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Full context of Obama's "absorb a terrorist attack" quote undercuts conservative criticism

As you know, conservatives spent much of yesterday slamming President Obama over an interview in Bob Woodward's book in which Obama said that "we can absorb a terrorist attack." Right wingers from Liz Cheney on down insisted it proves that Obama isn't fully committed to defending Americans from terror.

But the full context of the quote, from page 363 of Woodward's book, shows very clearly that the criticism is thoroughly bogus. Before the quote, Woodward is discussing how counter-terror officials are preparing for a crude nuclear attack. Woodward then writes:

During my Oval Office inteview with the President, Obama volunteers some extended thoughts about terrorism.

"I said very early on, as a Senator and continue to believe, as a presidential candidate and now as president, that we can absorb a terrorist attack. We will do everything we can to prevent it. but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever, that ever took place on our soil, we absorbed it, and we are stronger. This is a strong, powerful country that we live in, and our people are incredibly resilient."

Then he addressed his big concern. "A potential game changer would be a nuclear weapon in the hands of terrorists, blowing up a major American city. Or a weapon of mass destruction in a major American city. and so when I go down on the list of things I have to worry about all the time, that is at the top, because that's one area where you can't afford any mistakes. And so right away, coming in, we said, how are we going to start ramping up and putting that at the center of a lot of our national security discussion? Making sure that that occurence, even if remote, never happens."

I have been unable to establish that Obama ever said this before, as he claims to have done. But even so, it's obvious from the full context that Obama wasn't being even remotely cavalier about the terror threat. As the additional lines I bolded above show, he was making the obvious point that history has shown us to be "strong" and "resilient" enough to survive a terror attack without American society as we know it being pushed to the point of collapse.

What's more, the fact that Obama then launched into a discussion about nuclear terror suggests the first part of his quote was a reference to a conventional terror attack -- which he contrasted with the far more catastrophic nuclear variety. He was saying that history has already shown that we can absorb a conventional attack -- but by contrast, we may not be able to "absorb" a nuclear one without it being a societal "game changer." And that's why it ranks at the very top of his list of security concerns.

If anything, this amounts to the direct opposite of being cavalier about the terror threat.

UPDATE, 1:08 p.m.: It turns out that in May of 2009 Obama did come close to saying we could survive another attack, though the formulation is a bit different:

"Neither I nor anyone can stand here today and say that there will not be another terrorist attack that takes American lives. But I can say with certainty that my administration -- along with our extraordinary troops and the patriotic men and women who defend our national security -- will do everything in our power to keep the American people safe. And I do know with certainty that we can defeat al Qaeda. Because the terrorists can only succeed if they swell their ranks and alienate America from our allies, and they will never be able to do that if we stay true to who we are, if we forge tough and durable approaches to fighting terrorism that are anchored in our timeless ideals. This must be our common purpose."

By Greg Sargent  | September 23, 2010; 11:17 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Next: Dear Dems: Grow a pair (part 973)

Comments

Uh oh, this is going to make our resident rightwing spam troll's head explode.

Eh, no big loss.

Posted by: nisleib | September 23, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Also see Dickerson at Slate:

"So what does the president put at the top of the danger list? A nuclear weapon or a weapon of mass destruction. Why? Because—and here's where the quote in question comes in—as bad as 9/11 was, the United States was not crippled. A nuclear attack or weapon of mass destruction, however, would be a "game changer," to use a popular cliché."

http://www.slate.com/id/2268072/?from=rss

Posted by: sbj3 | September 23, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I never bought into the the notion that a quote from a woodward book equates to indifference from Obama. Even if he actually was cavalier about an attack (which I don't think he is) he's smart enough not to let that get into yet another woodward kiss a tell tome.

I have no problem criticizing Obama when appropriate, but I think this one is a bridge too far. Further, he's right. We can absorb an attack of the nature we've seen thus far. We don't want to and the backlash from another 9/11 would be tough on the muslim community but we can absorb it.

I'd advise my fellow conservatives to cease and desist. This statement, IMHO, just isn't the red meat they're trying to make it.

there's plenty of clear and straightforward things to hammer Mr Obama with. Jack Welch has an excellent litany of them in his article today. here's the addy:
http://www.cnbc.com/id/39321858

I doubt Mr Reid will thank Obama for his slams about Las Vegas. There is a good chance those words will cost Harry his gig.

Oh well.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 23, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

As a rule, whenever Obama says "as I've always said," he is lying. It's a very reliable tell of his.

Funny how he said we are stronger now, when for eight years your party has been saying we are weaker.

But everyone knows terrorists don't have wmd. Clearly O is what you libs call a bed-wetting, cowardly right winger, trying to scare everyone about a minor threat. Minor compared to the domestic health care holocaust, for example, or the threat of domestic right wing terrorists.

Parodies of liberalism today virtually write themselves.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 23, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

And btw, no, the "context" doesn't help.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 23, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Why do Republicans ignore full statements?

This is about our national security.

At least react to REAL concerns, like nuclear weapons falling in the wrong hands.

It boggles the mind. This is a perfect example of the fact that the GOP cares more about GOTCHA politics than they do about the well-being of our country.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"If anything, this amounts to the direct opposite of being cavalier about the terror threat."

Conversely, the casual use of the terror threat for political purposes by right-wing hacks is, in fact, genuinely cavalier about the threat.

Posted by: TomHilton | September 23, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

skip, I don't think it's a great big deal, but I think it shows a more casual attitude than you think it does. We can absorb it? The 3000 killed didn't absorb it. They were killed. And the aftermath has been very damaging. Bush's attitude was, it absolutely cannot ever be allowed to happen again. Period.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 23, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Wow, that is some refreshing honesty there Skip.

Now apply that same intellectual honesty to other issues and maybe we can actually have a conversation about how to continue moving America forward in the best way for all people.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Who's bedside did Woodward visit for this book? Were they in a coma? Were they even alive?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 23, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

These Are The Greedy Hogs That The Republicans Want To Keep Pampering:

"Richest Americans Get Richer: Forbes 400"


http://www.thestreet.com/story/10869382/1/the-richest-americans-get-richer-forbes-400.html

"The richest Americans are getting richer, according to the latest release of the Forbes ranking of the 400 richest Americans.


At a combined wealth of $1.37 trillion, the 400 richest Americans saw their wealth increase by 8% over last year. The wealth level needed to make the Forbes 400 also pushed back above $1 billion; it had fallen below $1 billion in 2009 for first time since 2006. "

Posted by: Liam-still | September 23, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

"It boggles the mind. This is a perfect example of the fact that the GOP cares more about GOTCHA politics than they do about the well-being of our country."

We lived through 6 years of Dems playing gotcha, doing their best to hamstring W in his efforts to protect the country, pre-declaring defeat in Iraq, accusing him of treason, "made us less safe," "took his eye off the ball," "lied us into war," "shredding the Constitution," "spying on Americans," etc.

Spare us, Ethan.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 23, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Greg


This is a bunch of partisan lies - the CONTEXT is the Generals' recommendations concerning the Afghan war.

I stated clearly - the CONTEXT was the options the Generals were giving Obama in the Middle East.


