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Friday Talking Points [333] -- Obama Steals GOP's Honeymoon

[ Posted Friday, January 23rd, 2015 – 18:21 PST ]

I have to apologize right here at the start, because that headline is not original. Credit should go to Chuck Todd of NBC, who stated during the State Of The Union coverage this week that President Obama had stolen the traditional post-election "honeymoon" period with the public right out from under the Republican Party's feet. We found this such an apt metaphor that we decided to run with it, so: "Thanks, Chuck!"

Most of our article today is going to deal with Obama and his speech, ending with the snappiest portions as this week's talking points. But before we get to that, let's take a quick look at what the Republicans have been up to, as well as some other minor political news of the week.

We'll begin with the Republican responses to the speech, of which there were many. This in and of itself is a sign of the disorganization within their ranks, but we only mention this in passing, for now. Joni Ernst gave an unbelievably short "official" Republican response (clocking in at a mere nine minutes), spending most of the time competing for the "I was born in a log cabin" modest-beginnings prize. Afterward, Salon helpfully pointed out that Ernst's family has been the recipient of almost a half-million dollars in farm subsidies -- which certainly buys a lot of bread bags!

Ted Cruz filmed his own response to the State Of The Union speech, showing once again how not-ready-for-prime-time he is. Somehow, someone on his team posted an outtake where he just stops and stammers "lemme start over" as Ted's official video. They've since removed it, but Huffington Post saved a copy for your enjoyment.

Speaker of the House John Boehner released his own reaction to the speech, where he just sent all the parts he didn't like down the memory hole. Salon reported that Boehner skipped over such portions as Obama explaining why "I am not a scientist" is a pretty silly argument, but (amusingly enough), within the article Salon chided Boehner's team for "slopping editing." Um, if you're going to criticize sloppy editing, maybe you should write it so that "[sic]" isn't necessary when copying and pasting, guys? Heh.

Kidding aside, various other Republicans and conservatives responded to Obama's speech, ranging from snarky to downright vicious.

Up on Capitol Hill, after the speech, Republicans continued the opening stages of their triumphant control of Congress. Here's how one Republican House member, Charlie Dent, summed up the Republican agenda's rollout:

Week one, we had a Speaker election that didn't go as well as a lot of us would have liked. Week two, we spent a lot of time talking about deporting children, a conversation a lot of us didn't want to have. Week three, we're debating reportable rape and incest -- again, not an issue a lot of us wanted to have a conversation about. I just can't wait for week four.

That "reportable rape and incest" portion refers to the first legislative black eye for John Boehner -- an anti-abortion bill that was so extreme that a whole bunch of Republican women in the House refused to support it. This bill not only defined the legitimacy of rape to a new Republican-Puritan standard, it also (surprise!) had a gratuitous big tax hike for small businesses. What's not to love, ladies? The entire thing would never have gotten through the Senate unscathed and would have been vetoed in any case, so it falls into the "political theater" category -- timed to coincide with the big annual anti-abortion march. In the end, Boehner had to pull the bill, proving that Republicans can't even manage a legislative stunt properly.

This just in: Republicans care about wage inequality and the poor. No... really! Don't believe me? Here are a few choice quotes from the past few weeks:

On Fox News after the State of the Union speech, Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) denigrated the administration's economic track record by doing his best Bernie Sanders impression.

"We're facing right now a divided America when it comes to the economy. It is true that the top 1 percent are doing great under Barack Obama. Today, the top 1 percent earn a higher share of our national income than any year since 1928," he said, quoting an oft-cited (by liberals) statistic from the work of economists Piketty and Emmanuel Saez.

Likewise, here's Mitt Romney, in a speech last week: "Under President Obama, the rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse and there are more people in poverty than ever before." Sound-bite highlights from his past presidential campaign, you may recall, included a reference to the "47 percent" who don't pay federal income taxes and a conclusion that "my job is not to worry about those people."

Apparently his job description has changed.

Jeb Bush, too, has newfound interest in the lower income groups and deep inequity flourishing in our nation. His State of the Union reaction: "While the last eight years have been pretty good ones for top earners, they've been a lost decade for the rest of America." Sen. Rand Paul, as well: "Income inequality has worsened under this administration. And tonight, President Obama offers more of the same policies -- policies that have allowed the poor to get poorer and the rich to get richer."

I've been so personally gobsmacked at this turn of events that I wrote about it twice in the past week, summing up my feelings as: "Up is now down, topsy is getting downright turvy, and Mitt Romney is now a populist!" Later, after sober reflection, I decided to go with a football metaphor: "By doing so, however, [Republicans] are utterly ceding the home-field advantage to Democrats. At this early point, I don't even think many of them have realized the magnitude of this tactical political error, either." I mean, it'd be like Democrats deciding to run a presidential election on who could cut more taxes for wealthy people, or something.

Speaking of football, the big news this week was that the New England Patriots were caught cheating, once again. This quickly was labelled (ugh) "Deflategate," but that is not the only reason we're bringing it up in a political column. Because it is simply astounding that one quote wasn't given more attention this week by the media, perhaps because they had enough schoolboy jokes already from all the "ball" quotes from Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. But even the late-night comedy shows missed a bigger laugh line -- Vice President Joe Biden (who used to play as a receiver), was asked about the scandal on CBS and replied: "I like a softer ball." Do tell, Joe!

We kid, of course. Biden blowing his wife a kiss during the State Of The Union speech this week was actually one of the best moments of the big speech night, for us. Which brings us right back to our main subject for this week.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

President Obama had a very good week, during which he gave a very good speech to Congress and the country. This was in the middle of the biggest month of improvement in Obama's public approval polling for his entire second term. Take a look at the charts over at Real Clear Politics to see -- Obama's approval has jumped four percentage points since mid-December. As of this writing, his daily job approval average stands higher than it stood for all of 2014. Most of this jump upwards took place before the speech, and his numbers are still rising, so we'll have to see where this trend tops out, but it's certainly a welcome change in trajectory for Obama fans.

Obama has been very active since the election, announcing bold move after bold move. The public is no doubt responding to this forcefulness. As politician extraordinaire Bill Clinton used to put it: "Wrong and strong beats weak and right every time." In other words, even if the public doesn't agree with everything a president does, they do like him to be decisive in his actions. Or maybe it's just all the cheap gas making people feel better, who knows?

Obama's speech, if it had a title, might have been called "It's OK To Be Optimistic Again." Obama decided that the economy is doing well enough that it is once again politically acceptable to talk of a brighter future for all. The Republican response speech, in contrast, seemed awfully packed with doom-and-gloom.

In fact, there's an excellent comparison to be made between the speech that Obama just gave and a campaign theme from years gone by. In announcing that America has reached the turning point and that the future looks bright, Obama brought to mind none other than Ronald Reagan's "morning in America" campaign from the 1980s. That is the magnitude of the impact Obama's speech will likely have, when we all look back at it in later years. That's our guess, anyway, and that's why we're giving Obama his 45th Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award.

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

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

The Virginia jailbird who won his most recent election from prison and is currently on a work-release program where he legislates at the statehouse by day and returns to his cell at night was hit with more felony charges this week, this time not over his relationship with his 17-year-old receptionist, but over perjury and submitting a forged document to the court. But, as we've pointed out before, Joseph Morrissey is no longer a Democrat, so he won't be getting an award.

Instead, our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week was, hands down, Sheldon Silver, the speaker of the New York state assembly. He was arrested yesterday by the F.B.I. on corruption charges. The court documents state that Silver is accused of "using the power and influence of his official position to obtain for himself millions of dollars of bribes and kickbacks masked as legitimate income."

Now, as always, people are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, so we will add the usual caveat: if Silver beats the rap, we will withdraw our MDDOTW award and apologize.

But it's not looking good for Silver, and he may in fact not be the last to make the handcuffed "walk of shame" in Albany. Rumors are the F.B.I. is looking at politicians in even higher offices, which must be making Governor Cuomo just a little tense right now.

A couple years back, I wrote an article about an amusing guy who is raising money to build a "Museum of Political Corruption." In Albany, New York. He's got a lighthearted attitude towards the project, which he partially described to me in an interview:

I envision a trip to the museum running like this: having paid the entrance bribe to get in (and there will be a table "under" which you pay your money), you enter the "Lobbyists Lobby" where you can check you coat (you can find it on eBay the following week). I think the "Lobbyist's Lobby" will be quite ornate, suitable for weddings between lobbyists and politicians.

In the midst of all the recent news coming from Albany (and the F.B.I.), we would like to once again encourage one and all to donate some funds to Bruce Roter's Museum of Political Corruption project! You can make donations in memory of Sheldon Silver's professional reputation, if you so choose. Heh.

Future "hall of fame" status aside, though, for now Sheldon Silver is without a doubt the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week.

[Contact New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on his official contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 333 (1/23/15)

President Obama's State Of The Union speech was notable in one stylistic respect, because it held to an absolute minimum details about his policy proposals. There was a reason Obama was free to do this in his speech, and the reason was that the White House had already announced all their ideas (complete with details), before Tuesday night.

This represents a shift. In modern times, State Of The Union speeches have usually had at least a few surprise moments in them. Presidents of both parties have taken this route, teasing political reporters with "We've got a real stunner in the speech!" to build interest for the speech itself. These closely-held secret policy ideas are unveiled the night of the speech, and then other politicians gave off-the-cuff reactions to the ideas immediately afterwards.

Obama chose not to take this route, for the first time (in our recent memory, at least). He previewed all his new ideas in a series of speeches around the country last week, so by the time Tuesday rolled around there were no surprises left at all.

This freed up Obama to concentrate on the language of the speech itself, rather than getting bogged down in wonky details during what is normally called the "laundry list" portion of the speech. Instead of having to explain things, Obama could just briefly mention his idea while concentrating on justifying it as core to his values. This made for a much more watchable speech, in the end.

We aren't predicting that this will become the new normal for State Of The Union addresses in the future, but I bet this won't be the last such speech we see with no surprise moments. Unveiling the ideas early seemed to work pretty well for Obama, to put this another way.

Below are this week's talking points, all taken from the offical transcript of Obama's speech. As always, it's hard to pick just seven quotable moments, so we concentrated on the most memorable lines -- what we felt were the parts where Obama framed his subjects brilliantly. We had to ignore most of the policy ideas themselves, which we'll likely return to in the coming weeks and months (as the 2016 presidential race heats up). Obama not only gave a Reaganesque "morning in America" speech, he also created an excellent first draft of the Democratic Party's platform for the next election. But, as we said, we'll have plenty of time to hash over these ideas in the next two years.

For now, here are the parts that seemed likely to stick in people's minds. The best talking points from the speech, if you will. You may have your own favorite talking points, and we encourage everyone to read or watch the full speech, if you haven't already done so.

 

1
   This is good news, people

Obama launched into an impressive list of accomplishments before this quote, including: "America is number one in oil and gas... [and] wind power"; "Our high school graduation rate has hit an all-time high"; and "10 million uninsured Americans finally gained the security of health coverage." He wrapped up this litany with an absolutely scathing condemnation of the Republican naysaying he faced along the way. But the best part was the ad-libbed line at the end of the first paragraph, spoken directly to the stony-faced Republicans in the chamber. The second paragraph opened with his most-repeated phrase of the night, "middle-class economics," which just on a wordsmithing level alone may become a new Washington buzzword from now on. Obama closes by drawing a bright line in the sand over protecting his legacy so far.

At every step, we were told our goals were misguided or too ambitious; that we would crush jobs and explode deficits. Instead, we've seen the fastest economic growth in over a decade, our deficits cut by two-thirds, a stock market that has doubled, and health care inflation at its lowest rate in 50 years. This is good news, people.

So the verdict is clear. Middle-class economics works. Expanding opportunity works. And these policies will continue to work as long as politics don't get in the way. We can't slow down businesses or put our economy at risk with government shutdowns or fiscal showdowns. We can't put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance, or unraveling the new rules on Wall Street, or refighting past battles on immigration when we've got to fix a broken system. And if a bill comes to my desk that tries to do any of these things, I will veto it. It will have earned my veto.

 

2
   You try it!

This one is short and sweet. While making the case for raising the minimum wage, Obama issued a direct challenge to Republicans (and all others who might not support the idea, to be fair). This direct challenge should be quoted whenever any reporter interviews any politician against the idea, in fact.

If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, try it. If not, vote to give millions of the hardest-working people in America a raise.

 

3
   More jobs than the rest of the developed world combined

This is an excellent talking point that Obama's been using for the past couple months. He's earned it by turning the employment picture around, especially in the last few years. This framing puts into perspective those who complain the American economy isn't growing fast enough -- take a look at the rest of the world, and then say that with a straight face.

Finally, as we better train our workers, we need the new economy to keep churning out high-wage jobs for our workers to fill. Since 2010, America has put more people back to work than Europe, Japan, and all advanced economies combined. Our manufacturers have added almost 800,000 new jobs. Some of our bedrock sectors, like our auto industry, are booming. But there are also millions of Americans who work in jobs that didn't even exist 10 or 20 years ago -- jobs at companies like Google, and eBay, and Tesla.

 

4
   It's time to try something new on Cuba

Obama name-dropping the Pope didn't really work all that well, because it was kind of swallowed up by a burst of applause after the word "embargo," but the real snappy line was the second sentence. If it ain't working, maybe let's try something new, huh?

