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Week In The News: Syria And Congress, G20, Fukushima

An attack on Syria goes before Congress. Obama in Russia. Diana Nyad’s epic swim. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

U.S. President Barack Obama, left, walks away after shaking hands with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during arrivals for the G-20 summit at the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013. (AP)

U.S. President Barack Obama, left, walks away after shaking hands with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin during arrivals for the G-20 summit at the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013. (AP)

A real, deep quandary over Syria this week in Congress and a gut-wrenching debate beyond. Hearings and passion for military strikes, intervention. A chorus of passion against military strikes in town halls around the country. An unresolved tension over what intervention would be – a smack or a game-changer. In Russia, the President says it’s the world’s red line. We’ll see.

Beyond Syria, Japan builds a nuclear ice wall, jobs numbers come in soft, Diana Nyad makes her big swim. Robert Frost is dead. Up next On Point: our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Indira Lakshmanan, senior correspondent for Bloomberg News covering foreign policy. (@indira_l)

Susan Davis, chief congressional reporter for USA Today. (@davisusan)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

USA Today: House panel debate shows divide over Syria resolution – “The Obama administration’s push for congressional approval of military strikes on Syria continued Wednesday in the GOP-led U.S. House, where Secretary of State John Kerry compared inaction against Syria to early efforts to appease Nazi Germany.”

Bloomberg News: Kerry Turns From Anti-War Protester to Syria Salesman – “Kerry, who spent hours testifying on Capitol Hill the past two days to persuade reluctant lawmakers to approve a strike to punish the Syrian regime for what the U.S. says was the gassing of 1,400 people, has emerged as the Obama administration’s most passionate advocate of a military response to an atrocity.”

Reuters: Pressure grows on Obama over Syria at G20 summit – “U.S. President Barack Obama faced growing pressure from world leaders on Thursday not to launch military strikes in Syria at a summit on the global economy that was hijacked by the conflict.”

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  • 1Brett1

    Those Repubs just can’t help themselves when it comes to insulting women…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/04/alison-lundergan-grimes-empty-dress_n_3865060.html

    • hennorama

      So good to see Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell leading on the Syria chemical weapons issue.

      His brave silence is deafening.

  • brettearle

    The US must present concrete evidence that Assad is behind the Gas Attack(s).

    Otherwise, the risks are much greater. What’s more, US credibility will plummet even further, along with its prestige.

    UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson presented evidence before the UN, during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    Why can’t UN Ambassador Power do the same thing?

    The Obama Administration owes the American people, and the world, a convincing explanation.

    If Assad is behind the gas attacks, and the Obama Administration is not forthcoming with evidence, too many will regard this avoidance as false-claim bluster.

    The position of the Obama administration, so far, does not make sense. There’s too much at stake, not to come forward with concrete Evidence.

    • NewtonWhale

      Kerry:

      We have physical evidence of where the rockets came from and when. Not one rocket landed in regime-controlled territory, not one. All of them landed in opposition-controlled or contested territory. We have a map, physical evidence, showing every geographical point of impact, and that is concrete.

      … We are certain that none of the opposition has the weapons or capacity to effect a strike of this scale, particularly from the heart of regime territory.

      With high confidence, our intelligence community tells us that after the strike the regime issued orders to stop and then fretted openly — we know — about the possibility of U.N. inspectors discovering evidence. So then they began to systematically try to destroy it.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/09/05/everything-you-need-to-know-about-syrias-chemical-weapons/

      France:

      French Release Intelligence Tying Assad Government to Chemical Weapons

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/03/world/middleeast/french-release-intelligence-tying-assad-government-to-chemical-weapons.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

      Germany:

      German intelligence agrees with other Western agencies that the Assad regime was behind the Aug. 21 poison gas attack in Syria. One important clue was provided by a telephone conversation intercepted by German agents.

      Schindler also presented an additional clue, one that has not thus far been made public. He said that the BND listened in on a conversation between a high-ranking member of the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, which supports Assad and provides his regime with military assistance, and the Iranian Embassy. The Hezbollah functionary, Schindler reported, seems to have admitted that poison gas was used. He said that Assad lost his nerves and made a big mistake by ordering the chemical weapons attack.

      http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/german-intelligence-contributes-to-fact-finding-on-syria-gas-attack-a-920123.html

      If congress votes to do nothing it should then vote to repeal the Syria Accountability Act and rescind our agreement to the the 1993 Chemical Weapons Treaty.

      • nj_v2

        What are three things that Obama has done that you don’t agree with?

        • NewtonWhale

          1) No public option in healthcare
          2) Too small a stimulus in 2009
          3) Caving in to Congress on the debt limit negotiations in 2011
          4) Failure to offer large infrastructure spending bill to create jobs

          There are more.
          He’s far from my ideal, but light years ahead of his republican opponents.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Stay out of Syria! A photo yesterday showing a group of anti-government rebels about to execute unarmed/handcuffed Syrian soldiers shows that one side is as bad as the other. And when our rockets kill innocent civilians, which will inevitably happen, those against the USA will have another valid basis and publicity source for recruiting terrorists. To react unilaterally because Pres. Obama didn’t think things through and now foolishly argues to strike Syria because he put his own credibility on the line would be to simply fix the first mistake by making an even bigger mistake. The American people and the military experts are in alignment that making this unilateral decision would be extremely foolish and likely to lead to yet another middle east entanglement. Better for Obama to eat crow than to put foolishly put American blood and treasure on the line for what will accomplish nothing at best and result in another war involving us at worst. If the Republicans were in the White House and arguing for this action, the Democrats would be fiercely opposed to it. We need to put politics aside and do what is in our own best interest, which is to stay out of Syria!

    • NewtonWhale

      You do realize that equating the actions of one grouip of rebels with the entire Syrian opposition is the same as arguing that all Americans are the same as William Calley or the guards at Abu Ghraib?

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        Yes I understand that. My point is the opposition consists of groups with a divergence of viewpoints, many of which are against the U.S. (for understandable reasons) and with a very uncertain outcome even if Assad is deposed. It could certainly look like Iraq does now. How we would define “success” (a democratic government that respects the rights of all of its citizens) is highly unlikely if not impossible (witness how the uprisings and democratic efforts have failed throughout the middle east). Consequently, let’s stay out of it. Consensus and international action is what the U.N. is for.

        • NewtonWhale

          The mission is to deter the use of chemical weapons in the future. Our allies in the region are concerned that if Assad is allowed to use them with impunity then he, and others, will be more likely to use them in the future. The mission is also to stem the outflow of refugees, who are streaming across the borders of Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, all of whom support action.

          Waiting for the UN is pointless because Russia will veto any action. Russia’s only remaining military base outside of the former Soviet Union is located in Syria and it would lose that base if Assad falls. Russia has been actively supporting Assad and would lose a tremendous amount of face if he falls.

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

          • nj_v2

            The “mission” is ill-defined.

            The “mission” cannot, with any certainty, be shown to have any of the desired outcomes.

  • sickofthechit

    Can someone please answer a few questions for me?

    -Who sold or gave Assad the chemical weapons?
    -Why?
    It seems to me that when assigning responsibility for the use of chemical weapons we should follow the chain of custody back to manufacture and hold each level responsible based on their involvement and how much they profited or how egregious their conduct was in supplying the weapons in the first place. If it is illegal to use them, why isn’t it illegal to have them in the first place?

    Same thing goes for land-mines. The original manufacturer and suppliers should have to help with the cleanup of mined areas. To me it is a “Products Liability” issue. If a land-mine didn’t go off and the war is over then it is a “defective product” so to speak. Follow the supply chains and assign responsibility.

    I have to personally oppose the attack because unless we can secure 100% of the chemical weapons afterwards or destroy 100% without endangering innocent lives then how can we consider it a successful mission?

    I heard an Arab woman on NPR this morning and she made a very valid point. She said the Arab countries are weary of the West (and particularly the US) deciding what the Middle East needs. She said it should be an Arab decision on how Assad is dealt with. I imagine we could assist, but we should not be leading and we most certainly should not be soloing… charles a. bowsher

    • NewtonWhale

      In case you were wondering why Russia has blocked us in the UN:

      How did Syria get chemical weapons in the first place?

      The Syrian government is thought to possess large stocks of nerve agents (sarin and VX) as well as mustard gas, likely weaponized into bombs, shells and missiles. It also may have some production facilities.

      Syria “probably” first began stockpiling chemical weapons in 1972 or 1973, when Egypt gave the country a small number of chemicals and delivery systems before the Yom Kippur War against Israel, according to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service.

      The Soviet Union later supplied chemical agents, delivery systems and training. Syria is also “likely to have procured equipment and precursor chemicals from private companies in Western Europe.” According to the report, Syria doesn’t yet appear to have the capacity to produce the weapons entirely on its own, relying on outside help for precursors.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/09/05/everything-you-need-to-know-about-syrias-chemical-weapons/

      • sickofthechit

        Thank you for your informative reply.

      • sickofthechit

        Where did Egypt get them from in the first place? I didn’t see that in the article.

        • NewtonWhale

          The ones it gave to Syria could have come from the Soviet Union, but could also have been produced by Egypt itself:

          http://www.nti.org/country-profiles/egypt/chemical/

        • Ray in VT

          I was thinking the Soviet Union, given that the Soviets in some ways supported Nasser back in the day.

        • HonestDebate1

          I’m thinking they came from Iraq.

          • Ray in VT

            Got any facts or evidence to back up that thought?

          • HonestDebate1

            No, but I remember the caravans to Syria and the conspiracies. Do you have facts or evidence to back up your claim about the Soviet Union?

          • Ray in VT

            Well, conspiracies, combined with memory and shoddy sources, do seem to be one of your fortes.

            The CRS report details the assessments of WMDs possibly coming from Eygpt in the 1970s. I made no “claim” regarding the Soviet Union. The fact is that the Soviets aided Egypt under Nasser, including nuclear research and military assistance, and if the WMDs were not independently developed within Egypt prior to any transfers to Syria in the 1970s, then I am thinking that a likely source would have been the Soviets. Who knows, though. Maybe we helped out Nasser like we helped out Saddam.

          • HonestDebate1

            And I made no claim that was different than yours. I didn’t name a source, you didn’t either. Iraq makes as much sense as anything.

          • Ray in VT

            Except if one reads documents backed by research rather than making baseless claims, but, again, that seems to be a staple of your arguments.

          • HonestDebate1

            Whatever dude.

          • Ray in VT

            From the CRS document cited:

            “Some analysts point out that Egypt provided Syria with a small
            number of chemical weapons and delivery systems in the lead-up to the Yom Kippur War in
            1973.
            7
            An expanded Syrian effort began in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Declassified U.S.
            documents indicate that the Soviet Union supplied Syria with chemical agents, delivery systems, and training related to chemical weapons use”

            Egypt has had chemical weapons capabilities for about 100 years, so they didn’t really need any Soviet help there:

            http://www.nti.org/country-profiles/egypt/

            so I will gladly withdraw any speculation as to whether or not the Soviets provided any support there during Nasser’s time, especially considering that Syria looks to have gone directly to the Soviet source than through a third party. So, whatever dude. I’d still like to see some sources for Iraq moving WMDs to Syria, though.

          • HonestDebate1

            Dude, you are not providing any evidence these chemical weapons came from anywhere. But I never accused you of making that claim. Hussein certainly had chemical weapons more recently than 1973.

          • Ray in VT

            The CRS document provides citations for the likely sources of Syria’s weapons, which is more evidence than you have provided. Saddam certainly did, but where is the evidence of any connection from the intelligence communities?

          • HonestDebate1

            And BTW, I’m not the only one who is speculating about this. The Syrian connection was much discussed at the time. It’s no wonder many are asking about it now.

          • Ray in VT

            Being one of a crowd providing baseless speculation doesn’t sound like a good justification to me. Again, please provide some evidence.

          • JobExperience

            “It Came From Iraq” on a double bill with

            “The Innocence of Muslims” now playing at the Mussolini.

  • sickofthechit

    If the problems at Fukushima don’t convince us that we are in over our heads and the next 50 to 100 or more generations heads by using nuclear power I don’t know what will. We still aren’t adequately dealing with the accumulated spent fuel rods, etc, etc, etc. Please, let’s stop the insanity! charles a. bowsher

  • sickofthechit

    Did you see Senator McCain’s Video Poker screw-up during Secretary Kerry’s testimony? The Daily Show did a great treatment of it Wednesday nIght. How is it he and the others aren’t subject to recall? He was actually betting thousands of dollars while sitting in a hearing then laughing about it later. Maybe I am to naive, but I find it unconscionable behavior. Is he going senile? charles a. bowsher

    • NewtonWhale

      Unforgivable.He was too bored to pay attention for 3 whole hours while the Senate debated whether to authorize the use of force.

      And the media excused him!

      Andrea Mitchell tweeted this: “can you blame him? 3 hrs”

      The beltway media, with its incestuous relationship to politicians like McCain and its need to capture eyeballs is actually preventing us from having intelligent discussions about important issues.

      Gold Star Mom To Poker Player McCain: ‘I’m Sorry the Lives Of Our Brave Warriors Bore You’

      http://sbynews.blogspot.com/2013/09/gold-star-mom-to-poker-player-mccain-im.html?showComment=1378368929684

      • nj_v2

        What are three things that Obama has done that you don’t agree with?

      • JobExperience

        Nero, but can’t play the fiddle.

    • alsordi

      My theory about McCain is that that when the USSR fell, the Mossad got ahold of McCain’s embarrassing Hanoi Hilton songbird videos held by the Soviets, and now they holding them against him, to force him to do Israeli’s bidding. I can see no other reason for McCains’s fanatical willingness to get the US into another deadly M.E. war.

  • JONBOSTON

    Can’t wait to hear how today’s program spins the staggering incompetence of our pretend affirmative action president. Obama enjoys the trappings and ceremonial benefits of being president –it’s the responsibilities that he just as soon do without. Unfortunately the job is more than playing golf , vacationing on MV, traveling to hollywood for another fundraiser , standing in front of idiots , 18 year olds, public sector parasites , and welfare recipients to make another useless forgettable speech.
    Frankly, I think Obama is hoping that the House votes against a strike so he can blame the Republicans , or the tea party,or Rush Limbaugh, or the sequester , or the International community or ( fill in the blank) for the failure to act. Obama is an awful pathetic president , an international joke. Unfortunately there are real world consequences for his inability to understand the first thing about presidential leadership. The world today is a great deal less safe mainly because of his ineptitude. And serious politicians and analysts (no matter their party or political leanings) know this.

    • jefe68

      “pretend affirmative action president” “standing in front of idiots” “18 year olds, public sector parasites” “welfare recipients”…

      The regressive right winger slings his vile Friday morning diatribe.

      • JONBOSTON

        LOL –I can picture you standing right behind Obama . But who are you? 18 yr old? public sector parasite? SNAP recipient , or just plain idiot?

        • jefe68

          Well that’s par the course for a regressive right wing mud slinger. Try to demean me with your juvenile asides.

          Grow up already.

        • StilllHere

          He could pull multiple switches in that line-up. But to show you he’s better than you, he’s gonna insult you.

          That didn’t take long.

          • jefe68

            Troll. You’re talking about insulting people?

            That’s has to be the understatement of the day here.

        • TFRX

          Hey, don’t sell Jefe short. I’m betting he’s all three.

          If you try, you can also call him a “Cadillac driving welfare queen” with a straight face.

          • HonestDebate1

            And that would be racist, right?

          • jefe68

            I drive a VW. I’m way past 18. I’m not an idiot. I don’t receive SNAP assistance, and never have. My mother worked for the NY City school system, I guess that kind of counts for being a “public sector parasite”.

            This creature Jon, he’s the kind of person who talks a big game but when he is confronted with the reality of people face to face he’s going to back down, as all cowards do.

          • TFRX

            Seriously, though–no personal details about you required on my account. I wasn’t talking about you in particular.

            I considered the “that’ll show’em” insults levied at you strangely out of place and ineffective, unless one is in a discussion board at Foxnation, say.

          • jefe68

            I knew that, but I thought I should set the record straight.
            I also lived in Scotland and used their NH system so I guess that makes me Socialist as well.

          • TFRX

            Yes, I vaguely remember something about you being in Scotland.

            Go Dunfermline! Up the Pars!

          • jefe68

            I lived in Edinburgh. Most of the people I knew were Celtics supporters.
            A few supported Rangers, but that’s about being Orangemen.

    • JobExperience

      Recipients of SNAP and Entitlements are citizens with the same rights as JONBOSTON, but someone forgot to tell him. He can’t keep his once they lose theirs but someone neglected to teach him. Minimum waged workers, the working poor, and volunteers do the bullk of the necessary work, but JONBOSTON thinks life operates on predation.

      • jefe68

        It’s a classic right wing extremist tactic. Demonize people and make them into something lesser than and use them as a wedge or meme for their rhetoric.

    • NewtonWhale

      Racism.
      It’s what’s for breakfast.

      Must feel good to find a place where you can tell everyone how you feel about having a black man in the oval office.

      • HonestDebate1

        That’s sick.

        • jefe68

          No, what’s sick is your constant use of this wording when it pertains to racially charged comments.

          • HonestDebate1

            No, sick is assuming racism as the reason for valid criticism with zero evidence. There is nothing more shallow.

          • jefe68

            “pretend affirmative action president”

            So in your view this statement has nothing to do with race?

            Please, spare me your indignant harrumphs.

          • HonestDebate1

            I would refer you to JonBoston’s explanation. But I’m glad to see you finally admitting Affirmative Action is all about the color of skin.

          • jefe68

            Typical. The right wing turn around.
            His comment is vile and if you like that kind of low life kind of rhetoric, well that says a lot about you and how fake you are. That you think you’re here to debate the issues, when you are not.

      • TFRX

        “Eeew” for this having existed. And as a fan of US advertising and marketing history and ephemera, I thought I’d seen it all.

        No wonder Post went with the vampires and ghosts and Frankenstein’s monsters.

        (The “Thelma and Louise”-era T-Bird puts this at c. 1960, I think.)

      • JONBOSTON

        There is much irony in your comments about racism. The reason I regard Obama as an affirmative action president is the subtle racism that the mainstream media practices with Obama. Their refusal to apply any criticism or apply any of the standards that past presidents have been judged by despite his obvious incompetence is based primarily on his race and his liberal policies.

        • NewtonWhale

          I guess I imagined all that media criticism of Obama the last 5 years. Oh, wait, I didn’t:

          Study finds harsh media coverage for Obama

          President Obama “has suffered the most unrelentingly negative treatment” of all presidential candidates over the past five months, according to a study released Monday from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

          http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20121362-503544.html

          • HonestDebate1

            Maybe it’s because he’s an awful President.

      • hennorama

        NewtonWhale – what a bizarre anachronism. A quick search came up with the following:

        “Rice Krinkles (full name: Sugar Coated Rice Krinkles) disappeared in 1969, making room for Post’s new puffed rice cereal, a fruit-flavored cereal meant to resemble little rocks. Today, you know this descendant of Rice Krinkles as Fruity Pebbles.

        “The cereal was also sold under the name Sugar Sparkled Rice Krinkles. During that time, the box listed the ingredients as rice, sugar, salt, corn syrup and honey, along with an infusion of iron, niacin and vitamin B1.”

        See:
        http://www.mrbreakfast.com/cereal_detail.asp?id=314

  • alsordi

    So when the “Fed” stops its stimulus, the Pentagon starts its stimulus in Syria. Nothing new here. Its called “American Economics”.

  • NewtonWhale

    Want to know why our public discourse is so shallow and ineffective? Why we can no longer deal with important issues?

    The media is killing our democracy.

    I have been extremely discouraged at the media’s lack of serious or informed coverage of this issue. There is ample evidence and history that could be discussed, but the “news shows” spend all their time discussing the politics and not the substance.

    The low point came last Saturday when Don Lemon of CNN became exasperated that the president had asked Congress to vote.

    LEMON: One more question because we are waiting for Congress to come back on September 9th. And I kept wondering during the coverage as I thought, you know, we would not have this extended coverage quite frankly this evening. After I heard the president, I said well there goes the news. It’s two weeks, at least, before anything would happen until Congress meets.

    I want to ask the panel. I have the panelist here. I want to ask them that. So the question is why are we here? If Congress isn’t here, if Congress isn’t going to come back until the 9th. Where’s the urgency?

    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1308/31/cnr.09.html

    Lemon was personally infuriated because they came in to cover missile strikes over Labor Day weekend but now had to wait for a vote. “Why are we here?” he cried in outrage. Sorry to ruin your weekend, Mr. Lemon.

    Disgraceful.

    • JobExperience

      Answer: Why do “reality” shows require so many producers? (Answered your question with another question, just like the operators of Black Box government.)

  • JONBOSTON

    Quotes from the Sept 3rd Senate hearing on supporting the resolution on Syria.
    Senator Corker to General Dempsey : “What is it your seeking?”
    Gen Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: ” I can’t answer that, what we’re seeking.”
    As Charles Krauthammer notes:
    “we have a problem. The president proposes attacking Syria, and his top military officer cannot tell you the objective. Does the commander -in -chief know his own objective? Why yes.’ A shot across the bow’, explained Obama.”
    Peggy Noonan sums it up perfectly:
    WRONG TIME,WRONG PLACE,WRONG PLAN, WRONG MAN.

    • JobExperience

      Answer: The fuse is Hezbollah, and we wanna light it up!
      The Mother of Shock and Awe on steroids!
      Round 3 of aggressive war: costs top 4 trillion.

      Profits for the 1%, and hollowing out for the 99%.
      Education, Social Security SNAP, Health Care and unemployment check cuts. Empire saved by Feudalism.

    • NewtonWhale

      You have taken Dempsey’s comment out of context. He did not say he did not know, he said he could not answer. That’s because Corker was asking how the resolution could enhance the covert operations already going on. As Hagel points out, that is classified and would be discussed in the next day’s classified hearing.

      Here is what you left out:

      SEN. HAGEL: I would only add that it was June of this year that the president made a decision to support lethal assistance to the opposition, as you all know. We have been very supportive with hundreds of millions of dollars of nonlethal assistance. The vetting process, as Secretary Kerry noted, has been significant. But — I’ll ask General Dempsey if he wants to add anything — but we, Department of Defense, have not been directly involved in this. This is, as you know, a covert action, and as Secretary Kerry noted, probably to go into much more detail would require a closed or classified hearing.

      General Dempsey?

      SEN. CORKER: As he’s answering that, and if you could be fairly brief, is there anything about the authorization that you’re asking that in any way takes away from our stated strategy of empowering the vetted opposition to have the capacity over time to join in with a transition government, as we have stated from the beginning?

      Is there anything about this authorization that in any way supplements that?

      GEN. DEMPSEY: To your question about the opposition, moderate opposition, the path to the resolution of the Syrian conflict is through a developed, capable, moderate opposition. And we know how to do that.

      Secondly, there’s nothing in this resolution that would limit what we’re doing now, but we’re very focused on the response to the chemical weapons. I think that subsequent to that, we would probably return to have a discussion about what we might do with the moderate opposition in a — in a more overt way.

      SEN. CORKER: So, you know, I’m very sympathetic to the issue of chemical warfare and very sympathetic to what this means to U.S. credibility, and I’m very sympathetic to the fact that people are watching in the region and this’ll have an impact. But I want to say I am not sympathetic regarding the lack of effort that is taking place, in my opinion, on the ground as it relates to the vetted opposition. And I hope the end state that you imagine here is something that, while it will be proportional and will be surgical, is something that enhances the strategy that we’ve already laid in place. And I hope you’ll answer that, yes or no, at this time.

