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Friday Talking Points [43] -- And The Gold Medal For Snarkiness Goes To...

[ Posted Friday, August 15th, 2008 – 16:15 PDT ]

I don't usually comment on sports, so take anything I say with a grain of salt. I'm no professional sports guy, nor do I play one on the web.

But I have to say, NBC's coverage of the Olympics has so far been pretty dull. Now, I only watch what's on during primetime, and I haven't even seen all of that, but so far we've been subjected to an entire week of swimming, beach volleyball, and gymnastics. From what I'm seeing, the Olympics has shrunk and could now call itself "The International Swim Meet, The International Beach Volleyball/Voyeurism Competition, and The China/U.S. Gymnastics Head-To-Head Match."

I mean, I watched the women's team gymnastics, and when they announced the medals at the end, I was stunned... to find out there was a third team in the competition! Romania? And they beat yet another team, Russia? Wow, sure didn't see any of that. Got a lot of closeups of American and Chinese gymnasts, sitting on the sidelines, waiting for their scores, trying to evade the hordes of cameras and microphones on them... but unless I blinked, there were only two countries on the mats out there.

Plus the announcing, as usual, mostly stinks worse than the Beijing pollution.

Sigh. OK, now you see why I don't comment on sports much.

But, having said that, I will now use the Olympic theme to hand out three prizes for a contest I ran earlier in the week to suggest a caption to a photo of President Bush yucking it up with the beach volleyballers (or whatever they're supposed to be called). It's quite a photo, so if you missed it, feel free to offer your suggestions even now.

So... (dramatic swelling music), the Best Photo Caption Medals, with their winning captions, are... winning the Bronze is "rovezaleeker" with the caption:

"Hmmm... let me see... Naw, Condi's is better. God, this decider stuff is awesome!"

The Silver goes to "BLaws," with his entry:

"You want me to put my thumb where?"

And... (drumroll) "AnteaterHomer" takes hold the Gold for the best all-around photo caption of:

"Now you say, 'Thank you sir may I have another'...heh heh. It's good to be the king!"

For those of you scratching your heads right now, go check out the photo, it's a doozy.

Thanks to all for playing, and feel free to add more, as it's quite likely some of these winners will be found to have used humor-enhancing substances. Ahem.

But enough frivolity, and on to our very own weekly award show...

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

There were quite a few qualifiers for the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award this week.

Jackson Browne sued John McCain's campaign for using his signature "Running On Empty" song in a campaign commercial. It later turned out that McCain's campaign wasn't directly involved, it was a state-level GOP ad, but still the whole thing just goes to point out the incompetence (or worse) of McCain's campaign right now. I mean, seriously, McCain was supposed to have the week to himself, with Barack on vacation, and what did he do with the week? Not much.

Which brings us to another Honorable Mention this week, for Barack Obama's "war room" efforts. These folks are getting better. They were launching a constant stream of ads last week, almost all of them on economic issues and almost all of them taking shots at McCain. Their new DHL ad, targeting Ohio, is a good example. This was a pretty good week for Obama -- who was on vacation the whole time -- so credit must be given to his campaign for doing so, especially when they got the Most Disappointing award last week.

But the MIDOTW award this week is a tie between two organizations who are (literally) hitting McCain where he lives. As any reader of this column knows, I'm a strong advocate of Barack Obama asking John McCain in a debate: "So, how many houses do you and Cindy own?"

This week, the American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) put out a mailer to retired union members (they plan to target Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan in particular) which points out the McCains' wealth and asks (emphasis in original):

"McCain's worth over $100 million... He owns 10 houses... He flies around on a $12.6 million corporate jet... He walks around in $520 Italian loafers... If John McCain lost his Social Security, he'd get by just fine. Would you?"

Now that's more like it!

Also this week, Brave New Films put out a short video which highlights some of the places the McCains call home, compared to someone facing foreclosure. Sam Stein of the Huffington Post has the story, and the video.

There's nothing that takes the wind out of the sails of calling Barack Obama an "elitist" by pointing out the fact that the McCains are sitting on a mountain of money.

So, for hitting the McCains where they live, the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award goes to both the AFL-CIO and Brave New Films. Well, done, guys! Lets hear this on the campaign trail every time McCain tries to play the "elitist" card!

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, just doesn't seem to get it. He just sent another strongly-worded letter to the White House Counsel's Office, which complains the White House is blatantly ignoring both Congress and the Constitution -- but which doesn't mention the words "Independent Counsel" or "Special Counsel." What Leahy doesn't seem to understand is that the only result his letter is going to get is to be posted up on a White House bulletin board somewhere, so all who walk by can have a good chuckle at Leahy's expense.

