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Friday Talking Points [283] -- Harry Reid's Explosive Week

[ Posted Friday, November 22nd, 2013 – 18:37 PST ]

This was a big week in the political world, so we've got a lot to get through before we get to the big, explosive "nuclear option" story. In fact, it was even a big week just for political anniversaries. Fifty years ago this week, an event of no little importance happened. I speak, of course, tomorrow's 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of Doctor Who by the BBC.

OK, I apologize for that, but I just wanted everyone to know up front that since I wasn't alive when John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated, there will be no personal remembrances today. There's plenty of that sort of thing out there in the wider media universe today, in case you would like to indulge. If truth be told, what actually astonished me this week was how little attention was paid to another historic benchmark: the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. I didn't see -- not once, mind you -- a single instance of anyone just broadcasting an uninterrupted recitation of the speech. Even though the entire thing is only about two minutes long. It's less than 300 words, for Pete's sake, and Ken Burns (of PBS documentary fame) even put together a nice video of former presidents reciting it. Yet I still didn't see a single unedited reading of the speech -- on its 150th anniversary, no less. Maybe I'm just looking at the wrong media, but I consider this omission pretty damn pathetic, personally. I mean, the speech is two minutes long, people! I saw extended commentary on the speech, mind you, some of it taking up several times the length of time of the actual speech itself, and yet nobody just presented Lincoln's words (which truly do stand alone in exemplary fashion).

Sigh. Maybe my expectations are just too high. This is the mainstream media we're talking about, after all. They've got more important things to do -- like telling each other to ingest human feces. I really, really wish I made that last one up, but sadly, I didn't have to.

Before we get into weightier matters, it was a rather sad week for three House members. Grace Meng got mugged on the streets of Washington and Creigh Deeds was stabbed by his own son, who then committed suicide. Our thoughts go out to them and their families. The other story was self-inflicted, so we're not offering any sympathy at all to Republican House member Trey Radel, who (it was announced) had previously been caught buying $250 worth of cocaine on the streets of Washington. He isn't going to resign after his conviction, mind you, he's just going to take a bit of time off. Isn't that nice -- a job which allows you to take personal time off to deal with a drug problem? It'd be a little more appropriate if Radel hadn't earlier voted for a bill to drug test welfare recipients. How about we drug test Congress, first? After all, they get federal money too, right? Let's see some mandatory pee-in-a-cup tests, on a regular (and unannounced) basis. And how about we start with every member who has ever voted to drug test anyone else, at any time during their career? I mean, the hypocrisy is so thick you can cut it with a razor blade, bag it up, and sell it on the streetcorners for souvenirs. So to speak.

In other "Republicans must be high" news, the House GOP met to discuss their agenda for the upcoming year. Except (you simply can not make this stuff up, folks) that what they gathered to discuss was a blank sheet of paper with "Agenda 2014" written at the top. Future historians may point back to this as being the moment when the Republican Party just gave up even trying to pretend it was for anything. Reflecting their empty agenda, John Boehner thought it would be a funny to joke that the House "shouldn't even remain in session in December." They've scheduled a whopping 15 work days for November and December combined, so I guess the best response is: "Who would even notice?" But it's really not that funny, when you think about it. Even more ironic, the next line in the article reporting this knee-slapper was: "Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California, the No. 3 House Republican, told activists last week that there isn't enough time to complete immigration reform this year." Sorry, no time for that sort of thing. We're busy meeting to discuss a blank sheet of paper, maybe we'll get to it later.

Democrats, meanwhile, got gay marriage approved in two more states (Hawai'i and Illinois), and -- much like when the last few states did so -- it was barely even newsworthy on the national stage. Think about that for just a moment. We've come a long way on the issue when states number 15 and 16 approve gay marriage -- and the reaction barely rises above "ho hum." That, my friends, is what progress feels like.

And finally, before we get to all the really big news of the week, a town in Utah seems to be competing with Congress for sheer laziness. It seems that Wallsburg just plumb forgot to hold an election this year. Whoops! They also spaced out on holding an election a few years ago, for added irony. Maybe they should try the "there's something in the water" excuse?

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

We still have two quick Honorable Mention awards to hand out before we get to the big story, though. Both are for introducing legislation, and the first goes to Representative Gwen Moore, for her "Domestic Violence Criminal Disarmament Act," which would remove guns from domestic violence criminals. The second goes to Representative Louise Slaughter for her "No Budget, No Vacation" bill, which would force Congress to stay in session throughout the holiday season this year, if they don't get a budget deal together by the mid-December deadline. Maybe that'll make John Boehner stop joking around about how little they have to do next month. It's certainly worth a shot.

Whew! We have finally gotten through all the other news of the week and cleared the launch pad for the biggest story of the week: Harry Reid grows a spine! OK, maybe that's a little harsh, but some people have been waiting for this "nuclear option" moment for a long time now, Harry.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided this week that enough was enough, and he finally pulled the trigger on the "nuclear option" in the Senate. By a 52-48 vote, the rules of the Senate were changed so that executive nominees and judicial nominees (below the Supreme Court level) can no longer be filibustered, but instead will face only majority votes in order to be confirmed.

This is historic. It is the biggest change in the filibuster since 1975. And it is long overdue.

Since we don't have a lot of extra room here, we'll point out some commentary by others as to what this will all mean. First, an article for those with not much time or interest, which points out (in two easy charts) what the spin is from both sides of the aisle. A little more in-depth is a list of nine changes which will result (which has the best chart I've so far seen, to show the Republican filibuster abuse which led to this historic vote). Or you can go a little more in-depth to the explanations. And then there's a very wonky article, which explains the parliamentary ins and outs of the change.

Of course, being Washington, there are also articles which fall into the "pearl-clutching nonsense" category. Dana Milbank and Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post both obligingly wrote these entirely predictable "Centrism above all!" opinions. Both of these fully admit that the Democrats were entirely justified in what they did, but they both hew to the "Democrats are supposed to fight like gentlemen, according to the rules that their opponents are ignoring... and then Democrats are supposed to gracefully lose, every time" theory of politics. Milbank, in particular, is amusing to read if only for the sloppy citations of the historic timeline of the filibuster.

But even he didn't win the "fast and loose" award for factual inaccuracy at the Washington Post this week. The original article (by Paul Kane) published right after the historic vote -- as hard news, mind you, not as opinion -- started off with so many inaccuracies packed into two paragraphs, it is tough to count them all. This is how the article originally appeared (time-stamped "November 21, 10:11 AM"):

The rule change means federal judge nominees and executive-office appointments can be confirmed by a simple majority of senators, rather than the 60-vote super majority that has been required for more than two centuries.

