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Friday Talking Points [130] -- Who Is This "They" Obama Speaks Of?

[ Posted Friday, July 9th, 2010 – 17:17 PDT ]

Since we took last week off to write something patriotic for Independence Day weekend, we've got two weeks to cover today. Fortunately, every other week in Washington (or so it seems) is vacation time for Congress, meaning they were only in session (or "working") for one week of that. Add to this the fact that Congress usually defines "a work week" as from noon on Tuesday to noon on Thursday (nice work if you can get it, eh?), and it puts it all in perspective.

But since it's still going to take a while to cover all this (and we're not even bothering to cover crazy Republican statements, other than Michael Steele's), we're going to skip this whole "intro" section this week, and move straight to the awards. Then, in lieu of Friday Talking Points, we're going to take a look at a speech by President Obama and an interview given by Rahm Emanuel, with a bit of commentary. So let's get right to it!

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

I have to give a little mini-shout-out to Vice President Joe Biden here, for traveling to Iraq and forcing the news media to pay a shred of attention to the country for a brief period (after calling on them to do just that last week). Biden was in Iraq mainly to tell the Iraqis that it is time to get their act together and form a government, because the U.S. troops are leaving on schedule whether they do or not -- and it'd be a whole lot better for them if this was completed real soon now. But, as I said, Biden did remind the media with his trip that we are now down to 77,500 American troops there, and are on track to hit 50,000 by the end of next month. So an Honorable Mention is in order for Joe.

This week, though, we're going to (quite possibly prematurely) award the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award to a coalition calling itself One Nation, for (at least so far) performing a near-impossible cat-herding feat: getting Democrats to act together, instead of at cross-purposes.

From a Washington Post article today about the effort:

Liberal leaders see "much of the progressive agenda at risk in this election," said Paul Starr, a professor of public affairs at Princeton University and co-editor The American Prospect [sic], a liberal magazine. "There is no choice but for these groups to get together. The historical pattern is that voter turnout falls disproportionately among minorities and young people at these midterm elections so they are fighting a historical trend."

Leaders of the groups have been meeting for about three months in a planning process that some participants called arduous, debating everything from the name of the coalition to what the branding and logo should look like.

The network's first goal is to plan a march to "demonstrate to Congress that these agenda items have support across multiple demographics," Jealous said. The demonstration, to be held Oct. 2, will center on pressing for more government spending on job creation.

Lest we be compared to, say, the Nobel Prize committee, we have to say that we're mostly impressed at this point that One Nation has gotten this far (see: previous cat-herding comment). We have no idea how effective or large their October rally will be, but we have to applaud them for even making the attempt.

For coming together right before a big midterm election, we salute One Nation and hereby award them the coveted Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award. Good luck on the rally, too!

[A quick search turned up no website address for One Nation, so if anyone has contact info for them, please post it in the comments.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

The entire Senate, on vacation for a whole week (while still being paid a handsome sum, of course), deserves some sort of mention here for fleeing the heat (both politically and literally) in Washington without passing an extension of unemployment benefits. For shame, guys. We offer up our very first Most Deserving Of A Gigantic Raspberry award to all of them.

[Etymological Note: The slang term "raspberry," sometimes referred to as a "Bronx cheer," is actually the result of one of the few instances where Cockney rhyming slang made it to the shores of the United States intact. This patois, for those unfamiliar, uses the first part of a compound term or phrase -- the second (unsaid) part of which rhymes with the word that the whole thing replaces. Such as, for instance: "I left my mickey this morning...." Mickey, in this case, refers to "Mickey Mouse," which rhymes with "house." Got all that? Well, the term "raspberry" for making a rude sound with lips and tongue actually refers to "raspberry tart"... and (in the interests of propriety), I will leave it to the student to complete the exercise with what rhymes with "tart" and sounds similar to a Bronx cheer.]

Ahem. Where were we? Oh, right, the MDDOTW, of course.

The winner this week is the Democratic National Committee as a whole, and spokesperson Brad Woodhouse in particular. In response to an enormous Republican gaffe by RNC chairman Michael Steele on the winnability of the war in Afghanistan, Woodhouse responded with a statement:

RNC CHAIRMAN MICHAEL STEELE BETS AGAINST OUR TROOPS, ROOTS FOR FAILURE

Here goes Michael Steele setting policy for the GOP again. The likes of John McCain and Lindsey Graham will be interested to hear that the Republican Party position is that we should walk away from the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban without finishing the job. They'd also be interested to hear that the Chairman of the Republican Party thinks we have no business in Afghanistan notwithstanding the fact that we are there because we were attacked by terrorists on 9-11.

And, the American people will be interested to hear that the leader of the Republican Party thinks recent events related to the war are 'comical' and that he is betting against our troops and rooting for failure in Afghanistan. It's simply unconscionable that Michael Steele would undermine the morale of our troops when what they need is our support and encouragement. Michael Steele would do well to remember that we are not in Afghanistan by our own choosing, that we were attacked and that his words have consequences.

Now, some might say "Republicans make this sort of attack on Democrats' patriotism whenever a war is questioned, so why shouldn't we use the same tactic against them?" These folks would be wrong, in my opinion. I realize this entire column series is dedicated to teaching Democrats how to use a few tactical ideas in how they communicate (borrowing heavily, at times, from the Republican playbook), but there are certain lines that, once crossed, result in losing the moral high road forever. This is one of those times. It is shortsighted in the extreme for an official of the Democratic Party to say this sort of thing, because it means Republicans are going to point to his statement in the future whenever Democrats complain about such Republican attacks.

Especially since you don't even have to look to the future to see what I'm talking about. Plenty of Democrats in Congress right now probably mostly agreed with what Steele was trying to say (if not quite endorsing exactly how he said it) on the subject of Afghanistan. Meaning the DNC is undermining its own members by this statement.

Which is why we're awarding Brad Woodhouse, and (by extension) the entire DNC this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award. Think twice before you speak, next time. Sometimes when your opponent is digging himself in a hole, the best thing to do is just offer to hold his coat and stand to the side while you watch him dig deeper. This should have been one of those times, since Steele was getting so much grief for his statement from the right wing already.

[Contact the Democratic National Committee on their official contact page, to let them know what you think of Woodhouse's statement.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 130 (7/9/10)

Before we begin here, I'd like to recommend a recent column written by George Lakoff in the Huffington Post recently. I fully admit that I'm a rank amateur at this whole messaging/framing/talking points thing, but George Lakoff is not -- he is a professional who has written many excellent books on the subject and who also gets the chance to talk to powerful Democrats in Washington -- who really should pay a lot more attention to what he has to say. In any case, Lakoff's recent column is fairly long and technical, but I still heartily recommend it to anyone interested in this sort of stuff.

With that out of the way, we turn our attention to two recent public appearances. The first was President Obama appearing in Kansas City, Missouri, in a factory which makes battery-powered electric trucks ("green jobs" in other words), and the second was a fairly disastrous interview which Rahm Emanuel gave PBS' News Hour last night.

Now, no matter what your opinion of Rahm personally (or politically, for that matter), usually he's pretty good at giving a good interview. He normally is sharp, quick-thinking, has multitudes of facts and examples he can cite to make his point, and he usually knows how to put things in a soundbite that is media-friendly. You may hate what he's saying, in other words, but you've got to give him credit for clearly making his case. Usually.

Yesterday, Rahm looked tired. He fumbled in his answers, had problems following his own thoughts through to a conclusion, and rambled on quite a bit without even coming close to answering simple questions. He missed a large opportunity to make his point by not having his facts straight, and he could not say whether President Obama really had made any of the key decisions in the past few weeks. It really was a disastrous interview, which is available in full from PBS' website (in both video and written transcript formats).

