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Friday Talking Points [248] -- I'd Love To Change The World

[ Posted Friday, March 8th, 2013 – 18:12 PST ]

Our column's subtitle this week is a silent homage to guitarist Alvin Lee of the band Ten Years After, who sadly died this past week. Anyone who has seen the movie Woodstock knows of Lee's incredible talent on the electric guitar, and we just wanted to begin by noting that Alvin Lee is "Goin' Home" for the last time. Requiescat In Pace.

Transitioning from Alvin Lee's death to current political news is tough to do, but not impossible. We offer up a "six-degrees-from" sort of segue, to do so: Alvin Lee was the lead in Ten Years After. Former Republican Senator Norm Coleman (the guy Al Franken beat out) was also a former roadie for Ten Years After. During Franken's campaign, I wrote an article titled "When Hippies Go Bad," doing my part to expose the hypocrisy of Norm Coleman. This week it was revealed that Louisiana is paying tax dollars for history books which use all sorts of derogatory names for hippies (and warn they listened to rock bands which worshipped Satan). Mike Huckabee, when running for president, opined: "If you think that Medicare is expensive now, wait until 10,000 aging hippies a day find out they can get free drugs. Then, it's really going to get expensive in a hurry." And with that, we're back to the budget, Medicare, and Paul Ryan. Voilà!

Paul Ryan introduced his version of the Republican budget this week, and it seems Ryan has agreed that two or three of President Obama's biggest budget victories actually do significantly cut the deficit, and are therefore worth including in the Republican plans for the future. Remember that $716 billion that Ryan and running mate Mitt Romney made so much political hay over, in all their "Mediscare" ads during the campaign? Hey presto -- it's back in Ryan's budget! Guess Ryan and Romney were just flat-out lying about how they'd restore every dime of that $716 billion, eh? Also included in the recent Ryan budget are the tax increases Obama got through the fiscal cliff showdown. So now the Republicans are fully on board with those, too, rather than all their nonsense about how it was going to kill the American economy. Also notable, Ryan's budget does not directly attack Obamacare, and just assumes it will be implemented as designed. Another issue Republicans have now accepted as reality, apparently.

If you thought that previous segue was too convoluted, here's a much easier one: ten years after we decided to go to war with Iraq, a final report was released which showed that America wasted at least eight billion dollars in the reconstruction effort (out of $60 billion total). Note that "at least" -- the real figure could be much, much higher. Talk about "waste, fraud, and abuse" in government. In any case, it allowed me to get that "ten years after" reference in, ahead of the flood of stories we will be experiencing in the next two weeks over the Iraq War's anniversary.

Let's see what's going on in the world of Republican-on-Republican attacks (always a fun place to observe from afar). We have the Virginia governor's race and the Iowa Senate race, which will both be providing all kinds of amusing stories over the next year or so. We had Rand Paul mount his first-ever filibuster, and then the spectacle of John McCain denouncing him the next day for doing so. Maybe McCain's afraid all the Sunday morning shows will be calling up Rand Paul to be on teevee more than they'll be calling him... or something... it's always hard to tell what McCain's thinking at any particular moment. And finally, we all enjoyed the deliciousness of watching Jeb Bush twist slowly in the wind on immigration. Bush wrote a book a while back (which is just now being released) in which he staked out a position that was actually more moderate than the position Republicans were holding when he wrote it. Now, however, the ground under the GOP position has shifted, and Bush now looks like a right-wing reactionary -- which was not his intended effect. So he had to kick off his book tour by disavowing the position he took in the book. A book specifically about immigration. So it wasn't even a Republican-on-Republican attack in this case, it was Jeb Bush-on-Jeb Bush. Delightful to observe!

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

We've got a lot of minor points to make before handing out the coveted Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award, so let's get on with it.

In Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee seems to be seriously considering becoming a Democrat, which is good news because he's always been a liberal (even in Republican clothing), so perhaps in future he'll be eligible for these MIDOTW awards.

Ashley Judd continues to cause Kentucky Republicans to freak out, and she hasn't even announced if she's running for Senate or not. If she does toss her hat in the ring, look for plenty of fireworks in this race.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (boy is it fun to type that title!) continues to do exactly what we all expected she'd do in the Senate: put the big bankers on the hotseat. Warren's withering contempt for "too big to fail" banks is a refreshing breeze in the halls of the Capitol, and so she's worthy of at least an Honorable Mention this week.

Bill Clinton just penned an opinion piece in the Washington Post where he admits that the Defense Of Marriage Act was not just an inadequate half-measure but also downright unconstitutional to boot. Although we applaud Bubba for completing his evolution on the matter, we can't hand him any sort of award for doing so, since he actively campaigned on signing DOMA in the 1996 campaign. This precludes whatever he has to say about it now, we feel, at least as far as handing awards out is concerned.

Instead, this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week goes to Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, for supporting Rand Paul's filibuster across party lines. Rand Paul is usually dismissed by the Left as a slightly-less-crackpotty version of his father, but in this instance Paul was indeed raising a valid point: is there any limit to what the Obama White House and the Justice Department claim they're allowed to do with armed drones?

By focusing on a very specific detail, Paul made the issue one of constitutional rights of citizens versus the federal government. By doing so, Paul's case was in fact one that Democrats (or "liberals" or "progressives," take your choice) should really have supported. Sadly, Democrats were largely absent from this debate.

