Tom Cordle

Tom Cordle
Location
Beeffee, Tennessee, CSA
Birthday
June 16
Title
Peasant
Company
Pleasant
Bio
There is your truth ... there is my truth ... and there is everything between. That leads to the better question: Is there an Everlasting Truth? I submit there is only the Everlasting Quest for the truth. __________________________________ I believe that in essence We are God. That is to say, humankind, for all it's faults, has power over Good and Evil. As the Eden Tale intimates, humans alone, in all Creation, have "eaten" from the the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; and thus humans alone, in all Creation, have the ability and responsibility to choose between the two. Thus, each of us is in essence a god, and the Sum of us, through all generations past, present and future is God. By those choices, we are the creators of what was, what is and what will be. And by those choices, we, collectively, choose whether to exist here and now in the Kingdom of Heaven or in a Living Hell. _________________________________ "I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and incur my own abhorrence." Frederick Douglass _________________________________ "You can't pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you don't have any boots, and you can't put yourself in another's shoes -- you can't even try on their socks." Soulofhawk _________________________________ "I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue." Albert Einstein _________________________________ Only in silence can your hear the voice of God." Soulofhawk ____________________________________ "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King, Jr" ____________________________________ "Racists can hide in the closet, but the smell usually gives them away." Soulofhawk _________________________________ "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." Mark Twain ____________________________ "When we are young, Death comes as an unwelcome stranger; but as we get nearer the end of our own too-often rocky road, he comes more and more to resemble a long, lost acquaintance." Soulofhawk ____________________________________ “When monetary gain is involved, mans capacity for self-delusion is infinite.” Lord Byron _________________________________ "Where greed is good, need is great." Soulofhawk _________________________________ “And let it be noted that there is no more delicate matter to take in hand, nor more doubtful in its success, than to set up as a leader in the introduction of change. For he who innovates will have as his enemies all who are well off under the existing order of things, and only lukewarm supporters in those who might be better off under the new. This lukewarm temper arises partly from the incredulity of mankind, who will never admit the merit of anything new, until they have seen it proven by the event.” Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter VI _________________________________ "if a man falls from a pedestal, who is really to blame -- the man or those who put him up there?" Soulofhawk ____________________________________ "The history of any country, presented as the history of a family, conceals fierce conflicts of interest (sometimes exploding, most often repressed) between conquerors and conquered, masters and slaves, capitalists and workers, dominators and dominated in race and sex. And in such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, as Albert Camus suggested, not to be on the side of the executioners." Howard Zinn _______________________________ "The worst thing to be around a bigot is right." Soulofhawk ______________________________

MY RECENT POSTS

MARCH 21, 2014 11:10PM

Dogs of War

Rate: 20 Flag

In his recent post, Help Me Make It Through the Night, Stacey Youdin quoted from a column by Charles Pierce, a takedown of village idiot Bill Kristol. Pierce did not mince words, and what he said bears repeating at length:

"Blow me, you monstrous, bloodthirsty fraud, you silly, stupid chickenhawk motherfker who plays army man with the children of people who are so much better than you are, and who would feed innocent civilians in lands you will never visit into your own personal meat-grinder to service your semi-annual martial erection. You and the rest of your cowardly cohort helped prepare the ground for the worst geopolitical mistake the country has made in 30 years. You fought the battle of the Green Rooms and the think tanks, while other people's sons and daughters died for your fantasy of how the world would work if you really were the pimply, adolescent Zeus you see when you look in the mirror every morning. The country does not need your lectures any more. The country does not need your counsel. The country does not need your advice. And, as sure as human beings have become dead because of your lectures, and counsel, and advice, human beings about whom you otherwise care nothing, the country does not need your hectoring that it has become insufficiently bellicose to fulfill your newest, blood-drenched fantasies. Even here, even now, you hide behind the skirts of a woman from Indiana who, while I believe her to be wrong, seems to be genuine in her beliefs. You are unworthy of her intellectual camouflage. You should be driven from polite society, consigned to an ideological Molokai so you can no longer infect the rest of us. People should shun you. You should wear the bell for the rest of your miserable days."

I couldn't have said it better, but that won't keep from saying it longer.

· · ·

Why does anyone pay any heed to Kristol and other Neocons when they have been so completely and utterly wrong so consistently about everything? And why do we call them Neo-Conservatives when there is nothing conservative about their war-mongering agenda?

The worst of the Neo-Cons multitude of mistakes was their Project for a New American Century, a think tank of sorts founded and chaired by Bill Kristol. Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush, Steve Forbes, Bill Bennett, Paul Wolfowitz, Francis Fukuyama and Dan Quayle were among the many rightwing conservative signatories to PNAC's Statement of Principles, a sort of manifesto that was a militarist's wet dream.

Among other things, the manifesto promoted going to war in the Mideast, toppling a dictator and establishing a democracy, as a means of remaking the Mideast in our image – or at least in the image of the Neo-Cons. Think of it as a sort of reverse Domino Theory.

Or at least that was the story the movers and shakers in PNAC intended to try to sell to the public. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, their real interest was oil, either owning it or controlling it. Indeed, in his book former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan flatly stated that the Iraq War was about oil.

 · · ·

These Neo-Con's may have begun to believe God was on their side, when a few hanging chads in Florida – and unprecedented interference by five partisan Supreme Court Justices – resulted in their hand-picked stooge becoming President of the United States.

When George W. Bush took office, he had some experience with oil, having driven four start-up companies bankrupt when he couldn't find oil even in Texas. But at the time, he knew as little about foreign affairs as Sarah Palin. And rather than get right to work at the job he had been appointed to by the Supreme Court, rather than heed the warnings of his predecessor about terrorist plans, Bush took a six-week vacation.

The Neo-Cons delusion that God was on their side was likely confirmed by 9-11. That awful tragedy provided the cover and presented the perfect excuse to execute their plan. Now they didn't have to try to sell the public on the dubious notion of a war to bring democracy to the Mideast (that lame excuse never came up until all other excuses  like WMD  failed); now they had revenge as an excuse for their oil wars.

Well, you know what they say about best laid plans.

· · ·

For those who may have forgotten, which apparently includes most Americans, those plans put the cost of the Iraq War at $72 billion dollars. As if that dubious estimate wasn't absurd enough, the public was told the actual cost would be $0 dollars, since we would be reimbursed for all expenses from Iraqi oil revenues. When an expert in the Bush administration dared to suggest the cost would be at least $200 billion and could cost as much as $400 billion, he was told in no uncertain terms to revise his estimate or find another job.

