• comment on a post Afghanistan: lithium is the new oil over 4 years ago

    To me, there is only one course of action now-negotiate a settlement with the Taliban and get out.  According to reports I read last summer, Mullah Omar is willing to move the Taliban away from al queada and allow US forces to remain in A-stan for a couple years in a transition period.  If true, I would accept that in a second.

    Note that this solution also helps us in Pakistan.  While there are some differences between the Pakistan and A-stan versions of the Taliban, the former seems closer to al queada, if we reach a settlement with the latter, I think this will remove great pressure from Pakistan.  To me, the proper strategy is to isolate al queada and the only way to do that is to reach a deal with the Talibs.


  • comment on a post Afghanistan: lithium is the new oil over 4 years ago

    When I first saw the headlines in the Times, I was hoping that this story would just be based on some flunkies, who were trying to score points in some internal battle.  For example, individuals who are trying to make the case within the Administration that we should not begin drawing down our troops in 2011.

    I still think that may be the case.  However, since the article has favorable, attributed quotes from General Petreaus, then such characterizion seems doubtful, particularly if there is not a statement from Gibbs today saying that this story does not change the Administration's plans regarding troop levels.  Rather, the article represents, at the very least, serious thinking by the highest levels of Administration officials who are responsible for our policy in Afghanistan. 

    In answer to Jerrome's question about whether there are people who would be influenced by such "crap," I think there are.  I think this article is directed to the op-ed writers of the Washington Post and the New York Times and to the other "serious" "hard boiled" "pragmatic" foreign policy "experts" who write articles for such publications and appear on the Sunday news programs.  These people, the insiders, the "experts" are almsot always the primary target audience for the Administration's statements, for domestic policy as well as foreign.  And I think those people will be swayed by these types of considerations because they think these are the types of factors that should govern foreign-military-security policy.

    Of course, any serious person whose mind is not trapped in the Beltway will tell you that this is rubbish.  A country, no matter how powerful, can not bend the people in a foregn land to do our every bidding.  Neither Afghanis, nor Iraqis, are going to suffer endless misery just so we can have ready access to oil or lithium.  Ultimately, the supporters of an Imperial policy demonstrate ignorance of world history-and our country's reason for greatness.  To me, the great advantage our post World War II foreign and military policies have had is that we are able to align our self interest with the interests of people in other lands.  In short, our security and ecomomic well being are enhanced when other people experience democracy and propsperity.  Yet, an Imperial policy, no matter how it is "sold," is based on the pursuit of the Imperial countriy's interest at the expense of people else where.  This strategy simply can not suceed.

    To me, what is so dissappointing about this article is that I thought if I could count on Obama for nothing else, he would reverse this type of "Imperial" policy.  Apparently, I was mistken.       


  • One of the reasons I thought it was so important for HRC to withdraw in early June as she did was that it would permit Obama to begin an aggressive ad campaign tying McCain to Bush.  This advertising would allow Obama to define McCain as an extension of Bush because it would be be virtually uncontested, at least if my understanding that Obama still has vastly more resources then McCain.  So, why hasnt Obama did this.  

    IMO, Obama really needs to aggressively use this summer period to define link McCain's campaign as "Bush's third term" while he has a vast funding advantage.  If he does this, his lead will go into the low double digits.

  • comment on a post It Was a True Story!!!! over 6 years ago

    Look I really dont like HRC, but to me this is not a case of her lying at all.  Look, someone told her a real life story that is really compelling. I read I think on Dailykos that ya maybe all politicians, Obama, Clinton, whoever should probably vet the stories they hear a little better.  But basically HRC was just telling wat the family told her.  Moreover the basics at the gut level are true.  Hospitals do turn people away, as Sicko showed so well.  

    BTW, I am probably the only one here old enough to remember that Reagan would tell just outright lies about "welfare queens" who got welfare under like 60 different names and lived like royalty.  What a load of crap.  But the press didnt say anything about that.

  • I actually disagree with what you say here.  The issue for me is not that she didnt admit it.  The issue for me is that she lies all the time.  And whether or not "everyone" lies is a non-sequitor; everyone is not running for President.

    I guess I am just showing my age, I am 47, but there really was a time in American politics where it was not a given that "all politicians lie."  Of course, this is the basic Clintonian defense of so much of their actions-everyone lies, sells out to lobbyists, changes their position on a whim.  But "everyone" in politics does not do it.  Certainly, no one in politics lie as consistently and in such a bald face manner as HRC.  In this, she is truly unique.