In Cuba, we are ending a policy that was long past its expiration date. When what you're doing doesn't work for 50 years, it's time to try something new. And our shift in Cuba policy has the potential to end a legacy of mistrust in our hemisphere. It removes a phony excuse for restrictions in Cuba. It stands up for democratic values, and extends the hand of friendship to the Cuban people. And this year, Congress should begin the work of ending the embargo. As His Holiness, Pope Francis, has said, diplomacy is the work of "small steps." These small steps have added up to new hope for the future in Cuba.

 

5
   That's what makes us exceptional

Obama was summing up the major points he made during the speech at this point. But he framed it well, because he co-opted the "American exceptionalism" idea and made it his own. We're not exceptional because we're the biggest, baddest country on the planet, Obama is saying, we're exceptional because of who we are. We hold ourselves to the highest of standards because that's who Americans are. This was just a fantastic example of framing an issue well.

Looking to the future instead of the past. Making sure we match our power with diplomacy, and use force wisely. Building coalitions to meet new challenges and opportunities. Leading -- always -- with the example of our values. That's what makes us exceptional. That's what keeps us strong. That's why we have to keep striving to hold ourselves to the highest of standards -- our own.

 

6
   A story of freedom

This one is nothing short of a completion of Barack Obama's personal evolution, as well as an earned victory lap. Obama was speaking directly to the Supreme Court justices in the audience with this, and also reminding Republicans how this will increasingly become a losing issue for them in the very near future.

I've seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom across our country, a civil right now legal in states that seven in 10 Americans call home.

 

7
   The biggest frame: we are a strong, tight-knit family

These are the final paragraphs from Obama's speech. Obama humanized his entire night by wrapping a frame around the speech from a letter a woman had written him. This is really where he both began and ended his speech. Morning in America, indeed.

[For context, Obama is finishing up a list of the America he wants to see today's children grow up in.]

I want them to grow up in a country where a young mom can sit down and write a letter to her President with a story that sums up these past six years: "It's amazing what you can bounce back from when you have to... we are a strong, tight-knit family who's made it through some very, very hard times."

My fellow Americans, we, too, are a strong, tight-knit family. We, too, have made it through some hard times. Fifteen years into this new century, we have picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off, and begun again the work of remaking America. We have laid a new foundation. A brighter future is ours to write. Let's begin this new chapter together -- and let's start the work right now.

-- Chris Weigant

 

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

 

152 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [333] -- Obama Steals GOP's Honeymoon”

  1. [1] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Where has this politically astute Obama been the past 5+ years? Lame duckitude suites him!

    CW - you've had a prodigious week. Excellent stuff and and lots of it! Where do you find the time and energy? Coffee maybe? : )

  2. [2] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    TheStig -

    Ask and ye shall be answered. Tea. Lots of it.

    Here's a blast from the past (scroll down to "full disclosure" note #1).

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2009/04/13/tea-and-sympathy/

    And thanks for the kind words! It's been a fun week, I have to admit.

    :-)

    -CW

  3. [3] 
    dsws wrote:

    the New England Patriots were caught cheating,

    What is this, the OJ trial? Everyone outside Massachusetts seems to have convinced themselves that Belichek was caught red-handed on live tv deflating the balls himself, whereas everyone in Massachusetts seems to think there's not so much as cause for suspicion. As far as I've seen, no one actually explains how the process works, well enough to say either what could have gone wrong if the balls were under-inflated as a result of some glitch, or how they were allegedly deflated after being handed over to the refs.

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama's SOTU is summed up thusly..

    EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!!

    But that just shows the blindness of Obama and the Democrats..

    Everything is NOT awesome.. Wages are stagnant, millions are leaving the workforce and the middle class and poor are getting scrooed while the rich are getting richer...

    Obama is simply putting a happy face on the fact that his policies were nuclear shellacked in the mid-terms... But it comes out force and contrived...

    But I'll let ya'all have yer happy moment.. I have a few tidbits waiting in the wings.. :D

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    dsws -

    The solution seems easy enough. Either: (1) let each team provide the balls, then after inspection, let the OTHER team use them, or (2) let the refs provide the official NFL balls, and remove the teams from the entire process.

    Either way, problem solved, right? This ain't rocket science. But I do think the new rule should be instituted BEFORE the Super Bowl, personally.

    I have heard that the current rules (teams provide their own balls) were only very recently instituted as a result of a demand by... wait for it... the Patriots. What do you make of that?

    I'm a Baltimore fan, personally, so I got no dog in this hunt (we did make the Pats sweat in the post-season, though, didn't we?), although I will admit that I always like to see the Colts get beat, just on general principles (we still remember them moving out for IN in the middle of the night, and the memory hasn't gotten better with age... heh).

    As for Patriots fans vs. everyone else, what do you have to say about Barry Bonds being elected into the baseball hall of fame? I mean, if we're going to talk sports, let's talk sports...

    :-)

    -CW

  6. [6] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    Seen O's poll ratings? Check them out if you haven't...

    As for wages and inequality, please name me ONE Republican idea from the last 40 years which would have improved the situation. I'm being generous, all the way back to 1975... just ONE... one simple policy idea....

    Got any? Didn't think so. See: earlier article on home-field advantage....

    -CW

  7. [7] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    I do have to say, But I'll let ya'all have yer happy moment was indeed polite. I was (hopefully) equally polite, and let you spike a few footballs (inflated or not) in the endzone a few months ago (round about the beginning of November...), so I appreciate the extension of the same courtesy. Obama had a good week. You've got to give him that, at least. His poll ratings are heading up. So you've got to let a few demoralized Democrats have a moment in the sun now, and I thank you for the acknowledgement of this reality.

    Tongue firmly in cheek, I remain,

    -CW

  8. [8] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    One last thing:

    Do you think that pessimism ("Everything is NOT awesome") or optimism is going to be the winning hand in 2016?

    Before you answer, think about where the economy might be after another 18 months, given the trajectory it's on now...

    Just curious...

    -CW

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Apologies in advance.. If it appears I have been saving up these tidbits all week, it's because.... I HAVE!! :D

    Off Topic Tidbit #1

    Would you like some cheese to go with your whine..

    Ya'all have slammed and laughed and ridiculed the GOP whenever they got their nickers in a bunch. Sometimes deserved, sometimes not..

    "OK.. Now it's MY turn!"
    -Gru, DESPICABLE ME

    Seems the White House has gotten their nickers in a bunch because the GOP Congress has invited Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress regarding the Iran sanctions...

    "Somebody call the waaaaaaa-mbulance"
    -Bruce Willis, THE KID

    Obama went so far as to have his minions put out the totally BS story that Israeli's MOSSAD is actually against increasing the sanction and expressed that in a private meeting with Obama officials..

    First off, it's bad enough that Obama would leak information from a private meeting. A private meeting with MOSSAD, of all groups!!

    But then to totally make BS claims from that PRIVATE meeting just because Obama's nose is outta joint??

    If there ever was a Whiniest Democrat Of The Week award, Obama would win that as well...

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    As for wages and inequality, please name me ONE Republican idea from the last 40 years which would have improved the situation. I'm being generous, all the way back to 1975... just ONE... one simple policy idea....

    I don't know enough about policies to point to one single policy..

    But I CAN point to the fact that Democrats ideas aren't working either...

    As evidenced by the fact that the rich are getting richer and the middle class is getting scrooed...

    I am not claiming that the GOP is the solution...

    But you simply cannot deny that Democrats have not lived up to their promises...

    Is the GOP any better??

    Well, I guess we are going to find out, eh?? :D

    I do have to say, But I'll let ya'all have yer happy moment was indeed polite. I was (hopefully) equally polite, and let you spike a few footballs (inflated or not) in the endzone a few months ago (round about the beginning of November...), so I appreciate the extension of the same courtesy. Obama had a good week. You've got to give him that, at least. His poll ratings are heading up. So you've got to let a few demoralized Democrats have a moment in the sun now, and I thank you for the acknowledgement of this reality.

    Tongue firmly in cheek, I remain,

    I have been making a good faith effort to reign in the gloating. :D

    Yes, Obama is in a happy place right now. Yes, it is somewhat deserved because of his approval rating..

    But, to be my normal cynical self, I must point out that Obama is happy because Obama is doing well..

    The rest of the country is NOT doing well... But at least Obama is happy with Obama.. :^/

    Do you think that pessimism ("Everything is NOT awesome") or optimism is going to be the winning hand in 2016?

    Funny you should mention that because it mirrors the HW Bush/Clinton election..

    Bush was the EVERYTHING IS AWESOME candidate and Clinton was the WE HAVE SOME REAL PROBLEMS candidate...

    Pessimism seemed to work out OK for Clinton.. :D

    Nothing is wrong with an EVERYTHING IS AWESOME attitude..

    But when everything is NOT awesome for the majority of Americans, ESPECIALLY the vast majority of the middle class, then the EVERYTHING IS AWESOME attitude comes off as arrogant and tone deaf..

    Before you answer, think about where the economy might be after another 18 months, given the trajectory it's on now...

    But will that trajectory be because of the GOP Congress and in SPITE of Obama??

    Look at the oil situation in the here and now..

    The US is the world's #1 in oil IN SPITE of the efforts of Obama and the Democrats to eliminate fossil fuels and make them prohibitively expensive...

    With a GOP Congress with the biggest majority in almost a century......

    It's a whole new ballgame..

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Off Topic Tidbit #2

    The King Is Dead!! Long Live The King!!

    For those living under a rock, the King of Saudi Arabia died this week...

    I have to wonder the effect this will have on two areas..

    The confrontation with Iran ..

    The price of oil...

    Comments anyone??

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    I do have to say, But I'll let ya'all have yer happy moment was indeed polite. I was (hopefully) equally polite, and let you spike a few footballs (inflated or not) in the endzone a few months ago (round about the beginning of November...)

    heh :D

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Off Topic Tidbit #3

    Being right all the time is not all it's cracked up to be. Trust me, I know.."
    -Worley Wedding Toast

    Not that I am one to toot my own horn... :D

    Seems that Holder's DOJ has decided there is no evidence to support Civil Rights charges against Officer Darren Wilson.

    This comes as a complete shock as NO ONE would have thought that there wasn't any evidence to prosecute..

    Oh... wait... :D

    One of these days, it is my fervent hope that two things come to pass..

    A> That ya'all will realize that, in areas such as this, I actually DO know what I am talking about...

    and

    2> That it would behoove the Left (Hysterical or otherwise, when they want to complain about racism, that they choose incidents as examples that.. yunno... actually HAVE aspects of racism...

    As for Al NOT-SO Sharpton??

    Wisconsin Sheriff David Clarke said it best..

    "Al Sharpton ought to go back into the gutter he came from"

    95% of "racism" in this country would disappear if Al Sharpton would disappear..

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Do you think that pessimism ("Everything is NOT awesome") or optimism is going to be the winning hand in 2016?

    I am also constr.... er... duty-bound to point out that, if we had a GOP POTUS right now, ya'all would be mirroring my argument.. :D

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    TheStig wrote:

    21st century "Ballghazi" trumps Nixon era "Ballgate"

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Seems that Holder's DOJ has decided there is no evidence to support Civil Rights charges against Officer Darren Wilson.

    And remember that total BS claim about "Hands Up Don't Shoot"??

    http://thefederalist.com/2015/01/22/ferguson-the-line-to-apologize-forms-on-the-left/

    The line to apologize to Darren Wilson and to the country forms on the Left...

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    dsws wrote:

    let each team provide the balls, then after inspection, let the OTHER team use them

    Not a solution: then they can cheat by using balls that are somehow more difficult than normal to throw or catch.

    Just have the officials provide the balls, and then both teams use balls from the same supply.

    As for wages and inequality, please name me ONE Republican idea from the last 40 years which would have improved the situation.

    Remove Bill Clinton from office, thereby making Al Gore the incumbent?

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Remove Bill Clinton from office, thereby making Al Gore the incumbent?

    "Now I don't care who you are, that right thar was funny as hell, I tell yooo waat.."
    -Larry The Cable Guy

    :D

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    LewDan wrote:

    DWS,

    Impeaching Clinton thereby guaranteeing a failed Al Gore incumbency, would have improved the economy how, exactly?

    I appreciate that anyone accepting CW's challenge would have to massage reality a bit--OK, a lot. But, seriously?! What makes you think an incumbent of an impeached administration would even be a viable primary candidate?

    Remember, actual removal requires actual conviction for administration wrongdoing. Not simply an inability to keep it in your pants.

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Remember, actual removal requires actual conviction for administration wrongdoing.

    You mean.. Like perjury??

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    LewDan wrote:

    And, fir all you Clinton bashers, lets not forget that Clinton left the nation a surplus.

    Which meant middle class taxes could gave been cut without increasing anyone else's taxed.

    Bush, and the Republicans, simply chose to award those tax cuts to the wealthy instead.--Since, to Republicans, the rich are so much more worthy of assistance.--Hell, to Republicans, only the rich are worthy of assistance!

  22. [22] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    When did the Clinton administration commit perjury?--"There you go again," Lying. As usual.

    Citizen Clinton perjuring himself in a civil trial is not an administration offense. The whole Republican rationale for suing a sitting President in the first place, which is how they got perjury, was that it was not about his official conduct.

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, fir all you Clinton bashers, lets not forget that Clinton left the nation a surplus.