The change does not apply to Supreme Court nominations. But the vote, mostly along party lines, reverses nearly 225 years of precedent and dramatically alters the landscape for both Democratic and Republican presidents, especially if their own political party holds a majority of, but fewer than 60, Senate seats.

Point by point, let's refute this, shall we? First, a "60-vote super majority" has only been around since we had 100 senators (or 50 states). The first Senate was convened with only 20 members, in fact. It wouldn't be until 1848 until the Senate even had a total of 60 members, when Wisconsin became the 30th state.

Next, "nearly 225 years of precedent" is just laughably wrong. The first filibuster didn't even happen until the 1830s. "Cloture" didn't exist until 1917. And it wasn't until 1949 that cloture could be invoked on votes for presidential nominations. So "nearly 225 years" becomes "64 years" -- and even that's being generous, because from 1949 to 1975 the supermajority was actually two-thirds (or 67 votes, as it stood in 1975, before being reduced to only 60 votes).

And lastly, just as icing on the "we didn't take the five freakin' minutes necessary to check our facts, even on Wikipedia" cake, confirmation votes have never required more than a majority. Cloture votes (taken before the actual confirmation vote) have, but not the vote which actually confirms the nominee.

This article was corrected, later in the day, to read:

Democrats used a rare parliamentary move to change the rules so that federal judicial nominees and executive-office appointments can advance to confirmation votes by a simple majority of senators, rather than the 60-vote supermajority that has been the standard for nearly four decades.

No correction notice was added. Indeed, you can even tell, just by looking at the full URL (which contains: "senate-poised-to-limit-filibusters-in-party-line-vote-that-would-alter-centuries-of-precedent"), how wrong the original article was. My faith in the Washington Post fact-checkers has been noticeably reduced, I have to say.

But the funniest Washington Post article of the week (seriously, if you only read one of these articles, this is the one to read) was written by James Downie, who began with:

If the Founding Fathers could see the Senate after today's vote by Senate Democrats to prohibit filibusters of most presidential appointments, they would, of course, be appalled. "What are all these women doing here?" they would ask.

We'll come back to this article later, in the talking points.

For this momentous change in the way the Senate operates, we award this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week to both Harry Reid and Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon. Reid for holding the vote, and for following through (finally!) on the threat of the "nuclear option," and Merkley for championing the idea for the past few years.

This is Reid's sixteenth MIDOTW award, which puts him in a tie with Nancy Pelosi for second place on the all-time list (Barack Obama is in the lead). It is Merkley's fifth award, moving him up to a tie for ninth place. Congratulations are in order for both, for their historic efforts.

[Congratulate Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on his Senate contact page and Senator Jeff Merkley on his Senate contact page, to let them know you appreciate their efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

We have no awards-winners here this week. It was too exciting a week to be disappointed in anybody, even the three Democrats who didn't vote for the nuclear option.

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 283 (11/22/13)

We're going to devote all the talking points to the nuclear option this week, due to its overwhelming importance, but before we do we have a few loose ends. Because we had no space for anything but an overview here, if you'd like to see my reasoning for why Harry was right to launch his "nuke" (and why it involved a very low amount of political risk for Democrats), I wrote about the subject on Wednesday. Yesterday, I wrote about a little-noticed side effect of the new rules (something which Ezra Klein picked up on this morning, I should mention): with the filibuster threat gone, Obama is now a lot more free to shuffle cabinet members, should he so choose.

Because we're "filling the tree" (to get both Christmassy and senatorial at the same time) with seven filibuster talking points, we do have two other subjects to quickly address beforehand. The first is a rather easy, do-it-yourself talking point creation exercise. Democrats are trying to extend unemployment benefits so that a million people won't get a lump of coal in their stocking this year. See how easy it is to come up with these? Check out the talking points Democrats are already using, and see if you can't come up with one of your own (in the comments). There's even a "Grinchographic" in the article, for fun!

Secondly, Republicans are bound to be pouncing on Obama's announcement that next year's Obamacare signup period has been pushed back until after the midterm elections. There's a very easy answer to "he's doing it for politics!" which is: so are Republicans. The Republicans on the budget committee are begging for a two-year budget to be agreed to now, because if they don't get it we're going to have a big fat budget battle at the beginning of October next year -- just in time for the Tea Partiers to shut the government down again, one month before the same election. Again, this one's pretty easy to turn into a Democratic talking point, so have at it.

What a busy week it's been! But even with all else that's been going on, the main subject under discussion this weekend is the "nuclear option" in the Senate. So here are seven ways to address the issue.

 

1
   They honored none

This first talking point comes from the aforementioned article by James Downie. He succinctly sums up where we are and how we got here:

There is no mention of the filibuster in the Constitution. Until very recently in U.S. history, filibusters were rarely used. Half of all filibusters of executive-branch nominees have occurred under President Obama, and it was obvious from the first day of his presidency that Republicans would use the tactic to hamstring the government and block Obama.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, then, had every right to push for changes to filibuster rules four years ago, when GOP use of the filibuster was already out of control. But instead, Reid offered deal after deal to Senate Republicans. They accepted some. They honored none. Instead, the delaying tactics have continued.

 

2
   The facts, part 1

The rest of these talking points are all taken directly from Majority Leader Reid's remarks on the Senate floor. The first two are the strongest talking points imaginable: facts. Give the American people the raw numbers, and let them decide whether Republicans have been abusing the filibuster or not (note: Reid is rounding up from 49 percent here, the actual number is 82 out of 168):

The need for change is obvious. In the history of the Republic, there have been 168 filibusters of executive and judicial nominations. Half of them have occurred during the Obama Administration -- during the last four and a half years. These nominees deserve at least an up-or-down vote. But Republican filibusters deny them a fair vote and deny the President his team.

 

3
   20 out of 23

I added emphasis to this one, to highlight the worst number in the entire litany of facts. Because pretty much everyone can easily understand the level of abuse when they hear "20 out of 23."

In the last three weeks alone, Republicans have blocked up-or-down votes on three highly qualified nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, considered by many to be the second highest court in the land. Republicans have blocked four of President Obama's five nominees to the D.C. Circuit, whereas Democrats approved four of President Bush's six nominees to this important court. Today, 25 percent of the D.C. Circuit Court is vacant. There isn't a single legitimate objection to the qualifications of any of these nominees. Yet Republicans refused to give them an up-or-down vote -- a simple yes-or-no vote. Republicans simply don't want President Obama to make any appointments at all to this vital court.

