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Friday Talking Points [323] -- Is There Anybody Out There?

[ Posted Friday, October 10th, 2014 – 17:37 PDT ]

I address this desperate attempt at communication to any remaining survivors in America of the apocalyptic scourge that is Ebola. Is there anybody still out there? Because, according to my television for the past few weeks, the death rates have been climbing so high that hundreds of millions of Americans should be pushing up the daisies by now. So, with full sorrow for the uncounted lives lost over the past few weeks, I humbly wonder whether anyone is left on the internet to read this lonely missive.

What's that? There's only been one death? No... wait, that can't be right....

The American news media, already a shadow of its former self, has discovered once again that there is simply no reason not to operate in full-blown panic mode, all the time. Instead of "the apocalyptic scourge that is Ebola," we have "the scourge that is media hyperventilating over Ebola in apocalyptic tones." Panic draws eyeballs to the screen. Panic sells. This spills over into the world of politics on an even more primitive level, one that harkens back to Machiavelli: "fear works." It is easier for politicians to get the populace to fear than it is to love. 'Twas always thus.

In a week filled with pearl-clutching, there will always be one Republican who stands above the pack in fear-mongering. This week, that dubious prize goes to the executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party, who tweeted the following suggestions for a rational response to Ebola:

People with Ebola in the US need to be humanely put down immediately.

The protocol for a positive Ebola test should be immediate humane execution and sanitization of the whole area. That will save lives.

Ready for the delicious irony? This is a guy who calls himself pro-life. This is one small step away from Monty Python's famous "Bring out your dead" sketch, in fact. Nothing like "compassionate conservatism," is there?

Phyllis Schlafly, who is apparently still around, was quick to identify the real problem:

Obama doesn't want America to believe that we’re exceptional. He wants us to be just like everybody else, and if Africa is suffering from Ebola, we ought to join the group and be suffering from it, too. That's his attitude.

Other Republicans were quick to jump on board a conspiracy theory making the rounds in Rightwingistan: that ISIS fighters are already streaming across America's southern border. Haven't heard this one? Here's Tom Cotton, Republican running for the Senate in Arkansas:

The problem is with Mark Pryor and Barack Obama refusing to enforce our immigration laws, and refusing to secure our border. I'll change that when I’m in the United States Senate. And I would add, it’s not just an immigration problem. We now know that it's a security problem. Groups like the Islamic State collaborate with drug cartels in Mexico who have clearly shown they're willing to expand outside the drug trade into human trafficking and potentially even terrorism. They could infiltrate our defenseless border and attack us right here in places like Arkansas.

Here's Duncan Hunter, House member from California, who has a list right there in his hand of ten ISIS fighters who have already been detained at the border:

If you really want to protect Americans from ISIS, you secure the southern border -- it's that simple. They caught them at the border, therefore we know that ISIS is coming across the border. If they catch five or ten of them then you know there's going to be dozens more that did not get caught by the border patrol. ISIS doesn't have a navy, they don't have an air force, they don't have nuclear weapons. The only way that ISIS is going to harm Americans is by coming through the southern border -- which they already have.

This led the Department of Homeland Security to try to interject some reality into this dark world of paranoid Republican fantasy, by issuing a complete denial:

The suggestion that individuals who have ties to ISIL have been apprehended at the Southwest border is categorically false, and not supported by any credible intelligence or the facts on the ground. DHS continues to have no credible intelligence to suggest terrorist organizations are actively plotting to cross the southwest border.

But, you know, that doesn't mean Republicans can't go out and campaign on the non-existent threat. Hey, it's a free country, right? Salon had some fun with this, plus the three other "Be afraid! Be very afraid!" themes that seem to be the sum total of the Republican Party's campaign playbook:

You don't have to use all four. It's more like ordering a combo platter at a restaurant: mix-and-match a plate of two or three different items out of a possible total of four.

You can say that ISIS is trying to infiltrate the country through its porous border; that Ebola-stricken Africans are trying to infiltrate the country through its porous border; that Ebola-stricken ISIS members are trying to infiltrate the country through its porous border; that ISIS is trying to infiltrate the White House and its vulnerable security perimeter; that Ebola-stricken Africans are trying to infiltrate the White House and its vulnerable security perimeter, etc. All of these things are happening, or they're not, but they could.

President Obama, most generously, is too incompetent to stop any of these things from happening; more likely, he wants them to happen and is abetting their happening, since his end-game is and has always been destruction of the country from the inside.

We don't think that any Republican Senate candidate has threaded the needle between all four yet -- as in, "Ebola-stricken Africans are teaming up with ISIS in Mexico, crossing the porous border, and marching to Washington to infiltrate the White House and its vulnerable security perimeter." Has any candidate said this yet? If not, first one one [sic] wins a combo platter at Sizzler.

You know what might help in this crisis-to-end-all-crises? Having a Surgeon General in office. President Obama nominated someone for the job last November, but his confirmation has been blocked ever since. For purely ideological reasons. This needs a little more attention from the media, especially considering their absolute obsession with Ebola right now.

In non-Ebola news, the midterm Senate campaigns are heating up. Here's a quick rundown with some links, as we enter the final month of campaigning:

Democrats down in the polls in Alaska, but maybe this won't matter.

Republicans have pretty much given up on their chances in Michigan (they've pulled all their last-minute campaign ad money out, a pretty clear sign that they're toast).

Colorado is still close. So is Iowa, but Republicans appear to be holding an edge here.

South Dakota, of all places, is looking interesting, as the Republican is down in the polls in a three-way race. Will Rick Weiland or the independent in the race have a chance? Stay tuned.

Democrats just increased their chances of stealing Georgia away, as a David Perdue gaffe is getting a lot of attention -- Romney "47 percent" style attention. Some intrepid opposition researcher dug up Perdue replying in a court deposition, when asked about his experience with outsourcing jobs: "Yeah, I spent most of my career doing that." When this came to light and he was asked about how he'd defend this statement, he promptly doubled down: "Defend it? I'm proud of it."

In Kansas, the news continues to be bad for Republicans.

North Carolina got some bad news as the courts upheld voter-suppression laws, but again, this might not matter as much as you think, because of the backlash.

And in New Hampshire, Scott Brown's chances of winning were already fading, but now he's actually trying to position himself as a champion pro-choice candidate, despite voting for "big government" inserting itself into the conversation between a woman and her doctor. Good luck with that, Scott. He's not the only one trying to lay very low indeed on the front lines of the War On Women, it's worth noting.

