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Week In The News: Cantor Defeated, Iraq In Crisis, Teacher Tenure Turmoil

With Michael Crowley of TIME Magazine, Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post and On Point news analyst Jack Beatty.

Refugees fleeing from Mosul head to the self-ruled northern Kurdish region in Irbil, Iraq, 350 kilometers (217 miles) north of Baghdad, Thursday, June 12, 2014. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the al-Qaida breakaway group, on Monday and Tuesday took over much of Mosul in Iraq and then swept into the city of Tikrit further south. (AP)

Refugees fleeing from Mosul head to the self-ruled northern Kurdish region in Irbil, Iraq, 350 kilometers (217 miles) north of Baghdad, Thursday, June 12, 2014. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the al-Qaida breakaway group, on Monday and Tuesday took over much of Mosul in Iraq and then swept into the city of Tikrit further south. (AP)

Upset in Washington this week.  Eric Cantor’s.  And an astonishing unraveling in Iraq.  Black-clad, harsher-than-al-Qaeda militants streaming in from civil war-wracked Syria.  Taking Mosul, then city after city, sweeping toward Baghdad.  Where US soldiers died by the thousands, now a collapse in days.  Eric Cantor’s defeat by a Tea Party novice, an earthquake on Capitol Hill.  GOP regrouping.  Rethinking.  We’ve got more, sickening school shooting.  World Cup.  Hillary Clinton on a big press tour.  This hour On Point:  our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Michael Crowley, chief foreign affairs correspondent for TIME Magazine. (@CrowleyTIME)

Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief for the Huffington Post. (@ryangrim)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: Iraqi Drama Catches U.S. Off Guard — “State Department and Pentagon officials have long warned about ISIS’s desire to create an Islamic state based in the Sunni-dominated parts of Iraq and Syria. Now, current and former officials say Washington’s options for helping the Iraqi army fight back are limited—both because the threat in Iraq is so entrenched and because the U.S. hasn’t invested in building up moderate allies on the Syrian side of the border.”

Washington Post: What went wrong for Eric Cantor? “A look back at Cantor’s defeat shows that it was a real rejection by a broad swath of his district’s Republican voters. And there were warning signs that it was coming: the heckling of Cantor in that convention speech and defeats of his acolytes in low-level party elections this year.”

Los Angeles Times: California teacher tenure is struck down: Expect years of appeals — “The 16-page decision ends the process of laying off teachers based solely on when they were hired. It also strips them of extra job safeguards not enjoyed by other school or state employees. And it eliminates the current tenure process, under which instructors are either fired or win strong job security about 18 months after they start teaching.”

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  • Zack Smith

    The story of the week has to be the repudiation of the US political establishment. Leading corporatist neocon Eric Cantor goes down in the primary to a grassroots conservative, and Iraq slips back into chaos. Should have listened to Ron Paul – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TZ5cpaPlf4

  • SteveTheTeacher

    As so eloquently articulated by Secretary of State John Kerry, the Washington Consensus that Edward Snowden is a traitor who should: “Man up”, return to the US unconditionally, and accept the reality that he will be convicted of violating the Espionage Act and be sentenced to spend most of the rest of his life in jail.

    Well, this week saw another crack in the Democrat/Republican united front with Al Gore’s comments during an interview with the Southland technology conference:

    “I would push it more away from the traitor side. And I will tell you why. He clearly violated the law so you can’t say OK, what he did is all right. It’s not. But what he revealed in the course of violating important laws included violations of the US constitution that were way more serious than the crimes he committed. In the course of violating important law, he also provided an important service. OK. Because we did need to know how far this has gone.”

  • SteveTheTeacher

    With the resurgence of the Tea Party, will the Democrat party, after having already moved significantly to the right, “triangulate” a move even further to the right and embrace the candidacy of Hillary Clinton?

  • northeaster17

    Also in the news. Budding geneticist, amateur physician and Presidential contender Gov. Rick Perry liked homosexuality to alcoholism.
    I thought the Repubs were going to try to keep their feet out of their mouths for this election cycle. Guess they just can’t help themselves.

    • Human2013

      Lol…Rick Perry can’t spell geneticist or recall the government agency to ax.

  • northeaster17

    Looks like the real winner of our war in Iraq, Iran, is starting to use it’s new found influence in the region. Our NeoCon cabal never saw that coming. http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2014/06/12/iran-fights-militants-in-iraq.html#url=http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2014/06/12/iran-fights-militants-in-iraq.html

    • Coastghost

      –but then over the course of two or three centuries Holy Science never exactly predicted the advent and onset of Technogenic Climate Change, and that body of geniuses is supposed to have been in the prediction business the entire time.
      I think most of our reigning epistemologies are not taking sufficient account of the discovery that baryonic matter comprises only c. 5% of what might be The Known Universe. Sigh, alas, and alack: our knowledge deficits are ever larger than us.

      • northeaster17

        If only they had asked the French. They seemed to have a clue. But then who would have eaten the freedom fries.

        • Coastghost

          I am a fan of Bresson’s 1977 The Devil, Probably (as of Bresson’s entire oeuvre), but I don’t think Bresson ever pretended to scientific competency, at least not the way many scientists themselves do.

        • TFRX

          Hey, if only we’d asked the French after Dien Bien Phu.

    • Acnestes

      Though anyone outside the neocon bubble with even a passing acquaintance with balance of power politics naturally expected it.

    • SteveTheTeacher

      Maybe the US will end up following the tried and true practice of US foreign policy, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, and start giving military support to Bashir Assad.

      While right wing NeoCons share a lot of the blame, and should be tried for all the crimes against humanity they may have committed during Bush’s pre-emptive war on Iraq, the Brits have their fair share of the blame for the borders they imposed on the region following WWI.

  • JGC

    Fantastic interview yesterday by Fresh Air host Terry Gross with Hillary Clinton. It is being discussed on every politically-oriented site from The Blaze to DailyKos. There is also a link to read the full transcript of the show if you prefer that to listening, but then you wiil miss the sharp tonal change in Clinton’s voice as she is being gently yet persistently grilled on the evolution of her LGBT/gay marriage support –

    http://www.npr.org/2014/06/12/321313477/hillary-clinton-the-fresh-air-interview

    • Coastghost

      Missed it altogether: did she speak, breathe, or fume not merely over the Benghazi episode but over the entire Libya policy she and Rice and Power helped set up post-Arab Spring and the “Obama Follow-Through” which led recently to her successor State Department’s warnings to US citizens to leave the country?

    • JGC

      Also want to call attention to another stellar radio hour with Terry Gross earlier this week, the interview with Shep Gordon and Mike Myers, Myers and Gordon are on the promotion circuit for the documentary “Supermensch” on Gordon’s life as a manager to diverse artists such as Alice Cooper and Anne Murray. The part on how he and Teddy Pendergrass broke the Chitlin’ Circuit at Radio City Music Hall was fantastic. How he fell into being a manager in the first place. His opinion on fame. Worth a listen while you are washing the dishes or weeding the garden today; a fun and thoughtful hour, one of her best -

      http://www.npr.org/2014/06/09/320319268/invisible-supermensch-avoided-the-spotlight-while-making-others-famous

      (In fact, Fresh Air hit a home run this week, with the interviews with John Waters and with the former Blasters. Must be pledge week on NPR…)

      • Coastghost

        –or are you auditioning for a role as NPR publicist?

        • JGC

          And don’t forget to send in your generous donation to your local NPR station, Coastghost!

    • northeaster17

      I think both Terry Gross and Hillary handled themselves well. If the press did their jobs a bit better we would see more exchanges. Good for democracy

      • JGC

        That is true. Maybe we are so used to hearing small sound bites and heavily edited interviews, it is jarring when hearing certain exchanges such as were in this one.

    • TFRX

      And the best part: If you wanted to hear Hillary, you didn’t have to take Diane Sawyer with it.

    • MrNutso

      I heard it. It was a good interview.

    • Charles

      I just listened to this…wow.
      I forgot how much of a smarmy politician Clinton can be.
      I really appreciate Terry taking her to task about gay marriage. Not that I expect many NPR listeners will be dissuaded from supporting Clinton, but mouthing off to Terry Gross is not the best move.

      • TFRX

        Smarmy?

        You mean, any politician?

        NPR still has too much love for the unearned reps of John (StraightTalkExpress-sic) McCain and Shrub.

  • X Y & Z

    Hillary Says She Won’t Turn Over Benghazi Notes

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/06/10/hillary-says-she-wont-turn-over-benghazi-notes/

    “The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth are those with something to hide” – Obama

    • Coastghost

      Said by one of the most conspicuous men on earth eager himself to hide. (Whether Bergdahl was AWOL remains for military justice to determine: whether Obama has returned from being AWOL remains to be seen.)

  • Fredlinskip

    I believe another 100,000 man American troop surge and 7 or 8 more years of occupation should do the trick to convince the Shiites and Sunnis to stop fighting each other in Iraq long enough to set up Jeffersonian Democracy.

    With Senator McCain appointed Commander of the operation and 4 or 5 more trillion spent on the effort, we should be able to get this sorted out and show the world what American exceptionalism is all about!

    • Ray in VT

      But we dropped democracy on them, and we gave them liberty and the market. How is everything not fixed yet?

      • Coastghost

        You can lead a camel to water, but he may still infect you with MERS.

      • Human2013

        Can someone please drop democracy and a well regulated market on the US!

    • HonestDebate1

      We had that war won and Iraq on the path to peace. An ally in the heart of the middle east was a big deal. Obama blew it and the world will suffer. This is awful.

      • Ray in VT

        Your insistence on sticking by your delusions is truly amazing.

      • Human2013

        “We had that war won…”

        Im not sure there are Winners and Losers in war, but if there are, we were not the winners.

        What did we win: a generation of our youth with mental trauma, missing limbs and subpar healthcare, debt and deficit that make you cringe, an unfathomable shift in American priorities, and an increase in the millions of people that vehemently hate the US. If than is winning, please tell me what losing looks like.

        • HonestDebate1

          The cost of an Iraq under the control of terrorist is much higher. It didn’t have to be this way.

          • Ray in VT

            True. The previous administration could have been honest with the American people about Iraq and maybe we could have kept our nose out of the place.

          • Human2013

            Do you mean the terrorists that Bush compelled to move against the US?

            Do you mean the terrorists that grow angrier when we start to occupy their part of the earth and tell them to unclothe their women, place them in bikinis and let American soldiers play in their luxurious hair?

            We can’t export our culture or democracy; the world is changing and there is no reason for us to expedite a process that is already underway.

          • Ray in VT

            Do you mean the terrorists that we were told were being assisted with weapons training and such by Saddam, despite the fact that they were not and the intelligence community had said for months that no such links and relationships existed?

          • nj_v2

            No, it’s clear he has one in particular in mind. Maybe he’ll tell us.

          • Ray in VT

            Indeed, why else would the singular be used?

          • HonestDebate1

            Oooo, better not make the terrorist mad.

          • Ray in VT

            How many run of the mill Iraqis do you think were made angry by over 100,000 outsiders in their country. Outsiders with very different cultures and values. Outsiders who allowed things like the Abu Ghraib abuse or that allowed military contractors to shoot up a bunch of people in Baghdad and get off without punishment? Probably none, right?

          • nj_v2

            Which one? It all depends on the particular one that’s mad.

        • Ray in VT

          We also “won” a government in Iraq friendly to Iran, and a nation with deep ethnic hatreds and a lack of national institutions capable of restraining those impulses.

          • HonestDebate1

            Oh BS, Iraq was doing fine until we abandoned them. This is awful, quit making excuses.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, right. Everything was fine, except for the ethnic tensions, a government seen to be acting against minorities, and so forth. Everything would have been just peachy if only we had kept tens of thousands of soldiers there, spilled more blood, spent more treasure and maybe paid off the Sunnis to keep quiet just for good measure. Problems all solved.

          • HonestDebate1

            You are not a serious person.

          • Ray in VT

            Lame. You’re so steeped in the b.s. that you can’t even see reality clearly.

          • Human2013

            You’re not a discerning person.

          • Don_B1

            Right from the mouth of the most unserious person here, always contender for clown of the week, preaching ignorance for a solution to everything.

          • jefe68

            Says the guy wearing the Bozo suit…

          • JS

            Wow, that’s delusional, even for you.

          • HonestDebate1

            Biden seemed to agree with me. It is delusional to think the war was avoidable or that we were helpless in letting it go back to the terrorists.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Like, went we were supporting Saddam Hussein?

        • TFRX

          Didn’t “collateral damage” have to be invented for this excursion?

          (PS When it comes to “had it won”, I think that’s what the ’86 Red Sox said.)

        • northeaster17

          Iran won. Hardly fired a shot. Not to shabby

      • MrNutso

        There was never any win, just least bad losses. We went in with no clue about what might happen in 10 or 15 years The current situation is predictable when peoples identify themselves with a particular group and and more interested in settling 1,000 + year old scores.

    • TFRX

      I have no idea if you’re really Tom Friedman, but you’re doing a decent takedown of him.

    • nj_v2

      We were just about to turn a corner!

  • Coastghost

    We’re well aware by now that Obama went through his entire two-term quota of red magic markers making the maps of Syria bleed red: but is there any Constitutional provision for him to acquire a fresh set of red crayons so he can begin coloring the maps of Iraq?

  • Tim

    The situation in Iraq should be a warning about the efficacy of sanctions. Politicians love sanctions. It’s a way to punish rouge states and dictators and seem like “you’re doing something,” without asking the American people to make real sacrifices or having to deal with pictures of bombed out buildings on the news. Sanctions only work in the context of good diplomacy and negotiations though. If a regime doesn’t cave in to demands, the sanctions can easily do more harm than good.

    In Iraq, sanctions helped keep Saddam from amassing a larger army, or buying more arms, but they also destroyed civil society. Sanctions generally further decrease the outside information getting into a country. They destroy the hope that leaders’ desire for economic growth will push them to liberalize the economy like in China, and they make it less likely that a strong middle class (generally a force for democratic government) will emerge. In Iraq, not only had sanctions and the damage from the Gulf War destroyed civil society, but then, following the collapse of the Regime, the Iraqi Army, the nation’s largest jobs program, was disbanded, and deBaathification laws made it next to impossible for anyone with civil service experience to work in the government. There were huge mistakes. Painting this as “Sunni and Shia just love to fight, nothing to do with us,” is ridiculous.

    The narrative of “Sunni and Shia will just always end up fighting each other,” is extremely simplistic and flies in the face of history. Takfiri ideology, the ideology that claims that there is one true Islamic faith, and that all those who deviate from this path are apostates who must be converted or eliminated, has never been a dominant ideology in the Middle East. It’s actually a rather newly revived phenomenon, and has been preached most successfully in the prisons of repressive states like Yemen and Egypt.

  • Human2013

    The Fall From Grace of the American Middle Class, By the Numbers

    http://www.moneynews.com/Personal-Finance/middle-class-wealth-median-income-net-worth/2014/06/11/id/576478/

    How A Declining Middle Class Is Killing Golf

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/bobcook/2014/05/23/how-a-declining-middle-class-is-killing-golf/

    No Golf, No home to own, No children (not affordable), No pension, No savings……

    Can we please discontinue all other dialogue and focus on this issue. Let’s discuss Benghazi when the middle class has rebounded.

  • Human2013

    I’m starting to think Eric Cantor no longer wanted that seat. He came, made a splash, did nothing for the American people and is moving on to his real dream — consulting, lobbying. Eric Cantor is no loser! It’s time for him to increase his net worth.

  • Coastghost

    Any late word on the (47?) captives taken in the Turkish Consulate in Iraq? How crowded are NATO conference tables expected to be this weekend?

  • X Y & Z

    Feinstein: ‘You Can’t Help But Worry’ About Taliban Release

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/feinstein-you-can-t-help-worry-about-taliban-release

    Especially when one of the 5 illegally released Taliban terrorists has stated that he plans to resume terrorism against the US.

    • Coastghost

      Not to worry! Secretary Kerry assures us that the freed Taliban prisoners are as honorable as Boy Scouts and display every bit as much rational self-interest.

      • X Y & Z

        Thanks for the reassurance. I feel much better now.

        • HonestDebate1

          The one who helped plan 9/11 is especially warm and fuzzy.

          • X Y & Z

            That might explain Obama’s support for groups with links to al-Qaeda in Syria.

          • Ray in VT

            Which ones are those?

      • Don_B1

        Actually, Secretary Kerry gave assurances that any one of them could be eliminated if they did return to war in Afghanistan.

    • JGC

      He didn’t say he plans to resume terrorism against the U.S. He said he would return to the battefield in Afghanistan to fight against Americans in Afghanistan.

      Anyway, nevermind. Big change in plans. NSA lifted chatter between Guantanamo Taliban detainees in Qatar. Translation confirms they are working through back diplomatic channels to actually extend their stay in their host country: “We came for the freedom; Now we want to stay for the World Cup.”

      http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/qatar2022

      • X Y & Z

        “He said he would return to the battlefield in Afghanistan to fight against Americans in Afghanistan”. (JGC)

        He wants to kill Americans. That sounds like terrorism to me.

        • JGC

          I need to further clarify my previous comment which should be: to return to the battlefield in Afghanistan to fight against American forces in Afghanistan.

          That is not terrorism. That is war.

      • hennorama

        JGC — I’ll again point out that there have only been reports of quotes from a relative of one of the 5 transferees, and another “Taliban commander.” One must therefore repeat the well-worn, oft-ignored adage “Consider the source”:

        (emphasis added)

        PESHAWAR, Pakistan – One of the five Taliban leaders freed from Guantanamo Bay in return for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release has pledged to return to fight Americans in Afghanistan, according to a fellow militant and a relative.

        “After arriving in Qatar, Noorullah Noori kept insisting he would go to Afghanistan and fight American forces there,” a Taliban commander told NBC News via telephone from Afghanistan.

        Noori pushed to return to Afghanistan after learning that the U.S. had provided written assurances that no country would arrest any of the five freed for a year as long as they lived peacefully, one of his relatives told NBC News by telephone from Afghanistan.

        See:

        http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/bowe-bergdahl-released/freed-taliban-commander-tells-relative-hell-fight-americans-again-n124451

        The NBC report above was the source of this, from nationalreview.com (emphasis added):

        Noorullah Noori, one of the five Taliban leaders released from Guantanamo Bay in the Bergdahl swap, has promised to resume the fight against America in Afghanistan, a relative and fellow Taliban member said.

        A Taliban commander told NBC News ​that, after arriving in Qatar, Noori ”kept insisting he would go to Afghanistan and fight American forces there.”

        See:

        http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/379752/report-released-taliban-commander-says-hell-continue-fight-against-america-molly

        A final point – the NBC report above reflects the concern for the mental health of the 5 transferees, something which seems sadly lacking regarding Sgt. Bergdahl:

        A senior Taliban commander in the Pakistani city of Quetta said that 12 years of incarceration had also caused some psychological problems for Noori and Fazl.

        Noori’s relative admitted he was having some health issues, but denied he was suffering from any mental disorders.

        . . . . . (Mind the gap)

        The Taliban commander in Quetta said he was in touch with his men in Qatar and they decided not to talk with the five commanders about their imprisonment and their treatment at the hands of the Americans.

        “We decided not to disturb them by asking them about their ordeals as we know it will evoke the worst of their time in prison,” the Taliban commander said. “It will take them some time to become normal and issue formal statements.”

  • HonestDebate1

    What has Obama made better?

    • Ray in VT

      Everything.

      • HonestDebate1

        Spoken like a true ideologue sycophant. Thank you.

        • Ray in VT

          It’s not about me.

          • HonestDebate1

            I can’t believe you are willing to go on record with such blinded idolatry.

          • Ray in VT

            Sort of like the sort of delusional thinking that leads you to post that invading Iraq was unavoidable? You are not a serious person.

          • jefe68

            Well, that’s been proven for a while now.

    • Guest

      Healthcare access for those who didn’t previously have it.

      • HonestDebate1

        30 million will remain uninsured, millions have lost the plans they liked, ER use has gone through the roof, the corrupt IRS is enforcing the mandate, the debt is ballooning, premiums are rising and don’t even get me started on death panels. I don’t consider it an improvement.

        • Ray in VT

          Hahahahaha. Death panels. Millions fewer people are now uninsured and the cost projections have been pretty much in line with those made back around 2010. How terrible.

          • jefe68

            HD is in a Fox news bubble.

      • HonestDebate1

        Why did you delete your comment JS?

        • X Y & Z

          He has a habit of doing that.

    • Human2013

      Let’s start with healthcare for all, cleaner air and restoring grace and humanity to the position of POTUS.

      • Human2013

        Let me add intelligence.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Race relations?

      The beer summit cured all.

    • X Y & Z

      His golf score.

      • TFRX

        “Now watch this drive,” loser.

        • X Y & Z

          I would respond to you, but I shall take the advice from the On Point website and not feed the trolls.

          Adios troll.

          • TFRX

            I hope someone’s paying you to be a pathetic jagoff.

          • X Y & Z

            Adios troll. Try not to take anymore soccer ball hits to the head.

          • TFRX

            Running out of material? Hey, try “droanz”.

          • X Y & Z

            What part of adios troll, don’t you understand?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            You said goodbye – when are you leaving?

          • X Y & Z

            When you and your ideas are taken seriously.

          • jefe68

            There is a quote attributed to Mark Twain:
            “Arguing with fools, proves there are two.”

            Sometimes I feel it’s best to leave the fools to stew in their own mendacity.

    • JGC

      Reversed Bush torture policies.

      Creation of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau cracking down on abusive lending; saved over $3-biilion so far to American consumers

      Gave FDA power to regulate tobacco.

      Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

      Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

      Gave order to take out Osama bin laden, the one true enemy to America, killed in raid with intelligence bonus of recovery of many al-Qaeda documents from compound.

      • JGC

        This is in response to question “What has Obama made better?” I don’t know why, but it is not showing up on my screen anymore.

    • JGC

      Boosted fuel efficiency standards.

      Ended war in Iraq; last troops out in Dec. 2011.

      • HonestDebate1

        Surrendering in Iraq will not be looked upon kindly by historians.

        • Ray in VT

          Obama’s actions will be looked upon better than the lies that America was sold to justify the invasion and years of botching the occupation under W.

        • Don_B1

          If there is a “surrender” in Iraq it will be the fault of the Iraqis who elected the Iranian tool al Maliki who did not accept ‘winning” and has led a second oppressive regime, this time against the Sunnis.

          This is typical of what happens when a despot is overthrown: those replacing the despot adopt the methods of the despot because they only know that way to run a country. Sort of like parents beating their children because they were beaten, only with much worse consequences.

    • JGC

      Created ethics.gov for lobbying disclosure, FEC reports, White House visitor records, etc. Vast increase in government transparency at https://explore.data.gov/ethics

      Pushed for and got New START arms control treaty with Russia, for better verifable reductions in nuclear stockpiles.

      Secured electronic recording of interrogations and confessions in capital and other serious criminal cases, to ensure prosecutions are fair.

      Saved us from the Second Great Depression.

      Hospital-acquired infections are coming down.

      • HonestDebate1

        Sorry, we just disagree. Obama is anything but transparent and ethical. The Russian reset was a disaster, we got nothing in return and now Putin is brokering the Syria debacle as he takes Crimea. He made what should have been a blip into a gut-wrenching pain in the ass for many americans.

        I suppose if he can heal the planet then a little bacteria is easy. I give him credit for neither.

      • hennorama

        JGC — on my way elsewhere, I came across this,
        on bbc.com:

        Struggle for Iraq: In maps

        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-27838034

  • HonestDebate1

    “I am very optimistic about — about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You’re going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You’re going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government,” said Biden.

    “I spent — I’ve been there 17 times now. I go about every two months — three months. I know every one of the major players in all of the segments of that society. It’s impressed me. I’ve been impressed how they have been deciding to use the political process rather than guns to settle their differences.”

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

  • Ed75

    I was going to comment on President Obama moving sectors of the economy, like healthcare and now energy, into the Executive Department. How it doesn’t really matter if the Republicans take the Senate or if the president’s disapproval increases, because he is enforcing the laws he agrees with, he is governing without Congress and without the people. (In such a case, the only option Congress has is impeachment.)

    • brettearle

      Show us, exactly please–based on the strictures of the Executive Branch and the Articles of the Constitution–just how the current President is violating the Laws of the Land, to the point where Impeachment is justified.

      Be very, very specific. Back it up with specific Legal Sources.

      Don’t spare us for your Legal Expertise.

      Otherwise, I would strongly recommend that you delete your comments.

      For, if you can’t deliver and you keep your comments posted, you shall continue to come across as an

      Utter Fool.

