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Bobby Bright and The Question of Obama's Coattails

Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright's recent decision to run as a Democrat for the open 2nd District House seat in Alabama may not have drawn much attention nationally, but his campaign could well serve as a litmus test for just how long Barack Obama's coattails will be if the Illinois Senator winds up as the party's nominee this fall.

Bright, who is currently in his third term as the mayor of Alabama's capital city, had long been mentioned as a potential congressional candidate and, when Rep. Terry Everett (R) announced his plans to retire earlier this year, both parties pursued Bright. (The Montgomery mayor's office is a non-partisan post.)

In an interview with The Fix on Tuesday, Bright said that he ultimately chose the Democratic Party because he was assured that the sort of independence on which he had built his reputation in the state would be respected. In his announcement speech, Bright said: "I might be running as a Democrat, but I will not hesitate to challenge the Democrats on the issues where I disagree."

It's telling -- for several reasons -- that Bright chose to run with a "D" after his name rather than an "R".

Why?

The 2nd District is reliably Republican. President Bush took 61 percent of the vote there in 2000 and improved to 67 percent in 2004. Rep. Everett has held the seat easily since winning it in 1992 (in a tough open-seat race against George C. Wallace, the son of the late governor and presidential candidate). On paper, it would appear far easier for Bright to have chosen to run as a Republican, even though he would have had to navigate a potentially crowded GOP primary.

Bright's decision to run as a Democrat seems to run counter to political conventional wisdom. But a polling memo released by his campaign in conjunction with his announcement provides some insight into why Bright made the decision he did.

One of the four talking points from the survey, which shows Bright leading state Sen. Harri Anne Smith (R) 43 percent to 38 percent and state Rep. Jay Love (R) by a 46 percent to 27 percent margin, makes note of the seat's considerable black population.

"More than one-quarter (28%) of registrants in the 2nd District are Africa-American," reads the memo. "Winning 90 percent of the African-American vote on election day could add 3-5 points to Bright's current vote against Smith and Love."

Asked about what Obama leading the ticket could mean to his candidacy, Bright said it would have "quite a bit" of influence in the district -- driving up black turnout to record or near-record levels. (Like any good politician, bright quickly pivoted to argue that regardless of who led the Democratic ticket "the people of district two need quality representation" that he can offer.)

Regular Fix readers know that we have voiced skepticism about Obama's ability to carry Republican leaning states with considerable black populations like Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina. While the black vote might well go up statewide, recent electoral history suggests that the higher the black population in a state, the more consolidated the white vote is behind a Republican candidate -- making it nearly impossible for a Democrat to win. (For more on that trend, check out the chart below, provided to The Fix by University of Maryland-Baltimore County associate professor Thomas Schaller.)

But, in a district like Alabama's 2nd where 31 percent of the population is black, a significant increase in African American turnout could well provide a winning margin for a Democratic candidate who might not be able to get over the top without Obama leading the ticket.

A quick look at the districts with the highest black populations currently held by Republicans (a HUGE thanks to Post research editor Alice R. Crites for gathering the data) turns up a few seats that are expected to be hotly contested this fall, and where a surge in the African American vote could make a difference .

Among those districts: Louisiana's 6th (35.5 percent black), Louisiana's 4th (34.1), Alabama's 3rd (32), North Carolina's 8th (29.5) and Ohio's 1st (28.7). (All figures according to the 2000 Census.)

In both of the Louisiana seats, Republican incumbents are retiring, although in the 6th Rep. Richard Baker's resignation means a special election this spring and then a race for a full two-year term in the fall.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) has represented Alabama's 3rd District since 2002 and has not faced a serious reelection fight yet. Democrats are making noise about challenging him, but the filing deadline is nearing (April 4) and no one has stepped up yet.

The news is better for Democrats in North Carolina's 8th District, where Larry Kissell (D) -- the man who came within 329 votes of beating Rep. Robin Hayes (R) in 2006 -- is back for a rematch. And in Ohio's 1st District, Democrats also have found a solid recruit in the form of state Rep. Steve Driehaus. To be fair, Rep. Steve Chabot (R), who has held the seat since 1994, is a formidable campaigner accustomed to winning in a tough district.

It's not only in challenger races where House Democrats could benefit from an uptick in black turnout, however. Democratic incumbents like Rep. Jim Marshall (Ga.) and John Spratt (S.C.) sit in Republican-leaning districts that also happen to have a significant black populations.

Marshall, whose 8th District went for President Bush with 61 percent in 2004, is a major Republican target after he won by less than 2,000 votes in 2006. He could get a percentage point or two boost from Obama given the district's 32 percent black population.

Spratt is farther down the Republican target list despite the fact his 5th District gave Bush 57 percent in 2004. Should a serious challenger emerge, which remains doubtful, Spratt may well enjoy a cushion thanks to the 32 percent African American population in his district.

While it's fascinating to speculate about the potential down-ticket influence Obama could have, it's important to remember that the mere presence of the Illinois senator on the top of the ballot won't come close to guaranteeing Democrats some pick-ups in red states.

Take Mississippi's 3rd District. Rep. Chip Pickering's (R) retirement has opened up a district where one-in-three residents is black. That said, the district gave President Bush 65 percent of the vote in 2004, and no Democrat has emerged who would seem to have a chance to make this seat competitive. Demographics may be destiny, but it's not everything in politics.

A good candidate -- well financed and well known -- is the building block for any competitive race. When it comes to some of the districts mentioned above, finding a conservative Democrat is essential to the party having any chance of putting these seats in play. Bright fits that bill in Alabama, but it's not yet clear that the Democrats running in these other opportunity seats do.

If Obama is truly the transformational figure that many in the party believe him to be, he may well be judged not simply by whether he can win the White House but by how many Democrats he can bring with him to Congress.

Let the coattails argument begin!

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 28, 2008; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  House  
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Posted by: vknjgexds bnikvysxt | April 16, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

What is happening in Alabama is going to happen in other states as well. We are going to see where more than just a few black people will be switching political party affiliation to promote their own political careers. Unfortunately, other minorities will be squeezed out of the political loop. America is going to find out what the meaning of "Black Power" is really going to mean. Thank God presidential terms are only four years long. I think at that end people will be more than ready to say "Enough already" with the whole Obama hoopla, and give power back to the people of America not just to a particular color people. What I have heard some black people say out in the malls , resturants,etc., is scary. I don't care if some say it is just all talk
it is still scary when I hear some black people say "It's payback time"

Posted by: bocona | March 1, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I saw it in theaters when it first came out - I am getting old. It is a great movie even if somewhat fast and loose with historical events.

I have been watching "The Tudors" on Showtime. Thomas More is portrayed in it as a self-righteous prig and something of a religious fanatic. There is one episode where he tells his daughter how he wants to burn all the Lutherans at the stake.

====================

I hear the Tudors is good.

After reading "Man For All Seasons" in my youth, I was inspired to try life in a monastery...didn't work out but was fascinating for the three months I was there.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 29, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

From Alabama's official records of the 2006 US House elections:

AL-1: 52,770 Democratic votes; 112,944 GOP ones
AL-2: 54,450 Dem votes; 124,302 GOP ones (Everett)
AL-3: 63,559 Dem votes; 98.257 GOP ones (Rogers)
AL-4: 54,382 Dem votes; 128,484 GOP ones (Aderholt)
AL-5: 143,015 Dem votes (Cramer), no R candidate
AL-6: 163,514 GOP votes, no Dem candidate
AL-7: 133,870 Dem votes (Davis); no R candidate

So it's easy to see none of these races were close; 3 out of 7 weren't even opposed. But there also seem to be a surplus of Democratic votes wasted on AL-5 and AL-7 rather than spread around more evenly to more accurately reflect the voting wishes of Alabamans.

TOTAL ALABAMA VOTES FOR US HOUSE in 2006:
Democratic: 502,046 (44.45%)
Republican: 627,501 (55.55%)
Total: 1,129,547 (excluding write-ins)

55.55% * 7 seats = 3.89 Alabama seats should be Republican
44.45% * 7 seats = 3.11 Alabama seats should be Democratic

In other words, Alabamans in 2006 voted in proportions such that they should've gotten 4 GOP and 3 Democratic congresspeople. But because Alabama's districts are gerrymandered, 44.45% of the votes are represented by only 28.57% of the seats; while 55.55% of the votes enjoy 71.43% of the seats. Republicans have artificially increased their majority here; the state's House delegation is 5R-2D when, according to the wishes of the voters, it should be 4R-3D.

And therein, I think, is some light shed on why so many black voters have such a hard time electing more Democrats to the House from Alabama. (Probably other Southern states too, but I'm not looking through any more data tonight!)

Posted by: jon.morgan.1999 | February 29, 2008 4:55 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Macon County is in Rogers' AL-3, which is adjacent to AL-6. Granted, I don't know how many people Macon County has, but it's telling that Kerry's 4th best county in the US is gerrymandered into this GOP stronghold district.

Posted by: jon.morgan.1999 | February 29, 2008 3:51 AM | Report abuse

This site has a lot of good data: http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/

In 2004, Kerry's 4th best county in the nation (out of about 3100 total) was Macon County, Alabama. He beat Bush there 83-17. Yet at the same time, one of Bush's best 5 congressional districts in the country (a warped measure--Bush won congressional districts in much greater proportion than his 51% national popular vote total) was Alabama's 6th, where he got 78% of the vote. The more time I spend looking at various maps of different elections, the more it seems there are Democratic counties across the South--from those centered on the Mississippi River in TN, AR, LA, and MS to the belt laying across MS, AL, GA, and into SC and NC (it's more robust in 2000 than 2004)--that aren't getting their maximum utility. Occasionally there appears to be a majority-minority district where a black congressperson is probably getting elected, but mostly it looks like these voters have been divided and conquered through gerrymandering that keeps them split across multiple districts so they're an insufficient minority in each one. Alabama's 2nd and 3rd districts, (not to mention its 7th) are clear gerrymanders, reaching down to put Montgomery in one district and keep it outside another. The 7th looks something like a starfish. Without gerrymandering--if they used a good government process like Arizona, Iowa, or Washington state to draw their House districts, it seems like these blue/black voters would see results more accurate to their demographics--more black Democrats in the House. Short of that, if Obama brings more blacks to register and vote, and the 50 state strategy contests these foregone red states that we've written off so many cycles, Dems in some of these places may be able to improve their results and more of them win elections. In 1996, Clinton won AR, TN, KY, and LA. Without Bush/Rove and the extreme fearmongering, is it so nuts to think Obama might be able to recapture some of those 1992-96 Clinton states?

Posted by: jon.morgan.1999 | February 29, 2008 3:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm curious what the presumed explanation is for this correlation between high black population and strong Republican voting among whites. Does this hold true outside the South? Also, I've found it interesting since 2000 that if you look at a map of the presidential elections by county or House district, there's a clear blue belt across the middles of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia--presumably where the most black voters live. I don't know how well those populations match House district boundaries, but it seems like that blue belt of Gore and Kerry voters in the South should be yielding some Democratic House seats in the same places.

Posted by: jon.morgan.1999 | February 29, 2008 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Jim -- I'm sorry to hear that (your 5:57).

You should read "Rome Sweet Home". Fascinating stuff!

5:54: Afghanistan. Good point. Maybe we need a bigger military. Without a draft, don't know how. More marketing money, or better benefits?

OK, I'm really off.

Jim, thanks a lot for talking to me.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 06:03 PM

Mike, I could never return to the Roman Church and I am very comfortable in the Episcopal Church - even if it has been referred to as Catholic Lite (per Robin Williams).

We do need a bigger military but Rumsfeld strenuously resisted Congressional efforts to increase the size of the militaryin 2004 and 2005. This is just one more count in the indictment against him - which is voluminous.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 28, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Catholics....fantastic movie on tonight...Man For All Seasons. TMC.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 08:08 PM

I saw it in theaters when it first came out - I am getting old. It is a great movie even if somewhat fast and loose with historical events.

I have been watching "The Tudors" on Showtime. Thomas More is portrayed in it as a self-righteous prig and something of a religious fanatic. There is one episode where he tells his daughter how he wants to burn all the Lutherans at the stake.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 28, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Catholics....fantastic movie on tonight...Man For All Seasons. TMC.

What Alberto Gonzalez failed to be.

Watch it. Not to be missed!

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

kreuz -- i just meant that's what we keep hearing. And that's what I fear McCain is about--the continuance of the bush policy.

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Chris is so dense. Bobby Bright would not have won the republican primary!!! He may (I doubt it) win that seat, but Montgomery is a mess. It is closing schools, it has a high crime rate, etc. Bob Riley is very well regarded in Alabama, and if he campaigns for the republican, the republican will win.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | February 28, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"Parliament in 1776 was in not way a democratic representative body. It was more or less democratic for the ruling class but athoritarian for the masses."

The same could be said for the US pre-Civil War. This is the biggest problems when talking about "democracy." Although we like to claim over 100 democracies worldwide, in reality there's probably no more than a couple dozen real democracies and a number of quasi-democracies that are really oligarchies, kleptocracies, or a variety of other issues.

"5:54: Afghanistan. Good point. Maybe we need a bigger military. Without a draft, don't know how. More marketing money, or better benefits?"

No, soldiers must be motivated by duty, not money. Money must be sufficient to provide a decent standard of living, but when it becomes the primary motivation for service, our military and our nation sufffers. The truth is our military is the best indicator of true support for our foreign wars. If the war was more in our national interest and the support for the war was deeper than answering support/oppose on a poll question, there would be sufficient volunteers to fill the ranks.

"I agree with both these things... but then it all comes down to we can't stay and we can't leave."

This gets us stuck into the old false dichotomy that has epitomozed the Bush years. It's not an either/or choice, there are literally hundreds of options before us. There are numerous ways to withdraw, draw down, or modify our operations to shift the burden to Iraq, and there are other options to include escalation, any one of which might trigger positive results depending on how they are implemented. It's not a choice between quitting tomorrow and staying behind the same strategy forever.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Jim -- I'm sorry to hear that (your 5:57).

You should read "Rome Sweet Home". Fascinating stuff!

5:54: Afghanistan. Good point. Maybe we need a bigger military. Without a draft, don't know how. More marketing money, or better benefits?

OK, I'm really off.

Jim, thanks a lot for talking to me.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I remember going to Latin Mass with my cousin. I liked the ancient magical sound of it, the music, the candles, the windows. Very different from the tiny Pentecostal church I went to.

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

'Labeling the whole society as our enemy only hurts us'

As does labelling an entire religion.

"We broke it, we bought it, but it's time for a little tough love."

"Although I opposed the invasion, I agree that we cannot withdraw until stability is established but I don't equate stability with a functioning democracy."

I agree with both these things... but then it all comes down to we can't stay and we can't leave.

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Mike

BTW, I am old enough to remember when they were all Latin Masses - an altar boy in fact. I am no longer Roman Catholic, was agnostic for many years then became a Methodist and now I am an Episcopalian.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 28, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Mike,

On a practical level, I also opposed the invasion of Iraq because of the diversion of troops and resources from Afghanistan.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 28, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Mike,

I don't take it as an argument to leave either but I don't support keeping large numbers of troops until Iraq has a functional democracy. As I said, I don't equate democracy with stability.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 28, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

"wpost4112, I'll try to go to a Latin Mass without blowing something up to get my point across. I'll let you know how that goes."

====================

Vade in pace, mi fili. Missa est.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

jimd52 --

I can see your point.

As I said, I can't deny the practical failings.

I think Bush is doing the right thing, in principal.

But you're right, his MBA doesn't make him a good war manager. That's why we have general officers.

I just can't equate that to a reason to leave.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

"Britain was a democracy when we fought the revolution"

Not really, Britain was more of an oligarchy with an extremely limited franchise. Parliament in 1776 was in not way a democratic representative body. It was more or less democratic for the ruling class but athoritarian for the masses.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 28, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Mike

The thing that really angers me is the way Bush, Rumsfeld, & the whole neo-con clique brushed aside Army Chief of Staff Shineski's evaluation of the force levels needed for occupation. I also cannot forgive them freezing out any Iraqi experts from the planning and staffing the Occupation Authority with numerous political loyalists with no expertise in the areas they were hired to oversee. Had we been smarter, earlier, I am convinced Iraq would now be seen as a success.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 28, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"didn't you see the huge McD's arches on the wall right behind the US Embassy in Belgrade/Kosovo that was under seige?"

Yup, but that was a civil war, not an invasion, which is the main thrust of the theory. Granted, it's main proponents also argue that people would find peaceful ways to resolve differences due to the economic costs, but there are certainly always exceptions.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"You've also got to remember Hitler, Tito, and Mussolini all came to power in a semi-democratic system."

Yes, that is true, but they had firmly established their dictatorships long before going to war.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 28, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

"We broke it, we bought it, but it's time for a little tough love."


"Although I opposed the invasion, I agree that we cannot withdraw until stability is established but I don't equate stability with a functioning democracy."


I think these are both well-reasoned, center/left-of-center positions, which I can respect [although probably not agree... yet].

I do admit, I'm tired of not-great news there. I'd really like to see things going better. But I'm not yet fed up with the whole thing. I mostly agree with it in principal, so it's hard to accept practical failings.

I have very much appreciated the conversations today. I think there is much we can agree on.

I hope the President is hearing voices both like yours and mine (and fear he is not).

All for now, peace be with you.

wpost4112, I'll try to go to a Latin Mass without blowing something up to get my point across. I'll let you know how that goes.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

re: "McDonald's diplomcy"

didn't you see the huge McD's arches on the wall right behind the US Embassy in Belgrade/Kosovo that was under seige?


re: poverty/Xtianity:

when I have more time/energy I'll answer.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

"vI hope you are not equating our troops with Blackwater cowboys (even if some used to be troops - that kind of behavior is not tolerated in the military)."

===========


Nope.
My concern is with the rogue elements allowed by the State Dept but not under rule of law...the blackwater cowboys, who are as dangerous to our troops as some of the terrorists.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

wpost4112 -- you're still around.

What is your point?

The only "good" Christian is a "poor" Christian?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

And, I emphasize, there was a large faction of loyalists, who did not want an independent republic. We didn't have the 'perfect' conditions either. I think it was more a function of, what you said, the genius of the Founding Fathers.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 05:25 PM

That is true but they all shared the English tradition of representative government. Many of the colonies had representative institutions. Many of the loyalists essentially agreed with the founders except for breaking with England. There was a substantial group who wanted to end taxation without representation but did not support cuting ties with England.

Although I opposed the invasion, I agree that we cannot withdraw until stability is established but I don't equate stability with a functioning democracy.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 28, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Ah, McDonalds Deploamcy, I am actually much more on board with the underlying notion, but I'm not sure that it will work applied to Iraq, though, we brought it there under artificial conditions. The premise is a McDOnalds is a sign of significant infiltration of Western economics into a society, and once we're part of a common economic system we are less likely to fight one another. I think that broadly holds true, but whether Iraq has truly embraced the Western economy remains to be seen, so McDOnalds here may be a false indicator.

