« Noted Without Further Comment | Main | Trouble In McCain-land »

July 02, 2008

Comments

Obama is a scary foreigner, and the sneering guy at the country club; a doctrinaire Marxist and an unprincipled flip-flopper; a Muslim with a hatemongering pastor; naive yet corrupt; reckless but wimpy.

He's not called BOSHAMO-X for nothing.

OK, I don't know this "Jeffrey Lord" guy, but surely this has to be a Jon Swift style parody?

Obama will ban the hijab? The horror! I thought he was a fundie fanatical Muslim that would force it on all women and was looking towards that. Aaargh!
---
There should be Nuremberg-style trials (post-1945 version instead of the pre- variant the Bushistas prefer) indeed but (current*) oil-executives would be low on the list.
---
Interesting that "Nuremberg-style" is now seen as equivalent to "unjust"

*as opposed to some former ones as e.g. Bush

Blutarski: click on the article; then click on 'about the author', which will let you see a list of his other articles. They are very numerous, and all of a piece.

So, sadly, not a parody.

>No more Rush.

Sniff.
Geddy Lee, we hardly knew thee.

The part about remote control of air conditioners in California has at least a tiny grain of truth. It's actually run by the electrical utilities, though, and the goal is to turn off air conditioners temporarily during peak load in order to prevent the grid from failing. It's an optional program, and people who participate get cheaper electrical rates in return. It seems like the kind of program that free market-loving conservatives ought to be holding up as an example of private enterprise at work. I guess it's more important to bash Obama.

"Wow: this has "emerged as a proposal in California"??! Where? In a college dorm at 2am? Maybe a cocktail party? Definitely a sign of Obama's real intentions!"

Actually it is proposed as a part of California's Title 24 which I think is the way the California Energy Commission regulates the new construction of buildings. The proposals are buried in this unusually large PDF which just crashed my browser so I can't find it. Some discussion of it can be found here.

From what I can tell from the discussion, it will be mandated in new construction and in 'emergency' situations you won't be able to control your thermostat. But I can't open the pdf of the actual regs, so I can't really tell.

Though, so far as I can tell this has nothing to do with Obama.

I'm interested in how an FM receiver would allow the government to monitor your heating and cooling habits. Could it be disabled by putting a tinfoil barrier of some sort on your roof?

Obama will ban the hijab? The horror! I thought he was a fundie fanatical Muslim that would force it on all women and was looking towards that. Aaargh!

Silly Harmut. If you were a Right-thinking citizen of a Real Country®, you'd understand this, but your fuzzy-headed Europeanness gets in the way. He'll ban the hijab for Muslims, and make it mandatory for everyone else. Duh!!!

"no more driving SUVs"

Ford and General Moters, at the behest of the market, are closing SUV factories faster than Rush can count the bucks in his recent $400,000,000 contract.

"no more Rush"

As SUVs disappear, could this mean many fewer car radios available for Rush to spew. One can hope. Me loves the free market.

But just in case dittoheads will still listen on their headphones as they ride their Schwinns to work, someone needs to say it plainly, and I'm happy to say it for free:

"Shut up, Rush!"

He'll ban the hijab for Muslims, and make it mandatory for everyone else. Duh!!!

Good stuff.

*Oh!... He means Rush Limbaugh...*

The relevant text seems to be:

(c) Thermostats6. All unitary heating and/or cooling systems including heat pumps that are not controlled by a central
energy management control system (EMCS) shall have a Programmable Communicating Thermostat (PCT) that is
certified by the manufacturer to the Energy Commission to meet the requirements of Subsections 112(c)(1) and
112(c)(2) below:
...
B. Emergency Events. Upon receiving an emergency signal, the PCT shall respond to commands contained in the
emergency signal, including changing the setpoint by any number of degrees or to a specific temperature
setpoint. The PCT shall not allow customer changes to thermostat settings during emergency events.

Well, if it's just those thingos that let the utility turn off your AC in emergencies, I had one for years. The deal was that they'd cycle you off for ten minutes or so when things got dangerously close to peak capacity: ten minutes of no AC isn't really detectable, but over a large population it can keep the grid from going down. Where I lived, I got something like $10/month off my utility bills for having it, and it was totally voluntary.

