Don’t want to end up like Bonnie and Clyde

Someone once told me that the gun lobby wasn’t close to the most powerful lobbying organization in Washington, that I had probably never heard of the most powerful ones. The idea here is that when you’re truly powerful, you can get people not to talk about you at all; it’s better to bribe everyone quietly than to be Public Lobby Number One. I understand that the NRA thrives off controversy but I wonder if that’s true of the Israel lobby too. I suspect it isn’t, and that it was a mistake to pick a fight over Hagel, though from what I understand this may be more Shelly Adelson and a bunch of secret donors than it is AIPAC:

I understand how politically popular Israel is on Capitol Hill, but its still somewhat amazing just how completely questions about Israel have dominated the Hagel confirmation hearings.

At a certain point, this starts to turn the public off. Israel would be better off getting its $3 billion a year from the US in silence, IMHO.

The whole “pro-Israel/anti-Israel” thing is dumb…why is it “pro-Israel” to encourage the Israeli government to pursue an overly aggressive dead-end strategy (similarly, of course, why was it pro-America to want the US to pour thousands of lives and billions of dollars into Iraq)? But even if you take the right-wing definition of “pro-Israel” at face value, I don’t think clown shows like the Hagel confirmation have a “pro-Israel” effect.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit






106 replies
  1. 1
    Librarian says:

    Desmond Dekker and the Aces, “The Israelites” , 1969. Reggae before it was called reggae.

  2. 2
    Doug Galt says:

    @Librarian:

    I love that song. First heard it in Drugstore Cowboy long before I became friends with a bunch of West Indians and learned all about reggae.

  3. 3
    dr. bloor says:

    It’s all dogs and ponies by the Repubs for the money guys. I doubt they really want to answer to their constituents why they killed off the nomination of an old white Republican veteran from the Heartland.

  4. 4
    low-tech cyclist says:

    The idea here is that when you’re truly powerful, you can get people not to talk about you at all; it’s better to bribe everyone quietly than to be Public Lobby Number One.

    Indeed. When they took copyrights from 28 years, renewable once, to forever and a day, I didn’t hear shit about it until years later. That’s the sort of win that big money gets.

  5. 5
    22over7 says:

    (adjusts tinfoil hat to a jaunty angle)

    Maybe the Israel thing is a smokescreen. Maybe the real issue is defense spending. Hagel is known to be in favor of reducing nuclear weapons, and could be tasked with reducing overall spending (since we’re not actively at war).

    The military industrial complex doesn’t like being downsized.

  6. 6
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Israel would be better off getting its $3 billion a year from the US in silence, IMHO.

    Pride issue. They want us sucking their dicks and thanking them in public for the opportunity.

  7. 7
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Countries comparable to Israel in terms of population: Denmark and El Salvador. Can you imagine a world in which American politics made the treatment of Denmark a litmus test for “seriousness”? Constant questions about the status of Greenland cropping up in presidential debates…

  8. 8
    eemom says:

    Another reggae tune I just recently became enamored of after hearing a Sinead O’Connor cover of it on XM: Downpressor Man. Dayum but that is a great song.

  9. 9
    Fwiffo says:

    Your real friends are the ones that take away your keys when you’re too drunk to drive, but everybody prefers the ones that say “You’re cool, man!”

    That basically is my theory to everything that’s going on in Washington right now.

  10. 10
    eemom says:

    Also too, plz keep using The Israelites lyrics for Israel posts for the rest of my natural life. Keeps my mind off the inevitable ignorance that ensues. kthxbai.

  11. 11
    PeakVT says:

    The whole “pro-Israel/anti-Israel” thing is dumb

    Well, of course, but extremists often attempt to control the dialogue on the topic by tarring moderates on their side with a label that would better fit their opponents.

  12. 12
    Doug Galt says:

    @eemom:

    Yes, that’s a great one too.

  13. 13
    👽 Martin says:

    Yeah, good lobbying efforts result in non-controversial outcomes among legislators. Banks/finance are a good example of really good lobbying efforts – they convinced Congress to gut financial laws without hardly anyone speaking up against it. (Good example of copyright by low-tech cyclist, too.)

    The NRA is embraced for their ability to wedge the electorate – and legislators, not because they are terribly good at getting shit done legislatively.

