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Friday Talking Points [348] -- Double Standards And Hypocrisy

[ Posted Friday, May 29th, 2015 – 17:06 PDT ]

We're going to begin today with a rather loaded question. How much attention do you think the media should be paying towards a presidential nominee who is right now getting 13 to 15 percent support in public opinion polls of their party's voters?

It's a loaded question only because of a rampant double standard currently being applied by pretty much the entire media. The context of the answer matters, and it matters a whole lot. Republican Jeb Bush is currently at an average of 14.8 in the polls, and he has gotten quite a lot of press in the past month (to say the least). Bernie Sanders, however, is not getting nearly as much coverage, despite the fact that in two recent polls he was at 13 and 15 percent, respectively.

As I said, context is key. Jeb Bush is actually leading the Republican field with his 15 percent rating, although that's not all that impressive when you take a look at the rest of the field's numbers. Second place in the polling is Scott Walker, at 13.0 percent, and third is Marco Rubio with 12.2 percent. All other Republicans are polling at averages in the single digits. The most telling number of all, however, is that "undecided" actually leads the Republican pack, with 20 percent.

Over on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders is solidly in second place with virtually the same numbers as Jeb Bush. But the frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, is polling at roughly 60 percent, which leaves an enormous gap. Still, with only three people officially in the Democratic race, you'd think the media would pay a little more attention to the second-place candidate. You'd be wrong, though. Look for this to continue for the foreseeable future, while much attention is paid to all the Republicans struggling mightily to be more popular with Republican voters than "undecided."

Moving right along, I fully intended to write a snarky bit today wondering how long it'd be before the "other shoe drops" on the Denny Hastert scandal, but the underlying sordid story broke before I even sat down to type. Seems Hastert was a little too hands-on with the students, back when he was a wrestling coach, if reports are to be believed (due to the sexual nature of the scandal, I'm sure we'll be hearing many more details, all weekend long).

There are two bits of irony (if not downright schadenfreude, for some) in this story. The first is that the banking law which exposed Hastert's blackmail payments was beefed up considerably by the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, something which (up until now) Hastert was quite proud of passing in his House. The second bit of irony, of course, is that Denny Hastert was initially chosen to be Speaker of the House after the previous candidate had to withdraw due to his own sexual shenanigans (this was right after the impeachment of Bill Clinton for sexual misconduct), which were exposed by Larry Flynt in his one-time exposure of Republican hypocrisy titled The Flynt Report. The timeline: Newt Gingrich had to step down for ethical reasons (his own sexual hypocrisy was revealed later, of course), then Bob Livingston had to refuse the office after his extramarital affairs were made public, so the Republicans finally settled on Denny Hastert, who has now been accused of child molestation and covering it up with payments running in the millions of dollars. Nothing like the party of family values, folks!

Speaking of family values (and child molestation), Josh Duggar (of 19 Kids And Counting fame) was revealed as not quite such an exemplary champion of family values himself, even though he had moved on to an executive position with the Family Research Council (one of those organizations dedicated to lobbying for family values). This stalwart champion of family values had been courted heavily by Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal, and Scott Walker, before he wound up endorsing Huckabee. While most of this list tried desperately to distance themselves from the Duggar scandal, Huckabee has strongly stood by him. Nothing like the intersection of family values and politics, is there?

The world is certainly changing from the days "family values" was used as a gigantic wedge issue by Republicans, that's for sure. Which is my segue to the astonishing news from Ireland last week. The Republic of Ireland became the first country in the world to approve full marriage equality by referendum, by a stunning 62 percent of the vote. Even though the country used to be about as close you can get to a Catholic theocracy (which wasn't all that long ago), tolerance won the day and won big. Erin go bragh!

Congress scarpered off for yet another week-long vacation this week, after the Senate failed to pass any sort of reauthorization for parts of the aforementioned USA PATRIOT Act. They're holding a special session this Sunday, hours before the sections expire, but nobody has any idea what will happen. The House passed some reforms (which never would have happened without Edward Snowden, it bears mentioning) in a similarly-named USA FREEDOM Act, with a wide bipartisan vote. However, the measure only got 57 votes in the Senate (it needed 60 to advance). But the House is not reconvening Sunday, so the only two real options for the Senate are to pass what the House passed, or else just let the sections lapse. So much for Republicans "getting things done" strategy in Congress, eh? Stay tuned this weekend to see how it all plays out. Also worth noting, this is one issue on which the Republican presidential candidates are divided, so it'll be interesting to see what gets said out on the campaign trail.

Speaking of the hustings, we now have two more Republicans officially running (Rick Santorum and George Pataki), and a third Democrat is set to announce this weekend (Martin O'Malley). A conservative columnist over at the Washington Post reacted to the Santorum announcement with her list of seven reasons why he won't win (the first on the list: "Satan"), and that's just what one conservative is saying. But the more amusing news was the preview of more possible official announcements from Lindsey Graham, Rick Perry, and (are you sitting down?) Donald Trump. Is Trump just teasing us all, once again? Well, maybe not -- he certainly seems more serious than ever before, but that's not really saying anything. I know I speak for countless late-night comedians and political pundits when I say: "Oh, please, please run, Donald! It'd be ever so much fun!"

Ahem. Speaking of having some fun with the presidential race, the new thing this year seems to be how amusing the candidates can make their "404 -- page not found" pages on their official campaign sites. The best yet? Bernie Sanders cut a short video that's pretty funny.

And finally, from the "you just can't make this stuff up, folks" file, we have the story of a Canadian creationist who found some significant fossils while excavating a basement, including a 60-million-year-old fish. To his credit, he realized the significance (he's a "fossil lover," as contradictory as that sounds) of the find. He just doesn't believe in isotope dating, that's all. As he put it: "There's no dates stamped on these things." So I guess "creationist fossil lover" is no longer an oxymoron... or something.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

Because Congress was away, we've had to reach further afield for our awards this week, just to warn everyone up front. In fact, we had to reach down to the state level for our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week, although the issue is an important one and the effort certainly deserves a lot of praise.

In California, Assemblywoman Autumn Burke got her bill passed through her own chamber of the statehouse this week, and it's a worthy effort indeed. The bill, AB 775, is known as the "FACT Act," because it will crack down on so-called "pregnancy crisis centers" who make it their business to straight-up lie to women in need. The bill would mandate that any centers which are not medically licensed (and there are many) must disclose this fact to anyone who walks in their doors. The clinics who do have medical licenses will be required to inform clients of all options related to their pregnancy, including abortion. They'll have to notify patients about state programs which offer free or affordable abortion services if the bill becomes law.

This is striking a blow for truth, as most of these "crisis centers" exist solely to convince women not to have abortions, and because they're largely unregulated they have been getting away with dispensing false medical information for far too long.

While in much of the country, abortion rights are under sustained attack from Republicans, it is indeed rare to see any state moving in the other direction. Providing accurate medical information (rather than whatever lie they make up) is a worthy cause indeed.

So for her strong bill to protect women's rights and for her attempts to make flat-out lying to women in crisis a thing of the past, California Assemblywoman Autumn Burke is our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week.

[Congratulate California Assemblywoman Autumn Burke on her official contact page, to let her know you appreciate her efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

We're handing out the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award this week not for any particular action, but rather for continued inaction on the part of President Barack Obama.

Obama's been holding back on announcing a very important executive decision, one that is going to change millions of workers' lives for the better. I first wrote about this in early January, where I noted: "Reportedly, Obama is poised to act sometime between now and February, so perhaps he'll announce it in his State Of The Union address later this month."

It will soon be June, and America is still waiting.

At issue is a change in the rules for when employers must pay time-and-a-half overtime pay. Currently, the law mandates that anyone making $23,660 a year or less must be paid proper overtime rates. However, that figure has only changed once since 1975, back when fully 65 percent of workers were covered by this mandate. Now, it only covers 11 percent of workers.

Obama has been set to announce a big boost in this threshold, up to (perhaps) $50,000 or even $60,000 a year. This would, obviously, boost a lot of people's paychecks, and go a long way towards making life easier for the middle class. Either the boss must pay overtime or not work you more than 40 hours a week -- there will be no other legal option. You can see that this idea would immediately be wildly popular with pretty much all the workers affected (millions upon millions of them).

But for month after month, there has been no announcement. Every so often the White House teases the story by leaking: "Oh, that announcement's coming pretty soon now, so get ready for it," but then no announcement ever happens. It has been five months now, since the first of these teasers.

What is Obama waiting for? There was reportedly a big discussion about exactly where to set the salary bar, but that excuse stopped being valid a number of months ago.

President Obama should make up his mind, and make the announcement. This is an action which does not require action from Congress, mind you -- one of those "pick up my pen" types of action Obama has been promising since the 2014 election.

We've been waiting long enough. There is no reason to delay. Five months is long enough to crunch the numbers (and anyway, there'll be a period for public feedback before the new rule takes place, where the ceiling could be tweaked if necessary).

For his failure to act in the past five months (while the White House keeps promising it'll be just around the corner), President Obama is awarded this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. It didn't really have anything to do with this particular week, admittedly, but more for the fact that it's almost June, which is certainly deeper in the calendar than "between now and February."

We're still waiting, Mister President. Anytime you're ready to make your long-promised announcement on overtime pay, the country also will be ready to hear the good news.

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

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 348 (5/29/15)

Before we begin with this week's talking points, we have a click-bait link that doesn't really fit anywhere else. The Washington Post has a fun page up with links to sites that will predict when you were born and what your politics are (and other amusing things) based upon your first name. Try your own name and see how accurate it is! Results can actually be surprisingly close to reality, I personally found out.

OK, enough fun and games, let's get on with the Democratic talking points of the week. As always, these can be used from everyone from a Democrat being interviewed on a Sunday talk show to holding a water-cooler conversation with your co-workers. The first four of these deal with various flavors of sheer hypocrisy from Republicans, but there's no other real theme to the list this week.

 

1
   If you don't like it, why didn't you do anything about it?

This may become a big deal for two Republican candidates in particular, who have already shown an interest in exploiting the issue (especially in Florida).