But that's a very, very long way from "pushing regulations that will tell all of us at exactly what temperatures we must heat or cool our homes". It's not controlled by the government, it doesn't allow for control by temperature, and besides, as Seb said, it has nothing to do with Obama.

Cross-posted with Turb. Even with setting to a particular temp., it's still a long ways off. It's even more bizarre than citing, as evidence for the claim that Obama wants to take away our freedom to "eat what you please", his support for a ban on (yummy, edible) lead paint.

I think that giving utilities emergency shutoff control of air conditioners is a great idea, but the radio bit seems a little dangerous. Surely we don't want to give anyone who knows how to reverse engineer a radio the ability to shut down air conditioners for miles around? This seems like the perfect use case for public key encryption, but I'd be shocked if it was being used.

Turb: true. On those grounds, I'd probably vote against. Although, on reflection, I have no idea how mine worked...

Obama wants to take away our freedom to "eat what you please"

on even days, you can have arugula.
on odd days, you can have arugula.

About thirty years ago, I worked in a band with a guy whose family had guns and ammunition hidden in the walls of their house. They believed that the government would, sooner or later, come to take their guns away, so they sheetrocked them into the interior walls of the house.

They were very lovely people, and I spent many enjoyable hours in their company. But they had been hearing for about 20 years (at that time) that the commies were going to take over, and the first thing they would do was take the guns. So they did the prudent thing.

I also spent a weekend back in the 70's with some folks in central PA that wouldn't let their kids drink town water because it was fluoridated. They had a well.

At the time, behavior like this was (IIRC) not unheard of, but still somewhat unusual.

Not anymore. Now it's mainstream. Not so much the particulars -- hiding guns in the walls, not drinking town water -- but the whole "they're coming after us" mentality.

Crazy is the new normal.

Thanks -

California's PUC is requiring utilities to connect their meters to the "smart grid", whatever that eventually winds up being. The Title 24 requirements then establish a link between the meter and the loads within the building. Different meter manufacturers will use different technologies, but the majority are using the same frequencies as the phone companies between the house and substation, and Zigbee within the house. I assure you that security risks occurred to manufacturers as quickly as they did to you. As far as I know, the load management programs are still all optional (to the consumer). They allow the homeowner to control his thermostat from Tokyo if he/she so desires. The downsides are that your home might go from 72 degrees to 75 rather than to ambient during an outage, and that oddball hackers with the ability to crack into the phone system will instead choose to turn your thermostat up.

Ha ha, clicking on the American Spectator link gets me a page that looks like this in Firefox 3. A google search on American Spectator tells you that "This site may harm your computer." So, either someone has reported them to google erroneously or as a joke, or they are actually loading spyware onto your computer.

About thirty years ago, I worked in a band with a guy whose family had guns and ammunition hidden in the walls of their house. They believed that the government would, sooner or later, come to take their guns away, so they sheetrocked them into the interior walls of the house.

I had dinner last night with a young woman from Indiana, whose extended family are all lumpen Republicans. One of them, she said, has buried a secret cache of guns for exactly this reason, and keeps a pirate-treasure type map of its location with him just in case.

So, yeah.

You know if the right wing spokespersons are going to persist in this perscution complex I say we ship 'em all to gitmo - then they'll at least have a legitimate gripe about loss of freedom.


There'd also be the added bonus of never having to hear them whine about it again.

I can see the next Jeffrey Lord article now:

"One enthusiastic denizen in the Obsidian Wings precincts of Obamaland put things more succinctly: "I say we ship 'em all to gitmo."

We must all be very careful what we say, now that we know that however odd it might seem, we are all directly chanelling Obama's true intentions.

Cruising the Daily Kos diaries/comments for the random anti-semitic tripe or the don't support the troops meme is all fun and games in the blogosphere, but, I admit, it is a bit childish to attribute them to the views of a presidential candidate.

But let's not disguise the real issues of Barack Obama here. His energy policy doesn't involve anything about nuclear power, but does have a picture of a tree in a field. He promises more Social Security benefits, yet fails to say how the government is going to pay for that bloated monstrosity, which no politician has the courage to take on. He promised $500M to "faith-based" initiatives, a slap in the face to an issue which I side with the American left on (secularism = good). And his website's description of his stance on the war in Iraq is embarrassingly outdated when he says that the surge only brought violence levels down to the mid-2006 metric. His website also said the Iraqi government has made "no progress". Not a man you would want to have diplomatic relations with one of our most crucial allies.

