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This has been quite an election season.

By Greg Sargent  | October 9, 2010; 8:48 AM ET
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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"This has been quite an election season."

Greg:

It's OK being a Nazi-fetishist as long as you're a Conservative and, by definition, a Great American Patriot. IOKIYAAR.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 9, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

A very bright column from Eric Alterman on Fox...

"Fox News Channel is often described as a cable news station. On occasion, the words “conservative” or “biased” are attached to that description. But few dispute the journalistic orientation of the overall enterprise.

This is a mistake. Fox is something new—something for which we do not yet have a word. It provides almost no actual journalism. Instead it gives ideological guidance to the Republican Party and millions of its supporters, attacking its opponents and keeping its supporters in line. And it does so at a hefty profit, thereby turning itself into the political equivalent of a perpetual motion machine."

Eric goes on to describe the situation where four likely Republican presidential candidates in 22012 are on contract with Fox - and have declined to appear on other networks because THEY ARE CONTRACTED WITH FOX.

There's a lot here so read the column. Eric makes an analogy I've made here previously - the sham democracy that Italy now represents under Berlusconi...

"Again, I’m not exactly sure what to call Fox. It has more in common with the integrated political/judicial/business/media empire that is making a mockery of Italian democracy under the rule of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi than any American political or media machine of the past. And yet for a whole host of reasons, both financial and psychological, many in the media cannot admit this, thereby allowing Fox to benefit from the protections of journalism offered up by the First Amendment while simultaneously subverting their purpose."

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/10/ta100710.html

Posted by: bernielatham | October 9, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

"Gov. Chris Christie has stared down teacher unions, Democrats and his own education commissioner. But less than 24 hours after Christie terminated the multi-billion dollar Hudson River commuter rail tunnel, a Washington bureaucrat known for his peacemaking skills went into the Christie lair and persuaded the often-volatile governor to think it all over — or at least back off for a bit. For 14 days, anyway, the tunnel to nowhere is back to being a tunnel to somewhere."

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/10/gov_christie_ny-nj_hudson_rive.html

Will 14 days be enough time for Rasmussen to do the polling Christie needs to decide whether to betray his state for his national ambitions? Hey Chris-Chris! Do you think St. Ronnie got to be St. Ronnie by "reconsidering"? Heck no.

God save us from these Great American Patriots who don't give d*mn about anything except themselves.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 9, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

@Bernie Nice post on Fox!

My 35 year old son who lives in another city shared with me the other day that he listens to Howard Stern on the way to work and then switches to Fox.

When I commented...wow that's an eclectic combination he assured me that he doesn't pay attention to the "nuts" like Beck, Hannity and O'Reilly. In discussing the 2008 election he as a self identified "fiscal conservative" was frustrated primarily by two things.

1.)The awful ticket offered up by the R's
As he puts it...who could possibly cast a vote to have that *)0& Palin that close to the W.H.

2.) Obama was rock star who somehow rode his fame and popularity to office.

Wonder where that second meme came from?
Nobody had a problem with Ronald Reagan using his incredible skills to not only win an election but to govern. In fact much as I disagreed with his policies I found Reagan's avuncular manner to be a positive for our nation.."morning in America" and all that to brighten our mood after the Iranian hostage crisis and the OPEC oil embargoes that preceded him. He calmed the nation down, perhaps Reagan's greatest legacy. The same "rock star" popularity charge could be leveled at John F. Kennedy, and Bill Clinton. IMHO Carter, Ford, nor either Bush really measured up when it comes to charisma.

While I'm not prepared to suggest "charisma" as an essential qualification for the Presidency, for the life of me I can't understand why anyone would think of it as a negative. Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton, and Obama all have their flaws, but being charismatic and charming should not be listed as a strike against any of them.
Again...just sayin'.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 9, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

FOX NEWS is something new, that is true.

In all the years that I was growing up there were three networks and they had a monopoly on television news. All three networks used their immense power to push the liberal point of view at America, relentlessly. It was liberal news all the time and we had to take it. As a youth, I felt there was something wrong somewhere because I did not agree with the stuff most of the talking heads said. Sometimes there was a guy that I thought was making sense but he was always outnumbered by the other guys and they always shouted him down.

Those were the days when free speech was controlled by the liberal establishment. The monopoly was state sponsored and allied with the Democrat party, seemingly.

FOX NEWS is something different. It's not all liberal news all the time. It provides a different point of view.

Isn't free speech wonderful?

Posted by: battleground51 | October 9, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Battleground-

Care to elaborate on specific things you heard on the three networks that you didn't agree with? I'd love to hear specific examples where the opposing viewpoint (yours) was not given air time.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | October 9, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

"Do you think St. Ronnie got to be St. Ronnie by "reconsidering"? Heck no."

wbgonne you have nailed one of the biggest problems with our political system today.
Nobody in EITHER party has the courage of their convictions!

Before Bernie nails me for hyperbole..let me amend that to VERY FEW have the courage of their convictions. There are a few "mavericks" left...Dr. RON Paul as opposed to his son, Dennis Kucinich who says some wacky things but also gets a lot right...and Bernie Sanders an I. I'm sure there are a few more but nobody in a significant position. The original "maverick" has sold out like a cheap hooker that would even be below David Vitter's consorts. Watching John McCain drag his family name to one of the lowest points possible with his relentless pandering and flipping on the issues has been painful for me to watch. As a Vietnam Vet I feel sooo sorry to watch this man disgrace himself in the twilight of what WOULD have been a fine career.

In fairness to Obama he never campaigned as that kind of leader...he is OBSESSED with consensus building...admirable when you are negotiating in good faith, but a horrible flaw when half the group is only out for one thing...your "Waterloo"!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 9, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

ru said: "While I'm not prepared to suggest "charisma" as an essential qualification for the Presidency, for the life of me I can't understand why anyone would think of it as a negative."

It is a negative, and a big one, when the opponent has it.

The relevant oppo axiom here is: 'Whatever your opponents weaknesses, promote them. Whatever his strengths, paint them as dangerous or false.'

This aspect of Obama (earlier, Clinton) had to be attacked immediately and so it was. Rush's constant reference to Obama as "The One", for example, was designed specifically to invalidate Obama's charisma and to portray the broad citizen positive response to it as a sort of dangerous and irrational fervor.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 9, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

@ChuckinDenton Great questions for Battleground but don't hold your breath. His posts reveal an opinionated ideologue without any ability for critical thinking or explantion, and rarely if ever a link to back up his opinion unless it's the occasional right wing opinion poll.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 9, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@Bernie...Completely agree with your observations. It simply saddens me to see it work so well. While obviously prejudiced, I consider my son to be a thoughtful intelligent man and for him to be manipulated this way is simply depressing.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 9, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

@chuckindenton - You aren't going to get anything valuable from the fellow, I expect. He's parroting the fundamental premise of this new rightwing media structure - "our biases and our partisanship are ok, even necessary, because of liberal media bias".

This is what gives them license, they insist, to go full out propaganda mode (partisan, filled with justifiable misinformation, etc).

And the sort of claim Battleground makes above is typical - insistence that this (generalized and unspecific and unsupported) claim is obviously true. On the rare occasion where some 'evidence' is forwarded, it is almost always, "surveys show that X percent of reporters vote Democrat". When you ask them what percentage of newpaper or network owners vote Republican, they aren't interested.

And the real evidence points elsewhere. For example, if you go over the major papers in all US cities over the last four decades or so and check to see which presidential candidate was explicitly supported by those papers, Republican candidates gained more.

But good luck in your quest to have a conversation worth your time.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 9, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"But good luck in your quest to have a conversation worth your time."

AMEN!

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 9, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

@ru - to be fair to your son, there IS a danger that attends great charisma. I have a friend, a physicist who grew up in East Germany and who is a (rational) libertarian, who worried about this aspect of Obama as well simply because he worried about it in any potential leader who might have it (seductiveness). That's understandable.

But your boy does couch it within the framing pushed out in the propaganda from Rush et al. Don't worry. I was once considerably more rightwing than I am now.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 9, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Here is a UCLA study from a few years ago that attempted to detect and measure liberal media bias.

http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/polisci/faculty/groseclose/pdfs/MediaBias.pdf

Posted by: sold2u | October 9, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

@Bernie....Thanks. Indeed I too am a former conservative! :-)

Speaking of former conservatives and Reagan and such...one of Reagan's top economic advisors Bruce Bartlett is again pointing to the obvious flaws in the neocon arguments about our defense spending. It is an interesting read and again to all who haven't...please head to Amazon today to get a copy of Andrew Bacevich's terrific book..
"Washington Rules..America's Path to Permanent War"...it provides some great perspective to Bartlett's op ed.

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Issues/Budget-Impact/2010/10/08/Neocons-Talk-Deficit-but-Wont-Budge-on-Defense-Cuts.aspx

"It is little more than a façade to justify growing defense budgets as far as the eye can see, affordable or not. First, we are leaving Iraq as we speak and will be drawing down in Afghanistan starting next year… [which] frees up a considerable amount of military personnel. Second, anyone who thinks terrorists and pirates justify a $700 billion defense budget and a 2-million-person force (actives and reserves) has clearly drunk way too much Kool-Aid. These missions are important, but they do not drive anywhere near that number of forces. Third, …The U.S. has ample sea and air power to cope for decades with a rising China, whose economic pursuits pose a much more significant problem for the U.S. than their military pursuits."

The fact of the matter is that China spends half the share of its GDP on defense as the U.S. — less than $100 billion last year, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the primary source for internationally comparable data on military expenditures. That’s less than 15 percent of what we spent. According to SIPRI, the military budgets of every nation on earth other than the U.S added together would only come to 46 percent of the total. In other words, the U.S. defense budget is 54 percent of world military spending.

WE ARE SPENDING MORE ON DEFENSE THAN THE REST OF THE WORLD COMBINED!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 9, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Battleground, count me among those curious to hear some examples of how this "liberal" media pushed their agenda without offering opposing viewpoints. Was it their reporting on the civil rights movement? The atrocities in Vietnam? Watergate?

Right wingers love to claim the media is inherently liberal, but I was a kid during the 80s and I remember their fascination with Reagan. Even though my parents couldn't stand him, I got the impression everyone else liked him, just from watching tv. Iran-Contra is the only scandal I really remember them hammering him for. And these "liberals" were certainly more than happy to skewer Dukakis in favor of Bush Sr.

Posted by: SDJeff | October 9, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Credit where due. Rand Paul says cuts in defense spending have to be on the table.
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/08/contradicting-pledge-paul-defense/

Now, one never knows if he is saying this now to sooth the base that supported him and his father after his facile falling into the bosom of the Republican establishment or whether he thinks he might be able to actually bring this about within the present political regime he's aligned with. But the chances of that last are zero. He'll be crushed.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 9, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

@ru - I can't say I was ever a 'conservative' without lying through my teeth. But I did hold some notions in my middle years that would shame any good Bolshevik. I've done penance.

Here's Rick Santorum. Is he just lying? Is he just stupid as hell? Both?

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/08/santorum-bush-poverty/

There's an 'advantage' in holding the set of notions which maintain that 'liberalism' is the scourge of all that is good in the world - you can then go on to say and do anything at all without guilt so long as it hurts that Satanic philosophy.

Must run.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 9, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

"The relevant oppo axiom here is: 'Whatever your opponents weaknesses, promote them. Whatever his strengths, paint them as dangerous or false.' This aspect of Obama (earlier, Clinton) had to be attacked immediately and so it was. Rush's constant reference to Obama as "The One", for example, was designed specifically to invalidate Obama's charisma and to portray the broad citizen positive response to it as a sort of dangerous and irrational fervor."

Bullseye, Bernie. An orchestrated strategy from Day One. The Radical Right is hyper-vigilant and backed by almost unlimited money. It will take a lot of effort to beat them back.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 9, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

@sold2u Thanks for trying to bring some "scientific" evidence to the debate on liberal bias in the media. I'm not sure it showed us much however.

As a former broadcast journalist who looks at this much as you might view the financial sector here is the obvious problem with Fox.

We're not talking bias, we're talking out and out lying and misinformation. Every journalistic enterprise makes "honest mistakes". When these mistakes occur over and over again...well it's just misinformation.

Back in Battlegrounds day of growing up, yes we only had three networks. You could perhaps accuse Edward R. Murrow of liberal bias for his famous documentaries including his final award winning effort "Harvest of Shame". Murrow soon left CBS after that work to join the Kennedy Administration, obviously a Democratic Admin. So one could say...see he was a Democrat...or perhaps his bias influenced his choice of topics...but NOBODY has ever impugned Murrows actual journalism...HIS FACTS!!!!

Fox plays so fast and loose with the FACTS as to no longer have any genuine credibility. When you illustrate Beck's 9/12 march with video from a completely different gathering and even say it WAS the Beck rally...THAT IS A LIE!!! When you cover a Sarah Palin book signing but use video of one of her campaign appearances and "imply" that the large crowd at the campaign stop in 08 was actually the crowd at a bookstore signing...THAT IS A LIE.

In short...as Bernie suggests...Fox has used this tired debate about "bias" to justify their out and out lying. Bias is one thing...it can effect which stories one chooses to cover, the amount of airtime etc (all illustrated in your link sold2u) LYING is completely different. It is deliberate propaganda...not a bias but a DELIBERATE attempt to mislead. I could provide link after link after link illustrating this but the Fox kool aid drinkers would simply say ohhh that just the "lamestream media".

When an organization has 4 Republican presidential candidates on it's payroll, under contract, who refuse to talk to ANY OTHER NETWORK...how can they then call themselves "Fair and Balanced". That's literally become a JOKE!!! When they pick up a story from a noted gossip rag about L.A. spending a BILLION $ on jetpacks for their police dept..and it turns out to be bogus..well..when they are hoodwinked by Breitbart's gang repeatedly...that is not simply BIAS...it's distortion and horrible journalism from the simple criteria of reporting FACTS. The selection of of which FACTS to report can indicate bias...reporting incorrect info and using misleading file video is simply PROPAGANDA.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 9, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

One last... excellent graph showing the relationship between the Tea Party self-identifiers, Christian Conservatives and Republican self-identifiers.

http://blog.faithinpubliclife.org/2010/10/tea_party_and_the_gop_same_vot.html

Independent sorts? Not so much.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 9, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Bernie quoting Eric Alerman,
"This is a mistake. Fox is something new—something for which we do not yet have a word. It provides almost no actual journalism."

This isn't just misguided; it's an outright lie. And the fact that no mention is made of MSNBC proves beyond question that this is not a serious piece about the media but merely a typical liberal hit at Fox, who incidentally, is kicking the crap out of MSNBC and CNN.
---
"Instead it gives ideological guidance to the Republican Party and millions of its supporters, attacking its opponents and keeping its supporters in line. And it does so at a hefty profit, thereby turning itself into the political equivalent of a perpetual motion machine."

Replace "Republican" with "Democratic" and you'll have exactly the same screed some Republicans write about MSNBC. All except the part about "a hefty profit"---you see the left-wing view isn't selling anymore, so very few people actually choose to watch MSNBC (or CNN). During the 2008 debates, even some liberal pundits voiced their embarrassment over the blatant partisanship shown by MSNBC.

If you compare Fox's prime-time schedule with that of MSNBC (Schultzie, Chrisy, Olbie, Madcow, and Loonie Lawrence), it should be obvious while MSNBC's audience is limited to a very small group of idiots.
------
and from wbgonne,
"God save us from these Great American Patriots who don't give d*mn about anything except themselves."

I suppose you think you've made some kind of serious point. Christie is trying to be fiscally responsible. It's okay that you don't agree with him, but it's pretty telling that you don't even understand him. Of course you've supplied your own strawman motivations; it just doesn't mask the inherent ignorance.

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

@ruk

Not only Fox plays it fast and loose with the facts. Here is something I remember CNN doing before Fox even existed.

After the 1992 election, Ross Perot was still a name. He was invited to speak to Congress about fiscal issues and got into a testy exchange with Dick Gephardt. CNN ran a story on it and highlighted the Perot / Gephardt exchange.