"Today Cuba was removed from the official state sponsors of terrorism list, which means American-Cuban relations will continue to improve and the last vestige of the Cold War can finally fade away. Secretary of State John Kerry made the announcement today, 45 days after his initial announcement. This period was built into the law when any such reclassification happens so that Congress has a chance to override the decision. You'll note that the Republican Congress did not do so. So when you hear any Republican running for president decry the Obama administration's Cuba policy, the question to ask is: 'If you disapprove so much, then why didn't you do anything to stop it?' In particular, I'd like to hear the answer to that from two sitting senators, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz."

 

2
   Never part of our conversation at any point

This is a bit of a pre-emptive talking point, as the country awaits the Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell in the upcoming weeks.

"Republicans have taken a case to the Supreme Court which argues that one phrase in the Affordable Care Act was intended to withhold subsidies from people living in states without their own insurance exchange. That's what their whole argument rests upon. But Republican Senator Olympia Snowe -- who was part of the committee which wrote the bill -- said of the logic used in this court case: 'I don't ever recall any distinction between federal and state exchanges in terms of availability of subsidies. It was never part of our conversations at any point. Why would we have wanted to deny people subsidies? It was not their fault if their state did not set up an exchange.' Again, Snowe was instrumental in writing the bill itself. So the next time you hear the conspiracy-theory version of the intent of the law's drafters -- the version that the court case is trying to make -- please remember what Olympia Snowe had to say about it. I certainly hope the justices themselves take note."

 

3
   Border more secure than ever

Republican hypocrisy and fear-mongering, meet reality.

"The default Republican position on immigration reform has become 'we need to secure the border first,' but one wonders how secure the border would ever have to be to satisfy them. The actual reality is that the flow of illegal immigration is at the lowest level it's been in at least two decades. Also, even though the American economy has improved since the Great Recession, it hasn't translated into an increased flow across the border. Gil Kerlikowske, the head of Customs and Border Protection, plainly states the case: 'The border is much more secure than in times past.' I'd be much more willing to believe any Republican on their future plans for immigration reform if one of them -- just one of them -- would actually admit the reality of the situation, instead of the constant demagoguery that things are getting worse at the border. Because that's just not true, by any measure."

 

4
   Ted Cruz, charlatan

That was actually the headline of the Dana Milbank article which pointed this particular reality out.

"Ted Cruz is trying to rewrite his own history when it comes to his complaints about President Obama's foreign policy. Cruz sheds crocodile tears over Obama's 'weakness' when it comes to fighting the Islamic State, and has complained that Obama drew a red line and then ignored it. What Cruz is hoping the rest of us will ignore is what happened when Obama was ready to bomb Syria aggressively over that very same red line. When Obama went to Congress for approval, some Republicans were in favor of letting the bombs drop. They were halted when Senator Ted Cruz began speaking out forcefully against the idea. Back then, he warned that his constituents didn't want him to 'put us in the middle of a sectarian civil war, particularly when doing so would help al-Qaeda terrorists.' He went on to belittle Obama's red line, saying 'it appears what the president is pressing for is essentially protecting his public relations.' So all his thundering now about how Obama should have made good on his red line promise is nothing but the sheerest hypocrisy and political opportunism, designed to obscure his own role in stopping Obama from doing so. As Dana Milbank of the Washington Post points out, Ted Cruz is nothing short of a complete charlatan."

 

5
   Don't set that bar too high, Mitch

This is an interesting little footnote for the upcoming 2016 Senate elections.

"Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is apparently trying to keep expectations as low as he possibly can for Republicans heading into the 2016 election cycle. He's already admitting that the chances of Republicans gaining seats next year is 'pretty slim' and says he'll be concentrating on maintaining -- but not growing -- the Republican majority. We're over a year away, and McConnell is already setting the bar as low as he can, which probably means Democrats have an excellent chance of increasing their own numbers."

 

6
   Brainwashing!

Call it the Manchurian network, we suppose.

"Bruce Bartlett, who served in the administration of Ronald Reagan himself (I'll pause here, to allow Republicans to genuflect) just published a paper calling Fox News nothing short of 'brainwashing.' He states that 'many conservatives now refuse to listen to any news or opinion not vetted through Fox, and to believe whatever appears on it as the gospel truth.' Those are pretty strong words for someone who once served Saint Ronnie in the White House, don't you think?"

 

7
   Liberals making a big comeback

OK, we realize that part of this is nothing short of the end of the demonization of the term, and that to really see the trendline in full you'd need data back to (at the very least) the 1970s, but that's not going to stop us from touting the success!

"Gallup has just noted that a record level of the American public now considers themselves 'socially liberal.' Granted, they've only been asking the question since 1999, but even so, social liberals are now on a par with social conservatives -- both are at 31 percent. This is both the highest number ever charted for social liberals and the lowest number ever seen for social conservatives. The public is shifting, and the trendline is clear. America is becoming more liberal and less conservative -- something which Democratic politicians have already noted, but which Republican politicians are likely going to ignore. To their peril, at the ballot box. Because 'liberal' is no longer a dirty word in American politics."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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

 

130 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [348] -- Double Standards And Hypocrisy”

  1. [1] 
    John from Arcadia wrote:

    Speaking of Bernie Sanders, I was driving around in my car yesterday listening to Pandora Radio when all of a sudden an ad came on, and it was Bernie Sanders asking me to join his campaign! I was pretty impressed. Just two days after his first campaign event, Bernie Sanders shows up in my car riding shotgun and asking for my support. This tells me that Sanders and his campaign staff are on the ball, and that he is a serious candidate. It will be interesting to see how he does as the campaign season progresses.

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    Moving right along, I fully intended to write a snarky bit today wondering how long it'd be before the "other shoe drops" on the Denny Hastert scandal, but the underlying sordid story broke before I even sat down to type. Seems Hastert was a little too hands-on with the students, back when he was a wrestling coach, if reports are to be believed (due to the sexual nature of the scandal, I'm sure we'll be hearing many more details, all weekend long).

    Bill Clinton...

    'nuff said..

    "Republicans have taken a case to the Supreme Court which argues that one phrase in the Affordable Care Act was intended to withhold subsidies from people living in states without their own insurance exchange. That's what their whole argument rests upon. But Republican Senator Olympia Snowe -- who was part of the committee which wrote the bill -- said of the logic used in this court case: 'I don't ever recall any distinction between federal and state exchanges in terms of availability of subsidies. It was never part of our conversations at any point. Why would we have wanted to deny people subsidies? It was not their fault if their state did not set up an exchange.' Again, Snowe was instrumental in writing the bill itself. So the next time you hear the conspiracy-theory version of the intent of the law's drafters -- the version that the court case is trying to make -- please remember what Olympia Snowe had to say about it. I certainly hope the justices themselves take note."

    And yet, Gruber said exactly the opposite..

    It's always easy to say, "Oh I didn't mean that" to an incident that happened in the past..

    But the ONLY thing that matters is what was said AT THE TIME..

    And.. AT THE TIME, Gruber made it clear that the intent was to force states to set up their own exchanges or their citizens do not get the subsidies...

    You can't unring a bell..

    The intent has been clearly established...

    "The default Republican position on immigration reform has become 'we need to secure the border first,' but one wonders how secure the border would ever have to be to satisfy them. The actual reality is that the flow of illegal immigration is at the lowest level it's been in at least two decades. Also, even though the American economy has improved since the Great Recession, it hasn't translated into an increased flow across the border. Gil Kerlikowske, the head of Customs and Border Protection, plainly states the case: 'The border is much more secure than in times past.' I'd be much more willing to believe any Republican on their future plans for immigration reform if one of them -- just one of them -- would actually admit the reality of the situation, instead of the constant demagoguery that things are getting worse at the border. Because that's just not true, by any measure."

    The Obama administration has been saying that the border is as secure as ever for years now..

    It's as much bullshit now as it was then...

    Liberals making a big comeback

    Yea??

    So what happened in 2014?? :D

    Michale

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    This tells me that Sanders and his campaign staff are on the ball, and that he is a serious candidate.

    The fact that Sanders is polling 13% to Hillary's 60+%

    That tells me that Sanders is nothing but a vanity candidate and not a serious contender at all..

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Republic of Ireland became the first country in the world to approve full marriage equality by referendum, by a stunning 62 percent of the vote. Even though the country used to be about as close you can get to a Catholic theocracy (which wasn't all that long ago), tolerance won the day and won big. Erin go bragh!

    So, the 1% has forced the other 99% to their lifestyle choices..

    woo hoo...

    I thought all you Lefties were AGAINST the 1% and FOR the 99%, eh?? :D

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Republic of Ireland became the first country in the world to approve full marriage equality by referendum, by a stunning 62 percent of the vote. Even though the country used to be about as close you can get to a Catholic theocracy (which wasn't all that long ago), tolerance won the day and won big. Erin go bragh!

    No honorable mention to the Canadian jeweler who as threatend and boycotted by the 1% BECAUSE he provided service to a lesbian couple??

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Question...

    Bernie Sanders is running as a Democrat.. Doesn't he have to change his Party affiliation to do that??

    Has he??

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Don't set that bar too high, Mitch

    Something that Democrats did prior to the 2014..

    On the one hand, you want to exude confidence.. On the other hand, you don't want to look like an idiot when the confidence is unwarranted

    It's simply politics..

    The fact that Democrats, even then, set the bar TOO high and looked like idiots :D doesn't negate the soundness strategy.. :D

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    8 Cancervative hypocrisy (part umpteen)

    High-profile Republican politicians from Texas (Cruz, Abbott) have embraced the Big Federal Government Socialism in the wake of devastating Climate Change Floods. After recently ranting and pandering to the Lunatic Fringe (GOP) about the non-existent Jade Helm 15 US military takeover of Texas, they're going to demand that the tyrannical FEMA goons create a culture of dependency in the Lone Star State? What happened to their bootstraps?

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    High-profile Republican politicians from Texas (Cruz, Abbott) have embraced the Big Federal Government Socialism in the wake of devastating Climate Change Floods.

    Human Caused Global Warming (Yet The Planet Ain't Warming) fanatics are always quick to point out that a single weather event does not negate the theory of Human Caused Global Warming..

    UNLESS...

    Unless that single event supports the Human Caused Global Warming...

    THEN single events are proof positive....

    There really isn't any difference between a christian fanatic who argues the existence of god and the Human Caused Global Warming fanatic who argues the existence of Human Caused Global Warming..

