Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mr. Newt Gingrich, meet Mr. Karma

In most cases, Mr. Karma enters the scene subtlely. In some cases you hardly notice his arrival. In your case, Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Karma is crashing in like a deranged prize fighter with a terrible case of flatulence. The best part is we're all watching.


I know I shouldn't be grinning over this, but I swear I cannot help myself.

Listen Newtster: $500,000 in a "revolving charge account" with Tiffany's ain't anybody's business. I realize that. But, baby, people who are busting their ass nailing shingles or working at Wendy's or rolling asphalt in order to pay off the $5,000 in credit card debt they incurred by putting food on the table when they were out of work for a year and a half have OPINIONS ON THIS SORT OF THING.

Oh yeah--festooning your THIRD YOUNG BEAUTIFUL wife with a half a million dollars worth of Tiffany loot ain't going to win you any chick votes, either.

Next up, "right wing social engineering" is right up there with "Kenyan anti-colonial behavior." Baby, a presidential campaign ain't a Fox News commentary. Smart people are listening now and they aren't going to swallow your moronic propaganda like the Fox Zombies.

Aside to readership: whatever you do, watch this (and yes, that is the actual text of the press release):


Lastly, back to Mr. Gingrich: peace be with you too, mo' fo'.



* * *

150 comments:

Bridget Callahan said...

That Lithgow thing is pretty much the best thing to happen ever.

Big Mark 243 said...

I agree with my bestie... that was a hilarious performance by one of the best actors around..!

The rainbow protest guy was awkward...

What I will miss about Newt's canidacy is all the hilarity he brought to the party. I was hopeful of hearing him debate T-Paw on the issues..!

Anonymous said...

"Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred."

With apologies to Lord Tennyson.

The only mystery greater than The Rapture is how the Dems will fuck up and actually give the wingnuts a chance in 2014.

RJ

Anonymous said...

'Scuse me. 2012. The warp in spacetime has begun.

RJ

Vince said...

Honestly I thought he'd kicked the bucket. Is he the fellow GW shot down Texas way or the one that fell over the fake balustrade.

Erin O'Brien said...

Dunno, RJ, but god knows no one makes lemons out of lemonade like the Dems. That said, the GOP quickly and completely decapitates anyone who isn't 100% with the party line--even if he's a time-tested blood red-rightie like the Newster.

That leads us to the party line: Privatize medicare and no taxes on rich people.

good luck with that.

Museful101 said...

Hate to see Newt flame out so early. The Republicans need to struggle over him a while longer.

Bill said...

Did you guys cum yet?

Dudesworthy said...

Bill, we all know how arousing you find Colbert but you need to get a hold of yourself.

Or at the very least, don't tell us when you do.

Leslie Morgan said...

@ Vince ~ No, he hasn't yet kicked the bucket. He's the bucket of organic debris formed from the decay of organisms that we'd like to kick.

http://twinklysparkles.wordpress.com said...

I love me some John Lithgow. Newt Gingrich? Not so much.

Bill said...

Newt's history. Who know's who the next President will be? It will be a Republican and Joseph Smith would/will be proud.

Erin O'Brien said...

Everyone please note that the previous prediction came from the same person who previously used a vocabulary word normally reserved for the pages of Penthouse Forum.

Harry Finch said...

Bill - Mitt has to go through that little nomination process first. Good luck with that.

alphadog said...

In the mean time, Herman Cain has announced his candidacy.
While I don't think he has a snowball's chance of getting nominated, he's the only candidate that I would walk across the street to vote for.

Once Known as The Badger said...

There's nothing like a nice, dramatic reading on a Saturday afternoon. I love it when Karma comes to roost, and in this instance, it seems to be roosting right on the Newt's head. Let's hear it for "social engineering"!

Dudeworthy said...

I'll make a prediction: Obama is a potential two-termer, and it would take a serious Republican contender to derail his re-election.

I've heard lots of comparisons of Obama to Carter, but I don't see any Reagans in the Republican line-up, and that's what it would take.

Erin O'Brien said...

Dunno. The righties have very few arrows left in their quiver and the Carter point pretty much lost its edge on May 1, 2011

"So much for campaigning against Jimmy Carter."--Politico, May 9, 2011

Erin O'Brien said...

The more I think the Newtster's situation over, the more baffling it is.

Gingrich is a seasoned politician whose had his eye on the Oval Office for years. He knew all about the financial disclosure a presidential candidate is subjected to--it's the accounting version of a colonoscopy.

How couldn't he have seen the Tiffany thing coming? Is he just that clueless?

Dude, as for your prediction, anyone watching Obama on 60 Minutes a few weeks ago could see that the GOP is in a world of hurt in 2012. You put him on a stage next to Palin and she's going to look like a screeching Church Lady. Gingrich is cooked. Romney's got the "Romneycare" problem.

What's next? Who's next? Dunno.

Anonymous said...

If BHO gets any help from the economy he should be fine. Carter didn't have an Arab Spring or a bin Laden. Bastard. His strategy of governing as a moderate and wagering the left would have no where else to go on election day will have been vindicated.

Still time for The Rapture.

RJ

Ms Amanda said...

I watched these this morning right before I headed out to race in a triathlon. Celebration played in my head the whole time. It rocked.
Also, John Lithgow was genius!

Anonymous said...

Newt was never a factor, just like hair boy a distraction, a momentary flame to give the press a new target.
If Obama doesn't figure out who he is in relationship to mainstream America it doesn't really matter. Right now I don't see a candidate from either party that I would even let wash my car.


James Old Guy

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

The Carter point hasn't lost its edge actually, if his "bitch slapping" at the hands of Benjamin "not going to happen" Netanyahu this week is any evidence. What an amateur.

Al
TRAG

Bill said...

RJ thinks the "arab spring" is going to benefit O. The arab spring is probably going to end up being the arab springboard to Iranian control or the muslim brotherhood, depending on which uprising you're talking about. Right of return and 1967 borders for Israel? BHO is so much worse than Carter.

Bill said...

More from the Penthouse Forum:

Politics
May 21, 2011

Rocker Gene Simmons Slams Obama on Anti-Israel Policy: 'No F***ing Idea What the World is Like'

Goat said...

Al

Off topic but in response to one of your comments that was swallowed by the net, The Sausage Shoppe is on my list of "places to check out". They get lot's of local press AND they have coupons.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Bill,

Please highlight the text in which RJ stated I thought the Arab Spring was going to help O.

Many Thanks,

RJ

P.S. Bill I think I'm beginning to figure you out. You're incapable of having an original thought of your own so you just piggyback on everyone else's. It must get lonely. If it makes you feel better you can glom on mine.

P.S.S.

Whenever I'm in need of clarity on international politics I always think "Gene Simmons could help me straighten this out."

P.S.S.S. FREE GAZA!

Erin O'Brien said...

THANK GOD someone is following the Gene Simmons pulse.

Just saw a brief interview with David Gregory and he said Newt was bubbly pleased with himself and the way the "right wing social engineering" interview went at its conclusion. The backlash took him by surprise.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Bill,

Do you really think The Kingdom is going to sit idly by and let Iran ass rape the region?


Saudi Arms Deal Advances
10/20/10

The United States plans to sell up to $60bn worth of military aircraft to Saudi Arabia, the US state department has announced, the largest US arms sale ever.

Andrew Shapiro, the assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, told a news conference on Wednesday that the US administration did not anticipate any objections to the sale from Israel, traditionally wary of arms sales to nearby Arab countries.

The sale, which had been expected, includes 84 Boeing F-15 fighter jets and 70 upgrades of existing Saudi F-15s.

It also includes 70 of Boeing's Apache attack helicopters and 36 AH-6M Little Birds, lightweight helicopters often used in special operations.

Under the deal, Saudi Arabia also has the option to buy 72 Black Hawk helicopters built by Sikorsky Aircraft, a unit of United Technologies Corp.