We must all be very careful what we say, now that we know that however odd it might seem, we are all directly chanelling Obama's true intentions.

I was going to write an email to the staff at American Spectator but the damn website was blocked by the new Firefox! It's a liberal conspiracy I tell ya!

His energy policy doesn't involve anything about nuclear power

Obama's energy policy has a focus on reducing carbon emissions through cap and trade. If nuclear power is actually carbon-neutral (like nuclear power proponents always claim), then the market will funnel tons of cash into nuclear power without Obama having to provide more massive subsidies to the nuclear industry. So, Lt Nixon, do you believe that nuclear power is not carbon neutral? Or do you believe that the current massive subsidies for nuclear power are insufficient? Or do you believe that basic free market economics wouldn't influence nuclear power investment under a cap and trade system?

My point here is that if you want to hammer Obama for having a crummy energy policy, it helps to understand that failing to include the word "nuclear" does not mean that his energy program does nothing for nuclear power.

...but does have a picture of a tree in a field.

Let me get this straight: you're critiquing the campaign website clip art. Are you serious? Is this some sort of a joke? If campaign artwork is such a critical issue for you, maybe you shouldn't be voting in november.

He promises more Social Security benefits, yet fails to say how the government is going to pay for that bloated monstrosity

Social security is in much better shape than medicare/medicade or private health care spending. If you think it is not, I'd appreciate a cite or an explanation or something.

He promised $500M to "faith-based" initiatives, a slap in the face to an issue which I side with the American left on (secularism = good).

Let me see if I understand you: are you saying that you find it unacceptable for the government to contract with religious groups for doing social services work when those groups comply with all private sector regulations and keep their federal money clearly segregated from sectarian spending?

His website also said the Iraqi government has made "no progress". Not a man you would want to have diplomatic relations with one of our most crucial allies.

I think having a President who tells the truth, even to allies, would be awesome. If you think the Iraqi government has made serious progress, I'd love to hear the argument.

The A/C controls for reducing peak loads are a pretty great idea, one of my favourite examples of technology enabling smart collective action. Because as people have already pointed out, if it's a choice between raising the temperature a couple of degrees and having a power outage and no A/C at all, I know where I stand.

Well, since I live in the SF Bay Area where the temperature is always perfect*, and therefore neither my home nor office has A/C, I guess I know where I would stand, etc.

* Officially, anyway.

As for emergency controls, if they ever started doing this on a regular basis you can guarantee that a great storm of protest would erupt until they stopped. Those people in Southern California and the Central Valley are quite attached to not being roasted alive in their own homes.

We must all be very careful what we say, now that we know that however odd it might seem, we are all directly chanelling Obama's true intentions.

Well, we can obviously see this is not a time for remarks like that. But is is our direct influence of Obama limited to speech? Or in addition to watching what we say, do we also need to watch what we do?

For the record I think it would be great if individual consumers had access to peak pricing of electricity--wherein you pay more during peak hours and much less during non-peak hours. The technology to track that is easily available and already implemented by larger office buildings. Then people who want to pay a lot more to blast their airconditioner during the middle of the day will pay what overloading the system is worth. The rest of us will have lower energy bills. Everyone will have an incentive to keep homes weatherproofed.

Win-win-win.

Well, we can obviously see this is not a time for remarks like that. But is is our direct influence of Obama limited to speech? Or in addition to watching what we say, do we also need to watch what we do?

We must all watch what we DO. So, yes - no going back to the sex club until November 5th, 2008.

The banning smoking part is particularly funny, given that Obama's been honest about the fact that he has yet to successfully quit smoking himself.

His energy policy doesn't involve anything about nuclear power, but does have a picture of a tree in a field.

Does Yucca Mountain ring any bells, LT? Tell me again why we should believe in the rosty future of nuclear power when there's not one single place to store spent rods?

"Does Yucca Mountain ring any bells, LT? Tell me again why we should believe in the rosty future of nuclear power when there's not one single place to store spent rods?"

