No Victor, No Vanquished

T. Friedman of the NYT published a column that didn’t suck. That’s because instead of giving us yet another dreary round of “how the 1% interprets cabbie chatter,” T. Friedman stood back and let someone else do the talking, and the speaker was President Obama.

Some excerpts after the jump.

Obama made clear that he is only going to involve America more deeply in places like the Middle East to the extent that the different communities there agree to an inclusive politics of no victor/no vanquished. The United States is not going to be the air force of Iraqi Shiites or any other faction.

Thank bloody god. Also:

Intervening in Libya to prevent a massacre was the right thing to do, Obama argued, but doing it without sufficient follow-up on the ground to manage Libya’s transition to more democratic politics is probably his biggest foreign policy regret.

Fascinating. Mas:

“Our politics are dysfunctional,” said the president, and we should heed the terrible divisions in the Middle East as a “warning to us: societies don’t work if political factions take maximalist positions. And the more diverse the country is, the less it can afford to take maximalist positions.”

With “respect to Syria,” said the president, the notion that arming the rebels would have made a difference has “always been a fantasy…

The “broader point we need to stay focused on,” he added, “is what we have is a disaffected Sunni minority in the case of Iraq, a majority in the case of Syria, stretching from essentially Baghdad to Damascus. … Unless we can give them a formula that speaks to the aspirations of that population, we are inevitably going to have problems. …

Unfortunately, there was a period of time where the Shia majority in Iraq didn’t fully understand that. They’re starting to understand it now. Unfortunately, we still have ISIL [the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant], which has, I think, very little appeal to ordinary Sunnis.” But “they’re filling a vacuum, and the question for us has to be not simply how we counteract them militarily but how are we going to speak to a Sunni majority in that area … that, right now, is detached from the global economy.”

I don’t always agree with President Obama, but damn, I’m gonna miss having someone who understands WTF is going on in the world in the White House when he leaves it.

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94 replies
  1. 1
    Emma says:

    Ditto. I might not always agree with his conclusions, but at least I know he thought about it!

  2. 2
    Alexandra says:

    Going back to Nixon, best president of my (adult) life. No contest.

  3. 3
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Alexandra: Funny, I read that with an implied “who was the” between the words “Nixon,” and “best”, the first time around anyway.

  4. 4
    Hawes says:

    Heard a speaker (Peter Baker of the Times) say that Obama’s foreign policy ratings were at all time lows. But everything he is doing is what the American people want him to do.

  5. 5
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Hawes

    : Heard a speaker (Peter Baker of the Times) say that Obama’s foreign policy ratings were at all time lows. But everything he is doing is what the American people want him to do.

    Obama’s foreign policy ratings are, in other words, Obama’s ratings.

    It’s the ACA all over again.

  6. 6
    Botsplainer says:

    Speaking of vanquished, 34 years of Reaganism have murdered entrepreneurialism.

    http://valleywag.gawker.com/am.....1618511415

    With all the tech startups flooding the market, it would seem that America is more entrepreneurial than ever. But just the opposite is true. According to a pair of reports from The Brookings Institution, American entrepreneurship has been declining since the 1970s.

    Brookings’ reports reveal that American business has become steadily less dynamic in the past three decades. Instead of creating new companies, would-be entrepreneurs are increasing going to work for established corporations. And the rate of corporate consolidation is only making the statistic worse.

    Now, for the first time since Brookings began tracking the data, more businesses are dying than being born in America.

    Our venture capital is going to fire up shit like Yelp, tinder and AvoidBlackFolks apps. In between such glorious investments, it goes to game politics.

  7. 7
    Keith G says:

    Indeed he is a clear thinker. The sad part about our current politics is that we do not reward deep thinking or clear thinking all by itself ( see Carter, Jimmy).

  8. 8
    Alexandra says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Nixon resigned a couple of months before my 10th birthday, the first time I followed the news with my dad, who explained as much as he could at the time. A couple of years later, I was sticking up Jimmy Carter posters at the international school I went to… guess I had my mind made up at that point.

    On a slightly more self-interested note, there has been no US president ever to do so much for trans issues. None. That’s why I don’t hold much credence in the ‘both parties, they’re all the same’ sentiment.

  9. 9
    Gene108 says:

    @Hawes:

    I cannot blame people. The media coverage is wall-to-wall “if it bleeds it leads”, without much in the way of any useful reporting.

    If all I did was watch cable news, I think I would believe the world is coming to an end.

  10. 10
    Xenos says:

    @Hawes: No mystery there – he is doing what the people want him to do, and they would like better results, please. Even though they are the most right and most legitimate choices, we are still stuck with Bush’s messes and an often fucked-up world.