Now, Rand Paul may run for president in 2016, so it's understandable that Democrats may not want to elevate his stature. And Paul's filibuster was really a political stunt, so Democrats may have wanted to distance themselves from it on grounds of propriety (or something). But Rand Paul was right. The federal government should not have the power of death-from-the-skies over American citizens on American soil when they are not actively engaged in an attack on the country. That should be explicitly stated. The Attorney General had not done so when Paul began his filibuster, but relented the next day and specifically stated that the Obama administration does not have this legal option.

Rand Paul scored a victory this week. For those who scoff at what Paul was suggesting, I pose a simple question: OK, sure, you don't think President Obama would ever do such a thing -- but what about a President Bush (or, if he had been in an unforeseen accident, a President Cheney)? For those with longer memories, how about a President Nixon (see: COINTELPRO, for context)? Executive precedents are important, and the precedents set for drone warfare now will likely be with us for a long time to come -- so it is indeed important to get all the details out on the table for discussion.

For supporting Rand Paul's effort in doing so, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon is this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. Partisan politics aside, Rand Paul was right. His filibuster worked. And more Democrats should have stood with him, on general constitutional principles.

[Congratulate Senator Ron Wyden on his Senate contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

Before we get to the MDDOTW award, we have two notes. Senator Carl Levin announced he's retiring and will not be running for re-election next year. This is disappointing indeed, especially since it means Republicans could pick up the Michigan seat in next year's election.

Our second note is an apology. Back in FTP [243], we wrote the following:

In fact, we're feeling a little timid about our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award this week, which we're going to offer up with a rather large caveat. Because, so far, the story only exists as nebulous unproven accusations. If true, they'll certainly merit further MDDOTW awards in the future. If not true, then we'll rescind this week's award, and offer up a public apology.

We are hereby doing so. Senator Bob Menendez still faces several disturbing legal problems, but the "underage prostitutes" charge against him kind of fell apart this week with the news that one of the women now says she was paid to make the accusations in the first place. While we will continue to reserve judgment on the rest of the senator's legal problems, the real reason we handed him the MDDOTW five weeks ago was the prostitution scandal. We were wrong and premature to have done so, and we offer Senator Menendez our apologies and hereby rescind the award given. Mea culpa.

Looking forward, we're handing out (Dis-)Honorable Mentions to all Democratic senators, with three exceptions, for the Rand Paul filibuster. Ron Wyden, obviously, supported Paul. His fellow Democratic senator from Oregon, Jeff Merkley, at least tweeted his support. And Dick Durban stood up and asked Paul a relevant and thought-provoking question at the end of the filibuster, namely whether the president would have had the authority to shoot down the fourth plane on 9/11 before it was used as a weapon in Washington D.C. Every other Democrat in the Senate deserves a (Dis-)Honorable Mention for their silence, though.

But our winner of the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week was President Obama. Now, Obama did do some impressive things this week, including launching a "charm offensive" with congressional Republicans that is, in fact, long overdue. Obama is, famously, not a big fan of the gladhandling and politicking that presidents are expected to do in order to advance their agenda on Capitol Hill. He's held a few photo-ops and made a (very) few phone calls over the years, but he hasn't personally made such a big effort since the beginning of his first term. We're hoping this time around it'll develop into more than just a photo-op or two, and in fact bring some change to the way things have been operating for the past couple of years.

But Obama made a blunder this week which seems minor but is larger symbolically. In fact, the whole thing revolves around symbolism. Obama has been accused of "overhyping" the dire effects of the sequester. Since the sequester, even at worst, will have more of the nature of a very slow-motion trainwreck, nobody's really sure how much it's going to hurt average Americans from now until the end of the fiscal year (at the start of October). Republicans have been claiming Obama's going to make sure the cuts hurt average people, because he is "playing politics."

This week, Obama announced that White House tours will end for the duration of the sequester. This was pretty heavy-handed, and a political misstep on two levels. One, it feeds into the Republican talking point that Obama's just "looking for ways to make things hurt," and two, it also feeds into a very old theme many presidents have been painted with: a "bunker" mentality at the White House. If Obama had been a bit more deft, he could have announced that White House tours were being cut back to only three days a week, rather than just slamming the door shut. It looked, quite frankly, like an overreaction.

And for that reason, President Obama is our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week. He's handed his opponents a "poster child" in the sequester fight, when he could have avoided doing so. Republicans are already using language about the White House being "owned by the American people," and they're just getting warmed up. That's a political misstep, and it's one he may find he has to back down from eventually.

[Contact President Barack Obama on the White House contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 248 (3/8/13)

OK, we're already running long this week, so let's just get right to the talking points. As always, these are for Democrats everywhere to use whether arguing with a Republican on a national television show, or just arguing with a coworker at the water cooler. Without further ado...

 

1
   Halfway there on jobs

Today's jobs numbers were a bright spot in the news this week, as the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent. Be sure to put this into perspective.

"Right after Barack Obama took office, the unemployment rate peaked at 10 percent. Economists tell us that what they call 'full unemployment' is a rate at about 5.5 percent or lower. This month, the rate hit 7.7 percent. Obviously, we've still got a ways to go, but to put it in perspective, this is the halfway point between where we were when the economy collapsed and where we'd like to be. So we're halfway there, and the trend is looking good for the immediate future. Of course, the sequester is going to have an impact, with the loss of up to 750,000 jobs, and we should be working right now to avoid this hit to the recovery."

 

2
   The other filibuster

This is an important point to make, about the media's treatment of how things operate in the Senate these days.