On CNN, the exchange went (and I don't recall what was actually said, unfortunately)

Perot -> Gephardt -> Applause

The CNN editing made it look like Dick Gephardt put Perot in his place. I thought "this seems interesting" and went to CSPAN where they were airing a replay of the whole thing.

The actual exchange went

Gephardt -> Perot -> Applause.

Perot actually put Gephardt in his place, and the applause was in response to his statement, not Gephardt's.

Honest mistake? Sure, it is possible, but I doubt it.

Posted by: sold2u | October 9, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"Christie is trying to be fiscally responsible"

No he isn't. He is sacrificing his state for his own personal political ambitions because he thinks he's gonna be St, Ronnie Reincarnated.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 9, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Battleground-

Care to elaborate on specific things you heard on the three networks that you didn't agree with? I'd love to hear specific examples where the opposing viewpoint (yours) was not given air time.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | October 9, 2010 10:15 AM
-----

Not directed to me, but maybe I can help out. Granted, I don't think for a moment any minds will be changed.

I recall that the Swiftboat attack ads directed at John Kerry were paid political advertising. But efforts to rebut the ads were not carried in opposing political ads paid for by Kerry supporters. They were provided for free by the liberal media.

And please spare me the inane blather about how disgusting and distorted the ads were. Members of the military shown in the Swiftboat ads knew Kerry and were familiar with his service, something that no one on this thread or in the liberal media can claim. You weren't there, so you don't KNOW whether they were true or not. But the non-Fox media approach was almost universally to defend Kerry, not to examine the accusations critically and determine whether or not they were true. In fact, liberals were almost apoplectic because the ads were so powerful. Few seemed to consider the possibility that Kerry was staying out of the fray because he didn't what to get caught in some demonstrable lie while going after his critics.

I remember an interview Chris Matthews had with a swiftboater---I forget the name---whose service and decorations put Kerry's to shame. This gentleman had served in a swiftboat right next to Kerry's during one of the questioned encounters with the enemy. He stated that Kerry's version of events was untrue and that the group had not come under enemy fire. The moron Matthews then asked him if he HAD ANY PROOF? LOL. He was an eyewitness! And his account was corroborated by some of the soldiers featured in the Swiftboat ad.
I suppose Matthews was expecting a film to document the affair.

The charge was that there was some chicanery involved with some of Kerry's citations. Matthew's position was that the mere existence of the citations were all that was needed to prove their veracity.

Now contrast that with the non-Fox media's approach to allegations about George W. Bush's National Guard service. I think Dan Rather would qualify as a member of the Big Three to whom Battleground referred. You remember the Lucy Ramirez memo don't you? The unimpeachable source? The one that didn't exist? And you probably also remember Rather's insistence that we not discount the truthfulness of his story even though THE ONLY EVIDENCE WAS PROVEN FRAUDULENT.

I even remember his snarky reporting during the aftermath of the 2000 election. Hardly a model of impartiality or fair reporting.

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

@sold2u I have already conceded that "EVERY" journalistic enterprise makes mistakes. None have made the sheer number of mistakes that Fox repeatedly makes and none have created the consequences of Fox.

Remember before you leap here that while NBC is perceived as "liberal lamestream media" the WSJ is a conservative paper owned by Rupert Murdoch and is hardly liberal!

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, released last year, identified four frequently told lies about healthcare reform:

• It will give coverage to illegal immigrants.

• It will lead to a government takeover of American healthcare.

• It will pay for abortions.

• It will create "death panels" and allow the elderly to die.

According to the poll, Fox News viewers were overwhelmingly more likely to believe these lies than viewers of MSNBC or CNN.

http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/charleston/fox-news-pollutes-our-democracy-with-them/Content?oid=1309808

It's the 3rd point that proved to me how little Fox viewers REALLY pay attention to issues. Again how many times have we heard Obamacare= Gov't takeover=socialism=communism?

This is just absurd!!! We HAVE Socialized medicine in this country already..it's called the V.A. BTW it gets the highest marks, customer satisfaction etc of all three forms of healthcare in our nation.

We HAVE single payer (Canadian style system) in our country ALREADY!!! It's called Social Security.

And of course we have the private system.

Did Obama go for a V.A. for all proposal...literally socialized medicine and a government takeover. NOOOOOO!!!!!

Did Obama go for a Medicare buyin for all a single payer system. NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

In the end did Obama even attempt to gain an OPTION to buy into Medicare..or EVEN an early buy in at 55? NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

What he did was offer some common sense PRIVATE INSURANCE REFORMS with government subsidies for the poorest amongst us. In no RATIONAL way can that be construed as a GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER...by freaking defintion it is NOT SOCIALIZED MEDICINE.

Yet time and again Fox News watching cretins hurl these baseless charges.
And why do people enjoy Fox News so much?
Moron Brigade wished to conflate popularity with truth or accuracy..dimbulb!

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_do_people_believe_the_lies_told_by_FOX_news

Many people who watch FOX news are only interested in having their often hateful and paranoid views validated. To them the truth is whatever they think it is (or wish it was). Fear and hatred are powerful forces and FOX news does our country a great disservice by pandering to the misguided fears of the ignorant.

Unfortunately a lot of Americans do not understand the basic concept of our Democracy, don't know what's in the Constitution and are not interested in being part of a society where people are tolerant and respectful of each other. When "You're with me or against me" is the only philosophy you understand, real thinking can be an impossible challenge.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 9, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"Rick Scott's tax returns show Florida GOP candidate thriving under Obama"

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/10/09/101837/rick-scotts-tax-returns-show-florida.html


"October 09, 2010 08:46:52 AM

TALLAHASSEE — Rick Scott blames President Barack Obama for the nation's economic woes, but Florida's Republican nominee for governor is doing far better now than he did under the last year of George W. Bush's presidency.

That's according to Scott's last three years of tax returns, which portray a man who, like more and more out-of-work Floridians, earns no wages.

But unlike most of the state's 1 million unemployed workers, Scott earns millions from a long list of investments.

Scott's adjusted gross income in 2009 was $7.87 million, more than double what he made in 2008 during Bush's last year in office. Not only did his income grow under Obama, he paid less in federal taxes -- 13 percent -- than he did the previous year when Uncle Sam took 16 percent."

Posted by: Liam-still | October 9, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

@Brigade...As usual you completely screw the pooch.

The question directed at Battleground revolved around this post...

"In all the years that I was growing up there were three networks and they had a monopoly on television news. All three networks used their immense power to push the liberal point of view at America, relentlessly."

The question concerned back in the days of the Big three? You've just used ONE example from RECENT history revolving around a CABLE network not the big three.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 9, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

bernielatham wrote,
"The relevant oppo axiom here is: 'Whatever your opponents weaknesses, promote them. Whatever his strengths, paint them as dangerous or false.'"
----

I doubt that Bernie even sees the irony in this statement. The one and only thing Democrats are running on in this election cycle is that Republicans are dangerous radicals.

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Kerry was a decorated combat veteran. Max Cleland was a combat amputee. And you Great American Patriots were euphoric attacking them. George Bush was a chicken-hawk draft dodger. And Darth Cheney was just another sc*mbag eager to send other Americans to die for his greed. Those are your heroes.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 9, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

@ruk,

Point taken. BTW, I am not defending Fox. For that matter, I don't watch them. The only TV news I consume is Bloomberg TV which is usually on mute and running in the background. The only time I unmute it is when they are talking about a stock I care about or interviewing someone smart. I haven't regularly watched TV news since the early / mid 90s.

And yes, it was liberal bias that turned me off to it, and the emergence of the internet gave me a reason to never tune in again.

Posted by: sold2u | October 9, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans are dangerous radicals"

They are. And the country is beginning to realize it. Why do you think Gov. Chris-Chris is backing down?

Posted by: wbgonne | October 9, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"Obama was rock star who somehow rode his fame and popularity to office.

Wonder where that second meme came from?"

It came from reality.

Inability or unwillingness to recognize differences is an intellectual failure of the first order. Those on the left who refuse to acknowldge differences between BO and other Presidents and candidates to whom he is compared are guilty of a failure. There are differences between all of them, Obama was and is completely unlike Reagan.

Far more than previous candidates, BO ran not just on charisma or personality but on a deliberately cultivated image as a historically transcendant and "transformative" figure. He ran what was truly a campaign as personality cult. As clearly as he did not and does not believe in American exceptionalism, he believes in his own personal exceptionalism. That was the main theme of his campaign. Hillary didn't make it up when she mocked his campaign for this.

There was, objections to the contrary notwithstanding, a corresponding and remarkable lack of track record and substance behind the celebrity performance. When he started running, he had only been in office two years since he had been elected and said he wouldn't run for national office because he lacked the experience. When he went back on his word, BO essentially asked people to vote for the "hope and change" he personally embodied -- the unknown young candidate who had already written two memoirs.

He also benefitted from and played into the fascination of Americans with electing their first black President.

This is part of the difference between his "rock star" campaign and the "charisma" of a Clinton or Reagan. Clinton had been a governor for multiple terms, and Reagan had been governor of a large state. Regan was a national figure for years before he was elected, and spoke nationally for conservatives on issues for many years. Clinton ran far less of a celebrity or personality cult campaign.

As President, Obama has been personally divisive and negative in a way Reagan was not. Reagan never used his "charisma" to mock and divide with the bitter edge BO is so prone to show. It just wasn't his nature.

In fact, I think one of the more interesting contrasts between Obama and both Reagan and Clinton is that the latter two, for all their charisma, also had paradoxically insecure sides to them. Obama clearly has no doubts whatsoever not just about his adequacy but about his superiority and historical significance.

To claim this is all just a "meme" or false narrative is just an intellectual cop out.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

The question concerned back in the days of the Big three? You've just used ONE example from RECENT history revolving around a CABLE network not the big three.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 9, 2010 12:01 PM
---

I suppose the reason Battleground was asked for specific proof is that you all figured he had videotape (non existent at the time) of the liberal bias to which he referred. Bias is bias, and the Big Three is biased. Period. I gave you the evidence you asked for. CBS NEWS is not a "cable network", and Dan Rather was the face of one of the Big Three for years. Go ahead and deny his bias, for which I provided evidence. I'll eagerly await your denial.

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, I cast a vote to have that *)0& Palin in the White House, and I will gladly do so again.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

There you go again!

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 9, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

@Liam What's even worse about Scott and illustrative of the debate we are having right now with the fox news brain deads is that Scott like so many other REPUBLICAN candidates is HIDING from the media. After last night's debate with Alex Sink on the Spanish network hosted in Miami...Sink appeared before the media to answer questions...Scott ducked out of the interview and had Jeb Bush field any questions for Scott. When Bush was asked why he was taking the questions instead of Scott, Bush replied, "I don't know."

Scott waited until the last minute to release ANY tax returns. Wonder why?
His adjusted gross income in 2009 was $7.87 million, more than double what he made in 2008 during Bush's last year in office. Not only did his income grow under Obama, but he also paid less in federal taxes — 13 percent — than he did the previous year when Uncle Sam took 16 percent. His best year was 2007, near the height of the stock market, when his adjusted income was more than $13 million, of which he paid 15 percent in federal taxes.

And Scott and Q.B. are crying crocodile tears because we might let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire which would push marginal rates from up 3% to 39%. Scott doesn't even pay HALF the marginal rate! Geeeshhh!!!!

And here is the real corker for you. We freaking taxpayers get to SUBSIDIZE SCOTT'S FREEDOM OF SPEECH. WE GET TO FUND HIS ASTROTURF GROUP THAT FOUGHT ALL HCR TOOTH AND NAIL!!!!!

"But his biggest charitable deduction for a tax break in 2009 totaled more than $1 million and went to a group called Conservatives for Patients Rights, his tax-exempt political committee that fought Obama's federal health care overhaul.'

http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/elections/rick-scotts-irs-records-show-lower-tax-rate-and-higher-income-in-2009-on/1127024

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 9, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Kerry was a decorated combat veteran. Max Cleland was a combat amputee. And you Great American Patriots were euphoric attacking them. George Bush was a chicken-hawk draft dodger. And Darth Cheney was just another sc*mbag eager to send other Americans to die for his greed. Those are your heroes.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 9, 2010 12:06 PM
----

A totally moronic response that doesn't address any of the issues raised. Be honest now, wbgonne, did you vote for the legitimate war heros Bob Dole and Bush41 when they ran against the draft-dodging yellowbelly Bill Clinton? Or are you long on B.S. and short on real principles?

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"I suppose you think you've made some kind of serious point."

As you can see from all his comments, wb never has a serious point to make. He is an unhinged, ideological hater who would undoubtedly intern nonconformists to work and detention camps given the chance, since we are all enemies of the people.

That's all his comments ever prove.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Why do you think Gov. Chris-Chris is backing down?

Posted by: wbgonne | October 9, 2010 12:15 PM
---

Why did Obama back down on Gitmo and the wisdom of our adventures abroad? Sometimes people reconsider in the light of evidence. Something I'm sure you don't worry much about.

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't vote for War Heroes just because they are War Heroes.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 9, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Dan Rather was fired for reporting a story that was probably true. Sounds like some real liberal bias over at CBS.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 9, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Well Q.B released his usual amount of hot air...gasbag that he is...and Brigade rants on...but NOT ONE OF YOU has the ability to discuss the facts contained in my 11:58AM
post do you. Why don't you all do you normal point by point breakdown and point out the error of my ways.

@sold2u Thanks for engaging in a rational discussion. Because you are not an ideologue and work in finance this is why I pay careful attention to your posts on our financial system.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 9, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"an unhinged, ideological hater who would undoubtedly intern nonconformists to work and detention camps given the chance, since we are all enemies of the people"

OK, now that doesn't even make sense. Surely, you can do better. I'm out so take your time and give it your best shot.

Later.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 9, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"And the real evidence points elsewhere. For example, if you go over the major papers in all US cities over the last four decades or so and check to see which presidential candidate was explicitly supported by those papers, Republican candidates gained more."

The claim of conservative media bias is one of the great Big Lies of the left in the past decade. Rather than merely trying to deny liberal bias, why not go all the way to claim conservative bias! It's very Alinskyite or worse. The nearly monolithic liberal bias of the media in recent decades has been so well documented that there is no room for reasonable debate.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Obama did not back down on GITMO ... Congress would not provide funding. Obama campaigned on withdrawal from Iraq and expanding in AfPak. Where is the backing down on that?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 9, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Uncomfortable truth for the right -- Reality has a liberal bias.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 9, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"The claim of conservative media bias is one of the great Big Lies of the left in the past decade. Rather than merely trying to deny liberal bias, why not go all the way to claim conservative bias! It's very Alinskyite or worse. The nearly monolithic liberal bias of the media in recent decades has been so well documented that there is no room for reasonable debate."

Comedy Gold. Call John Stewart.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 9, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

kidding7, how is releasing tax info a month before the election "waiting until the last minute"? I know you don't like the whole concept of polling (this time around at least), but Scott looks like he's going to win.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

@Brigade "Go ahead and deny his bias, for which I provided evidence. I'll eagerly await your denial."

As I mentioned to sold2u arguing bias is a waste of time...it is largely in the eye of the beholder and quite frankly it's not really relevant. Bias involves things like "selection of which stories to air" "how much air time to give them" you know kind of like Fox news running ACORN stories endlessly. We could argue whether that's bias or not.

My point is not that Fox is biased. That's far to charitable and inaccurate.
FOX LIES!!!! THEY PRESENT UNTRUTHS!!! THEY DON'T STICK TO THE FACTS!!! IT'S NOT BIAS IT'S PROPAGANDA! Am I getting through to you yet?

Again perhaps you'd like to respond in a FACTUAL way to my 11:58AM post that had links and laid out facts sequentially illustrating not simply that Fox lies but that it has had a deleterious effect on the minds of it's viewers. i.e. You all don't know what the eff you are talking about much of the time or engage in absurd hyperbole like government takeover for a program that originally was a REPUBLICAN response to the Clinton HCR.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 9, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

A rightie saying there is no room for reasonable debate. Talk about irony!!

