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Week In The News: Drones, John Brennan, Sequester Talk

Drones and a CIA nominee. Post office cutbacks. Big dance on the budget. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

CIA Director nominee John Brennan, flanked by security, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. (AP)

CIA Director nominee John Brennan, flanked by security, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. (AP)

“Drones, what drones?” was almost the tone on Capitol Hill this week as a nominee for CIA chief sat before Congress.  John Brennan got some questions, but no direct hits.

As the Northeast braced for a blizzard, there has been gun talk and gunplay all over the country.  The President in Minneapolis.  A policeman gone bad in LA.  A famous sniper, killed at a gun range.

We’ve got Republicans looking to rebrand.  Boy Scouts struggling with gay rights.  Chris Christie with his weight.  Sequestration looms.

This hour, On Point: our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Robert Costa, Washington editor for National Review. (@robertcostanro)

Margaret Talev, White House correspondent for Bloomberg News. (@margarettalev)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

CNN “In his speech at the Wilson Center, Brennan said that drone strikes are ‘ethical’ because of ‘the unprecedented ability of remotely piloted aircraft to precisely target a military objective while minimizing collateral damage; one could argue that never before has there been a weapon that allows us to distinguish more effectively between an al Qaeda terrorist and innocent civilians.’”

CBS News “Get ready for some big changes in your mail service. After losing $16 billion last year, the postmaster general announced Wednesday that the Postal Service intends to halt Saturday delivery of first-class mail by this summer, Aug. 1. That means most mailers, letters and catalogs would not arrive on Saturdays, ending a 150-year tradition.”

The Star-Ledger “Top House Republican aides privately concede that the politics of allowing the cuts to hit — layoffs, furloughs and a stalled economic recovery — are tough to stomach and they would prefer to make a deal, on their terms of course.”

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  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Is anyone up for a game of ping-pong ?

     

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TOPIO

     
    If you should need a good laugh to start your weekend, try this link:

    http://www.tvkim.com/watch/21/kims-picks-mans-surprising-laugh

    • JobExperience

      That Tennessee comedy barn stuff looks like the T-party version of advanced interrogation. Substitute TOPIO (the ping pong robot) for the dumbass comedian and you have the John Brennan Show. (drone torture)

    • Steve__T

       Thanks for the laughs!

  • Ed75

    The third HHS so-called accomodation is still really the same offer and is still unacceptable, see:

    http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=17013

    The lights went out for 35+ minutes (37?) at the excellent Super Bowl – and no one knows the cause yet. Like the blackout of 2003 … a tree in Ohio, maybe. Spooky?

    I again came across the atheist Christopher Hitchen’s statement about Mother Teresa, that ‘she was the most evil person of the 20th century’. Hmm.

    The Los Angeles Diocese papers will be released and cause lots of scandal. But failure of priests or bishops – and most have not been to a trial – just indicates individual failure, or tragedy. Cardinal Mahoney’s explanations will shed light on the bishops’ thinking.

    • JobExperience

      Keep cutting taxes and the lights will go out for a long time. Of course pedophile priests would love that.

    • 1Brett1

      What the new round of “negotiations” shows is that the Catholic Church is not the least bit interested in any compromise. I’m convinced that even if they were offered a ban on insurance plans making contraceptive coverage part of any policies, they would still reject it and claim an infringement on their religious freedoms.

      This isn’t about a labor-employer regulation restricting religious freedom at all; it’s about the Catholic Church wanting what THEY consider religious freedom: medical contraception being banned altogether.

      • Ed75

        No, not at all. The Church (and religious business people, Church associated businesses for or not for profit, many Protestant ones) just wants to not pay for them. They really can’t pay for them, they can’t compromise, it’s a matter of conscience.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    So many stories have been overlooked this week, let us start with these comments from Paul Krugman:

    FTA:
    In case anyone failed to get what he was talking about, Krugman made it clear, saying the snarky version is:
    “Death panels and sales taxes is how we do this.”

    Read More At IBD:  http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/020713-643639-death-panels-and-middle-class-taxes-are-coming.htm

    • JobExperience

      So “normal family men” want sales taxes and death panels since austerity is their preferred policy? Referring to the article, if we unleash the private sector any worse we will have achieved mafia markets and mafia government. But maybe “normal FAMILY men” prefer paying protection and graft to corporate dons to pooling our money for needed services and infrastructure. I assert RWB is an abnormal family man, because he eschews the care of children and the elderly. Maybe he thinks his spouse and off-spring exist to worship him.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        So what job do you have experience with?  

        • JobExperience

          I have lived the Job experience from the Old Testament.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I am sorry for your suffering.  

          • JobExperience

            I am thankful for what I learned.

    • Gregg Smith

      Wow, Sarah, half the country and I didn’t see that one coming.

      • Ray in VT

        I wonder if she saw getting dropped by Fox and (hopefully) fading into obscurity coming?

        • Gregg Smith

          Now that was unnecessary, irrelevant and, with all due respect, a bit childish. So I won’t go there.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m just calling it like I see it.  Maybe she and Dick Morris can get together and commiserate.  I just hope that Sarah washes her feet ahead of time.

          • Gregg Smith

            I don’t blame her for turning down the offered contract, she’s a star. She was right about the death panels. Some people think we should have a discussion about the government’s role in end of life issues… or we could rag on Fox and make foot fetish silly talk. 

          • Ray in VT

            Star’s a pretty subjective term.  A lot of people consider Kim Kardashian to be a star.  I think that both contribute about as much to society.  I guess that the market has decided on her, but I hear that they’re hiring greeters at Walmart.

            See my comment above for some substance regarding end of life care.  Are you willing to pay more in taxes for the hypothetical that I laid out times a million?  How would Ryan’s plan have addressed this?  I don’t know.  What role should personal or family finances play?  Just because we can keep someone alive, it doesn’t mean that we should.

          • Gregg Smith

            Maybe one day you’ll realize how valuable Palin’s contribution to the debate was. She turned it on it’s head. You make not like it but she is a powerful voice. “Death Panels” is now part of the lexicon. It cuts to the heart of the issue.

            My issue is with governments roll in this. There should be none. It’s between a patient, their family, their doctor and their God. 

            Check out Dr. Carson’s speech. It’s a bit long but well worth it. Or, if you are pressed skip to 20:20 and watch about a minute for his health care propsal.

          • jefe68

            Wow.
            That’s all one can say about this chestnut.

          • Ray in VT

            So is refudiate, but she’s no Shakespeare.  Valuable isn’t a word that I would use to describe her or her contributions on this, or any other subject.  What was her response to battling childhood obesity?  Have some cookies?

            I think that people should make plans, but I have issues with government supplied insurance and medical care paying for anything and everything.  Maybe we should just get rid of that and let the market decide who is worthy of living.

          • JobExperience

            So the former governor is irrelevant, unnecessary and childish. Many celebrities are.

          • JobExperience

            Medicine has been so distorted by the profit motive that every doctor’s office, hospital and rest home is now a death panel with or without Obamacare.

          • Gregg Smith

            No one, no one can impose a death panel on me through the private market. No one.

          • jefe68

            Yes they can and do.

          • Ray in VT

            So if you don’t have medicare or medicaid, and you aren’t coverable by private insurance in your old age, then will you only live so long as you have resources to pay for your medical care, as the market has then decided that you don’t have the money to live?

          • jefe68

            He better have half a million on hand to pay for his care then.

          • Gregg Smith

            I like Dr. Carson’s idea.

          • Gregg Smith

            I decide how much insurance I want to pay for. I decide whether to sell my house. I decide whether to spend my kids inheritance. I decide to make a living will. And if I go broke and die, that’s my decision to. I decide.

          • Ray in VT

            So when one runs out of money, or if one doesn’t have the money to afford those choices, then what is one to do?  When one is out of money, then is one’s option to die in liberty?

          • nj_v2

            Correction: “…former part-time governor…”

          • jefe68

            As are your diatribes against President Obama and Dr. Paul Krugman.

        • Mike_Card

          I think that must be the Armageddon Ed keeps forecasting to be 6 months out.

    • Ray in VT

      I think that we need to have a real discussion about end of life care, and that it especially true regarding the patient, his or her family and the care providers.  So many health dollars are spent at the end of life, and sometimes the patient cannot speak for himself or herself.  People should take care to get their affairs in order in case they are unable to communicate their wishes.  I think that it gets tricky when one talks about government funded health care providing complex or risky procedures on very old, very ill or extremely frail people.  Because we can provide a hypothetical 95 year old man with terminal cancer with a heart procedure that will extend his life by two weeks or something, then should we?  If we decide that we must provide every procedure possible to extend someone’s life until they die, then we had better be prepared to pay through the nose for that.

      • notafeminista

        So, Ray…who gets to decide at what age people are just too expensive to care for anymore?

        • Gregg Smith

          A death panel by any other name smells just as rotten.

          • Ray in VT

            That’s just the putrefying corpse of the once proud Party of Lincoln.

          • Gregg Smith

            And that is why we are divided and honest debate is not possible.

          • Ray in VT

            No, I think that there cannot be honest debate when people do not want to engage honesty in a debate.  I raised a number of real questions about what we should do and how we can address some of these issues, and I voiced my own concerns about the situation, and what did I get from the “other side”?  Death panels.  I try not to be a bomb-thrower, but there’s only so much of peoples’ b.s. that I’m willing to take.

        • Ray in VT

          I think that people should be having those conversations with a care provider and their next of kin.  Are you willing to bear any burden in terms of taxes to provide surgeries for people when they might only extend life for a day or a week?  There are several possible options out there, and I don’t really like any of them.

          When my father’s health declined rapidly at the end of his life, my mother made the call not to take extraordinary to prolong his life.  We could have kept him going, hooked up to machines and crammed full of tubes, for some time, but it was not what she thought he would have wanted.  If we had wanted it, though, the government would have been on the hook for it.  It does get highly problematic when one is not able to make that decision and there is no other kin or guardian to make that call.

          What do you think?

    • Don_B1

      Anybody, ANYONE, who takes ANYTHING from IBD as truthful, needs psychiatric help! Which unfortunately apparently includes most Republicans!

      The IBD “opinion piece” takes words that may or may not have appeared in some column or blog post by Professor Krugman, and then weaves them into some fantasy story that Professor Krugman has NEVER written.

      I encourage all to READ what Professor Krugman wrote today:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/08/opinion/krugman-kick-that-can.html?ref=opinion

      and then try to find anything that the IBD “diatribe” implied. I am confident no one except those that have a mental defect of cognitive dissonance will.

      The only thing the “piece” has partly correct is that a return to full-employment growth will solve most of the deficit problem, but their “proposed solutions” of austerity and dismantling of POPULAR entitlement programs are shams.

      Passing a program like the American Jobs Act would lower unemployment to near 6% and sustainable full employment without government stimulus would not be far away.

      • Gregg Smith

        Very lame. Skip to 2:20 and after you hear Krugman, in his words, in context then you can apologize.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPHkMltUnQc 

        • Don_B1

          I do apologize for not waiting to get the link in RWB’s post, which for some reason did not load until I tried a bit later, as then I would have realized that the reference was to something other than one of Professor Krugman’s columns or blog posts and then I would have phrased my post differently.

          But the IBD “opinion piece” remains a diatribe, taking Professor Krugman’s sarcasm as “straight talk” and throwing in other out of context comments to weave a fantasy that could only appeal to a 1%-supporting Republican.

          Professor Krugman had just stated that medical treatments that do not provide life quality benefits should not be paid for through insurance, private or government, and then said that his “snarky” way of describing that is “Death panels …” which everyone but those who have a contrary agenda to push would accept as sarcasm.

          I gather you have an alternative agenda of allowing people to receive useless care at great expense or none at all, not even beneficial care, because they cannot pay for it. Because that is the Republican position when you look behind the glib words they use to advocate their policies.

  • Gregg Smith

    We’ve increased discretionary spending by 14% since Obama has been President. Sequestration will cut 5% or about one half of one percent in GDP. That’s nothing. It won’t solve squat. What’s the fuss?

    And the the administration and their sycophant press has the unmitigated gall to excuse away the shrinking fourth quarter by citing cuts that never happened. People eat it up as our economy crumbles.

    • JobExperience

      We should immediately cut defense to fund infrastructure. Warring destroys and produces nothing but suffering and PTSD dangerobots. Building sustainable energy and better communities improves life quality, seasoned craftspeople and experienced engineers. War concentrates wealth and power while building community distributes it. War divides, even at home, and building together solidifies cooperation. It ain’t so much the play money as the nihilism strangling us. Libertine capitalism is out of our reach and we need to quit feeding it.

      Maybe I can’t understand why Libertarians accept that concentrated power is a hazard and a shame without accepting that concentrated wealth isn’t. Seems like the first part is lip service and the second part is Oligarch worship. I do know that nothing makes me feel better than helping sufferers of injustice  with the little money I have.

    • Don_B1

      As usual, you mischaracterize the analysis: it was the uneven spending by the Department of Defense, the signing of contracts as new purchases/programs come on line and the conclusion of others, that ended up with a 22% drop in expenditures during that quarter. But it did show the direct effect on GDP and how, if continued, it would hurt economic growth.

      The problem with sequestration is that it will cut EVERY DoD program by your 5%, and not eliminate the ones that are not needed, lower the amount to keep an excessively high number of nuclear weapons, etc. The DoD needs to be cut, maybe more than 5%, but cut smartly in ways that will still defend the country against the current and future threats, not those of the cold war.

      • Gregg Smith

        Alrighty then.

  • Gregg Smith

    Drone attacks have increased 700% under Obama. He has seized the power to issue assassinations of Americans without ANY due process. Why the fuss over water boarding 3? Who believes we would have gotten Bin Laden if not for the nasal rinse? Not Leon Panetta.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      But that is ordered by a Nobel Peace prize winning light bringer.  Not the vile bushilter.  Therefore we need not be concerned what is being done in our name.

      • Gregg Smith

        Especially if Krackpot Krugman is on board. Let’s just fall into line.

        • JobExperience

          Krugman is as Neoliberal mainline as a shot of smack in the carotid. You couldn’t squeeze a dollar bill between his position and Tom Freidman’s. He’s praying for Libertine Capitalism to survive just like Milton Freidman did. Kenesianism is a halfway measure, inside the box thinking.
          Austerity is mercy killing, but may lead to fullblown fascism. Because “Little House on the Prarie” ain’t coming back. It never was real.

          • notafeminista

            Of course he is.  “Libertine Capitalism” as you refer to it, is what pays the bills.  Including Mr. Krugman’s.

          • Coastghost

            –in addition to his Nobel Prize gleanings.

          • JobExperience

            How true!
            What do you get out of it?
            The Catfood Commissioner was right about one thing, “We are all on the tit.”
            Let’s wean.

          • notafeminista

            When you start providing whatever services you offer with no expectation of compensation of any type, you let me know.

          • Steve__T

             “It never was real” is a false statement, the story was Hollywooded, but was a true story.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Ingalls_Wilder

        • Don_B1

          Again, you can’t keep your facts straight: RWB almost certainly was referring to President Obama here, not Professor Krugman.

          But something Professor Krugman said must have gotten your cognitive dissonance roaring in your head and prevented rational thought.

    • JobExperience

      Who believes bin Laden was anything more than a CIA asset? His body could not be produced because he had died years earlier from kidney failure. How silly it became watching Barack and Hillary watching their fictional adventure on White House cable.(Cheetos all around with Dr. Pepper)  Yes, all Presidents from both parties are war criminals and bit players (a la Ronnie Raygun) now. Look at all the innocent civillians who have been rendered and tortured. Such carelessness reveals an irresistible sadistic urge to exercise covert power. Someone said yesterday that drone strikes are an improvement over bombing an entire village or neighborhood out of existence, but are they, when the witnesses become hostiles? We used to burn the village to save it, but now we awe the village to intiidate it. And soon “we’ll” do it at home.

      Drones should be banned, along with mines, cluster bombs, dime bombs and nerve gas. But our childish leadersip is jealous for their toys. The worst thing is the crackdown on domestic demonstrations and dissent. It’s a provocation to resort to violence. Brainwashing of the public and repression brought the White Rose into existence.

      • Gregg Smith

        Alrighty then.

    • Mike_Card

      Why do you say 3?

      • Gregg Smith

        Because it’s the truth.

        • Mike_Card

          3 is surely true, but the actual number is just as surely unknown and undoubtedly higher; as is the value of the non-lethal torture.  Most torture doesn’t result in death, since that’s not the purpose.  Just ask Cheney.

  • Gregg Smith

    As the fight raged, on September 11, 2012, Obama was absent.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/panetta-obama-absent-night-benghazi_700405.html

    Hillary was absent.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/no-word-hillary-during-benghazi-attack_700410.html

    I am sticking by my opinion that Obama was drunk and passed out. And that’s being kinder to him than the alternative. No one cares.

    • Ray in VT

      What was it that you were saying earlier about being childish?  I suppose that you have some evidence that the President was drunk and passed out.  Certainly it’s not just an unfounded, personal attack.

      • Gregg Smith

        Yes, it’s an unfounded, personal attack but an educated one. I said it was kinder than the alternative. The alternative is he just did not care or was too incompetent to act. Who is asking where he was? Hillary made hay with her 3AM ad and she was right. 

        That our President checked out while our consulate burned and Americans were being slaughtered is unacceptable. It’s a big deal.

        We know Obama drinks. We know his doctor told him to cut back. We know there was a huge effort to blame a stupid video when it was demonstrably untrue.

        I know it’s provocative. I’m hoping someone will be angered enough by my accusation to prove me wrong. Maybe one of the Google mavens will find an answer, an explanation, an excuse or even show that someone is asking the question.

        • Ray in VT

          I don’t even think that it rises to the rank of an educated attack.  Can I prove that he wasn’t drunk?  No, but can you prove that he was?  You made the charge, so feel free to support it, although that I’m willing to bet that many would deny any evidence provided to the contrary.  That seems to be a common theme in some circles.  Maybe we can fin 2-3% of people whose opinions are supposed to entirely negate the evidence of the other 97%.

          • Gregg Smith

            No I can’t prove it. I said it was a theory. I said it was unfair. I don’t expect you to prove otherwise. All I want is an alternative explanation that is kinder. Speculate, make one up, I don’t think you can even do that.

            You are one (I think, correct me) who says birthers are motivated by racism. That’s speculation, it cannot be proved. Your only reasoning is to ask the question, “what else could it be” to which I have given many  theories. So give me your theory, where was he and why was he not engaged on that deadly night?

          • Ray in VT

            I can’t prove that the birther wingnuts are motivated by racism.  That’s also a theory.  There are plenty of things that I could call them without calling them racist.  Crazy, stupid and delusional comes to mind, so I don’t need to fall back on racist.  But for some of them I think that it is likely a glove that fits quite well.

            My theory?  That he was in the White House.  He was likely made aware of the events following the initial assault, made sure that the appropriate people and agencies were in motion to respond to the crisis, and then, at some point, probably prior to the second attack some 6 hours or so later, according to the series of events outlined by Leon Panetta, he probably did then go to bed.  What else should he have done?  Flown there using his super powers and single handedly resolved the situation?  There’s only so much any one person can do half a world away.

          • Gregg Smith

            He could have said the situation was unacceptable and ordered assets in Sigonella be deployed. He could have made sure the selfless suicidal act of painting the target for the AC-130U on station was not turned back. He could have gotten Hillary on the phone to assess the security. He could have oversaw the coordination of the Joint Chiefs, State Department, CIA others. He could have been commander in chief.

            But, you gave a theory. Thanks.

          • Don_B1

            It is my understanding, from what has been released by the commission set up to study the incident, that all those forces you mention were too far away to achieve the desired result of saving the four lives that all but the terrorists mourn the loss of.

          • Gregg Smith

            There were assets an hour away. The fight raged for nearly 8.

          • Don_B1
          • Ray in VT

            Also, what’s your theory on the persistence of birthers, in light of the State of Hawaii certifying his birth certificate?  Stupid or crazy?

          • Gregg Smith

            Both and irrelevant. I’m more concerned with the “truthers” but they’re irrelevant too.

          • Ray in VT

            Indeed they are, and just as crazy.  I don’t see many of them running for Congress these days or trying to organize a citizen’s arrest on the President, though.

          • Gregg Smith

            We just gave 20 F-16′s to a truther.

    • JobExperience

      My theory: The CIA snuffed Chris Stevens, but on whose orders? Sometimes diplomacy gets in the way of profit.

      • Gregg Smith

        Sounds crazy to me but it’s a theory that would explain it. That’s more than the administration is offering. I’ll stick with drunk as the most logical and kind explanation.

  • Outside_of_the_Box

    IT IS NOT LEGAL.

    IT DOES NOT PUT A DENT IN TERRORIST OPERATIONS.

    IT KILLS INNOCENT CIVILIANS.

    IT DOES NOT DETER TERRORISTS  (IF ANYTHING A RECRUITMENT TOOL)

    IT SETS PRECEDENT FOR OTHER COUNTRIES TO DO THE SAME.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Others have said “… if you wanted to design a policy to favor the success of our enemies and the despair of our friends (not just in the Middle East), how would your policy differ from what we’ve got now?”