"Hitler's Germany, Imperial Japan, Fascist Italy, North Korea"

You've also got to remember Hitler, Tito, and Mussolini all came to power in a semi-democratic system.

"As I assume you recognize the impossibility of a stable Iraq after a quick withdrawal, I assume you support some kind of slow draw-down. You break it you bought it though, right?"

True, and I think if you really read into it, nobody is really calling for a rapid withdrawal (Obama has said it would take at least 18 months, and still allows for a residual force for training, etc). The question is how best to proceed. Under Bush, it's pretty much been to give Maliki a blank check, and to keep elevating our forces to prop him up while he continues to go down hill. We broke it, we bought it, but it's time for a little tough love.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

ok. that makes sense.
how do you prevent these rogue mercenaries like blackwater employees who are beyond the reach of law?

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 05:19 PM

That is an entirely different question. I hope you are not equating our troops with Blackwater cowboys (even if some used to be troops - that kind of behavior is not tolerated in the military).

Posted by: jimd52 | February 28, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Jim:

"I fear that it will take much longer to do this in Iraq than is reasonable for us to be the main guarantor of stability in the country. It will take longer because there is not the kind of social and cultural foundation for a democracy."

How though, do we determine, what is 'reasonable', when we ourselves are the destablizers?

And, I emphasize, there was a large faction of loyalists, who did not want an independent republic. We didn't have the 'perfect' conditions either. I think it was more a function of, what you said, the genius of the Founding Fathers.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

kreuz_missile

1. good summary. Agreed, constantly evolving. They don't have to repeat our mistakes, though. We fought the civil war so other democracies don't have to?

2. I'll rephrase. No nation with a McDonalds has ever attacked us. (I don't actually know if that's true). We can at least agree democracies are less often catalysts of global conflict, recently (Hitler's Germany, Imperial Japan, Fascist Italy, North Korea, ... )

Right or wrong about the imposition of freedom on a people, I agree stability is a necessary and good thing.

As I assume you recognize the impossibility of a stable Iraq after a quick withdrawal, I assume you support some kind of slow draw-down.

You break it you bought it though, right?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

"As for the poster recommending a return to the draft and 2 year enlistments. I am a retired naval officer whose service began when most of our forces were draftees. We do not EVER want to go back to that. Secondly, two year enlistments are far too short for today's high tech military. The troops would be barely trained in two years. The disruption due to bi-annual turnover would be disasterous. I saw the transformation of our forces from one dominated by sullen, resentful draftees and enlistees who enlisted one step ahead of the police to a well-motivated, intelligent, and resourceful force"


=============

ok. that makes sense.
how do you prevent these rogue mercenaries like blackwater employees who are beyond the reach of law?

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Your first point: Democracy is messy. Look at US history, 1775-1790. I'd say it was worth it, if your horizon is long enough. Many loyalists didn't want it. It doesn't take the entire population to be ready. But, it does take some. I believe there are some in Iraq.

Your second point: Might be true, but it is also true that democracies don't attack eachother. On the contrary, we defend eachother. I doubt we would stand by and watch someone take down a young, functioning democracy in the middle east.

Overall point: It's a risk, one I think we should take. Especially since we have already started, and invested (lost) so much in the process.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 04:51 PM

Mike,

What was established here in 1770 to 1790 was most certainly not a democracy as we know it. It was a republic with many safeguards built in to prevent the masses from assuming power. The franchise was limited, Senators were elected by the state legislatures and presidential electors were supposed to be wise and substantial citizens who would choose a wise and substantial president - which they most certainly did. We didn't really fully realize democracy until we had expanded the franchise, ended slavery, extended the franchise to women and ended Jim Crow. It was a process and it took a long time. I would argue that it wasn't until Jackson's administration that we really began to be a true democracy as opposed to a republic with oligarchical overtones. (I do not say this in a critical way at all, I think the evolution from Washington to Jackson showed the genius of the Founders vindicated.) We had a solid social, philosophical and cultural foundation for representative government. There was a shared vision of the nation - although we fought a Civil War to firmly establish the Union. My point (and I do have one) is that it takes both a firm social and cultural foundation and time to establish a democracy. I fear that it will take much longer to do this in Iraq than is reasonable for us to be the main guarantor of stability in the country. It will take longer because there is not the kind of social and cultural foundation for a democracy.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 28, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"Your first point: Democracy is messy. Look at US history, 1775-1790. I'd say it was worth it, if your horizon is long enough. Many loyalists didn't want it. It doesn't take the entire population to be ready. But, it does take some. I believe there are some in Iraq."

Those dates are the time of the American Revolution, but the process of building American Democracy took much longer (and may would argue it remains an ongoing process). We built the US from the ground up when we started the colonies, we imported democraitc ideals from enlightenement philosophers, we grew when the British paid us little attention, and when they tried to crack down and bring us under more direct control, we fought to sever the ties. We then continued to evolve, fight a civil war under our most basic values, underwen painful reconstruction, and internal strife over womens and civil rights. Were it not for our unique beginning and our separation from the rest of the world, it may not have succeeded. But, most importantly, it was an American effort, it was not pushed upon us by a group of foreigners who thought they knew better. Until the Iraqis really step up and become the dominant force of this movement, the parallels are weak. This is why we need to begin to withdraw and force them to stand on their own now, because if the status quo remains much longer, our situation will grow more precarious, and Iraqis may end up more turned off by the prospect of democratization than they would have been otherwise.

"Your second point: Might be true, but it is also true that democracies don't attack eachother. On the contrary, we defend eachother. I doubt we would stand by and watch someone take down a young, functioning democracy in the middle east."

Democratic Peace Theory has been pretty thoroughly debunked. Britain was a democracy when we fought the revolution (King George was largely a boogeyman, most of our grievances were with Parliament)., both sides of the US Civil War were democracies, India and Pakistan were democracies when they were at the height of their tense periods and periods of warfare. Democracies can be a force for stability, but when a mob mentality takes over, they can also be a great source of instability. Democracy is a virtue for a number of reasons, but peace and stability isn't inherently one of them. I also reject that Iraq is functioning. Parties are ill defined, people vote based on factions, and factions dominate the parliament and prevent anthing productive from getting done. Consensus and the ability to sway opponents is the core of democracy, but there is no flexibility in the current system, all it does is legitimize the rule of the most powerful factions, which is the greatest source of instability in Iraq today.

"Overall point: It's a risk, one I think we should take. Especially since we have already started, and invested (lost) so much in the process."

At this point, I don't think the sunk costs mean (to borrow a poker term) that we're pot committed. Even Bush has repeatedly lowered the bar of what we hope for there. We need to push for a stable government first off, then build a framework to work towards a deomcratic future. But, Democracy is a process, not an end, so stability must come first and must be our immediate goal. We can only hope the Iraqis will decide Democracy is in their best interest for the future and take up that mantle as we bein to pull back.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

jimd52 --

I agree about the 2 year enlistments.

A lot of these jobs are too high-tech/specialized.


I didn't live through the draft, so I'll take you at your word. (I've heard the same from guys your age.)

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

jimd52 --

"Free societies cannot be brought into existence by armed force."

Where did ours come from?

I can tell you there are many Iraqis fighting for the same thing we did.


"we need robust intelligence..."

Why do Democrats constantly seem to oppose this?
It really makes them look weak.

Why close Gitmo, give them American courts and lawyers, refuse to spy on them, refuse to question them, and let them go to attack us another day?

Isn't that the recipe for disaster against this post-modern, decentralized enemy?


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

As the World Turns: See 05:00 PM.

Spare me your posts, unless they aren't insults

(So that means, don't bother addressing me ever again)

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

"I don't agree with you, I'm a moron."

Nah. You make moronic comments -- lots of them -- you're a moron.

"hense"

Friendly advice for Master Mike: When you try to use fancy words like hence, at least spell them correctly.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

So, how can building a free society in Iraq be a bad thing?


Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 04:36 PM

Free societies cannot be brought into existence by armed force. The problem with Iraq is that there is not really a shared vision of nationhood for Iraq. It is a collection of tribes who mostly hate each other. Their idea of democracy is tyranny of the majority. The Shia dominated government operates mostly as a government of the Shia, by the Shia and for the Shia.


I read the column in question by a former CIA case officer turned psychiatrist. He makes some valid points. I firmly believe we must fight terrorists who want to harm us but we need to do it intelligently. I think we are giving them far too much credit. The notion that Al Qaeda will be able to establish a reactionary, terrorist caliphate in the Middle East if we don't act is absurd. The Army counter-insurgency manual, written by General Petraeus, says (I paraphrase) you do not beat an insurgency by killing all the insurgents, you beat it by persuading the civilian population to stop supporting it. In fact, General Petraeus has significantly changed tactics and has reduced the number of accidental civilian deaths. Mike is right in that there will always be collateral damage and that the US armed forces are more sensitive to this than any other armed force. However, this sensitivity means nothing to the families of the 'collateral damage'. Those unavoidable incidents do help terrorism recruitment. We certainly cannot invade and occupy every Islamic country, we need robust intelligence, vigilant police work and close cooperation with friendly naitons.

As for the poster recommending a return to the draft and 2 year enlistments. I am a retired naval officer whose service began when most of our forces were draftees. We do not EVER want to go back to that. Secondly, two year enlistments are far too short for today's high tech military. The troops would be barely trained in two years. The disruption due to bi-annual turnover would be disasterous. I saw the transformation of our forces from one dominated by sullen, resentful draftees and enlistees who enlisted one step ahead of the police to a well-motivated, intelligent, and resourceful force.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 28, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Hence*

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't agree with you, I'm a moron.

I go to school (and assume you did not) on a subject, still disagree, I'm a moron.

And my school is worthless.

Obviously, both are just opinions. I even presented mine as such (hense the, "I don't think...").

It's like arguing with a monkey.

Did you miss All My Children today, is that it?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

wpost4112 - don't bother answering the question.

You don't have to explain your assertions, assumptions, or premises.

You can just point out "examples" of Christian "hypocrisy".

It's like cooking spaggetti and throwing it at the wall.

Let's see what sticks.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

"Spectator2 - I'm a moron who doesn't agree with you. Well, that's great.

I don't think the DJIA measures wealth in America. I must be a moron (with a master's degree in finance).

Go back to your soap operas."

Good god, you freaking idiot. How can you not admit that an increase in the DJIA = an increase in wealth? Did I say it was the only measure of wealth in America?

Whatever miserable excuse for a school that gave you a degree in finance should not only be closed, but blown up and then have the rubble dropped at the bottom of the ocean.

And what is it with these soap opera comments? Talk about idiotic, nonsensical, moronic, whatever you choose. They all fit.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Your first point: Democracy is messy. Look at US history, 1775-1790. I'd say it was worth it, if your horizon is long enough. Many loyalists didn't want it. It doesn't take the entire population to be ready. But, it does take some. I believe there are some in Iraq.

Your second point: Might be true, but it is also true that democracies don't attack eachother. On the contrary, we defend eachother. I doubt we would stand by and watch someone take down a young, functioning democracy in the middle east.

Overall point: It's a risk, one I think we should take. Especially since we have already started, and invested (lost) so much in the process.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

""Name me one Christian leader, pundit, radio host who is Jesus-poor."
So, in order to be a good Christian, we should be poor?
Is that your thesis?
What exactly is your thesis?
Other than, "I like attacking religion"."

=====================================

Attack religion? Moi? Not so.

Attack those who twist religion to acheive their corrupt human ends. Why, yes!

By their fruits you shall know them!

Simple really. Simple when first said, Simple now.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

My background's largely irrelevant to the conversation at hand, but on your last point: "So, how can building a free society in Iraq be a bad thing?"

Because trying to force it when the society isn't ready for it can be counterproductive for the near future, the process is messy, and the realist implications of destabilization become a threat to US security, which should be the top objective of the US government. I'm all for Middle Eastern democracy, but it needs to work from the bottom up, and we need to accept that it may look quite different from what we're accustomed to in the West.

The other big problem is that what I say is true of a stable free society, but an emerging democracy can be extremely unstable, and due to the nature of freedom free socieites are more vulnerable to being destabilized. The neocons believe that democracy is the antedote to terrorism, but the fact is most terrorist attacks occur in democratic societies- dictators are quite effective in putting down any threat to their authority, which is why Hussein effectively kept Islamist terrorists in check within his borders when he was in power. We need to work for stabilization first, then develop a long-term plan for the expansion of democracy through other mechanisms. Some wrongly believed that democracy was ready to take off in Iraq and all it needed was a shot to get it going, and that was a mistake. We need to recognize it and readress the region through the insight we have gained through this experience.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

"Name me one Christian leader, pundit, radio host who is Jesus-poor."

So, in order to be a good Christian, we should be poor?

Is that your thesis?

What exactly is your thesis?

Other than, "I like attacking religion".

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

kreuz_missile -- what is your background?

You said the following 3 things, with which I think we can all (to some degree) agree:

1.)
"but I will say that any group that finds itself oppressed, on the outside of society... can become equally opressive."

2.)
"We live in a great society that allows us to interact and worship as we wish, and allows no one a monopoly to opress others, thus we don't have as serious a problem."

3.)
"Even so, in our society, probelms do occur."

Perhaps we should:

1. Acknowledge the conditions that create evil.

2. Present a viable alternative.

3. Be mindful of its faults and shortcomings.
(and work to minimize them)


So, how can building a free society in Iraq be a bad thing?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

""Who was talking about Islam prior to 9/11?""

============


The more important question is why wasn't everyone talking about Islam before 9/11.

Besides, it's not about Islam. It's about oil.

If there were oil in India, instead of oil in Iraq, we'd be all about Hindu terrorists.

It is always about money. Always.

Name me one Christian leader, pundit, radio host who is Jesus-poor.

Not a one.

They'd all be Buddhists if there were money in it.

O'Reilly, Rush, Coulter DREAD a peaceful America. There income would dry up. They NEED hatred to pay their bills. Just as Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al need war to fill the coffers of
Halliburton and Blackwater and the American oil companies.

Follow the money. Always.

Then look at who wants to keep everyone ignorant so the money can keep flowing.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

USMC Mike - you must have missed the day liberal math was taught. I can summarize it for you:

Everything you know is wrong. up is down, as in raise taxes to make the economy go up, good is bad, as in profit is to be shunned and punished. Markets are inefficient but price and wage controls are brilliant.

you can extend this to sociology and politics too:

losing a war is really winning
Rich people are not succesful

and so on.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

"The Latin Mass example was used to talk about those who want to return to a non-rational religiosity somewhere back in the mists of time."

Latin Mass is non-rational (irrational?).

It's a form of extremism we must fight against.

Look, we can all agree extremism in all forms is undesirable.

But let's not pretend that everyone is equally quilty.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I can only conclude that you are a complete moron.


Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 04:04 PM

In fact, this is the conclusion for all of Loud and dumbs posts. there is probably a thesis here which could study the level of imbecility required to beleive that everyone else is the stupid one.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"Who was talking about Islam prior to 9/11?"

Lots of people were. Lewis first published his essay on Clash of Civilizations in the early 1990s. Arab Nationalists like Nasser, Qadafhi, Saddam Hussein, and others like Ayatollah Khoemeini have been popularly villified for years. Hard core neocons have pushed an agressive anti-Arab position since the 1960s. True, it was only 911 that gave it popular appeal, just as The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the US invasion of Iraq gave modern jihadists a recruiting boon.

I'm not going to go down the road of comapring Christian autorcities over the years to recent takfiri inspired atrocities, but I will say that any group that ifnds itself oppressed, on the outside of society, and out of control, or converseley that comes to dominate society to an extreme can become equally opressive. We live in a great society that allows us to interact and worship as we wish, and allows no one a monopoly to opress others, thus we don't have as serious a problem.

Even so, in our society, probelms do occur. Outside groups such as al Qaeda with there perverse agenda can slip in and attack us, and domestic terrorists from Tim McVeigh to Eric Rudolph are capable of inflicting significant damage as well. The trade of for freedom is the acceptance of risk, and the cost is eternal vigilence. It's not a counterproductive violent crackdown against phantom enemies or the suspension of our values for temporary security.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

"You can't compare the needless killing of 3,000 INNOCENT HUMAN BEINGS to "wanting a latin mass"."
========================

Good lord. Read what I write.

The Latin Mass example was used to talk about those who want to return to a non-rational religiosity somewhere back in the mists of time.

Are those who attend Latin Mass equivalent to actual terrorists? No.

But it is the non-rational mindset of some of such religious fanatics which can give rise to terrorists.

Did a twisted version of Christianity give rise to Eric Rudolph, the bomber of the Atlantic Olympics and abortion clinics? Yes.

Just as the twisted version of Islam gave rise to the terrorists who flew those planes into the twin towers.

Any escape into the non-rational world of religious superstition leads to terrorism of some sort sooner or later.

History tells the story again and again and again.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

PS, I don't have to kill anyonen to go to a latin mass.

There's one every day, just down the street.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

"Why do you think there Catholics who want the Latin Mass?"

"we ARE fighting against superstitious religiosity on every front."

Wait a bloody second.

This is the biggest crock of bull sh** I've ever read.

You think Catholics are blowing themselves up, taking innocents with them, to get a latin mass?

No, they aren't.

Are extreme Muslims blowing us up to take us all back to the 7th century? Yes.

Are the two comparable?

Only to you I suppose.

I remember the day we discussed independents, and Obama. I walked away thinking you were rational, that you had an "OK" reason for liking Obama, which wasn't predicated on "he's so dreamy... I believe in hope".

But today you've been off the deep end.

You can't compare the needless killing of 3,000 INNOCENT HUMAN BEINGS to "wanting a latin mass".

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

kreuz_missile

"rather than continuing the divisive path that both extremes have favored for too long"

Both extremes?

Who was talking about Islam prior to 9/11?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"I don't want to live in the 7th century. I doubt you do either."

And nor does most of the Islamic world."

=====================

But there ARE xtians, jews and muslims who DO want to live in a 7th century world.

Why do you think there Catholics who want the Latin Mass?

Or Jews who want to turn Israel into a theocracy?

Or Muslims who want to establish their law in England, home of the Magna Carta??

we ARE fighting against superstitious religiosity on every front.

The terrorist who bombs the olympics in Atlanta ios no different then the terrorists who flew into the twin towers than the terrorists who occupy Palestinian land.

They all eschew the rule of human law. The law upon which democracy rests.

THIS is the fight...against all religious extremism.

A fight for human reason and human law based on inalienable rights to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

THIS is the fight. Nothing else.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Spectator2 - I'm a moron who doesn't agree with you. Well, that's great.

I don't think the DJIA measures wealth in America. I must be a moron (with a master's degree in finance).

Go back to your soap operas.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"I can assure you it was not intentional, he actually meant the exact opposite. sarcasm is supposed to be really hip in Lib circles. cynicism too. Hate, envy, pity and spite round out their pallette of emotions and methods."

Some people on here apparently do pity you, ace. I just laugh at you.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

""DJIA has nothing to do with wealth"

You finally said something true!"

