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The most important number in politics today

Screen shot 2009-12-03 at 11.51.19 AM.png

49

That's the percentage of Americans who said the country should "mind its own business internationally" in a new Pew poll, a potentially troubling isolationist sentiment for President Barack Obama in the wake of his commitment of 30,000 more American troops to Afghanistan earlier this week.

The trend line on the question in the Pew poll, which is conducted every four years and is aimed at testing the American public's sentiment about its place in the world community, is somewhat remarkable.

Back in December 2002, just 30 percent of the Pew sample agreed with the "mind its own business" sentiment. By 2005 that number had risen to 42 percent. The current number -- 49 percent -- is the highest it has ever been on the question in more than four decades of Pew data.

It's impossible to pinpoint why isolationist sentiment has increased in recent years but it's hard not to see America's muddled involvement in Iraq as the prime driver of those feelings among the public.

President Obama is clearly aware of the increased wariness about America's involvement in foreign affairs and went out of his way in his speech Tuesday night -- in which he announced the troop increase in Afghanistan -- to make clear not only that he believes that vital U.S. interests are at stake but also that he will not make an unending commitment of forces to the country.

The sense that America should keep its nose out of international affairs is accompanied, at least in the Pew poll, by a belief that the country's influence on the world stage has waned considerably.

More than four in ten in the Pew sample (41 percent) said the U.S. has a less important and powerful a role on the world stage as compared to a decade ago -- the largest number expressing that idea ever in a Pew poll. Compare that to 2005 when just 20 percent said America was less powerful/important than a decade ago while 45 percent said the country was more powerful than ten years prior.

These numbers suggest that entirely apart from the specific policy and political challenges of Afghanistan for the Obama Administration, there is a growing sense among the American public that the country should pull back from the international community and avoid acting as the world's top cop. That sentiment makes Obama's decision on Afghanistan all the more perilous politically.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 3, 2009; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Most Important Number  
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Comments

Ayers, the respected education policy expert. I wouldn't let that hater within 10 miles of my kids. I'm gonna heave.

==

Says the Republican, whose party is driven and beholden to hate radio

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 4, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Ayers, the respected education policy expert. I wouldn't let that hater within 10 miles of my kids. I'm gonna heave.

Posted by: Obaama | December 4, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Chris, like many people and some historians of an earlier era, confuses the wish of many people that our government would mind its own business internationally with "isolationalist" sentiment. The two are actually very different. Very few people support isolationism, as in the sense Japan was isolated from the world from the late Middle Ages to the mid 19th century.

Nearly everyone in this country wants the United States to continue global trade, be involved in peaceful international organizations and work cooperatively with other nations to solve common problems. Minding our own business internationally means to most people, to stay out of other nation's wars, especially their civil wars, not to try to be the world's policeman or bully, to resist the temptation to interfere in other countries, just as we want other countries not to interfere in this country.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | December 4, 2009 3:25 AM | Report abuse

gold and tanzanite

Stop being such a cry-baby - deal with the actual issues instead of whining and name-calling.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 4, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

You should be concerned about Obama's financial irresponsibility -

==

I have some very grave concerns that Obama is listening to the advice of a bunch of Wall Street creeps who probably belong on a chain gang, bailing out rich bankers who most assuredly do belong on one, instead of putting the stimulus money where it would do some actual good.

But I won'd dismiss his bad economic practices as "bad advice" as you monkey-dos are ready to give President Smirk a pass on getting us into Iraq on "bad intel."

I'm disappointed in Obama in lots of ways, while you're still defending the frat boy who got us into so many messes that Obama now has to clean up.

There's the difference.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 3, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Give me a break - the "blame Bush" story does not work anymore.

==

Only you red-faced teabagger crybabies have convinced yourselves that the economic crisis started on Jan 20 '09, and that Obama started the two unnecessary wars.

The rest of Americans have whole minds.

I knew you guys would be wetting your pants over a black president, but I didn't expect you to completely cave in under the strain. I guess all you "self reliant conservatives" are really a pack of weaklings after all.

Thought so.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 3, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

GoldAndTanzanite

Go look up Dorothy Tillman - and black liberation theology has been around along time - William Ayers was writing about it in his manifestos.


Remember William Ayers got off on a technicality - exactly what everyone is concerned about what might happen at the 9/11 trials.


