone. Talking isn’t the issue, it’s no preconditions that is the issue.

I think the debates will be very good for this election. If McCain doesn’t look old and frail, I expect him to do well.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at May 23, 2008 3:12 PM
Comment #253513

phx8 and RickIl,

Sorry about that. The band was The Decemberists. I thought maybe it was the Led Zeppelin reunion tour! ;-b

Posted by: Jim T at May 23, 2008 3:40 PM
Comment #253514

I take Hillary’s performances in debates as a sign of her strength rather than a lacking on anyone else’s part. The Democrats fielded an exceptionally strong field of candidates this year. Obama was not my first choice. According to conventional wisdom, he should never have won in the first place. His political platform is not terribly different from the Democratic candidates. But Obama did win, in spite of it all, because of grass roots support, an ability to organize and inspire, and his ability to lead and motivate. Hillary locked up the big money, the institutional money, but Obama found a way to get around that, and now he has created a financial juggernaut.

Compare Obama’s performance in the primaries with McCain. At one point, despite being the institutional candidate, McCain almost had to drop out due to the incompetence of his organization and some very visible political mis-steps. Fortunately for McCain, he was running among a slate of exceptionally weak Republican candidates. McCain won, but his money woes continue. Sure, it is a long time before the election, but the smart money is not going to be found in the same room as McCain.

Conservatives seem to think that Obama committed a gaffe by being willing to talk with world leaders without preconditions. That’s a mistake? I wouldn’t mind seeing voters decide between McCain and Obama on that basis alone: McCain will not talk with foreign leaders, and Obama will.

Posted by: phx8 at May 23, 2008 3:41 PM
Comment #253518

While I don’t normally use the NY Times to advance a point, in this case I find it very appropriate. I posted this link a few days ago in the blue column and wanted to post again for those who missed it.

The editorial deals with the consequences of JFK’s ill-advised direct meeting with Khrushchev just prior to the building of the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Crisis. As an old fart I remember both of these crisis’ well and the fear they instilled in most of the American public. While I never cared much for Adlai Stevenson, his speech before the UN in response to the Soviet’s placing missiles in Cuba still makes me proud today.

Give it a read as it does have a parallel in our discussion on this blog.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/22/opinion/22thrall.html?th&emc=th

Posted by: Jim M at May 23, 2008 4:11 PM
Comment #253519

Jim T-
The Rock concert was a warm up to him, not the other way around. normally these guys perform at venues about fifty times smaller. Besides, this is neither the first, nor likely the last rally with this kind of scale. He’s set records before.

Sorry to burst your bubble.

As for media darlings, the AP representative brought McCain a box of donuts, then proceeded to mistake Obama’s name for that of our worst enemy. They pounced on bittergate, got very concerned about his problem with working class white voters (which Oregon exit polls indicated was restricted to appalachia), and played the Wright Controversy to the hilt. Anybody who thinks Obama’s been given a free ride in the media has selective memory.

Jim M-
Apparently, you haven’t been following the news. You see you got a little bit of trouble: the oh-so magnificent McCain has a bit of a temper. Obama, on the other hand, is much more cool-headed. One outburst, and McCain may lose more than the debate.

Obama will be defending more liberal policies in a time where people want them. People want universal healthcare, even if it’s from the government. They want energy prices down, of course, but what in the last eight years, or ever indicates that a Republican could actually manage that trick? (And aren’t you the one who advocates raising energy prices?)

As for diplomacy, Americans want to restore America’s leadership around the world. Even before the Iraq war, at the peak of the frenzy before the invasion, over 80 percent of Americans were in favor of fighting the war with the UN’s blessing. That’s why you guys went through all the motions with the UN.

As for talking with our enemies, hell Nixon did that with Mao even as Mao’s support killed Americans in Vietnam. We talked with the Soviets, too, even though they were the last people we wanted to legitimize. Reagan talked with such people.

I’m sure you’ve got plenty of things to call Obama, plenty of things to claim about him, but he will keep on calmly being himself, and you’ll find yourself playing into his hands by smearing him. Have fun!

Jack-
You just have to rationalize away the support he draws, don’t you? I wouldn’t do that, if I were you. I would like you to look at this video, right here. That’s no camera trick. If you don’t face the reality of his popular appeal, instead of weakly trying to disparage it in order to blunt his popularity, you won’t know what hit you.

Debates are only one part of any campaign, and I’m not sure how Obama or McCain will do. However, I know Obama has a much better reputation for being a cool customer than McCain does. Just his comments today should indicate that to you.

Ohrealy-
I don’t really think he can avoid debates, nor will he avoid them. I don’t think he’ll do bad if he sticks to the points he’s made before.

I like that he admits things, rather than chasing himself around in circles trying not to. We need somebody who admits imperfection rather than tries to bluster over mistakes.

His opposition to the war was a speech at a rally, but it was one where he more or less nailed what would happen, and then came across talking about what we should be doing.

You know, at this point, it’s far easier to be supporting Obama than to be supporting Clinton. To support Clinton, you must believe that she’ll magically compel the vast majority of superdelegates to give her the nomination. You’ll have to believe that the Florida and Michigan delegates will be seated as they were voted, which is unlikely, and that the party will really come together to support her after this brute force political battle.

You don’t need much faith, much less a cultic degree of devotion to jump on the Obama Bandwagon at this point. There are a lot of things that you would have to believe sight unseen in order to buy Hillary’s candidacy, a mysterious “comeback kid” quality that’s supposed to show itself, no matter how difficult the situation. She’s a fighter, right? Don’t count her out, right?

Like the hype of the Iraq war, the hype of the Clinton campaign has promised great victories, but not delivered sufficient results.

Craig Holmes-
He’s not limping. The exodus is about to begin.

I think Obama’s coordinating a much more slower accumulation of delegates to tread through this minefield of primary entitlement that Hillary has set up. He will slow walk his way through these last days, because he wants as many of her supporters on his side as possible.

Additionally, think about it: He’s defeated the Clintons, who dominated the Democratic establishment for the last sixteen years. You don’t win that battle without sustaining some damage. That he won at all should be an indicator to you of just how strong he is.

As for talks with leaders? The trouble with preconditions, is that it’s essentially asking for what you want ahead of time, before you’ve negotiated to get it. Non-engagement is not a very active position. The value of engagement is that they have to interact with you. They have to think about the consequences you’ve laid down before,and consider breaking them. Played right, you can get under people’s skin and match speed.

I think the opposition these guys put forward is just bluster. They’ve backed themselves into a bad policy corner, and have to berate anybody who tries to get out of it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 23, 2008 4:36 PM
Comment #253520

Really? Because I see it differently…

He supported Wright right up to the time that Wright called him a politician and THEN cut him off. Not because of the things he said in the past but because he crossed the line and called him a politican.

Then, he sends his wife out to attack Hillary and McCain/Republicans for 11 months and then gets very snarky (think Clinton wagging his finger at Americans) because someone dares to question her background and point out some issues.

Finally, he seems very willing to go dirty when it suits him.

To me, it seems like he is one of those guys that is mild mannered and friendly, right up to the point that he feels personal insult, and then acts with an over-the-top response, much like a pacifist who is pushed too far and their response is clearly not matching.

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 23, 2008 4:52 PM
Comment #253521
over 80 percent of Americans were in favor of fighting the war with the UN’s blessing

And over 50% were in favor of fighting the war without the UN’s blessing. Sure, they tried to use the UN since it was UN resolutions that they were violating, but in the end, as usual, the UN was not up to putting its feet down when needed. Much like Myamnar, Sudan, etc. We’re still technically fighting the Korean War for pete’s sake…

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 23, 2008 4:57 PM
Comment #253522

Jim M.
How can you ever be considered a tough man if you never take a beating? I mean as far as I see it, the GOP is just fearful of looking dumb. And I’ll leave it at that. :0) Although Kennedy might of felt beaten up, there are other questions. Did the Soviet Union had a valid point? I mean, the GOP keeps on saying that the truth conguers all, so if the soviet union had a point then does it matter? Is American never allowed to be wrong? Is it never allowed to learn from mistakes? How do we learn from mistakes? And when it comes to that pretty much every president over the last 30+ years didn’t really have any real foriegn policy or impact.

It seems like nobody is willing to even see what is the problem. Now I agree you don’t need the president to find out what the problem is, but what even deal in forieng policy when you won’t even do that.

Posted by: kujo at May 23, 2008 5:17 PM
Comment #253523


Jack: I watched the Republican debates and was not impressed by McCain’s abilities. Obama will be able to hold his own. If Hillary was on stage between them it would be bad news for both.

Posted by: jlw at May 23, 2008 5:39 PM
Comment #253524

It might also be interesting if Bob Barr (if selected), Ralph Nader and the Green Party Candidate (TBD) are in the debates as well…

Oh yeah, that’s not likely to happen, is it?

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 23, 2008 5:52 PM
Comment #253525

I would be delighted to see a debate between these two men, or Sen. Clinton and Sen. MaCain; a debate unfettered with the rules that have evolved in recent elections. A sit down conversation between the two would not only be helpful in assessing the candidates but also in educating the voters on the past, present and where they plan to take the country in the future.
McCain is not bush. He is a thinking conservative who will take the country in a moderate direction, not with an eye towards ‘ideology, no matter what the cost’ but pragmatic solutions and resolutions to national problems
Obama is not the Messiah. He is a highly intelligent person who, perhaps, has a more accurate feel for what sentiment is in the world and how to change it. (anti-American sentiment is what is both killing us and bankrupting us, not radical Islam.)
Whatever the choice, whomever is chosen, our leadership group at the top can only get better.

Posted by: charles ross at May 23, 2008 5:57 PM
Comment #253526

Jack, do you not remember what a huge deal it was with the mainstream media about Obama and Wright? Do you not remember that at the same time, the mainstream media was saying NOTHING about McCain and Hagee?

Do you not see even now that the mainstream media is saying NOTHING about McCain and Rev. Parsley?

NOTHING, Jack. Yet you’re complaining that Obama’s getting a ‘free pass’ and that everybody’s picking on McCain.

So WHY should the mainstream media be concerned with McCain’s ‘spiritual adviser’, Reverend Rod Parsley? How about statements like this:

I do not believe our country can truly fulfill its divine purpose until we understand our historical conflict with Islam. I know that this statement sounds extreme, but I do not shrink from its implications. The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed, and I believe September 11, 2001, was a generational call to arms that we can no longer ignore.

“”It was to defeat Islam, among other dreams, that Christopher Columbus sailed to the New World in 1492.”

Parsley, who refers to himself as a “Christocrat,” is no stranger to controversy. In 2007, the grassroots organization he founded, the Center for Moral Clarity, called for prosecuting people who commit adultery. In January, he compared Planned Parenthood to Nazis. In the past Parsley’s church has been accused of engaging in pro-Republican partisan activities in violation of its tax-exempt status.

All this can be found at
http://www.motherjones.com/washington_dispatch/2008/03/john-mccain-rod-parsley-spiritual-guide.html

If you don’t want to trust ‘Mother Jones’, there’s other places you can find reference to the above…but they’ll all be liberal sites, and not in the mainstream because the mainstream media is giving McCain a ‘free pass’, just like they’re giving him free passes on:

1 - being part of the influence-peddling Keating Five;

2 - his growing list of complete flip-flops on Roe v. Wade, immigration (more than once), Falwell, tax cuts for the wealthy, campaign finance, TORTURE, ethanol, the Confederate flag;
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/9111.html

3 - of all things, support for VETERANS. According to the non-partisan Disabled Americans for America, McCain voted for veterans’ benefits bills THIRTY percent of the time, whereas Obama voted for veterans’ benefits NINETY percent of the time.
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/15640.html

Seeing as how both McCain and myself are retired Navy, I cannot see how he could possibly be so…anti-military.

Jack, did you hear ANY of the above on mainstream media? NO.

So WHO is getting the free pass? (as usual, the Republicans vehemently accuse the Democrats of what they themselves are more guilty of)

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at May 23, 2008 6:26 PM
Comment #253528

Jim T -

Hi, bro - glad to see you here. Considering the post immediately previous to this one, can you still say McCain’s not getting a free pass? It looks to me like he’s getting much more of one than Obama did…and FAR more of one than Hillary ever did.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at May 23, 2008 6:33 PM
Comment #253529

Jack,

I have a prediction. Forget all the hype about motivation, etc.

Voter turn out this November will be the lowest in recent history! Both Nader and Barr will gain a greater percentage of the vote than expected (3% to 5% each), but the most shocking thing will be how few voters even bother going to the polls.

I’d put ten bucks on it, but I’m too broke!

It’ll amount to an anti-government vote!

Posted by: KansasDem at May 23, 2008 6:52 PM
Comment #253530

Rhinehold-
He composed a masterpiece of a speech to explain his relationship. Hell, he explained it at all, instead of just cutting Wright off. Wright had to deliberately make an ass of himself to get Obama to finally make the severance.

Then, he sends his wife out to attack Hillary and McCain/Republicans for 11 months and then gets very snarky (think Clinton wagging his finger at Americans) because someone dares to question her background and point out some issues.

Did Bush 41 go after Nancy Reagan? Dukakis after Barbara Bush? Clinton after her or Dole’s wife? Gore or Kerry after Laura Bush? The right wing has come to believe that it is a regular thing to go after anybody and everybody associated with a candidate, an appropriate thing. It’s not. It’s an indication of just how far the right has strayed from mainstream standards of behavior.

Barack Obama can go and has gone negative, but even in the face of Hillary’s positively bare-knuckle tactics, he’s not resorted to similar tactics, and he doesn’t rely on negativity for his broad appeal.

McCain, on the other hand, has wasted no time getting nasty. He has a disadvantage, though. Hillary could get the responses she has from the Obama supporters, if not Obama himself, because she’s a Democrat, and we find what she’s resorting to beyound the pale for her.

But for a Republican to come across with this? It’s only to be expected. Obama also has no need to really hold back with McCain, the way he did with Clinton. He’ll need more of his supporters, but not most of McCain’s.

As for the UN? Look, we went into Desert Storm with that blessing, and it meant a lot for our country in terms of lowering the cost and bolstering the troop levels. That’s what people remembered going in.