      GEN. DEMPSEY: The answer to whether I support additional support for the moderate opposition is yes.

      SEN. CORKER: And this authorization will support those activities in addition to responding to the weapons of mass destruction.

      GEN. DEMPSEY: I don’t know how the resolution will evolve, but I support –

      SEN. CORKER: But what you’re seeking — what is it you’re seeking?

      GEN. DEMPSEY: I can’t answer that, what we’re seeking.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/running-transcript-senate-foreign-services-committee-hearing-on-syria/2013/09/03/35ae1048-14ca-11e3-b182-1b3bb2eb474c_story_4.html

      Do not trust columnists like Krauthammer or Noonan, who are political hacks with axes to grind.

      Go read the actual materials.

      • jefe68

        The regressive right is not interested in the facts or truth. This is a good example of that and how the right just hurls BS at a wall in hoping something will stick.

    • Ray in VT

      Except for that quote was preceded by the comments from Senator Corker: “And this authorization will support those activities in addition to responding to the weapons of mass destruction.” to which General Dempsey responded: “I don’t know how the resolution will evolve, but I support…”, so he was talking about the resolution and authorization before Congress, not the military goals or objectives, which he addressed with comments such as ” Yes, thank you, chairman. The task I’ve been given is to develop
      military options to deter — that is to say, change the regime’s
      calculus about the use of chemical weapons and degrade his ability to do
      so — that is to say, both activities directly related to chemical
      weapons themselves, but also potentially the means of employing them —
      and anything further than that I would prefer to speak about in a
      classified setting.” and “Sure. And I think the language about not to — not using American
      military power to tip the scale is — would be our direct action. In
      other words, this resolution is not asking for permission for the
      president to be able to use the United States’ Armed Forces to overthrow
      the regime.
      On the other hand, back to the earlier questions
      about developing a moderate regime that has capabilities to be a
      stabilizing force inside of Syria, that’s the path — our military
      action, in this case, is very focused on the chemical weapons, but will
      have the added benefit of degrading — and it will also have the added
      benefit of supporting the diplomatic track.”

      So gee, what a surprise. Good ole’ Chuck took a comment, pulled it out of context, and then used it to criticize the administration without noting the other comments by General Dempsey where he made clearer statements regarding objectives and goals. It would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetically predictable and so easily swallowed and regurgitated by some.

    • TFRX

      Krackhammer and Nooners?

      Hahahahaha!

      They lost all credibility about a decade ago to say anything about American military manuvers.

  • Ed75

    The pope asks all people to pray for peace Saturday from 7-12:00 Rome time (1-5:00 EST), his prayer will be on TV. As Pope Paul said in 1964 prophetically at the U.N. ‘No more war’. The vote might come on 9/11.

    • NewtonWhale

      Praying for peace has not ended this 2+ year conflict, nor has it spared the lives of the 100,000 dead Syrians.

      If the Pope wants to end the war and stop the killing he should urge Russia and China to allow the UN to topple Assad.

      • Ed75

        I agree with you, it should go to the U.N. Pope Francis wrote a lengthy letter to President Putin at the G8, it’s probably online. I don’t think The pope would argue that a government be replaced (in this case by whom?), but would argue for negotiation and change of policies on all sides. We are all brothers, we have to act in each other’s interest.

        • Ray in VT

          It is just so sad that we so often allow things that can be so negligible to divide us and set us against one another.

          • JobExperience

            Palin says Allah will sort things out.

          • Ray in VT

            Sure. I bet that the Christians in the Middle East are really happy about that.

      • nj_v2

        “Topple Assad.”

        Yep, just like the throngs of jubilant Iraqis toppled the statue of Saddam. It’s so simple.

        • JobExperience

          You know we shouda saved that thing and put Shrub’s face on it. What a waste!
          Let’s snag a big bronze Lenin off a Danube barge for Obama’s Library.

        • NewtonWhale

          How’s Col. Khadafy doing?

      • JobExperience

        Francis plays simpleminded and clueless, but his iron hand clamped down on the Vatican Bank. (Which had financed arms deals with terrorists and state terrorists.)

        He’s a great mingler, loves touching people.
        Francis could get Medieval should things not go his way.

    • J__o__h__n

      How was that “prophetically” as there have been several wars since then?

      • Ed75

        Pope Paul pleaded that there be no more war, and indicated that war was no longer the way to solve our problems. In a more populous world, we need cooperation. The disasters of the wars that followed showed that he was right.

  • Coastghost

    On further thought: Obama’s claim that his credibility is not on the line does make sense once we concede that he has lost all credibility.

    • JobExperience

      He did seem comatose at the March on Washington commemoration, completely oblivious to actual conditions.

  • AC

    no one pay attention to this. i’m experimenting:
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/29/ex-employee-measles-church-preached-faith-not-shots/
    i posted it due to a debate yesterday and it was banned. i want to see what happens here….

    • Coastghost

      Though we may not always agree, AC: good luck warring against WBUR and “On Point” “moderators”.
      Discourse management in various NPR chatrooms has become noticeably heavy-handed in recent months.

      • 1Brett1

        if by “discourse management” you refer to their mismanagement, then I agree. I think it is an algorithm glitch; at any rate, the actions make no sense.

        • nj_v2

          It does seem random (comments withheld for “moderation”). Has happened to me a couple of times, for no obvious reason. In one instance, i thought it might have been because the entire content was cut and pasted, but not sure.

          What’s still beyond understanding, not to mention fundamentally discourteous, is why they haven’t found fit to post a rudimentary set of guidelines or terms of service for posting in the forum.

          • 1Brett1

            That’s what I find troubling. There are no guidelines. I mean, getting held up over a word or phrase seems sort of straight forward, but sometimes the “moderation” seems to be over opinion something other than a trigger word or phrase. It’s weird.

        • JobExperience

          Imagination and colorful imagery frightens them spitless. (h is as good as p)

          Algorithms are as good here as on Wall Street I suppose. Let’s call it “technical difficulties.” Recently DRShow adopted the same “technical difficulties” as On Point.

        • TFRX

          The touchstone for me is using the name of this TV movie in a post.

          Using the actual name gets a post tossed into moderation, so I say that’s an algorithm by planning, not a glitch.

          (YMMV with other words.)

          • Ray in VT

            I’m going to test that one. What is wrong with the movie The Bastard?

          • Ray in VT

            Yup. It worked. Used the title, got moderated.

          • TFRX

            Here’s one which should pass through:

            The Damned United, about a football team.

          • Ray in VT

            Tup, that did. I wonder if Cunthrope trips it up.

          • TFRX

            To steal from “the new mattress sketch”, all I can say is you silly bunt!.

          • TFRX

            And it’s not surprising how few IMDB items have the word below in their title. (And how much searching it takes to get a subject with it that ‘snot about religion either from the Right or Left).

            Trying This God Damn House.

          • Coastghost

            Another that throws Disqus algorithms into a panic: that female Russian punk band, the one some of whose members languish in jail–yeh, that one.

          • 1Brett1

            Being the bastard child that I am, I best not reply, TFRX! ;-) I’d better also not say anything about the Russian punk band, Pussy Riot!

          • 1Brett1

            I got censored! Bahsterds!

          • TFRX

            “Bahstids” would suffice if you hail from anyplace south of Portsmouth and north of Stonington. Bonus points for accent accuracy.

          • 1Brett1

            I should have made it comprehensible to Gregg and said, “bayasturdzz!”

      • AC

        it wasn’t onpoint at all. it was this place:
        http://www.naturalnews.com/041897_MMR_vaccines_autism_court_ruling.html#comment-1031461897
        i think the headline is beyond irresponsible! i thought it was a really lefty/liberal type of site because of the nature angle, and the comment supporters were super anti-vaccine, anti-gov and anti corporations. but as i was debating a person who was very against vaccinations, they kept ignoring me and trying to send me to these sites:
        http://www.vaclib.org/exemption.htm
        when i read the disclaimer, they specifically say they are NOT doctors, and if you read further – they are a far right, conservative fundamentalist religious organization!!!
        it was scary. they erased me so fast.
        i was laughing with the hubby saying i finally have my own conspiracy theory :
        the far right conservative religious groups are purposely luring in the far left liberals, but the overall effect is to only cause massive dis-cord…..what do you think? i forgot the most important part: there is a big core group controlling everyone & just waiting!!
        any worth to it?

        • hennorama

          AC – that site reminds me of the measles outbreak in Texas, linked to Eagle Mountain International Church.

          “Twenty-one people in Tarrant County and nearby Denton County have contracted measles during this outbreak, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The victims include nine children and range from 4 to 44 years old, according to Tarrant County.

          “Tarrant County epidemiologist Russell Jones said the confirmed cases can be traced back to a person who attended Eagle Mountain International Church after visiting Asia, which has higher rates of measles infections than the United States.

          “Health officials are not releasing the name of that person or the particular country.

          “Jones said he doesn’t know exactly how many of the infected people are members of Eagle Mountain. At least 11 of the 21 did not have any measles vaccinations, he said. (Doctors usually recommend two shots.)

          “Our concern would be that if you have a pocket of people who associate and think alike, if they don’t believe in immunization there’s going to be some other vulnerable people,” Jones said.”

          See:

          http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/29/ex-employee-measles-church-preached-faith-not-shots/

          • AC

            haha. yes. thats how i started the thread – i tried to post that article to show another consideration and they banned me – in seconds!!!

          • hennorama

            AC – Sheesh. Guess I need to read rather than scan, or up the caffeine content in my coffee.

            I have a few “moderation” AKA censorship stories as well, although not quite as rapid as your example.

          • JobExperience

            Alternative conclusions are “off topic.”

    • 1Brett1

      I am beginning to think comments that are held up for moderation is something random, some glitch in the system rather than a red flag due to a controversial statement/opinion/word or phrase. This seems especially true because so many that one would think would be banned go through without any problem, and ones that are prevented from being posted are not controversial…It’s just an opinion, though.

      • TFRX

        I’m recommending John Jakes’ “The Bastard” as an example of the kind of title network TV would use for a miniseries in the ’70s but would never fly in the new millenium.

        (This is a test.)

      • JobExperience

        Nope. It’s a Black Box operation.
        It may be that On Point has surrendered control to the NSA…. kind of like “The Outer Limits.”
        “We control the horizontal. We control the vertical. We can make fascist discourse boom and thoughtful reflection peep like a chick. We control the topics. We control the panelists. We control access. We colonize minds.” (Sound of hard drives being smashed)

        “We now return the broken remains to you.”

        • nj_v2

          +1 for the literary value.

        • AC

          it wasn’t onpoint tho….

      • AC

        idk, it was shocking – see my reply to coastghost if you want details or to check for yourself…..

    • JobExperience

      Real touchy subject: immunization.
      But this Ken Copeland thing is “throwback” to magical thinking. It is the ultimate exceptionalism to think God ushers the most ignorant to the head of the line when preventing or curing measles.

      Real touchy subject:
      1. Thimerosal
      2. AIDS contaminated vaccine accusation (Libya)
      3. Fake innoculations lead to OBL (Doctor jailed in Pakistan)
      4. Big Pharma economics
      5. many more

      Two possibilities:
      1. Fear of defaming suit from Copeland
      2. Avoidance of discussing list above

      Good Experiment.
      What are your findings?

      • nj_v2

        Except the objections from the “religious” whackies have nothing to do with those issues or anything else that’s remotely rational.

      • AC

        i found another interview where one of the churchgoers dispairingly wonders why it was happening because they trusted in jesus and were covered in his blood or something. i can’t find the site again, but it gave me chills! (on my reply to coastghost).
        i think it’s either snake-charmers making money on ‘natural alternatives’, religious groups that don’t want ‘man to interfere with God’s plan’ or trial lawyers, salivating at the hopes of big payouts from govt ‘mandatory immunizations’ and the manufacturers….
        i just know i believe in vaccination. i have phd and md friends, and they’ve talked about it – i totally believe them.

    • nj_v2

      Just another way that faux “spiritual” leaders prey on people’s fears and ignorance.

      If the effects of this kind of extremism and stupidity were confined to just the misguided promulgators, they should be free to do (or not do) whatever they want. But when the health and lives of innocent children are involved, that moves toward—if not turns into—child abuse. Not to mention the obvious public-health ramifications.

      I wonder where the Libertarians come down on this.

      • J__o__h__n

        Faux spiritual is redundant.

        • nj_v2

          Not necessarily. There are limits to you cynicism.

          One can wonder and awe (i just made it a verb) at the beauty, complexity, and intelligence of the universe. No liturgy necessary.

          Who can say that is not a spiritual experience?

          • J__o__h__n

            I think spiritual implies spirits. Wonder and awe can be secular.

          • nj_v2

            That’s a fairly narrow conceptualization. Spiritual can simply invoke something other than or distinct from the physical or tangible.

      • AC

        i agree. i totally agree. & i’ve never been more afraid in my life! i even became overly-dramatic and claimed journalistic integrity officially dead on their web site!! see my reply to coastghost for more details….

  • 1Brett1

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee proceedings were interesting, and by interesting, I mean, um, what’s the word…oh yeah, repugnant. Before they started, Kerry sounded briefly, remotely compelling in his plea last week; I didn’t agree with his call for action, necessarily, but he sounded earnest. During these proceedings, he sounded more like he was upholding a party line, though, sort of being the puppet to the ventriloquist or playing the piano but using someone else’s sheet music. He became less compelling the more he spoke. (BTW, does anyone notice that he gets weirder looking all the time, like he’s had Botox™ injections just above his eyebrows, or plastic surgery on his cheekbones?)

    Then there was Rand Paul, who made some salient points for not engaging in military action…but, then (as always happens when I listen to Paul), in about two minutes, he came off as grandstanding and punkish (as if he’s always got a chip on his shoulder and it has just been knocked off; it seems he would come across that way even if someone said hello to him). He also tends toward trying to sound like he’s employing some great, time-honored, scholarly logic that no one else has even considered, as if he’s invoking the wisdom of Aristotle or something (he might have had better luck invoking Socrates, if ya know what I mean), yet it’s just empty calories. His listing of what he obviously thought were important points and obvious outcomes should actions proceed toward a military response (rather than ask questions), his, “if this action is taken then clearly that will happen,” or, “if we don’t refrain from this, then it is more likely that that will be the outcome…” blah, blah, blah, were particularly ridiculous, especially considering the gleam and confidence with which he delivered those pearls. He’s boorish and arrogant in my opinion, someone who seems to like the sound of his own high-pitched, raspy voice, and who appears to clutch at the view that all others are dumb, unaware, and he’s the smart one.

    McCain, not unlike Kerry, has sounded sensible regarding this issue for brief moments, but, ultimately, I am put off by him; his asides, his breaking decorum/the fourth wall, so to speak, always serve to undermine his being someone to take seriously. His “on” moments of discussion peppered and intertwined with his “off” moments of asking other members of committee about, “how’s the wife?” or, “let’s have drinks later,” etc., detract from any point he generally makes. In fact, all of the players have that combination of “well, let’s get this over with” and “we are serious men engaged in serious matters” mixed with overly sentimental tones of self-congratulatory back slapping. The whole thing smacks of one big staged piece of theatre. If you could catch one of them reaching for the occasional nip from a boot flask, then it would make more sense.

    I think I am most troubled by feeling that there won’t be any well-defined plans, no contingencies, no checks and balances clearly spelled out and implemented along with the strike.

    • jefe68

      There never is with these kinds of actions.
      I’m not sure how this helps the Syrians, as Assad will only dig in deeper. Unless the UN and NATO come out and back action, then I’m not into this one bit.

      Kerry reminded me of Colin Powell when he went before the UN in some ways.

      • 1Brett1

        Agreed…about all I think we should commit to would be humanitarian aid for victims and refugees, even as far as allowing a fast track to letting them seek refuge in the US.

        • jefe68

          Which is now up to two million men women and children. The refugees are the issue here and the aid is not even able to cope with this huge disaster. I think the human side of war, that is the civilians, is always somehow played down.

    • JobExperience

      Are personalities policy?

      • 1Brett1

        It often seems as though personalities in these proceedings get in the way of developing policy, if it is indeed a question you are asking and not some passive-aggressive rhetorical statement.

        • JobExperience

          Look, these are clowns and gasbags bought and controlled by Black Box government. You can’t have elections by choosing from Fab and Cheer. To think their statements portend your future is oracalism. The Romans put thorn crowns on political prisoners and told the subjugated populations, “Here is your King!” Then they nailed them up like a shishkabobs.

          Maybe We the People will do that later.
          Meanwhile the whore’s race never stops.

  • 1Brett1

    Those Repubs just can’t help themselves when it comes to insulting women…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/04/alison-lundergan-grimes-empty-dress_n_3865060.html

    • HonestDebate1

      So because it’s a woman that means it was sexist and since a Republican said it, the obvious conclusion is Republicans just can’t help themselves when it comes to insulting women. And you’re so proud of that logic that you post it twice. Did you ever consider she might actually be a dingbat?

      • JobExperience

        Why, do you wear dresses?

        A Dingbat (Edith Bunker) would be an improvement on McConnell (Archie).

      • 1Brett1

        It is only showing up once on my screen. It disappeared when I first posted it, but there you go telling me what I think. Hypocrisy much?

        Did you ever consider that McConnell might actually be an old turd who needs to go; he does nothing but obstruct and waste the power of his position.

        Anyway, you have your head in the sand about Republican tone-deaf attitudes about women. It’s all just PC BS to you.

        You playing forum Nazi today?

        • HonestDebate1

          Your words say it all emphasized twice, I don’t really need to wonder what you think as you mutter”Lily Ledbetter” under your breath. Why don’t you just accuse McConnell of wanting coat hanger abortions in back alleys?

          • 1Brett1

            Equal pay and legal abortions are to be considered silly notions that are just partisan crap? …Okay.

          • JobExperience

            It takes balls to play, right?

          • HonestDebate1

            Your logic is impeccable.

    • JobExperience

      Mitch is being whipped by an empty dress, no woman necessary.

      • Ray in VT

        McConnell made a statement, but it wasn’t translated or subtitled, so I couldn’t understand what he said.

  • HonestDebate1

    Another 312K dropped out of the labor force and another record has been set. Dang that Bush.

    • JobExperience

      Gregg:
      Unemployed and underemployed people drop out when benefits are cut so low they can come out better working under the table or sitting home watching Maury Povich.
      By failure to enact a jobs program and failure to raise the minimum wage we let our workforce go feral or rot on the vine like unpicked fruit. Unemployment is the biggest cause of disability by vegetating. Opportunity is not there anymore now that all is corporate and digitized. Even opportunity for crime among the underclass has shrunk.
      How much copper can they cut and junk from church buildings? I doubt you are in touch with the desperation I’m witnessing here in NC. People are behind those numbers, and they are being crushed. The old adage that seven meals separate order from chaos has been negated.
      Job

      • HonestDebate1

        I am also in NC in a rural County.

        I largely agree, especially about the side affects of unemployment. But I don’t see how a business can be profitable if it’s labor costs, including benefits, are dictated by government without regard to the marketplace.

        People don’t just work under the table, they collect money and benefits. Paying someone for 99 weeks not to work while giving them food stamps is not compassionate in my view. It changes the psychological paradigm and that is dangerous. Now it’s generational.

        So I agree that unemployment is devastating both directly and indirectly but I don’t think pressuring struggling businesses to shrink their profit margin is the answer. The answer is a thriving economy that encourages people to put their own money at risk to create a job and another tax payer. We have a hostile business environment with regulations out the wazoo, the ball and chain of Obamacare, the threat of higher taxes and the demonization of hard work,

        • JobExperience

          NC don’t pay no 99 weeks. They don’t even pay 26.

          • HonestDebate1

            They certainly did.

          • JobExperience

            Long time ago now. Benefits cut by a third.
            I’ll bet you’ve never had to live on such benefits you skiffle.

          • jefe68

            Be carful, he’s going to tell you about the time he slept in a phone booth.

          • TFRX

            “I used to dream of sleeping in a corridor.”

          • HonestDebate1

            It beats a phone booth.

          • JobExperience

            Came out…. like Ben Afleck in Superman.
            “Hey guys, can you see my penis.”

          • HonestDebate1

            I once got some free government cheese.

    • Ray in VT

      “the evidence suggests that by far the biggest reason for the decline in participation rates has been the aging of the population, as more workers enter age groups which are typically more associated with retirement than work.”

      http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/05/jp-morgan-biggest-factor-in-the-declining-labor-force-participation-rate-is-aging-of-population-not-tough-economy/

      If only “emperor Obama” could just stop people from aging out of the labor force.

      • HonestDebate1

        So there is an explosive growth in claims for disability and other benefits. Ya’ think? And have you looked at the unemployment numbers for the younger folks? They aren’t even sniffing single digits.

        So just to be clear, are you claiming Obama’s policies have not been devastating to the LFPR?

        • Ray in VT

          I disagree with his use of the term explosive, given the numbers that your favorite school marm has posted regarding the current increase and how it compares historically.

          I think that the aging population and the effects of increased automatization have far greater effects, but we could always try to gut labor, safety, pay and environmental laws to try to compete with mechanization and cheap Third World labor. I’m willing to carve out the Deep South for just such an experiment, and it’s not like it has far to fall to get there.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yea, that’s what I want.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, your long history of comments against things like organized labor, the minimum wage and the onerous EPA would seem to support such a contention.

          • JobExperience

            Just watch: Charlotte will be another Detroit. Big new stadiums: hungry kids.

          • HonestDebate1

            We will see, Republicans now own it for the first time in a very very long time.

          • JobExperience

            The owner of record is Duke Energy.
            Of the Capital and of Charlotte.

          • HonestDebate1

            They have a dam for sale. I want to buy it one day. Mr. Featherstone was asking $10 but said he’s probably take eight.

          • JobExperience

            I dare you, buy it.
            Then you won’t have time for On Point.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, and they’ve gone after the really important stuff, like banning Sharia, maybe jacking up sales taxes on food, cracking down on abortion and moving to make it harder for people to vote. You know, the stuff that will really get the economy going.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yea, that’s it. that’s all they’ve done.

            I feel lucky I live here and slightly hopeful for the future. We’ll see.

          • Ray in VT

            So, why do you think that poor people, who likely pay little in income taxes, should pay much higher taxes in order to buy food? You often claim to oppose measures that hurt the poor, even when such claims are questionable, so are you proud of that move? Rarely do I feel so lucky to live in Vermont as when I read about some of the moves such as those that I have listed.

          • HonestDebate1

            Because they will have a job. It is not axiomatic that this will hurt the poor. The bill was comprehensive. Here in NC, our system was failing big time for 100 years, women and children were hit the hardest.

            But again, your assumption is I am indifferent to poor people starving… or something. It’s just not true. It’s not the basis for honest debate.

          • Ray in VT

            “Because they will have a job”. Please explain? Does this bill guarantee jobs to the jobless or higher pay to those struggling to make ends meet? If one ends up paying more in food taxes then they are saving from lower income taxes, then how does that help women and children? How will making the tax code more regressive help the poor? That is not honest debate.

          • HonestDebate1

            But you are making assumptions. You don’t know the dollars and cents of the various offsets. It was a jobs bill but there are no guarantees in life. I’m just saying to cite the food tax in a vacuum is not a valid criticism.

          • Ray in VT

            Neither is assuming that they will have a job when confronted with the likelihood that for some people the decreased income taxes will be outweighed by increased sales taxes on food.

