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Old 04-05-2010, 10:37 PM   #676
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I haven't been in this thread in a while and what partisan outrage du jour did I miss?

Mom jeans.

Guys have button downs too. We just have zippers.
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:12 PM   #677
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Op-Ed Columnist - An Article of Faith - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist

An Article of Faith

By CHARLES M. BLOW
Published: April 2, 2010

Since signing the health care reform bill, President Obama has been traipsing about the country trying to sell it. It’s not really working for him.
Skip to next paragraph
Earl Wilson/The New York Times

Charles M. Blow


According to a CBS News poll released on Friday, President Obama’s approval rating on health care sank to a personal low: 34 percent. (His overall approval rating in the poll was also a new low for him: 44 percent.)

This is in large part because of Republican recalcitrance. The left loves him. The right not so much. Actually, not at all. According to a Quinnipiac University poll released last week, Obama’s job approval rating among Republicans was a measly 9 percent. On health care, his approval rating was an even-more-measly 7 percent.

Why? The Apostles of Anger in their echo chamber of fallacies have branded him the enemy. This has now become an article of faith. Obama isn’t just the enemy of small government and national solvency. He’s the enemy of liberty.

This underscores the current fight for the soul of this country. It’s not just a tug of war between left and right. It’s a struggle between the mind and the heart, between evidence and emotions, between reason and anger, between what we know and what we believe.

This conflict was captured in a tit-for-tat between Obama and Rush Limbaugh. In an interview with CBS this week, Obama complained about the “vitriol” coming from the likes of Limbaugh: “I think the vast majority of Americans know that we’re trying hard, that I want what’s best for the country.”

Limbaugh shot back on Friday, “I and most Americans do not believe President Obama is trying to do what’s best for the country.”

And there it was. Obama’s language focused on what people “know,” or should know. He seems to find comfort in the empirical nature of knowledge. It’s logical. Limbaugh’s language focused on what he thinks people “believe.” Beliefs are a more complicated blend of facts, or lies, and faith. And, they can exist beyond the realm of the rational.

This focus on faith has allowed people like Limbaugh to mislead and manipulate large swaths of the right.


According to another Quinnipiac poll released last week, Republicans were far more likely than Democrats to say that they follow public affairs most of the time. But how? They listen to people like Limbaugh, and they’re more likely than others to watch Fox News.

But invectives are not information. For example, a poll released on Wednesday by the Pew Research Center found that most Republicans say that they still don’t understand how the new health care reform will affect them and their family.

They don’t know what it means, but they believe it’s bad. Rush & Co. said so. In the vacuum of confusion and misinformation, they strum their fears and feed their anxiety. And, by worrying, their faith is made perfect.
I'm not so much upset about the fact that this passed, I'm upset with the fact that the government keeps spending and printing money it doesn't have. Where are they going to get the money to pay for this? (Print more and raise taxes). Oh, and printing more really weakens the economy even more since the value of the dollar drops.

Due to the healthcare bill's tax mandates, AT&T now has to get rid of prescription benefits for retirees and Verizon told their employees that the tax mandates would trickle down and effect the employees.

Obama's administration keeps spending imaginary money and keeps printing imaginary money of no value.

I wanted to believe in Obama when he won. I truly did that he would 'change' things. Instead, he just ballooned the deficit further and prints more money to lower the value of the dollar. My biggest beef with Obama is that I hated the fact that Bush put in the secrecy laws and the Patriot Act. And during the campaign Obama promised to reverse both of those.

Instead, he extended both of them. Liar. All politicians lie. I hated Bush, his administration and the Republican congress for screwing things up, and I'm hating Obama, his administration the Democratic congress for screwing things up even further.

I'm done with both parties. It's ridiculous. 2001-2008 we lost a decline on our freedoms, and 2009-present they are extended and more money is being pushed into things when we don't have the money period.
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:40 PM   #678
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'We run this country,' Karzai says of Afghan people - CNN.com

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Kandahar, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Plans to drive the Taliban from Afghanistan's second-largest city and surrounding districts will start only when the plans have the support of the population, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Monday.

Karzai has told tribal leaders in the Kandahar region, the Taliban's traditional stronghold, that he would hold back the NATO offensive until he had their backing. His insistence on that support drew a fresh expression of frustration from the White House on Monday, but Karzai told CNN, "We run this country," referring to the Afghan people.

"The operation in Kandahar will not begin, will not go on, unless and until we have the full trust of the people of Kandahar for it and we have the full approval of the people of Kandahar for it, and where we have made sure after they've given us the approval that this operation will bring them more security, better livelihood and improved governance," he said.

Karzai has led Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion that drove the Taliban from power in December 2001. He was re-elected last year in a vote that international observers said was marred by fraud, and Karzai irritated the Obama administration Friday when he blamed the irregularities on foreigners who wanted a "puppet government" in Afghanistan.

He further aggravated Washington, his biggest backer, on Sunday when he told a gathering of tribal leaders that the U.S.-led alliance would not move against Taliban fighters in Kandahar "until you say we can." White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters Monday that Karzai's remarks were "genuinely troubling."
I don't think Karzai would officially flip to the Taliban side. But President Obama doubled down on Afghanistan, and this is the thanks he gets? A rigged election and Karzai's defiance?

It will be a bloody summer for American soldiers over there. If Afghanistan's government keeps playing this game, I wonder if it's worth it.

Strongbow, any thoughts?
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:44 PM   #679
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This is a big part of Bush's legacy.

He (they, Bush Admin.) chose this guy, and kept him in power.


They say Afghanistan is where empires go to die.