Actually Yucca Mountain is why we should believe there is a perfectly good place to store spent rods. NIMBYism can spike almost any project if we let it, but that doesn't mean that the project is inherently a bad idea.

Concerning nuclear power, I think it is necessary for countries that are ramping up, but for the US, we probably have lots of areas to reduce thru conservation and ideas like a smart grid because we already consume so much. Committing the nation to trying to supply power in the same amount without regard to efficiencies that can be pulled out of the network is like a business that simply deals with increasing numbers of customers by simply hiring more workers and assumes that you simply have them doing the same tasks, and just doing them more often.

The (very smart) people at the Rocky Mountain Institute say (1) the reason that nuke plants aren't getting built in the US is that the finance people insist on federal loan guarantees and (2) "negawatts" (ie, allowing the utility to get paid for conservation) is the cheapest power going.

the reason that nuke plants aren't getting built in the US is that the finance people insist on federal loan guarantees

If the market can't support nuclear power, even with a cap-and-trade plan, then why exactly should taxpayers subsidize Bechtel by guaranteeing loans that no bank would touch with a ten foot pole? I mean, banks refuse to finance all sorts of crazy schemes that will never be profitable...

Nuclear power can and should be safely utilized IMO.

But the folks at Bechtel would go nuts if we actually looked around at who has managed to do so and mimicked their actions.

Because Bechtel insists on re-inventing the nuke every time one is built. There is big money to be made in doing so.

** This is a reference to standardized designs used in France, where 80% of their electricity comes from Nukes and actually exports 18% of their electricity to other countries.

on even days, you can have arugula.
on odd days, you can have arugula.

See how much better things will be under the Republicans? They'll even let us "terrorist sympathizers" have honey-glazed chicken and lemon-baked fish! And two kinds of fruit!

I think the Republicans are just tilting because they're afraid Obama might take away what few freedoms freedoms they didn't get to first.

This may have already been covered by someone but California's proposed plan to require Programmable Communicating Thermostats to be installed in all new and retrofit homes was killed (sadly) at the start of the year by tremendous public outcry, even after they changed it so that any cycling off of AC units would be voluntary in emergency conditions. Officially, the use of PCTs is now being considered in a separate load management docket but it appears to just be a face-saving measure so that it doesn't look like the public completely trounced a well-researched and supported (by the energy community) policy measure.

If the market can't support nuclear power, even with a cap-and-trade plan, then why exactly should taxpayers subsidize Bechtel by guaranteeing loans that no bank would touch with a ten foot pole? I mean, banks refuse to finance all sorts of crazy schemes that will never be profitable...

True, nuke power doesn't come cheap, due to the cost of safely training operators, initial capital investment, and proper handling of waste, but Obama calls for "Invest $150 Billion over 10 Years in Clean Energy", which isn't exactly capitalism.

Re Obama being a smoker, and half-seriously: a measure to outlaw tobacco would probably be supported by half of the current smoking population, or whatever the percentage is that has repeatedly tried and failed to quit.

So Obama being a smoker is no refutation of Lord Jeffrey's alarms. He can't quit the cancer sticks, so he wants the government to make them go away for everyone. The ultimate fascism!

He can't quit the cancer sticks, so he wants the government to make them go away for everyone. The ultimate fascism!

don't forget "self-hating" ! no liberal strawman is complete unless he hates himself.

We must all be very careful what we say

Actually, I think we should dial it up to the most absurd level possible, just to see where it bubbles up. It'll be fun, like a cool new game.

Every time your idea shows up on some right wing blog, you have to drink a beer. The first one to pass out wins. It'll be like grad school.

I'll start.

I say we should put them in tiny cells with Air America blasting at 100 db, day and night!

I say we should force feed them Red Bulls to make them stay awake for 24 hours at a stretch, while making them watch "An Inconvenient Truth" over and over again until the pie charts are burned into their retinas!

I say we force them to eat nothing but locally grown organic produce and free range chicken fingers until their cholesterol levels drop off the charts!

I say we force Rush to replace his "My City Was Gone" bumper music with a 30 second ad for PETA narrated by Chrissie Hinde!!

I will accept nothing but total and unconditional [email protected]!!!!!!

Thanks, this was fun.

"Invest $150 Billion over 10 Years in Clean Energy", which isn't exactly capitalism.

