February 27, 2017

George W. Bush is blandly noncommittal, asked about Trump and the press.

You can read his words any way you want:
"We needed the media to hold people like me to account," Bush told TODAY'S Matt Lauer. "Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive, and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power.... It’s kind of hard to tell others to have an independent free press when we’re not willing to have one ourselves," he said.

Bush also addressed the controversy over Trump advisers and the role they may have played in the scandal involving Russian hackers who tried to intervene in the election.... “I think we all need answers,” he said, noting that he was not a lawyer so, “I’m not sure the right avenue to take.”...
And, on immigration: "I am for an immigration policy that is welcoming and upholds the law."

He seems so gentle and modest. If he has any actual opinions on these subjects, he's completely hiding them. And yet I'm sure many people think what he's saying accords with what they think. He's speaking the language of traditional American politics — the language Trump eschews. Me, I'm a proponent of clear speech. But Bush is being civil and diplomatic and continuing to follow his policy of not trying to cling to presidential power.

What a nice man. And yet they called him Bushitler.

By they way, he did the show not to dump on Trump but to publicize his book of paintings of military  veterans.

317 comments:

1 – 200 of 317   Newer›   Newest»
mockturtle said...

Noncommittal? He's still bitter over Jeb. He's obviously bashing Trump.

Michael K said...

Bush is modest and, like Churchill said of Attlee, he has much to be modest about.

He was wrong about immigration and wrong (although it might have been worth a try) to think Arabs can rule themselves without tyrants,.

I still think the invasion of Iraq was something he was forced to do because of multiple circumstances after 9/11.

The Saudis wanted us out. The sanctions were collapsing. The CIA thought Saddam had revived his nuclear program.

Big Mike said...

And yet they called him Bushitler.

That's who they are, that's what they do.

Wilbur said...

If he'd wanted to bash Trump, he could have.

Like AA suggests, he wants to relinquish the power and platform the presidency afforded him. How many other living presidents exercise that sort of forbearance? (It's a short list.)

rhhardin said...

"Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive, and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power.... It’s kind of hard to tell others to have an independent free press when we’re not willing to have one ourselves," he said.

That's anti-Trump. Noncommital would be

nd it’s important to call to account people who abuse their power.

dreams said...

When you have mediocre ability, it's important to be nice.

mockturtle said...

Bush is a gentleman and some don't recognize a gentleman's insults.

Curious George said...

"By they way, he did the show not to dump on Trump but to publicize his book of paintings of military presidents."

I don't think that's right. It's his paintings of military veterans.

Chuck said...

I too am a proponent of clear speech.

To me, the greatest of Althouse mysteries is the extent to which she seems to give Trump a pass on his monumentally unclear, sloppy, and imprecise speech.

"Cagey" is as good as it gets with Trump. After "cagey," comes inappropriate, wrong, phony, and laughable.

Todd said...

Funny how "retired" Republican Presidents seem to limit their comments about current office holders. One might almost say "honorable" of them. On the other hand, "retired" Democrat Presidents can't seem to "shut up" about how the "current" President (no matter which Republican it is) is screwing things up and in some cases actively working domestically and international (talking about you, Carter) to screw things and them over.

Reagan didn't flap his gums. Neither Bush "butted in" either but Carter, Clinton, and already Obama just can't SHUT UP. It is almost like they are not gentlemen and they have no honor...

mockturtle said...

Well, Chuck, clarity has never been an issue with you. We always know exactly what you think of Trump. In fact, it's probably the only thing we know about you.

khesanh0802 said...

W is a nice guy. Leo Durocher had a famous saying about "nice guys".

St. George said...

"If the United States decides to pull out before a free society emerges, it's going to be very hard to defeat them," Bush said in the interview.

How wrongheaded.

If that principle was the foundation of the Iraq and Afghan wars, what madness. The idea that we were going to create "free societies" in those nations as we did in Japan and Germany which both had democratic traditions, shows an absence of understanding of Muslim nations.

Darrell said...

To me, the greatest of Althouse mysteries is the extent to which she seems to give Trump a pass on his monumentally unclear, sloppy, and imprecise speech.

Was this an interview with Trump, Chuck? What a fucking asshole you are. Get lost and stay lost.

EDH said...

Buck said...
To me, the greatest of Althouse mysteries is the extent to which she seems to give Trump a pass on his monumentally unclear, sloppy, and imprecise speech.

Interestingly, at the same time Trump may be the president who most honestly communicates his true beliefs.

mockturtle said...

St. George slays the dragon with: If that principle was the foundation of the Iraq and Afghan wars, what madness. The idea that we were going to create "free societies" in those nations as we did in Japan and Germany which both had democratic traditions, shows an absence of understanding of Muslim nations.

The truth is that the Bush family and the Saudi royal family have a long and intimate history. The Saudis fear a revolution that would depose them and the Bush family and its legacy have been protecting them for decades. You are correct that there will never be Western-style democracy in Muslim countries. They've never wanted it and don't want it now. And I think those proponents of continued nation building in the ME are not being ignorant so much as disingenuous.

rcocean said...

Its good that both Bushes went into semi-retirement after leaving the White House, since both were failed Presidents. The problem is that Bushism -not Reaganism - has ruled the Republican party since 1988.

Dole, McCain, Romney were just more of the same - and all three lost. They're partly responsible for giving us Trump.

Republicans usually ride off into the sunset. Democrats like Carter and Clinton try to get back in the spotlight. FDR wanted to be head of the UN. LBJ was the only one who stayed quiet, but that's because everyone hated his guts.

Chuck said...

khesanh0802 said...
W is a nice guy. Leo Durocher had a famous saying about "nice guys".

"Nice guys finish last."

Tell it to Ann Richards, Al Gore and John Kerry.

M Jordan said...

The Bushes exposed the feudalism of today's uniparty. They are the lords, along with the Clintons and Obamas, and we are the serfs. They are "nice" lords and will provide you with an extra biscuit on Christmas Day. But lords they are and serfs we are and nobody better ever forget that.

Larvell said...

"Me, I'm a proponent of clear speech."

So not a Trump fan then?

Michael said...

The Bushes - all of them - are ladies and gentlemen. How quaint. If they are aristocrats, it is in the best sense of the word. And there is a best sense, BTW.

dreams said...

"Me, I'm a proponent of clear speech."

I think people get the message when Trump speaks.

Chuck said...

mockturtle said...
Well, Chuck, clarity has never been an issue with you. We always know exactly what you think of Trump. In fact, it's probably the only thing we know about you.

Don't get me wrong. I think that Mr. Donald J. Trump is the most incredible president ever. Believe me when I say that. You can believe me, big time, on that. There has never been anybody as incredible as Mr. Trump. He is so strongly incredible. So strongly incredible. It's a beautiful thing, how incredible Mr. Trump is. Every magazine, every show; they are all talking about how incredible Mr. Trump is. If you hear on CNN that Mr. Trump is not incredible, don't believe it, folks. Don't believe it. They are fake news. They are all rigged against Mr. Trump. They are not credible, if they deny how incredible Mr. Trump is. Mr. Trump is incredibly clear; and fake news is just not credible, folks. You know it right? You know it.

tcrosse said...

If nothing else, George W Bush kept those two upper-class twits Al Gore and John Kerry out of the White House.

Bay Area Guy said...

@Michael K.

I still think the invasion of Iraq was something he was forced to do because of multiple circumstances after 9/11.

I wrestle with this. At the time, I confess I was pretty gung ho about Gulf War II, and I originally thought that the apparent lack of weapons of mass destruction wasn't a big deal (totally wrong).

There's no doubt 9/11 put the US on a war footing. I don't know if it forced Bush's decision, but it greatly influenced it. I remember the thinking at the time was that if another massive attack were happen again, Bush would be toast because he would be seen as someone who can't protect our country.

Bush always struck me as a decent man, but his refusal to speak clearly, defend his administration, defend conservative principles, and argue for his policies, definitely hurt his political standing.

But I'm still glad he beat Gore and Kerry.




Todd said...

Chuck said...

2/27/17, 9:58 AM


Did you intentionally leave out at least a few "HUGE" or was it simply an oversight?

Bay Area Guy said...

@Chuck,

Don't get me wrong. I think that Mr. Donald J. Trump is the most incredible president ever. Believe me when I say that. You can believe me, big time, on that. There has never been anybody as incredible as Mr. Trump. He is so strongly incredible. So strongly incredible. It's a beautiful thing, how incredible Mr. Trump is. Every magazine, every show; they are all talking about how incredible Mr. Trump is. If you hear on CNN that Mr. Trump is not incredible, don't believe it, folks. Don't believe it. They are fake news. They are all rigged against Mr. Trump. They are not credible, if they deny how incredible Mr. Trump is. Mr. Trump is incredibly clear; and fake news is just not credible, folks. You know it right? You know it.

heh -- good effort. Comedic assays are always welcome, regardless of the source:)

But, at some point, you're gonna have to focus on Trump policy, not his tone and personality. If you think Gorsuch is a good addition to SCOTUS, then give Trump his due. If you think stricter enforcement of our immigration laws is better for our country, then give Trump his due.

Mostly everything else is Kabuki theater.

Robin Eatmon said...

To my recollection, Bush never defended or aided earnest people (mostly Republicans) protesting against the Obama administration from 8 years of harassment. Now he talks? So done with him and his like mined coward politician friends. Up side for him by bashing Trump and populists...progressives might not want to put him on trial for war crimes anymore.:)

sparrow said...

Bush was, for all his faults, a gentleman and yet the left hated him with a passion, never returning the courtesy. I remember professional scientific talks where academic speakers would add a Bush picture in contrast to a chimp to make a political point while presenting their data. Totally unimaginable for anyone of the right to do anything of the kind. So, given the bile toward gentlemen Bush, it's refreshing to see our current Presdient fight back. W may not recall but his father was only president because he gave Dan Rather grief dring the 1988 campaign. That modest display of spine reassured us at the time.

Todd said...

Bay Area Guy said...

Bush always struck me as a decent man, but his refusal to speak clearly, defend his administration, defend conservative principles, and argue for his policies, definitely hurt his political standing.

But I'm still glad he beat Gore and Kerry.

2/27/17, 10:00 AM


Agreed. He was not "great" in any sense of the word but he was more than adequate as a blocking maneuver. I do wish both Bush were more like Reagan than they were but as it has been said, you go to war with the army you have...

Robert Cook said...

"The sanctions were collapsing."

How so? Saddam was certainly contained, as even Colin Powell and Condi Rice acknowledged (separately from one another) mere months before 9/11.

"The CIA thought Saddam had revived his nuclear program."

They didn't think any such thing. They just knew they could convince the American public of he had. That was the "slam dunk."

Robert Cook said...

"If nothing else, George W Bush kept those two upper-class twits Al Gore and John Kerry out of the White House."

What, you don't realize Bush was upper class?

eric said...