    Thanks to a GOP Congress... :D

    Bush, and the Republicans, simply chose to award those tax cuts to the wealthy instead.--Since, to Republicans, the rich are so much more worthy of assistance.--Hell, to Republicans, only the rich are worthy of assistance!

    And yet, under Obama & the Democrats the rich have gotten richer and the middle class and poor have gotten poorer..

    So, apaprently, it's not just REPUBLICANS who believe that "only the rich are worthy of assistance."

    Funny how that is, eh?? :D

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    When did the Clinton administration commit perjury?

    Ahhh.. So a POTUS can only be impeached if their ADMINISTRATION commits crimes..

    So, if a POTUS wants to rape or murder someone without making it Administration policy, then he can't be impeached..

    What IS the color of the sky on your planet???

    Citizen Clinton perjuring himself in a civil trial is not an administration offense.

    PRESIDENT Clinton perjured himself..

    He committed a misdemeanor while in office.

    A POTUS can be impeached for committing "HIGH CRIMES OR MISDEMEANORS"...

    This is common knowledge...

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, if a POTUS wants to rape or murder someone without making it Administration policy, then he can't be impeached..

    I guess it's a good thing for Slick Willie that he didn't make his raping and sexual assaults of women an Administration Policy, eh?? :D

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    You Wingers always want to have things both ways, depending on what benefits you at the moment.

    If you can haul a sitting President into court because his personal actions have no bearing on his official position. Then you cannot then claim that his personal actions in that court reflect on his official position.

    The President can't just be a private citizen only when it suits you. Either the court proceedings were a private matter or they weren't.

    If the court hearings were a private matter, his perjury had nothing to do with the Presidency. If the court hearings weren't a private matter then the court had no authority to try Clinton so he couldn't have committed perjury.

    The President is the equal of the Courts. Citizen Clinton is subject court orders. You are trying to claim that two mutually contradictory claims are both true. That is impossible. That I lying.

  27. [27] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    To be brutally honest, it was the court, and not Clinton that violated the law.

    Claiming that you can separate the office of the President from the man who currently holds that office is absurd. I'll certain agree with you on that! And that is why that entire farce of a trial was illegal. And there was no perjury.

    The President is the equal of the Courts. He can not be tried by the Court because the Courts have no authority over the President. Republicans, and the Court, simply ignored the Constitution to stage their thoroughly illegal "trial." The Predident could

  28. [28] 
    LewDan wrote:

    The President could not have committed perjury because the Court had no authority to compel the President to do anything at all. So the Court certainly lacked the authority to compel truthful testimony. It lacked authority to compel any testimony of the President.

  29. [29] 
    LewDan wrote:

    BTW, Michael,

    Your attempts to blame six years of giveaways to the rich at the expense of the middleclass on Obama and Democrats is world class lying!

    It wasn't Obama or Democrats who shut down government trying to ensure tax cuts to the rich wouldn't expire. It isn't Democrats who demonize the very idea of the rich paying more in taxes for any reason at all.

    You always blame Obama for EVERYTHING. As if he is automatically responsible for anything government does.--And yet you're always wailing over Obama acting "illegally" when he acts independently of Congress.--Another set of mutually exclusive claims. Another lie.

    Your persistent lie that Congress gets to make all the decisions, while Obama gets all the blame, plays well with Wingers, but is total bullshit.

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    If you can haul a sitting President into court because his personal actions have no bearing on his official position. Then you cannot then claim that his personal actions in that court reflect on his official position.

    You can spin it however you like..

    Perjury is not a "personal action".. It's a crime..

    A crime the Hysterical Left-Wingers had NO problem acknowledging it when a Righty committed it..

    To be brutally honest, it was the court, and not Clinton that violated the law.

    Of course it was. A Democrat is blameless and above the law...

    Your attempts to blame six years of giveaways to the rich at the expense of the middleclass on Obama and Democrats is world class lying!

    No, it's a fact... It's reality that only YOU deny..

    You always blame Obama for EVERYTHING. As if he is automatically responsible for anything government does.-

    That's how you Wingers treated Bush... A GOP POTUS is responsible for EVERYTHING...

    A DEM POTUS is responsible for NOTHING...

    At least on YOUR planet..

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    LewDan wrote:

    LOL

    Everytime I demonstrate you are lying, Michale, you think that you can just summarily dismiss the facts as "spin."

    Yes, Clinton lied. Clinton committed perjury. The President did not. And the lie that you are passing is that the President lied warranting his impeachment.
    Your problem is that if you want to pretend that the court had authority to try Clinton the citizen, distinct from Clinton the President, whom the courts clearly have no authority to try, as that right is reserved to the Senate.

    Lying is not "perjury." Perjury is lying authorized government agents in official investigations. Court judges are not authorized to investigate the President officially. So the President cannot perjure himself no matter what he might say to a judge in a court of law.

    So you either accept that Clinton perjured himself or that the President lied. You cannot have the President perjured himself. That I not possible.

    That's not spin. That's historical and legal fact, personally witnessed by tens of millions of citizens. Including myself. You just can't handle the truth.

  32. [32] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Wow! The lies just keep on coming!

    Of course lying is all you've got.

    Dems didn't blame Bush for 9/11. Dems didn't blame Bush for crashing the economy. Dems didn't even blame Bush for Katrina, they let Brown take the fall. And Dems mostly blamed Rumsfeld, not Bush, for Iraq, "enhanced interrogation," and "extraordinary rendition."

    Dems criticized Bush, but it was never like the relentless, baseless, Blame R's are only to eager to heap on Obama if there's even a rumor of an excuse!

    Give me a break! "Faux scandal of the week", House "Permanent Committee to Investigate Obama" Republicans, are treating Obama the way Bush was treated?!

    No wonder you think that I'm from another planet. I'm from planet Earth!

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Dems didn't blame Bush for 9/11. Dems didn't blame Bush for crashing the economy. Dems didn't even blame Bush for Katrina, they let Brown take the fall. And Dems mostly blamed Rumsfeld, not Bush, for Iraq, "enhanced interrogation," and "extraordinary rendition."

    Yea... On YOUR planet..

    Dems STILL blame Bush for everything... :D

    Yer fighting a losing battle here, LD...

    If you were on the right side of reality, you would have every Weigantian lining up to echo your outlandish claims..

    The fact that you hear crickets should tell you how utterly whacked and BS your claims are...

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://nypost.com/2015/01/24/white-house-going-nuclear-on-netanyahu/

    Gods, what a moron and prima donna Obama is....

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Instead, our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week was, hands down, Sheldon Silver, the speaker of the New York state assembly. He was arrested yesterday by the F.B.I. on corruption charges. The court documents state that Silver is accused of "using the power and influence of his official position to obtain for himself millions of dollars of bribes and kickbacks masked as legitimate income."

    It's interesting that Silver is one of DeBlasios' BFFs.. On the par with that total dickwad, Al Sharpton...

    You can usually tell the character of a person by the friends they have...

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    dsws wrote:

    What makes you think an incumbent of an impeached administration would even be a viable primary candidate?

    What was I thinking? Maybe it has something to do with the sky-high success rate for incumbents in US elections. Just a guess.

    The Republicans took a substantial hit in public opinion for impeaching Clinton. It would have been bigger if they had somehow arranged to remove Democratic senators from the chambers so that they would have had the "two thirds of the Members present" that it takes to convict. The plutocracy wants stability. They would not have been pleased with change of head-of-state by means of a re-enactment of Brooks v Sumner, which is what it would have taken to remove the Democrats.

    And Lieberman wouldn't have been the running mate. That would have gained a couple million votes right there.

    the President, whom the courts clearly have no authority to try, as that right is reserved to the Senate.

    That's not fact. It's a questionable legal theory. The Senate has the power to try impeachments, not civil cases in which the president is a party.

    The courts get to say what the law is. They get to interpret the Constitution for the purpose of deciding court cases and the procedure they involved. Current precedent is that a president can be sued. The eighth circuit court ruled that "the President, like all other government officials, is subject to the same laws that apply to all other members of our society." SCOTUS unanimously upheld the decision, although Breyer said in a concurring opinion that a president could have suits delayed by showing that the suit would interfere with his duties.

  37. [37] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Dems don't blame Bush for everything. Only for the disasters actually caused by President Bush!

    Granted President Obama hasn't personally caused any disasters, but that doesn't mean that we blame Bush for "everything". Many of our problems are Reagan's fault!

    And under no circumstances is the criticism of Bush over legitimate problems caused by the decisions of The Decider™ equivalent to the rabid claims of illegal, Marxist, Socialist, racist activity on the part of Obama based on discredited conspiracy theories created out of whole cloth by the delusional partisan paranoia of rightwing media personalities.

    You've been busily trying to rewrite history to reform Bush from a failed incompetent into a tragic martyr succeeding against all odds for six years now. But the actual facts remain unchanged.

    Bush was not unfairly persecuted by the Left. He was not the victim of "faulty intelligence." He did not leave "a stable Iraq." He was, in fact, a war criminal. He did, in fact, nearly bankrupt the nation. He caused the deaths of thousands of Americans.--That's MY idea of a "moron and prima dona."

  38. [38] 
    LewDan wrote:

    BTW, Michale,

    How is it that Republican claims of Obama usurping their authority on immigration is "defending the Constitution", while Obama complaining of the Speaker deciding to make foreign policy all on his own is being a "moron and prima dona"?

    With you its always irrational partisan prejudice and lies.

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Dems don't blame Bush for everything.

    Once again, you demonstrate that you are on a completely different planet or in a completely different reality..

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    while Obama complaining of the Speaker deciding to make foreign policy all on his own is being a "moron and prima dona"?

    Inviting a foreign leader to speak before Congress is not "making foreign policy"...

    Passing Iran Sanction Legislation is making foreign policy..

    Besides, you are on record as saying that Obama is not the United States..

    Ergo, he doesn't get a say in everything that happens.. On every invite.. :D

    Hoisted by your own Picard :D

    "Ooop... Someone got a frowny face.."
    -Carnival Barker, DESPICABLE ME

    :D

    Michale

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    Barack Obama, Corporate Liberal
    And secret friend of the one percent.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/barack-obama-corporate-liberal_824300.html?page=1

    NOW Obama's SOTU speech makes perfect sense to me..

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Which foreign leaders gets invited to America to officially meet with American leaders to discuss foreign policy is "foreign policy."

    As always, you attempt to redefine reality to deceive people into believing your nonsensical rightwing talking-points are "differences of opinion", when in reality they're simply "bat shit crazy."

    Foreign leaders are the official representatives of sovereign foreign nations. How we choose to deal with sovereign foreign nations is called "foreign policy."

    Therefore, how we choose to deal with the official representatives of sovereign foreign nations is "foreign policy", because it is one of the ways in which we're dealing with sovereign foreign nations.

  43. [43] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Obama is not the United States. He is, however, the Chief Executive of the United States. It is the job of the Chief Executive to determine, and execute, "foreign policy."

    The Speakers job is to legislate. Not to determine, or execute, foreign policy.

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Personally, I can't wait to hear what Netanyahoo has to say.

    Sorry, couldn't resist - I'm not that strong.

  45. [45] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Liz,
    You don't already know what he's going to say? Everyone else does. He was only invited because of just how safe a bet what he's going to say is.

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    Personally, I can't wait to hear what Netanyahoo has to say.

    Sorry, couldn't resist - I'm not that strong.

    He is going to say what everyone except Obama knows..

    Letting Iran have nuclear weapons is a bad, VERY bad idea and that sanctions is the ONLY thing that has a chance to prevent it from happening..

    Diplomacy hasn't gone anywhere...

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    LewDan wrote:

    DWS,

    Impeachments are trials of the President. There is nothing "questionable" about the legal theory that courts have no authority to try the President.

    The President is the equal of the courts. Courts have no jurisdiction over the President. The President is the equal of Congress. Congress has no authority to pass laws governing the President.

    The President is a constitutional office. That means the President is only governed by the constitution.

    That's the reason Republicans had to shop for a judge willing to get "creative" and haul Clinton into court under the nonsense notion that citizen Clinton, not the President, was being placed on trial. Now that's "a questionable legal theory!"

    Your bizarre political analysis also fails to recognize that association with impeachable offenses does defeat incumbents. It's why Republicans have been so dedicated to manufacturing and selling Dem scandals of impeachable offenses ever since Nixon was forced to resign.--They are still looking for payback. Their problem is that instead of uncovering impeachable offenses, like Watergate, they've been trying to manufacture them. Like the Clinton trial.

  48. [48] 
    LewDan wrote:

    DWS,

    Let me be clear. The opinion that the President, is subject to the same laws governing all other government officials is exactly the nonsense that I'm talking about.

    The President is not just another government official. He is a Constitutional office. The terms and scope of his employment are determined by the constitution, not Congress. Congress has no authority over the Presidency. The President is no more subject to the laws passed by Congress relating to other government officials than members of Congress themselves are.

    Only the Constitution can give either SCOTUS or Congress authority over the President. The only such authority given is the power of the Senate to impeach.

    Perhaps you haven't noticed that our courts sometimes issue extremely bad, extremely partisan decisions that are patently unconstitutional.

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    The President is not just another government official.

    So is a Federal Judge...

    So is a United States Senator...

    They, like the President, are not above the law...

    Michale

  50. [50] 
    LewDan wrote:

    No, Michale,

    They are not above the law. And the Constitution is the law. The supreme law.

    Congress can pass any law that it chooses. But Congress too must obey the law. When it passes laws that do not obey the law, that are unconstitutional, then those laws are unlawful.