A softer policy in the Middle East - the Generals said - would make US CITIES MORE VULNERABLE.


A stronger policy in the Middle East - would make US CITIES SAFER.


This QUOTE WAS OBAMA REJECTING THE REASONING OF THE BEST GENERALS AT THE PENTAGON WITH DECADES OF EXPERIENCE.

There is no sense arguing this point.

Greg - IF one of your family is in a TERRORIST ATTACK - AND A STRONG POLICY IN THE MIDDLE EAST COULD HAVE PREVENTED THAT DEATH - YOUR opinion would change.

I reject this partisan spin - as should EVERY REASONABLE AMERICAN.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Skip,

I read the Welch interview.

The only real substance -- re: the claim that Obama is anti-biz -- was this:

"Another example of Obama's anti-business stance is the fact that in the auto bailout, bondholders were "smashed to pieces" and "were called speculators," he said."

Of course, that is a ludicrous argument because Obama also demanded that the UAW made concessions as well in order to keep the system afloat, saving millions of jobs. Is Obama anti-Union too since he was forced to pressure the unions to take concessions? Again, it is really a narrow-minded comment by Welch, imho. The fact of the matter is that the Obama admin saved the American auto industry. Everybody took a haircut, but the end result is that the economy SURVIVED and is now on the road back to thriving, really for the first time in a decade.

Pretty weak sauce, imho, especially when taken into consideration the level of desperation and urgency needed at the time. Obama rose to the level, didn't play favorites, made tough tough choices and salvaged a massive chunk of our economy.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

skipsailing28:

I tend to agree with quarterback on this one -- it DOES go to the question of whether Obama is cavalier about the terror threat -- you sure that it doesn't come across as "we survived 9/11, so if it happens again, oh well"? I guess we simply "absorbed" the American Civil War too ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Greg


This is the quote from the WASHINGTON POST - CLEARLY placing the context in linkage with various options the Generals were giving Obama for Afghanistan


Quite simple:


Woodward's book portrays Obama and the White House as barraged by warnings about the threat of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and confronted with the difficulty in preventing them. During an interview with Woodward in July, the president said, "We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . .

________________________________

We ARE in Afghanistan - and the operations in Pakistan - TO PREVENT ATTACKS HERE ON US SOIL.

Let's not forget that.


This entire DISCUSSION was in the context of US OPERATIONS IN AFGHANISTAN - and how the LEVEL of US forces over there AFFECTS THE SAFETY OF US CITIES.

_________________________


I hate saying this - but I sincerely believe if someone had a relative caught in a terrorist attack - THAT PERSON WOULD WANT TO KNOW EVERYTHING WAS DONE POSSIBLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST TO PREVENT THAT ATTACK.

Obama is CLEARLY making a conscious decision to LOWER THAT SAFETY LEVEL SO HE CAN PULL THE TROOPS OUT OF AFGHANISTAN.


To pretend these are NOT the policy options is just a LIE.


The LIBERALS want the world to be one way - but REALITY COMES RIGHT UP AGAINST LIBERAL IDEALS.


NOW we are pretending that REALITY DOES NOT EXIST - AND WE CAN JUST WISH THE THREATS AWAY.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

FUNNY


HOW now Obama seems concerned about "weapons of mass destruction"

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Bush's attitude was "it absolutely cannot ever be allowed to happen again."

vs.

Obama's attitude "we can absorb a terrorist attack."

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

One thing you can count on from STRF, is that he will continue spouting his propaganda until he drops from exhaustion.

I remember when he claimed that HCR would NEVER pass, even when the minutes were ticking down, even when inTrade had it as nearly 100% probability. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER. "Intrade was being manipulated", he screamed, right to the MINUTE the vote was taken. What a putz.

STRF is what investors call a perfect negative corelation. If he screams the market is going up, go short. If he screams sell, buy for sure.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 23, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Immelt: U.S. Is Falling Behind in Energy

General Electric Co. Chief Executive Jeff Immelt said the lack of a U.S. energy policy and the "stupid" current structure of the industry are causing the nation to fall behind in new energy fields.

In sharply worded comments at an energy event in Washington on Thursday, Mr. Immelt praised China's energy policy and criticized the U.S.'s stalled energy reforms.

"The rest of the world is moving 10 times faster than we are," said Mr. Immelt in a speech at the Gridwise Global Forum. "That is going to mean fewer jobs, less energy security and a lot of other things."

[...]

"The nuclear industry is here because government supported it in the United States. This notion that government is not a catalyst in this industry has no basis in fact."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703384204575509760331620520.html

QB, remember our debate on energy?

You lose.

Immelt:

"This notion that government is not a catalyst in this industry has no basis in fact."

We NEED more government investment in clean energy. We NEED it. Moving too slowly on government investment into commercialization of new energy and energy efficiency means, "fewer jobs, less energy security and a lot of other things." I agree entirely with Jeffery Immelt. We are moving MUCH too slowly, no thanks to the GOP and their Drill Baby Drill bulls__t.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The bottom line is this:


Obama is purposely TANKING the Afghan war.


When the Generals told Obama repeatedly that meant that US Cities would be less safe - Obama's attitude is "we can absorb a terrorist attack."

CLEARLY, Obama's liberal agenda is MORE IMPORTANT to Obama than making SURE US CITIES ARE AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE.

NO amount of spin will change THIS REALITY FOR THE LIBERALS.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

qb, in reference to your high-handed "why don't liberals take conservatives seriously," and "please stare into the mind of the conservative and see the thought process," well, here you go. Your pathetic reasoning and reactionary response to Greg's post is EXACTLY why I don't take someone like you very seriously. And you're one of the SMARTER right-wingers commenting around here. I can't argue with you because there isn't any substance in what you're saying.

It's like trying to treat the pathological.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 23, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Joke, that's why your comments are such a joke.

You REFUSE to read what is in plain black and white right in front of your face.

It's just stupid.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Joke, comment on THIS:

"when I go down on the list of things I have to worry about all the time, that is at the top, because that's one area where you can't afford any mistakes. And so right away, coming in, we said, how are we going to start ramping up and putting that at the center of a lot of our national security discussion? Making sure that that occurence, even if remote, never happens."

Honestly. Can you READ ENGLISH?!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Greg I like you, however I have to say this line is a complete partisan lie

"If anything, this amounts to the direct opposite of being cavalier about the terror threat."

____________________________________

The liberals love to pretend there is no terrorist threat


But they always skip over Fort Hood.


They forget about the Times Square bomber, who almost killed over 3,000 people


AND just last weekend, a terrorist tried to place a bomb in Chicago that could have killed thousands.

NOT exactly sure why the LIBERALS always want to make NATIONAL SECURITY A PARTISAN ISSUE.

It never used to be this way - Americans used to demand that everyone be UNITED BEYOND THE WATER'S EDGE.

Anyway - the democrats are constantly trying to gain partisan advantage with the SECURITY QUESTIONS.


I find that kind of PARTISAN ACTIVITY OUT OF BOUNDS.


As is the statements above.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

STRF,

You might think twice about calling Greg Sargent a liar. Who will you appeal to to save you from the "conspiracy of liberals who are paid to defeat you", if you p*ss off our gracious host?