Bush taught us that no matter how nice you are, the Democrats and the media are going to ramp it up to 11 and treat you as Americas greatest threat.

Or maybe Reagan taught us that, but I was too young to notice.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Bush asked about Trump's opinion of the press defense in college basketball?

Reading words the way I want might be as that dog catching that damn car.

Gary said...

It is amazing the blinders Althouse has sometimes. That is not "blandly noncommital" - that is a polite and refined bashing.

n.n said...

There is still no evidence of Russian hackers. There are only disenfranchised Democratic insiders, Nigerian phishers, and JournoLists spinning ever longer yarns.

The Godfather said...

St. George says that after WWII we were able "to create 'free societies' . . . in Japan and Germany" because they "both had democratic traditions". I don't think so.

Germany didn't exist as a nation until the late 19th century when it was unified under the Prussians, who were certainly not democrats. Its experiment with democracy after WWI was a failure, which paved the way for Hitler. There's a good book on the subject called "Germany Tried Democracy" by S. William Halperin (available from Amazon through the Althouse portal).

I don't know that much about the history of government in Japan prior to WWII, but I don't think they had anything you could fairly call a democratic tradition; as part of their effort to modernize in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Japanese did adopt some democratic forms, such as an elective house of representatives, but the aristocracy and the military really ran things.

One reason that the US and other western powers were able to impose democratic structures on Germany and Japan was that those two countries were so tremendously devestated by the war, in both material and moral terms, that they were unable to resist the occupiers' will, notwithstanding their non-democratic traditions. If the US-led coalition had done more damage to Iraq, we might have had more success if imposing a democratic government there. Gee, now there's something else we can blame on George W. Bush!

Robert Cook said...

"There's no doubt 9/11 put the US on a war footing. I don't know if it forced Bush's decision, but it greatly influenced it."

9/11 didn't "force" Bush's decision, or "influence" it, it enabled his decision. The Bush administration wanted to take out Hussein from their first days in office. 9/11, though unconnected to Saddam, gave them the perfect club to beat the American public over the head with, to scare (and anger) us into agreement with their war plans.

The Drill SGT said...

rcocean said...
LBJ was the only one who stayed quiet, but that's because everyone hated his guts.


"When his eight years as President of the United States ended on January 20, 1953, private citizen Harry Truman took the train home to Independence, Missouri, mingling with other passengers along the way. He had no secret service protection. His only income was an Army pension. ($112/month)

Later that year, Truman bought a Chrysler New Yorker and got behind the wheel. He and Bess drove to Washington, New York and back home again by themselves.

A feat no president had done before or since."

Ike was also a great Ex-President

Triangle Man said...


W is throwing some major shade there.

mockturtle said...

Bay Area Guy says: There's no doubt 9/11 put the US on a war footing. I don't know if it forced Bush's decision, but it greatly influenced it. I remember the thinking at the time was that if another massive attack were happen again, Bush would be toast because he would be seen as someone who can't protect our country.

OK, so a mostly-Saudi/Yemeni band of upper-middle-class thugs attacks NYC & DC with tremendous casualties and Bush responds by attacking....Iraq?

Chuck said...

But, at some point, you're gonna have to focus on Trump policy, not his tone and personality. If you think Gorsuch is a good addition to SCOTUS, then give Trump his due. If you think stricter enforcement of our immigration laws is better for our country, then give Trump his due.

I have already written very favorably on the Gorsuch nomination. And others. (Sessions, DeVos, Mulvaney, etc.)

And yeah, the policy part is what counts. The legislative part, especially. So that is why the "replacement" part of "Repeal Obamacare and replace it" is so important. Ditto, the part about cutting taxes by a trillion, and increasing infrastructure by a trillion, and increasing military spending by a trillion. Oh, and a punitive 35% import tax. What does that legislation look like?

Michael K said...

I wrestle with this. At the time, I confess I was pretty gung ho about Gulf War II, and I originally thought that the apparent lack of weapons of mass destruction wasn't a big deal (totally wrong).

The WMD thing was completely a sop to Blair who needed it to get Parliament to go along.

Wolfowitz explained the real reason, or a big part of it. Naturally, the left distorted what he said.

The US deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz - who has already undermined Tony Blair's position over weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by describing them as a "bureaucratic" excuse for war - has now gone further by claiming the real motive was that Iraq is "swimming" in oil.

The latest comments were made by Mr Wolfowitz in an address to delegates at an Asian security summit in Singapore at the weekend, and reported today by German newspapers Der Tagesspiegel and Die Welt.

Asked why a nuclear power such as North Korea was being treated differently from Iraq, where hardly any weapons of mass destruction had been found, the deputy defence minister said: "Let's look at it simply. The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil."

Mr Wolfowitz went on to tell journalists at the conference that the US was set on a path of negotiation to help defuse tensions between North Korea and its neighbours - in contrast to the more belligerent attitude the Bush administration displayed in its dealings with Iraq.


What the Guardian ignored was the context. Wolfowitz said sanctions would not work on Iraq because the "sea of oil" gave Saddam billions to bribe those who violated the sanctions., One of those was UN Secretary General Kofi Annan whose son was later shown to have profited greatly.

Michael K said...

The other reasons why Bush had little choice was the Saudis were very restive about US troops there and wanted us to leave now that Saddam was no going to invade. My Congresswoman, Martha McSally, had created a stir by refusing to wear a burkha off base.

Star pilot's reluctant lawsuit against Air Force / She calls edict to wear Saudi garb unconstitutional
Ann Gerhart, Washington Post Published 4:00 am, Sunday, January 13, 2002

2002-01-13 04:00:00 PDT Washington -- The Air Force had promoted fighter pilot Martha McSally to lieutenant colonel four years before her peers.
She had flown more than 100 hours in her A-10, known as the Warthog. She affectionally called it "an ugly down-and-dirty tank killer" with its single seat and its fast-firing Gatling gun.
She was a champion triathlete. She had a master's degree in public policy from Harvard, and she'd been a White House Fellows finalist. She had patrolled the no-fly zone over Iraq and would later direct search-and-rescue missions inside Afghanistan.
She was quite a success story for the modern military, which had worked hard to knock down barriers to female achievement.
Then she landed at Prince Sultan Air Force Base in Saudi Arabia in November 2000.
Exactly what that would mean for McSally became clear immediately. In a briefing right after she arrived, officers matter-of-factly laid down the rules for travel off base, even on official business: All female personnel would wear the customary head-to-toe gown, the abaya and its matching head scarf, similar to the Afghan burqa. They could not drive. They would ride in the back seat. They would be escorted by males at all times.
Officials said they had constructed the policy to keep from offending conservative Saudi leaders and to protect U.S. troops from terrorist attacks. But to McSally, the directive, with its different instructions for men and women, "abandons our American values that we all raised our right hand to die for."


That was part of the furor with the Saudis. Had we left at that time with Saddam in power, it would have been a major humiliation.

More here.

After the Iraq War, we moved our bases to Qatar. Quietly. Qatar has been a major funder of ISIS.

mockturtle said...

I will admit I was sucked into it well and proper at the time.

eric said...

What the Guardian ignored was the context. Wolfowitz said sanctions would not work on Iraq because the "sea of oil" gave Saddam billions to bribe those who violated the sanctions., One of those was UN Secretary General Kofi Annan whose son was later shown to have profited greatly

I remember all the protest sign that said, "No war for oil!"

Turns out they were right. Saddam was giving countries oil and in turns they were trying to protect him from war.

Michael K said...

Cookie is back to looney left today.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Bush earned respect by getting elected potUS twice. I was an unreasonable ass for refusing to grant potUS Obama that very obvious accomplished achievement, because of the entails most unobscure and also not. The president of the United States ain't a title such as a beanbag master sui genaris in that a cigar is more than a mere cigar when showcasing power only very slightly precedented.

Bush defined as nice is an acknowledgment deviancy has been defined down to an extremeness of extent.

How many cuckolded wanderers fit your people's definition of whatever you take to mean not nice?

Freder Frederson said...

Bushitler

They called him this because he started a war on false pretenses, and authorized torture and war crimes.

I am sure he is personally a pretty nice guy, but he has committed crimes that have gone unpunished.

EDH said...

OBL himself was in his second fatwa said two of the three reasons for 9-11 were Iraq sanctions and the US forces to support them in Saudi Arabia.

Sebastian said...

"Bush is being civil and diplomatic and continuing to follow his policy of not trying to cling to presidential power." His speech is very clear: he argues by example that it is important to be civil and diplomatic, and not to cling to power.

"What a nice man." In a better world, yes. In this world, nice guys finish last. For a politician leading a party and selling policies, particularly a politician consistently vilified, it is malpractice to be "nice," as Bush was in office.

"And yet they called him Bushitler." Why "yet"? What he said or did had nothing to do with it. Anyone to their right can be and has been called Hitler at any time. Which shows that Bushy civility is irrelevant. The left fights rough, all the time, no matter what. The only thing to do now is to fight back, by any means and with anyone necessary. Hence Trump.

I Callahan said...

shows an absence of understanding of Muslim nations.

Yeah, them little brown people - they're not people at all, really - just savages. Good thing us American whities - the ones who apparently knew all along what the outcome of a 6 year war was going to be like - are there to remind everyone how smart we are.

Is this a pretty good synopsis of what you believe, St. George? If so, it's bullshit on stilts. ISIS, or ISIL, or Daesh, or whatever they call it, happened precisely BECAUSE we pulled out. Period. Not being able to see that is willful ignorance. What could have been will never be known, now.

Robert Cook said...

"Cookie is back to looney left today."

Heh. Your reference to Wolfowitz' truth-telling about the rationale for our illegal war against Iraq would be dismissed by many Bush supporters as "looney left" hysteria. Of course, you explain it away and justify it, but, the truth is plain in Wolfowitz's words: we wanted to gain control over Iraq's oil fields and to establish a base from which to dominate the Middle East.

That aside, it simply highlights that the fear-mongering engaged in non-stop by the Bush team was intentional lie-telling to compel our compliance with their war plans through fear.

Bush has reason to be humble: he knows full well he belongs in prison for war crimes and he's damn lucky he's enjoying his freedom and making his paintings.

I Callahan said...

They called him this because he started a war on false pretenses, and authorized torture and war crimes.

I am sure he is personally a pretty nice guy, but he has committed crimes that have gone unpunished.


Could you show me what laws, or governing bodies, where those crimes are outlined?

Michael K said...

we wanted to gain control over Iraq's oil fields and to establish a base from which to dominate the Middle East.

Cookie, you exactly parrot the Guardian's delusions. Nice.

Freder weighs with a non sequitur,

Guildofcannonballs said...

http://www.coachesclipboard.net/BasketballPressDefenses.html

Drago said...

Cook: "9/11 didn't "force" Bush's decision, or "influence" it, it enabled his decision.

LOL

Cookie dancing right up to the 9/11-Bush LIHOP/MIHOP conspiracy!