  • Fredlinskip

    Is it just me, or does Brennan seem the caricature of a KGB thug? Not sure I’d like to meet him in a dark alley.
      America is exceptional and as such should be able to target bomb whenever and wherever in the world we please. 
    American people should trust that drone strikes are  justified.
    Apparently  sources “on ground” have substantiated that these targets are guilty of terrorist plot.
    Of course, we go in afterwards in all cases so as to determine, and accurately record the # of innocents that have died. 
    After all American people have never been deceived before. 

    • Steve__T

       I agree with your first two sentences. The rest is nuts, the last sentence is an outright lie.

      • Fredlinskip

        Certain amount of satire was intended.
        Appreciate your attempt at keeping me honest.

    • JobExperience

      Ray McGoven (retired CIA administrator) calls John an operator, a suck-up, and an incompetent analyst. He’s too much a dud to be Putin’s opposite number. He’s a zero, a placeholder, a ditto-head. Jim Jenkins (former CIA analyst) says he’s dangerous without supervision. Of course these guys claimed GHWBush was “nothing but a playboy.”

  • Gregg Smith

    Dr. Benjamin Carson gave a great speech at the Prayer Breakfast, He touched on taxation, debt, morals and offered his solution to health care. His story is fascinating. I thought it was great and I highly recommend it to my liberal friends (and the others). 

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/clip/4353213

    • JobExperience

      He’s a Frankendoktor who cuts out half of kid’s brains.
      If you could seed a canteloupe and close the rind back up you’d equal his skill.
      And that doesn’t make him smart any more than being a Mousekateer makes anyone intelligent. He’s a Johns Hopkins showboat, and Johns Hopkins is a Frankenhospital.

      • Gregg Smith

        It was a great speech with great points in Obama’s face. But don’t check it out.

        • JobExperience

          I’m familiar with this puppet.
          I’m a Baltimore native.

          • JobExperience

            I wouldn’t send Gregg to John’s Hogpin Hospital, especially not Bayview. They experiment on poor people like rats.

          • Gregg Smith

            Even more reason not to check it out.

  • wauch

    Brennan and Mary Jo White? As I said after I first voted for Obama “The more I learn about him the less good I feel about having voted for him!”
    Brennan was on board with Addington, Fife, Yoo and the OLC harsh interrogation (a.k.a., torture as defined by Geneva Convention) methods.
    He supports ramping up drone use overseas? How long before that strategy migrates back to the “homeland” and is invoked for drug smuggling, Occupy Wall Street, etc “alien enemy combatants”?
    The differences between Obama and his predecesor are stark in some regards but in the case of transmitting our hegemonic ways and making everyone fear us there are no differences.

    • Gregg Smith

      And that’s the rub. Bush and Cheney were not evil sadist. They made tough decisions in a dangerous world. Obama mocked them, he derided them. Even I don’t believe Obama is so stupid that he thought he could close gitmo, end military tribunals and the rest of it. He was just flat out lying and many of us knew it at the time.

      • Ray in VT

        Do you have some evidence that he knew that he wouldn’t or couldn’t do it?  Or is lying just a term that gets reserved for people that you don’t like.  You certainly seem fine with the lies of the Bush administration.

        • JobExperience

          Being naive about the National Security State is not so uncommon. Gregg portrays it perfectly. But Cheney or GWB can’t claim that. GWB (while AWOL) piloted the George Wallace shooting for Nixon, just before Cheney served in Gerald Ford’s outlaw cabinet. Obama had too much ego and idealism to understand that our President  is on the downstairs end of Downton Abbey, and must obey the Lord Upstairs. He was trained well as a butler at Harvard though.

          • Gregg Smith

            I just think we should be honest about the enemy, that’s all.

        • Gregg Smith

          Bush did not lie, I’ve been through it 100 times. He is irrelevant.

          Obviously I cannot read minds but the notion of closing Gitmo is insane. It always was. As I said, I don’t think he’s that stupid but I hold out that possibility. 

          I like this quote from before he was sworn in:

           “Don’t deal in things that aren’t real. Don’t get yourself worked up about something that isn’t going to happen. We got real things to get worked up about here. But closing Gitmo isn’t going to happen. It’s not going to happen. It is not going to happen. He’s not going to close Gitmo.” – El Rushbo Jan. 16, 2009

          • Ray in VT

            You can go through it 1 million times if you like, but if you refuse to accept facts and reality, then your conclusions are likely to follow the old adage:  GIGO.

            How would you characterize making statements in various speeches in the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq that were not supported by the intelligence community’s assessments?  I would call that lying.  There’s also the issue of half-truths, which are problematic.

            I can, to a certain extent, excuse the faulty statements based upon extremely faulty intelligence.  However, then should heads have not rolled (not literally of course) following such blunders, given the cost to our nation in blood and treasure?

          • Gregg Smith

            The inspectors were not allowed access after 1998 when most of the Dem. quotes were uttered. Did they lie? 

            What fact am I refusing to accept?

          • Gregg Smith

            Disregard the above, go ahead and say Bush lied. I don’t care, and am not going to debate it. I almost got sidetracked into an irrelevant debate having nothing to do with my original claim: 

            There was no way in hell Obama was ever going to close Gitmo. Obama hoodwinked many people with that one… but not me.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m glad to debate it, just as I’m glad to debate something like the claim that the President requires Congressional approval for actions like Libya. I’m glad to supply you with research, evidence, sources and precedent, not that I expect you to accept any of those things.

            I’m glad to know that you know the “real” truth, even if you refuse to accept facts like the Bush administration lied regarding ties between Sadaam and Al Qaeda.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’m glad you said it so it must be true.

            He was never going to close Gitmo.

          • Ray in VT

            Truth can be subjective, as some will base it on belief.  I am speaking about facts.

          • Ray in VT

            Again, there’s the faulty intelligence.  I can give one a break on that as long as people get discriplined, not a medal or a promotion.  If their comments were based upon faulty intelligence, then they were just wrong.  There was plenty of that going on.

            My biggest complaints are with the biased presenting of intelligence estimates in order to present the idea of certainty and consesus and the various statements made in the leadup to the war where top administration officials spoke about relationships between Sadaam and Al Qaeda that were not supported by intelligence estimates either before or since.  Those are lies.  I also have issues with how the administration bungled the post-invasion situation and let loose the forces of international jihadism and ethnic and religious violence.

          • Gregg Smith

            No one tied Iraq to 9/11. No one. God, I hate getting dragged into these debates but here I go again.

            Iraq was a state sponsor of terrorist. They were, it was relevant. That the press claimed saying so was tying Iraq to 9/11 doesn’t make it so. No one did. The closest anyone got was to very early on say it could not be ruled out, that’s true.  They said the opposite over and over and over again. The press pounded the lie that a connection was made. It wasn’t. IMO Algore Jazzera, had he won, would have gone to Iraq.

            Obama was never going to close Gitmo.

          • nj_v2

            Posting bogus, inaccurate, deluded nonsense once or 100 times doesn’t make it any more credible.

            Bush, Rice, Powell, et al lied repeatedly. The Iraq invasion was the worse, more costly foreign policy f-up since Vietnam. 

            The fact that Greggg supports it is telling.

          • Gregg Smith

            Yadda yadda, I live in 2013.

          • jefe68

            Yes indeed. 

          • Don_B1

            So you quote Rush Limbaugh quoting President Obama, without indicating what part Obama actually said?

          • Gregg Smith

            Rush wasn’t quoting Obama. Here’s what Obama said:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8USRg3h4AdE

          • Don_B1

            And NONE, repeat NONE, of the words you put in quotes were uttered by President Obama, except that he DID say that he intended to close Guantánamo.

            What he missed was how far the Republicans would go to prevent that from happening, by stopping the transfer of prisoners held there to NYC or any other U.S. jurisdiction for trial. By preventing resolution of their cases the prisoners have had to remain at Guantánamo and it has had to remain open.

            More dangerous terrorists have been successfully tried, convicted and imprisoned in the United States federal system, demonstrating that the fears concocted by Republicans trying to demean a sitting President of the United States for political gain, are totally unjustified, as are your comments.

          • Ray in VT

            Also, so you’ve said that you can’t read minds on this, or presumably any other, matter, then how can you say that Obama was lying if you don’t know what he was thinking?

          • Gregg Smith

            I said he might be stupid. If he thought he was going to close Gitmo he was beyond stupid. But it could be true.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think that he’s stupid.  Overly idealistic perhaps.  I think that I can make a far better argument that Palin is stupid than one can make for Obama.  I don’t why she isn’t better informed, though, I mean, after all, she reads all of the papers.

          • Gregg Smith
          • Ray in VT

            So, she was the mayor of Alaska’s meth capital and a half term governor who was against money for the bridge to nowhere after it got taken away, who took 6 years and 4 colleges to get a degree.  Sterling.  Support from Newt?  Not a great asset in the book of many.

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s  not  who said it, it’s what he said.

          • Fredlinskip

            HEY, Quit talkin’ about my ‘babe’ Sarah like that!!

            (I got your back Gregg).

      • TomK_in_Boston

        W is a decent person who would have been a decent president if he hadn’t been deranged and bedazzled by iraq. Sorry, Gregg, the WMD stories were lies, cheerlead by the righty media. It doesn’t matter if you deny it 100 times.

        BTW, because W was sane, except for Iraq, he would be totally unacceptable, a dangerous lefty, to the current crazy GoP.

        • Gregg Smith

          If you don’t call all of these people liars then you have no credibility. None of them lied.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=457jp8VGhEE

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cwqh4wQPoQk

          • TomK_in_Boston

            I’m not gonna rehash this old debate, but…Saddam once had chem weapons, courtesy of R. Regan who used him as a pawn against Iran. Over time Iraq crumbled under our extremely effective sanctions. Saddam could barely keep the lights on, let alone threaten the USA, and it made perfect sense that the weapons inspectors could not find any chem weapons.

            If you ignore the changes in Iraq as it went from local superpower and Reagan puppet to basket case, and put everyone who expressed concern about Reagan’s chem weapons in Iraq, at any time, in the same category, you have no credibility.

          • Gregg Smith

            It was 1998, did they lie or not? 

            Was “oil for food” effective? 

        • Fredlinskip

          Deranged and bedazzled perhaps.
          His administration and short-sighted neocons he surrounded himself were responsible for MUCH more long term damage to our country than just Iraq policy. 
          Whether W’s policies were intentionally harmful to interests of vast majority of Americans or he was simply ignorant, the results are the same.

        • Don_B1

          If President Reagan has to be re-imagined to be acceptable to today’s Grand Old Party (an oxymoron), even “compassionate conservative” GWB has little support and no references in today’s GOP.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I don’t see much difference between our last two presidents.  Neither stands for the cause of Liberty. 

      • JobExperience

        Hurrah! You got it!
        (That Liberty codeword worries me.
        Try Constitutional Rights instead. Liberty is when sailors get drunk and are rolled by hoodlums.)

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Sadly I’ve always gotten it.  But only recently have more people gained the courage to agree with me.  If Liberty offends you don’t worry those that you serve are happy to remove it from you.

          • JobExperience

            I prefer my freedoms to submitting to the liberties of the market.

            By getting it, I expect you understand that the liberty game is rigged. (Nation founded by the owners)

      • William

         So true…they are part of the elite political government class that is doing very well for themselves.

      • Gregg Smith

        I get your point, I’ve heard it before. While there may be a kernel of overlap, the difference could not be more stark between the two, not even close… IMHO. 

      • Fredlinskip

         I suppose it MIGHT depend a bit on your definition of Liberty. 
           If you are referring to infringements on liberty such as what the policies of Guantonomo, Patriot Act, Extraordinary rendition represent, I would agree.
         If you are referring to any and all “regulation” as restriction on liberty, I would disagree. 

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          So you are prepared to defend “any and all regulation” from both Presidents as not infringing essential liberty?  

          • Fredlinskip

             I don‘t regard “all” regulation as restricting liberty.
            We are a nation of Laws.

    • JobExperience

      Good people vote for the lesser evil. They have no other choice. Our elections are a sham because 32 large contributors gave as much as everyone else combined. Billionaires chose who could run for high office just like the Chamber of Commerce and the realtors choose who can run for city council.  So don’t feel bad, get mad. Have the courage to admit our government is illegitimate.

      • Gregg Smith

        Good people look at the choices and vote for who is best for the country.

        • JobExperience

          Unless they dupid.

          • Gregg Smith

            In which case they don’t vote at all.

      • notafeminista

        What one defines as “evil” matters as well, no?

      • hennorama

        JobExperience – do you have a source for your “32 large contributors gave as much as everyone else combined” statement?  TY in advance for posting it.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    Another story that has been under reported is the influence peddling scandal of Sen Menendez (NJ-D). You would think that because it involved underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic it might have attracted some attention.

    FTA:The New York Times last week reported Melgen also was part-owner of ICSSI, a Caribbean port-security firm, and that Menendez intervened on the company’s behalf regarding a contract worth as much as $500 million. It also reported that Melgen’s company had donated $700,000 to a super PAC that provided $582,500 to Mendendez’s 2012 re-election effort.
    http://www.rollcall.com/news/menendez_cant_escape_mounting_reports-222267-1.html?pos=hln

    • JobExperience

      So Menendez is the typical Senator Prostitute. Exactly as I expected.
      You can’t see what Rand Paul does at night.
      But you love it when he “looks into your eyes.”
      What does RWB do when an Oligarch waves a 10 million dollar per annum job in front of his nose?

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Sir Thomas More: Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world… but for Wales?

        • JobExperience

          Henry VIII had Sir Thomas beheaded for not backing his regime. “So if the King (later President) kill a man, this is a proof to the people he was a bad man.”
          Words like bad or terrorist take on an instrumental meaning when great power and wealth come ito play. If Menendez didn’t play along he’d be “bad for the economy” even a “security risk” or “leaker.” Our high payers must never break character. On with the show trials.

    • hennorama

      RWB – also FTA, in fact the first sentence:

      “The allegations against Sen. Robert Menendez may have started with unsubstantiated stories about trysts with prostitutes, but questions about the lawmaker’s conduct have reached the point where they’re not focused on sex.”

      Note the words “allegations” and “unsubstantiated stories” and “questions.”

      Indeed the allegations against Sen. Menendez’ are troubling.  One might cynically characterize them as falling into the category of “constituent services” but for the fact that Dr. Melgen is not a New Jersey resident.

      More will come out during the investigation(s).  Until the facts become clear, judgment should be reserved, regardless of the odorous nature of the allegations.

      • Gregg Smith

        Tell that to John Mc and Herman Cain.

      • Don_B1

        If I had a problem with a bill that was under consideration by a committee whose members did not include one of my Congressional representatives, I might well want to talk to another member of Congress, particularly if I did business in the district/state of that member.

        But that does not mean I should expect or get undue influence.

        • hennorama

          Don_B1 – TY for your response. You make an excellent point about discussing issues with Congressional members who are not “your” representatives, assuming you could ever get a meeting, of course. TY for pointing that out.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Correction:

    I have been saying that Krugman calls the amusing GoP line that gvt spending DOES create jobs, but ONLY if the $ are spent on the mil-indu complex,  “defense Keynesianism”.

    It’s actually “weaponized Keynesianism”

    • MrNutso

      Yup.  It’s a great term.  And as usual, things are only good when Republicans support it.

      • Don_B1

        Tom’s point was that Republicans’ acceptance of Keynesian policies for Defense spending but not for other government spending is extreme (my word) hypocrisy.

        Of course that is nothing new for members of Congress, except it rises to an extreme height that probably is not likely to be exceeded, and when you consider its cost to the lives of the unemployed, particularly the long-term unemployed, it is also incredibly inhumane.

  • Gregg Smith

    Dr. Carson, in the linked speech below (@ 19:00), compared taxing to tithing. He offered that the proportionality is fair. He said if you make $10 billion then you should put in $1 billion; If you make $10 then you should put in $1. He addressed the inevitable whine that the guy who made $10 billion is not as hurt as the guy who made $10. But then he asked, who said we have to hurt the guy who just put a billion dollars in the pot? Good question.

    • Don_B1

      Pure sophistry!

      Government is not the equivalent of a religion, even though some seem to have religious-like opinions about it.

      First, if you live in a state you are automatically subject to the laws enacted by the government whereas you choose to believe in a religion, which has no power to coerce you to do anything, except by excommunication.

      Second, government can have a much different purpose than religion, whose purpose lies more in the response of individuals to the mysteries of life, while government deals with the physical well-being and ability to exercise their rights of its citizens both individually and collectively. It intermediates between the different rights and responsibilities when they conflict, since there may not be any “right” which is above all other rights in all cases.

      Some religions use members contributions wisely others less so, and individuals can choose to make them or not. That is not true of taxes which the government levies. Citizens of the state can protest taxation levels, but individuals cannot expect to just ignore them.

      • Gregg Smith

        The comment was not about religion other than the point that Jesus was fair. So do you want to punish the guy who paid a billion?

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          That would be the only reason. Punish those that have more than me, makes me feel better.

        • Don_B1

          It is NOT a matter of “punishment.” It is a matter of fairness, in that anyone making $10 billion in this country benefitted much more from the physical and cultural (e.g., educated, hardworking people, etc.) environment that makes earning that much possible.

          • Gregg Smith

            O please. The rich did not have any more access to infrastructure, physical or cultural environment that anybody but they did pay more for it.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Righties love redistributing wealth to the top! Yet another GoP gov, Kasich, wants to cut the income tax and raise the sales taxes. This is a direct transfer from the poor to the rich:

    “The proposal would provide a $10,369 annual tax cut on average to taxpayers in the top 1 percent of the income spectrum, who made more than $335,000 in 2012. The bottom fifth of taxpayers, making less than $18,000 a year, would see an average increase of $63. Those in the middle fifth, making between $33,000 and $51,000 in 2012, would come out about even, averaging an annual tax increase of $8.”

    If you’re not in the 1%, you should not be in the GoP.

    • MrNutso

      Not just Kasich, Jindal wants to do it too.  Replacing income tax with sales tax is not the policy du jour of Republican governors.

      • Don_B1

        I believe Gov. Jindal’s “conversion” went into effect on 1 February.

    • William

       We had 50 years of redistributing the wealth from the top to the bottom via Great Society programs and it has not worked.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Funny how redistribution to the bottom has concentrated the wealth at the top, huh?

        Check out the real world, you might like it.

        • Fredlinskip

          Funny how that works.

        • Gregg Smith

          How can wealth be redistributed when no money is exchanged? It’s impossible.

          • Fredlinskip

            Apparently you weren’t paying attention. 
            Trickle up worked “with allacrity”.

          • Gregg Smith

            And not a dime exchanged hands, not one red cent. Deny it.

          • Fredlinskip

            I think I just did

          • Gregg Smith

            I missed it but never mind.

        • William

           You can’t defend the failure of the Great Society programs. The facts are there and just admit it’s a failure. Clinton said the era of welfare is over and Obama said times have changed and we have to change with the times. Liberalism failed.

          • Fredlinskip

            Funny how just 12 years ago we had a surpluses and surpluses were projected decades into the future  ago. 
            What happened?

          • Ray in VT

            It’s okay.  Laissez-faire failed in 1929 in America, but plenty still seem to want to hang on to that fairy tale.

          • William

             If it failed, why does it produce so much wealth, jobs, etc?

          • http://www.facebook.com/stewsburntmonkey David Stewart

            It doesn’t…

          • Don_B1

            It works WHEN it is PROPERLY regulated, which is what it was not in the 1920s and again in the 2000s, so it failed those two times.

            The difference between the Great and Lesser Depressions was the safety net that existed in 2008 (since the 1930s) which kicked in and prevented an even worse than Great Depression failure.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            It worked great right up until October 1929. And then nothing which the unregulated economy had been practicing to do happened at all?

            Dude, this isn’t fifth grade. Your plop isn’t landing the way you imagine it is.

          • Ray in VT

            Simple.  It doesn’t.  It has been an accepted principle for 80-100 years that for the market to work properly, then it must operate within limits.  Notice that I said laissez-faire, not capitalism.  Capitalism can do great things, but when it operates in an environment that does not guard society against the worst abuses of the system, then many bad outcomes occur.

  • Gregg Smith

    We have a murderous madman on the loose. His 20 page manifesto is alarming. He’s a lefty, Obama supporter but that’s not important. He’s a gun control advocate with a gun, that is.

    • Mike_Card

      Guns don’t kill people, murderous madmen with guns and police training kill…wait–what?

      • Gregg Smith

        Obviously we need to stop training cops in the use of firearms.

        • Mike_Card

          Not to mention overweight sailors.

          I’m not a gun guy, not a hunter or recreational shooter.  I’ve given away 2 Browning shotguns left to me by my father, and qualified Sharpshooter with a .45 when I was a captain in the army.

          I would think that legitimate gun owners would be behind law enforcement that puts firearms in a place where malcontents can’t get at them.

          But all I hear is a drumbeat about “guns for all,” based on a spurious interpretation of the 2nd Amendment that ignores all other rights.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’m not a gun guy either, I just play one on blogs. To me the issue is, what will work, is it Constitutional and are we making sound decisions unemotionally through the legislative process. I’m not so sure about any of it. 

