Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html en-gb 30 Wed 01 Jul 2015 13:08:37 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html dennisjunior1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=99#comment249 Mark Mardell:It is a pandemic that the United States is going to deal with...Withthe ongoing problems of homelessness and its side effects....=Dennis Junior= Sun 08 Nov 2009 01:29:09 GMT+1 Pat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=99#comment248 InterestedForeigner, Gavrielle_LaPoste , fluffytale, and RomeStu - I look forward to continued intelligent posts. Thank you.And thank you my fellow Americans. In the land of the ignorant and misinformed, TV news reigns supreme. These forums exist because of us. Yes, I am ignorant and misinformed about many things. I find the truth in places like this from people that know. God bless America, land of the free, home of the brave where you can share your opinion with millions, no matter how wrong it is.The stimulus, which I was never asked to vote on, was the US Government paying off debt that some foreign countries called due. We had to pay the margin call that other people created with greed and negligence.The spinning plates known as the US economy require constant attention or they will all come crashing down. October 08 saw some of those plates fall. Obama made more plates (stimulus dollars Let's just print more money) and replaced the ones that fell. No real new jobs were created. Businesses did not see a sudden increase in consumer spending. The foreign investors didn't see a rise in the dollar. The unemployment rate has risen since Oct 08. Over 35% of the unemployed have been out of work for six months or more. Our economy just repaired some damage that was done by greed. I believe that if the taxpayers are required to provide the money for an economic stimulus that we get a check to do with as we please. The Feds were able to provide a check for taxpayers in '08, why not provide a BIG check in '09. It is my belief that if every American TAXPAYER were given, $5072.46 (700 Billion dollars div by 138 Million taxpayers)we would spend it. Some would save it, helping build the bank's deposits. Most of us would spend it frivolously, just like the tax rebate checks.The stimulus was not about stimulating the economy. The stimulus, TARP, whatever the Feds call it, was for the purpose of covering the fallout from greedy companies and a few despicable individuals like Bernie Madoff ($50Billion (that we know of) of other people's money)Of course, this is an unrealistic expectation, but it would sure be nice.America is not like other countries. We don't care if we stay in debt. So what if we owe you money. Try and collect it. Just look at the current average consumer debt.Our Government wants to keep us just as we are.We drive our SUV's to the drive-thru to get dinner on our way to pick up the kids at daycare, so we can go home and watch our 64" Hi-Def flat-screen TV sitting on our financed furniture in our re-financed home while trying to figure out how to buy the newest gadget with maxed out credit cards. Cut me a check for $5k and I will do my part to keep the retail businesses open. I will buy groceries. I will fill up my gas-guzzling truck. Yes, give me money that I am paying for with my taxes and I will be happy. Take that money and give it to some company I don't do any business with and allow them to cover their losses, and give HUGE bonuses to the top people, well, that just don't set right with me.Most Americans, Right or Left, feel the same about one thing:Don't impose your will on me unless I give you permission.That's what most of the debate over healthcare, or most any government program is rooted in. Who has the final say?Let's hope it is still the voters and that democracy lives on strong in our great nation.-Pat Sat 07 Nov 2009 23:59:35 GMT+1 Gavrielle_LaPoste http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=98#comment247 @ InterestedForeignerNicely done. Tue 03 Nov 2009 20:42:25 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=98#comment246 238 ranter. i agree with that.;) Tue 03 Nov 2009 16:18:56 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=98#comment245 IF well said. in them posts 242 243 Tue 03 Nov 2009 16:16:23 GMT+1 RomeStu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=97#comment244 IF - 242,243Good posts .... I hope your seeds of knowledge don't fall on stony ground!As ever you are a calm voice of reason in a maelstrom of hatred and lunacy. Tue 03 Nov 2009 08:17:01 GMT+1 dceilar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=97#comment243 #240 DustyAmerica is still a great country, as soon as we kick out the crazies in DC.Seems as if the Radicals do nothing but complain.Oh really! You don't say! It's a good job you right whiners don't complain? Tue 03 Nov 2009 07:43:52 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=96#comment242 Let's take the first posting:"239. At 11:24pm on 02 Nov 2009, Dusty1776 wrote:Americans are the most generous than any other country.We have always taken care of our own. Obama's stimulous bill has not helped but just a few. We are outraged at all of his trillion dollar bills, we do not want Govt. sponsered health care,or Cap and Trade. Conservatives are fighting mad. We will not vote for any Democrat that does that. Wait til 2010! We are being treated horribly by the Democrat,and even me. I am a Democrat but have the good sense to see thru, this man. I did not vote for him,because he is not worthy of being President, he is a Chicago thug."_______For a start, without being a grammar or spelling troll, we all make mistakes in typing, but you might want to proof-read your posts._______"Americans are the most generous than any other country.We have always taken care of our own."In my experience Americans are very generous, and particularly to strangers in need. But why contradict that statement, which resonates with the fundamental goodness of America, with a statement that is inherently small minded and selfish: "We have always taken care of our own"?________"Obama's stimulous bill has not helped but just a few. We are outraged at all of his trillion dollar bills, we do not want Govt. sponsered health care,or Cap and Trade."Ok. But haven't the majority of the beneficiaries been Republicans, or financial institutions owned or controlled overwhelmingly by Republicans? Is it possible that the reason that the House and Senate passed these bills was that there was a financial crisis worse than anthing since the Great Depression?What would you have done instead?Would you have preferred that the banking system collapse? Would that have been a better alternative?Do you really want to live through 1931 again? My parents and grandparents lived through those times, and carried the marks of that experience ever after.Do you really think it is "Obama's" stimulus bill? Do you really believe that the need for those drastic financial measures can be laid at the feet of a man who became President on January 20, 2009?_______"We are outraged at all of his trillion dollar bills" There is only one. To suggest that there is a plurality is simply wrong._______"We do not want government sponsored health care" Well, first, that is a bit of a non-sequitur, since the health care bill has nothing to do with the economic stimulus package. Second, why do you care whether it is government sponsored or not? Is not the issue whether Americans have effective health care, at reasonable cost? Are you aware that virtually every other major industrialized country has public health care, and not one of them pays anything like as much as America? Their results are just as good overall, and whereas America spends 16 % of GDP on health care, (and leave 45M Americans without coverage), other comparable countries typically spend 7 - 11% of GDP on healthcare, and yet provide coverage for all of their citizens. Are you aware that virtually any publicly funded system, even a relatively inefficient one (assuming, conservatively, that America can't figure out how to run a public healthcare system as efficiently as any other developed nation) would save the average US family roughly $ 5000. per year over the present privately funded insurance system? Of all the systems on offer, the existing private insurance scheme is by far the most expensive, it offers the poorest breadth of coverage, it creates a de facto import subsidy working against American manufacturers; and it creates perverse incentives in employment practices._______"...,Or cap and trade." Well, again, this is a non-sequitur, since the stimulus package has nothing to do with cap and trade. At a basic level, do you not recognize and accept that it is a basic postulate of economics that the price of economic activities should capture their negative externalities? If you accept that basic premise, then what approach would you prefer to the problem of uncaptured economic costs of fossil fuel combustion? Cap and trade allows the real economic price of those externalities to be found in the marketplace, and permits the burden of solving the externality to flow to the lowest cost alternative. This is fundamentally sound economics. Not entirely surprisingly, it is an approach that has been advanced by the ecomonists at the University of Chicago, one of the leading free-market schools of economics in the world. Have you got a better idea?_________ "Conservatives are fighting mad." Well, I am an economic conservative by any reasonable measure, and you clearly do not speak for me. There are people who call themselves Conservative, but who are just plain mad. We've seen that before. In good measure they are the very people who got us into this mess._________"I did not vote for him,because he is not worthy of being President, he is a Chicago thug." "A Chicago thug"? Hardly. John McCain, who I rather like, and whose values I share, called him "a decent family man". As far as I can tell, in John McCain's value system, "a decent family man" is about as high a compliment as John McCain can pay another man. President Obama is an high level academic with friends and professional colleagues at the University of Chicago, Harvard, and elsewhere. He is about as far from being a thug as any President back to FDR or Wilson. To suggest, following the manifestly unqualified GW Bush that President Obama is not "worthy" of being President is rich.__________Moving on to 240:"240. At 00:55am on 03 Nov 2009, Dusty1776 wrote:Liberals in America love trashing our country,..."___________I have really strong doubts that you know what the word "Liberal" means. I am an economic Liberal, in the purest and most classical sense. A Liberal is someone who believes in the function of markets, and prefers that state intervention in the markets be kept to a minimum. That puts me fairly far to the right of center on the political spectrum.The abuse, and misuse of the term "Liberal" as some kind of insult in American political discourse is, with respect, a fairly sure sign that the speaker is utterly ignorant of the meaning of the word, and of much else. It is a habit that merits contempt. Before you use the term again, you might try learning what its origin is, and what it means._________"... the majority of us will get it back to what the Constitution is, in better shape than ever,and God is important in our lives."Well, when was the last time you actually read the US Constitution? We see a lot of posting like this here, and almost invariably the people who shout about the Constitution do not know what they are talking about. If you have a constitutional argument to make, quote the article of the Constitution to which you refer, and cite any supporting case law. Otherwise people are likely to infer you don't know what you are talking about.Please keep in mind that the US constitution was written by leading thinkers of the Age of Reason. They were "free thinkers". By most measures, they would be considered atheists in the present day context. They would certainly not be evangelical Christians by any stretch of the imagination. The US has "Freedom of Belief" for the purpose of keeping God out of the Legislature, the Executive branch, and the courts.________"Obama's is the worst President, ..."Oh, for Pete's sake.The man has been in Office nine months. He followed the worst President since Buchanan, if not of all time. Give it a rest. Tue 03 Nov 2009 04:40:44 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=96#comment241 239, 240 Dusty1776.I do not recall having seen you post here before, although some of what you write is so familiar, it sounds almost scripted.There are some very bright, very thoughtful, very well educated people who post here. Not, perhaps, as many as formerly. But still.There are some people here who are extremely broadly read in the humanities, and in history in particular.Although we have some trolls, and some people with plainly evident personality disorders, by and large the discussion here is just that: discussion.Sit down, have a drink of tea or coffee, and then go back and read your posts again. Do they really look like the postings of a thoughtful or educated person?No, they don't, do they?Do they look like postings that are going to be persuasive?No, they don't, do they?So what is the point of making postings like that?We have our disagreements here, but by and large the posters here are not mean, and even the grouchy ones have a streak of friendliness and goodness inside.If you post a well structured and interesting argument, you will always find there are people here who will engage that argument. But please keep in mind that most of the people who participate in the discussions here are not idiots. Don't write to them as if they are.Yours,IF Tue 03 Nov 2009 03:39:38 GMT+1 misspearl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=96#comment240 239, 240 - With you on the job, no one else needs to bother trashing the USA; you're setting a fine example of a "typical" American. Has it ever occurred to you that the opposite of progressive is regressive? You might want to look that up. Tue 03 Nov 2009 01:11:58 GMT+1 Dusty1776 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=95#comment239 Liberals in America love trashing our country, the majority of us will get it back to what the Constitution is, in better shape than ever,and God is important in our lives.The Liberals are a tiny part of the USA. Do not even listen to those Radicals. America is still a great country, as soon as we kick out the crazies in DC.Seems as if the Radicals do nothing but complain. We do not want any more trillion dollar bills,to come thru. Obama's is the worst President, and deceived so many people. I was not one of them, judge a man by the people he has around him,like Bill Ayers,Jerimiah Wrigt and all of the Progressives in the White House. I am tired of the remarks trashing our country, look at your countries, first. We helped you in WW1 and ww11. Tue 03 Nov 2009 00:55:22 GMT+1 Dusty1776 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=95#comment238 Americans are the most generous than any other country.We have always taken care of our own. Obama's stimulous bill has not helped but just a few. We are outraged at all of his trillion dollar bills, we do not want Govt. sponsered health care,or Cap and Trade. Conservatives are fighting mad. We will not vote for any Democrat that does that. Wait til 2010! We are being treated horribly by the Democrat,and even me. I am a Democrat but have the good sense to see thru, this man. I did not vote for him,because he is not worthy of being President, he is a Chicago thug. Mon 02 Nov 2009 23:24:05 GMT+1 ranter22 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=94#comment237 Fluffy:Ok, but you do know that many of those people are shareholders of the medical business empire. So that either way the win. It is like the insurance companies that offer coverage in a dry place and if it ever rains, they cry out 'reform'. In effect the higher costs would be justifies all by themselves and people (most)would be glad to pay. Under the guise of helping the people they sabotage their own success and then they get paid twice. Once from the government in the form of bailouts, and then again from limiting lawsuits in the way of tort reform. not to mention higher profits by discouraging so called frivolous lawsuits. There is a fraternal partnership(not publicly reported) between high ranking members of government and private enterprise, that there is no way for one member to point to the other because if they did so, it would be a lose lose position. We, the underclass(with regard to money only)wouldn't be able to find a safe haven, even if we moved to Venus.