In non-Senate election news, the New York Times just endorsed all three recreational marijuana ballot initiatives this year (Oregon, Alaska, and Washington DC), which continues their bold editorial stand on the subject. Oh, and there's a great Carl Sagan letter making the rounds, with some very intelligent questions he wanted to ask decades ago (it's well worth reading, even today). In other Drug War news, the D.E.A. stole a woman's identity and created a fake Facebook page to troll for drug dealers, back in 2010. Good to know what our taxpayer dollars are funding, isn't it?

This is running insanely long already (as usual), but we've got two more odds and ends that we just have to toss out there. The first is the news that NBC News offered Jon Stewart pretty much any amount of money he wanted if he would only be the new host of Meet The Press. An inside source described it as: "They were ready to back the Brinks truck up." Stewart, obviously, passed up such a tempting offer, but it sure is fun to picture him hosting the show, isn't it?

And in our "Department Of Perhaps-Unintended Irony," the Washington Post, after the Nationals lost to the San Francisco Giants, ran one of the funniest sports articles we've ever read, written in full-on "Mad Libs" fashion. Fill-in-the-blanks, and you've got a ready-made column for each time a Washington team disappoints its fans by not going all the way. What was even funnier to us, however, was that even in such a masterful work of satire, it was never admitted that the sports writers in Washington bear a large part of the blame for lifting fans' hopes up so sky-high each and every year (at the beginning of the season) -- there was precisely zero self-reflection on the part of the media. The funniest thing of all? Whether by intent or possibly (to be fair) through automated "link this story to that" software at the Post site, the suggested Post video which appeared right after the satirical article's text ended was titled: "Why this season will be different for the Capitals." Too, too funny!

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

Attorney General Eric Holder was vindicated in a big way this week, when a report from the (non-partisan) General Accounting Office proved that states with voter-suppression laws actually do suppress minority voting. That's right -- laws passed by Republicans to make it harder for poor and minority people to vote do precisely that. This was a busy week for voting laws, as court decisions (including one tossing out a new Texas law where the judge called it nothing more than a "poll tax") were announced. Holder has indeed championed this cause during his time in office, and he wrote a pretty good statement of his position after the report came out, for which he deserves at least an Honorable Mention.

But this week we're giving out a collective Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award to everyone who has ever worked for marriage equality. Gay rights activists and their supporters gained an important milestone this week, as the Supreme Court refused to review the string of pro-marriage-equality rulings that have happened in the past year and a half. The milestone, properly stated, is: "Marriage equality for all across this great land should now be seen as inevitable."

Some of us have been saying this for a while, but this week was the time when pretty much everyone agreed on America's new reality. Even most Republicans (well, except Ted Cruz) just don't want to talk about it anymore, because all they can see is solid defeat, across the landscape. Republican politicians have gone from breathing fire on the campaign trail on the issue just a few short years ago to now hoping the subject doesn't even come up.

That is a stunning victory for marriage egalitarians. This used to be a successful wedge issue Republicans used around election time to divide Democrats. Now it is exactly the opposite.

So for everyone who worked to achieve this goal -- and for everyone who still has work to do (just because it is politically inevitable doesn't mean more legal work has to be done) -- give yourselves a large pat on the back, and accept our virtual Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award for your efforts. This has been the biggest shift in American political opinion on civil rights in the last half century. It didn't happen overnight, and it took a lot of hard work, but complete victory is only a few court opinions away from becoming reality.

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

There was another disturbing report of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration meddling where they really shouldn't have been. This time around, they got caught scrubbing some language from a report on the effects of fracking, to make it seem more friendly. This was supposed to be a scientific report, untainted by politics. This is the second example of such meddling in the past few months, which makes for a disturbing trend and earns Cuomo a (Dis-)Honorable Mention.

There was a salacious green-card-marriage-for-money story out of Oregon, but we don't consider it fair game because the woman involved is not an elected official or even married to one.

Instead, we're giving out the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award as a follow-up to an earlier story (which earned him his second MDDOTW award, back in FTP [313]).

Senator John Walsh of Montana was caught earlier in a plagiarism scandal from his college days. As a result, he was forced to end his bid to get elected (he had initially been appointed after Max Baucus became ambassador to China), in shame.

This week, the other shoe dropped, as the Army War College announced it was revoking his master's degree (the heart of the plagiarism scandal).

See, kids? When schools tell you "it's going to become part of your permanent record," it turns out they are right. For the shame Walsh has brought on the office, we think he deserves a third Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award.

[Contact Senator John Walsh on his Senate contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 323 (10/10/14)

President Obama raised some eyebrows a short time ago, when he said in a speech that while he would not be on the ballot, his policies would. The inside-the-Beltway crowd swooned over the statement, which they all instantly agreed would hurt Democrats.

One Democratic senator -- although, in fairness, she's not up for re-election -- showed precisely how to respond to the critics. Barbara Boxer wrote a full-throated defense of Obama's statement, which is well worth reading in full.

I mention this up front, because our first four talking points are taken directly from her article. These are well-crafted talking points any Democrat could be using right now, and we heartily applaud Boxer for showing the rest of them how it's supposed to be done. The last three of this week's talking points are our own, but we had to stick Boxer's four right up front, just because.

 

1
   Raise the minimum wage

These were all presented under the introduction: "Here's what is really on [the] ballot this November:"

Raising the Minimum Wage. The ability of 28 million American workers to get a raise is on the ballot. Democrats are committed to helping to lift millions of workers and their families out of poverty. But time and time again, Republicans have blocked an increase in the federal minimum wage.

 

2
   Reduce student loan debt

Notice in each of these, Boxer points out the obstructionism of Republicans on issues which are wildly popular with the public.

Reducing Student Loan Debt. Easing the crushing burden of student loan debt for young people and their families is on the ballot. Democrats want to pass a bill to help borrowers refinance their loans at lower rates. And again and again, Republicans have blocked giving middle-class Americans a fair shot at an affordable college education.

 

3
   Equal pay now!

The last sentence of this should be memorized as a refrain, for any Democratic candidate running for just about any race.

Equal Pay for Women. The ability of women to earn equal pay for equal work is on the ballot. Democrats want to pass legislation to help close the wage gap that costs women more than $400,000 over the course of their careers. Republicans have blocked it time and time again.

 

4
   A woman and her doctor

Point out which side of the fight you and your opponent are on, in clear terms.

Access to Affordable Birth Control. The ability of women to access affordable birth control -- without having to ask their boss' permission -- is on the ballot. Democrats believe women and families should be able to make their own decisions about their health care. Republicans have blocked us again and again, and would rather to give that power to corporate CEOs.

 

5
   More economic good news

The economy is not getting worse. It is getting better. So say so!