    Both have their "facts" that "prove" their case and ignore ANY real facts that don't support their case...

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    BTW - I forgot to mention that I heard that the Global Warming catastrophe in Texas was actually God's merciful wrath bearing down on the culture of sex with under-age persons within the GOP (Hastert, Duggar, Sandusky, Nugent, etc). Only the foolish Climate Change Hoaxers believe that God would not bring calamity.

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Only the foolish Climate Change Hoaxers believe that God would not bring calamity.

    Only the foolish believe in a god..

    actually God's merciful wrath bearing down on the culture of sex with under-age persons within the GOP

    Do you REALLY want to go shot for shot with sex and under-age persons???

    Democrats are WELL REPRESENTED in that area...

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    I mean, if politicians having sex with the underaged REALLY concerns you, not just REPUBLICAN politicians, I am suuurrreeee you want to speak out against Bob Menendez, Joseph Morrissey and Clinton's BFF Jeffery Epstein..... There is also that Democrat guy who went to Haiti and set up a shop for underage sex...

    Of course, if you don't really CARE about the issue of underaged sex and you are just looking to score points against the GOP, then you probably won't care about Democrats who have committed the crimes that you love to single out Republicans for.....

    You'll have to clarify which really concerns you...

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Try and cross brains with Spock, he'll cut you to pieces every time"
    -Ensign Sulu, STAR TREK, The Corbomite Manuever

    :D

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Paula wrote:

    It's a bit disorienting: I actually like all three Democrat contenders -- it's early and maybe they'll be some surprise a la John Edwards, but if not, I'd take Hillary, Bernie or Martin with pleasure! Or any two out of the three!

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It's too bad that Governor Jerry Brown is otherwise occupied.

    Now, there would be an "up-wing" 2016 presidential candidate with a vision for the future and the courage to carry it out and the media would be hard pressed to ignore him, no matter what the polls reveal.

  16. [16] 
    Pastafarian Dan wrote:

    Re: the SCOTUS and Obamacare. On thing that has always struck me is that no one has mentioned the fact that the term "state" has, for the last couple of centuries at least, been used to describe the nation (see Louis XIV's "L'etat c'est moi" (The State is Me)). Under that logic/definition the lawsuit is even more ridiculous.

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    Re: the SCOTUS and Obamacare. On thing that has always struck me is that no one has mentioned the fact that the term "state" has, for the last couple of centuries at least, been used to describe the nation (see Louis XIV's "L'etat c'est moi" (The State is Me)). Under that logic/definition the lawsuit is even more ridiculous.

    I have always thought strange as well.. That seems like a valid argument.

    On the other hand, the law makes distinction between State and Federal, so that argument probably wouldn't fly..

    Like I said.. "Intent" was established by Gruber long before this lawsuit was a reality...

    THAT is the argument that is going to sway the SCOTUS..

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    The only hope that the administration has, the ONLY argument that might, repeat *MIGHT*, sway the SCOTUS is the irreparable harm argument..

    Knocking millions of people out of the insurance market IS something to consider..

    But the Democrat Party have only themselves to blame because it was their law and their process that was a direct cause of this mess.. It's what happens when a law is not properly debated and is pushed thru by back room deals and parliamentary trickery...

    And spare me the "OH MY GOD THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!" crocodile tears...

    If the GOP had frak'ed up so bad on a purely partisan piece of legislation that has screwed over so many people, the Left would be giddy with glee....

    Am I wrong?? Of course not...

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    The New Nationwide Crime Wave
    The consequences of the ‘Ferguson effect’ are already appearing. The main victims of growing violence will be the inner-city poor.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-new-nationwide-crime-wave-1432938425

    O'Malley had the right idea when he was Mayor of Baltimore..

    Unfortunately, he has gone Politically Correct which disqualifies him for the presidency...

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    On a more somber note..

    Condolences to the Biden family on the loss of their son.. I can't imagine a worse hell than parents having to bury their child.

    Many things transcend politics..

    Something like this is at the top of that list..

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    dsws wrote:

    some surprise a la John Edwards

    I wasn't all that surprised. He seemed kind of sleazy to me from the first time I watched him.

    That was something my wife and I sort of disagreed on: she thought he was a pretty good second choice, but I thought he was likely to turn out as unelectable as Hillary Clinton.

  22. [22] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Go, Bernie, go!

    The reason they won't cover Bernie (also probably the reason why he has a certain amount of popularity) is that I think he's the only non-U.S. Chamber of Commerce corporate special interest group approved candidate in the field.

    Also ... the best Dennis Hastert comment of the week. From WaPo:

    "If I understand the history correctly, in the late 1990s, the President was impeached for lying about a sexual affair by a House of Representatives led by a man who was also then hiding a sexual affair, who was supposed to be replaced by another Congressman who stepped down when forced to reveal that he too was having a sexual affair, which led to the election of a new Speaker of the House who now has been indicted for lying about payments covering up his sexual contact with a boy."

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/05/29/if-i-understand-the-history-correctly/

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    "If I understand the history correctly, in the late 1990s, the President was impeached for lying about a sexual affair by a House of Representatives led by a man who was also then hiding a sexual affair, who was supposed to be replaced by another Congressman who stepped down when forced to reveal that he too was having a sexual affair, which led to the election of a new Speaker of the House who now has been indicted for lying about payments covering up his sexual contact with a boy."

    So, what you are saying... Or what WaPo is saying is that Hastert is no different than Clinton..

    OK, I can agree with that. :D

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    I mean, if you want to slam Hatstert for the hypocrisy, be my guest.. I might even pile on...

    But ya'all want to slam him for the scandal??

    No moral foundation whatsoever...

    Not until you slam the likes of Jeffery Epstein, Bill Clinton etc etc etc...

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz, this one's for you...

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/11640302/Exclusive-interview-Ian-Bremmer-says-America-is-no-longer-indispensible-and-thats-bad-news-for-Britain.html

    It's hard to read it, to face the reality, but the facts are compelling and the conclusions are scary...

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    akadjian wrote:

    No moral foundation whatsoever.

    8 year olds, dude.

    Seriously though, Michale. The Republican Party only has one moral and they even tell you what it is, selfishness.

    I still find it strange you find so much there to like. Because it's certainly not morals.

    In Republican-land, morals are just things that liberals are supposed to obey. Not them.

    And yeah, Clinton's a creeper. So's Spitzer. And Wiener.

    The big difference is that Republican's are supposed to be the "family values" party.

    So yeah, it's the hypocrisy.

    -David

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    I still find it strange you find so much there to like. Because it's certainly not morals.

    One could say the same for the Democrat Party... :D

    The big difference is that Republican's are supposed to be the "family values" party.

    One alleged scumbag doesn't taint the whole Party...

    That's like saying that Weiner IS the Democrat Party. Or that the corrupt Democrat in Albany is the ENTIRE Democrat Party...

    Now, if you REALLY want to get representational....

    Bill Clinton IS the Democrat Party... And, as you say, he's a creep...

    Soo........ :D

    So yeah, it's the hypocrisy.

    Yea, hypocrisy is REALLY annoying...

    Like the woman who tries to commiserate with the poor and middle class, yet makes a million dollars an hour for speeches and owns two luxury mansions and has been chauffeured around since 1996...

    THAT'S hypocrisy...

    But it's acceptable hypocrisy because of the '-D' after her name...

    I agree with you. Hypocrisy is one of the worst political sins in my book... But I hate it from both sides of the aisle..

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    I still find it strange you find so much there to like. Because it's certainly not morals.

    I often ask myself the exact same thing about ya'all and the Democrat Party..

    For example.. Ya'all are against money in campaigns. Yet Hillary is going to amass over 2 billion dollars for her campaign...

    Ya'all are against corporate influence.. Yet ya'all concede that Hillary is bought and paid for by the same corporate entities ya'all despise..

    Ya'all are against domestic surveillance, yet you support Obama who has pushed domestic surveillance to unheard of heights. Literally! And you are against Rand Paul who is fighting tooth and nail against the domestic surveillance ya'all claim to hate...

    Ya'all are for Fair Pay For Women, yet Hillary's campaign is top heavy with men and the women who ARE in high end positions are paid less than comparative men. Obama's White House pays women over 15% less than men for comparative work..

    Ya'all support Unions yet you also support Obama who is pushing TPP like there is no tomorrow....

    The list goes on and on and on and on...

    Near as I can tell, the only reason to like the Democrat Party is because they talk the talk.. The SAY that they support the issues that ya'all support...

    But when the rubber meets the road, when it's time to walk the walk, they are no different than the GOP ya'all castigate...

    So, what's to like??

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here is a perfect example of what I am talking about..

    The cash donations Hillary simply has no answer for
    The Clinton Foundation's business relationship with 20 foreign governments raises real questions about her judgment

    Among all the rivers of money that have flowed to the Clinton family, one seems to raise the biggest national security questions of all: the stream of cash that came from 20 foreign governments who relied on weapons export approvals from Hillary Clinton’s State Department.
    http://www.salon.com/2015/05/31/the_cash_donations_hillary_simply_has_no_answer_for_partner/

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Bleyd wrote:

    I took a look at the websites about names and noticed something rather funny. Apparently a person named "Jesus" is significantly more likely to be a democrat than republican.

  31. [31] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Jesus was a liberal.

    All that feeding the poor and good samaritan stuff ... socialist!

    ;)

    -David

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    Jesus was a liberal.

    All that feeding the poor and good samaritan stuff ... socialist!

    And god was a Republican...

    All that vengeful wrath stuff....

    Do ya'all REALLY want to go there??? :D

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Look, fire me if you want. Sooner or later, God’s going to come back home and you know how he is with that whole 'wrath' thing."
    -Joshua, SUPERNATURAL, The Dark Side Of The Moon

    :D

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Lindsey Graham is in the GOP race. John McCain's Mini Me.

    "Simply put, radical Islam is running wild -- they are large, they are rich, they're entrenched. As president I will make them small, poor and on the run,"

    I think he's talking about ISIS. I also think it's analytical nonsense. ISIS isn't large, they're not rich, but they have operating low costs. The last thing we want is them on the run. Their running around is the problem. We want them isolated and contained by their non-Sunni neighbors, who have every incentive to do this on a long term basis.

