ChrisWeigant.com

From The Archives -- 2007 Candidate Speech Series: Mike Gravel

[ Posted Tuesday, July 9th, 2019 – 12:00 UTC ]

[Program Note: While I am away this week attending Netroots Nation, I thought a blast from the past would be entertaining for my readers. In 2007, also while away on vacation, I conducted a journalistic experiment. I contacted the campaigns of all eight Democratic candidates for president and asked them for permission to reprint a transcript of the speech of their choice from their candidate. All responded, although Dennis Kucinich's campaign was unable to provide me with a transcript because he always spoke without notes (I ran one of his white papers instead).

The introduction to this series explained everything, and it is still kind of interesting to read for the inside-baseball points that it made. I should mention that as internet bandwidth improved by leaps and bounds, such an experiment was never necessary again, because by the next contested Democratic nomination, the campaign websites had not only transcripts but videos of each candidates' speeches, for everyone to see.

Anyway, this week I am reprinting five of these speeches, one each day, for your amusement. I begin with the two candidates who are also running again this year, Joe Biden and Mike Gravel. Then I'll move on to the two who lasted until the bitter end, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as well as the candidate that I personally supported in the race, John Edwards.

What's interesting about reading these speeches again is how times have changed (all Democrats were running against George W. Bush's record, at the time) as well as how things have remained the same (the same themes used today pop up in more than one speech). So sit back and enjoy this nostalgic trip into presidential politics from 12 years ago. I may also be able to post live columns throughout the week, but make no promises on that score (time is a serious constraint during these conferences).

 

Originally published November 23, 2007

Mike Gravel

Mike Gravel

 

Stepping Back From Imperialism:
Redirecting American Foreign Policy

St. Anselm College, Manchester, New Hampshire
11/1/06

 

The United States is the largest economic unit in the world. Responsible stewardship of our economy requires that we maintain our superpower status, not only in terms of military capability, but in equally important areas such as the strength and solvency of our economy, the educational and physical health of our population, and a firm commitment to our moral principles and spiritual values. Strength in all these areas is vital to maintain our superpower status.

Unfortunately, we fail in most areas, even though our political leadership consistently -- particularly presidential candidates -- boasts of America's exceptionalism by repeatedly declaring that we are the greatest nation on earth. "We're No. 1," they say. Such extreme boastfulness from an individual would seem aberrant; the same psychological judgment applies to nations. Aberrant behavior in an individual or in an organized group of individuals clouds their perception of reality.

No. 1? Hardly! In most important categories, the United States is not even in the top 10 anymore. Not even close. Data from 2004 shows that:

In education, the United States ranks 49 in literacy, and 28 out of 40 developed countries in mathematical literacy. Europe surpassed us a decade ago as the largest producer of scientific literature. Yet in 2004 Congress cut funds to the National Science Foundation, resulting in the issuance of 1000 fewer research grants. Foreign applications to American graduate schools declined 28%, while increasing substantially in Europe. Graduate school students from China dropped 56%, from India 51%, and from South Korea 28%. However, the most devastating statistic for our nation's future is the fact that 30% of America's children do not finish high school.

We fare no better with healthcare. The World Health Organization ranked the U.S. 37 for overall health performance and 54 for healthcare fairness. Yet the United States spends more per capita for healthcare than any other nation in the world. The U.S. and South Africa are the only two developed nations in the world that do not provide healthcare for all their citizens. The U.S. now ranks 22 in childhood poverty, or second to last among developed nations; only Mexico ranks lower. The United States is 41st in the world for infant mortality; Cuba scores higher. Women are 70% more likely to die in childbirth in America than in Europe.

Even the economic arena has problems. In the 1980s the U.S. ranked last in the growth rate of total compensation to its workforce among the 20 most developed countries in the world. In the 1990s the U.S. average compensation grew only slightly, at an annual rate of about 0.1%. Of the Global Fortune 500 companies, 61 of the 140 biggest companies are European, while only 50 are American. Japan, China, Taiwan and South Korea hold 40% of our government debt as of June 2004.

The reality is, the United States is No. 1 only in weaponry, consumer spending, government and personal debt, in the number of people we have in prison and, I would say, in delusion.

Those who seek national leadership positions must tell Americans the truth. Americans can handle the truth. Having reliable information is the only way to dispel the fear-based culture that our leaders have drugged us with for the last 60 years, concealing reality.

We are a moral and fair-minded people. As a nation, we must put aside our arrogance and demand that our leaders work together with other nations and peoples, treating them as equals. There is no other way to reverse the environmental threat of global warming, a threat more real than nuclear proliferation. In the global village, the United States produces the most pollution and supplies the largest amount of weaponry, facts that our leadership ignores. We have a failure of leadership -- a leadership that fails to face reality.

 

Defense and foreign policy are totally intertwined. Politicians are averse to dealing critically with the military establishment and our defense policies for fear of having their patriotism questioned. We should be guided by President Eisenhower's warning that an inordinate emphasis on military power breeds a culture of militarism that threatens other vital areas of our society; and that eventually, an inordinate emphasis on military power will guarantee our collapse as a great nation and as a democracy. Unfortunately, no president since Dwight Eisenhower has even dared to acknowledge the problem.

Political leaders continually cast our self-proclaimed global leadership in triumphal moral terms in order to affirm a responsibility to bring freedom and liberty to the peoples of the world -- but typically only if our economic interests are involved.

The U.S. as the mightiest nation in the world claims the right to police the world, but the cost of this declared right is a bloated defense budget and a defense industry that knows no limits. Our militarized economy is both a direct cost to American taxpayers and an indirect cost in the loss of funding for education, healthcare, and infrastructure. Some around the world are beginning to ask: who polices the policeman?