Obama is a disaster -


You should be concerned about Obama's financial irresponsibility -


You should.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 3, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Give me a break - the "blame Bush" story does not work anymore.


And the "racist" story doesn't work anymore.

Obama is being way more financially irresponsible.

Remember the only business or economic experience Obama ever had was buying cocaine.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 3, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

The question still arises - why is Obama so unconcerned about the finances of the country ? Why does he want massive government spending with little means to pay for the programs?

==

So where were you when Bush got us into two riotously expensive wars we didn't need to fight, and put them on the Chinese credit card?

(shades eyes, rotates head)

Nope, not a peep out of you about that.

Guess that's because Bush has no African blood in him.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 3, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Wright is a performance artist based in Chicago and Ayers is nationallly respected education policy expert. Both harmless.
____________

BTW, Steven Seagal's new "Lawman" on A&E was pretty good. Check it out. It's a reality show where he's actually joined some police force an a supervisory officer. He does a lot of target shooting, slow-mo ju-jitsu moves, and fake Oriental philosophizing, and speaks in that same fake-cool urban mumbling he's used in his last few films with hip-hop co-stars.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 3, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

You are seriously misinformed if you believe that BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY does not exist.

==

hahahahaha

Find one (1) reference to it that doesn't originate in blubber and bluster from Goon Squad Hate Radio in reaction to Rev. Wright.

YU0 = |D|0T

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 3, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Broadwayjoe

You are seriously misinformed if you believe that BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY does not exist.

And since you deny that, you have no idea what Obama really thinks.

However, being financially irresponsible with the federal budget is consistent with Black Liberation Theology - and somehow even up the score between the races.


Look up Dorothy Tillman from Chicago - read about what she used to say.

It is funny that first you admit you don't know what you are talking about, and then you make assertions like you are familar with the topic.


The question still arises - why is Obama so unconcerned about the finances of the country ? Why does he want massive government spending with little means to pay for the programs?

Why did Obama have $700 Billion stimulus program - WHERE ARE ALL THE JOBS?


If this is how he wants to run the health care system, then everyone is right, he should not be allowed to run the health care economy.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 3, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Rev. Wright and William Ayers were his friends - extremely radical friends.

It is completely legitimate to wonder if Obama shares those radical views.

==

Well it's your time to waste, pity you're so determined to waste ours.

As with your former monikers, you still don't get it .. your posts are simply too far Out There to be effective.

Anyway, I'm much more interested in "wondering" if the LHC is going to find the Higgs particle or, even better, find something to get physicists away from hand-waving about string theory and back to some real science.

As for "extremely radical," Bill Ayers is a dead skunk next to Lyin' Dick Cheney.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 3, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

@the new 37: you sound like that Senator in the original "Manchurian Candidate" who blamed everything on the "communist mafia." :) There's no such thing as any "black liberation" theology. At any rate BHO does not adhere to it, or socialism or Marxism for that matter. BHO is for people-ism; he just needs to get back to his original game plan. IMO, let Bartlet be Bartlet.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 3, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Rev. Wright and William Ayers were his friends - extremely radical friends.


It is completely legitimate to wonder if Obama shares those radical views.


Especially when Obama was a member of that church - and instead of stating he was against BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY, Obama gave a speech in Philadelphia which actually talked about BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY.

Why is Obama being so financially irresponsible ???

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 3, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Rev. Wright and William Ayers were his friends - extremely radical friends.


It is completely legitimate to wonder if Obama shares those radical views.


Especially when Obama was a member of that church - and instead of stating he was against BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY, Obama gave a speech in Philadelphia which actually talked about BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY.

Why is Obama being so financially irresponsible ???

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 3, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

A year after the election and these bedwetters are still crying about Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers .. talk about Stuck On Stupid.

Guilt by association .. how very Soviet.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 3, 2009 9:24 PM

Palin was still bleating about Wright last week.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 3, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

You didn't think Jake was actually going to stay away, did you?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 3, 2009 9:18 PM

No.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 3, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

A year after the election and these bedwetters are still crying about Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers .. talk about Stuck On Stupid.

Guilt by association .. how very Soviet.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 3, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama is being incredibly FINANCIALLY IRRESPONSIBLE.


We have a $700 Billion stimulus program with few jobs.


