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Friday Talking Points [307] -- An Alternate Reality To Consider

[ Posted Friday, June 6th, 2014 – 16:43 PDT ]

This week was notable in many respects in the political world, but one subject overwhelmed almost everything else. We're going to address the prisoner swap and Bowe Bergdahl in an unusual way this week, in lieu of our regular talking points at the end of the column. But first, we're going to take a very quick look at what else happened this week, and then hand out the weekly awards.

This week marked the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square, the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and the little-remembered 75th anniversary of the United States turning away a refugee ship filled with over 900 Jews fleeing Hitler (the so-called "Voyage of the Damned"). Keeping tight immigration quotas was, politically, more important at the time. D-Day was our nation's finest hour in World War II, but the story of the M.V. St. Louis was perhaps our most shameful hour. Not to detract from D-Day, but both events are worth remembering this week, for very different reasons.

There was a bizarre scandal over at the Drug Enforcement Agency this week, but the media decided collectively to ignore it, even though it has all kinds of exploitation possibilities. A woman who is "still employed by the DEA, according to a Justice Department press release" and her husband staged the fake kidnapping of American children in Columbia, in an effort to defraud the government. Here are the facts, such as they are, from the press release. Now will someone please tell me why this isn't newsworthy? It seems to have all the necessary ingredients for a major scandal, but the mainstream media just yawned.

In other D.E.A. news, doctors in Massachusetts are being threatened with the loss of their federally-administered ability to prescribe medicine, to pressure them not to support medical marijuana in the state. This is about as thuggish and jack-booted as government gets, folks. If your political views aren't the correct ones, we will destroy your career. Someone remind me, why does D.E.A. chief Michele Leonhart still have a job?

Congress is doing what it can to push back, as a law sailed through a Senate committee this week (on a 22-8 vote) which would block the D.E.A.'s ability to crack down on industrial hemp experiments which Congress has already authorized. None other than Mitch McConnell was a co-sponsor of the bill (after a shipment of hemp seeds to Kentucky was briefly blocked), showing how non-partisan an issue denouncing the D.E.A. now is.

Moving along, eight states held a primary election this Tuesday. In San Jose, medicinal marijuana shops were offering free weed for anyone with an "I voted" sticker, which is probably illegal (but then, under federal law, so is their entire business operation). Sooner or later I just know I'm going to see a bumper sticker saying "I smoke pot -- and I vote!" At this point, it's pretty much inevitable.

The biggest news from the primary results is the impending runoff between Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi and his Tea Party challenger. Although, if you dug for it, there was some good news for progressives in this week's contests, too.

In what was the most far-reaching news of the week, the Environmental Protection Agency announced new pollution rules. This was overshadowed by all the squabbling going on over the prisoner exchange, but President Obama's legacy as the best president on environmental issues in all our history will indeed be remembered for decades to come. From raising car emissions standards to now doing something about power plants, Obama has made more progress on this than any president since Richard Nixon first set up the E.P.A.

In "Republicans attempt to reach out to voters" news, this week a major Republican gay rights group decided to just close up shop. Yes, sadly, GOProud is no more.

The National Rifle Association released an extraordinary statement about certain people who are demanding the right to carry long guns wherever they want, which included:

Let's not mince words, not only is it rare, it's downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself. To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one's cause, it can be downright scary. It makes folks who might normally be perfectly open-minded about firearms feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates.

This was way too reasonable for their supporters, and so by week's end they had retracted and apologized for exhibiting any shred of sanity on the issue.

The War On Women progressed in the heartland this week, as three Michigan Republican legislators thought it'd be a great idea to show their compassion for all things women care about by staging a hokey photo-op of them purportedly reading women's magazines like Glamour. One was overheard bragging: "Don't say we don't understand women." Wow, it's just hard to know where to start, with that one. You cannot make this stuff up, folks. This, while the same Michigan lawmakers are forcing all the women in their state to buy separate "rape insurance," because they understand women so dang much. Heading south, Ohio Republicans want to ban all abortions even if the mother's life is in danger. Down in Tennessee, they're attempting to write the power to deny abortions "when necessary to save the life of the mother" into the state constitution. So that's how the Republican outreach to women is going. A few Michigan Democrats sent their own image out, in reply to the Republican magazine photo-op disaster: "Real women read bills." Best political comeback of the week!

And finally, the week ended with more good news on the job front, with over 200,000 jobs created last month. The unemployment rate held steady at 6.3 percent, after a whopping drop of 0.4 percent last month. This meant a milestone was passed, and America now has more people working than at any time in history (we have regained all the jobs lost in the Great Recession, in other words). That's still not good enough -- millions more jobs are needed -- but it is certainly another step on the right path.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

The Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week won the award not for making a big splash in the political news, but for not making a big splash. Not unlike Sherlock Holmes's "dog that didn't bark in the night," this award is given because there was barely a ripple in the political news universe while Sylvia Mathews Burwell was confirmed by the Senate to become Secretary of Health and Human Services, by a bipartisan 78-17 vote. This was notable, because Burwell will now take over Kathleen Sebelius's old job. Burwell will now become the point person for implementing Obamacare, to put this another way.

When Sebelius stepped down a few months back, things were quite different politically. Republicans were gleefully anticipating the chance to rake the entire Obamacare program over the coals again, right in the midst of an election year. Their entire campaign strategy for this year's midterms had been "dump on Obamacare, all the time" -- and nothing else. It was their sole strategy for victory.

How times change. What with the continued good news on Obamacare, and what with the public at large really not being interested in rehashing the subject one last time, the Republicans in the Senate didn't even put up a fight in Burwell's confirmation hearings. There was no spectacle. There was no orchestrated attack on all that is Obamacare. The issue is fading, even on the Republican side, as they realize that the public isn't interested in their "repeal it, and then maybe at some future unspecified point we will make changes that we cannot tell you about right now" stance anymore.

Burwell is really winning the MIDOTW by default, because while her own record of accomplishments in public service is indeed impressive, it wasn't because of this that Republicans backed down this week. But, if the "dog had barked" (as Holmes would have put it) and the hearings had been a three-ring circus, she definitely would have been in the center ring.

Avoiding such a spectacle -- the first time Republicans have voluntarily refused to make any sort of political hay over Obamacare -- deserves mention, however. And Secretary Burwell deserves credit for having to prepare for an onslaught that did not, in the end, materialize. Making her our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. The 78-17 vote alone qualifies her for the award, we feel.

[You'll have to wait to congratulate Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, as the Health and Human Services contact page hasn't listed her yet, as of this writing.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

There were plenty of Democrats jumping on the Republican bandwagon over the prisoner swap this week (Dianne Feinstein, I am looking in your direction...), but one very low-level response really stood out from the pack. I'm not even sure the guy's a Democrat, but he does seem to be an Obama appointee, so that's close enough for government work (as they say).

Brandon Friedman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, sent out a series of five tweets this week on his personal Twitter account. The first of these tweets is simply beyond the pale -- especially as he is doing precisely what he is condemning others for doing. His tweet read (note: we have no idea what "mats" he is talking about):

Here's the thing about Bergdahl and the Jump-to-Conclusions mats: What if his platoon was long on psychopaths and short on leadership?

Without a shred of evidence, a governmental official (no matter how lowly) calling an entire group of soldiers "psychopaths" is beyond disappointing behavior -- it is nothing short of disgraceful. He was trying to make a larger point, but his choice of words to begin this point was unacceptable. He has since apologized, but he never should have made this unfounded accusation in the first place. There has been enough "not supporting the troops" this week already, and this certainly doesn't help the situation one bit.

Which is why, lowly deputy assistant though he may be, Brandon Friedman is our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week.

[Contact Housing and Urban Development Deputy Assistant Secretary Brandon Friedman via the H.U.D. contact list page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 307 (6/6/14)

The talking points flying around this week have all been on a single subject -- the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the only American soldier captured in the war in Afghanistan. He has been held by the Taliban for five years. That's about the only thing everyone agrees upon, at this point.

I wrote my initial reactions earlier this week, if you want my serious take on things so far. Oddly enough (politics certainly does make strange bedfellows), I seem to be largely in agreement on the salient points (if not on all the snarky comments) with none other than the uber-conservative Charles Krauthammer.

The news is everywhere, so I don't feel the need to repeat all the details, I'll just give you a few links if you've been in a coma all week or something: a good timeline of events, the original Rolling Stone article where many of the details people are now talking about come from, and the real problems we still face with Guantánamo prisoners. That should be enough review.

What follows is imaginary. It is fiction. It borrows from reality in two places: the quote from John Bellinger is real and accurate, and the Facebook posting that Ollie North (of all people) put up is also real. Everything else -- every quote, every statement -- is completely imaginary.

Because, all week long, I couldn't help but wondering what everyone would be saying if things had turned out differently. Which is why I had to write this, because if there had been a different outcome, President Obama surely would be in for just as much criticism (from the same people, mind you) as he's getting now. So just for a minute, imagine yourself...

 

In an alternate universe, just next door...

America got the sad news this week that the only prisoner of war in the Afghanistan war has died in the hands of his Taliban captors. President Obama appeared in the Rose Garden for the solemn announcement, flanked by the devastated parents of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who has spent the last five years in captivity.

The political reaction was fierce, and immediate. Senator John McCain led the denunciations of the president, releasing the following statement:

It is nothing short of disgraceful that President Obama has allowed the only prisoner of war in Afghanistan to die in captivity. When I was a prisoner in Vietnam, the one thing that kept all of us hopeful was that we knew that America would never forget about us. We knew that the American military had our backs. We know that the United States would do anything possible to secure our return. Now we have a president who has never worn the uniform of the American military who has sent a devastating message to our troops: we will forget you, we won't do everything possible to get you back, and we will allow politics to trump our country's loyalty to those who proudly serve in our military.

What makes this even worse is that we have actually been in negotiations with the Taliban for years over Bowe Bergdahl's release. We offered them exactly what they asked for -- the exchange of five Taliban prisoners in Guantánamo Bay -- but the Obama administration blew its chance to successfully complete this prisoner of war exchange.