(The Planet). Only one thing would have made the difference and it is now too late for it. The complete failure of the companies in control right now and the disbanding of buffer corporations which advance wealth to the troubled companies. That won't happen now. The giant boulder must continue to move, the ones who fall under it will be crushed by the movement. They will serve as grease to ease the friction caused by the heat of motion and continuity. No one wants to yell, hey, stop the rock, my friend just fell under it! So, they will live with the remorse and count their shares later, when the job is done. The cow was on steroids and had a lesion within its bowels, it was producing only 3 quarts of milk. Time for a new cow.One time a bull destined for the slaughter jumped out of line and tried to run away. It was caught later, but due to its remarkable feat which never had happened before, it was spared the death sentence and was allowed to roam freely till its death. (true story)Also the pyramid builders wouldn't stop a moving stone since it took great effort by many, many workers(slaves and paid slaves)just to get it to begin its journey. Mon 02 Nov 2009 20:27:23 GMT+1 _marko http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=94#comment236 To MagicKirin1) RE: use of teleprompterYou object to Obama's use of a teleprompter. Does this objection extend to previous presidents?2) You've mentioned in the past that Obama has racist supporters. If a racist supported your views, would it devalue your posts? Mon 02 Nov 2009 16:27:58 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=94#comment235 ranter Why not on Clinton's watch. Clinton had tried to mess with health care. they were not about to jack their prices up to start the ream under that leadership but waited to see the compliant and soft on allowing the rich to fleece the country Bush take over at which stage they were told "have at it buddies lets make money" When the finance arms of those hospitals saw they could bankrupt families and get houses for near free they jumped. to much they ruined their own cash cow. like the parasites they are. If they had been more saprophytic they might have carried on milking the cow for ever.They weren't Mon 02 Nov 2009 14:54:49 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=93#comment234 MA" I never said anything about medical costs. We were talking about why the economy collapsed. " I know you didn't say anything about medical costs. you are too busy screaming europe this and that to notice the real world. Those medical costs were what caused the economy to collapse. But fools like you forget that bank forclosures were PRE ceded by medical bills going up at rates way above inflation. Those houses thrown into foreclosure started dropping the house prices around them. It Started at the Hospitals. But fool spend a lot of time ignoring that fact. And fools like you who have no honesty have probably been misrepresenting the truth for your own profits while you scream ,fanny mac.Carry on Ignoring the medical costs part in this collapse and the world will say "why invest in a country that cannot invest in itself." Mon 02 Nov 2009 14:48:50 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=93#comment233 For MA2 What makes you think with wings and harp He floats around heaven having a lark The mischief he caused and time will tell Sam Adams in the after life, ain't done so well Mon 02 Nov 2009 12:44:11 GMT+1 ranter22 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=92#comment232 "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! --tear up the planks! here, here! --It is the beating of his hideous heart!"THE TELL-TALE HEARTby Edgar Allan Poe1843 "Villains!" I shrieked, http://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper/POE/telltale.html Mon 02 Nov 2009 02:07:30 GMT+1 ranter22 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=92#comment231 Stellar, sometimes I just want to scream!Sometimes Mon 02 Nov 2009 01:27:11 GMT+1 David http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=92#comment230 Oh and no offense, to Republicans, independents, democrats and others ...venting or thinking aloud can be hurtful.Watch what you think, you might hurt somebody, is not something that a parent says to their child.Tho, I have heard that it IS dangerous to think, you might end up saying THAT thought :) Mon 02 Nov 2009 01:15:22 GMT+1 David http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=91#comment229 Thank you ranter, you said so much with so much substance as do Gavrielle and UkWales. Interesting stuff, that is fun and relevatory instead of insulting (intelligence) and negative (urs is neutral and therefore definitely interesting to read).Just an observation. Alot said and alot communicated.:) Mon 02 Nov 2009 00:57:24 GMT+1 ranter22 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=91#comment228 Regarding the writers of the constitution:The Idea behind the concept was a noble one, however the inclusion or consideration for others (non Anglo) was concealed still within their hearts.The documents never considered the consideration of many (and its inception)and subsequent amendments or civil rights law which came much further along. The Object was to maintain control within pretty much civilized reason and appease the people.Some were instantly relieved, while others were appalled.Not one of them (perhaps) thought that any group or individual would come into their private club, that was not (A.S.) like themselves. The governing powers did all they could do to insure a very tightly knit kinship. There was not only bigotry, which extended throughout our nation, also there was the mistaken belief that a Negro could never be smart enough to occupy a civil post. Yet the fight continued, when not on paper, in the hearts and minds of many. Every opportunity to sabotage the success of a non good old boy was used. If many had their way, there would not be a single Black person in America today, Let alone in Africa.Things and people do change, Some began or already had convictions about this maligned way of life, and with their help, history is what it is today here in America. The racists and bigots are still around, just use more subtle tones and means. There are also very vocal ones and it is their prerogative to be who they want to be.Anyone who questions the founding fathers work can do so, all I want to say about that is they were correct in writing these documents and although they were expecting to be the only ones to ever make use of them, they are still valid today.Changing the context or meaning of their words is tantamount to moving the carrot, at a time when we all can benefit from their vision.There are some additions we can make on top of those, additions like those that we have come to represent in our society now.The liberties and freedoms by which we embrace our culture, That no one may dictate our persuasions. Personally, I do not have to like another persons way of life but, I do not condemn them as an individual or group.A person is a person is a person, Woman, Gay, Black, White, Spanish or whichever the case may be. A fact I will point to, if It is indeed a fact. Guiding principals are a matter of personal preference, and even the law has to at times make provisions. Otherwise we would all be criminals.Unless I misunderstood, any of our 50 states can and have the right to (if justified) break away from the union. The USA body is not all by itself the law.Soros, George has been a clever manipulator in the financial aspect, I am not so sure He is a Conservative though. Barney, F. was aware of a problem, He denied the existence of any real danger to the economy. Bush also knew of the problems and it blew up in our time. What I ask is, why in our time? Why not during Clinton's watch?Telle est la vie.Things, as far back as I can recall where the news media was influenced quite easily by our government, first began to not make sense, was during the Vietnam era, where every time a few soldiers from our side were killed, it was suppressed and a report of hundreds of enemy casualties was reported instead.Every single bit of news was first approved by our government, and to report otherwise made you a commie. The media seemed to be alright with that, as they perhaps felt it their patriotic duty.When more and more people became aware of this, they began to allow the press into combat areas and later interfered, not so much.I have yet to see a president compelled to take a polygraph test. It is my belief none would pass anyway.So, we live by the lies we are told. The media now slants everything in their own way. Some favor the government and some the people.I have seen clips on the news (not on national tv) where the interviewer or reporter thinks of him/herself as though they were the district attorney in a murder trial, ruthless and biased. A few hundred years of growth has inspired us greatly, our technology has replaced our ability to exhibit compassionate comportment.Hopefully I am mistaken, As things keep looking more grim each day for us. The patience of a multitude of people is being tried, and tried. How much more before there is no more we are willing to sacrifice. The temperament of the ultra wealthy is against us, while their cup is flowing over with profits, their taskmasters are even now ordering our production to increase at a much lower wage. Greed of these few has no end, and the logic that would make Afghanistan a country with elected officials stands in question.Is it going to be another cheated election or is it even going to be accepted by the ones opposing any outside influence?The Afghanistan of tomorrow may still become the killing fields for many.Clinton barking in their ear isn’t going to scare anyone, not at least any more scared than they may already be. This affair in my own estimation is not winnable. Israel does no longer have a leash. If the US were to say, we are no longer going to support you, they would say fine see you.They have all they need and can continue on their own. They do not have a proliferation treaty and refuse to have one. Iran, and several others have no treaty as well. But Israel does have nuclear sites and has enriching capabilities and can independently wipe out half the world. So much power, for such a small and relatively new country. Go figure. Here is how I feel most of the time:The same right that the government uses to ask or yet tell us what it has in mind for our own good, ought to be used on the extremely rich and cheap.What if the people said, almost all at once, either we get treated like the prosperous Americans that we are or we stop paying taxes.Ask the wealthy to bail out America from its debts and get paid over many life times in minute installments. Funding wars that can only bring us to rip each others throats out is not an option. Bringing plans that limit our health care is preposterous. Treating our citizens like they were the cause of all of this chaos is outrageous. If we are so blessed in this country, then why are we struggling just to survive. The worst of it is that this situation is not expected to abate any time soon, or within our lifetime. But it is just fine to give raises to the roman guards and their friends. Just exactly what is the name for that? The worst case of social injustice since the slavery days in America. With one fell swoop, all of our hopes and plans for future advancement has been axed. Now it isn’t should we save uncle Joe or aunt Elena , but rather lets pull the monetary plug because it is either them or us. Do you see the picture? Stay home and take some Oxycodone and save the wealthy the money for that costly operation! That fine good ole all American, (strike that) great American citizen. Surely their interest is more important. I would rather share my food and money with my poor neighbor than be rich at their expense and life. Sharing food and water amongst ourselves, even if just for a while, beats hogging it for myself only to live a few more weeks. That is me, and now you know. Why is it that we have been blinded to what is going on? We are no better off, nor do we expect to be any time soon, than the people we used to give charity to. And all this, right here in ‘America.’Obama, find your way back to the people of the USA, Washington does not feel the impact and is not representative of everywhere else. Sun 01 Nov 2009 23:08:34 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=90#comment227 post 223 Gavrielle la post.Thank you for your incredible reply to my post.The drift into the EU now seems unstoppable and what is one able to do about it?Why the UK did not stay commited to the old commanwealth, escapes me totally.The long shadow of WW1&2 still haunts Europe.Nearly every town and village in the UK has a list of the names of the fallen,some of those lists are very long,but anything(they say),would be preferable to such suffering again.Sadly mainland Europe has never had our best interests at heart either, but then again Germany was willing to sacrifice the mighty Mark in exchange for the Euro to the general good of Europe.What concerns me is US and EU tension, with our voice lost, and yes, it will be a bad day when this happens.. Sun 01 Nov 2009 23:01:15 GMT+1 Gavrielle_LaPoste http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=90#comment226 226. At 10:04pm on 01 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:You call it clever, I call it disgusting.You're just upset because it works. And if we learned it from anyone, we learned it from the Romans. Who no doubt stole it from the Egyptians. Who probably got the idea from the Hittites. Who probably learned it from the Akkadians and Sumerians. Who, of course, ruled Mesopotamia, also known as Iraq, 5000 years before any of us were born. You know what they say: What goes around comes around. Sun 01 Nov 2009 22:54:49 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=90#comment225 LOL! Like that's something you had to tell me! Of course we target the leaders. We've been doing that since we violated the Rules of Warfare against the British in 1775 after Concord and Lexington. On the long march of British troops back to Boston the local militias wiped out or wounded more British officers than they did common men. It's nothing new, and your patriotic guerrillas would do it too, if we didn't already make sure our commanders don't wear any distinguishing symbols of rank in the field. Clever, eh?-------------------------------------------------------------------------And I am not talking about military commanders, I am talking about the political or organizational leaders..kill their leaders and leave the people like orphans, that too has been by the way is british..but most openly used by israel and now usa..You call it clever, I call it disgusting.. Sun 01 Nov 2009 22:04:01 GMT+1 Gavrielle_LaPoste http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=89#comment224 224. At 9:26pm on 01 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:now, you know, why your government and that of israel, drone or target kill the leaders of those they invade..LOL! Like that's something you had to tell me! Of course we target the leaders. We've been doing that since we violated the Rules of Warfare against the British in 1775 after Concord and Lexington. On the long march of British troops back to Boston the local militias wiped out or wounded more British officers than they did common men. It's nothing new, and your patriotic guerrillas would do it too, if we didn't already make sure our commanders don't wear any distinguishing symbols of rank in the field. Clever, eh? Sun 01 Nov 2009 21:49:01 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=89#comment223 Then bear in mind that the uprising in America was led by upper middle class lawyers and businessmen. They agitated, propagandized and eventually funded the war, not the common people, who had little to gain as opposed to men with shipping, manufacturing and other interests then controlled by Parliament. John Hancock, for instance, supposedly made his fortune bootlegging tea and rum from the West Indies.