    Congress has no authority over the President. No authority to pass laws dictating what the President can and cannot do.

    Neither the President, Congress, nor SCOTUS has authority to do whatever they please unless prohibited by the Constitution. They all receive their authority from the Constitution and are only empowered to do those things specifically authorized by the Constitution.

    And nowhere in the Constitution is Congress authorized to pass laws governing the President.

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    Congress can pass any law that it chooses. But Congress too must obey the law.

    And so must the President..

    I am glad you agree...

    Michale

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama is not the United States. He is, however, the Chief Executive of the United States. It is the job of the Chief Executive to determine, and execute, "foreign policy."

    Right..

    It's not Obama's job to schedule speakers to speak before Congress..

    That's Boehner's and McConnell's job...

    So, Obama should just butt out of things that are none of his concern...

    Once again, I am glad you agree...

    This is fun... :D

    Michale

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/marc-thiessen-why-netanyahu-is-right-to-go-around-obama-to-congress/2015/01/26/618a8bc2-a55d-11e4-a2b2-776095f393b2_story.html

    Here, here...

    Well said...

    Netanyahu is perfectly justified going around Obama because Obama is the impediment to the safety and security of Israel...

    In other words, Obama is part of the problem, not part of the solution..

    Michale

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You don't already know what he's going to say? Everyone else does. He was only invited because of just how safe a bet what he's going to say is.

    Well, LD, yes ... I kinda know the gist of what he is going to say, he's said it enough times already to sound like a bloody broken record (and a bad one at that) to anyone on this ole planet of ours who has been paying the slightest attention.

    No, what I can hardly wait for is just how 'in-Obama's-face he intends to be.

    I mean, what he will be doing is not exactly kosher, if I may be so bold to say, and I can't wait to hear his precise words, see his facial expressions and how he delivers this unique speech.

    I guess I would be asking for too much to hope that I see him squirming from the podium.

    Come to think of it - there's something else I can hardly wait to see ... and that is the reaction from Democrats and others in the House who think that Netanyahu's stance on the Iran nuclear issue is really non-serious .... just as non-serious as this whole ridiculous charade is.

    Incidentally, if you ask me, if the Israeli leader had a shred of any common decency or sense or, dare I say, statesmanship, then he would never have accepted Boehner's mischievous invitation. Someone should explain to Netanyahu, like he's a six-year-old, why it's not a good idea to alienate your nation's best friend and ally, the President of the United States of America.

    ... looking so forward to the big day in the House! :)

  55. [55] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Liz,

    I can see where you might find the speech interesting. The only thing that I'm curious about is how Israelis respond on election day.

    Republicans have pretty have been busy alienated every constituency in America except old Southern white men for years. If Israel cares to join them in walking off that cliff they may discover that American support isn't the divine right Netanyahu seems to think it is.

  56. [56] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    If Netanyahu believes the crap you're spouting he's a fool. If Israel wants the US to keep carrying its water at the UN they'd better not piss off the President.

    Our Ambassadors and the State Department report to the President, not to Congress. If Obama instructs our UN ambassador not to keep blocking Palestinian or Iranian initiatives there isn't a thing that Congress can do about it.

    Like I keep telling you, the President controls US foreign policy. Not Congress. There isn't a thing that Congress can do for Israel without the President. The President can do damn near anything he wants to Israel without Congress!

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    LD,

    The irony here is that Israel - and Bibi, himself - have had no better friend in a president and vice president than it has in Obama and Biden ... ever, in the history of US-Israeli relations.

    And, that is the way it should be, even if the Israeli leader has behaved like a complete jackass - over the entire life of this administration, AT LEAST ...

  58. [58] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    LD,

    I haven't been following the Israeli election this time around, at all ...

    What are we looking at here, the usual suspects? ... Netanyahu or worse than Netanyahu?

  59. [59] 
    dsws wrote:

    Impeachments are trials of the President.

    No. Impeachments are trials of "The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States", in which judgment "shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification" from subsequent office.

    It is the job of the Chief Executive to determine, and execute, "foreign policy."

    BS. The Constitution says Congress shall have the power "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations; ... To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations; To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water; ... To provide for calling forth the Militia to ... repel Invasions; ... And To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof." The president's power to make treaties is only "by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate".

    That's a whole lot of foreign-relations authority given to Congress, and none given to the president alone. Congress has traditionally deferred to the president on matters of foreign policy, but that's only tradition.

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    The irony here is that Israel - and Bibi, himself - have had no better friend in a president and vice president than it has in Obama and Biden ... ever, in the history of US-Israeli relations.

    While that may be true, it's not very obvious..

    A nuclear armed Iran is not only a catastrophe for Israel, it will also be very very bad for the United States.

    And, if Obama gets his way, a nuclear armed Iran is exactly what we are going to have...

    LD,

    Like I keep telling you, the President controls US foreign policy. Not Congress. There isn't a thing that Congress can do for Israel without the President. The President can do damn near anything he wants to Israel without Congress!

    And like dsws just told you, you are full of shit...

    Our Ambassadors and the State Department report to the President, not to Congress. If Obama instructs our UN ambassador not to keep blocking Palestinian or Iranian initiatives there isn't a thing that Congress can do about it.

    If you honestly believe that, then you are more deluded than I ever thought possible.

    Do you honestly believe that Congress AND the American people would stand for Obama throwing Israel under the bus??

    Obama would be removed from office. By force if necessary..

    You can take THAT to the bank..

    Michale

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    Our Ambassadors and the State Department report to the President, not to Congress. If Obama instructs our UN ambassador not to keep blocking Palestinian or Iranian initiatives there isn't a thing that Congress can do about it.

    But you are correct about one thing..

    I can honestly see Obama doing exactly that, start siding with Iran and Palestine and throwing Israel to the wolves, just to prove he can. Just because Israel wouldn't bow to extortion..

    I can see Obama do EXACTLY that..

    Because Obama is an immature child...

    He is a failure as a leader..

    Michale

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    By the bi...

    TS, if yer around, CW has restored the NNL comments.. I think you'll find the follow-up.... Fascinating. :D

    Michale

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    The irony here is that Israel - and Bibi, himself - have had no better friend in a president and vice president than it has in Obama and Biden ... ever, in the history of US-Israeli relations.

    “Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price.”

    That is not the statement of a "friend"...

    That is the statement of a petulant and immature child who should be as far away from leadership as is possible to be...

    Michale

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:
  65. [65] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    While that may be true, it's not very obvious..

    That is true, Michale, and very obvious to anyone who has been paying attention.

    And, if Obama gets his way, a nuclear armed Iran is exactly what we are going to have...

    That's non-serious, Michale.

    Irony abounds here because if Netanyahu gets his way, Iran will be sanctioned to death, an option with a set of negative consequences of its own or, the preferred Netanyahu option, there will be yet another war in the Middle East, one that will make all of the wars there in recent memory look like the proverbial walk in the park.

    Has Netanyahu noticed that the US is not particularly adept when it comes to wars in the Middle East? Surely, he knows that, as militarily powerful as Israel is, he cannot single-handedly solve the Iran nuclear issue militarily. Perhaps he thinks Saudi Arabia will help him. Guess again!

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    That's non-serious, Michale.

    No other explanation fits the facts..

    Why would Obama oppose sanctions that don't even come into play unless Iran doesn't capitulate??

    Because A> he is convinced that a nuclear armed Iran is not a threat

    and/or

    2> He doesn't want to give the GOP a "win" and is willing to risk the security of the country and of Israel to deny that "win"...

    Irony abounds here because if Netanyahu gets his way, Iran will be sanctioned to death,

    And the downside to that is.... what exactly???

    Has Netanyahu noticed that the US is not particularly adept when it comes to wars in the Middle East?

    That's because Israel has always stayed on the sidelines.. If the US and Israel went to war with Iran, the problem will be settled once and for all..

    Surely, he knows that, as militarily powerful as Israel is, he cannot single-handedly solve the Iran nuclear issue militarily.

    Osirak.....

    Michale

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    And in still other news..

    The Army is going to charge Sgt Berghdahl with desertion...

    Puts Obama's victory lap around the Rose Garden in a whole new light...

    Whatta marroon...

    Michale

  68. [68] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Why would Obama oppose sanctions that don't even come into play unless Iran doesn't capitulate??

    Seriously? Because, as you should know if you have been following the P5+1 negotiations, new sanctions on Iran in the middle of the most critical stage of negotiations would violate the spirit and letter of the rules of the road agreed to by all of the participants of these negotiations.

    The rest of your comment is non-serious and unworthy of response.

    If Iran capitulates, then new sanctions can be applied, strategically and efficiently. Unless, of course, the US Congress opposes new sanctions just as soon as President Obama calls for them. Ahem.

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    Seriously? Because, as you should know if you have been following the P5+1 negotiations, new sanctions on Iran

    But there won't BE any new sanctions if Iran makes the deal.

    THAT is the point..

    in the middle of the most critical stage of negotiations would violate the spirit and letter of the rules of the road agreed to by all of the participants of these negotiations.

    THAT ship has sailed since Iran has failed to honor the past TWO agreements and ignored the past TWO deadlines...

    Senator Menendez (A DEMOCRAT) said it best..

    Obama's talking points against new sanctions comes STRAIGHT from Tehran...

    If Iran capitulates, then new sanctions can be applied, strategically and efficiently. Unless, of course, the US Congress opposes new sanctions just as soon as President Obama calls for them. Ahem.

    So you agree that new sanctions ARE warranted if Iran fails a THIRD time to live up to the agreements...

    So, why not have those new sanctions ready to go??

    Put it in the context of a recalcitrant child who refuses to do his or her chores... Parents put out a set of restrictions because the child, let's call him Ronie, refuses to do their chores.. Ronie cannot drive the car for a month and will get no allowance..

    Ronie begs his parents to ease up on the restrictions and Ronie promises to do his chores..

    Parents say, "OK, We'll lift the restrictions. But you have 2 weeks to get your chores done"

    Ronie ignores the 2 week deadline. Because Ronie's parents really want Ronie to be responsible they extend the deadline another week..

    Ronie ignores THAT deadline as well..

    The parents are fed up.

    They tell Ronie, "you have 2 weeks to do your chores. If you fail a third time, not only will you lose car privileges and your allowance, you will also lose your XBOX ONE and your computer and be grounded to your room for a month.."

    Now, exactly how would the enhanced "sanctions" DE-INCENTIVIZE Ronie to do his chores??

    Michale

  70. [70] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So you agree that new sanctions ARE warranted if Iran fails a THIRD time to live up to the agreements...

    Of course! New sanctions will be put in place if these negotiations fail.

    So, why not have those new sanctions ready to go??

    Why ask for trouble, Michale. Wouldn't you agree we've got more trouble in this ole world than we know what to do with?

  71. [71] 
    Michale wrote:

    The issue here is not trouble, but time..

    If we wait until AFTER Iran renege's a third time and THEN debate sanctions, that would likely give Iran enough time to cross the threshold...

    If we have the sanctions in place ready to go, then there would be no delay...

    The simple fact that Iran is so adamantly opposed to pre-determined sanctions is the BEST reason to have them..

    Michale

  72. [72] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The issue here is a fundamental lack of understanding.

  73. [73] 
    Michale wrote:

    The issue here is a fundamental lack of understanding.

    I completely agree..

    The Obama has a fundamental lack of understanding as to what an unmitigated catastrophe an nuclear armed Iran represents..

    At the risk of a Godwin, imagine if Nazi Germany had developed nuclear weapons before the United States..

    That can give you an idea of what is at stake here..

    Michale

  74. [74] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, Michale,

    Did you watch the very moving ceremony at Auschwitz today, marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp?

    BBC had the best coverage on TV that I could find.

  75. [75] 
    LewDan wrote:

    DWS,

    Exactly, the Constitution clearly states that the President may be tried only by the Senate and may not be tried for civil matters. Neither the courts nor Congress have the authority to change that by either legal "opinion" or legislation.

    And Congress' authority to regulate international commerce is just a clarification that Congress' authority to regulate commerce includes all commerce. Regulating commerce is regulating private transactions not relations with sovereign foreign powers.

    Just as Congress' authority to declare war, make rules regarding piracy, ect, are simply explicit authorization for Congress to determine rules defining criminality at sea as at home. Dealing with criminal acts, like piracy, are about individuals and individual acts, not foreign relations with other sovereign nations.

    The only power granted Congress with regard to foreign relations is the authority to declare war. That specific political decision was awarded Congress to offset Presidential control of the direct action component, the military. And Congress only gets to declare war, it has no authority over our normal relations with sovereign foreign powers.

    While Congressional acts may well affect foreign relations, Congress has no authority to over foreign relations, with the sole exception of declaring war.

    Read the Constitution again. Doesn't sound like Congress has much authority over foreign relations to me. What authority it does have is over relations with foreign individuals, criminal and commercial, not nations. Except for declaring war.

  76. [76] 
    LewDan wrote:

    No, Michale,

    As always, it is you who are full of shit. If you actually read and understood the posts that you claim support your delusions you'd know you were full of shit. You simply prefer willful ignorance.--And being "full of shit."

    Congress has no authority over foreign relations. That is the province of the Executive Branch, the President. The job of Congress is to legislate, not administer US policy. And Congress only has authority to legislate in specific areas. Foreign policy is not one of them.

