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Friday Talking Points [135] -- The Sky Is Falling!

[ Posted Friday, August 20th, 2010 – 17:08 PDT ]

The media, quite obviously, has lost any capacity it once may have had for self-examination, to say nothing of its sense of irony. Every so often, this is proven beyond doubt by a single story. This, sadly, is one of those times.

Here's a quick quiz, to demonstrate what I'm talking about. Did you hear that "almost one-fifth" (actually eighteen percent) of Americans responded to a recent poll by saying that President Barack Obama is actually a Muslim? Most of us heard that news in the past twenty-four hours or so. This is because it falls into the category of "media catnip," which is properly defined as "a story which, in true feline form, causes the media to get really, really silly -- to the point of brainlessness."

OK, here's the quiz part. What percent of the people who think Obama is a Muslim learned this untruth from the following sources:

The media?

The internet?

If you don't know the answer to that, take a guess. Go ahead.

You might think that the media, being staunch arbiters of truth (ahem), would score pretty low. You might think that the internet -- whom the media routinely ridicules for its lunatic, fact-free nature -- would score pretty high. You would be wrong on both counts.

The real answers are that seven percent of people who think Obama's a Muslim learned this from the internet. A full sixty percent say they learned it from the media.

Now here's the ironic part: the reason you didn't know the answers to that quiz already is that the media didn't tell you. Any news which reflects badly on the media itself is simply not reported. It goes straight into the memory hole. We routinely hear poll numbers on how few Americans (for instance) think Congress is doing a good job. But we almost never hear that the media is seen in an even worse light in similar polls. Because of the "Fight Club" nature of the news -- the first rule of the mainstream media is not to talk about the mainstream media.

Here's an example of a news cycle, circa 2010, as a satiric example:

An acorn falls on the head of Chicken Little. He runs around screaming "The sky is falling!"

The initial media reports actually get this right, by stating it as: "Chicken Little Says The Sky Is Falling." This quickly morphs into: "Is The Sky Falling?" and then straight into declarative mode: "Sky Is Falling!"

For an uninterrupted period (dependent on whether any other catnippy "news" stories break during this time), the airwaves are filled with "experts" explaining how the sky can fall, and politicians claiming they've been telling people about the dangers of falling skies for years.

Then it gets contentious. The "news" media laps this up with a spoon. "Here's Schmucky-Ducky from the BigEnder Party explaining why he thinks the sky will fall within one week, and why everyone should be AFRAID FOR THEIR LIVES and how the only recourse people now have is to elect more BigEnders into power. For a contrasting view, we also have Looney Tooney of the LittleEnders Party who explains how the whole thing is a myth dreamed up by the BigEnders to score cheap political points, and how the whole thing got started by Chicken Little -- who has long-standing BigEnder ties, and is, in fact, an idiot."

Eventually everyone goes haring after some other shiny, shiny bit of media catnip, and the story dies down. A year later, a pollster reports that eighteen percent of Americans believe the sky is falling (or going to fall soon); fourteen percent think the sky will never fall; and a whopping 58 percent who weren't sure exactly what "the sky" was, and had to have the term defined for them.

The media dutifully reports the results of this poll, and slants the news as "How in Heaven's name could so many Americans be so monumentally stupid?" -- without ever stumbling upon the obvious answer: "Because, to paraphrase the learnéd thinker Forrest Gump, stupid is as stupid sees every night on the teevee screen."

Sigh.

But I already wrote a rant on this subject, yesterday, so I'll just chalk it up as one more reason why banging your head against a wall repeatedly is likely a better use of your time than listening to the media about anything, and quickly move on.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

To refute what was just said (to a certain extent), we were actually pleasantly surprised this week that the media -- led by none other than NBC (I know, you could've knocked us over with a feather) -- actually reported a very important story that they've been ignoring for the past few months: the withdrawal of the last American "combat troops" from Iraq.

OK, there are plenty of caveats to gripe about in that statement. After all, 50,000 troops are still in Iraq, and "combat" versus "non-combat" is largely in the eye of the definer of the term. As things stand, the remaining troops are scheduled to be out of Iraq (all of them) by the end of next year.

But still, this is indeed big news. When Barack Obama was sworn in, we had north of 140,000 troops in Iraq. This means over 90,000 troops have now come home. In other words, big news.

It's interesting to note that just about nobody could have predicted how this came about. Obama's detractors, during the campaign, all agreed that any troop withdrawal Obama would be in charge of would be an unmitigated disaster for all concerned, because he would ignore "conditions on the ground" and begin a "precipitous withdrawal," twenty seconds after he was in office. Obama's fans (many of them, at least) were severely annoyed at Obama when he didn't begin to pull one or two brigades per month out, twenty seconds after taking office, as he had been campaigning on. They accused him of going back on his promises, and that we'd be in Iraq forever.

Neither, as it turned out, was right. Obama has not gotten all American troops out of Iraq, but he has gotten almost two-thirds of them out, right on the schedule he set for himself (actually, a few weeks ahead of schedule, but who's counting?). And the sky did not fall, one way or the other.

Until this week, the media has mostly taken a pass on this story. And who could have predicted that the issue that consumed Americans for eight long years would barely be considered newsworthy as it ended?

We aim to do our bit to rectify this situation. President Obama's successful withdrawal of close to 100,000 troops from Iraq a year and a half after taking office earns him this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award. For this significant accomplishment, we believe he deserves a lot more credit than he's getting.

[Congratulate President Barack Obama on the White House contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

The political landscape was littered with minorly-disappointing Democrats this week, which would have made choosing one of them a tough task.

But then an old favorite sprang back into the news. Rod Blagojevich, ex-governor of Illinois, was convicted on one count of lying to the feds this week. Blaggy (as we like to call him) treated this as some sort of vindication, because on the other twenty-three counts against him, the jury deadlocked. Blaggy obviously doesn't understand that any sentence which contains the phrase "the other twenty-three counts against him" is not exactly one you want in the news. Blaggy's future hung on the thin thread of one juror who, it was later revealed, had been offered Obama's old Senate seat for holding out. No, no -- we totally made that up! Sorry, it was just irresistible.

In any case, prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald swears he's going to take another crack at Blaggy, and that next time around he'll score more than one measly conviction. Which means (you guessed it) that Blaggy will continue to be "the gift that keeps on giving" here at MDDOTW headquarters.

Now-convicted, soon-to-be-sentenced, soon-after-to-be-retried disgraced former politician and current reality show actor Rod Blagojevich has won his fourth (but probably not his last) Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award. For shame, Blaggy, for shame!

[Once he gets sentenced, we'll try to find out what prison will be handling Rod Blagojevich's mail, so you can let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 135 (8/20/10)

The official "silly season" topic this year is, quite obviously, the Two And A Half Blocks From Ground Zero Islamic Y.M.C.A. (Or "Y.M.I.A."). Sigh.

Watching the fury in the past week, it becomes easier to understand why our nation's Founding Fathers shied away from direct democracy -- because they were afraid what was later called "the tyranny of the majority" would occasionally lead to abuses of basic rights.

Barack Obama actually did something very presidential in the midst of all of this, but it was immediately misinterpreted by just about everyone, leading to denunciations from the left, right, and (of course) the media, who oversimplified what Obama said -- and then refused to admit that they had misinterpreted him, instead charging Obama with "walking back" his comments. But I already wrote about this aspect of the fray earlier this week. In a nutshell, the president did what presidents are supposed to do -- he stood up and defended the Constitution, while refusing to take a stance on what is, at heart, a local issue. This is, again, part of the president's job description and oath of office.

But he obviously didn't phrase it in a way the media could understand. So I'm going to attempt to write a clarification that Obama could give, to state his position in a way even the dim bulbs in the media could fathom. Obama's actual speech transcript from last week is definitely worth reading, especially if all you've heard about it is what others have told you (with their own "interpretation").