"While Rand Paul captured the media's attention last Thursday with his 'talking' filibuster, it was in fact one of two filibusters which happened that day. The other filibuster took place very quietly, and the media didn't report on it at all. A federal judicial nominee was filibustered because the National Rifle Association didn't approve, but I didn't notice that story on television much, did you? Blocking eminently-qualified judicial nominees is not even news anymore, because of the routine nature of Republicans blocking up-or-down votes for Obama's judicial candidates. I think that says something about the media, don't you?"

 

3
   Too big to exist

Let's have some loud vocal support for Elizabeth Warren, what do you say?

"I was pleased to see Senator Elizabeth Warren asking some very pointed questions this week on the subject of banking. Warren is right. 'Too big to fail' is a revolting concept. In fact, these banks are also 'too big to jail,' which is a downright un-American concept. No entity should be above the law in such a fashion in this country. When you get right down to it, these banks are really 'too big to exist' safely in our economy. Washington has yet to rein in the size of these banks in any meaningful way, which just sets us up for the next crisis. I fully support Elizabeth Warren's efforts to prevent that from happening. These banks are simply 'too big' -- period."

 

4
   World didn't just end

The Obama administration moved so quickly on this one, there wasn't even time for the knee-jerk outrage on the Right to even develop.

"I notice that an Al Qaeda terrorist is now being tried in a federal court in New York. This should be seen as a triumph of the Constitution, and prove that such suspects are fully capable of being tried, convicted, and locked away forever using nothing but the tools the Constitution lays out. The world did not come to an end because this terrorist is being tried in federal court rather than being shipped to a secret prison or held by the military. The trial will only serve to strengthen our country and put us back on the road to trusting our own judicial system once again."

 

5
   Let's cut funding for non-existent stuff!

This one was priceless. Literally -- no price attached at all!

"I notice that in their budget-cutting zeal, Republicans this week made sure that no federal money went to an organization which no longer exists. I'm sorry to inform the Republicans that defunding ACORN is going to save exactly zero dollars, since it no longer exists. Perhaps they should be focusing on things in the budget which are.... you know... part of reality. It'd certainly be a step in the right direction."

 

6
   If you want to stop voter fraud...

This is "part two" of the previous talking point, really.

"If the Republicans are so all-fired concerned about voter fraud, then maybe they need to stop hiring an organization which has had voter fraud problems stretching back years. Maybe they should stop hiring an organization which is doing exactly what they accused ACORN of doing. Because to continue hiring these folks just points out the rank partisan hypocrisy in pointing fingers at voter fraud on one side of the aisle, while ignoring it -- and funding it -- on your own."

 

7
   About that $716 billion...

This one is such an easy shot, we saved it for last.

"I seem to recall a lot of hysteria from Republicans during the last campaign over Medicare. Millions of dollars were spent by the Romney/Ryan campaign in order to scare the holy heck out of America's seniors and try to -- laughably enough -- paint the Republicans as the 'saviors of Medicare.' In specific, Paul Ryan denounced the 716 billion dollars that President Obama had heartlessly cut from Medicare. Ryan and Romney swore up and down that they would restore these cuts immediately, should they be elected. Turn the clock forward a few months, and instead of 'Mediscare' ads, Paul Ryan has decided to keep these savings -- savings which do not and never did cut seniors' benefits by one thin dime -- in his budget document. Just like Ryan included these savings in both his previous budget bills. All throughout the campaign, Democrats were crying 'foul' over such hypocrisy on Ryan's part -- while Republicans tried to use Mediscare as a political bludgeon. With his recent budget, Ryan is in essence admitting that he was not just wrong during the entire campaign, but flat-out lying about the $716 billion. I'd really like to see some enterprising young reporter right about now ask Paul Ryan: 'About that $716 billion, Congressman...' -- wouldn't you?"

-- Chris Weigant

 

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

 

63 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [248] -- I'd Love To Change The World”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Why would Michigan vote for a Republican?

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Giving out MDDOTW awards before all the facts are in has always been a bit perplexing to me. I mean, why not just wait five minutes?

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Ending the White House tours for the duration of the sequester was just another bizarre event in what has become an ongoing string of them.

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Of course, the sequester is going to have an impact, with the loss of up to 750,000 jobs, and we should be working right now to avoid this hit to the recovery."

    Well, I'd say that is a pretty dire consequence of the sequester. Why hasn't anybody hyped that up? Oh, wait ...

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If Washington was anywhere near being a functioning town, then financial institutions couldn't possibly be too big to fail and the Dodd-Frank Act's "death panels" would function as they should and put any failing big institution out of its misery and ours and we wouldn't have to worry about how big any of them get.

    This particular problem has very little to do with size.

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Attorney General had not done so when Paul began his filibuster, but relented the next day and specifically stated that the Obama administration does not have this legal option.

    "Mr President, that is not entirely accurate"
    -DefSec Nimzicki, INDEPENDENCE DAY

    What Holder stated under pressure from Paul's filibuster is that the POTUS does not have the authority to kill NON-COMBATANT Americans with an armed drone on American soil..

    But, as has been amply established, the POTUS *CAN* declare an American citizen an "enemy combatant" on a whim, in secret with no justification or due process.

    Once this American has been deemed a combatant, then he (or she) becomes drone bait...

    So, basically, Holder has established that the POTUS *DOES* have the authority to kill an American citizen on American soil with an armed drone.

    All the POTUS has to do is declare the American an enemy combatant.