What you have to realize is that most people don’t share the antipathy that those on the far right have for the UN, or the outright paranoia of some on the religious right do about it.

It amazes me how great the disparity is between where the Right thinks the public is politically, and where it actually is. That’s going to be the factor that makes this election unpredictable, and not necessarily in the right’s favor.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 23, 2008 6:57 PM
Comment #253534
He composed a masterpiece of a speech to explain his relationship.

Erm, no, the speech said nothing about his relationship with Wright, only about race relations in general.

Wright had to deliberately make an ass of himself to get Obama to finally make the severance.

Yes, he had to personally insult Obama by calling him a politican. *That* was the straw that broke the camel’s back, not all of the other things that Wright said.

It’s an indication of just how far the right has strayed from mainstream standards of behavior.

Nancy Reagan did not attack Carter, Laura did not attack Gore or Kerry. All they ever did is say why peopld be voting for their husbands, not attack their opponents. Michelle has done this. Is she allowed to have a free ride in her attacks without anyone firing back? What kind of reasonability is that? Obama wants his cake and eat it too.

Barack Obama can go and has gone negative

In the face of his promise that he wouldn’t. What does that say about his other ‘promises’?

What you have to realize is that most people don’t share the antipathy that those on the far right have for the UN

No, what YOU don’t realize is that most people (that is > 50%) do not think the UN is worth a damn. It is needed and we should support it but they don’t think that when push comes to shove the UN can get anything done like this. I’ve shown the polls before, less than 30% of the people thought we needed the UN to go into Iraq, over 50% said we should do what we need to do with our without UN support.

The reality is that MOST people do want the UN to be that organization that it pretends to be, but it just doesn’t live up to it… And until it does, it cannot be relied upon when it comes to protecting the US. That is one of the reasons that Kerry lost in 2004, if you remember. If you think that Obama is going to be able to continue (he has already started) saying that we need to alter how we do things because the rest of the world won’t like us if we do, then by all means, let him keep doing it. I’m sure McCain will love it if he does.

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 23, 2008 9:22 PM
Comment #253535

Jack

A picture can lie easier than those thousand words it is worth because the picture goes right to the emotional part of the brain. Obama’s guys know that. MSM is helping them do it.

I will contend that in Obama’s case the picture is not necessary. People, myself included, very much enjoy hearing him speak. In his case the crowds are real not a deceptive ploy. People show up to hear what he has to say. Not just to say they were there. MSM does not speak for him at his events. MSM does not bring the crowds with them. They show up to cover the event.

McCain thus far has been given much freedom from scrutiny by the media. Much more than Obama, yet Obama is the draw at the box office. The crowds come to see the man who is the recipient of all that scrutiny. They do not show up to see the man who simply represents more of the same yet has been given little scrutiny. So perhaps if the media were to put McCain under the microscope as they have Obama the crowds would show up. After all scandal draws more attention than a boring old geezer with nothing new to say.

And Obama undoubtedly does less well in debates than in his paid publicity. Hilary got him several times. People saw only debates, Hilary would be the nominee.

I would agree that Hillary got the upper hand a few times during the debates. But all in all Obama came out on top. Not only in terms of knowledge but also very importantly in terms of character. No candidate is going to win on every point in any debate simply because questions can be and are sometimes set up to make it impossible for them to do so.

I disagree with your premise that Hillary would be the candidate if only debates counted. Hillary has that aura of old school politics surrounding her. People worry that she like McCain would be little more than more of the same. IMO that image of Hillary or McCain not equating to anything more than that is the biggest obstacle they face.

Posted by: RickIL at May 23, 2008 9:33 PM
Comment #253543

The same old “elite media” refrain…. It’s so tired.

Posted by: max at May 24, 2008 12:35 AM
Comment #253581

(Dr. Parra) ?…your posts are intended to be a joke, right? “Mean spirited news media and Obama campaign” against McCain?? I’ve got news for you…McCain’s time in this so far has been a cake walk! If he can’t stand up to any pressures of a campaign, then he has absolutely no business wanting to be POTUS !!
Of course, he can always fly off the handle so we can get a good look at his temper and how he would field true controversy.

Posted by: janedoe at May 24, 2008 4:06 PM
Comment #253582

Rhinehold-
Watch the speech, and then tell me he didn’t say anything about Wright. I assure you, I am accurately conveying the presence of Wright as a subject.

The insult wasn’t alleging that Obama was a politician. The insult was taking the opportunity that Obama gave him to appear a reasonable person overall, one who had said some things in the heat of the moment, and instead confirming his image as an outspoken buffoon. It wasn’t calling him out as a politician, it was implying that Obama wasn’t being honest about what he was saying.

Obama was doing him a favor by giving people a reason to consider this man, whose most controversial sermons were selectively smashed up together, an otherwise rational and thoughtful man. But this guy just couldn’t help himself. That’s why Obama cut the man loose.

Reporting about Obama’s campaign indicates that he is not in love with the sort of melodramatic internal politics that feature largely in most campaigns. He runs a tight ship. I think what he hated most about what Wright did to him, was that Wright didn’t take the opportunity to let the controversy die down, to let Obama’s followers mellow out his image, as they were doing, right up to the point where Wright stuck his foot in his mouth. I think the breaking point for Obama was that it seemed at that point like Wright intended to cause problems for hims, that he was repaying Obama’s unusually humane distancing of himself from Wright’s previous comments by trying to drag him down and make his problems worse.

You don’t have to be politician to feel that a betrayal.

On the subject of first ladies, I think you’re all too tolerant of this anything goes attitude towards political competition. Besides, what do you expect Obama to do, push her out into the spotlight and yell “Go ahead and kick the s*** out of her a little more!”? Of course he’s going to say, lay off.

But really, how much has the Right gained by going after such previously off limits targets? Nothing. It’s only managed to further confirm their image as people who are viciously competitive to the point of inhumanity. Against a restrained, dignified opponent like Obama, it serves to his advantage, because it’s what he’s running against, and what people are supporting him to oppose. That he can go negative against, with people not thinking that he’s lost his positive outlook on politics. He’s not depending on negativity, he’s just nailing things for what they are.

From the looks of this, the public doesn’t think the UN’s doing a great job, but they want it, by large majority to take a large or even leading role.

I think the problem is, you’re thinking of these things in terms of an administration that doesn’t have much use for the UN. People want it to become a greater part of how international affairs are conducted.

America’s permanent seat on the Security Council gives it a lot of power to guide the course of the UN’s policy. The trick is whether we have folks in charge willing to use it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 24, 2008 4:32 PM
Comment #253583

Dr. Parra-
You seem to be implying that Barack Obama is being forced on people, rather than being selected by others in greater numbers than Clinton’s.

Nobody can force somebody on the public. If a majority or plurality go for them, they win. Those are the rules. If you don’t like that, find some dictatorship or failed state to live in.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 24, 2008 4:36 PM
Comment #253587

OK, OK, OK.

I’m sick of half-truths (half-lies), outright lies and lies by omission…the hallmark of Daily Kos and Huffington Post. I’m sick of the Swiftboating of candidates by the crazies on both ends of the spectrum.

With that in mind…


Barak H. Obama:

1.) He is NOT a Muslim. Period. I don’t want to hear this trash again. I don’t care WHAT his middle name is.

2.) He does not appear to be trying to make this presidential race about race. It appears (to me)his handlers, stooges and cronies are doing that.

3.) I don’t care what his pastor of 20(+) years says. I does NOT appear to be what BHO believes. It may have been Chicago politics and the Chicago political machine that he was pandering to.


John McCain:

1.) The Keating 5. According to Wikipedia…

On his Keating Five experience, McCain said: “The appearance of it was wrong. It’s a wrong appearance when a group of senators appear in a meeting with a group of regulators, because it conveys the impression of undue and improper influence. And it was the wrong thing to do.”[90] Federal regulators ultimately filed a civil suit against Keating. The five senators came under investigation for attempting to influence the regulators. In the end, none of the senators were charged with any crime. McCain was rebuked by the Senate Ethics Committee for exercising “poor judgment”,[90] but their 1991 report said that McCain’s “actions were not improper nor attended with gross negligence and did not reach the level of requiring institutional action against him.”[

(emphasis mine)

If McCain exhibited “poor judgement”, then exactly WHAT did Bill Clinton exhibit (BESIDES his genitals, that is)?

The Keating 5 affair is a non-issue.

2.) “Staying in Iraq for 100 years is fine with me…”

Notice how I was nice enough to put “…” at the end of that statement? That means that there was more to the statement. What was the REST of the statement?

“…as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.

(emphasis mine)

A blatent omission to serve a political agenda.

View and hear the ENTIRE statement here

I don’t want to hear this 1/2 statement again. It’s nothing more than taking a quote out of context and smacks of Clintonian politics.


Hillary R. Clinton:

1.) I give very little credence to the “Hillary is a lesbian” assertion. BS (and I don’t mean Beautiful Sunshine).

2.) I don’t believe that Hillary is purposefully staying in and trying to split the Dem party (thus getting McCain elected) so she can run in 2012. I think in the end that Hillary would rather see a Dem elected president than have the Reps retain the White House.


There are valid arguments for and against each candidate without resorting to lies, half-truths, blatent omissions and unfounded rumors.


Glenn Contrarian,

Yo, bro.
The way I see it…
People on the left say McCain is getting a free pass. People on the right say Obama is getting a free pass. The only thing I can say for sure is that NBC, MSNBC, CNN and CBS are in the tank for Obama. Every time I turn on NBC and MSNBC it just seems like an Obama “lovefest”. I’ve basically stopped watching cable and network news and started to surf all the different news and opinion outlets on the net. That way, I get left-and-right slanted news and I get to read all the left-and-right crazies spouting their hate and bile. Fun stuff.

Posted by: Jim T at May 24, 2008 6:02 PM
Comment #253591

Jim T

Bravo, good to see someone with a grasp on sanity.

I don’t think MSM is in the tank for Obama. I think they believe he’s likely to be our next president. They are probably right about that.

That said, TV news is obsessive/compulsive news best taken in small doses.

Posted by: googlumpus at May 24, 2008 6:28 PM
Comment #253596

Google

That said, TV news is obsessive/compulsive news best taken in small doses.

Well said and very practical advice for anyone suffering from watching any of the all day news channels too much. I am retired and try to refrain from turning the television on during the day other than to check the weather or get a quick update on the latest news. This last winter seemed to drag out forever and I watched way too much daytime news simply because weather conditions were too nasty to be outside for extended periods. What a crazy world those people live in. They spend hours analyzing every nuance of a candidate in ten different ways from twenty different people. I finally figured out that because there is not enough salable news to fill an entire day they have to resort to presenting old news in new ways. Thus the never ending analysis. Man am I glad the warm weather is here. :-)

Posted by: RickIL at May 24, 2008 9:16 PM
Comment #253599

Jim T-
The problem with McCain’s Iraq policy lies in its logical antecedents. To get to the Iraq policy he described in the Hundred years quote, you must first resolve the problems at hand. If he’s in favor of a long term presence under such conditions, he’s in favor of continuing to throw money, men, and America’s resources at the Iraq war.

That is, if we were talking about his previous position. Now he says something like 2013. End of his first proposed term, right? That is, if we’re not tripped up by further fine print.

He goes for Hagee and Parsley, seeking their aid during the primaries, then dumps them after its over. But did they have different positions earlier then? No. The offensive comments had already been broadcast at that point. McCain deliberately chose to pursue their endorsement, deliberately chose to maintain that endorsement during the course of his primary campaign, and only now, after being confronted with documentary evidence in the mass media does he repudiate them.

He had not been pro-life and anti-gay to such a great degree before the primary. Now he is. He promised to run a cleaner campaign than the other candidates, now he’s playing catch-up to Obama, reportedly firing a few lobbyists from his campaign, even as he maintains Charlie Black as his lead campaigner. Even as he was running McCain’s campaign from the Straight Talk Express, Black continued running his lobbying firm from the bus itself. That is, before he quit to work for McCain full time. McCain’s surrounded with lobbyists of all kinds, shapes and colors, but that’s not acknowledged for the sake of avoiding cognitive dissonance. After all, McCain couldn’t be having lobbyists run his campaign, that might contradict his stance on reform.

As for the Keating Five? McCain has a bad habit of doing things that look bad, and this is just one of them. I think its a legalism to allege that just because we see no convictions, nothing wrong was done.

On the subject of lovefests, Obama’s on the verge of winning the contest, after a grueling primary season. He’s done what was earlier unthinkable. Give him a little credit.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 24, 2008 10:58 PM
Comment #253600
He’s done what was earlier unthinkable

Again with the fairy tales. If it makes you feel better I suppose… I wonder why I was talking about him as the presumptive nominee over a year ago if he was such an underdog?

Either I’m that good or the fairy tale is that false.

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 24, 2008 11:05 PM
Comment #253602

A “Liberal’s” version of a “President”…!
1. Handsome
2. Articulate
3. Outspoken
4. Suave
5. Smooth-talker
6. Methodical
7. Persuasive
8. And,last but not least “UN-EXPERIENCED”…!
Oh,I almost forgot: “3”card’s short of a full
“Deck”of 52….!

” OBAMA ”
Dictate’s what you can & canno’t ask
him while he’s “Campaigning”.

His “Wife” help’s him Campaign,and Bad-Mouth’s
” AMERICA “.

” OBAMA ” make’s friend’s with “TERRORIST”.

” OBAMA ” is a member of a Church,run by a
” RACIST “,antisemetic ” Minister “,he didn’t
know about were he attended for 20yr’s…!

This guy is from the ” Twi-light-zone “……..!

Posted by: j.i.m. at May 24, 2008 11:16 PM
Comment #253603

Jack said in true Rovian style: “McCain will prevail over Obama in fair debate, just like Hilary did”

Hence, if Obama does prevail, it is a-priori an unfair debate. Gotta respect the sophistry of Rove and his students.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 24, 2008 11:18 PM
Comment #253612

Jack, why do you continue to misspell Hillary’s first name, every single time you use it? I think you’ve misspelled her name in every post you’ve written.