Which would be consistent with his previously fully insane adoption of the "October Surprise" conspiracy against HWBush.

I guess there is something to be said for consistency.

Drago said...

I Callahan: "Could you show me what laws, or governing bodies, where those crimes are outlined?"

Basically, some lefties in Europe said so and that's always sufficient for our home-grown fellow travelers.

BDNYC said...

In my lifetime, George W. Bush was by far the most normal person to hold the office. Climbers like Obama and Clinton had to fight hard to establish themselves in politics -- especially Clinton -- and you have to wonder sometimes about all the asses they kissed along the way. Bush, on the other hand, spent much of his adult life dabbling in different business ventures thanks to his family's connections, when he wasn't drinking of course. He sort of fell into a political career and made it all the way to the White House.

I'm not suggesting he was a good president as a result of this. I'm just saying he was a good man who could more easily stay a good man despite being a politician. He didn't really have to trade favors or depend on anyone to advance his political career.

Bob Ellison said...

If you wield great power, you're gonna do some big things wrong.

Bush did a lot of things wrong with his great power. We're supposed to put him in prison? Go take that sword, Robert Cook, and see if you can do better.

I Callahan said...

we wanted to gain control over Iraq's oil fields and to establish a base from which to dominate the Middle East.

If the first part were true, it would have happened. It didn't. All agreements with Iraq on oil were to be decided by the Iraqis. That dog just won't hunt.

As for the second part - I agree, up to the point of "dominate". That's a bit strong, to say the least. However, there is NOTHING wrong with having an established base in the middle east to keep an eye on terrorists in surrounding countries, which included Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran.

I make no apologies for that - it was necessary and just.

AllenS said...

For 8 years I watched the press and Democrats shit all over Bush. He should have said that he knows why Trump is doing what he's doing, and that he wishes he would have fought back.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Well yet again my confidence the media are a bunch of myopic jerks agenda-ing is shaken by the now Known Fact Bush is cerebral, interestingly, as evidenced by his nuanced understanding of how metaphor, namely basketball here but very much extrapolatedable, can 'not so simply you see' affect willful change, ill or good.

Us upper-level thinkers ought be proud.

buwaya said...

Ultimately reality in the form of biology proved the Bush program could not work. The populations involved simply lack the human capital. Iraq was, in the 70s and 80s, one of those oil-rich Arab major importers of skilled labor, like the Saudis, Kuwaitis, Qataris and etc still are. They do that because they lack the human capital to run a technological society themselves, and after 70 years of massive, and mostly wasted, investment in human capital, by this time the lack has to be ascribed to biological defects.

There is little human material to work with. Self rule through a democratic system, for such a defective populace, especially in the disruptive presence of such unearned wealth, bequeathed by foreigners, is simply not possible. A humble low-level subsistence culture by such a low-potential population could be stable, but not this.

Everything becomes a naked competition for rents off that oil money, because there really isnt anything but rents, there is no possibility of significant production, because there is no talent to do it. Its all zero-sum games among powerful leadership groups that rally client populations in a patronage system, fed by the oil money.

Bush assumed the Iraqis could be educated and civilized, or that they were already educated and civilized and merely waiting for an opportunity to express their latent qualities. This was the basic error.

I Callahan said...

we wanted to gain control over Iraq's oil fields

He never said that. Ever. Bob, you are flat-out incorrect here.

Sydney said...

I read it as a slam on the current president, too.
And @sparrow- I,too,remember attending academic lectures in medicine that took gratuitous swipes at the man. They were slightly unhinged by a man like Bush. They've come completely undone by Trump.

Bob Ellison said...

AllenS, W was in a GOP generation that believed it could never fight the press, never fight the academia, and never convince the populace that the GOP was the party that defeated slavery, defeated the KKK, and passed the voting rights act.

It's a defeated party, defeated by historical amnesia, and that's why Trump is now King.

I Callahan said...

Basically, some lefties in Europe said so and that's always sufficient for our home-grown fellow travelers.

Yep, pretty much...

:)

Bob Ellison said...

Careful there, I Callahan. We Bobs take our names seriously. Those who go by "Robert" are deplorable weenies. (No, maybe that's the Robbies.)

I Callahan said...

Bob Ellison - it's funny, but when I refreshed the page and saw your name, the first thing that came to mind was "I hope Bob Ellison doesn't think I mean him..."

:)

Bob Ellison said...

I Callahan, no harm, no foul. It is a funny subject, this name.

To your point: we never did take over those oil fields. Deeds, not words. We could've, and maybe should've, but we didn't. Doesn't that get at least a hall pass?

Bob Ellison said...

...and Saddam set fire to Kuwait's oil fields.

Have we forgotten that? There might have been some environmental damage done there, I dunno, maybe even some CO2 emissions. Could've been a few people died.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"I will admit I was sucked into it well and proper at the time."

So, now you're wise. Now, you don't follow and make excuses, you question. You don't change your POV to support whatever an R POTUS does/says, even though you'd have opposed the same thing it came form a lib.

Oops, I thought this quote was from Chuck.

Never mind.



Carry on.

Robert Cook said...

"Could you show me what laws, or governing bodies, where those crimes are outlined?"

He violated the UN Charter by not securing UN Security Council approval to invade Iraq, (given that we had not self-defense rationale to invade them). This led to ongoing mass murder. He also implemented torture as official US policy. Torture is against the law.

Bob Ellison said...

Hey, 3gweirdo, stop it with the multiple carriage returns and "carry on" idiocy.

Bob Ellison said...

Robert Cook, against which law?

Robert Cook said...

"Bush did a lot of things wrong with his great power. We're supposed to put him in prison? Go take that sword, Robert Cook, and see if you can do better."

Are you saying Presidents should not be punished when they commit crimes?

Bob Ellison said...

Robert Cook, which crimes?

This gets easy, but tiresome.

Qwinn said...

Not just the oil fields, Bob. Saddam intentionally created the largest oil spill in world history, as revenge against Saudi Arabia.

Number of principled greens and lefties who could give 2 craps: zero.

Unknown said...

"Me, I'm a proponent of clear speech."

So why the constantly "translating" of Trump's comments?

Qwinn said...

And Cook, 21 UN resolutions had already been passed. Saddam violated them repeatedly. Some of those resolutions did prescribe military consequences if they were violated. No further resolutions were necessary.

Known Unknown said...

I am not a fan of Trump's hostility toward the press. I hope that there are a purpose and an end game in mind.

Then again, I'm not a fan of the press being duplicitous, phony and mendacious, either. I don't mind biased journalism as long as they are upfront about it. And for the most part of the past 60 or so years (or beyond), they've claimed a moral high ground as bogus "truth warriors"

It's a kind of lose-lose. Americans will have no one to really trust.

Known Unknown said...

And Cook, 21 UN resolutions had already been passed. Saddam violated them repeatedly. Some of those resolutions did prescribe military consequences if they were violated. No further resolutions were necessary.

It was one war separated by a decade of international tomfoolery, really.

Nyamujal said...

"He's speaking the language of traditional American politics — the language Trump eschews. Me, I'm a proponent of clear speech. "

Trump doesn't engage in clear speech. There's a little cottage industry on the internet trying to analyze everything he says. I've come across at least a dozen blog posts with the theme: "He said X, but he really means Y if you listen carefully", or "He said X, but your implicit bias prevents you from understanding what he's really saying", and "He said X, but he's not a bad guy and you'd trust him if only you knew what's truly in his heart" (Also known as the Conway explanation).

I agree with the general sentiment here that we were too tough on Bush. I'm not old enough to remember his early years clearly, but from what I understand, he was very popular after 9/11, right until the Iraq war. The Iraq war, torture, etc is what really altered popular opinion in a significant way. If Trump's vigorous distancing from his Iraq war support is any indication, the people opposing the war were probably right.

Michael K said...

Bush assumed the Iraqis could be educated and civilized, or that they were already educated and civilized and merely waiting for an opportunity to express their latent qualities. This was the basic error.

A lot of us made a similar mistake in that we thought Saddam had secularized much of the population and we thought there was a reasonable middle class.

Both were wrong. The Sunni Shia thing was underestimated and the middle class, such as it was, had left already and did not return.

I have an Iraqi doctor friend who wife is Lebanese. I haven't asked them but they are probably Christian.

I have a Palestinian doctor friend, whose son I helped to get into medical school. They had a party to celebrate his acceptance,

At the party, the girls his age were showing off their belly dancing talents. I'm sure they were Christian.

Again I say that Bush might have been justified in trying to see if any Arab population could be ruled without tyrants,

It didn't work.

The insanity of importing millions of those people who function at a 7th century level is matched only by the left which keeps blathering about "war crimes" because they didn't like Bush.

Richard Dolan said...

"And yet I'm sure many people think what he's saying accords with what they think."

Obama was better at that. And Bush does it for the opposite reason.

Michael K said...

And Cook, 21 UN resolutions had already been passed. Saddam violated them repeatedly. Some of those resolutions did prescribe military consequences if they were violated. No further resolutions were necessary.

I'm sorry but trying to reason with lefties on this is a futile exercise. We should appreciate Cook's occasion flashes of sense as bolts of lightening in an otherwise dark cloud.

Ditto for Freder although the bolts seem to be fewer.

buwaya said...

Middle Eastern Christians (or many subsets of them) seem to be one of those "market dominant minorities" of Thomas Sowells, that are specially selected for qualities above those of the culturally dominant common run. Something like Jews, the ones that showed up in the Americas/Western Europe seem to be quite a talented lot.

Guildofcannonballs said...

An example of bland opposite-of-commitment might, like, you know and junk, maybe or something, possibly I mean okay, you with me bro, uhhh, uhhhh, uhhh, be just like some entity's sorta kinda opinion man.

Life's a garden, ya dig?

Guildofcannonballs said...

Sometimes the caveat is not saying the word caveat...

The Cracker Emcee said...


"Are you saying Presidents should not be punished when they commit crimes?"

Well, depending what you're using as a legal standard, every single one of them could be found guilty of something.

mezzrow said...

Was this an interview with Trump, Chuck? What a fucking asshole you are. Get lost and stay lost.

That's what I call clear speech.

Next Adventure said...

Just to clarify the last sentence, the book is portraits of military veterans, not presidents: http://georgewbushbooks.com/

I Callahan said...

He violated the UN Charter by not securing UN Security Council approval to invade Iraq, (given that we had not self-defense rationale to invade them). This led to ongoing mass murder. He also implemented torture as official US policy. Torture is against the law.

The UN is not a world government. It's basically a dictator's club, and the U.S. is not bound to its edicts, despite the whining and crying of the members of that club. If it's in the U.S. interest to invade Iraq, which according to U.S. laws it was, then I couldn't give a single rat's ass what the UN charter says.

Nyamujal said...

@Michael K
"A lot of us made a similar mistake in that we thought Saddam had secularized much of the population and we thought there was a reasonable middle class."

