Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 24, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

NOT JUST INCOMPETENCE....Michael Hirsh has a decent rundown in Newsweek today of how badly George Bush and his team have botched the war on terror, although I'd take minor issue with this:

How then did we arrive at this day, with anti-American Islamist governments rising in the Mideast, bin Laden sneering at us, Qaeda lieutenants escaping from prison, Iran brazenly enriching uranium, and America as hated and mistrusted as it ever has been? The answer, in a word, is incompetence.

Yes, there's been incompetence to spare, but there's also been considered policy at work, policy that deliberately marginalized our allies, tackled fake threats at the expense of real ones, made preemptive war our default preference, and criminally misjudged the actual nature of the conflict we're in. Even if it had been executed well, it still would have been disastrous.

But sure: incompetent too. The damage that George Bush has done to the United States is going to be with us for a very long time.

Kevin Drum 1:52 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (407)

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Comments

Bin Laden is sneering at us?

From where, his cave? Where he has no cell phone or access to sophisticated communication service? Where he can't trust any but a tiny handful of aids?

Anybody who takes the taunts of Bin Laden seriously is a fool. In his last video he was begging for a truce. That is the tactic of a man who is losing, not a victor about to triumph.

Posted by: Monkey See on February 24, 2006 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

It's hard to be competent at something that isn't real. When the Bush cult can define "war on terror" in some meaningful way, then maybe we can talk about competence.

Posted by: craigie on February 24, 2006 at 2:00 AM | PERMALINK

On the other hand, they have been very competent at their only real goal: sieze and hold power, and plunder the treasury for their pals.

That's pretty much all they are about, and it's working out very well for them.

Posted by: craigie on February 24, 2006 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

Do you include this whole port bullshit in the "deliberate misjudgement" part?

As has been said ad nauseum here and elsewhere:

1. Corporate control of critical infrastructure is a marginal idea, at best.

2. Foreign corporate control of that infrastructure is more marginal (transparency, reporting, control, and responsiveness issues).

3. Foreign, state-owned "corporate" control of critical infrastructure is an even worse idea, for all of the above reasons, plus the added bonus of potential foreign government use of that "corporate" control for political gain.

4. Foreign, state-owned corporations in states whose government is a) autocratic, b) heavily connected to wahabbist powers, c) oligarchical, d) comfy with implementation of Sharia law, e) recognized the Taliban, d) had significant members of the royal family and government attend weddings of Al Qaeda leadership, go hunting with Al Qaeda leadership, and c) had significant amounts of money, personnel, and planning operations go on in their nation w.r.t. 9-11...well that just seems criminally insane, to me.

Now we see some who opposed the sale of Unocal to CNOOC supporting the UAE port deal. And we see some who were agnostic about the Unocal deal oppose the UAE ports deal.

When are the "liberal hawks" going to realize that this position is untenable for logical, rational, political, and PR reasons on so many fronts that your support of it looks more and more like perhaps you, Marshall Wittman, Joe Lieberman and the rest of the "moderate, centrist, liberal hawkish" crowd are just a bunch of fucking idiots who can't seem to think tactically, strategically OR politically???

Posted by: RedDan on February 24, 2006 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

Incompetence seems too generous. Ultimately the malice underlying the GWOT will be recognized. Whether W is ever held accountable for any of his life of cockups, the GWOT being the penultimate, remains to be seen.

Posted by: RickG on February 24, 2006 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

Okay then...policy put forth by rogues and acted upon by incompetents...all tied together in some fucked-up cult of personality and motivated by greed.

Posted by: grape_crush on February 24, 2006 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

Anti-American governments are rising in the Middle East?

That is a crock, folks.

Sure, Iran and the new Palestinian government are anti-American.

But does Michael Hirsch intentionally demean the governments of Jordan, Pakistan, Afganistan, Iraq, and Turkey? How about Egypt and Saudi Arabia? The Arab Emirates?

Posted by: MountainDan on February 24, 2006 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

How then did we arrive at this day, with anti-American Islamist governments rising in the Mideast, bin Laden sneering at us, Qaeda lieutenants escaping from prison, Iran brazenly enriching uranium, and America as hated and mistrusted as it ever has been? The answer, in a word, is incompetence.

It's too complex a result to have arrived by mere chance. I believe there must be an Unintelligent Designer at work....

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

Read "Devil's Game" by Robert Dreyfuss, and you'll learn straight from the horse's mouth how for decades the policy default has been to nurture and spur on the Islamist movement, across the spectrum of economic, political, and violent formulations. If you think the Democratic Initiative is backfiring, you need to learn the real history of our involvement in the region. It is so opaque and inscrutable as a policy that I have to admit from a power perspective, it is a brilliant formula for keeping the world guessing and the base utterly dumbfounded.

Posted by: Brooklynite on February 24, 2006 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

But does Michael Hirsch intentionally demean the governments of Jordan, Pakistan, Afganistan, Iraq, and Turkey? How about Egypt and Saudi Arabia? The Arab Emirates?

None of those governments, besides non-Arab Turkey, are democratically elected, and the population in virtually all of those countries is strongly anti-American. (Even in NATO ally Turkey our favorability rating hovers, I think, somewhere around 5%). Anywhere lately that they've allowed an election to be held, the anti-American candidate comes out on top.

Face it: they no likey us no more.

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, there's been incompetence to spare,

Incompetence? *Snicker* George W Bush has competently appointed two originalists John Roberts and Samuel Alito who will vote to protect the life of the unborn by supporting the overruling of Roe v Wade. Bush has also competently helped Republicans pass laws across the country banning gay marriage. Bush is doing what he was elected to do, to reverse the tide of immoral secular liberalsm which was crossing this land due to the philanderer Bill Clinton. Sounds like he's doing a very competent job to me.

Posted by: Al on February 24, 2006 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

He sure is doing a 'competent job to' you Al. Can you feel the love?

Posted by: lib on February 24, 2006 at 2:22 AM | PERMALINK

Anybody who takes the taunts of Bin Laden seriously is a fool. In his last video he was begging for a truce. That is the tactic of a man who is losing, not a victor about to triumph.

Actually, no. Islamic theology holds that before going into battle, one is obligated to offer one's opponent a last truce, a chance to save himself. His offer of a truce was more likely a signal to the Muslim world that he's upholding the niceties, a way to say, when he strikes again, that he was the one who offered a chance for peace but that the war-mongering Americans turned him down. It was a PR move.

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 2:24 AM | PERMALINK

Al... you seem to *snicker* alot. Are you that proud of this inept boy king? Why not just use your hero's trademark... heh, heh, heh.

GW and Al are idiots. Immoral, incompetent, illogical screw-ups. May this false God they pray to help us from these people.

Posted by: Jay in Oregon on February 24, 2006 at 2:44 AM | PERMALINK

Mountain Dan: Are you for real? Hirsh doesn't demean those governments you cite. He ignores them, as any realist should. They mean nothing. What you think is support in those countries is an inch deep and a mile wide. Change the leadership and you change the support. I'm glad you're comforted by the fact that we're supported by dictators, their secret police and their wealthy fellow travelers. Our support from certain people in these countries stems from self-interest and the desire to become rich; it is basically one coup away from enmity. Think Shah. Think Iran. The hoi polloi"little people" to youdo not like us. Repeat. They do not like us.

They wouldn't even like you. No matter how much you may like them. No matter how much you think they're on board with your neocon views. They might even kill you. Don't go there. Stay here and post stupid things on the Internet. You'll be safe.

Posted by: Nixon Did It on February 24, 2006 at 2:50 AM | PERMALINK

While we all await chimpeachment can we please squeaze the drongo's nuts?
I mean it's so simple.

Lieberate Burma you fucking drongo chimp.
Lieberate Burma or stand there twidling with yr stupid dick in the W/house driveway. Move fucking left.

Either shit or get off the pot you fucking dribbling imbecile moron.

Posted by: professor rat on February 24, 2006 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK

I love how Al (fake or otherwise) places the entirety of America's vast moral turpitude straight at the bendy shaft of the Clenis :)

RedDan:

I respectfully disagree. I don't have much love for the princelings of any Gulf State, but having a UAE shipping company actually might help our port security, because these are the guys who have at least as much to fear from global jihad as we do, and they're a lot more experienced in dealing with its perpetrators.

Al Qaeda hates the oil sheikhs as much as he hates us. A capitalist enterprise like a global shipping company has exactly nothing in common with those mongos.

You've got to stop stereotyping Muslims. Wahabism is not radical, it's conservative. Odious as it is to Westerners, it's not the true danger. Takfiri Salafism -- a hyperliteralist reading of the Koran and the hadiths -- is. Add to that a hefty dose of the 20th century Islamist Sayyid Qutb (who was influenced by Western anticolonial theorists) and you have a *radical* ideology that licenses the killing of brother Muslims you'd never find in Saudi Arabia or the Gulf States.

The emirs of the UAE might well be conservatives -- but they don't follow the peculiarly 20th century ideology of global jihad -- much as they might have admired Osama & Co. at one time for kicking Soviet butt.

At one time, *we* admired Osama & Co. for kicking Soviet butt.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 24, 2006 at 3:28 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin

You seeem to be thinking of incompetence purely in execution. How about incompetence in conceptualization and visualization? Wouldn't that help to put all of their sins under the same banner? As one of my professors is fond of saying, you may be making a distinction without a difference.

Posted by: URK on February 24, 2006 at 3:31 AM | PERMALINK

One of the smartest things you've said in a long time, Kevin. My faith in you is renewed.

Posted by: Jones on February 24, 2006 at 3:32 AM | PERMALINK

bin Laden sneering at us

Didn't he offer us a peace deal from his cave residence? Considering his previous threats to destroy us, this didn't sound to me like "sneering".

Posted by: republicrat on February 24, 2006 at 3:43 AM | PERMALINK

"Sounds like he's doing a very competent job to me."

If you're so sure about this high level of comepetence -- on the day when Iraq fell apart for good -- why are you still trolling at a site like this? On second thought (something you never have), don't bother to answer. Who gives a shit, anyway? Four years from now, you'll be among the people pretending never to have supported the Last Chimperor in the first place.

Posted by: Kenji on February 24, 2006 at 3:44 AM | PERMALINK

policy that deliberately marginalized our allies,

France and Germany chose to be marginalized, though perhaps Germany has since changed policy.

As for America being more hated than ever before, it seems the biggest problem is our association with Denmark. It isn't as though the people who hate us are eminently reasonable. The people who hate us are the allies of the Taliban.

Posted by: republicrat on February 24, 2006 at 3:48 AM | PERMALINK

republicrat:

"You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists."

*rolling eyes*

Turkey hates us, for crying out loud.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 24, 2006 at 3:51 AM | PERMALINK

republicrat:

Our opinion in the world is at the nadir everywhere in the globe.

Well, there's always Mongolia and Romania, I suppose :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 24, 2006 at 3:54 AM | PERMALINK

Bob, what evidence do you have to slur Mongolia so? They may still be hoping that we can serve as a counterbalance to China's growing hegemony, but even they recognize our rapidly diminishing capability to do so.

A nadir is relative.

Posted by: ranaaurora on February 24, 2006 at 4:34 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, incredible column by Hersh. And it shows that one of the main topics for Dems fighting Bush is "Incompetence!". But we have to look at th inherent reasons for that. And imho the answer is obvious: If you fill every single administration post whith buddies, whose best qualification is that they supported your campaigns and never disagreed with you, you can't expect this administration to accomplish anything.

What would have been the right approch? That's easy. Though I can't find the quote, I always thought it was JFK who said something like: "A smart guy hires even smarter guys to work for him". Indeed.

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 4:36 AM | PERMALINK

If Bush and his administration is blatantly incompetent - which I'm not sure they are, im thinking they're just not stating their mission objectives in the open - the truly sad thing is that the USA is in such a state that the nation as a whole is not able to get Bush & Co out of the drivers seat.

To me, the sheer massiveness of what has been uncovered so far makes Nixons sins pale.
Back then he was forced to resign by pressure.
Where is that pressure now? Or more to the point: How does one Carl Rove and one Dick Cheney manage to keep that pressure securely lidded for so long?

Posted by: OmniDane on February 24, 2006 at 4:44 AM | PERMALINK

Lou Dobbs TV poll:

Do you believe the Bush administration puts commercial interest ahead of the national interest as a matter of general policy?

Yes 98% 14276 votes
No 2% 345 votes

http://www.cnn.com/POLLSERVER/results/23410.exclude.hl

Posted by: Jones on February 24, 2006 at 4:59 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Republicrat,

It isn't as though the people who hate us are eminently reasonable. The people who hate us are the allies of the Taliban.

Well, I can't say I hate you but I do want to see you guys neutered (well at least entangled in multilateral agreements) - does this make me, ipso facto, a member of your not eminently reasonable brigade? (and will you believe my assurance that I am no friend of the Taliban?)

Concentrated power does noone any good. First, it's fundamentally corrupting to the one exercising it (contrast the old embattled Israel - how could you not feel sympathetic? - with the new imperial Israel). Second, it's at heart anti-democratic. Democracy is at root about distributed power. At the moment, US coercive power exercised on behalf of parties with a narrow interest (usually business or military) can be used to trump local democracy.
Anyway, debate on this point is moot. Your power is ebbing, period. George Bush in greatly increasing the wariness with which we approach US power, and getting us increasingly on a path of working around you, has simply accelerated a process that was happening anyway (Europe's power ebbing even more quickly btw).

The future is increasingly China and India. Short of environmental catastrophe, it won't stop. Not now that a critical mass of people have a taste of opportunities. And their choices of how to engage with the world will not be with a mind to assisting American goals.

Posted by: snicker-snack on February 24, 2006 at 4:59 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: David on February 24, 2006 at 5:09 AM | PERMALINK

"If Bush and his administration is blatantly incompetent - which I'm not sure they are, im thinking they're just not stating their mission objectives in the open"

Blah. Mission objectives, Shmission objectives. Success can't be invicible, if it's real, there have to be some signs of it. As far as I can see, the only success of the Bush administration has been Afghanistan. Yes, I know, not all is well there, but at least it's not the desaster the soviets had to endure. Iraq is the new Afghanistan desaster today. As for foreign policy in general, the standing of the US in the world is worse than in the BW era (before W). And where are Dubya's successes on the home turf? There's only one major accomplishment, Medicare, and that's a castastrophe for the elderly, a mindboggling PR nightmare that, even worse, costs hundreds of millions. No matter what topic you pick, you can't find any successes. Social security, Budget, "small government", environment policy, voting machines, jobs, wages, Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, ObL, troops and Humvee armor, Halliburton, FEMA, civil rights, Korea, Iran, Palestinians - fuhgetaboutit.

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 5:23 AM | PERMALINK

I honestly can't think of anything that this bonehead has done right. He is going to be cast by historians as one of the worst presidents in the history of this country.
He has bungled this war, the deficit, his ridiculous tax cuts considering the deficit; Plamegate, Katrina-I'm sure that there are many more instances. He's a disaster, and completely unsuited to be president.

Face it, if his last name weren't Bush, he would not be president.

Posted by: Susan on February 24, 2006 at 7:00 AM | PERMALINK

> How about incompetence in conceptualization
> and visualization

Do you think so? I think they are doing more or less exactly what they have wanted to do since the 1970s. Cheney and Rumsfeld, plus Wolfowitz that is. Rove and Bush are just hired help. The roiling of the Middle East may not be proceeding exactly according to best hopes, but I think they are quite satisfied with what they have achieved there and in creating a czar-like Presidency.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 24, 2006 at 7:06 AM | PERMALINK

Gray,

you're thinking inside the box, to paraphrase a tired management cliche.
Look, the key to this whole situation is that the neocons appears to have found the soft underbelly of The Great Society: Jiu-jitsu the damned thing.

After decades of trying to get the public sector diminished, only to find that people do not easily give up entitlements already gained, somebody (PNAC?) came up with a bold new plan: If you cannot 'starve the beast', you need to bleed the damned thing into submission.

So you enter your military into a quagmire, you dream up new entitlement programs and you encourage people to live beyond their means. Economic poison to a welfare state (and sweet love to your constituency). Once recession hits, it'll be so ugly that nobody will want anybody in power, who hasn't "kickstarting the economy" as their top priority, and whos brand is that?

So the repubs get to dismantle and then they get to rebuild afterwards (but certainly not anything resembling a great society...)

If this is the mission, they are most certainly succesful so far....

Posted by: OmniDane on February 24, 2006 at 7:42 AM | PERMALINK

(Even in NATO ally Turkey our favorability rating hovers, I think, somewhere around 5%).




That's because the state-controlled media suppressed the news of Karen Hughes' visits with Turkish women. The Turks may mistrust Americans now, but they don't know that we adore children as much as they do!

Posted by: Brittain33 on February 24, 2006 at 7:47 AM | PERMALINK

I honestly can't think of anything that this bonehead has done right.

Give the man a break, he gave us the nation wide no-call list.

Posted by: Freder Frederson on February 24, 2006 at 7:48 AM | PERMALINK

Even if it had been executed well, it still would have been disastrous.

That's the understatement of the decade. The entire planet should get down and thank the Lord for Cheney's lunacy, Rove's narrow mindedness, Rumsfeld's incompetence and and his royal highness's bubble chamber.

Posted by: Boronx on February 24, 2006 at 8:21 AM | PERMALINK

It has been difficult, if not impossible, to find a metaphor for this administration; one that would capture all of its unique features in the the simplest possible way. Most of the candidates from U.S. history don't give the Bush administration (or "government", in the President's parlance) its due. The Nixon administration comes to mind, at least in terms of secrecy and abuse of power. But, when it comes to incompetence, The President and company have raised it to an art form. The Gilded Age is another candidate. Was there ever a time that honor, loyalty, and human life could be had so cheaply? There was corruption, a war waged on suspicious, if not fraudulant grounds, and perhaps a stolen election. However, I don't believe any administration at this time had the power to pry into the personal lives of the American people, or the ability to do as much damage abroad.

My suggestion is to acknowledge that there is no perfect parallel to be found an history, and refer to this administration as Washington CSI (Corruption, Secrecy and Incompetence). Someday some gifted writer may be able to portray this administration in a fashion (a miniseries, perhaps) that all of us can comprehend.

Posted by: aftertheflood on February 24, 2006 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

Someday some gifted writer may be able to portray this administration in a fashion (a miniseries, perhaps) that all of us can comprehend.

Already been done. The creators of South Park tried to do a show called That's My Bush! and it was quickly taken off the air.

There would have to be a scene where Colin Powell [who would be portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson] grabs Karl Rove [who would be portrayed by Glenn Close in a gender bending role that would earm Miss Close an Emmy award nomination] by the throat and screams, "What's my name, muthaf*cka?"

If you're going to do it right, you'd have to include Valerie Bertinelli and Barry Bostwick because they simply can't do a proper mini-series without either of them.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 24, 2006 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, incredible column by Hersh. And it shows that one of the main topics for Dems fighting Bush is "Incompetence!".

How rich!

The most incompetent of parties, the 2004-05-06 Democratic party is going to run on competence. The party of John Kerry, John Dean, Teddy Kennedy, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, etc., is going to run on competence.

The stars of your Judiciary Committee are asking to cancel hearings forever so they can stop doing damage to themselves on national TV.

They huff and they puff and they drive down GWBs ratings AFTER he's reelected with the highest vote total in Presidential history. AFTER 3 year of a dismal war and weak economy. And you are going to run on competence.

Well, all things considered, it isn't like you have anything else.

John McCain is going to beat Hillary Clinton by 100 electoral votes.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

"...Foreign, state-owned corporations in states whose government is a) autocratic, b) heavily connected to wahabbist powers, c) oligarchical, d) comfy with implementation of Sharia law, e) recognized the Taliban, d) had significant members of the royal family and government attend weddings of Al Qaeda leadership, go hunting with Al Qaeda leadership, and c) had significant amounts of money, personnel, and planning operations go on in their nation w.r.t. 9-11...well that just seems criminally insane, to me ... When are the "liberal hawks" going to realize that this position is untenable for logical, rational, political, and PR reasons on so many fronts that your support of it looks more and more like perhaps you ... and the rest of the "moderate, centrist, liberal hawkish" crowd are just a bunch of fucking idiots who can't seem to think tactically, strategically OR politically???"

Posted by: RedDan

Paste this on your fucking forehead, Drum, so you see it everyday!

Posted by: Econo Buzz on February 24, 2006 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps disregard for the law?:

Our cmdicely thinks that part of the ports deal may be illegal: "There is an outright prohibition in 50 USC App. 2170a on defense contracts which require access to any sensitive information at all from being transferred to entities controlled by foreign governments." But Dubai Ports World, which is under direct control of UAE and not a private company in our sense of the term, will get access to US Army port operations at Texan ports of Beaumont and Corpus Christi through 2010, which they would acquire from British company P&O if this Dubai-ous deal goes through. See 2/20 edition of the British paper Lloyd's List:
~~~
[P&O] has just renewed a contract with the United States Surface Deployment and Distribution Command to provide stevedoring[loading and unloading] of military equipment at the Texan ports of Beaumont and Corpus Christi through 2010.
~~~
P&O is being bought by United Arab Emirates company Dubai World Ports. One link from a "liberal" outfit that's opposed, another link from a "conservative" writer who's opposed:

http://thinkprogress.org/2006/02/20/uae-military-equipment/
http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/gaffney/060220

The one place I could get reference to this law via Google:

http://www.softinfusion.com/gpoaccess/Bill_103-s1337es.htm

Posted by: Neil' on February 24, 2006 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

The mission objective is power and money. The "friends" of bush are richer and more powerful than they were when bush was "elected". End of story. Those supporting bush have been rewarded far beyond their expectations - the fundies will have their moral agenda constitutionalized, the rich have become far richer (and those stupid and lazy working classes have been shown who their betters are - a reward unto itself), and the super rich (i.e., mercenaries and war profiteers - including bush, family, and cheney) have been rewarded the most.

I think bush has been enormously effective. Why would you think bush et al. has any concern for America? What event or action have any of them taken to suggest that America is a priority for them? At any time have any of them put their own desires behind the needs of others?

Posted by: allison on February 24, 2006 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

Great. The majority of people now are getting GW's number. Can we call for a recall election? No. What good this democracy thingy? When something is so broke and you cannot fix it. Oh, Ok, blame Kerry for being a coward for not standing up to Bush and Rove, as Hirsh did, explaining the failure of the election of 2004 to account for Bush's incompetence.

Many of us foresaw this fiasco long before the invasion of 2003 (like when Bush was running for pres in 1999). There is no satisfaction in being vindicated by a world of shit.

Posted by: lou on February 24, 2006 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

and one of the first acts of contrition the united states can make to the rest of the world is to turn over bush, cheney, gonzalez, yoo, rumsfeld, gen miller and the rest of these vile motherfuckers to the hague for trial on crimes against humanity.

Posted by: linda on February 24, 2006 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

Oh come on; this is a bit polemic for Kevin Drum. What brought this on?

You can debate the merits of the war in Iraq all you want, but I bet we would have been there even if Gore was elected in 2000 based on the universal assumption that Iraq had WMDs (Gore didn't got nuts until after 2000). We're fighting a necessary fight, and you can't hack out some list of everything you think isn't super-duper today to disprove that.

You show me Al Qaeda continuing planning inside America, then you have the beginning of an argument for some incompetence. Osama being able to send out an audio tape full of impotent threats every so often is not a demonstratable threat.

Posted by: Frank J. on February 24, 2006 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

Recent news for those in the bubble that will actually matter next November.

Jobless claims drop 20,000 and Lehman brothers raises growth estimates for 1st Qtr to 5.5%. Japan raises GDP to 3% for 2006. Economy is in strongest position in 15 years. USA unemployment will to drop to 4.3% or lower by November with over 7.5M jobs addes since the tax cuts./

5 articles this week from onsite visiters to iraq detailing significant progress in political, economy and security environment. Iraqi security forces are good, getting better, getting bigger and taking over in a demonstrable way. USA will see troop reductions below 100,000 by July and 85,000 by November.

The insurgents last hope is a sunni/shia civil war but they will not be successful. The Kurdish North is a boomtown with it's own secure borders and economic assets. Their 4M citizens will double in the next decade on 10% annual economic growth.