    If you can't recognize the problem, you're unlikely to fix it....even if you throw resources aimlessly at it. Ask Dubya.

    Thank you...NEXT...

  35. [35] 
    akadjian wrote:

    And god was a Republican...
    All that vengeful wrath stuff....
    Do ya'all REALLY want to go there??? :D

    So you want people to ... be more vengeful?

    Send locusts at each other?

    (?)

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    So you want people to ... be more vengeful?

    You said Jesus was a liberal..

    I said god was a Republican...

    And here we are.. :D

    Michale

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    We want them isolated and contained by their non-Sunni neighbors, who have every incentive to do this on a long term basis.

    And, howz that werkin' out so far, eh??

    I'm just sayin'....

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, we're in June...

    Anyone want to make any SCOTUS predictions for the record??? :D

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M - 37

    How is it working out? I translated your version for those whose
    Palinese has gotten rusty.

    About as well as can be expected. The USA hasn't been sucked into a Sunni/Shiite religious war in the Levant, at least not so far as committing ground forces to combat. Or, if you prefer, we have avoided the sucking sound of committing troops to two civil wars, one in the former Iraq, the other in ex-Syria.

    There haven't been any major losses or gains of territory since ISSL "magically" appeared in all the Sunni dominated regions of Iraq. One side gains or loses a strategic town now and then, but loss or gains of this sort do not a decisive victory make. Minorities on the wrong side of the ethnic divde suffer grievously.....and so do some locals of the right religious persuasion with the wrong viewpoint. Cultural heritage sites are pillaged, but hey, it's their treasures to break...or sell on the world market, like so much Elgin Marble. But, ISSL is largely contained. Their oil revenue in Iraq in something like 17 million US$. That will barely buy you a decent sized and furnished property in NYC. Seinfeld probably spends about that per year on vintage cars.

    Sometimes you fight the forest fire, sometimes you just cut fire breaks and let it burn itself out.

    Graham offers nothing specific, and his rhetoric is nothing new. Reheated Neocon bluster, never forget and never learn. It's foreign policy pout and should play well in the SC primary.

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    About as well as can be expected. The USA hasn't been sucked into a Sunni/Shiite religious war in the Levant, at least not so far as committing ground forces to combat. Or, if you prefer, we have avoided the sucking sound of committing troops to two civil wars, one in the former Iraq, the other in ex-Syria.

    And hundreds of thousands of innocents are being brutally and horrendously slaughtered while the US sits on the sidelines and congratulates itself on being above the fray...

    This is that vaunted compassion I hear liberals have???

    There haven't been any major losses or gains of territory since ISSL "magically" appeared in all the Sunni dominated regions of Iraq.

    Yer kidding, right??

    Sometimes you fight the forest fire, sometimes you just cut fire breaks and let it burn itself out.

    And who cares how many hundreds of thousands of innocents are brutally slaughtered as it 'burns itself out'??

    Graham offers nothing specific, and his rhetoric is nothing new.

    And Clinton offers LESS than nothing..

    Yet, you give her a pass...

    Why fer???

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    TheStig wrote:

    41

    Your estimates of genocide are grossly inflated, but it's not about the numbers of dead innocents, it's about our capacity to save innocents in that region, which I assess is not great,even at unacceptable cost to our own society. Our prospects are limited given our military structure, where the conflict is taking place, our knowledge of Islamic culture, the nature of our economy and our national will to spill blood and treasure in a region that much of the US electorate regards with minimal knowledge and unrestrained bigotry.

    I am not soft on ISSL. My position was put forth in an earlier post, it has not changed, you know where it is, re-read it. It's about as soft as Gen. Sherman's attitude on his March to the Sea.

    I have not given Clinton a pass, I said nothing about her in my earlier post. This was about a dark horse named Lindsey G, with a brief mention of Seinfeld who is not running for anything. If I mention the whole clown car cavalcade of candidates my posts are going to be several pages long. When Clinton gets somewhat specific, and I'm pretty sure she will, I'll let you and everybody else know what I think.

    For the record, Bernie Sanders is my favorite, but if he can't catch fire quickly and cleanly, I hope he doesn't overstay.

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    And hundreds of thousands of innocents are being brutally and horrendously slaughtered while the US sits on the sidelines and congratulates itself on being above the fray...

    This is that vaunted compassion I hear liberals have???

    Amongst ALL Weigantians, I stand alone as the compassionate liberal!! :D

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Ian Bremmer should worry less about the new-found and fortunate pragmatism of the US and more about the future of Great Britain.

    I still have great confidence in the promise of America ... in the example of its power and in the power of its example. That balance may finally be on the way to being realized.

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Your estimates of genocide are grossly inflated, but it's not about the numbers of dead innocents, it's about our capacity to save innocents in that region, which I assess is not great,even at unacceptable cost to our own society.

    I once read that many thought the same thing about Normandy...

    But you are right about one thing.

    It's not about the numbers.. Whether it thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands, my point is still valid..

    The US is standing on the sidelines allowing innocent people to die when we have the power to stop it. Or at least mitigate it considerably..

    Once again, ya'all's isolationist policies are right aligned with Rand Paul...

    Funny, eh??

    I am not soft on ISSL. My position was put forth in an earlier post, it has not changed, you know where it is, re-read it. It's about as soft as Gen. Sherman's attitude on his March to the Sea.

    No one says you are soft on ISIS... But the claim that ISIS has not made any significant gains is ludicrous. Ramadi ring any bells??

    I have not given Clinton a pass, I said nothing about her in my earlier post. This was about a dark horse named Lindsey G, with a brief mention of Seinfeld who is not running for anything. If I mention the whole clown car cavalcade of candidates my posts are going to be several pages long. When Clinton gets somewhat specific, and I'm pretty sure she will, I'll let you and everybody else know what I think.

    On the Dem side there isn't a whole clown car of candidates..

    There is just one clown...

    I just find it somewhat ironic when Weigantians point out all the bad things about a GOP candidate but fails to mention that the EXACT same issue plagues the Dem Candidate...

    I can't help but point that out... :D

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    I still have great confidence in the promise of America ... in the example of its power and in the power of its example.

    "That's actually quite good.. Did you come in here planning to say that? Or was it off the top of your head?"
    -Baal, STARGATE SG1: CONTINUUM

    :D

    Seriously, I like that...

    That balance may finally be on the way to being realized.

    Yep... Probably in 2017.. :D

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:
  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    Coronate the Dem Queen already!!

    I mean to say "DAMN" Queen, but it came out wrong. :D

    Michale

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    Your estimates of genocide are grossly inflated, but it's not about the numbers of dead innocents, it's about our capacity to save innocents in that region, which I assess is not great,even at unacceptable cost to our own society. Our prospects are limited given our military structure, where the conflict is taking place, our knowledge of Islamic culture, the nature of our economy and our national will to spill blood and treasure in a region that much of the US electorate regards with minimal knowledge and unrestrained bigotry.

    As the only remaining Superpower on the planet.....

    Risk is our business...

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

    Michale

  49. [49] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Of course, it's good!

    I learned it from Senator Joe Biden, no less, and I've been repeating variations of it for years, indeed decades.

  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yep... Probably in 2017.. :D

    Well, it'll probably take more than two years to manifest itself but, the point is that America is on the right track, at the very least.

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sometimes you fight the forest fire, sometimes you just cut fire breaks and let it burn itself out.

    And what if there are people and people's home in between the raging fire and your fire breaks??

    "Eh.. Collateral damage... War is hell... "

    ???

    Michale

  52. [52] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "That's actually quite good.. Did you come in here planning to say that? Or was it off the top of your head?"
    -Baal, STARGATE SG1: CONTINUUM

    Actually, there is a very similar line from Captain America: the Winter Soldier ...

    I LOVE that character ... Cap, I mean. Heh.

  53. [53] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I mean to say "DAMN" Queen, but it came out wrong. :D

    No it didn't. :D

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    I mean to say "DAMN" Queen, but it came out wrong. :D

    No it didn't. :D

    hehehehehehehe :D

    Michale

  55. [55] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "So, the 1% has forced the other 99% to their lifestyle choices..

    woo hoo..."

    How many times Michale do you need to be told that it is NOT a lifestyle choice? If it were a lifestyle, you could not be both gay and a virgin, which you most certainly can be. Is being black or female a "lifestyle" choice too???

  56. [56] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Bill Clinton...

    'nuff said.."

    Not nearly enough said Michale! There is a world of difference between someone who has an affair with another adult (Clinton) and someone who molests a child (Hastert). Unless you want to make light of it and defend Duggar too while you are it, like Huckabee did?

  57. [57] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Don't set that bar too high, Mitch

    Something that Democrats did prior to the 2014.."

    Again, there is a big difference between an off year election with low voter turnout and a Presidential election year. I hardly think the Republicans can really crow too much about winning a majority of a minority of the electorate! That hardly makes for either a realistically credible mandate or landslide.

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    How many times Michale do you need to be told that it is NOT a lifestyle choice?

    I'll believe it's not a choice once there is CONCLUSIVE scientific evidence that PROVES it's not a choice..

    You are alone in your belief that it's completely and unequivocally NOT a choice here in Weigantia... It's been conceded that there IS an element of choice in the issue...

    The only point of contention is how MUCH of a choice is it.

    But it IS a choice... THAT has been agreed upon..

    Is being black or female a "lifestyle" choice too???

    If you have enough science to support the gay issue as there is to support differing race or gender, then you would have a point..

    But you don't so you don't..

    Not nearly enough said Michale! There is a world of difference between someone who has an affair with another adult (Clinton) and someone who molests a child (Hastert).

    Yer right.

    There IS a big difference..

    The difference is that Clinton was PROVEN to be a creep...

    Hastert has only been accused..

    I guess in your world, INNOCENT TIL PROVEN GUILTY only applies to Democrats...

    Again, there is a big difference between an off year election with low voter turnout and a Presidential election year. I hardly think the Republicans can really crow too much about winning a majority of a minority of the electorate! That hardly makes for either a realistically credible mandate or landslide.

    Choosing not to vote is a de-facto vote...

    "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."
    -RUSH

    "Failure to make a decision is a decision in itself."
    -Captain James T Kirk

    Take yer pick...

    "You don't know!!?? Or you don't care!??"
    "PICK one!!!"

