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Tilting at Windmills

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March 3, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

KAFKA'S LEGACY....Via Pecunium, the Washington Post reports on the real-world results of John McCain's anti-torture bill:

In federal court yesterday and in legal filings, Justice Department lawyers contended that a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, cannot use legislation drafted by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to challenge treatment that the detainee's lawyers described as "systematic torture."

...."Unfortunately, I think the government's right; it's a correct reading of the law," said Tom Malinowski, Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. "The law says you can't torture detainees at Guantanamo, but it also says you can't enforce that law in the courts."

I have a lot of reasons for wishing that liberals would stop falling for McCain's "straight talk" schtick, and this is one of them: even on the issues where he's one of the good guys, he caves in too often to have much of an impact. His ambition to be president is palpable in everything he does, and it's what's responsible for his routine compromises on issues he supposedly considers matters of honor, his cozying up to George Bush whenever it's politically convenient, and his bizarre recent temper tantrum against Barack Obama. He's certainly mastered the art of sounding reasonable, but it's only an inch deep. Underneath, he's just a standard issue right wing politician. Caveat emptor.

Kevin Drum 4:04 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (356)

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Comments

I have been voting against McCain ever since he carptetbagged into my state to take John Rhodes' Congressional seat. He is a right wing nut.

Posted by: Hostile on March 3, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Who cares?

Posted by: lettuce on March 3, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

I have a lot of reasons for wishing that liberals would stop falling for McCain's "straight talk" schtick, . . .

Who are these "liberals"? As I've posted here before, he's either insane or a complete sleaze. Nothing else explains his lickspittle attitude towards the Bush administration. I don't know any real liberals that have any thing good to say about him.

The "liberals" that give him the time of day are a handful of career politicians masquerading as Democrats.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 3, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

The MSM loves him, though, so any attempt to portray as just another politician is going to have to get throught "the filter." You can bet the way Bush emasculated him in 2000 will not be used to indicate his weaknesses as a candidate and a human being.

And being captured and tortured by the enemy does not make you a "hero." It makes you a victim.

Posted by: brewmn on March 3, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

I have a lot of reasons for wishing that liberals would stop falling for McCain's "straight talk" schtick, and this is one of them: even on the issues where he's one of the good guys, he caves in too often to have much of an impact.

EXACTLY!

Posted by: shortstop on March 3, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

While McCain is not an incarnation of Jesus, like Good King George, once Al, Cheney, and I accept the fact that McCain is our best chance to Feel Manly by having poor people sent to blow up brown people, we'll get on board. Soon, McCain will also be able to Do No Wrong!

And he will win, Dems. Viva Diebold!

Posted by: Freedom Phucker on March 3, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Antarctic Ice Melting at Surprisingly Rapid Rate

Crazy....

Posted by: gg on March 3, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Laws you can't enforce in court.

Freedom Is On The March !!

Posted by: peBird on March 3, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

McCain will not be president. He's losing credibility, and he's probably not healthy enough either. I just don't see him making it. Of course, he could prove me wrong.

Posted by: Jimm on March 3, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK
I have a lot of reasons for wishing that liberals would stop falling for McCain's "straight talk" schtick, and this is one of them: even on the issues where he's one of the good guys, he caves in too often to have much of an impact.

I disagree. They aren't issues where he is one of the good guys. He's issue where he pretends to be one of the good guys so that, as the Republican "good guy" challenging the "bad guys" he'll get lots of maneuvering room from the other "good guys", which he then exploits to strategically cave in and make sure the "bad guys" are protected.

The amazing thing is people keep falling for it.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 3, 2006 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

If I remember correctly, that jurisdiction provision was stuck in there by Lindsey Graham, the McCain wannabe from South Carolina. McCain was ostensibly against it, but gave in so the legislation would pass. Nonetheless, it's disheartening that legislation ostensibly meant to prohibit torture is currently taken by the administration as a green light to engage in it.

Posted by: Monstertron on March 3, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is a major league prick.

And this is one of the web's best exposing posts.

At the very least... scroll down and look at the children that McCain help bring into the world.

He is quite the progenitor ain't he?

Yep...
He is part prick and part psychopath...

In short:
He's got all the ingredients to make a great president.

Posted by: koreyel on March 3, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder how much money he got from Charlie Keating.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on March 3, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately some Democrats do fall for the McCain schtick. Especially Henry Jackson liberals.

For example, Mickey Kaus, or many of my friends.

Anyone who doesn't think McCain will peel off a lot of conservative Democratic votes is out of touch.

McCain is by far the strongest candidate the Republicans can field in the general election. He would be verrry hard to beat.

Posted by: tomtom on March 3, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah Kevin! Excellent point.

The major pundits love McCain. He's the most asked for guest on the Sunday blabfests.

But he's a hard core conservative. He was on the take in the Keating Scandal. He was a huge supporter of the Iraq adventure. And of course, he went all the way with Team Bush in 2004.

BUT - McCain's got sky high approval ratings (mainly because the press puffed him, methinks.) And the GOP seem to be moving behind him. The machine appears to be realized he's there best (and maybe only bet) for 2006 and 2008. They don't have anyone else with credibility and stature. (Guiliani has too many skeletons in plain sight.)

And these advantages will stay in place if the Democrats don't start knocking the halo off McCain. You can see the shine coming off Lieberman's halo right now as progressives start beating on him. A similar sustained drive could have similar effects on McCain.

Recommendations:
1) Recognize that McCain is more-or-less the GOP leader right now.
2) Opinion makers need to make sure that they start scraping off McCain's halo (like this, thanks again Kevin.)
3) Democrats need to make a pact: no one say a nice word about the leader of the opposition. And challenge him hard.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on March 3, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Come 2008, it's going to be very interesting to see how successful McCain can possibly be in removing the stench of Republicanism from his slippery hide. I'm guessing it's going to be a lot harder than people imagine.

2008 is not going to be Republican friendly, any way you look at it, what with the systematic failures all around by every last redoubt of Republican control. And who's going to seem less the Republican, McCain, or his Democratic opponent?

Posted by: frankly0 on March 3, 2006 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

A law you can't enforce in court is hardly much of a 'law' is it?

Posted by: cld on March 3, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Come 2008, it's going to be very interesting to see how successful McCain can possibly be in removing the stench of Republicanism from his slippery hide.

Four words: Birthday cake with George.

Will we get smart and use it at every opportunity?

Posted by: shortstop on March 3, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Damn right.

Posted by: Chris O. on March 3, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, McCain has some skeletons...

Trust us. We know.

FYI - Al wears Depends. Hee-hee.

Posted by: NSA Mole on March 3, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

I couldn't agree more: McCain is phenomenally successful at portraying himself as somehow above politics, but he's totally right-wing. This is ominous for 2008. My Dem voting Korean war vet brother-in-law says, "if McCain runs, I'll vote for him regardless of his views". We better think seriously about running Wesley Clark if we want a shot at the presidency in 2008. Even then we better get ready to throw some dirt.

Posted by: ExBrit on March 3, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

At one point in time I would have voted for McCain or Powell...but not anymore! And, while I'm at it, i will not for Hillary either! cleve

Posted by: cleve on March 3, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Now, wouldn't really meaning it and standing up to Bush be better play for Presidential ambitions? Maybe it's just a character flaw... anyone who would have any respect or regard for the team that smeared and derailed his earlier campaign...

Posted by: Neil' on March 3, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Four words: Birthday cake with George

Better yet, eight words:

Birthday cake with George while New Orleans drowns

Posted by: frankly0 on March 3, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

KD: I have a lot of reasons for wishing that liberals would stop falling for McCain's "straight talk" schtick...

Amen to that! I fell for it way back in 2004 until McCain revealed himself to be the Bushlicker that he truly is. He's an ambitious whore though not in the Jeff Gannon male prostitute-y way.


Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 3, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Drum says:

"He's certainly mastered the art of sounding reasonable, but it's only an inch deep. Underneath, he's just a standard issue right wing politician. Caveat emptor."

In that way, he is a mirror image of Hillary, save that Hillary is a bit less talented at doing it.

Posted by: Mike on March 3, 2006 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

"if McCain runs, I'll vote for him regardless of his views"

Gah! I hate it when people say stuff like that. Makes me want to shake them.

Posted by: jefff on March 3, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

I was entertaining the delusional hope that McCain would sign on with Kerry in '04, to form a national unity ticket. Since then it's become clear that McCain's endless posturing would never have allowed it.

I'm hopeful that his chances for the White House are a lot less than the talk show hosts seem to believe.

Posted by: sglover on March 3, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

This is more political obfuscation. Everyone knows what the law is supposed to be about -- America shouldn't torture. But as with everything the administration does, it's say one thing while doing the opposite -- the opposite being something a majority of Americans are against, which is why they lie. For McCain to be disingenuous just shows he's another politician with questionable character.

Posted by: Cali4nian on March 3, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

In that way, he is a mirror image of Hillary, save that Hillary is a bit less talented at doing it. Posted by: Mike

Hardly. During her short tenure in the Senate she's actually shown she stands for nothing.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 3, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

I hate to post observations of the obvious, but the thread on this post of Kevin's has an unusual amount of juvenile, stupid comments even for this site. There are junior high school phys ed classes capable of a more elevated discussion.

Posted by: Zathras on March 3, 2006 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

So Zathras, since you're so deep, why don't you post your astute observations rather than adding to the juvenile comments?

Posted by: frankly0 on March 3, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

If you need reminding that McCain is a vicious slimeball, read about his astoundingly unethical character assassination of one of the witnesses against John Tower.

Posted by: KCinDC on March 3, 2006 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Some old school marm

wandered in to harumph

about elevating the discussion

but didn't.

Posted by: t-t-t-trolls r us on March 3, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

I never understood the McCain craze either. I have mixed feelings about McCain the Senator, but I definitely do not like McCain the presidential aspirant...and he's been campaigning for at least 7 years now.

Posted by: gq on March 3, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of bogus legislation, three out of four Senate Dems rolled over and voted for the renewal of the Patriot Act today. My own senators were among the herd. As was Kerry. As was Hillary. Also today, Dems on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee helped spike a congressional ethics reform.

After bankruptcy "reform", I'd decided that I wouldn't be writing any more campaign contribution checks to a major party candidate. Now I'm finding it more and more difficult to believe that I should even bother leaving the house on election day. Don't get me wrong, I loathe everything the current GOP stands for. But the only thing the Dems seem capable of is betrayal.

Posted by: sglover on March 3, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

You know, it would be a very interesting thing to see how often McCain actually voted against the party line.

I'm guessing it's going to be in fact just about never -- certainly all the important votes I can recollect found McCain voting standard Republican.

And he's not in any way responsible for the way the Republican Party has fucked up while controlling Congress? How might that work?

Posted by: frankly0 on March 3, 2006 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

According to Bush, McCain's bill wasn't worth the toilet paper it was written on......If John runs for president, his lack of real influence and his williness to be patsy for this criminal administration should be mentioned over and over again.

Posted by: Jersey-Missouri on March 3, 2006 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

If Imus gets warm for McCain's form, it can't be good.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on March 3, 2006 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

sglover wrote: three out of four Senate Dems rolled over and voted for the renewal of the Patriot Act today. My own senators were among the herd. As was Kerry. As was Hillary. Also today, Dems on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee helped spike a congressional ethics reform [...] But the only thing the Dems seem capable of is betrayal.

www.gp.org

I've been a registered Democrat since 1972. I contributed donated money and work to Dennis Kucinich's presidential primary campaign in 2004, inspired by his vision of building a progressive political movement within the Democratic Party. I saw how the Democratic establishment responded (ignore, ridicule, marginalize, and ignore some more) to Kucinich's platform of peace, economic justice, civil liberties and ecological sanity. I changed my voter registration to Green last year.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 3, 2006 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

Secular-

Kucinich is a dork. That is a fact, and no matter what he sells it will not resonate with shallow Americana.

We need a progressive Dem that has the balls of Kucinich and the appeal of Clinton. Dean was the ticket, but you see how that turned out.

We are doomed.

Posted by: Chris on March 3, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

"The law says you can't torture detainees at Guantanamo, but it also says you can't enforce that law in the courts."

That's some catch, that Catch-22.

Posted by: Hamilton Lovecraft on March 3, 2006 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

I have no respect for McCain's tushy-wiggling for the Bush administration. He's a whore. I registered Republican in 2000, just so I could vote for him. What a disappointment - but looking back, I'm glad I know more about him now than I did in 2000. Bush or McCain? What a terrible choice.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on March 3, 2006 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

Honestly, as much as Hillary has said "no" and Condi has said "no" - I'm pretty sure that 08 is going to be Hillary vs. Condi. (and it will be decided by Alito. . . ).

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on March 3, 2006 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

>>Four words: Birthday cake with George

>Better yet, eight words:

>Birthday cake with George while New Orleans drowns

How about we up the ante on this?

Imagine Condi (the repugs next best choice) running for President...

How many of you are willing---like me---to give up at least half a paycheck for an ad showing her buying spiked high heels in NYC while New Orleans drowns?

PS...

Q: And where was Dick?
A: On vacation.

Double PS...

Remember the Alamo: These are the same fuckers that destroyed Gore's reputation. Ergo: Show no fucking mercy.


Posted by: koreyel on March 3, 2006 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

We are doomed.
Posted by: Chris on March 3, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

Indeed.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on March 3, 2006 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

How many of you are willing---like me---to give up at least half a paycheck for an ad showing her buying spiked high heels in NYC while New Orleans drowns?

Or an ad showing her saying "Osama bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside United States" playing over and over and over again....

But nah, Rice won't run. She doesn't have the personality for it -- remember, she's never held one elective office in her life. She's only ever advanced by attaching herself to powerful mentors and being appointed to positions by them.

Posted by: Stefan on March 3, 2006 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

In other news, the Japanese have successfully created gasoline from bullshit.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060304/ap_on_sc/cow_dung_gasoline

Who would have guessed Republicans could be the secret to US energy independence?

Posted by: MJ Memphis on March 3, 2006 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Bush issued a presidential signing statement saying his administration would interpret the new law (mcpains bill) "in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the "unitary executive" branch.

Unitarry Execuutive powers,
Well hell if'n dat dunt skare da bahjeebies outta peeple ah dunt kno whut will

Posted by: one eye buck tooth [X^B on March 3, 2006 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

n other news, the Japanese have successfully created gasoline from bullshit.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060304/ap_on_sc/cow_dung_gasoline

Who would have guessed Republicans could be the secret to US energy independence?
Posted by: MJ Memphis on March 3, 2006 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK


sheet ol terdblossom gonna bee richr'n hellahburton

Posted by: one eye buck tooth [X^B on March 3, 2006 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

Bush or McCain? What a terrible choice.

Oh it's much worse that that. It's Bush AND McCain. Big John has been exceptionally shrewd in courting conservatives. His vote for tax cuts was brilliant. His help in getting Roberts and Alito o the bench as well as janice rodgers brown and Priscilla Owens. His consistently strong positions on lower spending. Even his much hated campaign finance reform can be forgiven:

1) It's been better for the GOP. It brought Moveon.org and George soros into the game and they've been disasters. The GOP got the SBVs and they probably defeated kerry.

2) McCain appointed alito and Roberts and they'll roll back the bill anyway.

McCain is perfectly positioned for 2008. Even those conservatives still pissed at John will see Hillary on the other side. That makes voting for John a duty.

2001 - 2016 Bush - McCain.

Posted by: rdw on March 3, 2006 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

McCain sometimes (calculatedly) pulls the veil back from his contempt for Bush. But when it counts he's right up there on the podium shoving ``9-11'' into every other sentence to keep Bush in the White House and rubberstamping the asses Bush nominates for the Supreme Court.

Posted by: secularhuman on March 3, 2006 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

How about an ad that just shows Bush sitting there, stone silent, during the Katrina briefing. No voice-over at all, until at the end the narrator says "George? What are you waiting for?"

Posted by: Stefan on March 3, 2006 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Wooten :)

Heh, just as I was about to offer one summarizing comment before I go off to do fun things on a Friday night, who should show up but my favorite (well, one of my favorite) wingers ...

I honestly think the CW is wrong here, for several reasons. First is that McCain is simply too old, and he's got a whopping litany of health issues that have followed him back from the Hanoi Hilton. Modern medicine's a wonderful thing, but a presidential campaign is incredibly gruelling -- this won't be a Reagan cakewalk in '84. This sumbitch is going to be challenged at every turn.

McCain also has a Dean problem. The very thing that made both these candidates so fascinating for the press -- their outspokenness (I won't call it "hotheadedness" or any of the other nonsense perjoratives) -- also makes them extremely impolitic. Unike Bush who never apologizes, McCain invites the press corps and confabs about the etiology of one decision for hours ... it's a recipe guaranteed to produce damning quotes, gaffes, flashes of temper, etc.

The collorary is that McCain has a positively *immense* ego. This is part of why he loves palling around with the press -- he thinks every word he utters is of utmost importance. And what this will mean is that all the talk about his tactically "brilliant" cozying up to Bush and the Bush base really isn't more than skin deep. McCain knows he needs these people, but he is not *of* these people. He actually went to Vietnam -- most of the GOP machinery didn't. McCain has religious airs, but he's a Catholic (IIRC), not a Prot fundie. He truly feels he's better than these people, more honorable, from a different universe. He needs to bond with this base, and my guess is he just won't be constitutionally able to when a more congenially social conservative gets in like George Allen. The social conservatives, of course, have no qualms against using the sleaziest kinds of attack politics. If not Rove and/or Reed, then certainly their acolytes will be gunning for John in the primaries.

Plus I honestly don't think Hil's going to run. Maybe I'm wrong; I'm certainly rooting for a strong GOP challenger to emerge in the Senate race, just to take some sheen off ... but she's a horrible speaker and has no real charisma. I think, being married to the virtuoso Democrat of the 20th century has rendered this apparent to her. Speaking after Bill at the CSC funeral made it painfully obvious to all. Hil's a great senator, an amazing grasp of detail, fantastic retail politics ... but I just don't see her cutting a rug on the national stage.

Again, I'm far less comfortable about this prediction than I am about McCain not running. He's a pure media creation and the media deflates as quickly as it inflates ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 3, 2006 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK
Big John has been exceptionally shrewd in courting conservatives. His vote for tax cuts was brilliant. Posted by:rdw
McCain, typical Republican political expediency

"I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief."--John McCain, May 2001
"He voted against tax cuts in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005, and this year he's for the tax cuts in the reconciliation bill. It looks like he did it for political reasons."
--Grover Norquist, on McCains conversion, now

Posted by: Mike on March 3, 2006 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is more dangerous than the bushcriminal because he is smarter - he actiually does things on purpose versus bush's just doing what he feels like at the moment then lying about it as needed.

Posted by: gak on March 3, 2006 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

"He voted against tax cuts in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005, and this year he's for the tax cuts in the reconciliation bill. It looks like he did it for political reasons."

Of course he did it for political reasons. His mistake in 2000 was in thinking he could win a GOP nomination without conservatives. He's learned.

He can easily defend his support for this extension because this is for the capital gains and investment incentives which in fact have paid for themselves. I suspect he'll also support a continuation of the marginal rate cuts because the economic performance since 2003 has been so powerful and tax collections are catching up. 2005 was a fabulous year, I think tax receipts were up 15% and with very strong 1st Qtr GDP and so far a very good stock market performance 2006 has a terrific start for tax revenues.

McCain can easily say, "I'm not voting for tax cuts. I just not voting for a tax increase". This was almost a gimme.

Posted by: rdw on March 3, 2006 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

Plus I honestly don't think Hil's going to run.

She is absolutely running. Everything she does is calibrated for the Presidency. Further, you can't stop her. She has the feminists and minorities in her pocket as well as NYS and CA.

Posted by: rdw on March 3, 2006 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

McCain gets a 100% rating from the American Conservative Union.

Posted by: jose on March 3, 2006 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

When can we send out the attack dogs saying McCain married his wife for her money? Cindy is loaded as her daddy made millions selling crappy beer.

And let's rehash the secret black child story, that was a hoot in 2000.


Posted by: The Gorn on March 3, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Here's my conspiracy theory du jour: The national GOP has been piddling around in NY working to sabotage/discourage/not encourage any strong candidate to emerge as a Senate challenger -- precisely to groom Hil for a knockout win, the better to coronate her for '08, as they see Hil as their dream opponent.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 3, 2006 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

McCain also has a Dean problem

You take it too far. Dean is whacko. John has a temper but he's far shrewder than Dean. He's also been in the game more than anyone else. He's done 1,000 Russerts and 10,000 talk radio interviews with all types from Imus to Hewlett to Hannity and you name it. He's very polished.

He does have a huge ego but is it any worse than Kerry or Biden or Dean or Frist or Hillary? I actually think McCain does a better job of hiding his massive ego than most of them. You are correct about his temper but he's been good about that as well more recently.

McCain is very well respected among independents. He is an authentic hero (Not to get on about Kerry but presenting him as a hero was a serious mistake) who does not like to be called a hero. People love that. Independents like the fact he's very partisan and will compliment and get along with libs. McCain infuriated conservatives by saying kerry would make a fine President. If races are own in the 'middle' as everyone seems to ageee, Big John is in easy. They like John.

Liberals even like John. Kerry did every thing he could to get him in the race.

His only weak spot is Conservatives and he's had an amazing 6 month run. We are thrilled with Roberts and Alito. Better than we could have expected and John was a big help. Janice Rodgers Brown and Priscilla Owens will be stars and John helped there as well. Conservatives are furious with bush on spending and john has been strong there for a long time. McCain has been very good on iraq and security and is an authentic social conservative.

Campaign finance reform killed him in 2000 but is no longer an issue.

I don't see age as an issue at all. Reagan is by far the most beloved President since FDR so I don't know why you'd ever bring it up since that'll be the immediate comparison.

But be far his beggest edge is Hillary. John beats her easy. I personally am not a McCain fan. I like Geore Allen. But I am very impressed with McCains recent skill in changing his image and I want a GOP President. I want the person most likely to beat Hillary.

One other think about her. The Democratic bench sucks. I don't see a single decent candidate for VP let alone President. Edwards, Kerry and Biden are jokes. They are insulting. Edwards couldn't carry his own state. Biden has a bigger ego than McCain and is a babbling idiot. Warner from VA migh be decent but he doesn't seem to have a boatlaod of charisma either. I always thougth Bill Richardson was a decent guy but he got caught with a resume error and isn't a ball of fire either.

You don't have any competition for her.

Posted by: rdw on March 3, 2006 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

To me, it's still the hypocrisy on the torture question that gets my goat.

McCain was tortured in Hanoi because North Vietnam, while a signatory of the Geneva Conventions, found a legalistic way not to apply them to US pilots. They said that since the US air war against North Vietnam was illegal, US pilots were "air pirates" rather than enemy soldiers - shades of "illegal combatants"! - and weren't protected under the Geneva Conventions.

That he can now endorse a similar legalistic justification for American torture baffles and repels me. I hope his old broken leg starts aching when he thinks about it, right at the spot where he says Vietnamese interrogators jumped on it.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 3, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

Warner has got more charm and charisma that you give him credit for, rdw. Virgina is a mostly red state, and he carries that crowd well. He does the gun owner/good christian thing better than most dems ever could.

Gov. Schweitzer from Montana would be a drak horse pick as well.

Posted by: The Gorn on March 3, 2006 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

they see Hil as their dream opponent.

True but they'd love to find a strong candidate.

1st off they'd love to force her to spend money. The fear now is she'll raise $80M an spend 3M. That $77M will let her start campaigning immediately.

2nd, you always want a strong candidate. Even a loss can be a stepping stone for a quality candidate. Assume she wins in 08. The Gov appoints a replacement until the next election. If the GOP candidate does a good job in losing they're set up in 2-yrs for another election.

The example now is PA and Lynn Swann. Rove can't lose. The GOP bench isn't deep and Rendell isa very savvy governor with all the advantages. Put Lynn in there and fine out if all the things that make him a good candidate on paper translate well in a campaign. "IF" he proves to be a good candidate he's got a solid shot at an upset.

If he loses but still does a nice job he's perfectly set up for 2010 when Rendell is term limited and Arlen spector will probably retire. Also, assuming he does a nice job in 06 he'll be the defacto party leader in 2008. McCain would love to visit PA 15 times and tour Pittsburg, Harrisburg, Altoona, Coatesville, Philly, etc., with Lynn Swann on his elbow.