    That makes them far more powerful when election season rolls around, though. That’s why Obama feels he can take this on now – the driver for this (Newtown) happened at just the right time near the election, so there’s a window in which they can work. Had Newtown occurred a year from now, it’d have had no political impact at all.

  14. 14
    Doug Galt says:

    @22over7:

    Interesting point .

  15. 15
    Seanly says:

    I don’t understand why Hagel’s comments about Isreal (which didn’t seem untoward to me) have anything to do with the position of Secretary of Defense.

    Many of the conservative dog whistles are so arcane or “insider baseball”-type of things that I wonder how they can have such traction with the media. We’ve gotten to a point where the in-crowd pundits are one with the conservatives and very few people understand WTF they’ve got their underpants all wound up about.

  16. 16
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    The F-35 program will cost as least 1.5 trillion over the lifetime of the aircraft. 10 percent of our GDP.

    You never hear that number in public, do you?

  17. 17
    BGinCHI says:

    The answer to all Doug’s questions is:

    Because conservatives (wherever they live or whomever they support) are fucking stupid.

  18. 18
    sylvan says:

    AIPAC is routinely described as the Jewish lobby by the Israeli media.

    It’s one of those minor things that prevents Stormfront from totally aligning with the Tea Party.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    👽 Martin says:

    @22over7: The other angle is that Hagel is threatening to alter the GOP trajectory on defense. If all of these Republican defense secretaries keep backing Democratic policy initiatives, either the GOP needs to keep driving deeper into Jack D. Ripper territory, or they have to give up military based foreign policy as an electoral strategy (they’re doing both, actually). Obama won on that measure, and he’s going to keep winning on that measure at this rate. What’s the 2016 GOP nominee going to run on?

    So Hagel is also betraying the GOP electoral playbook here by agreeing to serve in this post. They couldn’t say anything about Gates, since Bush picked him, but he did the same thing.

  21. 21
    Betty Cracker says:

    Haven’t had time to watch, but from the clips I’ve seen and snippets I’ve read, it sounds like they were trying to confirm Hagel for Israeli Defense Minister, and I agree, that’s a turn-off to anyone who isn’t a Likudnik or Teavangelical who thinks the US needs to serve as Israel’s consigliere until Don Jeebus comes along to torch the place.

    Also2, listening to that embittered old fuck-knuckle McCain crowing about how right he was about the Iraq SURGE makes me want to tie his wattles into a Windsor knot and snatch his comb-over out. Way to miss the point, Anger Gnome.

  22. 22
    Todd says:

    Perhaps people will begin asking questions about what Our! Greatest! Ally! grants as quid pro the quo they receive from us?

    Looks like a one way street to me, inasmuch as our primary military and diplomatic strategy in the ME is related to keeping Israel safe, and in the absence of Israel, would no longer be as fraught.

  23. 23
    BGinCHI says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Yeah but freedoms.

  24. 24
    Doug Galt says:

    @sylvan:

    AIPAC is routinely described as the Jewish lobby by the Israeli media.

    Why?

  25. 25
    PeakVT says:

    @22over7: It’s not one or another. The whole topic is a toxic mix of tribalism, religion, weapons sales, and campaign contributions.

    @Seanly: The media loves fake controversies, so even parts of the media that aren’t also part of the right-wing noise machine are attracted to stuff like the Hagel hysteria.

  26. 26
    BGinCHI says:

    @Betty Cracker: How hard was it to be for the surge if you were already for the war?

    If we paid to put 10 times as many cops, or 100 times as many, on the streets, crime would go down. But maybe if we just looked harder at the causes of crime we could avoid throwing all those good resources after bad.

    Fuck McCain.

  27. 27
    Hill Dweller says:

    OT: I see CNN is dropping Soledad O’Brien, and replacing her with Wall Street shill Erin Burnett. O’Brien committed the Cardinal Sin of calling Republicans on their bullshit during interviews.

  28. 28
    DC21 says:

    This is a humiliation ritual. It’s not designed for public consumption, as most members of the public won’t hear of it or give it any thought in a week. It’s not really meant to derail his nomination either, though Republicans would be thrilled if things broke that way. It’s really meant to impress a lesson on the other members of congress about the cost of heterodoxy on this issue.