President Obama states that he notified Congress last week that he was in the final process of reaching a prisoner exchange agreement, and he is trying to hide behind the fact that legally he has to give 30 days' notice to Congress before any prisoners are released from Guantánamo Bay. This is nothing but a red herring. After all, if Obama had managed to somehow get Bergdahl home without notifying Congress, I sincerely doubt whether anyone would have complained about such a technicality, when an American serviceman's life is hanging in the balance. That wasn't why we passed this law, and to hide behind it now is nothing short of desperation on the Obama administration's part. For shame, Mister President, for shame!

Several other Republicans expressed support for McCain's statement, as an aide to a Republican leader put it: "If Obama had been president in 1973, John McCain might still be a prisoner in Vietnam today."

Senator Kelly Ayotte agreed: "Just two weeks ago, I had a press release where I urged 'the Department of Defense to do all it can to find Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl and bring him home safely.' I can only now bitterly regret that the White House didn't do all it could -- in fact, it seems like they did nothing at all. The tragic loss of Sgt. Bergdahl can be laid directly at the feet of Barack Obama."

Some Democrats pushed back on the Republican outrage, but none would go on the record in doing so. One Democratic politician complained: "The five Taliban prisoners they were trying to swap have been categorized as the worst of the worst in Guantánamo -- are the Republicans really saying we should have let these guys go?"

John Bellinger, former national security advisor to George W. Bush, disagreed with this view in a recent Fox News interview, saying:

Sometime in the next couple of years, whether it's in the beginning of 2015 or shortly thereafter, this conflict in Afghanistan is winding down, and we would be required, at least under the traditional laws of war, to return people that we've detained in that conflict. So it seems in this case, we've gotten -- we traded them for [a] reasonable deal here.

Bellinger pointed out that we'd only be releasing the five prisoners a little earlier than the rest, and some way surely could have been found to make sure they didn't return to the battlefield until after the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan fully ends at the end of this year.

Other Republicans made similar points, that the Taliban prisoners have not been charged with terrorism, and that there were no plans to charge them at all, since there was no evidence against them that would even stand up in a military tribunal. "These were prisoners of war," said one Republican aide, "They would be going home soon anyway -- and refusing to trade them just killed an American soldier."

Senator Lindsey Graham also expressed his outrage that some in the media have been pointing to an old Rolling Stone article which seemed to suggest that Bergdahl was no hero and intentionally deserted his post. Graham responded:

That is disgraceful and un-American. To suggest that America would ever leave a soldier in the hands of the enemy -- even if he was absent without leave -- is nothing short of spitting in the face of everyone who wears the uniform of this country. America leaves no soldier behind. Period. If he broke the rules, then the Army will try him and convict him and punish him -- not the Taliban. There are no caveats -- there are only apologists for a president who let a prisoner of war die on his watch, because he didn't do everything he could to get Bowe Bergdahl home. If the Army truly thought Bergdahl wasn't a soldier in good standing, then they would not have promoted him twice while he was being held in captivity.

There were even some dark rumors concerning the father of Bergdahl, who appeared in the Rose Garden ceremony with Obama. Fox News reported that some were calling into question whether the father was some sort of Islamic terrorist sympathizer, based upon nothing but his looks. They condemned such rumors, stating: "If having a long beard means you're not a good American, then I guess that is news to ZZ Top and the guys on Duck Dynasty."

Republican House member Richard Nugent has led the push to bring Bergdahl home for years. He stated after hearing news of the tragedy, "I have introduced resolutions which called on the United States to do everything possible to bring all servicemembers home from captivity. I meant what I said -- we needed to do everything possible, and President Obama fell well short of that goal." Other Republicans expressed similar views, brushing aside any complaints about the proposed prisoner swap as being nothing more than Democrats playing politics and trying to provide cover for Obama. John McCain pointed to an interview he gave back in February, where he stated that the proposed prisoner swap was "something I think we should seriously consider." McCain further stated that this proved that Republicans would have allowed the president to make such a prisoner exchange without having to pay a political price from his opponents. "I was for it a few months ago," said McCain, "and I would have supported it now -- to suggest otherwise is to question the honor of my own words."

The most scathing words came from none other than Oliver North, who had posted on Facebook back in 2011:

Today, I received from the National League of POW/MIA families, a "Never Forget Bracelet" emblazoned with the name of Sgt Bowe Bergdahl. He was seized on June 30, 2009 in Afghanistan and is being held by the Haqqani Organization -- a Taliban affiliated terrorist group -- in northwest Pakistan. Sgt Bergdahl and his loved ones here at home deserve our prayers and encouragement until he is rescued or released. That's what we do. We're Americans.

After hearing of Bergdahl's death, North stated unequivocally:

Negotiating with terrorists is nothing new to America. I did so myself under Ronald Reagan, proudly. We didn't just trade prisoners, we actually traded missiles to Iran in the hopes of freeing seven Americans held by Iranian-controlled terrorist organizations. When American lives are at risk, you do everything possible to get them back. Period. Especially when the Americans being held wear the uniform of this country. President Obama bears full responsibility for this unnecessary death.

There has been no official reaction to any of these complaints from the White House, to date. But the longer President Obama allows these issues to go unanswered, the more severe the political damage of losing the only American prisoner of war will be for him. Americans deserve to know why Obama did not act, and did not do everything in his power to return Bowe Bergdahl to his family and to his country.

-- Chris Weigant

 

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

 

94 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [307] -- An Alternate Reality To Consider”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    First off, good call on the MDDOTW... I would also like to add dishonorable mentions to every Democrat who whined that Berghdahl was being "swift boated"..

    There is nothing false about the accusations against this deserter.. The accusations are well documented and well established.

    Now, if Democrats want to concede that "Swift Boating" means releasing true and valid facts of a military person's dishonorable actions, then I would be happy to accept that definition...

    Moving on...

    You agree with Chuck!!!???? :D Now I know that hell must be freezing over.. :D

    By the by, the link on that goes nowhere.. It has a CW.COM link before the WaPo link...

    But getting back to you and Chuck.. :D

    Just to get to the details.. What's your thoughts on Susan Rice's statement that BirdDog "served with honor and distinction"?? I wish I could have been a reporter there when she said that. I would have asked her if Major Hasan "served with honor and distinction" or did Sgt Bales "serve with honor and distinction"... :D

    Which brings me to one of my best points.. Another point that no one has been able to refute.. A point that is the whole point of Krauthammer's piece, so it's a point that I am sure you agree with... It's a point I made yesterday so I will just cut and paste it..

    WHY did Obama do an Osama Bin Laden victory lap around the Rose Garden for a deserter??

    A deserter that we had to give up FIVE "Four Star Generals" to get back???

    Don't you think that is... oh I dunno..

    FRAKIN' STOOPID!!!????

    I love alternate reality stories... And you are probably right. If Berghstahn had died in captivity, then that is how it might have gone down..

    But that doesn't mean the actions in the here and now are false or wrong..

    Bergsdal is a deserter. This is fact.. The Pentagon established this fact in it's investigation and report of 2010..

    Berhghfdal is closer to a defector then he is to a POW.. I made a point time and time again which no one can address..

    Should the CIA have traded 5 top level KGB spies for Aldrich Ames??

    Of course not.. Because Aldrich Ames willingly went over to the other side..

    AS DID BERGHDAL!

    My final point is simply a re-iteration of the point I made yesterday, the point I made above and the point that Krauthammer made..

    ALL of this could have been avoided if Obama had just NOT done one thing..

    The totally frakin' stoopid, totally bone-head play, totally moronic act of doing an Osama Bin Laden Ticker Tape Victory Lap around the Rose Garden with Ma & Pa Taliban in tow....

    THAT is the ONE thing that made this entire episode the PR debacle that it is...

    For someone who claims to be pretty smart, Obama really REALLY royally scrooed the pooch on this one...

    I challenge ANYONE to argue these points I have made...

    But please, come with facts. NOT sematical discussions of what the definition of 'is' is...

    And, if all ya'all got is a noun, a verb and it's all Bush's fault then I'll be very disappointed..

    "You're not from the military are you? Trying to teach whales to retrieve torpedoes or some dipshit stuff like that? Because if that's all it is, I'll be very disappointed"
    -Gillian Taylor, STAR TREK IV The Voyage Home

    Michale

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK, I am going to throw out a bone here..

    Only because I am feeling a tad guilty on the unmerciful pummeling I dished out yesterday...

    As I mentioned above, Berhhgdal is a deserter. This is fact..

    But I will concede that Berhghdahl is NOT a *convicted* deserter..

    To me, it's a distinction without a difference. Just like saying that Major Hasan was, prior to his Courts Martial, not a *convicted* psycho America hating mass murder... He STILL was a psycho America hating mass murder right after the massacre.. He just hadn't been convicted at the time..

    I am sure that if you ask the mothers and the fathers and the wives of the soldiers that were killed trying to capture Bergendahle, they would not give a rat's ass if he is a *convicted* deserter..

    So, there's your bone..

    Bergdog is NOT a *convicted* deserter...

    But he still IS a deserter. This is an inescapable, inarguable, indisputable fact..

    Enjoy your bone.. :D

    Michale

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    I might remind you, at the same remove, we all "knew" that Jessica Lynch was "a hero" and that Pat Tillman was "killed by the enemy."

    Our side propagandizes, too, that's all I'm saying...

    Also, that a lot of the documentation to date comes mostly from that Rolling Stones article -- much to the dismay of those who cry "liberal media" at the drop of a hat (you can't get much more liberal in the media than Rolling Stone... see the final pages of Stephen King's Firestarter, for instance...).

    As for agreeing with Krauthammer, I have done so (notably) once before (in my memory), on the subject of gay marriage and polygamy. Need I look up the links? I believe that was the article which brought us together for the first time, in fact. I will look up the link, if you can't find it yourself....

    Thanks for the heads-up, I think I've fixed that Krauthammer link (for some reason, the "http" part wasn't pasted in). Try it again (you may have to reload this page for it to work).

    Upon more reflection, I have to admit, I should have mentioned Susan Rice in the MDDOTW section somewhere. She did overstate the case, that's for sure. Which was "strike two" against her, again, for sure. My bet is that we won't see her on the Sunday morning talk shows for a LONG time to come....

