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March 29, 2006

Comments

kenB: There seems to be a general consensus that the government got the short end of the stick. The commentator you reference seemed to be a bit, uh, overzealous in advocating the contrary position ("Souter got a smackdown!").

My experience is that it's rare for the consensus of savvy Court observers to be incorrect. The last time a result really shocked the Court-watching community was Kelo, and that only because no one thought the dissenting position would get as many as 4 votes.

italics? on my mac, anyway...

I've just discovered that National Review also doesn't think too highly of the Plan. Must mean I'm irretrievably Republican after all. Probably means that just because I looked.

italics? on my mac, anyway...

Oh, so we're talking about Scalia's gesture now? :)

I thought Slarti said something about being prepared to vote for a Democrat or at least being prepared to not vote for a Republican just a few days ago. Anyway why does he have to state a position? There's lots of time between now and the next chance to vote.

Yet more fun Kaloogian!

Ugh: On partition, the most readable account is probably Collins & LaPierre, Freedom at Midnight.

Since we are (or were) talking about foreign policy, I point to Steve Clemons latest post about the refusal to negotiate with Iran.

It quotes an article by Gareth Porter of which I will take a chunk out of here

The Iranian negotiating offer, transmitted to the State Department in early May 2003 by the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, acknowledged that Iran would have to address US concerns about its nuclear program, although it made no specific concession in advance of the talks, according to Flynt Leverett, then the National Security Council's senior director for Middle East Affairs.

Iran's offer also raised the possibility of cutting off Iran's support for Hamas and Islamic Jihad and converting Hezbollah into a purely socio-political organization, according to Leverett. That was an explicit response to Powell's demand in late March that Iran "end its support for terrorism".

In return, Leverett recalls, the Iranians wanted the US to address security questions, the lifting of economic sanctions and normalization of relations, including support for Iran's integration into the global economic order.

Leverett also recalls that the Iranian offer was drafted with the blessing of all the major political players in the Iranian regime, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khomeini.

Realists, led by Powell and his deputy, Richard Armitage, were inclined to respond positively to the Iranian offer. Nevertheless, within a few days of its receipt, the State Department had rebuked the Swiss ambassador for having passed on the offer.

Exactly how the decision was made is not known. "As with many of these issues of national security decision-making, there are no fingerprints," Wilkerson told IPS. "But I would guess Dick Cheney with the blessing of George W Bush."

Steve Clemons adds:

In corners of the Pentagon, CIA, State Department and National Security Agency -- as well as in the Office of the President and Vice President, employees of our government -- supported by taxpayers -- are considering bombing and other hard shock scenarios to preempt Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons. The truth is that we should always have back up plans, hard and soft scenarios, diplomacy backed by resolve. . .all of that.

But it's a real travesty when diplomacy is never really attempted -- and when the force that Cheney's wing of the foreign policy establishment wants applied actually wrecks American objectives, undermines our goals and interests, and frequently gives the thugs that we are trying to confront the legitimacy they need to grow stronger.

too true.

I am shocked and amazed to find myself in agreement with Slartibartfast.

The Democratic platform is nothing more than "what the other guy said, but we really mean it". I am a lifelong Democrat – not just a yellow dog Dem, but a dead dog Dem – and I am sorely disappointed in the Beltway crowd.

If there was ever a time to offer some moral clarity and leadership, this was it. Why not come out and say "Warrantless wiretaps on Americans are a crime. The preventive war against Iraq was not just a crime but a blunder"? Why not show the base that they are listening? Why not prove to the independents that they have the guts to stand up to the terrorists by having the guts to stand up to the Republicans?

This was a golden opportunity to swing for the fence and they bunted.

lily: Anyway why does he have to state a position?

Nobody has to state a position. But, when someone does state a position, anyone's free to comment.

Xanax: Jes, I don't buy the "innocent mistake/carelessly labeled disk" argument.

Well, this kind of thing certainly makes it look like it was no innocent mistake.

Well, this kind of thing certainly makes it look like it was no innocent mistake.

Well, politicians are all about fundraising, are they not? I think there's any number of plausible explanations, with varying degrees of palatability.

Curse him, though, for putting this song back in my head. It's going to take Ajax and plenty of elbow grease to get that out.

Jackmormon - it's true, we walked away. That Reagan, what a wuss!