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 9, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne, I wasn't aware that Dan Rather is a conservative. You really think that he voted for Bush in 2004?

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

@clawrence12 "For what it's worth, I cast a vote to have that *)0& Palin in the White House, and I will gladly do so again."

And your side got their arses handed to you in a landslide. Are you over that loss yet clawrence12?

"but Scott looks like he's going to win."

No he is actually trailing by 4%! And if he has your support I'm truly encouraged considering what happened to your McCain/Palin vote.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 9, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Dan Rather was fired for reporting a story that was probably true. Sounds like some real liberal bias over at CBS.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 9, 2010 12:30 PM
----

Wow, you've proven your liberal bonafides in short order. The story was "probably true" even though there wasn't a shred of evidence to support it other than a fake memo. Not a lick of bias in ole Dan. That boy really knew how to check his sources. You sound like one of MSNBC's few viewers. Maybe even a member of the infamous 47%.

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Off to the gym all...have fun with the Faux News watching lovers...remember that means you are operating in a No Facts Zone! LMAO

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 9, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't vote for War Heroes just because they are War Heroes.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 9, 2010 12:28 PM
---

I would have bet on that. I guess that means that you, too, sometimes vote for chicken hawk draft-dodgers and scumbags---they just have to be Democrats. Makes all the difference.

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

In any event, Rather did a follow-up the week after the initial broadcast, remember? He interviewed the 86-year old personal secretary of Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, Bush's commanding officer in Houston. The elderly woman, a straight shooter, thought CBS's cache of Killian's memos were not originals, but she fiercely stuck to her guns that everything in them, all the bad stuff about Bush, was accurate.

Her evidence: she'd typed the damn things originally, and was Killian's "right hand" for years. (Bush's) presence was naturally a big deal because of his father's national prominence, and she remembered like it was yesterday.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jackson-williams/dan-rather-wins-big-round_b_242503.html

Kinda like that swiftboater you mentioned before -- she was THERE.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 9, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7, I am not shocked that McCain lost, so I am quite "over it" thanks for asking. Palin will get many more than 60 million votes next time around.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"• It will give coverage to illegal immigrants.

• It will lead to a government takeover of American healthcare.

• It will pay for abortions.

• It will create "death panels" and allow the elderly to die.

According to the poll, Fox News viewers were overwhelmingly more likely to believe these lies than viewers of MSNBC or CNN. "

I read all these assertions by ruk about the rampant "lies" of Fox and its supposed complete lack of credibility, and I just laugh. Get some information from somewhere besides Greg and Bernie and Media Matters for a change, ruk. He recycles the same crap over and over and asserts his opinions as indisputable "facts."

How many times have I pointed this out, that ruk doesn't understand the difference? Those "lies" above aren't "lies," ruk. They are matters of interpretation, opinion, and prediction.

First, note that the survey to which you refer was "released last year." Before Obamacare passed. Long before. The final bill was passed by Dems without their even having read it. Pelosi made her statement for the ages that they had to pass it in order to learn what was in it.

And yet, here is ruk, citing a survey from 2009 about what people believed Obamacare would be and what it would lead to, and calling those opinions "lies." Not only that but he attributes these "lies" to Fox rather than the people who answered the survey. I realize that logic seldom matters to liberalism, but really, how weak is that logic?

Even setting all that aside, look at these supposed "lies" themselves. Look at the second one: that Obamacare will "lead to" a government takeover. One can argue the matter of opinion whether it has already effected a take over. I think it has, since your party now claims I must buy insurance or be fined, and fully regulates what insurance I may buy.

But it isn't much of a secret that Obamacare is indeed viewed by its strongest proponents as only the beginning, as only a "down payment" or as laying the ground work for a full government take over. That opinion and hope has been expressed by liberals on this very blog, and it is the explicit strategy of the Obama's health care guru from Yale who designed the main outlines of Obamacare.

So it isn't a "lie," ru. Nor are the others. It's just ruk's opinion that they are wrong.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, Rather is also correct in his claim that amidst the so-called Memogate scandal, nervous CBS executives capitulated in order to "pacify the [Bush] White House," "appease angry government officials," and "curry favor with the Bush administration."

For instance, there was CBS' shameful decision in September 2004 not to run a previously scheduled, and factually solid, story done by the late Ed Bradley that chronicled how the Bush administration had misled the country into war. Bradley's in-depth investigation, had it aired in 2004, would have been the first by a major network news outlet to devote serious time and energy to investigating the baffling case of the forged Niger documents that were used as a pivotal propaganda tool in the administration's push for war.

But spooked by the unfolding Memogate controversy, CBS abdicated its news responsibility and announced that Bradley's story would not be broadcast. "We now believe it would be inappropriate to air the report so close to the presidential election," a CBS flack announced. So close? The election was six weeks away. And since when was it journalism's job to stay out of the way of current events?

Around the same time, the first presidential debate between Bush and Kerry took place. Immediately following Bush's dreadful, petulant performance, every flash poll taken showed that by overwhelming margins Americans thought Kerry had clearly bested Bush. Yet CBS News viewers were told the debate had been a tie. Even after CBS' instant poll showed Kerry winning the debate in a blowout, by 44 percent-to-26 percent, CBS' John Roberts announced that the televised face-off had been "as close to a draw as you could possibly come."

Just days after the debate, CBS owner and Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone announced he was voting for Bush, insisting that from a Viacom standpoint, "the election of a Republican administration is a better deal."

And keep in mind that in the wake of CBS' Memogate scandal, Bob Schieffer replaced Dan Rather as CBS Nightly News anchorman. CBS boss Les Moonves quickly breathed a sigh of relief, telling reporters, "The White House doesn't hate CBS anymore with Schieffer in the [anchor] chair." Moonves noted Schieffer was looked upon favorably by 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And why not -- Schieffer's brother is a longtime friend and former business partner of Bush's.

And, oh yeah, how do I know the story about Bush evading his military service is true even though bloggers and the mainstream media declared, in the wake of Memogate, that it was not? It's easy. Using Bush's own military records.

http://mediamatters.org/columns/200709250005

Love that liberal bias at CBS.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 9, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7 wrote,
"NOT ONE OF YOU has the ability to discuss the facts contained in my 11:58AM
post do you."

That's probably because facts are such a rare commodity in your posts.
-----
"Why don't you all do you normal point by point breakdown and point out the error of my ways."

Well, I'll take one:

"healthcare reform:
It will give coverage to illegal immigrants."

Of course the bill SAYS it does not cover illegal immigrants, but Republican efforts to include some enforceable mechanism to ensure this was defeated. Why do you suppose that was?

The law says I can't drive without a driver's license. But if the law did not require me to ever actually produce a driver's license, and there was no public or private record that such a license even existed, don't you suppose if push came to shove, I might actually drive anyway---if the need arose?


Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Yeah ... no one ever drives without a drivers license.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 9, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I ought to have predicted someone would note Groseclose and Milyo. As this piece notes, they were former fellows at a conservative think tanks and received funding (AEI, Heritage). Some conclusions from G and M:: Rand is a liberal organization and NRA "barely" conservative. Read more here:
http://mediamatters.org/research/200512220003

Posted by: bernielatham | October 9, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

pragmaticstill, that was what was so great about Dan Rather's rush to air the story. Even if it was true, he effectively killed any usefulness as a political point. Talk about shooting yourself on the foot.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

"Those "lies" above aren't "lies," ruk. They are matters of interpretation, opinion, and prediction."

Lies as defined not by RUK but by NBC...yeah I know part of the "lamestream media"

AND the Wall Street Journal...yes once again for those slow on the uptake...lies as defined not by RUK and not from some liberal elite like Greg or Media Matters but the RUPERT MURDOCH owned Wall Street Journal.

This is why debating you Q.B. is such a waste...you cannot even accept FACTS!!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 9, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Of course clawrence ... in the world of the right, political points are far more important than the truth. Thanks for making the point.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 9, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"The elderly woman, a straight shooter, thought CBS's cache of Killian's memos were not originals, but she fiercely stuck to her guns that everything in them, all the bad stuff about Bush, was accurate.

Her evidence: she'd typed the damn things originally, and was Killian's "right hand" for years. (Bush's) presence was naturally a big deal because of his father's national prominence, and she remembered like it was yesterday."

Not that you've embellished this load of garbage or anything. Pathetic defense of CBS.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

pragmaticstill,
"spooked by the unfolding Memogate controversy, CBS abdicated its news responsibility"

LOL. It had abdicated its news responsibility long before that.

"Love that liberal bias at CBS."

Oh, on the contrary. Rather and Schieffer are obviously both Republicans. Always have been. Campaigned for GW didn't they?

Say, do you have any information on Clinton's draft-dodging? Or was that all just a despicable lie? Does Obama's lack of military service open him up to charges of being a chicken hawk for doubling down in Afghanistan? And playing battleship in the bathtub and choking chicken doesn't count.

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"You weren't there, so you don't KNOW whether they were true or not" : Brigade:"

Well, the most infamous claim, "John Kerry didn't earn his Purple Heart, I know because I was the medic that treated him." is quite obviously a lie, because any injury during combat that IS treated by a medic gets a Purple Heart. That includes a very m onor cut caused byswliding your hand along a stretch of commo wire while diving for cover when a mortar round explodes in the area. ANY injury that a medic treats. The medic doesn't decide. If he treats, he reports, and the soldierbeing treated has his Purple heart and his extra five point veteran's preference.

Actually, every statement made by that bunch of frauds rang false to veterans who served in Viet nam but diodn't share those conservatives hatred of kerry. The Swift Boaters would tell you what they really didn't like about Kerry was his anti war woprk. And, by Republican Principles, if you don't like someone because he doesn't vote the way you do, say anything you want about him, whether it agrees with objective reality or not it is Republican Truth.

Refuting obious lies by a group supporting some candidate is what journalists should do. It IS news.

Refuting lies doesn't "restore balance" it corrects lies. Proving Republicans to be liars doesn't make the media biased, just, perhaps, zealous for the truth.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Since "political points" got Bush re-elected, you're welcome.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Yeah ... no one ever drives without a drivers license.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 9, 2010 1:03 PM
----

And there's nothing in the law that permits law enforcement to even ask for a license, right? You don't have to actually demonstrate that you are supposed to be driving?

Some people you just can't reach. Liberals mostly.

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Refuting obious lies by a group supporting some candidate is what journalists should do. It IS news.

Refuting lies doesn't "restore balance" it corrects lies. Proving Republicans to be liars doesn't make the media biased, just, perhaps, zealous for the truth.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 1:16 PM
----

Too bad then that most of the Swiftboat charges were not refuted and were thus not lies. Right? Did Rather "correct his lie?" Incidentally, aren't you the Fix poster who claimed that anyone who served in Korea during the last 60 years was actually a veteran of the Korean War? Like Mike Dukakis?

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"Lies as defined not by RUK but by NBC...yeah I know part of the "lamestream media"

AND the Wall Street Journal...yes once again for those slow on the uptake...lies as defined not by RUK and not from some liberal elite like Greg or Media Matters but the RUPERT MURDOCH owned Wall Street Journal.

This is why debating you Q.B. is such a waste...you cannot even accept FACTS!!!!"

First, it was an NBC poll, not a WSJ poll.

Second, the WSJ news pages aren't conservative. If you have some proof that the reporter who reported the polling is conservative or was edited by a conservative, I'm all ears.

Third, there is nothing in the article that says these are lies. If you've read it, you know that is true. And that means the only person lying is you.

Fourth, you really don't get it. It doesn't matter who says these are "lies." They are matters of opinion. As someone pointed out above, Dems claim that Obamacare doesn't fund abortion or care for illegals, but they blocked repeated efforts in ensure that it it wouldn't.

Indeed, DEMOCRAT Bart Stupak gained his 15 minutes of fame by insisting on, and then capitulating on, language to bar abortion funding. And that happened some months AFTER the NBC poll you claim shows that Fox "lied" -- a wild leap if ever there was one -- because people who watched it more often expressed that opinion. DEMOCRAT Stupak insisted that the proposal on the table months after the survey would allow abortion funding. Do you suppose he was "lying" because he watched Fox?

So, as usual, ruk's "argument" is so full of holes and falsehoods and non sequiturs that it is laughable.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

If there is reasonable suspicion, there is the right to investigate. That applies to driving without a licanse as well as improperly obtaining health insurance. Of course, there is no right for the toll booth operator at the turnpike to demand proof of a license ... right Brigade?

How far would you like to expand the police state? I thought you guys were against expanding government intervention in the market.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 9, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

@Bernie...Completely agree with your observations. It simply saddens me to see it work so well. While obviously prejudiced, I consider my son to be a thoughtful intelligent man and for him to be manipulated this way is simply depressing.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 9, 2010 10:24 AM
----

Earth to RU: could it be that YOU are the one being manipulated and that your son has stumbled onto the truth?

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

If there is reasonable suspicion, there is the right to investigate. That applies to driving without a licanse as well as improperly obtaining health insurance. Of course, there is no right for the toll booth operator at the turnpike to demand proof of a license ... right Brigade?

How far would you like to expand the police state? I thought you guys were against expanding government intervention in the market.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 9, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

pragmaticstill wrote,
"If there is reasonable suspicion, there is the right to investigate. That applies to driving without a licanse as well as improperly obtaining health insurance."
-----

Earth to an idiot: If I'm stopped at a traffic check, or because I have a tail light out, I'm asked to produce a driver's license. No "reasonable suspicion" that I don't have one is required.

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Sure Brigade, and you're going to be taken directly to jail, do not pass go, if you happen to have left your wallet on the dresser at home.

Then again, if you're in Arizona when you get stopped, and you happen to have brown skin ... all bets are off.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 9, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Are you off your meds today, Brigade? You seem unusually detached from reality.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 9, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

If you're having trouble affording your meds, Astra-Zeneca may be able to help. (I heard it on TV)

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 9, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"Actually, every statement made by that bunch of frauds rang false to veterans who served in Viet nam but diodn't share those conservatives hatred of kerry. The Swift Boaters would tell you what they really didn't like about Kerry was his anti war woprk."

Somehow I doubt that you speak for all of them. Also, Kerry didn't just to anti-war "work." He described American soldiers as war criminals and threw away "his" decorations as a demonstration of contempt. Maybe the reality is that the charges rang false only to those who didn't mind being called war criminals by him. But all that is somewhat speculative, since only you apparently claim to be able to speak for everyone.

And, btw, the medic's criticism was based on the circumstances of the wound, not its extent, and you didn't even quote him accurately. So you don't even seem to know the facts.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah ... no one ever drives without a drivers license."

You still don't seem to get that you were just making Brigade's point.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

quarterback, the very fact the we dare to disagree with them just proves that we have mental problems and are off our meds.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7

Just wondering what the definition of thread-bombing is.


Because I have been accused of just that - which is now supposed to be an offense.


Several others here appear to be thread-bombers too. Not sure if they also meet the definition of "thread-bombing trolls" or just regular "thread-bombers."

Just wanted to get everything straight - so when the accusations fly - we have a list going of everyone else who are up for the same offense.


Also - are you DRINKING today as well - yesterday you said you were BLOGGING WHILE INTOXICATED. Just wanted to know how much of this situation we have with you.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Politico has a fantastic article today on the Electoral College - and how the census will change the apportionments.


Well - Obama is set to lose 10 Electoral Votes from the States he won - as those go to the other side that is a swing of 20 Electoral Voters - the equivalent of winning a fairly large State - just from the census.


IN ADDITION - Obama pulled out of the campaign finance system - which ended up giving him a $700 MILLION TO $84 MILLION advantage which translated into far more ads on television.


Actually, with that kind of advatage in tv commercials, it is amazing that McCain got ANY electoral votes.