      • WorriedfortheCountry
        • Ray in VT

          It’s a bit funny how against the idea of a powerful and expansive Executive some Republicans/conservatives become as soon as a Democrat gets elected President.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Turley and Dershowitz are Democrats.

          • Ray in VT

            I didn’t claim that they weren’t.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            The question is where are the Democrats in Congress? Robert “KKK” Byrd wouldn’t stand for this crap. Reid and Pelosi are enablers.

          • Ray in VT

            Maybe Rand “principled opposition to civil rights laws” Paul can do something, unless he’s busy ‘spainin’ to black kids civil rights history and why businesses should be able to racially discriminate. Maybe the ghost of Byrd can raise up the ghosts of such noted GOP bigots as Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms to fix things.

          • Don_B1

            At least Senator Byrd recognized and recanted from the error of his ways, which you cannot say for yourself.

        • brettearle

          You and your brethren have trotted out that piece before.

          Not only is it NOT specific–which means it cannot be challenged on Constitutional grounds.

          But also it includes an opinion about a so-called `growing trend’ in the Executive Branch–employed by the 44th President’s predecessor, an avowed Conservative.

          If the claim is valid–which I doubt–it means overhauling the Presidency, not the man holding the Office.

          Get your attacks clear, even, and targeted.

          Otherwise, you’re simply re-enforcing my original opinion about Ed75′s vacant claim.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            There is only one man holding the office right now. Reform will only happen IF fellow Democrats push back. Reid and Pelosi are enablers. Turley worries that this new found “power” will be abused by future Presidents, perhaps those without his world view.

            “THE OBAMA IMPEACHMENT BIBLE”

            http://spectator.org/articles/59557/obama-impeachment-bible

          • TFRX

            Scraping the bottom of what is a bottomless barrel is no easy task. Congratulations!

      • HonestDebate1
        • Ray in VT

          Feh. Starting with #1, history and precedent allows for the prioritization of deportation procedures.

        • TFRX

          Hahaha.

          I don’t know what’s stupider: Tucker the Fncker, or their belief in Ted (No Longer A Canadian) Cruz on anything.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t think that is the proper response to enumerated lawlessness.

      • Ed75

        Well, for example, the president has changed Obamacare more that 30 times. This law was passed by Congress, he is supposed to ask Congress to change it if the change is substantive (one can argue that). He decided not to enforce the DOMA, which was the law. He decided not to enforce the law about the border with Mexico, but to not give them the items mandated to protect the border. The president’s task is to enforce the laws, not to legislate, he can make small changes to accommodate the spirit of the law to current circumstances, but can’t do major changes on his own. But the Congress so far can’t protest because the Senate is Democratic and the media favor him, and agree with his changes.

        • brettearle

          The President hasn’t acknowledged DOMA for Constitutional reasons.

          Pundits differ as to his right to do so.

          The President’s changes to ACA have not been successfully challenged in Court, for the most part.

          Changes by the Executive Branch have been, time and again, challenged or confirmed by pundits–depending on whether you’re a Robert Bork scholar or a Cass Sunstein one.

          For you to simply say that the President can’t be impeached, because of partisanship, is pretty much the same as saying that Bush’s presidency was illegitimate because of the Supreme Court decision of

          Bush v Gore.

          You can’t have it Both Ways…..

      • Ed75

        Or, for example, he was supposed to consult Congress about this prisoner swap a few weeks ago. One can say the soldier was sick, etc., but Congress wasn’t consulted. I don’t agree with President Obama’s policies, but he won fair and square (so to speak), but I protest if he goes beyond his authority.

  • Ed75

    But the situation in Iraq is terribly dangerous. ISIS considers Sunnis and Shiites as heretics, and has beheaded and crucified people in the cities it has taken. This morning they said the people in Baghdad ‘are waiting to die’. Al Queda broke with them because ISIS is too brutal (!). The only plus is they don’t have large numbers, but even though they are larger the Iraqi military just ran away. The whole region faces destabilization. (And the Iranian nuclear weapon is on the way, but one disaster at a time.)
    The military said that if the U.S. had kept a force there, ISIS would not have been able to do this. The president did not listen to his military advisors. The power vacuum in Syria and Iraq, and soon Afghanistan, will be filled by ISIS. Extremely dangerous. I’ve never seen a group as deadly as the Nazis or Communists until I saw this group.

    • OnPointComments

      Do you believe in reincarnation? Say hello to the reincarnated Emperor Nero.

      WHILE OBAMA FIDDLES
      The fall of Mosul is as big as Russia’s seizure of Crimea

      Excerpt:

      The fall of Mosul, Iraq, to al Qaeda terrorists this week is as big in its implications as Russia’s annexation of Crimea. But from the Obama presidency, barely a peep.

      Barack Obama is fiddling while the world burns. Iraq, Pakistan, Ukraine, Russia, Nigeria, Kenya, Syria. These foreign wildfires, with more surely to come, will burn unabated for two years until the United States has a new president. The one we’ve got can barely notice or doesn’t care.

      Now if you want to vent about ” George Bush’s war,” be my guest. But George Bush isn’t president anymore. Barack Obama is because he wanted the job and the responsibilities that come with the American presidency. Up to now, burying those responsibilities in the sand has never been in the job description.

      One might ask: Didn’t U.S. intelligence know something like Mosul could happen? They did. The February 2014 “Threat Assessment” by the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency virtually predicted it: “AQI/ISIL [aka ISIS] probably will attempt to take territory in Iraq and Syria . . . as demonstrated recently in Ramadi and Fallujah.” AQI (al Qaeda in Iraq), the report says, is exploiting the weak security environment “since the departure of U.S. forces at the end of 2011.” But to have suggested any mitigating steps to this White House would have been pointless. It won’t listen.

      • Coastghost

        You REALLY have it in for Nero, don’t you?

    • J__o__h__n

      If we stayed, we would have just delayed the inevitable for another decade or two or more . . .

    • nj_v2

      Obviously, the solution is for the U.S. to occupy every country which has political elements Ed deems to be dangerous. I’m sure Ed will be the first to sign up for duty.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Just as obviously, the Congress will fully fund the expanded budget to pay for all the war effort – and to pay for the care and education of the veterans, after they have given their service to the country.

    • jefe68

      ISIS is Sunni. Iran is getting involved, as they see them as a threat. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Iran sent two battalions of Iranian Revolutionary Guards to help the Iraqi government in its battle against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Just in on the local news: the Obama regime is dumping illegal immigrants in Massachusetts. 4 flight loads have been confirmed — 2 to Hanscom, 2 to Logan.

    Governor Deval Patrick pleads that he was not informed.

  • Ed75

    I always wondered how God would respond to abortion in the West, and other serious immorality. We didn’t turn away from it, and it can’t go on indefinitely (just like slavery was ended). The radical groups are a nation God is raising up against the West, which doesn’t mean that they are not evil, which they are indeed. ‘War is a punishment for sin’, Mary told the children at Fatima.

    • J__o__h__n

      So god conjuring up radical violent groups to kill random people is going to make people ban abortion? Most of the states with high crime rates have the most restrictive abortion restrictions.

      • Ed75

        Not so much like that, more that enemies have arisen and God won’t protect us from them. (‘If the Lord does not protect the house, in vain does the watchman keep vigil’ – Psalms.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    The myth that the border is secure is finally being debunked. Deportations are virtually non-existent. Now the regime is barring access to the media to illegal immigrant holding areas. Illegals are actively seeking out border agents expecting help to be situated into their NEW home.

    What is wrong with this picture?

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      If you don’t believe in sovereignty and have a self-loathing sense of America and believe we deserve chaos and the responsibility to provide welfare to the world for all or our past sins, nothing.

      Too bad. Look at middle east, Look at Russia, Look at Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Chavez’s Venezuela. Life sucks. Power concentration sucks. Constitutional self government, a respect for liberty, and Rule of Law allowing all an opportunity for both justice and to make a living, was a nice experiment and while not perfect was far better than any of those experiments….

      but now its just too………… 1700s!

  • X Y & Z

    Obamacare ‘Bailout’ For One Insurer Will Cost Up To $450 Million In 2014

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottgottlieb/2014/02/06/obamacare-bailout-for-one-insurer-450-million-in-2014/

    • Ray in VT

      You failed to answer my question the other day as to how that situation may have changed, given that enrollments surged for nearly 2 months following that story having been posted.

    • hennorama

      Drone alone, drone-bot.

      • X Y & Z

        I would respond to you, but On Point advises against “feeding the trolls”. As a result, I am precluded from responding to you.

        Goodbye troll.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Pretty astute analysis of Cantor result and “libertarian moment”.

    “Eric Cantor was a noxious, cookie-cutter, U.S. Chamber, GOP hypocrite. We need legislators who don’t just talk limited government but do it.”

    “You know the drill: As a “conservative,” Cantor wanted the government out of people’s lives because FREEDOM-FOUNDING FATHERS-CONSTITUTION. Yet Cantor was anti-gay marriage and anti-abortion (he even wanted to prohibit adults from transporting minors across state lines if they were getting abortions). Because the federal government really should dictate all that, right? He endorsed a constitutional amendment against flag burning because free expression doesn’t mean you can actually express what you mean. He was pro-gun or, more specifically, pro-National Rifle Association. He was pro-drug war. Nothing unique or interesting there.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/11/now-let-s-replace-all-the-other-big-spending-eric-cantors.html

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    The NSA Claims It Is “Too Big to Comply” With A Court Order

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-11/nsa-claims-it-too-big-comply-court-order

    All you status quo apologists still loving our continued Too Big for Rule of Law disintegration of America?

    Housing Market, Student Loan Market, GM, Wall St. Firms, Fannie Freddie, NSA etc………

    Keep the charade going, please!

  • JONBOSTON

    Today’s Boston Globe headline is ” Obama weighs options in Iraq”. Frightening isn’t it that someone so staggeringly incompetent is in any position to make such a decision. When you combine inexperience , incompetence , and a failed ideology , you get what we are facing in America today. A stagnant economy with little or no growth, middle class incomes flat, anemic job growth, a divider and not uniter in the oval office, a healthcare system in turmoil , an IRS that targets conservatives , a dysfunctional VA system, illegal immigrant chaos at our southern border, chaos in the mideast including Libya, Syria and Iraq with Al Qaeda on the rise, Russia and China expansionism, a soon to be nuclear Iran , and the unimaginable release of 5 dream team Taliban leaders while the war in Afghanistan continues , no matter what Obama thinks.
    Question to Tom Ashbrook and Jack Beatty– America needs a leader and a statesman. How much longer can you ignore reality and defend this failed president ?

    • MrNutso

      Yes, it was amazing that we had to rely on Bush when this all started.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Glad to see your faith that 2 wrongs will make a right for us!

    • Coastghost

      Dithering Obama rules nothing out, rules nothing in.

      Meanwhile: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2656506/Americans-evacuated-Iraqi-air-base.html

    • nj_v2

      Ha ha!

      Another flamingly ignorant, partisan screed.

      As if things were going so well under Shrub.

      Middle-class incomes have been flat for thirty years, thanks to successive administrations and congresses implementing voodoo, trickle-down economics starting with the Right’s deified Raygun.

      It doesn’t matter to hacks like JONBOSTON that it’s been widely demonstrated that the IRS targeted groups across the spectrum for investigation

      (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/24/irs-progressive-groups_n_3492679.html /
      IRS Targeted Progressive Groups, Too, Documents Reveal)

      he’ll keep repeating the same right-wing nonsense talking points.

      Oh, and there’s chaos in the MIddle East. Whoa, we’ve never had that before. Clearly Obama’s fault.

      My muffler just rusted out on the truck. Damn that Obama!

      • JONBOSTON

        Great leaders don’t make excuses and blame their predecessors for the problems they’re confronted with. They face the crisis and deal with it. Lincoln didn’t bemoan the fact that previous presidents failed to address the problem of slavery and the inevitable breakup of the Union. FDR didn’t blame Hoover for the Great Depression or Wilson for creating the conditions that led to a Nazi Germany . Reagan didn’t blame Carter for a terrible economy and for allowing a resurgent Soviet Union.
        Churchill said the price of greatness is responsibility. That’s something Obama hasn’t a clue about . And neither do you or your ilk.

        • TFRX

          Reagan didn’t blame Carter for a terrible economy and for allowing a resurgent Soviet Union.

          Submitted without comment.

          • nj_v2

            The right-wing hacks can’t see how blinded they are.

          • JONBOSTON

            and you can’t see how stupid you sound

    • Don_B1

      You are correct in that there is only slow growth, but there is an exception: the growth in the incomes of the super wealthy. So what jobs are these super wealthy “creating”?

      Why aren’t they creating more jobs? The obvious answer, but one that you refuse to acknowledge, is that consumers, who are mainly those 47% who are supposedly “moochers,” don’t have enough money to buy the goods and services that they would have to invest to make, so they don’t hire the new people to work in their factories or stores or workshops, but spend a little of it on electing a member of Congress who will give them a tax break, or change the law to allow them to have more of a monopoly in what they are doing, which allows them to raise their prices to increase their income and reduce everyone else’s disposable income for other things.

      The IRS should have obeyed the LAW and simply denied all requests by politically oriented groups for 501(c)(4) status instead of following its 1959 regulatory rewrite of the law.

      And you oppose all of the Obama administration’s changes of the laws like the PPACA but like this 1959 administrative rewrite of a early 1900s law? There seems to be a word somewhere for that type of thinking, and not exactly a nice word, either.

      The bottom line though is that BOTH conservative AND LIBERAL groups were “targeted” to justify that they met a squishy requirement to spend the majority of their efforts “for the general welfare.” And the ONLY group denied tax-exempt status was LIBERAL

      But just keep pedaling your lies, absolute LIES.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Are current events really happening? Astounding times.

    I’ve got to tell you, I have a progressive heart, although these days a libertarian mind, and actually voted for Obama once when I believed his change Washington rhetoric and thought he was going to “call out” the cronies as he said and transform the US into a more transparent, and yes even a more libertarian in some regards, nation. I fell for the gestalt.

    But when things are going so bad, and were so predictable (sounds like financial crisis under Clinton/Bush), it is really not hard to see that some people actually believe some of the bad things happening are by design.

    • MrNutso

      It is somewhat by design, when you start a war for no reason and fight it with no plan. When one-half the political elite refuses to govern. The consequences are not surprising.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        I know, we have to figure out how to get that other half of the political elite to stop “governing” now….

        • MrNutso

          Yeah, anarchy can only improve things.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Why oh why do you embrace the corrupt elite?

            Capitulating to them, thinking they will ever deliver better, more just, results is insane.

            We the people should exercise as much power as possible with as much governance and responsible behavior based individually, in the family, in the community, in local government, is state government, and then, for the very basic necessities of a Federal Government, from DC. In the order.

            It honestly makes me sad and worried that people have more faith and believe in the top down, rather than bottom up approach.

            Power corrupts. It corrupts Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, ANY of them, if allowed to accumulate and hide without transparency and real Rule of Law.

            That is the whole notion behind limited government.. You really think it is some sick notion of bible thumping gun nuts?

            LIMITED, not anarchy. Basic safety nets. RULE OF LAW that defined ground rules and PUNISHES THE LAW BREAKERS.

            We DO need reformed, transparent, more straightforward laws against the anti-liberty activities of lying, cheating, stealing, colluding, corruption.

            When was the last time you saw prosecution for any of that let alone a firing!?

          • TFRX

            So cute to hear Libertarians let out of their cage when a Dem is in the White House.

          • Don_B1

            It does seem that I would have to be insane to believe you might even consider changing your opinion of what the government needs to do to improve the whole country, not just the rich who have the resources to create their own comfortable surroundings.

  • OnPointComments

    “The U.S. economy may have just experienced one of its worst quarters ever. New analyst estimates of Q1 GDP have now all coalesced around a reading of -2%, meaning the U.S. economy contracted. Since 1947, there’ve been just 10 other quarters that have shrunk by at least that amount, according to FRED data. Besides the Great Recession, the last time was in 1982.”
    http://www.businessinsider.com/q1-was-a-true-disaster-for-the-us-economy-2014-6#ixzz34WhC9Pym

    CNBC: The government reported that the economy contracted at a 1.0 percent annual rate in the January-March period. But with health care spending data now in hand, economists say growth probably declined at a rate of at least 1.7 percent.

    MOODY’S: First quarter U.S. GDP is set to be revised down between the second and third estimates by 0.7 percentage point to -1.7% at an annual rate.

    GOLDMAN SACHS: Goldman Sachs has cut its first quarter GDP estimate to -1.9%.

    • HonestDebate1

      It’s the Bush tax cuts and the cold winter. Obama has nothing to do with it.

      • OnPointComments

        Thank goodness for global warming. No telling how much the economy would have contracted if it had been really, really cold.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Yeah, we have almost no weather disasters in hot weather.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            The IPCC has studied “extremes”.

            “Most climate change may have already happened”

            “The presentation also shows hurricane model simulations of the 2012 season, then with imposed changes to the SST, demonstrating that we are nearing a saturation level beyond which there may not be further significant increases in Cat 4-5 proportions.”

            http://judithcurry.com/2014/06/10/how-extreme-can-it-get/#more-15813

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            My point stands.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            So, droughts, and fires, and floods, that no longer have a “season” and that break all records for intensity, are meaningless? A few more crop failures, and/or water shortages and we’ll be in a right mess.

          • Don_B1

            The wild swings from dry periods to the onset of heavy, flood-causing rainstorms that washout roads, flood buildings and bring normal life to a halt while dealing with excess water are just beginning.

            It is good for her economic future that Judith Curry has a tenured position, because otherwise, even in Georgia, her employment would have a dim future, she is such a spectacle of ignorance.

        • Ray in VT
      • Ray in VT

        So, are you denying that severe weather events can’t or don’t impact economic performance?

        • HonestDebate1

          No, I said nothing of the sort. Are you saying Obama has nothing to do with the double dip recession?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Are you saying the Congress has nothing to do with it?

          • HonestDebate1

            No.

          • Ray in VT

            What double dip recession? None exists at present, unless you have some evidence of a 2nd quarter decline? It seems that economic activity began picking up again in March, unless you evidence to the contrary.

          • MrNutso

            No. Obama definitely used his weather machine to slow down the economy.

      • Salty

        Of course BO doesn’t. The enlightened have know that for years.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    ““The 16-page decision ends the process of laying off teachers based solely on when they were hired. It also strips them of extra job safeguards not enjoyed by other school or state employees. And it eliminates the current tenure process, under which instructors are either fired or win strong job security about 18 months after they start teaching.”

    Oh let the convoluted arguments defending lack of very basic accountability begin.

    …..SOLELY on when hired.

    about 18 MONTHS after hired…..

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      18 months is too short. But seniority and tenure was how we incentivized people to stay in a very difficult job with poor pay.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Yes. Do it responsibly and people won’t be so up in arms.

    • TFRX

      Don’t worry, when those are gotten rid of, there’s just oodles of outstanding teachers sitting somewhere waiting to teach in these districts for that money.

      (h/t Every “education reformer” for 40 years.)

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        You love that notion of keeping the incompetent, corrupt dregs of our teacher population in the most challenging environments, so we can be sure those students REALLY have the least chance possible of succeeding, don’t you.

        Pay good teachers well. Whoa. radical. If people concentrated on that actual goal, instead of protecting unionized insanity, there would be a lot less strife, and a lot more progress.

        But, its so fun to dig in the heels.

        • TFRX

          “Pay good teachers well” is right up there with “voting rights” and “freedom of choice for women’s health” in the Great Libertarian Grab-bag of Mottoes they’ll never have to do anything but pay lipservice to.

          Why is every “reform” start with “destroy unions and people who actually want to do this for a goddamn living” combined with “what’s bad for teachers is good for kids”?

          And the right has been bitching about this since forever. Why haven’t their naturally better, superior teachers just taken everything over, a la Galt’s Gulch? They’ve had a few generations, and from what I hear the teachers only work 180 days a year.

          • hennorama

            TFRX — don’t forget “We need to get rid of all the Waste Fraud and Abuse.”

    • OnPointComments

      The Supreme Court will likely give its decision on Harris v. Quinn this month, a case that will decide whether workers can be forced to pay union dues.

      If the ruling says that workers can choose whether to join a union, I’m sure liberals will rail against the ruling and tell us that workers are too stupid to make their own decision to forego union membership, just as they told us that American citizens were too stupid to choose their own health plans.

      • MrNutso

        So Americans can’t choose their own health plans?

        • OnPointComments

          When “If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan” was exposed as a lie, the Democratic mantra changed to saying that the plans consumers chose were “junk” and “substandard,” and that the more expensive plans with coverage that some consumers didn’t need and would never use were “better” insurance.

          • MrNutso

            You may not like it, but americans can choose their own health plans. It sounds like you what object to is not being able to gamble and hope you don’t suffer a serious illness so you don’t have to buy real insurance and being forced to participate in civil society so that all will benefit.

          • OnPointComments

            Can post-menopausal women choose a plan that doesn’t offer maternity and newborn care? Can childless individuals opt out of pediatric care? Can I choose not to have mental health coverage or substance abuse coverage?

          • TFRX

            You really don’t know much about health insurance, do you?

      • Salty

        …but don’t you get it? The SPM* elite are so much better placed decisions for the squalid masses.

        *SPM = social / political / media

  • keruffle

    There was a leader named Cantor
    Who rose above typical banter
    Made a deal with the left
    Then when he slept
    Lost to a right wing ranter
    @keruffle

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      He should have been a warrior instead of a smarmy D.C. deal maker. Hoober Doober

  • X Y & Z
    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Oooo, if the Daily Mail says something, you *know* it is true!

      • X Y & Z

        You don’t have any problem believing everything Obama says.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          How do you know what I believe?

          I have lots of criticisms of President Obama.

          • X Y & Z

            Sure.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Drones, NSA, Guantanamo, single payer, bankers in jail – these are the highlights.

          • X Y & Z

            ‘Single payer’? I give Obama credit for ignoring you on that one.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            So – you agree with President Obama on something? Shock and horror.

            Yeah, you know single payer is such a horrible solution – it costs half as much and everyone is covered! Sounds awful!

    • hennorama

      **ROBODRONE ALERT**.

      • X Y & Z

        Very childish, even by your juvenile standards.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Ignorance is our most important product.
    –The White House

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Don’t you mean The Tea Party?

      • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

        Is there a difference re: Washington, D.C.? HD

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          shhhhh. ignorance is bliss.

      • Salty

        You’re right… freedom, liberty, limited government, giving the people the power and the responsibility is definitely the problem.

        What we need is more government, hope and change that has worked so well so far.

        When will the squalid masses see that we, the SPM elite, know so much better than they do?

        (SPM = social / political / media)

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          When you deny reality, anything is possible.

          • Salty

            Yep – you are exactly right. We can not define reality. reality just is, whether we like it or not. the last 6 years are a testament to that.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Science is our best understanding of reality.

          • Salty

            This is just getting weird…

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Ignorance is how the Tea Party does things.

          • Salty

            Details? Examples? Not toeing the line of the PSM elite is often construed by some as “ignorance”, I will give you that.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    What’s the line on Iraq, anyway? I’ll take the insurgents and 5 points. Each point = $150B societal cost of the situation there thanks to the Bush+Obama doctrines.

    One is always in a hurry to get in; the other in a hurry to get out.

  • hennorama

    The horrendous prosecution of Iraq War II should be a lesson to all Commanders-In-Chief.

    We certainly have no place there if we want peace and unity more than the Iraqis do. They can’t even get a quorum to vote on whether to take action.

    • brettearle

      Pelosi’s comment pretty much says it all about the prior White House policy–if it weren’t for the fact that if nothing is done, now, the country could fall to Al Qaeda in weeks’ time, not months’….

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Iraq = the potential collapse of a failed state to begin with.
    Allah and Bush be praised.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Wow, how come nobody ever said if you don’t face things early, you will face worse things later?

    • J__o__h__n

      How come nobody ever said, if you don’t invade a country that wasn’t a threat to us, you don’t have to deal with the mess that results? Actually we did say that.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        That is correct John. And then after Bush f’d up and took us there, people said what I said.

        Reality doesn’t stop because your “side” (we were on the same side then) was right.

  • liminalx

    The imminent fall of Baghdad… Obama just can’t catch a break. I imagine he’s looking forward to 12:noon 20.Jan.2017

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      When he joins the Pro-Am golf tour. He’s certainly had enough practice as El Presidente. HD

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Bush War was wrong, but that is a childish response now. The current administration has to deal with facts on the ground, and always should have.

    • MrNutso

      It is not a childish response. It’s wholly relevant to discussions now. Returning troops on the ground is in effect a do over and 10 more years, 4,000+ more american deaths and another $1 trillion down the toilet.

    • TFRX

      Childish?