Since sarcasm would make no sense as an explanation for your post, I can only conclude that you are a complete moron.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

"I would be fine to agree with you and call it a day, but they seem intent on taking us all down with them.

I don't want to live in the 7th century. I doubt you do either."

And nor does most of the Islamic world. Even the Iranians, who we mislabel "fundamentalist," believe themselves to be the most advanced society on earth and have no desire to resurrect the Caliphate. It is a small, but vocal and dangerous group who wants to resurrect the Caliphate that is responsible, and is playing to a large group that doesn't want to do that, but many find the prospect of knocking us down a peg tempting. That gets back to my earlier post on the triangle model for terrorist organizations and how to properly ocmbat them. Labeling the whole society as our enemy only hurts us. We need to better identify the enemy, take them out, reach out to the remainder of Islamic society, and beter coexist and/or grow together, rather than continuing the divisive path that both extremes have favored for too long.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Funny thing is both the best of the Roman Catholic Church and the best of the Islamic Civilization all rest upon the literature, science and philosophy of ancient Greece.

When religion conforms to reason and science, it shines. When it falls back into superstition and fear, it becomes the source of violence and division.

If you have not read Plato or Aristotle, the Greek tragedians and comic playwrights, the poets and myths, you will never understand the basis of Jewish/Christian/Islamic religion or culture.

What we do not understand, we fear. What we fear, we seek to avoid or destroy.

Progress comes only from knowledge, understanding, tolerance.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

"DJIA has nothing to do with wealth"

You finally said something true!

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 03:45 PM

I can assure you it was not intentional, he actually meant the exact opposite. sarcasm is supposed to be really hip in Lib circles. cynicism too. Hate, envy, pity and spite round out their pallette of emotions and methods.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

"but since then they have fallen into the same kinds of traps that plagued Europe through the dark ages."

I would be fine to agree with you and call it a day, but they seem intent on taking us all down with them.

I don't want to live in the 7th century. I doubt you do either.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

CC I like your column, I am somewhat amused
about Obama, all this wrangling, convinces
me to VOTE for Obama: To unify us or at least try. We have had ( 2 ) Two baby boomer presidents, neither got the job done! As a former Republican, how can they call themselves the party of values, small government, fiscally responsible, when they have mortaged 3 generations at least.

Posted by: hcald | February 28, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

"But, don't bother. It's easier to tell me how unread I am than to read a book you might not agree with."

I never called you unread, bro, you're the only one whose called anyone here ignorant (other than Zouk, but no one takes him seriously anyways). The fact is Woods writes pop catholic history, nothing of real academic merit. His claims misrepresent the facts and skew everything in Catholocism's favor. I read plenty of books I don't agree with, but I recognize the author's purpose and the academic foundations of those books.

I am not an Islamic apologist, but I do recognize that for a good chunk of history there (circa 750 - 1358 AD), they were the ones at the cutting edge of civilization, they built the foundation that allowed the West to rise, but since then they have fallen into the same kinds of traps that plagued Europe through the dark ages.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

cut and paste followed by insult

Just another rightwing strawman, kreuz.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 03:42 PM

Please someone, talk to him. I think his girlfriend sprung a leak and needs inflating again.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"DJIA has nothing to do with wealth"

You finally said something true!

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

What we don't do is present a mug, arrogant moral superiority ot the rest of the world--Only to Republicans

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

""I'm not enlightened enough to hate my own culture I guess."

I've got to throw out the BS flag on you here once more. No one here has demonstrated they hate their own culture."

Just another rightwing strawman, kreuz.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

novamatt, you must have missed it:


claudia -- I'll make you a deal.

I'll agree to cut friendly ties with the Saudis

If you agree to drill for oil here at home, regardless of frogs

And we can both agree to work towards oil independence.

How does that sound?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 02:17 PM

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"there is that DJIa thing he likes to use"

right, drooler, that silly DJIA thing whenever you post one of your unsupported laundry lists of GOP talking points that includes some idiocy about record wealth.

How silly of me. DJIA has nothing to do with wealth, we all know that.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

kreuz_missile

So quick to defend Islam.

So reluctant to credit the Christians with "like architecture", or whatever.

Obviously a Catholic scholar is going to have a "like," pro-Catholic opinion, "bro".

I wonder if the facts in the book can be verified!

But, don't bother. It's easier to tell me how unread I am than to read a book you might not agree with.

PS, we can all (even claudia) work wikipedia.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"

"That is factually incorrect. The Roman Church did their best to destroy much of the works of Plato, Aristotle, and many of the social and technological advances of the Romans because of their percieved pagan origins."

That's an interesting assertion, considering I just got back from Rome, and saw the Vatican Museum for myself.

There, I saw civilization, preserved.
"

===========

Well, you're both right and wrong.

The Roman Catholic Church did indeed destroy many "pagan" documents...when not destroying them, erasing them and writing over then with sermons.

However, as Rome, Europe and the Church were sinking into uneducated idiocy, a remnant sailed to Ireland, established monasteries, learning and then to England and then to Europe and we have the first renasissance in Charlemagne's court.

It was not until the true Renaissance in Italy in the 14th century that Greek and Roman philosophy/literature/science documents were recovered from the cellars of monasteries.

The secularists brought us back from the brink of religious idiocy to reason again.

The Church was no dummy and it's entire teachings are based on Aristotle and Plato thanks to Thomas of Aquinas. Just as it's law is based on Roman law.

In addition, while Christian Europe was wallowing in illiterateness and mindless Inquisitions, the Islamic civilization was flourishing esp in the sciences and medicine.

The greatest poet of all time, Rumi, an Islamic mystic, surpassing even Shakespeare, was active around the time of Francis of Assisi. He was beloved by Jews, Christians and Muslims.

How sad so few know the riches of our human history.

Repeating again and again the mindless violence because of ignorance of the past and present.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

USMC_Mike, it's a little more complicated than you want to make it. Funny how we can type out all these long back-and-forths and never mention the word "oil."

Posted by: novamatt | February 28, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not enlightened enough to hate my own culture I guess."

I've got to throw out the BS flag on you here once more. No one here has demonstrated they hate their own culture. You are the one trumpeting this "clash of civilizations" nonsense that has rightfully been called by some the most dangerous academic thesis of the modern era. We recognize we've had our highs and lows, and we recognize others have as well. What we don't do is present a mug, arrogant moral superiority ot the rest of the world, the exact same attitude that continues to get us into mess after mess throughout the world today. A little enightenment might be good for you there. We are not the enemy, Islam is not the enemy, al Qaeda is the enemy. Get that through your head.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"Jesus washed feet, according to the Bible. The tradtion goes back a long way. You apparently are ignorant of how closely related Islam, Judaism and Christianity are."

1. I'm surprised you capitalized Jesus and Christianity. You typically don't. Might have looked odd next to your capitalized Islam.

2. We (Christians) don't demand special accomodations in public places.

3. Your ad hominem is hillariously tragic. You are a pathetic drone.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

there is only one category of post from Loud and dumb (more than that is beyond his capabilities):
cut and paste followed by insult. Usually in a pavlovian response to anything from zouk. so far no record of any original thinking or substantial content. but there is that DJIa thing he likes to use and the pavlov thing and then the list of four that fills his day. Poor poor loud and dumb.

Can someone please pay attention to him. he craves this in any form. I know this is beyond the call, but with drindl gone, the rest of the jackels are also ignoring him. It is lonely being so stupid.

I have had my fill of babysitting this imbecile and was away for a while and forgot my pledge to ignore moonbats. I will reprimand myself later tonight by eating one less lobster or ordering my prime rib medium.

back to the debate.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

"kreuz_missile -- Your ignorance is showing again..."

My ignorance? I have a couple of masters degrees, one in history, so please enlighten me...

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

"Woods is a convert to the Roman Catholic Church and author of The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy. He is best known for his 2004 bestseller[5] The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History (Regnery Publishing, 2004). He is associate editor of The Latin Mass Magazine, which supports traditional Catholicism, and a contributing editor of The American Conservative."

Interesting...must all be true coming from a nonbiased source like that......

The first recognized University is the The University of Al Karaouine in Fez, Morocco; a Muslim institution....

If you're referring to a higher level of academia, then the University of Constantinople (425 AD might apply, but was by no means part of the Church). Or maybe you mean the Academy of Plato (386 BC).

No, I imagine he refers to the schools run by the church to ordain ministers over the years. True, they did exist under Catholocism for years, but were hardly Universities in the modern sense, the models of which come largely from India and the Islamic world.

Science, seriously? The church that threatened to execute Galileo because he invented an object which clearly contradicted church teachings? The church that until John Paul II was practically at war with evolution (thankfully they're further along than some of their protestant brothers)?

There are some good contributions the church has made, and yes some things were preserved and some like architecture did advance (as they did simultaneously elsewhere in the world), but to credit the faith with them just doesn't hold true.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"I said nothing about abstaining"

I know, I did. You were conspicuously absent.

"To dismiss Islam and its achievements out of hand is just pure ignorance and intellectual laziness."

I gave them the decimal. Ok, joking.

I even had a 2nd post explaining they had done some good stuff (but that we're better). Is that so bad?

I'm not enlightened enough to hate my own culture I guess.

"It's why the perverters of any religion can so easily persuade the uneducated mind. It's the core reason the Middle East is trapped in the Middle Ages."

Agreed. It's tragic. Now we're getting somewhere.

We both think the religion has been hijacked.

So, what do we do about it, if anything?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

good point Claudia--as do the PMD-ers novamatt was talking about.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Jesus washed feet, according to the Bible. The tradtion goes back a long way. You apparently are ignorant of how closely related Islam, Judaism and Christianity are.

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

My G-d,

This strand has gone crazy since last I checked.

Zouk and USMC--Your arguments cannot be respected when they are so irrationally anti-Muslim.

I mean some of the stuff you all have said about Muslims/Islam is insulting and xenophobic if not borderline racist.

All religions have fanatics; and good points. The difference as I see it is that while Christianity has somewhat moved into a new paradigm and modernity recently--Islam in the middle East has largely not. This coupled with the friction always existing between "western" Europe and the Islamic East (since ancient times)has served to escalate.

Part of the issue is we need to get off our high horses and remember our history, even in this country--let alone that of Christianity--has not been as noble and progressive as some of you are arguing.

That doesn't mean western civilization is not the most advanced (in some areas) up to this point--I for one would rather live ANYWHERE in the western world than in the Middle East.
But it also can't mean that we ignore the contributions they have made and their potential to make more. Americans are somewhat blindsided by our relative youth. Iran traces its civilization back to Persia (as I Know you all know); but imagine how that must feel. Look at how we react to the surge of India or China or the resurgence of Russia. Just because Iran has been largely third world in your lifetime; doesn't mean that the people there don't know there own history and know that before our "founding fathers" even set foot on this continent--their civilization had invented many of the discoveries we take for granted today.

Is Islamic extremism wrong--ABSOLUTELY--shoudl the Arab leaders/nations do more to help their people and openly condemn Islamic Extremism--ABSOLUTELY But it is also healthy for us to humble out a bit--put down the flag and cross and realize we are not exactly innocent and also look at how our best intentions might be misunderstood or miscommunicated to the Arab/Islamic audience.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

burqua

'Where's your pithy comeback to my quib about your head-covering, 2 steps beside your husband or-else-get-stoned-to-death?'

I thought it was too stupid to pay attention to. But since you insist, these are people following the dictates of the old testament, which I presume you beleive in.

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"Your explanation for abstaining from the conversation, namely, that I'm too stupid for you to talk to, is pathetic and boring."
======================

I said nothing about abstaining, even though it is Lent. I said it was difficult to respect your opinions when they are so poorly-informed.

No helpful discussion is ever possible when there is not a basic agreement of premises. To dismiss Islam and its achievements out of hand is just pure ignorance and intellectual laziness.

If you could admit to some of the documented glories of their past, i could more readily accept as reasonable your criticism of the present distortions of Islam in today's arabic cultures.

In human history, there is only one enemy ever: ignorance.

Ignorance.

Ignorance.

It's why the perverters of any religion can so easily persuade the uneducated mind. It's the core reason the Middle East is trapped in the Middle Ages.

And the core reason the USA is mired in civil discord.

Ignorance.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

kreuz_missile -- Your ignorance is showing again...

novamatt -- Islamic folks can dress however they want. I won't try to change that, not even with a gun. And, if it's fine by you, they can murder all the women they want. That's OK because morality is relative and if they think it's OK, it must be OK. I just don't like it when they export their violent mania to my back yard. Is it OK with you if I draw the line there? Or do you want me to build a foot-washing station there too?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"That is a very valuable service you provide. It amazes - the technical skill and level of intelligence it must take to accomplish this feat. how do you do it?

I think this demonstrates definitively who the ignorant coward was all along. he can't help but point out any appearance of the dreaded zouk.

but I love the fact that he identifies himself as Loud and dumb voter now.

thank you for your service. we will all be sure to keep on the lookout for classic zouk in all its forms."

There are only four categories of zouk posts, einstein. Try to keep up. You should know, since you're the spewer of this drivel.

The four categories are:

Cut-and-paste jobs from rightwing fishwraps

Unsupported laundry lists of GOP talking points

Insults

Nonsequiturs.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

More for you on the Vatican Museum:

"The Vatican Museums originated as a group of sculptures collected by Pope Julius II (1503-1513) and placed in what today is the "Cortile Ottagono" within the museum complex. The popes were among the first sovereigns who opened the art collections of their palaces to the public thus promoting knowledge of art history and culture."

1503 - 1513? Right before the Reformation? What a weird coincidence...

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

But don't be too quick to credit those pesky Christians with anything.


Let's not forget the decimal.

Or the berka.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

USMC_Mike, the other possibility is that drindl and I think you're a swell guy and you'll be sweller if you digest the simple fact that Arabs and Muslims aren't congenitally stoopid civilization-haters, that their long period of stagnation is cultural, and that cultures don't change because outsiders who think they're better and have a lot of guns think it should. There are other, less stoopid, more civilized ways of influencing Arab and Muslim culture in a more decent direction we maybe should check out. That's why.

Posted by: novamatt | February 28, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

"There, I saw civilization, preserved."

Just like they preserved the Bible kept it tucked away for no commoners to see, only what the Pope allowed. Until the Pope no longer could control things, that is...

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Mike -all the facts and opinions about this aren't listed on the daily Kos today.

therefore - you are a moron and I'm not talking to you.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

kreuz_missile - might I suggest a reading for your consideration

How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization By Thomas E. Woods

A History of the Catholic Church's central role in shaping and saving Western Civilization, highlighting its contributions, including:

The University
Science
Art, Architecture
Free Market Economics (500 yrs before Adam Smith)
Charity
Law
Morality

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"Loud and dumb, your economy of words and intelligence is impressive."

Insult. Classic zouk.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 03:07 PM

That is a very valuable service you provide. It amazes - the technical skill and level of intelligence it must take to accomplish this feat. how do you do it?

I think this demonstrates definitively who the ignorant coward was all along. he can't help but point out any appearance of the dreaded zouk.

but I love the fact that he identifies himself as Loud and dumb voter now.

thank you for your service. we will all be sure to keep on the lookout for classic zouk in all its forms.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"That is factually incorrect. The Roman Church did their best to destroy much of the works of Plato, Aristotle, and many of the social and technological advances of the Romans because of their percieved pagan origins."

That's an interesting assertion, considering I just got back from Rome, and saw the Vatican Museum for myself.

There, I saw civilization, preserved.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"Your arguments betray the fact that you haven't read a single book about Islamic history."

I've actually been reading up on the history of the "religion", if you can call it that. (it's more a political movement than anything).

Your explanation for abstaining from the conversation, namely, that I'm too stupid for you to talk to, is pathetic and boring.

Not to mention, coffe-sipping better-than-you liberal in tone.


Zouk: I like the berka-her-blog comment. Laugh out loud.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"He just hates gay people."

And, methinks, a leeetle too much.

He does love a good dozen Krispy Kremes though. That self-hatred is hungry monster!

Imagine if he turned all that enregy to good?

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"Loud and dumb, your economy of words and intelligence is impressive."

Insult. Classic zouk.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Mike- Islam is not the enemy; Saudi Arabia is not the enemy.

The enemy is an extremist group within Islam who manipulates the religion for personal gain the pray on those who are desperate, decrying us as the root of all thier pain calling for jihad. Cultural sensitivity towards Muslims, etc., is not yielding ANYTHING to al Qaeda or the other terrorist groups they are affiliated with.


"I'm pretty sure the Catholic Church was just as responsible for keeping civilization intact and preserved during the same era. But, since they're Christian, we can't compliment them. Only Muslims."

That is factually incorrect. The Roman Church did their best to destroy much of the works of Plato, Aristotle, and many of the social and technological advances of the Romans because of their percieved pagan origins. That's why the era in Europe is reffered to as a dark age scholarship ground to a haul and key knowledge was lost and society regressed. The Egyptians kept what they could, and the Abassids rediscovered it, built upon it, and helped reintroduce it to Europe during the Reformation/Enightenment. Granted, since then Islam has begun to enter its own dark age as we have then moved ahead and advaaced well beyond them, but that's the nature of societies as a whole, not a sign one is morally superior to the other in and of itself.

"dingbat drindl goes back 6000 years to find some contribution from muslims to the modern era."

Zouk, considering Islam only goes back to 632 AD, that is a pretty impressive feat, wouldn't you say?

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Dave, post-millennial dispensationalists left the left (heh) in the 1930's in response to what they thought was FDR's socialism. For a long long time they were politically quiescent. It was the civil rights movement and then the growth of the larger religious right and the nascent culture wars in the '70s that brought them back to the voting booth, and then as full-throated Republicans. They haven't been happy as Republicans (and there has been a strong PMD presence in such outfits as the Constitution Party and among the Roy Moore crowd), but there they are nevertheless, for now.

You're absolutely right that on economic issues the PMD's would fit right in with the protectionist wing of the Democratic Party. And if you ever want to drive a Democrat crazy, point out that the homophobic batpoop-insane Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka was a minor Kansas Democratic party official back in the '70s and actually endorsed Clinton/Gore in '92. But Phelps's theology isn't coherent enough for him to be a PMD. He just hates gay people.

Posted by: novamatt | February 28, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"What is the unholy alliance between pontificating liberals and 7th century Islamic warriors (who are also quite advanced, despite their despise for education, freedom, oh, and Christians)?"
================

If your posts revealed any inkling of a historical understanding of the Muslims, I'd give you some respect. Your arguments betray the fact that you haven't read a single book about Islamic history. Your willful ignorance makes you a clanging gong.

All sound and fury signifying nothing.

Pity. You seem more intelligent than that.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Well, Obama just got some more Independent votes. Rick Santorum just wrote an op-ed piece against him.
Thanks, Rick!

(btw, weren't you just railing against McCain while pitching for Romney?)

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Loud and dumb, your economy of words and intelligence is impressive.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"It's called the Daily Kos. it requires no thinking, an important aspect of the liberal existence."