  77. [77] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Apparently you, an ex-LEO, fail to grasp a simple concept. Negotiating while pointing a loaded gun at someone is not the same as negotiating when you are known to have a gun.--Or, once again, you're just being willfully ignorant.--And dishonest.

    Levying sanctions now is not the harmless act that you try to represent it as. It's a deal breaker.--And everyone knows it.

    The world is absolutely full of nations, America included, who will simply not negotiate, on principle, when there's a gun to their head.

  78. [78] 
    Michale wrote:

    Levying sanctions now is not the harmless act that you try to represent it as. It's a deal breaker.--And everyone knows it.

    That's just it...

    We're NOT "levying sanctions now"...

    We're simply telling Iran what will happen if they renege on the agreement for the third time in a row...

    Everything you say MIGHT be accurate if we were negotiating with another party who was acting in good faith..

    But you and Obama are the ONLY people who think that Iran is acting in good faith...

    Michale

  79. [79] 
    dsws wrote:

    the Constitution clearly states that the President may be tried only by the Senate and may not be tried for civil matters.

    No. The Constitution says that impeachments are tried by the Senate. On criminal cases civil lawsuits, it says nothing to distinguish the president from any other citizen.

    Dealing with criminal acts, like piracy, are about individuals and individual acts, not foreign relations with other sovereign nations.

    "Piracy" had routinely been a tool of foreign policy. A "pirate" often was just a privateer that the government decided not to acknowledge. Congress is given the power grant letters of marque and reprisal: the Constitution says Congress can use private individuals to go attack foreign countries, without even involving the executive branch at all.

    And dealings between the states and foreign powers are subjected to the consent of Congress, not of the president.

    Congress only gets to declare war, it has no authority over our normal relations with sovereign foreign powers.

    So you say. But you don't quote anything from the Constitution to support that, because you can't. It isn't there.

    The president has no authority to do anything except to execute the laws enacted by Congress. The only powers actually given to the president are to make recess appointments, and to nominate

    The basic enumerated powers of the US government are all given to Congress. For any powers elsewhere in the Constitution, or any that might be construed to be inherent, there's the necessary and proper clause: Congress can legislate about any power vested in any department or officer of the US government. The key foreign-relations power, to is given not to the president but jointly to him and the Senate.

    The other branches only carry out the writ of Congress, whether it be laws concerning "captures on land and water", or those governing "the land and naval forces" and the militia when in the service of the United States, or of course those dealing with ordinary domestic matters.

    The word "coequal" does not appear in the Constitution. It appears in the Federalist papers referring not to the three branches but to the two houses of Congress, and to the several states. The founders understood Congress to be the most important branch. They put it first. They put extra checks on it by dividing it. And they gave it the powers. All of them.

  80. [80] 
    dsws wrote:

    The key foreign-relations power, to is given not to the president but jointly to him and the Senate.

    Should say "The key foreign-relations power, to make treaties, is given not to the president but jointly to him and the Senate."

  81. [81] 
    Michale wrote:

    COngress will send a Bi-Partisan Iran Sanction bill to Obama's desk..

    Then we will find out whether Obama is more concerned about his legacy and sticking it to the GOP..

    Or if he actually cares about this country and it's allies..

    Michale

  82. [82] 
    Michale wrote:

    Apparently you, an ex-LEO,

    Ain't no such thing.. :D

    Michale

  83. [83] 
    Michale wrote:

    Apparently you, an ex-LEO, fail to grasp a simple concept. Negotiating while pointing a loaded gun at someone is not the same as negotiating when you are known to have a gun.--Or, once again, you're just being willfully ignorant.--And dishonest.

    There STILL is a "gun" to Iran's head..

    As Liz points out, if Iran reneges a third time, there WILL be a new round of sanctions... This is guaranteed..

    So, the gun is already there...

    The only difference is that, with the current legislation, Iran will KNOW for certain that the "gun" is a howitzer and not a pea shooter...

    So, your argument is nonsensical...

    Which is pretty much par for the course..

    Michale

  84. [84] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    You may be surprised to learn that Iran has lived up to what it has been tasked to do under these negotiations.

    The threat of new sanctions in the midst of the fragile environment of these negotiations and in the promise, no matter how optimistic or pessimistic one may be about the outcome, doesn't make any sense and, worse, is a very dangerous stance to take.

  85. [85] 
    LewDan wrote:

    DWS,

    Yes, "impeachment" is the term for placing the President on trial. There are no other possible trials of the President. The Constitution explicitly defining how and under what terms the President may be tried implicitly removes the possibility of any other kind of trial by any other authority.

    Because if impeachment weren't the only way to try the President then the Constitutional declaration of how the President is tried would not be definitive. It would only apply in some cases, as you claim.

    The problem with that is that if there are other ways to try the President, if the Constitution is not comprehensive, then those other means would add to, and change, the Constitution. And the only way to change the constitution is by the amendment process defined by the constitution. That is also the law.

    In addition, who would establish these other circumstances and means of trying the President? The Constitution gives Congress no authority to decide under what circumstances the President may be tried. The Constitution gives the courts no authority to try the President.

    Yes, no one is above the law. But there are special laws governing the President that don't apply to the general public. And one of those laws is, as you stated, that the President can only be tried in impeachment proceedings prosecuted by the House and adjudicated by the Senate. And the President cannot be tried for civil matters. That's not being above the law. That just happens to be the law. The "Supreme Law." The Constitution.

    As for your privateers argument, I knew you were going to go there. If a nation is using piracy as a foreign policy the Congress can either declare war or pretend it isn't foreign policy and treat it as just a criminal matter. Neither option has anything at all to do with Congress executing foreign policy. If America decides to use piracy as a foreign policy only the President can authorize it, not Congress. Because the "pirates" would be considered military, and foreign policy is controlled by the Executive Branch.

    Your views of Congress' power are simply nonsense. Each of the three branches has specific enumerated powers that Congress has no control over. That's what makes the three branches equal.

    Congress does not get to control the military. Only the President has that authority. Congress can pass all the authorizations and demand all the requests for authorization that it wants. They mean nothing. The President, and the President alone controls the military. Just as SCOTUS, and SCOTUS alone controls the courts.

    The founders didn't write explicit delineations for the boundaries of power. They had a simpler way. If Congress passes legislation directing the actions of the President, how are they going to enforce it? If the President orders the military into action they will follow his orders as directed by the Constitution, not the will of Congress. Same for every other cabinet office and government official.

    Congress has two options. If funding is required they can cut it off. Note, however, that that does not actually mean that Congress gets to tell the President that he can't spend the money he's been given on certain specific items, much as Congress would like to pretend so. It means that they can see to it that he doesn't get any more.

    Because the bottom line is that when push comes to shove impeachment is the only way to prevent the President from doing something if the President isn't willing to voluntarily desist. That goes for Justices and Congresscritters as well. If enough Senators believe strongly enough that the actions of the President are totally unacceptable they can remove him. Note that nothing Congress can do can force the President to do their bidding. They can only remove the President and hope his replacement is more amenable.

    And all of that is by design. The founders didn't want a clear line of authority. They wanted dynamic tension. They wanted each of the three branches to have enough power to thwart the will of any other branch. Because they didn't want any branch to accrue enough power to become preeminent. They wanted consensus and coalitions, or at least de facto agreement, to be determinative, not predetermined oligarchs. And they wanted each branch contesting each other for power to prevent any one from grabbing enough to rule on its own.

    And they wanted limited government. Which is why you do not get to assume powers or extrapolate powers, as you are doing. If a branch isn't given a power explicitly it doesn't have it. End of story. That's why so much Congressional action is supposedly about interstate commerce. Congress doesn't have authority in very many areas. It's got to find its authority in the very few that it does control.

    Foreign affairs ain't one of 'em.

    That's "checks and balances." It's also Civics 101.

  86. [86] 
    LewDan wrote:

    DWS,

    Take SCOTUS, for example, in my opinion they've been issuing extremely partisan and ideological opinions that are clearly unconstitutional and well beyond the authority of the court.

    But what can anyone do about it? No law passed by Congress, no action by the Justice department, no Executive Order, can force judges to enforce laws if the choose not to. You either have to impeach, and hope for better, or learn to live with it.

    That's the way our government works. All three branches. Independent. Interdependent. Autonomous. They are not even remotely restricted to only carrying out the will of Congress! That's what Congress would like to think, or pretend to, at least. But it just ain't so.

  87. [87] 
    Michale wrote:

    You may be surprised to learn that Iran has lived up to what it has been tasked to do under these negotiations.

    Nope. Iran has reneged on the last two agreement/deadlines..

    THAT is why Congress is pushing sanctions if Iran reneges a third time..

    The threat of new sanctions in the midst of the fragile environment of these negotiations and in the promise, no matter how optimistic or pessimistic one may be about the outcome, doesn't make any sense and, worse, is a very dangerous stance to take.

    Yea.. Bill O'Reilly says the same thing..

    He's wrong too.. :D

    The point is, there are already the threat of sanctions. You yourself stated that, if Iran reneges a third time, then they should be blasted with more sanctions...

    So, why not quantify and codify those sanctions now??

    Look at it in another way..

    Do you agree with the concept of marital pre-nuptial agreements??

    Michale

  88. [88] 
    Michale wrote:

    And keep in mind, we are not talking about the good guys here..

    With maybe the exception of North Korea, Iran is the most evil country on the planet with the most evil of leaders on the planet..

    If ya'all are waiting for Iran to do the right thing before you initiate more sanctions, ya'all will be waiting a long long LONG time...

    Michale

  89. [89] 
    Michale wrote:

    If ya'all are waiting for Iran to do the right thing before you initiate more sanctions, ya'all will be waiting a long long LONG time...

    OK, that came out wrong.. :D

    But, you know what I am trying to say...

    How many "if you renege just ONE MORE TIME!!"s are ya'all willing to give Iran before the "timing" of sanctions is "appropriate"?

    Michale

  90. [90] 
    Michale wrote:

    How many "if you renege just ONE MORE TIME!!"s are ya'all willing to give Iran before the "timing" of sanctions is "appropriate"?

    Keeping in mind that the more time Iran is given, the greater the likelihood that Iran will become a nuclear-armed nation..

    So how many chances do you give a state sponsor of terrorism who is bent on acquiring weapons of mass destruction??

    Personally, considering the circumstances, I think a single chance is one too many..

    Ya'all want to exceed THREE!???

    Michale

  91. [91] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Iran has reneged on the last two agreement/deadlines..

    I don't think you know what you mean by that. :)

    All parties involved agreed to extend the deadlines.

  92. [92] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    The problem is that you believe that Iran is evil and you think that you've a right to kill anyone who won't do what you want. Now, that is evil.

    It's the same logic that justified the Iraq war. I don't care how scared you are, neither you, nor America, and certainly not Israel, has a right to annihilate people because you're afraid of them.

    We're supposed to have learned from the Holocaust. And what we're supposed to have learned is not that its "different" when we do it.

    Just as Bush, and you, were demanding military action if Iraq failed to comply with UN resolutions. Then prevented compliance by ordering UN inspectors out and "justifying" military action based on "noncompliance." Military action that turned out to be completely unnecessary.

    Now, you want to demand sanctions if Iran won't cooperate. Sabotage the negotiations with yet another demonstration that Iran needs to fear us, and Israel, unless they squire nukes, guaranteeing, noncooperation. Which self-fulfilling prophecy you will then use, again, to justify more attacks which will further justify Iranian fears.

    If you want to talk about doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results I'd suggest you take a good look in the mirror. If you want to talk evil--take a look un the mirror.

    Just as with Iraq, you want to sabotage a negotiated settlement to justify military attacks. Just as with Iraq you want to do it purely out of prejudice and fear.

    You don't care that thousands were killed in Iraq and hundreds of thousands maimed, because you were afraid. I don't care how terrified you are of Iran gaining nuclear weapons. Iran is still a sovereign nation. They have a right to do what they want. A right to be able to defend themselves. We do not have a right to kill anyone who won't do what we want. Our being afraid is no excuse.

    That is evil, Michale. That's not self-defense. That is mass murder. That is terrorism. It's behavior like that that justifies countries like Iran in seeking nuclear weapons. Because unless you've got nukes you have no rights as far as we're concerned. And you cannot defend yourself against a United States that respects nothing except threats of nuclear retaliation.

    Iran hates and mistrusts us for damn good reason. Because we've proved to them that they couldn't trust us and should hate us. And you want to go on proving to the world that they'd better have nukes or the US will kill them if they don't do exactly what we demand if them.

    Iran isn't evil. They are, and always have been, trying to defend themselves against us. Their methods may sometimes be extreme and unacceptable, but they're afraid. And their fear isn't unreasonable.

    And allow me to offer my personal apology. I've been remiss in not repeating my Michale mantra of late: "If you want to stop terrorism. Stop being terrorists."

  93. [93] 
    Michale wrote:

    The problem is that you believe that Iran is evil and you think that you've a right to kill anyone who won't do what you want.

    Apparently that is what YOU believe because I never made any such claim or even made any such statement that could be remotely CONSTRUED as being my belief....

    It's the same logic that justified the Iraq war. I don't care how scared you are, neither you, nor America, and certainly not Israel, has a right to annihilate people because you're afraid of them.

    Again, no one has made any such claim..

    Except for you..

    Iran isn't evil.

    They sponsor terrorism.. That makes them evil..

    The US does not.. That's what makes us the good guys..