But maybe he needs to repeat himself, so a few more people understand where he's coming from. Below is my humble effort at what I would have him say to do so.

 

Suggested remarks for President Obama

I would like to clarify the remarks I made last week on religious freedom, because I think many have been misunderstanding what I said. Last week I said the following:

We must never forget those who we lost so tragically on 9/11, and we must always honor those who led the response to that attack -- from the firefighters who charged up smoke-filled staircases, to our troops who are serving in Afghanistan today. And let us also remember who we're fighting against, and what we're fighting for. Our enemies respect no religious freedom. Al Qaeda's cause is not Islam -- it's a gross distortion of Islam. These are not religious leaders -- they're terrorists who murder innocent men and women and children. In fact, al Qaeda has killed more Muslims than people of any other religion -- and that list of victims includes innocent Muslims who were killed on 9/11.

I would like to reiterate this fact -- Al Qaeda didn't just hijack four airliners, it also attempted to hijack the Islamic religion in the eyes of the world. We cannot let them do so. As a Christian, I am appalled when I read about atrocities committed by someone claiming to represent all Christianity. My reaction is what any decent person's would be: that just because someone commits an act of terror 'in the name of Christianity,' this does not shake my faith and it also does not make me a co-conspirator with such a lunatic. American Muslims should not fear that they will be lumped together with terrorists committing atrocities either.

As president, it is a fundamental part of my job to protect and defend the Constitution. That is what I was doing last Friday. I stood up for the right of any religious group to build a house of worship anywhere they choose that the local government deems appropriate for religious buildings. This is a core part of being an American. This is one of our founding freedoms.

Al Qaeda hates these freedoms, it is worth pointing out. They are not fighting for the rights of minority religions to practice free from government interference -- they are fighting for the exact opposite. They are fighting to deny people the freedom of religion. And we simply cannot allow them to hijack the freedom of religion in this country in any way whatsoever. As my predecessor, President George W. Bush said the day after the 9/11 attacks, "we will not allow this enemy to win the war by changing our way of life or restricting our freedoms."

But there is also the freedom of speech in this country. And although I stand firmly for the right of any religious group to build a house of worship in any place approved by local authorities for that purpose, that is not the same thing as commenting on the wisdom of any particular project. There is a difference between defending a basic right and supporting a specific local project.

The people who want to build the Park51 project and the people who don't want them to go forward have, for the most part, been talking past each other instead of attempting a real dialogue. I've heard a lot of monologues on the issue, but the only person a monologue usually winds up convincing is the one giving it. The project's creators should explain to the community exactly what they are trying to accomplish. And those in that community should explain their exact concerns with the project. Perhaps this will not change anything, but I refuse to believe that such outreach to each other would not be worth attempting. Rather than shrill voices in the media, why not at least make the attempt to have a rational discussion about the issue? Perhaps some compromise can be reached. Perhaps not.

But to paint the other side's argument with a very wide brush is to prejudge the worth of each other's position. Rather than showing such intolerance, I would like to believe that actually talking to each other may do some good, here.

I have taken no position, and I will not take a position, on whether the Park51 project should go forward or not. It is a local issue, for the local community to resolve. I have always felt this way, and I have not changed my mind. Since some may have misinterpreted my previous remarks, I thought it best to reiterate exactly what I said last week. No governmental agency should make such a decision, because all Americans enjoy exactly the same right of religious freedom. This right should never be taken away, and never be called into question. But everyone should be heard from within the community while making such decisions as well, because the right of free speech is also unassailable.

The imam at the center of this controversy is about to embark on a trip overseas that the United States government is sending him on. He will be traveling as part of an outreach to the Muslim world, to bear witness to what the freedom of religion in America means for all people of faith. He will be out there speaking to people in other countries in an effort to spread goodwill and testify to the world about what living in a free society is all about. It would be a shame if he could no longer do so because he stopped believing that America was serious about defending the right of all to worship freely.

America is not perfect. We have, in the past, persecuted minority religions many times. Stretching back to the Puritans themselves, we have a dark past of such persecution. We are making progress towards the light, however. We do not today ban certain religions from practicing. We no longer declare open war on a particular religion. We do not force certain religions to hide their worship anymore. This has made us stronger. We have men and women from just about every religion you can name in the uniform of this country, fighting for America all over the globe, as well as those with no religion.

I'm going to close the same way I closed my remarks last week -- by reminding everyone of a tenet central to many religions: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And, as a Christian, I always end my speeches the same way, but I would ask that all Americans echo with me -- in whatever language you choose -- the following sentiment: God bless the United States of America.

Thank you.

 

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

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

71 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [135] -- The Sky Is Falling!”

  1. [1] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    good speech! but... where are the talking points?

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    nypoet22,

    The talking points have been temporarily relocated and, this week, may be found here ...

    http://www.c-span.org/Watch/Media/2010/08/20/HP/R/37226/DNC+Holds+Summer+Meeting+Raises+%24115+Million.aspx

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    Friday Talking Points [135] -- The Sky Is Falling!

    Naw, that's just Obama's popularity.. :D

    OK, here's the quiz part. What percent of the people who think Obama is a Muslim learned this untruth from the following sources:

    The media?

    The internet?

    For the most part, those are one and the same.

    Unless, by the "internet" you mean sites like this...

    Then it gets contentious. The "news" media laps this up with a spoon. "Here's Schmucky-Ducky from the BigEnder Party explaining why he thinks the sky will fall within one week, and why everyone should be AFRAID FOR THEIR LIVES and how the only recourse people now have is to elect more BigEnders into power.

    {{{cough}}} Al Gore {{{cough}}} :D

    We aim to do our bit to rectify this situation. President Obama's successful withdrawal of close to 100,000 troops from Iraq a year and a half after taking office earns him this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award. For this significant accomplishment, we believe he deserves a lot more credit than he's getting.

    Sorry, have to disagree.. Obama deserves very little credit for this, as it was the Bush Administration who made it all possible.

    Credit where credit is due..

    Barack Obama actually did something very presidential in the midst of all of this,

    If, by "Presidential" you mean he pointed out the obvious in such a manner that made it absolutely clear where his sympathies were (on the WRONG side of the American people... AGAIN) and made the case for an argument that NO ONE was making thereby totally frak'ing things up for Democrats and their campaigns and guaranteeing that this mess will go viral for at least a few more weeks........

    If THAT is what you mean by "Presidential" then, yea... I would agree with you... :D

    Al Qaeda hates these freedoms, it is worth pointing out.

    What's that??? Al Qaeda hates us for our freedoms??

    Bush said that and was ridiculed ad nasuem...

    Don't get me wrong. I agree with you 1000%... I am just surprised to hear you agree with me on it.. :D

    "Surprise, surprise, surprise..."
    -Gomer Pyle

    :D

    As to the rest of the speech, it's dead on balls accurate... The developers of the Cordoba Mosque DO need to talk TO the American people, not AT them.. The developers DO need to come clean about the financing and funding of the Cordoba Mosque and to be completely and utterly transparent about said funding.. Anything less will be viewed as intentional obfuscation.. The developers need to meet with the 9/11 families and listen to their concerns and why the families feel the way they do..

    And yes, the American people and the 9/11 families need to listen to what the developers have to say and view it in the context of not all Muslims are terrorists...

    I honestly and truly believe that the American people and the 9/11 families are ready to do that.

    To listen...

    But the developers of the Cordoba Mosque are not talking. And, because they are not talking, speculation is running rampant...

    Michale.....

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    On the other hand, Obama's bonehead play may have been to get the media and the public talking about something different than Gibbs' bonehead play from last week... :D

    Michale....

  5. [5] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    As president, it is a fundamental part of my job to protect and defend the Constitution. That is what I was doing last Friday. I stood up for the right of any religious group to build a house of worship anywhere they choose that the local government deems appropriate for religious buildings. This is a core part of being an American. This is one of our founding freedoms.