Insult. Classic zouk.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Always the same talking points.

It's like you're both reading the same script.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 02:38 PM

It's called the Daily Kos. it requires no thinking, an important aspect of the liberal existence.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

USMC Mike - I know marines don't accept defeat but in this case you must be willing to consider that debate with a bunch of loons is a pointless effort.

they are arguing that Muslims, who devloped a numbers system that allowed for place holdings and digits, contrary to the roman system, are able to rest on that accomplishment to this day. no matter that they don't write books, don't have universities, don't practice science, literature, arts, etc. in other words all the things the liberals are usuall crowing as the sole measure of a successful civilization.

go figure. drindl, for one, would benefit tremendously from wearing a burka. If only we could burka her blogging.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

One thing I believe: If someone let's loose with a nuclear bomb, he'll be motivated by religion, be it Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hindu,...take your pick.

ALL religions should be put back in the home and the church and kept away from government.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: novamatt | February 28, 2008 02:34 PM


Posted by: claudialong | February 28, 2008 02:34 PM

It's like clockwork.

I can set my watch to it.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"who then became the Taliban and the very people who want to kill us today"

"Funny how those same Afghanis are now fighting us and would gladly accept arms from Russia, if offered."

No context.

No history.

No appreciation for the juggernaut we faced.

Always the same talking points.

It's like you're both reading the same script.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

drindle, if you [can, carefully] read my post:

I never said Muslims contributed NOTHING.

I just said we have contributed MORE.

Like, electricity. And, the automobile. And, your PC that you spew vile ramblings on. And, the airplane.

Or, closer to your feminazi heart, women's rights. Now there's a good one.

Where's your pithy comeback to my quib about your head-covering, 2 steps beside your husband or-else-get-stoned-to-death?

You evidently think that's the way we should go.

Maybe that's the "change" Obama is talking about.

How "Progressive".

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

'Like arming Afghanistan to beat back the Soviets who were murdering them in droves?'

--who then became the Taliban and the very people who want to kill us today?

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Funny how those same Afghanis are now fighting us and would gladly accept arms from Russia, if offered.

Posted by: novamatt | February 28, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

What is the unholy alliance between pontificating liberals and 7th century Islamic warriors (who are also quite advanced, despite their despise for education, freedom, oh, and Christians)?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

novamatt - "but the crazies on the left don't crave a war to end all wars and the destruction of everyone and everything except for God's few elect. That's exclusively a right-wing crazies thing."

What puts these particular crazies on the right? Because the current administration tends to be pro-Israeli? Simply because they are religious? Maybe they believe in universal healthcare, federal government solutions to many problems, more regulation of business, taxing the high earners and redistributing the wealth to the poor and and the destruction of everyone and everything except for God's few elect. Couldn't they just be called, oh I don't know, crazy? Much the same way I would suggest that Louis Farrikhan's anti-semetic ideas don't represent one iota of what Obama or the Democratic party believe in despite the fact that he supports Obama and from all indications, will be voting for him. I share your concern with crazy people that have a thing for martyrdom at the expense of the rest of us, be they Christians, Muslims, athiests or anyone in between. But that is simply not a plank of the Republican party.

Posted by: dave | February 28, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse


'PS, the gramatical errors in your "citation" make it seem extra scholarly.'

it was badly translated. but there are a million sources. and indeed.. Baghdad was an important early center of world civilization. What we use today is 'Arab mathematics'

'The regions from which the "Arab mathematicians" came was centred on Iran/Iraq but varied with military conquest during the period. At its greatest extent it stretched to the west through Turkey and North Africa to include most of Spain, and to the east as far as the borders of China.

The background to the mathematical developments which began in Baghdad around 800 is not well understood. Certainly there was an important influence which came from the Hindu mathematicians whose earlier development of the decimal system and numerals was important. There began a remarkable period of mathematical progress with al-Khwarizmi's work and the translations of Greek texts.

This period begins under the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, the fifth Caliph of the Abbasid dynasty, whose reign began in 786. He encouraged scholarship and the first translations of Greek texts into Arabic, such as Euclid's Elements by al-Hajjaj, were made during al-Rashid's reign. The next Caliph, al-Ma'mun, encouraged learning even more strongly than his father al-Rashid, and he set up the House of Wisdom in Baghdad which became the centre for both the work of translating and of of research. Al-Kindi (born 801) and the three Banu Musa brothers worked there, as did the famous translator Hunayn ibn Ishaq.

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

dingbat drindl goes back 6000 years to find some contribution from muslims to the modern era. Perhaps that have not evolved since then. but as long as they're not
R voters, that is just so cool.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"what the U.S. has been doing in the Middle East for the last few decades has been a or perhaps even the leading cause of anti-American/revanchist/extremist sentiment."

Like arming Afghanistan to beat back the Soviets who were murdering them in droves?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

USMC_Mike, Arabia was the repository of classical learning for centuries while the Roman Empire fell apart and the West stagnated. The Crusaders from the feudal dictatorships of Europe fought against Arabs who were far more learned and far freer. The Ottoman Empire for centuries was far more prosperous and open than any in Europe save perhaps those nations that traded the most with them.

At some point, Arabic and Islamic culture stalled, but that stall won't be anything we can bomb them out of. You could populate a medium-sized town with Arabic and Islamic experts who will tell you that what the U.S. has been doing in the Middle East for the last few decades has been a or perhaps even the leading cause of anti-American/revanchist/extremist sentiment.

Posted by: novamatt | February 28, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

PS, the gramatical errors in your "citation" make it seem extra scholarly.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Good point about them carrying the torch in the dark ages.

Too bad barbarians took down the Romans.

Seems like the same will happen to us. Probably with help from within.

I'm pretty sure the Catholic Church was just as responsible for keeping civilization intact and preserved during the same era. But, since they're Christian, we can't compliment them. Only Muslims.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

claudia -- I'll make you a deal.

I'll agree to cut friendly ties with the Saudis

If you agree to drill for oil here at home, regardless of frogs

And we can both agree to work towards oil independence.

How does that sound?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

you clearly know zero about history mike, all the you have some vague nationalist pumpedup notion of your own supremacy. if you had any clue at all you would know about the tremendous contributions of Arabs, especially to math and science. Guess why they're called Arabic numerals? What their downfall was caving to pressure from anti-science fundamentalists -- the same danger we face here.


'The west has not done justice to the the influence of the Muslim on the historical development of medicine. Western writers have given little prominence to Islamic' Scientific and intellectual contributions to this field. But the fact is that the Muslims carried the torch of science and thought in an age when no other civilization was capable of doing so. At one time, learning was regarded as heresy, and the Eastern Christian Church persecuted all scientists. They fleeing from persecution, found no refuge but the Islamic empire, which look them in and acquired from them the scientific heritage of the time. They were given a great deal of veneration and respect by the Muslims, who endeavored to ensure for them a congenial atmosphere in which to work and to develop learning. That was the beginning of a universal cultural revolution which enlightened the ancient world, and which the West later embraced, inheriting from the Muslims their scientific and intellectual achievements.'

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

claudialong - the element of our "civilization" that makes it superior to any other is our emphasis on the individual. Individual rights, liberty, and opportunity. Now, before you rant:

Bush-Cheney-Impeach-Blood-Oil-Saudi-Arabia-Lies-Impeach-Torture

Think - which type of civilization has done more for the world - in ANY arena (science, mathematics, the arts, economics, sports... ANYTHING) than any other?

[Hint: It's not Iran and it's not Pakistan.]

If you don't like western civilization, I suggest you cover your face and body, walk 2 steps behind your man, and NEVER be alone with another man - unless you like being stoned to death. Oh, and quit your blasphemy on the internet. It's almost time for afternoon prayer.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

this is the threat -- and it comes from Saudi Arabia:

'Al-Qaeda represents Wahhabism in its purest form - a violent fundamentalist doctrine that rejects all non-Wahhabi Islam, especially the spiritual forms of Islam. Wahhabism is an expansionist sect intolerant of Shi'ite Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and Hinduism; in fact, Wahhabists seek to challenge and destroy these faiths. The Saudi-Wahhabi threat must not be underestimated; it requires our grave attention.

A History of Violence

Contrary to prevalent Western beliefs, Wahhabism is not an old Islamic tradition and the House of Saud does not enjoy a credible historic claim to rule over Arabia. Indeed, Wahhabism emerged only 250 years ago under the guidance of an obscure fanatic known as Muhammad Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab who later formed an alliance with a group of desert bandits, the Sauds. From the time they established their covenant to the creation of the modern Saudi state, the Saudi-Wahhabi movement spread across the peninsula brutally defeating and enslaving non-Wahhabi elements.

A substantial body of nineteenth century scholarship does exist to confirm the bloody rise of the Saudi-Wahhabi state. Thomas Hope, a British author, wrote extensively about the Wahhabi spread from his travels throughout the Middle East. In his novel Anastasius, he described Wahhabi agents in words that will be strikingly familiar to modern readers: as extremist puritans bent on dominating the Muslim world by adopting tactics reminiscent of Al-Qaeda's calculated savagery.

The theological and political pact between the Saud clan and the Wahhabists resulted in the fall of Mecca for the second and last time in 1924, solidifying their grip on power. After the conquest of Mecca, the vast oil wealth of the kingdom would be used to export a radical Wahhabist ideology across the globe.'

http://www.meforum.org/article/535

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

'Why do free citizens in western countries wake up to the sound of Islamic prayer every morning?

In a way, we are giving in to their demands... slowly.

Have you ever looked at the Islamic lobby on Washington? It's well-funded, organized, and powerful.

And if we refuse to fight them - militarily, economically, politically, and socially, we appease their slow encroachment against civilization.'

So apparently you're talking about ALL Muslims, right? Their 'slow encroachment against civilization?" Buddy boy, they had a civilization long before Western Europe.

And you know, the Israelis have the MOST powerful lobby in Washington.. and look at all the Jews here, encroaching on civilization. And then of course Saudi Arabia, the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world has a powerful lobby here too. In fact, the lobbyists who represents their interests here [for a mere million dollars a year] is none other than John McCain's fundraising chief. Is Saudi money financing McCain? Is he beholden to them?

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

America's massive military aid package to Pakistan is being scrutinised after allegations that as much as 70% of $5.4bn in assistance to the country has been misspent.

Since 2002 the US has paid the operating costs of Pakistan's military operations in the tribal belt along the Afghan border, where Taliban and al-Qaida fighters are known to shelter.

Pakistan provides troops and directs the battles; the US foots the bill for food, fuel, ammunition and maintenance. The cash payments - averaging $80m (£40m) a month - have been a cornerstone of US support for Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf.

But over the past 18 months, as militants have seized vast areas of the tribal belt and repelled a string of Pakistani offensives, the funding has come under the microscope.

American officials processing the payments at the US embassy in Islamabad have concluded that the Pakistani expense claims have been vastly inflated, two western military officials have told the Guardian. "My back of envelope guesstimate is that 30% of the money they requested to be reimbursed was legitimate costs they had expended," said one, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official said that the US did not know what had happened to the remaining 70% of the funds - amounting to approximately $3.8bn - but suspected that some of the money might have been spent on F-16 fighter jets or "a new house for an army general".

Other than those possibilities, he said, at least half the money was thought to have disappeared. "

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

chadibuins -- fair enough. I'm sorry if you felt like I was lumping you in with the standard anti-war, blame-America crowd. You're a bit more well-reasoned. I agree; we should fight smarter. And harder. With more troops. And more support.

kreuz_missile -- definitionally, you are correct. But, I don't think, conceptually.

Why does taxpayer money go to building footwashing stations in airports for Muslims?

Why can't we openly say who the enemy is, who we're fighting?

Why do cartoonists get blown up for drawing you-know-who?

Why do free citizens in western countries wake up to the sound of Islamic prayer every morning?

In a way, we are giving in to their demands... slowly.

Have you ever looked at the Islamic lobby on Washington? It's well-funded, organized, and powerful.

And if we refuse to fight them - militarily, economically, politically, and socially, we appease their slow encroachment against civilization.

One can be as far left as he desires and hate America the beautifl all day long. These people won't spare killing you for the "cow" you are (as they call us infidels).


J -- I agree with you. I believe the purpose of the United States Military ought to be to DETER wars, not solely to WIN wars.

On the flip side - remember the NIE on Iran? Do you think it's a coincidence that, within the same year we invaded Iraq, Iran shut its nuke program down? (and now, after cozying up to the far-left of this country, he's going forward. He knows Obama won't stop him).

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

See this picture for a structural model of terrorist organizations:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/accp/it0468/fig2-1.gif

Four tiers:

Leadership (bin Laden, Zawahiri, etc)

Active Cadre (Mohammad Atta, the guys we're fighting in Iraq)

Active Supporters (Safehouses, donors, those who provide medical aid, etc)

Passive Supporters (sympathetic to the cause, but will not support the effort)

We are fightin two wars simultaneously. The first is with the top two levels, a traditional seek and destroy mission. This war will prevent attacks and keep us on the initiative, but will never win the war.

The overall war is dependent on the second war, fought on the lower two levels. This is about cutting these people off from the network and turning them on AQ. If this war is never won, then these people over time can be turned into active cadre, and the cycle just continues without end until we decide the war is futile.

The real challenge for us is that fighting the war at the top is politically popular, shows short term results, and is easier to understand. The problem is it has the potential to hurt us more in the long run due to errors on our part, a percieved lack of evidence on an elusive enemy on our part, etc., all hurting the war at the bottom of the pyramid more than the war on the top level is helping us.

Another big problem is this is all also confounded by the war in Iraq. AQIZ is a very small share in this fight, and is no real threat to overtake the country. Everywhere they do gain any control, they manage to piss off the local populus that the locals turn on them and kick them out (see my post above for more thoughts). THe issue in Iraq is we are policing a Sunni/Shiite/Kurd low grade Civile War while providing the Iraqi government no incentive to step up because we are promising to fot the bill without end and without condition. This needs to stop, the Iraqi government needs to step up, both for our sake and for their own. Removing more US forces in the region will diffuse AQIZ even more by taking away the enemy that is their sole reason for us being there, and it is easier for us to win over allies by supporting a truly independent and functioning Iraqi government, rather than a facade that everyone know is propped up by the US in every way.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

It does take a stomach.

But if you talk to the anti-terror experts, they will likely tell you that the war on terror "SHOULD" be 80-90% intelligence, police, and diplomatic work, and 10-20% military work.

This administration has used a bludgeon when it needed a scalpel. The key to defeating the terrorists is to isolate them within their own community. As long as they have community support, they aren't going away.

Posted by: J | February 28, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Man, I go to lunch, and I miss out on so much fun.

Mike, first off:

Appeasement: to yield or concede to the belligerent demands of (a nation, group, person, etc.) in a conciliatory effort, sometimes at the expense of justice or other principles.

WWII is the only example in the modern era of appeasement. No one is talking about yielding to a single al Qaeda demand, no one appeased the Soviets, the parallels just don't work.

al Qaeda is an ideology, not a nation state with a clearly defined border, economy, or military force. We are fighting an ideology, and that means fighting a very different type of war.

Al Qaeda represents a small faction of the Islamic world, but they recognize the war is won or lost in the hearts and minds of the average Muslim, primarily in the Middle Eastern world. We are faced with a task of making war to take out al Qaeda in order to both prevent future attacks and limit their ability to spread propoganda, meanwhile we must cut off their base of support in the Islamic world by both showing the flaws in their ideology and proving that we are either superoir or at least relatively irrelevant to their daily lives as far as they are concerned.

This si the problem too many on the right don't get, the talk about hearts and minds isn't about bin Laden or Al Qaeda operatives, it's about the masses who aren't committed either way who should be our greatest allies in the region but, because of a number of issues working against us (historic anti-Americanism, global power, troop presence, perception of manipualtion over oil, us being the outsiders vs them being their percieved Muslim brothers, etc), our burden is much more difficult.

Until we recognize that complexity and start revising our strategy accordingly, all of our efforts will be futile.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

by the way--I am a pacifist personally--but am practical that war is not always avoidable.

I would just hope we would never enter into it casually (oops to late) or fight blindly (dang, two for two).

And novamatt--excellent post on the uniqueness of the Right wing relgious crazies.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

i agree it takes a stomach, but we can have stomach all day long--it takes a brain to win.

I am not saying give into the terrorists and insurgents--again--re-read my post--I AM saying we have to fight them smarter--and allowing this to be turned into a religious war or anti-Islamic war--or not dealing diplomatically with other powers in the region is just not smart.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

chadibuins - regarding the American revolution

insurgencies are hard to beat.

but not impossible

We did it in the phillipines

It takes a stomach.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

So what is your definition of "relatively small"? A few hundred? Thousand? And which plank of the party makes them part of the base? Each party has extreme/crazy people that vote for it because we really only have 2 parties. Even people that are a penny short of a nickle have to vote R or D.

Posted by: dave | February 28, 2008 11:45 AM

It's tough to guess how big and how influential the post-millenarian dispensationalists (the "rapture-ready" crowd) are within the Republican Party. In part because of how much the other parts of the religious right echo (or inform) their rhetoric.

For me, the tells are always how much they profess to love Israel (though not necessarily the State of Israel, and certainly not Judaism), and how much they desire a wider war in the Middle East. But then again, the anti-Islam rhetoric is all over the right these days, so I dunno.

And you're right that there are crazies in both parties, but the crazies on the left don't crave a war to end all wars and the destruction of everyone and everything except for God's few elect. That's exclusively a right-wing crazies thing.

Please note that I'm not implicating all of the religious right in this craziness. Just the ones who believe the end of the world is imminent and are doing what they can to make it more imminent. They're nutballs, and the grown-ups in the Republican Party need to boot them hard from any position of any influence.

Posted by: novamatt | February 28, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

all obama is suggesting is what we are -- finally doing-- because Gates is not an idiot like rumsfeld:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Abu Laith al-Libi, a wanted al Qaeda terrorist, was killed in Pakistan by a CIA airstrike, three U.S. officials told CNN Thursday.

Abu Laith al-Libi in April 2007 during a videotaped interview by al Qaeda's media wing.

Al-Libi was described as a senior al Qaeda leader believed to have plotted and executed attacks against U.S. and coalition forces, including a February 2007 bombing at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney.'

'ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- A missile strike in a remote part of Pakistan killed at least eight suspected militants and wounded three others Thursday, Pakistan's state media reported.

The U.S. military denied any involvement in the incident, a source told CNN.

The strike happened in South Waziristan, a rugged mountainous region of Pakistan near its border with Afghanistan. Intelligence officials believe that the area is a haven for al Qaeda and Taliban militants.

Local tribesmen said the missile was fired from an unknown location and struck a house where the militants had gathered, the Associated Press of Pakistan said.

