Obama Secures Climate Change Agreement [Updated]

Crossposted from the Motley Moose

As people line up to point out, opine upon, gloat or otherwise comment upon the President's lack of success, in Copenhagen today he secured an agreement that prior to his arrival seemed out of the question.  

I know, it's way more fun to criticize, but sometimes you just have to stand back and admire the handiwork.

The BBC has this:

US President Barack Obama said the deal would be a foundation for global action but there was "much further to go".

He said the US, China, Brazil, India and South Africa had "agreed to set a mitigation target to limit warming to no more than 2C and, importantly, to take action to meet this objective".

While the agreement is not yet completely written up and has yet to get the buy-in from other countries, getting any agreement at all out of the conference is more than every other effort has been able to achieve.  Specifically, getting the US and China - the largest contributors to Greenhouse gas emissions - along with continental mega-blocks India and Brazil to agree to limit their impact on global and regional climate is a substantial step.

So, other than:

.  managing the economy to the best possible state that could have been expected based on where it was when he started;

.  doing precisely what he promised with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan;

.  getting Health Care Reform to (so far) the brink of passage;

.  improving the market for green technology and;

.  bringing four of the biggest nations in the world together on climate change,

the guy hasn't accomplished a damn thing!

Where's George Bush when you need him?  By this time he'd driven a surplus into a massive deficit, overlooked warnings about terrorism resulting in the only successful foreign attack against the US mainland and spent a fortune in international goodwill in return for global isolation.  Now that's a resume!

[Update - Dec 21, 7:10am ET] This AP story gives a little more of the high drama of the day. At the very least it sketches a picture of fifteen hours that would make a real keen made-for-TV movie someday, whichever way the whole climate issue works out. I think it is safe to say that folks on either "side" of the issue (I can actually think of four sides, but anyway) could read this timeline as either in favor of or critical of the President. Not surprisingly, perhaps, I find the picture of a US president blinking at a bunch of scurrying Chinese underlings then striding into the room with a - "Hey, Wen, glad you could make the 7pm meeting. I see you brought some guests." - delightful. Since people closer to this than I debate the significance (NWF likes it, "the Post Carbon Institute" doesn't) I'll continue to wait and see (like I had a choice) but I'm no less pleased. The Bizzaro World image of President Palin in the same situation only makes me more mirthful.

Tags: Climate change, Motley Moose, obama, success (all tags)

Comments

88 Comments

Not as fun as wearing ashes

but it'll have to do.

:~)

by chrisblask 2009-12-18 02:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Not as fun as wearing ashes

And sack-cloth.  Don't forget the all-important, genital-chafing sack-cloth.

by TexasDarling 2009-12-18 04:18PM | 0 recs
This cannot be

the long-lost TD.

Whodat sayin' "whodat?" when I'm sayin' "Who Dat?"?

by chrisblask 2009-12-18 04:26PM | 0 recs
Indeed

Not the one of the (now "protected") "kickin' it with," but still s/he of the un-banned name.  I'm loaded for PUMA and ready to rock.

by TexasDarling 2009-12-18 04:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Indeed

Hmm. I smell purple.... I hope I'm right

by brit 2009-12-20 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Indeed

Not I!

by thatrangeofshadesbetweenredandbluestuff 2009-12-20 09:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Indeed

But there you are, so all is well with the world.

by brit 2009-12-20 09:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Indeed

Right neighborhood, but wrong...  username?

by TexasDarling 2009-12-20 10:00AM | 0 recs
I'm not sure I understand the humor

But way to go with the diary.

Let's recap: The meetings were in utter chaos, there were riots in the street, and Obama shows up to straighten everything out.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-19 05:47PM | 0 recs
Kinda thing.

:~)

by chrisblask 2009-12-19 06:02PM | 0 recs
Re: And so close to x-mas.

Amen to that.

by QTG 2009-12-20 02:51AM | 0 recs
Wonderful

You do this yourself, or did the big boys at Redstate help you?

More of the same please. The only thing that the Kool Aid Myth thing does is to miss the mark completely. Most of the people I know who supported Obama for president did so, not because he was any kind of postracial Messiah, but because he was smart and pragmatic.

He criticised the Iraq invasion, while other Dems were running to AUMF, not because it was wrong, but because it was 'dumb'.

He proposed healthcare reform, not because he's some secret Muslim socialist, but because pragmatically, he could see the drain on the US taxpayer, economy and social mobility of the current system.

He believes in mitigating climate change, because it will make our lives a bit easier. It's simple really.

He's a politician. Smart, practical - sometimes a bit remote, and in danger of getting arrogant. But he learns. He isn't wedded to an ideology - too many of which have bust the world in the last century.

Not sure which hypostasized ideology lights your willy up, ludwigwan, but right or left, it sounds dumb, unappealing and impractical.

That you're a wanker and pratt to boot probably doesn't help.

by brit 2009-12-20 09:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Wonderful

SHUT UP YOU BABY!!!

GET A LIFE ALREADY!!!

HOW DENSE CAN YOU BE!!!

HAHAHAHAHA!  I TOLD YOU SO!!!

All Europeans are koolaid drinking kossack fanboy ankle-biting cheerleaders by definition.  Brits of Armenian descent are the worst.  Stop censoring and silencing ludwigvan just because you cannot deal with disagreement.  He's valorously doing the "good progressive work" we need.  Just a few more of those lovely graphics and we'll have a real health care bill and a president named Hillary.

Oh, and you should leave all political discussions to professional operatives like ludwigvan...and Stalin!

by Strummerson 2009-12-20 12:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Wonderful

I wonder if Mr Baitheaven writes on Guardian Blogs. This was there this Friday apropos Copenhagen, and comes straight out of the school (grammar of course) of Aliveandkickin, Mumbaiburns and now ludwigvanfanboyfetish

Waaa...waaaa waaaa... poor Obama he can't be expected to save the world.....WHAT??? time out you liberal tards, 12 months ago he was the second coming, now he is only human? You IDIOTS put him on a pedestal now you see him for the what he is, the Wizard behind the curtain....fools.
by brit 2009-12-20 01:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Secures Climate Change Agreement

What a nice Diary. Thanks.

by QTG 2009-12-18 04:48PM | 0 recs
You're welcome.

:~)

by chrisblask 2009-12-18 04:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Not bad work.

 ...for a busy President who the local experts have decided is guilty of moving 'hard right', and has fallen under the spell of a Rahm the necromancer. Not bad at all.

by QTG 2009-12-18 05:05PM | 0 recs
He'll get things right

or wrong, but so far he hasn't surprised me.  I always pegged him for a pragmatist most of all, and that's most of what I like about him.  

My only "ideology" is that we progress issues we address in positive directions.  I may have an idea of what that positive goal may be (less poor people, faster advancements in medicine, better education, more opportunities...), but how we pragmatically increment the related situations towards a goal is always debatable.  I'll cut slack to anyone honestly working towards a goal I agree with.  This president and I share a lot of goals, and I think his general approach is on average the most likely to move us towards them.

by chrisblask 2009-12-18 06:08PM | 0 recs
Then that would

make us kindred spirits, and unrepentent pawns of the oligarchs in thrall to the plutocrats and stuck in the cult of personality DC mindset of incrementalism. I'll take it.

by QTG 2009-12-18 06:31PM | 0 recs
yep.

that's the shit i'm talking about.

by canadian gal 2009-12-18 06:15PM | 0 recs
Re: yep.

Waiting for this to hit the Breaking Blue list:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2009/12/18/AR2009121803506. html

that's the shit i'm talking about.

by QTG 2009-12-19 04:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Secures Climate Change Agreement

Not to rain on your bout of self-congratulatory excess, but this post is stunning in its misread and self-delusion. It's a non-binding agreement with no legal enforcement mechanisms and one that lowered targets. Objectively-speaking, Copenhagen did not meet its goals. As with much that is Obama, the rhetoric outpaces the results though in the President's defense, he too was disappointed.

From the UK Guardian

The UN climate summit reached a weak outline of a global agreement last night in Copenhagen, falling far short of what Britain and many poor countries were seeking and leaving months of tough negotiations to come.

After eight draft texts and all-day talks between 115 world leaders, it was left to Barack Obama and Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, to broker a political agreement. The so-called Copenhagen accord "recognises" the scientific case for keeping temperature rises to no more than 2C but did not contain commitments to emissions reductions to achieve that goal.

American officials spun the deal as a "meaningful agreement", but even Obama said: "This progress is not enough."