The worst news for you is McCain's savvy political maneuvering. He's displayed unprecedent deftness and been a bit lucky. The addition of Roberts and Alito to the Supreme Court, his steadyness on iraq, His consistent position on cutting spending and his recent vote extending tax cuts has solidified his standing among conservatives. McCain is unbeatable if he has coservative support. He owns the middle and Hillary Clinton is a divisive figure, hardly the symbol of competence.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

FrankJ: I am not authorized to disclose that information since I have sworn an oath of secrecy.

And, it is very possible that Al Gore would have actually read and acted on the daily briefing that Osama was preparing to use commercial airlines as missiles against symbolic targets in the US. Don't forget GW's first major screwup.

Posted by: lou on February 24, 2006 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, no. Islamic theology holds that before going into battle, one is obligated to offer one's opponent a last truce, a chance to save himself. His offer of a truce was more likely a signal to the Muslim world that he's upholding the niceties, a way to say, when he strikes again, that he was the one who offered a chance for peace but that the war-mongering Americans turned him down. It was a PR move.

Posted by: Stefan

yes, i've seen that analysis too. additionally, al zawahiri's recent communique suggesting bush convert to islam is also part of the outreach to the enemy prior to an attack.

Posted by: linda on February 24, 2006 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK


For longer than I can remember my comments on just about every blog I visited amounted to "arrogance and incompetence".

It has been obvious for years.

I just wish there was some satisfaction in seeing this more generally recognized.

Posted by: JB on February 24, 2006 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

Great. The majority of people now are getting GW's number.

That explains why voters dumped the anti-American Schroeder in Germany and Martin in Canada and elected USA friendly Merkel and Harper. It's also interesting the White House noted yesterday Chirac and Bush discussed Iran taking pains to highlight the fact the call was 'initiated by Jacques'. Now way George calls Jacques. For what possible purpose? Seems Jacques getting uncomfortable with his 20% ratings and bashing Bush wasn't any more sucessful for him than it's been for America's lefties.

I wonder if Jacques is interesting in that useless missle defense system we have? With Iran going nuclear and taking pains to express their ability to reach Europe and all?

Nah! They are the kings of soft power. That'll stop any missle.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

"How rich!

The most incompetent of parties, the 2004-05-06 Democratic party is going to run on competence."

This isn't about the party, this is about the administration of Dem presidents. What's been so incompetent about Clinton's crew?

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

Why was this necessary Frank? We played spin the bottle with the middle east and Iraq won? Or Saddam switched to the Euro which would of been the tipping point for the dollar as a reserve currency.
This [Iraq] is costing a billion and a half a week. Are you as a conservative willing to pay the price? Add in all the death and destruction, is it all worth it?

Posted by: Neo on February 24, 2006 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

URK:"You seeem to be thinking of incompetence purely in execution. How about incompetence in conceptualization and visualization?"

I agree with URK and others who are trying to clarify the difference between incompetence in execution--that is, someone who does their job poorly because they lack then knowledge, skills and ability--and "incompetence" in visualization--that is, someone whose performance is "incompetent" because their understanding of how the world works is radically different from ours.

I've used this domestic analogy to illustrate the difference before, but I'll repeat myself:

Say you have a leak in your kitchen ceiling--obviously the bathtub on the second floor is leaking. You call in a plumber at $100 per hour. You both agree there must be a leak and the plumber sets off to fix it. Three hours later, you have a hole in your ceiling, the tub is badly caulked, and the leak continues. That's incompetence in execution.

So you call in a second plumber. You both agree there must be a leak and the plumber sets off to fix it. One hour later, the shower, bathroom sink and toilet have been removed from what used to be the upstairs bathroom, and the water to the house is shut off at the street.

"Omigod," you should in dismay, "you've turned off my water. I don't have plumbing in my house!!!"

"So what's your problem!?!!" responds the plumber, "The leak is gone."

This is "incompetence" in visualization. The second plumber doesn't have the same understanding of cause and effect as you do. It is the same with Bushco and the Republicans.

Posted by: PTate in MN on February 24, 2006 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: "That explains why . . .(blah, blah, blather, non sequitur)"

Shorter rdw: Everthing in the world happens because of the US.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc much, rdw?

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

"After decades of trying to get the public sector diminished, only to find that people do not easily give up entitlements already gained, somebody (PNAC?) came up with a bold new plan: If you cannot 'starve the beast', you need to bleed the damned thing into submission."

I know this theory, Omnidane. But what's one party's success is a broad public's blunder. Even if this is what hardcore repubs are after, it will be very difficult to sell it as a success story to a majority of the voters...

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

"Are you as a conservative willing to pay the price?"

Of course not. They think the next generation should pay. Hence the record-setting national debt.

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

Ya'll must have missed this one - sorry for the lack of URL:

THE WAR ON HYPE - San Francisco Chronicle
America's fleecing in the name of security
- Veronique de Rugy, Nick Gillespie
Sunday, February 19, 2006

Rest easy, America. As a response to the Sept. 11 attacks, the Princeton, N.J., Fire Department now owns Nautilus exercise equipment, free weights and a Bowflex machine. The police dogs of Columbus, Ohio, are protected by Kevlar vests, thank God. Mason County, Wash., is the proud owner of a half-dozen state-of-the-art emergency radios (never mind that they are incompatible with existing county radios).

All of these crucial purchases -- and many more like them -- were paid for with homeland security grants. Doesn't it make you feel more secure that $100,000 in such money went to fund the federal Child Pornography Tipline? That $38 million went to cover fire claims related to the April 2001 Cerro Grande fire in New Mexico? And that $2.5 billion went to "highway security" -- that is, building and improving roads?

Since Sept. 11, 2001, Congress has appropriated nearly $207 billion to protect us from terrorism. Total homeland security spending in 2006 will be at least $50 billion, split between the Department of Homeland Security and many other agencies, including, improbably, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Commerce and NASA. But far from making us more secure, the money is being allocated like so much pork. While the Department of Homeland Security is finally making some improvements in how it allocates resources, much more needs to be done, especially by Congress.

....

And don't think high-risk cities necessarily spend their money wisely: The District of Columbia, for instance, used the first wave of homeland security aid as "seed money" for a computerized car-towing system Mayor Anthony Williams had promised for three years to help combat fraud by private towing companies. The city also used $100,000 in homeland security money to fund the mayor's popular summer jobs program.

.....

Go check out how much port security money went to Martha's Vineyard...yeah...Martha's Vineyard.

This gives mere 'incompetance' a bad name.

Posted by: CFShep on February 24, 2006 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and I finally have answers to my issues with this:

>>"The US container port industry would be unworkable without companies controlled by foreign governments," says a British analyst.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/24/business/24terminal.html
A Ship Already Sailed

By SIMON ROMERO and HEATHER TIMMONS
Published: February 24, 2006

Posted by: CFShep on February 24, 2006 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder if Jacques is interesting in that useless missle defense system we have? With Iran going nuclear and taking pains to express their ability to reach Europe and all?

That'll stop any missle.

Huh? Can anyone explain what Cliff Clavin is yammering about? Someone pour liquor into rdw and hook him up with broadband?

Anyone? Hello?

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 24, 2006 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

"Great. The majority of people now are getting GW's number."

Hmmm. I didn't get it :(

Call 0-800-POTUS43 ?

Or 0-800-P-GWB-666?

Maybe 0-800-DUMB-R-US?

Which is it?

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Not "pre-emptive" war - PREVENTIVE war.

Posted by: Rob Levine on February 24, 2006 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

"Is this country in competent hands?"

....cointenally, we're all incompetent! n-yuk nyuk nyuk (Curly Howard ~1942)

Don't misunderestimate our enemy.

Is our children learning?

Don't worry about security.

God told me to take out Sadaam.

Yup... we have a true leader.

Will it really matter if history is unkind to the Bush administration when he's kicked our future into the dustbin?

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on February 24, 2006 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

Face it, if his last name weren't Bush, he would not be president.
Posted by: Susan

Face it, if his last name wasn't Bush he'd be a marginally competant 2nd asst manager at Pay-Less Shoes with a GED.

It's so useful to have a family line right back to Standard Oil.

Reminds me of the late H. L. Hunt's stirring advice on how to become wealthy; "Work hard. Hit oil."

Posted by: CFShep on February 24, 2006 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

on the universal assumption that Iraq had WMDs

Why would you bet on something that doesn't exist?

Posted by: Boronx on February 24, 2006 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

rdw writes: The most incompetent of parties, the 2004-05-06 Democratic party is going to run on competence. The party of John Kerry, John Dean, Teddy Kennedy, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, etc., is going to run on competence.

rdw, yes, if you view competence in terms of political success, the Republicans have been very competent. On the other hand, if you view competence in terms of the simple, Reaganest question: Is the country better off now than it was before Bush took office? The answer is clearly no. His administration has been a train wreck from which we will be decades recovering, if we ever do. The prospects for world peace, for avoiding environmental disasters, for long-term prosperity of the US have plummetted under Bush's leadership.

You're bragging about the employment rate, but if one compiles separate accounts: private sector jobs versus government jobs, you have this staggering statistic: (From Max Speak) Private sector jobs, excluding those generated by military or other government spending, have not increased since early 2001. All the employment gains during the Bush administration have been due to massive new government spending and programs.

Now, if some Democratic President had proposed keeping employment high by running $400 budget deficits, what would you have thought about it?

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on February 24, 2006 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Has this been a difficult struggle, yes, but what transition to a free society hasn't? I will remind all of you that over 600,000 Americans died in our civil war to form this great nation. I wonder if most of you would have ben around if it actually would have been achieved with your "give up" at all costs attitude. The struggles have been difficult but that is far from deeming it pure incompetence.

This latest bombing of the Mosque in Sammara is a last ditch effort by those who want an all out civil war and bloodshed and they may still achieve that. However the call for calm from Sistani was huge which now needs to be followed by the same call for peace from the Sunni clerics. If that happens, I predict a tipping point towards peace and similar to what happened in Amman, Jordan following the Hotel bombing, an uprising towards the insurgents (or as you call them freedom fighters).

BTW CF, government waste did not begin and end with this administration. Government waste has been a huge issue since the Kennedy administration. So if you want to play the game of "where has the money gone" prepare to go back a few decades.

Posted by: Jay on February 24, 2006 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

What's been so incompetent about Clinton's crew?

He didn't do anythng. 93-00 will prove the least consequential period of the last century. Nothing happened. That's why he had so much time for Monica.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

"You can debate the merits of the war in Iraq all you want, but I bet we would have been there even if Gore was elected in 2000 based on the universal assumption that Iraq had WMDs (Gore didn't got nuts until after 2000)."

Hmm, really, Frank? I guess you didn't listen very carefully when Gore spoke, right?

"Gore, speaking Monday at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, warned that unilateral action against Saddam Hussein would ''severely damage'' the more urgent war on terrorism and ''weaken our ability to lead the world.'' Gore declared that the president has turned the broad reservoir of good will for America ''into a deep sense of misgiving and even hostility.'' In a pointed dig at President George W. Bush's go-it-alone cowboy rhetoric, he added, ''If you're going after Jesse James, you ought to organize the posse first.''"

Dunno, but this doesn't sound like very pro War to me. Gore said he wouldn't do it without a broad coalition. This coalition never materialised, so I don't think Gore would have started this idiotic adventure.

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

Post hoc ergo propter hoc much, rdw?
Posted by: Joel

He'll probably adopt that as his newest login since it figures so prominently in his...ahem....discourse. It's his anthem and his motto in all things.

"Give me logical fallacy or give me death!" rdw

Posted by: CFShep on February 24, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

"That explains why voters dumped the anti-American Schroeder in Germany and Martin in Canada and elected USA friendly Merkel and Harper."

Dunno about Canada, but if you really think that my people voted for Merkel because they wanted a more american friendly stance, you're even more dumb than I thought, troll. It's the economy, stupid!

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

You guys said the same thing about Reagan's battle - the final one of the Cold War - against the Soviet Union.
Posted by: Cheney

No, that was what we said about the deficits, destruction of progressivity in the tax code, Iran-Contra and the S&L fiasco.

Geez. Pay attention.

Posted by: CFShep on February 24, 2006 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

"I will remind all of you that over 600,000 Americans died in our civil war to form this great nation. I wonder if most of you would have ben around if it actually would have been achieved with your "give up" at all costs attitude."

In your mind, there is an analogy between the US Civil war and the elective invasion and occupation of Iraq? My God, what historical illiteracy!

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

I see that the trolls, unable to contradict charges of incompetence and wrongheadedness, are talking about past elections and Hillary.

Just admit it, you'll feel better for being honest, Bush is the worst president ever.

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 24, 2006 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

"Nothing happened."

In the sense that we had to wait for Bush II to get 9/11 off the ground? Yes, rdw, in that sense, something happened after Clinton left.

Not something most Americans would have wanted to happen, but I guess its working for you.

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

rdw writes: The worst news for you is McCain's savvy political maneuvering...

I don't think you get it: the Bush administration isn't bad news for Democrats. It is bad news for Americans. It is bad news for the planet Earth.

You talk as if this is all a game, or a sport, and if your team is winning, great. But it isn't a game. I'm a Democrat because I think that the Republicans are a disaster for my country, and for the world, not because of team loyalty.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on February 24, 2006 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

"He didn't do anythng. 93-00 will prove the least consequential period of the last century. Nothing happened. That's why he had so much time for Monica."

You almost got it. Only a few corrections:

He didn't do anything wrong. 93-00 will prove to have been the most competent administration of the last century. Nothing happened, except that Bill spent too much time with Monica.

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

Cut 'N Run Jay squeaks:

Has this been a difficult struggle, yes, but what transition to a free society hasn't? I will remind all of you that over 600,000 Americans died in our civil war to form this great nation.

Our nation was formed during the Revolutionary War, dumbass.

Cut 'N Run Jay was the first WM troll to come out and say it was time to leave Iraq--look it up on this thread:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2006_02/008277.php

Cut 'N Run Jay says the work is done, the Iraqis have stood up their army, and it's time for us to leave.

Except that Cut 'N Run Jay's advice didn't do too much good for the seven Americans killed yesterday, or the 130+ Iraqis killed yesterday in what is dissolving into sectarian civil war.

Cut N' Run Jay is back to argue that he was FOR cutting and running before he was AGAINST cutting and running because the President says we don't need to worry about security anymore.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 24, 2006 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

"From where, his cave? Where he has no cell phone or access to sophisticated communication service? Where he can't trust any but a tiny handful of aids?"

Why isn't OBL in prison? Why isn't he dead?

Posted by: CaseyL on February 24, 2006 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

Frank J:

Osama being able to send out an audio tape full of impotent threats every so often is not a demonstratable threat

Valid point.

You show me Al Qaeda continuing planning inside America, then you have the beginning of an argument for some incompetence

I'll put it polemically (we Danes seem to do that currently):
I'd say the fundies have gotten a pretty good deal for their money:
Even if they "only" got some 3000 casualties out of a potentially 50.000+ casualties suicide action, their sting operation has managed to get the watch dog to go berserk and run around barking and clawing aimlessly, expending its strength in the yard, while in the dog house the cubs are cowering, bitching and whining, sensing the impending disaster, not from the fundies actions, past or present, but from the irrational reaction of their protector.
Never mind Osama, he's just a convenient face to put on a essentially faceless movement.
The real problem was (and is) that muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere are beginning to grasp that westerners want their ressources, their land and their souls (by converting them from Allah to Moolah) but only offer a incoherent value system and a military presence in return.
If only the electorate of the US could get past 9/11 (like other countries get past their terror attacks) and stop acting as self-righteous global power player (US is not alone in this, but they are the biggest and the baddest), the world will come around all by it self in due time (free market capitalism is a strong notion indeed).

Just like here in Denmark, I believe most US citizens are decent people who want nothing but good for their fellow man.
Unfortunately we're so caught up in iPods, blogging and lifestyle mags that we suck at seeing through fake and wrong-headed policies.

Posted by: OmniDane on February 24, 2006 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

From where, his cave? Where he has no cell phone or access to sophisticated communication service? Where he can't trust any but a tiny handful of aids?

We gave Bin Laden AIDS? And we still can't catch the wily bastard?

Hooooboy...

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 24, 2006 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

When you intend to drive a car off of a cliff, and select Cliff A, but actually succeed in driving off of Cliff B, part of your problem IS incompetence, but mostly your problem lies in the original idea.

Bush is both incompetent and totally idiotic.

Posted by: POed Liberal on February 24, 2006 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

I have heard Bin Laden's cave has been totally redone by Gucci. And Armoni is now his personal choice in robes.

Posted by: Neo on February 24, 2006 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

"I will remind all of you that over 600,000 Americans died in our civil war to form this great nation."

At the price of less than 5000 lives, I've heard.

Right now, the US has spend more than 2400 lives of his own citizen to reform the not-so-great nation of Iraq. Not to speak of tens of thousands other lives.

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

oops, sentence missing!

"Our nation was formed during the Revolutionary War, dumbass."

At the price of less than 5000 lives, I've heard.

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

Ace, I will go slow so try and keep up. Our civil war was two factions fighting each other over the future direction of the country in the process of forming a free society. Sound familiar? Pretty much what's happening in Iraq, right?

Pale, I will go even slower for you. The systematic withdrawal from Iraq has been penciled in for next year and I am stating that I fully support it following the accomplishments of coordinating three successful elections, a constitution, an elected representational government and a burgeoning security and military force (burgeoning means growing and strengthening), and Saddma on trial by his peers. Now is the time to let the Iraqi's take care of Iraq. If you would like to mock your own strategy, we'll call it the Murtha Left strategy, by all means, it just clearly demonstrates how unhinged you really are.

One other thing, if this is war and economy are such a complete and utter failure, please explain why the UAE would risk their standing in the Arab community by wanting to be a part of this failed economy and "evil" country?

Posted by: Jay on February 24, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Daryl McCullough's right. So many of the trolls looks like they're on the deck of the sinking ship, wagering on whether it will end up keeling left or right.

Posted by: MarkC on February 24, 2006 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

" Kerry was even against Star Wars, saying it was "a dream based on illusion, but one which could have real and terrible consequences" (no "chicken little" there, right?)."

Kerry was right. Reagans "Star Wars" missle defense system is still only a dream, and a pathetic failure. Kerry was right, it was based on an illusion. It could never have protected us from Soviet MIRVs and it cannot protect us against a nuke on a container ship, the most likely delivery vehicle.

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

How long did it take to catch (and, for extra bonus points, who was the tip that led us to) the Unabomber?

Ted's brother turned him in--and only then after he had a supposed conscience. Are you stupid enough to suggest that OBL's brother is going to turn him in? Hell, we put his family on a plane and quietly escorted them out of the country after 9/11--not exactly a fact that supports any aspect of your thesis.

let me know when we get to 58,000.

So a bloodthirsty twit like you can sit back on his fat ass and sneer? I think we'll just assume you get off on death and destruction, just like the rest of the goons in your party...

...except for Cut 'N Run Jay, who obviously can't stomach the idea of more casualties.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 24, 2006 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

I think Jay is one of those college Republicans - you know - the arrogant obnoxious guys who can't seem to get laid so they pontificate on the internet. He's auditioning for some cushy job writing BS for some swill mill.

Here's a tip, Jay: even the 'big time' mouthpieces don't get the babes. They make due with harrassing the help and guzzling the happy pills. Is that really what you want in your future? You want to be able to afford a maid who can score you oxycontin?

Posted by: Tripp on February 24, 2006 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

"Our civil war was two factions fighting each other over the future direction of the country in the process of forming a free society. Sound familiar? Pretty much what's happening in Iraq, right?"

And the nation that invaded the US and overthrew our government, touching off the US Civil War was . . . ? Jay, you are a hopeless, illiterate maroon. And you can't even see it!

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

If you would like to mock your own strategy, we'll call it the Murtha Left strategy, by all means, it just clearly demonstrates how unhinged you really are.

So Cut 'n Run Jay now admits--

Murtha was right all along.

Well, sorry if I have to go slow for you and use simple syntax--

But why the hell did the Republican Party attack Murtha for stating the obvious, especially now that Murtha was right and Murtha's been right all along--so right, in fact, you're jumping on the bandwagon?

See--that's why you're a fool and a hypocrite along with all your other butt buddies.

I mean, for you to sit there and say all of this in the wake of several major speeches given by the President, the current security situation and the need to prop up a puppet regime in Iraq that exists solely because the Grand Ayatollah, al-Sistani, issued a fatwa and told people who to vote for--how can you sit there and say that 'this was the plan all along?'

Hello--dumbass--you went to war without a plan in the first place!

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 24, 2006 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

"As for Star Wars and placing Pershing missiles in Europe, perhaps you had forgotten those like John Kerry calling Reagan's presidency one of "moral darkness" and claiming that "Americans feel more threatened by the prospect of war, not less so . . . the biggest defense buildup since World War II has not given us a better defense"?"

Star Wars never worked out. The US didn't have a defense against russian ICBMs. Billions for carriers, submarines and fighters didn't change this a little bit. The soviet union mainly collapsed because of the economy, not so much because of any weapons program. They didn't have to match the Pershing, for instance, they already had the SS20. The economic embargo had a much higher impact on the CCCP than the military programs. But in the first place, the collapse was due to the inferior economic system of communism.

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

"P.S. Gray - let me know when we get to 58,000."

Dang, Dick, don't you have your own bodycount? Oh, k, I forgot your boys are not qualified in dealing with numbers. Then hire a beancounter from Ford, like JFK did, dangit!

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

"How long did it take to catch (and, for extra bonus points, who was the tip that led us to) the Unabomber?"

Oops? How did we get there? Aren't we supposed to talk about incompetence? This guy wasn't incompetent, he evaded being caught for several years! Btw, any news from the Anthrax letterman?

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

"LOL - you mean Kerry was right about the "real and terrible consequences" of the fall of the U.S.S.R.?!"

LOL - you mean you thought that Kerry believed that Star Wars would cause the fall of the USSR, and that that was the "real and terrible consequence" he was referring to? My God, you and Jay are both illiterates!!

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

And, since I have to go now, you can "assume" whatever else you'd like.

Jay, that's your cue--follow your butt buddy Cheney out the door.

Let's invoke the wisdom of the mighty shortstop and cease feeding these vanquished trolls.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 24, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Incompetence? How can one call them imcompetent when Halliburton was able to get one of their trucks through the mobs in Baghdad today?

The truck was carrying a load of Sherwin-Williams paint for two new schools, one Wal-Mart and a Piggly Wiggly - Only lost 10 or 12 gallons to Ak-47 fire. Let me see - a gallon of paint at Halliburton markup is $2,000, so they only lost $20 to 24 thou, but there is that $100,000 restockage fee - But anything for freedom.

Freedom is on the march.
Tis a shame that DWD, with a masters and cfa from Drexel, wasn't selected to the Fed - But, he'll be able to explain why he didn't give more to Twiggie, this weekend on his All-Weekend PA Blog from PA.

Posted by: stupid git on February 24, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

"And you claim to be part of the REALITY-based crowd?"
Grrr. Who ever said this about me? I'm posting my honest opinion, and what do I get? Insults!

Just to correct this wrongful image, one of my favorite songs is "Dreamer" from Supertramp...

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Gray,

Supertramp?

Dude, we have to get you some Zeppelin...

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 24, 2006 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Bush is the greatest president EVER, Kevn, and your opposition, paroting Michael Moore and "not one dime" howard Dean, just proves it.

You cant say anything positive because liberals have no plan and no policy to offfer.

Bush has a vision of the future and he is making that vision come true by turning America's attention to the Far East, creating strategeric economic allances with Asia.

China is what is important, Kevin, and your failure to see the briliance in Bush's plan is proof enough of the decadence of liberal thought.

The economy is humming along and Bush's Asia strategy will create a new paradime of economic freedom that will undermine the liberal-terrorist cause across the globe.

Liberals fear yet secretly respect Bush for his electoral success and ability to make the hard decisions on terror, to torture where no liberal will go in order to protect American citizens from the ravages of radical Islamofascism, to take risks by putting as many Arabs and Muslims in prison as possible, thus reducing the opportunity for attacks against America, and to create stategic partnerships with Asia which will turn the world's attention from the Middle East, but too late for liberals, Old Europe and the Islamofascists to take advantage.

We can both agree that Bush's presidency has been a tremendous success in moving America towards an Asia-centric focus, something that Ronald Reagan foresaw decades ago after he bested every American academic and liberal with his equal foreseeing the absolute, utter, and complete demise of communism in every corner of the earth, a feet he accomplished in only eight years with only strident blustering.