          • HonestDebate1

            I am against public sector unions. I think private sector unions are just fine but I’ve never joined one because I don’t want to be a number. I am NOT against organized labor.

            Minimum wage hikes hurt the poor. They are also irrelevant to the economy and business at a certain level. We are about there now. I don’t like the notion that the minimum wage is considered something one should be able to make a living with. It’s a stepping stone for low skilled workers. Any adult who needs the government to say what they are worth is a loser.

            And I don’t the think the EPA, or any government agency, should not be constricted and be allowed to run rampant. Criticizing that is not akin to trashing the environment.

            No, I want a thriving healthy economy and a clean planet. I want equal opportunity and an expectation of excellence. I just have a different idea of how to get there than you. Just implying I want the world you describe does not move discourse forward. It’s not honest debate.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, honest debate is rarely, if ever, present in your comments, so you are hardly one to talk. Just let me know when all of that laissez-faire, small government stuff has produced the desired goals that you say that you want, because I have yet to see it. Government action may not produce great outcomes on some of the fronts that you mention, but on things like a clean planet or equal opportunity, it can, and has in America, produced better than the free market. That didn’t end segregation or make workplace discrimination less prevalent or reduce CFCs or acid rain.

          • HonestDebate1

            Your talking platitudes.

          • Ray in VT

            And you often try to communicate using that which is either questionable or blatantly false. I often wonder if you think that people here are stupid enough to buy that nonsense that you try to pass along from some of your ridiculous sources.

          • jefe68

            Funny, you seem to be pontificating in dumbitudes.

          • conservaholic

            Oh man, I remember I believed all that stuff when Pat Robertson preached it to me… what a fool I was.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT – Exactly who is this “favorite school marm” to which you refer?

            A gold star for attention, BTW, and TY for saving me the tedium of updating and re-posting the history and the current reality.

          • Ray in VT

            You’re most welcome, School Marm. ;)

      • JobExperience

        Retirees are not counted unless they work.

        Young people and mid career comprise the bulk of evacuees.

        College enrollment is dropping.

      • hennorama

        Ray in VT – I’ve been pointing out this very basic point for almost a year, and I’m just an interested observer.

        Maybe I should consult for JP Morgan. Wonder what a POTO (Pointing Out The Obvious) gig pays.

    • hennorama

      ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

  • HonestDebate1

    Jeff Duncan put everything in the proper perspective:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cViIYX4zr7E&feature=player_embedded#t=2

    • 1Brett1

      Yeah, sure, use the proceedings as a platform to bring out one’s laundry list of gripes…nothing like getting a few partisan digs in and grandstanding in the process. At least your post defines your perspective in all of this, not sure how it “put[s] everything in PROPER perspective.” I don’t know which broken record of yours has more frequency, your black on white violence epidemic stuff or your Benghazi is the ultimate scandal of the millennium stuff…speaking of which, why didn’t Duncan mention blacks shooting each other in Chicago at alarming rates as part of his “perspective”?

    • hennorama

      Benghazi obsessive and finger-wagging fool from South Carolina, Rep. Jeff Duncan couldn’t put anything “in the proper perspective” if you spotted him the p, e, r, s, p, e, c, t, i and v.

      One unfortunate aspect of well-publicized Congressional hearings is the tendency for minor politicians to try to “make their bones.” This is yet another case.

      • JobExperience

        Let’s make Joe Wilson the arbiter of all racist discourse. He has experience.

        • hennorama

          JobExperience – Thank you for your reply.

          Aside from Rep. Addison Graves “Joe”/“You Lie!” Wilson being yet another Benghazi obsessive and finger-wagging fool from South Carolina, I have no clue regarding the intent of your comment.

          Perhaps you are instead referring to Joseph C. Wilson, spouse of outed CIA Operations Officer Valerie Plame, and his connection to the Lewis “Scooter” Libby case. One might confuse the “Joe” Wilson/Libya person with the Joseph Wilson/Libby person.

          (tongue firmly in cheek as to the preceding paragraph)

          • JobExperience

            Confusion personified.

          • HonestDebate1

            Contrary to spoon fed wisdom it can be proven, and was in Senate hearings, that Mr. Plame did lie. His fact finding mission was a farce. Also, no one was charged with outing anyone so no one was covert.

            It is also true that Mr. Wilson was correct with his outburst at the SOTU address. It’s sad that more people were upset at him for telling the truth than they were at Obama for standing up before Congress and the nation and lying.

            The Joe Wilson who was believed lied and the one who wasn’t didn’t. So there’s that.

          • hennorama

            Debates Not, He – TY for your reply.

            “Contrary to spoon fed wisdom it can be proven” that Rep. Addison Graves “Joe”/“You Lie!” Wilson made his rude comment during President Obama’s speech about health care, in front of a joint session of Congress, on September 9, 2009.

            So there’s that.

            Thank you for playing.

          • HonestDebate1

            Did you have a point?

          • jefe68

            I keep wondering the same about you.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes, my point is Mr. Duncan is right. I have made the same point in my own way. We are 5 years in and Obama has defined himself. He’s made his own bed.

          • hennorama

            Debates Not, He – you may wish to read the comment to which I replied, as it contains a prominent factual error.

            Not that one is surprised, of course.

          • HonestDebate1

            At first I thought it was because I said Obama stood up in front of Congress and the nation and lied at a SOTU speech in stead of he saying he lied in front of Congress and the nation at some other dog and pony show. But that can’t be it because it means nothing compared to the lie. It means nothing compared to the Senate hearings that proved Mr. Plame’s trip to be a farce. It means nothing to the double standard. It has nothing to do with anything. It refudiates squat.

            So that can’t be it. So tell me, what’s your point?

          • hennorama

            Debates Not, He – reread my comments. It’ll sink in eventually.

          • conservaholic

            uh… man, now i regret not pushing for Bush’s impeachment because of your comment.

          • HonestDebate1

            You would have been unsuccessful.

          • conservaholic

            But, all I said is that you made me FEEL that way. Outing a CIA agent out of revenge for not supporting false curveball intelligence, that NOW makes military action difficult because people overseas trust us less… it makes me FEEL like we should have impeached him.

    • nj_v2

      Haha! Just a Benghazi rant (which constitutes perspective to the perpetually clueless DisHonestMisDebatorGreggg), from the a**clown South Carolina birther congressman.

      http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/06/17/2169751/jeff-duncan-birther/

      Congressman Calls For New Birther Investigation, Questions ‘The President’s Validity’

    • HonestDebate1

      I can understand why commentates below don’t want to address Mr. Duncan’s most excellent point. But one would think someone would at least try. But no, they just fall back to the typical vacuous nastiness. Oh well, some habits are hard to break.

      The fact remains, our President has no credibility and is looking aimlessly through his empty suit in search of a core belief.

      • hennorama

        Debates Not, He – Ignoring the ignorant in the defense of sanity is no vice.

        • jefe68

          Touche!

        • HonestDebate1

          You would have a point if you could describe 11 comments (not counting mine) as ignoring. I just wish someone would address what he actually said, that’s all.

          • jefe68

            What Duncan was doing was grand standing. That you don’t like that people wont address what you post is just to bad.
            You don’t like being called out for you silly games then don’t post bullshit.

      • conservaholic

        how about this for a core belief…

        to enforce the law (prohibition of chemical weapons) you must follow the rule of law.

        and, that is just a start… i could go on.

    • jimino

      You are, I expect unintentionally, absolutely correct.

      To those like Duncan, EVERYTHING is a political football and, just like all the death, destruction and chaos fomented by our post 9-11 military incursions, for political reasons, it doesn’t matter who gets killed in order to make your point and cover your ass.

      And his ilk are your heroes? Now that is truly sick.

      • HonestDebate1

        “…it doesn’t matter who gets killed in order to make your point and cover your ass.”

        What difference at this point does it make?

    • conservaholic

      Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you made me go look at that!

      The litany of tea party talking points didn’t help me at all.

      I will never get that 3 minutes back!

      • Ray in VT

        Henry Rollins once spoke out against those who waste small amounts of his time on this earth, saying that it was like they were stabbing him with thousands of tiny knives.

      • HonestDebate1

        You are quite welcome.

    • hennorama

      COMMENT:

      Cocky Carolina Congressman, concerning conducting Constitutional chemical conflict consultation, clearly cannot concentrate, compiles colorful crazy conspiracy credibility complaint compendium, clearly catering clueless compliant Carolina constituents.

      Kinda kooky.

  • toc1234

    I think we can all agree that Obama and his handlers are more concerned about saving what’s left of their credibility than saving Syrians… In fact Meeks (rep D NY) admitted it yesterday to the NYT… he’s weighing Obama’s “prestige” against his reluctance to bomb Syria… really? that’s his thought process? keep up the mediocre work, Meeks….

  • nj_v2

    http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/18579-seven-arguments-against-going-to-war-with-syria

    Eight Arguments Against Going to War With Syria

    The decision by President Barack Obama to first seek congressional approval of any US military action against Syria is good and important, not only on constitutional grounds but because it gives the American people an opportunity to stop it. It is critically important to convince members of Congress not to grant the president that authority.

    Here are some of the top talking points that should be raised before members of Congress as to why authorizing US airstrikes on Syria would be a bad idea:

    1) A US military attack would be illegal

    2) There is little strategic rationalization

    3) Military intervention likely would lead to more death and destruction

    4) The US has little credibility regarding chemical weapons

    5) A military attack likely would strengthen the Syrian regime

    6) A military strike likely would reduce the chances of successfully ending the war

    7) The United States is isolated in the international community

    8) The American public opposes military intervention in Syria

    (excerpts; fully developed arguments in linked article)

  • StilllHere

    Where is the red line this week?

  • Jon

    “Passion” and virtue of do-something is what gets Americans wrong. Let’s see if this dysfunctional Congress will coolly stop the hot-headed Kerry, war-loving McCain and responsibility timid Obama?

  • J__o__h__n

    The Syria fiasco is even more of a mess than Bush’s stupid Iraq war was when it was being planned. Al Qaeda is already active in Syria. The country is already in civil war. We don’t even have an objective for what we want to achieve or plans for how to do so.

    • fun bobby

      we need to punish them for killing people by killing people

  • J__o__h__n

    Ed Markey should get a Profiles in Courage award for his present vote.

    • Kathy

      He needed a “no” vote to get any award.

    • fun bobby

      that’s funny

  • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

    The last thing we need to do is get involved in Syria’s civil, religious war. To do so will be the height of stupidity.

    • conservaholic

      That is a good and honest sentiment.

      But it incomplete. We are already involved.

      Turkey, a friend, and a NATO ally, is on the border with Syria.

      Moderate rebels are fighting Assad in the South, but, foreign al-qaida rebels are taking contol in the North.

      Doing nothing, is surrendering our legitimacy in a region next door to Turkey to those who support Al-qaida.

  • Kathy

    Maybe if we bombed the country next door into the stone age, then invaded, occupied it for more than a decade, and hung it’s leader then Syria would understand they couldn’t do this.

  • Coastghost

    I myself wouldn’t think of targeting Assad or his regime supporters with Tomahawk missiles unless we simultaneously send in flocks and swarms of drones to take out every al Qaeda operative we can identify. (According to Kerry, finding and identifying al Qaeda operatives should be a cakewalk, since by Kerry’s estimation only a dozen or two are in Syria.)
    Short of this kind of two-pronged attack, I don’t see any justification for US intervention in Syria’s civil war.

  • TFRX

    I just hope the next time a Right-wing manlyman president wants us to go to military action our press corps will have the discussions we’re having now. Somehow I doubt it.

    • Coastghost

      Don’t fail to give Obama all due credit for making a public spectacle of his tortured decision-making.

    • AC

      lol.
      manlyman.
      wait tho i like manlymen! soemtimes anyway….

      • JobExperience

        Jodie Arias said the same.

    • fun bobby

      i am sure they will be cheerleaders for that rush to war as they have been with this one. the media loves war, its good for business

    • toc1234

      we are having this discussion b/c Obama is treating this as a political operation rather than a military or even humanitarian operation… He’s out of his depths… amateur hour continues at WH…

      • TFRX

        Go back a decade, learn the first damned thing about the warmongering chickenhawks in the State Department and at least half the media, then get back to us.

        Actually, don’t.

      • hellokitty0580

        I disagree. I think that Obama is trying to do the right thing by involving Congress which is the way some people interpret the Constitution- that the President should involve Congress on military action.

        And lets be real. If Obama just did his thing, everyone would damn him for that too. The guy can’t win for losing. Haters gonna hate either way.

      • conservaholic

        Well, if you want to enforce a law, such as a prohibition against chemical weapons, then you should follow the rule of law.

        Going to war, under the rule of law, is bad.

        Going to war, under the rule of emergency testosterone is worse.

    • MrNutso

      I’m a lumberjack and I’m okay …..

      • TFRX

        But are you clearin’ brush at the ranch?

        • JobExperience

          He sleeps all night and he works all day.
          (except when) He puts on women’s clothing and hangs around in bars.

          • jefe68

            Nudge, nudge, wink, wink…

        • nj_v2

          Or painting in the bathtub?

  • Jon

    Supporting the rebel is like fostering another Bin Laden. Just watch the video what they did to prisoners from the nightly news yesterday.

    • conservaholic

      Russia and Al-qaida are very similar.

      Both seek to influence, and not to help.

      Iran and Russia send arms. But Turkey and Jordan take in refugees.

      Even though people are dying so that Russia can keep their military base, Russia refuses regular Damascus residents from using their base hospital.

      Turkey sends aid in, and it has been hijacked by Al-qaida that seeks to control, and not really help, Syria.

      The only true friend that the Syrian people have is the ethnically similar friends in the country of Turkey. Everyone else is just worried about influence.

  • DeJay79

    NO MORE WAR!!!!

    Fix this country, Fix this planet. Kill less people.

    • conservaholic

      point taken

  • rogger2

    What’s the point with all this Congress discussion?
    Even if Congress votes no.
    Obama is still going to bomb Syria.

    • JobExperience

      He’s trying to work up a temper by wrestling with Congress first. He’s warming up in the bullpen. This Leftie is gonna bean some batters.Pass that chaw.

    • conservaholic

      You are a news cycle behind. President Obama said he will not bomb Syria if congress says no.

  • MrNutso

    I think the problem with the discussions on Syria is that everyone is looking at their civil war and not at the narrow issue of the use of chemical weapons. If we intend to punish regimes that use banned weapons, then actions should have already been spelled out, so it would be simple to just “pull the trigger”.

    There are too many voices arguing that we are not doing enough and should invade, or change the momentum on the ground, and others arguing that we are doing to much and that even surgical strikes are going to suck us into the broader conflict.

    I’m not fan of the Gipper, but Reagan was spot on with a quick attack on Gaddafi after the Berlin disco bombing in 1986.

    • conservaholic

      The first blurred line on chemical weapons was when Saddam used them while crossing our very own military lines, which led to the no-fly zone. And left the door open for contractors to start the big Iraq war.

      President Obama, seeing this, and seeking to prevent a similar war like Iraq, is correctly using the rule of law to enforce the law.

  • Michiganjf

    In case anyone had a doubt,

    You now know EXACTLY what kind of administration we would have had with McCain/Palin!!

    We’d still be in the ORIGINAL two wars Obama inherited, and McCain would have stuck us with at least one more, if not TWO more wars!!

    …don’t forget about McCain’s love for Iran!

    • conservaholic

      I guess you are right. From the first President Bush, up to now, a vote for a Republican for president is a definite vote for war.

      Now that President Obama is cleverly causing those who resist his every move to find excuses not to go to war, they will have to meditate for awhile on why war is wrong.

  • Coastghost

    IF Obama already plans to proceed WITH OR WITHOUT Congressional approval: WHAT ACCOUNTS FOR THIS PUBLIC DEBATE HE’S CONDUCTING WITH HIMSELF?

    • StilllHere

      Legacy cover.

    • toc1234

      He’s trying to win the support of NYT, NPR and CNN…

    • conservaholic

      I already have figured out what President Obama is up to.

      He is setting himself up as a future pundit to prevent future wars by saying, “when I was president, and faced with an optional war, I would seek approval from congress first.”

      Then when the next president is in, he will have a leg to stand on to help bring the power of the president to natural levels in our democracy.

  • Jeremy S

    If attacking Syria isn’t war, what is it? A battle? A stike? Do wars not comprise of battles and strikes? NO ONE knows what will come of a strike. Does this country think Assad isn’t hearing and listening to every newscast in America speaking of how we are about to strike his forces? Do you think he won’t be preparing for this? We’re talking about a man who attacks his own people with chemical weapons. What makes us think that he won’t be using them on our people? Just leave Syria alone!

  • hellokitty0580

    I understand that so many people are war wary; I am war wary. I really truly am. I am sad for our American veterans and their lot in this country. The position we have left them in is abhorrent. And overall, I am against military action under most circumstances. But I just don’t understand how we, as the international community, can sit by and watch innocent people, CHILDREN, be massacred. This conflict has been going on for 2 years. It didn’t just start yesterday. How long is long enough for the international community to decide that this civil war is not resolving itself? For us to sit back and analyze? This is not Iraq and this is not Afghanistan. That was agression America initiated. Oh yes, Saddam Hussein was verbally inflammatory, but that’s it. And yes, 9/11 happened and we needed to find Osama Bin Laden. But this is an entirely different situation. This requires humanitarian intervention and that is different than invasion.

    Yes, we need to carefully plan exactly how we involve ourselves in Syria, but I think that there is no way we CANNOT involve ourselves. Otherwise we will have another Rwanda on our hands. Is that an extreme metaphor? This is already an extreme situation. War is not the answer? There is already a war. It’s too late for that. Can we be sure of the outcome of international engagement? Of course not. No one has a crystal ball.

    Congress needs proof that Syrian’s civil war is detrimental to American security? What about humanitarian interest? What about the responsibility to protect? What about the interest of human life? I don’t profess to know all, but I believe in the responsibility to protect. Maybe military action shouldn’t be taken. But some kind of substantial action needs to be taken to help the Syrian refugees who just want to live their lives and the region that is suffering under the weight of trying to help those refugees. I can only try to put myself in the shoes of the Syrian refugees and know that if I were in their situation I would pray for the rest of the global community’s help.

    • J__o__h__n

      Children will die when we bomb them too.

      • hellokitty0580

        That’s possible. But I also believe in our military technological prowess. What’s this billion dollar military-industrial complex we have if not create precise strikes? I believe any action would likely be minimal and limited which would hopefully, HOPEFULLY, limit civilian casualties.

  • Casey Reyner

    If the President is able to get Congressional approval must he use military force? Could this not be used as a bargaining chip to let Asad, the Russians, Iranians, and anyone else concerned that we are prepared to take action while still taking a diplomatic track?

    • JobExperience

      How would the 1% benefit?

      War is their last booming enterprise.

      • Casey Reyner

        You know I guess I didn’t think about how the people truly in power would be able to profit. Good point.

      • nj_v2

        “War is the health of the state.”
        —Randolph Bourne

        • conservaholic

          Yes but the strength of a democratic state is finding the will of the people. A war based on the rule of law will be healthier than a fascist war based on emergency testosterone.

        • Ray in VT

          “War is good for business.” Rule of Acquisition #34.

  • MrNutso

    Come on caller. We did take a vote on Hitler. The Congressional Catch 22 of being Obama.

    Option A – How could he launch an attack without consulting us first?

    Option B – Why is he consulting us, why doesn’t he launch an attack?

    • JobExperience

      Brown Brothers Harriman voted yes on Hitler.

      • conservaholic

        oh where does it stop? we are now blaming bush for wwii? Just because Bush’s grandfather made a lot of money from Germany BEFORE the war, doesn’t mean he agreed with everything Hitler did during the war. Was there any way for Prescott Bush to know anything about the concentration camps?

  • rogger2

    In response to caller Hannah…

    We can’t bomb every country on moral grounds.

    If so, we should have already started bombing numerous countries in Africa (ie: DRC, Sudan… ).

    • JobExperience

      We’d be bombing ourselves like Milo Minderbender in “Catch 22.”

      Oh wait…. that was the big fireworks on 9/11! (2001)

    • hellokitty0580

      As John Stewart said, our official US foreign policy in Africa is to ignore its problems and pretend those problems have no relation to us. Duh.

    • nj_v2

      Yeah, let’s drop bombs on people (as the first resort, no less) to demonstrate that killing people is wrong.

      Let’s let the President do what he wants with no congressional or public approval.

      To Hannah, this is a moral route.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    If we want to respond to Assad for using Chemical Weapons, fine: bomb the chem weapons sights, take out some of Assads very dear military capablity and then send a real message: outlaw manufacture of chemical weapons: sarin, white phosphorous, napalm, and depleted urainium, and write laws to cease their manufacture and use, and prosecute the execs of companies that continue to produce any of these. There is too much hypocrisy out there in this regard: Iraq/Iran gassing; waterboarding was torture from World War II until Dubya decided otherwise… the list is way, way too long.

    • JobExperience

      Good ideas.

    • MrNutso

      Agreed. We should have already had a public plan.

      Dear Mr./Ms. Dictator:

      We know where you live. If you use banned weapons, we advise you to spend more time look up than looking in front of you.

  • Jon

    Question to Susan Davis: Why would Israel support America’s intervention? Syria will very likely attack Israel if Obama orders strike.

    • JobExperience

      And Israel will attack (maybe nuke) Iran.
      Tarbaby is apt, not inherently racist.

    • MrNutso

      Gives Israel a valid reason to strike at Syria. I think Israel has been waiting for an opening to conduct their own strikes as a defensive-offensive measure.

      • StilllHere

        Except they already have done so.

      • Jon

        then the Israelis dig their own graves.

  • nj_v2

    Why does Ms Lakshmanan stop short?

    Saddam not only used chemicals (against Iraqis and others), but he used chemical weapons with components sold to him by Donald Rumsfeld’s company and targeting intelligence provided by the U.S. government!!

    • conservaholic

      The shadow of BOTH presidents Bush loom large. Because we did not react well enough when Saddam Hussein crossed our lines to gas his people, it can be argued we were setting ourselves up for a bigger crisis later.

  • SteveTheTeacher

    Is John Kerry the Secretary of State or Secretary of the War Department?

    If Kerry, and the US government, are authentically outraged at the use of chemical weapons, why do they not push for a war crimes trial of former President Bush for his use of white phosphorus in Fallujah and depleted uranium weapons in Iraq and Afghanistan and a war crimes trial for former President Clinton for his use of depleted uranium weapons in the Balkans?

    • JobExperience

      Ketchup!
      Wag that dog!

      • SteveTheTeacher

        Sorry, how could I forgot the wisdom spoken by President Nixon during his interview with the late David Frost: “If the (US) President does it, it is not a crime.”

    • conservaholic

      The use of that small amount of coating that goes around a tank shell that penetrates another tank, D-38 , is a point of debate. So debate that.

      It predates wwii. So, it seems Iran has already made those weapons obsolete with less expensive “explosively formed” copper metal balls. I see no war crime here, but a point for honest debate about how best to support our defense contractors.

      • SteveTheTeacher

        By small amount, you refer to the 24,000 pounds of DU used under President Clinton’s authority in the Balkans and the 2 million pounds & 6 million pounds used in Afghanistan and Iraq respectively by President George W. Bush?

        I encourage anybody who questions the health concerns of depleted uranium to take a hick through Rico mine in Colorado or to speak with the surviving family members of the Navajo Uranium workers who suffered its devastating effects.