The bottom line is that there is NO WAY the Republicans are going to be caught in June and allowing Obama to have such an advantage in campaign finance next time. This time, we ALL KNOW OBAMA IS A LIAR - AND WHEN HE SAYS HE WILL BE IN THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE SYSTEM, OBAMA IS LYING. So the Republicans will be ready.


Obama is a liar.


You would think that the people running around for years complaining about Bush lied (once) - they would be more careful about lying.


ANYWAY - Obama is not going to have an easy time next time.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Do any of your arguments change the minds of even ONE voter? Can anyone here say honestly that he used these arguments, and most importantly the angry tone and name calling, to change ONE person to vote differently.

Recently, I have influenced two people to vote differently. If I had harangued and insulted either of them, it would not have happened. What I did was listen. I listened to what the person was ALREADY feeling and leaning, and just suggested one or two things that played into THEIR concern. The person made up his own mind, in his own time, without me telling him what an @#$% he is to think the way he does.

I wonder why people come onto these political blogs. Is this just a venue to blow off anger, in a way that polite people cannot do in person? Sometimes, I think the whole purpose of these blogs is to slam each other without having to face each other.

If we treated our friends and neighbors this way, they would turn and run in the other direction every time they saw us coming. Can you imagine wanting to have dinner with someone who tells you you are a stupid %$#@ because you voted for [fill in the blank]. That would be the LAST time I'd be around that person.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 9, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

“On the rare occasion where some 'evidence' is forwarded, it is almost always, "surveys show that X percent of reporters vote Democrat".”

What type of evidence would you find compelling, Bernie? Whole books and academic studies filled with evidence have been written about the subject. If you haven’t seen evidence that is compelling to you, it is almost certainly because there is no evidence that you would accept.

“And the real evidence points elsewhere.”

Really? Not according to, well, actual studies:

“Of the 20 major media outlets studied, 18 scored left of center, with CBS' "Evening News," The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times ranking second, third and fourth most liberal behind the news pages of The Wall Street Journal.”

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/Media-Bias-Is-Real-Finds-UCLA-6664.aspx

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeh Greg, it's been quite a paradigm all Wright, the strain and exhaustion is showing all the way to the top of the heap, and the perennial campaigner is losing his enthusiasm, as well as his faux-ful gang of advisooors from Chitcago. Looks like there is going to be a lot of 'has been' representatives without gold stars but big bucks from US trailing behind them, leaving DC, hard to be forgotten.

Posted by: RichNomore | October 9, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Scott, who determines the center? Matters, don't you think?

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 9, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Brigade:

“I doubt that Bernie even sees the irony in this statement.”

He rarely does see the unintentional irony with which his posts are so often laced.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

“WE ARE SPENDING MORE ON DEFENSE THAN THE REST OF THE WORLD COMBINED!!!!!!!!!!!!”

And thank goodness for that.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I just want to say that if there is anyone or any group we ought to trust to bring jobs back to America it is exactly those who have created the situation where millions of jobs have been exported abroad.

Trust the Chamber of Commerce.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 9, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Scott said: "And thank goodness for that."

Why?

Posted by: bernielatham | October 9, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Teh Fears, Bernie, Teh Fearrzzz!

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 9, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

ScottC,

NYT, LAT, WSJ, blah, blah, blah...

So where is your point pointed ...

...as if any of them are a bellweather, except maybe Peggy N., and the Kraut @ WaPo, they are either trying to keep the OX alive, while it gasps for breath, or waiting to share in the spoils after a mayhem demise.

Posted by: RichNomore | October 9, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

BG:

"Scott, who determines the center? Matters, don't you think?"

Sure. Read the description of the study and you will see how they defined right and left.

It is certainly true that if one's baseline is, say, views such as Noam Chomsky's, then one's view of the bias in the media will be effected by that baseline. That is probably one reason why Bernie sees a right-leaning bias where others so obviously see a left-leaning bias. It is no doubt true that the media, as left-leaning as it generally is, leans to the right of an extremist like Chomsky.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Or, the media "leans to the left" (arguable) because the left care about facts, while the right disdains them and prefers to make up its own reality. If that's not true of Bruce Bartlett, it certainly is for Angle, O'Donnell, and the other unhinged far right-wingers coming to the GOP fore.

It's also presumably a correct description of things from the perspective of Karl Rove:

"That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

There may be some truth to this, but its arrogance and assumptions subscribe to the "truth is relative" model the right so hates.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 9, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3, given how much the world hates us, thank goodness indeed.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Why?"

Because the primary function of the federal government is the protection of its citizens from foreign threats. The best way to ensure the performance of that function is to maintain overwhelming military superiority over all other nations.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"Teh Fears, Bernie, Teh Fearrzzz!"

I have great doubts about the relative sizes of military spending always cited by the left. I note that they always seem to come from far left organizations. And I doubt very much that they give anything like an accurate accounting. Do you really think they accurately measure China's military, for example? After all, we could probably save a lot of money by having our missiles and tanks built in China, where they build theres.

But in any event, when I see liberals constantly deploring the fact that we spend much more on defense than the rest of the world, it just drives home to me the lethal danger of ever entrusting power to them. Whether it is just foolishness or contempt for the country doesn't really matter, people who think this way just cannot be allowed to make our decisions.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

How uniquely bizarre and extreme is modern American conservatism?

"Climate change is perhaps the 21st century's biggest foreign-policy challenge," Hague declared in a New York City speech. "An effective response to climate change underpins our security and prosperity." The danger was no longer just distant thunder, he suggested, warning that the recent devastating floods in Pakistan heralded the sort of extreme events that will become more common in a warmer world. "While no one weather event can ever be linked with certainty to climate change," he said, "the broad patterns of abnormality seen this year are consistent with climate-change models."

William Hague is not a holdover from the left-leaning Labor Government that British voters ousted last spring. He's not even from the centrist Liberal Democrats who are governing in a coalition with the Conservative Party of Prime Minister David Cameron. Hague is one of Cameron's predecessors as Conservative Party leader.

His strong words make it easier to recognize that Republicans in this country are coalescing around a uniquely dismissive position on climate change. The GOP is stampeding toward an absolutist rejection of climate science that appears unmatched among major political parties around the globe, even conservative ones..."
more here http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/print_friendly.php?ID=nj_20101009_9888

Posted by: bernielatham | October 9, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues,

Yes BB, some people are the mud-flaps, some people are the mud-slingers, and some people see a glass half full and refuse to drink because somebody else wiser, wittier, and wealthier may have gotten the other half, somehow unfairly. Just saddens US to see a Mind Wasted like that. What ever you do, don't toss them a lemon!

<|: )

Posted by: RichNomore | October 9, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

"to maintain overwhelming military superiority over all other nations"

Exactly. Overwhelming. It seems impossible for liberals not to understand this, which is what is most disturbing.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

12Bar

Differences of opinion are differences of opinion.


You take everything personally - you are calling this person names.


Just because a person doesn't agree with you doesn't mean they are a bad person - or should be called names.


Especially when you are the one who is wrong.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues,

Try driving by Milbank's Left Shore-line Rough Sketch, sometimes We see an occasional up-tick there.

<|: )

Posted by: RichNomore | October 9, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"to ensure military superiority in the short term and economic, educational, and cultural ruin in the long term"

That sounds about right.

Thank god we're emulating Russia during the Cold War finally. But now instead of competing with another Superpower, we're just doing it because we're afraid.

You guys never consider what the cost is for "maximum protection." What are you protecting? Does that even matter to you?

Keep whistling past the graveyard.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 9, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

claw:

"ScottC3, given how much the world hates us, thank goodness indeed."

"The world" doesn't hate us. In fact the claim is pretty much incoherent. "The world" doesn't engage in emotions like hate or love.

If you mean to suggest that some huge number of people across the world "hates" the US, I'd suggest you probably don't have much familiarity with many people in the rest of the world. Your claim probably tells us more about you than it does about "the world".

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

JOE BIDEN THREATENS AMERICA


Joe Biden was off in Washington State trying to say that he is on the side of the middle class - after pushing the disasterous health care bill on the middle class - and figuring out a way to MAKE the middle class PAY for everyone else's health care.


..... and after Obama put a massive drag on hiring as a result of the health care - hurting the middle class


..... and after Obama IGNORED the economy for the last two years - because he wanted to do "big things" - an EGO DRIVEN WACKADODDLE WAY TO RUN A COUNTRY.


______________________


Anyway - Biden now says if they lose, they are going to "PLAY HELL"

Hasn't that been the complaint of Obama - the Republicans aren't playing nice with him - they are saying NO (because they disagree with Obama)


NOW Biden says the democrats are going to be obstructionist - EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT THEY SAY THE REPUBLICANS SHOULD BE DOING.


This is the problem with the democrats - all these things they say - LOSE THEIR CREDIBILITY AS THE DEMOCRATS KEEP TALKING AND DO THINGS.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

@Richnomore,

Thanks again for the advice. Your cryptic style is thought provoking to all of us, I'm sure.

When I started reading and responding to political blogs, maybe a year or so ago, I thought I would learn a lot. And I have. Thanks to many who took the time to educate me on topics such as the suffering in Louisiana due to the drilling moratorium and certain aspects of the financial world.

But what I've really learned is how angry people are. That has been a surprise to me. Political blogs are dominated by people who are screeching and pontificating on every possible subject, even when it is obvious they know nothing more than a quick google would tell you.

It's like finding yourself on the freeway, and every person, going in both directions, is determined to swerve around and cut off every other driver. Sometimes, this place looks like a massive car pileup, with each person growling "but, I'm right and you are an @#$%", even as it is clear they've all been outwitted.

I would be encouraged if posters here were a little slower to pull the trigger of anger and condescension (a more polite form of anger), and a lot quicker to ask "why" and "how does that work", and really mean it as a question. We would all learn a lot from each other and look a lot less foolish. I know it takes more self control, but isn't self control a hallmark of maturity and wisdom?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 9, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

BG:

"Thank god we're emulating Russia during the Cold War finally."

Very strange. What do you think we were doing during the Cold War?

And BTW, the Soviet Union didn't collapse because it attempted to maintain overwhelming military superiority. It collapsed because its economic system was ill-suited to the task. That said, it is certainly true that the more we move our economic system in a leftward direction (as you apparently desire) the less suited ours will be to the task as well.

"But now instead of competing with another Superpower, we're just doing it because we're afraid."

What are you afraid of?

"You guys never consider what the cost is for "maximum protection." "

I do, although the irony of someone on the left accusing others of ignoring the cost of a government program is palpable.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

[@ 3:43 PM on October 9, 2010 SaveTheRainforest, unable to keep from conveying to somebody else that there are Right people and there Wright people, moderately unsure whose side to take, chose lui-même, Pasted and Posted...:
12Bar
"Differences...of...Especially...is wrong...

."

BLOG-HOG

POLEECE

OFTEN

USE

TYPOGRAPHICAL

HYSTERONICS

AND

MANY

CAPITAL

LETTERS

OFTEN

TO

DEMONSTRATE

THEIR
AUTHORITY, WHILE, Trying to prove they think they are the mostest...

Posted by: RichNomore | October 9, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

@Scott - Your answer has brevity going for it but little else.

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

If you erase those other goals/purposes, then I suppose you'd be right.

Not much else to commend your formulation. Why not, for example, double present levels of military spending to really get superior? Why wouldn't half as much do the trick? Then there's the reality that if the US approaches its relationship to the rest of the world in the manner you suggest, other nations, not wishing to be dominated by the US, will (self-interest and all) be pushed to build their militaries commensurately. And why stop there? Why not bring the rest of those nations under a more complete domination? It's a jungle out there.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 9, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Scott, I don't really think irony can be palpable.

My honest response is that military spending has gotten out of hand and that we'd be better off finding a better balance. Reasonable people can disagree about that, but not if the standard is "absolute protection." We'll spend ourselves into poverty and mediocrity. It's true that the Soviets had a lousy econ system for such a competition, but it wasn't Marxism Vs Capitalism. It was State Capitalism versus western, market-based capitalism.

The left doesn't want no military strength, just one that doesn't turn us into a hollow dangerous shell.

I'm more afraid of the ignorant arrogance of the Teabagger crowd than I am of the likes of the underpants bomber. And if I get blown up on an airplane the next time I fly to Europe, I hope I haven't spent too much of my life in fear of losing it.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 9, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3, okay maybe that was hyperbole, but there are large swaths of uneducated foreigners (who do live in the world) who do hate us. Don't underestimate that.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

BG:

"Or, the media "leans to the left" (arguable) because the left care about facts, while the right disdains them and prefers to make up its own reality."

Ah yes, tedious, self-congratulatory liberal mythology. Liberals don't advance opinions, only facts. Therefore anyone who disagrees with a liberal is denying reality. Yada, yada.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

...maybe another way to put it, rain, is WE don't care what the meaning of is, is, neither what anybody's opinion of anybody's opinion is, nor what anybody's opinion is about anybody's posting style. So how about whoever is without abuse-worthy posts, let them cast the first lemon.

Let's just get on with it, and why.

Pardon me if I don't always beg your's or anybody else's pardon for what I think and write.

Good enough for the Founders, good enough for me.

I choose what to find interesting here, what can be learned, and what to carry away. Freedom of expression, no?

Thank you...

<|: )

Posted by: RichNomore | October 9, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"BG: "Thank god we're emulating Russia during the Cold War finally." Posted by: ScottC3 "

Good Reaganites might think so.

To maintain its apparent position as the other superpower the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics bankrupted itself and then fell apart. THAT is what the "Ruskies: did fighting their side of the cold war. At least a few of us knew while it was going on THAT it was going on,Ropberty A Heinliein in a late essay did an analysis of the Russians and came to the conclusion that it was mostly a very expensive front and that it was bankrupting the Soviet Union.

Apparently that is what the Conservatives want, for us to bankrupt ourselves ,trying to be the world's only super power. Luckily actually doing it would require that we pay far more taxes than we do, so the R's are willing to settle for big deficits and big talk. The Big Stick, however, is now not much more than a bamboo cane. Hurts when it hits but doesn't much impress the bad guys, who assume that if you need the cane you won't be all that impressive if you have to use it in self defense.

A REAL Big Stick would be several orders of size bigger than we have, at many orders of magnitude more expensive. We COULD afford it, and we COULD actually benefit from having an Army of 20 active duty divisions, 20 Reserve Divisions, and 20 Guard divisions. But the rich would have to sacrifice a bit, and Republicans believe that anything that expects sacrifice from their friends costs too much.

But talk is cheap, so they can stand on the sidelines and complain that the coach doesn't have a big enough team.

Pay for it?

(silence)

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

12bAR at 3:01


Your comment implies that if the person agreed with you, there would be no name-calling.


You implied that because that person disagreed with you that person IS something - often some horrible word.


Well - no, the person disagrees with you - that doesn't MAKE them transform into anything - they are just the same person.


It is you who takes these issues way too personally.


Meanwhile, Obama and Biden keep on making statements which cause them to lose credibility - shredding the credibility of things they have said over the past three years.


Which is it


___________________

Just like people on this blog - they can't start to define an offense which they themselves are ALSO guilty of -


It begins to make no sense.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

One of my fave conservative christian organizations is the American Family Association who, we might note, have held that AIDS victims ought to be quarantined and that Jews controlling the media are purposefully seeking to promote sexual immorality to destroy Christianity.

So little surprise that they'd assume Jesus would have let the Tennessee house burn to the ground...
http://www.alan.com/2010/10/08/afas-bryan-fischer-says-jesus-would-have-let-tennessee-house-burn-down-too/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed:+liberaland+(Alan+Colmes+Liberaland)

Posted by: bernielatham | October 9, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"to maintain overwhelming military superiority over all other nations"

__________________

Well, the last time we pulled back our troops and left everyone to be...


Hilter and Stalin killed 50 Million people - the holocaust happened -


And the US got caught up in a two year war that cost us hundreds of thousands of troops.


MAYBE WE SHOULD HAVE LEFT OUR TROOPS IN EUROPE AFER WORLD WAR ONE.