Is this some sort of insult or just an oversight?

Posted by: Bryan W at May 25, 2008 7:35 AM
Comment #253613
Again with the fairy tales. If it makes you feel better I suppose… I wonder why I was talking about him as the presumptive nominee over a year ago if he was such an underdog?

Either I’m that good or the fairy tale is that false.

I agree. It’s gotten very annoying. I remember when he was running for Senate in 2004, the Democrats were already saying he would be their favorite for President in 2008 and would be the only candidate in the party with a chance of beating Hillary for the nomination.

It wasn’t by random chance that they chose him to make their keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Both parties have always used the national convention speeches to highlight their favorites for the next election, and to gauge the public’s reaction to them when they speak.

Posted by: Bryan W at May 25, 2008 7:43 AM
Comment #253614


The MSM is both liberal and conservative biased. They will take jabs at each of the two parties chosen candidates. McCain was given a rather easy time until he had secured the nomination. Clinton was attacked nightly, and the MSM only began to run a little negativity Obama’s way after they were fairly certain that he had the nomination rapped up.

We have to remember that this is not the MSM’s primary responsibility. Their primary job is to provide a never ending multitude of distractions puncuated by propaganda to placate and indoctrinate the workers into accepting the corrupt two party system.

The negativity shown towards the two parties candidates are peanuts compared to the treatment that third praty candidates recieve. They are portrayed as madmen, commies or wearers of aluminum foil hats.

The truth is that none of the two party candidates are worthy of being the leader of this country. They represent two corrupt political parties that are bankrupt of ideas, dismissive of the rule of law and totally void of any since of responsibility for what they are doing to our country. All they know how to do is continually bounce this country back and forth between welfare and laissez faire, the two primary tenets of their loyal constituents. The American workers will continue to ride in the back of the bus while the power elites drive, peddle to the metal, down the Trans-Texas Corridor.

Posted by: jlw at May 25, 2008 7:57 AM
Comment #253616

Jack,
Great article; however, I wonder if the two Presidential Candidates would be willing to get into a discussion and debate on the Blog?

For if we leave the debates up to the Spin Masters than we will be having them talk about the meaning of is or the latest sound bit on the 24/7 News Entertainment Machine.

No, why I realize that they are not going to let me host a debate I do believe that America would be better served by its Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and religious Leaders to start coming up with some answers for the Issues facing the Children of the 21st Century.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at May 25, 2008 9:39 AM
Comment #253624

Rhinehold-
You might have been talking that way, but you weren’t talking about it with primaries done as proof in the pudding. Dean was supposed to hit it big, remember?

Many of us thought he was going places. After his speech in the Boston Convention, I knew he’d be some kind of leader. But I thought it was perhaps a little early for him to start things off. I started the Primaries pretty much undecided. His performance on Super Tuesday (the real Super Tuesday, the first one) was what impressed me, lead me to believe he was a truly strong candidate. He took the damage of losing California, New York, New Jersey, and a number of other states, and yet won enough states by enough of a margin to render it a draw. Then, after that, he started racking up the delegates. He didn’t go around and make excuses or start talking about insignificant states. He didn’t bother with trying to psych people out, he did the ground work.

If you had asked the average person who would have been 2008’s presumptive nominee, they would have likely said Clinton. If you had asked them when it would have been finally locked up, they would have said March or February. Turnout in many states exceeded what it normally was by leaps and bounds. I have personal experience of this. Talk about fairytales, my vote in the primary mattered this election, and I actually learned about and participated in the state’s caucus for the first time.

He’s reliant mostly on individual donations, and of those, most are less than two hundred dollars. Even accounting for the influence of Bundlers, he has a strong base of small donors, larger than any other in history. On the basic facts and statistics, Obama’s getting 45% of his money, almost half, from people giving less than two hundred dollars, and he’s outraising everybody by this method. Best of all for him, 72% of his people have given less than the maximum of $2300. People can give again to him. Nobody’s seen anything like that in ages.

Bryan W.-
I think your assertion, while attractive, doesn’t necessarily hold water You and others might have thought the same thing, seeing his performance in Boston, that this guy is going somewhere, But according to the linked article, that’s not really been the pattern of these conventions. 1976 had Barbara Jordan. 1984’s was Mario Cuomo. 1988’s keynote was Ann Richards, who far outshone the man they pick for Dukakis’s nominating speech. Clinton’s debut was so paint-peelingly tedious and boring that he got applause for saying he was ending it.

Bill Bradley, Barbara Jordan, and Zell Miller, of all folks, would keynote 1992, Evan Bayh would do 1996, and Harold Ford, Jr. would keynote 2000. The talent isn’t always young, it isn’t always new, and the point isn’t always an introduction. So, sometimes you highlight new talent, but there are other functions as well.

jlw-
I think Hillary Clinton brought most of this on herself. First of all, let’s not delude ourselves into thinking that candidates actually are entitled to good press, even when we feel they deserve it. I listen to your comments here having to sit through torturous weeks worth of concerns raised about Obama losing working class white voters. Before that, it was constant concern about the Wright controversy, until he cut the guy off. By the way, the next person who asks why can’t Obama close the deal. It may have seemed hopeless from your side, but from mine, it seemed like Hillary Clinton was very successful in getting the media to worry at great length about Obama’s electability, only to be brought back to earth, time and again, by the delegate numbers.

As for third parties? The problem for third parties in this country is that we are not a parliamentary system. In such a system, multiple parties can band together to form coalition governments, to elect a prime minister who represents the coalition as a whole. Instead, we have a system where along the spectrum, those who split their vote, even if they are the majority, will have a greater chance to lose. Let’s say the green party takes up thirty percent of the votes, and the Democrats an equal number. By the nature of the system, The Republicans, who get forty percent, still have the largest solid faction. Put the electoral college into play, and things get really interesting.

In each case, folks can only harm their own side, not the other.

This is why two united parties are the paradigm. In a contest where majorities and pluralities win, those seeking to satisfy their interests, rather than merely play the politics, will vote for whichever of the two major parties they want to win.

It’s not necessarily corruption that ensures this, but rather the political reality that the candidate with the largest vote count wins.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 25, 2008 1:06 PM
Comment #253638

RickIL,

Sorry for your bad winter. The only time I can stand to watch the news/political comment for more than 30 minutes or so, is when they track a big event like a a hurricane, in my locale(Houston). Even then, the desperate attempts to say anything gets annoying.

During Hurricane Rita, I believe they contributed to the traffic jam, with horror stories of Katrina and the seeming fear that people wouldn’t leave near the coast. Many people fled that didn’t need to, even after it was obvious the track was turning east of Houston.

Posted by: googlumpus at May 25, 2008 6:26 PM
Comment #253639

“madmen, commies or wearers of aluminum foil hats.”

Some of them are exactly that, and so are some of the duopoly candidates, but they hide it better with advertising dollars. The supporters who are aware of their candidates faults don’t talk about them, and deny them to their opponents. Also, their peculiarities are likely to be ignored if they are not part of a current or recent news cycle.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 25, 2008 6:50 PM
Comment #253642

Jack,
You write: “If you watch the election news with the mute on, you can see the extent of the Obama advantage. We see Obama speaking with adoring fans in the background or walking among the enthusiastic people. MSM shows McCain in tight close-ups, often sitting alone on his campaign bus.”

Of course, it would help if McCain could attract a crowd to a venue in the first place. But the fund raising event at the Phoenix Convention Center had to be cancelled. Not enough people were willing to attend. More anti-war protesters than supporters were anticipated. He heh. Fund raising events in the Phoenix area will be held at private residences.

As for an actual debate between Obama and McCain, it would be a terrible idea for McCain. As Maureen Dowd astutely observes, McCain reacts to criticisms of his policies as personal attacks upon his integrity, and he reponds with anger. Dowd is right, you know. Watch McCain the next time someone criticises his decisions on policy. Every time a criticism draws blood, McCain takes it as a personal assualt. That might work once or twice, but it’s not an effective manner of response for an entire campaign. Let’s face it, McCain has issues that make him a poor choice to be under the spotlight for an extended time. The guy is a terrible candidate. I’m looking forward to the Democratic landslide in November. I really am.

Posted by: phx8 at May 25, 2008 8:04 PM
Comment #253647

errgggg!!!! Maureen Dowd. She gives feminism a bad name. I wished she’d go for a drive with a Kennedy near water.

Posted by: googlumpus at May 26, 2008 12:09 AM
Comment #253664

Sorry I have not been participating well in this thread. I have been traveling and it costs me big money to access the web.

There are various points made. To both supporters and detractors all I have to say is let’s see how the debates go and who wants to have more of them.

Obama has opted out of public financing, breaking his earlier bluffing promise. He is lukewarm to the idea of a Q&A session, as in Parliament. He clearly is a clever guy, but he will play defense because he understands that his image and the support he gets from MSM is at risk when the real Obama is faced with real questions.

BTW - He spoke at length in Teddy Kennedy’s place. He mentioned service to the country in various ways. Did anybody notice if he happened to mention military service? In his speech around Memorial Day, you think he would have thought of that one too. Lord knows he praised everything else.

This is probably more important than a flag pin.

Posted by: Jack at May 26, 2008 12:22 PM
Comment #253684

If the debates remain a 30 second sound bites we won’t hear anything from Obama but that he is “change” and “unity”.

And if McCain does what Hillary did and play nice with Obama….he will lose like Hillary. Hillary finally started fighting and winning but too late.

Posted by: StephenL at May 26, 2008 8:08 PM
Comment #253687

StephenL,
Hillary will lose because she had a bad campaign strategy, not because of her level of aggressiveness. She ‘played nice’ because, even though it was a close and heated campaign, it was against a fellow Democrat & Senator, and also because she faces the distinct possibility of being the VP.

If you’re looking for commonalities between Hillary and McCain, it is more than their both being Senators. They are both doomed by their votes on Iraq. McCain can’t even hold a fundraising event at the Phoenix Convention Center. He will attract more war protestors than political contributors.

Think about that for a moment.

Like Hillary, McCain cannot raise enough money. Bush will raise money for McCain, but it has to be done in private, away from the public. Bush is too unpopular. The War in Iraq is too unpopular. McCain is doomed by that issue alone. The money will be there, but there won’t be any grass roots support.

But it gets worse. Like Hillary, McCain is the institutional candidate. McCain makes it quite clear he wants a continuation of Bush policies almost across the board. That is disastrous, because Americans really do want ‘change.’

It is not the stupid, 30 second sound bite concept of ‘change’ imagined by conservatives, who pretend this is some sort of vague, unfocused demand, like a new fall fashion rollout, change just for the sake of change. What Americans want is ‘change’ addressing very specific issues: 1) End the War in Iraq, 2) Correct economic failures, especially the failure to create jobs, but also infrastucture as well as other areas of miserable failure, and finally 3) Address Global Warming through development of alternate energies.

Republicans are going to get beaten like a gong this November, and for very, very good reason.

It’s going to be a tough summer and fall for Republicans and conservatives. Bereft of ideas, there will be nothing left to attack Obama on a personal basis, with month after month of character assassination. It is sad, but here is what we can expect to hear from Republican conservatives:

Obama is unpatriotic, unamerican, a terrorist, a Muslim, an Unruly Negro… Anything, anything but a discussion of issues. Because on every major issue polled- EVERY MAJOR ISSUE- the majority of Americans favor the Democrats.

Posted by: phx8 at May 26, 2008 8:50 PM
Comment #253691

Jack said: “Obama has opted out of public financing, breaking his earlier bluffing promise.”

Yeah, but, not the the very law McCain helped pass, which McCain is breaking. McCain has no more regard for the law and Constitution than GW Bush, if he so willing to violate the McCain-Feingold legislation for power.

I will take a gaffer over a law breaker for personal gain, any day.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 26, 2008 9:37 PM
Comment #253697
They are both doomed by their votes on Iraq.

It doesn’t hurt that his position has been twisted and misrepresented by the Democrats can willing media (not because of bias but for ratings and a soundbite culture).

Good job changing the face of politics btw, it’s refreshing to see.

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 26, 2008 10:05 PM
Comment #253698

David,

So, one lier is better than another, eh?

*shrug*

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 26, 2008 10:06 PM
Comment #253700

Rhinehold-
McCain’s statement required American soldiers to pacify Iraq to stay as he expressed they should stay, into the indefinite future.

In short, you have to keep fighting this war to get to the one he idealized, until it actually comes about.

Staying in Iraq, regardless of the conditions, is unpopular to the average American.

Therefore, his votes on the war will hurt him. Even if he tries telling people “Out by 2013”, he’s got to answer questions about what was apparently his previous position, and about his judgement on the war.

In short, you don’t have to twist anything to have the war come across as a negative. His Position seems to be an attempt to twist his own words, his own apparent position, to conform to what Americans have expressed their desire for, not unlike Nixon’s Peace With Honor, which was really “Four more Years of an unpopular war spun to sound like an attempt to bring peace.”

Sounds like the same to me. Just like the whole “bottom up” strategy, post-2006, sounds like that other way to justify a failing political bargain in the midst of a losing civil war. You know, Vietnamization. Turns out the folks who couldn’t win the war with our help, couldn’t win it without it.

Jack-
Obama may have opted out of it, but he’s more than established his credibility on fundraising. If you look at the numbers on percentages of donors below $200 for Obama and his percentage that runs 2300+, then compare that with McCain’s, the numbers are inverses.

Beyond that, though, Obama doesn’t have the infamy, if he opts out, of having attempted to use public financing as collateral on a private loan to his campaign, essentially promising to use taxpayer dollars to make up the difference if he didn’t become the nominee and get the big donations.

As far as the Q+A sessions, I think the last thing you’d want McCain in, with this temper, is a situation like that.

I think its a bit of grandstanding, to be certain. The reason for this custom in British government, is that the party or coalition in power essentially IS the government. The other side can’t do crap except second guess and question the other side’s policies.

As for the support Obama gets? When a news organization brings donuts, and everybody glowingly talks about attending your candidate’s barbecue, I hardly think the objectivity problem for the media is Obama centered.

What keeps boosting Obama’s image is that he doesn’t need that BS to make himself look good.