        And yes, I know that the US did not intend for the white phosphorus to kill people by destroying their lungs when they breathed it in at Fallujah. It was meant as an incendiary weapon (i.e. to burn them to death).

  • toc1234

    Will some community somewhere pls come forward and takes its organizer back?

    • conservaholic

      This is ironically a very good comment. What is the most appropriate thing for a nobel peace prize winning community organizer do about going to war? Well he makes sure he community is really behind it. THAT is why he is going to congress. He is restoring the rule of law, and not the rule of emergency testosterone.

  • Jon

    “I didn’t set the red line.” Then what makes you calling the shots?

  • Wahoo_wa

    Ugh! So tired of the “police the world” expectation of the United States. It’s just not sustainable. Let the U.N. deal with it. …and why do we chose to waste so many resources on defending Israel? Let Israel defend itself. It costs the U.S. too much for little to nothing in return.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Medicare is “not sustainable” according to the right but policing the world is. I love those abandoned schools and hospitals in Eastasia while we practice austerity at home. Well, follow the $ to the top via the MIC.

  • AC

    o. so that’s why i passed a picnic table with a poster to impeach Obama wednesday.
    boy, they’re certainly ready to get that ball rolling….

    • JobExperience

      He’ll be retired in Hawaii before the Devil knows he’s out of office. It’s a feeble attempt at hate speech.
      They could state reasons for indictment, or they could just darken him up.

    • TFRX

      They were ready since before he crossed his fingers behind his back while taking the wrongly-worded (therefore invalid) oath on a Koran.

      Seriously, the impeachment buzz for any Democratic president is very Lewis Carroll: Find the votes first, invent the crime afterwards. And our press corpse doesn’t even blanch at the change.

  • toc1234

    So if Iraq didn’t happen, then the liberals would be all for bombing Syria even w/o congress, allies or a finished UN inspector’s report? whatever, Tom…

  • Coastghost

    Sgt. Hagel says US intervention in Syria will only cost a few tens of millions of dollars.

    • JobExperience

      Saudis will pay us back, he says. I’ll bet!

      Just bomb Detroit. It’s closer.

      • StilllHere

        Don’t look, somebody already did.

        • JobExperience

          Wow, you confessed.

    • fun bobby

      as soon as that Iraq war pays for itself as we were told then that sounds great

    • anamaria23

      Actually, it is Sec of Defense Hagel. His time as Sgt Hagel ended when he was 23 after being awarded two purple hearts.
      Your condescension toward others reveals more about you than them.

      • Coastghost

        You’re right: I have an aversion to naïve literalism.

        • anamaria23

          Except that your take on naïve literalism does no apply to my comment.
          Chuck Hagel is the Secretary of Defense and he is no longer SGT Hagel.

          • 65noname

            he works for us. we can call him whatever we choose to call him. including sgt poodle

          • jefe68

            No, this is about your complete inability to respect people. I bet you’re real charmer at parties.

          • 65noname

            Respect is for people who earn it not people who simply are given titles by the government; if I wanted to worship titles I’d move to england. Is that charming enough for you?

  • MrNutso

    Come on caller, who is there to negotiate with? Putin is the Russian equivalent of Congressional Republicans. Assad?

  • hellokitty0580

    I think a lot of people don’t understand the difference between invasion and humanitarian intervention and the concept called “The Responsibility to Protect.” People should read about that. And I’m not being sarcastic. I think Obama can still have won a Nobel peace price and believe in humanitarian intervention and R2P.

    • fun bobby

      a humanitarian missile strike?

      • hellokitty0580

        As I said, read about humanitarian intervention.

        • fun bobby

          does it involve missile strikes or not?

        • fun bobby

          does it involve missile strikes?

    • JobExperience

      Blow them completely up, or blow them half up?
      Blow them completely up, or blow them half up?

      Help me choose! Help me choose! Help me choose!

      • hellokitty0580

        That’s a simplification of very serious and valid concept. But I guess you don’t understand about gray areas.

        • JobExperience

          What is “acceptable collateral damage”?

          Do you like fireworks that much?

          Pseudo sophistication is a convenient refuge for warmongers

          • hellokitty0580

            Wow. I have NEVER been described as a warmonger. Its almost laughable. War disgusts me. But um, we’re not talking about starting a war. We’re talking about one already in progress.

            I don’t know where you get the “acceptable collateral damage” from. I never said that. I don’t even now what acceptable collateral damage is.

            And it’s not pseudo sophistication. I’m talking about a valid human rights concept known as the Responsibility To Protect. A far cry from warmongering. Try reading some Francis Deng. I don’t think anyone considers what he has to say pseudo sophistication.

            Furthermore, I’m not necessarily talking about bombing. I have enough humility to say that I don’t know if that is the “right” answer and I’m not sure what the “right” answer is because I think this is more complex problem than one that can be solved with one “right” answer. But what I am saying is to not intervene IN SOME WAY would be a gross human injustice.

            What solutions are you suggesting exactly?

    • J__o__h__n

      The drones are about as accurate as possible and there is still lots of collateral damage. The Pakistanis and Afghans aren’t particularly grateful with our targeting Al Qaeda with them. The Syrians aren’t going to be glad we bombed them. Anything more targeted requires boots on the ground which isn’t going to happen (unless we get stuck in this mess).

  • Davesix6

    Jack your full of it! The state of Obama’s credibility has nothing to do with George Bush and everything to do with things like Obama drawing a red line with chemical weapons in Syria then saying just this week that he didn’t draw the red line.
    You progressives just can’t take responsibility for anything and play politics with everything!

    T

    • JobExperience

      Beebe did the red line thing first on Iran’s enrichment.

    • conservaholic

      The world is afraid of another “curveball” source of intelligence. And, Putin wouldn’t have that card to play if President Bush hadn’t given it to him.

  • toc1234

    of course Noonan has a subtle anti-Obama motive… Egan, on the other hand, is just giving straight-forward analysis…. whatever, Tom…

  • Davesix6

    George W Bush formed an international coalition of nations before moving in Afghanistan and Iraq and he was called a cowboy by Obama and the left.

    Barack Obama can’t even get our strongest ally Great Britain to go along with bombing Syria, what does that say for Obama’s diplomatic ability?

    • Coastghost

      To say nothing of Samantha Power’s prowess as US Ambassador to the UN.

    • adks12020

      You can’t ignore the fact that a big reason Great Britain is hesitant is the fact that they know they were lied to about Iraq and Afghanistan by GW and his buddies. That kind of throws a wrench in diplomacy.

    • MrNutso

      Only Tony Blair was in favor of supporting Bush, not Britain in general. Blair did it for the same reason some many American politicians did, he/they did not want to be on the wrong side of history. Unfortunately they were. Perhaps if they did not follow the Cowboy, the current situation in Syria would be easier to deal with.

    • nj_v2

      Corrected statement:

      [[ George W Bush formed an initially reluctant international coalition of nations through bribery, coercion, strong-arming, and promises of aid before moving in Afghanistan and Iraq…]]

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        “through bribery, coercion, strong-arming, and promises”

        Gee, wasn’t that how they rammed Obamacare through Congress?

    • TomK_in_Boston

      LOL, let’s all praise W’s disastrous invasion justified by WMD lies.

      You really can’t figure out why the brits won’t go along? It’s the Iraq debacle, doofus. Remember “the intel is being fixed around the policy” and Blair being called “Bush’s poodle”? Do you even remember no WMD?

      The lesson is that the Brits are capable of learning and we are not.

      • Geheran105

        Remember WMD? Sure do. So do tens-of-thousands Iranian soldiers, Iraqi Kurds and Marsh Arabs. Reason we couldn’t find them? Same reason they won’t be found in Syria – Assad had plenty of time to clean-up as well as to manipulate UN inspectors’ agenda…..as did Saddam and his pal, “Chemical Ali”. There you have it.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Of course saddam had WMD once – we approved and helped as he used them against Iran. However, by 2003 our extremely effective sanctions had stripped Iraq of any technology at all, including the Reagan WMD.

          You just repeat the same old talking point. Sorry, the fact that Reagan helped saddam to WMD in the 80s and 90s says nothing about 2003.

          Again, the question was why the Brits won’t go along. One answer is that they didn’t like being lied to over non-existent WMD in 2003. The fact that saddam had WMD in 1990 is irrelevant. W invaded in 2003. Get that concept of time passing yet?

          • Geheran105

            This is the first time that I have seen “extremely effective” used to describe the sanctions against Iraq. If anything, it has been shown that Saddam and his band of thugs were “extremely effective” at circumventing those sanctions.
            Sent from my iPad

  • Elizabeth_in_RI

    Wow – so many Americans seem to only watch the news in spasmodic bursts. Obama has been loudly decried for not intervening for more than 2 years of this horrible war (he is NOT rushing in). Further, the UN has been trying to foster a s diplomatic solution – but Russia’s stranglehold on the Security Council means that we can’t implement additional sanctions or other actions to force the Syrian government to the table.

    There is simply no good answer to this problem – no matter what we do in that part of the world someone will accuse us of having done something evil. (See Egypt – we sat back and allowed for the people there to make their own decisions, and got blasted by both sides claiming we were supporting the other side. We’ll make enemies either way – we need to figure out what is the right thing to do for us and the people in Syria and just do it.)

    • WestCoastSusan

      There actually may be a good alternative to inaction on one hand or bombing on the other.

      Sensible, responsible Syrians are not inside the country, fighting; They took their families and fled. Look for reasonable Syrian alternatives among the refugees.

      The refugees are not just in UN camps; In fact, most are not. But wherever situated these people are in desperate need of material support. This support should be massively increased with a mandate to form self administered institutions: boards to arrange education and recreation for children; boards to administer health services; civic planning for temporary community infrastructure, to manage housing, sanitation, refrigeration, food and water, electricity and internet access.

      Positions on the various boards should be filled by votes, not appointments. Those who prove capable and constructive would have a kind of legitimacy that no-one inside Syria currently has.

      And the world would finally have a “good alternative for Syria”.

  • TFRX

    Please get someone from outside the Beltway to be Less Savvy about this.

    One of the guests (Davis or Lakshaman) said “This costs political capital perhaps better used in upcoming business with the opposition in Congress”. (paraphrased)

    What capital does President Obama have which can be exerted over the GOP in Congress?

    There no further there there! The GOP can’t be further inflamed or any less negotiated with than they were four and a half years ago. If it’s not Syria, it’ll be the phase of the moon the right gets its poutrage up about.

    And Tom, please stop citing Peggy Noonan about anything except how out of touch that war criminal-apologist professional hack is.

    • MrNutso

      Why is capital even needed. Why can’t our elected officials act like adults and do their jobs.

      • hennorama

        MrNutso – the answer to your question is implicit in the term “elected officials.”

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    if you heard Bill Clinton’s comments on Obamacare you would understand he was giving faint praise to the monstrosity. You can unleash the ‘big dog’ but you certainly can’t control him.

    • JobExperience

      Clinton has left some brown spots on the lawn.

    • JobExperience

      WFTC: Probably not campaigning for “Single Payer.”
      Are you?

      • TomK_in_Boston

        I think he hates Romney.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Clinton says he likes and respects Romney. Try again.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            I meant you, since you hate Romneycare.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I don’t hate Romneycare but I don’t love it either. It was only 60 pages and only affected 6% of the population. It didn’t spend $1T to give coverage to >10%.

            What I don’t like is how MA has limited insurance competition resulting in the highest health care costs in the country. The one benefit I have personally seen from Romneycare is to clear out emergency room waiting times — exactly as promised. Let states devise solutions appropriate for themselves not this top down monstrosity. Centralized planning never works in the long haul.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            A plan run by the corporations is not centralized planning. No gvt insurance, no gvt hospitals, no gvt doctors. It came from Heritage, remember? They wanted the “individual mandate” so the losers wouldn’t freeload.

            I would prefer a “medicare for all” national plan but fat chance of that with righty conservadem prez.

            Skip the ideology. The big fact is that we have the most privatized system in the world and the most expensive, by far. The countries with more “centralized planning” are doing much better.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Tom, you either ignorant or intellectually dishonest. Heritage never would have supported THIS plan. This is MUCH more than a mandate for catastrophic coverage.

            IMHO, ‘medicare for all’ would be a disaster. You are aware that medicare cost shifting occurs now and gravely underfunded. Expanding medicare for the masses would reduce the quality care dramatically.

          • J__o__h__n

            That depends on what the definitions of likes and respects are.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        No.

    • hennorama

      WftC – you must have listened to a different speech than the one former President Clinton gave on Wednesday, September 4, 2013, in which he listed and explained the many benefits of the Affordable Care Act.

      And in closing, he said:

      “Here’s the bottom line, to me – it seems to me that the benefits of reform can’t be fully realized, and the problems certainly can’t be solved, unless both the supporters and the opponents of the original legislation work together to implement it, and address the issues that arise whenever you change a system this complex. There are always drafting errors, unintended consequences, unanticipated issues. We’re gonna do better working together and learning together than we will trying over and over again to repeal the law, or rooting for reform to fail, and refusing to fix relatively simple matters.

      “I hope the Congress will follow the lead of the example set by many, many Republicans and Democrats at the state level, and try to just do the best we can to implement this law, be upfront and open about the problems that develop, and deal with ‘em. We all get paid to show up for work, and we need all hands on deck here. The health of our people, the security and stability of our families, and the strength of our economy, are all riding on getting health care reform right, and doing it well.

      “That means we have to do it together.

      “Thank you very much”

      See:
      http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/09/03/watch-live-former-president-bill-clinton-explains-affordable-care-act?utm_source=snapshot&utm_medium=email&utm_content=090513-topper

      Score another one for “the Secretary of Explaining Stuff.”

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Oh hennorama, once again you fell for the Slick Willie routine. He spent much of the speech outlining the numerous failures and deficiencies of Obamacare.

        I bet you fell for the nonsense he spouted at the DNC when he said no one could have done better on the economy than Obama. He had you when he bit his lip.

        • hennorama

          WftC – President Clinton indeed presented a balanced view of the ACA, and then wholeheartedly came out for its implementation. That is indisputable.

          Quoting again, in part:

          “…the benefits of reform can’t be fully realized, and the problems certainly can’t be solved, unless both the supporters and the opponents of the original legislation work together to implement it, and address the issues that arise whenever you change a system this complex. There are always drafting errors, unintended consequences, unanticipated issues.”

          TY for your response.

  • Jon

    Funny the old swimmer’s message “Never give up” is the same virtue that troubles Obama. Never say never.

    • JobExperience

      He’s in the drink with Diana Nyad?

      • Jon

        I meant he’d lose face if step back from his casual red line comments and that’s why he taking to the congress shifting the responsibility.

        • JobExperience

          She’ll be swimming back to Cuba before this ends.

          Obama is a puppet.
          Congress is a box of puppets.
          This was cut and dried before Obama was installed.

          “Red Line” is no verbal accident .
          It’s code for conquest.
          Beebe said it earlier about Iran.
          Thom Hartman can see the Big Picture, and so can you.

          Obama read the cue card very well.

          • Jon

            the sad thing is this world is controlled by a bunch of puppets who blindly believe they are pulling all the streams

          • JobExperience

            It takes ambition and awe of wealth to become a puppet. Gotta have what it takes. Puppets are self-made.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Yea Diana Nyad. Swimmers are the best!

  • conservaholic

    Let’s break this down to what will absolutely happen next.

    Turkey will continue to provide humanitarian aid, and allow refugees into Turkey based on shared cultural and ethnic ties. Turkey will emerge as the only trusted agent in the region to handle Syria.

    Jordan and Turkey will “sue” Syria and Russia for compensation for how they created refugees, for the sole purpose of maintaining a Russian naval base in Syria.

    Russia will refuse.

    Among those who are rebelling against the Assad regime, moderates who are not really affiliated with Al-Qaida will continue to fight in the Southern half of Syria.

    Al-qaida extremists will continue to take control of basic food and medicine in the Norhtern half along the Turkey border.

    Turkey will be attacked by these Al-qaida forces, or at least continue to attack and be repelled…

    All this time, President Obama, will be killing time getting congressional approval for action. And, he will successfully argue before the security council that…

    1. Chemical weapons have been used.

    1a. The security council can’t agree on WHO did it, even though Assad did it.

    2. When chemical weapons are used, they become property of the United Nations.

    3. Russia will act as an agent to remove chemical weapons under the control of Assad.

    4. The United States and western partners will act as an agent to remove chemical weapons found outside the control of Assad.

    On the casus belli of Al-qaida attacks, American presence, and quasi-security council approval…

    Turkey will publicly reveal their intention to annex the Syrian territory.

    All hell breaks loose then, and I can’t predict after that… but this is for sure what will happen up to this point.

    • DeJay79

      I had to copy this just to see how right you may be.

  • 65noname

    one caller brought up the fact of the amerikan complicity in the irag chemical bombing of iran. clearly germane both to whether the amerikan government is really concerned with moral principles as oppsed to its own political goals and to its own honesty considering that the amerikan government backed the iraqi government when it used chemical weapons and also helped hide the fact from international agencies.
    Of course the program m.c. said that it is “a complicated issue” and passed right over that fact and refused to discuss it.

    • conservaholic

      well, it’s not complicated. because president bush cannibalized the political power of a future candidate for president (colin powell) with false curveball intelligence, reportedly gained from torture in the first place, in order to support texas military contractors — people in other countries are more suspicious of our american president. so it will take him longer to gain support internationally.

      • 65noname

        I wouldn’t let powell off he hook that easily

  • Geheran105

    The body language and demeanor of General Demsey suggest that the military is not on-board with the WH. With all due respect, Secretary Kerry, your sudden concern about the use of WMD is curious given your regrets about your pro-war vote on Iraq. Don’t recall your Irish getting-up when Saddam, “Chemical Ali” and Co used WMD on thousands of Iranian soldiers, Iraqi Kurds and Marsh Arabs. Got religion, did we?

    • conservaholic

      there is a HUGE difference. at the moment bush jr was going to war, he was making up for how saddam had crossed real american military lines to gas his own people. years later, and keen to avoid another military intervention, saddam seems to have gotten rid of the weapons. the false curveball intelligence was data the US was giving the world.

      today, the world is giving us the data. a president with little desire to go to war is being pressed by the ongoing threat of chemical weapons.

      and, another lesson, because bush sr, had not responded back then, when lines were crossed (literally not figuratively) it festered until bush jr was pushed into doing something about it a decade later.

      so, if we stop the small use of chemical weapons now, according to this lesson, then it stops a bigger war later.

      • Geheran105

        Point taken. The “false curve ball” fell into the 20 percentile of intelligence rule of 80-20%, i.e., British and German intelligence “confirmed” the US read and, as it was later ascertained, Saddam deliberately nurtured the notion that Iraq possessed WMD to gain a little more respect from his neighbors.
        Sent from my iPad

  • tbphkm33

    I am not for intervention in Syria, but the reality is that it sets a dangerous precedence to let the use of chemical weapons go without a response. This is being between a “rock and a hard place.”

    I like to see a measured response, that gets the Syrian government attention, but does not lead to further military involvement. My suggestion would be something that can be tied to humanitarian intervention, taking out Syrian government installation(s) that clearly threatens the Syrian population (or internally displaced people).

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      If Romney was President could you honestly say that you would be in favor of a ‘measured response’?

      I’d love to see Nancy Pelosi answer that question.

      • tbphkm33

        Could you imagine – it be GW Bush all over again… bomb the hell out of the country from afar, then spend a few trillion dollars occupying it. All in the name of exporting democracy (???)

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Thank you for honestly answering — sort of.

          It all comes down to trust of your ‘leaders’. That is one of Obama’s big problems now — he comes across as incompetent and therefore engenders little trust — at home or abroad.

          • conservaholic

            well i think president obama is thoughtful.

            the best way to enforce a law, (against chemical weapons) is to use the rule of law.

            obama is doing the right thing, going to congres BEFORE going to the united nations is the rule of law.

            shooting first, ans asking questions later is the rule of emergency testosterone.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Another crappy jobs report….

    And what is the reasoning again behind the delay for the Keystone pipeline?

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Yeah, how’s that austerity working out for you? Any signs of gvt spending on infrastructure or R&D or a new Apollo project? Didn’t think so. But hey, we may get a boost to the cruise missile industry.

      Delay of Keystone? Maybe some of us don’t want hot toxic tar moving thru the USA after being produced in a process that is an environmental disaster? Wouldn’t produce many jobs either, but if you want a stimulus, I’d rather have the construction guys working on something positive, like public transport.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        When have I heard ‘shovel ready’ stimulus before?
        $878B + $5T in deficit spending.

        Fool me once …

        How about some pro-growth reforms — regulatory simplification, pro-growth tax reform…
        ..or we can do what our genius Governor did in MA and implement a high tech tax which is certain do drive additional jobs out of state.

        So you prefer the Keystone oil to be transported via rail? — like it is now. Keystone will create plenty of jobs and US tax revenue because it transports the oil to US refineries which will help tamp down US energy costs AND improve the trade deficit because we will be exporting refined product. It is really a no brainer.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Please, stop the TP. The ARA stabilized the economy and stopped the bush job losses very nicely. You weren’t fooled, you’re just blinded by ideology.

          The USA is covered with shovel ready projects, just look around, to say nothing of our need to stop the R&D cutbacks that threaten our edge in science very seriously.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            The recession ended in June of 2009 — BEFORE the stimulus started.

            Why did Joe Biden STOP tracking jobs created by the stimulus?

            You could do with a big dose of reality.

          • Ray in VT

            Was it Biden’s job to track stimulus jobs? I’ve seen info from sources like the CBO keeping figures on that into 2012, so those numbers are available. A lot of the stimulus spending involved both tax cuts, which certainly helped people out beyond June of 2009, and support to state agencies, like schools, which would likely have had to fact devastating cuts due to the declines in state level revenues, so those supports also certainly helped to avoid further cuts and reductions in services that would still exist, even if the state and local funding was absent.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes, Obama put Biden in charge of stimulus spending.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Don’t you remember when Biden couldn’t remember “the website number” of recovery.gov in his first press conference after being assigned by Obama to track and ‘manage’ the stimulus?

            When gov. employees heard this gem they knew Obama wasn’t serious about reigning in abuse. It was a signal.

            “Remember when President Obama bragged about
            Joe Biden’s fiscal-discipline cred in 2009? “To you, he’s Mr. Vice
            President, but around the White House, we call him the Sheriff,” Obama
            warned government employees. “Because if you’re misusing taxpayer money,
            you’ll have to answer to him.””

            http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/329879/missing-action-stimulus-sheriff-joe-biden-michelle-malkin

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Geez, the Biden TP again?
            Don’t you have enough common sense to know that the effects of a “systemic financial crisis” don’t end when some official recession indicator says it’s over?

          • pete18

            Where are those cuts, exactly?

        • fun bobby

          that’s not how it works. it would create few jobs and raise gas prices

      • fun bobby

        our new Apollo product is being built in the Utah desert. the nsa is researching decryption constantly

    • fun bobby

      I hope that it never goes through it will raise our gas prices

  • OnPointComments

    Not that any law has ever impeded President Obama…

    Striking Syria Is Completely Illegal
    The fundamental rule of international law is that states cannot attack other states, even for humanitarian reasons
    http://ideas.time.com/2013/09/05/obamas-plan-for-intervention-in-syria-is-illegal/

    Excerpt:
    The fundamental rule of contemporary international law is that states cannot attack other states. The U.N. Charter embodies this rule and makes only two exceptions to it: a state can attack another state if it is authorized to do so by a Security Council resolution, or if the attacking state is acting in genuine self-defense.

