Heal The Planet? Obama World In Disarray

Update: General Petraeus (the guy who last week fainted, the guy Move-On attacked as “General Betray-us“) will now run things in Afghanistan. The firing of McChrystal opens up all sorts of taps.

The biggest of those taps is what will happen now in Afghanistan? There is supposed to be a major offensive there later this year, will that still happen? Afghanistan, the story Obama does not want on the front pages is now back on the front pages and on the front burner. Will Obama now be forced to get off the golf carts and into caring about what happens in Afghanistan?

A dissatisfied General McChrystal wanted to “shake things up” and he sure did. Obama ignored the infighting and the divisions within American military forces and civilian authorities in Afghanistan and he can no longer do so. Obama Hopium Guzzlers mostly reject the one promise Obama has done the most to keep – the Afghanistan War. Will the strategies and policies, such as they are, in Afghanistan stay in place or will there now be a push for yet another review? Clearly many, not just McChrystal, and not just the “pro-war” side, are not happy with what is going on in Afghanistan.

It’s now, beyond any doubt, Obama’s Afghanistan War. Saying he needs “unity” across “his” national security team Obama added, “I welcome debate among my team, but I won’t tolerate division. All of us have personal interests, all of us have opinions, our politics often fuels conflict, but we have to renew our sense of common purpose and meet our responsibilities to one another and to our troops who are in harm’s way, and to our country.” Tell that to Move-On.

Meanwhile the oil gusher decided to gush even more and there are more dead:

“Two people involved in the Gulf oil spill cleanup effort have died, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.

Meantime, tens of thousands of gallons more oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday after an undersea robot bumped a venting system, forcing BP to remove the cap that had been containing some of the crude.

It was yet another setback in the nine-week effort to stop the gusher, and it came as thick pools of oil washed up on Pensacola Beach in Florida and the Obama administration tried to figure out how to resurrect a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling.”

Disaster breeds disaster. A boob breeds boobery.

—————————————————————————————-

By now the Obama “governing” style is clear – knock a disaster off the front pages with another disaster followed by another disaster followed by another disaster. It’s a unique way to control the narrative.

As the American gulf coast continues to be destroyed by Obama incompetence and nonchalance, it is only by the grace of another disaster that it has temporarily been pushed off the front pages. But the below the surface oil monster, will rise again. Other Obama disasters will replace Obama disasters. Today we wait to update yesterday’s McChrystal article with the latest boobery on McChrystal and Afghanistan once news of the chest pounding meeting arrives. Meanwhile…

Yesterday encapsulated the Obama boobery-topped-with-boobery style and the damage this does to the Obama Dimocratic Party and to America.

Consider, yesterday the Hopium Guzzler dream of 40 years of Dimocratic rule due to demographic changes in the American electorate was shattered. In primary elections yesterday Republicans nominated a 38 year old woman as their nominee for Governor in the state of South Carolina. That she is a former Sikh and of sub-continent Indian heritage shows that Republicans will, as we predicted, adjust to whatever demographic realities develop. The future belongs to the swift, not the corrupt. In addition, black Republican Tim Scott, also endorsed by Sarah Palin, beat the son of long dead segregationist Strom Thurmond in a big victory and will likely become the next congressman from the South Carolina district. It’s not just Nikki Haley and Tim Scott – there are others. Louisiana Governor (and Indian-American) Bobby Jindal might be joined by “rainbow” candidates such as Susana Martinez (New Mexico governor nominee), Marco Rubio (Florida Senate nominee), and lots of women.

Consider, yesterday we learned that at a time when wise budgeting matters most, there will be no budget prepared by Obama Dimocrats in Congress this year. The most basic job for a legislature, won’t be done. What Democrats used to condemn when Republicans governed is now what Obama Dimocrats will also do. A total failure of leadership. Obama Dimocrats won’t pass a budget or even prepare a budget for fear of failure and exposure as irresponsible spenders.

Consider, yesterday we learned that the massive gusher of incompetence and deceit from Obama Dimocrats who plan to raise middle class taxes during economic turmoil in order to spend more (“tax and spend liberals/Dimocrats” is sure to make a comeback thanks to Barack Obama – killing all the “re-branding” and responsible economic policies of Bill Clinton). Now that more money is wanted for more uncoordinated spending, the “read my lips – no middle class tax increases” promise is no longer operative. If there is a need for more taxes there should be a budget. But there is no budget. There will be new middle class taxes.

Consider, yesterday a new poll revealed a bare majority of 51% of Americans consider Obama qualified to be President (hint: by his own admission, he is not qualified to be president).

Consider, yesterday a federal district judge repudiated and rejected, in harsh language, an oil drilling ban issued by the Interior Department at the behest of Barack Obama. The incompetently drafted order is to be replaced with yet another order which will likely have boobery built into it as well. Wolf Boy Obama did not have a mother at his side telling him “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well – the first time.” Expect another court circus as the Obama incompetents attempt to push back against the judge and play whack-a-mole with court orders.

Consider, yesterday we witnessed the collapse of the Obama promise to his congressional shills that his health scam (a gift to Big Insurance and Big PhaRma) would make Americans happy and gift Obama Dimocrats with riches of victory. Now the “People who buy their own health insurance have been hit lately with premium hikes that far exceed increases in premiums for employer-sponsored coverage, according to a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation.” The Obama response? Obama met with the chief executives of the major insurance companies “to caution them against using new requirements in the recently enacted health-care reform legislation as a pretext to substantially raise premiums.” Shorter Obama ‘raise as much money as you want from gouging Americans – just don’t blame my health scam for the raises and it will be A-O.K. with me.’ A nod and a wink from the horse with the dreamy eyes. Those premiums are going up, up, up.

* * * * * *

Consider, the boobs are now pointing fingers at the boobs, without shame or apology.

Yesterday Obama fluffer and Hillary opponent Bob Herbert wrote a column titled “When Greatness Slips Away“. In his column Herbert strolls through the years blaming George W. Bush for various mishaps and boobery. Herbert mentions the economic mess at the end of 2009 and lost opportunities (without naming Obama) to address these issues. The destruction, as economic policy, of huge parts of Detroit is also mentioned as an example of the “helplessness” (Hey Bob, are you reading Big Pink to come up with that “helpless” bit?) Americans feel. Ditto the oil gusher.

Bob Herbert then has the cheek to ask: “How is it possible that we would let this happen?” Look in the mirror Bob, look in the mirror. You are one of many of your “journalistic” ilk who refused to vet Barack Obama and helped to unload this Chicago flim-flam man, devoid of any expertise ‘cept self-promotion and self-advancement into the White House. Our question to Bob is “How is it possible that YOU would let this happen?

Richard Cohen, a member of Bob’s ilk, likewise discusses “The Riddle of an Enigma“. Writes this boob:

“It can seem that at the heart of Barack Obama’s foreign policy is no heart at all. It consists instead of a series of challenges — of problems that need fixing, not wrongs that need to be righted. As Winston Churchill once said of a certain pudding, Obama’s approach to foreign affairs lacks theme. So it seems does the man himself.[snip]

The president seems to stand foursquare for nothing much.

This, of course, is the Obama enigma: Who is this guy? What are his core beliefs? The president himself is no help on this score.”

Now it dawns on Cohen that we know nothing about this misshapen lump of protoplasm? Only now does Cohen ask questions about this warped little boy in men’s suits? Only now does Cohen understand the consequences of a feral child raised by wolves? Emotes Cohen:

“One can understand. Obama’s father deserted the family and afterward visited his son only once. He twice was separated from his mother, who lived in Indonesia without him. He was partially raised by his grandparents — an elderly white couple. If the president is what the shrinks call “well-defended,” who can blame him? [snip]

The consequences are unfortunate. Obama’s opaqueness has enabled his enemies — they are not mere critics — to define him as they choose. [snip] This makes it a lot easier to say what he is not than what he is.

Fortune has not smiled on Obama’s presidency. His one uncontested attribute — a shimmering intellect — has become suspect. A world of smart guys has turned against us. Everyone at Goldman Sachs is smart, but they seem to have the amorality…. [snip]

The oil industry is full of smart people and so is the mortgage industry. Smart people seem to have brought us nothing but trouble. Smarts without values is dangerous — threatening, scary, virtually un-American. [snip]

Experience has become a handicap and inexperience a virtue.”

Where was this dunderhead when we needed him to vet Obama and retype what we have been writing for more than three years now? Only now does Cohen say about Obama: “It is essential, though, that he show us who he is. As of now, we haven’t a clue.” That is supposed to be your job Cohen, to vet and investigate and question.

Herbert, Cohen – willfully clueless along with the rest of their treacherous brethren. Jason Horowitz, sophomoric Vergil pretensions never outgrown, perseveres with his willful cluelessness and examines the Obama “narrative”.

“Like, say, the time in January, when this paper characterized Obama’s State of the Union address as “an effort to set the narrative on Obama’s first year,” or in April, when the Huffington Post set about “Rediscovering the Obama Narrative,” or this month, when New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wondered how such a gifted storyteller could “lose control of his own narrative.” Sing to me, Muse, of the dismay Mark Halperin registered on his blog, the Page, when he wrote “Pundit/Press Narrative Forms Against Obama.”

Journalists and politicians know that voters, like everyone else, are hard-wired to understand the world through stories. Elections are contests between competing story lines, something Obama, himself an elegant writer, and his team of political image editors were keenly aware of as they crafted the protagonist as a transformative Washington outsider, whose unerringly serious, postpartisan belief in competence, bridge-building and doing the right thing would improve the nation. That sympathetic character won 53 percent of general-election voters.

But now his narrative has taken on a life of its own.”

We daresay the next narrative will be Obama ineffectually swatting through the air at invisible enemies, helpless to even hurt a fly – too distracted, like an old glue horse, to bother closing his eyes or flexing his tail. For now, the narrative is the oil crude toppling the lanky, legs akimbo, slipping boob.

“The BP oil spill has largely been treated as the latest plot twist in the Obama epic. The plume of crude rising from the seabed is not only the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, darkening the gulf and thousands of lives and pervading the nation with a sense of helplessness, it is a metaphor for Obama’s loss of control, a revealing moment to study our protagonist. Will he feel the seafarer’s pain? Will he shake with fury? Will he weep tears into the salty sea? Sing to me, Muse, of the wrath of Washington’s Achilles.”

Horowitz gets paid for recycling “helplessness” (from us, not Bob) and recalling sophomoric conceits. And they wonder why the “news biz” is in such deep seas.

Utilizing an explanation of “narrative” to defend Obama, Jason Horowitz only contributes this bit of intelligence, which comes from Lyndon Johnson biographer Robert Caro: “But a week later, the columnists that were authoritatively saying one thing were saying the opposite in an equally authoritative voice.” Paging Herbert and Cohen and the rest of the treacherous (this means you Eugene) brethren.

Obama world is in disarray, but Obama is not alone to blame. The ones who enabled him must be routed as well.

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303 thoughts on “Heal The Planet? Obama World In Disarray

  1. Today is not much better.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/New-home-sales-plunge-33-pct-apf-1718773153.html?x=0&.v=1

    Sales of new homes collapsed in May, sinking 33 percent to the lowest level on record as potential buyers stopped shopping for homes once they could no longer receive government tax credits.

    The bleak report from the Commerce Department is the first sign of how the end of federal tax credits could weigh on the nation’s housing market.

    The credits expired April 30. That’s when a new-home buyer would have had to sign a contract to qualify.

    “We fear that the appetite to buy a home has disappeared alongside the tax credit,” Paul Dales, U.S. economist with Capital Economics,” wrote in a note. “After all, unemployment remains high, job security is low and credit conditions are tight.”

  2. gonzotx
    June 23rd, 2010 at 1:03 pm
    Newsweek How ‘Rolling Stone’ Got Into McChrystal’s Inner Circle

    Reporter Michael Hastings explains the backstory to the piece that upended a general—and maybe even a war.
    It’s the kind of story that ricochets through Washington—and around the world—at lightning speed. “The Runaway General,” published by Rolling Stone and written by former NEWSWEEK reporter Michael Hastings, recounts the misgivings of Stanley McChrystal (the commanding general in Afghanistan) and the closest members of his team about President Obama, French diplomats, civilian leaders in Afghanistan, and pretty much everyone. Immediately, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai proclaimed his support for the general. But calls are getting louder for his resignation. Obama has summoned the general to explain himself face-to-face in Washington. NEWSWEEK’S Andrew Bast talked by phone to Michael Hastings, still in Afghanistan, about his article and how it had turned Washington (and perhaps the war) on its head.

    You’re in Kandahar at the moment. Surely you’ve heard, but your article has unleashed a furor stateside. President Obama will be meeting with General McChrystal on Tuesday. Did you expect this?
    I’m actually shocked by the response. Because usually we end up ignoring Afghanistan, so I’m quite surprised it’s creating such a stir. I knew I had some decent material to work with, but I’m surprised at the level of involvement.

    You think that Afghanistan has fallen off the radar back home?
    I think it has. And I think that McChrystal and his staff feel that, too. That’s part of the frustration that was vented in the story.

    You reported a lot of sentiments that are usually only expressed in private—why were the general and his team so candid?
    Part of it was the circumstances. They were in a different environment. They were in Paris. But you would really have to ask them why they gave me the access that they did.

    Can you explain how the article came about—what was the pitching and reporting process?
    I was Baghdad correspondent for NEWSWEEK for two years, and I left the magazine after covering the elections. I wrote a piece for GQ before Obama took office that raised some serious questions about the direction we were taking in Afghanistan. So it was something I wanted to be writing about. I saw General McChrystal and his new strategy as a way to look at our Afghan policy to see if it’s working or if it’s a totally insane enterprise. I met with editors at Rolling Stone, they seemed into the idea, so I e-mailed McChrystal’s people. I didn’t think I was going to get any access at all. It’s one of those strange journalistic twists. They said yes, come on over to Paris to spend a couple days with us.

    How much time did you spend with McChrystal over the month?
    Another strange journalistic twist. The Icelandic volcano happens, and so my two-day trip turned into this month-long journey following General McChrystal and his staff around from Paris to Berlin to Kabul to Kandahar and then back to Washington, D.C. I wasn’t with him at every moment, obviously, but fairly regularly over that period of time.

    One of the most vivid scenes in the stories comes when you are out with the general, his wife, and his team for a night on the town in Paris. His team is entirely forthright with you, did that surprise you?
    Well, they were getting hammered, I don’t know at that moment if they were being the most forthright. Of course it was surprising. A lot of the reporting that is getting most of the attention happened right away in the first few days in Paris. So I was surprised—because they didn’t know me.

    It was always clear that you were a reporter and you were, in essence, on the record? And more, the entire article was thoroughly fact-checked, yes?
    Yes. It was crystal clear to me, and I was walking around with a tape recorder and a notepad in my hand three-quarters of the time. I didn’t have the Matt Drudge press hat on, but everything short of that it was pretty obvious I was a reporter writing a profile of the general for Rolling Stone. It was always very clear.

    What’s the response from the military been? Do you think your access will be cut in the future?
    The most interesting response has been, in Kandahar, and having more than one person come up to me and saying, “We heard about your story, and we like McChrystal, but the message needs to get out there that these restrictions he’s putting on the soldiers are no good.” So it’s actually been a positive response among the soldiers here.

    You write that General McChrystal is perhaps closer than any American to Karzai. If the general goes, what does that do for the relationship between Washington and Kabul, and well, the future of the war?
    You’d think it would be hard for the relationship between Karzai and Washington to get any worse, but obviously a change in generals is not going to help. Whoever it is, they would have to establish their own relationship. Gen. McChrystal and his guys take a pretty pragmatic view toward Karzai—he’s the only game in town. I assume any general is going to have the same problem, because the wheels are set in motion and coming up with a solution to deal with Karzai is one of the major issues.

    Describe how this debate all looks from Afghanistan, away from the politics of Washington—what does the war look like today?
    I’m getting ready to go out on a mission with U.S. troops. They’re concerned with doing the job that’s in front of them. I’m trying to take the same attitude—I’m just reporting the story that I’m here to report right now. The way I view journalism is you try to focus on the story, report what you see and hear, try to piece it together, and then tell the reader what is really happening. I did that, and the aftermath is not really something I can control. Especially when I have no Internet connection, the power keeps going out, and the occasional fighter jet flies overhead, which is not suitable for phone interviews, at all.

  3. He’s decided to go play golf and think about it some more, he’s a professor you know, they go and think.

  4. Admin,

    I am terrified of what this oil spill has done to our environment.The microbes they dumped into the oil to eat it, caused the oxygen content to become so low in parts of the ocean that there are huge pockets of these oxygen deprived masses where the fish cannot survive and they are trying to out run it but they are running out of room. In Fl the sharks are grouping near the shorelines in numbers never seen and mixed in there is their prey because they have no where to go either. These masses are expected to last for decades, dead zones. This is a disaster of epic proportions with no end in site. Mr Green may be in the end remembered as the FRAUD that destroyed the Earth

  5. associated Press….Obama fired him…what an asshole! We need to fire this idiot!

    Does this mean he loses his retirement and such??

  6. No, he’s a guest lecturer, not a professor. They don’t think nearly as much as professors because they don’t have to publish lest they perish. They give lectures and grade tests. No office hours either, so if you were a failing student of his, he wasn’t going to help.

    I lost the link but I was reading an article a couple weeks ago where his fellow faculty as the university were complaining about how he didn’t want to attend faculty meetings. Lazy, lazy, lazy.

    What I really wonder is how massive the effort was to get people who knew Obama in the past to sign non-disclosure forms. it’s remarkable how little has been said about him or his history by others. Clinton had hundreds of people telling their stories – positive and negative – about him. we get very little of that about Obama and it’s not because there isn’t financial incentives to do so. Almost every time you hear a critical story, it’s anonymous.

  7. There is such a blackout in the media of this diasaster that I live in Texas and I was at work last night and people knew so little it was disgusting

  8. Well, does anyone think McKrystal will get independently wealthy writing a book??? Giving interviews? I hope Obama has shot himself in the foot, LOL!

  9. Petraeus to lead in Afganistan! MSNBC is reporting that it’s ironic because canidate Obama would never admit that the surge in Iraq worked and now he is turning to Petraeus to save his ass.

  10. Lets get this right…

    Obama did not get mad at BP or how the oil well was blown or the fish dying or anything else, but when someone called him unengaged…he blows his stack…LOL! Mao shall I say!

    Petreas is returning to Afganistan.

  11. I think McChrystal had to go. Obama is a terrible CIC, and isn’t terribly interested in the military. The military has got to follow protocol whether the president is up to the job or not. We need to have the system functioning well even if the players in the system don’t function well. The military must respect the office if not the office holder. And that means keeping your mouth shut about what a disinterested, disengaged nincompoop the president is.

    I support the COIN strategy and I’m sorry to see McChrystal go. Mattis will take over though (at least, I think) and he’s a friggin’ genius of the first order. It’ll work out.

  12. Obama world is in disarray, but Obama is not alone to blame. The ones who enabled him must be routed as well.
    ********
    Obama is probably the least “blame worthy” in this political fiasco. Obama was well vetted by the people who count when he was a State Senator. They all projected their agenda on the “blank screen”; The “anyone but Hillary crowd”, the Dem congressional leaders, the multi-national corporations who would be funding the campaign, etc. etc. Obama was the perfect candidate, amoral, a-political, utterly corrupt, someone who would be willingly controlled. The small detail that was overlooked by all of the smart, creative people was that their ideal candidate was/is a highly socialized sociopath. And because of that minor detail, the Corporatist-Dem. leadership dream of decades of Dem. control of the Fed. Government and unlimited amounts of campaign cash has gone into the shitter in less than 18 months.

  13. Gen. David Petraeus to replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal as commander of forces in Afghanistan, source tells CNN.

  14. McCrystal can fire all cylinders now.
    *******
    That is what I thought, now I not sure, see ART II, UCMJ…re-post from previous thread:

    “What hasn’t been mentioned is that McCrystal, et al are in clear violation of the law, specifically the UCMJ, Sub Chapter X. Punitive Articles, Article 88, 134 (others??).

    “Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)
    ART. 88 – CONTEMPT TOWARD OFFICIALS
    Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

    ART. 134 General Article
    “Though not specifically mentioned in this chapter, all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special, or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court.”

    However, my opinion that McCrystal should have resigned before calling BS on Obama may not be valid under UCMJ Article II. ????

    “Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)
    ART. 2. PERSONS SUBJECT TO THIS CHAPTER
    (snip)
    (4) Retired members of a regular component of the armed forces who are entitled to pay.
    (snip)

  15. Will Petreus lose his retirement/benefits?? The man is 52 years old and I would hate to see him lose everything he has worked hard for.

    Karzai is now in lock step with Odummer…money must have changed hands!

  16. Obama is probably the least “blame worthy” in this political fiasco. Obama was well vetted by the people who count when he was a State Senator. They all projected their agenda on the “blank screen”; The “anyone but Hillary crowd”, the Dem congressional leaders, the multi-national corporations who would be funding the campaign, etc. etc. Obama was the perfect candidate, amoral, a-political, utterly corrupt, someone who would be willingly controlled. The small detail that was overlooked by all of the smart, creative people was that their ideal candidate was/is a highly socialized sociopath. And because of that minor detail, the Corporatist-Dem. leadership dream of decades of Dem. control of the Fed. Government and unlimited amounts of campaign cash has gone into the shitter in less than 18 months.
    ———————–
    There is no perfect crime and no perfect political strategy. Now, if the public would just figure out that they have been had and fight this subversion of democracy at every turn. Unfortunately, nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of large blocks of the American People. They buy the brand even when it is adulterated.

  17. admin: I guess Gates is out of the inner circle and Petreas has now entered it…Odumbo is scared of Hillary…and it shows. Bite me has sold his soul to the devil.

  18. I went back and read your article, Admin. My thought is, what a plume of oiliness, er audacity this pretender and his minions have cost America. And his term is not even half way over yet.

  19. Kremlinologists want to know exactly what he said regarding the infighting withing the national security group. He knows this was not just a McChrystal move. He knows he has problems with at least two Departmental Secretaries.

  20. Lets hope Hillary tenders her resignation…if she is not be blackmailed….Bill is watching the soccer game in Africa…weird!

  21. Judging by the poll on the previous thread this action will not sit well. The legalities are of secondary importance now. The politics is what counts. And, Obama now owns the Afghanistan policy. It would have been smarter for him to have turned the other cheek and appeared magnanimous, and kept the monkey on McChrystal’s back. That is what an adept Machiavellian would have done. What was said about the Obama administation will be remembered and reverberate as the casualties mount.

    What I am hearing now is that many people in this White House are looking for an exit strategy. The source is on the inside but heavily partisan so I take that factor into account. But, if you think about all the disasters Admin has mentioned that report seems entirely plausible. They know more than we do, and can see the handwriting on the wall. This incident will highlight the futility of Obamas War in Afghanistan as no other event could have done. McCrystal is a patriot.

  22. I keep thinking of what Joe said when Barry was first in the Oval, “He will be tested, he will make a decision that will seem wrong to everyone at the time, but will prove to be the right decision.” (Paraphrased)

    My question is to the wizard Joe, which disaster should we apply this to?

  23. Confloyd,

    They aren’t going to slaughter him because they do not want to legitimize the military being openly contemptuous of the president. Just think what would have happened had it been acceptable to diss Bush in public. The Republicans like stupid wars and they treat the troops horribly. If this becomes acceptable behavior, it’s their presidents who will pay the biggest price.

    The only dissent that’s genuinely constructive is principled dissent. Any stick to beat a dog just results in chaos.

  24. Petreas has now entered it
    —————–
    If so then it is curious. He is a Republican and not the home town hero of the Soros move-on, org children who support Obama. Recall their general betrayus meme.

  25. Perhaps Petreas is the only one that has enough experience with Afghanistan to step in and immediately take over given the situation there–and if thats the case it’s probably driving Obama crazy that he had to do it…

  26. Gates is a Republican. Obama embraces Republican philosophy and has no interest in what his supporters actually want from him. Move On has no impact on Obama’s choices or reasoning except he likes kicking them.

  27. “Judging by the poll on the previous thread this action will not sit well. The legalities are of secondary importance now. The politics is what counts.”
    *****
    I agree,and if there had been any doubt after Gen. David D. McKiernan was fired, the firing of Gen. McCrystal makes Afghanistan, Obama’s War.

    “McCrystal is a patriot”
    *******
    I also agree, unless McCrystal falls back on “the war was winnable with more troops, stabbed in the back..blah..blah.” For me, the mark of a “good” general is knowing which wars not to fight…just like a “good” surgeon is one who knows when not to operate.

  28. Shadowfax, No I don’t mean they should demonize Obama for firing the General, but will concentrate on what the General said in the article, which they are now doing on FOX.

    I am still wondering where Hillary was…the rest of the high ranking officials involved with Afganistan were out there with Obama for the little speech?

  29. Looking for reaction from the military, found this poll:

    Will Gen. McChrystal be fired after he meets with President Obama?

    Yes. His comments in Rolling Stone were way out of line. 19%

    No. Regardless of his comments, the war is too important to replace him right now. 47%

    No, he won’t be fired. He’ll resign. It’s the honorable thing to do at this point. 34%

  30. I think Gates was standing on the side….I believe I saw him in the group walking back….the last one to do so…BO held the door open for him…

    But I could have been mistaken…

  31. Webboei
    The firing of Gen. McCrystal makes Afghanistan, Obama’s War.

    ——
    I agree, this puts Barry smack in the game.

    The DailyKooks seem to worry about this and are sooooo proud of their boy acting like a ‘man’, they also think it will be a smack to Fox news folks, forgetting that McChrystal is a Dem and Petreas is a Repug.

  32. confloyd:

    You wrote the text yourself in the Last thread. Hillary was going into a strategy meeting with Patraeus at 11:30 am. And as Paula said; Bill may be attending a soccer game because he is doing work for his foundation in Africa. Shall I leave word with the Clintons they are cleared to look forward to tomorrow’s business per confloyd? Or no? 🙂

  33. Is anyone watching wimbledon, American John Isner is playing Mahut of France and its 47 – 47 in set 5, its ridiculous.

  34. I’ve given up the will to live watching this tennis match, i can’t believe it, 2 days so far. It Set no 5 and its 48 – 47. Someone kill me please.

  35. Just looked at Hillary’s appointment schedule for today. She’s listed as having four meetings with Obama, including the 11:35 one with McChrystal. confloyd, don’t read anything into her not being at Obama’s presser.

  36. To those wondering if McChrystal’s “resignation” or “being relieved” means he was kicked out of the Army, I highly doubt it. According to WashPo:

    “President Obama on Wednesday removed Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal as commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan and replaced him with Gen. David H. Petraeus, saying he acted to maintain cohesion in the war effort and civilian control over the military after McChrystal and his top aides disparaged administration officials.”

