Open Thread

Sorry, I am just not feeling it today. I suppose I am supposed to be hyperventilating about this Obama statement:

“I’ve always said that the pace of withdrawal would be dictated by the safety and security of our troops and the need to maintain stability. That assessment has not changed,” he said. “And when I go to Iraq and have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground, I’m sure I’ll have more information and will continue to refine my policies.”

But, since that is what he has said all along, I guess I just can’t find it in me to freak out. I guess I suck at being a Democrat.

At any rate, I don’t much feel like blogging about anything, so if you have anything pressing, interesting, or entertaining, you know what to do.

*** Update ***

JedReport has the proof that I am not imagining things. From memory, I can recite Obama saying he will withdraw as carefully as we were careless getting in the war. Christ, google that phrase.

The gotcha nature of our media is killing this country. We have had eight years of rule by binary construct, and the press seems to have a hard-on for four more. There is no shift in Obama’s position, and the idiots claiming otherwise are driving me insane.






117 replies
  1. 1
    Zifnab says:

    They played “fool me once…” back in 2006. It’s really, really hard not to flinch when Obama starts talking about putting off withdrawal until he hears what the troops on the ground have to say.

    Ultimately, its more important that we clean up America than simply pulling out of Iraq. I think Obama will eventually come to the conclusion that he can’t enact any of his social plans without money and he won’t have any money till he withdraws the troops. And that simple calculus will bring about serious troop withdrawal.

    But if the words “… just six more months… ” ever leave his mouth, will you blame me for being skeptical?

  2. 2
    pinola says:

    I guess I suck at being a Democrat.

    Not yet but give ’em a little more time to wear ya down.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    Ken says:

    Being a Democrat means endless, pointless squabbling amongst ourselves, oblivious to the Mack truck hurtling toward us at 100 m.p.h.

    The license plates read “GOP”.

  5. 5
    Pooh says:

    The liberal blogosphere was aflame today with new accusations that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) is trying to win the 2008 presidential election.

    Suspicions about Sen. Obama’s true motives have been building over the past few weeks, but not until today have the bloggers called him out for betraying the Democratic Party’s losing tradition.

    “Barack Obama seems to be making a very calculated attempt to win over 270 electoral votes,” wrote liberal blogger Carol Foyler at LibDemWatch.com, a blog read by a half-dozen other liberal bloggers. “He must be stopped.”

    heh indeedy.

  6. 6
    Brachiator says:

    Sorry, I am just not feeling it today. I suppose I am supposed to be hyperventilating about this Obama statement:

    “I’ve always said that the pace of withdrawal would be dictated by the safety and security of our troops and the need to maintain stability. That assessment has not changed,” he said. “And when I go to Iraq and have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground, I’m sure I’ll have more information and will continue to refine my policies.”

    Inevitably, someone will come along and accuse Obama of saying that he agrees with McCain that we will be in Iraq for 100 years and that this represents another move toward “the center.”

    Cris Says:

    In happier news, a full version of Metropolis has been discovered in Buenos Aires.

    Very cool. This means that some day I will have a new “definitive,” restored version that will replace the “definitive,” restored DVD that I currently own.

  7. 7
    pinola says:

    Cris at 440. That is *great* news! I can’t wait to see it.

  8. 8
    nightjar says:

    Ken Says:

    Being a Democrat means endless, pointless squabbling amongst ourselves, oblivious to the Mack truck hurtling toward us at 100 m.p.h.

    The license plates read “GOP

    Lucky for us, the GOP traded the Mack in for Econoline Prison Shuttle.

    Viva la Democrats. Never miss a shin to kick, especially their own.

  9. 9
    Thepanzer says:

    Well if you take TZ’s advice there’s no need to hyperventilate at all since the MUP will provide two shiny motrin to all the nation’s ills and all will be well with the dem super majority in ’08.

    I however am going to pick my battles and hyperventilate about FISA some more. Iraq not so much since we’ll be there until either the money runs out or we run out of bodies to feed into the meat grinder. The idea of Obama even making an attempt to push the iraq issue when his spine hasn’t arrived on FISA yet is laughable. But this is great news for TZ, another issue “neutralized” for the election.

  10. 10
    Incertus says:

    Well, bad as it hurts to be a Democrat, try being a progressive sometime. The two things are not the same.

  11. 11
    Zifnab says:

    The liberal blogosphere was aflame today with new accusations that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) is trying to win the 2008 presidential election.

    Obama: “We will exit Iraq within 16 months”
    America: “Hurray! Finally!”

    McCain: “I’d like to stick around for 100 years”
    America: “Boo! You’re not as pretty as Ronald Reagen!”

    Obama: “Well, maybe not 16 months per say, but… you know… pretty damn soon.”
    America: “Hur… uh, say what?”

    McCain: “Did I say 100 years? I meant that in a rhetorical sense. I’d much prefer we leave in 100 days. Yeah. That seems to be a crowd pleaser.”
    America: “You are correct, that is what we want to hear.”

    Obama: “Listen, the situation is complicated, and I can’t really give you what you want because bad things would happen.”
    America: “That is not what we want to hear.”

    McCain: “Out of Iraq? Sure! Tax Cuts? For everyone! Greatest Nation On Earth! Everyone gets a free pony!”
    America: “We’re confused, but will continue to vote Republican because why the hell not. We’ve always wanted a pony.”

    Pundits: “Obama’s approval rating has dropped 25 points, but we fucking love him for finally talking the same bullshit we’ve been saying for years! (Although still not as much as we still love McCain. *burp* That’s good BBQ.)”

    Fin.

  12. 12

    After reading his statement, one thought popped into my head:

    He probably plays poker pretty well, because he is not being sloppy with his cards.

  13. 13
    Krista says:

    Didn’t he say something once, basically of the gist that he wants to be as deliberate and cautious when withdrawing troops as Bush was reckless putting them in there?

    We’ve been pissed for years about Bush not having any sort of a plan for getting the troops out of Iraq. And now that Obama’s stated that he wants to plan things out carefully and not fuck it up, we’re complaining?

    This is ridiculous. The guy’s a politician — always has been. He also seems to be a pretty decent guy. And he’s still light-years better than McCain. Too many of us put Obama up on a pedestal, and now that we’re finding out he’s not perfect, people are hyperventilating.