    Except in your little delusion..

    Michale

  94. [94] 
    Michale wrote:

    I don't think you know what you mean by that. :)

    All parties involved agreed to extend the deadlines.

    Because Iran refused to meet the deadline..

    So, Obama (being more interested in his legacy and a foreign policy "win") gave into Iran and extended the deadline. TWICE..

    The simple fact that Obama is spewing Tehran's talking points should be a clue that Obama is on the wrong side of this..

    The simple fact that Bill O'Reilly is on the same side as ya'all should ALSO be a clue... :D

    What's next? Ya'all gonna side with Rush Limbaugh? Heh :D

    Michale

  95. [95] 
    Michale wrote:

    Apparently that is what YOU believe because I never made any such claim or even made any such statement that could be remotely CONSTRUED as being my belief....

    Notice how I didn't accuse you of "lying" because you tried to claim I said something I totally and unequivocally did NOT say...

    Sure would be nice for you to extend the same courtesy, but I have given up expecting courtesy from you..

    Michale

  96. [96] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    I never claimed that you said anything that was total bullshit. I said that you believe things that are total bullshit. And, yes, that is obviously my opinion. Based on the things that you have said.

    Making a demonstrably untrue claim that you know to be false would be lying.--Like you claiming that I said that you said things you didn't. That's lying.--It's what you do.

  97. [97] 
    Michale wrote:

    Like you claiming that I said that you said things you didn't.

    LD: "The problem is that you believe that Iran is evil and you think that you've a right to kill anyone who won't do what you want."

    I have never said ANYTHING that would allow anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together to conclude the belief you attribute to me..

    This is simply one more indication of your delusional state of mind..

    Michale

  98. [98] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I'm afraid you've got the Iran file pegged all wrong, my friend.

    Try to be a bit more optimistic because the course Obama is on is the only course any of us should dare suggest ...

  99. [99] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm afraid you've got the Iran file pegged all wrong, my friend.

    In what way.??

    They sponsor Hezbollah and Hamas..

    They prop up Assad and provide him with material support and weapons..

    Their stated goal is to wipe Israel off the map..

    If you see any redeeming qualities.....

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

    Try to be a bit more optimistic because the course Obama is on is the only course any of us should dare suggest ..

    Sorry.. I cannot support a course of action that the end result is a nuclear armed Iran...

    No way, no how...

    Michale

  100. [100] 
    LewDan wrote:

    DWS,

    Lots of things require the consent of Congress. But to it were Congress making the decisions it would be the President who wold need to "consent" as with legislation. Congress has the authority to legislate. Only Congress can create legislation. But Congressional legislation required the consent of Congress.

    And I agreed that Congressional actions can affect foreign policy. I'll even concede that letters of marque would be a form of foreign policy. But it isn't normal foreign policy, I don't know that its ever actually been foreign policy. So nothing you've said alters the fact that Congress is not responsible for foreign policy.

  101. [101] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    In 88 you'd stated "Iran is the most evil country on the planet" and you've stated that you don't believe its possible to negotiate a settlement with Iran. And in the past you've supported Netanyahu's call for military attacks on Iran.

    Since Iran is a sovereign nation with every right to nuclear weapons and you support war against them to prevent that. And

    "Sorry.. I cannot support a course of action that the end result is a nuclear armed Iran...

    No way, no how..."

    sure sounds to me like you don't support leaving Iran the hell alone if we can't talk them out of nuclear armament. So you most definitely have said things that would allow anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together to conclude the beliefs I attribute to you.

  102. [102] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    The course of action that the US and five other countries - four of which are permanent members of the UN Security Council, including Russia - are embarked upon is decidedly not a course that is destined to lead to a nuclear-armed Iran.

    The only other option to prevent Iran from having the capacity to develop a nuclear weapon, aside from the current round of negotiations with Iran, is all out war because, as anyone will tell you, a few airstrikes (like your Iraq example) will not do the trick. Is war with Iran your preferred course of action?

  103. [103] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/former-defense-intel-chief-blasts-obama_826593.html

    This is in keeping with Obama's obstinance to refer to the threat as islamic terrorism..

    Michale

  104. [104] 
    Michale wrote:

    The course of action that the US and five other countries - four of which are permanent members of the UN Security Council, including Russia - are embarked upon is decidedly not a course that is destined to lead to a nuclear-armed Iran.

    Really??

    Cuz diplomacy has worked SO well to date, eh??

    Iran is still ever closer to becoming a nuclear nation..

    If diplomacy could stop that, WHY hasn't it??

    Is war with Iran your preferred course of action?

    Let me answer your question by asking one..

    Would you allow Iran to become a nuclear nation if war with Iran was the ONLY way to stop it??

    Michale

  105. [105] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    It's senseless to try and reason with someone who has not a single reasonable bone in their body...

    Therefore, I simply refuse to even try anymore...

    Michale

  106. [106] 
    Michale wrote:

    Is war with Iran your preferred course of action?

    Regardless of my question to you, no one is talking war..

    We're talking SANCTIONS, not war...

    You yourself have stated that sanctions are warranted if Iran reneges a third time..

    So, why not tee up those sanctions NOW so that when Iran DOES renege, as you and I BOTH know they will, the sanctions can go into effect...

    I honestly fail to see the problem with that..

    It's nothing more sinister or complex than a Foreign Policy Pre-Nuptial agreement...

    Michale

  107. [107] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let me put it this way and it will likely end the discussion because it is simply undeniable..

    Without sanctions, diplomacy has absolutely NO CHANCE of succeeding..

    NONE.. ZERO... ZILCH... NADA...

    Michale

  108. [108] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, for those who oppose an all out war with Iran, then they should be all supportive of sanctions...

    Michale

  109. [109] 
    Michale wrote:

    Iran Targets Netanyahu Children for Assassination
    IRGC-tied site urges ‘hunt’ after Hezbollah strike

    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/iran-targets-netanyahu-children-for-assassination/

    Oh yea..... Iran is not evil.... :^/

    Michale

  110. [110] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/29/us/politics/white-house-expresses-displeasure-over-speech-planned-by-netanyahu.html?_r=1

    Apparently, the relationship between the Obama Administration and Israel is not as close as the Administration would like Americans to believe...

    Congress invited a guest speaker to speak before Congress which is FULLY and UNEQUIVOCALLY within the purview of Congress...

    The White House is whining and crying because Congress didn't clear the invitation with The Messiah...

    "Somebody call the WAAAAAAAmbulance...."
    -Bruce Willis, THE KID

    Michale

  111. [111] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Congress invited a guest speaker to address Congress which is fully within the purview of Congress. But Congress invited a guest speaker to address Congress on foreign affairs which is fully the purview of the President.

    Wingers pretend to outrage over Obama giving up after six fruitless years of trying to negotiate with Republicans and just doing what he can on his own authority. But when practically the first act of the Republican Congress is to snub the President and attempt to undercut his authority, simply because they can, its all supposed to be good as long as they technically have the authority.

    Typical winger hypocrisy, bad faith, back stabbing, refusal to work with the President, while attempting to place all blame on the President for the dysfunctional government caused solely by Republican actions.

  112. [112] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Iran is a sovereign nation. They have every right to pursue nuclear power, or arms. Sanctions proponents act as if the US gg as some right to attack any nation doing anything the e US doesn't like.

    Labeling Iran a terrorist state is no justification. The US backed Shah of Iran "disappeared" and tortured thousands of Iranian. If being a State that backs terrorism disqualifies one from being allowed nuclear weapons then the US should divest itself of them or cease its absurd pretentions to moral superiority.

    If America wants to keep Iran from arming with nukes if should be doing everything in its power to buy Iran off, to talk Iran out of them. Instead of its ridiculous display of hypocrisy and arrogance which only serves to demonstrate why other nations want, and need nukes.

  113. [113] 
    LewDan wrote:

    As an aside, to verify my recollections I reviewed the Wikipedia piece on the 1979 Iranian Revolution. It's an interesting exercise in creative writing. It makes the revolution sound like a mystery. With happy prosperous Iran at the hands of the US backed Shah suddenly overthrown in a surprise revolution for no apparent reason.

    Not how I remember what happened. The popular Iranian government was Marxist and intent I nationalizing Iranian oil interest. Interests controlled by western, and largely American, companies. So the US backed a coup and installed a CIA backed pro-western Shah and CIA trained intelligence service. (The CIA teaching people how to torture, nothing illegal, or terrorist, about that, eh?!.) It was the US backed terrorism of the Shah's secret police that Iranians rebelled against. For some reason people seem to object to mass murder, torture, and secret arrest. Go figure?!

    For anyone wishing clues to solving the mystery of the Iranian Revolution I suggest the Wikipedia piece on the Savak, the "most hated and feared institution" in Iran prior to the Iranian Revolution. It's still rather sanitized, but the basic facts are there.

    America not "terrorists", right Michale. Iran sponsoring terrorists makes Iran terrorist. But America sponsoring terrorism doesn't make us terrorists. It's not like Commies, and Commie sympathizers, were people! And you can't understand why Iranians feel the way that they do.--I'll tell you. They learned it from us.

  114. [114] 
    Michale wrote:

    Imagine during the Bush years a Republican would stand up and say, "The Democratic Congress is not allowed to listen to ANYONE on Foreign Policy because Foreign Policy is the SOLE DOMAIN of President Bush!!"...

    Yea... THAT would have gone over well... :^/

    Michale

  115. [115] 
    Michale wrote:

    Nazi Germany is a sovereign nation. They have every right to pursue nuclear power, or arms. Sanctions proponents act as if the US has some right to attack any nation doing anything the US doesn't like.

    Sounds totally ridiculous and delusional, doesn't it...

    Michale

  116. [116] 
    LewDan wrote:

    No one, but Michale, is implying the President is saying "The Republican Congress is not allowed to listen to ANYONE on Foreign Policy because Foreign Policy is the SOLE DOMAIN of President Obama!!"...

    But, then, Michale just lies...

  117. [117] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD: "But Congress invited a guest speaker to address Congress on foreign affairs which is fully the purview of the President."

    So, whose the liar now, biatch?? :D

    Michale

  118. [118] 
    LewDan wrote:

    At last, Michale!

    Something we can both agree on!

    "Nazi Germany is a sovereign nation. They have every right to pursue nuclear power, or arms. Sanctions proponents act as if the US has some right to attack any nation doing anything the US doesn't like.

    Sounds totally ridiculous and delusional, doesn't it..."

    Yes indeed! Your comments certainly do sound ridiculous!

    We attacked Nazi Germany because we were at war with them. And we were at war with them because their allied power, Imperial Japan, had attacked us first. That us "self-defense." We did not attack them because they were exercising their right as a sovereign nation to direct their own internal affairs.

    And if Nazi Germany had restricted themselves to their own internal affairs. We would not have attacked them, and they would have had every right to pursue nuclear arms.

  119. [119] 
    Michale wrote:

    Face it, LD..

    I just ate your lunch.. :D heh

    Michale

  120. [120] 
    Michale wrote:

    Put it into a different context..

    The US is The Organians...

    Iran is the Klingons...

    That sums it up...

    Michale

  121. [121] 
    LewDan wrote:

    The popular government of Iran leaned Marxist and wanted to nationalize Iran's oil interests. So America, not giving a damn about the sovereign rights of others, representative government, or whether or not America was supporting terrorism, arranged for the overthrow of the popular Iranian government and the institution of the pro-Western Shah of Iran. Who promptly deeded over Iran's oil interests to American developers. So in addition to murder we can add grand theft to America's resume.

    Then, with CIA assistance, America created an intelligence and secret police force to keep our little puppet in power. The Savak, described as Iran's "most hated and feared institution" was trained in torture by the CIA. Their power was nearly unlimited. And they "disappeared" and tortured thousands of Iranians. So now we can add the infamous "support of terrorist organizations" to America's list of crimes against the Iranian people. And since the terrorist organization was created by the CIA, America being terrorists is a given.

    So the claim that America is simply enforcing the self-evident proposition that any nation which supports terrorism has relinquished it's right to possess nuclear capability doesn't pass the smell test as long as America possesses nuclear capabilities.

    What's really going on is that America doesn't cop to terrorism but has no intention of stopping it, (Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition, indefinite detention, enhanced interrogation,) and is scared to death of its victims gaining nuclear arms and doing unto America as America has done unto everyone else.

    We need a negotiated settlement with Iran because there is no moral, ethical, or legal justification for the use of force, either soft (sanctions) or hard (war). And because, ultimately, dominance by force is self-defeating. We cannot stop the proliferation of nuclear arms by demonstrating to the world just how helpless and powerless any nation without them is.

    So, if we have to kiss Iran's ass and bribe them to get them to voluntarily relinquish pretensions to nuclear arms--we should be kissing ass and opening the treasury. The only way to stop the proliferation of nuclear arms is to prove to the world that they aren't actually needed to protect sovereign national rights.

    The world's only remaining superpower gets to choose what the world will believe. Unfortunately, many, such as Netanyahu, want America to prove to the world that they should be afraid. Very afraid.--And arm themselves accordingly.

    Netanyahu's "I've got mine and I'm never gonna let you get yours!" is simply not a sustainable policy
    . Not a policy in the interests of lasting world peace. Not a policy in America's long-term security interests. And not even a policy in Israel's long-term security interests.

  122. [122] 
    LewDan wrote:

    If you want to stop terrorism, stop being terrorists.