    &&&
    So losing your command doesn’t mean that you have been discharged from one of the armed forces. There are many ways one can be discharged: honorably, dishonorably, general, etc.

    Here’s a good quick reference guide:

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_discharge

  37. Update: General Petraeus (the guy who last week fainted, the guy Move-On attacked as “General Betray-us“) will now run things in Afghanistan. The firing of McChrystal opens up all sorts of taps.

    The biggest of those taps is what will happen now in Afghanistan? There is supposed to be a major offensive there later this year, will that still happen? Afghanistan, the story Obama does not want on the front pages is now back on the front pages and on the front burner. Will Obama now be forced to get off the golf carts and into caring about what happens in Afghanistan?

    A dissatisfied General McChrystal wanted to “shake things up” and he sure did. Obama ignored the infighting and the divisions within American military forces and civilian authorities in Afghanistan and he can no longer do so. Obama Hopium Guzzlers mostly reject the one promise Obama has done the most to keep – the Afghanistan War. Will the strategies and policies, such as they are, in Afghanistan stay in place or will there now be a push for yet another review? Clearly many, not just McChrystal, and not just the “pro-war” side, are not happy with what is going on in Afghanistan.

    It’s now, beyond any doubt, Obama’s Afghanistan War. Saying he needs “unity” across “his” national security team Obama added, “I welcome debate among my team, but I won’t tolerate division. All of us have personal interests, all of us have opinions, our politics often fuels conflict, but we have to renew our sense of common purpose and meet our responsibilities to one another and to our troops who are in harm’s way, and to our country.” Tell that to Move-On.

    Meanwhile [video HERE] the oil gusher decided to gush even more and there are more dead:

    “Two people involved in the Gulf oil spill cleanup effort have died, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.

    Meantime, tens of thousands of gallons more oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday after an undersea robot bumped a venting system, forcing BP to remove the cap that had been containing some of the crude.

    It was yet another setback in the nine-week effort to stop the gusher, and it came as thick pools of oil washed up on Pensacola Beach in Florida and the Obama administration tried to figure out how to resurrect a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling.”

    Disaster breeds disaster. A boob breeds boobery.

  38. mp
    June 23rd, 2010 at 2:27 pm
    My gut tell me that Petraus will be on the ticket in 2012…..
    &&&&&&

    And then settle back with some pop corn and watch the movie called, “Watching MoveOn.Org Bots’ Heads Explode”.

  39. Admin, while we’re doing our best to categorize and count Obama’s damage, let’s throw this onto the pile:

    usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-06-20-medicare_N.htm

    What ever Obama touches, it turns to shit.

    Doctors limit new Medicare patients
    ================================

    By Richard Wolf, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON — The number of doctors refusing new Medicare patients because of low government payment rates is setting a new high, just six months before millions of Baby Boomers begin enrolling in the government health care program.
    Recent surveys by national and state medical societies have found more doctors limiting Medicare patients, partly because Congress has failed to stop an automatic 21% cut in payments that doctors already regard as too low. The cut went into effect Friday, even as the Senate approved a six-month reprieve. The House has approved a different bill.

    • The American Academy of Family Physicians says 13% of respondents didn’t participate in Medicare last year, up from 8% in 2008 and 6% in 2004.

    • The American Osteopathic Association says 15% of its members don’t participate in Medicare and 19% don’t accept new Medicare patients. If the cut is not reversed, it says, the numbers will double.

    • The American Medical Association says 17% of more than 9,000 doctors surveyed restrict the number of Medicare patients in their practice. Among primary care physicians, the rate is 31%.

    The federal health insurance program for seniors paid doctors on average 78% of what private insurers paid in 2008.

    “Physicians are saying, ‘I can’t afford to keep losing money,’ ” says Lori Heim, president of the family doctors’ group.

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says 97% of doctors accept Medicare. The agency doesn’t know how many have refused to take new Medicare patients, Deputy Administrator Jonathan Blum says. “Medicare beneficiaries have good access to physician services. We do have concerns about access to primary care physicians.”

    The AARP, the nation’s largest consumer group representing seniors, is taking notice. Some U.S. areas already face a shortage of primary care physicians. Policy director John Rother says the trend away from Medicare threatens to make it worse.

    States are starting to see a flight from Medicare:

    •In Illinois, 18% of doctors restrict the number of Medicare patients in their practice, according to a medical society survey.

    •In North Carolina, 117 doctors have opted out of Medicare since January, the state’s medical society says.

    •In New York, about 1,100 doctors have left Medicare. Even the medical society president isn’t taking new Medicare patients.

    “I’m making a statement,” says Leah McCormack, a New York City dermatologist. “Many physicians are really being forced out of private practice.”

    Florida has the highest percentage of Medicare patients, and most doctors can’t afford to leave the program. But “the level of frustration has been higher this year than I’ve ever seen it before,” says Linda McMullen of the Florida Medical Association.

  40. From The Hill:

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/house-races/104885-arizona-dems-urge-obama-not-to-sue-over-border-law

    Arizona Democrats facing tough reelection races are distancing themselves from the Obama administration as it prepares to file a lawsuit against the state over its controversial immigration law.

    Rep. Harry Mitchell (D-Ariz.) on Monday sent a sharply worded letter to President Barack Obama urging him not to sue.

    “I believe your administration’s time, efforts and resources would be much better spent securing the border and fixing our broken immigration system,” the two-term congressman wrote in the letter. “Arizonans are tired of the grandstanding, and tired of waiting for help from Washington. … [A] lawsuit won’t solve the problem. It won’t secure the border, and it won’t fix our broken immigration system.”

    Republican primaries in Arizona won’t be decided until August, but the prospective challengers have been hitting Democrats for not supporting the law or not staking out a specific position.

    Democrats, meanwhile, are trying to maneuver past the controversial issue by focusing on border security and calling for action on immigration reform at the federal level. But if the Obama administration goes ahead with the suit, it will put the issue front and center during a campaign in which Democrats already face a tough environment.

    This week Mitchell was joined by two other vulnerable Democrats in expressing public opposition to the administration’s legal strategy. Reps. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) are also urging the administration to reconsider its suit.

    “Congresswoman Giffords wants more federal agents on the Arizona border, not federal lawyers in court arguing with state lawyers about a law that will do nothing to increase public safety in the communities she represents,” C.J. Karamargin, a spokesman for the congresswoman, told The Hill.

    Kirkpatrick likewise said the administration should focus on border security.

    “I am calling on the president and the attorney general to abandon preparations for a lawsuit against Arizona, and to recommit to finding a national solution to fixing this national problem,” the freshman lawmaker said in a statement released Monday. “The administration should focus on working with Arizona to put together a long-term strategy to secure our borders and reform our immigration policy. … The time for talk is over, and the time for action is here.”

  41. Admin: I read on another blog that the captain that died, died of gunshot wounds. Not sure at this time if it was self inflicted…it probably was.

    Maybe the press will get to go out to the area where the captain was shot and we can see what is being hidden there.

    I also read that the dolpins are shooting oil out of their blowholes….terrible!

  42. Admin: It just seems to me that Obama craps all over anything that the democratic party ever stood for…while enacting the republicans…am I wrong on this??

  43. Let’s not forget to continue keeping a wary on Congress (including Repubs as well as Dims). Seems that the Dims like Kerry didn’t fight very hard for the unemployed who have lost their benefits.

    nytimes.com/2010/06/23/opinion/23wed2.html

    Cutting Off the Unemployed
    ========================

    Published: June 22, 2010

    It was bad enough when the Senate left town for a long Memorial Day break without passing a bill to extend expiring unemployment benefits. It’s worse now.

    Back in session for nearly three weeks, the Senate still has not acted. That means that 900,000 jobless workers have already lost their benefits, a number that will swell to an estimated 1.6 million people if an extension is not passed by the July Fourth holiday. Lost benefits — the average check is $309 a week — deprives struggling Americans of cash they need for buying food, paying the rent or mortgage and other essentials.

    All indications are that when the Senate finally does pass a bill, it will be stingy and cynical — hacking away at jobless benefits and fiscal aid to cash-strapped states, while preserving tax breaks for the wealthy and other well-connected political donors.

    The problem, as always, is getting 60 votes to overcome hurdles imposed by the Republican minority. But Republicans aren’t the only culprits here.

    Passage was delayed last week as several Democratic senators — including John Kerry of Massachusetts, Mark Warner of Virginia and Maria Cantwell of Washington — worked to water down a provision in the bill that would have largely closed an unfair loophole that benefits rich fund managers in investment partnerships. Unfortunately, the senators seem to have won that fight.

    This has led to even more maneuvering. Senator Olympia Snowe, a Republican of Maine, is now trying to eliminate another tax provision in the bill. The provision, which would raise roughly $9 billion over 10 years, would stop owners of some small corporations from overpaying themselves in profits and underpaying themselves in salary to lessen their payroll taxes.

    At the same time, many lawmakers — mostly Republicans, but not all — are claiming that extending jobless benefits and aid to states is simply too costly. That may sound like good politics, but it is very bad economics. If the government fails to keep spending when the economy is weak, especially on core safety-net issues, it will only worsen unemployment and impede the chances of recovery.

    Neither basic economics nor basic decency seems to matter. To win votes for passage, the Democratic leadership has agreed to drop the extra $25 a week that was added to unemployment benefits last year as part of the stimulus package. That would cut $6 billion from the roughly $40 billion it would cost to extend benefits through November. Senate leaders also are considering sizable cuts to the bill’s proposed $24 billion aid package for the states.

    It’s unclear if even those cutbacks will be enough to win passage. What is clear is that unemployment is high, the safety net is frayed and the Senate has other priorities than helping struggling Americans.

  44. No, Confloyd, you aren’t wrong. Obama is a Reaganite – heart and soul. He embraces Reaganite positions over and over again. He’s to the right of George Bush on several issues.

    Plus, he’s a sociopath and sociopaths breed absolute chaos in their wake. Anything they can destroy, they will.

  45. Some is spin…

    Clinton conspicuously silent on McChrystal flap

    As various officials and lawmakers weigh in on the Rolling Stone profile of General Stanley McChrystal, one voice is conspicuously absent from the chatter: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    “Only Hillary Clinton receives good reviews from McChrystal’s inner circle,” the story reports, quoting an advisor as saying that “Hillary had Stan’s back during the strategic review”

    A State Department official told The Cable that Clinton and her staff were not contacted during the writing of the article; they found out about it Monday evening along with everybody else. But Clinton hasn’t issued any statement on the story, even though it directly attacks two of her senior staffers, Special Representative Richard “Wounded Animal” Holbrooke and Amb. Karl Eikenberry.

    Clinton was also among the only officials named in the story who did not receive an apology call, presumably because the comments about her in the story were so favorable. Holbrooke and Eikenberry both got calls, which seemed redundant since both were in Kabul with McChrystal this week and even sat in meetings together with the General and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

    There are two plausible explanations for Clinton’s silence. First of all, McChrystal works for Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Clinton may not want to step on his toes by seeming to weigh in on an issue surrounding a military official. She also may not want to fuel speculation that she is gunning for Gates’s job, however unlikely that possibility really is.

    “The secretary of state has backed McChrystal to the hilt, even going against her own ambassador, Karl Eikenberry. Her get-tough stance is fueling talk that she might replace Gates as defense secretary,” the article says.

    The other reason Clinton might be keeping silent is because she is preparing to defend McChrystal inside today’s Afghanistan strategy meeting at the White House, and criticizing him openly in the press would impair that cause. Clinton could be one of McChrystal’s last friends inside that room — and he needs all the friends he can get.

    The State Department official declined to comment on Clinton’s views on the article, or whether she felt McChrystal should be relieved of his command. Neither Holbrooke nor Eikenberry responded to requests for comment on the article.

    But State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley was compelled to talk about the story when asked about it directly at Tuesday’s briefing. He tried to distance the State Department from the mess altogether.

    “I think our focus is on the civilian component of the ongoing strategy,” he said, adding that Clinton has read the article but hasn’t even told Crowley what her opinion is.

    Crowley also sought to downplay the divisions among the president’s Afghanistan team, another signal that the State Department is not in favor of shaking up the command structure in Kabul, which could be hugely disruptive for civilian efforts there as well.

    “In any team of heavyweights, you’re going to have different personalities,” Crowley said.
    “I just don’t think that this is going to distract us from our focus on the mission.”

    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/06/23/clinton_conspicuously_silent_on_mcchrystal_flap

  46. HOW DOES O SCREW US?
    LET ME COUNT THE WAYS

    Let me guess. The stimulus worked, but we just don’t know it yet, so it’s merely a “commuications problem” with the White House, which will be addressed by an Obama day trip speech to an electorally interesting state…

    noir.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aYHu4AKaAj1c

    Sales of U.S. New Homes Plunged in May to Record Low
    =================================

    By Shobhana Chandra and Timothy R. Homan

    June 23 (Bloomberg) — Purchases of U.S. new homes fell in May to the lowest level on record after a tax credit expired, showing the market remains dependent on government support.

    Sales collapsed an unprecedented 33 percent from April to an annual pace of 300,000, less than the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and the fewest in data going back to 1963, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. Demand in prior months was revised down.

    Stocks dropped and Treasuries rose as the report added to signs of weakness in the economy, including a decline in retail sales and a slowdown in private job growth. A lack of inflation and concern over unemployment and housing were among reasons Federal Reserve policy makers renewed a pledge today to keep interest rates near zero for an “extended period.”

    “May was a bad month for the economy,” J. Alfred Broaddus, former Richmond Fed president, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “In Business With Margaret Brennan.” “You have these soft patches in the early stages of recovery.”

    At their meeting, Fed policy makers left the overnight interbank lending rate target unchanged in a range of zero to 0.25 percent, where it’s been since December 2008. Central bankers said limited inflation was “likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period.” Housing starts, they said in their statement, “remain at a depressed level.”

    The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.5 percent to 1,089.75 at 2:24 p.m. in New York. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.10 percent from 3.17 percent late yesterday.

    Sales Forecasts

    Sales were projected to drop 19 percent to a 410,000 annual pace, according to the median estimate of 76 economists surveyed. Forecasts ranged from 300,000 to 530,000. The government revised April’s purchase rate down to 446,000 from a previously reported 504,000.

    The median price decreased 9.6 percent from the same month last year, to $200,900, the lowest since December 2003, today’s report showed.

    Purchases dropped in all four U.S. regions last month, led by a record 53 percent decrease in the West.

    The supply of homes at the current sales rate jumped to 8.5 months’ worth from 5.8 months in April. There were 213,000 new houses on the market at the end of May, the fewest since 1970.

    Less Inventory

    The reduction in inventory puts builders in a better position to deal with the slump in demand than when housing peaked in 2005, said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics Ltd. in Valhalla, New York. There were a record 572,000 new houses for sale in July 2006, one year after sales reached the highest point.

    “We see no chance of a quick, sustained recovery, though we are hopeful there is little further downside,” Shepherdson, who correctly forecast the drop in sales, said in a note to clients. “We expect the very favorable affordability picture to start pulling people back into the market, but the next few months are likely to be very grim.”

    The data come on the heels of a report from the Labor Department this month that showed companies hired 41,000 workers in May, fewer than forecast and the smallest gain in four months. Figures from the Commerce Department showed purchases at retailers dropped in May for the first time in eight months.

    Effect on GDP

    Housing’s role has shrunk so much that a renewed slump will do less damage to the world’s largest economy, said Jay Feldman, an economist at Credit Suisse in New York. Residential construction accounts for a record-low 2.4 percent of gross domestic product, down from 6.3 percent when the boom peaked in 2005, he said.

    Housing’s “capacity to do the portfolio of GDP activities marginal harm going forward is greatly diminished,” Feldman said in a note to clients.

    Other data confirm the market is stumbling. Sales of existing homes, housing starts, building permits, builder confidence and mortgage applications have all declined.

    The S&P Supercomposite Homebuilder Index, which includes Toll Brothers Inc. and Lennar Corp., has dropped 28 percent through yesterday since reaching a 19-month high on May 3. The broader S&P 500 Index is down 10 percent from April 23’s 19- month peak.

    Builders are also concerned that the Gulf oil spill and European debt crisis are hurting buyer confidence. Toll, the largest U.S. luxury homebuilder, said deposits have been running 20 percent behind the year-earlier period the past three weeks.

    Financial Crisis

    “Concerns about the financial crisis in Europe and escalating regional political tensions, coupled with worries about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and its effects on the economy and the environment have negatively impacted the outlook of American consumers,” Joel H. Rassman, chief financial officer at Horsham, Pennsylvania-based Toll, said in a June 16 statement.

    Hovnanian Enterprises Inc., the largest homebuilder in New Jersey, said orders fell 17 percent in the quarter ended April 30 from a year earlier, and contract signings slowed in May, indicating the tax credit helped pull some sales forward.

  47. Wasn’t Obama opposed to Petraeas during the 2008 campaign? I haven’t followed this closely but is he now a supporter of Obama’s Afghanistan plan? (sorry for my ignorance…)

  48. Shadowfax, thanks for that article from Foreign Policy magazine. That’s along the lines of what we wrote about yesterday and a bit in our update today. It’s on target.

  49. rgb44hrc
    June 23rd, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Let me guess. The stimulus worked, but we just don’t know it yet, so it’s merely a “commuications problem” with the White House, which will be addressed by an Obama day trip speech to an electorally interesting state…
    ___________________________________________

    Yes, yes: more “Obama brand[ing]” is needed. Stick an O on it.

  50. Yes, he did not like Petreas then, but you know he was just hynotising his followers, LOL! He didn’t like lots of things he has put in since he because Potus.

  51. oh jesus this tennis match is now 53 – 52 in the final set, this is going to go on forever.

  52. admin

    Shadowfax, thanks for that article from Foreign Policy magazine. That’s along the lines of what we wrote about yesterday and a bit in our update today. It’s on target.
    ——-
    Always happy to add to the discussion Admin, thanks for all your hard work with a taste of humor.

  53. “No, he’s a guest lecturer, not a professor. They don’t think nearly as much as professors because they don’t have to publish lest they perish. They give lectures and grade tests. No office hours either, so if you were a failing student of his, he wasn’t going to help.”

    Yes, basement angel, BO was only a Lecturer not a Professor! But FYI, Lecturer’s (even graduate instructors) do hold office hours and those on a tenure-track do publish (otherwise they won’t be considered for tenure). In any case, BO never published anything.

  54. I went over to the Rolling Stone to see if they had written anything about being sorry for McChystral’s firing…nope. Only said he was let go, and here is the article that is making history. %$$#$%%!

    They have a new article up on:

    BP’s Next Disaster
    The oil giant plans to start drilling in the Arctic this fall — and the Obama administration is doing nothing to stop it

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/120130

  55. Well, Obama was no ordinary guest lecturer so he was not required to keep office hours. He held class, graded papers and occasionally showed up for a faculty meeting. Cushy work if you can get it.

  56. One of the shrimp boat captains that was hired by BP for clean up…went out to work today in his boat and blew his brains….depression of the horrible mess in the Gulf….just terrible.

  57. Hastings’ McChrystal backstory

    The McChrystal profile didn’t exactly come out of nowhere. Its author, Michael Hastings, has been writing about McChrystal’s low opinion of the Obama administration’s Afghanistan plan for a while.

    In October, Hastings wrote on True/Slant about an email he received from a former US military official slamming Obama’s photo-op with McChrystal. The official wrote: “McChrystal’s overt contempt for the President is a direct challenge to civilian control of the military, and it deserves a firm response.” (Hat tip: Michael Roston)

    Hastings muses in the post about both Obama’s and McChrystal’s motives at the time:

    I’m not to sure what Obama’s game plan is–if, in fact, he is truly torn over what to do in Afghanistan. If the president sends more troops now, he’ll give the appearance that he’s been bullied by one of his generals. I don’t know if that’s such a good impression to give.

    I don’t know what McChrystal is up to here, either. Has he overplayed his hand? I assume he must be really worried that he’s not going to get what he wants because he’s basically running around telling everybody that the war is going to be lost if he doesn’t. If he had more confidence, wouldn’t it be wiser to shut up?

    So, the great mystery remains, how did McChrystal’s people approve an interview with a magazine with a long anti-war history by a reporter who had publicly written that his subject would be wiser to shut up?

    One of McChyrstal’s civilian press aides in Afghanistan involved in setting up the interview has already fallen on his sword over the affair, the Washignton Post reports. But can this really be blamed on a single press aide?

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/onmedia/0610/Hastings_McChrystal_backstory.html

  58. I just thought of this….Obama now is using BUsh’s general, and secretary of defense and has put in all of Bush’s wiretapping, bailouts and etc.

    I want Bush back…I would rather look at him. He would at least be concerned over the wildlife dying…how do I know this?? When his favorite hunting dog was so crippled he had to euthanize him…he went out of the WH to play with the dog for several hours the night before…a man that does this is not all bad.

    Obama has no feelings except for his own feelings and you better not step on them or you will get FIRED!

    Lets get Bush back!

  59. shadowfax, Mc was set up by Obama…he was aware of the insubordination for a while then…oh this guy needs to be impeached.

  60. Another Dem scandal about to blow?

    http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/courier_times/courier_times_news_details/article/2463/2010/june/23/rendell-denies-rumors-of-affair.html

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Gov. Ed Rendell says there is no truth to gossip that he is involved in an extramarital affair with a state employee.

    In an advance copy of a Philadelphia magazine article obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, the governor and Kirstin Snow, the former beauty queen who works for him, say in separate interviews that they are not romantically involved.

    “Do I have some flaws? Absolutely!” Rendell tells the magazine. “For all of the rumors, has any woman ever said that I have had sex with her? Other than my wife?”

    Statehouse rumors of an affair gained traction after the Philadelphia Daily News published a photo of Rendell and Snow, whom the paper described as “a tall, elegant blonde,” having lunch last month at a local diner — though it failed to show the pair were lunching with others across the table.

    Advertisement Snow said she’s surprised that it took months for the whispers to develop into full-fledged rumors. She says she worries about the gossip hurting the governor’s wife, Midge Rendell, who is a federal judge in Philadelphia, and insisted that she and the governor have a purely professional relationship.

    “If I had a nickel for everybody who told me that, or told me they heard that, I wouldn’t have to come to my job,” Snow said of the allegations.

    Snow, 40, is director of Commonwealth Media Services, an agency in the state Department of General Services that provides multimedia services for educational, training, tourism, historical, and other general communications purposes.

    The magazine hits newsstands Friday

  61. Oh brother, Obama has a new victim in his bid to ruin everything associated with Hillary.

    Rendall has lost weight though…but he doesn’t look healthy…I think he looks like a smoker.

  62. Security Brief: What happened at McChrystal, Obama meeting

    A source close to Gen. Stanley McChrystal provided the first account of what happened in Wednesday’s White House meeting between the general and President Barack Obama.

    According to the source, McChrystal briefly explained the magazine article at the center of the controversy and took responsibility, then offered his resignation. Obama accepted the resignation, the source said.

    The president “had no intention of keeping him,” according to the source.

    In addition, the source said McChrystal will not return to Afghanistan. His team will go back to pack up on his behalf.

    —–
    If Barrycakes gets this pist at someone that is risking his life to win a war, he must go nuts hearing of how we talk about him.

    We can and WILL FIRE YOU Barack Obama, you can’t fire us!!!!!!!

  63. Funny, the Obama crowd on the Left couldn’t be happier with the Petraeus decision. It’s “savvy”. They love it. Funny, they hated this guy so much. We now have Bush’s entire defense team save Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld serving under Obama and his supporters couldn’t be happier.

  64. Well, I just got an email from Nancy Pelosi…asking for money because the republicans are going to bring back Kenneth Starr as soon as they win in November…I have gotten one from Begala, President Clinton and President Obama some other too numerous to mention. Obama has pist off his Palestinian friends so he might not be getting any money. LOL!

  65. shadowfax,

    his new name is Barack Mao Obama, we need to be careful, he’ll put the NOI on us, LOL!

  66. Well, I was wrong. I figured he’d dither on the McCrystal decision as well, sending McChrystal back to Afghan, appointing someone to look for a replacement, and then go on vacation.

  67. I thought he would fire him. Obama lets a lot of things slide, but he doesn’t let anyone say bad things about him.

  68. confloyd
    June 23rd, 2010 at 4:30 pm
    Well, I just got an email from Nancy Pelosi…asking for money because the republicans are going to bring back Kenneth Starr as soon as they win in November…
    __________________________________

    HA HA HA AHA. Nancy has quite a few things that can be investigated as well. Let the subpoenas fly!

  69. mj
    June 23rd, 2010 at 4:35 pm
    I thought he would fire him. Obama lets a lot of things slide, but he doesn’t let anyone say bad things about him.
    ___________________________________________

    That was the countervailing consideration, but I thought sheer procrasination might win out.

  70. Though really, I think McC had to go because we have civilian rule here, and the article crossed a line.

  71. Was McChrystal Suicidal or Just Stupid?

    (My guess is, neither.)

    So an interview with our top military commander in Afghanistan in Rolling Stone revealed that Barack Obama is a novice, Richard Holbrooke is a load and Joe Biden is a blabbermouth.

    Well, duh.

    The real question in Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s Obama administration-dissing interview was why on earth did he do it in the first place?

    Predictably, the first head to roll was the public relations adviser who cooked up the ill-fated access.

    How could this public relations disaster have happened at the highest level of our country dealing with the most urgent global issue of our time?

    There are only two possible explanations:

    1. Gen. McChrystal and His Team are Inexplicably Stupid

    This explanation strains the bonds of credulity.

    The first rule of any public relations interview is to determine, “What’s in it for us?”

    In the case of allowing the commanding general in charge of U.S. forces in Afghanistan to speak to Rolling Stone magazine, the answer is “nothing.”

    An interview with The New York Times or Washington Post or USA Today to discuss strategy?

    Maybe.

    But Rolling Stone? The magazine of gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson’s acid trips, Black Sabbath’s orgies and a sympathetic profile of loveable Lil Wayne on his way to Riker’s Island on a gun possession rap?

    What are you, nuttttzzzz!?!

    An interview in Rolling Stone by a general – any general – is a mistake from the get-go. There is absolutely no upside, i.e.,

    RS: “This is Rolling Stone, may we interview General McChrystal?”
    U.S. Army: “What are you, nuttttzzzz!?!”

    The second rule of any public relations interview is to determine, “Who is the reporter and what is his bias?”

    In the case of Rolling Stone author Michael Hastings, he is a young, aggressive freelance journalist, author of a romantic war novel from Baghdad (soon to be a reintroduced bestseller no doubt!), and a friend of MSNBC’s lollapaloozingly, liberal lady anchor Rachel Maddow.