Not smart. Not surprising.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 23, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

STRF,

You might think twice about calling Greg Sargent a liar. Who will you appeal to to save you from the "conspiracy of liberals who are paid to defeat you", if you tick off our gracious host?

Not smart. Not surprising.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 23, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010:

Honestly, I can read English.

"when I go down on the list of things I have to worry about all the time ..."

Obvious LIE (see what SaveTheRainforest just posted about libs downplaying the terror threat all the time; don't you remember the backlash at Obama trying to move a terrorist mastermind back to NYC for trial?)

"... that is at the top, because that's one area where you can't afford any mistakes."

Yet, Obama has taked his eye off that ball, why is that?

"... And so right away, coming in, we said, how are we going to start ramping up and putting that at the center of a lot of our national security discussion ..."

Which is why his first Executive Order was closing GTMO within a year, right?

"Making sure that that occurence, even if remote, never happens."

You'll excuse me for not believing a word he says.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Woodward's book is something else - the ENTIRE book is the EXPOSURE of Obama's lies during the 2008 election.


If anyone had any doubt that Obama was WEAK on National Security, there is proof positive now.

Obama's statements on Afghanistan in 2008: ALL LIES.

Obama got into office and DID THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT HE PROMISED.


Obama repeated these lies during the debates in 2008.


This is just ANOTHER area of DECEPTIONS AND LIES FROM OBAMA.

Obviously, this is not going to show up in the polls right away - because so much of the electorate already expects Obama to deceive and lie.

This just adds ANOTHER WEIGHT TO OBAMA.

This is how it goes: voters think about the economy - then they re-enforce their thoughts thinking about national security.

This book is a MASSIVE BLOW to Obama.

MOST AMAZING - We don't hear from the liberals and from Obama that they are going to do EVERYTHING THEY CAN to stop terrorists - no we hear more quibbling.

A bomb


in Chicago


Last weekend


the terrorists


Are still out there -

Obama wants to pretend otherwise....


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

@Jake: Bush's attitude was "it absolutely cannot ever be allowed to happen again."

Really? I guess someone should've told Biggus Dickus. Here he is from 2002:

VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: The prospect of another attack against the United States is very, very real. It’s just as real, in my opinion, as it was September 12.

TIM RUSSERT, NBC News: Not a matter of if, but when?

VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: Not a matter of if, but when.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 23, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues:

Greg Sargant IS a liar, as are all the former journ-O-listers, although I was surprised it took them this long to get their stories straight on the Woodward bombshell, so maybe we are making some headway "Full context" my @ss.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

scat:

I know you may be confused about it, but Cheney is in fact a different person than Bush. Maybe you are watching too much television?

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

taked = taken (darn Spellchecker ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

There are two posters who accuse Greg Sargent of being a liar.

Anyone else?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 23, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line? Obumbler keeps importing potential terrorists by giving out visas to people in that part of the world AND allows >300k people to enter the country WITHOUT going through customs & ID procedures. By doing those two things it is IMPOSSIBLE for him to honestly care about terrorists entering this country. Period.

Posted by: illogicbuster | September 23, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we should all ponder the definition of a partisan:

a firm adherent to a party, faction, cause, or person; especially : one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance

-------------------------------
I, for one, do not wish to be a partisan. Further, I avoid engaging with partisans for the same reason that one does not try to teach a bull to sing. It doesn't work and it just irritates the bull.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 23, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

"Which is why his first Executive Order was closing GTMO within a year, right?"

You can't write an executive order to stop terrorists from getting nukes. Can you at least agree to that?

"Yet, Obama has taked his eye off that ball, why is that? "

First of all, "taked his eye"? What are you in 4th grade?

Second of all, what the heck are you even talking about?

You're just proving my point.

Instead of being serious about the country's national security, you are MAKING THINGS UP!

You are apparently UNABLE to be serious even with regard to some of the most serious issues we've ever faced, like nuclear terrorism. It's as sad as it is morally reprehensible.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

12Bar


If you have something to say about the topic, say it.


You have been asked numerous times to stop harassing other posters -

You have been asked many times not to try to provoke fights on the board.

Thank you.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"I know you may be confused about it, but Cheney is in fact a different person than Bush."

Are you implying that he was not speaking for the administration when he did interviews? Do you not believe that he played a large role in forming anti-terror policies within the administration? Aren't you upset that a person with such a "cavalier" attitude played such a large role in protecting this country?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 23, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

SaveTheRainforst thinks Democrats hate the troops or something enough to play politics with them.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 23, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

12Bar


Leave Jake alone - Don't try to start fights on this board.


You have started enough fights already.

If you have an opinion ON THE TOPIC - state it.

Otherwise you can go back to your girlfriend and leave every else alone.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

SaveTheRainforst thinks Democrats hate the troops
-------------------------------
No, STRF doesn't think. He spouts, he demands in ALLCAPS, he repeats with many, many blank lines, he whines, he hates,

but he does NOT think.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 23, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

THIS thread argument is what I was complaining about the other night, and what qb was responding to when he pontificated about liberals not "understanding conservatives."

Seriously.

The right wing commentators on this thread, with the exception of Kevin (am I forgetting anyone?), just don't live in a factual, grown-up reality. If you like arguing with them, fine, but I just don't see the point.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 23, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

"If you have an opinion ON THE TOPIC - state it."

Fine.

You are incapable of thought. You are not a human being. You are a spambot. That's my opinion.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

scat:

That's not a cavalier attitude, which Cheney PROVED through actions. Of course, he played a large role in making sure there was not another terrorist attack on U.S. soil for EIGHT YEARS (until Obama got into office and then we've had more). As for the technical, legal argument re: the Office of Vice President being part of the Executive branch, I believe his position was that the Constitution created a "hybrid" quasi-Legislative/Executive power that is separate and apart from either. You are aware that Vice Presidents are formally Presidents of the U.S. Senate and, as such, are in charge of that body and, if they want to, they can really get in there with the Senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better (rather than what Obama is doing)?

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"The right wing commentators on this thread, with the exception of Kevin (am I forgetting anyone?), just don't live in a factual, grown-up reality. If you like arguing with them, fine, but I just don't see the point."

You'd have better luck arguing with a wall.

Greg needs to ban the spammers, and he needs to do so sooner than later.

Posted by: nisleib | September 23, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

quarterback must be a Kevin Kolb fan -- he writes like someone who just suffered a massive concussion.

Posted by: Observer691 | September 23, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

You're right BG. Though I do commend Skip's post at 11:27 AM.

But other than that, it's like talking to a dog and expecting them to answer. WOOF!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Stanford Law is about to revoke Jake's alleged diploma based on his post of 12:32.

Posted by: Observer691 | September 23, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I could see the GOP nuking a city before the terrorists get a chance. Then they can invade Iran with "popular support."

Only after President Palin rounds up the "liberals" and puts them in re-education camps.

Posted by: Please_Fix_VAs_Roads | September 23, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Let's review the bidding:

Greg Sargent writes a piece debunking the accusation that Obama is cavalier about terrorism based on Woodward's book.