    X-MEN

    :D

    Michale

  59. [59] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Yea??

    So what happened in 2014?? :D"

    Democratic voters taking things for granted, low voter turnout, and a very successful get out the vote effort among very conservative Republicans, along with considerable Republican congressional district gerrymandering. If not for the gerrymandering, Democrats would have picked up additional House seats. The total vote for all the Democratic congressional candidates has been concentrated into fewer, mostly urban, Congressional districts. Republicans only got 52 percent of the total vote, but picked up 57 percent of the total Congressional seats, mostly from more rural or suburban districts that are more spread out, where they won with say 52 percent of the vote, as opposed to the Democrats concentrated in big city districts winning with 60 percent of the vote or more.

  60. [60] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "No honorable mention to the Canadian jeweler who as threatend and boycotted by the 1% BECAUSE he provided service to a lesbian couple??"

    Well, what about Anne DePrizio, a Unitarian minister in Alabama who was sentenced to 30 days in jail last month Michale? Her crime? Anne conducted a marriage for two women at a probate office. A local judge ordered her to not to, but she defied him and obeyed the federal ruling.

    Just to be clear: This is an actual example of a religious official who has been sent to jail for exercising her religious beliefs. It is the very thing that the opposition has been claiming will happen to them. And yet none of them are coming to Anne's defense. Where is the outrage about that Michale???

  61. [61] 
    John M wrote:

    "Try and cross brains with Spock, he'll cut you to pieces every time"
    -Ensign Sulu, STAR TREK, The Corbomite Manuever

    :D

    Michale

    Too bad you are NOT Spock. :-D

    John

  62. [62] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "I'll believe it's not a choice once there is CONCLUSIVE scientific evidence that PROVES it's not a choice.."

    I can't help but notice that you still NEVER address the fact that you can be both gay and a virgin. Why is that Michale?

  63. [63] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M -44

    I addressed the issue of Ramadi's strategic importance in Turning Straw into Gold.

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2015/05/22/ftp347/#comment-59748

    Ramadi is NOT a strategic asset to the Iraqi Rump Government at this time. The city is depopulated and the road leads nowhere Shiite forces need go in the near future. Ramadi is just a small district capital with no district under its control. It's a strategic liability. Keeping an isolated garrison there was just leaving a target for ISSL attrition. As the old saying goes, he who tries to defend everything defends nothing. The predictable happened.

    If ISSL attempts to garrison Ramadi, the troops, and the supply columns needed to support them, can be whittled at from the air. Turn Ramadi into an ISSL liability, should ISSL be dumb enough to accept the opportunity.

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    JM,

    Let me ask you something..

    Let's postulate a scenario where it is universally accepted that being gay is 1000% choice. There is proof positive, scientifically ironclad proof that being gay is a choice..

    Under those conditions, in your opinion, would the gay community have a legal case for discrimination??

    Of course they wouldn't.. If they make the conscious choice to be gay, they would not have a legal leg to stand on as far as discrimination goes..

    That's why, in your mind and in the mind of those who think like you, it **HAS** to be genetic...

    Because, if it's not, then you don't have a case... The gay bullies/activists don't have a case..

    Once again, agenda-driven evidence instead of an evidence-driven agenda...

    Michale

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    Poll: New speed bumps for Clinton
    http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/02/politics/hillary-clinton-2016-poll-gop-field-close/index.html

    The more Americans see Hillary, the less they like here..

    2016 is going to be a rout by the GOP....

    Michale

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    JM,

    Here's an interesting question for you..

    Becoming disabled by choice, not chance: ‘Transabled’ people feel like impostors in their fully working bodies
    http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/becoming-disabled-by-choice-not-chance-transabled-people-feel-like-impostors-in-their-fully-working-bodies

    Should we allow these people to become disabled and suck off the public teat because they were "born" that way...

    Even if they weren't really BORN that way???

    You see the Pandora's Box you are opening??

    If NOTHING is a choice, if EVERYTHING is due to genetics, then there is no free will whatsoever....

    We're all a slave to our DNA...

    If a person has the "alcoholic gene" then they MUST be an alcoholic.. No choice...

    If a person has the "promiscuous gene" then they MUST be a slut.. No choice...

    If a person has the "disabled gene" then they MUST cut off a leg... No choice....

    If a person has the "evil gene" then they MUST be a psychotic killer... No choice...

    Hell, even christian fanatics allow for the concept of free will..

    In your "born that way" world there IS no free will whatsoever...

    You are a slave to your DNA...

    MOOSE POOP I tell you!!!

    MOOSE POOP!!!!

    :D

    Michale

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    Awww carp!!! :(

    CW, would ya mind....

  68. [68] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M -44

    I'm not sure what your point is about Normandy. I do know the Allied bombing of French towns and cities in Normandy killed upwards of 50,000 French civilians.
    It also liberated France from Nazi occupation and liberated at least some of the more than 1 million French civilians transported to Germany as forced slave labor (often death by labor). This is the calculus of war and it is never pretty. You pay a bill if you do something, you pay a bill if you do nothing.

  69. [69] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-48

    "Risk is our business"

    Calculated risk is our business. If I'm going to stake somebody at the roulette wheel of war, I'm going to want them to know how to card count. Like my grandmother could. It was easier in her day, and she wasn't greedy, so she never got banned.

  70. [70] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M - 69

    Kind of a mixed metaphor in that post, I should have said the The Black Jack game of war. Grandma always said roulette was for suckers.

  71. [71] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm not sure what your point is about Normandy.

    My point is that there were naysayers who said we couldn't do it. That it would be a massacre.. That it would do no good...

    Calculated risk is our business.

    And the problem is, Obama is calculating politics rather than what's morally right..

    Michale

  72. [72] 
    Michale wrote:

    Jeeeze, I am off on the attributes today! :(

    Michale

  73. [73] 
    Michale wrote:

    And the problem is, Obama is calculating politics rather than what's morally right..

    "We've made too many compromises already; too many retreats. They invade our space and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!"
    -Captain Jean Luc Picard

    Trekker though I am, I still prefer the Harrison Ford version...

    "Never again will I allow our political self-interest to deter us from doing what we know to be morally right. Atrocity and terror are not political weapons. And to those who would use them, your day is over. We will never negotiate. We will no longer tolerate and we will no longer be afraid. It's your turn to be afraid."
    -Harrison Ford, AIR FORCE ONE

    Michale

  74. [74] 
    Michale wrote:

    Too bad you are NOT Spock. :-D

    I am not Spock...

    But I play him in Weigantia.... :D

    Michale

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    TS,

    Ramadi is NOT a strategic asset to the Iraqi Rump Government at this time.

    Ramadi is a psychological asset to Americans who lost loved ones fighting there..

    Apparently, Obama doesn't give a rip about those Americans, as they are not Obama Bots...

    Remember when Obama said, "There are no Red States, there are no Blue States, there are only a UNITED States..."

    I actually thought he MEANT that...

    Boy was I an idjut....

    Michale

  76. [76] 
    Michale wrote:

    I can't help but notice that you still NEVER address the fact that you can be both gay and a virgin. Why is that Michale?

    Missed that one...

    How exactly can one be gay and a virgin???

    Or are you referring to the idea that one can be happy he or she is a virgin??

    Michale

  77. [77] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh look!!

    You can attend A CONVERSATION WITH HILLARY!!

    https://prod01-cdn01.cdn.firstlook.org/wp-uploads/sites/1/2015/06/hrcemail.png

    And it only costs ya $1000!!!

    Yea... Hillary is the "Champion" of the 99%..... :^/

    I'll ask again..

    THIS is the Dem Candidate for POTUS???

    Michale

  78. [78] 
    Michale wrote:

    It has been nine months since President Barack Obama set forth a policy—“degrade and destroy”—for dealing with the Islamic State (ISIS), the radical group that emerged as the successor to Al-Qaeda in Iraq. In that time, despite daily airstrikes, an increased tempo of training Iraqi troops and a wobbly coalition of 60 nations trying to combat ISIS, the group has made steady gains in both Iraq and Syria: It not only still controls the city of Mosul, on May 17, it routed Iraqi troops in the Sunni stronghold of Ramadi, about 70 miles from Baghdad. In Syria it took the strategic city of Palmyra. It has extended its reach into Libya and conducted its first terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia, blowing up a Shiite mosque in the eastern city of Qatif. Far from being degraded, the group Obama once infamously derided as “the jayvee” appears in the eyes of many, to be on the march. If the question is, ‘Is ISIS winning?’ the answer, for now, appears undeniable: Yes.
    http://www.newsweek.com/2015/06/12/isis-winning-338027.html

    There is no doubt..

    ISIS is growing.. ISIS is winning.

    Obama is losing the Middle East..

    Michale

  79. [79] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Missed that one...

    How exactly can one be gay and a virgin???"

    Mmmm, perhaps the same way that one can be a straight, heterosexual teenager and still be a virgin also? How is that so hard to understand?

  80. [80] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Let's postulate a scenario where it is universally accepted that being gay is 1000% choice. There is proof positive, scientifically ironclad proof that being gay is a choice..

    Under those conditions, in your opinion, would the gay community have a legal case for discrimination??

    Of course they wouldn't.. If they make the conscious choice to be gay, they would not have a legal leg to stand on as far as discrimination goes.."

    Wrong again Michale!!! Of course they would still have just as strong a case for discrimination! We protect people from discrimination because of their religious or political affiliations, don't we? Those are completely a matter of choice! How would it be any different???

  81. [81] 
    John M wrote:

    By the way Michale, You have not addressed the case of the Alabama minister being jailed for performing a gay wedding according to her religious beliefs. Why is that???

  82. [82] 
    Michale wrote:

    We protect people from discrimination because of their political affiliations, don't we?

    You do???

    Since when...

    The IRS totally and completely AND ADMITTEDLY discriminated against Republican groups...

    By the way Michale, You have not addressed the case of the Alabama minister being jailed for performing a gay wedding according to her religious beliefs. Why is that???

    Another one I missed..

    What are the specifics of the case?

    Michale

  83. [83] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M - 75

    How do you presume to know the psychology of somebody who loses a family member in combat? I'm pretty sure it varies. I only know one person who has lost a family member (cousin)in Ramadi. He couldn't tell you where Ramadi is on a map. His psychology is pretty simple: he hates "Arabs" and now thinks it was a mistake gotten involved in Iraq in the first place. I suspect this is a fairly common element of a wide spectrum, but honestly, I have no objective information to back that up.