"We have come a long way, but we have much further to go," he added.

The deal was brokered between China, South Africa, India, Brazil and the US, but late last night it was still unclear whether it would be adopted by all 192 countries in the full plenary session.

The agreement aims to provide $30bn in funding for poor countries to adapt to climate change from next year to 2012, and $100bn a year after 2020.

But it disappointed African and other vulnerable countries who had been holding out for far deeper emission cuts to hold the global temperature rise to 1.5C this century. As widely expected, all references to 1.5C in previous drafts were removed at the last minute, but more surprisingly, the earlier 2050 goal of reducing global CO2 emissions by 80% was also dropped.

Or from the New York Times

The three-page accord that Mr. Obama negotiated with the leaders of China, India, Brazil and South Africa and then presented to the conference did not meet even the modest expectations that leaders set for this meeting, notably by failing to set a 2010 goal for reaching a binding international treaty to seal the provisions of the accord.

Nor does the plan firmly commit the industrialized nations or the developing nations to firm targets for midterm or longterm greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The accord is nonetheless significant in that it codifies the commitments of individual nations to act on their own to tackle global warming.

Trusting China is letting nations like Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Maldives drown. It's not that President deserves the blame for this, it is that he doesn't merit the credit you wish to assign him.

Tuvalu called the agreement a "betrayal." I concur. I am still waiting on the official response from AOSIS. I suspect that it will damning of Copenhagen and of Obama.

You are stretching giraffe-like to find good in this Administration, not to suggest that there isn't any, but your celebratory theatrics only serve to heighten the disappointment when the reality becomes evident. Rather than heightening expectations, I urge you to take better measure of the situation; rather than continually succumbing to hype underachievement, I urge you to perhaps offer more cold doses of how far we have yet to travel over a terrain that is unyielding.

I don't mean to disparage you or the President, but a modicum of realism is in order. This fantasy that Obama is firing on all cylinders serves no purpose delivering public goods. It's fantasy. You ascribe miracle worker qualities to the President when the problems are as entrenched as ever and is some cases worse thanks to the Administration itself.  Take the healthcare bill,  you seem eager to celebrate some milestone, a luminary achievement of historic proportions, when the so-called progress is actually regressive. Rather than curbing corporate power, the Obama Administration has enhanced it. Instead of holding corporations accountable, this Administration has given the insurance lobby 30 million new customers and guaranteeing their profits and still incredibly not solved our health care crisis. You have taken an uninsured problem and transformed into an underinsured problem moreover you still didn't solve the uninsured problem. Calling it reform doesn't actually make it reform. I honestly don't see what you have to crow about. The failure of the President's leadership is palatable. You have a warped idea of constitutes a "successful president." You and your Motley Moose crew are mere apologists for an Administration and frankly a Democratic party that is beholden to corporatist interests. Call it same but different. Instead of Halliburton winning, it's now Aetna. Big whoop.

How's that for handiwork?

PS. For a coup d'grâce, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and somewhat surprisingly Costa Rica have already denounced the "breakthrough" agreement and won't sign it. Even so this is insignificant, the death in Copenhagen is that the agreement is non-binding. That makes the agreement meaningless. Typical for the Obama crowd, it loves to celebrate meaningless achievements. I wasn't going to respond until I saw that you purposely set this up to antagonize the readership here and at the Daily Kos. It's sophomoric that you do so. Engage here because you want to be here and not because you want to report back to your Moose crew about a perceived whine of the "left blogistan" and to mock those who disagree with your assessment. You wanted a response, you got one.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-18 07:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Secures Climate Change Agreement

" It's a non-binding agreement with no legal enforcement mechanisms and one that lowered targets. Objectively-speaking, Copenhagen did not meet its goals. "

I'm not sure what your saying. A binding, legal agreement with lower targets was never a goal of Copenhagen. OK, that may have been in the brochure but it never was a realistic expectation.

" Trusting China is letting nations like Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Maldives drown. "

I can tell you quite objectively that no one cares about Tuvalu, Kiribati or the Maldives. At least not compared to China, India or Brazil.

" For a coup d'grâce, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and somewhat surprisingly Costa Rica have already denounced the "breakthrough" agreement  "

Yes, i say the ambassador from the Sudan denouncing it as well. Sudan... wtf...

by vecky 2009-12-18 07:46PM | 0 recs
Trust is all you ever have in

international affairs, anyway.  You can get as binding as you want with other countries, but if they really don't care there isn't much you can do about it (see: Iran ;~).

I care about Tuvalu etc, and while I'd be happy if they could be part of the solution I am mostly of the opinion that getting the big kids to play a little bit nicer will do more for them than making sure everyone has their say.  As you say, China, India, Brazil (South Africa can't be understated either, they are by far the best handle in Africa) - objectively, they are the folks I want someone to convince.

I have to admit I take a guilty pleasure in Venezuela objecting.  Anything that pisses off Chavez I just have to like at some level...

by chrisblask 2009-12-18 09:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Trust is all you ever have in

Chris what frankly irked my was your comment on Motley Moose suggesting that you cross-posted this diary here and at Daily Kos to specifically elicit negative responses so that you could indulge in mocking the views of the lefty blogistan.

We are not here to provide entertainment for you.  We are here because we care about our country and our world. I have no problem with the diary. You're entitled to your opinion. But it is poor taste to post just to provoke a response. And I hold the same view of those that hold Obama is a third term for Bush. It's an obscene notion.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-18 10:54PM | 0 recs
Glad you stopped by to read,

why not challenge me at the source, then?

Words are interesting, particularly when you add inflection.  When the words are just text strings the inflection is an artifact that the reader adds, not uncommonly changing what the author intended.

After you went ballistic I went back to see what you were keying on and I have a feeling I can guess the inflection you read my words with.  To that end - if I had meant a "snarky and pompous" tone - you would have been correct, but if I can capture the intended tone I might rather characterize it as "tired and long suffering".  A [sigh] at the end of the sentence might have helped, but someone assuming ill intent could have read that as snark, too.

I had expected much more "how dare you say good things about Obama?!?  You must be a mindless drone!!", but I wasn't hoping for it.  It takes a fair amount of emotional energy to deal with that kind of thing without getting into a pissing match if you are sincere (the insincere thrive on it, I think).  That dynamic is the primary reason (imho) that people with opposing opinions tend to gather in isolated camps leading to, well, isolated camps.  In the "war" of ideas there is very little honorable about holding forth to the converted (yes I am looking at you, Glenn, Ed, Rush...), which is why I like the Moose dynamic normally as far as political blogging goes, and why I try to take my points to places where I don't have a strong expectation of a warm reception.

Anyway, apology accepted, no harm no foul, and you made me write a long response and explain myself which is kinda the whole purpose of this conversation thing.

Stop by the Moose House sometime, the coffee is free and hot.

by chrisblask 2009-12-19 04:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Trust is all you ever have in

We are not here to provide entertainment for you.

Doesn't it trouble you that for many many people, MyDD is?

I mean look at this place, you got right wing trolls, Kent, PUMA trolls who post a different "You shoulda voted for Hillary" diary every single day. At some point, administrators here have to wonder, are we having meaningful discussions about policy, or just having endless flame wars with trolls?

by ND22 2009-12-20 07:01AM | 0 recs
No,. seriously, don't hold back on the

lofty condescension.

You read a lot of tone into this that isn't there, but then perspective is often everything in these things.  While you are, I believe, a relatively consistently thoughtful voice among what to my ears is a general chorus of litmus-waving idealism, you seem to allow yourself the luxury of pre-judging groups as badly as anyone.  I don't speak for "the Moose crew" and it certainly isn't my Moose crew - we range pretty broadly in views and mine aren't the most popular at the best of times.  The fact that we can keep a polite dialog going regardless is the whole point of that forum.  For my part, I'd like to see similarly sane forums with even broader view represented, but that doesn't seem achievable to date with available structures, based on some experimenting to that end.

Leaving aside any sensitive nerve endings as much as possible, let's talk some substance:

My point with this diary is only in part Copenhagen.  As far as that goes, I do think that any progress is better than none - which is the binary equation left on the table after all parties spent the entirety of the conference making arguably no headway.  It could be argued that Barack Obama did not single-handedly show up and rain Peace and Understanding down upon the gathered masses until Sheep Lay Down With Lions, but if that was anyone's idea of success they were going to be disappointed regardless.  That he seems to have gotten at least one (in each case, "the") major country on five continents to come to some sort of "agreement" - however tentative - is more than I, and I expect most people, hoped to see as recently as the day before he showed up.  Was that organized by the Global Corporatist Cabal to make their puppet toy President look good?  No more or less likely than any other wild conspiracy theory (hey, did you hear about how the Twin Towers were secretly...?).

