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Obama - man with a message

Mark Mardell | 17:14 UK time, Friday, 18 September 2009

obama_afp226b.jpgPresident Obama is hitting the airwaves in a big way this Sunday: he is appearing on almost all of the big Sunday political talk-shows, on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and Univision (the biggest Spanish language channel in the States).

Only Fox is left out, presumably because the administration thinks it is too vicious a beast.

Whenever there are big interviews like this, broadcasters go into a controlled tizzy. Executives meet with producers and presenter to brainstorm. What tack to take? Are there any clever lines to pursue? Any left-field questions?

It is often a question of what to leave out: there are about a dozen subjects that would merit half an hour's worth of questions to this president. Healthcare will be a big topic, and possibly the main news-line here in America.

Even the most seasoned and urbane presenter will have butterflies, and agonise about the tone and the phrasing. Hostile, or friendly? Is pushing one big question nobler in the viewers' eye than covering the field? It is a big prize for an anchor to make their interview the one that everyone quotes in this intensely competitive town.

But what wares is the president trying to sell? He must have a big international message ahead of the UN General Assembly and the G20 next week that he will want to be a big headline in newspapers around the Middle East, Europe and in Iran on Monday morning, and on the main broadcasts that night.

The coming week is a very big deal for his relations with the rest of the world.

Tricky customers like Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be in New York for the UN. Mr Obama will chair the security council, apparently the first time a US president has done this.

Then it is on to Pittsburgh for the G20. The leaders of China, Russia and India, France Germany and the UK will be all smiles, but will be watching every move.

So the TV interviews are important in setting the tone. I cannot help thinking that the U-turn on the Bush missile defence plan was not his intended message.

The Wall Street Journal exclusive seemed to be a genuine one, in that it caught the White House on the hop.

For me, the story also has another distinction: it was the first newspaper article I have read since I was about seven in which I encountered an unfamiliar word in the first paragraph: "Roil". Apparently, it means to stir up. I am always glad to be educated.

So what will the president's message be? I am told that his theme of the week is non-proliferation, and that it really is a personal passion.

But unless it is linked to a dramatic offer or threat it is scarcely a big, juicy story and he will want to capture the headlines.

It will be something that - like missile defence - sets the tone and proclaims that his America is a country ready to listen and lead the whole world community, something that is diametrically opposed to President Bush's rhetoric about "the coalition of the willing" and "if you're not with us, you're against us."

But calibrating that message so that it goes down as well at home as it will inside the UN is a hard trick, even without the snap of a Fox on your heels.

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  • 1. At 6:01pm on 18 Sep 2009, MacScroggie wrote:

    In general I suspect that the US is more hated and feared across the world - respected by many but liked by few.

    To put it diplomatically, George W's time in office did nothing to woo the rest of the world to US policy.

    Mr Obama however is using an attractive mix of sincerity and personal commitment, which appeals to many.

    His health care aspirations and his delay in setting up missiles in Eastern Europe are just two ways he is demonstrating his humanity and easing tensions with the "Auld Enemy", Russia.

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  • 2. At 6:18pm on 18 Sep 2009, LucyJ wrote:

    Mark, you are wrong about the administration being scared of Fox news- it is the exact opposite. Fox news is scared of President Obama and refuses to air any interviews of Obama. In fact, Fox wouldn't even show Obama's inauguration, although they have shown every single other President before that. Interesting, eh? That's why no one takes Fox seriously.
    Anyway, as for Obama's big interviews, he will be trying to sell his health insurance plan. Ironically, the people he states he is trying to help (uninsured) do not have insurance because most of us can't afford it, since we don't have jobs. There simply aren't hardly any available. The ones that are do not pay much. It has nothing to do with being lazy. If Obama's health care plan passes, then what will happen is the taxpayers will end up paying for the uninsured, as we still likely won't be able to afford it.
    The problem is that health care is too expensive, whether you have insurance or not, the costs are outrageous. Obama needs to focus on bringing the costs down for everyone.
    I extremely dislike the mandatory requirement for health care. That is the main thing that I HATE about his health care plan. (Ironically, I am one of the uninsured, but I do not like this idea at all.)
    Obama really needs to focus on jobs, as well. He spend billions on the stimulus plan, yet the majority of the country is in recession (everyoe but Wall St.) Us average Americans have been ignored by Obama's stimulus plan, and we still are not doing good.
    I used to be a proud Democrat, but now I am unhappy with what Obama is doing with our country (stimulus package that only helped the bankers, mandatory health insurance.) I now consider myself an Independent.
    As for that far-out idea from NATO that America and Russia join together for a missile defense system, in their dreams! America may belong to NATO, but we do not give up our secrets or weaponry, we will never give up our land or water sources to NATO, either. America belongs to Americans, not to NATO, just as other countries are, too.

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  • 3. At 6:23pm on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Mark has noticed: "It is often a question of what to leave out"

    And what Obama Administration would love to leave out, like, e.g. what has it got from Russians IN RETURN for leaving U.S.'s staunch allies in Poland and Czech Republic alone again, after they've went out on a limb for U.S., antagonizing "new, improved" putinesque Russia, which has quite recently paid a friendly visit to Georgia? [that re AMD lurch]

    On September 17th, of all days, an anniversary of Russia's friendly visit to Poland, coordinated with its Nazi allies.

    What goes around, comes around.

    I won't be surprised if Poland now decides to do do the same number on U.S., by withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan, which, according to Mr. Obama, is "all important".

    [BTW it's all important to Mr. Osama too, judging by his latest tape]

    Call your contacts in Warsaw and Prague now, Mark, and ask what they think about U.S. credibility in Eastern Europe after yeststerday's retreat by Obama's Administration.

    I, for one, already have, so I do know what they think about the current temporary White House resident, but I can't posssibly quote it here.

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  • 4. At 6:45pm on 18 Sep 2009, DiscoStu_d wrote:

    I expect El Presidente to touch on various topics in these interviews. He'll likely go hoarse and possibly become bored answering the same questions over and over though.

    I read somewhere that the DPRK has expressed interest in renewing rapprochement. It would be interesting to hear the president's thoughts on this in light of their claim to have begun uranium enrichment (which is different, if I understand correctly, than their heretofore plutonium dabbling in that its harder to detect).

    I would also like to hear his thoughts re Iran. I think he had previously stated the end of Sept for them to extend their hand, whatever that meant.

    On a side note, I would be very interested in his thoughts on reform of the Security Council. I personally would like to see Britain, er, the UK, (sorry, old chaps), France and Russia unceremoniously chucked out of their permanent, veto-wielding seats - (or perhaps with a solemn but lovely ceremony?) as it's frankly laughable they are in such positions of power considering they really have none - and countries like Japan, Brazil, India and, dare I say, the EU as well, a seat. If an EU seat is too contentious for the squabbling, elbow-thrusting Europeans then perhaps Ze Chermans could be given a seat (perhaps France's? Yeah, that'd go down real well).

    Keep Dancing! Disco Stu.

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  • 5. At 6:58pm on 18 Sep 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    Here's another new term. Appearing on five Sunday news programs is known as a "full Ginsburg."

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/09/14/obama_to_appear_on_5_sunday_ta.html

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  • 6. At 7:16pm on 18 Sep 2009, DiscoStu_d wrote:

    Its a good point by powermeerkat about the US losing credibility in eastern europe. This goes beyond Poland and CZ. I suggest not allowng Russia to 'win' over this affair (sorry for the cold war mind-set but I can't help myself) and NATO membership should be immediately granted to Ukraine and Georgia. That would display the proverbial middle finger to Putin and his KGB cronies that can't seem to grasp the idea that the Soviet Union died.

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  • 7. At 7:27pm on 18 Sep 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    The President will also do the Letterman show on Monday, which some people think demeans the office. I thought his appearance on Leno did not, except that he made an inappropriate remark, always a danger in a less formal discussion. Letterman I take less seriously than Leno, and don't think it is an appropriate venue.

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  • 8. At 7:36pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    What all yuo Gopper s forget is that the missile defence shield was proposed to defend against attacks from the area with Iran and N korea as the main worries.
    The republican led administration said to the Russians" It is not to stop your missiles and would be no deterant to them so this is not an issue for arms proliferation talks and star war worries"

    But not they want to moan that "russia is empowered"

    HOW so.
    It had nothing to do with them.

    Are we saying "Not wasting millions and btw the good will of most nato members" emboldens Russia?

    Now at least I admit to being fuzzy.

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  • 9. At 7:37pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    I suppose it's a forlorn hope, but I would like to think, though I suppose an outbreak of xenophobia is inevitable, that this thread will not be entirely taken up with re-fighting the early years of WWII and the Cold War? Let alone the various Arab/Israeli conflicts?We had more than enough of that when JW was North America Editor.

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  • 10. At 7:38pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Disco The UNITED states of america is dead as well.

    Just to be really undiplomatic.

    Now as to how popular the missile defence shield was in Europe.

    It wasn't.

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  • 11. At 7:45pm on 18 Sep 2009, echofloripa wrote:

    I wonder if someone will ask about the letter Charlie Sheen wrote to Obama:

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/twenty-minutes-with-the-president.html

    On it, charlie created a very entertaining fictional interview with Obama, on which he asks about the inconsistencies of 9/11, like for example, that 60% of the member of the official commission came public saying the official investigation was a fraud and blocked by the White House and the Pentagon.

    Unfortunately, they mainstream media resorted in attacking him personally, instead of answering to the 20 questions (of hundreds). BBC, as a good boy, didn't even touch the subject, trying to ignore a huge discussion that this caused everywhere in the internet.

    I urge the readers to check it out, the letter and the video which Sheen asks for the president to answer to the questions:


    http://www.prisonplanet.com/twenty-minutes-with-the-president.html
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyKR2-A0KPU

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  • 12. At 7:50pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:



    MM I think you may find it is derived from a rolling boil;)

    Now you have posted a few threads and are settling in it seems you may have noticed the roil on the other threads.

    All that diplomacy and smarts is wasted on many American.

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  • 13. At 7:51pm on 18 Sep 2009, aynwasright wrote:

    Illinoisan: You are kidding, right? Fox scared of airing an interview with Obama? Obama has been on record more than once stating he refuses to do an interview with Fox News. The only interview he did was with Bill O'Reilly, who asked some really tough questions, not the "What's your favorite color" questions of the MSM. That's why he won't do interviews on Fox anymore. He's a craven coward. He doesn't want hardball questions, because he wouldn't be able to respond to them.

    My take on all these interviews Mark is I'm always wondering just who is running the country, since all Obama has done for the last 10 months is go on talk shows, schedule news conferences, and go on vacation. I don't want an organizer as President. I want a leader.

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  • 14. At 7:52pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    I see, having been a bit slow on the uptake, that Fluufytale has got there ahead of me.

    People are suggesting, are they, that the 'missile shield' was not intended to 'protect' NATO countries, the USA, and other parts of the world from nuclear missiles from Iran or North Korea, or future 'rogue nuclear states', but to protect Eastern European countries formerly part of the Warsaw Pact from Russia?

    So the previous Republican President, his Secretaries of State and his Defence Secretaries lied to NATO, the EU nations, Congress and the American people, then? That really is getting all your ducks in a row, isn't it? Impressive.

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  • 15. At 8:02pm on 18 Sep 2009, Andy Post wrote:

    "I am told that his theme of the week is non-proliferation, and that it really is a personal passion."

    I would have thought it would still be health care, but I'm sure you have better sources.

    Most Americans are interested in non-proliferation only so far as it concerns preventing the flow of nuclear weapons technology to those countries they feel are dangerous (to themselves). The suggestion that we should disarm as an example to the world will split the country along the same lines as health care. The right wing is going to be in a real tizzy over this one... and they do a tizzy just about as well as it can be done.

    The President has no fear of tackling multiple thorny issues at once, it seems.

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  • 16. At 8:04pm on 18 Sep 2009, DiscoStu_d wrote:

    Easy, squirrellist. I am not for re-opening cold war/WWII discussions if your comment was hurled at me. Luckily if it was, it landed far wide of the mark. I am talking geo-political power playing here. Russia clearly has a cold war mentality still. It could be argued the US, in certain quarters, does as well. But handing diplomatic freebies to the KBG ain't my bag, baby.

    Fluffy: I know the good CZ people did not like the missle shield. But since when is anything up to the people? I am not disappointed Obama cancelled the plan but I don't want to give Russia a freebie geo-political win. They don't deserve it. It aint cool.

    this has nothing to do with the cold war, my friendly squirrel or fuzzy rabbit. I love everybody and believe while we should learn from the past we shouldn't live there.

    Now lets all boogie to the tune of brotherly (sistersly) love and dance our way into the weekend!

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  • 17. At 8:06pm on 18 Sep 2009, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref 14, squirrelist:

    "So the previous Republican President, his Secretaries of State and his Defence Secretaries lied to NATO, the EU nations, Congress and the American people, then?"

    Yes! That struck me, too. Why isn't anyone in the media pointing this out?

    Maybe no one cares anymore.