------------------------------------------------------------------------now, you know, why your government and that of israel, drone or target kill the leaders of those they invade.. Sun 01 Nov 2009 21:26:40 GMT+1 Gavrielle_LaPoste http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=88#comment222 220. At 7:47pm on 01 Nov 2009, ukwales wrote:I have always struggled to try and understand the frame of mind that resulted in an armed civil war.Then bear in mind that the uprising in America was led by upper middle class lawyers and businessmen. They agitated, propagandized and eventually funded the war, not the common people, who had little to gain as opposed to men with shipping, manufacturing and other interests then controlled by Parliament. John Hancock, for instance, supposedly made his fortune bootlegging tea and rum from the West Indies.Like most of American history, it was all about business. And there was nothing personal against George III. He was merely a convenient focal point for the Adams propaganda machine. It's hard to demonize a large group of men who are on record as having differing opinions, but a King is an easy target. No one with any real understanding of the situation back then blamed George. In their letters they blamed Parliament. Which may be why John Adams was accepted at George's Court as the American Ambassador and Jefferson, who'd written such slanderous lies in the Declaration of Independence, was snubbed when he visited as our Ambassador to France.The taxes that were levied to help pay for that security were not as punitive as suffered by the general population back in Gt.Britain.Ok, British officialdom was and still is, high handed, but no taxation without representation was the case back home also.There is no doubt that America owed Britain a good sum of money for its defense. There is also no doubt that the colonial governments were willing to pay their fair share. If, and only if, the colonial governments were approached separately as independent, autonomous governments, who would then levy the specific taxes themselves and authorize payment to Great Britain. It was the heavy handed, across the board taxing of all the colonies as a whole that was the point of contention. But Britain, which had been distracted for many years with wars, wished to regain complete control over their far too independent colonies. Where violations of the trade rules, i.e. what American businesses were and weren't allowed to do to avoid competing with Britain, had grown endemic.For example, Americans were allowed to produce cotton, but not allowed to manufacture their own cloth on a large scale. They were allowed to produce dyes, but those dyes had to be shipped back to England for their textile manufacturers' use. Americans couldn't legally pick up a shipment of tea in India and sell it back in the colonies, but were required to purchase exclusively from the West India Company.When Britain wasn't looking, Americans began to rule themselves and by the time Parliament noticed it was too late to stop the forward momentum. And the businessmen who'd made fortunes circumventing what they considered onerous British laws, weren't about to lose their lucrative trades. And were, in fact, eager to expand if Britain could somehow be got out of the picture.Could it be said that to take up arms against the Mother country would be similar to the UK entering into armed conflict with the US after it greatly helped to secure our freedom from Hitler and stalin.Actually, it was more a war of words that time, but again about money. After the war, when Britain was on the verge of financial collapse, Parliament sent a representative, economist John Maynard Keynes, to Washington to demand the US give them a grant of money and bail them out. The same John Maynard Keynes who warned the allies at the end of WWI not to beggar Germany with reparations or it would likely incite another world war. The very same man whose writings managed to convince Woodrow Wilson not to join in the "let's all beggar Germany" fest that ensued and created Hitler. It was considered sheer gall on the part of the British to claim America was "late" to the war and therefore owed Britain a debt, when America had specifically counseled a strategy of moderation 20 years earlier that might have prevented the Second World War.In any case, no grants were forthcoming, but Britain was given a loan - which I believe was finally paid off only a few years ago. Of course, having Britain between a rock and a hard place, made it easy for the US to finish implementing Samuel Adams plan during the formation of the UN. And as MAII implied, Adams' long game, which has been part of US political/military doctrine since our separation will finally be complete once Lisbon is enacted. Now don't get me wrong. Unlike Marcus, I am not at all eager to dance on the grave of Great Britain. I am not celebrating what Adams did, merely recounting my understanding of the history behind the actual events. That Britain has long been an American target for business reasons is only a statement of fact. Because while others may have colonized, only Britain could ever truly compete with America on a scale that threatened US interests. In any event, I will not be at all happy, given the nation's long and distinguished history, and its ability to adapt to the changing world around it, to see it relegated to the equivalent of Texas. Proudly proclaiming that it once had a Prime Minister who was more than just a provincial governor. I will be very, very sad on the day that happens.Ultimately, and in answer to one of Mark's earlier questions: Does America no longer trust Britain? In light of the fact that the UK has been under sustained attack by the US for more than 200 years, perhaps Britain should be asking itself: Should we ever have trusted the US? And the simple answer to that is: No. We may have been your ally, but we were never truly your friend. But then, we are no nation's true friend. America, as always, stands alone. Sun 01 Nov 2009 21:20:57 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=88#comment221 If President Obama's goal was to seize and control large oil reserves we would not be in Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia, Lybia, Nigeria, Venezuela or postponing President Bush's decision to leave Iraq next year would be our top priorities to "follow the great oil trail".Whether people want to believe it or not, we could care less about the proposed gas pipeline through Afghanistan. We are in that country because of political considerations, not because of oil and certainly not because we want to liberate the population of Afghanistan from themselves and impose a political system that is inconsistent with their values and aspirations.-------------------------------------------------------------------------The sniffing dogs followed the great oil trail...saddam became the enemy when he went to other market of oil, taliban became the enemy when they refused to make the pipe line deal with the american company, iran became the enemy when the new government after shah did the same. Sun 01 Nov 2009 20:24:36 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=88#comment220 ukeofwails;"American friends in Parliment eventually had the taxes thrown out."That's not what American colonists who signed the Declaration of Independence believed. They believed they had no friends in Parliament;"Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends."Here's the full text;http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/freedom/doi/text.htmlIs America's war with Britain really over? Hmmm, perhaps the intervening time between 1814 and 2009 has only been a lull in the action. Just in case it is....Americans should keep their muskets and musket balls at the ready and their powder horns filled. You never know when those darned Redcoats might reappear just over the ridge. One if by land, two if by sea.... Sun 01 Nov 2009 20:08:30 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=87#comment219 Post214. Gavrielle La Poste.The past they say is a foreign country.I have always struggled to try and understand the frame of mind that resulted in an armed civil war.The Mother country had just fought a bitter seven yr world war with France. The result of that war greatly helped secure the colonies from French colonisation in the hinterland as the original 13 colonies pushed westward towards the proclamation line set by George lll.Washington was involved in the first skirmish of that war with the French.The taxes that were levied to help pay for that security were not as punitive as suffered by the general population back in Gt.Britain.Ok, British officialdom was and still is, high handed, but no taxation without representation was the case back home also.American friends in Parliment eventually had the taxes thrown out.Could it be said that to take up arms against the Mother country would be similar to the UK entering into armed conflict with the US after it greatly helped to secure our freedom from Hitler and stalin..Ps,,George lll was much maligned, ok he used to talk to the odd tree in Regents Park but hey, no-one is perfect!! Sun 01 Nov 2009 19:47:59 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=87#comment218 fluffster;" he has got the debate further than any other president in the US history . so to say he has not achieved anythign is not reallly true."Well if you call generating the most hot air about a subject in Washington DC an accomplishment I guess you are right. But that's all it amounts to so far.What are you smoking anyway? I never said anything about medical costs. We were talking about why the economy collapsed. "Sorry MA but there are plenty of right wing Americans with no time for Israel."It was true many decades ago that anti-semitism was rampant among right wingers but not anymore. Not since the evangelical right realized that for them, god's plan is for Israel to conquer the Arabs BEFORE the second coming of Jesus Christ. Now most of the right LOVES Israel. In fact I think it was Jerry Falwell who said before he died that Ariel Sharon's stroke that put him in a coma was God's revenge for giving up territory in Gaza to the Palestinians. Much of the right wing in American is more adamant about Israel going to war to capture what it sees as Israrel's prophesized territory than even the most conservative Israelis themselves are. Sun 01 Nov 2009 19:45:02 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=86#comment217 163 look little legion.you are crazy . you do know that don't you. Gordon was not snubbed he was not elevated. that is different. The missile deal was a dumb ass idea anyway and was bnkrupting the nation . Oh and the whole of the rest of europe was against the shield, and Russia. so really the Czechs lost their bribe. big deal.where's your other ghost. he makes more sense. Sun 01 Nov 2009 18:44:21 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=86#comment216 "American left wingers and nearly all Europeans I've met that Israel could " There you go. gain. Sorry MA but there are plenty of right wing Americans with no time for Israel. they just pretend they do because they want the rapture to take them because their old and tired of life. shame and sick when you see them say they love their grandchildren. they love them selves. Then there are the Americans that just hate Israel on the right. You mis represent the popularity of your cause in the states. They is a majority that see we should not supply weapons. isn't it undemocratic to ignore that? or does democracy go to hell when you are fighting your eternal war. Sun 01 Nov 2009 18:31:47 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=86#comment215 as put on the box earlier. Obama has got a debate on health care moving. He has not dictated anything. he has allowed them old polyticks to do the dictating.On both sides. but he has got the debate further than any other president in the US history . so to say he has not achieved anythign is not reallly true. the debate was at NO public Never not over our dead bodies. Now maybe, If.But NO change???Talk of capping pay for bail out firms. did GW include that when he would have had an easy time doing it? No. The discussion is on. there are 3 more years. those that expected change so broad and so quick considering the republicans stance and behaviour is being foolish. They have not allowed it to happen and will not because they cannot play fair.213 MA you as always are wrong. medical cost went up before house prices plummeted. it was foreclosure prompted by medical bills and the ending of jobs because health care was and is so expensive that started this whole plunge. You have had it so wrong so far that your convinced "dead wrong " should be enough to convince me the opposite but I'll let history do the convincing. Sun 01 Nov 2009 18:28:24 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=85#comment214 "Adams' father was a speculator who'd bought up thousands of acres in land grants, and when the British government made such purchases illegal, and further went on to make the law retroactive, Adams Sr. was ruined."This may in part explain why ex post fact laws were made illegal under the US Constitution."...but privately swore to destroy the British Empire."Ah revenge is ever so sweet, even if it comes after you are dead. Not only the British empire but all empires. And not just Britain's empire but Britan itself. There should be a sign over the door when you exit British immigration at the airport and enter the country saying "All ye who enter here abandon hope." Financially smashed by the American financial crisis and geopolitically facing extinction as a distinct nation and people resulting from the policies of the EU, the land called Britain may remain but as a nation those in the 18th century Adams despised so much would hardly recognize their country today. From Britaina rules the waves upon whose empire the sun never set to a basket case in a mere 250 years, what a fall from power. If there is a heaven, the spirit of Samuel Adams is looking down upon worldly events smiling. And IMO the beer which carries his name is the one in the world I enjoy the most by far. Cheers Mr. Adams, here's to ya! And thanks. Sun 01 Nov 2009 17:52:58 GMT+1 Gavrielle_LaPoste http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=85#comment213 205. At 2:35pm on 01 Nov 2009, ukwales wrote:Washington was a lieutenant colonel of virginia militia in the 1750`s.he tried vigorously to be made a major in the British army,but the expence of purchasing a commission was about £2000 sterling,an enormous fig for Washingtons limited means.Alas,he was never to procure that regular army commission he longed for.If he had the out come of 1776 could well have taken a very different path. But IF`s & AND`s makes pots and pans...Wonderful bit of history on GW, but the rebellion/revolution began long before Washington and his dreams. And military prowess aside, would have happened anyway, one way or another.It actually started around 1740 with Samuel Adams, elder cousin of John Adams, when the British government came down hard on colonial land speculators starting in the 1730s. Adams' father was a speculator who'd bought up thousands of acres in land grants, and when the British government made such purchases illegal, and further went on to make the law retroactive, Adams Sr. was ruined. Sam Jr. went from being a rich landed prince-ling at Harvard to serving tables in the dining hall overnight. In 1743 his Masters thesis argued that it was "lawful to resist the Supreme Magistrate, if the Commonwealth cannot otherwise be preserved". In public, he worked tirelessly in support of "colonial rights", but privately swore to destroy the British Empire. Adams, a political genius, is often described by historians as the driving force behind the American Revolution. The spider at the center of the web, who pulled the propaganda strings to make every British misstep appear to be larger and more significant than it ought to have been. He was behind the Boston Tea Party and turned the Boston Massacre (which was really just a an attempt to collect a debt from a soldier gone horribly wrong) into a rallying cry for what had been an unpopular Independence movement.For those still arguing rebellion vs revolution it might help to know that the foundation of the insurrection was laid in the 1740s and always had a political goal from the start with an endgame of Independence in mind. What I find most fascinating is that most people don't realize that Adams' actually set the long term political policy goals for the infant US once it had gained independence from Britain. And that policy was to dismantle the British Empire that had caused his father's ruin and his personal humiliation. The US demand that the colonial powers divest themselves of all their holdings prior to agreeing to joining the United Nations was the culmination of Adams' dream - two hundred years later. Sun 01 Nov 2009 17:13:44 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=84#comment212 oh sainted one;"but one thing is clear, it didn't happen because legislation was passed in the Clinton era to facilitate house ownership to lower middle class Americans."As usual, you are dead wrong. Ultimately it was the default on these mortgages that lead to the collapse. There were other factors that magnified it but this was the root cause. As with the stock market crash in the late 1920s and early 1930s that led to the great depression, very easy credit terms were advanced to people whose only collateral was the assets bought with that credit. This created a highly speculative bubble market which inevitably had to collapse because the credit instruments were timed so that after a period of a couple of years, periodic payments to repay the loans would rise steeply. This game had been played in California successfully for decades where seemingly eternal appreciation of real estate allowed people to constantly refinance and trade up but like any pyramid scheme, it had to end. It was greatly compounded by allowing financial institutions to effectively place very heavy bets on the expectation that most of these mortgages were safe and would be paid back. This is the leverege, the multiplier which was around 10 in the US and 20 to 40 in Europe. Europe copied the US, especially the UK insofar as mortgages were concerned. On the continent mortgages may not have been so freely available but the banks were free to speculate on those CMOs and CDSs. Clinton himself admitted partial responsibility for the ensuing disaster. It was remarkable that shortly after the Lehman Brothers crisis nearly collapsed the entire world's economy a year ago Alan Greenspan testified before Congress saying "there is something about markets I don't understand." DUH! That market self regulation is no regulation and that laissez-faire capitalism under any name leads to depression? Is that what you advocated so strongly and didn't understand Mr. Greenspan? Yes it will regulate itself. Through massive bankruptcies and depression which are socially unacceptable. Inevitably any economic systems exists solely at the service of society at large.The reason why so much high end real estate is also in default sainted one is because many wealthy people had their assets tied up in investments directly or indirectly linked to the health of the financial markets and sector. That is why the rich became poor as the result of trying to give the benefits of being rich to people who were still