    All of which doesn’t make him a bad person nor an inferior reporter. It just makes him toxic – the last person any self-respecting public relations person would ever trust to interview his general.

    So…if the P.R. guy and the general were both stupid enough — for the glamour, exposure, celebrity, whatever — to walk blindly into this interview, they should both be canned. And, come to think of it, the P.R. guy, Duncan Boothby, already has been.

    More likely there’s this…

    2. Gen. McChrystal and His Team Did It on Purpose

    The book on McChrystal is that he is a solid military man and a street-smart gamesman. He is knowledgeable of and comfortable with the media.

    In other words, he has been around the block — not the kind of guy to let his guard down or allow himself to get duped by some knuckleheaded reporter.

    But if you read the article, you get the feeling that McChrystal and his people really don’t believe that the Obama war strategy – to kill a diabolical, no-rules enemy while rebuilding a stone age nation – has much of a chance of emerging triumphant.

    Clearly from the piece, the soldiers don’t doubt their own ability to win, but rather they’re dubious of the cockamamie “military strategy” they’ve been asked to pursue.

    So one could argue – or at least wonder – whether McChrystal didn’t willfully commit to this article and the unlimited access the reporter received to circuitously make the point that the U.S. war strategy must be midcourse corrected before it’s too late.

    Maybe the general thought it was better to fall on his sword in this public — and perhaps suicidal — way in order to rescue a mission that, if he remained silent and dutiful to his commanding officer, would likely fail.

  72. mj, I think McC wanted out…it was best…it was a no win situation for him with…rectus Potus in charge.

  73. Connie: this is more like a police action than a full military action. I know that sounds nuts, but it is not as nuts as it sounds. Severe limitations have been placed on soldiers in the field in terms of how they must respond to life threatening situations and where they can go and must not go. We are trying to create an army loyal to the central government, where the only real loyalty is to the villages.

    Why the fuck are we there? Tell me again please. And tell me how we will succeed where the Soviets failed. I see do not see what is in it for us. Unless it is for the resources and to block China’s access to the region. If that is the case, then looks more like a colonial war of attrition.

  74. Shadowfax
    June 23rd, 2010 at 3:46 pm
    I went over to the Rolling Stone to see if they had written anything about being sorry for McChystral’s firing…nope.
    &&&&&&

    They’re just thrilled to be relevant again.

    First time since like 2008, I’d guess, when they peddled Obama as the Coolest Guy in the Room, that he’d be like having Fun Dad as President. Hope their shitting in their pants now.

    And before that, RS was probably last really relevant in the 1970’s when they said that this new group, The Ramones, might make it big.

  75. wbboei, I know this…this is what they did in Vietnam….the farking democrats (exception Hillary) can fark up a war like no one else….

    It was very dangerous to have a democrat while we are at war…they always worry to much about the collateral damages…the farking yellow bellies…war is war and people die.Get over it or start learning Chinese and get your burka out.

  76. moononpluto
    June 23rd, 2010 at 4:11 pm
    Another Dem scandal about to blow?
    &&&&&&

    I think pols should be left alone as long as they are competent. Rendell is. If he wants to date beauty queens, what the hey…who am I to deprive him of a middle-age crisis celebration?

    However, I think pols should be exposed for hypocrisy when they are on their high horse about everyone else, then go further in the gutter when they think no one else is looking.

  77. rgbhrc44, They (leftie magazines) are trying to suck a little blood off the current situation to stay relavant.

  78. By now, you’ve heard or seen the news: President Obama (D-IL) has accepted the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who had until now been in charge of the coalition’s erstwhile efforts in Afghanistan, and is attempting to demote General David Betray Us Petraeus from CENTCOM commander to czar of the eastern front of the Global War on Terror Isolated Effort to
    In Obama’s skin-deep understanding of policy, 30k troops + Petraeus = Automatic Victory in Unwinnable War

    Diplomatically Prevent Man-Caused, Non-Islam-Related Disasters.

    Though my friend, and fellow War on Terror-era veteran, John Noonan disagrees, as do eminent persons like Max Boot and Rich Lowry, I see this as a move which proves Obama’s understanding of policy and strategy — particularly that which went in to taking the Iraq effort from near-failure to success — really don’t go deeper than the most cosmetic level.

    For the entirety of his term in office, Obama has been trying to have it both ways on Afghanistan — refusing to make any actual decisions, while trying to avoid altogether reneging on his campaign pledge to win the war in Afghanistan at the expense of an Iraq effort he denigrated, and the success of which he has constantly denied.

    His unwillingness — if not utter inability — to perform the Commander in Chief’s job was put on display for all to see in 2009, when he took a full 10 months to “review” the situation in Afghanistan (a job done for him, and handed over on a silver platter, by the outgoing Bush administration). At the end of that interminable period, which saw American troops dying weekly while their National Command Authority wavered and dawdled, Obama finally made his Afghanistan policy public, issuing a stream of platitudes and half-measures which reflected a lack of understanding about – and an overall unwillingness to accept – the facts on the ground in the region and the gravity of America’s fight there.

    Obama eventually issued an order for 30,000 more troops to deploy to Afghanistan, to augment the paltry 33,000 already on the ground in a country the size of Texas. Of course, this bold move by the neophyte president was nothing of the sort; the 30,000-troop ’surge’ had already been set in motion by President Bush in November 2008, so all Obama did was fail to prevent it from being carried out.

    By allowing that ’surge’ in troops to go forward, labeling it a ’strategy,’ and expecting the same outcome as was achieved by his predecessor in Iraq, Obama demonstrated that he, like so many others in the media and political establishments, had bought hook, line, and sinker the idea that the early 2007 ’surge’ in American troops deployed to the latter country was the bromide that squelched the terrorist resistance there and gave the Iraqi people the time, the resources, and the will to pull their ailing country together. This meme was pushed by a mainstream media which sold the comprehensive strategic overhaul brought to the table by General David Petraeus, and OK’d by then-President Bush, as being nothing more than a shipping-out of a few thousand more soldiers – an absurdly simplistic description of the massive changes made in order to provide the Iraqi people with both the security and the incentive to make the giant strides they have in the last two years.

    With his decision to replace outgoing General McChrystal, a fine special operator but a man who was never able to find a way to succeed while facing the dual pressure of an incredibly complex situation in Afghanistan and a commander in chief who wanted no part of war or decision, with General Petraeus, Obama has revealed, and exhausted, the extent of what he seems to see as the “Iraq playbook.” That playbook, if you will, consists of two items:

    Throw 30,000 troops at the problem.
    Make Gen. Petraeus the titular leader of the war effort.
    In other words, this decision shows me that Obama has learned nothing from the Iraq effort except that 30k troops plus David Petraeus somehow magically equals massive turnaround and, quickly thereafter, victory. The only message this sends that is stronger than the one about Obama’s utter lack of understanding about what actually happened in Iraq while he was busy trying to oppose the effort there at all costs, is that Obama really believes doing exactly what he thinks George W. Bush did is the way to win wars that are vital to our nation’s security.

    That’s quite an admission for an administration whose entire problem-solving playbook consists of “blame George W. Bush” to be making, isn’t it? (Add to that the admission, via attempted replication, that the Bush’s Iraq strategy actually did bear significant fruit, despite Obama’s repeated — and ridiculous — declarations otherwise).

    Of course, it won’t work. Throwing a single, unsupported man at an incredibly convoluted and difficult theater of war won’t produce a magical turnaround, no matter how hard Obama wishes for it, and no matter how fervently he believes that’s exactly what George W. Bush did.

    Obama’s effort to take the only two pages he recognizes out of George W. Bush’s Iraq playbook make it incredibly likely that his Afghan effort will continue to be the antithesis of his predecessor’s Iraq success, achieving few if any strategic or tactical gains and instead leaving the 60,000 American GIs on the ground in that foreign land to serve as cannon fodder in mis- (or un-)directed pursuit of a “victory” Obama refuses to even define.

    If Obama’s ‘new strategy’ — last year’s ’surge’ and this year’s appointment of Petraeus to lead the war effort — ends up being less than an overwhelming success, it is likely that the calls for a mass withdrawal from the war-torn area and the key front in the War on Terror will escalate. Part of the stated rationale for this renewed call for surrender will be the claim that “we tried exactly what worked in Iraq,” and because of the fact that it didn’t work, the war in Afghanistan must be “unwinnable.”

    “Unwinnable” or not, Obama’s inability to grasp strategy and policy, and to actually make tough decision, make victory in this war on his watch highly, highly unlikely, Petraeus or no.

  79. Exactly. McChrystal is not a stupid man. He’s done questionable things, very questionable, and it is debatable if he was the right person to replace the previous Afghanistan Commander, Gen. McKiernan.

    Now Obama will be forced to find yet another general named “McSomething” whom he will eventually have to fire, after Obama gives vague instructions, tells him “You’re in charge”, then continues to let the Administration and Army fight amongst themselves, and yet again finds that the problem is Obama, but he cannot blame himself.

    Obama: “I have to fire you so that I don’t look like weak and indecisive. I mean, is that okay?”

  80. rgb44hrc

    I went over to the Rolling Stone to see if they had written anything about being sorry for McChystral’s firing…nope.
    &&&&&&

    They’re just thrilled to be relevant again.
    ——-
    You got that right, and they are happy to do it to the next person too.

  81. If McChrystal is still looking for a job when Hillary tosses her hat back in the ring, maybe she can get the General and his black op buddies to man the caucus states and voting polls for her.

  82. A great rant over at PUMApac…

    wontbackdown

    On McCrystal vs Obama

    I don’t care if he is “The Commander in Chief”. I don’t agree with this war, but McCrystal is right and our troops know First Hand what kind of crap they are into with this war – give them some credit. The mixed messages aren’t over authority, but on whose “authority” are we there in the first damned place! No one – not even The One – deserves an ounce of “credit” for getting them home – from any war – that had no real purpose! “Leadership” is suppose to keep us out of war!

    And, how can ANYONE “undermine the authority” of a “commander in chief” whose only experience is campaigning – talking shit – and he’s even terrible at that – but to those who have the palliate mentality of an obot – which is why they see this narcissistic campaigner as “brilliant”!?

  83. Shadowfax, I just got a comment on a facebook article I posted. It was the one that says Hillary is higher in the polls than Obama, Sarah, Mittens and all the front runners.

    This comment is from a republican friend I work with…she went on all MO on me. She said” that Glenn Beck is a true American and Mittens has more executive experience that Hillary and who could think she could run the country when she can’t even keep her man at home”.

    Well, I was pist, this from a republican WOMAN…one of coarse one that has the same brain composition as Obama, LOL! I shut her down. Scary to think she is a emergency room RN…hey but this is Texas and most women here are still wearing their burkas. LOL!

  84. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2010/06/gulf-oil-spill-boat-captain-despondent-over-spill-commits-suicide.html

    William Allen Kruse, 55, a charter boat captain recently hired by BP as a vessel of opportunity out of Gulf Shores, Ala., died Wednesday morning before 7:30 a.m. of a gunshot to the head, likely self-inflicted, authorities said.

    “He had been quite despondent about the oil crisis,” said Stan Vinson, coroner for Baldwin County, which includes Gulf Shores.

    Kruse, who lived with his family in nearby Foley, Ala., reported to work Wednesday morning as usual at the Gulf Shores Marina on Fort Morgan Road in Gulf Shores, Vinson said. He met up with his two deckhands at his boat, The Rookie. One of the deckhands later told Vinson that Kruse seemed his usual self, sending them to fetch ice while he pulled the boat around to the gas pumps.

    As the deckhands walked off to get ice, they heard what sounded like a firecracker, Vinson said. They turned around but didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. So they proceeded to gather the ice and wait for Kruse at the pumps. “He never showed,” Vinson said.

    After waiting a while, the deckhands returned to the boat, which was moored where they had left it, Vinson said. They went aboard and found Kruse at the captain’s bridge above the wheelhouse, Vinson said. He had been shot in the head. A Glock handgun was later recovered from the scene, and investigators do not suspect foul play, Vinson said.

    Vinson said Kruse was in good health, did not suffer from any mental illness and was not taking psychotropic medications.

    But he said it’s not surprising the oil spill had weighed heavily on his mind, as it has on many local fishermen no longer able to support themselves with deep-sea sport fishing trips for marlin and the like, Vinson said.

    “All the waters are closed. There’s no charter business anymore. You go out on some of the beaches now, with the oil, you can’t even get in the water,” Vinson said. “It’s really crippled the tourism and fishing industry here.”

  85. I got this health information on line:

    ————————————–

    In September 2007, General Petraeus was reported to have endured severe back pain, and got through Senate hearings with the aid of Motrin.[146]

    General Petraeus was diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer in February 2009 and underwent two months of successful radiation treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.[147] The diagnosis and treatment was not publicly disclosed until October 2009 because Petraeus and his family regarded his illness as a personal matter that did not interfere with the performance of his duties.[148][149]

    On June 15, 2010, General Petraeus momentarily fainted while being questioned by the Senate Armed Services Committee. He quickly recovered and was able to walk and exit the room without assistance. [150]

    ———————–

    I have to kind of wonder if he will run for VP.

  86. It’s very simple – if a military officer can’t respect the president, he needs to respect the office of the president. McChrystal, whom I like, needed to go. There is no excuse for the remarks. There are basic job requirements for being an American general and one of ’em is that you don’t trash the president.

    This is not about Obama or his feelings. It’s about order in the military.

  87. Gen Petraeus is not in good health and may not last in this job that no doubt very temporary>He suffers from Prostate Cancer and is under treatment.His posture as he walks is very indicative of pain and difficulty standing straight.I have been there and beat it 15 years ago.Feel sorry for him.He has had an outstanding career.

  88. http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/hamas-we-won-t-let-red-cross-visit-shalit-1.297859

    Hamas has rejected the latest request from the International Red Cross to visit abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, Israel Radio reported on Wednesday.

    Hamas denied the request for fear that the visit might lead Israel to try to free Shalit in a military operation, according to Hamas lawmaker Yehia Moussa, who told a Hamas newspaper that the Red Cross did not take the military reality in the Middle East into account when it made the request.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross said it has approached Hamas a number of times to allow its representatives to visit the kidnapped soldier in Gaza, only to be denied time after time.

    “One of our main achievements is that we have been able to visit nearly everyone detained in connection to this conflict, with the exception of Gilad Shalit,” Pierre Dorbes, deputy head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Israel and the Occupied Territories, told Haaretz on Tuesday.

  89. Admin: As those boat payments/house payments pile up and no end to the oil, I think we’ll have many more who just can’t cope with it…Its sad!

  90. How could he put someone that is no doubt sick out in Afganistan??? The man has NO morals! I wonder if he is still getting radiation? He past out at the hearing and has to drink water…that’s a sure sign he’s taking radiation.

  91. Hamas got the baracade lifted to bring in more food and supplies, but they NEVER return a favor for a favor…they are all assholes.

  92. Confloyd, the article says his radiation was for 2 months in 2009,and I think in the summer some time. They disclosed it in october of 2009, but he had been finished with it for a couple of months.

    I just think people who have had wake up calls need to think twice. He has given a lot to this country, and being the VP is not something to sacrific for as far as I am concern. However, he might feel differently.

  93. Confloyd
    Well, I was pist, this from a republican WOMAN…one of coarse one that has the same brain composition as Obama, LOL! I shut her down. Scary to think she is a emergency room RN…hey but this is Texas and most women here are still wearing their burkas. LOL!
    —-

    I know how you feel confloyd, Texas isn’t any different than Calif. where I have actually seen women wear burquas and almost went into silent hand movements of battle with them, asking, “Why would you come here, and be dressed like that?’ I couldn’t talk directly to this woman because there were sets of high rise train tracks between us. Blew my mind.

    And liberal women and men here, that voted for Hillary in the primary but voted for Barry in the General and used the excuse of Bill’s affairs to support Obama. As if Hillary deserved being cheated and betrayed on.

    Comes down to one thing in my book, anyone that uses Bill’s affairs as a way to attack Hillary is not only a facilitator of abuse, but a disgrace to humanity. Some people vote for looks, and that is stupidity at it’s highest.

    Sorry to say, humans have many flaws…but that’s the way they are.

    Mitt – God help us if that sexist wins.

  94. “60,000 American GIs on the ground in that foreign land to serve as cannon fodder”
    *********
    As of one month ago, “The most recent Pentagon figures show 94,000 US personnel are now in Afghanistan compared with 92,000 in Iraq.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/7762893/US-troops-in-Afghanistan-surpass-number-in-Iraq.html

    US troop numbers headed to 98,000 to 105,000 by end of then Summer. IIRC the max # Russian troops was 110,00 in Afghanistan. Even with unrestricted rules of engagement, 110,000 Russians got their asses kicked.

    An amoral President will not loose a minutes of sleep or miss a golf game because he is using 90,000+ Americans as cannon fodder.

  95. Whoa, the National Enquirer is breaking a story that Al Gore sexually assaulted a 54 year old masseuse in Portland, Oregon in 2006 and is named in the official police report about the alleged assault. The woman in question also has a pair of pants she saved as evidence.

    The Enquirer has verified that Gore was in Portland on the day of the incident and have a copy of the massage bill. No criminal charges were filed against Gore..

    Now I know this is the Enquirer but didn’t they break the John Edwards story?…

  96. I don’t care what anyone says, man, woman or child that the office of the President needs to be respected, when the person that represents it, entered his job by stealing votes, hiding his history, scamming and bulling voters and delegates, paying for votes and attempting to destroy others reputations in his way.

    To me it would be like paying honor to a Pope that is a pedophile.

    His Oneness should have spoken his mind and sent the General back to his job. I would have at least respected him for that decision.

  97. confloyd
    June 23rd, 2010 at 5:09 pm
    wbboei, I know this…this is what they did in Vietnam….the farking democrats (exception Hillary) can fark up a war like no one else….

    It was very dangerous to have a democrat while we are at war

    —-

    Bwahahaha! I personally found Bush a dangerous President while at war and yeah before he got us into them. I have to disagree with you.

  98. Gore, forced sex, saved undies………..ugh, the thought.
    Is she a friend of Monica?

    Yes, the Enquirer did break the Edwards story.

  99. Judging from today’s headlines, Obama is not cool, not detached, not cerebrial. He is furious. That is the word his handlers want planted in the newspapers.

    =======================

    This reminds me of the folktale about the moron who was sent on an errand, made one mistake, was reproached, tried again and made the opposite mistake — doing the action that had been recommended the first time.

    People said he should have showed anger at the oil spill — so now he’s showing anger at a general he can’t afford to really fire.

  100. I thought Clinton was quite a competent CinC during Bosnia. FDR sure did a good job in WWII. I just really disagree with the idea that Republicans are somehow less dangerous in terms of war. It was the neocons that got us into this mess.

  101. What will happen to those McCrystal aides who were with him during that interview?
    Will they be fired as well….and I think they were not all Americans but part of Nato force?

  102. mj, I was only infurring the fact that during Vietnam, they had a rule that the soldiers could not fire first….they had to be cannon fodder first to make sure they were being fired upon…it was one of the things that contributed alot of problems with Vietnam.

    Obama has put that back into effect in Afganistan…you can’t fire first, you have to make sure the person is an enemy…which is nice classroom theory however it doesnt work very well in the field.

    I even think Bush might have had this. Its crazy.

  103. Yahoo has an article of a dolphin covered in oil that has washed up Florida…I don’t have the stomach to read the article.

  104. Some collection of comments on this McCrystal saga…

    ————————

    It is amusing when one considers that Petraeus no doubt
    holds the same view of the politicians as McChrystal, he just
    has enough sense to keep his mouth shut. It’s all politics at
    the top !!!

    At least someone had the guts to tell the whitehouse willey nilleys the truth, shame that the only answer they an come up with is to force him to resign.

    Yes, Obama was right to relieve McChrystal of his duties as his actions amounted to insubordination. But, Obama has shown that he is no leader. There should have been a brief statement that he had had a meeting with McChrystal and that he had relieved him of his duties. There was no need to go into details. The Taleban must be laughing at the incompetence of the American Leadership!

    obamas actions prove what a small minded man he is , the question here is not whither the general has upset some paper pushers but whither the general is correct and judging by the white house reaction you would have to assume the general was correct

    ——————–

  105. McKrystal only resigned from his post in Afganistan…he and his staff will not return to Afganistan, but he will have another post within the military.

    My guess he will be stationed far away from any reporter until Obama is out of office…then he can write a book.

  106. admin — not sure if you have covered this, but despite the community organizer’s praise for Peteraus, when push came to shove, guess what happened. In 2006 when the whole General Betray-us was an ad in the NYT by Obama’s lackies Move-on, there was a motion the floor of the Senate to condemn this,

    72 voted to condemn it, 22 did not.

    GUESS WHO VOTED PRESENT.

    Yes, the Community Organizer.

  107. Confloyd,

    That’s not accurate. McChrystal lobbied for, and won the right, to execute a counter-insurgency strategy. Vietnam was not a counter-insurgency action in the least. And I guarantee you, that because of Hillary’s feminist philosophy, she is very much in favor of what McChrystal was doing.

    Up until McChrystal changed directions, we were engaged in what is known as a “kill-centric” action. If the troops have any questions whatsoever, they just kill whoever is in front of them. That’s what the Soviets did before us. What this does is alienate everybody.

    What we’re trying to do is re-establish the power of the tribes rather than the Taliban. The Taliban are thugs and everyone hates them. So we tell the elders that we will back them up against the taliban threats to their lives and livelihoods. Then we build new hospitals, new schools and new irrigation ditches. We increase the stability of their lives.

    We’re over there doing what we’re doing because for eight years, we have done nothing that wasn’t destructive. We simply bombed everything and everyone that moved. We broke it. We gotta fix it. And if we don’t, it’s the women and children who will pay the price.

    The counter-insurgency strategy is the policy that Obama was won over to, not the one he initiated. I’m quite certain that Clinton aggressively supports what we are doing.

    And no, no matter how lousy the president, how compromised his win, there is no justification for generals to be publicly disrespectful.

  108. I think Hillary’s not saying anything about this because she has problems to work out with her ambassador and Holbrooke.

    She’s very much involved in the Afghan conflict, from the civilian viewpoint, and coordinates very well with the military at her level.

    There are encouraging reports of sure but slow progress in governance, economics (agriculture, mining), order, and involvement of women. Hillary is behind all that and has a growing staff on the ground.

    She will coordinate better with Petraeus than she did with McChrystal. They know and respect each other.

  109. For the record, Hillary voted in opposition to the motion to condemn Move On. Even though Move On had already voted to endorse Obama.

  110. msnbc.msn.com/id/37881749 the latest NBC/WSJ numbers – down, down, down…

    Poll: Spill drags the president’s rating down

    …snip…

    Obama’s declining numbers

    In the poll, Obama’s job-approval rating stands at 45 percent, which is down five points from early last month and down three points from late May.

    Forty-eight percent in the current survey say they disapprove of his job performance.

    What’s more, Obama’s favorable/unfavorable rating is now at 47 percent to 40 percent, down from 49 percent to 38 percent in early May and 52 percent to 35 percent in January.

    His scores on other ascpects of the presidency also have declined. In April 2009, 54 percent gave the president high marks for being able to handle a crisis; now it’s 40 percent.

    In July 2009, 57 percent gave him high marks for being decisive and for his decision-making; now it’s 44 percent.

    And also in July 2009, 61 percent gave him high marks for having strong leadership qualities; now it’s 49 percent.

    continues…

  111. basement angel, She’s too nice…if they’d done to me what they did to her…I would enjoy destroying each and everyone of their careers…of coarse she not vengeful like most are…she has class.

  112. I think we can all use a good laugh…

    newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/blagojevich-on-trial/2010/06/blago-calls-obama-henpecked-by-michelle.html

    Blago calls Obama ‘hen-pecked’ by Michelle

    Rod Blagojevich is not exactly emerging as a shining example of enlightened feminist-friendly rhetoric in the undercover recordings being played at his trial this afternoon.

    An example is a conversation he held with chief of staff John Harris on Nov. 7, 2008, in which the two were still discussing Blagojevich’s plans to swap a Senate appointment for a post in the Obama administration or some high-paying job in the private sector.

    The two were reviewing talks with union officials they perceived to be emissaries of Obama. Blagojevich said the emissaries didn’t seem to know exactly what to make of his swap request.

    “Barack really wants to get away from Illinois politics,” said Blagojevich, laughing.

    Eventually the talk got around to a suggestion that they try a different route to convey the swap idea to the president: through soon-to-be first lady Michelle Obama.

    “He’s a lot more hen-pecked than me,” Blagojevich said. “He listens to Michelle.”

    –Bob Secter

  113. basement angel, I lived thru Vietnam….I pretty sure, but not real sure this is what they did there…it did not work…maybe they have improved it…I guess it worked in Iraq. I just know if I was a soldier and could not fire unless fired upon…I would go awol…you have to protect yourself.

  114. Confloyd,

    I guarantee you that it is not what they did. We just bombed the bejesus out of everybody and everything in Vietnam – we just kept increasing the amount of force that we used. The strategies couldn’t be farther apart. Remember, Fonda’s fateful trip was to highlight the fact that Nixon was planning on bombing the dikes and that was going to result in the deaths of tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of innocent people. Love her or hate her, her trip successfully derailed that plan and there are a lot of people alive because of her.

    One of the points of a counter-insurgency strategy is to reduce civilian deaths and that’s what allows you to begin changing the power structure. We have been successful at lowering the number of Afghanis killed by the US. The insurgents have increased the number that they are killing and when you read about the number of deaths not falling, that’s who is doing the killing now. We’re working on slowing the number of deaths from insurgents as well.

  115. This is BIG:

    Obama, Salazar, Chu, and Gates green-lighted the risky Macondo drilling operation from the outset, according to WMR’s government sources.

    WMR learned that BP was able to have several safety checks waived because of the high-level interest by the White House and Pentagon in tapping the Gulf of Mexico bonanza find in order to plan a military attack on Iran without having to be concerned about an oil and natural gas shortage from the Persian Gulf after an outbreak of hostilities with Iran.

    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Obama-Administration-Knew-About-Deepwater-Horizon-35000-Feet-Well-Bore.html

  116. Tim

    He didn’t even vote though he was there…72-25 vote

    Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, another contender for the Democratic nomination, did not vote, although he voted minutes earlier for an alternative resolution by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. That resolution condemned the MoveOn ad as an “unwarranted personal attack,” but also condemned political attack ads that questioned the patriotism of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and former Sen. Max Cleland, D-Ga., both Vietnam veterans.

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8RPBHO80&show_article=1

  117. “I welcome debate among my team, but I won’t tolerate division.”