    You are also right that Obama's Rose Garden speech was inept and didn't foresee the pushback. Which should have been obvious (to anyone who had read the Rolling Stone article). He should have soft-pedaled the news, and he chose not to. A political error, to be sure.

    I do salute you for admitting that the alternate reality I laid out would likely have been what would have gone down if the situation had had a different resolution. The GOP would have been apoplectic, no matter what had happened. It's good of you to admit that, at least.

    But if Bergdahl was a defector, as you claim, then why was he a prisoner for 5 years? That doesn't make any sense, sorry. Why is he any different than an American POW who makes a propaganda video denouncing America and the American military -- as John McCain did? Why do you give the benefit of the doubt in one case, but not the other?

    I fail to see the difference between the left's supposed (there is no actual evidence this ever happened) "spitting on Vietnam War veterans" back in the 1960s and 70s, and the right wing now spitting on Bergdahl. Both disrespect the troops, wouldn't you say? Before the facts are in?

    Again, we all believed Jessica Lynch was a hero and Pat Tillman was killed by the enemy. Keep that in mind. Fog of war, my friend.

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3lwSSTEvNU

    Ya gotta wonder what the response from the Left would have been if a male GOP candidate used a "chick" representation in a campaign ad against a female DEM candidate..

    Actually... No.. We don't have to wonder... :D

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    I might remind you, at the same remove, we all "knew" that Jessica Lynch was "a hero"

    Well, according to what Susan Rice would say, Lynch served with "honor and distinction"...

    For the Obama Administration, that's enough to be a "hero" with a Rose Garden Spike The Ball victory lap.. :D

    Yea, I admit the facts could be TOTALLY and 100% wrong..

    I give that a 1 in 10000 chance... :D

    I believe that was the article which brought us together for the first time, in fact.

    Actually, the commentary that brought us together was the "WOULD YOU TORTURE YOUR DAUGHTER" HuffPo article.. :D

    Thanks for the heads-up, I think I've fixed that Krauthammer link (for some reason, the "http" part wasn't pasted in). Try it again (you may have to reload this page for it to work).

    Link is fixed...

    Upon more reflection, I have to admit, I should have mentioned Susan Rice in the MDDOTW section somewhere. She did overstate the case, that's for sure. Which was "strike two" against her, again, for sure. My bet is that we won't see her on the Sunday morning talk shows for a LONG time to come....

    I know, right!??

    You are also right that Obama's Rose Garden speech was inept and didn't foresee the pushback. Which should have been obvious (to anyone who had read the Rolling Stone article). He should have soft-pedaled the news, and he chose not to. A political error, to be sure.

    All it would have taken is for a call to the Pentagon, "Hay, guys.. Tell me about this Berghdal character.. Is there anything to his capture that I should know about before I trot him out in the Rose Garden as a "Real American Hero"???"

    Like I said yesterday..

    Either they didn't know which is bad..

    Or they DID know, but felt they could fool the American people, which is worse..

    I think it's the former. Not even OBAMA would be so stoopid as to think he could make this shit-boat float..

    Ya gotta believe that there are quite a few Obama advisers and underlings who don't have much of an ass left... :D

    I do salute you for admitting that the alternate reality I laid out would likely have been what would have gone down if the situation had had a different resolution. The GOP would have been apoplectic, no matter what had happened. It's good of you to admit that, at least.

    Oh yea.. Anything to drag Obama down..

    The only thing worse than the GOP in the honor and integrity department are Democrats...

    But if Bergdahl was a defector, as you claim, then why was he a prisoner for 5 years?

    Was he?? There is credible documentary evidence that Bergie converted to Islam. He declared Jihad against the US.. He was shown at the firing range with an AK... He helped Taliban soldiers with IEDs and explained American tactics...

    Yea, he might have been a "prisoner"... But, according to credible and substantiated intel, it wasn't much of a "prison"...

    Why do you give the benefit of the doubt in one case, but not the other?

    Because this wasn't a case of a soldier who was captured then brainwashed..

    Berghdal DESERTED... He voluntarily walked away and left behind a desertion note..

    Like my Aldrich Ames example, Bergdal VOLUNTARILY went to the other side..

    The fact that the Taliban may have TREATED Bergdaal like a prisoner does not change the fact that Begerdal was there of his own free will...

    THAT is the difference that makes ALL the difference..

    Again, we all believed Jessica Lynch was a hero and Pat Tillman was killed by the enemy. Keep that in mind. Fog of war, my friend.

    And it may turn out that Berghdahl was really an undercover CIA agent sent to feed disinformation to the Taliban..

    If this turns out to be the case, then I'll have egg all over my face and ya'all get a good laugh
    at my expense.. :D

    But I have to go with the facts I have now..

    My arguments are based on the facts at hand in the here and now..

    The only counter arguments I have seen are based on "what if", conjecture and possibilities...

    If there are ANY facts that dispute the facts that are known, by all means.. Let's examine them..

    I mean, LD went off on tangent after tangent after tangent the last couple days, saying I was wrong about this, I was wrong about that ad nasuem..

    But he didn't offer ONE SINGLE FACT to refute my claims..

    Not ONE...

    All he had was nonsensical "Oh the poor poor terrorists shouldn't have been in Gitmo in the first place" and "Bush is a war criminal!!" and "it's all Bush's fault!!" and other garbage like that...

    I'll be HAPPY to concede I am wrong..

    But until there are facts that PROVE me wrong, I am going with what I know....

    Right now, there ARE no facts to refute the claim that Bergfrak was a deserter...

    We should probably table this discussion as I am running out of imaginative ways to spell Bow's last name.. :D

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    The fact that the Taliban may have TREATED Bergdaal like a prisoner does not change the fact that Begerdal was there of his own free will...

    Let me qualify that by saying that Bergdall WENT there of his own free will. Once he hooked up with the Taliban, he probably didn't have the option to leave..

    But that doesn't negate the fact that he left his unit to die (and die many of them did) and WANTED to hook up with the Taliban...

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    You are also right that Obama's Rose Garden speech was inept and didn't foresee the pushback. Which should have been obvious (to anyone who had read the Rolling Stone article). He should have soft-pedaled the news, and he chose not to. A political error, to be sure.

    The question is... WHY??

    WHY would Obama make this error?? WHY was it so important to have a big American celebration, a SPIKE THE FOOTBALL I KILLED OSAMA extravaganza, a MISSION ACCOMPLISHED moment in the Rose Garden..

    Why??

    I know the answer...

    Do you? :D

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK, let's wrap this up..

    Barring any follow-up comments or new information, this will be my final words on this issue..

    We have 3 distinct issues here..

    NO MAN LEFT BEHIND

    It really chaps my ass to see our Democrat leaders throw this around like it actually MEANS something to them.. I mean, com'on.. Those leaders would throw Bergendal to the wolves if it was politically expedient to do so..

    Now, MY PERSONAL OPINION is that the NMLB doctrine DOES NOT APPLY to deserters.. I am perfectly comfortable with that opinion. I can see how other military people might see it differently. That's fine. I respect that...

    Agree to disagree...

    30 DAY NOTIFICATION

    This really isn't even worth mentioning. I only mention it so I can point out that it ain't worth mentioning..

    Obama is the Commander In Chief.. The "law" requiring him to notify Congress is an illegal law.. I fully and completely support Obama in his flipping off Congress in this instance...

    RELEASING ENEMY COMMANDERS

    Again, this is a MILITARY call. It's stoopid. It's wrong. It's not sound military tactics.. The argument that these commanders shouldn't have been held in the first place is a nonsensical, semantical, infantile argument that was only made because it was the only argument that COULD be made..

    Releasing Enemy Commanders while we're STILL fighting that enemy is the ULTIMATE in military stoopidity... And ANYONE who has served in the military will tell you the EXACT same thing...

    So, this issue is DEFINITELY in the STOOPID AS SHIT column..

    But the ONE point that seems to be UNIVERSALLY accepted and simply cannot be successfully argued by anyone is Obama's moronic Rose Garden Victory Lap Osama Spike The Football extravaganza was the ULTIMATE in political stoopidity...

    Obama has done some pretty stoopid things in his time.. But THIS ranks quite probably at the top of his STOOPID THINGS I COULD HAVE AVOIDED list...

    Jon Stewart's take on this is hilarious and I encourage everyone to see it..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltmuOOpxK-0

    If anyone can find me an uncensored version, I would greatly appreciate it..

    So, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen..

    The breakdown of the entire Berghdal mess....

    "MOVING ON...."
    -Robert Singer, SUPERNATURAL

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    LewDan wrote:

    DEA won't be the only, in fact isn't the only law enforcement agency to go rouge over attacks on their cash-cow "drug enforcement." Its a predictable consequence of making so much funding dependent upon seizures. In the DEAs case the massive budget "justified" only by a drug "war" and in everyone elses case by direct seizures.

    Criticizing the prisoner exchange because Bergdahl may have deserted is just the latest in the relentless Republican campaign to delegitimize the Obama administration. Just as the complaints of his breaking the law play to the theme that Obama's actions are illegal and illegitimate.

    I can understand why the President wouldn't want to engage in a full-blown war with Congress, but theme Republicans complete disregard for the law and the government unless they get be in charge is more dangerous than terrorism.

    The last time this happened we had a civil war. The parties to that war haven't changed. Only the names of the parties have changed. The Southern block now call themselves Republicans instead if Democrats
    And the Northern block mow calls themselves Democrats instead of Republicans.

    And the Southerners still have the same attitude they had when Lincoln was elected. When THEY control government the law us the law, and applies to everyone. But if THEY aren't going to be the ones making the laws then the law doesn't apply to THEM. THEY have RIGHTS! Rights to do as THEY choose. Rights that are noticeably absent in anyone ELSE when the South gets to write the law!

    That same self-centered, self-delusional intellectual dishonesty and opportunism, orchestrated by the same cast of characters, gifted us our dysfunctional war on terror. Wherein WE are justified in engaging in acts of terror because WE have right to do whatever it takes to defend ourselves against terrorist attacks. Terrorists, however, ARE "terrorists," THEY engage in ILLEGAL acts they've absolutely NO RIGHT to employ, under ANY circumstances.