As for military service? I’m sure somebody who recently voted for a GI bill that pays fuller college tuition is not trying to discourage people from serving. Unfortunately, Republicans like Bush and McCain are scared that after repeated deployments, soldiers might choose to actually seek out their reward, after serving their country. They’re concerned that it might serve as a tipping point of unsustainability.

My question is how did they let things get that bad, that they would fear our soldiers doing what the Greatest Generation decided to do. The manpower policies of this presidency have been an albatross around the armed force’s neck, bringing them to this point.

But of course, for political reasons, they don’t dare acknowledge the problem: that they went into a war unprepared for the long term; that they have since failed to deal with the overriding logistical problem, even when they had a congress amenable to them.

To be frank, I want Obama to have that debate. I want McCain to have to fumble around explaining the Bush policy he often loudly supported

StephenL-
Hillary’s problem is not that she played nice. Quite the opposite. Her problem is that she tried playing rough at the same time Obama decided to campaign with some class. She underestimated how much people want class in their candidates, somebody who lives up to something in their candidacy rather than living down to it.

Obama’s not perfect, but he represents a shift in political attitude back to towards the kind of class and intelligence we use to expect of our presidents

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 26, 2008 11:27 PM
Comment #253701

Oh come on Stephen…

Staying in Iraq, regardless of the conditions, is unpopular to the average American.

Then I hope they aren’t voting for Obama, because his plan doesn’t call for the immediate withdrawl from Iraq either.

Perhaps they should be looking towards the Libertarians or Greens who are actually calling for that to occur. In fact, the two candidates in each of the two major parties were drummed out of the primaries, so I’m not sure that it is as important to ‘the people’ as you seem to think it is…

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 26, 2008 11:31 PM
Comment #253702

BTW, his plan isn’t even for an unconditional long term withdrawl, he has stated that if civil war or genocide breaks out during the withdrawl he will stop it.

How is this ANY different than what McCain is calling for, other than after the violence is ended by us McCain will have us stay in a similar fashion to Japan, South Korea, Germany, etc and Obama will bring every last serviceman home?

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 26, 2008 11:35 PM
Comment #253704

Here is Obama’s policy on Iraq, from www.barackosama.com

“Bringing Our Troops Home

Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months. Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq. He will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda.”

As for McCain, I’m not sure how to interpret his site, because you can read in almost anything you want into his policy on Iraq:

http://www.watchblog.com/republicans/archives/005997.html#comments

Today McCain decried mistakes made by military commanders and the Bush administration, but it’s primarily a denunciation of failed tactics, not a criticism of going into Iraq in the first place.

McCain has also famously said we would stay in Iraq for 100 years, as long as American troops were not being shot at the whole time. The implication is that we’re permanently pacifying a rebellious colony. We’re there to stay. Liberation my ***. It’s just a matter of getting the Iraqis to accept the occupation.

But He has also talked about possibly withdrawing troops in 2013.

Events may overtake his position(s). The Iraqis do not want the US in their country.

Posted by: phx8 at May 27, 2008 12:50 AM
Comment #253705

Phx8

The Obama change promise truly is BS. Let’s put some details on what you wrote re.

1) End the War in Iraq – everybody wants to do this, the question is how. If Obama chicken runs in the first months, he will create a wider war and many more deaths. If he withdraws as conditions permit, he will be changing nothing from the current policy. So I hope he is lying about a quick pull out, because if he gives his fans what they think he is promising, he is really going to screw the pooch.

2 Correct economic failures, especially the failure to create jobs, but also infrastructure as well as other areas of miserable failure, and finally. The economy lost jobs in the downturn that began in 2000. It gained them during the upturn of 2002-2007. It is losing again. Unemployment is around 5%. It does not get much lower than that.

And HOW will Obama create jobs? I understand that Obama fans think he can do this more or less like they think he could feed the multitude with a couple of loaves and fishes, but in the real world it takes real strategies that help the private sector create useful jobs.

3) Address Global Warming through development of alternate energies. In that last couple of years, the high price of oil has pushed prodigious amounts of money into alternatives. We HAVE alternatives today. We just choose the cheapest alternative, which still includes a lot of carbon based fuel.

If you notice, in 2006, for the first time ever during a time of robust economic growth, U.S. emissions of CO2 went DOWN. What did George Bush do to accomplish what Clinton never could and what the EU never did? Will Obama adapt that program, which is been the only success in reducing CO2 emissions? Does he even know how it happened? Does he care, or does his “change” just consist of words and promises?

David

Promising to abide by public finance and then lying about it is not a gaff. It is a lie. Obama has very flagrantly and openly lied about his intention AND he is breaking the public financing of election idea, which liberals claimed to love AND liberals don’t care. Talk about hypocrisy.

In the case of McCain, some people have asserted that he is technically spending too much money because of a loan he took out. Unfortunately for McCain, he is not rich as a Democrat and could not afford to loan himself money. The election commission has not made a ruling on this technical point and it cannot because it does not have a quorum because Democratic Senators are blocking nominees.

So we have a contrived technical problem for McCain and an undeniable bald faced lie by Obama. A gaff? A gaff is when you Obama forgets to include our troops in his service speech. A major lie is when Obama just lies about his promise to take public funding. That is change we cannot believe in.

Stephen

Don’t you really see it? You say that Obama has established his credibility in fund raising. He indeed has. He is rolling in money. That is what campaign financing was all about. He gets a lot of his money from small donors. If he used ONLY that money, you might have a case. But he has lots of bundlers and other, as Joel pointed out.

Obama lied. Democrats buyed. (I know it is bad grammar). If he is really so popular, why does he need to buy the election.

Re temper – you guys like to talk about that. When have you seen it unjustifiable manifest?

Re military service – I think it just goes to Obama’s attitude. A couple days before Memorial Day, he gives a big speech on service and forgets that one. He probably doesn’t even personally know anybody who has been to Iraq for more than a couple of days on a journalist tour. That is why he forgets.

I support a strong GI bill, but it really does not make much sense to give the same benefits to someone who spent a couple years in the service as you would someone who was there longer. It is unjust. Obama doesn’t care about this. He wants to grandstand and his media allies are making it easy for him.

Posted by: Jack at May 27, 2008 12:58 AM
Comment #253706

Well, I mean to link McCain’s site, www.johnmccain.com for his stand on the issue of Iraq. I have no idea how the other link got there. Sorry-

Jack,
Events may overtake the politicians, especially if the Iraqis hold elections in November. Ayatollah Al-Sistani has supposedly issued fatwas recently allowing Shias to attack “occupation forces.” Issuing the fatwas was bad enough. Referring to American troops as “occupation forces” was even worse. Al-Sistani was very, very unhappy with US bombs and missiles being used in urban areas, especially during the recent fighting in Sadr City. Inadventent ‘collateral damage’ in the form of Iraqi civilian deaths might have been an acceptable tactic for US forces- after all, it tends to end fights decisively, and with minimum American casualties- but the Iraqis do not share that perspective.

So, the good news is that the fighting between rival Shia factions has abated… for now. The deal is that the Iraqi government is allowed access to some portion of Sadr City. This might stop the bombardment of the Green Zone, which was getting really bad. It also strengthens the Iraqi government, assuming they maintain order.

The bad news is that the deal also includes a provision that Americans will not enter Sadr City. No more air strikes in urban areas.

So much for winning hearts and minds.

It would seem Americans will be able to stay in Iraq as long as they bribe the Al-Maliki government. But if a new coalition takes power in the November provincial elections- that is, if the elections even happen- well, the winners may order US troops out of their country.

That is the event which may overtake the presidential candidates.

Posted by: phx8 at May 27, 2008 1:21 AM
Comment #253709

Phx8

I have always (check my postings for the last four years) advocated making our Iraq policy based on conditions in Iraq. That is why I am so happy with the results of the surge and that is why I oppose sophomoric ideas that we sometimes hear from the loony left.

If Obama agrees with my position, that we should make our policy in response to conditions in Iraq, then he is not calling for change. He is - in fact - staying the course. If he is calling for policy based on conditions in the American PR & political world, he is being childish and irresponsible.

So which is the true Obama? A man who will make the hard decision (i.e. will NOT promise to pull out of Iraq unless conditions warrant) or the baby boy who wants to take his ball and go home when the other kids call him names?

BTW - Obama should be very thankful for the courage of our serice memebers and leadership. Although he seems to forget about them, they are providing options for the next president. Thankfully, we did not take Obama’s chicken run advice last year. Next year, we have more options as a result of our standing up to the Harry Reid Dem defeatists.

Posted by: Jack at May 27, 2008 3:30 AM
Comment #253713

phx8,

You forget to add the caveat that he expressed on Meet the Press, that if civil war or genocide increases because of our pull-out, he will stop it and keep the troops there.

What is the difference between that and what we have now exactly?

And 16 months with conditions is *NOT* the pullout that you and Stephen say that the American people want. Only Kusinich and Paul ran on that position and were soundly thrashed.

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 27, 2008 4:33 AM
Comment #253714

Oh, and he has no problem keeping our country bankrupt. Instead of taking the money that we would save by stopping the war (in a couple of years) and paying down the debt, he wants to use that money, that we are currently borrowing, to hire 5,000,000 people, giving them a salary of 42,000 per.

You notice he is not wanting to create better conditions so that business has a need for those people, he is just going to hire them because… well, that part escapes me, but since he is so intelligent I should just have faith that he is doing the right thing.

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 27, 2008 4:35 AM
Comment #253723

Rhinehold-
McCain’s plans for how to stop things by 2013 was very vague on the details. He, like Bush and the others, has not laid out how we win this thing. Obama’s been pretty clear about what he’s planning to do.

And people will back it much more than McCain’s plan. Of course he’s saying that if a humanitarian crisis begins, he’ll reconsider what’s being done. It’s only sensible. The real trick is, How does McCain get to his blessed decades worth of peacetime persistence? He doesn’t not without additional years of fighting and somehow winning a war most Americans simply want to be done with. I will call your attention to the fact that we won the war that allowed us permanent bases in Europe and Japan, Won the war that gave us bases in the former Spanish territories, and fought Korea to a formal stalemate. It’s a bit premature, with the state of Iraq as it is, and our manpower difficulties as they are, to start talking about a permanent, ongoing presence.

Jack-
John McCain Takes PAC Money, from the industries whose influence he is supposed to be fighting. Obama takes none.

Obama raises 45% of his money from those giving less than 200. McCain raised 26%. Obama raised only 28% of his donations from those giving $2300 or more. McCain raised 46%. Obama gets three quarters of his money from those giving less than the maximum, and all of it from individual donors.

Given his millions of donors, Obama has a good case to make that he’s doing what Public financing is supposed to do, getting the candidates divorced from private money that might sway them. He owes nothing to any PAC, and has even moved to limit the roles of 527s in his campaign. Obama kept registered lobbyists off his staff from the beginning. McCain, meanwhile is only now firing them, after enjoying their help for the primary. He’s not firing the lobbyists who now work for him full time of course, and he probably will let the 527s do for his campaign what he can’t or won’t.

As far as service goes? I think actions speak louder than words, and Obama spoke pretty loudly by backing a truly modernized GI Bill. I think folks might be able to forgive him for not mentioning the military (if he indeed failed to) the way he did in dozens of other speeches, as an option for those looking to pay for college.

I think the approach of making mountains out of molehills like this is just a weak way of playing politics, especially when you have problems of substance that run so deep. If this is your strategy for the general election, I don’t envy you, because people like me will come back with the facts time and again. Obama does what McCain said he would do, Honors military service the way McCain claims he does. Obama fulfills what McCain promises.

I think anybody who serves a tour of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan should see the benefits that somebody who served a tour of duty in WWII got. Your administration’s unprecedented policy of recycling most soldiers repeatedly through the system to make up for manpower and recruiting shortfalls is what makes this troubling for you. If your people were running things right, you could give these people that benefit without a second thought. You would deny veterans the benefits they earned by fighting our war, because you folks screwed up the logistics.

That seems quite classy to me, fitting with the rest of your policies.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 27, 2008 8:37 AM
Comment #253732

Jack

So which is the true Obama? A man who will make the hard decision (i.e. will NOT promise to pull out of Iraq unless conditions warrant) or the baby boy who wants to take his ball and go home when the other kids call him names?

Your statement seems to reflect the humiliation of the defeated opponent who refuses to acknowledge failure out of stubborn pride.

Obama has not come this far in the campaign process by running away from adversity. He has shown more integrity and intellectual thought process during this campaign than the Bush, Cheney, republican regime has been able to exhibit for almost eight years now.

I will suggest that the true Obama is the one who will weigh all the facts before pursuing a course with a superior level of intellect and priority unknown to our country under republican rule.

BTW - Obama should be very thankful for the courage of our serice memebers and leadership. Although he seems to forget about them, they are providing options for the next president. Thankfully, we did not take Obama’s chicken run advice last year. Next year, we have more options as a result of our standing up to the Harry Reid Dem defeatists.

I have never heard Obama claim that he is not appreciative of the service of our military members. The rest of your statement here has been discussed so many times that it has little impact any longer. As you know the greater majority of Americans no longer view Iraq as a high priority. We view the waging of war for oil as the nemesis of progression to energy independence. Quite simply the Iraqi’s have become reliant on and are enjoying the hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars we continue to pour into their economy. So long as we continue to pay their bills and protect them they have no real motivation to help themselves. Redeployment at this time centers around priorities which are more pressing than a conflict which has been very poorly managed and never should have been. Of course we have a GOP energy policy which advocates for more oil as the answer to our energy problems to thank for this colossal debacle.

Posted by: RickIL at May 27, 2008 10:47 AM
Comment #253736

rhinehold -

When it comes to Obama using the money to put 5 million people to work at 42K/year, perhaps it would do you well to take into considerations the lessons of history.

During the Great Depression, instead of cutting taxes, FDR used the money to create the Civilian Conservation Corps. Many more people were thus able to feed their families, and by the time WWII came around, we were able to once more be the Arsenal of Democracy.

Just think of what could have happened if, instead of giving away billions in ‘tax rebates’, Bush had used it to hire people to help work on our national infrastructure, instead of giving it away so that we could continue to support China via Wal-Mart….