Obama's speech (transcript only) is also available, for those wishing to read it in full.

Obama's speech is notable, because it was reviewed as "Obama makes the case for Democrats for the fall election." It does have a certain stump speech quality to it, so it's easy to see why it's gotten this reaction.

My biggest problem with both Obama's speech and Emanuel's interview is that neither one of them truly seems to understand that an election is underway. The word "Republican" is not uttered once by President Obama. Rahm only uses the word four times, and only two of those are really drawing distinctions between what Democrats want to do, and what Republicans want to do (or, more to the point, not to do). And neither one of them uses the word "Democrat" (or "Democrats" or "Democratic") once.

This is just inexcusable.

Obama, in particular, put the entire political situation in Washington into the most passive voice he possibly could. He uses the word "we" repeatedly, without defining whether he's talking about all Democrats... or perhaps just using the royal "we" to talk about himself, and his administration. This is contrasted -- again, without explanation or definition -- by "some people" who were against the ideas "we" have. Here's the best example:

We're not there yet. We've got a long way to go. But what is absolutely clear is we're moving in the right direction. We are headed in the right direction. And that's -- the surest way out of this storm is to go forward, not to go backwards. There are some people who argue that we should abandon some of these efforts -- some people who make the political calculation that it's better to just say no to everything than to lend a hand to clean up the mess that we've been in.

But my answer to those who don't have confidence in our future, who want to stop -- my answer is come right here to Kansas City. Come see what's going on at Smith Electric. I think they're going to be hard-pressed to tell you that you're not better off than you would be if we hadn't made the investments in this plant.

Obama then goes on to start referring to "some people" as an even-more-amorphous "they," who should get out and talk to everyone in America who is seeing the benefits of what "we" managed to get done.

Note to White House speech writers: it is perfectly acceptable to use the words "Democrats" and "Republicans" in such a speech. In fact, it is politically negligent not to use these terms, when attempting to define what "we" are doing and why "they" don't want us to succeed.

Think I'm overstating the case? Here's another example:

And that's why, when my administration began, we immediately cut taxes -- that's right. You wouldn't know it from listening to folks, but we cut taxes for working families and for small business owners all across American to help them weather the storm. Through our small business loans, and our focus on research and development, and our investment in high-tech, fast-growing sectors like clean energy, we're helping to speed our recovery by harnessing the talent and the drive and the innovative spirit of the American people. So our goal has never been to create another government program, our goal has been to spur growth in the private sector.

"Listening to folks"? Are you serious? Unidentified "folks" are the ones telling people this? Pray tell, who are these "folks" of whom you speak?

Now, there is a rule in politics that if you can avoid it, you're never supposed to say your opponent's name (so as to not give them free publicity) -- on a personal level. But not at the party level. The midterm elections are going to be about "Democrats want to do this, Republicans don't want to do anything" -- if Democrats can make this case. But you've got to use their party's name to do so. To say nothing of using your own party's name.

Sheesh.

Here is one of Obama's wrapping-up paragraphs from his speech:

That's how we're going to take charge of our destiny. That's how we create jobs and create lasting growth. That's how we ensure that America doesn't just limp along, maybe recover to where we were before, but instead that we're prospering -- that this nation leads the industries of the future.

Here is what he should have said instead:

That's how Democrats are going to take charge of America's destiny. That's how Democrats plan on creating jobs and creating lasting growth. That's how Democrats -- and any Republicans willing to meet us halfway -- ensure that America doesn't just limp along, maybe recover to where we were before, but instead that we're prospering. Democrats want this nation to lead the industries of the future, as we've led the industries of the past, but we can only do so with your help, and your vote. I hope you'll think about this in November.

Moving on to Rahm Emanuel's interview, for about the first half of it, Rahm seemed to want to deny that President Obama had any sort of role whatsoever in any major decision in the past month or so, with the exception of firing General McChrystal and replacing him with General Petraeus. Here is Rahm answering Jim Lehrer's question: "Was the decision on this spy swap the president's?"

Well, first of all, what the president does appreciate is the work of the law enforcement community, as well as the intelligence community for their hard work in this case. It wasn't the decision of the president. It was the decision, obviously, of the law enforcement community and the intelligence community. But he does appreciate what they did and making America safer and the hard work that they did to get this done.

So the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. decides on a spy prisoner swap with Russia, and the president isn't really even in the loop? You have got to be kidding me.

Lehrer was stunned by Emanuel's answer. He tried to give Rahm a chance to walk this back, and incredulously rephrased the question five separate times and all he got back was more of the same:

He [Obama] understood that, you know, these type of things are done by the law enforcement community and the intelligence community. He was briefed about it, given the information about it. But the actions were taken by the law enforcement community.

Lehrer moved on to ask about whether the decision to take Arizona to court over their new immigration law, and (to be fair) this sort of decision is not really supposed to be the president's to make (the Attorney General is supposed to operate independently on what cases to bring to court), but it just reinforced the impression that Obama sits in the Oval Office while Washington moves on all around him, without Obama having any influence whatsoever over these things.

Emanuel, however, really appeared off his game in the entire first half of the interview. Here is one of his answers on Arizona, for instance, with mangled syntax worthy of Sarah Palin:

And the good news is -- I'm not a lawyer. And so I think the way to see this is -- is the president's been clear about -- and I think the most important thing is to take away that, on this case, he doesn't believe 50 states should have -- we should have 50 separate immigration laws.

Rahm's usually better than this, I have to say. If you think I'm cherry-picking quotes here to make Emanuel look bad, I invite you to watch the full video and see if you agree that Rahm looked like he was in desperate need of a cup of strong coffee before the interview.

Rahm did wake up a bit at this point in the interview, and got a few solid points across, to be fair. But then he got hung up on the phrase "there are choices" -- basically talking about the choice voters were going to make in November. As with Obama's speech, this is couched in the most passive language imaginable:

Well, you know, there are choices here. There are clear choices. There are a set of policies that led to the recession. There are a set of policies and lack of enforcement that led to a financial crisis on Wall Street.

There was a set of policies that also led to, I believe, leaving us in the worst fiscal condition we had ever seen in this country. And the president understands he's made a series of choices, willing to explain them, live up to them, and defend them.

"There are a set of policies"? Where, pray tell, did these policies come from, Rahm? Did they just spring into existence one bright day on the banks of the Potomac? Perhaps you should mention that these were Republican policies? Rahm even went on to name two Republicans -- without mentioning that they were Republicans -- in his next few paragraphs. The term "they" was also tossed around quite a bit --with no explanation or definition.

Once again, sigh.

Emanuel's shining moment in the sun, where he actually names the opposing party came next, but it was marred by the fact that Rahm completely fumbles the factual football in an enormous way while doing so:

Congressman Boehner in Ohio knows the president made some tough decisions that it required to the auto industry -- just take one industry by example -- criticized by business, criticized by Republicans. He said, we're not going to support you unless you make the tough decisions to get your costs under control.

They have restructured. They are coming -- they have come out of bankruptcy. This month, GM, rather than close nine factories, kept them open, because they have turned around. They are filing an IPO, which will be the first IPO in the auto industry in over 50 years in the United States. And a bunch of suppliers have kept people on because GM is profiting.

That was a tough -- going back to leadership, that was a tough decision, criticized at the time. And America, where he said, and the president said, the auto was invented, the industry was created here, and we have now GM back, starting to be aggressive again, good for future shareholders and good for its workers, and I and the president believes good for the United States.

