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Sun Feb 10, 2013, 07:54 PM

See, Here's the Thing.

The impact of a presidency

SNIP:
Recently BooMan brought us two stories with real import that I didn't see mentioned anywhere else on progressive blogs. But they signaled the kind of major impact that shape a presidency - both in what is actually done and what is not done.

The first one was about how President Obama rejected - during the election - the advice of most of his national security apparatus to intervene in Syria.

Obama not only stood up to the CIA and the top brass at the Pentagon, he did it without the cover of Clinton or Panetta. He kept us out of a war the rest of the Establishment wanted to fight;
he did it without arousing disloyalty, and he did it in the heat of a presidential campaign.
The second one is about the fact that the President is about to sign off on a plan that will reduce our nuclear arsenal by a third.

President Obama is poised to sign off on a new internal review of U.S. nuclear weapons strategy that would reduce the arsenal by one-third, resulting in billions in savings to the Pentagon and Energy Department.
So do you see how this works? As most of the political world is consumed with talk about the use of drones and Republican obstruction about sequester, the really big news is that he avoided entanglement in yet another war and is about to save billions of dollars by getting rid of a major portion of our nuclear warheads.


SNIP:


Have all these achievements been perfect or exactly what he wanted? No. But the ball has been moved significantly down the field in the progressive direction - despite the mess he was handed by the last president, the obstruction from Republicans, and the lack of support he's sometimes received from progressives along the way.




More here:
http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-impact-of-presidency.html

47 replies, 3134 views

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Arrow 47 replies Author Time Post
Reply See, Here's the Thing. (Original post)
sheshe2 Feb 2013 OP
dballance Feb 2013 #1
ProSense Feb 2013 #2
sheshe2 Feb 2013 #3
freshwest Feb 2013 #8
sheshe2 Feb 2013 #26
freshwest Feb 2013 #27
sheshe2 Feb 2013 #33
sibelian Feb 2013 #6
randome Feb 2013 #13
patrice Feb 2013 #28
treestar Feb 2013 #36
Enrique Feb 2013 #4
babylonsister Feb 2013 #5
Enrique Feb 2013 #9
ProSense Feb 2013 #10
Enrique Feb 2013 #14
ProSense Feb 2013 #17
BlancheSplanchnik Feb 2013 #42
Enrique Feb 2013 #44
BlancheSplanchnik Feb 2013 #45
babylonsister Feb 2013 #11
Enrique Feb 2013 #15
sheshe2 Feb 2013 #21
Enrique Feb 2013 #23
sheshe2 Feb 2013 #24
Kath1 Feb 2013 #39
steve2470 Feb 2013 #7
Bonobo Feb 2013 #12
woo me with science Feb 2013 #16
ProSense Feb 2013 #18
sheshe2 Feb 2013 #22
A Simple Game Feb 2013 #19
sheshe2 Feb 2013 #32
freshwest Feb 2013 #34
sheshe2 Feb 2013 #41
Enrique Feb 2013 #20
Mr.Bill Feb 2013 #25
Kath1 Feb 2013 #31
freshwest Feb 2013 #35
Kath1 Feb 2013 #29
sheshe2 Feb 2013 #37
freshwest Feb 2013 #38
Kath1 Feb 2013 #40
BlancheSplanchnik Feb 2013 #43
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #30
Cha Feb 2013 #46
Cha Feb 2013 #47

Response to sheshe2 (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 08:01 PM

1. I Don't Think Any President Gets Much Press for NOT Going to War

And NOT keeping all those nukes around that we don't need.

Neither story makes for sensational headlines and ratings or drives traffic to websites.

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Response to sheshe2 (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 08:10 PM

2. You know what's bizarre?

You have people condemning the drone strikes and criticizing the President for getting involved in Syria.

It's really weird, it's like some people actually prefer war to targeted drone strikes.



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Response to ProSense (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 08:20 PM

3. Sigh, They are the Ship of Fools.

Thank you ProSense.