    And there is LESS oversight and LESS transparency for THAT process than there is for drone play...

    Welcome to Obama's Brave New World...

    OK, sure, you don't think President Obama would ever do such a thing -- but what about a President Bush (or, if he had been in an unforeseen accident, a President Cheney)? For those with longer memories, how about a President Nixon (see: COINTELPRO, for context)? Executive precedents are important, and the precedents set for drone warfare now will likely be with us for a long time to come -- so it is indeed important to get all the details out on the table for discussion.

    I have been asking that exact question for years now..

    Maybe you'll have better luck getting an answer. :D

    Republicans have been claiming Obama's going to make sure the cuts hurt average people, because he is "playing politics."

    With evidence to back that up...

    "I notice that an Al Qaeda terrorist is now being tried in a federal court in New York. This should be seen as a triumph of the Constitution, and prove that such suspects are fully capable of being tried, convicted, and locked away forever using nothing but the tools the Constitution lays out. The world did not come to an end because this terrorist is being tried in federal court rather than being shipped to a secret prison or held by the military. The trial will only serve to strengthen our country and put us back on the road to trusting our own judicial system once again."

    Little premature on this one..

    How bad is it going to look for the Obama Administration if this scumbag terrorist is found Not Guilty and set free??

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK, sure, you don't think President Obama would ever do such a thing -- but what about a President Bush (or, if he had been in an unforeseen accident, a President Cheney)? For those with longer memories, how about a President Nixon (see: COINTELPRO, for context)? Executive precedents are important, and the precedents set for drone warfare now will likely be with us for a long time to come -- so it is indeed important to get all the details out on the table for discussion.

    Hell, let's forget about drones for a second..

    Think of all the sweeping powers that the Left turned a blind eye to when Obama acquired them..

    Recess Appointments when the Senate was NOT in recess..

    Domestic Surveillance/Wiretapping..

    And so on and so on and so on..

    Now think of all those powers in the hands of a (as CW points out) President Cheney or a President Nixon..

    Such a thought should be making ya'all quake in your boots with fear..

    And yet, it's the LEFT that allowed the POTUS to gain such powers..

    If (gods forbid) the United States ever devolves into a police state, the Left will have only itself to blame..

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Republicans have been claiming Obama's going to make sure the cuts hurt average people, because he is "playing politics."

    With evidence to back that up...

    Park ranger: Supervisors pushed sequester cuts that visitors would see
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/03/08/park-ranger-claims-supervisors-pushed-sequester-cuts-that-visitors-would-notice/?intcmp=HPBucket

    A case in point..

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    And for that reason, President Obama is our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week. He's handed his opponents a "poster child" in the sequester fight, when he could have avoided doing so. Republicans are already using language about the White House being "owned by the American people," and they're just getting warmed up. That's a political misstep, and it's one he may find he has to back down from eventually.

    Some CongressCritter from Texas has put forth legislation that would eliminate Obama's golf junkets until White House tours are resumed..

    Obama's infamous golf outing with scumbag Tiger Woods would have paid for a year of White House tours...

    No matter how ya spin it, Obama is taking one in the chin over "TourGate"... :D

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    No offense, CW but your California CongressCritter is well and truly whacked...

    "The time has come, America, to step up and ban these weapons. The other very important part of this bill is to ban large capacity ammunition feeding devices, those that hold more than 10 rounds. We have federal regulations and state laws that prohibit hunting ducks with more than three rounds. And yet it’s legal to hunt humans with 15-round, 30-round, even 150-round magazines."
    -Senator Dianne Feinstein

    Who knew that it was "legal" to hunt humans....???

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2290937/MoS-Diary-Adele-lands-biggest-gig-Michelle-Obamas-50th-birthday-party.html

    well, I am sure glad that the Sequester hasn't caused the Obamas to pare down their glitzy glamor hobnobbing...

    Great message Obama is sending to Americans....

    "Ya'all gotta sacrifice and tighten your belts... But we're gonna hobnob with the stars...."

    nice..... very nice....

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Well, I'd say that is a pretty dire consequence of the sequester. Why hasn't anybody hyped that up? Oh, wait ...

    It's likely going to take a little time before the effects are felt Liz but they will be. Going to be weird though and likely bad for the recovery. Lots of strange things are likely to get cut as a result of the war on government.

    -David

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's likely going to take a little time before the effects are felt Liz but they will be. Going to be weird though and likely bad for the recovery.

    Yea.. We've been hearing that for weeks...

    And yet.... Nothing happened..

    And I am sure ya'all join with me in hoping that all the dire predictions DON'T come true....

    Right...??? :D

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Yea.. We've been hearing that for weeks...

    Well, not everything happens at the snap of your fingers, you know.

    Besides, the worst thing about this sequester is how much sense it doesn't make, regardless of how long it may take to see the effects of it. :(

    It's just so stupid, you know ...

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    David,

    ... the war on government ... hmmm ... I like it!

    I mean, well ... you know what I mean ... :)

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, not everything happens at the snap of your fingers, you know.

    But that's just it.

    Obama and the Democrats have gone on and on for WEEKS that THAT is exactly how it would happen...

    Ya gotta admit. They are looking pretty asinine right now..

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Asinine? Really? Everything is relative, my friend. :)

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Apropos of absolutely nothing..

    https://www.google.com/

    Google's got a pretty awesome doodle up today. :D

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    akadjian wrote:

    And I am sure ya'all join with me in hoping that all the dire predictions DON'T come true.

    Absolutely. Who wants the recovery to stop?