And that was a decision that Republicans at the time criticized. And it turned out and so far to date has turned out to be the right decision for America's economy.

He talked earlier about this Initial Public Offering (IPO) without mentioning that he was talking about GM. He used the phrase "first IPO in the auto industry in over 50 years" more than once.

There's only one problem with this. Not only is Rahm wrong, but he is ignoring one of the best examples he could be using to make the case for green jobs and auto jobs -- which is the main point he's trying to make here. Because if GM does have an IPO soon, it will be the second IPO in the American auto industry this year. And the first IPO, which just happened a week ago or so was for an all-electric sports car company. Google "Tesla Motors" to find out more about this Silicon Valley green job automotive success story.

In other words, the IPO of GM is nice to talk about, but the Tesla IPO makes the case you're trying to make in a much better way.

Rahm ends the interview weakly, by trying to make the case which can be paraphrased as: "here's where the country was when Obama took office, here's where we are now -- we're heading in the right direction because we made tough choices." The only problem with this is that it was an answer to questions about why the public doesn't seem to agree.

Lehrer, in response to Rahm's happy talk, asked again "Whether the public gets it or not?" to which Emanuel limped home with:

No, I -- but it makes it -- I mean, let me say this as a former member of Congress and also somebody that enjoys politics... it is understandable for their frustration because of their own economic conditions. ... That doesn't take away from where we have been, where we are today, and the road going forward.

This is exactly the caricature of "elitism" Republicans love to use against Democrats -- "Trust us, we know what's best for you even if you don't."

I don't know if Rahm just had an off day yesterday. But it is pretty obvious that the White House -- who is supposed to be helping Democrats everywhere have a better chance at getting elected in November -- is not doing this job well enough. Both Obama and Emanuel were so terrified of stating -- in plain language -- that there are two political parties in America, that they themselves belong to the Democratic Party, who has certain ideas for moving the country forward; and that their opponents are the Republican Party who are against every good idea Democrats come up with -- without offering any better ideas themselves.

That is the case to be made this year to the voters. That is the fundamental difference Democrats need to be pointing out, every chance they get from now until November. Running against George W. Bush isn't going to work this time around -- you have to paint the whole Republican Party with the Bush policies they all endorsed at the time. To misquote Ecclesiastes, there's a time for bipartisanship and a time for partisanship. And if an election isn't time for some Democratic partisan cheerleading, then when is?

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

75 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [130] -- Who Is This "They" Obama Speaks Of?”

  1. [1] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I think the use of "we" is probably deliberate, Chris. Let us not forget that a president is the president of all Americans; not just those who voted for him. So as leader of the entire country, he's expected to speak in nonpartisan terms. (Granted, Obama — the Chicago street fighter — has violated that, more times than one can possibly count, but still....)

    We rabid partisans (LOL) might also remember that with the midterm elections just a couple of months away, he's now trying to win the support of non-Dems (read: Independents), which the Dem candidates are desperately going to need. Those Indies are standing with the Republicans now. So to bash the Republicans, head-on, is to bash (by association) Independents who agree with the Republicans, which needless to say, is not the best way to win their hearts and minds. 'D

    So we're probably going to hear a lot more of this "we" talk from this point forward. I think it's just sounding jarring to you because only last week, he was still employing his usual partisan rhetoric. To me, it sounds like he's just now officially thrown the "campaign" switch — which I've been eagerly waiting for him to do. Personally, I hate when a president flat-out attacks "the other side." That's what God created operatives for. Presidents should always stay above that level of rhetoric and let the operatives duke it out in the mud. To me, when a president does it, it diminishes his stature and overall authority, dragging him (and the office, too) down to the level of a regular ol' politician.

    And it's not like Obama possesses a whole lot of gravitas to begin with. He needs to maintain what little he has. {snicker}

  2. [2] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    P.S. Now Rahm, on the other hand, should be saying all those things you wish you had heard come out of Obama's mouth. I didn't see Rahm's interview — I will; I just can't bear to listen to him right now — but if he seemed tired to you, he probably was just tired. Rahm's one of the best pitbulls in the business. It's not like him to fumble the ball.

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    So, all Biden has to do to get an honourable mention around here is fly off to Iraq, eh? Hey, we'll take what we can get.

    Seriously, sometimes I wish Biden was still the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Then I might learn a thing or two about what's really going on with US policy in Iraq. As veep, he is just not at liberty to speak - ad Bidenitum - about the details of his on-going mission there. Suffice to say, though, that history will mark his efforts to promote sustainable political reconciliation in Iraq as being instrumental. Perhaps then he might be awarded a MIDOTW award after the fact, in appreciation. :)

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962,

    Can we get a last initial from you, d'ya think? :)

    First off, welcome aboard! You're going to have a lot of fun here.

    Secondly, I couldn't agree more with your take on Obama's Nevada speech.

  5. [5] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Chris P. Only you're all gonna call me "crispy" or "cee pee." So, instead, I'm officially going with CB. The worst you can call me is a SeaBee. LOL. Or a truck radio. That I can handle. 'D

    Liz and CB agree on Obama's speech. We are definitely off to a good start. I'm very happy to be here. Unlike the HuffPo (where I go to hone my kneecapping skills), this looks like a group of smart, thoughtful, respectful political junkies. I love good conversation about political tactics, polling, communications strategies, inside-the-beltway players, and the like. I look forward to some good chats. 'D

  6. [6] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    "…a near-impossible cat-herding feat: getting Democrats to act together, instead of at cross-purposes."

    ROFL. They’re off to a great start:

    "Leaders of the groups have been meeting for about three months in a planning process that some participants called arduous, debating everything from the name of the coalition to what the branding and logo should look like."

    Meanwhile, message-wise, I think One Nation has it wrong: "The demonstration, to be held Oct. 2, will center on pressing for more government spending on job creation."

    More government spending? Any candidate hawking that message is begging to get thrown out of office. The White House has it right, trying to position the administration as business-friendly.
    How they expect to pull that off, I have no idea. But that's definitely the right message to have in this anti-government/anti-spending voter environment.

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    WOOT!!!! :D

    Glad ta see ya here, CB... :D I had wanted to respond to a few more of your responses on HuffPo.. But my relationship with HP usually can be counted in minutes...

    They have never forgiven me for one of the worst crimes imaginable.

    Offering passionate logical dissension that actually sways opinions.. :D

    Anyways, glad to see you found your way over here...

    CW,

    "And the good news is -- I'm not a lawyer. And so I think the way to see this is -- is the president's been clear about -- and I think the most important thing is to take away that, on this case, he doesn't believe 50 states should have -- we should have 50 separate immigration laws."

    If I had one question I could ask the administration over this issue, it would be this.

    "Why is it that the Obama administration has such a problem with this ONE state's immigration law, that this one law "interferes" with the Federal Government's immigration enforcement, yet the Obama administration is eerily silent about the hundreds of cities in the country that pass 'Sanctuary' laws? It seems to me that such 'Sanctuary' laws would violate the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, whilst the Arizona law does not."

    And, as our newest member of CW.COM (CB) pointed out on HuffPo, Rhode Island has an anti illegal immigration law that is identical to Arizona's... Why isn't there a lawsuit against RI??

    Oh that's right. Because RI is a Blue state and Arizona is (obviously) not part of the "United States" that Obama mentioned during his campaign.
    /sarcasm

    And ya'all wonder why I don't respect Obama anymore... :^/

    Michale.....