We have a health care program with so many ACCOUNTING TRICKS AND GIMMICKS that it is hardly paid for - it takes $500 BILLION from Medicare which won't be available down the road, and it places 7 years of benefits against 10 years of taxes.

We have a cap-and-trade bill which could double our electricity bills BASED ON FAKED DATA.

NOW - OBAMA IS FINANCIALLY IRRESPONSIBLE.


BUT WHY?


IS IT RELATED TO HIS BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY PHILOSOPHY ????

THINK LONG AND HARD ABOUT THIS ONE.


.


Posted by: 37thand0street | December 3, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Broadwayjoe:

I don't care what you are doing - but I will take the bait -

ARE OBAMA'S RECKLESS ECONOMIC POLICIES DIRECTLY RELATED TO HIS BELIEF IN BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY ????


IS OBAMA PURPOSELY HURTING THE ECONOMIC CONDITION OF THIS COUNTRY ????

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 3, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I know you are not the real 37. The real 37 would have just repeated an earlier post, probably about 5 times. But he never would have responded to me.

==

You didn't think Jake was actually going to stay away, did you?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 3, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

@the new 37: I don't care about BHO's minister, barber, mechanic, golf pro, or bartender and neither should you. I know you are not the real 37. The real 37 would have just repeated an earlier post, probably about 5 times. But he never would have responded to me. BUSTED.

...but keep trying at least in the tradition of 37.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 3, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

This is what your Rev. Wright was preaching - and you can look up what William Ayers was preaching.


OH, by the way, William Ayers was a terrorist who was give a TRIAL, and got off on a technicality.


Sound familar ? Like what everyone is worried about with the 9/11 trials, but Obama does not care.

Yes, I wouldn't mind if Obama gave $20,000.00 to a more mainstream Church - it is the philosophy of that Church which should be subject to close scrutiny for what it tells us about OBAMA.


OK broadwayjoe - what is your problem with any of that???


Any of it untrue ???


Or does the truth bother you - OR do you think we should not say true things about what Obama has done???

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 3, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

You get your knickers in a twist over 20K to a church you don't like, and I'll get mine in a twist over giving billions to rich bankers.

Which is more important is left as an exercise for the reader.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 3, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

So broadwayjoe


What is your problem with that


Didn't Obama go to that Church - what were the teachings of that Church ???

You should listen to what has been said in that Church - and tell me it isn't racist.


And Obama did give the Church $20,000.00.


OK so what part is not true ?


What part do you not like.


These are CHOICES OBAMA MADE FOR HIS LIFE - HE DID THIS WITH HIS LIFE.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 3, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I like those screamers on the radio who append an extra syllable-a to-a every-a word-a.

Obama is-a SOCIALIST-A who wants to ruin-a private-a industry-a.

I mean WHAT is up with that?!?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 3, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

From October 2008, for your consideration, a completely unhinged anti-BHO post from the ORIGINAL 37thandO:

"The October Surprise Was Obama's Redistribution "Spread The Wealth" gaffe


.


.


Obama is not a uniter Obama is a divider


Obama gave $20,000.00 in one year to a RACIST church which believes there are separate value systems - one value system for "whites" and one value system for "blacks."


The worst is that Obama brought his children to this Church and exposed them to these HATE TEACHINGS - probably psychologically damaging his own children -


All so Obama could have the "poltical opportunity" of belonging to that Church?
How can you not be concerned about that?


How can anyone believe that Obama never heard any of these hate filled ideas when a 15 second visit to the Church's website revealed how RACIST it was?


BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY IS OUT THERE - JUST BECAUSE YOU IGNORE IT OR JUST BECAUSE YOU DECIDE TO OVERLOOK IT - THAT DOES NOT MEAN IT THAT BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY DOES NOT EXIST.


Remember that William Ayers in his manifesto for the Weather Underground in the 60s sought to create an alliance with the forces of BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY in order to disrupt America as we know it.


Do your research before you are so "proud" of some affirmative action guy.


You guys are sounding more and more like Joe Biden everyday.


If a white man said he was "proud" of Obama he would be called up for being condescending.


.


.

Posted by: 37thandOSt | October 30, 2008 10:14 AM"

(c) Troll International

Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 3, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

We need to mind our own business. So much money is being sent overseas. Meanwhile the value of the dollar goes down, we get further and further in debt.