Further, only 23 district court nominees have been filibustered in the entire history of this country. Twenty of them were nominated by President Obama. With one out of every 10 federal judgeships vacant, millions of Americans who rely on courts that are overworked and understaffed are being denied the justice they rightly deserve. More than half the nation's population lives in a part of the country that's been declared a "judicial emergency."

 

4
   More facts

This one I had to paraphrase in minor ways to preserve the flow of the narrative, but all of these key phrases were cut-and-pasted directly from Reid's speech.

There are currently 75 executive branch nominees ready to be confirmed by the Senate that have been waiting an average of 140 days for confirmation. One executive nominee to the agency that safeguards the water our children and grandchildren drink and the air they breathe has waited more than 800 days for confirmation. Senate Republicans filibustered a nominee for Secretary of Defense for the first time in history -- even though he was a former Republican Senator and a decorated war hero, nominated in a time of war. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's nomination was pending in the Senate for a record 34 days, more than three times the previous average. Senate Republicans also blocked a sitting member of Congress from another Administration position for the first time since 1843. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau went for more than two years without a leader, because Republicans refused to accept the law of the land -- because they wanted to roll back a law that protects consumers from the greed of big Wall Street banks.

It is a troubling trend that Republicans are willing to block executive branch nominees even when they have no objection to the qualifications of the nominee. Instead, they block qualified executive branch nominees to circumvent the legislative process. They block qualified executive branch nominees to force wholesale changes to laws. They block qualified executive branch nominees to restructure entire executive branch departments. And they block qualified judicial nominees because they don't want President Obama to appoint any judges to certain courts.

 

5
   Hit them where it hurts

There are few things more satisfying than hearing a Democrat quote the Bible at the family-values Republicans. Point out the hypocrisy, Harry!

At the beginning of this Congress, the Republican Leader pledged that, quote, "this Congress should be more bipartisan than the last Congress." We're told in scripture that, "When a man makes a vow... he must not break his word" (Numbers 30:2). In January, Republicans promised to work with the majority to process nominations… in a timely manner by unanimous consent, except in extraordinary circumstances. Exactly three weeks later, Republicans mounted a first-in-history filibuster of a highly qualified nominee for Secretary of Defense. Nothing has changed since then. Republicans have continued their record obstruction as if no agreement had ever been reached. Republicans have continued their record obstruction as if no vow had ever been made.

 

6
   18 times in the last 36 years

The other side is doubtlessly going to bring up the "it's never been done before" hogwash, so this one should be kept handy for just such an occasion.

The American people are fed up with this kind of obstruction and gridlock. The American people -- Democrats, Republicans and Independents -- are fed up with this kind of obstruction and gridlock. The American people want Washington to work for American families once again.

I am on their side, which is why I propose an important change to the rules of the United States Senate. The present Republican Leader himself said, "The Senate has repeatedly changed its rules as circumstances dictate." He is right. In fact, the Senate has changed its rules 18 times by sustaining or overturning the ruling of the presiding officer in the last 36 years, during the tenures of both Republican and Democratic majorities.

 

7
   We'll take our lumps in the future -- it's only fair

Fairness is always an easy-to-understand concept, which is why Harry used it to end on.

The Senate is a living thing. And to survive, it must change. To the average American, adapting the rules to make Congress work again is just common sense. This is not about Democrats versus Republicans. This is about making Washington work -- regardless of who's in the White House or who controls the Senate. To remain relevant and effective as an institution, The Senate must evolve to meet the challenges of a modern era.

I have no doubt my Republican colleague will argue the fault lies with Democrats. I can say from experience that no one's hands are entirely clean on this issue. But today the important distinction is not between Democrats and Republicans. It is between those who are willing to help break the gridlock in Washington and those who defend the status quo.

Today Democrats and Independents are saying enough is enough. This change to the rules regarding presidential nominees will apply equally to both parties. When Republicans are in power, these changes will apply to them as well. That's simple fairness. And it's something both sides should be willing to live with to make Washington work again.

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: Democrats For Progress
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

70 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [283] -- Harry Reid's Explosive Week”

  1. [1] 
    db wrote:

    "We'll take our lumps in the future -- it's only fair" Only that the Republicans threatened the "nuclear option" ~7-8 years ago when Democrats filibustered about a dozen specific nominees. The Democrats let some get approved by the Republicans; others were withdrawn.

    As I've said before the current Republican Office Holders are unique in the scope & depth to which they'll go to oppose, prevent, or obstruct absolutely everything President Obama tries to accomplish.

  2. [2] 
    dsws wrote:

    We're busy meeting to discuss a blank sheet of paper, maybe we'll get to it later.

    I'm a fuddy-duddy about comma splices, so I would really be conflicted if I had been writing this. If you want to be non-fuddy-duddy and use punctuation that reflects the flow of speech, though, the comma splice is definitely appropriate.

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    "The nuclear option abandons America's sense of fair play. It's the one thing this country stands for: not tilting the playing field on the side of those who control and own the field. I say to my friends on the Republican side, you may own the field right now but you won't own it forever. I pray to God when the Democrats take back control we don't make the same kind of naked power grab that you are doing."
    -Joe Biden, 2005

    "Neither the Constitution nore Senate rules nor Senate precedents nor American history provide any justification for selectively nullifying the use of the filibuster. Neither the Constitution nor the rules nor the precedents nor history provide any permissible means for a bare majority of the Senate to take that radical step without breaking or ignoring three kids of applicable rules and unquestioned precedents.”
    -Senator Edward Kennedy, 2005

    "In the short term, judges will be confirmed who should be confirmed. But when the precedent is set, the majority of this body can change the rules at will -- which is what the majority did today -- if it can be changed on judges or on other nominees, this precedent is going to be used, I fear, to change the rules on consideration of legislation. And down the road -- we don't know how far down the road; we never know that in a democracy -- but, down the road, the hard-won protections and benefits for our people's health and welfare will be lost."
    -Senator Carl Levin, 2013

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Democrat

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Biden was right. Again!

  5. [5] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    You really want to play this game?

    Let's see if that works (and is big enough to read)...

    -CW

  6. [6] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Aha! It worked!

    So, to paraphrase, M...

    "Hypocrisy, thy name is politician."

    -CW

  7. [7] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    dsws -

    Really? THAT's the comma that was wrong? Man, I bet there's plenty of more wrong (wronger?) commas in the article...

    With so many links (links take time), the text portion was kinda rushed today.

    Let's take a look...

    OK:

    "We're busy meeting to discuss a blank sheet of paper; maybe we'll get to it later."