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  • 18. At 8:16pm on 18 Sep 2009, socialistlibertarian wrote:

    I think, and hope, that the decision not to do an interview on Fox comes from not wanting to lend credibility to a network that has little or nothing to do with news or credibility and is merely a forum for misinformation and right-wing scare tactics. It would be nice if all public figures were to eschew Fox. Perhaps its adherents would then begin to realize that that emperor is stark naked.

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  • 19. At 8:26pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Squirrellist.
    ;) sorry.
    but I've been laughing about this since I heard the house minority leader

    "Scrapping the US missile defence system in Poland and the Czech Republic does little more than empower Russia and Iran at the expense of our allies in Europe,"

    House Republican Minority Leader John Boehner.



    8 now not not;)

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  • 20. At 8:35pm on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    I don't agree with those who suggest that pres. Obama's guest appearances on Jay Leno and David Letterman shows would be inappropriate.

    I think that commedy shows are a perfect set-up for promoting Mr. Obama's policies.

    And I'm looking forward to his appearance on "Saturday Night Live".

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  • 21. At 8:37pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    16. At 8:04pm on 18 Sep 2009, DiscoStu_d wrote:

    Easy, squirrellist. I am not for re-opening cold war/WWII discussions if your comment was hurled at me.

    No, it was an entirely general point, since I'm now well experienced in how these things tend to develop. If I'm responding to someone directly, I always refer to them or the post, as above.

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  • 22. At 8:38pm on 18 Sep 2009, DiscoStu_d wrote:

    Squirellist: let's all recall it was the Russians who threw the hissy-fit over the missile shield. "well, we'll need to cancel the CFE (conventional forces europe) treaty as a result and aim missles at Poland" (recently moved to Kaliningrad, I believe)

    The shield may very well have been intended to counter rouge threats (of the non-Russian variety) but the Russians were convinced otherwise.

    I love peace (usually, and peaches, always!) and am not over worried about cancellng the plan. And, no, I am no Russo-phobe but we shouldn't lose sight of Russia's recent belligerence (gas cutoffs, war in Georgia, poisoning/assassinating dissidents - not to mention Ukranian presidents, etc). I realize Europeans are keen to keep Russia happy (gas pipelines thru germany ring a bell and tepid responses to Georgia do to) but appeasement didn't always work too well over there.

    So my point, sorry if it was fuzzy, was that cancelling the planned shield/radar bases, we should not allow the KGB to think their sabre-rattling and molotov-cocktail-tossing rhetoric is being rewarded.

    I love Squirrels, by the way. Clever, groovy little devils who employ perseverance and cunning in equal measure as they find to ways to steal my bird food.


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  • 23. At 8:51pm on 18 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    22.DiscoStu_d :

    Actually, there were a lot iof europeans who were thoroughly sceptical. Anyway, Russian unifiorms are seen at NATO HQ's liaising again, so relations are warmer than some might think.

    Wrong kind of squirrel. As powermeerkat will no doubt soon inform all and sundry, relevant or no, I'm a supporter of redsquirrels. .

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  • 24. At 8:52pm on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Message is fine. But you can't feed on a message alone.


    "WHERE'S THE BEEF?!"

    [so far we've seen only lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and not much else]

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  • 25. At 8:55pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    18 disco stu.

    Yes lets " Now lets all boogie to the tune of brotherly (sistersly) love and dance our way into the weekend!"

    after the last few blog posts it would be nice;)

    But i am not for acrrying on just to spite the KGB.

    Those quarters in the states that think the cold war is strong still exist.
    and GW managed to push the russians in a manner that has only added to the lenght of the cold war.
    It was russia that made more consessions than the west.
    This is a small price to pay (and a lot of money saved) to show that america has some backbone in it's efforts to drop the cold war and get on.

    good On Obama for seeing that.
    His stance on this was one of many points he made before the elections that convinced me he was the person I would vote for.

    Maybe it will lead to a thaw in relations where we can get more help on other critical issues facing us all.

    but in the spirit of the party (and to draw a disco hating friend in from the cold who seems to have departed from these threads;) He knows who he is.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXkWhDmOP6M&feature=related

    enjoy. Any chance you know the disco tune.
    It's pretty good.

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  • 26. At 8:56pm on 18 Sep 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    Obama doesn't like to handle tough questions.

    That is why he avoids the leading sunday talk show (now that Russert has passed on) Fox News Sunday.

    And does go on the highest rate news talk show The Factor.

    Too bad because he did well theone time he went on both.

    but he'd rather have the worship from NBC or CNN

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  • 27. At 9:03pm on 18 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re 24 "WHERE IS THE BEEF?!"



    "President Obama said this week that his health care plan won't cover illegal immigrants, but argued that's all the more reason to legalize them and ensure they eventually do get coverage.

    He also staked out a position that anyone in the country legally should be covered - a major break with the 1996 welfare reform bill, which limited most federal public assistance programs only to citizens and longtime immigrants." [Washington Times]


    So now we finally have beef [with Mr. Obama.]

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  • 28. At 9:07pm on 18 Sep 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    16. DSd

    Arcane discussion of WWII is a recurrent habit of this blog. I say this as repeat offender. Squirrel was writing generally.

    The other recurrent habit is less benign: descent into the endless Levantine rat-hole of bile and vituperation. No other topic has ruined more discussions on this blog.

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  • 29. At 9:23pm on 18 Sep 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    20 meerkat
    "And I'm looking forward to his appearance on "Saturday Night Live"."


    I'm sure it won't be as entertaining as Sarah Palin's unwitting verbatim performances ......

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  • 30. At 9:28pm on 18 Sep 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    I applaud Obama's going on the various chat shows, but I hope that he is given some real questions and challenged on the issues which are often misunderstood and misrepresented by both sides.

    For my money there is too much commentary. If Obama can present his ideas in his own words to wide audience he may be able to stymie the negative "interpretation" much of the right-wing gives to his ideas.

    If Joe Public actually listens to him, not what the commentators say he said, maybe some minds will be changed.

    If not, that's fine, but let's hear the man, not just about him.

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  • 31. At 9:28pm on 18 Sep 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 29 RomeStu wrote:

    SOL

    [Snickered out loud]

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  • 32. At 9:28pm on 18 Sep 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    The headline ahead of the speech to the UN General Assembly and G20 meeting already occurred. The abandonment of the provocative plan to deploy a missile "defense" system in former Soviet Republics marks the start of an era of mutual respect and cooperation that has been absent for decades.

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  • 33. At 9:29pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "The other recurrent habit is less benign"

    ;) smile. you must mean the disco music.

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  • 34. At 9:39pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    SD 32
    Damn right.

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  • 35. At 9:41pm on 18 Sep 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    Re the US talk shows...

    I imagine will stick to the domestic issues mainly, and save the geopolitics for the UN and G20 meeting speeches.

    It will be interesting to see how much free rein his administration gives the interviewers. It always seems that US politicians of both parties favour the "list of questions" style of interview, whereas European broadcasters call the shots more with a "list of topics" style .... ie we do not agree the questions, to avoid prepared answers, but we do adhere to a pre-determined list of topics.

    This occasionally throws up some great political interviews - like Michael Howard on Paxman in 1997.

    I'd love Obama to be brave enough to go on with Paxman.

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  • 36. At 9:42pm on 18 Sep 2009, DiscoStu_d wrote:

    Fluffy: thanks for the link - I'll have to check it out later as I am (supposedly) working right now and the firewall blocks Youtube. Not a very groovy firewall, I might add.

    Red Squirrels, eh? I wonder if you are in Britain? I know the grey squirrels are invaders there and are helping drive the red to extinction. That is not groovy at all! But how did you know I was talking about greys? Do the reds not steal from bird feeders? Man, that would be sweeeeet. When I visit my grandmother in vienna I've noticed the squirrels there have a 'Don King' style hairdo. Pretty wild I must say. By the way, where I live the states I see white (albino?) squirrels periodically over the years. Very, very groovy. Just like my white disco shoes!

    Anyway, sorry for being *slightly* off topic yet I hope this gets posted, in the spirit of camaraderie and grooviness and peace.

    Now, I am going to shimmy and shake my way home and light the barbeque!


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  • 37. At 9:51pm on 18 Sep 2009, jgaryfox wrote:

    "Frankly, my Dear, I don't give a damn!"

    He has become an unwanted guest in my house.

    FDR gave a Fireside Chat, every 3 months; Obama every 3 hours.

    He is a chatterbox repeating what he said before.


    He should try the Garbo method, less is more.

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  • 38. At 10:07pm on 18 Sep 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    37 jgaryfox (a Murdoch relative perhaps ....)

    You are welcome not to watch your president - he will not be "beaming" his words into your brain.

    Aside from PBS, I understand that the US TV stations are privately owned, so they are not be coerced to run Obama's "propaganda" - they are taking a business decision that the President will be a big audience draw and therefore increase advertising revenues.

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  • 39. At 10:13pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    36 enjoy that barbecue and again. the levity is liked.
    As for the red squirrels , they are very cute.Unlike the invasive cousins.



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  • 40. At 10:44pm on 18 Sep 2009, sensibleOldtimer wrote:

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  • 41. At 10:44pm on 18 Sep 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    6. At 7:16pm on 18 Sep 2009, DiscoStu_d wrote:

    "Its a good point by powermeerkat about the US losing credibility in eastern europe. This goes beyond Poland and CZ. I suggest not allowng Russia to 'win' over this affair (sorry for the cold war mind-set but I can't help myself) and NATO membership should be immediately granted to Ukraine and Georgia. That would display the proverbial middle finger to Putin and his KGB cronies that can't seem to grasp the idea that the Soviet Union died."

    ________


    I had decided to avoid writing long postings anymore. Oh, well, as we used to be told as children: "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions".

    ________


    In response to the comment by DSd, quoted above:


    ... Or it could be that the Russian perception was that the West was sending mixed messages during the Clinton and Bush administrations, the Bush missile defence business seemingly being a contradiction of the avowals of friendship of the Clinton years (remember Bill and Boris, arms over each other's shoulders, shuffling along like two football fans on their way home after a night at the pub?)

    Obama may be playing a longer and smarter game. Russia is a dangerous foe, and a difficult ally. Which relationship should we be trying to establish? The west needs things from Russia that cannot be obtained in a relationship of perpetual hostility. Similarly, the West holds out the promise of things Russia needs and wants, and in many instances Russia and the West have common interests. But the relationship is not likely to be warm and cuddly, or at least not any time soon. A pragmatic, business-like relationship is a reasonable goal, much as it is in dealing with China.

    It is worth remembering George Kennan's comment that in the marketplace of ideas, the truth is often a poor competitor, because it is often contradictory, is open to a multitude of interpretations, sometimes requires a subtlety of understanding that is easily swamped by the rantings of demagogues (almost as if he foresaw both Fox and right wing talk radio) and is often difficult to see until well after events have taken place.

    ----

    Countries like Poland, the Czech Republic, more so Ukraine and the Baltic states, and acutely so Georgia and the other nations in the transcaucases, pose very difficult security challenges for the West, which might be summed up by the term "over-reach".

    By way of historical example, the Czechs had relative security as part of the Austrian empire, but, or course, at the price of being part of the Austrian empire. As an independent state were cut off from potential allies by geography while facing two and sometimes three hostile neighbours. As a problem in logistics, how were France and Britain to have defended and supplied Czechoslovakia in 1938? The only practical solution was to do a deal with Stalin. Stalin was prepared to deal. Britain and France were not.

    The Poles had the same problem, except, if anything, worse. Again, they were for centuries at the mercy of three neighbouring empires. Their situation during partition was in some ways quite similar to the situation of the Kurds today. Seemingly unwisely, after re-gaining independence at Versailles, Poland was on unnecessarily hostile terms with its two powerful neighbours. Britain and France could extend all the security guarantees they wanted, but the pragmatic issue of how to support an ally with whom you have no land border, and that itself had no real friends close at hand (having bitter hatred for the Germans, having poked the Russians with a stick, and having shared in the spoils of Czechoslovakia, for example) was insoluble.

    Given the dismemberment of the Austro-Hungarian empire after WWI (in hindsight possibly more ill-considered than it seemed at the time), the peace and security of the small and medium sized nations of eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the transcaucases seems most strongly to depend on maintaining firm, non-confrontational relationships between Germany and Russia on one hand, and between Turkey and Russia on the other. This is yet another reason why the EU is foolish to treat the Turks so shabbily, and why the decades old American policy of friendship and support of and for Turkey is much, much wiser.

    Arguably, the safety and security of the nations that the French once characterised as the "cordon sanitaire" is probably best served by coalescing with Germany, and by the western nations working to have pragmatic relations with Russia in which ideological ranting is kept to a minimum. In that light, the lynch-pin of American policy in Europe (the real "special relationship") ought to be, and is, Germany.

    Keep in mind that, for example, Russia, the Ukraine, Byelorussia and Kazakh functioned as a more-or-less integrated economic unit for most of the last 500 - 1000 years. During much of that time Russia included the Baltic states, Finland, what was then called Galicia, and large portions of what is now Poland. There are underlying economic relationships that make good logical sense.

    To the extent that we have any influence at all in such matters, we should be trying to facilitate re-establishment of those commercial relationships not on the basis of the coercion of imperial power but rather on the basis of relatively friendly (or, at least, not unfriendly) nations pursuing volontary trade policies of mutual benefit. Intermeshed beneficial trade relationships tend to create constituencies in the neighbouring countries that have mutual interests in stable moderate policies.