  14. 14

    What was funny was the way that some took Obama’s statement to mean that the withdrawal may take more than sixteen months, won’t happen at all, and all sorts of other dark imaginings. GOP mouthpiece Joe Scarborough is on the TV right now asking if this will be the last straw for the Left.

    For fuck’s sake, the same people who rightly criticized Bush for bullheadedly going into Iraq without allowing for contingencies are now criticizing Obama for not wanting to get out the same way.

    Does anyone actually believe that the commanders on the ground don’t want to get their troops the hell out? Does anyone doubt that they don’t want to get their asses shot off or leave total chaos behind when they do it?

    For all we know, the commanders may recommend that many of the troops be quickly redeployed to prevent the collapse of Afghanistan. They may want to move them over the horizon to Kuwait. There are several dozen possible scenarios and I’m neither privy to them all nor do I have any idea which is the best option.

    And neither do you.

  15. 15
    Laura W says:

    I am hyperventilating wondering how I can call MSNBC and insist they fire Joe the Pompous Bully. As I type he is (again) attempting to ridicule, mock, humiliate and SILENCE Rachel Maddow. She, who is normally cool and gracious, has just rolled her eyes and looked down on camera. I wish there was something “we” could do about him in terms of getting MSNBC to can his ass. It’s not enough he bullies people on his own show for three hours…he sits in on another person’s show and shits all over it.
    Now she is laughing at him and he just told her she had the Clinton cackle down good. I can’t believe she didn’t walk off. Maybe she will now that they have cut to commercial.

    Can someone please tell me who I can write or call about this. I’m done with MSNBC. All of the shows.

    I need another drink. This makes me sick.

  16. 16
    cyntax says:

    Obama’s describing the same reasonable and measured approach to withdrawal that he’s been espousing all along. The real news would be if he wasn’t.

    And of course it’d be news if the networks actually applied any critical reasoning faculties to the McCain camp talking points, but what are ya gonna do?

  17. 17
    QuickRob says:

    He’s been calling for massive, immediate withdrawal all along – it was always politically convenient and an excellent way to get money from the grassroots.

    -Now Obama wants to do whatever is best for stability. Now he’s going to talk to the commanders on the ground and refine his strategy. You can argue that Obama “said that all along” but that’s just as tenuous as me arguing that Bush said “democracy in Middle East” all along and not “WMD’S!”. Sure, Bush mentioned democracy and the positive change that will result from the seeds of hope in Iraq, but he also spent the whole time scaring everybody about WMD’s. And suuuuure, Obama has been saying this all along, but he’s also been calling for immediate withdrawal from Iraq and damning this war from the very start.

    When Bush talked to commanders on the ground, they said to do the surge. Unless Obama manages to switch command enough to find someone that will tell him to begin bailing out of Iraq immediately, he will be told that the revamped counterinsurgency strategy is working and is the best hope for a stable and democratic Iraq is to continue the surge strategy will drawing troops down at a slower pace than Obama advocates.

    A new kind of politics. I think that’s what this is called. Obama left himself plenty of wiggle room so that when he was done playing the activists for cash he would be able to “refine” his message.

  18. 18
    Dulcie says:

    Laura, John Harwood was Crazy Joe’s punching bag yesterday on Race to the White House.

  19. 19
    DragonScholar says:

    Unrelated to politics, I’ve been following the interesting news that a major japanese Manga publisher is establishing an east coast branch. Their rival is on the west coast, and they’re pumping two million into the office just to start.

    The Japanese Culture Engine of Anime and Manga is making huge inroads and is a well-oiled machine. I’m expecting more and more they’ll be seeking other markets, including us, even with our messed up economy.

  20. 20
    Incertus says:

    The guy’s a politician—always has been. He also seems to be a pretty decent guy. And he’s still light-years better than McCain. Too many of us put Obama up on a pedestal, and now that we’re finding out he’s not perfect, people are hyperventilating.

    Bingo. I found out a long time ago that I was never going to get my first choice at the top of the Presidential ticket. I’m at peace with it, because I found that I get a lot more satisfaction getting locals and state people who agree with me more closely elected to those kinds of offices, and that has more of an effect on my day-to-day.

  21. 21
    D. Mason says:

    My only thoughts on Obamas Iraq position are as follows:

    1. He is not sufficiently “in the loop” to be able to set a timetable for getting our troops home. There is too much secrecy in the admin for him to have enough facts to set any kind of accurate date and I don’t blame him for not. Yet.

    2. He has 4 years to either get us out or lose my vote because come 2012, if we’re still in Iraq, I will be voting for the other guy.

    No need for me to get upset with his statement regarding Iraq. FISA on the other hand….

  22. 22
    John Cole says:

    He’s been calling for massive, immediate withdrawal all along – it was always politically convenient and an excellent way to get money from the grassroots.

    No, he hasn’t. Check the update. By my count, that has you at 0 for 2 today. Care to comment again today and go for 0-3? At this point, you are starting to become the Pittsburgh Pirates of commenters.

  23. 23
    QuickRob says:

    How is that inaccurate?

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Laura W says:

    Dulcie, yes! I made that very point under John’s post of 6:41am this morning.
    ARGH! It’s 6:41pm now.
    I must get a life.
    I must get a life.
    I must get a life.
    (outside of cable not-news.)

  26. 26
    calipygian says:

    Goddamn right you suck at being a Democrat. You don’t hate yourself enough, hate other Democrats enough or hold enough differing opinions on the same topic. I believe the relevant quotes are “Get three Democrats in a room together and you get seven opinions” and “I don’t belong to an organized political party. I’m a Democrat.”

  27. 27
    ImJohnGalt says:

    God, I just read Obama’s response to the MyBO group that was calling him to account for his changed FISA stance.

    His supporters there are fucking crazy. There’s a cult of personality there that rivals any I ever saw of Bush. I seriously don’t know how myiq2xu could get away with calling people here fanboys, when placed besides those kool-aid drinkers. People who raise substantive points are shouted down by people merely because they don’t have a filled-in profile. WTF?

    I like Obama. I’ll vote for him, for sure. But when he goes from “I’ll filibuster the bill” to “I’ll fight to strip the amendment”, when more than 70% of the country doesn’t want telco immunity, I can’t see that as anything but weak tea.