    Better? Or I could go with an em-dash -- I love em-dashes!

    :-)

  8. [8] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LizM -

    Hey there!

    How are Canucks taking the whole "mayor of Toronto" thing? Just curious...

    :-)

    I have to say, I'm personally relieved that such political embarrassment is (for ONCE) not coming from the good ol' USA!

    -CW

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    "Hypocrisy, thy name is politician."

    Hay! That's my line!! :D

    However, in THIS particular case, Democrats take the Hypocrisy Award.. :D

    Be that as it may, I have to point out that we are in complete agreement.

    There is no difference between Republicans and Democrats..

    Don't tell Party Before Country Paula.. She would be PISSED!!! :D

    Liz,

    Biden was right. Again!

    Was he right back then in supporting the filibuster??

    Or is he right right now for eliminating the filibuster??

    You can't have it both ways..

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    As to TP #7, what a crock o' BS..

    This wasn't about "making Washington work"...

    It was about "making Washington work in favor of Democrats"

    It's hilarious..

    When Democrats are in the minority, they are ALL about "compromise"..

    When Democrats are in the majority, compromise is a dirty word..

    Like I said. The shoe will be on the other foot relatively soon..

    We can revisit the issue then, eh? :D

    Looking forward to it..

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    On a totally unrelated note...

    IRAN

    Obamabots around the world are saying that a vote against this horrendous deal that all but guarantees a nuclear Iran will be a vote for war.

    But the reality is this..

    If this deal happens, Israel WILL attack Iran and do what the US doesn't have the 3 C's (clout, credibility or cajones) to do...

    So a vote FOR this plan is a vote FOR war...

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    db wrote:

    Michale,

    I'll suggest you're seriously off base with he "party before country Paula" comment. The mote in her eye is not as large as you contend & you ignore the beam in your own eye. But CW #5 has done it better than I could.

    You've ignored my questions to what you suggest for Syria while condemning President Obama for getting them to destroy their chemical weapons without getting bombed.

    On Iran, are you suggesting that the US attack Iran so that the Israeli's don't? So that a vote for the peace deal is a vote for war. A vote against the peace deal is a vote for war. Only in "Michaleville".

    So what do you suggest the US do?

    Or to paraphrase the Beach Boys:

    Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.
    Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.
    Because we can. Bomb Iran.
    We've got the weapons and the bombers, missiles, and the warheads, bomb Iran.

    Carter wouldn't fight, Reagan traded guns, Saddam screwed the pooch, so we have to do it right, oh bomb Iran.

    Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.

    Okay guys, up to you for more

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'll suggest you're seriously off base with he "party before country Paula" comment.

    I am sure you do believe that. Because you are the same way..

    The evidence that supports this conclusion is overwhelmingly conclusive.

    If you do not oppose Obama for his CT actions as adamantly as you opposed Bush, you are compromising your principles for the sake of Party ideology..

    Ya'all HAD a *MORAL* argument when you opposed Bush's CT policies..

    Now we come to find out that your argument then WASN'T based on morals or principles, but rather on political ideology..

    In short, when YOUR guy does it, it's perfectly acceptable..

    You've ignored my questions to what you suggest for Syria while condemning President Obama for getting them to destroy their chemical weapons without getting bombed.

    Obama's first mistake was setting the red line in the first place.

    Obama's second mistake was not reacting forcefully and with strength when the red line was crossed..

    Do you HONESTLY believe Obama has ANY credibility when it comes to Syria??

    Putin and Assad are laughing their asses off at Obama and the US...

    On Iran, are you suggesting that the US attack Iran so that the Israeli's don't? So that a vote for the peace deal is a vote for war. A vote against the peace deal is a vote for war. Only in "Michaleville".

    Not at all.

    I am suggesting leaving the sanctions in place and even strengthening them as they are having the INTENDED and DESIRED effect..

    Why do you think Iran is even AT the bargaining table??

    But now, Obama proposes to LESSEN the sanctions and Iran doesn't have to give up a damn thing..

    I know that, in areas other than political ideology, you are a logical person.

    Why LESSEN the sanctions in exchange for NOTHING when the sanctions are obviously working??

    If this deal goes thru, you can bet there will be an Israeli strike on Iran withing 90-180 days...

    You can take that to the bank..

    And I remind you that my track record in recent predictions has been pretty frakin' impressive..

    If I do say so myself...

    And I do... :D

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    If this deal goes thru, you can bet there will be an Israeli strike on Iran withing 90-180 days...

    And when that starts a regional war, Obama will be to blame...

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am sure you do believe that. Because you are the same way..

    But hay, I am a fair guy..

    Give me an example of Democrats doing something (unrelated to partisan politics) that is bad for the country..

    In other words, give me an example of putting country before Party...

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    N.S.A. Report Outlined Goals for More Power
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/23/us/politics/nsa-report-outlined-goals-for-more-power.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes&_r=1&

    The silence from the Left is deafening....

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Given the traffic pattern, 11-15 some thought might be given to renaming the parent enterprise "The Michael Blog, With Chris Weigant."

    Michael, regarding 14

    What kind of attack do you predict? Odds?

    Keep in mind that Israel attacks Iran frequently, usually by covert means. Assassination, sabotage, cyber attack. So I'd put those odds at roughly .999.

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    TS,

    Given the traffic pattern, 11-15 some thought might be given to renaming the parent enterprise "The Michael Blog, With Chris Weigant.

    hehehehehehehe :D

    Hay, don't blame me.. It seems that people only like to comment around here when the Dems are up.

    What kind of attack do you predict? Odds?

    I think I did an entire attack scenario, complete with graphs, a few weeks back..

    If current intel is accurate, that Israel and Saudi Arabia are joining forces, things just got about 80% easier for Israel..

    If you like, I can update the possible scenarios, given SA's possible (likely probable) involvement...

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Inspired by the last three columns from CW, and all the posts they attracted, I decided to actually take a look at the senate rules. So I did some digging = went to Google.

    The senate has a website! Who knew! Here is the URL

    http://www.senate.gov/reference/reference_index_subjects/Rules_and_Procedure_vrd.htm

    The site is pretty comprehensive. It has a FAQ (but they don't call it that)and an organization chart with color thumb nails of the senators. Too bad you can't blow them up to make posters! A McConnel as big as my old Farah Fawcett poster!

    There is a manual for new senators, which I haven't had a chance to look at. But,if my experience with manuals holds, I'm betting the first few sentences of the introduction will read something like "Thank you for choosing the US senate! We know there are a lot competing legislative bodies in the world, and we're glad you picked us."