    I mean ... other than the wealthy who stand to benefit from any downturn.

    -David

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Asinine? Really? Everything is relative, my friend. :)

    Let me put it this way..

    There's a reason why Obama's approval ratings have dropped considerably in the past week or two..

    And it's because of the apocalyptic fear-mongering that never materialized..

    And it's only going to get worse..

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    And it's only going to get worse..

    If Obama and the Democrats are smart, they would make moves to own Obama's Sequester and take credit for it..

    Much like they pivoted to embrace "ObamaCare" right before it survived the SCOTUS...

    That would be the smart move...

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    akadjian wrote:

    If Obama and the Democrats are smart, they would make moves to own Obama's Sequester and take credit for it.

    Republicans are the only people screaming about cuts.

    We want to grow the economy. We should be making investments, not cuts.

    If making cuts is such a good idea, why won't conservatives own it? Why do they want Democrats to own it?

    The answer is obvious, of course. It's a terrible idea.

    -David

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Republicans are the only people screaming about cuts.

    And Democrats are the only people screaming about taxes..

    The difference is, Democrats GOT the tax increase on the wealthy. And like the spoiled irresponsible brats they act like, they blew all their money and now they want more..

    We want to grow the economy. We should be making investments, not cuts.

    All things being equal, that would be true..

    But, as Democrats have proven time and time again, their idea of "investments" is paying off croonies and donors and union thugs..

    In other words, Obama and Democrats are investing in the Democratic Party to the detriment of the country.

    The answer is obvious, of course. It's a terrible idea.

    And yet.. It was OBAMA'S idea.... :D

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    akadjian wrote:

    But, as Democrats have proven time and time again, their idea of "investments" is paying off croonies and donors and union thugs.

    Huh?

    What happened to your "independent" streak, Michale?

    This sounds like pure right-wing fringe accusation.

    I thought we were talking about ownership of "cuts". Since you seem to think they're a good idea, I'm just surprised you won't own it.

    Take some responsibility for once! You support it, own it!

    -David

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    What happened to your "independent" streak, Michale?

    This sounds like pure right-wing fringe accusation.

    Maybe..

    But it's also well-documented fact.. I provided numerous examples to Liz last http://FTP...

    I thought we were talking about ownership of "cuts". Since you seem to think they're a good idea, I'm just surprised you won't own it.

    Take some responsibility for once! You support it, own it!

    Are you kidding!?? I love it!!!

    Anything that exemplifies that ineptness and incompetence and Party-Before-Country mindset of Obama and the Democrats, give me more of that!!! :D

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Anything that exemplifies that ineptness and incompetence and Party-Before-Country mindset of Obama and the Democrats, give me more of that!!! :D

    So you support a terrible idea because it makes Democrats look bad ...?

    -David

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    So you support a terrible idea because it makes Democrats look bad ...?

    No...

    I support a great idea that reigns in the orgasmic spending of the Democrats and shows that that a BALANCED approach, spending cuts not just taxing everyone and everything to death, is the best way to proceed..

    And because it makes the Democrats look bad..

    Hoisted on their own Picard.... :D

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    akadjian wrote:

    ... reigns in the orgasmic spending ...

    This is a myth though. As previously discussed, government spending under the Obama administration is the lowest since Eisenhower. 50+ years ...

    -David

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    This is a myth though.

    No. Democrats want the American people to THINK it's a myth...

    But, with a 16-Trillion Dollar debt, it's tough to convince the American people that we are at war with East Asia. That we have always been at war with East Asia.

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/03/trump-willing-to-fund-white-house-tours-88682.html?hp=l7

    Do ya think Obama will swallow his ego and open up the White House tours again??

    Sheeya right.. And pigs will fly outta my butt, too.... :^/

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Michael, history has amply demonstrated that Presidents can and do abuse power. Independent of their political ideology.

    But why bother using a drone, when you've got the FBI etc?

    Drones don't abuse power, Presidents do. The drone meme is just apple polishing an old and vexing problem.

    Can you imagine the blow back if Obama used a drone to kill an American on American soil? Would there be effective deniability?

    "I did not have specs with drone?"

    We still have a press, we still have a government of shared powers. There are people with values in the chain of command. Not every order will be followed without question, or at least leakage. Obama can imagine what. That's one reason why he most likely won't use a drone on American soil. Sometimes, deterrence is all you can expect.

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    TS,

    Can you imagine the blow back if Obama used a drone to kill an American on American soil?

    No, I can not..

    But I (along with everyone here, I would wager) would never have imagined Obama would have killed an American citizen w/o trial or any semblance of due process..

    And yet... That is EXACTLY what happened..

    Basically, your argument is one I have made many times..

    "We elect our leaders to make the decisions we can't, or won't make and we have to trust them to do the right thing."

    Again, *I* don't have a problem with that argument, since it is one I have made on many occasions...

    I also don't have a problem with the actions itself..

    *MY* only point is that ya'all SHOULD have a problem with that argument and with those actions because ya'all had a problem with them during the Bush years..

    That's been my only issue..

    Our POTUS can kill a hundred terrorists (Americans or no) with drones and I will cheer him on, shake his hand when he is done and by him a beer..