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    Some times it is not the story but certain details that are left out. Alleged murder and former policeman posted a 22 page “manifesto” but most media out lets are only publishing a few pages. The blogger known as “Soopermexican”  has post the “manifesto” while redacting the some names and such to protect the innocent.  It is truly scary to read.  

    http://www.soopermexican.com/2013/02/07/news-media-scrub-cop-murderers-manifesto-of-pro-obama-pro-hillary-loved-msnbc-pro-gay-and-anti-gun-comments/

  • toc1234

    don’t forget Obama rejecting the advice of the CIA, Defense and State on Syria for pretty much politcal reasons.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Go Leon! ‘Bout time for an adult to read the riot act to the ignorant fact challenged mad hatters in the tea party. The budget is indeed not a game.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      So I won’t see you at Jak’s on Wednesday?
       http://tinyurl.com/WTP-CLF

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        Nope, sorry dude, I’m not into being a tool for the wealthy. Corporations are not people. I am a 1%er who is against corporate welfare and welfare for the wealthy so I wouldn’t fit in.

        Until the tea party starts taking fact-based positions we can’t have a dialogue… The fiscal cliff is nonsense and will screw everybody if we go over it. The uncertainty alone caused by your party is dampening the economy. Can your party learn anything from the stellar performance of austerity in Europe? From the ongoing dialogue in the house, the answer is apparently no: this is being played out like a game of Risk. This ain’t no game! No one wins when everyone looses.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

           First, I see President Obama and those like you as tools of the wealthy.  You have yours and wish to destroy the only method that lifts people out of poverty and despair.

          • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

            Keep drinking that cool-aid!

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

           Second, The Tea Party has always been based on facts.  It is others that claim that we can avoid financial ruin by building a Deathstar.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Third, the fiscal cliff is nonsense that signed by President Obama and approved by a majority of both the House and Senate.  It is an example of the perfect bi-partisanship that so many claim we need more of.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

           In conclusion it is only my party that has learned from the horrible state of the nations of Europe.  It is others that are so blinded by their love of an ideology that they refuse to accept the evidence of its failure and collapse. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=519658314 JoAnne Bauer

    THANK GOODNESS FOR JACK BEATTY!

  • JGC

    WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – Citing budgetary concerns, the United States announced today that it would discontinue regular Saturday drone strikes on U.S. citizens, beginning in 2014.  

    In announcing the decision, White House spokesman Jay Carney acknowledged that the cutback in drone service was “bound to be controversial.”  “In the United States, we’ve always prided ourselves on our ability to target our citizens with drone strikes, Monday through Saturday, regardless of the weather,” he said.  ” We know that losing Saturday drone service is going to take some getting used to.”

    As if to silence critics, Mr. Carney assured reporters that drones “could still get the job done” Monday through Friday, and reminded U.S. citizens to update the government on any change of address so the drones would know where to reach them.

  • Coastghost

    Yet again: Obama’s readiness to serve as judge, jury, and executioner is well explained in his August 2007 address to the Woodrow Wilson Center, his bold invocation of unilateralism and his considered contempt for national sovereignty and territorial integrity. My refusal to even consider his candidacy for President dates to that very speech.

    • Mike_Card

      Sounds like the Wayne LaPierre solution, except for the domestic-international juxtaposition.

      • Coastghost

        Except also Wayne LaPierre is not offering us his candidacy for POTUS.

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    How would we feel if China was using drones to kill Chinese citizens in the US who they felt were hatching plots against their country?

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      They’re too busy killing their own people to care…
      But seriously, you are right on point. The price of freedom is not free… By our own laws we should bear random acts of terrorism and use other vehicles of power to contain and counter terrorist groups.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      nahh they have hit squads that operate here doing that

    • http://www.facebook.com/stewsburntmonkey David Stewart

      I imagine we’d shoot down the drones long before they were able to kill anyone in the US.  This brings up an important check to the drone system, it doesn’t work in nations with modern defenses.  This means it can only work in nations where the government is dysfunctional or ineffective enough to not be able to forcibly prevent their use.  These happen to be the nations where terrorist and militants like to call home.  Once a nation is sufficiently organized and stabilized to provide forcible opposition to drone strikes it is strong enough to police itself and take care of the terrorist through rule of law.

      • hennorama

        David Stewart – excellent points.

        This also brings up the fact that UAVs currently are relatively slow-moving and therefore quite vulnerable to being brought down if an opponent can discern the UAV’s location.  There are tradeoffs involved in the design of UAVs as well as limitations of the abilities of the operators.  In relatively open skies, speed can be much greater, and the limitations of the UAV’s own sensors can be overcome with the use of various navigational enhancers, such as GPS, radar and the use of AWAC aircraft, for example.

        In denser environments and/or more crowded skies, and when operators are operating nearly independently, lower speeds prevail due to the limitations of the UAV’s sensors, the limitations of the manuveurability of the aircraft, and the limitations of the operator’s abilities.  Above certain speeds, one has no expectation of “infinite collision-free trajectories.”  With experience and repetition, operators can increase speeds as they become increasingly familiar with these environments.

        There is some interesting reseach related to this, but any driver is already aware of this phenomenon.  One generally drives more slowly on unfamiliar roads and around corners that have line-of-sight limitations.  Once one has repeatedly driven these roads, familiarity generally leads to increased speed.

        For more, see:http://www.tgdaily.com/general-sciences-features/60910-mit-calculates-uav-speed-limit

    • Mike_Card

      Why do we think they’d want to switch to drones?

  • Steve_the_Repoman

    Despite corruption  of the financial industry and the collusion of the rating agencies…

    is there any connection between Justice going after S&P and the their threatened downgrade of US?

  • Scott B

    The Tea Party, which the the tail that wags the dog that is the Republican party, won’t allow for rebranding. The minute any Republican wants to say something sensible, the far right poses a challenge to them on the ticket, and counters any bipartisan  proposal with some condition that stymies progress. Immigration reform a prime example – The Repubs say the finally agree that a pathway  is needed to let illegals have a way to stay, but in the next breath they say the illegals will have to go back to their country of origin, pay thousands in fines and taxes, and go to the back of the line for legal entry. Other Right side ideas include letting them stay but not get a green card to work, no social programs of any kind available to them, deny them money for college, and not be able to become citizens. That’s the “Dream Act” for the Right – Let them look at the menu but not eat.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      We should have a conversation about how the Tea Party worked to elect Sen Rubio over opposition in the Republican party.  

      • Gregg Smith

        And to think, we could have had Crist. He was the establishment darling and Rubio was unelectable.

      • Scott B

         The Republicans and Tea Party are trying to find a flag to unfurl that will get the Latin vote. The problem is that once they look behind the flag they’ll see that nothing has changed in those parties.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Yay. Go Rush! Limbaugh and other rightwingnuts may help end of the extreme right revolution.

  • Davesix6

    The Sequester belongs to Obama and the Dems.
     
    WASHINGTON – For the first time since Election Day, President Barack Obama is on the defensive. That’s because March 1, automatic spending cuts (“sequestration”) go into effect – $1.2 trillion over 10 years, half from domestic (discretionary) programs, half from defense.

    The idea had been proposed and promoted by the White House during the July 2011 debt-ceiling negotiations. The political calculation was that such draconian defense cuts would drive the GOP to offer concessions. – Charles Krauthammer: Obama’s sequester idea backfires

    • Don_B1

      The “plan”  for sequestration was NOT proposed and promoted by the White House; it was the last of a long list of alternatives and the ONLY possibility for avoiding sovereign default that could get enough Tea Party Republican support to pass in the House of Representatives.

      See:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-lilly/mitt-romney-sequestration_b_1874854.html

      While Obama complained strongly about the damage the spending cuts would cause, he did see the potential of the defense cuts forcing the Republicans to accept some revenue increases, which could be used as a lever against the spending cuts being larger than what he thought might be tolerable. Faced with a sovereign default, he held his breath and accepted the sequestration as the best of a bad lot of alternatives.

      • Gregg Smith

        It was Obama’s idea.

        • Don_B1

          If the idea came from the Obama administration, it was NOT one that anyone there liked, but taken only as a last resort to avoid sovereign default.

          You would probably do something you don’t like if not doing it would mean that you and ALL your descendants would have to pay 10% more than anyone else for everything you purchased and get paid 10% less for any work you did than anyone else doing similar work.

          • Gregg Smith

            He praised the idea to the Des Moines Register before a debate when he said it would not happen.

  • Scott B

    Cantor’s the same guy that wants to pay for national disaster by taking it out of the budget for social safety net programs like SNAP (food stamps) and Medicaid.  “We’ve got a kinder, gentler machine-gun hand” (Neil Young) – and it’s pointed at those that can least afford to lose anything – The poor, the disenfranchised, the middle class, and anyone without a lobbyist and a big business.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lawrence.carty Lawrence Edward John Carty

    A caller asserted that an American who is doing something which is a just cause for him to be stripped of citizenship is not a citizen. A prepared moderator would have pointed out that the U.S. Constitution specifies the only process for removing citizenship and it cannot be done by executive order.

    If we are to be a nation under the rule of law then the highest law of the land cannot be ignored when we talk about issues such as killing American citizens without trial, jury, habeas corpus…

    Seriously? How can NPR fail to include such basics in an intelligent discussion of such importance?

    • Gregg Smith

      Well said.

    • Coastghost

      Recall Obama’s devotion to our 16th President: Lincoln suspended habeas corpus unilaterally, too.

      • Gregg Smith

        I wonder what NPR had to say about it then.

        • Coastghost

          They never refer to Lincoln as “the Tyrant from Springfield”, not even jocularly.

          • pete18

             “Lincoln lied, people died.”

          • Fredlinskip

            HEY, you’re talking about one of my favorite Progressives!!

          • JGC

            I don’t believe in God, but I do believe in Abraham Lincoln. 

    • Coastghost

      (Don’t tell Obama, but Lincoln also drafted a standing order to arrest Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney. True, Lincoln had the sense not to even attempt to serve his executive order, but the very fact that he drafted such an order is telling. The temptations of tyranny, tsk and tut.)

      • Don_B1

        From Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, “Team of Rivals,” the reader learns that Lincoln often wrote letters derogatory to someone he had just had a strong disagreement with, but just put them in his desk drawer and apparently forgot about them.

        They were a way for Lincoln to “act” on his anger and get past it so he could continue to deal with that person without holding it against the individual.

        I suggest that that was exactly what Lincoln was doing when he “drafted a standing order to arrest Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney.”

        • Coastghost

          I guess this shows Goodwin hasn’t plagiarized from Jeffrey Rogers Hummel’s EMANCIPATING SLAVES, ENSLAVING FREE MEN, 142f. and 154. (The scarce documentary evidence has been contested more recently and any idea to jail Taney was perhaps more Seward’s idea than Lincoln’s [Seward was also keen on arresting former President Franklin Pierce, it seems]: yet Lincoln is hardly absolved of his anti-Constitutional usurpation in suspending habeas corpus, his Administration’s arrest of c. 14,000 civilians, his Administration’s closure or suspension of publication of hundreds of newspapers, his Administration’s preference for trying civilians in military tribunals [when they were permitted trials at all, that is], his Administration’s monitoring and censoring of postal and telegraph communications, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.) 
          Abraham Lincoln: Civil Libertarian. 

  • William

    Let the cuts happen as a good first start for further spending cuts. 

    • northeaster17

      Throwing more people out of work is sure to get this country going again…Right?

      • William

         The war is over, we are broke, we can’t print out way out of this economic mess. Time to make long overdue spending  cuts. Bush, Obama and the political government class have spent us into a massive economic mess. Cut spending.

        • Don_B1

          This country is NOT broke and it can borrow money at next to no cost and use it to construct and maintain needed infrastructure, putting unemployed workers back to work and restoring a full-employment economy.

          Just getting to a full employment economy will increase government revenues and decrease safety net expenditures, cutting the deficit as a percent of GDP by half.

          While spending on two wars and adding prescription coverage to Medicare were sizable contributors to the structural deficits (which the safety net spending is not), the Bush administration tax cuts were not well-structured to generate economic growth because of their high weighting toward the wealthy and thus were big contributors to the deficits and the lost revenue must be replaced.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        as long as they are govt workers heck yes. at least a few of them ought to be able to get jobs in the private sector and actually contribute tothe economy and its cheaper to keep the rest on welfare than to pay their bloated saleries

    • Call_Me_Missouri

      I agree.  Republicans will exclusively be blamed for the Recession that results which will put them away forever.

      • William

        Not much will happen economically that is not destined to happen already. It’s all a big lie to just keep spending no matter what the money is actually spent on. Just spend…

        • Call_Me_Missouri

          Reducing Government Spending is a contractionary economic policy.  There is no big lie about that.  It’s common sense that every economist understands.

          Again, I say let it happen.  I see two huge benefits.  

          1.  The Feds will hopefully be forced to finally lay off the dead weight.  I work in DC and trust me there are some folks that shouldn’t be employed here anymore.  I see Sequestration as the best excuse the Govt could have for laying off people that the unions have prevented them from firing for incompetence over the past 10+ years. 

          2.  When the recession hits the Republicans  will be blamed.  Every small business in this country will suffer with the lack of Federal Government Employee/Contractor spending in their small stores.  And States will suffer because they will be forced to pay long term unemployment benefits to every laid off employee/contractor.

          It’s a win-win for Democrats and Economists.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I would like to believe that what you say is correct.  But I know it is wrong, dead wrong and that so many believe it means that we will suffer the more because of it.

          • William

            We had our fun, now is the time to think of the next generation.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            “Our fun”?

            Gawd I hope you’re rich enough to live your fantasies, rather than just a middle-class drone with a serfdom mindset.

          • William

            We have been on a spending binge for over 12 years and now is a good time to make some cuts, across the board. Call them investments and everyone will be happy.

  • nlpnt

    Rove’ll only make a dent in the tea party if he goes all the way and supports establishment Republicans who’ve lost their primaries in a run as independents. This means being prepared to lose a seat or an election cycle in the long game of restoring sanity to the party.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      That’s a brilliant idea.  I worked so well with Sen. Joe Lieberman.  

  • Davesix6

    The Obama administration ordered that enemy combatants captured in the field of battle be given “Miranda Rights” yet Obama ignores the rights of a United States citizen and sumarily orders his execution.
    Only one more example of the hipocrisy of Obama and the left.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      lol how about disarming american citizens while sending military hardware,free of charge, to an egyption despot?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JL6WVTQL5QQHTDPW2CMXVRQDTY Daniel

    With all the money our government wastes, the post office should be the LAST thing we terminate. I’m among all those who have contributed to the demise of the mail service by using email and on-line bill paying, etc. But there are still many citizens who do not have (or will not use) the internet to do business; they either are not able to afford the technology or have become afraid of all the on-line scams and fraud that the internet has spawned. We need a national system of communication that EVERYONE can benefit from, just like we have a national system of highways.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Feel free to spend your money paying for what you believe we all should have.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    The USPS is a shining beacon of congressional management – they’ve gutted the USPS just like they’re gutting this country.

    Saturday delivery should have gone away years ago.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      Once a week delivery would work for me. How much 1st class mail do residents get these days?

  • newt

    Re. Saturday delivery. I’m not crazy about cutting it, but my social security and military retirement is direct deposited into my bank on the last 4th Wednesday of the month.  I think the issuers insist on direct deposit, not mailing hard-copy checks these days.

    • Don_B1

      While it is illegal to steal mail, in low-income neighborhoods it was, and probably still is, a common occurrence for SS checks that arrive on the 1st of the month to be stolen.

      Therefore the government encourages, but, to my knowledge, does not insist on direct deposit as some recipients still do not have bank accounts.

  • nj_v2

    Weekly round-up, Rethuglicon/right-wing jackassery, regression, malfeasance, and other assorted idiocy…

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-31/fetus-would-be-rape-evidence-as-republicans-push-abortion-bills.html

    Fetus Would Be Rape Evidence as Republicans Push Abortion Bills

    [[ When pregnancy results from rape or incest, destroying the evidence -- the fetus -- would become a felony in New Mexico. Women might need to wait six days before undergoing an abortion in South Dakota.

    And Mississippi would redefine the word “person” to apply to a fertilized egg. ]]

    (excerpt)

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/02/michigan-republicans-introduce-bill-mandating-transvaginal-ultrasound-before-abortion.php?ref=fpa

    Michigan Republicans Introduce Bill Mandating Transvaginal Ultrasound Before An Abortion

    [[ Michigan Republicans have introduced a bill requiring all women to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound before obtaining an abortion, a move that rekindles last year’s firestorm when other GOP-led states were considering similar measures. ]]

    (excerpt)

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewmeek/new-tennessee-bill-would-require-ultrasound-before-abortion

    New Tennessee Bill Would Require Ultrasound Before Abortion

    [[ MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A woman who wants an abortion in Tennessee could soon be required by state law to visit a doctor for an ultrasound 24 hours before the procedure, where she would also be offered a printed copy of the ultrasound image, and be made to listen to the audible sounds of the fetus's circulatory and respiratory systems. ]]

    (excerpt)

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/02/07/foxs-hannity-joins-right-wing-media-in-selectiv/192581

    Fox’s Hannity Joins Right-Wing Media In Selectively Editing Panetta’s Testimony

    [[ Following in the footsteps of others in the right-wing media, Fox News host Sean Hannity selectively edited a video of outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to portray President Obama as "virtually absent" during the September 2012 attack on a diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya. In fact, Panetta testified that White House officials were kept informed of events throughout the incident. ]]

    (excerpt)

    • William

       What about the Benghazi hearings?

    • Gregg Smith

      So if you are drunk and passed out but I keep you informed is that the same as your being present and engaged? 

      Where was Obama? Does “White House Officials” mean Obama? Just asking.

      • nj_v2

        Looks like Greggg is the one who’s drunk. WTF??

        • Gregg Smith

          If you read, “In fact, Panetta testified that White House officials were kept informed of events throughout the incident” and laughably concluded Obama was not absent then I suppose my analogy is lost on you.

          It’s NBC that edits to mislead as they did with George Zimmerman, Romney and most recently the father of a Sandy Hook victim.

    • Ray in VT

      Also, well known super macho man Glenn Beck calls the President a “chick” and “revokes his man card”

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/05/glenn-beck-obama-girl-football_n_2623928.html

  • OnPointComments

    I found the more interesting of the two senate hearings yesterday to be the testimony of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey.  They testified that they didn’t know how long the attack at Benghazi would last, then contradicted themselves by saying that they knew there wasn’t time to mobilize anyone to help.  They also testified that after an initial contact with President Obama about the attack, there were no follow-up conversations, no calls from the President to ask if we were helping the people under attack. 

    • Call_Me_Missouri

      How would they know how long the attack would last if they didn’t even know it was coming in the first place, let alone know far enough in advance to mobilize anyone to help?

      Your post isn’t very well thought out or logical.

      • OnPointComments

        The post isn’t logical because the testimony wasn’t logical.  If Panetta and Dempsey didn’t know how long the attack would last, how did they know there wasn’t time to send help?

      • Gregg Smith

        It was the hottest of hotspots on the first anniversary of 9/11 since the inmates took over the asylum all while Obama was thumping his chest about killing their hero. Stevens was begging for more security. The question is not, how could they know, it’s why didn’t they know.

        • anamaria23

          With  all due respect to Amb. Stevens and not to defend the lack of security, why did  he go to Benghazi on that day knowing it was at risk and that it was not well protected.   It was a post he visited only from time to time. 

          • Gregg Smith

            He was a true believer and champion of the Libyan people.

  • doug

    Cut Saturday delivery.  Keep the offices open.  Saturday is the only day many can mail things.

    • Call_Me_Missouri

      Cut Saturday Delivery.

      Open Offices M-F 5 PM to 10 PM.

      Open the offices from 7AM-7PM Saturday and Sunday.

      Why not try being open when regularly employed people could actually be there.  Fed Ex is open every night to Midnight!  

      My local branch has decided on it’s own to even make the 24 hour automated shipping machine closed at 5 PM. Needless to say, I think they deserve to lose the jobs.

  • 65noname

    what if cuba decided to launch drones against the people in miami who have spent the last 55 years planning and carying out sabotuge, asassination plots, etc, against the Cuban people?
    What if the Nicaraguan government had launched drones against the contras who were planning the terrorist attacks on the nicaraguan people during the contra war on nicaragua?

  • InkyAnn

    don’t change USPS into a private company. First investigate in countries where they did this and see if that is really what you want. Delivering mail will never make big profits!

  • disqus_9XCAfjxegs

    We use drones in enemy countries, or failed states, which will not extradite or arrest those who attack unarmed civilians as a matter of policy. In past wars entire cities would be bombed to get at the Nazis and their enablers. It is more humane to hunt down and kill the ringleaders, which discourages the enablers and mostly leaves the civilians alive. Islamists are expansionist fascists with a theological death cult. Americans who join violent  enemy entities in order to kill civilians, or promote the Islamist agenda, can rightfully expect death from above.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      and what of due process?

  • Jasoturner

    Wow, that woman from Bloomberg is awful.  She seems to start talking a good 30 seconds before she even knows what she’s trying to say.  The National Review guy is basically a propagandist.  Good topics but a below average panel.