Was that a failure on Obama's part?  Should he have telepathically controlled the leaders of 115 nations into agreement?  Call it what you like, but it is a positive accomplishment in my eyes by any measure.  I have to say that I had almost no expectations of this conference doing any good at all, so the delta between my expectation and the result may be different than yours.

HCR?  I, unlike most of the left and afaik pretty well all Mooses, am really reluctant to support UHC at all (but I do, with nervous caveats sticking out all over).  I've gone through many of the same emotional rollercoasters as my more eager friends to my left, but since I have concerns about how any solution will work out I am less ready to plunge into despair at the current state of things.  While my view is complex on this issue, I am less interested in "curbing corporate power" than I am in improving health care and I think the two may in many ways be separate issues (I love capitalism, so I'm not quick to jump on the "evil corporation" bandwagon at the best of times).  While health insurance companies are not my favorite capitalist enterprises (the motivations are all sideways, and they don't innovate), I didn't expect them to go away in the best case of this effort.  We have yet to see the final package much less how it will work out at any rate, and while everyone will opine about the effects of the bill as soon as it is done - in at least three directions (Tea Party, Left Blogistan, Administration) - no-one will really know until is in place for a while.  This issue is so massive in all meanings of the word that I don't for a minute believe that anyone can accurately forecast how any set of changes will work out, anyway.

One thing I am pretty certain about is that if this "reform" (call it something else if you have to) does not pass, no reform of any type will pass for decades.  I am reasonably sure, however, that if it does pass that there will be further reform passed in coming years.  If I am at all right about that the choice becomes pretty stark: take this one and start working on the next or give up and go home for a generation or two.

I wasn't going to respond until I saw that you purposely set this up to antagonize the readership here and at the Daily Kos.

Unless you intend "antagonize" to mean "show a positive light to", you are entirely incorrect.  I post outside of my normal stomping grounds periodically for whatever reason strikes my fancy at the moment, but antagonizing is never one of them.  I got banned from Red State for using some words that were taken badly (and frankly I understand the reaction, though I didn't say them in ill-will) and have been liberally trashed (pun intended) in Deepest Darkest Left Blogistan (MyDD and DKOS are pikers in them parts), but I have never done anything but speak my mind as politely as I possibly could.  With varying degrees of effort and success I try to engage productively with even those who react violently to my words (case in point).

I have been pleasantly surprised to get almost no negative commentary either here or at DKOS to this diary, your rather acidic commentary notwithstanding.  I put a poll in the DKOS version and 67% of readers prefer Obama to Bush, Nader or McCain (and I suspect some of the others of just being silly) and the worst I got was a skeptic but no flames at all.  I do believe that there is more gyrating going on here and DKOS than is fully warranted (further into the mists of Left Blogistan I cannot at the moment be bothered to engage) and I did post here because I thought an upbeat take on where we are would counterpoint interestingly with other common views.  Being antagonized, however, is the choice of the reader and I take no credit or blame for those who chose to so react.  As you are the only person on either site to react that way - at least in text - I have to note that evidence is leaning in my direction in this particular debate.

Finally, the implication that I think solar radiation emits from Barack Obama's nether orifice is - honestly - boringly trite.  I liked some of the giraffian analogies, but stuff like this is almost too pat to bother with:

Typical for the Obama crowd, it loves to celebrate meaningless achievements.

Pick your own crowd if you like, you aren't authorized to assign me to whatever convenient bucket you would like to broadly discriminate against.  I'm not even a Democrat and I don't expect to vote for more than one more Dem president after Obama (unless the GOP never get their crap together again, but in 11 years they conceivably might), so I can't even be released into the General Obama Population without at least a good shiv for self-defense.  He is (I assume) the leader of your party, you have more reason to support him from a political standpoint than I do.

I don't expect Obama or any other first-year President to Save the Whales, heal the ozone layer or erase inequality.  I think the expectations laid on the guy by the pent-up anti-Bush frustrations, the First Black President starry-eyed wonder - even the "Damn that guy's smart!  He'll fix everything!" intellectual hero-worshiping - have left him in a virtually no-win situation out of the gate.  Add to that: a complete economic meltdown the likes of which none of us have lived through before; a couple complex non-linear military conflicts; massive global populations ("7+B served and growing!"); blindingly fast evolution in technologies (including bio); and an international community that is both coming off hating us deeply after the last President and no-less-sycophantically fawning over his apparent abilities (a Nobel this year?? Why didn't you Swedes just slam him in the gut with a frozen tuna if you wanted to screw with him?) and what sane person would expect him to "fire on all cylinders" down the first straightaway?

No, I think it is generally others who are expecting wonders out of the guy who have the wrong attitudes.  Forgive me for not donning the sack-cloth and ashes, but I have reason to believe that there is something to be said about cheering on your side as well.  My side is yours - whether you want me or not - and even Palin's (I know she doesn't want me, but I'm not asking her for permission either).  Even Ahmadeenijad (well, he can die and I won't cry, but I'm pulling for his people).

I think it is good to have some balance of complainers and cheerleaders, but at this moment both the Solidly Left and Solidly Right are imho losing their freaking minds without due cause and virtually no-one is pointing to any reason to believe in a better tomorrow.  I happen to think there is a lot to cheer about, that the future is looking brighter again, and that the best way to ensure it doesn't get better is to have too much of the population searching for someplace to get more sack-cloth and ashes.

You take whatever path you like, but for my part I'll be pointing out the light on the horizon and urging others to see it, too.

by chrisblask 2009-12-18 09:04PM | 0 recs
Re: No,. seriously, don't hold back on the

I haven't had the chance to read your response but I will do so tomorrow.

Chris, I just want to point out that back in at APEC meeting in Singapore Obama and Hu agreed not set specific targets for carbon emission reductions effectively cutting down one of the goals for the Copenhagen conference. So the argument can be made that Obama had a hand in torpedoing the conference.

The suggestion that Obama showed up in Copenhagen and that this non-binding agreement is a score for American diplomacy is really a stretch. I don't blame the President for the conference's failure - and yes the much of the world sees this a failure - but I also don't think that there is any reason as yet to give the President such high marks for doing relatively little.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-18 11:09PM | 0 recs
Re: No,. seriously, don't hold back on the

Chris,

I will take you your at word. If your intention was not to bait the readership and goad responses, then I misread your motives and I apologize.

Peace,

Charles

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-18 11:20PM | 0 recs
You are seein' things in this diary....

that are not there.

Nor are they to be found anywhere else in anything chrisblask has written.

Might wanna think 'bout layin' off the sauce.

And what is this about?:

Typical for the Obama crowd, it loves to celebrate meaningless achievements.

Hmm...'The Obama Crowd', who is that? The ones who voted for him during the Primaries? The ones who voted for him for President? The ones who support him? You will find that ardent Hillary supporters rec'd this diary. Do they get to be in the 'Obama Crowd' now, too?

Your derision for those who support him is telling. You workin' on your best PUMA impression? If so, you have it down pat.

Your comment oozes with condescension and slaps a large group of people with a very broad brush. The only one looking to antagonize the readership of this blog (a large percentage of whom happen to be in the 'Obama crowd') seems to be....YOU.

by Kysen 2009-12-18 10:39PM | 0 recs
Re: You are seein' things in this diary....

As a happy member of the 'Obama Crowd', I'd like to point out that the small achievements I so annoyingly celebrate pale in their self-indugence to the gloom and doom hair on fire wailing, gnashing of teeth, and hopeless primary regret that occurs every time an Obama picks up a prize, takes a plane ride, wears a sleeveless blouse, or appoints an Hispanic woman to the SCOTUS who in't Liberal enough.

But I digress.

Chris, I wish I could write like you.

by QTG 2009-12-19 12:57AM | 0 recs
You know,

lay off with the broad brush, Charles. The "Motley Moose crew" is not as homogeneous or monolithic as you seem to think. We are not Obama cheerleaders. One of our most prolific commenters/diarists is a self-avowed Republican (not the trollish type MyDD is overrun with, however) -- the diversity on the Moose is great, yet we keep a level of discourse that maintains civility. We do not all agree. In fact, there is very little -- if anything -- that we all agree upon. We just happen to disagree politely.