    —————-
    Pure semantics, for God’s sake.

  118. blowme0bama
    June 23rd, 2010 at 8:05 pm
    This is BIG:

    Obama, Salazar, Chu, and Gates green-lighted the risky Macondo drilling operation from the outset, according to WMR’s government sources.

    —-

    What is WMR?

  119. g.sports.yahoo.com/soccer/world-cup/news/clinton-hops-on-u-s-soccer-bandwagon–fbintl_dw-clinton062310.html

    PRETORIA, South Africa – Weezer’s “Represent” was blaring across the delirious, victorious American locker room about the time Bill Clinton strolled in.

    Former U.S. President Bill Clinton attending Wednesday’s USA-Algeria match. (Michael Sohn/AP) Landon Donovan’s injury-time game-winner over Algeria had sprung the United States into the knockout round and set off parties from here to back home. The most important moment American soccer history is what team officials were calling it, at least until Saturday afternoon’s game against Ghana.

    The players knew the 1-0 victory was big, but the enormity hit home when – out of nowhere – Clinton just sort of walked in. He appeared more in awe of the players than the players of him.

    Donovan finds redemption in late goal Controversial call costs U.S. another goal More From Dan Wetzel
    It’s fandemonium after historic win Jun 23, 2010 AdChoices
    Someone handed the former President a soda. He put his arm around Donovan. He sought out coach Bob Bradley. The party went on. Clinton wound up just hanging out for 45 minutes; some think he would’ve stayed hours longer if, you know, the guys didn’t have to actually get dressed.

    This was no politician photo op. He was chatting up the players like the most excitable USA fan on the planet, a group whose numbers are growing by the moment in what may prove to be an historic run.

    Somewhere in the middle Clinton cleared his throat and gave a brief speech. The room finally went silent; everyone crowded around.

    He thanked them. He praised them. Then, according to the players and officials, he delivered signature lines.

    “As someone who cares about our country,” he said, “you made me proud to be an American.”

    “Surreal,” Jonathan Bronstein said with a shake of his head. “Just surreal. The former President is telling us we made him proud to be American?”

    The whole thing went surreal Wednesday for U.S. Soccer. These cardiac kids, these injury-time heroes, these never-quit stars had done the impossible by continuing to do the impossible.

    America, for the moment at least, loves it men’s national soccer team.

    The USA has gone deeper in World Cups before. They’ve featured bigger stars before. They’ve garnered huge media attention before. They’ve never done it this big, though, thanks in part to a flair for these dramatic, near buzzer-beating, Cup-saving goals. What’s not to love about a team that holds a lead for just two total minutes over three games and wins its World Cup group anyway?

    “We’ve had [previous success] before but not with this much interest,” said Sunil Gulati, president of U.S. Soccer. “The country was tuned in like never before. It would’ve been a missed opportunity.”

    No, soccer isn’t going to become the national sport or replace football or basketball. Maybe it doesn’t develop into much more than a once-every-four-year diversion.

    What’s wrong with that, though? What’s wrong with another small step toward appreciation and admiration? What’s wrong with soccer causing people to cheer in work break rooms and crowd into bars in the middle of the day? What’s wrong with a few more flags flapping in the air? What’s wrong with everyone feeling a dose of American pride during a time when the recession keeps lingering and the wars keep going and the oil keeps leaking?

    Soccer isn’t going to get the unemployed a job or bring the troops home or clean up the Gulf. No one here would suggest such a thing.

    But what’s wrong with a little fun; with Bill Clinton and Weezer and a team that keeps winning these desperation games? Or with thousands of Americans traveling all the way to this rickety old stadium and winding up singing and dancing and hugging the night away. They even inspired Jozy Altidore to try to leap a security fence and land in an impromptu post-victory fan mosh pit?

    “It was amazing,” he smiled.

    “I used to see the game we play as just a game,” Donovan said. “I think I’m realizing, partly during this tournament, that it’s more than that. It’s an opportunity to inspire.”

    So here were the Americans trying to drive home the simple inspirational proof of their success.

    They deal with adversity. The team didn’t fall apart when, once again, a referee error disallowed a goal Wednesday or when player mistakes left scoring chances blown. They just got tougher.

    “[Clinton] said he liked how we never give up,” Altidore said.

    They stick together. Players and officials say that this USA team, more than any other in recent memory, is tight. There are off-the-field friendships. The coach has a son on the team. Black, white, Hispanic, it’s a melting pot of unity and support. When someone fails, fingers aren’t pointed.

    “We all care for each other, on and off the field,” DeMarcus Beasley said before calling Donovan his “brother.”

    They pursue greatness. This is U.S. Soccer, where history demands the expectations remain limited. Just don’t tell these players. They aren’t going to stuff their cleats in their mouth and verbalize their confidence, but they were not surprised they won their group for the first time since the first World Cup in 1930.

    “Now it’s a one-off game, anything can happen,” Altidore said. “We’re playing to play in the final.”

    The final? Of the whole thing? By then the bandwagon that Bill Clinton is leading might collapse. This band of Americans, half a world from home, is willing to risk it. A year ago, here in South Africa, they stunned the soccer powers with a magical run to the finals of the Confederations Cup.

    Now they’re back for more. More success. More drama. More dare-to-dream moments that cause a nation to rally around a sport too often dismissed as dull and drab.

    Bill Clinton showed up in their rocking locker room Wednesday and never wanted to leave. “You’re amazing,” he kept saying.

    It’s surreal in South Africa and these guys swear they aren’t even close to being done.

    Dan Wetzel is Yahoo! Sports’ national columnist. Follow him on Twitter. Send Dan a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.

    *************************************************

    love our Bill!

  120. Barak to Clinton: Proximity talks won’t help

    Peace and security will only be achieved through direct negotiations, defense minister tells US secretary of state. He warns Lebanon will be responsible for any action committed against Israel from its territory

    WASHINGTON – Defense Minister Ehud Barak told US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday that the proximity talks would not help end the deadlock and solve the disagreements between Israel and the Palestinians.

    According to Barak, direct negotiations are the only way to advance an agreement based on a solution of two states for two people and help strengthen peace and security in the region.

    Speaking during a meeting at the State Department in Washington, the defense minister said that Israel was concerned over the Lebanese government’s difficulties to deal with the Hezbollah organization. He added that the Lebanon government would be fully responsible for any act carried out from its territory against Israel.

    The meeting, which lasted about 75 minutes, also dealt with the ramifications of the Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, including the efforts to increase the supply of goods to Gaza, the Israeli commission of inquiry and the attempts to stop the new flotillas aiming to break the siege on the Strip.

    Barak presented Israel’s recent moves to improve the inflow of goods through the Gaza crossing while preventing the smuggling of weapons to the Strip.

    He added that Israel would continue checking any cargo delivered to Gaza through the sea at the Ashdod Port. He also mentioned that four years have passed since the abduction of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

    Clinton praised Barak as the start of the meeting as “someone who is certainly deeply involved in every important decision that affects Israel’s security and prospects for peace.”

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3909920,00.html

  121. “He appeared more in awe of the players than the players of him.”

    ————————-

    This is the difference between the Clintons and the Obamas. The Clintons leave their egos at home and are honestly honored to meet everyone they come across, no matter status, no matter race.

    The Obamas egos are collectively collossal and believe that all others should be honored, genuflect, and thoroughly enslave themselves in their royal idiots’ presence. The exception being of course terrorist buddies, at which time the Obamas become enslaved and in awe at the same time.

  122. SHV
    June 23rd, 2010 at 10:52 am

    I think McChrystal wants out, and he will get his wish, but I also believe that he is doing a favor for his soldiers by bringing to light the current situation in Afghanistan. It is possible that he is risking his career for the betterment of the war effort.
    *******
    That is my opinion also. If that is his motive then he is going about it the wrong way. Possibly his thinking is “A general doesn’t quit when troops are in the field, especially in a loosing war effort but if I tell the “truth” and get fired.blah..blah.”

    ========================

    I’m sure you didn’t mean this to sound like McC had only one motive, or did only one thing, or like the final published version of the article had only one cause.

    If McC had a plan, I’m sure he never expected it to survive contact with reality.

    (Imo wbboei’s theory is the most likely, plus much snafu on all sides, plus maybe the reporter [and editor?] wanting to help end a bad REAL situation on the ground.)

  123. so true, Jan…Hill and Bill inspire…Bill knows how to make it all about them, with O it would be ‘I’ this and ‘I’ that…me, me, me!

    …looks like that Clinton karma is still at work…Bill is in the right place at the right time…how great…

  124. On it’s face, idling the oil rigs seems reasonable if in fact the rigs are under examination for safety reasons. However, there is proof a more sinister reason exists. George Soros made the call he wants the idled rigs sent to Brazil for his US Taxpayer funded Petrobras off shore drilling project. Now he can’t very well get his oil rigs if the good judge thinking about putting oil co employees back to work lifts the moratorium now can he?

    ==================

    Makes sense. I was surprised that Obama is appealing the resumption of such drilling. His usual pattern would be:

    Make the big announcement of suspending drilling
    Let an oil crony judge allow drilling to resume
    Make a big angry speech while doing nothing, so drill cronies drill

    Hope Brazil (or someplace far away) gets the rigs and keeps them!

  125. Australia has its First Female Prime Minister as Kevin Rudd has resigned.

    The Aussie PM stepped down after it was clear he no longer had the support of the party.

    Julia Gillard is the First Female PM of Australia…….now if only we could get someone else to step down in the US in favour of a competent woman…….just saying like

  126. no oneis even 100% certain if the writer of this article is being FAIR to the general. Somehow, I doubt it.

    ==========================

    What do we have so far?

    The reporter claims the General said XYZ.
    The editor claims the General approved the article.

  127. Oh Boy, here we go again………..

    Prosecutor: Al Gore was focus of sex crime inquiry in Portland

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/06/prosecutor_al_gore_was_focus_o.html

    The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office confirmed today that a woman who alleged unwanted sexual contact by Al Gore reported it to police in 2006, and the prosecutor’s office was briefed by the Portland Police Bureau in late 2006 and January 2007.

    “We were told the woman was not willing to be interviewed by the Portland Police Bureau and did not want a criminal investigation to proceed,’’ Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schrunk said, in a prepared statement.

    Today, as the National Enquirer reported that it had interviewed a Portland masseuse who complained of unwanted sexual contact by the former vice president at the Hotel Lucia on Oct. 24, 2006, the district attorney’s office was notified that the Portland Police Bureau had conducted a further investigation of the allegation in 2009….

  128. I have no idea what to think about the Gore allegations because the woman didn’t pursue the case criminally or civilly. But I have to wonder if this is a reason for his marital split. Perhaps Tipper knew this was coming.

  129. Seems a lot of stuff being dug up on Gore, maybe he’s not as squeaky clean as we all thought.

    Until proven, i’m not going to buy into it but hey the Enquirer has been right before.

  130. Jeeze, for 5 minutes I actually was on the same page as Hannity about McChrystal………….then, he goes off on how the environmentalists caused the BP Gusher and I am back to screaming at the tv until Greta comes on.

  131. Check out Drudge, photo of Barry with 1/2 gray hair.
    Golf and bball must be really stressful.

  132. BTW, I love that story about Bill Clinton at the World Cup game. Thanks for posting it.
    —————–

    Yep! great story!!!! It was fun thing but I wonder why he was in a suit and tie….

  133. Check out Drudge, photo of Barry with 1/2 gray hair.
    Golf and bball must be really stressful.
    —————–

    More like “lack of balls” in more than 1 sense!!!!!

  134. I think sending Petraeus to Afghan is kind of stupid.
    He is the centcom commander now. Centcom covers Indian subcontinent to Middle East. He is the one looking after Iran, Israel,PA, Iraq, Turkey, etc, besides Afpak. If he goes to the theatre, who is going to look after all these troubled areas, with another flotilla coming toward Israel?

    Besides, it is a demotion. You don’t do that to a com commander. It’s like sending Gen. Ike to Battle of the Bulge or something.

  135. Hello all. Still in trial which I expect to end Monday. I have missed a hell of a lot, and appreciate all you good folks do to keep the flame burning for Hillary. It seems the admin. predictions on what Obama would do to this country, not to mention my former party, have come to fruition. Godspeed to the people of the Gulf coast and our troops whom this President has shown total disdain for since his first day in office. God bless the Israel as well.

  136. mj
    June 23rd, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    I thought Clinton was quite a competent CinC during Bosnia.

    ==========

    Er, yes. Won the conflict in a few months with only one US casualty, iirc. With the media against him all the way.

  137. Er, yes. Won the conflict in a few months with only one US casualty, iirc. With the media against him all the way.
    ********
    I was thinking the same thing, seeing Serbia, Slovenia and other former Yugoslav. component regions playing in the Word Cup. All of the grief that Clinton got from the Rethugs and the MSM; well things turned out pretty well.

  138. The biggest story of the day might turn out to be the one Confloyd discussed about an dead oil drenched dolphin. The moment a picture of a dead dolphin shows up, clearly killed by oil, children will turn on Obama with vehemence. That is already starting to happen as this video we posted earlier indicates:

    Kids love dolphins, as most adults do. But today’s kids go beyond the “Flipper” generation and dolphins are now an icon of earth and environment.

    Mj, your comment on how Obama is close to reconstituting the Bush national security team (sans Cheney and Rumsfeld) will at some point begin to get notice.

    Also the icebergslim story (with inaccuracies such as when the African-American vote began to turn – it was 2008 around South Carolina, not in 2007) displays the development arc of a Hopium Guzzler coming around to see what Obama is like and what Bill Clinton accomplished.

    Here’s the video of the video icebergslim posted. Once June poll numbers are this bad they will be near impossible to turn around by November. [Warning, video is from MSNBC]

  139. …not to be redundant…but let us not forget that President Bill Clinton went immediately into action during the Los Angeles earthquake…FEMA was up and ready and helping pronto…people were literally on the streets from the intense destruction

    drj.com/drworld/content/w3_094.htm LA quake special report

    …for those of us that were there, President Clinton and FEMA were there for us…

    …bears repeating again that Bill Clinton never got the appreciation and recognition he deserved, instead he had to deal with jealous, petty dims and repubs trying to destroy this once in our lifetime twice elected great Democratic President…

  140. JanH, thanks for the videos, as usual. Hillary looks great in that white/black outfit. She has always led on LGBT issues and Obama follows reluctantly. As she says in the video she was the first first lady to march in a Pride parade – when it was neither “cool” nor politically safe. Obama has yet to march in a Pride parade. We doubt he will this year.

    The Ehud Barack video reminds us of the sacrifices (his Prime Minister job) he made for peace with the Palestinians – who then rejected his proposals but then accepted the peace plan once it was too late.

  141. Admin,

    Do you have any sense of the comparison between the Geneva Plan and the Clinton Parameters? I keep thinking they’re quite similar.

  142. HotAir highlights this from the NBC/WSJ poll (what we said 3 years ago):

    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/06/23/nbcwsj-poll-americans-losing-faith-in-obama/

    “As a Democrat and as a woman, I am disappointed in him,” said poll respondent Melissa Riner, a 42-year-old law clerk from Mesa, Ariz. Referring to the oil spill, Ms. Riner added, “I don’t think he’s handling it. He doesn’t seem to be doing anything. He just talks.”

    James Ciarmataro, a 23-year-old stay-at-home dad from Macomb, Mich., said it was difficult to relate to Mr. Obama, because the president is “eating steak dinners at the White House and playing golf” while the country is suffering.

    An independent, Mr. Ciarmataro said he would vote in November for “whoever seems the newest, and doesn’t seem to have any ties to anybody else.”

  143. wbboei
    June 23rd, 2010 at 2:01 pm
    Judging by the poll on the previous thread this action will not sit well. The legalities are of secondary importance now. The politics is what counts. And, Obama now owns the Afghanistan policy. It would have been smarter for him to have turned the other cheek and appeared magnanimous, and kept the monkey on McChrystal’s back. That is what an adept Machiavellian would have done. What was said about the Obama administation will be remembered and reverberate as the casualties mount.

    ==================

    Yes, I would have expected Obama to keep McC with a lot of face-saving rhetoric. I wonder if McC in private made this impossible — more or less going on strike saying either we do Afgan the way I want or I’m out of it.

  144. JanH
    June 23rd, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Secretary Clinton Delivers Remarks at LGBT Pride Month Event
    ———-
    I love the way Hillary looks in this video.

  145. Newsweek quotes Hastings:
    Q: Describe how this debate all looks from Afghanistan, away from the politics of Washington—what does the war look like today?

    A: I’m getting ready to go out on a mission with U.S. troops. They’re concerned with doing the job that’s in front of them. I’m trying to take the same attitude—I’m just reporting the story that I’m here to report right now. The way I view journalism is you try to focus on the story, report what you see and hear, try to piece it together, and then tell the reader what is really happening. I did that, and the aftermath is not really something I can control. Especially when I have no Internet connection, the power keeps going out, and the occasional fighter jet flies overhead, which is not suitable for phone interviews, at all.

    ===============

    Impressive. But remember Hastings is a professional writer.

  146. Concerning Afghanistgan—

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    These words from the man who turned in the industrialists who wanted to depose FDR
    ——————————————————————————–

    “WAR is a racket. It always has been.

    It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives…

    I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

    I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

    Who provides the profits – these nice little profits of 20, 100, 300, 1,500 and 1,800 per cent? We all pay them – in taxation. We paid the bankers their profits when we bought Liberty Bonds at $100.00 and sold them back at $84 or $86 to the bankers. These bankers collected $100 plus. It was a simple manipulation. The bankers control the security marts. It was easy for them to depress the price of these bonds. Then all of us – the people – got frightened and sold the bonds at $84 or $86. The bankers bought them. Then these same bankers stimulated a boom and government bonds went to par – and above. Then the bankers collected their profits.

    But the soldier pays the biggest part of the bill.

    If you don’t believe this, visit the American cemeteries on the battlefields abroad. Or visit any of the veteran’s hospitals in the United States. On a tour of the country, in the midst of which I am at the time of this writing, I have visited eighteen government hospitals for veterans. In them are a total of about 50,000 destroyed men – men who were the pick of the nation eighteen years ago. The very able chief surgeon at the government hospital; at Milwaukee, where there are 3,800 of the living dead, told me that mortality among veterans is three times as great as among those who stayed at home…

    Smedley Butler, Major General USMC, Medal for extreme heroism at the Wall of Legations, Boxer Rebellion, Peking 1905

    http://rationalrevolution.net/war/major_general_smedley_butler_usm.htm

  147. Kids love dolphins, as most adults do. But today’s kids go beyond the “Flipper” generation and dolphins are now an icon of earth and environment.

    ————
    I can’t watch either, like confloyd.
    Worked in Hawaii for a very short time at Marine World, and the day I quit, I used my employee badge to get past the fence to the dolphin tanks, and when other employees left the area, I jumped in with two of the big guys. Wonderful animals.

  148. Another Obama disaster? Another?? It’s not unlikely. . .

    A Critical Moment in War Effort
    Wall Street Journal
    By GERALD F. SEIB in Washington and MATTHEW ROSENBERG in Kabul

    There’s never a good time for an American administration to air its dirty laundry in public, but the departure of Gen. Stanley McChrystal amid a flurry of sniping and backbiting comes at a particularly inauspicious moment.

    The Afghanistan war effort Gen. McChrystal had been leading—and the strategy he personally devised for it—are entering a crucial few months that may well determine their success or failure. Before being dismissed Wednesday for intemperate remarks about civilian officials, Gen. McChrystal had put in place what most analysts consider the most comprehensive plan of coordinated military action and economic development in eight years of warfare. The troops he persuaded President Barack Obama to dispatch to execute that plan are still arriving.

    A rising number of insurgent leaders have been killed or detained recently, and, with U.S. help, the size of Afghan security forces has been ramped up about 30% in the last year.

    View Full Image

    AFP/Gety Images
    U.S. marines on the North East of Marjah in February.

    But in recent days, implementation of the strategy, as well as political support for it, have started to look considerably more shaky. A military push into the city of Marjah hasn’t been the success hoped for, and a larger operation in the major city of Kandahar has been put off.

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai, after briefly reassuring American officials of his reliability, has lately rekindled doubts by firing two cabinet ministers highly regarded in Washington. Allied support is fading; two allied nations plan to pull out next year, and only about a third of the Western military trainers once thought necessary to upgrade Afghanistan’s security forces are on the job. American troops in the field have begun to openly question rules of engagement that require a high degree of caution in launching military attacks to avoid civilian casualties.

    All that raises questions about how secure Afghanistan will look when parliamentary elections, crucial to broadening the Afghan government’s grip, are held in September. Soon after that, allies will reassess their commitment to the war. A bigger political test comes in December when Mr. Obama reviews progress on the ground in anticipation of a July 2011 start to an American drawdown.

    Now the troubled war effort proceeds minus Gen. McChrystal, its main architect and the one commander President Karzai appears to really trust.

    Question of the Day

    Vote: Will the change in command in Afghanistan help or hurt the Afghan war effort?
    During a video conference Tuesday night with Mr. Obama, the Afghan leader told the U.S. president that he had full confidence in Gen. McChrystal, said the Afghan president’s spokesman, Waheed Omar. Firing him would disrupt the war effort at a critical moment, Mr. Karzai argued, with troops poised to begin a major effort to secure Kandahar and its Taliban-infested surroundings.

    “The president believes that we are in a very sensitive juncture in the partnership, in the war on terror and in the process of bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan, and any gap in this process will not be helpful,” the spokesman told reporters in Kabul.

    The new commander Mr. Obama named, Gen. David Petraeus, shares Gen. McChrystal’s philosophy of counter-insurgency operations, which stresses dispersing troops and civilian aid to secure selected areas and winning residents’ loyalty through intense, on-the-ground cooperation with local leaders. Indeed, Gen. Petraeus essentially was the originator of the approach when he was head of American forces in Iraq.

    Gen. Petraeus, currently commander of U.S. forces across the Middle East, has a much more solid relationship with President Obama and civilian leaders in the administration.

    But he doesn’t have Gen. McChrystal’s knowledge of Afghanistan or the same trust of leaders there and in Pakistan, an important ally in the fight against the Taliban.

    Anthony Cordesman, a veteran military analyst and sometime-adviser to Gen. McChrystal, offers this summary: “Is it winnable? Yes. Are we going to win? That’s not a question anyone can answer. This is a war with so much uncertainty.”

    One immediate risk is that the military command team in Afghanistan could fracture. After arriving a year ago, Gen. McChrystal reshaped the allied command in his image, creating an unusual operation filled with handpicked loyalists.

    Military headquarters and the U.S. embassy in Kabul have been filled in the past two days with talk that a departure of Gen. McChrystal could prompt an exodus of other top officers. Speculation Wednesday was that Gen. Petraeus would bring in his own aides.

    McChrystal in the Field

    Gen. McChrystal made frequent visits to Afghanistan.

    View Slideshow

    Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images
    On McChrystal’s Watch

    Key events from his time in charge

    View Interactive

    Who’s in Charge?

    A history of tensions between civil and military leaders, in peacetime and in war.

    View Slideshow

    Getty Images
    More photos and interactive graphics
    Gen. McChrystal last fall sold President Obama on a counter-insurgency strategy that called for defeating the Afghan Taliban by sending troops to selected districts, ridding those of insurgents, and working with Afghan forces and international aid officials to hold the areas.

    As important as the military effort was a push to use economic aid and Western development advice to build local governments that would win the hearts and minds of the locals.

    But agreement on the plan came only after weeks of divisive administration debate. In giving Gen. McChrystal 30,000 of the 40,000 troops he sought to execute the strategy, Mr. Obama insisted on two conditions.

    First, administration aides say, he told the general not to use the troops to take any cities or regions he wasn’t confident they could then hold. And second, the president said there would be the December 2010 review of progress, and a decision in July 2011 about when and how to begin drawing down American troops.

    The contingent of 30,000 additional troops isn’t likely to be deployed in full before the end of September, coalition officials say. This means the coalition will be fighting at full strength only 10 months before the deadline for deciding on a drawdown plan—a timetable many military commanders see as severely handicapping their chances of rolling back the Taliban.

    Meanwhile, progress on the ground is slower than Gen. McChrystal’s team anticipated. That’s especially clear in Marjah, where the general sent American forces to drive out the Taliban and establish a kind of showcase of counter-insurgency strategy.

    Instead, after besting the Taliban in February and early March, Afghan and allied forces failed to set up a functioning government in Marjah quickly. The result has been a population that remains wary of the coalition forces and the Afghan authorities they back. That, in turn, has allowed the Taliban to make a resurgence, and Marjah today is contested turf.

    Casualty Count

    Track the deaths of U.S. and allied forces’ troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Violence is up nearly 100% this year across Afghanistan, according to internal figures from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, whose countries provide the allied forces.

    Some of that is due the increased number of soldiers; the more fighters brought in, the more fighting there will be, say coalition officials. But they also say it indicates the Taliban aren’t backing down but looking to push back. June has been the deadliest month yet, by an Associated Press count, with 76 Western troops killed, including 46 Americans.

    In Kandahar province, most troops for the surge have yet to arrive, and the military piece of the offensive has been delayed until September. For now, U.S. and Afghan officials are focusing on the softer parts of the campaign. They’re mapping out how to build government offices in surrounding districts, boost the number of police in the city and set up fruit and other farming projects.

    Sensing the need to show progress soon, senior military officers have begun to talk less of Marjah and Kandahar and more about a pair of districts in the southern province of Helmand, called Nawa and Garmsir, that were taken last summer in operations designed before Gen. McChrystal assumed command.

    Meantime, a drive Gen. McChrystal implemented to minimize Afghan civilian casualties—a strategy based on the belief that a softer, gentler approach would dent the insurgency’s appeal to the averge Afghan—has run into internal resistance.

    There is growing frustration among front-line troops, who blame spiking casualties on increasingly restrictive rules of engagement. Platoon and company commanders in the southern provinces of Kandahar and Helmand openly speak of having to fight with one hand tied behind their back.

    Use of indirect fire such as mortars requires so many layers of approval that, by the time it’s secured, the intended targets are often long gone. Helicopter gunships are usually not allowed to shoot if the pilots don’t see their targets holding weapons—even if these men had been spotted firing at American infantry just seconds earlier.

    The result, troops complain, is that the U.S. has surrendered much of its technological advantage over the Taliban, who can trump coalition forces in an equal fight because of superior knowledge of the terrain and ability to blend in with civilians.

    For all the military uncertainty, the key to the war effort this summer may lie more in how well the civilian side of Gen. McChrystal’s formula works out. Progress in establishing a coherent rule of law continues to be hampered by the low pay offered Afghan civil servants and judges, for example.