    Anyway, back to the rules. If my roman numerology is still intact, there are 44 standing rules. This is clearly NOT the Out Back Steak House! They read like stereo instructions, but then, what manual doesn't? It's going to be a long slog.

    There is a helpful glossary. Filibuster "Informal term for any attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter by debating it at length, by offering numerous procedural motions, or by any other delaying or obstructive actions."

    There is no warranty page, but if you go to the senators tab you can find contact information to complain about campaign promises ignored etc.

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    The site is pretty comprehensive. It has a FAQ (but they don't call it that)and an organization chart with color thumb nails of the senators.

    Anything about "sour grapes" or "whiney senators"???

    :D

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    What I find hilarious about all this is this..

    When the GOP had the White House and Congress, everything in the world was the GOP's fault..

    When Dems had the White House and Congress, everything was STILL the GOP's fault...

    So, basically, why not just codify the Democratic Party Platform??

    Regardless of ANYTHING, EVERYTHING is the GOP's fault..

    It would save an awfully lot of arguing.. :D

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    DB,

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/11/21/what-would-good-deal-with-iran-look-like-straight-talk-from-israeli-ambassador/?intcmp=latestnews

    That's what a GOOD deal with Iran would be...

    Unfortunately, what Obama is proposing is worse then no deal..

    It's a very VERY bad deal...

    And I know that if everyone could disregard partisanship, then everyone would agree with me.

    But the Left would rather see Obama get his way and have a nuclear-armed Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah rather than admit that The Exalted One, Barack The First is wrong as wrong could be...

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    But, let's get back to the Nukes...

    There's a phrase that comes to mind that fits this action perfectly..

    It's called Poisoning The Well

    And, based on past precedence...

    It never ends well for the ones doing the poisoning...

    Just ask the Hoff..... :D

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    We interrupt this comment thread to bring you pictures of cats:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/22/cat-heaven-island_n_4324867.html

    Just a friendly reminder... holiday pledge drive cats are on the horizon!

    :-)

    We now return you to our regularly scheduled comments.

    -CW

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    Thanx, CW!!!

    I actually clicked on that link!!

    I am gonna have NIGHTMARES for a week!!!!

    http://tinyurl.com/ph7g4t2

    Now THAT is more my speed.. :D

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    dsws wrote:

    "We're busy meeting to discuss a blank sheet of paper; maybe we'll get to it later."

    More proper, but ugly as sin.

    Really? THAT's the comma that was wrong?

    That's the comma that's technically improper, but really right. That's why it's noteworthy.

    Or I could go with an em-dash -- I love em-dashes!

    The comma says it better, this time. Know the rules, so you can know when to break them.

  27. [27] 
    Kevin wrote:

    I've banged this drum before, but here's one of my favorite writer's take on what I wish could happen and restore the U.S. to my admiration list:

    http://www.stonekettle.com/

    That the writer is American is incidental only underscores my admiration, I wish he was your President...and I like Obama.

  28. [28] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Michael

    Regarding 14 and the likelihood of Israeli airstrikes within the next 3 to 6 months.

    It's pretty clear that Israel has the capacity to strike key Iranian nuclear facilities, but given the ranges involved it would require them to commit pretty much all their tanker and deep strike aircraft (notably the F15I). It's a big risk of air capitol.

    I think it fair to say their is a lot more uncertainty, both within Israel and the US about how long an Israeli air attack might delay Iran's nuclear ambitions....high end 3-5 years, low end a couple of months. Optimistic Israeli assessments tend to get more air play here in the US than the more pessimistic ones. Iran's response is also uncertain, but they have a credible capability to cause Israel considerable suffering, especially through proxies.

    All in all, I rate the probability of an Israeli strike in your time frame to be low, say <10% to put a number on it.

    Below are 3 URLs to independent, open source, analyses I consider credible.

    http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/850/osirak_redux_assessing_israeli_capabilities_to_destroy_iranian_nuclear_facilities.html

    http://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/IranReport_091112_FINAL.pdf

    http://csis.org/files/publication/120906_Iran_US_Preventive_Strikes.pdf

    I'd be happy to look over your stuff.

    Ultimately, I think Iran will be content to have the ability to fabricate a nuclear weapon fairly quickly. Israel and pretty much everybody else won't be happy with this, but will live with it. The trick is for all parties to agree, however reluctantly, how quick is too quick.

    Israel will ultimately have to rely on their own nuclear arsenal to deter the Iranian nuclear threat. That's the norm for nuclear powers.

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Congrats to Obama...

    He has just guaranteed one of two things happening.

    Either Israel will attack Iran, igniting a region wide war..

    Or Iran will be a nuclear power by summer..

    Coupled with the train wreck that is obamacare, Obama is leaving quite a legacy... :^/

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    I've banged this drum before, but here's one of my favorite writer's take on what I wish could happen and restore the U.S. to my admiration list:

    http://www.stonekettle.com/

    That the writer is American is incidental only underscores my admiration, I wish he was your President...and I like Obama.

    I can't argue with ANYTHING the guy said...

    He makes sense..

    A LOT of sense...

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    db wrote:

    Michale #13.

    The goal in Syria was to separate Assad & his chemical weapons. President Obama has achieved this result. This is a win.

    But Michale doesn't like this win 'cause President Obama didn't look forceful enough? He didn't kill enough Syrians getting to that win? How many Syrians have to die before President Obama looks forceful? How many dead would make you happy? But unless you engage in mission creep like Bush did in Iraq; you're not going to get any more of a win that you can have with no one killed.

    I'll wager you like the movie, "Rebel Without a Cause".

    On Iran, all I can think of is,

    "Whatever Bibi wants. Bibi gets.
    And little man, what Bibi wants is war."

    (with apologies to Gwen Virdon & one of the great movies of all time.)

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    The goal in Syria was to separate Assad & his chemical weapons. President Obama has achieved this result. This is a win.

    Bullshit...

    All Obama got from Assad is a PROMISE to turn over his CWMDs..

    Now, maybe it's just me, but I don't think I would trust the word of a guy who has gassed thousands and thousands of his own people to death..

    I am silly that way...

    But Michale doesn't like this win 'cause President Obama didn't look forceful enough?

    No... Michale didn't like the win because it was a blatant and obvious LOSS for the US..

    The US's credibility took a HUGE hit over Obama's faux "red line"...

    On Iran, all I can think of is,

    "Whatever Bibi wants. Bibi gets.
    And little man, what Bibi wants is war."

    And BiBi wants Israel to survive..