  29. 29
    redshirt says:

    @Betty Cracker: Yes. And more yes.

    “Anger Gnome” is my new band name.

  30. 30
    trollhattan says:

    @Librarian:

    More ska, but point taken and great song, anyhoo.

  31. 31
    Zifnab25 says:

    @👽 Martin: I think people are getting a bit confused on the nature of lobbying versus community organizing here.

    Consider the AARP. I’d say this is a lobby comparable to the NRA on the left side of the aisle. But both AARP and NRA get their political muscle from voters. When AARP shouts, its elderly members listen. When the NRA shouts, its gun-owner members listen. Politicians get scared when they’re flooded with angry letters from old, rich white people, because they know these people vote and in large numbers.

    By contrast, AIPAC and the banks and the Disney Copywrite lobby don’t have an army of voters. They never will. If AIPAC tries to whip a bunch of American Jews into a heated frenzy of fear or disgust, it’ll fail. When some asshat gets on CNBC or Bloomberg and explains why poor people should just fuck off an die, he gets Occupy-style backlash. These lobbyists don’t have a natural constituency of any sizable number. That’s why they rely on discretion and smoke-filled rooms and envelops stuffed with cash to get their way.

    If AIPAC went to the people, they’d lose. When the NRA goes to the people, they often win.

    It’s just two different strategies for two different public policy debates. One isn’t naturally “more powerful” than the other.

  32. 32
    Doug Galt says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    That sucks.

  33. 33

    @Hill Dweller: that is tragic. Soledad has been bringing the heat.

  34. 34
    wesindc says:

    ARGGHHHH this is why politics and religion should never ever mix! You would think that an ant that breaths on Israel and it would collapse into…what…chaos? I know an ant can’t breath but that is the current ideology it seems.

  35. 35
    sylvan says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    F-35 manufacturing has been spread across 42 states.

    Who cares if it doesn’t work.

  36. 36
    Doug Galt says:

    @Zifnab25:

    Very good points.

  37. 37
    dr. bloor says:

    @Hill Dweller: MSNBC should pick her up and then eat CNN’s lunch in whatever slot they give her.

    CNN’s programming strategy will be written up someday as the introductory textbook for News Organization Fail.

  38. 38
    22over7 says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Really good points.

    PeakVT, also.

    So this is another symptom of total republican meltdown.

  39. 39
    trollhattan says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    Ginormous sinkhole, and they’re beginning to cast about for the next, next generation fighter jets (F22/35 replacements). They’re in the process of rolling back the F35 performance targets, across all three variants.

    Nevertheless, we are so going to kick the AlQaeda Air Force’s ass.

  40. 40
    MikeJ says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    The F-35 program will cost as least 1.5 trillion over the lifetime of the aircraft. 10 percent of our GDP.

    10% of one year’s GDP for a lifetime of what, 30, 40 years?

    If someone could convince the jarheads they don’t really need vstol we could get a much, much, much cheaper common strike fighter.

  41. 41
    sylvan says:

    @Doug Galt:

    Why?

    Because they lobby. And they’re Jewish.

  42. 42
    cmorenc says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Can you imagine a world in which American politics made the treatment of Denmark a litmus test for “seriousness”?

    Actually, using Denmark as a litmus test for seriousness might actually be a terrific rather than a ridiculous idea. The Danes have one of the most pleasantly civil, progressive societies on the planet, and (other than the climate) Kobenhavn is among the most beautiful, livable cities in the world. Somehow, the Danes managed to transform a city with a basic street and building pattern laid out in medieval times into a three-tiered system with separate pedestrian, bicycle, and motor vehicle lanes (with the pedestrian and bicycle lanes combined on the unavoidably narrowest streets).

  43. 43
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Hill Dweller: Erin Burnett’s show is horrible. It’s like someone trying to turn eye-rolling into a news program.

  44. 44
    Doug Galt says:

    @sylvan:

    I very much dislike the term “Jewish lobby” personally. It implies a connection and exclusivity that isn’t there.

  45. 45
    trollhattan says:

    @cmorenc:

    But, they have very naughty cartoonists.

  46. 46
    Valdivia says:

    @Doug Galt:

    I think to most Israelis AIPAC feels/seems like the jewish lobby because they think of it in tribal terms. I agree with you that it is problematic but having lived in Israel I understand why they see it this way.