The letter is indeed strongly-worded. But, towards the end, it devolves into irony (if not farce) when attempting to castigate the White House: "Such hollow words are no substitute for action...." I couldn't agree more, Senator Leahy, I couldn't agree more.

But while Leahy was disappointing last week, he isn't even in the same league as the winner of this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award. Because this column goes to press Friday afternoon-ish (and, indeed, takes a while to type out) sometimes Friday events get missed.

But even though it's been a whole week, John Edwards still takes the MDDOTW prize, hands down. Or maybe that should be "pants down." Ahem.

While this column did not do so (this column was neutral during the primaries), I personally did support Edwards in the primaries, and was even disappointed when he dropped out before I could vote for him. But now I have to join the chorus currently thanking all that's holy that John Edwards is not now our party's nominee. Can you imagine where the Democrats would be right now? You can? You've been thinking about it for a solid week?

Whoops... sorry. See previous note on this column's deadline, as way of an apology.

We're also all thanking our lucky stars that Edwards (1) is not a sitting officeholder of any type, (2) wasn't really seriously considered as Obama's veep, and (3) got caught before the convention, meaning there will be no pro-Obama Edwards speech for Republicans to mock.

There was really no competition this week for MDDOTW, sadly. Even sadder, it took the National Enquirer to break the story.

[I would provide John Edwards' contact information here, but I really think it's best if we all just ignore him now.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 43 (8/15/08)

No real overarching theme to this week's Friday Talking Points. Congress has been on vacation, Obama's been on vacation, Bush was on vacation, and it wore him out so much he's taking another vacation (I wish I were kidding, but I'm not). Plus, the Olympics kind of shoved everything else aside, as they always do. So we've only got a scattered bunch of talking points this time around.

 

1
   Lobbyists for foreign countries don't run Obama's campaign

The big news of the week was, of course, Russia throwing its weight around in Georgia. You can almost hear the conversation that took place between Bush's frolicking at the Olympics: "No, Mr. President, Atlanta's not burning, we're talking about the country of Georgia. No, really, it's a state and a country. Ask Condi -- she'll tell you."

Ahem. Where was I?

Now, while the hard cold fact is that the United States can't do a whole lot about the Georgian situation. So Bush, Obama, and McCain are actually pretty close on the issue. But there's a key difference that needs pointing out.

"John McCain touts his experience on the campaign trail, but in reality that so-called experience is the experience of being up to your neck in lobbyists with shifting loyalties who take money from foreign governments to spend it on American politicians. John McCain's key foreign policy advisor has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from the nation of Georgia to lobby for them. Do we really need this kind of Washington-insider 'experience,' or do we want someone who doesn't surround himself with people beholden to foreign influences? I've personally lost count of how many top campaign advisors have had to quit the McCain campaign because their lobbying past has come to light, but I can tell you how many advisors Obama has had to fire for being foreign lobbyists -- zero. That's change you can believe in."

 

2
   McCain's presumptuousness

John McCain, speaking off the cuff, has provided the perfect response to any use of the word "presumptuous" when discussing Barack Obama. Washingtonpost.com's "The Trail" blog caught this one.

"Obama presumptuous? John McCain recently spoke of Ronald Reagan with the words (quote) another president (unquote) -- and yet nobody's asked McCain if he's being presumptuous. I think it the height of presumptuousness to declare yourself president before the election actually happens, personally, or to send two campaign advisors to a war zone as if you actually were president."

 

3
   Was Corsi wearing his tinfoil hat, or what?

Jerome Corsi released a hit-job book on Obama this week, and the media is all a-tizzy. Obama has released a strong rebuttal to the book's fabrications, but in this case a little ad hominem attacking of the author is called for, just to point out how ludicrous it would be to take this man seriously.

"Jerome Corsi's book? Isn't Corsi the same guy who believes that oil is magically created and is a renewable resource? Isn't this the same guy who believes the United States is planning on merging with Canada and Mexico? The only real question about anything Corsi writes is how big a tinfoil hat he had on while writing it. Or perhaps his views on Bigfoot..."

 

4
   Will John McCain support voter registration for injured veterans?

Paul Rieckhoff at Huffington Post reports that the Veterans Administration has banned voter registration in "veterans' nursing homes and homeless shelters."