Did BinLaden get it right?
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:12 AM   #680
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'We run this country,' Karzai says of Afghan people - CNN.com



I don't think Karzai would officially flip to the Taliban side. But President Obama doubled down on Afghanistan, and this is the thanks he gets? A rigged election and Karzai's defiance?

It will be a bloody summer for American soldiers over there. If Afghanistan's government keeps playing this game, I wonder if it's worth it.

Strongbow, any thoughts?
Well, the United States did not believe nation building would be worth it in Afgahnistan after the Soviets left in 1989 and the communist government there collapsed in 1991/1992. Chaos insued, the Taliban formed, and Al Quadia grew and found a safe haven from which to plan and launch terrorism around the world. Still, the United States resisted doing anything significant to try to change things on the ground in Afghanistan. Even after the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were destroyed with hundreds of deaths in August of 1998, the most significant response was simply to fire cruise missiles into Afghanistan. More terrorist activities continued, many were intercepted, but many were not like attacks on the USS Cohl and of course the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington DC. Only then did the United States finally take relevant action to correct the problems coming out of Afghanistan.

Its vital to global security that a stable government be created in Afghanistan that does not threaten its neighbors, is able to maintain security within its borders, has the capability to disrupt and destroy any terrorist element that develops within its borders without the need for the stationing of tens of thousands of foreign military forces to accomplish that. Afghanistan needs to develop the capability to perform the security tasks that the United States and NATO are currently engaged in, inside the country.

While Pakistan has not always gone after terrorist elements on its territory for various reasons, it has always had the technical capability to do so. Afghanistan must develop the same capabilities to combat crime and terrorism within its borders. Until it does, US and NATO troops on the ground will be necessary to prevent the disruption of the nation building process, as well as combating elements engaged in domestic and international terrorism.

So regardless of the problems with the current Afghan leadership, the operation in Afghanistan is definitely a necessity. What happened during the 1990s already proved that the United States cannot ignore the country.

Karzai has said some strange things in the past, perhaps as an attempt to win over parts of the Taliban. Part of the strategy in Afghanistan is to help change or win the hearts and minds of the Pashtun part of the country that is the base of the Taliban's support in Afghanistan. There are disagreements within the US government, within NATO, and within the Afghan government and leadership about how to do this, and what would be considered going too far.

While the Karzai government is far from perfect, its not clear that a better alternative(Afghan leader or political group) has emerged. Leaving Afghanistan because the US and NATO has an imperfect partner certainly will not solve the problems or the threat that is posed by a chaotic and unstable Afghanistan. Those problems would only get worse.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:34 AM   #681
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this nuke thing is a giant mistake.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:52 AM   #682
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How is it a mistake, no one has been able to explain it to me, all I hear is hawkish irrational thinking.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:40 AM   #683
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Yes - why is it a mistake? Or which part of it do you think is a mistake?
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:53 AM   #684
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The only answer that I've I've heard is: Well what if some group from Egypt decides to set off a chemical weapon in New York, now we can't nuke Egypt...

Really, that's what you want? The ability to nuke a country for the action of a few? When did that become the rationale for nuclear war?
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:00 AM   #685
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i fail to see how a chemical/biological attack would kill, say, 3,000 people in Manhattan on a tuesday morning in September. and no one got nuked after that. nor should anyone have gotten nuked after that.

seems to make sense to me.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:15 AM   #686
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I saw that part as Obama just scoring cheap points. Of course the US would never retaliate to such an attack with nukes, so why not formalise the reality for an easy "look at me taking a nuclear step back" win?

If you are talking about a terrorist group launching such an attack (a) a threatened nuclear response would be no deterrent, they'd do it anyway, and likely (b) love that response above all others anyway, but then (c) as mentioned, nuke what exactly? A city or country they were based in or planning in before the attack? Manchester? Hamburg? Pakistan? Saudi Arabia? No. Be the first country in 55 years to use nukes, only to launch it at....a cave? No.

And whether it's a terrorist or state attack, then in the end, there's no way, in 2010, the United States would launch a nuclear attack under any situation other than a direct and immediate threat to the existence of the United States. Somehow, I don't think North Korea really applies there. They won't do it, such countries know it, so, again, it's really no deterrence. But those countries would know for damn sure that they wouldn't get away with it. So, does by what means matter? No.

It might be a change in formal policy, but it would not change - at all - the reality of any potential scenario.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:39 AM   #687
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^ you see, folks? this is what happens when we surrender our God-given national sovereignty to Australia.
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:37 PM   #688
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it's not a mistake to practice it... it's a mistake to say it.

the idea that we could use them is the best deterant we have going for us. even clinton agreed with that one.

i don't think we should actually go around nuking people... i just want our enemies to think that we might.
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:11 PM   #689
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i just want our enemies to think that we might.
So you're against all peace treaties?
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:36 PM   #690
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... i just want our enemies to think that we might.
But they don't. They know you won't. I'm not talking about threats in a relatively similar weight class to the US (major nuclear nations like China and Russia) because that's where the deterrent actually does work. I'm talking about people like Iran, North Korea, or stateless organisations. They know the US will not - ever* - launch a nuclear attack unless it's part of a nuclear nukefest nukeoff with a major nukenemy.

Think it through. If it's via one of those lesser idiot states or a terrorist organisation, I can't even see the US responding in kind if a whole city and a couple of million people are lost. Not responding in kind wins not just every humanitarian argument, but every strategic argument too. Fox News and the raving mad end of the right wing would detest anything but a response in kind, but after the initial understandable fury and bloodthirst, the majority of the US would come around to seeing that too. There's just no way it would happen*. (Whispering) And other people know this too.

The deterrent doesn't exist in strategy because it doesn't actually exist in reality, so it's an easy win to just delete a paragraph or two.





* Palin Pending
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