too poor to afford what was handed over to them. You cannot make poor people rich in any large numbers that way, you are far better off finding and giving them the means to become rich on their own. That way it is sustainable. Sun 01 Nov 2009 17:09:18 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=84#comment211 Ref 206, MAIIBlaming Dodd and Frank for our economic meltdown ignores the fact that neither has the authority to make policy, and that both were members of the minority party for much of their tenure.Both parties share the blame for what happened - and so do we, the people - but one thing is clear, it didn't happen because legislation was passed in the Clinton era to facilitate house ownership to lower middle class Americans. In part, because the real estate meltdown was only one of several factors for the economic problems we are having, but also because the real estate collapse was not caused by low income people defaulting on their mortgages. I don't know what is happening in other parts of the country but in Florida, where I live, most of the foreclosures and the large inventory of available housing are luxury condos and mansions built by naive developers that thought the influx of wealthy retirees from other parts of the countries was going to go on forever. When those potential newcomers were unable to sell their houses in the Northeast and Midwest they either postponed retirement or stayed put. Our greedy investors, and the banks that lend them the money, were left holding the bag.Today you can buy $1M+ condos throughout Florida for half the original price, a fact that has not gone unnoticed to hundreds of foreigners. Sun 01 Nov 2009 16:26:55 GMT+1 frayedcat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=84#comment210 "We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap." - Kurt Vonnegut #206 - remember the tale of King Midas? Sun 01 Nov 2009 16:23:58 GMT+1 Gavrielle_LaPoste http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=83#comment209 200. At 11:39am on 01 Nov 2009, MagicKirin wrote:Media Matters is funded by liberal activist George Soros it only reports on alleged conservative bias. So take them as seriosuly as you would the Daily KosThat's not entirely true. They also call out MSNBC fairly frequently when they get sloppy with their reporting standards. And facts are facts. They don't lean one way or another.But the bigger issue in reporting facts these days comes from the lack of unbiased source material. At one time, the US had a huge nonpartisan research apparatus compiling data for use by all political parties, branches of government and non-governmental agencies. Every year tons of material was published and made available to anyone and everyone. The researchers and compilers of the material were simply government employees who held their jobs through every administration and were beholden to none. When Newt Gingrich gained control of the House in 1994 he deliberately dismantled this important in-house aid to governing and farmed out most of the business of research to conservative think tanks under the guise of making government smaller and more efficient through privatization.So when you hear a congressman say he doesn't know the actual numbers, that's because his aides can't simply make a phone call to the appropriate department and get the stats - even incomplete ones. Much of it is now contracted out and they have to wait on the material - and there have been problems with quality control as well. But that does not excuse misquoting the numbers or making them up on the spot. And that's what Media Matters is best at: collating the actual documented facts and figures and putting them out there. Along with having people willing to sit through hours and hours of video and audio tapes counting the political references made one way or another in order to confirm or discount claims of media bias. Anyone willing to do the same could easily contradict them if they get it wrong. And while I've heard lots of people say that Media Matters is biased and should be ignored, I've never seen any actual proof from their accusers that they've consistently, and to the detriment of one party or another, gotten it completely wrong. Sun 01 Nov 2009 16:20:01 GMT+1 frayedcat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=83#comment208 #206 Does everyone become poor? Or do we try to make it so everyone has just enough. You can still have a pretty good time without being rich...see this linkhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snzLrrS-kls&feature=related Sun 01 Nov 2009 16:15:24 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=82#comment207 195. At 05:47am on 01 Nov 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:"Obama's policies seem to be falling apart. ..."________Strangely, I agree with that statement.Right now, I can't see how anybody can tell whether he is winning or losing, so to speak. He is trying to juggle so many difficult problems all at one time. Still, none of the balls has fallen to the ground yet.It is a measure of the times that, nonetheless, he is doing better than expected. It's that old saw about making sausages and making laws.Rome wasn't built in a day, and fixing America's problems isn't going to be done in a day either. Sun 01 Nov 2009 16:05:07 GMT+1 frayedcat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=82#comment206 Here's an uplifting linkhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBArU8pFshc&feature=related Sun 01 Nov 2009 15:59:42 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=82#comment205 MK, the only concessions for people of the mindset of American left wingers and nearly all Europeans I've met that Israel could make that would satisfy them are concessions that would amount to a national suicide pact. It won't happen. Perhaps with the election of Natanyahu, Israel has reawoken to its dire plight of being surrounded by enemies who want to destroy it in a world that largely sides with them. How fortunate that the one ally Israel needs, the US is firmly on its side. Even President Obama can't stand in America's way on that issue. If he tries, he will be swept away like straw in the wind himself. One reason for such widespread hatred of America around the world is its unflinching total support for Israel's security. That hatred is sure evidence America is doing something right. oh sainted one, of course Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd did everything they could do block investigations. They know that if any reasonable investigation were held, among those at the top of the list of people responsible for the fiasco would be them. They and their do-gooder policies of wanting every American to own a home even if they couldn't possibly afford it bankrupted the entire world. But there is far more blame to go around including for many Republicans, President Bush II among them. He wanted the same thing. When you rob from the rich to give to the poor instead of helping the poor become rich themselves, everyone becomes poor. Sun 01 Nov 2009 15:22:40 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=81#comment204 post,199 deceiler.Washington was a lieutenant colonel of virginia militia in the 1750`s.he tried vigorously to be made a major in the British army,but the expence of purchasing a commission was about £2000 sterling,an enormous fig for Washingtons limited means. Alas,he was never to procure that regular army commission he longed for.If he had the out come of 1776 could well have taken a very different path. But IF`s & AND`s makes pots and pans... Sun 01 Nov 2009 14:35:09 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=81#comment203 ref #202Don't you think it is a good idea to provide some evidence when making a claim? The rationale used by Rush Limbaugh and FOX News to describe President Obama's tour, and particularly his visit to Egypt, as an "apology tour" was that in addition to having the audacity of visiting and talking to Muslims he presssured the Israelis to make concessions and find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian impasse.In effect, and according to right wing fascists, anything that defuses the many crises that exist throughout the world and make the need to invade developing nations and impose our will on others constitute appeasement, is an apology, and is tantamount to political sacrilege. _____________________________-Dominick: do you? does Fluff brain Simple simon and Jhonny Dublin? In regard to the Israel/Palestinians situation: go towww.bostonglobe.com; which you will agree is not a right wing paper. there is an article saying how Israel has made concessions(maybe not enough for you) but some and how it is the Palestinians who refuse to come to the table.Which is the status quo for most of the Arab countries, all of their preconditions met before negoiations. Sun 01 Nov 2009 13:45:19 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=80#comment202 Ref 184, Magic"(What support blocking strong sanctions)"Precisely. Sanctions don't work when the country targeted can sell China all the oil it wants and the only thing we can do is sit and watch. The sanctions proposed by the Bush administration were not only unenforceable, they were designed to perpetuate a crisis considered critical by its neocon sponsors to justify our adventurism and "defense" spending. The recent breakthroughs, and especially the distinct possibility of Iran agreeing to enrich uranium overseas, which denies them the ability to develop nuclear weapons, is a testament to the benefits of diplomacy and good will over policies of fear and intimidation. "(Actually the 6 party talk with China's participation was iniated by Bush who stoped the only carrot approach of Madeline Albright. Besides NK already recieved a basketball)"Thank you for acknowledging that Bush participated and endorsed the six-party talks. Hopefully the new diplomatic initiative will produce a little more than the destruction of an obsolete nuclear plant...I don't know about basketballs, but a few old Westerns may do the trick. Sun 01 Nov 2009 12:31:58 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=80#comment201 Ref 182, Magic"Dominick why must I provide evidence for you? You could googled it yourself. You and other make opposite statements and present them as fact. when i do provide a link it is not sufficent."Don't you think it is a good idea to provide some evidence when making a claim? The rationale used by Rush Limbaugh and FOX News to describe President Obama's tour, and particularly his visit to Egypt, as an "apology tour" was that in addition to having the audacity of visiting and talking to Muslims he presssured the Israelis to make concessions and find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian impasse.In effect, and according to right wing fascists, anything that defuses the many crises that exist throughout the world and make the need to invade developing nations and impose our will on others constitute appeasement, is an apology, and is tantamount to political sacrilege. Sun 01 Nov 2009 12:00:15 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=80#comment200 Ref 178, Amerika first"Had Barney Frank and Chris Dodd not blocked an investigation of the banking industry by GWB first term Treasury Secretary then the financal meltdown that has occurred might not have occurred."Don't let Dick Cheney's continuous efforts to mislead the public influence your opinion. As members of the minority party during President Bush's first term, neither Sen. Frank nor Sen. Dodd were in a position to block anything Bush proposed or anything the GOP majority in Congress wanted to pass. The Democrats did not have control of the Senate until the last two years of the Bush Administration when the Democrats had 49 seats, the GOP had 49 seats, there were 2 Independents and Dick Cheney was the tie breaker. In early 2007, as new chairman of the House Finance Services Committee, Frank sponsored a bill (H. R. 1427) authorizing the creation of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), granting that agency supervisory and regulatory authority over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The new agency was required to reform the business practices of Fannie and Freddie to limit their exposure to credit and market fluctuations and other financial risks. President Bush signed the new legislation into law on July 30, 2008. Sun 01 Nov 2009 11:52:21 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=79#comment199 ref #192Media Matters is a watchdog site that reports on journalistic bias - anyone's bias. It was started several years ago by David Brock, who was deep into the "vast right wing conspiracy". I mean really deep. When he finally came up for air and realized there was absolutely nothing to any of the Whitewater charges and that he'd been a tool (in more ways than one!) of the Clinton bashing machine, he came out against media bias - including his own. The site is perhaps the most respected, even by journalists, for tracking and reporting who said what, when and the overall spin, left or right. Along with the facts and figures to back up whether they were telling the truth, lying or merely repeating unfounded rumors.________________________________-Media Matters is funded by liberal activist George Soros it only reports on alleged conservative bias. So take them as seriosuly as you would the Daily Kos Sun 01 Nov 2009 11:39:06 GMT+1 dceilar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=79#comment198 #198 BienvenueWasn't George Washington a British army General before 1776? I'm sure he fought against the French, amongst others, to keep the New world British. Makes Stellar's case about it being a civil war more compelling I think. Sun 01 Nov 2009 11:04:43 GMT+1 Al from BR http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=78#comment197 189:It seems I keep coming back to your statements, stellarBeloved. You and others seem intent on using this world forum to spread absolutely outrageous lies about Republicans, et al. I can only counter you as an alternative because people will believe what they want to believe, so I'll give it a shot.You stated, "The reason the Republicans lost is they are against all minorities." -First, you are wrong as to why the Republicans lost the previous election; there were many reasons, but this was not one of them. Second, you have no proof beyond false conjecture and assumptions that "they" meaning "all" Republicans are "against all minorities". There is zero evidence for this libellous statement. You have been used and confused by people not too dissimilar from those who went on an "outing rampage".You said, "Should we interpret it the same way as people in the 1700's interpreted it, in others words, segregation is ok as long as it doesn't discriminate..huh? But, that is the Republican way of looking at the constitution of the US." -First, this is a false interpretation. You either don't understand the correct interpretation or you do understand it, but you choose to mock it by picking an absurd and inflammatory hypothetical. Second, many people such as yourself would prefer the re-interpretation or re-definition of the Constitution to fit your morals rather than have the courts enforce the law as it is. The courts should never make law because those individuals are not accountable to the public. The proper and constitutional channel for amending the Constitution and fixing the type of out-dated language that allowed for segregation is the Congress.You said, "the war between Great Britain and the colonies was a Civil War until the Colonies Won...Then it became a REVOLUTION, afterward, when the Constitutional Congress wrote the Constitution." -First, you need to know the definition of Revolution to pronounce an event to not be one. A Revolution is defined as: an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed. That is exactly what happened. Second, your telling of history is wrong. You seem to have glossed over how revolutionary colonial independence and Republicanism was in the 1700s. You also seem to have forgotten the war time Congresses as well as the Articles of Confederation which were established well before the Constitutional Congress was held.You also said, "But, revolutionary changes have again occurred since then, therefore, now, the Constitution is dependent on the Supreme Court.And the winners of National elections for Congress and President -- especially presidents -- because they do nominate judges whom then are the maker of our laws, therefore the makers of society in the USA."