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Allow me to put the illegal immigration issue into a context that is a bit more personal..

    You come home to that a person has broken into your home and is eating your cheetos and watching your TV.

    "How would you feel if you came home and someone was eating your cheetos. Watching your TV."
    -LtColonel John Shephard, STARGATE ATLANTIS

    Anyways, you call the Left Police to come take the intruder away, but they tell you, "Sorry.. Nothing we can do. That person has a right to be there. After all, he isn't a 'criminal'."

    So, you just have to live with it.

    Now, I ask you.. Even if that person who broke into your house and is living there, even if they do odd jobs around your house, jobs you don't like to do....

    Wouldn't you still want that person out of your house???

    Michale.....

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    As far as the Spy Swap issue goes...

    You can bet that Obama had complete knowledge of the swap and signed off on it..

    Just another example of Obama kissing the ass of our enemies in hopes of getting some crumbs..

    I still can't believe I voted for the guy.

    Michale.....

  10. [10] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Chris1962 -

    First off, welcome to the site! If anyone wonders whether we ever agree on anything, I can state from the very start here that we are both lifetime members of the "Chris Is A Cool Name" club. So there.

    heh.

    [1] -

    Yeah, the other thing that may have influenced me is (others have pointed out) that this was a fundraising speech, and was likely preceeded by lots of fire-breathing Democratic speeches, so I may have taken it out of context by just reading Obama's speech. But my point is that that's exactly what the media did -- painting it as "this is the premiere of the Democratic campaign message" whether that's fair or not. So I kind of treated it as such -- maybe I just got suckered by the media (wouldn't be the first time).

    [2] -

    Yeah, Rahm really had an "off" day. He's usually a lot sharper than this. Personally, I'd like to see Biden or maybe Plouffe out there making this case, but then that may be due to other problems I have with Rahm....

    Liz -

    Hey, c'mon, I said something nice about Biden!

    :-)

    Actually, I was very happy with Biden's trip to Iraq because I thought it was both timely and necessary. The more I see of his work, the more impressed I get with him, I have to admit (OK, and your sentiments have also influenced my thinking a bit, I will admit).

    Chris1962 -

    [5] -

    There's a whole series of books written by the guy who wrote "Dune" where the main character has the official title "Chaplain/Psychiatrist" and everyone just calls him "CeePee." That's what sprang to mind to me, at least. But then I read lots of weird books, so you'll have to blame it on that...

    And besides, what's wrong with "1962" as a last name? Has a ring to it, don't you think?

    :-)

    [6] -

    You may be right about the messaging, but then this was just the media's interpretation of what their message will be, so I'll reserve judgement at least until they've got a web site up and running explaining who they are.

    Michale -

    [7] -

    The whole Arizona thing -- from both sides, actually -- seems more like an exercise in politics than law, I think we can agree on that nebulous point at least.

    [9] -

    The White House today walked back Rahm's comment -- giving more weight to the "Rahm had a bad day" theory. Two "unnamed sources" in the administration confirmed that Obama made the basic decision, after being presented with the options, on June 11. It is literally insane to think that such a decision (no matter what your opinion of the spy swap) would be made at anything less than presidential level -- because it is NOT just law enforcement, as Rahm tried to say, but it is also foreign policy, national security, and a whole bunch of ramifications that go way beyond the FBI or the Justice Department.

    Maybe Rahm needed some sleep or something, I dunno. Watch the first five minutes of the interview -- Jim Lehrer is STUNNED by what Rahm says, and keeps trying -- over and over again -- to give him a way to walk it back and admit that Obama made the decision. Rahm refuses to do so, and Lehrer gets even more stunned.

    As for the spy swap itself, I reserve judgement because I don't think we'll ever know what secrets either the Russkie spies or the spies we got in return truly have. We could have made a great deal, intelligence-wise, and we could have bought a pig in a poke; but for a few decades, I don't think any of it will be declassified, so as I said, I think it's impossible for us to know at this point.

    -CW

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    The whole Arizona thing -- from both sides, actually -- seems more like an exercise in politics than law, I think we can agree on that nebulous point at least.

    We can...

    Arizona passed the law as a kick in the arse to the Obama Administration.

    Obama filed the lawsuit against Arizona to show he is well capable of some arse kicking himself..

    It's one of those issues that, if BOTH parties took a deep breath and stepped back, they would be able to see the logic of the other's position..

    And, I readily admit, there IS logic to both parties' positions. Arizona more so than the administration, but still...

    The posturing from both sides has made it impossible for EITHER party to say, "yea, you DO have a point, but....."

    or the spies we got in return truly have.

    From what I understand, the 4 we got weren't even spies..

    One was a nuclear scientist who accidentally published some state secret or something. Another was a Brit economic advisor or something.

    We didn't get diddley squat for the 10 deep cover Russian agents we allowed to go home.

    You can bet that the FBI agents who worked that case for TEN frakin' years are royally PO'ed.. As I would be in such a case...

    No, it's looking more and more like Obama just bent over for Putin.....

    Apologies for the graphic nature of that, but we got screwed. Obama was just our proxy...

    Michale.....

  12. [12] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    CW, I don't think it was press; I think it was just the sudden lack of red meat in his speech that threw you. It always happens that way, to me. It's like on Tuesday, there's snark and sarcasm and mockery, and on Wednesday, it's "Politics? What's politics? I'm not here for political reasons. I'm just deeply concern for my fellow Americans' plight..."

    I always roll my eyes, like, Oh, God, it's starting...

    But I think there's also something else going on, because they're not just simply flipping into campaign mode; they're conducting damage control, e.g., Geithner outwardly denying that the administration was anti-business, and "working the phones" to assure Business heads that Obama is 100% pro-business. I get the feeling that the White House got some disturbing research results — like, real results, from their own internal pollster. There was such an unusual, noticeable "turnaround" in attitude, from one day to the next, it seemed. It felt like a turn-on-a-dime type thing. Maybe it was just that "socialist" poll from Carville and Whatshisname. I don't know, but it felt, to me, like something was up, behind the scenes.

  13. [13] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Michale, it's so nice to see you somewhere other than on that HuffPo board. LOL. I must be a masochist. I can't seem to resist rolling up my sleeves and going in, despite knowing full well that I'm gonna get instantly hit with a slew of one-liners from the know-it-all first-time-voting teenybopper contingent.

    "Oh, yeah? Well, Bush is stupid. Like you. Go watch Faux Noise, Beckhead!"

    If you ever wanna experience the true bowels of hell on that site, just enter any thread with the name "Palin" in the headline. OMG.

  14. [14] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I don't wanna steer anything off-topic, but I don't know which thread to address this in. I just find this very disturbing:

    Volcker Pushes for Reform, Regretting Past Silence
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/11/business/11volcker.html?_r=1

    When a guy like Volker says he's worried, I get really worried.

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    CB,

    If you ever wanna experience the true bowels of hell on that site, just enter any thread with the name "Palin" in the headline. OMG.

    Way ahead of ya.. I popped over to another Banter Wire site.. I don't want to name names..

    This site races to the bottom to see how low-brow they can be. You know the kind of quality of site you are dealing with when you see a picture of babies wrapped in cellophane. That's what passes for maturity in some of these sites. Anyways, this particular site revels in going nuclear on well known names from the right, amongst them Palin. Actually FOREMOST amongst them is Palin..

    Anyways, I popped in and dropped this little FACTUAL tidbit..

    Prior to Palin's ascension to the National spotlight, she enjoyed the HIGHEST approval of any governor in the nation...