I think the sanctions hollowed out the Iraqi middle and upper middle classes. Those who could leave, left. Saddam also became more of an Islamic fundamentalist during the sanction years. He reinstated Sharia capital punishment and encouraged radical imams. Did he do that to mobilize Sunnis against the Shia, or did he want to throw a bone to his Sunni base? That is something we'll never know.

"The Sunni Shia thing was underestimated and the middle class, such as it was, had left already and did not return."

You're very right about this.

"Again I say that Bush might have been justified in trying to see if any Arab population could be ruled without tyrants,"

I think he was. There were a lot of people who made great humanitarian arguments in favor of the invasion. Hitchens was the most articulate and brilliant member of that cohort.

mezzrow said...

We should appreciate Cook's occasion flashes of sense as bolts of lightening in an otherwise dark cloud.

I see those flashes happening much like rainstorms in Las Vegas. It happens, I've seen it, but I wouldn't sit there and wait for one to break out.

Michael K said...

the ones that showed up in the Americas/Western Europe seem to be quite a talented lot.

Remember the Ottoman Empire was run by Christian Greeks. That's where the term Levantine came from. It was a derogatory term used by European Christians against the Greeks who survived by being useful. The pressures of evolution were probably similar to those on the Ashkenazi Jews.

When I was in college, the most popular liquor store around my fraternity house was owned by Palestinians. They were early refugees, I'm sure, from the mandate area as that was about 1956. They must have been Christian.

After WWI, Ataturk expelled all those Greeks from Turkey. That was what Hemingway's "On the Quay at Smyrna" is about.

Chuck said...

Rush Limbaugh is right now prattling on about how Trump will be able to spend on infrastructure, and the military, and pass a big tax cut, and still avoid a huge budget defector problem. Rush says Trump can do it all, and not touch entitlements, by eliminating things like the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and lastly for good measure Rush threw into the mix "the NEA," which is the National Education Assiciation. The teachers' union, in other words. Which isn't an agency at all, unless one is talking about cutting education funding across the board and thereby cutting pay to teachers.

Rush got it from Breitbart, which did a story on The Hill's reporting that Trump had plans to slash all sorts of discretionary spending.

But non-defense discretionary spending is only 16% of the federal budget. And within that 16% is law enforcement, border patrol, courts, scientific research and disease control, infrastructure and education. Among other things. The notion of balancing the budget on the back of the arts and humanities is a joke. Even if we add in massive cuts at EPA, Commerce and Interior, it still isn't serious.

LCB said...

buwaya said: Something like Jews, the ones that showed up in the Americas/Western Europe seem to be quite a talented lot.

I think that's because they were middle class and higher, and could afford to get out while they still could.

glenn said...

Bush (and most Repubs) mantra when attacked by Dems, " Thank you sir, may I have another"

That's why President Trump.

eric said...

The notion of balancing the budget on the back of the arts and humanities is a joke. Even if we add in massive cuts at EPA, Commerce and Interior, it still isn't serious.

You also told me Trump getting elected was a joke.

harryo said...

Bush was excited to display his book. He was prepared to answer all sorts of interesting art and publishing questions.

Instead they used him as a stick-pin doll in the war on capitalism.

Chuck said...

Hey I almost forgot another Trumpist language-gaffe.

It's about the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Trump has made it a part of his standard stump speech, that he -- Mr. Trump, personally -- thought up the idea of requiring that the pipeline project use "American" steel only.

Trump makes it sound like the pipeline is a federal public works project. It isn't. It is a private development. By a Canadian company. With lots of the pipes already purchased or contracted. Hundreds of miles of pipe are stacked up for installation in South Dakota already.

Where is Trump's authority, to mandate such usage on a private project? How does it impact contracts already executed? And U.S. steel trade deals already in effect?

It's more mindless Trump blather. It sounds great, to uneducated and uninformed people. But it's bullshit.

Freder Frederson said...

Could you show me what laws, or governing bodies, where those crimes are outlined?

I've provided these links numerous times, but it never seems to sink in.

The torture is covered by both the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Geneva Conventions (particularly Article III & IV) as well as, arguably, U.S. domestic law and the UCMJ (when the perpetrators are military personnel).

As for starting the war, that is covered by Article 2(4) of the UN Charter/

Chuck said...

eric said...
...

You also told me Trump getting elected was a joke.


Trump getting elected WAS a joke! The part where I was wrong was in predicting that Clinton would get close to 400 electoral votes. As if I needed to admit that, I have.


Michael K said...

Thanks, chuck, I needed comic relief about then.

Kevin said...

The media is full of clear speech.

They CLEARLY leave some words out of quotes when it benefits the narrative.

They CLEARLY add unspoken words to statements when it benefits the narrative.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"he argues by example that it is important to be civil and diplomatic, and not to cling to power."

No argument makes his many premise' valid though.

Any game he plays he loses.

Steward. Nothing less, no indeed, but not more neither.

Bay Area Guy said...

@MockTurtle,

OK, so a mostly-Saudi/Yemeni band of upper-middle-class thugs attacks NYC & DC with tremendous casualties and Bush responds by attacking....Iraq?

Well, he responded to that by invading Afghanistan --- which everyone agreed at the time was a correct course of action.

In addition to that, though, he invaded Iraq... and the results 14 years later are, ahem, admittedly mixed.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Hey your wife was photographed with a black eye dudebro, photoshop, yes indeed, and alls that. But/Yet/And still...

How can you bullshit your worthless-but-very-evil-nonetheless-and-not-needless-to-say-sadly-said-needlessly alternative truthiness today you shitclown?

Shit....

DID I TYPE THAT OUT LOUD????

Brando said...

Bush was always a nice man. Painting him as "evil" never really took off beyond the fringes; they got more mileage trying to make him look "simple".

Achilles said...

The best thing about the election results? We will never have another Clinton in the White House.

The second best thing? We will never have another bush in the White House.

Bay Area Guy said...

@Chuck,

And yeah, the policy part is what counts. The legislative part, especially. So that is why the "replacement" part of "Repeal Obamacare and replace it" is so important. Ditto, the part about cutting taxes by a trillion, and increasing infrastructure by a trillion, and increasing military spending by a trillion. Oh, and a punitive 35% import tax. What does that legislation look like?

All valid points of discussion. But the "friction" between you and other commentators almost always derives from your harping on Trump's personality, tone, manner of speaking, character, etc, etc.

I love to remind my liberal friends that Trump is pro gay rights, against Nafta and TPP, was against the Iraq War and wants to spend billions on roads, bridges, dams.

Those are all liberal policies. Dems should be happy about this. Instead, they have worked their base up into a frenzy, causing millions of women to march around with red-knitted pussy hats. It is a spectacle, but not one proximately caused by Trump. It's caused by the irrational reaction to Trump.

But, Yes, sometimes Trump mangles the language and, Yes, he often uses hyperbole. So what?

Yancey Ward said...

You have to love how Today framed things, though:

Bush also addressed the controversy over Trump advisers and the role they may have played in the scandal involving Russian hackers who tried to intervene in the election....

To date, I have not seen a single piece of evidence- not a single piece- that supports the assertion that is the core of the above quote.

Sebastian said...

"invading Afghanistan --- which everyone agreed at the time was a correct course of action." No. The left bitched about even that -- Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, the usual suspects.

Chuck said...

Bay Area Guy said...
@Chuck,
...
All valid points of discussion. But the "friction" between you and other commentators almost always derives from your harping on Trump's personality, tone, manner of speaking, character, etc, etc.


That's right. Reflective of the fact that I find Trump to be particularly repugnant on those dimensions. And also reflective of the fact that insofar as Trump governs like a President Cruz, or a President Rubio, or a President Kasich, I don't have a lot to complain about.

All of which makes it curious why I'd be accused of being a liberal troll, a left-wing plant, or a closet Dem activist. The answer there of course is that my enemies here can't ordinarily dispute me on the facts. Hence the resort to the ad hominem.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

What is OldHitler saying? Is it useful as a weapon against NewHitler?

Brando said...

"All of which makes it curious why I'd be accused of being a liberal troll, a left-wing plant, or a closet Dem activist. The answer there of course is that my enemies here can't ordinarily dispute me on the facts. Hence the resort to the ad hominem."

I'm sure it's easier for some of them than to address your points directly. Kind of makes debate pointless though.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"...which everyone agreed at the time was a correct course of action"

I am, not beyond of course, elated you have arrived at wisdom surrounding the Saudi's agreeing with American boys lives sacrificed and how we all agree we must celebrate that as American Patriotism. If it works for LBJ, John fucking Kerry, and Ted "Cuntfuck" Kennedy it works for.... LBJ, John fucking Kerry, and Ted "Cuntfuck" Kennedy the treason artist extraordinare.

If the House of Saud declares/declaims/decides any proposition is correct, conclude the opposite in the proven solid mold history has condensed, but not of nearly the original caliber sadly, through/by/for men such as Jefferson, Churchill, and Trump.

Oh and Thatcher and Palin too.

Kevin said...

"Those are all liberal policies."

Hitler built bridges. That's all the confirmation they need.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Chuck said...All of which makes it curious why I'd be accused of being a liberal troll, a left-wing plant, or a closet Dem activist. The answer there of course is that my enemies here can't ordinarily dispute me on the facts. Hence the resort to the ad hominem.

Pointing out silly quibbles and/or making dumb comparisons and analogies aren't things that lend themselves to having good arguments, Chuck. It's not ad hominem to say I find your act tiresome and repetitive to the point of uselessness. I meant it when I said you could save everyone time by just saving "I still hate Trump as a person" and pasting that in to most of the threads that actually involve Trump.
We get it, dude.

Qwinn said...

Er, Chuck, the whole point is that what you have claimed as "facts" about Trump, which aren't about his actual governing which you have admitted to being okay with, is itself pretty much pure ad hominem. Constant, never ending ad hominem. That's what people are sick of.

Robert Cook said...

"If the first part were true, it would have happened. It didn't. All agreements with Iraq on oil were to be decided by the Iraqis. That dog just won't hunt."

Western Oil interests have obtained lucrative contracts in Iraq.

"As for the second part - I agree, up to the point of "dominate". That's a bit strong, to say the least. However, there is NOTHING wrong with having an established base in the middle east to keep an eye on terrorists in surrounding countries, which included Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran.

"I make no apologies for that - it was necessary and just."


So, there's "nothing wrong" with invading a sovereign country, toppling their government, and destabilizing their country in order for us to establish a base in the Middle East from which we can operate in the region?

Just think how we'd characterize it if the Russians did that.

Robert Cook said...

"'invading Afghanistan --- which everyone agreed at the time was a correct course of action.' No. The left bitched about even that -- Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, the usual suspects."

Rightly so. There was no reason to invade Afghanistan. The citizens and government of Afghanistan had no involvement in the 9/11 attacks. We invaded purportedly to capture bin Laden and his people. Once it was determined they had fled the country, we should have exited.

Michael K said...