    Military don't get to choose where they die in combat, or whether that battle was lost or won. We honor soldiers for dying in service to their country, period. Ramadi is not a war grave, at least for our side.

    ISSL IS winning at this point, but it's a tactical victory where most of the gains came in the fluid "opening phase(s)." This is typical. Mid game is looking like a stalemate. Both sides win some battles, some ground - and lose some of both. Once ISSL has popped up, the battle lines haven't shifted much, because the battle lines represent the ethnic lines of an ethnic conflict.

    End game is what counts. It seems far away, especially if we want to a strategic win at end game. We are going to have to be creative in our strategic thinking to achieve a strategic victory. If we let sentimentality (emotions) drive our military thinking, we are in a world of hurt. I can't imagine serving military would want that. Military discipline requires keeping emotions in check.

  84. [84] 
    Michale wrote:

    Whose getting emotional?? I simply point out the fact that Ramadi is a huge psychological and a good battlefield victory for ISIS...

    Both sides win some battles, some ground - and lose some of both.

    But that's my point..

    ISIS has been winning the battles.. Coalition forces have been losing the battles..

    To deny this is to deny reality..

    End game is what counts.

    Of course it's the end game that counts...

    But, how can we expect a favorable end game when we're not willing to put the effort into MAKING a favorable end game..

    Libya is a perfect example..

    "Lead From Behind" is NOT a viable military strategy... It's cowardice, pure and simple..

    As any military person will tell you...

    Michale

  85. [85] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Libya is a perfect example.."Lead From Behind" is NOT a viable military strategy... It's cowardice, pure and simple..

    Actually, I think you've been reading the Libya situation all wrong. The "leading from behind" part wasn't the problem. In fact, that the US was not visibly out in front leading this operation was the best part of the multi-national effort there and an absolutely viable military strategy.

    The problem with Libya is the same problem we see in Iraq - there was no viable political strategy attached to the military achievement. And, frankly, there is little or no inherent liberal democratic inclination in Libya (or Iraq) that could have helped to fill the inevitable political vacuum after the fall of Gaddafi.

    Sadly, these are fundamental lessons that the West seemingly must re-learn every single time it intervenes militarily in this part of the world. Why is that?

  86. [86] 
    Michale wrote:

    Actually, I think you've been reading the Libya situation all wrong. The "leading from behind" part wasn't the problem. In fact, that the US was not visibly out in front leading this operation was the best part of the multi-national effort there and an absolutely viable military strategy.

    I disagree...

    Leading from behind doesn't get us a seat at the table in the aftermath.

    THAT is why Libya is the cesspool it is today...

    We DID have a seat at the Iraq table and that left, according to Obama himself, a stable Iraq...

    Obama threw away that stability by leaving too early...

    Sadly, these are fundamental lessons that the West seemingly must re-learn every single time it intervenes militarily in this part of the world. Why is that?

    Japan.. Germany... Korea...

    All perfect examples of US military intervention that went very VERY well for all parties concerned..

    And WHY did it go so well??

    Because the US maintained a presence long after the war was won...

    THAT is why Iraq is a mess...

    Because Obama bowed to pressure from his base and left too early...

    Michale

  87. [87] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Japan.. Germany... Korea...

    Well, we're talking about Iraq, Libya and Syria, now. We can contrast and compare the situation today in the Middle East with WWII and Korea but, you need to remember that we'd be comparing apples and orangutans.

    The lessons of the recent misadventures in the Middle East and North Africa are clear and they revolve around the notion that military interventions involving regime change must be accompanied by a comprehensive political strategy that has adequate buy-in by the local parties.

    Today in the Middle East, this is no simple proposition and, indeed, I would submit that such a mission is impossible at this time.

    The people of the Middle East and North Africa have a lot to figure out about how they wish to live in the future and the US and its allies have no military role to play there until that is sorted out.

    In the meantime, I am curious to know why you are so quick to put the blame for the mess in the Middle East and North Africa solely on the Obama administration while ignoring the nature of what passes for political leadership in that part of the world ...

  88. [88] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "The IRS totally and completely AND ADMITTEDLY discriminated against Republican groups..."

    Actually, NO IT DID NOT. It was a field office, not the entire IRS. And the whole story was that not only did they give extra scrutiny to TEA party groups, Liberal groups were ALSO included as well.

  89. [89] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "What are the specifics of the case?"

    I'll repeat them again:

    Anne DePrizio, a Unitarian minister in Alabama was sentenced to 30 days in jail last month. Her crime? Anne conducted a marriage for two women at a probate office. A local judge ordered her not to, but she defied him and obeyed the federal court ruling which legalized same sex marriage in the state.

    Just to be clear: This is an actual example of a religious official who has been sent to jail for exercising her religious beliefs. The Unitarian brand of Christian belief supports gay marriage. Yet none of the anti-gay marriage crowd, who raise the fear of ministers being jailed for not performing gay marriages, has come to her defense. They same to think it is just fine to jail a minister for being in favor of gay marriage.

  90. [90] 
    Michale wrote:

    Actually, NO IT DID NOT. It was a field office, not the entire IRS. And the whole story was that not only did they give extra scrutiny to TEA party groups, Liberal groups were ALSO included as well.

    Sorry, I won't let you rewrite recent history to slant towards your particular ideology..

    IRS admits targeting conservatives for tax scrutiny in 2012 election
    washingtonpost.com/business/economy/irs-admits-targeting-conservatives-for-tax-scrutiny-in-2012-election/2013/05/10/3b6a0ada-b987-11e2-92f3-f291801936b8_story.html

    And NOT ONE SINGLE Liberal group received extra scrutiny.. ALL Liberal groups that were processed received their tax-exempt status within a few months..

    Conservative groups targeted had to wait years and some were refused the tax-exempt status..

    Anne DePrizio, a Unitarian minister in Alabama was sentenced to 30 days in jail last month. Her crime? Anne conducted a marriage for two women at a probate office. A local judge ordered her not to, but she defied him and obeyed the federal court ruling which legalized same sex marriage in the state.

    So, she was jailed for contempt of court, not because she married two women...

    She also wasn't following her religious beliefs, she put federal law over state law..

    Has absolutely nothing to do with the issue we are discussing..

    Michale

  91. [91] 
    Michale wrote:

    Just to be clear: This is an actual example of a religious official who has been sent to jail for exercising her religious beliefs. The Unitarian brand of Christian belief supports gay marriage. Yet none of the anti-gay marriage crowd, who raise the fear of ministers being jailed for not performing gay marriages, has come to her defense. They same to think it is just fine to jail a minister for being in favor of gay marriage.

    If what you say is true, if it was actually her religious beliefs and not any form of gay activism, then I would agree with you.

    It sucks..

    Michale

  92. [92] 
    Michale wrote:

    The people of the Middle East and North Africa have a lot to figure out about how they wish to live in the future and the US and its allies have no military role to play there until that is sorted out.

    And how are the people of the Middle East and North Africa supposed to figure it out when they are being brutalized and raped and beaten by their leaders??

    Asking the US to just turn a blind eye is akin to asking the beat cop to ignore rapes and assaults on his beat...

    In the meantime, I am curious to know why you are so quick to put the blame for the mess in the Middle East and North Africa solely on the Obama administration while ignoring the nature of what passes for political leadership in that part of the world ...

    Oh, the leaders of that region DO share the blame.. Of that there is no doubt...

    But the region looks to the US for leadership... But our leader wants to cower in the back...

    Michale

  93. [93] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, we're talking about Iraq, Libya and Syria, now. We can contrast and compare the situation today in the Middle East with WWII and Korea but, you need to remember that we'd be comparing apples and orangutans.

    The ideologies may be different..

    But war is war..

    Regime change is regime change..

    Michale

  94. [94] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yet none of the anti-gay marriage crowd, who raise the fear of ministers being jailed for not performing gay marriages, has come to her defense.

    Is that so shocking?? That one part of a religious order would not come to the defense of another part of a religious order that the first part condemns??

    Being shocked at that is like being shocked that a protestant wouldn't come to the defense of a catholic or versie vicie...

    Religious fanatics are like activist fanatics...

    Frak'ed in the head... :D

    Michale

  95. [95] 
    Michale wrote:

    you need to remember that we'd be comparing apples and orangutans.

    I like that.. :D Have ta remember that one. :D

    Michale

  96. [96] 
    Michale wrote:

    And Obama just guarantees that Iran will acquire a nuclear weapon..

    http://nypost.com/2015/06/02/obama-just-tossed-away-his-last-card-on-irans-nukes/

    After stating unequivocally that Iran will not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon for so long, now Obama proves that they will be allowed...

    Because Obama just took a military option off the table..

    PROFILES IN COWARDICE
    President Barack Obama

    Michale

  97. [97] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, I have a newsflash, just for you, Michale ...

    In the real world, a US military option in Iran has NEVER BEEN ON the table.

    One shouldn't, by the way, always equate leadership with the use of military action. Similarly, One should avoid using simple analogies and analyses when writing about the Middle East and North Africa as doing so contributes nothing towards understanding what is happening there and why.

  98. [98] 
    Michale wrote:

    In the real world, a US military option in Iran has NEVER BEEN ON the table.

    So, you are saying Obama lied when he said, "ALL options, including the military option, are on the table"??

    NO!!! Say it ain't so!!!

    [/sarcasm]

    :D

    One shouldn't, by the way, always equate leadership with the use of military action.

    True... But discounting military action at all costs and TELLING your enemy that you are discounting military action is the mark of a poor poor leader...

    Michale

  99. [99] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M -

    It's time for you to lead from the front. What's your grand strategy for dealing with ISSL? What is the role of the US military? What does Iraq look like if your objectives are met? Syria? Libya?

    The Kurds have been doing quite well against ISSL. They've been winning most of their battles and regaining territory lost early in the conflict. It's the Iraqi rump that's been under performing.

  100. [100] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's time for you to lead from the front. What's your grand strategy for dealing with ISSL?

    That's easy....

    A massive bombing campaign utilizing FACs that saturate enemy positions with ordinance...