Consider the triumphalism in the American version of the end of the Cold War. We boast that America "won" the Cold War; of course, we do this with selective memory about the human cost -- collateral damage -- we caused by destabilizing the governments of the Congo, Iran, Lebanon, Chile, Vietnam and a number of Central American nations -- none of which threatened our security. To claim that we "won" the Cold War implies that we knew what was going on in the Soviet Union at the time. In fact, our political leadership was busy revving up our military expenditures in response to the exaggerated threat of the Soviet Union. All the while, the Soviet Union was actually experiencing a political and social meltdown. Our leaders and our intelligence community were clueless.

The Cold War was not "won" by anybody. The Soviet Union experienced the final implosion of a bankrupt economic theory that had been maintained by tyranny for 70 years, inflicting untold pain and suffering on an unfortunate people. If credit is to be bestowed on individuals, then the lion's share of the credit for ending the Cold War must go to Mikhail Gorbachev. The Polish Solidarity movement and the Pope deserve credit, and to a much lesser extent, Ronald Reagan, who observed Gorbachev's initiatives without aggressive interference. President Reagan could have done more, but our hawks didn't believe that the Soviet Union was coming apart; they thought it was a ruse.

This is but one example of how we treat and conduct our foreign relations with other countries and color our history, thus enhancing our national delusion. But worse, this phony triumphalism stirs up our jingoistic emotions. As a result, national hubris requires that our leaders always assert the primacy of our national interests above other nations; in many cases, these interests trump morality. Granted, most nations have arrogant beliefs. Unfortunately, the structure of nation-states, without superior global authority or without national leadership committed to maintaining an informed constituency, mandates a culture of selfishness.

 

The preeminent threat in the affairs of nations is nuclear proliferation. The self-appointed leadership role the United States attempts to play is in many respects counterproductive. Threats of force merely accelerate nuclear proliferation. Sanctions are even less effective. Our present dilemma with North Korea and Iran, where we have had sanctions for more than 50 years and 26 years respectively, demonstrates the futility of this policy.

Sanctions do not work; they merely punish the innocent and strengthen the power of political leaders and tyrants, who are then able to deflect attention from domestic failures to a hatred of the sanctioners. In most cases, sanctions are immoral, as demonstrated by the decade-long sanctions against Iraq, costing the lives of more than 500,000 children for lack of medicine, and due to bad water and inadequate healthcare. This loss of innocent life was rationalized as "collateral damage." I doubt Saddam Hussein missed a meal while our sanctions crippled their economy.

Again, selective amnesia confuses our foreign policy. We forget the reasons why we and the four other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- the original nuclear club -- have nuclear devices. We have nukes in order to deter our enemies from attacking us. Nukes are considered a deterrence. Obviously, the right to deter one's enemies is the right of all nations. We must distinguish between nuclear deterrence and nuclear aggression. To my knowledge, no nation has ever threatened the U.S. with nuclear aggression. I cannot say the same for the U.S.: our government has never disavowed a nuclear first-strike policy.

Nuclear proliferation problems go back to our first uses of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After the Second World War, we played a charade with the Soviet Union over control of the nuclear genie. This was followed by the one-upsmanship of atomic and hydrogen bomb detonations by both the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China.

Great Britain, with our help, quickly developed their own nuclear program. We were not so accommodating with the French. Our leaders were very critical of President de Gaulle's nuclear "Force de Frappe" at the time. The acrimony between us rose to such a level that de Gaulle kicked NATO out of France.

It may be difficult to accept, but it is entirely rational for the Soviet Union and China to view their nuclear capability as deterrence to a possible first-strike by the U.S.

Is deterrence necessary for our enemies? They think so! A number of American officials called for first strikes against the Soviet Union when we had a nuclear monopoly. Several American presidents have made nuclear threats to the Soviet Union, China, North Vietnam and North Korea. A nuclear first-strike against the Soviet Union was always on the table and discussed openly by General Curtis LeMay and other military leaders during the Cold War. It was such common knowledge that several movies were made about the subject.

The United States had nuclear bombs and nuclear artillery stationed in South Korea until 1991. The Pentagon's Global Strike plans, including CONPLAN 8022, refers to first-strike possibilities against Iran and North Korea. Just recently military and CIA officers leaked plans to use nukes to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities before they could build a bomb. These quiet patriots leaked the plans to the public in hopes of thwarting the Bush Administration's next pre-emptive war. We are still spending taxpayer dollars trying to destabilize the regimes of North Korea and Iran. These plans may be secret from the American people, but they're not secret from those regimes the President demonizes as "evil."

The nuclear arms race was the central issue of the Cold War, with the proliferation of nuclear devices on both sides of the Iron Curtain. The competition escalated: there existed enough nuclear devices to destroy the planet a thousand times over. This policy was aptly termed "mutual assured destruction" -- MAD. This supposedly-rational policy actually assured both sides that there would be no victor in a thermal nuclear war.

The logic of MAD was not lost on observers around the world. If a nation felt threatened by a superior force, it had no choice -- if it could afford the price -- but to acquire a nuclear capability. Israel, India and Pakistan developed their nuclear capability in secret, failing to acknowledge or sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Both North Korea and Iran are signators, but abrogated their continued commitment to the treaty, as is their right under international law, when we threatened force and increased sanctions.

Calling these countries "evil" and threatening them only reinforces their efforts to acquire a nuclear capability. They need nukes as a deterrence, which is the same logic that we have used for having nukes since the Second World War. There is no way, short of outright invasion -- a preemptive war like Iraq -- that will discourage these nations from becoming nuclear powers. To undertake a war to limit nuclear proliferation will not guarantee non-proliferation, but it could lead to a major and possibly global nuclear war.