"The numbers were just released for the past year, and the federal deficit has now fallen to 486 million dollars -- that is down almost two-thirds from its high a few years ago, and is the fastest fall in the deficit in American history. The deficit fell 28.5 percent last year alone. The unemployment rate has fallen under President Obama from a high of 10 percent to 5.9 percent -- a stunning achievement which added over 10 million jobs to the economy. For 55 straight months -- another all-time record -- the economy has added jobs. That's over four and a half years. The stock market is at record highs. While the economic gains haven't reached everybody, the future is looking brighter because the economic indicators all show a solid trendline of improvement. Republicans want you to think the economy is getting worse and worse, but they are just flat-out wrong about that. I don't know about them, but personally I'm betting on a brighter future for America than their doom-and-gloom."

 

6
   Break the law, pay the price

This is another success story that Democrats have been completely unable to get out to the public.

"Democrats created the first federal agency to help consumers fight against abuses by big banks -- with zero help from Republicans. Republicans fought against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau every step of the way, and they'd defund it tomorrow if they got control of the Senate. Republicans hate the agency because it stands up for average people and not for Wall Street. Just this week it announced that it was not only penalizing a bank that broke the law in handling mortgages, but it was halting any future mortgage business for that bank, until it can prove it is ready to follow the law. This is what Democrats are fighting for -- government taking the little guy's side once in a while. And this is what Republicans are fighting tooth and nail against. The difference could not be clearer."

 

7
   Every race is important!

A perfect bad example.

"Democrats need to take every election as seriously as Republicans have been for a long time now. No race is unimportant, no matter how small. Midterms matter, and down-ballot races can cause big headaches when Democrats don't get out the vote. You want an example? In Colorado, where students are protesting the censorship of the American history they learn, a state school board member recently chimed in with the following, and I quote: As an example, I note our slavery history. Yes, we practiced slavery. But we also ended it voluntarily, at great sacrifice, while the practice continues in many countries still today! Shouldn't our students be provided that viewpoint? Unquote. The answer to that question is: 'No!' Our students should not be taught slavery ended 'voluntarily,' because that is not history and is not true -- that is, in fact, utter hogwash. I guess when you want to scrub negativity from American history, you end up not learning about the Civil War, or something. Every election matters, folks -- from school board elections up. Midterms matter. Now get out there and make sure everyone you know goes to vote this year!"

-- Chris Weigant

 

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

 

73 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [323] -- Is There Anybody Out There?”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Re. MDDOTW

    Really?

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'M KIDDING!

    I am sure that was an excellent choice for MDDOTW. :)

  3. [3] 
    dsws wrote:

    Ooh, MIDOTW, go us. I don't think I've ever gotten two or three atoms of the virtual statuette before. My role in bringing about marriage equality was proportionately even smaller than my role in tearing down the Berlin Wall, but it says "everyone".

  4. [4] 
    Hawk Owl wrote:

    Thank you, Chris, thank you ~ I've been alternating for weeks now, between turning the volume down & mumbling & grumbling to myself about this obvious media circus (riot?) based on truly horrible situations ~ and wanting to shout at the TV screen over & over. You did it so much better than I could've. Don't know which is worse, thinking that the media are knowingly hyping their ratings . . . or that there's no underlying motivation at all; just a conditioned-reflex herd of
    mindless reactivity filling in between the commercials.

  5. [5] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LizM -

    I considered Leon Panetta, but haven't actually read his book, so I'm reserving judgment on that one.

    Who would you have picked? Biden for silly photo ops with ice cream? (the late night shows had a big laugh over that one yesterday, but I didn't deign to notice, personally...)

    :-)

    dsws -

    Everyone gets their own virtual "Golden Backbone" -- no atoms are involved, really, just photons and electrons!

    :-)

    If you really want, I'll print you out a certificate... would that make you feel better?

    As for the Berlin Wall, I visited Berlin the only time in my life in 1990 (I believe, I'm doing that from memory), one year after The Wall came down.

    There were lots of sad East Germans selling whatever they had, at Checkpoint Charlie (you could buy a full officer's uniform from the Red Army, for a few bucks, complete with medals). I bought one of those ear-flap military winter hats (black, fake fur) with a Soviet emblem (still have it, keeps the ears super warm). But I also bought a bunch of chunks of The Wall for pennies, and sent most of them out as Xmas presents to all the youngest members of my family that year (with the probably-ignored message: "keep this -- it is part of history!").

    The truly cool part was the East Germans who got into the whole capitalist thing and were renting hammers and chisels out, in the few parts of the city where sections of The Wall still stood. So I can now say that, for a few bucks, I was able to personally chip away at The Wall, and personally helped the dismantling of it. I still have the paint-encrusted chips, on my desk as a souvenir.

    So... maybe I deserve some sort of "tourist class" award? I dunno...

    :-)

    Hawk Owl -

    Yeah, I know what you mean. It's always an easy shot to take on the MSM, but in this case I think it's fully deserved. I try to convince myself "maybe it'll raise awareness, if an actual outbreak happens -- it'll be a good test run," but then again, I think it's just "it sells papers" at heart.

    Sigh.

    -CW

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Good news in Kansas???

    Apparently yer not up on current events.. :D

    Pat Roberts is in the lead now that Kansasians have seen the "independence" of Orman.. And, by "independence" I mean the totally inane mindset that won't commit to ANY position ...

    I am also constrained to point out that Kansas has sent a Republican to the Senate since 1930...

    The idea that this will change because of some faux independent is not compelling..

    But, I do find it fascinating that orman wants to pretend to be an Independent..

    Everyone wants to be like Mike... :D

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    The thing about the Ebola crisis is that it IS dangerous and it IS a threat...

    But I know that no one here will concede that because of the whole "Nothing Bad Has Ever Happened Because Of Democrats And Their Policies" schtick that permeates the air around here...

    Unfortunately, the last "laugh" may come at the expense of thousands of dead Americans thanx to Democrats and their Open Border policy...

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    I honestly don't understand why ya'all want Democrats to keep control of the Senate..

    By ya'all's own admission, Democrats don't have "effective" control of the Senate so they can't get anything done, anyways...

    So, why not let Republicans get things done in this country??

    It's obvious that they can't do worse than Democrats have done...

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    I mean, look at the facts..

    The last time this country had a huge boon in prosperity was under a GOP Congress....

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    TheStig wrote:

    A Perfect Media Shit Storm

    Humanity linked by air travel,
    Failed states in Africa,
    Ebola outbreak in the failed African states, Mediocre US science education,
    Basic American ignorance of biology,
    American distrust of government,
    A public health screw up in Texas,
    One Ebola death in Texas,
    Internet Gossip,
    Public Fear of Africa and Africans,
    US Election cycle,
    Deep US public need for compelling entertainment
    Profit motive>>>>>>>

    Ebola panic in the USA

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Public Fear of Africa and Africans,

    Yea??

    Says who???