-This is a telling statement which shows a profound repugnance for the Constitution, a disturbing affection and desire for statism, and a matter-of-fact assertion that such a revolution has succeeded in toppling America's traditional representative government.And lastly, you said, "So, please repugnant Republicans, just get out of the way, FOR NOW BECAUSE the majority of people *as..they..are*..want to take over the country's future course -- they, the majority, do not want the 'limited in thought and education and minority' Republicans elected, but they want the progressive and situational logicians that are the majority and whom should run the country and then take their rightful places IN POWER--AS THEY WERE ELECTED TO DO." -At least you said please. However, the Democrats can do much of what they please legislatively because they control the veto pen as well as both chambers of the Congress with sizable majorities. That is why no Republican filibuster has occurred, or why no Republican sponsored bill on healthcare has been allowed by Pelosi and Reid to come up for discussion on the House and Senate floors. The only way for Republican members of Congress to really influence the debate is by going directly to the media which largely ignores them outside of large Official Responses and controversial outbursts anyways because of their irrelevance. The Democrats are currently having issues with the uncooperative members of their own caucus, not the Republicans.Anyways, I apologize that I have picked you out again, stellarBeloved; believe it or not, I actually read the post before I read who wrote it. I also apologize to everyone for the length of my post, but I felt it was necessary. I'm not angry with you, stellarBeloved; I am just so frustrated and appalled by your post #189 that I felt I had to respond with an alternative argument. I hope you and everyone else enjoy the rest of the weekend and the Halloween festivities. Sun 01 Nov 2009 07:26:05 GMT+1 Gavrielle_LaPoste http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=78#comment196 193. At 04:28am on 01 Nov 2009, stellarBeloved wrote:It prompted Democratic party Gays to go on an "outing" rampageI don't really agree with outing anyone, although when the very anti-gay ones get caught hitting on men in public toilets or with male prostitutes, it is very funny. Funny, in that they always seem to be the most vocal "family values" types. Which, in its own way, is really kind of creepy. Sun 01 Nov 2009 06:30:44 GMT+1 Gavrielle_LaPoste http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=78#comment195 ref 194And you would know all about identity politics, because you just smeared every single member of the Democratic Party with the same broad brush strokes you accuse Democrats of using.And just to remind you, the Democratic Party in the North was never the same as the Dixiecrats - that's why they split before the Civil War, had an uneasy alliance after, and why the South finally decamped to join the Republican Party when they couldn't get their good old boy racist way anymore under Johnson.So if you have complaints about the Dixiecrats, take it up with the Republican Party. They're your problem now, not ours. Sun 01 Nov 2009 06:10:08 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=77#comment194 Obama's policies seem to be falling apart. His foreign policy so far has been an unmitigated disaster. Scotland and the rest of the UK told him where to go by releasing the convicted Pan Am bomber. The Russians snubbed him. Iran's president all but gave him the finger. Israel told him NYET re his demands for stopping contruction on the settlements. His Secretary of State just insulted the entire nation of Pakistan. Even Fidel Castro blames increases in American tourism which Obama allowed as the cause of swine flu in Cuba. Hugo Chavez told him where to go. In fact Secretary of State Clinton is trying desperately to get the Palestinians to sit down at a table to talk to the Israelis about peace. Maybe she should first get the Palestinians to sit down with the Palestinians to talk about peace.At home things are not much better. The economy is still very weak and it isn't clear that the stimulus package will work. The health care bill Obama wanted passed by the August recess is still being fought over by the Democrats themselves. Even if Obama doesn't sell out America's interests in Copenhagen it will be rougher sledding for his carbon tax scheme than it was for his health insurance plan. Only one thing to do Mr. President. Take some time off, play a round or two of golf. Relax. At least you have a job, food on the table, and a roof over your head even if it is at taxpayer expense. Sun 01 Nov 2009 05:47:44 GMT+1 Al from BR http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=77#comment193 193:"It prompted Democratic Party Gays to go on an 'outing' rampage that tore the Republican Party 'as is' Apart (sadly and [controversially] lol)"Really, I never got the sense that anything of the sort happened. I'm not up on what's bouncing around the Liberal blogosphere these days, so I must have missed this so called rampage or the obviously hilarious tearing of the Republican Party from it. I guess you're implying, like so many do for blacks and other minorities, that those gay individuals are not real gay people unless they vote Democrat.This is so typical of far-left liberals today, and sadly shows how close minded and anti-Democratic those who think like that are. And yet, they pat themselves on the back for being oh so open minded and enlightened. Rather, it’s an extreme form of identity politics, something that Democrats are disturbingly well versed in; perhaps it’s because they’ve had so much practice over the years in the formerly Solid South. Forcing people to vote for their preferred party by such organized intimidation and malicious action because of their race, gender, or sex makes them no better than the likes of the KKK or George Orwell's 1984 Thought Police. Sun 01 Nov 2009 05:21:46 GMT+1 David http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=76#comment192 # 192,Your post is a revelation to me, thank you Thank you. Someone had the guts to change from one way of thinking to another more rational, ethical, positive, IMO... way of thinking...wow. It reminds me of the Republican who came out as Gay--and said, there were so many more of him/her kind there--in that party whom were not 'Out.'It prompted Democratic party Gays to go on an "outing" rampage that tore the Republican party "as is" Apart (sadly and controversively lol)I do have to watch out for my own "triumphalist" thinking ..its so boringly hubristic :) Sun 01 Nov 2009 04:28:10 GMT+1 Gavrielle_LaPoste http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=76#comment191 ref 188Media Matters is a watchdog site that reports on journalistic bias - anyone's bias. It was started several years ago by David Brock, who was deep into the "vast right wing conspiracy". I mean really deep. When he finally came up for air and realized there was absolutely nothing to any of the Whitewater charges and that he'd been a tool (in more ways than one!) of the Clinton bashing machine, he came out against media bias - including his own. The site is perhaps the most respected, even by journalists, for tracking and reporting who said what, when and the overall spin, left or right. Along with the facts and figures to back up whether they were telling the truth, lying or merely repeating unfounded rumors.By the way, kudos to you for having the patience to type (sic) that many times. I can't be bothered to clean up the gibberish. Frankly, I'm never quite sure whether or not they're high, don't understand the purpose of spell check, or their four year old is taking dictation. Sun 01 Nov 2009 03:59:25 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=76#comment190 183. At 01:27am on 01 Nov 2009, MagicKirin wrote:Yes, well, the word "since" tells you that it must be someone nominated since George-the-Younger.Hint: She looks a lot like Tina Fey, but lacks Tina Fey's intelligence, talent, and ability._______"I assume they watch MSNBC, ..."Hardly.The critical thing is that they read broadly in the humanities, and have classical materials put before them.With due apologies to Auntie Beeb, well rounded knowledge of world affairs and appropriate historical perspective on current events can not be obtained from broadcast news services, whether TV, radio, or the web. As someone who has pursued a career in science, my experience is that:There is no substitute for the printed word.There is no substitute for a broad grounding in literature.There is no substitute for a broad grounding in history, both classical and modern.I was particularly impressed when our old friend Sam Tyler posted the one word reply "Suetonious". Now there is a man with an education.__________When Bush-the-Younger ran for office, he was unable, inter alia, to(a) identify correctly America's closest ally;(b) identify correctly America's largest trading partner;(c) identify correctly the government leader of America's largest trading partner;(d) identify correctly the single largest source of America's oil and gas imports.What an unmitigated disaster. Sun 01 Nov 2009 03:48:28 GMT+1 David http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=75#comment189 That sounded so preachy ...sorry :) Sun 01 Nov 2009 03:45:57 GMT+1 David http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=75#comment188 IMO, the reason the Republicans lost is they are against all minorities, they have outdated reason d'etre, and their modus operandi is ...outmoded.Watching a show on C-Span, where two Supreme Court justices argued how to interpret the U.S. Constitution was rather interesting.The question being, should we interpret the constitution in looking at the way it was inspired into being (the times and circumstances leading to the laws) OrShould we interpret it the same way as people in the 1700's interpeted it, in others words, segregration is ok as long as it doesn't discriminate..huh? But, that is the Republican way of looking at the constitution of the US.I E -- "OUR WAY OR THE HIGHWAY ...IS HOW WE have INTERPRETED THE CONSTITUTION".....said the inaccessible and arrogant Republicans.If that is the correct way of interpreting the US Constitution laws and amendments, then we are *:)DEAD.(:* We CANNOT change the interpretation of laws, from the past in a changing society--i.e. "society cannot change."Because our Ancestors have taken over "our lives" ---- Gay, Blacks, and "other races" than white have no rights than the 1700 thinkers gave them. And their constitution is THEIR constitution not ours!?? In the way they interpret it. That is why Republicans are Repugnant. Repugnant Republicans...Oh its ok to think differently, but not to act differently.Yukkkk.In point of fact, Marcus, you are wrong, IMO, the war between Great Britain and the colonies was a Civil War until the Colonies Won...Then it became a REVOLUTION, afterward, when the Constitutional Congress wrote the Constitution.But, revolutionary changes Have again occurred since then, therefore, now, the Constitution is dependent on the Supreme Court And the winners of National elections for Congress and President -- especially presidents -- because they do nominate judges whom then are the maker of our laws, therefore the makers of society in the USA.So, please repugnant Republicans, just get out of the way, FOR NOW BECAUSE the majority of people *as..they..are*..want to take over the country's future course --they, the majority, do not want the "limited in thought and education and minority" Republicans elected, but they want the progressive and situational logicians that are the majority and whomshould run the country and then take their rightful places IN POWER--AS THEY WERE ELECTED TO DO.Yes, Obama inspires me and many of us,because he does believe in Change--and Change does make many many people Nervous--becauseIt sounds revolutionary, doesn't it? And, it sounds perhaps too intellectually different, as well, huh? Sun 01 Nov 2009 03:29:11 GMT+1 john-In-Dublin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=74#comment187 # 182 MagicKirin wrote:"Dominick why must I provide evidence for you? You could googled (sic) it yourself. You and other (sic) make opposite statements and present them as fact. when i do provide a link it is not sufficent (sic)."1 As above - no evidence, just prejudice2 Some evidence on the so-called 'apology tour", not obtained from Faux News."Pointing to President Obama's current overseas trip during the June 3 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson asserted that "[l]ast time" Obama went to Europe and the Middle East, "a lot of people said, Steve [Doocy, co-host], that he was on an apology tour of sorts." Prominent among those "people" who characterized his April trip as "an apology tour" were many Fox News hosts, contributors, analysts, and regular guests, who often took out of context remarks Obama made during his trip to support their claim. Moreover, Fox News has trotted out its smear for Obama's current trip to Europe and the Middle East, baselessly promoting "another apology tour.""It goes on to give numerous examples. I've never heard of this site before - ironically enough, it came up on Google. Link is here - http://mediamatters.org/research/200906030039MK and Fox - Unfair and Unbalanced.... Sun 01 Nov 2009 02:39:27 GMT+1 john-In-Dublin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=74#comment186 # 179 Interestedforeigner wrote: [addressing "MagicKirin"]"This statement seems at odds with the facts, first because there clearly was another President shown astonishing disregard by foreign leaders, and second because, other than the predictable hard cases, there is not, as far as I am aware, a single instance of a foreign leader showing disrespect to President Obama. On the contrary, there have been embarrassing examples of leader after leader fawning over the poor man.""I doubted that there was any factual basis for your statement at 165, I asked for an example of a world leader, other than the predictable hard cases, who has shown public contempt for President Obama./You haven't named a single one, or identified a single incident.""So, I say again, please identify a single instance in which a credible foreign leader has shown contempt for President Obama, as you assert in your original statement at 165."Interested, I was not the first, and you probably won't be the last, to ask MK for facts to back up his prejudices. They may come when pigs fly and/or hell freezes over. Not before. Most people would be embarrassed to be constantly shown up like this. Sadly, Shame, like, Truth and Evidence, is one of the many concepts he has no grasp of. Sun 01 Nov 2009 02:31:16 GMT+1 john-In-Dublin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=74#comment185 # 174 MK"Obama's diplomacy or apology tour has brought dividens [sic] . No help from Russia and China on the nuclear threat, no quid pro [sic] from Russia for cancelling the missle [sic] defense sheild [sic] , no lessing [sic] of anti-american [sic] rehotoric [sic] from the Chavez, Morales Corea and the other latin American depsots [sic] . No overture from Arab states to Israel."So perhaps you'd like to provide evidence of exactly how and when the foreign policy of your idols Bush/Cheney achieved these goals?Of course not - evidence is a concept entirely beyond your grasp.And looking at your postings, it doesn't seem that Bush/Cheney achieved much in the fight against illiteracy either..... Sun 01 Nov 2009 02:24:39 GMT+1 john-In-Dublin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=73#comment184 # 171 Interestedforeigner wrote:"Oh, Rip-van-Kirin, you must have been asleep, blind, deaf, and sealed in a hermitage for the last eight years."Only 8 years?I applaud your efforts to deal with this person using fact, argument, logic and literacy.Unfortunately there is endless evidence on this blog that they are wasted on him - he deals only in mendacity, prejudice, bigotry, smears and pidgin English. As in Alice in Wonderland - 'words mean what he wants them to mean, no more, no less.'Since you have dared to disagree with him, it shouldn't be too long now before he smears you as an anti-Semitic terrorist appeaser. Unfortunately, since he skulks as a coward behind a cloak of anonymity, I doubt any of us have any recourse in law.[Although there have been some interesting cases in that area recently...] Sun 01 Nov 2009 02:18:50 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=73#comment183 ref #181Interestedforeigner wrote:177. At 11:32pm on 31 Oct 2009, saintDominick wrote:"Contrary to what you said, Russia has interceded and is actively engaged in solving the Iran nuclear weapons impasse. The fact that their support was given immediately after President Obama decided to end the missile deployment in Eastern Europe is not a coincidence."(What support blocking strong sanctions)"China's role in starting nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea immediately after President Wen's visit to Washington a few months ago is not a coincidence either."(Actually the 6 party talk with China's participation was iniated by Bush who stoped the only carrot approach of Madeline Albright. Besides NK already recieved a basketball) Sun 01 Nov 2009 01:29:50 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=72#comment182 ref #179As for qualifications and resumes, well, it is true that we have since seen a woman nominated for high office who was less qualified than Spiro Agnew, less qualified than Junior, and even less qualified than Dan Quayle (which really is saying something).(Yes Geraldine Ferraro was very unqualified as Walter Mondale's VP. but more qualified than Barack Obama)But I can tell you for dead certain that I have known, and do know, teenagers who had, and have, more and better knowledge of world affairs than Junior had prior to becoming President of the United States. He was shockingly ill prepared.