Greg quotes the entire context to prove his point.

Partisans on this thread call Greg a liar.

Partisans on this thread call Obama a liar.

Pretty soon, they will accuse Woodward of being a liar.

Partisans are NOT interested in having their views enlightened by more information, because the view is more important than the truth.

That's why it is pointless and frustrating to argue with them.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 23, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

The topic, for those who are really that dense, is whether or not the "FULL CONTEXT" of Obama's "absorb a terrorist attack" quote undercuts conservative criticism -- SaveTheRainforest, quarterback, and I argue that it does not -- your turn ....

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Of course America can withstand (a much better word than the idiotic "absorb," by the way) another terrorist attack.

The problem here is why in God's name would Obama say such a thing, particularly to someone like Bob Woodward.

It betrays a complete lack of comprehension of his role as President. He is not a Senator anymore, or an ACORN lawyer or a political commentator on TV. He is the President. And that is a thought that should not be expressed for the precise reason that it belies a tacit acceptance of the inevitability of more attacks on our soil.

There WILL BE another attack on our soil. It will happen. Hopefully nothing on the scale of 9-11 or larger, but it will happen. And Obama, if he is still in office when it does, will be rightfully excoriated for this remark.

And even someone as ridiculously partisan and myopic as Greg Sargent should be able to understand that.

Posted by: etpietro | September 23, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Good for you, Jake, you and two other conservobot trolls disagree with Greg. So no need to belabor the point. In fact, isn't it time for you to go get your free monthly food basket?

Posted by: Observer691 | September 23, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"The right wing commentators on this thread, with the exception of Kevin (am I forgetting anyone?), just don't live in a factual, grown-up reality"

And Kevin, our Mythical Reasonable Republican, hopes Sarah Palin becomes president. So there you go.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 23, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Greg, Greg, Greg...Greg.

You're so reality-based.

They'll have none of that in rightwingnut tea bagger land!

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | September 23, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The "entire context" is more than two paragraphs in a book and includes what Obama has FAILED to do since January 20, 2009.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues - It is pointless. It is like they've stuck their fingers in their ears and are YELLING nanananananan as loudly as they can.

I get that they like their ignorance and refuse to learn anything that goes against what the good folk at Fox News and hate radio tell them to believe. That is obvious. But their constant spamming of Plum Line comment sections makes it hard for those of us who actually enjoy informed debate to engage in said debate.

Usually I take a stance that we should not feed the trolls, but that really isn't an option anymore. They keep spewing walls of text up and that makes finding intelligent comments from this communities regulars a chore. It didn't used to be like that.

Greg either needs to ban some of these fools or just kill the comment section altogether.

Posted by: nisleib | September 23, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

While we are all pondering the wisdom of engaging with partisans, I want to bring up a related topic.

IMO, we all need to work to keep open minds in order not to become willingly ignorant. While it's easy to spot blind spots in others, it is harder to spot the same failing in oneself.

I think that moderates encompass those folks who are trying to keep open minds.

I'd be interested in anyone's reaction to this.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 23, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"your turn ...."

You're insane.

-------------

OT, turning back to reality:

Small Business™

As Keith Olbermann puts it, the Republicans have turned small business into a brand that has little to do with shoestring entrepreneurs or mom-and-pop operations or even the 500-employee companies that the Small Business Administration sets as the upper limit for "small." For the GOP, it's a handy propaganda phrase that helps to conceal the fact that ultra-wealthy Americans are ducking corporate taxes by filing the take from some phenomenally profitable companies with their personal income taxes.

All perfectly legal. And all part of the decades-long upward transfer of wealth that the GOP and its enablers would like to keep in motion. That's what's ultimately behind their effort to persuade people that failure to extend tax cuts to the very richest Americans will disproportionately hurt small businesses and undermine the economy and eliminate their capacity to create badly needed jobs.

[...]

As the Joint Committee on Taxation has reported, and even House Minority Leader John Boehner has conceded, 97 percent of taxpayers with business income would not be affected if the top two tax rates returned to their pre-2001 level. Among the 3 percent who would be affected are the 400 richest - a few billionaires in that group - and others in the ultra-wealthy elite. They qualify as small business owners under the ridiculously broad definition of the term even though they own highly profitable companies that are anything but small.

[...]

"Small business" owners of KKR, Koch Industries, CoorsTek, the Carlyle Group, Harrah's Entertainment and PriceWaterhouseCoopers are among the other wealthy Americans who would benefit from extending the top-level tax cuts.

Estimated 10-year cost of this grotesque rip-off: $690 billion plus $140 billion in interest payments to cover debt service.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/9/23/904477/-Small-Business

http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/09/13/gop-big-biz/

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I swear the Onion must have been reading the Plum Line comments section when it came up with this:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/man-already-knows-everything-he-needs-to-know-abou,17990/

Posted by: nisleib | September 23, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

@etpietro:

Yes, how dare Obama speak honestly to the American people, through Woodward. Doesn't he know he's a supposed to talk like every other politician?

Posted by: jaycane40oz | September 23, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

nisleib:

How can you think WE are the ones with our fingers stuck in our ears, full of "ignorance and refus[ing] to learn anything" when NO ONE here will even address the "full context" of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since Obama (allegedly) took office?

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't the one who was wrong about Presidential veto threats either ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

@nisleib,

I guess you haven't read my "background" posts, but I experienced STRF on the Fix, where he spammed until finally Chris Cillizza changed the software to ban him. Greg can talk to him about that.

I don't disagree with you, about the wall of silly text to wade through. In fact, I predict it will get worse. STRF was much worse on the Fix. He's holding back here so an to avoid the public embarrassment of being blocked. However, even than won't make much difference, since he will change his handle and just keep spamming. Pride is not a central value here.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 23, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

All, check out this video message to Dems, urging them to grow a pair:


http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/dear_dems_grow_a_pair_part_973.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 23, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

@nisleib: Absolutely hilarious.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 23, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Joke is worse than STRF.

I am officially setting my Troll switch back to IGNORE.

*clink*

Done.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"How can you think WE are the ones with our fingers stuck in our ears, full of "ignorance and refus[ing] to learn anything" when NO ONE here will even address the "full context" of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since Obama (allegedly) took office?"

It's very difficult to rationally discuss a topic with someone who lives in a world where the sky is cotton-candy pink and George W. Bush gave everyone a unicorn.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 23, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Joke - So you think it is a GOOD idea for a President whose party has strong majorities in both houses of Congress to threaten a veto? Because you never answered the question.

I still maintain it is a sign of weakness, I'm not saying, nor did I ever say, that it has NEVER happened, only that it was a bad idea and a sign of weakness.

Posted by: nisleib | September 23, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

12Bar at 12:39 writes

That's why it is pointless and frustrating to argue with them.


_______________________________________


This is a forum for CIVIL DISCUSSION.


YOU say you want to "argue"

Everyone has asked you to stop trying to start fights -


YOUR reply is you want to fight.

Please - go spend some time with your girlfriend and leave the civil discussion to others.


YOU do not want to discuss.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010 12:31 PM


That is not the topic.


Stop attacking others - concentrate on the subject at hand.


