Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html en-gb 30 Tue 04 Aug 2015 14:49:25 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html zaphodian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=99#comment130 129. At 04:15am on 20 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:Re #82 David Murrell asksPowermeerkat - Why do you think the Brits don't have guns?Because they don't believe that their government could ever oppress them and therefore no well-armed militia would ever be necessary. :-)))Good grief, of course our government could oppress us if they chose, but have you seen our government? We have spoons, we don't need guns & besides, have you seen the price of ammo? :) Sat 23 Jan 2010 21:36:39 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=98#comment129 128. At 04:09am on 20 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:"'BBC's Paul Adams, in Boston, says Martha Coakley's defeat is an absolutely humiliating blow for the Democrats and their agenda and a deeply unwelcome anniversary present for President Obama one year after his inauguration.' The race should have been an easy win for Ms Coakley in a state which traditionally has voted for Democratic candidates for the US Senate."Humiliating, and well it should be. Where's Daniel Shays when we need him. Massachusetts is the place where the American Revolution started, so wouldn't it be poetic justice if the Second American Revolution were to start here also? We moderns are no more unanimous in all our thinking than were the Patriots of the 1770's. But you can see that my thinking [from somewhat to the left on a number of issues] is in convergence with other [self-identified as I am] Americans on the opposite side of many issues.This is the bad news for the "Beltway," politics as usual insiders. Right left and center the American people are fed up with corruption and rule of, by and for special interests. They can listen [as Georgius Tertius Rex Deii Gratia Omnia Britaniae et Hanoveria wouldn't] or they will eventually suffer the same fate as his royal governors and their sycophants and placemen.God save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States of America. [This appeal to heaven may be seen in the Statehouse, and never was the sentiment more appropriate and needed.] Sat 23 Jan 2010 01:53:23 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=97#comment128 Re #82 David Murrell asksPowermeerkat - Why do you think the Brits don't have guns?Because they don't believe that their government could ever oppress them and therefore no well-armed militia would ever be necessary. :-))) Wed 20 Jan 2010 04:15:40 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=96#comment127 BBC's Paul Adams, in Boston, says Martha Coakley's defeat is an absolutely humiliating blow for the Democrats and their agenda and a deeply unwelcome anniversary present for President Obama one year after his inauguration. The race should have been an easy win for Ms Coakley in a state which traditionally has voted for Democratic candidates for the US Senate.[...] Analysts say that with opinion polls showing that nearly half of all Americans think President Obama is not delivering on his major campaign promises, the Massachusetts race could be seen as a referendum on his first year in office. [BBC World Service]If Dems cant't get them votes in Massachusetts where ratio of Democrats to Republicans is 3:1 it doesn't bode well for them in November countrywide, does it now? Wed 20 Jan 2010 04:09:57 GMT+1 wolfvorkian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=96#comment126 Magic said:That is why Clinton is asked to do this but the coward from plains is not.He invited the coward Bush, Magic. You probably don't understand that National Guard duty during Bush's era was tantamount to either draft dodging with impunity or another draft deferment based on privilege? I know this because I tried to get into the National Guard when my school deferments ran out and they laughed at me. At the time, there were over 10,000 ahead of me in the queue. I had it all over Bush. My grades were much better and I was a better physical specimen. What I didn't have going was my station in life. My daddy wasn't a big shot. So Bush backed the war yet he allowed somebody else to take their chance with the body bag that should have been assigned to him. And then he prances on the aircraft carrier pretending to be a warrior. You got it backwards kid, you just don't know. Wed 20 Jan 2010 00:28:00 GMT+1 David Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=95#comment125 SaintD - Brown sounds like a lovely chap, just like our beloved leader over here in Blighty. Tue 19 Jan 2010 23:54:35 GMT+1 SaintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=94#comment124 Ref 116, David"Oh and is Brown the Democrat or Republican, I apologise but I wasn't paying attention. Brown is the Republican candidate, vowed to cast the 41st vote needed for a Senate filibuster to derail healthcare reform, and has already hired lawyers to expedite the transfer of power from the interim senator to him to make sure the Democrats don't have time to send the bill to the White House for signature. Lawyers and law suits are OK when they are represent Republicans interests, they are evil and the reason for tort reform when they work for "liberals" or victims of malpractice. Tue 19 Jan 2010 23:39:26 GMT+1 David Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=93#comment123 Colonel Blah - Yeah the idea of the richest country with hundreds of millions of population raising enough money to help their poorest neighbour is just silly.Rodidog - I guess it is a British thing, the idea that Major or Blair being useful in raising money for charity wouldn't work. Hopefully the US is different. Tue 19 Jan 2010 23:34:35 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=93#comment122 Bush recognised that using the fund raising ability, network, and popularity, that both his father and Clinton had, would help generate needed aid and long term exposure to the Tsunami and Katrina crisis. Likewise, Obama correctly sees the benefits two former Presidents bring to aid to Haiti. Neither is endorsing the others politics, only helping where they can. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------between 3 to 3.5 million people...the hoopla of aid is being exagerated to the point of no return...More people were made refugees during america's invasion of iraq and afghanistan..and there was no UN and no world pouring down the aid from above the sky. Tue 19 Jan 2010 23:08:52 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=92#comment121 Welcome to Illinois! :) In the north is Chicago and the city people. This group is extremely diverse. In the middle is Lincoln mania, also known as Springfield. There are large groups of German Amish spread out across Illinois, Indiana, ect. in the central/southern portions(who do not use electricity, live off the land and hold great cheese festivals.) Rural Illinois is mostly country folk and farmers/ agricultural people/deer hunters. Not quite so diverse.Mark, you summed up the way many young people felt that night quite well. There was hope, change, love in the air. The name Obama suddenly became legendary. Then the honeymoon was over. I think that most people still rather like President Obama, but they don't feel like he has accomplished what he set out to do. But perhaps that was never really fair or even possible. Our expectations were all so high that we were bound to be let down at some point.I am disappointed by the health mandate (which I noticed today that Idaho is trying to pass legislature which would not criminalize those without health care- I hope Illinois is next! I would not be surprised if Indiana joined in next, though.) We want fair prices for health care, but not through criminalizing people.We all hoped that the economy would improve. The Cash for Clunkers worked, although it was painful to see them scrap good vehicles with strong motors that would have worked for years to come. There are still a lot of hard-working people who need good jobs.I think President Obama has done the best he can. He maybe could have done better, but he probabaly could have done worse, too.As for me, I am hanging onto my Obama/Biden 08' t-shirt and Obama peace buttons. Change may not have come as quickly as we all would have liked, but there is still optimism. Tue 19 Jan 2010 23:05:39 GMT+1 zaphodian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=91#comment120 43. At 6:26pm on 19 Jan 2010, arclightt wrote:True enough, but I can manage myself (which is what I