    That's debatable:

    The Ground Zero mosque and the legitimate boundaries of religious freedom

    [excerpt]...Proponents of Cordoba House claim that it will heal wounds and build bridges between America and the Islamic world; they also claim that the guarantee of religious freedom in the First Amendment to our Constitution trumps all arguments against building it. However, there are Constitutionally-sound limitations on the freedom of religion, just as there are limits on freedom of speech. For example, slander, libel and disclosure of classified information are not protected by the First Amendment.

    Similarly, freedom of religion has its limits. For example, human sacrifice in the name of religion is not protected by the First Amendment. Neither is rape or physical abuse. These acts are criminal regardless of what exemptions a religious group might claim. One religious group cannot attempt to annihilate another religious group and still be protected by the First Amendment. The First Amendment does not protect the incitement to treason, such as jihad. Therefore, a fair question to ask is whether or not incitement to treason is likely to take place at Cordoba House.

    While most American Muslims are peaceful and patriotic, there are radical Muslims whose goal is to incite treason in the U.S. When radicals use mosques to breed their anti-Western, anti-Christian, anti-Jewish doctrine, those buildings lose any claim to First Amendment protection. In a recent survey by the Washington-based Center for Security Policy called “Mapping Sharia,” former FBI, CIA, and members of the U.S. military conducted undercover investigations of 2,300 mosques across America. Their findings were alarming.

    The study revealed that “Some of the 9/11 hijackers, in fact, received aid and counsel from one of the largest mosques in the Washington, D.C. area. Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center is one of the mosques identified by undercover investigators as a hive of terrorist activity and other extremism.” Interestingly, leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood currently run the Dar al-Hijrah mosque. Investigators concluded that Dar al-Hijrah's ultimate goal is to turn America into an Islamic state governed by Sharia law. Dar al-Hijrah is a perfect example of extremists cloaking treason in religious clothing.

    Hasan al-Bannain formed the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928 to spearhead the radical Islamist movement and its violent campaign against the West. Out of the Brotherhood were born al-Qaeda and Hamas. In a 1991 memo to the Brotherhood, radical Mohamed Akram explains that members “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” Do those words meet the definition of inciting treason?

    Potential ties to radical Islam are what make opponents of the Cordoba mosque skeptical of its purported benevolent intent. Cordoba Initiative leader Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf unabashedly supports Sharia law as a “supplement” to our Constitution and refuses to condemn Hamas, recognized by the U.S. as a terrorist organization....[continued]
    http://www.chris11962.com/blog/files/51e9acc36df635419fb7e002209de7a3-210.html

    Perhapes the president of the United States, great constitutional scholar that he evidently isn't, might wish to review his sworn oath to protect this nation, and hold off on making any more comments until we figure out if this Imam is even on the up and up.

    Obama's remarks are yet another example of how political correctness is taking a front seat to national security. It's another example, as well, of how terrorists' efforts to destroy this nation — not just through physical attacks from both outside and within but more subtle, covert methods, as well — is the last thing that seems to occur to this president and his administration. This Imam's intentions are legitimately questionable, from the naming of this mosque to its foot-of-attack location, to the selected building's distinction of having been hit by the landing gear, to his refusal to even entertain the offer of FREE real estate from the governor, to the anything-but bridge-building and wound-healing he's accomplishing, to his documented refusal to acknowledge a U.S.-designated terror organization as such, to his pro-Shariah attitudes and advocacy, and — my personal favorite — his intention to solicit funding from Saudi Arabia, where most of the hijackers hail from, and also Iran, the mother of all U.S.-designated sponsors of terrorism.

    And there's the president of the United States, throwing his constitutionally inaccurate red herring into the national ring, signaling his support for this Cordoba project in opposition to the 9/11 families' stance, and against public opinion, as usual. And with no clue of where this $100M was even coming from.

  6. [6] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Another good article from The Hill:

    The incremental Islamization of America

    [excerpt] ...The demand for a mosque at Ground Zero is just one of many tests to see how far America will go to accommodate Muslims. As revealed during the Holy Land Foundation trial in 2008, Muslims have a “100-year plan” to gradually destroy us from within.

    Moreover, this plan will be implemented incrementally, so Americans will be largely unaware of what’s occurring until it is too late.

    Such implementation has already begun. Airports in Kansas City, Phoenix, and Indianapolis have already installed foot baths for Muslims. Huge mosques and Islamist schools (madrassas) have been built all over the country.

    Their goal? To bring Sharia Law--a seventh-century political and legal system that discriminates against non-Muslims, homosexuals and women--to America.

    Think it can’t happen here? Think again. In 2008, England declared that Sharia law can be enforced in Muslim communities. In Canada and Europe, Sharia family tribunals are already functioning on a limited scale. And in Germany, a judge ruled that a Muslim man who had killed his wife could go free--since the Koran permits such acts.

    The proposed $100 million mosque near the site of the World Trade Center is another pillar of the larger strategy. It is critical that Americans understand what the building of this mosque represents to over a billion Muslims around the world.

    Since the beginning of Islam, once Muslims conquered another culture, it was their custom to build a huge mosque as a symbol of that victory. When they conquered Cordoba (modern Spain), they built the Grand Cordoba Mosque where a Christian church once stood. It was there that they established their Caliphate, the center of Muslim rule in the Mediterranean region. The original name of the proposed Ground Zero mosque?

    The Cordoba House.... [continued]
    http://www.chris11962.com/blog/files/d62bcf63d74279825e4059d4ab6c9767-211.html

  7. [7] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    The real answers are that seven percent of people who think Obama's a Muslim learned this from the internet. A full sixty percent say they learned it from the media.

    Probably from this shot, which I recall having seen in lots of newspapers: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/08/19/2161836/a-growing-number-wrongly-call.html

    Consider that on the campaign trail, "the media" was reporting on his background. And since his father was Muslim as well as his stepfather, and he'd spent his formative years in Indonesia, people may have simply assumed he was Muslim. And it's not like you see much coverage of him emerging from Church on Sunday mornings, as he really doesn't go to Church too often. His presidency is also pretty pro-Muslim — and, arguably, anti-Israel, if you factor in the controversy over how he had treated the Prime Minister during that first visit — all which people would technically have gotten from "the media." But I don't think that makes "the media" responsible, in any nefarious kinda way, for this percentage of Americans who answered "Muslim."

    Plus, did you see the actual question:

    "Would you happen to know what Barack Obama's religion is? Is he Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist, agnostic, or something else?"

    It's not like Pew just asked if they happened to know what his relgion was. They fed the word "Muslim," which may have simply triggered an overall pro-Muslim impression those people have of him.

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The only Americans who think Obama is Muslim or was born outside of the US are the ones who don't have the reading and comprehension skills required to form reasoned opinions based on the facts.

    Some of these same people are not even able to distinguish fact from opinion.

    And, being as susceptible to fearmongering as they obviously are, I would bet that a good number of them are afraid of their own shadow, too.

    It's sad, really.

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    During the meeting, Biden and other Democrats repeatedly raised the specter of former President George W. Bush and the years of Republican rule, echoing an emerging campaign theme.

    Obama has been making it a centerpiece of his campaign stump speeches, and the DNC released a national television ad on Friday hammering home the link with Bush.

    "The American people are much smarter than the politicians and the pundits. They know the mess we inherited," Biden said.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE67I6FR20100820?type=politicsNews&feedType=RSS&feedName=politicsNews&rpc=22&sp=true

    Like I said before..

    "A noun, a verb and 'it's all Bush's fault' "

    One wonders when our Democrat Leadership is going to grow a pair, man up and take responsibility...

    Michale.....