I know it is difficult for you - because you are wrong on so many issues.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

schrodingerscat:

Who are you referring to (since I don't think that the sky is cotton-candy pink and George W. Bush gave everyone a unicorn)?

nisleib:

It was not my argument that it was "good" or "bad" so I think you were asking someone else that specific question -- I simply proved that it had happened in the past when you insisted repeatedly that it had never happened (deja vu) -- as soon as you answer my question: "How can you think WE are the ones with our fingers stuck in our ears, full of "ignorance and refus[ing] to learn anything" when NO ONE here will even address the "full context" of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since Obama (allegedly) took office?" I will be more than happy to give you my opinion on veto threats.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse


Ethan and nslieb


By my count, you both are OVER THE LIMIT which defines "spammers"


So, you both are calling for each other, and yourselves, to be banned.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

JakeD2 12:32 PM


I believe the paycheck of the Vice President comes from the legislative branch

I believe one can say this - Cheney was a part of the National Security Council - and that is an Executive position in the executive branch - the statements Cheney made were as a spokesman for the administration.

However, I believe legally the Vice President is really a part of the legislative branch - the Constitutional role of the VP is not really executive at all.


The VP is really just a contingency.

.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Ethan you meet the definition of a spammer and a troll.


Nslieb you meet the definition of a spammer.


12Bar - meets the definition of a hostile troll spammer -


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

SaveTheRainforest:

I have no problem with any of that.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"... he was making the obvious point that history has shown us to be "strong" and "resilient" enough to survive a terror attack without American society as we know it being pushed to the point of collapse."

Right. Only to the point of self damaging hysteria, (abetted by neoconservative ideologues seizing the opportunity to promote their own stupidly over-ambitious, blowback breeding, Western hegemonist agenda).

Posted by: Adam_Smith | September 23, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Instead of admonishing "right wingers" for attacking Obama on this quote, you should be criticizing the WaPo for publishing the quote without providing the context needed to relay it's full meaning. That is a shameful practice for a reporter, but apparently as an advertisement for Woodward's book it is an acceptable practice at the Post.

Posted by: wmansir | September 23, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Reality Check:

Who did George W. Bush turn to after he finally realized that Donald Rumsfeld had mad a mess out of Iraq and Afghanistan?

Robert Gates and General Petraeus.

Those are the very same people that Obama is still relying on.

Right Wing Hate Mongers will stop at nothing, when it comes to smearing President Obama. He is using the very same Defense Secretary, that President Bush used, to turn things around, and he is using the very same General, that President Bush relied on to turn things around.

Right Wing Hate Mongers always want to have it both ways. When those two men were working for Bush, they were strong on national security, but apparently now, those same two men, must be weak on national security, because they are doing the very same work for President Obama.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 23, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

BG,

"qb, in reference to your high-handed "why don't liberals take conservatives seriously," and "please stare into the mind of the conservative and see the thought process," well, here you go."

Of course, you've completely misstated what I said, haven't you? I asked no questions like that, and said nothing "high handed." I proposed a hypothesis and asked whether you agreed or disagreed, in very nonconfrontational terms, that conservatives are better versed in liberal thought and can explain, for example, the case for Keynesianism and progressivity, than vice versa. I don't think liberals are at all acquainted with the actual beliefs or reasoning behind them of conservativism, but I never pleaded to be understood.

I don't think most of your comrades are capable of it, and I've seen no evidence that you have ever tried. I don't particularly care that you do or don't. I simply stated a hypothesis -- one I note that you have avoided addressing.

So you've simply twisted and misrepresented what I said. How am I supposed to take you seriously? Is that what you call honest debate? You ignore what I actually hypothesized and make up completely different words to put in my mouth. Shame on you.

"Your pathetic reasoning and reactionary response to Greg's post is EXACTLY why I don't take someone like you very seriously."

There is no less reasoning or substance to my comments above than in Greg's "reactionary" post rushing in typical fashion to conclude that the "full context" shows the "direct opposite" of the criticism of Obama. That's "reasoning"? To me, as I said, it isn't a great big deal, but there is a clear difference in attitude imo between Obama's comments and W's attitude.

And I find it a striking contrast to see Greg and all of you rushing to say how concerned and focused Obama was on defending against foreign terror strikes, particularly wmd strikes, when I've watched for years while everyone from Liam on this blog to Dem party leadersship pilloried Bush for going overboard and trying to "scare" everyone with overblown threats from abroad. Interesting to say the least. You have no susbtantive response to that, I note, just personal attacks.

It is also a fact observed and documented by others that when Obama says "as I've always said," he is almost always about to say something different than what he said before. And it is a fact that for years Obama and your party said into ever microphone and TV camera they could find that we were weakened after 911. Of course, that was when it was politically important to blame W for it, claiming that he "divided" and "misled" us and all that poisonous nonsense. But, suddenly, these quoted passages have Obama privately saying we are stronger.

I happened to find those comments more interesting than the "we can absorb" part.

"I can't argue with you because there isn't any substance in what you're saying.

It's like trying to treat the pathological."

Likewise

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 23, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

For those of you keeping score at home:

"I honestly can't recall the last time a President vetoed a bill when the Congress in question was of the same party as the President.

Can anyone provide an example of such?

I don't think it happens, ever."

Posted by: nisleib | September 20, 2010 4:57 PM

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/senate_dems_move_towards_vote.html

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

.

Reality Check:

Who did George W. Bush turn to after he finally realized that Donald Rumsfeld had mad a mess out of Iraq and Afghanistan?

Robert Gates and General Petraeus.

Those are the very same people that Obama is still relying on.

Right Wing Hate Mongers will stop at nothing, when it comes to smearing President Obama. He is using the very same Defense Secretary, that President Bush used, to turn things around, and he is using the very same General, that President Bush relied on to turn things around.

Right Wing Hate Mongers always want to have it both ways. When those two men were working for Bush, they were strong on national security, but apparently now, those same two men, must be weak on national security, because they are doing the very same work for President Obama.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 23, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@STRF: "YOU say you want to 'argue' . . . Everyone has asked you to stop trying to start fights - "

Don't do it . . . don't do it . . . don't feed . . . .

Ack! I can't help it. 12Bar doesn't start fights and nobody has asked him to "stop trying to start fights"! Nobody! Not one single person, except you.

I know, I know . . . don't tell me. Shouldn't feed 'em. Or get 'em wet. I know.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 23, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Actually, America can survive a single-city nuclear terror attack, no problem.

However, I DO have doubts about whether the REST of the world can survive a terrorist nuclear attack on an American city.

Posted by: ZZim | September 23, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Joke - Why would I care what you think? I've read enough of your posts to realize you have zero intellectual honesty, I could find out what you think by turning on Fox and Friends, why bother?

And go back to that thread, did you actually supply an example of a President issuing a veto threat when his party had strong majorities in both houses of Congress? No, you did not.

Posted by: nisleib | September 23, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not saying, nor did I ever say, that it has NEVER happened ..."

Posted by: nisleib | September 23, 2010 1:04 PM

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

(cont.)