When General Shinsheki said it would require at least 350,000 troops to win the war and keep the peace in the aftermath, he was essentially demoted. Who needed all those troops when the Iraqis were going to greet us with flowers and open arms?

Then there was the Neo-Cons “slam dunk” insistence that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction. In fact, the most awful weapons employed before, during and after the Iraq War were Weapons of Mass Deception, weapons so effective many Americans still don't believe they were deceived about all this.

· · ·

What's the point of rehashing all this? To point out just how horribly wrong the Neo-Cons were about everything, and thus confirm why they shouldn't be given any credence – let alone an audience.

After Bush the Least crawled from office, leaving behind two unfinished disastrous wars and a financial meltdown, the Neo-Cons slinked off and hid in his dark shadow – for a little while. Too bad they didn't remain there.

But the gang that can't think straight – or learn from its mistakes – was soon back at it – pressuring President Obama to go to war in Libya and Syria. And now they're beating the drum for a military response in Ukraine. Even worse, they're making the specious and traitorous claim that Obama's “weakness” on these and other matters emboldened Vladimir Putin and led to Russian aggression.

Well, let's examine the facts, shall we?

· · ·

The fact is the responsibility for our weakened foreign policy position can be laid directly at the door of the Neo-Cons. To begin with, they made a mess and couldn't figure out how to clean it up. Their tragically inept prosecution of their elective oil wars left President Obama with his hands tied financially and militarily.

Indeed, it's doubtful we could mount a far-flung land war even if this President was inclined to do so. Certainly, we would have to borrow the money to do so – or raise taxes, and what are the chances of that?

Rather than raise taxes, the Neo-Cons took the cost of their oil wars off the books; and those wars, coupled with simultaneously and idiotically cutting taxes during wartime, are responsible for most of our current deficit. But those misbegotten oil wars have consequences far beyond their financial costs.

For one thing, the volunteer armed forces touted and promoted by Cheney and Rumsfeld after Vietnam have been strained to the maximum. Many soldiers did four and five tours of duty in Afghanistan and/or Iraq and shouldn't even be asked to sacrifice themselves and their families in another dubious war – even if we could afford one.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the oil wars had an outcome the Neo-Cons surely never anticipated. Rather than intimidating Mideast countries into bowing to the will of the sole remaining Superpower, rather than forcing them to adopt a political system we insisted they ought to have, the oil wars proved that even with our vast military superiority, we could not defeat a rag-tag army of dedicated warriors, armed with antiquated weapons – and cheap cell phones.

That's what happens to those who don't learn from history. Certainly, the descendants of the rag-time Colonial Army that defeated the vastly superior forces of the mighty British Empire, should have known better. But alas, the only lesson we took from our victory in the American Revolution was that it was due to American Exceptionalism.

What the Afghan War and the Iraq War, like the Vietnam War and the Korean War before them, should have taught us is that we are not all that exceptional as warriors. But apparently, that's a lesson we don't want to learn.

Certainly, other nations – including Russia – noted the failure of our armed forces to quickly and easily impose our will in the Mideast. And that, not Obama's supposed weakness, is what emboldened Vladimir Putin.

· · ·

If the Neo-Cons want to find the culprits responsible for Putin's aggression, they should look in the mirror. But alas, when they look in the mirror they see a “pimply, adolescent Zeus” … they see god-men and warriors ... they see eagles, where others see only chickenhawks. 

If the Neo-Conmen really want war, they should volunteer for it – or at least volunteer their grown children. The most egregious example of their hypocrisy was the tough talk vomited-up by Citizen Romney, who didn't even bother to offer a lame excuse for why neither he nor any of his five strapping sons volunteered for the armed forces. No, Mitt, intoned, they had more important things to do.

Nor will you ever find dilettante Bill Kristol volunteering to serve in a war. Momma always said if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything; but in Kristol's case, I'll make an exception and repeat the comment I made on Stacey's post:

I agree with every spit-drenched epithet Pierce hurled Kristol's way, but I think he went too easy on the bastard. Kristol's of the same smug, sneering, sarcastic, surly, insufferable, self-aggrandizing, pseudo-intellectual stripe as Darth Cheney and his boot-licking toady, David Addington ... same as Ted Cruz ... they're all chickenhawks to their rotten core.

I know we're not supposed to make the comparison, but every one of these officious, pompous, ass-kissing suck-ups would have been right at home in the Third Reich. It takes no stretch of the imagination to see these fuckers signing the paperwork that sent millions off to concentration camps. Kristol doesn't deserve to be called a Jew.”

©2014 Tom Cordle

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Most American Jews are liberal. A lot of the most prominent neocons are Jewish, which I've always found embarrassing. Not that they're conservative, but that they're neocons.
As I read your description of the neo-con dream of a New American Century, I realized that this is the 21st century version of the 19th-century doctrine of Manifest Destiny, but this time projected onto the entire world. I'd never made that connection before, but it seems a fitting analogy, if not a reincarnation.

Not to defend William Kristol, whom I also hold in high disregard, but I noticed in the paper the other day that his son Joseph just married a young woman he's known from his college days. (That would be Hahvud.) The story goes that Young Kristol is a consultant at McKinsey in NY, but from 2009 to 2013 he was a Marine infantry officer serving in Afghanistan, the Middle East and parts of Africa. Let not the sins of the father be visited on the son. Joseph probably has his old man's egregious politics, but at least he can't be called a chickenhawk.
Kosher
Sounds like you have the same problem with the wingnuts in your faith, same as I am with the wingnuts in mine.
Daniel
Hadn't thought about that comparison, but it does seem to be a good -- or bad -- one. I also wasn't aware Kristol's son served in the military, and for over-generalizing about the children of chickenhawks, I must sincerely apologize. But his service does not excuse his father's disgusting politics.
Depends what you mean by wingnuts.
Mighty stuff Tom. You singled out Kristol but it could easily have been David Brooks. Here's a link from Glenn Greenwald's fabulous deconstruction of that worm:

http://www.salon.com/2009/09/25/brooks_6/

Also, it seemed you didn't complete your thought on the cost of the Iraq misadventure/boondoggle/obscenity. Including the costs of caring for the wounded soldiers, a recent report pegged it at over 2 TRILLION. And here's the link for that:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/14/us-iraq-war-anniversary-idUSBRE92D0PG20130314
Kosher
Well, the term wingnut can be applied to people in a lot of different areas -- conspiracy theorists like the ones who try to pin the JFK assassination on everybody, the worst example being those who claim Jacquie Kennedy did it. The term also applies to most alien/UFO True-Believers, and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion believers, holocaust deniers, white supremacists, and on and on ad infinitum.