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at May 27, 2008 1:02 PM
Comment #253750

Rhinehold,
Obama lists his Iraq policy on his web site, including the caveats you mention. He is not my first choice, but he is the best choice. An immediate and orderly withdrawal, which is what I would like to see, would take at least three months, and probably more like six months, just as a matter of logistics. Obama’s plan would take longer. If that’s the best we can do, then I’m good with it. It’s the right place to start the discussion: How fast can we pull out?

Jack,
I am thankful for the courage of people who serve in the military, and put it on the line.

I am not at all thankful for people like Bush and Cheney and Rice, who do great harm to our country.

It is a shame we have not withdrawn already. Hundreds of Americans have been killed, more wounded, and billions upon billions of dollars have been squandered. The War in Iraq has done very real damage to the economy.

Are you happy with the results of the surge?
Here is a composite of stories on the violence yesterday, from www.juancole.com as reported by McClatchy. Remember, this is just one day, just McClatchy, for REPORTED violence that has been translated into English:

”’ Baghdad

Five civilians were injured when a bomb exploded inside a park near Abbas Ebin Firnas intersection in west Baghdad around 10:00 a.m.

Five people were killed (3 Sahwa council members and 2 policemen) and eleven others were injured (5 police and 6 Sahwa council members) when a suicide motorcycle bomb targeted a Sahwa checkpoint near the supporting forces headquarters in Tarmiyah district in north Baghdad around 10:30 a.m.

Two civilians were injured when a roadside bomb exploded near a moving bus in Shaab neighborhood in north Baghdad around 11:00 a.m. some commercial shops and private cars were damaged by the explosion.

Around 4:00 p.m. a mortar shell hit al Muthanna airport in west Baghdad. No news about casualties.

An Iraqi soldier was killed and eight others were wounded in a parked car bomb in the entrance of Hurriyah neighborhood in west Baghdad around 6:00 p.m.

Police found two unidentified bodies in Baghdad. The first body was found in Shaab neighborhood while the second body was found in Amil neighborhood.

Kirkuk

A driver of an ambulance and a civilian were injured when a roadside bomb exploded in Tuz Khurmatu town south of Kirkuk on Monday morning.

A source in the Kurdish security forces (Asayish) said that a bomb exploded near the house of a Turkmen teacher in al Askari neighborhood in downtown Tuz Khurmatu south of Kirkuk city on Monday morning.

A source in the Iraqi army said that a force of the Iraqi army raided on Monday morning al Rashad area west Kirkuk city and arrested a person that is called the prince of the Iraqi Islamic state in that area.

Najaf

A roadside bomb exploded in the al Shamiyah area south of Najaf at around 9 p.m. on Sunday. A source from the Iraqi army has told us that an American humvee was destroyed, a soldier was killed and two others were injured. US military said in an emailed reply that they confirm the new of the death of a coalition soldier.

Nineveh

A source in the Iraqi army said that an insurgent attacked a patrol that was joining the director of the tribes affairs in the ministry of interior affairs Major General Marid abdul Hussein. The source said that the insurgent attacked the patrol with the grenades in Sarj Khana area in downtown Mosul city north Iraq. Seven people were injured in the attack including one of the guards of the director.

Police forces arrested six young boys who were accused of being suicide bombers. The boys were arrested in one of the houses in Sumer neighborhood in west Mosul.

Diyala

Gunmen from al Qaida attacked Mohammed Taha , a village east of Baquba city on Monday morning. A member of Sahwa councils was killed and two others were wounded.

A policeman was killed and two others were injured when gunmen attacked Abi Saida village east of Baquba city

A policeman was killed and his six years old son was injured when a bomb exploded near the policeman’s house in Bani Saad district south of Baquba.’”

I thought the reference to an arrest near Kirkuk of a “prince” of the Iraqi Islamic State was most interesting.

Posted by: phx8 at May 27, 2008 4:14 PM
Comment #253754

phx8, we had that many casualties in Chicago yesterday from drive-bys. We need to end the war here also. An orderly withdrawal will take more like 2 years, and no one is saying that our private contractors are not still going to be there. They are mostly American citizens, and veterans, and their casualties are not included in the military figures.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 27, 2008 4:47 PM
Comment #253758

phx8,

Do you think that that violence will end if we are no longer there? I didn’t see any attacks on US targets in that list…

The fact is that if we leave now there will be an increase in violence, bloodshed and civil war. So, according to Obama’s plan, since he has stated that he will not leave if these things are going on, that means that we somehow have to end that violence. How is he proposing to end it? McCain is at least willing to accept that reality and attempt to do something about it, not say one thing to appease his base knowing all the while he has no intention of leaving people in Iraq to fend for themselves when push comes to shove.

If you wanted complete removal from Iraq before 2012, you hitched your wagon up to the wrong guy I’m afraid. I don’t think Kusinich or Paul are going to be on any ballot in November… Perhaps Barr or Nader?

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 27, 2008 5:17 PM
Comment #253760

Ohrealy,
I’ll take it as a flip comment, since no American city experiences the level of violence which occurs daily in Iraq. Remember, that’s just the reported violence that was translated into English. In past wars, only 5 - 20% of violence was reported, with the more violent the conflict, the more prevalent the under-reporting.

Rhinehold,
It’s in the quoted material: “… An American humvee was destroyed, a soldier was killed and two others were injured…”

Another American soldier was also killed yesterday in Salahuddin province, probably by Sunni insurgents.

You write: “The fact is that if we leave now there will be an increase in violence, bloodshed and civil war.”

It’s possible, but it is not a fact, and not necessarily a high probability. In a poll by the Opinion Research Bureau, very few Iraqis thought the level of violence would increase if the US withdrew.

But you can bet the US government won’t be offering any statistics or the results of any polls to the American public, partly because it’s dangerous to do polls in Iraq, and partly because the results run counter to what Americans would like to think is going on in Iraq. We’re not welcome in their country. They want the US to leave.

Posted by: phx8 at May 27, 2008 5:41 PM
Comment #253761
When it comes to Obama using the money to put 5 million people to work at 42K/year, perhaps it would do you well to take into considerations the lessons of history.

I have, perhaps you should do the same? I don’t remember a crushing debt during the Great Depression… A debt that has us technically bankrupt. What is worse, Walmart buying product from China or the US Government borrowing beyond their means from China?

Until Obama wants to talk about reducing our debt/spending, I have no use for anything he says as it is just “More of the same”.

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 27, 2008 5:43 PM
Comment #253762
It’s possible, but it is not a fact, and not necessarily a high probability. In a poll by the Opinion Research Bureau, very few Iraqis thought the level of violence would increase if the US withdrew.

phx8,

You forget, I have been advocating a complete withdrawl for 3 years.

The problem is, Obama is not the one to give it, just more of the same. Americans are not going to allow a decay into civil war in Iraq without blaming the person who caused it. Obama will be that person if he pulls out as he has proposed in his plan. He knows this, which is why he puts on the qualifier so that he has room later on to keep us there.

The Iraqis are fighting a civil war for control of their country. The fighting of terrorists has all but diminished and not we are seeing the real power struggle that will not simply go away if we leave.

http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/002865.html for education on my position.

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 27, 2008 5:50 PM
Comment #253763

rhinehold -

It doesn’t matter when we leave Iraq, or who’s president when we do. There will be a bloodbath, ethnic cleansing that will eclipse anything we saw in Bosnia fifteen years ago.

The people there do not see things as we do. They keep grudges not for decades, but for generations. Your boy Bush has been terrorism’s greatest recruiting tool in history…and our children and grandchildren will be paying the price for Bush’s invasion on false pretenses and illegal occupation.

So I say we leave now, because we may as well protect as many of our soldiers and citizens - and as much of our budget - sooner rather than later. There will be a bloodbath - may as well get it over with. All we’re doing there is wasting blood and dollars delaying it.

And it doesn’t matter who’s the president when we pull out - BUSH bears the blame.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at May 27, 2008 6:25 PM
Comment #253764

Rhinehold,
“… He puts on the qualifier so that he has room later on to keep us there.”

Well, that’s a possibility. But Obama has consistently opposed the war, starting with his speech in October 2002, through multiple votes, and throughout his campaign rhetoric. Yes, he leaves himself room. I agree. But I would be more concerned if he radically changed his position in an act of triangulation, you know, holding up a finger to see which way the wind blows.

I think the Sunnis and Shias will eventually find a way to live together, or if already ethnically cleansed, then side by side. There are some internal divisions among the Shias that will have to be resolved. But the biggest problem remaining to be resolved is over the dispostion of Kirkuk.

Rather than using military force, I’d prefer the US get out a checkbook and just pay everybody off not to fight. Negotiating with the enemy and paying them off worked ok with the Sunnis Awakening Councils- not that BushCo will ever admit that is what really happened-

Posted by: phx8 at May 27, 2008 6:31 PM
Comment #253765

And one more thing, rhinehold - there’s a Biblical verse that applies to your criticism of Obama’s prospective fiscal policies: “By their works shall ye know them”.

Reagan: incurred a greater debt than all presidents before him combined.

Bush I: incurred a greater debt than all presidents before him combined, including Reagan.

Clinton: SURPLUS (which is one reason I’m an alternate delegate for Hillary)

Bush II: on course to incur a greater debt than all presidents before him combined, including Reagan and his dad.

So…I really don’t think the GOP has a lot of room to talk when it comes to the economy.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at May 27, 2008 6:33 PM
Comment #253770

Rhinehold, Obama did not lie. He changed his mind. We all do that and don’t regard ourselves liars as a result. Huge difference from breaking the law as part of the changing your mind process.

Passing a law, and then violating that law is an entirely different matter, altogether. Rather remarkable that your comment fails to acknowledge that difference.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 27, 2008 7:14 PM
Comment #253777

RickIL wrote(hopefully not with a straight face):“Obama is a very intelligent individual perfectly capable of clever spontaneous reaction.”

Yeah, clever spontaneous reaction like uhhh, ummm, y’know, ahhh, uhhh, this is something ahhh, y’know we ahhh, need um, the ahhh government to uhhh, y’know ahhh wipe our um, uhhh, ahhh y’know uhh butts.

Posted by: duane-o at May 27, 2008 9:52 PM
Comment #253778

Thanks duan-o for your intelligent and important contribution ! Looks like you’ve paid great attention to some of dumbya’s better speeches.
Glenn, thanks for your comments here…glad to see you join the ranks !!

Posted by: janedoe at May 27, 2008 10:16 PM
Comment #253782

duane-o:
Better halting intelligence than glib stupidity.

As for the need for government to wipe rear ends, he’s not selling that, nor are most Democrats outside of Republican fantasy land, where all the folks with (D)’s are strawmen who can be blasted flat with ridiculous ease.

Democrats want a government that enables process and a decent life for the poor and middle class. They don’t necessarily put their faith in government that it will get things right, which is why we were much bigger on oversight than you folks.

Rhinehold-
Look at all the sectarian violence and political discord that have occured over the five years of the war, and then think to yourself: “Self, all this happened while we were in Iraq, especially during the surge.” We aren’t preventing much of anything. The chaos that is supposed to come of leaving is happening anyways, and likely will happen anyways, as things go.

We’re not Atlas bearing up the world in Iraq, we’re that snippy EPA administrator that gets coated in melted Marshmallow in Ghostbusters. We’re not holding anything up, We’re just looking up and getting slimed.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 28, 2008 1:33 AM
Comment #253806

Duane-o

RickIL wrote(hopefully not with a straight face):“Obama is a very intelligent individual perfectly capable of clever spontaneous reaction.”

Yeah, clever spontaneous reaction like uhhh, ummm, y’know, ahhh, uhhh, this is something ahhh, y’know we ahhh, need um, the ahhh government to uhhh, y’know ahhh wipe our um, uhhh, ahhh y’know uhh butts

Yes Duane with an entirely somber straight face. Comparing him to Bush will not wash here.

Posted by: RickIL at May 28, 2008 1:19 PM
Comment #253814

RickIL,

So we’re supposed to stick our heads in the sand and pretend that Obama’s favorite words with which to answer questions are uhh, umm, y’know, and ahh? Go back and watch the last debate BHO and HRC had and count your messiah’s uhhs, umms, ahhs, and y’knows.

Posted by: Duane-o at May 28, 2008 3:15 PM
Comment #253815

Correction to my last post:

RickIL,

So we’re supposed to stick our heads in the sand and pretend that Obama’s favorite words with which to answer questions aren’t uhh, umm, y’know, and ahh? Go back and watch the last debate BHO and HRC had and count your messiah’s uhhs, umms, ahhs, and y’knows.

Posted by: Duane-o at May 28, 2008 3:16 PM
Comment #253816

phx8, I wasn’t being flip at all. We should be dealing with our own problems before traveling to other places to straighten out their societies, when they have oil wells.

I do not think that BHO’s “halting intellegence” will be on display in debates this year. He has nothing to gain from direct confrontations with JMcC, and does not do well without a prepared script, and a rehearsed performance. It would be nice if we could get them on a stage with Barr, McKinney, and even Nader, but BHO is even more unlikely to agree to something like that if he is the frontrunner, since they would all be attacking him.

BHO’s greatest liablility this year will be his own supporters, whether it be the Kos propaganda machine, professional complainers, or fawning media types, all of which he needs to tell, AW SHUT UP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjJ6FDm_Z1g

Posted by: ohrealy at May 28, 2008 3:25 PM
Comment #253817

Stephen & Phx8

Iraq is a dangerous place and it is uncomfortable to be there, but it is NOT the way you seem to think it is. The majority of American service men and women will serve their time in Iraq w/o experiencing first-hand violence.

Iraq is a big country with a population of nearly 28 million. There is still lots of violence, but if you put it in perspective you will find that it is not the complete mess you think it is. A similar listing of ordinary crimes in the U.S. would make as compelling a story as you have listed.

Stephen

Re Obama not taking public money, he is making the big bucks now so he has forsaken public finance, which he promised to take. He gets a lot of his money from small donors. But he gets a lot of money from big ones.