"Just think how we'd characterize it if the Russians did that."

They did. We call it Cuba.

Cookie, I know it's waste of time to debate things with you but Cuba did not directly invade a neighbor country we were allied with.

They did pretty much destabilize Nicaragua but Democrats like Boland flocked to their aid and stopped Reagan from doing anything about it. He did beat them to the punch on Grenada.

They invaded the Congo but we stopped them with Special Forces under Johnson.

Iraq invaded Kuwait and would have done the same to Saudi at a time when Saudi oil was lots more important than it is right now, thanks to fracking and no thanks to Obama.

You really have a simplistic view of international affairs.

Achilles said...

Chuck said...

All of which makes it curious why I'd be accused of being a liberal troll, a left-wing plant, or a closet Dem activist. The answer there of course is that my enemies here can't ordinarily dispute me on the facts. Hence the resort to the ad hominem.

This whole thread you are bashing Trump. You never say anything good. You call us teabaggers. You trash Trumps 10 year old son. You have been wrong about everything. If we elected any of the other republicans we would be talking about amnesty now, not a wall.

Pretending you operate in good faith and we don't? Pathetic. Trump is facing more opposition than Reagan and he is accomplishing as much.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Chuck said....Cagey" is as good as it gets with Trump. After "cagey," comes inappropriate, wrong, phony, and laughable

And here Chuck, once again, apes the usual Leftist lines of attack against Republicans. Specifically I mean against Reagan and GWBush--the Left simultaneously called them idiots who could barely speak AND evil scheming tricksters putting on a (false) act.
Is Trump being phony or is he actually a mush-mouth? Is he faking his stream-of-consciousness way of communicating (being phony) or is that actually how he speaks and thinks?
See how it's difficult to argue both simultaneously, Chuck? It never stopped the Left, of course...

James Kahn said...

OK, so a mostly-Saudi/Yemeni band of upper-middle-class thugs attacks NYC & DC with tremendous casualties and Bush responds by attacking....Iraq?

Um, no, he attacked Afghanistan, which was where Al Qaeda was based. Iraq came later, for different reasons.

Sebastian said...

"So, there's "nothing wrong" with invading a sovereign country, toppling their government, and destabilizing their country in order for us to establish a base in the Middle East from which we can operate in the region?" There's nothing wrong with invading a sovereign country seized by genocidal dictator who has started two wars, especially if it is done not "in order for us to establish a base" (I wish) but instead to give that country a chance to exercise its sovereignty in a slightly more decent fashion. Not saying the way it was done was wise, but it was not "wrong."

"Just think how we'd characterize it if the Russians did that." We would have "characterized" it as wrong and dangerous and oppressive, and rightly so. But it also would have made no difference, since in international affairs no one cares how anyone characterizes anything. They don't give a damn about what we think, and we don't give a damn about what they think. We should just do what is best of us (using invasion obviously as a last resort).

buwaya said...

"Even if we add in massive cuts at EPA, Commerce and Interior, it still isn't serious."

The fiscal effect of these agencies is not simply that of their budgets, but of the economic effect of their regulatory and enforcement activities on the business climate. The usual fiscal-balance calculations have long been understood to be inadequate, as the impact of regulation and its various distortions amount to hidden taxation.

The problem, analytically, is that this is one of those things that economists understand exists, and can be proven to exist in specific cases, if one deeply examines any given case, but it cannot be quantified. Its one of those areas of macroeconomics that cannot really be modeled. So it is rarely modeled, and usually discounted, in order to make the models seem more authoritative I guess.

So one must guess. Reining in such as the EPA cannot help but to be an economic stimulus of some sort, how much so we won't know until the numbers are eventually in, assuming that the administration actually manages to rein it in and of course this all is not ceteris paribus. How much because of this vs how much because of everything else we will never be able to know.

Tax revenues can be expected to follow increased growth.

Achilles said...

Chuck said...

But non-defense discretionary spending is only 16% of the federal budget. And within that 16% is law enforcement, border patrol, courts, scientific research and disease control, infrastructure and education. Among other things. The notion of balancing the budget on the back of the arts and humanities is a joke. Even if we add in massive cuts at EPA, Commerce and Interior, it still isn't serious.

There is no path to a balanced budget without economic growth. The biggest contribution a president could make towards a balanced Budget is getting the EPA and the rest of DC off our backs.

If you were a real conservative you would know this.

Brando said...

"Rightly so. There was no reason to invade Afghanistan. The citizens and government of Afghanistan had no involvement in the 9/11 attacks. We invaded purportedly to capture bin Laden and his people. Once it was determined they had fled the country, we should have exited."

I wouldn't go that far--maybe invading Afghanistan wasn't ultimately wise or successful, but we did temporarily topple a vile regime that was providing aid and sanctuary to terror groups that were striking at us around the world. Just because bin Laden had left after we went in there didn't mean we had no interest in preventing the country from backsliding.

And while I generally oppose campaigns carried out for "idealism" we have to at least differentiate between wars intended to topple dangerous and noxious regimes and replace them (or give their people a chance to replace them) with more humane, democratic and friendly regimes vs. wars of colonization/conquest. They look the same in many respects--which is one reason why even "idealistic" campaigns often fail--but they're not on the same moral plain.

Normally I'd agree with your noninterventionist approach, but I don't think it's fair to lump Bush's idealistic (if arguably ill-conceived) foreign adventures with the expansionist campaigns of Russia and its forbears.

Brando said...

"There is no path to a balanced budget without economic growth. The biggest contribution a president could make towards a balanced Budget is getting the EPA and the rest of DC off our backs."

Not necessarily true--even with flat growth you can balance the budget, you'd just have to cut more and hope what you're cutting doesn't trim growth even more than that.

The problem isn't that there's an assumption of economic growth in balanced budget plans--the problem is that these assumptions are so rosy, or flat out unrealistic, that the "balanced budget" is a fraud.

I'm all for cutting/reforming regulations to achieve that growth, but you're going to have to look at the deep meat of the budget if you want to be serious about balancing it (without massive tax hikes, that is). If you refuse to touch defense or entitlements, you're simply not going to get it done.

Achilles said...

Chuck said...

Trump getting elected WAS a joke! The part where I was wrong was in predicting that Clinton would get close to 400 electoral votes. As if I needed to admit that, I have.

I turned Rush on for the first time in months because you mentioned him. Within 2 minutes I figured out why you are mad at Rush.

Paraphrasing Rush said that many republicans are mad that trump won and the republicans won because now they have no excuses. They have to actually enforce the borders, repeal obamacare and replace it with a market based solution, and cut taxes.

The GOPe doesn't actually believe in these things, they just use these issues to raise money.

Achilles said...

Brando said...

I'm all for cutting/reforming regulations to achieve that growth, but you're going to have to look at the deep meat of the budget if you want to be serious about balancing it (without massive tax hikes, that is). If you refuse to touch defense or entitlements, you're simply not going to get it done.

It is a 50/50 solution, I agree. It is also why we will never balance a budget until there is a massive default. Thank the baby boomers.

Until Math wins we might as well free up as many of us to build as much wealth as possible so we can support everyone when the government runs out of money and collapses.

Rick said...

Robert Cook said...
"'invading Afghanistan --- which everyone agreed at the time was a correct course of action.' No. The left bitched about even that -- Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, the usual suspects."

Rightly so. There was no reason to invade Afghanistan. The citizens and government of Afghanistan had no involvement in the 9/11 attacks.


Cook just can't help his anti-Americanism. The government of Afghanistan provided Bin Laden a base from which he orchestrated the 9-11 attacks along with other terrorist acts, then it protected him afterward. Cook claims this constitutes "no involvement". It's not unusual for people to apply different standards for their country and its enemies, but usually it's unintentional and the standard is lower for their own country. The left distinguishes itself by applying lower standards (or no standard) to our enemies so long as they act against America.


Robert Cook said...
Heh. Your reference to Wolfowitz' truth-telling about the rationale for our illegal war against Iraq would be dismissed by many Bush supporters as "looney left" hysteria. Of course, you explain it away and justify it, but, the truth is plain in Wolfowitz's words: we wanted to gain control over Iraq's oil fields and to establish a base from which to dominate the Middle East.


Ignore the mischaracterization of Wolfowitz's comments and note demonstrably false assertion of fact. If we invaded Iraq to control its oil fields how is it we do not control their oil fields?

The left's inability to understand reality is just baffling.

Chuck said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...
...
Pointing out silly quibbles and/or making dumb comparisons and analogies aren't things that lend themselves to having good arguments, Chuck. It's not ad hominem to say I find your act tiresome and repetitive to the point of uselessness. I meant it when I said you could save everyone time by just saving "I still hate Trump as a person" and pasting that in to most of the threads that actually involve Trump.
We get it, dude.


That's not the point. I'm not trying to convince anybody. I'm not trying to help. I don't want to build anything; at least not with the Trump Administration. I want separation from Trump. So that Republicans have plausible deniability when it all comes apart.

Trump hasn't even seen the hard part(s) yet. A budget. A healthcare reform bill. An all-consuming international crisis.

I must say that I did like Governor Kasich's analogy last weekend; Trump is the pilot of a plane in which Kasich is a passenger. So, he's rooting for the pilot.



Robert Cook said...

"'Just think how we'd characterize it if the Russians did that.'

"They did. We call it Cuba."


Russia didn't invade or take over Cuba. They provided foreign aid to Cuba when asked for it by Castro. Like him or not, the USA could have chosen to establish diplomatic relations with Castro, and thereby could have obviated any need for Castro to seek aid from Russia. However, we were determined not to let any non-capitalist economy establish a foothold in the Western Hemisphere, in case it might prove an example to other South American nations, so we decided to make Castro our enemy, to the tune of countless failed assassination attempts against him.

"Iraq invaded Kuwait and would have done the same to Saudi at a time when Saudi oil was lots more important than it is right now, thanks to fracking and no thanks to Obama."

Hussein believed, correctly or incorrectly, that he had a pass from the American ambassador, April Glaspie, to attend to what he considered Kuwait's provocations against Iraq, (including slant-drilling into Iraqi oilfields) without American interference. When it became apparent the US was serious about mounting a military offense to expel him from Kuwait, Hussein made it known he was open to a diplomatic resolution. GHW Bush, eager to establish his bona fides as a war president, rejected the opportunity to end the matter through diplomatic means. To gin up American sentiment against our attack on Iraq, he had a young girl come on tv to tell lies about Iraqi soldiers throwing Kuwaiti babies out of their incubators onto the floor to die in a Kuwait hospital.

"You really have a simplistic view of international affairs."

I'd say you have a simplistic view of America's international policies.

Brando said...

"It is also why we will never balance a budget until there is a massive default. Thank the baby boomers."

Sadly that's where I think it's going. Back in the '90s when the tech boom gave us a temporary surplus, we had an opportunity to make at least modest entitlement cuts that wouldn't have had to be too painful or even could have been post-dated, which might have helped us weather the "boomer bubble" that we're starting to see now. But we missed our chance, and now any action will have to be more painful and less politically possible.