  10. [10] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    "A noun, a verb and 'it's all Bush's fault'"

    yes. insert the name clinton for bush and you have the republican strategy for 2000-2004. insert the other bush and you have the democratic strategy for 1992-1996. et-cetera, ad nauseum. not that there's an excuse for it, but it's pretty standard political strategy.

    i would argue that the statement is a bit more true for the bush policies than for those of bill clinton, but that's a whole different argument. shall we expect politicians not to be politicians just because they happen to be named obama?

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    yes. insert the name clinton for bush and you have the republican strategy for 2000-2004.

    Really??

    I don't recall so much blaming of Clinton by the Bush Administration...

    Sure, when it came to specific things like missing Bin Laden, or getting a blow job in the Oval Office and specific things like that, Bushies pointed out Clinton's mistakes.

    But there was never this daily, sometimes hourly barrage of ducking responsibility as we have seen by the Obama Administration.

    It's my understanding that Obama became President in January of 2009... I guess someone forgot to tell Obama that...

    shall we expect politicians not to be politicians just because they happen to be named obama?

    If said politician named Obama SAID that he wasn't going to be a politician then... Yes... I expect him to stand by his words...

    And when he doesn't, I'll point it out...

    Michale.....

  12. [12] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [3] -

    So, you're telling me that, during the campaign, you never ever (not even once) repeated all the "precipitous withdrawal" doomsday scenarios from McCain's camp?

    Thpppbbbbt. (sound of Bronx cheer)

    I do give Bush credit where credit is due (every time I mention the SOFA, which most don't even bother to do). But the end-of-August date was not in the SOFA, and was entirely Obama's creation (which is why I didn't mention it here). He set a deadline, about a month after taking office, and he met it. He indeed deserves credit for this. Especially since he was ridiculed at the time by both Right and Left (who are both being very quiet about the milestone these days, I notice).

    Chris1962 -

    Funny, I thought all the Tea Partiers wanted us all to carry around the Constitution in our pocket and only hew to it. But then I can't be too harsh, because BOTH political parties ignore the parts of the Constitution they disagree with, on a daily basis. Just to be scrupulously fair.

    And standing up for rights is indeed presidential.

    Reagan didn't go to church a whole lot either. For the same stated reason as Obama - it causes too much hassle for the other worshippers.

    Look into the Mormon Wars, the history of Massachusetts (very EARLY history) and Rhode Island, the history of the Quakers (outside of Pennsylvania), and the anti-Catholic movement to see some of the religious persecution I was referencing.

    Michale -

    Bush did indeed blame Clinton for everything he could, and as for missing Bin Laden, well, you're joking, right? Clinton's team told Bush's team about the threat, and Bush (on one of his many vacations) said "OK, you've covered your ass" and proceded to ignore the threat.

    But the real champion in this regard was, again, Ronald Reagan, who ran the GOP midterm campaign (82) on bashing Carter. Good news for you, though, it didn't work, Dems picked up a slew of seats anyway (if you're looking for historical parallels).

    -CW

  13. [13] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    And standing up for rights is indeed presidential.

    Except when it's not even a point of contention. Then it's a presidential faux pas, made in the middle of pandering to a voting bloc.

    Reagan didn't go to church a whole lot either.

    People didn't need a visual reminder to figure out if Reagan was Christian. Reagan's Christianity came through loudly and clearly in many other ways. So we're back in apples-and-elephants land. 'D

  14. [14] 
    Kevin wrote:

    How the religious ninnies forget! First Reverend Wright is too radical for them; when Obama distances himself from his LONG TIME spiritual advisor now he's a Muslim? The whining bigots will throw any and every thing their pathetic minds can come up with at him.
    Elizabeth nailed it in her comment...but I'll go further..these weasels have cancerous souls.

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    So, you're telling me that, during the campaign, you never ever (not even once) repeated all the "precipitous withdrawal" doomsday scenarios from McCain's camp?

    Thpppbbbbt. (sound of Bronx cheer)

    :D

    Oh sure, "during a campaign". That's to be expected.

    "The nature of the beast."
    -Colonel Hadley, THE FINAL OPTION

    But let's face it.. Obama hit the ground running from Day One on the "It's all Bush's fault" whine...

    Whoever told the Democrats that the "blame Bush" campaign strategy was a whining er... I mean WINNING strategy should be fired..

    Nothing turns off Independent Voters like a POTUS who doesn't man up...

    How do you Democrats took the White House?? :D

    I do give Bush credit where credit is due (every time I mention the SOFA, which most don't even bother to do).

    Yes, YOU do... No one else does...

    But the end-of-August date was not in the SOFA, and was entirely Obama's creation (which is why I didn't mention it here). He set a deadline, about a month after taking office, and he met it. He indeed deserves credit for this.

    Agreed.. Especially since it happens so infrequently. :D

    But what the Left is loathe to concede, present company excepted, is that if it wasn't for Bush's surge and stay the course mentality (a mentality that he was roundly attacked and derided for, I might add), Obama would NOT have had the "victory" in Iraq that he has today.

    Bush did indeed blame Clinton for everything he could, and as for missing Bin Laden, well, you're joking, right? Clinton's team told Bush's team about the threat, and Bush (on one of his many vacations) said "OK, you've covered your ass" and proceded to ignore the threat.

    Once again, the wonderful world of hindsight where everyone is dead on ballz accurate.. :D

    Regardless, I was referring to the squandered opportunities that Clinton had to take out Bin Laden which, in hindsight(:D), would have prevented 9/11...

    Michale.....

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    How do you Democrats took the White House?? :D

    THIS is what I get for posting at 0322hrs without at least 3 DCs in me... : D

    That should read..

    "How do you think Democrats took the White House?? :D"

    Michale.....

  17. [17] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    First Reverend Wright is too radical for them; when Obama distances himself from his LONG TIME spiritual advisor now he's a Muslim?

    Obama "distanced himself" for political reasons only. Had those tapes not surfaced, he'd still be part of hate-spewing Wright's flock. Personally, I'd still like to know what Michelle was doing there all those years — and then with two little girls beside her, taking Wright's anti-American, white-bashing, hate-spewing rhetoric all in.

    Aside from the recent White House press release, informing one and all that Obama prays every day — because David Axelrod says so — nobody's seeing Obama's Christianity on display in any way, like on the steps of a Church on Sunday morning. In fact, if memory serves, Michelle was the one responsible for his even going to a Church in the first place. And his mother, while Christian on paper, was not a practicing one. And the stepfather who raised him was Muslim. So why SHOULDN'T a segment of the public be wondering what the deal is with him.

    That's the problem with a swooning press corps — including conspiring JournoListers — painting a romantic picture of his background, with significant chunks either glossed over or left blank. I defy anyone, for example, to tell me what Obama's politics in college were. He could have been the hardest-core radical on two feet, for all anyone knows. His mother sure as hell strikes me as one.

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Kevin,

    First Reverend Wright is too radical for them;

    I think it's safe to say that Wright was too radical for every American...

    At least any American who IS an American...

    Michale....

  19. [19] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Too easy. Weasels are so obvious. Shevek57, please come back and deliver a well-deserved nose whacking. You delivered a masterpiece in the "With Friends Like These" thread. Even though they have no shame, it was fun for the rest of us.

  20. [20] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    IOW, you can't refute what anyone's said, so you'll just lob a few insults and be on your way. As usual.

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962,

    Your fear-mongering tactics don't work here.

    Try something new and you might be surprised by the intelligent debate you spark.

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Your fear-mongering tactics don't work here.

    What "fear mongering" are you referring to??

    The factual statement that some Muslims, MANY Muslims are terrorists??

    Call me silly, but I firmly believe that Political Correctness should take a back seat to public safety. Especially when one considers the very real threat that terrorism represents..

    Michale.....

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I wasn't commenting on the fact that many terrorits are Muslims. I always expect better than than from you!