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

We need to bomb them immediately drindl.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

'Jerusalem Viewpoints

No. 504 5 Tishrei 5764
SAUDI ARABIA'S DUBIOUS DENIALS OF
INVOLVEMENT IN INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

Dore Gold

Saudi Arabia's past involvement in international terrorism is indisputable. While the Bush administration decided to redact 28 sensitive pages of the Joint Intelligence Report of the U.S. Congress, nonetheless, Saudi involvement in terrorist financing can be documented through materials captured by Israel in Palestinian headquarters in 2002-3. In light of this evidence, Saudi denials about terrorist funding don't hold water.'

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

drindl, the label says one pill per day, not three.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

USMC--Your point about appeasement is well taken, but I think you are still missing the point.

We're not talking about not defending America and not fighting terrorism. We're saying we have to be smart when we do so.

We cannot fight them half-feartedly or with pumped up patriotism (see the South prior to April 1860).

We have to be smart--nee' smartER.

If we are indeed destroying terrorists at a slower rate than they are joining up--we are failing.

This was one of the blunders of the British army in the American Revolution. Our Continental Army didn't line up on one side and balst away til last man standing--they fought undercover and smarter and the British didn't/couldn't adapt.

The same is true now (NO I am NOT saying our Continental Army were terrorists) but we have to SHOW that we are smarter than the British were in the 1770's. We must adapt and we must fight them smarter. Fear mongering, holding on to failed policies and not approaching the quagmaire of Iraq honestly will not help. AND let me ask everyone--"Would the surge be as effective if Muqtada al'Sadr hadn't also declared a cease fire around teh same time?"

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I must assume based on the direction of dingbat drindl's logic that it is imperative we invade Iran immediately. there are lots of bad guys there who mean us harm. when we are done with them, we will knock of syria and saudi Arabia.

does anyone wonder why Libs are always so far over their heads in foreign policy and military matters? why they can't win an election and can't get re-elected if they somehow manage to lie their way into office?

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Tue Feb 26, 2008

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Al Qaeda appears to be increasing its influence among Islamist militant groups along Afghanistan's border with Pakistan, with offers of money, training and other assistance, U.S. experts say.

Osama bin Laden's group, which has been rebuilding in safe havens in Pakistan for over a year, has taken a prominent role in a new effort by Taliban and other radical organizations to coordinate their operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"We are seeing an increase in cooperation between the (Afghan) insurgents as well as the terrorists led by al Qaeda. They are increasing in their coordination," U.S. Army Maj. Gen. David Rodriguez, top commander of NATO forces in eastern Afghanistan, said on Tuesday.

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"Its not about appeasement, dumbass. Its about finding out why the kids decide becoming a terrorist is a good idea & changing that decision process."

I've never seen you so worked up.

So it's unlike finding out why Hitler decides to invade his neighbors and changing that decision process?

It's unlike finding out why the Soviets relentlessly pursued nuclear weapsons, armed our enemies, and spread communism and oppression throughout the world, and changing that decision process?

The flaw is not our doing, it's theirs.

It's not the rape victim in the skimpy skirt.

We didn't invite this war, bsimon. And if you think we did, you're not paying attention.

The flaw is in radical Islam.

Until it's 'safe' to say that [and it just might take a nuke in Boston], we will never truly confront the problem.

How about pointing your finger at the rapists for once?

This self-loathing is desperately old.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

"don't expect any actual answers from the moonbats. they are from the Obama school of non-answers to difficult questions.

you can expect more dim-wit nonsense from 'loud and dumb' as well.

if you want a real good belly laugh, ask them anything about economics."

Pretty funny to see Denny Dummy on a board about Bobby Bright.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

'We can't back down from terrorists. We can't *not* get Bin Laden because it will piss off some Muslims looking for a fight anyway.'

and bin Ladin is in -- PAKISTAN.

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

'bin Ladin is there'

hey dingbat drindl knows the whereabouts of bin laden, now she won't have to worry about being unemployed because of her unpalatable skills. she can collect the reward money. wait until she sees how much the taxes are.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"We can't *not* get Bin Laden because it will piss off some Muslims looking for a fight anyway."

I'm all for getting Bin Laden. He's already lived 6 1/2 years longer than he should have. But I'm also for stopping the flow of new recruits to his cause. That's not our military's job, its more one for the state dept and/or other agencies outside the pentagon.

Posted by: bsimon | February 28, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

sHe's an Epsilon semi-moron, mike .

Posted by: claudialong | February 28, 2008 12:31 PM


don't expect any actual answers from the moonbats. they are from the Obama school of non-answers to difficult questions.

you can expect more dim-wit nonsense from 'loud and dumb' as well.

if you want a real good belly laugh, ask them anything about economics.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

'159 > 50

Simple logic, claudia.

(maybe just a simple mind)'

let me make it simple for you, mike. are any of the terrorists in India attacking, or theatening to attack the US? No. Are any terrorists in Pakistan threatening or attacking the US? Yes -- bin Ladin is there. Remember 9/11? And then, of course, Pakistani terrorists also attack London and Spain, and they have promised to attack us again.

Now do you get it?

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Decissions must be made quickly, without all the information. People are going to get hurt, on both sides.

Pointing out examples of bad decisions does not make your argument.

(I read that one... and liked it)

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"Finally, you have to reject the premise of appeasement."

Its not about appeasement, dumbass. Its about finding out why the kids decide becoming a terrorist is a good idea & changing that decision process.

Posted by: bsimon | February 28, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"Who calls in an airstrike for 2 targets with 3 non-compatants?"

Last week's NYT Magazine had an article about an Army commander in Afghanistan that struggles with that decision every single day. I don't have time to look up a link for you, but it was a very depressing read. I believe his name is Captain Kearney.

Posted by: bsimon | February 28, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

claudia --

159 is [still] greater than 50.

up or down: should we bomb India?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

bsimon

Your argument can only be true if

1. US military is being reckless.

Who calls in an airstrike for 2 targets with 3 non-compatants? [I'm a ground guy. I'd rather kick in the door and shoot them myself.] We are the most careful military to ever fight. Are there casualties? yes. Are there "600,000 dead Iraqis [on account of us]"? NO.

2. Joe-Blow-Hussein blames America, not tribal rivalries.

Do we stir up hornets nests? Yes. But I would say the overwhelming majority of these 12-25 y/o's aren't thinking about getting even with a bomb on main st, USA. Maybe it's Joe-Schmow-Obama down the street who they think is the real crime-lord oppressor.

Finally, you have to reject the premise of appeasement.

It was wrong in WW2.

It was wrong against the Soviets.

And it's wrong now.

We can't back down from terrorists. We can't *not* get Bin Laden because it will piss off some Muslims looking for a fight anyway.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

USMC_Mike writes
"If only we hadn't tried to kill them after 9/11.

Stupid US."

Mike, it comes back to the Rumsfeld question. Are we capturing or killing terrorists faster than we're creating new ones? The answer, thus far, is NO. New terrorists are joining the fight faster than we're capturing or killing existing terrorists. Doesn't it seem like a relevant question to you, given that our soldiers, airmen & marines are dying on a daily basis? If our guys in the field call in an airstrike that kills 2 terrorists & 4 women and children collaterally, do you think that's a net positive or negative in the kill/create terrorist math? How many non-dead civilians decide then that vengeance is more important than staying alive, so they join the fight to avenge their mothers/sisters/daughters/cousin's lives? Isn't that an extremely important question to ask if we're going to win? Or are you happy with the status quo of sending our military overseas to act as targets for the bad guys 'so they don't come here'? Because that's whats happening now - we're setting out the bait, waiting for the terrorists to strike, so we can strike back. Sometimes the bait survives & sometimes it don't. Seems like a terrible waste of resources to me.

Posted by: bsimon | February 28, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

159 > 50

Simple logic, claudia.

(maybe just a simple mind)

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

claudialong --

according to your own website, there are 159 terrorist groups in India.

Should we bomb them too?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

When Reagan was Obama's age, he was the spokesperson for Chestrfield cigarettes. Here he is, saying he's 'sending chesterfields to all his friends, because that's the merriest christmmas any smoker can have'

check out the pix--funny

thinkhttp://www.quitsmokingpainlesslynow.com/img/Chesterfield%20Reagon.jpg

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

"Then perhaps we can talk about Barack running for PRESIDENT in his 70s too then."

=================

LOL.
That was a good one!

Lunch is calling.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"We can talk about bringing down walls when Barack is in his 70s."

Then perhaps we can talk about Barack running for PRESIDENT in his 70s too then.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

He's an Epsilon semi-moron, spectator.

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

There are approximately 50 known terrorist groups operating in Pakistan. Here's a list:

http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/pakistan/terroristoutfits/group_list.htm

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"so now you are running against Reagan? Or was it Bush?"

this from the subnormal moron who is now calling Obama Barrack McGovern.

Zouk, is your brain so small you literally cannot remember what you posted five minutes ago?

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

the votes are a matter of public record. I know you Libs have an aversion to facts and prefer your news from Maher and Olbermann, but someday you must confront the reality of the situation.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Reagan:
Economic prosperity
Peace through strength

As I said, substance free. Tiny sound bites for tiny minds. So we agree on this too.

Guess if the parallels continue, rotten president Bush will be followed by President Obama and we'll go from there.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Reagan - two amazing landslides in a row. Liberals - one reelection since FDR.

so now you are running against Reagan? Or was it Bush? Are you still of the mind that there are no bad guys in Iraq and we need to bomb Pakistan right away?

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 12:11 PM

so when the facts about his voting record are revealed, your retort is to kill the messenger. does this alter the votes somehow?"

===============

Give me a journalist I can trust and I I'll read. Not interested in what a paid hack writes regardless of what it is.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Reagan:
Cut and run from Lebanon
Amnesty for undocs

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Also, Mike, you may not have recieved the memo, but the RNC officially wants people to stop invoking Obama's middle name, even they see it as a petty distraction that is likely to backfire on them.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 12:11 PM

so when the facts about his voting record are revealed, your retort is to kill the messenger. does this alter the votes somehow?

those methods are so 90s clinton - spin and personal destruction. didn't you get the memo that that doesn't seem to work any more. Or are you a hillary voter that plows ahead despite any feedback to the contrary.

Hey hillary - the experience thing isn't selling. Hey hillary, the two for one isn't working, we don't want the return of the most corrupt administration in history. hey hillary, remember how you made no compromise on health care back then and would not negotiate? remember your deaf response to the reality that no one was biting. history repeats itself. but keep on keeping on. tell the voters how you are ready to go on day one, as long as the press doesn't ask you first every time.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Rev. John C. Hagee, endorsed Mr. McCain for president

This must be the reason Satan was asking for ice skates?

Seriously, if McCain is going after Hagee's endorsement HOW is he:

a> different from Bush
b> going to hold independents and moderate/fiscal Republicans together.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

"let's compare Reagan the candidate vs Obama the candidate"

Well that's easy

Reagan:
Economic prosperity
Peace through strength

Obama:
Vote for change
Vote for the future

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

"wpost4112 - what does larry craig have to do with Ronald Reagan v. B. Hussein Obama?
=================

It would be fairer to compare both at the same age...what was Ronnie up to at age 47?

At age 41, Reagan's movie career faltered. Financially strapped, he is forced to take a job as an emcee in Vegas, introducing singing quartet "The Continentals."

At age 47, I believe he was a shill for GE.

We can talk about bringing down walls when Barack is in his 70s.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"wpost4112 - what does larry craig have to do with Ronald Reagan v. B. Hussein Obama?"

Seriously man, let's compare Reagan the candidate vs Obama the candidate.

For whatever you think is the substance of "Tear down that wall, Mr. Gorbachev," there was none of that during Reagan's campaign in 1980. Just a lot of "It's morning in America."

Oh yeah, plus a campaign-opening appearance at the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia, Miss. That too.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

McCain bends over even further -- this is just sad:

'SAN ANTONIO -- Senator John McCain got support on Wednesday from an important corner of evangelical Texas when the pastor of a San Antonio mega-church, Rev. John C. Hagee, endorsed Mr. McCain for president. Mr. Hagee, who argues that the United States must join Israel in a preemptive, biblically prophesized military strike against Iran that will lead to the second coming of Christ, praised Mr. McCain for his pro-Israel views.

Mr. McCain, who has been on a steady search for support among conservative and evangelical leaders who have long distrusted him, said he was "very honored'' by Mr. Hagee's endorsement. Asked about Mr. Hagee's extensive writings on Armageddon and about what one questioner said was Mr. Hagee's belief that the anti-Christ will be the head of the European Union, Mr. McCain responded that "all I can tell you is that I am very proud to have Pastor John Hagee's support.''

'Hagee, a popular televangelist who leads the 18,000-member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, ratcheted up his rhetoric this year with the publication of his book, "Jerusalem Countdown," in which he argues that a confrontation with Iran is a necessary precondition for Armageddon (which will mean the death of most Jews, in his eyes) and the Second Coming of Christ.

He also beleives all muslims are programmed to kill christians and that Katrina was punishment for sin.

"For some Christians this means laying the groundwork for Armageddon.

With that goal in mind, mega-church pastors recently met in Inglewood to polish strategies for using global communications and aircraft to transport missionaries to fulfill the Great Commission: to make every person on Earth aware of Jesus' message. Doing so, they believe, will bring about the end, perhaps within two decades."

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Please don't talk about the Barack Mcgovern votes:

Some of the other votes the National Journal ranked Obama on that he did not mention included his votes: to support tax hikes, to require a study of global warming effects for federal water projects, to allow union organizers to bypass secret balloting processes to organize workplaces, to mandate increased vehicle fuel efficiency standards, permit "sanctuary city" policies, against making English the official language of the United States, against defining a fetus as an "unborn child," against renewing President Bush's terrorist monitoring program, to support voting rights for the District of Columbia and to cut funding and withdraw troops from Iraq according to a set date.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

"a sure way to ruin a good myth:

Before I vetted him, Obama seemed like an ideal candidate. He is young, charismatic, optimistic, intelligent, and energetic. He exudes confidence, speaks well, debates finely, and listens just enough to be considerate but not indecisive, and can galvanize the public and unite people like nobody we have ever seen. But then there is the other side of him. "

================

LOL...let's ruin the real myth: that Armstrong Williams, your vetting author, is a real reporter...

"In January 2005, USA Today reported that documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that Williams had been paid $240,000 to promote the controversial No Child Left Behind Act ("NCLB"). According to USA Today, Williams was hired by the Bush administration to promote the law on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same."

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Zouk--yesterday you congratulated me for "not being a moonbat" and you cited all your reasoning as to why that is.

Yet here today, you repeatedly give in to the very style you are claiming you are against. Calling names, pasting taling points, etc . . .

I mean--is it just me, or is it obvious?

Perhaps you are tapping your foot in hypocrisy as well? :)

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Joshua Segall running for Congress in Alabama? With a decent shot at winning? Lawdy lawdy, how times have changed. Maybe.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

'He'll get you to the playoffs, then leave you high and dry.'

Amen

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

wpost4112 - what does larry craig have to do with Ronald Reagan v. B. Hussein Obama?

Seriously man?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"But the Dolphins could win the superbowl"

As a Pats fan all I can do is chuckle at that one. Good luck with Parcells. He'll get you to the playoffs, then leave you high and dry.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

not yours

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

USMC: "We'd have to get beyond the vile, sarcastic, disparaging remarks first..."

again, I agree with you.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"I guess I should have known that making a reference to the fall of the Berlin wall, the collapse of the Soviet Empire, and the subsequent liberation of countless peoples would be sophomorically mocked.
Nevermind world peace or the defense of liberty, human rights, and justice.
Let's all joke about Larry Craig.
We're so clever.
Pontificating loons."

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

It's the perfect response.

Larry Craig represents the epicenter of Republican hypocrisy, moral posturing and casual injustice.

Here is a self-hating closeted (stalled?) gay man who has spoken out and voted against same-sex legislation.

The government has no business to interfere in the personal lives of its citizens. Republicans are THE hypocritical unjust force behind such un-American theocratic tyranny.

The only loon is Larry Craig pontificating on a crapper (with apologies too feathered loons everywhere).

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I can see you Dem dunces have no inkling of anything military, as usual. do you have any idea the bandwidth and cost associated with providing unlimited blogging somewhere in the dessert. this is not hard-wired, it is satellite.

the sky-is-falling schtick employed hourly by drindl is as shallow as it is ignoRANT.

and we see the class and taste at the clinton level displayed by Loud and dumb. Pitiful.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I agree with J above

and I agree with USMC that the line was clever.

Were you saying your sarcasm was poorly worded, or mine? :)

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Alabama 3 has a Democrat in the race.

Attorney Joshua Segall running for Congress in 3rd District

The Associated Press

2/7/2008
By BOB JOHNSON

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Joshua Segall, a Montgomery lawyer making his first bid for political office, announced Thursday he will be a Democratic candidate for Congress in Alabama's 3rd District.

The 28-year-old Segall is the first Democrat to announce plans to run for the seat held by Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, a former legislator from Saks who has successfully fended off challenges since being elected in 2002.

"The number one thing people in the 3rd District are upset about is jobs being shipped overseas," Segall said.

He blamed the loss of jobs to international trade pacts such as the Central America Free Trade Agreement. He said he believes Rogers hurt the district by voting for the agreement. "A congressman should wake up every day and think about how to create jobs in Alabama," Segall said.

Rogers is planning to run for re-election. A spokeswoman for Rogers defended his record in Congress.

"U.S. Rep. Rogers is proud of his record of helping lower our taxes, strengthening our economy and opposing bad trade deals that could be harmful for our workers," said his press secretary, Shea Snider.

The 3rd Congressional District includes much of east Alabama and stretches from Montgomery to Cherokee County in the northeastern part of the state.

Segall kicked off his campaign Thursday morning with a rally at a barbecue restaurant near the Alabama Capitol. The rally was attended by several state and local Democratic officials, including Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom Jr. and Public Service Commissioner Susan Parker.

"The 3rd District is winnable and Josh can win it," Folsom said.

While Segall is making his first race for political office and has almost no name recognition, his father, Bobby Segall, is a prominent attorney in Montgomery who is a former president of the Alabama State Bar.

Joshua Segall said another priority would be to help farmers in the mostly rural district recover from the drought that has gripped much of the state for more than a year. He said he would like to establish a plan to save water in reservoirs that could be used in a drought to protect farms and drinking water supplies.

Asked if U.S. troops should remain in Iraq, Segall said he believes the U.S. has more important priorities.

But he promised to make sure that soldiers are treated well and have the best health care available.

At 28, Segall would be one of the youngest members of Congress, but he said he does not see his age as a liability.

"One thing that's good about it is I haven't been in politics very long," Segall joked. Folsom said Segall was "very capable" to serve in Congress and said Segall is the same age Folsom was when he was elected to the Alabama Public Service Commission in his first statewide political campaign.


Posted by: fauquier24 | February 28, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Obama has the coattails of hope for the future.... McCain the coattails of "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" with an endless war-horizon in Iraq.

People will either vote their hopes or their fears. I think Bush wore out the "wolf" coattails long ago. Hope's coattails win. Bright made the right move.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth_Hunter | February 28, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Spectator2 -- I suspect you and I could find more to agree on.