  123. [123] 
    Michale wrote:

    You're the only one here who thinks that the US is a terrorist nation..

    That should tell you something...

    Michale

  124. [124] 
    LewDan wrote:

    LD: "But Congress invited a guest speaker to address Congress on foreign affairs which is fully the purview of the President."

    "So, whose the liar now, biatch?? :D"

    As always, that would be YOU, Michale. The Whitehouse is complaining about the Speaker extending an invitation without even consultation with the President.

    No one, and certainly not I, said "The Republican Congress is not allowed to listen to ANYONE on Foreign Policy because Foreign Policy is the SOLE DOMAIN of President Obama!!"

  125. [125] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Whitehouse is complaining about the Speaker extending an invitation without even consultation with the President.

    I am sure that Congress and the Speaker do a whole buttload of stuff without consulting the President..

    Frak the President.. He's a luser..

    I wouldn't consult the President about taking a dump...

    No one, and certainly not I, said "The Republican Congress is not allowed to listen to ANYONE on Foreign Policy because Foreign Policy is the SOLE DOMAIN of President Obama!!"

    LD: "But Congress invited a guest speaker to address Congress on foreign affairs which is fully the purview of the President."

    "Fully The Purview" = "Sole Domain"

    So, whose the liar now, biatch?? :D

    Face it LD.. You got caught. You got nailed..

    Accept it graciously and move on..

    Michale

  126. [126] 
    LewDan wrote:

    That America is a terrorist nation is simply a fact Michale. It's your delusion that I'm the only one who believes it that should tell you something.

    Slavery. Indian wars. The Sandinistas. The Contras. The Savak. Guantanamo... Throughout its entire history America has only rarely, and briefly, NOT been actively engaged in terrorism.

  127. [127] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "LD: "But Congress invited a guest speaker to address Congress on foreign affairs which is fully the purview of the President."

    "Fully The Purview" = "Sole Domain"

    So, whose the liar now, biatch?? :D"

    And where, in ANY, of my remarks, did I say that Congress "is not allowed?" I specifically said that Congress did it "because they can."

    As always, you lie, then double down by lying even harder when called on your lies.

  128. [128] 
    Michale wrote:

    That America is a terrorist nation is simply a fact Michale.

    No, it is simply your opinion..

    Among Weigantians, you are the ONLY person who has that opinion...

    And where, in ANY, of my remarks, did I say that Congress "is not allowed?" I specifically said that Congress did it "because they can."

    Which has absolutely NOTHING to do with the FACT that you stated, then denied you stated, that Foreign Policy is "FULLY THE PURVIEW" of the President...

    You got caught in a lie, LD....

    Michale

  129. [129] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let me lay it out for you, LD since apparently, you are having a comprehension problem..

    For the last couple commentaries, you have been arguing with both myself and DSWS that Congress has absolutely NO BUSINESS being involved in foreign policy..

    Your position is that foreign policy is "fully the purview" (your OWN words) of the President...

    Your position is complete and utter bullshit as both DSWS illustrated with FACTS and that I illustrated with (as I am wont to do) turning the situation around and putting a Democrat Congress and a GOP President in an identical situation, thereby showing you how utterly ridiculous you are being and how completely and unequivocally you are wrong.....

    And here we are....

    Me eating your lunch... AGAIN... :D

    Michale

  130. [130] 
    LewDan wrote:

    DWS,

    BTW, "The courts get to say what the law is. They get to interpret the Constitution for the purpose of deciding court cases and the procedure they involved." is found nowhere in the Constitution.

    The courts simply decided that they have that authority. And there is simply nothing anyone can do about it because the judiciary follows the instruction of SCOTUS. There is nothing anyone can do to force judges to convict if they choose not to. Which gives the Court the de facto power to decide what the law is.

    And since federal officials follow the instruction of the President the President cannot be prosecuted by the courts. Because if convicted who can enforce judgment? Who has Congress got? Who have the Courts got to enforce judgment against the President? Federal Marshals are Executive Branch. They report to the President through the Attorney General. Not to mention giving prosecutors (see Ken Starr!) and Congress coercive influence over the President and Executive Branch.

    You think that Justices can't be prosecuted, (they run the courts,) Congress can't be prosecuted, (they give themselves explicit exemptions,) but only the lowly President of the United States is "just like any ordinary citizen" prosecutable?!

    And you don't see how that would shift the balance of power, undercut the checks and balances. In your view we don't have three equal branches of government, we have two equal branches and a Presidency subservient to both!

    You think that SCOTUS gets to say what the law is. Congress gets to pass all the laws. And the President is just the lacky who does their bidding.--And you think that the President will enforce this unequal balance of power against himself because...he's an idiot?! And the Founding Fathers planned for and intended thus unequal balance, enforced by idiot Presidents, because they new Presidents would be idiots?! Or because the Founding Fathers were idiots?!

    This makes sense to you?!

    I believe in three equal branches of government each with extremely limited control over the others, constantly vying for supremacy, effectively keeping each other in check.

    You believe in two equal branches of government, each with absolute power to determine the law, with total control over the idiot President who totally imposes the other two braches nearest whims against his idiot self...

    And you believe SCOTUS gets to say what the law is, while everyone has to obey the will of Congress. Just how does that happen? What's to make SCOTUS obey the will of Congress? What happens if they don't?

    Congress voted to reauthorize Justice preclearances for states with historical discriminatory voting rights violations under the fourteenth amendment. Wasn't that the "will if Congress?" Because SCOTUS just said "like Hell!" and defied both "the will of Congress" and the Constitution. Since SCOTUS gets to decide what the law is and all.

    It fits my view but I'm having trouble seeing how you see it as two branches with absolute power each (now there's a concept to boggle the mind, all on its own!) and an idiot President. (Okay, that one's not at all hard to visualize. And there's plenty of historical empiric substantiation I'll grant you.)

  131. [131] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    First, foreign policy us fully the purview of the President.--Okay, its not totally the Presidents alone. Congress gets to advise and consent. But that's all they realm get to do. The decisions are normally up to the President. Granted Congress can, and in occasion does, legislate foreign policy. But that's an abuse of power. An attempt to usurp the authority of the Executive.--Again, they can, doesn't mean its really their purview.

    That's like saying since Immigration and Naturalization report to the President immigration law is up to the President, no matter what Congress says. Because the President can always order Immigration to do what he wants. So immigration law is under the purview of the President"!--Uh, no its not.

    Just because you can do something doesn't mean you've a right to do it.

    Your claim that I said something that I clearly never said is still proof of you lying, not catching me in a lie.

    You always try to rationalize your lying and claiming people said things that they never actually said. Your excuses do not make your lies truth. What people say isn't a subjective exercise. They either uttered the words or they didn't. You, always add a little something extra and then claim that that's what was said. And that is lying.

    And before you go all Obama on me, we've only got so many resources to devote to immigration enforcement. Allocating those scarce resources is the President's job. Deferring Dreamers isn't changing or violating the law. If we'd deported every other immigration violator and then the President refused to deport Dreamers, then he'd be changing, and violating, the law. At present he's just doing his job.

  132. [132] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Foreign policy not being the purview of Congress does not mean its not allowed. It means its not really their business. Congress gets to advise and consent. That means they get to offer advise to the President and that the President should seek Congressional consent.

    There are only a handful of things the Constitution requires the consent of Congress for. Foreign policy isn't one of them. The president is supposed to seek the consent of Congress before adopting a foreign policy. Just as Congress is supposed to advise the President when inviting a speaker to appear before Congress on matters of executive policy.--But they don't have to.

    The problem with you wingers is that you all claim that if you can do something then you've a right to do it. While everybody else is supposed to play nice. Be cooperative. Observe the spirit, and not just the letter of the law. And definitely do not have a right to do something just because they can.

    In other words, you wingers think you've a right to lie and play everyone else for fools.

  133. [133] 
    Michale wrote:

    First, foreign policy us fully the purview of the President.--Okay, its not totally the Presidents alone.

    BBWWWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    THAT was funny!!! :D

    Michale

  134. [134] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    America is a terrorist nation by any definition.

    How do you enslave millions through mass kidnappings, rape, mutilation, and torture, for centuries, and not be terrorists?

    How do you wage genocide against the men, women, and children of an indigenous population and not be terrorists

    How do you kill 135,000 random people just to "persuade" their government to surrender to you and not be terrorists.

    How do you finance terrorists and not be terrorists?

    How do you finance and arm narco-terrorists and not be terrorists?

    How do you organize, train, and collaborate with terrorists without being terrorists?

    How do you engage in mass kidnappings, indefinite detention without charge or trial, and torture of anyone associated with a terrorist organization. Defined anyone a bounty hunter claimed was associated with terrorists in order to collect a bounty? Being massively incompetent and criminally negligent does not bar one from being a terrorist.

    Slavery. Indian wars. Hiroshima. Sandinistas. Contras. Savak. Guantanamo.

    And I sure as Hell am not the only one who thinks we're terrorists. Aside from hundreds of thousands of Muslims all over the world who believe it, there's the UN Commission on Human Rights who want to drag your Bush admin heroes before a war crimes tribunal.--For being terrorists, not soldiers.

    You always point to unsubstantiated claims of supposed popular support for your delusions as if that somehow refutes my litany of plain undisputed facts.--It doesn't.

  135. [135] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "First, foreign policy us fully the purview of the President.--Okay, its not totally the Presidents alone.

    BBWWWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    THAT was funny!!! :D

    Michale"

    Another winger classic! Take a phrase out of context and pretend ignorance!--Well ignorance does come naturally to you.

    I clearly explained that while the President is responsible he is supposed to seek the advice and consent of Congress.

    Though I must say your sudden conversion to the belief that the President isn't responsible for foreign policy certainly amuses me! Whatever happened to your faux outrage over the President's failure to attend the French Unity Rally? The slap in the face to the French people? How is it again that the President's lack of attendance matters but not the lack of Congressional representation? Since Congress is suddenly responsible for foreign policy and all.

    If you're going to keep making shit up as you go along you really should at least keep track and try to be consistent. Instead of just proving you're lying by constantly flip flopping!

  136. [136] 
    LewDan wrote:

    DWS,

    I almost forgot to mention that the place in the Constitution where it says that all Congress gets to do is declare war, since you asked, is where it says that the President shall command the military.

    It does not say shall "when authorized by Congress shall command," it does not say "shall command the military for Congress," or "shall command the military at the direction of Congress," it says the President shall command the military. Congress gets to pay the bills. And, should Congress also choose to make a political statement, (since WWII it hasn't so chosen,) it also gets to "declare war!"

  137. [137] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Believe it or not a couple of my comments vanished into the ether of the Internet. Or would that make it the Ethernet?!--I digress.

    If anyone wants an example of "revisionist history" I highly recommend the Wikipedia entry on the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Where you'll discover that the sudden revolt by happy prosperous Iranians is something of a mystery.

    For those of you who weren't around to remember things differently, the way I do, I suggest the Wikipedia entry on The Savak might give clue to the "mystery."

    It too is amazingly sanitized, but it does give the basic facts. Enough so that with a little reading between the lines a solution to the "mystery" of why Iran revolted, kicked our sorry asses out, and hates our guts, should present itself.

    I'll add that Iran's revolution was led by a student revolt. We seem to think highly of everyone else's student revolutions.

    Of course Iran is a nation of psychopathic religious extremists. The mysterious surprise Iranian Revolution for unknown reasons is proof of that!

    It couldn't possibly be that we drove Iranians into the hands of those extremists because only the extremists were willing to protect the Iranian people from us. And that having experienced American friendship Iranians came to assume that anything its polar opposite had to be a good thing.

  138. [138] 
    Michale wrote:

    America is a terrorist nation by any definition.

    By YOUR definition of terrorism.. Which is no where near what terrorism really is..

    By YOUR definition, the people who make scary movies are terrorists..

    But it's interesting. By YOUR definition, your Messiah Obama is the leader of a terrorist nation..

    You SURE you want to go with that.. :D

    Michale

  139. [139] 
    Michale wrote:

    Though I must say your sudden conversion to the belief that the President isn't responsible for foreign policy certainly amuses me!

    Once again, you put words in my mouth that I have never said..

    I never claimed that the POTUS isn't responsible for Foreign Policy.

    YOU claimed that Congress has absolutely nothing to do with foreign policy..

    A bullshit claim that both I and dsws proved you wrong..

    Michale

  140. [140] 
    Michale wrote:

    You always point to unsubstantiated claims of supposed popular support for your delusions as if that somehow refutes my litany of plain undisputed facts.--It doesn't.

    I never made claims of popular support..

    I simply point out that FACT that no one here supports your claim that the US is a terrorist nation..

    However, if you ARE correct, then I support your claim that your god, Obama is the leader of a terrorist nation..

    It's a win/win for me.. :D

    Yer running low on lunches for me ta eat... :D

    Michale

  141. [141] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "ter·ror·ism

    /?ter??riz?m/

    noun

    noun: terrorism

    the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims."

    Its not just my definition of terrorism. There is no one single definition of terrorism. There are too many terrorists in the world, like America, who will never admit to a definition that exposes their own crimes. They only want to recognize definitions that discredit their opponents and victims.

    You simply refuse to recognize American terrorism. And America, like every other abuser, tries to defame its victims, to discredit them when they claim to be victims. So that the abuser can claim to be the "real" victim and the abused the "real" abuser.