What about peace and security here at HOME? You want to know why the Salahi's got into the White House? Because Obama and his administration were busy dickin' around on world stage. We wonder how it is 9/11 happened.

There's a saying that goes around the lines of; you can hide your face, but you can't hide your asre.

Posted by: kogejoe | December 3, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

"I'll tell you what, as soon as the Taliban and Al Qaeda start minding their own business we will start minding ours."

I believe it is we who are occupying their country, not the other way around.

Posted by: kogejoe | December 3, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I'll tell you what, as soon as the Taliban and Al Qaeda start minding their own business we will start minding ours.

==

What does the Taliban even have to do with us right now? They're a Pashtun tribal movement active in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They're perfectly loathsome people but we have plenty just about as bad rat cheer in River City.

As for AQ they're so entrenched as the Immanual Goldstein bogeyman that we'll never be allowed to forget them.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 3, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Amazing how close to Bush's policies Obama's speech ended up.

==

Not even trying, are you.

Bush IGNORED Afghanistan, probably because it didn't offer any flightsuit-wearin' opps.

Obama is shifting the emphasis to the region that actually, you know, *matters* and you want to credit Bush for that?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 3, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

"HHHMMMMM really funny - after months and months of thinking about it, Obama basically chose one of Bush's policies.
Posted by: 37thand0stree"
---
Actually, it was Bush who took on Obama's draw-down from Iraq policies as soon as he realized that Obama as potus was a foregone conclusion.

Posted by: JRM2 | December 3, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I'll tell you what, as soon as the Taliban and Al Qaeda start minding their own business we will start minding ours.

Posted by: JRM2 | December 3, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

BTW, snowmelt, you did not get the requisite ten votes needed for induction in the Troll Hall of Fame yesterday. You received only one vote--mine. However, for your participation, you will receive 14 smashed aluminum soda cans you can redeem for pennies at the local Piggly Wiggly. You will be eligible to reapply in 2010. Good luck, melt.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 3, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Amazing how close to Bush's policies Obama's speech ended up.


Bush had the Surge in Iraq followed by an agreement with the Iraqi government that US troops would begin to leave.


Obama chose an extremely similar policy for Afghanistan.

HHHMMMMM really funny - after months and months of thinking about it, Obama basically chose one of Bush's policies.

HHHMMMMM Maybe maybe Obama was wrong about Bush........


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 3, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

"Isolationist" tries to sound villifying. However, if by the opposite of "isolationism" people like our president means going out and attacking other countries and making them bend to our will, then I prefer being called an isolationalist. What a shame that being fair and realistic is being labeled "isolationalist."

Posted by: kogejoe | December 3, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

t doesn't even rise to the level of irritation, it's just like hair clogging a bathroom drain. Quit it

take your own advice flamer.

Posted by: snowbama | December 3, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

...34, 35, 36, __, 38, 39, 40...

Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 3, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

BHO should know that when Rove and war profiteers are cheering your Afghanistan war policy, you are horribly off course.

BHO's recent policy calls smack of Clintonian "triangulation" rather than principled progressive judgment. He should simply walk through his campaign promises one by one on climate change, getting out of the Middle East (forever), etc. He is losing some of his mosr ardent supporters (see MoDo).

Someone (Maybe Rahm? Judith Warner? (BHO's most devoted supporter by far? Linda Douglass? Varrett?) needs to give a "Let Bartlet be Bartlet" speech to BHO and his staff...before it's too late. This ship is taking on a lot of water:

From "The West Wing" --

"Leo: "Listen up. Our ground game isn't working; we're gonna put the ball in the air. If we're gonna walk into walls, I want us running into them full-speed."

Josh: "What are you saying?"

Leo: "Well, you can start by telling the Hill the President's named his nominees to the FEC. And we're gonna lose some of these battles. And we might even lose the White House. But we're not going to be threatened by issues: we're going to put 'em front and center. We're gonna raise raise the level of public debate in this country, and let that be our legacy. That sound alright to you Josh?"

Josh: "I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States.

Leo: "Yeah?"

CJ: "I serve at the pleasure of the President."

Sam: "I serve at the pleasure of President Bartlet."

Leo: "Toby?"

Toby: "I serve at the pleasure of the President.""

Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 3, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

A poster commented:

"I seriously do not know what is going on."

That appears to be true.

The link to the poll does not work.