Let’s look at actual totals. Barack Obama got $77,046,788 from donors paying more than $2300, of that $11,148,741 from those contributing more than $4600. McCain got a total of only $45,640,445 from those giving more than $2300 and only 6,055,706 from those giving more than $4600.

Obama is breaking his promise and he is doing exactly the money run Dems have always complained about and said they wanted to end.

Take a look at this graph. Obama has more little guys, but also more fat cats.

Posted by: Jack at May 28, 2008 3:33 PM
Comment #253818

Jack, the very high numbers of returning vets with PTSD, and the soldiers killed by electrocution in their barracks and on posts, at the hands of shoddy contractors hired by this administration, are Elephants in the room that Republicans must ignore in order to maintain as you do, that it is not the mess Americans at home think it is.

It is such a mess, McCain has to say he will never surrender Iraq. One does not talk about surrender if one is winning. Of course there is another meaning to McCain’s words too, just as true, that he believes WE OWN Iraq, and just as we would never surrender Hawaii or Colorado, he will not surrender Iraq. It is vital to Bush’s world hegemony push and McCain will not cede territories taken in war, even if that war was falsely based, and electively entered into, and even if it strengthens and enrolls our enemies.

They got oil. Might as well ask John McCain to free Ft. Knox to Kentucky secessionists with gold intact, as ask him to EVER withdraw our troops and 3+ billion taxpayer dollars per month from Iraq.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 28, 2008 4:00 PM
Comment #253820

Duane-o, is that all you have, picking on a persons physical attributes? Why not just say you won’t vote for Obama because he is Black. Do you make fun of the handicapped and demure women as weak, too?

The man pauses to deliberate his words, to insure his answers are ones he can live up to. That is a far more respectable quality than those which McClellan attributes to Bush and his present and past advisors; liars and deceivers, having no integrity or fidelity to their word at all.

And McClellan knows these people better than you ever will. OK, so go ahead and discount McClellan as a chubby White traitor to America and his own kind. Do policies and vision for the future play any role in your deliberations or critical analysis, at all?

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 28, 2008 4:09 PM
Comment #253823

“Duane-o, is that all you have, picking on a persons physical attributes? Why not just say you won’t vote for Obama because he is Black. Do you make fun of the handicapped and demure women as weak, too?”

That has to be one of the stupidest postings I have ever encountered from anyone on this site. Everyone who reads it will be dumber for having done so. Here we go with the Obama supporters “You won’t vote for Obama? You racist pig!”

Obama’s umms and ahhs are not a physical handicap David. They are the sounds one makes when there is no script to go by and one has to make sure not to let any views that may be out of touch leak out. Ask a detective and he/she will tell you that umms and ahhs don’t look good on a polygraph.

Posted by: Duane-o at May 28, 2008 4:27 PM
Comment #253828

Glen contarian said…Clinton…Surplus….wrong….Clinton had a surplus only in the last year….and that was a projection into 2001…based on the economy growing like it had before…then the internet bubble burst……the 7 before were all deficit…..better check your facts

Posted by: David at May 28, 2008 5:20 PM
Comment #253830

sorry…there were surpluses in the last 3 years…if you do not count Social Security or medi-care

Posted by: David at May 28, 2008 5:24 PM
Comment #253833

David -

I don’t suppose it occurred to you that it took that long to decrease the deficit from where Bush Sr. left it, huh?

Y’know, back in the military, it was always considered shameful to leave a mess when you got relieved from watch. So how do the past three presidents stack up against that standard?

Economically speaking, Reagan (who I still hold in high regard for winning the Cold War) left the biggest mess in history - much of which is excusable for his efforts to win the Cold War. Bush Sr. left an even bigger mess. It took seven years, but Clinton cleaned up the messes the Republicans left, and turned over a _surplus_ to Bush Jr…who even now continues to spend more than 10 BILLION dollars a month on his way to leaving the biggest mess of all for the one who relieves him.

Clinton left us with a surplus - and even Alan Greenspan profusely praised Clinton for his economic acumen. Greenspan didn’t praise the Republicans in Congress - he praised Clinton…which is strictly in line with the practice of the captain of the ship getting ALL the blame for everything that goes wrong on his watch…and getting ALL the praise for everything that goes right on his watch.

Come to think of it, if Bush II hadn’t been a deserter, he’d have understood that….

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at May 28, 2008 6:11 PM
Comment #253837

Duane-o

So we’re supposed to stick our heads in the sand and pretend that Obama’s favorite words with which to answer questions aren’t uhh, umm, y’know, and ahh? Go back and watch the last debate BHO and HRC had and count your messiah’s uhhs, umms, ahhs, and y’knows.

Nobody is asking you to stick your head in the sand but you may try pulling it out of your you know what. I find your avenue of attack as childish and not worthy of any serious consideration.

Posted by: RickIL at May 28, 2008 7:55 PM
Comment #253842

David

It is truly amazing how the U.S. can project power into distant deserts that devoured previous armies. When doing such things, not everything works perfectly. There is a margin of error. I have never yet seen a perfect operation of any kind, but the way we have executed our operations in Iraq is nearly excellent.

In any war, people die and are injured. We cannot abolish that. We also so far have been unable to abolish war. It is easy to talk about the costs of doing one thing if you don’t have to talk about the costs of alternatives. Our operation in Iraq is currently making astonishing progress at the costs you mention (i.e. hundreds of U.S. casualties a year). The alternative of pulling out fast will create greater risks and more casualties.

I would also point out that ordinary accidents and training injuries in the generally peacetime military of the 1990s amounted to hundreds every year. You cannot take any statistic in isolation.

Re surrender – It would indeed be very stupid to surrender when you are winning, but I do not trust the likes of “we are defeated” Harry Reid or the sophomoric Obama, who will require several months to learn how much he doesn’t understand about Iraq. They could easily give up too soon. If they had their way, the surge would never have happened and we would indeed be limping out in defeat by now.

(I cannot even look at Harry Reid w/o picturing him with that defeated dog look trying to make us all big losers. How could any American do that?)

Somehow it has become almost taboo to even mention these serious Democratic misjudgments. The Dems get on their high horse and claim that questioning their judgment is questioning their patriotism. I believe most Democrats are patriotic. They are not cowards and mean well, but their judgment is flawed and influenced by impressions that they have not updated in the light of changed realities.

Democrats still want to argue 2006 or even 2002. It is now 2008 and the president will take office in 2009. We have to look at what is true now, not what you think would have been true three or five years ago.

Re the oil question – the Iraqis got oil. They are making piles of money and this is changing the equation of the war. Yes, we should get the Iraqis to pay for more of their own development. But the very fact the THEY got that money and we do not indicates the mendacity of that war for oil idea. If that were true, WE would have that oil. I think we were too generous in that regard. We went to such great lengths to not take anything that we are giving too much.

Posted by: Jack at May 28, 2008 11:44 PM
Comment #253846

Jack,
If you want to convince people that it’s going well in Iraq, you’ll have to do better, and you have about six months (one Friedman Unit) to make the case.

The problem is that supporters of the war have been saying the same thing for six years, and the situation does not seem to have changed very much. To make the case that it’s improving enough to be worth staying, you need to cite independently compiled statistics. Better yet, pictures of prosperity would help.

It will not work to have McCain walk around a market Baghdad talking about how normal everything is, while surrounded by troops wearing body armor, with Blackhawk & Apache helicopters hovering overhead, and snipers on the rooftops- only to have a bunch of people from the market kidnapped and killed shortly afterwards.

Is electricity available to Iraqis? Clean water? Are banks trusted with money? What is the inflation rate? Unemployment rate? Crime rate? Are refugees returning in droves? Are schools open? Are women’s rights as respected now as they were under Saddam Hussein?

Seriously, you need to cite some independently gathered statistics if you want to convince anyone. You need some real, tangible results, some obvious and undeniable examples of progress. Otherwise, we’re declaring victory and going home.

Posted by: phx8 at May 29, 2008 12:53 AM
Comment #253849

Phx8, can’t argue with you asking for proof from Jack. However, if the war against terror was not going well, if Iraq was not going well, wouldn’t that be the hot ticket in the media? The fact that we don’t have a rerun of the bombing of the day on TV is direct proof of Jack’s point. The war and Iraw are going well and improving … because the media ain’t covering it.

Posted by: Edge at May 29, 2008 1:48 AM
Comment #253850

Jack said: “I have never yet seen a perfect operation of any kind,”

Al-Queda’s 9/11 attacks were pretty perfect from their perspective, especially in terms of its intended results and consequences.

So what is America’s problem that you say is so imperfect compared to al-Queda’s operations?

Jack said: “In any war, people die and are injured. We cannot abolish that.”

We can prevent Republicans from ever electing an unnecessary war for fun and profit again, though, which is what the Iraq war was.

Jack said: “The alternative of pulling out fast will create greater risks and more casualties.”

Straw Man, Jack. Republican Ron Paul is the only candidate stumping for pulling out fast. Clinton and Obama are planning to pull out in steps, safely. And of course, McCain says he will never surrender Iraq to the Iraqis. McCain sounds like Kruschev or Brezhnev talking about the Western Block countries seized by Stalin, but Iraq seized by Bush instead.

Jack said: “but I do not trust the likes of “we are defeated” Harry Reid or the sophomoric Obama, who will require several months to learn how much he doesn’t understand about Iraq.”

But you would trust a Senator who repeatedly demonstrated in public speeches a lack of knowledge about the players in the Iraq War and in Iran until corrected in on camera by Sen. Joe Liebermann. And you would trust the economy to a Senator who in all his years as a Senator admits he never took the time or effort or interest to learn much about economics. Sounds about right for a Republican loyalist, Jack.

Those judgments of Pelosi and Reid for precipitous withdrawal, Jack, never were planned to be precipitous and unplanned. They sought a date for orderly commencement or completion of withdrawing. But, more importantly, Jack, their judgments never saw the light of day and never harmed a single American. It was the judgments of Bush et. al, and Congress persons like H. Clinton, which have robbed our children’s future and killed so many of their parents in Iraq.

Jack said: “The Dems get on their high horse and claim that questioning their judgment is questioning their patriotism.” Proof that Republicans can teach old dogs their new tricks, eh, Jack?

Jack said: “Democrats still want to argue 2006 or even 2002. It is now 2008…” and our role of occupier in the Iraq War continues, and the children of today’s taxpayers continue to accrue future tax hikes due to the quarter trillion dollars each year we remain in Iraq.

Rather clever of Republicans to campaign on no new taxes while raising them on future generations to the tune of 4 Trillion Dollars in 8 years through deficit spending.

But Jack, the Bush administration assured us Iraqi oil revenues would pay for their reconstruction. The upfront costs in emergency appropriations to date now amount to $100 billion dollars a year for each year of the war. But, the really huge costs are vastly higher and not yet incurred, such as the VA benefits for soldiers injured and maimed in lifetime disability payments, the costs to rebuild and replenish our military when we finally do leave Iraq, and the enormous increase in outlays to continue to defend against and pursue an enemy made larger, more widespread, and more united by our invasion of Iraq.

Some estimate the total conservatively at $3 Trillion and up. But, their estimates are overestimated. As former WH economic advisor Lindsay, who was sacked for telling Bush this war would cost 200 billion, not 50 or 60 billion says, the real cost is the end cost less what would have been spent if we hadn’t invaded Iraq. That is valid. And brings the total real cost of Iraq when all is said and done down by at least 1/3 to perhaps as much as 1/2, or about 1.5 trillion dollars. (Remember that Iraq has only cost us $1/2 Trillion in outlays to date.)

The opportunity costs in domestic spending and investments and offsetting of coming debt from Soc. Sec. and Medicare though, are enormous but almost impossible at this time to calculate.

The cost in reputation and credibility as a leader in the world is also very high, and almost impossible to calculate in hard numbers.

Iraqi Oil, Jack, could not begin on its profit margin yields to ever pay the U.S. back for what it cost to invade Iraq and what Iraq continues to cost us and future generations of Americans. Iraq doesn’t have that much oil under their soil.

And McCain’s Shame is that he wants to perpetuate these costs indefinitely into the future. The man would do well to retire today, rather than suffer the fate of LBJ. If McCain were to win the Oval Office, his failure as president to achieve his unrealistic and incredibly expensive vision in Iraq would kill him by shame.

(A continued occupation in Iraq cannot avoid creating new Middle Eastern coalitions against the U.S., and many new Islamic Jihadist groups whose reason for living will be to repel the U.S. from the Middle East at any cost, just as Americans would live to repel communist invaders of our own homelands. This would have the McCain unintended consequence of widening our military campaigns and costs in the Middle East, rather than reducing them.)

McCain is the most dangerous candidate to get within reach of the White House since GW Bush in 2000. America is surely not going to repeat that tragedy yet again.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 29, 2008 1:54 AM
Comment #253855

youtube,v=9StNaQShFQA
From Al Jazeera, now a more informative news network than our media, on Iraqi refugees in Sweden.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 29, 2008 2:14 AM
Comment #253858

Edge,
An absence of evidence/evidence of absence argument for continuing the War in Iraq will not be good enough. Most people have already made up their minds, and reports of the ups and downs over the past year have not really affected public opinion.

What I am saying is that it will take more than the usual talk about winning or astonishing progress or whatever. Jack may or may not be right about how great it is in Iraq. But that argument has been made so many times in the past, that it just doesn’t work anymore, because the people making the argument were not telling the truth. Maybe they had good reasons to lie. But taking that tack has very real consequences. At some point, the spin has to have a correspondence with reality.

I think we lost the War in Iraq a long time ago. I think Harry Reid was right. I would be happy to be proved wrong. I have been accused of all kinds of things by others, but I am as hard-core as anyone you will meet when it comes to my devotion to American ideals… But I don’t want people pissing on my leg, and telling me it’s raining. I live in Oregon, and I know rain. Is the situation in Iraq improving? Do Iraqis welcome an American presence? Prove it!

Posted by: phx8 at May 29, 2008 3:07 AM
Comment #253868

Jack-

The majority of American service men and women will serve their time in Iraq w/o experiencing first-hand violence.

The majority of those who fought in WWII never shot anybody. It’s the effects of the violence that are more important than the number participating.