    I was referring to almost everything that Chris1962 has written since coming here - fearmongering forms the basis of most of the arguments put forward. And, truth be known, I have no patience for that sort of thing anymore.

    And, for the life of me, I don't understand what "political correctness" has to do with anything we discuss here. It saddens me to even have to say here, of all places, that I've never been a fan of political correctness and I don't think anything written here by anyone can be described as being politically correct in any way, shape or form.

  24. [24] 
    Kevin wrote:

    This is a good read. Beware, it IS intelligent :)

    Hannibal ad portas
    by Mark Sumner
    Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 06:00:03 AM PDT

    There is a clash of civilizations going on, and it has nothing to do with the Burlington Coat Factory Community Center. It's more fundamental than Christian vs. Muslim. It's reason vs. fear. Civilization vs. anarchy.

    That clash is happening right here in America.

    Don't misunderstand me. I don't believe that being a conservative equates with being evil. Over the course of our nation's history, many conservative figures have raised questions deserving of an answer. They framed their issues with ideas that were testable. They contributed to the national conversation in a meaningful, beneficial way. They acted not just out of raw self-interest, but with sincere desire to do what they believed best for our nation and its people.

    After more than two centuries of trials both at home and abroad, we have results from those tests. Conservative economics haven't just brought on repeated failure here, they've done the same everywhere and in every time. Conservative social policies aimed at producing a country that's joined around a less diverse set of ideas haven't engendered strength through unity, but an inflexible fragility. Those questions have been asked and answered, but the results don't mean those who raised the conservative position were any less dedicated to discovering the truth and serving the nation.

    Only that's not what's happening now. Those conservatives, the men and women who argued with reason and passion for the positions they believed best for our nation, have been replaced by something else altogether. The two sides in our national debate can no longer be characterized as simply "left" and "right." In a remarkably short time, we've witnessed the overthrow of the right by something new... only it's not really new at all.

    For a long time I viewed this new crew with something of the same assumption that Jesus made on the cross: "forgive them, because they don't know what they're doing." Surely those tearing at the foundations of science would not have done so if they recognized the real danger their actions represented. Surely those calling for defense of the Constitution through limits on the freedoms it enshrines didn't grasp the contradictory nature of their positions. Surely those working to wrest the last crumbs of control from the powerless and carry them back to the powerful were unaware of years spent and lives lost in obtaining even this modest share of equity.

    I no longer believe this is true. When Rush Limbaugh blames the BP disaster on "eco-terrorists," I don't believe he really thinks this is in any sense factual. When Newt Gingrich compares Muslims to Nazis, I don't believe he does it out of ignorance. When Glenn Beck says that President Obama will force doctors to perform abortions and Michael Savage says that the president will disband the Marine Corps, it's not because they are badly informed. When Sen. Pearce insists that the 14th Amendment doesn't apply to the children of immigrants, when Fox news moves the beginning of Obama's presidency so that the disasters of the Bush years land on his plate, when those who were so shocked that Godwin's Law might have been dented in a blog post two years ago are now shouting "Hitler" on the floor of the House and Senate -- I don't think it's because they've been pushed there through no choice of their own. Death panels? Do you think the people making that claim really believed it? What about global warming being caused by sun spots? How about the threat of Muslim terror babies?

    The question of protecting the nation or the principles on which it was built is no longer the focus of "conservative" arguments -- it's not even a side note -- because this group no longer makes any distinction between the common good and their own self interest. They have reached the conclusion that their success is worth any price, even if that price is fatal to the founding principles of the nation. They have no canon but victory, no concept of restraint.

    It's not surprising that this generation of Republicans has made a hero out of Joeseph McCarthy. They admire the way in which he cowed his enemies and the way in which he distorted the meaning of liberty. They admire him because he generated fear.

    The question of "have you no sense of decency" has been answered. They do not -- at least not one that rises above their hunger for power.

    For the unobservant, what's happening this November is just another in two centuries of mid-term elections. The press is already dusting off their talks from past cycles, ready to note how the numbers of each party in the House and Senate have been altered. They expect to devote an hour -- maybe two -- to highlighting what these changes say about the popularity of the president. They may go so far as to discuss how the results affect the fate of some bit of legislation (but don't count on it). You can bet that have some absolutely spectacular new charts prepared to show poll results and the rearrangement of seats in the legislative chambers.

    But the story in this cycle isn't just numbers. What's at stake this November isn't holding Democratic gains in the House and Senate. It's not protecting Barack Obama's mojo. It's not advancing a progressive legislative agenda.

    What we're facing in a few short weeks is a critical test; one that I believe may do more to determine our future than any action inside our own borders for over a century. More important even than the election of Barack Obama in 2008. Because the ideas put forward by men like Glenn Beck are not "just like fascism," they simply are fascism. It's the idea that personality can outweigh facts, and that force can author "justice" as well as any law. It's the conviction that those with hard-won knowledge are dangerous, and need to be overruled by "common sense." It's the view that history has an unfortunate bias, one that can be adjusted with a careful "correction" of the textbooks. It's the doctrine that only a portion of the populace is Real Americans deserving of liberty, and the rest must be dealt with as enemies. Those poisonous thoughts are sickeningly familiar, and they have lost none of their vile potency in the last sixty years.

    Those that have taken the place of the traditional Republican Party (and the once reasonable politicians who have thrown over their long held ideals to grovel for these new masters) are not just battling with some aspects of science, they're waging war on reason. Not just tinkering with immigration policy, but sharply narrowing the meaning of the word "American." What's at stake isn't whether laws will be passed favorable to our positions, or whether laws will be passed that we don't like -- the real question is whether the United States will continue as a nation of laws.

    We've been told, and polling data reflects, an "enthusiasm gap" between those who saw Barack Obama into office in 2008, and those who want to unseat him. Those massing on the right -- the birthers, Beckers, and baggers -- smell blood in the water. They've already seized the Republican Party and they mean to seize the nation. Somehow, for those not part of that movement, this election remains just another election. If that's going to change in the few short weeks that remain, it's going to have to be because some were willing to work, to raise the alarm, and to elevate what's at stake beyond a squabble between "left" vs. "right."

    * Permalink ::
    * Discuss (325 comments)

  25. [25] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Combat brigades in Iraq under different name

    As the final convoy of the Army’s 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Lewis, Wash., entered Kuwait early Thursday, a different Stryker brigade remained in Iraq.

    Soldiers from the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division are deployed in Iraq as members of an Advise and Assist Brigade, the Army’s designation for brigades selected to conduct security force assistance.

    So while the “last full U.S. combat brigade” have left Iraq, just under 50,000 soldiers from specially trained heavy, infantry and Stryker brigades will stay, as well as two combat aviation brigades....

    http://www.chris11962.com/blog/files/d537a85f4a6bec6e72094e5a21e3f1f2-215.html

  26. [26] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    [excerpt] ...Confusion about the president's beliefs appears to be growing among the population, according to a new poll from the nonpartisan Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. The poll found that 18 percent of those surveyed wrongly identified Obama as Muslim, up from 11 percent in March 2009. At the same time, the number of Americans who said they believed, correctly, that Obama is Christian has declined from 48 percent in March 2009 to 34 percent today.... http://abcnews.go.com/WN/franklin-graham-president-obama-born-muslim-pew-poll/story?id=11446462

    Keyword: believed. It's not a confusion but a trust/belief issue. And belief is down 14 points since last year.

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    My point is, much of what CB posts is NOT "fear mongering" but rather a factual and rational look at current events...

    The Mosque issue is a perfect example..

    Is it "fear mongering" to want to make sure that none of the funding for the mosque is coming from terrorist groups or countries??

    No, that's just common sense..

    Is it "fear mongering" to question the motives of a man who refuses to acknowledge Hamas as a terrorist group and who says that the US partially deserved 9/11??