Americans tend to forget certain events, even in recent history. In 1953 the United States criminally brought about a regime change in Iran because of oil, snuffing out Iran's burgeoning democracy and imposing a monarch. A grateful Shah bought our expensive weapons, thereby "laundering" our petrodollars. We may have forgotten our role in destroying their democracy, but the Iranians haven't. And nor would we in a similar situation.

A generation later, Iranians revolted against the Shah and installed religious extremists. At the time of the Shah's overthrow, our embassy employees in Tehran accidentally became the hostages of students, and later of the government, for more than a year -- to our utter global embarrassment. After the American hostages' release, timed mischievously to affect a presidential election, we proceeded to sanction Iran while at the same time illegally trading arms with them in a scandal known as Reagan's Irangate.

Our "Axis of Evil" enemies remember episodes in our history that Americans have long forgotten. Remember when a number of American military leaders publicly advocated a nuclear first-strike against the Soviet Union? Remember when President Nixon and Henry Kissinger employed the "Crazy Richard" strategy to intimidate North Vietnam? -- only to have the nuclear hair-trigger exercise effectively aim at the Soviet Union. Thank God, the Soviet leadership was sane enough not to react to this extreme provocation of a possible nuclear first-strike.

There are a number of examples where the sanity of our leaders can be questioned, just as we question the sanity of those "evil leaders" who now want nuclear deterrence. Just the fact that we spend more on defense than all of the rest of the world put together begs the question: why? Are we really intent on establishing an economic and cultural hegemony under the umbrella of our military might? Or are we Americans really that paranoid?

The critical problem with nuclear proliferation is that more and more nuclear bombs are added to the world's stockpile. There are already too many nuclear devices on earth today -- regardless of who owns them. Americans must address this underlying problem, and we are in an advantageous position to do so -- if we are prepared to chart a rational foreign policy.

With the end of the Cold War, the U.S. and Russia cautiously reduced their stockpiles. The Global Threat Reduction Initiative, funded by Congress, is destroying nuclear devices in the successor states of the Soviet Union. This vital initiative should be accelerated as our nation's top priority; it's the best opportunity we have to deny terrorists a nuclear bomb. These poorly-protected sites remain the best source for terrorists to obtain nukes, some of which are the size of a suitcase.

Paul Nitze, a highly regarded official in several presidential administrations, was one of the foremost architects of our national nuclear buildup. Shortly before his death, he questioned the need for maintaining thousands of nuclear devices because there were no targets for them to be legitimately used against. He even pointed out that if we were nuked by terrorists, we would still not have viable targets upon which to unleash our nuclear arsenal. Even the Pentagon identifies only 115 of what they consider "real-world targets."

Recently, two former Secretaries of Defense suggested that we should stock our Trident submarines with conventional missile warheads for half their payload. Currently the payload is 100% nuclear. Just one Trident submarine could hold the world hostage. Let me repeat that: just one Trident submarine could hold the world hostage. We have nine of them on duty, roaming the oceans of the world. Additionally, the Bush Administration is building new, lower-yield nukes for conventional use that could spur a new arms race.

If we are to reverse the direction of nuclear proliferation, we must do something dramatic on our own, yet something that does not threaten our national security. I propose we cut the number of our nuclear devices from the more than 10,000 we have to a couple hundred. Such a unilateral action would establish the United States' credibility to then ask other nations, including our so-called "enemies," who would then feel less threatened, to join our efforts in ridding the world of unneeded and dangerous nukes. This would set the stage for us to convene a global conference to write a new nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

My proposal may appear radical and politically dangerous for a presidential candidate. I think not. After all, I am only trying to jumpstart what was agreed to in Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1970 and extended in 1995 by all five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. The five permanent members of the Security (the U.S., Russia, China, Great Britain, and France) agreed to reduce and eventually eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

Though nuclear proliferation is far and away the most significant problem the world faces, there are several others that must be addressed for an effective American foreign policy.

The Iraq war commands our immediate attention. Iraq's nuclear threat, fraudulently presented to the American public by the Bush Administration, was designed to frighten us into accepting a pre-emptive war. It worked. This colossal mistake is a replay of our Vietnam experience. "The best and the brightest" on the political Left led us into the swamps of Vietnam; "the neocons" on the political Right led us into the deserts of Iraq. Both are major stains on America's honor.

We need to acknowledge the mistake made by a messianic President. We need to take our troops out of Iraq immediately, and move aggressively toward a diplomatic solution to the dangerous situation the United States created. Once our troops are out of harm's way, we can focus our diplomacy on bringing the United Nations, the European and Asian communities, and regional players like Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Israel into a process to help end the civil war in Iraq and establish stability in the region.

Some Democrats in Congress are pushing to set a date-certain for withdrawal. Let's use July 2007 as that date. This is cosmetic to look politically reasonable. We heard these same political nostrums about getting out of Vietnam. What will these leaders tell the parents, wives, husbands and children of soldiers killed during the months prior to July? The civil war will continue regardless of when we leave. That's the tragedy that was set in motion on October 11, 2002.

There are Americans who say that by leaving Iraq, we would be saying that our soldiers died in vain. But the only thing worse than soldiers dying in vain, is more soldiers dying in vain. The longer our presence sustains the violence, the more innocent civilians will die as well.

A number of generals, serving and retired, attribute our failure in Iraq to the incompetent prosecution of the war by the Pentagon. That argument is as specious now as it was when it was made by our military in Vietnam -- "we could have won, but..." There is no is "but." There is no competent way to correctly make a mistake. This pre-emptive war in Iraq is a mistake -- period!