But in this case, I'm obviously alluding to those whose religious upbringing crowds out their reason. I'd say that applies to Kristol and a number of others in the Israel uber alles contingent. In my faith, the list of wingnuts is virtually endless -- Pat Robertson, with his homo's cause hurricanes rants, and the recently late and unlamented Fred Phelps, patriarch of the Westboro Baptist Church, or the idiot down in Florida who incites riots by burning the Koran on TV.
Abrawang
Thanks, and yes, David Brooks is another one who ought to know better but obviously doesn't, though I'm not sure he should be lumped in with the Neo-Cons -- more likely he's just a plain old con-man.

I probably should have made mention of the revised cost of the Iraq War, but this post was getting pretty long as it was. And even numbers like $2 trillion probably don't take into account what this war will ultimately cost. Given that advances in medicine are keeping alive many young man whose injuries would have been fatal in earlier wars, I think it's fair to say the long term cost of the Iraq War could well be double that $2 trillion figure, and likely be even higher.

Nor did I mention the cost to our dead and wounded soldiers and their families ... nor the cost to hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's whose lives were ended or ruined by this war ... nor the cost to countless Iraqi children born and as yet unborn, who will suffer birth defects because of our use of depleted uranium in that country ... nor the incalculable cost to America's reputation in the Arab world, and to civilization itself, with this Latter-Day Crusade.
Kristol is interesting in the severity and frequency of his incorrectness. He actually predicted that the Iraq war would last two months. As prominent as he is, one sometimes wonders if he is speaking for someone, but he was so wrong in that case that he couldn't have been. He is just that out of touch.
Bill
How awful for you to share the same first name with Kristol -- but it could be worse, I share mine with Doubting Thomas -- it's what you call an aptonym
I did some research on Bill's (our Bill, not the Bill you reference)
assertion that Chickenhawk Monstrous Bloodthirsty Fraud Bill
has a tendency to be wrong about everything...

"[the war in Iraq] "could have terrifically good effects throughout the Middle East" September 18, 2002 column

[removing Saddam] "would start a chain reaction in the Arab world that would be very healthy" November 21, 2002

If we free the people of Iraq, we will be respected in the Arab world... and I think we will be respected around the world. February 20, 2003

Very few wars in American history were prepared better or more throughly than this one by this president. March 1, 2003

The first two battles of this new era are now over. The battles of Afghanistan and Iraq has been won decisively and honorably. April 28, 2003

Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton in a single democratic primary. I'll predict that right now.
~
I haven't even gotten to more recent times, nor do I wish to.

His career choices are almost...comical. At least I got a laugh from that:
"
chief of staff to Secretary of Education William Bennett during the Reagan administration, and then as Chief of Staff to the Vice President under Dan Quayle
It does my heart good to see that douchebag getting some comeuppance but I'll tell you what kills me in all this and that is - first these are well known facts and by rights Bill Crystal should be a pariah based on all you say PLUS lest anyone forgets, he the prime maker and polisher of Sarah Palin's star. (and responsible for THAT smarm coming at us every few months)

But what really kills me is this should have been written years ago. I don't get why it wasn't. And why traitors like him keep showing up smiling that smile, confident in their lies.

But the fourth estate is not doing it's job! Every so often here comes Dick Cheney, who the entire nation agrees is the lowest of the low. He lies, he kills, he steals and he does it with that Cheney smirk. They couldn't even whitewash and sell his nails on a blackboard daughter, and yet, they keep trying and the media gives him a platform. Respect. And no doubt control over the questioning.

The thing is, if you give respect to the Bills and Dicks and Sarahs and the rest, if you repeat the same idea, statement of "fact" over and over and over, anyone - Americans or Tazmanians, they'll either start to believe or they resign themselves to what's coming.

Who's to blame for this?

Do we blame the idiot or the idiot who marches in lockstep with the idiot? And then there are the idiots who elect idiots who march behind idiots?

America has become like those bawdy images from the middle ages -endless lines of monks buggering monks.

I ask myself, how does (for example) Paul Ryan who as a young man was a recipient of social security get away with dumping on present day recipients? Was his social security check more conservative than the ones cut today? ...oh I forget, they're signed by nepharious lefties but and are sourced directly from the pockets of good rightwingers who pay taxes, while us lefties do not much of anything but but cut checks for bums and bask like Aesop's grasshopper.

The news reports, sort of. I mean, it's all out there and WE know. So if we know, is it a matter of reading and adding two plus two and coming up with something near four? Or is it that we have become a nation of idiots willing to be buggered by idiots like Bill (wipe that fucking smirk off your face, you piece of shit) Crystal? Or is it that the media is not wiping that smirk off his face by asking real questions?

I think we're doomed Tom Cordel. Every time I see any of them with reverence, I taste the vomit, the bile rising.

We make piddling squeeking noises in the face of booming warmongering greed invested scum. They never go away. They have no shame and we haven't the courage to call them on it.

We should be storming the bastille and we're not. I said this in Robert Becker's terrific thread about the left - someone needs to appropriate that damned name "Occupy Wall Street" and resuscitate it and get moving!

I'm a gabber. I speak to strangers and from what I hear no one is happy with the status quo and who wasn't excited about the possibility of OWS.

I don't know who's aware of Bill Crystal, per se, but we all know we're being misrepresented by lazy self serving shits in Washington and state capitols. Unfortunately half the people I speak with watch Fox and figure it's the Democrats, but ultimately we're all powerless and it doesn't really matter. We could get all dressed up but there's no place to go.

We need a stronger fourth estate and a feisty third party to join and get all jiggy with. Democrats are doing diddly squat. Needing to be reelected, they're unwilling to step on toes that pay the bills to get them reelected. So all of them - except maybe Bernie Sanders and a few others - make deals that fuck us just a little harder, create more hungry American children, kill more brave American kids and allow corporations to turn our faucets and backyards into gas fires while other nations sue us within our own courts to further flood the market with their junk while scoffing up more American jobs.