    A sense of pervasive government corruption persists, and analysts fear that will continue to be the case until Western nations figure out how to write foreign-aid contracts that make sure money goes to projects and Afghan citizens instead of corrupt political figures.

    One sign of how broad that problem remains: A new report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies estimates that up to 40% of all foreign aid “goes to corruption, security and overhead.”

    Write to Gerald F. Seib at jerry.seib@wsj.com and Matthew Rosenberg at

  149. DefiantOne
    June 23rd, 2010 at 4:14 am

    ================

    If the military were trying to get away from civilians, they wouldn’t be appealing to the ultimate civilians: readers of Rolling Stone. 😉

  150. Thee Oil Spill is mega politics. Like a hammer pounding on precious medal it changes the shape of the November electon:

    1. “Mr. McInturff said voters’ feelings, typically set by June in any election year, are being hardened by frustration over the economy and the oil spill. “It would take an enormous and seismic event to change the drift of these powerful forces before November,” he said.

    2. Mr. McInturff added that any “little, faint signs” in the spring that voters were adopting a more optimistic outlook have now been “squished by feelings from this oil spill.”

    And then there is this:

    3. Just 44% of Obama voters—those who voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 or told pollsters they intended to—now express high interest in the midterm elections. That’s a 38-point drop from this stage in the 2008 campaign.

    4. By contrast, 71% of voters who supported Republican John McCain in 2008 expressed high interest in this year’s elections, slightly higher than their interest level at this stage in that campaign.

    ————————————————–

    Confidence Waning in Obama, U.S. Outlook
    Wall Street Journal
    By PETER WALLSTEN And ELIZA GRAY

    Americans are more pessimistic about the state of the country and less confident in President Barack Obama’s leadership than at any point since Mr. Obama entered the White House, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

    The survey also shows grave and growing concerns about the Gulf oil spill, with overwhelming majorities of adults favoring stronger regulation of the oil industry and believing that the spill will affect the nation’s economy and environment.

    Sixty-two percent of adults in the survey feel the country is on the wrong track, the highest level since before the 2008 election. Just one-third think the economy will get better over the next year, a 7-point drop from a month ago and the low point of Mr. Obama’s tenure.

    Amid anxiety over the nation’s course, support for Mr. Obama and other incumbents is eroding. For the first time, more people disapprove of Mr. Obama’s job performance than approve. And 57% of voters would prefer to elect a new person to Congress than re-elect their local representatives, the highest share in 18 years.

    Mr. McInturff said voters’ feelings, typically set by June in any election year, are being hardened by frustration over the economy and the oil spill. “It would take an enormous and seismic event to change the drift of these powerful forces before November,” he said.

    Mr. McInturff added that any “little, faint signs” in the spring that voters were adopting a more optimistic outlook have now been “squished by feelings from this oil spill.”

    For Democrats, the results underscore the potential for major losses in November. Both parties have been forced to contend with an anti-establishment wave this year. But Republicans, through strong fund raising and candidate recruitment, have put enough seats in play in the House and Senate to give the GOP a realistic shot at winning control of both chambers.

    Support for Mr. Obama and his party is declining among centrist, independent voters. But, more ominous for the president, some in his base also are souring, with 17% of Democrats disapproving of Mr. Obama’s job performance, the highest level of his presidency.

    Approval for Mr. Obama has dropped among Hispanics, too, along with small-town residents, white women and seniors. African-Americans remain the firmest part of Mr. Obama’s base, with 91% approving of his job performance.

    In winning the presidency, Mr. Obama conveyed an image of remaining steady and focused during the banking crisis and economic downturn. Now, amid the oil spill and a weak economic recovery, Americans are taking a dimmer view of his personal qualities and leadership style.

    Some 30% in the poll said they “do not really relate” to Mr. Obama. Only 8% said that at the beginning of his presidency. Fewer than half give him positive marks when asked if he is “honest and straightforward.” And 49% rate him positively when asked if he has “strong leadership qualities,” down from 70% when Mr. Obama took office and a drop of 8 points since January.

    Just 40% rate him positively on his “ability to handle a crisis,” an 11-point drop since January. Half disapprove of Mr. Obama’s handling of the oil spill, including one in four Democrats.

    “As a Democrat and as a woman, I am disappointed in him,” said poll respondent Melissa Riner, a 42-year-old law clerk from Mesa, Ariz. Referring to the oil spill, Ms. Riner added, “I don’t think he’s handling it. He doesn’t seem to be doing anything. He just talks.”

    James Ciarmataro, a 23-year-old stay-at-home dad from Macomb, Mich., said it was difficult to relate to Mr. Obama, because the president is “eating steak dinners at the White House and playing golf” while the country is suffering.

    An exclusive Wall Street Journal/NBC poll has bad news for President Obama and congressmen of all political stripes. WSJ’s Peter Wallsten says the political climate will make for a brutal midterm election.

    An independent, Mr. Ciarmataro said he would vote in November for “whoever seems the newest, and doesn’t seem to have any ties to anybody else.”

    Tina Becker, a 47-year-old homemaker and registered Democrat from Wauseon, Ohio, who identifies herself as an independent, said she still strongly supports Mr. Obama. “But it might have made him look better if he communicated more about how things were progressing,” she said.

    In the survey, 45% said they wanted to see a Republican-controlled Congress after November, compared to 43% who wanted Democratic control. But even more telling is the excitement gap between the core voters of each party.

    Just 44% of Obama voters—those who voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 or told pollsters they intended to—now express high interest in the midterm elections. That’s a 38-point drop from this stage in the 2008 campaign.

    By contrast, 71% of voters who supported Republican John McCain in 2008 expressed high interest in this year’s elections, slightly higher than their interest level at this stage in that campaign.

    The gap helps explain why the Democratic National Committee is spending $50 million on a campaign to try to lure Obama voters back to the polls this year.

    Nearly two-thirds in the survey said they wanted more regulation of oil companies. Majorities also favor more regulation of Wall Street firms, health insurers and “big corporations.”

    While a majority still favors greater offshore drilling, support has slipped considerably over the past month as the Gulf oil spill has grown worse—from 60% in May to 53% now.

    Sixty-three percent support legislation to reduce carbon emissions and increase the use of alternative and renewable energy sources, even if it means an increase in energy costs.

    Write to Peter Wallsten at peter.wallsten@wsj.com

  151. Yes, I hate him too. But the sucker is smart. A month ago he was predicting that the GOP might take the House but would not take the Senate. Now he seems a bit more optimistic. They need 10 seats in the Senate and 40 seats in the House to take control of both houses of Congress.
    ———————————————
    Obama and the Woes of the Democrats
    The president’s low ratings mean he can’t lift his party by campaigning.
    By KARL ROVE

    Democrats are acknowledging they’ll lose ground in the midterms. The only question is how much. Today, the evidence points to quite a lot.

    The most important indicator is the president’s job approval. In the Real Clear Politics average of the last two weeks’ polls, President Obama has a 48% approval and 47% disapproval rating. This points to deep Democratic losses. The president’s approval rating last November was 54% when his party was trounced in New Jersey and Virginia.

    On the economy, a mid-June AP poll reported that Mr. Obama has 45% approval, 50% disapproval. That’s a dangerous place for any president when jobs are issue No. 1.

    The problem is worse in swing areas. Last week’s National Public Radio (NPR) poll of the 60 Democratic House seats most at risk this year showed just 37% of voters in these districts agreed Mr. Obama’s “economic policies helped avert an even worse crisis and are laying a foundation for our eventual economic recovery”; 57% believed they “have run up a record federal deficit while failing to end the recession or slow the record pace of job losses.”

    Mr. Obama also suffers because his handling of the catastrophic Gulf oil leak has undermined perceptions of his competence. Both national and Louisiana polls rate Mr. Obama’s handling worse than the Bush administration’s Katrina response, widely viewed as a tipping point in that presidency.

    Mr. Obama’s failures mean he can’t lift his party by campaigning. A Public Policy Poll earlier this month reported that 48% said an Obama endorsement would make them less likely to vote for the candidate receiving it, while only one-third said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate endorsed by the president.

    Republicans jumped into the lead last November in Gallup’s party generic ballot match-ups among all voters, and since March the GOP has led or been tied every single week except one. In the Rasmussen Poll’s tracking among likely voters, Republicans have been ahead by an average of seven points, 44% to 37%, since March. This reflects a significant political development—independents breaking for the GOP.

    Then there is the intensity gap, which is particularly important in midterms. In Gallup, 45% of Republicans are “very enthusiastic” about voting this fall versus 24% of Democrats. This staggering 22-point gap is the largest so far this election year. And in the NPR survey of 60 swing Democratic districts, 62% of Republicans rated their likelihood of voting as 10, the highest. Only 37% of Democrats were similarly excited.

    All these trends are influencing individual races. Though twice as many Republican Senate seats are being contested in November, state-by-state surveys show if the election were today, 49 Democrats and 43 Republicans are poised to win. Eight races are too close to call, but Republicans lead in five.

    House races are historically much more difficult to predict. But the NPR survey found in the 30 Democrat seats considered most at risk, the GOP leads 48% to 39%. This nine-point margin points to Republican winning virtually all 30 seats. In the next tier of most vulnerable Democratic districts, Republicans lead 47% to 45%, meaning the GOP could take many of those 30 seats. By comparison, in the 10 Republican districts thought at risk, Republicans lead 53% to 37%. Republicans should hold virtually all of those.

    It will take a net of 10 Senate and 40 House seats for the GOP to win control of the legislative branches. These are big numbers—but they are within reach.

    Democrats do have some advantages. Unlike 1994, they wouldn’t be caught unprepared. And they’ve stockpiled money. The Center for Responsive Politics reports the average Democratic Senate candidate has $2.1 million on hand to the average Republican’s $1.4 million; in the House, Democrats average $504,000 to Republicans’ $239,000.

    But cash won’t save the Democrats. Complex combinations of factors decide elections, and this year the driving forces are the president’s low standing, his mishandling of the economy, his failure to respond to the oil spill, and the interconnected issues of jobs, spending, deficits and ObamaCare.

    It is an explosive mix for Democrats. All these measures—from his job approval to handling the economy and the Gulf oil leak to the generic ballot to intensity—will remain roughly where they are unless a dramatic event causes a shift. That’s unlikely: The president can do little to radically improve the landscape.

    It has taken a year and a half of bad policies to put Mr. Obama and Congressional Democrats in their precarious position. As voters hold them accountable for misdeeds, mistakes and misjudgments, Democrats will endure a beating this year they are not likely to forget soon.

  152. The English Monarchy has an answer for the problem now facing the country. It is beyond cavil that Obama is a serial incompetent and he is wrecking the country. When a monarch–and he is a monarch was adjudged to be too you or mentally incompetent to assume the duties of the crown, they would appoint a Regency to run the country lest the kingdom fail. Then . . . . why not here?

  153. According to Rove, the proximate cause of the impending doom for the Dims is the darling of Big Media, Barack Hussein Obama. Here are the specific issues where he has cooked their goose.

    1. THE PRESIDENT’S LOW STANDING IN THE POLLS

    2. HIS FAILURE TO RESPOND TO THE GULF LEAK

    3. JOBS,

    4. SPENDING, DEFICITS

    5. OBAMA CARE

    (Note: Obama can do little to radically improve the landscape.)

    What can we say about a putative leader who brings defeat to the group he represents?

  154. From an apparently liberal Australian casual blogger on one of their politicians:
    There’s very little positive you can point to and say “That was Rudd’s work” – and he suffered from the Obama syndrome of making very nice speeches that don’t actually mean anything when analysed. When it came to actually defending specific policies – eg, the mining tax – he seemed unable to actually communicate his position.

  155. The Myth Of A Run-Away General
    No Quarter
    By Larry Johnson on June 23, 2010 at 9:52 PM in Current Affairs

    Although I hoped that McChrystal would survive (for the sake of our country) the media frenzy was too great and the perception of a rebellious General was set in stone. He had to go. But if you read the Rolling Stone piece that did McChrystal in you will notice that the journalist had a mission–trash McChrystal and the counter insurgency program he was trying to implement.

    You need to understand a couple of things to appreciate what is really going on. Point one–the majority of the military, particularly those considered “special” forces despise Obama and his team. The dislike is growing not shrinking. I fear that firing McChrystal will only exacerbate the tensions.

    McChrystal’s main error was twofold–first, he allowed this reporter inside the tent and second, his staff spoke freely and said things that should not be voiced around an uncleared civilian. Guys blowing off steam in private does not mean they turn around and try to sabotage Obama. To the contrary–they serve the Commander-in-Chief regardless of their feelings about him or her.

    Point two, the real lie in the Rolling Stone article started in the title, referring to McChrystal as a “Runaway” General. This suggest that Stan was following his own policy and ignoring the instructions or orders of Barack Obama or Bob Gates. Well, that is just complete horseshit. This was not “McChrystal’s plan” per se. He presented the President with a concept of operations aka CONOPS and the President signed off on it. McChrystal was executing Obama’s plan even though he was denied the full number of troops he needed.

    The claim of critics that the plan is “not working” is a bit disingenuous. If the plan depends upon having a certain number of troops in place and you delay the deployment of those troops by six months then why are you surprised when the “plan is not working.”

    The right is not happy with McChrystal because he recognized, correctly, that we can’t kill our way to victory in Afghanistan. Ultimately we will only win if the Afghans themselves take control of the situation and govern the country without subjecting Afghans to an extremist religious government. Many are unhappy with the restrictive rules of engagement. The Rolling Stone piece hints at the problem, suggesting that McChrystal’s orders are getting gummed up and mistranslated as they work their way down the food chain. Clearly the troops on the frontlines are not happy with the orders and McChrystal was working to try to bridge the gulf and get the ROEs fixed.

    This is now the problem of General David Petraeus. I enjoy the irony of listening to the Obama supporters who vilified Petraeus as Betrayus now looking to Petraeus to save Obama’s bacon in Afghanistan. There is one big potential problem–David Petraeus’s health. Rumors in military circles are that Petraeus is battling prostate cancer. When he passed out last week during a Congressional hearing it was something more than just being “dehydrated.” Whether or not he is physically up to the task of taking over McChrystal’s job remains to be seen.

    The real problem identified in the Rolling Stone piece is that President Obama is not leading the Afghan policy and is not forcing coordination. Instead you have the US Ambassador doing one thing, the US Special Envoy doing something different and the General fighting as many political battles behind the lines with folks who are supposed to be his allies as he is fighting Islamic extremists. This is the failure of Barack Obama and his White House team, this is not a “runaway” General.

    I have no doubt Stan McChrystal will recover from this debacle. I wish I could say the same for our nation.
    ———————————————
    Comment:

    Docelder
    President Obama is not leading the Afghan policy – I am really thinking hard here… what policy has he led so far? He has been the twitter buddy of college kids and the rock star to old hippies and the Mac Daddy to the far left offering to give them whatever the want for their continued copulation… But, as far as policy I don’t think he has led, rather he has enabled his supporters to have their own way and he has spent a lot of time playing golf, partying with the actual rock stars and doing the dixie chick style tour of the world apologizing for George Bush. I really think he doesn’t want to be a chief executive, but rather royalty. I think he sees himself more like British royalty and he feels work of a chief executive position is beneath him somehow. The narcissist theorists were dead on right I think.

  156. Shadowfax, that is a wonderful story of you swimming with the dolphins! THey are highly intelligent animals and seem to like people…they are beautiful. It sad to see what this oil spill has done to them…and Obama being unorganized.

    Just think about this war Obama has lead and McKrystal calling him in on the carpet the only way he knew to do it. He risked everything to save a few lives…he deserves a medal.

  157. I had dinner with a friend tonight and he is an oil man….he was/is a Hillary supporter…he so wanted Hillary to win…because he lives in SugarLand,Tx next to Tom Delay…he said if Hillary had won the nomination and the Presidency…he was going to Tom Delay’s house to laugh and remind him that Bill Clinton was the “first dude” and you won’t get him out again. I was cracking up….

  158. Mark Tapscott: Big Government is dying in the Gulf oil spill

    …We see this week a remarkable confluence of events signaling the eventual end of Big Government: The bureaucrats and politicians can spend trillions but they can’t plug the Gulf oil spill, agree on a budget in Congress or end the Great Recession’s foreclosures and unemployment.
    …Just as most Americans stopped trusting Detroit to build the world’s best cars, we no longer believe the grand promises that more massive, wasteful government will bring prosperity and good health for our families, security in our old age and a better life for our kids. We see the Gulf. Worrisome hints abound of the progressives’ response to their crisis: They wrote Obamacare behind closed doors in Congress, then rode roughshod over public opposition to make it the law of the land.
    At the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Election Commission, they’re reaching for tools to silence their critics in the media and on the campaign trail. And when a judge rules their Gulf drilling ban is unconstitutional, they give him the middle finger, too, with a vow to impose a new ban.
    In short, they’re doing what they always do — grabbing more power over the rest of us.
    www dot washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Big-Government-is-dying-in-the-Gulf-oil-spill-96985504.html

  159. Couple interesting articles I found on the internet–the first one is from today, the second is from a year ago….both have an Obama Greek Tragedy theme…

    Saving Obama From Himself
    http://article.nationalreview.com/437029/saving-obama-from-himself/victor-davis-hanson

    Are We Witnessing a Greek Tragedy?
    http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/jjena/2009/06/06/obama-at-colonus/

    The Breitbart one lists the elements of a Greek Tragedy and how Obama fits all of them and the author says that (at the time the article was written)he is now at this stage:

    “In classical tragedy the next element is catastrophe, the event that leads to a complete reversal of fortune. What will that event be? For Obama, it is hard to say – but there’s no doubt that in his mind it will not have been his fault.”

    Wow, talk about being right on the money!

  160. Confloyd:

    Yes, McKiernan was fired from the same position, head of Afghanistan command, on May 11, 2009. That same day, Obama nominated McChrystal.

    McChrystal was reporting to Petraeus, the Central Command Chief. So in taking McChrystal’s spot, it seems that Petraeus is either:

    a) taking a demotion, and someone else will get the CentCom position

    b) Petraeus will be doing both jobs. Given that the more important job is CentCom, it is reasonable to guess that his Afghanistan duties will be superseded by his Centcom duties. Ergo, the Afghanistan Command position will be understaffed.

    So Obama, did you demote Petraeus, or defang the Afghanistan Command post? Pick your poison.

  161. wbboei
    June 24th, 2010 at 2:14 am
    The Myth Of A Run-Away General
    No Quarter
    By Larry Johnson on June 23, 2010 at 9:52

    The claim of critics that the plan is “not working” is a bit disingenuous. If the plan depends upon having a certain number of troops in place and you delay the deployment of those troops by six months then why are you surprised when the “plan is not working.”
    &&&&

    Good point, Larry Johnson!

    This fits Obama’s modus operandi. Try to appease both sides with half-measure compromises, and nothing works.

    So if Obama wanted to APPEAR strong by talking tough and going with the McChrystal surge approach, but in ACTUALITY wanted out of Afghanistan, then you SAY one thing (“We’re committed to winning”) but do another (“Joe, it’s too risky to just pull out, but if we don’t send enough men fast enough, it’ll fail, and then we’ll be able to withdraw”).

    This is what happens when the media annoints, and the public elects, and incompetent, unqualified, untested corporate-sponsored empty suit to be the leader of the country and the military.

  162. Couple interesting articles I found on the internet–the first one is from today, the second is from a year ago….both have an Obama Greek Tragedy theme…

    Saving Obama From Himself
    h t t p://article.nationalreview.com/437029/saving-obama-from-himself/victor-davis-hanson

    Are We Witnessing a Greek Tragedy?
    h t t p://bighollywood.breitbart.com/jjena/2009/06/06/obama-at-colonus/

    The Breitbart one lists the elements of a Greek Tragedy and how Obama fits all of them and the author says that (at the time the article was written)he is now at this stage:

    “In classical tragedy the next element is catastrophe, the event that leads to a complete reversal of fortune. What will that event be? For Obama, it is hard to say – but there’s no doubt that in his mind it will not have been his fault.”

    Wow, talk about being right on the money

  163. LIMBO OBAMA: HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?

    As Obama’s flaws become more obvious, as the media becomes more willing to reveal them, and as these flaws lead to larger and larger fiascos, unsurprisingly the public’s opinion continues to sour on The One.

    Below is the text, but go to the link for the several meaningful graphs.

    online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703900004575325263274951230.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsSecond

    Confidence Waning in Obama, U.S. Outlook
    =====================================

    By PETER WALLSTEN And ELIZA GRAY

    Americans are more pessimistic about the state of the country and less confident in President Barack Obama’s leadership than at any point since Mr. Obama entered the White House, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

    The survey also shows grave and growing concerns about the Gulf oil spill, with overwhelming majorities of adults favoring stronger regulation of the oil industry and believing that the spill will affect the nation’s economy and environment.

    Sixty-two percent of adults in the survey feel the country is on the wrong track, the highest level since before the 2008 election. Just one-third think the economy will get better over the next year, a 7-point drop from a month ago and the low point of Mr. Obama’s tenure.

    Amid anxiety over the nation’s course, support for Mr. Obama and other incumbents is eroding. For the first time, more people disapprove of Mr. Obama’s job performance than approve. And 57% of voters would prefer to elect a new person to Congress than re-elect their local representatives, the highest share in 18 years.

    The results show “a really ugly mood and an unhappy electorate,” said Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducts the Journal/NBC poll with GOP pollster Bill McInturff. “The voters, I think, are just looking for change, and that means bad news for incumbents and in particular for the Democrats.”

    Mr. McInturff said voters’ feelings, typically set by June in any election year, are being hardened by frustration over the economy and the oil spill. “It would take an enormous and seismic event to change the drift of these powerful forces before November,” he said.

    Mr. McInturff added that any “little, faint signs” in the spring that voters were adopting a more optimistic outlook have now been “squished by feelings from this oil spill.”

    For Democrats, the results underscore the potential for major losses in November. Both parties have been forced to contend with an anti-establishment wave this year. But Republicans, through strong fund raising and candidate recruitment, have put enough seats in play in the House and Senate to give the GOP a realistic shot at winning control of both chambers.

    Support for Mr. Obama and his party is declining among centrist, independent voters. But, more ominous for the president, some in his base also are souring, with 17% of Democrats disapproving of Mr. Obama’s job performance, the highest level of his presidency.

    Approval for Mr. Obama has dropped among Hispanics, too, along with small-town residents, white women and seniors. African-Americans remain the firmest part of Mr. Obama’s base, with 91% approving of his job performance.

    In winning the presidency, Mr. Obama conveyed an image of remaining steady and focused during the banking crisis and economic downturn. Now, amid the oil spill and a weak economic recovery, Americans are taking a dimmer view of his personal qualities and leadership style.

    Some 30% in the poll said they “do not really relate” to Mr. Obama. Only 8% said that at the beginning of his presidency. Fewer than half give him positive marks when asked if he is “honest and straightforward.” And 49% rate him positively when asked if he has “strong leadership qualities,” down from 70% when Mr. Obama took office and a drop of 8 points since January.

    Just 40% rate him positively on his “ability to handle a crisis,” an 11-point drop since January. Half disapprove of Mr. Obama’s handling of the oil spill, including one in four Democrats.

    “As a Democrat and as a woman, I am disappointed in him,” said poll respondent Melissa Riner, a 42-year-old law clerk from Mesa, Ariz. Referring to the oil spill, Ms. Riner added, “I don’t think he’s handling it. He doesn’t seem to be doing anything. He just talks.”

    James Ciarmataro, a 23-year-old stay-at-home dad from Macomb, Mich., said it was difficult to relate to Mr. Obama, because the president is “eating steak dinners at the White House and playing golf” while the country is suffering.

    An independent, Mr. Ciarmataro said he would vote in November for “whoever seems the newest, and doesn’t seem to have any ties to anybody else.”

    Tina Becker, a 47-year-old homemaker and registered Democrat from Wauseon, Ohio, who identifies herself as an independent, said she still strongly supports Mr. Obama. “But it might have made him look better if he communicated more about how things were progressing,” she said.

    In the survey, 45% said they wanted to see a Republican-controlled Congress after November, compared to 43% who wanted Democratic control. But even more telling is the excitement gap between the core voters of each party.

    Just 44% of Obama voters—those who voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 or told pollsters they intended to—now express high interest in the midterm elections. That’s a 38-point drop from this stage in the 2008 campaign.

    By contrast, 71% of voters who supported Republican John McCain in 2008 expressed high interest in this year’s elections, slightly higher than their interest level at this stage in that campaign.

    The gap helps explain why the Democratic National Committee is spending $50 million on a campaign to try to lure Obama voters back to the polls this year.

    Nearly two-thirds in the survey said they wanted more regulation of oil companies. Majorities also favor more regulation of Wall Street firms, health insurers and “big corporations.”

    While a majority still favors greater offshore drilling, support has slipped considerably over the past month as the Gulf oil spill has grown worse—from 60% in May to 53% now.

    Sixty-three percent support legislation to reduce carbon emissions and increase the use of alternative and renewable energy sources, even if it means an increase in energy costs.

  164. By now the Obama “governing” style is clear – knock a disaster off the front pages with another disaster followed by another disaster followed by another disaster. It’s a unique way to control the narrative.

    I needed this laugh. Obama certainly has a unique way of making things “all better”.

  165. The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.
    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, quoted at Sadly, No!

  166. Everyone loves the self promoting Brian Williams at NBC. They marvel at a man who brushes aside comparisons between himself and Walter Cronkite. They admire his humility when he says if I have seen God, it is only because I have been allowed to stand on the shoulders of giants.

    Well Brian sees God in Barack Obama. Always has. Always will. And to some of us, he is more like the cartoon figure Dudley Do Right than Walter Cronkite. The latest evidence of this was his laudatory comments about Obama, and how he saved the presidency form the spectre of a military takeover, etc. all this because Obama fired the same general he hired who had the audacity to imply that where he and his administration are concerned there is no there there.

    Fortunately, I did not watch this propaganda piece. I merely heard about it.

  167. The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.
    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, quoted at Sadly, No!
    ————————————————
    Correct> the system we have today is not democracy. It is inverted totalitarianism. From wikipedia:

    Inverted Totalitarianism. It is all politics all of the time but a politics largely untempered by the political. Party squabbles are occasionally on public display, and there is a frantic and continuous politics among factions of the party, interest groups, competing corporate powers, and rival media concerns. And there is, of course, the culminating moment of national elections when the attention of the nation is required to make a choice of personalities rather than a choice between policy alternatives. What is absent is the political, the commitment to finding where the common good lies amidst the welter of well-financed, highly organized, single-minded interests rabidly seeking governmental favors and overwhelming the practices of representative government and public administration by a sea of cash. [8]

  168. “and he suffered from the Obama syndrome of making very nice speeches that don’t actually mean anything when analysed.”