    I don’t see any alternate approach finding favor beyond the godawful 27%, so I am not too worried, yet.

  11. 11
    Big R says:

    @Alexandra: My adult life began during the Regency Presidency, so my standards are a bit lower, but I would make the same statement.

  12. 12
    Botsplainer says:

    Another reason why I hate America, Sweet Baby Jesus and the Troops:

    http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/.....potential/

    Yo! Is tech turning too stupid for its own good? Attempts at building better healthcare systems do not get the kind of investor interest that a new app called Yo seems to be getting. While the whole world was deriding (and downloading) Yo, the company quietly (well, not quite so quietly) raised further funding at a $10 million valuation.

  13. 13
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Keith G: Obama is a far better politician and has accomplished more than Carter, despite trying to govern in the face of unprecedented obstruction, and trying to message in an insanely fractured and fast moving media landscape.

  14. 14
    srv says:

    Obama made clear that he is only going to involve America more deeply in places like the Middle East to the extent that the different communities there agree to an inclusive politics of no victor/no vanquished.

    Welcome to Moral World Policeman World. Robert Fisk is not amused:

    He wouldn’t bomb Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s bloody caliphate when it was butchering the majority Shia Muslims of Iraq. But Barak Obama is riding to the rescue of the Christian refugees – and the Yazidis – because of “a potential act of genocide”. Bombs away. And thank heavens that the refugees in question are not Palestinian.

    Too bad those Christians don’t have a friendly Syria to go to, damn that meany Assad.

    I’ll predict that while the Peshmerga and IA could defeat ISIL, they had better not try soon because they’re obviously a complete mess. All our bombs won’t make them Captain Americas they way they’ve been fighting. Better start making the tea, we have a lot of training to do and don’t expect any good news by November.

  15. 15
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Alexandra: They’re not all the same, there are always differences. Frankly I think it’s kind of a straw man, the whole “people say that both parties are the same” claim. Mind you, there are some who actually say that, that they’re both the same, but what I see far more often are people complaining that they’re too similar, not speaking in such absolutes, i.e. not claiming that they’re identical.

    What I hear too often here, at this blog, at least in the comments if not so much the blog posters, is the idea that if you criticize Obama at all, then you must want Sarah Palin as President. Or you know, Mitt Romney or John McCain. People who say this often follow up with something like “I’m the first to be critical of Obama when he deserves it” but in fact you never see them criticizing him at all, just jumping on anyone who criticizes him even mildly. On the other hand you do have people, mostly not here, who actually claim that the two mainstream parties are equally terrible. I’m not one of them.

    I don’t mean I’m not one of the mainstream parties, I mean I’m not one of the people who say that.

    And now, having possibly triggered a big argument (I don’t mean from you, necessarily) I can’t stick around to watch it, unfortunately. Or well, maybe not so unfortunately! Anyway, my two cents.

  16. 16

    We — my mom, dad, and me — read the Friedman piece over breakfast and braced ourselves for suckitude, and were pleasantly surprised when it was mostly quotes from Obama without too much chin-stroking from Mr. F.

  17. 17
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Botsplainer: Corporations hate, hate, HATE competition and actually having to operate in anything within five light years of a free market, so naturally, barriers to new businesses are high. The ways to fuck over an entrepreneurial newbie are legion, and corporate types are expert in manipulating the business environment to crush any troublesome rival wannabes.

  18. 18
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    read the Friedman piece over breakfast and braced ourselves for suckitude

    I don’t understand. If you start tensing up before you even attempt to read anything by TF, then why would you continue to read anything by TF?
    He’s not a brilliantly insightful writer that misfires once in a while, his output is almost completely predictable.

  19. 19
    srv says:

    @Corner Stone: We must cling to the pundits we have, and not that we wished we had.

  20. 20
    WiscoJoe says:

    No victor, no vanquished could possibly go down in history as the tl;dr version of the ‘Obama Doctrine.’

    So glad this man is the leader of the free world.

  21. 21
    Botsplainer says:

    So not only are the ultra orthodox persisting in ritual gen!tal mutilation of infants, they’re taking the gen!tals into their mouths and passing along communicable disease.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201.....ups-mouth/

  22. 22
    aimai says:

    I am really going to miss him and everything he tried to do. I’m not going to miss the horrible 8 years he’s been forced to endure but I am going to miss both him and the First Lady. They have brought tremendous grace, charm, and goodwill back to the White House. And every time something truly crappy happened in the world I knew that I didn’t have to worry about who was making decisions in the White House–even if he couldn’t just wave a wand and fix things he at least always tried to do the right thing.

  23. 23
    Botsplainer says:

    http://m.forward.com/articles/.....-in-c/?p=1

    So not only are the ultra orthodox persisting in ritual gen!tal mutilation of infants, they’re taking the gen!tals into their mouths and passing along communicable disease.