It's ALL out there. And we still have the ability if not the right to vote. But somehow we're not going for the gold. We're dogpaddling around the edges of it.

I say blame the media for giving us endless rounds of sensationalism instead of hard news and apologist pundits instead of reporters.

The people don't KNOW which way is up when a shit like Crystal can go on out in public without having someone pie his ass.
James
Bill Kristol thinks he's Bill Buckley, but he's not even Bill Bennett.

Since you're fond of quotations, here's one I cited in my book The Disappearing Cemetery:

"The belief in the possibility of a short decisive war appears to be one the most ancient and dangerous of human illusions." Robert Lynd
I would add this variation on Kosh's comment, "Not that they're conservatives, but that they are cowardly neocons who are also morons"... and you can toss Newt Gingrich and his personal boyhood fantasies of The Magnificent Seven into that mix to demonstrate how truly despicable and morally bankrupt these birds of a chickenhawk feather truly are.
Tom,
The neocons are not particularly religious Jews. That's not where their views come from. It's more likely to be the reaction of a traditionally persecuted population that suddenly has access to serious power. This is not about religious upbringing, it's a result of tribalism, which is a major factor in the Jewish community. When you deal with a religion that also functions as a tribal entity, things get complicated and certain generalizations don't apply because of the rather unique combination of factors.

In terms of religion itself (I'm talking strictly about Judaism here), there are two separate strands when it comes to politics. The ultra-Orthodox strand is insular, and tends to run conservative because they're so vigilant about religious law and about a militaristic take on self-preservation. The rest of the population (including modern Orthodox) tends toward the unusually liberal: to give you an example, in the US a higher percentage of Jews favor legalized gay marriage than of any other group, even atheists. The misperception out there is that the overwhelming majority of Jews are liberal in spite of religious Judaism; in actuality, it's because of religious Judaism. Not that most or all of liberal Jews are religious, but the moral and ethical biases and perspectives they grew up with normally came from Jews who were more religious, and those biases and perspectives continued while a lot of what brought them about were dropped. However, there's a danger here: If you look at lapsed Jews, Jews with no connection to Judaism, they and especially their offspring tend statistically to revert toward the general median in their behaviors, and so it's a bad idea to assume that we can keep what Judaism gives us without the Judaism itself.

The neocons are absolutely not religious wingnuts. Wingnuts, sure, but not religious wingnuts.

Foolish Monkey,
Please don't confuse Bill Kristol with Billy Crystal, who's a famous comedian and likely to be a Hell of a lot more liberal than Bill Kristol.
Foolish Monkey
Stop holding back -- tell us how you really feel. I should caution you, though, to take pity on the poor comedian Billy Crystal and not mix him up with village idiot Bill Kristol -- I'm pretty sure their politics are at opposite ends of the scale.

I understand and share your feeling of desperation, but this is not the time give up in disgust. You can bet the opposition will never give up -- not as long as they and their cronies can profit handsomely from war-mongering, and not as long as they think they're doing God's work and storing up riches in Heaven. We simply can't afford to concede either politics or religion to them.

I also share your desire for a third-party to get complacent (and worse) Democrats on their toes. But to do so in the present clime would be to guarantee the ascent of the Repugnants, which I'm sure you agree would be a worse fate.

If the two major parties are to divide like an amoeba, let the Repugnants go first. Given the present dissension in their racks, between the Religious Wrong and Chamber of Congress conservatives, cell-division seems likely if not imminent.

Meantime, let us not bite the hand that feeds us Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Child Services, and yes, Obamacare -- for all its flaws. The most important thing people like you and me can do is get off our asses and vote in the mid-terms -- and get everyone who thinks like us to do the same. We simply can't afford a repeat of 2010.
Jmac
Strictly speaking, I don't know that I'd include Newt among the Neo-Cons, since he appears to have no belief system other than enriching himself at others expense. Newt is merely a weathervane, pointing to what he thinks he can profit from at any given time, whether that's giving awards to strip club owners or lobbying to be Governor of the Moon.

I'm convinced that many of the Neo-Cons actually believe the idiocy they spout -- that's what makes them do dangerous. When I say True-Believer Neo-Cons, I'm referring to guys like Paul Wolfowitz, whose "punishment" for being proved so terribly and tragically wrong in his beliefs about PNAC and the Iraq War was to be made head of the World Bank.
Kosher
You allude to lapsed Jews, a category one might also call ethnic Jews rather than religious or observant Jews. The same sort of divide exists in the Christian community, and given that division, I would call myself an ethnic Christian -- and many an observant Christian has called me far worse.

With respect, I must disagree with your assertion that " it's a bad idea to assume that we can keep what Judaism gives us without the Judaism itself". Unless I'm misunderstanding what you're saying, that sort of thing is heard all the time in Christian churches, especially those of the conservative or fundamentalist strain.

They hold there can be no morality absent the teachings of the faith, an idea that is preposterous on its face. I've heard it said time and again in Christian churches that if anything the traditional dogma holds to be true is false, then the faith and the teachings of Jesus have no value. And furthermore, that any and all who do not accept the dogma in its entirety are bound for everlasting punishment in Hell. It's worth reminding ourselves what that dogma holds to be true:

"I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen."

To insist that belief in all that is a requirement in order to lead a moral life is another claim absurd on its face. For starters, it denies the value of the moral lessons taught in both the Old and New Testaments, and makes a mockery of the claim to be a Judeo-Christian faith. But try having that argument with the sort of Christian who takes the Bible and the Dogma literally.
oh you sticklers - krystal, crystal, a rose by any other name. blech.

we had a majority - a majority in the house, the senate and the executive. and what did the dems do with it?

I don't think I agree anymore. I honestly have come to believe, the republicans have so effectively stacked the deck in their favor in the supreme court, the only branch we didn't have the majority, that corporations have become people and can create poltical action committees and send beaucoup bucks and then there's that pesky civil rights voting bill that became obsolete - don't need that anymore! consider even with a senate majority, the NRA has decided the president's appointee for surgeon general is not acceptable to them and so he's not acceptable for the nation.

tom, the dems are better than the republicans. but not by a lot. not by enough imo unless we can put a fire under their asses. and unless a few of us become mega gazillionaires, I don't see that happening any time soon.
FM
Apathy is not an option
Serioulsy enjoyed this essay on essay.