We're on borrowed time.

Michael K said...

The GOPe doesn't actually believe in these things, they just use these issues to raise money.

I think this may well be true of Congress.

Remember, the GOP had a majority all the years that Hastert, a "made man" with the Illinois Combine, was Speaker.

Chuck said...

Achilles said...
...

I turned Rush on for the first time in months because you mentioned him. Within 2 minutes I figured out why you are mad at Rush.

Paraphrasing Rush said that many republicans are mad that trump won and the republicans won because now they have no excuses. They have to actually enforce the borders, repeal obamacare and replace it with a market based solution, and cut taxes.


It's always a shock to me, how much time Rush and Hannity devote to bashing Republicans. It must sell commercials. Otherwise they wouldn't do it.

But they aren't building anything either. Just selling controversy/conspiracy/grievance.

A whole lotta mostly-white working class men, many of them on Medicare (and so Obamacare doesn't much matter) or mostly employed with employer-supplied insurance (and so not in any exchange) and no tax consequences of Obamacare on either account. Yet they want Obamacare abolished, like six years ago. Sure, some of them are mad about rising healthcare premiums and co-insurance requirments and deductibles. All of which were rapidly increasing before the ACA.

Michael K said...

"Back in the '90s when the tech boom gave us a temporary surplus,"

There never was a real surplus but it was possible to do a lot. Instead the Congress raided Social Security to create a fake surplus.

That was when Clinton was intimidated, Instead they indulged themselves in the impeachment.

Todd said...

Chuck said...

I must say that I did like Governor Kasich's analogy last weekend; Trump is the pilot of a plane in which Kasich is a passenger. So, he's rooting for the pilot.

2/27/17, 1:47 PM


So why aren't you rooting for the pilot?

Michael K said...

healthcare premiums and co-insurance requirments and deductibles. All of which were rapidly increasing before the ACA.

But the difference is that the deductibles are now stratospheric. One of the problems with old health insurance was that the deductibles were too low. I remember when people wanted their colonoscopy done as an inpatient because insurance would pay for it.

Now, the deductibles are so high it is the equivalent of the old catastrophic coverage except the catastrophic plans were cheap.

Now Obamacare has high premiums AND sky high deductibles.

Rick said...

When it became apparent the US was serious about mounting a military offense to expel him from Kuwait, Hussein made it known he was open to a diplomatic resolution. GHW Bush, eager to establish his bona fides as a war president, rejected the opportunity to end the matter through diplomatic means. To gin up American sentiment against our attack on Iraq, he had a young girl come on tv to tell lies about Iraqi soldiers throwing Kuwaiti babies out of their incubators onto the floor to die in a Kuwait hospital.

Like all counterfactuals those who believe them simply assert their fantasy: that a diplomatic resolution existed but was opposed by their enemy.

Who believes this shit?

Brando said...

"There never was a real surplus but it was possible to do a lot. Instead the Congress raided Social Security to create a fake surplus."

But even just the fact that they had a couple decades before the boomer glut would retire (and before millenials would start to pay into the system) meant that they could have made forward looking changes (e.g., raise retirement age for people then under 20). Two decades later, we don't have the wiggle room we had then.

By the time they do act, it's going to mean screwing over a lot of people a lot harder than was necessary. But the people to blame will have been long retired, and well-provided for with their own amazingly secure congressional pensions!

Ian F. Shield said...

Bush, like the MSM, does not conceal his opinions very well. Although I can't blame him for despising Trump, who parroted the "Bush lied" crap about Iraq.

Still, Bush's ineptitude, clueless overreaching in Iraq, and mindless dedication to the preferences of the GOP donor class largely explain how we ended up with his two awful immediate successors (the first being much worse than the second, IMHO). Bush could do us all a favor by just disappearing and sparing us his pious posturing.

Robert Cook said...

"Cook just can't help his anti-Americanism. The government of Afghanistan provided Bin Laden a base from which he orchestrated the 9-11 attacks along with other terrorist acts, then it protected him afterward."

They did not know bin Laden and his people were planning 9/11. (In fact, none of the participants were from there and most or all of the planning occurred elsewhere.)

As for "protecting him," when the Bush administration asked them to turn bin Laden over, they acted according to diplomatic and legal protocol and asked for a formal extradition request. The Bush administration didn't even entertain the idea and decided instead to invade. After all, who are they to expect us to observe legal niceties? How much blood and treasure might have been saved if we had submitted the extradition request? However, invading Afghanistan was just part of the larger plan to dominate the middle east, (as all the undeclared wars we have started throughout the region further demonstrate).

"If we invaded Iraq to control its oil fields how is it we do not control their oil fields?"

Who says we effectively don't? We opened up the previously closed-to-Western-oil-interests oil fields of Iraq to Western oil interests, who remain there today, reaping their profits, most of which are not reaching the Iraqi people. Also, we have established a small but permanent residency in the country, which is increasing again.

buwaya said...

" Like him or not, the USA could have chosen to establish diplomatic relations with Castro, and thereby could have obviated any need for Castro to seek aid from Russia."

The US was dealing with Castro, had diplomatic relations, and was open to providing aid. Castro was dealing with the USG and was in high level talks with the US administration.
It was the Castro regime that ended the dance. This could have been predicted as the core personnel of the regime were long-standing Soviet agents, and within months started to sideline and imprison those non-communist elements of the Castro movement. After this it was tit-for-tat retaliations between Castro and the US that ended economic ties.

Ref for the whole business and (very) extensive background, Hugh Thomas, "Cuba or the Pursuit of Freedom"; there is a more current revised work but it seems to me its been rather severely edited down, "Cuba: A History" - I need to do a side-by-side at some point.

Bay Area Guy said...

Bush had a valid grounds to make war on Iraq. More so, the Senate (Clinton, Kerry, Edwards, et al.) confirmed it 75-25, as I recall.

To call this an "illegal" war is just Leftwing silliness.

To allow these Dem Senators to skate from their votes, because, after the fact, no WMD was found, is weak too.

The issue is simply, how did it turn out? The answer is very mixed.

One issue is completely clear, though: thinking you can invade an Arab country and forcibly convert it into a functioning democracy by severing its totalitarian head is pure folly. The Neocons have been proven wrong.

I do acknowledge that a lot of good people in the Arab world would prefer a move to democracy, but sadly they are greatly outnumbered.

Todd said...

Michael K said...

Now Obamacare has high premiums AND sky high deductibles.

2/27/17, 2:01 PM


And the networks are smaller so many folks lost their doctors AND it covers so much crap most people don't use, once they get past their HUGE deductibles they then get to use for free!

ObamaCare is both a health maintenance plan and a catastrophic plan in one. You get one "check up" a year for free but it is so narrowly defined that it excludes many folks from using it. If you get blood-work done, that pushes the "check up" into another procedure code. Depending on your maintenance prescription drugs, getting those renewed also pushes you out of the "check up" category and into another. No "check up" code, no coverage. Yet another "great" benefit many can't use.

Some of this is directly ObamaCare terms and requirements. Some of this is insurance company's reacting to those terms and requirements. They need to make a profit to keep the doors open so they often have to play on the edge conditions. Yet more proof the end game with OCare was always single-payer.

Chuck said...

Michael K said...
healthcare premiums and co-insurance requirments and deductibles. All of which were rapidly increasing before the ACA.

But the difference is that the deductibles are now stratospheric. One of the problems with old health insurance was that the deductibles were too low. I remember when people wanted their colonoscopy done as an inpatient because insurance would pay for it.

Now, the deductibles are so high it is the equivalent of the old catastrophic coverage except the catastrophic plans were cheap.

Now Obamacare has high premiums AND sky high deductibles.

I'm not going to defend Obamacare. You and I both know that first and foremost and above all, Obamacare was designed to get people covered. Controlling costs was an afterthought if it was ever even a thought.

I am just waiting for what Trump claimed in the campaign. Something "wonderful." That's Trump's chosen word. He said that we'd get better coverage, at reasonable rates.

Okay. Let's see the plan.

Michael K you know very well enough that in health care costs and insurance, there are no easy answers. No cheap fixes that suddenly provide better care. Again, I am not ever claiming to be an Obamacare supporter. But I am also a TrumpCare doubter.

Guildofcannonballs said...

The most difficult mountain-misidentified-as-hills-of-a-mere-mole aren't something we didn't build.

Society did done didn't do that, okay.

Ya follow?

Chuck said...

Todd said...
...
...
... Yet more proof the end game with OCare was always single-payer.


Of which Donald J. Trump was a big fan. On at least five public occasions:

http://ijr.com/2016/02/537107-5-times-donald-trump-praised-socialized-healthcare/

Now, some people are suggesting that perhaps single-payer is Trump's endgame. I don't know about that. But just maybe, Tea Party Trump is to health care reform what anti-communist crusader Dick Nixon was to Red China:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/zorn/ct-trump-single-payer-health-care-obamacare-repeal-medicare-perspec-0118-md-20170117-column.html



Dust Bunny Queen said...

But I am also a TrumpCare doubter.

You do realize that legislation, which is what it is going to take to repeal and replace Obamacare, is the job of Congress. Trump can veto or make suggestions about the legislation but it is on Congress to create the plan.

Frankly that fact that the Republicans have had 7 YEARS to come up with an alternate plan or to come up with any solutions is reprehensible at best and a derelection of their duties. What the EFF have they been doing with their time.

Sure...they passed a couple of repeal bills. BUT. They only did that because they knew that Obama would veto them and they were being pressured to do "something" for God's sake! So...the do pass these meaningless bills knowing full well they would be shot down in order to say...See we did "something"

Well. Now it is put up or shut up time for the Republicans. Trump can prod them along....I recommend a high voltage cattle prod....but he can't do it by himself.

Rick said...

They did not know bin Laden and his people were planning 9/11.

Notice that Cook characterizes denials as fact - but only by the side against America. When it comes to America he simply invents whatever facts he needs to justify his AmericaSucks conclusion. I'm so amused watching the left freak out over FakeNews mere decades after it began to dominate the left's worldview.

As for "protecting him," when the Bush administration asked them to turn bin Laden over, they acted according to diplomatic and legal protocol and asked for a formal extradition request.

More nonsense. They outright refused and later came up with this nonsense to give their supporters like Cook a fig leaf to cover their refusal.

The Bush administration didn't even entertain the idea and decided instead to invade.

Sure. In FantasyLand.

Who says we effectively don't? We opened up the previously closed-to-Western-oil-interests oil fields of Iraq to Western oil interests, who remain there today, reaping their profits, most of which are not reaching the Iraqi people.

Note the dishonest switch from America to the West. Apparently we're supposed to believe America invaded so the French could get the oil contract.

The nonsense is unbelievably transparent to anyone not in thrall to the left's us=evil them=good myopia.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

" Like him or not, the USA could have chosen to establish diplomatic relations with Castro, and thereby could have obviated any need for Castro to seek aid from Russia."

What if Castro didn't want to have normal relations? Guess what, he didn't.

Castro visited the US shortly after Batista fled in 1958 and was welcomed overwhelmingly by the American people. He actually appeared on TV shows - Ed Sullivan, Jack Paar - talking about how he believed in democracy and freedom.

At that time the Eisenhower Administration was looking for a Cuban leader to support. They actually sent a CIA agent - Gary Droller aka Frank Bender - to talk to Castro about what he was going to do as leader. Castro told Droller that he was a democrat, wasn't a communist, and wanted to have a free country. Droller reported back that Castro was an anti-communist and democrat. Castro later admitted that he lied, that he was a communist from the start, and was conning the US.

Then Castro went back to Cuba, rounded up his opponents - some of whom supported him in the revolution - and shot them. Over 1000 of them. He established a dictatorship, said he was a communist, expropriated US property and that was pretty much it. A year later Droller was leading anti-Castro Cuban exiles in their attacks on Castro.

To be sure, all of that covert war by the Kennedys - Operation Mongoose - was a huge mistake. Immoral, unethical, illegal and worst of all: stupid. That certainly accelerated Castro's embrace of the Soviets; but that was going to happen anyway. Castro was anti-American to the core. There was simply no way we were going to have normal relations with man with those views.

Kathyb said...

I agree with Anne. I watched the interview with Matt Lauer and the interview with Kathy Lee and Jenna which was funny. It seemed that the President measured his words carefully.
I think in the interview with Jenna he was much more relaxed and got in a couple of good zingers at his daughter for the unflattering stories she helped generate during his term.

buwaya said...

"The Bush administration didn't even entertain the idea and decided instead to invade"

The Taliban regime was financially dependent on the Arab money being channeled through Bin Laden and co., and which was also financing the Paki ISI which was another source of support. The Arabs and their paid-for hangers on provided a large part of the Taliban armed forces. It was Bin Ladens gang that arranged the assassination of the principal anti-Taliban chieftain Ahmad Shah Massood, by a group of Tunisian Al-Qaeda suicide bombers. This was not the first such attempt on Massood, and it was one of a large number of such Al Qaeda operations in aid of the Taliban.

The Taliban was not a credible, independent government anyway, being a creature of the Pakistani ISI.

mockturtle said...

I wouldn't go that far--maybe invading Afghanistan wasn't ultimately wise or successful, but we did temporarily topple a vile regime that was providing aid and sanctuary to terror groups that were striking at us around the world.

By that criterion we should more rightfully have invaded Pakistan.

mockturtle said...

DBQ rightly asks: Frankly that fact that the Republicans have had 7 YEARS to come up with an alternate plan or to come up with any solutions is reprehensible at best and a derelection of their duties. What the EFF have they been doing with their time.

I have wondered the same thing. Useless as the proverbial teats on a boar. [and no trans-gender jokes, please!]

buwaya said...

"They did not know bin Laden and his people were planning 9/11"

They certainly did know AQ/Bin Laden was up to something, because, among other things, Ahmad Shah Massood, their greatest enemy, publicly warned Bush (European Parliament speech) that some AQ attack on the US was coming, no doubt from his Taliban contacts.

Michael K said...

You and I both know that first and foremost and above all, Obamacare was designed to get people covered.

No, it was to subsidize the poor, who are assumed to be Democrat voters, by overcharging the healthy.

The Democrats never had the guts, or insanity, to apply the mandate to the employer sponsored plans.

Real health reform would look something like France, as I have written about for almost ten years.

What you do is use employer deduction, as we do now. to pay for basic care. Then , we let people who want to pay more, do so.

It's an expansion of catastrophic care, which Obamacare took away by forcing 60 year old women to pay for abortion and forcing 30 year old men to pay for birth control and pregnancy.

For the poor, you have a subsidized plan that resembles Medicaid but with less bureaucracy and less goofy benefits like
aroma therapy" and "Alternative Medicine."

Actually, we had a good system for the poor called, County hospitals. Medicaid destroyed them and the illegal aliens finished the job,

One thing Obamacare has accomplished is to create the cash medical practice market for people who don't have insurance,

Chuck said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
"But I am also a TrumpCare doubter."

You do realize that legislation, which is what it is going to take to repeal and replace Obamacare, is the job of Congress. Trump can veto or make suggestions about the legislation but it is on Congress to create the plan.


Yup. And I have confidence that a Republican congress won't screw it up too badly. They will likely disappoint the most ardent Trumpians, however. Which is why Trump should be every bit as personally invested and as active, as Obama was. Trump should be doing what Obama failed to do, and get opposition buy-in. Trump should have a high-level team of smart health care reformers with whom he can converse intelligently and respectfully.

One last thing; you left out the part where Trump has to sign a bill that gets passed.

Drago said...

mockturtle: "I have wondered the same thing. Useless as the proverbial teats on a boar. [and no trans-gender jokes, please!]"

It was always easy and appropriate to see Obamacare as the purposeful disaster (and stalking horse for a full govt takeover of healthcare) that it is and to continue to highlight republican opposition to it by actual votes.

Given most of these guys thought the dems would easily defeat Trump meant there was no need to get the multiple Obamacare "replacement" options offered up by many different republicans developed into a single, unified bill.

Duh.

But hey, be careful what you wish for, you might just get it!

Guildofcannonballs said...

I've taken myself, me myself alone sans others of any and all types and sorts, great lonely lonesome individual solace-inspired dreamly quarkly-quests hoping for Narcisuss epiphanies ya know tottaly objective, and I I I failed myself in ways me never thought I'd leave this guy, me, ya know, totally not the Real Me I know and love and protect at all costs.

As to your point though, yes demonize that whixh you ought merely cnodenm, cause who the fuck cards.

Brando said...

"Frankly that fact that the Republicans have had 7 YEARS to come up with an alternate plan or to come up with any solutions is reprehensible at best and a derelection of their duties. What the EFF have they been doing with their time."

Preach it! I have heard a lot about "plans" the GOP had milling about, but clearly those plans aren't widely favored among the GOP or they would have put them up to a vote already (or at least been trying to sell them to the public). It boggles the mind that they did not even consider that they would have a chance to pass something, and now are wondering if maybe they shouldn't repeal Obamacare after all!

I get the feeling ultimately they'll just toss more money at keeping Obamacare puttering along, rename it "Trumpcare" and see who's dumb enough not to notice. If I'd had any expectations for the GOP I'd be pissed right now.

"By that criterion we should more rightfully have invaded Pakistan."

Yeah, I didn't say it was a great reason to invade a country, but it was one of the upsides.

Robert Cook said...

"Like all counterfactuals those who believe them simply assert their fantasy: that a diplomatic resolution existed but was opposed by their enemy."

The reality behind Iraq's invasion of Kuwait is more complex and ambiguous than generally perceived. It's possible the US wanted Hussein to invade Kuwait, to serve our purposes.

From the much longer article:

According to conventional opinion, Saddam Hussein had not demonstrated any desire to seek a peaceful solution. The truth is quite the contrary. In fact, the Western powers had refused to acknowledge the grievances that had led Iraq to implement its offensive in the first place. President Bush declared that the Iraqi invasion was “without provocation” – an assertion that ignored Kuwait’s U.S.-inspired policies of “economic warfare”. [51] Despite this, Saddam had made several crucial offers of peace that were rejected outright by the international community, without even a feeble attempt at negotiation. According to the New York Times, the U.S. wanted to “block the diplomatic track because it might defuse the crisis at the cost of a few token gains for Iraq.” [52] As Stephen Zunes notes: “Unilateral demands are not negotiations. American specialists on the negotiation process felt that the United States wanted a war, given that Washington gave the Iraqis no opportunity to save face.” [53]

In early August 1990, and once again in October, Saddam made explicitly clear that he was willing to pull Iraqi forces out of Kuwait and allow foreigners to leave the country, in return for the following: control of the Rumaila oil field; access to the Persian Gulf; the lifting of sanctions that had been subsequently imposed; and a resolution of the oil price problem with Kuwait. [54] There was nothing particularly unreasonable about these conditions.

One Bush administration official who specialised in the Middle East acknowledged that “the terms of the proposal are serious”, describing the package as “negotiable”. Newsday reported that in response to the offer, “some [U.S.] government officials now say that they see some hope of a negotiated settlement.” [55] The offers were rejected. The 23 August offer, for instance, was simply dismissed by the U.S. administration and virtually blacked out by the mass media. Indeed, at first the State Department “categorically” denied that the offer had even been made; only later was the existence of the offer confirmed by the White House. [56]

On 2 January 1991, Iraq proposed another peace package, offering to withdraw from Kuwait on condition that the U.S. did not attack Iraqi soldiers as they pulled out; foreign troops left the region; there would be agreement on the Palestine issue and on the banning of weapons of mass destruction in the region. The proposal was described as “a serious prenegotiation position” by a State Department Middle East expert. Other U.S. officials observed that the prospects of the offer were “interesting”. [57] The proposal illustrated a clear willingness to compromise – Saddam had now dropped the previous Iraqi claims to two Kuwaiti islands and control of the Rumaila oil field. Yet this was barely reported in the mass media. [58] Western leaders continued to categorically dismiss the possibility of negotiations, instead pushing eagerly for a full-scale offensive. [59]

U.S. political analyst William Blum, a former State Department official, summed up the U.S. dismissal of all possible peaceful solutions: “The U.S. military and President Bush would have their massive show of power, their super-hi-tech real war games, and no signals from Iraq or any peacenik would be allowed to spoil it.” [60] As a consequence, the United States, with support from its Western allies, attacked Iraq and imposed a massive military presence in the Gulf region."

The whole process allowed Bush to maintain both U.S. military spending and his domestic popularity.

Drago said...

"lifelong republican" Chuck: "Which is why Trump should be every bit as personally invested and as active, as Obama was. Trump should be doing what Obama failed to do, and get opposition buy-in."

LOL

"lifelong republican" Chuck: "Trump should have a high-level team of smart health care reformers with whom he can converse intelligently and respectfully."

It's just this quality of insight that has led to "lifelong republican" Chuck (when he isn't busy providing links to Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart and various PBS lefties) being in high demand in MI republican politics.

Drago said...

Cookie: "The reality behind Iraq's invasion of Kuwait is more complex and ambiguous than generally perceived. It's possible the US wanted Hussein to invade Kuwait, to serve our purposes."

LOL

Michael K said...

Cookie and Gore Vidal's favoriet Muslim.

He is a member of the Executive Committee of the British Muslim Human Rights Centre at London Metropolitan University’s Human Rights and Social Justice Institute. Formerly, he was a senior researcher at the Islamic Human Rights Commission.[9]

Chuck said...



What's your healthcare solution, Drago?


Birkel said...