    The US used to think the same way...

    Once again, we are trusting the word of a regime that is THE world's sponsor of terrorism..

    Why is it that the Left falls all over itself to appease the scum of the planet??

    Is Obama's prestige THAT important??

    Apparently so...

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    On 9 Sep 2013, Obama gave Syria another "red line"...

    One week to hand over the CWMD arsenal..

    http://news.firedoglake.com/2013/09/09/kerry-gives-assad-a-week-to-turn-over-all-chemical-weapons-or-face-attack/

    To date, note ONE SINGLE CWMD has left Syrian control..

    NOT.... ONE..... SINGLE..... CWMD....

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    I, for one, have been trying really hard to ignore the entire episode. That kind of thing holds no interest for me, whatsoever.

    The international media coverage this story continues to receive does surprise me, though. But, it shouldn't as this is the kind of story the media thrives on to its great detriment.

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4457041,00.html

    Obama has made his choice..

    Obama chose Iran over Israel...

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hay Joshua,

    What's your take on this deal?? You and I are probably the only two here that are on Israel's side in all this.

    What's your take on the deal??

    It leaves the Heavy Water Reactor at Arak intact.

    It leaves Iran's centrifuge array intact..

    Both of which are completely un-necessary for generating electricity but are vital to weapons development..

    Am I wrong that this is a bad, a very bad deal??

    Michale

  37. [37] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I'm confused. What exactly is it about this interim deal with Iran that is not in Israel's best interests.

    What would a good interim deal with Iran entail?

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    I'm confused. What exactly is it about this interim deal with Iran that is not in Israel's best interests.

    It allows Iran relief from sanctions AND allows Iran to maintain it's current infrastructure and nuclear weapons capability..

    Basically Iran gives NOTHING up and the sanctions are all but eliminated...

    What would a good interim deal with Iran entail?

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/11/21/what-would-good-deal-with-iran-look-like-straight-talk-from-israeli-ambassador/?intcmp=latestnews

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    If we are going to discuss the subject of this new "deal" we have to establish some common ground..

    1. A nuclear armed Iran is possibly the worst thing that could happen to the world, in terms of Iran's belligerence towards the US and Israel and the regional nuclear arms race it would set off in the Middle East...

    2. Iran's claim that it is developing nuclear capability to generate electricity is complete and utter bullshit..

    If these two points, these two FACTS, cannot be agreed upon, then there is no hope for a rational discussion...

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Kevin [27]

    I took a look at his page and read the first article I saw called 'Take Back Your Government: Part 1'. Whilst I don't agree with the reasoning, the ideas seem fine to me - end closed primaries, redistricting, campaign finance reform, term limitation. In fact I'd sum them all up in one phrase 'appoint an independent elections commission to set standards for and oversee all elections'. Like we have in the UK: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/our-work/roles-and-responsibilities.

    I have often wondered how the situation came to be in the USA that a Federal election is run and controlled to completely different standards by each individual State. It makes no sense to me and opens your country up to a 'zip code lottery' of how easy/hard it will be to vote. Also it could lead to conflicts of interest, like a potential situation where you have a family member who is Governor of a State and can take measures to push that State's Federal vote to favour one Presidential candidate over another (cough cough cough cough).

  41. [41] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Michty,

    I agree with you completely. Thank goodness as a Canadian I've never had a problem in voting in federal and provincial elections for 42 years. And as a returning officer for 30 of them, don't get me started about voting machines and other atrocities I've heard read about. Our basic ballot box system is tamper proof, none of these "hanging chad" debacles.

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I wanted to know what you thought a good interim deal with Iran would entail.

    I'm not interested in clicking on another link.

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    I wanted to know what you thought a good interim deal with Iran would entail.

    Hokay, I can sum it up for ya.. :D

    A good interim deal would prevent Iran, THE world's sponsor of terrorism, from obtaining nuclear weapons which would ALSO have the added benefit of preventing Hamas and Hezbollah from acquiring nuclear devices (at worst) or being provided a nuclear umbrella from Iran (at best).

    A nuclear Iran is the WORST possible Middle East scenario..

    It's why we don't give M-16s to chimpanzees..

    Part of our relationship with the Saudis was based on the same goal of preventing Iran to become a nuclear power.

    The huge falling out we have had with The Kingdom is based on the fact that the Obama Administration now views a nuclear Iran as not any problem...

    Michty,

    I have often wondered how the situation came to be in the USA that a Federal election is run and controlled to completely different standards by each individual State. It makes no sense to me and opens your country up to a 'zip code lottery' of how easy/hard it will be to vote.

    An' yet, the good ole US of A is the only remaining superpower on the planet. :D

    Apparently, we're doing SOMETHING right.. :D

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Left just can't look past what this Iranian deal means to Obama.

    It's a good thing for Obama so, as far as the Left is concerned, it's a good thing. Period..

    But what the Left (and most Weigantians) don't see is how bad it's going to be for the region and for our allies in the region..

    For one, it all but assures that Assad will remain in power.

    It all but assures that Hamas and Hezbollah will be emboldened in the attacks on Israel.

    It alienates our allies in the region by indicating to them that the US has a new "friend" in the region..

    This is, simply put, another BAD decision by the Obama Administration in a presidency replete with bad decisions..

    This one will likely be the worst of them all..

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    DB,

    As I've said before the current Republican Office Holders are unique in the scope & depth to which they'll go to oppose, prevent, or obstruct absolutely everything President Obama tries to accomplish.

    In other words, they performed the duties of the Minority Party outstandingly and impeccably..

    Oh my gods, the CADS!!!! HOW DARE THEY!!!!!!

    :D

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    Wasn't sure if it was in this commentary or a previous one, but I believe you called me to task for not giving Democrats credit for holding their own together.

    While I am certain I have mentioned many times in recent history, allow me to re-iterate..

    Yes... Democrats have learned the lesson well from Republicans..

    Democrats are acting JUST like Republicans. :D

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    And so it begins..

    Iran nuclear deal: Saudi Arabia warns it will strike out on its own
    Saudi Arabia claims they were kept in the dark by Western allies over Iran nuclear deal and says it will strike out on its own

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/10472538/Iran-nuclear-deal-Saudi-Arabia-warns-it-will-strike-out-on-its-own.html

    Obama bungles foreign policy once again...

    Michale

  48. [48] 
    db wrote:

    Michale,

    #44.

    Assad rules in Syria, not Iran.

    #45.

    The point of an Opposition is to oppose, not bring the entire government crashing down. They used to be called the "loyal opposition". Can't really see applying that to the Republicans.