    The fact that he keeps saying “It’s better than the Protect America Act” is disappointing. That bill didn’t pass. So why should we give a shit if this bill, that is also flawed, is better than the last shitty bill? How about holding out for a GOOD one?

    Seriously, it’s like saying “Well, at least we’re not as bad as Saddam Hussein”, and who says that?

    Oh, wait…

  28. 28
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    Take a deep breath, fellow asses.

    Then grab your lovely Google Earth and look at Iraq from Baghdad to the Kuwaiti border.

    Imagine trying to traverse that under fire.

    Consider it– every frickin’ meter of it– hostile territory (which it will be, if that dumb son-of-a-bitch has his way).

    Do you leave behind any equipment? Heavy equipment? Are you forced to indiscriminately carpet bomb the area because you don’t have enough shooters on the ground to get the last platoon out?

    It just ain’t as simple as, “Yo, fuck it, we’re out of here.”

    Even when you’re dedicated to getting the fuck out of here.

  29. 29
    calipygian says:

    For all we know, the commanders may recommend that many of the troops be quickly redeployed to prevent the collapse of Afghanistan. They may want to move them over the horizon to Kuwait. There are several dozen possible scenarios and I’m neither privy to them all nor do I have any idea which is the best option.

    For all we know, Petraeus’ first question to Obama will be, “Are you sure you want to keep on doing this crazy ass shit for eight more years if you get elected? ‘Cause I sure as hell don’t, but I gotta listen to the Chimp and the Evil Motherfucker”.

  30. 30
    pinola says:

    Lara M: fuck Scarborough, he is obviously feels threatened by Rachel Maddow. I’ve seen him make sneering comments to her before, not to mention that the woman happens to be almost always right and Scarbutt is consistently wrong on everything. He knows that, too, and it pisses him off. He makes fun of internet activism and progressive ‘talk’ like Maddow’s because they challenge and threaten his status quo in the media Being the assdick WATB he is, he becomes nasty and rude as a result. It’s good for people to see him like this. The man is not right. Hopefully they will be as turned off as you and me and ‘turn off.’

  31. 31
    Studly Pantload says:

    Laura,

    Maddow has far too much class to do anything so unprofessional as walk off the set of a live show.

    JS, on the other hand, comes off as a mass of raging insecurity each time he “goes off.”

  32. 32
    Jess says:

    Take a chill pill and read this:

    Democrat Barack Obama says he’s always been open to refining his Iraq policy but blamed Republican John McCain’s campaign for suggesting “we were changing our policy when we haven’t.”

    The Illinois senator called a second news conference of the day Thursday to address the GOP criticism of him and resulting questions about where he stands on Iraq.

    He said what he learns from military commanders on his upcoming trip to Iraq will refine his policy but “not the 16-month timetable” for withdrawing U.S. troops from combat in Iraq. He said what he learns could affect how many residual troops might be needed to train the Iraqi army and police.

  33. 33
    Narcissus says:

    Democrats don’t deserve to win. Especially Dem bloggers.

  34. 34
    calipygian says:

    John –

    Quit reading Memeorandum before you have an anyeurism.

  35. 35
    nightjar says:

    I am hyperventilating wondering how I can call MSNBC and insist they fire Joe the Pompous Bully

    He no like facts poking holes in the wingnut narrative ballon. And Maddow is a fact factory in rapid fire clarity, so she has to be impeached. Lizard brains just can’t compute threats to their leisurely ignorance.

    On the other hand, it was fun watching Blankley stutter and stammer on what Mccain has to do to win in Ohio. Seems Mccain has to lay heavy on cultural issues smearing Obama with wedgie issues. Everything old is new again.
    They got nuthin’. nuthin’ at all.

  36. 36
    Delia says:

    And in other fun news, John McCain wants you to be his Facebook Friend so he can beat Hillary Clinton.

    Apparently he’s only behind in the intertube traditions department.

  37. 37
    Brachiator says:

    Cat and Mouse Games

    Here’s a piece of a breathless NY Times story from June 28

    Taliban Imperil Pakistani City, a Major Hub

    PESHAWAR, Pakistan — In the last two months, Taliban militants have suddenly tightened the noose on this city of three million people, one of Pakistan’s biggest, establishing bases in surrounding towns and, in daylight, abducting residents for high ransoms.

    The militants move unchallenged out of the lawless tribal region, just 10 miles away, in convoys of heavily armed, long haired and bearded men. They have turned up at courthouses in nearby towns, ordering judges to stay away. On Thursday they stormed a women’s voting station on the city outskirts, and they are now regularly kidnapping people from the city’s bazaars and homes. There is a feeling that the city gates could crumble at any moment.

    The threat to Peshawar is a sign of the Taliban’s deepening penetration of Pakistan and of the expanding danger that the militants present to the entire region, including nearby supply lines for NATO and American forces in Afghanistan.

    By contrast, here is a bit of a current BBC News piece (Can Pakistani troops make Peshawar safe?):

    … On Saturday, the government mobilised 5,000 paramilitary troops, equipped with tanks, armoured personnel carriers and artillery pieces, to crush the Islamist groups in neighbouring Khyber tribal district.

    The troops have swept through eastern parts of the region. But there have been no significant arrests. Nor has a single militant leader or activist been killed so far.

    The militants have simply melted away, offering no resistance to the troops. …

    Obama is going to have his hands full dealing with Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s really hard to get excited or exasperated when reasonable statements get twisted into intimations of betrayal of principles.

  38. 38
    Joshua Norton says:

    attempting to ridicule, mock, humiliate and SILENCE Rachel Maddow.

    Rachel has brilliantly put him down on more than one occasion. This is probably an attempt at tit-for-tat by Joke S.

  39. 39

    For all we know, Petraeus’ first question to Obama will be, “Are you sure you want to keep on doing this crazy ass shit for eight more years if you get elected? ‘Cause I sure as hell don’t, but I gotta listen to the Chimp and the Evil Motherfucker”

    Obama will likely talk to Petraeus but he is being replaced by Army Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno. My guess would be that James Webb and others have already given Obama the names of some people whom he should really talk to.
    On the other hand, I can name some people whom Obama won’t consult:
    Tommy Franks
    L. Paul Bremer
    Paul Wolfowitz
    Donald Rumsfeld

    And that is progress.