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's uncanny.. A whole long litany of things wrong..

    Yet, Obama and the Democrats are completely blameless...

    Contrast that to what ya'all would be saying if we had a GOP POTUS...

    It's mind-boggling... :D

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    Who would you have picked? Biden for silly photo ops with ice cream?

    Oh, I would have picked Biden, alright. But, not for that.

    This is one week (out of 323 weeks) when Biden has actually earned a MDDOTW award - for apologizing to Turkey (and other so-called allies in the region) for speaking the truth instead of speaking more of the truth and threatening the initiation of a process to revoke its NATO membership (and other special treatment in the region).

    Do you suppose Turkey is counting on the fact that it will be rescued when IS crosses its border. That seems obvious but, it shouldn't be a foregone conclusion.

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    This is one week (out of 323 weeks) when Biden has actually earned a MDDOTW award - for apologizing to Turkey (and other so-called allies in the region) for speaking the truth instead of speaking more of the truth and threatening the initiation of a process to revoke its NATO membership (and other special treatment in the region).

    I have to say, I completely agree.. Part of Biden's charm is that, more often than not, he tells it like it is, politics be damned...

    I like that.. :D

    Reminds me of me.. :D

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Iraq asks for US ground troops as Isil threaten Baghdad
    Islamic State jihadists move within eight miles of the Iraqi capital, sparking calls for America to return to the country

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/islamic-state/11156264/Iraq-asks-for-US-ground-troops-as-Isil-threaten-Baghdad.html

    What did I tell ya'all???

    In TOP, US Ground Troops are inevitable...

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    U.S.-led air war in Syria is off to a difficult start
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/us-led-air-war-in-syria-is-off-to-a-difficult-start-with-moderate-rebels-disenchanted/2014/10/10/e0949dfa-4fe9-11e4-aa5e-7153e466a02d_story.html

    So much for ya'alls hopes that Obama's Iraq war will be a "good war"....

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

    Obama has absolutely ZERO credibility in the region...

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hay JFC...

    Did members of terrorist group cross Mexican border? Answer remains unclear
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/10/10/243072_did-members-of-terrorist-group.html?rh=1

    So much for your BS statement from DHS.....

    Members of a terrorist group WERE apprehended crossing Obama's Open Border.....

    You were wrong.... AGAIN...

    I was right... AGAIN....

    "Oh lord it's hard to be humble...."

    :D

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Apologies in advance for the sheer number of comments that is about to be sprung here in Weigantia...

    I'm in training.... :D

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    No apologies necessary, Michale ...

    Just bring them on - I'd like to see some records broken this time around!

    Speaking of which, what do you think is the most effective way to go about degrading and ultimately eliminating IS? I mean, given all of the mistakes of the last 13 years or so and that we are where we are, as they say, what role should the US be playing in all of this?

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Speaking of which, what do you think is the most effective way to go about degrading and ultimately eliminating IS? I mean, given all of the mistakes of the last 13 years or so and that we are where we are, as they say, what role should the US be playing in all of this?

    Bring back Stormin' Norman.. :D

    Seriously, that is the best way to degrade and destroy the IS.. A total commitment of all facets of US military force..

    If you do things half-assed, you get a Libya..

    The best approach is to use Iraq War I as a template.. A massive build-up of offensive forces in the Theater of OPeration and then steamroll thru the region...

    How long did Iraq War I take?? A couple months..

    As I mentioned before, US ground troops in the region are inevitable.. But if the current administration does it piecemeal, a little here, a little there, we're going to be in the region for years...

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Just because it's nice....

    Did you hit my car?
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/10/10/did-hit-my-car/?intcmp=features

    I know ya'all would rather flay yerselves, soak in brine and then light yerselves on fire rather than read something from Fox News...

    But resist the urge to puke and read the above.. I think it's a great (and sad) commentary on the society we have...

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Regarding John Walsh's MDDOTW:

    There's a well established process for obtaining an MS degree. The candidate has a thesis adviser who directs the process, and and a committee that reviews progress and ultimately grills the candidate about the product. They may demand revisions.

    Why was nobody in the process checking Walsh's references? They should be familiar with the literature. It seems to me that Walsh isn't the only problem. Is this an isolated incident, or does the Army War College have a diploma mill problem?

  23. [23] 
    TheStig wrote:

    In follow up to 10)

    A fascinating perspective on shoddy, hysterical Media coverage of Ebola in Africa and America, originally broadcast by On the Media. Available as a short podcast:

    http://www.onthemedia.org/story/viral-narratives/

    There name for what we are seeing, hearing and all too often believing is: "The Outbreak Narrative." You'll recognize it in popular books and movies from the 1990s on.

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    A fascinating perspective on shoddy, hysterical Media coverage of Ebola in Africa and America, originally broadcast by On the Media. Available as a short podcast:

    Any culpability or responsibility from the administration??

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-20

    "If you do things half-assed, you get a Libya.."

    and if you use your whole ass, you get the Iraq occupation experience all over again plus a Syrian version. ISIS gets knocked down, but it doesn't get knocked out It just festers, waiting for the US to leave and the governments we create as bizzaro versions of our own to fall. Make no mistake, the US will eventually leave, given the endless stream of money in, and casualties out. We've seen this movie and the sequels.

    What you're proposing is the strategic version of an old joke.

    ISIS holds its hand up. "Hey cowboy, is your fist fast enough to hit my hand." The cowboy winds up, swings, ISIS withdraws its hand, and the cowboy breaks his knuckles on the wall. The dazed cowboy thinks quickly. Holds his good hand in front of his face, he challenges ISIS to to take a swing at it. The joke's funny because you can see where its going. A US led offensive isn't funny because you can see where its going.

    Only the locals can defeat ISIS, because ISIS is made up of locals. It's multifaceted civil war. We can tip the balance against ISIS and let the locals exterminate the movement. What we can't do is dictate what rises up from the political vacuum, we can just hope the victors are less crazy and dangerous than ISIS. Since ISIS appears 3 sigma crazy, that's a good bet IMHO. But, it's a bet.

  26. [26] 
    TheStig wrote:

    "Any culpability or responsibility from the administration??"

    For what? The virus? Evolution? Viral reservoirs? Impoverished countries with rudimentary and underfunded public health care systems and appalling sanitation systems? For airline travel? For a disease with a latent period? For a health worker who didn't didn't follow procedure and ask a rather important question? The chain is long.

    Accidents are almost always a chain of mistakes and misfortunes. Focusing only on the parts peripherally controlled by the Admin makes for nice political noise, but doesn't help fix what's broken.

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    and if you use your whole ass, you get the Iraq occupation experience all over again plus a Syrian version.