    So, the U.S. attacking the Taliban because Al Queda attacked us is a justified act of war since the Taliban had ties to Al Queda. Al Queda attacking people with ties to the U.S. because WE sponsored or engaged in an attack directed at them?! Now THAT would be "terrorism."

    The U.S. kidnapping people "associated with" Al Queda in secret and imprisoning them at undisclosed locations is an "act of war". Al Queda kidnapping people "associated with" the U.S. in secret and holding them at undisclosed locations is "terrorism."

    The U.S. torturing prisoners is "enhanced interrogation." Al Queda torturing prisoners is "terrorism."

    The U.S. supplying financial and military support to repressive regimes that rape and murder civilians, including innocent women and children, is "protecting American interests." Al Queda supplying financial and military support to groups that murder civilians, including innocent women and children, is "terrorism."

    The U.S. attacking noncombatants who get in our way is simply "collateral damage." Al Queda attacking noncombatants who get in their way is "terrorism."

    U.S. attacks against governments who aren't sufficiently friendly toward us is "regime change." Al Queda attacks against governments that aren't sufficiently friendly toward them is "terrorism."

    So we've embarked on a "war on terror" in which we attack governments, attack alleged associates, attack noncombatants, kidnap, unlawfully detain indefinitely without charge or trial, torture, and kill because we're at war. And fully justified by Al Queda's attack on us. Which is obviously completely different than Al Queda's acts of terrorism, such as their attacking our government, attacking alleged U.S. associates, attacking noncombatants, kidnapping, unlawfully detaining indefinitely without charge or trial, torturing, and killing simply because we've been supplying financial and military support to the repressive regimes killing, torturing, and imprisoning them.--Because "terrorism" is NEVER justified. (Which is why when we do it, since WE'RE, of course--you know--justified, it isn't terrorism!)

    So now we're engaged in a war with the obvious goals of either forcing terrorists to recognize that their unlawful completely unjustifiable tactics simply will not be tolerated. If they've grievances against the U.S there are proper channels to be used which do not significantly impact the U.S.

    Terrorists must be made to recognize that the U.S. has a right to safeguard "American interests" abroad without regard to the harm done to others. And we will not tolerate terrorists harming others simply to promote their own interests.

    Once we've successfully adjusted their thinking, and, or, killed everyone on the planet who DOESN'T think that we can do whatever we want whenever we want to whomever we want without fear of attack from anyone else in any way for any reason, then the war will be over. Until such time we obviously retain the right to detain indefinitely anyone associated with amy terrorist group or activity as legitimate prisoners of war.--QED

    Which is why we now have the controversy surrounding the release of five high-value terrorists we totally had every right and expectation to be able to imprison until hell freezes over. After all--WE ARE GODS!!

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Don't forget, LD..

    The US eats babies and small children too.. :D

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Also, don't forget LD..

    Obama IS the US...

    All those things you whine and gripe and complain about..

    That is YOUR guy who is doing them....

    So, cry me a river....

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    Unfortunately, this isn't as substantive a response as Michale's and is likely to get lost in this set of comments that has already exceeded the original article length, but I try to contribute where I can:

    The "Jump-to-Conclusions mats" that MDDOTW Mr. Friedman referred to are a reference to 1999's Office Space. Here's a link to the scene that introduces the mats (possibly R-rated language), but, really, watch the whole movie. Repeatedly.

    Um. Yeah. We're gonna need you to watch the movie.

  13. [13] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    AMERICA has been doing them for the last seventy-five years.--And I get that You don't care. That's what makes you a terrorist. Your complete indifference to the rights of others and total willingness to kill anyone who get in your way.

    But whether you care or not we'll be fighting terrorists as long as we engage in terrorism. I know that you think your heritage entitles you to exploit others. And I get your outrage that others have the gall to fight back.--To attack America!--I suggest that you get used to it. Its only going to get worse.--We're seeing to that.

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    AMERICA has been doing them for the last seventy-five years.--And I get that You don't care.

    It's not that I don't care...

    It's that I have been there and done that and I *KNOW* for an absolutely CERTAINTY that many, if not all the things that you whine and cry about are NECESSARY to the safety and security of this country...

    It's ironic, iddn't it..

    Me and Obama are in COMPLETE agreement on counter-terrorism policies and domestic surveillance and YOU are opposing us...

    "oooooo, that's GOTTA hurt!!!"
    -Seinfield

    But whether you care or not we'll be fighting terrorists as long as we engage in terrorism.

    Actually, the US doesn't engage in terrorism..

    As I have already established as fact..

    Give me ONE incident of "US" terrorism..

    Just one...

    And I get your outrage that others have the gall to fight back.--To attack America!--I suggest that you get used to it. Its only going to get worse.--We're seeing to that.

    Well, then why do you support Obama??

    He is at the forefront of what you are complaining about...

    So, why do you support him???

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let's just lay it on the line, LD....

    Is Obama at ALL responsible for the sad state that you think America is in???

    Does he have ANY responsibility for it whatsoever??

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    I know your Obama Derangement Syndrome and desperate living in denial prevent you from fully interesting with the real world--But, mass indiscriminate torture is terrorism. You don't "simulate drowning" just to show people a good time. I've specifically listed numerous examples of American policies that are terrorism, by OUR OWN definitions. At least they are when we're talking about anyone OTHER than America.

    Give one example of American terrorism? How far back should I go? The slave trade? The Indian wars? Too far? Okay--The Sandinistas. (Remember Reagans drug-running to supply arms to this merry band of "freedom fighters.) Oh, and just before them there was the Shah of Iran! (In spite of your "all terrorists are psychotic psychopaths theory, the Iranians had good reason to hate our guts and to throw our sorry asses out!) Let's see... Moving forward--Muammar Gaddafi! Remember him? The man your boy Bush was so hot to catch? We had no problem supplying him with arms and aid no matter how many Kurds he butchered, as long as he wad fighting Iran for us. Since we'd managed to so thoroughly piss them off they'd developed a backbone.

    Now I'll grant you that we're probably more in the "war criminal" category then mere terrorists. I mean, we trample whole countries on a whim! Maim and kill by the hundreds of thousands! Violate the Geneva Accords before breakfast!--And twice on Sundays! We're a SUPERPOWER!

    And I know all about "necessary to national security." I'm a Vietnam Vet and I'm here to tell you jumping into a civil war killing tens of thousands because the President finds the Joint Chiefs assessment that its a conflict we can't win unacceptable since that would allow his opponents to claim he was soft on communism. So--what's a few million dead if it helps you win election?

    As always, the above items would be "facts," not something that you would not be familiar with or have any use for.

    Hell, even our allies are starting to learn not to believe our bullshit claims of "necessary to national defense." Your hero George Bush schooled them on that!

    The United States started selling people out and sponsoring terrorism before the ink was dry on the constitution. There's no other way to describe hacking off the feet of people so ungrateful for having been allowed to be slaves in the New World that they actually attempted to run away!--So you can take your bullshit about the US doesn't engage in terrorism and shove it. The U.S has ALWAYS engaged in terrorism. You'd be hard pressed to find a time in U.S. history when we DIDN'T engage in terrorism.--Well, maybe YOU wouldn't. But someone who was actually HONEST about it would!

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    YOu are a mass of contradictions, LD..

    You castigate Bush un-mercilessly for capturing terrorists and keeping them from killing thousands more innocents..

    Yet, you applaud Obama for Summary Executions of American citizens without any Due Process whatsoever, save Obama's sole and unfettered discretionary power...

    You slam Bush constantly for his Domestic Surveillance programs, yet you give Obama a free pass for expanding those programs to unheard of heights...

    And what makes it all so incredible is that you don't even SEE that there is a contradiction!!

    Now, if that is not blinded by ideological slavery, then what is it??

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    But, mass indiscriminate torture is terrorism.

    A- No it's not..

    and

    2- There was no "mass indiscriminate torture" whatsoever. At least none committed by the US..

    Give one example of American terrorism?

    Seriously?? You want to go back 200+ years???

    The slave trade? The Indian wars? Too far? Okay--The Sandinistas. (Remember Reagans drug-running to supply arms to this merry band of "freedom fighters.) Oh, and just before them there was the Shah of Iran! (In spite of your "all terrorists are psychotic psychopaths theory, the Iranians had good reason to hate our guts and to throw our sorry asses out!) Let's see... Moving forward--Muammar Gaddafi! Remember him? The man your boy Bush was so hot to catch? We had no problem supplying him with arms and aid no matter how many Kurds he butchered, as long as he wad fighting Iran for us. Since we'd managed to so thoroughly piss them off they'd developed a backbone.

    None of that was terrorism as it is defined..

    Hell, even our allies are starting to learn not to believe our bullshit claims of "necessary to national defense." Your hero George Bush schooled them on that!

    Actually, it was your messiah that has screwed up our relationship with our allies..

    Our allies may not have been very happy about our actions, but they KNEW they could trust us when the chips were down..

    Under Obama, NOT ONE SINGLE relationship with our allies has gotten better.. In fact, the VAST MAJORITY of the relationships have gotten much much worse..

    The ONLY countries in the world who are happy with the US are our enemies...

    They look at what a joke we've become and are starting to carve up the planet...

    The U.S has ALWAYS engaged in terrorism.

    So, your messiah Obama is a terrorist???

    Ok, if you say so...

    You'd be hard pressed to find a time in U.S. history when we DIDN'T engage in terrorism.-

    Only if you define terrorism as whatever you want it to be defined as...

    If you take the accepted definition of terrorism (by accepted, I mean those that TRUE CT professionals (such as myself) go by) then you simply CANNOT find an instance in the last 60 years where the US has engaged in terrorism..

    Put up or shut up.. :D

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Like I said, I'm a Vietnam Vet.--And Black. I've heard the love it or leave it speech before. I knew better then and I still do. I'm here wasting my time dealing with you because someone who isn't close-minded may see it.--Because I grew up when people were figuring out that if you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.