  • 1Brett1

    Republican rebranding?

    Translation: “take whatever ‘clever’ twist can be found, put it on the tip of a red-hot poker and try to burn it into the arses of the citizenry.” 

  • Davesix6

    Hypocrisy of the Left, just a few examples;

    Obama ordered the execution of a US citizen on foreign soil yet refers to Enhanced Interrogation as torture.

    Christopher Dorner, a self-declared supporter of Obama and gun control, former cop now cop killer, is running loose in California murdering innocent people while Obama and the left continue to claim that any one against Obama and gun control is dangerous.  
    Obama continues ordering drone strikes some in heavily populated areas, why aren’t “Code pink” and the other left wing demonstrators protesting in front of the White House?

    Leon Panetta has confirmed, most recently on Meet the Press this past Sunday, has stated that information obtained through “Enhanced Interrogation Methods” helped in finding and taking out Osama Bin Laden. Obama called these techniques torture and ordered Miranda Rights for enemy combatants.

    Al Gore has cried for years now that “Big Oil” was responsible for “killing the planet”, yet Al Gore sells out to “Big Oil” funded Aljazeera reaping $100,000,000.00 for his part in a failed cable network.

    Obama and the dems suggested Sequestration as a means of guaranteeing that they would be willing to negotiate budget cuts when they came due. Now they want to blame Republicans once again for their mistake.

    The greatest shame of all goes to the so-called Journalists in this country. They have become merely the cheerleaders of the left.

    • OnPointComments

      There’s one journalist, Bruce Tinsley, who writes and illustrates the comic strip “Mallard Fillmore,” who understands the left-wing media.  As he has said, let’s forget Benghazi, drones, John Brennan, and the sequester, and instead discuss how amazing Michelle Obama’s bangs are.

      • nj_v2

        Cartoonists are journalists now. Ooookaaaay…

        • Coastghost

          Comedians are now journalists, so why not? (Cartoonists have been editorialists going on centuries now.)

          • nj_v2

            If you don’t know the difference between a political cartoonist and a journalist, i’m not sure i can help you.

          • Coastghost

            Americans no longer can tell the difference between journalists and comedians, so I ‘m sure you can’t help them, either.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Tinsley’s a would-be satirist who doesn’t know the first rule of satire: It’s the pearl of exaggeration around the grain of truth, so if you start with a lie, as Tinsley so often does, you end up with a faux pearl.

            That he shows he doesn’t know the first rule of journalism (afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted) while being a political cartoonist is just icing on the cake.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Tinsley isn’t a journo.

          Of course, he’s not much of a cartoonist.

          He subsists on the “liberal media” need for “both sides” to have a voice in the comic strip arena. He’s the best conservative strip cartoonist out there, which is really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

    • Don_B1

      On torture, Defense Secretary and ex-C.I.A. Director Leon Panetta stated the material from torture of enemy combatants was used, he believed that the information could have been obtained without torture or from other channels and that torture was not necessary.

      Al Gore has repeatedly pointed out that Al Jazeera has one of the best reputations world-wide for strong environmental reporting, including reporting of the scientific findings on the causes and required mitigation of global warming. Adding that source of information to American audiences will further educate American voters as to the urgent need for CO2 mitigation, etc. That is probably what bothers the right wing most.

      Also, I am sure that Mr. Gore will use his $100 million to publicize the need for reducing CO2 emissions from producing and burning fossil fuels. Some benefit to those who spent that “oil money” to oppose their own interest.

      • Gregg Smith

        I’ll leave the Algore Jazzera thing alone because it can’t be spun and I enjoy watching the attempt. 

        Please show me a quote from Panetta saying waterboarding “was not necessary” to the capture of Bin Laden. He did offer his opinion by saying, “I think we could have gotten bin Laden without that.” but that’s pure speculation and not what happened. What’s he gonna say? Obama is his boss. They did use the intel that led to the courier that led to Bin Laden. 

        There’s also the Library Tower in LA but I’ll not pick a fight.

        But my real question is why do you believe we waterboarded KSM?

        • Don_B1

          On NBC’ “Meet the Press” last Sunday (3 February) in response to Chuck Todd’s question on the use of torture to find bin Laden, Leon Panetta said,

          “The fact is we put together most of that intelligence without having to resort to that,” Panetta said. “I think we would’ve gotten Bin Laden without that.”
          On 5 February 2008, C.I.A. Director Michael Hayden  TOLD a Senate Committee that KSM had been water boarded 183 times.

          See also Politico:

          http://www.politico.com/blogs/joshgerstein/0511/Bush_aide_KSM_counted_seconds_during_waterboarding.html

          • Gregg Smith

            Most is not all. “I think” is speculation. Panetta said the info was a factor. That’s what he said.

            183 refers to the actual pours not the number of sessions, but who care. It save the Library Tower, led to Bin Laden and KSM was not hurt one iota.

  • sarahrm

    Re drones: Very proud to hear Code Pink mentioned by name (as the room was being cleared) and the guest  comment that this was the only moral voice heard in the room. The president’s drone policy is immoral and illegal, and it endangers every one of us here in the US as well as those who suffer and die under these attacks. Brennan is a nightmare. The CIA should not be allowed any role in military action.

    • Gregg Smith

      I think an argument can be made and I also have no love for “Code Pink” or Madea Benjamin but I do agree they are consistent and sincere on this issue.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    The promise of Obamney Care write large.

    FTA:
    LONDON — Shockingly bad care and inhumane treatment at a hospital in the Midlands led to hundreds of unnecessary deaths and stripped countless patients of their dignity and self-respect, according to a scathing report published on Wednesday.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/07/world/europe/hospital-report-cites-appalling-suffering-in-staffordshire.html?ref=world&_r=1&

    • Gregg Smith

      I can’t imagine why no one is replying to your comment.

      • nj_v2

        Greggg goes into hypertroll mode during forum garbage time.

    • anamaria23

      This report has been out for some time and was discussed on this site by some participants including myself.
      It is inexcusable and Cameron is onto it.

       
      How in the name of heaven is this the promise of Obamacare?   That is ludicrous and an example of why this site is no longer worth participating in.  Except for the few fine  mature posters left, it is one big Obama bashing party.  Grow up.  
       

       
       
       
       
       

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

         It was sublte but I was also bashing Gov Romney.

    • nj_v2

      Hhahahaha!!

      Mindless anti-Obama-ism at work.

      RWB seems to imply that the evil, socialist Obamacare will result in what happened in the British hospital cited in the article. How or why this might happen is anyone’s guess, because the intellectually lazy critics like RWB can’t muster up any sort of rationale that makes a lick of  sense.

      All that needs to be done is to cite some problem with a government-administered healthcare program and mention Obama in the same sentence, and the innuendo is made.

      Note that the problems at the facility cited stem from lack of sufficient government oversight—you know, regulation—that evil godawful thing that the rightwingdingers hate so much.

      • Gregg Smith

        Many commenters breathlessly point out that America is the only first world country without Universal Health Care. They talk of Obamacare as if it’s the same thing. They use the same rational to say Britain has no guns and less gun violence (Bogus BTW). You guys made the rules.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

         If you are reduced to  ad hominem attacks does that point out a weakness in your own ability to debate?  I find it curious that you are willing to accept that a government failure can only be correct by an increase in government.  This is akin to Boeing claiming that they are not responsible for the fires on the 787 because Japan airlines has other planes.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

         Nice avatar by the by.

  • Gregg Smith

    With all my criticisms of the Benghazi debacle, I should say Diane Feinstein and other Democrats deserve credit for pursuing this with urgency.

    • OnPointComments

      Diane Feinstein does appear to be significantly less loony than most of the Democratic members of Congress from California.

      • JONBOSTON

        100% agree with your praise of Diane Feinstein. She’s become a rare politician in the Democratic party–a serious and responsible person who wants to solve problems rather than demagogue the issue. Amazing when you compare her to Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi–two of the dumbest people I’ve ever listened to.

        • Gregg Smith

          I agree with both of you. I don’t like her policies but she is honest about. The lack of outrage from the press is astonishing.

  • hennorama

    Assassinations (AKA the somewhat Orwellian phrase “targeted killings”) of individuals by governments have a long history, going back millenia.  Two things have changed over time:

    1. the public has become more aware of these assassinations

    2. the nature of warfare and threats to national security have changed

    Given the increased public awareness of assassinations, governments have attempted to craft policies to justify said homicides to the public.  This is no easy task.  Homicide is still homicide, regardless of one’s proclamation of justification.  Death is final, and is the only punishment that cannot be ended or reversed.

    Whether the assassination target is a US citizen or not is merely a detail of the target.  If one justifies assassination based on the targeted individual’s behavior, the individual’s citizenship hardly matters.

    That what’s really at issue here when discussing assassination – can one justify it solely on the basis of an individual’s behavior or suspected behavior?  If the answer is yes, then the details about the targeted individual make no difference.  The only difference these details make is in the public perception of the assassination.

    One also needs to consider whether terrorism is a crime, or whether it is warfare.  The naming of “The War On Terror” clearly shows the attitude of the Bush II administration.  The Obama administration has largely used the same tactics and strategies used by their predecessors, but rarely use the WOT term in public.  Pres. Bush II outlined the “Strategy for Winning the War on Terror,” indicating that only a long-term approach would work.  He also outlined a desire for “Institutionalizing Our Strategy for Long-term Success.”

    Read more:
    http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/nsc/nsct/2006/sectionV.html

    http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/nsc/nsct/2006/sectionVI.html

    Given that the very nature of terrorism is unlike conventional warfare, the tactics used to combat it will differ from conventional warfare.  If one’s target is an individual or small group of people. armed UAVs are clearly superior to the use of massed troops and other mechanized means of war, such as missle strikes or bombings.  It is a difficult matter to find alternatives to the use of armed UAVs when it comes to trying to remove one individual from the face of the Earth.  Short of getting someone “up close and personal,” there are few options that don’t result in massive casualties on either or both sides.

    Clearly Pres. Obama’s and the prior administration’s use of UAVs to attack and kill Al Queda, Taliban and other terrorists has been successful, regardless of your view of whether it’s either legal or moral.  It has also been enormously more cost-effective and less risky than the use of masses of ground forces or even small teams of Navy SEALs.

    • Gregg Smith

      Enemy combatants are one thing but when has the government ever legitimized the targeting an Americans for assasination without due process?

      • Gregg Smith

        Will someone else please ask Henna the above question. It deserves an answer.

    • OnPointComments

      My guess is that most who espouse the conservative point of view don’t have a problem with the use of drones to attack terrorists bent on the murder of Americans and others.  However, it does expose the hypocrisy of the left that they support President Obama and his drone attacks when there was so much hysteria over water boarding, a technique designed to elicit information but not kill the terrorist.

      • pete18

         Exactly. It is the left’s surreal pretzel-logic. It’s more humane for a Democrat to kill someone than it is for a Republican to make a person extremely uncomfortable in a quest to get important information.

        • Coastghost

          Be kind to surrealism: we may need it to help us get through the next four years . . .

          • pete18

            I love the Surrealists. If the Democrats were an art movement rather than people with real power
            I’d be all for them. Then it would be amusing to see them acting as contortionists to try and rationalize what they told us–in loud blood curdling shrieks–had been crimes against humanity and the Constitution just one administration ago.

      • Fredlinskip

        I’m not a supporter of drone program in general, because of the precedent they set for other nations when they acquire the technology and the “collateral damage” involved. 
         As far as ‘water boarding’ argument; under W, there was a general “legalization” of certain “techniques“, and a redefinition of what would be considered torture. Much of this seemed to occur “after the fact” to justify a general culture of  maltreatment of detainees already underway.
             None of this was properly investigated, as to do so was deemed as detrimental to the “War effort” and safety of our troops. 
           What seems to have occurred is that under the guidance of Neocons, new interrogation “techniques” were employed, despite evidence that they were less effective than more well-tested “traditional” techniques.  
           This is what was of concern to many Americans, I would hope, on both left & right.

        • Gregg Smith

          I actually appreciate your honesty on this but, as you might expect, I disagree. Certain techniques were not legalized. It was determined what the law would allow. There’s a difference. To my knowledge waterboarding was never illegal. I could be wrong. There is a bogus meme going around the we executed Japanese for waterboarding but that comparison doesn’t hold water (pun intended) on many levels. Not the least of which is we executed the Japanese for mass murder not torture. Also, there is no analogy between beating, handcuffing, submersing and drowning victims and a nasal rinse. 

          And remember, we waterboarded only 3 and no one was hurt or even injured. The evidence gained was valuable. The vast majority received the traditional methods you describe. That was also helpful.

          I support targeted assassination but there must be stringent oversight especially when Americans are targeted. One man with a list to scratch off one by one is not that. I think capture and interrogation can save more lives in the end. Certainly both are valuable. But it’s too much bother for a President who demonized it so. Assassination is tidier.

          • Fredlinskip

            John Yoo, Assistant US Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice, during W admin was the one principally involved with “rewriting” what is deemed as torture, to justify treatment of detainees already occurring.
            To shed light on W admin sentiments at the time, Yoo was asked in a debate:

            “If the President deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?”, to which Yoo replied “No treaty.” Questioner followed followed up, to which Yoo replied “I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that.”

          • Gregg Smith

            Yes, I’m familiar with Yoo. But again, I think his job was to define not redefine. No one was hurt although had I been in charge I may have crushed a few testicles.

          • Fredlinskip

            “No one was hurt”
              I don’t think you could be accused of  one who seeks to learn the truth, but IF you were, I’d suggest you revisit that period if you think detainees were not “hurt”.

            Yoo, “..the infliction of severe mental or physical pain – leaves room for interrogation methods that go beyond polite conversation.”

          • Gregg Smith

            That was in theory, I’m talking about what happened, specifically waterboarding. 

          • Fredlinskip

            In theory?
            This may come as shock, but much more ‘occurred’ to detainees other than water-boarding.
            & Yoo sought to justify MANY other “activities”.

          • Gregg Smith

            Yes, sleep depravation, loudmusic,temperatureand lighting. None of it left any injuries.

          • Fredlinskip

            Dream

            on

          • Fredlinskip

            “Targeted assassination” may be ‘generous’, because often more than just the principal target is “assassinated“. I believe in general that use of drones a cowardly approach, but if it saves lives (here I am referring to alternate methods of engaging or apprehending “suspects”), IN RARE INSTANCES perhaps justified. (If Bin Laden was still engaged in terrorist activity, and had been taken out in a strike, for example).
             I am not privy to all the information that goes into decision to conduct a strike. 
               When W first decided to invade Iraq, I reserved judgment, because I didn’t have all the info available that administration did, so how could I possibly judge?
             It was only after that it became abundantly clear that W admin clearly distorted information in order to justify attack did my sentiments change.

          • Gregg Smith

            The attack was justified by 17 violated UN resolutions. We won’t agree on that one. His speech to the UN on 9/12/02 outlined the reasons many of which had nothing to do with WMD.

          • Fredlinskip

            Don’t believe W  waited for “permission slip”

          • Gregg Smith

            That was the speech just before the 17th resolution that passed unanimously in the 
            UN security council.

          • nj_v2

            Righties like Greggg hate the socialist, evil, useless UN except when it’s been manipulated and paid off by the US to do its bidding.

          • Gregg Smith

            Please don’t tell me what I think. 

        • hennorama

          Fredlinskip – both the use of torture and the use of assassination by the US government against its real or perceived enemies are being legitimized, legalized and justified, both in advance and after the fact.  The very definition of words is being changed in Orwellian fashion.

          Torture becomes “enhanced interrogation.”  Assassination becomes “targeted killing.”  Terrorists, even US citizens, become “enemy combatants.”

          All of this is in an effort to avoid application of the Geneva Conventions when it comes to US actions.  There are arguments on both sides, but in general it boils down to “the ends justify the means.”

          • Gregg Smith

            There is a difference between torture and enhanced interrogation. Torture leaves people maimed. Enhanced interrogation just makes them crap themselves. Enemy combatants, unlawful combatants and combatants all have very precise and long standing definitions. So does “terrorist”.

            On the other hand look at terms like “workplace violence” for the Ft. Hood massacre. Or Big Sis’ use of the phrase “overseas contingency operations” for the war on terror. Or “undocumented workers” for illegal aliens. Or “Revenues ” for tax hikes. Or “it was a stupid video” for an act of war.

          • nj_v2

            Screw you and your smarmy sickness. The U.S. hung Japanese generals for water torture during World War 2. It was f*ing torture then and it’s f*ing torture now.

          • Gregg Smith

            They hung them for mass murder not water torture. And the torture was not a nasal rinse.

        • William

           A play on words is not new with our government. FDR sent 110,000 Americans to “interment camps” but to those Americans they were actually prisons.

          • Fredlinskip

            Not FDR’s finest moment.

          • hennorama

            “A concentration camp by any other name would smell as foul.”

        • Steve__T

           Only a week ago you did not agree with my stance on the direction of our government. Now you seem to be slowly turning toward my thinking.

          If you keep this up you’ll be as cynical as I am.

      • hennorama

        OnPointComments – TY for your response. I appreciate and respect your views.

        There is nothing much notewothy or newsworthy about hypocrisy, as there is never any shortage of it. It would be far more interesting to note instances of a LACK of hypocrisy on the part of political leaders and/or their supporters. Then one would expect cries for such idealists to “get real” and/or “adapt to political reality.” Does this sound familiar? I suspect TEA “party” types are feeling much of this at present. Do they stick to what they claim to be their principles and continue to lose elections, or compromise in order to win?

        Obvious recent cases of hypocrisy:

        > Mr. Romney’s becoming the Republican Presidential candidate despite his repeated flip-flopping. Many of his “supporters” claimed they “held their nose and voted for him,” but only after he lost.

        > Many Congressional Republicans’ views on Federal deficits and debt, which seem to depend on who is President. Many voted for increased deficits and debt under Pres. Bush II, then after Pres. Obama was elected, suddenly got “deficit and debt fever” and now appear to think all Federal deficits and debt are bad.

        As always, we expect and accept some of this “adaptability” from politicians and/or their supporters. It’s politics, after all. In the end, the only thing that matters to politicians is winning elections. Virtually everything else is negotiable and changeable, at least in private.

        • Gregg Smith

          As you are making the ol “everybody does it” excuse by comparing apples and oranges, please note that some of us are praising Diane Feinstein for her lack of hypocrisy on Benghazi.

      • anamaria23

        It is the left who are most questioning Obama’s use of drones, including myself.

        • Gregg Smith

          You are correct an you deserve credit. But there is no drumbeat from the MSM that comes close to comparing assassination of 1000 to the waterboarding of 3 that did not hurt them and helped lead to Bin Laden. It seems hypocritical to me but as I’ve said before, hypocrisy doesn’t bother me much. 

    • anamaria23

      thank you for a thoughtful and reasonable post without rancor.
      We are in transition to a new kind of warfare and it needs to be examined–the use of drones and assassinations just as  the use of waterboarding.  The ununiformed enemy willing to hide among civilians is a huge challange.
      Nontheless, it is good that the tactics and legalities are being examined
      and that Congress is on it.
      The use of drones seems preferable  to boots on the ground. 
       War is hell, but we must try  uphold our best selves.

      I thought that Al-awaki renounced his citizenship. I may be wrong.  It would be hard to give consideraton to one who planned and nearly executed the ‘underwear bomber” which would have brought down a plane load of people  into Detroit and would do so again.
      However the killing of his son, totally without justification.

        

      • hennorama

        anamaria23 – TY for your response and your kind words. As you no doubt recall, we had a brief prior exchange on this quite difficult topic.

        When one discusses the US government’s use of UAVs as methods of assassination, one must consider how things might be different today had various attempts to assassinate Osama bin Laden been successful. Or if Pres. Clinton had acted on what in retrospect seems to be clearly actionable intelligence obtained in the fall of 2000. A politically weakened Clinton, without a clear public and/or political impetus for action, especially during a Presidential election, failed to act.

        The dilemmas involved in these choices are never easy to resolve. They generally come down to choosing the lesser of two evils, and/or a determination that “the ends justify the means.” This is what gives Presidents prematurely grey hair and sleepless nights.

        To quote Machiavelli:

        “Anyone who would act up to a perfect standard of goodness in everything must be ruined among so many who are not good. It is essential therefore for a prince to have learnt how to be other than good and to use, or not to use, his goodness as necessity requires.”

        As previously stated, if one justifies assassination solely on the basis of an individual’s behavior or suspected behavior, then the details about the targeted individual make no difference. UAVs are merely a means to an end.

        “[A]mong so many who are not good … the “prince [has] learnt how to be other than good … as necessity requires.”

  • Markus6

    Several family members worked for the post office. One uncle rarely worked on fridays, amazing how much sick time you can get. A friend worked temporarily for the PO and had to fill his day with errands because they design the routes for people who like to take naps (his words … but they obviously don’t design them for naps, but for really really slow people). And some mailboxes are scanned so they track how long it took to go from box to box. He figured he could do a day shift in 3 hours without breaking a sweat. A consulting firms suggested consolidating a data center for the PO, to save money, but it got shot down by the congressman of that district. I know the internals of much of this group and the level of efficiency is staggeringly low. Though their ability to scale to a massive amount of mail is truly impressive.