  40. 40
    Joshua Norton says:

    I guess I suck at being a Democrat.

    Just be an Independent. Much less aggravation. I live in San Francisco and up and registered as a Republican for a while, just so I’d be left alone. When you register Dem, the pollsters and phone trees ring your phone off the hook and overflow your mailbox with crap every election cycle.

  41. 41
    Laura W says:

    Fuck Scarborough indeed.
    Since I’m all fired up with nowhere to go but back to the kitchen for another cocktail, I found my way over to Rachel’s site for the first time. Lo and behold there is a nice little thread starting about her appearance this evening on MSNBC with Joe Blow:

    http://airamerica.com/maddow/b.....ent-454013

    Hope the link works. I’m no html pro. It’s the first post: Rachel is On! I posted the link to this thread because I’m a uniter. And now that I’ve found the email and phone number for MSNBC, I plan to do the BEST drunk dialing of my life.
    (I’m not really drunk. Just pleasantly pissed from the buzz.)

  42. 42
    tballou says:

    John – what you are seeing is simply a continuation of Obama’s triangulation and overall retreat from the “progressive” positions he espoused in order to win the Democratic nomination. Just check out his post on HuffPo on FISA – what a pile of platitudinous crap!

    We of course have Bush and the Democrats in Congress to thank for this in part. After 7 years of zero accountability, the Presidency has become an invitation to lawlessness, lying, cheating, stealing, etc. and Obama is just warming up. Mark my words – with a Democrat-controlled Congress, Obama will have a field day, and the great irony will be that the totally corrupt Republicans will be playing watchdog for a change!

  43. 43
    Svensker says:

    Obama’s response on the mybarackobama blog page was lame-O. Pooty poot poo.

    Happy 4th, when the 4th Amendment got totally screwed.

  44. 44
    crw says:

    Christ. Of course the Republican campaign is trying to blur the distinctions between GOP and Democratic policy. Don’t people learn? That’s part of the damned playbook they use every single fucking year. Muddy the waters on policy differences. Portray the Democrat as indecisive. Profit.

    It’s really damned simple. How many times have you heard Barack talk about victory in Iraq, or preserving the United State’s precious honor? How many times have you heard McCain talk about same? Nuff said.

  45. 45
    crw says:

    Or more precisely, muddying the waters is what the GOP does whenever they realize they can’t win an honest policy argument.

  46. 46

    …Obama will have a field day, and the great irony will be that the totally corrupt Republicans will be playing watchdog for a change!

    Considering the job that they did with Bush I’d say that they aren’t packing the gear. If you mean that they’ll bark at the mail man, shit all over the yard, and lay in the sun licking their nuts then you might have something.

  47. 47
    D. Mason says:

    Or more precisely, muddying the waters is what the GOP does whenever they realize they can’t win an honest policy argument.

    Hah! Muddying the waters is what happens in their depends whenever the terror alert goes to orange.

  48. 48
    John Cole says:

    I am so sick and tired of hearing about FISA. We lost. It is over. It is an ex-parrot.

    In 1992, Bill Clinton ran with the slogan “it’s the economy, stupid.” My new position for 2008 is “It ain’t FISA, stoopids.”

    People don’t care, you aren’t going to get it overturned, it is over, a dead issue, and although I agree with you on principle, I do not understand the fetish the left has with latching on to losing issues and requiring everyone to go down with the ship (queue someone to point out that when asked, people oppose FISA. Great. How bout we stick to the issues that resonate and we don’t have to ask them about. You know, the economy, Iraq, the criminal Bush White House, etc.)

  49. 49
    Loneaok says:

    It’s the difference between strategy and tactics.

    Strategy = end the war
    Tactics = withdraw over 16 months, open to revision based on input from commanders

    His strategic positions has always been clear: the Iraq War is ridiculous and it has to end for the sake of national and global security. His tactical approach has to be flexible to facts on the ground. It’s not triangulation, it’s common sense.

  50. 50
    calipygian says:

    People don’t care, you aren’t going to get it overturned, it is over, a dead issue, and although I agree with you on principle, I do not understand the fetish the left has with latching on to losing issues and requiring everyone to go down with the ship (queue someone to point out that when asked, people oppose FISA. Great. How bout we stick to the issues that resonate and we don’t have to ask them about. You know, the economy, Iraq, the criminal Bush White House, etc.)

    This is proof that you are a crappy Democrat. Look how long it took Dems to figure out that gun control is an election killer.

  51. 51

    His strategic positions has always been clear: the Iraq War is ridiculous and it has to end for the sake of national and global security. His tactical approach has to be flexible to facts on the ground. It’s not triangulation, it’s common sense.

    Nuh-uh! If it turns out that the best possible outcome will be gained by removing the troops in twelve months he still has to take sixteen months. If that same outcome could be arrived at in twenty or twenty four months or even more then he still has to withdraw the troops in sixteen months. The Iraqis don’t matter, the safety of the troops doesn’t matter, he said sixteen months and if he doesn’t swear to do it within that span of time then he’s just an old triangulator and I’m voting for Barr.

  52. 52
    TCG says:

    I don’t think I have seen any posts about this on the internet.

    Apparently, Condi Rice is considering Appeasing Iran by opening a diplomatic office in Tehran for the purpose of diplomacy, talking to the enemy and other appeasement-like activities.

  53. 53
    Joshua Norton says:

    Speaking of slogan’s you’ll just love McCain’s new one:

    “Reform, Prosperity, Peace”

    If this was Jeopardy, the question would probably be “name 3 things John McCain is clueless about”.

    I suppose “McCain – he’s a little better than a sharp stick in your eye” didn’t poll too well.

  54. 54
    Mylegacy says:

    Fisa Shisma…

    Changing the subject…Being an Athiest, and knowing most of you reading this are either Athiest/Agnostic or small “r” religious folks I found Obama’s “outreach” to the flat earth crowd slightly unnerving. It’s obvious that the Big O is religious. While that is a pity – he’s ALSO a REAL Democrat. Why? He reminds me of Canadian lefty Christians – guys like Tommy Douglas (voted Canada’s Best Ever Guy – or somesuch title), Tommy had been a Baptist Minister before he got into politics as a CCFer (Socialist or Social Democrat).