When it comes to making whatever the next thing after oil is going to be a reality, capitalism, as we practice it here in the good old USA, is not getting the job done.

I, personally, am open to alternatives.

Thanks -

True, nuke power doesn't come cheap, due to the cost of safely training operators, initial capital investment, and proper handling of waste,

The costs of operator training are high, but that is due to the nature of nuclear power. When things go wrong in a wind farm, you might have to scrap a few turbines but when things go wrong at a nuclear plant, you might have to scrap the entire facility and incur massive cleanup costs. Did I say incur? I meant pass those costs onto gullible saps, I mean, taxpayers.

The nuclear industry doesn't cover the whole cost of decommissioning or waste disposal; they pay a pittance and leave the tab for the US taxpayer to pay. We all have adopted massive liabilities in this manner and I fail to see why these many decades of failure should be rewarded. Why don't we invest in technologies that have actually demonstrated real improvements and for which we haven't fruitlessly pumped tons of cash over decades.

but Obama calls for "Invest $150 Billion over 10 Years in Clean Energy", which isn't exactly capitalism

I don't think we should be making investments that the market has repeatedly rejected. Investors are really stupid, but if they refuse to pay for nuclear power, there's no reason for the government to do so. In contrast, wind and solar have been getting a fair amount of private investment and companies like Toyota have done very well indeed with they hybrid vehicles. Investing in success seems better than investing in failure.

ObWi Headlines:

New Banning Policy Good For Every Decent Person

Conservative opinion will be limited to the level of NPR and PBS. And no nasty generalizations about Democrats. That's Fairness!

the market can't support nuclear power

That's right. France has put together a nuclear power system that seems to actually work, but it relies on an anti-market culture. Being a government technocrat is a highly-respected job in France, so the nuclear program can attract and keep the very best people. They love standardization and lists of regulations, control and self-discipline, and that's the only way to run a nuclear power plant.

It's not that nukes aren't economically feasible, it's that they aren't feasible in a free-market economy. Putting my cynical hat on, I'd say that nuclear power turns out not to be a good way for individuals to get rich, and that's why we in the US can't have it. The only large projects this society can undertake are ones that will make someone in particular rich, not ones that will make *everyone* a little bit richer.

To follow up on Doctor Science's comment, Japan is another place where nuclear power is on the menu, but even here, the pressure to cut costs and increase profits results in incidents like these (these are all incidents, so I'm not blaming anyone for the earthquake)

Are any of the incidents except the Sept 1999 that serious? Could similar events not have happened at a coal fired steam plant or even a natural gas facility?

russell--
I'm embarrassed to have to say that my first scan of your comment read, I thought, as "Every time your idea shows up on some right wing blog, you have to drink a beer. The first one to pass out wins. It'll be like grade school."

Ah, those were the days.

Could similar events not have happened at a coal fired steam plant or even a natural gas facility?

No, similar events could not have happened at coal or natural gas plants. When steam turbines at those plants leak, you end up with...a puddle of water. Yeah, the water might be hot for a while, and you really should mop it up eventually lest someone slip and fall, but it is really not a big deal. In contrast, when a reactor leaks, you end up with radioactive water. Because of the radioactivity, all operations at the plant are much more difficult and much more expensive. You can't have humans investigate or repair many parts of the reactor because of the radiation. There's a reason that reactors are surrounded with two foot thick concrete containment buildings whereas conventional plants are not. If you run out of power or fuel or coolant in a coal or gas plant, you just shut everything down. But you can't allow that to happen in a reactor: loss of coolant events can easily be catastrophic. Because reactors can easily self-destruct in ways that boilers or steam turbines just can't, they must be protected much more.

Some of these systemic failure modes are artifacts of the standard pressurized water reactor design, but alternative designs haven't exactly coated themselves in glory. The experimental Japanese reactor that uses liquid sodium as a coolant has been...a disaster.

I would note that the list of Japanese nuclear accidents is incomplete. The Japanese government has covered up some accidents from the public eye that have only recently been exposed.

"I had dinner last night with a young woman from Indiana, whose extended family are all lumpen Republicans. One of them, she said, has buried a secret cache of guns for exactly this reason, and keeps a pirate-treasure type map of its location with him just in case."

