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Name: Jim
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Member since: Thu Apr 5, 2012, 08:33 PM
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you can't support a "credible threat" and then be opposed to carrying it out, can you?

I'm guessing the most preferred enemy to attack for most of them would be Iran.


it has it's origin here

I chose it better than a decade now when joining "The Fray" which Slate through the WP hosted, and largely to give the cons/repubs I battled an easy out when they ran outta ammo. The number of lefties here that have sought to make hay outta it has been a bit amusing as well.

You know it woo. "Creepy" is a good way of describing it. I'd say what we're looking at and battling here is due to the absence of the common enemy in the WH, and the lack of focus on that, as well as the actions and inaction of the current occupant, has given rise to the awareness that the "D" he has doesn't necessarily make him our preferred/ideal kinda friend. Those of us feeling a sense of unease/being "creeped" out is totally understandable and expected under the circumstances, because near unanimity has been replaced with much discord, and quite the schism as a result. I'd say there's a real correlation between how "creeped out" one is about the current political conditions and issues, and the level of awareness and understanding one has of them.

To be quite honest and frank with you, while I find all the demands for tribalism and the rhetorical products, suspension of reason and logic, etc, of it pretty "creepy" given the remarkable similarlity it has to the Bushbotism I battled for so long, I find great encouragement in the number of those around here who don't seem to be afflicted by it, and who are prisoners of their long held or newly discovered principles instead. While battling those cons/repubs for so long, I was also making the case to my fellow lefties that the enemy of our enemy wasn't necessarily our real friend, so what this board has been embroiled in -- the battle for the heart and soul of the left, and who gets to determine what we stand for -- is not something new to me, nor are the dynamics of it all.

I'm inclined to think that he's unintentionally performed a great service for those of us on the left, insomuch as he's shown on several issues, and raised awareness as a result, as to how little separation their truly is between what I've long characterized as the faux duopoly in DC. They no longer compete as much as they try to sell the same product under a different brand name. The dems these days and for quite some time, have been the party that dispenses the occasional bone seasoned heavily with the fear of our only alternative, while the rightwingnuts have increasingly provided ample reasons for that fear.

That imo, is the truth and realization many around here seek to avoid with their strident defense of all things BHO.

sorry for the rant. As an armchair social psychologist I thought maybe it would be nice to provide an encouraging prognosis for the creepy pathogen our many mosquitos are spreading around here.

what we have here is a failure to communicate


I can only speak for myself of course, but when I objected to BHO putting chained cpi on the table, the criticism wasn't based on any speculative achievement of that goal, but rather how damning it is to propose it to begin with.

When I opposed his efforts of the sabre-rattling kind in Syria because of an inability to see how military strikes there would comply with the dictates of a "just war", the UN Charter, etc, it wasn't because I thought military strikes inevitable, but rather the fact that he was proposing doing something damning.

There simply is no "there, there" in terms of being right or wrong as far as predictions go because the alleged "bluffs" have yet to be called, much less where a "rubbing of the nose in it" is concerned. Just because we may never see him sign chained cpi into law, or attack Syria without a sanctioning of this congress, the UNSC, or the approval of a majority of the American people, says nothing about the level of willingness he's expressed for doing both in defiance of them. He is either willing to break the law or has been bluffing about military strikes, no? Since his more avid supporters will no doubt fail to concede that he was willing to make himself a criminal under international law (which apparently isn't objectionable given the "bizness" those who've objected on those grounds have recieved) it would appear that bluffer with a big stick is the preferred description.

That's why we see all of the "you're a racist"/"some like to see him fail"/assad protectors, etc, etc, etc stuff, because they completely lack a viable argument that undermines objections based on principle alone, like adhering to the "rule of law", or that is convincing and compelling enough to sell their "bluffing" BS to the risk averse. And how does one know when the bluffer is bluffing? When they stumble over a red line?

It's almost like objecting to the proposal of such things is the crime, as opposed to the crime (in the denotative and connotative sense they respectively are, syria/chained cpi that is) they would be if realized.

The "failure to communicate" isn't the product of misunderstandings, etc, it's the product of one side having no reasonable objections to reasonable objections and criticisms of the "Bluffer in Chief", even if they include incontrovertible things like http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-09-03/world/41712097_1_chemical-weapons-president-bashar-assad-s-security-council to object to.

Obviously all that rhetoric about a "war of choice" that no doubt figured so prominently during the Bush years, and "dumb wars" that helped get BHO elected, was just meaningless rhetoric intended to bluff them into ignoring the following sage advice from another great communicator

“There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.”