      You really need to get into the wayback machine to remember what anti-war liberals and even moderates got thrown at them a decade ago.

      At some point I don’t care about what a libertarian thinks when they’re invisible during Republican jingoism ascendancy, and only come out to play when a Democrat has to sweep up the elephantscheiss.

      No wonder Libertarians are taken so seriously.

      Oh, wait…

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        I marched against the war, pud.

        You really believe that because Bush f’d up, the next administration does not have to pick up and deal with facts on the ground?

        • MrNutso

          What were the facts?

        • TFRX

          No, that’s not what I believe.

          What I believe is that Libertarians’ “both parties suck”, the beloved battle cry, never brings its ire to Republicans alone. Funny that.

          When the GOP and the right are funnelling us to hell, Dems have shown themselves time and time again the “responsible person” who have to clean up and apologize for their drunk-ass “friend”, the elephant party on a speedball high.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Yes, you are committed to that oversimplified, incorrect assesment.

            We been funneled for a long time, under both parties. And its the Wall St/Banking/Politician revolving door situation at play over multiple administrations that has been at play.

            There is no rule of law for the elite.

            Maybe its quixotic to think there ever could be, but what else is worth moving toward?

            Socialism/Communism will not succeed as a long term alternative. Crony Capitalism will not succeed.

            Liberty coupled with Rule of Law that is transparent and equally applied is the best chance we have.

          • TFRX

            Another Libertarian who doesn’t know shat about Socialism or Commuinism.

            Where is the Libertarian whose playbook of “Working with Democrats” doesn’t start with “Let’s destroy Social Security and Meidcare” or “Let’s let goober politicians in red states force women into back alley abortions” or “Black people can’t vote in GOP-led states? OhWellStatesRights”?

            Another Libertarian who loves the “rule of law” fantasy which applies particularly to everything his straight, white male ass has conferred to him since his birth.

            Come back when you have a better schtick.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      It is childish to think that Bush can escape responsibility – for possibly the WORST foreign policy MISTAKE in the history of the US.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Its childish to say “he did it” (which is true) and then run away.

        • MrNutso

          So we should just stay forever?

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Look – military force cannot solve the problem in Iraq (or anywhere else!). It was the political inclusion of all people that has a chance to solve things – not instantly, but eventually.

          We stuck out stick in Iraq, and stirred things up; after we supported Saddam Hussein.

          How did that work out?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The embassy the US built in Baghdad could safely house all the residents of the city. “Quick everyone. Into that big monstrosity you can see from space!”

    Women and children to the battlements.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    But we couldn’t get the security agreement!……. Ok, we went to war and invaded cities, but we couldn’t make a security agreement happen if we thought it was truly important? We chose not to.

    If we could dump Sadaam we could have dumped Malaki if we thought it was really important.

    What do we think is important? Even if you were against the war, what NOW? Imagine the horror for the vast majority of Iraqis.

    Bush let this genie out for sure. But what NOW, and what choices have we made over the last 6 years? Practical? Political? Humanitarian?

    • MrNutso

      Other than just annexing Iraq as a new American territory. What would you do? Keep shooting every Iraqi politician until one of them signed the security agreement.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Will you sit smugly by if these nuts start slaughtering Iraqis like Pol Pot 2.0, because it was Bush’s fault? (which it was?) Those questions have been valid since the day Obama took office.

        Bush’s messes don’t disappear because we didn’t support them.

  • Satwa

    Iraq needs a tuff leader, maybe someone harsh, but able to keep the place under some control, protect the children, and give women education, keep Al Quaida out of the country, etc. …. oh wait we already ousted and executed the guy.

    from Tom
    .

    • hennorama

      Satwa — Pres. Bush I’s likely rationale for not toppling the Iraq central government in Iraq War I was “better the devil you know,” leaving the certainly horrible Saddam Hussein in place, rather than removing him and allowing the unknown, but likely worse alternative come to pass.

      “They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind.”

      • MrNutso

        And he knew that he would open up the hornets nest that occurred 12 years later.

        • hennorama

          MrNutso — TYFYR.

          My point exactly.

          BTW, do hornets swarm in circles, à la a whirlwind?

        • HonestDebate1

          The hornets regrouped, they were enabled by Obama. They were all but exterminated in Iraq 5 years ago.

          • northeaster17

            So another never ending war that never should have started. And they were not exterminated. They were temporarily bought off.

          • HonestDebate1

            No, we beat them the old fashion way then Obama surrendered.

          • Ray in VT

            Perhaps you missed it when we were handing out wads of cash to Sunnis to bring them into the fold. It seems like paying off people who had been fighting our people wasn’t so bad when W. was in office.

          • jefe68

            Are you delusional? Wait, this is all history according to Fox news. It all makes sense now.

          • Ray in VT

            That’s perhaps the most delusional thing that I have seen you post today, and that is really saying something.

      • HonestDebate1

        Oh please, Iraq had a chance under Bush, it was Obama who handed them over to the terrorists.

        • jefe68

          Sorry, but Bush made some huge mistakes. One of them was disbanding the Iraqi army. That was a huge mistake. The level of incompetence on the ground after Hussein fell is well documented.
          You can try to turn this into a partisan meme if you want too. But the blame is on the US government, and that’s both parties and both presidents.

          Read some history, particularly about how Iraq was formed.

          • northeaster17

            Dont forget Paul Bremer

          • jefe68

            What a hack.

          • HonestDebate1

            I didn’t say there were bio mistakes made and have criticized Breamer relentlessly. Still, we turned around and handed Obama a cupcake,

          • jefe68

            No, it was a mess. A real mess.
            That calm you keep alluding to was akin to a calm one witnesses before a tsunami.

          • hennorama

            jefe68 — the entity to which you replied led you a bit off track. My post was about Pres. Bush The First, not President Bush The Fils.

            Your comment is otherwise well-taken.

  • Coastghost

    Barack Obama: Ad Hoc President or AWOL President?

    • toc1234

      he’s a community organizer who spent a decade in a faculty lounge. and his foreign policy (if you call it that) is formulated by people like axelrod, plouffe, pheiffer… so its no surprise that Obama is way over his head on foreign issues…

  • J__o__h__n

    Biden was right. We should have partitioned Iraq. The colonial powers that drew up the map didn’t design the states to succeed.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      I guess the Brits were wise to leave when they got outgunned – back when the place was called Mesopotamia. HD

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Summary.
    * Sunni know how to operate tanks & command forces.
    * Shia know how to count to 10 on their fingers squatting in the dirt. To 20 if they take off their sandals.

    How will this end, I wonder.

  • toc1234

    W should’ve just went into Iraq, slapped Saddam around for a couple wks, dusted him off and told him not to bluff again. its obvious Iraq requires a madman to run that place.

  • Michiganjf

    TOM!!!!!

    You asked, “Is all we fought for in Iraq going up in smoke???!!”

    “All we fought for????!!!!”

    Tell us Tom!…. exactly what is “all this that we fought for in Iraq??!!”

    Does anyone have an answer as to WHAT it is we fought for in Iraq??!”

    • MrNutso

      Was going to say.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      After all the wrong reasons and lies from Bush for being there, ONCE IT HAPPENED, I would hope what we fought for was a stability of interests, i.e., no terror base, along with a humanitarian concern for regular Iraqis.

      • Michiganjf

        You mean like issues over half of the rest of the world, which we HAVEN”T bothered to invade?

      • nj_v2

        If you think about that for a while, i’m hopeful that you’ll realize how ridiculous that is. If not, you’re less astute than i’ve taken you to be.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Good to know that based on your self righteousness about Bush’s folly, which many of us agree with, we can now ignore what may be about to happen to Iraqi people at the hands of some astounding bastards.

          You’d be ok with watching the next Pol Pot, because a political enemy was “wrong” a few years back. Sick.

          • nj_v2

            Part of the justification for the original fiasco was that Hussein was supposed to have been as bad as Hitler.

            Now you’re going to imagine a yet-to-emerge dictator as a rationale to do yet again what has never worked before; occupying and attempting to “build” a new country.

            So much for your “small government” advocations.

    • James

      Our soldiers fought and died because some intellectual jack offs who thought they could remake a country on the other side of the planet in their imagine through the use of violence. That is what we fought for.

    • hennorama

      Michiganjf — Because: Freedom!

      Or something.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Is this Iraq chaos the result of something offensive on You Tube?

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      It is the result of oil greed.

  • James

    Could you imagine being one of those poor soul who went to Iraq and now have the deal with PTSD for the rest of there lives, and in addition get to watch as everything they suffered for crumbles on the nightly news.
    The echo’s of Vietnam are striking. Maybe we’ll learn out lesson this time

    • MrNutso

      We never learn any lessons.

  • MrNutso

    Yes John. National security interests = OIL!

  • TFRX

    John McCain sound bites?

    Hasn’t he got a worse track record on Iraq than anyone this side of Deadeye Dckless or Rumstud?

    • hennorama

      TFRX — just for clarification, are you referring to Gov. Jindal as “Deadeye D[u]ckless,” based on his appearance on the show with, as Bill O’Reilly might say, “all those guys who look like Muslims”?

      And is “Rumstud” AKA Captain Morgan?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Look for the exciting new series on HBO: Iraq: Oasis of Broken Dreams.

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    “Mr President, was it a mistake to pull the troops out of Iraq?”

    “We don’t make mistakes. No more questions unless you want to be audited”

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    If we should have left troops in Iraq, we would have left troops in Germany and Japan.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    You can buy Iraqi chaos* funds on Wall Street. Like Libor except with corruption, no government regulation, and looted funds.

    * Jon Corzine, Managing Director.

  • Ray in VT

    “I never said I would author legislation to put homosexuals to death, but I didn’t have a problem with it.” – Oklahoma State House Candidate Scott Esk.

  • Coastghost

    Id est: the Obama Administration cannot afford to CONTINUE to sit back and watch Iraq implode . . . .

    • jefe68

      Lets for a moment imagine that we still had enough troops there to engage isis islamic front. What if that was not enough? What about all the variables in a nation that has divided into Shiite and Sunni factions? Are we to keep troops in a nation that is really what appears to be a civil war?

      Do really think the US can occupy Iraq?

      Public opinion was very negative about keeping troops in Iraq. Any president, either Republican or Democrat would be hard pressed not to pull out. Time frames were set and they had to be met.

      We were there for a decade and there is not much to show for it. It’s a mess, that’s for sure. much of the Middle East is at this point. We really do not have any real solutions nor control over this. And I would add if Romney was president now, he would be in the same situation as Obama. The reality is we really do not know what’s going to happen other than an increase in instability.

      • Coastghost

        I don’t know if we can say reliably what a President Romney would face at this point of a first term: I’m not arguing for any simple extrapolation from the past, but it is the case that President Reagan faced the same regime in Tehran that President Carter faced, yet the US Embassy hostages were not released until Reagan’s inauguration.
        I mention Iran in this context because reports already are surfacing that Iran is positioning regime elements (Revolutionary Guards units?) for possible engagement with ISIS combatants. If Obama & Co. fail to act decisively in a timely manner, are we quite certain we want to cede Iraq to more direct Iranian influence, especially while our negotiations over their domestic nuclear program continue? (The latest on THAT front is that the 20 July “deadline” will come and go and an automatic six-month extension will be implemented. That might not be such a good thing, either.)

        • jefe68

          You forgot, Reagan made a secret arms deal to get the hostages released. Then there was the Lebanon Marine barracks bombing. It’s not as if Reagan’s tenure was not without problems in the Middle East. Lebanon was a war zone. One can’t forget that awful period and that the US had little influence on the factions in Lebanon.

          I’m seeing Iran’s involvement, as troubling as that is, more in tune with Shiite Sunni rift.

          • Coastghost

            Sometimes, deferring to a flawed realism remains the only tenable alternative to the manifest failures of an effete idealism.
            Obama, continuing to give evidence that he remains the policy captive of his Nobel Peace laureateship, continues to threaten to out-Carter Carter.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Which is faster, the march to Bagdad or the illegal flow of children into Texas?

    although, what difference, at this point, does it make?

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      More like abandoned children in Texas. Non loco parentis. HD

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    Finally, we have a judge who says that teacher tenure is racist. Poor schools come from crappy tenured teachers dumped on poor schools.

  • Michiganjf

    TOM AGAIN!!!!!!!

    The “vacuum” wasn’t created when we pulled OUT of Iraq!!!!

    The “vacuum” was created when we went INTO Iraq!!!!

  • Bill O’Brien

    Unless you can say exactly what Obama should be doing or should have done and WHY….you’re just trolling.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Forced Maliki to have a more inclusive government. Yes, force. If you can spend trillions, lives, and invade a country, you can enforce a status of forces and governance expectations agreement. Its a choice.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        How does does one force someone else to do something?

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Hmmm. I think we invaded and occupied their country, for better or worse. Are you kidding?

          Did they invite us to do that?

          Once there, don’t do the right thing for regular Iraqis because you are suddenly against force?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Again, you are putting words in my mouth.

            We supported Saddam Hussein – before we were against him.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Everything I touch turns to crap.
    –George W. Bush

    Isn’t that the reverse Midas touch? Obama’s left handed, too.

    • rvl1

      Aw c’mon. Give the guy a break. Bush was just a patsy. Cheney and Rumsfeld were behind this war crime. Bush went along for the ride and did what he was told.

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    Dump your kids in Texas and they will get a bus ticket to a state that doesn’t have a Democrat Senator up for reelection.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Did Iraqis want us to invade in the first place? But we can’t negotiate a status of forces agreement?

    This is nonsense. These were choices we made.

    • Ray in VT

      So we should have forced the government of Iraq to accept our terms?

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        You tell me. You like this better?

        Bush was wrong. Bad things resulted. We have to pick up and more on and make choices.

        Blaming and then ignoring is not an option, you think this is a game?

        • Ray in VT

          Obviously I think that this is a game, based upon my comments.

          I don’t like the current situation, however it is beyond problematic to have worked to get a government elected in a country, worked to make it functional and representative, and then just push it aside when it doesn’t do something that we want it to.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            You honestly believe all that “work” was totally transparent and democratic? Of course we had to “force” things to happen to set up the chance for self governance to take root. Refusing to do it again when you see or are told by many all could be lost does not seem wise.

          • Ray in VT

            So, if the people elected don’t give us what we want, then we just push them out of the way and get some people in who will give us what we want? I’m sure that such moves aren’t at all likely to turn a populace against us.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Once you are in this shatty situation, yes. If you can invade in the first place, and you really do have honest governance intentions for the people, yes. Otherwise you get what we have.

          • Ray in VT

            Good luck with that.

        • northeaster17

          Imagine if we had a status of forces agreement. More body bags for us and a few more billion down the sink hole. Can’t imagine what the criticisms from the right would be then.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I’m in command here in the White House.
    –Mortimer Snerd, President

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Quick: dust off a Status of Chaos agreement and carrier pigeon it over to Al Maliki.

  • Charles

    I’m going to go ahead and open myself up to criticism from the right here, but I’ve got to get it off my chest.

    THIS WAS A STUPID WAR IN THE FIRST PLACE!
    WE SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN THERE!!
    THIS IS ALL BUSH’S FAULT!!!

    There.

    • MrNutso

      They didn’t listen in 2002/2003 and they won’t listen now.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Ah, the sorrows of plutocracy & class. Read Tuchman’s, The March of Folly. HD

    • OnPointComments

      As the WSJ editorial stated: “Now if you want to vent about ‘George Bush’s war,’ be my guest. But George Bush isn’t president anymore. Barack Obama is because he wanted the job and the responsibilities that come with the American presidency. Up to now, burying those responsibilities in the sand has never been in the job description.”

      • MrNutso

        And why is it wrong if we decide to do nothing?

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Thats what we should talk about. It will be hell hell hell on regular Iraqis with these monsters.

          Pol Pot?

          Not easy.

      • Charles

        Yep, I get it. I’m not a huge fan of the current President either.
        It’s a huge mess, but man, people should have listened to the doves instead of the war-drums.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Yes indeed, but now is now, and Obama made choices too that can be judged on results.

          These questions and challenges will never end.

          • Charles

            It certainly is. But you would have thought we learned lessons from Vietnam. How many times do we have to make the same mistakes?

          • Ray in VT

            Too many.

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            Yep, fight like hell to prevent the next war of adventurism or imperialism.

            The current mess is real, and a mess, and cannot be ignored, and criticism of how we got from what Bush wrongly started, to here, are also valid.

      • TFRX

        WSJ editorial. Always the wrong choice.

        • notafeminista

          You are always welcome and encouraged to post a list of correct and acceptable choices for those you consider less enlightened. Thrill us with your acumen.

          • TFRX

            I wouldn’t follow your hackery out of a burning building.

            And plenty of your enjoyed crap gets on NPR. Enjoy NPR’s ill-advised esteem of what you call news and informed opinion.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Yay! Feel good? Now run and hope it all goes away.

    • http://www.google.com Big Brother

      Still blaming Bush after all of these years.

      Soon the Holocaust will be Bush’s fault.

      • Ray in VT

        When a house is on fire I think that it is always appropriate to lambast the guy who started it.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Meanwhile others will put it out while you gawk.

          • Ray in VT

            Who’s gawking? I suppose that you’ve come up with a solution. Perhaps the free market will solve this.

          • MrNutso

            We relied on private armies and contractors before, why not now.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, maybe Xi can fix it.

          • TFRX

            The rebranding is so successful that it took me awhile to remember that Blackwater is now Xi.

        • hennorama

          Ray in VT — but, but, but … Osamaddam started it!

      • X Y & Z

        Don’t give the Democrats any ideas.

      • northeaster17

        To bad we can’t ask his Grandfather a few questions about that.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          The Bush’s and the Walker’s were profiting from arms sales to Germany in the 20′s and 30′s.

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    The sycophant Jack “The Hack” Beatty will rationalize the infallibility of Barack “The Napper” Obama.

    • Bill O’Brien

      Again: Unless you can say exactly what Obama should be doing or should have done and WHY….you’re just trolling.

      • OnPointComments

        Barack Obama is the president, not the commenters on this program.

        • Bill O’Brien

          What a weird response: “Pres. Obama is at fault, but we can’t tell you how; we can however make up silly names for him, so we must be right.” Deep.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Hard to imagine that Beatty wrote for TNR in the early ’80s. HD

  • X Y & Z
    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Wait till HRH Clinton takes charge. You’ll pine for the good ‘ol days of the Golfer in Chief. HD

    • adks12020

      You posted the exact same opinion piece earlier in the week. The author, a writer for a far right conservative rag, isn’t any more credible today than he was the last time you posted it. Try reading a little more.

      • X Y & Z

        I posted it earlier in the week because as the well written article states: “Obama’s national security flops just keep coming”

      • hennorama

        adks12020 — that’s just how the dronebot rolls: gather some BS, then Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.

        It is immune to logic, reason, and embarrassment, and is unable to respond to challenges.

        I’ve dubbed its practices Cowardly Lyin’.

    • Guest

      You suck.

      • X Y & Z

        I would respond to you, but On Point advises against “feeding the trolls”. Thus, I am precluded from responding to you.

        Goodbye troll.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Is there any limit to what you hold him responsible for?

  • TFRX

    Brat’s a Christianist? Whocoodanode?

    PS Did anyone check his Facebook page to see what he really thought, before it got scrubbed days ago?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Repeal Article I and the whole mess goes away. Government can only get better when it can’t get worse.

  • MrNutso

    The difference between Brat and Warren is that Brat would just let the free market rule and buyer beware of the consequences. Warren would work to prevent the excess of the free market.

    • http://www.google.com Big Brother

      Warren would hire a gaggle of bureaucrats who collect their paychecks and do nothing.

      Brat would allow the market decide the value of things

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    All those hundreds of billions of dollars wasted on the NSA/CIA.*
    And nothing they can do about Iraq. How precious.

    * EVERY YEAR.

  • TFRX

    Audra McDonald. Is there anything she can’t do?

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Sing Brunhilde in The Ring. HD

  • MrNutso

    Oh yeah, I almost forgot about this weeks mass shootings.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Tea Party: Jonah swallows the Whale. Is that in the bible?

  • Coastghost

    The California teacher ruling occurs where on the Richter Scale?

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      It might be reversed on appeal. HD

      • northeaster17

        I think it will. Especially if it gets to the evil freedom hating 9th circuit out there on the left coast.

    • MrNutso

      A 1. Any clear thinking person would agree that the current system was not good. But that doesn’t mean the pendulum should swing 180 degrees.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Sure it does, for a certain amount of time.

  • Ed75

    Eric Cantor was Republican but he consistently voted liberal, he stopped bills, etc., and that’s why he was not re-elected, it wasn’t the Tea Party.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Maybe Cantor wasn’t rejected because of his politics or his canoodling with big donors and lobbyists.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    “How much further right”…..

    Great hyperbole

    Tom, please probe the populist angle more, that is where the truth lies, not in a desire for some evil right wing monsters.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Try to get HRH Hillary’s entourage into one TV studio. They’ll be lined up outside the door heading to the Starbucks around the corner.

  • nj_v2

    Right-wing jacka**ery of the week:

    http://www.salon.com/2014/06/09/george_will_being_a_victim_of_sexual_assault_is_a_coveted_status_that_confers_privileges/?source=newsletter

    George Will: Being a victim of sexual assault is a “coveted status that confers privileges”
    The Washington Post columnist thinks women are lying about sexual assault in order to get “privileges”

    http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2014/06/03/electoral-extremism-a-look-at-five-more-far-right-candidates/

    Electoral Extremism: A Look at Five More Far-Right Candidates

    Jody Hice, running for U.S. Congress in Georgia’s 10th district as a Republican, clinched a spot in a July runoff in the race to replace former Rep. Paul Broun, a fellow Republican who said in 2012 that evolution, the Big Bang, and embryology are “lies from the pit of hell” and claimed that President Obama was developing a secret police force to install a dictatorship. Broun run for the U.S. Senate but lost in the primary. Hice, a pastor and talk radio host, may very well be to the right of Broun.…

    …Brown promises that as governor, he will put an end to all abortion and that he “would delight in zealously advocating the God given Tenth Amendment Guarantee of states rights on behalf of all Idahoans and be overjoyed to mix it up anytime, anywhere with the feds whenever their minions of unconstitutional villainy dare to mess with the sovereign State of Idaho.”

    …VanDerBeek is a conspiracy theorist who posted a video in 2013 in which he listed 25 alleged crimes for which President Obama should be impeached. His mission, he says in the video, is to “emasculate” Obama’s presidency. VanDerBeek believes that terrorist attacks against the U.S. were actually carried out by government agentsin order to strip Americans of their rights. He is a 9/11 truther, a birther and a Sandy Hook truther who thinks Obama ordered the massacre to implement psychological evaluations for gun owners.

    (excerpts)

    http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/6-right-wing-lunacies-week-im-not-scientist-im-going-wage-war-science-anyway?akid=11893.1084699.CoktrX&rd=1&src=newsletter1000509&t=3

    6 Right-Wing Lunacies This Week: I’m Not A Scientist But I’m Going to Wage War On Science Anyway
    “Carbon dioxide is good for plants, why do we have to limit it?”

    “Thanks to the Obama administration’s EPA and the new regulations released today, America is poised to become the ‘no pee’ section of the global swimming pool,” said Marita Noon, executive director of some bogus right-wing group called Citizens Alliance for Responsible Energy. “Just because we declare that we won’t pee in the pool, won’t stop the others.… We’ll be stuck in our little no-pee section with a crippled economy while the rest of the world will be frolicking in unfettered growth.”

    … But the commentary on the release of Bergdahl from his Taliban captors reached its nadir when the right-wing commentariat decided to make the soldier’s father’s beard an issue. Brian Kilmeade told Fox & Friends that the beard, which Bergdahl’s father had been growing as a symbol of his son’s captivity, made the soldier’s father look like he was in the Taliban.“I mean, he says he was growing his beard because his son was in captivity,” Kilmeade blathered. “Well, your son’s out now. So if you really don’t — no longer look like a member of the Taliban, you don’t have to look like a member of the Taliban. Are you out of razors?”

    (excerpts)

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    This is not rocket science:

    “Cantor was what passes for a small-government conservative. Which is to say that Cantor was in favor of shrinking the size and scope of government…except for the endless list of exceptions that allowed him to help grow federal spending by more than 50 percent in real terms, and regulatory spending by even more, during the Bush years.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/11/now-let-s-replace-all-the-other-big-spending-eric-cantors.html

  • M S

    Cantor and immigration reform; two birds with one stone.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Yeah, let’s do nothing on immigration – that’ll work great!

      • M S

        Just tell Obama to keep deporting.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          I agree – we should stop deporting people. We need to allow them in legally, and bring them above board, so they can’t be abused, and they contribute to our economy.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Titanic Reform; trying to stuff more passengers on a ship about to sink.