We'd have to get beyond the vile, sarcastic, disparaging remarks first...

But the Dolphins could win the superbowl

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Mike,

Your point on Reagan is well taken. Whether or not one agrees with his policies, he did lead the country out of a bit of a rat hole.

And no, Dems, I am not calling the Carter Administration a rat hole. Just commenting on the condition of the country at the time...

Posted by: J | February 28, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Zouk: "In 2007 he voted against banning partial birth abortions, for expanding research on stem cell lines, against declaring English as the official language of the US Government, for the minimum wage hike, against raising the estate-tax exemption to $5 million, and for the redeployment of troops out of Iraq by March of 2008. If these aren't liberal votes, I don't know what are."

Sound like common sense to me.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

chadibuins -- that was poorly worded sarcasm.

Although, I did think the line was clever.

Unfortunately, it had nothing to do with Reagan V Obama on substance.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Today, the Children's Defense Fund Action Council released its 2007 Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard. CDF reports some positive news, particularly that average scores for members of Congress "improved from the previous three years with more Members scoring 100 percent than in 2004, 2005 or 2006."

Many, however, did not fare so well. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) received a 10 percent rating -- the worst in the U.S. Senate.

CDF ranked members on 10 votes affecting children:

1. Increase minimum wage (H.R. 2)
2. Increase funding for children with disabilities (S. Con. Res. 21)
3. Protect children from unsafe medications (S. 1082)
4. 2008 Budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 21)
5. SCHIP Reauthorization (H.R. 976)
6. College Cost Reduction and Access Act (H.R. 2669)
7. SCHIP (H.R. 976 - motion to concur)
8. DREAM Act (S. 2205)
9. Funding child health and education (H.R. 3043)
10. Improving Head Start programs (H.R. 1429)

McCain has missed 57 percent of Senate votes this session, being absent or voting "present" for 8 out of 10 children-related votes. McCain voted "yes" to increase the minimum wage; his only other vote was voting "no" on SCHIP reauthorization on Aug. 2, 2007.

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

USMC: "Let's all joke about Larry Craig.

We're so clever.

Pontificating loons."
***but also***
"Another bible thumper by day..... and floor tapper by night."

LOL"

Seems you were laughing too. :)

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"I'm more concerned about having a professional army. Historically, that leads to dictatorships. I support a mandatory 2 year military service as in Israel."

And mandatory service in many cases undermines the quality of the fighting force. Likewise, insufficient professionalism and outsourcing of military duties has led to collapse of societies, most notably I would argue Rome. Military service, motivation, etc., and the role in a free society is an extremely delicate balancing act which, to this point we have managed well. A draft, reduction of standards for military service, and even increasing pay too much to expand the force will hurt in the long run. This is why military force needs to be used by the US more sparingly to ensure first that we don't get bogged down, and second to ensure the cause is so abundantly clear that individuals will be motivated to answer the call out of duty, not requirement or for monetary incentive.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

kreuz: About the only thing USMC Mike and I agree on is how rotten a president Carter was.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

'I was a lifelong Republican, and I don't think my policy views have changed much. But they took the GOP to a place where I was not willing to go.'

Congratulations to you. Couple of blogs you might like by fellow former R's.

'Hopefully, everyone can now see the republican strategy for running against Barack Obama. Yes, we have some general points on taxes, culture wars and McCain as war hero who can protect us in ways that flash-in-the-pan pretty boy Barack Obama can't.

But that's not the core. The core is to drill a handful of key adjectives into the public mind about Barack Obama: Muslim, anti-American, BLACK, terrorist, Arab. Maybe a little hustler and shifty thrown in, but we'll have to see. '

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/180471.php

http://www.balloon-juice.com/

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

a sure way to ruin a good myth:

Before I vetted him, Obama seemed like an ideal candidate. He is young, charismatic, optimistic, intelligent, and energetic. He exudes confidence, speaks well, debates finely, and listens just enough to be considerate but not indecisive, and can galvanize the public and unite people like nobody we have ever seen. But then there is the other side of him.

Obama was given an 8 out of 100 lifetime rating (meaning he is one of the most liberal lawmakers) by the American Conservative Union, a conservative group that issues a report card on the voting records of members of Congress. Likewise, the liberal group, Americans for Democratic Action, rated Obama's voting record in the Senate at 97.5 percent, near perfection for liberal Democrats. The National Journal even named Obama the most liberal Senator in 2007. So what exactly was he voting on that made his rankings so liberal?

Obama never voted for the Iraq War because he never had to - he was not elected to the United States Senate until 2004. However, he consistently rails on the war, saying that it was a distraction that prevented America from focusing on Afghanistan, it was ill-advised, and that troops should be immediately, but gradually, be redeployed leaving only a small number in the country to conduct counterterrorism operations and protect diplomats. Obama has supported most measures that call for troop withdrawals and/or reductions.

Obama supported comprehensive immigration legislation that would give illegal immigrants a chance for citizenship. He missed the vote (but said he would have voted NO) about legislation that called on the Bush administration to reduce Iranian influence on Iraq and to designate the Iranian revolutionary guard as a terrorist organization. In other liberal moves he once called for ending the embargo with Cuba (he later altered this statement), decriminalizing marijuana (he admits to past drug use in his autobiography and claims to now oppose the idea), and using all public funding for campaigns.


While an Illinois State Senator for eight years, Obama voted "present" 130 times instead of taking a definitive stand on the issue at hand. Hillary Clinton said this earlier in the month about his propensity to duck certain issues: "You cannot achieve the kind of changes we want by voting 'present' on controversial issues." Worse than his "present" votes however, was his vote in 2001 against a measure that would have expanded the penalties for some gang activity to include the death penalty?

Although he comes off as a clean lawmaker with little lobbyist influence, he has ties to indicted political fundraiser Tony Rezko, including a shady housing purchase by Obama and Rezko on adjacent properties. But let's get back to the votes, where we can clearly see where Obama stands on the issues.



In 2007 he voted against banning partial birth abortions, for expanding research on stem cell lines, against declaring English as the official language of the US Government, for the minimum wage hike, against raising the estate-tax exemption to $5 million, and for the redeployment of troops out of Iraq by March of 2008. If these aren't liberal votes, I don't know what are.

http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/Column.aspx?ContentGuid=7b1dfbc7-9ffa-457b-b1a6-4a51e678e23e

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

""The Air Force is tightening restrictions on which blogs its troops can read, cutting off access to just about any independent site with the word "blog" in its web address. It's the latest move in a larger struggle within the military over the value -- and hazards -- of the sites. At least one senior Air Force official calls the squeeze so "utterly stupid, it makes me want to scream."

This is sad. I wonder what it does for morale to be risking your life fighting for our 'freedoms' and then to be denied the most basic one -- freedom of information?"
-----------------------------

Well, I'm not so sure about this.
Military world is different than civilian world.

What is the reason? Is it even possible?

I'm more concerned about having a professional army. Historically, that leads to dictatorships. I support a mandatory 2 year military service as in Israel.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

claudialong -- if your paste is to be believed, it's a sad thing indeed.

I agree with you.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"I guess I should have known that making a reference to the fall of the Berlin wall, the collapse of the Soviet Empire, and the subsequent liberation of countless peoples would be sophomorically mocked.

Nevermind world peace or the defense of liberty, human rights, and justice."

Get off your high horse, you humorless drone.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Spectator2- touche

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"This is sad. I wonder what it does for morale to be risking your life fighting for our 'freedoms' and then to be denied the most basic one -- freedom of information?"

This does mischaracterize what's going on a bit, it is actually specifically referencing the filter on the official government computer and networks. AF personnel are still free to access all blogs on their personal computers and, when deployed, on MWR computers (morale computers for personal, not official, use).

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I guess I should have known that making a reference to the fall of the Berlin wall, the collapse of the Soviet Empire, and the subsequent liberation of countless peoples would be sophomorically mocked.

Nevermind world peace or the defense of liberty, human rights, and justice.

Let's all joke about Larry Craig.

We're so clever.

Pontificating loons.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

For the kind of technical data being asked of them, not really. They aren't doing the analysis, they're just handing over large amounts of data.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"The Air Force is tightening restrictions on which blogs its troops can read, cutting off access to just about any independent site with the word "blog" in its web address. It's the latest move in a larger struggle within the military over the value -- and hazards -- of the sites. At least one senior Air Force official calls the squeeze so "utterly stupid, it makes me want to scream."

This is sad. I wonder what it does for morale to be risking your life fighting for our 'freedoms' and then to be denied the most basic one -- freedom of information?

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

chad,

I agree about the conversion issue and the ride we've been on.

I was a lifelong Republican, and I don't think my policy views have changed much. But they took the GOP to a place where I was not willing to go.

Posted by: J | February 28, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

LOL kreuz missile. Neither is yours!

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

kreuz_missile -- enthusiastically?

Isn't there a difference between compliance with law and support of law?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Spectator2- your sarcasm detector doesn't appear to be working.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"Another bible thumper by day..... and floor tapper by night."

LOL

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Novamatt - "This is the jackpot for a certain (and relatively small, to be fair) portion of the Republican base.""

So what is your definition of "relatively small"? A few hundred? Thousand? And which plank of the party makes them part of the base? Each party has extreme/crazy people that vote for it because we really only have 2 parties. Even people that are a penny short of a nickle have to vote R or D.

Posted by: dave | February 28, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"Let's just assume that corporations exist to maximize shareholder wealth, not to patriotically protect your hide, free of charge. How about that?"

They chose to protect our hide free of charge before while knowing the stakes. I'm pretty sure if they felt the way they did when this was behind closed doors and without immunity, they'll be just as willing to help out when the economic disinsentive of lawsuits from this point on combined with a court order to comply.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"TEAR DOWN THAT STALL"

LOL Classic!

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Tony,

Do you see the party divide in NC as it appears to me? From what I can tell the GOP has essentially ceded the center to the Dems, at least in local/state politics. There don't seem to be a whole lot of moderate Republicans here, but plenty of moderate-to-conservative Dems.

A Dem candidate that appeals to that center in a national election might do okay here. Even though Bush won NC handily, Dole and Burr won their Senate seats by only a few points over Bowles, who I thought was an awful candidate. But neither Gore nor Kerry was about to resonate here.

I think Dole would be in for a tough fight in November if the Dems had put up a strong candidate. The relative unknowns who are running might surprise, but I doubt it.

And I think that with party resources this time, Kissell stands a good chance of toppling Hayes.

Posted by: J | February 28, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"Except thay wrote slavery into the constitution, so your take on this matter is factually incorrect. One thing they did actually write into the document was the right to keep a gun at home, to defend yourself from others, especially foreign bad guys."

Actually, southern states insisted on the 2nd Amendment largely to protect their militias which existed largely to put down potential slave insurgences. Second, they didn't write it into the Constitution, they allowed it to continue while putting specific clauses to allow for its eventual elimination (you want to talk about people who say we're PC today- the founders were so sensitive to the issue that they refused to use the term, referring to slaves as "all other persons").

"In fact, one of the only allowable roles of government is to defend the country from foreign interference, known today as terror. the founders considered this so important they even allowed for tax collection to accomplish this. how far we have strayed into nannysim since then."

Only if you except Milton Friedman's premise... No one's denying the government has the power and the obligation to defend us from terrorism, we're talking about the constitutional mechanisms for doing so.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

""TEAR DOWN THAT WALL"
No substance there.
I miss Jimmy Carter."

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

"TEAR DOWN THAT STALL"

No one misses Republican Larry Craig.
Another bible thumper by day..... and floor tapper by night.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

USMC Mike: You miss Jimmy Carter? You're dumber than you look.

Carter will be battling it out with Bush 43 for the title of worst president ever. Oh yeah, throw Harding and Buchanan in there too, but it's a select group of losers. Of course, I can be bipartisan about this, unlike you and zouk.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

J said: "My opinion is that the Administration is not holding this line to protect the telecoms, but to protect itself."

Agreed--that is the real sticking point.
Again, you don't have to convert to liberalism; but you have to admit Bush/Cheney et al have taken our country for a ride, and they get to walk away free (and richer).

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Your genius president:

"On one issue particularly worrisome to American consumers, there are indications that paying $4 for a gallon of gasoline is not out of the question once the summer driving season arrives. Asked about that, Bush said "That's interesting. I hadn't heard that. ... I know it's high now."

It's 'interesting' that we'll be paying $4 for a gallon of gas.

Yes, I have heard the obama anti-christ rhetoric. Oh, it's out there all right, and it is damn dangerous. You're right about that, chad. These are people who believe, like the fundamentalist muslims, that this life isn't important, it's only the afterlife that counts, so they're very unpredictable.

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Spectator2 - you're right.

"TEAR DOWN THAT WALL"

No substance there.

I miss Jimmy Carter.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

kingofpuke: still showing us how you are as dumb as Pavlov's dogs, I see. I hope you're not going to lick your balls too. Would mommy like to know you're doing that in her basement?

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Novamatt said:
"But they (the Christian nuts, not the Jewish nuts) believe that certain signs point to Obama being the Antichrist -- namely, that he's a charismatic figure, and the talk of unity, the blend of cultures (there's a real strong strain of NW European tribalism in this crowd). So, in other words, black, vaguely Arabic name, purported black Muslim and just plain Muslim connections. This is the jackpot for a certain (and relatively small, to be fair) portion of the Republican base."

So true--I was raised southern, right-wing nut job. We did all the analysis about the anti-christ and Babylon rising. I think this is what Rove/Delay/Rumsfeld/Bush and Cheney didn't quite get--a lot of those Christian right backing there support REALLY believe all this. They wanted us into Iraq because they felt it was fulfillment of biblical prophecy. I had been hearing sermons my whole life about how america will be "embarassed and taken down a notch" before the 2nd Coming--and the whole Obama anti-christ tie-ins fit right in.

I am not saying everyone shuld be Liberal--we need conservatives and moderates for discourse--but someone needs to do something about these right wing nut jobs--they are dangerous. they may not be into suicide missions and may be more "advanced" than Muslim insurrgents--but some of their rhetoric and philosophy is scary and dangerous all the same--trust me I know, that is where I came from.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"I was hoping that my comments on the topic of Obama's perceived arrogance (or uppityness) and whether it had anything to do with perceived Republican racism would rise above the "I know you are but what am I" tactic of wpost4112. Alas, I was wrong."

===============================

LOL. So fascinating when someone says they were just trying to be above it all, then falsely accuse someone else of being below it all, and then proceed to crawl even lower.

What would you call that?

An "ad sub-hominem" attack?

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

It looks like Kreuz addressed the question before I got to it, but I'll add a little.

First off, I'm more likely to drive under the speed limit when I see patrols in the area.

We do not have to follow court orders enthusiastically, we merely have to follow them (or be willing to suffer the consequences).

From my reading, the House bill is fairly well balanced. It gives neither the ACLU nor the Bush Administration everything they want. The only sticking point is retroactive immunity (it grants immunity going forward).

My opinion is that the Administration is not holding this line to protect the telecoms, but to protect itself. I have nothing to base this upon but observation, but that's what I see.

Posted by: J | February 28, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I want to commend all about the article and the charts.

I just have two question.

How scrutinized are the elections going to be in voting machine-troubled states such as Florida and Ohio.

Are they going to be monitored to divert violations -- like the purged rolls and "your name is similar to a convicted felon"
lists.

No wonder FL was on the bottom left of the chart. That's how I read it.

Posted by: jimmyg869 | February 28, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"show me the citation from a reputable source. It should be really easy to pile up the evidence if this is so rampant."

That's what the court systems are supposed to help us find through the discovery process. Here's the ACLU's list that they'd like investigated. The list links to active cases involving US citizens, and if allowed to proceed, the information gained will posibly (I'd say likely) show widespread abuse of information on thousands of US citizens:

http://www.aclu.org/safefree/general/26684res20060906.html

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Interesting how the most substance-free blogger has changed his name again. I can only guess that the previous moniker - ' Loud and Dumb' was slighty too accurate for use.

are you going to treat us to your ignorance and insults in two line format all day again, Ace?

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

It seems to me that the founding fathers had the exact same fear. War is terrible, slavery is worse; give me liberty or give me death.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 11:20 AM

Except thay wrote slavery into the constitution, so your take on this matter is factually incorrect. One thing they did actually write into the document was the right to keep a gun at home, to defend yourself from others, especially foreign bad guys.

so in thier wisdom, they created peaceful means to redress the government overreach and violent means to deal with enemies. In fact, one of the only allowable roles of government is to defend the country from foreign interference, known today as terror. the founders considered this so important they even allowed for tax collection to accomplish this. how far we have strayed into nannysim since then.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Interesting how the most substance-free speaker in the past 100 years is also the GOP's most revered figure: Ronald Reagan.

"It's morning in America!" That is no more or no less insipid than "Yes, we can!"

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I was hoping that my comments on the topic of Obama's perceived arrogance (or uppityness) and whether it had anything to do with perceived Republican racism would rise above the "I know you are but what am I" tactic of wpost4112. Alas, I was wrong.

Posted by: dave | February 28, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

kreuz_missile - that's quite a stretch.

Let's just assume that corporations exist to maximize shareholder wealth,

not to patriotically protect your hide,

free of charge.

How about that?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The stuff above about appealing to the end-times nuts is exactly right, I think. I've been hearing back-channel stuff that portions of the post-millenarian dispensationalist crowd think Obama is the Antichrist. No, I'm not kidding. These are the militantly pro-Israel (for now, until Jesus returns and the Jews all convert or die) idiots who have been cozying up to the militantly pro-Israel Jewish groups in recent years.

But they (the Christian nuts, not the Jewish nuts) believe that certain signs point to Obama being the Antichrist -- namely, that he's a charismatic figure, and the talk of unity, the blend of cultures (there's a real strong strain of NW European tribalism in this crowd). So, in other words, black, vaguely Arabic name, purported black Muslim and just plain Muslim connections. This is the jackpot for a certain (and relatively small, to be fair) portion of the Republican base. And I don't know whether it's that the Tennessee Republicans, the Bill Cunninghams, etc. are appealing to this crowd, or whether that crowd has found itself with some handy megaphones to broadcast this filth.

Sorry this is so garbled, but I hadn't connected these dots before, and I'm sort of thinking out loud quickly before I head out to lunch.

Posted by: novamatt | February 28, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Chris are you overlooking the fact that many former Democrats in states like North Carolina joined the Republican party after the Reagan revolution demonstrated they could actually get elected?

No offense intended, but these people used to be called Dixiecrats, and many--not all--held onto some pretty backward ideas about race.

So they became Republicans and grew the party from there. They still come up short on patronage jobs and inside deals, so Democrats in North Carolina are still a factor in any election.

I think a southern state like North Carolina has more experience with competent African-American politicians than perhaps other parts of the country. So I'm not ready to totally write off NC for the Dems in November. Who the VP candidate is will matter. Also, if Bush gets us entangled in another foreign policy fiasco, or let slip a terrorist action between now and November might matter.