And for what its worth, I'm a registered Republican, but if my choices are McCain and H. Clinton, she gets my vote. I want a strong, decisive president. I was raised in a family of strong women. That aspect scares me not.

Blogbudsman: I want a strong, decisive president.

And yet, you support George W. Bush, who is neither strong nor decisive...

I liked this op-ed by Eugene Robinson entitled "A Meltdown We Can't Even Enjoy". I think he sounds a bit like Slarti.

lj, so Mr. Robinson complains that the consevatives and the Republican Party are struggling in heated debate over important and complex issues. Then he celebrates the liberals and Democrats sitting back and doing nothing - and you relate that somehow to anything that Slarti has said. Whoa! And jes, the level of single mindedness that you display day in and day out reveals an agenda that pretty much discludes you from any meaningful discourse. Just one shallow cheap shot after another. Does it really produce the results you seek? I just can't imagine.

bbm,
You didn't actually read to the end of the op-ed, since it ended with:
What they (the Democrats) haven't yet done is communicate a compelling vision of where they will take the country when they are given the reins. Dry position papers, drafted by committee, aren't enough. Make us see a better future.

I thought that sounded a little like what Slarti was saying and that he could get behind that, but obviously, you can't, unless it is Hillary snapping the whip. Truly astonishing, the depth of your analysis.

If it is within your ability to add to the discussion by passing on a link or two or providing some actual information (other than your preferences for 'strong women), it would be appreciated, but since you want to simply talk about the 'tone' of list of legislative initiatives ("Such meaness."), I think this suggests that you don't actually read anything, but simply react to what you read. I really wish Jes wouldn't pop off at you because it's a waste of effort and it just gives you an opportunity to justify your participation here. In fact, the whole point of your participation seems to be trying to provoke a reaction, certainly in this thread. If you'd like to point me to where you've actually contributed to the discussion, I'd love to be proven wrong, but until then, I'd really urge Jes to just ignore you.

In regards to tone, my answer is here.

"Not only do you kick him -- you kick him until he passes out -- then beat him over the head with a baseball bat -- then roll him up in an old rug -- and throw him off a cliff into the pound surf below!!!!!"

Tone and cheap shots. The eye cannot see itself.

lj & dr. ngo - Thanks.

lj: I really wish Jes wouldn't pop off at you because it's a waste of effort and it just gives you an opportunity to justify your participation here.

Fair point, lj. I'll try to resist temptation in future.

Actual, I'm pretty easy to get rid of.

"Actual, I'm pretty easy to get rid of."

You once seemed to be trollish, but more recently seem to be inclined to not be, and to more than not be replying substantially (the more, the better, of course), so insofar as you're inclined to reply with substance, I hope you'll stay around.

This place could use a lot more conservative-ish argument, in my view.

Endless agreement is just no fun at all. :-)

Whatever happened to DaveC, speaking of?

Endless agreement is just no fun at all.

I disagree.

kenB - funny.

No, it's not.

Maybe.

You are all wrong. It's actually abg shaal ba bofvqvna jvatf.

Anyone got any good advice how an Iraqi veteran back in the US can convince the VA that even if the symptoms of PTSD did not surface until 6 months after she got back, it's still related to her military service in Iraq and therefore treatable by the VA?

Jes, I can't give you a good track for her to follow, except, if the VA is refusing to consider PTSD, for her to see a reputable psychiatrist or psychologist, get their diagnosis and then get a lawyer.

I have heard of some vets that have gone that route.

BTW, PTSD and time from the event are not necessarily related. Generally speaking symptoms frequently will not show up for 6 months to a year, so if the VA is using that as a reason to say no, they are really messed up.

My son, who was never in a combat situation is getting some anxiety at specific times, but very seldom (like exposure to crowds and when the mortars go off at the base). But he is getting used to that. Those who have been in more intensive situations are really suffering.

except, if the VA is refusing to consider PTSD, for her to see a reputable psychiatrist or psychologist, get their diagnosis and then get a lawyer.

The VA accept she has PTSD. However, they say (or were saying today: she has another appointment Monday) that they don't believe her PTSD, surfacing six months after she got home from Iraq, was related to the twelve months she spent in Iraq. (On the upside, they were initially resisting the idea that her back injury was service-related, but apparently they're given in on that.)