The liberals are INSISTING that we pull our troops out of the Middle East now - YOU DECIDE IF THAT IS A GOOD IDEA.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

@ ScottC3 - Problem being that for all but a very few nations, that is impossible. Belgium is not going to be able to muster overwhelming force against its neighbors. Possibly excepting Luxembourg.Hence, the need for multilateral arrangements. Do you think Belgium is more secure today or 72 years ago? Do you think Canada is insecure having a behemoth of a military to its south?

I'm not arguing against a robust American military. There are threats out there, though contention amongst nations has largely moved to other spheres. We don't want to be a dinosaur as there are others out there willing to eat our eggs.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 9, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

[@ 4:10 PM on October 9, 2010 clawrence12 Posted...:
"ScottC3, okay...Don't underestimate..."]

...OK clawrence, call somebody who doesn't appear to care much sometimes, like DHS, Eric 'got to know when to Fold'em at the airports, know when to' Holder'em in Ariz., and Mayor 'Never saw a Mosque that didn't bring diversity and peace on earth' Blumburgh, NYC Majior...

Posted by: RichNomore | October 9, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

@ ScottC3 - Problem being that for all but a very few nations, that is impossible. Belgium is not going to be able to muster overwhelming force against its neighbors. Possibly excepting Luxembourg.Hence, the need for multilateral arrangements. Do you think Belgium is more secure today or 72 years ago? Do you think Canada is insecure having a behemoth of a military to its south?

I'm not arguing against a robust American military. There are threats out there, though contention amongst nations has largely moved to other spheres. We don't want to be a dinosaur as there are others out there willing to eat our eggs.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 9, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans are dangerous radicals"

How does cancelling a tunnel project make one a "dangerous radical"

How does getting some union give-backs make one a "dangerous radical"

Obama's health care plan is BOTH DANGEROUS AND RADICAL.


Simple.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post. I got a Movable Type error and I thought that the post failed.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 9, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

ceflynline, I'd be happy to pay for the defense budget by eliminating social programs.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

“If you erase those other goals/purposes…”

I’m not at all sure why you think those “other goals” have nothing to do with protecting the citizens from foreign threats, although I suppose I should have included domestic threats, just to be thorough.

“Why not, for example, double present levels of military spending to really get superior? Why wouldn't half as much do the trick?”

These are certainly prudential decisions that could be debated. But the principle of maintaining superior military strength would still have to be fulfilled. If we could do so by spending half as much, I wouldn’t be unhappy about it.

“Then there's the reality that if the US approaches its relationship to the rest of the world in the manner you suggest, other nations, not wishing to be dominated by the US, will (self-interest and all) be pushed to build their militaries commensurately.”

And yet, experience proves that, er, “reality” to be rather less than real. Canada doesn’t attempt to build a commensurate military. Nor does any nation in Europe. Nor Japan. Nor almost any other nation in the world. In fact, quite contrary to what you say, many of them (including your own homeland) seem quite content to exist under the umbrella of security that US military spending provides to them.

Of course, if Canada or France came to really believe that US military dominance was indeed a threat rather than an enhancement to their security, they certainly would (and should) spend more of their own money on their own defense.

“And why stop there? Why not bring the rest of those nations under a more complete domination?”

Why would I want to "completely dominate" other nations? If Canadians want to have socialized medicine and anti-free speech laws, I couldn’t care less. Canadians can do any foolish thing they want to. I just want to make sure neither they nor anyone else can ever threaten the freedom of the US.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Sure Brigade, and you're going to be taken directly to jail, do not pass go, if you happen to have left your wallet on the dresser at home.

Then again, if you're in Arizona when you get stopped, and you happen to have brown skin ... all bets are off.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 9, 2010 1:49 PM
----

Poor soul. In my state one not only has to carry a driver's license but proof of insurance as well---in the form of a card provided by your carrier. If you leave it home on your dresser, it's sort of like leaving your seatbelt at home on your dresser: $100 fine. Rotten fascists!

I'm not positive, but I think if, as you say, "you happen to have brown skin . . . all bets are off." They'll likely just shoot you and leave you in a roadside ditch.

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

RichNomore at 4:08 PM


Please make two counts for me - count the number of my posts - and then count the number of posts by rukidding and several others today.


THEN count the number of posts by conservatives and the number by liberals.


I seriously do not believe the numbers will hold up your attempt to make a point.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Fairlington at 443

That means they are getting ready to ban you.

What did you do?


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues wrote,
"Do any of your arguments change the minds of even ONE voter? Can anyone here say honestly that he used these arguments, and most importantly the angry tone and name calling, to change ONE person to vote differently."
-----

I'm going to be very disappointed if I haven't convinced at least Liam to vote a straight Republican ticket.

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"Why not, for example, double present levels of military spending to really get superior? Why wouldn't half as much do the trick?"

How are these rhetorical questions an argument? Whatever we spent, you could always bracket it with "why nots" more or less. But this is just a cheap way to imply without supporting that the sum is arbitrary

You on the left ought to figure out and be clear about whether you actually support superiority or not. If you do, then you need more than some cheap questions to say we can have it for much less. If you don't, then most Americans wouldn't care about your opinion, and rightfully so.

"Then there's the reality that if the US approaches its relationship to the rest of the world in the manner you suggest, other nations, not wishing to be dominated by the US, will (self-interest and all) be pushed to build their militaries commensurately."

So we know the answer to the last question. Bernie simply doesn't believe the U.S. should maintain defense superiority.

Of course, most of the world -- those countrie with sane governments -- knows quite well that we don't threaten them and don't "dominate them." Indeed, our strength protect them.

"Reasonable people can disagree about that, but not if the standard is "absolute protection." "

Why isn't that the right standard? Why should we not seek to ensure to the greatest extent we can that we are protected? Keep in mind that this is not the world of WWII. Enemies can mount attacks and do devestating damage very quickly. We can't wait to build a military until after we are attacked.

"It was State Capitalism versus western, market-based capitalism."

Really, they didn't "really try" Marxism? Are you suggesting that true Marxism would have prevailed?

"The left doesn't want no military strength, just one that doesn't turn us into a hollow dangerous shell."

We spend a lot more on other things than we do on the military.

"I'm more afraid of the ignorant arrogance of the Teabagger crowd than I am of the likes of the underpants bomber."

Which is a good measure of your detachment from reality.

"And if I get blown up on an airplane the next time I fly to Europe, I hope I haven't spent too much of my life in fear of losing it."

You have plenty of fears, as your comments show. You live in fear of your fellow Americans. You just don't think foreigners are much of a threat.


Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Sorry guys -

I meant to say that World War II was a TWO FRONT WAR which killed hundreds of thousand of our troops.


My point is clear: Between WW1 and WW2 the United States PULLED our troops out of Europe and did not participate in adequate security guarantees for the region.


NOW ALL THE LIBERALS ARE SCREAMING WE SHOULD LEAVE THE MIDDLE EAST - IT IS THE END OF WW1 ALL OVER AGAIN.

Last time, 50 MILLION PEOPLE WERE KILLED AS A RESULT OF THAT BONE-HEADED IDEA.


I am against leaving the Middle East - I say we take the difficult road of working with the nations in the region to make sure that adequate security guarantees are in place for the region.

This Obama disagrees - and it MAKES OBAMA DANGEROUS.


Obama is setting the stage for ANOTHER 50 MILLION PEOPLE TO DIE.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

BG:

“I don't really think irony can be palpable.”

I felt it. (BTW, “palpable irony” is a fairly common phrase.)

“We'll spend ourselves into poverty and mediocrity.”

We just may well, but if we do it won’t be because of military spending.

“It was State Capitalism versus western, market-based capitalism.”

I have no idea what “state capitalism” could mean. Sounds to me like some kind of leftish terminology designed to taint certain (presumably unacceptable) impure socialist systems with the stigma of being capitalist, despite the fact that they aren’t in fact capitalist at all. Just a guess, admittedly.

“I'm more afraid of the ignorant arrogance of the Teabagger crowd…”

Well then what were you talking about when you said that “we” were doing something because we were afraid?

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

SaveTheRainforest, I knew what you were referring to. Hopefully, we can get Obama out before there's any permanent damage inflicted.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

What is the difference between what Obama is doing and MANSLAUGHTER.

You don't actually have to pull the trigger to be guilty of manslaugter.


It would be a useful exercise to debate if pulling our troops out of the Middle East was manslaughter or not.

The period between the wars could be used as an example.

How many people will DIE when we leave???

The Oil nations in the Middle East should be BILLED for the security of the region - it is THAT SIMPLE.

It is an interesting moral dilemma.

One point which would come up - the American political system values the lives of our troops more than the lives of civilians in the Middle East.


However, how can that be a moral position? The only moral position is that every life should be valued equally.


Thank you -


I'm sure the next argument will be that Bush killed so many civilians in Iraq - and how could that have POSSIBLY REDUCED the total amount of deaths over-all.


Well - anyway - that is the debate.


I take the position that STARTING FROM NOW- pulling out our troops IS IMMORAL - BECAUSE IT IS VIRTUALLY CERTAIN TO LEAD TO THE MANSLAUGHTER OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

What is the difference between what Obama is doing and MANSLAUGHTER.

You don't actually have to pull the trigger to be guilty of manslaugter.


It would be a useful exercise to debate if pulling our troops out of the Middle East was manslaughter or not.

The period between the wars could be used as an example.

How many people will DIE when we leave???

The Oil nations in the Middle East should be BILLED for the security of the region - it is THAT SIMPLE.

It is an interesting moral dilemma.

One point which would come up - the American political system values the lives of our troops more than the lives of civilians in the Middle East.


However, how can that be a moral position? The only moral position is that every life should be valued equally.


Thank you -


I'm sure the next argument will be that Bush killed so many civilians in Iraq - and how could that have POSSIBLY REDUCED the total amount of deaths over-all.


Well - anyway - that is the debate.


I take the position that STARTING FROM NOW- pulling out our troops IS IMMORAL - BECAUSE IT IS VIRTUALLY CERTAIN TO LEAD TO THE MANSLAUGHTER OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Now this really really pisses me off...
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/running-for-cover.html

Nobody comes out looking good here except Sherrod.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 9, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Fairlingtonblade:

“Problem being that for all but a very few nations, that is impossible.”

Yes, but it isn’t for us.

“Do you think Belgium is more secure today or 72 years ago?”

Today, precisely because of the military dominance that the US.

“Do you think Canada is insecure having a behemoth of a military to its south?”

No, precisely because that military behemoth is the US.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Jesus, qb, your arguments are just getting worse and worse.

This is my favorite: "We spend a lot more on other things than we do on the military."

And no, the Soviet Union wasn't a Marxist utopia. You don't know what you're talking about, obviously, as you skim the surface of political economy and make generalizations that don't add up to anything.

Put your chips on Absolute Protection. Let the rest of us get on with our lives.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 9, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

bernielatham wrote (or rather cut and pasted),
'"Climate change is perhaps the 21st century's biggest foreign-policy challenge," Hague declared in a New York City speech. "An effective response to climate change underpins our security and prosperity." The danger was no longer just distant thunder, he suggested, warning that the recent devastating floods in Pakistan heralded the sort of extreme events that will become more common in a warmer world.'
-----

I don't think you see the bigger picture. Yes, climate change is perhaps the biggest foreign policy-challenge we face in the 21st century. Yes, an effective response to climate change underpins our security.

I seem to have misplaced the link, but a study from the Cheney Institute demonstrates conclusively that climate change will take the place of our nuclear arsenal. "The recent devastating floods in Pakistan" did not just "herald" an extreme event, they were actually part of a test---sort of like White Sands and Bikini Island. The future of Pakistan and Iran, unbeknownst to leaders there, holds a flood of near Noachian proportion. And the environment will be just fine after the waters recede and all the people have drowned.

You did want to be taken seriously, right?

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"ceflynline, I'd be happy to pay for the defense budget by eliminating social programs. Posted by: clawrence12"

You can eliminate the entire non defense budget and not pay for the fiscal mess our militarists have already gotten us into. To get the Superpower status you want would require more than tripling our budget and turning it all over to the Pentagon. JUST that sixty division Army would be ten or more times as expensive as the ten division Army we now have. And a Reaganite 600 ship Navy, with four battle ships and fourteen attack carrier groups active?

Just the fact that you have so little understanding of just how the budget is constituted disqualifies you from being taken seriously in this. And you obviously haven't the foggiest of just how big, or how constituted your Superpower Military would have to be to do the job you want done.

In fact, I sort of wonder if you can even properly constitute a full Army Corps, or guess where to look to find out how you do it.

Talk is cheap and ignorance is usually expensive for the party that depends on the ignorant.

Demonstrate some real understanding of what an Army looks like and maybe you get a cred or two.

Right now you have no credibility at all.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

The left views the U.S. as the problem in, and threat to the rest of, the world. This thread just demonstrates it again.

They should never, ever be trusted with power.

(Did that sound Ethan-like? Or not strident enough?)

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

It looks like Gallup is trying to outdo Rasmussen with it's Dem disaster predictions. I suspect Gallup has been compromised by FOX and/or THE TEA PARTY. Those rascals are taking over the world.

"Gallup’s recent modeling of the vote for Congress finds 54% of likely voters identifying themselves as politically conservative, while moderates are in conspicuously short supply compared with recent midterms. Also, Republicans make up a larger share of the electorate in Gallup’s initial 2010 likely voter pool — greater than their 1994 share — than do Democrats, and the gap is even more pronounced once the leanings of independents are taken into account". …

Seems like a whole lotta those former "moderates" have drifted to the right.

Is Gallup dreaming this stuff up??

Posted by: battleground51 | October 9, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

In fact, I sort of wonder if you can even properly constitute a full Army Corps, or guess where to look to find out how you do it.
------------------------------
I'll admit it. I don't know what properly constitutes a full Army Corps. What is it? I could stand to be educated on this, even if no one else is.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 9, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"Barbarians At The Gate

It's no secret that American conservatism has run itself off the rails just as it is poised to come to (legislative) power. Merely to list or categorize the self-evidently idiotic contentions one routinely hears from its most esteemed representatives could fill this magazine. And we all know about the role that talk-radio, cable television and the many-tentacled Murdoch empire have played in spreading hate and purposeful misinformation. What has frequently gone unremarked, however, is the mainstream media's role in empowering this bizarre barrage of BS..."

more here http://www.thenation.com/article/155222/barbarians-gate

Posted by: bernielatham | October 9, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

qb:

"Did that sound Ethan-like?"

Well, the absence of ALL CAPS and multiple exclamation points really detracts from the effect.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Barbarians At The Gate"

And this differs from the "propaganda" that NR allegedly engages is how exactly? (Apart from the fact that Bernie agrees with what The Nation says and disagrees with what NR says.)

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

ceflynline, we already are the sole world superpower, so I am speaking about the current $700 billion defense budget, not your imaginary evil-conservative $700 trillion defense budget.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

A normal Army Corps consists of three divisions plus support units that get constituted at Corps level. That means special transport, engineer, artillery, and intelligence units plus personel, finance, quatermaster and chemical warfare units if required. Corps level is the lowest level authorized Long Range Patrols, although LRRPs get distributed to Division or even brigade level. Normal manning comes from TO%E tables.

Divisions used to be triangular, and under Corps organization would probably be triangular, (Three Brigades per division)

Three Corps constitute an ASrmy, but USRV was about fourteen Divisions, so it was really Four Corps.

Armies get support units that Corps don't get, like (in Viet Nam) Radio Research Groups and General Hospitals. Where Green Berets are assigned to an Army they are usually a numbered unit. (Viet Nam was Fifth Special Forces) By Viet nam standards an Army gets at least one Aviation Brigade, in Viet nam the Ist Avn Brigade.

And So Forth.

THAT is how you constitute a Company, or a battalion, or a brigade, or a division, or a Corps, or an Army, or an Army Group. You know the building blocks and you constitute them.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"Jesus, qb, your arguments are just getting worse and worse.

This is my favorite: "We spend a lot more on other things than we do on the military.""

Well, admittedly, it isn't a fully articulated argument, since I assumed you had some ability to draw the proper implication.