I'll never forget the way Bin Laden released a video the Sunday before election day 2004. Nice work.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | February 28, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

"Obama lite - all talk and no substance"

I thought Obama was lite already.

That's like making Diet Coke Lite.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

""In summary, if you are a Lib, you have more to fear from our own government than any foreign killer.""

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

Which is EXACTLY what our founding fathers always said...our loss of freedom will come about through our own careless protection of the rule of law than any foreign threat.

That's WHY they overthrew their own corrupt government and established another.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

"Do you think the latter is enthusiastic cooperation? Aren't there degrees of cooperation?"

The warrant protects them from retribution, and as you say, we're talking about stopping an act of war from killing potentially thousands of Americans. I think a little sour grapes about potential lawsuits (which really are potential and probably wouldn't be large scale due to standing issues) from past events really short credits the telecom corporations' patriotism. After all, it is there patriotism that we're supposedly rewarding with immunity, isn't it?

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I don't hear the midnight knocks on the doors and don't see the vacant houses where the occupants were carted off."
===================

Then you aren't paying attention.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 11:19 AM

show me the citation from a reputable source. It should be really easy to pile up the evidence if this is so rampant. Otherwise I will just assume you're an Obama lite - all talk and no substance. I am begginning to understand the Lib affinity to this approach.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Zouk said "for all the accusations of fear mongering that the Libs project onto Repubs, this whole FISA thing is one giant sashay into fear mongering about our fascist government doing us wrong."

Ahem . . .you are incorrect sir.

Fear mongering would be us stating unequivocally that "VOTING FOR BUSH's WIRETAPPINGS IS TURNING US INTO NAZI's"

We are not Nazi's and are not "sounding the alarms" we are debating WHY FISA is in place and does and can work, and why there is no need for Libs to be painted as "pro-terrorist" or the American people to have to choose between a nuke free sporting event and freedom.
I personally want both. Especially if the Gators are playing. :)

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"Then you aren't paying attention."

Someone has been watching "Rendition" too many times.

Probably the only one in your county. What a BOMB.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

J

Thoughtful answer. Not entirely in disagreement.

You said:

"And saying that the telecoms won't want to cooperate in the future if they don't get retroactive immunity is another red herring. If there is an order from the FISA court, they will bloody well have to cooperate."

Do you think the latter is enthusiastic cooperation? Aren't there degrees of cooperation?

When are you more likely to drive under the speed limit - when when you see a sign, or when you're $2,000 mattress is in the back of your truck?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

"In summary, if you are a Lib, you have more to fear from our own government than any foreign killer."

It seems to me that the founding fathers had the exact same fear. War is terrible, slavery is worse; give me liberty or give me death.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

"I don't hear the midnight knocks on the doors and don't see the vacant houses where the occupants were carted off."
===================

Then you aren't paying attention.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

thanks Claudia on the correction

tenet not tenant

I guess I got going to fast--or was expecting some rent $$ :)

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

calling fascism for what it is only being accurate.

'a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.'

and what would the non-biblical basis be for arguing against adults making their own choices?

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

"Those "adult choices" you refer to can easily be argued against on non-biblical basis. "

===============

Try me.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

for all the accusations of fear mongering that the Libs project onto Repubs, this whole FISA thing is one giant sashay into fear mongering about our fascist government doing us wrong.

I want to see the damages done , the people locked up, the wronged innocents that exist because of all this "shredding" of the constitution. funny, I don't hear the midnight knocks on the doors and don't see the vacant houses where the occupants were carted off.

but if fear turns you on, consider the hole in downtown manhattan. now finally some evidence of an action we actually have reason to fear and take contrary action to prevent. such as defending ourselves at home and going on offense over there.

In summary, if you are a Lib, you have more to fear from our own government than any foreign killer. you see the US has a long and sordid history of oppressing people and killing innocents for their lunch money. you Libs crack me up.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"1. Protecting private companies who cooperate"

Private companies have thousands of lawyers on regular staff. They know the law. This isn't about ensuring their cooperation in the future- a FISA warrant doesn't give them a choice, this is about the administration and compliant members of congress on both sides (Sen Rockefeller, I'm looking at you) trying to cover their tracks from anything that might come up in the discovery phase. With congress being stonewalled by the administration and unwilling to press the issue, civil court is the only check left o nthe administratin, this is about them trying to close that gap. Maybe instead of blanket immunity, they can compromise on a cap on damages.

"2. Ensuring we can quickly follow leads"

You can collect and file a FISA warrant three days later, and there are plenty in Congress willing to both extend that to seven days and streamline the application process. There is no real timeliness gap.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

wpost (sorry I have been misquoting your name)

you are exactly correct.

I agree with you USMC, most Reps would not want the all powerful executive; but the flaw (at least as I see it) is the argument Bush and the rest have that we are to "trust" that they will not abuse it.

Give us this ability to protect you--we promise we don't want facism any more than you do.

2 Problems with that:
1> Power corrupts--absolute power corrupts absolutely.
2>What about the next guy? What about teh next war? What about dissent? It is not hard to see that this could and would be abused.

which is why Libs are saying

1> You are covered under the current process and laws
2> If there is a loophole; lets figure out HOW to close it without denying the people their rights.

If we give up our rights, are we really American? and if we give up our rights, then what the H#LL are we fighting for?

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

wow, pretty impressive slapnuttery for a board about an obscure Alabama House race.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 28, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

You've got some serious strawman/red herring issues in your argument, Mike.

And did you READ the full article? The guy is a known expert whose analysis bears consideration. This is not to say he is absolutely right, but that we should consider his argument. Actually understanding all positions could possibly be useful occasionally, methinks.

Same with the differences on the wiretapping bill. Have you compared the differences? The only hangup is that the Democrats in the House refuse to grant retroactive immunity to the telecoms for providing private information without a court order. Application of "the rule of law", which used to be the foundation of this country, probably doesn't support the administration's position here.

And saying that the telecoms won't want to cooperate in the future if they don't get retroactive immunity is another red herring. If there is an order from the FISA court, they will bloody well have to cooperate.

I will repeat what I have said many times, though I don't think in this forum. Our sorry hides are not necessarily what is worth defending. If we give up who we are throw away those things that make this nation what it is (through torture, indefinite detention, warrantless wiretapping, etc), then there isn't a whole lot left worth defending.

Let the patriotism accusations begin...

Posted by: J | February 28, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

one thing, chad, it is 'tenet' rather than 'tenant'

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

wpost - can we all agree to cut down on the use of the word "fascists"?

You're starting to sound like Rufus.

Those "adult choices" you refer to can easily be argued against on non-biblical basis. But it would be too intellectually honest to argue the issue straight without demonizing the [easy target of] the Christian Fundamentalists.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

"If not we follow the Romans and our Senate becomes a rubber stamp while the plebes are having bread and circuses."

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

We're not far from this now. At all.

O tempora! O mores!

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

'Yes,

Calling a terrorist in Pakistan is equivalent to

"Big Government fascism. Wow."

No, let me explain slowly. Allowing the government to legally spy on all your personal activities, arrest you and detain you indefinitely without charges or access to a lawyer is fascism. Get it now?

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Kreuz said: "oversight by the courts, and without opportunity for Congressional oversight"

this indeed is absolutely fundamental. this is why we have checks and balances; why we should want an independent judiciary.

If given this right to randomly collect at his will--with no deference to the rule of law--then who can say who will be next. We need to remember, ESPECIALLY in this time of "terror" that it is not the president who RULES, but the People and the RULE of LAW.

If not we follow the Romans and our Senate becomes a rubber stamp while the plebes are having bread and circuses.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

"It's about 2 things:
1. Protecting private companies who cooperate
2. Ensuring we can quickly follow leads"

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

Both are already covered under existing law.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

kreuz_missile -- the issue isn't about oversight or accountability, as I understand it.

It's about 2 things:

1. Protecting private companies who cooperate

2. Ensuring we can quickly follow leads

I don't think anyone wants an all-powerful, ruling executive. Least of all, R's.

Let's paint this fairly.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

""I believe that's called psychological projection."
That's the biggest non-answer I've heard since...
...the last time Obama "answered" a question."
===========================

Mais, non!

Perfectly sound answer. If you understand the words.

Conservatives think that liberals are fascists if they try to legislate log-cutting and ski-mobiling in public parks based on scientific research; Liberals think conservatives are fascists when they try to legislate adult choices concering sex or marriage based on highly selective passages from ancient religious texts.

Pontificating is all a matter of perspective, or lack of.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

"I do think I have the "RIGHT" to life. And that one is more important than my so-called "RIGHT" to chat it up with my terrorst buddies overseas."

Does it trump your right to calling family members in London with the expectation fo privacy? By your definition, the government can suspend every right under the constitution, a document that by your signature you swore an oath to defend, merely because of the percieved possibility that someone out in the world wants to kill someone, somewhere in the US. Yes, that's facism.

If the government has probable cause, or the bar can be lowered even toreasonable suspicion, they have mechanisms to seek out a warrant to get the information they need through the stated methods they require. But, to say the President should unilaterally be able to set collection policy, without oversight by the courts, and without opportunity for Congressional oversight, you are playing with serious fire. No true American should allow such a dangerous precedent to be set.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

kreuz--nice summary--I agree. Richard Clark warned against us doing exactly what the French did in ALgieria and cutting off the head only to fight a many headed hydra in its place.

I think we can see that is exactly what we did.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

3rd grade boy: "You're stupid"

2nd grade girl: "Nuh-uh, you're the stupid one!"

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

"I believe that's called psychological projection."

That's the biggest non-answer I've heard since...

...the last time Obama "answered" a question.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

washpost said: "(hmmm....would forcing biblical lifestyles upon others meet the "pontificating" criteria??...is that a liberal activity??)"

again . . .AMEN!!


Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

"'It's the third wave of terrorism that is growing, but what is it? By Sageman's account, it's a leaderless hodgepodge of thousands of what he calls "terrorist wannabes.""

All so unpredictable too. bin Laden said numerous times throughout the 1990's that his organization was to be an inspiration and that those who supported him should raise up the banner of al Qaeda in whatever lands they lived in, directing essentially from the beginning that it wasn't to be an centralized, direced organization but a movment of, as this commentator put it, bin Laden wannabes.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

USMC--I NEVER said you have th RIGHT to call terrorists. I DID say we have procedures in place and we should be open to discussing strategies that will indeed protect us--but NOT at the expense of civil liberties. It is not one or the other--we can and should have both.

Re-read my post--you'll see I was actually saying quite the opposite of what you accused.

Benjamin Franklin said "The nation that trades civil liberties for security will recieve neither." that is the tenant I am operating from.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Yes,

Calling a terrorist in Pakistan is equivalent to

"Big Government fascism. Wow."

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

"There is the perception, in conservative circles, that many liberals come across as pontificating pompous people that know what is best for the rest of us."
=================

I believe that's called psychological projection.

(hmmm....would forcing biblical lifestyles upon others meet the "pontificating" criteria??...is that a liberal activity??)

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

'chadibuins -- I don't think I have the "RIGHT" to call a terrorist in Pakistan without someone noticing.'

I'm truly amazed how much republicans hate the constitution and are so fearful that they want to hand the keys to their life over to Big Government fascism. Wow.

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

chadibuins,
As Judge pointed out, R't took that same tact with Kerry. There is the perception, in conservative circles, that many liberals come across as pontificating pompous people that know what is best for the rest of us. It has nothing to do with race. I don't think this will work anywhere nearly as well on Obama as it did on Kerry (because it was true there) and Obama is much more down to earth. But Obama is an Ivy League intellect and couple that in with his liberalism and you will hear this.

Posted by: dave | February 28, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"chadibuins -- I don't think I have the "RIGHT" to call a terrorist in Pakistan without someone noticing."
============

You're just dead wrong here, no pun intended.

That is your right. The gov't also has the legal right to listen in and before or afterwards to get a court order to do so.

Your rights to life AND liberty AND pursuit of happiness are equal.

Surrender one and you surrender all.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I said it yesterday, for all those who say that an Obama nomination would be disasterous for the party- look to the people with skin in the game for your answer. In red states, democratic officeholders flock to Obama because even if he doesn't win there, he will make them competitive enough to carry others over the finish line. Clinton, on the other hand, gets strong endorsements from safe states and safe districts (the kind democrats won't lose unless the Dem is caught in bed with a dead woman or a live boy, and even then it's questionable these days...).

Zouk, I normally liek to ignore ignorat trolls like youself because you're obviously here just because you like to stir the pot, but just for you-

- Obama never said there was no AQ in Iraq, he said that if the government collapses and the country is completely destabilized he reserves the right to go back in
- Obama correctly stated that there was no AQ in Iraq until Bush and McCain took us there, and we are the only think keeping them there- the Iraqis don't like them, and contrary to McCain's ignorant statements AQ will NEVER take over Iraq- AQ is anti-Shi'ite (60% of the population), has made too many enemies with the Sunni tribes, and thier Caliphate vision undermines Kurdish aspirations. In short, they have no base of support, they only can rally folks when they portray US imperialism as a greater threat to Iraq than themselves. This is why they lost Anbar, the minute they took over, everyone figured out they were the bigger threat all along and the people revolted.
- Obama said if we had actionable inteeligence on kew AQ leadership in Pakistan and Musharraf was unable or unwilling to take them out, we would reserve the right to unilaterally strike them ourselves. Oddly, Hillary said the same thing last August, and that is currently US Policy. Would McCain be unwilling to take out bin Laden if he saw him on video feed just because he happened to be in Waziristan just because Musharraf was waivering on the decision?
- Obama chaired the Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Europe (not Afghanistan), with oversight of NATO policy specifically how it affects our relationship with European allies. As far as I can see, he had little to no oversight of NATO troop effectiveness, which would be an armed services issue (but, my guess is if he did try to investigate it, Bush and Republicans would challenge it as a violation of Bush's pathetic 'unitary executive theory').
- If you're so worried about our troops in Afghanistan, maybe your beef should be with the Commander-in-Chief for failing them, not a senate subcommittee not holding hearings on the matter....
- Obama may be too busy? McCain didn't even get a rating in the NJ survey this year because he didn't have enough votes on record. These really aren't your best lines of attack, are they?

"Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the only other senator whose presidential candidacy survived the initial round of primaries and caucuses this year, did not vote frequently enough in 2007 to draw a composite score. He missed more than half of the votes in both the economic and foreign-policy categories."
http://nj.nationaljournal.com/voteratings/

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 28, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

'It's the third wave of terrorism that is growing, but what is it? By Sageman's account, it's a leaderless hodgepodge of thousands of what he calls "terrorist wannabes." Unlike the first two waves, whose members were well educated and intensely religious, the new jihadists are a weird species of the Internet culture. Outraged by video images of Americans killing Muslims in Iraq, they gather in password-protected chat rooms and dare each other to take action. Like young people across time and religious boundaries, they are bored and looking for thrills.'

agree, bsimon, really interesting piece.

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I wanted to add that I also loved the article CC, well done.

However, I also wanted to add that Howard Dean's 50 state strategy also has something to do with this too. By supporting ALL the states places like Alabama actually have support and recruitment strategies in place to try and get someone like Bright to run.

Now it is true that I doubt he would have made the decision if Hillary was going to be the nominee, but Dean's influence in this process should not be forgotten. IMHO, he is the best party chair either party has had in 20 years or more.

Posted by: AndyR3 | February 28, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

chadibuins -- I don't think I have the "RIGHT" to call a terrorist in Pakistan without someone noticing.

I do think I have the "RIGHT" to life. And that one is more important than my so-called "RIGHT" to chat it up with my terrorst buddies overseas.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

More Hillary hypocrisy:

JANESVILLE, Ohio -- A day after lecturing her presidential rival for not rejecting a controversial minister's support, Hillary Rodham Clinton declined Wednesday to reject one of her Texas backers who commented on Barack Obama's race.

During a series of satellite television interviews, Clinton was questioned by Dallas station KTVT about comments by Adelfa Callejo, a local activist who supports Clinton candidacy. The interviewer quoted Callejo as saying "Obama's problem is he happens to be black" and asked Clinton to respond.

The interviewer asked Clinton whether she rejected or denounced Callejo's comment.

"People have every reason to express their opinions, I just don't agree with that," she said, adding "You know, this is a free country. People get to express their opinions."

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

'Take McCain's global warming argument. If [the global warmists] are wrong, at least we get a better planet. If they're right, we saved it. Kudos.

Have you ever considered that what he's saying just might be true?'

I have never heard a democrat disagree with this. So where did you find this straw man?

'That we should be listening to phonecalls to/from overseas terrorists?'

Yet another one. No one is saying -- no one -- that we shouldn't listen to phone calls from 'terrorists'. But we need to do it in a way that protects citizens from Big Government fishing expeditions and protects the Fourth Amendment. Ever read the fourth admendment? It protects us from illegal SEARCH and seizure.

'There never seems to be a "what if" [we're wrong] for libs. Just politics.'

Oh please. Stop with the limbaugh stereotypes and cliches.

'The standard liberal rush to bash the GOP underscores their seeming lack of perspective, or concern, about keeping us safe.

What's more important - politics or a nuke at a major sporting event?'

Utter BS. The standard GOP rush to bash "libs' and to mischaracterize every position is typical. Why do cons not want to keep the ports [the most likely way to bring in a nuke, btw] safe, hmm? Why do they consistently vote against port safety?

What's more important -- politics or a nuke at a major sporting event?

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

washpost said:
"The rule of law is our fire wall against fascism. Always has been. Always will be."

AMEN!

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"We have taken a fire that would otherwise burn itself out and poured gasoline on it."

Well that's some excellent commentary.

If only we would have just let the jihadists 'burn out'. Maybe they would have all started drinking Starbucks and watching Britney Spears videos.

If only we hadn't tried to kill them after 9/11.

Stupid US.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

USMC said "What's more important - politics or a nuke at a major sporting event?"

The issue is not that libs don't have a "what if we're wrong?" (and I agree with you, McCain's handling of GW was really good." But rather the way it is gone about.

There are already laws and procedures in place that allow for clasified wiretapping and getting a "subpoena" after the fact.

The issue Libs have with this new stuff is it is violating OUR (yours and mine) civil rights. We are not opposed to the government doing what is needed to protect us from terrorism, we just don't think civil rights should be a casulty--but when we say that--Bush and the rest come back at us with "politics" and make it out like we're in favor of terrorists nuking sporting events.

Here is my argument to the Bush/McCain politicians, why not sit down and take our concerns into account--believe that we are not in favor of letting terrorists run unchecked; and we'll give you the credibility that you are not trying to run a police state. there are valid points in both camps--and this is exactly what Obama is and has been saying he'll do. But what we won't accept (and shouldn't from ourselves or conservatives) is more of the "painting with the political wide brush."

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

"Have you ever considered that what he's saying just might be true?"

=================

Always.

But his argument this time is patently false.

Telecoms (or gov't officials) may have broken the law and should be held responsible. There are legal ways to get the job done without destroying the Constitution.

The rule of law is our fire wall against fascism. Always has been. Always will be.