Would you be surprised by a poll that reflected a desire for the federal government to apply its resources within the nation, first, or even solely, during a recession? Why would you be surprised? What can possibly be said that adds to, or detracts from, the bald statement of the obvious?

Posted by: MoreAndBetterPolls | December 3, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Obama shouldn't be allowed to go to the bathroom until unemployment is back down to 5%.

A canary makes more sense than you do.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 3, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Did Obama really take off from the Jobs Summit today - and say he will be back a few hours later???

WHAT is that all about???


I can not believe how bad this administration has been.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 3, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

If you understand economics.

==

Republican economics is crap.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 3, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

gold and tanzanite


Let me clue you in on something - how much will the health care bill increase labor costs ??? THE HEALTH CARE BILL IS A DRAG ON HIRING.

Not that hard.


If you understand economics.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 3, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Rather than argue the merits of the legislation, Gregg is resorting to parliamentary gimmicks to kill the bill.

==

A quarter century ago there might have been some interest in fighting Democratic initiatives on merits.

With every idea they've come up with ending in spectacular failure since then, the GOP is no longer interested in ideas, just the same sort of perception-manipulation we see in this blog, only on a national scale. Repeat the Big Lie over and over and count on American political amnesia to carry the day, because they sure don't have any ideas anymore.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 3, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

because the health care bill is a jobs killer

==

Sounds like you've been reading Goebbels

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 3, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

The most important number today is the unemployment rate.

Followed (by far) by the number 60, the number of Senate votes Obama needs to end debate on the health care bill.


Obama has put himself into a bad corner - because the health care bill is a jobs killer - the last thing the country needs right now.

But Obama thinks that the jobs are less important (by far) than his egotistical desire to "make history" with health care.


That is what leadership and statesmanship is all about - doing what the country needs most - and putting your ego aside.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 3, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

It's the hypocrisy -- and the stupid:

"Yesterday, Politico’s Chris Frates obtained a copy of a memo authored by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) outlining exactly how Senate Republicans can kill health reform using various parliamentary tactics.

Some of the tactics include: demanding a new legislative day, forcing “hard” quorum calls, and compelling GOP Senators to offer an “unlimited number of amendments — germane or non-germane — on any subject” to the health bill. Gregg’s colleagues attempted a similar obstruction strategy to kill health reform in committee, offering dozens of frivolous amendments to bog down the debate.

But in 2006, Gregg sang a very different tune about appropriate Senate procedure. At the time, Gregg wanted to form an Entitlement Commission to recommend cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Facing opposition, Gregg blasted Democrats for what he perceived as “obstruction for the purpose of obtaining power”:

"Obstruction has become the only thing which the other side of the aisle appears to be able to do, obstruction for the purpose of obstruction for the purpose of obtaining power around here."

Given Gregg’s previous comments deploring Senate obstruction, his current obstruction memo reveals how disingenuous he is willing to be in order to stop health reform. Rather than argue the merits of the legislation, Gregg is resorting to parliamentary gimmicks to kill the bill. As ThinkProgress has documented, obstruction has been the prime strategy for Republicans hoping to stop reform.


Posted by: drindl | December 3, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse


Did Obama really say that he was going to leave the Jobs Summit - and come back hours later when everyone else has already decided what the best ideas were ???

How detached can Obama be ?


Obama is simply not engaged in the economy - today was a case in point.

Obama is much more interested in destroying jobs by making health care costs high, and by raising labor costs for business - and by raising costs with cap-and-trade.


I seriously do not know what is going on.

The accounting of jobs from the stimulus program - they apparent unwilling to correct the errors on the website - thereby making an evaluation of the programs difficult.


Does Obama believe he is going to dodge an evaluation with faulty data? Doesn't that sound like the East Anglia plan?


Posted by: 37thand0street | December 3, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

This one is too easy. Right wingers were all for intervention when they had to back the Great Miscommunicator's mistaken war in Iraq. To do otherwise was to lose face entirely. Now that the whole mess is Obama's to run, they're turning against it.

Posted by: NomoStew | December 3, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

TO: Gold&Tanzanite @ 4:50 p.m.

Are those my orders from the (taxpayer?) paid blog-spamming command? Do you work here? (see below:)

http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-fusion-center-spying-pretext-harass-and-censor

Posted by: scrivener50 | December 3, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

scrivener, as long as I've been reading these comments you've been posting the exact same screed about this microwave torture crap. I bet if I compared my first day here with your most recent post I would find that about 90% of the two are identical.