You said that you don't want us to spend ourselves into a hollow shell. Hence, I pointed out that military spending isn't the biggest part of our spending. Which makes your "argument" rather worse than mine.

"And no, the Soviet Union wasn't a Marxist utopia."

Who said it was? You "argued" that we won the Cold War because it was capitalism v. state capitalism and not Marxism. I'm quite familiar with this "argument," the crutch of leftists who always tell us, in the face of one Marxist catastrophe after another, that Marxsim hasn't really been tried. Funny how, with Marxists all over the world trying to institute it for decades, no one actually has succeeded. Perhaps these feckless Marxists need your instruction on how to do it.

My main point, though, was to note that you apparently blame the SU's defeat on its failure to adopt true Marxism. That tells me a lot. Really it tells me everything.

"You don't know what you're talking about, obviously, as you skim the surface of political economy and make generalizations that don't add up to anything."

Powerful. How about you keep to Renaissance lit and leave politcal theory to people who actually know something about it? That a good comeback?


Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

ceflynline wrote,
"To maintain its apparent position as the other superpower the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics bankrupted itself and then fell apart. THAT is what the "Ruskies: did fighting their side of the cold war. At least a few of us knew while it was going on THAT it was going on."

Well, well, aren't we the hindsight geniuses? Were you a conservative in those good ole days? I seem to recall that 99.9% of liberals were singing the same song then they're singing now. It was the U.S., not the Soviet Union, that was in danger of bankrupting itself. Too much national defense, too little spent on entitlement programs.
-------

"Apparently that is what the Conservatives want, for us to bankrupt ourselves ,trying to be the world's only super power."

What was I just saying?
-------

"Luckily actually doing it would require that we pay far more taxes than we do"

See. We can find common ground. No more tax increases.
-------

"The Big Stick, however, is now not much more than a bamboo cane. Hurts when it hits but doesn't much impress the bad guys, who assume that if you need the cane you won't be all that impressive if you have to use it in self defense."

That's a bit incoherent. As I've pointed out before, what we lack isn't the stick but the ruthlessness(?) needed to prevail in a way that best serves our own national interest. I'll bet Saddam and his sons were impressed. Ask them when you next cross paths.
-------

"A REAL Big Stick would be several orders of size bigger than we have, at many orders of magnitude more expensive."

Ours is big enough.
-------

"We COULD afford it, and we COULD actually benefit from having an Army of 20 active duty divisions, 20 Reserve Divisions, and 20 Guard divisions. But the rich would have to sacrifice a bit, and Republicans believe that anything that expects sacrifice from their friends costs too much."

Yes, there may well be enough Republicans with rich friends to actually win elections once in awhile. Then it's called a majority.
-------
"But talk is cheap"

You could have quit earlier and we still would have realized that.
-------

"so they can stand on the sidelines and omplain that the coach doesn't have a big enough team."

More incoherence.
-------

"Pay for it?
(silence)"

Well, if you'd stop freeloading and dig your way out of the infamous 47% club, you could at least help. In the meantime, I guess I'll have to pay for the both of us and help provide for your entitlements as well. But I don't mind. What would you do without others to take care of you?


Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

"The left views the U.S. as the problem in, and threat to the rest of, the world."

Well, given Scott's formulation of overwhelming world-wide dominance there might be some question as to whether others view the US differently than, say, you do.

The point isn't that the US is the problem, rather that such a philosophy is of itself dangerous. Not to mention the hubris that always attends nations who predictably find the means to justify their exceptional right or priviledge to dominate.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 9, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

You forgot about "Army Region" and "Army Theater." Don't worry, though, if we ever need that again we have more than enough resources to get it done.

As of 2003, the United States Army has four field corps. The structure of a field corps is not permanent; many of the units that it commands are allocated to it as needed on an ad hoc basis. On the battlefield, the field corps is the highest level of the forces that is concerned with actually fighting and winning the war. That sounds about what we need for now.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Re defense spending....

Just a thought experiment... Imagine we discovered a replacement for the internal combustion engine tomorrow which turned the Middle East into an area about as strategically important to us as, say, sub-Saharan Africa.

Do we still maintain a military presence there?
Do we care what happens to Israel?
Do we still have a problem with Islamic terror?

Just curious what people think.

Posted by: sold2u | October 9, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

@ceflynline,

It looks like you know what you are talking about when it comes to constituting an Army.

What is the argument? Sometimes, I lose track of what the actual disagreement is, other than to be disagreeable, which seems to be of paramount importance.

You say we could (or should?) have a more larger (and therefore more powerful) military? And the benefits of that would be?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 9, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

sold2u, imagine there's no heaven. It's easy if you try. No hell below us. Above us, only sky. Imagine all the people. Living for today ...

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade at 4:40 PM

Belgium and Canada are more secure today - ONLY because they fall under the umbrella of American military power.


If American was not strong, with no military, those two nations would be subject to attack by anyone - Canada is isolated but the point is they have NATO guarantee with the US.


Belgium was invaded in WW2 BECAUSE we pulled out of Europe after WWI -

Anyway.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

"Well, given Scott's formulation of overwhelming world-wide dominance there might be some question as to whether others view the US differently than, say, you do."

Scott of course used no formulation espousing dominance. But, other than that, I believe my point was indeed that we view the US differently.

To say that it is a philosophy (underlying our defense policy) rather than the US itself that is the problem is a distinction without a difference. I don't think we disagree that, had you your way and the U.S. disarmed at least down to its "fair share" of defense spending, and became a more thorough-going social democracy, you would find it to be no longer the world's great problem.

"Not to mention the hubris that always attends nations who predictably find the means to justify their exceptional right or priviledge to dominate."

The U.S. does not dominate other countries. Indeed, we bear their burdens and in many cases give them our treasure. Some might think the superior feeling of foreigners who presume to instruct us on our backwardness is hubris.


Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

"Do we still maintain a military presence there?"

Yes, although I don't know whether levels might be affected.

"Do we care what happens to Israel?"

Of course.

"Do we still have a problem with Islamic terror?"

Of course.

Those are my answers, albeit I do not fancy myself much of a foreign strategists.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

ceflynline wrote (not to me, but who cares),
"You can eliminate the entire non defense budget and not pay for the fiscal mess our militarists have already gotten us into."

Better and better. The current fiscal mess wasn't what we thought at all---it's the result of our military budget.
------

"Just the fact that you have so little understanding of just how the budget is constituted disqualifies you from being taken seriously in this."

You just had to be looking in a mirror when you typed this.
-------

"And you obviously haven't the foggiest of just how big, or how constituted your Superpower Military would have to be to do the job you want done."

It's big enough. Nation building and anti-insurgencies aren't really my thing. The first Gulf War and the speed with which we took down Saddam Hussein in the second are good indications of our military prowess. Of course Saddam didn't get a chance to file for relief before a U.S. federal judge when we pulled him out of the spider hole.
-------

"Talk is cheap . . ."

You proved that with your last post. This is just icing.
-------

". . .and ignorance is usually expensive for the party that depends on the ignorant."

Our modern welfare state is proof enough of that. More common ground?
-------

"Right now I have no credibility at all."

I noticed.

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

"What is the argument? Sometimes, I lose track of what the actual disagreement is, Posted by: 12BarBlues"

Well, I was trying to point out thaty all those Conservatives who want a robust Army don't have the foggiest idea what a Robust Army, or for that matter just an Army, is.

They haven't any concept of how much one costs.

But they want one, any way, as long as they don't have to pay for it.

Or serve in it.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

@ceflynline,

I see that your knowledge is somewhat threatening to the regulars on this blog, from the silly responses they are mustering.

@sold2u,

You asked a thoughtful question. One that deserved a thoughtful answer. Do you think you got that?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 9, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Bernie,

In what ways does the U.S. dominate the world? In what ways is that a negative?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 9, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

@clawrence.

That's why I said thought experiment.

I am curious what people think happens to this existential war between Islam and the West if we didn't have a strategic reason to be there.

Posted by: sold2u | October 9, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Well, given Scott's formulation of overwhelming world-wide dominance..."

I made no such formulation. In fact, I explicitly rejected the notion that we should "dominate" anyone.

You should either argue against the things I actually say or pretend I don't exist, as you have taken to doing when you find it convenient. But what you should not do is pretend that I have said something I not only did not say, but in fact explicitly rejected.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

@12bb,

no the answers so far are not what I have hoped for. I thought it would be a fun discussion on an otherwise non-newsworthy weekend.

Posted by: sold2u | October 9, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues, When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be. And in my hour of darkness, she is standing right in front of me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree,
there will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is still a chance that they will see,
there will be an answer. let it be.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Well, I was trying to point out thaty all those Conservatives who want a robust Army don't have the foggiest idea what a Robust Army, or for that matter just an Army, is.

They haven't any concept of how much one costs.

But they want one, any way, as long as they don't have to pay for it.

Or serve in it.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 6:10 PM
----

I'm fine with our Army. I've served in it AND helped pay for it. I don't see it as quite the hapless debacle that ceflynline seems to. I don't even like it when liberals make concerted efforts to get military ballots tossed out during elections, at the same time they are opposing any efforts whatsoever to verify the eligibility of people showing up at the polls.

Charlie Rangel suggested bringing back the draft, but not too many liberals jumped on board. Haven't heard a peep out of Rangel since Obama became Commander in Chief.

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Well, clawrence, who woulda thought you could sing? I can appreciate that, under stress, and not knowing what to say, one follows the adage of Madison Avenue. "When you have nothing to say, sing it."

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 9, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

sold2u:

"Do we still maintain a military presence there?"

Probably. See question 3.

"Do we care what happens to Israel?"

I do.

"Do we still have a problem with Islamic terror?"

I can't imagine why that would go away, although the absence of oil money might well have some impact on the ability of Islamic terrorists to terrorize.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

"You forgot about "Army Region" and "Army Theater." Don't worry, though, if we ever need that again we have more than enough resources to get it done. As of 2003, the United States Army has four field corps. The structure of a field corps is not permanent; many of the units that it commands are allocated to it as needed on an ad hoc basis. On the battlefield, the field corps is the highest level of the forces that is concerned with actually fighting and winning the war. That sounds about what we need for now. Posted by: clawrence12"

There is ignorance, woeful ignorance, and deliberate ignoranec.

You demonstrate all three.

There is nothing I ever heard of as a "Field Corps." Currently no Army organization in Combat is actually using a Corps as its major command. We use Corps as administrative commands in CONUS, and we officially have an Army Corps in Korea, but the Corps in Korea is also an administrative unit only, as is US Army Korea, and, for that matter UN Command. We have just one very fancy brigade in Korea.

Our two active wars are being fought under a task organization that made sense to Donald Rumsfield, but bears no congruence to a properly constituted military organization. We send in mulligan stew creations of units organized as Regiments or Brigades, under Division Commanders whose actual Divisions are broken up and only partly in country, although this is being remedied. Since we now have bastard brigades that are partly infantry, partly mechanized, and sometimes partly armored, and we have as many of them as five in a division, it gets very hard to properly describe just what constitutes anything at all, which in turn makes guessing how much any given brigade costs to deploy particularly hard to do if you aren't somewhere in the Pentagon. It makes hiding how much Iraq or Afghanistan is actually costing very difficult, which, by the way, is exactly what the Bush Pentagon and Bush White House wanted.

These distinctions are not petty, as to discuss the potential need for troops in some potential situation, like invading Iran, you have to be talking about reasonably standard units, so that you might conclude that you need one full Army plus additions to do so.

A better example would be discussing what the Army in Afghanistan would have to look like to go for a win in that region. (It can still be done.)

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

@ceflynline,
I see that your knowledge is somewhat threatening to the regulars on this blog, from the silly responses they are mustering.

@sold2u,
You asked a thoughtful question. One that deserved a thoughtful answer. Do you think you got that?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 9, 2010 6:11 PM
-----

sold2u almost always asks thoughtful questions that deserve thoughtful answers. Ceflynline, not so much. Any of you "regulars" feel threatened by ceflynline's knowledge? Frankly, I haven't seen him demonstrate much in the way of knowledge, but he's been fairly well taken apart by the "silly responses" that were mustered.

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Someone's crying Lord, kumbaya. Someone's crying Lord …

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

"Charlie Rangel suggested bringing back the draft, but not too many liberals jumped on board. Haven't heard a peep out of Rangel since Obama became Commander in Chief. Posted by: Brigade"

A couple agree with him.

How many Republicans openly call for a return of the draft?

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

ceflynline:

"Our two active wars are being fought under a task organization that made sense to Donald Rumsfield, but bears no congruence to a properly constituted military organization. "

Rumsfeld has not been around for 4 years. If the way he organized things makes no military sense (and I am in no position to argue one way or the other), why has it not been changed by either Obama or the military commanders now in charge?

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

@ scott.

Re Israel, I tend to agree we would probably be involved. We were staunchly pro-Israel politically long before we relied on Mideast Oil, so that probably continues. Although part of me thinks we could park an Aegis Cruiser off Haifa and defend them from any missile attack from Iran or whoever.

Re Islamic terror threat, I think if we no longer were on Middle east soil, Islamic terrorists would focus their attention on each other, not us. However, part of me thinks that AQ and OBL are in fact at war with the West and whether we have troops there or not doesn't matter.

Like I said, I was just curious what other people thought about this issue. Cause the defense budget buys a lot of research.

Posted by: sold2u | October 9, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

So ceflynline contends that conservatives support stronger defense than liberals because they know less about the military and what it costs.

You really think you could prove that empiricically?

You really think that explains the difference rather than what is evident on this very thread, that conservatives believe in stronger defense than liberals? Have you been around this or other blogs enough to figure out that many opinionated liberals believe we spend most of our money on defense?

How do you explain that gross ignorance?

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

At QB

"Scott of course used no formulation espousing dominance"

Oh for gods sake. The US military has bases in some 200 foreign nations. Protecting the homeland from attack? And does the US wish to dominate the world economy, do you think? Control key resources, perhaps? And "global leadership" means what? Equalness? OK if anyone else becomes the global leader? As the Project For A New American Century sees the proper role of American dominance in the world, they hold that the US must challenge any other nation or entity that might rise up to challenge US dominance. That's explicit. So perhaps getting real might be on your agenda this afternoon.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 9, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

sold2u:

"I think if we no longer were on Middle east soil, Islamic terrorists would focus their attention on each other, not us. However, part of me thinks that AQ and OBL are in fact at war with the West and whether we have troops there or not doesn't matter."

I agree with the latter. I don't think AQ and OBL stop doing their thing just because we're not buying oil.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

"I'm fine with our Army. I've served in it AND helped pay for it. I don't see it as quite the hapless debacle that ceflynline seems to. I don't even like it when liberals make concerted efforts to get military ballots tossed out during elections, at the same time they are opposing any efforts whatsoever to verify the eligibility of people showing up at the polls. Posted by: Brigade"

The Army, being the Army, does what it is asked to do with whatever it is asked to do it with.

Outsiders like Rumsfield decide they know a much better way to organize and run the Army, and unfortunately they sometimes get the authority to try to run it their way.

Watching the kluge that Rumsfield built try to do its job I come to the conclusion that everything about ground combat units Rumsfield knows came from reading "Starship Troopers." especially the way he has division commanders bossing amalgamations of units in combat while the majority of their command is else where doing things their Division Commander ought to be overseeing, like organization and training.

Thanks to really poor organization, poorly overseen training at medium and large unit levels, and far to heavy a combat rotation schedule, the Army is very close to ruined. My son was in an ADA unit attached to 18th Airborne Corps and assigned to the 101st Air Assault Division. Two visits to his company area told me that that units morale and cohesion is just about nil. Fort Campbell shows every sign of an Army that is worn out and holding together by individual obligations. Another year of what they are getting subjected to may be more than that Division can take.

The problem isn't the Army, it is what has been done to the Army by civilians with no or virtually no experience of military service to base their theories on. Of the Bush pentagon, (Rumsfield, Feith, and the rest of the Chicken hawks) only Rumsfield had any service at all, and all he knew was how to crash an airplane on a moving target in a way that let him fly it off that target again and again.