We can in large measure thank the shrub for the reason why this war wasn't sold, here and abroad. Apparently most of this country and the world are BHO-haters and assad-lovers/protectors, for having doubts, war weariness, or a problem with warring period, and the rest are followers of the Bush Doctrine.

Democratic regime changeIn a series of speeches in late 2001 and 2002, Bush expanded on his view of American foreign policy and global intervention, declaring that the United States should actively support democratic governments around the world, especially in the Middle East, as a strategy for combating the threat of terrorism, and that the United States had the right to act unilaterally in its own security interests, without the approval of international bodies such as the United Nations.3] This represented a departure from the Cold War policies of deterrence and containment under the Truman Doctrine and post–Cold War philosophies such as the Powell Doctrine and the Clinton Doctrine.

Maybe you're a warmonger if you approve of sabre-rattling "diplomacy".

Maybe you also reject the spirit and letter of the UN Charter as a warmonger as well.

US, Israeli threats of force against Iran are illegal and harm chances for a deal
Even if we set aside the ethical and political implications of America's threatening Iran in the course of negotiations, there are two major legal issues with these threats. First, the 'threat of force' is illegal under international law. And second, any agreement reached by threat is invalid.

The term “threat” refers to a government's announcement of an act of violence for the purpose of intimidating another government into changing its policies. Under the Charter, only the Security Council is qualified to make such threats. Every other threat of force is unlawful.

Maybe you think that when a black pres does it, it ain't illegal. Rightwingers use to reject all that when Bush was sabre-rattling over Iran as well. Does that maybe make you kissing cousins with them?

Maybe you'll approve of the next rightwingnut pres taking such matter into his own hands. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CDQQqQIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fthehill.com%2Fblogs%2Fdefcon-hill%2Foperations%2F321103-white-house-insists-it-may-strike-syria-without-congressional-approval&ei=-1svUsmWI4LlrAGSu4GIBg&usg=AFQjCNFBXlUBrxdE80vUrDtfZuH6pagNCQ&bvm=bv.51773540,d.aWM What's the diff after all, between ignoring the rule of law and the the will of the people that want to see it observed, and just making up your own rules as you go along?

Maybe you unwittingly or knowingly love the fruit of the poisoned tree, and like the common rightwinger, adhere strictly to "the ends justify the means" rationale in defense of your tribal chief.

This is of course not to say that a positive outcome in the Syria case should be rejected, just the means by which it was harvested should not be forgotten, and indeed, avoided.

Does this make me a racist? The reason I ask is because that seems to have become one of the fav goto non-arguments those not too smart rely on in situations like this.

I'm sure happy that we're not talking about a dumb war in Syria

in pursuit of all sorts of nefarious ulterior motives/goals, should it escalate into something we can all agree satisfies the definition of "war".

I'm also glad that having a AUMF in hand this time will trump/negate the fact that without a UNSC resolution authorizing it, that it will be a war of aggression. After arguing that not so fine point to rightwingers for years and years in rebuttal to their "it's legal" stuff, it's very pleasing to see that the problem has been taken care of for our democrat pres. I think this has something to do with putting "limited" before this and that for a wary public that has grown weary of the super-sized war sandwiches.

It's also good to see that this war won't have been staged by dem and repub admins alike for a decade or two before awe strikes again. I think there's little to no doubt in this smart war, that the villian does indeed have chemical wmds, unlike all that uncertainty that must have existed while BC was perpetuating those illegal no-fly zones started by Bush Sr in Iraq, and avidly maintaining those costly sanctions on Iraq, and for Bush the Lesser, as the investigations into the Iraq wmd programs made clear.

I think I am most pleased to see the great spirit of bipartisanship descending once again upon DC, despite it being expected because foreign policy is the temple in which they find the most common ground for shared worship. Sometimes I'm even silly enough to think that preserving this church of the empire is the main reason that the good cop/bad cop, faux duopoly, janus-like condition so many of us imagine to exist in DC, has the "give the dogs a bone" quality to it, even as they slowly open the curtain with the chained cpi rope. I find great solace in sharing my bigotry of low expectations with so many, in a misery loves company sorta way.

And after all, dumb wars are only for dummies, no?

What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income — to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression. That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics. Now let me be clear — I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He's a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history. I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaida. I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99591469

NSA Declassifies Documents Revealing Unconstitutional Spying On U.S. Emails

color me shocked.


It reads to me like we can finally lay to rest who got right from the beginning, and who got it wrong.