try to do here and elsewhere, not always successfully).All anyone can do is to try, it doesn't guarantee success but not trying guarantees that success isn't happening, attitude is everything, if you get up assuming that the world is against you then it will be, if you get up assuming that the world is with you then you'll be disappointed, I'm told that the trick is to listen but that's a hard trick to learn, here's wishing us both luck. Tue 19 Jan 2010 23:04:35 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=90#comment119 76. At 8:19pm on 19 Jan 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:Ref 42 Scott0962-"After Clinton's post Cold War military cutbacks and restructuring joining the national guard is no longer a way to avoid going to war as W so ably demonstrated in Iraq and Afghanistan."Around 1968, during the Nixon Administration, General Creighton Abrams began putting together the "Total Force Policy". The intent of this policy was to incorporate National Guard Units into the structure of the U.S. Armed Forces to meet force requirements needed for military action outside of a Congressionally declared war. The need for clearer processes for activating the Nation Guard lay in the smaller size of the active troops due to the all-volunteer Army.The Reagan Administration began including National Guard units in "Reforger" exercises, signaling the full intent of using National Guard units as a part of the Total Force Policy." All true but it was the post Cold War down-sizing of the military that made it almost impossible for the regular forces to go to war without having to bring National Guard units with them. During the Cold War the Guard and Reserve mostly supplemented the active duty forces, they added numbers instead of taking over entire functions within the total force structure. Clinton's restructuring of the military reduced the size of the active duty forces, retaining the active duty mostly in combat roles and relying on Guard and Reserves to perform key support roles. This makes it almost impossible to send the regular active duty forces off to a prolonged fight without calling up Guard and Reserve units to support them.In theory it should also have made it more difficult for a president to start a conflict without widespread public support since it would quickly force the military to call up the Guard and Reserves, in practice it doesn't seem to have made any difference. The down side is that the military continued to sell the Reserves, and especially the National Guard, as weekend warrior jobs that would be called to service only in dire need instead of integral components of the military that would be called up as soon as any conflict started. That has caused a lot of hard feelings in the National Guard whose members did not expect to be subject to prolonged and repeated callups for service in low intensity foreign conflicts. Tue 19 Jan 2010 23:01:27 GMT+1 rodidog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=90#comment118 #116 David Murrell,Bush recognised that using the fund raising ability, network, and popularity, that both his father and Clinton had, would help generate needed aid and long term exposure to the Tsunami and Katrina crisis. Likewise, Obama correctly sees the benefits two former Presidents bring to aid to Haiti. Neither is endorsing the others politics, only helping where they can. Tue 19 Jan 2010 22:52:21 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=89#comment117 Now, that was hyper service. Tue 19 Jan 2010 22:36:24 GMT+1 zaphodian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=88#comment116 113. At 10:09pm on 19 Jan 2010, JMM wrote:As an American, happy to be able to participate on this site paid for by the TV owning Britons, I agree that GWB was a lemon, which might explain why the Rebublicans are so sour.Many thanks for wandering through ( & not telling anyone what to think but just sharing your opinion) Tue 19 Jan 2010 22:35:00 GMT+1 David Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=87#comment115 JMM - You appear to have a sharp sense of humour!Rodidog - I agree, though I am slightly unconvinced on the need for former Presidents endorcement, as you say somethings importance should transcend politics. Then again if it works it works.Squirrel - For some reason someone painting a pelican amuses me!Oh and is Brown the Democrat or Republican, I apologise but I wasn't paying attention. Tue 19 Jan 2010 22:30:53 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=87#comment114 This post has been Removed Tue 19 Jan 2010 22:29:07 GMT+1 rodidog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=86#comment113 I don't blame the young folks for having high expectations in Obama. Hopefully, they will stay involved and learn to channel their energy for change into things more concrete.For those condemning Obama for having Bush help with aid to Haiti, you have issues and need to consider some time off. I would also apply that to those condemning Carter. We do not have to agree with someone politically in order to recognise their ability to help those in need. Some things transcend politics. Tue 19 Jan 2010 22:21:27 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=85#comment112 57. At 7:22pm on 19 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:46. At 6:42pm on 19 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote"Ahem. In deference to our American cousins, who object to furriners casting nasturtiums about their ex-presidents, I think you might perhaps withdraw your unfortunate (and I am sure quite unintentional) comparison of Bush to a fruit."As an American, happy to be able to participate on this site paid for by the TV owning Britons, I agree that GWB was a lemon, which might explain why the Rebublicans are so sour. Tue 19 Jan 2010 22:09:19 GMT+1 squirrelist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=84#comment111 105. At 9:47pm on 19 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:"Colonel Blah (104) - Any chance of answer, as I take attempts at misdirection as tantamount to lying, old fashioned I know."Might as well ask if he paints portraits or pelicans. I was curious, but these evasions are dull. Tue 19 Jan 2010 22:08:59 GMT+1 David Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=83#comment110 Colonel Blah - I am British a general, is a general, is a general. None of this US star thing. More misdirection, sad really being this obvious, you're beginning to shifty.Squirrel - What types of websites you been looking at! Anyway a gentleman never says, as it happens neither do I!! Tue 19 Jan 2010 22:08:18 GMT+1 squirrelist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=83#comment109 105. At 9:47pm on 19 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:Colonel Blah (104) - So I take it she didn't then. Colonel one or two ranks below general, is not a middle officer rank that would captain or major.Some armies have lots of unhappy Colonels for just the reasons we've been given; it's why they tend to go in for plotting coups. Tue 19 Jan 2010 22:04:27 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=82#comment108 Colonel one or two ranks below general, is not a middle officer rank that would captain or major.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------Depends on which general title one aims for.. Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:57:31 GMT+1 squirrelist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=81#comment107 91. At 9:03pm on 19 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote"any hints at the early results?"Paul Adams (BBC on the spot) just said polls (not the vote) show Brown ahead; Coakley not looking happy, it seems.(Tut, tut. What did you get up to in New Delhi? Not a knitting circle, I'll be bound. I've heard about some of these 'educational' websites. . .) Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:53:25 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=80#comment106 5. At 1:12pm on 19 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote: RE: 3. At 12:53pm on 19 Jan 2010, SaintDominick“I have wondered about the competence of some of his White House 'advisers' before now, but that really is political ineptitude.”No, that is what used to be seen as typical American civilized political behaviour. I noticed by his expression that GWB could hardly believe he was there with BHO [that isn’t the way the GOP believes things should be done]!21. At 4:26pm on 19 Jan 2010, marc wrote: “My disappointment isn't with Obama, it's with the two party system, it's death hold on the electoral process, it's corruption and bitter rivalry that puts it's self-interest above the citizens it claims to serve.”I share this sentiment, which is the reason I finally changed my mind and voted for the “Independent” candidate in the senatorial election.There are more than two parties, but most of the 40 odd parties are odd in more ways than you might think. The “Green Nazi” party uses a flag with a green rather than red field and thinks Hitler was ok, but bad for the environment [you might not want to think of them as the opposite of the Red Squirrels, but they ARE nuts.] Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:50:20 GMT+1 zaphodian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=80#comment105 98. At 9:21pm on 19 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:I have no problem with modifying legislation that is flawed, or scrapping it if it proves to be ineffective or counter productive, but letting big business run the show is wrong, very wrong.It just shows that money really does talk, we're upset over here because our lot fiddled the tea money, it's got nothing on your troubles though, what a mess, looks like the greens have got a tough year ahead. The problem is similar though, what we need is politics, what we get are politicians. Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:48:45 GMT+1 David Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=79#comment104 Colonel Blah (104) - So I take it she didn't then. Colonel one or two ranks below general, is not a middle officer rank that would captain or major.Any chance of answer, as I take attempts at misdirection as tantamount to lying, old fashioned I know. Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:47:17 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=78#comment103 Did she say how you got your impressive rank, -----------------------------------------------------------------------------In military, among officers, colonel is not an impressive rank...but its not depressive either...its just in the middle of the two...a perfect rank to quit the army, and an imperfect if you dont get promoted and get supercided by the junior officers and still dont resgin. Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:36:55 GMT+1 squirrelist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=77#comment102 87. At 8:51pm on 19 Jan 2010, David Cunard wrote:"As well you should, living under New Labour for so many years."If you think it was only New Labour that got up to fancy tricks devised in (non) smoke-filled back rooms. . .well, I can assure you you're mistaken. Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:36:53 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=77#comment101 Colonel Blah - I am intrigued how did the Hindu woman's article answer my questions? Did she say how you got your impressive rank, or did she critique your master pieces? Oh did she somehow prove that I am not me, which is to say I am not David R. Murrell.After all you didn't slip the questions did you? That would be dishonest, dare I say almost like a Westerner!-----------------------------------------------------------------------------actually, the article is copy righted to be used for only educational purposes. Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:32:34 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=76#comment100 I don't expect him to perform miracles, and I don't expect all his policies to be 100% successful,----------------------------------------------------------------------------And what if he did? and what if his policies turn out to be 100% succuessful? its not as if people had lesser expectations from the previous presidents... Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:30:54 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=75#comment99 There, the 100th post. Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:26:10 GMT+1 David Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=74#comment98 Colonel Blah - I am intrigued how did the Hindu woman's article answer my questions? Did she say how you got your impressive rank, or did she critique your master pieces? Oh did she somehow prove that I am not me, which is to say I am not David R. Murrell.After all you didn't slip the questions did you? That would be dishonest, dare I say almost like a Westerner! Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:24:36 GMT+1 SaintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=74#comment97 Not only do I not feel let down by President Obama's performance, I believe we are fortunate to have him as President. His intellectual acumen, his focus on inclusiveness and consensus, his vision, honesty, and drive are exactly what we need at such a difficult time in our history.I don't expect him to perform miracles, and I don't expect all his policies to be 100% successful, but he is trying and that is more than we can say for some of his predecessors.What we should be outraged about, but elicits minimal attention from the media and indifference from the general public, is the pervasive influence of big business in policy-making.The latest example is the bill sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski to block the Clean Air Act's limits on global warming pollution. In addition to getting a $250,000 campaign contribution from an electric company that would be affected by this legislation, Alaska Sen. Murkowski let an electric company lobbyist write the legislation she is sponsoring (it is up for a vote tomorrow).I have no problem with modifying legislation that is flawed, or scrapping it if it proves to be ineffective or counter productive, but letting big business run the show is wrong, very wrong. Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:21:59 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=73#comment96 i am waiting for my comment to come out..i want to know what moderators have against an old article written by a hindu woman.---------------------------------------------------------------------------Ok, I take back my awaiting comment..the moderators should not allow this article to surface.. Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:18:51 GMT+1 squirrelist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=72#comment95 83/89 David Murrell wrote:Powermeerkat - Why do you think the Brits don't have guns? Two of my friends and my boss all have guns, we just don't need to wave them around.Oh and a stilleto is fantastic for backstabbing, especially if you hold it right. . . Did I mention how very, very, very sorry I was about those Essex jokes? (Whimpers.) Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:16:19 GMT+1 David Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=71#comment94 Powermeerkat - oh you wag you, the shoes are names after the blade. Biggest heel I ever wore was on my cowboy boots back when I was 18. Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:16:13 GMT+1 zaphodian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=70#comment93 87. At 8:51pm on 19 Jan 2010, David Cunard wrote:As well you should, living under New Labour for so many years. However, in this case it's two presidents working together, not propaganda. Come and live here for a couple of years and then you might understand how America ticks. Despite the similarities, it's not the United Kingdom, nether better nor worse, just different.It's a good idea to have ex-presidents working together on a non-political basis in order to drum up support for much needed humanitarian aid but if everyone in America can see any positives at all in politicians working together then why is it that the current spectrum consists of a cat fight? If nothing else our sorry lot will at least steal a good policy from a rival party if they can instead of just trying to kill it, at this rate it wont matter who wins in Mass. Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:15:04 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=70#comment92 88. At 8:52pm on 19 Jan 2010, you wrote:This comment has been referred to the moderators. Explain. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------i am waiting for my comment to come out..i want to know what moderators have against an old article written by a hindu woman. Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:13:29 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=69#comment91 Re # 89David,Hookers in Washington, D.C. (and other cities too) wear stilletos.But although they sometimes use them in self-defense it's usually not for BACKstabbing.And re New Orleans...People who complain about proverbially corrupt Democratic Party Machine in Windy City have obviously never lived/tried to do business in Big Easy. [Let alone set up an effective rescue operation there.] Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:10:19 GMT+1 David Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=68#comment90 Powermeerkat - That'll please Magic and Marcus, any hints at the early results? Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:03:13 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=67#comment89 Methinks it's too early to talk about a let down.A Democrat may still win in Massachusetts. :) Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:00:56 GMT+1 David Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=67#comment88 Powermeerkat - Groan!!!! Now American's are trying to give me blades as wel!?! Look my apartment already looks like a medieval dungeon, my friends all seem to think I need an extra knife, at least one either on Christmas or my Birthday, if I am lucky both Christmas & birthday, if I am really lucky more than one friend has the same 'original' idea.Anyway Washington always seemed a bit boring, any blades in Charlotte or New Orleans (paperwise)?Oh and a stilleto is fantastic for backstabbing, especially if you hold it right (between the knuckles, so you effectively punch - or is that too much info?)! Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:57:09 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=66#comment87 This post has been Removed Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:52:31 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=65#comment86 #73. squirrelist: "I understand how propaganda machines work;"As well you should, living under New Labour for so many years. However, in this case it's two presidents working together, not propaganda. Come and live here for a couple of years and then you might understand how America ticks. Despite the similarities, it's not the United Kingdom, nether better nor worse, just different. Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:51:49 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=64#comment85 Re #83Knives are better for backstabbing. "Now me I do prefer blades"There's a (free) newspaper in Washington, D.C . called "Washington Blade"But it's more for "lumberjacks who are O.K." ;) Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:46:27 GMT+1 squirrelist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=64#comment84 73. At 8:11pm on 19 Jan 2010, you wrote:67. David Cunard:I should have said I also understand how certain types of political manipulators work. Like: "looks like Haiti is such a mess, it's going to be going on for months. Maybe if we distract him from his book, it won't come out till after November so the Reps won't be able to use him against us."(I can think of another couple of back-room ploys as well. All three subject to the little traps Fate tends to put in front of people's feet. Especially in politics.) Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:45:41 GMT+1 SaintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=63#comment83 Ref 42, Scott"Jimmy Carter came as close to combat as W did and while Mr. Peanut had his faults I don't believe cowardice was one of them."Combat experience, including being wounded, never stopped the right wing from ridiculing a veteran. If in doubt, ask Sen Kerry.I agree with you, however, former President Carter had many flaws, some influenced by his religious convictions, but cowardice was definitely not one of them. Most importantly, his endeavors since he left office should be used as a model for other Presidents to follow.Unfortunately, for one dimensional people the determinant factor to form an opinion about someone is based strictly on the suject that is important to them. Not surprisingly, those whose top priority is the survival and expansion of Israel can only see evil in a man that criticized their divine rights to abuse others and, to make matters worse, expressed sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians.If President Carter had endorsed Zionist policies and encouraged increasing our foreign aid to Israel he would have been lauded by his present detractors and turned into a modern-day messiah. Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:42:13 GMT+1 David Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=62#comment82 Powermeerkat - Why do you think the Brits don't have guns? Two of my friends and my boss all have guns, we just don't need to wave them around.Now me I do prefer blades, European and Japanese, but then using a rapier, stilleto or tanto takes skill and aptitude. Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:37:17 GMT+1 David Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=61#comment81 Colonel blah blah - Here you go I am saying my name is David R. Murrell. Now how is that 'basically' a lie?Care to prove either your military rank or artistic merit, since you are obviously so truthful, or are you going to continue to hide behind a fake (false, untrue, lying) name? Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:34:14 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=61#comment80 RE #33 Allen T2 wrote:"Oh, and don't forget gun control."Gun control is important.That's why sharp eye, steady hand and regular practice are essential. [in U.S., that is. In UK they seem to prefer knives. Out of necessity.] Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:29:56 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=60#comment79 Nothing we say is going to change that ingrained impression, here's a hint while occasionally you say something of note it gets hidden in ranting blah blah.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------Atleast you understood something. Yes. Nothing you say will change the impression.Because when you (west, from politician to media to even ordinary people) say something, you basically lie.. Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:26:46 GMT+1 squirrelist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=59#comment78 Ah. I see the daily 'occupation' of MM's blog by our friend the colonel has begun. I'll look in later maybe to see if it's back on track after the now inevitable irrelevant diversions. Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:25:51 GMT+1 zaphodian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=58#comment77 75. At 8:14pm on 19 Jan 2010, DouglasFeith wrote:This 'generation' like earlier ones full of naive belief in the America myth is starting to wake up to the fact that the "powers ranged against their desires" are the ones that need to be confronted. They are being confronted in Afghanistan and Iraq by the resistance forces -I don't want to be tedious but surely the supporters of Obama wanted what Obama said he wanted, in which case the 'powers ranged against their desires' would be other Americans, also if America really is a one party state then why is no-one worried that it's fighting itself? Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:23:23 GMT+1 David Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=58#comment76 Colonel blah blah blah - Really change the record already. We get it you hat America and you hate the British and you hate the West. Nothing we say is going to change that ingrained impression, here's a hint while occasionally you say something of note it gets hidden in ranting blah blah.Let me give you an analogy you might like, actually you wont but whatever, moths and gnats. Moths I have a phobia of, due to fuschia incident but that is not important. Gnats are annoying and I hate to have them in the bedroom at night. I know, however, that neither can hurt me. People like Marcus are like moths, I know really they are harmless but something about them scares me. You are a gnat a constant whining distraction that if I did that kind thing (I feel guity when I swat gnats, so I don't). Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:21:38 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=57#comment75 Ref 42 Scott0962-"After Clinton's post Cold War military cutbacks and restructuring joining the national guard is no longer a way to avoid going to war as W so ably demonstrated in Iraq and Afghanistan."Around 1968, during the Nixon Administration, General Creighton Abrams began putting together the "Total Force Policy". The intent of this policy was to incorporate National Guard Units into the structure of the U.S. Armed Forces to meet force requirements needed for military action outside of a Congressionally declared war. The need for clearer processes for activating the Nation Guard lay in the smaller size of the active troops due to the all-volunteer Army.The Reagan Administration began including National Guard units in "Reforger" exercises, signaling the full intent of using National Guard units as a part of the Total Force Policy. George H Bush put the Total Force Policy into use; activating the National Guard for the first time since the Korean War to fight in Operation Desert Shield/Storm.George H Bush was the one who ended the idea that joining the National Guard was a way of avoiding serving in a war.Ironic that he closed that door after his son had gone through it. Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:19:24 GMT+1 U13817236 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=56#comment74 "It fascinates me that these dedicated campaigners feel let down, but also worried that they have been naive, and they have underestimated the powers ranged against their desires." Yes, this is a very good post; this is exactly what is happening. Mark Mardell, to his credit, even for a corporate journalist, often displays a broader perspective in his coverage - a vast improvement over that blinkered American cheerleader, Justin Webb. This 'generation' like earlier ones full of naive belief in the America myth is starting to wake up to the fact that the "powers ranged against their desires" are the ones that need to be confronted. They are being confronted in Afghanistan and Iraq by the resistance forces - and losing as they did in Nam - but not yet at home. Obama is obviously a puppet of these powers, as many pointed out before the election, and since has only confirmed our worst fears. Now some of his more gullible supporters are at last starting to catch up th this sad fact. And that's why the Massachusetts election today doesn't matter - both candidates, like Obama, in Amerika's one-party state, are beholden to those dark powers behind the throne. Until that Changes there is no Hope Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:14:51 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=55#comment73 People who hoped and voted for change are starting to realize that all they've got is plenty of change in their pockets.But not those $100 bills they were supposed to save on health insurance, etc.Perhaps even citizens of Massachusetts have realized it by now. Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:12:43 GMT+1 squirrelist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=54#comment72 67. David Cunard:I understand how propaganda machines work; and the 'symbolism' of associating the guy involved with Katrina with Haiti. . . Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:11:16 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=54#comment71 It's as much a symbolic gesture as anything - two men who, during their terms of office, were the most powerful in the world. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------Its an internal matter, there presidents, since clinton get retired at an early age...they want to collect money from americans, and international donars who would have donated the money anyway, now, these presidents are providing some entertainment to the people who give money...In america, its all about image, its not pakistan or afghanistan, where imran khan says he needs money to build a hospital and people stand in line to donate money..these are the people who pay a few hundred or couple of thousands in tax and then start demanding governments all sorts of demands..Such people need atleast one present and two former presidents to convince them to give money.. Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:07:58 GMT+1 zaphodian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=53#comment70 65. At 7:51pm on 19 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:zaphodian, And i will generously ignore your outburst, because it somehow reminded me of pictures of cheering soldiers molesting prisoners in the name of freedom..Enduring freedom as its called atleast in one of the country..Did it really remind you of that? You must have some picture collection, still, if it's keeping you busy then fair enough, you could always come up with a coherent viewpoint of course, never mind, I'm just being silly now. Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:05:29 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=52#comment69 The algebra of infinite justicehttp://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/sep/29/september11.afghanistanIn the aftermath of the unconscionable September 11 suicide attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Centre, an American newscaster said: "Good and evil rarely manifest themselves as clearly as they did last Tuesday. People who we don't know massacred people who we do. And they did so with contemptuous glee." Then he broke down and wept. Here's the rub: America is at war against people it doesn't know, because they don't appear much on TV. Before it has properly identified or even begun to comprehend the nature of its enemy, the US government has, in a rush of publicity and embarrassing rhetoric, cobbled together an "international coalition against terror", mobilised its army, its air force, its navy and its media, and committed them to battle. The trouble is that once Amer ica goes off to war, it can't very well return without having fought one. If it doesn't find its enemy, for the sake of the enraged folks back home, it will have to manufacture one. Once war begins, it will develop a momentum, a logic and a justification of its own, and we'll lose sight of why it's being fought in the first place. Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:01:57 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=51#comment68 29. cynic555:"As an independent voter I am very disappointed in Obama. The list of broken campaign promises is well known and too long to list."*******************Obama was (still is?) a serial over-promiser. It's interesting to watch the reaction to his unfulfilled promises. My own observation is that democrats are sticking with him anyway. Republicans never believed him. Independents are holding him to his word, and herein lies the democrats' very big problem. Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:59:30 GMT+1 David Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=51#comment67 Colonel - Occupy your country, well sir an issue on two points you have hidden where exactly you are from and secondly the last time I looked I am not in your country.Unlike some, you obviously included, I appear able to differentiate between a person and a country. I am not, nor will I ever be the UK, I therefore lack the capacity to occupy countries, unless the country is both very very small and uninhabited.I believe I have made it clear that I do not agree with either the invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq. Sadly since I am not my country the military seem to have disregarded my concerns.Really it cannot be that difficult to understand, there are free translation programs on the internet, that is mostly how I communicate with my Polish colleagues, I suggest if you need further clarification.Actually thinking about it, other than point about Fox you can assume that all my points directed at Allen can work for you as well.As for your country, wherever it is, I am sure it is lovely and you are welcome to, for the time being I will stick to mine. See occupation threat avoided. Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:55:26 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=50#comment66 #58. squirrelist: "given the way that much of the right effectively tries to smear Obama and the current administration by association (the, er, peccadilloes of Clinton, the 'weakness' of Carter) it seems to me to present a propaganda gift to them on a plate. "Look, Obama's shown he's so useless he needs Dubbya, our second-greatest Republican president, to get things organised."You clearly don't understand America. It's as much a symbolic gesture as anything - two men who, during their terms of office, were the most powerful in the world. Both sides of the aisle are covered, opposing parties politically, but conjoined by a greater need. I don't remember John Major and Tony Blair being drafted to do anything together or, for that matter, any previous prime ministers of dissimilar political persuasion."And why should ideals and enthusiasm wear out with age like old folk's hip joints anyway?"Neither should wear out in twelve months. Change takes time and the United States is run on a different system than is the United Kingdom. Bills cannot be shunted through Congress like a sausage machine and arrive on the President's desk in the same form as he wished, quite unlike the British Parliamentary system in which an unassailable majority ensures change in the form which the prime minister intended. If there were a whip system in Congress, which there is not, change might come about more swiftly, but the powers of persuasion have to be deployed, not a two or three line whip. Unlike their British counterparts, American legislators do not do as they are told. Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:54:43 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=49#comment65 When wars, elections, aids are run by agencies who also make advertizments for a product, all you get are the slogans and catchy phrases.. Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:54:43 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=48#comment64 zaphodian, And i will generously ignore your outburst, because it somehow reminded me of pictures of cheering soldiers molesting prisoners in the name of freedom..Enduring freedom as its called atleast in one of the country.. Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:51:57 GMT+1 squirrelist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=48#comment63 52. At 7:09pm on 19 Jan 2010, general penitentiary wrote:44 lol "So we can't say what you don't like? Because we're not Americans? Blimey, there's logic for you. . ."and if I say it AS AN AMERICAN I get told I am not. ;) True. Does happen quite a bit, doesn't it?(Now I really am getting confused. It used to be called 'chop logic' I think when it's twisted just to suit one side. S'pose now that'll be used to prove I'm anti-Chinese, or anti-pork, or anti-lamb. Only logical conclusion to draw for some people, really.) Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:45:14 GMT+1 zaphodian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=47#comment62 60. At 7:29pm on 19 Jan 2010, colonelartist wrote:And right back at you, I could have easily said that changing a few words, that if you want to occupy my country then act with respect, after all we are paying with lives and houses and our country as your battlefield so that you can insult my country and my people..arent you the spoilt one, who thinks and then rights that just because some people right their view points on some blog..I'd just like to say how much your posts cheer everyone up, I've long held the view that not enough idiots are getting the best out of the internet but you are a beacon of dullness in an otherwise refreshingly interesting world, I can only commend your blind addiction to infantile propaganda & hope to read more about the constant failings of almost everyone in the world. Do have fun. Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:42:32 GMT+1 zaphodian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=46#comment61 59. At 7:24pm on 19 Jan 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:Would catchier phrases help Obama's popular count? Maybe. But catch phrases and sound-bites make easy targets for mud-slingers. It may be better just to plod along with slow yet heavily echoing baby steps.I hear what you're saying but given that the mud-slinging isn't going to stop anyway & when you're left with no choice but to appeal to the lowest common denominator then sometimes the standards are going to have to slip in order to gain a little traction. Seeing the American political process in action from over here is like watching an incredibly bright child with two broken arms desperately trying to write an essay, you can see the ideas & you can see the effort involved & as much as you can see the likely outcome & the pain still you're willing it on regardless because you know it's worth the attempt. Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:36:39 GMT+1 squirrelist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=45#comment60 56. At 7:19pm on 19 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote "primarily for the enlightenment and entertainment of his paymasters, the British TV Licence payer"Not sure about the 'entertainment' bit; poor GP seems to be having difficulties with his YouTube links. . .(And the squirrels made me promise not to do any more Essex jokes.) Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:33:31 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=45#comment59 If you want to come to my news network, act with some respect, after all I am one of the paying so you can insult my country and people.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------And right back at you, I could have easily said that changing a few words, that if you want to occupy my country then act with respect, after all we are paying with lives and houses and our country as your battlefield so that you can insult my country and my people..arent you the spoilt one, who thinks and then rights that just because some people right their view points on some blog.. Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:29:14 GMT+1 Philly-Mom http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=44#comment58 Bush is heading to Haiti because he has bad karma to burn from New Orleans.[I'm allowed to bad mouth. My Grandpaw was from Texas, thereby making me 1/16th Texan-American.]Actually, Bush is a well intentioned fellow who is available, able and qualified. And - while Clinton might be the designated Envoy to Haiti - Bush might have actually had the most recent direct interaction with the Haitian parliament. Meanwhile, Obama is having a hard time with the rusty wheels of the Washington Machine because comfortable people don't like change. -- The real work only just started at inauguration. Would catchier phrases help Obama's popular count? Maybe. But catch phrases and sound-bites make easy targets for mud-slingers. It may be better just to plod along with slow yet heavily echoing baby steps. Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:24:44 GMT+1 squirrelist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=43#comment57 31. At 5:40pm on 19 Jan 2010, David Cunard wrote:"Why?"Because, given the way that much of the right effectively tries to smear Obama and the current administration by association (the, er, peccadilloes of Clinton, the 'weakness' of Carter) it seems to me to present a propaganda gift to them on a plate. "Look, Obama's shown he's so useless he needs Dubbya, our second-greatest Republican president, to get things organised." Maybe that won't happen as the talk shows and the Republican mailout machine get up to speed, but, honestly, would you really be surprised if it did?And inept is what I call political advisers--and cabinet members--who go on about 'bipartisanship' long after they should have grasped the other side wasn't going to play.I won't blame them for not seeing the virulence and obstreperousness of the reaction to Obama's agenda in advance; the scale and sheer viciousness really must be something no-one could have foreseen even in their worst nightmares.You can't blame young voters for not seeing that either, just on grounds of youth. And why should ideals and enthusiasm wear out with age like old folk's hip joints anyway? Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:22:57 GMT+1 zaphodian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=42#comment56 46. At 6:42pm on 19 Jan 2010, squirrelist wroteAhem. In deference to our American cousins, who object to furriners casting nasturtiums about their ex-presidents, I think you might perhaps withdraw your unfortunate (and I am sure quite unintentional) comparison of Bush to a fruit.I've checked & sadly Lemon is the nicest thing I can say about Bush, but any offended folks are quite free to insult an ex-leader of the UK, or the current leader, or any other UK politician, go ahead, feel free. Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:22:10 GMT+1 David Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=41#comment55 Apologies to all but I think Allen needs to be put straight, to be clear this is not directed at the majority of our posters from across the pond.Allen - If you don't like Johnny Foreigner commenting on your wonderful US of A, why come to Johnny Foreigner's media outlet. This is the BBC, from experience I understand that some US education systems have a little bit to be desired but the first B stands for British. The BBC is a fine institution, one paid for by the British TV Licence payer, of which I am one. This blog is by a British BBC reporter giving his insights of America, primarily for the enlightenment and entertainment of his paymasters, the British TV Licence payer, of which I am one.We, the British TV Licence payer, pay for the right to access this board, you as an American citizen don't. I have no issue with anyone accessing this board and giving their opinions. That is except when someone rudely tells Mark and anyone not American that they don't have the right to comment on US matters, as I pointed out some of have paid for that right.If you don't like Johnny Foreigner commenting go to one of the many US media outlets, Fox seems to fit your views. That would be the same Fox owned by an Australian, I bet you don't have an issue with that foreigner telling you about America.Also to clarify, I don't recall a point in history when the Middle East has been part of Europe. I understand that Obama's visit, the one I believe the Australian's news network suggested was an apology tour, went down quite well. Also Obama has spoken to the Chinese, also not in Europe. Really English, history and geography where did you go to school, I hope the sate paid for it otheriwise your parents should ask for a refund.If you want to come to my news network, act with some respect, after all I am one of the paying so you can insult my country and people.Okay rant over, again not directed at all Americans, just those who should have learnt some manners in school, as well as some other lessons. For clarification, while apparently I am a misanthropic alcoholic bleeding heart liberal from poor blighted Europe, I do not hate America or Americans.Normal programming may now resume. Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:19:57 GMT+1 U14284230 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=41#comment54 oops Mods Thanks;) but you know you enjoyed them links. go on tell me you didn't ;) Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:17:17 GMT+1 U14284230 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=40#comment53 38 well said. those that want the president to do all the work are lazy and selfish. Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:15:53 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=39#comment52 To be very honest, obama's let down is just like when the taliban let the afghansistanis down...But, taliban had a reason, they were excluded from the world, obama was more than included...If someone had interewied people in afghanistan when taliban arrived in kabul, he would have found afghanistanis expressing the same sentiments as these students.. Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:10:56 GMT+1 U14284230 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=38#comment51 44 lol "So we can't say what you don't like? Because we're not Americans? Blimey, there's logic for you. . ." and if I say it AS AN AMERICAN I get told I am not.;) Grin on america. Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:09:40 GMT+1 U14284230 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=38#comment50 one reason americans are so into forgetting realityhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--Gg6kHQMHw&feature=related Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:07:31 GMT+1 U14284230 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=37#comment49 allent2 why do americans keep sticking their noses in other peoples history? Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:05:26 GMT+1 U14284230 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=36#comment48 [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]hey gary sorry what I should have said was I retract my comment to squirrelist and meant to say. why the heck are they getting that monkey Bush to raise funds. because if I as an american said it it would not be so inappropriate. Do you get it? if you think it inappropriate that is your right. if you wish to say it is more inappropriate for non americans then you define the over patriotic crack that is going to derail the train. Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:03:35 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=35#comment47 #33. AllenT2: "Such people are typically either anti-American or wannabe Americans that want America to be like their own countries."When I first came to live in Southern California, people would ask if I lived in Santa Monica "where all the Brits live." My reply would be "Why? If I wanted to live next to other Brits, I would have stayed in Britain." That being said, I have met others who either have nothing good to say about either their new nation-of-residence or their former home. Despite the many similarities, they are different."that's why so many Europeans, in the later case, always stick their noses in America's health care debate . . ."I don't believe it is a matter of "sticking their noses in" but rather interest in what occurs in the world's remaining superpower. Not everything in America is perfect and some good ideas do come from elsewhere. Similarly with Europe. It would be a very poor situation if America utilised only concepts and products which originated in the United States - think of everything we'd be missing. Tue 19 Jan 2010 18:58:41 GMT+1 U14284230 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=35#comment46 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKWrwLr9Yq8&feature=relatedSquirrelist here's the truth of america;) Tue 19 Jan 2010 18:52:15 GMT+1 squirrelist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=34#comment45 41. At 6:06pm on 19 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:"as for Bush well, we all elect a lemon once in a while."Ahem. In deference to our American cousins, who object to furriners casting nasturtiums about their ex-presidents, I think you might perhaps withdraw your unfortunate (and I am sure quite unintentional) comparison of Bush to a fruit.(Can't be too careful, seems to me. Unless you're American, of course, in which case it's probably OK.) Tue 19 Jan 2010 18:42:37 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=33#comment44 There may be as many earthquake victims in the tiny, impoverished nation of Haiti as there were of the tsunami around the Indian Ocean, and some people on both ends of the political spectrum use the occasion to grind their political axes. Deplorable. Tue 19 Jan 2010 18:41:54 GMT+1 squirrelist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=32#comment43 40.AllenT2:I think you and GH are a bit confused as to whose blog this is. It's ours. Belongs to us. It's the(British--not Burbank--Broadcasting Corporation. Wepay for it.So we can't say what you don't like? Because we're not Americans? Blimey, there's logic for you. . .(Do wipe your feet on the way out, that loose-bowelled bull's been here again. . .) Tue 19 Jan 2010 18:28:38 GMT+1 arclightt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=32#comment42 @32 (z) "Brave words but I can't see it myself, there's too much of a me,me,me attitude across the world these days & America has it in truckloads, what people want is what they want or nothing, which generally means that nothing is what you're left with. As soon as it's more important to stop the party than it is to get anything done at all then you're politically impotent & hostage to mob rule, still, there's always the Oscars."True enough, but I can manage myself (which is what I try to do here and elsewhere, not always successfully). I can also learn to look to God to give me grace to not only endure whatever comes along, but to do so cheerfully. Part of my problem is that I oftentimes try to endure on my own, and wind up bitter or without hope. That's not living...it's just existing. My lesson for this year (as every year!) is to learn to depend on God's grace more, and my abilities and wisdom less. Tue 19 Jan 2010 18:26:55 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=31#comment41 10. At 2:53pm on 19 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:Ref 6, Magic"That is why Clinton is asked to do this but the coward from plains is not.""Calling a veteran a coward, while lauding the valor of those that stayed clear of going to war is a bit rich don't you think?"Jimmy Carter came as close to combat as W did and while Mr. Peanut had his faults I don't believe cowardice was one of them. As for W's not going to war the same could be said for the sons of many other members of the ruling elite, regardless of political party.After Clinton's post Cold War military cutbacks and restructuring joining the national guard is no longer a way to avoid going to war as W so ably demonstrated in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tue 19 Jan 2010 18:26:45 GMT+1 zaphodian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=30#comment40 37. At 5:52pm on 19 Jan 2010, AllenT2 wrote:Nonsense. The anti-Americanism that exists