    Removing the desire for confrontation sometimes goes a long way toward establishing enduring security. By contrast, ruinous defense spending in the last decade has not made us more secure, not because we should not spend on defense, but because we should not spend unwisely on defense. Charles the wise won back his lost territory by husbanding his resources and avoiding foolish confrontations. There is a big lesson in that.

    We will not know whether this policy is successful until long after President Obama is collecting his old age pension.

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  • 42. At 11:01pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    lovely IF.

    "Given the dismemberment of the Austro-Hungarian empire after WWI (in hindsight possibly more ill-considered than it seemed at the time),"

    This reminds me of americans going on about beating communism and the USSR (as if they are the same thing).
    It's not much safer now really;)

    Also they seem to not learn lessons very well.
    after all Ussr failed because of spending on defence as a big factor.
    Now it looks like some of the americans would like to see if they can do the same thing
    "if it's good enough for them we can do better"

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  • 43. At 11:02pm on 18 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    sensible oldtimer.
    Is that a commentary on what you think Obama is saying or mistake?

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  • 44. At 11:03pm on 18 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    Maybe he's not going on Fox because nobody would watch him.

    Its regular viewers can't stand to hear him speak any more, and his supporters wouldn't be caught dead watching Fox.

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  • 45. At 11:10pm on 18 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    35. RomeStu:

    Re the US talk shows...

    I imagine will stick to the domestic issues mainly, and save the geopolitics for the UN and G20 meeting speeches.

    ***************************

    Forget domestic issues. He's going on these shows to reassure everyone that he's still the same cool guy they elected. Down to earth. Comfortable in his own skin. Articulate. Funny. Intelligent.

    Message: Don't worry, guys. I'm still your man. You can still feel good about me.

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  • 46. At 11:10pm on 18 Sep 2009, sensibleOldtimer wrote:

    I am a very, very very old timer; old enough to remember the Great depression during the mid to late 1930's. If I've learned anything from the great political debate going on in this country today it's that most American
    have the memory of knats, and secondly, that too many people who add to the debate bring very little to the table. To put it another way, most commentators are are dumb as dirt--people who haven't read a history book since graduating from High School and College.

    You don't know what hard times are. If you're not in want of food or a place to rest your head at night, you're not that bad off. The great depression of the 1930's was an unbelievable hell, that by comparison to our times, makes the year 2009 seem like a time of great prosperity. Any economists of merit will tell you that Obama did what he had to do with respect to the bailouts. Had he done nothing, the economy would have spun out of control just as it had done under that do-nothing Republican Herbert Hoover. You people can say what you want to about Roosevelt. But let me tell you kids, something. He put food on our table and he put my dad to work, and he made life bearable for millions of people. I know. I was there. I think Obama's( and Bush's) limited reach with the bailouts, saved this country, and future generations will come to see this as a fact. Some of you people may want to improve your minds and stop watching cable news, which is little more than a form of entertainment as offered by Fox News to gin up Republican and their lunatic friends on the far right, and MSNBC, which is a kind of refuge for the nuts on the left. Go to your local library and read magazine like "The Economist," the foreign press, and books by established economists and historians. it's not easy being an American. You have to work at it. Planting your fat ass on your couch every night with a glass of wine, hoping you'll be enlightened by clinically insane commentators won't do anything for you, or your country.

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  • 47. At 11:11pm on 18 Sep 2009, Pete Stewart wrote:

    I have been living in USA for 4 years now. I am not surprised he is not going on FOX News. The channel is clearly biased towards a republican viewpoint with people such as Sean Hannity being shockingly poor and interviews or debates are often ruined by shouting down anyone with a Democratic viewpoint. Their man stats guy, F Luntz, even produced a document showing how republicans could word statements differently to sway peoples opinion on health care reform.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    They also seem quite keen on putting a lot of effort into supporting tea parties and generally trying to stir up right wing fanatics. It was quite ironic that the first two advertisements on FOX after Obamas speech (in which he criticised the amount of misinformation being aired about health care plans) to Congress were how a 'government take over' of health care would be bad for breast cancer patients.

    MSNBC is equally bad for pushing a democratic viewpoint. I find CNN does at least try to give a more balanced viewpoint with both democratic and republican representatives getting air time AND being allowed to do this without interuption.

    Obamas weekend interviews will be primarily on health care.

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  • 48. At 11:29pm on 18 Sep 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 44, Andrea

    "Maybe he's not going on Fox because nobody would watch him."

    Or because he will be addressing an audience that he knows will oppose anything he says regardless of what it is.

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  • 49. At 11:33pm on 18 Sep 2009, prc1102 wrote:

    fox is left out because there is no way they would let him on, not because he didn't want to give it a shot

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  • 50. At 11:37pm on 18 Sep 2009, _marko wrote:

    You can't argue with sensibleOldtimer's post at #40, but...

    Powermeerkat would probably argue that he is playing the blank card diverting people from the real issues, MagicKirin would regard it as rabidly anti-Semitic, the inauthentic temporary new users would be very very angry and obviously the post would incite MAII to nuke Europe :)

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  • 51. At 11:59pm on 18 Sep 2009, turningblueandgrey wrote:

    46 - sensible

    well said, I enjoyed that!

    on the missile topic, according to my morning NPR commute there will still be ground-based missiles stationed by the USA in Poland; definitely the Patriot or son of Patriot (whatever is the latest in the mobile "scudbuster" family tree) and maybe in the future a land-based version of the Navy's anti-missile missile.

    The Navy missile is certainly mobile on cruisers now, too, and seems to be the most currently proven system after the recent failing satellite intercept. It has not been dogged by the questions that came up about the testing of the fixed, land-based system (the one that's not going into Poland and Czech Republic, but is now operational in Alaska).

    At first glance I'm not alarmed. Poland still gets a USA presence, and Obama and Gates seem to be deploying proven technologies while holding back on the most elaborate and controversial (and costly?) system of the three. From this step I would hope to see positive reciprocation from Russia in Middle East or South America.

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  • 52. At 00:06am on 19 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    50. _marko:

    "You can't argue with sensibleOldtimer's post at #40, but..."

    ROTFL

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  • 53. At 00:39am on 19 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    51. At 11:59pm on 18 Sep 2009, bluejay60 wrote:


    "At first glance I'm not alarmed. Poland still gets a USA presence, and Obama and Gates seem to be deploying proven technologies while holding back on the most elaborate and controversial (and costly?) system of the three. From this step I would hope to see positive reciprocation from Russia in Middle East or South America."

    SOuth America? Russia is not establishing a missile base in South America, it is selling weapons as it is perfectly entitled to do and as the US does with almost every country in the world. It is commerce, sadly.

    But as to the big picture, after the Georgian disaster it became very clear that needlessly provoking Russia was an utterly stupid and self defeating idea.

    And pretending the missiles were there to guard against Iran of all places was so risible as to be laughed out of court. Many Poles did not beleive this.

    The concept that nuclear-armed Russia would happily see ICBMs float merrily over its territory solely on the belief they were headed for Warsaw (which they might or might not reach)- was the kind of farcical fantasy one got from the Bush gang.

    Who ever beleived the Russians would really be fooled by this nonsense needed to be confined in an institution and not allowed near any hall of power.

    Russia's response - putting missiles in Kalingrad was entirely reasonable and predictable.

    They have now declared they will not do this, an excellent outcome, unless you particularly like missiles that is.




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  • 54. At 00:45am on 19 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    45. At 11:10pm on 18 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:
    35. RomeStu:

    Re the US talk shows...

    I imagine will stick to the domestic issues mainly, and save the geopolitics for the UN and G20 meeting speeches.

    ***************************

    Forget domestic issues. He's going on these shows to reassure everyone that he's still the same cool guy they elected. Down to earth. Comfortable in his own skin. Articulate. Funny. Intelligent.

    Message: Don't worry, guys. I'm still your man. You can still feel good about me. "


    Yes perhaps you can tell us any politician who does not want to project this image?

    I mean can you tell us one (in a democracy) that sincerely goes on Radio and TV to show people they are inarticulate, frightened, rattled, disengaged?

    WHoever it is cannot have stayed in politics long.

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  • 55. At 00:49am on 19 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    44. At 11:03pm on 18 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:
    Maybe he's not going on Fox because nobody would watch him.

    Its regular viewers can't stand to hear him speak any more, and his supporters wouldn't be caught dead watching Fox."


    You think? I imagine he is not going to give an exclusive to the newsletter of Combat 18 or the AWB either.

    Personally I think he wants to push his agenda, not deliver an interesting, lecture on various aspects of the law or give racing tips or discuss ties.

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  • 56. At 00:51am on 19 Sep 2009, congenialtenaciousJB wrote:

    To MacSroggie.

    Plenty outside the USA hated American prior to and after Bush. At the same time we remain liked by the majority. Hard stats indicating "popularity" including Trade, Tourism, Immigration were up from most countries except maybe Iran and North Korea during Bush, and will continue to rise with Obama.

    Six Billion people and they all have an opinion. Get over the Bush thing, and more importantly this childish obsession about whether our nation is liked or not.

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  • 57. At 01:05am on 19 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    48. saintDominick:

    Ref 44, Andrea

    "Maybe he's not going on Fox because nobody would watch him."

    Or because he will be addressing an audience that he knows will oppose anything he says regardless of what it is.
    **********************************

    Agreed. They've stopped listening to him. You have to admit, though, there's not a lot of listening go on at either end of this debate.

    Maybe if he promised not to scold them and call them "liars". ;-)

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  • 58. At 01:47am on 19 Sep 2009, socialistlibertarian wrote:

    It seems that the Fox audiences have never listened to Mr. Obama, but only to the Fox talking heads who, along with Limbaugh, tell them what to think. It's a shame they can't actually listen to Mr. Obama and then make up their own minds. That would at least make for a more intelligent debate. I am constantly amazed, though I should be used to it by now, at the gibberish that flows from the mouths and keyboards of those who proudly proclaim to get all their "news" from Fox.

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  • 59. At 02:19am on 19 Sep 2009, David wrote:

    fLUFFYTALE,

    Are you able to watch MSNBC? They are now the liberal news channel on American Cable.

    Every night, they present the progressive contrast to Fox News and often debunk most of what--generally Glenn Beck, the new new-neo-neo-con, (more conservative than anyone cept Limbaugh)--occurs on Fox that day.

    If you can possibly watch that station, it will at least pick up your mood. At 7:00pm to 10:00pm (Amer. Central time) MSNBC has 3 straight hours of anti-conservative viewpoint on the news of the day. It ...feels ....so....good, to see :)

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  • 60. At 02:32am on 19 Sep 2009, David wrote:

    Some people, most know their history well on this blog, so please those who do know their history, speak out. Because more than anyone, conservatives often, in my opinon, tend not to know anything ...that is true ...about history.

    Sorry, but this seems very true today. The message coming out of the right wing seems lie, lie, lie, and that way you ...mayy...convince an ignorant person of your opinion.

    It is dispiriting to see misinterpretations or out and out incorrect recitings of history ....I know stuff because I do read the newspapers and history books (because I do like history?)

    If one reads more, one knows more ...that is why our USA university and college professors give more progressive-leaning viewpoints in their classes. Duhhhh.

    That progressive bent is because they have read more books -- conservatives often find intelligent people "weird" and not conformist,
    therefore dangerous.

    That is my opinion and I could give examples and more examples and I may have to yet, but 'tis true.

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  • 61. At 02:34am on 19 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "Only Fox is left out, presumably because the administration thinks it is too vicious a beast."

    Or maybe the Whitehouse knows that it cannot win many converts in Fox's conservative audience to its radical liberal programs.

    "So what will the president's message be? I am told that his theme of the week is non-proliferation, and that it really is a personal passion."

    "But unless it is linked to a dramatic offer or threat it is scarcely a big, juicy story and he will want to capture the headlines."

    It had better be a threat. Time is quickly running out on Iran. As the clock counts down and the perception among many including the Israeli military and political leaders is that Iran is close to being able to create a nuclear weapon, the choice will be between conventional war and nuclear war. If Israel has to fight it alone, it is sure to be the latter.

    Once again today, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied that the holocaust ever happened. He said it was a lie, a total fabrication intended to justify the creation of Israel. In some EU countries like Austria, that kind of speech would land you in prison.

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  • 62. At 03:57am on 19 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "You think? I imagine he is not going to give an exclusive to the newsletter of Combat 18 or the AWB either."

    LoL simon.

    Scroggie congenial seems a bit touchy
    just so you know . those one time posters are often , well just a little bit fishy.
    either way I liked your post and fully agree that it is a good sign and the world in general not just Russia will probably react positively.
    Except americans and then still just the vocal minority.

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  • 63. At 04:02am on 19 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:


    "It had better be a threat. Time is quickly running out on Iran. As the clock counts down and the perception among many including the Israeli military and political leaders is that Iran is close to being able to create a nuclear weapon, the choice will be between conventional war and nuclear war. If Israel has to fight it alone, it is sure to be the latter."

    Here we go the trade mark marcus erroneous declaration of war. probably true though. what should we do. a state want to attack another without UN backing at all and much opposition. should we let this whole blog get bogged down with MA Armageddon fantasies.