    It’s a grossly inefficient organization with far more people than they need to do what they do. And they know this because they’ve done the studies.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    well the mass state police have applied to fly drones domestically. big brother would be so proud

    • Gregg Smith

      NPR wants one.

    • hennorama

      One could imagine the utility of UAVs to law enforcement in the current search for Christopher Dorner, the latest “highly trained nut with a firearm,” in Southern California.  A UAV equipped with thermal detection equipment and night vision capability could potentially be flown 24/7 even in inclement weather conditions.

      This is in marked contrast to human-piloted aircraft, due to the risks to the pilots.  Not to mention the relatively low cost of small UAVs vs. helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        and i am sure arming them would be of some utility to the police too. i bet getting of all of our rights and liberties would make police work much easier, they really are a nuisence for them. have you read 1984?

        • hennorama

          Futo Buddy – TY for your response. I understand and repect your concerns on this topic.

          As to your question – of course I’ve read ’1984.’ I’ve used the term “Orwellian” in posts twice today alone.

          Personally, I’m of two minds on the topic of UAVs.

          I have great reservations about their domestic use by law enforcement and others, both from a privacy perspective as well as a “safety of the skies” air traffic perspective. These vehicles haven’t been around very long, and are not yet sufficiently reliable by existing aircraft standards. They often malfunction or go out of control, which may result in significant damages if such an event occurred in an urban area. Not to mention that UAVs are getting smaller and smaller, making them nearly undetectable to the public.

          It’s a difficult issue, and once again, the use of available technology seems to be outpacing legal concerns.

          My view of military and intelligence use of UAVs is a bit different. UAVs clearly have significant advantages, whether they are armed or unarmed. They can be put into harm’s way more readily since they are unmanned. They can perform the dangerous, dull and/or “dirty” tasks that can be anathema to pilots, such as surveillance and reconnaissance operations, and certain combat missions.

          There are also considerable risks involved with such military and intelligence uses. Notably the cross-border use of these systems, especially offensive use without the consent of the sovereign nations involved, could be viewed as an act of war. If UAVs are used only by one country, other countries may react and engage in a regional or global arms race. Finally, what happens when UAVs with offensive capabilities get into the hands of non-states actors, such as terrorists?

          This is completely separate in my mind from the topic of the use of armed UAVs as a means to assassinate real or perceived enemies of the US. UAVs are simply another “tool in the toolbox” to implement the policy. A highly effective tool, but just one among many.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            in 1984 they motavated the people by ritual hate of “the terrorist” so they could have continual war

      • DrewInGeorgia

        There’s also the fuel and maintenance cost benefits, decreased chance of pilot error, lower noise levels, and severely reduced emissions.

        Preferable to the Status quo yes, but that isn’t saying a whole lot. I’m conflicted about Drone usage, as the “Orwellian” oriented comments more or less point out: A Police State by any other Name…

  • Gregg Smith

    It was cool for Obama to check out on Benghazi and go to bed because Bush lied… or something. It was probably the video anyway.

    • jefe68

      Oh the inanity of your diatribes.

      • Gregg Smith

        Thank you, that was my point.

  • 228929292AABBB

    Jack Beatty’s voice on the drone strikes and assasinations was clear and inspiring.  I am bothered, however, by the arrival, or return, of these progressive voices now that the election is over.  If President Obama is committing wrongs this deep, why could no liberal find any fault with him between the months of May and November 2012?  “I just want to hear him say he swears to God to uphold the Constitution up there with Beyonce, before I bring up the fact he violated the Constitution every day of his first term” 

    Well, I still do admire him for saying it, but one wonders whether brave speech thus compartmentalized means much in a Democracy.

    • jimino

      The complaints of progressives, most of whom voted for him (if they voted), is that Obama is doing the exact same thing as the regressives.  He was the lesser of the evils for whom one could vote with a chance of actually winning.

      Frankly, given his tax and military policies, I consider him the third most right-wing president in modern times.  If he gives up on absolutely protecting Social Security, I would move him into first place.

    • Don_B1

      One reason was that it was clear that Romney was also in favor of drone use and had much more hard-line views on other foreign policy issues, notably our relations with Russia that would worsen the U.S. position and reputation in the world. So why help Romney beat Obama to one’s own detriment?

      • 228929292AABBB

        What’s missing is that it should not be Jack Beatty – or any other journalist’s – priority to decide what election outcome is best for the country and tailor the ‘news’ to create that outcome.  If President Obama’s policies of the last four years are illegal wrong and cruel now they were so in October.  I would like the media to bring information to the masses for use by US in making a choice, rather than have them attempt to make the choice for us.

        • Don_B1

          If you listen, it IS mainly progressives that are protesting the use of drones; note that for all their opposition to Obama on just about everything, Republicans are not vocal on this issue because they support it.

          It is at this point, if the policy can be shown counterproductive, that traction to stop it might be gained, but it will be difficult because it is not a simple issue, as hennorama has most ably pointed out earlier on this blog.

          • 228929292AABBB

            Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to a wall.  That was my original point, yes, I agree, it IS progressives who are complaining about this, and rightly so.  Those same progressives were absolutely silent about the issue during the election, refusing to hold accountable the President who has reneged on all his major 1st campaign themes.  That hypocrisy is what bothers me.  The President ran against all that is George W Bush, and has run a third Bush term.  That ‘progressives’ aren’t bothered by it shows we Democrats as a group have nothing on the Fox News set.

  • Gregg Smith

    I forget if this is the week we blame heat, cold, floods, droughts or blizzards on AGW but you guys up there be careful. I’ll be thinking of you.

    • jefe68

      I’m shaking in my boots…

      • Gregg Smith

        If you live up there I hope the best for even you. Really, be careful. This looks bad.

        • jefe68

          I’m good, and thanks that’s very nice of you. 

          Stocked up on food an wine and the car’s in the garage. Woods piled up on the porch in case we loose power. 

          It’s the worst kind of snow, wet and icy.
          Going to be fun shoveling tomorrow.

    • nj_v2

      Blending ignorance of science with concern. Nice touch.

      • Gregg Smith

        That’s sweet.

    • Don_B1

      While I assume you will ignore the truth, there are many others who would like to know how AGW is affecting and increasing the strength of the huge winter blizzard named “Nemo” and other such storms from the recent past and that will occur well into our specie’s future.

      Such a description is provided here:

      http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/02/08/1561331/epic-blizzard-poised-to-strike-new-england-what-role-does-climate-change-play

      But on a deeper level, the blog Skeptical Science has a post on the limits of human intelligence to deal with long-range problems:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/the-great-disconnect.html

      It starts with a quote:


      ‘I grieved to think how brief the dream of the human intellect had been. It had committed suicide. It had set itself steadfastly towards comfort and ease, a balanced society with security and permanency as its watchword, it had attained its hopes – to come  to this at last…’
      ‘…It is a law of nature we overlook, that intellectual versatility is the compensation for change, danger, and trouble. An animal perfectly in harmony with its environment is a perfect mechanism. Nature never appeals to intelligence until habit and instinct are useless. There is no intelligence where there is no change and no need of change. Only those animals partake of intelligence that have to meet a huge variety of needs and dangers.’  
      from “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells (1895)

      • Gregg Smith

        I had no idea this was the first blizzard the north east has ever seen. Thanks.

        • Don_B1

          Of course it is not the first blizzard the NE has experienced and I did NOT claim that it was.

          But it IS a much larger and more dangerous and destructive storm BECAUSE of AGW!

          The higher levels of water vapor in the atmosphere provide more energy and drive changes in upper level jet streams and “blocking highs over Greenland that are changing the way storms form and making them more intense and destructive.

          Please read Dr. Jeff Master’s article:

          http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2346

          Note how ALL the biggest storms on record for several metrics have occurred since 1969 (with the exception of the -unofficial- 5th largest storm surge from the Valentine’s Day nor’easter of 1940), and most since 1987, with INCREASING frequency as the CO2 levels in the atmosphere, and the resulting warming, have risen. It is nearly as simple as 2+2=4 and I am sure you passed arithmetic.

          I really put this here for other more interested (and non-denier) people who really want to know what is happening to the climate and weather due to the emission of CO2 from extraction and burning of fossil fuels.

          • Gregg Smith

            Except there has been no warming since 1998. Also, it’s a big world measuring a Logan is hardly science. We’ve had ice ages, this is nothing.

          • nj_v2

            Greggg’s had no brain activity since 1998.

  • ExcellentNews

    I think we are moving closer to the Conservative Paradise, where the ruling oligarchs can use drone strikes to disperse malcontent workers and kill journalists who talk about taxing hedge fund managers. This will fix all the problems the liberal media is talking about… also, we can replace the dollar with a gold standard coin with a picture of Jesus on one side (to be drawn with strong resemblance to G. W. Bush the III) and Ayn Rand on the other (never mind she would be a Democrat if she was alive today)…

  • William

     The failure of the USSR proves it does.

  • Gregg Smith

    Maybe this bill will fail, let’s hope so. But please, can we stop pretending the confiscation of guns is a crazy conspiracy?

    “It joins equally controversial proposals from Assembly Democrats that would regulate and tax ammunition sales and consider taking the state’s 166,000 registered assault weapons from their owners.”

    “http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_22544460/californias-state-senate-democrats-roll-out-big-gun

    • Fredlinskip

      That’s encouraging. California always seems on forefront of positive change. Perhaps this will spark a national trend.
      SERIOUSLY doubt it though.

  • davecm

    What a difference a President makes!!!!!!
    When the liberals, Dems. and liberal media, even NPR, got wind that Bush approved waterboarding the mess hit the fan. The outcry was intense and Bush was breaking the law, even if the results was info. that led to finding Osama bin Laden.
    Obama was on the band-wagon crying crimes were being committed, torture!!!!!
    Now! we find out that Obama has a hit list, a kill you even if you are an American or whoever is a threat.
    Where is the outcry??????????????
    If it is wrong to pour water on the face of a bad guy to get info. and he lives after the ordeal, WHY then is it okay to send a drome to blowup and kill a bad guy and he is dead after the ordeal?????????
    Answer: Hypocrisy

    • Fredlinskip

      Wow!
       Water boarding lead to Bin Laden?! 
      That IS big news!!
       Is your source ‘Zero Dark Thirty’??!
      Because I thought there hasn’t been ANY evidence (outside of Rush, Cheney, & Fox “News“) that corroborated that enhanced interrogation techniques produced any “actionable intelligence”.

      • Gregg Smith
        • Fredlinskip

          So you’ve got the same, “Could have got it without it“  quote plus an article by Jose Rodriguez. 
          He was the one who destroyed video tapes of interrogation.
              The Executive Director of the CIA, wrote in an e-mail that Rodriguez thought “the heat from destroying is nothing compared to what it would be if the tapes ever got into public domain .. it would be ‘devastating’ to us.” 
          I reckon Rodriguez is a pretty unbiased source of information.
            C’mon, Gregg.

          • Gregg Smith

            Rodriguez was in the room when they waterboarded KSM. Panetta is speculating. He wasn’t even around at the time. It is what it is. 

            This is what actually happened:

            “The real story is that in order to put the puzzle of intelligence together that led us to bin Laden, there was a lot of intelligence. There were a lot of pieces out there that were part of that puzzle,” Panetta said Sunday. “Yes, some of it came from some of the tactics that were used at that time, interrogation tactics that were used,”

            This is what did not happen and was speculated:

            “I think we could have gotten bin Laden without that.”

            Why are you so invested in the notion nothing was gained?

          • Fredlinskip

            Rodriguez isn’t an objective reliable source. Got another Bugs Bunny clip?

          • Gregg Smith

            You started buy sayng:

            Because I thought there hasn’t been ANY evidence (outside of Rush, Cheney, & Fox “News“) that corroborated that enhanced interrogation techniques produced any “actionable intelligence”.

            Then you moved to ignoring the evidence by shooting the messenger. You laughably concoct (in a reply to Pete) a tale about Iraq. You believe what Panetta speculated over what he said actually happened and now pretend he isn’t even there.

            No wonder you want a Bugs Bunny clip.

          • Fredlinskip

            Shooting msgr- Who? You? Pete? Rodriguez?
            Tale about Iraq? News flash -We occupied, Stuff happened, War is Hell.
            Speculated was Pete’s word. Panetta SAID, “he didn’t think EIT was necessary”. What word would you use?
            Stick to Bugs- one of your best links to date.

          • Gregg Smith

            The messenger you shot was Rodriguez. The waterboarding of KSM was not about Iraq. He was captured before we invaded. You made up the reasoning.

            “he didn’t think…” (quoting you, not Panetta)

            That’s speculation.

            This is not:

            “Yes, some of it came from some of the tactics that were used at that time…”

          • Fredlinskip

            No room below. If there is anyone on planet who would have reason to “stretch”  truth, it was Rodriguez. He was under investigation for years.
            Ask Bugs.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’m done here.

          • Gregg Smith

            Speculate all you want. Have you any shred of evidence?

          • Gregg Smith

            “Could have got it without it“

            Why do you omit “I think” from the quote? It’s like DonB1 claiming he said it “was not necessary”.  It’s BS.

          • Fredlinskip

            W admin, frustrated that Iraqis didn’t throw roses at our feet when we occupied Iraq, in their great wisdom, threw out everything investigators ever learned about interrogation and installed their own “enhanced” fantasies. 
            Panetta said “majority of info came form other sources and he thought that we could have gotten the rest without ‘enhanced techniques‘”. You say this is “speculation”. 
               The best anyone can POSSIBLY conclude is that we’ll never know if we could have gotten last bit of info without these methods, although one would THINK Panetta’s opinion would be an informed one.

          • Gregg Smith

            Majority does not mean all. Panatta admitted the info led to Bin Laden. He did, it happened. Why are you so invested in the notion Bush’s policies were evil and worthless? 

          • Fredlinskip

            No “notion”.
            W & Co. policy damaged our country severely and set us back perhaps decades. “EIT’s”, were just one small part of that.

          • Don_B1

            You are arguing over the eaten bones of your argument.

      • pete18

         You need to watch the news more often: http://video.msnbc.msn.com/meet-the-press/50684195/#50684195

        • Fredlinskip

             Well Don kind of beat me to it, but Panetta said, “we could have gotten it without “enhanced techniques”- this isn’t exactly  ringing endorsement.  

             So lets see if I understand you correctly. You are saying that all the subjecting prisoners to intense cold, the “stress positions” they had to endure for days, the “abdomen strikes”, slapping, shaking, asphyxiation, that occurred to only God knows how many detainees for hundreds of days and all that you can come up with is, “we could have got the info without any of it“.
          Let me ask you, if all that wasn’t enough, do you think that there may have been the possibility that some interrogations may have ever crossed the line in any way? Just maybe? Of course we know some died during interrogation. Oops.
          Of course we also know that many detainees were just arrested randomly- guilty of being military age males.

          PLEASE tell me you’ve got something more.

          Don’t tell me you’re that ignorant.

          • pete18

            Of course it’s
            understandable that you would change the argument and start making assertions about
            other people’s ignorance when you’ve been so clearly proven wrong.

             

            Panetta admitted, on a
            network that resides on the side of the angels, that waterboarding produced
            information that led to Bin Laden’s capture, “Yes,
            some of it came from some of the tactics that were used at that time, interrogation
            tactics that were used.”

             

            Whether he thinks that the information
            could have been produced without waterboarding is pure speculation on his part,
            which is easy to do after the fact.

             

            There have been enough facts reported in
            the news to conclude that the “enhanced interrogation” techniques not only aided
            in leading us to Bin Laden but also helped us capture Khalid
            Sheikh Mohammed and prevented some of the planned post 9-11 Al Qaeda attacks as
            well.

             

            Whether people think that there are
            more effective, moral or Constitutional methods for gaining intelligence is
            still a debatable question. But the question for you is, if you think those
            tactics under Bush were war crimes, unconstitutional or immoral then how can
            you not be calling for the impeachment of Obama for his drone
            assassinations of American citizens without any due process?

             

            You can’t have it both ways. Either Bush was in within his legal,
            moral and constitutional grounds for his interrogation techniques and you
            should publically admit it, and apologize for any criticism you previous heaped
            on him, or you should be outraged at what Obama is doing now with the drone
            program and be marching on Washington calling for him to do a perp-walk out of
            the Whitehouse.

             

            You cannot be intellectually honest without coming to one of these
            two conclusions. People on the left who are hiding behind a veil of “all
            politicians are hypocrites so what difference does it make” have lost all their
            moral authority. To make claims about the constitution and war crimes are not
            small issues on a level with promises about budget policy. If you are not
            willing to hold all office holders to a single standard on issues as important
            as these and generate undeviating fury when they are violated, then you are just
            indulging in idle, partisan cocktail chatter.

          • Fredlinskip

            Above

          • Fredlinskip

            Above

        • Fredlinskip

          Reply to below:
          Shouldn’t have gotten so personal. 
          Don’t believe you have provided evidence to support claim “enhanced interrogation” was warranted.
          W admin was frustrated that Iraqis didn’t throw roses at our feet when we occupied Iraq, so in their great wisdom, threw out everything investigators ever learned about interrogation and installed their own “enhanced” daydreams. 
          Panetta said “majority of info came form other sources” and “we could have gotten the rest without ‘E.I.T.”. 
          You say this is “speculation”. 
          The best anyone can conclude is that we’ll never know, although I would think Panetta’s opinion would be an informed one.

          Constitutionality of killing American citizens with drones really doesn’t bother me as much as the general practice of drones. That said, if it turned out that someone COULD have been gotten with drone were to later pull off attack on America, then there would be controversy. Therefore there is probably enormous pressure to use technology. 
          Should be impeached for it? I don’t know- maybe he should. Who am I to judge?- I don’t know “value” of the targets. From the sidelines, it sure seems we are overdoing it.  But if these are War crimes, I think they pale in comparison to what went on in previous Admin- including “EIT”. We didn’t hold Bush to a “single standard” and failed to investigate a # of things- I guess because we were “at War“.
            When Obama was elected he had so much mess to clean up in all areas that to pursue such a course would have at best been a “huge distraction”
           

          • Gregg Smith

            Keep digging.

          • Fredlinskip

            Digging what? You drinking again? I don’t see a comment.
            Not there. Must not of happened. 
               Sort of like torture. “No one was hurt”, you say. Didn’t see it. Must not have happened.
              Question such activities is to be “with the terrorists”.
            Kind of like Rodriguez and his video:
            “Now you see it, Now you don’t”

          • Gregg Smith

            I mean you’re digging yourself into a hole and should just quit while you’re behind. I can give you 1000 people Obama had assassinated and you can’t give me one that was maimed by “torture”.

            What’s with the drinking thing? That’s just weird.

          • Fredlinskip

            You are changing subject.
            Obvious conclusion to any one willing to examine the facts is that “EIT” = torture.
            What “drinking thing”?- Never happened just like your “credible” unbiased source Rodriguez’
            interogation videos.

          • Gregg Smith

            A nasal rinse is not torture. Torture was Hussein’s rape rooms. Torture is gouging out eyes or ripping out tongues as he also did. Torture is the wood chipper in the basement of Ab Ghraib Sadaam used for prisoners. The lucky ones went in head first.

          • pete18

            Killing an enemy combatant is less of a war crime than scaring one and
            making him feel uncomfortable? I’m very curious to hear what kind of
            moral and ethical compass you use to find that point on a map.

            It is amazing how non-judgmental you become when evaluating Obama’s actions, but somehow  are able to dig deep and find the moral clarity when assessing Bush.

          • Fredlinskip

            Scaring and making him feel uncomfortable, Aye?
            All righty then.
            See new comment.

      • Don_B1

        Defense Secretary and ex-C.I.A. Director Panetta stated that “some information contributed” [was used] in finding bin Laden, but he also said that it was not necessary, that the information could have been obtained without using torture.

    • nj_v2

      “Liberal media…” Whoohoo, what a hoot! You wingdingers are a riot.

      • davecm

        You liberals cannot even see the nose on your own face, yes, liberal media!!!!!!!!

        • Don_B1

          Liberals do not just stand around gazing at their noses (or navels) glorying among themselves about how correct they are; they look further afield to see how the REAL WORLD works and try to find ways to make it work better for EVERYONE, not just the wealthiest.

        • nj_v2

          There’s no arguing with stupid.

  • olderworker

    Thank you, Jack Beatty, for your very firm stance on the drone debacle. 

  • Steve__T

    Meanwhile the  congress wants to buy 300 new tanks, that the armed forces does not want or need to the tune of 3 Billion dollars. We have 2400 active Abrams tanks and another 3000 siting in a holding area in Reno NV. ????? But they still want to spend that money.

    • OnPointComments

      It’s what Congress does.  Listening to C-Span, whether it’s Leon Panetta talking about defense spending cuts, or someone else talking about closing unneeded post offices, all the members of Congress say “You’re not going to cut spending in my district.”