The inability of Americans to accept the guilt of the mistake of Vietnam -- that so many soldiers died in vain -- denies the nation the catharsis that would help alleviate the anguish and pain of our veterans, who only did their patriotic duty as they saw it. Let's hope the nation learns from that experience and owns up to the mistake of Iraq for the sake of our returning veterans.

 

The linchpin to long-term stability in the Middle East is the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian impasse. The U.S., along with its European and Asian allies, and regional players (to include Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan under the auspices of the United Nations) must sponsor direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, including Hamas. The negotiations, with the goal of a two-state solution, must be scheduled as soon as possible. Sponsoring nations and organizations would guarantee the demilitarized borders of both parties, would guarantee Israel's right to survive and thrive, and would make a commitment to the Palestinians to raise their economic standards to that of Israel. An accomplishment of this magnitude would go a long way to defusing the radical Islamic confrontation with the West. For that reason alone, Americans must be prepared to spend whatever political capital is required to bring peace to the region.

 

Energy and environment are two sides of the same coin. But it is a global problem, not just an American problem. The U.S. should immediately sign the Kyoto protocol and seek its ratification by the Senate. This would be the beginning of our diplomatic efforts to work with China and India and all developing countries to address the pollution problems attendant to economic growth. Carbon energy should be taxed to provide the funding for a global effort led by the United States, with willing allies, to bring together the world's scientific and engineering communities to develop energy alternatives to significantly reduce the world's energy dependence on carbon.

 

Solving the Israeli-Palestinian problem and the energy problem will set the stage to crush terrorism, its advocates and its financiers. Characterizing the effort to control terrorism as a "war" is grossly misleading and leads us to believe that the only solution is a military one. It promotes a never-ending culture of war. A "war" on terror will be no more successful than the "war" on drugs, or the "war" on poverty.

Terrorism is fought best by thoughtful, honest intelligence and dogged police work, and by building economic opportunities for those who feel hopeless. The U.S. should lead an effort of willing nations to create a global intelligence institution and a global police organization, similar to NATO. Terrorism is a global problem that requires a coordinated global response, not just with intelligence and police work, but with creative economic and humanitarian programs.

America has the respect of people the world over, not for our military might, but for our ability to implement our democratic ideals. I believe we can have a firm defense against the challenges our nation faces without building our country on a foundation of fear.

We have the opportunity to raise our democratic ideals to new heights by enacting legislation -- the National Initiative -- that will bring American voters into the operations of government as lawmakers. American voters could empower themselves to legislate on policies that affect their lives, in a partnership with their elected officials. The enactment of the National Initiative by American voters would forever change the paradigm of human governance, adding a new check -- We, the People -- to our system of Checks and Balances. Once again, the United States would become the arsenal of democratic ideas that will be emulated around the world. To learn more about the National Initiative please go to: nationalinitiative.us

In closing, I paraphrase another prescient statement by President Eisenhower: Someday the American people will want peace so badly that they will push the government aside and just seize it. Empowering Americans as lawmakers will make that possibility a reality.

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

51 Comments on “From The Archives -- 2007 Candidate Speech Series: Mike Gravel”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Mike Gravel? Who is he and why did he get into the race?

    I know, I know but, you get the point.

  2. [2] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LizM -

    Yeah, there's a lot of those this year... heh...

    Just checking in and glad to see the "autopost" thing is working. It doesn't always behave itself, so glad to see it's posting smoothly each day at noon Pacific.

    Seems we've got a tag team thing happening, as one Dem exits the race and another enters. Sigh. For one brief moment, I thought we were finally going to shrink the field...

    I really have to do an accurate count. Are we up to 27 total candidates (counting all, even those who have dropped out) or is it only 26? Well, in all the excitement, I kinda lost track myself. Do ya feel lucky, punk? Well, DO ya?

    Heh. That was for Michale, who loves movie quote references.

    Anyway, Steyer running as a Dem is far better than the Starbucks guy running as an Indy, I suppose.

    RIP to H. Ross Perot, too. "Ya gotta pull the car over the side a the road and look under the hood..." He certainly was a character always handy with a one-liner, that's for sure...

    Anyway, we'll be in Philly tomorrow, so dunno if I'll have any time to check in or not. Everyone play nice in the meantime...

    -CW

  3. [3] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Everyone play nice in the meantime...

    Sure, as long as 'playing nice' means letting Michale fill the comments section with bits of right wing literature. Your 'noon, Pacific' time fits in right after he signs off for the day, so we have about 9 hours to ourselves...

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey Chris, try to do an informal poll on Biden when you're there.

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    I really have to do an accurate count. Are we up to 27 total candidates (counting all, even those who have dropped out) or is it only 26? Well, in all the excitement, I kinda lost track myself. Do ya feel lucky, punk? Well, DO ya?

    Heh. That was for Michale, who loves movie quote references.

    heh Always nice to be recognized.. :D

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sure, as long as 'playing nice' means letting Michale fill the comments section with bits of right wing literature. Your 'noon, Pacific' time fits in right after he signs off for the day, so we have about 9 hours to ourselves...

    You sure do whine alot, yunno that??

    As I have pointed out, time and time again..

    If you don't want me posting so much, come at me with FACTS to counter MY facts...

    But you can't because you have absolutely NO FACTS to support ANY of your claims... :D

    You can also do something as a group that is so morally bankrupt and perverse... That has been known to make me quit this forum in disgust..

    So, yer choice bub...