    Oh my frakin' gods, you would have thought I had accused Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama of being a cross-dresser for all the hell fury I got... :D

    After intellectually wiping the floor with most of them ((chortle)) :D ((chortle)) and actually making headway with the others and some real meaningful mature and logical discussions, I was promptly banned..

    Get that?? I fought thru some of the most disgusting and vile personal attacks on myself, my lovely wife and my mother. I actually made headway and prompted some very rational and mature discussions.

    THEN I get banned. :D

    You will find that CW.COM here is one of two really nice exceptions to the rule of BanterWire sites. Here at CW.COM you can actually disagree with the crowd and not have yourself or your wife/husband or your mother the victim of perverse personal attacks.

    In short, other sites don't handle dissension or counter arguments very well. The more logical and rational the dissension or counter-point is, the more virulent and disgusting the personal attacks are. These sites act as Echo Chambers and the only kind of debate they allow is to debate whether Bush is a lunatic or a moron.. :^/

    WOW.. Talk about yer verbal spewage..

    Sorry, didn't mean to go on and on like that.. :D

    "Did you want to talk about the weather? Or were you just making chit-chat?"
    -Bill Murray, GROUNDHOG DAY

    :D

    Michale.....

  16. [16] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Prior to Palin's ascension to the National spotlight, she enjoyed the HIGHEST approval of any governor in the nation...

    Oh my frakin' gods, you would have thought I had accused Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama of being a cross-dresser for all the hell fury I got... :D

    Hahahaha! Oh, those Palin-bashers do not like facts. NO, NO, NO, NO. Facts do not sit well with that crowd. Rather, Palin is a bad, money-hungry mother who should be taking care of her "retarded son" and chaining that whore of a daughter of hers to a radiator in the attic, to ensure that she doesn't get loose and lead some other poor Levi-like soul over to the dark side. The good news, you'll be happy to know, is that there is no way she will ever be taken seriously as a candidate for Dog Catcher, much less the presidency, because she's a "quitter."

    After intellectually wiping the floor with most of them ((chortle)) :D ((chortle)) and actually making headway with the others and some real meaningful mature and logical discussions, I was promptly banned..

    Get that?? I fought thru some of the most disgusting and vile personal attacks on myself, my lovely wife and my mother. I actually made headway and prompted some very rational and mature discussions.

    THEN I get banned. :D

    ROFL! Sucker. I was just over in the Don't Ask/Don't Tell thread at the HP and got reported about fifteen times for suggesting that the military may have to assign separate showering facilities for straights and gays. Blasphemy!

    You will find that CW.COM here is one of two really nice exceptions to the rule of BanterWire sites. Here at CW.COM you can actually disagree with the crowd and not have yourself or your wife/husband or your mother the victim of perverse personal attacks.

    This may take a bit of getting used to. I'm not accustomed to exchanging ideas and insights without somebody reminding me of what a stupid, Faux-Noise-watching moron I inarguably am, every third post or so. 'D As for BanterWire: never been there; never intend to go. The HP is more than I can stand. If I were to do two sites like that, you'd be seeing me on the evening news, with the local authorities trying to coax a rifle out of my hands.

  17. [17] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    There's a whole series of books written by the guy who wrote "Dune" where the main character has the official title "Chaplain/Psychiatrist" and everyone just calls him "CeePee." That's what sprang to mind to me, at least. But then I read lots of weird books, so you'll have to blame it on that...

    CW, this reminds me of a guy on a political board who used to call me "Seepy." Hahahaha It actually annoyed me so much that I eventually left the board. Those were the early days, however. I've since grown much thicker skin. I can now take any HuffPo poster with one hand tied behind my back.
    'D

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    If I were to do two sites like that, you'd be seeing me on the evening news, with the local authorities trying to coax a rifle out of my hands.

    "This isn't a party! It's the beginning of a news story that ends with the phrase '... he then turned the gun on himself'."
    -Charlie Sheen, TWO AND A HALF MEN

    :D

    Michale....

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    On another somewhat unrelated note...

    I was lazing around the house (that would be "being lazy".... As opposed to shooting lasers are over the place... :D) I was watching some old Star Trek VOYAGER episodes..

    Came across this little gem from the 7th season..

    Episode 5, CRITICAL CARE

    I put it up for download if anyone wants to watch it. I highly recommend seeing it and, for your homework assignment, see if you can guess the relevance of the episode as it pertains to current events. :D

    http://sjfm.us/temp/STVoyager-E05-CriticalCare.avi

    The download should be ready about 0830hrs EDT.

    Aside to CW. If there are CW concerns (copywright, not Chris Weigant :D) please don't hesitate to yank the link.. The episode really struck me as relevant to some of our discussions, vis a vis what road we might be heading down and I thought others might enjoy it.

    Michale.....

  20. [20] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Chris-

    Just wanted to say nice shout out on the Brad Woodhouse press release. Glenn Greenwald had an excellent piece on how this mimics the worst of the GOP tactics. Even worse, it supports the argument that to say anything bad about the war is to be against the troops or some other such nonsense. Smooth move, Woodhouse.

    Sometimes Democrats ought to just let folks like Michael Steele dig their own holes. He'd already dug an excellent one with his own party.

    CB-
    Welcome to the site! I think you'll find it more enjoyable than HuffPo. I still glance through HuffPo for some of the articles, but I rarely dive into the comments as it's quite predictable back-and-forth. I'd sum it up as something like this:

    Conservative commenter: "You're a hippie communist tree-hugging homosexual illegal-immigrant loving socialist!"

    Liberal commenter: "You're a stupid moronic racist backwards-@ss religious 'no nothing' nutjob!"

    Repeat ad nauseum. ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    -David

  21. [21] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I put it up for download if anyone wants to watch it. I highly recommend seeing it and, for your homework assignment, see if you can guess the relevance of the episode as it pertains to current events. :D

    I'm seeing picture but have no sound. Why me. I've got every plug-in under the sun. Maybe I'm missing some kind of .avi gizmo. :(

  22. [22] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    David! Hi! I'm happy to be here and thanks to you (and all) for such nice welcomes.

    Conservative commenter: "You're a hippie communist tree-hugging homosexual illegal-immigrant loving socialist!"

    That was probably me. Hahahaha. I do my share of mud-hurling over there, but soooooo prefer real conversation with intelligent political junkies from both sides of the aisle. CW does a great job of picking interesting things to write about over there, and here. Although leaning leftwards, in tone, I find them quite fair and balanced, overall — especially compared to the other authors at the HP. So it's really nice being able to discuss them here, in a one-on-one atmosphere, without the onslaught of geniuses popping in to contribue "You're a stoopid Faux Noise watcher!" to the debate. 'D

  23. [23] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Chris 1962 -

    [16] -

    Um, OK, here goes... You're stupid! And a moron! And you watch Fox News!

    Heh heh. Just trying to make you feel welcome.

    Actually, the CW.com crowd is nicer than most because (I think, this is just a guess), most of us here have known each other long enough that we may not agree on anything, but there's a certain level of respect. We don't get a lot of "drive by" commenters slinging hate for hate's sake.

    Michale -

    I may be wrong, but I don't think I'm ever going to face copyright problems from a mere link, no matter what it links to. The only link I would forcably remove (as SOON as I was made aware of it, so if it ever happens everyone PLEASE LET ME KNOW) would be one that led you to a site that installed malware. That would be gone instantly, you betcha. Anything else, as far as I'm concerned, is pretty much fair game.