      • Steve__T

         But its not what they should be doing! How many people could that three billion help? vs How many people can we kill?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      no worrys we will send some to egypt then down the road we will have something cool to shoot at

  • Gregg Smith

    Bill Clinton tried to blame Rush for the Oklahoma City bombing. Brian Ross tried to blame the Auroura shooting on the Tea Party. Tom Ashbrook said the “consequence” of Sarah Palin’s bulls eye map was “a bullet in the brain”. That’s off the top of my head, there’s more. I thought it was despicable but typical. 

    It’s not the case with lefty Dorner and it shouldn’t be but the hypocrisy of the press is noteworthy. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      lol lets make sure the police have access to ar15s though what could go wrong?

    • StilllHere

      I’ll never forget Tom’s foaming at the mouth over Tucson before any facts were known, and no corrections once they were.

  • JGC

    Going Postal:  just a word on how Canada has managed postal services in a world of lessening demand and increasing costs –  the “post offices” here are not quasi-government buildings.  They rent corners in the back of a pharmacy or a shopping center, for example, where they arrange all the services required seven days a week, (yes , Sunday, too) during the normal shopping hours. It is very convenient. There is no Saturday delivery here, and it is not missed. 

  • Tyranipocrit

    Now we are being acclimated to the idea of Chris Christie as nomination of GOP president.  A man nobody ever heard of a year ago.  Then we hear about his criticisms of Obama–grab the GOP attention–then in the midst of danger and emergency he shows himself to be bi-oartisan and real without political nonsense, at least for the moment–the media focuses on it–deliberately I guess–and now we see a man whois objective, strong, down to earth with a “All American” name that rings “My saviour” for many Christain cults in America.–Wow now we got the Christain base of the broader GOP…a man who can rally both dems and repugnants as well as the undecided (unthinking, ignorant) votes–with a possible win.

    And now…we plug in trivial nonsense about his weight–”Should he lose weight?”  Just to keep him on our radar and get you thinking about him, maybe even sympathizing for him…all the while preparing your minds for the idea of Chris Christie as a slimmer, fitter man for the office of President–to run against none other then the new sophisticated re-branded Hilliary Cliton–gone are the days of her atrocious pastels and the whinny abrasive horn in her throat–poster woman for the 1%.

    Prediction–2016
    Dem: Hill of beans Clinton
    Repugnant-con: Chris Christie

    Guaranteed.  You can take that to the bank–literately–because that is who owns them.

    prediction 2: No viable candidates will run against clinton, or if they do will drop in the primaries for personal reasons–clinton is thepick for first woman president–and what a showdown it will be–against

    The working man savior of the GOP and man our times, named for our salvation not once but twice–the infamous martyr and hero–chris chirstie.  If a better candidate is found before 2016 he might withdraw for heart problems–that is the fallback–as he is overweight, but now it looks like he is the “contender” white America is looking for.

    Perhaps there will be a Hispanic in the mix, male and female, I guarantee.  keep a look for those strangers that will miraculously make an appearance on the public stage in the next few years.  Richardson? 

    And there will be an African-American of course–but who?  You don’t want somebody too strong cuz that will risk CLinton’s ascendance to the fascist monarch throne.  Probably, sb we progressives can really get behind like Connor, but of course nobody the corporate-aristocracy would ever seriously consider.  Maybe we will see the comeback of Denis Kucinich (Not black but he is actually qualified, and the right man for the job–so it cant be him–no way–sorry Denny,we love you man!).  Maybe Oprah is throwing in her 2 cents–”purely for show of course” but she will never be a serious contender because she is to valuable as mouthpiece keeping Americans under the spell of fascism–and a role as puppet president would tarnish her image in the eyes of all Americans losing credibility and a valuable propaganda minster in the Halls of “truth”–but she did make a show at the Superbowl so that’s a heads up.

    • Gregg Smith

      Dr. Benjamin Carson is my new flavor of the week. I’d vote for him in a heartbeat.

    • davecm

      Prediction–2016
      Clinton wins……. more cigars in the White House and those goes the country!

    • Mike_Card

      Christie is very appealing–on radio.  Does he take Huckleberry on board for advice about visual media?

  • Tyranipocrit

    The guy who called in about scouts is actually right.  I thought he had some interesting points.  Scouting is not about sexuality.  It has no place in the discussion.  We are talking about children.  Most gay children are probably confused about their identity and might not know themselves they are gay.  They don’t enter scouts for hooking up–these are children–until they reach their teens, but these are their friends, and “classmates”–Scouting is not a meat market–so i doubt very much they will try anything with your children.  Scouting is not sexual–or shouldn’t be–why bring sex and romance into it.  it is a private organization for boys mind you–not girls–they have girl scouts.  If a boy is gay, why bring it up–i dont go around talking about my straight sexuality–i dont say hey man did you know i am straight.  I dont think scouting should be politicized–it is destroying the institution.

     If a boy is gay or different then it is no business of the other scouts and they should be taught to respect difference but they don’t have to be made to feel different and sex is not even remotely part of the equation in a organization for children so why is it being discussed.  I think, the “dont ask, dont tell” policy is best in this situation.

     i really really dont care what your sexuality is and i am all for equality and marriage and kids, but why are we politicizing and sexualizing an organization that prefers to keep sex and politics at a distance.

    Now, Christianity is another thing completely.  Scouting is not–NOT–a Christian organization, yet it tends to be harnessed in such ways by some troops and nations.  Religion and Christianity is emphasized by some organizations and planted in the impressionable minds of children. 

    Why dont we discuss how our children are being raped by cultist notions–brainwashed–religion forced on them in all aspects of society. 

    i was a scout and we didnt have religion in our troop, nor did we have anything remotely sexualized–i dont recall ever ever talking about sex or girls in scouting–we were busy learning survival skills and forestry skills and having fun in the outdoors–no religion, no girls, no politics.  I wanted to volunteer as a scout leader once in GB–and there little Constitution/contract was full of christ and worship and vowing never to denounce christ in front of the children and all that and how i must actively encourage Christianity.  I had an interview and declined.  What rubbish!  Disgusting!  No such thing in scouting when i grew up. 

    Scouting is teaching us to be little troopers anyways with all its discipline and militarism, but anyway–so why not start a new organization–a green scouting outdoor organization with no religion, no sexuality, no gender and no militarism, no marching…no flag worship, no god whatsoever. 

    • JGC

      The Scouts Canada site is interesting. Apparently, you don’t have to believe in God, but you do have to believe in a spiritual being. It was founded on the Christian thing, and so the best idea is to go the way you suggested – scouting with no religious or gender or militaristic baggage attached.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        same standard the freemasons have

      • hennorama

        JGC – it wasn’t terribly easy to find, but the Scouts Canada “Motto, Promise and Laws” include “God” in all of the following Principles and Promises (all direct quotes):

        “Scouts Canada’s Principles

        Scouting is based on three broad principles which represent its fundamental beliefs.

        Duty to God:

        This is defined as: “Adherence to spiritual principles, loyalty to the religion that expresses them and acceptance of the duties resulting there from.”
        Various levels have different Promises:

        Beaver Promise – I promise to love God and to help take care of the world.

        Cub Promise – I promise to do my best; to love and serve God, to do my duty to the Queen; to keep the law of the Wolf Cub Pack; and to do a good turn for somebody every day.

        Scout Promise – On my honour, I promise that I will do my best, to do my duty to God and the Queen, to help other people at all times, and to carry out the spirit of the Scout Law.

        You get the idea.  “God” is mentioned first in EVERY Promise.

        Reference: Scouts Canada, Bylaws, Policies and ProceduresSection 5000 – Scouts Canada’s Programs (updated Feb. 18, 2010)  

        http://www.scouts.ca/bpp/en/section-5000.pdf

        From:http://www2.scouts.ca/dnn/BPPAdmin/BylawPoliciesandProcedures/ElectronicVersionBPandP/tabid/232/Default.aspx

        • JGC

          LOL! How do they make the Quebec Scouts promise to do their duty to the Queen? These promises must have been written in Ontario.

          • hennorama

            JGC – indeed. The idea of Quebecois children pledging duty to the Queen is rather absurd. Of course, that’s part of the nature of indoctrination – to overcome prior experience and to instill unquestioning adherence to the doctrine. This is obviously more effective with children than adults.

    • notafeminista

      …and what or whom shall you hold up as an example for your scouts to emulate? What values shall you promote?

      • jefe68

        A Scot is:
        Trustworthy,
        Loyal,
        Helpful,
        Friendly,
        Courteous,
        Kind,
        Obedient,
        Cheerful,
        Thrifty,
        Brave,
        Clean,
        and Reverent.

        It would seem there is plenty here to work with without adding religion or your idea of morals to the mix.

        • Coastghost

          Quite true, Scots are all of these things and more . . . but then, so are the Welsh and the Irish.

          • notafeminista

            Why, that might be a tad irreverent..

        • notafeminista

          Tsk…loyal to whom or what…who or what would you have Scouts revere in order to be reverent…of what precisely?  Tyranipocrit (and yourself apparently) take umbrage at history, so I’ll ask again.  Whom or what shall Scouts emulate?  What shall they use for the basis of their values?  What historical example would you have them follow?

          • jefe68

            Tsk? So that list, wich is comes from the Boy Scouts of America means nothing to you?

            I don’t what they follow, as long as it’s not some kind if extreme right wing agenda.

          • notafeminista

            Kind of missed the point didn’t you.

          • jefe68

            No I did not. 
            You’re trying to point to the idea that if the Scouts have God as a beliefe system then they should not include Gays. That’s what this is about. What you’re alluding too. 

            The point is you don’t get it.

          • notafeminista

            No it is not to which I am alluding.  2 things:

            1)You’re so busy being contemptuous of right wing Christians that you missed a golden opportunity to posit that Christ would have been liberal.

            2)One cannot have a belief system of any type when one doesn’t believe in anything.

          • jefe68

            I never mentioned right wing Christians. You did. 

            One can have a belief system that has nothing to do with God or religion.

            Why you think that ‘s not possible is beyond me.

        • hennorama

          jefe68 – but you’re leaving out the Scout Oath:

          “On my honor I will do my bestTo do my duty to God and my countryand to obey the Scout Law;To help other people at all times;To keep myself physically strong,mentally awake, and morally straight”

          Note that this is an oath of “duty to God” before “and my country.”

          Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the religious emphasis is clear.

          See:http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/scoutparents/scouting%20basics/what%20scouting%20is/scout%20oath%20and%20law.aspx

      • Tyranipocrit

        open to all children 10-19, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class or religion. However our mission statement would be based on the understanding that is IS NOT a religious org and religious talk is forbidden. No mention of GOd would be in any of our manuals or creeds but there would be a religious/culture understanding merit badge. Above all we would be green. Looking at Ecology. Environmental histroy. Impacts of industry on the environment. Understanding of economics, civil society, and alternatives. Citizenship. Outdoor activities. Archery, no guns, no rifle merit badge. hiking, camping, canoeing, kayaking, spelunking, rock-climbing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, survival, husbandry, horseback riding and animal welfare, wildlife appreciation, gardening, container gardening, hydroponics, husbandry, organic/bio-dynamic farming–appreciation and understanding of organic food, ecology, and the ill effects of GMO, pesticides, and corporate farming…and appreciation for its uses and arguments against–in every thing we emphasize. Alternative fuels. innovation. geography. “Values” merit badge–looking at diversity, culture, belifes, politics, perspectives, history of perspective, impacts, influences, alternatives…gender/diversity merit badge, women’s study merit badge, –scouts asked to read certain things, and discuss relevance,etc…including, essays, poetry, stories, journals–the higher they get the more academic the experience would be with hands on empirical experience–volunteering, community organizing, civil life…understanding of democracy, direct democracy and its past alternatives and how it fits into our own lives. A familiarization with nonprofit orgs like greenpeace, and others–looking at their missions and why…native american culture and diversity, african american appreciation–origins of african american dialects, songs, traditions, literature, etc…hispanic culture…European culture past & present. Swimmming, athletics, yoga, calisthenics, aerobics, taichi, kung fu, karate, Asian culture…reading appreciation, creative writing, herbs, herbal medicine, herbal gardens, tracking, forestry, global-warming consensus merit badge, impacts, causes, and solutions…climate merit badge, navigatio merit badge, orientation merit bage–map-reading and use of compass, gps, and the stars, astronomy merit badge. Electricity merit badge–wher it comes from, impacts, uses, innovations, technology, history, alternatives…listening merit badge, oral speech merti badge, oral story-telling merit badge, knot tying, boathandling, marlinspike seamenship, sailing, wind energy, hydrology, hydo electricity and the ipacts of damns on watersystems and ecosystems, sustainable agriculture, sustainable living, green roofing, green walls, trades, tool making, whittling, carving, woodwork, coopration merrit badge, family merit badge, health merit badge including understanding of stds, unwanted pregnancy, and politics–older scouts would all get educated on use of contraceptives and the value of them, scouts would tour industries, trade schools, community centers, courts, police stations, city councils, etc..helath clinics, family planning centers, progressive orgs and speakers, literary book signings and panel debates–all required for merit badges in the upper ranks. i could go nn–I have put much thought into this. If religions and nationalists can start militant youth organiatins such as boy scouts then progressives are enittled to a antional/global youth organization. It would encourage a wide range of thought and values but would emphasise–clearly stated in the missionstatement–and council interviews with interested memebers that it is a progressive organization with green values at its forefront. And that religion is strictly forbidden at meetings or activities. Gays would be welcome–no need todisclose it but if one wanted to memebers would know before joingin that all people are accepted and intolerance of any group could result in your being asked to leave the organization. We could even have a voluntary/required open-heart session where scouts are encouraged to share something meaningful, a growth experience or accomplished. With strict rules of tolerance and acceptance reaffirmed by all before attending and listening–show and tell question time sort of thing–a pow wow. We would emphasise honesty, good deeds, kindness, community, trust, etc…with an analaysis of exixtin and alternative economic structures and we would emphasise direct-democracy, cooperation, dissent, questioning, participation, sharing, and even look at cooperative business models and CSA–farming and cops in the community and society and ask questions. We could even have film apreciation, media-awareness, use of the internet–research, and questioning, programming, open source software vs, imperial capitalist fascist business models and technology–preparing youth for the real wrld they live in without fantasies, misconceptions, or false notions about anything–always be prepared. Food appreciation, cooking, camp-cooking, etc…no flag would be wroshipped at our meetings, no flags would be emphasised but they would have an awarenes of all flags and nations including the UN flag and green flags. They would be asked to create their own flag and explain its meaning–for fun–as part of values and geography merit badges maybe. Most emphasisis would be placed on outdoors, ecology, and green sustainability living, conservation and preservation, an appreciation of the great outdoors and all wildlife.

      • Tyranipocrit

        please forgive my typos–no time to correct. Please have mercy on me, grammar police and spelling fascists–please don’t send me to underground torture facilities to have your sadistic way with me.

    • hennorama

      Tyranipocrit – it seems difficult to view the Boy Scouts of America as ” not–NOT–a Christian organization” given that the Scout Oath is at first a pledge to “do my duty to God” followed by “and my countryand to obey the Scout Law…”

      God BEFORE country.  That’s their perspective, which is their right.  But their religious orientation is quite clear.  The stat that is currently bandied about is “over 70 percent of Boy Scout troops are affiliated with churches or religious groups.”  These are not ALL Christian groups, but the vast majority certainly are.

      Here’s a bit more about “Benefits” involved in being a BSA volunteer:

      “Develop a more personal relationship with God.”

      The scouting.org website (“the official website of the Boy Scouts of America”) shows 14 pages of results when one searches for the word “god.”  Here’s the second one on the list – “Religious”:

      http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/membership/charter_partners/religious.aspx
      This is a link to various religious organizations involved in the BSA:
      Bringing Youth to Christ Through a Scouting Ministry
      African Methodist Episcopal Church
      Armenian Church
      Assemblies of God
      Baptist
      Buddhist Churches of America
      Catholic
      Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
      Christian Metthodist Episcopal Church
      Community of Christ
      Church of the Nazarene
      The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

      the list of religious organizations goes on and on, followed by

      Christian Church Directory

      Also, the fact is that the BSA DOES address sexuality.  They even give out a Family Lfe merit badge.  Part of the list of Requirements to earn this badge is:

      “6.  Do the following:

      a. Discuss with your merit badge counselor how to plan and carry out a family meeting.
      b. After this discussion, plan and carry out a family meeting to include the following subjects:

      1. Avoiding substance abuse, including tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, all of which negatively affect your health and well-being

      2. Understanding the growing-up process and how the body changes, and making responsible decisions dealing with sex”

      See:http://www.scouting.org/filestore/boyscouts/html/family_life.htm

      • Tyranipocrit

        That may be true-but what I’m telling you is, as a former scout, there was no mention of god or talk of religion, and nobody discussed religion–it was light years form our mind. it had NOTHING to do wit it. The oath is spoken in an “irreligious” manner in much the same way as the pledge of allegiance in EVERY school room across America, or the “In God We Trust” on every dollar and government building. Most of us don’t even notice it or care or think about it.

        As a child and a teenager I had no concept of a religious element or connection. and as far as I know they do not disclose this to parents either–I mean the connection to these groups you list. I’m pretty sure my parents would have rejected scouting if they knew the connections. Even at summer camps where many many troops came together–there was no church, no religious talk, no mention of a god that i can remember–it was furthest from our minds. I cant read minds but usually those with god on the mind are not shy to infect everyone else with it.

        I was in scouting in upstate NY, so I’m thinking, maybe scouting in red states is different.

        i agree “God” should be terminated from the scouting oath and scouting handbook. I think the word “God” should be forbidden in all public forums–erased from the dollar–and acid burned off all government buildings. I think the “Pledge of Allegiance” needs to be incinerated, and vanquished form our minds and classrooms or any other public forum. i think the flag should be burned–it an iconic religious symbol for the most vicious among us and serves only to condemn, brainwash, and contaminate our minds–indoctrinating us into a bizarre faith no different than Scientology or Mormonism or Christianity. the scourge and bane of all humanity.

        get rid of religion and we will be that much closer to “heaven” on earth. Free trade and wall street economics is also a religion–a sadistic one–that must be eradicated for us to thrive and pursue happiness.

        • hennorama

          Tyranipocrit – TY for your responses and for sharing your personal experiences.

          My points were that there is strong evidence, even to an outside observer, that the BSA as a whole has a religious orientation, specifically a Christian orientation. Certainly individual experiences of its members will vary, and it’s not surprising that a group of boys and/or young men would act in a contrary manner, as in the “irreligious” manner of recitation of the oath that you describe.

          I’m also not suggesting that sexuality in any of its forms needs to be discussed, ignored, encouraged or discouraged by the BSA. But sexuality is certainly a topic of great interest to boys and girls, and young men and young women. No doubt that’s just one reason the BSA at least cursorily addresses sexuality through the Family Life merit badge process.

          I’ll leave the balance of your remarks without comment, and TY again for sharing your experiences and views.

      • Tyranipocrit

        So discussion with family is bad? I don’t see how encouraging discussion or family is bad? And those discussions are fairly personal–to earn these requirements you don’t go thru interrogation–the person signing it off is just another teenager, with the badge in question, or a scoutmaster, but they take you for your word. Sounds to me like they are trying to make youth aware and self-actualized. Also, Life merit badge is usually obtained by older kids–16, 17, who I think are mature enough to discuss drugs and alcohol, especially since most of us were on them–not at scouts–but in our private lives with friends unattached to scouting. Some kids are purists or come from religious families, that’s true, but to each his own–and no institution is free of diversity or should be (diversity of belief or political opinion) but sexuality or religion is not appropriate in public. In my troop, we had Hindus, Catholics, protestants, whatever–and i know this because I knew them before and outside of scouts, or like in Hinduism they wear dots on the forehead. But none of these people brought their personal lives to scouting. So, sexuality does not need to be brought to scouting. And the key word is–talk to your parents and family about life-changing sexuality as in puberty–not in the scouting organization. they are not interested in your views or family views–just that they want to encourage mature discussion and awareness at home and foster well-rounded individuals who are productive members of society, and family and groups as a whole–citizenship is also a merit badge. And scouts always emphasize the group, and teamwork and society–helping others–that doesn’t have to be a religious message does it? Life merit badge was hard for me–because I didn’t have anyone i could talk to in my family, and it was a bit broken–with racism, alcoholism, divorce, workaholics, anger…And institutions like scouting offer a great place to make connections and get a sense of community that not all children have at home. Some of the greatest male role models in my life came from scouting. And there were people i didn’t like, at times hated, but they were other boys–and I didn’t have to like them. Sometimes, my scoutmaster made me mad, or at times, i felt i was singled out–we are entitled to our humanity, and our differences–we all get upset from time to time. I’m pretty sure if any member of our group was harassed or bullied by an outside member all of us would protect him, even those we didn’t like too much. I’m pretty sure, in my troop, that included anyone who might be gay–tho I don’t know or recall if anyone was–but I don’t think that means the institution needs to change its rules to include “professed gays”–why? Its not important or necessary–i dont care about your sexuality–it has no business here–i don’t want people talking to me about religion or pressing political views on me, or hitting on me in an all male institution–keep it out. And i don’t think others should force it on an institution. Think of it like this–sometimes guys just want to be guys, and boys just need to be boys without pressure of dating, girl talk, or feeling different–its about camping and scouting–we have greater diversity in other areas of life–like school where we get those kind of pressures–why should an all boys org allow girls–it changes the whole purpose and dynamic. Likewise, why should it encourage gays to enter when the gay male is actually interested in boys–its no different than having a girl in the group, perhaps flirting, or creating rivalries between other males all interested in the girl–its not just the boys anymore–its not a sanctuary to just be a boy without such pressures. I want to talk to my friend without the added element and tension of sexuality–is he attracted to me–she? One of my best friends was a girl, but I also loved her, and fantasized about her–the friendship might have been ruined if she didn’t feel the same way. Girls dont really belong in the military–ask any man in the service and they will all tell you inappropriate relationships occur on duty, in service, even pregnancy, and especially relationships that compromise integrity of the unit–such as lower ranks fraternizing with higher-ranks–this creates favoritism, and drama. its just not appropriate in an organization that exists to offer sanctuary to males. Girls have their outfits–leave it alone. Girls have girl nights out, and girl clubs, official and unofficial, there a dating sites organized around ethnicity and religion–nobody is breaking down their doors insisting they diversify. Start your own group–a scouting group with no gender, or sexuality boundaries–with its own creed, and forbid religion–see what happens–the religious nutters will be pounding on the door. it is a private institution. Atheists clubs don’t admit Mormons and bible-trumpeters for a reason. They certainly don’t want us atheists in their midst’s. Isn’t it more appropriate for gays to join girl scouts–honestly, not joking–this way there is no tension, no sexual drama.