    No worries this will out his real angle the one behind most of his posts.
    Cause hate. then Ninny will jump in to defend him and they say I am full of hate.

    strange people

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  • 64. At 04:36am on 19 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    stellar. I've never seen it but i hear it is good.

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  • 65. At 05:43am on 19 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Are there some people who don't like me because of my race?" he said. "I'm sure there are.

    "Are there some people who voted for me only because of my race? There are probably some of those too.

    But he added that he thought some were "more passionate about the idea of whether government can do anything right.

    "And I think that that's probably the biggest driver of some of the vitriol."

    (Barack Obama in a TV iterview)

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  • 66. At 06:03am on 19 Sep 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #2. At 6:18pm on 18 Sep 2009, Illinoisan wrote: "Fox wouldn't even show Obama's inauguration, although they have shown every single other President before that."

    Much as I abhor the obvious right wing slant to their "news" prpgramming, for the sake of accuracy, Fox News only came into being in 1996, so it cannot "have shown every single other President before that." Saying so is to use their tactics, tactics which most others on the opposite side find reprehensible

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  • 67. At 06:15am on 19 Sep 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #41. Interestedforeigner: "I had decided to avoid writing long postings anymore. Oh, well, as we used to be told as children: "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions".

    What a pity you didn't learn the lesson!

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  • 68. At 06:17am on 19 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re#51 "Poland still gets a USA presence"

    Nope, is doesn't.

    There are no U.S. troops in Poland. So none can be withdrawn to please Mr. Putin, if more kowtowing to the KGB general by Mr. Obama is required.

    There are, however Polish troops in Afghanistan. So they can be withdrawn to please Mr....Putin. :-)


    Polish Navy is not going to get Aegis [equipped] frigates, either.

    And Patriots (of whichever generation) are useless for anti-missile defense. They are simply anti-aircraft systems.

    But they are not that important, particularly if one remembers that half of warplanes Russian Federation lost over Georgia a year ago were shot down by its OWN ground forces.:-)

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  • 69. At 06:35am on 19 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #61 MA wrote: "Once again today, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied that the holocaust ever happened. He said it was a lie, a total fabrication intended to justify the creation of Israel. In some EU countries like Austria, that kind of speech would land you in prison."





    "Iran doesn't need nuclear weapons"
    (pres. Ahmadinnerjacket)


    "Germany will not invade Poland"
    (painter Adolf H.)

    "I've just secured peace for our time"
    (appeaser Neville C.)

    "I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd love to sell ya"
    (Americanus Anonimus)


    BTW. Iran's new defense minister has been wanted by Interpol for many years as responsible for a bloody terrorist bombing atack in Argentina(which he coordinated on the spot as Quds leader).

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  • 70. At 07:18am on 19 Sep 2009, carol_nv wrote:

    obama is going to try to sell his health care plan..on network news they report what they are told to report..Lots of us use 'Mozilla Firefox'as the main browser..Not to be confused with 'Fox News' If you 'google' "top ten news programs"..The numbers don't lie. Carol

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  • 71. At 07:21am on 19 Sep 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#46 Sensibleoldtimer

    Your post is most excellent!

    I am born here in 1929 from immigrant parents. You have told these here how it was then but most probably will ignore your words. I do not because I also remember. Be well and live long!

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  • 72. At 07:24am on 19 Sep 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#67 Davidcunard

    That was unkind.

    Intrestedforeignor is well informed and balanced in his/her opinions.

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  • 73. At 09:08am on 19 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    President Medevedev has just told CNN ("GPS")that he United States and Russia have disagreed over Iran, and possible steps the U.N. Security Council may take to push Tehran to comply with U.N. demands over its nuclear program.


    So much for hopes of many here that removing an irritant (from Kremlin's point of view) will result in Moscow's reciprocity re Iran.

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  • 74. At 11:55am on 19 Sep 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    59. At 02:19am on 19 Sep 2009, stellarBeloved wrote:
    fLUFFYTALE,

    Are you able to watch MSNBC? They are now the liberal news channel on American Cable.

    Every night, they present the progressive contrast to Fox News and often debunk most of what--generally Glenn Beck, the new new-neo-neo-con, (more conservative than anyone cept Limbaugh)--occurs on Fox that day.



    I hate how liberals have copped the word progressive, considering they are opposed to change: getting rid of entitlements etc.

    As far as the hate network MSNBC. They lie through their teeth and unlike Fox which give liberals air time: juan williams, Alan colmes and have moderates who have shows: Geraldo, Van sustern, MSNBC is straight hate.

    From Mathews worshiping of Obama, to coven leader Maddow's distorting of facts to Obermann hate spewed lies, they are the Michael Moore of news

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  • 75. At 12:13pm on 19 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    What will he say? I think I know what he needs to.

    For home consumption:

    Somehow get it into people's skulls once and for all that really serious reform is needed in the American healthcare system and if Republicans won't assist, then the Democrats had better get on with it.
    (Controversy re-ignited.)

    Reassure Americans are not going to lose their jobs, be laid off, see their incomes further reduced. (Impossible.)

    Reform the financial system and offer some serious regulation, because the Wall Street Banks and Investment Houses are repeating history already.
    (Controversy over 'free-market', government interference, etc.)

    Offer some way of getting more stimulus money actually doing something.
    (More 'pork')

    Offer federal aid to bail out states that are undermining the above by cutting hours, wages, health, education and public services.
    (Controversy. See 'big government, 'states' rights' etc.)

    For an international audience:

    Address the reality of global warming and climate change, stop stallling, because hanging around until 2050 may not be an option.
    (Controversy. Either 'global warming won't happen', 'it'll mess up the American economy'--thought the banks had already done that; or it won't affect the USA as much as other parts of the world, so who cares anyway, leave it till 3050.

    Offer a policy for the reduction of nuclear weapons worldwide.
    (Well, the objections and the snags that will be raised in the US are obvious, aren't they? Russia may be willing; Britain already has; how do you persuade India, Pakistan, Israel and Iran? Especially when the US pbviously needs them top defend itself against Cuba and Venezuela?)

    Stop pussy-footing around the Israel-Palestine problem and get tough over that. It spreads poison far beyond the boundaries of the two, and, bluntly, nothing will happen until or unless the dollar tap that pours US money onto Israel is turned off.
    (Huge controversy.)

    Yes, well. I suppose the only safe thing he can say is "God Bless America".

    (Oops--controversy: people will swear they heard him say 'Allah Bless America" and prove it on YouTube.)

    I don't think I want that job as White House Adviser after all.

    Anyway, I guess the questions will be so bland and respectful,and are so unlikely to be particularly probing -- "Mr President, how are the children and the dog getting along in the White House now, sir? Do they take it to school with them?" --he won't really need to say anything that fundamental or detailed anyway.

    Politicians in interviews like this don't do they?

    (And, given people make such a fuss about the constitutional separation of Church and State, why must a President always end asking God to bless America anyway?)






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  • 76. At 12:19pm on 19 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    If the failure of President Obama's administration to take every step possible to protect America's security is perceived to result in a terrorist attack on the US, there will be a strong move not only among Republicans but among many others even including those in his own party I think to impeach him.

    The administration is talking soft and burried its stick. It seems intent on burning that stick later on. It is also covering up the fact revealed recently by a former CIA official that when Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was first captured, he told the Americans they'd get nothing out of him because they were too soft. A couple of hundred waterboardings later he sang like a jaybird revealing plots for terrorist attacks both in the US and the UK that led to arrests and preventing them. The administration is covering this up. Most Americans I think don't care if terrorists are tortured to extract these kinds of plots so that they can be thwarted. OTOH, I think many Europeans want to see America attacked again. If it is, there will be dire consequences for the entire world, far worse than the aftermath of 9-11 or the recent financial crisis.

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  • 77. At 12:33pm on 19 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    found in HYS

    "I couldn't be more pleased [about not deploying 10 warhedless missile interceptors in Polnad]

    I don't care whether Iran shootes missiles at Europe. Let Europe take care of itself. We have better things to do with our money at here at home...like providing education and health care for illegal aliens..."

    L B


    :-)))

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  • 78. At 12:34pm on 19 Sep 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    I thought it was pretty clear that Russia would like nothing more than for the USA to invade Iran and turn off the oil from that part of the world for the next few years. For a country like Russia which has such a massive stake in the remaining supply of fuel, it would herald the return of the boom times.

    Anyway, I want to hear about what is going on in California just now. Mark, are you aware that gubernator Arnie is against the wall, and facing court censure, because he has not resolved the prison numbers and overcrowding in his state?

    California is a very interesting place, from my perspective. The system of direct democracy has forced limitations to government revenues, and so government has gone broke by spending too much money. Now government must change its policy to suit the wishes of the people, and that means changing the law.

    Arguably, this is real democracy in action, regardless of your view on the democrat republican divide.

    It would be fascinating if government were to be forced to change their "lock em up" law enforcement policies because of popular legislation.

    So, Mark. You know. Some riveting journalism and the inside word on California would be much appreciated. In your own time, of course, if you manage to tear yourself away from the beautiful allure of the most incredibly fascinating Barack Obama.

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  • 79. At 12:37pm on 19 Sep 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #75

    so in other words follows: The George Soros, Code Pink and other trash America and otrher democracies mantra?

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  • 80. At 1:22pm on 19 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    78. democracythreat: California is an interesting state. I wonder whether we'll be invited to comment on Nancy Pelosi's tears. Playing the "intolerance leading to violence" card?

    Reminds me of when she spoke about immigration officials breaking down the doors of the terrified illegal immigrants in the middle of the night.

    Have to hand it to her. She certainly knows how to pour it on for her audience.

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  • 81. At 1:41pm on 19 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #78&80

    You might comment on tears. I don't think you'd be allowed to comment on co-ownership of a golf-club which does not admit blacks. :-)

    [O tempora, o mores, o hypocrisy!]

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  • 82. At 1:50pm on 19 Sep 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-iaqQ-mryg

    Ah, Marcus. I could not help smiling when I came across the above. It would be true to say that you have sent insult after insult to the UK in particular, and Europe in general, whilst placing the US as a city on a hill between sea to shining sea. Surely there are no cracks in utopia? Surely you guys don't want to fight the civil war all over? The amount of hits that the above video has tells me all is not well in paradise. Ah, well, all that glisters is not gold. I was wanting to see what the confederate battle flag looked like. I thought it was the bonnie blue flag that held a single star which is very much like our EU flag. Let's hope that's not an omen.

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  • 83. At 1:52pm on 19 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    DT

    "I thought it was pretty clear that Russia would like nothing more than for the USA to invade Iran and turn off the oil from that part of the world for the next few years. For a country like Russia which has such a massive stake in the remaining supply of fuel, it would herald the return of the boom times."

    I don't think America imports any oil from Iran. Mostly it comes from Venezuela, Nigeria, Mexico. If Iran's oil output to the world market were interrupted, I think it would have a far greater impact on Europe. If Russia turned off its taps or Ukraine were to interrupt the flow, that would have a large effect.

    Powermeerkat;

    ""I couldn't be more pleased [about not deploying 10 warhedless missile interceptors in Polnad]"

    Those anti-missile missles were intended to intercept ICBMs launched from Iran directed at the US. If and when Iran ever develops ICBMs, the US will have to find other ways to deal with it.

    "I don't care whether Iran shootes missiles at Europe. Let Europe take care of itself"

    Agreed. That is why an immediate pullout from NATO and withdrawl of all US military assets in Europe would be to America's great advantage. If the Europeans think their territory needs defending and it is worth defending, then they should pay for it and they should provide for it themselves. It should not be done with American taxpayer money or at the risk of spilling American blood one second longer. We'll see just how much money they have left for their massive social safety nets and other pie in the sky ideas when they've paid their own bill for military defense. As it is, many of them are broke. I wouldn't care if they were even more broke.

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  • 84. At 1:56pm on 19 Sep 2009, American Sport Fan wrote:

    Mark the Reason Obama is not going to be appearing on Fox News is because they are not really a legitimate news outlet. Instead, it's nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Republican Party. The advertising slogan used to be Fair and Balenced, and yet their reporting has been anything but Fair and Balenced.

    When you have onair personalities like Glen Beck (aka the comedian), Bill O'Rielly (aka Ted Baxter and Billo The clown) and Sean Hannity you have a conservative bias.

    LAst week on air, Hannity twisted the words of the President in his post speach interview saying that he was shocked that the President had called insurence executives "Bad People". This was not what the President said in his address to congress. He actually said that insurence company executive raised insurence rates not because they were bad people but because raising rates was profitable.

    Billo has repeatedly twisted facts about issues on his "show" the O'Rielly Factor. One time he accused a young man, whose father died in the events of 9/11, of being unpatriotic. On another occassion he accused American troops of committing war crimes against the Nazi's when it was actually the otherway around.

    It is for reason both Bill O'Rielly and Sean Hannity, are regulars on Kieth Olberman's Worst Persons in the World Segment.

    Fox News is not really a news organization, and the name Fox News really doesn't fit it very well. It's really Fake News or Fixed Niose.