    • Coastghost

      Clinton & Co. already breezed past these objections in the spring of 1999, contravening both the UN Charter and the NATO charter.

    • conservaholic

      Actually I think you hit the nail on the head. President Obama is thinking in long term strategy beyond his presidency. By going to congress before going to the united nations, President Obama is following the rule of law. And, when he is finished being president, he will have reasserted the rule of law for the next president.

      He can say, “when i was faced with a difficult question.. uh.. about uh… going to war, I went to congress” and he will actually have a leg to stand on to help prevent another optional war in the future.

      excuse my playful impersonation… tee hee…

    • fun bobby

      someone should have told all those Yemenis about that

  • tbphkm33

    Could you imagine if GW Bush or his clan was in power right now… they would already have bombed Syria back to the stone age and sent in an occupation force. All at the tune of several trillion dollars, a decade of occupation and several hundred thousand dead.

    • conservaholic

      Up to this point, most of the candidates during the republican conventions since bush would have made bush blush… Romney spoke calmly, but still had to have a bit of a hawk sound to try and appeal to the base.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Are you a fiction writer? You sure have a vivid imagination.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      trillions of econ stimulus to his friends in the MIC

    • fun bobby

      actually this whole incident reminds me exactly of what it was like during bush’s rush to war. this time Kerry is colin powell but with less soul obviously

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cacimbo-Smith/1142235495 Cacimbo Smith

      Unfortunately President Obama is the one in power. You know, the guy who sits down each morning to select who will be droned to death. The guy who bombed Libya without congressional approval. The man currently lying to the American public to the point that General Dempsey felt compelled to clarify to the public what he actually said. that is President Obama.

      Just maybe five years in the time has come to stop blaming Bush and blame the guy actually in charge.

  • Joe Yerkes

    Congress has ignored the will of the public so many times such as gun control and it seems likely they will do it again Obama should act however the majority of the American people feeland he should tell the world we are tired of standing all alone they need to get on board

    • fun bobby

      why should Obama start a civil war when the majority of americans and Syrians and everyone else besides a few Frenchmen thinks its a bad idea? I am not sure I understand your gun control reference

  • TomK_in_Boston

    “The alleged chemical weapons use in Syria is a provocation carried out by the rebels to attract a foreign-led strike, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the G20 summit.”

    I don’t believe Putin any more than I believe our warmongers, but I don’t believe him any less, either.

    In the buildup to Bush’s Iraq disaster, the corporate media ignored or ridiculed everyone who questioned the WMD fairy tales. Is that happening again? I don’t hear any questioning of the claim that assad used CW. There are questions about how we should respond, but everyone accepts that he did it. Why so sheep-like?

    On News Hour Marg Warner in Cairo said she could not find ONE Egyptian, gvt supporter or muslim brotherhood or student, who wanted US intervention. She said US officials were afraid that the Embassy would be attacked. The Eastasia locals do not want this.

    • brettearle

      The US can present Evidence before the UN. That is what they should do.

      Members of Congress have already seen some of the evidence.

      It does NOT matter whether that Evidence is classified or not.

      The US can, possibly, pick and choose:

      They can choose that evidence which they find too sensitive to present, directly–in which case they can present accounts and summaries.

      And they can present evidence, which they can release, directly.

      But they HAVE to present something.

      If the evidence, already presented, is not sufficient for Russia, then present MORE evidence, to Russia, at the UN, DIRECTLY.

      Otherwise dangers will increase now and US credibility–about military matters, around the world–will worsen, even more than it has already worsened.

      If they present evidence, then Putin’s action would likely be more measured.

      If not, then the chances of escalation are noticeably greater.

      The actions by our country are almost unconscionable.

      It’s one thing to accuse a leader of a country to be, essentially, a war criminal. Assad probably is–if only as the result of the last 2 gas attacks that we know about.

      But the US CANNOT get away with this–UNLESS they present evidence….more than has already been released.

  • Michael Bristol

    Kerry votes for turning Iraq into a sewer.
    A few years later some truer facts come out.
    Then he’s shoving hard for public support.
    We hear him moaning, oh I feel so bad about having voted to bomb Iraq, if only I had had the real facts.
    And today a beltway hack, from Bloomberg no less,
    contorts grammar and her tongue inside out
    to make out of such political expediency and hypocrisy
    a sonorous virtue.
    Which is how beltway and mainstream hacks earn their pay.

    What we won’t be hearing about on any talk show, in any op ed,
    is how the AIPAC machine will be working on the rank and file in Congress.

  • Kiep99

    We signed the treaty in 1925, but only ratified it in 1975 & it has no enforcement provision(s).

    If we break international law by attacking Syria, we become the criminal state.

    • brettearle

      But if it were an International effort–especially with those countries who were signatories to the Treaty that bans use of gas, during warfare–then I think the US would have a legitimate position, with which to take military action.

      Would they not?

      • fun bobby

        did Syria sign the treaty?

        • brettearle

          It doesn’t matter. What matters is International support.

          • fun bobby

            oh so they should abide by a treaty they did not sign?

            oh wait let me get this right. they should abide by a treaty that they did not sign that we also ignore?

            http://www.democracynow.org/2005/11/17/pentagon_reverses_position_and_admits_u

            I could not find any numbers, perhaps because I did not look too hard perhaps due to the cover up of these chemical weapons uses by America in the middle east. how many people did we kill with chemical weapons in Iraq?
            why do you think getting involved in Syria is a good idea? how will you and I or America in general benefit from choosing sides in a civil war?

          • brettearle

            You cannot see the greater shades of an issue.

            Surgical strikes are quite possible–but ONLY with International Effort.

            THAT is the point. WITHOUT International cooperation, there can be no justification.

            If the World is against something, then the World ought to prevail.

            Is THE point.

            Of course, the World could be wrong, even if the World were in agreement:

            After all, killing women and children, who are civilians–by use of WMD–should absolutely be something that the World ought to turn their backs on.

          • fun bobby

            “If the World is against something, then the World ought to prevail.”
            I agree the world’s desire for us to not intervene in Syria should be respected
            at the end there are you referring to the women and children that will certainly be killed by us using cruise missiles to “punish assad” or the small percentage of women and children he is alleged to have killed using gas out of the total he has killed during the last two years if it turns out that he in fact launched those strikes?

          • brettearle

            You’re ascribing false positions to me and then attacking them.

            YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT…

            I am AGAINST the strikes–UNLESS it is an International Effort.

            I do NOT support the US going it alone, WHATSOEVER.

            The reason you are ascribing false positions to me is because,

            ….YOUR EGO HAS BEEN BRUISED OVER MY CRITICISM ABOUT YOU BEING A ONE-TRICK PONY, WITH REGARD TO YOUR OBSESSION OVER THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, AND HOW YOU EXCLUDE ALL OTHER FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE PROBLEMS IN THE MIDDLE EAST…..

            AND LORD THERE ARE SO, SO, SO, SO MANY OTHER FACTORS.

            MORE’S THE PITY…AS I PITY YOU…

          • fun bobby

            its not a good idea if it were to become an “international effort”. are we really going to go down the “coalition of the willing” road again?

            I did not ascribe any false positions to you. I am just struggling to understand your bizarre rant.
            i have always said the middle east is complex. they have been fighting each other over there forever. what a bizarre characterization.
            i personally don’t care about a man’s punctuation, i feel its a personal choice, but did you know that a lot of people interpret all caps in an online post to be yelling? i bet they would think you were pretty worked up

          • brettearle

            Ego Bruise, suffered, by fun bobby, after Ego Bruise.

          • fun bobby

            just keep telling yourself that and ranting away. thanks for a good laugh

          • brettearle

            He who seeks good laugh has had too many cries.

          • fun bobby

            was that on a fortune cookie? I was amused by surprise.

          • brettearle

            He who is amused by put down, is put down even more, without knowing why

          • fun bobby

            in bed?

            wow, did you ask for extra fortune cookies?

          • brettearle

            He who can’t let go of own humiliation, doomed for life of petty strife and unyielding self-hatred

          • fun bobby

            in bed?

          • brettearle

            He who repeats self lack for adequate retort

          • fun bobby

            in bed?

          • brettearle

            He who lack adequate retort suffer from insomnia

          • fun bobby

            in bed?
            (this is even funnier because apparently you are unaware of the meme, among other things)

          • brettearle

            He who push envelope risk reprimand from NPR Big Brother–who lurk, by random

          • fun bobby

            in bed?

          • brettearle

            He who seek censure from NPR Thought Police become nothing more than AfterThought….

            ….Although, is Already. For Sometime Now. Quite Quite sometime.

          • brettearle

            He who ignore peril–do so at own peril

          • fun bobby

            in bed?

          • brettearle

            Broken records lose vinyl to gutter imagination

          • fun bobby

            in bed?

          • brettearle

            He who has thinnest Imagination lose light of secret Vitality

          • fun bobby

            in bed?
            ( I was getting tired of this but its funny to see how far you will go)

          • brettearle

            He who can’t acknowledge own last-word desperation will not understand strategic back-at-ya mirror

          • fun bobby

            in bed?

          • brettearle

            He who repeats self finds similarity to, “All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy” from “The Shining”.

          • fun bobby

            in bed

          • brettearle

            He who claims he was “getting tired of this” has found new life in effort to gain last word

          • brettearle

            “He who can’t see put-down, blown his way, suffer fate worse than humiliation”

          • HonestDebate1

            IT’s too late for that. The world is pissed at Obama. The Russia reset was a disaster and there all be no international support from Putin. Britain said no. Who is still our ally?

          • brettearle

            I am NOT talking about the current political Reality.

            What’s more, I don’t even know what you’re talking about.

            I am SIMPLY saying that an International effort, and International cooperation, is only way to mount an action. Period.

          • HonestDebate1

            And I am talking about the current political reality that international cooperation requires the leadership, moral clarity, and determination of a mighty and noble America. The lack thereof is the reason international cooperation is not forthcoming. No other nation in the history of the universe has acquired more power and used it more generously for the betterment of all humanity than America.

      • 1Brett1

        There isn’t support from other countries for military action, and I agree that the circumstance would be different if there WERE an international effort to support such an action.

        Something I found the other day of interest…the agreement from 1925 (and even another one signed a couple of decades ago) does not stipulate any consequence/punishment/action; it simply condemns such use of chemical warfare. No country has an obligation to retaliate with a military response.

        • brettearle

          I agree with what you said.

          But my point–and maybe it’s yours as well–is that the more countries that get behind an action, the greater justifiable resolve there is; and the greater chance there is for reducing repercussions.

          Under those circumstances, there is greater `justification’ for making a move.

          HOWEVER, it seems to me that if turns out to be a ‘Bluff’–where nothing is done–then the following could happen:

          Assad might never do it again–because he knows that after all this fanfare and hullabaloo and all the Global microscopic scrutiny, even Russia might turn against him, much less much of the World.

  • John_Breckin

    Wow. Who is this Susan Davis? Really enjoying her eloquence + insight. Such an excellent conversation. I’m not an Obama person, but praying for his courage and command in the coming weeks. This Syria issue damns him either way…

    • fun bobby

      I think in this case we are damned if we do but in much better shape if we don’t

  • pete18

    “The important thing, however, is to
    realize that there are degrees of disaster, that you can have an immense failure of economic policy that falls short of producing total collapse. And the failure of policy these past five years has, in fact, been immense.”

    “Behind that financial waste lies an
    even more tragic waste of human potential. Before the financial crisis, 63 percent of adult Americans were employed; that number quickly plunged to less than
    59 percent, and there it remains.”

    Any guesses to the author of this quote? Rush Limbaugh? Bill O’Reilly? Charles Krauthammer? Someone from the
    Heritage Foundation? No……ready? Paul Krugman!

    Even he can no longer get behind the absurd
    defense of Obama by saying he saved us from the great depression.

    Better late than never I guess.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/06/opinion/krugman-years-of-tragic-waste.html?_r=2&

    • brettearle

      Why would you make your comments and force people to read one of Krugman’s conclusions, rather than, instead, stating it above?

      By not stating that above, you are putting an unfair spin on Krugman’s policy beliefs.

      Krugman says, at the end of the column, that the Obama people are LESS wrong than the Republicans–with regard to all of the economic policies that could have been more successful.

      The President does not have full control over domestic policy–as all of us know quite well.

      • pete18

        I’m not recommending Krugman’s policy advice, I’m just pointing out that the man all liberal’s point to in defense of Obama’s record, has figured out that it’s so bad that even he can can no longer bring himself to defend it.

        • jimino

          OK, maybe you’re not deceitful or a dolt, just woefully uninformed. Krugman’s incessantly repeated point, repeated over the past 5 years, is that the economic policies of the so-called conservatives/Republicans are utterly and totally wrong and damaging, and that Obama’s, which have been just slightly less conservative, and no less subservient to Wall Street, but by no means Keynesian, are barely better. As a result, any economic recovery is hampered.

          In other words, the truth.

          • jefe68

            This guy is not interested in what Krugman has to say or the content of his work.
            He is being deceitful and is in lock step with the conservative economic ideology that Krugman is so critical of. Using his words in congress to this is a deceit in my book.

        • jefe68

          No, your just using his words out of context, which is lame.

        • 1Brett1

          Well, aren’t you clever…Commenting on Krugman’s policy advice? Hell, you’re not even presenting an honest assessment of Krugman’s commentary. Aside from purposely distorting the intent of the article, you have mischaracterized Krugman himself and his opinions. He is the very last person standing who would defend Obama’s incompetence against some righteous policy battle? (“It’s tough when the last soldier defending the Alamo falls, isn’t it?”); I guess now we can all go home and concede that Republicans are right and all opinions are wrong. According to you, Krugman was blind, sleeping, wrong, etc. ALL liberals bowed at his feet, and now he has miraculously had his sight restored, has woken up, and has seen the error of his prior beliefs (“…the man ALL liberal’s point to in defense of Obama’s record, HAS FIGURED OUT that it’s SO BAD that EVEN HE can NO LONGER BRING HIMSELF to DEFEND it.”). And, I guess liberals are now bewildered, floating on a sea without a rudder? Oh, the humanity!…And here you once feigned interest in a genuine examination of different views in a reasonable conversation…for shame, Pete. What kind of nonsense are you trying to peddle here? Can you just state your opinion without the cheap theatrics? This is just more of that passive-aggressiveness I accused you of last week (to which you blamed me for wrongfully accusing you and shutting down pleasant discourse). Such hypocrisy and tawdry schemes of which you are a part.

          Rather than offering the article as a sober assessment of how current economic approaches just aren’t quite cutting it and using Krugman as a way to engage those with a different way of looking at the issues we face as a country, you put a spin on it in some propagandist way to get some kind of dig in.

          You set this up knowing you would get some outrage and criticism in reply, then you’ve used that as a way to bash each individual commenter…I’d expect that kind of punkish behavior from Gregg but not you.

          • HonestDebate1

            Wow, an entire post about Pete. I can see why you don’t want to talk about what Obama has done to the economy.

          • 1Brett1

            One of your usual pat replies…but make no mistake, neither Pete nor you want to actually talk about the economy, just distort whatever you can to bash Obama and Liberals. There’s no discussion coming from either of you.

          • HonestDebate1

            You’re not talking about the economy.

            Why would I want to trash liberals or Obama?

          • 1Brett1

            Let’s see, why? Um, because you are an ideological, beef-witted toad who seizes every opportunistic moment to trash liberals, obama, those on this forum who are not neocons like you, etc….(hey, you asked).

          • HonestDebate1

            Or maybe he is just an awful President and I have good reason.

          • 1Brett1

            Or, maybe neither you nor Pete are simply legitimately criticizing the President (there is, after all, plenty to criticize) but going out of your way to distort and spin any and all things liberal for the purposes of just trashing that which is on the other side, as it were.

            Both you guys miss an opportunity (which is weird because you both are opportunistic) to engage liberals on this forum. You could easily find some common ground through legitimate characterization of criticisms toward Obama/his policies/actions, etc., rather than purposely distort his failures while also using intentionally loaded language in the process.

            I replied favorably to one of your comments the other day. I think Obama has botched the approach to what is happening in Syria (and agreed when you said so), the whole mess is, well, a mess. You ignore those comments; in fact, over the years, you’ve ignored all of my comments that find some legitimate agreement with what you are saying.

            The only time I’ve seen you find agreement with any liberals on this forum has been to either distort what they are saying by pretending they are saying something they are not and agreeing with that false characterization, or when you’ve conceded truth in the most trivial point in a person’s comment, along the lines of “you have a point there but the overall premise on which you make that point is flawed,” or “fair enough but the rest of your points are inaccurate” and so on. Those are just tactics to appear open to other viewpoints.

            You guys are also engaging in intentional attacks on forum commenters by deliberately posting something that is very charged language and opinion-wise. It is easy to gauge the reaction then use that reaction as a way to take pot shots at liberal forum participants. That’s not honest debate, that’s not simply criticizing the President, and there is no good reason for that other than to get digs in toward those who are ideologically different than you.

          • HonestDebate1

            Oh BS, I have more than one liberal bone in my body.

            Obama has killed jobs and the economy. He has fundamentally transformed America, He’s a joke on the international stage. He a disaster for race relations. Obamacare is a train wreck. His energy policy is incoherent and we are paying through the nose because of it. He is not being honest with the American people about the threat of radical Islam. It’s awful.

            Getting in gratuitous digs is your bag not mine. I find the notion insane. I have better things to do that pick on Obama just because.

          • jefe68

            Well said. But you’re not going to get anywhere here. It’s all about him, even though he’ll say it’s not.
            Then he’ll make some comment about “Obama fundamentally transformed America” which is straight out of the Limbaugh meme book.

          • pete18

            My post was not meant to start a debate about conservative vs liberal economic policy, it was only a pointed observation about the current state of the economy, which many Obama supporters here have been painting with a positive brush. I’m just wondering if you and the other liberals and Democrats posters agree with Krugman’s assessment that the last five years has been an “immense failure of economic policy”?

          • 1Brett1

            “My post…was only a pointed observation about the current state of the economy, which many Obama supporters here have been painting with a positive brush.”

            If that was the case, why strain to extract certain statements of Krugman’s only as a distortion of what he was saying? Also, there wasn’t much of any kind of “observation” on your part just some sort of pseudo-clever manipulation to back-handedly trash Krugman about NOT EVEN being able to defend Obama (and, by extension, trashing Obama in the process). Rather than “paint” liberals by reducing any perceived argument they might have to characterizing them as having an absolute rosy assessment of the state of the economy, why not just either make some specific points yourself or take issue with specific statements commentators have made. As you complained about last week, who can reply to generalizations rather than specific quotes?

            “I’m just wondering if you and the other liberals and Democrats posters agree with Krugman’s assessment that the last five years has been an ‘immense failure of economic policy’?”

            Why do you want anyone to make some sweeping, absolute statement about the economy in this thread? Do you wish to reduce an assessment of a complicated situation to that? If so, why? Are you absolutely convinced that McCain or Romney would have absolutely turned the economy around and we would be sailing smoothly with a completely recovered economy now? Especially considering the state of things in ’08? Of so, defend that.

            Also, the tone and tenor of your post didn’t seem to indicate you were “wondering” about anything…the only questions you asked were rhetorical in nature and only pertaining to whether anybody could guess the person who made the statements you quoted…”just wondering” Please.

            I see your post as more passive-aggressiveness…by the way, how’s your perusal of other posts about Limbaugh’s racially charged quotes and your desire to reply to specific quotes going? Several quotes from a few forum participants were provided. Have you made any time to by now reply as you said you would when you had enough time? It doesn’t seem like you reply to comments where people have supplied you with specific information for which you ask; one could easily get the impression that that isn’t what you really want here at all.

          • pete18

            Limbaugh response is coming. Do you agree or disagree with Krugman’s bottom line assessment about the effect of Obama’s economic policies?

          • StilllHere

            Classic. This is their usual tactic. The insults come next when they hit their ultimate point of frustration.

          • TFRX

            Hey, it’s been awhile since you told anyone to “eat a bag of” anything.

            How’s that pearl-clutching about others lobbing insults going for you?

          • jimino

            I know you’re an “artist” and linear thinking is not your forte, but the post and responses are about misstating Krugman’s position about the economic policies of Obama and other national officials. In other words, about how deceit and ignorance drives the conclusions of people like Pete. But without misinformation, what else could he (and you) rely on for your opinions?

          • HonestDebate1

            The labor force participation rate has plummeted under Obama. That Krackpot Krugman is acknowledging that is noteworthy even if he tries to excuse it away.

            The workforce is shrinking and those that do have jobs are being cut back to part time at alarming rates. This is not a formula for growth.

          • jimino

            You agree with Krugman and don’t even know it, probably because you, like Pete, don’t actually read him and instead rely on your right-wing sources to tell you what he thinks and what to believe.

            Here’s Krugman in a nutshell:

            Obama’s handling of the economy ignores widespread joblessness, to the benefit of the rentier class, essentially a watered down version of the Tea Party/Republican agenda, the implementation of which would double down on Obama’s ineffective policies and result in utter disaster.

          • HonestDebate1

            I quit reading Krugman years ago. He is far too partisan to be taken seriously. His stance on spending has flipped 180 degrees since 2003 when he was freaking about deficit spending. I am very familiar with his work. I formed my own opinion about Krugman a long time ago.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Krugman did what was required to get the NYTIMEs gig. He puts up with the resulting Princeton faculty lounge snickers and giggles.

          • brettearle

            HD–

            It is rare when you concede distortion, bias, or falsehood.

            This is another example:

            Blaming the ‘attacker’–when, indeed, so much of what Brett said about Krugman’s article was true; and what Pete said was a clear spin.

            The proof is in Krugman’s WORDS. Not what Brett or Pete said.

          • HonestDebate1

            Brettearle, all I did was pointed out Brett wrote an entire comment about Pete in response to a post about Obama’s failed economic policies. It’s a non-sequitur.

          • jefe68

            You are not very good at parsing things on more than one level are you.

          • JONBOSTON

            Greg-
            It’s telling that with the rare exception , those on the left never respond to criticism of Obama by pointing out his accomplishments ,etc. Rather they just attack the messenger.

    • jimino

      You’re a deceitful dolt, which will be clear to anyone who actually reads the whole column.

      • pete18

        It’s tough when the last soldier defending the Alamo falls, isn’t it?

        • jefe68

          You know what’s even tougher, ignorance.

          • pete18

            Even worse than that is denial.

          • StilllHere

            That guy is all about self-diagnosis.

          • jefe68

            Troll.

      • jefe68

        I read the Krugman article. This is a cherry picking to forward right wing regressive ideology.
        Describing what you’re trying to do with words such as dolt is putting it mildly.

        Dr. Krugman is critical of President Obama’s lack of stimulus, but he does point out that what was done did save the economy in comparison to what went down in Europe and is still being played out today.

        Next paragraph:

        “Behind that financial waste lies an even more tragic waste of human potential. Before the financial crisis, 63 percent of adult Americans were employed; that number quickly plunged to less than 59 percent, and there it remains.

        How did that happen? It wasn’t a mass outbreak of laziness, and right-wing claims that jobless Americans aren’t trying hard enough to find work because they’re living high on food stamps and unemployment benefits should be treated with the contempt they deserve. A bit of the decline in employment can be attributed to an aging population, but the rest reflects, as I said, an immense failure of economic policy.”

        • pete18

          What part of “an immense failure of economic policy” aren’t you getting?