    "But choose wisely"
    -Knight, INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    AOC wants to abolish the Department of Homeland Security, says it should have never been created after 9/11
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/aoc-hints-at-getting-rid-of-dhs-says-department-should-have-never-been-created

    Yea... Democrats can win elections in 2020 :eyeroll:

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Solving the Israeli-Palestinian problem and the energy problem will set the stage to crush terrorism, its advocates and its financiers.

    But the problem CAN'T be solved as long as one side condones and resorts to terrorism..

    Duh....

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    RIP to H. Ross Perot, too. "Ya gotta pull the car over the side a the road and look under the hood..." He certainly was a character always handy with a one-liner, that's for sure...

    Perot was also a rabid Trump supporter and his last political act before he died was to donate massively to President Trump's re-election campaign.. :D

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Biden makes another eyebrow-raising campaign promise, vows to cut prison incarceration by 'more than' 50 percent

    Former Vice President Joe Biden made another stunning campaign promise, this time to cut prison incarceration by "more than" 50 percent.

    Speaking with an ACLU member at a campaign event on in South Carolina over the weekend, Biden was asked about the initiative being headed by the organization to develop a "roadmap for cutting incarceration by 50 percent."

    "Do you commit to cutting incarceration by 50 percent?" the man, who identified himself as an ACLU member, asked.

    "More than that," Biden responded. "We can do it more than that."

    When pressed by the man for a "yes or no" answer, Biden exclaimed: "The answer's yes, and I've got a better plan than you guys have."
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-vow-prison-incarceration-cut-50-percent

    Apparently Joe Biden is channeling his inner Trump.. :D

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_trump_job_approval_economy-6182.html

    And President Trump's approval rating on the economy continues to rise.. :D

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz...

    "This one's for you..
    Where ever you are"

    -Barry Manilow

    :D

    The lynching of the only Democratic hope

    Joe Biden got it right, it’s just that he said it in the wrong country. In Joe’s country, getting it right is wrong, and the unwary pay for it. In Joe’s country, a sucker never gets an even break, and everybody’s a sucker.

    Joe’s country is the modern Democratic Party, where the grown-ups looked at the field of dwarfs, concluded that not even Snow White could find a credible candidate for president among that motley crew of 25, and figured that Joe, who might not scare the horses, was the man they needed. He would be the wise, avuncular graybeard needed to steady the mayhem in the nursery.

    Joe looks credible. He has been around the track a few times. He knows how Washington works (when it works). He would know how things get done. He told a group of early donors that one of “my greatest strengths is bringing people together,” and observed that when he got to Washington in 1972, to serve his first term in the Senate, he would work with men whose political views he opposed if he had to do that to accomplish good things, as he and his constituents defined “good” things.

    Affecting an unconvincing Southern drawl, he told his donors how he was in a Senate caucus with James Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia, and worked with them to accomplish some of those good things. Sen. Eastland “never called me ‘boy,’ he always called me ‘son.’ “

    The dwarfs leaped. Democrats too young to remember the bad old days and too busy with their own prejudices to learn much now, let fly with accusations that Joe had been in a conspiracy with the Southern Democrats of that day to plot with them to perpetuate racism, bigotry, white supremacy and maybe even genocide, in the words of Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, to “strip black Americans of our very humanity.”
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/jul/8/democrats-go-after-joe-biden-for-segregationist-co/

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Lawrence Keane: The Democrats really are coming for your guns

    What a difference three years makes.

    The first primary debates showed us just how far the Democratic party has drifted on Second Amendment rights.

    Anti-gun politicians once were coy about their goals. President Barack Obama told PBS’s Gwen Ifill during a town hall in 2016, “And at no point have I ever, ever proposed confiscating guns from responsible gun owners. So it's just not true.”

    CALIFORNIA DESERT TOWN AIMS TO BE 'SANCTUARY CITY' FOR GUN OWNERS

    Now the presumed front-runner, former Vice President Joe Biden has put the entire firearms manufacturing industry in his crosshairs. “Our enemy is the gun manufacturers, not the NRA, the gun manufacturers,” Biden said.

    Not a single candidate on the stage denounced the comment. Their silence is tacit agreement. Every Democratic candidate is now gunning for an industry that supports 312,000 jobs earning $15.7 billion in wages and has a total economic impact over $52 billion. The firearms industry is an integral contributor to our economy, having paid more than $6.8 billion in total taxes in 2019 alone.
    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/lawrence-keane-the-democrats-really-are-coming-for-your-guns

    Apparently, the entire Democrat Party wants to be like Occasional Cortex and wants to kill over 300 THOUSAND American jobs..

    :eyeroll:

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    The White Supremacist Bogeyman

    Meanwhile, Trump’s economy roars along, yielding unprecedented job opportunities for minorities. The black unemployment rate dropped from 7.7 percent in January 2017 to 6.2 percent in May 2019; wages are rising for lower-paid workers. Trump’s job approval rating among blacks is still low—only 18 percent in the latest poll—but the president has a 39 president approval rating among Hispanics. His campaign team plans to actively court minority voters in 2020.

    Worst white supremacist ever.
    https://amgreatness.com/2019/07/08/the-white-supremacist-bogeyman/

    To think that there are actually intelligent people who buy into this crap???

    Mind blowing...

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Harry Kazianis: If Dems make 2020 election about national security – Trump wins

    As if all 9 zillion 2020 Democratic presidential candidates don’t have enough problems – promising to take away your health care, free college for all, open borders – they now have a new line of attack against President Trump: criticizing his national security credentials.

    You must be joking.