Simlarly, Bush's strident blustering, in the grand tradition of Reagan foresight, is defeating terrorism, bringing democracy and free markests to all corners of the earth.

It's a shame that all this can be demonstrated by a 10 minute internet search that makes your posts stick in your craw.

Don't you just hate it when that happens?

Posted by: 'rdw' on February 24, 2006 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

It's a shame that all this can be demonstrated by a 10 minute internet search that makes your posts stick in your craw.

Again, Cliff Clavin--

"Powerline" is NOT a search tool.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 24, 2006 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

Great parody rdw, 'rdw.' Rivals some of the parody Als.

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: This latest bombing of the Mosque in Sammara is a last ditch effort by those who want an all out civil war and bloodshed and they may still achieve that.

Jay unwittingly and ineffectively performs the Cheney "the insurgency is on its last legs" maneuver, although to be fair Cheney has perfected the maneuver through repeated use every couple of months for the past three years.

Has this been a difficult struggle, yes, but what transition to a free society hasn't? I will remind all of you that over 600,000 Americans died in our civil war to form this great nation. I wonder if most of you would have ben around if it actually would have been achieved with your "give up" at all costs attitude. The struggles have been difficult but that is far from deeming it pure incompetence.

Hitler: "Has this been a difficult struggle, yes, but what transition to a [great] society hasn't? I will remind all of you that over 6 million Jews died in our . . . war to form this great Nazi nation. I wonder if most of you would have ben around if it actually would have been achieved with your "give up" at all costs attitude. The struggles have been difficult but that is far from deeming it pure [evil]."

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

"Dude, we have to get you some Zeppelin..."

Led Zep? Hmm, when it comes to rock classics I prefer Doors over Stairways...

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

"that's your cue Jay" is pale's attempt to quell free speech and or at least the speech he disagrees with, completely blind to the fact that that is the same thing he blames the republicans for, not listening to those he opposes. Are you republican pale? C'mon seriously.

Murtha called for a wihdrawal within 6 months and was never "attacked" by the right. The right stated time and time again that they respected his service and comments but disagreed with his conclusions. I believe we should start (and I know ADD is a bitch but stay with me) a systematic withdrawal within the next 12-18 months which will demonstrate to the Iraqi's that we are honoring our policy of when the "Iraqi's stand up we will stand down". Who said that originally, hmmm.......

If this Iraq "civil war" does not materialize who does it hurt the worst? The Democrats and Al Qaeda. Strange alliance isn't it?

Posted by: Jay on February 24, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

One of the really sick things that the "Reagan conquered Communism" collective hallucination has done to Americans is to convince them that you can actually change the world just by blathering. Reagan, after all, never actually did anything to cause the USSR to implode; he just made some speeches and spent a lot of money on useless baubles like the still-nonfunctioning Star Wars system, in a sort of war-by-potlatch strategy. He did fund brutal guerrilla insurgencies in Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Angola and some other third-world Moscow allies, but that was pretty marginal to the eventual poof. Mostly, he just said words like "evil empire" and "tear this wall down". And the conservative mythmakers have established the line that this actually worked, unopposed by any effort to present a realistic viewpoint.

It's a sort of David Copperfield vision of the President as conjurer: he stands up in front of the wall, says "Tear this wall down!" and - poof - the wall comes down! Somehow conservatives have actually managed to convince Americans that there was nothing going on behind that wall that might have led to it being torn down.

Another apt reference might be to the classic moment in "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" where the hero convinces all the medieval Britons that he's a magician more powerful than Merlin by trumpeting his ability to hide the sun - knowing, of course, that an eclipse is on the way.

Anyway, somebody ought to use some anniversary - perhaps the 15th anniversary of the coup that led to the collapse of the USSR, this year - to make a serious effort to float the meme that Ronald Reagan had very little to do with the collapse of the sclerotic, monumentally corrupt, kleptocratic, oppressive, rotten, bankrupt colossus that was the USSR. It's a reasonably catchy meme, and it has the merit of being true.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

"Incompetence? How can one call them imcompetent when Halliburton was able to get one of their trucks through the mobs in Baghdad today?"

LOL sg!
Shame on me that I missed those breaking news! Must have been covered by all channels :D

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

'rdw'

"Read your post, now I'm a believer,
Read your post, now I'm a believer,"

And now, back to my Wild Irish Rose, a little schroom and I, too, can float high above Drexel Hill.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 24, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

If the Iraq civil war does materialize, who does it hurt the worst? The Republicans and the Baathists. Strange alliance isn't it?

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

Unpatriotic.

Posted by: ha on February 24, 2006 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

"Ace, I will go slow so try and keep up. Our civil war was two factions fighting each other over the future direction of the country in the process of forming a free society. Sound familiar? Pretty much what's happening in Iraq, right?"

Why is this addressed to me? 1) Bush is the worst president ever regardless of your cockamamie analogy of th Civil War to Iraq. 2) And I do mean cockamamie.

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 24, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

On the incompetence front, again: where is the Bush Administration's timetable for getting at least 50% of the containers coming into the US inspected for nuclear materials? Bin Laden just said a major attack is coming in the near future. Maybe he's bluffing, maybe he ain't. If he puts a bomb in a container, we've currently got a 1 in 16 chance of stopping it. What is Bush doing about this? Why didn't he do it 4 years ago?

Just my 2 cents on "incompetence".

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

"Reagan, after all, never actually did anything to cause the USSR to implode"

Yup. The communist nations had just fallen too much behind the west technologically and economically. Even the GDR, one of the most advanced nations of the block, had not a single competitive product at the end, except their bestseller 'dissenters', which they sold for several hundred thousand DM per unit. But even this couldn't stop them from collapsing.

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

This is quibbling around the edges for short term political gain.

History will judge that Bush took a dramatic step, and even the less optimum dramatic step was better than taking on one small step in Afghanistan.

There was no equivalent foreign policy that would have faired dramatically different, over the long term. Certainly no proof that another foreign policy would have done better in the long term.


Posted by: Matt on February 24, 2006 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

History will judge that Bush took a dramatic step

"As we stride boldly forward into the futuuuuuuuuuuuaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...."

Thunk.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

Related note: the Pink Panther Presidency?

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

"History will judge that Bush took a dramatic step, and even the less optimum dramatic step was better than taking on one small step in Afghanistan."

Hehehehe! I always thought it's a tragic comedy, but however: How do you think it will end? Happy end or the Fall of the leading actor? ObL captured or Bush impeached?

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

There was no equivalent foreign policy that would have faired [sic] dramatically different, over the long term

What about rebuilding Afghanistan, catching Osama bin Laden, smashing Al Qaeda, and not invading Iraq? Would that have led to a somewhat different outcome?

Certainly no proof that another foreign policy would have done better in the long term.

What a stupid, stupid thing to say. Of course there's no "proof" that things would have worked out differetnly if we'd done them differently. There is, however, sheer common sense, which tells us that just perhaps, we might have done better than to be sitting on the powderkeg of an Iraq about to erupt into civil war.

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney,

I'll concede the point that with enough money even an ugly college republican can 'get the babes.' At least for an hour, paying extra for anything kinky.

But I'm sure you know that, you sly old dog you. Even with your bad ticker you managed to get a little "private" time with the, how shall we say, "swiss ambassador," eh? I bet she really "examined your briefs." No wonder your mighty "28 guage" discharged early. And giving a facial to you mentor at 30 yards and having *him* apologize?

Now that's real power. I bow to you, sir.

Posted by: Tripp on February 24, 2006 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Is the country better off now than it was before Bush took office? The answer is clearly no. His administration has been a train wreck from which we will be decades recovering

That was a great line by Reagan wasn't it? The man was amazing. He also delivered it against Jimmy Carter, the man he was running against. If Hillary is going to use it against McCain she might not even carry NY and CA.

The country is in fabulous shape. We've delivered a major blow against Islamic Terrorism and completed a major global realignment placing needed distance from Western Europe and Canada while strengthening ties with Japan, Australia, India, Indonesia, Israel, etc.

Clinton passed NAFTA but did little else. GWB has greatly accelerated trade discussions with the entire rest of the world especially the rapidly growing Asian nations. Bush has also done far more for aid not only increasing the dollars but in redirecting them away from the UN.

His role in marginalizing the UN, Terror, Arafat, France, Germany, Kyoto, pulling out of the assine ABM treaty, continuing missle defense and our defense realignment while estoring American exceptionalism are all historic acheivements.

The role of the tax cuts in creating 7.5M jobs in 3 years with the strongest sustained GDP growth in over 20 years won't hurt either.

It would not surprise me even a little bit to see the DNC run against Bush in 2008. Since Bill Clinton took party leadership your party has lost 57 house and 14 Seate seats on merit.

Please, please, please nominate Hillary.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

hehehe brooksfoe!
Dubya vs. Osama = Coyote vs. Roadrunner? ggg

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Cut 'N Run Jay: This latest bombing of the Mosque in Sammara is a last ditch effort by those who want an all out civil war and bloodshed and they may still achieve that.

OK, this one is absolutely, positively, this time I really mean it, no doubt about it, the very very very last ditch, I promise....

Dude, you last throe like a girl.

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

"that's your cue Jay" is pale's attempt to quell free speech

No, it's his attempt to make you shut up. Which is different.

If he was attempting to quell free speech, he'd make you clear all your posts with a liberal college dropout who worked on John Kerry's campaign.

Posted by: Doctor Jay on February 24, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah rdw, everything's going as planned! Congratulations!

Posted by: BatGuano on February 24, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

NOW can we say "I TOLD YOU SO"????? Small comfort as we've watched our once proud, great, land go down the BUSH TUBES!! And to think I was born into a Republican family back in a small town in PA where one HAD to be white,protestant,and Republican...fortunately many in our family managed to get an education, a job (not in PA) and a new philosophy...wonder what it will take to FINALLY wake up the trolls!?

Posted by: Dancer on February 24, 2006 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Dubya vs. Osama = Coyote vs. Roadrunner? ggg

At least the Coyote kept trying to catch the Roadrunner, instead of invading Foghorn Leghorn's pen.

Posted by: BatGuano on February 24, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

The country is in fabulous shape.

67% of Americans disagree with you, according to the average of all polls. So, leaving aside the fact that on the empirical claim you are clearly tripping on Sam Alito's favorite Amazonian hallucinogenic tea, purely on the level of public perception, it doesn't look good for your boys this fall.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Dancer,

The trolls aren't sleeping - they're working. It's the only job they can get.

Posted by: Tripp on February 24, 2006 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

OMIGOD, just read Al's post way early in the thread and it pretty much explains the true heart of Bush and Co (except for their unholy worship of money)...they're keeping us safe allright...from gays, choice, and Clinton's sexual misdeeds...why aren't I more grateful...like Al et al?????

Posted by: Dancer on February 24, 2006 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Reagan destroyed communism. Like it or not. disagree or not. It does not matter. It's become accepted and established fact and the primary reason he's ranked among the top 10 Presidents.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

The country is in fabulous shape.

Incidentally, 6 in 10 kids are now obese. Where is Bush's plan to get that number down to 3 in 10? I want that plan on my desk right after the plan to inspect 50% of all containers within six months.

Maybe he can put one of them college dropouts on it.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Leave it to the libs to reduce nearly every argument to sexual innuendos. Keeping the "Clinton" tradition alive. I am proud of you.

I will remind you though that according to yesterdays' Zogby poll, the liberals on this blog represent a paltry 6% of the minority party. Let me put this in terms you might understand; that a represent a small minority of the minority party. Well done!

Please, Please nominate Hillary.
Clinton/Sheehan '08!

Posted by: Jay on February 24, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Reagan destroyed communism. Like it or not. disagree or not. It does not matter.

This is a tone of voice common amongst conservatives; they like to pretend that you can wish other people's statements away. Not to mention the facts. But you can't, because the other people keep on having their own dang ideas, and the facts keep poppin' up on the video cameras and the statistical charts, gosh darn them!

The only way to really make those darn other people shut up with their ideas is to blow them away. Which is what conservatives eventually end up trying to do.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

"I will remind you though that according to yesterdays' Zogby poll, the liberals on this blog represent a paltry 6% of the minority party."

Wow! 6% of Dem voters read this blog? Didn't know that Kevin's page hits are that huge!

MeepMeep! :P

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Reagan destroyed communism.

By doing..what, exactly? What was the cause that created the effect?

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

brooks:

Another apt reference might be to the classic moment in "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" where the hero convinces all the medieval Britons that he's a magician more powerful than Merlin by trumpeting his ability to hide the sun - knowing, of course, that an eclipse is on the way.

Brilliant.

I know we discussing the fact that the Soviet Union was bankrupt, wildly dysfunctional and that, in fact, it would soon be utterly incapable of containing the widespread unrest in their 'republics' (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and so forth) back in the early 70's.

If memory serves, Mr. Reagan was still presiding over the destruction of California's public school system at that time. Oh, and the UC system, too, for good measure.

That Reagan lauched us on the trajectory toward national bankruptcy goes without saying. From creditor nation to net debtor - whooosh!

That might have been his crowning achievemnt.

And all that was back when his minders claim he was still in possession of his faculties.

Posted by: CFShep on February 24, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, Gray, takin' the gag one level higher. Cute. MeepMeep!

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

It's become accepted and established fact and the primary reason he's ranked among the top 10 Presidents.
Posted by: rdw

Gawk!

By whom exactly? Other than the trolls here, that is.

Longing to slap ya'll upside the head with a copy of "Sleepwalking Through History".

He did make #9 on that recent top ten list of biggest presidental blunders for that all time hit Iran-Contra. I'll concede that.

Posted by: CFShep on February 24, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

rdw writes: The country is in fabulous shape.

Is there any person who knows what he is talking about who agrees with you on that?

The role of the tax cuts in creating 7.5M jobs in 3 years with the strongest sustained GDP growth in over 20 years won't hurt either.

As I have pointed out, that is a complete mirage. The private sector has lost jobs during Bush's term. These lost jobs have been compensated by a huge increase in government-related jobs (Department of Homeland Security, military, etc.)

It's hard for me to figure out, rdw. Do you actually believe what you are saying?

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on February 24, 2006 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah rdw, everything's going as planned! Congratulations!

Nothing goes exactly as planned. By all measures GWB has exceeded expectations.

- This is the best year for Supreme Court appointments in History.

- The UN has been all but totally marginalzes

- The EU has been totally marginazed.

- Kyoto has been marginlaize and replaced.

- The ABM treaty is as valid as the USSR.

- Nato has been returned to a shell and the defesne of Europe transferred to the Europens

- GWB has so far added 5 Senate seats and nearly a dozen House seats.

- GWB passed and just extended tax cuts with the support andassistance of the next President of the USA, Big John McCain.

- GWB appointed and talked into serving the full 8 years the best defense Secretary ever.

- GWB has solidified the position of supply side eocnomics as the leading ideology on the planet. How ironic it's Eastern Europe and embracing flat taxes but economic knows no language.

- GWB has initiated and completed the most dramatic and critical global diplomatic realignment in 100 years moving the USA deciively away from Europe toward Asia.

- Strongest sustained GDP growth since Reagan with very low unemploment and substantially
increased trade.

GWB hasn't been perfect but it makes no sense to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

thx brook, but I have to run now. Cu! Vroooooooom

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

As I have pointed out, that is a complete mirage. The private sector has lost jobs during Bush's term. These lost jobs have been compensated by a huge increase in government-related jobs (Department of Homeland Security, military, etc.)

Absolutely wrong. The private sector is doing fine as we'll see in 2006 with another year of double-digit profit growth backed by strong cash flows.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

"all but totally marginalzes"

"totally marginazed."

"marginlaize and replaced."

Howling with laughter....gasp

Posted by: CFShep on February 24, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Cliff Clavin's Adventures in Spelling:

- The UN has been all but totally marginalzes

Ooooh! Close, but not close enough. Let's see how he does on his second try:

- The EU has been totally marginazed.

Ouch! That sounds painful. Well, they say third time's the charm:

- Kyoto has been marginlaize and replaced.

Bzzztt! A valiant effort, but unfortunately he fails to hit it. Better luck next time, Cliffie.

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: The Democrats and Al Qaeda. Strange alliance isn't it?

Since it doesn't exist, not so strange at all, but a fine example of your mendacity.

On the other hand, the alliance between Bush and a nation, the UAE, that supports, aids, and abets and enemy of the United States, the Taliban, is also not so strange, but very disturbing.

Why do you and Bush hate America so much, Jay?

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

He did make #9 on that recent top ten list of biggest presidental blunders for that all time hit Iran-Contra. I'll concede that.

iran-contra was a manufactured scandal that isn't even top ten among Carters blunders.

Hey, I didn't rank the Presidents. I'm not a historian. It was a cross section of professionals. They put him in the top ten.


BTW: The Russians have been clear. They were terrified of Star Wars. It's our most successful arms program of all time. We defeated the USSR without firing a shot because of it.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Damn, Stefan, I missed one.

My eyes were tearing up.

CFS

Posted by: CFShep on February 24, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

stefan,

How do you feel? Hey, it's only 3 more years!

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Complain, complain, complain.

The U.S. did what western civilization has done for ages. Whenever the middle east gets aggressive, we put an army there and explain that middle eastern problems are not to threaten the west.

" We could have sided with Iran earlier" - Woulda just created another host of problems with the Sunni.

"We coulda captured Osama" - Somebody else would have taken the job.

"We could used Afghanistan as a forward base and an example" - Woulda just created a host of problems with Pakistan and India.

The problem was the middle east. Western civilization was threatened. The proper place for the American army is in the middle east.

Is their more turbulence? You bet, that was the idea.


Posted by: Matt on February 24, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

"iran-contra was a manufactured scandal that isn't even top ten among Carters blunders."~rdw

Congratulations, rdw, you have made the stupidest statement in the history of Political Animal, wrong about Iran-Contra and Jimmy Carter.

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 24, 2006 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

The problem was the middle east. Western civilization was threatened. The proper place for the American army is in the middle east.

Yeah, but then there's that whole idea that it really isn't a good idea to start a land war in Asia.

But thanks for playing.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 24, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

As I have pointed out, that is a complete mirage. The private sector has lost jobs during Bush's term. These lost jobs have been compensated by a huge increase in government-related jobs (Department of Homeland Security, military, etc.)

Cliff Clavin: Absolutely wrong. The private sector is doing fine as we'll see in 2006 with another year of double-digit profit growth backed by strong cash flows.

A bit dated, but here's a summary, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics stats:

"News reports suggested that January [2005] job data spared President Bush from joining Herbert Hoover as the only president to see a net job loss during a four-year term. However, under Bush's watch, private sector jobs dropped 760,000, according to January 2005's anemic job growth projections. Bush's public reputation was spared only because of growth in government sector jobs, a cushy buffer missing during the Hoover days.

"In January 2000, when President Bush took office, there were 111,622,000 private sector jobs in the US. Projected numbers for January 2005 are 110,862,000, a net loss of 760,000 private sector jobs. In comparison, in January 1997 there were 101,639,000 private sector jobs -- meaning 9,983,000 were created during President Clinton's second term of office."

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Damn, Stefan, I missed one. My eyes were tearing up.

Mine, too. That was damn funny. If a little sad and pathetic, too....

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Silly Stefan--

Facts mean nothing to Cliff Clavin. He'll merely explain why the French caused the numbers to drop and how Kyoto is dead.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 24, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Some of the criticisms of Bush, it pains me to say, are a little overboard. As far as Osama goes, certainly the Tora Bora operation was carried out poorly and Bush deserves blame. But now that OBL is (very likely) in Pakistan, what exactly should we do? The only likely way to catch him is to put a large American military presence in the area, which would basically be an invasion of Pakistan. Sure, we might catch him by doing so, but it's more likely we'll inadvertantly topple Musharraf to a fundamentalist coup. Would that be worth it? Catching OBL at this point would be a propaganda victory, but it would not be worth putting fundamentalists in charge of a nuclear armed nation. Also, I'm not sure OBL is actually sneering as Hirsh says, given he recently proposed a truce. Even if the offer wasn't exactly genuine, usually the first side to offer a truce does not perceive itself to be winning.

And as far as Iran goes, imagine we had not attacked Iraq, and therefore had the available military power to invade Iran. Would anyone now criticizing the Iraq invasion actually favor that? Iran, a country 3 times the population of Iraq, without the pile of outstanding Security Council resolutions against it. It would be insane to invade in such a scenario (as it is now). A lot of this criticism is simply disingenuous. Sometimes there just is no cure that is better than the disease, and Iran (and North Korea) fit this mold whether our military and 'prestige' are tied down in Iraq or not. If anything, perhaps a silver lining is that the Iraq war has convinced (hopefully) even Bush and co. that an Iran invasion, which would make Iraq look like a picnic, is a mistake.

Posted by: ChiSox Fan in LA on February 24, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, don't forget about average family income going DOWN--more success!

Everything is going so smashingly, that's why I spend hours here trying to convinve everyone how great everything is--and I'm having about as much success as my impotent little penis.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

rdw writes:

- This is the best year for Supreme Court appointments in History.

- The UN has been all but totally marginalzes

- The EU has been totally marginazed.

- Kyoto has been marginlaize and replaced.

- The ABM treaty is as valid as the USSR.

- Nato has been returned to a shell and the defesne of Europe transferred to the Europens
- GWB passed and just extended tax cuts with the support andassistance of the next President of the USA, Big John McCain.

- GWB appointed and talked into serving the full 8 years the best defense Secretary ever.

- GWB has solidified the position of supply side eocnomics as the leading ideology on the planet. How ironic it's Eastern Europe and embracing flat taxes but economic knows no language.

- GWB has initiated and completed the most dramatic and critical global diplomatic realignment in 100 years moving the USA deciively away from Europe toward Asia.

Supposing that someone is not a Republican. Can you explain what is good about any of these developments?

- Strongest sustained GDP growth since Reagan with very low unemploment and substantially increased trade.

That's the only point from your list that actually counts as an accomplishment, and I think it is a very disputable claim. As I have pointed out, Bush has stimulated the economy through massive deficit spending. He has turned the fiscal situation around from projected surpluses (enough that Greenspan claimed to be worried that we would be paying down the national debt too fast) to unprecedented deficits. The 10-year financial picture has deteriorated by trillions of dollars. Viewed in terms of the costs to long-term economic security, Bush's supposed gains are abysmal. And those gains are almost exclusively limited to the very most wealthy people.

So, in effect, Bush has impoverished future average Americans in order to enrich today's richest Americans. Do you really think of that as an accomplishment? I have a really hard time believing you are serious.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on February 24, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

advocate, I am just proud to know that the left has finally found a "threat", unfortunately it comes in the form of one our best Arab allies, but hey baby steps right? BTW, great job on "profiling" the UAE on this issue. Let me get this straight now, we can't "profile" young muslim men at the airports but "profiling" entire Arab countries is just fine. Again, just trying to keep the cards on the table straight.

rdw, I concur completely. And in the proud "tolerant" liberal tradition, they attack the "spelling" in the absence of a cogent message debate. The minority faction of the minority party strikes again. Well done!

Posted by: Jay on February 24, 2006 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

"I'm not a historian."

Clio wept.

You've made that quite clear. And yet.., you continue to cite a mish-mash of falsehoods which you are pleased to label 'history'.

This statement is possibly the only honest contribution you've ever made to this forum.


"It was a cross section of professionals."

I picture something like divination by counting tree ring growth or ice core samples.

Posted by: CFShep on February 24, 2006 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Congratulations, rdw, you have made the stupidest statement in the history of Political Animal, wrong about Iran-Contra and Jimmy Carter.

I don't think so. In that same poll Carter was ranked in the bottom 10 and it's clear as we get further removed for the era of extreme PC Carter will fall further. The USSR was at it's high of expanionism during Jimmy's term because Jimmy was Jimmy. The USA was held hostage for 444 days because the man was so pathetic. That episode makes the low point of American diplomacy and strength and looks even more pathetic the further removed. It is one of the most shameful events of our history. He is a repulsive figure.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK


Not "pre-emptive" war - PREVENTIVE war.

Heck, if you want to be picky about it, the rhetoric may be of preventive war, but the action is aggressive war.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 24, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Why does anybody care what Bin Laden says?

Posted by: Paddy Whack on February 24, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

rdw, I concur completely. And in the proud "tolerant" liberal tradition, they attack the "spelling" in the absence of a cogent message debate. The minority faction of the minority party strikes again. Well done!