  • X Y & Z

    1 in 6 American Men Between Ages 25-54 Are Not Working

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/1-8-american-men-between-ages-25-54-are-not-working_793938.html

    Obamanomics: working hard to put Americans out of work

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      It’s hard to see America from the back 9 at Andrews AFB. HD

    • creaker

      If we could only go back to where we were before Obama took office. Sigh.

      • creaker

        I think it’s called selective amnesia.

      • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

        Bush wasn’t any better.

        • creaker

          Actually I was trying to say we survived a train wreck – Bush handed Obama the controls after we ran off the cliff. People like to pretend everything that is or ever was wrong never happened until Obama became President.

    • Ray in VT

      I would like to see what the BLS has to say about that, considering that these are Senate GOP calculations, and Sessions was blatantly dishonest regarding the supposed long term costs of the ACA.

      • X Y & Z

        Dude, I’m just giving credit where credit is due.

        • Ray in VT

          Are you crediting “Obamanomics” also with the increases in employment and people in the labor force this year?

          • creaker

            Or the 10k point rally in the Dow since it came off its lows in 2009?

          • northeaster17

            I remember when the market hit 14,000 under Bush. Rush was estatic. Not sure what he had to say when it hit 16,000. But I have an idea. NOTHING

      • hennorama

        Ray in VT — it would seem that the problem [if there is one,] is with native born Americans, and native born American males in particular. Looks like the data supports more immigration, especially of foreign-born males:

        By age, the proportion of the foreign-born labor force made up of 25- to 54-year-olds (74.6 percent) was higher than
        for the native-born labor force (63.0 percent).

        . . . . (Mind the gap.)

        By gender, the participation rate of foreign-born men was 78.8 percent in 2013, higher than the rate of 68.0 percent for native-born men. In contrast, 54.6 percent of foreign-born women were labor force participants, compared with 57.7 percent of
        native-born women.

        Among the major race and ethnicity groups, the 2013 labor force participation rates for
        foreign-born whites (60.0 percent), blacks (71.8 percent), Asians (65.1 percent), and
        Hispanics (68.6 percent) were little different from the prior year. In comparison, the
        participation rate for native-born whites (63.1 percent) declined in 2013
        , while the
        rates for blacks (59.5 percent), Asians (62.4 percent), and Hispanics (63.7 percent)
        showed little change.

        See:
        http://www.bls.gov/news.release/forbrn.nr0.htm

    • hennorama

      Dronebot Strikes Again.

      • X Y & Z

        As On Point warns against “Feeding the Trolls”, I am precluded from replying to you.

        Goodbye Troll.

        • hennorama

          X Y & Z — thank you for once again demonstrating your complete lack of logic and reason.

          Well done, Cowardly Lyin’.

          • X Y & Z

            As On Point advises against “Feeding the Trolls”, I shall take the sound advice of the On Point Producers.

            Adios Troll.

          • hennorama

            X Y & Z — doubling down on your illogic?

            Oh right …. it’s Blather, Diss, Repeat.

            Makes sense now.

          • TFRX

            How can we miss you until you fuccing leave?

      • jefe68

        It’s more like a yawnbot…

        • hennorama

          jefe68 — TYFYR.

          Don’t be surprised if I steal that, then use it (with attribution, of course).

          • jefe68

            No problem, I don’t own it.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    When the government always grows, NEVER shrinks, may slow, but never shrink, NOTHING is moving rightward. What dishonest hyperbole.

  • TFRX

    Jack, have you really been paying attention to Joe Scarborough?

    Joltless Joe is now sneering at Eric Cantor for Cantor’s “entourage” and “trappings of power”?

    All that tells me about Joe Scarborough is that Joe Scarborough is no longer your friend when all of Joe Scarborough’s friends think you’re a loser.

    I think a few months will pass and Cantor’s rep will under go the GOP “false rehab”, and he’ll be an emeritus expert, like John “Conservative in 2008 until he lost, then he was too moderate” McCain.

    Watch this space.

    • MrNutso

      This will continue to be a problem for Republicans. Being in a leadership position brings with it trappings of power. It inevitably means spending less time in the district and having to make hard choices. Lets see what happens when a Tea Bagger finally gets in the leadership.

      • northeaster17

        Yeah Ted Cruz as Majority Leader.

      • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

        Ron and Rand have been in Congress for many years. They haven’t compromised.

        • TFRX

          Rand Paul said “let’s trade 5 Republicans for Bergdahl”? I missed that part. Because Libertarians think there’s no diff between the Dems and the GOP, right?

          I mean, if “not compromising” means “a Libertarian doesn’t feel the need to knobslobber Republicans”, I guess Rand missed that part.

          • Guest

            I’m not sure why, but what you wrote does strike me as funny.

      • jefe68

        GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy will win this position.

  • MrNutso

    But I want the constitution to be followed as well?

  • OnPointComments

    It’s the substance of the Executive Orders that matters, not the quantity.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Remind me who was pushing hard for more executive power?

      • MrNutso

        Where were Republicans when Bush was pushing Unitary Executive Theory?

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          … which was pushed by the same guy who was pushing “Curve Ball” and who wrote the Halliburton Loophole.

          • MrNutso

            I should have said “Where were the Republicans when the Bush’s strings were being pulled…”

          • TFRX

            But Nutso, there are No Republicans Here. They’re all Independent Conservatives who have a handle on every GOP talking point out there. It’s a mathematical impossibility, but there it is.

    • MrNutso

      Why? If a President can issue Executive Orders then it should not matter. We may not like them, but that’s why we have elections.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Cantor loses. Citizens United wins!

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Charlie “Who Should Be In Jail” Rangel will win again.
    It’s the Will of His People.

  • James

    “loads of executive orders Bush had many”
    Look Tom, we’re not stupid, your subtle jabs at Bush aren’t fooling anyone, and I’m not sure that that caller would disagree with you.

    • northeaster17

      We could start talking about signing statements. Then we would really be on to something

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Having a Ron Paul, Nick Gillespie type of viewpoint on your show would have actually brought some valuable perspective and insight to the issues of the week.

    The inside baseball status quo talking heads just spin our wheels per usual.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    HRH Hillary. The 1st Queen of America.* Hip Hip..

    * Drama

    • TFRX

      Whatjado, take the entire 80s off? Hillary comes off as Molly Pitcher and Florence NIghtengale combined, compared to Queen Nancy.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Pass the tissues please, Clinton personal story. Can’t pay for houses (pl.)

    Unreal. The populist rumblings in the country should never let her in office.

    • OnPointComments

      Current estimates of the Clinton’s net worth is in excess of $100 million dollars.

      • OnPointComments

        For all the liberal commenters on here who have told us time and again that the supply of money is finite, and paying huge sums of money to one person takes money away from the downtrodden, who did the Clintons impoverish by greedily hoarding such vast sums of money?

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Is Hillary the only rich person you can blame for all our problems?

          • OnPointComments

            I was testing whether there was a liberal double standard that only criticizes certain CEOs and business owners for being wealthy. I was right.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Huh? No one is blaming rich people just for being rich. Only when they try to buy our democracy by “speaking” with their money/property.

    • MrNutso

      A poor attempt to try to connect with the working class. No Presidential Candidate will be a non-multi-millionaire or have similar resources so it was not worth the effort.

    • Bill O’Brien

      you’re not saying that rich people should never get elected, right? so you really have no substantive point. rather than writing a million trivial sparrow fart comments, why not make an argument against her?…I know, she wears pantsuit (insert inane link)

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Ok, she’s a slimy politician who only cares about getting elected and is bought and paid for by the Finance sector. Oh, and she accomplished nothing aside from getting bought and paid for.

  • Karen Virtue

    I think the Cantor upset has much more in common with Joe Lieberman’s loss a couple years ago and may not necessarily be a red flag for ultra conservatism. Both Lieberman and Cantor were too focused on their Washington cronies and the power they wanted to maintain. They lost sight of the people who sent them to Washington.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    What do you mean Jack? The reset was great, she had a BUTTON!

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    We never considered installing an elevator for our limousine. We were dead broke, you see.
    –HRH Hillary

    • TFRX

      So, first you can’t rememeber Shrub playing golf.

      Now you’re playing this when Mitt Romney had a car elevator.

      You really got a strange sense of “satire” or whatever you want to call it.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Tom, if you are going to have Huff Post folks, please balance with Reason folks in the future. Will be much more interesting and honestly stimulating exploration of ideas.

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    Nothing about the VA today. Obama knew about the fake waiting lists, but the press finally wrote about it.

    • OnPointComments

      There was a House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing yesterday. Here’s a tiny part of the testimony:

      “This bill as currently written, is designed to protect union jobs, not ailing vets. In fact, the VA is run largely by unions and for unions. One of the culprits is this 316 page union contract full of mind-numbing rules that prevent assigning an employee to a new task, a new work shift, a new building, or reprimanding someone on the staff for misdeeds or poor performance.”

      • OnPointComments

        It seems in every tale of government corruption, somewhere in the tale is a union.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Filter your memory, much?

        • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

          Or a LOBBYIST of some kind.

    • northeaster17

      I’ll bet he even got all those VA people into the situation room and showed em how to do it.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I’ll have another book out before I announce my run.
    “Mastering the Art of Cattle Futures Trading.” Look for it at Amazon in March.
    –HRH Hillary

  • OnPointComments

    No where else on earth has shootings? Tell that to the families of the 77 victims killed in Norway in 2011.

    • adks12020

      And that was ONE incident. There have been dozens of these incidents since then in the United States.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Ok, so to wrap up, 2 wrongs make a right, nothing to see here, have a nice weekend.

    • nj_v2

      It’s a one-hour, weekly round-up, what do you expect?

      It’s less, even, “behind the headlines” than “a quick regurgitation of some of the headlines that most people have been likely to see.”

  • nj_v2

    Ugh, Hillary everywhere. She gets tough with Terry Gross on Fresh AIr to show us, well, she can be “tough,” i guess.

    Now she’s whining about “struggling” to keep up with multiple mortgages to seem like, you know, she’s just one of us.

    And she’s oh so sorry she voted for use-of-force legislation for Iraq.

    Please spare us.

    • warryer

      Actors on the stage.

    • stillin

      It’s unbelievable, to think anybody I know, is going to have apathy, or feel sorry, for the Clinton’s, not having any money. Struggling…trying to pay for Chelsea’s school, someone pass me the vomit bag promptly. Completely unaware of how the majority of the Americans are living right now.

  • Yar

    @ Neil Blanchard, not talked about on the show, but what about Elon Musk’s open patent declaration. What does it mean for development of electric transportation?

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Nothing. Electricity is a finished product like cold cream or sun glasses. HD

    • James

      It’s not nearly as great as it sounds as they aren’t going to give out their IP without a cost.
      It’s a smart business move and good for the country none the less.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      I agree – open source is the way to go! :-)

  • X Y & Z

    Hillary charges approximately $200, 000 per speech

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/06/10/hillary-clinton-clarifies-wealth-comments-says-she-fully-appreciates-middle-class-struggles/

    If that isn’t trying to buy influence, then I don’t know what is.

    • northeaster17

      Its called capitalism.

      • Coastghost

        No: her lucrative investment in cattle futures is called “crony capitalism”.

        • northeaster17

          Oh now we know what the drought is really about.

  • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

    This show needs to be stretched to 90 minutes with only ONE segment per day instead of two.

    On the other hand, Tom Ashbrook, I have a great speaking voice, 170 IQ, and would love to host a third segment per day, bringing in more controversial guests, and doing topics you don’t have time for. And I’m non-partisan!!!

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      I think the Friday news review should be both hours!

      • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

        That’s a great solution.

      • nj_v2

        Agreed, the round-up should be two hours, perhaps with part of the time reserved for a debate or point/counterpoint with some guests outside the usual, inside-the-Beltawy/punditocracy.

        And today’s “live” program, which presumably takes considerable time and resources to set up, should also be two hours to take more full advantage of the production effort. Especially with a topic as important as health care.

    • nj_v2

      I guess having a high IQ doesn’t necessarily confer any particular level of social decorum, eh?

      • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

        Enchante, monsieur. Not necessarily. Social decorum generally depends on circumstance. Since social pertains specifically to society, and society and the individual clash philosophically and historically, there ought to be a balance between social norms and personal philosophical morals. Not to mention, etiquette is sociological, and conscientiously objecting to it can be a form of political activism.

        Although, I will gladly admit – losing one’s temper is face value, as illustriously framed by Gatsby.

        • warryer

          “Big words” != intelligence.

          But i agree with your main point. On point is too short to really dig into the meat of the topic.

  • Mike

    A shooting each week? To the OnPoint staff, in journalism there is a common practice called “fact checking”. You should look it up before uncritically parroting Obama’s claims — he has been known to tell……..untruths.

    • northeaster17

      Enlighten us. Use your google

      • Mike

        Silly.

    • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

      Fair enough, but do you have a conflicting citation?

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    Anything about the fake press reporting about 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook?

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      “Fake press reporting”? Yeah – tell those grieving parents that it didn’t really happen!

      • http://www.google.com Big Brother

        When it is a gang-related shooting that happens near at school after midnight, it shouldn’t be called a “school shooting.”

        Do we keep track of the “Koran-related killings?”

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          How many shootings of any kind is acceptable to you?

          • northeaster17

            It’s not that they are counted. It’s how they are counted that is important.

    • MrNutso

      So how many have there been?

      • OnPointComments

        Not nearly as many as occurs in Chicago on a daily or weekly basis.

        • http://www.google.com Big Brother

          Chicago – a city with the most restrictive gun laws in the country. And the highest murder rate.

          • Ray in VT

            Chicago does not have the highest murder rate.

          • Coastghost

            Ray: you’re right. But it looks like Detroit and New Orleans do continue to vie for first place:

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

            Distinctly odd, though, how Chicago gets exempted from reports of its rate of violent crime overall. (And DO examine those rates of violent crime: Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit . . . .)

          • Ray in VT
          • Coastghost

            Oh, but summer’s barely begun. Plus in terms of analysis, it might pay to examine homicide rates on Chicago’s South Side: I imagine the statistics for the rest of the city show an unequal distribution.

          • OnPointComments

            In a city where I lived, a reporter asked the police chief to explain a spike in crime. He said “Schools are out. Crime always increases when school isn’t in session.”

          • Ray in VT

            True. However, through the end of last June there were 184 murders in Chicago http://www.suntimes.com/news/crime/21083269-418/chicago-murders-down-in-first-six-months-of-2013.html#.U5s6ZSjiiuo, and that was during a year in which there were the fewest number of homicides in some 50 years. There’s still plenty of time left for carnage, but year to date numbers are pretty encouraging when compared to other years.

          • TFRX

            “Reporter asked…” That’s funny, given how reporters only cover crime more when it actually goes up.

            Oh, wait.

          • OnPointComments

            Chicago may not have the highest murder rate, but it does have the highest number of homicides.

        • MrNutso

          So, since there are a lot of shootings in Chicago, all the other shootings are okay.

          • OnPointComments

            Since there are limited resources available to fight criminals with guns, focus the resources where it will have the biggest effect.

  • Dan B

    This was going to happen the week after the US left, no matter when we left. This cannot be solved by outsiders. Dealing with religious fanatics is a losing proposition.

    • creaker

      I know – look at Texas.

      • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

        Do you mean look at Texas on a map, observe it from space, or look at Texas, metaphorically, i.e. “consider Texas”?

        • creaker

          As the state that is comparing homosexuality to alcoholism and whose GOP has approved “reparative therapy” as a valid “cure”,

      • notafeminista

        Oh darn, I thought you meant Waco.

  • Coastghost

    Secretary Kerry promises surveillance assistance to Iraqi government so that ISIS advance on Baghdad can be observed. (No offer of buttered popcorn forthcoming.)

  • OnPointComments

    President Obama to make a statement about Iraq moments from now.

  • Pleiades

    The Chinese and the Russians are the nations that obtained the oil development rights after the US made all the sacrifices. Why are the Iraqis (specifically, al-Malaki) not asking the Chinese and Russians to come and use their armed forces to bail out al-Malaki’s government?

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      No, no. Neil and Mr. Nutso have told us this is all about US oil greed.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        What is the conflict in Iraq about, according to you?

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          Rightly or wrongly, Neoconservative views about stability and influence and control. Access to markets? Yes. Pure oil grab? No.

          I was against the Iraq war FWIW. I don’t support Neoconservative policies, and wish these events had not been kicked off by GWB.

          That does not make current reality go away, nor does it prove a simplistic oil conspiracy.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Why did we support Saddam Hussein? Because we did. The British, too. They have been fighting in Basra for about 80 years out of the last 100. Back when Germany wanted to switch their navy over to oil, from coal – that is how long things have been screwed up in Iraq, and Iran, and the rest of the Levant.

    • brettearle

      Why don’t we make the military assistance proportionate:

      Those who benefit from resource access, post 2003, according to need & expenditure–with the US receiving a `hometown discount’ because of its original efforts `Brokerage’ for Market Access?

      Wouldn’t it be simply glorious if the `International Community’ worked that way?

      • Pleiades

        It would be “simply glorious” if the international community worked as you have suggested, but it does not. We as a nation need to weigh any benefits before we provide any actions to assist the al-Malaki government.

        • brettearle

          Obviously, my use of the word, `glorious’ was with a healthy dollop of Sarcasm.

          Nevertheless, with the way things are trending, if Al Qaeda-like factions continue to take over the country, then we’re looking at a major, major civil war blood bath between Iran and Al Qaeda.

          I hardly think that the actual carnage, and its aftermath, would be to our benefit.

          Therefore, in my opinion–which is as likely to be as much without first-hand knowledge as your own opinion is–if we intervene later, rather than sooner, we could likely be in WORSE trouble.

          • Pleiades

            I’m sorry I missed the sarcasm.

            Again, I am much like you concerning our intervening in this situation as a nation. The al-Malaki government and its armed forces are inadequate to fight ISIS, so it will require “boots on the ground”, and you and I know our nation will not go for that despite the fact that our politicians might desire it.

            In the back of my mind I think it would be beneficial to have ISIS fight Iran. This could create the impetus for the Iranian people to eliminate those who oppress them all the while eliminating ISIS fighters. Just a thought…

          • brettearle

            The on-going premise, for the Iraqi government, without proportionate representation–at least from Sunni viewpoint–was a disaster waiting to happen.

            If we allowed the Civil War to proceed–and we may not be able to stop it anyway–not only would this conflict result in even more innocent lives being lost in Iraq. But it could also mean a Persian Caliphate in Iraq.

            That would likely be even more of a disaster than the Civil War, itself–from the standpoint of US interest and US security.

            If we don’t intervene soon, it’ll likely get worse.

            [And, if it does, the public clamor and backlash, against the White House, will be worse than it's ever been.].

          • Pleiades

            Thanks for the civil discussion. Let’s just hope that there is a solution that works for everyone and that we are capabel of arriving at that solution soon.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    H Clinton getting ahead of all this claiming today none of this could be predicted.

    But she can predict the 5 released Taliban, including one involved in 9/11 run up, are not a threat (with a hand wave).

  • HonestDebate1

    What’s your point? Bush/Cheney answered those pre 9/11 questions and held it together until Obama flushed it all.

    • Ray in VT

      Yeah, they really fixed it all up. It got held together with boots on the ground, bombs and cash payments. That worked really well until Americans got sick of the loss of blood and treasure and the Iraqis wanted us out of their country. Maybe we can find the money to reinvade Iraq. There always seems to be money for that. The questions there weren’t answered. They just got postponed.

    • Don_B1

      Have you enlisted along with all your children and relatives to go help the Iraqis keep the violence down since they are clearly not yet ready to do it for themselves?

      Let us know when you get back in 30 to 50 years. We can skip the interim reports.

  • HonestDebate1

    Maybe there is a threat to the civilization of the planet driven by the hell that is radical Islam. Maybe 9/11 taught us we are not safe if brutal regimes harbor terrorist. Maybe war has been declared on us whether we fight back or not. Maybe Bin Laden’s death wasn’t as meaningful as we were told. Maybe the terrorists are winning. Maybe that’s a bad thing.

    Just food for thought.

    • J__o__h__n

      Maybe the Islamic world needs to go through an Enlightenment and decide for itself whether it wants to be secular, rational, and democratic or to continue on its present path. Yet another US invasion just unifies the occupied against us. Our involvement just delays the problem for another decade while our soldier die or are horribly injured and we go broke paying for it. Bin Laden was complaining that we were in Saudi Arabia not that we weren’t oppressing women and executing gays.

      • HonestDebate1

        You are confusing the Islamic world (who clearly yearn for their unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness through Islam) with the radical Jihadist leaders who stand in the way.

        • J__o__h__n

          No I’m not. Look who gets elected. An elected theocracy cannot deliver liberty.

          • HonestDebate1

            ISIS was not elected.

          • J__o__h__n

            I didn’t claim they were.

        • Ray in VT

          I think that your reading of the politics of the Islamic world is just as out of whack as so many of your statements about American politics and history.

          Maybe they want inalienable rights, though.

    • Ray in VT

      Maybe we can take our eye off of going after Islamic extremists and engage in some ill-conceived and totally avoidable boondoggle in some country not at all linked to 9/11 or Islamic extremism.

    • ExcellentNews

      ALL fundamentalist religions are threat to Western civilization. The latter is based on the concepts of (1) supremacy of the individual, (2) secular law equally applied to all and determined by the representation of all, and (3) fact/reason-based decision-making.

      The good news is that when left alone, religious fanatics tend to fight with each other. If it was not for our “playing God” in the Middle East for the last 70 years, radical Islam would be a threat only to other radical Islamic countries.

    • jefe68

      Funny, I feel that way about Christian fundamentalist.
      Such as this rube: Scott Esk, a Republican Tea Party candidate in Oklahoma thinks it’s OK to stone gays to death.

      http://firebrandprogressives.org/oklahoma-tea-party-candidate-calls-for-homosexuals-to-be-stoned-to-death/

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/11/scott-esk-stoning-gays_n_5486678.html

    • Pleiades

      I thnk it is easy for all of the US to forget Osama bin Laden’s ultimate goals for creating this chaos with the attacks of 9/11. Even in death his goals are being achieved, and it may very well be that he will eventually win seeing the politicial divide that has created the hatred between political factions in our nation.

      • HonestDebate1

        I don’t give him that much credit. He’s was just one of a gazillion bent on killing infidels.

        • Pleiades

          Many people from top of our government down to least of the conservatives are unwilling (or unable) to see that Osama bin Laden was a genius. Since the attacks of September 11, 2001 it has played out basically as Osama bin Laden stated it would.

          One of his stated goals was continue to add to our national debt weaken our economy in face of any economic downturn. President Bush’s administration fell right into that trap by never placing the “war on terror” or the “war in Iraq” on the DOD budget or the overall budget.

          There are many more goals he had that our nation fell into at that time, because of poor leadership at the top as well as individuals unable to see the consequences of poor decision making.

          You may not be able to give him credit for anything, but he made fools of this nation and may very well be laughing in Nirvana right now at us.

          • HonestDebate1

            Oh I agree with you that he was a genius and I’ve made the point many times that we should not underestimate the enemy. I just think he wasn’t that unique and his death was more symbolic than substantive regarding our security. I also agree about his dastardly economic vision but in the end our problems, in my view, went deeper than budget gimmicks. And I blame our political divide on Obama not Osama.

          • Pleiades

            Some of President Obama’s actions has contributed to our political divide in our nation, but he is not solely responsible for that divide. It is a divide that has existed for the better part of 14 years now.

  • nj_v2

    The idiotification of politics. Or, why education budget cuts matter:

    “Why did the dinosaurs go extinct? Were there men that were causing…were there cars running around at that point that were causing global warming? No. The climate has changed since Earth was created.”
    —Rep Jeff Miller R-Fla.

    • jefe68

      That’s the mind of ignorance right there.

  • hennorama

    Welcome Home, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

    • twenty_niner

      I’m thinking of a military parade with an empty chair.

      • Coastghost

        Or, in the event Bergdahl is duly convicted of desertion by a military tribunal, hen can go tender grandmotherly concerns to Bergdahl once he’s welcomed to his Leavenworth retirement accommodations.

        • twenty_niner

          Prison-to-prison transfer. Unfortunately, I doubt the Taliban five are going to turn themselves in.

          • Coastghost

            Kerry assures us the Taliban Five will be attending a year-long Boy Scout Jamboree in Qatar.

      • northeaster17

        We saw how effective that was the first time

        • twenty_niner

          Maybe Jane Fonda will throw a party for him.

          • TFRX

            Treason doesn’t run out. No statute of limitations. There’s the courthouse.

      • hennorama

        twenty_niner — thank you for your response.