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:20 PM

8. Much better than how a Mittens presidency would look:



Peace in Space: Why Obama Is Right (and the Far Right Is Wrong)


What is it about space that makes the hard right go goofy? First it was Newt Gingrich and his promise of a lunar colony before the end of his second term (which looks especially bad now that the moon base is actually a better statistical bet than the Gingrich campaign). Now it’s John Bolton and John Yoo taking to the pages of the New York Times to argue against the Obama Administration’s plans to limit the militarization of space.

Bolton, you’ll remember, is America’s oddly Lorax-like former ambassador to the U.N. who was perfectly suited to his job except for the fact that he didn’t actually like the U.N. Yoo is the waterboarding apologist who helped author the Bush Administration’s so-called “torture memos” in 2003, arguing that what American war planners called “enhanced interrogation techniques” and what much of the rest of the world called “against the law” was really, truly O.K. But that was then.

What’s got Bolton and Yoo unsheathing their light sabers this week is President Obama’s decision to follow the European Union’s code of conduct for space, an accord that calls for “prevent outer space from becoming an area of conflict.” It would achieve this through such probably not-crazy measures as preventing interference with another nation’s space assets, enhancing the “safety, security and predictability of outer-space activities,” and encouraging “transparency and confidence-building measures.” It would also try to limit the increase in space debris — which is the cosmic equivalent of laws against littering. So you wouldn’t think there’s much to object to here. But you’re not Yoo — or Bolton...


http://ideas.time.com/2012/03/12/peace-in-space-why-obama-is-right/

Never forget Mittens wanted a hot war with both Syria and Iran; that Cheney of PNAC infamy was his security advisor; and Bolton was in his gang. We dodged WW3 with Obama's re-election.


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Response to freshwest (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:42 PM

26. “prevent outer space from becoming an area of conflict.”

May Bolton, Yoo and Cheney sink back into the depths of Hell from which they were spawned. There seems to be no single place on this planet or beyond, that is safe from their insane desire for conflict or war!

PS. they can take Mitt and the others with them.

Thanks freshwest!

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #26)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:45 PM

27. Well, you know, Mitt allegedly has an extra-terrestrial home. Just sayin'

Be sure to avoid the Creative Speculation forum since it's kinda gloomy over there...

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Response to freshwest (Reply #27)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:36 PM

33. With that title, I can only imagine.

I didn't even know that was a Forum here. I don't get out much in GD and BOG (and you know it took me awhile to find that one)...have wandered into tne lounge a few times and posted. That's about it so far...

Mitts in a galaxy far far away??? Good to hear.


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Response to ProSense (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:12 PM

6. Yeah, I think what people prefer is


NEITHER.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:38 PM

13. Yes, DU has its coterie of constitutional scholars.

Who say we didn't go to war in the right way.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:46 PM

28. And it's often the same ones hating on the U.N. and thus enabling the evilness of the IMF!!

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Response to ProSense (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:53 PM

36. +1

Hiroshima and Dresden were fine but targeting specific terrorists is evil. Fine to kill people for their nationality but not for what they do. Al Awlakli deserved a trial but not any civilian in Hiroshima or Dresden.

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Response to sheshe2 (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 08:21 PM

4. I was glad to hear of that

but if Obama had decided to arm the Syrian rebels, I'm approximately 100% certain that BooMan and immasmartypants would both support that decision wholeheartedly and be very impatient with anyone who challenged it.

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Response to Enrique (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:10 PM

5. Our President is anti-war; don't you see that?

He's trying to do everything possible to avoid one.

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:21 PM

9. if he armed the Syrian rebels

it could be, (and certainly would be by booman, et al) as a humanitarian mission. Critics of the policy could be (and would be by booman, et al) as Assad-lovers.

Arming the Syrian rebels would be less of an act of war than the Libya intervention was.

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Response to Enrique (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:32 PM

10. Are you

"if he armed the Syrian rebels it could be, (and certainly would be by booman, et al) as a humanitarian mission."

...making the case for arming the Syrian rebels?

"Arming the Syrian rebels would be less of an act of war than the Libya intervention was."

Mitt Romney: arm the Syrian rebels
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/08/mitt-romney-arm-syrian-rebels

Maybe we elected the wrong guy for the job?

Humanitarian Mitt?