    If the enemy still has the will to fight after that, pinpoint targeting with cruise missiles to take out leadership..

    If they STILL want to fight, the Marines would be happy to convince them of the error of their ways...

    The idea that the US cannot project overwhelming power anywhere in the world is a myth... Even with Obama's decimation of the US Military and it's personnel, the US Armed Forces are still the best equipped and best trained force on the planet...

    Of course, my plan ignore the politics of the situation.

    You asked for a military response and that's what I gave you...

    Michale

  101. [101] 
    Michale wrote:

    Speaking of family values (and child molestation), Josh Duggar (of 19 Kids And Counting fame) was revealed as not quite such an exemplary champion of family values himself, even though he had moved on to an executive position with the Family Research Council (one of those organizations dedicated to lobbying for family values). This stalwart champion of family values had been courted heavily by Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal, and Scott Walker, before he wound up endorsing Huckabee. While most of this list tried desperately to distance themselves from the Duggar scandal, Huckabee has strongly stood by him. Nothing like the intersection of family values and politics, is there?

    Writing it all off as tabloid crap, I haven't paid much attention to the Duggar's saga...

    I finally read about it and I am like, "Is that it!??"

    How is what Josh Duggar did any different that what Lena what-ser-name did to HER kid sister???

    Michale

  102. [102] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Actually, your "plan" ignores quite a lot more than just the politics of the situation. Not least of all, it ignores where the enemy is and the massive number of civilians your plan would eliminate.

    But, what you really ignore is that the US and its allies live in the real world and they need to implement real world solutions. You live in a virtual bubble and are free to promote any plan you wish, ignoring all of the real world facts on the ground.

    And so, you haven't come up with a plan at all. If you are going to continue criticizing everything this administration does, then you should also tell us how they should proceed, given where we are today, in the real world. Otherwise, your criticism is really not worth the bandwidth it is using up.

    This is what good and lively debate is all about, after all.

  103. [103] 
    Michale wrote:

    Actually, your "plan" ignores quite a lot more than just the politics of the situation. Not least of all, it ignores where the enemy is and the massive number of civilians your plan would eliminate.

    That's why we use FACs (Forward Air Controllers)... Units that have been COMPLETELY ignored by the Obama Administration..

    But, what you really ignore is that the US and its allies live in the real world and they need to implement real world solutions.

    How is this not a "real world" solution??

    Did you know that only 25% of the aircraft launched in the fight against ISIS actually DROP their ordinance??

    That means 3 out of 4 aircraft return fully loaded...

    And THAT is why the US is losing and ISIS is winning...

    Michale

  104. [104] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Why do you suppose those aircraft do not "DROP their ordinance"?

    In many real world situations, FACs are not viable or useful if you are talking about mitigating massive civilian casualties.

    Next time you come up with a plan of action, try to factor in the real world, okay?

  105. [105] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why do you suppose those aircraft do not "DROP their ordinance"?

    Because the White House is micro-managing the war from the Oval Office.. By the time the aircraft get prosecute authority, the target is back under cover boffing the local goat...

    In many real world situations, FACs are not viable or useful if you are talking about mitigating massive civilian casualties.

    FACs are the ONLY thing that mitigates massive civilian casualties...

    Next time you come up with a plan of action, try to factor in the real world, okay?

    I've lived the "real world". And while my experience may be dated, things haven't changed THAT much..

    My plan WOULD work...

    All it takes is political will...

    Michale

  106. [106] 
    Michale wrote:

    All it takes is political will...

    And a leader more concerned about this country and less concerned about his legacy....

    Michale

  107. [107] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M -

    I'm guessing your experience is about 20 or more years past freshness date. Fundamental changes in those two decades.

    That said, the basic problem is that Air Support doesn't work if your troops won't stay put to fight. That has always been true. Air support + Kurds has been quite successful. Air support + "Iraqi Gov" troops has failed, at least in regions of the Ol' Iraq that are ethnically Sunni.

    Are you telling me Obama micromanages the controllers imbedded with Iraqi Gov troop and tells the imbedded controllers with the Kurds to "go nuts?" No, the Kurds have a competent, well trained army that stays put and fights. Air support makes up for a lack of heavy weapons.

    Modern air to ground weapons work on the principal of high accuracy, small bang. It is only a very tiny exaggeration to say that if a pilot can designate a target and he will kill it. Smart weapons often have a very small warhead. Or no warhead, you just fill a 500 lb bomb with concrete and let kinetic energy do the rest.

    Smart weapons are expensive, so they aren't used on low value targets or just fired into the brown. That's why most sorties don't drop anything. It's not like you have to drop them in the ocean on your way back, modern aircraft can land with their unused war loads, unless there are extenuating circumstances (low fuel, damage, malfunction). So, you don't use a JDAMS when a mortar will do. Of course, there has to be somebody around to fire the mortar, and that seems to a problem with the Iraqi rump army, especially if it's garrisoning cities or towns in the Sunni regions of the Ol' Iraq.

    What you are advocating is just Shock and Awe II. The outcome would be the same, except there are no high value air fields or command and control centers to take out in the exciting first 96 hr. The Sunni army is operating as an irregular army. The Marines will route it, the Sunnis will go to ground. The Sunnis will build IEDs and use them effectively. Nation building a new unified Iraq will prove ineffective. That's because it's three nations in one, and they hate each other. Our occupation troops will not be loved either. The US population will grow weary and we will leave.

    How many times must we watch this movie in slo-mo?

  108. [108] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm guessing your experience is about 20 or more years past freshness date. Fundamental changes in those two decades.

    Not quite.. Probably half that if not less...

    That said, the basic problem is that Air Support doesn't work if your troops won't stay put to fight.

    I believe I have stated the same thing but was argued against by Weigantians...

    But in my plan, the goal is not to hold ground but rather to kill the enemy...

    Are you telling me Obama micromanages the controllers imbedded with Iraqi Gov troop and tells the imbedded controllers with the Kurds to "go nuts?

    There ARE no "controllers" embedded with ANY troops..

    *THAT* is the problem..

    No, what I am telling you is that pilots are sent out on sorties with a full load of ordinance.. The acquire a target and radio a request for prosecute authority.. The request is sent up the chain of command and then on to the White House. Once authority has been given as much as 60 minutes has passed and the target is now back at base booinkin' the goats...

    And another plane RTBs with a full load of ordinance..

    Modern air to ground weapons work on the principal of high accuracy, small bang. It is only a very tiny exaggeration to say that if a pilot can designate a target and he will kill it. Smart weapons often have a very small warhead. Or no warhead, you just fill a 500 lb bomb with concrete and let kinetic energy do the rest.

    But you don't get ANY accuracy or ANY bang if you are NOT ALLOWED TO LAUNCH..

    THAT is my point..

    How many times must we watch this movie in slo-mo?

    So, the better alternative, albeit compassion-less alternative, is to let thousands, tens of thousands, HUNDREDS of thousands of innocent people die??

    Ya'all want the US to be the world's welfare agency....

    "With great power comes great responsibility."
    -Spiderman

    Michale

  109. [109] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-108

    First, let me start by noting there is a lot of bullshit circulating about the Air Campaign against ISSL, Iraq and Syria branches. Jordan recently claimed it killed 7000 fighters and degraded 20% of ISSL military capacity in 3 days of air ops. I don't believe that.

    I also think the Obama micromanagement-one-hr-delay meme is an I Hate Obama and His Little Dog TOO fantasy. Prove me wrong on this.

    I'm not saying that certain targets don't require high, even highest level approval, Truman had to OK using The Bomb, and Churchill had to OK area bombing of German Cities. But let's get away these rhetorical tangents.

    Your plan is to kill scads of ISSL fighters, using both air and Marine assets. Fine, lovely, have at it. No one hr restriction, see it kill, it. ISSL fighters deserve about as much sympathy as Waffen SS. Use all conventional means necessary. The problem is, when things go bad enough for ISSL, they'll just go underground. The foreign fighters would stand out, and they might be relatively easy to round up. But the locals no, they'll blend and hide. You'll have to have an occupation force to keep them suppressed, because many years of considerable effort show the Iraqi rump government isn't up to the task.

    The occupation forces will be targeted by the locals. The casualties and monetary costs will eventually erode political support, and the occupation force will be withdrawn. You have reinvented the failed 2003 invasion. You are trying to market an Edsel.

  110. [110] 
    TheStig wrote:

    I think I've isolated the source of that "chain of command delay" story...it's, wait for it, Fox News! A rumor passed on by a former combat helicopter pilot who says other unamed pilots told her.

    Yeah, I'd be too embarrassed to post a link to that too! Like I said, there's a lot of bullshit circulating. Even more after the internet replicators pass this little gem on.

  111. [111] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think I've isolated the source of that "chain of command delay" story...it's, wait for it, Fox News! A rumor passed on by a former combat helicopter pilot who says other unamed pilots told her.

    So, FoxNews links are immediately discounted, but HuffPoop and DailyKos links are proof positive?? :D

    Yer bias is showing.. :D

    The MicroManaging info has been around since October of 2014 and has come from too many varied sources NOT to be accurate..

    Your plan is to kill scads of ISSL fighters, using both air and Marine assets. Fine, lovely, have at it. No one hr restriction, see it kill, it. ISSL fighters deserve about as much sympathy as Waffen SS. Use all conventional means necessary. The problem is, when things go bad enough for ISSL, they'll just go underground. The foreign fighters would stand out, and they might be relatively easy to round up. But the locals no, they'll blend and hide. You'll have to have an occupation force to keep them suppressed, because many years of considerable effort show the Iraqi rump government isn't up to the task.

    This is where actual wartime experience comes into play...

    When ISIS goes underground, when they blend and hide, then they no longer pose a threat...

    They no longer can take ground and hold ground... All the mean and nasty stuff they are known for disappears...

    They are no longer a major threat..

    THEN ground forces can move in (US or others) and, while still facing an armed force, they are facing a vastly degraded force..

    You have just confirmed that my plan WILL work..

    Thanx. Yer a peach.. :D

    Michale

  112. [112] 
    Michale wrote:

    The MicroManaging info has been around since October of 2014 and has come from too many varied sources NOT to be accurate..

    The micromanaging by the White House has ALSO been confirmed by the last two SecDefs that have served this White House..