        Does it really qualify as “thinking,” though?

        • twenty_niner

          “Does it really qualify as “thinking,” though?”

          You’re right, a lot of people won’t get the empty-chair reference. How about a float with a post on it with no one manning the post?

          • hennorama

            twenty_niner — TYFYR.

            If you are so crass to “think” that is appropriate, then I welcome you to ride on the same float, inside a metal cage, similar to the one Sgt. Bergdahl is reported to have been kept for some part of his nearly five years in captivity.

            Just a “thought,” of course.

          • twenty_niner

            Actually, when I was in the military, I never deserted my post.

            Just a thought.

          • hennorama

            twenty_niner — TYFYR, and your service.

            Please, tell everyone about what the Uniform Code of Military Justice says on the topic of Desertion in Article 85, and exactly how it would apply to Sgt. Bergdahl, given that he was reportedly in Taliban custody within a few hours of leaving his post.

            Please also tell everyone how Article 86. ABSENCE WITHOUT LEAVE, does not apply.

            And consider as well the newest reports, that Sgt. Bergdahl was kept completely isolated, inside a box for 24 months or more.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Is Iraq descending into civil war?

    Certainly looks like it.

    • brettearle

      Iran vs Al Qaeda.

      Next stop, Armageddon.

      • ExcellentNews

        Iran has their own version of Al Qaeda (Hezbollah). This is really just a small chapter in a religious war that has been going in the Islamic world for the last 1000 years.

    • hennorama

      Neil Blanchard — perhaps a more cogent question is:

      “Is Iraq descending into [religious] civil war?”

      Your self-response above would still apply.

      • Coastghost

        Not perzacktly, hen: ISIS constitutes a foreign insurgency that has advanced into Iraq from its positions in Syria. Few if any Iraqis are ISIS members.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          The Syrian conflict is a civil war, too. And like lots of civil wars, outsiders come in and participate, and/or try to take advantage.

        • hennorama

          Coastghost — TYFYR.

          “Perzacty” which part of the wikipedia entry are you referring to? Is it this part?:

          The Economist reported that “… ISIS may have up to 6,000 fighters in Iraq and 3,000-5,000 in Syria, including perhaps 3,000 foreigners; nearly a thousand are reported to hail from Chechnya and perhaps 500 or so more from France, Britain and elsewhere in Europe.”[54]

          Please explain “perzactly” how you determined that “Few if any Iraqis are ISIS members.”

          • Coastghost

            Referenced w/ n. 159: “Some sources believe that the group is formed of 5,500 foreign fighters that is its backbone, as well as 2,000 Syrians from the northern part of the country and about 15,000 people, performing “secondary roles”. There is also a special unit, consisting of 250 militants. They are almost all foreigners (mostly immigrants from Russia’s North Caucasus), called the Jeish Muhajirin va al-Ansar (JMA), headed by an ethnic Chechen, Abu Umar Al-Shishani.”

          • hennorama

            Coastghost – TYFYR, as well as your “correction.” As it is unimportant, I will accede to your version, K?

            Let’s see if I have this straight.

            You are using information from your wikipedia link’s footnote

            159. Vladimir Platov (2014-01-18). “Growth of International Terrorist Threat from Syria”. New Eastern Outlook. Retrieved 2014-06-11.

            This is the link to the footnoted article: http://journal-neo.org/2014/01/18/rus-rost-mezhdunarodno-terroristicheskoj-ugrozy-s-territorii-sirii/

            The article is in that well-known online journal New Eastern Outlook, about which the Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office has written, “Most of its content, however, supports the Kremlin view that the US is the source of most global instability.” As you can clearly see in the footnote, the article is from January 2014, and is titled (emphasis added) Growth of International Terrorist Threat from Syria.

            The passage in which footnote [159] occurs, in your wikipedia source, is also about Syria.

            This means that the quoted passage, which discusses “foreign fighters,” is indicating that these fighters are “foreign” with respect to Syria, and not Iraq.

            In contrast, the more recent article (June 14, 2014 edition) from The Economist (a rather more well-known and respected source), discusses both Syria and Iraq, so when it refers to “perhaps 3,000 foreigners,” it is indicating that these fighters are “foreign” with respect to both Syria and Iraq.

            While the article is not specific as to the nationalities of the ISIS fighters, given that the group began in Iraq, later went to fight in Syria and expanded there, and is also reportedly commanded by an Iraqi, it is difficult to support your statements that “ISIS constitutes a foreign insurgency that has advanced into Iraq from its positions in Syria. Few if any Iraqis are ISIS members.”

            Thanks again for your response.

            Sources:
            http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/OEWatch/201306/Russia_05.html
            http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21604230-extreme-islamist-group-seeks-create-caliphate-and-spread-jihad-across

          • Coastghost

            Thanks for invoking the snob appeal of The Economist. As a past subscriber, I learned to appreciate its generally well-informed outlook, but I learned also not to rely exclusively on its proffered analysis.
            You might consider the utility of consulting Russian sources pertaining to this conflict, especially given the apparent level of Chechen participation: the Russians have been dealing with the volatile Caucasus for better than two centuries already (you get some flavor of this in Lermontov’s Hero of Our TIme, set as it is along the old Russian military road traversing from Vladikavkaz to Kislovodsk and Pjatigorsk). In point of fact, had Americans deigned a bit more familiarity with the Russian experience in the region, we might have been alert to the murder of Aleksandr Griboyedov in the Russian Embassy by a Persian mob in Tehran in 1829 and perhaps averted the hostage crisis that helped unravel the Carter Presidency (AND helped establish the Islamic Republic of Iran).

        • hennorama

          Coastghost – Based on your reply to me far below, perhaps next time you’ll save everyone some time by posting a DISCLAIMER upfront:

          “Frankly, I have not read the article I am citing. It contains some words that conform to my views and notions, so I just posted it here. DO NOT RELY ON IT as supporting my views and ideas, as I didn’t bother to actually read it.”

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        All civil wars have various causes and/or factions. But they are all civil wars.

        • hennorama

          Neil Blanchard — thank you for your response.

          That’s true. However, the distinction becomes important, as religious civil wars tend to last longer, are more likely to recur, and tend to be more lethal to civilian populations:

          … based on the scholarship about religious and non-religious civil wars provided by Duffy Toft:

          -Religious civil wars last an average of 105 months. Non-religious civil wars last an average of 81 months.

          -Religious civil wars are twice as likely to recur: 26 percent of the time compared to the 12 percent reoccurrence rate of non-religious wars.

          -Religious civil wars are twice as deadly to noncombatants as civil wars in which religion is peripheral. The former averages 31,000 deaths per year, while the latter averages 14,000.

          Source:
          http://journal.georgetown.edu/2013/06/21/the-religious-component-of-the-syrian-conflict-more-than-perception-by-nicole-bibbins-sedaca/

  • Coastghost

    Nature abhors a vacuum: http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/13/world/meast/iraq-violence/
    Do we REALLY want to risk ceding Iraq to more direct Iranian influence, especially while negotiations over the Iranian domestic nuclear program remain inconclusive?
    Or: is Obama’s noble insistence that Iraqis effect domestic political reforms before the US will render military assistance against the ISIS insurgency the latest iteration of Obama’s ineffectual foreign policy?

    • northeaster17

      Should have thought of Irans invovlement 11 years ago

      • Coastghost

        I think someone did: that’s why for a spell the US had robust force deployments simultaneously in Afghanistan and Iraq.

        • Ray in VT

          And who would have thought that establishing a somewhat Islamist leaning Shiite government in Iraq might have helped out Iran? Well, as long as we’re willing to occupy Iraq it’s not a problem, right?

          • Coastghost

            Maliki’s consolidation has occurred since 2011, no? I thought Sunnis and Kurds were actively participating in Iraqi governance prior to withdrawal of US combat forces under Obama.

          • Ray in VT

            Perhaps somewhat, but the factions have at times had an uneasy detente, and many of Maliki’s moves from the past 9ish months have seemed to be pretty sectarian, at least that is very much how the Sunnis have seen it, and I think that they have some legitimate gripes with how his government has conducted itself.

  • twenty_niner

    Obama has finally conjured a sustainable foreign policy: bomb, leave, chaos; bomb, leave, chaos; repeat.

    “The U.S. aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush is being moved to the Persian Gulf”

    http://www.ibtimes.com/iraq-crisis-us-moves-aircraft-carrier-persian-gulf-obama-weighs-military-options-1600646

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSQ7GMQW2AM

    • StilllHere

      Sounds like there could be another red line coming.

      • warryer

        That works because the middle east is desert.

    • northeaster17

      Maybe you’d be happier with a full scale invasion.

      • twenty_niner

        “you’d be happier with a full scale invasion”

        Not as much as the people who are getting their heads sawn off.

  • StilllHere

    Hillary’s had some tough interviews. Lied about financial condition post WH and then got all testy with an NPR host when she couldn’t answer a softball.

    • OnPointComments

      You too can help. Donate to the Hillary Clinton Fund for Dead Broke Politicians.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0XDomYmjqI

      • Coastghost

        Cattle Futures Contract Traders for Hillary? (what a BAD time for fresh outbreaks of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy)
        (BTW: is Obama’s Centers for Dissemination of Coronaviruses trying to enhance its capability by promoting the spread of BSE domestically? Has Hillary already placed orders anticipating a decline in cattle futures?)

        • twenty_niner

          Forgot all about that. I think we’ve got a solution for copious student debt.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Does the Pottery Barn maxim still apply: “If you break it, you own it”

    Except this time, since Maliki appears to be an Iranian puppet, Iran owns it.

    • J__o__h__n

      I think it only applies the first time you break it. If you fix it and return it and it breaks again, it is the store’s problem.

    • Ray in VT

      It seems like we have paid a pretty high price already. How many more lives and billions, or maybe a trillion, is needed? Believe me, I think that we tried to take steps to clean it up, and steps may need to be taken again, but how much is enough, and how long will it take?

      • brettearle

        Ray,

        It seems to me that the ultimate problem is the future threat, posed to the region and to US security & interests, by any Caliphate that takes over…..

        ……even after the Civil War is won by Iran or Al Qaeda, along with hundreds of thousands of more innocent lives being lost.

        If it’s possible, the Civil War bloodbath might eventually prove to be secondary.

      • twenty_niner

        After a lot of slow months, Keynesians might have a reason to throw back a few cold ones. WWIII will mean huge demand for the military-industrial complex.

    • twenty_niner

      “Does the Pottery Barn maxim still apply”

      I always thought it was an insult to the “Pottery Barn” to be equated with Iraq. A better analogy would’ve been meth lab. And usually when you take down a meth lab, you generally don’t have to fix it.

    • ExcellentNews

      I thought the maxim for Iraq was “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” as advertised by President-Non-Elect George W. Bush The Third Jr during his Putinesque aircraft carrier landing.

      Mission accomplished indeed. This part of the world will now be (1) an endless cesspit of terrorists or (2) bottomless pit for sucking taxpayer money into the Swiss accounts of cronies and contractors or (3) both. Halliburton and King Abdullah could not be happier.

  • Coastghost

    You’re absolutely right: Iraq will not be ours to cede once the Iranians have moved in and pushed west to establish a land-bridge with their ally in Syria.

  • Coastghost

    The timing is both Hillary’s and her publisher’s. That says much more.

  • X-Christian

    America officially loses its dumbest war.
    Mission accomplished, Thanks, George W. Bush.

  • X-Christian

    Now Theocracy will spread across the region.
    Gee…What could go wrong with God on your side?

  • tbphkm33

    The rise of the ISIS is signaling more than an Iraqi civil war, this is the start of the end game of rewriting the boundaries of the old Ottoman Empire. The Treaty of Sèvres (1922) was imposed on the regional by the colonial powers that preceded the United States (although the US was there, but not yet a colonial power itself). As was so popular at the time, artificial boundaries were drawn up to create artificial nations.

    The trillions of dollars that have bankrupted the United States in the past 12 years, after invading Iraq, was wasted in an attempt to impose the old colonial chains upon the people of Iraq and the region. Now warfare will draw up the natural borders between the peoples.

    The African continent is another area rife with the problems of colonial powers drawing artificial boundaries.

    • Coastghost

      You really think History is capable of achieving stasis indefinitely?
      The post-WWI mapmaking for the Middle East, however its drawbacks appear now, helped bring relative stability to the region for decades. Not wholly unlike the work of the Congress of Vienna, which helped bring almost a century of stability to European affairs following the final defeat of Napoleon.

      • tbphkm33

        Stability at what cost? It was “stability” of dictatorships, of enslaving a large portion of the population.

        If this was 1970, I would say 10 years and new borders would have solidified. This being 2014, with much larger and younger populations in the region, the very real impacts of global weather changes, and the decline of regional oil output, all pointing toward a region that is going to fester for a very long time.

        What is the glue that is going to hold the region together? Today it is too much the have’s and the have-not’s.

        • Coastghost

          Perhaps Col. Lawrence would have drawn a map of more enduring value: his participation was not solicited by the ambassadors of his day, however.
          The contest in the Islamic world today remains what it has been since the establishment of the (Shi’a) Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, viz., a contest between Sunni and Shia as the avowed guarantors of global Islamic resurgence.

          • tbphkm33

            It is too simplistic to attribute it all to religious strife. Reality is always a lot more complex. Once you unravel the layers of all civil strife (wars), you begin to realize the common denominator is economics. It is the struggle between the have’s and the have-not’s.

            We can attribute simplistic concepts, such as religious or ethic strife, to situation, for a myriad of reasons, but in its most fundamental state, the reality of fighting between humans is attributable to resources.

          • Coastghost

            You demonstrate a rather simplistic understanding of religious strife, and your eagerness to reduce political strife to economic terms is no more compelling.

          • tbphkm33

            You need to wear your reading glasses – I boil down both religious and political strife to actually being economic strife. The struggle of resources, between the have and the have-not’s.

          • Coastghost

            You’re as delusional today as you were days ago citing THE GUARDIAN as a source of Republican propaganda.
            To hear you tell the tale, we have every good expectation of disabusing ISIS and al Qaeda types (to say nothing of the Shia, Iranian or no) of their specifically religious ideological motivations. That small feat all by itself will take you FAR longer than your preferred fifty year time frame.
            Professor Lewis had your number over thirty years ago.

          • tbphkm33

            ??? “citing THE GUARDIAN”???

            Sorry, I never cite any sources. I write my own. Citing is lazy.

            … but obviously this discussion has gone right over your head. Get a grownup or an intellectual to explain it you.

          • Coastghost

            And thinking entirely for yourself can be extremely dangerous, for yourself if not for others.
            You might care to emend your rank materialism with historical and scientific data and philosophical reflections amassed over the past century or two. (Or do you also disdain reading altogether?)
            (As I recall you were citing another poster’s citation of a Guardian-sourced link and characterized it as some kind of “deflection of Republican propaganda”.)

        • jefe68

          From WW1 until WW2 the Middle East was mostly part of the British Empire and France. Italy was invested in Ethiopia and Northern Africa, but the British and French pretty much ran the show. Before that it was the Ottoman Empire and by WWI it was really straining at the seems.

  • Pleiades

    It was not (and is not) our oil, but do we not deserve something if we make a sacrifice to stablize this situation? I’m quite sure al-Maliki wants to stay in power, and that is the reason he is asking for our assistance.

    The Russians or the Chinese made no sacrifices for Iraq. As a matter of fact they thwarted us more often than not through the UN.

  • ExcellentNews

    The Tea Party (tm, Copyright 2009 Koch Industries Inc.) newest strategy – to masquerade as a populist movement outraged by predatory bankers and company-gutting executives. How can you tell? Easy! If your #1 legislative goal is give an inheritance tax cut to the likes of Paris Hilton and Baby Murdoch, you are probably not a populist movement…

    • JONBOSTON

      what is your problem with cutting inheritance taxes? The estate has already been taxed once , was earned by the decedent, and may be subject to a state inheritance tax. You reek with envy and resentment .

      • ExcellentNews

        Thank you JonBoston for the polite reply. Besides my reek of envy (which I will try to hide with some Obamadeodorant), here are the problems with repealing estate taxes:

        1) The estate is NOT EARNED by the heirs. It is income without work, and should be taxed just like the income of working people is taxed.

        2) As the founding fathers themselves pointed out, inheritance without impediment is how aristocracy gets established and democracy extinguished.

        3) Living in a free, civilized country is not free. Taxes are the cost of civilization. And inheritance is morally the most appropriate place to raise taxes. You do not need money once you are dead. And your heirs should earn theirs through hard work and intellect – just like everyone else.

        • John Cedar

          You make a compelling argument for taxing heirs. You make no argument for taxing estates. So why do we not tax heirs but we do tax estates?

          • ExcellentNews

            In a rational country, that’s how it should be done. I presume the estate is taxed beforehand to avoid tax evasion schemes where the beneficiaries are 1000 anonymous companies…

            We should toss our entire tax code out of the window and start from scratch based on first principles. We just can’t agree what the new tax should be :)

          • John Cedar

            If stopping tax evasion schemes was is all they wanted to do, they could require the estate to withhold the heirs taxes at the maximum rate and then allow the heir to apply for a refund.

            I think we currently have zero tax on estates up to10 million+/- dollars. Having one in fifty as millionaires in our country, that is a lot of money being left on the table, that we could be using to bomb Islamic countries with.

            What better way to end white privilege than tax every dollar an heir gets as earned income? And what better way to encourage economic justice than to tax it at a lower rate or not at all if it is devided up with enough heris?

        • JONBOSTON

          you reek of envy and resentment. Why shouldn’t a person be able to pass on wealth they worked hard for and paid income taxes on to their loved ones? What right does the government have to tax the same wealth twice? What’s moral about that and who are you decide what’s morally right?

          • ExcellentNews

            Why? Please do read my 3 points above. Besides, you assume the wealth has been worked hard for and paid taxes on. In Romney’s America, wealth is just as likely to come from predatory lending, executive theft, or some other “free market” pyramid scheme, that has NOT been taxed as regular income.

            Besides, it’s not double taxation. It’s a tax on the heirs, who, loved as they may be, have not worked for. The basis of wealth should be work, not love – I’m sure even Tea Parties would agree with that.

            What right does the Government have? The right of law, enacted by voters in a more intelligent and enlightened age. Of course, the brainwashing machine of the plutocracy is hard at work to convince the peons to abolish the inheritance tax. Which is the whole point of the well-heeled sponsors of the “conservative” movement.

          • TFRX

            Please, just say “death tax” like a good tool. We all know you have it in you.

  • OnPointComments

    The IRS says it’s lost Lois Lerner’s emails. Uh huh. And Rosemary Woods really did accidentally erase the tapes too.

    Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) issued the following statement regarding the Internal Revenue Service informing the Committee that they have lost Lois Lerner emails from a period of January 2009 – April 2011. Due to a supposed computer crash, the agency only has Lerner emails to and from other IRS employees during this time frame. The IRS claims it cannot produce emails written only to or from Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or Democrat offices.

    “The fact that I am just learning about this, over a year into the investigation, is completely unacceptable and now calls into question the credibility of the IRS’s response to Congressional inquiries. There needs to be an immediate investigation and forensic audit by Department of Justice as well as the Inspector General.

    Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany Jr., M.D. (R-LA) added, “In the course of the Committee’s investigation, the Administration repeatedly claimed we were getting access to all relevant IRS documents. Only now – thirteen months into the investigation – the IRS reveals that key emails from the time of the targeting have been lost. And they bury that fact deep in an unrelated letter on a Friday afternoon. In that same letter, they urge Congress to end the investigations into IRS wrongdoing. This is not the transparency promised to the American people. If there is no smidgeon of corruption what is the Administration hiding?”
    http://waysandmeans.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=384506

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Obama’s missing 17 minutes.

      The Nixon parallels are pouring in.

    • TFRX

      Witchhunters gonna witchhunt.

  • OnPointComments

    As I was watching President Obama make his statement today about Iraq, on the lawn of the White House with the helicopter in the background, I wondered where he was going. I had a guess, but thought surely with ISIS conquering Iraq, the President will be in important meetings with the Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs, and Secretary of State.

    My initial guess was right. Vacation in Palm Springs. And fund raising at a $32,000-per-person, invitation-only fundraiser in Laguna Beach at the home of Shonda Rhimes (net worth $40 million), creator and producer of “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

    “NO MATTER HOW CYNICAL I GET, I CAN’T KEEP UP.”
    –Lily Tomlin

    I know what she means.

    • Coastghost

      “All options remain on the table” regarding US response to the ISIS insurgency in Iraq, President Obama assured us in the past twenty-four hours, except that he’s already taken re-introduction of ground forces OFF the table.
      NPR just finished quoting a former US commander in Iraq that airstrikes without targeting intel provided by ground forces would have very limited utility.
      –but since we’re now going to wait for Ihe Iraqis to hash out domestic political recalibrations, we can probably anticipate the forceful response in Iraq that Obama imposed on Syria with his red magic markers.

    • JONBOSTON

      And Obama was in Weston Massachusetts ( very tony western suburb of Boston) on Wednesday for another fundraiser after making a side trip to a high school in Worcester. Fundraisers are all he does. Obama is running out of idiots and clapping seals to speak before so now he’s beginning his tour of 16 and 17 year olds.

  • tbphkm33

    By the way – happy Friday the 13th. The comments count is probably so high today because some of you stayed at home so as not to risk anything by venturing out.

    … superstition and paranoia does fit right into the conservative TeaBagger and Nopublican side of the political divide :)

    • brettearle

      Hey, c’mon….not totally fair….

      Some liberals are theists. The President believes in God [And not necessarily in Reverend Wright. At least, not anymore.]

  • NewtonWhale

    Fareed Zakaria: Who lost Iraq? The Iraqis did, with an assist from George W. Bush

    The prime minister and his ruling party have behaved like thugs, excluding the Sunnis from power, using the army, police forces and militias to terrorize their opponents. The insurgency the Maliki government faces today was utterly predictable because, in fact, it happened before. From 2003 onward, Iraq faced a Sunni insurgency that was finally tamped down by Gen. David Petraeus, who said explicitly at the time that the core element of his strategy was political, bringing Sunni tribes and militias into the fold. The surge’s success, he often noted, bought time for a real power-sharing deal in Iraq that would bring the Sunnis into the structure of the government.

    A senior official closely involved with Iraq in the Bush administration told me, “Not only did Maliki not try to do broad power-sharing, he reneged on all the deals that had been made, stopped paying the Sunni tribes and militias, and started persecuting key Sunni officials.” Among those targeted were the vice president of Iraq and its finance minister.

    But how did Maliki come to be prime minister of Iraq? He was the product of a series of momentous decisions made by the Bush administration. Having invaded Iraq with a small force — what the expert Tom Ricks called “the worst war plan in American history” — the administration needed to find local allies. It quickly decided to destroy Iraq’s Sunni ruling establishment and empower the hard-line Shiite religious parties that had opposed Saddam Hussein. This meant that a structure of Sunni power that had been in the area for centuries collapsed. These moves — to disband the army, dismantle the bureaucracy and purge Sunnis in general — might have been more consequential than the invasion itself.

    The turmoil in the Middle East is often called a sectarian war. But really it is better described as “the Sunni revolt.” Across the region, from Iraq to Syria, one sees armed Sunni gangs that have decided to take on the non-Sunni forces that, in their view, oppress them. The Bush administration often justified its actions by pointing out that the Shiites are the majority in Iraq and so they had to rule. But the truth is that the borders of these lands are porous, and while the Shiites are numerous in Iraq — Maliki’s party actually won a plurality, not a majority — they are a tiny minority in the Middle East as a whole. It is outside support — from places as varied as Saudi Arabia and Turkey — that sustains the Sunni revolt.

    If the Bush administration deserves a fair share of blame for “losing Iraq,” what about the Obama administration and its decision to withdraw American forces from the country by the end of 2011? I would have preferred to see a small American force in Iraq to try to prevent the country’s collapse. But let’s remember why this force is not there. Maliki refused to provide the guarantees that every other country in the world that hosts U.S. forces offers. Some commentators have blamed the Obama administration for negotiating badly or halfheartedly and perhaps this is true. But here’s what a senior Iraqi politician told me in the days when the U.S. withdrawal was being discussed: “It will not happen. Maliki cannot allow American troops to stay on. Iran has made very clear to Maliki that its No. 1 demand is that there be no American troops remaining in Iraq. And Maliki owes them.” He reminded me that Maliki spent 24 years in exile, most of them in Tehran and Damascus, and his party was funded by Iran for most of its existence. And in fact, Maliki’s government has followed policies that have been pro-Iranian and pro-Syrian.