    David -

    Oh, I don't know (RE: HuffPost commenters). It's worth sifting through some sand to get to the gold nuggets. How else would Chris1962 and I ever have met? Heh. I've always (egotistically) said that I may not get the most commenters at HuffPost, but I surely do get the best of them (pro and con).

    :-)

    -CW

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    CB,

    If yer not using it, download and install VLC..

    http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

    It's the best video player out there...

    CW,

    I may be wrong, but I don't think I'm ever going to face copyright problems from a mere link, no matter what it links to.

    Good to know..

    I won't abuse it, but sometimes tidbits come available that I would just love to share with the group...

    Speaking of which, has anyone seen UNTHINKABLE yet??? Ya'all simply HAVE to see it when it comes out.. It will blow your socks off...

    Michale.....

  25. [25] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Um, OK, here goes... You're stupid! And a moron! And you watch Fox News!

    Heh heh. Just trying to make you feel welcome.

    ROFL. Ah, you're just trying to charm me. Actually, you and I are going to become very good cyberfriends, I'm sure, Chris. Liberals always end up loving me. This is my cross to bear in life. I'm like flypaper to NYC Leftists. My best friend in the world is a leftie intellectual and big wig with the NYC Board of Ed, who might as well just sign up with the Communist party; that's how far Left she is. You are a piece of cake, by comparison. And I enjoy talking politics with her more than anyone. So I have a lot of experience discussing hot issues in a calm manner. Gracie and I hardly ever throw things at each other. 'D

  26. [26] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Michale, I'll be damned. VLC works like a charm. I'm a MAC, so I run into video snags a lot. This VLC thing looks like it's gonna solve a lot of problems. Thank you kindly.

    So here's my favorite HP response of the day. I had said something about Glenn Beck, having nothing whatever to do with Arizona, to which a poster replied:

    "And it was, BeckLovite. No doubt you're a White Arizonian who can trace their White family roots back 800+ years to White Wood, AZ...”

    Okie-dokie, then.

    'D

  27. [27] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Speaking of interesting tidbits, has anyone seen this??? It's a documentary called "We Will Not Be Silenced: 2008," about voter fraud allegedly perpetrated by Obama's people during the Obama/Hillary primary.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGZFgMNM-UU&playnext_from=TL&videos=B7Y1UyvNJ6I

    It's pretty explosive in that the woman who made the documentary is a Democrat. And it contains a lot of on-film evidence and testimonials by Democratic poll workers, claiming to have witnessed what really sounds like a lot of fraud. Like, concerted-effort style.

    I don't expect the MSM to cover a word of it, but FOX is reporting it, needless to say.

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    CB,

    Glad to hep out.. :D

    For all...

    Obama spokesman says Democrats could lose House
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iGp8jzk4pJyawzEXFnuwO5C5vBMQD9GSVIP80

    Hmmmmmmm

    I do believe that someone around here has been saying the same thing for several months now, eh? :D

    Michale.....

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Since we are on a LINK binge today..... :D

    Nothing like a good E.L.E. to make one's day complete... :D

    http://www.helium.com/items/1882339-doomsday-how-bp-gulf-disaster-may-have-triggered-a-world-killing-event

    Michale.....

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm a MAC,

    Why is it, when I read that, I suddenly hear Darth Vader's theme?? :D hehehehehehe

    Michale.....

  31. [31] 
    akadjian wrote:

    So here's a question for you, CB ...

    As someone who seems to identify with conservatives, what do you find convincing in an argument?

    -David

  32. [32] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I'm not sure I understand the question. It really depends on the argument. I don't immediately buy into something just because it comes out the mouth of a politician I might ordinarily like or favor. I tend to question everyone and everything.

    My antennae does tend to go up, immediately, when I hear blatant spin being put out, because it suggests to me that the pol or spokesperson feels a need to twist something rather than address the subject matter, and facts, head-on.

    I guess I look for intellectual honesty in the presentation of an argument, more than anything.

    You?

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    CB,

    Did you get that Voyager episode to play??

    If so, what did you think of it vis a vis our current situation?

    Michale.....

  34. [34] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Thanks, CB. I'd agree with you on the "spin". Not a fan.

    There's a big difference between a clear message and "spin".

    Part of the issue, I think, is that the average pol has maybe 2-3 sentences to make their case. And that estimate might be on the high side.

    What I really dislike is when folks spin and try to say they're in some kind of "no spin" zone ... ok, I'll stop w/ the allusions to Fox. Sometimes "none too subtle" describes me.

    I work with marketing folks all day so please excuse.

    You remind me of a friend of mine who is ultra-conservative yet seems to most of the time still get along with us hippie communists.

    My curiosity in this stems from a theory of mine that Democrats need to do a better job of making a business case. To business people. So I guess I was wondering if economic arguments interest you.

    -David

  35. [35] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I work with marketing folks all day long, too. LOL. In fact, I am one. So I guess you and I have a sharper ear for spin than the average citizen. 'D

  36. [36] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Michale, I haven't been able to see the Voyager episode yet. Give me a hint of what to look for. 'D

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale, I haven't been able to see the Voyager episode yet. Give me a hint of what to look for. 'D

    No hint necessary... It will slap you in the face.. :D

    But, here are the Cliff Notes on the episode...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Care_(Voyager_episode)

    It doesn't do the episode justice, but it gives you a good idea as to my point... :D

    Michale.....

  38. [38] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    You remind me of a friend of mine who is ultra-conservative yet seems to most of the time still get along with us hippie communists. - David

    That's probably because I'm an old hippie myself. 'D

    My curiosity in this stems from a theory of mine that Democrats need to do a better job of making a business case. To business people.

    I don't think the Dems have a prayer in that department, with all the constant corporate-bashing rhetoric, and calls for every kind of government regulation and taxation under the sun. Business knows who its friends are. It's not about talking; it's about doing. Those who seek to create an environment in which business can grow and flourish and employ and profit are the ones Business recognizes as pro-business, and will always gravitate toward. Everybody else falls under the all-talk-no-action banner.

  39. [39] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Michale: "...it is explained that he doesn't have a high enough Treatment Coefficient, or TC."

    LOL. Am I getting warm?

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yea, that's about the extent of it...

    When you consider who Obama has just nominated to head Medicare, the concept of a "TC" might become a reality with CrapCare....

    Tis sad, tis true. Tis true, tis sad.

    Michale.....

  41. [41] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I work with marketing folks all day long, too. LOL. In fact, I am one.

    Now you've gone too far. From here on out, we must remain sworn enemies :)

    I have never known anyone who can spend an hour talking about a new product and at the end you have absolutely no idea what the f*ck it does.

    All you know is:
    - It's scalable
    - It interoperates with everything on the planet
    - It improves your TCO by reducing and consolidating costs
    - You will be more productive than you ever were before
    - It opens up new market opportunities
    - Your partners will be able to offer their customers new services
    - It allows you to collaborate across your supply chain
    - You've differentiated yourself from your competition
    - It modernizes your infrastructure
    - It helps customers challenged with multiple budget cuts
    - It increases the velocity of work
    - You can do more with less
    - It increases your responsiveness to market trends that cause missed opportunities
    - It can be implemented quickly without significant upfront expenses
    - It increases your business agility
    - It allows you to deal with crucial macro-economic trends evident over the past few years such as: globalization, increased dependency on value-chain partners, and workforce mobility
    - It cures AIDS
    - And, it's "green" and EcoSmart

    Act fast in order to break away from your competitors!

    Buy now!

    Do you know how many presentations I had to go for the list above? The answer is one. Not only that but I only had to go to one slide. And I didn't even have to search for it as it was a presentation from earlier today.