I agree the GOP wants Hillary but they want a strong candidate to face her. Even if it's for grooming purposes. It isn't like the GOP is overwhelmed with great candidates in NY.

Posted by: rdw on March 3, 2006 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

Plus Clark and Bredesen. Preferably on the same ticket. Smart, handsome ex-general and West Point instructor from Arkansas, paired with a pragmatic successful businessman with experience getting elected in a red state. Works for me!

Posted by: MJ Memphis on March 3, 2006 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

He is an authentic hero (Not to get on about Kerry but presenting him as a hero was a serious mistake)

What makes him a hero? He was shot down on one of his first missions over Vietnam and spent the rest of the war sitting in a POW camp. He didn't talk, but neither did pretty much anyone else. He never did anything that saved fellow servicemembers from death or injury, and he never did anything particularly impressive in combat.

Ex-POWs and former Vietnamese interrogators agree that McCain brought a lot of the abusive treatment he endured on himself. He may have been the most obstreperous SOB in the Hanoi Hilton, and it's not clear that anything useful was accomplished by his antics. Pete Peterson, for example, never gave away any information or collaborated with Vietnamese attempts to get POWs to "admit their crimes" etc.; but he didn't go out of his way to provoke his captors either. Peterson's self-control led to better conditions for his fellow POWs. McCain's provocations just got himself and other treated worse, for no good reason.

John Kerry went out of his way to court danger on several occasions and saved the lives of a number of his crewmembers and other servicemen. He is a war hero. You may have been fooled by the insidious and filthy smears spread by the Swift Boat liars, but enough is enough - stop spreading the lies. The election is over, and there's really no need to continue slandering an American war hero.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 3, 2006 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

He does the gun owner/good christian thing better than most dems ever could.

I haven't seen him much so I'll take your word for it. He'll have to catch lightening in a bottle to beat Hillary. She owns the feminist and how many non-feminists females will vote her in just because 'it's time'. I'd bet a substantial portion of liberal males would do as as well just to be PC. Add in a very strong showing among minorites (25% of the base) and she's very well set.

Are you going to get the lefties to go for Warner? I can't see it. These people still want Dean.

Posted by: rdw on March 3, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

McCain's cockiness reminds me of another Republican member of congress, a former Vietnam fighter pilot war hero, one who accomplished a lot more than McCain ever did in combat - an ace, actually, who shot down a half dozen MiGs - and who had the typical fighter pilot's abrasiveness and self-regard, and fancied himself a gruff no-nonsense guy, just speaking the truth like a regular guy and standing up for America.

What was that guy's name again? Oh yeah - Duke Cunningham.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 3, 2006 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: vdeedd on March 3, 2006 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

Cliff, words come out of your keyboard, but really, they don't string together to make meaningful sentences.

That entire last post reads like "bla bla bla Hillary bla bla bla liberals bla bla bla Dean" - it's actually devoid of any factual content whatsoever. Which would be ok if you were trying to be funny. Was that it? Was your post meant to be funny?

Posted by: craigie on March 3, 2006 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Look, I worked in the Dean campaign, and whatever you might say about the Governor's intemperate remarks (and there have been a few that made me cringe), he is the last thing from a "whacko." Saying that only identifies you as a partisan unworthy of serious political analysis or simply unobservant. And of all of that group, Dean's ego is definitely the smallest. He's an "un-politician" -- that's precisely how he caught on.

Now -- let me explain what it is that certain hawkish liberals and indies liked about McCain, because I don't think you have much insight beyond the conservative base: It's somebody who stands on principle and sticks to his guns.

The problem is that, while McCain the deficit hawk has been busy cozying up to the Bush budget and McCain the anti-torturer (no compromise!) has been allowing toothless legislation pass as a fig leaf for an ongoing torture policy (the topic of this thread) -- he's blown his credibility with precisely these kind of voters.

The make-nice with Bush didn't demolish him necessarily because these voters dislike these positions ideologically (they can be defended) -- it demolished him because they see him caving on his most cherished principles. McCain the Maverick has become McCain the Insider -- all that talk show bloviation only establishes him as another Beltway Tim Russert squeak toy. He's not exciting anymore.

As for the war hero stuff -- well, consider what Iraq will look like in the fall of '08. Either the government will have caught on and the violence settled down (something we *all* hope for), in which case the war looks like a success -- but the public is also extremely weary of war, so a "war hero president" looks less than necessary. Or -- Iraq proves a disaster and we withdraw, and war heros look even *less* attractive. In either case, by '08 we'll have a pretty good idea at least of how it's going to shake out.

Of course another terrorist strike on our soil would change the complexion of everything, in which case all bets are off ... that would certainly help a guy like McCain. Then again -- there's also Wesley Clark, if you want to put a war hero up against a war hero ...

Mainly, though, McCain will wind up flaming out due to what the intense pressure of campaining will do to a man who doesn't take guff kindly and will have that much less energy to force himself to be civil and think first because he's that much older and lacking in vigor. Energy, being able to run on all eight cylinders for 72 hours at a time, means a great deal especially in the primaries.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 3, 2006 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

brooksfoe,

Kerry may have been a hero but he also was an exaggerator and as far as Xmas in Cambodia a liar. Kerry made an attempt to portray himself as a hero and that's unseemly and the congressional testimony was much worse. Kerry went in because he could't get any more deferments. McCain wanted to serve. Kerry got purple hearts for extremely marginal wounds. McCain was blown out of the sky and tortured. Kerry is just not an admirable guy

McCain gets respect for spending 6 years as a POW honorably. Just being a figher pilot and getting shot down commands respect as a person with drive, ability and courage. He never trashed his fellow troops or his country. He's never caried himself as a hero and has always been modest regarding his service.

I can guarrantee you no one will attack McCain on his service. Certainly not a Clinton.

Posted by: rdw on March 3, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

As for the war hero stuff -- well, consider what Iraq will look like in the fall of '08.

liberals are clueless on the importance of war experience. That's why you nominated kerry, always a bad candidate, in the 1st place.

McCains war hero status is about his character. It's about the kind of person he is under pressure. It has nothing to do with Iraq. We all want a President we can admire. McCain is a guy we can admire and respect.

You had no idea then and still don't that Kerrys war experiece was a negative because of what it told us about his character.

Posted by: rdw on March 3, 2006 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

I will attack McCain on his service. I see no reason why he should get any particular credit for it. The notion that he has "always been modest regarding his service" is ludicrous - he's always made quite sure everyone knew what he did in Vietnam.

McCain didn't do anything terribly wrong in Vietnam, but he didn't do anything particularly right either. Unlike more intelligent and reflective fellow POWs like Jim Stockdale and Pete Peterson, he doesn't seem to have ever done any reflection on the US's bloody and pointless failure in Vietnam and the meaning this might have for the future of US foreign policy and military conflicts. As for his conduct as a POW, there were 530-odd guys in the Hanoi Hilton who deserve as much credit or more, and I don't think any of them ought to be President, either.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 3, 2006 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

What McCain's conduct during and after the war told us about his character was that he's a stubborn, pigheaded fool who is incapable of recognizing or acknowledging error or personal blame. Much like our current CiC - also a former fighter pilot who never accomplished much in combat.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 3, 2006 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

he is the last thing from a "whacko.

Dean is absolutely a whacko. He was an awful candidate with a disasterous record both in actual primaries and in controlling his spending. He's an awful DNC chair making news every week for all of the wrong reasons.

Just today that dumb bastard tried to cite the Democrats strength on Defense citing all of the past Democratic Presidents viewed as strong in that area. FDR, Truman, JFK and Wilson. He had to go back 45 years!!! This highlights your weakness, Carter and Clinton were awful on defense.

Dean is stupid AND whacko.

Posted by: rdw on March 3, 2006 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Brooksfoe's extensive comments upthread (props, dude!) about McCain the Prima Donna Prisoner pretty much demolish the idea that he was anything like an actual war hero who pulled his buddies' chesnuts out of the fire ...

As for Hillary ... first of all, I don't think you have much insight into feminists if you think they're going to vote as a bloc. Most self-identified feminists are also pretty strongly liberal, and Hil has been assiduously alienating the base, looking for those "Sistah Soulja moments" where she can establish her centrist creds.

The one thing the wingnuts get wrong about Hillary is that she really *is* a Midwestern Methodist at heart, a center-liberal but by no means a leftie. What she also is, though, is a terrible prima donna (heh, speaking of prima donnas :) who is prone to self-aggrandizing and self-pitying remarks that everybody's out to get her (Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, etc) -- and these, out of context, make her look like a MoveOn lefty.

There's a real strong question whether or not she'll be able to resolve this dissonace between politics and personality and present a unified image of herself. If she can't do that -- if she can't define herself solidly before she steps into the ring -- she's toast.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 3, 2006 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

he's a stubborn, pigheaded fool

I'm not going to argue. You've got one hell of an education job and you won't be getting much help.

McCain is beloved. He has very, very high favorability ratings on his service. Attacking that would be pure suicide. No politician will do so. No politician will associate themselves with anyone else who does so. The MSM will not help and the conservative blogs won't. The liberal blogs just don't have the pull.

The man spent 6 years of his life in a POW camp for his country. You simply cannot take that away or criticize him on it.

Posted by: rdw on March 3, 2006 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

pretty much demolish the idea that he was anything like an actual war hero

Think so do you? By all mean run with it. Your party would get crushed.

Posted by: rdw on March 3, 2006 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

feminists if you think they're going to vote as a bloc.

They absolutely will vote as a bloc and they will vote for the female candidate. That especialy true for this female candidate with the very liberal voting record perfect on Abortion and all other significant feminist issues.

Posted by: rdw on March 3, 2006 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Howard Dean is not a whacko, rdw. Give it a rest. I worked with his campaign, you haven't. We've had the discussion about Trippi, etc ... You never learn, just keep repeating the talking points drummed into your head whether true or not.

Nothing further you say on this warrants comment.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 3, 2006 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

In the general -- sure. I'd vote for Hil in the general.

In the primary, as a bloc -- no fucking way.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 3, 2006 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

I can guarrantee you no one will attack McCain on his service.

Dubya did with help from Karl Rove.

rdw, what are you doing still up? I would have thought an LPN would have given you your goodnight meds by now. Isn't it time for lights out in the psych ward? Have you escaped again?!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 3, 2006 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

Views > June 22, 2004
Reagans Legacy of Lies
By Joel Bleifuss
It has been a couple of weeks and Ronald Reagan is still deador is he?

His genial visage will no doubt be imprinted along In God We Trust on our money. Perhaps, replacing FDR on the dimea coup de grce for the rightbut more likely, supplanting Andrew Jackson on the 20-spot. (We will leave it to historians to debate whose policies killed more indigenous people.)

More substantially, the right has been raising Reagan from the dead to bless, and thereby validate, the actions of his ideological heirs in the current Republican regime. Indeed, his ghost, a conjured specter, has become an invited guest at the White House, wreaking havoc through an administration willingly possessed.

Take his lies, or as Reagans handlers called them, misstatements of fact.

Reagan lied about the Iran-Contra scandal, continually. At a February 1988 press conference, he denied that his administration had held secret talks with Ayatollah Khomeinis regime to arrange a guns-for-hostages deal, a fact that had been indisputably documented. Reporting on that press conference, the New York Times Anthony Lewis chronicled a series of misstatements ranging from the preposterous to the dangerous. He wrote, Everyone knows his habit of inventing facts and uttering fantasies as if they really happened.

Sorry about the cut and paste but I have to keep reminding rdw what a sleaze raygun was

Posted by: Neo on March 3, 2006 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it disturbing how skilled some of these guys have become at lying? Honestly, knowing everything that I do, I can still be emotionally taken in by someone like McCain. He sounds so real!

It's exactly like hearing that tinkly piano and the sweet flute, or maybe an oboe, playing during a bittersweet moment in some stupid Hollywood movie. I almost feel like crying when I hear that stuff! Even while I know perfectly well -- and even feel with anger -- that I'm being manipulated for all I'm worth.

Posted by: Ralph on March 3, 2006 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

It ain't going to be McCain in '08. And it ain't going to be Hillary, either. But I suppose it's fun to play with the idea.

It's also amusing to see liberals who were shocked and indignant about the questioning of Kerry's war record crapping all over McCain's record.

Posted by: tbrosz on March 3, 2006 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

What, against Wesley Clark, a NATO air commander who strategized and fought a successful war in the Balkans?

Advantage neutralized :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 3, 2006 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

Uhh, I'm no McCain fan but I do know Tom over at Human Rights Watch. This is purely a Lindsey Graham thing. McCain actually fought for this apparently.

Posted by: Richard Goblin on March 3, 2006 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

The major pundits love McCain. He's the most asked for guest on the Sunday blabfests...But he's a hard core conservative.

McCain is hardly a hard core conservative. I'm not even sure he can rightly be called a conservative at all. He bests even Tony Blair in his lust for the ubernanny state. And then there's his disdain for the first ammendment. The notion that government ought to tell individuals in a free society how much or how little they can contribute to political campaigns is fundamentally and profoundly unconsersvative.

Posted by: P.B. Almeida on March 4, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

I will attack McCain on his service

You don't count. No well known figure will do so.

I can get over how stupid liberals are regarding vietnam. So long as you refer to that war as stupid and a waste you will never win an election. It just reminds America of your post -68 turn to blame america 1st for everything.

That sells perfectly to the 21% or so who identify themselves as liberal. It's repulsive to a majority.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

...crapping all over McCain's record.

Just following Dear Leader. LOL!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 4, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz:

I agree totally with your first point. Heh, why don't you think so either? -- I'd love to know how your reasoning diverges with mine :)

As for the second point -- hey, all's fair in love and politix.

Besides which -- Kerry's war buddies call him a hero.

Apparently, McCain's antics made it worse for everybody around him.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not even sure he can rightly be called a conservative at all.

McCain is an authentic pro-live social conservative. He's also a hawk on thw war, defense and spending but he's NOT a Reagan supply-sider on taxes and he is moderate on other issues. He is closer to conservative than anything else

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

Richard Goblin:

Then he should have made a major stink about it. Remember all the "no compromise" rhetoric while they negotiated on the torture legislation?

By what right does McCain give Bush a pass on this horseshit? Why no public denunciations of his colleague's loophole you could drive a waterboard through?

Sorry -- McCain drew the line in the sand against torture. No compromise.

If the policy is ultimately compromised -- it will be he and not Graham who will die by that sword.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

Like I said, I don't think McCain did much wrong during the war, though I'm not sure his deliberate provocations of the Vietnamese interrogators were useful, and they may have hurt his fellow POWs.

I just don't think he did much particularly right either. And anybody who participated in that war - dropping dumb bombs on a civilian population center, no less - and who didn't subsequently publicly question whether the US had any business being in Vietnam gets some very big points taken off, in my book.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 4, 2006 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

McCain has all the independence of Bulgaria in 1954.

Posted by: bobbyp on March 4, 2006 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

"McCain is hardly a hard core conservative."

This statement is so false, it is funny.

Posted by: bobbyp on March 4, 2006 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

bobbyp:

"All the independence of Bulgaria in 1954.~ LOL -- I'm stealing that one :)

Almost as good as "Sensitive? Heh, yeah. As sensitive as a Port Authority toilet seat."

:)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

apollo 13,

I checked both links and there's no reference to an attack on McCains war service.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 12:11 AM | PERMALINK

No well known figure will do so.

No well known figure attacked Kerry on his service record. You guys smeared him through batshit insane Rambo fascist Vietnam vets and hired small-time publicity whores.

In the case of McCain, there are two kinds of guys who came out of the POW experience. Some of them, like Stockdale and others, decided the US had no business being involved in what was basically a Vietnamese civil war, and had some very severe critiques of how we got involved. (Stockdale was flying on the night of the Tonkin Gulf incident; he said he saw no Vietnamese torpedo boats, "nothing but black water and American firepower".)

Others, like McCain, became bullheaded and stubborn (even more so than he already was - he was at the bottom of his class at Annapolis, almost flunked out), and refused to admit any error. That kind of guy doesn't make a good President, as we have learned over the last 5 years.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 4, 2006 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

"It's also amusing to see liberals who were shocked and indignant about the questioning of Kerry's war record crapping all over McCain's record."

That's a good one, 'brosz. I remember well you crapping all over those who where crapping all over Kerry's war record, and crapping even more, over all those who defended the crap regarding GWB's service (and I use the term loosely) record. Crap not, lest ye be crapped upon. Yes, I recall it vividly--your war cry in the run-up to the craptackular election of 2004.

Oh, wait. Could I be mistaken?

Posted by: bobbyp on March 4, 2006 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

Indeed, McCain no doubt would have flunked out of Annapolis if it weren't for the fact that his daddy was Commander of the US Pacific Fleet. Again, we've not been terribly impressed over the last 5 years by guys who owed their service records to interventions by powerful daddies.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 4, 2006 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

What, against Wesley Clark, a NATO air commander who strategized and fought a successful war in the Balkans?

I don't undertand this reference. If you are suggesting Wesley as a candidate you are out of your mind. He's more of a stiff than kerry.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

I checked both links and there's no reference to an attack on McCains war service.

rdw, from the first link:

The nadir moment occurred February 3rd when a smiling Bush stood in front of television cameras as a fringe Vietnam veteran, Thomas Burch, denounced McCain as a POW who came home and forgot us.

The Bush campaign painted McCain as mentally unstable since he had been tortured as a POW. Please, don't play dumb, rdw (Well, maybe...). It was even mentioned recently in the UK: "...while rumours were spread that he had committed treason as a PoW and was mentally unstable."

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 4, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

anybody who participated in that war - dropping dumb bombs on a civilian population center, no less - and who didn't subsequently publicly question whether the US had any business being in Vietnam gets some very big points taken off, in my book.

Why is this hard?

McCain will never get the anti-war blame-America-1st lefties. That's the point. He doesn't want them. The idea here is to attract a majority. That crowd is a distinct minority. 2008 might be about Iraq but it will not be about Vietnam just as 2O04 wasn't.

Kerry's problem wasn't Vietnam. It was his lies and exaggerations and then after the fact trashing of the Vets.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

denounced McCain as a POW who came home and forgot us.

The reference obviously isn't about McCains war record. It's about his record after the war as a Senator

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

Again, we've not been terribly impressed over the last 5 years by guys who owed their service records to interventions by powerful daddies.

It was enough to get GWb elected 2x's wasn't it?

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

If the policy is ultimately compromised -- it will be he and not Graham who will die by that sword.

This is not a significant issue and it will be a positive for McCain

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

Look, it's not that McCain is really a "Manchurian candidate", as the Bush campaign tried to surreptitiously put about in 2000, who's been secretly programmed by the North Vietnamese to turn American communist or something. But there is a grain of truth to the anxiety over his POW experience and the effect it's had on him.

People who go through long and intensely traumatic periods like what McCain went through very frequently become stubborn, fixated, and uncommunicative or unwilling to collaborate. They exhibit erratic behavior and bursts of anger, particularly around issues that trigger responses they learned as coping strategies during the trauma years. This is true of Holocaust survivors, it's true of survivors of Communist persecution in Russia and China, and it's true of the US POWs in Vietnam.

The things you learn as a POW, and the character traits that help you survive under interrogation, do not help you as President. McCain is a loose cannon with a short fuse, quick to take any opposition as perfidy and dishonesty. 2 weeks ago he hit the "send" button on a letter to Barack Obama that he should never have composed, let alone sent. As President he'd have his finger on a lot of more important buttons than that. We don't want him in that job.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 4, 2006 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Wesley Clark is your worst nightmare :)

And you're dead wrong. Kerry had all the charisma of a funeral director. Clark's a *hottie* -- he inspires groupies who still follow us to PA whenever Kevin posts something that even remotely mentions him.

He's got a hardcore fan base that makes Hillary's look positively anemic. A little green (heh, very green) as a politician for sure, and not my personal choice as a candidate.

But make no mistake -- there is exactly no comparison between McCain's and Clark's service records.

brooksfoe:

There's a deadly combination here. While McCain, like Bush, is pig-headed and always right -- Bush knew enough to surround himself with handlers and keep his press encounters tightly regulated. McCain's totally his own man, micromanaged his own campaign, and would go on with reporters at great length because he so loves to hear himself talk.

Candidates like that create endless fodder for later confrontations. What did you mean by that? Didn't you say last year that ... Why has your position changed? A guy like McCain with not much of a fuse to begin with will eventually lose it and tell the press off. Had his primary campaign gone any further last time, it would have happened.

McCain will crack under the pressure.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

2 weeks ago he hit the "send" button on a letter to Barack Obama that he should never have composed, let alone sent. As President he'd have his finger on a lot of more important buttons than that. We don't want him in that job.

That letter was pitch perfect. You are not thinking as a political strategists.

1st off - the last thing McCain can afford to do is please lefties. You are never going to vote for him anyway and by definition if he's pleasing you he's pissing me off. He needs me. He can't win a primary without me. Obama is the perfect target. Find the most PC figure in congress and bitch-slap him. Big John just picked up 3 more states.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 12:43 AM | PERMALINK

brooksfoe:

Trenchant, psychologically astute explication of the inevitable PTSS of intense trauma survivors.

McCain exhibited a bit of that on the Straight Talk Express. He'll exhibit more if he runs in '08.

A whole fucking lot more.

Consider the fact that his advanced years make him that much more subject to fatigue and stress.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

The reference obviously isn't about McCains war record. It's about his record after the war as a Senator...

Can you all believe the depth of denial of rdw? LOL!

rdw, you overlooked the words, "committed treason as a PoW." McCain was a POW over there before he was a senator over here. Idiot! And... you're good with calling a vet "mentally unstable" because he spent 5 years in a POW camp?!!

Unbelievable!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 4, 2006 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

McCain's and Clark's service records.

McCain has 2x's as many medals. Clark best part of his record is in Nam. His record at NATO was at best mixed. 1st off the campaign was an Air Campaign designed and managed by the Air Force. The most interesting event as far as Clarks leadership was a confrontation with a british General who disobeyed his command to block a russian airfield.

The worst part of his NATO record was getting prematurely sent to pasture by General Shelton and Defense Sec Cohen who outsmarted clinton. David Haversham wrote of this in a way very unfavorable to both Clinton and Clark.

If you say clarks a stud go ahead. I think he's stiff. If the libs were not so fixated on having a uniform available he'd never in a million years hae been a candidate.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

1st off - the last thing McCain can afford to do is please lefties. You are never going to vote for him anyway

That is false; you're an incompetent political strategist. The reason McCain is a major political player is because of Democrats who admire his "straight talking" honest-John image. He certainly hasn't come this far on GOP support - he's betrayed the GOP too many times. His whole strategy is based on garnering Democratic support (because he's supposed to be "reasonable", "non-ideological" and an "honest guy") without losing the Republican base.

That's also why he's been one of the major players in campaign reform. God knows Republicans don't care about that. He's trying to appeal to Democrats.

McCain can't win on GOP support - too many factions in the party don't like him. The religious right deeply mistrusts him, and to win their support he'll have to start pandering to them. That in turn will destroy his independent and Democratic support.

Even apart from his non-Presidential personality and the fact that his candidacy will bring up the whole Vietnam thing all over again, McCain is a weak candidate, because he's dependent on crossover Democratic support which he won't get in the election.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 4, 2006 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

"committed treason as a PoW." McCain was a POW over there before he was a senator over here. Idiot! And... you're good with calling a vet "mentally unstable" because he spent 5 years in a POW camp?!!

none of these claims were verified. GWB was never associated with them.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

David Haversham wrote of this

You mean the Dickens character?

Oh, you must mean "Halberstam", right?

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 4, 2006 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

Cliff Clavin: I can guarantee you no-one will attack McCain on his service

Well, no-one except George W. Bush and Karl Rove, maybe:

'Theres no doubt that McCains 19 percent victory over Bush in New Hampshire caused a panic rethink strategy in the Bush team. Their response was to drop the compassionate conservative that had failed Bush in New Hampshire and wage a nonstop barrage of negative attacks to kill the messenger McCain. Nothing was too low to rule out. The nadir moment occurred February 3rd when a smiling Bush stood in front of television cameras as a fringe Vietnam veteran, Thomas Burch, denounced McCain as a POW who came home and forgot us. Governor Bush knows Burch well. The same Thomas Burch had accused President Bush of abandoning veterans during his administration, but alas, all old wounds must have been healed in time to neutralize McCains war hero factor. Push polling by Bush activists was standard fare and leaflets distributed by Bush allies described McCain as pro-abortion and the fag candidate (because McCain was the only Republican presidential candidate to meet with the gay Republican mens group, Log Cabin Republicans). One particularly offensive missive distributed via the Internet and to the press was from the Christian Fundamentalist Bob Jones University, where Bush had staked his Christian conservative claim one day after the NH Primary. A professor named Richard Hand wrote that McCain chose to sire children without marriage, among other hallucinations.'

Posted by: Stefan on March 4, 2006 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Look, I know almost as much about Clark as I know about Dean, because I spent so much time debating with Clark supporters. I'm aware of all of his alleged flaws and have even made many of those arguments myself. I've laid into some of the Clark groupies who show up on PA because they seem delirious with hero-worship, and that always troubles me about a political candidate -- especially one with zero elected experience.

But make no mistake, Wooten -- underestimate Wes Clark at your peril. He won America's last successful war, and his service record's pretty goddamn amazing. In fact, a little *too* amazing for some elements of the brass, because as you well know, it becomes largely politics and don't-rock-the-boat for the higher-level promotions.

Wesley Clark is a brilliant man.

As for McCain and torture:

Here's what you miss, Wooten. That little Graham loophole is fine for *you*. You're the Base, and you eat unsalted Gitmo inmates for breakfast. Broomstick-fuck a towelhead for Christ is your motto.

But the *independents* who you claim *love* McCain ... DO care about the torture issue.

Very fucking much. McCain was a hero to them for drawing the no-torture line in the sand.

Which lasted for about a week.

And that is shredding McCain's credibility among the voters he'll need to win a general.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

McCain can't win on GOP support - too many factions in the party don't like him. The religious right deeply mistrusts him, and to win their support he'll have to start pandering to them. That in turn will destroy his independent and Democratic support.

Democratic support is meaningless. He's very popular with independents. They are the key.

Conservatives might not be thrilled with John but he looks very good standing next to Hillary.

John is in a great position. He doesn't need to pander. He's an authentic pro-life social conservative. He's always been solid on spending. He supports keeping the current tax cuts. He's very strong on defense. He's been very good on judges.

He was very weak on campaign finance reform but it's a dead issue.

His biggest strength is he beats hillary. If John can't get them to vote for him Hillary will.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 1:04 AM | PERMALINK

He won America's last successful war,

It wasn't a war, he had little to do with the operations, and it wasn't very successful.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

brooksfoe:

Exactly. Great minds think alike and all :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

Cliffie: none of these claims were verified. GWB was never associated with them.

On the contrary, Bush was directly associated with them:

The nadir moment occurred February 3rd when a smiling Bush stood in front of television cameras as a fringe Vietnam veteran, Thomas Burch, denounced McCain as a POW who came home and forgot us. Governor Bush knows Burch well. The same Thomas Burch had accused President Bush of abandoning veterans during his administration, but alas, all old wounds must have been healed in time to neutralize McCains war hero factor.

Posted by: Stefan on March 4, 2006 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

Well, no-one except George W. Bush and Karl Rove, maybe:

Except it wasn't Bush or Rove.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

It wasn't a war, he had little to do with the operations, and it wasn't very successful.

Man, there is just no end to Cliffie's capacity for self-delusion and denial, is there?

Posted by: Stefan on March 4, 2006 at 1:08 AM | PERMALINK

But the *independents* who you claim *love* McCain ... DO care about the torture issue.

It's 76th on the list and Big John was on the correct side of the issue.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 1:08 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Oh, can the dishonesty. He was a major planner. He lobbied Clinton like hell for authorization.

Read his book Waging Modern Warfare and stop being such a lying sack of shit.

An air war is still a war. Slobbo's in the dock.

End of story.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 1:09 AM | PERMALINK

his service record's pretty goddamn amazing

Sheldon and Cohen fired him.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

Except it wasn't Bush or Rove.

Except it was Bush and Rove.

Posted by: Stefan on March 4, 2006 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

An air war is still a war. Slobbo's in the dock.


There are no bragging rights here and it wasn't a war. It was a video game. There wasn't a single pair of boots on the ground. The air force operations were planned and executed by Air Force generals.

Slobbo's was stopped but not until he did almost 6 months of ethnic cleansing and he's still NOT been tried for his crimes. It's still a disaster area.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

Wesley Clark is a brilliant man.

He's a stiff. Hillary will squash him. given his major backer the last time was Bill clinton he won't raise any money.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

The air force operations were planned and executed by Air Force generals.

Good Lord! Next you'll be telling me naval operations are planned and executed by Naval officers....

Posted by: Stefan on March 4, 2006 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

Much of the fabled GOP base does not like McCain at any given point, but I believe they will fall in line behind him only if Hillary is the opponent. If Hill isn'yt the one then maybe, hopefully, the evangelical base will break off and get their own version of Roy Moore to run as a third party but I think that is pretty far off. The base will most likely stay put.

I think the independants aren't as hip to McCain as they were a few years ago. They have really turned on bush and McCAin is still a stay-the-course type at this time.

More on the right are slowly calling for us to pull from Iraq soon, and it's only a matter of time before Mccain shows up on Timmmayy's sunday show to say, it's time we leave it to the iraqis to sort things out, if they dont want our help, etc etc

How old is Mccain, late 60s?

Posted by: The Gorn on March 4, 2006 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

Except it was Bush and Rove.

Except it wasn't Bush or Rove and it won't matter in '08 anyway. GWB will be in Texas except for the odd fundraiser and Rove will be managing McCains campaign.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 1:18 AM | PERMALINK

Good Lord!

I'll explain it for you since it's so hard.

The air war was designed and executed by Air force Generals. Wesley isn't Air force.

Ergo, Wesley didn't design or execute the war plan. He was a bureaucrat.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Sheldon and Cohen didn't fire him. You're not "fired" from the military -- you're court-martialed. The shunted his upcoming tour of duty as NATO commander for political reasons.

The Balkans was a successful operation. Messy -- but succesful. We have boots on the ground there with NATO -- when's the last time you heard of an American soldier killed?

Should we have had boots in the war? Of course. Blame their lack on the Republicans in Congress (Tom DeLay, anyone?) who fought Clinton every step of the way.

No boots was hardly Clark's fault. He did what was necessary under the authorization given him.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

Mccain shows up on Timmmayy's sunday show to say, it's time we leave it to the iraqis to sort things out, if they dont want our help, etc etc


McCain has been a solid hawk. He'll remain solid because the training has been going so well.


How old is McCain, late 60s?


He'll be 70 in August.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

Bob/rmck, damn you're good.

Posted by: The Gorn on March 4, 2006 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

You're a lying sack of shit! Wes Clark was Supreme Commander of NATO at the time -- and an air force general!

The Gorn:

Older than that. McCain was born in '41.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK

Except it wasn't Bush or Rove and it won't matter in '08 anyway.

Except it was Bush and Rove.

Posted by: Stefan on March 4, 2006 at 1:28 AM | PERMALINK

Sheldon and Cohen didn't fire him. You're not "fired" from the military -- you're court-martialed. The shunted his upcoming tour of duty as NATO commander for political reasons.

Wesley was fired bureaucratically. Read Haversham. Not only was he fired but Clinton was bitch-slapped.

The Balkans was a successful operation. Messy -- but succesful. We have boots on the ground there with NATO -- when's the last time you heard of an American soldier killed?

We didn't have boots until a ceace-fire was in place and they are merely guards.

Should we have had boots in the war? Of course. Blame their lack on the Republicans in Congress (Tom DeLay, anyone?) who fought Clinton every step of the way.

Some CIC.


No boots was hardly Clark's fault. He did what was necessary under the authorization given him.


I didn't say it was his fault. I said he had next to nothing to do with the design and execution of the air war. He was a bureaucrat who managed to backstab his bosses enough they fixed his ass with a 'premature retirement'.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

waitaminute ... shit ... *was* Clark Air Force? Or am I confusing this because the Balkan War was an air war ...

He was a West Point graduate (top of his class), so maybe he was Army.

But he was Supreme NATO Commander during the Balkan war.

Hardly any goddamned Pentagon bureaucrat.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

I doubt the Independants will go with McCain or Republicans. Alot of blue collar workers are not happy with current trade policies. It has been stated that for each billion worth of trade we lose a 100,000 jobs. These jobs are not being replaced.
People vote with their paychecks.

Posted by: Neo on March 4, 2006 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

Wesley Kanne Clark (born December 23, 1944) is a retired four-star general in the U.S. Army.

John Sidney McCain III (born August 29, 1936)

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not really sure why people are arguing campaign strategy with rdw, given that all his posts are rehashes of Limbaughvian talking points with no basis in reality (Dean is not a wacko; the netroots are not at all left-wing and in fact the Kossacks tend to prefer non-liberal candidates like Paul Hackett over liberals like Sherrod Brown; etc.) plus scary-boogyman statements about how Democrats need to be more like Joe Lieberman or they will never win an election again. rdw talks just like a talk-show host or a veteran Democratic-party consultant -- same diff.

The winner in 2008 will be whoever can convince independents that he is a) not going to tear the country apart like Bush did; b) not going to start another ridiculous, pointless war. McCain's independent cred may help him on a, but not if he sucks up too much to the Dobsonites; as for b, his war-war-war foreign policy will help him through the primary (which will consist of the last few people on this earth who still believe the Iraq war was a good idea) but will sound in a general election much like Hubert Humphrey did in 1968 -- the last politician in the world who doesn't realize that his party's foreign policy is a failure. The Democrats will likely run a Nixon in '68 campaign -- we'll clean up the mess our predecessor made -- though how much it resembles Nixon depends on how many troops are still in Iraq.

Posted by: M.A. on March 4, 2006 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

While Wooten is, indeed, a lying sack of shit, Clark is Army, not Air Force. A West Point man, class of '66 (Go Army!), he served as captain of a mechanized infantry unit in Vietnam, where he was shot four times by a sniper. Clark was also NATO Supreme Commander where he was responsible for planning and executing all aspects of the Kosovo war.

Posted by: Stefan on March 4, 2006 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

It has been stated that for each billion worth of trade we lose a 100,000 jobs. These jobs are not being replaced

We've created over 5.5M jobs since the tax cuts and the unemployment rate is 4.7%.

The boomers are getting ready to call it quits. We are going to be having severe labor shortages.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

LOL! rdw is a freak! ROTF...

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 4, 2006 at 1:36 AM | PERMALINK

lark was also NATO Supreme Commander where he was responsible for planning and executing all aspects of the Kosovo war.

Army Generals do not plan air force campaigns. Clark was a bureaucrat working with the politicians.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

He was the Supreme Commander of NATO. That means he was as responsible for the war as Tommy Franks was for invading Baghdad. And he lobbied Clinton for the mission.

Only in Wooten Smear World does that count as a "bureaucrat."

It's like calling Norm Schwartzkopf a bureaucrat.

Jesus Christ, we *win* a war and Wooten is smearing the supreme commander for partisan advantage ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

wes was army.

jesus, where do these ignoramuses come from?

having gotten that off of my chest, i think it important to understand that the armed forces play a more important role in amerikan politics than is discussed.

in a very real sense, amerikan presidents owe their investiture to a branch of the dod.

and it is a war between the army-navy-airforce.

the army has been out of influence for some time. the usn has been the great creator of recent presidents.

george w bush has been the stooge of the air force. the air force sort of owns him. the air force owns his tang dossier. he dances to that piper.

the usn hasn't liked this af supremacy. mccain is their vehicle for regaining power.

no one seems to want to talk about it. but the reality of amerikan politics is the armed forces wars. which branch will own and control the next puppet and his cast of thousands.

Posted by: albertchampion on March 4, 2006 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK


U.S. June 2005
Unemployment Rate 6.1%
Note: Think & Ask receives many e-mails asking why other publications in the United States do not print the "total" unemployment figure. We asked the Associated Press for their reason and they said that "we do include 'marginally unemployed' in our stories, but it is not our policy to adjust the national unemployment rate to reflect that additional figure."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the real number of unemployed in the United States is 9.1 million in June 2005, or 200,000 fewer unemployed than two years ago. The Bureau however reduces the unemployment tally by 1.6 million, because it says "that" was the number of workers "unable to find work" (marginally unemployed) during the past four week period. Nearly 100,000 more workers were unable to find work in June 2005 than was the case in June 2004, and yet the unemployment rate has fallen to 5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Posted by: Neo on March 4, 2006 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

but not if he sucks up too much to the Dobsonites

He doesn't need to suck up with hillary as an opponent. James will turn out the vote to defeat her. John is a solid pro-life conservative. It's an easy call for Dobson.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 1:40 AM | PERMALINK

U.S. June 2005
Unemployment Rate 6.1%

It's March of 2006. Unemployent rate is 4.7%

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

rdw said
He'll remain solid because the training has been going so well.

whose training? The IRaqi troops training? Are you for real? Wasn't it news last week that still not a single batallion of Iraqi troops can fight w/o US forces aiding and advising? Corruption and desertion are huge problems, and too many times the local police force will stand back and not get involved.

I believe it is misguided to think that we can train the Iraqis to be as good as our troops are, because that's what it will take, that level of being the best to keep things in order in Iraq. So far it hasn't been too successful.

And it bothers me that our military is there acting basically as beat cops between the al-Hatfields and the al-McCoys, with them fellers up in kurdisville a plottin' and a plannin' too. However they all seem to not like our prescene and they can all be united on that.

McCain should really give this consideration if he's going to run and give a clear message as to what the hell to dow ith Iraq, as Bush has been a complete communications failure on Iraq. clear concise answers to a simple questions, why are we in Iraq, what is the mission, is it going to be the rumsfeld version, a long hard slog(it was the word slog right?), is it the thugs and assassins version?

With more of the public souring on Bush and Iraq, we'll see if McCain tows the line or follows the flow.

Posted by: The Gorn on March 4, 2006 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

rdw do you shop at " delusions r us?"

Posted by: Neo on March 4, 2006 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

He doesn't need to suck up with hillary as an opponent. James will turn out the vote to defeat her. John is a solid pro-life conservative. It's an easy call for Dobson.

The sucking-up will take place before and during the primaries. Besides, Dobson demands his ritual suck-up even from people who are in the bag for him already. E.g. reading a Supreme Court Justice's letter out on the air -- which Alito didn't expect -- just to prove to his listeners that he owns Alito. Whoever the GOP candidate is, Dobson and co. will be crowing about their ownership rights.

Posted by: M.A. on March 4, 2006 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

I predict that rdw's next comment on the Iraq thing will be: the training is going so well that by 2008 the Americans will be out and Iraq will be off the table as an issue. Oh, and Democrats blame America first.

Hey, who needs the real rdw when the rdw talking-points-bot can write his comments for him just as accurately?

Posted by: M.A. on March 4, 2006 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/1/16/223314/507

This article is from Jan 06 says unemployment rate is 8.4%

Posted by: Neo on March 4, 2006 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

It's like calling Norm Schwartzkopf a bureaucrat.

Norman wasn't a bureaucrat. He was a marine involved in all aspects of planning this largely ground war along with the in-close helicopter support of the army and marine pilots. He also coordinated with the Air Force but did not designed nor execute their battle plan.

Kosovo was exclusively an Air Force operation.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan and albertcampion:

Let me state for the record that I egregiously brainfarted on Wes Clark being Air Force.

I should have known better. I knew he was top of his class at West Point.

My apologies for sounding like such an ignoramus about a political figure I introduced into the discussion.

And we don't even have any idea if he's planning on running ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

This article is from Jan 06 says unemployment rate is 8.4%

It's wrong. The unemployent rate is 4.7%.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

Norman wasn't a bureaucrat. He was a marine involved in all aspects of planning this largely ground war along with the in-close helicopter support of the army and marine pilots. He also coordinated with the Air Force but did not designed nor execute their battle plan.

Oh, for fuck's sake, get this straight, people. Norm Schwartzkopf was also Army and a West Point man. He served with my dad, they were young lieutenants and then captains together.

Posted by: Stefan on March 4, 2006 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

rdw its not 4.7%. My state added 800 jobs for the entire state in 2005. The city I live in lost 100 jobs in 2005. We started the year with 100 fewer jobs.
The unemployment rate is a lie. Independents like myself will not vote for republicans.

Posted by: Neo on March 4, 2006 at 1:56 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

How the fuck is the Supreme Commander of NATO not involved with the planning and execution of the most extensive NATO mission during his tenure?

Or are you pulling this out of you ass from the same lengh of colon you got Norm Schwartzkopf's Marine Corps service? :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 1:57 AM | PERMALINK

that by 2008 the Americans will be out and Iraq will be off the table as an issue

We will not be out of Iraq but will have a greatly reduced military role by 2008. We'll draw down to less than 100K in 2006 possibly 80k.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

Norm Schwartzkopf was also Army and a West Point man.

Whatever. A pair of boots planned and executed a ground war.

Wesley Clark was not air force. The air force professionals planned and executed the air war in the Blakans. Clark was involved in the approval process. He was a bureaucrat.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

We will not be out of Iraq but will have a greatly reduced military role by 2008. We'll draw down to less than 100K in 2006 possibly 80k.

Well, the original Bush plan was to be down to 30,000 troops by fall of 2003. So the new plan is to be down to 80,000 by the end of 2006, and that means things are getting better?

In other news, the chocolate ration has been increased from 30 grams to 20 grams....

Posted by: Stefan on March 4, 2006 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, rdw. You never disappoint. Now repeat after me:

I want a man who never budges
On launching stupid wars for sport,
And since I am obsessed with judges,
Let's hope he hates the Warren Court!

And since I am a Bush-fellater,
I like a guy with half a brain.
Thank God the intelligent creator
Has told me to fellate McCain!

And since I want someone to pillory,
I'll swallow Coulter's talking points:
She says the nominee is Hillary --
It is! I feel it in my joints!

Oh, Democrats, my words must trouble you,
Don't mock me, or you're on my list.
Nay, fear me! I am r-d-w,
Pajama-wearing strategist!

Posted by: M.A. on March 4, 2006 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

Whoever the GOP candidate is, Dobson and co. will be crowing about their ownership rights.

That's one of the many wonderful things about this greatest nation on Gods green earth. It's called free speech. Dobson can say anything he wants. And if he turns the voters out he can say it from the White house lawn.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

Well, the original Bush plan was to be down to 30,000 troops by fall of 2003.

And GWB STILL kicked your ass in 2004.

That's not even the most amazing thing. It's more amazing to me you are going to nominate a bigger stiff than Kerry in 2008. Bob and I don't agree on much but we agree Hillary is a stiff.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

From Wikipedia. Choke on it:

Under the overall leadership of Richard Holbrooke, Clark headed the
U.S. military team during negotiations that led to the Bosnian Peace
Accords, in Dayton, Ohio.

From 1997, he was head of the U.S. European Command (CINCEUR),
responsible for about 109,000 U.S. troops, their families, health
care, education, social services, and all related infrastructure, and
all U.S. military activities in 89 countries and territories of
Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Simultaneous, he also occupied
the separate NATO positon of Supreme Allied Commander(SACEUR), which
granted him Head of State status and overall command of NATO military
forces in Europe and leadership of approximately 60,000 troops from 37
NATO and other nations in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

As SACEUR, he confronted Yugoslavia over Kosovo. NATO's 78-day bombing
campaign ended with the Kumanovo truce, a withdrawal of Yugoslav
military and police force from Kosovo, and the entry of NATO and other
Kosovo Force soldiers.

=-=-=-=-=-

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, rdw.

I say McCain won't need to suck-up
To energize the fundie base,
Which means that Dobson will not fuck up
McCain's big "independents" chase.

But Dobson has a mouth gigantic,
His babblings don't stay on the shelf.
Won't that make independents frantic?
Very well, I contradict myself.

Yes, my statistics are the latest!
Oh, yes, John's chances are immense!
I'm r-d-w! I am the greatest!
So great that I need not make sense!

Posted by: M.A. on March 4, 2006 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

I'll swallow Coulter's talking points:

I'd like to recomend her column on the Oscars. princess is actually a bit over the top for my taste but she can turn a phrase. This column was a riot. She did have a lot of material.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

And GWB STILL kicked your ass in 2004.

Seems like we're not the ones obsessed with GWB.

If this were the late '60s, rdw would still be babbling on about how Johnson kicked Goldwater's ass in 1964 and why couldn't Nixon beat Kennedy, remember Kennedy? Election's over; we've moved on. You apparently have not.

That's not even the most amazing thing. It's more amazing to me you are going to nominate a bigger stiff than Kerry in 2008.

My knowledge of the Democrats
Is lower than my knowledge of
Cockroaches, lemurs, warts and gnats,
Ha-ha! I kid because I love.

And yet, in my big giant head,
I know who Democrats will pick.
I know it 'cause... uh... Limbaugh said!
Chris Matthews too! That did the trick.

Posted by: M.A. on March 4, 2006 at 2:17 AM | PERMALINK

He he, rdw called it 'princess'.

Posted by: The Gorn on March 4, 2006 at 2:19 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan: Man, there is just no end to Cliffie's capacity for self-delusion and denial, is there?

I wasn't joking about his meds!

Bob: Trenchant, psychologically astute explication of the inevitable PTSS of intense trauma survivors.

Yes, true. McCain has to have/had post-traumatic stress disorder. Heck, a lot of Americans have been suffering from secondary PTSD having witnessed the horror of 9/11. Jeso Pete, to be honest, I had nightmares for a few weeks myself.

However, to be fair, people can recover from PTSD. Patty Hearst got over it. Shell-shocked soldiers get over it with help. It doesn't have to be a "life sentence" and no more unmanageable than, say, chronic alcoholism or clinical depression, if a victim has had plenty of cathartic talk therapy over a period of time via a good shrink and a strong support system during recovery. Meds may be needed but not necessarily for the rest of a person's life.

Severe cases that last "until death" are mostly due to childhood trauma, a more complex PTSD, when such events more tenaciously imprint and affect brain development -- the brain chemistry of an victimized child as an adult is different than the brain chemistry of a person who has never suffered trauma as a child. But even that doesn't mean 100% vulnerability to a host of PTSD symptoms: disassociation, anxiety, intensification, self-mutilation, depression, insomnia, etc. Secondly, aging can help lessen the intensification effect, that short-fuse rage reaction, that is typical of PTSD, because the biochemical reaction may weaken with time. Adrenal glands can poop out, IOW. Minimizing stress is also key during recovery. PTSD sufferers can get addicted to stress for the thrill or familiarity of cascading neuropeptides -- the "kick."

I dunno McCain's medical history. Seems IIRC, he was treated for depression (as well as his wife) and that may indicate some recovery program. That would be a good thing. His controlling, rebellious nature and quick-temper could have been his personality before the POW experience. If McCain hasn't recovered from his POW experience completely, meaning he completed a program with professional help, oh, boy. His head could explode from the stress of presidential campaigning. If he manages to get elected president (God forbid!), we could have WWIII with an unhealed complex PSTD sufferer with ongoing disassociative episodes (such as a POW from a prolonged state of captivity).

Just saying...

BTW, nice job with the loon, Bob.

rdw, I think, may not have recovered from the more problematic PTSD via childhood. Easier to brainwash. Kinda like battered women's syndrome.


Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 4, 2006 at 2:20 AM | PERMALINK

M.A.:

In honor of rdw (and in yours for the verse) ... *pitchpipe, throat clearing*

The Troll Song:

I'M A TROLL
FEED MY GOAL
FLUSH ME DOWN THE TOILET BOWL
I HAVE SUCH AN UGLY SOUL
WRITING POSTS THAT MAKE YOU SCROLL

TROLL TROLL TROLL
TROLL TROLL TROLL

SOME MAY THINK THAT I'M A MOLE
OR THAT I LACK SELF-CONTROL
WONDER WHAT I'LL NEXT EXTOLL
ARGUE BLATHER SPEW CAJOLE

TROLL TROLL TROLL
TROLL TROLL TROLL

EVER WATCHFUL ON PATROL
AS I CLIMB THE GRASSY KNOLL
STEEP ENOUGH TO FALL AND ROLL
DOWN INTO THE DRAINAGE HOLE

TROLL TROLL TROLL
TROLL TROLL TROLL

UGLY SMELLY NASTY TROLL
TOUCH ME WITH A TEN-FOOT POLE
STUFF MY STOCKINGS UP WITH COAL
JUST GIVE ME A STARRING ROLE

TROLL TROLL TROLL
TROLL TROLL TROLL

MY NAME'S NOEL
I'M A TROLL
SITTING ON THE TOILET BOWL
ALL MY BEST IDEAS I STOLE
VERBAL SPHINCTER DECONTROL

TROLL TROLL TROLL
TROLL TROLL TROLL

{rinse 'n' repeat}

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

From 1997, he was head of the U.S. European Command (CINCEUR),
responsible for about 109,000 U.S. troops, their families, health
care, education, social services, and all related infrastructure, and
all U.S. military activities in 89 countries and territories of
Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

bob,

This is where I got the info from. He was the head of health care, social services, eduction, infrastructure, et.

If that's not a bureaucrat what is it?

ALL services have bureaucrats. They're vital. someone has to make sure the tanks are cleaned and greased and the barracks are ready. That was Wesleys job.

I have no doubt if there had been a ground attack Wesley would have been deeply involved in every aspect of the planning. But he's not an aviator. This was an Air Force show. It wasn't his place.

At no point am I suggesting here he ducked anything or acted less than honorably. I know he's extremely intelligent and I am certain his wounds in Nam were quite serious and he was a hero deserving of his bronze and silver stars.

But do not exaggerate his role.

And he was absolutely fired.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 2:22 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not really sure why people are arguing campaign strategy with rdw, given that all his posts are rehashes of Limbaughvian talking points with no basis in reality

It's good target practice. We'll have to get used to this stuff when the presidential campaign heats up and you want to start laying the groundwork now.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 4, 2006 at 2:25 AM | PERMALINK

...princess is actually a bit over the top...

OMG! I have tears in my eyes! LMAO!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 4, 2006 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

There once was a poster named Wooten
Who hated all things highfalutin'
With Bush's strong base
How he'd like to suck face
It would sure help his cock to keep shootin'!

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

One-party rule, one-party heaven;
The other party's kicked about.
'Twas so in nineteen-sixty-seven --
Of course, we know how that turned out.
The Dems may not yet meet the standard
Of taking over every post;
The seats are highly gerrymandered --
I say they pick up ten at most.
But it takes time to push machines out,
The Teapot Dome was not one day;
As years go on, the Congress cleans out
And other people come our way.
The righties couldn't catch Osama --
The base won't care, but others might.
The base says "PC" of Obama;
I guess "PC" means "not-quite white."
The netroots righties have neuralgia
While netroots lefties try new things;
The righties: Rathergate nostalgia
And letting Mehlman pull their strings.
The righties fume about George Clooney
Because his films made back their cost;
The left today is far from looney
And something tells me far from lost.
Repubs weren't lost in sixty-seven,
The Dems weren't lost in twenty-eight;
The righties think they're now in heaven,
They'll find out where they've gone -- too late.

Posted by: M.A. on March 4, 2006 at 2:32 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

You really are hopeless, Wooten.

You EXCISED the NEXT SENTENCE which said that he was *also* SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER OF NATO !!!

He helped negotiate the peace deal at Dayton. He testified at Slobbo's war crimes trial.

Shameless, too. You completely see only what you want to see -- even when the evidence is staring you in the face.

He didn't plan the *logistics* of the bombing runs, which doubtless were left to Air Force personnel. He helped plan the *strategy* of the air campaign.

Jesus. You're almost as pigheaded as ... John McCain :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

He didn't plan the *logistics* of the bombing runs, which doubtless were left to Air Force personnel. He helped plan the *strategy* of the air campaign.

Wesley Clark was not an aviator. ALL of he serious planning was done by aviators. Wesley would have been involved in things like target selection. As in the Chinese embassy. But his role wasn't tactical or strategic. In Kosovo it was political and since clinton was making the political decisions his role was bureaucratic.

the guy is a authentic war hero and a 4-star general. Don't try to make much of the balkans becasue there's not much there.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 2:43 AM | PERMALINK

Apollo 13:

Yeah, I lost a couple weeks of work after 9/11, myself. I was clinically depressed for a little while.

My brother and sister both grew up with people who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald who were lost that day. One highschool friend of hers who was left a widow with five kids ...

Unimaginble pain ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

Bob,
rdw has a thing for Clark. I suspect he's been adequately brainwashed into flinging anti-Clark spittle.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 4, 2006 at 2:47 AM | PERMALINK

The righties fume about George Clooney
Because his films made back their cost;

The righties are fans of Clooney. He's the quintessential hollywood liberal. He's eye-candy who thinks he wealthy due to his brains. I'd like him to pend the rest of his life making films no one sees. Hopefully he'll pick up a few oscars to encourage him. Maybe he'll be the Michael More of the 2008 election.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 2:48 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Target selection isn't strategic? What *planet* are you on?

Read Waging Modern Warfare -- jesus!

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 2:49 AM | PERMALINK

apollo,

I'd like to see clark in the race. So would Hillary. The more there are to fight over her crumbs the less likely a challenger emerges.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 2:51 AM | PERMALINK

I'm skeptical about Clark, if only because I don't believe in running war heroes just because they're war heroes. It'd be interesting to know whether his gig at Fox News makes him a little less scary to some Fox News dittoheads than the average Dem candidate (rdw will jump in to say no, but I'm talking about Fox News viewers who might occasionally be sane).

Of course, by 2008 Fox News will probably have felt the pressure to add more liberals -- its ratings are starting to drop as a portion of its audience gets tired of the Bush ass-kissing, and Rupert will want to a) rectify that and b) pave the way for good relations with whoever gets elected in 2008. So the question of what a Fox News viewer gets exposed to may be less relevant, since by 2008 Fox will probably be a little less conservative than it is now.

Posted by: M.A. on March 4, 2006 at 2:52 AM | PERMALINK

The righties are fans of Clooney. He's the quintessential hollywood liberal. He's eye-candy who thinks he wealthy due to his brains. I'd like him to pend the rest of his life making films no one sees.

Righties do not understand capitalism. Good Night and Good Luck was made for very little money. It has already made a substantial profit on its limited investment, and will make more on DVD.

So Clooney raised money for a capitalistic venture and made a tidy profit for his investors. What have you done for capitalism lately?

Posted by: M.A. on March 4, 2006 at 2:54 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

The Balkans was a US military victory.

"Not much there" my left butt cheek.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 2:54 AM | PERMALINK

Target selection isn't strategic? What *planet* are you on?

In kosovo a hideous amount of targets were selected, or more likely not seleted, based on political considerations.

I can't imagine why a lib would want to bring up Kosovo. It highlights the ineptitude of the other EU nations and weakness of Eastern Europe. They were helpless without the USA. Milosovich did most all of his damage AFTER he learned clinton could guarantee him he'd never put boots on the ground. The inital campaign was so feckless it did nothing to deter the killing. it wasn't until two months we finally got serious. it's an embarrasment it took so long. We never had an exit strategy and we're still stuck there.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 2:57 AM | PERMALINK

M.A.:

Your doggerel is great, btw :)

I'm not a fan of Clark qua Clark, either. I was a Dean man in the primaries and usually argue the other side of Clark (using some of Wooten's talking points -- but not the lying idiocy that he somehow didn't lead the Balkan mission). Not enough political experience for my tastes as a political candidate.

As for Murdoch drifting left ... I'm not so sure. I think Murdoch has something of an ideological mission (lords know, he has enough irons in the fire to keep his empire profitable) and would take less profits over letting Fox go wobbly -- but that's just a hunch as an outsider.

To the extent that Fox abandons Bush is the extent that the GOP is abandoning Bush ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 3:02 AM | PERMALINK

rdw,

Get some therapy. I swear you must be fatally narcissistic.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 4, 2006 at 3:03 AM | PERMALINK

Righties do not understand capitalism. Good Night and Good Luck was made for very little money. It has already made a substantial profit on its limited investment, and will make more on DVD.


good night has not made much money. If clooney took his typical salary it would be deep in the black. for George money had nothing to do with it. He could have starred in 3 films for all the time he spent on this and made $50M. He is already a very, very wealthy man. it was never about money.

This was about influence. About 3m have seen it. Over 120M voted in 2004. That's less than 3% of voters. I'd estimate 98% of those who saw it were liberals. They were all already on the same page. George had zero influence.


Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK

M.A. So Clooney raised money for a capitalistic venture and made a tidy profit for his investors. What have you done for capitalism lately?

Yeah, M.A., you are so right. Clooney actually put his house on the line to pay the bond for the film. A real "venture" capitalist.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 4, 2006 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK

As for Murdoch drifting left ... I'm not so sure. I think Murdoch has something of an ideological mission (lords know, he has enough irons in the fire to keep his empire profitable) and would take less profits over letting Fox go wobbly -- but that's just a hunch as an outsider.

I don't believe that Murdoch would ever take less profits over anything when it comes to a TV network. He can lose money on the Weekly Standard because it provides a stable of commentators and talking points for Fox News; but FNC has to make money and lots of it. If he thinks there's money in bringing in some liberals or anti-Bush conservatives, he'll do it -- maybe not this year, but after the midterms for sure.

Posted by: M.A. on March 4, 2006 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

I guess this is your backhanded way of conceding that target selection *is* part of strategic planning.

Works for me :)

Slobbo's in the dock.

End of story.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 3:08 AM | PERMALINK

Cliff Clavin: it's an embarrasment it took so long. We never had an exit strategy and we're still stuck there.

This is a joke, right? This has to be the final clue that Clavin is actually the most brilliant satirist ever, because it's hard for me to believe that any human being could be so absolutely fucking stupid and still maintain the ability to breathe and maintain basic motor functions. Kosovo, where zero US soldiers died and we won a clear-cut victory, is a disaster, while Iraq, well, that's just peachy?

Well, I hope it's a joke, because if it's not, this is one absurd, pathetic, brainless, miserable fucking excuse of a joke for a human being....

Posted by: Stefan on March 4, 2006 at 3:08 AM | PERMALINK

If he thinks there's money in bringing in some liberals or anti-Bush conservatives, he'll do it -- maybe not this year, but after the midterms for sure.


Nonsense! Fox is going to copy CNN? CNN has 1/3 the audience and MSNBC 1/5.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 3:10 AM | PERMALINK

Slobbo's in the dock

Yes he is, for the 7th year. It's not quite end of story

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 3:12 AM | PERMALINK

good night has not made much money.

The concept of "return on investment" seems to be foreign to rdw, but what would you expect: Hollywood liberals understand capitalism; conservatives do not.

This was about influence.

And the concept that someone might want to make a movie because they think it's a good movie, or because they think it's an interesting subject, is also beyond rdw. (Murrow vs. McCarthy: period story, good guys win, bad guys lose -- perfect Hollywood subject.) Righties do not understand art, and they do not understand capitalism.

Righties are quite a bit like Communist critics of the '30s: yes, this picture may be good, but does it serve the purpose of the Party? No? Then it is no good! Then they project their own obsession with political messages onto dudes who just want to make interesting movies with good stories.

Posted by: M.A. on March 4, 2006 at 3:12 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, M.A., you are so right. Clooney actually put his house on the line to pay the bond for the film. A real "venture" capitalist.

Sort of like mel gibson!

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 3:13 AM | PERMALINK

who just want to make interesting movies with good stories.

That explains it's box office success!

No one was it twit!

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 3:15 AM | PERMALINK

Nonsense! Fox is going to copy CNN? CNN has 1/3 the audience and MSNBC 1/5.

Depends on what the advertisers are telling them in particular time slots. The number of viewers you get at a particular time doesn't always reflect the advertising rates you command, and FNC knows that, though righties do not. (And of course CNN and MSNBC have hardly any liberals on -- actually, I'd say that Fox has more actual liberals as guests than CNN does.)

Posted by: M.A. on March 4, 2006 at 3:16 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

I was considering a sputtering-in-disbelief response, myself.

Then I figured nahh ... who am I posting to? :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 3:20 AM | PERMALINK

That explains it's box office success!

No one was it twit!

See, again, rdw, you don't get this: Good Night and Good Luck was a box-office success. It made less money than a big blockbuster, but cost much less to make and advertise. It's a money-maker for its studio while the conserva-darling Cinderella Man was a huge bust.

In fact, four out of five of the nominated movies this year have been profit-makers for their studios. (The only one that didn't make money was Munich, which cost too much and was too long and depressing.) While some of the big-budget, big-hype movies have lost money for their studios. So this year's Oscars are good news for the money men.

Posted by: M.A. on March 4, 2006 at 3:20 AM | PERMALINK

OK, let's try cognitive ability.

rdw,
How much is 1 + 1? 2 + 2? Think hard now. Take your time. Deep breaths.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 4, 2006 at 3:31 AM | PERMALINK

How much money did Micheal Moore's epic documentary Farenheit 9-11 end up making? USA was at least 100 million.

Posted by: Neo on March 4, 2006 at 3:48 AM | PERMALINK

A poster called r-eally d-ense w-ingnut
Tries harder to be this blog's King Butt
Than tbrosz, Al or Jay
It gets harder each day
Cuz the doors of exchange they will swing shut!

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 3:56 AM | PERMALINK

rdw infected this thread

With a Repukelican virus he endeavors to spread.
Hes a delusional shill for the GOP mill
No, you cant trust a word that hes said.

Posted by: t-t-t-trolls r us on March 4, 2006 at 5:34 AM | PERMALINK

Haiku version:

Idiot culture
rdw love child
Limbaugh and Coulter.

Posted by: t-t-t-trolls r us on March 4, 2006 at 5:39 AM | PERMALINK
I'm skeptical about Clark, if only because I don't believe in running war heroes just because they're war heroes.

I believe in Clark just because of his tax plan from 2004, not that anyone was paying attention to it. Clark's got a lot more than war hero to run on, though actually having won a war is a plus.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 4, 2006 at 6:43 AM | PERMALINK

Do we really expect anyone who will run on a "stay the course in Iraq" platform to be much of a factor for 2008?

Posted by: bob h on March 4, 2006 at 8:03 AM | PERMALINK

I have a lot of reasons for wishing that liberals would stop falling for McCain's "straight talk" schtick ... he caves in too often to have much of an impact. His ambition to be president is palpable in everything he does...his cozying up to George Bush whenever it's politically convenient, and his bizarre recent temper tantrum against Barack Obama. ... he's just a standard issue right wing politician. Caveat emptor.

Kevin Drum

Great post.

Posted by: Econo Buzz on March 4, 2006 at 8:08 AM | PERMALINK

While McCain is not an incarnation of Jesus, like Good King George, once Al, Cheney, and I accept the fact that McCain is our best chance to Feel Manly by having poor people sent to blow up brown people, we'll get on board. Soon, McCain will also be able to Do No Wrong!

And he will win, Dems. Viva Diebold!

Posted by: Freedom Phucker on March 4, 2006 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

Good Night and Good Luck was a box-office success


I didn't comment on it's profitability. I said it was a bust in terms of influence. George aims to restore the MSM and Liberalism. With a $30M Box Office less than 4M saw it. 120M voted in 2004. He reached no more than 3% of the voting public.

Cinderella Man grossed $62, Goodnight $30M. If it made money it's only because none of the actors took a salary.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

Fahrenheit 9/11 made $119M of which a huge portion went into Michaels pocket. When he was touring Europe telling them "Americans are the dumbest people on the planet", he had evidence.

It was 17th in '04. Passion was 3rd with $370M.

Viewership was down almost 10% in 2005

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

So this year's Oscars are good news for the money men.

This years Oscars suck for the moneymen. This is the lowest viewed crop of best picture nominations in Oscar history. Normally nominations mean a rebirth of sales as fans try to see the pictures they missed but it's not happening, nor is it going to happen.

Goodnight is at best marginally profitable and that's only if they didn't pay the actors.

Ticket sales were down 10% in 2005. That's horrible and that's with big hits in Star Wars, Harry Pottern and Narnia.

Stars like Speilberg and Clooney will always be adding to their great wealth but it's not a healthy industry.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Clark's got a lot more than war hero to run on, though actually having won a war is a plus

If Clark or his flacks even try to make anything of his role in the Balkins he's toast. He was fired. Stick with the legit awards for valor, purple hearts from wounds that actually required more than a band-aid, and his smarts and character represented by his rank as a 4-star General and Supreme Commander of Nato.

Real heroes DON'T hype or exaggerate their bio. Real heroes are modest. He can be John Wayne or he can be John Kerry.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

FNC knows that, though righties do not.

Actually we do but we're not talking about profits. We're talking about influence. Fox is an amazing success story the mere mention of which drives liberals up a wall. As it should.

The most amazing media news of 2004 was that Fox beat ALL of the networks during their coverage of the GOP covention. They also continued their trend od rising ratings and widening the GAP with CNN which continues to struggle.

The real benefit for Fox is the management is very patient and stable as Fox is still in expansion mode as CNN has a 20-yr head start. They have to add cable stations one provider at a time, one country at a time. I believe Fox just got on in Canada last year. The politicians in Phila wisely delayed Fox was long as possible and I think it was 03 before they got on.

Fox also has very low costs. Brit Hume gets all of his news from 3 reporters and the blogs. They still flog Dan Rather at least once a week based on a bloggers scoup. It's a matter of astonishment all liberals buy into the 'fake but accurate' thread but the real airheads still think, "well we really don't know if they're forgeries'. Fox viewers know these as the dumbest of the dumb and it's a sport to mock them.

Think about it. Fox got a gazillion hours of air time off of Dan yet got the entire story for free. They sit on top of a huge information collection machine that cost them nothing. At the same time the networks can't run this kind of free stuff. It's a big advantage.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

This is a bit off thread but speaks to the future of your party. This is out of the NYTs and behind they're firewall but he headline is ominous. I knew the unionize midwest was hemmoranging jobs and people but I assumed blue state New England was safe.

Here's a question for you serious libs. Is this loss of blue state population due to the secular nature of your party (secularist do not reproduce) and resulting low birth rates, Or is this due to the high tax, anti-business profile of Blue state America?


Vermont Losing Prized Resource as Young Depart
By PAM BELLUCK

Published: March 4, 2006

The state of Vermont, once a magnet for back-to-the-landers, is losing young people at a precipitous clip.

My bet is it's both. The birth rate thing is baked in the cards. I was stunned when liberals cheered the demise of Detroit when gas prices 1st shot up. They wanted them to suffer for not being greener. They had to know this was going to cost them serious job losses in the North to be offset by serious job gain in the south where foreign makers produce cars.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

Was I the only US citizen who didn't feel sorry for McCain when Bush stomped on him in 2000? He's awful, really awful. His problem is not conservatism, it's ambition and narcissism compounded with a kind of madness. Same as Bush.

Clark's no better, just looks cleaner.

Posted by: PW on March 4, 2006 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

Interestingly, the law could have an unintended consequence of fostering an additional article of presidential impeachment.

So it is not completely useless. Just useless for the purpose ostensibly intended.

Posted by: Dave Alway on March 4, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Interestingly, the law could have an unintended consequence of fostering an additional article of presidential impeachment.

You already have a couple hundred articles you can't use. How many are you going to collect?

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."-H.L. Mencken

That covers the current resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to a 't'.

I've haven't found any appropriate Mencken reference for persons with rage disorder, but I haven't given up yet.

Posted by: CFShep on March 4, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Real heroes DON'T hype or exaggerate their bio. Real heroes are modest. He can be John Wayne or he can be John Kerry.

That's not quite right. Real heroes are reluctant to be heroes -- an essential element in heroism. Absent that reluctance what you've got is madness or vanity. But I repeat myself.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on March 4, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Absent that reluctance what you've got is madness or vanity. But I repeat myself.
Posted by: Jeffrey Davis

I think in McCain you have a shot at the Daily Double: Madness and vanity.

"No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power." P. J. O'Rourke

Posted by: CFShep on March 4, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

CFShep:

Nice to see you back in the saddle :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Real heroes are reluctant to be heroes

Nonsense. Just about everyone who puts on a uniform is trained to become a hero when called. Cops, Firemen, Doctors, Nurses, Soldiers, etc., are all expected to be tested in such regard and many do what they do because they seek that test. They do it to help people. Not for glory. When they do well the authentic heroes don't capitalize on it.

Kerry spent every day of his life trying to capitalize. It was easy in Boston.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Just leaving, but, yes, thanks, I'm back in business again.

>>waves cheerily to Bob

Posted by: CFShep on March 4, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."-H.L. Mencken

That covers the current resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to a 't'.


So how is it he keeps beating you?

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

was I the only US citizen who didn't feel sorry for McCain when Bush stomped on him in 2000?


Not by a long shot. The vast majority of conservatives wanted his face stoped. It's supremely ironic he's now winning their hearts. Faced with a choice of Hillary Clinton or John McCain it's been amazingly easy to get behind Big John as possibly the greatest man of our age. What was vanity in 2000 is statesmenship in 2008. What was a bad temper in 2000 is depth of character and conviction in 2008. The pathetic press suck-up of 2000 is a uniter, not a divider in 2008.

Ok, we may have to revise that last line by 2008 but you get the point. The bottom line is John beats Hillary and he's our guy.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

A bit off thread but interesting.

WORST CASE REALITY

Air America Appears To Lose Flagship Station
-
Wow! Bill Bennett starts at the same time in the business as Al Franken and is already over 3M regular listeners nationwide. He'll be making $5M per on his next contract. Al Franken doesn't have 10% of that audience and is facing multiple lawsuits.

They lost Philly last year and showed ZERO customers in Wash D.C. in the last ratings period. This week they lost Phoenix and Missoula and are on the verge of losing NYC.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

According to a new Cook Political Report/ RT Strategies poll, Clinton is the most popular of three well-known Democrats expected to seek the 2008 nomination. Among Democrats and Democratic-leaners, she drew 44 percent support. Former Sen. John Edwards, the partys 2004 vice presidential nominee, received 16 percent, while Sen. John Kerry, the 2004 standard- bearer, drew 14 percent.

The poll of 1,000 adults nationwide was conducted February 23-26 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

Clinton does best among women and African-Americans, getting 48 percent of the female vote, compared with 38 percent of the male vote. She received a whopping 65 percent of black support, which could make her a big favorite in Southern primaries


You cannot stop her. Edwards and Kerry are unelectable. The money people in the party only back winners. They want access after the election. Hillary's the only sure bet. Warners problem is he must battle Biden, Richardson and 10 other wannabe's for crumbs.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

You truly are the reeking shit-stain of postmodernism,
do you know that?

You're a total moral nihilist. Nothing has any stable meaning
for you. Truth doesn't exist in your universe, only propaganda.
I fucking smacked your ass down the block last night over your
blatant lies about Wesley Clark. Calling the supreme commander,
chief architect, main lobbyist and head diplomat of the Balkan
war a "bureaucrat." Shameless, Wooten. Totally shameless.

And now, all the things you despised about McCain in '00 become
his shining virtues in '08. Just as long as he's not Hillary.

Do you have any fucking clue (of course you don't
because you're such a middlebrow putz) how much conservative
intellectuals hate this shit? It's called value relativism.
Situational ethics. It's exactly what they've been
attacking the left-wing academy for since the 60s.

No consistency. No principles. No transcendent values.

You are truly one of Nietsczhe's Last Men ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

No consistency. No principles. No transcendent values.

Not true. My beliefs are rock solid. The world changes and one must adapt to it as best as possible being careful not to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

This is 2006 and we know with certainty Hillary Clinton will be the Deomcratic candidate in 2008. Smart conservtives deal with the world as it is not as they want it to be. Faced with a Hillary Clinton Presidency conservatives must find the best way to make sure it does not happen.

The two top candidates now are John and Rudy. Both are good candiates with excellent name recognition and moderate credentials. A flaw for conservatives. One is a social conservative and war hero beloved by a majority of americans. The other is a social moderate, tending liberal, not a war hero but popular to the middle.

The choice isn't difficult here. Add in the fact McCain has the biggest edge on Clinton and it's a slam dunk.

Would I prefer George Allen make a big run and prove he can win? Yes. Do I expect it? No. I live in PA and it'll all be decided before I get to vote.

My value is the last person I want as President is Hillary Clinton and I will be rock solid consistent to see that it does not happen. As we stand now the solution to that problem is John McCain and he can count on my vote.

John Dean knows how this works. So do you. No one voted for him because they didn't think he could beat Bush and that was the top criteria. The difference here is my vote isn't going to a stiff.

This is a really key election. If conservative win it's huge. We get to replace the two most liberal members of the court with 50-yr old conservatives. That's 6 consevatives under the age of 60. We get another census in 2010 and realignment in 2012 certain to send 7 to 10 seats to red states. The math for the Dems in 2012 is daunting. There is no way you can nominate a liberal.

If we can assume McCain, a strong pro-life conservative is a two termer, by 2016 60% of the lower court judges will have been appointed by Bush and McCain.

By 2015 the networks will have lost another 20% of their audience and we'll have another 10 years to count the effects of the 60's secularists not having kids. How many 60's libs won't have grandchildren or only one or two while their religious counterparts have a dozen who vote.

This is an incredibly significant election. Lose and post-60's liberalism is dead.


Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Okay, fair enough. Politics at the end of the day is the art of the possible. If you want to base your entire moral framework around anti-Hillaryism, I suppose you're entitled. But it's pretty weak tea as a shining example for the country. There's no real content to it; it's pure reactionary don't-change conservatism.

The country may be ready for something a little different in '08.

Now I happen to think that we'll be contending with Wes Clark in one way or another, especially if it become apparent that McCain's the GOP frontrunner. We need to counter that military experience, and for all the POW hagiography, McCain's not all that deep on foriegn policy ideas. Wesley Clark is. At very least, he's a great choice for the VP slot (although I'd prefer a Clark/Clinton ticket, myself, were it to go that way).

You talk about how the world changes -- well, it does. To the extent that you cling on to your Clinton-era talking points about the Balkans (back in the day when the GOP were isolationist), you shoot yourselves. I know you hate this, Wooten, because the Balkan mission repudiates all your ideas about an obsolete European alliance. Try to paint this as a "quagmire," though (we're still there; Slobbo still hasn't gone to trial) and you look like the worst kind of disingenuous hypocrite.

We won in the Balkans. It's a successful, multinational peacekeeping and nation-building effort. It's off the front pages, Sarajevo is beginning to come back, there's no American blood. These are people who truly *want* democracy and peaceful coexistence, once you clear out the racist demagogue leaders who emerged after Yugoslavia split up. It is the *anti-Iraq*. And it worked because we were multilateral.

You can't possibly trash Clark on this; every time you try, people will respond with "well, why is this true in the Balkans but not in Iraq?" What, you're against American victory? American world prestige? American military leadership?

McCain can't go head-to-head on Clark over foreign policy. He was only a Navy fighter pilot (last in his class at Annapolis, almost failed out) who happened to have gotten shot down on one of his first missions. His formative character-building experience was in a POW camp, where he developed distorted personality traits as a necessary defense, but which has left him rigid-minded and defensive. Clark, OTOH, has a pretty solid defense for why he was pushed out after the Balkan mission that makes him look like the maverick, do-what's-right, fuck-the-bureaucracy guy that everybody loved McCain for being.

Clark's the real deal: the maverick general who pushed the envelope to get things done. McCain, with his tongue planted ever more firmly up the base's ass, has become instead the compromised insider.

The kind of indies and Demo hawks who loved McCain will transfer that adoration to Clark in a heartbeat.

And you know this, Wooten. Wes Clark is your worst nightmare.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

We need to counter that military experience, and for all the POW hagiography, McCain's not all that deep on foriegn policy ideas. Wesley Clark is.

You don't need to counter anyone with military experience. Kerry proved a stiff with military experience is a stiff. Reagan, Truman, Lincoln and Roosevelt are four top ten Presidents wih little or no military experience. They had strong point of view and a strong belief in themselves.

Wesley Clark has zero foreign policy experience and McCain not much more and it doesn't matter in either case. Either they have a clear set of principals they can articulate well or they don't.

The less Clark says about the Balkans the better. His 4-stars prove he's a bright, articulate guy and a leader. His authentic medals prove his bravery. If he gets in the weeds on the Balkans and even thinks about taking too much credit he'll be ripped apart.

He was not only fired but he and Bill Clinton were totally outfoxed by Cohen and Sheldon. Clark has more than a few bitter enemies. He absolutely does not want this to become common knowledge. If he got played for a fool within NATO how will he do with the Chinese and Russians and French?

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

the Balkan mission repudiates all your ideas about an obsolete European alliance. Try to paint this as a "quagmire," though (we're still there; Slobbo still hasn't gone to trial) and you look like the worst kind of disingenuous hypocrite

The balkans prove the futility of the current EU.

I would never use the term quagmire under any circumstances. It's liberalspeak. What we have in the balkans is a bad stalemate with no hope for progress and increasing economic isolation for those we're supposed to be helping. There is absolutely no hope for leaving nor any hope for improvement. Meanwhile the people in the region grow poorer and even more helpless.

The balkans prove the EU is weak. They speak of soft power because they have nothing else. They decided to parasite on US military strength decades ago and GWB has pulled the rug out. They were helpless to act in their back yard. Thugs like Milosovich respect only hard power and the EU has none. Either they are going to reform their security forces and increase spending or they will remain weak. We simply cannot trust them and we cannot carry them. They have become a liability.

Nations have permanent interests not permanent friends. Right now we need distance from Europe. Allow then to adjust to a world where they provide their own defense. We have more important common interests and a brighter future in Asia.

BTW: Is isn't just my wish we disengage. It's a done deal.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Clark, OTOH, has a pretty solid defense for why he was pushed out after the Balkan mission that makes him look like the maverick, do-what's-right, fuck-the-bureaucracy guy that everybody loved McCain for being.

I'm telling you you don't want to go there. He's not at all like McCain except for the suck-up part. It's not the quality you want to highlight. He got fired for backstabbing his bosses and sucking up to Clinton. He was hated by his peers. You know we'll see SBVs II.

McCain is a maverick because bucked his party. That's why independents like him. He's independent.

I don't see Clarks appeal even a little bit. His 2004 run seemed to be pure opportunism because the left left it had to compensate on t's pitiful image on defense by nominating a war hero. Most liberals hate military types. As a general he doesn't have a natural base in your party. I have zero fear of Clark. I don't think he's even a decent VP candidate.

I just looked at recent polls and he's at best 5th and at best 4%. If Gore is in there he's 6th with 3% and richardson and Bayh are tied with him. If Obama and Gore are included he falls to 7th.

That's fundraising hell. At least the last time he had Bill Clinton on his side. Wesley is just another loser from 2004.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

who pushed the envelope to get things done.

Nothing got done. We're still there. It's the stalemate with no end and no progress. The actual war was a videogame played from 15,000 feet. Wesley was far removed from the action. This is one of the wars Bill Maher referred to as cowardly because it was a video game.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

bob,

A sense of the contempt conservatives have for Western Europe. From one of the most influential writers in the business:


In a larger sense, the United States, after the necessary and much caricatured task of removing the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, may find its power enhanced by allowing others to suffer the consequences of their own stupid decisions. Already Hamas is asking the hated West for money and sputtering that its charter of eternal war against the Jews, well, kinda, sorta means a truce for a while rather than a collision with the IDF.

The United States is finding the same results with the Iranian nuclear negotiations. Europe wanted multilateralism they got it, and they won humiliation from the Iranians, with the possibility of nuclear weapons apparently now resting in the hands of the Russians, who sold the mullahs much of their nuclear hardware in the first place. Ever so slowly, after the French riots, the bombings in London and Madrid, and the Danish cartoons, the Europeans are learning that for all their anti-American triangulating, nice talk to the Iranians, and money given to Palestinian terrorists, they have won only contempt from the Middle East.

The result? They are coming back around to the United States, in a way that would be impossible had we sent dozens of envoys to London and Paris begging to restore the old Atlantic partnership. Gerhard Schroeder, after all, not George Bush, is now a paid lackey for a post-Soviet state-owned oil company, and Jacques Chirac is blathering in his dotage about using French nukes. The legacy of that sad pair of bystanders is only appeasement, cheap anti-Americanism, and oil deals with Saddam, while the United States has altered the very dynamic of the Middle East


Considering conservatives represent 35% of the electorate you can be sure the moves engineered by GWB will not easily be reversed. If the EU
doesn't change dramatically they will never reverse. The writer is Victor Davis Hanson recently back from Iraq. Victor is more than a little impressed with the level of training and progress.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

"Real heroes DON'T hype or exaggerate their bio. Real heroes are modest. He can be John Wayne or he can be John Kerry."

Interesting dichotomy there.

John Wayne- Requested and received two deferments to avoid military service in WWII (read: avoided the draft); played hero in movies. Loved by conservatives.

John Kerry- Enlisted and served in Vietnam; wounded in action, highly decorated. Detested by conservatives.

So, which one was supposed to be the "real hero" of the pair?

Posted by: MJ Memphis on March 4, 2006 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

The actual war was a videogame played from 15,000 feet. Wesley was far removed from the action.

Yeah, unlike Tommy Franks who was right in the thick of things running central command from Qatar and Tampa.

Posted by: trex on March 4, 2006 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Jesus, Wooten, it really is all talking points all the time with you.

The Balkans a "stalemate?" Really? Between what parties? When was the last time you read a single thing in the American press about Bosnia or Kosovo? You hear *nothing*, Wooten (except in the travel pages; the NYT had a travel piece on Sarajevo a couple weeks ago); it's not a shooting war anymore. It's a region wrecked by shelling and bombing that's in the slow, painful process of rebuilding and reconciling. You know -- like Germany after WW2.

Slobbo only respects force? Well, force landed him in The Hague. The ethnic demagogues are either behind bars or in hiding. NATO troops remain in the region for peacekeeping, until those regions/countries rebuild their civil infrastructures. And that takes time. Why just look at ...

Iraq.

And that's the only reason that Balkans would be relevant in the '08 campaign -- to provide a signal contrast between, not even Republican and Democratic foreign policies, but between sane foreign policy and Bush foreign policy.

American power. Multilateral cooperation. International law. America is hungering for that kind of leadership, and the world is desperately in need of it. The politician who can tap into that vein of post WW2 Americanism will win the national security debate.

The Democratic theme is "A Return To Normalcy." How the people hunger for it! How we are sick of living in fear and shame!

General Wesley K. Clark doesn't have foreign policy experience? As NATO Supreme Allied Commander he was the equivalent of a head of state. He sat down, as our chief military negotiator, with the opposing militaries in a civil war and forged a successful peace agreement. He has more foreign policy experience in his left pinky than any junketing wanker on the Senate Foreign Intelligence Committee.

Not only that, but Clark has a compelling, muscular vision for foreign policy, national security and the GWoT. He's the last thing from any bloviating Pentagon bureaucrat or blame-America-first State Department think tanker.

You say Wes Clark has enemies in the Pentagon bureaucracy? Sure. So does McCain. You couldn't very well get to be a straight-talking, put-the-mission-first maverick without 'em, right? Don't be disingenuous about this, Wooten; you were in the military. Even from your lowly perch as a supply officer you know damn well how important kissing ass and making your superiors look good is to moving up in the top brass. Well, sometimes playing politics gets in the way of the mission. Heh, just ask Ollie North :) To the extent you'll attack Clark for "backstabbing his superiors" is the extent this will be turned on McCain, and for the same dubious reasoning. Attack Clark for being a maverick and you damage McCain's cherished status for that as well. You can't have it both ways. And Clark actually achieved something.

Wes Clark is the anti-McCain. You had better find those rosaries of yours and pray to all the tax cuts you hold dear that he doesn't enter the race.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, unlike Tommy Franks who was right in the thick of things running central command from Qatar and Tampa.

Was someone making claims about Franks that says otherwise?

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

So, which one was supposed to be the "real hero" of the pair?

The reference to John Wayne is the hollywood image as the Duke. Something we all understand. Kerry was a shameless self-promoter who lied thru his teeth about Xmas in Cambodia AND trashed his fellow Vets.

Wesley has the much better bio but he still has to be modest about it.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

And McCain is modest about his service?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Slobbo only respects force? Well, force landed him in The Hague.

American force and American force ONLY.


The ethnic demagogues are either behind bars or in hiding. NATO troops remain in the region for peacekeeping, until those regions/countries rebuild their civil infrastructures. And that takes time. Why just look at ...

Iraq.

And that's the only reason that Balkans would be relevant in the '08 campaign -- to provide a signal contrast between, not even Republican and Democratic foreign policies, but between sane foreign policy and Bush foreign policy.


The Balkans is our last waltz with Western Europe. The region is rebuilding at a snails pace while the rest of the world booms.

The balkans will be as meaningful in 2008 as Grenada. Not at all. It wasn't a war. It was a video game played from 20,000 feet made possible only by USA military excellence.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Was someone making claims about Franks that says otherwise?

No, the point is rather that Generals haven't been in the thick of things in the past few wars, and you know as well as we that Wes Clark is no less heroic for his work because he wasn't flying missions over the Kosovo than Franks or Schwarzkopf because they weren't driving tanks into Basra instead of running their wars from Saudia Arabia or Tampa.

In other words -- you're being disingenuous as usual.

Kerry was a shameless self-promoter who lied thru his teeth about Xmas in Cambodia

You just embarrass yourself by repeating that one. I know it plays well with the true believers, but you can let your guard down here -- it's us, and we all know the score.

Posted by: trex on March 4, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

American power. Multilateral cooperation. International law. America is hungering for that kind of leadership, and the world is desperately in need of it.

You got it backards. There is abslutely no chance the USA will bow to int'l law in our lifetimes. The UN is a joke. American support is at all time lows. The only reason support hits 20% is old liberals. They're dying off. Kids see the UN and can't understand the point.

GWB did fabulous work in destroying Kyoto, eliminating the AMB treaty, continuing with Star Wars, negotiating trade deals all over the world, and starting the Asian-Pacific partnership which is where major problems get settled in the future. That's leadership.

Between now and 2009 we're going to find out what a piece of garbage Kyoto is and how hapless EU liberals have been for decades. They have the worlds weakest economies and most severe demographic issues. Not only will we not deal with the World Court in Europe but we won't deal much with Europe. They are going downhill and will not take us with them.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

As NATO Supreme Allied Commander he was the equivalent of a head of

He was in Europe. It was all show. The europeans don't do anything. They are pure soft power. It's fake diplomacy. it's a chat room. Nothing comes of it.

The one war was a video game. Holbrooke was in charge of diplomacy.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

And McCain is modest about his service?

Everytime I've seen him asked about it he's been extremely modest. I've never seen him come close to bragging except about some of the men he served with. If he has I've never seen it.

Here's your problem. He is beloved as a warhero. Independents love McCain. You can't change that. You can only hurt yourself by trying. The only exception here is if there are kerry type issues where he flat out lied about something (Xmas in Cambodia) or acted in a cheesy manner (braging about 3 purple hearts when 2 were extremely, extremely marginal)

If you take a shot at a 6-yr POW and miss you do great harm to yourself and your candidate. It's going on 2 years and libs are still steamed about Dan Rather.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Somebody with cartoonist abilities and a risque sense of humor really needs to draw a thirtyish Chinese guy dressed like a Mormon (labeled McARISTOTLE) ramming his cock into the ass of a bent-over old codger with a paunch and gray hair (labelled RDW), while as each one strains with sweaty delight.

The caption: "The US-South Asian Partnership."

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 4, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

There ya'll go again. Attempting to reason with a bowl of Fruit Loops.

tsk

Posted by: CFShep on March 4, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Clark actually achieved something.

No he did not. The war was a video game played by the Air force. He's army. He then got fired.

Wes Clark is the anti-McCain. You had better find those rosaries of yours and pray to all the tax cuts you hold dear that he doesn't enter the race

Of course he's in the race. He's got nothing else to do. He's polling with 4% of the vote. He's got no shot.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK
The region is rebuilding at a snails pace while the rest of the world booms. Posted by: rdw
It's doing better than Bush's Iraq which is moving backward like his home country.
You got it backards. There is abslutely no chance the USA will bow to int'l law in our lifetimes. Posted by: rdw
Bush's silly policies have demonstrated, to all but the most obtuse, the utter failure of unilateral action. Iraq is a disaster, the North Korea and Iran are thumbing their noses at us; the people of the world hold the US in low esteem thereby limiting their government's cooperation. The Stupidity of Bush's sneering at the Kyoto accords has only exacerbated the contempt the world feels for Bush and the US.
It was all show. Posted by: rdw
Not when you compare to Bush's photo-ops in Iraq, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, New Orleans, and his "town hall" meetings. Posted by: Mike on March 4, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

You can't have it both ways.

We can. You can't

We attacked Kerry for lying about his missions and backstabbing the troops.

We won on that.

You attacked Bush for not showing up at summercamp. Dan Rather was a moron.

We won on that.

The key is how the candidates present himself. Don't lie. Don't exaggerate.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Bush's sneering at the Kyoto accords has only exacerbated the contempt the world feels for Bush and the US.

Kyoto is a piece of garbage. It is a disaster. At least 50% of the original 13 signees will be over their targets by 20% or more. Canada, Denmark and Spain have no chance of being less than 25% over. If Canada expands Tar sands production anymore they could be 50% over.

Bush showed his wisdom on dumping that trash.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: 'the candidates present himself.'

Still struggling with that tricky subject-verb agreement thing, I see.

The Fruit Loops School of Syntax and Grammar must be so proud.

How's that picture of the pirate coming?

Posted by: CFShep on March 4, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK
My beliefs are rock solid. The world changes and one must adapt to it as best as possible being careful not to make the perfect the enemy of the good. Smart conservtives deal with the world as it is not as they want it to be. Posted by: rdw
Your beliefs do not go beyond the party line and political expediency. No conservative deals with the world as it is. They start with their ideology, and when it fails, keep repeating the same silly errors. The social liberation of the 60's continues strong. It has cost Republican corporate supporters like the Schaife, Coors, Bradley and other foundations billions to distort people's knowledge base, but keep bragging: there is nothing funnier than when a fool gets his comeuppance.
Kyoto is a piece of garbage.Posted by: rdw
Your ignorance is exceeded only by your arrogance. The world sees the pending disaster in global climate change. The US will suffer more than most. Republican inaction will only add to the catastrophe. Posted by: Mike on March 4, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

rdw--
Care to discuss John McCain's actual policies? I could care less whether he's a "straight-shooter" or not. What I want to know is: in which direction is his gun pointed?

I'd imagine that as a hard-core conservative, you'd want to know this too. So how about it? What do you think of McCain's policies? Does he pass the "litmus test" of a good loyal partisan or not? If you think he does, you should be happy and be agreeing with Kevin's post. You shouldn't be trying to pretend like he's actually a "moderate" or something like that.

This thread is all about how McCain is misrepresented in the media. Look, I am by no means a fan of Bush, but even I thought it was absurd how the press was overtly biased towards McCain in the 2000 primary, fawning over this "straight-shooter". Or do you think it's hunky-dory to have Soviet-like hagiographies of public figures in our national discourse?

Oh, and by the way, I don't know McCain personally or anything, but if you knew a guy who was always talking about what a "straight-shooter" he was, wouldn't you be a little suspicious of his supposed "modesty"? What about if he named his car the "Straight-Shooter Wagon"? Would this strike you as a sign of "modesty"?

Posted by: kokblok on March 4, 2006 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

rdw is in the throes of what literary theorists like to call the "performative shift". What he says is literally meaningless. I can discern no constative position behind any of remarks. Rather, the performative element has come to completely dominate his discourse. Thus, it is completely irrelevant that McCain was his enemy only a few years ago, just as it was irrelevent to the Soviet citizen that Stalin could be an evil torturer only a few years after he was a great and benevolent uncle. It is remarkable to see such a pure specimin of performative speaker, especially one who is apprently acting in an independent fashion, not as a paid apparatchik of any institution. We can only surmise that rdw must derive a certain form of pleasure from these performative utterances, rather in the same way that certain songbirds continue singing long after the need for any communicative message has been absent.
I am happy to give our plumed friend here the pleasure of imagining himself as a clever defender of principles. Just as one does not begrudge the rooster his morning crow, let us not analyze too closely these rantings. Like a free jazz master, rdw must be allowed to explore the medium without any constantive encumbrances. Let us see where he takes us in his next riff! Vermont census figures? Christmas in Cambodia? Who cares, throw that all in! And let it come out of the mouth of rdw's maginifcent trumpet! This truly is a master of improvisational form.

Posted by: kokblok on March 4, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

Nonsense! Fox is going to copy CNN? CNN has 1/3 the audience and MSNBC 1/5.

FOX Ratings In Free Fall - O'Reilly Leads The Way Down

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 4, 2006 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

The US will suffer more than most.

The US doesn't suffer. The US solves. Liberals suffer.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

No conservative deals with the world as it is. They start with their ideology, and when it fails, keep repeating the same silly errors. The social liberation of the 60's continues strong.

So that's how John Roberts and Sam Alito got on the court? A couple of 60's hippies we have there.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

Care to discuss John McCain's actual policies?

Not especially. In general he's a strong pro-life social conservative who will vote to keep the current tax cuts intact after not supporting them originally and will focus on spending cuts. He's very pro-win-in-Iraq and will aggressively defend the USA. He was stupid on campaign finance reform but that's no longer an issue and will be reversed in the courts anyay.

He's conservative but not conservative enough for my tastes. The straight shooter stuff is press crap and irrelevent. It will help him that the press likes him and people respect him. Much of the abuse GWB gets is press hatred. MCcAIN will have an easier path. He beats Hillary who will be exceptionally well funded and staffed with a solid 43% support. McCain beats her by 10%. It's critical we win in 2008. I'll support a less than ideal candidate if it means we win in 2008.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know McCain personally or anything, but if you knew a guy who was always talking about what a "straight-shooter" he was, wouldn't you be a little suspicious of his supposed "modesty"?

I never said McCain was a modest man. I said he was modest regarding the subject of war heroism. He wold never refer to himself as a hero and had been clear in the past he does not like being referred to as a hero and denies it.
All of those men defer to Admiral Stockdale (i think that's his name) who they clealry how in awe.

Just about every single Senator has an ego bigger than Washington. They're the biggest group of a-holes I've ever seen. Wasn't it just perfect that Biden suggested they consider not holding any more judiciary committee hearings because they couldn't stopmaking asses of themselves?

McCain ego does trouble me. But it's no smaller than anyone else in the Senate and it's much smaller than Bill Clinton's.

Posted by: rdw on March 4, 2006 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

rdw,
I live in the South and I'm pretty sure, saying this incredulously since it is the 21st century, that few southern red-state homophobic diehards will vote for the fag candidate, McCain, for president. A Repub like George Allen will eat his lunch in southern primaries by driving the Dobsonian gay wedge issue replaying McCain's on-the-record stance that a same-sex marriage ban is un-Republican. Look for an election 2000 repeat. McCain's best chance is as a running mate, the veep slot, that is, if the GOP wants to carry the South.

OTOH, former Dem Gov. Mark Warner of Virginia can entice southern voters as did Bill Clinton. His drawback is that he is relatively unknown at this time. However, so was Clinton. No worries. That can be changed. Remember Bill beat Poppy Bush soundly. And won re-election over Dole despite being dogged by Gingrich & Company. Bill even left the Oval Office with a good approval rating. I doubt the same will be true for Dubya. In fact, Bill's approval was 66% in February of his second term while Dubya's was a measly 40% -- a difference of 26 points! "Two presidents had lower approval ratings than Bush in February of the second year after being re-elected: Truman and Nixon." [Cite]

Your party is in turmoil, rdw, with Corruption Central and a preznit who can't seem to find the competency button on his remote control with both hands. So why are you here still badgering liberals? Don't you have some GOP corruption to clean up on Aisle A (is for Abramoff)?

BTW, Hillary won't run as prez. That's my prediction. She might run as veep, if she's asked (because the Clintons can raise money), but not as prez, if at all.

I also think there will be an unprecedented turnout of minority voters particularly African-Americans. Now that Coretta Scott King has passed on, that tremendous void is being felt deeply and inspiring Black Americans to get more involved politically. It's the buzz in my circle of friends especially post-Katrina.

I could be wrong, but then again, such a fair-minded admission is lost on someone like you, rdw.


Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 4, 2006 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK
The US doesn't suffer. The US solves. Liberals suffer. Posted by: rdw
Tell that to American companies like GM and Ford who have lost to Japanese companies. Tell that to American electronic companies who have vanished to Asian competition. In industry after industry, American companies have been beaten by European and Asian competition. At one time, General Motors was America's largest employer paying good union wages that enabled many in the working class to become homeowners. Today, Wal-Mart is America's largest employer paying wages that force people to work multiple jobs in order to maintain their standard of living. That is not progress and causes suffering throughout society. The US will suffer from global climate change, and the Bush administration has done nothing to solve the problem, thereby passing up a tremendous opportunity to develop technological innovation.
So that's how John Roberts and Sam Alito got on the court? A couple of 60's hippies we have there. Posted by: rdw
Roberts and Alito have merely replaced a couple of other conservatives on the court. If you regard that as some sort of triumph, you are mistaken. I fail to understand your obsession with the 60's since there was 45 years ago. In the meantime, you can enjoy the social liberation of that era today, or you can have the social repression of the button-down McCarthy years. Frankly, you could just as well rant about flappers in the 20's and make as little sense.
McCain ego does trouble me. But it's much smaller than Bill Clinton's. Posted by: rdw
McCain is never reported spending much time with common people, but Clinton has done so again and again. Nope, Republicans, including McCain, perfer to deal with the elite because that's the source of their best bribes. Posted by: Mike on March 5, 2006 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

RDW:

McCain lost me when he stabbed Kerry in the back. I can understand him sitting on the sidelines, and watching things unfold (though I think that had he actually endorsed Kerry, Kerry would have won, but that's a different slice of the politcal pie).

But he didn't. He stepped up to the mike and gave a speech at the convention which said Bush was, "the Man." Given the way Bush had treated him in S. Carolina, and the crap the SBV were spewing (and I don't think Bush couldn't have stopped it, or at least shouldn't have tried, since his campaign jumped all over Kerry for MoveOn spending money saying true things about Bush).

That was when he lost my vote. He lost my respect when he voted for Abu Gonzales. He lost any hope of my keeping silent about things when he let Graham put the weasel words into the Anti-torture amendment.

Since I'm an interrogator, well that amendment means a lot to me, and I read it and it says I can legally be ordered to torture people.

That, from someone who's been tortured... is unacceptable.

TK

Posted by: Terry Karney on March 5, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

rmck1: A CINC is a diplomat, and a politician. The nature of the job has them negotiating with heads of state, wrangling within their service; as well as with the other branches, and DoD; for things to make the mission go the way it needs to.

With the scope of area, mission ad timscale they are working they are, in effect tribunes, and border on heing minor heads of state. They are effectively ambassadors, plenipotentiary, who happen to have a couple of legions in their pocket.

When you add being Head of NATO, one has different political skills.

What he lacks isn't a grasp of politics, nor world picture, but the ability translate that to the people. He knows how to use a staff, is probably used to hearing less than good news (one of the things the Army is good at {at least at the lower levels, things can change when stars get involved} is worst case planning).

All in all he probably has far more chops than the present occupant of the White House.

TK

Posted by: Terry Karney on March 5, 2006 at 2:04 AM | PERMALINK

McCain lost me when he stabbed Kerry in the back

McCain never had you. There was NEVER a chance He was going to endorse or run with Kerry. If he held the beliefs of the democrats he'd be a Democrat. He's been relentlessly clear where he stands. He is and has always been a conservative. He is and has always been a republican. He never has and never will endorse the other parties candidate.

To suggest he stabbed Kerry in the back is absurd.

In stating he thought kerry would make a good President he went far beyond what a vast majority of Senators would say of the other parties candidate. We'll see what John Kerry says about John McCain.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 8:39 AM | PERMALINK

Standing to applaud kokblok's absolutely on-point vivisection of our obsessively persistent, if somewhat soggy, bowl of imperfectly literate Fruit Loops.


>>>cheering

Would also whistle and stamp feet but it tends to startle my 9 year old LOL cat. She has enough to contend with already, what with thoroughbred racing season being upon us.

Posted by: CFShep on March 5, 2006 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

McCain is never reported spending much time with common people

Your have no idea what McCain and Clinton do every day.

You can assume at a minimum Bill Clinton, a fanatic on Global Warming and Kyoto, spends at last 3 days a week on massive private jets touring the world touting his wisdom. As you know he was in Dubai two weeks ago advising the UAR Emirs on how to complete the port deal.

Also as you know Bill doesn't fly commercial with the riftraft. IN addition to his $300,000 fee he gets a private 727. We're not talking about an 8 seat private jet that burns more fuel in 4 hours thn we use in a year. We're talking about a 250 seat private jet that burns more fuel in 5 minutes than we use in a year.

Emirs are common men.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

that few southern red-state homophobic diehards will vote for the fag candidate, McCain, for president.

They will if the choice is Hillary. George Allen is actually my favorite candidate but he has the same problem as Mark Warner. He's not well known. George has a very solid shot as VP.

Hillary is your candidate. She is absolutely running and you can't stop her. As we speak hse is getting the commitments from major fundraisers she needs and rarely does a candidate have such a commanding lead in the polls. Morover, the 2nd and 3rd spots are occupied by recent losers. 2nd place Edwards could not carry his own state. That means he's not even a VP candidate. Warner does not register above 3%. This makes it easy for her to line up contributers rewardng early commitments with the best access. Their choice is clear.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

Roberts and Alito have merely replaced a couple of other conservatives on the court. If you regard that as some sort of triumph, you are mistaken.

Two points:

GWB has very low polls and being as stupid as he is, is incompetent. He rolled the Senate Democrats. They hated Roberts and were positively desperate to stop Alito. Reid,, Schumer and Kennedy were bitch-slapped. Biden even asked to stop the process of judicial hearings. "Stop me before I make a total ass of myself, again!"

Liberals wanted to stop these men for a reason. Roberts is at least as conservative and at age 50 locks up the Chief Justice spot for another 40 years. Alito is much more conservative than O'Connor and will serve for another 30 years. Alito will end Affirmative Action, Partial birth abortion, uphold parental notification, and campaign finance reform. He will also support the executive on all of the rulings to come on war powers.

Alito's appointment was very timely. He will reverse every 5-4 decision Sandra was on the wrong side of and be much stronger on executive power.

In Roberts (50) Alito (55) and Thomas (57) we have 3 uber-conservative who should serve nearly 30 years. Scalia is 69 and should give us another decade. Kennedy is also 69. Though less conservative than his catholic peers this group gives us the most conservative court of the last 60 years. Good thing for you GWB is so incompetent.

The two most senior members, Stevens and Ginsburg are also it's most liberal. Stevens will be 86. Ruth will 73 soon and had battled cancer 2x's. This is why conservatives will rally behind McCain. If Stevens dies GWB will of course add another Roberts clone. That would be devastating to liberalism. If he survives thru 2008 he'll most certainly go. McCain is a strong pro-life social conservative. Hillary is uber-lib.

The choice could not be clearer.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

(and I don't think Bush couldn't have stopped it, or at least shouldn't have tried, since his campaign jumped all over Kerry for MoveOn spending money saying true things about Bush).

Bush could not have stopped it and wisely didn't try. His only problem with the SBVs was the fact they hurt thefund raising efforts of the RNC. At soon as the SBVs proves popular people stopped sending their donations to the DNC. They sent them to the SBVs. That why we were seeing commercials every 15 minutes of JKerry calling his fellow Vietnam Vets war criminals.

Which by the way was not a lie. That is excatly what he did. His voice was not altered in anyway. This was pure, unedited Kerry in his own words.

It's ironic this group of amateurs mounted what might be the most successful political campiagn in TV history. This will be studied in communications classe for the next 50 years.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

So how is it he keeps beating you?
Posted by: rdw

Beating me? Personally?

Closest I'm ever come to competing with that born-on-3rd base, matriculate of Andover/Yale/Harvard, Connecticut-born, Kennebunkport Summering phony was that a couple of years after the University of Texas Law School/LBJ School of Public Affairs in its wisdom declined to admit the drunken, coke snorting, semi-literate son of a US Senator...it accepted...me.

Gee. The choice indeed 'could not have been clearer'.

Posted by: CFShep on March 5, 2006 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

I also think there will be an unprecedented turnout of minority voters particularly African-Americans.

92% of Black voters supported Al Gore he lost. Since then red states have gained 7 more electoral votes and hispanics have passed blacks as the largest minority. One of the perverse results of Clinton era abortion reforms, prison reforms and welfare reforms is that black birth rates have dropped dramatically. A few months back there was a report of an astonishing surge in abortions among african-americans starting almost 15 years ago.

The fact is AA's as a percentage of the population have peaked. Younger blacks are more likely to register independent and less likely to vote straight line Democrat while growing poplations of middle class and upper middle class blacks are not happy with high tax rates.

If Hillary were to repeat Gores 92% take of the black vote she loses. After already making it clear she wants higher tax rates she'll have a hard time getting even 92%

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Gee. The choice indeed 'could not have been clearer'.


He's the Harvard MBA, former managing partner of the Texas Rangers, two-term Governor of Texas and two-term President of the greatest nation on Gods green earth and the most powerful man in the world and you are......?

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

All in all he probably has far more chops than the present occupant of the White House.

Doesn't that just bite you right in the ass? There's little doubt every Democratic candidate of 2000, 2004 and 2008 probably have far more chops than the present occupant of the WH. it just sucks none of them will ever be President.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

He's the Harvard MBA, former managing partner of the Texas Rangers, two-term Governor of Texas and two-term President of the greatest nation on Gods green earth and the most powerful man in the world and you are......?
Posted by: rdw

Sane.

Posted by: CFShep on March 5, 2006 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

Today, Wal-Mart is America's largest employer paying wages that force people to work multiple jobs in order to maintain their standard of living. That is not progress and causes suffering throughout society.

This explains why Walmart gets 10 applicants for every opening.


The US will suffer from global climate change, and the Bush administration has done nothing to solve the problem, thereby passing up a tremendous opportunity to develop technological innovation.

That is absolutely untrue. GWB has done a fantastic job destroying Kyoto which was a piece of garbage that faclitated the rapid transfer of manufacturing capacity from the developed world with it's environmental protections to the 3rd world where there are none. The planet is far worse off as a result.

Even more comically inept is the example of orignal signees such as Canada, Spain, Denmark and several others who will EXCEED their Kyoto liimits by 30% or more.

Kyoto was the dumbest treaty in the history of mankind. The UN does nothing right.

George is forming the Asian-Pacific partnership with China, India, Japan, S. Korea and Australia as a mechanism to work together to solve pollution and other global problems. This idea of setting mandatory limits and setting penalties administered by liberal bureaucrats is nonsense. It will NEVER happen.

BTW: Liberals love this concept of a global government. Both Alito and Roberts find this concept of referring to Int'l law as nonsense and have been openly contempteous of the idea. If liberals ever had a chance to push this concept it was a decade ago. Support for the U N is in the toilet. Support for delinking from Western Europe, where these concepts are most popular, is very high and will be mostly completed in 3 years. I am not a citizen of the world and will never be.


Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

There was NEVER a chance He was going to endorse or run with Kerry. If he held the beliefs of the democrats he'd be a Democrat.

Thanks, rdw! Keep repeating that loud and clear. You'll lose McCain the election.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 5, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

This explains why Walmart gets 10 applicants for every opening.

The deindustrialization and hollowing out of the American economy explains why Walmart, despiting paying wages that do not keep a family of 4 above the poverty level, is still getting applicants. Doofus, if you're trying to fool people into thinking the American labor market is healthy, you don't want to be trumpeting that Walmart gets 10 applicants for every vacancy. That's a Democratic talking point.

Sheesh.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 5, 2006 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

GWB has done a fantastic job destroying Kyoto which was a piece of garbage that faclitated the rapid transfer of manufacturing capacity from the developed world with it's environmental protections to the 3rd world where there are none. The planet is far worse off as a result.

I want you to go into your kitchen and look at the back of your refrigerator. Where was it made? Then I want you to look at the back of your TV. Where was it made? Then look at the back of your computer. Where was it made? Then look at the back of your stereo. Where was it made? Then look at your shoes, the label on your clothes, your kids' toys, your cell phone...

If you are a typical American, the majority of the objects in your house were made in the Far East. (Especially if you shop at Walmart). This trend has accelerated under GWB, for reasons that have nothing to do with Kyoto (which the US, in case you didn't notice, never ratified) and everything to do with China's accession to the WTO in 2001, along with the free trade agreements with countries like Vietnam (2001) which the Bush admin has deepened and strengthened, and with the simple distribution of forces in the global economy. The idea that by rejecting Kyoto GWB was helping make sure that Asia didn't capture more of our market for manufactured goods is...inaccurate, in the sense of "bears no relationship to reality".

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 5, 2006 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

I am not a citizen of the world

Oh good. We have a new legal opinion that says if you're not a citizen of the world, then the UN Declaration of Human Rights doesn't apply to you, and the World Police can imprison you on Elba and torture you for information.

That black chopper should be arriving any minute now.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 5, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Kyoto (which the US, in case you didn't notice, never ratified)

Of course we didn't ratify it. We're not the greatest nation on God's green earth for nothing.

Clinton and Gore wanted to sign it, did sign it but the Senate passed a resolution by a vote of 96-0 telling him to stick it up his rear. As you know only the Senate can approve treaties. Clintons signature, like so many other thingshe did, was meaningless.

The message of Kyoto to GE and the rest of the worlds business community was that the worlds liberals were going to try to put a huge tax on energy use in the developed world. The obvious reaction was to engage the 3rd world to transfer their manufacturing capacity. The Chinese were thrilled to build the coal-burning plants needed to accomodate GE and the industrial powers. China is so attractive because we all know China will NEVER allow the UN or any other group to impose a tax on China. Ditto for all of the 3rd world.

Kyoto accelerate a massive transfer of industry to the 3rd world creating a great deal of pollution.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

then the UN Declaration of Human Rights doesn't apply to you, and the World Police can imprison you on Elba and torture you for information.

Nah! The marines aren't citizens of the world either. They'll kick the crap out of your world police.

Get over the UN my friend. Pray Bolton is successful in reforming it. It's a long shot but their only chance for relevence. Not only they in the toilet regarding the opinion of the American public but we have an entire generation of young Americans who've seen only scandal from the UN replacing the Old Generation who once saw the great hope.

It's also a fact globalization and the spread of industry via trade negotiations essentially replaces the role of the UN. GWBs trip to India and Pakistan might be the most important diplomatic mission of the last several years yet it's really about trade and totally outside the UN.

This is another hugely significant advancement in the 3-way relationship between the USA - India - Pakistan that will dominate Asian dilpomacy for the next decade. Yet none of these nations has any use for the UN.

The UN is now closer to extinction than to relevence and few Americans really care.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

The deindustrialization and hollowing out of the American economy explains why Walmart, despiting paying wages that do not keep a family of 4 above the poverty level, is still getting applicants

Socialist nonsense. Walmark has a very, very large number of managers, programmers, accountants, buyers, designers, advertisers, etc., who do very well financially. Walmart also had a huge staff filing positions not requiring a high level of training or unusual skills and not expected to support a family of 4.

The US is not being deindustrialized. It is being deunionized. That's a big difference. Detroit is selling many fewer cars and the industrial north is suffering. Southern car makers are having an exceptionally good time and expanding. Many of these cars have a higher local content than Fords.

Manufacturing as a percent of GDP has been reasonably stable. Union jobs as a percent of the work force are collapsing and increasingly service oriented such as teachers and givernment workers.

The ironies in politics never cease to amaze me. Slick Willie is the free trader who passed NAFTA. That is if he's speaking to a pro-trade audience. Bill did pass NAFTA and deserves credit but his roll was not the most significant overall and by the end of his term had no free trade initiatives in any active stage.

GWB on the other hand is only given credit for 'piddlin' deals considered small potatoes compared to NAFTA. He's actually done a great deal more he's not given credit for and that's actually a political advantage. It serves his purposes. He's got a ton of deals on the table which have a better chance for approval the further under the radar they are.

By the time he leaves office Historians are going to be shocked at how active this administration has been. It's great news for Global trade and Global GDP as well as American GDP. Lost in the soaring trade deficit rhetoric last month was the robust increase in exports which is continuing. Meanwhile in the increase in imports was almost totally Oil pricing.

This is all very good for the american economy although perhaps less good for union labor.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

US exports, other than all those jobs, are arms, commodities like soybeans and wheat, and raw materials such as timber, ores and scrap metals.

Leaving out jobs and war materiel, it's the export profile of a 3rd world country.

"During this administration, America's debt, that is the total of the deficits, has increased by $3 trillion," said Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, the top Democrat on the Finance Committee. "That's a 40% increase in the entire federal debt accrued by our country in its entire history."

Posted by: CFShep on March 5, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Detroit is selling many fewer cars and the industrial north is suffering. Southern car makers are having an exceptionally good time and expanding.

In January 2000 there were 13.3 million vehicles assembled in the US. In January 2006 that had fallen to 11.77 million, almost identical to the number assembled in January 1986. In the intervening 20 years the population of the US grew by about 20%.

http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/G17/ipdisk/auto_sa.txt

US carmakers' share of the US market continues to fall irreversibly. Japanese car makers now prefer to base new factories in Canada rather than the US (even in the low-wage South), due to Canada's superior public health system, which places less of a burden on employers.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 5, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Manufacturing as a percent of GDP has been reasonably stable.

The Bush administration's record on manufacturing has been miserable in comparison with the Clinton administration's record.

We will be kind to Bush and not include any of the figures from the 2001-2 recession years; we'll just look at the "recovery" from 2003 on. From Jan. 2003 to Jan. 2006 manufacturing capacity grew by 3.6%.

For a comparison, from Jan. 1997 to Jan. 2000, manufacturing capacity grew almost 25%. It is impossible to find any 3 years of the Clinton presidency in which manufacturing growth was as weak as it has been during the Bush "recovery".

Enjoy.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 5, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Reference:

http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/G17/ipdisk/cap_sa.txt

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 5, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Indeed, US manufacturing capacity grew by 10% between 1977 and 1980.

Bush's tenure has been worse for US manufacturers than Jimmy Carter's.

http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/G17/iphist/caphist_sa.txt

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 5, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. Did that actually manage to shut rdw up?

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 5, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. Did that actually manage to shut rdw up?

You are not serious are you? Even I take breaks!

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK
So how is it he keeps beating you?

Umm. Because lots of Americans can be conned into voting for morons?

Yup.

Posted by: obscure on March 5, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

By the time he leaves office Historians are going to be shocked at how active this administration has been.

People, including but not limited to Historians, are already shocked at how "active" this administration has been. Which is why Bush's approval numbers are in the 30s.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 5, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/G17/iphist/caphist_sa.txt

Data thru 1986 only

http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/G17/ipdisk/auto_sa.txt

total manufacturing but no info on the mix of US owned versus foreign owned plants.

I tried to search this and could not find breakdowns by manufacturer by country.

As far as the Presidents role in manufacturing it's generally indirect. 1st off we have a President, not a king. Congress passes the laws. 2nd, it makes no sense to isolate manufacturing within the total economic pie because there are too many vatiables and because manufacturing plays a role secondary to services. 3rd, this is a free market economy. It will go in whatever direction it needs to regardless of where a President or Congress try to take it.

The most important point here, as this is a political thread, is that the severe loss of a manufacturing jobs, certainly not a good thing, still benefits the GOP and possibly significantly. Union have been the enemy of the GOP. Thus it's good they are now much weaker versus 5 years ago. In the 2008 elections there will be many fewer poll workers available to the Democratic party and quite obviously much less in the way of campaign contributions.

Many union members are furious at their leaders for declaring war on the GOP and then getting their butts kicked. They s/b pissed. It was stupid. Now they're sitting not the outside looking in unable to lobby for their members. They've not only seen a severe drop in membership but they ar splitting apart.

Among the things you might see from an Alito court is a ruling preventing Unions from collecting from members to support a political position thye might disagree with. The message here regarding Bush and the Unions is that if you want to declare war on him he's not going to get mad. He's going to get even.


Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Hey brooks, CF, CM ...

I see the whack-a-mole game continues apace.

I had this image of a sweat-drenched rdw with his trainers surrounding him in his corner, giving him bottled water, towelling his bruises, telling him "good job, champ, but more straw men next time, jab with productivity growth, and for gods sakes *keep dancing* ..."

Or could be him in the bathroom beating off.

Either one works, I guess ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 5, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Umm. Because lots of Americans can be conned into voting for morons?

I love elitists. I especially love the fact you keep losing. I'm a moron for voting for Bush. So blame me for putting Sam Alito on the Supreme Court.

No really, blame me! I love being moron.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Which is why Bush's approval numbers are in the 30s.


He is taking a beating isn't he?

And yet he still gets the patriot act signed, gets his tax cuts extended, gets to do whatever he wants in Iraq, gets Alito on the Supreme Court, transfers the State dept out of Western Europe and travels to India to sign up for the greatest expansion in nuclear power construction in history.

He might have the brain of the energizer bunny but it's your bad he also has the batteries

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

"During this administration, America's debt, that is the total of the deficits, has increased by $3 trillion," said Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, the top Democrat on the Finance Committee. "That's a 40% increase in the entire federal debt accrued by our country in its ent
ire history."

That is amazing isn't it? We can both see where this is heading. The 2008 election might be a replay of the 1992 electon. Of course the mere memory of that great Clinton victory makes liberals cream in their pants. And well it should.

It will be interesting watching Hillary run on deficit reduction as the most important 'plank'. And she should because Max is correct. Of course a liberal democrat running on deficit reduction means Tax increases and since Hillary has already suggested this in the past it'll be childs play labeling her tax and spend. It is what she is.

McCain on the other hand might have been the most vocal senator the last 10 years on spending cuts. We've got a million soundbites on him lamenting porkand the lack of discipline. His record is quite good here as well.

So let me see, one candidate running as a tax increaser and the other as a spending cutter. Who was the last candidate to run on Tax Increases? Walter Mondale. How did that work?

I'm not so sure that '92 race helps much. Slick willie actually promised middle class tax cuts and even then only got 43% of the vote. I think you are going to need another Ross Perot.

By all means lets make this about the deficit. Big John in a landslide.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Either one works, I guess ...

PaPa bear should have sent you to the same good Catholic schools he went to. Then you might be able to do better then these teenage insults. How long did it take you to work that one out?

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Read it and weep - WHY THIS ISN'T VIETNAM

March 5, 2006 -- BAGHDAD

I'M trying. I've been trying all week. The other day, I drove another 30 miles or so on the streets and alleys of Baghdad. I'm looking for the civil war that The New York Times declared. And I just can't find it.

Maybe actually being on the ground in Iraq prevents me from seeing it. Perhaps the view's clearer from Manhattan. It could be that my background as an intelligence officer didn't give me the right skills.

And riding around with the U.S. Army, looking at things first-hand, is certainly a technique to which The New York Times wouldn't stoop in such an hour of crisis.

Let me tell you what I saw anyway. Rolling with the "instant Infantry" gunners of the 1st Platoon of Bravo Battery, 4-320 Field Artillery, I saw children and teenagers in a Shia slum jumping up and down and cheering our troops as they drove by. Cheering our troops.

All day - and it was a long day - we drove through Shia and Sunni neighborhoods. Everywhere, the reception was warm. No violence. None.

And no hostility toward our troops. Iraqis went out of their way to tell us we were welcome.

Instead of a civil war, something very different happened because of the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra. The fanatic attempt to stir up Sunni-vs.-Shia strife, and the subsequent spate of violent attacks, caused popular support for the U.S. presence to spike upward.

Think Abu Musab al-Zarqawi intended that?

In place of the civil war that elements in our media declared, I saw full streets, open shops, traffic jams, donkey carts, Muslim holiday flags - and children everywhere, waving as our Humvees passed. Even the clouds of dust we stirred up didn't deter them. And the presence of children in the streets is the best possible indicator of a low threat level.

Southeast Baghdad, at least, was happy to see our troops.

This is Ralph Peters of the NY Post. The libs thought they had their Tet offensive. The MSM tried. They shoot blanks these days. We're winning. This article covers the US troops but the fact is the Iraqi troops took a more visible roll in stepping up security after the Mosque bombing and they're getting credit from the Iraqi media. Zarqawi lost bigtime.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

The Kurd way
02/28/2006


Why this isn't Vietnam part II

The Kurd way
... Speaking out on Iraq

The war is another country to the survivors of Kurdistan, as Michael J. Totten reports.

While suicide bombers and attacks on coalition troops dominate headlines out of Iraq, few in the west are aware of the extent of rebuilding underway, especially in Kurdistan, in the north.

The war is already over up there. Iraqi Kurds have their own autonomous government, and they think of Baghdad as the capital of a deranged foreign country. Theyre transforming the war-shattered cityscapes left to them by Saddam Hussein into bustling environments that look strikingly western.

At the heart of the new Iraqi Kurdistan is what will soon be known as the Dream City, currently a huge construction site on the outskirts of the capital, Erbil. The Baath regimes totalitarian urban planning model will be replaced with neighbourhoods built for people, not cars. There will be tree-lined streets and parks.

One already completed home next to the Dream City is a dead-ringer for a suburban American house. It came with a garage and an oversized yard. Most of the new homes dont look particularly American; the designs are a hodgepodge of styles rolled into one 21st century package. Some even look sleek and futuristic.

What has already taken shape in Iraqi Kurdistans second city, Suleimaniya, is even more impressive. The population has doubled over the past three years. Its around 800,000 now, but no one is sure how many people actually live there. Just like any city undergoing rapid migration, most of the newcomers live in newly constructed neighbourhoods on the outskirts. Unlike most fast-growing cities in the third world, these arent slums; in Suleimaniya, the ring around the old city centre is more prosperous than the core.

Visit michaeltotten.com if interested. Of course you will not since this disputes everything you think you know. There are 20M Kurds in the region and they now have a homeland. Only 4M live in Iraq but they are coming in large numbers. The Kurdish North provides for it's own security, has it's own oil and water in abundance and a commerical tradition. Kurds have a far higher opinion of America than liberals.

They are in the front end of a huge building boom and economic expansion that will last for decades. No matter what happens between the Sunni and Shia the Kurds will prosper

Amazing how the MSM knows NOTHING of this. Too bad for them the new media IS reporting it.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

RDW-
GREAT POINT!!!

It was the same with MSM coverage of our "Civil War". I'm not sure why no MSM reporters went down to Texas or Louisiana or Florida to tell the other side of that whole story. The story of ordinary southerners just going about their business. I mean, Dallas County, Alabama had one of the best cotton crops ever in 1863, but you wouldn't know that from reading the MSM. All they wanted to write about was the bad stuff, like Shiloh and all that. Typical bias.

Yes, this is really first-class "new" journalism. Real compelling stuff here. Like, these 'new media' types mean to say that, wow, during a war, some people continue to live ordinary lives!? Holy shit! Stop the fucking presses (or the automated link-generators, or whatever the fuck your "new media" uses), my man, you have got a story here! Man oh man, this is some real good shit.

And did you know that Kurds like America more than liberals?! Jesus, well that's pretty remarkable too. It makes me think, hell, maybe I should just move out to Kirkuk, get myself a split-level ranch and start grillin' some camel kebabs! I mean, christ, it would sure beat having to be around all those America-hating liberals! Hey, rdw, maybe we could go in on an Applebee's franchise up in Mosul together or something. But, jesus, what would we do with our time without all these liberals that give us such great enjoyment? I mean, I love getting fawned over by peshmerga as much as the next guy, but don't you think such constant America-loving would dull our critical rhetorical battle skills?! Was it Norquist who had that line about being thankful for going to college with liberals, as it made his mind the razor-sharp model of wit and wisdom that it is today? Yeah, it was Norquist. But anyhoo, what would our lives be like without the MSM to kick around? I'm worried that we might fall prey to depression or something even worse (joy?) out there in wonderful, America-loving Kurdistan.

Hey, thanks for reminding me that the Republicans won the last presidential election, too. I would have forgotten otherwise. But it's good you're here to remind me of things like that. The MSM hasn't been giving me the proper facts about this event.

Also hey, your "reporter" friend is right about that "uptick" in public support for the US after the mosque bombing. You wouldn't get to know that information from any MSM publications like opinion polls or anything. No, it takes a couple of weeks of rolling around with the US Army to fully appreciate the facts on the ground. Yep, the best way to obtain an unbiased understanding of a complex event is to ride around with a US Army unit. That's always been the case. It is especially fortuitous when the reporter in question happens to already agree with the official US line to begin with. That's when the most light is shed on a situation. Here's the best reporting technique. Try to think up cool "signs of progress" while you're still in the airport transit lounge on your way to Baghdad. You know, kids with chocolate bars, Kurdish women sucking American contractors' cocks, an Iraqi soldier who can shoot a chicken from thirty-five feet, etc, etc. Make a list of these and then when you get there give it to the unit's CO and have him rustle things like that up.

Speaking of good journalism, did you see that picture of our leader holding a big pumpkin on a recent cover of the Washington Times? That was funny!

CONDOLEEZZA RICE in '08, BABY!

Posted by: kokblok on March 5, 2006 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

total manufacturing but no info on the mix of US owned versus foreign owned plants....I tried to search this and could not find breakdowns by manufacturer by country.

rdw, you child, this is US manufacturing data. The first is 1986 to the present, the second is through 1985 (for the Carter years data) for comparison. Why do you care what the mix of US-owned vs. foreign-owned plants inside the US is? What difference does it make to anyone? The point is that US manufacturing under Bush has performed weaker than at any time during the Clinton administration or, for that matter, the Carter administration. And you were the one who raised the issue of manufacturing in your post above.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 5, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

> "Clark, OTOH, has a pretty solid defense for why he was
> pushed out after the Balkan mission that makes him look
> like the maverick, do-what's-right, fuck-the-bureaucracy
> guy that everybody loved McCain for being."

> I'm telling you you don't want to go there.

From the moment that Clark got in the race I've been there.
Believe me, I used to argue these points on your side with
my uniform-enchanted fellow Dems -- just as you fervently
carried the anti-McCain brief with your fellow conservatives
in '00. I was furious that Clark entered the race specifically
to derail Dean and saw it as a Clintonian plot, which it turned
out to be. But for all the dirt-digging and flinging I gleefully
participated in, I didn't find much in the end to discredit him.

He's too green to be a national candidate in ordinary circumstances.
Other than that, his resume's golden. And he has a future vision.

> He's not at all like McCain except for the suck-up part.

Well, he was never a POW for six years (and doesn't carry that
character-forming baggage). But he held a command with both
military and diplomatic functions, waged war and forged peace.

> It's not the quality you want to highlight.

Either Wesley Clark's a suck-up -- or he's insubordinate. Which
is it? You can't weave a popular narrative that says he's both.

> He got fired for backstabbing his bosses and sucking up to Clinton.

So what? Ollie North did the same thing -- in violation of both his
chain of command and the law -- and he was only a lieutenant colonel.
Throughout Iran/Contra he was hailed as a hero by a lot of people,
because he cut through the crap and got things done. Doug MacArthur
was cashiered by Truman for threatening to nuke the Chinese and he
came home to the biggest ticker-tape parade in American history.

People don't hold this sort of thing against a soldier if they
see the mission he did it for in a good light. And, once again,
spin all you'd like, you anti-Europe neo-barbarian, but the Balkan
war was both a military and a diplomatic victory for the US.

> He was hated by his peers.

No, this is nonsense. There's only one guy in the brass who's
trash-talked Wesley and that's Richard Shelton. Everybody else
up and down the chain of command has nothing but praise for him.

Here's the underlying dynamic, though. Guys like Wesley spook the
hell out of the career military, because the military is a corporate
body that's geared to the average. Have you read his performance
reviews (he released his whole military record during the primary)?
Wesley Clark is the ultimate curve-wrecker. He excels in every
aspect of soldiering. Guys like this are *always* suspected of
being too full of themselves and resented for it, and while that's
often true, it's even more often the case of collective envy. The
military doesn't like guys who stick out -- whether it's Private
Pyle in Full Metal Jacket or soldier-scholars like Wesley Clark.

> You know we'll see SBVs II.

No we won't, Wooten. The SBVs were a product not only of a very
specific dynamic in military culture (ROTC types vs drafted grunts),
but also of general discord about the Vietnam war. There's no
discord about the Balkans -- except among anti-Europe right-wingers.
Problem is, you can't leverage that in a political campaign without
looking every bit as anti-military as Iraq or Vietnam opponents.

The average Republican voter isn't an anti-Europe ideologue.

We won that war. If you want to try to take the sheen off of Wesley
by dissing the Balkan conflict, you'll just look unpatriotic :)

> McCain is a maverick because bucked his party. That's
> why independents like him. He's independent.

This is true. Which is why his recent suck-uppery to make amends to
a ravenous base -- which never tires of making further demands and
accusing its champions of selling out -- is going to cost him among
those kind of voters. Take torture. All through the weeks leading
up to that vote there was the standoff between the WH and McCain.
Finally, the WH caves -- or so it looks. McCain's colleague the
former JAG Lindsey Graham inserts language which effectively moots
the anti-torture amendment. Where's McCain's outrage? He should
have shut down the whole senate with his leonine roars. He shut up,
Wooten -- and questions about this are going to dog his campaign.

You say that torture is like Priority # 37, and as I pointed out
you're right -- for you and the base. But for independents it's
an absolutely critical issue of self-definition as Americans and
moral leadership in the world. The base might be able to swallow
hard and vote for McCain because he isn't Hillary -- but these
kind of voters will be looking for solid stands on principle.

Take campaign finance reform. Now I know you conservatives hate it,
but this is his signature issue, and probably the most important one
to independents because it recognizes in a fundamental way how corrupt
the whole system has become. The Supreme Court's probably going to
restrict McCain/Feingold if Roberts' questioning is any indication,
and maybe even revisit Buckley v Valleo. Where will McCain be on
this? You had better hope he screams his lungs out in chorus with
the good-government types or else his rep as a reformer is sunk.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 5, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

And you were the one who raised the issue of manufacturing in your post above.

The point I was raising was about union labor within manufaturing. Manufacturing is but one small segment of the economy dwarfed by services. The Unions decided to align with the Democratic party and now they're paying a severe price. This is as it should be.

The mix of auto manufacturing, foreign vs domestic gets directly to this point. We don't need 30 years of charts. We know Detroit will shed at least 100,000 union jobs as a result of their recent problems. We also know the foreign manufactures are all picking up sales and will increase production in the USA. It isn't just that the Unions are losing jobs but you are losing them in blue states and you are losing them to the red states.

The Northern States will continue to lose population because they will continue to lose jobs. The Red states will continue to gain polulation because they continue to gain jobs. We'll see this very clearly before the 2012 presidential elections when the Red states pick up 7 to 10 electoral votes.

Kevin has another thread going about liberals and depression "Of course we're more depressed".
You think it's bad now. What happens in 2011 after President McCain appoints a conservative to replace Justice Stevens and the Census Dept announces the blue states lose another 8 electoral votes?

The irony of the liberal adulation for the Clintons! Please nominate Hillary!!!

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

92% of Black voters supported Al Gore he lost.

Well, there you go again, rdw. Not representing the facts in full.

Where are you getting the information you have posted (March 5, 2006 at 9:34 AM) and why do you not include cites to back it up?

First off, more Americans cast votes for Gore than they did for Bush. The SCOTUS decided the election for Dubya in 2000. Election 2000 as well as 2004 just reaffirmed that we desperately need legislation and enforcement to overhaul our voting system. And with the current e-voting situation, we must make it subject to audit via paper trails. Why voter reform hasn't been instituted by now astounds me.

Personally, I think Diebold and Elections Systems & Software suck. Even Wolfowitz-neocon Christopher Hitchens questioned the veracity of the Ohio vote in 2004 and concluded, "that something went seriously awry in the Buckeye State." In Vanity Fair, he examined the Ohio vote recorded by Diebold and reported:

Machines are fallible and so are humans, and shit happens, to be sure, and no doubt many Ohio voters were able to record their choices promptly and without grotesque anomalies. But what strikes my eye is this: in practically every case where lines were too long or machines too few the foul-up was in a Democratic county or precinct, and in practically every case where machines produced impossible or improbable outcomes it was the challenger who suffered and the actual or potential Democratic voters who were shortchanged, discouraged, or held up to ridicule as chronic undervoters or as sudden converts to fringe-party losers.
[...]
The Diebold company, which also manufactures A.T.M.s, should not receive another dime until it can produce a voting system that is similarly reliable. And Americans should cease to be treated like serfs or extras when they present themselves to exercise their [voting] franchise. [Cite]
Hear, hear! Remarkably, I agree with a Bush-leaning contrarian neocon and notorious imbiber on this subject! I embrace truth regardless of who the author is or his/her party affiliation and I encourage folks to read the Hitchens Ohio election piece for a POV from the other side of the aisle (hold your nose if Hitchens irks you).

How about you, rdw? Is the truth most important to you? Or is winning more important? I think I know your answer though you will probably sputter and obfuscate without replying directly.

As for African-American voters in 2000:

...the Census Bureau said nearly 13 million African-Americans voted 84.2 percent of the 15.3 million who were registered, and 56.8 percent of all African-Americans who were both citizens and old enough to vote. [Emphasis added. Cite]

Only 56.8% of all blacks were registered to vote in 2000. That's changing, rdw. Mark my words.

Are you saying Repubs do not care about the African-American vote? Please go on record.

Younger blacks are more likely to register independent and less likely to vote straight line Democrat...

So? I'm re-registering, too. I had thought I would change to Independent but now I'm thinking of selecting "no party affiliation" though I will vote for a liberal candidate and probably Dem in the upcoming mid-term elections. Regardless, I will not vote Repub since the GOP has morphed into a radical party and corrupt apparatchik for plutocracy light years away from my political inclinations. Your statement about "young blacks" doesn't mean they will cast their votes for a Repub, say, like McCain, your favorite candidate du jour.

Can we expect your public support for McCain to change when an updated RNC email alert arrives?

...higher tax rates...

What so devious about the "Repubs equal lower taxes, and thus, you're better off financially voting for them" theme is that under Repub rule, lower taxes don't mean spit when costs for health care, education, gasoline, etc., have skyrocketed and we earn less with flat to declining wages. The Dem talk I've heard is higher taxes for the richest Americans -- not for the low- and middle-income class that typically includes African-Americans and also millions of single-working moms. I have also heard Repub talk of eliminating the mortgage interest deduction in addition to deductions for state and local taxes -- a way for Bush II to raise taxes like his daddy did.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 5, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

CONDOLEEZZA RICE in '08, BABY

She's not a politician. She's a player and will be for quite some time. Did you see Time magazines report on the intensity of the negotiations with India? One of Clintons State Dept guys no less working for Condi. I
am sure you read Condi's Georgetown speech essentially shutting down State Dept operations in Western Europe. She has 3 more years of being the most influential and consequential Secretary of State since Kissenger.

Condi will then go into the private sector as a celebrity brain and make a ton of money as a giant in the field. Condi will write her own ticket and will of course remain available to Presidents for consultations. She will of course also be available to Presidents of foreign nations for a very hefty price.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

kokblok:

> Also hey, your "reporter" friend is right about that "uptick" in
> public support for the US after the mosque bombing. You wouldn't
> get to know that information from any MSM publications like opinion
> polls or anything. No, it takes a couple of weeks of rolling around
> with the US Army to fully appreciate the facts on the ground. Yep,
> the best way to obtain an unbiased understanding of a complex event
> is to ride around with a US Army unit. That's always been the case.
> It is especially fortuitous when the reporter in question happens to
> already agree with the official US line to begin with. That's when
> the most light is shed on a situation. Here's the best reporting
> technique. Try to think up cool "signs of progress" while you're
> still in the airport transit lounge on your way to Baghdad. You
> know, kids with chocolate bars, Kurdish women sucking American
> contractors' cocks, an Iraqi soldier who can shoot a chicken
> from thirty-five feet, etc, etc. Make a list of these and
> then when you get there give it to the unit's CO
> and have him rustle things like that up.

> Speaking of good journalism, did you see that picture of
> our leader holding a big pumpkin on a recent cover of
> the Washington Times? That was funny!

> CONDOLEEZZA RICE in '08, BABY!

Best parody post I've seen here in a while. I especially
enjoyed the nihilistic tinge of that oral sex drop-in :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 5, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Where will McCain be on this? You had better hope he screams his lungs out in chorus with
the good-government types or else his rep as a reformer is sunk.

Of course he will. It's a freebie. The problem with his bill is it restricts free speech. The courts will reverse that segment out. McCain will appear outraged and impress the independents. That's not even remotely a problem for conservatives. 1st off we're thrilled because we have the court we want thanks to John. 2nd off, he can bitch all he want but he can't do anything. Not with this court.

John can't lose. He wants the courts to throw it out. It becomes a no harm no foul thing for conservatives. We can cut him a break for doing it in the 1st place. Independents know he at least tried. He's one of them.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

So in other words, campaign finance reform is an empty gesture. John McCain voted for it before the Supreme Court he helped nominate voted against it.

Yeah, Wooten. That'll play *real* well for the independents who are disgusted with politics as usual.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on March 5, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

But for independents it's
an absolutely critical issue of self-definition as Americans and
moral leadership in the world. The base might be able to swallow
hard and vote for McCain because he isn't Hillary -- but these
kind of voters will be looking for solid stands on principle.

Most independents are either airheads or spineless. They're independent because they can't make up their mind or because they have this superficial notion that being independent means they have more objectivity.

McCains huge advantage is Independents really don't pay a lot of attention. McCain has hours and hours of prime time face time lamenting our role in torture. He's taken the Bill Clinton empathy classes. Just get out there and look upset. If you get the look down it almost doesn't matter what you say. Of course McCain has the look AND knows what to say. If somehow criticism gets out about the details of the torture legislation, and 1.3% of the population will be paying attention, he'll do what he always does. He'll blame it on everyone else. The MSM will of course see to it. He's their guy!

Somehow I've given the impression I'm a big McCain fan. Not at all true. But I am impressed with the moved he's made the last year to re-position himself. This is a man who's finally learned he needs conservatives. That's really all he needed. Now he's been given a gift via Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Are you saying Repubs do not care about the African-American vote? Please go on record.

They care a great deal.

What I am saying is the democrats have several serious long term issues:

Union membership is collapsing.

Blacks as a percent of the population have peaked and the 92% 'take' of that segment is likely a high water mark.

Demographics are seriously negative especially among liberals by far more likely to be secularists. Conversely conservartives are far more likely to be religious. Secularists simply don't reproduce. Religious people tend to reproduce in abundance.

As far as the GOP and blacks they are pursuing an interesting and profitable strategy. There are many more wealthy, upper middle class and middle class blacks far more receptive to lower taxes. There are a great many urban blacks who are supporters of charter schools. GWB carried 16% of the black vote in Ohio largely because of popular charter school programs. More recently these programs have gained wider acceptance and are expanding in places such as Minnesota. The GOP has a solid shot at electing Ken Blackwell as the 1st AA governor of Ohio. Ken is the anti-Jessi Jackson. Lynn Swann also has a reasonable shot in PA and even if he loses the governors race, if he does well he will be the head of the State GOP and the frontrunner to replace Rendell as Governor in 2010 or Spector as Senator. He would of course be around in 2008 to tour the state with John McCain.

Kerry carried PA by 2%. McCain is a much more popular figure than Bush or Kerry or Hillary. The War hero thing is big here. Having Lynn Swann and his network of ministers at his elbow will be an advantage. Remember, McCain only needs 10% of the black vote and he doesn't need PA which went for Gore and Kerry. He wins big by forcing Hillary to live in the state to keep it. Gore was able to ignore PA the last month. Kerry had no such luxury and even had to campaign in NJ(a poor decision).

Hillary cannot win without PA and Ohio. Governor Blackwell or Governor Swann would be a tactical disaster.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

So in other words, campaign finance reform is an empty gesture. John McCain voted for it before the Supreme Court he helped nominate voted against it.

Not for McCain. He's a total ass on this. He believes in it. And he obviously thinks it's constitutional. Losing this decision will be a shock and he'll react with proper outrage.


Yeah, Wooten. That'll play *real* well for the independents who are disgusted with politics as usual.

But they won't be disgusted with McCain. He can't lose here. Independents will admire him for giving it his best shot. He did the right thing. The courts screwed him over AFTER he fought for and passed their legislation. What more can one man do?

Conservatives think he's an ass on the topic but a harmless ass. No harm, No foul. The important thing is he voted for Roberts and Alito

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

The Dem talk I've heard is higher taxes for the richest Americans -- not for the low- and middle-income class that typically includes African-Americans and also millions of single-working moms

And we've been doing this since 1968 and no candidate promising tax increases has ever won election. Mondale was destroyed. Clinton ran on middle class tax cuts and slowing spending.

AA's have lost their influence. They gave 92% to Gore and lost. They gave 89% to Kerry and lost. The GOP only needs 10%. They'll work hard for conservative AA votes but that's it.

This is a wealthy country. We have a large class of people making over $100K. That's a nurse and a carpenter or cop. They do not want to hear this crap about taxing the rich. They know you'll get them.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

They do not want to hear this crap about taxing the rich.

Your distorting my words, rdw.

I said the "richest Americans."

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 5, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

You're... is what I meant. Preview is my friend.

robotic docile wingnut!

Step away from the keyboard and go take your meds.

Your doe-eyed optimism and twisting of facts borders on a psychotic episode.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 5, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

They care a great deal.

Apparently, African-Americans don't care a great deal for the GOP. Kanye West made a post-Katrina remark: "George Bush doesn't care about black people!"

Are there more African-American Dems in Congress than African-American Repubs? The answer is yes, more black Dems in Congress.

Demographics are seriously negative especially among liberals by far more likely to be secularists. Conversely conservartives are far more likely to be religious. Secularists simply don't reproduce. Religious people tend to reproduce in abundance.

Yet you do not account for conservative and religious or spiritual Dems. Again, more of your half-truth.

As far as the GOP and blacks they are pursuing an interesting and profitable strategy. There are many more wealthy, upper middle class and middle class blacks far more receptive to lower taxes.

The smarter strategy is wealth, increasing wealth for all of us. People are barely making ends meet under Repub rule. Bush and the Repub Congress favor the richest Americans and disfavor the middle class. Repubs and their cronies are making a bundle off the sweat of middle-class taxpayers.

See? I can say shit without cites, too.

Regardless, even with poor approval ratings on the economy, Bush was re-elected based on national security. He's lost that edge now.

GWB carried 16% of the black vote in Ohio largely because of popular charter school programs.

Who carried 84% of the black vote?

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 5, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

We have a large class of people making over $100K. That's a nurse and a carpenter or cop.

OK, I know you've lost it, rdw. Anyone know of nurses, carpenters, and cops making over $100,000 a year (I mean legally, of course)?

Really, rdw. What's the average or median wage of a cop? A nurse? A carpenter? Cite your source with linkies, please.


Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 5, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

The GOP only needs 10% [of the African-American vote].

Good luck with that after Katrina.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 5, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Dems lead Repubs by 14 points when voters are asked how they would vote for Congress right now.

Read more here.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 5, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

Who carried 84% of the black vote?

The losing team.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

Your distorting my words, rdw.

I said the "richest Americans."

I know exactly what you said. When people hear of tax increases they automatically assume you mean them. My daughter, a nurse age 27 and son-in-law, a carpenter age 28, make over $100K per year not counting income from a duplex. They fully expect your tax increase to include them and don't want to hear of it. Further, they have expectations of making lot more. They're just getting started. They're operating under this odd notion that because they're working their asses off they earned every penny and are not at all understanding of why some of their friends who've taken is easy should get a tax break.

People don't trust politicains when they say, "I'm not going to raise your taxes. I'm going to raise the other guy's"

If Hillary runs on tax increases she won't carry 3 states.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK
People don't trust politicains when they say, "I'm not going to raise your taxes. I'm going to raise the other guy's" If Hillary runs on tax increases she won't carry 3 states. Posted by: rdw
In actuality, there will be a tax increase when Bush's irresponsible tax cuts expire the way he intended. The citizens of the United States are more aware of the damage Bush's tax giveaway is doing to the American economy and a large majority support their repeal. It's spelled p-o-l-i-t-i-c-i-a-n-s.
The irony of the liberal adulation for the Clintons! Posted by: rdw
Only in your wet dreams. Clinton is a centrist and not a liberal!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Do you use green ink????????)
We're winning. Posted by: rdw
You still don't even control the airport road. You control only the territory you are standing on, which is not winning by any definition. Bush has made Iraq a complete FUBAR. Posted by: Mike on March 5, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Yet you do not account for conservative and religious or spiritual Dems. Again, more of your half-truth.

I was drawing a bit of a different distinction and should have been clearer.

Liberals tend to be secuarists and the further left the more likely to be secularist. There are socially conservative democrats but the pro-life democrat is a vanishing breed. I am trying to draw a distinction between a democrat and a liberal.

The secular segment of the liberal population is quite large just as religious types dominate conservatism. There are dramatic differences in reproduction patterns and as we move into the 2nd generation they're compounding.

It can be seen more clearly looking at European secularists. Their populations are literally imploding. A secularist is less likely to get married and if they get married less likely to stay married. They are less likely to have kids and if they have kids are much less likely to have more than two.

A secularists who desires zero or one or two kids will immediately abort any 'mistakes'. Religious conservatives call their mistakes 'kids' and these kids are now having more kids. A religious family is just as likely to have 3 or 4 kids as 1 or 2.

This of course started in the early 70's. A secularists' mistake of 1975 was never born. A religious conservative mistake will be celebrating their 36 birthday and might have a 13-yr old, 11-yr old and a 8-yr old to help.

If in fact secularists in America have the same profile as in France liberalism is doomed. We already know the blue states are losing population at rapid rates. There are immigration factors and economic factors but we do know of the 10 states with the highest birth rates ALL voted for Bush.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

Only in your wet dreams. Clinton is a centrist and not a liberal

Hillary is staunch liberal and has the grades to prove it. Last I saw she had a 96% rating.
She can offer these silly flag burning amendments she wants but her abortion stance identifies her as far left.

You are familiar with the SBV ads with Kerry testifying in Congress calling his fellow Vets war criminals I am sure. Hillary was a radical feminist in college and gave quite a few fiery speeches. You probably haven't seen them but once the campaign starts you'll be sick of them. It was the 60's and she fit right in with the campus radicals.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

You still don't even control the airport road. You control only the territory you are standing on, which is not winning by any definition.

You've got to read outside the MSM alhough it's even clear in reading the MSM. They don't talk about the airport road. They never mention it. There's a reason for that. IT'S SAFE!!!!!

It's been safe for some time now.

The iraqi troops control 60% of Baghdad and played the leadership role in setting and enforcing the curfew for the civil war that never happened.

You remember how the golden dome bombing was supposed to start a civil war don't you? You saw the press saying their prayers I am sure. "please let this be another Tet offensive'.

Except NOT!!

The golden dome explosion was a very serious setback for Al Qaeda. No civil war. Strong performance by the Iraqi troops as noted on Iraqi TV and Al Jazerra. You of course know none of this because the MSM is not about to cover it.

.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

in actuality, there will be a tax increase when Bush's irresponsible tax cuts expire the way he intended.

They've already been extended.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

OK, I know you've lost it, rdw. Anyone know of nurses, carpenters, and cops making over $100,000 a year (I mean legally, of course)?

Combined income dufus!!!

My daughter started at $53K out of school. She may offshift and increase that by 10%. She will definitely specialize and eventually increase that by at least 30%.

My son-in-law was making $31 an hour in the carpenters union last year. I'm sure he's gotten a raise. $31 x 40 x 50 = $62,000. I took two weeks off for vaction. Both have very good medical coverage and excellent savings plans. $53k + $62k = $115K. He's been with the union for 5 1/2 years and hasn't been laid off as much as a day.

The typical plan for an ambitious carpenter is to work 1,000 hours to keep the pension and medical going, collect unemployment and work under the table. This kid may in fact quit the union entirely and work as a contractor. He's good, smart and a hustler. Raised in an uber-liberal family he's seen the light. Hillary so much as hints at raising taxes he's voting McCain.

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: McCain never had me? Then why was I saying, back in 1998/99 that I might vote for him for the republican nomination for president... oh, that's right, you know all about me then, because of what I say now.

As for the idea that saying he'd make a fine president, but still going out and endorsing someone who was suborning slanders on a fellow vets record, character and service (when that same person has, and still has, glaring deficiencies in the accounts he gives of his own service), well that seems to be, at best, giving with one hand, and taking away with the other.

I don't see it at it's very best, I see it as stabbing him in the back.

Your mileage, in the infinite wisdom you seem to possess obviously varies.


As for Bush not being able to stop it... the people bankrolling it were long time supporters, and close to the campaign. All Bush had to do to stop it was to say, I don't believe it, and I condemn those who are villifying my opponent.

When MoveOn (a completely indendent entity, moreso, from the evidence than the Swift Boat Boys... one of whom was sanctioned by the Oregon Bar for swearing falsely in his affadavit on the subject) ran an ad which was truthful, the Bush campaign cried, and told the Kerry campaign this was unkosher. Kerry asked MoveOn to stop. Bush could done the same for the Swifties, instead he said, "they are free citizens,and they are raising questions, which some people think need answers,", in short he supported them.

As for the chops issue... If Bush hadn't been the incumbent (and probably if there hadn't been fraud in, at least, Ohio... read the GAO report, or the account of the mathemiticians who analysed the difference between the exit polls and the returns and concluded that something less than believable happened... either someone managed to suss out the polling locations of several differnt pollsters and deluge them with skewed data, or there was something less than honest about the returns. I find it interesting that the Bush administration cried foul in Ukraine when the exit polls deviated from the returns by less than they did in Ohio...) he wouldn't be in office today.

If two justices who ought to have recused themselves had done so, or if two others had voted in ways consitent with there previous opinions (Court, Law Review articles, and public speeches) in the matter of Equal Protection (to say nothing of making their decision on matters which weren't brought up in Argument, nor address in the petitions) as well as violating principles of state's rights (which they were all too willing to attribute to other issues which seemed, at least to previous courts, in times past) and so allowed the votes in Florida to be counted (and the number of "overvotes" which were disqualified because they punched Gore, and wrote his name in, thus meeting the Florida standard of, "the clear intent of the voter" should have been counted, and were enough to swing it to Gore) he wouldn't be in office.

That, as you say, annoys me. That enough people bought his line of tripe; the myths about OBL and Hussein, the idiocies of WMD, the scare tactics of the terror alerts and all the rest of the tricks, tropes and bellicose suppression of dissent, argument and reason that he's put out, instead of governing; that depresses me.

That you think your ranting about what you think I believe, am annoyed by or might want... That bemuses me.

That you believe your pompous bleating about what will happen is going to do more than goad me to the sort of smacking around I'm doing now, that makes me smile.

I've seen your ilk before. The lucky ones get jobs like Jonah Goldberg, pitching kool-aid to the faithful, lest they take the time to smell the rot at the core of the ideology they are supporting.

The not so lucky (or those less able to string a coherent string of babble together) they haunt the comments sections of blogs like this, attempting to stave off the knowledge that the people in whom they've put their faith no more for them then they do for any other person who isn't in their class.

Good luck in your endeavours.

TK

Posted by: Terry Karney on March 5, 2006 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

tk,

you could not have voted for McCain or anyone else in the GOP primary because you are a liberal. you only get to vote in democratic primaries

Posted by: rdw on March 5, 2006 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

RDW: About what I figured:

My CV:

Registered republican, since 1985, when I turned 18, and became eligible.

As such, no matter how liberal you think me, I get to vote in the GOP primaries. I got to cast a vote for Bob Dole when he ran (and then waste a vote on the Libertarian, because I knew how my state was going to go; and so I wanted to be advisory). I got the chance (and took it) to vote against Bush in every election he has been on my ballot. I thought him a threat to the nation. That, my somnambulant fool, is what a patriot does; look at the candidates, weigh them and vote for the best. Not a vote of party, but of reasoned decision.

Since 1993 I've been in the Army. I'm an interrogator. I went to Iraq in April 2003 (having spent time waiting in Kuwait, prior to the invasion).

I am a progressive. I used to be a centrist, but the nation has moved far to the right, and now I am on the left.

What I am not (and it seems you are) is a radical reactionary. I think government should be small. I also think there are things which gov't can do better than private agencies, and that those things (like healthcare, social safety nets, carinf for the poor, looking after children, maintaining the roads, providing for the national defense and securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity) ought to be done by the gov't.

I don't, however, think the gov't has the right to invade my privacy, tell me whom I can sleep with (or how, so long as both of us are able to give, and do so give, consent), whom I can marry, where I can live (or not) what God I can worship, what I can say; or write, what I can read, with whom I can associate, what grievances I can demand redress of grievance.

I think that budgets shoulld (barring brief, and extraordinary need) balance. I think that taxes ought to be just low enough to allow us to pay for what we get. I think that taxes ought to be progressive, as those who make the most can most afford to pay.

I think when all is said and done, that the idea od tax and spend is a whole lot more sensible than one of spend and borrow. At least those who say they expect people to pay for the bread and circuses they promise to deliver are honest about what the burden of providing those enjoyments are.

What you actually believe, I can't begin to fathom, since all I see from you are the confused bleatings of someone who pretends to greater understandings of the mind of America than he shows; you are at best a beltway wannabe, and at worst, sadly deluded as to your level of comprehenstion, attention to detail and ability to string together a coherent ad hominem attack, much less a cogent statement of your postions. What passes for argument from you is not worth attention and so I shan't waste my time with the, fruitless, effort of analysing it.

Good day to you sir.

TK

Posted by: Terry Karney on March 5, 2006 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

TK:

"What I am not (and it seems you are) is a radical reactionary. I think government should be small. I also think there are things which gov't can do better than private agencies, and that those things (like healthcare, social safety nets, carinf for the poor, looking after children, maintaining the roads, providing for the national defense and securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity) ought to be done by the gov't.

I don't, however, think the gov't has the right to invade my privacy, tell me whom I can sleep with (or how, so long as both of us are able to give, and do so give, consent), whom I can marry, where I can live (or not) what God I can worship, what I can say; or write, what I can read, with whom I can associate, what grievances I can demand redress of grievance.

I think that budgets should (barring brief, and extraordinary need) balance. I think that taxes ought to be just low enough to allow us to pay for what we get. I think that taxes ought to be progressive, as those who make the most can most afford to pay."

Bravo.

Posted by: CFShep on March 6, 2006 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK

I have also heard Repub talk of eliminating the mortgage interest deduction in addition to deductions for state and local taxes -- a way for Bush II to raise taxes like his daddy did.
Posted by: Apollo 13

Required reading for you:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/05/magazine/305deduction.1.html?
Who Needs the Mortgage-Interest Deduction?
.....
Economists don't agree on much, but they do agree on this: the interest deduction doesn't do a thing for homeownership rates. If you eliminated the deduction tomorrow, America would have the same number of homeowners, the same social networks, the same number of gardens.

The deduction might help some people (like me) to purchase bigger homes than they otherwise would. And it certainly helps people who are selling mansions to get a higher price. But it is hardly the democratic subsidy people think. In fact, it's patently regressive.
.....
This year, it is expected to cost the Treasury $76 billion. And the rewards are greatly skewed in favor of the moderately to the conspicuously rich. On a million-dollar mortgage (the people with those really need help, right?), the tax benefit is worth approximately $21,000 a year. And according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, a little over half of the benefit is taken by just 12 percent of taxpayers, or those with incomes of $100,000 or more.

This is a social policy? It's hard to imagine that Congress would intentionally legislate such a rich-get-richer handout,
......
But the panel, with former Senator Connie Mack III as chairman, asked the taboo question of whether homeownership and the interest deduction were related. It decided that they weren't.

One reason is that homeownership in the U.S. is about the same as it is in Canada, Australia and England, where interest isn't deductible. Another reason is just common sense. If you want to increase homeownership, you have to do something so that renters become owners. But just over two-thirds of all taxpayers, including most renters, don't itemize their deductions, generally because they don't earn enough; they simply take the "standard deduction." The mortgage deduction doesn't help them.

Most taxpayers who do itemize come from the wealthiest one-third; they would own a home regardless. Some have been using the deduction to buy boats ("houseboats," for accounting purposes). The panel wasn't interested in helping people buy boats or palatial estates. "Why," asks Charles Rossotti, a former I.R.S. commissioner and panelist, "would you want an abnormally large subsidy for people who have abnormally large mortgages?"
..........
There was some talk that the Treasury was looking at eliminating deductions, including, possibly, the interest deduction. Economists thought it was a good idea. "Tax economists tend to be skeptical about preferences in the tax," says Joseph Thorndike, the director of the Tax History Project at the nonpartisan Tax Analysts. "Are they targeted to the right people? We give tax breaks for college; do we send more kids to college or help middle-class kids who are going to college anyway?"
..........
The Joint Committee produces a list of such expenditures; it runs for many pages and it is a fearsome document.

The tax code currently helps (in no particular order) veterans, the disabled and Americans living abroad; it gives a break to science research, oil and gas developers, alcohol-fuel blenders and biodiesel blenders; it helps agriculture and dairy farms; it helps Blue Cross and Blue Shield; it helps film companies and railroads; it helps students and teachers; it assists New Yorkers and District of Columbians and Native Americans and many, many others. The interest deduction is one of the biggest breaks, right behind health-care premiums paid by corporations, which are tax-free to the employees. A slightly different type of exemption protects corporate retirement plans. In all, such foregone tax collections, or tax expenditures, amount to more than half of the income tax that the Treasury does collect.
.......
Since 1986, there have been some 15,000 amendments to the tax code, always to help some interest or other but each time distorting free-market incentives. To an economist, when someone invests for profit, that's good. When they invest to take advantage of a tax break, that's bad. "It's a standard canon of economics," Poterba says. It means that capital is being diverted from its best use, and the economy suffers as a result.
.......
You wouldn't have to invest in a house to benefit; you could invest where you wanted. That's called a free market.

The real-estate industry logically prefers a protected market to a free one. ----You can see why home builders are upset: their margins are fattest on luxury homes; a policy that pushes prices toward the middle, as egalitarian as it might sound, would end their party.

But tax policy was never intended to function as a price support. Even less should it support a putative housing bubble. Even the president's directive mentioned sustaining housing ownership not sustaining housing prices. High prices may even be a disincentive to ownership. And the housing market, the panel concluded, is overcapitalized anyway. Thanks to the interest deduction and other breaks, the effective tax rate on owner-occupied real estate in the U.S. is estimated to be only a fraction of the tax on business. Some of the capital being plowed into McMansions with Olympic-size lap pools would earn a higher return (tax considerations aside) in medical research or pollution control.
.....
The deduction is overrated as an icon, and as tax policy it is misdirected and unfair. But don't hold your breath. Homeownership and a level playing field are always good for a speech. But they are nothing compared with propping up housing prices. And that is what the mortgage deduction is all about.


Misdirected. Unfair. Regressive. Distorts investment.

""Tax economists tend to be skeptical about preferences in the tax," says Joseph Thorndike, the director of the Tax History Project at the nonpartisan Tax Analysts. "Are they targeted to the right people? We give tax breaks for college; do we send more kids to college or help middle-class kids who are going to college anyway?""

Exactly so, my dear, said the former Fiducairy Tax Officer.

Posted by: CFShep on March 6, 2006 at 8:18 AM | PERMALINK

I also think there are things which gov't can do better than private agencies, and that those things (like healthcare, social safety nets, carinf for the poor, looking after children, maintaining the roads, providing for the national defense and securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity) ought to be done by the gov't.

You are a liberal. You've defined yourself quite clearly here. Republicans don't support nationalized healthcare but think it would be a disaster. I can't imagine what you mean by looking after children but it suggests interfering wuth parenting so you're out there and that part after 'secure the blessings' is perfect liberal nonsense.

The GOP is a big tent party with a lot of different veiwpoints. You don't fit.

Posted by: rdw on March 6, 2006 at 8:21 AM | PERMALINK

What you actually believe, I can't begin to fathom

I believe in winner's. I believe in George W. Bush.

Actually I'm a Reagan Pepublican. Low taxes, Low spending, strong defense, govt is the problem not the solution, trust but verify. Like Ronnie I have a great deal of trust in the American people and our great Democracy.

I know Reagan's admonition, "Govt is the problem, not the solution" infuriates liberals but that is the key and it separates him from GWB. Few conservatives support GWB on spending or his general philosophy in this regard and want to see change. This is why McCain is so well placed. Timing is everything. McCain is a staunch anti-pork guy.

Posted by: rdw on March 6, 2006 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

"Pepublican."

So you're in favor of cheerleaders and pep rallies.

Gottcha. Though I fail to see how this could be a rational reason for preferring massive malfeasance, kleptocracy, and global mismanagement.

It's the short skirts, right? The rote exhorations to 'Win Win Win"? And the bouncing. Distracts you.

'Winner's' Is the possessive. Winner's what? This grammar and syntax thing just flies right over your microcephalic head doesn't it?

Bowl of Fruit Loops.

Posted by: CFShep on March 6, 2006 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

You actually voted forthis buffoon?


NOT THAT HE ACTUALLY OWNS THEM, OF COURSE
Some guy from Boston has opinions on oil and the UN:


Sen. John Kerry said Sunday that the United States must rebuild the power of the United Nations and help end the empire of oil to defeat terrorism.

But without an empire of oil, how will Kerry fuel his armada of vehicles?


The man is a total ass but I'll give him some credit for realizing the UN is all but dead. He knows Bush has cut them out of everything and what that means. We have a entire generation under the age of 40 who don't know what the point is and hear nothing but scandal after scandal after scandal. They're watching GWB do an awful lot and every bit of it is outside the UN. He's got Bolton there pounding them on their financial and sex scandals for the next 3 years.

Poor Kerry. There isn't a thing he can do.

Posted by: rdw on March 6, 2006 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK


JP Morgan raised estimate for Friday's job report to 200,000 nonfarm jobs added and the rate to hold steady at 4.7%.

They are also reporting the expected slowdown in residential construction is happening but is being partially offset by increases in commerical construction.

Core inflation is also running below expectations at a meager 1.7%.

Global GDP is tracking a robust 4% with Asia leading the way.

Steady as she goes.

Posted by: rdw on March 6, 2006 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: Combined income dufus!!!

rdw originally wrote: We have a large class of people making over $100K. That's a nurse and a carpenter or [a] cop. [Emphasis added]

You didn't say combined household income, dingbat!!!

My daughter started at $53K out of school. She may offshift and increase that by 10%. She will definitely specialize and eventually increase that by at least 30%.

See, as a nurse, she's may never earn a $100,000 income by her lonesome. That's why I questioned your statement. And cops are lucky to make $50,000 a year.

I know exactly what you said.

So you intentionally twisted my words to regurgitate Bushwacko propaganda? So that's how it is.

When people hear of tax increases they automatically assume you mean them.

No, that's the way the R-Noise Machine spins it. You have demonstrated that GOP tactic of twisting the truth for us here. Dubya also has shown us that we can't trust what he says. Congressional Repubs have shown us that they just go along without adequate oversight of the president.

What I originally said -- so you don't have to assume what I mean -- was that the Dem talk was "higher taxes for the richest Americans -- not for the low- and middle-income class."

Who here (besides rdw) thinks he/she is one of the richest Americans? Bill Gates, are you lurking here?

Using the John Kerry tax plan example (because we don't have a Hillary plan since she hasn't announced she's running for president), he proposed a tax cut for the middle-class and a tax increase for the wealthiest Americans earning $200,000+ per household and closing corporate tax loopholes. See details here.

Your married daughter and her husband, rdw, would have gotten a tax cut under the Dem plan -- not a tax increase!

My daughter, a nurse age 27 and son-in-law, a carpenter age 28, make over $100K per year not counting income from a duplex. They fully expect your tax increase to include them and don't want to hear of it.

You've been brainwashing the kiddies again, eh, rdw? Shame, shame, shame.

If you would unhook the electrodes for a bit, your daughter and son-in-law might understand that their $100,000 combined household income is less than $200,000, which means they would have gotten a tax cut from the Dems.

They're operating under this odd notion that because they're working their asses off they earned every penny...

I knew a hoo who thought the same thing. But earning less than $200,000 per year still qualifies for a Dem tax cut.

...and are not at all understanding of why some of their friends who've [taking it] easy should get a tax break.

I don't know what "taking it easy" means unless you are referring to millionaire trust fund friends, but plenty of Americans are busting their humps just like your kids. Half of American families earn a lot less than your kids. The median U.S. income is $44,389 [U.S. Census, 2004]. That's why the Dems are for tax cuts for low and middle-class income families. You know, a lot of Hispanic families fall into this tax-cut group. Median income for Hispanic households was $34,241 [U.S. Census, 2004]

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 6, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

CFShep,

Thanks for the link. The SOBs have cranked up the Wurlitzer.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 6, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK


You didn't say combined household income, dingbat!!!

It's how people file dufoos!!

See, as a nurse, she's may never earn a $100,000 income by her lonesome. That's why I questioned your statement. And cops are lucky to make $50,000 a year.

Most cops make $50K BEFORE overtime. A nurse anestesologist makes over $100K as do a few other specialities. Her $53K was a starting salary. This is the minimum she'll ever make.

The carpenter is overwhelmed with sidejobs. He's told most people he doesn't do it anymore and has just a short list and can't handle that.

The car mechanics at the goodyear I go to make $75K - $80K. BEFORE overtime. So a goodyear employee and a public school teacher are making $150K.

I am not going to get into the weeds on the economics and cut-offs of the different tax cut plans. What matters politically is what people believe will happen to them and lets start with the obvious premise people don't trust politicians to do exactly as they say.

The 'average' couples I've identified know that you are coming after them OR they will be next. Either you'll drop much lower than you promised (Slick willie ran on middle class tax cuts and did NOT deliver) or they'll make more and earn their way into your target range.

There's also the fact many more people are reflexively anti-socialist today. They'll accept some progressivity but not anything near pre-Reagan levels. The GOP will of course heavily advertise those 70% rates under Jimmy Carter just to show what you are capable of once you get started.

Most people don't think it's fair to punish successful people. My daughter doesn't understand why she should be in a 31% bracket while her best freind is in a 17% bracket. Her best friend is lazy. Why is she paying 3x's as much for the same services?

I don't think liberals understand how different this generation is versus the 60's socialists. These kids grew up knowing that was one of the dumbest ideas in all of human history. Most libs over 40 won't admit socialism was a failure and those who do think it failed feel they just had the wrong leaders in place. It's hard for liberal ideologues to admit being wrong. But the under 35 crowd doesn't have this baggage. They knew by the time they were 13 socialism was nonsense.

Also: This corporate tax loophole thing. Bashing corpations doesn't work as well either. Syrianna got dismal sales despite good reviews because who wants to see a movie about evil oil companies. This is hollyood. Is there any other kind of company than an evil company? These kids have all been to college. Corporations don't paytaxes. Their consumers pay taxes. They know how it work. Corporations also hire people like them and pay them well.

You're party needs new blood. This 60's nonsense ain't working.

Posted by: rdw on March 6, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

It's how people file dufoos!!

Not single moms/dads or unmarrieds, dingbat!!


I should have known that the Clem Kadiddlehopper bot would respond with an epiphany...Dum-dee-doh-doh-doh.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 6, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

I am not going to get into the weeds on the economics...

Too late. LOL!

OMG, this is like reading The Onion!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 6, 2006 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Not single moms/dads or unmarrieds, dingbat!!

We had a topic going on the many people making over $100K per year that won't listen to Kerry's krap.

I know the tax the rich works for those your not stiffing. They get a free ride. What's not to like? This is your base. It's a very simple vote buying scheme that's been around for 90 years. You've always had them. You just can't win elections with them anymore.

Posted by: rdw on March 6, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

KUWAIT CITY, Mar 06, 2006 (AP Worldstream via COMTEX) -- Kuwait announced Monday it had discovered natural gas for the first time, in commercial quantities, as well as a new light oil.

"We have found ... for the first time in Kuwait very encouraging quantities of (free) gas," Energy Minister Sheik Ahmed Fahd Al Ahmed Al Sabah said.

He said the fields of Umm Niqa, Sabriyah and Northwest Rawdatain contain some 35 trillion cubic feet of gas, and studies have proven that 60 to 70 percent of it is recoverable.

Kuwait is rich in oil but poor in free natural gas. It started exploring for it in 1978, but has only struck commercial quantities of "excellent quality" this year.

"Initial estimates suggest we can cover Kuwait's gas needs, especially for generating electrical power and use in petrochemical industries," Khaled al-Sumaiti, deputy CEO of the state-owned Kuwait Oil Company, said.

Kuwait now uses mostly crude to generate power. The use of free gas is more environmentally friendly.

The small Gulf state had plans to import gas from Iran, Qatar and Iraq. Sheik Ahmed said Kuwait will most probably go ahead with one of them because of the "dire need" for that resource.

Sheik Ahmed also told reporters that some 10 to 13 billion barrels of light crude have been discovered in the Bahra and Rawdatain fields.

Kuwait produces mostly heavy oil which is more difficult to refine. The minister said the light oil discovery will add 10 percent to the country's oil reserves, which he estimated at around 90 billion barrels.

The state-owned Kuwait Oil Company said in a statement that the initial phases of actual natural gas production will commence by the end of 2007, after completion of the necessary surface facilities.

Kuwait's economy is almost solely based on oil revenues

Posted by: rdw on March 6, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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