    In Canada – and most other western nations except for the States – Christians were more concerned about “SOCIETY and Christianity” so they backed Universal Healthcare and Social Safety Nets – rather than obsess on Homosexuality and Abortion – both of which they see as “Sins of Individuals” rather than as “Sins of Society.”

    I know many Christians who oppose Gays etal but are also uncomfortable with the US’s rather backward positions on the needs of Society. Could it be the Religious Right might have just enough “concerned” who might “convert” to Obama’s Christianity? Even if only 15% “converted” to the religious world view of the rest of the Christian Western World then we might break the back of the Republican monopoly on people of “faith.” Amen.

  55. 55
    Tsulagi says:

    But, since that is what he has said all along, I guess I just can’t find it in me to freak out.

    Me neither. He didn’t say anything new. He’s always put in quiet caveats and wiggle room in his prior Iraq position statements. Only difference is before he emphasized “withdraw all combat troops” and “one to two brigades a month,” this time he put the other more into the light. Some people hear what they want to hear.

  56. 56
    nightjar says:

    I am so sick and tired of hearing about FISA. We lost. It is over. It is an ex-parrot

    Often lost in the discussion is the ex parrot new FISA bill sunsets in 2012. so it’s not forever. That doesn’t it make it right, especially the immunity provision (that will be permanent) that BTW Obama will filly with Dodd and Feingold, but there will be another bite at the apple in 4 years. Then hopefully we’ll be a large dem majority in congress and with the presidency maybe dem leaders will have grown a vestigial spine.

    Of course, for those who don’t want any FISA spying period and never did, they will be, as usual, permanently disappointed.

  57. 57
    Woodrowfan says:

    To be a Democrta you need to keep the immortal Mr. Dooley in mind when he says “The Dimmycratic Party isn’t speakin’ to itself.”

    “Man an boy I’ve seen th’ Dimmycratic party hangin’ to th’ ropes a score iv times. I’ve seen it dead an’ burrid an’ th’ Raypublicans kindly buildin’ a monymint f’r it an’ preparin’ to spind their declinin’ days in th’ custom house. I’ve gone to sleep nights wondhrin’ where I’d throw away me vote afther this an whin I woke up there was that crazy-headed ol’ loon iv a party with its hair sthreamin’ in its eyes, an’ an axe in its hand, chasin’ Raypublicans into th’ tall grass. `Tis niver so good as whin’ tis broke, whin rayspictable people speak iv it in whispers.”

    Finley Peter Dunne as “Mr. Dooley” (circa 1900)

  58. 58
    HRA says:

    I totally agree with Laura and others about Scarborough. He really has issues in dealing with women who challenge him brilliantly on the job. I am referring to Rachel. Mika is another type altogether.

    I had to leave the TV again. There is nowhere to go without getting disgusted with the media. It’s like they have been fed from the Rove well. Time to go read a good book.

  59. 59
    nightjar says:

    Finley Peter Dunne as “Mr. Dooley” (circa 1900)

    Whew, that was scary. For a minute, I thought Walter Brennan was blogging BJ from the grave.

    Mr. Dooley would have made a fine Kos Diarist.

  60. 60
    Delia says:

    What the hell happened to msnbc’s evening lineup? I’m home with a bad cold and all I had to look forward to was KO and instead there was one of their true crime trash shows. Same for Dam Abrams’s show.

  61. 61
    JL says:

    MSM continues to try to make Obama a flip flopper and while McCain’s positions evolve. It’s going to be a long, long campaign season.

  62. 62
    SpotWeld says:

    Speaking of slogan’s you’ll just love McCain’s new one:

    “Reform, Prosperity, Peace”

    has anyone looked closely to make sure there isn’t really small print that reads “You cave any one of the above, maybe”?

  63. 63
    handy says:

    Barack Obama: Not sounding all liberal anymore. News at 11.

  64. 64
    Delia says:

    According to Sully, Charlie Crist of Florida is getting married. To a woman. Should be interesting if McCain picks him for VP.

  65. 65
    Svensker says:

    Apparently, Condi Rice is considering Appeasing Iran by opening a diplomatic office in Tehran for the purpose of diplomacy, talking to the enemy and other appeasement-like activities.

    Oooh, John Bolton’s head exploding — yippee! I REALLY wanna know what’s under that mustache.

  66. 66

    What the hell happened to msnbc’s evening lineup? I’m home with a bad cold and all I had to look forward to was KO and instead there was one of their true crime trash shows.

    Sucks. I was hoping for some KO over-the-topness regarding Independence Day. So, instead I put “The Big Sleep” with Bogart and Bacall in the DVD player. Next up: “The Long, Hot Summer” with Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward and Orson Welles. Both movies have the sort of crackling good dialog that I just don’t hear in today’s offerings.

  67. 67
    nightjar says:

    So, instead I put “The Big Sleep” with Bogart and Bacall in the DVD player

    I got “Paths of Glory” cued up on Netflix. Anything Kubrick is normally good. Especially his anti-war war movies.

  68. 68
    jo6pac says:

    I think I’ll watch V again and thanks for joining the Dems and now you know how we feel.
    jo6ac

  69. 69

    I got “Paths of Glory” cued up on Netflix.

    Seeing as how I’m now +4, I had a nice mental picture of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al, being forced to watch “Paths of Glory” in rigs like that used on the protagonist in “Clockwork Orange.”
    Thank you.

  70. 70
    TCG says:

    Speaking of slogan’s you’ll just love McCain’s new one:

    “Reform, Prosperity, Peace”

    has anyone looked closely to make sure there isn’t really small print that reads “You cave any one of the above, maybe”?

    Ya. Good point. I’ll break it down some and reveal some problems on its appeal to The Base:

    * Reform – The Base actually hates Reform. Think Abramoff or Delay or Campaign Finance or Immigration. Big Problems here.
    * Prosperity – The The Base loves Bush Style Economics But the corresponding Deficit/Debt makes this prong problematic as well.
    * Peace – This really means war. So what’s not to like here?

    Since one out of the three prongs is unacceptable and another is problematic, I’ll Cornerize the slogan so it can be pitched directly to The Base:

    * Reform – but without Republicans going to jail or McShamesty!
    * Prosperity – More Bush Style Tax Cuts, because they pay for themselves no matter how unaffordable!
    * Peace – 100 Years in a Iraq… A new War with Iran!!!