I've never seen a single real response and I doubt anyone has ever bothered to click through and read your "Gestapo USA" stuff.

It doesn't even rise to the level of irritation, it's just like hair clogging a bathroom drain. Quit it.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 3, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Endless war strategy deflects attention from a silent coup -- targeting Obama?

OBAMA WRONG AT WEST POINT; U.S. DOES TORTURE --
ITS OWN CITIZENS, SAYS VETERAN JOURNO

• Regional Homeland Security- administered fusion centers use a nationwide microwave/laser radiation "directed energy" weapons system, employing cell towers and satellites, to silently torture, impair unconstitutionally "targeted" Americans and their families -- an American genocide hiding in plain sight.

For the rest of the story:

http://nowpublic.com/world/obama-wrong-west-point-u-s-does-torture-its-own-citizens
http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america
OR (if link is corrupted): NowPublic.com/scrivener re: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | December 3, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

"But that’s not the way capitalism works. It doesn’t take a village to create a new job. It takes a businessman trying to make another buck."

That's not how capitalism works, either. There is a reason that GDP rises but jobs continue to decline. We still hadn't recovered all the jobs we'd lost in the 2001 recession before this one began. Dollars aren't made increasing employment, they are made increasing productivity through technology or by making a cheaper product. This is another myth that defenders of unfettered capitalism also ignore, capitalism doesn't reward the best product, it rewards the best business model. McDonald's isn't the top restaurant chain in the world because it makes the best food, it has found the best model to deliver a product to the consumer. The other big problem, back to the 2001 jobs issue, is economists talk about the macro economy, but they like to pretend the national economy and the macro economy are the same - they aren't. Back to my last post, this is a global environment, and policies designed to stimulate the economy thorugh incentives for the private sector will stimulate the macro economy - the global one. US companies will take those benefits, invest in technology (generally bought overseas), outsource jobs to cheaper labor (also overseas) with a net result being an increase in global economic output, but a decline in US jobs despite rising US GDP. The real secret they don't want you to know - yes, eventually this rising tide will raise the US economy, but only once the rest of the world has caught up and the global economy is truly flat. This is why sometimes targeted government spending, though less efficient in the macro sense, is better for national economic stimulus because it specifically aids the US economy and US economic targets like jobs, not the global economy.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | December 3, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Jefferson was talking about a fledgling nation establishing its own identity, not the world's leading superpower in the post-industrial age. Even if we had zero formal ties through treaties with other nations, we'd still have entangling alliances due to economic factors necessary for our own stability. A weak nation in central asia creates an opening for an international terror network to gain safe haven, leading to an attack on American soil killing nearly 4K Americans. A threat to the flow of oil through the straits of Hormuz decreases global oil supply by 40%, causing the cost of oil to rise 500% and the US economy to collapse. Dubai defaulting on it's loans poses a threat to markets throughout the Middle East, threatening a borader market collapse should it not be contained. A potential nuclear exchange between Pakistan and India threatens to draw China into the mix.

We aren't the world's de facto police force because we want to be, it is because we need to be. No one benefits from the status quo more than the US. It's not about huma rights or altruism, it's about preserving a world order that net benefits us, something that it did not do in 1789.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | December 3, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Another reason for this is probably widespread exasperation at other countries not reacting to being invaded as we're promised .. we live in a weirdly skewed outlook that elevates our own notion of freedom to some universal human principle, which it isn't.

We expected Iraqis to shower our troops with rose petals and offer them their daughters in thanks for liberating them from Saddam and opening them up to uh "foreign investment" .. instead they became a client state of Iran.

And for some nutty reason the Afghanis would rather have their own way rather than cotton to a corrupt oil executive.

Damn ingrates!

No wonder Americans want to get out.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 3, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"An isolationist wouldn't want even commerce with other nations, a non-interventionist just doesn't want us to police the world."

You're splitting hairs, my friend.

Those pre-World War II Republicans were not opposed to commerce with other nations, just to the US getting involved in another world war, yet they were known as isolationists.

So, at a minimum, your post is about 70 years too late.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | December 3, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it's hard to pinpoint why Americans are ready to pull back from the world: we have short attention spans.