Would we be "knowing" any of this butfor the efforts of those villians GG/Snowden is what I'd like to know.

The National Security Agency on Wednesday declassified three previously secret court rulings related to its domestic surveillance programs, including one revealing a massive unconstitutional collection of Americans’ emails.

While heavily redacted in some portions, the rulings from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court are the most in-depth look into the NSA programs first revealed this summer to be gathering information from Americans. In one document, related to an April 2011 petition from the government to continue its collection of internet communications, FISC judge John Bates expressed his concern that the Court was only just learning of the extent of the collection process, which “exceeded the scope of collection previously disclosed by the government and approved by the Court.” This led the Court to realize that it had been operating under false pretenses in judging whether government actions are legal under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act.

At the heart of the FISC’s concern was the NSA’s “upstream collection” — constituting approximately 9 percent of the more than 250 million internet communications the NSA acquires yearly under Section 702 — which siphons off international data passing through U.S.-based cables into a repository where it could be stored for later analysis. This is separate from the discrete Internet communications acquired under the PRISM program, which it gets from Internet service providers. The transactions in question are effectively unable to be sorted between foreign and domestic traffic and further unable to distinguish between a single discrete communication and multiple communications which may or may not have been about the target the NSA analyst was searching for. As a result, thousands of solely domestic email conversations were swept up in the process.

The outcome was a ruling from the Court that the collection was unconstitutional, requiring the NSA to revamp its methods and purge all domestic communications from its databases in 2012. Despite the change in procedures, one footnote in the 2011 ruling spotlights the extent to which the administration had previously misled the Court over the breadth of the NSA’s programs: http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/08/21/2506621/nsa-declassifies-documents-revealing-unconstitutional-spying-on-us-emails/

Greenwald Partner falsely detained as Terrorist: How to Create a Dictatorship

and create and secure a large fanbase of defenders in the process.

The latter starts by energetically exploiting the tribal element making what was bad for their goose now good for my gander, and vice versa. This is probably the easiest ingredient in the goose seasoning recipe used to baste in haste when the temperature is dramatically raised like with the Snowden revelations. Of course BHO isn't Bush, and they were no doubt counting on that, as well as the predictable response to it from those who prefer to live in denial of any possibility that he might still be a goose cooker. It's also why some "oil meets water" difficulties arise like "This is nothing new!!!" that simply refuse to cooperate as part of good dishonesty recipe. It takes a lot of intelligence to be a good liar, and even "Nth" dimensional chess players are limited by the number of ingredients so to speak, like some poor participant on "Chopped".

What they've served up tastes like illegalities and unconstitutionalities to many, with a bitter aftertaste of dishonesty, hidden agendas, and goals, that weren't part of the ingredients they were given to work with. To others it is merely something that can be fixed with additional seasoning, like sympathy, because whatever faults that are present are solely due to what the chef was handed to work with.

It reads like a recipe for disaster to me, no matter who is dictating the ingredients, preparing them, or serving them up.

Greenwald Partner falsely detained as Terrorist: How to Create a Dictatorship
Posted on 08/19/2013 by Juan Cole
How to turn a democracy into a STASI authoritarian state in 10 easy steps:

1. Misuse the concept of a Top Secret government document (say, the date of D-Day) and extend classification to trillions of mundane documents a year.

2. Classify all government crimes and violations of the Constitution as secret

3. Create a class of 4.5 million privileged individuals, many of them corporate employees, with access to classified documents but allege it is illegal for public to see leaked classified documents

4. Spy on the public in violation of the Constitution

5. Classify environmental activists as terrorists while allowing Big Coal and Big Oil to pollute and destroy the planet

6. Share info gained from NSA spying on public with DEA, FBI, local law enforcement to protect pharmaceuticals & liquor industry from competition from pot, or to protect polluters from activists


The NSA leaks are all hype from the conspiritorial rightwing Hydra

on which Snowden/GG are but one little head.