"I call on John McCain to stand up for veterans' rights and denounce the Veterans' Administration for restricting voter registration access to disabled veterans. John McCain of all people should know that there is no one in America who more deserves the right to vote than the brave veterans across this country, who put their lives on the line to protect this right. For the federal government to restrict their access to register to vote is disgusting, and I am waiting to hear John McCain say this in public."

 

5
   Coincidentally enough...

Coincidentally (or maybe not) a report was just released showing that active-duty military personnel are donating more to Barack Obama than to John McCain. By a margin of six-to-one.

"Maybe people in the military have noticed that John McCain just isn't there for them the way that Barack Obama is. Maybe they've noticed that McCain couldn't be bother to vote for the new GI Bill, and in fact actively opposed it as being too generous to them. Maybe that's why they've given Barack Obama six times what they've given John McCain. People in the military are not fools. They look at what the candidates say, and what the candidates do. Barack Obama has stood up for them -- against John McCain -- and it looks like they have shown their appreciation."

 

6
   Will it count up to Keating Five?

John McCain's daughter is about to release a children's book about her father. Awww... how cute!

"I'm looking forward to Meghan McCain's children's book about her father John. I'll be especially interested in whether it teaches them to count up to the Keating Five. Or whether Meghan decided that children's tender minds needed to be protected from that piece of John McCain's personal history in Washington. It's also interesting to note that a book for children fails to mention McCain's children from his own first marriage."

 

7
   Or maybe McCain himself can't count?

Barack Obama ran a pretty good ad last week, one that dared to point out that John McCain has voted 95% of the time with President Bush. The McCain campaign's response (in an update at the end of the article) was hilarious -- that Obama was the one voting in "lockstep" with Bush because (are you sitting down?) Obama voted with Bush "almost half" the time. So, in response to any question of how close either one is to Bush, or (for that matter) any question involving any sort of math whatsoever:

"Maybe John McCain's campaign needs a quick refresher course in mathematics. When Barack Obama accurately pointed out in an ad that McCain votes with Bush 95% of the time, McCain's campaign tried to say Obama was the one voting in (quote) lockstep (unquote) with the president because Obama had voted less than half the time with Bush. I'm not making this up... you can't make stuff like this up! OK, quick question -- how many think 'almost half' is more than 'ninety-five percent'? Which is voting in 'lockstep' -- less than half, or 95%? Maybe they just can't do simple math at McCain headquarters, I don't know."

 

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

28 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [43] -- And The Gold Medal For Snarkiness Goes To...”

  1. [1] 
    loslobo wrote:

    Chris

    "NBC's coverage of the Olympics has so far been pretty dull" I take it you would rather see track and field?...Next week... Actually gymnastics is fascinating for a little while. Hey at least tonight there was some preseason football.

    No comment on the VP stakes? Enough has been said but no updates. Can you say J O E ...

    But I think you missed Obama's major (missed) opportunity this week...Georgia. One of Obama's greatest strength was apposing the Iraq war from the start. To not capitalize on McCain, Bush and Rice's hypocrisy is a true shame. You frame McCain with GW and the unbelievable condemnation of aggression, while totally ignoring GW's (heinous of all war crimes) war.
    McCain's own comments are laughable and should be repeated immensely. Plus you have to wonder if Georgia’s president was implied help through his surrogate by mentioning McCain. Talk about audacity..

    Thanks always

  2. [2] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    loslobo -

    On your VP comment... I tend to believe that whoever the media is focusing on is the LEAST likely to get it (Obama's campaign has proven masterful in their orchestration of leaks so far). This is why I first discounted Sebelius, then Kane, and then Bayh. But I'm currently wondering if Biden isn't also a stalking horse... and if it might not go to Jack Reed instead.

    Just wondering, that's all...

    -CW

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    CW,

    Oh, yeah...Jack Reed would be good...let's just say that you haven't met snarkiness yet...

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ...and, one more thing...if Biden doesn't get the nod because of too much media attention, then someone is definitely going to have to shoot me!

  5. [5] 
    BLaws wrote:

    I'm thinking it's Biden. I didn't until recently but I started to think about a few things:

    1) From what I've heard Obama really likes him and they get along well.
    2) Because of his age he'd probably not run for President after 8 years (He'd be 73), so neither would have to worry about that during a second term. They could govern to get things done without worry about fall out from decisions hurting the VP in 2016.
    3) Biden has basically been silent for the last few weeks. When was Joe Biden ever silent for weeks? If he wasn't the pick I'd have expected him to be out pounding John McCain every day. In fact he was out there a lot ... right up until the VP selection committee got in full swing.