Carrier Pilots may be noble and brave, but they don't know diddly about ground combat and should be kept five hundred feet or more above any battle field, and at least an ocean away if possible when they are on dry land.

Right now most active U.S. Army brigades look like a very bad first attempt to build a Mobile Infantry Regiment. They wouldn't work even if they had Heinlein's battle armor to work with.

But yes, I am particularly dismayed with the state of the Army right now. In that you are correct.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

"However, part of me thinks that AQ and OBL are in fact at war with the West and whether we have troops there or not doesn't matter."

I think there is no real question about this, and that it isn't limited to AQ and OBL. More broadly, however, one of the lessons of 911 and recent terrorism ought to be that must be eternally vigilant not to be caught off guard by the next unknown threat. This is the same lesson taught throughout history, but in today's world the next undetected threat can be devastating.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

"Rumsfeld has not been around for 4 years. If the way he organized things makes no military sense (and I am in no position to argue one way or the other), why has it not been changed by either Obama or the military commanders now in charge? Posted by: ScottC3"

It can't be done right now because we don't have the troops to spare to pull these bastard Brigades apart, sort them into reasonable units, run them through a year or so of small unit through Division level training maneuvers and get them back into battle readiness. We barely have time to get them through full unit Area Training at Fort Irwin before throwing them back into combat after much too short stateside deployment. Until we have completely disengaged from Iraq and gotten mostly out of Afghanistan, or until we draft between four and six more divisions, train them and get them ready for combat, we have to over use what little Army we have left.

Sort of like Meade on 03 Jul 1863. He had a bunch of beaten up units, some with more than a quarter of their men gone one way or another.

But he had no time to reorganize, so he did what he could with what he had.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"As the Project For A New American Century sees the proper role of American dominance in the world..."

Perhaps, if you want to talk about what PNAC says, you shouldn't begin your post with "given Scott's formulation".

"The US military has bases in some 200 foreign nations. Protecting the homeland from attack?"

Yes. And also protecting other nations from attack.

"And does the US wish to dominate the world economy, do you think?"

Well, it depends on what you mean by dominate, but in any event you don't dominate an economy with military power.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

"You really think you could prove that empiricically? Posted by: quarterback1"

Yes, but not in 3000 carachters.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

"The problem isn't the Army, it is what has been done to the Army by civilians with no or virtually no experience of military service to base their theories on."

Good thing Obama is now CIC. Oh, for the days when a bona fide draft dodger who "loathe[d] the military" was CIC. (rolling eyes)

You've been free with charges of lack of credibility. As far as I'm concerned, you have none, and I don't care how much you think you know about how to constitute an army.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Bernie said: " The US military has bases in some 200 foreign nations". Your saying that US embassies are military bases?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 9, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

"Yes, but not in 3000 carachters."

lol, now you really have no credibility.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

How many Republicans openly call for a return of the draft?

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 6:40 PM |
----

None that I know of. The telling point is that Democrats now have the votes and the Presidency---they can ram through whatever they want. Why no bill for a draft? You know, let all Americans have some skin in the game.

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Obama has been DRAGGING DOWN the economy in an UNPRECEDENTED WAY.


The health care plan has placed such uncertainty in the hiring process - AND costs for existing employees - NO COMPANY in America can be sure what their costs are going to be.


That is a DRAG ON THE ECONOMY - A DRAG ON ECONOMIC EXPANISION.


Obama has been WORSE THAN HOOVER.


Obama is the worst President in the history of the nation - worse than Buchanan - worse than them all.


Obama has done such DAMAGE to the economy some now say the economy will not recover until 2010 - and you think you might vote for ANY democrat this year?


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

"Oh for gods sake. The US military has bases in some 200 foreign nations. Protecting the homeland from attack?"

You specifically characterized Scott's comments as advocating domination of other countries. Your opinion that US military presence constitutes domination doesn't make your characterization accurate.

America's military bases and deployments are in place on the bipartisan, longstanding geopolitical strategy of protecting U.S. interests and allies abroad, and preserving stability. This involves having good diplomatic relations with countries who permit our presence, contrary though that might be to your characterization of this as world domination.

"And does the US wish to dominate the world economy, do you think?"

I suppose so, if that means having the largest and most prosperous economy.

"Control key resources, perhaps?"

Having the ability to pay for them is certainly nice. If our game was to seize them, we sure have been lax at the game these 220 years. Here we have been paying and paying when we could have just taken them.

"And "global leadership" means what? Equalness? OK if anyone else becomes the global leader?"

Well, it isn't domination, which was your claim. If some other superpower arose tomorrow that had all the same qualities as the U.S., I suppose that would be fine, even a good thing. But of course that is not going to happen.

"As the Project For A New American Century sees the proper role of American dominance in the world, they hold that the US must challenge any other nation or entity that might rise up to challenge US dominance."

I doubt you have a citation for that. I've read their statement of principles and do not see it there. But, in any event, Europe collectively is larger and could be as or more militarily powerful than us, and has made some moves toward more "independence." Yet, strangely, we have not yet invaded. But take China, for example, do I think it is necessary that we treat it as a strategic threat? Doesn't that question answer itself for anyone who does not hold the U.S. and the West in contempt?

"So perhaps getting real might be on your agenda this afternoon."

Likewise. I'm not ready, nor are most Americans ready, to risk our lives and freedom on your historically failed belief that peace and prosperity come through weakness.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

But yes, I am particularly dismayed with the state of the Army right now. In that you are correct.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 6:59 PM
----

No need to copy the entire post. This was a good one. I guess I should apologize to ceflynline for implying that he's ignorant---he does seem to understand the military---and congratulate him for not engaging me in a flame war. Credit where due.

Posted by: Brigade | October 9, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Control key resources, perhaps?"

Which key resources does the US "control"?

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

"None that I know of. The telling point is that Democrats now have the votes and the Presidency---they can ram through whatever they want. Why no bill for a draft? You know, let all Americans have some skin in the game. Posted by: Brigade"

I'd stand up and cheer if they did, but I simply don't see the population rewarding them for doing so, and I don't expect them to commit suicide for a few patriot points.

"You say we could (or should?) have a more larger (and therefore more powerful) military? And the benefits of that would be? Posted by: 12BarBlues "

I have said other places that I think we need a somewhat bigger Army even in peacetime. For just Afghanistan we probably need a full nine division Army and eighteen more divisions to maintain proper rotation. That is over and above the basic ten divisions for normal peacetime operations. But that is just my calculation based on symmetry and some niceties of organization.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

qb:

"I'm not ready, nor are most Americans ready, to risk our lives and freedom on your historically failed belief that peace and prosperity come through weakness."

I am currently reading "The Gathering Storm", the first of Churchill's 6 volume series on WWII. He goes on at great length about the lunacy of the strategy of disarmament that many countries in Europe, including Britain, undertook between WW I and WW II, all in the foolish belief that doing so would keep a "balance" that would give other nations (read Germany) no incentive to arm themselves. Obviously that didn't turn out as expected (except as expected by Churchill.)

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I have said other places that I think we need a somewhat bigger Army even in peacetime. For just Afghanistan we probably need a full nine division Army and eighteen more divisions to maintain proper rotation. That is over and above the basic ten divisions for normal peacetime operations. But that is just my calculation based on symmetry and some niceties of organization.
---------------------------------
Let me see if I understand your point. In summary, you are saying that we should have a somewhat larger military simply to face our CURRENT committments, for example Afghanistan. You are saying that the present military is too small to even reorganize itself properly because it can't spare the resources to do so. You are saying that the present military is demoralized because of the constant rotations.

Those are the benefits: A somewhat larger military would allow us to meet our present commitments. A somewhat larger military keeps morale sufficiently high to enable stretching for an emergency.

Do I have that right? If not, please correct.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 9, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Scott,

Churchill's history has been one of those items on my long mental list of to-be-read for years . . . and years. So I envy you in a way. Working for a living has seriously cut into my reading and leisure time. ; )

Of course, I have little room to complain after having watched about 6 hours of football today, although in my defense I did multitask.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

qb:

"Churchill's history has been one of those items on my long mental list of to-be-read for years . . . and years. "

I know what you mean. I have only undertaken it because i was talking with my neighbor, also a bit of a history buff, at a barbecue, and he handed me the series from his library and said I should read it. So I have been doing what I can on the train in the mornings and evenings. It is interesting stuff, I have to say.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

"I am currently reading "The Gathering Storm", the first of Churchill's 6 volume series on WWII. He goes on at great length about the lunacy of the strategy of disarmament that many countries in Europe, including Britain, undertook between WW I and WW II, all in the foolish belief that doing so would keep a "balance" that would give other nations (read Germany) no incentive to arm themselves. Obviously that didn't turn out as expected (except as expected by Churchill.) Posted by: ScottC3"

Churchill conveniently left out the part of British History after WW I when he was one of the miserly conservatives who were all in favor of cutting down the Royal Military as much as possible to save money.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

"Do I have that right? If not, please correct. Posted by: 12BarBlues"

You do have that right, but that isn't what the main discussion was originally about. The original discussion was about Conservatives demanding an unspecified size robust military, when they aren't even willing to pay for the one we have.

They don't even try to say what size military they want, and therefore it is impossible to tell them how much it will cost, but they are sure that the only reason we don't have that robust military is that Obama is a pacifist.

Obama is a realist, and he knows full well that he can't get a satisfactory military appropriations bill for the current military past the Senate, so trying to get a right sized Army through is totally out of the question.

The difference between the 30K troops Obama got for Afghanistan and the supposed 40k troops the Army wanted were a matter of judgment. In this Obama is probably a lot more correct than the JCS, because we will play hell meeting 30k more troops in Afghanistan for any length of time. 40k troops was flatly more troops than we have to send.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

cefly:

"Churchill conveniently left out the part of British History after WW I when he was one of the miserly conservatives..."

I'd be interested in when exactly you are talking about, since Churchill wasn't any kind of conservative until 1925 when he rejoined the party after over 20 years of being a liberal/independent.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

The bottom line is this:


MORE people will die as a result of Obama pulling OUT of the Middle East - compared to Bush going in.


More people died as a result of the US pulling out of Europe after WWI - 50 Million people died - and the US had to go back anyway - losing hundreds of thousands of troops in WW2.


The liberals are in the midst of MANSLAUGHTER.


Debate all you want - the facts are the facts.


The liberals are JUST SIMPLY IRRESPONSIBLE.


They want these massive government programs - never thinking of the costs.


They want to leave the Middle East - never thinking of the consequences in the region.


Few want to state clearly that Bill Clinton pulled our intelligence assets out of the Middle East in the 1990s - the result was 9/11.


Do the liberals want to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANYTHING ???

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

12BAR writes:

"What is the argument? Sometimes, I lose track of what the actual disagreement is,


______________________

EXACTLY WHEN did you start to notice this?


Because you have been fighting with people for weeks and months on end - stirring up all sorts of trouble -


AND NOW you are telling us that you lose track of what you are talking about?


WELL WE ALL KNEW THAT ALREADY - MONTHS AGO.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

"You do have that right, but that isn't what the main discussion was originally about. The original discussion was about Conservatives demanding an unspecified size robust military, when they aren't even willing to pay for the one we have.

They don't even try to say what size military they want, and therefore it is impossible to tell them how much it will cost, but they are sure that the only reason we don't have that robust military is that Obama is a pacifist."

You are obviously having an imaginary discussion with someone, since this in no way resembles the discussion above. It's not the first sign of this disconnect.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

NO other President in American History has had such a negative effect on the economy as Obama.

It is really incredible how Obama has accomplished this - Obama is one-man ECONOMY WRECKING BALL.

Seriously folks - think back in American History - has ANY President come into office DEMANDING such a sweeping RESTRUCTURING of any part of the economy - as health care.

A restructuring of the economy WHICH AFFECTS THE HIRING OF EVERY AMERICAN WORKING RIGHT NOW OR LOOKING FOR A JOB.

IN a way, Obama has come BETWEEN EVERY EMPLOYEE AND THEIR EMPLOYER - and placed uncertainty as to what the COST of the health care benefits will be.


EVERY EMPLOYER in the country is wondering "Can we afford the people WE HAVE NOW?"


That AFFECTS the hiring of every ADDITIONAL PERSON.

And the job of EVERYONE


AND the EGO of Obama has IMPOSED ITSELF ON EVERY AMERICAN -


STOP THE ECONOMY - OBAMA WANTS TO DO SOMETHING "BIG"

What a sick sick pathetic ego-maniac that his own desire for a paragraph in a history book - would HURT THE HIRING OF SO MANY AMERICANS.

I am PERSONALLY REVOLTED BY WHAT HAS HAPPENED.

AND I am PERSONALLY REVOLTED that the partisan democrats refuse to place the welfare and hiring of Americans AHEAD of Obama's ego and state clearly that Obama is wrong.

Perhaps if more democrats were HONEST and stated that Obama is just wrong on this one - relations between people in this country would not be so bad -

Instead, the American people get ARROGANCE in return - name-calling, False Charges of Racism -


All liberals have given this nation is some WACKY IDEA that the world could be WONDERFUL IF WE DIDN'T HAVE TO PAY FOR THINGS.

That is about the whole thing.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

ceflyinline:

What part of my posts leads you to think I am not "even willing to pay for the one we have"?

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

claw:

"What part of my posts leads you to think I am not "even willing to pay for the one we have"?"

I've noticed that liberals, especially here on this board, tend to imagine that they can read minds.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

"ceflyinline: What part of my posts leads you to think I am not "even willing to pay for the one we have"? Posted by: clawrence12"

Well, how about the fact that we ran up several trillion, (exact amount still not known because of the Bush habit of hiding war expenses) and didn't at least delay implementation of the Bush tax Cuts.

Or are you against those tax cuts and wish to see them allowed to expire at the end of the year?

My statement is that Republicans aren't willing to pay for the military we have. THAT statement is in general accord with the fiscal policies of republicans since Nixon took office.

But defending THAT line is also not possible in 3000 characters.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I am puzzled by the liberals - their level of anger on any particular subject seems to be inversely proportional to the amount they know about that subject.


For years the liberals HATED Rumsfeld - but let's go over what actually happened.


Rumsfeld tried to put a "small military footprint" in Iraq. Fewer troops could get the job done.


What happened? Less boots on the ground led to more chaos - more bombings - more deaths.

Just like in a city - cops on the street - showing a presence to the community leads to less crime - Less cops, more crime.

The gangs see more cops, less stuff goes down.


Same in the Middle East - they see troops they don't come out.


The Generals KNOW this - the SURGE WORKED because it was more boots on the ground.

SO - WHAT DO WE HAVE OBAMA DOING LAST YEAR.

Obama (military genius now) wants LESS TROOPS in Afghanistan -

It HAS TO BE OBAMA'S WAY.

The Generals just went through the Rumsfeld era - it was just a few years ago - they KNOW this lesson - they LEARNED this lession - THEY SAW THE LIGHT FOOTPRINT AND THE SURGE.


____________________________


Is Obama listening to ANY of this?


Is Obama so ARROGANT that no one can talk to him about any topic???


This country is in serious, serious trouble right now with someone such as Obama - inexperienced, unqualified, completely arrogant.


To be honest, the arrogance is more dangerous than the lack of qualifications.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

"ceflyinline: What part of my posts leads you to think I am not "even willing to pay for the one we have"? Posted by: clawrence12"

I got that bit from a book on Churchill I read in SEA, about the time a movie, "Young Churchill" was playing. My memory was that that was the book from which the movie was made. Somewhere near the end of the book Churchill is rising in Parliament to speak AGAINST the high cost of running the military. A note remarks on his conservatism, (Not his membership in the Conservative Party, my mistake.)

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I am for the tax cuts AND a $700 billion defense budget. Everything else can go.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

"I am for the tax cuts AND a $700 billion defense budget. Everything else can go. Posted by: clawrence12"

SO, you AREN'T willing to pay for the defense we have.