  24. 24
    Josie says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Also, I suspect that much of the ratings results depends on which questions were asked and how they were worded.

  25. 25
    Keith G says:

    @Hill Dweller: That is largely correct. Both men overcame obstacles to do important things and both men have left important issues on the table unfulfilled. All presidents have to be judged in part by the unique challenges of their time.

    The good news is, Obama’s time is not done. The next several months might be perilous times for him. If he can find the skills and strategies to deal with what you mention as a very different environment than in the past, he will truly be on the road to deserving all the superlatives often bestowed upon him.

  26. 26
    gogol's wife says:

    @Hawes:

    Peter Baker hates Obama.

    I love him (Obama, that is, not Peter Baker).

  27. 27
    gogol's wife says:

    @aimai:

    My sentiments exactly.

  28. 28
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Botsplainer: I could have gone all goddamned day — hell, the rest of my life! — without knowing about that. Religion sure brings out the cray in some people.

  29. 29
    kindness says:

    Obama is always the adult at the table it seems. Kudos to the NYT & Freidman for putting out the column.

    I will be curious to see what the troglodyte Teahaddist/militia/neocon communities say in response to Obama’s correct framing of the issue. Funny how the Israel/Palestine issue is much the same but went unmentioned. I’m glad it was unmentioned as we know, any words contrary to Netanyahu are treason by these same troglodytes. The discussion would have immediately gone off the rails if he had. I suspect it will quickly go there anyhow because, well, you know….BENGHAZI!!!1!, Kenyan Muslim, tyrant.

  30. 30
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Xenos: IMHO those poll results mean something slightly different. They mean that people generally agree with what he decides to do after some sort of crisis arises, but they wish that he would prevent the crisis from arising in the first place — such as by “leadership” or “strength.” So they fault him for there having been so many unmanageable crises on his watch, rather than for the management of those crises. I don’t find that fair, but I find it comprehensible.

  31. 31
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    Love this president. Since day one, I breathed a sigh of relief at having a competent adult in charge of the hard decisions. I’ll be sad/terrified when he is no longer in the big chair.

    But I look forward to the day we can start naming things after him so I can watch the haters’ heads spin as they have to fly into Obama International Airport (direct flights to Kenya) or drive down Obama Boulevard (which goes by the Obama Center for Community Organization).

  32. 32
    Jay C says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Re Friedman:

    He’s not a brilliantly insightful writer that misfires once in a while, his output is almost completely predictable.

    No, pretty much the exact opposite: TF is a hack columnist, who occasionally pops out a decent – and, at quite rare intervals, insightful – column: in which he is (sad to say) right in the mainstream of NY Times Op-Ed pundits. Though, to be honest, IMO Friedman does have the lowest brilliant/suck ratio of anyone there.

    In any case, I’m wondering just how long it will take (no bets, folks: I’m sure the timeframe will be remarkably short) for the Usual Suspects to cite Friedman’s piece as proof-positive that President Obama is simply The Worst Of The Worst Presidents EVER!!! and deserving of immediate impeachment. Because Obama, or whatever….

  33. 33
    Botsplainer says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I could have gone all goddamned day — hell, the rest of my life! — without knowing about that. Religion sure brings out the cray in some people.

    It says a lot that the Orthodox and Ultraorthodox Jews that are overrunning Israel’s polity and stealing Palestinian land come from this mindset and are from parts of the world where tolerance and diversity are not shared values.

    It explains a lot.

  34. 34
    D58826 says:

    Entire article is well worth reading. Obama ‘gets it’ that the US has only limited influence in this region and McNuts and Butters notwithstanding the President can’t simply stand on the White House roof and issue orders in a loud and commanding voice. Really and truly he is not the ‘decider’ or the ‘enforcer’

  35. 35
    Corner Stone says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: I had a FYWP moment previously replying to this but – I also read it that way at first.

  36. 36
  37. 37
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hawes:

    But everything he is doing is what the American people want him to do.

    “God, I hate that freakin guy!”
    “Oh yeah, me too! He just keeps doing exactly what we say we want!”
    “Damn him.”
    /American polity, probably

  38. 38
    Corner Stone says:

    @raven:

    and their tactits.

    I’m quite the fan of the human female boob, but can’t say I’ve ever ran across a pair of these.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Obama is a far better politician and has accomplished more than Carter

    Unquestionably a better politician than OG Carter. To this day I’m still mystified how the man became president.
    I enjoy his entire catalogue* as a post-presidential actor, but Jimmy certainly did not have the right persona for president, IMO.

    *spellcheck tells me this is supposed to be “catalog” but I prefer this usage more as I get to imagine a jam session between the Carter brothers and the Clinton brothers.

  41. 41
    Anoniminous says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Google has something like $50 billion cash in hand, Apple has around $147 billion. In total, large US corporations have (Forbes estimate) roughly $21 trillion in off-shore cash holdings. When a start-up has really good product or, sometimes, when a not-so-good product captures enough market interest one of the mongo trans-nats offers to buy it for major bucks. For the start-up principals the choice is between working long hours building the company, and all the risks that entails, for a salary or cashing out and being set for life. Or cashing out (like Nest) for big bucks ($3.2 billion) and still be able to work on their baby.

    In some high-tech sectors the people who have the knowledge and skills needed to start a business are retiring and the knowledge and skills are being lost. Vaccine research and production is a good example. In other high-tech sectors there’s a chasm between the findings from research, e.g., buckyballs, and pumping out products spun from the research.

    Outside the high-tech sectors the financial parasites have destroyed the web of infrastructures needed to support new businesses. Manufacturing is the poster child for this. The US cannot manufacture,e.g., Apple’s iPhones, because the supply chain, etc., ain’t there no more. Further, to create a new manufacturing business requires material engineers, mechanical engineers, and Industrial Engineers to construct and organize the plant — and the US ain’t got enough of them. Even if there was the Venture Capital to support a manufacturing venture … which there isn’t*. The good news is the rise of 3D printing will create openings for new manufacturing businesses eventually but the widely available and affordable tech is not suitable (yet) for commercial ventures.

    To top it all off we’re in a global recession and during business downturns larger established businesses benefit from the bankruptcy of existing smaller, thus marginal, businesses and the fact no new businesses enter the market. During the Great Depression the number of US car manufacturers dropped from ~1,800 (1896 to 1930 total) to 12 by 1950. (IIRC)

    tl;dr The US economy is not seeing start-up businesses becoming Mid-Cap businesses because the economic and business environment forbids it.

    * a manufacturing firm is lucky to get 8% Return on Invested Capital, 4% to 6% is more likely. Capital invested in the Financial Sector routinely see returns of twelve to several hundred percent.

  42. 42
    Corner Stone says:

    @raven: I don’t care! Football is *almost* here and I get to trash talk you for 20 weeks!

  43. 43
    Corner Stone says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Our venture capital is going to fire up shit like Yelp

    Re: Yelp, I downloaded the app recently while in a different city and perused through looking for a restaurant.
    The people that leave reviews on there are assholes. Among other places I read reviews for things, the hipster douchecanoes (I can only guess) on Yelp are the most harshly nitpicky downgraders I’ve ever seen.
    I checked it against a couple places I have been to a few times and they averaged out well below what I would have put in for context.

  44. 44
    kindness says:

    Went back & read the whole article and many of the comments and answered my own curiosities. The neocons refuse to actually discuss an issue and continue to use each and every issue to frame their grievances with Obama. Sad.

  45. 45
    Roger Moore says:

    @aimai:

    I’m not going to miss the horrible 8 years he’s been forced to endure

    Of course you aren’t going to miss them, because they aren’t going anywhere. Unless we somehow get a Republican president- in which case you’ll look back on those horrible 8 years as a golden age of civilization- you can count on the same horrible situation persisting. The racists attacks will be replaced by awful sexist or something-elseist attacks, but the obstruction and disfunction will continue.

  46. 46
    Anoniminous says:

    @Corner Stone:

    The SO was in the sailing team while at university. During one race her team – a female duo – was behind a boat crewed by guys as they approached the final tacking buoy to head for the finish line. The SO’s boat needed to cut inside the leader and the other team was savvy enough to maneuver to prevent them. The SO pulled up next to them, on the starboard side, and shouted, “HEY FELLAS!” and she and her crewmate dropped their tops.

    The other crew was so startled they missed the tack, got backed winded, and the SO was able to cut behind them, round the buoy, and win.

    Tactits in Action.

  47. 47
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Corner Stone: The people who post Yelp reviews are often snotty douche-nozzles, but I’ve found the app useful by factoring in baseline trolling. I hate fucking chains, and I’ve more or less successfully used Yelp to discover mom-and-pop places wherever I go.

  48. 48
    Botsplainer says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I would never choose a restaurant (or anything else) based on Yelp ratings and comments. Urban Spoon and TripAdvisor are a lot more reliable.

    Yelp seems primarily for hipster assholes.

  49. 49
    Kropadope says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    What I hear too often here, at this blog, at least in the comments if not so much the blog posters, is the idea that if you criticize Obama at all, then you must want Sarah Palin as President.