Having a racist shill like Jay--who has advocated that we 'kill all Muslim cockroaches'--lecture anyone on tolerance is like watching the Grand Wizard of the KKK admonish someone for using the wrong kind of rope at a lynching.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 24, 2006 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, the Russians were terrified of an "arms program" that didn't exist and STILL doesn't work!

Yes people, I really am that stupid. Even more so than you could imagine.
I believe in the myth of Saint Redink Raygun, along with the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK
We defeated the USSR without firing a shot because [...]

...from the end of WWII, an alliance led by the most advanced economy in the world got into a spending match with a country which was, essentially, a very large third world country.

Barring mutual nuclear annihilation, there is only one way the Cold War could have ended.


Posted by: cmdicely on February 24, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Jimmy Carter--Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Redink Raygun--a shriveled and senile moron who almost brought about our economic ruin. A bad actor and an even worse president. Only complete jackasses think he was great--which should explain why I worship him.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Someday some gifted writer may be able to portray this administration in a fashion (a miniseries, perhaps) that all of us can comprehend.

It's already been done. The book is called the Decline and Fall of Roman Empire.

Posted by: tam1MI on February 24, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

"iran-contra was a manufactured scandal that isn't even top ten among Carters blunders."~rdw

"Congratulations, rdw, you have made the stupidest statement in the history of Political Animal, wrong about Iran-Contra and Jimmy Carter." - Ace Franze

You know, technically, rdw is correct though (in respect to Carter). I wouldn't hold the Teapot Dome Scandal, Watergate, or the S&L Crisis against Carter either.

Posted by: ChiSox Fan in LA on February 24, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

It has been my understanding that Saudi Arabia by flooding the market with cheap oil, deprieved the Soviet Union the currency that it needed to function outside of its satelite states.
Add to that 22% of USSR GDP went to defense. This was unsustainable. Did Reagan play any part of this? That's up for debate. Was he a good president,well he was easier to watch on tv than "w".
Other than that he realy sucked.

Posted by: Neo on February 24, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

moving the USA deciively away from Europe toward Asia.

Well, it's true we have pissed off the Europeans, by talking about nothing but the war on terror all the time. On the other hand, we've pissed off the Asians, by talking about nothing but the war on terror all the time.

Might be more accurate to say Bush has moved the USA decisively away from Europe and out into the middle of the Pacific Ocean somewhere, further and further from everyone else on the planet.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

pale, I really do enjoy your personal because they are so easy to elicit, however please explain how my remarks were "racist"? I have to admit that went by me. Though you could just be pulling shit out of your ass.....come to think of it, that is your main resource.

Posted by: Jay on February 24, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Matt: There was no equivalent foreign policy that would have faired dramatically different, over the long term. Certainly no proof that another foreign policy would have done better in the long term.

Since we haven't reached the long term yet, there is no basis for claiming how Bush's policy has fared in the long run and no basis for comparing it to some other hypothetical policy.

If there is not proof that another foreign policy would have done better, there is also no proof that Bush's will.

rdw: Reagan destroyed communism.

Again, you fail to state how. And when you tried previously, the only thing you could come up with is "he predicated it's fall" which, of course is talk, not action.

Even if true, then, and there is a great deal of doubt about even this, prediction is not destruction.

"To destroy" something is to take an action to accomplish an end; "to predict" something is a passive response, not an action, and thus one gets no credit for action from mere prediction.

Your inability to comprehend your own stupidity and lack of understanding of the meaning of the most basis of English words is truly astounding, rdw.

Like it or not. disagree or not. It does not matter. It's become accepted and established fact and the primary reason he's ranked among the top 10 Presidents.

Please link to the source showing that this is an "accepted and established fact" so we can judge for ourselves how pathetic your standard is for what constitutes "established fact."

BTW, Reagan doesn't make the Top-10 in an average of the rankings of presidential scholars, according to Wikipedia, a better source than your nothing source at this point.

What are you using? The WSJ ranking?

That's kinda cooking the books, now isn't it (not surprising for you), since WSJ polls tend to favor conservatives, eh?

Just another example of your self-serving delusional mendacity, I suppose.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

So, in effect, Bush has impoverished future average Americans in order to enrich today's richest Americans. Do you really think of that as an accomplishment? I have a really hard time believing you are serious.

Actually GWBs deficits have been fairly tame. Last year the deficit was 2.6% of GDP versus the 4.2% average of the 80's. This is despite inheriting an economy moving into recession with a horrendous asset bubble and accounting scandals ALL started in the previous administration.

One of the fun political event of last year was listening to both Schroeder and Chirac lecture Bush on deficits. Dumb and dumber each had higher deficits. That's only part of the reason Schroeder is working for Putin and we don't have much to do with Germany or France.

BTW: Katrina was a severe blow to our deficit reduction efforts but the deficit won't help you politically. Tax receipts surged last year and the deficit was still lower than expected. The govt has again exaggerated the projected deficit this year so each months budget report will be 'tax receipts higher than expected, budget deficit lower than expected'. Not bad PR for the supply siders. Moreover the biggest critic on deficits hasn't been the democrats but Big John McCain, especially spending.

You can't win. Make the deficit and spending an issue. Elect Big John!

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: I have to admit that went by me.

Most things do.

Though you could just be pulling shit out of your ass.....come to think of it, that is your main resource.

Damn, is Pale pulling you out of his ass, Jay?

That must be some trick!

I didn't know you were characterized as a "resource".

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Cut 'n Run Jay squeals:

please explain how my remarks were "racist"?

Well, it has been asserted how many times now? At least a dozen--you originally said that we should "kill all Muslim cockroaches" and you have yet to live it down.

But keep squeaking, hiding and challenging things that are pretty much common knowledge to the group. You wouldn't be the Jay Shaver we all know and love if you weren't here to spout your John Birch Society line of swill, now would you?

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 24, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Why does anybody care what Bin Laden says?

I don't think most people care about what he says as much as they care about the fact that going on 5 years after 9/11, he's still around to say anything in the first place.

That said....for a guy with a $50M bounty on his head, he sure seems to inspire some kind of loyalty, don't you think?

Posted by: Irony Man on February 24, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: The USA was held hostage for 444 days because the man was so pathetic.

Funny, the USA has been held hostage in Iraq for much longer under Bush 43.

And Bush has been held hostage by 9/11 perpetrators he can't catch, despite having far more time than Carter did to effectuate a better outcome.

And Reagan only got the hostages out by negotiating with the terrorists, something Carter refused to do, thus Carter did what conservatives say they want American presidents to do and Reagan did just the opposite, but you still worship him as a hero.

Now, how pathetic does that make Bush, Reagan, and you?

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

The USSR was at it's high of expanionism during Jimmy's term

So that little matter of Stalin's Red Army rolling through Eastern Europe, and of the Communist takeovers of every state from Poland to Yugoslavia (and the attempt on Greece), and Mao's USSR-backed victory in China, and the Korean War - that was child's play compared to the invasion of mighty Afghanistan and the Nicaraguan revolution.

Whose watch did all that occur on? Hey, Harry Truman. What a commie-symp wimp he was, huh?

Oh, and I guess you're saying the Vietnam War had nothing to do with "USSR expansionism". I happen to largely agree, but would be surprised if you did.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Might be more accurate to say Bush has moved the USA decisively away from Europe and out into the middle of the Pacific Ocean somewhere, further and further from everyone else on the planet.

That explains the Asian-Pacific partnership. It's not the Asian-American partnership. Obviously they'll be expanding and need amore inclusive name.

The starting point is China, India, USA, Japan, Australia and South Korea. We've cornered 50% of global GDP and almost as much population. This organization will replace Kyoto and so much more. We can at least agree the UN is too big, too bureaucratic and too ossified to be effective. This is where global growth will be this century and the players needed to guide it.

It's another brilliant tactical and strategic move by GWB to bypass the UN, EU and Kyoto at the same time. All the while drawing closer to India and China. Not to mention Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam (Intel is building a chip lant there).

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

You can't win. Make the deficit and spending an issue. Elect Big John!

Didn't Newt Gingrich make the deficit an issue? Didn't he run on a 'smaller government is better government' sort of a platform?

What part of Cliff Clavin's loose and oftentimes non-existent grasp on reality takes the Gingrich years into account for what will, ultimately, destroy the Republican Party?

And, please--you've already destroyed McCain's chances of being nominated for President. South Carolina ended it. The man can't possibly get elected--he fathered an out-of-wedlock baby, his wife is nuts and he's the Manchurian Candidate.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 24, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

And Reagan only got the hostages out by negotiating with the terrorists, something Carter refused to do, thus Carter did what conservatives say they want American presidents to do and Reagan did just the opposite, but you still worship him as a hero.

Reagan never talked to the terrorists. The deal was done just before he took office. It was 100% Jimmy's deal and 100% Jimmy's disgrace. It is rather obvious the students carefully avoided Reagan.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

""iran-contra was a manufactured scandal that isn't even top ten among Carters blunders."~rdw

"Congratulations, rdw, you have made the stupidest statement in the history of Political Animal, wrong about Iran-Contra and Jimmy Carter." - Ace Franze

You know, technically, rdw is correct though (in respect to Carter). I wouldn't hold the Teapot Dome Scandal, Watergate, or the S&L Crisis against Carter either.
Posted by: ChiSox Fan in LA "


By golly, Chisox fan, you're right. His syntax does indicate that Iran-Contra was a Carter problem! It amazes me that Reagan's direct attack on the Constitution is so blithely ignored by Republicans. Of course, I guess it does seem like the work of a piker compared to Bush's efforts in that direction.

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 24, 2006 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

the Venerable AoG: BTW, Reagan doesn't make the Top-10 in an average of the rankings of presidential scholars, according to Wikipedia, a better source than your nothing source at this point.

Indeed-a-roonie. I think the most glowing appraisals come in some where around 'barely adequate but telegenic as hell'.

Still reeling over:

'Cross section of professionals' - ouchie.

Posted by: CFShep on February 24, 2006 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: It's our most successful arms program of all time.

And where are those weapons?

Oh, yeah. Never built. Never close to being built. Never a factor.

Another rdw/conservative myth that Reagan's blustering all by itself, with nothing to back it up in terms of real action, defeated communism everywhere, despite the fact it still exists.

If talk were effective, Bush would be ruling the world, Al Queda would all be in jail, the insurgency would be finished and ancient history, WMDs would have been found and secured, peace would reign in Israel and Palestine, and the economy would be booming.

Unfortunately, talk is cheap, just like Bush.

Terrorism on the cheap, resulting in the continued existence and freedom of Al Queda.

Invasion of Iraq on the cheap, resulting in the unnecessary loss of American lives and the waste of billions.

Port security on the cheap, and on the sly.

There is a pattern here . . .

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Jay,

Leave it to the libs to reduce nearly every argument to sexual innuendos. Keeping the "Clinton" tradition alive. I am proud of you.

Wow, I think I struck a nerve. So tell me, really, how are you doing in the romance department? Not so good I'd bet.

And why do you keep bringing up "ass?" I'm starting to see a pattern here. Are you aware that you seem to have a fixation on ass?

Posted by: Tripp on February 24, 2006 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Whose watch did all that occur on? Hey, Harry Truman. What a commie-symp wimp he was, huh

It occured on FDR watch not Harry's. FDR had his shorts stolen at Yalta. He gave Eastern Europe to Stalin and he knew it.

I did not include that ERA because it was the result of WWII and Hitler rather than a pre-determined strategy by Stalin to invade Europe. But if that's too find a point I'll stand corrected and revise more coment to the cold war era.

anyway you slice it, Jimmy was awful.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Reagan never talked to the terrorists.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...

Please stop. You've done enough damage to the Republican Party. As much as I would like you to continue, we still need the Republicans to serve as a bastion of semi-useful idiots.

I think we need another Cliff Clavin hit parade...

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 24, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

The starting point is China, India, USA, Japan, Australia and South Korea.

I know you like to pretend to know what you're talking about occasionally, but to anyone who actually lives in East Asia, it just makes you look like more of a doofus. The Asia-Pacific Partnership is a club the US invented to give itself a forum where it could look important in the region, because it was being increasingly ignored at the real forum, which is APEC. Australia is enthusiastic about it because it faces similar issues of potential exclusion and ganging-up, but everybody else attends basically out of politeness. The US isn't completely irrelevant yet, but China is kicking our asses - and as long as we insist on making the War on Terror our primary foreign relations goal, and on lecturing people we owe money to on how to behave, China will continue to kick our asses.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Now, here's a question addressed to everyone, and I'd like honest responses. It seems pretty clear that most of the trolls are being paid by some Republican organization to post here. My question is: what do they think they're accomplishing? When there are no trolls, we all bicker amongst ourselves and get mired in ever more abstruse arguments over strategy and principles. When there are trolls, we come together in a unanimous voice of progressive brotherhood and put aside our petty differences to build a common political language.

Aren't they supposed to be trying to divide and confuse us? Rather than unite and encourage us? Why is anyone paying them to do the latter? Are Republicans perhaps stupider than we thought?

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: I'd like to give you the benefit of the doubt, but I'm not sure what is more charitable: To think of you as actually believing what you are saying, or to think that you are being that dishonest.

Here's the question: Imagine an alternative universe in which a Democratic President allowed 9/11 to happen, turned projected surpluses into record deficits, became bogged down in an expensive war against a country that did not attack us, presided over an economy that loses 750,000 private sector jobs. In that hypothetical circumstance, would you consider him a successful President?

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on February 24, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Well, during Iran-Contra, the Reagan administration not only negotiated with terrorists, but actually supplied weapons to the major sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East. As anyone who knows anything about terorism will tell, this is a major no-no.

Posted by: Wombat on February 24, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

"Tax receipts surged last year "

Enron Accounting 101.

Treat extraordinary one time revenues as ordinary income from operations.

Tax receipts 'surged' because of that juicy little tax holiday for companies wishing to repatriate billions they'd stashed abroad at 5% tax rate.

Called it something Orwellian like "Jobs Creation Act". Many of the corporations used this windfall to repurchase their own stock and launch takeover bids. That this is directly forbidden under the terms of the repatriation is, somehow, never mentioned.

Next?

Posted by: CFShep on February 24, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

AfG,

"self-serving delusional mendacity"

Geez, I did not know that DHD was such a fan of "Big Daddy" and Tennessee Williams.

PR,

See that Cut and Run says that he is 58 and will serve if the military calls him. Hmmm, he was 18 in 66 and 20 at the time of Tet - Probably had hearing problems back then.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 24, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: We've cornered 50% of global GDP and almost as much population.

It will come as a shock to the citizens of those nations that they are now under the nominal control of the United States.

I suggest you go to some local blogs in those countries and let them know they are now under the heel of Bush's fascist boot.

You will be very popular!

In fact, you should then visit those nations and make your presence well known.

rdw: It's another brilliant tactical and strategic move by GWB . . .

Brilliant! Just like the ports deal fiasco, the WMDs fiasco, the body armor fiasco, the Road Map to Nowhere fiasco, the Harriet Miers fiasco, the Katrina fiasco, the Mission Accomplished fisaco, the war-will-pay-for-itself fisaco, the tax-cuts-will-pay-for-themselves fiasco, the terrorists-links fiasco, the Niger forgeries fiasco, the Powell lying to the UN fiasco, the sanctions-aren't-working fiasco, the Winnebago-WMD fiasco, the we-will-get-the-9/11-perpetrators fiasco, the social security reform fiasco, the prescription drug bill fiasco . . .

Brilliant!

It was 100% Jimmy's deal and 100% Jimmy's disgrace.

When caught in a fallacy, lie and lie big is rdw's standard response!

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

brooksfoe,

In order for "the big lie" to work you have to get the message out on every channel. Blogs are simply another communications channel for propaganda.

The public hears a single united right wing message on radio, TV, and printed in newspapers and blogs.

Any feeble attempt at rebuttal is confined to the blogs.

Posted by: Tripp on February 24, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

broooksfoe: Aren't they supposed to be trying to divide and confuse us? Rather than unite and encourage us? Why is anyone paying them to do the latter? Are Republicans perhaps stupider than we thought?

You know, I often wonder about that. Arguing with the trolls here has done wonders to sharpen my arguments against Bush with people I talk to in my daily life. Without them I wouldn't be nearly as engaged.

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

See that Cut and Run says that he is 58 and will serve if the military calls him. Hmmm, he was 18 in 66 and 20 at the time of Tet - Probably had hearing problems back then.

He probably had "other priorities" at the time. That, or a boil on his ass.

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK
moving the USA deciively away from Europe toward Asia.

Yes, we're becoming more like China and less like a Western democracy every day.

Some of us, of course, aren't too happy about that.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 24, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Well, at least they also provide comic relief - plus, we do not have to waste time at Pajama Media, Powerline, Tech Central, NRO and Malkin. They bring that swill here for our amusement.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 24, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Tripp, that's probably the right answer. But I still find it kind of silly, at the level they're practicing it here anyway. Maybe on the "Reagan-won-the-cold-war" issue and suchlike they hope to win through sheer exhaustion of the opposition, and then take such established myths as launching pads for ever greater lies...but who the hell is actually listening, here in the threads?

I'm more with Stefan - I find it useful target practice. And, more complexly: wouldn't it be more effective to plant more DLC-type voices and more raving Naderite provocateurs, to tug the discourse gradually in politically self-destructive directions? Don't you do better by targetting your message to the audience, planting dissent and plausible doubt? If you were going to try and destroy Red State, wouldn't you go in as a Chuck Hagel conservative, rather than a Barbara Waters liberal?

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: Yes, we're becoming more like China and less like a Western democracy every day. Some of us, of course, aren't too happy about that.

In rdw's alternate universe, however, there is nothing to fear because China is a virtual paradise of free market economics and democracy, ever since Reagan destroyed communism there and Bush's brilliant Asian strategy retroactively rewrote history!

And, of course, Jay will concur.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

That, or a boil on his ass.

Posted by: Stefan

Never underestimate the power of boils.

Bull Halsey's played a crucial role at Midway.

Halsey was confined, supine facedown, in HI. Otherwise, he'd have chased that decoy 'fleet' halfway to Anchorage.

Oh, wait. He did do that at Leyte Gulf.

Posted by: CFShep on February 24, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

brooksfoe,

Hey, they gotta give the junior league something to do while they wait their turn for the patronage jobs. When the college Republicans try to do anything in person everyone can see them for the aholes they are. Remember them selling 'affirmative action' cookies on campuses?

Blog comments are a perfect place for the ugly and obnoxious to practice barfing their talking points because no one can see them here.

They've got "a personality made for the internet."

Posted by: Tripp on February 24, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

"Bull Halsey"

Typhoons Two

Halsey Zero

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 24, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

It seems pretty clear that most of the trolls are being paid by some Republican organization to post here. My question is: what do they think they're accomplishing?

I'll weight in with a Pale Rider Good Citizen post of the day.

Stefan is correct that we use our troll bashing to sharpen our own arguments. This has the added benefit of getting a person ready to assert themselves in the face of lies, distortions and bullcrap. This is a good thing--one should not go through life merely accepting the spoonfed drivel they swallow. Mr. Wooten, the troll known as rdw/Cliff Clavin, is a genial sort of fellow who merely repeats what he has absorbed without analysis.

I seriously--seriously--doubt there are any paid trolls on this blog. I'm certain they exist. The troll you will see most often who I would submit to you all is a paid shill would be the TangoMan/Steve Sailer troll that only shows up when Mr. Drum makes the topic of race or intelligence a subject on this blog.

The 'Freeper' community does exist, and the person who posts as 'Hostile' is a type of freeper troll that uses a few tricks to take the discussion down a notch. The blogger 'General Jesus' had a real life incident with a 'freeper' style troll that is similar to the 'Hostile' character we see here. Mr. GJ had a Republican that he targeted for satire post on his blog as a so-called 'liberal' and make some outlandish comments, designed to make it look like the GJ site was hosting threats against the POTUS. Mr. GJ turned the information over to the Secret Service. Fortunately, 'Hostile' is really 'Harmless.'

Now, 'Pale Rider' is merely a character that I use to express my ideas and get the things that I have knowledge and experience about onto a forum where others can, hopefully, be entertained and add their own views. Sorry--can't blog, can't use my real name. Wish I could, but there it is.

The handle and e-mail address that I use is actually used by several people who I know and have given it over to--one of them being Mrs. Pale Rider, who hates blogs but gets mad enough occasionally to post. The 'Pale Rider' handle is sort of a collective effort now, when it really just started out with me posting on this blog and this blog alone. I picked the name by looking up at TV that night.

Windhorse correctly identified me as a 'berserker,' or someone who goes nuts and kills friend and foe alike (in simplified terms) and I really had to modify some things and try not to do that. So much.

We are a stronger and more vibrant community when we cooperate but call each other on various pieces of bullcrap. I have tangled with several people who I would normally be in complete agreement with, most notably the brilliant cmdicely, but I did so in a way that was entirely wrong on my part and I ended up apologizing to cmdicely for my actions. Why did I do that? Well, because I was wrong and cmdicely was right.

So, if you want to know why we are better at turning on each other sometimes than we are on the trolls, well--just look at how pathetic the trolls are. Those of us on the left are a bit more formidable as challenges. If you don't believe me, challenge a regular poster to a pissing match.

As for me, the whole 'Pale Rider' character has sort of run its course. I think it's time for me to reveal who I really am...

Who I really am is...

...Carrot Top!

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 24, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

The recent videos from both bin Laden and al-Zawahiri look professionally made. They do not have the camping out look of videos past. I think they are using the A/V facilities at the Carlyle Group offices in Luxembourg, which would explain why they have not been found in Pakistan.

Posted by: Hostile on February 24, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, speak of the Devil.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 24, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Another apt reference might be to the classic moment in "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" where the hero convinces all the medieval Britons that he's a magician more powerful than Merlin by trumpeting his ability to hide the sun - knowing, of course, that an eclipse is on the way.

Brooksfoe -- great analogy.

Posted by: Windhorse on February 24, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting, Pale Rider. You seem to have some IT skills that let you get a better picture of who's posting what, and where they're coming from?

Can you give me any more details on why you don't think the trolls are getting paid? One of the things that's gradually convinced me this may be true is that any time one asks them directly "how much are you getting paid," they don't answer. As though there might be something a bit uncomfortable about stating a direct falsehood in response to such a real-world, personal question.

I mean, I don't think McA gets paid - he's too weird and unpredictable. But some of these guys...rdw and Jay for example...I dunno.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, we're becoming more like China and less like a Western democracy every day.

You have it reversed. China is now a capitalist economy with a communist power structure. They are becoming more Western. Granted they have far to go but there's no denying they've come far since 1979.

The US shift was necessary and predictable and follow by a decade the shift of US Multi-nationals. It was always inevitable that as Europe became more socialist and Asia less socialist that American interests would shift.

Following the old adage, "Nations have permanent interests, not permanent friends", the move to improve ties with Japan, Australia, India, Pakistan, etc., while at the same time reducing ties with Old Europe is rather obvious.

We've watched for a decade as the economies of Old Europe have grown more rigid, bureaucratic and demonstrably weaker and at the same time their welfare state demands grow and demographic time bomb become even more serious. Why continue paying for their defesne?

At the same time Asia is deregulating and opening up. Intel annonced yesterday the construction of a plant in Vietnam and not in France for a reason. India is the worlds largest democracy and largely English speaking. We're long overdue for closer relations.

None of this is rocket science. There is simply no reason to pay for Europes security. We are more often competitors and have a very different ideology.

We will not be best friends with Asia tomorrow but we both know it's far better to be friends than enemies. The transition is well on it's way.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Hostile: The recent videos from both bin Laden and al-Zawahiri look professionally made. They do not have the camping out look of videos past. I think they are using the A/V facilities at the Carlyle Group offices in Luxembourg, which would explain why they have not been found in Pakistan.

You sure it is Faux News studios?

After all, that media outlet supports Bush and Bush would love for the terrorists to continue their reign of terror, since the trumped up "GWOT" is the only reason he and the GOP have any support at all in this country right now.

I'm sure the GOP views terrorism as a gift from God that allows them to practice the use of fear and hatred that they so love as a source for obtaining and maintaining power which they can then use under the guise of combatting terrorism to undermine governmental policies and civil rights that they've never approved of.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Hey! Hostile forces spotted.

But what is he getting at here? Is he pretending to be a Michael Moore conspiracy theory progressive?

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

This is not incompetence. They knew what they were trying to do.