    Personally, I'd love to see Biden just for the entertainment value alone of him destroying Romney or Pawlenty in the VP debate. Pawlenty seems like a nice enough guy, but seeing Romney get his ass kicked would be just awesome to watch.

  6. [6] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    BLaws -

    I'm thinking you're probably right, for reason #3 alone...

    I just tossed Reed's name out there to see Elizabeth's blood pressure go up...

    Heh heh.

    Actually, it's your last paragraph which has me convinced that Biden would be the best choice. I've seen Bayh (yawn) and Sebelius (yawn) and Kane (yawn) speak recently, and Biden is definitely the best "attack dog" of the bunch. Since the veep's main job in the campaign is attack dog, I think he should get it for this reason alone. I would love to see Biden out there every day on the campaign trail, doing his imitation of a buzz saw on McCain/Whoever. I'm not kidding -- because Obama has put his campaign up on a pedestal, he really really needs a good attack dog to cover his back. Hillary Clinton could have performed this job admirably, if she had only done the math in April or May and dropped out -- she would have been a shoo-in for VP. But she's burned her bridges, so that's not going to happen now.

    -CW

  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ...blood pressure is fine but situation remains critical...

    Seriously, all I can say is, thank God for bridges burned! Because if Hillary Clinton was being seriously considered for the VP slot or even a shoo-in for the job, then Senator Obama would not have had the opportunity to ask the best of the best.

    As I see it, Senator Biden will not only have Obama's back in the traditional "attack dog" role like no other candidate could - that's another term I hate...I'd like to know when, exactly, I became so hung up on words...I'm gonna revert back to my old self when this thing is all over! - but Senator Biden will exponentially increase the probability for a very successful Obama administration in ways other candidates could only imagine...if they were particularly creative, that is.

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Obama camp seems to be making it a point that Wes Clark hasn't even been invited to the Denver Convention.

    My "dis-information" spidey sense is tingling...

    Michale.....

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Interesting Note about Biden..

    The President Of Georgia has requested his presence IN Georgia..

    Anyone have any theories as to why??

    I do...

    Michale.....

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I do, too!

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'll show you mine if you show me yours... :^D

    Michale.....

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    By the bi, what's with sneaking up on me over at HuffPo!?? :D

    Michale.....

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I wasn't sneaking up on you! Honest - I thought you knew!

    As for your Biden note...please, you go first...I insist!

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    I wasn't sneaking up on you! Honest - I thought you knew!

    Just kidding. Yea, I did know, I just didn't make the connection at first. :D

    As to theory..

    I have 2... One cynical, one probably accurate..

    The cynical one is that Bush has inside intel that Biden is going to be Obama's pick for VP and is being "sent" by Bush (thru encouragement of the Georgia president by Bush) to mess things up for Obama.

    The probably accurate scenario is that things on the ground are bad and Bush needs someone who is honest and truthful and who will be believed by other Democrats. This way, when Bush has to push NATO involvement in Georgia, he will have a well-known Democrat backing him up.

    Michale.....

  15. [15] 
    BLaws wrote:

    @Michale

    [i]The cynical one is that Bush has inside intel that Biden is going to be Obama's pick for VP and is being "sent" by Bush (thru encouragement of the Georgia president by Bush) to mess things up for Obama.[/i]

    Haha... That's about as likely a conspiracy theory as the HuffPo article saying that the Georgia/Russia thing was a set up by the McCain/Bush teams to benefit McCain.

    But lets assume you are correct, and take that conspiracy even further. :)

    If so, then that means, by your admission, that Bush would play politics with an issue like this to hurt Obama. If Bush is willing to do that, then he'd be just as willing, in my opinion (and many others), to give Georgia the impression they would back the aggression against South Ossetia knowing this would cause an incident that benefits McCain.

    I don't find it a coincidence that this happened on the opening day of the Olympics, when a huge part of the country is watching. I find it very interesting that Russia was prepared to move as fast as they did, almost too fast... as if they knew it was coming. Then there was the Fox News interview from an American mother and daughter who were there in S.O. and said the Georgians were at fault and the Russians came in and help them get out of the line of fire, to another city, and on a plane back to the US.... and how quickly Fox News shut down the interview as soon as she blamed Georgia. His excuse was a commercial break and he had no choice... bull. They have complete control of their network, I've seen them, CNN, MSNBC, etc run long and even into other shows if needed.