    Not only have the Democrats not learned the lessons of the past – lurching left and promising everything free under the sun doesn’t work out well for them – but now they think they offer a better vision for America’s place in the world, what our role should be internationally, while trying to label President Trump’s approach of America First in a negative light.
    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/harry-kazianis-if-dems-make-the-2020-election-about-national-security-trump-wins

    The Democrat Party.. Finding new ways to lose the 2020 election... :D

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Democrats are too far left to win Middle America

    President Trump in his “Salute to America” last week extolled the values of American valor and reminded us all that “for Americans, nothing is impossible.” It is this sense of American pride and adoration for the land of opportunity that rallied voters across the nation in 2016 to defend the ideas of individual liberty and national sovereignty that make our country great.

    Nowhere was this more true than in America’s heartland, where generations of Americans have served in the military with pride and succeeded at the highest levels in the nation they love, for the people they love.

    However, if you’ve paid attention to the policy proposals from leading candidates vying to take on President Trump in 2020, you wouldn’t get the sense that this Middle America demographic is one they’re chasing. In fact, you’d probably think each one is consciously choosing to abandon the ideas that motivated voters from Mississippi to the Midwest, and to instead focus on winning the race to the left in order to capture the soul of the new Democratic Party.
    https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/452058-democrats-are-too-far-left-to-win-middle-america

    Democrats think they can attack and demonize Trump supporters and middle America and still win the General Election...

    Democrats are wrong...

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    Iran has already proven the nuclear agreement's uselessness

    Here's a question: If the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement is so good at stopping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, how on Earth has Iran been able to move past the deal toward nukes so easily and quickly?

    I say that in light of two Iranian actions taken on two days over the past two weeks.

    First, there's Iran's increased stockpiling of enriched uranium beyond proscribed limits. Second, there's Iran's increased enrichment of uranium beyond proscribed levels. Those actions, which pretty much took place instantaneously, threaten the world with Iran's steady progression toward a nuclear weapon. Even more importantly, the European Union has joined China and Russia in refusing to do what they promised they would do in this scenario: reintroduce sanctions. That speaks to the central weakness of the nuclear accord in the first place. It was always heavy on rhetoric (and cash for Iran) and always very weak on enforceable restrictions.

    While the Iranians have had limited success employing advanced centrifuges, their recent activity is clearly dangerous. David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security told me that Iran is "quite capable of creating a smaller, inefficient enrichment program to make enough weapon-grade uranium for a small nuclear arsenal."

    The nuclear accord's weaknesses don't end simply with its inadequate safeguards against Iran's rapid nuclear breakout.

    Neither did the agreement restrain Iran's ballistic missile research. Iran pretends this research is about building weather satellites, but it is actually about building delivery systems for the nukes it just barely still doesn't have. Iran's ballistic missile competency is significantly improved from 2015, in spite of the agreement.
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/iran-has-already-proven-the-nuclear-agreements-uselessness

    The Iran deal was a joke from start to finish..

    It was nothing but appeasement, a way for the Obama administration to funnel over a hundred BILLION dollars to the #1 state sponsor of terrorism..

    Why??

    Because Obama hated Israel...

    The JCPOA was nothing but a poke in the eye of Netanyahu, courtesy of Barack Hussein Obama....

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    What Happened to Unity?

    The Pelosi-AOC feud signals trouble ahead for House Democrats.

    More than a week after the vote and with new, horrific details from the border facilities coming out every day, the recriminations are still going strong. And now, the speaker and the most prominent left-wing members in the caucus are at the center of the feud.

    Freshmen Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib were particularly outspoken in their criticism of the vote on the Senate bill. They—and they alone, among Democrats—hadn’t voted for the more robust House bill a couple of days earlier, but that didn’t stop them from arguing that House Democrats should have fought harder to include elements of it in a final negotiated deal with the Senate.

    That’s the sort of thing that drives vote-counters in leadership mad. And in an interview with the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, Pelosi let them know it with sharp criticism belittling their influence within the majority.

    “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” Pelosi told Dowd. “But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.” This isn’t the first time Pelosi has diminished these particular representatives publicly, but her targets aren’t taking the quip so lightly this time. Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff commented that the speaker “is just mad that she got outmaneuvered (again) by Republicans.”
    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/07/pelosi-aoc-house-democrats-border-funding.html

    President Trump plays Pelosi again and gets the added bonus of a Demcorat House civil war!! :D

    NOT tired of winning!!! :D

  19. [19] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @balthasar,

    i've been reading the comments here for over a decade and I have no clue about when michale signs on or off. i seriously think people here need to develop a thicker skin. A service is being provided here, we get to read all the righty spin on current events without ever having to click on any of their web pages. Lighten up!

    JL

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    House Democrats have control over one body of Congress, while Republicans control both the Senate and the White House. This means they’re going to lose fights, including fights over issues that have captured and animated their base. That the main progressive and moderate blocs are at each other’s throats, while the most famous individual progressives and the speaker fight in public after the first big loss, does not instill great confidence about their ability to digest those losses yet to come.

    And there WILL be losses to come.. That much is certain..

    And the Democrat Party will disintegrate into chaos a little bit more every time.. :D

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    i've been reading the comments here for over a decade and I have no clue about when michale signs on or off.

    MICHALE'S WEIGANTIA HOURS OF OPERATION

    Mon-Fri 0400-1800
    Sat-Sun 0200-1800

    After 1800 hours, my time belongs to my lovely wife.. :D

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Are Democrats Ceding the Center to Trump?

    Since the Democratic debates in June, the tide seems to have receded for the party and its presidential hopefuls.

    In new polls, only Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump comfortably.

    The other top-tier candidates -- Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg -- are running even with Trump, a measurable drop. A Washington Post-ABC poll just found Trump at 47% approval, a new high for his presidency.

    Apparently, the more the nation sees of the alternatives to Trump the Democrats have on offer, the better The Donald looks. For Democrats, this is not good, not good at all.