    #47.

    "Obama bungles foreign policy once again"

    By not kowtowing to Saudi wishes? If the Saudi's wish to attack Iran; that is their right as a sovereign state. But since when US foreign policy is written in Riyadh?

    Kevin.

    #27.

    In my State the only thing you have to do to be a member of the Democratic Party is to check a box on the voter registration form. Thus I have a problem allowing anyone who isn't willing to admit he's a Democrat to have a say in who we Democrats should nominate for Public Office.

    That said, I really like the idea of changing registrations in those gerrymandered districts.

  49. [49] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Missing from this dismal discussion (here and elsewhere) of Iran's nuclear program is Israel's mysterious, domestically engineered, nuclear weapons capability.

    Generally acknowledged to be real and competent, with delivery by aircraft, ballistic missile and sub launched cruise missile.

    Presumably built to deter something. Experience post 1945 indicates deterrence works with respect to the use, if not the building of, nuclear weapons.

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    DB,

    Assad rules in Syria, not Iran.

    And Assad is protected by.... Guess who??

    The point of an Opposition is to oppose, not bring the entire government crashing down. They used to be called the "loyal opposition". Can't really see applying that to the Republicans.

    You do realize that you are contradicting yourself.

    If the point of the opposition is to oppose then, if the entire DEMOCRAT-run government comes crashing down, then I guess the opposition was successful, no?? :D

    Q.E.D.

    By not kowtowing to Saudi wishes?

    No, by kowtowing to IRAN'S wishes...

    But since when US foreign policy is written in Riyadh?

    Since US foreign policy of Saudi and the US were in agreement..

    Do you HONESTLY believe that Iran will be a better ally to the US than Saudi??

    You DO know that they STILL yell DEATH TO AMERICA all across Iran, eh??

    TS,

    Missing from this dismal discussion (here and elsewhere) of Iran's nuclear program is Israel's mysterious, domestically engineered, nuclear weapons capability.

    That's because it's not relevant to the discussion at hand.

    Israel has never threatened to wipe another sovereign country off the map..

    We don't care about Israel's nuclear capability the same way we don't care about Germany's or Canada's nuclear capability..

    Their government's are RESPONSIBLE leaders..

    Iran's leaders are anything but..

    And THAT is the biggest danger of all of this.

    President Obama just gift-wrapped a present to Iran.

    Something Iran has always wanted.

    Something Iran hasn't had in 34 years.

    Something it can't get on it's own..

    Respectability..

    Michale

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    DB,

    The point of an Opposition is to oppose, not bring the entire government crashing down. They used to be called the "loyal opposition". Can't really see applying that to the Republicans.

    Basically, what ya'all are saying it's perfectly acceptable to handicap ya'alls opponents simply because they are better at being the Opposition Party than Democrats are...

    That sets a horrible precedent that will likely come back and bite Democrats on the arse...

    Michale

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:
  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    US releases 8 BILLION dollars in assets for Iran...

    Iran's response??

    Additionally, Iran announced on Sunday that its nuclear work will continue despite the deal, which aimed to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and enrichment of uranium, the key component in a nuclear weapon.

    Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif, who helped ink the deal, praised it for recognizing Iran’s right to enrich uranium, a key sticking point that had delayed the deal until Saturday evening.

    “The [nuclear] program has been recognized and the Iranian people’s right to use the peaceful nuclear technology based on the NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty] and as an inalienable right has been recognized and countries are necessitated not to create any obstacle on its way,” Zarif told reporters over the weekend.

    Yea, great move Obama....

    If Israel doesn't turn Iran into a parking lot, Iran will have nuclear weapons by summer...

    You heard it here first...

    Michale

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    ObamaCare slams smokers with sky-high premium costs, could backfire
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/25/obamacare-policies-slam-smokers-could-backfire/

    How do all you Lefties like your obamacare now???

    Michale

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK, I apologize for that, but I just wanted everyone to know up front that since I wasn't alive when John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated, there will be no personal remembrances today.

    You weren't!!?????

    Holy crap... I didn't know that!!???

    I was the tender age of 14 months, almost to the day....

    Michale

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris and Michale,

    You weren't!!????? Holy crap... I didn't know that!!??? I was the tender age of 14 months, almost to the day....

    My sentiments ... and admission, exactly!!! Yikes!

  57. [57] 
    db wrote:

    Michale,

    #50

    "Do you HONESTLY believe that Iran will be a better ally to the US than Saudi??"

    Michale, nuance is not your Uncle's trophy wives.

    Just because there's a treaty limiting Iranian nuclear weapons; that does not make them a US Ally.

    #50 & 51.

    "If the point of the opposition is to oppose then, if the entire DEMOCRAT-run government comes crashing down, then I guess the opposition was successful, no?? :D"

    You can collapse the Government in a Parliamentary system. The PM will resign & elections will be called. Doesn't work that way in the US. President Obama will be President until 2017. Under president Bush, Democrats supported some of his proposals & appointments & opposed others. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has tried to hold up every one of President Obama's appointments.

    #54

    "ObamaCare slams smokers with sky-high premium costs"

    Aside from not accepting anything published by Fox "News" at face value, you said just last week that Obamacare is just the web site healthcare.gov. They don't charge premiums.

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    DB,

    Just because there's a treaty limiting Iranian nuclear weapons; that does not make them a US Ally.

    I go with the facts before me.

    The US has chosen the wants and needs of Iran over the wants and needs of Israel and Saudi Arabia..

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck....

    Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has tried to hold up every one of President Obama's appointments.

    Did it ever occur to ya that there might be a good REASON for Republicans to act the way they are acting.

    In the case of obamacare, the "vast majority" of Americans and the GOP are on the same page...

    Other areas, maybe not so much.. But still.... When all the hoopla and all the partisanship is dispensed with, the simple fact is, Republicans played the game better than Democrats.

    Rather than learn to do better, Democrats changed the rules to make it easier on Democrats..

    Pretty immature, iffn ya ask me.. :D

    Aside from not accepting anything published by Fox "News" at face value,

    Yea, but HuffPo and DailyKos is gospel, right?? :D

    you said just last week that Obamacare is just the web site healthcare.gov. They don't charge premiums.

    They don't. obamacare is just a website after all. But it also DICTATES to Insurance Companies what they can and can't do..

    And obamacare has dictated that smokers will be charged exorbitant premiums because they are smokers..

    Now, personally, I don't have a problem with that. I'de be happy if tobacco was eliminate all across the country...