    So now when a wingnut hears this three word phrase: “Reform, Prosperity and Peace,” s/he can think of another three word phrase that’ll work just as well for a McCain Slogan:

    “Four more Years!!!” Or “Stay the Course.”

  71. 71
    Wilfred says:

    Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months. Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq. He will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda.

    That’s from the official website. This is today:

    “I’ve always said that the pace of withdrawal would be dictated by the safety and security of our troops and the need to maintain stability. That assessment has not changed,”

    If he stands by his 16 month commitment (which is really 22 months, including the 6 months till his inauguration) ok. But he fucked up today and ought to get hammered for it.

  72. 72

    Another take on “Reform, Prosperity, Peace”
    Reform: set a thief to catch a thief.
    Prosperity: Some hedge fund managers stand to collect one billion dollars in income. If you average that with your income of zero the average is five hundred million. Feel better?
    Peace: Well if we just blow up everyone who disagrees with us we’ll have peace now won’t we?

  73. 73
    TCG says:

    I don’t see what Obama said was wrong. He was on NPR today and was pretty clear there.

    Alotta hand wringing going on, I think.

  74. 74
    AkaDad says:

    John McCain: Reform The Constitution, Prosperity For Halliburton, Peace Through Mushroom Clouds

  75. 75
    Dulcie says:

    After everyone started clutching their pearls, Obama said the following:

    Let me be as clear as I can be. I intend to end this war. My first day in office I will bring the Joint Chiefs of Staff in, and I will give them a new mission, and that is to end this war — responsibly, deliberately, but decisively. And I have seen no information that contradicts the notion that we can bring our troops out safely at a pace of one to two brigades a month, and again, that pace translates into having our combat troops out in 16 months’ time.

    He didn’t fuck up. The MSM and the McCain campaign couldn’t wait to call Obama a flip flopper, when he did no such thing.

  76. 76
    Wilfred says:

    After everyone started clutching their pearls, Obama said the following:

    I’ll bet a lot of American servicemen were clutching their balls after his ‘refined’ comments since it would be their balls serving as chickpea fertilizer if he listened to commanders on the ground.

    16 months. Outstanding.

  77. 77
    Delia says:

    He didn’t fuck up. The MSM and the McCain campaign couldn’t wait to call Obama a flip flopper, when he did no such thing.

    Pays to remember McMaverick has the Rovians running things now. And according to TPM, Stevie Schmidt isn’t wasting any time.

  78. 78
    John Cole says:

    I’ll bet a lot of American servicemen were clutching their balls after his ‘refined’ comments since it would be their balls serving as chickpea fertilizer if he listened to commanders on the ground.

    16 months. Outstanding.

    That has always been his position. I am sorry you just fucking learned about it.

  79. 79
    Dulcie says:

    Yawn McPain’s posse couldn’t wait to issue a statement after Obama spoke this morning.

    Hilzoy made an excellent point – excerpt here:
    …..Our failure to give our candidates this much space is, I think, the only reason why the claim that you will withdraw in 16 months (or whatever), no matter what, seems to anyone like a good thing for a candidate to say. If you don’t trust candidates even to a limited extent, you might think that anything else is a sign that that candidate is about to give up on withdrawal altogether.

    We as a nation suck at nuance. Everything isn’t black or white. Sure, sometimes black IS black, and white IS white. Most of the time, things are many different shades of gray.

    We can’t afford to make mistakes in withdrawing from the Middle East – it has to be done with much more care and planning than the way we went into Iraq in the first place.

  80. 80
    Sherrell says:

    Thank you John! I thought i was crazy cause i definitely remember him stating this was his position multiple times in the past…and now I’m watching Anderson Cooper and he seems to be in shock..saying his “new position” undercuts the essence of his campaign! does every american have the attention span of a 3 year old! i can’t take this anymore! And to make matters worse I’m watching Kudlow on Morning Joe debate Pat Buchanan and I agreed with Pat!! the world is ending!

    BTW…I figured it out. So basically the republican attack line will be don’t trust this guy…and considering every other crazy rumor going around (muslim, terrorist fist bump) and in october when they start airing Rev. Wright coverage 24/7 again it might be effective!

  81. 81
    Dulcie says:

    Block quote is NOT my friend!

    Yawn McPain’s posse couldn’t wait to issue a statement after Obama spoke this morning. T

    Hilzoy made an excellent point – excerpt here:

    Our failure to give our candidates this much space is, I think, the only reason why the claim that you will withdraw in 16 months (or whatever), no matter what, seems to anyone like a good thing for a candidate to say. If you don’t trust candidates even to a limited extent, you might think that anything else is a sign that that candidate is about to give up on withdrawal altogether.

    We as a nation suck at nuance. Everything isn’t black or white. Sure, sometimes black IS black, and white IS white. Most of the time, things are many different shades of gray.

    We can’t afford to make mistakes in withdrawing from the Middle East – it has to be done with much more care and planning than the way we went into Iraq in the first place.

  82. 82
    gsp says:

    Andrew Sullivan is a bonehead. He doesn’t allow comments on his website so I gots to say here. With people like him holding politicans accountable, no wonder the US is so messed up. Fucking “I don’t see anything more than prudent post-primary adjustment.” What’s next, “prudent post-election adjustment?” Does this guy even understand democracy?

  83. 83
    ThymeZone says:

    Much ado about nothing. The country is not going to elect a guy who pimps a war that is despised by just short of 3/4 of the people.

    Sure, the new Schmidt-powered Magoo campaign is going to bark like hyenas. So what? Nobody is listening to them.

    Sure, the lefty blog world will do their patented Fauxtrage routine. Nobody is really listening to them, either.

    National elections are won in the middle of the political spectrum, have been for a long time, will be for the forseeable future. Anyone who doesn’t get that is just howling at the moon.

    I did all I could to get Obama nominated, and now it’s time to do all I can to get him elected. Everything that takes us off that focus is just a waste of time.

    The pundits don’t control this election. If they did, it would be Mitt Romney versus Hillary Clinton.

    This is a Dog Bites Man story. Move along.