Ends do not justify the means.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Interesting Ignatius column today. Definitely recommended reading.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/27/AR2008022703179.html

"The heart of Sageman's message is that we have been scaring ourselves into exaggerating the terrorism threat -- and then by our unwise actions in Iraq making the problem worse."

Posted by: bsimon | February 28, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

republicans whining that after all the favors they've done for the telecoms -- telecoms aren't coming across -- where's the money?:

"You can understand their exasperation. The administration and Congressional Republicans have done everything in their power to protect the telecoms. They used every legislative tactic at the ready, made every speech or public pronouncement possible, and even engaged in occasional theatrics to drive the point home: Congress will not be passing, and the President will not be signing, any surveillance bill into law that does not give the telecoms retroactive immunity for having helped the administration break the law.

And despite all that, the telecoms still seem not to understand which side their bread is buttered on. "GOP leadership aides are grumbling that their party isn't getting more political money from the telecommunications industry," Roll Call reports (sub. req.):

"It's quite discouraging," said one GOP leadership aide, referring to the disparity in giving from the telecommunications industry in light of the FISA debate, but also the broader lack of support for Republicans from the business community in general.
"These companies just won't do anything," the aide said.

[A Republican lobbyist said] "There's no question that from time to time staff, and maybe some Members, say to fellow travelers: 'Are you giving us some air cover? Are you helping us help you?'""

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

dave writes
"The behavior illustrates that these pols are a slave to power, polls and politics over principle (IMO)."

I think most of us would agree with that statement. I certainly do.

Posted by: bsimon | February 28, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

wpost4112 -- why is it that every time a R says the phrase "vital to our national security", you [enlightened ones] translate that as "more fear-mongering from the GOP".

Take McCain's global warming argument. If [the global warmists] are wrong, at least we get a better planet. If they're right, we saved it. Kudos.

Have you ever considered that what he's saying just might be true?

That we should be listening to phonecalls to/from overseas terrorists?

There never seems to be a "what if" [we're wrong] for libs. Just politics.

The standard liberal rush to bash the GOP underscores their seeming lack of perspective, or concern, about keeping us safe.

What's more important - politics or a nuke at a major sporting event?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Hillary's demonization of the media, the essential voice of democracy, confirms my decision to do all I can to keep her from the White House:


Earlier last night, in St. Clairsville...a man at a Clinton town-hall meeting here at a school gymnasium stood to say that it was a "no-brainer" that Mrs. Clinton should be president. He then turned toward the back of the gym where a penned-off area held perhaps 30 reporters and a half-dozen local and
network cameras. "You guys have been so unfair to this lady," he declared. "I can't believe you."

With that, the crowd of more than 1,200 people roared with approval, many of them rising from their seats to hoot at the media and cheer the questioner. Many turned their cameras on the reporters.

Mrs. Clinton just soaked it all in. She sipped a glass of water. She smiled. And after the cheering stopped, she just moved on to the next question, no response needed.

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

Putin couldn't have done it better.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

bsimon - "Your comment would be more relevant if the behavior were unusual."

The excuse that "everybody does it" does not mean I think it a good thing for political service. The behavior illustrates that these pols are a slave to power, polls and politics over principle (IMO). But I get that others may just say they are being pragmatic.

Posted by: dave | February 28, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Libs -
see no evil - there is no al queda in Iraq
Hear no evil - turn off all listening devices, we don't need to know
speak no evil - Hillary and Barack love each other, can't you tell?

Note this statue is traditionally three monkeys, an appropriate rendition of the Democrat party although the ass is still spot on.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

'Why? Are they drawn by Obama, Clinton or distaste for Bush?'

my guess would be all three.

'race politics' such an ugly term, dave. sounds kind racist, actually.

'House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) challenged Republicans on Tuesday to get off their "dead asses" and start raising money for the National Republican Congressional Committee.'

teehee. not looking good.

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

bsimon--I agree with you about Florida.

dave--I think your posts are always insightful.

I cannot speak for claudia, but as for me--I was not calling people who disagree with my beliefs racist--I was calling the issues underlining a lot of this "arrogant/cocky" crap being spewed as racism.

I do think the people who are perpetrating this kind of talk may not have a hood hanging in their closet--but I bet they have one in their heart--even if they don't acknowledge it.

Feel free to disagree with me, and Obama--that doesn't make you a racist by any means--but the argument being made about Obama being "cocky or show-offy" does border that ground of thinking certain people should "stay in their place".

Obama has been more open and honest and humble than many politicians. Even on tuesday, he conceded Hillary's point about denounce and reject and went further to actually SAY those words.

And, finally, if we really want to talk about arrogance and cockiness look at the current resident of 1600 PA Ave and his "dark lord" their arrogance and contempt for the American people has grown over the past 8 years so much that even with record high approval ratings they are still clinging to some fictional mandate.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Dave, you are only a racist if you don't swallow whole anything Barack Mcgovern says. If you have a distast for Hillary in any way, you are instead a sexist.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Bush putting on a pathetic fear-mongering act right now over FISA bill.

How many days left?

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I see the drindl jackel is on full caffiene doses today. Posting the usual pig slop about the world ending.

Obama has now admitted he doesn't realize that there are enemies in Iraq. well if that is your assumption, of course there is no need for any military there. guffaw.

Let's move the military over to Pakistan, our nuclear ally, who needs a good butt whippin' anyway.

and all this seems to ring true and make sense to Barack Mcgovern and the wacked out wing of the Dem party. I can only assume he will invade with one or two helos like carter did in Iran that began all this display of weakness.

What planet are they inhabiting?

When it came time to actually act on this issue, instead of constant talking, Barack Mcgovern was MIA from his committee chair on afghanistan (aka - the good war in Lib circles) for over a year. he was busy. so much for the urgency of the present. Maybe our soldiers can wait another year or two for the commitee meeting to take place. but the Libs have found time to look into steroid use in baseball, now that is an urgent life or death situation.

In fact, if change is so wonderful and imminent, why is he waiting? he can introduce a number of bills in the Senate right now which they could begin work on immediately. Of course he may be too busy. Or full of empty rhetoric and no action, as most have suggested.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 28, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

claudialong - "I believe the word all of you are thinking, but not typing, is...U-P-P-I-T-Y""

Actually, for me the word is A-R-R-O-G-A-N-T. But thanks for labeling everyone that does not agree with you a racist. I believe the phrase of the day is "standard tactic" and calling R's racist is just that.

Posted by: dave | February 28, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

dave writes
"Let's see. I'll decide what I stand for and what party I will choose based on what gives me the best chance of being elected."

Your comment would be more relevant if the behavior were unusual. It happens frequently enough to be irrelevant. Coleman in MN swapped Dem to Repub. Bloomberg turned R to become mayor, didn't he? And is now 'independent'? Here in MN a mid-size-town mayor is turning D to run for Ramstad's seat, though that's a surprise as the Dem race is tighter than the R side.

Posted by: bsimon | February 28, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

On the coattails subject, I wonder if anyone has collected data on the makeup of new primary participants this year. We've seen record turnout nationwide for primaries & caucuses. Anecdotally we hear a lot about the youth vote actually showing up this time, but its my understanding that they don't account for the whole boost. Who are these people? Are they people who usually vote in the general & decided to show up for primaries for the first time? Why? Are they drawn by Obama, Clinton or distaste for Bush?

Learning more about these people will probably tell us a lot about who's coattails will be longest in Nov.

Posted by: bsimon | February 28, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Let's see. I'll decide what I stand for and what party I will choose based on what gives me the best chance of being elected. To say nothing of basing this decision on race politics. Get me the latest poll so I know what my positions are! Successful or not, I'm glad he won't be representing me.

Posted by: dave | February 28, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"Last I heard FL came out against a redo of the primary. A big mistake, in my mind, if your main goal is to see your State's vote count. Any more chatter about that?"

I suspect the FL voters will not revolt against Dems as 'punishment' for whatever happens to their Dem delegates. Of course, I'm expecting Sen Clinton to drop out on Wednesday, which means the FL & MI delegates will be seated in Denver. Kumbaya will be sung, the Obama - [Zinni/Clark] ticket will visit FL a few times before Nov & all will be forgiven & forgotten.

Posted by: bsimon | February 28, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

claudia said:
"I believe the word all of you are thinking, but not typing, is...

U-P-P-I-T-Y"

AMEN!! Call it what it is.

"Oh no, we can't have that!"--racist crap.

G-d, I really hope America is smarter than that. But of course we did get 8 years of W.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Good comments Drindl. "And while this is happening, John McCain will just talk about how terrible this stuff is but he can't stop it; and the media tut tuts it 24/7." I'm certain that 527 support/behavior will be front and center on the negotiating table when BHO and McCain sit down to talk about the details of campaign financing. And discussions will go nowhere because McCain knows he needs those groups to keep parts of the base motivated.

As far as "obama thinks he's better than you" we saw pretty much the same thing for Kerry, didn't we? I think it's a general smear of D's ("latte-drinking Prius drivers") rather than just BHO. Granted, it sticks to BHO because of what he's done with his life (against great odds, I might add) but it is a standard GOP tactic.

If he was a wheat farmer (like Tester) they'd find some what to make fun of that instead. Jimmy Carter still gets smeared because of his background as a peanut farmer.

Posted by: judgeccrater | February 28, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"...if Clinton somehow manages to win the negative coattails effect will be disasterous for Democrats."

No question, JimD. Any grumbling down there about "who are these Northerners to tell us that our delegates shouldn't be seated?" I almost said "damn Yankees" but know FL to well to think that most of the population uses that term. Or 'Northerners,' for that matter.

Last I heard FL came out against a redo of the primary. A big mistake, in my mind, if your main goal is to see your State's vote count. Any more chatter about that?

Posted by: judgeccrater | February 28, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

i've seen this developing already. bill kristol: "obama thinks he's better than you"

'First, the racist junk that right-wing radio. blogs, and conservative interest groups are going to throw out. That somehow a black candidate secretly hates; whites, Jews, Christians, latinos, asians, old people, veterans, rich people, middle class people, corporations,etc.

And while this is happening, John McCain will just talk about how terrible this stuff is but he can't stop it; and the media tut tuts it 24/7. And yet FoxNews and Howie Kurtz will keep having these same people on their shows and in their columns and treat them like the respectible contributor to the public discourse they believe them to be.

But another insidious meme is developing. It is not that the candidate is so extreme, no it's something else. Something about as bad.

On Monday, who else but Bill Kristol started this little trick by stating this:

[Obama] wanted to explain that he was too good -- too patriotic! -- to wear a flag pin on his chest.

The whole column has one theme, that Barack Obama thinks he is better than you.

And then Tuesday in the Washington Post, America's "divining Rod of Wankery" Richard Cohen chimed in:

Obama is nearly as good as he thinks he is.

And now Gail Collins comes forward today and says:

...people here worry that Barack Obama is getting show-offy

I believe the word all of you are thinking, but not typing, is...

U-P-P-I-T-Y

Let's just get it out in the open and call it for the racist bullcrap it is.'

http://firedoglake.com/

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Washpost said :
"Rather, I think this particular smear campaign is directed towards the apocalyptic xtian groups awaiting the second coming. It is these groups whose smarts I doubt."

I could not agree more.

claudia--thanks for the post-that is despicable and should offend all rational Americans--and yes I agree, the Schaller findings do suggest racism, I said so as well in my earlier comment.

and Jimd--I think you are correct--more so about the "anything to win shenanigans"--I really hope she wouldn't and won't stoop to that.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

'Rather, I think this particular smear campaign is directed towards the apocalyptic xtian groups awaiting the second coming. It is these groups whose smarts I doubt'

yeah, could be. it is Tennessee after all.


Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

As interesting as the speculation about Obama's potential coattails is, I think it is also certain that if Clinton somehow manages to win the negative coattails effect will be disasterous for Democrats. Since it would take some shenanigans like seating the Michigan and Florida delegations and considerable support from the super-delegates, her win would be seen as illegitimate by many and most particularly by African-Americans. Furthermore, her presence on the ticket would motivate a generally dispirited Republican base to to turn out massively to vote against her. From what I have read, most of the so-called strategic voting by Republicans for Obama in the primaries is motivated by intense anti-Clinton feeling rather than any thought that she would be a stronger Democratic candidate.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 28, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

More incompetence, more taxpayer money down a black hole --the hallmark and legacy of this administration:

"Investigators had already pointed out that the virtual fence was plagued with problems, but yesterday it became clear that the whole project will have to be redesigned. Officials now say they expect the first 100 miles of the project to be completed "near the end of the next president's first term," says the Post. This is a clear setback for President Bush, who has long been touting the virtual fence as a high-tech way to secure the borders that would complement a network of physical fences, which are also likely to be delayed. It seems the administration's eagerness to push the project during last year's immigration debate led the contractor, Boeing, to install equipment without proper testing."

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

"I hope Jews are smart enough"
==================

This I've never doubted.

Rather, I think this particular smear campaign is directed towards the apocalyptic xtian groups awaiting the second coming. It is these groups whose smarts I doubt.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 28, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"HRC's loss is a foregone conclusion?
Posted by: SMARTINSEN | February 28, 2008 09:14 AM"

Counting unhatched chickens is a national sport around these parts, SMARTINSEN. CC doesn't help matters but hey, that's modern journalism.

Posted by: judgeccrater | February 28, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

"In a typical attack, the Tennessee Republican Party, under the headline "Anti-Semites for Obama," said Monday that it was joining "a growing chorus of Americans concerned about the future of the nation of Israel, the only stable democracy in the Middle East, if Sen. Barack Hussein Obama is elected president of the United States."

"Earlier today at TPM Election Central, Eric Kleefeld wrote about a scurrilous press release from the Tennessee Republican Party that used innuendo and faulty causation to try to link Obama with anti-semitism.

As a bonus the press release featured the now-notorious photo of Obama in Somali tribal garb from a 2006 congressional trip to Kenya -- and referred to him as Barack Hussein Obama."

Well, the filth begins. I hope Jews are smart enough not to allow their religion to be take hostage and used as a wedge by Republicans, in the same way they try to use Christians. It's a truly filthy tactic.

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

HRC's loss is a foregone conclusion?

Posted by: SMARTINSEN | February 28, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Agree with the Judge. How about a look at voter registration in the state as well? It's up around most of the country, if it is in alabama that could give you a clue.

'While the black vote might well go up statewide, recent electoral history suggests that the higher the black population in a state, the more consolidated the white vote is behind a Republican candidate'

Suggest racism to anyone?

I'd like to hear about Don Siegelman, the former alabama governor who's in jail on charges trumped up by Karl Rove and executed by Alberto Gonazales. Why don't you write about that, CC?

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I agree the Schaller data is interesting, and as a Southerner; I definitely see that trend. Part of it is the Bush/War issue; part of it is institutionalized racism; and part of it is economic.

However, this is not the first time The Fix has made allusions to the fact that the Black vote will not be all that influential--because they already vote high in numbers in the Presidential election. I disagree with that assumption.

African-americans may vote in relatively high numbers already--However, according to the US Census about 64% of AA's are registered; while about 56% voted in 11/2004. That means if just 3-5% of those registered will now vote; and 3-5% of those that were not registered get registered and then vote--we could see an increase in the African-American vote by 8-10% (on the conservative side) which I am sure will happen if Obama is at the top of the ticket. If there is that much incentive for blacks to get the vote out in much higher percentages in random elections--how much more of an incentive will there be to elect the first African-American president.

Will it be enough to carry the day--not sure--depends on how monolithic they vote--but I don't think you can just write off the black vote because they already vote anyway. I think that is a "misunderestimation" (thanks W!) :)

Obama's coattails will likely be long enough to help carry Dems where there is a) a significant African-american population and b) Reps and Dems are within 10% of each other. IMHO

Posted by: chadibuins | February 28, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I have nothing to add to what Mike and judge have said, but wanted to join in thanking you for this provocative tidbit.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 28, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Have to agree w/Mike, CC, this was a very interesting post. Much better than the "Winners and Losers: The Democratic Debate" bilgewater from yesterday.

It would have been nice to include black turnout as a percentage of the total black voting population on your graph. Differences in turnout could easily undercut your other arguments such as "...a district where one-in-three residents is black. That said, the district gave President Bush 65 percent of the vote in 2004..." If black turnout was 15% in 2004 (and I'm just picking numbers out of the air) but will be 65% in 2008, the times they could be a-changin'.

Posted by: judgeccrater | February 28, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

The Schaller data is interesting, but is it anything more than the Bush effect in a time of war. That the black percentage of a state's population is driving the GOP share of the vote seems a stretch when considering the other confounding factors.

Here's a deeper consideration of those issues:
http://frontloading.blogspot.com/2008/02/obama-and-red-state-question-deeper.html

Posted by: jtputnam | February 28, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

CC - this is one of your better posts. Thanks for it.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 28, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

MccCain takes advantage of the public's ignorance -- and the media's incompetence -- by demagoguing Iraq -- once again. He suggests that the group of Sunni [former Ba'athists] insurgents in Iraq who call themselves 'al queda in Iraq' are connected to the 'al Queda' led by bin Ladin, who attacked us, who are in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They have no contact and no connection. I guess he wants to be president so much he's willling to be dishonest about anything:

'(CNN) -- Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama engaged in a pointed exchange over al Qaeda in Iraq on Wednesday.

McCain questioned whether Obama was aware of the al Qaeda base. Obama's response was: "There was no such thing as al Qaeda in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq."

McCain was in Tyler, Texas, and Obama was in Columbus, Ohio.

"I understand that Sen. Obama said that if al Qaeda established a base in Iraq that he would send troops back in militarily. Al Qaeda already has a base in Iraq. It's called al Qaeda in Iraq," McCain said.

"It's a remarkable statement to say that you would send troops back to a place where al Qaeda has established a base -- where they have already established a base."

McCain's comments come in response to remarks Obama made Tuesday night in a debate with Sen. Hillary Clinton. He was asked if the president would have the right to go back into Iraq in order to suppress an insurrection after downsizing the U.S. troop presence. Watch what Clinton and Obama said about the war »

"I always reserve the right for the president ... to make sure that we are looking out for American interests," Obama said. "And if al Qaeda is forming a base in Iraq, then we will have to act in a way that secures the American homeland and our interests abroad."

A statement by McCain's press office Wednesday said, "Is Sen. Obama unaware that al Qaeda is still present in Iraq, that our forces are successfully fighting them every day, and that his Iraq policy of withdrawal would embolden al Qaeda and weaken our security?"

Al Queda is already emboldened. the Al Queda who attacked us is happily building camps in Pakistan, is growig and getting stronger, is no doubt recruiting at a happy clip, while we are bogged down in rivers of blood in a civil war in Iraq.

Don't Lie, John McCain.

Posted by: drindl | February 28, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Let's face it, Barack Obama is gaining support across the board, across the nation. Although this snap-shot is *only* the internet, it tells a wider story;

Obama vs. McCain- the Google Effect:

http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=48

Posted by: davidmwe | February 28, 2008 7:34 AM | Report abuse

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