    But ya'all are supposed to be better than that. :D

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    *MY* only point is that ya'all SHOULD have a problem with that argument and with those actions because ya'all had a problem with them during the Bush years..

    i can't speak for anyone else here, but my problem with bush on foreign policy was not that he abused executive power, though he did. my main problem with him is that he sucked at it. he was incompetent. even before the democrats finally woke up and started to push back, bush was bungling all things foreign and domestic, setting precedents for abuse of power along the way. obama on the other hand is almost TOO good at it. he abuses power like a champ. david bromwich wrote something interesting awhile back about the continuity between the two:

    http://www.thenation.com/article/162842/george-w-obama-symptoms-bush-obama-presidency

    "the Bush-Obama presidency has sufficient self-coherence to be considered a historical entity with a life of its own."

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    my main problem with him is that he sucked at it.

    I don't think Bush "sucked" at it.. He had Democrats second-guessing him thru the media and throwing up roadblock after roadblock. And doing so for NOTHING more than serving their political agenda..

    The fact that Democrats would put their own Party agenda before the safety and security of the country pisses me off to no end. And it's a BIG part of why I am so 'fanatical' in my hatred of Democrats...

    It's to Bush's credit that he was as successful as he was, despite having CongressCritters that were more of a threat than Al Qaeda...

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    It's to Bush's credit that he was as successful as he was, despite having CongressCritters that were more of a threat than Al Qaeda...

    again, this statement is not supported by the facts. republicans have by their own stated purpose intended to stymie anything and everything obama might do, and put party before country, even more than democrats under bush. they just didn't succeed at it. in my opinion, that is because obama has been more competent than bush, or at the very least better at playing defense against his detractors.

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    again, this statement is not supported by the facts

    Not so...

    Democrats opposition to Gitmo, Domestic Surveillance, Military Oriented Extra-Judicial activities and Torture/Rendition is well documented..

    Right up to the point that Obama took office...

    republicans have by their own stated purpose intended to stymie anything and everything obama might do, and put party before country, even more than democrats under bush.

    If this were true, Republicans would be as opposed to Obama's CT policies as Democrats were to those same policies under Bush...

    The fact that Republicans are not indicates that there are lines that Republicans won't cross...

    in my opinion, that is because obama has been more competent than bush, or at the very least better at playing defense against his detractors.

    It's not a question of competence...

    It's a question of obstructionism...

    If Bush had Democrats in his back pocket as much as Obama has, Bin Laden would have been toast a long time ago...

    Michale

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    If Bush had Democrats in his back pocket as much as Obama has, Bin Laden would have been toast a long time ago...

    Put another way, Republicans are to Obama exactly as Democrats were to Bush....

    It's just that..

    A> Republicans are better at it

    and

    2> Bush told Democrats to frak off....

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    McClatchy-Marist poll shows Obama tumbling in voters’ eyes
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/03/11/185487/mcclatchy-marist-poll-shows-obama.html

    I'm just sayin...

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    It's to Bush's credit that he was as successful as he was, despite having CongressCritters that were more of a threat than Al Qaeda...

    =/=

    Put another way, Republicans are to Obama exactly as Democrats were to Bush....

    It's just that..

    A> Republicans are better at it

    these statements are logically inconsistent. either republicans are better at it, worse at it or the same; they can't simultaneously be all of the above.

  40. [40] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Nobody here's a fan of Alvin Lee?

    I'm disappointed.

    Michale -

    Democrats gave Bush quite a number of years of total support to get things right. Oh, a few of them may have bitched, but when did Bush get ANYTHING blocked in Congress on the War on Terror from 2001 to roughly 2005? Please introduce facts, because for that time period, Democrats gave Bush EVERYTHING he (and Cheney) asked for. Name me one filibuster, for instance, that some Democrat led to stop Bush. You can't -- because they just don't exist.

    And yet still... Tora Bora. Please explain how Tora Bora is Obama's fault... I'd like to hear that one....

    Dems didn't begin to pile on Bush until it was obvious that it was a monumental Iraqi cluster... um, rhymes with "duck"...

    You can slam them for being ineffective in these years, or maybe too Jingoistic, but you certainly can't blame the Bush/Cheney FAILURES during that time on Democrats, as they were giving Bush everything he wanted. EVERYthing. Sorry, that revisionist history is nothing but pure bunkum, pal.

    -CW

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    Democrats gave Bush quite a number of years of total support to get things right.

    Change that to months or weeks of total support and you would be correct..

    Oh, a few of them may have bitched, but when did Bush get ANYTHING blocked in Congress on the War on Terror from 2001 to roughly 2005? Please introduce facts, because for that time period, Democrats gave Bush EVERYTHING he (and Cheney) asked for.

    Then explain the formation of the Military Commissions Act?? It was in response to Dems pushing the SCOTUS to outlaw torture and enhanced interrogations.

    How is that not opposition and obstruction??

    Name me one filibuster, for instance, that some Democrat led to stop Bush. You can't -- because they just don't exist.

    That's because, as I have stated time and time again, Democrats couldn't get their members in line..

    They TRIED to filibuster Bush as often as Republicans succeed in filibustering Obama..

    But they couldn't do it. Not out of any sense of really CARING about their country or being patriotic. It's obvious by their opposition to Bush that they didn't care one iota..

    They simply were incompetent. Incompetence in their attempt to pursue a partisan agenda...

    And yet still... Tora Bora. Please explain how Tora Bora is Obama's fault... I'd like to hear that one....

    That one's simple...

    Bad luck.. The war on terror was still in it's infancy..

    Dems didn't begin to pile on Bush until it was obvious that it was a monumental Iraqi cluster... um, rhymes with "duck"...