Television has taught us to think in increments of 30 minutes, an hour, and 2 hours. Most problems can be solved in 30 minutes, complex murder mysteries take an hour or two. Armageddon takes a mini-series or half a season.

The longest most people will follow a plot arc is 13 episodes of an hour each spaced roughly a week apart. After six or seven years following even the most successful and creative shows, they start losing viewing share and start winding down.

And the while the actual warfighting in Iraq and Afghanistan was relatively short and successful in both cases, the subsequent nation-building and police actions have dragged on well past the average American's TV-tailored cycle of interest.

We're tired of them and want to move on.

And as to the jobs summit, I will be interested to see if any mention is made of the allegation that 5% of people working in the U.S. are illegal aliens.
(http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/fromcomments/319946.php)

Statistically, it's likely that at least some of the job summit attendees have some of this fraction of the workforce on their payroll.

Posted by: Gallenod | December 3, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

"It's impossible to pinpoint why isolationist sentiment has increased in recent years but it's hard not to see America's muddled involvement in Iraq as the prime driver of those feelings among the public."

There is a difference from being an isolationist, and a non-interventionist.

"Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none." – Thomas Jefferson

An isolationist wouldn't want even commerce with other nations, a non-interventionist just doesn't want us to police the world.

The media perpetuates this sentiment that those who are oppose to war are isolationist and act hypocritically by pretending to be against the wars at times.

Posted by: sephers165 | December 3, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little slow today.

Posted by: DDAWG

and that is different than any other day how?

Perhaps the news is that you are only a little slow.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 3, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"This is actually bad news for Republicans, who have gone 180 degrees from the isolationist rubes pre-12/7/41 to the "how many countries can we invade?" rubes of today."


Neocons are losing power within the gop. The libertarian wing is more accomodating to isolationism.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 3, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

This is actually bad news for Republicans, who have gone 180 degrees from the isolationist rubes pre-12/7/41 to the "how many countries can we invade?" rubes of today.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | December 3, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey McNumbnuts, care to give credit to whoever you stole that cut-and-paste post from?

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | December 3, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"DDAWD:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GN2kpBoFs4

Posted by: Bondosan "

Ah, yeah. It hit me when I went back and looked at the titles of the graphs.

I'm a little slow today. Had to run experiments until 4AM

Posted by: DDAWD | December 3, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

clearly a failure of a thread CC:

And so the jobs summit will fail for the same reason Obamanomics is failing: The White House mistakenly believes economic growth and new jobs are created by society’s stakeholders — business, labor and government — cooperatively working together.

But that’s not the way capitalism works. It doesn’t take a village to create a new job. It takes a businessman trying to make another buck.

Of course, you won’t hear too much of this “greed is good” uber-capitalism stuff at the jobs summit. Not too many of the summiteers would dare. Do you think Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, now in the middle of acquiring NBC Universal, will tell the gathering what he really thinks of government intervention in the economy?

But the White House knows this. And it knows that it really doesn’t matter. This jobs summit isn’t meant to be a “real” jobs summit.

A “real” jobs summit would focus on how American businesses can win globally. A “real” jobs summit would consider why Texas can compete for jobs and California can’t. A “real” jobs summit would look at permanent corporate and payroll tax cuts. And a “real” jobs summit would actually embrace debate, not stifle it.

But in Washington, it’s the form that counts more than the substance. And no doubt, this summit will have plenty of good form. Each of the summit working groups will work their whiteboards and somehow come up with a list of “deliverables” and “next steps.” There will be nice words drafted for White House press releases.

At the end of the day, the President will stand up, thank everyone and close the jobs summit by declaring it a “success”.

And then everyone will file out of the White House and go back to their regular jobs, having done little to nothing on December 3rd to create any new ones.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 3, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Bondosan | December 3, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"Was Lindsay Buckingham interviewed for this poll?

Posted by: Blarg"

That's pretty random...

Posted by: DDAWD | December 3, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

"America's muddled involvement in Iraq"

Oh, is that what that was, a muddled involvement? All along I thought it was the Shrub wants to be tougher than his Dad, Cheney/Haliburton blood for oil war.

The US minding its own business is a darn good idea, but I would not call it isolationism.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 3, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Was Lindsay Buckingham interviewed for this poll?

Posted by: Blarg | December 3, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

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