  47. 47
    👽 Martin says:

    @MikeJ:

    If someone could convince the jarheads they don’t really need vstol we could get a much, much, much cheaper common strike fighter.

    That’s easy. Just replace their 9 amphibious assault ships with supercarriers so they can land conventional aircraft. Between construction and operating costs, it’d probably break even.

  48. 48
    Baud says:

    @dr. bloor:

    Agree. Replace Morning Joe with her and I might watch them in the morning.

  49. 49
    cmorenc says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    OT: I see CNN is dropping Soledad O’Brien, and replacing her with Wall Street shill Erin Burnett. O’Brien committed the Cardinal Sin of calling Republicans on their bullshit during interviews.

    IF ONLY Wolf Blitzer would also wind up on CNN’s chopping block.

    IMHO O’Brien’s demotion from the morning slot was more a matter lf “just business” over CNN’s poor competitive ratings in that time slot (even MSNBC’s Morning Ho got double the number of viewers in the competitive slot) rather than being motivated directly by ideological disapproval. The problem at CNN is the way the news network has been run into the ground by hacks. THAT SAID, I agree with another commenter that MSNBC could make better use of O’Brien by hiring her away; Rachael Maddow would have found CNN a difficult environment to have succeeded in, and look at how powerfully well and influential she’s doing over at MSNBC.

  50. 50
    Sly says:

    why is it “pro-Israel” to encourage the Israeli government to pursue an overly aggressive dead-end strategy (similarly, of course, why was it pro-America to want the US to pour thousands of lives and billions of dollars into Iraq)?

    Because the people who say that it is have a bigger megaphone than the people who say that it isn’t.

    The decline of the Jewish working class, which sustained leftist and radical Jewish institutions well into the 20th century, allowed the Jewish right to thrive and set the terms of discourse on various subjects, most notably those pertaining to Israel’s national identity and security arrangements. The good news is that this has been changing, but very slowly and owing almost entirely to the failings of the Jewish right.

  51. 51
    JPL says:

    OMG… Cruz is unhinged…

  52. 52
    Cluttered Mind says:

    This is why I think the banking lobby is the most powerful. It took a catastrophe on the scale of the events of late 2008 leading up to the first of many bailouts before they had any real light shined on them (by anyone other than the woefully Un-Serious)

  53. 53
    aimai says:

    @DC21:

    This is a very nice point. I think it jibes with something I noticed which is that its a complete fake freak show since (for example) HIllary in her congressional testimony, Kerry in his, and Hagel in his could easily have defanged, embarrassed, and just plain frightened those old toads like McCain and Graham to death by simply speaking directly and without deference. But it wouldn’t have been polite, it wouldn’t have comported with protocol, and it ultimatel isn’t necessary since in all these cases the Senators are simply posturing to zero effect.

    I mean, I was listening to McCain shrieking “Yes or no” and I thought that if I were Hagel I wouldn’t have been able to resist just taking out the two by four and saying:

    “John you incredible asshole–the Iraq war was an incredible military and political disaster for our country as you and everyone else in this room knows full well. I did not then think it was a good idea to throw 30,000 more troops into the blender of bush’s mistakes and I still don’t think the resulting US military deaths made sense for us as a country–whatever effect you might think on rehabilitating your reputation as a military mind.”

    McCain would have had a gibbering heart attack moment right there.

  54. 54
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @cmorenc: All of that may be the case, but replacing her with Erin Burnett shows that CNN still has yet to learn what their problem is. Erin Burnett belongs on AM radio, she’s too much of an extremist even for most Fox shows.

  55. 55
    Haydnseek says:

    @eemom: And if you would be so kind, jack up the volume on the bass line. Not only would my childhood appreciate it, but my adulthood as well……….

  56. 56
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Doug Galt: I don’t like it either. I don’t think it’s anti-Semitic per se, but at best, it’s imprecise, and it insults the many Jewish folks who didn’t sign up for the AIPAC agenda.

  57. 57
    Mandalay says:

    @sylvan:

    AIPAC is routinely described as the Jewish lobby by the Israeli media.

    Ahh…I had been wondering why the Israeli media has not been nominated for SoD. Now it all makes sense.