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

Daniels is out. Romney or Pawlenty--who's it going to be? Any dark horses lurking in the shadows?

Anonymous said...

Dearest Al,

On this lazy Sunday morning why don't you regale us readers of The Owners Manual with tales of the exquisite foreign policy maneuverings in the Middle East of your beloved GOP officials so that we might more fully appreciate the amateurism of our current President.

Many Thanks,

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

aw hell--from NY Daily News:

"In effect, Netanyahu's reaction to Obama's words revealed far more about the politics of the peace process in both countries than about the nuances of American policy. Netanyahu, like all Israelis, wants peace, but it is unclear whether he or his coalition wants a peace process. The prime minister has laid out a series of preconditions and demands that are not unreasonable as outcomes of negotiations, but effectively serve as roadblocks to getting to negotiations.

Netanyahu has also made what can only be considered a fundamental political gaffe by seeking support for his position within the domestic politics of the U.S. It is both usual and acceptable for Israel or others to argue their case before the American people; it is quite another matter to seek to pit the opposition against the President.

This has never worked in the past — witness then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's attempt to reach over the head of President George H. W. Bush to the Congress to secure loan guarantees for Soviet immigrants, an effort that failed. Netanyahu has been unwise to try this again, and the Republicans have been unwise to take this bait. The peace process, for many years immune to the partisanship that besets so much of our national discourse, has now become just another political pawn in the partisan squabbling between our parties."

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2011/05/22/2011-05-22_the_border_between_reality_and_politics_whats_new_and_whats_not_in_obamas_stance.html#ixzz1N574kW4C

Anonymous said...

Got some coffee in me...and it occured to me without that miscreant Carter and that Camp David nonsense the Egyptian military could have been pouring across the border into Israel during the uprising in Tahrir Square. Perhaps BiBi wouldn't have been so committed to the 67 borders as he was running for cover. Perhaps then we could have celebrated The Apocalypse Rev. Camping so faithfully awaited.

RJ

P.S.

"There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know. ”
—Former United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

The words of a pro.

Bill said...

Opinion: A view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

Comment: A remark expressing an opinion or reaction.

Erin Blogs. Loyal Readers comment or express an opinion.

Thanks for addressing Bill as "Dearest".

Harry Finch said...

It's true, Bill, that it's not necessary to base one's opinion on facts. However, if you wanted to have an opinion on Obama's Israel policy that was valid to someone beside yourself, you might want to read the actual text of his speech.

You will note that he specifically avoided the issue of Right of Return. And he did not demand a strict return to 1967 borders as a condition for peace.

I won't pick and choose text that fits my purposes. I suggest anyone who wants to express an opinion that others can listen to should read what the President actually said.

Bill said...

Harry: Here's another opinion. The president has learned to leave room for interpretation in his speeches. Primarily because he doesn't have a clue and will probably have to "clarify" what he meant. Sort of like what he has to do with his latest brilliant comments about Israel.

But, good for you that you don't pick and choose text that fits your purpose.

Harry Finch said...

"he doesn't have a clue" is a somewhat vapid statement, and one which has as much validity now as it did when my fellow lefties threw it at GW Bush. What it really reveals (my opinion, based on personal experience, not fact) is that the user has an unassailable bias against the object of his derision.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Bill,

Please support you claim that BHO "doesn't have a clue" about Israel or anything else for that matter.

I suppose it would be helpful to begin by defining "clue" and then a bit about how one comes in to possession of one. Perhaps your own experience of acquiring a clue or clues would be revelatory. Then, since all of us here at The Owners Manual are devoted to the service of our country, we could share the "Path to a Clue" with our president.

Many Thanks,

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

"he doesn't have a clue"

Well Bill, if you didn't see it, Prime Minister Netanyahu recently took the opportunity to publicly instruct the President of the United States on Israeli history.

Good christ.

Lauding a humiliating public lecture. Having him fetch his papers and complaining when he doesn't do it quickly enough. Yelling out "You lie!" during his address in front of Congress.

And that's just the official shit that I can list off the top of my head.

Yet the righties become spittle flecked and indignant when we murmur "racism ..."

Bill said...

RJ: Let me clue you in. Wait! The Pres is talking about basketball to AIPAC. Now talking about his trip to the Holy Land. And now a shout out to Chicago. And, don't forget Debbie Wasserman Schultz and some other Jewish friends and advisors of his.

Anonymous said...

"Non-Responsive Your Honor."

My daughter is demanding breakfast thus I must leave this stirring conversation.

Here is my criterion for determining that Israel is serious about Peace.

Palestine: "We recognize your right to exist."

Israel: Thank You. Now we will sign The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and develop a timetable to disarm our nuclear arsenal."

Anything short of that, IMHO, is bullshit.

Of course, I may not have a clue. If only someone would tell me what one is and how to get one.

RJ

Bill said...

RJ: We have our priorities right. You'r fixing breakfast for your daughter and I'm discussing, with my 6 yo granddaughter, my opinion, that the Bb (B flat) notes in her piano recital piece, do not sound right.

Harry Finch said...

You are flailing, Bill. I could only listen in to the last few paragraphs of the speech, but again, here's the text.

If he got into basketball, he must have gone off-script. But I'm guessing that it was part of the introductory remarks, and gosh, it sure is whacky to mention basketball to a roomful of fellow Americans.

The shoutouts are standard fare before a speaker gets to his actual message.

There was actually a shoutout to Eric Cantor, but of course you wouldn't want to give Obama any credit for being civil to the leaders of the opposition party.

Substance, please.

(on a personal note, I am sorry this morning not to be enjoying the company of my two grandchildren)

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

@ RJ:

Before I comment, I'd ask one thing - do me a favor and please do not condescend towards me. As this is the internet and the nuances of face to face communication are lost, I took your comment as an arrogant one. I don't know if that was your intent, and I may be completely wrong. However, I'd ask in the future that we keep our discourse as civil as we can make. That goes for me as well.

On to the reply ....

As to policies pursued by Repubican Presidents, at least they didn't dictate to Israeli leaders what they should do, publicly, anyway. Doing so would have been extremely amateurish. That Obama did it tells me that he is out of his depth as regards foreign policy in that region.. Netanyahu is correct in that a withdrawal from the Golan Heights and right of return would most likely end Israel as a nation (I recommend that you and anyone else interested go look at a map and study the terrain along the Golan Heights - it is a perfect defensive position in most respects). It was obvious from the body language of both men that they vehemently disagree with each other as well.

Israel now knows where Obama stands on the peace process, namely, the Israelis will have to acquiesce to Arab demands in exchange for "peace." Netanyahu also knows he's on his own. However, that's no problem for the Israelis - they are well attuned to being surrounded by enemies, and when push comes to shove they do not play around. They will act unilaterally if need be, and in the peace process, this is now clearly the case given Obama's stance. In other words, an ally we've shared a close relationship with for over 60 years has just been told that we are, in their eyes anyway, now favoring the interests of Arabs over Israelis. If I'm Netanyahu, that's the only way I can take Obama's statements.

I'm thinking that Obama thought that Netanyahu would go along with his ideas. When he didn't, I imagine that many in his administration were incredulous. Why, this is Barack Obama, after all, how could anyone disagree with anything he says? He's the smartest Presdent ever, right? When Bibi didn't react as was possibly anticipated, it became amateur hour at the White House. How could anyone actually think that the Israelis would go back to the pre-1967 borders and allow Palestinians to return given the history in the region? Only an amateur with absolutely no understanding of the dynamics and history of the Middle East, particularly since 1948. Who is that person? Barack Obama. And his advisors, too.

Al
TRAG

Bill said...