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  • 85. At 2:18pm on 19 Sep 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #2 and 66

    What are you talking about? I was business traveing that day. But at least in the vening and from what I read of the network schedule they showed the inaguation.

    Or is it you did not like the coverage?

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  • 86. At 2:48pm on 19 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    58. socialistlibertarian: "It seems that the Fox audiences have never listened to Mr. Obama, but only to the Fox talking heads who, along with Limbaugh, tell them what to think."

    *************
    (Sigh) So all of the millions who watch FoxNews are incapable of having a thought of their own without getting it from FoxNews? What about the opposing viewpoints that are always included? Do the viewers stick their fingers in their ears and go "I'm not listening...I'm not listening" when the opposing guy argues his/her points?

    Might its high number of viewers not also be because they report on things that other media don't report on, like the ACORN scandal?

    I'm not saying FoxNews is not biased. It is biased. But to paint all its viewers as Foxbots is a bit much, too.

    And to imply that Fox viewers have "never listened to Obama" is a bit of a stretch. First, most people have listened to him. It's impossible to not listen to Obama. He never stops talking.

    Second, one can listen to Obama very, very carefully and become very, very unhappy with what he is saying about government expansion, despite his best intentions.

    It is not surprising that Obama, himself, understands perfectly well why people are unhappy with him. It's not his race. It's the size of government. At least he's willing to admit he wants to greatly expand government.

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  • 87. At 3:08pm on 19 Sep 2009, dceilar wrote:

    All this talk of Russia engaging in an 'old Cold War mentality' must be a joke, surely! If Russia put 'missle defence sheilds' in Canada and Mexico then there might be some merit to this half-witted cliam; but it was the USA who put these 'sheilds' in Poland and Czech Republic.

    The USA and its client states promised to Russia in the early nineties that NATO would not expand into Russia's sphere of influence. The USA clearly broke that promise. Obama must be praised for doing the right thing for fulfilling that promise.

    Moreover, do those who wish NATO's membership expanded to include Georgia, amongst others, aware that an attack on one NATO country is an attack on all? Do these Faux News watching monkeys really want the USA to declare war on Russia if Georgia kicks off again? Judging by some comments here they actually do! It's no coincidence that these miscreants also oppose the public option on healthcare.

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  • 88. At 3:19pm on 19 Sep 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    For all those wondering what Russia gave, or will give, the States "in return" for the concession on missile defence:

    1. Do not expect a public announcement. Both sides have lots of enemies; both sides have leaders walking tightropes at the moment; both sides have to undo decades of damage done -- most recently, most foolishly, during the Bush-Cheney terms.

    2. Georgia was a monumental American policy blunder. It made the Kosovo mess seem like a mere spoonerism. It exposed all kinds of incompetence in Washington, DC. Nato was indeed fortunate that President Sarkozy was able to persuade President Medvedev to stop short of taking Tbilisi -- a decision many Russians now have good reason to regret, given that it has become, quite plainly, the principal funder & proponent of new violence in the Caucasus. Nevertheless, the Russian side has plenty of incontrovertible evidence that Bush-Cheney-led & -inspired American backward-thinkers did indeed entertain ambitions of forcing massive upheaval and possible a larger war on Russia and ukraine -- including a fratricidal war. Don't think that would have been very good for the rest of the world, either!

    3. The most important question in the area at the moment is the liberation of Iran, and Iranians, from madmen. Hand in hand with that, of course, the security of Israel and an end to funding of jihadism. All these questions are intertwined. A single solution solves them all. Russia will most certainly not seek to maintain the Status Qwoe in Iran if it continues to receive positive signals from the Administration of President Obama that at least while he is Commander-in-Chief there will be no comfort given to those who imagine it is possible to force Russia to become what it is not, via war, political upheaval, social unrest, or any other kind of conquest programme, or machinations.

    Even now, it is a mistake to imagine Russians support Ahmadinejad as such. Russia simply wants peace & tranquility along its extremely volatile southern border. It recognises, obviously, that with Iraq & Afghanistan now essentially taken over by Nato interests (even if these lands are hard to hold), an Iran that also switches sides from a position openly hostile to the West, to one that is more reasonable, accepting of Western ideas, would call for serious re-examination of Russia's existing defence plans.

    To do any of this safely, and in avoidance of new blunders such as the one of 08.08.08, all the economies that sustain all these players would have to be a great deal healthier than they currently are. And that is precisely why, when the Wall Street Journal and other conservative publications who have influence in the States called shamelessly for an "economic war against the Putin regime" -- because of what they had themselves foolishly started via Saakashvili -- I felt this was an outrageous, catastrophic mistake. Now we see why. How do we proceed to a safer, functional, more integrated & harmonious global community if none of us can afford the necessary revisions in programmes & strategies & cadres?

    Obviously, we need to climb down and back away from any further (or lingering) thoughts of "economic war" or "economic retaliation" of any kind. Against anyone.

    4. Europeans, especially Western Europeans, need to begin to appreciate the real reason so many Eastern Europeans perpetuate the fantasy that "Russia is a threat to the West." This goes back to the "captive nation" mythology, according to which ethnic Russians were the originators of this evil system and all their neighbours were the helpless victims. In fact, Communism was not invented by Russians, and ethnic Russians were its first -- and most numerous -- victims. Every single country that ever was a member of the Warsaw Pact made a sincere contribution to both setting up the Communist bloc and then maintaining its tyranny over millions upon millions of humans. Every single nation and ethnic group, Russians of course included, contributed plenty of eager Revolutionaries, anarchists, torturers, informants, indoctrinators, ideologists, prison camp staff.

    And in each and every single country, nation and ethnic group, Russians of course included, there were people who resisted and struggled for freedom.

    Because Russian was the dominant language in the vast Soviet union, the notion that Communism was somehow specifically tied to "Russian oppression" took hold. And it still seems logical, especially to many Americans, too many of whom still find foreign languages... well, foreign. Europeans, and Chinese, for example, are used to having many different tongues spoken over a fairly small distance. Americans are not.

    The reason Russian was, and is, a language of power have nothing to do with Russian DNA, or Communism, and everything to do with the beautiful, lyrical, elegant literary tradition that spoken Russian enabled once it was shaped by two extraordinary Greek linguists in the 9th century, and their successors (mostly learned Greeks). The Russian language should not be viewed as anything but a treasure of human civilisation, alongside all the others. Yet in Eastern Europe its use is in fact vigorously discouraged and even persecuted. That is a shameful manifestation that learned Western Europeans, especially from countries that were blessed to escape the worst of Communism & Fascism, ought to condemn, and object to.

    The lie that "Russia is a threat" to former Warsaw Pact states ought to be allowed to wither and die. It will do so naturally enough, for it is a lie, and lies cannot sustain themselves unless we actively nourish them with malice. In this case, further antagonism against Russia -- even if you dislike Putin or Medvedev or any other Russian leader -- is not only counterproductive, but expensive (and even possibly dangerous if antagonism escalates into another act of foolishness, as in 2008).

    5. The overwhelming majority of ukrainians {sorry, no capital u on this keyboard!} are very, very comfortable with Russia and Russians. Those that are not are certainly not constrained, gagged, inhibited in any way from pursuing their personal ambitions. But, really, the neo-Nazism and Hitler-worship or Hitler-love have to come to a complete full-stop. Hate speech is unacceptable everywhere. It is obscene that any student in a Kievan school could be given an assignment such as, "What should Hitler have done in order to successfully defeat Russia?" That this has happened, and Nato blithely speaks of an "inevitable" ukrainian membership in Nato suggests some in Nato would still like to fantasize about refighting, and this time "winning" World War Two. Of course it makes people upset.

    Keep in mind, whether you like it or not, all ukrainians have cousins, siblings, kith & kin in Russia. You can argue all you want against that, but you cannot change the history, the heritage, the blood lines, the DNA.

    By the same token, most Russians alive today have ancestors who are Greek, Italian, Nordic, Mongol. Quite a few also have German or British or Celtic or Dutch relatives. Not to mention considerable links to Jewish families, or the huge pride they feel for Pushkin, and his African roots. And, of course, Asia. Look to those connections, whether you are happy about them or not, to begin to build a more positive rapport. Because you are not as different, or as far removed from them, as you imagine.

    5. Stop thinking about "who would win a war with Russia" unless you really desperately want to lose. That is generally what happens, with massive carnage, when time is wasted on such nonsense, instead of working collaboratively to address the worst problems we all face.

    6. Will President Obama, and Americans -- and by extension all of Europe -- benefit in tangible ways from the "concession" (actually a highly needed and long-overdue tactical shift, not really a strategic shift, except in the sense of abandoning Bush-Cheney madness): unequivocally yes.

    As for Poland, some of whose leaders are grumbling and others already capitalizing on a very welcome change: either do more to please Germany and your Western neighbours, or -- just possibly -- consider improving your commercial activities with your Russian cousins, dropping the hostile tone, ending the pillow fight over ukraine -- it has grown exhausting and leads nowhere.

    There are many Polish citizens who are in fact of Russian ancestry. Stop making them feel ashamed to say it. You have enormous advantages that you have for far too long simply shunned in your obsession with outdated models that never really worked because they were never really workable.

    Your language is practically identical to Russian. This is also a huge advantage. Your two branches of traditional Christianity are finally getting along better than they have for some 11 centuries... Make good use of these advantages.

    Friends, it costs no money to practice peace, to change an attitude, to try a different way of being on the same planet, together.

    On a planet that is dying.

    On a planet that we may yet, perhaps, miraculously, save.

    On a planet that we all love.

    Pax vobiscum. It is really not any harder than that.

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  • 89. At 3:28pm on 19 Sep 2009, socialistlibertarian wrote:

    86, AndreainNY: So all of the millions who watch FoxNews are incapable of having a thought of their own without getting it from FoxNews? What about the opposing viewpoints that are always included? Do the viewers stick their fingers in their ears and go "I'm not listening...I'm not listening" when the opposing guy argues his/her points?

    Sure looks that way. Thanks for articulating it.

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  • 90. At 3:32pm on 19 Sep 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 38 RomeStu wrote:

    "37 jgaryfox (a Murdoch relative perhaps ....)

    You are welcome not to watch your president - he will not be "beaming" his words into your brain."

    Of course he won't!

    Surely you don't thing jgary would be so naive as to remove his chapeau de tinfoil and let him?

    ;-)

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  • 91. At 3:36pm on 19 Sep 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 50 _marko wrote:

    "You can't argue with sensibleOldtimer's post at #40, but...

    Powermeerkat would probably argue that he is playing the blank card diverting people from the real issues, MagicKirin would regard it as rabidly anti-Semitic, the inauthentic temporary new users would be very very angry and obviously the post would incite MAII to nuke Europe :)"

    Only one slight problem with Marko's observation.

    It's pretty much true about every single posting [except those of course from the persons you have mentioned]...

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  • 92. At 3:44pm on 19 Sep 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 81 powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #78&80

    "You might comment on tears. I don't think you'd be allowed to comment on co-ownership of a golf-club which does not admit blacks. :-)"

    Powermeerkat - I know I probably shouldn't rise to the bait. However, this must be the 3rd or 4th time you have referred to this story. [That may be an under-estimate.] If, as seems likely, you are going to continue going on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, about this story -

    perhaps you would be so good as to provide some specific data or proof or evidence or links?


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  • 93. At 3:53pm on 19 Sep 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    86

    ninny
    "(Sigh) So all of the millions who watch FoxNews are incapable of having a thought of their own without getting it from FoxNews?"

    with you as an example I'd have to say even if sl wouldn't - YES

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  • 94. At 3:56pm on 19 Sep 2009, britononthemitten wrote:

    It has been suggested by some that MSNBC is a liberal foil to Fox and as such worth watching. If anyone is unfamiliar with MSNBC I suggest they surf the website of its owner General Electric first. Make notes on the products it sells from Nuclear Power generation, Windmills, the Smartgrid, electronic medical records, energy saving light bulbs and appliances then watch MSNBC. It is very clearly a 24/7 commercial thinly veiled as a news outlet.

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  • 95. At 4:26pm on 19 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    93. fluffytale:
    86

    ninny
    "(Sigh) So all of the millions who watch FoxNews are incapable of having a thought of their own without getting it from FoxNews?"

    with you as an example I'd have to say even if sl wouldn't - YES

    *******************
    Shall I hate you for lying? I don't watch FoxNews.

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  • 96. At 4:41pm on 19 Sep 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #81. powermeerkat: "I don't think you'd be allowed to comment on co-ownership of a golf-club which does not admit blacks."

    #92. john-In-Dublin:

    "perhaps you would be so good as to provide some specific data or proof or evidence or links?"

    He won't, because the story is spurious. Earlier this year, Tim Rutten wrote a piece about the problems that Maxine Waters has and which can be read in the Los Angeles Times. Although highly critical of her, there is no reference to co-owning a golf club which declines to admit African-Americans, incidentally, the preferred term, of which 'powermeerkat' might take note. Had there been any truth to the accusation, I have no doubt Rutten would have mentioned it in his story.

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  • 97. At 4:51pm on 19 Sep 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #84

    AmericanSportFan wrote:
    Mark the Reason Obama is not going to be appearing on Fox News is because they are not really a legitimate news outlet. Instead, it's nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Republican Party. The advertising slogan used to be Fair and Balenced, and yet their reporting has been anything but Fair and Balenced.