Then, they may have a problem. As I mentioned, symptoms can show up quite a bit after the incurred trauma. Also, If they are staying with their argument, it seems to me that they would have to show the occurence of another traumatic event that would result in her symptoms in the time between when she came home and the present.

Another good indicator is just what her symptoms are, when they occur, and what is happening in her environment when they occur.

However, they say (or were saying today: she has another appointment Monday) that they don't believe her PTSD, surfacing six months after she got home from Iraq, was related to the twelve months she spent in Iraq.

That's ludicrous. And they wonder why recruiting is down...

That doesn't mask the fact that Democrats cannot be trusted with our national security

John Kerry brought down Iran-Contra (treason isn't in the national interest, is it?) and exposed BCCI.

"In the course of their investigation, Kerry and his staff had found evidence that some contras had ties to drug smuggling. If there was one class of villain that Helms deplored as much as the communists, it was drug traffickers."
"In an off-shoot of the contra-drug investigation, Kerry examined reports that Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega was involved in drug trafficking. The probe led to information that Noriega was shipping money out of Panama with the help of a bank called BCCI -- which prompted yet another Kerry investigation."

Bill Clinton caught and successfully prosectuted the leader of the first attack on the World Trade Center. He missed killing bin Laden by 5 minutes, despite facing impeachment. He kept track on bin Laden, as well as most of al Quida, working with Jordanian and American law enforcement to prevent attacks on Jan 1, 2000.

So exactly why can't "Democrats be trusted with our national security"? Because we don't go to war with the wrong country for the wrong reason?

Bill Clinton caught and successfully prosectuted the leader of the first attack on the World Trade Center.

Thanks for putting THAT song in my head. Secret...AGENT man; secret...AGENT man, They've given you a number and taken away your name.

Bill Clinton: international man of mystery.

So exactly why can't "Democrats be trusted with our national security"?

because the GOP Talking Points Handbook (v 3.1415) says so.

I don't know, Slarti, I found the title sort of Leonard Cohen-esque.

Hallelujah.

"I know that you have suffered, lad,
But suffer this awhile:
Whatever makes a soldier sad
Will make a killer smile."
"I'm leaving, Captain, I've got to go
There's blood upon your hand
But tell me, Captain, if you know
Of a decent place to stand."

"There is no decent place to stand
In a massacre;
But if a woman take your hand
Go and stand with her."
"I left a wife in Tennessee
And a baby in Saigon --
I risked my life, but not to hear
Some country-western song."

from - "The Captain"
Various Positions
Leonard Cohen - 1985

because the GOP Talking Points Handbook (v 3.1415) says so.

No more pi-throwing, cleek.

hilzoy: "rilkefan: I saw that story, but: back when I lived in CA, there were (iirc) a spate of rapes by police, and we were instructed to respond to being pulled over at night by pulling over to the side and then driving very, very slowly to the nearest populated, well-lit area before stopping. So I don't think it's unique to Iraq."

That's true. However, from what I've gathered, instead of being raped, it's being tortured with an electric drill, and then shot in the head and dumped. In groups of 6-30 at a time.

Also, this happens when a platoon or so of 'soldiers' kick in one's door, with enough firepower that resistance will only get one a quick death. It's not one or two officers going rogue.

So we're talking about 2-3 orders of magnitude worse.

"I believe I've mentioned a number of times, in a number of places, that I've registered myself as an Independent. Of course, if you or others would like to interpret this as me being Republican, still, only in really ineffective camo, that's certainly your right.

Or I guess it's possible that you also missed it."


Posted by: Slartibartfast


Slart, since registering yourself as an independent doesn't preclude voting Republican, it's not a big commitement.

And people judge your likely votes based on your posts. Who and what you defend/attack. In the long run, it's pretty obvious which party you support.

"Bill Clinton caught and successfully prosectuted the leader of the first attack on the World Trade Center.

Thanks for putting THAT song in my head. Secret...AGENT man; secret...AGENT man, They've given you a number and taken away your name.

Bill Clinton: international man of mystery."

Posted by: Slartibartfast

Meanwhile, Bush has not yet caught or killed Osama bin Laden, despite having the entire country unified behind him, and despite it being priority #1 for the majority[1] of the country.

[1] That is, all Americans except those who figured that this was a prime opportunity for domestic politica gain. I'm not naming party names there, but...

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