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Response to ProSense (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:39 PM

14. i am against arming them

knowing that Obama decided not to. If Obama had made the other decision, I would have still have been against arming them, i.e. I would have disagreed with Obama.

Conversely, booman et al are against arming the rebels, only knowing that Obama decided against it. If Obama had armed the rebels, booman et al would be for it, big time. Not only would they be for it, but they would be terribly disdainful of people who might be against it. i.e. to booman, et al, the definition of what is right is whatever Obama decided. And not only that, everyone should see it that way.

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Response to Enrique (Reply #14)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:41 PM

17. Oh goody

"i am against arming them knowing that Obama decided not to. If Obama had made the other decision, I would have still have been against arming them, i.e. I would have disagreed with Obama.

Conversely, booman et al are against arming the rebels, only knowing that Obama decided against it. If Obama had armed the rebels, booman et al would be for it, big time. Not only would they be for it, but they would be terribly disdainful of people who might be against it. i.e. to booman, et al, the definition of what is right is whatever Obama decided. And not only that, everyone should see it that way."

You agree with President Obama. Others agree with the President, but your agreement is superior to their agreement.

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Response to Enrique (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:29 PM

42. you're setting up a fictitious scenario, and criticizing people for doing something they didn't do

But because you don't like what you imagine they would do, you bash them for doing something you approve of because you just know that they didn't really mean it when they support what you do.

What's that called? The falacy of argumentation by false hypothesis?

Whatever it is, it's some pretty excessive mental acrobatics.

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Response to BlancheSplanchnik (Reply #42)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:45 PM

44. i was actually demonstrably wrong

see post #23, booman actually was consistent about Obama and Libya, so my opinion about him was wrong. So I take it back.

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Response to Enrique (Reply #44)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:12 PM

45. oh ok..thank you

Rare to see amends so thank you for that


I admit this issue as a whole is getting complicated for me...a lot of detail to catch up on, and not my area of interest.

Not fast reading for me. I'll have a look at the post you mention.

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Response to Enrique (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:33 PM

11. Has he armed the Syrian rebels?

You're borrowing trouble, or trying to rewrite something.

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:39 PM

15. no

fortunately, imho.

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Response to Enrique (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:07 PM

21. I prefer this...

The proposal would mark a significant shift from Barack Obama's administration's policy of trying to keep the conflict a low-intensity one amid fears it might turn into a regional war. Obama is putting pressure on Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the main backers of the rebels, to restrict the supply of weapons to small arms.


To this:
Romney:
I share this hope. But hope is not a strategy. We cannot support our friends and defeat our enemies in the Middle East when our words are not backed up by deeds," he said.

He warned Iran not to pursue a nuclear weapon capability and said the US had to back this up "through actions, not just words", and urged an expansion of the aircraft carrier presence in the eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf.


Link from ProSense. Post 10
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/08/mitt-romney-arm-syrian-rebels


Under Romney, we would be marching to war before the SOTU. I much prefer our President's low key approach that could save us all from another devastating conflict.

You don't just light a match and throw it into the powder keg, for God's sake.

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #21)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:19 PM

23. i agree

and so I am conflicted about Libya, even more now given what is happening in Mali, which might have been caused by the Libyan revolution.

Are you similarly conflicted about Libya? Is Booman? Or maybe there is some convincing argument how Libya is not a powder keg and Syria is.

edit: I was wrong about Booman. He was against Libya before and after Obama did it:

http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2011/4/2/105548/3743

Trust Only Goes So Far

by BooMan
Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 10:55:44 AM EST
I feel very similarly to Kevin Drum. I'm not sure that I'd go so far as to say that I trust Obama's judgment over my own, though. On political matters, yes. On whether to intervene in Libya? Not so much. It's true that he has access to intelligence reports and that he talks first hand to world leaders, and that means he is more informed and better able to make these types of decisions than I am. But if you gave me access to the same information, I'm pretty sure I would trust my own judgment over anyone else's, including the president's. Even without all the information, I can say pretty confidently that the president made a gut-call on Libya. He had to make a decision quickly, and he didn't have time to game everything out or fully figure out what the end game was going to look like. I'd call it a reckless gamble, except that the nature of the decision didn't allow for a more measured alternative.