Made me think of Leonardo DiCaprio at the throttle of the Spruce Goose.
I don't have an apathetic bone in my body. and never will.

we shall endure! this is after all America and we've seen worse. but something's got to give and I think right now - it's this two party system.
James Hart
Thanks, in a previous post I compared Ted Cruz to Joe McCarthy and a lot of other unsavory characters. Being compared to Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes is quite an honor.
Tom, I love my name. I share it with my Dad, whom I dearly love. With a thing so personal as a name, it does not feel "shared" with unsavory people. William is the second most popular name for a male in the English language. There are at least 7 jackasses in the world with it. I lament sharing an electorate, a country, and a century with Kristol. The name only reminds me of what it means. Protector.
Bill
I certainly didn't mean to demean you or your name, and certainly not your father. For the record, I am the third generation of Tom Cordle's and my son is the fourth, so to that extent I understand where you're coming from. My comment was intended as a joke, and I'm sorry that it didn't strike you as funny.
Tom,
No, what I'm talking about is completely different. I am absolutely not saying that religious faith is the only source of morality.

There are certain statistical differences that show up among the Jewish population because of the way our religion works. In some religions, clergy depend on the laiety to have a limited knowledge of theology so they can be manipulated better. In Judaism, it's the exact opposite: we value scholarship above all else, and part of that is questioning. Israel, translated literally, means "wrestles with God."

The Jewish community is, on average, better educated, way more active politically, further Left, more charitable, less likely to be divorced, less likely to be alcoholic, and wealthier (not in my case) than the general population. Judaism has probably been the best mechanism for producing humanistic political activists per capita the world has ever seen. When Jews lapse, these trends statistically lapse with them over time.

You're used to associating religion with a lot of trends that move in the opposite direction. You're used to religion moving populations away from science. Statistically, we innovate scientifically more than anyone else out there per capita, and it's not close. There's a reason companies like Microsoft and Intel do a lot of their key stuff at their Israeli divisions. (We're not bad artistically either.) You're used to religion moving toward conservativism.

We aren't an earlier, cruder version of Christianity. We're a very different animal. You, and to a far greater extent, Gary, are basing a lot of your assumptions about religion on the religion you've witnessed, and neither of you has significant experience with us.
No offense taken, Tom. I am third generation also.

I considered being more thorough. I also share a name with Glenn Beck. I have considerable practice with ignoring the coincidences.
Yes, but you also share a last name with Jeff Beck. That's not a bad thing at all.
Bill Beck it could never occur to me - even on a bad day, never mind this particularly sweet and almost sunny early spring day - that you and that swine krystol shared anything, much less you and that other lunatic. you are Bill Beck of the snazzy avatar and the unimpeachably fierceness! you should not trouble yourself with such trifflings. get thee back to specifying!
Um, I don't. I thought that is what I said.
Kosher
While I accept everything you say about your faith as the truth, it is not the whole truth about your faith. History is pretty clear that Judaism has a dark side, just like Christianity. Pointing that out is not a condemnation of either faith, it's merely pointing out the obvious. I say that in the full knowledge that the messenger is frequently taken to task rather than the message.

My complaint about Kristol isn't that he's a Jew; it's that he's a pompous ass whose views have caused others in this world a lot of misery. I do think his being Jewish does prejudice his views and his politics when it comes to Israel and the Mideast. He's far from alone on that score.

Obviously one doesn't have to be a Jew to have that prejudice. A lot of fundamentalist Christians are prejudiced toward Israel, though for reasons that can best be described as perverse. They can't wait for Armageddon, and so they want to give God a helping hand to speed up the process.

I don't know, but I suspect George W Bush might have been infected by a bit of that sort of "thinking" based on his overt proselytizing -- in my view, more than a little unseemly in a President -- and his use of the taboo word "crusade" before his handlers restrained him on that score. Whatever the case, he surely can't be accused of over-thinking about politics -- or anything else.

Hard to say what drives the beliefs and the actions of someone like Cheney or Rumsfeld, though in the case of the former monetary consideration surely plays some part. I'm fond of quoting a poet, Lord Byron, on that matter:

“When monetary gain is involved, mans capacity for self-delusion is infinite.”
I happened to catch the lamenting stage. clearly you've moved on.
In my endless attempt to connect the dots, seems to me there's a connection to be made here. Just as there are some good and bad Bill's, Tom's and Beck's, so are there some good and bad Jews and Christians. Ironically, in my view, the greatest Christian was a Hindu -- Gandhi.
Why can't we all appreciate what intellectual rigour the neo-cons display? They know, and are able to convince most of fly-over land inhabitants, that the majority exist merely to enhance the life of leisure of the 1%. I mean, why should the masses expect food, clothing, shelter, and healthcare as benefits of being American? I mean, if only the Free Soilers had lost, America would have reached its true potential decades ago, and not needed that hateful War Between The States.
Tom, that is a fascinating comment. Gandhi was the greatest Christian. Of course, Jesus was never a Christian, and if he had been, would he want to be "the greatest"? Maybe not. Then I think, is it not in the interest of being Christian to be the greatest. I don't disagree with you at all about the accolade. It just seems that one can't set a course to being the greatest. You just have to be true.
It causes no harm to be reminded of the fact that you may not be able to fool all the people all the time but there is always a substantial number of people who can be fooled to write the history of humanity in rivers of blood and tornadoes of suffering and unnecessary misery. It is quite obvious that Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, or whatever whatever group you may choose are subject to the same eagerness to smear in intellectual excrement whatever smatterings of decency and reason and compassion may lie within humanity. The planet is now brought to the brink of almost total finality by those now in control and the eagerness to play the same old vicious games has not lessened in the slightest by reminder that complete inevitable disaster lurks nearby.
Human life is only important to humans. It is not important to the planet, or life in general. Even if it were possible to extinguish all human life, which I doubt, life will go on.
To be satisfied that, somewhere on this planet, there remains a small colony of bacteria rotting what is left behind strikes me a rather peculiar.
What sort of disaster do you think is imminent, Jan? There are not enough nukes on the planet to destroy it....or life. Also, not all forms are susceptible to radiation poison. Everything that survives, or is far eniugh away from a blast to remain alive, has a good chance. Much will never be touched. Nukes wont cover the surface of the Earth, even if they are used. Life in oceans will go on. Life in many places underground will go on. Some life already eat plastic and oil and vaious forms of pollution. Human life is somewhat fragile, but life in general is a very strong force. I think you underestimate it.
Thank goodness there is always an element of bitter humor on this site to lighten the day, no matter its level of intellectual ineptitude.
Jan please, don't go there again. It's a no-win, you know that.
It's about 2.30 am here and not a lot going on. Sometimes you cannot resist the temptation to kick the can sitting on the sidewalk just to hear it rattle across the street.
Well, here is the rattle of a few nuclear physicists who say that "Nuclear Winter" would not even destroy all human life.