Nor are many of us overly critical of Left blogistan -- because while this may not go for everyone on Motley Moose, I am liberal blogistan. I have issued my "fuck you's" to Reid and the rest of them. I am not stupidly congratulatory of Obama or the Democratic party. I still support our president and will continue to support him until doing so becomes completely unreasonable and unconscionable, but I will be the first to admit that his administration has disappointed me again and again -- much as his candidacy did.

I am no apologist. But I never had unrealistic expectations for Obama -- I knew what he was from the start, long before some of his most ardent supporters did. He is a politician, plain and simple. He is no saint, he is no savior, and I never expected him to be anything approaching transcendent, as so many others seem to have done. But as critical as I may be of this administration, I see nothing wrong with Chris pointing out positive aspects. I don't agree with every bit of phrasing contained in this diary, but I see his point.

To be perfectly honest with you, Charles, I would be pretty hesitant to stereotype, demean, or insult anyone's "crew" when your crew is full of PUMA trolls, GOP plants, and "concerned" idiots. Do some housecleaning before you complain about other people's houses -- especially when they are, by comparison, rather pristine.

I see that you apologized to Chris, and I am glad that you did because you totally misread his comment. But you insulted a much larger group with your remarks -- your own readers. Most Moose started out at MyDD, and many continue to read here. In fact, you are one of the few reasons I ever bother to check this blog. I often agree with you, and you generally articulate your opinions well. But you have erred here with Chris, and you err in your assumptions about Motley Moose. Just remember, when you insult our readers, you insult yours as well.

by sricki 2009-12-19 01:39AM | 0 recs
Re: You know,

oh, bs. None of you cheerleaders are doing any work to make these bills less corporate and more progressive. You all are sitting on your ass biting at the ankles of the ones who are doing the good progressive work.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-20 03:50AM | 0 recs
Re: You know,

Seriously Jerome, nothing said here amounts to 'working' for or against anything. It's conversation. And I'm guessing that 99.9% of ALL the posts are made while sitting on an ass.

If there IS any work being done here, then it now leans toward STOPPING the process, not improving the product.

by QTG 2009-12-20 04:24AM | 0 recs
Re: oops,

wrong topic, but same principle.

by QTG 2009-12-20 04:28AM | 0 recs
Re: You know,

Cheerleaders biting at the ankles?  Whose ankles?  Kent's and ludwigvan's?  They are doing the good progressive work?  Really?  I thought they were typing posts to this blog.  Just like the rest of us.  I'm sorry that you have resorted to painting people right and left, so to speak, with the same cliches.  Does pointing that out make me a fanboy too?

While I remain deeply underwhelmed by the first year of Obama's presidency, don't arguments that try to frame its accomplishments also deserve a hearing without this tired mode of response?  Does typing "I told you so" and calling everyone names, accusing anyone who doesn't agree with you of groupthink and Obamadolotry constitute "good progressive work?" 

As for your comment below, I actually do think that flying in for a day of meetings can represent an impressive display of productive leadership.  I am less convinced of that in this instance than Chris, but it's a civil argument that merits a hearing and a critical response that is more substantive than slinging old PUMA cliches.

by Strummerson 2009-12-20 04:47AM | 0 recs
MyDD is warped.....

You have Jerome Armstrong dropping snide remarks on sricki.

You have Charles Lemos lashing out at ChrisBlask (though, at least HE apologized).

They are being cheered on by the likes of ludwigvan.

Kent and the aforementioned ludwigvan are given nary a bat of the eye as they piss all over this blog.

The few sane voices left here are treated dismissively (and banned) on a regular basis while the embarrassing fringe (plus trolls and Republican instigators) are left to overtake what used to be a solid source for reasoned, if heated, discourse.

Good progressive work? I've seen very little good...and even less 'work'...originating from MyDD in a long while now. The standing MyDD has in the blog world exists purely on its past quality and performance. If it were not for those you sneeringly call 'cheerleaders'....you'd be left with a cesspool of trolls and whiners.

Though, perhaps, that is exactly what you aspire to. Stranger things have been striven for.

I'd offer advice...but it would fall on deaf ears so I will not bother.

Good luck with whatever it is you are trying to accomplish.

by Kysen 2009-12-20 06:09AM | 0 recs
Re: MyDD is warped.....

 I'd rather think of it as having Thanksgiving dinner in Nurse Cratchit's dayroom - but available 24/7.

by QTG 2009-12-20 06:58AM | 0 recs
Re: ! dont "piss all over this blog"

"i think Jerome totally rocks!"

Fanboy!

by Strummerson 2009-12-20 12:17PM | 0 recs
Hahaha,

oh look Jerome! You've got your OWN cheerleader!

Or is it another of your sockpuppets?

by sricki 2009-12-20 03:22PM | 0 recs
You claim more knowledge than is possible,

and it isn't flattering on you.

Blanket assertions are the tools of fools, more considered voices have to first acknowledge what they do not know.  You have no clue whatsoever what "None" or alternately all of the group you are disparaging do or don't do, and you cast yourself as ridiculous by claiming otherwise.

I don't know what you are doing other than running this blog to help or hinder in the passage and content of any of these bills (but whatever it is I bet you're using those "word" things you also disparage to do it ;~), so you won't see me asserting that I do.  That would rightfully earn me derision.

Lastly, specifically working to

make these bills less corporate and more progressive

is your own definition for what needs to be done to improve the lots of all of us.  Granted, most regular commentors on the Moose would agree with you on that, but I happen to not be one of them.  In fact, I am more of the mind that the common liberal determination to tie the goal of making every issue "less corporate" with the goal of solving the actual issue itself (like, say, global warming) is often am impediment to making progressive change, and not often an enabler.  Whether or not a person believes in a fully controlled or completely free market - or a given shade between the two - the issues of the world and the country are governed by the factors on the ground at the moment.  In my opinion, advancing issues such as the climate not only fail to require less corporate involvement (or otherwise limiting of normal corporate paradigms) they in fact are best served by altering conditions to more align corporate interests with achieving the intended goals.

by chrisblask 2009-12-20 08:26AM | 0 recs
LOL.

And what are YOU doing beyond ankle-biting?

*cracking up*

by sricki 2009-12-20 03:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Secures Climate Change Agreement

Aside from that meekness, the idea that Obama should be congratulated for making a fly in and doing a day of meetings is absurd.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-20 03:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Secures Climate Change Agreement

I agree that the original diary is lacking content. I see no difference between those diaries that praise without basis and bash without basis.

I think Copenhagen is worth a discussion, though.

From my casual observation, it appeared that the climate talks were in disarray without Obama even being present. There were riots in the streets, and the discussions were a total failure. Obama parachutes in, and a deal, however meager and non-binding, is struck. Is it coincidence? I don't know. From the BBC, the five member nation deal:

1. Promised to deliver $30bn of aid for developing nations over the next three years

2. Outlined a goal of providing $100bn a year by 2020 to help poor countries cope with the impacts of climate change

3. Set a mitigation target to limit warming to no more than 2C and, importantly, to take action to meet this objective.

4. The agreement also included a method for verifying industrialized nations' reduction of emissions. The US had insisted that China dropped its resistance to this measure.

So maybe someone should correct me, but if things were in chaos before Obama got there, how could he do anything but help?

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-20 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: My head is spinning

Charles says:
"PS. For a coup d'grâce, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and somewhat surprisingly Costa Rica have already denounced the "breakthrough" agreement and won't sign it."

My brain is trying reconcile the need to 'negotiate' with bit players so as to get there 'support' so that there will be a 'legitimate agreement' on a controversial subject where different constituencies see the problem from a different perspective....with

our MyDD consensus that we need to KILL THE BILL! and throw out the leadership for doing just that.

I guess the gore from my 'splodin' head does coordinate nicely with the holiday decorations, but really...

by QTG 2009-12-20 09:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Secures Climate Change Agreement

A binding agreement was the goal for most of the world, whether that was realistic is I think an open question. I think you misread my lowered targets comment.  For example, the 2050 goal of reducing global CO2 emissions by 80% was dropped from agreement. So the targets that had been agreed upon in advance of the conference were lowered, that is, not maintained.

Tuvalu does matter.

Really the Sudan? Wow. Costa Rica is the one surprised me. The ALBA nations are grandstanding. Chávez will find fault with anything at this point that distracts from the mess he has back in Caracas. He is now envisioning an invasion from the Netherlands Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao).