In such a situation, I would not commit the United States to any political outcome in a foreign country. I would err on the side of doing nothing if I couldn't satisfy myself that I understood what exactly needed to be accomplished and how that was going to get done. Obama gambled instead. He gambled that we can get Gaddafi out of power without ground forces and that we can sustain the rebellion without getting hopelessly entangled. He did it because the stark choice staring him in the face was to do something or watch Gaddafi crush the democratic aspirations of an oppressed people. It wasn't an easy choice, and I respect that. But I'm not deferring to his judgment. I think he got it wrong. And I am just hoping that he can pull a rabbit out of a hat and get Gaddafi to go without using ground forces or getting us hopelessly entangled in Libya's political future.

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:21 PM

24. Speak softly and carry a big stick

Meaning

A proverb advising the tactic of caution and non-aggression, backed up by the ability to do violence if required.

Origin

The notion being expressed here is the opposite of the tactics employed by every temporary schoolteacher - who begin stern and tough and, when discipline allows it, become more easy-going. The 'speak softly...' doctrine, like the earlier phrase 'the iron fist in the velvet glove', was to begin gently, but hold a decisive weapon in reserve.

The widespread use of 'speak softly and carry a big stick' began with American president Theodore Roosevelt. In a letter to Henry L. Sprague, on January 26th 1900, he wrote:


"Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."

I sure prefer our President's approach, I trust him to speak softly.


http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/speak-softly-and-carry-a-big-stick.html

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:07 AM

39. Yes, he is.

That's the reason I voted for him in the first place in 2008. An anti-war president. A refreshing and wonderful change.

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Response to sheshe2 (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:12 PM

7. k&r nt

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Response to sheshe2 (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:35 PM

12. Not engaging in a 3rd war is now "moving the ball significantly in the Progressive direction", huh.

Damn. That is just sad.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:41 PM

16. +1 Sadness exceeded only by its outrageous, enraging absurdity. nt

Last edited Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:01 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:46 PM

18. The OP

"Not engaging in a 3rd war is now "moving the ball significantly in the Progressive direction", huh."

...doesn't say that. No need to make things up. Here is the snip:

<...>

And by the end of his second term he will have:

  • Passed immigration reform

  • Passed gun reform

  • Ended 3 Bush wars (Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on al Qaeda)
And that doesn't even take into consideration the things that he initiated that are still in the works...everything from turning DoD green to reigning in the CIA to avoiding war with Iran to his upcoming efforts to further address climate change and travel to Israel/Palestine this spring to try to reignite the peace process. Oh, and one more thing...he's demonstrated to future candidates for the office how to do an end-around our democracy-crushing campaign finance system.

Have all these achievements been perfect or exactly what he wanted? No. But the ball has been moved significantly down the field in the progressive direction - despite the mess he was handed by the last president, the obstruction from Republicans, and the lack of support he's sometimes received from progressives along the way.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #18)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:12 PM

22. Thanks for bringing that exerpt over, ProSense...

Last edited Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:12 AM - Edit history (1)

When you can only post 4 paragraphs... and if people don't read the rest. Well it loses it's impact or it's meaning.

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Response to sheshe2 (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:59 PM

19. You do realize you are implying that progressives and I would assume

liberals were for intervention in Syria and against lowering our number of nuclear weapons.

Please link to a post that supports your implication.

I think you have hopped on the bash progressives and liberals wagon and just want to add fuel. Shame on you.

I as a liberal fully supported President Obama's decision not to intervene in Syria. This is the first I have heard about the nuclear arsenal reduction, and you can be fully assured that I support him 100% in this also. When our President does progressive and especially liberal thing we progressives and liberals will support him. When he does right wing things we will let him know how we feel about that too.

Do you think we shouldn't be concerned about the use of drones? How about invading another countries sovereign air space?

I can remember when this wasn't a right wing web site.

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Response to A Simple Game (Reply #19)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:24 PM

32. First, I have implied nothing. I have posted excerpts from a Linked blog by "immasmartypants".

You can read it, you can agree or disagree. Your choice. Your freedom of speech.