    So, you are an isolationist?? :D

    Only the locals can defeat ISIS, because ISIS is made up of locals. It's multifaceted civil war. We can tip the balance against ISIS and let the locals exterminate the movement. What we can't do is dictate what rises up from the political vacuum, we can just hope the victors are less crazy and dangerous than ISIS. Since ISIS appears 3 sigma crazy, that's a good bet IMHO. But, it's a bet.

    Locals CAN'T defeat the IS. Islamic terrorists comprise a very very VERY small percentage of muslims.. With the terrorists being outnumberd 50-1, if "locals" could defeat the IS they would have eliminated Islamic terrorism a long time ago...

    As long as Islam is where Christianity is a thousand years ago, "locals" will always be part of the problem and not part of the solution..

    For what? T

    Let me rephrase...

    Pretend that the POTUS... NOW is there any culpability or responsibility by the administration?? :D

    If you are searching for what to say, just recall all the accusations against the Bush Administration after Katrina...

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Pretend that the POTUS... NOW is there any culpability or responsibility by the administration?? :D

    WOW.. How bad did I mess THAT up!! :D

    Allow me to rephrase..

    Pretend that the POTUS is a Republican..... NOW is there any culpability or responsibility by the administration?? :D

    Sorry about that.. It's what I get for posting at work.. :D

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama now phoning it in — literally
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/12/joseph-curl-obama-now-phoning-it-in-literally/

    How in the hell did this clown get elected POTUS???

    What an undemanding society we have become, eh? :^/ All we want is a President who can do flowery uplifting speeches and nothing esle..

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I read that article in your link and it is wholly non-serious, on any level.

    It' hardly worthy of response, much less of warranting a serious discussion.

  31. [31] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-26

    :D, no I just don't believe in embarking on glorious lost causes when there are practical alternatives offering better odds. Sound decision making boils down to cost benefit analysis. The fact that facts are often murky, and people have different perceptions of costs and benefits make the problem difficult, but that's no excuse for not trying to hammer out a consensus which can drive a plan of action.

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    :D, no I just don't believe in embarking on glorious lost causes when there are practical alternatives offering better odds.

    Really???

    So, what you are saying is that one shouldn't look at ONE specific cause of a certain stat, but rather consider other possibilities as the cause of the stat... :D

    OK, I can agree with that as well... :D

    The fact that facts are often murky, and people have different perceptions of costs and benefits make the problem difficult, but that's no excuse for not trying to hammer out a consensus which can drive a plan of action.

    I completely and unequivocally agree....

    A group needs to agree on exactly what the problem is BEFORE they can hammer out a solution as to how to fix it..

    Couldn't agree more.... :D

    Michale....

  33. [33] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-26

    "Islamic terrorists comprise a very very VERY small percentage of muslims.. With the terrorists being outnumberd 50-1, if "locals" could defeat the IS they would have eliminated Islamic terrorism a long time ago..."

    Ah, once again, you and I have stumbled into a discussion!

    Terrorists are indeed a very tiny percentage of muslims. Only very tiny percentage of the locals are ISIS fighters. Front line reporters indicate a small percentage of ISIS fighters are true ISIS doctrine believers, a small percentage are adventurers. Most ISIS fighters are sympathetic Sunni mercenaries paid an excellent salary (by local standard, which include fringe benefits going to their families. Where is the money to pay for this coming from? That's a good question, but lets skip it for now.

    Given that situation, ISIS can be defeated with a small number of locals, especially if you can pay them the going rate, and tilt the tactical balance in their favor with air power and other appropriate high tech leverages.

    Most of the locals will be bystanders, but they will pick sides. ISIS is so crazy brutal, it's reasonable to believe that bulk allegiance will shift away from them if a local, less extreme fighting force looks viable. The other locals may not be entirely savory by US standards, but if not rip roaran' crazy, that's an improvement worth implementing. This was basically the strategy used in Anbar Province 2005, less American ground combat troops. And Libya, which you don't think much of.

    It is my opinion that the US needs to accept that Iraq is broken beyond repair (the Obama administration doesn't seem to agree with me). Stabilize the Shiite and Kurdish regions, and expect them to push into push into Sunni regions. All the while, punish the ISIS combat units, and degrade their economic ability to pay their troops.
    If their is one thing that history shows, mercenaries change sides.

    This is getting long, but I'll close with this. Progress is going to take a lot time. The US needs a T.E. Lawrence right now, not a Stormin' Norman.

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://s4.freebeacon.com/up/2014/10/soros-orman.png

    Greg Orman??? An Independent???

    Yea... And monkees fly outta my butt too... :^/

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ah, once again, you and I have stumbled into a discussion!

    "I hate it when she does that...."
    -Goose, TOP GUN

    :D

    This is getting long, but I'll close with this. Progress is going to take a lot time. The US needs a T.E. Lawrence right now, not a Stormin' Norman.

    We HAVE had a TE Lawrence for about 6 years and things in the MidEast are worse than ever before....

    We need another Iraq War I with a long term commitment ala the aftermath of WWII...

    Or we could just let the savages fight themselves to death and go in and pick up the pieces afterwards...

    The problem with THAT idea is that things like that have a way of drawing in the periphery...

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    And I am not convinced that your scenario that ISIS is ideologically separated from rank and file mulsims is accurate...

    I am at a loss to understand how 30,000 fanatics can hold sway over a religion that has 1.6 billion followers???

    Surely if the 1.6 billion feels a certain way that is, ALLEGFEDLY, diametrically opposed to the way the 30,000 feel, that 30,000 wouldn't feel that way for any length of time..

    70-80 years ago, the KKK held sway in America and was able to influence quite a bit... Over a period of decades, American society began to make it clear that such actions are not acceptable in a civilized society and today the KKK is a fringe group full of crackpots...

    And, at THAT time we're talking barely over a hundred million people against a group of fanatics 4-5 million strong TOPS.....

    Surely a population of over a billion and a half can make it clear to the violent minority of 30K that their actions will not be tolerated..

    IF...

    If that billion and a half people are actually against such violent actions...

    You see where I am going with this???

    Michale

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's clear that Iraq War III will end, of the US, in one of two ways..

    It will go the Libya way...

    We'll drop a few hundred thousand bombs on a few hundred thousand sorties, realize it's going to take ground troops to do it right, wash our hands of the region and say, "Eh, we tried..."

    OR....

    It will go the Iraq I way...

    We drop a few hundred thousand bombs and realize that, if we want it done right, we're going to have to do it ourselves...

    I see no other possibility...

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    TheStig wrote:

    If Iraq 1 was done right, why the need for Iraq 2, which turned out so wrong? Both featured invasions by US ground forces. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make about the magic of ground combat.