No, what angers me that Chris Blask is using MyDD and the Daily Kos to get specific reactions from those who take a different view of Obama so he could then go back to Motley Moose and laugh at the responses of the lefty blogs. It's sophomoric. His views are immaterial to me because frankly one thing that makes this blog work is that it is not a concurrence blog - there is a wide diversity of views.  But we are not fodder for the entertainment of others either. I see this diary as an attempt to belittle the readership.

Moreover, if you want a hero at Copenhagen it was Lula Ignacio da Silva who pulled an all nighter with the Indian and Chinese delegations to secure an agreement. The US was actually not invited but Obama barged in over the objections of the Chinese. The hard work had already been done by Lula, who people forget but he used to an union negotiator so he's actually very good at a hammering out deals where none appear to be on the horizon. I've seen him do this time and again.

There is a crowd for whom Obama can do no wrong and there is a crowd for whom Obama can do nothing right. Both are as cultist as they accuse the other camp of being. Such hardened views are simply self-serving and prove points from the primary wars that seemingly will forever haunt us. They are out to paint the world black or white when the reality is a thousand shades of gray.  

Obama isn't to blame for the failure of Copenhagen but to assign him credit for an agreement is a stretch. It's spin and the Administration knows it. Can't blame them on that, it's their job to spin but the press reaction I am seeing paints a very different reality from the one Chris purports to see. He's entitled to his opinion but he should realize that one can have different values and such hold different opinions. He doesn't have a problem with sellouts to corporates, I do.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-18 08:38PM | 0 recs
Climb off your high horse.

You think you know what's in my mind, which is frankly a creepy way to look at the world.  If you don't believe my response to your dissertation (which, granted, you could not have read yet) then that's your problem.

by chrisblask 2009-12-18 09:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Secures Climate Change Agreement

I think when you say "most of the world" - what do you mean. Neither India nor China (most of the world by population) expressed any desire to achieve any sort of binding cap on emissions (for themselves, for others it was a different matter).

Anyway from what I heard of what was going in in COP15 the entire "talks" were on the verge of complete collapse. Evidently the Indian delegation was already at the airport ready to fly home. Brazil didn't want to agree to anything without India and China was stonewalling. Maybe these three would have reached an agreement among themselves, which would have been all well and good, but what chances were there of Europe agreeing?

by vecky 2009-12-18 10:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Secures Climate Change Agreement

the president barged in to a meeting like a clod (even dubya never did that), uninvited, and pushed through an absolutely meaningless toothless agreement,  Then he declared "mission accomplished", waxed on about his historicalness and went home.

by TeresaInPa 2009-12-19 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Are you referring to this

ABC News Political Punch article?

Senior Obama administration officials describe quite a dramatic scene at Climate Change Conference.

Officials say President Obama was frustrated. The conference was in complete chaos.

At about 730 pm Denmark time - the president was supposed to have left an hour before -- he learned that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, with whom he was supposed to meet, was meeting with the leaders of India, South Africa, and Brazil - the main players holding up any sort of political agreement.

The president heard about this and said he wanted to go to the meeting.

"Four against one," an official said to the president.

"No problem," he replied.

A senior administration official says the president "barged into the meeting," where he joined China's Wen, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and South Africa's President Jacob Zuma.

The reporters' pool note from that time said that President Obama walked into the room and called out from the door, "Mr. Premier, are you ready to see me? Are you ready?"

If so, your interpretation that 'barging in' to the meeting was the action of a 'clod' is what I would call a misinterpretation.

The guy is awesome. You know it as well as I do.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/ 2009/12/high-drama-in-copenhagen-per-adm inistration-officials.html

by QTG 2009-12-19 06:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Secures Climate Change Agreement

you are being somewhat selective in your assessment of the meetings. i would recommend the guardian uk...a decent authority, they have deemed a failure these meetings and any accords resulted therefrom.

i hate to recall that during the campaign we were given every rhetorical reason to believe then senator obama was deadset against the iraqi war. now, i am sure he gave some important speeches for the council of foreign relations, but your average stump speech listener was mostly told emphatically and repeatedly he opposed the war in iraq and the citizens could only hope for some meaningful change. but we are still in iraq in the numbers of prior years......and we are ginning up the troop levels in afghanistan.....yes, i know the candidate did say we had overlooked that country off on a misguided effort in iraq....but do you think your average citizen, looking for the change he thought he was waiting for would be looking down the barrel of two significant ground wars at the same time along with prospective increases in costs for health care reform and for stimulating the economy and coming up with $100 billion a year for global warming. i am not sure that is what i would have gleaned from the past campaign.

i freely admit to being a supporter of hillary. but i freely and happily voted for obama in 2008. i know he faces a landscape that is drastically different than what he may have anticipated. he did inherit an awful mess, thus my vote against bush and for obama. i could have just not voted, living in s.c. i know my vote was less than irrelevant..but so i did vote. i did have hopes. i am mostly...as tony soprano said to paulie in the last episode..."miffled" about some of the deference to high class bankers and companies too big to fail...no, its not exactly what i expected. i did not expect us to play hard ball with gmac in comparison to the bankers. that is not the change i would have ever looked for. i am open minded and have my future invested in our nation, i want and need our president to succeed. i understand the need for comity and compromise....half a loaf rather than the whole. but, truly...is that a real change?

a change of style indeed. thoughtful consideration instead of gut hunches....that is a good change i wanted. but, a candidate is responsible for the emotions and expectations he leads his followers to have. you cannot quibble. he soared in his rhetoric for not just a little change, but big change. like fdr or reagan. it has not been anywhere near that yet. my state's unemployment rate went up to over 12% this week. honestly, from this angle, there have been some changes i appreciate, and defend fervently. but especially in a couple of areas i see our president making decisions that do not seem at odds with what i might expect from dubbya. sorry, that is my opinion, as humble and uninformed as it might be.

by blackflag 2009-12-19 11:28AM | 0 recs
No need to be sorry,

your opinion is as valid as anyone's and you state it civilly, so a reasonable person shouldn't take offense.

As I've said elsewhere in this thread, I don't expect any first-year pres to knock my socks off, and this one has as much Hairball Factor to deal with as can be imagined so my expectations are commensurate.  I'm still at least satisfied, and when I can get my own enthusiasm up (at all, this has been one f'ed up year) I'm actually quite impressed.

To some of your points:

o  Iraq:

21 October 2009
Iraq Drawdown on Track, Policy Chief Says

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service
Although much work remains to draw down the U.S. troop presence in Iraq, Pentagon officials told Congress here today the Defense Department is well on schedule to meet President Barack Obama's withdrawal timeline.
Obama announced in February plans for a responsible drawdown of forces in Iraq. His plan, in accordance with the U.S.-Iraq security agreement signed in 2008, called for U.S. forces there to cede operations within city limits by June 30 and ultimately transition into an assistance and advisory force for the Iraqis. By Aug. 31, 2010, only 50,000 troops are expected to remain in country, and by Dec. 31, 2011, all U.S. forces should be withdrawn.

"We've continued along the timeline laid out by the president," Michelle Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy, said before the House Armed Services Committee. "We continue to plan for and implement a responsible U.S. drawdown, one that advances our goal of a stable, sovereign and self-reliant Iraq. We are continuing our efforts to train and equip [Iraqi security forces] so they can effectively defend the Iraqi people and protect Iraqi institutions by the end of 2011."

Since January, the U.S. military footprint in Iraq has decreased from more than 143,000 troops to about 120,000. And this week, an Army brigade combat team was off-ramped from its scheduled January deployment there.

So, that one's moving according to Hoyle, at any rate.

o  Afghanistan - well, we know that's exactly what he said he'd do, and most people (short of the "close all US bases and bring all troops home" folks) are pretty well in general agreement.  This is a tough one all around, but I can't think of another choice he could have made that would have had more people "OK" with it.

o  Economy - this is the elephant in the room.  As you say, it is hard (hard, hard...) to be upbeat when you are either unemployed, scared about being unemployed or just plain broke, and that describes just about everyone.  In talking to some folks who know financial systems much better than I over the past week or so I've come up with a way to look at it that helps give some perspective:

Based on where we were a year ago, there was effectively zero chance that the economy today would be much better than it is today.

There was just no chance whatsoever that right now would be described as "a healthy/vibrant/positive/... economic period" based on where we were in Nov/Dec 09.  We could have been incredibly worse off, but there wasn't anything Batman Himself could have done to make Dec 09 rosy.  We'll see how Q1/Q2 2010 turn out, but at the moment it's only Glenn Beck and the "I get paid to advertise gold and scare people" talk radio hosts who are pushing the "double dip recession" meme.  If the middle of next year sucks measurably less than the middle of this year - much less if it is part of a consistent growth trend - we're all going to be pretty pleased and the President is going to look pretty smart.