You also say:
"You do realize you are implying that progressives and I would assume
liberals were for intervention in Syria and against lowering our number of nuclear weapons."

No disrespect intended, however you are also saying, I "assume"... you know what they say about the definition of that word is...to Assume, makes an ASS out of U and Me. I have assumed nothing!

You go on:
"Please link to a post that supports your implication."

Once again your are saying that I implied something! No, I did not.

Again:
"I think you have hopped on the bash progressives and liberals wagon and just want to add fuel. Shame on you."

Shame on ME? Really, as a liberal myself I hardly think I would be bashing myself over the head! Unless of course you are calling me a right winger.......oh you already did......

"I can remember when this wasn't a right wing web site."





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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #32)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:48 PM

34. Well said. Quite a reach there. BTW:




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Response to freshwest (Reply #34)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:14 AM

41. An Obama Kitteh! Sweet!

and Thank you...
curtsey.

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Response to sheshe2 (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:07 PM

20. the flip side of this story is that Hillary pushed for the intervention

and made it harder for Obama to make the right decision. (Which he did, fortunately)

Is this something that would be fair game as an issue 2016 primaries, or would that be considered troublemaking?

I've been having a hard time determining what Hillary's term as Sec. State has really meant, as far as influencing our foreign policy, now here is a story about how she advised Obama to take a very fateful step. To me, that seems like something for primary voters to talk about.

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Response to sheshe2 (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:34 PM

25. If McCain had been elected

we would have troops on the ground in

Syria
Egypt
Libya
Iran
Iraq (still)
Yemen

and who knows where else. I'd like to have seen Obama grt us out of Aghanistan sooner, but I've lost count of the wars he's kept us out of, and I'm thankful for that.


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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #25)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:52 PM

31. Absolutely.

Just the thought of a McCain/Palin administration scared the hell out of me. Things were bad enough.

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Response to Kath1 (Reply #31)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:49 PM

35. +1

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Response to sheshe2 (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:49 PM

29. That's what I like about Obama.

He's not afraid to stand up to the Pentagon, big business or the anti-women/anti-gay zealots.

The last thing this country needs right now is to get involved in another useless and costly war.

Reducing the U.S. nuclear arsenal by 1/3 is an excellent move. Do we really need the capability to destroy the world umpteen million times? I don't think so. I hope he signs off on that measure soon. The money can be better spent elsewhere.

I much prefer the sane, reasonable and thoughtful approach of President Obama to the insane, unreasonable and unthinking approach employed by George Bush.



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Response to Kath1 (Reply #29)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:53 PM

37. Thank you Kath!

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Response to Kath1 (Reply #29)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:02 AM

38. He is quietly dedicated to getting this turned around. Not a bully as some appear to want.

Had enough of that during Bush and Reagan. It's time to move past that failed way of resolving conflicts and running the government. We have huge challenges ahead and don't have time for egotism.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #38)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:11 AM

40. Such a refreshing response to conflict after Bush and Reagan.

Hopefully, their policies are a thing of the past.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #38)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:38 PM

43. you are so right...so is the post you're replying to.

I swear, a lot of "folks" would be happier if he was a coyboy style, two-dimensional B-movie style leader whose lack of......

Wait for it.......

NUANCE

made him dangerous but at least easy to understand......

Media would love that.

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Response to sheshe2 (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:49 PM

30. Thanks for the positive news. The drones and excessive surveillance still need fixing.

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Response to sheshe2 (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 02:59 AM

46. President Obama is only getting

better with the job, she. I was a supporter in the 2008 Dem primary because I liked his style and slowly built up a trust of him. He's doing an excellent job fighing the enemies on all fronts, at home and abroad.

It's a steep challenge to protect us from maniacal mass murderers and it's awful for anyone to die who is not plotting to kill. I hate it, but, we have real enemies, real victims, and potential victims. There aren't too many doing his job that I would trust with what he's handling. John Kerry is one and Joe Biden is another.

Thanks she for smarty pants' blog input.

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Response to sheshe2 (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:01 AM

47. P.S. Thanks for

booman, too!

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