    Washington is debating whether airstrikes or training forces would be more effective, but its real problem is much larger and is a decade in the making. In Iraq, it is defending the indefensible.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fareed-zakaria-who-lost-iraq-the-iraqis-did-with-an-assist-from-george-w-bush/2014/06/12/35c5a418-f25c-11e3-914c-1fbd0614e2d4_story.html

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      … and Obama read about it in press reports.

      • NewtonWhale

        Here’s something Bush and Cheney would have done well to read before indulging W.’s fantasies:

        “I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaida. I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.”

        -Sen. Barack Obama, Oct. 2, 2002.

        http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99591469

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          There is plenty to criticize Bush and Cheney for but there is no need to trot out a serial Obama apologist like Zacharia to cover up Obama failures:

          Obama: “the tide of war is receding”

          Biden: ” “I am very optimistic about — about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration.”

    • OnPointComments

      I wonder if Fareed Zakaria thought that up himself, or if he copied it from somewhere.

      Fareed Zakaria Suspended For Plagiarism: Time Editor, CNN Host Apologizes For ‘Terrible Mistake’
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/10/fareed-zakaria-plagiarism-new-yorker-time_n_1764954.html

      • NewtonWhale

        You could be right.
        I suspect the conclusion is pretty obvious to anyone who remembers what Bush said and did.

  • JONBOSTON

    I’ve long been a critic of Obama’s policies and programs. But the one criticism I have above all others is that Obama is neither a leader nor statesman. A statesman makes decisions that are best for the nation and political concerns and objectives be damned. Does anyone seriously believe that the decision to exchange the 5 Taliban commanders was not made for domestic political objectives rather than strategic best interests of the US? Leadership is not about things being easy . It’s about taking really tough decisions, and sometimes getting things wrong. But above all else it’s about being there, having your hand firmly on the rudder, and letting everyone know what you stand for and what you don’t stand for. And it’s about steering the nation to a desired outcome if it’s believed to be the right path for the country, even if the nation is reluctant to go in that direction. Instead we have as president someone who votes “present” rather than make the difficult decision, reads about crises in the newspaper or on TV , and if the going gets tough gets going on vacation, like Palm Springs this weekend for a round of golf. They say you get the leaders you deserve which says legions about the state of American citizenry today. So sad.

    • ExcellentNews

      Having your hand firmly on the rudder !?!? LOL, this is what you get when you read too many “leadership” books from the airport pulp store. There is no rudder in the White House, we are a democracy with three branches of Government. Sadly dysfunctional since two of the three were purchased by the global plutocracy…

      • JONBOSTON

        It’s too much to demand presidential leadership. Brilliant insightful analysis. What’s really depressing is I’m sure you’re serious about what you just wrote and have no idea what a fool you sound like. And it’s “informed “(LOL) voters like you that have given America such leaders and esteemed statesmen as Obama , Pelosi, and Harry Reid. Obama, the staggering incompetent , Nancy Pelosi , the dumbest politician in Washington , and Harry Reid, the greatest example that even human excrement can become a senate majority leader.

        • ExcellentNews

          There cannot be leadership because most of what the Obama team has tried to do has been blocked by the Republicans (their words, not mine).

          Besides, I agree that Obama is NOT an effective leader. As promised, he tried to govern America from a centrist position, respecting Republican ideas and policies of the past, foolishly thinking the right would recognize and respect that.

          The result? A healthcare law authored by the Heritage Foundation that’s welfare for insurance giants. A finance system that’s still the same Ponzi mess. An oligarchic economy, where those who gutted the American middle class have increased their wealth a further 161% since the 2008 crash.

          That still does not make him incompetent. What is incompetent is invading countries that pose no threat to the US, giving tax cuts to those who deserve it the least, and relinquishing the economic stewardship of the country to a bunch of thieving lizards (promoted as “job creators” by Fox News and Karl Rove). You need to look a bit further back to find what criminal incompetence looks like.

          • nj_v2

            And don’t forget “all-the-above” energy policy to continue subsidizing nukes and expanding Arctic drilling, failure to prosecute the banksters who caused the ’08 collapse, failure to sign international anti-mine treaty, appointment of corporate lobbyists to important jobs in the administration, continuation and expansion of drone program, etc.

          • TFRX

            And, per Jon Stewart, righties have long called anything Obama does “tyranny” when what they’re whining about is actually “losing an election”.

          • JONBOSTON

            When you claim that Obama tried to govern from the middle you lose all credibility with me. Bill Clinton may have been left of center centrist since he belonged to the Democrat Leadership Council , but Obama , you got be kidding. He’s governed more like a European socialist or a UK Labor MP than a centrist. Your observation is more a reflection of your views and where you stand than anything else. I would guess if one polled Occupy Wall Street types or the wackos on this board who believe Republicans are the kindred spirits to the Taliban and Nazis that the overwhelming sentiment would be similar to yours, but that wouldn’t make Obama a centrist. A centrist promotes private sector job growth, tax reform that flattens the code and eliminates tax credits and loopholes, pro-growth economic policies, investment in infrastructure projects , fiscally responsible stimulus programs not directed to pet Democrat projects and constituencies like public sector unions, charter schools, free and fair trade policies that promote exports combined with job training, welfare policies that encourage recipients to get off welfare rather than incentivize a way of life, entitlement reforms, energy policies that promote all forms of energy including oil and gas as well as renewables, no crony capitalism, regulatory reform, etc. No matter what one thinks of the need for a government takeover of healthcare, a centrist does not promote Obamacare when the country suffers high unemployment and limited or no economic growth . A centrist calls for expansion of the earned income tax credit rather than increase the minimum wage. During a time of 9% unemployment a centrist does not sic the NLRB on Boeing when it opens its manufacturing plant in South Carolina after investing $billions and hiring thousands. A centrist does not cave to billionaire Tom Steyer’s money and delay the Keystone pipeline project which will create immediate good paying jobs and lessen energy dependence on a chaotic mideast . A centrist would secure our borders rather than promote an open door policy. A centrist would not claim that Voter ID laws are racist or discriminatory. And no centrist would ever divide the country by setting one group against another or demonizing business and the private sector and those who in good faith oppose his programs and policies.

          • ExcellentNews

            Yep. And Eric Cantor is a communist. That’s what you get when you listen too much to Pox News.

            Obama’s ACTUAL policies are right of center. Much of what you describe as “centrist” below is actually how “European Socialists” in Canada, Scandinavia or Germany manage their countries. And it works, as witnessed by the fact they have surpassed the US in terms of social mobility and quality of life.

            Most of the ills of our economy are not the result of “socialism”, they are a natural consequence of unregulated “free markets” and predatory corporate behavior. Boeing is a good case in point – they are not creating jobs, they are actually eliminating jobs and replacing the existing jobs with lower wage jobs in a state that’s too dumb to enact labor laws and drags everyone down. The increased profits will be concentrated in the hands of few executives and private shareholders.

          • JONBOSTON

            Your ignorance of the private sector knows no bounds. You sound like a union organizer who actually believes the crap you’re spewing. And your envy and resentment of successful persons is palpable. What a pity.

          • ExcellentNews

            You make too many assumptions, my friend. And you sound like Tag Romney…

          • nj_v2

            [[ He's governed more like a European socialist or a UK Labor MP than a centrist. ]]

            Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!

          • JONBOSTON

            are you a cackling idiot?

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Someone captured a photo of the exact moment Lois Lerner’s emails were deleted:

    https://twitter.com/tylerhunter23/status/477547657770987520/photo/1

    • ExcellentNews

      That’s funny and a good one! +50 XP for you. BTW, how many points do you need to earn to get the free Ann Coulter urinal from Crossroads GPS???

  • brettearle

    While it is clearly a dangerous situation in Iraq, retired Army Colonel Peter Mansoor–who was the executive officer to General Petraeus, in Iraq–said on PBS’s “NewsHour” , tonight, that the ISIS does not have the military power to overthrow Baghdad.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      What did the good Colonel say about Mosul last week when there were 12,000 well armed Iraqi regulars facing down 800 insurgents?

      • brettearle

        Retired Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor–author of books on the Military, and who led Army forces when the U.S. invaded Iraq in 1991.and who appeared on the program with Mansoor–explained the following:

        “You have a Shiite state, which is largely confined to the south, which is one of the reasons the Shiite Arab soldiers in the north ran away. It’s not their turf.”

      • brettearle

        I guess “WorriedfortheCountry” didn’t have much to say about Colonel Macgregor’s comment, inserted below.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          I’ve seen analysis by military experts that the collapse of the 12,000 strong force was more about poor leadership than a sectarian divide. Frankly that makes more sense. btw – it would make more sense for the Sunni’s in the army to defect.

          Did this good Colonel say anything about Maliki firing all the officers the US paid $17B to train as the primary cause?

          • brettearle

            Who are the Experts? Name them. I named mine.

            No, the Colonel did not answer your last question.

            Let’s assume you’re right about the Firings and the $17B.

            If you are right, then it seems deplorable.

            But maybe you’re inaccurate about ALL the officers; and the figure of $17 BILLION; and THAT being the primary reason for the collapse.

            Maybe you are wrong about all 3.

            State your sources. I stated mine.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I can’t remember the specific “talking head” general who described the thesis (Maybe Ralph Peters or Jack Keane )

            Maybe I was wrong about the amount. I did find a source that says we spent $25B so maybe the $17B was too low.

            “According to an inspector general report issued last year, the U.S. government spent nearly $25 billion on “training, equipping and sustaining” the Iraqi security forces as of late 2012.”

            http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/06/13/billions-spent-thousands-lives-lost-us-investment-in-training-iraqi-forces/

            The Maliki military political purges have been well documented.

            “Iraq’s Security and Intelligence Gutted in Political Purges, New Cables Show”

            http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/12/iraqs-security-and-intelligence-gutted-in-political-purges-new-cables-show/67431/

          • brettearle

            Ok,

            Thank you.

            I will look at your links.

            If I do not get back to you, it isn’t because I have contempt for your information or even `contempt for my own’, at this point.

            It would be for reasons that having nothing to do with this Forum.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            No worries. I must say I found your ‘tone’ a bit harsh. I’m not invested in any analysis. I was simply offering an alternative analysis that I found plausible given the facts as reported. And it isn’t even inconsistent with the analysis you offered. It is just a matter of which is primary and which is secondary.

            I am now curious about the sectarian breakdown of the 12,000 troops and its leadership. Here is another corollary to the Macgregor thesis: why would a Sunni soldier fire on Sunni brethren to protect a corrupt Shia regime in Baghdad?

          • brettearle

            Apologies.

            I was being flippant. I did not mean it, the way it sounded.

            If I did mean it, the way it sounded, I would tell you.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Happily accepted. I’ve done it myself — many times. It is too easy in these forums.

  • wwilfox

    The situation in Iraq reminds me of what happened to South Vietnam and their Army as the Americans withdrew there 39 years ago.

    • brettearle

      It sounds like somewhat of an analogy on the surface, but retired Military high command specialists, from the Iraq wars–on PBS’s “NewsHour”, this evening–deny that the country is necessarily about to be completely overrun.

      • ExcellentNews

        The future does not bode well for Iraq indeed. But there IS a difference. South Vietnam was the target of a well-organized communist army with tentacles stretching all the way to Moscow. You can make a reasonable argument that the US had a vital interest in halting communist expansion in Asia. On the other hand, the invasion of Iraq was pure idiocy, and the chaos there is the reflection of a 1000-year old religious war between muslims.

        • brettearle

          Regarding communist presence. Are you taking into account the expansion of the war into Cambodia [& Laos]–which made me halt adding that particular action as a way to challenge the analogy?.

          Indeed, that venture was also pure idiocy.

      • JGC

        Does that mean the Kurd-controlled part of Iraq is still a stronghold for them?

        • brettearle

          It look as if Kurdish territory might not be annexed.

          But I’d have to look at the text, again, to exactly confirm, what the Consensus–if any–is.

        • hennorama

          JGC — the Kurds have moved into Kirkuk, as the Iraqi “army” has disintegrated, expanding Kurdish-controlled territory, and countering some of the ISIS threat in the process.

          From Reuters (June 12, 2104):

          The forces of Iraq’s autonomous ethnic Kurdish north, known as the peshmerga, took over bases in Kirkuk vacated by the army. “The whole of Kirkuk has fallen into the hands of peshmerga,” said peshmerga spokesman Jabbar Yawar.

          “No Iraqi army remains in Kirkuk now.”

          Kurds have long dreamed of taking Kirkuk and its huge oil reserves. They regard the city, just outside their autonomous region, as their historic capital, and peshmerga units were already present in an uneasy balance with government forces..

          The swift move by their highly organized security forces to seize full control demonstrates how this week’s sudden advance by ISIL has redrawn Iraq’s map – and potentially that of the entire Middle East, where national borders were set nearly a century ago as France and Britain carved up the Ottoman empire.

          See:
          http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0EN0RV20140612?irpc=932

  • Thinkfreeer

    Having just listened to the recording, I am appalled at whatever it is – ignorance? mistake? deceit? – on reporting that we have had a school shooting every week since Sandy Hook. The president said it, you repeated it. It appears you are using the new fake statistic that we have had 70 school shootings since Sandy Hook. It is FALSE. Yes, it has been 78 weeks since Sandy Hook. But there have not been 70 school shootings (or actually 74 in the cited report, compiled by an anti-gun group). At least half of these “school shootings” have been debunked as events like suicide, accidental discharge, off campus, defensive use, gang related, police shootout, and even a BB gun. You can continue to distort the truth at risk of your journalistic reputation.

    • nj_v2

      ^^ Bullcrap. Looks like the NRA gun nutters got another memo.

      http://www.theguardian.com/news/oliver-burkeman-s-blog/2014/jun/12/gun-lobby-tactic-redefining-school-shootings?CMP=twt_gu

      The gun lobby’s new tactic: redefining ‘school shootings’ so they don’t count

      If you’d lost the capacity to be appalled by those opposing reform of America’s gun laws, their latest effort should fix that

      • hennorama

        nj_v2 — it’s truly bizarre that the answer many want, and want to believe, is that we should all stick our heads in the proverbial sand, and just ignore numerous violent incidents.

        The theme seems to be “Don’t worry, parents. Yes, it’s true that there have been many, many, many incidents of firearms being discharged on school property, but if it wasn’t done by a student intent on mass murder, with student victims, you can safely pretend that your kids are safe from firearms violence at schools.”

        It’s similar to some of the feedback about the assassinations of two Las Vegas police officers and an armed civilian, along the lines of “Well, you know these were white supremacists, and cops are at greater risk from drug dealers and gangsters, so these deaths don’t require any special attention. They’re just three trees in the forest.”

        Thanks for your pushback against this bullshit.

      • Thinkfreeer

        I’ll find the news sources I trust all by myself, thank you.

        Actually CNN did some fact checking and reported that only about 10 of the incidents were legitimate.I don’t think too may people would characterize CNN as a rabid gun supporting group.

        If you would like to insist that a BB gun incident related to a school property counts as a “school shooting” that we “have to do something about” you are welcome to your opinion. And good luck with that.

  • Cacimo

    CNN examined the 70 school shooting figure and found it very very wrong.

    • nj_v2

      I examined your post and found it very lame.

    • TFRX

      CNN, weenies who are scared of being called out by the NRA, were threatened and bullied into changing their reportage. Turning it into something resembling TV, but not journalism.

      If CNN learns anything from this, it’ll be not to piss off gun nuts the first time around. Fox News would never make that “mistake”.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    A liberal journalist weighs in, Ron Fournier:

    “Did The IRS Really Lose Lois Lerner’s Emails? Let a Special Prosecutor Find Them
    Obama needs to address this ‘phony scandal’ and the public trust with real transparency”

    .http://www.nationaljournal.com/white-house/did-the-irs-really-lose-lois-lerner-s-emails-let-a-special-prosecutor-find-them-20140613

    • TFRX

      Ron (Karl Rove Is Doing God’s Work) Founier is a liberal?

      Please, don’t bother playing. Here’s your Turtle Wax. You don’t get to advance to the Bonus Round.

      Fourier another right-wing “journo” who manages to find anonymous sources who totally agree with him all the time. What a surprise. Doubleplusgood Orwellian bonus points for taking a Conservadem refracted through the looking glass of Politico.

      Fournier has been a knave before. Maybe now he’s just being a wimpy tool, a sucker for someone with an axe to grind.

      • HonestDebate1

        Glitch, please!

        • TFRX

          He privately told Karl Rove “You’re doing God’s work”. Not about policy. But about defeating Democrats.

          He’s a liberal, again?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        It could be that Mr. Fournier is very concerned that Obama’s deceit, incompetence and lack of transparency is doing permanent damage to big-government liberalism. Like liberal law professor Jonathan Turley he is rightly concerned.

        • TFRX

          No.

          He’s a fcking right-wing hack. He’s been a Beltway Inbred, supplicating himself to the right power structure, for many many months now.

    • twenty_niner

      “A liberal journalist weighs in, Ron Fournier”

      Stand by to get ostracized. Liberal journalists rarely break ranks like this, especially vis-a-vis Obama.

    • JONBOSTON

      Unbelievable development akin to Nixon’s tape gap. Obama is showing contempt for the American public and most of all the mainstream media. This is criminal if done deliberately.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Two years of emails (only to outside groups) cannot ‘disappear’ with modern IT systems due to a hard drive crash of a “personal computer”.

        If they have nothing to hide they should welcome an independent investigation.

        • JONBOSTON

          By the way , your description of Ron Fournier is very accurate. He is a moderate left of center journalist, very reasonable , pragmatic , and fair and balanced in his views.

          • TFRX

            Fourneir knobslobbered Karl Rove.

            And unnamed (always unnamed) DissapointedInObamaDems always have his ear. And they always say things that always agree with Fournier.

            Is there any rightie on this board who knows the first thing about journalism v. political fluffy savvy insider gossip?

    • OnPointComments

      No, the IRS didn’t really lose Lois Lerner’s emails. I have had many, many clients, large and small, and they all have multiple backups of computer data. The typical backup scheme provides for daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, and annual backups, with all backups stored off-site. I bet the government also backs up its data.

      I agree. There needs to be a special prosecutor.

  • Coastghost
    • hennorama

      Coastghost — before anyone clicks on the link, two questions:

      1. Did you actually read the entire article?
      2. What is it about?

      • Coastghost

        1. At least once.
        2. Obama betrays an incapacity (or reluctance) for wielding the power of his office and exercises an impaired strategic competence.

        • hennorama

          Coastghost — TYFYR.

          Thank you as well for bothering to read an article before posting a link to it.

          • Coastghost

            I did it just to make you happy, grammaw.

          • hennorama

            Coastghost — TYFYR.

            So, bothering to read an article before posting a link to it is not actually your normal practice then. Good to know.

            Will you post a DISCLAIMER for those articles that you don’t bother to read before posting a link to them? It seems the right thing to do, wouldn’t you agree?

          • Coastghost

            Tsk and tut, grammaw: you routinely cite statistical data simply in order to conceal consideration of other relevant data: quite innocently, I thought you’d recognize that I was modeling your performance. (“Oh, what a tangled web we tatter/when once we strive to simply flatter.”)
            If you propose conducting a census of the present ISIS membership, I’ll gladly donate a clipboard and a couple of ink pens.

          • hennorama

            Coastghost — Thank you for your unresponsive response.

            Thank you as well for your respectful address, despite my certainty that I do not conform to it. Just another example of your faulty assumptions. If you believe us to be related, please post your full name and your family tree, so that it might be investigated fully.

            Further thanks are due to you as well, based on your demonstrated mindreading ability regarding the reason(s) behind certain of my posts. Well done, truly.

            Please allow a repetition, and a return to the topic you did not address in your reply:

            Will you post a DISCLAIMER for those articles that you don’t bother to read before posting a link to them? It seems the right thing to do, wouldn’t you agree?

            Thanks again for all of the above.

          • Coastghost

            I’ll follow your example, how about that?
            Unless I’m further mistook, evolutionary biology informs us that we’re all related, however closely or distantly. But yet again, you lapse into your preference for naïve literalism: my respectful address signifies my assessment of your grandmotherly doting. (My own paternal and maternal grandmamas are long since deceased.)
            Permit the gentle reminder that the original packaging material for Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” LP contained a recipe for camel.

          • hennorama

            Coastghost — TYFYR.

            Sorry that you have mistaken my concern for the most basic of standards — reading somethng before posting a link to it — as an “amply demonstrated talent for grandmotherly doting.”

            Perhaps I simply am assuming too much, and need to revert to even more basic questioning:

            Before replying to them, did you read my posts in their entirety? (I ask as you seem to have simply skipped the questions contained in them, twice. I ask also based on your prior admission to not reading things, and do not wish to make any unfounded assumptions.)

            As you seem to habitually skip passages and to ignore direct questions, I won’t bother repeating them.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • Coastghost

            I certainly read your partial quotation of yours truly up above and gleaned that you yourself were quoting only the portion relevant to your rhetorical purpose.

          • hennorama

            Coastghost — TYFYR.

            Yes, how terrible of me, to first indicate that the quote was “part of the comment from Coastghost,” then to accurately quote you, followed by an ellipsis, further indicating a partial quote, and then linking to the complete comment, so that an interested reader could read more.

            My apologies.

          • hennorama

            Coastghost — please let everyone know
            the details of:

            A. the changes you’ve made to your original post (in fact, let everyone know the more basic fact, that you have changed your original post); and

            B. when you have finished changing it.

            It seems the right thing to do, wouldn’t you agree?

          • Coastghost

            Kindly don’t blame me for failures you’re actually imputing to the Disqus software with your impeccable logic.
            Your huffiness today leads me to recommend a rather strong dose of patience, maybe some chamomile tea.

          • hennorama

            Coastghost — thank you for your response.

            Seriously, the “DISQUS ate my homework” excuse?

            Sure, if you say so.

            Shall I post your original comment, which DISQUS forwarded to me without any problem?

            Thank you for the laughs triggered by your response.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Henny, you have reached a new low in forum decorum. Well below the previously apt “schoolmarm” moniker.

        • hennorama

          WftC — thank you for your response.

          Likely you are unaware of Coastghost’s post far below, regarding a link Coastghost posted. Here’s part of the comment from Coastghost, regarding said link:

          “Frankly, I had not read–and had not made time to read–the entire Wikipedia article line-by-line, posting as I was to an online forum and not to a refereed academic journal…”

          See:
          http://onpoint.wbur.org/2014/06/13/iraq-mosul-isis-eric-cantor-tea-party#comment-1434995847

          Thanks again for your response.

          • Coastghost

            Permit me to quote myself at greater length and with equal relevance:

            (Frankly, I had not read–and had not made time to read–the entire Wikipedia article line-by-line, posting as I was to an online forum and not to a refereed academic journal, though I was reasonably certain you would to defend your point, in your typical pedantic and belabored manner, which required but two or three hours of you. You did not disappoint: the scrupulousness you pride yourself on, as I have intimated, often enough consists of straining gnats to permit your swallowing of camels whole and entire. And as before: bon appetit.)

          • hennorama

            Coastghost — TYFYR.

            The additional words in you self-quotation no doubt put your failure in a much better light, and rebut my asking whether you read the article you linked to above.

            Please, do go on ….

    • hennorama

      Coastghost — thank you for the edits you’ve made to your post, as one now at least has a hint as to the content of your previously bare link.

      Two questions:

      1. Having you finished changing your original post now, at 5:00 PM (GMT) Saturday June 14, 2014?

      2. Did you change it due to my questions below?

      • Coastghost

        I heartily commend use of the “Edit” function that Disqus affords: your grammar is suffering today.

        • hennorama

          Coastghost — TYFYR, and the note.

          Said edits will be made, and made clear to all, forthwith.

          • Coastghost

            Whatever you say, self-appointed Thought Policeperson.

          • hennorama

            Coastghost — TYFYR.

            One notes your repeated ignorance of the questions, as is your habit.

            One notes as well your invalid premise, again.

            TYAFYR.

  • OnPointComments

    “To begin withdrawing before our commanders tell us we are ready would be dangerous for Iraq, for the region, and for the United States. It would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to al Qaeda. It would mean that we’d be risking mass killings on a horrific scale. It would mean we’d allow the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan. It would mean increasing the probability that American troops would have to return at some later date to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous.” – President Bush, July 12, 2007

    “Our last message is to the Americans. Soon we will be in direct confrontation, and the sons of Islam have prepared for such a day. So watch, for we are with you, watching.” –Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, January 21, 2014

    • JONBOSTON

      Obama inherited a pacified Iraq , where Al Qaeda had been defeated–both militarily and ideologically. He is unfit and unqualified to be president of the US. Looking back at the debate with Romney over foreign policy , Obama comes off as a total empty suit, a staggering incompetent.