    When you have onair personalities like Glen Beck (aka the comedian), Bill O'Rielly (aka Ted Baxter and Billo The clown) and Sean Hannity you have a conservative bias.

    LAst week on air, Hannity twisted the words of the President in his post speach interview saying that he was shocked that the President had called insurence executives "Bad People". This was not what the President said in his address to congress. He actually said that insurence company executive raised insurence rates not because they were bad people but because raising rates was profitable.

    Billo has repeatedly twisted facts about issues on his "show" the O'Rielly Factor. One time he accused a young man, whose father died in the events of 9/11, of being unpatriotic. On another occassion he accused American troops of committing war crimes against the Nazi's when it was actually the otherway around.

    It is for reason both Bill O'Rielly and Sean Hannity, are regulars on Kieth Olberman's Worst Persons in the World Segment.

    Fox News is not really a news organization, and the name Fox News really doesn't fit it very well. It's really Fake News or Fixed Niose.

    So you are using MSNBC as your source for saying Fox is not legitimate news source. Sorry doesn't fly. This is not Venezuela where news orginization get shut down and beat up by dignity battalions. now MSNBC is very close to being an Obama propganda organ but they don't get paid by the goverment.

    Glen Beck is not a news achnor nor is O'Rielley or Hannity but thery should recieve an ovation for their recent work on exposing ACORN and Van Jones.

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  • 98. At 6:33pm on 19 Sep 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    88. At 3:19pm on 19 Sep 2009, maria-ashot wrote:

    "For all those wondering what Russia gave, or will give, the States "in return" for the concession on missile defence:

    1. Do not expect a public announcement. Both sides have lots of enemies; both sides have leaders walking tightropes at the moment; both sides have to undo decades of damage done -- most recently, most foolishly, during the Bush-Cheney terms.

    ...

    6. Will President Obama, and Americans -- and by extension all of Europe -- benefit in tangible ways from the "concession" (actually a highly needed and long-overdue tactical shift, not really a strategic shift, except in the sense of abandoning Bush-Cheney madness): unequivocally yes."

    _________


    Yes, I agree with much of this.

    President Obama is walking away from an unwise policy position that by carelessly stoking the fires of Russian nationalism most probably actually reduced the security of the countries of eastern Europe; and made dealing with Russia needlessly problematic on a host of problems from Arctic sovereignty, European energy security, global warming, the war in Afghanistan, to dealing with Iran, dealing with the Hermit kingdom, and many other issues.

    And what did he give up?
    Installation of an expensive missile system that doesn't yet work.

    The US can already cover the same territory, and more, with an existing system that is known to be effective against medium range missiles.

    Did he get something back from Russia?
    That is yet to be seen. Based on past experience it will be, eventually: Over the past 300 - 400 years the Kremlin has been fairly consistent in keeping its bargains - quite possibly rather more consistent than Washington or London. Of course, the Russian viewpoint is often different from ours, and sometimes bargains are kept in ways that are not necessarily expected or pleasant.

    And if Obama got something worthwhile, that would be a bonus anyway: merely unwinding a policy that was probably doing more harm than good would have been advantageous even if the Russians gave nothing in return, and Obama is saving money to boot.


    At least he didn't look into Putin's eyes and see his soul.

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  • 99. At 8:05pm on 19 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Make mine a double in Dublin;

    "obviously the post would incite MAII to nuke Europe :)"

    Starting with Ireland.

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  • 100. At 8:58pm on 19 Sep 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 99 MachoAutisticusII

    In that case, it's just as well you're not allowed near the nuclear button.

    Nor, indeed, anything sharp.

    [By the way, the quote you attribute to me was of course from "_marko" at post # 50. I merely referred to it.

    Then again, you've never let factual accuracy interfere with your outpourings before. No reason to expect you to start now.]

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  • 101. At 9:03pm on 19 Sep 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #98. Interestedforeigner: "Over the past 300 - 400 years the Kremlin has been fairly consistent in keeping its bargains"

    Even if we were to allow 1917 as the establishment of the USSR (actually 1922), there cannot be centuries of consistency. In modern parlance, The Kremlin means that government, but if you mean the Russian Empire, then you would need to go back a millennium.

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  • 102. At 10:19pm on 19 Sep 2009, David wrote:

    Brit..

    It is Saturday, so here, I am back writing. Yes, a corporation owns MSNBC. Yes, the stations airs ...cheap "documentaries," during the day.

    But, it is the first non conservative cable station in my memory that airs ..yes, progressive/liberal views during prime time. It perks up my evenings and is a sign that liberal/democratic views are becoming more mainstream.

    Mainstream may be anathema to extreme left of center people, but, I do like that Keith Oberman and I LOVE Rachel Maddow (a lesbian role model for me...yes, Im male) whose show is so refreshing and funny -- she is humorous and understated.

    I am yes a shill now for MSNBC ...for now...happily, but am a center/left person and even I love its Liberal bent.

    BTW, I graduated with Economics as my major and learned to believe capitalism was natural, so I am not a frothing fringe person. But, yes I have far left friends, yet keep my center/left viewpoints intact--economic liberalism ...still attracts me.

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  • 103. At 11:49pm on 19 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    sB

    Don't you have a problem reconciling your knowledge of economics which has convinced you that capitalism is the ONLY proven means to generate large scale creation of wealth with your left wing religion whose dogma would kill it by taxing the fruits of successful risk taking into the ground? Yes we know from experience that markets must be regulated to prevent wild swings from excess. We knew that from the great depression, we just ignored it when conservatives saw a way to make lots of quick profits out of laissez-faire capitalism under another name ganged up with the Robin Hood liberal crowd who wanted everyone to own their own home even if they couldn't afford it.

    We know the medical care delivery systems is financially broken in the US but do we want to throw the baby out with the bathwater? Do we really have a free market for medical care in the US when the doctors through the AMA have artificially restricted the number of doctors out there by limiting the number of medical schools and the insurance companies have managed to limit competition by for example preventing cross state marketing of policies. I'll bet an investigation would find a lot of collusion among the insurance companies and any objective analysis would show that the restriction of competition violates anti-trust laws. Do we want to wind up with a system like the one the Brits have? I don't think so. And I think most Americans know that under President Obama's plan they will pay out more money between private insurance if it survives at all and increased taxes for the government plan than they do now for the same or fewer benefits than they are getting now. After the lies the government told about the bank bail outs, it's small wonder most Americans don't trust them on this one and to say their objection is based on racism is a lie and abuse of the overwhelming majority of Americans who disagree with the President and the Democratic Party. And thankfully the President has finally spoken up and said exactly that himself putting the lie to what the liberals and Europeans say once again.

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  • 104. At 01:06am on 20 Sep 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #96

    The California reprsetative who owns the golf club is Nancy Peolosi. You know the person who claimed she was going to drain the swamp of corruption. Charlie Rangel 10 months: Nancy.

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  • 105. At 01:12am on 20 Sep 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 106. At 02:44am on 20 Sep 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #104. MagicKirin: "The California reprsetative who owns the golf club is Nancy Peolosi."

    The CordeValle Golf Club is owned by the Starwood Hotels group; Mrs Pelosi has a minority holding in the club and nowhere has it been reported that African Americans are barred from it. If you or powermeerkat have any information to the contrary, please post it - and a link - here so that we can all be educated about her racial attitude.

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  • 107. At 02:59am on 20 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    104. MagicKirin: Years back, Pelosi was called out for hiring only non-union employees and for not adequately protecting the environment at her golf course, but I don't recall any accusations like this about her hotel.

    She's such a flake. It's hard to take her seriously...except that she's responsible for killing many of the Republican amendments to the health care bills. She's taking no prisoners. I guess she didn't get the memo from Obama about "compromise".

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  • 108. At 04:03am on 20 Sep 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    In ref. to #2:
    I would go back and check your facts about Fox news not covering the inauguration of President Obama on 1/20/09. To help you out I have the web address for the inauguration here:

    http://www.foxnews.com/search-results/m/21775796/first-day.htm#q=obama+inauguration+speech

    I would be willing to bet that the reason fox news was not targeted was because the President and his staff figured the station's audience would not be persuaded. And sense the president and his staff usually choose which stations will cover prepared speeches like this, it isn't surprising that they would skip over a station that they see as hostile.


    One more thing about Fox news; I think it's kinda sad that people call it fake news because it really isn't. Libs just are upset over the opinion shows after the news desk; it's amazing how many people don't seem to know the difference between a journalist/reporter and an opinion show host.

    Mr. Mardell, if there is one thing you should know about the news media outlets in America it's that the ones on the left & the ones on the right are both legitimate. People just avoid & say hateful things about the outlets that lean a different political direction then they do.

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  • 109. At 06:56am on 20 Sep 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #107. AndreainNY: "(Pelosi)'s such a flake. It's hard to take her seriously."

    No more than the darling of the Right, former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich

    "She's taking no prisoners. I guess she didn't get the memo from Obama about "compromise"

    Why should she compromise? The President isn't in charge of any part of Congress, or perhaps you've conveniently forgotten the separation of powers? She does what she sees fit to do.

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  • 110. At 07:43am on 20 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #83

    MA, and now, please, address the other part of the opion (from HYS) I quoted in #77:


    "We have better things to do with our money at here at home...like providing education and health care for illegal aliens..."

    L B"


    :-)))


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  • 111. At 08:36am on 20 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    #88

    "Even now, it is a mistake to imagine Russians support Ahmadinejad as such. Russia simply wants peace & tranquility along its extremely volatile southern border."




    Is that why "new, improved" 'democratic' Russia is building oil-rich Islamic Republic of Iran nuclear reactors and selling other toys useful for uranium enrichment?


    And as for Russia posing a threat to its former satellites being
    "a myth"...

    Pray, tell it to Azeris, whose country Moscow has been trying to (tacitly) destabilize in order to regain control of the Caspian Basin oil&gas.

    Tell it to Georgians, with Russia trying almost everything in KGB/FSB/SVR/GRU manuals to put their paws on spigots of two key pipelines which happen to bypass Russia's territory on their way to the West.

    Tell it to Belarusians and Ukrainians whom KGB general Putin tries, by hook and by crook (vide attempts to poison pres. Yushchenko, just as A. Litvinenko later) force back into Moscow's loving embrace.


    And BTW., since what's good for a goose should be good for a gander...

    How come, that Russia has attacked Georgia to protect its two regions' (Abkhasia and S. Osetia) 'rights to independence' but has denied (and continues to deny in a rather ruthless way) such rights to CHECHENS, who, obviously not knowing what's best for them - clearly don't want to be a part of Mother Russia?

    Oh, hypocrisy of that all!

    P.S. Why do you continue calling Krolewiec -the city was riginally founded by a Czech king, hensforth its name - KALININgrad?
    I'm sure you know what Kalinin's title to fame was?

    [Though I can understand why you might not want to call it Koenigsberg]


    And how would you explain the fact that almost 65 years after WWII supposedly ended Russia is still formally at war with Japan, since it hasn't signed a peace treaty with that country?

    Could it possibly be because of a small issue of Russian-occupied several Kuril Islands?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

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  • 112. At 09:05am on 20 Sep 2009, jaxroam wrote:

    Mark Mardell, in his previous position as Europe correspondent, has been in Prague covering this very issue.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/04/ideal_backdrop.html

    I think the sentiment here in the Czech Republic on the project being abandoned would be relief. A large majority of Czechs were against the radar (the part of the system to be installed on Czech soil). While there are peeople upset by this, I imagine there must be relief even among many of the politicians supporting the system.

    There is a general election coming up very soon (not to be reported on by Mr. Mardell, sadly), and the radar has been a millstone that has already politically hurt its proponents. Now the radar is out of the political agenda, their election prospects have improved. The timing of this announcement has been a gift package from Mr. Obama.

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  • 113. At 09:11am on 20 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #109..

    When Newt Gingrich (supposedly such a flake as Nancy Pelosi) was a Speaker of the House, he forced Congress to balance federal budget, despite the well documented opposition to his Plan for America by the Clinton Administration.

    It seems, that since Democrats regained control of the U.S. Congress, we're back to square one, growing deficit ASAP.

    But, hey, there are so many big banks to bail out, so many big corporations (such as General Motors)...And so little time.

    [Next Congressional elections scheduled to take place a year from now
    and "We'll remember in November"]
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "They came to Washington to do GOOD, and they did WELL"

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  • 114. At 10:30am on 20 Sep 2009, wanderingangus wrote:

    I do hope that when November comes round, people will remember just who was in charge when Lehman Brother crashed bringing down the whole house of cards, who left the motor industry of its knees, who started two virtually unwinnable wars, who allowed the whole healthcare industry to become of a national disgrace and who allowed America become a nation that notoriously allows torture.

    Just remember.

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  • 115. At 10:54am on 20 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re ACORN.... Just this article i the liberal, openly pro-deocratic

    Washington Post. Just read it. :-)


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/17/AR2009091704805.html

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  • 116. At 11:44am on 20 Sep 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 133, PM

    "It seems, that since Democrats regained control of the U.S. Congress, we're back to square one, growing deficit ASAP."