    "Smoking is a bad habit. My species gave it up centuries ago when we finally got it into our heads it was killing us."
    -Tom Paris, STAR TREK:VOYAGER

    As with Obama's CT policies, I whole-heartedly support the policy..

    I was just curious if ya'all did... :D

    Michale

  59. [59] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Michael

    "not relevant to the discussion at hand"

    How is already possessing the time tested deterrence of 2nd strike capability not relevant? This is how the US, UK, France Russia, and China solve their existential problem.

    "Israel has never threatened to wipe another sovereign country off the map"

    You don't have to send a note with the flowers to get your point across. Owning nuclear weapons is an implied threat to blow somebody off the map. To continue with the metaphor, Ahmadinejad sent his note before he had any flowers. Rude and crazy! But - some of the casual comments that come out of our own elected officials must seem pretty alarming in parts Middle East, even it's just the ranting of minor politicians with a megaphone and no real power to speak of.

    Canada... Responsible... Ford. Everybody's got 'em.

  60. [60] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Michael

    See comment 28, if you haven't already.

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    I haven't, but will address it more indepth once I get home..

    Just let me say that, once again, the Left continues to astound me..

    If you would have told me 20 years ago that the Left would end up being ALL FOR Nuclear Proliferation, I would have declared you nucking futz!!

    Just shows ta go ya... :D

    Michale

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    If you would have told me 20 years ago that the Left would end up being ALL FOR Nuclear Proliferation, I would have declared you nucking futz!!

    Don't sweat it, though..

    It's simply another example of ODS (Obama Derangement Syndrome)...

    I thought it peaked at accepting gross privacy violations and assassinating Americans w/o Due Process..

    Apparently, it also extends to being 100% supportive of Nuclear Proliferation and Regional Nuclear Arms Races...

    Who knew??? :D

    Michale

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    Before going any further, I want to get everyone's take on comment #39...

    Towhit...

    If we are going to discuss the subject of this new "deal" we have to establish some common ground..

    1. A nuclear armed Iran is possibly the worst thing that could happen to the world, in terms of Iran's belligerence towards the US and Israel and the regional nuclear arms race it would set off in the Middle East...

    2. Iran's claim that it is developing nuclear capability to generate electricity is complete and utter bullshit..

    If these two points, these two FACTS, cannot be agreed upon, then there is no hope for a rational discussion...

    Michale

  64. [64] 
    db wrote:

    Michale,

    #61

    "If you would have told me 20 years ago that the Left would end up being ALL FOR Nuclear Proliferation, I would have declared you nucking futz!!"

    Agreed entirely & still true. The "Left" & all thinking people are opposed to nuclear proliferation.

    But in "Michaleville" if your for the treaty; you're for nuclear proliferation. If you're against the treaty you're for nuclear proliferation. Nucking futz you say?

    #63

    "2. Iran's claim that it is developing nuclear capability to generate electricity is complete and utter bullshit.."

    So accepting point #2 means that we accept the allegation that Iran is not looking for an "honorable" way out of the sanctions but is looking to somehow "game" the system.

    "If these two points, these two FACTS, cannot be agreed upon, then there is no hope for a rational discussion..."

    "If these two points, these two FACTS". (Disagree, assuming the fact to be determined) ARE "agreed upon, then there is no hope for a rational discussion..."

    Well, at least we're agreed on the last point.

  65. [65] 
    db wrote:

    Michale,

    Sorry for the add on.

    #58

    "Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has tried to hold up every one of President Obama's appointments.

    Did it ever occur to ya that there might be a good REASON for Republicans to act the way they are acting."

    One has a reason to oppose any individual candidate. Opposing them for no other reason that they were nominated by the duly elected President of the United States is not a good reason.

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    Agreed entirely & still true. The "Left" & all thinking people are opposed to nuclear proliferation.

    And yet, they support this deal which will set off an nuclear arms race in the Middle East...

    But in "Michaleville" if your for the treaty; you're for nuclear proliferation. If you're against the treaty you're for nuclear proliferation. Nucking futz you say?

    How do you figure??

    If you support the treaty (it's actually you support Obama, but why quibble) then you support a nuclear arms race in the Middle East..

    Because this treaty will cause Saudi to strive for nuclear weapons and a whole slew of other pissant countries in the region..

    One has a reason to oppose any individual candidate. Opposing them for no other reason that they were nominated by the duly elected President of the United States is not a good reason.

    Maybe not to you..

    Maybe not even to me..

    But to the person doing the opposing??

    Maybe a perfectly good reason..

    Just like Democrats and their reasons for opposing Bush all the time..

    It's in the best interests of their political agenda...

    Well, at least we're agreed on the last point.

    So, you are saying that Iran is being honest with their claims..

    Or, are you saying that a nuclear Iran won't be a problem in the Middle East..

    Be specific... :D

    Michale

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here is what I find so surprising in all this..

    The Left made it their mission to destroy Bush and called him and people in his administration all sort of vile names and accused him of all sorts of vile crimes..

    NOW, ya'all are shocked & indignant because the Right does the same to Obama???

    Where is the logic in that???

    Michale

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    A harbinger of things to come..

    Obama hits 34% approval rating in Ohio...

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/11/27/obama_approval_hits_all-time_low_in_ohio_120797.html

    Hay, David. Ain't that yer neck o the woods???

    But take heart.. RCP has Obama's overall up a tad to 41%.. Maybe Obama won't hit the dreaded 39.9% anytime soon..

    On the other hand, the website is supposed to be fixed this Saturday...

    So far, there is absolutely NO indication that this is the case.....

    Gonna be an exciting week next week... :D

    Michale

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    Doesn't look good for the Home Team..

    HHS is ditching Verizon as the host for the obamacare website..

    Yea...

    Changing Host Providers for a website 3 days before it's supposed to be "fixed" instills a LOT of confidence...

    Looks like my recent track record of being dead on ballz accurate is going to continue... :D

    Michale

  70. [70] 
    Michale wrote:

    The other story was self-inflicted, so we're not offering any sympathy at all to Republican House member Trey Radel, who (it was announced) had previously been caught buying $250 worth of cocaine on the streets of Washington. He isn't going to resign after his conviction, mind you, he's just going to take a bit of time off. Isn't that nice -- a job which allows you to take personal time off to deal with a drug problem?

    Isn't it funny?

    When a Republican gets caught with drugs, it's all about how bad the scumbag is...

    When a Democrat gets caught with drugs, it's all about how bad the War On Drugs is...

    However, credit where credit is due.

    You nailed the Hypocrisy Factor 10.0 10.0 10.0

    :D

    Michale

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