    No, that's just common sense..

    It's a dangerous world.. What you call "fear mongering" is simply logical and rational prudence in this dangerous world.

    Michale.....

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Now, you want to talk about "fear mongering"?? Read Kevin's post that compares the Right to facism..

    Now THAT is fear mongering and it's most viral...

    Kevin,

    - the real question is whether the United States will continue as a nation of laws.

    You mean like our Immigration Laws?? The laws that Obama specifically and the Left in general DO NOT want enforced??

    Are those the laws you refer to???

    Because it seems to me that the Right WANTS to be a "nation of laws" but that Obama and the Left do not..

    Michale......

  29. [29] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Pathetic.

  30. [30] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    What "fear mongering" are you referring to??

    It's code for statements of fact and/or opinions with which the Party of Tolerance's speech police disagrees and, therefore, is on a mission to silence.

  31. [31] 
    Kevin wrote:

    P.S.: I'd like to apologize to the weasel family...I hear ferrets make fine pets.

  32. [32] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Pathetic.

    P.S.: I'd like to apologize to the weasel family...I hear ferrets make fine pets.

    In the event you aren't aware, Kev, insults don't count as refutation. Try contributing a little more than insult-hurling to the discussion.

  33. [33] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Now, you want to talk about "fear mongering"?? Read Kevin's post that compares the Right to facism..

    Now THAT is fear mongering and it's most viral...

    I'll say.

    Those massing on the right -- the birthers, Beckers, and baggers -- smell blood in the water. They've already seized the Republican Party and they mean to seize the nation.

    But, hey, it's the Righties who are doing the fear-mongering, you see.

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Is it "fear mongering" to want to make sure that none of the funding for the mosque is coming from terrorist groups or countries??

    It is fearmongering to suggest with every post that there is something to be feared from this Imam and from building this mosque without providing any factual evidence to back it up.

    And, it's not just with this non-issue that Chris1962 uses fearmongering tactics - these tactics are used with virtually every post submitted here.

    These posts are increasingly non-serious, especially the ones that revert back to Chris1962's own blog. There is very little presented that is either reasonable or logical and it has gone well beyond tiresome.

  35. [35] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    My point is, much of what CB posts is NOT "fear mongering" but rather a factual and rational look at current events...

    And no one is holding a gun to posters' heads, forcing them to read my posts. Anyone is free to simply scroll right past them. Problem solved.

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    It is fearmongering to suggest with every post that there is something to be feared from this Imam and from building this mosque without providing any factual evidence to back it up.

    Plenty of evidence HAS been provided..

    Feisel Rauf's refusal to state that HAMAS is factual. AND is cause for concern..

    Feisal Rauf's claim that the US partially deserved the 9/11 attacks is factual. AND is cause for concern.

    The problem here is that you don't LIKE the facts.

    No one is claiming that we should "fear" Rauf and his Cordoba Mosque..

    All that is being suggested is that these very real, tangible and FACTUAL concerns be addressed.

    It's not fear... It's prudence. And, it's logical..

    Michale.....

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Kevin,

    Pathetic.

    "Such an argument will never be known for its cognizance or logic."
    -Commander Spock, STAR TREK

    :D

    But seriously.. I am sincerely curious..

    How can this author accuse the Right as being against a "nation of laws" when it is well documented how much the Left likes to circumvent our laws??

    It seems to me that the author is suffering from transference where he is blaming the Right for the faults and follies of the Left...

    Michale.....

  38. [38] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962,

    And no one is holding a gun to posters' heads, forcing them to read my posts. Anyone is free to simply scroll right past them. Problem solved.

    Well, you are quite correct to say that.

    However, I am concerned about the credibility and integrity of this site. The comments here used to be only of the highest quality and reflect very well on this site and all of us.

    So, when someone comes to this site and begins to spew nonsense at nauseam, it deeply concerns me.

  39. [39] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Elizabeth, sadly I fear you're wasting your time and energy. Did you like that Mark Sumner column?

  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kevin,

    I'm not at all familiar with Mark Sumner but I think he underestimates the intelligence of the electorate.

    In any event, the mid-term elections will tell the tale.

  41. [41] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Elizabeth, I'm a bit confused...I posted the column in comment #24; he's a well known writer on the Kos site. I don't think he's underestimating the intelligence of the electorate, he's just stressing how dangerous the opposing mindset is.

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kevin,

    Well, I don't know anything about the Kos site, either.

    The "opposing mindset", as demonstrated by Republican leaders and the tea party set, is dangerous only if the propoganda they produce is accepted by a majority of voters.

  43. [43] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    just to provide a little factual backdrop for the "blame clinton" mantra, right around the last midterm election (2006) fox ran multiple stories on the north korean missile tests being all clinton's fault. that's six years after the fact, folks.

    http://mediamatters.org/research/200607070013

    lest we forget, that was also the year ABC's "path to 9/11" came out, an entire right-wing docu-drama, complete with lesson plans for teachers, all to show how it was really clinton's fault.

    http://mediamatters.org/research/200609010012

    this is not to say i blame bush for 9/11, because i don't. even if he'd been moderately competent, i doubt he would have prevented it. i doubt obama would have prevented it had he been president back then. but even more far-fetched than blaming bush is blaming clinton for that catastrophe, much less its extensive and catastrophic aftermath in iraq, afghanistan and the rest of the world, a strategy which the right milked for six solid years.

    the difference in bush's case, at least as far as the economy was concerned, is that the recession began on his watch, and was spiraling downward toward the abyss right as his presidency ended. that's not spin, it's simply what happened. would some other executive have done a better job at turning things around? maybe, but at this point it's still legitimate to hold the bush administration partly to blame for the trouble that they started. if, like the republicans did, the democrats are still harping on this four years from now, i'll hold them to the same standard and label it inane drivel, just like the "path to 9-11" was. you can quote me. yes michale, i know the dems may very well continue blaming bush into 2014, and you will certainly hold me to my words. ;)

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    NYpoet,

    I am not "blaming" Clinton..

    I am simply saying that, IN HINDSIGHT, Clinton shares the blame...

    Just like Bush shares the blame..

    But only in hindsight...

    My beef with Obama in the here and now is that it's almost two years into his presidency and he has done nothing BUT blame Bush..

    Even though the recession did start on Bush's watch, it's undeniable that Obama's actions had made things worse and it will get even worse before it get's better..

    And THAT is completely and utterly Obama's fault with NO blame to be placed on Bush...

    Even IF it was factually correct to blame Bush for the current state of the country, it's very un-presidential to do so constantly. It smacks of evading responsibility.

    I respect a person more when they own up to their own responsibility.

    Obama appears incapable of doing that..

    Now, it seems, he not only blames Bush, he blames the "do nothing" Congress...

    Anyone and everyone is at fault...

    Except Obama...

    Ya hear that?? That's the sound of voters voting for Republicans...

    Michale.....

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    Feisel Rauf's refusal to state that HAMAS is factual. AND is cause for concern..

    Feisal Rauf's claim that the US partially deserved the 9/11 attacks is factual.

    Grrrrrrrr

    CW, I would give my right..... arm... for a PREVIEW option.. :D

    The above should read

    "Feisel Rauf's refusal to state that HAMAS is a terrorist organization is factual. AND is cause for concern.."

    and

    "Feisal Rauf's claim that the US partially deserved the 9/11 attacks is factual. Not the claim but the fact that he made it.."

    To much TWT.... :D

    Michale....

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Even though the recession did start on Bush's watch, it's undeniable that Obama's actions had made things worse and it will get even worse before it get's better.

    That is completely false.

    On the day that Obama/Biden were sworn in, the economy was circling the drain, if you recall.

    Now fast forward one year plus ... while not everything is coming up roses, neither is the economy circling the drain. Indeed, a slow recovery is underway.