  84. 84
    daphne says:

    I look to the state polls to make my judgments. This site and this site will make you feel better, I think.

    Remember, it is a 50 state plan.

    And can I say that McCain being in Colombia was a heads up from Bush? Can I get a witness?

  85. 85
    Bey says:

    Coupla points here:

    It would be criminally stupid to bolt from Iraq, most likely under fire every step of the way, leaving our equipment and infrastructure behind.

    No candidate is privy to ongoing operations in a war zone. They don’t share that intel until *after* the election, believe me.

    Until then, every plan to withdraw our troops must be considered nebulous at best.

    None of that means Obama is any less dedicated to getting our asses out of there as soon as he possibly can.

  86. 86
    daphne says:

    ThymeZone, you seem like a party liner. It seems that you just toe the line.

    It’s funny that you might be a Democrat, demanding the party line as you do.

    I’m not criticizing, just sayin’

  87. 87
    ThymeZone says:

    ThymeZone, you seem like a party liner

    Really? You seem like an idiot. Just sayin.

    I have 3.5 years of posts here, I’m pretty sure they don’t add up to “party line” anything.

    I support the candidate. The whole purpose of the party at this time in a presidential election year is to elect the candidates.

    Go fuck yourself.

  88. 88
    daphne says:

    Bey, really? Obama has never said such a thing. The google search makes it clear. So Bey, you must only be able to read anti-sites and add response. Are you a computer?

    Bey, every four years they share that info.

  89. 89
    gsp says:

    Shit ThymeZone, you sound like you have McCain like anger management issues.

  90. 90
    daphne says:

    Thanks for the predicted response.

    Look, Obama is wrong about FISA, but he got the democracy thing right.

    You are a sledgehammar.

    Democracy doesn’t need that.

    Laura W should turn off her tv.

    You all think Greenwald is a progressive. You are wrong.

  91. 91
    handy says:

    The whole purpose of the party at this time in a presidential election year is to elect the candidates.

    Like the kids say today, Quoted For Truth.

  92. 92
    Bey says:

    Daphne,

    Did you think I was quoting Obama? I wasn’t. I was merely pointing out that nothing is set in stone right now because a)he doesn’t have all the information he needs to make an informed decision and won’t have that until after the election at best and b) leaving Iraq in any way other than a carefully controlled and politically positive manner, ensuring we don’t leave equipment behind, would be epically stupid.

    Stupid, he’s not. I’m not so sure about you, however.

  93. 93
    tballou says:

    John – FISA matters big time for several reasons. First, Obama said one thing and now he is saying pretty much the opposite, so in that regared this whole FISA debacle is a gut check for him and he failed miserably. Second, FISA is as clear a case as you can ask for of Presidential felonies, and Obama is signing on for more of the same under this administration. Third, all this warrantless spying and retroactive immunity stuff is a fundamental rejection of the Constitution, and I am sick and tired of these bastard (D and R) that swear to uphold it and then don’t. Finally, Obama said he does do cowering very well. What a crock of shit! The right has him on the run and they will not let up now that they know he is a big pussy.

  94. 94
    daphne says:

    Bey, they get briefed as soon as they are the presumptive nominees. It was in the news.

  95. 95

    Bey, they get briefed as soon as they are the presumptive nominees. It was in the news.

    There’s no doubt in my mind that a Powerpoint presentation from the administration that turned the war into an almighty cluster will allow the candidates to make informed decisions.

  96. 96
    1jpb says:

    Great post!!!

    This type of media (and McCain camp) manufactured controversy is mindless and boring. It was HRC who ended up with the most restricted Iraq withdrawal claims when she was outdoing Romney with massive pandering, as losing approached.

    I think that BHO will stick to his push for a “careful” but timely exit. Strategically, his plan to leave is leverage against the Iraqis. The alternative is the Bush-McCain exit strategy which is totally dictated by the Iraqis choosing (or not) to step up when they feel like it (or not.)

    By now, most media folks probably realize that the Bush team has been BS. The media may eventually question McCain’s independence with so many Bush folks (Schmidt, Nelson, Jones, McKinnon) moving into the McCain camp.

  97. 97
    1jpb says:

    And, regarding FISA.

    nose face cutting spite

    Can’t folks do the math here.

  98. 98
    Stevenovitch says:

    You all think Greenwald is a progressive. You are wrong.

    Are you now or have you ever been a member of the progressive party?

    I don’t give two shits if Greenwald is a malfunctioning Hitler robot, he is spot on about this issue, and for those of us for whom this is an issue of primary concern his analysis has been invaluable. Greenwald is one of the last blogs worth reading these days.

  99. 99
    Patrick says:

    About four posts ago in “Robbing Afghanistan to pay Iraq” we mocked Condi for saying “It’s bad policy to speculate on what you’ll do if a plan fails when you’re trying to make a plan work.”

    Look, all Obama is saying is that he is open change if his commanders tell him that the rate of withdrawal is endangering American troops. We can’t mock Condi for following a plan whether it is working or not, and then turn around and mock Obama for being flexible enough to adjust his plan, but always with the ultimate goal of removing American troops from Iraq as quickly as is safely possible.

  100. 100
    jon says:

    New debate topic: is John McCain the Brett Favre of politics, or is Bret Favre the John McCain of the NFL?

  101. 101
    JL says:

    Next MSM headline, BARACK OBAMA SAYS IS AND HE SHOULD HAVE SAID WAS. The MSM unfortunately still has a lot of influence and the republicans know how to play the system, dems not so much.

  102. 102
    Wilfred says:

    I am sorry you just fucking learned about it.

    Piss off. There’s an enormous difference between the position he sets out on his website, the one that made him stand out from the beginning, and the Bushian “I’ll follow the advice of commanders on the ground’. The first is leadership, the second is lackeyism.

    He floated a balloon yesterday, testing how far he could stray from THE definitive position on ending this criminal occupation without getting hammered. He got hammered.

    I’ll be looking for the slack-cutters when McCain wanks on about listening to his commanders and the safety of the troops.

  103. 103
    Wilfred says:

    One more thing. Suddenly the birth of a new meme: The safety of the troops.

    You’d think by now that the Iraq war and OCuupation would ahve exhausted every line of abject stupidity available but no.