  • Fredlinskip

    disqus.

  • nytw

    Just heard on morning edition that over 625,000 people in the Boston area are without electricity due to a snow storm  Sounds like Boston is as much of a third world city as New Orleans.

    • jefe68

      You might want to check that number.
      boston Globe has it at 400,000.  

      Power outages happen in large storms what that has to do with the Third World or New Orleans is beyond me.

      • nytw

        You’re right it has nothing to with it.  Which is why I thought it as an asinine comment for Ashbrook the other day.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      except we should be back to business as usual in a few days

  • Доска бесплатных объявлений
  • 228929292AABBB

    I haven’t had time to meet all of them (though I’ve worked hard on it) so I can’t be absolutely sure, but Margaret Talev is probably the coolest chick in the world.

  • Fredlinskip

    Reply to Pete below: Sorry about the ignorant remark- got carried away.
        First lets look at “EIT” for what it is- torture. Let’s not beat about the Bush shall we? Yoo’s Torture Memo sought to justify what really shouldn’t have been going on. 
     You can disagree- you’ve the right. But I think the evidence is pretty clear. When does an “abdominal strike” become “a blow”. By establishing the Torture Memo, it became clear that if this stuff ever came to court- especially military one, that the difference would be VERY hard to prove. Therefore W admin, Yoo sought to set precedent that torture was okay. Now you might say this is a “dirty secret” everybody knew. Like Gregg said below that he thought crushing testicles was a good thing. In some TV show we watched once, it worked so why not? Geneva Sheneva. 
      Let‘s look at the “constitutionality” of “EIT” (enhanced techniques) and “TA” (targeted assassination) a bit subjectively for a second.
      Do you think these are the kind of values that America should represent? Does this make you proud? Do you think this represents the “spirit” of constitution and our Founding Fathers? What do you think our 1st Prez, GW, would think if he were round to tell we were performing “TA’s”, or occupying countries for that matter- BECAUSE WE CAN?
       Does it really matter why we are torturing and assassinating folks, or is it simply the fact we are doing it, that should offend us? 
      Aren’t we heading down slippery slope? Aren’t we setting terrible precedent for other countries? Aren’t we supposed to be looked up to for moral guidance?
      W campaigned that we weren’t going to be “policemen of the world”. Well what have we become then?
      And if we are going down slippery slope, who do you think started the trend? Obama?

      I don’t have enough info as to “value” of particular “TA” drone strikes to render judgment, but from sidelines it sure seems we are overdoing it.

    • Gregg Smith

      I’m glad you saw the light and deleted the nonsense.

      • Fredlinskip

        Thanks- I moved it back down to appropriate conversation

  • Fredlinskip

    It seems we are performing drone strikes around world on people with unregistered guns.

  • davecm

    As a Eagle Scout and former Scoutmaster, allowing the homosexual agenda to invade and the public to pressure the acceptance of, is a black mark in our nation’s history.
    To force an immoral lifestyle on a honorable organization as the Scouts proves to me this country no longer has standards!!!!!!
    What a Shame!!

    • JGC

      Of the required badges to obtain the Eagle Scout designation, I don’t see anything that demands one demonstrate their heterosexuality.   

      • notafeminista

        Of course, there’s not one that demands they demonstrate homosexuality either.

    • Don_B1

      @davecm:disqus @Tyranipocrit:disqus @disqus_kLh54B1nUd:disqus @hennorama:disqus @jefe68:disqus @Mike_Card:disqus 

      Being homosexual is NOT a choice; many children “know” at early ages they are “different” but usually have no idea of what it is about. The Scouting years occur for young males as they enter their teens and begin to see these differences more clearly, but have no idea of how to deal with them. They desperately need clear and understanding help to feel that they are worthy, likable members of society.

      In my day these things were just not discussed and I doubt any of my thoughts reflect the reality of how it must have been to be one of those of my cohort who were homosexual. It is clear, just in one dimension of the pain they must undergo, that they are, or can be, horribly bullied. Just to be in a society that obviously devalues them and indicates they are worthless, etc., is another. The value of the LGBT effort is the rejection of that devaluation.

      In large communities it may not be as important that homosexuals are allowed to join the Boy Scouts; another organization probably exists where that individual can find some acceptance and develop the interpersonal skills that will be important for the rest of their lives.

      But in real small towns with strong Scouting activities, not being allowed to join means exclusion from all or most of the relationship skill building activities necessary for making a strong citizen of the country for the rest of a person’s life. There IS a reason so many teenage homosexuals commit suicide.

      This exclusion of a young man for something he has no control over, is at least a violation of the Scouting Oath’s commandment “to help other people at ALL times.” It is also a failure to develop the empathy/compassion for other people in difficult situations that is necessary to be a good leader of people other than one’s close friends or those of like station in life.

      Like many other “religious values” which have been discarded as it has been recognized that they were based on ignorance, not some beneficial and rewarding eternal truth, this value can be, and by some has been, dropped without denigrating a loving God that created everyone, including homosexuals, for reasons people can leave to Him, or as scientists, can determine to be mechanisms in the human genetic structure and its interaction with the environment that lead some developing fetuses or children to switch the gender of the object of its affections.

      The Boy Scouts organization could play a strong role in improving life for all in this country by making clear that acknowledging the existence and tolerance of homosexuality does not give license to act like one if you are not but, more importantly, it also does not give anyone the right to demean those who are. While almost certainly not far enough, even the Roman Catholic Church claims to say “love the person, not the act.”

      The problem Scouting has is that it is the “tail on the dog” of many religious organizations who (though not all) are not ready to let this, what I call a false “value,” go.

      • hennorama

        Don_B1 - very well said.

      • Coastghost

        “Being homosexual” may involve no more choice than “being heterosexual” (both entail some measure of socialization and acculturation, recruitment and indoctrination); but the practice of homosexuality involves every bit as much choice as the practice of heterosexuality (whether to seduce a minor, whether to use prophylactics, how often and under what specific circumstances to engage sexually). Homosexuals’ invocation of “sexual fatalism” reflects at least in part the passivity which heterosexuals have historically imputed to homosexuals.

        (BTW: no apologist for the BSA, but scouting typically commences at ages eight or nine [Cub scouting], which just barely still qualifies as “pre-pubescent” and, hence, “asexual”. The intent to sexualize pre-pubescence is perverse no matter who practices it.) 

      • davecm

        For the sake of this subject.
        Let us say that God does exist and everyone is held accountable before Him.
        God sets the rights and the wrongs.
        Let us say that God states that homosexuality is a sin and anyone that engages in that sin will not go to heaven. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
        What do we do now????
        We either accept His authority about this activity or lifestyle or we do not, our choice.
        What if the person is born gay????
        It makes no difference, God has stated that homosexuality is a sin, period.
        God loves the person, but He hates the sin.
        The person has a choice, to sin or not to sin.
        What happens when people go unchecked in their behavior towards God???????
        Read Romans 1:18-31
        What about those who encourage the rights of people to engage in homosexulaity???
        Read Romans 1:32
        But Don_B1, this only applies if you believe that there is a Holy God.
        I Do and sometimes it makes people dislike you for what you hold as truth.

    • jefe68

      Wow. The level of intolerance in this comment is staggering.

      • davecm

        Wow. The level of intolerance by the left towards conservatives is really staggering.
        The intolerance is by those who do not want to live by a set of moral standards that have been proven to be correct!
        Where in history has the acceptance of homosexuality proven to benefit a society????
        Check it out for youself, the web has tons of sites showing the negative effects homosexuality has on a society.
        If they want a scout troop, create their own gay troop, but that is not what they want.
        They want society to accept their lifestyle even if it proves to be a failure.
        Prediction: Remember this…… There will come a day when another group, pedafiles, will demand their rights.
        Where will you stand at that time??

  • Gregg Smith

    Obamacare is a disaster looming. It’s really bad. This was a lie:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LRcLMScEqo

    Many of us knew it at the time. Businesses will pay the fine rather than cover their employees or they will cut back on employees and hours to avoid having to comply. That will not help the economy. There can be no recovery with Obamacare.

    He lied about the cost. He lied about it not being a tax. He lied about it lowering premiums. To get it passed he bribed with the cornhusker kickback and the Louisiana purchase. He made empty promises with a meaningless signing statement for Stupek’s crew. And he used reconciliation which was designed for budgets only. This is awful.

    • Don_B1

      While healthcare costs have gone up in the last two years, the increase is about half what it had been trending for the last decade or so. The PPACA is only partially implemented and you want the full benefits already? And Obama did NOT claim the premium reduction would happen immediately; it will take a few years for some of the cost efficiencies to take effect, but the rise in premiums is already slowing.

      Only the penalty for not taking out a policy, either through an employer or through an exchange, is a “tax” and that is because five conservative Supreme Court Justices twisted the use of the Commerce Clause to deny its use in this minor aspect of the PPACA.

      The cornhusker kickback was never going to pass in the House. Because the Democrats lost their filibuster proof Senate, the House passed the Senate version but simultaneously removed it and made other tax-related changes to the PPACA legislation in a bill which was passed by both houses under Reconciliation, just as Republicans did to pass George W. Bush’s misbegotten (poorly structured) tax cut bills of 2001 and 2003.

      • Gregg Smith

        Obama said premiums would go down. They have gone up. He did not say eventually. There will go up more as it is implemented. We just learned the bronze plan (lowest qualifying) will cost $20K for a family of 4. The CBO analysis confirms premiums will rise.

        The commerce clause would have been contorted like a pretzel if it was applied to Obamacare. The only way it passed muster was by labeling it a tax which Obama strenuously argued it was not.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQMkOScXctY

        Tax cuts are a budget matter and fall under the rules of reconciliation. Obamacare is not. He didn’t even have a budget.

    • William

       I think before Obama leaves office he will make adjustments to this bill which will punish employers that lay people off or cut hours to avoid compliance. Additionally, he will lower the requirement for hours worked or number of employees on the payroll.

      • Gregg Smith

        “By any means necessary” is the hallmark of Obama’s Alinski style tactics.

        • William

           Alinski schooled Mrs. Clinton too….a sad state of affairs for us.

          • Gregg Smith

            I got over my decades slow forgiveness of Hillary, she is just such a pitiful character that I felt she deserved it. She doesn’t. Benghazi was the last straw for the second time.

            It’s a sad state of affairs indeed but it got me thinking. Is there a principled Democrat left that I could support? I’m not sure. I remember when Nancy Pelosi became speaker over Harold Ford Jr.. I respect him and wonder how different things could have been. I would love to at least respect the Democrat opponent  even if I didn’t vote for them. These days that’s tough.

      • Davesix6

        In other words you believe Obama will send yet another “political drone attack” against the working people of this nation, and the true source of our prosperity, “Free Enterprise”? 

    • Davesix6

      True Gregg, but Obama has his liberal/progressive allies, the Washington press corps, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, NYT, NPR, CNN, etc.  to cover for him by not reporting the truth.

      No doubt Obama’s allies in the press will attempt to blame “greedy” Employers and Insurance companies for any down side concerning Obamacare.

      • Gregg Smith

        IMO if it weren’t for his allies in the press Obama would be a laughing stock. It’s sad he can get away with what he does.

  • Gregg Smith

    On one hand I agree with Dick Cheney:

    “Frankly, what he has appointed are second-rate people,” 

    On the other hand, it does not matter. Obama overruled his ENTIRE security team on arming the Syrian rebels.

  • hennorama

    The essential question involved in many of these discussions is “Does a sovereign nation have an unlimited right to self-defense?

    If you answer in the affirmative, then “all’s fair in war” and all preemptive tactics and strategies are justifiable.

    If you answer in the negative, then the concepts of preemptive and invasive warfare, preemptive assassination, and torture as a legitimate means of interrogation are likely anathema to you.

    For an interesting post-9/11 and pre-Iraq invasion (during June 2002) discussion of the concept of “Pre-emptive Action to Forestall Terrorism” by Frederic L. Kirgis, a member of the American Society of International Law, see:

    http://www.asil.org/insigh88.cfm

    • Steve__T

       I answer Negative, we have gone far beyond what our country should be pursuing to safe guard the people of the US. We are not seen in a favorable light in too many country’s around the World, due too the recent changes in our foreign policy’s and our obvious superiority complex.

      We are not the rulers of the world, or the worlds Sharif.
      We need to drop the shoot first ask questions later attitude.   

      • hennorama

        Steve__T – TY for your response. I respect and understand your views.

        The US has a long history of interfering in the affairs of other countries when our leaders perceive an outside threat to national security or others societal aspects (such as business interests and safety of US citizens abroad). There is also a long history of other countries (most notably Great Britain) trying to interfere in our internal affairs.

        The pendulum bob of US interventionism and isolationism is certainly on the interventionism side of the arc, but has moved away from the maximum amplitude reached under Pres. Bush II. The precedents set under that administration can be viewed as dangerous, especially when considering how they might be used as justification for actions taken by other countries. The current administration has largely continued the same policies, except for reducing overseas troop levels and areas of military occupation.

        The consequences of recent US foreign interventions are only now becoming clear. The removal of various rulers in multiple countries has resulted in significant instability in the Middle East and North Africa, which will take years or even decades to settle out. US invasions, continued occupations and ongoing offensive military actions in various countries will definitely have repercussions for decades.

        On the other hand, and more important to US domestic politics, we have largely been safe on our own soil. This is the ultimate consideration for all Presidential administrations, and is the primary reason that the executive branch wants to retain ultimate authority for the implementation of various policies designed to keep the US safe.

        It’s quite difficult to balance all aspects of these policies, but all administrations can be expected to err on the side of actions that enhance US safety, regardless of the morality or legality of the actions. And when questionable actions come to light, there will be great scurrying about to justify these actions, or to show how legal considerations had been taken into account. That’s largely what we’re seeing now on the topic of assassinating US citizens.

    • Gregg Smith

      I don’t think that’s the question at all. Of course we have the right to defend ourselves from aggression. There is no one or the other method that is mutually exclusive. Most of the time capture and interrogation saves more lives. The 700% rise in assassination without due process has prolonged the struggle. We have eliminated tons of intelligence with the practice. We have made more enemies. The goal is not as petty and small as revenge. The goal must be liberation and changing the face of the middle east. There were times (like 2009 in Iran) when supporting opposition to radical regimes could have changed the dynamic. But we didn’t and Iran will not go away quietly. There are other times when overwhelming force saves lives and makes allies like when we nuked Japan. 

      These are weighty decisions but unfortunately Democrats framed them as being made for selfish and dastardly reasons. They were made for noble reasons. 

      If we are going to assassinate there must be a process and oversight. There isn’t. That’s unacceptable. There has to be transparency.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        “They were made for noble reasons”

        Nobility is dead, Politics took its place a few decades ago.

        • Gregg Smith

          This comment shook me. I started to reply hours ago by saying I’m not that cynical. I refrained for two reasons: 1) I didn’t want to call you cynical, and 2) I’m not sure I don’t agree.

          Upon reflection I have decided I don’t agree and still hold a modicum of unwarranted faith. I’m clinging to it. 

          • Fredlinskip

               This from a guy that supports enhanced interrogation & all that what happened at Abu Ghraib (both reported and unreported), preemptive War, $ equals free speech, supply-side economics, perpetual War, denial of man-influenced global warming, etc.

            Like you, I hold “modicum of faith”. 
            Seeing Obama elected for 2 terms went long way to help restore that “faith”.

          • Gregg Smith

            That’s just weird. Please don’t tell me what I think.

          • Fredlinskip

              The positions I listed, I believe, are ALL those you have previously taken.

             IMO, there is nothing “Noble” about any of them.

            (perhaps I should qualify that the Abu Ghraib part refers to Post W occupation)

          • DrewInGeorgia

            I don’t like it either, that doesn’t make it any less true. I don’t mind at all if you call me cynical Gregg. I feel I am more of a Realist but maybe that’s just a Cynic’s version of Optimism.

            I strive for objectivity, hope for the best, and expect nothing.

    • Fredlinskip

      It’s great that there is a World Court to weigh in on such issues, but unfortunately when dealing with a country “exceptional” as U.S. it’s decisions don’t seem to bear much weight.
      Wonderful that they ruled that Reagan’s aid to Contras in Nicaragua was “breach” of international law, but U.S. doesn’t seem to have been “penalized” in any way. Lot of life was lost that didn’t have to, had we not supported Contrs.

      The precedence our drone policy sets is problematic. Sooner or later other nations are going to follow suit and start “preemptively” assassinating folks in other countries. It‘s not hard to conceive how this could easily  bring about escalation into larger conflicts that nations will have to choose sides on, leading to a huge conflict.

      • hennorama

        Fredlinskip – TY for your response. I appreciate your views.

        You may have missed footnote 4 in the linked article, which related to the World Court 1986 case of Nicaragua v. United States. It reads

        “4 The Court did not have the advantage of hearing the US position on this issue, because the US had withdrawn from the proceedings after the Court found that it had jurisdiction to hear the case.”

        Essentially the US ran away with its hands over its ears once the Court said they had jurisdiction. Our government and courts seem to feel they are free to ignore the rulings of international courts when they disagree with said rulings, and to support the international courts and their rulings that are more agreeable and favorable. This is largely the popular opinion of Americans – we can do what we want and thumb our noses at international courts that disagree with our actions.

        Of course, this contradictory action is nonsensical. On one hand, the US continues to petition various international courts and to support their rulings, and on the other, the US sometimes acts with impugnity and without the approval of various international courts.

        We certainly have an enormous stake in international rule of law. Despite the fact that the US is the world’s only superpower, our large international economic and miltary interests worldwide require signification cooperation with other nations. We can’t simply dictate to them. Without the rule of law and respect for international courts, we would need a far larger Navy simply to protect international trade. The War On Terror(ism) would be far more difficult without the cooperation and acquiescence of other nations.

        Certainly the recent precendents set by US actions abroad have consequences that are far-reaching, and may come back to bite us in the future. However, all administrations can be expected to err on the side of actions that enhance US safety, regardless of the morality or legality of the actions, or the potential future consequences.

        • Fredlinskip

          Which is why I thought it was height of hypocrisy when W  thumbed his nose at the U.N.. If you want to face international issues you need international cooperation. It’s a lot cheaper to not “go it alone” too.

          This is my greatest gripe against W. HE was President at 9/11. This was a time when  whole world was ready to come to our support. Both sides of aisle were rarin’ to go- if he just would have LEAD in a direction that ACCEPTED all that cooperation. Instead, he chose a course that DIVIDED the world & country as much as could possibly be imagined given the circumstance. 
              An opportunity like that doesn’t come along very often. If we only had a leader who knew how to accept gift, the 9/11 attacks could have been used in ways to bring about greater good in the world which would have eventually (and probably in not that long at that) would have dwarfed that tragedy and gave great purpose to the loss of life that occurred on that day.

          Thanks for your comment and letting me vent.

          • hennorama

            Fredlinskip – TY for your response. I both respect and appreciate your views, so vent any time you wish.

            Pres. Bush II started off drawing lines in the sand in his “Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People” on Sept. 20, 2011:

            “Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (Applause.) From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.

            It was this “yer with us or yer agin us” black or white attitude that put off those who wanted to cooperate but couldn’t agree with EVERY tenet his administration porposed. The world is not black and white but mostly shades of grey. Bush’s failure to recognize this led to his inability to get a larger “coalition of the willing.” And equivocation, obfuscation and prevarication didn’t help either.

          • Fredlinskip

            “If you can’t learn form your mistakes, you might as well not make them.”
            Our country as a whole seem to be very slow learners. 
            “Americans will always do the right thing… after they’ve exhausted all the alternatives.”- Churchill
            Seems as if we’re running out of alternatives and we sure lost a lot of time , national wealth, good will of other countries- in the meanwhile.
            Oh well- tomorrow’s another day.
            And we still live in a pretty good country.
            Later.
            Thanks for all your info and keeping the “debate” rooted in the facts.
            I look forward to Prez speech tomorrow nite.