    No surprises there. Your intellectual dishonesty is well established. I never expected you to accept a truth you are predisposed to reject. And America simply acts like every other abuser in the history of the planet.

    Which is why after a quarter century of American terrorism in Iran, against the Iranian people, all Americans know is that Iranians held American diplomats hostage. That crime is well publicized. America's crimes are buried. The reason the Iranian revolution becomes a "mystery." The abuser becomes the "victim." The abused becomes the "abuser."

    The truth is something rather different. Iranians aren't evil. They aren't crazy. They are our victims. And, they "are mad as Hell and not gonna take it any more."

    They are indeed terrorists. They learned it from us. They are using our own tactics against us. Again, as is not uncommon among the abused, they themselves became abusers.

    I simply believe in facing reality and addressing problems honestly. Because I want solutions. You believe in living in denial and addressing problems that don't challenge your prejudices. Just as your hero Bush did. Because you want absolutions.

    Unfortunately, for you both, for America, and for the world, the first step in solving a problem is to accurately determine what the problem is. You can not solve terrorism by addressing the imaginary problem of "evil psychopaths." We need to first recognize that many terrorists are our pissed off victims fighting back. Labeling them "terrorists" and claiming to be the innocent victim is good PR. But it will never get us to an end to terrorism. Particularly as we refuse to stop using terrorism for our own ends while we vilify others for its supposedly totally mortally and legally unsupportable use.

    As I said earlier about Conservatives in general, and you, Michale, in particular, you think you can get away with lying and playing everyone else for fools.

    American terrorism is obvious. Well documented. Well known. Your insistence on manipulating the definition of the word the cover it up notwithstanding.

  142. [142] 
    Michale wrote:

    noun: terrorism

    the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims."

    That means, according to YOUR definition, Obama is a terrorist..

    OK, works for me... :D

    Michale

  143. [143] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Unfortunately, Obama is a terrorist. He was elected to curb American terrorism. But I've never been under any illusion that he would, or could, end it.

    Then, not being the fan of prejudice, stereotypes, and false equivalents that you are, Obama being a terrorist doesn't mean he's a bad person. Or that he's engaged in gratuitous evil acts.

    Hiroshima was terrorism. No one I know of, other than you, Michale, has claimed otherwise. But it was appropriate and necessary to combat a greater evil and save lives.

    Terrorism, like war, is an evil thing. I simply trust Obama not to do excessively evil things. And accept that he may need to do necessarily evil things. It's why we have a Commander in Chief. Obama was elected precisely because its necessary that those sorts of decisions be made. And We The People voted to entrust Obama with making them.

  144. [144] 
    Michale wrote:

    Unfortunately, Obama is a terrorist.

    I am glad I got this on record!! :D

    Hiroshima was terrorism.

    Hiroshima was a legitimate military target... Therefore it's not terrorism unless you define war as terrorism..

    Which, apparently, you do..

    Michale

  145. [145] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    When 135,000 random civilians are "legitimate military targets" its terrorism even if it is war. That's my whole point about you. There are no excuses you'll accept for Arab terrorism. But you're nothing but excuses in denying American terrorism.

    Terrorism is a tactic. A tactic that can most certainly be used in war. Pearl Harbor was also a terrorist attack against a legitimate military target. Though, by accident, it wasn't technically part of a declared war, it was certainly an act of war.

    War usually is terrorism. War isn't just about annihilating your adversary. If you want to achieve anything other than a scorched-earth victory, its about destroying their will to fight, as well. And that usually means either terrorizing them or winning them over.

    What you don't get is that dehumanizing your enemies to evil crazies reduces your options to scorched-earth strategies. And your refusal to deal with reality reduces the chance that anything you do will be productive, while increasing the chance that anything you do will be counterproductive.

    "noun: terrorism

    the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims."

    Redefining terrorism to suit your prejudices doesn't mean acts aren't terrorism. It means terrorism isn't the simple black and white, us vs them, good vs evil, law and order vs sociopaths and psychopaths scenario you want to pretend that it is.

    Our adversaries aren't crazy, they're just people. And they don't behave very much differently than we do. Your desperate need for us to be morally superior simply is not reality.

    When we think its necessary in order to defend ourselves we'll employ any tactic we think we need to, including terrorism. Just like everybody else. Some terrorists are crazy, some are evil, most are simply using the most efficient tactic available to them.

    But whether at a negotiating table, military planning session, on a battlefield, or electing a government representative, people need be dealing with reality, not mythology, to fight terrorism or anything else. No matter if its their delusion of an afterlife in paradise, (used by Christians and Muslims alike to justify terrorism,) or ours that we're fighting evil crazy people, self-aggrandizing fantasies and dehumanizing the enemy only prolong conflicts and increase body counts.

    We are not blameless Saints and our opponents are not evil crazy people. The sooner we face that the sooner we'll be able to deal with terrorism effectively.

  146. [146] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    You use an operational military definition of terrorism. Operational military definitions are not all inclusive, they are not impartial or objective, they are meant to facilitate achieving military objectives.

    Your definition doesn't identity terrorists, or terrorism, in general, only those likely to be legitimate military targets. And who is a legitimate military target is a political decision. Which your operational military definition of terrorism is meant to implement.

    You should know that. Pretending that your definition of terrorism is "the" definition of terrorism is dishonest. And its not true.

    "noun: terrorism

    the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims."

    That is the general, broad definition of "terrorism."

    Terrorism involving "legitimate military targets" in war are not precluded from being "terrorism." They're simply not the kind of terrorist acts the military is interested in when it talks about terrorism in a counterterrorism context. So its definition excludes them.

    But all acts of terrorism are relevant in the political discussion. We don't get to just ignore our own acts of terrorism as irrelevant. Because our opponents don't.

  147. [147] 
    Michale wrote:

    When 135,000 random civilians are "legitimate military targets" its terrorism even if it is war.

    That's just the point. The 135,000 random civilians *WERE NOT* the targets..

    If they were, then you would have a case for terrorism..

    But the targets were the military infrastructure. The iron foundries.. The deep water harbors.

    The civilians were simply collateral damage...

    That's my whole point. Your definition doesn't allow for INTENT..

    And INTENT is the one of the foundations of the definition of terrorism..

    The King David Hotel bombing is a perfect example....

    If the intent was to kill a lot of civilians to force British capitulation, then it would have been an act of terrorism..

    But the intent was to destroy the military HQ that the British, most moronically, put in the hotel..

    THAT made the King David Hotel a legitimate military target..

    INTENT is what separates legitimate acts of warfare from terrorism...

    Now, I grant you, INTENT isn't the sole determining factor...

    Take 9/11.. It can be legitimately argued that the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center was NOT terrorism, due to the fact that the WTC was a legitimate military target, being the financial center of the United States. The Pentagon was obviously a legitimate military target..

    But, in the case of 9/11, the determining factor for terrorism is not INTENT, but rather delivery method..

    If the terrorists had piloted their own planes into the buildings, loaded with explosives or what not (ala Tom Clancy's DEBT OF HONOR) then the case could be made that 9/11 was NOT an act of terrorism.. Of course, talking heads and the public at large would have screamed to the high heavens that it WAS terrorism.. But that is emotionalism speaking.

    That is why any definition of terrorism must be applied objectively and without passion..

    Another perfect example of the separation of war and terrorism is the Fort Hood shootings by Major Nidal Hasan.. That was NOT an act of terrorism because soldiers are legitimate military targets..

    For me, it's pretty black and white... Cut and dried...

    Now, I grant you, the further you move back in time, gray areas would develop.. The fire bombing of Dresden for example, is a VERY borderline case...

    But in the here and now, things are pretty clear...

    War is a human condition. Sad to say, but it's true.. I don't anyone will live long enough to see the end of war..

    I HOPE that terrorism is not, nor will ever be, a normal human condition...

    Michale

  148. [148] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    You are so totally full of shit! If America had wanted to bomb manufactories we would have bombed manufactories.

    We had an invasion fleet en route to Japan. The bombing of Hiroshima had one purpose, and one purpose only, to terrorize the Japanese into immediate unconditional surrender before that fleet engaged. We were not the least concerned with manufactories. It was far too late for that.

    135,000 random civilians casualties were not collateral damage. We specifically used an atomic bomb to generate as many casualties as possible. Those 135,000 random civilians were the targets.

    The terrorist act was necessary. It was "legitimate." And it was war. But it was still "terrorism."--And you are still making lame excuses.

    Jihadists declared war on America long ago. They actually, and not without reason, believe that they are acting in self-defense. Their "intent" has never meant shit to you!

    America wailed about the Japanese attacking without even the decency of declaring war. But when we effect "regime change," waging war covertly, in total secret--its all good...

    America simply displaced people, forcibly seized their land, violated their sovereignty, without the benefit if war, after the war was over, a war that wasn't even against them, to establish the State of Israel.--That too was an act of terrorism. We didn't buy land for Israel. We didn't negotiate for it. We simply used violence and intimidation to take it from its lawful owners.

    Then we waged a covert war against Iraq using a proxy. Installed our very own puppet dictator, established our very own Gestapo and waged a campaign of terror against the Iranian people for a quarter century. Kidnapping, torturing, and murdering dissidents.

    Iran's declaration to destroy Israel is morally and ethically on sounder ground than our insistence in Israel's right to exist. Because while Israel indeed has a right to exist, it does not have a right to exist where it is.

    Just as Iran, having been secretly attacked and conquered by America, then robbed and terrorized for twenty-five years by America, damn sure has every right to seek the ability to defend itself from America. Just as Iran has every right to covertly attack America using proxies and terrorism, just as America did to Iran.

    You always pretend that you can just create the reality you want by lying and refusing to accept facts you don't want to acknowledge. That doesn't make you right, or righteous. It only makes you, dishonest, delusional, and dangerous.

    The Iranians ended our terrorism of them in 1979. Our direct hand in terrorism I should say, we still embargo and levy sanctions again them. We invaded their neighbor Iraq, and once again began kidnapping, and torturing, to say nothing of murdering, in 2001. And still refuse to release over a hundred of the people we kidnapped and tortured.

    This isn't ancient history. That's another of your lies. Another of your lame excuses. America has a history of terrorism extending over two-hundred years that is ongoing to very present day.

    War is terrorism. And as long as there are people like you who delude themselves into believing that they're superior, that they have rights others don't, that they can do things others can't, and that they've a right to force others to do what they want, both war and terrorism will most certainly remain a part of the normal human condition.

  149. [149] 
    Michale wrote:

    135,000 random civilians casualties were not collateral damage. We specifically used an atomic bomb to generate as many casualties as possible. Those 135,000 random civilians were the targets.

    Prove it..

    Show me the orders that specifically targets random civilians.

    You can't because no such orders exist..

    It is not I who is full of shit..

    The terrorist act was necessary. It was "legitimate."

    There ain't no such thing as a "legitimate" act of terrorism..

    NO.... SUCH.... THING.....

    Anyone who believes there is, is no better than a terrorist...

    Michale

  150. [150] 
    Michale wrote:

    135,000 random civilians casualties were not collateral damage. We specifically used an atomic bomb to generate as many casualties as possible. Those 135,000 random civilians were the targets.

    Prove it..

    Show me the orders that specifically targets random civilians.

    You can't because no such orders exist..

    It is not I who is full of shit..

    The terrorist act was necessary. It was "legitimate."

    There ain't no such thing as a "legitimate" act of terrorism..

    NO.... SUCH.... THING.....

    Anyone who believes there is, is no better than a terrorist...

    Michale

  151. [151] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    There have always been legitimate acts of terrorism. From inflicting plagues on, and killing the first born of Egypt, sabotage and assassination by the French resistance, bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Tactics don't come in good and evil. Good and evil depend on when and how tactics are employed, and whether they're being employed by you or against you.

    As I said, your intellectual dishonesty is well established. No one can prove anything to anyone who simply willfully refuses to face facts. And you've established a pattern of demanding proof, refusing to accept facts, and then claiming that since there are no facts you'll accept that proves that there aren't any facts. Complete intellectually dishonesty. And classic Michale.

    Fortunately, I don't even have to try to further prove anything. That the atomic bombing of Japan was an intentional, successful, and justified terrorist attack is a matter of well documented historical fact. Whether or not you concur is irrelevant.

    You are right about one thing, though, we are no better than a terrorist. We are terrorists. And terrorists are just people. They are not evil. They are not inferior. They are not subhuman. They are just people. Just like you. Just like me. Just like anyone.

    And when you were busy advocating for the indefinite detention and torture of people kidnapped off the street on the basis of unconfirmed allegations that they were affiliated with terrorists, you too were a terrorist. You too were supporting terrorism. You were hardly morally, ethically, or in any other way superior to terrorists. You were a terrorist.

  152. [152] 
    Michale wrote:

    Fortunately, I don't even have to try to further prove anything. That the atomic bombing of Japan was an intentional, successful, and justified terrorist attack is a matter of well documented historical fact. Whether or not you concur is irrelevant

    If it's such a well documented "fact" then it should be easy to prove..

    The FACT that you can't says everything there is to say about your "facts"... :D

    And when you were busy advocating for the indefinite detention and torture of people kidnapped off the street on the basis of unconfirmed allegations that they were affiliated with terrorists, you too were a terrorist. You too were supporting terrorism. You were hardly morally, ethically, or in any other way superior to terrorists. You were a terrorist.

    And a racist.. Don't forget.. I'm a racist too! :D

    Michale

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