    You want to stop terrorism and have t a clue how to do it. Mr. Counterterrorism expert. Your answer to everything is to try another "surge." A BIGGER and BETTER one! THAT'LL do it!-- Well, I've seen THAT movie before too.--It does NOT end well.

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    You want to stop terrorism and have t a clue how to do it. Mr. Counterterrorism expert. Your answer to everything is to try another "surge." A BIGGER and BETTER one! THAT'LL do it!

    It worked in Iraq...

    Until your guy Obama royally FRAKED that up..

    Come talk to me when you have an example of REAL terrorism committed by the US Government..

    Hint: You won't find any...

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, since the US is a terrorist nation according to you, that makes Obama Terrorist Numero Uno...

    Well, if that's what you want to think... :D

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Because I grew up when people were figuring out that if you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.

    And guess which part you are in?? :D

    I'll give you a hint..

    It ain't the SOLUTION part.. :D

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale [16],

    For the last time. I believe in the law. There is no contradiction. I was all for capturing and prosecuting terrorists. I wad against Bush choosing to ILLEGALLY capture, ILLEGALLY detain, and ILLEGALLY treat prisoners. Because it WAS illegal. Because it would, and did, PREVENT terrorists from being prosecuted and punished.

    I've NEVER had an issue with NSA surveillance. I agree with Republicans more than Democrats on that! I had issues with Bush ILLEGALLY surveilling. Once Congress made it legal I had no issues with it. (Still had issues with Bush's general total contempt for the law of course. And his complete dishonesty. But that's another story.)

    And my objections were that it was that Bush's actions were both illegal, and they wouldn't work! They' make things worse!--And they didn't.--And they did.

    I had issues with Bush seeking a UN resolution to inspect for WMDs, forcibly if necessary. Then summarily ejecting the inspectors and invading as if Iraq had refused to comply, when they'd obviously never had the chance. Invasion wasn't a last resort. The resolution was just an excuse.--And a VERY thin one. Bush LIED! Repeatedly. Constantly.

    And that kind of behavior is WHY their are terrorists. Why we are hated by so many. Bush wasn't fighting terrorism. He was practicing it. He was causing MORE if it. You may have been hell on wheels as an intelligence officer but you're a piss poor analyst if you couldn't, and still can't see that!

    When I was a teen in the sixties and Blacks were rioting in the streets. The government, the media, kept insisting that the rioting must end. Then--maybe--MAYBE we can see if their are any legitimate grievances.

    Thing is we'd been getting that since the Civil War. Gets old. Loses a little something... Like believability. The troops were called out to suppress the "terrorists." White folk stocked up on guns and ammo for the coming race war. (Again! ;D)

    Demanding people just bend over and grab their ankles, if that's what it takes, because violence is just NEVER justified. (Unless, of course, You're the ones using it! Purely because its "necessary" for national security of course.--Never a persuasive argument.)--Been there. Done that.--NOT gonna happen!

    YOU may think that you can best up on terrorists enough that they'll give it up and see the error of their ways.--But I'm here to tell you it'll never happen. ALL they'll see is what YOU can't see. Your hypocrisy.

    What ended the violence of the sixties wasn't Blacks gaining enlightenment. Or being beaten into submission. It was Whites suddenly discovering that Blacks REALLY WERE being mistreated. It was the President deciding to send troops in to PROTECT Blacks for a change. It was the Attorney General deciding to actually PROSECUTE Whites for attacking Blacks. It was the FBI deciding to arrest Klan members for bombing and lynching instead of acting like there was no Klan.

    And, suddenly, no more riots. No more "terrorism."

    Not saying its that simple. But I am saying its that necessary. Like I keep telling you. Want to stop terrorism. Stop being terrorists.

    It may take a while to convince anyone you're serious about reform, especially if you're unwilling to admit you've EVER done anything wrong! Even longer for ANYONE to even BEGIN to get a leash on the REAL extremists. Hell. WE'VE been trying for fifty years and we've STILL got our share of untamed bigots in the wild, occasionally taking down Black people.

    What I can absolutely guarantee is that your John Wayne take no prisoners approach will get a LOT of people killed, and do squat to curtail terrorism. On that I'M an expert. You seriously haven't a clue. And you seriously don't want one.--And I've seen THAT before too!

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Another long soliloquy...

    And not a FACT to be found..

    For example.. Bush did not lie. You can't point to ONE lie that Bush said..

    On the other hand, I can point to DOZENS of lies that Obama said. BLATANTLY... REPEATEDLY.. Lies that you continue to deny..

    So, your credibility on determining lies is severely non-existent..

    As to my approach to terrorism??

    It's keep the US-proper free from terrorist attacks for the last 13 years...

    I'de say that's a pretty successful approach.. :D

    Like I said.. You have a lot of pretty words...

    They just have absolutely NO BEARING on the reality of the here and now...

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh, and just in case ya'all weren't paying attention before..

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approval-1044.html

    Obama's poll numbers continue to fall... He's approaching a 2-point drop in the last 8 days...

    Standard Poll Caveats apply..

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh now, THIS is just choice...

    Obama made such a spectacle of reuniting Bergendahili with his family..

    Obama's Osama Bin Laden Spike The Football/Victory Lap Rose Garden extravaganza was long as family sentiment. Oh how awesome it was that this poor poor Deserter... oops I mean.. POW was able to be reunited with his family...

    Apparently, the deserter... er POW doesn't WANT to be reunited with his family...

    And, before ya'all start slamming me for being insensitive...

    It was ya'all's messiah that dragged Bergendahl's family into the national spotlight for political purposes..

    So, if you want to blame anyone for this, guess what???

    Look no further than our POTUS....

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Lol Michale,

    Your rants are progressing from denial to just plain delusional! Bush never lie? WMDs. WOW! That was just TOO easy! If anyone in my administration was involved in outing Valerie Plame I will fire them. The Grand Jury found Cheney and Bush himself! were involved. Anyone fired? Waterboarding isn't torture?!

    I give you facts, you keep claiming I have no facts. YOU are the one with no facts. YOU are the one who only has opinions. Bush's lies are documented and corroborated by facts. Your rants about Obama are rightwing opinions, complete unsupported by facts.

    YOU have no credibility. You simply lie. Incessently. You claim terrorism is NEVER justified. Then clearly U.S. sponsored terrorism is justified by national security. You lie. You're a hypocrite. You'll say, and claim, anything you think supports your lie of the moment. You try to make everything about Obama. YOU try to blame everything on Obama.

    You simply tell lie after lie. You haven't heard any facts, not because I haven't given any, but because you pretend that anything you don't wat to hear isn't a fact. You simply lie. Opinions CAN be facts as well. Your claim that facts aren't facts because they're opinions is another lie. RATIONAL people base their opinion on facts, and hold factual opinions. YOU and Republicans, on the other hand pretend that facts are whatever you choose to believe. That your opinions ARE facts. ANOTHER LIE. Opinions CAN be facts but they certainly don't HAVE to be.

    And like all the other wingers you're highly impressed with your own supposed cleverness and willfully blind that its in fact abject stupidity.--But at least your easily amused.--By yourself.

  28. [28] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "It kept the US proper from terrorist attacks"?! Lol And just what President OTHER than Bush WASN'T able to keep "the US proper" from attack. I believe the ONLY one other than Bush was Roosevelt, and Pearl Harbor. And HE had a MUCH better excuse!

    But think Bush deserves a victory lap for keeping attacks terrorist attacks from the "US proper" for seven of his eight years in office?! When he was one if only two Presidents who COULDN'T protect the "US proper?"--Priceless!

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    "It kept the US proper from terrorist attacks"?! Lol And just what President OTHER than Bush WASN'T able to keep "the US proper" from attack. I believe the ONLY one other than Bush was Roosevelt, and Pearl Harbor. And HE had a MUCH better excuse!

    Such ignorance...

    That's like saying Lincoln was an awesome POTUS because he kept the US from a nuclear attack...

    Are you SURE you served in the military???

    But think Bush deserves a victory lap for keeping attacks terrorist attacks from the "US proper" for seven of his eight years in office?!

    Your Bush Derangement Syndrome is showing..

    Again, do you have any FACTS???

    RELEVANT Facts???

    No???

    Didna think so...

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    Still waiting for you to point to a Bush "lie" and then support it with facts..

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    All you have is personal attacks, LD..

    No facts whatsoever...

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    Still waiting for you to point to a Bush "lie" and then support it with facts..

    Ya know what?? Don't even bother..

    You are someone who said Obama DIDN'T lie when he said, "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan...

    You are someone who said Obama DIDN'T lie when he said he "Welcomes debate on domestic surveillance"...

    You are simply NOT credible in determining lies..

    For you, anyone who doesn't have their nose firmly planted up Obama's ass is "lying"...

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    What took you so long? Over 24 hours before you pulled out the "if you like your plan you can keep it card?" lol Yep. That's what I said. Obama didn't lie. Show me ONE person who COULDN'T "keep their plan." You know, a fact, proving I'm wrong?

    And I was being generous. Technically Bush is the ONLY President who couldn't keep "the US proper fro attacks by terrorists." Fact. OF COURSE to YOU its irrelevant. Spin. Bush was so awesome at counterterrorism he managed to do for SEVEN WHOLE YEARS what every OTHER President has ALWAYS managed to do. Way to find find a silver lining in the cloud of Bush incompetence! I guess we SHOULD be grateful weren't attacked even MORE with that idiot ad President!

    Bush's lie of WMDs in Iraq was nationally televised. His Sec State officially briefed the UN. FACTS. Matters of record. Bush' promised to the American people that anyone in his administration involved in outing Plame would be fired was also nationally televised. Fact.

    Not my problem if you can't get cable in Wingnutistan!

    PS, Since I haven't ANY idea what your rant about the domestic surveillance means! I can't respond. That one's even more incoherent than your usual! If Obama lied about welcoming debate he's done a pis poor job of stopping it! Bush did a MUCH better job of shutting down debate!--There. See. Not saying Bush was a TOTAL incompetent. (Ok. Yes. I am.) He did do some things. AND I'm always willing to give credit where credit is due!