    Your kind is a plague on the planet!

    If I could have Michale waterboard all of you, I would do it without batting an eye.

    Warmest regards,
    David

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    If I could have Michale waterboard all of you, I would do it without batting an eye.

    OK, now yer just teasing me.... :D

    Michale.....

  43. [43] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    David, speak of the devil: Here's an interesting Wall St. Journal (video) discussion about Obama's outreach to Business: http://tinyurl.com/2eup4ad

    'D

  44. [44] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Act fast in order to break away from your competitors!

    Buy now!

    ROLF. And that's where I come in. Yes, I'm the one who's been selling you all those branded household and apparel items you neither want nor need, through those neat little hypnotic communication vehicles known as commercials and print ads. 'D

  45. [45] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Michaele:

    "...CrapCare"

    Hey, did you steal that expression from me, at the HuffPo, or did I steal it from you? 'D That's what I refer to Canada's health care system as.

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hey, did you steal that expression from me, at the HuffPo, or did I steal it from you? 'D That's what I refer to Canada's health care system as.

    Interesting story behind that.. :D

    When the HealthCare push started, I originally called the project, "DunselCare"...

    As in...

    Dunsel.. A term used by midshipmen at StarFleet Academy to describe a part or process that serves no useful purpose.

    It was only after the real aspects of DunselCare became apparent that I determined that DunselCare not only did not serve a useful purpose, but was actually a detriment to this country..

    This was back when everyone here was universally against DunselCare. At this point, David referred to the legislation as "crap".

    Thus, CrapCare was born....

    Of course, when it became apparent that actually passing CrapCare was beneficial to the Democratic Party (and ONLY the Democratic Party), there was a change of heart and CrapCare somehow automagically morphed into something pure and good amongst most of the denizens here.. By "most", I mean everyone but me... :D

    To be fair to the afore mentioned denizens, the prevailing opinion about CrapCare appears to be "better than nothing"..

    However, give all the revelations (recent and otherwise) regarding CrapCare, it's obvious that "nothing" would have been infinitely better for this country than passing CrapCare.

    Especially when one considers that all the time that the Administration spent on ramming CrapCare thru the legislative process (by hook or by crook) would have been MUCH better spent putting together a JOBS package...

    But try telling THAT to the Left, who are so hell-bent on the Left/Democrat/Progressive agenda, let the country be damned...

    And we are..... Damned, I mean....

    Michale.....

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    CB,

    Why do you refer to Canada's healthcare system as 'crapcare'?

    ================
    [Editor's Note: My apologies to Liz here for horning in on her comment, but I am having problems commenting on long article, and I just wrote out this long one, so I'm posting it here for the time being. Again, Liz, sorry for overwhelming your comment here. -CW]

    David [31] -

    I know the question wasn't addressed to me, but it's going to take me a while to get used to "CB"... just as it took me a LONG time to get used to cartoonist "CWC" which really threw me for a loop, since me eye is drawn to "CW"...

    So anyway, here goes. My rule of thumb for anyone of any political persuasion, whether professional pundit or casual commenter on blogs is: Do they admit when "their" side is wrong? Can they admit that their guys (and gals) aren't perfect and occasionally screw up? Or, on a more philosophical level, can they admit when the other side raises a valid point?

    People who are able to do so are worth listening to. People who cannot are usually not. That's my rule of thumb anyway, and why I put up with the likes of Michale, and now Chris1962. People who enjoy the thrust and parry of a political discussion more than using a bludgeon or sticking their fingers in their ears. Of course, Michale gets borderline on occasion, but then he quotes Star Trek and redeems himself with me. Heh.

    To quote from another Frank Herbert book: "Show him the instruments of torture..."

    Oh, wait, I said "torture," now I've set Michale off again, dang...

    David/Chris1962 -

    Ah, but don't forget to check in every Friday for our "all spin zone" here! Whoops, now Fox is probably going to sue me or something... heh.

    David [41] -

    You forgot:

    "It creates a WHOLE NEW paradigm!"

    You simply have to have the word "paradigm" in there somewhere, n'est pas? And probably throwing in "thinking outside the box" would help, too...

    Heh.

    -CW

  48. [48] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Liz I lived up there for close to year and, at one point, came down with a malady. Long story short, the quality of care was so poor compared to what I was used to that I ended up going home to the United States for treatment. This was back in the early 80's. From that point forward, I've referred to it as CrapCare.

  49. [49] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Michale, are you a Trekkie? Please tell me you are and that you go to those conventions, dressed up as one thing or another. I adore those people. I mean that sincerely. They're so into the Trek universe, and it seems like such a wonderful hobby and tight community. It reminds me of "24" fans, who lived and breathed CTU. (Yes, I have my own badge, on a chain, like they wear when they raid a nest of terrorists. What of it.)

  50. [50] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    My rule of thumb for anyone of any political persuasion, whether professional pundit or casual commenter on blogs is: Do they admit when "their" side is wrong? Can they admit that their guys (and gals) aren't perfect and occasionally screw up? Or, on a more philosophical level, can they admit when the other side raises a valid point?

    Chris, I know the question wasn't addressed to me, but I'd like to go on record as saying "yes" and "yes." I like to analyze political strategy more than anything, and I find no politician perfect, by any means. There are also a lot of politicians, pundits and other assorted talking heads whom I don't agree with, politically, but admire for their talents.

  51. [51] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    When you consider who Obama has just nominated to head Medicare, the concept of a "TC" might become a reality with CrapCare....

    Michale, I strongly believe HCR is going to be deemed unconstitutional once it makes its way up to the Supremes.

    Speaking of the courts and unconstitutional law, I found this to be very interesting: http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/4272726/unconstitutional-law-nullify-it/

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    Of course, Michale gets borderline on occasion,

    "Oh Peter? He was borderline for a while. Then he crossed the border."
    -Egon, GHOSTBUSTERS II

    :D

    but then he quotes Star Trek and redeems himself with me. Heh.

    AHA!!!! I found your kryptonite!! :D

    "Show him the instruments of torture..."

    Don't tease me... :D

    CB,

    Michale, are you a Trekkie?

    I used to be. Then I grew up and became a "Trekker".. :D

    I can pinpoint the EXACT moment I became a Star Trek fan...

    It was in 7th Grade and we had to do an art project.. After mulling things over for a moment, I decided to draw a space scene with the Enterprise in orbit...

    Viol'a... A Trek Geek was born... :D

    Please tell me you are and that you go to those conventions, dressed up as one thing or another.

    In my youth... In my youth.. :D

    It reminds me of "24" fans, who lived and breathed CTU. (Yes, I have my own badge, on a chain, like they wear when they raid a nest of terrorists. What of it.)

    Oh my gods!! Yer me!!! :D

    Michale, I strongly believe HCR is going to be deemed unconstitutional once it makes its way up to the Supremes.

    Yep, I have said the same thing from the moment it came out...

    There is simply NOTHING in the US Constitution that says the Federal Government has the right or authority to force someone to purchase a product that they may not want to purchase.

    It's like forcing people to by a Government Motors car because it would be good for the country's economy.

    Like hell...

    Michale.....

  53. [53] 
    akadjian wrote:

    @Chris1962

    Yes, I'm the one who's been selling you all those branded household and apparel items you neither want nor need, through those neat little hypnotic communication vehicles known as commercials and print ads.

    I knew it! (Do you like the show "Madmen"? Speaking of pop culture, this is one of my favorites. And yes, I have a love/hate relationship w/ marketing.)