    ———————-
    So Rudd drank the kool aid too. I love that bambi’s name is attached to this syndrome in such a negative way.

  169. I also have a soft spot for animals, especially dogs and dolphins, which I think of as a smarter version of a “sea” dog. I have for the most part avoided stories about the effect that the oil gusher has had on the animals because it breaks my heart. I have my head in the sand, soon to be replaced by oily sand no doubt, because it has helped me cope. I realize that the old “out of site, out of mind” defense will only work for a short time in this situation, so I expect a gusher of anger will flow from me soon, an anger like I have never experienced before. I wonder what the next couple of months will bring to this area of the gulf here in west central Florida. Will we experience the toxic air that some in Louisiana are now experiencing? Will large areas of the gulf be evacuated, and if so, for how long?

  170. Obama’s Greek Tragedy
    By Victor Davis Hanson

    Do you remember candidate Barack Obama offering his hope-and-change platitudes in front of the fake Greek columns during the Democratic convention? Or earlier pontificating at the Victory Monument in Berlin?

    Why didn’t an old cigar-chomping Democratic pro take him aside and warn him about offending Nemesis? She is the dreaded goddess who brings divine retribution in ironic fashion to overweening arrogance.

    RECEIVE NEWS ALERTS

    SIGN UP
    Victor Davis Hanson RealClearPolitics
    Obama administration
    Or maybe a friend could have whispered to Senator Obama to tone it down when he was merciless in damning the Bush administration for its supposedly slow response to Hurricane Katrina.

    Obama railed that Bush showed “unconscionable ineptitude.” Obama further charged that Bush’s response was “achingly slow,” a result of “passive indifference,” and that his team was rife with “corruption and cronyism.”

    Those adjectives now apply to Obama himself, as he seems lost amid his own disaster — eerily in about the same Gulf environs. Adding insult to injury, a recent poll revealed that Louisiana residents thought Bush had done a better job with Katrina than Obama has with BP.

    Couldn’t one of Obama’s many handlers have warned him to ignore the media’s tingling-leg gaga worship, or their nonsense that Obama is “a god”?

    Didn’t Team Obama ever suspect that such an unhinged press, in the manner of a Greek chorus, could just as easily sour on their prophet once his poll ratings fell as quickly as they had soared?

    Couldn’t David Axelrod or Rahm Emanuel have admonished their candidate to cut out the creepy stuff about himself and his throng being “the ones we’ve been waiting for”? Why was there a need for all that megalomaniac hocus-pocus about slowing the “rise of the oceans” and healing the planet? Sure enough, Nemesis ensured that instead of Lord Poseidon lowering the seas, Obama is now a smoky Hephaestus fouling them up.

    Did the Nobel Committee members really think they were doing their postnational, postracial heartthrob any good by giving him a peace prize without any record of foreign-policy accomplishment? Didn’t his Scandinavian admirers grasp that prophets suffer the wages of hypocrisy far more readily than mere mortals when things go badly, as they inevitably do? Jay Leno is now more likely to use the phrase “Nobel Laureate Obama” than a serious diplomat.

    For nearly two years, senator, candidate and freshman President Obama ridiculed his predecessor — as if running the United States were as easy a job as community organizing, serving a couple of years in the Senate or campaigning for president.

    But now the once-enthralled electorate is starting to tire of the hope-and-change platitudes, and even of the easy blame-gaming of his predecessor, mostly because almost everything Obama once demagogued in weird fashion is coming back to haunt him.

    Obama easily damned everything from Guantanamo Bay to Predator drone attacks in Afghanistan to the war in Iraq, only to adopt those policies and more from Bush.

    He sermonized about the morals of a corrupt Republican Congress, only to keep quiet about earmarks, lobbyists and the sins of Democratic cronies such as Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Charles Rangel.

    Deficits were once supposed proof of Bush’s out-of-control spending. What does far greater red ink say about Obama?

    If only swaggering George W. Bush could have been smart enough to reach out to Cuba, Iran and Syria. Then Obama did just that, only to make bad things even worse.

    And remember the Obama comment about an arrogant Bush turning off our allies? Why, then, does an aloof Obama seem to alienate them even more?

    The reality of Barack Obama is that he was an inexperienced community organizer with an undistinguished record as a Senate newcomer. A perfect storm of popular anger at eight years of George Bush, a lackluster John McCain campaign, Obama’s landmark candidacy as an African-American, a disingenuous campaign promising centrist and bipartisan governance, and the financial meltdown in 2008 got the relatively untried and unknown Obama elected.

    Most mortals in Obama’s position would have treaded lightly. They would have kept promises, steered a moderate course and listened more than lectured until they won over the public with concrete achievement.

    But headstrong tragic figures do not do that. They neither welcome in critics nor would listen to them if they did. They impute their unforeseen temporary success to their own brilliance — and expect it to continue forever. So would-be gods set themselves up for a fall far harder than what happens to the rest of us.

    That’s about where we are now, with our president playing a character right out of Greek tragedy, who, true to form, is railing about the unfairness of it all.

  171. humanevents.com/article.php?id=37657

    McChrystal Told the Truth
    =======================

    by Rowan Scarborough

    06/24/2010

    The military is finally telling the unvarnished truth about President Obama’s dysfunctional national security team.

    Oddly, Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his inner circle chose to dish dirt to a reporter for Rolling Stone, a decidedly left-wing publication that portrays the U.S. military negatively and knows as much about counter-insurgency as a 4th grader. The article that brought down the career special-operations soldier throws in the “F-word” several times, not as a quote, but to describe the author’s own views.

    Not included in the story is an ongoing dispute between the White House and its generals that shows why McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, had grown so frustrated.

    The debate centers on when exactly troops will begin leaving Afghanistan. Every time a Pentagon figure, such as Gen. David Petraeus, the overall region commander, testified that Obama’s July 2011 withdrawal date does not mean the U.S. is abandoning Afghanistan, there was a White House official saying nearly the opposite.

    The result is a badly mangled message to Afghan troops and villagers who think America is going to leave them to the mercies of the Taliban, which shows no mercy. Thus, McChrystal’s counter-insurgency strategy of winning over the population cannot possibly succeed as long as the White House undercuts it. This is an administration that eschews using the words war or victory or winning.

    The Rolling Stone article, which led President Obama to fire the four-star McChrystal on Wednesday, caught the general and his team in raw locker-room talk.

    McChrystal, handpicked by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to turn around an eight-year war, clearly derides Obama as commander in chief. He says the President seemed “uncomfortable” and “intimidated” when he met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon’s secure meeting room know as the tank. An aide describes his first meeting with Obama at the White House as a “photo op,” as opposed to a substantive meeting.

    From there, the relationship grew more uneasy. Gates last year ordered his new commander to do a fresh review of strategy. Much to the White House’s dismay, McChrystal submitted an elaborate plan just months after the President had already settled on his own strategy.

    And the general asked for 40,000 more troops after Obama had already approved and sent 21,000. McChrystal was pulling Obama deeper into Afghanistan, and the President did not like it. McChrystal described to Rolling Stone as “painful” the three months it took Obama to act on his request, as the Taliban took more territory and became harder for U.S. troops to dislodge.

    Vice President Joe Biden was the brunt of jokes, according to the Rolling Stone article, entitled “The Runaway General.”

    McChrystal had been called to the woodshed by Obama once before when, in a speech in London, he dismissed the Vice President’s counter-insurgency suggestions as creating a “chaos-istan.”

    Asked by Rolling Stone how he would handle a question on Biden from an audience in Paris, McChrystal tries this response, “Are you asking about Vice President? Who’s that?”

    An aide chimes in with his proposed answer: “Biden? Did you say, bite me.”

    Let’s look at why a general and his staff might be dismissive of Joe Biden.

    Back in 2007, when Gen. Petraeus, who will succeed McChrystal in Afghanistan, testified in Congress on how the Iraq surge was beginning to work, then-Sen. Biden dismissed him with these observations:

    • “In continuing the surge of forces for another six months, is that likely to change that reality? The conclusion I’ve reached is no. The surge, for whatever tactical or temporary security gains it might achieve, is at the service of a fundamentally flawed strategy.”

    • “We should stop the surge and start bringing our troops home. We should end a political strategy in Iraq that cannot succeed and begin one that can.”

    Biden also proposed dividing Iraq into three countries.

    Today, as U.S. troops are conducting a measured withdrawal, Biden’s views have been shown to be so wrong that even he has abandoned them.

    He said recently, “I am very optimistic 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.”

    So how has Biden helped McChrystal? He’s offered some of the same ill-conceived ideas. He opposed McChrystal’s strategy and his troop request. Thankfully for the general, Gates backed him and he got 30,000 of the 40,000 troops he requested. Biden wants to withdraw from Afghanistan and contain the enemy from without.

    And, just as Petraeus was trying to ease Afghan concerns about being abandoned, Biden is quoted by a book author as saying troops will rush out of the country come July 2011.
    The McChrystal team also targeted Karl Eikenberry, who used to command troops in Afghanistan as a three-star Army general and is now the U.S. ambassador.

    Obama’s decision to put Eikenberry and McChrystal in the same room was doomed from the start. Officers in Kabul told me that when Eikenberry was in command and some one mentioned the Afghan president, the joke was, which president, Eikenberry or Hamid Karzai? In other words, Afghanistan belonged to Eikenberry and McChrystal was the invader.

    No wonder then that when McChrystal was working to get his strategy approved, Eikenberry wrote a cable back to Washington opposing it as sure to fail. The message somehow got leaked to the New York Times.

    McChrystal told Rolling Stone he felt betrayed by the ambassador.

    McChrystal aides describe James Jones, Obama’s national security adviser, as a “clown.” Richard Holbrooke, a special ambassador in the region, is described as a “wounded animal” because he continually fears he will be fired.

    With a national security team that seemed to be hoping McChrystal would fail, it is not surprising he chose to vent to a reporter. The White House now knows the military has little regard for key figures on the national security team. Maybe this cold slap in the face will prompt Obama to fire more than a career soldier who hunted down in 2006 Abu Musab Zarqawi, al Qaeda’s deadliest operative in Iraq.

  172. wwboei,

    Maybe I am wrong, but many of the self-deluded progressives are the biggest self-interest groups out there. They preach with their blinders on without regards to how their particular stands on an issue affect the vast majority. They don’t go for reasonable compromise as it is all or nothing in their fights. For instance, I’ve seen people arguing for the banning of combustion engines which would be fine and dandy IF there was currently a reasonable replacement at a comparable price. The upcoming cap and tradr bill is going to be a killer as this fantasy will destroy more than anything… destroy jobs, erode incomes, etc. It is lunacy promoted by whack job lefties who never seem to provide an affordable alternative that therest of us can actually survive with, let alone live with.

  173. An article about the gulf…

    Oil slick from Deepwater Horizon expected to take its toll on dolphins
    Christine Stapleton

    For now, desperate oily pelicans are the gut-wrenching image of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    But before long there will be others, including the most beloved sea creature of all, the dolphin.

    “We’re going to lose a lot of them,” said Dr. Denise Herzing, research director for the Wild Dolphin Research Project in Jupiter. “It is unconscionable and it is criminal. It is akin to a nuclear power plant explosion underwater.”

    As of Wednesday, there were 51 confirmed reports of marine mammal strandings involving oil: one sperm whale, 3 spinner and 47 bottlenose dolphins collected in the Gulf — dead or alive — since the Deepwater Horizon spill on April 20. Four of those dolphins were found along Florida’s Gulf coast:

    A visibly oiled bottlenose dolphin also was found trapped in a boom in Perdido on Florida’s western border, but when the boom was moved, the dolphin swam away.

    Three dead spinner dolphins were also found, one on Mexico Beach, south of Panama City, with no signs of oil, another with serious injuries from a shark attack that was euthanized on a Panama City beach and one as far east as Venice, just south of Sarasota, also with no signs of oil.

    It is not known if oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill killed the dolphins. Necropsy results are pending. Dolphin strandings are not uncommon. Last year — one of the better years — only 128 dolphins were discovered stranded on Florida’s shores. About 40 percent of those were in the 22 counties along the Gulf of Mexico.

    Although oil and tar will not stick to a dolphin like it does to fur and feathers, dolphin — unlike fish — breathe air. Every time they surface, they will swim through the toxic slick and breathe fumes at the surface.

    While dolphins are among the smartest animals on the planet, researchers do not know if their intelligence will protect them from the oil.

    “I think they are smart enough to realize they are in bad water and they need to get out,” said Beth Smart, founder of the Dolphin and Marine Medical Research Foundation in West Palm Beach. “However, they also travel in pods and stick together.”

    Dolphins have long lives, and several generations of one family may live together in a pod. That loyalty to each other can be fatal, Herzing said.

    “There have been some reports of dolphins stranding together because they are families,” Herzing said. “If one gets sick they hold him at the surface to breathe.”

    The biggest threat probably will come from eating fish contaminated with oil. Eating toxic fish could suppress the dolphins’ immune system, making them vulnerable to pneumonia and other illnesses, Herzing said. Another marine mammal facing death by food poisoned with oil are baleen whales, which often feed on plankton at the surface.

    Dolphins, though, are unique among the animals likely to be affected by the oil not only because of their nature but because of ours. Modern humans appear to feel a connection with dolphins that they don’t even with other marine mammals, perhaps in part because of marine theme parks that have provided people an opportunity to interact with dolphins, even to the extent of swimming with them in some places.

    The Dolphin and Marine Medical Research Foundation has a dog trained to alert on dead and distressed marine mammals, Smart said. Cloud, a 4-year-old female black Labrador retriever, is the only dog the foundation is aware of that is able to pick up scents and sounds from the bow of a boat and lead rescuers to the animal.

    For now, Cloud has not been able to work in areas hardest hit by oil — where the fumes are still strong and toxic. Even though she has a vest and boots, “if there is any chance she is going to be in contact with the oil, we’re not going to endanger Cloud,” Smart said.

    While dolphins in the Gulf have been widely studied, there are few data on dolphins off Florida’s Atlantic coast. What impact the oil will have on them if the loop current pulls the weathered oil to the east coast is not known.

    “We are going to see a change but we don’t know what it is,” Smart said. “We’re kind of waiting for mother nature to give us a clue.”

  174. It gives me a headache to watch these fuckers finally wake up. Where was their vaunted wisdom, their superior judgment, even their when it counted? When it counted, when it really counted, where was it. Why did they need to drag the country through the valley of the shadow of death so they could have their own private epiphany and announce to the world that their man just ain’t all he was cracked up to be–or that he is a tragic Greek hero? Give me a break. It is like Robert Redford, who claims to be an environmentalist, surveys the damage in the Gulf which looks like Hiroshima D+1 and says I hope this president has learned something from this. Maybe he thinks this kind of understatement is powerful and dramatic, and perhaps when viewed from a hot tub in the mountain above Vaile where the world looks like Valhala it is. But to some of us he is just another coward afraid to hold a president whose negligence occasioned this disaster accountable because he is a trophy. If a Republican President had done this good old always Robert never Bob would have put on his racoon coat and worked himelf up into a state of high dudgeon over the death of innocent animals. Justice should not depend on party label but for the elites it does.

  175. Rahm Emanuel has the perfect job. After all, he stated “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste, and what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you didn’t think you could do before”. He must be very happy working for Obama, who ia very adept at creating one crisis after another. For the most part, Obama has never seen a crisis that he didn’t help create.

  176. rgb44hrc
    June 24th, 2010 at 11:17 am
    humanevents.com/article.php?id=37657

    McChrystal Told the Truth
    —————–

    Excellent article. Thanks for posting.

  177. Obama has used not one crisis to do something significant for the people. I have no problem with what Rahm said, I just don’t think this administrations has accomplished anything significant. They have missed the boat.

  178. wbboei
    June 24th, 2010 at 11:27 am
    &&&&&&&

    Amen!

    And these idiots are supposedly the “smart ones”: media talking heads, celebrities, elites from ivy league pedigrees, the extremely wealthy…

  179. rgb44hrc
    June 24th, 2010 at 9:51 am

    LIMBO OBAMA: HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?

    ———
    Oooooooo a new name for Barry, LimboBama…nice ring to it.

    How low can he go and also he is in limbo on how to be an effective President.

  180. And these idiots are supposedly the “smart ones”: media talking heads, celebrities, elites from ivy league pedigrees, the extremely wealthy…
    ———————

    yup….these ivy league pedigrees….that is why I stongly oppose Kagan for the SC….
    I want somebody who has not attended any ivy league schools for any govt jobs for now….they all seem to be breeding mediocre folks…

  181. #
    Mrs. Smith
    June 24th, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Please post video when you have a minute, admin:

    IT’S RAINING OIL IN LOUISIANA!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=un8co1d4zb4
    ———-

    Ain’t that great, toxic rain from BP.

    That will kill a lot more than just what was living in the gulf, now crops and land animals and humans are at risk.

    Unfrickin’believable!!!!!

  182. mj, I agree with you. Obama has not solved one darn crisis, but he has helped create some whoppers. I also agree that there really isn’t anything wrong with saying what Rahm said, but I would have said it differently. Crises call for action, and that is when new, thoughtful ideas can be presented and tried. There is nothing wrong with that, and I think that is what the average person would expect from his leaders.

  183. The video concerning the raining of oil is not proof. Someone needs to set up a clean container, preferably clear glass or white plastic, to collect the rain. The container needs to be placed away from anything that can contaminate it on the ground. Only then will it show real evidence of oil within the rain. It is very likely that rainwater that has puddled on the ground, can show an oil sheen left behind by motor oil.

  184. McChrystal ’scandal’ is phony

    Washington, D.C., is the world capital of phony. Even by Washington’s low standards, the Stanley McChrystal “scandal” now in progress gives phoniness a bad name.

    Yes, General McChrystal showed poor judgment in making impolitic remarks on-the-record. But most of what the general said was simply being honest about the shabby aspects of government administration. McChrystal said a rival had leaked a memo to make McChrystal look bad. That’s exactly what happened! The general said he didn’t want to open an email from Richard Holbrooke, who is an accomplished diplomat, but also a haughty man known for condescending hectoring. No sane person wants to open an email from Richard Holbrooke. And General McChrystal pretended not to recognize Joe Biden’s name. People in Washington snipe at each other, stop the presses!

    That’s it – the above comments are the super-ultra-mega scandal. Consider:

    Nearly everything being attributed to McChrystal was not said by him. That President Barack Obama was “uncomfortable and intimidated” during his first meeting with McChrystal, that National Security Advisor James Jones is “a clown” – these comments did not come from McChrystal. In the Rolling Stone article they are sourced to an “advisor” and an “aide.”

    Media coverage has already discarded this significant factual distinction – why let mere facts spoil a scandal? This morning, CBS Radio said the controversy involves “General McChrystal’s numerous attacks on public officials,” while CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr declared it “extraordinary to hear a general disparaging the president.” It is unnamed aides, NOT McChrystal, who disparage the president in the story. As for the statement that “the wimps in the White House” are “the real enemy” for officers in Afghanistan? That’s a Rolling Stone headline – no one in the story says this!

    Bear in mind how convenient it is for Rolling Stone that the inflammatory material comes from people who don’t have names. Reporters and writers place words into the mouths of unnamed sources because people who aren’t identified rarely complain of being misquoted.

    What is McChrystal quoted as saying? Of trying to sell the White House on a counterinsurgency strategy, which Jones and Vice President Joe Biden did not support, McChrystal is quoted as saying, “I found that time painful.” Stop the presses!

    The scandal began before anyone had read the article. Rolling Stone’s issue is not on the stands until Friday, and the magazine did not post the piece on the Web until Tuesday evening East Coast time, after the three main network newscasts had given prominent attention to the buzz. The article turns out not to support the buzz. But in the Washington cycle of phoniness, who care about that?

    Media figures are denouncing McChrystal for talking to the media. A lot of the commentariate reaction boils down to, “This guy was a fool for confiding in a reporter.” Apparently he was. But this line of reasoning does not say much about the media. Plus had General McChrystal refused to talk to a reporter, the media would have been outraged about that, too. Don’t reporters and editors regularly demand that the military be more open with the media?

    The great thing about this scandal is that it has nothing to do with substance. There are no policy decisions in the balance, no questions of conscience – just personality sniping. Ideal! The Washington media and political establishments hate substance, while reveling in high-school-style bickering. Had the article involved impassioned appeals to conscience, it would have been ignored.

    The other great thing is White House focus. The press loves stories that happen in the White House and involve the president because this generates a narrative of urgency. Will there be an angry confrontation? Will the president lose his cool in the Oval Office? Presidential drama, real or imagined, interests most of the media far more than question of substances, such as whether the United States should pursue a counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan (the McChrystal, and now Obama, position) or concentrate on destroying al Qaeda (what Biden and Jones favored). The Rolling Stone article concludes by declaring we have no hope of winning in Afghanistan. That is 10,000 times more important than any stupid snipe by an unnamed “aide.” But the article’s substantial point is nowhere in the scandal coverage. People arguing is a lot more interesting!

    Why does the McChrystal-Tillman connection keep getting ignored? Stanley McChrystal was the officer who lied about the death, by friendly fire, of Pat Tillman. That Tillman died by friendly fire does not diminish his heroism. McChrystal lying about this, on the other hand, was shameful. He should have resigned when caught lying about Tillman; that was a serious breach of his officer’s honor. Yet the media are more interested in whether he insulted an ambassador.

    Where was the press corps before all this happened? “The Promise,” an extraordinarily good new book, by Jonathan Alter, about Obama’s first year, goes into many pages of detail on tensions among McChrystal, Biden, Jones and Holbrooke regarding Afghanistan strategy. In order for that book to have been in stores last month, Alter had to complete the writing around Christmas. If Alter, who doesn’t even cover national security, knew last year that all this was going on, maybe that means he’s a great reporter – but it also means a lot of other reporters have been asleep at the switch.

    The fitting punishment for McChrystal would have been to make him keep his job. Firing McChrystal makes President Obama seem weak — afraid of criticism, reacting in knee-jerk style, basing important national decisions on a Rolling Stone article. What Obama should have done is punch McChrystal in the nose. That is sometimes how moments of stress such as this get worked out within the military.

    McChrystal’s comments, and those from his mysterious aides, reflect the way many military men and women talk, especially after consuming beer. It is common for military personnel who are risking their lives to feel hostility about pompous civilians who pamper themselves in Washington. This is fine so long as they always obey their orders from civilians – as U.S. military men and women always do. When the hour is dark, the United States needs tough-minded military personnel. That we seemed shocked to hear a fairly tame version of how they talk among themselves shows how out of contact much of America is with its armed forces.

    http://blogs.reuters.com/gregg-easterbrook/2010/06/23/mcchrystal-scandal-is-phony/

  185. Bill Clinton, the former U.S. President known for his eloquence and diplomacy, found himself rejoicing like any other fan after the United States scored their dramatic winner against Algeria in the World Cup.

    Sports

    Clinton was sitting in the stands with dignitaries at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Wednesday when forward Landon Donovan got a winner in added time to send the U.S. into the last 16.

    “I lost my voice yesterday. I was very diplomatic until we scored,” Clinton said in an interview with a roundtable of journalists on Thursday.

    “When that sucker went in there, I said, ‘Thank God for overtime’,” he added, having joined in the celebrations after a pulsating 1-0 win over Algeria on Wednesday that left the U.S. top of Group C above favorites England.

    “Both the United States and Algeria played that game with both their minds and their hearts in the right place.”

    Clinton went to the U.S. changing room after the match, where he said some players asked him to stay for a beer, or two.

    “In the locker room, all they talked about was how they played as a team. They were a happy crowd yesterday.”

    GRUDGING RESPECT

    Clinton, who was introduced to soccer when he went to England as a Rhodes Scholar in the late 1960s, has been impressed with the way the U.S. squad has overcome adversity, including having two goals disallowed.

    He plans to attend the next U.S. match against Ghana in the second round in Rustenburg on Saturday.

    The former U.S. leader said while the world’s soccer powers do not see the United States as reaching their level, there is a grudging respect for the battling Americans.

    “Argentina and Brazil think that we are better at this then we are,” he said. “Others have been doing it longer. That is OK. I think they believe that we are serious about it now.”

    Clinton, president when the U.S. hosted the World Cup in 1994, has been in South Africa campaigning to bring the event back to the States, where he said every team can find a home base of support among the various ethnic groups in the country.

    “It would be really good for America if we could do it. I think it would be good for soccer worldwide if we could do it.”

    Clinton has also pondered how the sport can be used as a proxy for peacefully battling over the ethnic and political issues that have persistently divided countries and peoples.

    “The real trick is not to ask people to give up the particularities of their identities but to give them a place to put it that is not destructive,” he said.

  186. If you filter out the Trotsky-ite rhetoric, this is a pretty good analysis of the McCrystal “affair”.

    “Militarism and democracy: the implications of the McChrystal affair”

    (snip)
    Two aspects of the McChrystal affair deserve consideration. First, and most obviously, the firing of McChrystal demonstrates the worsening position of the US intervention in Afghanistan. The general would not have been summarily dismissed over a magazine article if the war had been going well.

    The day McChrystal was fired, the death toll for US and NATO troops rose to 76 in June, making this the worst month for the foreign occupation forces since the US first invaded Afghanistan in October 2001. Among the Afghan people, President Hamid Karzai is widely reviled as a corrupt American puppet. Antiwar sentiment is mounting in all the European countries with military contingents in Afghanistan, as well as in the United States, where a majority in opinion polls now say the war is not worth fighting.

    A report issued Monday by a congressional committee found that the supply chain for US troops in Afghanistan funnels hundreds of millions of dollars into the coffers of corrupt local warlords, many of whom in turn pay Taliban insurgents not to attack their trucks. The Pentagon is thus indirectly financing the insurgency, to the tune of $2 million a week according to one estimate cited in the report.
    (snip)

    The backing for Obama from congressional Republicans and many right-wing media pundits shows that significant sections of the ruling elite have lost confidence in McChrystal and his counterinsurgency strategy. There was growing criticism for the past month, following the evident failure of the US intervention in Marjah and the forced postponement of the planned offensive into Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second largest city and a Taliban stronghold.

    Obama’s selection of Petraeus to replace McChrystal is a clear effort to appease these right-wing critics. Petraeus directed the US military escalation in Iraq in 2007-2008, which is credited in ruling circles with salvaging the US intervention there, although some 90,000 US troops still remain. The appointment of Petraeus was suggested in advance by neoconservative columnist William Kristol, and hailed by the right-wing media as a political masterstroke.
    (snip)
    The ominous implications of this trend were expressed in two reports published today in the New York Times. An article by correspondent C.J. Chivers describes growing frustration among field officers, NCOs and rank-and-file soldiers in Afghanistan with McChrystal’s counterinsurgency tactics, which, in the name of reducing civilian casualties, call for “further tightening rules guiding the use of Western firepower—airstrikes and guided rocket attacks, artillery barrages and even mortar fire—to support troops on the ground.”