    For while Trump has run a daily gauntlet of dreadful media for two years, these Democrats have had only one debate and a few weeks of close coverage.

    Between now and the New Hampshire primary, they will be going after one another and receiving a far more thorough vetting by a media in constant search of failings and flaws, especially of front-runners.

    Traditionally, all candidates suffer attrition as the primaries come closer. For it is then that their lagging rivals become more desperate in their attacks and the media coverage becomes more intense.

    Other problems have now arisen for the Democrats because of the issues that have come to the fore: race, radicalism and the border.

    None looks like a winning Democratic issue in November 2020.
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/07/09/are_democrats_ceding_the_center_to_trump_140732.html

    The Center.. NPAs... Independents...

    All base are belong to President Trump... :D

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK Gonna take a breather..

    Balthy, I await your rebuttal facts with great anticipation.. :D

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    A service is being provided here, we get to read all the righty spin on current events

    Also Known As FACTS and REALITY..

    :D

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    HE'S DON FOR British Ambassador to America Sir Kim Darroch QUITS £184k role after Donald Trump branded him ‘very stupid’ over leak storm
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9476506/sir-kim-darroch-quits-donald-trump-leak/

    Considering the utter incompetence of the May government, this clown calling the Trump Administration 'inept' is ironic..

    "na na Hay Hay... na na Hay Hay...
    Haaaayyyyyy Goodbye.... "

    -The Clan

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    July National Poll: Biden Extends Lead in Democratic Primary, Trump Closes the Gap in the General Election
    https://emersonpolling.reportablenews.com/pr/july-national-poll-biden-extends-lead-in-democratic-primary-trump-closes-the-gap-in-the-general-election

    That's great that Biden is increasing his lead in the primary...

    As I have said, it's a WIN WIN for me..

    If Purity takes front and center and Democrats nominate some clown who can't possibly attract the middle, I will be able to laugh my ass off during President Trump's landslide victory...

    If by some quirk of fate, Biden is the Democrat nominee, I will be able to tease the Democrat Party incessantly.. That the Party of minorities and identity nominates an old white guy as their champion.. And the progressive wing of the Democrat Party will be so disgusted that they stay home and President Trump wins in a landslide...

    Like I said...

    Win Win for me and Win Win for this country...

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Justin Amash: Some Republicans thanked me privately for impeachment stance
    https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/amash-republican-gop

    Yea.. He has a lot of support in email.. :eyeroll:

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sen. Collins rejected Republican senator's offer to ditch Kavanaugh after Ford testimony, new book claims
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/book-sen-collins-rejected-judiciary-cmte-republicans-offer-to-ditch-kavanaugh-after-ford-testimony

    Senator Collins saved Justice Kavanaugh's nomination..

    In the future, every time ya'all pin your hopes on Senator Collins bucking the GOP and being the Dem savior, I will remind you of this.. :D

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    BET founder Robert Johnson praises Trump, says Democratic Party 'moved too far to the left'

    Black Entertainment Television founder and longtime Democrat Robert Johnson said in an interview that aired Tuesday that the Democratic Party has become too liberal to defeat President Trump in 2020, unless major changes are made.

    “The party in my opinion, for me personally, has moved too far to the left,” Johnson told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble.

    Johnson – the country’s first African-American billionaire, according to Forbes – went on to say that because the party has become so liberal, he isn’t supporting a particular 2020 candidate at this time.

    “I think at the end of the day, if a Democrat is going to beat Trump, then that person, he or she, will have to move to the center and you can’t wait too long to do that,” Johnson said. “The message of some of the programs that Democrats are pushing are not resonating with the majority of the American people.”

    Johnson said the current far-left state of the Democratic Party will work well in the primaries but won’t help in a general election, especially since he feels Trump has his base locked up. The BET founder, who supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, even praised some of Trump’s recent accomplishments.
    https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/bet-founder-robert-johnson-says-democratic-party-moved-too-far-to-the-left

    Once again...

    The FACTS and REALITY....

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    Awww...

    Emmy-winning actor Rip Torn has died at 88

    Zed has died... :(

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    And our resident whiner in Congress speaks out..

    AOC: PELOSI SADDLING ME WITH WORK TO KEEP ME OUT OF SPOTLIGHT

    ‘Sometimes I wonder if they’re trying to keep me busy’
    https://news.grabien.com/story-aoc-accuses-pelosi-placing-committees-keep-her-sidelined-wor

    Occasional Cortex is whining that her Congress work is interfering with her remaining in the spotlight...

    :eyeroll:

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    WINNING

    Trump takes victory lap after Republican-appointed judges toss 'Emoluments Clause' lawsuit – and claims 'Deep State' pushed case about hotel income from foreign countries

    President was sued by Democratic attorneys general of Maryland and D.C.

    Claimed he was violating the Constitution by accepting hotel business from foreign countries

    Three-judge appeals court panel ruled that the AGs lacked jurisdiction to sue; all three were Republican appointees

    They didn't rule on the merits of the case, but the Trump Organization writes annual checks to the Treasury to disgorge its foreign government profits

    Trump took a victory lap and proclaimed the case was a product of the 'Deep State'; one more lawsuit continues, filed by hundreds of Democratic lawmakers
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7233287/Trump-trumpets-appeals-court-ruling-Republican-appointed-judges-toss-Emoluments-lawsuit.html

    The question isn't "Are the American People getting tired of so much winning??"

    The question is, "Are the Democrats, Never Trumpers and Trump/America haters getting tired of so much losing??" :D

    Apparently not.. Because they keep losing and losing and losing and losing... And losing..

  33. [33] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Rip Torn has died at 88

    Nice tribute.