Do you remember when the President pronounced corpsman the way it's spelled? As in a dead body? He did it 3 or 4 times in the same prepared, telepromter speech when he was honoring a Navy Hospital Corpsman. That is a clueless Commander in Chief. One time, and then correcting himself, would be understandable. But, it was clear that he had no clue about Navy Hospital Corpsman. It just makes you wonder. How would he pronounce Marine Corps. There are so many examples. Spare me the Bush speak stuff.

VideoDude said...

"You are entitled ti your own opinion, not your own facts".

Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Anonymous said...

Al,

My comment was intended to be sarcastic. Perhaps that constitutes codescension and you're right, I should respect forum civility and not do that. I do find myself in this back and forth experiencing a sense of chronic pot calling kettle black. Any regular reader of this blog knows I'm not an Obama cheerleader. It just strikes me as incongruent that he can be criticized along party lines, hence my comment about the GOP.
While it can be stated that we were on record supporting a Jewish homeland all the way back to its creation in 1948 (and Balfour 1917) I believe one could make a case that U.S. presidents have been quite directive in their dealings with Israel. In my life the memory of "Henry the K" and his "Shuttle Diplomacy" quickly comes to mind. IMHO administrations from both major parties have failed to be effective agents for peace in the region. Does that constitute amateurism? I don't think anyone gives Carter credit for Camp David which probably saved a few lives. It is worth noting that the Arabs that killed Sadat were the precursors of al Qaeda. In other words Egypt was not a benign secular presence in the region. (And they have also been quite accomodating with torture and extraordinary rendition for the U.S.) Are the Arabs not our allies?
I could go on but in closing the best model I have found to date to make sense of the situation is that that portrays U.S. interests in the region as colonial/imperial. I have the good fortune to let a resident of the region speak for me:
"Finally, Obama comes to the Palestinian question and tells us once again nothing new or substantive, Zionist protestations notwithstanding. First, Arabs are enjoined once again - as we were in his Cairo speech - to sympathise with the poor Israeli Jews who experience "the pain of knowing that other children in the region are taught to hate them". That Israel and the leading US Jewish organisations have for decades been the main global purveyors of the most racist and virulent forms of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hateful propaganda seems to have escaped Obama and his advisors.

What kind of credibility does Obama think he will have with Arabs who have been on the receiving end of such global hatred for decades, when he wants them to sympathize with the suffering of their persecutors who have been blowing up Arab children non-stop since 1948?"

Peace.

Swords into Plowshares.

FREE GAZA!

RJ

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/05/2011521115956696675.html

Erin O'Brien said...

Al, when you talk about the President getting "bitch slapped," it tends to evoke strong emotions.

If you can dish that out while getting ruffled over "Dearest Al" and a little bit of sarcasm, well ...

Dudesworthy said...

Hi Al,

On the one hand - I agree with you that the call to return to 1967 borders is naive; it's 44 years later, clearly the situation on the ground has changed (as Netanyahu quite correctly stated), however, it is a sensible place to start negotiations, and Obama did suggest 1967 borders with negotiated land-swaps in his original speech.

For what it's worth, I think he's right to put some pressure on Israel, I don't think that most people would argue that the lack of progress in the peace process over the last 20 years has damaged American interests in the region and security at home.

Maybe it's time for a US President to stir things up and challenge the Israelis to move a bit. There needs to be progress on this and Obama has made it clear to Israel that the status quo is no longer viable. I mean, let's face it, Bush tried charm but didn't achieve anything.

Harry Finch said...

Bill - Aren't you really making the case that Obama is failing at being Pronounciator-in-Chief?

I cannot tell if you are just having fun and making up silly arguments, or if you honestly believe you are presenting valid proof of the President's unfitness for office.

I can handle Al's charge that the President is a foreign policy amateur. I disagree, but at least it's an interesting point, and one that can be debated seriously.

But Al, really, he didn't deal with right of return and he didn't demand Israel withdraw back to the 1967 borders. But your mention of the Golan Heights is interesting because they are only obliquely connected to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. I don't think he was referencing the Heights, but perhaps the phrase "1967 lines" may come back to haunt him someday.

Anonymous said...

Is elevation important when one fires tactical nuclear weapons?

RJ

Dudesworthy said...

RJ,

I think the point is that if you have borders that it is possible to defend with conventional forces then you don't need to use nukes, although Harry raises a really good point; the Golan Heights are more of an issue for Lebanese-Israeli peace.

Bill said...

A commander in chief not knowing what a corpsman is? That is not a minor issue. Particularly if you are or have been in the service.

Harry Finch said...

Bill, first you say he mispronounced corpsman, then from that you infer that he doesn't know what a corpsman is.

You are not making a compelling case. Watch Al, because he can.

Bill said...

He mispronounce it because he didn't know what it was. Yes, Al's good.

Erin O'Brien said...

I knew what an allele was probably better than 95 percent of the population, but mispronounced it publicly and on radio a couple dozen times.

It's a long story that I don't have time for right now.

Read In the Belly of the Beast by Jack Abbott.

Bill said...

Yeah but I don't think we have any of those risking their lives serving under our commander in chief

Anonymous said...

If BHO properly enunciates "corpsman" does that indicate he has a clue? And, more importantly, will people in the armed services stop dying?
If not, what's the fucking point Bill?

RJ

Harry Finch said...

GWBush mispronounced nuclear all the time, but I'm guessing he knew what it meant. And I don't recall many reasonable people suggesting it disqualified him from being the guy with his finger on our nuclear arsenal.

(And I don't hold that mispronunciation against him, mainly because I was raised to say it the same way)

Just to quibble, the President is the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces; he is not my commander-in-chief. This is still a republic.

Bill said...

It shows the lack of respect he has for the miitary.

Anonymous said...

First, I call bullshit. Prove to all of us that the mispronunciation of a word, ANY WORD, constitutes disrespect.
Second, this is exactly the kind of hairsplitting bullshit that is your forte and why I know you will NEVER offer anything substantive to these discussions.

Please find somewhere else to lurk.

RJ

Bill said...

This would be an interesting cocktail party group

Bill said...

No Xmas card from RJ, I guess.

If you are a Navy or Marine Hospital Corpsman (pronounced coreman) and have served your country in battle. And, your Commander in Chief doesn't know how to pronounce your rating and calls it corpse man several times, it's disrespectful. It's also stupid. It also is a pretty good indication that none of his staff has a clue about the armed forces. I'm assuming somebody reads those speeches before putting them in the teleprompter and listens to O read through it. "That's pronounced coreman sir".

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

I've been on the road most of the day, returning to North Carolina after a great two-week trip back to my home state of Ohio. I'll reply by quoting things directed towards me - hope that's OK.

@ RJ: Thanks for the explanation. I'll try in the future to remember that you use sarcasm at times as a vehicle for getting your opinions across.

As for my reference to "amateurism," my take was that it was extremely naive to think for even a moment that Netanyahu would react any other way than he did given Obama's statement. From what I've read and heard, Obama pretty much blindsided Bibi, not even discussing the pre-1967 borders/right of return ahead of the official press conference (other than in the meeting they had prior to the conference itself). What I found amateurish was that Obama and his advisors must have assumed that such a policy stance would have traction with the Israelis. It didn't (of course) and to me displays not only clumsy diplomacy, but a complete lack of understanding of the history and dynamics between Israel and the Arab world. Oh, sure, they most likely have read up on the history there, but lack any insight into what the reality is on the ground.

"Is elevation important when one fires tactical nuclear weapons?"

Depends on whether you want airburst, and whether you're using a proximity fuse. Maybe we should ask Ahmedinejad that one.

@ Bill and Harry (and RJ): That the President didn't know how to pronounce the word "corpsman" is indeed considered disrespectful by those who've earned that title in particular, and by most military folks I know in general. If he makes a mistake once or twice, no big deal (anyone can mispronounce a word after all, even the President).
But three, four, five times? All that does is show his ignorance of the military, intentional or not. This being said, I don't think he intentionally did that, but it makes me wonder if he's coached/briefed ahead of time before plunging ahead with speeches. And like Harry, I believe he knew/knows what the term means, even mispronounced.