In World War II’s aftermath, we had strategic control over the countries in question, what we should have had in Iraq. Your people went into Iraq with less than a hundred thousand soldiers, and few plans or provisions for maintaining a long term presence in Iraq.

Which is why Bush and McCain are so scared of a bill that essentially threatens to encourage those who served their country to go to college rather than go back for their seventh tour of duty.

Which leads me to a point that just bugs the crap out of me. You guys are all for the glory and the purpose of this way, but you’re strategic hacks of the first order. No administration worth it’s salt before you, not even LBJ, tried to keep soldiers recycling through the warzone like that, and for good reason. People have their limits. Unfortunately, letting reality have a hand in determining policy is not the Bush administration strong suit.

As for the murder rate, imagine if an American city saw several thousand dead a year. Even New York only loses about five hundred a year. My city, even less than that. Don’t feed me crap about the normalcy of that violence. We have a functioning Democracy. Phillip Zelikow, a superior of yours in the State Department (or at least former superior) says we have a failed state.

On the subject of Obama’s money, the whole point of public financing is to give the public a stronger role in financing of campaigns. With over a million small donors, Obama is decidedly qualifying in that regard on his own.

Meanwhile, do I have to keep on bringing up McCain’s Primary chicanery, his use of the public financing system as a slush fund for his primary campaign debts, even as he decides to campaign without public financing?

In terms of the amount, Barack Obama is getting 45% of his money from people getting less than $200 dollars. That’s out of 265 million dollars.

In short, about 180-190 million dollar came from those giving less than the maximum. About 120 million of that came from the 45% of those small donors. Or, put another way, Obama has raised more money from small donors than McCain has raised in total Meanwhile, in proportion, which is what I thinks matters here, McCain has only raised less than a quarter of his money from those giving less than $200.

If he had Obama’s fundraising total, that would mean 121.9 million of McCain’s money was coming from those giving more than 2300. Similarly, it would have meant only 63 million would have come from those giving less than 200. Less than half.

Obama does not accept money from lobbyists, nor does he pull tricks on public financing to cover primary debts, nor does he accept money from PACs. McCain says what Obama does when it comes to reforming corruption.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 29, 2008 7:48 AM
Comment #253886

but Glen…that is not what you said in your post….you said Clinton had a surplus over his 8 years…..he only had a surplus his last year…and it was not large enough to make up the seven years of deficits before….so, if you add up all 8 years….it was a deficit…..

Posted by: David at May 29, 2008 10:49 AM
Comment #253888

Phx8

Casualties are down. Markets are open and working. People are rebuilding homes and businesses. American patrols can walk down the streets of Haditha or Al Qaim (places that were war zones last year) greeted by friendly people w/o anybody showing any fear, but showing lots of goods in the shops.

It is a complete turn around from 2006. It is astonishing and unbelievable. People who were in Iraq before cannot believe what they see with their own eyes.

We wear amour because it is required by the rules that are very cautious. Unfortunately, it takes only one guy to make the international point.

Electricity is a bogus issue. If you drive through Iraq at night, you see plenty of lights. They have electricity. They do not have FREE electricity from the grid. Iraq lost the capacity to meter electricity in the 1990s. Demand for electricity in Iraq has been growing at 10-12% a year, as people buy microwaves, TVs etc. It is a demand and cost problem, not a supply problem. BTW – much of Iraq’s power comes from a couple of dams that produce what the water levels permit. They need to build some big thermal plants to catch up with demand.

Iraqis are getting access to purified water. They have clean water at about pre-war levels. It takes time to lay pipes and build capacity. Iraq has the money to do that and projects are underway.

Banks never worked for anything except payments. Some private banks are opening. It is a problem of socialism as the state bank is uninteresting in making loans or servicing customers. When the market for private banks opens up this problem will be quickly solved.

Schools are open. I have been to many of them. They are crowded with students. The Iraqi government needs to hire more teachers. There are plenty of school buildings. CF built many, too many, right after the war.

Refugees are returning. Some have built lives elsewhere and don’t want to come back, BTW. Property values, a good indication of demand for land and homes, are increasing. Cities are planning for new subdivisions.

Women’s rights suffered a setback because of the local culture, which Saddam held in check. Modernization will come back.

Gathering statistics is a problem. I am sure you have seen many of them and don’t trust them. I have seen astonishing progress in the last eight months with my own eyes. That is why I suggest Obama go there with an open mind and see for himself.

Obama should go to Iraq for at least a week. Visit a couple of different regions. Talk to people who were there before and are there now. so that he can see and understand. He is a smart guy. He will learn fast if he actually looks. I think he is honest enough to change his mind, despite the fury it will engender among the weirdoes. But he needs to see for HIMSELF.

David

Al Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks failed to hit 1 out of their four targets. They failed to cripple the U.S. and they have been unable to mount a follow up attack in the U.S. They got lucky by killing civilians. They wanted to kill many more. It was spectacular, but don’t give those clowns too much credit.

Re the war – saving it was for fun and profit is silly and indicates a lack of understanding. Anyone who has seen war knows it is not fun. Please show me how we profited. You say yourself that we cannot possibly profit. Agreed. It was NOT a war for profit.

Re pulling out – IF we pull out in steps and considering conditions on the ground, we are following the same policy Bush is doing today. If I am hitting a straw man, it is a scarecrow that the misleading Democrats have set up.

Posted by: Jack at May 29, 2008 11:23 AM
Comment #253891

Jack,
You’re spouting talking points, and that undermines the point you’re trying to make. Know one is going to believe it’s getting better if you write things like ‘electricity is a bogus issue.’ People supplying their own generators is not a good sign.

The banking system does not work because there is not enough reliable electricity, and too much corruption. It has nothing to do with socialism. Because it is a cash economy, transactions are done in cash, even the purchase of houses. That means people walk around with large amounts of cash, and they are armed in order to protect themselves from common criminals. That, in turn, provides cover for armed insurgents.

Everything seems to be in a process of happening, but nothing has actually happened. Not good enough. It is the same old talk- always succeeding, but never success.

Posted by: phx8 at May 29, 2008 12:04 PM
Comment #253901

Jack said: “They failed to cripple the U.S. and they have been unable to mount a follow up attack in the U.S. “

Yeah, Jack, like the half trillion dollars spent already in Iraq and another 200 billion in Afghanistan, and the coming credit bill for the remainder to the tune of another 3/4 trillion dollars isn’t crippling America’s future and choices. Right, Jack. Right. You just couldn’t be more wrong.

We are fighting them in Iraq, while al-Queda grows throughout the world. Dumb, Jack, very dumb. They succeeded beyond their own expectations in prompting an overreaction by the U.S. that cost the U.S. trust, confidence, and followership in the world. It was the overreaction they sought Jack, and Bush provided it to them, though they probably expected the overreaction in 2002, instead of 2003. But we all now know that GW Bush is a bit slow. He is the Katrina president after all.

But the future will see us leaving Iraq over the next 4.5 years if not sooner, and that will be a net positive for the U.S. economy and horribly needed respite for our military with time to recoup and rebuild. Anyone with half a whit knows the U.S. won’t be leaving the Middle Eastern region regardless of who is President, save the Republican Ron Paul.

You won’t hear Clinton or Obama say they will pull the U.S. military entirely out of the Middle East. And for good reasons which Bush created.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 29, 2008 1:47 PM
Comment #253917

Well Buzzard, I’d personally say that you need to move two columns over and see what a lot more of us are saying!!! You are, after all, posting on the “red” side of the blog.
Regardless of our leanings, the hope is that there can be a mature and rational discussion and debate taking place here. Doesn’t always happen, but hey!…just keep plugging away…

Posted by: janedoe at May 29, 2008 8:44 PM
Comment #253927

Jack,

I can’t wait for those debates either! :^D
I’m really looking forward to seeing the intelligent, articulate and handsome Barack Obama standing side by side with confused, angry, neocon-appeasing Old Walnuts McCain.
It will no doubt make for some really great political theater.

Buzzard, I’m in your Korner. And you too, Jane.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at May 29, 2008 10:14 PM
Comment #253939

Phx8

The banking system does not work because it is over-centralized and the state owned banks refuse themselves to adapt to modern conditions and put obstacles in the way of anybody else trying to do it.

Electricity is a demand problem. The stuff from the grid is essentially free. As we say win E. Europe when heat was provided centrally and w/o differential cost, demand is almost unlimited for free energy. The generators are not usually the consumers themselves generating it themselves; it is small suppliers selling/providing electricity. It is good to get people used to paying for electricity again, even if it is this back door method.

I say again – OBAMA should go to Iraq and see for himself. Maybe you should too. It looks very different from what you are reading.

David

Nobody wants to stay in Iraq a day longer than necessary. If you say Obama/Clinton will gradually pull out of Iraq based on conditions there, you are just repeating the Bush policy. If that is the way it is, we both support the Bush/Obama/Clinton policy in Iraq, so where is the disagreement?

Buzzard

We don’t need the racist interpretation. You are an Obama fan. Good. Have fun with that.

Veritas

Good. We will see the debates and the people will decide. This is a democracy. I support whoever wins the election – until the next election – and reserve my right as a citizen to free speech. Bush won a majority of the votes in 2004. He is my president. If Obama wins a majority this year, he will also be my president and I will try to figure out the way to make the best of it. I fear you all overestimate the change he will bring. I suspect he might be more reasonable than many of his fans would like.

Posted by: Jack at May 30, 2008 12:55 AM
Comment #253966

Jack,
Remember that memorable stroll by McCain through the Shorja Market? Did you know it is too dangerous for Americans to go there anymore? The area is under the control of the Mahdi Army.

During the recent fighting in Sadr City, 200 Hellfire Missiles were fired in that densely populated urban area. A total of only 6 were fired in the previous three months. The fighting is over for now, and part of the deal is Americans do no go into Sadr City, an area with a population of around 2 million- roughly half of Baghdad.

“Astonishing progress.” Uh huh. It may look different from what I am reading, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be allowed to look many places.

The Shias want the Iraqi-US security agreement to be subjected to a referendum. It is being negotiated by the Al-Maliki government and its cabinet, because not enough politicians show up at Parliament to form a quorem and pass legislation. The Sunnis no longer participate. Anyway, Iraqi Shias led by Al-Sadr and possibly Al-Sistani want to vote on it.

It’s a perfect opportunity for the US. If they reject a continued US presence, which is a virtual certainty, we can withdraw in accordance with their wishes.

Posted by: phx8 at May 30, 2008 12:18 PM
Comment #253977

Phx8

Let Obama go to Iraq and see for himself. Many of the things people say - good and bad - are true. Obama can use his judgement to understand what it the right action.

It is very different from the situation in 2006. I am afraid that most people are still looking at the endless loop of that time and have not updated their information.

Posted by: Jack at May 30, 2008 2:54 PM
Comment #253983

Do you really think it would be a good idea for Obama- or McCain, for that matter- to visit Iraq? First, there is the matter of security. It would be almost impossible for either to see anything without a great deal of preparation for the sake of security, and when they do see anything they would surrounded by security. It’s bad enough in the US. Iraq would be worse by orders of magnitude. No candidate is going to be allowed to spontaneously mingle with ordinary Iraqis. No presidential candidate is going to “learn” anything. Instead, they will merely be a prop, a pawn, and given the same dog-and-pony propaganda presentation many other politicians have received on past tours. The visiting politicians will only be shown what the military- which is commanded by Bush- wants them to see.

I see almost no upside to a presidential candidate touring Iraq, and a lot of downside. Remember McCain touring the Iraqi marketplace? It was a disaster for McCain.

Posted by: phx8 at May 30, 2008 3:09 PM
Comment #253991

Jack, of course things are improved in Iraq, they have had the benefit of 100’s of billions of our tax dollars to satisfy many of their wants and needs.

The trick here is how to wean Iraq and Iraqis from the American taxpayer teets. Something McCain has no intention of ever doing. Which is why McCain cannot possibly win the November election. He would cut health care benefits and raise costs for Americans and cut domestic federal spending for Americans across the board, all for the sake of continuing to export American tax dollars to Iraq to protect that oil his party power brokers are so fond of.

America can’t afford the likes of McCain or Republicans anymore. They tapped us out and increased our federal debt by 4 trillion dollars. No way we can afford another Republican in the White House. Especially one so entrenched in foreign and corporate wealthy special interests and lobbyists. Yeah, yeah, he has let some of them go, but, only because they became news items threatening his campaign’s victory. Reason enough for him to lose in Nov. if Americans want a change from the McBush Administration.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 30, 2008 5:19 PM
Comment #253996

Supposedly Obama will give a speech in Montana tonight dismissing a trip to Iraq as a “political stunt.” He’s right, of course. Obama will also launch into McCain for yet another gaffe. For some reason McCain said troops were back down to pre-surge levels, which is wrong. McCain keeps making these blunders. I don’t know if it’s because he’s not that smart, or uninformed, or suffering from the effects of age. Right now it doesn’t matter much, but as November grows nearer, these repetitive stumbles by McCain are going to attract more and more attention.

Here’s another McClatchy recap of yesterday’s violence, courtesy of www.juancole.com

”’ Baghdad

Gunmen throw a hand grenade in a Kia minibus as both vehicles were driving down Muthanna Military Base Street heading towards Alawi al-Hilla, central Baghdad at 10 am Thursday. The hand grenade detonated severely injuring 6 civilians.

2 unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad by Iraqi Police today. 1 in Saidiyah and 1 in Palestine Street.

General Manager of a private Iraqi oil company, Hussein Ali Abdulhussein survived an assassination attempt in al-Masbah neighbourhood in Karrada at around 9.30 pm. He is now in the neurosurgery hospital being treated for his wounds.

Nineveh

16 recruits killed and 21 others, some severely injured when a suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt detonated in a crowd of young men queuing in front of the Directorate of Police in the southern part of the town Sinjar, 120 km to the west of Mosul at 10.30 am Thursday. They were applying for positions in the police force. The Chief of Police of Sinjar has been deposed as a result of this incident.

2 policemen killed and 10 people, 5 policemen and 5 civilians injured when a suicide car bomber detonated targeting a Rapid Response Force patrol in the Ghabat area to the north of Mosul. The suicide bomber was dressed in police uniform and driving a police vehicle, said the commander of RRF battalion. The explosion also caused a great deal of material damage in the area.

Diyala

A roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi Army patrol in Bizayiz Buhruz, 20 km to the south of Baquba at 10 am Thursday, killing 2 servicemen.

A roadside bomb exploded on he main route between Khanaqeen and Qara Teppa 70 km to the northeast of Baquba seriously injuring a man and his son. Rasheed Nebeel and his son Husam are both in hospital.

Salahuddin

A tank truck was stopped at a Sahwa checkpoint at the northern entrance to Tikrit. The truck that was headed towards Baghdad was stopped and the driver was asked to open the tanker for searching. Instead of complying with the order, the driver and his assistant took out weapons and started shooting. The Sahwa members and the security forces returned fire and killed them both. Then they opened the tanker and found at least 10 men with explosive belts on. They took them out and executed them.” ‘”

I thought the last story was the most interesting. There is a different version of the event that has been widely reported, and it omits the detail about “at least” 10 men being taken from the truck and executed. It’s an odd detail. That’s the kind of horrifying detail my mind latches onto… What motivated those men to be suicide bombers in the first place? What did they talk about while waiting in the truck? What did they say to the guys who captured them? Or were they even suicide bombers in the first place?

Posted by: phx8 at May 30, 2008 7:23 PM
Comment #254004

Obama does not have to go with McCain, but he should go. Then he would have the moral authority to talk about it. Otherwise he will be limited to quoting all these horror stories that you can find in any unstable place.

Right now, Obama doesn’t know what he is talking about. I think he knows that and may be honest enough to at least get a look at the most important issue he might face as president.

David Phx8

The Iraqi government is earning piles of money from the high price of oil. They really CAN pay for much of their own development and we are transitioning to Iraqi money.

Think about this situation, however. Those who said we fought the war to take Iraqi oil are obviously wrong, since the Iraqis have the $70+ billion in oil revenues and we don’t. We were right that Iraqi oil revenue would be big enough to pay for redevelopment. It is hard to claim poverty when you have that kind of money floating around.

We probably agree that Iraq should pay its way. Many war opponents thought it never COULD. Now they will shift strategy again.

The surge worked. Face it. I suggest you go to plan B and talk about the high cost of victory. That will work just fine until the Iraqi money starts to flow, which may not be until after the election. If Obama wins, you can credit him with it by then.

Posted by: Jack at May 31, 2008 12:28 AM
Comment #254006

Jack,
I don’t understand what you mean about oil. Are you suggesting the Iraqis are in control of Iraq, and therefore control their oil? The Kurds are essentially an independent country and the Sunnis do not participate in parliament. 150,000 US troops, plus mercenaries, plus permanent US military bases established without any input from the Iraqis, suggests otherwise. If it’s up to McCain, we’ll be there for 100 years, enjoying the benefits of conquest and colonization.

The surge worked? In what sense? I don’t know how we could have lost a battle for hearts and minds any more completely than what just happened in Sadr City.

Posted by: phx8 at May 31, 2008 1:23 AM
Comment #254020

phx8

All I know is the the Iraqis are the ones earning the $70 billion in oil revenues.

It doesn’t seem much like a conquest when you take over, give money to the defeated and let them keep all the money they earn from their resources. War for oil would have been a different story.

Re hearts & minds - I don’t live in Sadr City. I understand from the people who do that it is under control, but unstable.

I do know about Al Anbar (you may recall, the place Harry Reid said was lost, triangle of death captial of Al Qaeda etc). We are clearly accepted there since we are preventing chaos.

We all want to leave as soon as we can. Some of the Iraqis are less enthusiastic about our leaving than we are.

Obama should go to Iraq and see for himself. He is an honest man and he would change his mind.

Posted by: Jack at May 31, 2008 8:57 AM
Comment #254026

Jack said: “We all want to leave as soon as we can. Some of the Iraqis are less enthusiastic about our leaving than we are.”

Try more than 7 out 10, Jack, according to the last survey a few months ago. Losing hearts and minds is what the Bush Administration and some of our Generals were best at. That much is abundantly clear.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 31, 2008 10:28 AM
Comment #254027

Jack said: “Obama does not have to go with McCain, but he should go. Then he would have the moral authority to talk about it.”

That’s the old ‘appearance politics’ that Obama rejects. He knows, as do his supporters, after McCain’s visit with 100 swat members covering his back, that a visit to Iraq is a photo op without meaning. There is nothing to be learned visiting Iraq that can’t be learned by a phone call to Petraeus or speaking with any troops here in the U.S. recently returned from Iraq. And Obama is saving the taxpayers dollars by NOT going to Iraq on a “Senate Fact Finding” photo op tour of the Green Zone in Baghdad.

You keep wanting Obama to repeat the mistakes of your Party’s representatives. Odd that he doesn’t comply, isn’t it?

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 31, 2008 10:33 AM
Comment #254028

Jack said: “Those who said we fought the war to take Iraqi oil are obviously wrong…”

No one informed said we fought the war to TAKE their oil, Jack. We fought the war to insure their oil kept flowing, contributing to the global supply so that demand would not exceed it.

Odd how Bush made exactly the reverse occur for years by invading. But, then almost everything Bush has done, or not done, has had his moniker attached - “Unintended Consequences”.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 31, 2008 10:38 AM
Comment #254034

David

I have seen the way they take surveys. Nobody really knows.

Re Obama in Iraq, I just want him to understand the true situation. He needs the experience.

Re oil - so among the reasons Bush was worried about Iraq is that it could seriously disrupt the world’s supply of oil. Okay, that is probably true. We have world oil production today at nearly full capacity and we are not meeting demand. If Bush prevented an even tighter supply, maybe the world should thank him.

Posted by: Jack at May 31, 2008 11:31 AM
Comment #254191

Jack,
You might be curious to know Obama is supposedly considering visiting Iraq prior to the election:

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gXhIn6Dsn59np7LYG6eYS5GubXUAD90V1Q280

Of course, it is a very risky move. Republicans will attempt to catch him in a Dukakis-type photograph & frame him as an inappropriate CIC. But this trip puts Republicans at great risk too.
Obama might go for a home run, and arrange to meet with Al-Sistani, something Bush, McCain, and others have not been allowed to do.

Posted by: phx8 at June 2, 2008 1:18 PM
Comment #254216

So, Jack, you think the guy who can’t keep the Sunnis and Shiites straight in Iraq is going to expose Obama’s weaknesses? Interesting hypothesis; can’t wait to see how that pans out.

Posted by: mental wimp at June 2, 2008 6:53 PM
Comment #254217

Take a look at this graph. Obama has more little guys, but also more fat cats.

That was weasel-worded. From the link, it shows Obama has a lower percentage of fat cats (5%) than either McCain (8%) or Clinton (20%). Your Rovian weasel word was “more”, because Obama does in fact have more because he has more contributors period. You’re trying to make a strength look like a weaknesses, a la the Swift Boaters and Kerry. I think that might work on McCain, too. Oh, yeah, it did, in 2000.

Posted by: mental wimp at June 2, 2008 7:22 PM
Comment #254283

Jack said: “I have seen the way they take surveys. Nobody really knows.”

Who is ‘they’?

There are biased surveys, and unbiased surveys. Ironically, some of the most unbiased surveys are often produced by insiders of campaigns because they need to know what the reality is out there. Of course, the public rarely ever gets to see those unbiased surveys paid for by the campaign.

But there are reputable polling firms and sponsors of them. A good rule of thumb in telling the difference is by looking for public information attached to the survey which denotes the methodology, and validity - reliability measurements. If they can’t be found, its an almost guarantee the survey isn’t worth the paper or electrons it is printed on.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 3, 2008 12:52 PM
Comment #254284

Jack said: “Re Obama in Iraq, I just want him to understand the true situation.”

I doubt that. What I hear you saying is you want him to see the situation through your eyes and value filters. That ain’t going to happen. His value filters are demonstrably different from yours. He is a Democrat, you are a Republican, not to put too fine a point on it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 3, 2008 12:54 PM
Comment #254329

DRRemer, “you want him to see the situation through your eyes and value filters”. In the real world, this is what would happen eventually if BHO became POTUS, and the military explain the situation to him, and exactly how long it would take to withdraw in an orderly fashion, besides the private contractors there who are mostly our own veterans, in spite of how disliked they are.

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Posted by: ohrealy at June 3, 2008 4:54 PM
Comment #254354

RickIL

Obama, says nothing. Not much of a criteria. He just says change alot and then tries to tie McCain to Bush. Prediction. Obama handlers will want one debate. There will likely be three. Obama will lose 2 to 1 in the general because after spending 50 years fighting the cold war we aren’t electing a communist to be President of the US. Obama is a marxist and he will have to Lie outright on TV to be President.

Posted by: Aaron at June 3, 2008 8:47 PM
Comment #254363

Aaron you are right, but wrong.

He will lie….wow shocker there, right?

But he will win because the American population has been sufficiently dumbed down through liberally tilted education and the liberal media to buy into lies and not research/understand facts.

Just chant “change”. Americans crave short term solutions and the word “change” satisfies the craving of the ADHD populace. They don’t even know what they want to change…..and sadly, they can’t even think one step ahead to think about how that “change” will impact them.

We have turned into an uneducated, lazy nation. Which is why we will elect a “reality show” president this fall. One who lies and is openly hostile to the American way of life. We will rue the day when this wolf in sheeps clothing governs our once great country.

Posted by: ForrestGump at June 3, 2008 11:12 PM
Comment #254371

Aaron & Forrest,
Your comments attempt to give the impression that you know something about Obama, but fail, because it is glaringly obvious that you have no idea what you are talking about. I suspect neither one of you know any specifics about his agenda, or even what he means when he talks about change.

I know McCain’s platform. I’ve read portions of his agenda on www.johnmccain.com. Can either of you say you’ve even been to Obama’s site? Did either of you hear his speech given tonight? Oh, and Forrest, while you’re at it, tell me more about this “uneducated, lazy nation” after you’ve visited his site and can discuss what he really means when he calls for change.

If either of you would like a link for a transcript of the speech, or a video, let me know. Of course, you could just google it yourself. While you’re at it, check out McCain’s speech tonight. Compare Obama and McCain, side by side, on the same night. See what you think.

If either or both of you are closed to listening to Obama, or reading a trascript, or to being informed about the issues, and you just want to repeat something you heard on the radio or whatever, well, that’s fine…

Posted by: phx8 at June 4, 2008 12:38 AM
Comment #254396

I’ve been to his site numerous times, I have read his agenda and I have read the “change” he calls for.
Nothing like a President who wishes to regulate our Constitutional rights according to his views and his ideas of commonsense.

Posted by: kctim at June 4, 2008 10:17 AM
Comment #254429

Tell you more about our uneducated nation? Do you not read the newspaper. Take a look at the graduation rates in inner cities.

Hell, just go on msnbc http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23889321/

These cities have been DOMINATED by liberal policies and democratic leadership for what….20 years, 30 years? How long a track record do you need to have to reach a verdict of COMPLETE, UTTER FAILURE TO LEAD.

And yes I’ve been able to turn on a computer and look at his “platfor” errrrrr, sales agenda. But most importantly I have his record as the most liberal person in the Senate. You sound just like him….assumingly condescending of us “common folk.”

The democrats have just nominated a mutation of McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, Kennedy (Ted) who is covered in a black veneer…..(as if that somehow makes everything better???) I just hope his closet racism / elitism comes out enough over the next 4 months to prevent the travesty of an Obama presidency.

As the gumpster says, “Thats all I have to say about that.”

Posted by: Forrest Gump at June 4, 2008 4:32 PM
Comment #254451

David said: “but Glen…that is not what you said in your post….you said Clinton had a surplus over his 8 years…..he only had a surplus his last year…and it was not large enough to make up the seven years of deficits before”

You may want to do your own homework before making untrue remarks like this. In 1992 the national debt was just over 4 trillion. By the Nov. elections of 2000, it was just under 5 trillion. The debt grew by about 900 billion under Clinton over 8 years. Compare that to 4 trillion increase under Bush in 7.5 years.

Also, it took America over 200 years to reach that just over 4 trillion mark in national debt. Bush saw it double in just 7.5 years. No wonder Americans want a Democrat back in the White House if that is their criteria.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 4, 2008 6:43 PM
Comment #254497

Jack,
This just came out:
“WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A majority of the Iraqi parliament has written to Congress rejecting a long-term security deal with Washington if it is not linked to a requirement that U.S. forces leave, a U.S. lawmaker said on Wednesday.”

“”The majority of Iraqi representatives strongly reject any military-security, economic, commercial, agricultural, investment or political agreement with the United States that is not linked to clear mechanisms that obligate the occupying American military forces to fully withdraw from Iraq,” the letter to the leaders of Congress said.

The majority of Iraqis in Parliament want the US to withdraw. That’s pretty amazing, considering the factions still attending Parliament tend to be considered much less antagonistic to the US than the ones fighting us.

Posted by: phx8 at June 5, 2008 2:14 AM
Comment #254573

phx8,

Please tell me again how Obama is going to balance the budget?

Considering of course that he wants to provide healthcare through the medicaid system to all Americans, use the money that we are spending on Iraq to hire 5,000,000 people at 42,000 a pop and wants to further taxing businesses in the US (while preventing them from moving more of their operations overseas) and has no real plan to lower energy costs in the US which causes the prices for nearly all goods and services to increaes…

I’ve read the plans, and they prove that change for change’s sake, when going from bad to worse is the likely outcome, isn’t the best way to go…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 1:17 PM
Comment #255369

The 1st Primetime debate, between ” Barry ” and
” John ” I’m looking forward to very much. This
has been along time coming.

OK,Fellow American’s here’s the ” Rubber ” meet’s
the ” Road “.

……………. McCain vs. Obama…………….
No more Free passe’s on Question’s for
the ” AMERICAN IDOL ” Democratic nominee.

Posted by: j.i.m. at June 12, 2008 9:00 PM
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