    The 1.6 B Muslims are subdivided into numerous sects and ethnicities that have been fightings each other for centuries. The world's 2.2 B Christians are also fractured into sects which have fought amongst each other and with the various Muslim branches, also for centuries. There is no uniform world religion that can control its membership to the ends of the Earth, anymore than there is omnipotent world government. I smell a red herring.

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ahhh yes, but the world's 2.2 B Christians grew up...

    They don't burn witches any more...

    I smell a red herring.

    No.. What you smell is a logical and rational argument that violates Democrat Ideological dogma...

    But it's amazing how much the smell is similar, no? :D

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    If Iraq 1 was done right, why the need for Iraq 2, which turned out so wrong?

    Because Iraq 1 was done right for the limited objectives that were laid down... Just like, if you look at ONLY the objective laid down, Libya was a smashing success...

    If the goal is to degrade ISIS so that regional forces can handle the rest, the IRAQ 1 is the perfect template to follow..

    But, inadvertently, I am sure, :D you prove my point for me..

    We did Iraq 1 and then followed your advice to let local forces handle the rest..

    It didn't work..

    So, we had to go in again, put American troops in theater to do it all over again..

    Why do you think that letting local forces handle things will work now when it has NEVER worked in the past???

    Let me repeat that..

    HAS NEVER WORKED IN THE PAST...

    The key is not the JUST the military battles.. The key is what the military does AFTER the battles are won and the enemy is defeated..

    Bush's Iraq II was a smashing success both in the war itself and in the aftermath...

    But then Obama threw away that victory by totally washing his hands of Iraq too soon to satisfy political and ideological demands....

    And that's why we have to go back...

    Simple logic....

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    But then Obama threw away that victory by totally washing his hands of Iraq too soon to satisfy political and ideological demands....

    In essence, Obama was more concerned about his legacy than he was concerned for what's best for the country....

    THAT is the only reason we got out of Iraq...

    How do I know this to be true??

    Because 3 of his most trusted advisers said so...

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Ahhh yes, but the world's 2.2 B Christians grew up...

    Not all of them. There are credible reports of Christians burning accused witches in Kenya.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/18/african-children-denounce_n_324943.html.

    Bush I wisely elected not to occupy Iraq after tossing Saddam out of Kuwait. Saddam retained his grip over most of Iraq, save for the Kurdish North, until Bush II decided to upset the applecart. We were not welcomed as dictators in Iraq. Saddam and the Baathist Party were brutal dictators to be sure, but there was no regional chaos because they had the knowledge, connections and means to govern their own country.

    How long would YOU have been willing to keep an occupying force in Iraq? How many tours of duty should a soldier or marine serve in Iraq? How many casualties were you willing to take? Should the army be expanded to take on the long term burden? If so, by how much. At the time, Pentagon rules of thumb suggested an initial occupation force of about half a million troops would be about right. Would you be willing to reintroduce the draft?

  43. [43] 
    dsws wrote:

    As for the Berlin Wall, I visited Berlin the only time in my life in 1990 (I believe, I'm doing that from memory), one year after The Wall came down.

    That's about the same as my experience, although I didn't buy a hat. I may have happened by a few months earlier: there was still a lot of The Wall being chipped away by tourists like us when I got there.

    Coincidentally, I also saw The Wall from Pink Floyd for the first time on the same trip.

  44. [44] 
    TheStig wrote:

    It will go the Libya way...

    We'll drop a few hundred thousand bombs on a few hundred thousand sorties,

    For the record, NATO claims it flew approximately 26,000 sorties over Libya, 42% of which were combat sorties = 10600 combat sorties. About 6000 targets were damaged.

    I've been unable to find an definitive number of "bombs" actually dropped. My own analysis of the open literature is that the number of munitions dropped per strike sortie ranged from about 1.9 to 0.3 with some participants tending to drop a lot more than others per sortie. About half the strike sorties seem to have nothing, aircraft typically returned with what they didn't drop. France flew about 35% of all the sorties and seems to have dropped the least per sortie. The US committed about 100 cruise missiles.

    Given the high accuracy and lethality of the smart weapons used, my personal best guesstimate is in the range of 8,000-10,000 leaning towards the lower figure. Widely pimped estimates of 40,000 bombs dropped is just 10,000 multiplied by 4 hard points per aircraft and utterly bogus. Another piece of internet BS that just drives me nuts!

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SENATE_KENTUCKY_ADS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-10-14-15-33-13

    Looks like Democrats have conceded Kentucky...

    Who on Earth could have predicted this!!!!????

    Oh.. Wait... :D

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not all of them. There are credible reports of Christians burning accused witches in Kenya.

    Maturity comes to some places faster than others..

    When you have the kinds AND the quantity of uncivilized behavior that we see from Islam with Christians, THEN you will have a point of comparison..

    The simple fact is, Islam is right now where Christianity was a thousand years ago...

    The evidence to support this conclusion is simply too overwhelming to ignore..

    How long would YOU have been willing to keep an occupying force in Iraq?

    As long as is necessary to accomplish the mission and not a day longer...

    At the time, Pentagon rules of thumb suggested an initial occupation force of about half a million troops would be about right.

    At which time??? WWII??? The count that many had stated at the time Obama washed his hands of Iraq was around 10K...

    That would be about right...

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/14/world/middleeast/us-casualties-of-iraq-chemical-weapons.html

    So much for Democrat's claim that Saddam didn't possess any WMDs....

    I would think the Hysterical Left would get tired of being wrong..

    Yet, here we are...

    "Mr Simpson, you can't put a price tag on your family's safety!!!"
    "I wouldn't have thought so either... Yet, here we are"

    -The Simpsons

    :D

    Michale

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    But, you know, that doesn't mean Republicans can't go out and campaign on the non-existent threat. Hey, it's a free country, right? Salon had some fun with this, plus the three other "Be afraid! Be very afraid!" themes that seem to be the sum total of the Republican Party's campaign playbook:

    Are you REALLY going to mock the GOP for FEAR MONGERING??

    Shirley, you jest...

    The Hysterical Left has made fear-mongering part of their central campaign for quite a while now..

    Do I *really* have to go over all the "THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING THE END OF THE WORLD IS NIGH!!! REPENT!!! REPENT!!! AND SEND ALL YOUR MONEY TO DEMOCRATS SO THE MESSIAH MAY SAVE US ALL!!!!" crap that we have heard from the Left adnasuem for the last decade or so???

    If ya'all want to stamp out fear-mongering in politics, my I respectfully suggest that ya'all clean yer own house first??

    Here's the thing about Ebola... Obama, The Messiah claimed it was "highly unlikely" that Ebola would ever been seen in the US at all...

    He was wrong...

    Why should we believe that he is right when he says it's no big deal and no reason to panic??