"Jake - Dubya Bush issued 11 vetoes (and 1 pocket veto). His very first veto came on July 19th, 2006. (it was the stem cell bill you mentioned.) And yes, Congress was still in the hands of the GOP at the time.

I guess you were right and I was wrong about the veto threat..."

Posted by: nisleib | September 20, 2010 5:57 PM

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, ZZim. When Obama refuses to retaliate against such an attack, we will simply impeach him and make sure that he can never again hold any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues:

Please stop trying to start fights (it's not very lady-like ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"QB, remember our debate on energy?

You lose."

No, I remember you making an assertion about how the Obama U.S. Battery Corp. is a great example of government "investment" in "growth industries" of the future, and some sort of model of economic policy.

Let's try some logic here, Ethan.

""This notion that government is not a catalyst in this industry has no basis in fact.""

Can government be a catalys? Sure. Especially when it regulates in ways that make private development prohibitive.

But must it, and should it? That's an entirely different question. Understand? You might remember such distinctions as necessary and sufficient causes?

And, why are you suddenly quoting the pronouncements of a "super-rich" Robber Barron (or whatever the lingo of the day is) like Immelt as gospel? Do you think maybe, just maybe he and GE could have some self interest in getting government $$$ to play with? Where'd all that suspiciion and cynicism about the "corporatists" suddenly go?

I'm glad to see you openly argue, with Immelt, that we should model our economic policy on China and its central planning and "investment." But I and a vast majority of Americans don't actually want to emulate China or give Barack Obama our money to "invest" in whatever industries and companies "of the future" he and his crew think are the "right" ones. I prefer free markets.

"We NEED more government investment in clean energy. We NEED it. Moving too slowly on government investment into commercialization of new energy and energy efficiency means, "fewer jobs, less energy security and a lot of other things."

No, we don't. We need less, not more, government meddling, taxing, and intervention.

Am I supposed to say "You lose" now?

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 23, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Joke - You realize that those weren't threats, they were actual vetos?

But regardless, who cares? I still maintain it is a bad idea to issue threats when your party is in control. I know can't comment on that, it would be too hard.

Posted by: nisleib | September 23, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Greg for the entire quote from Woodward's book that gives full context to what President Obama was saying.

Not even a half-brained, concussion quarterback could see the difference once the full quotes are submitted.

Otherwise, it is just the same old propaganda that has been submitted daily with no regards to truth.

Posted by: ronhamp | September 23, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I'd prefer a strategy a little less reliant on money and more blood. Do you want a balanced budget or not?

Posted by: caribis | September 23, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

"Can government be a catalys? Sure."

That's all you needed to say, QB.

Thank you for agreeing with the basis of my argument. You are correct.

The rest is your typical ignorant, ignorable blather. But thank you for agreeing with me on the key point that government investment in science and technology is a catalyst for growth industries that create jobs and add to economic stability and, in this case, energy security.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

quarterback1:

Did you see the 1:08 p.m. "UPDATE"?

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter what this Democratic African-American-American President really said, or what he meant. It doesn't matter what his religion is; what his birth nationality is; or that he's a Haolie, Honkey or Hunkie; or what he believes about Islam, terrorism, American commerce, or Teeth Fairies.

Or anything else.

The only reality that matters to these Republicans and Tea Baggers comes from the wondrous reality of their parallel universe.

Posted by: paultaylor1 | September 23, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

The right-wing never let facts get in the way. Their way of life is to fear-monger. It puts food on their tables. What a miserable way to go through life.

Posted by: jckdoors | September 23, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Ethan,

That was deep. But not in the way you might wish.

You really don't have the capacity to understand economics. Obama could "catalyze" the unicycle industry with our money. But it would be economically stupid, like socialist policy typically is.

So you and Jeff Immelt are corporate socialists. Congrats on you self-satisfaction and your new bff.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 23, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

A president should never concede to the notion that we could absorb an attack. Obviously, we already have. But the focus should be on preventing, not minimizing, an attack. By articulating such a concession, Obama signals a movement towards complacency about homeland security, because - after all - we can absorb an attack, and thus what is the big beef.

This country has always set a zero-tolerance mindset about foreign encroachment and attacks on our soil. Let's not get started now.

What do we say to the potential dead? Whether 30, 300 or 3,000 - that they are expendable? We must prevent loss of American lives at the hands of terror, instead of sacrificing them as acceptable losses.

Obama says America is resilient. There is no resiliency in death. The life of each individual is precious and worth preserving at all costs by this and any president.

Posted by: garylloyd | September 23, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

paultaylor1:

You think that we believe the sky is cotton-candy pink and George W. Bush gave everyone a unicorn too?

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"Absorb?" What the heck is he talking about? We PERSERVERED! We MOURNED! We BECAME VIGILANT!

The "Absorbing" crowd gave up. They decided that America as we once knew it would be better off by voting an inexperienced person in the Oval Office simply because he can read words written by someone else well. He's a good reader. Big deal.

HERE IS THE "FUNNIEST" PART.

" As the additional lines I bolded above show, he was making the obvious point that history has shown us to be "strong" and "resilient" enough to survive a terror attack without American society as we know it being pushed to the point of collapse."

Well since that interview President Obama HAS changed American society as we knew it.

How many people have had their homes forclosed on since OBAMA took office? How many peopole have lost their jobs since OBAMA took office? How many more of our brave military personel have been needlessly killed because of his incompetance as the Commander in Chief and his REFUSAL TO LISTEN TO THE PENTAGON?!


Posted by: mssc54 | September 23, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

It is terrifying when Obama plays two-bit politics with terrorism.

Obama laughs about about many people he has put out of work; now he weighs the number of deaths that he and the Democrats can "absorb" and still get themselves elected.

Posted by: Jerzy | September 23, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

@BG Your description of Q.B. is precisely correct!

"It's like trying to treat the pathological."

Q.B. is nothing more than a pathological right wing reactionary. Shameful because as you point out Q.B. is one of the "smarter" righties. But he forfeits his intellect to blind partisan rants. He has never stopped his Pee Wee Herman technique..."I know you are but what am I"
Still whining that because SOME people spoke poorly of Bush that gives him the right to speak poorly of Obama even when his speech contains nothing but demonstrable ignorance.

I read a fairly long exchange between Kevin and Q.B. yesterday or the day before on the Morning Plum. That is when it truly hit me what an irrational ideologue Q.B. truly has become. It is a shame because again Q.B. is forfeiting whatever intellect he may genuinely have in his blind pursuit of right wing reactionary logic. Hard to believe he is an attorney but perhaps he deals all day with contract law and doesn't actually visit a courtroom.

Jake on the other hand...or as Ethan correctly refers to him..Joke is simply a dimwit. He can't help it that God didn't deal him a fully rational brain capable of critical thinking. He lives in his own parallel universe where he arrogantly believes it is his right to lecture his fellow Americans on their morality...the morality as Joke sees it.

@BG And so my final thought...one that you have truly brought to fruition with your observation...

"The right wing commentators on this thread, with the exception of Kevin (am I forgetting anyone?), just don't live in a factual, grown-up reality. If you like arguing with them, fine, but I just don't see the point."

Yes you are forgetting a couple...tao comes to mind...perhaps more...
but certainly Q.B. because of his own choices...Joke because of his lack of intellect have all joined STRF.
I don't enjoy arguing with losers and I agree 100% BG...there is simply no point.
And so this is my last post on the subject of the trolls. I shall simply skip their posts and let them yammer on to whoever wishes to waste their time on the loonies.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 23, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"Obama could "catalyze" the unicycle industry with our money. But it would be economically stupid"

Another correct statement.

2-for-2! I'm impressed!

Obama knows this. That's why he invested in growth industries -- like renewable energy and energy efficiency -- because the OUTPUT of that investment will benefit the country both economically and on energy security.

Since you've admitted that government investment can catalyze commercialization in the private sector, is your disagreement with my line of reasoning based on an assumption that renewable energy and energy efficiency are NOT growth industries?

Because if you admit that they ARE growth industries, and you couple that with your admission that government investment CAN be a catalyst in the private sector, then I really do not understand your point of view.

I understand that you are philosophically categorically against government spending, but if we spend $1 on the government side and get $2.50 back on the private sector side, isn't that worthwhile?

Or no, it's not worthwhile JUST because you happen to philosophically oppose government spending?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Translation of Obama to English

"will do everything in our power to keep the American people safe."

= "free prisoners fron Gitmo to commit terrorism" +
"bow to and appease terrorists in the hope they will like us more" +
"turn a blind eye to Iran's supply of IEDs to Iraq insurgents, funding of Hamas, and weapon grade uranium production" +
"keep our southern border as wide open as possible to permit every possible criminal to enter this nation, and dissuade states from closing this border by frivolous lawsuits"

Yep, one can't help but feel secure at the way this adminstration is handling the problem.

Posted by: Wiggan | September 23, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it all depends on what the terrorists use and where as to whether we can "absorb" it or not.

Right now millions of un-screened cargo containers arrive in the USA each year. The DHS is years behind in their Congressional mandate to screen them.

Suppose AlQaeda pus 50,000 pounds of PETN, or a small nuke, in one and simply drives it to a target.

We can probably absorb it if they detonate it at

The Washington Post
1150 15th St. NW
Washington, DC 20071

But what if 1600 Pennsylvania Ave is the target?


Posted by: pfwag | September 23, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

The ethnic politics can be bridged by a person of internalized values of integrity and morals. It goes beyond blacks voting for blacks or Hispanics voting against Anglo whites. What does the person stand for? Read what Obama said in his interview with Bob Woodward related to another terrorist attack on the U.S. Obama said “we can absorb it”. What kind of a U.S. President says that?

This is not a White House Hollywood drama like Rocky. Yeah, they can hit us again and we can take it. Instead a President of John McCain’s character would say, Yeah, they won’t hit us again because we will take them out. Obama is not prosecuting a war on terrorism; he has implemented policies of appeasement and we can get along with them.

The cancer of terrorism has grown with networks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq; and nations Syria and the Islamic Republic of Iran supplying terrorist groups of Hezbollah and Hamas. Terrorism has a strong element of Islam in its gene pool. Read the history of the Islam religion of the Muslim world.

Posted by: klausdmk | September 23, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Full context is so boring compared to "sound bites".

Too bad many in the media don't practice full context.

Posted by: rlj1 | September 23, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I believe the paycheck of the Vice President comes from the legislative branch

I believe one can say this - Cheney was a part of the National Security Council - and that is an Executive position in the executive branch - the statements Cheney made were as a spokesman for the administration.

However, I believe legally the Vice President is really a part of the legislative branch - the Constitutional role of the VP is not really executive at all.

The VP is really just a contingency.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest
**********************************

Where do you get this stuff? Have you been reading Cheney's argument on why he wasn't subject to the laws regarding the keeping of executive records? An argument that the courts soundly rejected as ridiculous?

Try reading the Constitution. It's full of lots of good information. The office of the Vice President is created in Article II, which is the Article that describes Executive Branch. The legislative branch is Article I. In Article I the VP is named as the President of the Senate (you did get that right), but his only Constitutional power is to break a tie. Any other power he has as a function of that office is created by the Rules of the Senate.

And his office budget is in the Executive, not legislative.

Posted by: WK437 | September 23, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Obama is merely stating the obvious: America can and already did survive a 9/11-scale attack, just as it survived Pearl Harbor, which killed a similar number of people. Poland lost 22% of its population in WWII and last time I checked, it’s still there.

Killing 3,000 people cannot “destroy” a country of 300 million, and to state that obvious fact does not in any way detract from the fact that killing 3,000 people is a horrible crime of mass murder and an act of war against our country.

It is far more adult and patriotic to stress our country’s resilience, and keep terrorism in perspective, than to inflate the danger of terrorism and be in a permanent state of panic. The latter course only gives the terrorists the power, credibility and attention they seek.

One of GWB’s many mistakes was to pump Al-Qaeda up into a superpower going toe-to-toe with America, instead of treating it as a criminal organization that has no hope of overcoming a democratic nation. He made them look bigger and us look smaller than we really are.

Posted by: tomscanlon1 | September 23, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

It's funny watching the liberal waterboys trying to cover for our failed president.

Last night the idiot in cheif held a fundraiser in New York. He could only fill 450 out of 650 seats and that was after the whitehouse put the tickets on firesale at $100 a peice.

Americans recognize a loser when they see one and Obama is a loser.

Posted by: robtr | September 23, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

...and so the republotards were able to steal another 24 hour newscycle using the old 'smear and fear' tactic...the media was "obligated" to respond to their bogosity...and more precious time, the only thing we truly lost, was wasted...at a time when it was desperately needed to solve bigger issues...

Posted by: BattleOffSamar | September 23, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama should immediately issue a retraction, and state what the rightwing apparently wants to hear: another terrorist attack cannot be absorbed. If we suffer one, the country will, as a whole, curl up in a fetal position and gradually wither away.

But Obama won't because he's not serious about terrorism.

Posted by: oldabandonedbeachhouse | September 23, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Who said " Bring them on"?

Talk about cavalier

Posted by: marioliggi | September 23, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Skip,

I read the Welch interview.

The only real substance -- re: the claim that Obama is anti-biz -- was this:

"Another example of Obama's anti-business stance is the fact that in the auto bailout, bondholders were "smashed to pieces" and "were called speculators," he said."

Of course, that is a ludicrous argument because Obama also demanded that the UAW made concessions as well in order to keep the system afloat, saving millions of jobs. Is Obama anti-Union too since he was forced to pressure the unions to take concessions? Again, it is really a narrow-minded comment by Welch, imho. The fact of the matter is that the Obama admin saved the American auto industry. Everybody took a haircut, but the end result is that the economy SURVIVED and is now on the road back to thriving, really for the first time in a decade.

Pretty weak sauce, imho, especially when taken into consideration the level of desperation and urgency needed at the time. Obama rose to the level, didn't play favorites, made tough tough choices and salvaged a massive chunk of our economy.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Uh - Please help clear up my confusion. Tell me exactly what concessions the unions made if any. I remember the bondholders getting shafted but I do not recall any cuts in benefits or wages for the union workers. Please enlighten me about the concessions.