Chuck, so called, wonders why people don't bother to engage him on the facts? And he wonders that Trump got elected making a bunch of promises about the budget that don't square with reality?

1) Getting elected against a Democrat who will lie about everything while observing the Marquis of Queensbury rules are how President McCain, President Romney, President Dole and others have played the game. If one were really happy about the policies so far enacted, one would quit harping on how Trump beat Hillary.

2) The budget is fucked. It can't be fixed and anybody who tells you otherwise is lying. The promises of politicians have been worthless but winning by telling that truth is impossible. See #1 above.

3) You're an insufferable jack ass. Noting that point repeatedly is as fun for us as it is for you to mention your feelings about Trump. You don't care about us. We don't care about you.

Unknown said...

Youtube - "I've abandoned free market principles to save the free market system" - George W. Bush

Bob Loblaw said...

Frankly that fact that the Republicans have had 7 YEARS to come up with an alternate plan or to come up with any solutions is reprehensible at best and a derelection of their duties. What the EFF have they been doing with their time.

Like everyone else, they expected Hillary to win the election.

passerby said...

"What a nice man." who got us involved in two ongoing wars, which have killed hundreds of thousands of people, ultimately costing us $2 trillion, arguably lying in the process... what else, let's see, who sanctioned torture. but, no matter, look at his paintings!

Birkel said...

Chuck, so called, asks about health care.

If so called Chuck's answer does not including making the provision of health care greater by increasing the number of doctors, nurses, medicine men, midwives, shamans, witch doctors or whatever the fuck... Then Chuck is full of shit.

Arguing about who pays and calling it health care is a fool's errand. I will leave it to fools like Chuck, so called.

Rick said...

Here's the executive summary from Cook's article:

A variety of factors support the conclusion that Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait was deliberately engineered by the U.S. to contrive a new enemy as a pretext for war, serving to establish a permanent military presence in the Middle East and achieving vast geopolitical power into the next century through the control of its oil resources.

So he's not just saying we rebuffed overtures of a peaceful settlement as Cook pretends to believe. It's a full-on conspiracy theory by a total nutjob, so naturally Cook cites him as an authority. Nuts recognize kindred spirits.

n.n said...

Social justice adventurism, anti-nativism, [class] diversity, and redistributive change are first-order causes of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Immigration Reform. It is, however, good for the social complex, welfare industry, democratic polling, and demographic redistricting/replacement.

Drago said...

"lifelong republican" Chuck: "What's your healthcare solution, Drago?"

The same as my election victory solution: Avoid any and all recommendations made by you.

Drago said...

Rick: "So he's not just saying we rebuffed overtures of a peaceful settlement as Cook pretends to believe. It's a full-on conspiracy theory by a total nutjob, so naturally Cook cites him as an authority. Nuts recognize kindred spirits."

Make sure you add in an SR-71 and Cookie's marxist mind will be yours forever!

Drago said...

Reprinted again, just for fun:

"lifelong republican" Chuck: "Which is why Trump should be every bit as personally invested and as active, as Obama was. Trump should be doing what Obama failed to do, and get opposition buy-in."

Unknown said...

> we wanted to gain control over Iraq's oil fields and to establish a base from which to dominate the Middle East.

Which oil company is the US sovereign oil company?

How much has the US treasury received in payments for Iraqi oil?

JaimeRoberto said...

"Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive." Presumably this applies to the media as much as it does to politicians.

Hagar said...

You cannot control healthcare costs without controlling the medical industry.

Drago said...

So, to summarize "lifelong republican" Chuck's stated position: Trump should be doing precisely as Obama did except for all the stuff Obama did not do.

Something tells me that either way our President will come up a bit short in "MI Electoral Strategy Specialist and "lifelong republican"" Chuck's opinion.

Drago said...

Unknown: "Which oil company is the US sovereign oil company?

How much has the US treasury received in payments for Iraqi oil?"

Shhhh.

This is not about any icky "facts". Don't you realize that Americans, yes AMERICANS!, were involved.

That is all the "evidence" our resident-would-be-Che requires to render judgement and pass sentence.

Get with the program!

Brando said...

"The reality behind Iraq's invasion of Kuwait is more complex and ambiguous than generally perceived. It's possible the US wanted Hussein to invade Kuwait, to serve our purposes."

Robert, that seems a pretty weak justification--by 1990 we hadn't had a major military operation since Vietnam, and had no way of knowing that (1) we wouldn't get snagged in a much bloodier, longer, costlier conflict with Iraq; (2) that Iraq wouldn't retaliate with unconventional weapons against our forces or our allies, escalating the war or wrecking our coalition; and (3) the whole thing wouldn't backfire on him. It did go smoothly and Bush had high approval ratings for the rest of 1991, but that was by no means assured when he decided to engage.

Consider the far more logical reason--Bush wanted to get Hussein out of Kuwait (1) to ensure access to Kuwait's oil; (2) to remove the threat to Saudi oil; (3) to uphold international law and norms; and (4) to demonstrate American resolve in the region at a time when USSR was falling apart. You may have issues with any or all of those justifications, but those make far more sense than Bush wanting to test out his military toys and beef up his approval ratings.

Todd said...

Chuck said... [hush]​[hide comment]
Michael K said...
healthcare premiums and co-insurance requirments and deductibles. All of which were rapidly increasing before the ACA.

But the difference is that the deductibles are now stratospheric. One of the problems with old health insurance was that the deductibles were too low. I remember when people wanted their colonoscopy done as an inpatient because insurance would pay for it.

Now, the deductibles are so high it is the equivalent of the old catastrophic coverage except the catastrophic plans were cheap.

Now Obamacare has high premiums AND sky high deductibles.

I'm not going to defend Obamacare. You and I both know that first and foremost and above all, Obamacare was designed to get people covered. Controlling costs was an afterthought if it was ever even a thought.

I am just waiting for what Trump claimed in the campaign. Something "wonderful." That's Trump's chosen word. He said that we'd get better coverage, at reasonable rates.

Okay. Let's see the plan.

Michael K you know very well enough that in health care costs and insurance, there are no easy answers. No cheap fixes that suddenly provide better care. Again, I am not ever claiming to be an Obamacare supporter. But I am also a TrumpCare doubter.

2/27/17, 2:14 PM


Sorry, that is a reference to facts not in evidence. There is NO proof that "that first and foremost and above all, Obamacare was designed to get people covered". Many could and do argue in good faith that the first and foremost goal of ObamaCare was to enable the Government to take full and complete ownership of the healthcare area for all Americans. If that actually resulted in any additional peoples being covered, that was an OK side-affect.

Drago said...

JaimeRoberto: ""Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive." Presumably this applies to the media as much as it does to politicians."

Thank you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quU_Tbv96Wk

Chuck said...

Birkel said...
Chuck, so called, asks about health care.

If so called Chuck's answer does not including making the provision of health care greater by increasing the number of doctors, nurses, medicine men, midwives, shamans, witch doctors or whatever the fuck... Then Chuck is full of shit.

Arguing about who pays and calling it health care is a fool's errand. I will leave it to fools like Chuck, so called.


That's interesting. I won't even argue against it. So you'd like more federal dollars devoted to education of doctors, nurses and healthcare technicians and related professionals? Okay.

We could also import more doctors on H1-B, J-1 and Q-1 visas. More doctors, from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and Libya. Those, uh seven countries, among many others. Ya know?

mockturtle said...

Rand Paul has a pretty good plan. It might require some tweaking but it's on the right track.
Rand Paul Plan

Drago said...

"lifelong republican" Chuck: "You and I both know that first and foremost and above all, Obamacare was designed to get people covered."

This is what is known as an obvious lie.

Obamacare was "designed" to lay the foundation for a total govt takeover of healthcare of which the dems would be in permanent control.

"lifelong republican" Chuck once again gives himself away.

Birkel said...

Chuck, so called, you can keep your words out of my mouth. You cannot honestly ask me a rhetorical, answer it yourself, and then pretend we have an agreement. In other words, you are a dishonest liar.

You call things by names that do not reflect reality. ObamaCare no more involves care than a door stop. It is a plan for insurance, i.e. who pays.

Also, what you can argue effectively against and what you will argue against are too different things.

Brando said...

"Like everyone else, they expected Hillary to win the election."

But they didn't expect her to win for the past seven years. Hell, they thought Romney was going to win four years ago.

It suggests they never really took "repeal and replace" seriously. Or at least enough of them didn't that they can't really pass anything.

Of course, Obamacare is on its way to imploding on its own without the feds pumping a bunch of cash into it, so unless they eat crow and do that, they're going to be stuck holding the bag anyway.

Chuck said...

Todd said...
...
Sorry, that is a reference to facts not in evidence. There is NO proof that "that first and foremost and above all, Obamacare was designed to get people covered". Many could and do argue in good faith that the first and foremost goal of ObamaCare was to enable the Government to take full and complete ownership of the healthcare area for all Americans. If that actually resulted in any additional peoples being covered, that was an OK side-affect.


I forgot about the Althouse readership, and to tailor my comments to the audience. And so in addition to what you mentioned, I forgot to include the Trilateral Commission's role in the ACA, and the cost of the black helicopters, the geosynchronous orbiting satellites, and the Chemtrails.


Drago said...

Brando: "Of course, Obamacare is on its way to imploding on its own without the feds pumping a bunch of cash into it, so unless they eat crow and do that, they're going to be stuck holding the bag anyway."

On the contrary, the dems (and their "lifelong republican" allies) are already test-driving a number of "excuses" which the MSM (and their "lifelong republican" allies) will amplify to place responsibility for the inevitable collapse of the socialized medicine foundation building known as Obamacare on the republicans.

Todd said...

Chuck said...
Todd said...
...
Sorry, that is a reference to facts not in evidence. There is NO proof that "that first and foremost and above all, Obamacare was designed to get people covered". Many could and do argue in good faith that the first and foremost goal of ObamaCare was to enable the Government to take full and complete ownership of the healthcare area for all Americans. If that actually resulted in any additional peoples being covered, that was an OK side-affect.


I forgot about the Althouse readership, and to tailor my comments to the audience. And so in addition to what you mentioned, I forgot to include the Trilateral Commission's role in the ACA, and the cost of the black helicopters, the geosynchronous orbiting satellites, and the Chemtrails.


2/27/17, 3:00 PM


Wait, are you admitting to believing in "chemtrails"?

Drago said...

So now "Lifelong republican" Chuckie is all about claiming it's a conspiracy theory to note that Obamacare could not possibly survive as written.

Even though the evidence for that obvious and unavoidable conclusion is currently being demonstrated in every market at every level.

Not to worry, "lifelong republican" Chuck will shortly be offering up fantastic links to marvelous arguments by Jonathan Gruber and Ezekiel Emmanuel shortly. Almost certainly via the DNC website or whatever lunatic host is currently playing on MSNBC.

Drago said...

You know "lifelong republican" Chuck, it's always a mistake and "tell" when you go "Full DNC".

You never want to go "Full DNC".

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