          • jefe68

            I got the article and agree with Krugman.
            He also said you and the right wing regressive GOP is miles worse what part of that don’t you understand. Krugman has always been critical of Obama’s fiscal policies. Where have you been? What part of Dr. Krugman do you not understand?

            It’s really hilarious how one dimensional you right wing regressives are.

    • 1Brett1

      Oh, no, vanquished by my own ideology! Abandoned by my own economic messiah! Betrayed by my own last breath of hope that it was indeed Limbaugh, or O’Reilly, or Krauthammer; but, no-ho-ho-ho-ho, not Krugman!?!?! Not even he can defend the President’s incompetence any longer! No-o-o-o-o…I’m melting! ALL Liberals are melting….goodbye cruel world………How much of a masturbatory session did you get out of that nonsensical spin you are attempting?

      Your point certainly isn’t to prompt any reasonable conversation.

      • HonestDebate1

        It’s no surprise, the libs here chalked up quite a few dislikes when I posted an MLK jr. quote about excellence.

    • StilllHere

      Excellent post, I’m expecting some of liberal back-bending as they run to the defense of their shepherd.

    • hennorama

      pete18 – Krugman continued, saying the policy failure is that there hasn’t been “a big enough push for job creation to offset the effects of the financial crunch and the housing bust, postponing fiscal austerity and tax increases until the private sector was ready to take up the slack.”

      FTA, right where you left off:

      “How did that happen? It wasn’t a mass outbreak of laziness, and right-wing claims that jobless Americans aren’t trying hard enough to find work because they’re living high on food stamps and unemployment benefits should be treated with the contempt they deserve. A bit of the decline in employment can be attributed to an aging population, but the rest reflects, as I said, an immense failure of economic policy.

      “Set aside the politics for a moment, and ask what the past five years would have looked like if the U.S. government had actually been able and willing to do what textbook macroeconomics says it should have done — namely, make a big enough push for job creation to offset the effects of the financial crunch and the housing bust, postponing fiscal austerity and tax increases until the private sector was ready to take up the slack. I’ve done a back-of-the-envelope calculation of what such a program would have entailed: It would have been about three times as big as the stimulus we actually got, and would have been much more focused on spending rather than tax cuts.

      “Would such a policy have worked? All the evidence of the past five years says yes. The Obama stimulus, inadequate as it was, stopped the economy’s plunge in 2009. Europe’s experiment in anti-stimulus — the harsh spending cuts imposed on debtor nations — didn’t produce the promised surge in private-sector confidence. Instead, it produced severe economic contraction, just as textbook economics predicted. Government spending on job creation would, indeed, have created jobs.

      “But wouldn’t the kind of spending program I’m suggesting have meant more debt? Yes — according to my rough calculation, at this point federal debt held by the public would have been about $1 trillion more than it actually is. But alarmist warnings about the dangers of modestly higher debt have proved false. Meanwhile, the economy would also have been stronger, so that the ratio of debt to G.D.P. — the usual measure of a country’s fiscal position — would have been only a few points higher. Does anyone seriously think that this difference would have provoked a fiscal crisis?

      “And, on the other side of the ledger, we would be a richer nation, with a brighter future — not a nation where millions of discouraged Americans have probably dropped permanently out of the labor force, where millions of young Americans have probably seen their lifetime career prospects permanently damaged, where cuts in public investment have inflicted long-term damage on our infrastructure and our educational system.

      “Look, I know that as a political matter an adequate job-creation program was never a real possibility. And it’s not just the politicians who fell short: Many economists, instead of pointing the way toward a solution of the jobs crisis, became part of the problem, fueling exaggerated fears of inflation and debt.

      “Still, I think it’s important to realize how badly policy failed and continues to fail. Right now, Washington seems divided between Republicans who denounce any kind of government action — who insist that all the policies and programs that mitigated the crisis actually made it worse — and Obama loyalists who insist that they did a great job because the world didn’t totally melt down.

      “Obviously, the Obama people are less wrong than the Republicans. But, by any objective standard, U.S. economic policy since Lehman has been an astonishing, horrifying failure.”

      • HonestDebate1

        Redundant. Pete graciously posted the entire article.

        • hennorama

          Debates Not, He – yeah, except no.

          Without ascribing motive to [pete18], it is clear that the quote does not reflect the entirety of Mr. Krugman’s views, as [jimino] and [jefe68] pointed out previously.

          As not everyone will take the step of opening a link and then reading/viewing the linked site, I felt obliged to put the balance of Mr. Krugman’s views, explaining the reason for what he had described in the title of his piece as “Years of Tragic Waste” out in the open.

          Context matters.

          • pete18

            “it is clear that the quote does not reflect the entirety of Mr. Krugman’s views, ”

            I didn’t post it as a reflection of the entirety of his views, nor to try and fool anybody into thinking Krugman now endorses conservative economic policy.
            When I post a link to an article I’m not trying to hide or distort its contents. It was only to note that he has now made an unequivocal rendering of Obama’s policies and there are no shades of grey in it, he thinks they have been an “immense failure.” What he thinks of Republicans or what he thinks the solutions are doesn’t change that judgement.

            Anytime a conservative economist or commentator has made the same observation, there has always been a barrel of leftist posters here who deride it as partisan nonsense and then go on to tell us all the good things that have come from Obama’s economic policies. I thought having it come from Krugman might clear that objection off the table and give us all a Kumbaya moment. Look, left and right have an area of agreement, the Obama economic policies have been “an astonishing, horrifying failure.”

          • hennorama

            pete18 – Thank you for your response.

            As stated, I did not ascribe a motive to your posting of the quote, and it’s clear from my reply to ‘Debates Not, He’ as to why I added the remainder of Mr. Krugman’s op-ed.

            You wrote “he [Krugman] has now made an unequivocal rendering of Obama’s policies and there are no shades of grey in it, he thinks they have been an “immense failure.”

            This is inaccurate.

            Quoting again from the op-ed:

            “In a few days, we’ll reach the fifth anniversary of the fall of Lehman Brothers — the moment when a recession, which was bad enough, turned into something much scarier.”

            Further –

            “The important thing, however, is to realize that there are degrees of disaster, that you can have an immense failure of economic policy that falls short of producing total collapse. And the failure of policy these past five years has, in fact, been immense.”

            Further –

            “Set aside the politics for a moment, and ask what the past five years would have looked like if the U.S. government had actually been able and willing to do what textbook macroeconomics says it should have done — namely, make a big enough push for job creation to offset the effects of the financial crunch and the housing bust, postponing fiscal austerity and tax increases until the private sector was ready to take up the slack.”

            And the final sentences –

            “Obviously, the Obama people are less wrong than the Republicans. But, by any objective standard, U.S. economic policy since Lehman has been an astonishing, horrifying failure.”

            FYI, Lehman Brothers filed for Chap. 11 bankruptcy protection on September 15, 2008. George W. Bush was President of the United States at that time. Policies and actions of his administration ALSO impacted the present state of the U.S. economy.

            Mr. Krugman did NOT “ma[k]e an unequivocal rendering of Obama’s policies” but rather pointed to “the failure of policy these past five years…,” asked about “what the past five years would have looked like if the U.S. government had actually been able and willing to do what textbook macroeconomics says it should have done…” and finally wrote “U.S. economic policy since Lehman has been an astonishing, horrifying failure.”

            The less than ideal performance of the U.S. economy cannot be laid solely at the feet of President Obama, and Mr. Krugman, quite accurately, did not.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • pete18

            Oh, come on Hen, that is a heroic effort in parsing but adding in three months of Bush’s Presidency to the five years in Krugman’s measure does not improve his assessment of the four years and nine months of Obama’s management of the economy. An “ASTONISHING, HORRIFYING FAILURE” by “ANY OBJECTIVE STANDARD” doesn’t leave much wiggle room for shades of grey.

          • hennorama

            pete18 – Thank you for your response and your kind words.

            I merely pointed out the inaccuracy of your statement, which attributed EVERYTHING to what you previously described as “Obama’s policies” and even now as “Obama’s management of the economy.”

            Are you now saying that the various actions of the Bush II administration, the Federal Reserve, and various other central banks and governments during the more than 4 months between Sept. 15, 2008, and President Obama’s inauguration on January 20, 2009, were and are unimportant, and had and have no impact over the intervening nearly five years?

            I doubt that.

            I also doubt that you would subscribe to the idea that ANY President has more than a partial ability to, all on their own, “manage the economy.”

            Thanks again for your kind words.

          • pete18

            Hen, no I didn’t attribute “everything” that has happened to Obama’s management of the economy. You are right that the previous administration always has an effect on what a current president does and a president’s powers to affect an economy are not infinite. I merely pointed out that Krugman thinks that US economic policies over the last five years have been an “astonishing, horrifying failure.” So much so that we are on the verge of an “economic catastrophe.” Logic and the rules of a sentence structure would dictate that the ONLY conclusion that one can draw from that line is that Krugman thinks Obama’s economic policies for the four years and nine months of that five-year timeline have also been an, “astonishing, horrifying failure.”

            I take it that you disagree with him.

          • hennorama

            pete18 – Thank you for your response. Point taken.

            Our views are closer than a reader might infer from our exchanges.

            U.S. economic results have been and are far from ideal. The three main problems have been and are too few jobs, too few jobs, and too few jobs. The reasons for this have been and are myriad. Blame, if one cares to assign it, has been and is widely shared, and cannot be solely assigned to any individual.

            Thanks again.

          • pete18

            Yet, when one measures a President’s job performance one grades him on what he has done within the limits of his powers.

            Krugman is grading “US economic POLICY” and that is controlled mainly by the president. So, I’m still wondering if you agree with Krugman or not on that point?

            Has it been an “astonishing, horrifying failure?” And if it has, does not the responsiblity for that lie mainly with the President?

          • hennorama

            pete18 – TY again for the favor of a reply.

            I both agree and disagree with Krugman’s op-ed. My disagreement is mainly with his adjectives, as I view them as a bit overwrought. Such is the nature of writing an op-ed, of course.

            Krugman also points only to the downsides of the last five years, which are indeed considerable. The human costs in particular are disheartening, and will be long-lasting.

            And yes, Presidents have considerable influence on U.S. economic policy. However, they are counter-balanced and limited (and at times amplified, lauded and applauded) by the legislative branch, as we have seen in considerable measure over the past five years, under both Pres. Bush and Pres. Obama.

            And then we have the Federal Reserve to consider.

            I agree with Krugman about what I stated are the three main economic problems in the U.S. — too few jobs, too few jobs, and too few jobs:

            “…[had] the U.S. government … actually been able and willing to do what textbook macroeconomics says it should have done — namely, make a big enough push for job creation to offset the effects of the financial crunch and the housing bust, postponing fiscal austerity and tax increases until the private sector was ready to take up the slack. … we would be a richer nation, with a brighter future — not a nation where millions of discouraged Americans have probably dropped permanently out of the labor force, where millions of young Americans have probably seen their lifetime career prospects permanently damaged, where cuts in public investment have inflicted long-term damage on our infrastructure and our educational system.”

            There’s more than enough blame to go around about THAT.

            Thanks again for your thoughtful exchanges.

          • pete18

            Thanks for your clarification. I would add that presidents help create their congresses. The current Republican opposition gained power because of the voters’ response to Obama’s first two years in office. Presidents are also not helpless in the face of a hostile opposition. Historically, they are always evaluated by how they work with, manage and convince congress to carry out their agenda, as well how well they sell their ideas to the American public and use that support as an additional pressure on the other branches. They also appoint the chairmen of the federal reserve.

            We both agree and disagree with Krugman. I agree with his assessment about Obama’s policies and disagree with him on almost everything else.

  • Mike_Card

    Missed everything today; just want to keep my ID active. :-)

    • brettearle

      You’re probably better off. It’s too depressing.

    • HonestDebate1

      How was NC?

      • Mike_Card

        Best weekend escape I’ve had since my week sailing around BVI. Thanks for the recommendations, too! Saw the Biltmore, Mt Mitchell, the River Arts District, Grove Park Inn, and some terrific sushi & tapas downtown. I wanna go back.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cacimbo-Smith/1142235495 Cacimbo Smith

    This week the whole world clearly saw – the King has no clothes. Even Beatty was struck speechless and at a loss to find anything positive in Obama’s increasingly erratic behavior.
    However congress votes, the world will be paying the price for Obama’s lack of leadership and inability to make a decision for years to come.

    • brettearle

      Obama’s ethical conviction is in the right place–with regard to a moral imperative, for this sort of action.

      You, and others, completely miss this.

      It’s, likely, because of your political bias.

      Where he is wrong, however, is GOING IT ALONE.

      Even if he receives Congressional support, he should only go forward if he has significant International support.

      But you won’t give him credit, for trying to find a way to discourage the use of WMD that kills innocent children.

      • Coastghost

        One post-mortem of the 1980 election consisted of someone’s observation that Reagan showed himself to hold vague principles firmly while Carter showed himself to hold clear principles but with vague conviction.
        Obama, I submit, is in the process of out-Cartering Carter. Oh sure: Obama has “moral convictions”. Yes? And? So? –Obama exhibited “moral conviction” when as freshman Senator he visited Kenya years ago. Obama expressed his moral conviction on that visit that the Kikuyu-led government of Mwai Kibaki was corrupt and heavy-handed in the way it dealt with Kenyans of Luo ancestry (like Obama’s father’s family).
        Obama then waltzed out of Kenya thinking he’d done his good deed. In the aftermath of his visit, Luo and Kikuyu animosities stoked and spilled over, and within months a thousand Kenyans were dead. (I never heard that the Nobel Committee took this episode into account when judging to award Obama its Peace prize.)
        Maybe what Obama lacks is a reliable sense of cause-and-effect.

        • brettearle

          I’m glad you reported this.

          i wanted to let you know that I read it.

          Before I do any research on this–if I can find the time–what would you have expected Senator Obama to do at the time…..assuming that your story is accurate?

    • fun bobby

      don’t worry he will inevitable decide we must have more war since we are one middle eastern war short at the moment and its been a long time since we had a good proxy war with the Russians.

  • JONBOSTON

    One of the guests on the program recommended that listeners read the September 5 Washington Post article by retired Major General Robert Scales , former commandant of the US Army War college. I encourage everyone to read it since it reflects the vast majority opinion “of those inside the Pentagon and elsewhere who write the plans and develop strategies for fighting our wars.” Noteworthy comments by Scales :

    ” They are embarrassed to be associated with the amateurism of the Obama administration’s attempts to craft a plan that makes sense. None of the White House staff has any experience in war or understands it. So far , this path to war violates every principle of war, including the element of surprise, achieving mass and having a clearly defined and obtainable objective.”

    Scales continues: “They are outraged by the fact that what may happen is an act of war and a willingness to risk American lives to make up for a slip of the tongue about ‘red lines’. These acts would be for retribution and to restore the reputation of a president.Our serving professionals make the point that killing more Syrians won’t deter Iranian resolve to confront us. The Iranians have already gotten the message’.

    And what is that message ? That our pretend president is an empty suit, a staggering incompetent unfit to be commander-in-chief, an international joke to be ignored by our adversaries. Putin has measured the man and must be laughing at Obama’s incompetence and total failure of leadership. Unfortunately for the US and the world community, we can’t have a president who would prefer to vote “present” than take on any responsibility for anything.

    For those on this board who routinely praise Obama, how can you continue to support such blatant incompetence, such failure of leadership?

    • anamaria23

      That’s rich coming from one who has perhaps been complicit in more deaths than President Obama ever will.
      However, his statements of contempt for this President’S competence will do more to embolden the psycopaths now operating on the world stage than perhaps any other
      I am not for a strike either, but to suggest that the Pentagon is powerless and the President is acting without military consultation seems ludicrous.

      • jimino

        Not to mention the fact that our military geniuses haven’t actually won a military conflict for almost 70 years.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          What?

          • brettearle

            You think we won in Korea and Vietnam? And that we’re winning in Iraq and Afghanistan?

            What do you mean ‘What’?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            OMG, someone came to jimino’s defense.

            You understand that there is a difference between winning a military conflict and a political victory. Iraq I and II were both resounding major military victories. After the military victory, the nation building mission was botched and eventually squandered by creating another Iranian puppet state. Even if you disagree with the mission you can’t argue that both Iraq I and II were not resounding military victories. Ask the vaunted Republican Guard who won.

            Grenada, Kosovo, Libya were all minor military successes. Ask Saddam, Milosevic or Kadafi who won.

          • Steve__T

            You do understand that you may win the battle, and still loose the war.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Yes. Like the Tet Offensive.

            What did I get wrong?

          • Steve__T

            What did you get wrong?

            Answers

            Grenada: International reaction

            By a vote of 108 in favour to 9 (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, El Salvador, Israel, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and the United States) voting against, with 27 abstentions, the United Nations General Assembly adopted General Assembly Resolution 38/7 which “deeply deplores the armed intervention in Grenada, which constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of that State”. The government of China termed the United States intervention an outright act of hegemonism. The USSR government observed that Grenada had for a long time been the object of United States threats, that the invasion violated international law, and that no small nation not to the liking of the United States would find itself safe if the aggression against Grenada was not rebuffed. The governments of some countries stated that the United States
            intervention was a return to the era of barbarism. The governments of other countries said the United States by its invasion had violated several treaties and conventions to which it was a part.

            Kosovo: The Kosovo war had a number of important consequences in terms of the military and political outcome. The status of Kosovo remains unresolved;
            international negotiations began in 2006 to determine Kosovo’s level of
            autonomy as envisaged under UN Security Council Resolution 1244, but efforts failed. The province is administered by the United Nations despite its unilateral declaration of independence on February 17, 2008.

            Libya: United Nations

          • brettearle

            Thanks, Steve

        • fun bobby

          after WW2 they changed the way they employed generals. before and during generals had to deliver or were relieved since and now they only lose their job if they mouth off to rolling stone

      • JONBOSTON

        The US military is the most respected institution in America , and deservedly so–except with the left wing juveniles who frequent this board. Sad state of affairs.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Looks like the Rudd-Gillard nonsense has ended down under with a landslide victory by Tony Abbot. Abbot vows to abolish the carbon tax as a first order of business.

    Things are looking up for the Aussies.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Obama: “I never drew a red line”
    Let me be clear, it was the bozo who loaded those statements in my teleprompter.

    Seriously, has he ever taken responsibility.

    • OnPointComments

      What are you going to believe: what the administration tells you now, or your own lying eyes?

      “We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.” –President Obama, 8/20/2012

      “Because we recognize the great danger Assad’s chemical and biological arsenals pose to Israel and the United States, to the whole world, we’ve set a clear red line against the use or the transfer of the those weapons.” –Vice President Biden, 3/4/2013

      “On your red line question, it is absolutely the case the president’s red line is the use of chemical weapons or the transfer of chemical weapons.” –background conference call with a White House Official, 4/25/2013

      • fun bobby

        perhaps it depends on what the meaning of “a” is. you know things are bad when Clinton has to show up to start peddling this debacle

  • HonestDebate1
    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Eric Holder canceled his vacation so he can immediately start hate crime proceedings.

      Wait, he’s still on vacation? Oh, never mind.

    • brettearle

      LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

      MR. HD1 believes that such a quote points to violent racism, among African Americans.

      My what a revelation it is to know that hatred is EVERYWHERE!

      What a revelation it ISN’T to understand that African-Americans, in this country, have been treated like fourth- class citizens (as in Chattel), since the country’s founding.

      And that de facto Apartheid obtained until the 60′s; and that Institutional Racism, and Redlining, and NIMBY are still quite AVAILABLE!

      YES, what a wondrous Revelation, it is Ladies and Gentlemen, to connote yet another act of Hatred by our fellow man!

      And what a salute it is–Yes, sireeeeee, what a salute it is–for HD to pollute “On Point” forum air waves, ONCE AGAIN–with a web site–BLAZE DOT COM–that belongs in a Landfill where old worn Lynch Twining could, very possibly, be found….

      Why?

      Because THAT web site, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, was the web site founded by ONE,

      `ole

      G…..L…..E…..N…..N…Y…

      B…E….C….K….Y

      Yes, sir, Ladies and Gentlemen, the spirited, superslick PRO, who brought you the epithets of “Racist” and “Nazi” comparisons, when describing our 44th President!

      Job well done, Glenny.

      Job well done, HD.

      • HonestDebate1

        Here’s the local CBSNewYork reporting, as if it makes a difference.

        http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/09/06/nypd-man-brain-dead-following-random-rampage-in-union-square/

        I am very disappointed that you seem to excuse this behavior. Are you suggesting blacks have some reason to be this angry at whites? This happens a lot. A 31 year old man in New York knows nothing about being treated like chattel. This is not the time of our founding, it’s not 50 years ago, it’s 2013. The flip attitude and tacit justification of violence like this is disgusting.

        Surely I must have misunderstood you but you were pretty clear.

        • brettearle

          Once again, a Manipulation.

          As in Big Time.

          • HonestDebate1

            You wrote what you wrote.

          • brettearle

            He who sees what he wants to see, sees what he wants to see.

          • jefe68

            And you posted and wrote what you wrote as well. What’s you’re point there sparky?

        • Steve__T

          Admit that you are a race baiter, racial bigot, and should move to N. Dakota.

    • hennorama

      Debates Not, He – you appear to think this incident has some significance beyond the individual alleged criminal behavior.

      Some questions, in an effort to promote greater understanding and to avoid misinterpretation:

      1. What is your fascination with crimes that have victims of one race and offenders of another race?

      2. Do you think such interracial crimes are indicative of racism on the part of each and every one of the offenders?

      3. What is the significance of this particular example of individual alleged criminal behavior?

      • jefe68

        Of course the answer to that is he’s looking for validation to define blacks as other.

        • hennorama

          jefe68 – TYFYR.

          I prefer to wait until my questions are answered, or as is more likely based on recent history, are left bravely unanswered.

          • Steve__T

            Don’t hold your breath. If he reply’s it will only be that, he wont because you need to do your own research, blah blah blah. Its not about me.

          • jefe68

            And yet it is all about him.

          • jefe68

            His record of using language to debase people is there for all to see.

          • hennorama

            jefe68 – my point was simply that the choice to answer or to not answer also communicates.

      • brettearle

        But WILL he reply–and earnestly–to such pertinent and cogent questions?

        • hennorama

          brettearle – TYFYR.

          Based on recent history, it is likely my questions will be left bravely unanswered.

          The first two have been asked and unanswered thrice to date. Perhaps this fourth time will be the charm.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            hennorama — consider this. You tread a fine line.

            Most consider pop quizzes obnoxious and annoying. We left them behind in the eighth grade.

          • hennorama

            WorriedfortheCountry – Thanks for responding.

            Please describe this “fine line,” if such polite request is not deemed annoying or obnoxious, or both.

            Questioning someone who uses the words “debate” and “honest” in their moniker is completely above board, and an expected part of any debate. The motive for the questions was also clearly described as “an effort to promote greater understanding and to avoid misinterpretation,” which is also part of any debate.

            One hopes you would support any such effort.

            I look forward to your description. Thanks again for your response.

          • HonestDebate1

            Thank you WFTC. No one has any doubt about my stance on this. I’ve been crystal clear. I am not comfortable with this tactic to rebut the hideous conventional wisdom but it is devastating to the meme so I do what I feel I have to do.

      • HonestDebate1
        • hennorama

          Debates Not, He – your reply is unresponsive in regard to my three simple questions.