    Chivers claims the rules “have shifted risks from Afghan civilians to Western combatants,” leading to widespread resentment among the troops over “being handcuffed” in the fight against the Taliban and other insurgents. His unstated conclusion is that the replacement of McChrystal should be welcomed as a step to unleashing the full power of American weaponry on the Afghan population.
    ********

    “Chivers claims the rules “have shifted risks from Afghan civilians to Western combatants,” leading to widespread resentment among the troops over “being handcuffed”

    This observation is perhaps the most commented on by “right wing” sites and their dissatisfaction with McCrystal. The restrictive rules of engagement are part of the concept of winning the “Human Terrain”. The “Human Terrain” concept and teams were introduced by Gen. Petraeus in Iraq and are a major component of McCrystal’s counter-insurgency program. “Human terrain” is an evolution of the same approach used by the British in the Malayan Emergency and later by the “Hearts and Minds” program in Vietnam. It worked in Malaya, didn’t work in Vietnam and won’t work in Afghanistan.

  187. rgb44hrc
    June 24th, 2010 at 11:17 am
    humanevents.com/article.php?id=37657

    McChrystal Told the Truth
    —————–

    Excellent article. Thanks for posting.
    —————-
    I concur. A truly superb article. The Achilles heel of our Afghanistan policy is the deluded Messiah himself, Good old tar balls.

  188. Defense Secretary Robert Gates backed keeping Gen. Stanley McChrystal on the job because he was vital to the war effort in Afghanistan, but Gates was overruled, a senior Pentagon official told CNN’s Barbara Starr.

    The official has direct knowledge of the events but declined to be identified because of the internal administration discussions.

    President Barack Obama relieved McChrystal of command of the Afghan war on Wednesday, a day after Rolling Stone published critical comments about top White House officials by members of McChrystal’s staff.

    Gates was initially furious about the article, but said McChrystal had to stay in command because the war is at such a critical point, a second source — who also asked not to be named on internal administration discussions — told CNN.

    But as it became clear the White House didn’t feel same way and the issue was not going to fade, Gates shifted his position and agreed that keeping the general would be an untenable distraction.

    Technically, McChrystal resigned.

    CNN

  189. “Chivers claims the rules “have shifted risks from Afghan civilians to Western combatants,” leading to widespread resentment among the troops over “being handcuffed”

    This observation is perhaps the most commented on by “right wing” sites and their dissatisfaction with McCrystal. The restrictive rules of engagement are part of the concept of winning the “Human Terrain”. The “Human Terrain” concept and teams were introduced by Gen. Petraeus in Iraq and are a major component of McCrystal’s counter-insurgency program. “Human terrain” is an evolution of the same approach used by the British in the Malayan Emergency and later by the “Hearts and Minds” program in Vietnam. It worked in Malaya, didn’t work in Vietnam and won’t work in Afghanistan.
    ——————————————–
    My thoughts exactly. And I said as much the other day. To be pinned down in a foreign land with your life at risk and unable to adequately defend yourself due to artificial rules of engagement with a commander in chief like Obama who would allow you to be wasted rather than be late to his tee off time at Congressional Golf Course does not inspire confidence.

    Clausewitz taught us that war is an instrument of policy and when it ceases to be that it becomes unrestricted unmitigated violence to no rational end. That is true as far as I can tell. But that does not mean that we can reduce war to a minuet of closely choreographed moves because in war your dance partner will always be the grim reaper.

    The right wingers want absolute victory, or as MacArthur said there is no substitute for victory. The rebuttal argument is in some cases victory cannot be obtained or the cost exceeds the prize. Afghanistan is that kind of a war in my opinion. The terrain, the tribalism, the lack of credible civilian leadership conspire against it.

    Laurence of Arabia wrote a book called The Seven Pillars Of Wisdom. More of the answers will be found there than in the speeches of Messiah Obama. Yes, I know, he came to earth in a thunderbolt, stood amid Greek columns and proclaimed a new heaven and a new earth to thunderous applause of the ignoranti, but it now apparent to people who live in the same world as most of us that the tale was all a lie.

  190. Technically, McChrystal resigned
    ————————-
    Bullshit. The resignation was pro forma. To characterize it as a resignation is materially misleading.

    This was a constructive discharge, orchestrated by Obama, with no thought to the strategic consequences. He has taken the risks of that hapless venture and doubled them, with the lives of American soldiers at stake.

  191. This almost sounds like Admin wrote it. 😉

    Obama in no man’s land
    By A.B. Stoddard – 06/23/10 07:21 PM ET

    As President Barack Obama summoned Gen. Stanley McChrystal for his perp walk at the White House on Wednesday morning, Republicans were largely silent, for once. But Democrats and party liberals weren’t defending Obama, just attacking McChrystal and his counterinsurgency strategy the president had embraced. Within the competing factions in burgeoning disagreement over Afghan war policy in his administration, Obama has tried taking shelter in the middle, his habitual no man’s land where he is neither wartime commander nor consensus builder. In deciding to relieve McChrystal, Obama cannot be accused of weakness, but the scandal weakened him instantly and immeasurably and made him appear even more alone.

    In a foundering war our allies have lost patience with, and a fragile economic recovery that has failed to make a dent in joblessness, Obama struggles to lead at home and abroad. Seventeen months into office, Obama is increasingly isolated — from his party, from American voters and from the world. Though he was sworn in amid great expectations to transcend partisan, racial, cultural and economic divisions, the country is more polarized than ever and Washington is even more a target for voter anger than it was under President Bush. Polls show majorities of Americans do not believe Obama has a clear plan for creating jobs, or to deal with the oil spill, and they oppose remaining in Afghanistan. And while America’s standing in the world has improved, Obama foreign policy has produced mixed results. Obama is so politically toxic in battlegrounds he can’t campaign for most Democratic candidates and his relationships with Democrats outside his intimate circle of mostly Chicagoan advisers fall somewhere between faint and frosty.

    In recent weeks Obama’s economic agenda has run up against a new reality in Congress — Democrats have joined Republicans with a newfound distaste for deficit spending. So spooked are Democrats from every region of the country, mostly vulnerable members elected in 2006 and 2008, they are turning their backs on unpaid emergency spending to extend COBRA health benefits for the unemployed and continued unemployment benefits and aid to cash-strapped states that can’t be offset with other spending cuts. Jobs bills are stalling, and a debate about the extension of Bush tax cuts — including those promised to the middle class by then-candidate Obama in his presidential campaign — it’s all on the table in the new age of fiscal rectitude.

    http://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/ab-stoddard/105169-obama-in-no-mans-land

  192. Hillary Clinton to Students: Avoid Cable News

    By Paul Bedard, Alex Kingsbury, Jessica Rettig

    June 24, 2010

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton extolled the virtue of finding common ground to a group of foreign exchange students visiting the State Department Wednesday. Her advice: Avoid cable news. Speaking to a group of 280 high school students, sponsored by her department and hailing from countries with large Muslim populations, Clinton said she hoped they would avoid the lure of the daily shoutfests.

    “You’ve seen our own noisy democracy in action where there’s a lot of debating and discussing,” said Clinton. “I hope none of you have watched cable news, but you know that it airs conflicting opinions, sometimes diametrically opposed not only to each other, but to any known fact you could possibly find.”

    http://politics.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2010/06/24/hillary-clinton-to-students-avoid-cable-news.html

  193. nomobama
    June 24th, 2010 at 12:31 pm
    The video concerning the raining of oil is not proof. Someone needs to set up a clean container, preferably clear glass or white plastic, to collect the rain. The container needs to be placed away from anything that can contaminate it on the ground. Only then will it show real evidence of oil within the rain. It is very likely that rainwater that has puddled on the ground, can show an oil sheen left behind by motor oil.
    __________________________________

    If you ever go out after a rain and look at a street when it hasn’t rained in several weeks, there will be a sheen on puddles in the road and on the side of the road.

  194. Maybe I am wrong, but many of the self-deluded progressives are the biggest self-interest groups out there. They preach with their blinders on without regards to how their particular stands on an issue affect the vast majority. They don’t go for reasonable compromise as it is all or nothing in their fights. For instance, I’ve seen people arguing for the banning of combustion engines which would be fine and dandy IF there was currently a reasonable replacement at a comparable price. The upcoming cap and tradr bill is going to be a killer as this fantasy will destroy more than anything… destroy jobs, erode incomes, etc. It is lunacy promoted by whack job lefties who never seem to provide an affordable alternative that therest of us can actually survive with, let alone live with.
    ———————————————-
    Yes. As they said in Viet Nam: those people would destroy the village to save it.

  195. Shadowfax
    June 24th, 2010 at 12:45 pm
    McChrystal ’scandal’ is phony
    &&&&&

    excellent article.

  196. mj
    June 24th, 2010 at 12:02 pm
    Obama has used not one crisis to do something significant for the people.
    __________________________________________

    Exactly. TO the people, but no FOR.

  197. nomobama
    June 24th, 2010 at 11:25 am
    wwboei,

    Maybe I am wrong, but many of the self-deluded progressives are the biggest self-interest groups out there. They preach with their blinders on without regards to how their particular stands on an issue affect the vast majority. They don’t go for reasonable compromise as it is all or nothing in their fights. For instance, I’ve seen people arguing for the banning of combustion engines which would be fine and dandy IF there was currently a reasonable replacement at a comparable price. The upcoming cap and tradr bill is going to be a killer as this fantasy will destroy more than anything… destroy jobs, erode incomes, etc. It is lunacy promoted by whack job lefties who never seem to provide an affordable alternative that therest of us can actually survive with, let alone live with.
    _______________________________________________

    They are !@#$ing lunatics. They don’t care, nor do they ever learn. Just non-stop horn blaring.

  198. Daily Howler

    CHIMP-ON-CHIMP CRIME (permalink): How do bands of chimps wage war?

    If you’re curious, you can read Nicholas Wade’s intriguing report from Tuesday’s New York Times (click here). Or you can watch your own tribe’s alpha chimp as he blusters each evening on Countdown.

    Our chimp can be quite a sight. On Tuesday night, you could have watched his latest “Special Report,” in which he blustered, pronounced and proclaimed, instructing pitiful dumb-ass Obama about why he shouldn’t fire McChrystal. Our head chimp knew exactly what Obama should do. He also knew, with perfect certainty, what the political outcomes would be—and he knew which camera to wheel toward as he thundered about these events.

    On Tuesday, you could have watched him doing that. Or you could have seen his pitiful attempt to rebut Sharron Angle. Angle seems to favor some form of privatized Social Security. (We doubt that she’s ever explained in detail.) But Angle seems to know how to talk about this potent issue—and Keith Olbermann pretty much doesn’t. On Tuesday night, after several teases, he named Angle worst person in the world—and he offered this hapless report about this potent issue:

    OLBERMANN (6/22/10): But our winner, Nevada Tea Party Senate candidate Sharron Angle. After the profusion of evidence that she was lying when she denied she wanted to gut and privatize Social Security, she has now changed her tune slightly. She did an interview with the Human Events site, the people who brought you that headline “Liberals Hate Sarah Palin Because She’s Beautiful.”

    ANGLE (videotape): We need to look at personalizing the Social Security and Medicare programs, so that we can keep the government out of the lock box, keep them from raiding our retirement and raiding our health care.

    OLBERMANN: Personalizing Social Security does not mean selecting your own screen saver. It means privatizing. Make people invest their Social Security earnings into the stock market, where a chunk will automatically be skimmed off the top by brokers, and the rest could vanish in, you know, the next mortgage crisis or BP Gulf disaster. And if any of that is still unclear, Ms. Angle’s website says, at this moment, that Social Security needs to be, quote, “transitioned out.” So when she says she doesn’t want to gut and privatize Social Security, she’s lying. Sharron Angle, Tea Party and “Let’s restore the 19th Century” party candidate for the senate from Nevada, today’s worst person in the world.

    Angle is working with talking-points which have been successful for decades. (The Social Security trust fund is just a bunch of IOUs! The money isn’t there—it’s already been spent!) These talking-points have been quite successful, even though they’re misleading, because the right has endlessly worked to promote them—and because the liberal world, sleepwalking through life, has never made any serious attempt to create a coherent rebuttal. For the record, Angle isn’t “lying” when she uses the language of “personal” accounts; going back at least as far as Candidate Bush in 2000, Republicans use the language of “personal” accounts (not “private” accounts) because that language poll-tests better. (Democrats use the language of “privatization” because it poll-tests worse.) But no, Angle’s language isn’t a “lie. Somewhat sadly, that’s the only type of ordure our head chimp knows how to throw.

    Conceivably, this issue could serve Angle well in the coming campaign. She seems to know how to talk about it; major bozos on our side still don’t. As a general matter, Olbermann’s thunder will be pleasing to liberals, unconvincing to everyone else.

    Later that evening, preening and wheeling to various cameras, Olbermann loudly instructed dumb Obama why he should keep McChrystal.

    But then, our liberal channel is increasingly a joke, a route to long-term disaster. If progressives are ever going to succeed in changing American politics, we need to learn how to persuade voters in Arkansas, the state Gene Lyons discussed last week—and in Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, the states David Brooks named this week. This effort would take a good long time, but there’s no other route to progressive consensus. But at our pseudo-progressive channel, the chimps are inclined to insult such voters. This approach makes for good entertainment TV—and it serves the interests of Power.

    (As long as the two bands of chimps keep fighting, Power will stay on top.)

    Can liberals build a progressive politics? We’ll certainly have to do it ourselves, if it’s ever going to happen. Just consider what happened this week when several major mainstream columnists tried to stand and fight.

    By this time, the dumbness of mainstream press corps culture almost defies belief. Consider what happened when the New York Times’ Charles Blow tried to say that Obama is doing a pretty good job.

    Blow thought Obama’s address from the Oval Office was “just fine.” And not only that! “On balance, [Obama] is doing a good job,” the columnist judges—“not perfect, but good.” But you had to hunt through Blow’s piece to ferret these favorable judgments. This was Blow’s picture of the state of American politics—a picture in which he went straight to insulting psychiatric assessments about the guy he defended:

    BLOW (6/19/10): On one side is America—fickle and excitable, hotheaded and prone to overreaction, easily frightened and in constant need of reassurance.

    On the other side stands Obama—solid and sober, rooted in the belief that his way is the right way and in no need of alteration. He’s the emotionally maimed type who lights up when he’s stroked and adored but shuts down in the face of acrimony. Other people’s anxieties are dismissed as irrational and unworthy of engagement or empathy. He seems quite comfortable with this aspect of his personality, even if few others are, and shows little desire to change it. It’s the height of irony: the presumed transformative president is stymied by his own unwillingness to be transformed. He would rather sacrifice the relationship than be altered by it.

    Blow’s portrait of “America” is remarkably dumb. (Is everyone “fickle and excitable, hotheaded and prone to overreaction, easily frightened and in constant need of reassurance?) But his portrait of Obama defines the fallen state of the upper-end press corps. Obama is doing a good job, Blow says. But he’s “the emotionally maimed type,” the pundit confides, making a remarkable judgment—and he goes on to offer a very unflattering portrait of Obama’s psyche, without offering any examples which might help us know why he thinks such things. (When has Obama dismissed “other people’s anxieties…as irrational and unworthy of engagement or empathy?” Blow forgets to say.) But then, this column is a pure example of the species known as Hardening Dowdism; it’s an almost perfect copy of Lady Dowd’s simpering style. (Note especially the pseudo-irony found in Blow’s silly word-play: The presumed transformative president is stymied by his own unwillingness to be transformed! Later: The president must accept the basic fact that he, as the agent of change, must himself be open to change!) Blow is becoming the latest Lord Dowdinpants. You know the formula! He offers dim-witted psychiatric assessments wrapped in silly word-play.

    Blow, remember, was praising Obama. Richard Cohen is less impressed with the president—but he too turned to psychiatric assessments in Tuesday’s Washington Post. According to Cohen, Obama “hugely misunderstood what some people were saying when they demanded that he get angry over the gulf oil catastrophe.” In this utterly ludicrous passage, Cohen explained what he meant:

    COHEN (6/22/10): What these people were seeking was not an eruption of anger, not a tantrum and not a full-scale denunciation of an oil company. What they wanted instead was a sign that this catastrophe meant something to Obama, that it was not merely another problem that had crossed his desk—and this time just wouldn’t budge. He showed not the slightest sign in the idiom that really counts in a media age—body language—that he gave a damn. He could see your pain, he could talk about your pain, but he gave no indication that he felt it.

    One can understand. Obama’s father deserted the family and afterward visited his son only once. He twice was separated from his mother, who lived in Indonesia without him. He was partially raised by his grandparents—an elderly white couple. If the president is what the shrinks call “well-defended,” who can blame him? It’s ironic that Oprah Winfrey was maybe Obama’s most significant early backer when the man himself is so un-Oprah. He cannot emote.

    Cohen made a fool of himself before turning to the pseudo-psychiatry of that second paragraph. A sensible person would assume that Cohen must be speaking ironically about body language—but in truth, there’s no sign that he is. Understand what Cohen says here: Obama had just obtained a $20 billion fund to help the victims of this disaster—but because of the president’s failed body language, Cohen couldn’t spot “the slightest sign…that he gave a damn” about them.

  199. The right wingers want absolute victory, or as MacArthur said there is no substitute for victory. The rebuttal argument is in some cases victory cannot be obtained or the cost exceeds the prize. Afghanistan is that kind of a war in my opinion. The terrain, the tribalism, the lack of credible civilian leadership conspire against it.
    **********
    That is the bottom line…not every disease can be cured, not every war can be won. As the Russians discovered, the kill everything that moves and destroy the infrastructure also isn’t a winning strategy. Petraeus/McCrystal’s “observation” that if the Human “terrain” is lost then the physical terrain is never held may be true but that doesn’t equate to “winning” the war. The restrictive ROE used in an impossible situation is very corrosive to moral and leads to a “stabbed in the back” mentality and My Lai type incidents The right-wing moans about the restrictive ROE and blame Obama, which is a joke. As McCryatal affair pointed out, Obama is unengaged except when his ego is “dissed”. I doubt if Obama could define “rules of engagement” much less know what they are.

  200. mj
    June 24th, 2010 at 12:02 pm
    Obama has used not one crisis to do something significant for the people.
    __________________________________________

    Exactly. TO the people, but no FOR.

    ——————————
    Question: would it be fair to say that when it comes to crises Obama is more like an arsonist than a fireman? The two roles should never be confused.

  201. I think where obama is concerned, Rahm is going to have to change his tune.
    Remember how Rahm always says: “You never let a serious crisis go to waste”

    well…

  202. Question: would it be fair to say that when it comes to crises Obama is more like an arsonist than a fireman?
    _______________________________________
    That’s sig quality material there. Excuse me while I steal it on a few fora I frequent.

  203. Obama in no man’s land
    By A.B. Stoddard – 06/23/10 07:21 PM ET
    —————————————-
    Somersby talks about AB. Apparently she is a blue blood, and not the sharpest knife in the drawer, yet whether she wrote this piece or somebody else did for her, it is important because it focuses attention on the undeniable fact that the Obama administration has run out of gasoline and is running on fumes.

  204. he showed not the slightest sign in the idiom that really counts in a media age—body language—that he gave a damn. He could see your pain, he could talk about your pain, but he gave no indication that he felt it.
    ********
    This reminds me of “blind’ squirrels”…”but he gave no indication that he felt it.”…well no shit…he’s a fucking sociopath…

    These idiots in the media are now accurately describing the psychology but fear to name it…I guess to be politically correct and adhere to the ICD9, he is a 301.7 “Antisocial Personality disorder” with amoral personality and reputation-defending antisocial components (narcissism).

  205. Tabloid break…for those interested..the police statement of the woman accusing Al Gore of sexual assault is posted at The Smoking Gun..

  206. Aa time goes on things which were once obscure become known and understandable. For example, unless you believe that the world of the future will run on solar power, vitamin pills will be our diet and everything else will be controlled by the microchip then you face the fact that there is a competition going on for the worlds resources which will produce definite winners and losers. When you think about it in these terms you realize that the competitors are multi national in scope. Rather than talking about Bilderburgers and their ilk which provokes a knee jerk reaction from those who lack curiosity or imagination, let us simply say that there is a consortium of western interests who have a stake in running the economy of the 21st century, and their power and hegemony is threated by the rise of China, a development which they may have welcomed, aided and abetted in its infancy based on the naiive assumption that they could extend their global system into that corner of the world only to find they could not. This explains why we are in the middle east–for the oil which both competitors covet, why Obama with his Muslim name and roots was selected at this point in time–the important thing to them here is not so much that he is black but that he is Muslim, and it also explains why he refuses to acknowledge the inescapable fact that Muslim extremism is a threat to the world. By analogy, law enforcement never gained the upper hand on the Mafia until it acknowledged that there was one/

  207. Reelin’ Rod
    In Barack Obama, Politics on June 24, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Operation Get Blago seems to be in full swing, and I admit that I haven’t been paying as much attention onto the hijinks and hilarity recently as I have in the past. As regular readers know, I have a soft spot for the Cabbage Patch Weeble, as I call him, because…well, he’s kind of a clown, and I like clowns. However, like grandpa’s Timex, the hapless hair-vain former governor seems to take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’, in a cheap impossible-to-keep-down children’s toy sorta way. I’m pretty sure I’d make a lousy juror for his trial because of my predisposition to cut the guy some slack, cuz in my very humble opinion, even if he’s guilty of everything he’s charged with, so is every other politician in the country, if not the world.

    Perhaps it’s because he’s not very good at the corruption and influence what’s-in-it-for-me-first game that he’s got such a big target on his back. Dunno. But, it’s hard to see where his high crimes and misdemeanors are any more egregious than those of oh, say, his adversarial nemesis, the Obaminator.

    According to Lonna Saunders over at HuffPo, one of the ties that bind Blags and Obie in crime, Tony Rezko, has been scratched for the prosecution’s witness list. This seems fishy to Lonna, and can’t say as I blame her. What’s up with that? According to Saunders, what’s up is that Patrick Fitzgerald and Crew can’t be sure of what songs the Rezcanary might sing on the stand, and is afraid that one of them might implicate the Pretendident. Makes sense to me, since a lot of Fitzgerald’s actions from jump seem to have been designed to protect the ObaMessiah and his Obacolytes.

    Otherwise, why didn’t Fitzgerald wait until a deal had been made for Obama’s Senate seat before swooping in on Blags?

    more at Cinie’s…

    http://cinie.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/reelin-rod/#comments

  208. When you think about it in these terms you realize that the competitors are multi national in scope. Rather than talking about Bilderburgers and their ilk which provokes a knee jerk reaction from those who lack curiosity or imagination, let us simply say that there is a consortium of western interests who have a stake in running the economy of the 21st century,….
    •••••••
    Exactly right…and that is why we have a single political party in this country…The party differences are motivated by the necessary “street theater” to appeal to those who “lack curiosity or imagination” and for the 10% difference in campaign contributions that go to the winners for a given political cycle. The height of gullibility was/is “drill baby drill” and the need for Amur-can oil. There is no “American” oil; it multi-national corporation oil and it’s fungible. When Obama was told to appoint Ken Salazar as Interior Sec., it was a dead give-away that the name of the party in the WH changed but the agenda was the same. Salazar is big oils “Obama minder” just as Summers and Geithner function for big money. Salazar thought Bush/Cheney were too restrictive on drilling and continued/extended(?) the criminal behavior at Interior and MMS.

  209. This discussion is silly. The military doesn’t get to be honest about the current administration. Retired military can say whatever they want. But if you are serving, you publicly keep your mouth shut about the president. Them’s the rules. McChrystal knew it.

    This isn’t about the president. It’s about the protocol necessary to keep the imperative of military order.

    It’s all about the military. The president can be burping everytime he hears the word military, juggling during diplomatic meetings and making romantic passes at every enlisted guy who comes his way, and the military still needs to keep their mouth shut. There are other people whose job it is to deal with an incompetent president. We put up with Bush making a mockery of the military for eight years, and we didn’t have problems with generals mouthing off then. Obama is at least as bad as Bush and the generals can continue to keep their mouth shut. Geez.

  210. This discussion is silly. The military doesn’t get to be honest about the current administration. Retired military can say whatever they want. But if you are serving, you publicly keep your mouth shut about the president. Them’s the rules. McChrystal knew it.
    ———————
    Basement Angel: that issue has already been resolved, in your favor. He spoke his mind and he is gone. The questions we are struggling with now is why did he do it, what does it say about the quality of our civilian leadership beyond the fairy tales big media tells us about them, and how will his firing–because that is what it was, affect the fate of the mission and the American lives at risk? The only thing we know for sure from our benighted media is obama is “furious”, but “his body language is somehow deficient”. If that is true, then all we need to win this unwinnable war is an acting coach to tutor Bambi.

  211. rgbhrc44, Why did he fire the first general…do you know? This is just terrible, these are people’s careers that have served our country. They have risked their lives. This guys why can’t we get him out of there with a malfeasant or something? How will this country survive this???

    We don’t need another GWB either!

  212. Our civilian leadership has sucked for nine years now – we all know that. We’re just burning through manpower and money until someone comes along with the skills and the political fortitude to end the war – and we know who that is. Obama is no more inclined to take political risks than Bush was. It’s going to someone with…what is that quaint Colbert phrase – oh yeah…lady balls to get us out of Afghanistan and Iraq. Hopefully, the COIN strategy will have sufficiently stabilized the nation two years from now, that a new president can get us the hell out.

    I don’t believe for a second that Obama was furious. That presupposes that he cares what the military thinks about him, and I suspect he thinks they are so inferior to him that he doesn’t care what they think. Huge egos work in peculiar ways – if you don’t rate as significant with them, then your opinion is irrelevant.

  213. During the Big Band era a singer named Kitty Kalen had a smash hit called Little Things Mean Alot. When magic thinking about Obama was in the ascendant there was scarcely a detail about his physical appearance and demeanor that escaped the prurient attention of the press, from his abs to his flashing eyeballs, to his proud confident demeanor. And they subjected the rest of us to that revolting shit, 24-7. What a breath of fresh air from Bush they said, and better still the promise and fulfillment of a New Camelot or in the words of Lancelot himself a man who would succeed where a less fantastic men had failed. That was the marketing hype we lived through, and many young people are still traumantized–braninwashed as it were by its odious effects. But now, all those little things that once meant alot become objects of derision, like for example his body language.