    With the exception of a brief break in the Clinton era, deficit spending has been the norm regardless of which party had the White House and/or Congress. Don't forget that the unacceptable FY09 budget we criticize was proposed and signed by President Bush and accounts for expenditures that began October 1, 2008.

    Obviously, Bush's $700B TARP and Obama's $800B stimulus aggravated an out of control spending spree. but without those initiatives the conversation would not be about deficits but the collapse of US financial institutions and the end of capitalism.

    Year Congress Pres. Party in control of Congress

    2009 111th Obama D - 55 D - 256
    2007 110th Bush D - 51* D - 233 (includes 2 Independents)
    2005 109th Bush R - 55 R - 232
    2003 108th Bush R - 51 R - 229
    2001 107th Bush D R - 221
    1999 106th Clinton R - 55 R - 223
    1997 105th Clinton R - 55 R - 228
    1995 104th Clinton R - 52 R - 230

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  • 117. At 11:48am on 20 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    A comment found on HYS


    Thursday, 17 September, 2009, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK

    America has the worst job in the world, asked to protect everyone but vilified in the process. When Iran finally nukes someone the world will be banging on the US's doorstep screaming for help and asking how we let this happen.

    Unfortunately a Mexican will open the door and say he's being foreclosed on by his Chinese landlord so he can't help...

    Mark, Cleveland

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  • 118. At 12:56pm on 20 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:

    109. David_Cunard: "'She's taking no prisoners. I guess she didn't get the memo from Obama about "compromise'"

    Why should she compromise? The President isn't in charge of any part of Congress, or perhaps you've conveniently forgotten the separation of powers? She does what she sees fit to do".

    **************************

    Well, it's Obama who is making promises about what's in those bills and Obama who promised to work with Republicans.

    Since Pelosi's the one actually responsible for the details, I'd say there's a disconnect between what Obama's saying and what the Democratic Congress is actually drafting.

    Yes, Pelosi is free to do as she wishes. Obama is free to promise that his "plan" will deliver what he wishes. And I'm free to wonder what his assertions really have to do with the actual bills.

    Outwardly, it's the Republicans who are stonewalling, but behind the scenes it's Pelosi doing her share, too.

    By the way, Obama's words are used as justification for claiming what health care bills will deliver, but whenever it's pointed out that his words don't actually match the details in the bills, the retort is a mini-lesson on how bills are drafted by Congress.

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  • 119. At 2:23pm on 20 Sep 2009, ironfranco wrote:

    *But unless it is linked to a dramatic offer or threat it is scarcely a big, juicy story and he will want to capture the headlines.*
    Mark, after “l’entente tacite” /the tacit agreement fr./ with China that was achieved during the first visit abroad of Mrs. Hillary Clinton, and, after the recent decision of President Obama to abandon all plans of installing the anti missile shield close to Russia, it is evident that the American president has already won if not the support, at least the sympathy and the understanding of Beijing and Moscow. What remain as big challenges during at the forthcoming UN General Assembly and the G20 are the elaboration of a set of acceptable antirecession measures and the necessity to limit the proliferation of nuclear armaments in Iran and N.Korea. Consequently, maybe, the French proverb *Personne n’est prophete dans son pays* /nobody is a prophet in his country fr./ will again be confirmed. Criticized at home, Mr.Obama is going to be applauded abroad, I mean during the two coming summit meetings.

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  • 120. At 2:33pm on 20 Sep 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 118, Andrea

    "Well, it's Obama who is making promises about what's in those bills and Obama who promised to work with Republicans."

    President Obama has been articulating his vision of what ought to take place. Unfortunately, there is a major disconnect between what he envisions and what Congress is doing.

    The far left is intent on including universal healthcare, moderate Democrats object to universal healthcare and are pushing for systems that range from the virtual preservation of the status quo to co-ops or a healthcare system similar to what Federal employees have. The few moderate Republicans that have worked on some of the proposals that are being considered are pushing to reform of existing insurance policies and prefer to retain a modified version of what we currently have.

    I'll be shocked if universal healthcare is implemented. The best we can hope for is elimination of the pre-existing condition clause, portability and other desperately needed changes. The insurance industry will continue to run healthcare and profit for decades to come, and our society and corporations will continue to pay huge premiums because of our refusal to consider alternatives on the basis of ideology.

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  • 121. At 3:33pm on 20 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    ANY;

    Canard either never learned or forgot that the US government is not structured like the one in his native Britain. Bills are written by and passed in Congress sometimes with input from the President. But it is their bill, not his. Congress does not march in lock step with the President nor do members of one party obey the commands of their own leaders. The Republicans can't block anything right now. The Democrats control both Houses of Congress and all of the Committees in both houses. In the British Parliament where there is no separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches, the Prime Minister will almost always have his own way and the members of his party will vote the way he tells them to or else...the government could actually fall. That is their dictatorial system. Speaker Pelosi has a real problem. Her own party is divided. What's more, anything likely to come out of the House along the lines she wants will probably be rejected by the Senate. When forced by the voters to choose between what the party leaders want and what their constituencies demand, most in Congress will do what their oath demands of them, represent the will of their constituents. That is how we defeated the Kennedy McCain give away the country to illegal aliens again bill and that is how we will defeat this one. As things now stand, the Democrat's program for socialized medicine in America isn't going anywhere except down to defeat. Everyone knows it. They will have to do a lot better or they will get nothing at all. In the end, they may settle for crumbs.

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  • 122. At 3:42pm on 20 Sep 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    So, after all that, the headline for the day is "Obama Speaks: No Horses Frightened."

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  • 123. At 3:48pm on 20 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #119 Generalissimo Francisco Franco (still dead)


    How dissappointing this must be for some.

    "Russia had always been paranoid about this, but George Bush was right.[sic!] This wasn't a threat to them," Mr Obama said.

    Particularly disapointing since, according to the White House and DOD, at least $5,000,000,000.00 is not going to be spent to expand 'welfare state', including benefits for illegal immigrants, but on a new improved U.S. anti-missile system, with its X-band radar station most likely to be placed not in Czech Republic but in ...Caucasus. :-)

    [Talk about shooting oneself in the foot.]

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  • 124. At 4:00pm on 20 Sep 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 117, PM

    "Unfortunately a Mexican will open the door and say he's being foreclosed on by his Chinese landlord so he can't help..."

    Mexicans are not the only one, and are in fact unlikely to be the first, to be foreclosed by Chinese investors. Our government and economy is far more dependant on Chinese investment, credit and loans than Mexico's.

    However, if WE are "foreclosed" by our foreign creditors there is good chance our neighbors and allies will tell us "sorry, we can't help".

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  • 125. At 4:11pm on 20 Sep 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #113.powermeerkat: "there are so many big banks to bail out, so many big corporations (such as General Motors)...And so little time."

    How can the shambles of the previous eight years be cleaned up in only eight months? It was the previous incumbent of The White House who presided over the financial disaster America has suffered. At least have the decency to place the blame where it belongs.

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  • 126. At 4:12pm on 20 Sep 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #114

    Well in the economic issues. I hope they remember the name Chris Dodd who along with Barney Frank bears major responsbility.

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  • 127. At 5:49pm on 20 Sep 2009, ironfranco wrote:

    @123powermeerkat
    *How disappointing this must be for some.*
    Have I ever expressed a satisfaction or some concern about it?
    *….but on a new improved U.S. anti-missile system, with its X-band radar station most likely to be placed not in Czech Republic but in ...Caucasus.*
    If you follow the direct (orthodromique) line linking North America, West Europe and Teheran, you will notice maybe that it goes through Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey, all of them being NATO members.
    (I will be really happy to see my country as a gas transit station of both *Nabuko* and *South stream* supply nets, as a crude transit station of Burgas – Alexandropoulos pipe, and last but not least, as a home of anti missile shield you are so eager to install and I am so willing to have as a free of charge & high*est* tech protection of poor Bulgaria). Satisfied?
    It is true that generalissimo Franco is still dead. It was our fellow blogger and humble American citizen, MarcusAureliusII who nicknamed me like that a year ago. Ask him, he will confirm.

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  • 128. At 5:52pm on 20 Sep 2009, David wrote:

    MAII,

    Well, no. There is no conflict anymore within myself. I have no dogma, And my sense about leftest policies is mainly about social, ie, people's rights, social justice (yes, ..social ..justice), and attitudes towards minorities, etc.

    BUT, there is a history of economics that espouses left wing theory. Marx was not a communist, he was a economist theory person. Also, Keynes was a liberal economist (I think) and Galbraith was a liberal economist....and

    These people had been abandoned during the long despairing (among socialists) period after communism fell (I didnt despair...I kept saying we need new leftist policies or ideas to improve social justice.)

    AND finally, we have Obama's stimulus and more government involvement in the economy. "Laissez faire" is not really the answer anymore, is it?

    Unfortunately, for oonservative politicians, (economists are not stupid, they adapt), Obama's great (by previous standards) intervention has saved our economy (and t-bills which China bought are more valuable now..a good sign), therefore watch out when the economy bounces back.

    The conservatives will be sad, but the "Left wingers" will be more part of the mainstream than they have been since Roosevelt and Obama's pragmatic (and Keynesian approach ...out on a limb HERE...not that sure of my economic credentials (I read the Economist for my .."now" credentials)

    approach is going to Pay Off...and ...I'll be a happy center leftist.

    Uhhh ohhh, knock on wood.



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  • 129. At 5:55pm on 20 Sep 2009, David wrote:

    Also, I am not easily catagorized, as I read the gamut...from the Guardian webwsite to the Jeruselem Post (left to right).

    Now THAT is a gamut.

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  • 130. At 7:54pm on 20 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    sB, how can you mention Marx in the same breath as Keynes and Galbraith?

    Marx was not a communist? "Arise ye prisoners of starvation." "You have nothing to lose but your chains." Those sound like battle cries for class warfare to establish a Communist government to me. Ultimately economics is a bet on human nature, on how people will react. Marx's bet was dead wrong. Those in Eastern Europe who endured fifty years of Soviet Communism can tell South American populists like Chavez and Morales and their supporters where their misguided ideas will lead their nations because they found out first hand. People in Eastern Europe every bit as "socially concerned" believed in it, tried everything they could to make it work, and failed disasterously even while being propped up by the USSR with subsidies. (Their membership in the EU looks to me to be a way in part to reach out for more handouts to replace what the USSR is no longer around to give them.) You can see how badly the impovrished Venezuelan peasants need a couple of billion dollars of Russian arms that couldn't delay the effect of an American attack if such an impossibility occurred for five minutes. If nothing else, the way in which President Obama unilaterally withdrew the planned missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic with no conditions on Russia's part was a betrayal of the trust those governments put in the USA. Why should they (or anyone else) trust committments by the US government ever again? Ask the Kurds, the Hungarians, even the Vietnamese. Israel should not trust any US promise to enforce a peace plan. If it can't enforce it on its own, it shouldn't agree to it. The UN of course is worse than useless.

    MK

    "I hope they remember the name Chris Dodd who along with Barney Frank bears major responsbility."

    There is plenty of blame to go around but those two certainly played a role motivated by their misguided notion of "social justice". How cynical to see Barney Franks rant in pretended outrage over the bailout of the banks that failed in great part as the consequence of the policies he strongly advocated and helped push though Congress.

    You can't have it both ways sB. Either you believe in the principles of economics that have been proven over time which demands rewards for earning the fruits of successful effots at wealth creation or you accept with impunity the bankruptcy that is the consequence of giving it away for free to those you feel haven't gotten social justice because they haven't accumulated the money to pay for it on their own. Robbing from the rich to make the poor richer only works for a short time until the money is spent and those who created it no longer can or want to because it was stolen from them.

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  • 131. At 9:56pm on 20 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    k123. At 3:48pm on 20 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #119 Generalissimo Francisco Franco (still dead)


    How dissappointing this must be for some.

    "Russia had always been paranoid about this, but George Bush was right.[sic!] This wasn't a threat to them," Mr Obama said.

    Particularly disapointing since, according to the White House and DOD, at least $5,000,000,000.00 is not going to be spent to expand 'welfare state', including benefits for illegal immigrants, but on a new improved U.S. anti-missile system, with its X-band radar station most likely to be placed not in Czech Republic but in ...Caucasus. :-)

    [Talk about shooting oneself in the foot.]"


    You can say that again, can anyone make any sense of the above?

    The monitors should ensure the poster at least posts coherently.

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  • 132. At 10:08pm on 20 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    118. At 12:56pm on 20 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:


    "Well, it's Obama who is making promises about what's in those bills and Obama who promised to work with Republicans.118. At 12:56pm on 20 Sep 2009, AndreainNY wrote:
    109. David_Cunard: "'She's taking no prisoners. I guess she didn't get the memo from Obama about "compromise'"

    Why should she compromise? The President isn't in charge of any part of Congress, or perhaps you've conveniently forgotten the separation of powers? She does what she sees fit to do".

    **************************

    Well, it's Obama who is making promises about what's in those bills and Obama who promised to work with Republicans. "

    Is he actually making promises, has he said that? How exactly did he give a solemn promise to work with republicans? How do you give a binding promise about someone else, much less a political party?