I can't help but recall how years ago when I first stumbled onto the "internets" to engage the rightwing monster during the lead up to the Iraq War, and in what turned out to be less than civilized debate, I argued that they were gonna lose suport of libertarians as a result of the militaristic face Bush was then putting on the fascist face already long in evidence, and that the right/republican/libertarian fusionism that had long been much the rule, could/would be altered. Not only did the loss of rightwing support occur

Libertarian-leaning voters started drifting away from the GOP even before Katrina, civil war in Iraq, and Mark Foley launched the general stampede. In their recent Cato-published study “The Libertarian Vote,” David Boaz and David Kirby analyzed polling data from Gallup, the American National Election Studies, and the Pew Research Center and concluded that 13 percent of the population, or 28 million voting-age Americans, can be fairly classified as libertarian-leaning. Back in 2000, this group voted overwhelmingly for Bush, supporting him over Al Gore by a 72-20 margin. By 2004, however, John Kerry—whose only discernible libertarian credential was that he wasn’t George W. Bush—got 38 percent of the libertarian vote, while Bush’s support fell to 59 percent. Congressional races showed a similar trend. In 2002, libertarians favored Republican House candidates by a 70-23 spread and Republican Senate candidates by a 74-15 margin. Things tightened up considerably in 2004, though, as the GOP edge fell to 53-44 in House races and 54-43 in Senate contests./blockquote] http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/liberaltarians

but as the title of that piece suggests, some were interested in forging a more substantive and lasting relationship between the libertarians and the left.

To date, Democrats have made inroads with libertarian voters primarily by default. Yes, it’s true that Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos fame caused something of a stir by proposing the term “Libertarian Democrat” to describe his favored breed of progressive. And the most prominent examples of his would-be movement—first-term Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana, fellow Montanan Tester, and Virginia Senator-elect Jim Webb—have sounded some libertarian themes by being simultaneously pro-choice and pro-gun rights. At the same time, however, their anti-nafta, Wal-Mart-bashing economic populism is anathema to free-market supporters.

In short, if Democrats hope to continue appealing to libertarian-leaning voters, they are going to have to up their game. They need to ask themselves: Are we content with being a brief rebound fling for jilted libertarians, or do we want to form a lasting relationship? Let me make a case for the second option.

This is precisely why I've argued from the beginning on this issue, that while I think the NSA/spying stain on BHO that will likely result is inescapable, like his with his continuing support for unpalatable cuts http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/17835-white-house-continues-playing-lets-make-a-deal-with-the-gop-on-social-security-and-medicare-benefit-cuts should they occur, there's nothing stopping those in the congressional races from exploiting both the opposition to those cuts and that to the spying for their benefit -- and libertarian/libertarian-leaning voters could certainly have a role in that.

Wow, libertarians are making an issue of/exploiting something that shows the Janus-like condition shared by our alleged left/right pols in DC on matters of foreign policy after having reacted favorably when that perception didn't exist? I thought they were merely doing what should be expected of them, which happens to be something that the protectors of the state, and here on DU, the protectors of the current face on it, don't like, outta anyone regardless of their politcal stripe. It simply can't be accepted it seems, that they are merely being the allies of many who find much of the rest they stand for (particularly the right-leaning, anarcho-capitalist types) unacceptable.

Imo all the bashing of the libertarians on this issue is counterproductive to the goal we as dem voters presumably share -- maintaining the senate and regaining the house. And all the guilt by association BS from the authoritarians around here in the form of "Paulite", etc designations intended to insult those who'd dare align themselves with the libertarians on this issue, is gonna have the net effect of eroding support and election participation of the kind sought outta those ranks as well.

But hey, we'll just add this to the ever-growing list of things rightwingers don't have a monopoly on in these days of a growing faux duopoly in DC on such matters of peace and war -- the political acumen and foresight of an earthworm on the part of those who see themselves as the lefty "good guys". Like rightwingnuts as well, this silencing of critics efforts by the various methods and means we've seen deployed/employed here, has merely been an exhibition of their flair for being their own worst enemy too imo, because of ignorance or a lack of foresight.

ANd who is that "most effective congress critter" working with to achieve that designation, and why isn't he being denounced for the things he's achieved as a result for daring to work with that enemy, as opposed to recieving that rather flattering designation?

The new strategy is simple. Grayson and his staff scan the bills that come out of the majority. They scan amendments that passed in previous Congresses but died at some point along the way. They resurrect or mold bills that can appeal to the libertarian streak in the GOP, and Grayson lobbies his colleagues personally. That’s how he attached a ban on funding for “unmanned aerial vehicles,” i.e. drones, to the homeland security bill. He swears that they don’t back away from him because of his old persona—well, his relationship with Webster is “strained,” but he points out that Webster won re-election by 5,000 votes and Grayson won with 70,000. Never mind that. Are the members of Congress more forgiving than members of the press?

as some say authoritarians "THINK ABOUT IT!"

No, there's nothing strange about the designations

or the endless revisions from the authoritarians in DC or their sychophants here.