    I think the substance of the criticism matters. Just like on the right, there are criticisms of Obama on the left that aren’t very well-founded. I’m skeptical of this venture, mostly due to the concept of mission creep, even though I support the idea of protecting American diplomatic facilities and preventing the massacre of religious minorities. However, he may potentially overstep his bounds sometimes.

    Look at Libya and the way he went in, even though it may have been legal under our treaty obligations (I am not a lawyer, and I don’t expect to see this hashed out in court, unfortunately), it looked ugly to the American people. Even though Congress was agitating for this, there’s no reason we shouldn’t have given them a chance to put their imprint on the intervention.

    Having Congress debate this issue during the weeks/months that he was mulling over what to do wouldn’t have allowed his deliberations to give rise to accusations of inaction. If they balked or stalled, he could point to Congressional inaction and trying to have it both ways. Citing treaty obligation may have carried more weight in this situation. If they demanded a more rigorous intervention than he was comfortable with, there’s nothing forcing him to put boots on the ground until he’s good and ready. He could have intervened in the same way he did while his Congressional authorization gives him more flexibility to deal with situations that arise.

    I can recognize mistakes made. However, some criticism becomes overwrought, emotional, and unwilling to look at the nuances. On the right this includes Benghazi or really almost anything they puke up, on the left this may be things like not pushing hard enough for a public option in the ACA or his inability to close Guantanamo. I would even say that mistakes were made on all those issues, but the debate surrounding them has a tendency to get consumed in hysterics that drown out legitimate issues. On Benghazi this shows as debating Susan Rice’s talking points the next day instead of questions of diplomatic posture and funding for security. For the public option, perhaps he could have suggested to his allies to not spend so much time chasing nebulous Republican support (even though it would have gone against his recent campaign themes), but there had been a lot of talk about the magical bully pulpit and pushing hard to keep the public option even after the point where it would have meant the certain doom of the bill.

  50. 50
  51. 51
    Roger Moore says:

    @Corner Stone:
    Yelp is also a shakedown artist. They base decisions on which reviews to show and hide on whether the places pay them for advertising. Companies that pay the protection money ad fees get to hide bad reviews and promote good ones, while the ones that don’t get the bad reviews promoted to the top.

  52. 52
    some guy says:

    Anti-maximilist. Good.

  53. 53
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Corner Stone: yelp relies on bad reviews. Getting businesses to pay to remove them is part of their business model. Allegedly.

  54. 54
    different-church-lady says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Frankly I think it’s kind of a straw man, the whole “people say that both parties are the same” claim.

    It’s not even a straw man — it’s the human equivalent of dogs barking.

  55. 55
    Corner Stone says:

    @Roger Moore: That’s an interesting aspect I was unaware of. After I noticed some really BS nits being cited I checked a place I’ve been to several times, for both business and personal. While I can’t say the specific things did not happen as detailed in a few reviews, I can say that the overall strength of the place was decidedly better than the reviews allowed for. I wonder if that was a result of the racket, or more the ‘baggy nature of the Yelp community.

  56. 56
    Suffern ACE says:

    @kindness: clearly the solution to this problem is to replace these Muslim regimes with Christian US flat tax administers.

  57. 57
    Anoniminous says:

    @Roger Moore:

    IANAL but that sounds like a viable basis for a class action lawsuit.

  58. 58
    Corner Stone says:

    @Botsplainer: I was trying to remember why I downloaded it. I think it was due to seeing a Bloomberg(?) interview with Max Levchin in the not too distant past.
    The shakedown allegations make sense though, upon consideration. As it were.

  59. 59
    Botsplainer says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Try TripAdvisor or Urban Spoon. Those raters have some sense, and people tend to join those from a spirit of helpfulness.

    A couple of years ago, I had a really awful service experience at a top quality restaurant that had beautiful decor, awesome drinks and great food – our dinner and drinks bill, with tip, was nearly $300 for a two top. I left a blistering yet positive mixed review on Urban Spoon, and the owners reached out immediately, changed procedures, fired somebody who needed firing and made things really right with me. Her statement to me was that the review really stung and was an eye-opener – they made every employee sit and hear it read aloud. As a result, I followed up on the review, sing their praises constantly, and we’ve come back on a few occasions.

    Had I left that review on a graffiti wall like yelp, they wouldn’t have given a shit, and continued lumbering along.

  60. 60
    smintheus says:

    @srv: I don’t understand what authority Obama thinks he has for unilaterally deciding to commit our military to fighting in Iraq. The AUMF from 2002 is no longer relevant and he has asked for Congress to revoke it anyway. What is occurring now is a civil war, and however brutal it is not a genocide.

    I also don’t understand why this question is scarcely being asked in Congress or the news media. Have we just accepted that any president can now start military campaigns anywhere at any time for any reason, with no authorization from Congress and no questions asked?