  214. I really hope she is making plans to jump ship soon.

    ———————-

    Clinton said confident in diplomatic team for Afghanistan

    (AFP) – 1 hour ago

    WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has full confidence in diplomats carrying out administration policy in Afghanistan, including special envoy Richard Holbrooke, a Clinton spokesman said Thursday.

    Some lawmakers urged President Barack Obama to follow the sacking of his commander in the Afghan war, General Stanley McChrystal, with a shake-up of the diplomatic team, amid strained military-civilian relations.

    “The secretary has full confidence in her team in Afghanistan as well as in Ambassador Holbrooke and his team here,” Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman, said when asked about calls for the shakeup.

    “And as the president put it very clearly yesterday, now is the time to move forward and get on with the job at hand,” Toner said.

    A day after McChrystal stepped down, some lawmakers and commentators argued for the replacement of US civilian envoys, saying it would boost ties with the Afghan government and end damaging in-fighting within the administration.

    McChrystal’s disdainful remarks to a magazine about Holbrooke, and the US ambassador to Kabul, Karl Eikenberry, led to his abrupt exit, but also revealed signs of toxic ties between the commander and his civilian counterparts.

    “The civilian side is, in my view, completely dysfunctional,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Wednesday.

    “I would urge the president to look at this as a chance to put new people on the ground without old baggage. And if we don’t change quickly, we’re going to lose a war we can’t afford to lose,” he said.

    Graham was one of three hawkish senators who quickly demanded a clean sweep, saying too much was at stake to allow turf wars to drag on.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hpN8LJdw4a10aepLUPC96LMNhVGg

  215. Our civilian leadership has sucked for nine years now – we all know that. We’re just burning through manpower and money until someone comes along with the skills and the political fortitude to end the war – and we know who that is. Obama is no more inclined to take political risks than Bush was. It’s going to someone with…what is that quaint Colbert phrase – oh yeah…lady balls to get us out of Afghanistan and Iraq. Hopefully, the COIN strategy will have sufficiently stabilized the nation two years from now, that a new president can get us the hell out.
    —————————-
    True.

  216. Thanks Jan. I get the strong sense that Obama is a frozen fresco and the people behind him are maneuvering and/or exiting.

    “Success has many fathers. But failure is an orphan”–John Milton.

  217. Republicans hate COIN strategy. Lindsay Graham wasn’t complaining when we were simply killing everyone in sight and wasting billions with no chance of stabilization. Now that we’re doing something that can actually make life better for Afghanis, he’s complaining. Fuck him. It’s all political.

    Hillary knows what she’s doing. Her leaving office would mean that she’s turning our diplomatic initiatives over to someone else, and that she’ll simply have to clean up that mess once she’s elected as well as move the marker down the board. It’s not going to happen. She wants State in order once she takes office so that she can, as someone near to her once said, focus like a laser on the economy.

  218. Why did he fire the first general…do you know?
    *********
    With the caveat that Obama is the WH “meat puppet” and doesn’t make decisions, Gen. McKiernan was considered to “old school” to fight an insurgency and they needed “new idea” Gen like McCrystal. McKiernan was the ground commander in the second Iraq war and wanted additional troops post conflict to “secure the peace”. He thought that the Iraqi, non-uniformed fighters, were a big problem and needed to be taken out. This conflicted with Rumsfeld’s opinion of quick “Mission Accomplished” war and McKiernan was replaced by Gen. Sanchez.

    In Afghanistan, among other things, McKiernan was very resistant to arming and paying off local War Lords and militias. This conflicted with Gates’ opinion and he was canned.

  219. “The president can be burping everytime he hears the word military, juggling during diplomatic meetings and making romantic passes at every enlisted guy who comes his way, and the military still needs to keep their mouth shut. There are other people whose job it is to deal with an incompetent president. We put up with Bush making a mockery of the military for eight years, and we didn’t have problems with generals mouthing off then. Obama is at least as bad as Bush and the generals can continue to keep their mouth shut. Geez”

    Thank goodness. Someone around here understands the concept of civilian control of the military.

    Whew.

    “There are other people whose job it is to deal with an incompetent president.”

    Period.

  220. NQ (Sorry if it’s already posted)

    No Billet.
    McChrystal is relieved of duty and will likely choose to retire pronto. Bill Roggio tells me, “No billet for a four-star, he retires.”

    The politics of the McChrystal firing (and it will be turned into a firing, no matter the detail of the resignation letter) will expand according to the needs of the partisan posses. The Democrats are eager to move on and refuse comment. The Republicans are eager to dig in and comment. All parties, including the witty Tea Party, will make remarks that are divorced from the facts but that sound the right theme.

    POTUS is unloved by the military in the field. POTUS is untrusted by the military at home.

    The talking points are well established this last century: Democrats want to start wars but then nearly as quickly want to quit the war they helped start (Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf, Afghanistan, Iraq); Republicans start wars just as quickly as Democrats but then are too simple-minded to do anything but bash and muddle ahead to victory.
    McChrystal on Mars.
    Stanley McChrystal is the son of an Army two-star; he is also West Point 1972, at the bottom of the morale crater caused by the Vietnam War defeat.

    McChrystal will survive the disgrace and reorganize his career on TV and in Washington. A highly desirable hire by think-tanks, PR firms, law firms, even by the Republican or Democratic Party. (McChrystal wanted us to know that he voted for POTUS Obama.)

    The chat last eve in Washington was that this is the MacArthur Moment.

    Since POTUS is known to follow a stale protocol of meetings and recommendations, in order to make a decision appear collective, he will likely follow the protocol established by Truman. After consulting with StateSec Acheson and SecDef Marshall, Truman fired MacArthur. Sixty years later, on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the sneak attack in Korea, McChrystal is gone. Can’t make this stuff up. Political future for McChrystal? Unlikely. Also unlikely that he will address Congress like MacArthur. McChrystal does have a future on Mars, the War Planet. No unemployment on Mars.

  221. DE JA VOODOO

    confloyd
    June 24th, 2010 at 3:51 pm
    rgbhrc44, Why did he fire the first general…do you know?
    &&&&&&&&&&

    Obama was too chicken shit to call for McKiernan’s resignation, so he assigned that smelly task to Sec. of Defense Robert Gates. And it was supposedly Gates who recommended McChrystal. Notice this too back in 2009 was a hastily convened news conference.

    washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/11/AR2009051101864.html

    Top U.S. Commander in Afghanistan Is Fired
    ======================================

    By Ann Scott Tyson
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced yesterday that he had requested the resignation of the top American general in Afghanistan, Gen. David D. McKiernan, making a rare decision to remove a wartime commander at a time when the Obama administration has voiced increasing alarm about the country’s downward spiral.

    Gates, saying he seeks “fresh thinking” and “fresh eyes” on Afghanistan, recommended that President Obama replace McKiernan with a veteran Special Operations commander, Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal. His selection marks the continued ascendancy of officers who have pressed for the use of counterinsurgency tactics, in Iraq and Afghanistan, that are markedly different from the Army’s traditional doctrine.

    “We have a new strategy, a new mission and a new ambassador. I believe that new military leadership is also needed,” Gates said at a hastily convened Pentagon news conference. Gates also recommended that Lt. Gen. David M. Rodriguez, a former head of U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan who is serving as Gates’s military assistant, be nominated to serve in a new position as McChrystal’s deputy. Gates praised McChrystal and Rodriguez for their “unique skill set in counterinsurgency.”

    McKiernan, an armor officer who led U.S. ground forces during the 2003 Iraq invasion, was viewed as somewhat cautious and conventionally minded, according to senior officials inside and outside the Pentagon.

    Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander of U.S. forces in the region, has pressed aggressively to broaden the military’s mission in Afghanistan and Iraq beyond killing the enemy to protecting the population, overseeing reconstruction projects and rebuilding local governance. Petraeus played a key role in the Obama administration’s strategic review of the Afghanistan conflict and was involved in the decision to remove McKiernan, which Petraeus said in a statement he “fully supports.”

    The decision to fire McKiernan represents one of a handful of times since President Harry S. Truman’s removal of Gen. Douglas MacArthur in 1951 that U.S. civilian leaders have relieved a top wartime commander, and is in keeping with Gates’s style of demanding accountability by dismissing senior military and civilian officials for a host of problems, including nuclear weapons mismanagement and inadequate care for wounded troops.

    McChrystal is the director of the Pentagon’s Joint Staff. From 2006 to August 2008, he was the forward commander of the U.S. military’s secretive Joint Special Operations Command, responsible for capturing or killing high-level leaders of the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq.

    Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently tapped McChrystal to lead an effort to manage the rotations of senior officers to shore up a base of experience on Afghanistan.

    In a statement, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said that Obama agreed with the need for new leadership but that he was “impressed” by McKiernan’s calls for more troops for Afghanistan. McKiernan had successfully pressed the administration to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan, forces that have only now begun to arrive in the country.

    Gates did not criticize McKiernan directly and instead praised his decades of “distinguished service.” But senior officials said McKiernan’s leadership was not bold or nimble enough to reenergize a campaign in which U.S. and other NATO troops had reached a stalemate against Taliban insurgents in some parts of Afghanistan.

    One senior government official involved in Afghanistan policy said McKiernan was overly cautious in creating U.S.-backed local militias, a tactic that Petraeus had employed when he was the top commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.

    “It’s way too modest,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “We don’t have 2009 to experiment in Wardak province,” where one such militia has been set up. “I think we’ve got about two years in this mission. The trend lines better start swinging in our direction or we’re going to lose the international community and we’re going to lose Washington.”

    Other U.S. military and Afghan officials disagreed with the criticism, however, saying McKiernan’s approach was prudent.

    Incidents in which U.S. forces caused high numbers of civilian casualties in Afghanistan had emerged as a major source of discomfort for Gates and Mullen during McKiernan’s tenure, but officials said that was not the reason for his removal. “McKiernan got it, and he’s been much better about responding,” a senior military official said. Gates noted yesterday that civilian deaths in Afghanistan had declined 40 percent since January compared with the same period last year.

    Since the Obama administration took over this year, Gates had been weighing whether to replace McKiernan and had asked Mullen and Petraeus for their opinions. Mullen informed McKiernan two weeks ago that a change was needed. Gates then broke the news to McKiernan during an hour-long, one-on-one dinner at Camp Eggers in Kabul on a trip to Afghanistan last week.

    Asked by reporters whether this decision would effectively end McKiernan’s military career, Gates replied: “Probably.”

    In a statement, McKiernan said it had been his “distinct honor over the past year to serve with the brave men and women” from the 42 nations that have contributed to the international effort in Afghanistan and with the members of Afghanistan’s security forces. “I have never been prouder to be an American Soldier,” he said.

    McKiernan took command of the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan in June and was scheduled to serve in the post for two years, a U.S. military official said. Like other top U.S. commanders before him, McKiernan pressed the Pentagon firmly and publicly to provide additional forces to combat rising violence and an escalating Taliban insurgency.

    McKiernan oversaw initial troop increases under the Bush administration as well as the ongoing deployment of an additional 21,000 troops this year ordered by Obama. McKiernan has an outstanding request, which neither the Pentagon nor Obama has approved, for 10,000 more troops next year.

    Gates told Sens. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), the top members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, yesterday morning that he was replacing McKiernan. At the news conference, Gates urged the swift Senate confirmation of McChrystal and Rodriguez.

    McChrystal has come under criticism for his role in the military’s delay in acknowledging the “friendly fire” death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman, a former NFL player, in Afghanistan in 2004, an incident likely to come up during confirmation hearings.

  222. Stanley McChrystal is the son of an Army two-star; he is also West Point 1972,
    ——————————
    That is either wrong or the ealier assertion that he is 55 is wrong. If he is 55 then he is class of 77.

  223. Shadowfax,

    Otherwise, why didn’t Fitzgerald wait until a deal had been made for Obama’s Senate seat before swooping in on Blags?

    ———————————

    I hadn’t thought of that angle,but it is suspicious. It could be they have been saving Obama quiet some time…my question is WHY??

  224. On Drudge…

    Harris: Obama knew of Blagojevich plot
    BLAGO TRIAL |

    A top aide to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he believed Barack Obama knew of Blagojevich’s plot to win himself a presidential Cabinet post in exchange for appointing Valerie Jarrett to the U.S. Senate.

    John Harris, Blagojevich’s former chief of staff, testified Wednesday in the former governor’s corruption trial that three days after the Nov. 4, 2008, presidential election, the ex-governor told Harris he felt confident Obama knew he wanted to swap perks.

    John Harris, Rod Blagojevich’s ex-chief of staff, said he was convinced Barack Obama knew of the quid quo pro Blagojevich expected for a Senate nod.

    “The president understands that the governor would be willing to make the appointment of Valerie Jarrett as long as he gets what he’s asked for. . . . The governor gets the Cabinet appointment he’s asked for,” Harris said, explaining a recorded call.

    Harris said Blagojevich came away believing Obama knew what he wanted after having a conversation with a local union representative, who in turn spoke with labor leader Tom Balanoff, with whom Blagojevich met to discuss a Jarrett appointment. Jarrett, now a White House adviser, was seeking the appointment to Obama’s Senate seat.

    Defense lawyers say Harris’ testimony contradicts the government’s previous public statements that Obama knew nothing about deal-making involving the Senate seat appointment.

    The defense on Wednesday moved to force the prosecution to turn over FBI reports of Obama’s interview with federal agents in December of 2008. Obama is not accused of wrongdoing.

    “Testimony elicited by the government from John Harris and wiretaps played in court raise the issue of President Obama’s direct knowledge and communication with emissaries and others regarding the appointment to his Senate seat,” lawyers wrote in the filing.

    The filing came on the trial’s third day of the extensive playback of recordings in which Blagojevich is heard repeatedly discussing ways to personally capitalize on his Senate seat appointment power. Blagojevich could be heard plotting to try to head up a charity; swearing and snapping at his wife, Patti, and dismissing the possibility of a federal position that pays $190,000 a year.

    “I make $170 . . . So Fred, that has no appeal to me . . . I want to make money,” Blagojevich tells national Democratic consultant Fred Yang. “I might as well go out and find a way to make money.”

    Obama’s 2008 internal report about his staff’s contacts with Blagojevich at the time indicates that Balanoff relayed to Jarrett that Blagojevich was interested in a Health and Human Services Cabinet post.

    Recordings also revealed that Blagojevich had tried to get the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board fired after it ran a series of disparaging write-ups about the then-governor.

    Harris testified that he ignored Blagojevich’s firing directive.

    Also Wednesday, U.S. District Judge James Zagel refused to gag the talkative Blagojevich as prosecutors had asked. Zagel said Blagojevich keeps saying he’s innocent, and that anyone who says otherwise is a liar.

    The repetition, Zagel said, has rendered Blagojevich’s out-of-court talk unnewsworthy.

  225. More on Blago tapes…..

    Blagojevich on tape: Get Obama to fund-raise from Warren Buffett, Bill Gates

    In the next tape, Blagojevich is heard floating another idea — to ask the president-elect to ask Warren Buffett or Bill Gates to throw $15 million into a health-care related charity account that Blago could manage and live off. In exchange, of course, he’d appoint Valerie Jarrett to Obama’s Senate seat.

    Blago had just seen on the news that Obama didn’t want Jarrett in the Senate anymore; instead, he was considering her for a cabinet post. But Blago’s not convinced, and he floats this new fund-raising idea.

    Rod: This is one of those things where you’re the president-elect of the United States. His people, they go get the money.
    Harris: I think that’s a lot easier for them than an appointment, sure…
    Rod: You go to these big Democratic multi-billionaires … and you ask them all to give 2, … a couple million each … That’s all they got to do for Valerie Jarrett… that’s not hard for them.

    Harris wasn’t so convinced — the Obama camp “may have higher priorities,” he said from the stand. But he didn’t fight the idea.

    “I was just being agreeable with him,” Harris said in court. “Just keeping the conversation moving along. There was other matters i was hoping to get to.”

    Later on the tape, Blago says he wants Harris to find some other Senate candidates.

    “Why don’t we start looking for an African-American Tammy Duckworth? We can, can’t we?” he is heard asking.

    Judge Zagel has called a lunch break. We’ll resume at 1:30.

  226. It is hard to believe that Obama did not have personal knowledge of the bribery which Blago was trying to perpetrate inasmuch as it was his seat that was being bartered and he had his own dog in that hunt, namely Jarrett.

    Under the Constitution, Article II, the President has an affirmative duty to ensure that the laws of the United States, including those relating to the bribery of officials, are faithfully enforced. Did he report that these illicit conversations to legal or judicial officers? Did he discuss its implications with his White House council Craig? Did he perchance breach that Constitutional obligation? If so then what is the remedy?

  227. wbboei
    June 24th, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    It is hard to believe that Obama did not have personal knowledge of the bribery which Blago was trying to perpetrate inasmuch as it was his seat that was being bartered and he had his own dog in that hunt, namely Jarrett.

    ———-

    Yes, seems only logical that Obama knew and may have thought by passing messages to Blago though Rahm or others that no one would know he was making his bid for his old Senate seat.

    Blago’s defense attorneys want the tapes of Obama to be put into the trial. Seems like if they don’t get the tapes for the jury to listen to, it will appear that Barry is being protected. From what is he being protected from????

  228. confloyd
    June 24th, 2010 at 4:50 pm
    Shadowfax,

    Otherwise, why didn’t Fitzgerald wait until a deal had been made for Obama’s Senate seat before swooping in on Blags?

    ———————————

    I hadn’t thought of that angle,but it is suspicious. It could be they have been saving Obama quiet some time…my question is WHY??

    ***********************************************

    to hear Dylan Ratigan explain things…O and the WH are the keys, along with Franks and Dodd to keep the bank scams and charades going…the answer to your ‘WHY???’ is $$$$$, BIG $$$$$…their whole so called “reform” is so watered down and such a fraud that Dodd, Franks and the WH, as Democrats, are making things worse for us, they are going beyond the repubs…it is all slight of hand and last minute stealing…they are providing less protection and more cover for the same thieves that already raped our country…so they will be able to actually do it again…

    …this WH is cover under the guise of O as being for reform…we’ve already been there and done that with this bunch, as in, giveaway and enslavement to Big Pharma and Insurance…Ratigan made a big thing out of these same dims were against all that they are trying to sneak in now, when Dodd, Franks, etc were in the minority…he posts letters from Dodd when in minority against what Dodd, that snake, is trying to sneak in now…he is the biggest sellout…along with Franks…

    he cites an article in WSJ by Arthur Levitt that spells out more of the scams and stealing and screwing of american people going on…

    online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704853404575322491510468572.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion

    clips from Ratigan’s show attempt to explain the continued thievery at msnbc.msn.com/id/31510813/

    I still do not get how DR gets to speak so bluntly on MSNBC but he does…

    …it is very discouraging to see how thoroughly corrupt both parties are…frankly very few of them are doing anything to protect the people’s interest in this country…Ratigan exposes the lies of Summers and clearly targets the WH

    I feel very sorry for generations coming down the road…this country is losing its conscience…it’s moral compass…forget about relying on dims to rescue us…now they are the ones to be afraid of…they are the wolves…

  229. I feel very sorry for generations coming down the road…this country is losing its conscience…it’s moral compass…

    ——-
    That’s why we have the vote to get the bums out every few years.
    We just have to protect the caucus sites and voting sites all over the country so our votes are actually counted next time.

    All eyes on deck, no more thugs and intimidation…otherwise, we are just working lambs…marching to slaughter.

  230. I actually am all for a real tax revolt if the spending doesn’t stop.
    If the majority refuse to pay the federal income tax unless congress gets their act together, the government will come to a standstill.

  231. if the spending stops, so does the economy. Unemployment will rocket up to 30%.

    You’ve been on about this. how do you see cutting spending as anything but a disaster for employment and how do you propose putting people back to work?

    There isn’t a sane economist in the world who will agree with you. So you cut spending, unemployment rise 4-5% – what then? Tax revenues plummet some more. The DOW Jones plummets. How do things get better?

  232. easier said than done, shadowfax…i am with you, but look at what happened and is still going on…when the corporate MSM is covering and distracting and brainwashing the people and none of the thuggery even gets reported…for goodness sakes, DOJ dropped the thing with the new Black panthers carrying guns in front of voting places…

    more and more people out of work, losing homes…helpless and all O’s so called plans to help them have made things WORSE…and the damn Dim congress acting like dictators and worse than repubs…

    the more aware you become…the more you know…the worse it is…

    do not want to be a downer…but right now, in front of our very eyes, this WH, the dim senate and dim house plot to cover for corporate interests…and sell us out with “reform” legislation…oh, give me a break…

    just who has our back???

    the only silver lining is all of us are fed up…dims, indep, tea party, repubs…but how do we break this corporate strangulation??? when the leaders we send there are bought and have sold out once they get there…and then are in cohoots to pass legislation that works against us…health scam, now financial reform scam…etc

  233. BA

    I don’t think we can spend our way to prosperity.
    I don’t say, cut unemployment benefits and the things that keep people alive, but if you think the wasteful spending that has gone on to bail out the banks, to pass a pork filled stimulus bill that Obama praises…is the answer, then I totally disagree with you.

    No jobs, gee…where did they go, overseas……cheap labor. We need to fix that loophole that didn’t work.

    We agree on some things, and strongly disagree on others.

  234. just for the hell of it…it is 6:20 pm EST – take a quick look at the multi headlines on Huff Post…and that is an O/Dim cheerleading site

  235. S

    I certainly don’t have the answers either, if I did, maybe I would be making the big bucks. 😉

    There are so many problems with congress, yes with the Dems that bought the farm, and the Repugs that help the wealthy, that us ‘little people’ can only take our pitchforks and scream over the bought and paid for MSM and vote the $#^$%!@s out, each and every time they go against what they ran for, and keep doing it until something works.

    If our votes are all we have, we need to protect their delivery and counting or the words, ‘American Democracy, by the people and for the people’ are as worthless as the paper they are written on.

  236. S
    June 24th, 2010 at 6:20 pm
    just for the hell of it…it is 6:20 pm EST – take a quick look at the multi headlines on Huff Post…and that is an O/Dim cheerleading site
    —————————————————–

    Wow! Throw the bums out!! Unbelievable.

  237. the sad and pathetic reality Shadowfax is that it is a myth to believe that it is just the ‘repugs’ that help the wealthy (look at Geithner, Summers, GS connection, bonus pays, etc)…that is the myth that keeps this dim party alive and its base in tact…when, in reality, the current dim party as we have discussed here previously is worse than bush…they have kept and expanded bush’s policies on secrecy, etc…O and his WH have expanded the wars, including drones in ‘Pokistan’, this dim party has pulled stuff that the repubs would not have dared or gotten away with with health scam, etc – things that when the dims were in the minority they were against…and now they are pushing…

    i agree with you…we fight the good fight…but when ‘your side’ are the ones sabatoging you – especially when they have complete control of the government and if ever there was a time for them to do some real good and implement some real change…it would be now…instead, they are worse than bush and the repubs…it is not a pretty picture…

  238. The mechanism by which spending puts people back to work and stimulates the economy is well-known, immediately effective and well-documented. You spend money to keep state offices open, to build roads, houses, civic centers and those people pay taxes, buy cars, refurbish their house, purchase school clothes and get a cup of coffee and an egg sandwich on the way to work. All of the things that they do, maintain and create jobs. A new highway going in means hundreds of construction jobs that we pay for, and dozens of waitress jobs, retail sales jobs, and material support jobs that we don’t pay for. And those people working those jobs, do the same thing – the buy clothing, house hold goods and get their car fixed. Doing that creates even more jobs. It builds.

    The problem with Obama’s stimulus is that wasn’t big enough and it spent a lot of money on tax breaks – which do nothing to create jobs.

    I’m asking you to think critically. You advocate cutting spending. Just as I explained how increasing spending works, can you explain how cutting spending would benefit our economy? No economist agrees with you – not even the lunatics on the right. Put it out there. How does that benefit us?

  239. Well, I am going to Corpus Christi, (where I grew up) for vacation the first week in June…I want to see the dolphins before they are all dead!
    Its pretty cheap…you can rent a 3 bedroom house in Port Aransas Texas for 150. a night that sleeps 10 people…lots of great fishing, boating, skiing, Texas state aquarium, USS lexington to see…I can’t wait…hopefully the oil won’t get there before us. LOL!

  240. S

    I agree with you, and you’re right, the Dems are acting just like the Repugs in helping the ones on the top of the food chain.

  241. S
    June 24th, 2010 at 6:48 pm
    thanks birdgal…you see what i mean…
    ——————————————————-

    A wall of criminals……..

  242. Shadowfax
    June 24th, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Thanks for the Blago’s trial summary. I haven’t been able to watch it.
    I really should tape it for viewing later on.

  243. confloyd
    June 24th, 2010 at 6:50 pm
    Well, I am going to Corpus Christi, (where I grew up) for vacation the first week in June…I want to see the dolphins before they are all dead!
    Its pretty cheap…you can rent a 3 bedroom house in Port Aransas Texas for 150. a night that sleeps 10 people…lots of great fishing, boating, skiing, Texas state aquarium, USS lexington to see…I can’t wait…hopefully the oil won’t get there before us. LOL!
    ___________________________________________

    No oil over that way. You’ll have a great time.

  244. …here comes the book deal…

    McChrystal retirement eminient

    politico.com/news/stories/0610/38991.html

    The Army has yet to report receiving a request from Gen. Stanley McChrystal to retire, but that’s likely to change soon.

    “I would expect him to be turning his retirement papers shortly,” said Andrew Krepinevich, president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

    If he does retire, the 1976 West Point graduate may have to leave the service at the three-star rank, because he has only served as a four-star general for one year.

    In rare case, the Secretary of the Army can grant exemptions to that rule, said Army spokesman Col. Tom Collins.

    It’s the same reason Vice Adm. Joe Sestak, now a Pennsylvania congressman, resigned as a two-star admiral rather than a three-star, after being fired by Adm. Michael Mullen, then the chief of naval operations, for a poor command climate.

    Generals relieved of command tend to exit the service rather abruptly, Krepinevich said.

    Gen. David McKiernan, who was fired as commander in Afghanistan in May, 2009 left the Army shortly thereafter.

    And most famously, so did Gen. Douglas MacArthur after clashing with President Truman over the Korean War. MacArthur, though, etched his exit in history during a farewell speech to a joint session of Congress.

    “The world has turned over many times since I took the oath on the plain at West Point, and the hopes and dreams have long since vanished, but I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barrack ballads of that day which proclaimed most proudly that ‘old soldiers never die; they just fade away.’”

    **********************************************

    confloyd have a great time…

  245. hillary.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/06/24/bill_clinton_lost_his_voice_cheering_for_world_cup

    nice photos of Bill with USA soccer team

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