I don't claim to be rapturous with life or politics at the moment, but I'm not dousing myself in kerosene and looking for my lighter, either.  I think the guy in the boring suits is acting like I expect, doing at least respectable for a new pres in a bad year, and getting some things done despite fire from all directions and a population that just can't get a skip going to save its own life.  I even have the distinct impression that in retrospect (the only valid perspective from which to judge political accomplishments) this may be seen as a surprisingly productive first year for this president.

Finally, as far as motivating the population, I think he might have been able to do a better job.  Still, that, too, isn't something I really expect from a first year pres (they relax a lot later on as a rule).  Moreover, you can only rah-rah folks so much when, frankly, things really do suck an awful lot.  I'll bet you an apple, though, that come next August he is noted for being reasonably good at setting an upbeat tone himself.  Economic and political cycles make me think he'll have more opportunity and be more positioned to do so about then.

by chrisblask 2009-12-19 12:27PM | 0 recs
errata

based on where we were in Nov/Dec 08.

by chrisblask 2009-12-19 12:29PM | 0 recs
They were a total failure indeed,...

...until Obama showed up.

I realize that is a little o-botish of an assessment, but if the man hadn't gone, it is possible to conclude they would have been a complete failure. At least something came of these meetings.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-19 05:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Secures Climate Change Agreement

he soared in his rhetoric for not just a little change, but big change. like fdr or reagan.

Some perspective:

FDR = POTUS for almost 13 years
Reagan = POTUS for 8 years
Obama = POTUS for almost 12 months.

Typically, big change takes more than a year.  I'm not saying 'shut up and wait' you'll get your 'big change' down the road; maybe we will, maybe we'll just just 'medium' change, or maybe we won't.  I'm saying one year isn't sufficient time to declare Obama an expansion of George Bush.  You're welcome to your opinion, I just think you've formed it far too soon.

by fogiv 2009-12-19 11:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Secures Climate Change Agreement

Sorry, this was intended as a reply to Blackflag's comment above.

by fogiv 2009-12-19 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Secures Climate Change Agreement

fogiv, if you read my comments as having given up on the president, you need to go back and read again. i dont have another alternative, the president is the president, i am pulling for him as hard as are his dyed in the wool, unable to utter one peep of constructive criticism supporters.

to begin with, using reagan as a role model bothers me. yes, he was transformational, but not in a way any decent progressive could be contented with as a hope for positive change.

i fully understand how long it took fdr to overcome the depression, in fact, if not for ww2 it might have taken longer, but that is another point.

i note the reservations, the caveats, the excuses and spinning of what promise we were supposed to be looking for....but, really, do you not recall the audacity of hope?

we are getting some change, how audacious is it really? please, dont insult my intelligence. i have been at this since 1964 when i supported lbj, i was there in 1968 supporting hhh....in the deep south where liberalism is a dangerous tag to wear, i was born at night, just not last night....and i am saying we were led to expect audacious change....please look the word audacious up and let me know if you think the health care/boon to the insurance industry or the climate change deals are audacious? if so, badly or in a good vein. things can be audaciously bad at times.

please, i want my audacity of hope now.....after we have funded the bankers, insurance companies and major corporations....can we do something real for those of us voted for the candidate? those people are not his friends....but i am wondering, and waiting.

by blackflag 2009-12-20 06:19AM | 0 recs
I feel your frustration.

Seriously, as much as one person ever understands another I think I know exactly how you feel.  It isn't surprising at all: this is a horrendously challenged time for almost as many reasons as it is possible to imagine.

I key on that "almost" on purpose.  It is possible to imagine things even more sideways than they are now, and I don't think there is a great deal of disagreement that of the presents that were possible given the recent past we are living in the one that is among the least screwed up.  Going back to among my earliest political epiphanies - "we can't save the whales if everyone is starving" - if we were living in most of the alternate possible presents then it would be reasonable to expect that global warming, health care reform and most other issues dear to the hearts of progressives would be about the last things on the minds and mouths of our political leadership.  As it is the most common assessment prior to the current political engagement on HCR was that this probably wasn't the time to try to boil that particular ocean and - while that may yet turn out to be correct - we are at the very least much more educated on how that battle will be fought than we would have been had "let's do nothing" been the decision and with a bit of luck there will be something passed into law that carries some of the DNA of the reform progressives are generally in favor of.

As far as (at least my) tone, this is just who I am.  There are folks who will as a rule point out the reasons to be depressed and there are others who will as a rule point out the reasons to be hopeful:  I'm of the second flavor.  Does this mean that I am in any way unaware of the imperfection of the world or the people around me?  Not for a skinny minute.  But there are already a glut of people ready to toll the bell of gloom and point to any positive statement as:

mindless do-nothing but cheer devotion

(such as the local Blogtator and some of the less interesting commentators whom you won't see me engaging with) so I don't feel a great deal of need to make sure that ground is covered.  I even go so far as being very aware of the need for the Steven-Wright-inflected to keep the conversational recipe from souffléing out of control and have no real expectation of being able to convince many of that inclination to alter their glass-darkly views.  I believe it is possible, however, to counter these ashen perspectives with audaciously hopeful ones and thereby provide the observant bystanders with at least some reason to think the future may be better than they otherwise expected.  I further believe - to the "pointlessness of hope" point raised in some of the more vociferous rebuttals in this thread - that wherein one is able to inspire just a glimmer of positive potential in otherwise downtrodden individuals one has the opportunity to enable them to realize a little more actual achievement than would otherwise have been the case.

Therein lies the interface between "mere words" and changing the real world in the lives of real people for the better.

by chrisblask 2009-12-20 08:04AM | 0 recs
But you see, a major symptom of ODS...

...Obama Derangement Syndrome, that is, is the belief that anything short of a progressive utopia established within the first 100 days is a call for failure.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-19 05:44PM | 0 recs
Obama Secures Words

I suppose you are a greater authority, but I'll leave it to the NYT's to dismiss you:

The climate deal in particular may seem more than it is. With the Copenhagen conference unable to agree on binding limits on greenhouse gases linked to climate change, Mr. Obama settled for a three-page agreement with no short or midterm goals but a long-term commitment to prevent world temperatures from rising by more than two degrees by midcentury.
Really, this sort of mindless do-nothing but cheer devotion doesn't serve anyone's interest of creating a better world. In short: get a life.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-20 04:43AM | 0 recs
Wow, that's just incredibly boring.

As a rule I try to let sleeping comments lie, there being in most cases no real return on reasoning with folks who just want to break things, but since you bear all personal responsibility for this forum I'll make an exception in your case.

o Copenhagen - I'm assuming you would prefer having nothing come out of that conference?  I'm not sure what you expect national leaders to do at these "let's get together and talk" events other than get together and talk, but assuming they could achieve the goal without meeting and talking to each other what exactly do you expect them to achieve other than reaching agreement on whatever they were (or, as you suggest, were not) talking about?

And you might want to re-read that NYT quote you so cavalierly snide onto the page.  Yes, the deal "may seem more than it is" and it may seem less than it is - in either case only really if you are a complete idiot.  Anyone who sees this as the panacea end-all-be-all answer to global warming is not paying attention: it is what it is.  What it clearly isn't is a deal on "short or midterm goals" but what it is, however, is a deal with at the very least "a long-term commitment to prevent world temperatures from rising by more than two degrees by midcentury".  Whether or not anything tactical comes out of it is still to be seen, but it stands in contrast to walking away in a self-justified huff with no accomplishments in hand whatsoever - which was the position of every single world leader at the conference prior to this silly meeting full of those stupid word things that ignorant President insists on falling back on.  I assume from your attitude that you would have advocated walking away with nothing other than a self-congratulatory smirk on your face, I leave that to you to clarify.

It has to be interesting, though, to be taking such a militantly superior stance on global warming after working with an organization that is part of the problem.  Every nuclear plant your friends successfully fight against is replaced with plenty of happily coal-burning plants, which arguably isn't working out so well for the rest of us.

o  Doing work - I will be happy to match you any day on lifetime work accomplishments, Mr. Armstrong.  My actual work efforts have been associated with making the world a safer place and in my field I've managed to have as broad an impact as any other person alive or dead.  Oddly enough, the tools I have used to do that work have been almost exclusively words, and if I had to pick the one particular mode of using words that has been most effective for me in changing the world for the better it has been "cheering" people into believing in themselves and therefore accomplishing or attempting things that would not have gotten done otherwise.