Last week, a house down the block here in this suburban bit of Raleigh, NC, was cordoned off by upmty-five police, because in the course of renovation, a case of live WWII-era grenades was found buried in the back yard, thanks to a previous owner.

(Mind, this subdivision's oldest house couldn't be more than thirty years old.)

"His website also said the Iraqi government has made 'no progress'."

Towards what?

In any case, could you favor us with a couple or so links as to what you believe the Iraqi government has made progress to, and give us a clue as to what you think this means, and what cognizance you think we should take of it, perhaps, so we'll have a clue as to what your point is?

Thanks!

Actually the proposal they were talking about was mine: "Janet, we've been together for some time, and I hope you've grown to feel about me the same way I do about you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you, at indoor temperatures of 73 degrees and above if the weather demands it, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, in the desert or in the tundra..." Well, you get the idea.

Gary,

The embassy just released a report on a congressional request that said 15 of 18 benchmarks had been met. I don't think the progress has been stellar or anything, but it hasn't been "no progress".

The flat I live in has central heating (I can see the power plant's cooling tower exhaust from here). But the company running the plant decides whether it is enabled or not (i.e. I can only influence the temperature, if they decide to let the water flow or not). Iirc it has to be three days in a row below a certain temperature outside before they switch it on.
So, if anbody "robs me of my heating freedom" it is not the government.

Caveat: It's a CHP plant, so the influence on their bottom line is not straightforward.

LT Nixon: The embassy just released a report on a congressional request that said 15 of 18 benchmarks had been met.

Yes, they did, didn't they?

To take a specific example, apparently the US Embassy claimed that the capabilities of the Iraqi army were rated 'satisfactory'" asserting that "70% of all formed units can now conduct [counter-insurgency] operations with or without Coalition support."

According to a draft Government Accountability Office report in September 2007, "the number of Iraq army units capable of operating independently declined from 10 in March 2007 to six in August." But the actual numbers were removed from the final report - and are now classified information. cite So when the Embassy in Baghdad claims that 70% of Iraq army units are now operating independently, you are not allowed to know what actual number "70%" represents.

Further, the Embassy's report is apparently based on Pentagon figures, and in November 2007, the Government Accountability Office said the Pentagon were making "confusing and misleading" claims about any particular Iraqi unit being "independent."

"The GAO said there is not sufficient evidence that some units are more capable than others, given that the ability of the Interior and Defense ministries to 'maintain and sustain their forces, provide effective command and control of their forces, and provide their forces with intelligence is undermined and cannot be accomplished without Coalition support.'" cite

In short, the figures the Embassy report presents about the Iraqi military are double-BS. First, because the numbers they're based on have been classified. Second, because apparently the Pentagon tends to claim an Iraqi military unit is capable of "operating independently" when they mean "with significant US support".

That's just one benchmark. But it's a pretty damn big one, isn't it? And they're lying when they say it's been met.

Better to look at the actual situation in Iraq than government reports telling you that everything is "progressing".

"The embassy just released a report on a congressional request that said 15 of 18 benchmarks had been met."

That's nice, but it would be a tad unusual for a regime's propaganda to not praise itself. Do you have a cite to any actual Iraqi sources, given that we're talking about progress in Iraq, not of America or Americans?

How about cites to neutral third parties? Those could be credible.

Cites to the Bush administration praising itself? Not so much. Propaganda isn't very interesting save to those looking to believe in what they want to believe, in whatever direction, and who can't sort out what's credible from what's not.

But let's hear your own opinion: which benchmarks do you believe have been met, specifically, and can you give any (non-administration) cites to support said progress? I'm certainly interested in your own independent judgment, based on any actually credible sources citing any actual facts, rather than press releases.

I assume you do believe that progress has been made based on some objective information, not just because administration flacks assured you it was so.

(I do assume you're familiar with how government press relations, and PR in general, works, as well as how administration/Pentagon/Saigon progaganda during the Vietnam war worked. Hint: truth doesn't come into the picture very often for very long, and when it does, it's largely coincidental.)

"I don't think the progress has been stellar or anything, but it hasn't been 'no progress'."

I'd be delighted to read about it, if you can cite any actual reliable and specific information. That's what I'm looking for! Thanks!

Ahahahahahahaha!