    Couldn't he be wrong again??

    Michale

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    President Obama went to the bank to cash a check and he didn’t have his ID. And the teller said you’ve got to prove who you are.

    He said, “How should I do that?” She said the other day Phil Mickelson came in, he didn’t have his ID but he set up a little cup on the ground, took a golf ball, putted it right into that cup so they knew it was Phil Mickelson. They cashed his check.

    And then Andre Agassi came in. And Andre Agassi didn’t have his ID either. He put a little target on the wall, took a tennis ball and racquet — hit it onto that target. We knew that was Andre Agassi so we cashed his check.

    And she said to him, “Is there anything you can do to prove who you are?” And [Obama] said, “I don’t have a clue.”

    And she said, “Well, Mr. President, do you want your money in small bills or large bills.”

    Gotta give Romney credit..

    THAT was funny!! :D

    Michale

  50. [50] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M - 47

    The NYT article is excellent, but I think you missed the lede. Here it is:

    "The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program. Instead, American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered from the remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West."

    So much for your argument, but I love the Homer Simpson quote :D

    Regarding 44)

    I cobbled together my estimate of NATO munitions dropped in Libya sometime in late in 2011. After revisiting it, I decided fresh Google search might turn something new. It did, from the Royal Aerospace Society.

    http://aerosociety.com/Assets/Docs/Publications/SpecialistPapers/LibyaSpecialistPaperFinal.pdf

    Well worth a read.

    Key conclusions:

    7600 precision munitions were delivered, 3600 laser guided, 3000 GPS. Delivered over 26,000 combat sorties, 25000 fixed wing, 400 helicopter, 500 UAV.

    Most of this was hauled by just 127 non-USA operated fighter bombers.

    That said, the paper box highlights this:

    "Though the USA adopted an ostensibly limited involvement in Libya, it in fact provided considerable and arguably crucial support to the campaign. The precursor to the NATO led Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR was the American dominated Operation ODYSSEY DAWN."

    This is leading from the front, even if Obama chose to be coy about it.

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    So much for your argument, but I love the Homer Simpson quote :D

    You have a tendency to avoid quotes that don't help your case...

    The article also said that, while the found WMDs were old and gutted they were still a threat and many HAD been re-purposed for use...

    This is leading from the front, even if Obama chose to be coy about it.

    If true, then that makes the debacle that is Libya in the here and now all the more indication of Obama incompetence.. :D

    I still don't understand how one can label Libya a success and Iraq a failure... The only thing that explains it is Derangement Syndrome..

    Against Bush and for Obama... :D

    Michale

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    Trouble Looms for Obama, Democrats with Election Day 2014 Approaching
    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/10/abc-poll-trouble-democrats-election-day/

    Read 'em and weep....

    It doesn't say anything I haven't been saying for the last few years..

    Michale

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    The article also said that, while the found WMDs were old and gutted they were still a threat and many HAD been re-purposed for use...

    Regardless, the simple fact is this..

    Did Saddam Hussein have WMDs..

    The answer is an unequivocal, uncontested and inarguable... YES...

    Saddam Hussein DID have WMDs at the time of the 2nd Iraq War...

    The meme that there were no WMDs in Iraq is as false and as politically motivated as the Bush Lied meme...

    Michale

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bowe Bergdahl 'deserter' investigation is complete - but verdict will not be determined until after November's elections
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2793998/bowe-bergdahl-deserter-investigation-complete-verdict-not-determined-november-s-elections.html#ixzz3GEW60wmu

    My gods, is there NOTHING that Democrats do that is not influenced by their own political agenda???

    Democrats are afraid to even fart before the upcoming mid-terms...

    Michale

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    Holy shit!!!

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-hold-ebola-meeting-cabinet_816326.html

    Obama actually cancelled a fund raising trip to address the Ebola crisis..

    Damn!! This MUST be serious if Obama is cancelling fundraising...

    If Obama cancels any of his tee-times, I guess it's time to head for the hills as it must be the End Of Days....

    Michale

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    Wow...

    Here is the messaging on Ebola that is coming from the Obama Administration..

    "You can't get Ebola riding on a bus.. But if you have Ebola, you shouldn't ride on the bus because you might transmit it to someone else."

    uh.... er.... OK....

    Take a few minutes to wrap your brain around that.....

    Michale

  57. [57] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M -51,53

    You have a tendency to paraphrase in a way that misleads.

    Example: You say: "The article also said that, while the found WMDs were old and gutted they were still a threat and many HAD been re-purposed for use..."

    Quote from Chivers:

    "But nearly a decade of wartime experience showed that old Iraqi chemical munitions often remained dangerous when repurposed for local attacks in makeshift bombs, as insurgents did starting by 2004."

    Often remained dangerous when repurposed does not equate with often repurposed.

    How often were repurposed chemical munitions actually encountered as IEDs?

    Quoting Chivers: "Almost all of the bombs were made with conventional ordnance or homemade explosives. Here and there, among the others, were bombs made from chemical arms."

    Here and there equates with rare.

    How serious a threat were abandoned or repurposed munitions as weapons of mass destruction?

    Quoting Chivers: "All had been manufactured before 1991, participants said. Filthy, rusty or corroded, a large fraction of them could not be readily identified as chemical weapons at all. Some were empty, though many of them still contained potent mustard agent or residual sarin. Most could not have been used as designed, and when they ruptured dispersed the chemical agents over a limited area, according to those who collected the majority of them."

    In other words, another nasty IED, a terror weapon, but not a weapon of mass destruction. A car bomb is an effective terror weapon too, but not a weapon of mass destruction.

    You write "Did Saddam Hussein have WMDs..

    The answer is an unequivocal, uncontested and inarguable... YES..."

    Well, you might think so, but that's not how Chivers sees it.

    Chiver's again: "In case after case, participants said, analysis of these warheads and shells reaffirmed intelligence failures. First, the American government did not find what it had been looking for at the war’s outset, then it failed to prepare its troops and medical corps for the aged weapons it did find."

    Which brings us back to the articles lede:

    "The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program. Instead, American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered from the remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West."

    That's the scandal Chivers (and others) have put out for public inspection.

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    How often were repurposed chemical munitions actually encountered as IEDs?

    The article cited at least 3 times..

    Regardless of the nitpicking, the over all point is still valid..

    At the time of Iraq War 2, Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs, despite Demcorats whining to this very day that there were no WMDs in Iraq...

    Michale

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    At the time of Iraq War 2, Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs, despite Demcorats whining to this very day that there were no WMDs in Iraq...

    Can we at least agree on that fact???

    Michale

  60. [60] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    At the time of Iraq War 2, Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs, despite Demcorats whining to this very day that there were no WMDs in Iraq...