Posted by: sales7 | September 23, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

"Absorb." Hmmm. Bandages absorb blood, pus, Peruvian "mummy juice" and other
products of disease, injury, and death.
Thus far, the U.S.A. has survived the Revolution, Civil War, Pearl Harbor, the
World Wars, 9-11, etc. But as surely as
we are conceived, we will eventually die,
whether by miscarriage or having lived a long, productive and happy life. There
are those who try to honor the meaning and value of each individual life, others play the parts of demigods who know how others
should live and die. Fortunately, this is
still a country proclaiming individual responsibilities and rights, whatever individuals make of them. It is sad to see these opportunities frittered away in pursuit of diversions such as electronic toys, celebrity worship, big-name sports, pointless partisan arguments, and the hot topic of the moment, whilst history-changing events are proceeding to unfold.

Posted by: vadata060440 | September 23, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

now this, boys and girls is pure unadulterated, double-rectified blather:

"Neither I nor anyone can stand here today and say that there will not be another terrorist attack that takes American lives. But I can say with certainty that my administration -- along with our extraordinary troops and the patriotic men and women who defend our national security -- will do everything in our power to keep the American people safe. And I do know with certainty that we can defeat al Qaeda. Because the terrorists can only succeed if they swell their ranks and alienate America from our allies, and they will never be able to do that if we stay true to who we are, if we forge tough and durable approaches to fighting terrorism that are anchored in our timeless ideals. This must be our common purpose."

It is just amazing to think that Mr Obama actually believes that if we try KSM in federal court the madmen who wish us dead will relent.

And, what exactly, are "durable approaches"? I have a suggestion: kill the terrorists. Right where they stand. Now. Death is pretty durable, n'est ce pas?

I gave him a pass on the absorb comment because I didn't think his opponents could extrapolate from that to indifference. I've read the replies from the conservatives here and I retain my position. But the above quote is just vapid, stupid, foolish and pointless.

Once again, does Mr Obama really believe that if we change our behavior the Mullahs in Iran will cease chanting "Death to America" every fricking Friday?

and yes, we can defeat AlQ. We proved that in Iraq. But we have to WANT TO. If we lack the political will to take the fight to these guys we're going to experience serial attempts at mass murder in America. the trend is obvious and Obama's luck at dodging these outrages has to run out some time.

Bush hung in there and defeated AlQ. Obama, IMHO, lacks the chi chi bongas necessary to fight that hard. We elected a weenie and by now everyone except the euro weenies knows that for a certainty.


Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 23, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

sales7,

What, is your google broken?

FEBRUARY 24, 2009

Ford Gets UAW Concessions Ahead of Rivals

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123540074568747921.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

UAW agrees to 'painful' concessions to save Chrysler

"Once again, our active and retired members are being asked to make extraordinary sacrifices in order to help Chrysler return to viability," said UAW Vice President General Holiefield. "In order for the company to have a sustainable future, all stakeholders will have to show the same willingness to contribute to the common good that has been demonstrated repeatedly by our membership."

Chrysler praised the UAW leadership for "their endless determination and perseverance" on the matter, and said it has the "utmost respect for the thousands of men and women who are an integral part of our manufacturing operations."

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/26/money.uaw.chrysler/index.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

yes Ethan, Did the UAW divest itself of the golf course it owns?

The simple fact is that Obama hammered the bond holders of Chrysler, who had a prior claim.

And he screwed the non union employees of Delphi. They got the shaft from your guy.

Mr Obama is just plain anti business. Just like you Ethan. A basic rule of life is to never attribute to malice what can otherwise be explained by stupidity.

so tell us, are you and Mr Obama, malicious, or stupid? Or some combination of the two?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 23, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

WK437:

We get this stuff from legal decisions, as taught in every major law school in the nation. Unless you are claiming that Walker v. Cheney (2002) 230 F. Supp 2d 51 "soundly rejected [said argument] as ridiculous" by actually UPHOLDING Cheney's right to keep those National Energy Policy Development Group documents confidential?

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1741-5705.00010/abstract

BTW: the Vice President also has power under the 25th Amendment, and his office as PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE is not in the Executive branch budget, for instance, H.R. 2918:

"Making appropriations for the Legislative Branch for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes. (Enrolled Bill [Final as Passed Both House and Senate])" allocated $2,517,000 for the Office of President of the Senate.

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c111:1:./temp/~c111X58HmD:e2441:

Keep typing, though, it's kinda funny to read.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Skip,

Read the articles.

I note your lack of sourced commentary, which means you have nothing of value to say in response to the two articles I posted on UAW concessions. You are just judging people with no facts to back yourself up. But what else is new? That's all you're good for, judging people based on partisan, fraudulent Limbaugh-based hysteria. So boring.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, I read the jack Welch interview. I was the first person to mention it here. It is a perfect reader's digest version of Mr Obama's economic missteps.

If the business world percieves Obama as anti success, they will take their business elsewhere until he's gone. Which means two more years of high unemployment, foreclosures and failure. Meanwhile our power and influence will wane and our advesaries and enemies will pounce.

This guy makes carter look like a genius.

Your stupid name calling simply demonstrates a lack of maturity. As I said before I am reminded of Spencer Ackerman of journ o list fame. Strong words from a weak man.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 23, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28:

We will keep trying to convince you ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

WK437 (I looked it up, so you wouldn't also accuse us of misquoting the 25th Amendment):

Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Just in case one of you need a Constitutional argument as to why Gov. Palin cannot be elected President (hopefully, she is just so I can see your heads explode):

http://www.concordmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080220/OPINION/802200400/1028/OPINION02

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 23, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Ethan said:

"Because if you admit that they ARE growth industries, and you couple that with your admission that government investment CAN be a catalyst in the private sector, then I really do not understand your point of view.

I understand that you are philosophically categorically against government spending, but if we spend $1 on the government side and get $2.50 back on the private sector side, isn't that worthwhile?"

For the umpteeumph thime, what you always fail to see is this: It is nothing more than an assumption -- one contradicted by the economic data -- that "we" can "get $2.50 back on the private sector side" from a dollar in government spending. The economy does not work that way. The government does not have any "new" money to spend. It only has money it taxes or borrows, i.e., first takes out of the private sector. When it does that, all it does is divert spending and investment to a use the government decides in its infinite wisdom is eonomically "better" than what the private sector would have done with it.

And it does not work. Central planning does not work. Socialism does not work. There is no actual "multiplier" to government spending, and the government cannot reliably "pick the winners and losers" in an economically efficient way. Think about it. If your theory were true, the government could infinitely "grow" the economy just by taking all our money and spending or "investing" it.

So the point isn't whether this or that industry is in someone's opinion a "growth industry." It might or might not be, but what is guaranteed is that the government will always have a worse record in picking the next "growth" industries than the free market will.

Bastiat wrote an essay on this long ago -- pointing out that what people do not see are the costs of government intervention. They see only the "benefits." You see the unicycles and the Obama "green energy" toys. But you don't see the other, hidden side of his taxing and spending, and you have no way to know what alternative and better growth was prevented from occurring by his diversion of money into his battery factories that could not survive in a free market.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 24, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

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