    So now in order to protect the troops we have to leave them in harm’s way, protecting the people who would kill them if they tried to leave. And don’t kid yourself. The Iraq insurgency, which consists of leaving bombs on the side of the road would now line the sides of said roads like Minutemen, harassing the footslogging American infantry all the way back to Manhattan. That’s right – they will suddenly make themselves targets for everything the US military can throw at them in order to take a few pot shots at soldiers who are LEAVING their country and doing the exact thing they want. This, no doubt, to take the last best chance at martyrdom.

    It makes perfect sense. Now the only way to make sure we can leave and preserve the safety of the troops is to make absolutely sure that they can leave in peace. even if it takes a hundred years, right?

  104. 104
    John Cole says:

    Piss off. There’s an enormous difference between the position he sets out on his website, the one that made him stand out from the beginning, and the Bushian “I’ll follow the advice of commanders on the ground’. The first is leadership, the second is lackeyism.

    You are willfully misinterpreting the commanders portion- he has always said that as an addendum to withdrawing in six months, because as a candidate he does not have all the information he would have as President. This isn’t Rovian. This is called being smart.

  105. 105
    justin says:

    This is insane. The guy consulted with commanders around a year ago to come up with the 16 month withdrawal plan. What in the world is wrong with wanting to be careful 2 years after the plan was proposed??

  106. 106
    John Cole says:

    This is insane.

    Completely.

  107. 107
    Laura W says:

    “Laura W should turn off her tv.”

    Thanks for the thoughtful and insightful suggestion, Daphne.
    There is nothing I appreciate more than being told what I should do by a stranger.
    I’m a bit surprised by the frequent lack of civility in the comment threads on this blog.
    Although I don’t know why.

  108. 108
    Laura W says:

    I know! I should go back to just enjoying the blog and turn off the comments!
    Brilliant.

  109. 109
    Pug says:

    I do not understand the fetish the left has with latching on to losing issues and requiring everyone to go down with the ship…

    Well, John, after 35 years or so as a Democrat you still won’t understand. I don’t.

    Many Democrats seem to think you have to be anti-religion, pro-gun control and want to raise taxes or you aren’t a real Democrat. That’s been the formula for our tremendous success in winning three of the last ten presidential elections.

  110. 110
    Bey says:

    Bey, they get briefed as soon as they are the presumptive nominees. It was in the news.

    You’re killing me Daphne. Do you honestly believe Obama has been fully briefed on the situation of our troops in Iraq? And do you further believe that situation is completely static and unlikely to change in the next 7 months?

    Do you have any idea how clannish the military culture is? They are very, very resistant to sharing intel with outsiders. And don’t forget who their boss is – anything they say has to be vetted by their superiors. At best — at best — he has had a very high level briefing that puts as rosy a spin on Iraq as possible.

    That’s not enough to go forward with.

    As for it being in the news, well…..

    Happy 4th everyone!

  111. 111
    Redleg says:

    The problem is that when conservatives incorrectly characterized Obama’s earlier position as advocating a “precipitous withdrawal,” the media sat back on their fat lazy fucking haunches and took their word for it.

    Now that Obama is essentially advocating the same thing he did a year ago (a carefully timed re-deployment), the lazy fat fucking media sees it as a flip flop. Perhaps they haven’t learned how to use the Google or the Lexis-Nexis.

  112. 112
    chopper says:

    He will remove one to two combat brigades each month

    “one or two”? by god, that isn’t exact! that sounds like…NUANCE! BURN HIM!

  113. 113
    mrmobi says:

    So now in order to protect the troops we have to leave them in harm’s way, protecting the people who would kill them if they tried to leave. And don’t kid yourself. The Iraq insurgency, which consists of leaving bombs on the side of the road would now line the sides of said roads like Minutemen, harassing the footslogging American infantry all the way back to Manhattan. That’s right – they will suddenly make themselves targets for everything the US military can throw at them in order to take a few pot shots at soldiers who are LEAVING their country and doing the exact thing they want. This, no doubt, to take the last best chance at martyrdom.

    You are so right. I’m sure that the Iraqis would line the sides of the streets and highways and throw flowers at the departing troops. Hell, we should save money and have the troops hike to Kuwait. Actually, why not have them give their weapons to the Iraqis and they can provide security?

    Idiotic.

    Obama’s position on Iraq withdrawal has not changed. He has said from the beginning that “we should be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in.” What part of that statement makes you think the withdrawal won’t be part of an overall strategy for the region? You should go over to Talk Left, where they are always busy trying to equate Bush and Obama, because that’s what you’re doing, and I’m calling bullshit on it.

    I’m pissed about his FISA position, but there is nothing in his written or stated positions which indicates that he has any interest in a long-term “permanent bases” arrangement in Iraq’s Why would he, most of the new programs he’s proposing count on dollars not spent in Iraq?

    Troop safety is not a “meme.” Maybe to Bush it is, but not to Obama.

  114. 114
    Wilfred says:

    You are so right. I’m sure that the Iraqis would line the sides of the streets and highways and throw flowers at the departing troops

    As usual, binary stupid fuckdom rules. How about the Iraqi Army asshole, the one we’ve been training for the last five years? Maybe they can run some patrols as we take 16 fucking months to leave. Or maybe we can take out men and material by air – the way they did every goddamned Reforger exercise.

    No the image is the lonely US soldier walking back 400 miles (from where) through ostensibly friendly Shia controlled territory with formerly ‘friendlies’ now shooting to DISPROVE THE FALLACY THAT WE COULD LEAVE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    We’ll be in Iraq for a hundred years at this rate. McCain was right.

    Just for fun. What are the determining metrics for ever leaving, if the safety of the troops is the most important thing. Stupidest goddamned thing I ever heard of.

  115. 115
    HRA says:

    I do believe I heard Obama say he will consult with the commanders on the ground in Iraq and then make his decision. Throughout other wars and conflicts, the ultimate decision is not done by the commanders in the field. It is done at the very top.

    One thing I hope will be done is to not have a host of embeds along for the withdrawal. One embed under a strict blackout until all is done safely should be the way to help insure the safety of the troops.

  116. 116

    […] Open Thread […]

  117. 117
    Ken says:

    Two days ago, I said

    Being a Democrat means endless, pointless squabbling amongst ourselves…

    Q.E.D.

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