    Oh come now.. Don't make me research it and see how soon after 9/11 that Bush became a war monger, a hitler, a war criminal..

    My guess is it was by Christmas, 2001 but I can document it if you wish......

    You can slam them for being ineffective in these years, or maybe too Jingoistic, but you certainly can't blame the Bush/Cheney FAILURES during that time on Democrats, as they were giving Bush everything he wanted.

    Yes they were.. AFTER running to the papers and screaming and whining about how Bush is a war-monger, a war criminal etc etc... You DO remember the hysteria from Left over Abu Ghraib, right?? An incident that BARELY rose to the level of college hazing...

    The entire Left "piled on" Bush and enjoyed it..

    When any Republican does that to Obama, they were labeled as a racist...

    If Democrats supported Bush in the area of Counter Terrorism policies as much as they support Obama, Bin Laden wouldn't have lasted the year..

    The fact that, during the Bush years, Democrats put Party before Country is well-established...

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    these statements are logically inconsistent. either republicans are better at it, worse at it or the same; they can't simultaneously be all of the above.

    The actions are the same..

    Obstructionism.. Opposition... In pursuit of a partisan agenda.

    The Republicans are simply better at it than the Democrats.

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    akadjian wrote:

    They TRIED to filibuster Bush as often as Republicans succeed in filibustering Obama.

    No they didn't.

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2009/03/31/37195/republican-filibusters-skyrocket/

    Republicans have taken the filibuster to a new level of obstructionism.

    And it's a BIG part of why I am so 'fanatical' in my hatred of Democrats.

    I thought you were an 'objective independent'?

    -David

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    They TRIED to filibuster Bush as often as Republicans succeed in filibustering Obama.

    Yes they did, your progressive propaganda notwithstanding..

    Democrats TRIED as much as Republicans. They simply couldn't succeed....

    I thought you were an 'objective independent'?

    Joshua said it best...

    I really hate Republicans and I really REALLY hate Democrats... :D

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Yes they did, your progressive propaganda notwithstanding.

    By progressive propaganda, you mean actual number of cloture votes, right?

    http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/reference/cloture_motions/clotureCounts.htm

    Notice the big jump when Republicans became the minority party in the Senate and Obama was elected.

    -David

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    Notice the big jump when Republicans became the minority party in the Senate and Obama was elected.

    As I said, Democrats can't keep their members in line enough to MAKE it to a vote...

    You seem to want to make the fact that Democrats didn't filibuster as much, you want to make it out to be some noble Country-Before-Party endeavor..

    When the facts clearly show that Democrats were simply incompetent about it...

    Michale...

  47. [47] 
    akadjian wrote:

    You seem to want to make the fact that Democrats didn't filibuster as much, you want to make it out to be some noble Country-Before-Party endeavor.

    The fact is that Democrats didn't filibuster nearly as much as obstructionist Republicans.

    You read into it whatever else you want.

    -David

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    The fact is that Democrats didn't filibuster nearly as much as obstructionist Republicans.

    You read into it whatever else you want.

    I read into it what the facts show..

    And the facts show that Democrats couldn't keep their members in line enough to mount a successful filibuster...

    I believe the term most used around here was "herding cats"...

    Now if you want to celebrate the incompetence of the Democrats, by all means.. I'll likely toot a horn or two myself.. :D

    But there is absolutely NO evidence to suggest that the Democrats woefully pathetic stats on filibusters was based on any noble PuttingCountryFirst morality or patriotism...

    It was a question of competence, pure and simple..

    Or, in this case, lack thereof...

    Michale

  49. [49] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Michale

    Democrats have no incentive to filibuster. They believe in Government and using Government to help people and fix the problems caused by Corporations. They are more likely to compromise and reach the middle ground than push their own extreme agenda. They try to make the system work, not break it.

    Republicans hate Government. They want to push this moronic far right agenda about how bad Government is. No compromise, nothing. Their way or else. So they strangle Government at the throat and stall it - and they did so right at the time when it was REALLY needed (a massive financial crisis). Screwing people over and the cost to the recovery that they continue keep heaping on means nothing to them. As long as the paymasters are being looked after screw everyone else.

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    They believe in Government

    No, they only believe in Democratic Party Government...

    When it's a GOP Government, Democrats TRY to be just as obstructive as Republicans are...

    But they just aren't competent about it..

    Michale

  51. [51] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    When it's a GOP Government, Democrats TRY to be just as obstructive as Republicans are...

    But they just aren't competent about it..

    with the lone exception being their successful fight against bush on foreign policy? which caused bush to bungle the response to katrina? don't get me wrong, on the whole i agree with your statement above. it's just inconsistent with your other statements about democrats vis-a-vis bush foreign policy. a much simpler and more likely explanation for bush's failures in foreign and domestic policy (and obama's successes with essentially the same political tactics and essentially the same policy) is that bush just wasn't all that competent, and obama is.

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    with the lone exception being their successful fight against bush on foreign policy?

    We're not talking about Foreign Policy..

    We're speaking of actions that relate to Counter Terrorism and associative military functions in support thereof...

    Bush's lack of competency in THAT area is tied solely and completely to Democrats actions of placing National Security at risk in pursuit of an obstructionist agenda to further Party ideology...

    In short, Democrats sought to screw Bush at the expense of this country's security...

    Michale

  53. [53] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    We're speaking of actions that relate to Counter Terrorism and associative military functions in support thereof...