(I assume they watch MSNBC, I have seen teenagers more knowledgible than Obama on world affairs too. Bush was more qualified than Obama he did not have a bunch of tax cheats nominated. Domesticly healthcare plan fiasco, swine flue way behind. How long are Obamaphiles going to give him a pass) Sun 01 Nov 2009 01:27:30 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=72#comment181 ref #177Dominick why must I provide evidence for you? You could googled it yourself. You and other make opposite statements and present them as fact. when i do provide a link it is not sufficent. Sun 01 Nov 2009 01:23:45 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=72#comment180 177. At 11:32pm on 31 Oct 2009, saintDominick wrote:"Contrary to what you said, Russia has interceded and is actively engaged in solving the Iran nuclear weapons impasse. The fact that their support was given immediately after President Obama decided to end the missile deployment in Eastern Europe is not a coincidence.""China's role in starting nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea immediately after President Wen's visit to Washington a few months ago is not a coincidence either."_________These were two points I deliberately did not want to highlight, although I certainly agree with you. Sun 01 Nov 2009 00:58:32 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=71#comment179 fluffster;West Germany made at least two big mistakes. First it reunited with East Germany after the wall fell. Second it got involved with France trying to run Europe. It will pay dearly both socially and economically for both mistakes. Germany has a GDP of around 2.5 trilliion dollars I think with a popultion of around 82 million. That's a sixth of America's GDP with slightly over a quarter of its population. Not as productive but still good by European standards. However, from what I've read, it is running a very high budget deficit in proportion to its GDP, much higher than America's or the UK's. This is what is keeping its economy floating but again it will pay dearly for it in the long run. IMO, the only way out of the current mess is for governments to start printing large amounts of money to allow themselves and their people to pay off debts. The US must be the first to jump. The amount must be of the same order of magnitude as what what was believed to be the wealth that disappeared when the housing bubble collapsed. The longer the US waits, the worse it will be because many people who were in no jeopardy of losing their homes, who did not have sub prime mortgages have lost income and will also lose their homes to banks. Once the US jumps, it will be safe for everyone else to follow, in fact they'll have no choice if they want to remain competitive on the US market. Otherwise their currency will continue to strengthen, their exports to the US continue to shrink. It wasn't the war that ended the great depression, it was the inflation caused by massive government spending on the war. Who will get hurt? Banks and other lenders like China. They will be paid back with devalued currency. They will get a lesson in Americanomics. Sun 01 Nov 2009 00:53:47 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=71#comment178 174. MKYour original statement was:165. At 6:48pm on 31 Oct 2009, MagicKirin wrote:"Foriegn leaders have not shown so much contempt for a U.S leader since Carter."_________This statement seems at odds with the facts, first because there clearly was another President shown astonishing disregard by foreign leaders, and second because, other than the predictable hard cases, there is not, as far as I am aware, a single instance of a foreign leader showing disrespect to President Obama. On the contrary, there have been embarrassing examples of leader after leader fawning over the poor man.By contrast, Junior Bush was shown astonishing public contempt for a period of roughly three years, where the world went about its business simply waiting for Junior's term to end, ignoring his existence as if he were at best a pariah, at worst an irrelevant non-entity (which, in fact, he had become long before the end of his term).In country after country, world leaders avoided meeting the leader of the most powerful nation on earth. They found excuses not to meet. They fobbed him off on low level functionaries. They openly ridiculed him in the press. Putin made an utter fool of him. He was very nearly persona non grata in dozens of friendly, rich, developed countries. Never before had I ever seen such a thing. Never did I imagine we would see such a thing in my lifetime.As for qualifications and resumes, well, it is true that we have since seen a woman nominated for high office who was less qualified than Spiro Agnew, less qualified than Junior, and even less qualified than Dan Quayle (which really is saying something).But I can tell you for dead certain that I have known, and do know, teenagers who had, and have, more and better knowledge of world affairs than Junior had prior to becoming President of the United States. He was shockingly ill prepared.The irony here is that in the field of foreign affairs George Bush, Sr., was a genuine expert, one of the most knowledgeable, experienced and capable men ever to become President, and one who really did have a Presidential resume. (But then again, so did Herbert Hoover, who was courted by both parties.)Barack Obama's resume on foreign affairs was thin, fair enough. I count myself amongst those who were worried about his lack of knowledge and experience in foreign affairs. But he shown an ability to learn and absorb as a fast and unexpectedly sure-footed learner. He isn't Bill Clinton - clearly academically brilliant, Rhodes Scholar, exceptionally quick witted, master of detail of every policy brief - be he is bloody good. And whoever is briefing him is bloody good, too.This is one of several things that tell me he is probably a pretty good questioner, and must without doubt be an excellent listener. His reading comprehension must be superb. (Maybe not such a surprise if he was editor of the Harvard Law Review). It is his quiet, orderly, open-minded methodology that is so very impressive. It is plain that he has an ability to study and synthesize, and when he studies it seems he drinks deep. Unlike Bill Clinton, you don't get the feeling that deep down inside he wants to become the next five day champion on Jeopardy.That ability, that versatility, which I admit I doubted, seems to be his saving grace and sheet anchor all in one. With that skill, he really is much better prepared than I feared. He may or may not be better prepared than John McCain, but in total, his level of ability is so far beyond George Bush Jr., that there really is no comparison. This is a bright, bright guy.__________Since I doubted that there was any factual basis for your statement at 165, I asked for an example of a world leader, other than the predictable hard cases, who has shown public contempt for President Obama.You haven't named a single one, or identified a single incident.You have agreed with me that Richard Nixon was never treated that way.You have admitted that Jimmy Carter, whom you despise, was never treated that way.So, I say again, please identify a single instance in which a credible foreign leader has shown contempt for President Obama, as you assert in your original statement at 165. Sun 01 Nov 2009 00:52:55 GMT+1 amerika_first http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=70#comment177 What will Obama have to do to be criticized here, make an untimely joke about people with physical disabilities? if GWB had done that, which he never did he would have been hounded by the left wing loonies. Brag about being open and transparent then hire a tax cheat as Secretary of HHS or Treasury. This is what we object to, making excuses while criticizing his predecessor. If it is wrong and immoral, then it is immoral no matter who does it. It is another case of do as I say and not as I do. Slowly his administration will unravel and become impaled upon its holy sword of righteos indignation. As far as his speaking ability, he is able to read a teleprompter much better then any president since slick willy, but that is not the same as a great orator. JFK and RFK were great orators, BHO is not in the same league with either JFK or RFK.As far what history will judge GWB presidency, the opionion of Vladamir Putin is of little regard as all he is as US Seanator John McCain said KGB KGB KGB. History may judge the BHO, as full of great promise, but nothing more then smoke and mirrors alot of potential but one of histories great under acheivers just as was Hoover.A small but important point FDR did not cure the Great Depression, WWII did. His social program kept the patient from hemorraging. As Amerika's industrial might came to power to provide weapons to the UK and USSR then the great depreesion was over as went sent our boys off to war in Europe and the Pacific. But this economic mess was in the works for the last 30 years. Had Barney Frank and Chris Dodd not blocked an investigation of the banking industry by GWB first term Treasury Secretary then the financal meltdown that has occurred might not have occurred. Sat 31 Oct 2009 23:45:28 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=70#comment176 Ref 174, Magic"Richard Nixon even after Watetgate was regard as one the great foriegn policy President of the last 100 years"I don't know about the 100 years bit, but I agree that President Nixon deserves a lot more credit for his foreign policy accomplishments than most people give him credit for. "Obama's diplomacy or apology tour has brought dividens. No help from Russia and China on the nuclear threat, no quid pro from Russia for cancelling the missle defense sheild, no lessing of anti-american rehotoric from the Chavez, Morales Corea and the other latin American depsots. No overture from Arab states to Israel."I am still waiting for evidence of President Obama apologizing to anyone. Contrary to what you said, Russia has interceded and is actively engaged in solving the Iran nuclear weapons impasse. The fact that their support was given immediately after President Obama decided to end the missile deployment in Eastern Europe is not a coincidence. Enriching uranium abroad would put our fears to rest and should pave the way to cooperation and trade instead of the constant name calling, suspicions, and the distinct possibility of a major conflict in the Persian Gulf region. China's role in starting nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea immediately after President Wen's visit to Washington a few months ago is not a coincidence either.Chavez, Morales and Correa have toned down their rhetoric, but remain intent on advancing their political agenda, which has the full support of most of their fellow citizens but is, clearly, viewed with suspicion and overt antagonism in the USA.Both the Palestinians and Israelis remain as intransigent as ever and seem determined to preserve the status quo. Hopefully, Secretary Clinton will lean on both and read them the rights act. If they don't listen we should cut off all economic and military aid until the problem is resolved. We could use the money to extend unemployment benefits at home... Sat 31 Oct 2009 23:32:40 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=70#comment175 Ref 174, Magic"(But he was never feared or do you think any country would have invaded a u.s embassy under Regan either Bushs or Clinton watch, but than Cater is a terrorist appeaser)"Magic, I have to hand it to you, you do have nerve! Have you forgotten Reagan's cut and run in Lebanon after over 400 U.S. marines were slaughtered during his watch? Have you forgotten Iran-Contra when your beloved President Reagan engaged in shady business deals with the Iranians to provide arms to the contras? If you want to find an example of a U.S. President that was not feared and was viewed with a mixture of contempt and disbelief abroad, and who engaged in the ultimate example of appeasement imaginable that President was none other than Ronald Reagan.And when it comes to daring, there are few things more perverse in our history than 9/11...which happened on Bush's watch. Sat 31 Oct 2009 23:15:58 GMT+1 ranter22 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=69#comment174 174. At 10:27pm on 31 Oct 2009, MagicKirin wrote:ref #171Obama's diplomacy or apology tour has brought dividens. No help from Russia and China on the nuclear threat, no quid pro from Russia for cancelling the missle defense sheild, no lessing of anti-american rehotoric from the Chavez, Morales Corea and the other latin American depsots. No overture from Arab states to Israel.Well now that you have managed to insult all of Latin America on this blog, I suspect that the encore will be equally refreshing.A side note and an understandable one, is that I understood, or rather believe I do understand despite what I think is a considerable amount of misspelled words, what you hastily wrote. Sat 31 Oct 2009 23:02:29 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=69#comment173 ref #171Neville Chamberlain was not a coward. A basically good, decent, well-meaning human being who was very, very foolish, yes. But a coward? No, I think not._________Oh, Rip-van-Kirin, you must have been asleep, blind, deaf, and sealed in a hermitage for the last eight years. The most reviled US leader in my lifetime, by an order of magnitude, was Junior Bush. Nobody else is even in the same league.For the last 2 1/2 to 3 years of Junior's term he was at best ignored (by relatively friendly allies); avoided like the plague by fellow travelers like Stephen Harper; and at other times openly mocked and ridiculed by other world leaders, Vladimir Putin in particular. I have never seen anything like it. It was extraordinary.Jimmy Carter, a very weak President, was never openly mocked or shown visible public disdain and disrespect in this way.Richard Nixon at the lowest self-pitying depth of Watergate was never treated this way by Foreign leaders.What news service do your perceptions of President Obama come from?In the news that I have seen, foreign leaders have been lining up six deep to squeeze into the same photo with President Obama. Desperate to brush the hem of the messiah's tunic and be saved ...Touch me, touch me, Lord; Heal me, heal me, Lord!The most laughable incident came at some meeting like the OAS, where Hugo Chavez was so farcically, desperately anxious to be seen shaking hands and fawning over President Obama.Grown adults. Leaders of Nations. No shame, no dignity. How pathetic. How embarrassing. Thankfully, at least that fawning adulation seems at last to have stopped.Other than the predictable hard cases (Iran, North Korea, Burma, and such like) who show contempt for every American leader, which foreign leader or leaders, in particular, have shown contempt for President Obama?________________________________________Unlike you, I get my information from a wide range of sources including the BBC, NYT and yes Fox News which is far more relliable than CNNFor the last 2 1/2 to 3 years of Junior's term he was at best ignored (by relatively friendly allies); (How about showing some coomon respect to a man who served 8 years and had a far better resume and wisdom than Obama)Jimmy Carter, a very weak President, was never openly mocked or shown visible public disdain and disrespect in this way.(But he was never feared or do you think any country would have invaded a u.s embassy under Regan either Bushs or Clinton watch, but than Cater is a terrorist appeaser)Richard Nixon even after Watetgate was regard as one the great foriegn policy President of the last 100 yearsObama's diplomacy or apology tour has brought dividens. No help from Russia and China on the nuclear threat, no quid pro from Russia for cancelling the missle defense sheild, no lessing of anti-american rehotoric from the Chavez, Morales Corea and the other latin American depsots. No overture from Arab states to Israel. Sat 31 Oct 2009 22:27:20 GMT+1 Gavrielle_LaPoste http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=68#comment172 169. At 9:09pm on 31 Oct 2009, colonelartist wrote:And what about the oil? If obama will do all these things, how will he follow the great oil trail?He won't, or haven't you hear--? No, of course you haven't heard. You don't follow internal American politics except where it concerns you and yours. But if you had been, you'd know we were investing in bio-fuels and other products that will make America self-sufficient. No need for foreign oil. Of course, once we've turned the Great Plains into America's new oil fields and not the world's bread basket, I expect you'll be complaining that we're starving the planet - while we eat the inexpensive and well earned fruits of our labors. Sat 31 Oct 2009 22:04:31 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=68#comment171 Ref 169, colonelartist"And what about the oil? If obama will do all these things, how will he follow the great oil trail?"If President Obama's goal was to seize and control large oil reserves we would not be in Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia, Lybia, Nigeria, Venezuela or postponing President Bush's decision to leave Iraq next year would be our top priorities to "follow the great oil trail".Whether people want to believe it or not, we could care less about the proposed gas pipeline through Afghanistan. We are in that country because of political considerations, not because of oil and certainly not because we want to liberate the population of Afghanistan from themselves and impose a political system that is inconsistent with their values and aspirations.Our biggest problem in Afghanistan is that we lost the moral high ground when we changed our original goal of destroying the Al Qaeda training camps in that country and capturing or killing Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants to an all encompassing goal that included regime change, and a cultural and judicial transformation that is not only not shared by the Afghan people, but rejected outright. The reason we can't win this "war" is because we don't enjoy the support of the population, which is solidly on the side of those fighting for the sovereignty of their country and determined to expel the invaders, the same way we would under similar circumstances.Iraq, on the other hand, was a different matter. While $1T of taxpayer's money has been wasted with little to show for it, that little adventure has been a bonanza for corporate America...particularly our oil companies, construction companies, and "security" companies. Sat 31 Oct 2009 22:00:55 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=68#comment170 165. At 6:48pm on 31 Oct 2009, MagicKirin wrote:"Foriegn leaders have not shown so much contempt for a U.S leader since Carter. People respect stregnth and honesty not appeasement look at the coward Neville Chamberlen"_________Neville Chamberlain was not a coward. A basically good, decent, well-meaning human being who was very, very foolish, yes. But a coward? No, I think not._________Oh, Rip-van-Kirin, you must have been asleep, blind, deaf, and sealed in a hermitage for the last eight years. The most reviled US leader in my lifetime, by an order of magnitude, was Junior Bush. Nobody else is even in the same league.For the last 2 1/2 to 3 years of Junior's term he was at best ignored (by relatively friendly allies); avoided like the plague by fellow travelers like Stephen Harper; and at other times openly mocked and ridiculed by other world leaders, Vladimir Putin in particular. I have never seen anything like it. It was extraordinary.Jimmy Carter, a very weak President, was never openly mocked or shown visible public disdain and disrespect in this way.Richard Nixon at the lowest self-pitying depth of Watergate was never treated this way by Foreign leaders.What news service do your perceptions of President Obama come from?In the news that I have seen, foreign leaders have been lining up six deep to squeeze into the same photo with President Obama. Desperate to brush the hem of the messiah's tunic and be saved ...Touch me, touch me, Lord; Heal me, heal me, Lord!The most laughable incident came at some meeting like the OAS, where Hugo Chavez was so farcically, desperately anxious to be seen shaking hands and fawning over President Obama.Grown adults. Leaders of Nations. No shame, no dignity. How pathetic. How embarrassing. Thankfully, at least that fawning adulation seems at last to have stopped.Other than the predictable hard cases (Iran, North Korea, Burma, and such like) who show contempt for every American leader, which foreign leader or leaders, in particular, have shown contempt for President Obama? Sat 31 Oct 2009 21:48:47 GMT+1 ranter22 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=67#comment169 All is not just about Shelters and Hope.It is also about the way of the few.Interestedforeigner: Almost all our dear presidents in the USA have had the support of granddaddy or uncle Tom to help and guide them through political savvy. Generations of like minded suitors challenging one another during the day and sharing quarters at night. You understand, totally comrades. A black man in this society has very little to hang on to, in the brotherhood of cronies. So, Obama has done one thing that no other unwhite person has ever been able to do. Would, if not for the fervor and intellect of all the people who voted Him in, Still be a Senator. Saying Bush, is saying daddy help me get elected. And He did. Who would Obama had within the Washington circle?He is the first, He has gone forward and the alternative was crystal clear. Bozo and Ugly Betty for president. True enough some form of health care needs to pass, and there is the problem we face. Not to mention Poverty, Afghanistan, Iran, Venezuela and whatever else. There is only so much one man can do. How much was the national deficit b4 O. took over and who gave the first stimulus money?Not Obama. Communism, Socialism, Marxism and Capitalism, all accomplish similar roles.In the end it is always the laymen who undergo the harshest of circumstances.To read and interpret historical claims and accounts properly, one needs to immerse oneself in the material, with open mind ness.Where it pertains to Cuba, go back to the late 1800 and re-read what happened and then fast forward to 1961 and then 1967. You will see that the taking of the Island was against the will of the Independent country and also Used the USS Maine as a ground for attack. The naine was later declared attacked by the US and its covert military, just to start the war. (this was admitted by the US)The truth of it is that If it were me and I had a choice I would have wanted every thing the way it still is there. Better to be independent than to be controlled by a country that cared so little even for its own people. There was a crew of 260 maily black soldiers in the Maine , with few exceptions and none were officers, because the officers were all on leave during the attack.hmmmm. This has been the case in Santo Domingo with the attack on the DR with the then dictator Trujillo. The Us promised support and firepower to help overthrow the dictator, and then, just like the Bay of Pigs, there was no cavalry coming to help. Now bases in Columbia are leading the way for more turmoil. The Christian reformation movement to Christianize the Iraqis and then, domesticate or prosecute them under Christian sin law. Hell, we don’t even do Christianity in the US, what, are they going to execute the atheists?Shelters, Soup kitchens, Churches, Missionaries, Red cross and all of our organizations are under stress and under budget, with some folding or closing their doors. Neighbors looking at one another and wondering what the other is doing wrong, many want to be first ion reporting the other offender. There was a time when one could just pull a bag of food to bring to a needy neighbor or friend and would not alarm anyone by doing so, not now though because that would be thievery and the culprit would be fired (even if working for free) jailed or reported to the new favorite news room.-----------------------------------------------------------------Criminals:Some years ago, a young man was gaining his priesthood within the Catholic church, about 500 years ago +-, It was a crime for anyone to challenge the church and consequently the state, which then were like Sonny and Cher.(used to be) Birds of a feather. The bible was for them to interpret and construe. Low and behold this man was named Martin Luther. So, He became a criminal because He became the Protestant that all wanted to catch and habg or burn. The Bin Ladden of that century. Perhaps not so much lik OBL, but you get the drift. Then was he a criminal? Or was he right! He must have been no criminal because many today are just like Him. It was a crime to criminalize Him. It was a crime to hang many leaders of the civil rights movement, not too long ago. As far back as 1960, in the US. It was a crime to restrict or intimidate Women, Blacks, Recently arrived legal citizens, it was criminal to look the other way when some came for your neighbor, because He/she said good morning to a young or older white woman. It was equally a crime to shoot Kent state protesters. So many crimes, so many injustices and we still Don’t think killing Indians was a lesson to learn from. Killing Vietnamese, killing Iraquis, Killing innocent people in Afghanistan, whether or not they are part of the offending party. Denying, justifying, blaming, passing legislation and moving against, even our own David Koresh compound without just provocation. No, Yes, this could have been handled much better without the loss of life that took place. Now criminal, give money to gambling institutions, Banks with failed agendas and questionable practices.Who pays? No cost of living increases for the now worthless aged (who in their time contributed greatly and freely)Fines for those who opt not to insure themselvesHigher unemployment for the happy people Job losses and erroneous checks sent and payback requiredFilthy transportation devices and rowdy MBTA driversFunding politician extracurricular activities with no limit to their spending, at our expense in a time of troubled economy!Doctors who will now be authorized to administer the death wish, for the good of man.Yes, give me your tired, your sick and your willing to die…Why go on you know where this is going.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Lets do the sum up:Chavez is evilKorea is evilIran is evilIraq is evilLibya is evilCuba is evilAfghanistan is evilRussia is evilMexico is evilVietnam is evilSomalia is evilAfrica is evilFrance is evilChristians are evil, except to use covertly……----------------------------------------------Who is good?The USA is good, yay!Lets get rid of the evils, OH, the Pilgrims were good tooThose Indians were evil also.God bless everyone and scrooge too. Sat 31 Oct 2009 21:20:02 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=67#comment168 The best way to address this issue is to infiltrate Al Qaeda and destroy that organization, negotiate a peaceful settlement with the Taliban - which enjoys the support of the majority of the Afghan people - and help improve the standard of living in that country through positive deeds instead of bombs. ------------------------------------------------------------------------And what about the oil? If obama will do all these things, how will he follow the great oil trail? Sat 31 Oct 2009 21:09:21 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=66#comment167 Ref 165, Magic"How come he didn't bother to act on Afghanastan even though the information was coordinated during the transition?"After six years of neglect by the Bush Administration, President Obama put Afghanistan at the forefront of his Persian Gulf strategy. During his first 100 days in office, and after several reviews of U.S. policy in the region, including one by Gen. David Petraeus, President Obama authorized increasing troop levels by 17,000 soldiers. Since then, the president and the Pentagon have been considering a request from Gen. David McKiernan for an additional 30,000 troops, which I suspect will be authorized as soon as the presidential run off is complete in Afghanistan.I believe President Obama is making a horrible mistake, but for the opposite reason you are insinuating. The only justification to maintain - or increase - the current troops levels from 130,000 U.S. and NATO forces to 160,000 is to subdue the people of Afghanistan. It simply does not make sense to have such a large contingent of troops to engage a few dozen Al Qaeda terrorists and a few hundred Taliban fighters. The best way to address this issue is to infiltrate Al Qaeda and destroy that organization, negotiate a peaceful settlement with the Taliban - which enjoys the support of the majority of the Afghan people - and help improve the standard of living in that country through positive deeds instead of bombs. Sat 31 Oct 2009 20:21:55 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=66#comment166 ref #166 saintDominick wrote:Ref 163, Magic"In regard to the Republicans they have offered major ideas including tort reform which the Dems have refused to talk about. The bills for healthcare are being done in locked rooms. And Obama has condoned the tax cheats in the Democratic party."The only ideas advanced by the GOP the last 3 or 4 decades have been deregulation, tax breaks to big industry and the rich, deficit spending, demonization of government, attempts to privatize Social Security, outright lies and subterfuges to justify crusades and meddling in the internal affairs of other nations, crusades, and increase "defense" spending at the expense of social programs. Other than that, it has all been fearmongering, the demonization of anyone who does not support our interests, focus on extra marital affairs, Swift Boat, death panels, charges of socialism, appeasement, claims of non-existant apologies to foreign leaders and other bizarre charges that, in spite of lack of evidence, find fertile ground among those willing to sacrifice our economic and social security if that is what it takes to win elections. And it is all done under a mantra of patriotism! "Bush was far more willing to talk to the Dems."Unfortunately he lacked the ability to articulate two sentences correctly. If there is one thing President Obama has demonstrated since he was inaugurated was his willingness to appoint Republicans to key cabinet positions and high level jobs, in contrast with what Republican Presidents usually do. In all fairness, conservatives in Congress have made recommendations regarding healthcare and energy policies, but most are focused on preserving the status quo and favor industry at the expense of our society, and saying no to alternatives is definitely not an option. _________________________---------Alot of that is not true. Democrats support the status quo far more than republicans try to get rid of union perks, reform social security and other area, the Dems are the party of no.This congress from Pelosi on down is the most corrupt in a long time, Charlie Rangel is writing our tax law while being a tax cheat. Chris Dodd gets a sweetheat loan from Countrywide and runs a banking committe.The late Wizard of uhs, Ted Kennedy was far more unarticulate than GWB.Obama has been incredibly polarizing and created an enemies list that would make Richard Nixon proud. Sat 31 Oct 2009 19:24:50 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=66#comment165 Ref 163, Magic"In regard to the Republicans they have offered major ideas including tort reform which the Dems have refused to talk about. The bills for healthcare are being done in locked rooms. And Obama has condoned the tax cheats in the Democratic party."The only ideas advanced by the GOP the last 3 or 4 decades have been deregulation, tax breaks to big industry and the rich, deficit spending, demonization of government, attempts to privatize Social Security, outright lies and subterfuges to justify crusades and meddling in the internal affairs of other nations, crusades, and increase "defense" spending at the expense of social programs. Other than that, it has all been fearmongering, the demonization of anyone who does not support our interests, focus on extra marital affairs, Swift Boat, death panels, charges of socialism, appeasement, claims of non-existant apologies to foreign leaders and other bizarre charges that, in spite of lack of evidence, find fertile ground among those willing to sacrifice our economic and social security if that is what it takes to win elections. And it is all done under a mantra of patriotism! "Bush was far more willing to talk to the Dems."Unfortunately he lacked the ability to articulate two sentences correctly. If there is one thing President Obama has demonstrated since he was inaugurated was his willingness to appoint Republicans to key cabinet positions and high level jobs, in contrast with what Republican Presidents usually do. In all fairness, conservatives in Congress have made recommendations regarding healthcare and energy policies, but most are focused on preserving the status quo and favor industry at the expense of our society, and saying no to alternatives is definitely not an option. Sat 31 Oct 2009 18:58:30 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=65#comment164 ref #162No, I think you are wrong there.My guess is that you are very seriously "misunderestimating" President Obama. He seems remarkably shrewd for a man so young.___________________--no I did not underestimated he could run a chicago style campiagn but I also knew he knew nothing about running anything. how many nominees had tax problems? How come he didn't bother to act on Afghanastan even though the information was coordinated during the transition?Foriegn leaders have not shown so much contempt for a U.S leader since Carter. People respect stregnth and honesty not appeasement look at the coward Neville Chamberlen Sat 31 Oct 2009 18:48:27 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=65#comment163 IF I was pretty sure you said that but was just checking cause the company here sometimes is easily confused;)MA so when considering USA Vrs China population is taken into account. But when discussing USA vrs Germany population is not taken into account.PS USA has NEVER taken on the medical re3sponsibilities it has created for it's workers. I fit did it would recognise that many illnesses are cause by going to work to make life better for the few.Only now has the VA admitted that Agent orange caused prostrate cancer in the soldiers serving in Vietnam. Only now have they started to help and give benefits to those that served active duty in the war that we used chemical weapons .It has taken armies of Lawyers to get the asbestos industry to start paying. The plastics used in the states are Known to cause problems that we ignore, but Europe and China are trying to deal with.Again you almost made sense yesterday. why not take the same today. Sat 31 Oct 2009 18:21:28 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=64#comment162 ref #154 and 157so says the Paris Hilton of the board, but her fluff is on the outisde your is inside your pea brainmarbles.The fact is that Obama snubbed Gordan Brown at the U.N, intentionally did not meet with Israel on his first Mid East trip and did not let the Czechs know ahead of time that he was going to sell them out.In regard to the Republicans they have offered major ideas including tort reform which the Dems have refused to talk about. The bills for healthcare are being done in locked rooms. And Obama has condoned the tax cheats in the Democratic party.Bush was far more willing to talk to the Dems.Of course he could also talk without a telepromper so much for Obama super intelligence. Sat 31 Oct 2009 18:10:34 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=64#comment161 152. At 5:05pm on 31 Oct 2009, MagicKirin wrote:"ref #149"regarding Obama listening, he seems willing to listen to foriegn leaders even adversaries like the Mullahs and Chavez.""But he won't listen to leading Republicans or allies like Israel, the U.K Czech republic."