Of course, it isn't spiking trees to try to kill loggers or building ultimately unsuccessful campaign strategies, but I guess it will have to do.

In short, as you say, I have a life.  You might want to assess the fruits of your own.

by chrisblask 2009-12-20 05:29AM | 0 recs
Re: my god

More importantly, Chris forgot that only ludwigvan is allowed to reference his accomplishments.

by Strummerson 2009-12-20 05:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Wow, that's just incredibly boring.

lol, the segue into the anti-Greenpeace and anti-EF angle of yours took me a bit to figure out... enjoy the netroots.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-20 12:49PM | 0 recs
Try to keep up.

But in fact that may be a large part of the disconnect here.

As you may have caught from my exchange with Charles, despite any appearance to the contrary I did not come here to get into a urinating contest with anyone.  Charles and I got ourselves clear and afaik are fine, the agent provocateurs are easy to simply ignore, but you present a special case.  Perhaps responding to your ad hominem personal attacks is not entirely worthy of the effort, but for better or worse I think a proper analysis of your position in all this is worth having said at least once, so here it is.

It is commonly rumored that you deserve some amount of particular respect for having had a hand in the early political blogosphere.  I had never given it a great deal of critical thought, but this encounter gave me cause to dwell on the matter.  I think it is more likely that you happened to be in a given place at a given time in your past, you played a role that would have been played by someone just about at that time with or without you, and the legacy that you created with that opportunity has not been all or even on average constructive.  

Creative credit: Certainly, you encountered and began political blogging before most, but you did not create the technologies or the structure inherent, those go back much further than your involvement.  You were in the right place at the right time and started doing something before most other people did, but I don't think there would have been any measurable lag in the development of political blogging had you not been around.

Tone:  Since the blogosphere was going to exist with or without you, perhaps the most important contribution you could more accurately be credited with is having a hand in setting the course for political blogging.  As we all know, minor changes of direction early on have enormous impact on final results, so very good or very poor decisions on your part early on will have had (or could have had) significant impact today.  I will suggest that, had you chosen to create your early blog with a productive tone aimed at fostering communications and resolving differences - of encouraging any Progressive change in the world - that this would have ramified down through subsequent blogs as a matter of tone and etiquette.  If you had - as I believe you did - create your early blog with a tone of antagonistic vitriolic moral superiority, embodying the very social aspects that your life-story would suggest you imagine yourself to be against, then this tone of nihilistic pompous aggressiveness will also have leeched into the soil that many other progressive blogs sprouted from.

So, other than joining a group that has turned much of the population against environmentalists, planning a presidential campaign that failed like a runaway steam boiler and setting the liberal political blogosphere on a course to provide endless justification for opposition beliefs it is hard to point to any real impact you have had on liberal politics.  Going on to get involved in unethical stock trading practices shows you to be no more or less than the average rebel-without-a-clause counter-culture re-activist who assumes that since everyone else is corrupt they may as well be, too.  As far as adhering to some notional netroots progressive ideology, playing god-king President-for-life of your own personal Zimbabwesque dictatorship doesn't exactly say "viva égalité".

The sodbusters and cowboys who settled the west did not in the end rule for long, the geeks and academics who first populated the Internet did not typically understand where it was going and being the first liberal with a blog doesn't give you unusual value or insight in the political world today.  Like it or not, non-dictatorial politics is about understanding and influencing the majority of people, not simply playing to small crowds of true believers.  Markos at least has gone on to understand that it is more important to influence significant numbers of people than to be convinced of his own personal correctness.

I don't expect you to take a lesson from any of this, but as is the point of much public debate perhaps those on the sidelines might.  It is a truly good and wonderful thing to have opinions and to share them - it gives you the opportunity to teach and/or to learn, and there is honor in both.  But simply making public statements in attempts to prove your intellectual superiority is only impotent and vain and brings no honor to you or those you claim to represent.

by chrisblask 2009-12-20 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Try to keep up.

I should have saved my Bang, Crash, Boom from an previous comment.

That's a pretty devastating takedown Chris.

Not sure I should really add to it - but just let it sit there.

I've known your blogging almost two years now, and I don't think I've ever seen you make a personal attack or act out of anger. So, coming from you...

All I'll add is a tag rider on the concept of the Netroots and Progressive blogging.

Despite having been banned from MYDD, I've been a member here since 2004, and still visit because it has a number a great front page posters to occupy my mind, and indeed some alarming but amusing flame wars to satisfy my dramatists love of drama and a good put down.

Part of me developed a grudging respect for Jerome over the last two years, because he would at least inflame debate, and didn't ban (immediately) those who dissented. But I always hoped he'd get beyond the primary wars phase, and get to real policy rather than reverse justifications of why 'Obama was wrong and I was right'.

There's lots to be said about the failures, successes, roadblocks and roadmaps to progressive politics without it all being about 'Obama', Cassandra cries of 'I told you so', or Leninist accusations of class betrayal. MYDD, a professionally written and much visited site, is smaller and less polarised in many ways than Kos. The Moose doesn't seek to emulate the sway and leadership of blogs like this, so there's a mutual self interest in MYDD getting back on track to serious discussions.

However, when the proprietor echoes a famous troll on this site, and calls you a fanboy, that's not leadership - at least nowhere progressive.

When the proprietor of this site attacks myself, a few weeks back, as being a 'Dick Cheney supporter' for suggesting that more troops in Helmand might help the local population (as I'd just been told by a British Officer who was out there) that's not leadership - at least nowhere progressive.

When dissenting voices find themselves  banned en masse for their political support for the current President, and yet clear trolls like the one so liberally in evidence here are allowed to stay, indeed cheered on by the proprietor, that's not leadership - at least nowhere progressive.

by brit 2009-12-20 02:32PM | 0 recs
I'd like to think that I wasn't

attacking out of anger, or even attacking at all.  I certainly considered whether to make these observations at all, and even moreso whether to make them here.  It seemed at the time that there was a potential learning moment for everyone here, even Jerome, so right or wrong I took it.

I have always tried to refrain from engaging in any specific personal bashing of (well, most anyone).  A thorough mocking of a public figure for a boneheaded moment (or decades of them) can be fair commentary as long as you try to keep in mind that odds are they don't actually skewer babies when in their cups, it's one of the risks of putting yourself out there that people assume.  I know I've gone a bit too far out of anger at some of the more offensive rhetoric of political players, but that's a cross I'll just have to bear.

by chrisblask 2009-12-20 02:55PM | 0 recs
Re: I'd like to think that I wasn't

Exactly, that's why it was important to stress you don't post out of anger or personal attacks, only 'teachable' moments. And this is certainly teachable, at least if progressive conversation with dissenting views is going to avoid the pitfalls of the left wing blogosphere over the last year.

by brit 2009-12-20 03:04PM | 0 recs
Re: its fanboy utopia

"subject-verb-fanboy/cheerleader/kossack ."

Got anything else?

by Strummerson 2009-12-20 05:43AM | 0 recs
Why are you so rude?

Seriously, can't you disagree with someone while staying civil?

by dtox 2009-12-20 06:34AM | 0 recs
Re: oh puleeze

Do you know this guy? Or do you just go around insulting random strangers?

In fact, scratch the question. Just looked at your other comments. I know the answer.

by brit 2009-12-20 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: what hypocrisy

Pretty weak insult. Not sure I've seen any substantive diaries from you my eponymous tone-deaf composer, but judging from the comments here, I haven't missed much.

The shift key is on the left if you hadn't noticed.

And if you want to master the art of the put down, try studying some of Fogiv's lapidary gems.

PS: I don't actually think Copenhagen is a great achievement for anyone, let alone Obama - who doesn't rule the world in case you hadn't noticed.

by brit 2009-12-20 09:54AM | 0 recs
pots and kettles

"Spending THOUSANDS of hours at a website - visited by dozens of people - and getting in bitter grudge fights with people over a man - they dont even know - and probably wouldnt piss on them if they were afire.

Please dont tell me youre like that too?!"

Obama isn't nearly the issue he is for almost anyone around here but you.

by Strummerson 2009-12-20 12:50PM | 0 recs
Out of the mouths of babes

I always love it when the accuser gets to the point he unconsciously indicts himself. What better self description could Mr Baithoven give us...

Spending THOUSANDS of hours at a website - visited by dozens of people - and getting in bitter grudge fights

Now how's that for irony, let alone hypocrisy.

by brit 2009-12-20 01:04PM | 0 recs
Re: see look!

Since, unlike Jerome, you're only capable of insults (or writing things like Mumbaiburns and aliveandkicking which are an insult to everyone's intelligence) I made no such complaint about you.

My only whine is the low quality of your insults.

by brit 2009-12-20 12:59PM | 0 recs
Re: what hypocrisy

By point of fact, you are a liar.

by Strummerson 2009-12-20 12:18PM | 0 recs
I uprated lud's comment

Because the more he posts, the more responses the diary gets, and the longer it apparently stays on the rec list.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-20 08:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Secures Words


I personally think this is too much about Obama. He did his best to secure a heavily watered down accord. It's not great (but maybe better than otherwise) and it's really not about Obama: but various pacts, deals and interests from over a hundred interested, self interested, and sometimes altruistic nations from around the world.

But seriously, Jerome. Can't we have a civil discussion about this without insults e.g.

mindless do-nothing but cheer devotion doesn't serve anyone's interest of creating a better world. In short: get a life.

Once again, you break all the guidelines of the site about ad hominems and content free attacks. Upthread Charles Lemnos asks what Chris' substantive points were, and they end up engaging in a meaningful exchange.

But these kind of interactions just give ludwigvan and the other trolls a bad role model.  

by brit 2009-12-20 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: amazing is the hypocrisy of the fanboys

Actually Jerome regularly sets this place on fire. Weird thing is he bans posters who can actually spell and put forward convincing arguments, so I think you're pretty safe my tone-deaf friend.

by brit 2009-12-20 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: amazing is the hypocrisy of the fanboys

Whoosh!  

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-20 12:50PM | 0 recs
Re: amazing is the hypocrisy of the fanboys

Crash! Bang! Boom!

(Hey, we could play this all night)

by brit 2009-12-20 01:01PM | 0 recs
Re: ah more hypocrisy...

Your use of the hypocrisy meme is simply silly...and hypocritical.  

by Strummerson 2009-12-20 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Secures Climate Change Agreement

by brit 2009-12-20 09:01AM | 0 recs
I just got around to reading this

and have to apologize for skipping it so far.  You have to credit that your first volley of comments were, to be kind, less than content-rich, so I skipped reading any of the rest.  This comment is a cogent and valid observation and I'll be happy to reply.

This raised the question, was the Obama deal merely a side deal that would be agreed to by some nations but not all? A convenient bypass of international climate negotiations?

I think the answer is "yes".

I further think there is a much longer answer to that question that involves who was involved in setting it up this way, what whoevertheyare expect to get out of it and whether it ends up being a good or bad thing for addressing the issue in total.

Who? I'm just freehand guessing, but I'd say at a guess that major players in China and the US have been in some form of communication about this long before the conference itself.  Even if there was no direct team-to-team communication, I would be almost certain that the people on each side who spend all of their time focusing on how the other is behaving have been able to read the intent of the other and to forecast that something like this was in the works.  Frankly, I would be extremely disappointed with both governments if they didn't have real smart folks watching each other for exactly these sorts of reasons, and would bet my eye-teeth that these folks are at least capable enough to read a couple levels before and after the surface of the other side's public face.

What? Motivations for entities this large are always complex, and for China and the US in today's world those complexities are virtually unprecedented in history.  However, I'm willing to venture a couple guesses that I'd bet are directly in the mix:

China
-----

o  To be recognized as the key player, second only to the US but on the same stage.

o  Avoid being restricted in any way that would impinge on economic growth.  China will risk almost anything to keep up the pace of economic growth, Beijing's biggest fear is not the outside world but the rural poor inside its own borders.  It's anyone's guess whether they will manage to get the entire population's living conditions upgraded before the rich-poor gap becomes so extreme that something revolutionary happens (and Beijing only likes "Revolutionary" in a retrospective kinda way).

o  To position themselves in a positive international light as a liberal and wise nation.  China has been working for a long time to lose the pariah-nation status of the Mao era.  It is heartening in a small way to see them make a move that has Sudan - a particularly malignant Chinese client-state - up in arms.  If I was Sudan I would read this as an indication that China isn't going to cover my ass forever.

USA
---

o  Control of the economic impact.  The US has the most to lose in this whole debate - there's no way to avoid that reality.  When the political Right in this country loses their minds over climate change they do have at least (imho, "only") one valid point: this could (in it's worst format) wipe out America's ability to continue as the driver of the global economic school bus.  The US wants to be able to address climate change on its own terms so it will have maximum control over how it impacts that driver's licence.

o  Political capital.  This administration has been in a tough spot from Day One and any moron can see that a bit of demonstrable political achievement is worth a little more today than it might be at some other point.  This is not lost on China (or the other players) and both sides know that the variable value of this coin makes now a good time for folks to bargain.

o  International leadership.  The US - and particularly the current administration - have an interest in being seen as progressive international leaders.  In fact, the undisputed leader (period, full-stop).  

Both (all) parties also have a pragmatic desire to actually keep global warming from going too far.  There are too many unforecastable impacts that could cause enormous (or fatal) mid to long-term changes in things like crop yields for these parties to ignore the issue entirely.  All of the players, however, have contrarian interests in the topic.  Thinning Arctic ice impacts resource availability and transport that has massive potential positive impacts on at least all northern nations, but by proxy on all nations.  Tuvalu and other countries are the few who can't find something potentially positive to gain from a limited amount of global warming.  At a wild guess, I think before the century is out there will be some mega-engineering projects in places like Tuvalu funded by the big winners in global warming, but that's the cynic in my talking...

BTW, you seem like a much more positive person when you are talking about music.  I'd suggest that if you let that side of you show more clearly you wouldn't have so much concern about scaring people away.  You can have differing views with folks and still get along with them if you try to treat them reasonably well.

Ironically, I'm having this conversation because I, too, am prone to writer's block.  The fact that I deal with it (or avoid dealing with it) by writing all this stuff is a sure sign of something seriously wrong with me. :~)

-best

-chris

by chrisblask 2009-12-20 05:58PM | 0 recs
Oh, I forgot

"Whether it is a good thing or not"

I think so.

I have had enormous doubts about a full international coalition leading to anything productive on this issue.  This handful of big players who don't necessarily have to bow to anyone else may well be able to do things among themselves that - while likely not to get the approval of every other nation - would be more than they would agree to otherwise.

I could be wrong.

by chrisblask 2009-12-20 06:02PM | 0 recs
There's a name for those who won't

play the game of politics:

"Private citizens"

:~)

There is no way to forecast precisely what will happen in the world.  We'll see what comes out of this, but it would be poor political gamesmanship to get into agreements that have no chance of finding their way into actions.  I trust that Obama (for certain) and even Bush are wily enough to realize that if I am, and am willing to see what he has in mind.

Occam's Razor dictates that if someone is able to get elected President they can probably foresee political machinations as well as you or I.

See, it isn't simple - and may not be possible.  There isn't any guarantee that this whole living-on-earth thing is going to work out at all.  That's one of the reasons this whole representative Democracy is generally such a decent system - we try to put the brightest person available in position to work on these things for us.  Obama is certainly sharp as a tack, whether that will be enough to progress us on this or any other topic remains to be seen.  But I certainly don't expect him to fling himself over a political balcony rail onto the floor below, so when it looks like he might be doing that I assume first that I might be reading things incorrectly.

by chrisblask 2009-12-20 07:07PM | 0 recs
Well, I'll mostly leave that one alone.

This forum has a rich history of Obama dissent, so I don't really feel your pain.  It certainly takes two to tango so I don't relieve anyone of responsibility for the situations they find themselves in, and for one I would not use the methods of communication you have displayed and expect a positive outcome.

I assume most of the time most people are being honest (I work in information security and have had plenty of experience in considering these sorts of things).  That doesn't directly equate with people being correct, however.  For my part I haven't seen President Obama do anything to make me think he's hypocritical or politically suicidal - quite the contrary.  But I am a centerline pragmatist and have never borne any fantasy about Obama as a liberal Don Quixote, nor do I think that liberal (or conservative) party-line ideology is the answer to the world's problems.

Has Obama done everything perfect?  Of course not, don't be silly.  But life is chaotic and leadership moreso, and I don't think there is anyone who was close to having his job who would have done better with the cards on the table.

by chrisblask 2009-12-20 07:16PM | 0 recs
Thank you for the diary Chris.

But this place is a cesspool. I have to take a shower now.

by Hollede 2009-12-20 08:12PM | 0 recs

Diaries

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