    Now, I understand your devotion and loyalty to Obama...

    But, come on!! Facts are facts...

    Michale

  113. [113] 
    Michale wrote:

    I mean, look at the evidence..

    If we have 2 former SecDefs, Obama loyalists, who make the EXACT same claim of micromanaging from the White House, it supports the claim from the fighter pilots of not being able to drop ordinance and hit targets because of the same micromanaging..

    I know you don't WANT to believe it...

    But the evidence clearly shows the viability of the accusation...

    Michale

  114. [114] 
    Michale wrote:

    Put another way...

    I have plenty of facts and evidence to support my claim..

    Do you have any facts, any evidence that disputes my claim??

    Other than the well-known animosity towards Fox News?? :D

    Michale

  115. [115] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M -113

    The SecDefs were making specific claims which you then generalize to a specific action: close air support. Which is not the same as strategic bombing. Which is not the same as disrupting/destroying command and control nodes, which is not the same as air interdiction. All these are likely to have rather different rules of engagement.

    There is a heavy fog of war regarding the current air campaigns over Iraq and Syria. The same was true about Libya.

    There are least 9 nations involved in the bombing campaign. They don't appear to be all that closely coordinated. In Libya, the different national air forces had distinct styles, France's being the most distinct. It still not entirely clear how targets were acquired, tracked and designated in the air war against Libya. There were AWACS and JSTARS assets present in Libya, and these can track targets hundreds of miles away. A tactical jet at high altitude can self designate if the the standoff platform provides coordinates, at least in theory. Was this actually done? How often? There are accounts that NATO member special forces designated targets for the rebels. Sounds plausible, but again, few details have emerged.

    There are very few reliable (verifiable)facts about the current air campaigns directed at Iraq and Syria. For the 9 nations that own up to making a contribution, we know where some of their aircraft are based, but what is the role of NATO member Turkey? Does does Turkey allow the US to work out of their airbases? An AWACS or JSTARS loitering in Turkish airspace could see and in some sense direct the battle 200 miles or more into Iraq. Interestingly, almost US strikes take place well within this distance from Turkey, but that might just reflect where the high value targets are.

    I think the Obama administration and the US military are very happy with the fog. They want as little attribution as possible. War is disturbing. The public gets a sanitized view. In all fairness and reasonableness, you don't want to give the details of your game plan to the enemy.

    In the absence of hard facts, rampant speculation, innuendo and active misinformation are passed as facts. This true of every war I can think of. It's especially true of this war.

    CNN says 10,000 Islamic fighters have been killed so far. Rrrright. I remember Vietnam body counts. Over claiming is a universal attribute of war. Saber jets did not kill 8 migs for every loss. But, the fragrant myth is still passed off for fact.

    What to do? In the absence of hard facts about the battle, you look to well established prewar fundamentals and apply historical precedents. This is unashamedly lukewarm and ragged fuzzy, but it's about the only game in town. Fundamentals and history suggest this is not going to be a short conflict. Fundamentals and extremely recent history suggest an invasion and occupation is going to end badly. Hey, we could get lucky, but I say probably not. The upside risk doesn't cover the downside risk. I think most Americans will take that view.

    When in doubt, consult a map.

  116. [116] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, of course, you would assess the same wonderful and detailed analysis during the Iraq War when Bush was POTUS, right? :D

    Somehow, I just don't think that would happen.. :D

    I do agree with you on one point..

    Things ARE foggy enough to paint Obama the hero and have some evidence to back it up...

    However, I'll go with the non-ideological facts coupled with my own experiences..

    Michale

  117. [117] 
    Michale wrote:

    I get the feeling that you are a fan of stats and probabilities..

    What are the probabilities that Obama is ALWAYS right in everything he does, NEVER at fault for ANYTHING that goes wrong and that everything bad and wrong in the world is Bush's fault and the fault of Republicans in general..

    Because, honestly.. When one looks back over all our debates and discussions, I can't recall one instance where you blamed Obama and gave Obama responsibility for anything that's gone wrong..

    From Benghazi to the IRS Scandal and on thru all the lies that Obama has told, Obama is NEVER responsible..

    You can understand why I am somewhat jaded.. :D

    Michale

  118. [118] 
    Michale wrote:

    Take Libya for example..

    Libya was a cluster-frak of the highest order, culminating in our ambassador getting brutally murdered, something that hasn't happened in my lifetime...

    And yet, Obama did everything right. He made absolutely NO MISTAKES.. He has absolutely NO RESPONSIBILITY for the debacle..

    Now compare and contrast that to Bush being held PERSONALLY responsible for Abu Ghraib, an incident that barely rises to the level of college hazing...

    Again.. You can understand why I am so jaded....

    Michale

  119. [119] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am curious, TS..

    What's yer thoughts on the TPP, the TPA and the TiSA???

    :D

    Michale

  120. [120] 
    TheStig wrote:

    A bit generic, but the following will give you a pretty good sense of how I feel.

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2015/05/11/slowing-the-fast-track-down/#comment-59350

  121. [121] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-119

    I would add one more thing. These agreements are likely to do to professionals what was done earlier to workers in manufacturing. Fewer jobs, lower pay.

  122. [122] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale:

    A few things need to be pulled out of the "link" you provided.

    1.) The Internal Revenue Service on Friday apologized for targeting groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names

    2.) ...absolutely inappropriate” actions by “front-line people” were not driven by partisan motives.
    Rather, Lerner said, they were a misguided effort to come up with an efficient means of dealing with a flood of applications from organizations seeking ­tax-exempt status between 2010 and 2012.
    During that period, about 75 groups were selected for extra inquiry — including burdensome questionnaires and, in some cases, improper requests for the names of their donors — simply because of the words in their names...

    3.)They constituted about one-quarter of the 300 groups who were flagged for additional analysis by employees of the IRS tax-exempt unit’s main office in Cincinnati.

    Your own link PROVES my contention that it was by one field office, Cincinnati, not the entire IRS headquartered in D.C. as part of a national policy.

    Also it targeted groups because of their name, not because they were Conservative. You don't think that a Liberal group could have the word Patriot as part of their organization's name too???

  123. [123] 
    Michale wrote:

    JM,

    You don't think that a Liberal group could have the word Patriot as part of their organization's name too???

    Find me one.. :D

    Your own link PROVES my contention that it was by one field office, Cincinnati, not the entire IRS headquartered in D.C. as part of a national policy.

    No.. That's what the IRS *CLAIMED*...

    But they also claimed that no one outside the Cincy office knew anything.

    THAT proved to be false..

    And up and up the chain it went..

    It makes little difference because two things are inarguable fact..

    1.. If it had been a GOP administration that had done this ya'all would be screaming to the high heavens..

    2.. You won't accept ANY facts that put Obama or the Democrats in a bad light.. So, any facts I can show you is pointless...

    Michale

  124. [124] 
    Michale wrote:

    TS,

    I would add one more thing. These agreements are likely to do to professionals what was done earlier to workers in manufacturing. Fewer jobs, lower pay.

    So, you think Obama is a moron to pursue this agreement or has an ulterior agenda that is not in keeping with the best interests of the country...

    Is that a fair assessment??

    Michale

  125. [125] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M- regarding 120

    Sorry, I was in a rush to get to the lumber yard with a borrowed truck and in my haste
    I snagged the wrong permalink. Here's a simple copy and paste of what I meant to post:

    The scope of the agreement is breathtaking. So is the level of secrecy. The socioeconomic ramifications are open to dispute. Congress gets 90 days to guesstimate how it's going to all pan out in the coming decades. The public won't know who to trust.

    This is the Jurassic Park Lost World of International Trade Agreements. Given the plot outcome of the prequel Jurassic Park, what can possibly go wrong?

    Heed the plot line perils of the prequel.

    Gigantism. Poorly understood ramifications. Hucksterism. Only the rich can afford to visit. People will be eaten. Madness. Shut it down.

  126. [126] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yea, that's the link I read..

    So, you agree that TPP, TPA and TiSA is bad for this country...

    And Obama is a bonehead for pursuing it...

    Right??

    Michale

  127. [127] 
    Michale wrote:

    Look, it's a simple question..

    Either Obama and the Republicans are doing great things for this country..

    OR...

    Obama and the Republicans are boneheads and morons for pushing and supporting this.. what did you call it..?? Gigantism. Poorly understood ramifications. Hucksterism. Only the rich can afford to visit. People will be eaten. Madness. Shut it down.....

    Why is it so hard to answer the question???

  128. [128] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "You don't think that a Liberal group could have the word Patriot as part of their organization's name too???

    Find me one.. :D"

    Ok Michale. I'll bite. How about this? :

    Patriot Majority USA is a liberal, labor union-backed nonprofit.

  129. [129] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "1.. If it had been a GOP administration that had done this ya'all would be screaming to the high heavens..

    2.. You won't accept ANY facts that put Obama or the Democrats in a bad light.. So, any facts I can show you is pointless..."

    Not true Michale. I can find plenty wrong with the Obama Admin. myself and even agree with some of your criticisms.

    My problem is with your is with your obvious bias. Like how you wrote paragraphs and paragraphs on the poor Christian bakers and gay wedding cakes, but only a one word response "that sucks" on the pro Gay marriage minister who was jailed.

    You do the same thing with any criticism of the Obama Admin. In my opinion and observance, you gleefully go overboard on any and all faults of Liberals that you can find, no matter how small or trivial, and yet gloss over or act as an apologist for any faults committed by Conservatives. At least that is the way it seems.

  130. [130] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not true Michale. I can find plenty wrong with the Obama Admin. myself and even agree with some of your criticisms.

    For example....???? :D

    My problem is with your is with your obvious bias. Like how you wrote paragraphs and paragraphs on the poor Christian bakers and gay wedding cakes, but only a one word response "that sucks" on the pro Gay marriage minister who was jailed.

    You said it eloquently enough.. I simply agreed with you.. :D

    You do the same thing with any criticism of the Obama Admin. In my opinion and observance, you gleefully go overboard on any and all faults of Liberals that you can find, no matter how small or trivial, and yet gloss over or act as an apologist for any faults committed by Conservatives. At least that is the way it seems.

    It only seems that way because my condemnation of conservatives is simply drowned out by everyone else's condemnation of conservatives...

    Michale

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