"Professor Michael McElroy, a Harvard physics professor, also
criticized the nuclear winter hypothesis. McElroy said that nuclear
winter researchers “stacked the deck” in their study, which was titled
“Nuclear Winter: Global Consequences of Multiple Nuclear Explosions”
(Science,
December 1983).

Nuclear winter is the theory that the mass use of nuclear weapons
would create enough smoke and dust to blot out the sun, causing a
catastrophic drop in global temperatures. According to Carl Sagan, in
this situation the earth would freeze. No crops could be grown. Humanity
would
die of cold and starvation.

In truth, natural disasters have frequently produced smoke and dust
far greater than those expected from a nuclear war. In 1883 Krakatoa
exploded with a blast equivalent to 10,000 one-megaton bombs, a
detonation greater than the combined nuclear arsenals of planet earth.
The Krakatoa explosion had negligible weather effects. Even more
disastrous, going back many thousands of years, a meteor struck Quebec
with the force of 17.5 million one-megaton bombs, creating a crater 63
kilometers in diameter. But the world did not freeze. Life on earth was
not extinguished.

Consider the views of Professor George Rathjens of MIT, a known
antinuclear activist, who said, “Nuclear winter is the worst example of
misrepresentation of science to the public in my memory.” Also consider
Professor Russell Seitz, at Harvard University’s Center for
International
Affairs, who says that the nuclear winter hypothesis has been
discredited.


Read more at http://www.wnd.com/1999/05/6341/#UQECUuPLGukqwPpD.99
beck will swing in WHATEVER direction supports his views: "WND is a Right-wing website World Net Daily"

How convient, but then expediency be thy name.
Michio Kaku (born January 24, 1947) is an American theoretical physicist, the Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics at the City College of New York, a futurist, and a communicator and popularizer of science. He has written several books about physics and related topics

Kaku is the author of various popular science books.
• Beyond Einstein (with Jennifer Thompson) (1987)
• Hyperspace (1994)
• Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century (1998)
• Einstein's Cosmos (2004)
• Parallel Worlds (2004)
• Physics of the Impossible (2008)
• Physics of the Future (2011)
• The Future of the Mind (2014)
Hyperspace was a best-seller and was voted one of the best science books of the year by both The New York Times and The Washington Post. Parallel Worlds was a finalist for the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction in the UK.


"Excellent interview with physicist Michio Kaku on the grim realities of the Fukushima disaster, how people are fleeing Tokyo in droves, and, in no uncertain terms, that Obama’s plan to build more nuclear plants is a “Faustian bargain” and a deal with the devil." - See more at: http://ultraculture.org/blog/2014/03/07/sobering-truth-fukushima-physicist-michio-kaku/#sthash.G6tVPQOz.dpuf

deflect and use any means necessary to make false claims.
mark, don't be confused. I am not a proponent of nuclear war. I merely said that it wont extinguish all life. Read the thread. I said human life is fragile, but all life is not likely. Upon looking up a few links, apparently some say that the nuclear winter concept is overblown. They use some numbers to make their case, THEIR case, but in lieu of any other case...it is the only case. But again, nuclear was is not MY view, mark.
Tom, please delete my comments - Even though I listened to and Loved Your music tape, we're supposed to be enemies and not post on each others' blog posts.

Sorry that I forgot.
See http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/forests-around-chernobyl-arent-decaying-properly-180950075/?no-ist

Even micro-organisms are not surviving around Chernobyl. And that was a minor disaster compared with a full exchange of hydrogen bombs. The slow spread of radioactivity from Fukushima is poisoning the entire north Pacific Ocean and biological activity is concentrating the various dilute radioactives to make fish dangerous to consume. The acidification of the oceans from CO2 is dissolving the shells of a good deal of ocean life. The auxiliary subsequent disintegration of civility and general order may be somewhat envisioned by the chaos in Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya which has currently resulted from the conventional insanity of unprincipled misbehavior. This would be magnified many times over from a nuclear interchange and if you would be happy with that then I really see no point in any discussion in this area with you. You grasp of reality seems totally ludicrous.

I make no claims about total life destruction, I just am amused that what would be left might seem satisfactory to you. Radioactivity is no normal explosion. It distributes poisons that kill for centuries if not longer. If that future makes you happy then it qualifies a certain level of values that you hold which are quite beyond my acceptance. I cannot take you seriously.
Likewise, Jan. I never once said it would be satisfactory.

Life arose on this planet out of a nuclear, toxic mess. Millions of humans would die. Lots of other things also. The area around Chernobyl is the area around a nuclear disaster.

You said, "The planet is now brought to the brink of almost total finality by those now in control.."

Life on the planet is not analogous to around Chernobyl, or any other location. Yes, nuclear war would be hellish, but it will not likely bring "the planet" "to the brink of almost finality." That is a tad over stated.

No one said satisfactory.
I have an fascination with dun horses, which are horses with a primitive gene. While doing some light web research I discovered there are herds of Przewalski horses surviving in the vacinity of Chernobyl. There's a lot of information about these and other animals and even human beings who never left or choose to live there and are surviving.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/04/0426_060426_chernobyl.html
PS. that's just one little article. there's a lot of information on this out there.

PPS. I'm not suggesting a nuclear winter is liveable or desirable or less than devastating.
That primordial Earth had it's problems is not doubtful but "Life arose on this planet out of a nuclear, toxic mess." is hardly what I have heard. Radioactivity was no problem then and that distinction is crucial.