One other thing - most military folks I know take pride in the titles and rank they earn. No one gives such things to them, they are truly earned. For corpsmen/women and medics, it is a big source of pride - they are, after all, the ones that go out and treat our troops while under fire, risking their own lives in the process. I don't think it's too much, therefore, to ask that our Commander in Chief use the correct terminology and pronounce it correctly.

@ Erin: Perhaps "bitch slapped" was a bit strong. A better phrase might have been "schooled like student during a political science lecture."

@ Dudesworthy - the Golan Heights are indeed important to both Lebanon's and Israel's security. It was the sight of a major tank battle in '73, and make no mistake, the Israelis remember it well. They essentially wiped out a few Syrian divisions there, a point not lost on Netanyahu, I'm sure.

Al
TRAG

Erin O'Brien said...

He only mispronounced it twice, Al, so I guess it's "no big deal" per your guidelines.

Anonymous said...

Good morning to all...
It seems to me this discussion would have substance had the President announced a CHANGE in US policy vis-a-vis the peace process-which he DIDN'T. Mr. Bush enunciated the EXACT SAME point of departure for NEGOTIATIONS in January 2008. The only difference was that during the last administration the preferred phrase was '1949 cease fire lines', which is a distinction without a difference. As to the strategic Golan Heights, they are irrelevant to any Israeli-Palestinian discussion.
Now, in reference to Mr. Netanyahu 'schooling' the President, 'bitch-slapping' the President, or whatever term of art one prefers-SO WHAT? What repercussions may we expect? Will Israel stop sending us billions in subsidies? Will they stop, sometimes single-handedly, defending the United States in the United Nations against all opponents? Will they stop selling us state-of-the-art military hardware? Mr. Netanyahu was posturing for his domestic political audience.
It is troubling that he is willing to do his posturing in the light of what WILL be a potential threat to the long term viability of Israel, ie, asymmetrical threats posed by asymmetrical forces. The threat of Arab armored divisions cutting Israel in two is gone. If in the furtherance of pandering to his right Mr. Netanyahu loses a chance for security against the real threat to a democratic Jewish nation-terrorism and guerrilla warfare arising out of the festering Palestinian problem, he will have done Israel a deadly disservice.
Mike R
PS-wow-I only signed on to use the name "Newt Blingrich"

Erin O'Brien said...

You people are smart.

Anonymous said...

"Is elevation important when one fires tactical nuclear weapons?"

Depends on whether you want airburst, and whether you're using a proximity fuse. Maybe we should ask Ahmedinejad that one.-Al

What do you know about Ahmedinejad's knowledge of tactical nuclear weapons? Are you claiming Iran has those kind of weapons?

On the other hand, if your neighbor had nukes and was willing to unilaterally evaporate your country, Why WOULDN'T you develop a nuclear capability?

RJ

RJ

Bill said...

You have to admit, nuclear weapons in the hands of a people who WANT to die while killing the infidel, is a pretty frightening possibility. Israel has had nukes for a long time. Hasn't used them.

Anonymous said...

"Israel has had nukes for a long time. Hasn't used them."

Perhaps because they are so adroit at killing with conventional weapons.

RJ

Bill said...

Perhaps.

Erin O'Brien said...

For the record: The Newster is falling into the shitter faster than this thread went off-topic.

Bill said...

The polls look pretty grim for Newt. The one thing he has going for him is that he'll do well in a debate and if Michelle gets in there will be big audiences. Mitt has big money and it's his to lose. Newt might have to sell jewelry to fight back.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

@ RJ: I have no clue what is or isn't Ahmedinejad's knowledge of tactical nuclear weapons. But there is no doubt that Iran is aggressively pursuing a nuclear capability (and not just for energy).

I don't think Israel would use nukes unless it was a last resort. They'd have nothing to gain by doing so for many reasons. And yes, they are very skilled at conventional operations (see Entebbe, 1948, 1967, 1973).

As for Newt, I'm not sure why he's running. He's unelectable. He may be a smart guy, but I just don't think he has a chance in hell of winning the Presidency, let alone the GOP nomination. Too much baggage if you ask me.

Al
TRAG

Anonymous said...

"And yes, they are very skilled at conventional operations (see Entebbe, 1948, 1967, 1973)."-Al

Also see Gaza War and subsequent humanitarian crisis. Winter 2008-09.

Assasination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh by Mossad. Dubai, UAE. 1/19/2010.

Gaza flotilla raid. 5/31/2010.

At least 19 people were killed and dozens injured when IDF forces intercepted the convoy of ships dubbed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, Israeli radio reported.

The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65km off the Gaza coast.

Of course the Philistines might want to list and item or two.

RJ

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

@ RJ: Like I said, they're skilled. Their judgment might be somewhat suspect, but they're skilled. And love or hate them, when they perceive a threat, they sure as hell don't $&ck around. No wonder no Arab country has seriously tried to take them out since '73. Just saying.

Al
TRAG

Anonymous said...

Let me be clear. I do not hate Israel. My objection is to what seems to be a glaring double standard.
The "Community of Law Abiding Nations" quite regularly heralds principles like due process, self-determination and religious freedom. Yet, as you well know, words are cheap and regardless of political ideology there are wholesale exceptions made for national and international policy reasons on a daily basis. If we're going to allow eye for an eye justice let's quit pretending we're not.

RJ

Anonymous said...

Good morning to all...
In reference to the fake controversy between Mr. Netanyahu and President Obama, the Israeli Foreign Ministry released a joint communique of understanding between Secretary Clinton and the Prime Minister on November 11, 2010, delineating the exact same approach as the President reiterated in his speech.(This has been the guiding principle in negotiations at least since the Clinton administration, and is acknowledged by most parties, including moderate and liberal Israelis; only the ultra-religious parties there contest it.)See Jeffrey Goldberg in Atlantic Monthly for more detail.
Mr. Netanyahu's problem, besides poor manners, is that he has to deal with a far right in his governing coalition that would have to leapfrog Attila the Hun just to get to reactionary. Perhaps he and Speaker Boehner should compare notes.
By the way, am I the only one here who finds it unseemly that so many American politicians, many of whom are openly striving to become the next commander-in-chief, should side with the leader of a foreign power against the stated policy of their own government?
Mike R
WV: 'mutzupp'..casual greeting, one dog to another...

Anonymous said...

Crazy, what a little country will do to keep from being wiped off the face of the earth.

Anonymous said...

That was Bill.

Anonymous said...

"Crazy, what a little country will do to keep from being wiped off the face of the earth."

11:36 AM


That was Bill.

11:36 AM

Crazy what despicable behavior little minds can rationalize.

That was RJ

philbilly said...

RE: Goat and Al;
The Sausage Shoppe also has Cherry bratwurst. Bring these when invited to summer cookouts, people will be happy.

I grew up across the street, long before the sausage store was there. The mulberry tree in our front yard is still there. All the kids in my Old Brooklyn neighborhood had Bluetooth.

Netanyahu and his tax-sucking Duchy of Fenwick are in for a big surprise.

All y'all "conservatives" are pissed cuz Obama got Osama, period.

VideoDude said...

http://pleasecutthecrap.com/

Everyone needs to read the article entitled: "Proof that the Current GOP is Incompetent. Period."

Some very interesting facts about the Teapublican Party. Oh by the way, Chrysler payed back the Bailout money today. Both Chrysler and GM have shown a profit this year. GM is adding jobs. 100,000's more people would be out of work if it were not for President Barack H. Obama and the Democratic Party!

Anonymous said...

video: Do you prefer grape or cherry flavored Kool Aid?