          As to your comments about “not one word on … CBS …,” please allow me to quote you, sir:

          “Here’s the local CBSNewYork reporting, as if it makes a difference.

          http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/09/06/nypd-man-brain-dead-following-random-rampage-in-union-square/

          And included in YOUR “Web’sRes.Nuts” link is the following:

          “ *****Update: It turns out the New York Times did report this matter at its website Friday and in print Saturday.”

          See:
          http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/07/nyregion/assaults-at-union-sq-park-may-be-hate-crimes.html?ref=nyregion&_r=1

          The NYT article contains well over one hundred words. According to my arithmetic, that is just a wee tad more than “not one.”

          Now please answer my three simple questions, sir.

          • HonestDebate1

            Obviously Newsbusters was referring to the national news not a local affiliate but you knew that, The NYT is a red herring as I didn’t list them. I didn’t say the NYT didn’t write one word. That’s disingenuous on your part. The Newsbusters’ article spoke for itself and corrected the record by pointing out a factually deficient mention was made on page 21. That’s hardly the stuff of Trayvon Martin, Twanna Brawley or the Duke Lacrosse team which were media sensations despite being completely bogus.

            And my reply did answer at least 2 of your silly questions. I don’t feel compelled to answer to you. Sorry if that hurts your feelings.

    • jefe68

      Inflammatory and ignorant. Yet again proving what a bottom feeder you are,

    • Steve__T

      African-American Surfers Challenge Stereotypes

      http://onlyagame.wbur.org/2013/09/07/african-american-surfers

  • HonestDebate1

    Just a few more days and we’ll set a record.

    “If the first hurricane of 2013 forms after 8 a.m. on Sept. 11, it would set a record for the latest ‘first’ hurricane to arrive in the satellite era (1967 and later),”

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2013/09/07/quiet-hurricane-season/2776845/

    Don’t get mad, this is good news. Right?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      HD, just blame global warming … er … climate change for ANY ‘unusual’ weather (or lack thereof). That is the modus operandi.

      • HonestDebate1

        If AGW can cause both floods and droughts then I suppose it makes sense. It’s settled, the lack of hurricanes is proof CO2 must be taxed.

    • OnPointComments

      I hate it when global warming, er, climate change, doesn’t cooperate with the liberal party line. I bet if the planet is cooling that the solution will be restrictions on carbon-based fuels and new taxes.

      Excerpt:
      There has been a 60 per cent increase in the amount of ocean covered with ice compared to this time last year. An unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia’s northern shores, days before the annual re-freeze is even set to begin. Some scientists to claim that the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century. Despite the original forecasts, major climate research centres now accept that there has been a “pause” in global warming since 1997. Professor Anastasios Tsonis, of the University of Wisconsin, said: ‘We are already in a cooling trend, which I think will continue for the next 15 years at least. There is no doubt the warming of the 1980s and 1990s has stopped.”

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/10294082/Global-warming-No-actually-were-cooling-claim-scientists.html

  • OnPointComments

    Suggested weekend DVD rental: “Wag the Dog” (1997). In the movie, a political spin doctor constructs a war for US involvement to distract the populace from administration scandals. It had its entertaining moments and was nominated for two Academy Awards.

    On an unrelated topic, reporting has diminished significantly on NSA snooping, IRS targeting, getting to the bottom of Benghazi, fake email accounts to avoid FOIA requests, Fast and Furious, DOJ seizure of reporters emails and phone records, perjury before congressional committees, Eric Holder ignoring Supreme Court rulings, reinstatement of State Department employees who were furloughed for fatal decisions on Benghazi, and any other Obama administration scandals.

    • brettearle

      Suggested DVD Rental:

      “The Hama Masscre of 1982″/Syria Behind The Lines

      FRONTLINE

    • fun bobby

      it seems npr has been so distracted they have yet to report on the conspiracy between the NSA and DEA

  • OnPointComments

    Recent News, September 8, 2013 Edition

    http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Opinion/141246-2013-09-06-semi-news-a-satire-of-recent-news-september-8-2013.htm

    Excerpt:
    Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz: there are “dozens of countries” that will stand with Obama and his proposed “shot across the bow” warning to the Assad Regime.

    Pressed to name a few of these hidden allies, Wasserman-Schultz attempted to beg off saying “I’m not that good at geography, but I think the list includes Framistan, Lygeria, and France. I hope I don’t have to remind everyone of the pivotal role France played as America’s first ally during our war for independence back in the 1770s.”

    • brettearle

      Oh, of course….

      Of course, OPC, of course…

      We are all supposed to KNOW, UP FRONT, that THIS is satire.

      We are so privy to the kind of sophistication that YOU take for GRANTED….

      …that we are SUPPOSED TO KNOW UP FRONT, that we are not being taken down a wonderfully and stimulating primrose path of, “shall I say” Gullibility?….

      …..that compels us to GO to the actual web site to– VOILA!–SEE that it is Satire….

      ….when obviously, you have assumed that ALL OF US would know immediately that it IS satire.

      Of course, it is BENEATH OPC–is it NOT?– to try to subtly convey Truth AS Truth (or is it TRUTHINESS?)–if only for a brief moment, before we find out the actual, God-awful, absolutely hilarious Truth is not Truth, but is, indeed–HELP!–satire.

      After all, Framistan was a major tip-off! How silly of me!

      Congrats OPC, for your lithe twist!

      • hennorama

        brettearle – there are obvious clues contained in OPC’s “headline,” most importantly (to me, at least) – tomorrow’s date.

        And, as is my habit, before clicking the link, I hovered my cursor over it, which revealed the entire URL, containing the words Opinion, semi-news, and satire, obviating the need to open the link.

        Chalk it up to experience – “Fool me once …”

        • OnPointComments

          It may be of some significance that some readers found it initially believable that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz made the statements in the second paragraph.

          • HonestDebate1

            And that is the point, isn’t it? Satire has to be believable to be effective. I’m stlil not sure she didn’t say it.

          • hennorama

            OPC – TY for the favor of your reply.

            Based on the Joint Statement on Syria from the Group of 20 Nations Leader’s Meeting in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in which “The Leaders and Representatives of Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America made the [joint] statement…,” on Sept. 6, 2013, it’s not surprising, as you wrote,

            “… that some readers found it initially believable that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz made the statements in the second paragraph.”

            See:
            http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/09/06/joint-statement-syria

          • OnPointComments

            I heard a commentator say that the joint statement is somewhat like the friend who tells his schoolmate, when confronted by a bully, that he’s on his side, and will be glad to hold his coat for him during the confrontation.

          • hennorama

            OPC – that is indeed the Diplomatese definition of “to stand with.”

        • brettearle

          Henn–

          My post response was partial tongue-and-cheek.

          If you study the intent of his presentation-intent (latent?, but perhaps more likely, unconscious?), it was–sort of–put out there for some to nibble at the bait, while at the same time, make it dubious, nebulous, or otherwise fuzzie-wuzzie.

          And….anyone can get their dates wrong, by an order of half a day…

          “Framistan” et al were the true “give-aways”.

          But still….

          Oh….and….bye..the…bye…

          What did one mother hen say to another would-be mother hen, who, alas, is barren?

          [Even if you guess, you can't use it; it's mine]

          Yours in Truthiness,

          HowardFurz

          • hennorama

            brettearle – TYFYR.

            I don’t fault OPC for having a little fun, and for using a reputation for seriousness against any unwitting victims.

            Still, my “hover” habit clinched it for me. It’s such a simple thing, and has saved me from numerous potential headaches.

            Answering the riddle, and testing the moderation algorithm:

            “I don’t know why anyone asks ‘Which came first, the chicken or the egg?’ The answer is so obvious – the cock. But seriously, dearie – don’t worry. Just tell the farmer “kiss my cloaca” if you can’t lay any eggs.”

          • brettearle

            “And the Lord said,
            Womb-man shall come from Man’s rib, except in the case of cloaca.

            In that case, then, shall no holes be barred.”

          • hennorama

            brettearle – occasionally, knowledge gleaned from living on an actual animal farm is useful.

            As the originator of a sperm-of-the-moment twofer joke about a conversation between Gallus gallus gals, I must quote Cartman, thusly:

            “You Will Respect My ‘Author’-itah!”

            See:
            http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/150368/you-will-respect-my-authoritah (a really short clip)

            Strange coincidence or a Sign Of The Apocalype? (cue the Twilight Zone theme):

            I did not know this prior to a Web search just now, but the Cartman quote above is from the South Park episode titled “Chickenlover.” Weird, huh?

            Description:

            “ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 05.20.1998

            “A series of heinous crimes involving chickens leads to a startling revelation — Officer Barbrady can’t read! When Barbrady resigns and anarchy ensues, the boys pitch in to help. Cartman brings his own brand of law to the streets of South Park.”

            See:
            http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s02e03-chickenlover

            And finally –

            “Six Things You Didn’t Know About Chicken Reproduction”

            http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2012/06/chicken-reproduction.html

            Now don’t leave me in the dark regarding your original punchline.

          • brettearle

            If I didn’t know any better, I would say that I may very well have inherited my psychosis from you.

            What did you say your name was?

          • hennorama

            brettearle – some Germans think of me as “chicken margarine,” but that’s another story.

            Neither a hen nor a ma am I; I, ma, am a RONN, eh? Am I, ami? Miami!

          • brettearle

            Would you please put a Lid on it!

            And give me a chance to ketch-up.

            Otherwise you bleed [yes, it's intentional] me of necessary psychic resources, which I, with sincere industry, exploit–in order to make genuine, but meager, attempts to conduct daily business.

            Moment Please!….

            As Ambassador Zorin said to Adlai, “in due course you’ll have your reply.”

            On the other hand, the more you pile it on, the more you’ll be In for it.

            So Gentlemen, restart Engines…

            After all, the “On Point” thread already feels quite Henn-pecked.

            And I think you know why….

            Looks like I’m going to have to spell it our for you:

            1 Henn
            2 Ducks….

            wait a second, that’s something else…and don’t look it up, it’s my territory….you’ll hear from me, about that, in due time, as well, Mr. Ambassador

            So, what am I going to spell it, to do, for ya? [that wasn't a typo or pathetic sin-tax; it was, instead, Professor Irwin Corey kicking into my head, that pesky `ole sonovabitch]

            1 Henn=2 Gallus Gallus girls

            ?the riddle is the name?

            “Ram Dass,

            “How you know Henn know name from sound of 2 cock-a-doodle, doo’s?”

            Moment Please!

            Zen Master will look into Twilight Cartman to see if Author-itah! BarBrady channel Rod Serling…..

            in his mortal guise as a Camel cigarette filter tip…

            Mr. WATTS!

            How you know your Buddha nature from, “Seymour, An Introduction”?

          • hennorama

            brettearle – Eye I, sirree, Siri, yes. Que Siri, sir – I?

            Please continue sailing along with Salinger, ketch-as-ketch-can, kvetching. Tout de suite, toots we.

            Sweet Ra rah Ram rah Rama rah-rah deification suits we not.

          • 1Brett1

            That reminds me of the time Popeye revealed his long-standing study and practice of Zen Buddhism in an interview (on the cusp of WWII, even, mind you). He was in the middle of explaining the objective of achieving satori through meditation…the interviewer interrupted and asked, “how can you reconcile your philosophy with your frequency of acquiescence toward aggression, your enabling of Blimpy’s continuation toward a non-vegetarian diet, and your lack of mindfulness, in addition to your lack of attentiveness toward Olive Oyl’s needs?” To which, Popeye replied, “I am what I am.”

          • brettearle

            Do you have any idea, whatsoever, what sort of assignment you are putting me on?

            [My own question [which isn't rhetorical] –in the above paragraph, right here, in this comment–reminds me of the warning, the S & M Ritual Leader gave to the woman, who was protecting Dr. Hartford in Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut”.]

            See my own short reply below…..before I embark on my doomed journey…

          • hennorama

            bretearle – Thanks for responding.

            One has many ideas, few of which are related to the Manse Sting to which you refer.

            One might also assign the plot of the film “EWS” as:

            Mine Angsts
            Man’s Tinges
            Man Gets Sin

            Now, as to your doom mood – fear not, for as the Sherpas say, “Hued Yetis Sew, Use White Dyes – Disuse We, They. Weed Ye Hut, Sis.”

            Everyone knows that.

          • HonestDebate1

            I can’t help but like your wrong-headed self.

          • brettearle

            I take that as a back-handed-back-handed compliment……now that it’s clear that the gloves are off, between us….

            Oh well, we’ll always have Paris

          • HonestDebate1

            The gloves have always been off but that doesn’t mean I’m not sincere mon ami.

          • brettearle

            OK, OK…

            We aim to please.

            We stand by everything we sell….

            If you ever find fault with any of our products, please don’t hesitate to contact me, immediately.

            Guaranteed, or your money back…..

            I’m the Boss.

            Over and Out….

      • Ray in VT

    • HonestDebate1

      Perfect!

      • Steve__T

        Are you really that dumb?

        • HonestDebate1

          Absolutely!

          • Steve__T

            Agreed

    • fun bobby

      framistan is lovely in the fall

  • hennorama

    Counterprogramming:

    “…we’re being deracinated in our own country.” – Craig Cobb

    For those not familiar with the word, m-w.com notes the following:

    “Definition of DERACINATE

    1: uproot

    2: to remove or separate from a native environment or culture; especially : to remove the racial or ethnic characteristics or influences from”

    Cobb, “a self-described white supremacist who is wanted in Canada on hate crimes charges” (per salon.com and various other sources), is the subject of recent news and other online articles.

    A few headlines:

    “Man trying to turn tiny North Dakota town into colony for white supremacists” (salon.com)

    “New Neighbor’s Agenda: White Power Takeover” (nytimes.com)

    “White nationalists aim to take over tiny North Dakota town” (cnn.com)

    “Tiny North Dakota town stunned to learn of white supremacist’s plans” (bismarcktribune.com)

    “Mayor: ‘Everybody’s wound up’ over plans for white supremacist takeover of N.D. Town” (bismarcktribune.com)

    “Tiny ND town mobilizes to halt Aryan enclave plan” (idahostatesman.com)

    “Leith not only N.D. home to white supremacists” (jamestownsun.com)

    “White Supremacists Making Bid to Take Over North Dakota Town” (splcenter.org)

    ==========

    The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) broke the story that Cobb had been buying up real estate in the tiny town of Leith, North Dakota (pop. 20), “to build an all-white bastion of racists in North Dakota “post haste.” The grandiose plan ends with white supremacists and neo-Nazis taking over the county government, and he has even said he hopes to rename Leith “Cobbsville.”

    See:

    http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2013/08/22/white-supremacists-making-bid-to-take-over-north-dakota-town/

    SPLC writer Ryan Lenz visited Leith and spoke to some locals, including the mayor, who (per bismarcktribune.com) “said the whole thing sounded like ‘a flippin’ fairy tale. None of us had checked out this guy. Nobody paid attention for a whole year, is why it’s gotten as far as it’s gotten.’ “

    See:
    http://bismarcktribune.com/news/local/tiny-north-dakota-town-stunned-to-learn-of-white-supremacist/article_f21e5568-0bf5-11e3-bbd5-0019bb2963f4.html

    More from the SPLC article:

    “Cobb’s plan in Leith is to build a Pioneer Little Europe –– an idea long favored on the racist right as a way to escape what is seen as a multiculturalist agenda at work in larger and more racially diverse cities. First proposed in a 2001 pamphlet by H. Michael Barrett, the vision is to consolidate white residents in existing cities and towns and create all-white enclaves. Northwestern states including Montana, Idaho, and now North Dakota, have historically been considered appealing places to start because of lack of racial diversity.

    “According to the most recent U.S. Census data, 90% of the population of North Dakota is white. That increases to 97% in Grant County, where Cobb has settled.

    “Already some of the most active white supremacists and neo-Nazi leaders in the country have come calling.

    “According to county tax and property records, Tom Metzger, of Warsaw, Ind., a viciously racist propagandist who leads a group known as the White Aryan Resistance (WAR), purchased a lot for one dollar from Cobb in June 2012. Four months later, Alex Linder, who runs the VNN neo-Nazi Web forum, did the same. Additionally, Cobb claims to have donated buildings in Leith to the National Socialist Movement (NSM), the largest neo-Nazi group in the country. Grant County tax officials say Cobb could have sold more and not recorded a deed transfer.”

    Other sources:

    http://www.salon.com/2013/08/30/man_trying_to_turn_tiny_north_dakota_town_into_colony_for_white_supremacists/

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/30/us/white-supremacists-plan-angers-a-north-dakota-town.html?pagewanted=all

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/07/us/north-dakota-white-only-town/

    http://bismarcktribune.com/news/local/mayor-everybody-s-wound-up-over-plans-for-white-supremacist/article_76da4e36-0ab3-11e3-bc53-0019bb2963f4.html

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/2013/08/29/2732626/tiny-nd-town-mobilizes-to-halt.html#storylink=cpy

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

    http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2009/summer/behind-the-gunfire (Craig Cobb ‘Celebrates’ Death of Rosa Parks)

    • OnPointComments

      If Cobb’s name was Lashawn Cobb, and he had plans to form a colony for African Americans, liberals would applaud him for his racial pride and solidarity. We might even get a comment or two from President Obama about how if he had a son, he would look like Lashawn Cobb, and that Cobb’s colony is understandable given the history of African Americans in the United States. Eric Holder would proclaim that laws in the colony will not be enforced in a racially-neutral manner, just as in other parts of the US. Maybe laws in Lashawn’s colony would mandate that all college students from the colony must be members of the black student union, that only BET was available on cable except for specials such as Miss Black America, and that any nationally-elected members of Congress from the colony must be members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Lashawn would likely employ the New Black Panthers to provide police services for the colony. The colony would be cited by MSNBC as evidence of progress in America.

      • Steve__T

        You are a true ass.

        • jefe68

          He is at that.

      • hennorama

        OPC – Thank you for your response.

        If and when your fictions come to pass, I’d be happy to comment. Until such time it’s difficult to take your imaginings seriously.

        In contrast, Craig Cobb is a real person. Do you have any comments about the reality of Craig Cobb’s stated intentions and/or his expressed views, which are clearly deeply held?

        More about Cobb:

        “This isn’t the first time Cobb has tried to build a homeland for whites. In 2006, he moved to Estonia and established Podblanc, a video-sharing service for white supremacists. America was beyond help, he warned then. “I believe that the Democrat[ic] and Republican criminal syndicates that run the U.S. with international jewry’s [sic] criminal syndicate cannot now be stopped,” he wrote. “Media barrages too much control the minds of White Americans.”

        See:
        http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2013/08/22/white-supremacists-making-bid-to-take-over-north-dakota-town/

        • HonestDebate1

          I grew up in Miami. There was a section of town called Liberty City. If a white person stepped foot in Liberty City they were beaten or killed.

          • 1Brett1

            Was Liberty City publicly touted as conceived, organized and sold as a “black’s only” community because government, white’s, and society controlled by Jews no longer could be trusted, with a set of stated bylaws that were needed to “run” Liberty City in some sort of warped ethnocentric manner? Is Cobb’s concept (as well as other similar concept communities that have developed out in remote areas of the Dakotas and Montana in recent years) the same thing as bad sections of any town where crime and poverty are prevalent? The latter is a phenomenon that has been present since cities, towns and communities have developed…This Liberty City example doesn’t seem like something comparable to Cobb’s vision.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t think it is comparable, Liberty City was much worse. Cobb is just some nutcase with money. God bless him if he breaks no laws. I doubt his city will thrive. There seems to be an assumption of violence but that assumption is typical. In Liberty City the violence and death were not assumed.

            George Zimmerman was first assumed to be a racist. From there it was automatically deduced that racist = stalking murderer. Then the entire South got painted so the message became skittle eating blacks wearing hoodies are not safe because racism exist. It’s the most bizarre, convoluted logic imaginable especially since race was not a factor.

          • jefe68

            I’m now assuming you’re a racist due to amount of anti-black comments you keep making and stereotyping African American males as dangerous.

          • 1Brett1

            You sure can take your reply to any comment and turn it into a platform for what you want to talk about/a framework for some form of a diatribe about your pet obsessions…but, wait, don’t tell me: it’s, um, ugh, not about you?

            You can do better; at least edit your reply to include something about violence in Chicago, Benghazi, the IRA, and Obama’s role in promoting the epidemic of black on white crime to make the reply seem more compelling.

            P.S.-I do agree that Cobb PROBABLY is just some survivalist-type nutcase with money and not much of any concern.

          • HonestDebate1

            Just answering your questions.

          • hennorama

            Debates Not, He – your autobiographical anecdote might be of interest to some, but as Samuel Goldwyn is quoted as having said – “Include me out.”

            See:
            http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/samuelgold150940.html

            Quoting you from only two days ago, sir – “Did you have a point?”

          • jefe68

            Really? Funny I was once in that area in the 70′s and I got lost and ended up in Liberty City. It was an awful slum, but I was not beaten nor threatened.

            To paraphrase one of your oft used questions, what’s your point?

          • HonestDebate1

            That was before the riots.

          • 1Brett1

            You mean the riot in 1980 that broke out after four Miami-Dade police officers wrongfully killed Arthur McDuffie and were acquitted of manslaughter and evidence tampering, for which Dade County later paid McDuffie’s family a $1.1 million settlement after the family filed suit against Miami-Dade officials? Is that the riot you are referring to?

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes, so I suppose murder and mayhem were appropriate. Right?

          • jefe68

            You give flounders a bad name.

          • HonestDebate1

            I once played a concert at a Flounder Festival, it must have been 15 years ago. I think it was somewhere in SC. They have festivals for everything, flounders, watermelons, oysters, strawberries, livermush, you name it.

          • jefe68

            Livermush, that’s good way to describe the volumes of regressive right wing rhetoric you post.

            Sparky, I was alluding to you being a bottom feeder.

          • HonestDebate1

            The livermush festival is in Shelby, NC.

          • 1Brett1

            There are also other livermush fesitvals other than in Shelby…even others in NC, such as in Drexel and Marion. A more accurate statement on your part would have been “A livermush festival…” instead of “THE livermush festival…”

          • HonestDebate1

            The watermelon festival is in Pageland and the Peach festival is in Gafney.

          • 1Brett1

            And pretty much anybody who isn’t HD1 understood what you meant when invoking that bottom-feeding flat fish, further evidence of his interpretation habits being so off the mark then behaving as if you are the one who doesn’t understand.

          • HonestDebate1

            Really? Is that what he meant? I had no idea.

          • 1Brett1

            I thought you said you didn’t play dumb?

          • HonestDebate1

            When have I ever said that?

        • OnPointComments

          I can understand why the Bismarck Tribune, Idaho Statesman, and Jamestown Sun might publish these stories, but what is the interest for Salon, the NY Times, and CNN? Surely Craig Cobb is a deranged person of not much consequence, and not worthy of national attention.

          • hennorama

            OPC – Thanks for your reply.

            While your question is better directed to the editors of those entities, the simple answer is, as always, they believe their audience might find these stories to be of interest, and therefore would be more likely to contribute to the bottom line of the entities named.

            One suspects some of their audience(s) to have a reaction similar to the mayor of Leith. When informed of Craig Cobb’s plans, the mayor “said the whole thing sounded like ‘a flippin’ fairy tale. None of us had checked out this guy. Nobody paid attention for a whole year, is why it’s gotten as far as it’s gotten.’ “

            Attention must be paid, don’t you agree?