      • OnPointComments

        I agree with you, and with Peter Wehner’s conclusion in Commentary Magazine:

        OBAMA EVEN WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT
        http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2014/06/13/obama-even-worse-than-we-thought/

        Excerpt:

        In light of the unfolding disaster in Iraq, which is linked to the unfolding disaster in Syria, which is part of a broader failure in the Middle East, which is only one part of an across-the-board failure in foreign policy, which is separate from the failures at home–including healthcare.gov and ObamaCare more broadly, chronically high unemployment, the stimulus and “shovel ready jobs,” a historically weak economic recovery, the lowest workforce participation rate since the 1970s, increasing income inequality, and record poverty–the following needs to be said. Even those of us who were highly critical of Mr. Obama early on, who twice voted against him and worked in campaigns to defeat him, could not envision how epically incompetent he would be.

        The harm this man has done is immeasurable. And he still has more than two years left to go.

        • JONBOSTON

          I get Commentary each month as I have done for many years. Great monthly magazine that I highly recommend to anyone unfamiliar with it.

  • OnPointComments

    An informative article from John Hinderaker. If Lois Lerner’s emails are lost, it’s not because her computer crashed. It’s because of corruption and obstruction.

    OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S CLAIM THAT LOIS LERNER’S EMAILS ARE “LOST” IS LUDICROUS
    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/06/obama-administrations-claim-that-lois-lerners-emails-are-lost-is-ludicrous.php

    Excerpt:
    Emails are collected on email servers. Each user (e.g., Lois Lerner) has an account on an email server, where that person’s emails are collected. It is common for emails to be deleted from the user’s own desktop or laptop computer, but no one worries about that. When it is time to collect emails–something I do all the time in my law practice–you go to the email server and pull out the user’s entire account. A crash of the user’s computer is irrelevant and will not cause emails to be “lost.”

    …emails are universally backed up in some other medium…The Agency’s manual on “Managing Electronic Records” [requires]

    1.15.6.8 (06-01-2010)

    Security of Electronic Records

    1. IRS offices will implement and maintain an effective records security program that incorporates the following:

    A. Ensures that only authorized personnel have access to electronic records.
    B. Provides for backup and recovery of records to protect against information loss or corruption.

    …the E-mail/Systems Administrators will establish procedures for regular recopying, reformatting, and other necessary maintenance to ensure the retention and usability of electronic records throughout their authorized life cycle.

    We have already seen some highly damaging emails that were produced by the IRS. One can only imagine how devastating the ones they are now hiding must be to the Obama administration.

  • Coastghost

    President Obama denies climate change in Iraq, details in forty-eight or seventy-two hours, if then.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Obama extends his lead over Bush-43.

    Rounds of golf: O:150 B:24

    #PalmSpringsCA

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Excellent questions for the IRS by Sharyl Atkinson:

    http://sharylattkisson.com/lois-lerners-lost-emails-questions-for-the-irs/

    • OnPointComments

      All excellent questions. I won’t hold my breath until they’re answered.

    • TFRX

      Sharyl Atkinson?

      I don’t know if she always was a fking right-wing propagandist.

      • notafeminista

        Yeah, I don’t know where she gets off asking questions. Pretty outrageous thing for a reporter of any ideological bent to be doing.

        • TFRX

          She’s a hack who just wished she gotten on the FoxBlonde gravy train years earlier in her career.

          Keep sticking up for her. It’s so revealing.

          • JGC

            I hope Attkinson has had her tetanus booster shot for those times when she and Nina Totenberg get into a scrum for the best front row seat at Supreme Court hearings. Nina bites. Everyone knows that.

      • JGC

        Attkisson’s questions are all good ones, at least until I realized that for the period in question (2010-2011) excess emails seem to have been only preserved at the employee’s whim on to their own personal computer. The questions she poses seem to be more geared to current regulations for preserving emails, rather than the ones that seem to have been in place at the time: deleting emails from your inbox to create more space, and if need be, downloading old emails to your own personal computer to create new space on your work mailbox. No wonder Lerner is pleading the 5th. There is bound to be a murky sorting of IRS directives around these years, and when and how they had to be implemented. To be clear: there is morally right as there is wrong, but there is also what was legally required at the time.

        Just letting my eyeballs stroll to the margins when I was on Sharyl Attkisson’s page, I was – disgusted? wearily unsurprised?- when I gathered that Attkisson is also apparently anti-vaccine. This shows a particular anti-government and more importantly to me, anti-science mind-set. That informs me in certain ways as to how I should appreciate the quality of the focus of her reporting.

    • JGC

      Here are the (the most recent?published 30 Aug 2012) IRS standards for their employees using email communications:

      http://www.irs.gov/irm/part1/irm_01-010-003.html

      I was looking for what were the complete standards as they existed for the period around 2010/2011, but couldn’t find them. Half-dozen or so lines down on that link above states “Effect on other documents: IRM 1.10.3 dated July 8, 2011 is superseded.”

      Further down the page, is directive 1.10.3.2.3 which is a carryover from the 8 July 2011 IRM (it does date when each directive was originally incorporated): concerning Emails as Possible Federal Records…on responsibility of employees to maintain physically printed copies of their emails as official records. There could be wiggle room for what is deemed to be material emails, but it pretty clearly states that there must be printed copies maintained of these type of emails. (But what was the directive on making hard copies of material emails prior to 8 July 2011?) There should exist paper copies of (many? some?) of Lerner’s emails at least after 8 July 2011.

      Also in that document, is” Exhibit 1.10.3-1: Reducing the size of your mailbox”, near the very end. The standard size for individual mailboxes is 500 MB. The employees will be pinged when their mailbox is approaching its limit. Then employees have to delete old emails, while still respecting the hard copy archives for sensitive/important emails. Or they can possibly request larger mailbox space from their supervisor.

      • OnPointComments

        Thanks for the interesting information. It will also be interesting to see what they say about backups. According to Commissioner Koskinen, the IRS uses Microsoft Outlook for its emails; all Outlook emails are on an email server, and may also be on an individual user’s computer. If the IRS uses the daily/weekly/monthly backup scheme used by most large enterprises where weekly and monthly backups are maintained in perpetuity, there should be a backup of the email server that has the emails.

        • JGC

          “If the IRS uses the..,backup scheme used by most large enterprises…” I don’t know about that. Technologically, the US government is ages behind private/or publically traded enterprise. We found out about that with the startup of the ACA/Obamacare. There seems to be a lot of concern budget-wise about how much effort can go into preservation of communications. I don’t mean they are not concerned with the historical/preservation/legal aspects; just that they are more focussed on the budgetary limits. I still think certain motivated parties can (with their financial backing) root out the crashed emails. As long as they can get a hold of Lois Lerner’s private computer information, since that is apparently where extra information had to be dumped, with the limit on government space within the IRS budget.

    • JGC

      Also from Politico, “IRS, Republicans clash over Lois Lerner emails”, by Rachael Bade, 13 June 2014

      http://www.politico.com/story/2014/06/irs-lois-lerner-email-107850.html

      “The IRS explains in the letter that it has not always backed up all employee emails due to the cost the agency would incur for allowing 90,000 employees to store their information on the IRS’s internal system.

      Currently, IRS employees have the capacity to store about 6,000 emails in their active Outlook email boxes, which are saved on the IRS centralized network. But the letter and background document sent to the Hill Friday said it could only store about 1,800 emails in their active folders prior to July 2011.

      When their inboxes were full, IRS employees had to make room by either deleting emails or archiving them on their personal computers. Archived data were not stored by the IRS but by the individual. Such archived emails on Lerner’s computer were what were lost when her computer crashed.”

      This is the only report I have seen so far that states/infers the “lost” emails were on Lerner’s personal computer. She should still have some archived paper copies after 8 July 2011, but perhaps even that measure was not a requirement prior to July 2011. But, nevertheless, I have a lot of faith in the FBI/NSA being able to retrieve those emails.

  • davecm

    To all my concerned friends on this site who have questions about funny things happening in Washington, watch and listen to this…

    http://therightscoop.com/must-watch-bill-whittle-explains-why-benghazi-matters-youll-want-to-bookmark-this-one/

  • davecm
  • HonestDebate1

    The first clue was Osama Bin Laden’s attempt to level the World Trade Center in 1993. Eight years later Al Qaeda succeeded and everything changed. The oceans no longer protected us. If nations harbored terrorists, it was no longer acceptable. If sworn enemies thwarted the UN time and again, it created an untenable situation. That’s it, no more Mr. Nice Guy, everything has changed. Decades outmoded surveillance techniques that allowed only phone taps of land lines were hopelessly behind the times. We had a new enemy and it really wasn’t Al Qaeda it was the entire ideology. It wasn’t about anything as shallow and petty as revenge. The whack-a-mole strategy is a loser. The only answer is to end brutal regimes and treat nations who harbor terrorist as enemies of war; to defeat them. A broad strategy of giving hope to the oppressed, while making clear whose side we are on, with the willingness to back it up with the full force of all available assets, is what is required to change the paradigm of the Islamic Caliphate that is in our face. Say what you will, I’m done arguing about it.

    That is why we went to Iraq. That is why. Democrat’s agreed, Congress agreed, the UN agreed… and with good reason. Obama adopted Bush’s policy (Gitmo, indefinite detention, etc…) for good reason. His blowing smoke up America’s ass with leftist red meat the dorks are too stupid to realize is total BS does not change reality. The vacuously visceral conclusions that were leveled are just stupid. This is serious business. American courts are not appropriate and Gitmo was made for just this purpose. We are at war and civilization as we know it is at stake. We have a President who will do, and has done, everything in his power (considerably enabled) to convince Americans otherwise… and it’s actually working. Good Lord!

    We better start realizing this. The job at hand is impossible but the alternative is worse. And now, thanks to Obama, the world can no longer depend on America. America can no longer depend on our economy. The terrorist are treating Obama’s red lines as a red carpet. There is no calvary to come to our rescue. This is awful.

    • nj_v2

      What an utterly delusional, simple-minded, misinformed (and illiterate) load of krap.

      The garbage-time trolling from the right-wing clown posse continues to plummet to new lows.

      • HonestDebate1

        Repent NJ, it’s not too late.

    • ExcellentNews

      Yep. Civilization as we know IS at stake. It is social democracy and rational humanism VS the Christian Taliban and the 0.01% Oligarchy.

      Americans can no longer depend on our economy because our “job-creating” corporate predators outsourced 25,000,000 US jobs to communist, slave-labor China.

      The world can no longer depend on America. It saw an intellectually challenged rich frat boy led by his cronies invade a country that posed no threat to us – one that even his former father President advised to leave alone. It saw America turn on its truest allies in democratic Western Europe, who became the butt of jokes and hatred bankrolled by a handful of billionaires – whose very way of making money is incompatible with an intelligent and educated society.

  • JONBOSTON

    The question I ask myself and I’m interested in the views of others is whether or not Obama even realizes or appreciates how bad things are in the world and at home. Is he that much of an ideologue or a narcissist that he’s incapable of seeing the disaster his policies and failure of leadership have caused here and overseas? Even Obama’s most ardent apologists on this board have got to be questioning his competence.

    • HonestDebate1

      It may not be the answer you’re looking for but I’ll put it this way: we cannot rule out the possibility that he does not view America’s demise as a bad thing. I don’t enjoy writing that by the way. If the stated objective is to fundamentally transform America then Obama seems very competent and has a solid track record.

      • ExcellentNews

        But of course Obama does his darnedest to destroy America. You seem to forget that he was trained in Kenya by Ali Gora himself (the REAL name of the so-called Al Gore) in anticipation of him being elected President. When he is not vacationing 24/7, Obama dons his black paint camo, and lurks in the boardrooms of banks and corporations, putting down our brave job creators executives who tiredlessly “make” and “create”, so that the mooching 47% soldiers, teachers and service workers can goof off and watch Oprah on their free cell phones.

        • JONBOSTON

          nice cartoon characterization of the evil corporate type that bears no relationship to reality but it evades my question. If Obama doesn’t see what’s happening around him , then he needs serious intervention by medical professionals. If he does see what’s going on , then he’s either insane for believing that doing the same disastrous policies will lead to different results or he’s doing it deliberately to fundamentally transform the country. If the latter then he should resign or be impeached.

          • ExcellentNews

            In the course of 20+ years of advising “corporate types”, I’ve seen a fraction that’s genuinely good, a fraction that’s genuinely evil, and a majority who thinks of themselves very highly – but is in fact rather clueless, and owes their success largely to luck or internal politics.

            A successful country needs a long-term economic policy designed and implemented by an effective government. This is not socialism, it is simply common sense in a competitive world. For decades, we’ve been lacking such a policy, and the economy has been left in the haphazard hands of the “corporate types” who are simply what they are (see above). The short term result – vast accumulation of wealth on top, creeping impoverishment of everyone else. The long term result – end of democracy, end of civil society. A country lives or dies by its economy and justice, not by its religion or armies.

            Obama (and many people like him) see this clearly. He has the right ideas on how to address the problems. However, there is a big gap between ideas and implementation. An entire book can be written on why there is such a gap – but that has little to do with his Presidency, and much to do with those who pay for elections.

  • HonestDebate1

    “Obama’s skepticism of American power apparently blinded him to how vital that power was to the maintenance of peace and stability. Perhaps this discomfort with American power meant the gains of the Iraq war were a burden to him. If so, he couldn’t do anything to reverse the 4,500 lives we lost and $1 trillion we spent to liberate Iraq. But maybe he could make people stop saying the sacrifice had been worth it.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/380344/obamas-criminal-negligence-iraq-mario-loyola

    • tbphkm33

      LOL – citing the National Review. Next you will probably be citing the National Enquirer.

      … the Enquirer is covering the story about UFO’s flying in and out of the White House. Obama is actually a space alien!!! Oh wait, think the Tea Baggers have already proposed that theory.

      • HonestDebate1

        I found the article very informing.

        • 1Brett1

          “‘Obama’s skepticism of American power apparently blinded him…’”

          “‘Perhaps this discomfort [Obama's] with American power meant the gains of the Iraq war were a burden to him…’”

          Yes, indeed, I believe such tripe does actually “inform” your opinions.

          And, yes, indeed, the National Review is ever so unbiased…

          Pick a reply:
          1) “I never said…” [the National Review is unbiased.]
          2) “Don’t try to understand, your head will explode.”
          3) “I know you have difficulty with reading comprehension.”
          4) “Where do you get this stuff from?!”
          5) “Don’t tell me what I think!”
          6) “Alrighty then.”

          Or some such variation…

  • OnPointComments

    GUN-CONTROL PROPAGANDA SHOT DOWN IN A HAIL OF INCONVENIENT QUESTIONS
    http://www.humanevents.com/2014/06/13/gun-control-propaganda-shot-down-in-a-hail-of-inconvenient-questions/

    Excerpt:

    The saga of the fraudulent map of “school shootings” pumped out by Michael Bloomberg’s “Everytown for Gun Safety” group is fascinating, especially given how quickly the fraud was exposed and destroyed. This group was caught in a lie, pure and simple…

    The list provided by Everytown included criminals who managed to get themselves shot near schools, shootings that occurred in school parking lots after hours, accidents, suicides, and of course gang violence…a “school shooting” that never actually happened, and one that appears to have been a case of self-defense, in which a 24-year-old man used a gun to fend off multiple twenty-something attackers, who were beating him with a pool cue.

    I think we can all agree that any number of school shootings is too many…But what good is a research team if everyone says “this supports what we already believe, and the people who sent it are ‘good guys,’ so we’ll just run with it?”

    These 5+ people are lucky that we have the 2nd Amendment, and their right to have a gun likely saved 5+ lives in June 2014:

    June 11, 2014, PERU, Indiana — Prosecutors won’t charge a northern Indiana man who they say shot and killed an intruder who attacked him with a baseball bat.

    June 11, 2014, Union Township, Ohio — A homeowner shot and wounded an intruder during an attempted robbery early Wednesday, Union Township police said.

    June 11, 2014, PORT RICHEY — A homeowner wielding a shotgun shot one of four intruders who entered his house about 4 a.m. Wednesday looking for cash and pills, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office reported.

    June 10, 2014, ST. LOUIS, MO – St. Louis police say a 17 year old girl was outside of her home getting something from a car when two armed men confronted her and demanded that she return to her home. The girl`s father saw the suspects walking his daughter toward the home. That`s when police say the teen`s father, a 34 year old man, got his gun and fired several shots at the suspects, hitting both of them.

    June 02, 2014, COALVILLE, Iowa — A homeowner and an alleged robber are in the hospital with serious injuries after a home invasion early Sunday morning.

    • hennorama

      OPC — please, keep posting about “GUN-CoNTROL PROPAGANDA….”

      Every one of the incidents brought to greater attention by Everytown for Gun Safety actually happened, on or adjacent to school property.

      Please, promote the theme that these violent incidents should not be brought to greater attention.

      Please, promote the idea of “Don’t worry, parents. Yes, it’s true that there have been many, many, many incidents of firearms being discharged on school property, but if it wasn’t done by a student intent on mass murder, with student victims, you can safely pretend that your kids are safe from firearms violence at schools.”

      This is similar to your feedback about the assassinations of two Las Vegas police officers and an armed civilian, along the lines of “Well, you know these were white supremacists, and cops are at greater risk from drug dealers and gangsters, so these deaths don’t require any special attention. They’re just three trees in the forest.”

      Please.

      • OnPointComments

        I don’t know where your quotations are from, but they’re not from me.

        Given your unwavering support for President Obama and his administration, I’m not surprised that you support lying to achieve a goal.

        • hennorama

          OPC — TYFYR.

          Those “quotations” are not quotations. If they were, I would have properly attributed them.

          Please explain the “lying” that you think has occurred.

          [Please also explain how, as you claim, I "support lying to acheive a goal." Please also demonstrate, as you claim, my "unwavering support for President Obama and his administration."]

          Please also clarify your positions if I have inaccurately presented them. To be clear, these were my points, above:

          You, OPC, in presenting the above, about so-called “GUN-CONTROL PROPAGANDA,” are:

          1. Promoting the theme that these violent incidents should not be brought to greater attention.

          2. Promoting the idea that parents can safely pretend that their kids are safe from firearms violence at schools, because some [incidents] of firearms violence that occur at schools do not involve students intent on mass murder.

          3. This is similar to how you have claimed and/or implied that, because the suspects alleged to have assassinated two Las Vegas police officers were “white supremacists,” and that more cops are killed by drug dealers and gangsters, these deaths don’t require any special attention.

          Thanks again for your response.

          • OnPointComments

            Did you read the linked article before you posted your comment? The article is about responsibility and truth in journalism.

          • hennorama

            OPC — TYFYR.

            Yes, I read the linked article, as well as some of the articles linked to within the article.

            Indeed, the overarching topic of the piece that you linked to is, as you wrote (Note o’ Benny Goodman, the following is a swinging quote) “about responsibility and truth in journalism,” but that’s not what your comment was about, was it?

            The only topics in your comment were a debunking of “GUN CONTROL PROPAGANDA…” and “people [who] are lucky that we have the 2nd Amendment…”

          • OnPointComments

            Please, promote the idea that when guns save lives that this should not be brought to greater attention.

          • hennorama

            OPC — TYFYR.

            Quoting the Gregg Smith Response-O-Matic:

            “Your premise is whacked.”

            Please, bring these incidents to greater attention, as you see fit.

            One notes that you have not disputed my presentation of your views, above.

            Unfortunately, one further notes your not having explained the “lying” that you think has occurred.

            Nor have you responded to these polite requests (although, to be fair, you may not have read these, as they were added to my original post, as indicated by the brackets):

            [Please also explain how, as you claim, I "support lying to achieve a goal." Please also demonstrate, as you claim, my "unwavering support for President Obama and his administration."]

            Thanks again for your response, despite its “whackness.”

          • OnPointComments

            Your presentation is your opinion, not mine. I offered no comments on whether violent incidents should be brought to greater attention, nor did I promote any idea about the safety of schools.

            I’m relying on my memory, but I don’t recall you ever being critical of President Obama. As I said, your support has been unwavering.

            Was President Obama’s statement true when he said “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what”? Was it true when he said “Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed”? Did his statement, variations of which he repeated nearly 40 times, clearly explain the repercussions that the PPACA would have on the plans and doctors that consumers had before enactment of the law?

            Do you think making these untrue statements was worth it if these statements were necessary to get the PPACA passed?

            Given all that you know about the scandal involving the IRS, would you agree with President Obama that there is not a smidgen of evidence of corruption?

            These are two examples of President Obama’s prevarication.

          • hennorama

            OPC – TYFYR.

            Interesting. You ask about President Obama, and ignore those you seemed to be referring to when you claimed, inaccurately,

            “Given your unwavering support for President Obama and his administration, I’m not surprised that you support lying to achieve a goal.”

            Are you now saying that you were not referring to Everytown.org, and their list of School Shootings in America Since Sandy Hook as “lying”?

            Please allow a restatement of my polite request, so that you do not mistake the reference:

            Please explain the “lying” that you think has occurred, on the part of the organization Everytown for Gun Safety.

            Interesting as well, that you equate your inaccurate claim of my “unwavering support for President Obama and his administration,” with your “memory,” and lack of “recall [of hennorama] ever being critical of President Obama.”

            It’s as if your brain has the faulty equation [not criticizing = unwavering support].

            This erroneous view is similar to the simplistic words of Pres. Bush II, that “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

            Erroneous, but neither uncommon nor unsurprising.

            ==========
            Indeed, my words are my words. Thank you for pointing this out.

            As your own words in your original post were few (“These 5+ people are lucky that we have the 2nd Amendment, and their right to have a gun likely saved 5+ lives in June 2014:), I have been attempting, mostly without success, to understand your point in posting those many words from others.

            As to your questions, in sequence:

            Not completely.
            Not completely.
            Not completely.
            Your question includes a conclusion I find unequivocal and invalid.
            I have only read an IG report (begun at the request of House Republicans), various media reports, and reports from the House Republican majority on the topic, and therefore cannot yet draw a well-informed conclusion. Corruption is a very serious charge, and requires far more serious examination than I have thus far afforded the matter.

            TY again FYR.

          • OnPointComments

            My point in citing the stories about law-abiding gun owners using their guns to defend themselves against criminals is that sometimes guns save lives. Don’t you think that when guns save lives it should be brought to people’s attention?

            President Obama’s statements that you can keep you plan, you can keep your doctor “Period. No matter what.” are unequivocally untrue. I challenge you to cite any quote from before the passage of the PPACA or before it became effective where President Obama or a representative of his administration said “you can keep your plan if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.” This statement received a “Pants On Fire” rating from Politifact.

            I misstated when I said the lies were told to achieve passage of the law. The majority of the lies were told to get elected to a second term.

            My final question was whether there is evidence of smidgen of corruption at the IRS: self-confession of wrong doing, an IG report, emails showing coordination with Washington DC, pleading the 5th, and now a story that emails are missing. It’s more than a smidgen.

            It’s as if Everytown didn’t think the actual statistics about what most people consider to be “school shootings” were bad enough, so they included incidents that, while technically may have been in close proximity to a school (“inside a car in southwest Atlanta, not far from the Morehouse campus”), are not what people think of when they hear there’s been a school shooting. You can argue about the semantics of whether a drug deal gone bad, on a highway not far from a school, after school hours, is a “school shooting,” but for me it’s a lie, and purposely designed to mislead.

      • notafeminista

        While he’s doing that , perhaps you might elaborate on why these incidents are of a greater significance than any other gun incident.

        On the other hand, you might not.

        On an only tangentially related note, I continue to be amused at what appears to still be a lack of outrage for the woman who fired a gun inside an occupied dwelling in the presence of and quite possibly in the direction of her two grade school age children.

        • hennorama

          notafeminista — thank you for your response.

          It is not my idea to bring these violent incidents to greater attention, but I do support the idea.

          In general, society desires that educational institutions be safe areas, where students can learn in a comfortable envirnment. That desire cannot be fully realized when violence of any sort occurs in and on the grounds. Bringing violent incidents to greater attention in the eyes and ears of the general public may lead to actions to promote the general desire that educational institutions be safe areas.

          From the Everytown.org website, as to how they compile their list:

          Data: Incidents were classified as school shootings when a firearm was discharged inside a school building or on school or campus grounds, as documented in publicly reported news accounts. This includes assaults, homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings. Incidents in which guns were brought into schools but not fired there, or were fired off school grounds after having been possessed in schools, were not included. This list includes incidents meeting the above criteria that were brought to our attention after our School Shootings Analysis was issued on February 10, 2014. Incidents were identified through media reports, so this is likely an undercount of the true total.

          Last updated: 06/10/2014

          See:
          http://everytown.org/article/schoolshootings/

          As to the incident that you, strangely, “continue to be amused at,” you’ll have to be more specific.