__________No, I think you are wrong there.My guess is that you are very seriously "misunderestimating" President Obama. He seems remarkably shrewd for a man so young.Ironically, in the relationships you mention, the government that seems to have a hearing problem is Israel. Western countries - not merely the US, but almost all of Israel's important western allies - have pretty much had it to the teeth with the behaviour of the government of Israel. But that government is not hearing the message at all. This is going to lead to a tragedy. Sat 31 Oct 2009 18:06:00 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=64#comment160 156 Fluffy.Yes, that's correct. Sat 31 Oct 2009 17:55:36 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=63#comment159 unInterestingForeigner;Every generation there is a new kid on the block that is going to somehow outperform the US economy, it's just around the corner. Once it was Nazi Germany. Then it was the USSR. Then it was Japan. The economic superpower of tomorrow du jour is China. Europe is looking to be the one after that. America has nearly four times the economy when measured even by the flawed concept of GDP as China with less than a quarter as many people. The quality of life is incomparable. China faces so many horrific problems that it's hard to count them all. One problem is that the entire poplulation is being systematically poisoned to death, the consequence of massive industrial polution. This is one more price China is paying for its rapid growth, a consequence of virtually no effective environmental regulations. That the contamination inevitably found its way into dog food exported to America was cause for serious alarm in Beijing because if "made in China" became synonymous with "poision do not touch or consume" China faced rapid economic demise. As an example, around 1970 a company which canned expensive soups, Bon Vivant had one can of soup contaminated with botulism that killed one person in the US. Shortly after the news hit the public the company went bankrupt, nobody would buy their products. In the future, we can expect China to suffer huge medical expenses dealing with the long term consequences of this policy, far worse than in America or Europe. India is in about the same boat.Taking China's problems as a whole and ignoring the absurd projections of economists, it is clear that China's current rapid rate of growth is unsustainable in the long term. Sat 31 Oct 2009 17:53:28 GMT+1 Gavrielle_LaPoste http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=63#comment158 128. At 04:52am on 31 Oct 2009, amerika_first wrote:The poor down trodden and under privelged, pull yourself by your own boot straps rather then asking us taxpayers to bail you out. Plenty for a hand up, but not one plug nickel for a handoutAmerika, I want you to actually try and pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. Go on. Bend down, grab your shoes, boots, sneakers or sandals and then...lift!Get anywhere? No? Because it's physically impossible with weight and gravity working against you. Now, what exactly is considered a hand up versus a hand out?A hand up is a well funded public school system where children who can't afford private education can learn in safety and go on to college, becoming productive citizens and not uneducated street thugs. A hand up is a community center where children can go for after school tutoring while their parents are at work and not loiter in the streets, where they are prey to gangbangers, drug dealers or prone to get into trouble.A hand up is a health care system where families don't have to go bankrupt, and adults can get preventative care and medication for themselves and keep on working so they remain self-sufficient. Too many people don't get simple things like (for example) diuretics and beta blockers for undiagnosed high blood pressure. As a result, they have strokes and heart attacks that are easily avoided and end up unemployed, on disability, receiving Medicaid and needing General Assistance and food stamps. The cost of emergency care, by the way, is many times more expensive (and the chances of receiving payment for that debt far less likely so the taxpayer ends up covering the cost) than if preventative care were offered at reasonable rates to the everyone. Using emergency rooms as free health care clinics is not cost effective. By the way, are you aware that tuberculosis, measles, chicken pox and other communicable diseases are on the rise in America? That poor, downtrodden gardener, janitor, supermarket employee, Wal-Mart greeter, or video store clerk, who can't afford health insurance or to take a day off from work, can just as easily pass on a virus to his middle class and wealthy patrons and employers as he can to his poor, downtrodden fellows.A hand up is building affordable, low income housing and getting rid of tenements and slums, where crime and disease are bred. These things still exist even in small cities, despite our best efforts to lift ourselves out of the 19th century. A hand up is maintaining public transportation and roads, so workers can get to their jobs and remain self-sufficient.A hand out is corporate welfare, farm subsidies for big agri-businesses and tax breaks for trust fund babies. The poor and the downtrodden aren't the problem. Giving them the means by which to climb the ladder of success will make your life less costly, safer and healthier. Giving tax breaks to the rich in the hope that their largess will trickle down to the poor, is foolish. The rich and privileged stay rich and privileged because they convince the conservative middle classes that maintaining the status quo is in their interest. They stay rich because they don't ever spend their own money. Instead, they create public programs that allow them to spend yours. Did you know that the World Trade Center was built using public funds and rammed through the New York State legislature by then Governor Rockerfeller because he owned property and businesses in the area? The "downtown" area of NYC had moved to midtown and he wanted the neighborhood where he owned property to become more valuable, so he came up with the idea of the Trade Center and then made the citizens pay for it - even though no one needed such a building. Do you think he was alone in this? That it isn't common practice to build roads and buildings you, the taxpayer, do not need, so that a businessman can increase his wealth at your expense? Why can't they build their own buildings and new roads without tax breaks and public funds? After all, they can afford it.Stop blaming everything on the poor and underprivileged. There really aren't that many of them and with just a little help they'd be on their way to the middle classes and no longer financially burdening you and yours, but adding their taxes to the public coffers. On the other hand, watch your back when it comes to the rich and privileged. They know how to pick your pockets - legally - and they do it with a friendly pat on the back, a knowing wink and a claim of doing it all in the spirit of public interest. Sat 31 Oct 2009 17:29:46 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=62#comment157 IF "But my point was that it isn't necessarily that the Chinese are nefarious slave-labour exploiting brutes any more than our countries were at similar stages of development."I would leave similar stage of development out of it and look to the fact that WE exported the jobs and created the slaves.We allowed it as much as they did.We create wage slaves when we destroy the surroundings for our lumber. rip ecosystems apart for dosh not caring if the locals end up with mercury poisoning( we did it to our own waters)We allowed the trade to migrate and the pollution to the other countries but WE consume much of it....hard to blame China at all for trying to get what we sell so hard.A western style economy based on slave labour rates. Sat 31 Oct 2009 17:27:50 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=62#comment156 PS gherky You say he will not listen to the UK or the Czechs. but the Brits wanted the missile shield stopped. they could see the problems it was causing. the czecks could see big dollars from the USA to host the shield. so they were all for it. he may have listened to one of them.but he could not please both. You so silly but you are so cute with your silliness.Just adorable, like bubble headed bimbos and miniature toy poodles and terriers. Sat 31 Oct 2009 17:21:38 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=62#comment155 IF"The idea that many taxpayers - at least 25 % of all taxpayers - should pay no income tax is probably a good one."I would presume the lower earners would be the one not taxed. Those that have figured out how to live on under 10 grand a year shouldn't have to pay tax. but they do at a higher rate than those earning the big money.just checking, it has been suggested by a troll that only the rich should not pay taxes. Sat 31 Oct 2009 17:18:21 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=61#comment154 145. MAIIYes, the problem of competing against low wage economies exists nonetheless, I don't disagree.But my point was that it isn't necessarily that the Chinese are nefarious slave-labour exploiting brutes any more than our countries were at similar stages of development.I believe that your argument ignores the fundamental truth of comparative advantage. But either point (mine or yours) would be made less harmful if China's currency were allowed to float properly.No idea what China's trade balance is in invisibles. It may be that China is a significant net exporter of invisibles as you suggest.Your demographic point is an interesting one. The image I have of growing businesses in China is of youth and optimism. Right now, there is hardly anything that China does not believe it can do. America used to have that positivism, too. Oddly, Chinese positivism seems much more serious and stern than the old sunny optimism of America that I knew as a child. Sat 31 Oct 2009 17:15:03 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=61#comment153 "But he won't listen to leading Republicans or allies like Israel, the U.K Czech republic."Leading republicans have acted like little brats since they lost. they oppose every thing forgetting the support they had during the "time of crisis" that was GW start of a war.There is still a crisis that is very much effecting the USA but the GOP refuse to play. (Well now they are starting to realise what arses they look like they are trying to look like they are not Just blocking.) Sat 31 Oct 2009 17:14:27 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=60#comment152 "Libya will come under renewed pressure to compensate victims of IRA violence later when Northern Ireland politicians arrive in Tripoli for talks.Colonel Gaddafi's regime secretly supplied the IRA with weapons and explosives in the 1980s."But no one mentions the funding and supplies from the USA. WHY?Is it there are two standards.137 Gherkin. who is writing for you today.Your said crusades were hundreds of years ago so I showed you Bush using the term just after 9/11. So then you spout off again.Do try to follow the point here.The rhetoric of Bush was as inflammatory as Ahmadinnasbad. The difference is I can hear the words of Bush and I KNOW what he is saying. that translation of the Iranian statement is just that a translation. what is more ,a translation that by all accounts is rather bad. leaving out the subtleties of the language. Even then you interpret it with you usual bigot eyes and read even more into it than was said."bush/cheney are always evilObama can do no wrongTo criticize Obama makes you a racistTerrorism against christian and Jews is historicly justifiedleft dictators are misunderstoond"So onto your slanderous contribution here.Evil is evil sorry. Bush was evil and so was dick. that is personal opinion. I never said Reagan was evil , just stupid.Obama can do wrong. look he put Hillery as the top diplomat. That was said a while back, oh then there was the idea that cash for clunkers should have gone for old cars that got good milage to be fixed (better for the environment ) which he never took up. There are plenty others I would get around if it were not for the huge barrage of utter crap from the right that is NOT true or worthy of print.A racist criticising Obama is best ignored because their opinion is based on nothing but the irrational hatred of others for no reason.No one has said any7 terrorism against jews or christians is JUSTIFIED. they have said you can expect no peace while you treat others like dog turds.They have pointed out that there are christian and jewish terrorists. something you keep attempting to say is not so. you spend a lot of time ignoring the Lords resistance army. or the christians that sign up to fight for their country because there are Muslims to be killed.( they do exist. Army buddies have told me. I believe them before you. they were there. They had no time for those that were there for the "crusade" and did say that those were the most dangerous to serve with.Marcus. You were almost lucid last night. what is the chemical difference between today and yesterday? All dictators are misunderstood. if they were understood no one would have time for them in the first place. But you are the one that defines who is a dictator? GW bush was a dictator. any opposition was silenced.No decent was allowed and people were told to live in fear if they dared oppose the american way. despite america opposing most of their ways.Dick And GW did VERY VERY VERY VERY little that was in any way good. that was the aids program which they spent a lot of one . telling people condoms were no good abstinence was all they needed.You point out ONE thing they did right. Start two wars out of choice (see there is another crit of Obama, he says the Afghan war was not of our choosing) turned all our allies against us by telling them to go to hell.(France and Europe in general) told those running our ports they were not allowed to because they were a bunch of 'Forners' from non white European countries. (Ie we don't want Dubai ports but we don't mind P&O.Under funding the troops he send out there under-manning the troops.so as to not look like there was really a war on even though we were being told day in day out that we were at war.The same bush that provide tax cuts that encouraged GM to drop the EV and build the Humming which I flip the bird to so often. That bush and Dick that took away the americans rights to free speach and bugged the phone calls of all americans that dared speak to them from outside the borders.(communists did that sort of thing ,But then so did we to them;)Bush who failed the people of New orleans and them other states we forget about so quickly.Dick who advocated torture, so that our guys could be reminded of it when they are tortured.GW who during the war improved his Golfing handicap.Bush who sat by as the economy was tanking saying rubbish like it wasn't happening.Bush who put John the useless Bolton in as diplomat.(worse even than hillary and that is saying something)Basically you failed in your attempt to show the crusades were not ancient history (or the use of the term in reference to real life battles) so you come back with this utterly slanderous comment. You who have supported genocide by saying Nuke Iran. You who have promoted hate at all occasions. Sat 31 Oct 2009 17:09:09 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=60#comment151 ref #149regarding Obama listening, he seems willing to listen to foriegn leaders even adversaries like the Mullahs and Chavez.But he won't listen to leading Republicans or allies like Israel, the U.K Czech republic. Sat 31 Oct 2009 17:05:03 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/when_hope_is_all.html?page=60#comment150 143. At 2:47pm on 31 Oct 2009, saintDominick wrote:"No evidence has ever been provided to prove Chavez supports FARC..."I see that Magic has already responded on this point.There is actually plenty of evidence that Venezuela not only supported the FARC, but also that there were FARC sanctuaries in Venezuela and that the FARC were receiving weapons through the agency of the government of Venezuela.The laptop computer captured in Ecuador was a treasure trove of incriminating information, and it has led to further raids on the FARC and arrests of FARC personnel.All of this has been widely reported in the press, so on this point Magic is correct. Sat 31 Oct 2009 17:02:03 GMT+1