  61. 61
    eemom says:

    damn, I’m gonna miss having someone who understands WTF is going on in the world in the White House when he leaves it.

    fer fuxsake, I’m gonna miss him too and I have my issues with Hilz, but I wouldn’t put her in the category of not understanding WTF’s going on in the world. Nor shall I assume the unspeakable.

  62. 62
    Kropadope says:

    @smintheus: Well, his stated mission is only to protect American facilities in Iraq and get supplies to the Yezidis. He’s not trying to turn back ISIS and as long as that remains the case I think (IANAL) he is within the law.

  63. 63
    srv says:

    @Anoniminous:

    The US cannot manufacture,e.g., Apple’s iPhones, because the supply chain, etc., ain’t there no more.

    The US never had the supply chain to build 70 million iPhones a quarter. Jackalope.

    Further, to create a new manufacturing business requires material engineers, mechanical engineers, and Industrial Engineers to construct and organize the plant — and the US ain’t got enough of them

    Ah, delving into wingnut economist territory here, clearly, too many liberal arts degrees out there. Krugman would have a word with you. You should fly sometime and see how many US engineers are commuting out there. Next up, Obama’s regulations suppresses American businesses?

    @Allan: We were good to let the Erdogan and Saudis do as they please. Sucks Americans did not see the point of a proper Courtesy Bombing.

  64. 64
    Botsplainer says:

    @Anoniminous:

    One just got filed – Valleywag (gawker) detailed it this week. There are multiple actions going – some from the crapped-on small businesses, some from non-insider investors alleging some big insider no-nos affecting the share price. The thing hopefully won’t survive the year, and I’m guessing there may be some criminal prosecutions that are going to happen on the insider stuff.

  65. 65
    srv says:

    @smintheus: Obama has met his Mayaguez consultation criteria.

  66. 66
    Corner Stone says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    and I’ve more or less successfully used Yelp to discover mom-and-pop places wherever I go.

    What type of starting point or elimination tactics do you use to isolate out M&P places to then start looking over?

  67. 67
    Corner Stone says:

    @Anoniminous:

    The SO pulled up next to them, on the starboard side, and shouted, “HEY FELLAS!” and she and her crewmate dropped their tops.

    The ingenuity of a supremely tactical deployment. Kudos to the SO.

  68. 68
    Anoniminous says:

    @srv:

    Learn something.

  69. 69
    kindness says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    clearly the solution to this problem is to replace these Muslim regimes with Christian US flat tax administers.

    They started already. See: Texas.

    The whole neocon crew is the most talented bunch of self fellators I’ve ever seen.

  70. 70
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Anoniminous: I’m really NAL, and not intending to be argumentative, why? There’s no question this is harmful and parasitic, but doesn’t it just amount to a matter of Free Speech? Nobody can stop them criticizing a restaurant, unless the reviews contain actual falsehoods (nearly impossible to prove), and surely they can make editorial decisions on whatever basis suits them?

  71. 71
    gene108 says:

    @srv:

    The US never had the supply chain to build 70 million iPhones a quarter. Jackalope.

    If the U.S. government would subsidize private business to build that supply chain, like China does, we would have (a) the supply chain and (b) a helluva a lot more crony capitalism and (c) an economy propped up by huge government spending, which may not be sustainable in the long run.

    The reason Apple moved to China is the Chinese government subsidized* a glass factory to make glass for iPhones to be right next to the main factory. Hell, Corning’s one of the most innovative companies, with regards to glass manufacturing for over 100 years and has the technological know-how to probably build a superior product to what the Chinese are doing, but damn, if anyone is going to subsidize them to build a factory right next to the Apple factory, if they tried to do this in the USA.

    Also, China is still a Communist regime. The state still has its hands in a bunch of industries, such as coal and copper mines, so Chinese factories can get these raw materials at below market prices.

    * More like you will put your glass factory next to this factory and make this glass for the iPhone, so we can get people jobs, and will underwrite any losses you may have.

  72. 72
    🚸 Martin says:

    @gene108:

    If the U.S. government would subsidize private business to build that supply chain, like China does, we would have (a) the supply chain and (b) a helluva a lot more crony capitalism and (c) an economy propped up by huge government spending, which may not be sustainable in the long run.

    You wouldn’t. There’s 2.5 million workers just in Apple’s supply chain. That’s the entire labor population of the state of Massachusetts. There simply aren’t enough workers or the cost/incentive for workers to move to those jobs to actually achieve it. There are certain benefits of having 1.5 billion people, and supporting the iPhone supply chain is one.