This is acting on ideology, not on evidence - a common Right Wing Lemming characteristic.

Posted by: GK on February 24, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Here are a few related items that are not a consequence of Bush incompetence:

1. the overall disorder in Pakistan, which has never been ruled well since the partition;

2. the related (most likely) buildup of the Taliban in the autonomous tribal regions;

3. the militant resurgence of Islamists in NW Maylasia and Southern Thailand;

4. the increase in Islamist-initiated violence in Australia;

5. the military attacks against the Southern Sudanese and Western Sudanese byt the Islamic Sudanese government and its militia-like appendages;

6. the continuing conquest of Nigeria by the Islamists;

7. the electoral success and threat to Indonesian stability of the JI-related parties (they gained about 25% of the vote in the last election);

8. ongoing sectarian violence in the Balkans;

9. Islamist-initiated violence in France, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Belgium.


The Iraq war is in doubt, but Bush has had some successes; the nuclear treaty with Libya and the discovery of the A. Q. Khan network; driving the Taleban out of Afghanistan; three elections in Iraq and the peaceful repatriation of the Kurds; the partial removal of Syrian influence in Syria.

It has to be recognized that the violent surge of Islamism antedated both Clinton and Bush, is international, and has its own initiators. Better policies (if we knew what they were) might produce better results, but the surge of Islamism (which is not universally supported in the Moslem world, as illustrated by many facts such as the 25% vote for JI in Indonesia) has its own inspirations and energies.

al Qaeda is involved everywhere, but the motives and energies (so to speak) are much larger than al Qaeda. It is said that the US created its problem by backing the Moslems against the Soviets in Afghanistan. However, most Moslems in Afghanistan back the government (or their local representatives to the government), not al Qaeda. In the war against the Soviets, the most effective fighters were the precursors of what came later to be called the "Northern Alliance", allied against the Taliban. In the war against the Soviets, the al Qaeda were mostly "come latelies" who exaggerated their role.

Blaming everything on Bush incompetence exaggerates not just Bush incompetence, it exaggerates American influence generally and gives too little credit to the autonomous forces of the Moslems.

Posted by: republicrat on February 24, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

al Qaeda is involved everywhere, but the motives and energies (so to speak) are much larger than al Qaeda.

Right, and that simple fact alone should cause people to wonder why the Bush Administration wants to hand over operations at six US ports to a country that has extensive connections to the al Qaeda network.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 24, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

You seem to have some IT skills that let you get a better picture of who's posting what, and where they're coming from?

I have none. Just analysis.

I could also very well be wrong, but my guess is that a paid troll simply wouldn't be a stupid as your garden variety WM troll.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 24, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Who I really am is...Carrot Top!

Carrot Top? No way! Wow, I loved your work in...in...

No, I didn't.

Quit your day job, stick to blogging, get a haircut.


Posted by: Windhorse on February 24, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider enjoys hurting my feelings because I do not venerate people serving in the military. I blame the people in the military for serving Bush and other warmongers and Pale Rider has difficulty accepting my feelings about this and lashes out at me now without provocation.

When I plead for asking victims of US aggression forgiveness or giving Iran US nuclear arms to protect itself and enhance the prospects for peace, rather than escalating aggression with confrontatioin and prohibition, Pale Rider is unable to recognize my sincerety and assumes I am deliberately taking an extreme radical liberal position in order to make the opposite fascist extreme position of the neo-cons more palatable. Pale Rider is wrong about me and I resent his junior high informal group leader bullying tactics.

Here is another one for you bully boy: The US should invite Iran to enter Iraq to help with the occupation and transition to limited democracy. If we really wanted peace for the poor people of Iraq, this is probably the only way to stop the civil war there and bring about political stability.

Sincerely,

H

Posted by: Hostile on February 24, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, yeah. Never built. Never close to being built. Never a factor.

The key factor. We have their records and notes. Gorby and the Generals were quite focused on it.

I'd be interested to know if when Jacques called Bush last week he mentioned the defense system. Just a guess but when the President of Iran laughingly pointed out his missles can reach anywhere in Europe Jacques may have changed him mind on the value of a missle defesne system.

He can change his mind all he wishes. He's not getting it. We are deploying it and of course Israel has access to it. If I remember correctly the Dems have been trying to eliminate the $30B budget for it each year for the last 5. They've been unsuccessful for the last 5 years as they will be for the next 11 years thru McCains term.

It does seem Harper will allow our new radar on Canadian territory. Which means if some fool does launch and it gos off course toward Alberta we'll take it down.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider is wrong about me and I resent his junior high informal group leader bullying tactics.

Huh? When did I become the leader of anything? I'm merely a third-rate prop comic with big arms.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 24, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Two thoughts:

1. When Roosevelt said We have nothing to fear but fear itself, he could not have seen how this grand truth would apply to the Bush presidency and the downfall of America in 2006.

We, as a country, have no one to blame for the depredations of Bush but ourselves. Our fear of terrorist attack was used by Bush very meanly, of course. He actually reversed Roosevelt (You have everything to fear and only we can keep you safe.), but any country that turns its brains over to the leader because of its fear deserves what it gets.

2. The competency issue: In one of the great irrational events of history, we voted for the party that says it hates government to run the government. Would you hire a CEO that says he hates your company to run it? The foibles of Americans lie exposed by the Bush crowd. Perhaps we will learn some valuable lessons, but in the process we have paid a terrible price.

Posted by: James of DC on February 24, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: China is now a capitalist economy with a communist power structure.

I guess this means rdw is admitting he lied when he said Reagan destroyed communism everywhere in the world and that China is no longer a communist nation.

rdw's shift was necessary and predictable, since a 10-minute internet search was all that was necessary to prove him a liar.

Don't you just hate it when that happens.

None of this is rocket science.

Which of course is the standard tack of faith-based elitists who think that their belief equals truth, regardless of the facts and that all issues are really not complicated at all, since all the answers pre-exist, at least for those conservative elitists willing to dispense with thought and fact and rely on faith.

Intel annonced yesterday the construction of a plant in Vietnam and not in France for a reason.

. . . and also not in Germany, or Pakistan, or India, or the Sudan, or Saudi Arabia, or Russia, or Mexico, or Costa Rica, or Guam or the Phillipines, or Australia, or Indonesia, or China, or Japan, or Singapore, or Taiwan, or Thailand for a reason . . .

rdw's obsessive hatred for all things French rears its ugly head yet again . . .

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

you fools deserve everything that's coming

Posted by: Brooklynite on February 24, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Are Republicans perhaps stupider than we thought?

You nailed it perfectly. The converse is equally true. Democrats are smarter than everyone knows. How else can they get up to 44 Senators and 202 Congressmen without being brilliant! Quite obviously that requires suerior intelligence.

Tell me you did not see that insightful questioning of both Roberts and Alito. Did Bush really think he's get those two past the sharp eyes and swift tongues on the judiciary commitee? No one is THAT stupid!!

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Incompetent as a magician who drops a quarter during a trick and picks your wallet.

Stacked SC
record high corp profits
Roe on its way out
Liberal as a bad word
dem soft on NS and terror
Medicare bill favoring drug cos
House and Senate doing his bidding (no vetos)
Avenging his father in Iraq
Enriching def contractors
Firing up the religious far right
Anti gay
Neuturing the UN
Dividing and conquoring the country through fear

I call that pretty damned successful. So while we dems piss and piddle about the details of this or that, the GOP has bent the country over and had its way with us.

Ports...quack, quack, quack...Iraq...quack, quack, quack....Katrina....quack, quack, quack...Cheney...quack, quack, quack...Plame, Medicare, WMD....and on and on.

Posted by: the fake Fake Al on February 24, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

I will go back to my original question: what makes you think that Cheney, Rumsfeld, or their clan are in any way unhappy with what is happening in Iraq or the world in general as a result of their actions?

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 24, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Blaming everything on Bush incompetence exaggerates not just Bush incompetence, it exaggerates American influence generally and gives too little credit to the autonomous forces of the Moslems.

Nobody seriousy blames "everything" on Bush incompetence - though when you have a really bad regime in power, it becomes possible to find a Clinkage to regime malfeasance or incompetence in virtually every disaster, since the regime is probably either causing the problem or mishandling it.

But the American electorate has a limited ability to influence "the violent surge of Islamism" as a whole. (This itself is something which Bush Republicans refuse to recognize.) We do, however, have a fair amount of influence on the conduct of our own government. So we concentrate our energies on examining its performance, and pay somewhat less attention to things over which we have no control.

That said, some of your points are off the mark.

3. Islamist violence in southern Thailand owes a great deal to the thoroughly Bush-like response of the Thaksin government. Thaksin, like Bush (and Berlusconi), is a hugely wealthy right-wing clan scion and CEO who, like Bush, was elected as a "compassionate conservative", has since largely dropped the "compassionate" part, and has responded to Muslim terrorism with an inept combination of massive and indiscriminate force, and laughably ineffective PR stunts. So I think one can blame this one on the worldwide Bush-arian phenomenon, at least.

4. The recent violence in Australia was instigated by white hooligans, not by Muslims. Muslims were largely victims.

6. Nigeria is not being "taken over" by Muslims; it is if anything being taken over by Christians. Evangelical Christians are doing far, far better at proselytizing there than Muslims are, and radical Sharia-rule Islamism in northern Nigeria is far from modern - it dates to the 19th century. Northern Nigeria and Saudi Arabia are the longest-standing Islamist zones in the world.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

rdw's obsessive hatred for all things French rears its ugly head yet again

It's not obsessive. It's just consistent. It's not France per se but rather liberalism. France is the most vocal supporter of liberalism and that makes them the best target.

They do have facilitites in Indonesia as well as multiple plants in China and India inluding R&D operations. Intel gets near 60% of it's sales form Asia and has been expanding accordingly. They are also ni low-tax Ireland and Israel as well as Japan and other nations.

The fact Intel gets 60% of it's sales from Asia tells you everything you need to know about GWB's options. The fact they are in low tax Ireland tell you everything you need to know about Europe.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

republicrat: The Iraq war is in doubt, but Bush has had some successes; the nuclear treaty with Libya and the discovery of the A. Q. Khan network; driving the Taleban out of Afghanistan; three elections in Iraq and the peaceful repatriation of the Kurds; the partial removal of Syrian influence in Syria.

The "nuclear treaty" with Libya is an irrelevancy, since Libya abandoned its weapons programs long before Bush invaded Iraq or even looked beyond tax cuts on any foreign policy issue.

The Taliban is still in Afghanistan, so it's not clear what in the world you are talking about.

I'm also unclear how the Syrians' influence has been removed from their own country, but presumably you meant from Lebanon, something which Bush had nothing to do with.

rdw: The key factor.

Saying it over and over, no matter how hard you clap, just won't make it true, rdw.

The "records and notes" do not prove what you are asserting.

But, then, you probably don't even understand what you are asserting anyway.

rdw: Which means if some fool does launch and it gos off course toward Alberta we'll take it down.

Hard to do with a system not yet deployed and maybe never will be.

And btw, radars can spot an incoming missle, but they can't take it out . . . they are sensing systems, not action systems.

You really do have a problem distinguishing between action and non-action terms and concepts.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Feh. Even the Cato Institute gets it.

And, once again, I see rdw is using big words he doesn't understand, like "liberalism."
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on February 24, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

The handle and e-mail address that I use is actually used by several people who I know and have given it over to--one of them being Mrs. Pale Rider, who hates blogs but gets mad enough occasionally to post. The 'Pale Rider' handle is sort of a collective effort now, when it really just started out with me posting on this blog and this blog alone.

That's somewhat creepy. In fact, it's extremely creepy, unless you and the other people posting as you have identical personalities and thoughts. If not, it's a game for you guys and the joke's on us.

Posted by: shortstop on February 24, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

France also has the number one retailer in China: Carrefour.

But that's impossible, because they're socialists and liberals who don't know how to turn a profit. So it must not be true.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

And btw, radars can spot an incoming missle, but they can't take it out . . . they are sensing systems, not action systems.

These are next generation radars with advanced detection cabilities well above anything available to the rest of the world made possible by and designed for missle defense system which we continue to invest in and develop.

The Iranians can and will threaten France and will undoubtedly be successful. French military capabilities have not moved far out of the 80's. The US Defense Dept spends more on R&D than France spends on total defense and R&D.

The EU was unable to effect Milosovich in anyway. They are just as helpless againt Iran

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: How else can they get up to 44 Senators and 202 Congressmen without being brilliant! Quite obviously that requires suerior intelligence.

Then Hitler and Saddam must have been the most brilliant of men, since they had total control over their governments.

I think we can agree then by your own theory Hitler and Saddam were both smarter than Bush and the GOP.

And we can throw in Stalin and Lenin as smarter than Bush and the GOP also, since they were able to obtain far greater political control over their countries than Bush and the GOP have been able to obtain in America.

I'm glad we can agree on this.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Then Hitler and Saddam must have been the most brilliant of men, since they had total control over their governments.

You are a moron. I agree Democrats are feckless but this is hardly a dictatorship.

As dumb as GWB might be, he's not as dumb as you.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Corporate control of critical infrastructure is a marginal idea, at best.

Considering how much critical infrastructure is and has been for centuries under corporate control yet run very well, that statement is bizarre. Right now, as during WWII, all of Americas civilian and military aircraft factories were under corporate control. During the Civil War and WWII, the entire railway network was under corporate control, and worked well in both cases. That's just a tiny sample of examples.

Not everything is under corporate control all the time (roadways, for example), but over long time spans corporate control of infrastructure generally outperforms government control.

The port issue seems to combine knee-jerk Bush-bashing with knee-jerk anti-Arabism and knee-jerk Islamophobia. Perhaps it has highlighted the need for increased port security, but in the end the deal will go through.

Posted by: republicrat on February 24, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: France is the most vocal supporter of liberalism and that makes them the best target.

This isn't any more true than any of your other assertions, again par for the course.

And clearly you don't understand the meaning of the term "obsessive" so I suggest you look it up.

Misunderstanding the difference in the concepts of "consistency" versus "obsessiveness" seems to be another obvious example of your pattern of miscomprehension of basic English terminology.

These are next generation radars with advanced detection cabilities well above anything available to the rest of the world made possible by and designed for missle defense system which we continue to invest in and develop.

No matter how advance a radar is, it still can't shoot down a missle.

Radar detects things; it does not destroy things.

Just like predicting something's demise is not causing that demise.

Really, take a course in the meaning of English words.

It will really help your thought processes, along with taking some meds to combat the delusions you suffer from.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: As dumb as GWB might be, he's not as dumb as you.

Brilliant argument!

Once again, slowly so you will understand, you proposed that "intelligence" and "brilliance" are reflected in one's success in gaining political power.

You established the theory you wanted to work under.

You now object to applying your own theory!

Now, how moronic is that?

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: I agree Democrats are feckless but this is hardly a dictatorship.

Neither was Germany when Hitler took power.

But then I forget that you are devoid of any actual real knowledge of history, relying on the historical revisionism found on American militia web sites and the NRO.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

over long time spans corporate control of infrastructure generally outperforms government control.

This is crap, and don't think you can slip it in unnoticed. Corporate control of infrastructure works fine in those sectors in which it works fine, and fails utterly in those sectors in which it fails utterly. There are no corporate-owned international airports in the U.S. (or the world, as far as I'm aware). Municipal water systems in the US remain publicly owned, thank God; no for-profit company controls our taps like they do in Bolivia and other benighted places. (Hey, successful French corporation alert: Vivendi! Just a shout out to my peep rdw.)

The reason the US has crap intercity passenger RR service is that we keep trying to make Amtrak into a private corporation instead of doing it as a state effort like every successful passenger RR in the world (France, Germany, Netherlands) - and unlike countries which stupidly try to privatize and deregulate passenger trains (UK, and, briefly, the Netherlands, until massive delays and maintenance problems forced the government to step back in and make the trains run on time again).

Finally, there are no private highways in the US because the only places that need private highways (via build-operate-transfer deals) are countries that lack the capital to build them on their own. Though the way things are going, maybe soon that'll be us.

Oh, and privatizing security to civilian contractors sure is working great in Iraq, huh? But I guess that's not "infrastructure".

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

You know, neither Iran nor N Korea is ever going to launch an ICBM at the US. But if they did, after it got through that pointless $10 billion cheesecloth up in Alaska that Bush calls a "missile defense system" and wiped out Seattle, he'd be on the TV in minutes saying it was the Democrats' fault for having opposed the missile defense system that didn't work.

Even though they didn't actually oppose it.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

The "nuclear treaty" with Libya is an irrelevancy, since Libya abandoned its weapons programs long before Bush invaded Iraq or even looked beyond tax cuts on any foreign policy issue.

Not so. Libya gave the US its entire supply of uranium enriching equipment, and shared information that helped lead to the discovery of the AQKhan network.

The recent violence in Australia was instigated by white hooligans, not by Muslims. Muslims were largely victims. There has been an ongoing increase of violence by Moslems against others in Australia, and the recent white-led violence was a retaliation. (I don't claim it was justified retaliation.)

A similar comment applies to Nigeria. Recent counterattacks by Christians against Moslems have been quite dramatic, but overall the Moslems of the north are expanding their influence and imposing sharia law as they do so.

Exactly how much encouragement Rafik Hariri and his supporters received from the American and French pressure on Syria isn't known. He's dead and they value their autonomy. And American pressure is not entirely the result of Bush administration leadership in Congress; some was initiated by Congress. But on the whole I think the Bush administration deserves a little credit for reducing Syrian influence in Lebanon (thanks for the correction.) Discussion exaggerates everything; on a scale that goes from -10 (very bad) to +10 (very good), I give Bush a 1 or 2 in Lebanon. Those places all have their own politics, and no American administration can have a large influence.

The quotes that I was responding to blamed Bush incompetence for almost everything wrong. But Clinton probably made our relations with Pakistan slightly worse, and Bush has made them slightly better. Almost everything about Pakistan is beyond our ability to control, for good or ill.

The Taliban is still in Afghanistan, so it's not clear what in the world you are talking about.

The Taliban is in the autonomous tribal areas of Pakistan, and launches raids into Afghanistan. Most of the time, they suffer greater casualties on these raids than they inflict.

Posted by: republicrat on February 24, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

"invite Iran into Iraq to help with the occupation"

Gentlemen, the Iranians have won the coin toss. The Sunnis will be defending the west goal - The Iranians and Shiites will kick off from the east and descend en masse and wreak havoc upon the Sunnis. Remember Gentlemen, this is a sudden death affair. First side to annihilate the other wins. Winner will face the U.S. in the Armageddon Bowl.

Posted by: stupid git on February 24, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

"The US Defense Dept spends more on R&D than France spends on total defense and R&D."

And that's we're totally going to beat them in the High Tech Helicopter Olympics in 2012.

Take that, you dirty Franches.

Posted by: Super Grover on February 24, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

after it got through that pointless $10 billion cheesecloth up in Alaska that Bush calls a "missile defense system" and wiped out Seattle, he'd be on the TV in minutes saying it was the Democrats' fault for having opposed the missile defense system that didn't work.

We wish it was only $10B.

Right now Iran and N. Korea are run by whackjobs. Predictibility simply isn't possible. I feel much better about that missle system for two reasons. It might save Seattle. If it doesn't, I don't live in Seattle.

It's rather ironic but any missle launches will be by definition directed at blue targets. Liberalism is an urban religion. If N Korea were to launch missles and they took out LA, SF, Seattle and NY I would be devastated. But not blind to the silver lining.

I'm not certain they system we place up in Alaska recently is 100% effective. But this being America I know it's better than anything we had 5 years ago and will be better yet in another 5 years.

I also know this: After Irans comments the French would not mind having a missle defense system.

How odd is it that their only protection from the external threat of radical islam is the internal threat of radical islam. Would Iran take out the multitude of muslims in Paris?

That's why I think the Iranina threat is overstated aside from the question of sanity. Mo sane iranian would launch missles against israel.

1.) Israel has hardened sites and would strike back turning all of Iran into a parking lot. They'd probably also take out mecca and the next 165 most imortant shrines of islam.

2.) Iran is just as likely to strike Turkey or Jordan and kill many, many more muslims than jews AND get wiped out.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

A similar comment applies to Nigeria. Recent counterattacks by Christians against Moslems have been quite dramatic, but overall the Moslems of the north are expanding their influence and imposing sharia law as they do so.

This is just plain, flat-out wrong, and you have obviously never been to Nigeria, or read much about its history. Sharia was in force in Kano and the north of Nigeria from the early 19th century until decolonization in 1960 (it was the law of the land under the British). Muslims held political hegemony in Nigeria from independence until the late 1990s due to their dominance of the military. The failed Biafran secession movement in 1968 was largely an attempt to escape Muslim control. With the return to democracy in the late 1990s, Nigeria elected a Christian president for the first time. This put Muslims on the defensive. At the same time, the move to democracy opened up political space for a return to sharia, a move which has added political appeal in a country wracked by corruption. But the advent of sharia law in states which were already Muslim should not be read as an expansion of Muslim influence, any more than increasingly radical Mormon trends in Utah would be a sign of increasing Mormon influence in the US.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has witnessed an explosion of evangelical and authochthonous megachurches in the urban south; Christianity, viewed as a religion of wealth and cosmopolitanism, is spreading irresistably, and anyone who's been to sub-Saharan Africa in the past 10 years can tell you that it is Christianity, not Islam, that is on the march.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

republicrat: the partial removal of Syrian influence in Syria.

I've long felt that Syria had far too much influence in Syria, myself.

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

And that's we're totally going to beat them in the High Tech Helicopter Olympics in 2012

And they c/b in France. Except Jacques lost the Olympics for France to London. Jacques has not had a good time of it. His polls are at 20% for a reason.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

I guess this means rdw is admitting he lied when he said Reagan destroyed communism everywhere in the world and that China is no longer a communist nation. rdw's shift was necessary and predictable, since a 10-minute internet search was all that was necessary to prove him a liar.

Yeah, I gutted him with that a few days ago when I pointed out (after a one minute Internet search, no less) that the CIA Factbook defines China as a Communist state ruled by the Communist Party of China. Since I posted that correction he's flip-flopped and has backed off on his delusion.

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

How odd is it that their only protection from the external threat of radical islam is the internal threat of radical islam.

Why do you think the French nuclear deterrent is less valid than the Israeli one? The French have a freaking nuclear ballistic missile submarine. Oh, but what about those sophisticated Iranian ASW capabilities? Not.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

republicrat: Not so. Libya gave the US its entire supply of uranium enriching equipment . . .

What is known, ElBaradei said, is that the Libyans "tried to develop an enrichment capability," for uranium, apparently as part of a nascent weapons program that was later abandoned.

Giving up technology you aren't using, because you've abandoned the program it is used for, and had no intention of using amounts to diddly-squat.

The Taliban is in the autonomous tribal areas of Pakistan . . .

So, all of the Taliban are in Pakistan.

There are none at all in Afghanistan at all, despite the fact that Taliban-led attacks are occurring far inside Afghanistan, far from the border with Pakistan - they magically fly to those areas and fly back on Pakistani carpets between attacks, eh?

You are welcome to whatever delusions helps you sleep at night.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

When Cliff Clavin goes on and on about France's inability to defend itself, he does know that France, like Britain, is a nuclear power, doesn't he? Or is this something he just chooses not to believe in in order to construct his little fantasy world?

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

All this discussion of Star Wars missle defense is just ignorant:

1. There is no missle defense system. None. The tests have been failures, and nothing that works is in place.

2. The nuclear risk to the US is not missles from Iran or from N. Korea. Neither country has a warhead that can strike the US. The risk is a nuclear explosive in a shipping container that is smuggled into a major port. No amount of Star Wars will have any effect on that.

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

The risk is a nuclear explosive in a shipping container that is smuggled into a major port. No amount of Star Wars will have any effect on that.

You forget, Joel, that the Republicans are now outsourcing port protection to our good friends the United Arab Emirates to address just that problem.

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Joel: The nuclear risk to the US is not missles from Iran or from N. Korea.

But, but Bush said countries like Iraq with absolutely no nuclear capability could deliver a nuclear device by missle to the US, so surely Iran and N. Korea could do so too!

Do you mean Bush was lying?

I'm shocked and disappointed in him.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

So what do we think would be the political effect of a major terrorist attack in the US in the next few months? Would it prove the "incompetence" line and swing independents towards the Dems, or would it just prove that "the terrists really are out to git us" and send everybody rushing back to Doc Bush for some more of that same old snake oil?