    People have very short memories and an apparent inability to understand how serious and deep this financial crisis was and that it will take some time to contain all of the damage.

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I wonder if you might provide the entire quote, in context, of what Faisal Rauf said about 9/11 and Hamas.

    I think it would be instructive to have his entire statement on Hamas and on 9/11 on the record here.

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    That is completely false.

    What was Unemployment when Obama took office??

    What is it now??

    What was the deficit when Obama took office??

    What is it now???

    It is undeniable that the economy is in worse shape now, then it was when Obama took office.

    Had Obama just let the whole thing collapse we would be well on our way to recovery..

    Now, we're just in the hole, looking at a deeper hole before it will start getting better...

    Even if it DOES get better. Reports are surfacing from the Administration that the 9%+ Unemployment figures might be the new "norm"...

    Good job, Obama... :(

    And, when we have a GOP Congress in January, absolutely NOTHING will get done...

    I wonder if you might provide the entire quote, in context, of what Faisal Rauf said about 9/11 and Hamas.

    No problem.. :D

    In an interview with Ed Bradley..
    Bradley: And throughout the Muslim world, there is also strong opposition to America's foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East because of its support of Israel and economic sanctions against Iraq.

    Faisal: it is a reaction against the US government politically, where we espouse principles of democracy and human rights, and where we ally ourselves with oppressive regimes in many of these countries.

    Bradley: Are you in any way suggesting that we in the United States deserved what happened?

    Faisal: I wouldn't say that the United States deserved what happened, but United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.
    islamfortoday.com/60minutes.htm

    Pretty much in context and as I said.

    Rauf seems to think that, at least partially, the US deserved or was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

    As far as the Hamas question...

    According to the State Department's assessment, "Hamas terrorists, especially those in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, have conducted many attacks, including large-scale suicide bombings, against Israeli civilian and military targets."
    Asked if he agreed with the State Department's assessment, Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf told WABC radio, "Look, I'm not a politician.
    "The issue of terrorism is a very complex question," he told interviewer Aaron Klein.

    "There was an attempt in the '90s to have the UN define what terrorism is and say who was a terrorist. There was no ability to get agreement on that."
    Asked again for his opinion on Hamas, an exasperated Rauf wouldn't budge.
    "I am a peace builder. I will not allow anybody to put me in a position where I am seen by any party in the world as an adversary or as an enemy," Rauf said, insisting that he wants to see peace in Israel between Jews and Arabs.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/imam_terror_error_efmizkHuBUaVnfuQcrcabL#ixzz0xQc1ov2v

    Once again, pretty much in context..

    It's a very simple question.

    Is Hamas a terrorist organization.

    YES, of course it is...

    Anyone who equivocates on this very simple question obviously has terrorist sympathies..

    It's like asking, "Were the Nazis bad??"

    And Rauf's answer would be, "Well, I don't want to take sides here. I am a bridge builder. It is undeniable that the Nazis did a lot of good for Germany yada yada yada yada..."

    There is only ONE correct answer to the question, "Were the Nazis bad?"....

    Just as there is only ONE correct answer to the quesiton, "Is Hamas a terrorist organization?"...

    And the ONE correct answer to BOTH questions is a simple YES..

    Or maybe a HELL YEA!! if yer south of the Manson-Nixon line.. :D

    Michale.....

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:
  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here is Obama's biggest problem..

    He thinks he knows better than the American people. Practically every position he has taken in the last year, the American people have been against..

    CrapCare
    75% of Americans opposed it.
    Obama supported it and ram'ed it thru..

    The Arizona Anti-Illegal Immigration Law
    62% of Americans support it.
    Obama is against it.

    Suing Arizona Over The Law
    59% of Americans are against it.
    Obama does it anyways.

    Porkulus II
    37% of Americans were for it. 43% were against it.
    Obama does it anyways.

    Ban On Deep Water Drilling
    75% of Americans were against it.
    Obama does it anyways, costing twice as many job losses as the spill itself.

    Cap & Trade Legislation
    70% of Americans are against it.
    Obama supports it.

    Closing Gitmo
    44% of Americans support it. 50% of Americans are against it.
    Obama supports it.

    Trying Terrorists In Civilian Courts
    29% of Americans support it. 51% of Americans are against it.
    Obama supports it.

    The Ground Zero Mosque
    61% of Americans are against it.
    Obama supports it.

    Time and time and time again, Obama is on the WRONG side of the American people..

    How many times does this have to happen before ya'all realize that Obama is NOT the president that the American people want.

    I mean, sure.. Sometimes, the president has to do what's right, regardless of whether it's popular or not.

    But every time?? Every thing???

    Michale....

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here are some more quotes from the allegedly "moderate" Muslim, Feisal Abdul Rauf.

    "We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al-Qaeda has on its hands of innocent non Muslims,"

    "What complicates the discussion, intra-Islamically, is the fact that the West has not been cognizant and has not addressed the issues of its own contribution to much injustice in the Arab and Muslim world."
    -Feisal Abdul Rauf, 2005 Lecture

    And the US is PAYING this supposed "moderate" Muslim to go around the world and say this kind of crap..

    I guess this is Obama's Apology By Proxy tour.... :^/

    Michale.....

  52. [52] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    How many times does this have to happen before ya'all realize that Obama is NOT the president that the American people want.

    And we wonder why only 23% — statistically even with 20% of liberals in this country — feel the government has the consent of the governed.

  53. [53] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Cb,

    I guess the mid-terms will tell the tale. :)

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    I guess the mid-terms will tell the tale. :)

    I for one, can't wait.. :D

    I'll be SINGING.... "Mr President, THIS is what elections are for!!!"

    :D

    Michale.....

  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I for one, can't wait.. :D

    I can't wait, either!

    And you, Michale, may be singing a whole other type tune. Heh Heh

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's been reported that Obama will give a speech this week commemorating the withdrawal from Iraq..

    Even though, we are still leaving combat units in Iraq, just called a different name... But that's beside my point..

    Anyways, Obama is NOT expected to touch upon his opposition to Bush's surge in his speech..

    I am going to take a page from CW's playbook and give a portion of the speech that Obama SHOULD say...

    There has been a lot of talk bandied about, on how my administration has vilified and blamed the Bush administration for the various ills of this country.

    And, in all fairness, I must point out that I was against the surge in troops implemented by former President Bush.

    I stand before you and state unequivocally and for the record, that I was wrong.

    Former President Bush had the keen insight to pursue a difficult task because he knew it was the right thing to do.

    While I stand before you to commemorate the withdrawal of all combat troops from Iraq, I humbly must give credit where credit is due.

    Former President Bush's decision to surge troops into Iraq is what made this victory possible. His administration shares in the credit for this victory we celebrate today."

    Can you imagine the collective heart attacks that such a truthful statement would generate up and down the Leftist blogosphere?? :D

    Of course, we all know that Obama is not man enough to state this...

    But, the idealistic part of me is hoping that Obama rises to the occasion and, just for a few moments, becomes the president... the LEADER, I thought he was...

    Oh well, I can dream, can't I??

    Michale.....

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Oh well, I can dream, can't I??

    You can shoot a good line of bull, too! :)

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    You can shoot a good line of bull, too! :)

    When required.. :D

    But now is not one of those times..

    Both SecDef Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen both agree that Bush's surge created the conditions allowing the US to withdraw combat troops today.

    Credit where credit is due...

    Michale.....

  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I don't really want to rehash the "surge" debate and the fact that the reduced violence was due primarily to factors that predated the surge.

    But, here I go, anyway ... :)

    Actually, what the Bush administration really deserves a lot of credit for was persuading through payment the cooperation of the Sunnis in Anbar province. That was a major factor in reducing the violence and thus creating the conditions for political reconciliation.

    Also, the Mahdi army instituted a cease fire and the various warring sects in and around Baghdad were physically separated by walls.