RJ: Defending your country is dispicable? I doubt you believe that.

Bill (anon because of blogger)

Anonymous said...

despicable

VideoDude said...

Let's see, Social Conservatism = Failure. Economic Conservatism = Failure. Neo Conservatism (in relation to foreign policy) = BIG FAILURE. Who is drinking the Kool Aid? Although, I may not agree with this guy 100%, his facts and figures are quite interesting. I have yet to see any facts from the Right.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

@ Philbilly: Obama did not, in fact "get" OBL. SEALs from SEAL Team Six did (and which is what they are paid to do). Obama did what he gets paid to do, e.g., make the decision based on advice from military and civilian advisors to launch the raid, just as other Presidents have done in other situations. It doesn't make him a superhero.

BTW, I'm not pissed in any way that OBL's been permanently removed from the gene pool. It was, as I've said previously, a victory for all Americans.

Al
TRAG

Anonymous said...

@Anon.

Defending your country against a boatload full of hippie women with deadly force is despicable.

I ain't no Polyanna. I know sometimes people have to do the wrong thing for the right reason. That wasn't one of those times.

RJ

Anonymous said...

@Al and Philbilly.

The War Dog Got Him.

(9 more posts and we hit 100)

P.S. Al, I understand your sentiment about OBL. Unfortunately I think he was 1 of 50 some odd offspring. The pool may still be unsafe for swimming.

RJ

Anonymous said...

Harmless hippy women. Like Beradine Dohrn? Or harmless teenage girls wearing nice vests? Despicable.

Bill

philbilly said...

Al, I spoke in the vernacular of the current political diatribe.

The role Obama played was twofold;

First, a refocused effort and comittment of assets including disregarding Pakistani concerns. The truth will out on Pakistan's involvement, leading back to the warlord shell games in 2003.

Second, a total disregard for his own political future. Had the mission failed miserably, he would be done politically. He had the stones, as presidents before him have had, to roll the dice and let military do what it does best. and they were flawless.

We have also had presidents who choked, Clinton, LBJ and Bush 43 come to mind. Bush 41's decision to halt the Highway of Death from Basra to Bahgdad was also political courage, and cost 41 his re-election.

Anonymous said...

"Harmless hippy women. Like Beradine Dohrn? Or harmless teenage girls wearing nice vests? Despicable."

Bill

"You don't need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows."

If I was head of national monuments Ayers and Dohrn would have their busts on Mount Rushmore. With any luck they might have burned the Pentagon down.

(Now lets wait on Bill to defend Vietnam. You're on Bill...)

RJ

VW: unwar. I'm not making this up.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah. False equivalence between Code Pink and Weathermen.


RJ

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

@ RJ: Yes, OBL did come from a large family. To the best of my knowledge, they're not nut jobs, though. I could be wrong, however.

@ Videodude: Anyone who calls Medicare/Medicaid (acknowledged by Obama himself to be full of waste, fraud and abuse), Social Security (it won't be there when I retire, anyway), the stimulus (we're still near 9% unemployment - remember when the Dems told us it would go above 8% if we didn't enact it?) and welfare (social programs and a budget act, all enacted during periods when the Democrats controlled the Congress and/or the Presidency) successes is indeed drinking something.

Al
TRAG

Harry Finch said...

I am a very heavy drinker.

Bill said...

Head on Mt. Rushmore. Hmm?

VideoDude said...

It seems that in all polls, including the ones that really matter, like New York 26, the people want their Medicare and Social Security.

But the Teapublicans refuse to listen to the people. What happened to all the talk about jobs? It was jobs, jobs, jobs last November until after the election.

One does not fix a thing by eliminating the thing. You are right the President has said that these programs have fraud and abuse. The answer is to fix the fraud and abuse not eliminate the programs.

How about that auto bailout that Teapublicans were against, yet now that it has worked, guys like Kasich and Romney now support it? Romney is even lying saying it was his idea first. Even though he is on video saying he was against it. If the Teapublicans are so right, then why do they continue to lie and try to take credit for the Democrat successes.

Bill said...

RJ: Please pretend that you're a conservative and "fisk" Videoduds comments for me. Thank you.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

@ Videodude - Oh, yeah, one congressional district in NY (which featured a guy who'd run as a democrat four times, and then ran as an "independent" with "tea party" leanings) as a "referendum" on Medicare and Social Securtity .... I don't think so.

Fraud and abuse - the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a differerent result. We're handing over a huge part of our economy to the same people who brought us the waste/fraud/abuse that Obama plans to use to fund Obamacare. This is a good idea? I don't think so.

As for the TARP, it began under Bush, not Obama. Obama rightly extended it to the auto companies (as if he had a choice). You're welcome.

Al
TRAG

Bill said...

Thanks Al.

BTW, did anyone notice that the G8, led by our President, has pledged 20 Billion dollars to "Arab Spring" (Islamic) countries? Can you say "Mu$lim Brotherhood"?

Anonymous said...

Good Morning to all,
Boy, we've come a long way from Mr. and Mrs. Blingrich, haven't we?
To recap a few points from the thread: In reference to the election results from NY-26, Ms. Hochul is only the fourth Democrat to represent that region of New York since 1857. Her predecessor, Chris Lee (R-Craigslist)was reelected in 2010 with 74% of the vote. Registered Republicans have a +30,000 advantage in the district. The 3rd party candidate, Mr. Davis, attacked both Democrats and Republicans in his advertising; his campaign focus was to attack free trade policies. As Mr. Davis'poll numbers declined, Ms. Hochuls', and not Ms. Corwins' went up, so the idea that his candidacy drew strictly from the Republican's total is dubious.
Medicare is far from the only part to Mr. Ryan's budget proposal to cause concern to voters. He cuts roughly $3 trillion by eviscerating programs serving lower and middle class citizens, such as food stamps, education grants and housing assistance. Medicaid, which is far more efficient than private insurance and spends a large proportion of its resources on a minority of its enrollees (ie, the handicapped and elderly)would be cut drastically.
Many middle-class taxpayers would be willing to sacrifice in the cause of debt and/or deficit reduction (and yes, they are two different issues)but Mr. Ryan's proposal doesn't bring the DEFICIT (not the national debt, the budget deficit)into balance for TWENTY years. The reason for this, despite all the sacrifices in programs keyed to the needs of the middle of society, is because of Mr. Ryan's huge, regressive additional tax cut to the upper tier of tax payers.
In reference to the conversation about Mr. Netanyahu's behavior vis-a-vis the President's middle east speech, i was surprised to learn that his Likud party holds only 27 seats in the Isreali parliament and thus is a minority within his own coalition.
Somebody brought up Bernardine Dohrn above? What, the Carrie Nation namedrop was too contemporary?
Have a great weekend, everyone. May god bless and protect our men and women in uniform, and bring them safely and swiftly home to their loved ones.
Mike R

Anonymous said...

Dammit! I knew I forgot something!
In reference to TARP, that program was focused on the financial sector. The bridge loans to the auto industry were an entirely independant issue. "...as if he had any choice" implies that there was no controversy over the loans-there was in fact a great deal of controversy over the loans, and the President chose to side with American manufacturing and American workers. Mike R

VideoDude said...

Thank you Al for parroting the Teapublican talking points that all trolls are spouting. Fact is, almost all the Teapubs were against the bailout and TARP, until they started working. Your opinions are not fact, sir!

If the Medicare debate had nothing to do with the NY 26, then why was it only after Corwin endorsed the Teapublican budget plan that she began to slip in the polls? She immediately tried to distance herself by saying "...I am not married to it."

Romney and almost all the Teapublicans were against the Auto Bailout. All you have to do is a YouTube search. Romney wrote an editorial in November of 2008 entitled: "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

@ Videodude: For the record, I am not a supporter of the Tea Party, Tea Party Movement, or whatever else you want to call it. I'd ask that you not use my name and/or any reference to the Tea Party in the future.