    In a marriage ceremony you are asked to give a promise about yourself - not the other person, because that would be stupid.

    Hint every US president since Washington has undertaken (promised) to pursue peace haven't they? But no one on Dec 7 1941 claimed Roosevelt had "broken his promise". No one hounded Lincoln for "breaking his promise" over Ft Sumpter.


    "Since Pelosi's the one actually responsible for the details, I'd say there's a disconnect between what Obama's saying and what the Democratic Congress is actually drafting."

    I think the clue is in the word drafting. There is no bill and no draft as yet.

    "Yes, Pelosi is free to do as she wishes. Obama is free to promise that his "plan" will deliver what he wishes. And I'm free to wonder what his assertions really have to do with the actual bills."


    There are no actual bills are there? Because there is no scheme as yet.

    "Outwardly, it's the Republicans who are stonewalling, but behind the scenes it's Pelosi doing her share, too."

    How do you know then if it is "behind the scenes". Can you read Ms Pelosi's mind?

    "By the way, Obama's words are used as justification for claiming what health care bills will deliver, but whenever it's pointed out that his words don't actually match the details in the bills, the retort is a mini-lesson on how bills are drafted by Congress."

    Well since there are no bills it would seem a mini-lesson is needed. A lesson on common sense is also required apparently.

    Better than hysterical and orchestrated over-reaction.

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  • 133. At 10:18pm on 20 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    115. At 10:54am on 20 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re ACORN.... Just this article i the liberal, openly pro-deocratic

    Washington Post. Just read it. :-)


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/17/AR2009091704805.html"

    I warned you about history.

    Plainly you need a lecture in journalism also.

    Do you actually think this shows these two people in a positive light?

    The article shows the story is more full of holes than a swiss cheese.

    I love the bit about the motivation behind the sting- "ACORN encouraging homeless people knock the locks of foreclosed homes."

    Yeah that sounds right, upset at how foreclosing banks are treated.

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  • 134. At 10:29pm on 20 Sep 2009, ironfranco wrote:

    @131 Simon 21
    Better read my post 127.
    Generalissimo (still alive)

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  • 135. At 10:37pm on 20 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    130. At 7:54pm on 20 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    sB, how can you mention Marx in the same breath as Keynes and Galbraith?

    Marx was not a communist? "Arise ye prisoners of starvation." "You have nothing to lose but your chains." Those sound like battle cries for class warfare to establish a Communist government to me."


    Really. Where is the reference to class? WHere is the reference to warfare. Mother Theresa or Abraham Lincoln would have said exactly the same thing. Was Abe a commie? In your eyes proably - after all he did abolish slavery.

    How pathetic, read the CM properely next time.

    " Ultimately economics is a bet on human nature, on how people will react. Marx's bet was dead wrong. Those in Eastern Europe who endured fifty years of Soviet Communism can tell South American populists like Chavez and Morales and their supporters where their misguided ideas will lead their nations because they found out first hand."

    But Marxian ideas permeated the whole political debate.

    You have just shown you accept his view that Economics is the driving force in hman nature.

    SO it is Marcus the Marxist!


    "People in Eastern Europe every bit as "socially concerned" believed in it, tried everything they could to make it work, and failed disasterously even while being propped up by the USSR with subsidies. "

    Did they beleive in it? Well so much for World War II the cold war, the hungarian, east German, Czech risings.

    This is easy as usual.

    "(Their membership in the EU looks to me to be a way in part to reach out for more handouts to replace what the USSR is no longer around to give them.)"

    No the US seems like it wants to distribute funds, no objection from them!


    "You can see how badly the impovrished Venezuelan peasants need a couple of billion dollars of Russian arms that couldn't delay the effect of an American attack if such an impossibility occurred for five minutes."

    DO you agree with me that the the Venezuela debate goes a long way to show how half-educated US right-wing bigots are - as a marxist.

    Fancy thinking Venezuela is in Eastern Europe.

    DOn't try to get a job as a travel agent!


    "If nothing else, the way in which President Obama unilaterally withdrew the planned missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic with no conditions on Russia's part was a betrayal of the trust those governments put in the USA. Why should they (or anyone else) trust committments by the US government ever again?"


    Ah but the missiles were not aimed at Russia were they? Or was that another US lie?

    Can't have it both ways!!!!

    "Ask the Kurds, the Hungarians, even the Vietnamese. Israel should not trust any US promise to enforce a peace plan. If it can't enforce it on its own, it shouldn't agree to it. The UN of course is worse than useless."

    Ask them what? Whether they should trust the US? The greatest mistake the Palestinians ever made was to trust a country that willingly helped another to kill their children.

    But the Vietnamese? The US did lie about its involvement (and admiited its dishonesty to be fair), but that is history now - the Vietnamese have been incredibly forgiving.

    Obama's withdrawal of Bush's missiles is a master stroke.

    Is it possible that the US state department is actually going to get a major initiative right for a change.
    .

    "You can't have it both ways sB. Either you believe in the principles of economics that have been proven over time which demands rewards for earning the fruits of successful effots at wealth creation or you accept with impunity the bankruptcy that is the consequence of giving it away for free to those you feel haven't gotten social justice because they haven't accumulated the money to pay for it on their own."


    Er for "principles" read cliches. Robert Mugabe apparently is a wealth creator, as are the Burmese Generals because they are all rich. Wow.

    "Robbing from the rich to make the poor richer only works for a short time until the money is spent and those who created it no longer can or want to because it was stolen from them."

    So that is why redistribution must be done by law.

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  • 136. At 10:39pm on 20 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    77. At 12:33pm on 19 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:
    found in HYS

    "I couldn't be more pleased [about not deploying 10 warhedless missile interceptors in Polnad]

    I don't care whether Iran shootes missiles at Europe. Let Europe take care of itself. We have better things to do with our money at here at home...like providing education and health care for illegal aliens..."

    L B


    :-)))"

    Yes Iran shooting missiles at Europe. Just a pity the missiles faced Russia - opps! :-o


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  • 137. At 11:06pm on 20 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 138. At 11:29pm on 20 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    137. At 11:06pm on 20 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    Simpleton, if you think I'm going to waste my time plowing through your dribble, think again.

    Oh dear shown you up have I - sorry

    Which part didn't you understand? Prisoners of starvation? The wealthy don't ever starve."

    We are talking about class Marcus the Marxist not meaningless phrases Mother Theresa might use. It is not another word for poor or hungry.

    Class is a socio-politcal term. And one for which Marx was very proud as he did much to define its role and development.

    Get one of you parents' Roumanian textbooks. Ceacescu was big on this.

    "Nothing to lose but your chains? The wealthy have evrything to lose, they owned it all...including the chains...in mid 19th century Germany and England."

    The "wealthy" is not a Marxist term. It is meaningless. To what sort of wealthy are you referring? DO you mean the the bourgeoisie?

    It is not a good idea to try and discuss a complex political/social/economic theory without knowing the basic terms.

    Incidently Marx thought the US would see revolution long before Russia (he discounted Russia for it huge reliance on an agricultural economy and consequent lack of class consciousness)


    "Why not take a course in history...in a school not paid for and run the way the NHS is. Perhaps they'd actually teach you something. Perhaps USIA has a branch in London. Try that."

    And why not take a reading course? And get a dictionary? It would cost practically nothing.

    Start with the COmmunist Manifesto and work on to Capital (and assorted commentaries).

    Then when you talk about Communism you might actually make some sense.


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  • 139. At 11:45pm on 20 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 140. At 00:32am on 21 Sep 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    139. At 11:45pm on 20 Sep 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    Simpleton, I'm also not wasting my time playing games over semantics with you either."

    No one is playing semantics Marcus because one cannot play games with semantics, think about it. :-)

    We were discussing one of the most advanced socio-political theories to arise in the 19th century.

    At least I was trying to but it became clear you had no idea what communism as defined by Marx actually was.

    Nothing to do with Semantics Marx was generally very clear in his writing.

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  • 141. At 01:09am on 21 Sep 2009, David wrote:

    See, I don't need to Prove my opinions or my theories...if I did it would then be like math,...huh.

    Also, I believe that its the theory, not the person's life that matters when using theories to form one's political opinions. No one is perfect.

    And it IS true, that Marx contributed to economic theory (economics is not an exact science. It's, I think, a humanities subject).

    And, it's truth that is imnportant, not loyalty to dogma.

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  • 142. At 04:11am on 21 Sep 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    101. Although it is true that in our times "the Kremlin" has been shorthand for the government of the USSR, nonetheless The Kremlin has been a symbol of Russian power and authority for much, much longer. Even after Peter moved the seat of government to St. Petersburg, all Tsars continued to be crowned at the Kremlin.

    As for consistency, yes, virtually all states do contradictory things from times to time. But when it comes to honoring undertakings to foreigners according to treaties, both Russia and China have fairly good records of sticking by their promises - much better than we might expect. As noted previously, though, they sometimes keep their word in unexpected ways, and see the world from unexpected perspectives.

    I used the range 300 - 400, because I don't have adequate knowledge of Russian history before that time. Yes, the Grandy Duchy of Moscow has been around a lot longer, but in the first half of that thousand years it was a distinctly less powerful and more local affair. It was only after Muscovy succeeded in consolidating various local territories, after seeing off the Poles and Lithuanians, the Swedes, the tatars and so on, and after starting its eastward continental expansion, that Russia becomes a major imperial power with something more of a permanent court establishment.

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  • 143. At 07:09am on 21 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    #136 "Just a pity the missiles faced Russia - opps! :-o



    How embarrassing!

    1. Missiles don't face (or are aimed at) anybody.

    They're launched vertically. And targets of their strikes can be changed literally within a minute, by loading new coordinates into on-board navigational computers; even when they are already in flight.

    2. Surface-to-AIR interceptors cannot be offensive weapons, or be made into ones, for they are small missiles incapable of carrying any warheads (even conventional ones). Interceptors carry 'kinetic impactors'(roughly a size of the iron) 'armed' with sensors.

    Unlike ICBMs. Which have been deployed not far from Russia's territory for half a century.

    3. If new improved X-band radar station is placed not in Czech Republic, but in Caucasus (according to some leaks from the Administration), and interceptors not in Poland, but in Bulgaria or on Turkish frigates cruising Black Sea, is Russia going to be better off?

    [talk 'bout shooting oneself in the foot :-)]

    4. Some people obviously went AWOL when rudimentary physics (let alone Ballistics 101) was taught at schools they were enrolled in.

    Nothing to boast about, I would have thought.

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  • 144. At 07:19am on 21 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    #136 "Just a pity the missiles faced Russia - opps! :-o



    How embarrassing!

    1. Missiles don't face (or are aimed at) anybody.

    They're launched vertically. And targets of their strikes can be changed literally within a minute, by loading new coordinates into on-board navigational computers; even when they are already in flight.

    2. Surface-to-AIR interceptors cannot be offensive weapons, or be made into ones, for they are small missiles incapable of carrying any warheads (even conventional ones). Interceptors carry 'kinetic impactors'(roughly a size of the iron) 'armed' with sensors.

    Unlike ICBMs. Which have been deployed not far from Russia's territory for half a century.

    3. If new improved X-band radar station is placed not in Czech Republic, but in Caucasus (according to some leaks from the Administration), and interceptors not in Poland, but in Bulgaria or on Turkish frigates cruising Black Sea, is Russia going to be better off?

    [talk 'bout shooting oneself in the foot :-)]

    4. Some people obviously went AWOL when rudimentary physics (let alone Ballistics 101) was taught at schools they were enrolled in.

    Nothing to boast about, I would have thought.

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  • 145. At 11:06am on 21 Sep 2009, ironfranco wrote:

    144 @ Powermeerkat
    * If new improved X-band radar station is placed not in Czech Republic, but in Caucasus (according to some leaks from the Administration), and interceptors not in Poland, but in Bulgaria or on Turkish frigates cruising Black Sea, is Russia going to be better off?
    Russia certainly will be better off with the less evil. As to the interceptors, I can’t believe the Americans will entrust us (being orthodox Slavs) or the Turks (being ruled by the present *moderate* pro-islamic government) to do the job. It’s a kind of a fare tale the report that leaked from your Administration or rather a trap for fools.

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  • 146. At 11:07am on 21 Sep 2009, JohaMe wrote:

    The only way for a government to reduce health care costs is (unfortunately but logically) probably through more government involvement. The same is true for every market (finance, public transport, food, drugs, waste disposal, weapons, etc.) that might need some measure of impartial, external regulation.

    These markets usually resist any government involvement vehemently; often because those markets themselves benefit due to lack of external checks and balances. Sometimes they are right, sometimes they cause problems like global financial crises or excessive health care costs.

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  • 147. At 7:21pm on 21 Sep 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re#145

    You're mistaken (no offense)

    I know Turks and Turkey v. well.

    Their army has been a very reliable NATO force (since the Korean War).

    It (the T. Army) is actually the best bulwark against Erdogans and Guls of this world. Because Turkish Army (and particularly its officers corps) is staunchly secular and pro Kemal-Pasha's (Ataturk's) reforms.

    If fundamentalists ever raise their ugly turbaned heads in Turkey, the Army will just do to them what it's always done best: KISIM!

    Insh Allah :-)

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