    That said, the supply chain is beginning to be automated. Those jobs will be cut by 90% within 10 years. The reason is that the labor in the iPhone supply chain that exists outside of the US is non-value-add. It will all be automated and it was never worth investing in to begin with. We should be investing in the jobs that will make the robots that will automate and support that line. Of course, we’re not doing that either.

  73. 73
    Corner Stone says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    We should be investing in the jobs that will make the robots that will automate and support that line. Of course, we’re not doing that either.

    But we’ll have robots making robots, so those jobs will also go away.

  74. 74
    🚸 Martin says:

    @Corner Stone: Eventually, probably, but that’s quite a ways off. They still need to be designed, programmed, constructed (yes, those will go away first), maintained, etc. Those are all new jobs, but more importantly, they’re jobs that people who were settling for assembly job won’t be qualified for. And that’s our problem – Germany and Japan are killing us in this field. They’re investing in R&D and education and training and we aren’t.

  75. 75
    Cain says:

    @Corner Stone:

    But we’ll have robots making robots, so those jobs will also go away.

    So cool, that means everybody can be a CEO, then.. amirite?

  76. 76
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cain:

    So cool, that means everybody can be a CEO, then.. amirite?

    You betcha! I recently set myself up as CEO of a liquid solutions company. We resell clean drinking water to people living in temporary housing and also take post-animation human bodies and turn them into a fantastic soylent-based green type digestible solvent for nutrition.

  77. 77
    Keith G says:

    @Corner Stone: So, you work for Taco Bell?

  78. 78
    🚸 Martin says:

    @Keith G: Obviously not. He said it was ‘digestible’.

  79. 79
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Keith G: Well played, sir.

    @Corner Stone: I look at the ratings and then read enough reviews to get a sense of what’s bullshit and what’s fair comment. I live in the boonies and tend to travel in the boonies too, so it’s tough to go with a lesser-used review platform; there are typically too few reviews to distinguish signal from noise.

  80. 80
    Betty Cracker says:

    @smintheus: Article II? I didn’t see Obama’s latest statement, but I read that he suggested the bombing might go on for weeks. If that’s true, I agree he should seek Congressional approval.

  81. 81
    Roger Moore says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    Too bad Congress is out of town, or he could ask them. I guess he could ask them to come back from their home districts to work on critical business, but we all know how that would be likely to end.

  82. 82
    WereBear says:

    @Gene108: If all I did was watch cable news, I think I would believe the world is coming to an end.

    If all I did was watch cable news, I’d want the world to come to an end.

  83. 83
    Ruckus says:

    @Botsplainer:
    I’d say this is correct, small business start ups are a bigger risk than ever in my lifetime. And an idea with millions of VC money that expects a huge return in a relative short order is not really what I’d call a start up. I know of several small businesses, including mine, that went bust in the Bush recession. And I can not imagine a whole lot of people risking everything anytime soon in this sluggish economy that we have. What would it take to start up a restaurant now? Probably around high 6 or even 7 figures. When I started my retail business in late 05 I first considered another industrial mfg business. But I figured to get back into it I would need about a mill cash. Like if I had anywhere near that, I’d have retired early. As it was the small retail store required about $50K and to be done really well about twice that. Which was OK until Bush was completely done fucking everything up and burning down the economy. Thanks Georgie.
    And no, I’m not bitter. Not in the least little bit. No really. Come on you don’t believe me?

  84. 84
    Ruckus says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    When I had my retail store, Yelp came by to sell me ads and positioning. IOW if I paid them I’d get better reviews and those would be up top. And the rates are not good at all. I think I used the words, pound sand, as that was seemingly appropriate. My first two years I tried all forms of advertising and tracked all my customers and never once did I get a Yelp referral.

  85. 85
    srv says:

    @Anoniminous: So you like to contradict your own arguments. Keep knocking yourself out.

    US branded factories in China (or Taiwan) does not a domestic supply chain make.

  86. 86
    Southern Goth says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    FFS dude, will you please stop conflating jobs/tasks that can be automated (presumably cheaper than the labor) with non-value add tasks?

    You don’t automate tasks that don’t add value. You remove them.

  87. 87
    Betsy says:

    @aimai: word.

  88. 88
    mclaren says:

    Obama made clear that he is only going to involve America more deeply in places like the Middle East to the extent that the different communities there agree to an inclusive politics of no victor/no vanquished. The United States is not going to be the air force of Iraqi Shiites or any other faction.

    Bad news. Very bad news.

    This means that Obama is going to involve America more deeply in places like the Middle East regardless of their politics, and the United States is going to act as the air force of Iraqi Shiites and any other faction engaged in an endless unwinnable civil war.

    Since Obama always does the opposite of what he says, this bodes ill for America.

    (Cue mindless applause for Obama’s empty words, as usual.)

    Obama promised to get out of Iraq. Now we’re back in, bombing them again. Only a matter of time before Obama sends troops back in.

    Obama promised an end to marijuana raids on state-licensed dispensaries. So of course DEA raids are way up on state-licensed dispensaries.

    Obama promised “hope and change,” then he signed off on extending the Bush tax cuts for billionaires and hasn’t sent a single Wall Street financial crime lord to prison for their criminal fraud that trashed the world’s economy and destroyed America’s middle class.

    If Obama promises something, you can bet he’ll deliver the opposite. That’s why this interview is such terribly bad news. It means Obama is going to go full Bush — dramatically ramping up America’s endless unwinnable wars overseas, cranking up the Orwellian police state at home in America. Will we see the first public targeted killings of American citizens by DHS goons on U.S. streets before Obama leaves office? That now seems likely, given his interview.

    Intervening in Libya to prevent a massacre was the right thing to do, Obama argued, but doing it without sufficient follow-up on the ground to manage Libya’s transition to more democratic politics is probably his biggest foreign policy regret.

    Translation: Obama loved getting us into another bloody quagmire, and his biggest regret is that he didn’t get us in deeply enough.

    Behold the end of Western civilization, ladies and gentlemen. More endless unwinnable war, more surveillance, more torture, more crackdowns, more expansion of limitless corporate power, more brutalization of whistleblowers who reveal U.S. government crimes while the elected criminals go on to reap rich rewards and vast honors.

    This is how empires end and societies collapse. We now return to the regularly scheduled applause of liberals clapping like seals in unison, reminiscent of the rapturous cheers for the Eastern Islander who cut down their last standing tree.

  89. 89
    mclaren says:

    @TaMara (BHF):

    Love this president. Since day one, I breathed a sigh of relief at having a competent adult in charge of the hard decisions.

    Yes, it’s the sign of a competent adult to continue the endless unwinnable pointless war in Afghanistan.

    It’s the sign of a competent adult to continue mindless pontless DEA busts of state-licensed marijuana dispensaries when the public has spoken that they want an end to the insane unwinnable War on Drugs.

    It’s the sign of a competent adult to ramp up the endless unwinnable War on Copyright Infringement regardless of how badly it destroys America’s economy.

    It’s a sign of a competent adult to continue the crazy Orwellian universal surveillance that is now damaging the American economy as foreign countries abandon hosting their internet services here, as well as destroying democracy in this country.

    It’s a sign of a competent adult to refuse to prosecute the Wall Street financial crime lords who brought the world economy to its knees and then lavished themselves with billions of dollars of bonuses.

    Are you drunk?

    Or are you on hard drugs, or just brain-damaged?

  90. 90
    Betty Cracker says:

    ml;dr

  91. 91
    mclaren says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    ts; dr

    (Too shallow; didn’t read.)

  92. 92
    mclaren says:

    In fact, the more sinister implications of the torture cover-up suggest an alternative reading of Obama’s White House behavior, one that goes beyond apologetic mumbling about the art of the possible and protestations about how mean the Republicans are. Despite all the things he said to get elected, and beneath all the stylistic and symbolic elements of his presidency, Obama has chosen to continue the most fundamental policies of the Bush administration. In some areas, including drone warfare, government secrecy and the persecution of whistle-blowers, and the outsourcing of detainee interrogation to third-party nations, Obama has _expanded_ Bush’s policies.

    Is Obama haunted by Bush’s ghost – or possessed by him?, Salon online, Andrew O’Hehir, 9 August 2014.

    The implicit rules of what counts as a just or fair attack — and what doesn’t — can be discerned from recent statements by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest and Secretary of State John Kerry. On Wednesday, Earnest made the following statement:

    MR. EARNEST: Well, let me start by saying that we strongly condemn the continuing rocket fire into Israel and the deliberate targeting of civilians by terrorist organizations in Gaza. No country can accept rocket fire aimed at civilians, and we support Israel’s right to defend itself against these vicious attacks.

    Our endless “War on Terror”: The truth behind an incoherent foreign policy, Salon online, Falugni Sheth, 14 July 2014.

    Yet when America blasts hellfire missiles into Pakistan murdering thousands of innocent women and children, countries like Pakistan are supposed to…just accept it.

    Yes, if there’s anything that says “the only adult in the room,” it’s a president who signs off on murdering an endless procession of innocent women and children in wedding parties.

    Christ on a minibike. You cowardly quislings need to sign up for writing the screenplay of the next Leni Riefenstahl film.

  93. 93
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Don’t forget the role of the banks. Want a small business loan? Hahahaha. Prepare to mortgage your house.

  94. 94
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    mclaren, it’s called lithium, the humble third element, and it can change your life.

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