in Europe, lets face it that is what is really meant when phrases like "the world" or "international" are used, is widespread, institutionalized and insidious. Bush was just a convenient excuse to more openly and viciously express it.Not really, did you ever take the time to wonder why it existed at all?Right, because most Americans are obviously stupid. Just like they *were* under Bush, huh?Hey, they're your Americans, & for the record I don't believe that most Americans are stupid, lots of them are though, just not most, as for Bush well, we all elect a lemon once in a while. Tue 19 Jan 2010 18:06:10 GMT+1 AllenT2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=29#comment39 squirrelist wrote: "Odd logic that; why not tell those who do a damn sight more than 'bad mouth' Clinton or Carter?"in response to GH1618 saying: "I think it is inappropriate for anyone, but particularly a non-American, to bad-mouth the appointment of former president George W. Bush to a charitable mission."Seems to me the people doing that are Americans and as GH1618 said it is "innappropriate" for a "non-American" to do so. You are obviously not American so his remarks obviously apply to you. Tue 19 Jan 2010 18:00:11 GMT+1 zaphodian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=29#comment38 33. At 5:44pm on 19 Jan 2010, AllenT2 wrote:Good and correct words but they will not make much of a difference either in this forum or on this site. People from that part of the world constantly and arrogantly somehow feel it is their business to get involved in America's domestic issues. That's why this blog exists in the first place. Can you imagine an American reporter doing the same on an American new site about the UK's domestic issues. Of course not.If this is true then aren't you lucky that our silly little society let's you play out over here? Maybe if America had a UK blog we could all visit you, so long as we checked our opinions at the door obviously :) Tue 19 Jan 2010 17:59:29 GMT+1 squirrelist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=28#comment37 11. At 3:16pm on 19 Jan 2010, general penitentiary wrote:"Well I knew it would be a little more difficult than new guy, new world.I am not alone. there are millions that are not the instant gratification desirers that abound. there are plenty like me who see that there is a lot of pure obstructionism. But the focus is always on those squeaky wheels."That's very true; really, my disappointment is as much anger at all those who don't seem to want to stay the course, who have been so slow to stand up and keep up the support and shout about it and fight beyond Inauguration Day.No good sitting at home just saying 'Wasn't the bonfire pretty, what a shame the fire brigade turned up and doused it so soon' is it? If you want a political fire to keep burning you need to pile more wood on to it. Get a fire lit under some Democrats' . . . Tue 19 Jan 2010 17:52:59 GMT+1 AllenT2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=27#comment36 zaphodian wrote: "at least acknowledge that he's done wonders for Americas' international image."Nonsense. The anti-Americanism that exists in Europe, lets face it that is what is really meant when phrases like "the world" or "international" are used, is widespread, institutionalized and insidious. Bush was just a convenient excuse to more openly and viciously express it."If he wants the majority of Americans to back him up though he needs to invest in simple catchphrases, unfortunately."Right, because most Americans are obviously stupid. Just like they *were* under Bush, huh? Predictable. Tue 19 Jan 2010 17:52:08 GMT+1 arclightt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=26#comment35 @21 (Marc): "My disappointment isn't with Obama, it's with the two party system, it's death hold on the electoral process, it's corruption and bitter rivalry that puts it's self-interest above the citizens it claims to serve."A long time ago I worked in a stereo shop as a bench technician. The owner explained to me that one fundamental of successful salesmanship was to get the prospective customer down to two choices. Seems to me that the political types have done a great job on the American public in that regard, and we have let them.We are offered two maggot-filled, putrefied packages of obsolete policies and retarded rhetoric, and asked to choose between the two. Not much of a choice.Here's hoping that more independent candidates begin to win at the local level. Over time, that influence will inevitably bear more and more heavily on the national organizations. We can help, of course, by repeatedly voting incumbents out, regardless of party. If the average time-in-office (TIO) for the typical Representative begins to approach 2 years, and the average TIO for a Senator begins to approach 6 years, the monied interests of all persuasions will conclude that there is no longer sufficient return on investment for them to keep investing in political campaigns, and they'll take their purchasing power elsewhere. That can only be good for the country. Tue 19 Jan 2010 17:49:41 GMT+1 frayedcat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=25#comment34 Nice post, and hurrah for the youth in Chicago getting involved, and learning, and maintaining hope. "More anarchy is loosed upon the world,The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhereThe Ceremony of innocence is drowned;The best lack all conviction, while the worstAre full of passionate intensity."-Yeats Tue 19 Jan 2010 17:48:02 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=25#comment33 "I think people from other nations have every right to say what they like." (from post #24)Of course they do, and it is my right to say that certain remarks are "inappropriate." The free marketplace of ideas does not protect anyone's published comments from being criticized. Tue 19 Jan 2010 17:47:21 GMT+1 AllenT2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=24#comment32 GH1618 wrote: "squirrelist (#5), I think it is inappropriate for anyone, but particularly a non-American, to bad-mouth the appointment of former president George W. Bush to a charitable mission. Such appointments are traditional and bipartisanship is normal(actually nonpartisanship, because it is not a political undertaking). Some poor presidents, e.g. Carter, are better in the role of former president. Perhaps Bush will be another. I will give him the benefit of the doubt."Good and correct words but they will not make much of a difference either in this forum or on this site. People from that part of the world constantly and arrogantly somehow feel it is their business to get involved in America's domestic issues. That's why this blog exists in the first place. Can you imagine an American reporter doing the same on an American new site about the UK's domestic issues. Of course not.Such people are typically either anti-American or wannabe Americans that want America to be like their own countries. I think that's why so many Europeans, in the later case, always stick their noses in America's health care debate with the hope that America gets a universal health service so then they can try to emigrate without having to worry about not being pampered by the government. Until then Canada is their favorite alternative. :)Oh, and don't forget gun control. They sure like to stick their noses into that one too. Tue 19 Jan 2010 17:44:50 GMT+1 zaphodian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/01/the_letdown.html?page=23#comment31 25. At 5:08pm on 19 Jan 2010, arclightt wrote:his is not just a thought experiment, either. All of us who live here in the US are part of this "family", whether we like it or not. We MUST find a way to make this work, and we cannot do that by attempting to disenfranchise or isolate half the population who doesn't vote the way we do while taking their tax dollars. We also can't do it by isolating ourselves from those who don't share our views, or by heaping abuse on them. We've tried all of this now for at least 18 years (if not something like 45 years or even longer), and it simply does not and will not work, because our system wasn't designed to operate that way.Brave words but I can't see it myself, there's too much of a me,me,me attitude across the world these days & America has it in truckloads, what people want is what they want or nothing, which generally means that nothing is what you're left with. As soon as it's more important to stop the party than it is to get anything done at all then you're politically impotent & hostage to mob rule, still, there's always the Oscars. Tue 19 Jan 2010 17:43:55 GMT+1