  58. 58
    sylvan says:

    @Doug Galt:

    It implies a connection and exclusivity that isn’t there

    Israelis are as diverse as we are.

    I was just pointing out one reported commonality.

  59. 59
    some guy says:

    Israel is an apartheid regime.

    That is the reasonable, moderate, middle of the road position. Anyone who can’t accept that basic reality is either a shill for Israel, or an apologist. There is no middle ground, you either are willing to refute apartheid or you support it.

  60. 60
    efgoldman says:

    @cmorenc:

    …a three-tiered system with separate pedestrian, bicycle, and motor vehicle lanes…

    And they use trains, too. The GOBP hates trains. [I wonder, sometimes, if there’s even a single GOBP politician who has a model railroad in his basement or garage.]

  61. 61
    RP says:

    @22over7: Yes — this is all about defense spending (and giving the senators an opportunity to grandstand over *something*.) It has very little to do with Israel.

  62. 62
    efgoldman says:

    @cmorenc:

    The problem at CNN is the way the news network has been run into the ground by hacks.

    Its a good thing Ted Turner is still alive, or he’d be spinning in his grave.

  63. 63
    aimai says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Representing. The Adelson/likudnik lobby is no more Jewish than I am. We had to develop a word like “Christianist” to distinguish a specifically Christian political ideology like Dominionism from the regular beliefs and votes of ordinary self identified Christians. Its not that hard to do the same for the “lobby of pro-israel lobbyists.” It remains the case that some 98 percent of American Jews vote Democratic and remain staunchly liberal–I haven’t ever seen numbers of what proportion of them support Israel in any real sense or consider themselves represented by AIPAC. I’m no more represented by AIPAC because I’m a Jew than I am represented by the Concerned Women of America because I’m a woman.

  64. 64
    Anoniminous says:

    Israel has to be supported above all other considerations so all the Fundievangelists can be Raptured Up right before Jesus parachutes in from the sky and sends all the rest of us to everlasting torment.

    From what I remember Babylonian prostitutes are also in there, somewhere.

    (And I wish that was 100% snark. sigh)

  65. 65
    MikeJ says:

    @👽 Martin:

    That’s easy. Just replace their 9 amphibious assault ships with supercarriers

    Not really needed. Ships like the Bonnie Dick are as big or bigger than the WWII era carriers that naval jet aviation started on. My dad was on the Wasp (CV-18) in the 60s, and they had a much larger air wing than the marines have on any of their ships. It would take a good refit to work though.

  66. 66
    Mandalay says:

    @Cluttered Mind:

    Erin Burnett belongs on AM radio, she’s too much of an extremist even for most Fox shows.

    Not so sure. Her strengths are pulling faces, sweet smiles, short skirts, tight sweaters and very carefully unbuttoned blouses. None of that flies on radio.

  67. 67
    Valdivia says:

    OT but the PEMEX explosion in Mexico city may be a very big deal, depending on who/what the cause was.

    ETA may have been electrical explosion, if so, building regulations fail.

  68. 68
    PeakVT says:

    @aimai: 98% is a wee high. Try 69%.

  69. 69
    Seanly says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    OH NOES! Who will be CNN’s representative vaguely Hispanic and/or African American reporter when CNN does some piece on Hispanic and/or AA issues?

  70. 70
    pat says:

    I want Hagel to be confirmed and then to publicly announce that he no longer considers himself to be a Republican since the entire party has lost its collective mind.

  71. 71
    Pooh says:

    I was just thinking about this today, and I wonder if the cognitive dissonance of the same crew that in other context bleats about threats to U.S. sovereignty is so willing to outsource U.S. policy to what amounts to a political faction within another state ever really hits home.

  72. 72
    PeakVT says:

    @Pooh: No. Their minds are highly compartmentalized.

  73. 73
    Raven says:

    Hadiya Pendleton’s mother is on Rev Al. I don’t know how.

  74. 74
    RP says:

    Also, to combine the defense spending and “what do we get for our $3B a year in aid to Israel” points, most of that aid is spend on US military hardware, so it’s basically a handout to the defense industry.

  75. 75
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mandalay: Is Erin Burnett the Giada De Laurentiis of news?

  76. 76
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Raven: Poor thing.

  77. 77
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Librarian: God, I love that song.

  78. 78
    geg6 says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Aw, now what has Giada done to you to deserve that?