And that some form of primitive life might persist is no grounds for optimism. The loss of everything above a slice of Roquefort cheese seems a bit outside of what might be considered a happy ending.
I don't think this discussion is at all about any optimism about the aftermath of a nuclear winter. Whats been suggested is that life probably would not end. Some, many maybe most species would not survive. But some would survive, thrive, live on and evolve. Getting beyond all the death, it's still an interesting thought. no?
Happy ending for us, it would not be. And yes, life did not rise directly out of nuclear material, or radiation. But the Earth was a mess, and bathed in radiation from space.

Here is the optimistic view. Life will end on this panet eventually. The Sun will absorb Earth in a fireball when it dies. But the smoke and dust returns to the cosmos from whence it came. And it is that very stuff that came to Earth on a meteorite and eventually became part of the primordial ooze from which life arose. Some billions of years into the process, if the right space dust finds the right suitable planet, life will start again. This is what our multiverse is made of. Every living thing we know of will be gone, and Earth will be gone, but life will outlive it. It happened once, and unless you think Earth was created by the fingertip of some supernatural entity that only did it to watch us do what we do, then you must be open to the idea that life rules, and it will start somewhere again. For all we know, our consciousness is eternal. We may haunt the skies in some timeless fashion until a host planet is ready, or upon finding the one(s) that currently exist.
No, it's not interesting. That life on Earth is regressed to bacterial level fascinates me not at all and to feel that is not a complete disaster is a rather interesting indication of intellect level.
Jan, then it should interest you that the majority of humanity could survive neclear war.

Another way to look at it is, humans should be interested in the planet for more than as a host to human life. Humans are among the worst things that ever happened to the planet, as you have suggested. With power in the hands of the people who currently have it, we are on the brink, in your view. Therefore, power in HANDS...human. Our hands are the malefactors. Secondly, if it is actually not the brink of disaster, it should be quite interesting. It wont only be bacteria that survives. Two weeks of lethal fallout may kill lots of people. After that, if you dont take up residence in a place like Chernobyl, you are likely to live. That is very interesting.
After a nuclear war there will hardly be anyplace not like Chernobyl and what there is will not be fit to produce food for the hungry masses who will murder each other to get something to eat.

I am not a sonofabitch and I do not threaten decent life on Earth and I doubt I am entirely exceptional. A few humans are worth saving.
Bill,
When are you going to understand that when you say that nuclear winter won't kill anything like all human life on Earth, what you mean is that nuclear warfare is fine and that life on Earth regressed to a bacterial level does not constitute a complete disaster?
Obviously, a nuclear detonation will incinerate anything within a certain range. Outside of that range, the threat to life is the short term nuclear fallout. That lasts between 2 and 3 weeks. Assuming you are out of the blast zone, and not allowing fallout to sprinkle on you for the next three weeks...assuming fallout comes your way...then you are in the clear. The destruction would be unprecedented. But life will survive.

I have never been to Chernobyl, and I don't have any plans to. Just add the rest of the bombed out places to your do not go list. Will life be the same? No. Will the death of millions be "satisfactory"? No. Will life continue? It appears so.
Bill who? You're not referring to me.
Thank You, Kosh -Dr. Helen Caldicott spoke in Tokyo, just yesterday and echoed Your comments.

She's been saying the same thing for years, and yesterday cautioned the world to eat NOTHING that comes from Japan. She, also, states that ALL, living forms, from bees to bacteria are slowly being irradiated, and although the span may be as long as twenty-five years, our food chain IS destroyed, and happening faster and faster as the idiots in Tokyo flush seawater into overflowing floatation vats, and burn nuclear debris, further polluting the world atmosphere.

"Helen Mary Caldicott (born 7 August 1938) is an Australian physician, author, and anti-nuclear advocate who has founded several associations dedicated to opposing the use of nuclear power, depleted uranium munitions, nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons proliferation, war and military action in general. She hosts a weekly radio program, If You Love This Planet. In 2009 she was designated a Women's History Month Honoree by the National Women's History Project."

But what would she no, she's JUST a physician and Michi Kaku, who says the same thing, is JUST a world-reknown nuclear physicist, who's written a bunch of ground-breaking books:

Beyond Einstein (with Jennifer Thompson) (1987)
Hyperspace (1994)
Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century[12] (1998)
Einstein's Cosmos (2004)
Parallel Worlds (2004)
Physics of the Impossible (2008)
Physics of the Future (2011)
The Future of the Mind (2014)

"Michio Kaku (born January 24, 1947) is an American theoretical physicist, the Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics at the City College of New York, a futurist, and a communicator and popularizer of science.

Kaku was a Visitor and Member (1973 and 1990) at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and New York University. He currently holds the Henry Semat Chair and Professorship in theoretical physics at the City College of New York.

Kaku has had over 70 articles published in physics journals such as Physical Review, covering topics such as superstring theory, supergravity, supersymmetry, and hadronic physics. In 1974, along with Prof. Keiji Kikkawa of Osaka University, he authored the first papers describing string theory in a field form.

Kaku is the author of several textbooks on string theory and quantum field theory."
Kosher, your comment falls all over itself.

"...when you say that nuclear winter won't kill anything like all human life on Earth..."

That was your premise. Then you turned it into the following.

" ...what you mean is that nuclear warfare is fine and that life on Earth regressed to a bacterial level..."

If I have said that nuclear war will not kill ALL human life....then I am NOT saying that "life on Earth would regress to a bacterial level." Those two ideas conflict absolutely, Kosh. Are you feeling well?
No, beck Kosh not referring to you - he's referring to Bill Bradley; and ever the teacher you be, I have NO doubts that You know more about this subject than either Dr. Caldicott or Dr Kaku, cause you ARE the one.
mark, who were you referring to when you apologized for commenting? Now I am all confused. clearly you are still posting.....mark.
divert, redirect, but in NO case ever admit being wrong - what a jerkoff!
mark, I happen to agree with what the two doctors say. At the very least I defer to their expertise. What you need to ask yourself, mark, is have they said ALL LIFE would be extinguished? That was the original point.