          • 1Brett1

            I don’t know anything about Cobb, but I have heard of others who are planning similar communities out in remote parts of the US. That said, and my own lack of concern (with the qualifier that–in my off-the-cuff opinion–he PROBABLY is of no major concern) notwithstanding, the story is notable as being more than a local story. Cobb has not only attempted to build a white supremacist community in the past in a foreign country (and giving reasons of being in another country as no longer having any faith in the living in the US), but he is part of a larger concern that groups who have the similar beliefs as his are generating a fair amount of activity in N.D. That’s worthy of national news outlets picking up the story; it’s also worthy of the SPLC keeping an eye on him.

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 – TY for your reasoned response.

            You’re preaching to the choir.

            In addition to your point about Mr. Cobb’s activities in Estonia and the Northwest U.S., don’t forget that (per latimes.com and multiple other sources) “Cobb is currently wanted in Canada for ‘willful promotion of hatred’ for allegedly promoting hate material online while in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2010, according to the SPLC.”

            See:
            http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-north-dakota-supremacist-20130830,0,3005509.story

            And then one must consider Cobb’s words promoting his ideas about taking over the town of Leith, ND, posted on a “white site” message board:

            “Imagine strolling over to your neighbors to discuss world politics with nearly all like-minded volk [sic]. Imagine the international publicity and usefulness to our cause!” Cobb wrote. “For starters, we could declare a Mexican illegal invaders and Israeli Mossad/IDF spies no-go zone. If leftist journalists or antis come and try to make trouble, they just might break one of our local ordinances and would have to be arrested by our town constable. See?”

            Note the use of German vocabulary – volk -, which is common on these sites.

            You can watch an interview with Cobb published on Sept. 4th, and read much more about his activities if you’re interested. (See sources below)

            In the interview, Cobb uses the German term “Lebensraum” to describe what he wants.

            “We are more white separatist. We don’t want to lord over other races, we just want to be away from them, to have our own Lebensraum, our own space.”

            m-w.com defines the word as follows:

            “Definition of LEBENSRAUM

            1: territory believed especially by Nazis to be necessary for national existence or economic self-sufficiency
            2: space required for life, growth, or activity”

            See:
            http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lebensraum

            And for more about “Hitler and ‘Lebensraum’ in the East,” see:
            http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/hitler_lebensraum_01.shtml

            ==========

            Here’s an excerpt from an splcenter.com article related to Cobb, which was posted January 23, 2009, three days after President Obama’s first inauguration, titled “Website Read by Accused Racial Killer Encouraged ‘Lone Wolf’ Murders”:

            “The 22-year-old man who allegedly carried out a racially motivated rape and murder spree in Brockton, Mass., on the day after Barack Obama was inaugurated as America’s first black president told investigators that he drew his inspiration from the white nationalist website Podblanc, according to a police report.

            “Keith Luke, the man arrested Wednesday after a shootout with police in the Boston suburb, allegedly told police he wanted to kill blacks, Latinos and Jews because he had learned on racist Internet sites “about the demise of the white race.”

            “American neo-Nazi Craig Cobb runs Podblanc from Estonia, where Cobb moved in 2007 after decades of neo-Nazi activism in America with groups such as World Church of the Creator, White Revolution and the National Alliance. Podblanc features videos detailing combat handgun tactics, offers instructions in how to make Molotov cocktails and other improvised explosive devices, and explicitly celebrates and encourages “lone wolf” terrorism, up to and including hate crime murders of non-whites and Jews.

            “One Podblanc video entitled “Sniper Bags Negress,” for example, heralds the January 2008 random killing of a black woman in Omaha, Neb., by 19-year-old Kyle Bormann, who told police he targeted the victim because he was “pissed off” at black people. The website also glorifies the actions of Asa Coon, a troubled high school student who opened fire in a multicultural studies classroom in Cleveland in October 2007, wounding two teachers and two students before committing suicide.

            “We need a martyr’s section for guys like Bormann and Asa Coon,” Cobb wrote in the “Sniper Bags Negress” comments section. “I’ll work on getting that installed.”

            “The alleged Brockton killer told police that he shot to death two immigrants from Cape Verde (an archipelago 375 miles off the coast of West Africa) and attempted to kill a third after forcing his way into her apartment, handcuffing her and raping her because he was “fighting for a dying race” and “fighting extinction” of the white race, the police report states.”

            Sources:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmESzlO6zI0 (Interview with Cobb, by David Pakman)
            http://www.splcenter.org/blog/?s=craig+cobb&submit= (various articles about Cobb and his activities)

          • 1Brett1

            “The 22-year-old man who allegedly carried out a racially motivated rape and murder spree in Brockton, Mass., on the day after Barack Obama was inaugurated…”

            If this isn’t another example of Barack Obama fueling sentiments that encourage racially related violence, I don’t know what is!

            ;-)

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 – FYI, self-described neo-Nazi and white supremacist Keith Luke was recently convicted of first-degree murder (two counts), as well as rape, attempted murder, kidnapping and armed home invasion.

            He was sentenced to serve two consecutive life sentences without parole.

            See:
            http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/05/30/self-described-white-supremacist-keith-luke-convicted-first-degree-murder-for-rampage/UOI1ACrfLJgGbny2QluitI/story.html

            http://boston.cbslocal.com/2013/05/30/neo-nazi-keith-luke-guilty-in-2009-brockton-murder-rampage/

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s stupid.

          • 1Brett1

            Not unlike many of your contortions to blame Obama for racial tension.

          • HonestDebate1

            You don’t have to contort to see how awful Obama is for race relations.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, I’ve never seen anyone get a bunch of old, white people so thoroughly frothing at the mouth, but that doesn’t mean that he’s done anything to provoke them.

          • HonestDebate1

            Do you think racial tensions have improved over the last 5 years?

          • Ray in VT

            Not when it comes to all of the angry white people hating on the President, but I don’t see how that is his fault.

          • HonestDebate1

            You remind me of the phrase “angry white men” to describe a demographic that never existed.

            Obama whined that people didn’t like him because he didn’t look like the Presidents on money. He injected himself into the Skip Gates case, and the Trayvon Martin case. He’s constantly blaming disapproval on his race. Bill Clinton said he played the race card on Hillary. We are more divided than ever. Many prominent blacks are thoroughly disgusted by his race-baiting.

            Your bumper sticker analysis leave much to be desired.

          • Ray in VT

            As does your “Obama’s dividing America” drumbeat. I suppose that Obama’s to blame for the protesters that show up with racist signs or that GOP website that portrayed him in a racist way. I don’t see much in the way of any heightened racial tensions, except for the angry white conservatives who seem to think that this guy is the worst thing to happen to race relations since the fall of Jim Crow.

          • HonestDebate1

            Oh great, blanket unspecified innuendo accusing racism. You’re proving my point. We didn’t used to carry on like this. There was a time when facts mattered.

            What about angry black liberals like Cornell West, Elbert Guillory, Juan Williams and many others?

            It’s not a drumbeat, it’s reality. Can you honestly say there is more harmony between the rich and poor, blacks and whites, old and young, men and women? What has improved? Anything? We elected and reelected a (half) black man, how does a racist country do that?

          • Ray in VT

            One doesn’t need to make any blanket statements in order to find racist signs protesting the President. I guess that you just seem to have a problem seeing racism except when you think that it’s coming from a black guy.

            Please tell me, what is your evidence that there is greater disharmony between ethnic groups in America? I don’t see it, except for the huge amount of anger and vitriol that is continually directed at the President, and there has certainly been an upswing in racist hate groups in recent years.

            I don’t see any change in discord between men and women. To the extent that the old think that the young are a bunch of louts who’ll never amount to much of anything, that’s been said for generations.

            Now, there has perhaps been some change in the amount of animosity between the rich and the poor, because finally, after 30 years of stagnant wages for many people and the exponential growth in wealth by a few, some people are speaking out about it, and I think that that is a good thing, and as far as I’m concerned the President hasn’t said enough about how much a large segment of society has gotten screwed and what we can do about it. But, like TomK either says or implies, it’s only class warfare when the poor start to complain or put up a fight about it.

          • HonestDebate1

            I guarandamntee you I can give you 20 racists signs at Bush protests for every one waved at Obama. Walk a mile in Clarence Thomas’s shoes, or Sarah Palin’s heels. They don’t whine. What’s your point?

            Trayvon Martin and Sandra Fluke are poster children for the division. Obama weighed in on both for the purpose of dividing. He didn’t have to do that. He has made things worse but that wasn’t my question now was it? Can you say things are better?

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, right. What was the racism that was directed at Bush and Palin? Where have been the ignorant turds hounding them for years questioning whether or not they were born in America, suggesting that they’re of another faith, suggesting that they’re aligned with terrorist organization, etc.? It’s pretty amazing that you have a major blind spot for the hatred that gets spewed towards the President, but I guess that if you can listen to a guy who calls people halfrican and doesn’t think that it’s at all racially charged, then I guess that that explains it.

            So, Obama spoke on those matters to divide Americans? Do you have some evidence of that, so is that just your take away? Maybe this is a part of his revenge that you’ve informed me about.

            I think that for some people seeing that someone who does not look like the other men on the bills can succeed has been very positive, especially for younger people. It is just a shame that for a certain segment of the population that uppity boy just seems to be a symbol of all that is wrong in the world.

          • HonestDebate1
          • Ray in VT

            I’ve got my suspicions about birthers, and yeah, I don’t think that we would have heard these morons babbling on for years about the President if he was lighter than a paper bag.

            I don’t think that any of that is racist. The first for reasons that I have stated numerous times, but you probably didn’t read or don’t remember those responses, which seem to be common problems that you have. The second because why would it be, and the third because I wasn’t aware that c*nts were a race. Maybe I’m wrong, but if they are, and one contends that Sarah Palin is one, and one is prejudiced against her for being one, then I guess that that would be racist. I don’t like idiots. Does that make me a racist? Are idiots a race? Maybe I can see what the New Century Foundation has to say about that.

          • jefe68

            What a load of bunk.

          • jefe68

            That’s stupid.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t know, Jefe. Just look how many conservative white people he’s pissed off. People such as these were probably models of racial progress until this guy came along:

            http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/anti-obama-protest-turns-racist

          • jefe68

            True that.

          • jefe68

            Really? How about all the links and diatribes you post about black on white violence.

  • Coastghost

    To acquire a fair idea of where our glorious Republic stands and has gotten to, consult Ambrose Bierce’s bracing dose of satiric sense “Ashes of the Beacon” (1909). Vastly and wildly entertaining, occasionally spot-on prophetic, and restrained. Conveniently located in the Library of America edition of Bierce’s work published in 2011, S. T. Joshi, editor.
    Highly recommended.

  • OnPointComments

    Remember the Kabuki theater performed for us in the aftermath of the Benghazi terrorist attack? An internal investigation found “systemic failures and leadership deficiencies at senior levels in securing the compound,” and four State Department officials were relieved of their duties in December 2012.

    The theater presentation is over. The price for making fatal errors when executing your job duties? Nothing.

    State Dept. officials placed on leave after Benghazi attack are reinstated
    http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-08-20/world/41427631_1_accountability-review-board-benghazi-christopher-stevens

    Thinking about Benghazi, how much confidence should we have in the administration’s interpretation of events in Syria when they were so easily fooled by a YouTube video after the attack in Benghazi?

    • HonestDebate1

      I find your last paragraph profound. I never really considered the administration may have been fooled by the video. I may have judged the sycophants who were told to believe it was about a video, despite all evidence to the contrary, too harshly. I assumed they were complicit in the lie but maybe they just considered the administration to be as stupid as they themselves are.

      To be clear, I don’t think for a second that Obama, Hillary or anyone else in the administration actually believed what they swore to the American public was true. But I do think it’s possible they were confident Americans would eagerly believe they were stupid enough to believe the meme because they assumed Americans are stupid enough to assume incompetence. It’s better to be considered stupid than devious.

      • Roy Merritt

        You certainly are cynical and I should think it may be your own political persuasions that is the source of your cynicism when you realize those you would likely support are all to willing to engage in such nefarious behavior and ergo the opposition is no doubt so disposed as well. If we’re crooked they most certainly are too. This has always been the defense malicious people make when justifying their actions. The responsible people were held responsible. Have you heard any of them make statements to the contrary, I should think in this litigious society you would think such an action would be forthcoming if they didn’t feel some responsibility. I’m convinced we all realize the source of your animus for Obama and Hillary Clinton, I should think it’s all obvious to all of us who aren’t challenge optically. Name me one Republican from Paul Ryan, to George Romney to Newt Gingrich who hasn’t be openly exposed as an unmitigated liar on multiple occasions? You can’t because lying is the modus operandi of the Republican Party. That and unrepentant racism.

        • HonestDebate1

          No one has been held responsible for Benghazi and the head honcho is first in line for the democrat nomination for President. If your aim is to excuse a lie by citing another unspecified lie then that’s a fail. And then you had to go and make the sick charge of racism. Lame.

    • Roy Merritt

      Hey the history of the world is replete with failure and mistakes, and its also true some times an operation is a long shot to begin with. What do you want beyond people losing their job for what in retrospect we may determine was incompetence? The last time I checked the legal statutes I don’t believe I ever saw a charge of incompetence listed. Maybe criminal negligence, malfeasance, or malpractice, etc., etc. but never incompetence because it seems to me to be a somewhat ambiguous term. One man’s incompetence might be another man’s efficiency. Shit let’s just start shooting these error prone people every time they screw up. Well I got news for all you out there nobody would ever do the job if you were going to wipe the freaking ground with him every time he fouls up. I should think a lot of wars could have been avoided and a lot of other carnage if everything went alright all the time. Hell we may have never seen the Bolsheviks seize power in Russia if the damn Germans hadn’t let Lenin cross their territory in a sealed train. All this stuff boils down to nothing but having egg on your face and or armchair quarterbacking. But it’s not enough for some people some have to make a conspiracy out of it and insinuating such things as if the administration welcomed the attack on our consulate. I should have thought some of the onus would have fallen on Ambassador Stevens. If he’d expressed any lack of confidence in the security of the Consulate why on earth was the man there on the anniversary of the attacks on 9/11? That seems to be a rather paradoxical thing if the reports of his concern over security are to be taken seriously.

  • Coastghost

    If red-taloned Valkyrie and Obama weird sister Samantha Power is serious that the matter of Syrian intervention is beyond the competency of the UN Security Council to adjudicate, why do she and our media elites fail to acknowledge the diplomatic heft and prowess of her immediate predecessor, the equally red-taloned Valkyrie and weird sisterly Susan Rice? Why at the end of Rice’s tenure is the UNSC so dismissive of Obama Administration moral indignation? Rice’s practice of diplomacy seems to’ve helped lead the Obama Administration to its perception of a diplomatic impasse, and Power seems perfectly willing not to even try to resolve this dispute diplomatically. (The third weird sister and red-taloned Valkyrie, Ms Clinton, could not be reached for comment.)

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      The bitter irony is the UN lovers are now avoiding the UN like the plague. We need some good shoe banging on the east side of Manhattan to make the Russians squirm for their culpability.

    • Roy Merritt

      You know darn well this is beyond the capacity of the UN Security Council to adjudicate in a manner that will result in any kind of action against Assad due to the fact that both Russia and The People’s Republic of China would veto any action punitive or otherwise. And what does the re-taloned description imply that somehow these women are inclined to be conversant in communist ideology or something? I think your interpretation of Rice being dismissive of the administration’s moral indignation is merely something you’ve constructed in your own mind and not necessarily to be taken seriously as to what she actually said. Admittedly I don’t recall the occasion but I’m certain it must have been during the Benghgazi faux scandal and before the nomination of her for the post of Secretary of State was nixed. When she made her formal farewell address to the United Nations I would assume. I would have to either see the broadcast, if it was broadcast, and or read the transcript before I would concede she had done such a thing. I think the whole point of your commentary was simply to hurl unsubstantiated and crude insults, which makes it clear to me why you would use some vague identity rather that revealing your real self, and revealing yourself to be a misogynist and no doubt just another crackpot reactionary likely a member of the Tea Party and perhaps other civic organizations dedicated to dreadful rituals in flowing attire obscuring their countenances and setting icons alight.

      • Coastghost

        I feel misread and misunderstood.
        Don’t blame me for the UN Charter having been set up as it was. The US is signatory to the UN Charter. US unwillingness to abide by the formal structures of diplomacy that the UN was devised to embody is a historical conundrum I’ll just have to leave to the wise counsel in the US diplomatic corps, though if UN organization does not reflect the political dynamics of the globe today, SOMEONE has failed to introduce needed reforms or lead the US out of the UN which it feels free to ignore every fifteen years or so (remarkably, ONLY under Democratic administrations, according to recent history).
        “Red-taloned” as I intended refers not to ideological taint: it refers to nothing more prosaic than blood (I used the loaded term “Valkyrie” generously throughout: if you failed to come to terms with my usage, YOU are a lazy reader, eager to read matter you have no interest in understanding). “Weird sister” was a Shakespearean allusion that I found apt for separate reasons.
        You are right, though, in seeing that I was being insulting, but again, you fail to connect with my chosen target. My target was not “women”, because I am no misogynist: my target specifically was feminists and feminism, which sort of makes sense, since I am an unabashed anti-feminist. If “anti-feminist” can ONLY be construed as “misogynist”, then I submit further that political discourse in the US is in much more danger than either of us would have thought upon waking today.
        My use of a pseudonym is almost immaterial: no one reading this would know who I am even were I to use my legal name: they would only begin to know how I am capable of thinking, but they can learn that if they but take pains to read my feeble lines. (I used “pains” intentionally for the benefit of my detractors.)
        I congratulate you on your imaginative imputations, but I submit you have no grounds for attempting to associate me with the Tea Party (nyet), the Republican Party (no), or even the KKK (we don’t have enough clean sheets to spare down here in the provinces, let me tell you).

  • HonestDebate1

    In 2003 current DNI James Clapper led the National Imagery and Mapping Agency.

    The official, James R. Clapper Jr., a retired lieutenant general, said satellite imagery showing a heavy flow of traffic from Iraq into Syria, just before the American invasion in March, led him to believe that illicit weapons material ”unquestionably” had been moved out of Iraq.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/29/world/the-struggle-for-iraq-weapons-search-iraqis-removed-arms-material-us-aide-says.html

  • HonestDebate1

    “What had not been previously acknowledged is that the court in 2008 imposed an explicit ban — at the government’s request — on those kinds of searches, that officials in 2011 got the court to lift the bar and that the search authority has been used.”

    Terrific.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-administration-had-restrictions-on-nsa-reversed-in-2011/2013/09/07/c26ef658-0fe5-11e3-85b6-d27422650fd5_story.html

  • Roy Merritt

    I guarantee you that if the Congress doesn’t sanction a punitive action against Assad for the use of chemical weapons it will only be because the Republicans in Congress so hate Obama they would sanction nothing he would be inclined to do and will no doubt form a coalition with the lily liver Democrats who would never be okay with any military action even one against Lucifer himself, the ones that have been responsible for Democrats being portrayed as cowards since the days of the Cold War. I could understand it then Democrats having gladly accepted the mantle of liberalism before it became a dirty word in the political lexicon, translation a party for minorities and socialist activist which equaled communism in their mind. But the Democrats have never been reluctant to conducting military operations when they believe it is necessary. Obama has certainly shown himself to be an aggressive chief executive in waging war on terrorism but he certainly hasn’t approached this as if another Iraq and has flatly stated it won’t lead to boots on the ground. But one should note of course that he didn’t say we wouldn’t react in a more fervent manner should the Syrians have the audacity to challenge our action with attacks in the wake of it. No president would ever make such a promise and so I’m certain the possibility of further action is very much a possibility. But I would wager the image of Saddam Hussein standing on the gallows and the object of disdain for the people would were presently going to hang him is a very potent force in Assad’s grey matter. I should think he might make some noise and conduct some frivolous attacks somewhere by surrogates, but in the end may be pressured by his allies in Russia to negotiate with the rebels that aren’t affiliated with Al Qaeda or other Islamic fundamentalist movements such as their own Checen separatist and perhaps then go into exile with a good bit of the loot he’s stolen over the years perhaps in Russia or one of the former Islamic republics that were once a part of the USSR and beholden to Russia in some way. I think that is the greatest fear that has led to the reluctance on the part of the GOP to support this action that it will turn out successful and lead to the end of Assad and thus Obama would look like some monumental statesman. Now it seems that they intend to try and extort concessions from the administration in the form of further sequestration in a further concerted effort to deplete the middle class and destroy the poor in this country. This is the kind of thing a gangster would do and not a real politician, much less a real Republican. The Republicans I remember from the Civil Rights era the ones who united with LBJ to get civil rights legislation passed in the face of Democratic resistance by southern politicians. These people aren’t Republicans, they’re totalitarians in the same mold of Assad. Maybe their reluctance to attack him is simply out of admiration for the man, who knows? If they vote against upholding an edict the whole world has demanded, no use of chemical weapons, then they are giving credence to its use anywhere by anyone, and who knows some of the people who one day may suffer this kind of inhuman carnage will be Americans. Just because the rest of the world doesn’t have the wherewithal or the brass to do anything doesn’t mean we have to follow suit like we’re just some other ordinary country in the world. By god this is the United States of America and if we won’t do something then no one ever will and it’s inviting any kind of atrocity on any kind of scale anywhere in the world maybe even next door some day. Being a veteran of a conflict I don’t want another war and will simply say this, it can only come to that if Assad is unwise enough to think he can resist American military power and survive. I honestly think he’s smarter than that, after all the man is a London educated eye surgeon. His wife grew up in London and lived the good life there so I think she’d be hard pressed to get him to man the ramparts of the presidential palace. Hell we probably are privy to the mans movements, whose to say we couldn’t just drone him too. He has to be thinking of that possibility himself, he’s no doubt surrounded by spies and traitors that could easily be bribed to give out his location for enough US Legal Tender. If that becomes a possibility his military will either hold a coup or capitulate or maybe flee for Iran or somewhere they thought they could be protected. That’s my analysis of the situation and I think a real possibility.

  • OnPointComments

    I was going to respond to a couple of new comments that had been posted, but I was unfamiliar with the person who posted the comments. I pulled up the commenter’s profile and read his past comments, and realized if I replied it would violate my rule “Don’t respond to the crazy people.”

    • fun bobby

      but that rules so many out

  • OnPointComments

    An article from a source with which I don’t usually agree. But I agree with this one.

    NARCISSISTS ARE RUINING AMERICA
    We’re on the verge of bombing another country — because a few conceited people want to feel good about themselves
    http://www.salon.com/2013/09/08/war_mongers_are_appalling_narcissists/

    Excerpt:
    One telltale trait of narcissists is their ability only to see how their actions affect them, and not others. In the narcissist’s mind, if doing something makes him feel good, then the act is inherently good — even if it is terrible for lots of other people and makes an overall situation a whole lot worse.

    This is a good way to understand the current proposal to bomb Syria.

    From President Obama to British military leaders to the U.S. military planner who sculpted the attack plan, almost everyone acknowledges that sending cruise missiles into Syria will most likely not make anything better, will not stop the civil war and probably will not reduce human suffering.

    …Our government has come up with a brilliantly inhumane solution that plays to the narcissism: The Obama administration proposes to lob cruise missiles into Syria to make us feel good about “doing something,” even though most agree that such an operation won’t make anything better — and could make things worse. On top of that, our government is reassuring us that we won’t have to sacrifice by claiming, as Secretary of State John Kerry did last night, that this does not constitute “taking America to war.”

    • OnPointComments

      Every time I see that quote from John Kerry, “I don’t believe this is taking America to war,” I wonder: if tomorrow Syria preemptively did to the US whatever it is that the US is proposing to do to Syria, would Kerry consider that to be an act of war?

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