    Also, you make some good points about Republicans and business. Would like to comment further, but will have to save for a later discussion due to time and work.

    @CW

    Paradigm ... dammit, I knew I forgot something! Also, I like the "All Spin Zone". Think about the publicity if you got sued by Fox! And just do it! Someone I read, probably Lakoff, made a good distinction between spin and framing. Will have to look for it.

    Cheers
    David

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Someone I read, probably Lakoff, made a good distinction between spin and framing. Will have to look for it.

    I would think that Spin is something good you make up because you know you have something bad.

    Framing is when you have something good but only in a certain context, and that context needs to be shown to garner acceptance.

    Howz that? :D

    Michale.....

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ahhhhhhh

    NOW, we know why there was such a quick deal made to swap the Russian spies..

    Spy swap puts halt to fact finding
    Public trial of 10 Russian agents could have led to revelations.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jul/13/spy-swap-puts-halt-to-fact-finding/

    Michale....

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    CB[48]

    That's not been my very long experience.

  57. [57] 
    akadjian wrote:

    @Michale

    Spy swap puts halt to fact finding

    Thanks for the laugh of the day, Michale! This reads like a satire from the Onion.

    It should be titled "Communist Obama in league with Russian spy ring?"

    Here's the facts:
    - We all know Obama was not born in the U.S.
    - It's obvious that he is a socialist
    - It's rumored that the Russian spies targeted a financier of Hillary Clinton
    - Obama and Democrats are obviously trying to cover this up by moving the spies to Russia so that we can't waterboard them for more information

    CIA official: "Tell us that Hillary Clinton was involved!"
    Russian spy: "Glggghghgllghglllg"
    CIA offical: "Tell us!"
    Russian spy: "Ok, if you stop torturing me I'll make up anything you want me to."

    This is the stuff great conspiracy theories are made of. I have to give the Republicans credit though. They sure seize on every opportunity to turn Democrats into evil communists.

    And ... why won't Obama release his birth certificate?

    Great stuff!
    David

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    That's sarcasm, right??

    Let me ask you something, David..

    Do YOU see any logic in transferring a dozen spies back to Russia less than TWO WEEKS after they were arrested??

    What possible other motivation could there be to get such valuable intelligence assets OUT of the country and AWAY from our own intelligence services??

    Michale.....

  59. [59] 
    akadjian wrote:

    What possible other motivation could there be to get such valuable intelligence assets OUT of the country and AWAY from our own intelligence services??

    You mean other than the obvious wanting to get our spies back and finally having something to trade?

    Or maybe just to try to put a quick end to any rebuilding of Cold War tension?

    Or maybe as a gesture of goodwill towards the Russians as we negotiate with them?

    Ok, you're right. I can't see any other reason. It must be to cover up a vast Democratic conspiracy!

    -David

    p.s. I guess this makes me part of the conspiracy. Sweet!

  60. [60] 
    akadjian wrote:

    p.s. And it's not sarcasm, Michale. I love conspiracy theories. It's especially fun to watch how any contradicting evidence gets absorbed and explained away in the theories.

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    You mean other than the obvious wanting to get our spies back and finally having something to trade?

    You are obviously not up on current events..

    We didn't get any of "our" spies back.. Actually, we didn't get ANY spies back at all...

    One was a scientist who had published some works he found on the Internet. Another was an economic contact for the British... I forget the other two..

    But, suffice it to say we didn't get diddley squat...

    And you can bet that the 10 we captured and sent home is the tip of the ice berg here...

    Just one more to add to the ever-growing OBAMA BONEHEAD MOVE list...

    Michale.....

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    Now for another GET THAT?? segment.

    Obama's Justice Department ruled out bringing lawsuits against Sanctuary cities. These are cities that actively interfere with ICE activities within their city limits...

    Get that???

    Obama is sueing Arizona claiming that the Arizona law interferes with the Federal law when, in fact, it actually MIRRORS the Federal law.

    Yet, these Sanctuary cities actively interfere with ICE enforcement of Federal Law and THESE cities are given a pass by the DOJ....

    If someone has ANY logical reason to support such bonehead moves, I would sure like to hear it..

    Michale.....

  63. [63] 
    akadjian wrote:

    You are obviously not up on current events.

    You got me. I plead guilty to not being up on the latest conspiracy theories.

    And we obviously got the worst of the deal - Anna Chapman was HAWT! :)

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    And we obviously got the worst of the deal - Anna Chapman was HAWT!

    "I've had better."
    -Jim Carrey, LIAR LIAR

    :D

    Michale.....

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    RICHMOND, Va.—The director of the nation's immigration enforcement agency says states should not follow Arizona's lead and enact strict new immigration laws because ridding the country of illegal immigrants is the federal government's job.
    http://www.boston.com/news/local/rhode_island/articles/2010/07/13/ice_director_states_shouldnt_follow_arizona_lead/

    Err... yea....

    And how'z that workin' out so far??? :^/

    Michale.....

  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    CB[48]

    I would be very interested to know where in Canada you lived for close to a year and where you found the quality of healthcare to be of such a poor quality.

  67. [67] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Enjoying online anonymity as I do, I usually don't like to get into too many background specifics. Is it enough to say Ontario?

    'D

  68. [68] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    In a word, no.

    It's easy to make statements like the one you made in comment #48 when you enjoy on-line anonymity and, consequently, it doesn't impress me much.

  69. [69] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Liz, I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. I'm not here to impress you, or anyone. I'm stating that I had a bad experience with Canada's health care system, which I don't feel obligated to go into detail about. The experience left me with a negative impression of socialized medicine — Canada's, specifically, because that's where I encountered it — and I'm none too thrilled to see it now forced upon America, against the will of the majority of citizens.

    The good news is that the unprecedented "mandate" won't likely make it past the U.S. Supreme Court, which will effectively kill HCR in its entirety. That's my opinion, and one I feel no need to explain further or apologize for.

  70. [70] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, CB ... you're not the first one i've run into who enjoys online anonymity and who demonstrateds a disdain for the facts while voicing their opinions.

    The Huffington Post is largely populated by individuals who fit that bill.

  71. [71] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Which facts do you feel I showed disdain for in my aforementioned opinions, Liz?

  72. [72] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The ones you conveniently left out when you told of your experience in Canada where you endured such a poor quality of healthcare that you had to return to the US for treatment.

    If I were to relate an experience like that, then I would feel compelled to provide some facts to back up my extreme statement. I certainly wouldn't hide behind the concept of "online anonymity" - or, I just wouldn't make the statement at all. But, that's just me.

  73. [73] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Liz, if you don't wish to believe or accept what I said, then you don't have to. But I'm not gonna share my medical history with the board so that you can take my facts and — do what with them? Check them out? My facts aren't even of any consequence to the conversation, lest you plan on contacting the physician. So I don't even know why you're insisting upon details. And I sure don't know why it should even matter to you.

    I a bad experience, and I went home to get treated. That's all there is to it. Can we move on now?

  74. [74] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You are obviously not getting this, CB. So, yes we can move on.

    Next timethat you make an exteme comment, however, you may wish to back it up with something of substance or keep the experience to yourself.

  75. [75] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I very obviously am not seeing what the problem is, Liz. That's quite true. I'd ask you to explain it, except that I suspect it would come down to nothing much more than my holding a different view than you.

    FTR, what may be an "extreme" comment to you is not an extreme comment to me. So how about I phrase things the way I wish, and you do the same. I like to express myself without feeling I have the speech police standing over me, if you catch my drift.

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