    Hopefully we find out the truth, whatever it is. CNN's Rick Sanchez last night actually asked that question... "Who's at fault?" Let's see if they really push the issue and find out the truth, whatever it is. I have a feeling that if Bush/McCain did give Georgia a green light, that the Georgian President might turn on them and spill the beans. That might also be why he asked Biden to go there. If he felt betrayed by Bush/McCain, it might be to his benefit to reveal that.

    If it was a set up, he would know it would hurt McCain to bring it to light, buying favor with Obama and possibly handing him the election. It would also not displease Russia that Georgia would basically be slapping Bush across the face. Bush isn't going to be around long anyway so Georgia really has no long term benefits to stay allied with him and they know McCain is against Russia, and bought and paid for with Randy S. running things.

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Actually, Michale and BLaws, there is nothing cynical about Senator Biden's trip to Georgia and President Bush had nothing whatsoever to do with orchestrating it. Though I do think that there were not that many in Georgia, or Russia for that matter, who were particularly impressed with the visit by Secretary Rice which may very well have precipitated President Saakashvili's call to Biden.

    And, there is nothing unusual about Joe Biden being asked by the Georgian President to come and consult about some hot issue or other. Biden is very well respected by leaders the world over and, after all, he is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committiee which plays an important advise and consent role in implementing US foreign policy.

    Having said that, I am sure that Biden consulted with Senator Obama about his trip as we are in the midst of a general election campaign - that would only be common courtesy.

    This highlights, for me, one of the reasons why so many people fail to understand who Biden is and what he is all about. There is not a cynical bone in his body - I would suggest - and what motivates Joe Biden simply cannot be understood through a lens of cynicism.

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    @BLaws

    I posted this to the GEORGIA thread below, but since you bring it up.. :D

    I have no doubt that Russia planned this. Russia got the South Ossetians to act out a little, then pull back and talk "peace", then shell some villages in Georgia to really piss off the Georgians which responded as Russia hoped they would, to allow Russia the excuse needed...

    Evidence?? The complete preparedness of the Russian 58th Army, down to having dead-lined vehicles repaired or replaced. The prescience of the Russian Navy to sail from the Ukraine, steaming towards Georgia days before the invasion.

    I have no doubt that Russia orchestrated for two reasons, both of which failed miserably.

    Michale.....

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    @Elizabeth

    How ironic...

    McCain is lambasted for his connections to Georgia's president and Biden is cheered for his... :D

    Michale.....

  19. [19] 
    BLaws wrote:

    @Michale

    I have no doubt that Russia planned this. Russia got the South Ossetians to act out a little, then pull back and talk "peace", then shell some villages in Georgia to really piss off the Georgians which responded as Russia hoped they would, to allow Russia the excuse needed…

    And I have little doubt that Bush/Cheney and people behind McCain did their part in this little ploy to bring National Security to the nations attention right at the very start of the Olympics when tons of people are watching TV.

    You can read what I mean here:

    Joe Lauria posted at Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joe-lauria/did-mccain-help-bait-russ_b_119395.html

    There are a couple of theories. One is Saakashvili was under the mistaken impression the US military, even NATO, would intervene if Russia fought back after Georgia entered the breakaway province of South Ossetia on 7-8 August, devastating Tskhinvali, and according to Moscow, killing a number of Russian peacekeepers.

    The US stood on the sidelines when Russia indeed punished Georgia. Georgian civilians at first told Western reporters they were angry at America for not coming to their aid. Then several days later many started to blame Saakashvili for creating such a mess.

    It seems hard to imagine he would have tried to seize South Ossetia if he were not led to believe he had American backing. According to Vitaly Churkin, Russia's UN ambassador, joint US-Georgian military exercises code-named Immediate Response ended just hours before Georgian troops moved into the province.

    Churkin says the Americans gave Saakashvili a "green light." But there was no immediate response from the United States.

    It looks like Saakashvili and Russia were both set up.

    By eliciting a heavy-handed Russian response, American political leaders, and their mouthpieces in the corporate media, can blame Russia and revive misplaced Cold War analogies. They falsely portray Russia as the brutal aggressor, bent on violently overthrowing the Georgian regime, with Ukraine and others to follow.

    Condoleezza Rice called Russia's intervention the new 1968 Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Barak Obama's chief foreign policy adviser, compared it to the Soviet invasion of Finland. Right wing radio hosts are rabid about the new Russian "threat." The New York Times writes about Russia's supposed challenge to democracies.

    Who benefits most from painting this a revival of Soviet-era aggression?