Most of the rancor, etc, was intitiated by those on defense from the beginning with this -- you guys. It was simply inconcievable and certainly intolerable to be having the "good guy" in the WH even tangentially tied to the intitial revelations and all that has followed, even though he is in responsible charge of those indicted by them.

I wish you guys would make up your minds as to whether he's an incompetent nincompoop outta this particular loop, or a liar on the matter, although I won't hold my breath while waiting.

ANd all this stuff about "welcoming further reforms and safeguards" has been the goal (well, demanding it really) of all of us alleged "authoritarians" from the start, so by all means, explain all of the "paulite/bushite/racist/etc" BS that has come from your side.

Oh that's right, you're tripping all over yourselves. The only reason all that stuff came from you authoritarians is because it makes the one in charge look bad, and rightly so. You're trying to have it "both ways", which is just another thing on a long list that dedicated rightwingers don't have a monopoly on. If reforms/safeguards are desirable and determined to be necessary, then that's because what we're currently living under is bad/undesirable, and can't be detached from BHO, because it's his admins interpretations of the governing laws that will figure prominently in them.

Any efforts that result in those reforms/safeguards that correct the likely illegal/unconstitutional nature of the violations are gonna justify/validate the criticisms and complaints from we "authoritarians", and incontrovertibly establish BHO's participation in them.

All you'll then have left when the smoke clears is something akin to Rice's "WHo could have possibly known/predicted they'd fly planes into the towers!" line of BS, because that's what all the protectionism of BHO is in spirit if not substance. If anybody has elevated anybody to "godlike status", it's been those defending BHO in the ways and manner you guys have.

Beyond that, I find this insulting effort both amusing and a classic case of projection. Try starting the "kindness" routine yourself, and spare us the the thinly veiled BS about alleged Snowden/GG/etc worship, "fearmongering" charges (while claiming to want the same thing they're asking for/in pursuit of) and whitewashing/denying all the BS your side on this matter has polluted this board with that has served as provocation.

Gee, if they aren't spying on Americans, where's the DEA getting their tips? http://www.google.com/search?q=NSA+DEA+connection&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7 ANd if that's the case, and judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and their defendents are victimized by ignorance that should be dispelled by discovery, how does that impact your "no victims" claim? Of course victims that don't know they've been victimized aren't stepping forward in droves. It doesn't take a genius to figure that one out.

That read like an effort to lay claim to the high ground you've never had on this matter, and to ameliorate the ego pain down the road after you've been shown to be disasterously wrong about BHO's role and responsibility is all of this, and that's largely due to a clinging to misplaced trust long after it was unwarranted imo.

The record/our memories indicate NSA and apologists, etc, have lied

I'm beginning to think that this question should have figured more prominently in the "debate" from the beginning.

It's really about the only time imo, that Saint Raygun's evil nine words "I'm from the gov, and I'm here to help!" has a real world application in terms of the inherent dubiousness of claims made by gov officials. It also dovetails with the notion that in this great debate between security v rights that the CiC no doubt gives the former greater weight to (in a "I was against it before I was for it kinda way") and therefore a motive for taking license with the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Avoiding it certainly explains all of their focus on we racists, etc, and messengers like Snowden, GG, etc.

Imo gullibility (like a lotta other unflattering things) is something that rightwingers don't have a monopoly on, and this has been showcased throughout this debate, as have some of those other unflattering things.

Why believe anything the government says about the NSA?
8/8/2013 10:30am by Gaius Publius 74 Comments
. .At this point, why would you believe anything the State, or anyone fronting for it, tells you about NSA domestic spying? Even the gullible have to be non-virgins by now. Let’s take a look.

Here’s security expert Bruce Schneier on just this subject. He starts (my emphasis, including a few bullets and some reparagraphing throughout):

Restoring Trust in Government and the Internet
In July 2012, responding to allegations that the video-chat service Skype — owned by Microsoft — was changing its protocols to make it possible for the government to eavesdrop on users, Corporate Vice President Mark Gillett took to the company’s blog to deny it. Turns out that wasn’t quite true.

Or at least he — or the company’s lawyers — carefully crafted a statement that could be defended as true while completely deceiving the reader. You see, Skype wasn’t changing its protocols to make it possible for the government to eavesdrop on users, because the government was already able to eavesdrop on users.

And this is just the start of this great piece. Two things to note: http://americablog.com/2013/08/why-would-you-believe-anything-the-state-tells-you-about-nsa-spying.html

Or hell, given that "secrecy" is an intregal part of whole thing, isn't it an expectation that taking license with the truth is gonna be part of the effort to preserve it?

I do think so.
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