  34. [34] 
    dsws wrote:

    [9] LewDan wrote:
    DEA won't be the only, in fact isn't the only law enforcement agency to go rouge

    Which kind, Cover Girl or Khmer?

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bush's lie of WMDs in Iraq was nationally televised. His Sec State officially briefed the UN. FACTS. Matters of record. Bush' promised to the American people that anyone in his administration involved in outing Plame would be fired was also nationally televised. Fact.

    And THERE is your problem.

    As with terrorism, it's your definition that is totally whacked and self serving..

    Bush didn't lie when he said there were WMDs in Iraq.. He was wrong.. There is a BIG difference between the two..

    Another thing, if Bush "lied" than so did every Democrat at the time...

    But let's dig deeper..

    Obama said "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan"...

    MILLIONS of people were not able to keep the plan they liked.

    Further, Obama KNEW that millions of people would not be able to keep the plans they liked.

    THAT is the textbook definition of a lie..

    Now, let's turn to Bush. The intelligence assessments from a dozen different sources said that Hussein (Saddam, not the luser in the White House) possessed WMDs... We KNOW Hussein (again, Saddam) had CWMDs because he used them on his own people...

    The intelligence assessments turned out to be not entirely accurate..

    So Bush, AND EVERY DEMOCRAT, turned out to be wrong..

    Wrong != Lie...

    Class dismissed...

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Technically Bush is the ONLY President who couldn't keep "the US proper fro attacks by terrorists." Fact. OF COURSE to YOU its irrelevant. Spin. Bush was so awesome at counterterrorism he managed to do for SEVEN WHOLE YEARS what every OTHER President has ALWAYS managed to do. Way to find find a silver lining in the cloud of Bush incompetence! I guess we SHOULD be grateful weren't attacked even MORE with that idiot ad President!

    And Abraham Lincoln was a TOTALLY awesome POTUS!! He kept the US free from Nuclear Attack during his ENTIRE presidency!!!

    And Obama is a TOTALLY awesome POTUS!!! He has kept the US free from a ZOMBIE/WEREWOLF/VAMPIRE attack for his ENTIRE presidency..

    But wait..

    None of those things were/are REALLY a threat...

    You get the point???

    I can dumb it down for you a bit more if ya need me to...

    "Look, you dumb this down anymore yer gonna get hit!"
    -Lt Col John Shepard, STARGATE:ATLANTIS

    :D

    Michale

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    His Sec State officially briefed the UN.

    You mean like Obama's Ambassador To The UN briefed the nation about Benghazi being caused by an anti-Islam video??

    Like Obama briefed the UN and said that Benghazi was caused by an anti-Islam video??

    Like that??

    Face it LD.. You are the ONLY one on the PLANET who thinks that Obama hasn't lied..

    The ONLY one on the PLANET...

    That facts are against you. The PLANET is against you...

    Obama lied.

    Obama continues to lie.

    Bush did not lie..

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama continues to lie.

    And Obama's poll numbers CONTINUE to fall...

    Overnight, they are down from 43.3 last night to 42.8 right now...

    We might not have to wait til the next OPW commentary to see Obama's numbers plummet below 40...

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Speaking of Obama's lies...

    Remember when Obama said that his signature TrainWreckCare program would lessen ER visits..

    Turned out he lied.. AGAIN...

    It's having the opposite effect..

    It's INCREASING Emergency Room visits..

    http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2014/06/07/patients-flocking-emergency-rooms-obamacare/10181349/

    Chalk up another Obama lie....

    It's simply AMAZING how many lies Obama had to sustain to get this train wreck passed...

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    Turning to Immigration..

    Once again, Obama misjudges the American people and totally screws the pooch..

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2014/0608/Illegal-immigration-how-humanitarian-crisis-on-border-could-hurt-Obama-video

    I saids it befores and I'll says it agains...

    Obama could fall into a mountain of diamonds and STILL come out covered in shit...

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    [9] LewDan wrote:
    DEA won't be the only, in fact isn't the only law enforcement agency to go rouge

    Which kind, Cover Girl or Khmer?

    Now THAT was funny!! :D

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Rouge Squadron, this is Rouge Leader. How's my eyeliner???"

    :D

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://houston.cbslocal.com/2014/06/09/hundreds-of-illegal-immigrant-minors-sleeping-on-plastic-boards-rotating-through-4-showers-at-shelter/

    THIS is why there hasn't been any immigration reform.

    Because Obama simply CANNOT be trusted to enforce ANY laws he doesn't like..

    I could respect him if his actions were based on actual humanitarian concerns..

    But these lawless actions are based on NOTHING but a fanatical partisan agenda to mint fresh new Dem voters..

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Still waiting for your proof. There WERE no cancelled policies.--NO ONE had their policy cancelled. Not "millions." Not even ONE. Spate me your bullshit opinions. Where are the FACTS you keep demanding of me, and then ignoring?--Put up or shut up, Michale.

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    Still waiting for your proof. There WERE no cancelled policies.--NO ONE had their policy cancelled. Not "millions." Not even ONE. Spate me your bullshit opinions. Where are the FACTS you keep demanding of me, and then ignoring?--Put up or shut up, Michale.

    SERIOUSLY???

    https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=ObamaCare%20cancelled%20policies&safe=off

    As I said, LD....

    YOU are the ONLY PERSON on the planet who thinks that there were NO cancelled plans.

    The ONLY PERSON... On the PLANET...

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let's clear the air about ObamaCare and health insurance cancellation. Many thought they could keep their plan, but found their health insurance policy canceled as of 2014.
    http://obamacarefacts.com/health-insurance-cancellation.php

    Like I said..

    The ONLY person..

    In the ENTIRE UNIVERSE...

    Who thinks that Policies were not cancelled under TrainWreckCare...

    You yourself said that policies that were cancelled under TrainWreckCare were "cancelled because they were subpar"...

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Gotta love your Bizzaro view of events! Six million people now have insurance--and they're USING it!--Who could POSSIBLY have imagined such a thing?!--Oh--Wait--EVERYONE! People getting proactive healthcare DOES reduce emergency room visits. But FIRST they have to get care. And it's UNINSURED visits we're concerned about.--People getting care who can't pay for it. Not people getting care.--Well REPUBLICANS object to getting care. But the SANE part of the country doesn't!

    And the problem housing and processing the THOUSANDS of illegal immigrants are BECAUSE Obama is enforcing the law! If he were unable to catch them, like, say BUSH! we wouldn't have this problem.

    And Obama "lies" while Bush is "wrong" and you think I have a "definition" problem. Lol No Michale, YOU have hypocrisy problem. Bush's "intelligence estimates" were lies too. Yellowcake?! Aluminum tubes?! Amazing how Bush isn't responsible for ANYTHING that HE did! Much less for what anyone else did, or what happened in the country whip HE was President! But Obama is! If it happens while Obama's President its Obama's fault--according to you.

    BUSH runs up TRILLIONS in deficits and cuts taxes so the deficits KEEP piling up even AFTER he leaves Office but YOU think that on inauguration day it became Obama's fault! And even THAT isn't a big enough lie for YOU. You not only claim that anything that happens in, or to America is Obama's fault, you claim that being President means Obama CAUSED whatever happens.--Now THERES a problem with definitions!

    --And yeah, the "rouge" thing was funny! Feel free to mock my endless typos. I'm sure my autocorrect is proud that its endless efforts to make me look an idiot are appreciated.--And if it injects enough humor it MAY manage to save itself from inevitable defenestration!

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    Gotta love your Bizzaro view of events! Six million people now have insurance--and they're USING it!-

    And millions of other people also had insurance that they were using.. And that they liked..

    And that Obama PROMISED they could keep..

    And yet, they got their policies CANCELLED..

    SOLELY and COMPLETELY because of TrainWreckCare..

    People getting proactive healthcare DOES reduce emergency room visits.

    And yet, ER visits are UP 20%!!!

    BECAUSE of TrainWreckCare...

    --And yeah, the "rouge" thing was funny! Feel free to mock my endless typos.

    Actually, it was dsws who pointed it out.. I simply jumped on the bandwagon with witty joke..

    Lighten up.. :D

    Michale

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here is what DEMOCRATS are saying about Obama..

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/white-house/i-ve-had-enough-when-democrats-quit-on-obama-20140609

    The rats are deserting a sinking ship...

    Michale

  50. [50] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    You may be right. I MAY be the only one in the universe! Because, unlike everyone ELSE I don't depend upon the news! PROOF is a cancellation notice. NOT, yet ANOTHER, opinion piece. I will grant the cancellation propaganda is the most awesomely successful bullshit that I've ever seen, but its STILL a lie!

    So I'm still waiting, Michale. Where's your proof that even ONE policy was cancelled? I've told you, repeatedly, that policies CANNOT be cancelled except under the terms in the policy. So where's your PROOF that one was?! If MILLIONS were cancelled surely there's at least ONE cancellation notice?

    Other people believing your lie isn't proof. When you can show a policy that was cancelled, that wasn't in force until it expired I'll agree Obama lied.--How hard can that be? If millions of policies were cancelled, if wingers were lining to up to testify to the "harm" ACA caused them on Fox News, you should be able to find PROOF, other than your endless string of "but, so and so, SAID millions were cancelled!"--Facts, Michale, produce FACTS to back up you lies. Contract law is a FACT. I've given you FACTS to back up my claim. You keep giving me hearsay. Where's your facts?!

  51. [51] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale [47],

    Lighten up?! I was serious. Feel free to mock any typos. I've long since given up trying to defeat the little beast. Takes WAY too much effort.--And the SECOND that I turn my back, or drop my guard--WHAM! Another knife in the back! So until the day I finally snap and play tablet Frisbee from the top of some tower.--Feel free.--I can always use a good laugh.

  52. [52] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Sorry DWS,

    Missed your catch. Yeah, you're right!

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    I posted my PROOF, LD...

    STRAIGHT from the TrainWreckCare Facts Website..

    Let's clear the air about ObamaCare and health insurance cancellation. Many thought they could keep their plan, but found their health insurance policy canceled as of 2014.
    http://obamacarefacts.com/health-insurance-cancellation.php

    I think it was Good Trickle himself (herself??) who posted that his (her?) policy was cancelled..