    Iraq war 2 was about active programs not remnants of the Iran/Iraq war that were unaccounted for...

    Were there WMD's in Iraq. Yes. Did Saddam Hussein possess them in any practical since? Probably not.

    The Washington Post puts your latest conservative bandwagon issue at four Pinocchios. A whopper of misinformation...

    Though it is interesting that you have no criticism of the pentagon under Bush suppressing the issue to the point of not properly taking care of the troops who were exposed to chemical agents. If Obama had done it, we would have had twenty posts with lots bold quotes practically declaring the end of the world. What a difference a "D" in front makes, eh?

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    Though it is interesting that you have no criticism of the pentagon under Bush suppressing the issue to the point of not properly taking care of the troops who were exposed to chemical agents.

    I have no criticism of that fact because it wasn't relevant to the point of discussion..

    The point being that, at the time, Saddam DID possess WMDs...

    Once we settle this point, I would be happy to comment on the lameness of the Bush Administration's actions..

    Michale

  62. [62] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-58

    Three documented repurposed chemical munitions out of thousands of IED encountered. That is a tiny fraction. None of the three would considered a military grade weapon of mass destruction. US legal code grade WOMD? Yes, but a pressure cooker with gunpowder meets that legal standard? WTF? You go to war for a decade over a pressure cooker?

  63. [63] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Saddam DID possess WMDs...

    Four Pinocchios. A whopper of misinformation...

    Once we settle this point

    Sounds settled to me.

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    Three documented repurposed chemical munitions out of thousands of IED encountered. That is a tiny fraction.

    No consolation to the soldiers who were injured..

    Look, you can equivocate all you want.. You are even correct in your equivocation..

    But ask yourself two questions..

    Were their WMDs in Iraq at the onset of Iraq War 2???

    Would you equivocate so much to protect Republicans??

    The answers are clear..

    Yes...

    No....

    Michale

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sounds settled to me.

    Bashi: "Were there WMD's in Iraq. Yes."

    Yer right..

    It does sound settled..

    Now do you want to discuss the lameness of the Bush Administration's actions?? :D

    Won't really be much of a discussion because anything you say in this regard, I would likely agree with..

    But, feel free... :D

    Michale

  66. [66] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Bashi: "Were there WMD's in Iraq. Yes."

    Misquote. Here is the full text: Were there WMD's in Iraq. Yes. Did Saddam Hussein possess them in any practical since? Probably not.

    So much for Democrat's claim that Saddam didn't possess any WMDs....

    I would think the Hysterical Left would get tired of being wrong..

    Yet, here we are...

    The left, hysterical or otherwise, was not wrong. He did not possess WMD's in any militarily relevant manner nor did he have active production of WMD's. Read the WP article posted above. Lots of quotes and video from those pre-Iraq war 2 discussions. Trying to weasel a technicality ignores reality and history...

  67. [67] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Bazi -60, hi, good input.

    M - 59

    No, not without making the term "weapon of mass destruction" meaningless.

    Back when I actually worked with planning the response to Soviet and Soviet client use of chemical agents, the metric of effectiveness was weight per square kilometer of area at desired effect (kill, disable, deny etc.) (The fact I'm using the term Soviet will give alert readers an idea how long ago this was).

    For nerve agents, the metric works out to (very) roughly 0.3 to 1.0 tons per square kilometer. If you spray it from an airplane, and the weather is right. In terms of payload on hard point, this is bumping up to small tactical nuke effectiveness, so the moniker of Weapon of Mass Destruction makes sense. Artillery shells are much less efficient, and so is ballistic missile delivery. A 155 shell might contain, at most, around 15 pounds of nerve agent. That's 40-130 shells, lower limit, perfect pattern, to get to the mass destruction metric. Fully functional shells. Not degraded shells, certainly not parts repurposed from junk.

    Saddam's chemical weapons had degraded into a toxic waste dump. Toxic waste can be weaponized, but not to a level of genuine Military Grade weapon of mass destruction. What you get is just another another nasty IED. Small dirty bomb, and most dirty when you handle it, probably unknowingly. Again, is a car an a weapon of mass destruction? How about that pressure cooker?

    How much lipstick are you willing to put on your pig? It's not going to win the contest. At least not around here.

    Make that a massive Whopper with Cheese Bazi!

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    Misquote. Here is the full text: Were there WMD's in Iraq. Yes. Did Saddam Hussein possess them in any practical since? Probably not.

    Not a misquote.. Maybe not a COMPLETE quote, but the latter answer has nothing to do with my point..

    Were their WMDs in Iraq at the onset of Iraq War 2...

    YES...

    Argument settled..

    The left, hysterical or otherwise, was not wrong. He did not possess WMD's in any militarily relevant manner nor did he have active production of WMD's. Read the WP article posted above. Lots of quotes and video from those pre-Iraq war 2 discussions. Trying to weasel a technicality ignores reality and history...

    You sound like LD trying to claim that Obama didn't lie..

    You can equivocate all you want..

    But the simple fact is, there were WMDs in Iraq at the onset of Iraq War 2...

    And that's all I said..

    TS,

    Again, is a car an a weapon of mass destruction? How about that pressure cooker?

    Car?? Not as defined...

    Pressure cooker?? Depends on the configuration.. :D

    Would ya'all be equivocating like this in defense of Republicans??

    Why not??

    Michale

  69. [69] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Were their WMDs in Iraq at the onset of Iraq War 2...

    YES...

    Argument settled..

    Yawn. Why did you move the goal posts? "Possess" just not working for you?

    But the simple fact is, there were WMDs in Iraq at the onset of Iraq War 2...

    And that's all I said..

    Bullshit. As quoted above you said Saddam
    "possessed" WMD's. Then moved the goal posts. Pretty desperate there...

  70. [70] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bullshit. As quoted above you said Saddam
    "possessed" WMD's. Then moved the goal posts. Pretty desperate there...

    Yaawnn :D

    Would you equivocate so desperately for Republicans?? :D

    Michale

  71. [71] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Would you equivocate so desperately for Republicans?? :D

    A hell of a lot more than you would for democrats. Not that is saying much...

  72. [72] 
    Michale wrote:

    A hell of a lot more than you would for democrats. Not that is saying much...

    Bullshit...

    You wouldn't equivocate nuttin for Republicans... :D

    I mean, seriously.. Your comment that started your participation in this subject was why I wasn't slamming the Bush Administration over their failure to support the troops wounded by Iraq's WMDs....

    Let's face facts.. :D

    Michale

  73. [73] 
    Michale wrote:

    Although, credit where credit is due..

    We are on the same page as The End Of The World crap and on Gun Control..

    So, there IS hope for ya, Bashi.... :D

    Michale

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