Second, I believed at the time (and still do) that we had to do something about the banks and auto companies. As the recent HBO movie title states, they were "too big to fail." We couldn't let them go down as they would affect that vast majority of our economy, possibly leading to a collapse. Bush began TARP, and as I said, Obama rightly extended that to the auto industry. Had both men not done so, our economy most likely would have collapsed, and along with it much of the rest of the world. I've said before that it was, at the time, a choice of $hitty, $hittier, and $hittiest. Given the choices, I think both men chose $hitty.

As for Corwin, it doesn't surprise me that she slipped in the polls by endorsing the budget plan. It will require cuts/changes in a lot of programs, including Medicare. When you tell a demographic that their program is going to change or be funded to a lesser degree, with a corresponding decrease in benefits, it's no wonder they vote for the individual who is opposed to that. NY 26 is no more a referendum on Republican ideas than Scott Brown's capture of "Ted Kennedy's Seat" was regarding Obama's policies, though I was glad to see him win.

Al
TRAG

VideoDude said...

Al, Teapublican describes the current Republican Party. They are no longer the party of Lincoln. Hell, they are not even the party of Reagan.

Yes, the Teapublican answer is to cut programs while giving tax cuts to the rich and corporations. Which does nothing for our economy and the job situation. And the American people are starting to wake up.

As far as TARP, Teapublicans were against it as soon as Obama took office. As far as the auto bailout, Mit Romney, John McCain and John Kasich (just to name three), as well as most of the Tea-GOP, were against it until it
became success. Now they want the credit. Again I ask, if the Teapublicans are always so correct, then why are they trying to take credit for Dem successes.

Al, your opinions are not facts or history, sir. They are just that your opinions. There are YouTube videos out there with Teapublicans attacking TARP and the auto bailout. Teapublicans who are now for it!

Of course, there are plenty of pictures out there with former attackers of the Tarp program standing and smiling with big checks. Some Teapublican congressman actually asked for more TARP money, because among other things, it would help "promote job growth".

The Tea-GOP can either use the NY 26 as a wake up call or they can continue to keep their heads in the sand. As a Democrat, I hope the latter.

Bill said...

Thinking that addressing the medicare crises is having their heads in the sand, is about as naive as one can get. This is a winning, an important, issue for the Republicans. If they back off this, they deserve 4 more years of Obama. I hope the pussies in the Republican party shut up and let the ones with balls, both men and women, take the lead. If medicare isn't reformed, grandma will definitely be going off a cliff in her wheel chair but she'll have to wait in line.

Anonymous said...

Al @ 12:55-absent a referendum on Republican ideas, you leave one curious as to your opinions on what may have caused the 32-percentage-point swing in NY-26 since November?
Mike R

wv: 'substu'-the focus of a subteach's labors

Erin O'Brien said...

I'd love to hear anyone explain the difference between the Tea Party and the GOP.

Bill said...

Tea Party: A political movement calling for smaller government and a strict interpretation of the Constititution.

GOP: A polital party almost as corrupt as the Democratic party, but, not quite.

Harry Finch said...

Tea Party: A political movement based on a fantasy about small government, and possessing very little understanding of constitutional democracy.

GOP: The once proud party of Lincoln that mistakenly believes it has no future without its lunatic fringe.

Bill said...

10 most dangerous cities in the US. Want to guess what they have in common? Ha.

VideoDude said...

The Republican Party is the deer, the Tea Party headlights.

Please, don't tell Al I used "Republican" instead of Teapublican. Whew, I feel better now.

Anonymous said...

Medicare reform = Fully Funded Universal Healthcare. The money to do this is already in the budget and would not require a tax increase.
Obamacare = Sweetheart deal for Insurance and Pharmaceutical Industry. Opposed by the same people who think the way to fix the American economy is to deregulate Wall Street. Supported by the same people who think the way to fix the American economy is to deregulate Wall Street and to outsource government functions to private industry.

Tea Party = Lots of white men and women, mostly christians, very enthusiastic and good with costumes, who don't know what socialism is.

GOP = Lots of men and women, mostly white, mostly christian, who hate gays, women, children, old people, brown people, black people, yellow people, etc. etc. and who don't know what socialism is. Also a few people of color, a few gay people, a few women, a few old people, etc. who vote Republican because they hate themselves.

Anonymous said...

Attribution to above^ missing.

RJ

Harry Finch said...

Bill, your above statement means nothing by itself. A simple fact alone does not constitute a true picture of reality. It is difficult to believe that there is even one guest of Ms OB who doesn't know that correlation does not imply causation.

9 of 10 of the most dangerous cities in America have Democratic administrations. By your logic, if I am following it correctly, 9 of 10 of the safest cities should have Republican administrations. But no, it's 4 of 10. What does that mean? Absolutely nothing.

There seems to be a connection between poverty/unemployment and high crime rates; and conversely, between wealth/employment and low crime rates. Does that mean Democratic leadership tends to degrade a community's economic health? Or does it mean that poor urban areas tend to elect Democrats? I don't know. It would be an interesting study.

But your little factoid, and the spirit in which it was delivered, means nothing. It is just so much mud on the wall.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah. Tea Partiers speak American.

RJ

P.S. If Goat or one of you Clevelander's don't come on here and talk about what a tear The Tribe is on I'm going to give you shit all through August when they wilt.

RJ

Bill said...

Either way, it speaks volumes.

Harry said: "Does that mean Democratic leadership tends to degrade a community's economic health? Or does it mean that poor urban areas tend to elect Democrats?"

Harry Finch said...

But Bill, they are entirely different propositions; and neither is valid solely on the statement nine out of ten of America's most dangerous cities have Democratic administrations.

What about the 20 most dangerous cities? And the 20 safest? How do the 50 cities in the middle ranks fare?

(7 of 10 of the most dangerous have men as mayors; 7 of 10 of the safest have men. What does it mean? Nothing.)

Yes, Bill, it does speak volumes. Mainly about the Republican gramophone mind. The tune is trite and the lyrics are meaningless, but as long as it's a Republican orchestra, you'll dance all night long.

Harry Finch said...

Correction: 9 of 10 of the safest cites have men as mayors.

Erin O'Brien said...

And what if the only district we're talking about is NY-26?

WHAT THEN?

Does that speak volumes? Which volumes? Show me the volumes the latest vote in NY-26 are speaking, Bill.

Anonymous said...

wv-'gonnis'
Wife's maiden name: Gonis
Thus I had to post.
The best description of Tea Party mentality I have heard was by former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner: A CEO, a Tea Partier, and a Union worker are seated around a table, and served twelve cupcakes-the CEO takes 11 and whispers to the Tea Partier-"watch out that Union guy doesn;t steal YOUR cupcake" as he leaves...
Tea Party sentiment is oddly conflicted-in general, they oppose government spending, but after the release of the Ryan budget to kill Medicare, a survey of likely Republican primary voters who identified with as Tea Parties showed 70% opposition to eliminating Medicare as we know it. A smaller, but still majority number opposed the proposed changes to the way in which Medicaid is administered. They are adamantly against government spending, yet when spending is broken down into the programs it funds-food stamps, Pell grants, subsidized housing, etc., which benefit themselves or people they know, they are against cuts.
Tea Party affiliation is predominately white. I recommend a blog post by Jonathan Chait of The New Republic, entitled "No, the Tea Party isn't Racist. Yes, it is Racial" for some interesting analyis of Tea Party attitudee. There is not racism in an inherent form, but they oppose funding for programs which benefit individuals unlike them-immigrants, women, people of color.
There are also interesting phenomenon at so-called Tea Party events and rallies-they are not summoning the support and attendance they did in 2009-2010. A rally in DC during the government shutdown featuring so-called Te Party stars as Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Mike Pence (R-IN) drew somewhat around 300 people-how many were affilliated with the organizers is unknown.
Another recent event in South Carolina featuring Tea Party-identified Gov. Nikki Haley drew somewhat around 30 people after Donald Trump cancelled an invite.
Absent the apparent lack of grass-roots support that Tea Party-identified groups seemed able to summon in 2009-2010, one wonders why the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives seems t cater to threats from that quarter.
Despite promises to the contrary, it was recently reported that 10 Tea-party identified freshman members of the House accepte somewhat around $600 thousand directly from Wall Street interests.
Despite promises to the contrary, Tea Party-identified members of the House have put large sums of so-called 'earmark' funds into spending bills.
Mike R

Anonymous said...