"Since the September assessment, the report notes, the Iraqi parliament has passed significant legislation on de-Baathification reform, the division of powers between the central and provincial governments, and amnesty for former insurgents. It grades progress in all of those areas as newly 'satisfactory'...."

Specifically, anyone with the least familiarity with what's been going on with these issues has to ROFL if they read this.

Also, all disease has been wiped out in Iraq, and the people are all happy and content with every individuals having two ponies, and pie for breakfast every day! Woot!

I mean, you've got to be kidding.

But I'll go first. Have you read this, or this? If so, what do you think?

Or would you discount the GAO as as, in turn, leftist anti-American propaganda? Or what?

Digressively, this doesn't make cheery reading, either.

Nor this.

a measure to outlaw tobacco would probably be supported by half of the current smoking population, or whatever the percentage is that has repeatedly tried and failed to quit.

Absolutely. I tried and failed to quit for years. But when NYC banned smoking in public places and jacked up the taxes, it suddenly got much, much easier.

(In fact, in my casual observation, many of the people most upset by smoking bans are people who've never smoked, so who see it as an abstract issue of personal freedom. if you *have* smoked, you understand that you don't have much freedom either way.)

Gary (uh "Hussein") Farber,

Yes, I've read bits of those GAO reports. Although not the whole things. No I don't think the GAO is a conspiracy. I agree strongly with the one about "new strategy needed" following the reduction of combat brigades, actually. What do I think? I wrote some here, which has cites. Yes, I understand the nature of public relations and the military. What does it have to do with the Bush administration? I don't understand why everything is Bush propaganda, just because it doesn't jive with contemporary liberal thinking. For goodness sakes, I don't even like Bush!

Jesurgislac,

The data you cite is from last year. Since then the Iraqi Army has had operational success in Basrah, Amarah, and Mosul. But this thread is old news, so why am I posting a comment. I mean who the hell am I talking to!

"I mean who the hell am I talking to!"

Um, people who keep reading threads as long as they're interesting and the conversation is still going?

Or maybe that's just me.

"(uh "Hussein")"

You don't like my middle name?

From your brief linked comment: "but it is important that the future commander-in-chief has an open mind about this, instead of clinging to facts from 2006 that don't really apply anymore."

I won't quibble with you; I'm strongly for open minds. Just so long as it's not because of the holes in the head.

Happy 4th of July!

Oh, wait, didn't see that you had more below the illo.

"Accountability and Justice Law (De-Ba'athification Reform) Passed"

Um, and what do you think of the actual law, and the Iraqi reaction to it? Would you like me to give some cites on that? Do you really think this was a good thing, and if so, why? Why is it that most of the Sunnis seem to strongly disagree, do you think? Do you think pissing off Sunnis with a more punitive law was helpful?

After that, I look for more entries on political progress in Iraq in your post, and don't see any. Your remaining points are about other stuff, either military, or the news that U.S. companies now have big oil contracts and are getting more oil out. Woo-hoo! So what about that law that was to be passed settling how the oil profits would benefit Iraqis? Wouldn't that be a little more important to Iraqis?

I'm interested in what Iraqis think of what's being done and what is happening in their country. What Americans think, and what's happening to/for Americans: not so much. I kinda have the odd idea that most Iraqis might have a similar view, only more emphatically. Do you think I'm wrong?

Here are some links on the passed laws. Comment?

epresentatives of its intended beneficiaries, Sunni and secular parties headed by ex-Baathists, refused to vote on the law, considering it “vague,” “unrealistic” and “difficult to apply.” Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi of the Sunni Arab Iraqi Islamic Party refused to sign the legislation, underscoring Sunni concerns.

Implementation: Proponents promoted the measure as a way to return Baathists to government, but it will force out many ex-Baathists previously cleared to work in the now-excluded ministries, including as many as 7,000 in the Interior Ministry alone. Sunni Arabs and former Baathists remain skeptical of the legislation, worrying that forcing former Baathists to self-identify in order to collect pensions and the like may put them in danger of reprisals.

You'll find the embedded links to details on that page; why do you think this was a good thing? Why is it most Iraqi Sunnis seem to disagree, and why is pissing them off more an accomplishment, exactly? I really don't follow your reasoning: what is your reasoning?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad