Sorry for the absence of posts- lot of things going on, but I would like to point out a few things:
1.) A couple of people were banned for trollish behavior and for making inappropriate and offensive comments to each other. You know who they are, let’s not belabor the issue. Just move on.
2.) Congrats to the Mountaineers, who steamrollered
St. Mary’s School for the Blind Eastern Washington by a score of 52-3.
3.) Friday Cat-blogging is dying due to a lack of submissions. Send your pictures to my e-mail address, which is listed to the right.
4.) Probably the most important announcement is that Season 4 of the Wire premieres tonight. Easily the best show on television- if you have HBO, you know what to do.
5.) This just makes me sick:
Republicans are planning to spend the vast majority of their sizable financial war chest over the final 60 days of the campaign attacking Democratic House and Senate candidates over personal issues and local controversies, GOP officials said.
The National Republican Congressional Committee, which this year dispatched a half-dozen operatives to comb through tax, court and other records looking for damaging information on Democratic candidates, plans to spend more than 90 percent of its $50 million-plus advertising budget on what officials described as negative ads.
I guess the GOP has decided their performance over the last few years has been so abyssmal that the only way to win is to disgust people so much no one goes to the polls. Remember this the next time one of the online Bush dead-enders claims the Republicans are the party of ideas.
Heh, I just deleted a post because your point 5 got there first. Addled minds think alike…
DON’T LET NANCY PELOSI BECOME SPEAKER OMG!!!!
Seriously, this is the line I’ve been hearing almost 24/7 in between oral felatting of the “Path to 9/11” movie. Strangely enough, I never hear anyone mention Dennis Hastert. Only the horrors of a country lead by the mad, tempestous, bloodsucking witch who only wants to order the federal government to burn bibles and paint giant bulleyes on American landmarks for terrorists.
Ironically enough, it’ll most likely be John Murtha running for Speaker. But right wing media has never been to keen on keeping up with politics.
So apparently the Republicans are going to release the jackalopes and simply troll. Sounds about right for today’s Grand Old Party. Seems everytime I ask “can they be anymore pathetic?” I get an answer there are no limits.
The Republican Party is bankrupt. Many of us have known it for a long time but it seems the Republicans themselves realize it now.
Some things never change…
“Cry havoc and release the jackalopes of war!” — Rove as Richard III in the Shakespearean play. “Envy, my lord, is the green-eyed beast” — George Bush as Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello.
The GOP has acknowledged it has nothing to offer but scum, smears and fear.
Welcome to the USSA.
I want to vomit.
Sorry John but the big story is Ohio State trouncing Texas.
I am not that convinced that Round Three of the Vote Republican or The Terrorists Win won’t work.
(2002 and 2004 being the first two rounds).
The Other Steve
There was an article recently here in Minnesota about the Senate race. Republicant Kennedy is running against Democrat Kobluchar. Kobluchar has been Hennepin county attorney for several years now, and so the Republicants have been sending anonymous requests asking for all of the financial records from the county attorney’s office.
The article interviewed a guy whose been there for quite some time as a bookeeper and he said while it’s always expected around election time, he’s never seen this level of requests ever.
It’s a bad move for Kennedy. He goes negative on Kobluchar and he’ll lose very badly.
The Other Steve
I guess by anonymous request, I mean they have names on them, but they don’t identify themselves as part of the Kennedy campaign.
It gets worse than that. Sully is claiming that next week, Rove plans on bringing out some 9/11 families to chastise McCain, Graham, and Warner for holding up the detainee tribunal/trial bill Bush wants over the “secret/torture-induced evidence” provisions.
I’m wondering if the Rove strategy is to make this election so nasty and distasteful that everyone but the evangelicals stays home on Tuesday.
Since you are not getting enough cat pictures, how about a picture of my dog? He’s a pug.
Larry the Cucumber, with his usual perspicacity, wrote:
I fear that you are correct, Larry.
The Other Steve
I’ll try to find some cat photos.
Well that’s the usual Republicant strategy, but I’m not convinced the evangelicals will turn out for them. As I said, 2008 is looking to be a repeat of 1988. The cultists are pissed off because they’re not getting enough.
Why isn’t Gay Marriage banned in the Constitution!? Why isn’t Aboriton banned? Bush could have done all of that by now, if he really cared.
Oh, yeah, kudos to yet another person saying that “The Wire” is the best show on TV. I refused to watch the first 2 seasons because I think TV is overrun with cop/lawyer/doctor shows, but I started watching S3 and couldn’t stop watching. The characters are incredibly deep & their ability to focus each season on a particular aspect of the effects (and damn near every angle) of the criminal portion of society.
I’m hoping Avon comes back this season somehow, but it’s looking like Slim’s in charge of what’s left of the Barksdale crew & the focus is going to shift to Marlow’s crew. But the thing is, the show can revolve around both or just one, and it’s still just as fascinating.
Oh, yeah, and the REAL winners of last year’s Superbowl opened their season today against Detroit. We’ll see if Pittsburgh can buy off the refs again.
I guess the GOP has decided their performance over the last few years has been so abyssmal that the only way to win is to disgust people so much no one goes to the polls.
Wouldn’t be the first time. I seem to recall that even you thought Bush should be re-elected because Kerry was So Bad And Scary.
How’s that all working out, anyway?
You want me to argue a hypothetical?
Let me do it for you.
We’d have faced two years of no legislative activity, and the Republicans would have plausible deniability for the resounding success of the Kerry administration’s handling of Hurricane Katrina.
Terri Schiavo would have died peacefully, and her husband would not have been the subject of a media circus.
_Hamdan v. Rumsfeld_ would not have been handed down, as the Kerry administration would have dismantled Guantanamo.
Iran would not be on the brink of deploying nuclear weapons.
Afghanistan would be at peace, and the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan would be occupied territory, whether controlled by the Pakistani military or by the UN. As a result, Osama bin Laden would be captured or dead.
Three days before the election, Karl Rove is going to declare that every Democrat running for any position anywhere is gay. Except Joe Lieberman.
Will it work? Stay tuned…
The Republicans should dig up Nixon and prop him in the Oval Office big chair. What wouldn’t be a hypothetical is that there would be an immediate quantum leap in intelligence, character, honor, and integrity compared to the current farting occupant.
If it is wrong to enjoy watching the Brownies get humiliated by the New Orleans Saints, then a sinner I be. That is all.
Dream on buddy. As much as you may like him, Kerry ain’t God. If Kerry had as much legislative initiative and success as President as he did in 20 years in the Senate, then phweww, prepared to have been overwhelmed by a whole lot of nothing.
Look, SCS likes pie!
Man I love all the press The Wire is getting. I’m hopeful for a fifth season.
And it’s not only the best show on TV, but probably the best TV show ever made.
Actually had a Key Lime pie the other day. It was very tasty.
Ain’t a thing John can do about his ’04 vote. No sense in ragging him about it.
Unless he starts to pull the same “No matter how bad the GOP is, the Democratic candidate would be even worse” stuff again any time between now and January 2009.
Because a Michael Moore/Cindy Sheehan ticket would be better than anything the GOP comes up with. And, yes, that includes the current GOP wet dream of a McCain/Giuliani ticket, or McCain/Rice, or any combination of any GOP candidates at all.
Because the problem isn’t just Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Addington, Gonzales, et al.
The problem is the GOP. Nothing less than the utter expulsion of the GOP from power will do. Probably for at least a generation – long enough for all these relics of the Nixon, Reagan, and Bush regimes to finally die of old age or slide so far into madness that they only twitch and drool in public.
You know, even with all this critiques on the war, I don’t think the Republicans are enough pro-war. You know how everyone criticizes the Republicans for going after Iraq and not other dictatorships around the world? Well, we should fix that. If I were running for President, I would run on a pro-war platform. I’d lay out a 10 year plan for the free world. First we’d do Iran, then N. Korea, then Cuba, then maybe a few African countries. I think it’s high time. We just don’t have room in the modern world for these ancient dictator relics. – I wonder how many votes I’d get…
Ah hah! Now the true lefty agenda comes to the surface. One party rule. Hmmm, sounds familiar somehow…
I wasn’t particularly thrilled with Kerry, although my respect for him rose after the debates, but I suspect he would have been a better president than he was a campaigner (not too difficult, I’ll grant you that!). He is at least a competent, intelligent, and fairly honorable man who takes the job of governing seriously. I can understand why some people are conservatives rather than liberals, but I’m always amazed that people can compare Kerry with Bush and believe that Bush is the better man. Especially since Bush is so far away from the conservative paradigm in his actions, as many conservatives now acknowledge. Actually, Kerry struck me as being much closer to the traditional (or Goldwater) conservative position in many ways. The hysterical caricature of what it is to be a liberal has made it impossible for many people to assess candidates rationally; as we see once again, this caricature is the product of the GOP power grab. It’s all about deflecting attention.
And you’d pay for this how…? Costs a lot of tax dollars (not to mention lives) to have a permanent state of war–are you going to raise taxes? Stop investing money in education and the infrastructure in the US? Say goodbye to all your votes…except for the ones from the incredible shrinking pool of neocons.
Rove has lost his groove.
Sorry, I’m not that worried about “Bush’s Brain” pulling this one out. He has not been doing very well lately. Lets recap some of the things he has orchestrated just this past few days and see how they faired, shall we?
BOLTON NOMINATION: Ahhhhh.. yes, this was supposed to back the dems into a corner. I mean Bolton has done such a bang up job at the UN they couldn’t possible vote against him especially with all the Jews that would be clamering for his nomination after the war in Lebanon right?
BACKFIRE: ooops… not only did they not gain ground, they lost a Republican Senator, Lincoln Chaffee. Hey, he’s got a tough election in a very blue state coming up (if he gets past the primary) and the last thing he wants to do is vote for Bolton again. oh well… on the plan B.
SECRET PRISONS: wow.. .brilliant crowed the morons at NRO. Bush is absolutely a genius for transferring the high valure terrorists to GITMO and now he can force the Dems to pass his military tribunals because if they don’t, they’ll be on the side of the bad bad men.
BACKFIRE: ooooops…. wait, its not the Dems that are fighting him but three of the most conservative Republican Senators with strong military ties: ex POW McCaine, ex JAG Gragham ex Under secretary of the Navy Warner. Wow…. and not only that but the military came out against Bush’s plans. Yikes.. not quite what Rove expected I imagine. I think the Dems have enough cover to reject Bush’s plan dont’t ya think?
IRAQ & WOT: ahhhh.. yes… you see Bush has got his best numbers on his fighting on the war on terror. And some of his worst on Iraq. So… what is a president to do? Ok.. give a lot of speeches about Iraq trying to link it to the WOT. Hey, he even admitted as much in a recent interview. That way he’ll get his numbers up for Iraq….
BACKFIRE: oooooh… didn’t quite work out that way. Most Americans think Iraq has nothign to do with WOT. All bush managed to do was put his worst issue (Iraq) front and center. This is like the fourth round of speeches Bush has given on Iraq. hey. .what is that saying those good ole boys always say, oh yeah, “that dog won’t hunt no more” or something like that.
Conclusion: Rove’s strategies work when you have a moderately popular president and a total loyalty from Repubs.. but.. alas he is has a rather unpopular President and a bunch of republicans that are doing everything they can to distance themselves from the “Decider”.
The Other Steve
You’ve got my vote, if the first country we invade is Canada!
Free Canada Beer!
I think that we should hit Grenada again, just to show that we haven’t forgotten about them.
I think you’d get plenty of votes. Scorched-earth politics has always had an audience, because morality is very inconvenient. You don’t have any civil rights if you’re dead, so let’s make ’em all part of a nuclear fused-glass desert floor. Besides, they’re all brown, or yellow. Not real people. Must kill. Sounds like the Party of Torture platform to me.
We could do a little at a time. You know, pace ourselves- one country every two years. Or maybe we can take turns, you know we’ll do Iran, France does Cuba, England does Sudan, etc.. And hey, I have some leftie in me, I’m not against a little tax raising. If we could afford Iraq, I think we can afford these other countries. Anyway, you gotta think big sometimes. You can’t deny that millions of people would be better off for it in the end.
I’ll drink to that! You know, they only sell alcohol in Canada at special government-run stores, so they can be sure to put the drugs in there. That’s why Canadians are so peaceful!
The aim is not to kill the people, the aim is to free them. I really don’t think it would be that hard- it might even be a cakewalk!
Yeah, how has Grenada been doing? Don’t here much about them nowadays.
I love cakewalks, but they so often turn into fiascos. But I do love pie!
damn don’t HEAR, not here. As usual I cannot vouch for the accurate spelling of my words…
Grenada is just fine, thank you. And they want to thank the people of the US for naming those exploding things after them.
Ok, kids, I must now go watch my beloved Bears get beaten by a team that is a shadow of its former self.
You’d be a great front page poster for Scrutator. This is priceless! You’ve got my vote.
I love that part about the “aim [of war and a pro-war policy] is not to kill the people….” That’s excellent irony!
Although I watched the Nixon impeachment hearings with glee, I now think back on that era as “the good old days”.
Dustbin Of History
I’ll let the rest of Browns Nation head for the ledges and just remind myself its week one and continue to savor the Buckeyes trouncing those pretenders from Austin.
Grenada’s still part of the Commonwealth, I think. I don’t think claiming we’ll liberate them from Gordon Brown would work as a casus belli. On the other hand, we could always claim that the Panamanian president is getting uppity again…
I know. I even remember getting a little emotional when Nixon died. I know, he was a paranoid son-of-a-bitch, but when he realized he had really, really, fucked things up, he did the right thing and resigned.
As I’ve said before here Bush II makes Nixon look like an amateur.
I think he resigned when he learned that he was going to be impeached, and had no defense. In other words, he was caught by the sheriff. Bush II, as you call him, so far has control of the sheriff’s department. Of course, that could change in two months or so, if the strategy pointed to by Mr. Cole fails. I don’t know if it will or not.
As evidently the only person who reads anything critically at BJ, I’m pretty sure this story is fictional. There’s no quote anywhere in the article by any Republican saying anything of the sort. Only one nobody is quoted as saying candidates should spend $20K each — hardly “the vast majority of their sizable financial warchests.”
Leaving aside the fact that both sides do these background checks (some, like Chucky Schumer’s bunch, don’t even care if they break the law!), even the quotes allegedly supporting the thesis are ridiculous:
Ummmm, that would be an ISSUE ad, wouldn’t it? That would be an ad about someone’s record, wouldn’t it? By what definition is that hardball, negative dirt-digging?
Not their voting records! For the love of all decency, leave their voting records alone!! Heartless GOP bastards!!!
The WaPo standards for propaganda are really slipping — they used to at least be well-written!
Or, to quote Denis Leary, “First stop: Vietnam. Surprise the fuck outta those people! ‘You make a movie?’ Not this time, pal!”
Canada would be good. Also makes as much sense as Iraq. Then at least we might get one secure border out of it and logistically it’d be a dream. Plus troops would be close to home for leave and could get a break from that bastard heat in Iraq. They could rotate into Canada during the summer then winter over in Iraq. Brave Fox warriors like Hannity and Geraldo might even steel themselves to venture into Canada for much prettier photo ops with the president. Who said the GSAVE couldn’t be pleasant?
Bring It On, bitches. Our beer would kill you. It has alcohol in it.
The first part of Path to 9/11 has aired in New Zealand. Check out a few misleading clips and then decide if you want to waste your time with fictionalized history.
Heh. Good point. Besides, why invade, when you can just drive to Montreal, go see some quality strippers, and drink our beer anyway? No fuss, no muss.
/raises her can of Moosehead in salute.
The Other Steve
No thanks, I get enough of Mac Buckets fictionalizing here.
The Asshole Formerly Known as GOP4Me
Are Osama Bin Laden and Monica Lewinski the same person? Because if they are, that would explain a lot.
Only closet gay Republicans like RNC chair Ken Mehlman drink Coors or Bud Light.
Thanks Richard 23, for the clips. That mamzer Clinton! No one told me he was secretly in charge on 9/11! Bush has been unfairly blamed in all of this. Thousands died because of blowjobs!
That’s not really correct, Mac. You guys are masters at it, only you wrongly call it history.
The Disenfranchised Voter
Either you are a spoof or you’re a fucking moron, scs.
Take your pick.
We don’t have the military power, or the will to “free” the entire world. Not to even mention the absolute absurdity of “freeing” people by waging war on their respective countries.
God damn you neo-cons are fucking retarded…
Takes the job of governing seriously? John Kerry voted in the Senate on issues of war based on what John Kerry thought would help himself politically, which is a reprehensible use of his power.
It’s obvious he voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq because at the time of that vote he thought it would help him run for President down the line. When the political winds shifted within his party, he was exposed as the ridiculous and UN-SERIOUS man he is, with his infamous flip-flops and asinine statements trying to have thing both ways.
Which is nothing new for Kerry. When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and most of the world felt that a dictator trying to annex a UN member state out of existance could not be allowed to stand, Kerry voted against military action: “It is a vote about war because whether or not the president exercises his power, we will have no further say after this vote.” – John Kerry, January 1991, defending his vote against authorizing the Gulf War. (This quote also shows Kerry knows exactly what he was voting for when he voted to authorize George W. Bush’s actions in Iraq.)
The military action in the Gulf War was backed by the United Nations and some Muslim countries – thus passing what Kerry, in his debates with George W. Bush, referred to as the “international test.” So, how does one square his 1991 vote with his vote in the run-up to the 2003 attack on Saddam?
But Kerry, in 1991, was mostly concerned with his own political amibitions, just as he has been in recent years. This is why he attempted to make it look like he was on both sides of the Gulf War, depending upon who his audience was.
For example, he wrote two letters to the same constituent, one where he thought the person opposed the war and one where he thought the person supported it:
No, I don’t see any reason to respect a Senator who handles matters of war like Kerry has. No, I don’t find anything “honorable” or “serious” about him.
And, turning to Cole’s post, I might not have known some of these things about Kerry – which proved to me that the man was indeed unfit to be Commander in Chief – had there not been negative attacks on John Kerry.
It wasn’t spoofing or moronic DV. It’s called satire. Man that is the problem with you Libs, you all need to get a sense of humour.
Still within every joke is some truth and I think my idea does have something of a point to it – which is- we can’t tolerate old style dictatorships in the modern world forever. Especially places like North Korea where people are being starved and killed in large numbers. I think at some point, if they don’t look like they will change on their own, we will have to take care of these places, in one way or the other. Call me crazy for that.
Yes Loafing Oaf, I agree. Anyone but Kerry. In fact the Dems have a very unpalatable leadership out there now- Nancy Pelosi, Tim Reid, Howard Dean, John Kerry, and is probably the main last reason they haven’t had more traction than they have had. If they change their cast of characters to get less whiny, bitchy, complaining types and people who actually have the ideas once in a while, they might start winning big. There are plenty of Dem senators that are way better, (like Dianne Feinstein), and they should rise to the top first before the Dem party is taken seriously again.
Ok, scs, you are bat shit crazy. Are you Paul Wolfowitz? Are you aware that your entire theory (the 1% doctrine) is complete bullshit?
We are not the world police, however much you think we are. There are real limits to American power, and, militarily, we are just about tapped out, not counting the use of first-strike nukes. I have to assume (if you are not spoofing) that you think that the use of nuclear weapons or massive conventional air-strikes on people who have not attacked us is ok, if there is a 1% chance they might attack us? Do I have that about right?
Bat. Shit. Crazy.
It’s not about attacking us. It’s about human rights and not tolerating abuses like that in the modern world.
SCS was already asked the question of how to pay for the fantasy of invading one “bad” country after another, but what about the question of where the troops to accomplish these deeds are going to come from?
Despite all the hand-wringing that lots of GOPers would be in a position to prevent their kids from being forced to serve in the army…the fact remains that a Draft would force parents on both sides of the political isle to say goodbye and good luck to their children as they are called to active duty.
I would love to see the Democrats do that united front thing again (like they did when they all agreed not to take the “talk to us we want to work with you” bait the GOP dangled in front of them as Bush and company attempted to forever alter social security), and get behind bringing back the Draft. No, seriously, I think getting behind a resurgence of the draft could be a political winner for the party that does it first. If the Republicans truly supports our troops, they should be happy to get behind any serious proposal to bring back the Draft, which would be a huge help to our boys and girls abroad, by providing them with plenty of boots on the ground to make it easier to accomplish their honorable job of making the world a safer place.
Bring back the Draft!
Well you didn’t get my fantasy idea of doing only one at a time so we don’t bite off more than we can chew. But yeah – Bring back the Draft! I’m all for it.
America. FUCK YEAH! Gonna save. The mutherfucking da-ay!
Ah, the draft. Dragging people out of their homes, tossing them firearms, and beaching them in foreign countries to kill or be killed. Or was that the movie Running Man? I don’t even remember.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, Oaf, but we have had some pretty devious people as POTUS, and we usually do ok. I’m not saying Kerry was devious, just a politician. He certainly wasn’t my first choice, that being Wesley Clark or Howard Dean, but if you want to hold presidential candidates to such high standards, I’ve got your completely unqualified guy right here.
Mr. McFlightSuit makes shit up quite a lot, for one thing, and has this annoying habit of breaking the law whenever he god-damned well feels like it. He’s run the most secretive government in our history, and thinks it’s ok to imprison and torture our enemies without granting them any legal rights at all for as long as he wishes. Fancy that.
If that doesn’t float your boat, he doesn’t read too well, can’t debate worth a shit (even wearing a wire), and basically, can’t be bothered to do his job. Oh, and he’s never been involved in any business which his father didn’t have to bail him out of. Didn’t they actually say in the 2000 campaign that he would be the “MBA President?” Don’t let anyone tell you that the Party of Torture doesn’t have a sense of humor, you guys crack me up.
But we will survive him.
I cannot agree with you about Howard Dean. He’s a centrist, whatever the Party of Torture’s spin machine says, and he’s been an excellent party chairman, raising lots of money and implementing a real 50-state strategy. Sure he runs off at the mouth sometimes, he’s a Democrat, for Christ’s sake. We’re supposed to whine, especially after being in the woodshed for so long. What the fuck else are we supposed to do, you guys control it all, and you’re doin’ a heckuvajob.
The nice thing about one party rule for Democrats is that in the coming elections, we will remind people who has been in charge, and how massively things suck.
I don’t know who our candidate will be in 2008, but I’m voting for whomever gets nominated (I’d even vote for Kerry again, though not happily). We are a resilient nation, but the time of one-party rule is over. There are only so many massive policy failures one country can take.
I am concerned, though, that once the American people see this new “documentary” and find out that 9/11 was all Clinton’s fault, we’ll be in trouble. I’m shocked at you guys, though, isn’t there some way you could blame the 9/11 attacks on Kerry?
The Asshole Formerly Known as GOP4Me
Why not have universal conscription, though? I’m not talking about sending everyone off to gun down the “bad guys”, but something along the French/Russian model, where you can opt out of military service and stick to domestic civil service if that’s your thing. 2 years of conscription as the price of citizenship, and you get significant college grants if you opt for military service. (Presumably, that wouldn’t violate the Equal Protection Clause if we tinkered with military rules on allowing in homosexuals and whatnot.)
After this Iraq fiasco, it’s pretty much the only way we’re going to get a military at all. I can’t see too many current service members opting in for another go-around post-Iraq, waiting for the next George Armstrong Custer Presidency to get them shot to shit bringing “freedom” to the world. (Of course, we’d have to impose some serious restrictions on this universal conscription thing to prevent the same recurrence. Something along the lines of a National Guard model, maybe. We could even incorporate it into the current National Guard structure, with some significant revamps and whatnot.)
Just brainstorming here, anyways.
The Asshole Formerly Known as GOP4Me
BTW, that’s a nice rant, mrmobi.
The Disenfranchised Voter
Hmm like torture conducted by US officials?
Game, set, and Match.
Bring on the next blind follower, please…
Sad when one of the better documentaries I’ve ever seen is hosted entirely on C&L.
So, SCS, when are you enlisting? Or are you another one of those Republican armchair warriors?
Man we need Darrell here to set that straight.
The Other Steve
I have to admit, I wasn’t very happy with Kerry voting for that stupid amendment.
But given the alternative of a guy who took an amendment that was about a threat, and used it to start a war.
Well, it seems like we’re comparing Wilson with Hitler.
The Other Steve
Set what straight? Darrell defended torture as a good idea.
Darrell doesn’t believe in human rights. As far as he’s concerned, invading Iraq was all about giving Republicans power.
Any thoughts on that 9/11 movie? I saw most of it, thought it was pretty good. It didn’t seem to cast blame on any one person or party. In fact it showed less miunderstanding about the terrorist threats than I thought, as most of the players from high to low seemed to be well aware of the terrorist threats from Bin Laden and Co., even back then. But it did show a lot of institutional paralysis and confusion about how to deal with it. Kind of Katrina-like actually. I think the hype about it being a dishonest finger pointer is overblown so far.
Hated all the damn close ups though. I don’t need to see so many nostrils at one time.
Thanks GOP. I like you idea too, and I do have a dog in that hunt, that being a 21 year old daughter, so I don’t take lightly the idea of universal conscription. I also would allow for those who didn’t want to fight, but simply serve. We are not all warriors, and some fathers are very fond of their daughters.
It seems to me we have to rethink this whole idea of the “volunteer” military. I’m intensely proud of the unflinching service our troops have rendered to all of us. How could we ask for more, and where do we get such people? I have two second-cousins who are both in their second tours in Iraq. Their mother is stoic, but I know she’s a basket case. Right now a very, very few are doing what Mr. McFlightSuit refers to as “the hard work.” If this really is the global struggle for survival that the Party of Torture says it is, we should have universal conscription, it’s the only fair way to share the suffering.
I also believe in universal conscription for congresspersons. Call it a national lottery. If you number is picked, you have to make arrangements to go to Washington, D.C., and work as a congressperson or senator for $200,000 per year. You’d have to be literate, at least up to the standards of George W. Bush, so I don’t imagine there would be many who wouldn’t qualify. Some hardship exceptions might be made, but I don’t think many people would turn down a $200,000 per year job, that included lifetime pension and medical benefits.
It’s a fun fantasy, and a little scary, especially considering some of the tin-foil hat ideas that can be found on the internet, but very, very democratic. National service in the legislative branch.
As if ABC’s stupid Path to 9/11 blog would post my comment, but I stated clearly and suscintly that this was the stupidest Goddamned piece of propaganda that I have ever seen. What a bunch of bullshit. ABC/Disney should die.
Well if you libs ever take control, we’ll all be dead/Muslim/Gay Scoutmasters…
Leftist moonbats are only for free speech they agree with…
I Like Pie [me, not the ed]
Sorry just figured big D should be represented here, anyone who feels that that’s not what his responses would have entailed also likes pie [still me…]
Well, Pooh, it still was the stupidest piece of crap I have seen since The Day After Tomorrow. I hope others will post their reactions soon. It was monumentally stupid. Harvey Keitel should be ashamed. This is the first movie I have seen him in that sucked.
Maybe John, Tim or Tom will put up an open thread for those who endured this fecaldrama to post our reviews.
What I liked about the 9/11 movie were all the scenes showing CIA guys in the villages in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They looked very realistic. I am just amazed that we actually have people doing this stuff for a living. Although some scenes were made up – like the scene when they were standing in front Bin Laden’s tent, I think the main point was probably true. It’s still true today actually. Trying to mesh catching terrorists with US criminal law is not always a good match.
Yeah, scs, those handheld shaky shots made it look so realistic. Just like Husbands and Wives.
No, I didn’t like those or the copius super close ups. But the villages, the villagers, the crowds, all the clubs in the Phillipines- in other words, the set, was really good. Felt like I was there. So, fire the director, but give the set designer a bonus.
sorry – copious. But does it really matter?
Fire the writer of that drivel.
Stop cribbing from my old posts:
The Asshole Formerly Known as GOP4Me
Thanks. I’m probably a bit long in the tooth for the idea myself (I’m 28), but I’d still join up if they called me up. I’d rather not fight, but someone’s got to do it, I guess.
This is a really good idea. Let me show you a couple more which are pretty far out there for some people. Smedley Butler had the idea that in time of war, all American salaries should automatically decrease to the level of the lowliest frontline infantryman. He also thought that prior to the initiation of any war of choice involving conscription, there should be a national plebiscite in which only those facing conscription could vote. (His contention was that these two provisions would end pretty much all non-emergency wars very, very quickly. Since these two ideas will NEVER be enacted into law, that contention will remain purely theoretical for the foreseeable future.)
Smedley Butler was also the guy who revealed the coup attempt against FDR. Won the Congressional Medal of Honor twice, then came out as an ardent pacifist. Pretty interesting guy.
Whoops….maybe not. Brett…here’s the retirement package. Take it. My Bears just showed you what a clown you really are…
26-0. Best D in the NFL. Bring it on, “contenders”….
I’ll assume you’ve never had the experience of filling out Selective Service paperwork and carrying a draft card around in your wallet. Let me assure you that it does concentrate the mind. You become disenchanted much more quickly with the American vision of human rights and “not tolerating abuses” when it’s your own personal ass that’s likely to get shot off.
I also assume that, unless you’re in the military yourself, you’re really much more “all for” someone beside youself getting drafted, all for someone else “not tolerating abuses”, else you’d volunteer.
Hey Culpepper, how about that game! I guess we might have something to look forward to this year after all. Sacks and everything. I love watching Fahvre get sacked. Just love it.
mrmobi, GOP4me —
But let’s look at the reasons we currently have a volunteer military. I can think of two:
1. Conscription ended, for all intents and purposes, in 1973. By that time, deployment of a conscript army in an unpopular war had basically ruined the army, in large part because of the conscripts’ resistance. And already by 1967-68, civilian protests against the war had reached numbers in the hundreds of thousands and forced the resignation of a President in 1968 who had won election in a landslide only 4 years previously. The volunteer army has the side effect of diluting civilian (and uniformed) opposition to military policy because on the one hand, anyone who chooses to do so can decline to volunteer and on the other hand all uniformed personnel are in the service, at least nominally, of their own free will.
2. The needs of the military and the modalities of combat have changed since the early ’70s as well. Weapons systems are more high-tech, fighting is more computerized. Hence the cost to train an effective soldier has gone up (as has the skill set required of a soldier going in) — which means that it’s more cost-effective to have that soldier think of soldiering as a “career” (whether that’s realistic or not) than to think of it as involuntary servitude. My point here is that the military itself may not be very enthusiastic about a return to the draft, and in support of this I’d point to the fact that even now, when they could certainly use one, you’ve heard none of the retired generals who’ve criticized Rumsfeld calling for a return to conscription.
I believe the chances of a return to military conscription are small, because military conscription is not a good fit for a 21st-century model of war-making that’s defined by asymmetrical warfare in foreign countries over access to scarce resources, or denial of such access to others. In that context a reintroduction of the draft would destabilize both the military and foreign policy as a whole, by making them much more accessible to the political process. In essence, democtratizing them.
Whether you look at that as a bug or a feature is, of course, up to you…
It’s not the same without ppg and Darrell here.
Right you are Vida. Having carried around one of those things until the “lottery” was held during the Viet Nam era, I can say it does focus the mind.
Perhaps that’s why Muhammad Ali is one of my heros. As he said back then, “I don’t have nothing against no Viet Cong.” I only support the idea of bringing back conscription because I think in this society, it would only work if we were genuinely under seige, definitely not for pre-emptive or trumped-up conflicts like Iraq. As we said back then, “What if they gave a war and nobody came?”
What better way to get the American people to force their elected representatives to craft a realistic energy policy than to say to them, “If you want $1.50 a gallon gasoline, send your kids to this meat grinder over here, and keep sending them till we say stop.” Given those circumstances, we’d see real change in months.
Someone, I think Carl Sagan, once said regarding extraterrestrial life that if there were ETs and they came here to earth, they might well decide that the automobile was the dominant life form on the planet. Our love affair with the internal combustion engine is a real liability in the gwot.
I’m still getting to know everyone here. Question: Are people seriously calling for a draft? That seems drastic and politically way out there. Or is there a lot of tongue in cheeck material going on?
I think scs is filling the gap okay, minus the vitriol. Okay, that’s like pie withouot the filling, but it’s something.
The advantage is that it makes policies simple and clean. Foreign policy is summed up as follows: Who do we bomb next? Taxation: How much does the military need? Social services: You’ll get your welfare check standing in line with all the other privates. Retirement: Hmm, there seem to be a lot fewer old men around these days.
Look – a jackalope!
Does that help?
It’s the way he says it, Rusty.
I think you’re right here, at least partly. If you look at the invasion of Afghanistan in 2002, for example, a lot of soldiers volunteered to go. Draft? Parents would have been driving their kids to the bus stations if they were called up. People were pissed. Many still are: where’s Osama?
In the broader context though, I’m skeptical. When you say “it would only work if we were under siege” — you’re putting the cart before the horse. In the Vietnam case, if you want to mark the beginning of major US military involvement at Aug. 1964, it took easily on the order of 4 years for the public to realize that the fundamental set of assumptions under which we were involved were false. A lot of people got killed in a conflict that we’ve generally come to view as “trumped-up and pre-emptive” because it took a long time for that view to become manifest — and meanwhile LBJ, his circle of civilian advisors, and the DoD were driving that war even though they believed as early as 1963 that it would be difficult to keep the N. Vietnamese from unifying their country under their control. IOW the fact that we fought for 11 years (if you count only 1964-1975) to do nothing but keep from losing and in the end lost anyhow — didn’t matter to them. They were able to persuade enough people that we were under siege for a long enough time, to do a lot of damage.
My point: foreign and military policy are fundamentally not democratic elements of the model of governance in this country. Where I think you’re putting the cart before the horse is in the assumption that conscription would democratize them. To me, that’s like thinking that campaign finance reform (or whatever the panacea of the day is) will democratize elections. I suspect that “what if they gave a war and nobody came” is, like a lot of the other slogans of the time, partly true but also dangerously naive: if they want to give a war they will do so; if conscription is a tool available to fuel it they will attempt to use it; if it isn’t they will still try to prevail and damn the consequences.
That’s an interesting argument, but I would suggest that there is another possibility. Namely, that democratizing a policy is not a guarantee of success, but that providing the opportunity for the people to have control and decide is essential, even if they get it wrong, as one might argue that they did in your Vietnam example. A people who have a true (actual, real) right to self government must have the right to get things wrong. The alternative is to surrender the choices to authority.
Therefore I would be in favor of the draft as a democratizing measure. It places the feedback loop for the policies right where it belongs … with the people.
The balance between democracy, and, say, a republic, is a delicate thing, but our Constitution does a pretty decent job of laying out a model for us. The trick is to use it wisely.
umm…this Larry guy’s “voice” reminds me of scs from about a year ago. and the current scs’ “voice” reminds me of DougJ from about a year ago. what gives?
On paper this works fine, and I don’t entirely disagree with you and MrMobi that it might work in actual practice as well. The devil is of course in the details. For example, say Pres. Bush had the power to institute a draft tomorrow, and did so. Would MrMobi’s daughter, and Mr. Bush’s daughters, be equally likely to be called up? Would they be equally likely to end up in high-risk jobs if they were called up? It’s almost silly to ask the question.
The balance between a democracy and a republic is indeed a delicate thing, and generalizing about it is dangerous. I’d argue that in the fields of foreign policy, military policy, and taxation, we essentially live in a republic; and while we call it a democracy it’s really a dictatorship of an elected elite. You’re correct, in my opinion, about the feedback phenomenon of the draft, but I’m not comforable with advocating for a policy that will get a lot of other people’s kids killed, by that elite, for that feedback.
Calling for a draft to oppose crazy, unjust, and idiotic wars is as dangerous as calling for a draft to support crazy, unjust, and idiotic wars: it can get a lot of folks killed.
Is our spoofs learning?
That’s an excellent point, although I’d probably come down on the idea that it was the crazy idiotic policy that killed the folks. In my case, I am not arguing for the draft much one way or the other, just saying that it’s important to realize that self-governing people have to be given the right to be wrong.
One thing I really don’t like about the Bush-Cheney message these days is that it strongly implies that the people don’t have the right to be wrong. According to them, if you are “wrong” (in their view) you are aiding the enemy.
When Americans can’t challenge their government without being told that they are “aiding the enemy” then I think something is seriously wrong. That’s the most American thing we can do, it seems to me.
Fundamenally you’re right about this. My conclusion then is to attack the policy directly (ie. oppose the war) rather than put somebody else at risk in an attempt to undercut the policy by instituting a draft.
I see a down side to this, in that building an opposition to a war is more difficult than building an opposition to a draft (or a tax increase for that matter). Bush sees this too.
Because among other things it begs the question of, to what degree are we really self-governing?
You might hate this answer for its being corny and trite …. but I think the answer is, to the degree that we want to, take the time to, and take responsibility for.
Citizens who know where their interests are, do the work to learn the facts and the issues, and assert their right to govern, are going to govern themselves … at least assiduously, if not effectively.
Corny and trite it may be but I’ll accept it at a high level of generality. I’ll even grant you that the current situation we’re in is partly the fault of our own collective indolence with regard to any issue deeper than where’s my next beer coming from and how can I get a big new wide-screen plasma TV in time for football season. But we have to be specific. Look at the last six years: I’m not going to send somebody else’s kids off to Bush’s army, on behalf of my idea of what a quick fix for the situation might be or the idea that a draft will end dumb wars. World War I was supposed to end dumb wars. Letting women vote was supposed to end dumb wars. How did that all work out?
I don’t have a good answer, but I do have a very simplistic observation that the people who start wars (i.e., generally the leaders of countries, whether tyrants or democratically elected) are never the people who are most at risk for being killed in wars. What does this asymmetry tell us about self-government?
Bingo, Vida. I think that’s just where ordinary citizens are right now. It is also one of the reasons our Decider has not asked the American people to make any sacrifices. Sacrifices call for attention, you’ve got to get up out of the recliner and make a plan. That plasma TV might have to wait. Your children might have to make the ultimate sacrifice. With the volunteer force, someone else’s children, by and large, do the serving and dying, and I think that makes it too easy for us as citizens to not pay sufficient attention.
I certainly wouldn’t want my daughter involved in this fiasco in Iraq. One of the things that radicalized ordinary citizens against the Viet Nam war was the un-covering of the facts of how the privileged got their children out of serving, or got them jobs in the National Guard when that meant you had the option to refuse service in Viet Nam if you were asked, as AWOL did. That means that it wouldn’t work unless ALL were treated equally.
As far as opposing the policy, that is the whole point of the “you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists” language from this government. Control the language and you can keep people cowed. Demonstrations and marches don’t seem to mean as much in the age of spin. It’s to easy for folks like Darrell to find some tin-foil hat wearers and represent them as representative of the entire group. Americans seem to have forgotten that opposition to the policies of our government is our birthright, not treason.
I think what I’m saying is we need, as citizens, to strap on a pair, and find some leaders with big brass ones, and it wouldn’t hurt if the media grew some, too.
The Asshole Formerly Known as GOP4Me
Hi, sorry to return to this so much later.
WRT the technological disparity gap, we’d obviously need a core of career military soldiers to handle the more advanced equipment. However, I’m confident that we could have basic infantry training completed for a majority of conscripts within 6 months of initial recruitment, resulting in approximately 18 months of effective deployment time (minus leave and whatnot). In a genuine war of national emergency (like Afghanistan), such forces would help secure the countryside against Taliban insurgents or renegade warlords.
More to the point, it seems incredibly unjust that an extremely minute portion of the populace is expected to make repeated deployments to a war zone, despite the fact that many of them thought they were out of the military at this point in time. (One of my friends, who served in Iraq until early 2004 when he was discharged from the Army, was recently called back into service this summer. That seems rather unfair to me.) I think if more people faced the prospect of losing their children to a war, they’d be less gung-ho about rushing off to fight one.
But the main point is that if Smedley Butler’s proposals were adopted, we’d never have to face a national war of choice again. The lowest-ranking soldier in Iraq currently makes $14,600 a year. If everyone in America, from President Bush to corporate executives to brain surgeons to lawyers made this little, the economy would grind to a halt on its own. Either we’d never have another senseless invasion of another sovereign nation, or they’d start paying everyone in the military $80k + a year. Moreover, a national vote amongst those of draftable age would at least ensure that only those facing death were able to decide on the worthiness of the cause.
I think these two measures would, at worst, correct the abuses currently inherent in a conscription system; at best, they would fulfill the intent they were written for, which is to end all wars not based on issues of legitimately imminent national peril (in which shots have already been fired- none of this “the smoking gun could be a mushroom cloud” horseshit, thank you very much).
The Asshole Formerly Known as GOP4Me
We didn’t have another major conflict for 20 years, then we got whammed at Pearl Harbor. Then we became a global empire, and in the afterglow of WWII the lessons of the First World War seemed trite and meaningless. Apparently, nobody was paying attention during Korea, because they let the same nitwit political drivel lure us into Vietnam. After that, people woke up. It probably had quite a bit to do with the demographic situation as well, though.
Look, the volunteer military system is dead. It’s fucked. Once we’re out of Iraq, you’re not going to get many new volunteers. Who wants to sign up for a system where some frat boy jackass can send them off to war until the year 2030? As much as you don’t like a draft, I like the idea of not having a military even less. And as far as restoring a volunteer military in this country, I see a draft as the best way to do it. People who are conscripted and find that they like the military life could then go career. But under the current model, I don’t see that happening. Right now, if I were 18 and had to choose between military service and drug dealing, I’d choose drug dealing. It’s safer, and it’s more profitable, and it doesn’t involve bombing the shit out of an Iraqi village in the name of “freedom.”
I’ll grant you this. It also had a great deal to do with the fact that that demographic (which had some fairly privileged assumptions about its life choices and career path) was vulnerable to conscription and really had no choice in the matter. I believe (though of course cannot prove) that the draft is one of the reasons you had a mass anti-war movement in the late 60’s-early 70’s but you don’t have one now.
It’s not hard to believe (though again I can’t prove) that both the personnel and the equipment have taken a heavy beating and are at the point of falling apart. But, the same set of conditions applied (possibly to a more extreme degee) late in the Vietnam war; and disaffection and demoralization in the ranks was one of the factors driving the decision to go to an all-volunteer system. People at that time said the draft was dead. Personally rather than declaring that the all-volunteer system is dead it makes more sense to me to make a priority of getting out of Iraq as quickly as possible without taking any more losses or doing any more damage to a society we’ve already damaged enough; get the personnel and gear back here and sort things out. If the military can’t be rebuilt on a volunteer basis over the span of 2 years or so, I’d say you have a stronger argument.
However, look again at the Vietnam lesson: the army and the Marines changed their recruiting, changed their training, learned the lessons and rebuilt; they weren’t having problems with getting volunteers until Bush and Rumsfeld took the military and broke it — in other words, we have to look at specific policy errors, and specific responsible parties, rather than generallizing about “volunteer force won’t work” or “draft won’t work”.
This is a reasonable hypothesis; you could also argue that if wars were financed on the basis of pay-as-you-go taxation they’d be a lot less popular. I’d characterize these as positive side-effects of a draft and tax increases. But they are not reliable or dependable consequences.
But, what was the political drivel? Anti-communism, Cold-War ideology, the foreign policy of containment. As crazy as it seems now, fourty years ago people bought into that stuff pretty much across the board — to the extent that they’d pay the taxes, and ostracize a son who refused conscription. Large portions of the population were completely convinced that we had vital national interests at stake in keeping Vietnam divided. The “islamofascism” meme won’t get off the ground to anywhere near the degree that anticommunism did but it’s not like the same people aren’t trying hard to do the same thing for the same reason.
The Asshole Formerly Known as GOP4Me
That’s probably correct. I also believe that the lack of a draft was the reason why only 36% of Americans opposed this war prior to its initiation, rather than 60 or 70%. Whether that would’ve made a difference in Congress is another issue (I don’t think it would’ve swayed Bush- he made it quite clear prior to the war that he doesn’t listen to “focus groups”).
Well, the people who said the draft was dead were right, weren’t they? We haven’t had a draft in 30 years. I’m talking about resurrecting a corpse, frankly.
We very much agree on the issue of withdrawing from Iraq as soon as possible. 2 years ago would not be soon enough for me. Every minute we’ve spent in Iraq has been damaging to our nation’s military, international prestige, and moral character- to say nothing whatsoever of its effect on Iraq or the Arab world in general.
I still feel very strongly that 5 or 6 years after withdrawal, you will still see recruitment numbers down substantially from those in the 1980s and 1990s. But at this point, my supposition is purely speculative. I can certainly wait on the draft idea until I see how much damage has been done, but it is nevertheless my belief that we will probably have to revert to some form of conscription in the wake of this fiasco. Unless, of course, the Army starts paying people $50k a year to enlist or something like that.
It undoubtedly helped that the only sizeable confrontation we engaged in between Iraq and Vietnam was the first Gulf War- which was a resounding victory in which remarkably few casualties were suffered. But I remember that even in 1983, Army experts testified before Congress that the US Army was a shadow of its former self, and a demoralized, dispirited force. The defeat in Vietnam had far-reaching effects on military efficiency which were only dispelled 20 years later by the victory in the Gulf War. (I’ll look up links for that later, but don’t have time now- sorry.)
I think they aren’t reliable or dependable because they are purely hypothetical; no Legislature would ever draft such a bill, and no President would ever sign it. We’ll see this system of conscription in America around the same time that the Green Party represents the hawkish, right-wing side of American politics.
Yet the Islamists have already killed more Americans than the Soviets ever did (unless you count covert action or proxy wars in Korea/Vietnam). This war, sold by this gang, is shot; about 5-10 years down the road, however, who’s to say what people will and won’t fall for? Particularly if they themselves don’t have to fight it, and we can just keep calling the same old vets out of retirement to risk death for America over and over again.
I don’t share your optimism about the political acumen of the American people. As some wiseass once said, “No one ever got poor underestimating the intelligence of the American people.”
Winning is all that matters.
The Asshole Formerly Known as GOP4Me
Our only mistake was not winning.