@RJ@ 11:52-Yahoo sports blog had a nice profile of manager Manny Acta and his role in the team's success to date. It speaks to his skill that the team is winning despite the repeated absences of Travis Hafner and Grady Sizemore. Acta is doing an excellent job of relating to his roster and keeping everyone involved-letting a rookie in his 1st major league apppearance execute a safety squeeze in a game-winning situation showed real balls. He believes inhis players and they believe in him.
I don-t see an August wilt unless there are any serious injuries to the pitching staff. The bullpen has been brilliant.
Mike R

Bill said...

It's not that difficult to understand. If you are currently on medicare, which means you're probably collecting social security, you certainly don't want to give it up. After all, you've been paying for it for years, in my case since i was 10 years old, and we didn't have a choice. People plan on it and retirement depends on it. If the changes don't kick in until people under 55reach retirement, and if it is explained proberly, then the voters will probably go for it. After all, it's change it or lose it.

Erin: NY 26 doesn't speak volumes about anything but that's just a guess. I know the press wants to make a big deal of it but we really won't know until the 2012 election. We're all just guessing until then. Besides, it was a special election and they often have weird rsults.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

I was going to comment further on the Tea Party Movement, differences between it and the Republican Party, NY 26 and what it could possibly mean, etc. Then I saw all the Republican bashing/name calling going on. Not worth a moment of my time.

As for the Indians, I caught two games while I was home a few weeks back. They are fun to watch, something we haven't been able to say since 2007. Unless, of course, we come up against that Price guy from Tampa. No way we're going to do much damage against a guy who throws 95 MPH heaters well into the eight inning. That's the bad news. The good news is Price's arm will probably fall off in a year or two.

Al
TRAG

Erin O'Brien said...

Al.

Need I comb through these threads and reiterate the copious "Vermont is liberal hell" comments you've made?

Let me guess--that's different.

Bill said...

Liberal hell? I haven't spent much time in Vermont but the SF bay area probably has the most 60 y/o, gray pony tailed, balding men, with earrings, per capita. Does that count? Lots of Pius, I mean, Prius drivers too. I should check that punctuation.

Harry Finch said...

We can safely assume NY-26 is not suddenly a Democratic seat. I hope Ms Hochul enjoys her time in Congress because I believe it will be brief.

The Republican leadership made at least a short-term tactical error wedding itself to a budget plan that Democratic propagandists could label the "Kill Medicare Plan." I will be surprised if they fail to correct that error before 2012. And if anyone can squander a political advantage, it's the Democrats.

The Tea Party, as I see it, is the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party, just as the extreme left is the lunatic fringe of the Democratic Party. "Lunatic fringe" is not a kind label, and by using it I am guilty of lazy thinking. So I am a lazy thinker. Well, well.

There needs to be a lunatic fringe. A political party requires that crazy, but pure voice preaching from the desert. The difference is that while Democrats give their fringe lip service, Republicans take theirs quite seriously. I don't know if that's good or bad, but it sure is interesting.

To touch obliquely on Al's point about the bashing, I am always amazed that for such a non-physical activity, political debate is exhausting.

Erin O'Brien said...

"And if anyone can squander a political advantage, it's the Democrats."

True that, Mr. Finch. I think that speaks to the inherent difference of the parties. With the GOP, there's the party line and you better stay with it--look at how quick they were to slice the Newsters throat as soon as he disagreed with the Ryan plan. That's their MO: No room for discussion.

On the other hand, the Dems are a party of debate. Look at the arguing and dissension over HCR within the party. That discussion lasted ... what? ... a year? And it was only between Dems.

Bill said...

For the Democrats, pretending that Medicare doesn't have to be drastically changed, is not going to be a political advantage. Even big Bill C understands that.

Anonymous said...

Ya know it's a holiday weekend so maybe I should say something nice about a conservative. At least George Will doesn't yell at people. And he's a baseball fan. But, alas, the Cubs. BTW, even if it's via wild card look for the Red Sox in The Fall Classic.
P.S. Yankees suck. (It's impossible to be nice about the Yankees.)

Happy Holiday.

RJ

Harry Finch said...

I agree that Medicare will have to be changed. I just happen to believe the change will be that we are going to start paying for it. We can pay for it one way, or we can pay for it another, but not paying for it isn't going to happen.

I'm with RJ: happy holiday. Let's remember the folks who paid the price for our having this conversation.

Anonymous said...

For Erin and Harry, above discussing the difference between the parties as far as their bases and fringes-I've heard it said that when in power, the Democrats ignore their base, while the Republicans fear theirs.
Erin, @ 1:05 above re "what if we're only talking about NY-26?" To extend that idea a bit further, if we're NOT only talking about NY-26, and forgive me for not having more precise figures (I generally try not to post without them): there are approximately 90-some Republican freshman. 40-some were elected from districts which are historically blue or at least lean blue. The Democrats need 24 of those, after NY-26, to turn the House of Representatives.
Al @ 2:46: I don't bash and I don't name call. I asked you a sincere question above, because although I often disagree with you viewpoints they are generally grounded in facts supporting your viewpoint, so I'll ask one more time: absent NY-26 being a referendum on the radical nature of Mr. Ryan's budget ideas, to what would you attribute such a radical flip in a red district?
Ahh, a glorious Saturday afternoon slipped into evening and slowly uncoils into night... doing nothing at all was everything I dreamed it could be...but now I think I'll mow the lawn.
Mike R
wv: 'presotro': the other kind of prosciuto...

Goat said...

I figure the Indians will stay in the race long enough to distract us from LeBron and his quest for a ring. Any longer than that is a bonus and we will enjoy the ride.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

@ Erin - I think I'll restrict my commentary on this blog from here on out to food and non-political topics.

@ RJ: The Yankees do suck.

Al
TRAG

Bill said...

That's not the Al we've grown to love.

VideoDude said...

It seems some people can dish it out, but can't take it.

As far as Medicare, the Teapublicans should have seen this coming. After all, their use of the so called "mediscare" tactic worked quite well for them in attacking The Healthcare Reform Act. And once again we see that if the Democrats use logic and facts it is considered an attack on Teapublicans.

Reform Medicare? Yes. But you don't reform a thing by destroying a thing. How the hell do you expect a 70 year old person to buy medical insurance for a "voucher" of $6,000. Have any of you Tea-GOP ever been sick? Have you ever spent any time in your life without healthcare? Have you ever had to maker a choice between buying your medicine and buying food?

Bill said...

When the bill passes, it will start being phased in 10 years later. No on on medicare or over 55 will be effected. Everyone will have 10 years or more to plan for their healthcare, including medicare. The market will probably come up with new types of policies to cover this huge market.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

@ Videodude: Quite frankly, I'm tired of it. I am a combat infantryman, a jumpmaster, and have served three times in a war zone. I have been shot at in combat (and have returned the same). It's not a matter of being able to take it. It's totally a matter of it's not worth the time arguing with (some) folks who, no matter what one says, dismiss everything out of hand (or so it seems) because it emanates from a viewpoint opposed to theirs.

Again, my commentary in the future will be limited to non-political topics.