    John McCain.

    He posted exactly the doubts I have about this incident. True or not, it's an opinion I and others have. We'll see if the news media pushes to find the truth... whatever it is... or if they'll just go with the story pushed so far without looking deeper to check if it's accurate.

  20. [20] 
    BLaws wrote:

    There is also the idea that Russia wasn't played by BushCo, but were in fact part of ploy. They most likely will get South Ossetia and the other area's independance or integration back into Russia. They get to stomp on Georgia. Putin gets to bash the US and Georgia gaining favor with Russian citizens.

    BushCo gets a possible way to keep their war profiteering racket going. Oh... and 4 years to bury any evidence left that could send them all to jail.

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    You can read what I mean here:

    Joe Lauria posted at Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joe-lauria/did-mccain-help-bait-russ_b_119395.html

    And you can read my OH SO eloquent responses in that same thread... :D

    The simple fact is, Georgia was handling an internal matter. Russia invaded...

    Think of it as if the US sent troops into TEXAS to quell a rebellion and Mexico invaded the US over it.

    Granted, it's highly unlikely that anyone would CARE if Texas went to Mexico.. But you get the idea.. :D

    Michale....

  22. [22] 
    BLaws wrote:

    Yeah, cause we've never invaded a country to stop an internal matter.

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    @BLaws

    None that come to mind...

    You???

    Michale.....

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh, yes..

    There was that Clinton foray into Bosnia... Granted..

    Michale.....

  25. [25] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Just to toss something out here...

    Once again, it seems the CIA was caught unawares by the whole Georgian situation. US spy satellites are apparently all in use in Iraq/Afghanistan and surrounding areas, and we didn't even notice the Russkies building up troops on the border.

    I don't know what this piece of the puzzle means, myself, but just thought I'd point it out to see how it fit into your theories.

    -CW

  26. [26] 
    BLaws wrote:

    @Michale

    Well, to name one... Grenada

    From Wikipedia:

    By a vote of 122 in favor to 9 ( Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, El Salvador, Israel, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the United States) with 27 abstentions, the United Nations General Assembly adopted General Assembly resolution 38/7 which "deeply deplores the armed intervention in Grenada, which constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of that State".[4] Grenada voted in favor of the resolution. The Government of China termed the United States intervention an outright act of hegemonism. The USSR Government observed that Grenada had for a long time been the object of United States threats, that the invasion violated international law, and that no small nation not to the liking of the United States would find itself safe if the aggression against Grenada was not rebuffed. The governments of some countries stated that the United States intervention was a return to the era of barbarism. The governments of other countries said the United States by its invasion had violated several treaties and conventions to which it was a party.

    After the invasion, Prime Minister Thatcher wrote to President Reagan:

    This action will be seen as intervention by a Western country in the internal affairs of a small independent nation, however unattractive its regime.

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ahhh Grenada...

    The difference between Georgia & Grenada is that, on Grenada there were ACTUALLY innocent US civilians on the island.

    Whereas, in Georgia, there we "pretend" Russian citizens that were actually Georgians that had forced upon them Russian passports..

    Regardless of that, I think we all can agree that any claim to legitimacy the Russians may have had vanished when they started bombing Georgian civilian infrastructure and had Russian snipers shooting at reporters.

    @CW

    I don't know what this piece of the puzzle means, myself, but just thought I'd point it out to see how it fit into your theories.

    Which would seem to argue AGAINST the conventional "wisdom" on the Left that this was all planned by the Bush administration or the McCain campaign.

    I also laugh at the claim that the US can't do anything about it.

    First off, this isn't the US's fight. It's a NATO fight. It's NATO's arse that is on the block and you can bet that NATO will respond if Russia doesn't leave Georgia. While it's likely that NATO will bring Georgia into the group, that's really not necessary, considering the importance of what's in Georgia. NATO can claim self-defense even without bringing Georgia into NATO.

    Secondly, the idea that the US is toothless is laughable. The ONLY area where the US is thin, as far as combat forces go, is boots on the ground.

    But, hopefully, Russia will recognize that they need to abide by their agreement and leave Georgia.

    However, from latest reports, it doesn't look good.

    Michale.....

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If I may throw something else into the mix on Georgia-Russia relations and the consequences for the rest of the planet...

    This entire episode has crystallized the extreme and dangerous incompetence of the current US administration and the near complete forfeit of America's global leadership position.

    For me, the downward spiral of the US, over the course of the last eight years, has been very hard to watch.

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