    So, no the surge was not a major factor in creating the conditions allowing for a political solution in Iraq and a US withdrawal.

    The main problem with the Bush administration is that they didn't take advantage of this reduction in violence as they did virtually NOTHING to help Iraq move toward a political solution. NOTHING! And, so even by their own narrative of a successful surge, the surge did not achieve its goal of moving Iraq toward political reconciliation.

    Today, we are still waiting for Iraq to form a coalition government almost 6 months after elections.

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    By the way, did you happen to see the vice president's speech today on Iraq at the Veterans of Foreign Wars gathering?

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    So, no the surge was not a major factor in creating the conditions allowing for a political solution in Iraq and a US withdrawal.

    Hay, I am just repeating what SecDef Gates and JCS Chairman Admiral McMullen of the Obama administration has stated for the record..

    If you have a beef with THEIR claim, take it up with them.. :D

    Today, we are still waiting for Iraq to form a coalition government almost 6 months after elections.

    WHO has been the POTUS the last year and a half???

    Hmmmmmm???

    By the way, did you happen to see the vice president's speech today on Iraq at the Veterans of Foreign Wars gathering?

    Naw, I missed that.. Shucky darn... :D

    Michale.....

  62. [62] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Well, as you know, I have been saying for years now that Biden is the only one in that particular group who will be candid and accurate about what has happened and is happening in Iraq.

    So, I would take what everyone else says on this particular issue with a grain of salt - and that includes President Obama. Why do you think it is Biden heading up the Iraq file, anyway?

    Biden is largely responsible for preventing more violence from breaking out in Iraq, especially with regard to the Kirkuk situation. He is working closely with Iraqi leaders trying to facilitate movement toward political reconciliation. But, these things take time, Michale. Especially in Iraq where the political landscape is incredibly fragmented.

    Naw, I missed that.. Shucky darn... :D

    Damn ... I was hoping you might be able to give me a video link or something. :)

  63. [63] 
    akadjian wrote:

    CW-

    The Muslim community center discussion is getting a bit repetitive so not going to say much more on that.

    Kudos on the end of combat operations story. This is huge. It's too bad the corporate media doesn't cover this with as much zeal as the YMCA story (had to laugh at that).

    Have you ever thought of being a speech writer? This was really quite good. I have e-mailed the link to the Whitehouse along w/ my congratulations on the end of combat operations.

    Cheers
    David

  64. [64] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    David,

    Let's be careful not to set the president up for failure or get our own hopes up too high.

    The 50,000 troops that remain will still be in harms way for at least another year and a half.

    And, after that, God only knows. I've heard talk of basing agreements between the US and Iraq and that would be bad news, indeed.

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, after that, God only knows. I've heard talk of basing agreements between the US and Iraq and that would be bad news, indeed.

    Oh yes... Because it's worked out so horribly for Germany and Japan, eh? :D

    hehehehehehehe

    Michale.....

  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    You really have to read Sleeping With the Devil: How Washington sold our soul for Saudi Crude by Robert Baer.

    Seriously!

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    Two excellent articles on why the Cordoba Mosque should be moved..

    washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/12/AR2010081204996.html

    nationalreview.com/articles/243643/ground-zero-mosque-not-place-rich-lowry

    Liz, you will like the second article.

    As for anyone else, I challenge anyone to fault the logic of the articles..

    Michale.....

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's all but assured that the Cordoba Mosque will NOT be built...

    That's exactly the right note. Having proclaimed themselves "healers" of the 9/11 breach, the developers have opened a new wound that threatens to further isolate Muslims. Even if one charitably assumes they were caught off guard by the opponents, their hard-hearted determination to press on raises serious suspicions about their motives.

    Indeed, it is obvious they don't care about the turmoil. The project's co-founder, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a State Department envoy traveling in the Gulf region, went so far as to say "The fact we are getting this kind of attention is a sign of success."

    That's either dopey or dangerous, especially for someone supposedly trying to promote U.S.-Muslim relations. If the nasty battle is his idea of a good thing, what would be a bad thing?

    His wife, Daisy Khan, even warned that "extremists" are watching the battle, a not-so-subtle suggestion that New York would be attacked again if developers don't get their way. Her logic is frightening.

    Still, it's only a twist on a common theme for supporters -- we have to show the world what fine folk Americans are, or else. You know, hit us, we'll apologize and hand you the keys to our house just to prove how nice we are, or else the world won't like us.

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/08/25/michael-goodwin-ground-zero-mosque-bloomberg-ramadan-dinner-paterson-dolan/

    More and more opposition is rising up against it and the claims of the Lefty supporters that the opposition are nothing but religious bigots is being exposed for the utter crap that it is..

    Michale.....

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya'all remember, a couple weeks back, how a lot of ya'all were scoffing at the "rumor" that the Obama Administration is setting up an "amnesty" program from illegal immigrants, to increase the rolls of undocumented voters...

    Remember that?

    Guess what??

    It's happening...

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7169978.html

    Been happening for about a month now... Right around the time those "rumors" started..

    Strange how that is, eh??

    Michale.....

  70. [70] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    their hard-hearted determination to press on raises serious suspicions about their motives.

    You said it. This "bridge-building goal" was pure BS from the get-go, as is the notion that Rauf is anything even close to resembling a moderate. The big tip-off, of course, was his refusal to call Hamas a terrorist organization. Any "moderate" who can't bring himself to state that, without hesitation or equivocation, is someone who needs to be looked at a lot more closely. Either you support Hamas or you don't. It's not a trick question.

  71. [71] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    More and more opposition is rising up against it and the claims of the Lefty supporters that the opposition are nothing but religious bigots is being exposed for the utter crap that it is..

    It’s About Sharia

    [excerpt] The 2010 midterms have not happened yet, but the 2012 campaign is under way. For that we can thank Newt Gingrich. Not because Gingrich is a candidate, though he almost certainly is. And not because he can win, because that is by no means certain. We should thank Gingrich because he has crystallized the essence of our national-security challenge. Henceforth, there should be no place to hide for any candidate, including any incumbent. The question will be: Where do you stand on sharia?

    The former speaker of the House gets the war on terror. For one thing, he refuses to call it the “war on terror,” which should be the entry-level requirement for any politician who wants to influence how we wage it. Gingrich grasps that there is an enemy here and that it is a mortal threat to freedom. He knows that if we are to remain a free people, it is an enemy we must defeat. That enemy is Islamism, and its operatives — whether they come as terrorists or stealth saboteurs — are the purveyors of sharia, Islam’s authoritarian legal and political system.

    This being the Era of the Reset Button, Gingrich is going about the long-overdue business of resetting our understanding of the civilizational jihad that has been waged against the United States for some 31 years. It is the jihad begun when Islamists overran the American embassy in Tehran, heralding a revolutionary regime that remains the No. 1 U.S. security challenge in the Middle East, as Gingrich argued Thursday in a provocative speech at the American Enterprise Institute...

    ...Second, that outcome is the death of freedom. In Islamist ideology, sharia is deemed to be the necessary precondition for Islamicizing a society — for Islam is not merely a religious doctrine, but a comprehensive socio-economic and political system. As the former speaker elaborated, sharia embodies principles and punishments that are abhorrent to Western values. Indeed, its foundational premise is anti-American, holding that we are not free people at liberty to govern ourselves irrespective of any theocratic code, that people are instead beholden to the Islamic state, which is divinely enjoined to impose Allah’s laws.

    Sharia, moreover, is anti-equality. It subjugates women and brutally punishes transgressors, particularly homosexuals and apostates. While our law forbids cruel and unusual punishments, Gingrich observed that the brutality in sharia sanctions is not gratuitous, but intentional: It is meant to enforce Allah’s will by striking example....
    http://www.chris11962.com/blog/files/592d9778576e2d176a888632c7608104-244.html

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