On another topic, the Indians won today, 7-3, over the Rays. Record now at 31-18. GO TRIBE!

Al
TRAG

Harry Finch said...

There's a reason why Medicare was created. Half the people 65 or older had no health insurance. Since 1965, has the market magically gotten wiser and figured out how to make a profit from covering old people?

You want to reduce Medicare costs? Discover a way to keep the elderly from getting sick.

Anonymous said...

"The market will probably come up with new types of policies to cover this huge market."- Bill (Welcome to 1980)

Translation: The market (i.e. Gravy Sucking Ins. Co's)will come up with clever new schemes to make people think they have coverage when they don't and they'll make a shitload of money doing it. They won't be required to tell the consumers this though because the GOP is holding the Consumer Protection Agency and Elizabeth Warren hostage and won't allow any more spending even if a tsunami hits Maui.

BTW: Egypt dismisses tyrannical gov't 3-4 months ago. Brokers deal between Fatah and Hamas. Opens border between Egypt and Gaza. That, kids, is good government.

RJ

philbilly said...

Bill, affected, not effected. Nuns beat that into me.

"Learn to spell or burn in Hell, do the math or feel the Wrath."
Sister Mary Relentless

And rank and file Arab and Jewish men and women have been fucked over by their own governments in cahoots with world powers since T.E. Lawrence threw his medals to the floor of Parliment to protest the dirty deal between France, Russia and Britain. Here's how close we were;

Faisal I in 1919 on Balfour Declaration:

"We Arabs... look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. Our deputation here in Paris is fully acquainted with the proposals submitted yesterday by the Zionist Organisation to the Peace Conference, and we regard them as moderate and proper. We will do our best, in so far as we are concerned, to help them through; we will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home... I look forward, and my people with me look forward, to a future in which we will help you and you will help us, so that the countries in which we are mutually interested may once again take their places in the community of the civilised peoples of the world."

But the fix of course was already in, and here we are, a century later, still pissing around with a real estate deal. What a load of shit and waste of life.

Bill said...

Of course! Who doesn't know about Faisal I's 1919 Balfour Declaration? Obviously, though,the proposals weren't effected and neither the Arabs nor the Zionists were affected.

Anonymous said...

11:30 and I know where Erin is..."The Wrath of Khan" just started on the Sci-Fi channel. It's the first time in my life that I ever wished I was Ricardo Montalban.
I'm going to comment on a few ideas posted above. Posters, you'll know who you are, so if you wish to respond, have at it.
"if the changes don't kick in until people under 55 start to retire and if it is explained 'proberly'(sic)voters will probably go for it. After all, it's change it or lose it". My first thought on reading this was, "who the f**k says the only options are to kill it or lose it", because killing it, not changing it, is what this proposal does. Mr. Ryan, after the results of NY-26, seems to be the only one hewing to this line. Mr Ryan as a member of the House voted for the Bush tax cuts, Medicare Part D and the Iraq war, all unfunded. These three votes represent a huge part of the reason that the Bush administration, in seven years, doubled the debt incurred since the founding of our Republic. He's a born-again-virgin when it comes to debt and deficits, and his rebirth coincides with the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
My second thought, as a working man of 52, is that adding a huge additional retirement financial burden, with perhaps 10 years left of peak earning potential, is to look forward to a destitute retirement. Like most middle-income individuals, my real earnings have been flat for over 10years, and retirement is ALREADY a bleak prospect.
My third thought is absurd a notion is the assumption that people are opposed because it hasn't been explained 'proberly'. Mr. Ryan harps on this point, implying that if current benificiaries just understood that they won't be touched, they'd support it. My 78-year old mother loves her Medicare. You know what she loves more? Her children and grandchildren, and she understands full well what this proposal means for our futures. This aspect of Mr. Ryan's proposal is the height of cynicism.
Next: "when you tell a demographic that their program is going to be changed or funded to a lesser degree...it's no wonder they vote for the individual...opposed". Wow. The demographic is EVERYONE UNDER 55!
Next: "Republican leadership made at least a short term error...that Democratic propogandists could label the "Kill Medicare Plan". Double Wow. It can be labeled the "Kill Medicare Plan" because it...wait for it...KILLS MEDICARE!
Next: "Everyone will have 10 years or more to plan...the market will probably come up with new types of policies" First thought is to reiterate what I said above, that 13 years at current income levels will never be enough to overcome such an added retirement burden. Second thought on this one is the naive assumption that the insurance industry will out of the goodness of their hearts behave in a benificient manner toward this new influx of customers-the entire REASON for Medicare to begin with was that the insurance industry WOULDN'T service this market.
Well, there you are, and if you read through all of this, thanks. I know I'm wordy, but sometimes truthiness demands wordiness.
Mike R

VideoDude said...

Al,
I respect and thank you for your service to our country. However, you served OUR country so all of us could have a free voice, not just those who agree with you.

I don't dismiss things out of hand, but when you keep hearing the same Lies over and over again from the Right Wing...

Mike R. you are 100% correct.

Harry Finch said...

Mike R - Propaganda isn't necessarily lying. The truth, or a version it, is the best propaganda.

Yes, Paul Ryan's Roadmap for America's Future contains provisions that kill Medicare. But to call it the Kill Medicare Plan is disingenuous.

I love Rachel Maddow. She is my favorite liberal propagandist. I get a big smile every time she says "the Kill Medicare Plan," but I know what is going on. I am getting my daily dose of propaganda.

When I accuse Bill of having a Republican gramophone mind, I can live with myself because I know I have a Democratic gramophone mind. My Kool-Aid may be a different flavor from Bill's or Al's, but it's still Kool-Aid.

We can acknowledge this about ourselves without sacrificing our principles.

Bill said...

Propaganda = Misinformation

VideoDude said...

To call a plan that kills medicare "The Kill Medicare Plan" is disingenuous? Speaking the truth is disingenuous?

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

I served in the Psychological Operations Branch (now called Military Information Support Operations, or MISO - wonder if the guy who came up with that one likes Japanese soup ...) for 12 years, and worked as a PSYOP doctrine writer for four of them. I offer the following in the discussion on propaganda.

The purpose of MISO is to influence the behavior and attitudes of foreign audiences in favor of US policy objectives. There are three types of MISO - white, gray, and black. White MISO - the source of the information is clearly attributable (you know where it came from). Gray Miso - the source of the information is ambiguous. Black MISO - the source of the information is attributed to something other than the original source. What I did most of the time as a PSYOP/MISO guy was in the white realm. In fact, about 99% of what we do in the military as regards PSYOP/MISO is of the white variety. And the hallmark of that is that it is based on the truth and facts.

Propaganda, on the other hand, can be based on facts, or skewed versions of facts, or out and out lies. Think Lord Haw Haw, Axis Sally, Tokyo Rose, etc. from WWII. Or the Nazis despicable films Der Ewige Jude or Jud Suss. A lot of films made in our country during that time (the Why We Fight series by Frank Capra) are considered by many to be a form of propaganda as well.

Al
TRAG

Harry Finch said...

I'm with Al. The point of propaganda is to influence. You can engage in it with truth, you can engage in it with lies.

When your propaganda is based on lies, that's disinformation, not misinformation.

I'll rethink my use of the word disingenuous, but it seems better than dishonest. I don't think calling the Ryan plan the Kill Medicare Plan is dishonest. But it does seem like repackaging, so for now I'll stick with calling it disingenous.

Please understand, I love this particular piece of disingenuous repackaging.

Anonymous said...

Through a purely coincidental set of circumstances I have been without cable tv "news" networks for about a month now. Has done wonders for my state of mind.
All the info is available from print sources without too much effort and I can decide to buy gold from anyone I want, not just Glen Beck's vendors. Gold and Cialis. There's a message there somewhere.

RJ

RJ