    Actual testimony from a real live person..

    What more do you want???

    Michale

  54. [54] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale [48],

    Right wing opinion pieces claiming that some anonymous top Democrat finds Obama's failure to abide by Congress' unconstitutional orders to the President "the last straw" is how DEMOCRATS really feel about Obama?!--lol You'll pretend to believe ANYTHING won't you?

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    Where's YOUR proof that people actually GOT insurance??

    I have MORE proof of the cancelled policies than you have that people actually GOT insurance...

    We have an actual Weigantian who says their policy was cancelled..

    Where's YOUR proof, LD???

    Michale

  56. [56] 
    LewDan wrote:

    No, Michale,

    The hearsay opinion of some staffer writing on a website is NOT proof OR fact. Obama said ACA doesn't prevent anyone from keeping their policies. THAT is the official U.S. position. If you claim he lied, show some PROOF. That a site devoted to debunking the MASSIVE AMOUNT of rightwing LIES about Obamacare actually fell for one themselves isn't proof that Obama lied, anymore than CW having fallen for it is.

    Fact, Michale. Not opinion. Proof. Just ONE policy. Just ONE piece of PROOF that isn't the unsubstantiated word of someone. You won't find it. You can't find it. Because you are lying.--Prove me wrong!

    Not ONE policy was ever cancelled. They cannot BE cancelled. THAT is the law. THAT is a FACT.--So I'm waiting, Michale. Where's your proof?

  57. [57] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Lol, Can't take the truth can you, Michale? Gonna run away and sulk again? YOU get to demand facts and proof but don't have any yourself? Time to try to change the subject again?

    I don't have to prove ANYTHING. YOU'RE the one claiming Obama lied. Prove it!

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    Where's your proof, LD??

    Just show me FACT.. One policy from TrainWreckCare...

    Just ONE policy, LD...

    Show me proof...

    I have eyewitness testimony that a policy was cancelled..

    Do you have ANY proof that someone obtained a policy from TrainWreckCare??

    Nope.. You don't...

    Michale

  59. [59] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Tell you what, Michale,

    Since you're having such difficulty with the concept of facts and proof. I'll give you a break. If millions of policies were cancelled because of Obamacare, and since you can't find even ONE cancellation notice, show me exactly WHERE in the PPACA it says insurers must cancel policies. Hell, I'll even settle for you showing me where it says that they CAN cancel policies!

  60. [60] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Lol

    Michale, "I have eyewitness testimony"?! In other words "trust me"? You REALLY don't get that opinion and hearsay ARE NOT PROOF, do you? No wonder you're willing to believe anything that comes out of talk radio! Facts, Michale. Proof.--Haven't got it, have you? Just lies. Nothing but lies.

    You go around demanding facts and proof but in yet ANOTHER dazzling display of hypocrisy YOU can't meet the standard you claim is required of everyone else!

    Obama DID NOT LIE. YOU DID. No ones policies were EVER cancelled.

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    Can you show me ONE policy of all the millions you claim got insurance??

    No you can't..

    Therefore, using your OWN reasoning, you are lying...

    Like I said.. You are the ONLY person in the universe who simply denies reality...

    I can't show you a million bucks.. I could 15 years ago, but not now...

    But I know that a million bucks exist..

    I can't show you an african lion...

    But I know that they exist...

    I can't show you an honest Democrat Congresscritter...

    But I know that..... OK, bad example...

    Do you see how utterly RIDICULOUS your argument is???

    You KNOW what I am saying is factual.. But to protect your messiah, you come up with a nonsensical and infantile argument..

    Just like your Gitmo prisoners shouldn't have been there argument..

    I expect better from you, LD...

    Michale

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other news..

    VA says more than 57,000 patients are waiting for first visit
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/06/09/va-says-more-than-57000-patients-waiting-for-first-visit/

    Almost 60 THOUSAND veterans have been left behind by the Obama Administration...

    Like I said.. The Left pontificating about "No Man Left Behind" is insulting to every person in this country who has worn the uniform...

    Michale

  63. [63] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Lets deconstruct the millions if cancelled policies myth. People received sales letters from insurers telling them the terms being offered for new policies, and rightwing media LIED and claimed that they were cancellation notices. NOT ONE POLICY WAS CANCELLED.

    The notices were about choices for NEW policies available to people when their old ones expired. That's ended, as in completed, not "cancelled." People had gotten all the insurance they had contracted for and if they want more they have to negotiate NEW policies.

    That's how contracts work. Its how they've ALWAYS worked. Obama are had NOTHING to do with it.

    "If you like your policy you can keep it" does NOT mean you're ENTITLED to NEW policies with the exact same terms anymore than if you like your far you can keep it entitles you to a new car just like your old one!

    And the literal interpretation of "if you like your policy you can keep it" is even more obviously true, since EVERY policy was good through its FULL term, UNTIL IT EXPIRED. Anyone who liked their policy could most certainly keep it! All they had to do was pay the premiums on time.

    Obama was simply trying to assure everyone that their insurance choices would be up to them and not imposed by the government. He did not promise they could successfully negotiate whatever they wanted from their insurer.

    Republicans lied about "cancellation" notices. Lied about policies being cancelled. Lied about what Obama said. And lied about Obama lying.

    Every policyholder can negotiate with their insurer for policies just like their old ones IF THEY WANTED TO. No one has to take whatever an insurer is offering. Contracts are the result of negotiation. NOTHING in Obamacare prevented anyone from keeping their policy if they wanted to. Nothing in Obama's remarks promised people they buy new policies exactly like the old ones. Claiming Obama lied based on a literal interpretation of remarks that isn't actually either true or accurate, is a lie. Claiming Obama lied based on a misrepresentation of his remarks is a lie. Obama didn't lie. Republicans, and YOU, Michale, are the liars.

    Prove me wrong! Show where the PPACA says differently. Show me even one cancellation notice!-- You can't. There never were any. You are lying.

  64. [64] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Damn right GITMO prisoners shouldn't have been there! First you claim they aren't covered by Geneva conventions because they aren't POWs. You claim their "enemy combatants" and that you're apprehending criminals. Then you refuse to try them because you know the courts would order their release, so suddenly you change your tune and they're POWs. Except "the war in Afghanistan" is A war in Afghanistan, not the war of fifteen years ago. We're in Afghanistan WITH THE PERMISSION of the Afghans fighting insurgents out of Pakistan.

    Being still engaged in SOME kind of warfare IN Afghanistan does not give us a right to continue to hold prisoners from our war WITH Afghanistan. We simply ignore the law, OUR OWN as well as international, and hold them illegally.--The only thing absurd are your shifting rationales and obvious lies.

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    You can deconstruct all you want to LD...

    But the simple fact is there were MILLIONS of Americans that had their policies cancelled..

    You are the ONLY person who thinks otherwise.

    The facts are clear...

    Michale

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    Damn right GITMO prisoners shouldn't have been there!

    But they were and that is that...

    And your guy, Obama, has been holding them there for the last 6 years....

    These are the facts. And they are undisputed..

    Michale

  67. [67] 
    LewDan wrote:

    So out of all the Fox News testimonial and thousands of opinion pieces castigating Obama for "lying" no one scanned and posted one of the millions of cancellation notices because that's just too hard? And its unreasonable yo demand you produce one because last years Internet posts are just too old?

    lol PLEASE! You got nothing! You lied. Plain and simple!

    The PPACA statute is certainly easy enough for you to find. What's your excise for not showing where it orders the cancellation of policies?

    Facts, Michale. That's what YOU keep demanding! Lets see you produce some!

  68. [68] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Lol, OK I'm done. You've made it painfully clear that your lying. That your "facts" are just other wingers lying.

    No policies were ever cancelled and Obama did not lie. And YOU, just cannot stand that! So you turn to your rightwing self delusions where "everybody knows" and nobody's pays any attention to the facts. Pathetic.

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    No policies were ever cancelled and Obama did not lie.

    Riiiggghtt, LD..

    And unicorns exist..

    And Obama's approval ratings is in the high 90s.. :D

    So you turn to your rightwing self delusions where "everybody knows" and nobody's pays any attention to the facts.

    Lemme know when you ever have any facts..

    Michale

  70. [70] 
    Michale wrote:

    The PPACA statute is certainly easy enough for you to find. What's your excise for not showing where it orders the cancellation of policies?

    What's your excuse for not showing ONE SINGLE TrainWreckCare policy???

    Michale

  71. [71] 
    LewDan wrote:

    STILL trying to change the subject?! What, proof suddenly isn't necessary because its just sooo DIFFICULT for you to find it!

    You wingers kill me with your endless double standards! ALWAYS making demand of others that you yourselves couldn't BEGIN to meet!

    Millions of "cancellations" hundreds of posts and op-eds, and the only proof you have is hearsay! I've got the law! Look it up. Ask any lawyer. Ask any insurance agent. Policies cannot just be arbitrarily cancelled. No policies were cancelled because of Obamacare.

    You think no one thought to show one of those "millions of cancellations?" You think no lawyer thought to sue over any of those "millions of cancelations." Neither ever happened because no cancellations ever happened.

    Your "Obama lied!" is a lie.

  72. [72] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yes, LD...

    NO policies were EVER cancelled..

    I'll let that totally outlandish piece of fiction that ONLY YOU believes stand on it's own (lack of) merit... :D

    Michale

  73. [73] 
    Michale wrote:

    I have to admit...

    It's an interesting debate technique..

    Totally deny reality...

    Let me know how that works out for you... :D

    Michale

  74. [74] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    rdnewman [12] -

    First off, welcome to the site. Sorry your comment didn't appear until now, but from this point on you should be able to post comments and have them appear instantly. Just don't post more than one link per comment (multilink comments are automatically held for moderation to cut down on comment spam).

    As to your comment, thanks for providing the reference! I was scratching my head at the "mats" so I'm glad to see it was merely a pop culture reference (I haven't seen Office Space I have to admit). The only "jump to conclusions" reference I could think of was from the kids' book The Phantom Tollbooth where the characters were literally (and against their will) "jumped" to an island named "Conclusions" (at least, as far as I can remember, it's been a while since I re-read this book, I'll admit -- but it is a great book, and I recommend it to all and sundry, no matter your current age).