    Trouble is, he wasn't Zed.

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, in the BBBBBWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Department..

    Democrats on the House Oversight Committee have deleted tweets that promoted an upcoming Wednesday afternoon hearing on “kids in cages” after being called out for using Obama-era images of migrants in detention to highlight current conditions at the border.

    “Last week, members of our committee visited a detention center at the southern border and discovered grotesque treatment of children,” the first tweet, posted Tuesday afternoon, said. “This week, we are examining the inhumane treatment of the children in these detention centers.”

    But the tweet included a photograph taken by The Associated Press in 2014, during the Obama administration, showing migrants in detention in Arizona. The Trump campaign flagged the soon-deleted tweet and noted the image comes from a time when current Democratic presidential primary front-runner Joe Biden was vice president.

    “House Democrats are promoting their 'civil rights' hearing on ‘kids in cages’ and ‘inhumane treatment’ with a photo from 2014, when Joe Biden was Vice President,” the tweet read. “So dishonest!”
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/house-dems-use-obama-era-photo-to-promote-hearing-on-kids-in-cages

    Get that???

    Democrats wanted to bash President Trump over illegal immigrant kids in cages..

    In a Keystone Cops-esque manner, they used a photograph of illegal immigrant kids in cages FROM THE OBAMA YEARS!!!!

    Truly, the BBBWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA is well earned by the Democrats and the hysterical Trump/America haters.. :D

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Trouble is, he wasn't Zed.

    As usual, your facts are bullshit..

    Rip Torn played Zed in MEN IN BLACK

    https://youtu.be/qN_7FZjmtl4

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    AND Men In Black II

    Funny thing is, in MIB III they had a memorial for Zed..

    I had thought that Rip Torn had died back then...

    Apparently... not...

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Rip Torn ... Zed
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119654/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_49

    Like dynamiting fish in a barrel... :D

  38. [38] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    in MIB III they had a memorial for Zed..

    Which is why I thought that it wasn't him. My bad.

    I stand corrected! Zed's dead.

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Which is why I thought that it wasn't him. My bad.

    I stand corrected! Zed's dead.

    No worries... It happens.. We'll not have to bring it up ever again.. :D

  40. [40] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I stand corrected! Zed's dead.

    FABIENNE- Butch, whose motorcycle is this?
    BUTCH-It's a chopper.
    FABIENNE-Whose chopper is this?
    BUTCH-Zed's.
    FABIENNE-Who's Zed?
    BUTCH-Zed's dead, baby, Zed's dead.

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    FABIENNE- Butch, whose motorcycle is this?
    BUTCH-It's a chopper.
    FABIENNE-Whose chopper is this?
    BUTCH-Zed's.
    FABIENNE-Who's Zed?
    BUTCH-Zed's dead, baby, Zed's dead.

    I got nuttin'...

  42. [42] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Pulp Fiction.

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Pulp Fiction.

    Ahhh..

    I have to admit I have never watched it.

    "You uncultured swine!!!!"
    -Mr Potato Head, TOY STORY

  44. [44] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @m,
    Well, get on that already. It's just as important in the common vernacular as a few good men.
    JL

  45. [45] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW
    2

    RIP to H. Ross Perot, too. "Ya gotta pull the car over the side a the road and look under the hood..." He certainly was a character always handy with a one-liner, that's for sure...

    I found him to be an funny little man when he tried to recruit me to work for him personally... before he ever ran for POTUS. I met with him several times, we discussed the issue and came to an agreement. Then he presented me with a stack of forms to complete.

    He wanted me to sign affidavits stating:

    * I would not take any illicit drugs. (signed it)
    * I would not take prescription drugs without his knowledge. (weird... but okay... signed it)
    * I would never refer to him as "Henry" or "Ross," only as "Mr. Perot" or "RP." (getting weirder... but signed it)
    * I would never drink alcohol, even during the times I was off duty. (hmmmm… started reading the others)
    * I would be available to him personally 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    * I would not grow a beard.

    There were more, but I had stopped reading at that point because I was laughing too hard to see. After I stopped laughing, I shook his hand, thanked him for the opportunity, asked him to run those papers through a shredder for me, left his office and never saw the little imp again.

    RIP RP. You were one funny yet demanding little guy. :)

  46. [46] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    9

    Perot was also a rabid Trump supporter and his last political act before he died was to donate massively to President Trump's re-election campaign.. :D

    Not surprisingly, Michale has once again made a post that contains nothing but misinformation and 100% utterly asinine bullshit.

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, get on that already. It's just as important in the common vernacular as a few good men.

    With THAT kind of recommendation, how can I NOT watch it!! :D

  48. [48] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    And when watching, please take note of the University of California, Santa Cruz "Go Slugs!" sweatshirt that Travolta wears while his clothes are being cleaned. We still remember that scene, as do the folks up at the university...

    :-)

    -CW

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    And when watching, please take note of the University of California, Santa Cruz "Go Slugs!" sweatshirt that Travolta wears while his clothes are being cleaned. We still remember that scene, as do the folks up at the university...

    I'll be sure and look for that.. :D

  50. [50] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Hey Michale, here's a fact for you -

    Trump trails Obama's job creation record by 800,000 jobs.

    https://www.salon.com/2019/07/09/another-broken-promise-job-creation-under-trump-trails-obama-by-800000/

    Facts straight from the BLS. Not Trump spin. So of course you'll admit that Obama was better at job creation than Trump, right?

    (holds breath waiting... heh...)

    -CW

  51. [51] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    UCSC mascot is the banana slug, a huge yellow slug found locally. Just FYI...

    https://www.ucsc.edu/about/mascot.html

    :-)

    -CW

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