  • comment on a post Clinton Says Sleep Deprivation Caused Her Bosnia Lie over 6 years ago

    because it captures so perfectly what HRC is all about.  No, as you so well pointed out, her statement was not a "slip of the tongue," but a calculated lie.  And no, as you pointed out, her statement was not due to sleep deprivation.  This statement itself is nothing but a cold calculated lie.  I have often argued that both Clintons are congenital liars, but proving a statement is actually a lie - as opposed to a mistake or a mirepresntation is hard to do.  You have absolutely, irrevocably, proven the point I have tried to make so often.  A great great diary.  Thank you so much.

  • comment on a post Texas In Play in 08? over 6 years ago

    Like all people who participate in blogs, I love talking about times when I am right.  I remember a couple years ago, I commented that by 2008, Texas would be "just outside" of a purple state.

    Why did/do I say that?  Look at the numbers. Bush beat Gore by 21 point in 2000.  Of that, probably 8-10% was due to Bush being from Texas (the favorite son factor is not a constant but i think my figure is a good benchmark; e.g. Gore lost Tenn by 3% while winning nationally by .5 % while Kerry lost Tenn by 14% while losing the country by 2.5%).  So, figure if Bush isnt from Tx, he wins that state by about 13%.  Now factor in the fact that there are many more hispanic votes then they were 8 years ago and you see that the "natural lean" for the state is probably something like +8 for the bad guys.  So, I predict that in an even national election with no texan on either ticket, the Rs would win the state 54-46.  

    However, this isnt going to be an even national election.  If HRC is the nominee, she will win by something like a solid 5% margin and Obama will win by a near landslide 8-10%.  Under either scenario, TX will be "in play."

  • comment on a post Happy Birthday, Blogfather over 6 years ago

    Happy birthday Jerome.  I disagree with you alot but i try never 2 forget the contribution uve made 2 progressive politics.  As I sometimes mentioned before I remember coming to this site before the 2002 election when it was almost impossible to find anyone not cowed by the VRWC. Again, happy bday an keep the faith.

  • comment on a post I'm Voting For Hillary Clinton over 6 years ago

    Ironically, perhaps, I think HRC does better among progressives in the netroots who are younger.  I dont know how old you are Todd, but I am guessing you are in your 20s.  If that is the case, you just have no strong memory of what a right wing hack she is.  You have no memory of the Clintons selling out to Gingerich and the Republicans on tax cuts cuts and government spendig or of their total dishonesty.  You have no memory of Bill Clinton saying "the era of big government is over" or of Clinton blaming Congress for tax increases that he shoved down their throat. You have no memory of the Clintons ending aid to children with dependant children after five years, a position more conservative then Reagan ever took.  HRC has supported and defended all these actions.

    I guess the only thing that she has done in this campaign that truly shows her colors is the semi-racist attacks on her opponent.  I have been, and remain, stunned that the blogosphere has not held that against her in any meaningful way.  That is the strongest testament to why we need more diversity on the "tubes" then anything I can think of.

  • comment on a post Actual Results Thread over 6 years ago

    CNN allows u to to look at County results.  The first very very sparse results in Miami-Dade Co show both Guliani and McCain in the low 40s and Romney in the high single digits.  If that is anywhere close to how the results play out, then McCain will win solidly.

  • I think this discussion is the "great divide" in the Democratic Party.  I honestly, sincerely, mean no disrespect for the HRC supporters here when I find her policy to be "moderate" and not even "moderately progressive."  Notice that in the three policy prioriteis that Steve cites, none of them deal with trade or any of the fundamental causes of the incredible downward pressure being exhibited by the forces of globalization.  Now, all of these are good proposals.  All of them are good policy ideas. Yet, none of these will lead to an economy where the average hard working man or woman has a better chance to get make their life and the lives of their family better economically.  

    As for whether or not HRC will govern as a "fiscal conservative" as her husband did in his last 6 years in office, depends on the tax and budgetary policies that she pursues.  First, as she will take office in the midst of a recessoin (yes I am conceding she will be the nominee and she will be elected), she needs to forget about "fiscal responsibility" and provide a much greater stimulus package then the one she is now offering.  Note that even Bush's stimulus plan, at about 150 billion dollars, is about 50% greater then hers, unless I am mistaken.  Second, once the economy starts to recover and the defecit will become more of a concern, how she addresses that problem will define whether she is a fiscal conservative or not.  What Bill did in 1997 was agree to a plan with Newt Gingerich that provided tax cuts plus cuts in spending.  This is fiscal conservatism.  If that is the route that she choses, she will be a fiscal conservative.  