    Anyway, thanks for clearing it up for everyone, and again, welcome to the site!

    :-)

    -CW

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/379852/obama-and-mockery-honor-ralph-peters

    What IS it about our so-called "leaders" that they are so anti-military and clueless about what true military service entails??

    Michale

  76. [76] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    rdnewman,

    Hey, let me be the second to welcome you to the site!

    Your comments will never get lost in the shuffle here as we read everything that everyone writes. Seriously!

    And, I just have to say that Michale's comments have been called many things but I think substantive is a first ... :)

  77. [77] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Right Michale,

    No red state insurance commissioner has publicly said a peep about your millions of phantom cancellations. No Congressman has held a hearing. Every testimonial rightwing media has proven to be false. And there's not a shred of proof on the internet.

    It would be patently illegal, but so what. Its what you delusional Obama haters WANT to hear so it MUST be true. Republicans will investigate Benghazi sixteen times for two years but with fifty votes to repeal Obamacare not ONE person has testified to having their insurance cancelled. Not ONE hearing has been held. I guess six million cancellations just was big enough to attract their attention, right?

    But in the circular logic of the Right it just HAS to be true because everybody says it is since everybody says it is.

    So lets just be clear, your abiding faith in the claim that Obama lied isn't based on ANYTHING factual. You haven't GOT any proof. But you think that as long as you and your fellow travelers know that everybody KNOWS its true, why THAT'S proof!--Much like you all KNEW Obama was toast in the last election. Since EVERYBODY KNEW everyone hated and despised him?!

    Wow! Mad delusion and denial on an epic scale! I probably shouldn't enjoy watching you squirm QUITE so much--but its just so hard not to! Lying hypocrite au jus! Always better served by turning up the heat!

  78. [78] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    "•Plans can cancel or choose not to renew policies: ?Due to nonpayment of premiums
    ?When an insurer stops offering a specific product
    ?When an insurer moves out of the geographic area
    ?When individuals or employers move out of the geographic market"

    http://www.bcbsla.com/AboutBlue/healthcarereform/understandingreform/updates/Pages/062910.aspx
    PPACA Patient Bill Of Rights

    You see, Michale, THAT would be a "fact." No policies were cancelled because of Obamacare.

  79. [79] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Having read the summary of this Patient Bill of Rights I can see how the Right got away with lying about policy cancellations. The phrase "cancel or choose not to renew." "Cancel" is not the SAME as "choose not to renew."

    Policies can only be cancelled for nonpayment. Insurers can choose not to renew for any of the reasons given.

    If this is HHS wording the Right has been misquoting it to lie about millions of cancellations.

    Policies cannot be cancelled just because an insurer chooses to stop offering a specific product. Any existing policies written must still be honored. But they can refuse to write any NEW policies by choosing not to renew.

  80. [80] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    Chris Weigant [74] - thank you and glad to be here. Thanks for your web site and the book cite. Hope it's illustrated too; an illustrated children's book is about my speed these days :)

    Elizabeth Miller [76] - thank you too. Re substantive, regardless of one's political persuasion, Michale does respond to the points raised, gives some cites to his arguments, and offers more than just ad hominems (though sadly offers those too). If you prefer though, there is always the second definition to substantive for his POV...

  81. [81] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    As I said, you are the only person on the planet that believes that no policies we're cancelled..

    In your mind, YOU are right and EVERYONE ON THE PLANET is wrong..

    Wow... And people call ME arrogant! :D

    rdnewman,

    "WELCOME TO THE PARTY, PAL!!!!"
    -John McClane, DIE HARD

    :D

    regardless of one's political persuasion, Michale does respond to the points raised, gives some cites to his arguments, and offers more than just ad hominems

    I do try.. :D

    (though sadly offers those too).

    Yea, much to my embarrassment, 'tis true...

    However, in my defense, I am not one to go there first. It's a weak defense, but a defense nonetheless...

    I liken it to a mud-wrestling match. By it's very nature, it's impossible to do battle and remain completely clean. :D

    Michale

  82. [82] 
    Michale wrote:

    Pivoting to Immigration, I have a serious question and would love to see a serious answer..

    Further I would ask of ya'all a Herculean task...

    I would ask that ya'all FORGET about being Democrats while considering this question..

    Why should Republicans back Obama's idea of Immigration "reform"??

    Please don't come back with "Because it's the right thing to do".. Because it's ONLY the right thing for the Democratic Party.

    It's NOT the right thing to do for the country and it SURE AS HELL is not the right thing to do for the Republican Party..

    So, I axe ya..

    Give me ONE logical and rational reason why should the Republican Party should back Obama's Immigration "reform".

    Just one.. That's all I ask...

    Michale

  83. [83] 
    Michale wrote:

    Give me ONE logical and rational reason why should the Republican Party should back Obama's Immigration "reform".

    Forgive the tortured syntax..

    That should read...

    Give me ONE logical and rational reason why the Republican Party should back Obama's Immigration "reform".

    My bust...

    Michale

  84. [84] 
    Michale wrote:
  85. [85] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Why would any Democrat WANT Republicans to support immigration reform? The sooner enough Latinos realize what a waste if space they are and vote to replace them, the sooner we can actually get things done in this country, (other than funneling our money to the wealthy,) including immigration reform.

    If Republicans get on board it'll be just enough, and for just long enough, to ensure nothing substantive ever gets enacted.--Its what they do.

  86. [86] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "LD,

    As I said, you are the only person on the planet that believes that no policies we're cancelled..

    In your mind, YOU are right and EVERYONE ON THE PLANET is wrong..

    Wow... And people call ME arrogant! :D"

    It isn't arrogance if you're right! Contract law is no secret. I've cited the Patient bill if rights. Cancelling policies that have paid up on time premiums is illegal. Always has been. You call yourself a businessman and pretend you don't understand the concept of contracts being binding agreements?

    So I've got proof, the law. You've got news reports. Reports of millions of illegal cancellations and not ONE lawsuit, not ONE Attorneys General investigation, Not ONE Insurance Commission investigation, not ONE Congressional investigation, not ONE trial lawyer interested in suing insurers worth billions on behalf if MILLIONS?!

    And THAT makes sense to you? I think they know something you don't want to hear. I think that's far better proof than your fantasy that the whole planet knows you're right!

    lol You think your unproven irrational "everybody knows" is the ultimate comeback?--Since you HAVE no PROOF, no FACTS to back you up?! That's not only arrogant, that's delusional! If Fox News could get its hand on even ONE cancellation notice, much less hundreds, or THOUSANDS, of the "millions" people supposedly received you wouldn't have any trouble at all finding one! Republicans in Congress would be waving them in front of the cameras!

  87. [87] 
    Michale wrote:

    So I've got proof, the law.

    Yea... And Obama would NEVER disobey or flout the law, would he!!!????

    Ya know... If I didn't know for an absolute fact that you actually BELIEVE what you are saying, I would compliment you on the hilarious joke...

    Millions of Americans had their policies cancelled.

    This is fact..

    These millions of policies were cancelled because they did not conform to TrainWreckCare.

    This is fact...

    What you have is an Obama Derangement Syndrome fantasy.

    This is fact..

    Michale

  88. [88] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why would any Democrat WANT Republicans to support immigration reform? The sooner enough Latinos realize what a waste if space they are and vote to replace them, the sooner we can actually get things done in this country, (other than funneling our money to the wealthy,) including immigration reform.

    So, you are saying that this country would be better off if Democrats ran everything all the time???

    What color IS the sky on your planet?? :D

    Michale

  89. [89] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ahhh New information on Birghdfal..

    Even though it was Obama who did the victory lap around the Rose Garden with Ma & Pa Taliban, we now know that it was SecDef HAGEL who made the final decision..

    Which begs the question..

    Does Obama EVER take responsibility for ANYTHING????

    Michale

  90. [90] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale [67]

    Classic winger comeback! Lets add ANOTHER instance of imaginary Obama lawbreaking to our imaginary Obamacare cancellations of millions of policies!

    It would be an issue that you constantly demand others supply facts to back up their opinions and then proclaim those opinions wrong if they don't. (Or even if they do!) But since you're such a well known hypocrite having long since established your intellectual dishonesty and obvious Obama derangement syndrome I'll simply accept your inability to deal with the truth and admit you are wrong for the character flaw that it is.--No need to thank me!

  91. [91] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    That's your problem..

    You deal in truth.. YOUR truth..

    I am more interested in facts...

    Of which you never have any...

    Michale

  92. [92] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale [88],

    The color would be blue. And we'd be in one hell of a lot less debt! Since Republicans think that they don't actually have to pay for anything, just as they think that they don't actually have to obey the law.

    Republicans think that having power means you can do whatever you please. They're the very definition of corrupt. They don't even really pretend to care about anything but getting and keeping power.

    Which is why they're having trouble with the Tea Party. Some of the rubes they've been using because they actually believe the Republicans' bullshit managed to get themselves elected by other rubes with the dame intellectual shortcomings. And, now, they're actually trying to DO the idiot things Republicans have been saying they wanted and needed done! Which, if successful, makes it a tossup whether they destroy America, or the Republican party, first!--Unless, of course, they can be properly corrupted, diverted, or removed in time. We're calling it "Establishment" Republicans vs Tea Party Republicans.--Your basic blind greed vs bat shit crazy cage match.

    Oh, yeah! Democrats=country MUCH better off!

    They're far from perfect, but at least THEY aren't trying to DESTROY the country to "save" it! Apparently, you can win election by encouraging paranoia for only so long before the lunatics you've created start acting out "self-defense."

  93. [93] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale [91],

    Your idea of "facts" being what you choose to believe--at the moment. AKA "As seen on Fox News."--Which is why, suddenly, the law isn't a "fact" to you.

  94. [94] 
    Michale wrote:

    Still waiting for ANY facts, LD...

    Just one single fact... :D

    Obama lied.. This is fact...

    Berghfdal is a deserter...

    This is fact...

    Obama is incompetent..

    This is opinion backed up by OODLES of fact...

    Michale

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