    But damn, replacing Soledad with that Wall Street whore? Guess the guy who got fired for tanking the oldest morning show franchise in the nation is intent on repeating on CNN every mistake he made at NBC.

    Erin Burnett and Maria Bartiromo make me embarrassed to be a woman. They actually billed themselves as the Money Honeys. They should have just gone with Whores! since that’s what they are. No offense meant to any actual honest whores, BTW.

  79. 79
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Betty Cracker: Anger gnome is awesome. Well played. Also, I don’t like Windsor knots.

  80. 80
    Mandalay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Is Erin Burnett the Giada De Laurentiis of news?

    Well I am embarrassed to admit that I had never never heard of Giada De Laurentiis, but after intensive research I can report back.

    I see no sign that Giada has ever jammed her tongue up Wall Street’s ass, whereas I see no sign that Erin Burnett has ever stopped.

    So no, Erin Burnett is not the Giada De Laurentiis of news.

  81. 81
    Bruce S says:

    Unfortunately the ultra-nationalist right-wing Zionist Jabotinsky (a would-be ally of Mussolini) has been vindicated and the dream of a liberal-democratic Israel coming to terms with the Palestinians seems delusional at this point in time. It’s a tragedy, but it’s very hard to simply declare oneself “pro-Israel” in the current context. If you’re not the citizen of a country it’s difficult not to base one’s attitude toward a nation-state on the persistent behavior of it’s leaders and dominant political faction. Also hard to separate the fetishization of Israel in the context of crackpot fundamentalist theology that actually welcomes the notion of some apocalyptic finale to the narrative of Israel’s establishment as a nation-state in the 20th Century.

    According to Uri Avnery, an Israeli peace advocate, this is the foundation of “Christian Zionism”, which is prevalent among GOP Congresscritters and Senators: “According to its theological beliefs, the Jews must congregate in Palestine and establish a Jewish state on all its territory so as to make the Second Coming of Jesus Christ possible…the evangelists don’t like to dwell openly on what comes next: before the coming [of the Messiah], the Jews must convert to Christianity. Those who don’t will perish in a gigantic holocaust in the battle of Armageddon. This is basically an anti-Semitic teaching…”

    So the foundation of much “pro-Israel” sentiment among the GOPers is belief in a fate for Jews that is, in effect, akin to the Holocaust. Pardon me if I pass on proclaiming myself “pro-Israel” among that crowd.

  82. 82
    JWL says:

    “..it was a mistake to pick a fight over Hagel, though from what I understand this may be more Shelly Adelson and a bunch of secret donors than it is AIPAC..”.

    If that is indeed the case the GOP as a national force is doomed.

    It must astonish the people at AIPAC to suddenly find themselves in a position similar to that of John Huntsmen in his short lived presidential campaign.

  83. 83
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mandalay: Ideologically, I have no idea. But Giada’s cooking show tends to be done in soft focus and in low necklines. It’s sort of like Zalman King presents Italian Cuisine. Your description of the Burnett show reminded me of that. But I actually find Burnett and her program to be less a sexed-up come-on and more cutesy-poo — I expect her to say, mid-interview, “As if!”

  84. 84
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Samantha Brown?

  85. 85
    Bruce S says:

    @Mandalay:

    Best description of Erin Burnett’s specialty as a prostitute I’ve ever seen…

  86. 86
    BrianX says:

    You know, you almost get the sense that the majority of emigrants to Israel only go because they’re wingnuts…

  87. 87
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    @Fwiffo: I like to say, “Your real friends are the ones who tell you the shit you don’t wanna hear.”

  88. 88
    handsmile says:

    This is a link to a segment from Erin Burnett’s very first show as host of “OutFront,” the vehicle created for her by CNN in October 2011 after hiring her away from CNBC. Everything anyone ever needed to know about Ms. Burnett as a journalist and as a human being was on display here. Of course, it should be noted that her opinion on the subject was shared by many on this very blog at the time.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–pvo3yV8Y8

    And, Seriously? Are people actually defending the work of Soledad O’Brien? Her role as anchor of CNN’s morning show was discussed (by me and others) on mistermix’s thread yesterday on cable news. In brief, she is every bit as much of a right-wing enabler and apologist as anyone on that travesty of a news network. I watch her every single morning, flipping between CNN, MSNBC, BBC America and al-Jazeera, and she rarely fails to disgust. Being marginally better than Joe Scarborough or the Fox Friends shouldn’t merit much praise.

  89. 89
    Djur says:

    @Hill Dweller: Oh god, Erin Burnett is just vile.

  90. 90
    OGLiberal says:

    So the main question in terms of our president’s selection for Secretary of Defense is whether or not he’ll kiss Bibi’s ring? I’m sick of our foreign policy being determined by a foreign government (at least the majority party/coalition) that uses, mocks, abuses, and hates us. I know Israel has nukes in an area that is hostile to our interests and the US in general, but do we really need their tiny arsenal to protect us from the likes of Syria and Iran and Yemen. Ke-rist, I don’t want another Holocaust and I know the folks who’ve made Israel their home for multiple generations deserve some level of protection but, for pete’s sake, how much does it really matter to our own national security? Enough to make whether or not their reigning party likes us the compass for our foreign policy? Enough, already.

    And these Southern/God-squad GOP Senators acting like they’re Israel’s best friend. I’m sure they and their family and friends have briefcase full of Jewish jokes and complaints they whip out whenever they are in safe company. Of course, the Dems have their own defenders of Bibi. But at least most of them are actually Jewish, they have some sort of family history or historical connection with the Jewish state. The GOPers just use it to beat up Dems and make their evangelical supporters happy that they are helping them to realize their end times prophecies sooner rather than later. So what if the Jews are condemned to hell unless they accept Jesus as their lord and savior – JC will be back and those dirty mooslems will feel his wrath.

  91. 91
    liberal says:

    @Seanly:

    I don’t understand why Hagel’s comments about Isreal (which didn’t seem untoward to me) have anything to do with the position of Secretary of Defense.

    Because when Israel commands us to destroy one of its putative enemies, he’s supposed to do what he’s told, and we’re supposed to believe it has something to do with our “defense”.

  92. 92
    liberal says:

    @aimai:

    It remains the case that some 98 percent of American Jews vote Democratic…

    Sorry, but that’s entirely bullshit.

    Yes, Jews are loyal Democrats, but 98%? You’re nuts.

  93. 93
    Chris says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Also2, listening to that embittered old fuck-knuckle McCain crowing about how right he was about the Iraq SURGE makes me want to tie his wattles into a Windsor knot and snatch his comb-over out. Way to miss the point, Anger Gnome.

    Jesus, I’ve pretty much accepted that this is going to be the new “Reagan won the Cold War” meme that goes down in popular culture no matter how little evidence there is to support it, but it still pisses me off.

    There was a massive overhaul in strategy after 2006. The surge was only a part of it, and what probably made by far the biggest difference was the Awakening movement, e.g. Sunni militias who’d been insurgents for the previous few years finally turning on al-Qaeda and agreeing to fight with us (a similar process occurred in the Shi’a areas against the Sadrists). It was a combination of factors, partly war exhaustion and partly being turned off by just how fucking psychotic the AQI turned out to be, but one thing that’s not to be overlooked? The Awakening had their salaries paid by the U.S. military. (And there were some rumbles in 2009, when we transferred them to the Iraqi government, that they’d fucking well go back to being insurgents if the Iraqis didn’t continue to pay them well).

    Yeah, I can see why the “surge” narrative set in. Sounds a lot cooler to say “the only reason it wasn’t working is that we didn’t have enough ALL-AMUIKAN BADASS MOTHERFUCKERS!” than it is to say “we, the most powerful military machine on Earth, had to pay our enemies to not shoot us.”

    It’s also worth noting that all these changes happened after the 2006 Democratic victory, after which Bush dumped Rumsfeld, sidelined Cheney and finally agreed to consider options that his administration had steadfastly refused to listen to since before the invasion. “We finally sort of got our shit together after our political enemies gave us the worst kick in the ass we’d had in a generation” isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of conservative governance.

  94. 94
    liberal says:

    @Bruce S:

    Unfortunately the ultra-nationalist right-wing Zionist Jabotinsky (a would-be ally of Mussolini) has been vindicated and the dream of a liberal-democratic Israel coming to terms with the Palestinians seems delusional at this point in time.

    OK, but who had this dream? The only difference between the Labor Party’s devotion to go-slow ethnic cleansing and that of the Right is that Labor was a bit less in-your-face about it.

    As Golda Meir said, “There is no such thing as a Palestinian people… It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn’t exist.”

  95. 95
    handsmile says:

    @liberal:

    See PeakVT’s comment above (#68). He’s reliable about such things.

  96. 96
    Chris says:

    @Bruce S:

    Unfortunately the ultra-nationalist right-wing Zionist Jabotinsky (a would-be ally of Mussolini) has been vindicated and the dream of a liberal-democratic Israel coming to terms with the Palestinians seems delusional at this point in time.

    Yeah.

    I really have no idea how this ends. On the one hand, a two-state solution seems delusional at this point, given that I literally can’t think of anything Israel could do that would force us to reconsider our support of them and our tolerance for their expansion. So the immediate future seems set on a course that ends with the West Bank looking like our American West, with Palestinians starring as the Indians.

    But that’s only part of the story. Because Israel’s successfully alienated every last country on Earth not named the United States of America, which means that whenever America loses its superpower status (whether that’s in ten years, fifty or five hundred), Israel is going to find itself high and dry and with no one willing to stick their neck out for them.

    That’s going to change the equation somewhat.

    But only somewhat, because no matter how alone they are, they’ll still have nukes, so there are limits to how much they can be pressured. “Wiping Israel off the map,” no matter how much certain people want it to happen, is not an option and never will be unless the people calling for it are willing to see the same thing happen to them as the entire Middle East goes up in smoke.

    So while the short-term future seems fairly obvious, I can only guess where this is going long term. Somewhere other than “total nuclear holocaust,” I can only hope.

  97. 97
    Chris says:

    @OGLiberal:

    And these Southern/God-squad GOP Senators acting like they’re Israel’s best friend. I’m sure they and their family and friends have briefcase full of Jewish jokes and complaints they whip out whenever they are in safe company.

    They do. I can confirm it.

    Of course, they don’t mean anything by it, it’s important for you to understand.

    I mean, some of their best friends are Jews. What do you take them for?

  98. 98
    liberal says:

    @handsmile:
    Yeah, saw that after I posted.

    But 98%? Don’t have to have hard numbers on hand to know that’s absurd.

  99. 99
    mai naem says:

    Soledad Obrien with Erin Burnett? You’re freaking kidding. Erin Burnett is not even attractive. She is not aging well. I’ve watched a very small amount of Outfront a couple of times. She is awful. And her ratings aren’t any good. I wonder if CNN isn’t doing what they can with the highest paid whore they have. The problem wasn’t Soledad. The problem was the show that was built around Soledad. They were trying to pull a Morning Ho with the bit players being people you didn’t recognize and I would be willing to bet Soledad didn’t get to choose the bit players. Say what you want about Imus or Morning Ho or up to an extent Up with Chris Hayes. They get a good mix of regulars who provide good entertainment. Soldedad’s show never did that.

  100. 100
    Bruce S says:

    @liberal:

    I’ll let the word “dream” speak for itself….

  101. 101
    Bruce S says:

    @Chris:

    The real kicker is that these douchebags believe that unless and until all unrepentant Jews die in the Fire, they likely won’t get to Heaven.

  102. 102
    Chris says:

    @Bruce S:

    I think that’s why they don’t care (those who’ve even thought it through) that once America falls, Israel is up the creek. Act one, America falls. Act two, Israel gets nuclear holocausted. Act three, the rapture and the apocalypse happens and they all go to heaven. (Why should there be a world after America, after all?)

  103. 103
    LosGatosCA says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    The whole client state thing is not very well understood in Washington. When you give everything they want to someone, they owe, not own, you.

    I don’t blame the Israelis, they don’t want any America first folks in Washington messing up their gravy train. And the MIC just wants to keep spending money so they use the Israelis as human shields to protect their share of the US budget.

  104. 104
    Paul in KY says:

    @Valdivia: Maybe it is also because the state that it advocates for (Israel) is 95% Jewish.

  105. 105
    Pococurante says:

    @aimai:

    I’m no more represented by AIPAC because I’m a Jew than I am represented by the Concerned Women of America because I’m a woman.

    Agreed.

  106. 106

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

Comments are closed.