You mentioned that people are moving away from Tokyo. I would too. They say that the food chain is poisoned. No argument there. Nuclear power is a poisonous mess. I agree wholehartedly. Show me where they say that ALL LIFE on the planet will be extinguished, and we have a point in contention. Otherwise, there is no disagreement....mark.
Is that direct enough for you, mark?
Never mind -you ARE a hopeless case, beck - stick to the beckian way, which has served you so well.
Nevermind? Retreat when you see that there was no disagreement, and your accusation is bunk. That's fine. You're free to NOT answer that the Doctors did not say that ALL LIFE would be extinguished.
Many neocons are also ex Marxist radicals, believe it or not.
In fact, Bill or Irving Kristol, founders of the Neocon movement, were both ex marxists, I believe.
Well, looks like I picked a good night to play music. Have at it fellas, even though I think you've wandered far afield from the subject of my post. And Mark, I don't delete comments save under extra-ordinary circumstances where an attack on a person becomes too personal. And for the record, I have no animus toward you, feel free to comment on my posts.
R
I wasn't aware Irving Kristol was previously a Marxist, but that wouldn't surprise me in the least. On the whole, the Neo-Cons are classic examples of what Eric Hofer labeled True-Believers. Their the sort of person who can be a die-hard Marxist and then become an equally fervent Reactionary Conservative. Whatever they believe at the moment, the believe absolutely, and the see no ambiguity in having taken polar opposite positions.
Thanks for the kind words, Tom - I've been saddened to learn of the adversity You've had to face, but must admit You've handled it as a genteel gentleman and extremely stoic, indeed under such circumstances.

-R-
Mark
I consider Open Salon to be a cross between a debate club and coffee klatch. Occasionally, as in this instance and the gauntlet I had to recently run, people get a little too hyped-up coffee before entering the debate room.

Personally, I enjoy the exchanges because they help me refine -- and occasionally alter -- my views. That's happened twice here already, with commenters pointing out the military service of Bill Kristol's son and the Marxist past of Irving Kristol.

Even when someone in frustration calls me a wife-beater or a woman-hater, I learn something. But what I learn isn't about the subject at hand; the lesson is about the person doing the name-calling.
Well, boy howdy! This was a surprise.

There is a convoluted trail from an op/ed on fading global influence through a letter-writer who expresses an honest emotion about how certain terms in the debate gripe her, and then as how this prick glommed and glommed some more. He knows there is no jock-strap big enough for the balls he would have to be pretending to carry around to make that point himself. Not without needing a hip replacement. A veteran was reacting to a seeming acceptance of 'war-weariness' rationalizing future political decisions because, with or without the impuning, some of these folks will do a ninth tour.

I meant have done.

Here's the deal. War weariness suggests you're tired and you haven't fixated on the policy and the morality, only the expediency. So Kristol is quoting a woman whose passion stems from actual service.

While he carpetbags on her honor.

Charlie Pierce is a national treasure.
The same set of people who were extremely happy to see JFK bite the biscuit are the equivalent collection of interest groups that want PNAC to succeed.

The bottom line is -- it's all about them getting more money and power without regard to anything else.
Stacey
True dat -- and thanks for the inspiration
ONL
Same people, alright. Cheney and Rummy are still blaming the press for getting our ass-kicked in Vietnam. There was another lesson to be learned from that tragedy, as I said, a lesson we should have learned from our own Revolution, an certainly should have learned from the French experience in Indo-China.

But since we suffer from the hubris of American Exceptionalism, it isn't likely we're going to learn from our own mistakes -- let alone those of others. And those who can't see the real culprit when they look in the mirror will never learn from their mistakes -- too bad the rest of us have to get dragged down with them -- especially our soldiers.
Tom, it should not surprise you at all that Bill Kristol's father was an ex-communist. I have long asserted that neo-cons and Tea Party activists would make excellent communists in a different country or era. Both believe that the ends justifies the means under any circumstances, and so lying and worse are 100% justified for The Cause.
Old New Lefty, you just provided me with an insight to a mystery that I have wondered about here for several years. It is like you turned a light on.
Kristol didn't last long as a columnist for the NYTIMES. I think the problem became all the times he violated the facts. That was the deal breaker, but you had to get it by osmosis from outside sources since it could have easily turned into a law suit.

The books are just starting to come out. The one on Rumsfeld makes it clear just what a fool he was. I don't think they've gotten close to Cheney yet, however. I think he knew he had to cover his tracks right from the beginning, and the greatest revelations are still in front of us. The link between him and the fact that Halliburton was the largest contractor in the Iraq War is the connection that needs to be made. Otherwise, it was only an accident--right? He could turn out to be known as the greatest con man ever to serve as VP.

Wolfowitz is my personal favorite for neo-con baffoon #1--the World Bank had his number before he stepped in the door and took no prisoners when he let them know just how stupid he is.

And yet we've still got these wing-nuts, as you say, who see Obama as no different. That's what ideological blinders can do.
In a rather nasty way the perception of Obama as a confused victim of overwhelming forces is one of the most comical idiocies around. There really is no excuse for this monumental self deception.
Rated Highly and Reddited. One minor correction: Greenspan was the Federal Reserve Chairman, not the Treasury Secretary.
ONL
Exactly -- and thus they are True Believers, as Eric Hofer defined that breed
Bill
It's been my observation as well that politics isn't linear, it's circular. Thus is the Loony Left far closer to the Rabid Right than to the middle. We see it here where a cadre of Liberal Logic Loons pines for what can never be in the same way the Rabid Right longs for what never was.
Ben
I saw Rummy on the tube during his brief book tour, and what a farce that was. That included on Comedy Central, which speaks volumes about that volume. I must say, though, that was one of the few times I've been thoroughly disgusted with Jon Stewart. If ever a worm needed dissecting, it's Rumsfeld. And you can bet the farm, he will never have a McNamara moment.

I also share your disdain for the Wolfman, another ass-wipe who is proof the Peter Principle is still in effect.
Jan
While I plead guilty to self-deception on occasion -- indeed, I coined the aphorism "without rationalization, none of us could last a day", I do not believe and certainly did not say Obama was "a confused victim of overwhelming forces". I said Bush the Least and the Neo-Cons left him with a godawful mess, anyone who doesn't see that is either terminally ignorant or willfully blind.

I'll stand by that assessment. Indeed, I'll up the ante and state flatly that Obama was handed the worst hand any President has had since FDR, and I'll stand by that assessment as well. Furthermore, given that mess and the traitorous forces arrayed against him in Congress, Obama has done a bit better than could have been expected.

He has not, however, come close to meeting the great expectations and utopian fantasies of the Loony Left, who in their willful blindness assert Obama to be no better than McCain or Romney would have been. There really is no excuse for this monumental self deception.
little willie
Thanks for visiting, and thanks for the correction -- lord knows I could use an editor