          Thanks again for your response.

          • notafeminista

            Whether or not it was your idea is immaterial.

            Society may well desire its education insitutions be safe areas. It seems not a huge leap that society also desire its homes, business and places of recreation to be safe areas as well. The query to you was not why these incidents are significant, but why they carry a greater significance.

            As for my amusement, you may recall this violent incident occurring in proximity to another. On the other hand, you may not. Permit me a small correction – the children in the home in question were her stepchildren – not her biological children.

            http://www.cbsnews.com/news/florida-woman-who-fired-warning-shot-could-get-60-years/

          • hennorama

            notafeminista — TYFYR.

            Your query is better directed to Everytown.org, as they are bringing these violent incident tos greater attention.

            Your premise, that “these incidents are of a greater significance than any other gun incident,” does not seem to be the point of Everytown.org’s list. No doubt they will help you to gain clarity about their positions, if you simply ask them.

            As to your being “amused at what appears to still be a lack of outrage for the woman who fired a gun inside an occupied dwelling in the presence of and quite possibly in the direction of her two grade school age [step]children,” I cannot help you regarding your strange amusement.

            If your point is that all firearms incidents deserve great public attention and scrutiny, you might get some support.

            Somehow, one doubts that’s your intent, however.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • notafeminista

            I was asking your opinion. Either you haven’t one, or you are refusing to share it.

            I am amused, as I said, at the lack of outrage, and at what I thought, was obvious intellectual dishonesty from the gun control crowd with regard to the Marissa Alexander incident. Clearly you were and still are unfamiliar.

            Whether or not you doubt my intent, is also immaterial.

          • hennorama

            notafeminista — TYAFYR.

            The “Marissa Alexander incident” is familiar, but as you were non-specific in your initial description, response was inappropriate. There certainly has been both significant outrage expressed, and media coverage of, this firearms discharge.

            Again, you may wish to direct your strange amusement to others.

            In the same way, you have written “perhaps you [hennorama] might elaborate on why these incidents are of a greater significance than any other gun incident,” a position that I have not expressed.

            As I have not expressed such a position, response is inappropriate.

            I must again quote the Gregg Smith Response-O-Matic:

            “Your premise is whacked.”

          • notafeminista

            Excellent. Please provide substantiation of any outrage or demands for gun control as it specfically relates to the Marissa Alexander incident. Please.

          • hennorama

            notafeminista— TYFYR.

            Had I made such a claim, I’d be happy to.

          • notafeminista

            So the “outrage expressed at the discharge of this firearm” refers to what exactly?

          • hennorama

            notafeminista — TYFYR.

            Repeating my prior statement, so there should be no misinterpretation:

            There certainly has been both significant outrage expressed, and media coverage of, this firearms discharge.

            As you brought up this incident, I suspect you already know the answer to your own question.

            As I recall, and please correct any error, the “outrage expressed” was threefold:

            1. The seriousness of the charges, given the entirety of the circumstances
            2. The disallowance of the so-called “Stand Your Ground” defense
            3. The lengthy sentence

            TYAFYR.

          • notafeminista

            Exactly my point. No outrage whatsoever (at least sourced by you) at a person having fired a gun inside an occupied dwelling in the presence of and quite possibly in the direction of two grade school age children. I suppose it is possible that society only wants safe areas sometimes when it suits us. Mere speculation though.

          • hennorama

            notafeminista — TYFYR.

            That is clearly untrue.

            That the people of the state of Florida charged (and convicted) Ms. Alexander for her having discharged a firearm, and in the general circumstances you described, is an expression of society’s outrage at her actions.

          • notafeminista

            So when you posted the below list, you were referring to the State’s outrage, or society’s?
            1)The seriousness of the charge, given the entirety of the circumstances
            2)The dis-allowance of the so-called “Stand Your Ground” defense
            3) The lengthy sentence.
            I realize principles are pesky things, but given society’s desire for at least certain locales to be safe areas, tell me, what is your opinion of Ms. Alexander’s actions? Not your opinion of the state’s response to, but of her actions.

          • hennorama

            notafeminista — TYFYR.

            The prosecution, the judge, and the jury, all are members of society. Please explain your perception, implicit in your question, that “the State,” and “society” are distinct and mutually exclusive entities.

            My recollection of the 3 items was based on recollection of media reports, and perhaps some discussion of the case in the On Point forums. I have not followed the case in any serious way. As you have not corrected my recollections, I am acting on your tacit agreement. As you brought up the topic, it seems safe to presume your superior knowledge of the details.

            Please correct any inaccurate presumption.

            As to your question: based on my recollection, your tacit agreement, as well as your characterization of the circumstances of the case, my opinion is that Ms. Alexander’s actions were reckless and unwise.

            However, I am obviously not aware of all the facts and evidence presented in the case, and might indeed come to a different conclusion with more complete awareness and knowledge.

        • jimino

          That sounds terrible. Just awful,. How many people got killed? How many injured?

  • OnPointComments

    We all know the heart-warming success story of Chelsea Clinton, whose contract for her parttime work at NBC was $600,000 a year. We should be inspired by this young woman from a family that was dead broke and who rose so high so quickly.

    Maybe NBC will pick up this sitcom suggestion from Mad magazine.

    Hillary Clinton’s Ridiculous New Sitcom
    FEELING LIKE A MILLION SCHMUCKS DEPT.

    “In a recent interview with ABC News, Hillary Clinton stated that she and Bill were “dead broke” when they left the White House. They even had trouble paying the mortgages on their houses. (Plural!) Luckily, like so many of America’s poor, she was able to scrape by, thanks to an $8 million book advance and six-figure speaking fees. Still, the next time you see Hillary Clinton in rags on the street, make sure to put a dollar in her Styrofoam cup — you never know how close she and Bill are to abject poverty!”
    http://www.madmagazine.com/blog/2014/06/10/hillary-clintons-ridiculous-new-sitcom

  • hennorama

    Do conservatives/Republicans/TEA Shindiggers simply want to return to “the good old days”? That seems to be the view of conservative/Republican/TEA Shindigger candidate Chris McDaniel, who’s trying to unseat Sen. Thad Cochran in Mississippi.

    From Robert Costa, in the Washington Post (emphasis added):

    COLDWATER, Miss. — Amid the Confederate flags, the guns and the pigs — in pens and on plates — Chris McDaniel worked the Tate County Fair in search of votes in his quest to beat Sen. Thad Cochran in a runoff election in two weeks.

    “I need you,” McDaniel said to Brandy Davis, before also greeting Bobby Goodwin, a heavyset man carrying a handgun, at a booth for the Citizens Militia of Mississippi. The members of the militia, whose motto is “Any fate but submission,” implored the Republican to take a hard-line stance on immigration and gun rights. McDaniel assured them that he would and that he is not “going to join any club” in Washington.

    “This is a peek back to a better time,” he told a reporter a short while later as he walked through a sea of makeshift stands. “I’m a Jeffersonian and a Reaganite, and I like to remember how good things once were.”

    See:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-mississippi-senate-hopeful-mcdaniel-embodies-what-gop-fears-about-tea-party/2014/06/09/548d22ba-efe4-11e3-914c-1fbd0614e2d4_story.html

    • pete18

      Yeah, such a strange idea, because times are so good right now.

      • hennorama

        pete18 — thank you or your response.

        Please note that I have not written or implied that Mr. McDaniel’s words, or the possible desire to return to “the good old days,” is a strange idea.

        I simply asked whether conservatives/Republicans/TEA Shindiggers simply want to return to “the good old days.”

        Care to weigh in on the question?

        Thanks again for your response.

        • HonestDebate1

          What is the logic in asking a question so broad, unless in your mind you have defined “good old days” as you imagine the phrase to have been meant? What leaps do you make?

        • pete18

          Given your use of the term “TEA Shindiggers” your question can not be taken with such benign intent. Nor would such a general comment like McDaniel’s be seriously mistaken for a policy roadmap by anyone.

          Why are you spinning your wheels on such a fine Sunday?

          • hennorama

            pete18 — TYFYR.

            Your “wheel spinning” characterization is interesting. Did it have a “benign intent”?

            Occasionally, something catches my eyes or ears, and I am curious about the views of others. Said curiosity was the reason for my question.

            My use of the term TEA Shindiggers is of long standing, and is intended to indicate that the term “Tea Party” is inaccurate, as there is no recognized political party using that name, as well as the acronym TEA (for “Taxed Enough Already”), which is also of long standing, having been used from the beginning of the TEA Shindigger era, and is still in use at present.

            I’m open to other suggestions, but believe my term to be superior to “TEA Partiers,” etc.

            Please note that you have separated out one of the three terms in my as-inclusive-as-possible “conservatives/Republicans/TEA Shindiggers,” which of course, detracts from the overall point.

            Repeating: Care to weigh in on the question?

          • pete18

            “Your “wheel spinning”
            characterization is interesting. Did it have a “benign intent”?”

            No, it did not.

            “Tea Party” is inaccurate, as there is
            no recognized political party using that name,”

            Please. It is completely accurate, as it is what they call themselves. “Shindiggers” is a clear attempt to belittle them rather than a search for
            more accurate phrasing.

            It’s OK, I have no problem with you belittling a group that you don’t like,
            just don’t pretend to be posing a question of political theory and philosophy, born out of intellectual curiosity when doing so.

            Own your commentary.

            “Repeating: Care to weigh in on the question?”

            No, it wasn’t a serious question.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — TYFYR.

            Have you detected a unique “they” among the TEA Shindiggers? If so, please point to “their” official website. As far as can be determined by a casual observer, there are myriad groups using the word “Tea” as part of “what they call themselves,” but there is no unique “they.”

            See:
            http://www.teapartyconnect.com/
            http://www.teaparty911.com/info/locations/massachusetts.htm

            As one can see from the two websites above, there is no agreement whatsoever, as the first site lists the “Greater Waltham Tea Party” as the sole entity in Massachusetts, and the second site not only excludes that entity, it lists 10 other entities.

            You mistake (again) my intent in the use of the term TEA Shindiggers, despite explanation. Given your admitted non-benign intent in a prior characterization, this leads one to fairly conclude that it is you who aver adverse attitude and intention, not I.

            Why you might view the (yet again) partial term “Shindiggers” as “a clear attempt to belittle them” (again, a unique “them/they” being impossible to pin down) is beyond me, as the word “shindig” has nothing but a positive connotation.

            In addition, you offer no alternative terminology, despite my stated openness.

            It’s unfortunate that you don’t care to weigh in on what is indeed a serious question, asked in the spirit of enhancing understanding and satisfying curiosity.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • pete18

            Despite the myriad of web pages, all of which include “Party” in one form or another, “Tea Party” is the common parlance in most public conversations. I don’t think there is much confusion by anyone else that requires your energy to be invested in a new system of political nomenclature.

            I would suggest using “Tea Party” from now on. That way everyone will know what you are talking about and no one will be confused about your intent.

            You may be curious about that question, I don’t find it to be a serious topic, nor did it have anything to do with McDaniel’s policy positions or his attempts to communicate them.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — TYFYR.

            Thank you as well for your suggestion, which I will politely decline, as it is neither an alternative term, nor superior to my own.

  • OnPointComments

    I’ll renew the prediction I made months ago: Obamacare will not decrease emergency room use any time soon.

    MORE PATIENTS FLOCKING TO ERS UNDER OBAMACARE
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/06/08/more-patients-flocking-to-ers-under-obamacare/10173015/

    Excerpt:

    …many hospitals in Kentucky and across the nation are seeing a surge of those newly insured Medicaid patients walking into emergency rooms.

    Nationally, nearly half of ER doctors responding to a recent poll by the American College of Emergency Physicians said they’ve seen more visits since Jan. 1, and nearly nine in 10 expect those visits to rise in the next three years.

    Researchers found the same thing occurred in Oregon:

    MEDICAID INCREASES EMERGENCY-DEPARTMENT USE:
    EVIDENCE FROM OREGON’S HEALTH INSURANCE EXPERIMENT

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/343/6168/263.abstract

  • hennorama

    A shout out to JGC, and other fans of Canadian cuisine:

    Merriam-Webster.com’s Word Of The Day today is poutine.

    (Hint to non-fans: this is not the French version of [Vladimir] Putin’s surname.)

    See:
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day/

    • JGC

      He he…I liked Michael Nagrant’s comment from the Chicago Tribune about the top 10 Canadian inventions, within the M-W “word of the day” on poutine.

      • hennorama

        JGC – TYFYR.

        M-W states that poutine is a NEW WORD ADDED for 2014. Where have they been? Even Trader Joe’s offers a frozen (!!) product that they call “Trader Joe’s Poutine,” so it’s not like this is some unknown and obscure word.

        See:

        http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article.asp?article_id=1500

        As to the Top Ten, per wikipedia (with the wikidisclaimers that “This article does not cite any references or sources,” and “The neutrality of this article is disputed”), these are the first ten Greatest Canadian Invention[s], according to the documentary mini-series, The Greatest Canadian Invention:

        Insulin
        Telephone
        Light bulb
        Five-pin bowling
        Wonderbra
        Artificial pacemaker
        Robertson screw
        Zipper
        Electric Wheelchair
        Poutine

        See:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Greatest_Canadian_Invention#Inventions

        That Five-pin bowling placed 4th! gives a neutral observer pause as to the validity of the list, and the placement of the Wonderbra at #5 leads one to question how skewed the online voting may have been.

        Still, it’s an entertaining list.

        Thanks again for your response.

        • TFRX

          I like Trader Joes, but the idea of frozen something turning into poutine sounds very unlikely, if not revolting.

          • hennorama

            TFRX — TYFYR.

            As the parenthetical double exclamation points in my post, combined with the word “call,” implied, I agree.

    • JGC

      And while we are thinking for just a miilisecond about Canada, let me wish my fond farewell to my former dual citizen compatriot Ted Cruz, who finally found his way to renounce his Canadian citizenship without jeopardizing his American one. Brilliant, mon ami! Kudos to your legal team!

      • hennorama

        JGC — TYFYR.

        I presume you’re referring to Canadian-Cuban-American Senator Rafael Edward Cruz, son of Cuban revolutionary Rafael Bienvenido Cruz.

        If so, then we have to change his designation from Canadian-Cuban-American to Cuban-American.

        He doesn’t seem very proud of his birth name though, does he? No doubt there’s a good reason.

        Thanks again for your response.

        • OnPointComments

          Or how about simply designating Senator Cruz as an American? That would solve your dilemma.

          I bet Senator Ted Cruz is as proud of his birth name as was that Catholic Irish American son of a bootlegger Senator Ted Kennedy.

          • TFRX

            Let’s wait for NPR to seriously listen to people saying “Cruz isn’t a real American” for months on end.

            Then we’ll talk.

          • hennorama

            OPC — TYFYR.

            I have no “dilemma” regarding Senator Rafael Edward Cruz.

          • OnPointComments

            I wonder why the full name of President Barack Hussein Obama is used so infrequently. He must have a good reason to not be proud of his birth name.

          • hennorama

            OPC — TYFYR.

            President Obama is obviously not proud of his birth name. After all, we all know he used his nickname when he took the oath of office, twice (thrice, if one counts the “do over” after Chief Justice John Roberts flubbed the first one, in 2009).

            As to your wonderment — likely it’s the same reason that the full birth names of US Presidents are “used so infrequently”: simplicity.

            As I stated, no doubt there’s a good reason that Senator Rafael Edward Cruz seems to not be proud of his birth name. It could be as simple as the fairly natural tendency for a son with the same first name as his father to use a different name, in an effort to distinguish themselves. Or he may simply not care for the name, or prefer his nickname.

            It may also be that Senator Rafael Edward Cruz thinks that his birth name might be a hindrance to his career, or that using it might affect how he is perceived by others.

            There are other examples of politicians not using their birth name, of course, the most obvious recent one being Willard Mitt Romney.

            Had he been elected POTUS, do you think he would have reverted to his birth name while in office?

          • OnPointComments

            What foolishness. Your belief that Senator Rafael Edward Cruz seems to not be proud of his birth name is nothing more than your belief, with absolutely nothing to back it up. Seems…could be…may not…may be…might affect. All pointless, and factless, speculation.

            Nobody has called me by full name for years and years and years. I’m called by the nickname my parents called me from the moment I was born. There’s no deep, dark secret motive behind it.

          • hennorama

            OPC — TYFYR, and for again pointing out the obvious.

            No doubt some might find your personal anecdote interesting. No doubt it conforms to one of the possible reasons that Senator Raphael Edward Cruz seems to not be proud of his birth name.

            TYAFYR.

          • OnPointComments

            I’m called by my nickname, and I’m proud of my birth name.

          • HonestDebate1

            What’s your birth name?

  • hennorama

    Does anyone know how many Lindsey Grahams there are? There seem to be at least two, based on remarks attributed to “Lindsey Graham”:

    From today (Sun. June 1, 2014), per Politico.com (emphasis added):

    “We’re going to probably need to their help to hold Baghdad,” Graham said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” while cautioning that Tehran’s goal is to “create a sectarian Iraq. To have a puppet in Baghdad that is a Shia-dominated government where they control the outcome.”

    “But in the short term, why did we deal with Stalin? Because he was not as bad as Hitler, in our eyes,’ he added. “We’re going to have to have some dialog with the Iranians that says let’s coordinate our efforts but has some red lines with the Iranians.”

    See:
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/politico-live/2014/06/graham-we-must-work-with-iran-190419.html

    From Dec. 6, 2006, on the website LGraham.senate.gov, in part, with emphasis added:

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on release of the Iraq Study Group report. Graham is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    “I appreciate the views expressed by the members of the ISG and the time they have devoted to this endeavor. They are a distinguished group of Americans and I will review their recommendations along with those that will be made in several other reports in the coming months.

    “One of the major provisions of the ISG report is the need to engage Iran and Syria about the outcome in Iraq. We must recognize the limitations of this approach.

    “By his words and actions, the President of Iran has shown himself to be a very dangerous man. My biggest fear in talking directly to him is that he will take it as a sign of weakness and use it to continue his nuclear ambitions. In many ways, a nuclear-armed Iran, combined with their current political leadership, is even more dangerous than a failed state in Iraq.

    See:
    http://www.lgraham.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressRoom.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=61e670f2-a276-44ee-b229-db3db90c6648&Region_id=&Issue_id=

    • OnPointComments

      Circumstances have changed in the 8-1/2 years that have elapsed between December 6, 2006 and June 1, 2014.

      • hennorama

        OPC — TYFYR.

        That is true, of course.

        However, had I any further interest, I’m confident I could locate and cite much more recent quotes from “Lindsey Graham” that were similar to the press release cited above.

        • OnPointComments

          If you develop a further interest, see if you can locate and cite recent quotes from President Obama on how he’s doing with his 02/27/2009 “clear and achievable goal” for “an Iraq that is sovereign, stable, and self-reliant.”

  • OnPointComments

    An informative exposé that may explain some of the corruption in this administration. Perhaps it is Ms. Ruemmler & Ms. Monaco who are advising to hide the IRS emails, as they did with exculpatory evidence when they were prosecutors.

    ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MUSES: OBAMA AND PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT
    Chronic bungling by DOJ officials who have the President’s ear.

    http://observer.com/2014/06/all-the-presidents-muses-obama-and-prosecutorial-misconduct/#ixzz34iyrPuAH

    Excerpt:
    President Obama’s right-hand woman Kathryn Ruemmler…was his longest serving White House Counsel and remains one of his closest and most trusted advisors…

    Disturbingly, evidence has surfaced that President Obama’s close friend and senior advisor violated her oath “to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” the rules of legal ethics, not to mention the law. As a senior member of the Enron Task Force, Ms. Ruemmler prosecuted four Merrill Lynch executives and sent them to prison on an indictment that was “fatally flawed.” The conduct the prosecutors alleged was not criminal. At the same time, she deliberately hid exculpatory evidence—that is, evidence she was constitutionally compelled to hand over to the defense. Indeed, the prosecutors not only acknowledge the evidence as exculpatory, they yellow-highlighted it as such—then buried it.

    Not only did Ms. Ruemmler hide the evidence she had identified as crucial to the defense, but she signed the false and misleading “disclosure letter” to defense counsel. Ms. Ruemmler then elicited hearsay testimony from witnesses that was directly contradicted by the first-hand evidence she and her Task Force hid. She capitalized on and compounded the injustice, repeatedly telling the court and jury “facts” that were directly refuted by the evidence she hid.

    The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ultimately reversed 12 out of 14 counts of conviction against the executives, acquitting one entirely.

    Mr. Obama’s second muse…is Lisa Monaco—probably just a coincidence that she’s a close, longtime friend of Ms. Ruemmler—who also served on the elite Enron Task Force. Ms. Monaco was implicated in the prosecutorial misconduct that infected the Enron Broadband case prosecution…[The prosecutors] elicited false testimony from a government witness, threatened witnesses for the defense with indictment if they testified, and used evidence already ruled inadmissible…Obama chose Ms. Monaco to be his Counter-Terrorism advisor.

  • tbphkm33

    Tony Blair: ‘We didn’t cause Iraq crisis’
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-27852832

    — WOW, Tony Blair is proving to be delusional or maybe he was always just as dumb as the Impostor “President” GW Bush.

    “The 2003 invasion of Iraq is not to blame for the violent insurgency now gripping the country, former UK prime minister Tony Blair has said.”

    • HonestDebate1

      I disagree, I found Tony Blair’s essay sound and completely rational. Just an aside but they talk funny on BBC, not that there’s anything wrong with it. Blair got it and still gets it, I respect his speaking out. I can understand disagreeing with his very informed opinion… or Bush’s… sorta’ (not really)… but dismissing it as delusional is getting to be a very hard position to cling to. You’re like a polar bear lunging with it’s last grasp for the glacier/slushie.

      “There is no sensible policy for the West based on indifference. This is, in part, our struggle, whether we like it or not.”

      “The point is that we won’t win the fight until we accept the nature of it.”

      That’a good stuff.

      At some point this road we’re on will lead to a critical mass of tragedy that will gag our collective psyche like a bowling ball down America’s gullet. We had better bring our “A” game and this ain’t it.

    • JGC

      There was an editorial today in the NYT, “Bergdahl Critics Didn”t Howl When Bush Freed Prisoners”. It mentions certain “extralegal” trades made by the Bush administration from Guantanamo, that had no major outbreak of concern, in the way that people are now loudly concerned about the Obama administration’s trade of 5 Taliban for U.S. soldier Sgt. Bergdahl.

      With respect to the Tony Blair mention, Mr. Bush “undercut military prosecutors by sending two British men, Moazzam Begg and Feroz Ali Abbasi, back to England, despite plans to try them by military commissions. Both men were alleged to be Islamic extremists with ties to terrorists, and the cases against them were among the prosecutors’ strongest… But Mr. Bush had other things to worry about, like helping his friend, Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain, appease a public that overwhelmingly objected to British citizens being prosecuted in American military courts. Upon their release in January 2005 – WHICH WAS OPPOSED BY THE PENTAGON, THE CIA, AND THE FBI- both were released following questioning by the British authorities the following day, without charges.

      • hennorama

        JGC — I believe the apt colloquiallism is “Quelle surprise.”

  • JGC

    Did Rep. Eric Cantor’s handlers think they could conflate “liberal” as a dirty political word when referring to Professor Brat, with the fact that Brat taught at a “liberal arts” college? If so, that shows the cynical contempt as to how informed they regarded the voters in his VA-7th district.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    74 firearms incidents in schools since Sandy Hook. Bulletproof blankets for kids – lovely.

    But we can’t have background checks for all gun purchases.

  • OnPointComments

    From John Hinderaker’s “Lois Lerner’s “lost” emails:”

    A reader writes from inside the Department of Justice to comment on the two-year gap in Lois Lerner’s intra-government email messages:

    I’m a DOJ lawyer, so you obviously cannot use my name or any identifying information. But the idea that a “hard drive crash” somehow destroyed all of Ms. Lerner’s intra-government email correspondence during the period in question [2009-2011] is laughable. Government email servers are backed up every night. So if she actually had a hard drive fail, her emails would be recoverable from the backup. If the backup was somehow also compromised, then we are talking about a conspiracy.

    “Keep up the good work.”

    He reiterates in a postscript:

    I’m serious about your keeping any identifying information out of the media. Things are very, very bad.”

    Personally, I’ve always thought that the DOJ is at the heart of the corruption in this administration.

  • Pleiades

    It should be noted that oil production has been maintained during this crisis. ISIL has been attempting to obtain an actual oil refinery as it could control gasoline production for Iraqi usage.
    LIke you I would like to know how future historians will see the events of the last 14 years. it would be good if we could see a thoughtful analysis of the divisions made after World War I, because it is obvious the Brits and French attempted to create nations that would never be stable.

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