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Why do you think the French nuclear deterrent is less valid than the Israeli one? The French have a freaking nuclear ballistic missile submarine. Oh, but what about those sophisticated Iranian ASW capabilities? Not.

The difference is not technology but temperment. France is a 'soft power' power. Israel is a 'hard power' power. France has a long history of selling out to bribery, of appeasment and of capitulation. Iran knows with 100% certainty what happens if they attack Israel. There's no doubt, no bargining.

I don't think they'll attack France. I think they want to toy with France. They will in fact threaten France as they've already done and if need be they will do it again.

They will not directly threaten Israel. Current comments are directed to the EU not Israel. There is a point where if Israel perceives a real threat they will eliminate Iran 1st. They will not stop at suspected reactor sights. They will take out the entire leadership. We know this. They know this.

Israel has established itself by it's actions. France has established itself by it's actions. There could not be two states with more different characteristics. France could have 8,000 subs. They're still France.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

The difference is not technology but temperment. France is a 'soft power' power.

That might come as a surprise to the Algerians, or the many African countries in which France maintains forces and intervenes militarily from time to time. Cliff Clavin's wild-eyed rantings aside, the truth is that France is one of the more hard-headed of the European powers, and has never been afraid to throw a little muscle around in the Third World. It maintains its nuclear force de frappe for the express purpose of making itself independent from the US nuclear shield, and has established clearly that it will respond to any provocation.

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I gutted him with that a few days ago when I pointed out (after a one minute Internet search, no less) that the CIA Factbook defines China as a Communist state ruled by the Communist Party of China. Since I posted that correction he's flip-flopped and has backed off on his delusion.

You did not such thing. Reagans record is unambigious. He defeated Communism. It's gone in 90% of the states it existed in 1988 and only exists in a few failed states. China is booming because it abandoned communism as an economic system but it's leadership holds on to power, for now.

The most amazing fact is he defeated communism without firing a shot BECAUSE they knew competing against Star Wars was impossible.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

"rdw: The USA was held hostage for 444 days because the man was so pathetic."

No, the hostages were held for 444 days because Poppy Bush went over there and promised them arms if they would hold the hostages until Reagan was sworn in. Proof is both that they DID sell them arms and that the hostages were released, for no other apparent reason, the day Reagan was inaugurated.

Back to the original post, I agree with URK. The incompentance of the BushCo administration extends to the formation of policy. The idea that an invading army can impose a lasting democracy at the end of a gun, without completely destroying a country first and occupying it for many years, is ridiculous on its face.

Posted by: Cal Gal on February 24, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

"Reagan destroyed communism. Like it or not. disagree or not. It does not matter. It's become accepted and established fact and the primary reason he's ranked among the top 10 Presidents.
Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006"

Way to go, rdw, you exceeded your previous record within the same topic. This one is the stupidest post in the history of Political Animal.

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 24, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

"Reagans record is unambigious. He defeated Communism."

Poor Boris Yeltsin--all he did was risk his fucking neck and look at the credit he doesn't get for it.

Posted by: 7th Son on February 24, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: France is a 'soft power' power.

France's power is not nearly as soft as your head!

BECAUSE they knew competing against Star Wars was impossible.

You can't compete against something that doesn't exist and never will.

Reagans record is unambigious.

I'm sure to an idiot faith-based zealot like you this appears to be true - but we can both agree that reality is much different than the delusions you inhabit.


Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

That might come as a surprise to the Algerians,

It would not be a suprise to either the Algerians or the Vietnamese who kicked the crap out of the French. Those two states were easy to colonize as was most of the world in the 18th Century. 21st Century France, especially post WWI France, can't even colonize their islamic suburbs.

A nuclear powered Iran with 80M people is far different than Algeria or Vietnam. So is the level of contempt the Arabs have for the EU.

You are not getting it. WE ARE NO LONGER PROTECTING THEM. This is not a secret. Saddam paid for and bought France and Germany. We know what they are. It's a matter of price.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Poor Boris Yeltsin--all he did was risk his fucking neck and look at the credit he doesn't get for it.


You have to be sober to get credit.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

There could not be two states with more different characteristics.

Well, except for cozying up to pliable African dictators and selling them arms. And launching the occasional surprise attack on Egypt. And fighting protracted and bloody counterinsurgency wars to retain colonies everyone knows you're going to have to give up eventually. And having a soft spot for Lebanese Christians. And having a socialist orientation towards labor policy, and lots of public housing for dark-skinned new immigrants, and a parliamentary system with a directly elected president, and socialized health care. And olives, goat cheese, and talking with your hands.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

You have to be sober to get credit.

Well, there go George DWI Bush's and Dick "I only hadsh jush one liddle beer, offishuh" Cheney's chances....

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: The most amazing fact is . . .

No, the most amazing fact is that you cling to your delusions about Reagan's grandeur despite overwhelming proof to the contrary, even citing to a bogus top-10 ranking, shamelessly blaming Carter for Reagan's negotiations with the Iranian terrorists.

But your obsessive hatred of France, Carter, and every other thing that challenges your delusions gets in the way of your dealings with reality, just like your fellow psychotics in the mental institution you are posting from.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Rightwing DickWad (who actually answers to that name, so pathetic is his need for attention) is merely an illiterate pathlogicial liar who spends his days scrawling "Mrs. Rightwing DickWad Bush" on his notebooks and rewriting history, like Stalin, in his stupifyingly inaccurate posts. Does Rightwing DickWad feverishly dream that his inamorata, Dubya, will read his comments and one day sweep him off his club feet? Isn't closeted Republican troll love a beautiful thing?

Posted by: solar on February 24, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

or the Vietnamese who kicked the crap out of the French.

That would be shortly before they kicked the crap out of us.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

brooksfoe: Well, except for cozying up to pliable African dictators and selling them arms. And launching the occasional surprise attack on Egypt. And fighting protracted and bloody counterinsurgency wars to retain colonies everyone knows you're going to have to give up eventually. And having a soft spot for Lebanese Christians. And having a socialist orientation towards labor policy, and lots of public housing for dark-skinned new immigrants, and a parliamentary system with a directly elected president, and socialized health care. And olives, goat cheese, and talking with your hands.

I bow to the new master.

That would be shortly before they kicked the crap out of us.

I bow again.

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you, Stefan. How charming. I am a fan of your posts as well.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: . . . the Vietnamese who kicked the crap out of the French.

And the US.

And a fire-breathing, blustering conservative president, Nixon.

nuclear powered Iran with 80M people is far different than Algeria or Vietnam.

I didn't realize it took so many people to launch a nuclear missle.

Now, if we'd just reduced Saddam's population to below 80M people through a bombing campaign, we wouldn't have had to invade!

Saddam paid for and bought France and Germany.

Funny, he bought and paid for the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations first, so I guess France and Germany would be in good company, if indeed Saddam had bought and paid for them, instead of that simply being another lie or delusion created in your fevered and bigoted brain.

You have to be sober to get credit.

You also have to be sane, which is why you get so little credit here.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

It is a seriously screwed up world when Bush is elected, allows us to be attacked on 9/11 and nobody, I mean nobody, holds him responsible; they even re-elect the fool despite failing at everything he does and lying through his (the administration's other officials too) teeth continuously and then nobody seems to think the election was dubious.

I'd like there to be a great day of reckoning and karmic retribution, but unfortunately there are a lot of innocents who'd be swept up in that tsunami.

Posted by: MarkH on February 24, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

France is involved militarily in Algiers and other African nations? That's impressive. Tell me are they using a pea shooter or just spit wads in those endeavors?

The minority faction of the minority party sure do have their feathers ruffled today. Could it be that the "civil war" in Iraq they were all hoping for is not materializing, or could it be that they are soon to realize how hypocritical they have been on the UAE issue? Going against their own mantra of "we need to build Arab allies" not too alienate them. It would appear that this "building allies" mantra comes with some conditions, imagine that. Expectations from the left, who would have thunk it!

Posted by: Jay on February 24, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan and brooksfoe, be careful with the platitudes, your compatriots will start with the sexual innuendos. They just can't seem to restrain themselves. Obssessed, maybe or just possessed. I will go with the latter.

Posted by: Jay on February 24, 2006 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

brooksfoe: That would be shortly before they kicked the crap out of us.

You beat me to it and far more elegantly.

Kudos.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Jay: Tell me are they using a pea shooter or just spit wads in those endeavors?

Well, I'm sure their pea shooter is bigger than Bush's wee one.

Tell me, what is Bush using in the Sudan? or North Korea?

Hmmmmm . . . that would be: nothing, not even a spit wad.

And how effectively did he and is he using our fighting forces in the so-called "GWOT"?

More incompetently even than what the Right claim Clinton and Carter were.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Jay: Going against their own mantra of "we need to build Arab allies" not too alienate them. It would appear that this "building allies" mantra comes with some conditions, imagine that.

It would appear that "building allies" comes with no conditions, not even the condition that the ally not support our enemies.

But that's par for the course for a political philosophy and party that allied itself with the rapers and murderers of nuns, Saddam, Noriega, Pinochet, Rios Montt, the Shah, the Taliban (and by extension Al Queda), Putin, the Saudis and Pakistan.

Gee, not a single real democracy in the whole bunch!

Why do Jay and his conservative buddies hate America so much that they willingly dine with the enemy and call him "our friend"?

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, if you don't know where and how France is deployed militarily, you have to leave this discussion, read something about it, and then come back. You just have no idea what you're talking about.

Here's a hint to get started: plug in "Ivory Coast", "Bouake", "MiG".

France has a far more significant military presence in sub-Saharan Africa than the US does. When the civil war broke out in Ivory Coast, a few hundred French troops basically took over the country in order to safeguard French citizens and business interests. A battalion goes a long way in that part of the world.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 24, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Cut 'N Run Jay: Tell me are they using a pea shooter or just spit wads in those endeavors?

Now watch Cut 'N Run Jay's head explode as he reads this article on how the French are training US Marines:

From the American Armed Forces Information Service on the US Department of Defense website:

U.S. Marines, French Foreign Legion Join in Training
By Sgt. Bradly Shaver, USMC
Special to American Forces Press Service

ARTA PLAGE, Djibouti, Sept. 17, 2003 -- Marines of Task Force Rawhide, 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Antiterrorism), participated in training with the French Foreign Legion, 13th Half Brigade, at the French Commando Training Center here Sept. 7-12.

The Maries were deployed to provide Marine Central Command at Camp Lemonier with antiterrorism security. The camp is the headquarters for Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, whose mission is to detect, deter and defeat terrorists in the Horn of Africa region.

The task force trained with the French commandos to increase their skills in amphibious operations and physical fitness, a task force officer said.

"Being deployed to Africa gave the Marines a unique experience they would not have had back in the United States," said 1st Lt. James Moran, executive officer of Mike Company, Task Force Rawhide. "A lot of our Marines haven't been out of the country before, so being here gives them firsthand experience in a new environment with a completely new force. We can't get that back in the United States, so I think we need to take advantage of it as much as we can here."

The task force Marines and French Foreign Legion soldiers participated in training and exercises, which included working with each other's equipment and competing in timed races over different courses.

"This helps out our mission in a very good way," Moran said, adding that the training built unit cohesion not only for the Marines who participated, but also with the French soldiers.

"We gained much needed knowledge from the French commandos and their capabilities," Moran said.

Under the supervision of French instructors, the Marines faced a 200-meter swim test with rifle, land and water obstacle courses, snorkeling exercises, tactical rope crossings, day and night rappelling, a live-fire exercise with both French and American weapons, a beach landing, and unloading equipment from a French vessel.

"The training mission was outstanding. Every time I've cross-trained with any other military it's always been a great experience. This surpassed anything I've ever done in my career," said Gunnery Sgt. Denis O'Sullivan, company gunnery sergeant of Mike Company, Task Force Rawhide. "Our Marines cannot say enough about the training they had, and we're looking forward to the next training exercise with them."

According to Cpl. Miguel Hernandez, section leader with Mike Company, it was a burden to pick up the slack, but all the Task Force Rawhide Marines were happy to receive specialized training and did it without hesitation. "It was an experience I will not forget."


Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

brooksfoe: . . . a few hundred French troops basically took over the country in order to safeguard French citizens and business interests.

While in another part of the world, 150,000 plus American troops took over a country in order to safeguard GOP tax cuts and political hegemony, look for non-existent (and known to be non-existent) WMDs, secure the nation against non-existent (and known to be non-existent) nuclear weapons, and safeguard the financial success of Haliburton and American Big Oil . . .

. . . but not to safeguard American citizens, or the historical treasures of Iraq, or the infrastructure of Iraq, of the lives of Iraqi civilians, or peace in the Middle East, or our long-established alliances, or our economy.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

France's power is not nearly as soft as your head!

Is there a single French soldier with battle experience?

African nations with less than 3 planes don't count.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

So they only protected their own assets? How French of them. What kind of a freind is that?

Posted by: Jay on February 24, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Rasmussen: Just 17% of Americans believe Dubai Ports World should be allowed to purchase operating rights to several U. S. ports. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 64% disagree and believe the sale should not be allowed.

Bush, that most brilliant and perceptive of politicians, according to rdw, is getting toasted on the ports scandal.

Must be the fault of liberals and the MSM . . . but, wait, it's his own base that are most opposed and his own congressional allies that are most vocal in their opposition.

Ahhh, so much for the puerile rationalizations of the Right that vanish with the slightest whiff of logic, reality, or fact.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 24, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

That would be shortly before they kicked the crap out of us.

Except they didn't. They were devastated in the Tet offensive and never fully recovered.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

African nations with less than 3 planes don't count.

Tell that to the Marines who served in Somalia.

Posted by: Irony Man on February 24, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Jay: So they only protected their own assets?

Better than conservatives like you and Bush, which only protect their own assets, not those of other Americans, much less those of the countries they invade or control through brutal dictators on the GOP payroll.

What kind of a freind is that?

Better than a "friend" (Bush) who lies to you (the French), who lies about you (the French), defames you (the French), is proven wrong (Bush) and still continues to defame you (the French).

And Bush is so friendly that he rounds you up, puts you in prison even if you are innocent, denies you any rights, tortures you, then sets you free without any apology and tries to hide it from the world.

What a prince that Bush is.

How is Bush's intervention to prevent genocide in the Sudan coming along, Jay?

What? He isn't there, helping out someone when it doesn't serve his own personal partisan political interests?

Now, this has got to hurt:

Rasmussen: From a political perspective, President Bush's national security credentials have clearly been tarnished due to the outcry over this issue. For the first time ever, Americans have a slight preference for Democrats in Congress over the President on national security issues. Forty-three percent (43%) say they trust the Democrats more on this issue today while 41% prefer the President.

The preference for the opposition party is small, but the fact that Democrats are even competitive on the national security front is startling. In Election 2002, the President guided his party to regain control of the Senate based almost exclusively on the national security issue. On Election Day that year, just 23% rated the economy as good or excellent, but the President's Party still emerged victorious.

The GOP is going to have to run from Bush like never before or risk losing three houses to liberals.

And its all happening in the run-up to the 2006 mid-year elections.

Damn. Don't you just hate that, Jay.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

I bow to the new master.

That would be shortly before they kicked the crap out of us.

I bow again.
Posted by: Stefan

Damn it all. Once again Stefan beats me to the punch by half a length.

>grinning

Go out for a sandwich and all hell breaks loose.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."

Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: CFShep on February 24, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

As the neocon dreams starts to unravel discrediting their movement, we will start hearing, once again, the "Enraged Denial".

There will screaming and shouting and the blaming it on Clintons, the media, the stab in the back by liberals, and dare I say jews, but when it is all said and done there will be this track record of: a looted treasury; a perrenially vacationing president who ignored repeated terrorist warnings, including those occurring at the begining of his mounth long vacation right before 911; two major metropolitan Areas totally evacuated - one perhaps permanently; no new private industry jobs (all jobs created are linked to public sector) after a half trillion in tax cuts; trillions of dollars in debt to China's central bank; Millions without health care; a foreign policy in shambles, a world in disarray, the U.S. with little legitimacy, traditional alliances frazzled - in short an unmittigated complete disaster.

There will be denials, accusations, and much wailing and nashing of teeth, and much of it enraged.

Blame yourselves - conservatives. In five years, not one single problem has been solved, and many new ones created.

You can't tell me that Bill-The-Cat (peace and blessing be upon him) would have made a worse president.

Allison up thread is right.

Bush has been enormously effective in helping his constituency: Uber-Rich got Uberer and Uberer, effectively paying back their investments in the conservative apparatus with good return, and the Fundies are getting their chance to thrash the constitution.

The real mistake middleclass conservatives made is in thinking that Bush was ever for anyone other than the rich. Has he done anything good for America?

Let your rage begin hear and now. But know well, it will only grow as your position becomes more and more discredit as say... the no government is good government meme got discredited by the New Orleans levey system.

Posted by: Bubbles on February 24, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Advocate to the right of him
Brooksfoe to the left of him

Into the valley of death
rode rdw

(Jay, however, cut and ran.)

It's almost, though not quite, enough to make ya feel a slight, a very slight indeed, twinge of sympathy for the poor little thing.

(Left and right in this context not meant to imply anything whatsoever about political orientation)

Posted by: CFShep on February 24, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

rdw writes: They [the Viet Cong] were devastated in the Tet offensive and never fully recovered.

That's true. If all the votes had been counted, the US would have won the Tet offensive, and the Vietnam War. The problem was that the US was pressured into conceding prematurely.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on February 24, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Is there a single French soldier with battle experience?

Well, there are the ones who are serving with us in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Except they didn't. They were devastated in the Tet offensive and never fully recovered.

So according to Clavin the Vietnamese were devastated by the Democratic Johnson Administration after the 1968 Tet Offensive, but then the Republican Nixon cut and ran anyway. That's kind of an odd argument for him to be making, but OK, I'll take it.

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: They were devastated in the Tet offensive and never fully recovered.

Damn, if only we could get devastated by the insurgency ini Iraq and never fully recover, we could declare victory and come home!

rdw's delusions have reached new heights!

Now, in his revised history, the US won the Vietnam War!

Just like that, defeat is turned into victory! By the mere stroke of the keyboard!

But, then, rdw and his fellow conservatives always do play with a special dictionary where "getting the crap kicked out of you" and other phrases have special meanings, meanings that even change on a daily basis, that are contingent on the conclusion that they want to reach.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

republicrat: The port issue seems to combine knee-jerk Bush-bashing with knee-jerk anti-Arabism and knee-jerk Islamophobia. Perhaps it has highlighted the need for increased port security, but in the end the deal will go through.

the bush administration reaps what they sow...

again...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 24, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

republicrat: The Taliban is in the autonomous tribal areas of Pakistan, and launches raids into Afghanistan. Most of the time, they suffer greater casualties on these raids than they inflict.

the fact that the number of u-s dead in that region has nearly doubled from the afghan. war (proper) in just the last roughly 14-months...

is evidence of victory?

or is that the record heroine crop?

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 24, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK


RedDan: I agree with Kevin, but I'm not a "liberal hawk." How is it that you automatically paint liberal hawks and the Joe Liebermans as those who support the port deal? If you were a liberal hawk, shouldn't you be against the deal, by definition? Do you even know what hawk means? If anything, I'm a libertarian liberal.. I believe money is one of the greatest incentives invented by man. Money gives UAE the incentive to do a good job.


Posted by: Andy on February 24, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

or is that the record heroine crop?
Posted by: thisspaceavailable

Um...sweetie?

psst.

Poppies are a crop. They produce a resinous sap, raw opium, which can be refined into heroin.

You can't grow heroin.

>>punctilious about horticulture, too.

Posted by: CFShep on February 24, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

cf?

so afghanistan is not the leading producer of heroin?

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 24, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK
...the Vietnamese who kicked the crap out of the French.

Immediately before they kicked the crap out of the US followed in short order by them kicking the crap out of an invasion by the Chinese, a series of events all of which followed their creation of a significant headache for the Japanese.

Really, its best to just leave the Vietnamese alone.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 24, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Lefties:

Please develop some new arguments about why Chimpy McHalliburton Bushitler is so evil. After reading this blog for long enough I get bored with the same ol' same ol' stuff. These comment sections used to be valuable inspiration for hours and hours of laughter.

Now you're just a sad shell of your formerly proud selves. Try harder!

Posted by: Birkel on February 24, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

P.S. It's not that you believe it any less fervently, of course. It's just that the same jokes over and over aren't as funny.

I apologize in advance if you thought that I thought that you aren't completely sincere. Ya know?

Posted by: Birkel on February 24, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Birkel

Speaking of old jokes . . .

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

cf?

so afghanistan is not the leading producer of heroin?
Posted by: thisspaceavailable

They grow the raw material. Poppies.

Refining takes place mostly in Pakistan.

Posted by: CFShep on February 24, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Money gives UAE the incentive to do a good job.

Just like money gave Enron and WorldCom and Tyco and Halliburton an incentive to do a good job....

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

"African nations with three planes don't count"

And how Iraqi planes actually took off and did anything except try to escape?

Jay,

Spent two days at a French kaserne while they were still in NATO - One of the toughest units I have ever seen was on that base - an Airborne unit back from battle in Algeria - (btw, it was the airborne colonels who tried to assassinate DeGaulle) - Little Jaybird, any of them could have cleaned your clock in a heartbeat - Hell, even their draftees, wearing the typical draftee one size fits all uniform, could have worn you out while using you as a partner in an Apache Dance.
The Algerian battles were not cakewalks for anyone - Vicious, deadly work by all.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 24, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Immediately before they kicked the crap out of the US followed in short order by them kicking the crap out of an invasion by the Chinese

They did not kick the crap out of US forces. It was the other way around. They were thoroughly defeated during the Tet offensive which was a military disaster but a political victory thanks to the MSM.

One of the big differences between Iran and Vietnam is the fact the MSM no longer controls the media. We know from Victor Davis Hanson and many others we're winning. We know from Michael Totten we have created an oasis of peace and soon to be prosperity in the booming Kurdish North.

We know from Iraq the Model and others there's a great deal of politics happening in Iraq and it's far from hopeless. We know from a great many bloggers of the incredible valor on the part of the vast majority of our military. The MSM and the left would have us believe the only story that adequately defines our troops is Abu Grahaib.

It's unbelievable how much we now know about our military success in Vietnam, our military and political success in Iraq and the role of the left in smearing every good thing our soldiers do. If you don't think these guys and their families have a great deal of bitterness for liberals you are clueless

There was a time when the Harvard faculty is where we looked for our best and brightest while the military attracted only those who could not suceed anywhere else. And if you get you news exclusively from the MSM you might still believe that.

But those times are gone and they ain't coming back.

If you watch 10 minutes of Fox a week or any other alternative outlet today if you want to find a fool the best place is any college campus. Not the student body. The Larry Summers fiasco just reinforced what we all knew. The fools are on the faculty. If you want to find a hero look for a uniform, a soldier, cop, fireman, etc. This of course drive elitists up a wall but it's as it should be.

Walter Conkrite might be a bigger piece of garbage than Dan Rather. Dan will always be known as a fraud. Conkrite will similarly be known for blantly false reporting on the Tet Offensive. This will not be limited to a media story either. LBJ is another President smear by the left now getting another review. Uncle Walter will be remembered here as well.

Isn't it cool that Intel is going to Vietnam?
Another Asian nation more than a little bit queasy about China with 84M people and an 8% GDP growth rate. How do you spell economic opportunity? Expect a trade deal here as well.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

rdw is looking for his place on the Periodic Table.

Denser than Jayblackholium? Or just an isotope?

Posted by: CFShep on February 24, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel: After reading this blog for long enough I get bored with the same ol' same ol' stuff.

Then do us a favor and don't read it or quit boring us with your usual responses which is the same ol' same ol' and come up with a new gimmick.

rdw: They were thoroughly defeated during the Tet offensive which was a military disaster but a political victory thanks to the MSM.

So, the MSM was manning those guns on the other side?

Who wouldv'e thought it.

The falsely revisionist crap you are spreading about is getting pretty stinky, even for you, rdw.

rdw: One of the big differences between Iran and Vietnam is the fact the MSM no longer controls the media.

Ah, the standard rdw flip-flop. Just months ago, the MSM was in control and the reason for Bush's plummetting poll numbers. Now, they aren't in control. Next month, they will be again.

Once more we see rdw adopt a completely opposite position to one he's proffered before in order to justify a preordained conclusion that is necessary to his delusions.

How do you spell economic opportunity?

Given the Bush trade deficit with China, I'd spell it D I S A S T E R as long as Bush remains in the White House.

That's the funny thing about that conservative dictionary of conveniently mendacious terminology: things like "economic opportunity" have infinitely malleable meanings that are different not simply from what the general public understands such terms to mean or from standard dictionary definitions, but utterly divorced from reality!

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

CFShep: Or [is rdw] just an isotope?

More like an "isodope", eh CF?

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Expect a trade deal here as well.

Will that be another Bush special trade deal that sells Americans down the river by creating a huge trade deficit in favor of the foreign country where Bush-supporting American companies have moved their operations?

Will it be another special Bush economic accomplishment like the war-that-will-pay-for-itself?

You are a source of infinite guffaws, rdw, truly.

Keep up the good work.

Play up the massive movement of American dollars to other countries as the result of Bush policies - it will go over really well in the red states struggling with their economies, which struggle you will be tying directly to Bush policies.

We won't have to lift a hand.

Like Bush who plays into the hands of Al Queda in Iraq, you will play into the hands of liberals by overextending your political reach through arrogance and mendacity.

You will agree that you and your fellow conservatives have been fairly warned and given good advice.

If you fail to heed that advice, you will rue the day!

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 24, 2006 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

"LOL - you mean Kerry was right about the "real and terrible consequences" of the fall of the U.S.S.R.?! No wonder Americans don't trust Democrats to run important national security matters anymore. Where are the days of Democrats people trusted on that?"

Our trolls sure have good timing. Why just today the righties favorite pollster, Mr. Rasmussen, had
this to say on the subject:
"For the first time ever, Americans have a slight preference for Democrats in Congress over the President on national security issues. Forty-three percent (43%) say they trust the Democrats more on this issue today while 41% prefer the President."

Posted by: chaboard on February 24, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK
They were thoroughly defeated during the Tet offensive which was a military disaster but a political victory thanks to the MSM.

There is no such thing as a "military disaster but a political victory". That's a delusion that is only possible to sustain through ignorance of the fact that military action is nothing but a means to acheive a political end.

If you think you've won a military victory, and it turns out to have been a major political disaster, that just proves that you didn't understand the context you were fighting in and what you needed to do to win.


Posted by: cmdicely on February 24, 2006 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

rdw wrote:
"Bush has a vision of the future and he is making that vision come true by turning America's attention to the Far East, creating strategeric economic allances with Asia."

Yes, he's got a vision all right. The problem is that it came to him in a dream. The man doesn't even read-unless someone tells him to.

Bush is a unique combination-the sneakiness of Nixon and the arrogance of LBJ. No competence, but he's got lots of ideas. Too bad that they're all half-baked.

Posted by: Susan on February 24, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

What? You're all still discussing with this "rdw" fanatic? Just look at the huge mount of shit he wrote so far. Mindboggling. Come on, ignore that troll.

Posted by: Gray on February 24, 2006 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

"One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed."

~William F. Buckley, Jr.

http://www.nationalreview.com/buckley/buckley.asp

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Gray,

Good point about ignoring the Drexel Hill Dimwit, Cliff Clavin, or rdw.

However, he usually does not spend this time on this site during the week - He usually loves to dominate on the weekend - knows that many of the regulars have far more important things to do than partake in his swill.
So, he has moved up his garbage to today.
Geez, I will truly miss his explaining Cut and Run Ronny's hightailing it from Beirut; ooh, he was the Grandee of Granada, though or how many of our troops were killed or wounded in action in 69, 70, 71, 72 and 73.

But, again, Gray, you are correct - The Drexel Hill Dimwit does not need to be fed.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 24, 2006 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

If you think you've won a military victory, and it turns out to have been a major political disaster, that just proves that you didn't understand the context you were fighting in and what you needed to do to win.

Nope, a military victory that is reported as a defeat is still a military victory. They are two different components. LBJ may have lost but the soldiers in the field won. They were betrayed by Chronkite and his ilk. They was no context. There was nothing to understand. The MSM had a monopoly. Not any more!!!!

If in fact this was 1968 all we'd know of Iraq is Abu Grahib and suicide bombs. Thanks to bloggers, talk radio, Fox, etc. we know so much more. People like Chronkite and Kerry were able to demonize soldiers in 1968. NO FRIGGIN CHANCE. Kerry's actions cost him the Presidency and rightly so. Uncle Walt has a far different legacy than he expected just a decade ago.

Misreporting of battles and/or turning points in wars is hardly anything new. The press rarely knows and often even the Generals don't know. Losers don't advertise the fact. Chronkite did despite having no possible way of knowing. When he passes on there will be a great deal of scorn.
He caused needless agony.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

"Misreporting of battles and/or turning points in wars is hardly anything new. The press rarely knows and often even the Generals don't know. Losers don't advertise the fact. Chronkite did despite having no possible way of knowing. When he passes on there will be a great deal of scorn. He caused needless agony."

Wonder if anyone told Bill Buckley.

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Given the Bush trade deficit with China, I'd spell it D I S A S T E R as long as Bush remains in the White House.


Since the supply-side tax cuts of 07/03 US GDP growth has averaged nearly 4% for the strongest period of sustained growth since Reagan.

Between 07/03 and 10/06, just before the election, the tax cuts will have generated 7.5M jobs and low 4% unemployment rate.

That doesn't sound like a disaster.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

"Between 07/03 and 10/06, just before the election, the tax cuts will have generated 7.5M jobs . . ."

In January 2000, when President Bush took office, there were 111,622,000 private sector jobs in the US. Projected numbers for January 2005 are 110,862,000, a net loss of 760,000 private sector jobs.

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

What incompetent?! I vote for him for War, and look the middle east world now, it is on the verge of yet another long drawn out war. What brilliance. In just 5 years, he has managed to bring the arrow of democracy on the middle east, and the war has just began. The Iraq war is just a precursor. A more substantive war that will wipe out all terrorists is just beginning. We should all be grateful to our leader, Bush. Unless of course, you are all unpatriotic peace and harmaony loving liberals, what a wuss!

Posted by: Mini Al on February 24, 2006 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK
Nope, a military victory that is reported as a defeat is still a military victory.

"Reported as" has nothing to do with it. A military action is a "victory" only insofar as it facilitates acheivement of the political end to which the military campaign is directed. A military action that acheives the tactical objective that the field commanders sought, or kills lots of the enemy, or whatever, but contributes to utter failure of the political aim at which the entire campaign it is a component of is direct is a defeat, not a victory.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 24, 2006 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

the left in smearing every good thing our soldiers do

That's a funny thing to say for someone who insulted the Marines who served in Somalia just upthread.

Posted by: Irony Man on February 24, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

contributes to utter failure of the political aim at which the entire campaign it is a component of is direct is a defeat, not a victory.

Absolute nonsense. A victory on the battle field is a military victory. It can't be anything else. If for some reason the govt mishandles it into a political defeat it is a political defeat. The soldiers still won. That can never be changed. It doesn't matter if the politicians won or lost.

It's more than 30 years and you are still smearing Vietnam Vets.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

Projected numbers for January 2005 are 110,862,000, a net loss of 760,000 private sector jobs.

It's not Jan 05. It's Feb 06 and we have 112, 690 private sector jobs. That's a healthy net gain.

By October 2006 it'll be over 114,000 private sector jobs.

The relevent numbers will be 4.2%, 7.5M and 07/03 (supply-side tax cuts)

As soon as you start getting in the weeds on this data you lose 99% of the population. The GOP has a nice simple message easily confirmed by the unemployment report.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, history records that the US won the concession from the N. Vietnamese that they would not shoot us as we left. We left in shame, and the N. Vietnamese achieved their military objective--the conquest of S. Vietnam. When you leave, allowing your opponent to achieve the only objective you were fighting to protect from him, he has won.

Sorry you can't grasp that.

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK
A victory on the battle field is a military victory.

Duh. Its just you don't understand what "victory" is -- "victory" is something that brings you closer to the ultimate objective you seek in fighting.

Acheiving an intermediate objective that you mistakenly believed would bring you closer, but which actually does not, is an apparent victory, but not an actual victory.

It's more than 30 years and you are still smearing Vietnam Vets.

I've never smeared Vietnam Vets.

It is no poor reflection on the soldiers that they did an excellent job of what they were directed to do, but the people running the war at the top had no idea what was necessary to acheive the goals they sought.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 24, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

Cliff Clavin: If you want to find a hero look for a uniform, a soldier, cop, fireman, etc.

And this from a man who claims to be turned off by "Brokeback Mountain." For people who strenously protest their heterosexuality, they sure do spend a lot of time fantasizing about hot, sweaty, hard-muscled men in uniform....sorry, drifted off there for a second.

You should come up to NYC, Cliffie. I can introduce you to quite a few boys who just love to spend their time looking for a few good men in uniform....

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

Duh. Its just you don't understand what "victory" is -- "victory" is something that brings you closer to the ultimate objective you seek in fighting.

I understand your point completely and did so immediately. It's not valid and it IS a smear of the soldiers.

Soldiers fight military battles not political battles. The political leaders are responsible for managing the politics. Soldiers are responsible for meeting the enemy on the battlefield.

In Vietnam we had two different and distinct results. Despite limitations placed on the military by the politicians they STILL defeated the viet cong in battle. They lost 45,000 men in the Tet offensive and were thoroughly defeated. That military victory was turned into a political loss but that does not and will not change the fact it was a military victory.

Liberal insistence on linking the two is absolutely a smear. You refuse to give the soldiers credit for their bravery, they're honor and they're success. You are desperate to see them labeled as losers. NO CHANCE!!!! We've all caught on to your shameless act. This is why George Clooney will never be able to restore the term liberal to what it represented before 1968. You've only succeeded in smearing yourself.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

It's Feb 06 and we have 112, 690 [??]private sector jobs. That's a healthy net gain.

Er, no. When Bush took office in January 2000 there were 111,622,000 private sector jobs. In over six years, therefore, and presuming that he meant 112,690,000, that's a gain of only 1,068,000. Considering that the economy needs to add approx. 1,800,000 jobs a year just to stay competitive with population growth, that's not a net gain, it's a net loss, and a pretty bad one, too.

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

And this from a man who claims to be turned off by "Brokeback Mountain." For people who strenously protest their heterosexuality, they sure do spend a lot of time fantasizing about hot, sweaty, hard-muscled men in uniform....sorry, drifted off there for a second.

I never saw Brokeback and never joined in the discussion about it. I never claimed any such thing.

As far as 'men in uniform' I never specified men and that was intentional. Males don't have a monopoly on bravery and honor. If I ever found myself in a war zone and had to share a foxhole with a female in uniform (very likely a conservative) OR a male reporter (very likely a liberal) I take the uniform in a heartbeat. If she was a cook I take here over the liberal in a heartbeat.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

As I've said above, apparently Clavin's position is that the Democrats under Johnson achieved victory in Vietnam in 1968 but that the Republican Nixon then cut and ran, leaving the country to the Communists. If that's what he wants to believe, who are we to stop him?

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

Er, no. When Bush took office in January 2000 there were 111,622,000 private sector jobs. In over six years, therefore, and presuming that he meant 112,690,000, that's a gain of only 1,068,000. Considering that the economy needs to add approx. 1,800,000 jobs a year just to stay competitive with population growth, that's not a net gain, it's a net loss, and a pretty bad one, too.

I am not even thinking of discussing the economics on this. You are in over your head. Clinton left a mess and you know it. The important thing is how the data can be used politically this November. Your data can't be used. You had a much better shot in 2002 AND 2004 and did NOTHING with it. If you were not able to use a 6.4% unemployment rate you won't be abe to use 4.2%.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

The insurgency in Iraq has no military capability either to drive the United States military from Iraq or to stop the American training of Iraqi police and security forces or, for that matter, to derail the formation of a new government. The United States air base at Balad is one of the busiest airports in the world. Camp Victory near Baghdad is impenetrable to serious attack. And even forward smaller bases at Kirkuk, Mosul, and Ramadi are entirely secure

From the influential historian and pundit Victor Davis Hanson. This is why the MSM has only limited influence and cannot possibly smear these soldiers. This is not 1968. This is also an example of why in 2006 there are many more conervtibves than liberals. We know the truth.

VDH does not have the immediate reach of a network anchor but he still has considerable influence. Limbaugh and the talk radio folk quote him regularly as does Fox News and virtually all of the large bloggers. I know what is going on in Iraq as does a majority of conservatives. We do not get out news from ABC.

I'd also recommend Michael Totten if you want to know what is happening throught the middle east regarding 'average' citizens. Michael just spent some time in Northern Iraq confirming what conservatives already. The Kurds are flourishing with their new found freedom. They have security, oil, water and massive investment. No matter what heppens in the south this region will be an oasis.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

Cliff Clavin writes: I am not even thinking of discussing the economics on this. You are in over your head.

Translation: You're right and I've no way to rebut it.

But Stefan forgot to add the best part! According to the US government's own figures, the jobs that have been created have been due to increased gov't spending! As Max Sawicky put it:

The upshot is that the triumph of Republican-conservatarian economic policy consists of an expansion of government jobs financed by loans from the Communist Peoples Republic of China.

Mr. Clavin continues: The important thing is how the data can be used politically this November.

Translation: I don't care how much Bush and the Republicans have fucked things up, so long as they can spin it.

Clavin: Your data can't be used.

Maybe not. I'm no politician, but let me give it an amateur's best shot.

President Bush and the Republican Party - who also control both houses of congress - have created 9 million fewer jobs than we need to keep up with our growing population.

The few jobs they have created are due completely to increased gov't spending.

To help pay for their irresponsible spending of your tax money we've gone into hock to Communist China for a trillion dollars. That's right, one trillion dollars. And to get that loan we've shipped them our jobs.

Posted by: alex on February 24, 2006 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

alex,

Sorry buddy, your spin won't work either. You had a 6.4% unemployment rate and could not use it. And now you think you ar going to spin 4.2%

Jobless claims just dropped 20K this week and the insured unemployment rate to 1.9%. ALL jobs data shows continued strength and JP Morgan is forecasting another stellar jobs report in March.

My own anecdotal review substantiates this view. Every Home Depot, WaWa, Acme and Giant in the area has a help wanted sign at their entrance was well as a number of other retail outlets and the post office. The Great American Jobs Machine is back.

Your only hope is Oil prices. I has to suck to be a liberal and hope for higher prices.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

"This is also an example of why in 2006 there are many more conervtibves than liberals. We know the truth."

What's a conervtibve? Just asking, since you're apparently one of them.

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

If I ever found myself in a war zone and had to share a foxhole...

I have to presume that's a really big "IF"....

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK
I understand your point completely and did so immediately. It's not valid and it IS a smear of the soldiers.

Its not a smear of the soldiers and you are an idiot. And you didn't understand the point, either.

Soldiers fight military battles not political battles. The political leaders are responsible for managing the politics. Soldiers are responsible for meeting the enemy on the battlefield.

There is no distinction between "military battles" and "political battles" except in mechanisms. The purposes of the battle is entirely political in every case.

In Vietnam we had two different and distinct results.

No, we had one result. Defeat. The fact that the defeat was, arguably, largely a result of political decisionmakers engaging strategy that was not well structured for the realities of the conflict they were fighting, rather than poor performance by line troops, doesn't make it any less a defeat.

And that's not a smear on the soldiers, certainly not the vast majority of them that were in no way involved in planning grand strategy.

Despite limitations placed on the military by the politicians they STILL defeated the viet cong in battle.

Even granting that the VC were defeated, that's irrelevant. Principally, because the VC weren't the entirety of the enemy forces. Claiming the US won a military victory in Vietnam because we defeated the VC is like claiming Germany won WWII because they defeated France.

They lost 45,000 men in the Tet offensive and were thoroughly defeated.

Which would, perhaps, matter, again, if the combatants in the Vietnam war were limited to the VC and the United States.

That military victory was turned into a political loss but that does not and will not change the fact it was a military victory.

It did not bring the US closer to acheiving its objective in the war, therefore, it wasn't any kind of victory except, perhaps, an illusory one to body-counting planners.

Liberal insistence on linking the two is absolutely a smear.

No, its not. Its called understanding the purpose, function, and nature of war as an instrument of policy.

You refuse to give the soldiers credit for their bravery, they're honor and they're success.

Er, no. What credit the soldiers deserve for bravery, honor, and success in completing the missions handed to them by their commanders is entirely independent of whether or not there was a "victory".

You are desperate to see them labeled as losers.

Well, except that I've never labelled them as losers. Again, you are just spounting your delusional fantasies about the left without even reading what you are responding to.

NO CHANCE!!!! We've all caught on to your shameless act. This is why George Clooney will never be able to restore the term liberal to what it represented before 1968.

WTF does any of this have to do with George Clooney?

Posted by: cmdicely on February 24, 2006 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

So rdw: The American public, in poll after poll, has rejected the Administration on Iraq. Now the founder of modern American conservativism, W.F. Buckley, jr, says it's a failure. Starting to feel a little lonely, just you and chimpy?

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

Alavin: My own anecdotal review substantiates this view. Every Home Depot, WaWa, Acme and Giant in the area has a help wanted sign at their entrance was well as a number of other retail outlets and the post office. The Great American Jobs Machine is back.

Yes, thank God we exported all those highly-skilled and highly-paying manufacturing and technology jobs to Asia (didja know that Intel just opened a plant in Indonesia and not the US? Didja? Wonder why that is, huh?). Now we can all embrace our glorious future as retail clerks and store entrance greeters! Sure, you can't make a career out of it, the work is seasonal, the benefits are meager if non-existent, there's little hope of advancement and you can't really save or support a family on the salary, but at least...uh...at least...hey, what was my point agian?

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

Claiming the US won a military victory in Vietnam because we defeated the VC is like claiming Germany won WWII because they defeated France.


This makes no sense. Of course they defeated the French. Everyone defeats the French.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

There is no distinction between "military battles" and "political battles" except in mechanisms. The purposes of the battle is entirely political in every case.

I take it you never saw Patton.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

"This makes no sense. Of course they defeated the French. Everyone defeats the French."

That's what's so fun about rdw. He gets played over and over and over, and doesn't seem to get it.

rdw. Germany. Lost. WWII.

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

"I take it you never saw Patton."

I take it you never read Clausewitz:

"War is Politics, pursued by other means."

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

WTF does any of this have to do with George Clooney?

George is liberal. He's been open in stating his desire to 'repair' the status of the term liberal. As we all know it's come to be more often uses as an epitath. John F. Kerry actually banned the term from his bio and forbade his staff from referring to him as a liberal. Many liberals have taken to calling themselves progressives as a way of distancing themelves from liberalism.

George filmed Syrianna and Goodnight and Good Luck with this objective in mind and has been openly political for quite some time. George has assumed quite a challenge and he knows it.

The reason is people like you who insist on smearing Vietnam Vets and openly pine for the days of 1968. For most Americans the memory of what those Vets cam home too is an embarrassment
that needs to be corrected. They were blamed for LBJs failures. They were used as a tool by the liberal elite to blame America 1st in the darkest period of late 20th Century American history save perhaps Jimmys 444 days.

Garbage like John Kerry got away with smearing them. The SBVs represent the rebirth of American pride which started in 1981 with Morning in America. People like you wish to tear down America any way you can. You did it with the soldiers in 1968. You will not do it in 2006. Moreover, your version of 1968 will not stand. You saw Kerry pay the price for his treachery. You will be shocked at the scorn piled on Uncle Walter when he passes on. He is the reason so many of our troops were mistreated. He'll be held accontable.

Your version of Vietnam has been erased. The troops performed as they always do, heroically. They are to be admired. LBJs poor management of the war has already cost him and the post-68 Democratic Congress will be blamed for pulling the funding and forcing 40M South Vietnamese into a gulag. I think we have about 3M former boat people as US Citizns as proof of liberal treachery. We abandoned those people because Congressional Democrats pulled the funding. We excelled in battle. The cowards were in congress.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

"The SBVs represent the rebirth of American pride which started in 1981 with Morning in America."

Wow! American pride was reborn with the SBVs' lies? America's pride depends on lies? Who knew?

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

War is Politics, pursued by other means."


I've never read and will never read Clausewitz. Nor have you. He's got a boatload of quotes out there including. "No battle plan survives 1st contact with the enemy".

War is one means, politics is another. Soldiers specialize in battle, politicians specialize in diplomacy. They are two separate and distinct things.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

Wow! American pride was reborn with the SBVs' lies? America's pride depends on lies? Who knew?

Reread Joel 'which started in 1981'.


The SBVs captured lightening in a bottle. They knew many others were as incensed as they by what happened in 1968 after those guys came back and they wanted to make scum like John Kerry pay for it. They will all die contented men after completing a job well done.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

"I've never read and will never read Clausewitz."

I can see that. You're not much of a reader, are you, rdw?

"Nor have you."

Oops. Wrong.

"He's got a boatload of quotes out there including. "No battle plan survives 1st contact with the enemy"."

Uh, no. That's Helmuth Karl Bernhard von Moltke.

Moron.

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

"The SBVs captured lightening in a bottle. They knew many others were as incensed . . ."

And would stoop to anything to get revenge. Even lies.

I can see you're proud of that, rdw. Moron.

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

(didja know that Intel just opened a plant in Indonesia and not the US? Didja? Wonder why that is, huh?).

It's Vietnam and it's not opened. They start construction. Why, because intel sells 60% of it's product in Asia. Why, because the USA has 4.7% unemployment and falling. That's also why they've been expanding in India and China and Israel. Of course incentives don't hurt either.

Not only is the job machine booming but the boomers are retiring. They start to turn 60 this year. We are entering an era of severe labor shortages. ALL of the multi-nationals are expanding where their markets are and provisioning for the prospect of transferring more work from the USA because in 5 years there won't be enought labor to meet demands.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

Germany. Lost. WWII.

Yeah, but not to the French. Mainly it was the Russians who beat us.

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

...but there's also been considered policy at work, policy that deliberately marginalized our allies, tackled fake threats at the expense of real ones, made preemptive war our default preference, and criminally misjudged the actual nature of the conflict we're in. Even if it had been executed well, it still would have been disastrous.''

probably been said before, but isn't disastrous ``considered policy'' a definition of incompetence?


Posted by: secularhuman on February 24, 2006 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

" . . .the boomers are retiring. They start to turn 60 this year. We are entering an era of severe labor shortages. ALL of the multi-nationals are expanding where their markets are and provisioning for the prospect of transferring more work from the USA because in 5 years there won't be enought labor to meet demands."

BWAHAHAHAHA! You are unmatched, rdw, in your ability to totally misunderstand economics, military history, and current events.

The fact that the very leading edge of the baby boom generation (born in 1946) is turning 60 (and not elegible for full retirement for another five years) demonstrates that you also don't understand either demographics or math. You are a perfect trifecta of ignorance!!

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

I've never read and will never read Clausewitz.

Abundantly evident.

Nor have you. '

Uh, no. In fact I wrote my senior thesis on Clausewitz and his theories on the relation of political versus military leadership in wartime, as applied to the Arab-Israeli wars.

He's got a boatload of quotes out there including. "No battle plan survives 1st contact with the enemy".

Graf von Moltke, as Joel correctly pointed out.

War is one means, politics is another. Soldiers specialize in battle, politicians specialize in diplomacy. They are two separate and distinct things.

Again, no. *sigh* War, as Clausewitz explained, is waged in order to achieve a particular political purpose, not merely for the fun of fighting (though that does not seem to be understood by the average Republican voter). The strategy and tactics of that war, therefore, must always be calibrated to ensure that they are helping to achieve that goal, and the warfighers and political leaders must cooperate to ensure that they are not working at cross-purposes -- or, in shorter words, it does no good to win the battle if you lose the war.

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

" . . . because in 5 years there won't be enought labor to meet demands."

rdw also is ignorant of American immigration policy.

Moron.

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

The fact that the very leading edge of the baby boom generation (born in 1946) is turning 60 (and not elegible for full retirement for another five years) demonstrates that you also don't understand either demographics or math.

Joel, how old are you?

Few people work full timme past 60.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

"Joel, how old are you?"

51 tomorrow. Smack in the middle of the baby boom.

"Few people work full timme past 60."

Certainly, few people as ignorant as you. I doubt you're even gainfully employed now.

Moron.

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

rdw also is ignorant of American immigration policy.

Not at all. This economy has been absorbing immigrants at high rates for 30 years. I expect it to continue althought it's not out of the question a reduction will occur if the political situation worsens. GWB has been very resistant to shutting the borders but pressure is building.

I have also read immigrants have started moving up the food chain in terms of jobs leaving many farmers short of the labor they've come to rely on. If this is true the shortage will come sooner and be more severe than I expect.

The Phila School district has a very hard time filling teacher positions due to accelerated retirements and competition from surburban districts. This problem is going to be worse and they already start at over $50k with great benefits.

This is a big issue for HR staffs.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

Certainly, few people as ignorant as you. I doubt you're even gainfully employed now.

I'm 52. I retired from Verizon 4 years ago. Few people work past 53.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

"Not at all. This economy has been absorbing immigrants at high rates for 30 years."

Ah, then it's not ignorance of demographics, it's just ignorance of basic logic. The baby boom starts to retire in five years, but of course this is irrelevant to the labor market in the US because of immigration.

Moron.

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

"Few people work past 53."

BWAHAHAHA!

This is the stupidest assertion yet. You don't have one atom of evidence to support this comment, rdw!

In fact, I'll bet you didn't retire. I'll bet you were FIRED! From telemarketing!

Moron.

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

and the warfighers and political leaders must cooperate to ensure that they are not working at cross-purposes it does no good to win the battle if you lose the war

Agree completely.

Presumably you identify warfighters and political leaders separately for the obvious reason they are different. History abounds with examples of fine military performance combined with abysmal political planning. That does nothing to diminsh outstanding military performance.

I am not especially well schooled on WWII military history although I didn't get my bit of history from Hogans Heroes either, as many on this blog seem to. My sense of the German war machine is that it was extremely very well respected with a highly skilled officer corps and highly disciplined and dedicated soldier. Germany didn't lose because it's armies failed. Germany failed because of it's political leadership.

There's a distinct difference.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

"I am not especially well schooled on WWII military history . . ."

Or much of anything, apparently. You get almost everything you post wrong.

You are a moron, rdw. You have demonstrated this over and over, to all and sundry. Please go away now.

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

This is the stupidest assertion yet. You don't have one atom of evidence to support this comment, rdw!

I meant few people from VZ. Actually all of the telco's. The industry has downsized more than 50% since 1984 using in most cases lurcative offers for their rich pension plans. a typical offer add 5 + 5 to age and service to qualify for a full pension with a total of 75. I started at age 18. At age 48 I had 30 years which got me to 78. That's a full pension with full benefits.

Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

"I meant few people from VZ."

Dang, I knew it. Caught you bluffing again. You are so full of shit, rdw, you don't know when to stop. Thread for thread, you are by far the most persistently ignorant troll I've seen on this site. Reminds me of Charlie. Except Charlie always tried to pass himself off as a lawyer. Not much different than a retired Verizon telemarketer, I suppose.

Moron.

Posted by: Joel on February 24, 2006 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

VZ doesn't employee telemarketers. That would be contracted out.


Posted by: rdw on February 24, 2006 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

Tet was a political failure because according to the casualty statistics compiled and analyzed by the the Defense Department, the Vietcong had already sustained crippling casualties and was incapable of launchimg major offensives. Most of our officials and the media bought this line of crap (resembles "being welcomed by crowds throwing flowers" these days).

Along come Tet, and the Vietcong attempt to seize every major city in Vietnam, penetrate the US embassy in Saigon, and slug it out with the Marines in Hue. They take huge casualties, and are unable to hold any of the ground that they took.

The worst casualty of the Tet offensive was the credibility of the military and the politicians who put them in Vietnam. They were suprised by an enemy that was no longer supposed to exist.

Posted by: Wombat on February 24, 2006 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

rdw last week you said you were an mba working for an oil company. I didn't realize they let mental patients use the internet. Did you know Al Gore invented the internet.

Posted by: Neo on February 25, 2006 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

CFShep: Or [is rdw] just an isotope?

More like an "isodope", eh CF?
Posted by: Advocate for God

Sorry, I left to go do, uh, life stuff and missed this excellent riposte.

Well done, AoG.

Posted by: CFShep on February 25, 2006 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

That's an insult to morons everywhere.

I'm going for 'cretinous wanker'.

Posted by: CFShep on February 25, 2006 at 8:12 AM | PERMALINK

"You are a perfect trifecta of ignorance!!
Posted by: Joel "

I wish I'd said that! Love it. Bravo.

(I'll probably swipe it, but swear on Sam Clemen's grave that I won't employ it here.

"I'll take 'Disingenuous Cretinous Wankers' for a thousand, Alex."

Posted by: CFShep on February 25, 2006 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK


cheney: My "fuzzy math" shows that 85% don't even know the port terminal contracts are already owned by a London-based company.

a majority of dead enders...ah...bush supporters before the last election thought there was a connection between saddam and 9-11..

and now...its still higher in that group by far....than any other..

despite no evidence to the contrary...and the 9-11 commission stating that fact..

we know gwb can lie his way into a second term

will his telling the truth save his second term?

sad that dead enders dont do facts or irony..


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 25, 2006 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

Hot damn.

Another rdw coinage I almost missed: 'lurcative'.

He can coin 'em faster than I can compile 'em for my forthcoming: "Troll's Dictionary".

Boy's flat 'disingenious'.

Posted by: CFShep on February 25, 2006 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

Update on the possible illegality of the taking over of US Army port operations at Beaumont and Corpus Christi, TX. (See http://thinkprogress.org/2006/02/20/uae-military-equipment/ and
http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/gaffney/060220/ for opposition from "both sides of the political spectrum.")

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/search/display.html?terms=2170&url=/uscode/html/uscode50a/usc_sec_50a_00002170---a000-.html
with excerpt below, and compare http://www.softinfusion.com/gpoaccess/Bill_103-s1337es


2170a. Prohibition on purchase of United States defense contractors by entities controlled by foreign governments

Release date: 2005-03-17

(a) In general

No entity controlled by a foreign government may merge with, acquire, or take over a company engaged in interstate commerce in the United States that

(1) is performing a Department of Defense contract, or a Department of Energy contract under a national security program, that cannot be performed satisfactorily unless that company is given access to information in a proscribed category of information; or

(2) during the previous fiscal year, was awarded

(A) Department of Defense prime contracts in an aggregate amount in excess of $500,000,000; or

(B) Department of Energy prime contracts under national security programs in an aggregate amount in excess of $500,000,000.

(b) Inapplicability to certain cases

The limitation in subsection (a) shall not apply if a merger, acquisition, or takeover is not suspended or prohibited pursuant to section 721 of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (50 App. U.S.C. 2170).

(c) Definitions

In this section:

(1) The term entity controlled by a foreign government includes

(A) any domestic or foreign organization or corporation that is effectively owned or controlled by a foreign government; and

(B) any individual acting on behalf of a foreign government,

as determined by the President.

(2) The term proscribed category of information means a category of information that

(A) with respect to Department of Defense contracts

(i) includes special access information;

(ii) is determined by the Secretary of Defense to include information the disclosure of which to an entity controlled by a foreign government is not in the national security interests of the United States; and

(iii) is defined in regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense for the purposes of this section; and

(B) with respect to Department of Energy contracts

(i) is determined by the Secretary of Energy to include information described in subparagraph (A)(ii); and

(ii) is defined in regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Energy for the purposes of this section.

Posted by: Neil' on February 25, 2006 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: most of those new jobs suck. Like most right-wing spinmuddiers, you avoid quality issues in talking about job quantity. You hate looking at change in real hourly income, median (as opposed to the misleading average) income, etc.

Posted by: Neil' on February 25, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

neo,

check your facts friend. You are half right. I havean MBA. Never worked for an Oil company. Never suggested it.

Posted by: rdw on February 25, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

You hate looking at change in real hourly income, median (as opposed to the misleading average) income, etc.
Posted by: Neil'

If Bill Gates walks into a Wendy's the 'average income' of everyone in the place rises to $50,000/sec, right? So it's 'lurcative' for everyone concerned.

Wow.

Who knew?

"I'll take 'Disingenious raving idiots' for five hundred, Alex."

Posted by: CFShep on February 25, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Neil,

The quality of jobs continue to improve. The reason we have such a strong demand for immigrant workers is because we can't get the natives to do the resturant, landscaping and other low-paying labor intensive work. How many boomers today have or are thinking about hiring someone to clean their house one or two days a week? Such a thing would have been unthinkable for our parents, as it is for me.

My son-in-law at age 27 is a union carpenter in Philly. IN 1980 the graduating class had about 12. They have over 120 this year and just doubled theor training center is size. One had to have a blood relative to get in 20 years ago. Now one needs a pulse and be drug free. He's making $31 an hour with terrific benefits and more side work than he can possibly handle. My daughter just got her nursing degree and started at $55 with terrific benefits. I have a daughter in law school, a son-in-law in medical school and my 3rd daughter in college for exercise physiology.

By the time my son-in-law is 35 he'll follow the career path of many union carpenters and try to work the minimum 1,000 hours a year to collect beenfits and make more than double on an after-tax basis working under the table.

Colleges are booming. More kids are there today than ever before and unlike the boomers are not there to dodge the draft. College towns are propserous towns. The trades are all booming. Of each daughters 8th grade class virtually everyone is gainfully employed. The mix is about 2/3 college grades, 1/3 HS only. 2 of the 1/3 are young ladies who got themselves in the family way too early and are now in an 18 month program at Delaware County Community College for Nursing. This is not the 4-yr RN program but an accelerated associate program that will get them a nursing job making at least $45k with terrific benefits. Most of the 1/3 not in college are males and now in the trades.

I have 26 nieces and nephews between the ages of 15 and 35 and everyone of age has at least a 4-yr degree and is gainfully employed. 4 are public school teachers. Each is in a different school district facing shortages. None would work in Philly despite much higher starting salaries. Each landed a full time position the 1st yr after graduation. Of all of these my daughter in law school will have the hardest time finding a job. Last week i asked the manager of the Goodyr where I get my car inspected how the business is and what his guys make. A mechanic with training makes over $75K. He'll take a kid coming in off the street if he can pass a drug test start him out. If he's ambitious and with a good work ethic they'll arrange community college and get him in a position to make $75K.

This is a fabulous time to be entering the job market. There is absolutely no question we have serious demographic issues and will have labor shortages. Resturants in this area could not function without immigrants and many of these are smart hard working people moving up the food chain. We're the better for it.

Liberals love to trash Walmart. It's so classic. Walmart underpays they. Everytime they advertise for a position they get 20 applicants. Walmartis why America is great.

Posted by: rdw on February 25, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

"There is no such thing as a "military disaster but a political victory". That's a delusion that is only possible to sustain through ignorance of the fact that military action is nothing but a means to acheive a political end.

If you think you've won a military victory, and it turns out to have been a major political disaster, that just proves that you didn't understand the context you were fighting in and what you needed to do to win."

Can't agree strongly enough with this post from cmdicely.

Point is especially true when your most recently restated goal of military action is political transformation, i.e. the establishment of "democracy." Rather than, say, destruction of WMD.

Can you say "Mission Accomplished?"

Posted by: cal gal on February 25, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

"Walmart underpays they."

Tell me, rdw, did the institution which awarded you an MBA give extra credit if you drew the pirate real good?

Posted by: CFShep on February 25, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

I think the absolute stupidest remark rdw has made on this thread, among many, is that most people don't work past 60.

Boy do I wish.

Posted by: cal gal on February 25, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Cliff Clavin: By the time my son-in-law is 35 he'll follow the career path of many union carpenters and try to work the minimum 1,000 hours a year to collect beenfits and make more than double on an after-tax basis working under the table.

So here's law-and-order man Clavin proudly boasting that his son-in-law is engaged in an ongoing criminal enterprise to defraud the federal and state governments by not reporting his income and cheating on his tax returns, thereby making him a felon. And not only is Clavin aware, he's both actively boasting and possibly aiding him in this criminal scheme. Here's a tip, Cliffie: if you're BREAKING THE LAW it's not a good idea to post evidence of it on the Internet where any enterprising IRS agent might see it and decide that an audit of your family might not be such a bad idea.

Not to mention that his unionized son-in-law and unionized daughter nurse are able to enjoy their sizeable salary and benefits only because of their unions, unions which liberals fought for and conservatives opposed and continue to oppose. If it was up to Clavin's Republican corporate masters his daughter and son-in-law would be replaced with $5 an hour immigrant laborers so fast it would make their heads spin.

My god is he stupid.

Posted by: Stefan on February 25, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

If you think you've won a military victory, and it turns out to have been a major political disaster, that just proves that you didn't understand the context you were fighting in and what you needed to do to win."

I absolutely understand context. LBJ had one context in Vietnam while the American soldier has a much different context. They had a military role and responsibility and performed with kill and valor. John Kerry trashed their military efforts in a political environment. The Johnny on the spot SBVs made him pay the price in a different, but similar political environment.

The old lefty made a political calculation. A bad one. It cost him. What we have going on right now in the ongoing fight between conservatives and liberals is representative of this refighting of the Vietnam War. It's an example of liberals trying to recapture past glory but from a much weaker place. We now look back and see the draft-dodgers for what they are, cowards. It was easy to impune the soldiers because by smearing them it hid their own cowardice. It made them feel they were doing 'the right thing'.

When I tell my kids there was a draft then and one could get out of serving by going into college they are outraged at the obvious unfairness. They are not at all surprised that college enrollment surged in the era. Now if they hear an old lefty explain they did not serve because they opposed the war they know, 'coward'.

What we have today in discussing Vietnam is cowards covering their asses. Kerry is only a bit different. He was not a coward in the classic context. He was an opportunists. Of course one can argue that using that forum to issue a blanket smear of veterans not in a position to defend themselves is cowardly but the over-riding characteristics were vanity and opportunism.

Kerry tried to use his Vietnam experience in a military context to show he wasn't the 'typical liberal', i.e., he actually served. The SBVs were able to use his own words, spoken in a political context, to defeat him.

We won a military victory in 1968 and suffered a political defeat in 1975. JFK suffered his political defeat in 2004. It's quite poetic when you think about it.

Posted by: rdw on February 25, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

And not only is Clavin aware, he's both actively boasting and possibly aiding him in this criminal scheme.

Who do you think is advising him? I even sold him my duplex so he could hide more of his income. I had used up the tax advantages and it was a cash cow. I also moved too far to be bothered. Do you have any idea of how cool a duplex is? Do you know what happens if you ger your tenants to pay in cash? Do you know just about everything you buy can be used as an expense?

Don't be such a putz. White collar types always think blue collar types are rubes.

Best of all, it's perfectly legal, as long as you understand the process.

Posted by: rdw on February 25, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: A one-man Idiot-army.

Can I just attempt to re-phrase the Vietnam/military victory question?

Q- Did the American people wish to commit genocide against the Vietnamese people?

A- Probably not.

Q- Was it possible to prevent a communist victory in Vietnam without committing a genocide against the Vietnamese people?

A- No.

Q- Was the inadequacy of military means to achieve a goal acceptable to America apparent from the outset of our involvement in Vietnam?

A- It was apparent to our leaders years before it became apparent to the public because our leaders feared the domestic political consequences of being labeled 'soft on communism.'

And thus this heart-breaking tragedy might have been avoided by wiser, more selfless leaders.

Posted by: obscure on February 25, 2006 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

unions which liberals fought for and conservatives opposed and continue to oppose

That's not exactly true. Although it is understandable for liberals to be depressed about the crashing fortunes of liberals they have themselves to blame.

How many liberals buy union? Not many. next time you see a Gore or Kerry Bumber sticker or any anti-bush screed look at the car it's attached to. 2 to 1 it's foreign made.

Posted by: rdw on February 25, 2006 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Listen, Cliffie, just a bit of legal advice here: it is really not a very good idea to boast of income tax fraud, in written form on the Internet, no less, to someone you know is an officer of the court. Remember, the government is reading every word you type....

Posted by: Stefan on February 25, 2006 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

"Bumber sticker"

Another rdw neologism. rdw writes like he thinks: bumb and bumber.

Posted by: Joel on February 25, 2006 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK


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Posted by: 香港 on February 25, 2006 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

A- It was apparent to our leaders years before it became apparent to the public because our leaders feared the domestic political consequences of being labeled 'soft on communism.'

It was apparent to the pacifist left maybe just as it is apparent to the pacifist left that war is evil and no warmaker more evil than the USA. They were the same group trashing Sharon and praising Barak. They actually think the answer to everything is calmly talking things out and violence solves nothing. They say that but don't actually believe it. These are the same clowns who awarded Arafat a peace prize.

They also said Arafat could not be defeated. Sharon proved that wrong making sure the last few years of his life were pure humiliation and ending the infatada using violence.

Our military was not inadequate in Vietnam. Their rules of engagement were inadequate.

Posted by: rdw on February 26, 2006 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

to someone you know is an officer of the court. Remember, the government is reading every word you type....

There aren't enough hours in the day for them to read silly blogs. Even if they had the time they don't have the motivation. You need to try thsoe kinds of threats on a liberal audience. It requires the high level of paranoia endemic of that species.

Besides, as I said, the mind boggles at the opportunities we have to reduce our income taxes. Just think what a carpenter or mechanic or plumber can do with even a short client list. Who can't use a skilled, trust-worthy carpenter a few times a year? How many would jump at the chance to pay cash and save 10%?

He hadn't completed his 1st year of carpentry school and he had to reduce his 'book'. He simply could not meet the demand. Now he has a short list of reliable clients and a couple of contractors willing to take him on in a heartbeat. For now he works full time and overtime for his employer because he's still learning and being treated very well. He's max'd out his 401k and pension contributions and will let them build before he reduces to 1,000 hours. He will also buy a bigger home and one more duplex while his reported income is so high. But 1,000 hours is the standard career path and he'll follow it

The lad was always a bit sheepish about not doing college. It took a fair amount of instruction from me to explain the promise of his future expecially the need to look at after tax rather than pre-tax income and to invest aggressively when young.

Our parents didn't have company match 401ks, IRAs or Roth IRAs. I had him max out his 401k the day he started (age 23) and my daughter as well. Each is putting 16% of their salaries away. That's money they'll never get used to living on and will compound powerfully over the next 25 years. That'll be quite the trust fund. They want to retire by age 50.

They also want to own their own home and a vacation home. I sold them my duplex and they're about to buy another fixer-upper duplex. He's a carpenter and his best bud is a plumber. In his shop he's friends with electricians and roofers. The kid doesn't pay for anything. He's a hard worker with a very, very bright future.

This is why I have him salute my 20 ft flagpole each time he brings my grandkids over. This is why he does it gladly. This is a great country.

BTW: This is also why I'm in favor of letting as many latin immmigrants in who wish to come and will observe the laws. I see a great many very hard working people. We can always use them.

My point here isn't to brag about my kids but to show how smart the younger generation is and give liberals one more reason to worry. In this case the paranoia is justified. We see on college campuses the whacky liberals are in the faculty. The student body is far to the right of their professors. The Larry Summers fiasco is instruction. The faculty thinks he's Joe McCarthy. The student body supports him by 3 to 1. This generation is very, very different than the boomers.

My son-in-law is a union carpenter and my daughter a nurse. You want to tell them they got lucky? You want to tell them they are more successful than others because they won 'life's lottery'. You want to tell them they need to pay higher taxes so the 'downtrodden' can have more? He won't be buying your crap. He knows luck is a 12 hour work day. He will have the American Dream and it's not your version.

Posted by: rdw on February 26, 2006 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

rdw writes like he thinks: bumb and bumber.

Joel, you are a rare breed. A liberal with a sense of humor.

Posted by: rdw on February 26, 2006 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

this heart-breaking tragedy might have been avoided by wiser, more selfless leaders

This heart-breaker was another key battle in the cold war that showed the Russians we'll face them anywhere and everywhere. Not until Jimmy Carter did they doubt this and thus try to spread their poison in so many places making him the complete buffoon. That global tradegy could have been avoiding had he not been so pathetic. Gorby understood Reagan was no Carter and the USSR could never hope to compete.

Reagan freed 1B people and defeated socialism without firing a shot. If only Jimmy had some backbone it would have happened sooner.

Liberals are not going to write the final history on Vietnam or any history of Reagan. Ask Dan Rather how this works these days.

Posted by: rdw on February 26, 2006 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

"Liberals are not going to write the final history on Vietnam ."

The final history on the US military involvement in Vietnam has already been written, rdw. The US lost, and we left S. Vietnam on our opponent's terms. Whereupon, the N. Vietnamese Army moved in and completed their conquest of the South. Their plan was always to outlast us. They were patient and their patience paid off. It has nothing to do with the press, Dan Rather, Walter Cronkite or any of your other Dolchstosslegende.

Keep waiting for another history, though, rdw.

Posted by: Joel on February 26, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

It has nothing to do with the press, Dan Rather, Walter Cronkite

It had everything to do with the press, especially Uncle Walter.

Posted by: rdw on February 26, 2006 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK
The most amazing fact is he defeated communism without firing a shot BECAUSE they knew competing against Star Wars was impossible. Posted by: rdw
Not only is Starwars still not deployed and still not functional, it is easily defeated with mirvs, flack, and electronic countermeasures.
Obssessed, maybe or just possessed. I will go with the latter. Posted by: Jay
Beware the might Clentis. It has been the downfall of many a Republican.
African nations with less than 3 planes don't count. Posted by: rdw
But they do since they have troops in Afghanistan.
They were devastated in the Tet offensive and never fully recovered. They did not kick the crap out of US forces. It was the other way around. They were thoroughly defeated Posted by: rdw
So that's why Ford withdrew from Vietnam. He defeated the VietCong in the field. No, wait, Ford ran with his tail between his legs. It's difficult to keep track of Republican revisionist history.
It had everything to do with the press, especially Uncle Walter. Posted by: rdw
No, it had nothing to do with Cronkite but everything to do with the facts on the ground, the same as in Iraq. You need to compare Bush's pathetic economy to Clinton's. Republicans are just plain sad. Posted by: Mike on February 26, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

"It had everything to do with the press, especially Uncle Walter."

Baghdad Bob discovers history.

Posted by: Joel on February 26, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Our military was not inadequate in Vietnam. Their rules of engagement were inadequate.

rdw,

Your boundless ignorance is only matched by your breathtaking immorality.

Quick-like: no assertion was made that 'our military' was inadequate in Vietnam. This says a lot about your ability to follow and assess an argument.

The assertion was made that military means were inadequate to achieve our goals. If the American public would have accepted committing genocide in Vietnam, then military means would have been sufficient to prevent a communist victory. We could have simply killed 2 of every 3 gooks and been done with it.

You see, unlike the public at large, genocide would have been acceptable to you. That says something about you, and it isn't flattering.

Why not just keep quiet and let people assume you're a fool rather than continually spouting off and eliminating all doubt?

Like, take a lesson from Clarence Thomas, or something.

Posted by: obscure on February 26, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

Like, take a lesson from Clarence Thomas, or something

Be nice to Clarence. With John and Sam and Antonin we have the 4 most conservative justices in a century. Plus with Clarence serving another 3 decades he has all the time in the world to make speeches.

Posted by: rdw on February 27, 2006 at 5:24 AM | PERMALINK

Not only is Starwars still not deployed and still not functional, it is easily defeated with mirvs, flack, and electronic countermeasures

Doesn't that make it even better? Gorby and the Russians were obsessed with it. Reagan bluffed them out of their shoes. The man was brilliant.

Posted by: rdw on February 27, 2006 at 5:28 AM | PERMALINK

No, it had nothing to do with Cronkite but everything to do with the facts on the ground, the same as in Iraq. You need to compare Bush's pathetic economy to Clinton's. Republicans are just plain sad.

The average 4% GDP growth in the period since the supply side tax cuts is the srongest growth since Reagan. It's been stronger than any period in the 90s and we have no bubbles, no accounting scandals and no recession in sight. Best if sll since those tax cuts have now been extended and we are in the middle of a powerful, well balanced global boom this growth is very sustainable. Asia has emerged as a 2nd engine of Growth, wih America, and will propel this boom indefinitely.

Posted by: rdw on February 27, 2006 at 5:35 AM | PERMALINK

No, it had nothing to do with Cronkite but everything to do with the facts on the ground, the same as in Iraq.

Uncle Walt is toast. Wait until the SBVs get done with him. Right now he's just a whack old man. When he dies the MSM will hold their eulogies which Fox and the rest will blow out of the water.

Posted by: rdw on February 27, 2006 at 5:38 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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