    Regardless of HRC's fiscal policies, she will not be a successful economic stewart unless she understands the policy requirements to assist our shrinking middle class and the expanding class of working poor. My utter lack of confidence that she will do that, based on her history and who her economic advisers are, as well as other factors, is why I cant support HRC in the general and believe she will be a failed president and a disaster for the progressive movement.  This is precisely the wrong time to elect a centrist Democrat and that is precisely what HRC is-at least how I would define centrist.

    Believe me, I hope to be wrong.  In fact, as a pure matter of politics and long term policy, I hope that the comming recession is the savior of the second Clinto Presidency.  The recession, which I think will be very severe, will allow her to govern further to the left then she otherwise would have.  I hope that movement is enojgh to save the future of progressivism.

  • I am not sure exactly what you mean here because Obama has done very well in Iowa and NH, both states having miniscule african american populations.  

    So far, Obama has done consistently better among younger and wealthier whites, plus independants and Republicans.  He tied HRC in the union, working class votes in Iowa and lost them in NH.  

    Many analysts have likened his supprt to Hart and Bradley, with the difference that he also has African Americans.  If he received all the "Hart" votes plus the AAs, he wins.  However, I suspect that he "bleeds" a certain amount of woman voters to HRC who, in this analogy, were "Hart" voters.  

    Thus, I think as it stands today, he and HRC are close, which I think the national polls are also showing, though HRC is ahead.  Among white voters, he just needs to either recapture the same level of union-working class support he did in Iowa or recapture the upscale women vote (I believe he tied HRC among women in Iowa, though he might have slightly beat her).

    Now, obviously, saying this is what he "needs" to do is not saying it will be possible for him to do so.  We'll see.

  • comment on a post Update from central Las Vegas frontlines over 6 years ago

    I am glad that Nev is a caucus state. The reason I say this is that I think it will maximize the effectiveness of the Cullinary Union's support for Obama.  

    My understanding is that HRC polls better then Obama among hispanics.  Thus, all the union's GOTV would possibly do nothing more then bring a disportionate number of HRC supporters if this was a primary.  Hopefully, in a caucus, where you have to vote publically, the Union will be out in force and that will make the individuals going against the union more likely to vote the "right way" from my prospective.  Despite this, I stil expect HRC to win Nevada based on her hispanic support.

    Regardless of how Nevada turns out, unless Obama can do better among hispanics in the upcoming primary then he is polling now, February 5th will be a real challenge for him. I dont think Super Tuesday is going to be determined by momentum as much as it will be determined by "demographics."  The winner will be who can build the larger coalition.  Hispanics will be a key block on that primary day.

  • comment on a post Open Thread over 6 years ago

    Try saying that 3x fast.

  • comment on a post Is Hillary Clinton ready to be President? over 6 years ago

    Actually, this is a very good diary.  One of the totally ignored aspects of this campaign is HRC's record of mistakes, which bears on the issue of whether she is "ready" to be President.

    Want some examples?  During the Clinton transition period in 92-93 she was given the task of filling the position of Attorney General.  Her first choice had to withdraw from consideration because she employed a (I believe) illegal inmigrants in their home and the couple did not pay social security taxes for them, something that easily should have come to light with even the slightest semblence of proper vetting.  Incredibly, her second choice had to withdraw for nearly the identical reason!!!  What kind of administrative competence does that show?  To HRC's credit, her third choice, Janet Reno, was a winner.

    HRC's next task was health care.  We all know how that turned out.

    Additionally, HRC supported NAFTA.  To her credit, she herself has admitted that she and her husband were wrong about that trade agreement and that the expected benefits just didnt occur.

    True, she makes no errors in judgment for several years, but only because after the 1994 elections her role within the Clinton Administration is sharply curtailed.

    Then, the grand prize, she supported the war authorization.  I would hope that everyone on this site would admit that that was a mistake.  Her BEST defense in that case is that she expected Bush to negotiate, showing extremely poor judgment regarding the character of GWB.

    I would also add her support for her pro "the Iranaian Republican Guard is a terrorist group" vote, but I admit that this issue has not completely played out yet.  

    So you see HRC's experience does, in fact, call into question whether she is "ready" to be President.


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