    Bush's lack of competency in THAT area is tied solely and completely to Democrats actions of placing National Security at risk in pursuit of an obstructionist agenda to further Party ideology...

    as CW asked, do you have any specific evidence, preferably prior to bush's second term, to back that assertion? it's not that we don't believe you, but these things require some sort of objective verification. as yet, nobody's made me aware that any such evidence exists.

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    as CW asked, do you have any specific evidence, preferably prior to bush's second term, to back that assertion? it's not that we don't believe you, but these things require some sort of objective verification. as yet, nobody's made me aware that any such evidence exists.

    Google Gitmo, Military Commissions, Civilian Trials For Terrorists, Jose Padilla, AT&T DataCenter, Domestic Surveillance and a host of other subjects to learn the opposition Bush had to endure from Democrats over National Security.

    The facts are all there for everyone to read.

    And the ONLY logical conclusion that fits the facts is that, during the Bush years, Democrats put their own Party's agenda before the safety of this country when they chose to obstruct and impede Bush's Counter Terrorism policies...

    If you have another possibility that fits ALL the facts, well...

    "I'm all ears."
    -Ross Perot, 1992 Presidential Debates

    Michale

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    I mean, honestly...

    It's ya'alls position that the daily hysterical outcry and machinations (Remember "General BetrayUs"?? Harry Reid's "The War Is Lost"??) from the Left over everything Bush did had absolutely NO negative impact or effect on the capability of the Bush Administrations ability to prosecute the war against terrorists and terrorism..

    Is such a claim logical??

    Is such a claim backed up by ANY facts??

    Michale

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    Interesting note on MoveOn's Patraeus attacks..

    MoveOn had those attacks and many more on their website..

    Once Obama selected Patraeus to be the top commander in Afghanistan, MoveOn santized their website and removed all attacks on Patraeus..

    "We are at war with East Asia. We have always been at war with East Asia."

    Once again, I am amazed how it's the Left that is so closely aligned with Orwell's 1984.

    Michale......

  57. [57] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    michale,

    everything you're referring to occurred in bush's second term, 2005-2008 - still no evidence that anyone did jack until then. in his first term bush bungled all things foreign and domestic, with the full support of both republicans AND democrats.

    ~joshua

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    everything you're referring to occurred in bush's second term, 2005-2008 - still no evidence that anyone did jack until then.

    That's because what I posted was from memory.

    Anything prior to 2005 was before my Great Political Awakening (IE Having met CW :D).

    But if you are certain that Democrats and Bush were joined at the hip 2001 thru 2004, I can research it and locate the facts that show otherwise.. :D

    Just say the word and show me how to GOOGLE date ranges, because for the life of me, I can't figure it out! :D

    Michale

  59. [59] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Nothing personal, Michale. But it sounds like you're trying to say that Bush failed because of Democrats.

    I think he failed because the ideas he believes in are simply bad. As a person, he's a likable guy, but many of the conservative ideas he believed in led to decisions which were bad for the country.

    Here's a few:
    1) The Cheney 1% doctrine which got us into the Iraq War.
    2) Trickle down theory.
    3) The belief that the private sector will regulate itself.
    4) School testing as the be all, end all for education (supported overwhelmingly by the school testing industry).

    These beliefs led to bad decisions such as the Iraq War, deregulation of the financial industry (and yes, Clinton was involved here too), and No Child Left Behind.

    It's beliefs like these that need to change, no matter whether they're held by Republicans or Democrats.

    -David

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    Nothing personal, Michale. But it sounds like you're trying to say that Bush failed because of Democrats.

    I am saying that Bush would have been a lot more successful in his counter-terrorism policies if Democrats have put country before Party...

    I think he failed because the ideas he believes in are simply bad.

    And yet, Obama has proven that the ideas are great... And quite successful...

    These beliefs led to bad decisions such as the Iraq War, deregulation of the financial industry (and yes, Clinton was involved here too), and No Child Left Behind.

    I understand.. Your argument falls apart with regards to counter-terrorism, so you have to drag in non-sequitors to bolster and prop up the argument. :D

    Obama has proven beyond ANY doubt that Bush's CT ideas were dead on ballz effective...

    And that just drives the Left batshit. :D

    All the rest is just smoke-screen....

    Michale

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    Nothing personal, Michale. But it sounds like you're trying to say that Bush failed because of Democrats.

    No matter how ya'all try to spin it, you simply cannot deny that, in the Bush years, Democrats put Party ideology ahead of the safety and security of this country and, to add a further layer of hypocrisy, tried to pass it off as some moral/ethical stance...

    These are the facts, whether ya'all choose to acknowledge them or not..

    Michale

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    Point of fact..

    Even if ya'all are correct, even if Democrats and Bush were joined at the hip Post-9/11 up until the invasion of Iraq, Democrats did NOT (post Iraqi Invasion) confine their obstructionism and attempted obstructionism solely to the Iraq War issue..

    It's well-documented that Democrats opposed, obstructed and/or attempted to obstruct virtually ALL of Bush's Counter Terrorism policies..

    Policies that Democrats now embrace enthusiastically and with absolutely NO opposition, now that it's "their guy" who is in charge..

    So, once again, no matter how ya'all try to spin it, it is an indisputable and undeniable fact that Democrats put Party agenda and ideology before the safety and security of this country.

    If one wants to find the source of my utter contempt and hatred towards Democrats, one need not look any further than that..

    Michale

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama's defense of his Drone activities..

    "Dick Cheney was worse"

    I am constantly amazed that ANYONE can still buy into this clown's activities...

    Michale

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