  • Gregg Smith

    I hope y’all don’t mind the diversion but I did have a request, so here goes.

    We have an Intercollegiate Dressage competition here at the farm today. Appalachian State, Wake Forest, Virginia Intermont, Lenoir-Ryne and Virginia Tech are competing. They all use our horses. Our Judge is world renowned equestrian Robin Brueckmann. She is particularly inspiring because she is an amputee. The weather is beautiful.
    I have it streaming on the internet for the scorekeepers sequestered in the office but I’d have to post our password to link it. Sorry.

    It seems many of the commenters here are codgers like me but a bit of advise for the college age males. Join the equestrian team. All of the competitors are female.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      I don’t mind the diversion but what was the request?

      • Gregg Smith

        I think it was TF who asked me last week to post something the next time we had a show.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          Got it, you were honoring a request not making one. Thanks for the clarification Gregg.

    • JGC

      One of my sons is going to an equestrian camp this summer.  One of the problems, though, was that they have so few young guys that attend, he was limited to just one session where they try to corral enough boys to fill a cabin of six.  

      • Gregg Smith

        I guess he’s a bit young for coed cabins. 

        I don’t understand it because cowboys are cool and there are a lot of accomplished male equestrians. We’ve had a few guys but not this year. All of our boarders are female. Maybe it’s an English vs. Western thing, we teach mainly English. Reagan rode English. So do mounted (and macho) police like Dudley Do Right. Who knows? 

        I hope your son enjoys camp.

        • Steve__T

           I ride western, don’t much care for English style.

          • Gregg Smith

            Believe it or not, I don’t ride at all any more. When I was a kid I rode Western.

        • JGC

          Thanks for that. Hope your competitors had a fine weekend. I will show my son the Robin Brueckmann site for a little extra inspiration.

          • Gregg Smith

            It was a fine weekend. I’m off to Mexico tomorrow for a week. I’ll leave my computer behind. It’s the first vacation since 1997. Woo hoo!

          • Fredlinskip

            Enjoy yourself you… (now,now)

            All right,
             just enjoy yourself then.

          • Gregg Smith

            Thanks Fred, I will.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Disqus…

  • Alex Santacruz

    Colbert’s quote on due process was gold.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      “Due process and judicial process are not one and the same. The Founders weren’t picky. Trial by jury, trial by fire, rock-paper-scissors – who cares?” “Due process,” he went on “just means there’s a process that you do.”

      It is pretty great.

      Do Process
      Not
      Due

  • notafeminista

    To Jefe68 down below: You say one can have a belief system involving neither God nor religion.   That was the premise of my original question to you when you itemized what Scouts should be.  For example, in order to be reverent, one must REVERE something.  Who or what should a Scout revere? (If we are to replace God with your belief system)

    To whom should a Scout be loyal? (If we are to replace God and flag with your belief system).

    To whom or what should a Scout be obedient to (If we are to replace God with your belief system).

    As I said…you missed the point.   Possibly deliberately so.  One never knows.

    • jefe68

      I don’t really care about the Boy Scots, never have. They use God and country as the corner stone their belief system. What you are doing is turing this into a diatribe against gays. 

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Since comrade Gregg Smith has mentioned our “drift toward socialism”, it might be a good time to list some of the accomplishments of the glorious American socialist revolution. Feel free to add more, comrades. Long live the USSA!

    Share of income of the 1% near all-time high

    Corporate profits at record highs

    Effective tax rate of the 1% at post-WW2 low

    Corporate taxes as share of total at post-WW2 low

    Estate tax gutted

    Dividends and cap gains taxed at 15%; “carried interest” at 15% for hedge funds

    Inequality highest in developed world

    Unions on life support

    Social security and medicare under attack

    Postal service under attack

    Public education being privatized

    Former military functions being privatized

    City parks and highways being privatized

    Public utilities vanishing

    Post-1929-crash regulations on financial sector repealed

    “Fairness doctrine” for broadcasters repealed

    • Gregg Smith

      Try to get me out of your head.

      • nj_v2

        Throw your computer in the river or stop clogging the forum with your idiotic dreck. That’ll make it easy.

        • Gregg Smith

          Have you looked at your own post?

          Screw you and your smarmy sickness. The U.S. hung Japanese generals for water torture during World War 2. It was f*ing torture then and it’s f*ing torture now.

          Greggg’s had no brain activity since 1998.

          There’s no arguing with stupid.

          Looks like Greggg is the one who’s drunk. WTF??

          Greggg goes into hypertroll mode during forum garbage time.

          Righties like Greggg hate the socialist, evil, useless UN except when it’s been manipulated and paid off by the US to do its bidding.

          Blending ignorance of science with concern. Nice touch.

          Posting bogus, inaccurate, deluded nonsense once or 100 times doesn’t make it any more credible.

          Do you have to exert much effort to sound this silly, or does it just kind of come naturally?

          • StilllHere

            He’s another waste of time.  Ignore.

          • Gregg Smith

            Aw c’mon, it was fun to post the above “idiotic drek”. I do ignore NJ most of the time but if he tees it up like that….

      • OnPointComments

        Keep up the good work.  There are some commenters on here who will never believe that one person being successful doesn’t cause another person to become unsuccessful, that capitalism (an inherent part of profits) has lifted more people from poverty than all of the government programs, that the solution to income inequality isn’t to pull down the people at the top but instead to lift up the people at the bottom, that the corruption of unions has led to their own demise, that private enterprise will always provide more successfully and better than government will, and that providing the populace with more information is better than limiting free speech.

        • Gregg Smith

          Thanks, I get a kick out of them sometimes.

        • Fredlinskip

          There are some commenters on here (at least 5, I’d say) that think that if we just grow the economy that it will “lift all boats”. It sure didn’t under W. These folks apparently believe that income gains for just the top are just fine. Screw rest of the country,  I say, peasants all. 
          Why these peasants if they HAD $ wouldn’t even realize which Congressmen to buy to ensure the divide continues to widen. 
              So what if this trend is the same as one that occurred before Great Depression. A depression hits-what the hey- us top %ers can just buy more assets on the cheap. See how this works? 

          Just LOVED when we got all the regulations dropped so that financial industry could privatize trillions in “gains” and then socialize the “losses” of the financial collapse that caused Great Recession. That was a hoot, wasn’t it? That was cause for bonuses all around.
            Love unregulated capitalism. Love that we’ve lowered trade restrictions so now American workers get to compete with  barefoot ones we hire in their place overseas. Love sending all manufacturing jobs over there. America is now all Service industry. Americans can kiss our butts. Love how this works. More $ for me. 
          Gotta love it.

      • StilllHere

        He is obsessed, like that stalker on here who loved Orwell so much.

        • Gregg Smith

          Ultrax, ughhh.

  • Ray in VT

    So, I, rather gladly, opened a can of worms on Friday, and I thought
    that I would take the time this morning to present some evidence to
    refute what one of our other posters has said.

    I stated comments
    leading up to the Iraq invasion by top Bush administration officials
    regarding links between Sadaam and Al Qaeda were not supported by existing intelligence information.  Gregg then went on about how no one said that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11 and that Bush didn’t lie.  Well, Bush did.

    Merriam Webster has this definition under lie:  “to create a false or misleading impression”, which the statements regarding the above links did.  A liar is “person who tells lies”.  So, if administration officials provided information that not only proved to be false, but was believed to be by the intelligence community, then they did indeed create a false or misleading impression among the American public, a lie, and as the spreaders of that lie, then they are liars.  Belief doesn’t get one off the hook for spreading falsehoods.  If I believe in the Easter Bunny as an adult, then am I totally ethically covered against being a liar by that bogus and erroneous belief?  I think not.  That seems like great cover for the ignorant, the fanatical and the willfully blind to somehow consider themselves to be honest people, despite spreading falsehoods.

    My word need not be taken, though, regarding the statements that were made and the factual basis of those statements.  There are plenty of them in the public record, although I certainly can provide them if requested.  I will, though, provide here a quote from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Report on Whether Public Statements Regarding Iraq Made by U.S. Government Officials Were Substantiated By Intelligence Information:

    “Statements and implications by the President and the Secretary of State that Iraq and Al-Qaeda had a partnership, or that Iraq provided Al-Qaeda with weapons training, were not substantiated by the intelligence.”

    And now a quote from President Bush:

    “We’ve learned that Iraq has trained Al-Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases.”  -President George W. Bush, speech in Cincinnati, October 2, 2002.

    • Gregg Smith

      By any definition it is impossible to lie if you do not know you are lying.

      Here is the transcript of the speech you pulled a line from:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/oct/07/usa.iraq

      Read the whole thing for context, it is clear he did not tie Iraq to 9/11. He was talking about the threat of leaving Hussein in power.

      I googled the first quote and came up with zero results. When was it uttered? Hindsight? And who said it? 

      But it doesn’t really matter. The statement you cite does not mention 9/11. It describes a threat. The tie was inferred and beaten home by the press but never uttered. Do you have a direct quote? Bush and Cheney said many times there was no tie. Are you suggesting Bush was such a master orator he could say one thing while simultaneously convincing the country of the opposite?

      There is a youtube video of Cheney on Russert correcting the meme. I’ll try to find it but it’s time to shovel poop and I’m leaving the country for a week in the morning so I’m very busy today. I would love to debate this to the bitter end because I have done extensive research on this.

      • Ray in VT

        Again, Gregg, kindly read my statements.  I did not say that Iraq had ties to 9/11.  I am calling into question Bush administration statements regarding Iraqi ties to and support of Al Qaeda, which were not supported by the intelligence community at that time.  Please stop trying to change the narrative or the subject on this.  The President spread a falsehood.  A lie.  One who spreads a lie is a liar.  Belief, in the face of available facts, doesn’t get you off the hook.

        I gave you the title of the Senate report from which the first quote came.  Yes, it was hindsight.  It was an evaluation of what was said and whether or not those statements were based upon available intelligence at that time.

        I question the validity of your “extensive research”, as some of your conclusions are highly flawed.  Were you to have done exhaustive research, then would you not have already come across this report and it’s findings?  That, in combination with some of the other value judgements that you have made, lead me to significantly question your judgements in general.

        That having been said, I hope that you very much enjoy your vacation, and I wish you a safe trip.  I have been working 6 or 7 days per week (usually 70-90 hours) since 2001, and I’ve only had a couple of short vacations in there.  I understand the difficulties in finding reliable help that can provide the necessary care that animals require, so I’m glad that you have the confidence in your employees to care for your business while you are away, and I sincerely hope that they do not disappoint you in that regard.

        • Gregg Smith

          Sneaking in on the barn computer briefly, damn I wish I had time.

          Al Qaida was in Florida for Pete’s sake, why on earth would it be outrageous to think they were in Iraq?

          There was evidence at the time, some turned out to be wrong and some we’ll never know. Are you saying Bush knew what he was saying was not true when he said it? 

          Are you saying Bush did not imply that connection? If so, you are right. He did not lie about WMD or yellow cake either. He did not lie about any of it. THAT is the narrative. Calm down I am not changing squat. I am now gathering your only claim is that he knew there was no affiliation when he said it. Is that it?

          Gregg then went on about how no one said that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11 and that Bush didn’t lie.  Well, Bush did.

          What did you mean by “well Bush did”? What am I missing? You did say it.

          • Ray in VT

            In Iraq and working with the Iraqi government are two different things.  They were in Florida.  Does that mean that they were working with Jeb Bush?

            I am saying that the intelligence community’s assessments in 2002-2003 were that there were no operational or tactical contacts between Al Qaeda and Sadaam’s Iraq, based upon the information in the Senate report.  Given that that was the case, then what was the factual basis of the President’s statement?  Apparently none based upon the intelligence then and now.  So, a falsehood, or lie if you will, was told to the public, is it your argument then, that a lie was told but that no one told a lie?

            As for many of the other claims made regarding the justifications for the war, they were at least partially supported by intelligence estimates, despite the fact that some findings were cherry-picked and some of that intelligence turned out to be wrong.  As I said the other day, that I can excuse, although heads should have rolled, not medals awarded.

            Are you claiming that the report is unreliable based upon who controlled the committee?  If so, then please don’t expect me to believe anything that comes out of any Republican controlled committee if it clashes with my existing views.  The report was initiated way back in 2004, and parts of it began being released in 2006.

            I don’t consider questioning one’s judgement necessarily to be “getting personal”.  I am not making any claims about your intelligence or anything.  There are plenty of decent, smart people who are a bit off kilter, and, quite frankly, I seriously began to question your judgement several months ago when you said something to the affect that you didn’t see a difference between the KKK and the NAACP:

            “Do you think it fair to call the KKK the National Association for the
            Advancement of White People? I do. And I don’t look at the NAACP any
            differently. As Walter E. Williams puts it, they are “the klan with a
            tan”.

            I think that that comparison is one of the more outrageous things that I have read here.  It’s almost as bad a Hitler was a liberal.

          • Gregg Smith

            I disagree, the intelligence community’s assessment was not unanimous in 2002. It was not monolithic.   

            Yes, I am flat out saying that a report initiated in 2004 that took 4 more years to come to the conclusion you cite was influenced (kind) by election year politics. I can’t find the roll call on the vote. I doubt it was unanimous and it may have been party line. I don’t know. It matters. Bush did not have the luxury of waiting on a committee.
            I will reiterate the question from my above reply, why do you think he would tell such a lie if there was nothing to go on? Clinton was the one who made regime change in Iraq US policy with “The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998″. The policy was in place well before 9/11.

            Regarding the KKK, I see no reason to rehash it but will say I stand by it 100%. The following is uncomfortable but I need to say it. While I respect your sincerity my view of your positions is the same as yours of mine. I think it is absolutely incredible that you believe much of what you claim you do. It is real easy for me to write you off as a total looney tune. So much is absolutely beyond the pale as far as I’m concerned. So where does that leave us? IMHO it is useless and futile to harp on our impressions of each other’s logic. That’s what i mean by “personal”. It is possible to debate the facts unemotionally. I try (with varying degrees of success) to do that.

            Thank for you well wishes on my vacation. I was thinking 1997 was the last time we vacationed together but looking at my passport it was 1992. I spent 2 months training up a few young bucks to cover me on the tractor work. We have lots of Horse people chipping in. But to be honest, “confidence” is not a word I embrace. I’m worried as hell. We’re going anyway.

          • Ray in VT

             You said something the other day about people not being able to engage in honest debate, well here is my exhibit A as to why that is not possible.  That Senate report is, to my knowledge, the best, most comprehensive report regarding what was said by whom and how that correlated to what was supported by intelligence, and you are dismissing it.  My view is that you are doing so because you are locked into a position, which is unsupported by facts, and you are unwilling to change.  I have my beliefs, to be sure, and prior to reading the Senate report I believed that there was less intelligence to support some of what was said about WMDs, but I was mistaken, so I had to correct my views in order to bring them in line with reality.  Are you willing to do so?

            The report’s conclusion was hardly “brand new”.  Many, many Americans significant doubts regarding what was said by the administration, and history has proved them correct, not just on supposed Iraqi support of Al Qaeda, but also on WMDs.  I assume that you have read the reports from the Iraq Survey Group, which is summarized here:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Survey_Group

            Their findings greatly undermine the intelligence claims regarding nuclear, biological and chemical weapons upon which the entire justification for the invasion of Iraq was made.

            So, are you blaming Clinton?  He made statements based upon bad intelligence, and he may have even made statements that were not based upon available evidence.  I think that that is immaterial when one is discussing whether or not the next President led us to war two full years after Clinton left office.

            I might be willing to consider your position regarding the KKK and the NAACP being the same if you could provide me with some evidence of when the NAACP has promoted the racial superiority of people of African descent, or when they or their members conducted a decades long campaign of intimidation, arson, murder and bombings in a vain attempt to hold another group in servile, second class status.  I think that I will wait sometime for such evidence, because, as far as I know, such evidence does not exist.  However, I am willing to entertain evidence, although not belief.

            I would be more than happy to discuss any ideas or opinions that I have expressed that you may consider to be looney tunes.  I have been known, from time to time, to make statements that are more based upon ideology than fact, although I do endeavor to support my views with facts as often as possible.  I think that you do make some valid points on some issues, and I would certainly give great weight to your opinions regarding music, horses, the experience of running a small business, and probably a few others that do not immediately come to mind, but I find many of your positions to not be in line with historical facts.  Now, I do not say that with any anger, and I certainly do not mean any disrespect.  I do not expect to change your mind on any of your positions.  You know what they say about old dogs and new tricks, and that, also, is not meant as an attack, just the relation of a saying. 

            However, I am not willing to give an inch of ground when I lay out clear facts, especially regarding the elements of history where I have spent a very good portion of my life reading, researching, and defending and supporting my positions both among my peers and with people who have achieved high level degrees from some of the world’s best universities.

            I do hope that you do not find too many things to have fallen through the cracks or left entirely undone upon your return.  I am also going on vacation this year.  I will be taking the longest trip of my life, although it is only to Florida.  We’re taking the kids to Disney, where I hope to have a very good time, especially considering what it is going to cost me.  We can only just barely afford it, but the kids will only be young once, so, in some ways, this trip is really for them.

        • Gregg Smith

          I found the first paragraph of page 3 interesting. Bush choked back a lot to limit his comment to the one you quoted.

          http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/wikileaks-iraq-al-qaeda-connection-confirmed-again_558271.html

          • Ray in VT

            There’s a lot of “this guy said” this or that, and little hard evidence.   I did notice that it said that one guy he worked for the Iraqi National Congress, which we helped put in charge, and the other two deserted from the Iraqi army.

            There were claims that they were connected to Sadaam, but those were not referenced in any document that the article linked to.

            Also, given that one of the files was dated 2005 and the Senate report came out in 2008, one would have to assume that the Senate had access to these materials, unless the administration withheld those documents.

            If there is stronger evidence of any real connection, then the Weekly Standard certainly did not link to it.

          • Gregg Smith

            The bar is high if you say Bush knew he was lying. I just found the Wikileaks thing today and only had time to skim it. My only claim is Bush  had reason to say what he did, so therefore was not lying. The Wiki leak supports that notion. There may not have been a connection but there was plenty of reason to suspect there was. If he was not trying to tie Iraq to 9/11, as you seem to reject (I’m confused), then why did he bring it up? 

            I cannot imagine being in his position after 9/11. It was simply not prudent to rule out anything. IMHO it is not appropriate to assume he was lying so he could get “revenge for Daddy” or “take the oil”, or scratch Cheney’s itch. To be clear, I’m not accusing you of that but all of those things are now accepted my many. I would ask you why do you think he was lying? Hopefully you won’t reply with any of the above. Maybe, just maybe he was acting in the best interest of America and a free and peaceful world. There is other evidence like Salmon Pac that must be considered in the context of what was known at the time. Also I have nothing to refute but your one line. It was not a lie.

          • Ray in VT

            Did Bush know that what he was saying was false?  He certainly did not have intelligence information to support his claim.  You may choose to define a lie and liar as knowing that one is lying, and you are entitled to your own opinions, but the fact is that you are not entitled to create your own definitions and expect others to abide by them.  In addition to the definition that I gave yesterday, I will also add these:

            “Something intended or serving to convey a false impression.” – Random House-Webster’s

            “To convey a false impression or image.” – American Heritage.

            Those are official and accepted definitions, and they say nothing about belief.  A false impression was conveyed to the American public.  It was known to not be supported by evidence.  Those who spoke that falsehood are liars.  Dick Cheney apparently still believes in a link as of 2011, despite the evidence:

            http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/09/07/313383/cheney-iraq-saddam-alqaeda/

            Is he lying?  I would say yes, because he is promoting a position that is directly counter to the facts some 10 years later, or does he get a pass until he either gives it up or dies?

            I don’t, and have never, bought into the idea that Iraq was revenge for the attempted assassination of George H.W. Bush.  The President’s and Vice President’s connections to various companies and industries that could have potentially benefited from a regime change in Iraq were of concern to me and many others, but I don’t see any factual evidence to suggest that that was a motivating factor.

            Perhaps the President, and others, believed some of the statements that were not supported by available evidence, and there was certainly plenty of bad intelligence out there.  I also cannot imagine being in such a position, and I think that the job of President must be severely trying to men’s souls.  It must be difficult to give orders and to know that people will die because of them.

            So why did he say some of those things?  Maybe he thought that the ends justified the means.  If America is mislead to order to get rid of a terrible dictator, then maybe it’s worth it.  I would be reluctant to go so far as to suggest that the President’s thinking was that cynical, but it certainly does lead one to question that if the facts did not support what he said, then why say it?

            What I find amazing, and I think that Cheney and other apologists for the previous administration have fed this view, is that 38% of Americans in 2011 ” believe that the US has found clear evidence in Iraq that Saddam Hussein was working closely with Al Qaeda.”

            http://themoderatevoice.com/121921/ten-years-later-belief-in-iraq-connection-with-911-attack-persists/

            Facts matter, and many people are not willing to accept facts.  15% of those surveyed thought that Iraq was directly involved in carrying out the 9/11 attacks.

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