QED.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I am in favor of sending ALL the bills for Obama's health care plan and Obama's deficit to just the REGISTERED DEMOCRATS.


If the democrats want a program, they pay for it.


Very simple.


However, it appears that just the opposite is true - the democrats want massive programs - but when it comes to tax policy, they want Republicans to take on most of the bills.


Half the taxpayers out there pay ZERO Federal Income Tax - do you think that half is more democrats or more Republicans? Of course the democrats want MORE, they aren't paying for ANYTHING.


Sure - they want stuff they don't have to pay for.


The simple solution is to have the REGISTERED DEMOCRATS pay for the massive democratic programs AND OBAMA'S DEFICITS.


Thank you for your support.


Im sure all the democrats agree.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

"My statement is that Republicans aren't willing to pay for the military we have. THAT statement is in general accord with the fiscal policies of republicans since Nixon took office.

But defending THAT line is also not possible in 3000 characters."

You first radically mischaracterized the comments by conservatives on this thread. Now you say this is just your "statement" about Republicans generally. This is such a typical problem with liberals, where you are enthralled with your prowess in an imaginary argument in your head that is completely detached from what your opponents actually say.

Whatever you had to say in support of your "statement," it wouldn't matter whether it was 3000 or 3 million characters, because it is just a characterization built on a pile of assumptions about taxes and budgets and what you imagine Republicans are and aren't willing to do.

I'll make this simple: The government collects enough money to pay for defense.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

The original discussion was about Conservatives demanding an unspecified size robust military, when they aren't even willing to pay for the one we have.

They don't even try to say what size military they want, and therefore it is impossible to tell them how much it will cost, but they are sure that the only reason we don't have that robust military is that Obama is a pacifist.
-------------------------
@ceflynline,

Well, that is the difference between those who actually have to manage the problem and those who have the luxury of simply heckling. Hecklers can afford to be "low information" critics.

Getting back to something of value, I would like to learn something new--

What size military do you think would both fulfill our obligations and allow for the necessary reorganization?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 9, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

QB

She started talking about Winston Churchill - to support her claims about conservatives.


Half of American taxpayers do not pay any income tax at all. Earlier in the week, we kept on hearing from the democrats what THEY thought about the tax brackets - translation: the want the REPUBLICANS to pay more.

But when it comes to spending - the democrats SHOW NO SUCH RESTRAINT - massive spending programs are demanded.


IN fact, most democrats DREAM of CREATING ANOTHER MASSIVE GOVERNMENT PROGRAM - that is how they want to be KNOWN in the history books.


Quite a difference.


Please take this discussion and attach it to all the liberal nastiness about tax brackets.


Apparently the liberals like the Bush tax cuts - for THEM.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

"SO, you AREN'T willing to pay for the defense we have."

The government will take in over $2 trillion this year. Math can't be that hard for you.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

12Bar

Go call the Pentagon and ask them.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

"Hecklers can afford to be "low information" critics."

lol, especially the hecklers in ceflynline's imagination. Staw men are so much easier to deal with.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 9, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

No, I am willing to pay for the defense we have. Where I come from $700 billion is less than $2 trillion.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

"What size military do you think would both fulfill our obligations and allow for the necessary reorganization?"

Just curious...are you seriously interested in the judgment of someone who is apparently incapable of understanding (or too disingenuous to acknowledge) that the taxes we collect already are enough to pay for our defense budget?

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Anyone actually interested in calculating how much can be saved in the federal budget:

http://www.heritage.org/issues/budget-and-spending

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Scott and clawrence, a serious discussion of the federal budget would begin with understanding it. WIKI is adequate for this conversation to continue.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_federal_budget

Like 12BB, I was hoping for more from both Brigade and Ceflynline. Assuming that there are no other obligations in the federal budget is not useful, because it is not real.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 9, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

clawrence, thanx for that link. It is also a serious place to begin a budget discussion, but it also leaves one with the understanding that there are in fact other federal budget items that must be considered.

It is a spearate but useful exercise to seek savings in the budget and a separate but useful exercise to imagine the military we need and cost it.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 9, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Democracy is clearly not always the way to go. We have this on the best of authorities, namely John Bolton. And he just doesn't talk the talk.

Florida example - “I’m with the Bush-Cheney team, and I’m here to stop the count,”

Pakistan example - "I thought the Musharraf government, military, authoritarian rule that it was, was the most likely kind of government to be able to make the changes we made."

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/09/bolton-pakistan-democracy/

Posted by: bernielatham | October 9, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

mark, the Heritage Foundation dies not assume there are no other "obligations." Everything is about priorities.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 9, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

"Getting back to something of value, I would like to learn something new-- What size military do you think would both fulfill our obligations and allow for the necessary reorganization? Posted by: 12BarBlues"

THAT is a bit long for a 300k post, but in precise:

Counting all seperate brigades and other combat units of like size, I think we currently have the equivalent of 14 Divisions, but I haven't seen an Army times or Green book ion a coupleof years so that is off the top of my head.

For ordinary peace time operations and readiness we ought to have perhaps four infantry divisions, three Air Cav Divisions, three Mechanized, (now Stryker, but not really the same) Divisions, three Armored Divisions, THREE Mountain Divisions, (The Army has never had more than one) three airborne Divisions (The Army currently only has one, and hasn't had three since Korea) and Three Jungle Warfare Divisions.

The reason for the triads of divisions is that to deploy one such division where needed, you need two more for proper rotation. The reason for Mountain Divisions is that they need to live and work at altitude so that when they are deployed at altitude they are acclimated. To properly acclimate them we might need training bases in Eritrea and Chile, because there just isn't enough 7500+ ft altitude land in the U.S. to properly train. Having Jungle Warfare divisions is needed because getting battle ready for jungle work is a long process, including good heat acclimation for tropical jungles.

That total is 21 Divisions. Some of those divisions could be targetted to Afghanistan,

For Afghanistan, to have a shot at winning, we need enough troops to block the Pakistani Border, say three mountain Divisions, backed by three stryker divisions running the roads looking for targets of opportunity, and three Air Cav Divisions to be the quick reaction force to break up and/or destroy Taliban and al Quaeda forces operating in Afghanistan. Time would be in the five to ten year range. So for every division in country you need two divisions in the rear training. That is six more divisions for a minimum of 28 divisions. To back the three Army Corps in Afghanistan we need an entire Signal Security Group, (we haven't got a whole RR (Radio Research) Group in the whole Army, a full MI group, and sufficient RevDev and Civic Action troops to back an Army. We need a complete Long Range Recon Patrol (The most nebulous unit, since there was no real doctrine in Viet Nam, where they were last used to specify how big one is) An Army in the field like this also gets a Special Forces Group. It gets three Combat Engineering Brigades, but Afghanistan probably needs five or six to properly upgrade and maintain the roads.

Since this is three Corps and a full Army it needs all the logistics, MP, Transportation, Quartermaster, Finance, Medical and dental units for an Army.

Note, I am just starting and have run out of characters.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

To quickly finish the previous post, we are talking an Army, with Airforce support, of about half a million men.

And two more in reserve training to come in and relieve the Army already deployed.

One and a half million MORE men than we already have.

Personnel costs? $100 billion. Materiel costs? a Trillion dollars?

But until you specify that way, yiou can't begin to argue social, monetary, or industrial costs.

And unless you specify that way you can't discuss sufficiency or excess of forces required.

NOW, since 2000 have you ever had a conservative blogger start getting anywhere near that specific?

Posted by: ceflynline | October 9, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone think an honest and clear discussion of how much military the nation should have can take place on a blog?

It's hundreds of billions of dollars - do you want to have a line-by-line debate?


This is completely silly.


___________________________

I say cute the size of every civilian agency in half - operate with half

See how many people EVEN NOTICE.


Then the question of entitlements are there - however that is a question that only democrats seem to believe THEY can answer - and they should mock and call heartless ANYONE who mentions that entitlements may be too much.

Is that about right?

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

You wrote: "mark, the Heritage Foundation dies not assume there are no other "obligations." Everything is about priorities.'

Agreed.

It would still be useful and it would be interesting to me, at least, to consider a "right sizing" of the military and its cost.

Probably like each of you, I think our military is too small for its current obligations. I want to read that discussion, with details that I can understand. Then, at another time, I want to read and participate in a discussion of priorities and budget.

Thanks.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 9, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Interview with Jeff Sharlet on The Family, the secretive and amazingly connected and powerful rightwing Christian group.

http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/148413/the_family:_secretive_christian_group_of_conservative_lawmakers_building_a_'god-led'_government?page=entire

Posted by: bernielatham | October 9, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

ceflynlin

OK this discussion is getting ridiculous

There is an old "mountain division" base in Colorado - which has been shut down.


Fort Drum was was set up - in part for political reasons.


NO - please don't start getting into this - it is not pretty.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 9, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse


@ceflynline,

Thank you for your specificity. It makes a lot more sense to talk about specifics, than to wave ones arms that it's "too much" or "about right" or "not enough", based solely on one's political ideology. At least this transforms the conversation into something constructive rather than emotional.

I certainly am not informed enough to question your assumptions about the right sizing, but maybe others on this blog are. We'll see...

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 9, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Democracy is clearly not always the way to go."

Bernie, you are so transparently disingenuous. Even you don't believe that democracy is "always the way to go", so why do you pretend that that such a notion is objectionable?

"Florida example"

You are not stupid enough to actually believe that "democracy" demanded all of the (re-) counting manipulations that Gore's team was calling for. So I think it is safe enough to assume that you are simply engaging in your typical propaganda routine here. Bernie, trying yet again to make people stupider.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 9, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

@ceflynline,

As you define the need in divisions, what constitutes a division? What makes a division the size that it is? Could a division be smaller?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 9, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

235 comments? How'm I supposed to catch up?

That being said, I just saw the SNL O'Donnell commercial. "Paid for by the coven to elect Christine O'Donnell, who is not a witch."

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 10, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

I think the youtube mock was better than the SNL one tbh.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 10, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

IN a way, Obama has come BETWEEN EVERY EMPLOYEE AND THEIR EMPLOYER - and placed uncertainty as to what the COST of the health care benefits will be.


EVERY EMPLOYER in the country is wondering "Can we afford the people WE HAVE NOW?"


That AFFECTS the hiring of every ADDITIONAL PERSON.

And the job of EVERYONE


AND the EGO of Obama has IMPOSED ITSELF ON EVERY AMERICAN -


STOP THE ECONOMY - OBAMA WANTS TO DO SOMETHING "BIG"

What a sick sick pathetic ego-maniac that his own desire for a paragraph in a history book - would HURT THE HIRING OF SO MANY AMERICANS.

I am PERSONALLY REVOLTED BY WHAT HAS HAPPENED.

AND I am PERSONALLY REVOLTED that the partisan democrats refuse to place the welfare and hiring of Americans AHEAD of Obama's ego and state clearly that Obama is wrong.

Perhaps if more democrats were HONEST and stated that Obama is just wrong on this one - relations between people in this country would not be so bad -

Instead, the American people get ARROGANCE in return - name-calling, False Charges of Racism -

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 3:07 AM | Report abuse

I think the liberals are trying to sucker people into a discussion about the size of the military


Their objective is to try to get people to accept cuts in the military - even though just about everyone AGREES our military is stretched beyond its resources - so to compare commitments to resources, the military really needs increases.


HOWEVER - that is not the liberals' approach - the liberals want to jam-pack the Federal budget with massive democratic and wasteful spending.


Then when the wasteful spending causes deficits, Obama and the liberals want to start to talk about cutting the military.


So Obama's idea is to FORCE a deficit crisis, and then cut the military.


They won't tell you that their plan all along is to cut the military - they are a bunch of liars - but it is obvious.


The country is going to gradually realize that Obama's health care plan is ONE GIANT DEFICIT BLACK HOLE.


The numbers the nation was given have NO RELATION TO REALITY.


First, Obama was careful to jam his own accounting into the bill - but he would not tell the nation the TRUE COSTS.


THEN, the democrats sent the bill to the Congressional Budget Office - which is governed by laws obliging them to follow certain ACCOUNTING TRICKS.

So Obama pre-planned the accounting tricks - so it would sound like the health care bill DIDN'T COST ANYTHING.

And yet, $500 Billion was taken from Medicare

- seven years of spending was put up against 10 years of revenues -

- implementation and administrative costs were sidestepped

- Costs thrown onto the States' budgets really were not counted on the Federal budget

- Cost increases to businesses and ordinary Americans were not counteed either


- So FIVE TRILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF COSTS - Obama said the health care plan was "paid for"

One thing you can be CERTAIN: Obama is a LIAR.


5 TRILLION DOLLARS LATER - OBAMA IS SAYING THE HEALTH CARE PLAN IS "PAID FOR"


SEND ALL REGISTERED DEMOCRATS OBAMA'S BILLS - LET EVERYONE ELSE OFF THE HOOK


and if you don't agree with me, you are a racist.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 3:17 AM | Report abuse

Scott said:

"trying yet again to make people stupider."

Nail, meet hammer.

The Florida selective recount was not democracy but attempted theft -- a skill the party Bernie supports has honed.

Won't even bother with the larger point that this again is Bernie smearing a conservative for something he'd have no problem with from the left. All propaganda, all the time.


Posted by: quarterback1 | October 10, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Long day at the PL. Good to know we can afford all the things, well the one thing, conservatives want based on the taxes they pay now, the rest be damned.

12Bar

I wanted to let you know, since we discussed this before, my daughter got her rejection letter from Blue Shield yesterday, so now she can finish up the application process for PCIP here in CA. Blue Shield was the most accommodating as far as the speed of the process etc.

She called them and then about 3 minutes into the conversation they said no, we won't be able to offer coverage, she asked for a letter stating so and they directed her to an online application process, which was followed about two weeks later by the letter.

I know you're going through the same thing so wanted to give you an informative heads up and wish you luck.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 10, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

All, a fresh Open Thread for you:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/sunday_open_thread_8.html

...and it's good to see you commenting more again, lmsinca

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 10, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"@ceflynline, As you define the need in divisions, what constitutes a division? What makes a division the size that it is? Could a division be smaller? Posted by: 12BarBlues"

A Division consists of three to five (or more) Brigades. Classical European Divisions were three Regiments in WWI, but Pershing decided he wanted heavier division for more hitting power and constituted American Divisions at five Regiments, (smaller than a brigade) so that they would be stronger when cakked on to go forward. The Pentagonal Division worked through WWII, but in the fifties the Army went to the ROAD (Reorganized Army Division) Division. Yeah, it was redundant. A ROAD Division is three brigades. 15 to 20 thousand men. You work by divisions because they are the fundamental element of Corps and Army tactics. Divisions are the lowest level units with a full complement of support companies and battalions, like Finance, Maintenance, Transportation, Quartermaster, MI, and RR. A Division gets an EVAC Hospital or a MUST (The replacement for a MASH).

A Division Commander is a Major General.

To properly discuss composition of the Army, using Road Divisions, where each division is built up of only one kind of combat soldier, like Infantry, Airborne, or Air cav. Currently the Rumsfield Division is a mish mash of units to make the division "More flexible" Really it means that a Division Commander has a mixture of units that do different things, and usually gets broken up so that he has troops in combat but more troops stateside training. The Division Commander needs to be paying close attention to his Division's training, but is also expected to be in the field with his Division, leading it in Battle. So to properly do his job he has to be in two places, seven thousand miles apart, at one time. That makes for very ineffective leadership and really destroys moral. Rumsfield loved the arrangement.

A division ought to be of a single combat capability, because the essence of the different combat specialties determines training. The Essence of a Mountain Division is that it can go into a fight at extreme altitude without loosing effectiveness because its troopps aren't acclimated to 8 thousand foot above sea level atmospheric pressure. GHetting acclimated takes many months for the body to develop the extra cardiovascular system needed for the reduced oxygen partial pressure.

Talking in organic Divisions lets you work in a convenient sized military unit.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 10, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

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