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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-08-13 02:50 AM
Original message
Plagiarism, Biden, Obama and Paul.
Edited on Fri Nov-08-13 03:27 AM by No Elephants
Once, Biden was excoriated for plagiarism.

Slate says that he quit the 1988 Presidential race because of it (not sure if that is actually the reason that Biden dropped out, but Slate says it is).

During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Obama was accused of plagiarizing the 2006 campaign speeches of my Governor, Deval Patrick, who was at the time national campaign co-chair of the Obama campaign, especially the "just words" speech. (One David Axelrod had headed Patrick's 2006 campaign--the campaign that had made Patrick the first African American Governor of Massachusetts--and said David Axelrod was also heading Obama's 2008 campaign.)

Patrick went on national TV shows and defended Obama against the plagiarism charge, which soon fizzled.

Guess the media was not as riveted by Obama's alleged plagiarism i 2008 as it had been by Biden's in 1988. Besides, if the alleged original author of the allegedly plagiarized words, Deval Patrick, didn't seem to care about the alleged plagiarism, why should anyone else care?

But, now, it's Rand Paul. He's accused of plagiarizing wiki and the Cato Institute, among others (or of missing that his staff plagiarized). (Doesn't Cato exist in the very hope that politicians will appropriate its ideas?)

My first job out of college was public school teaching (before I got all corporate), so I, am inclined to take a hard line on plagiarism. Nonetheless, I am conflicted.

On the one hand, passing off someone's research, ideas and turn of phrase as your own is stealing intellectual property. (Which, btw, our current law classes as terrorism.) It's dishonest and it shows character flaws. In Biden's case, he even "borrowed" the life story of the person from whom he plagiarized, which is really chutzpah. (Oddly, the Slate article linked above dismisses Hart's extra-marital affair as media hectoring, but zeroes in on Biden's plagiarism as something on which the press should have drilled down. Isn't adultery a character flaw, too, though?)

On the other hand, no one sane thinks politicians are purest angels; and, in the scale of the crap that politicians wreak on us and our country, plagiarism seems literally like an old school concern. Heck, Mike Barnicle probably made a lot more as a commentator on Morning Joe than he ever did as a columnist for the Boston Globe, from which he got fired for resigned from, after plagiarizing one column and apparently fabricating another.

Moreover, Barnicle was a professional writer, not a politician. I think holding a professional writer to a higher standard about plagiarism is fair, not to mention that making up stuff about kids with cancer, which Barnicle also did, is pretty low. Guess MSNBC believes in crediblity redemption, well for Barnicle, anyway, though not for Paul.

As I said, I'm conflicted. However, if any of the three had been writing a term paper for my class, I'd really have no choice but to give him an F. Is running my country less serious than writing a term paper for my class? If someone shows me an obvious character flaw when he knows he is being most scrutinized, should I ignore it? I did wave off Obama's plagiarism in 2008. Was I wrong to do that?

In Paul's case, my decision on the plagiarism issue is irrelevant, because I would disqualify Paul as a candidate for several other reasons. But, what if I liked Paul as a candidate, as I did Obama in 2008? Should plagiarism disqualify a Presidential candidate?

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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-08-13 07:07 AM
Response to Original message
1. It is mostly up to the voters
to decide whether plagiarism would disqualify a specific Presidential candidate.

But it looks like the media establishment wants Rand Paul out because he is unelectable as a national candidate. Paul is a threat to knock Christie out in the primary process. So they are making a big deal about his plagiarism.

I don't like Paul personally as a person or as a creepy libertarian racist Republican. But the media is fawning all over Christie. At the same time they are focused just a little too much on this plagiarism issue. This is no coincidence. I believe the establishment wants Christie to be your next president. What could be bettera fat fuck arrogant asshole Republican.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-08-13 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I, too, find Rand Paul creepy.
Yes, the media is fawning all over Christie. According to what I read, so did New Jersey Democrats, many endorsing him. (We had a similar phenomenon in Massachusetts when Scott Brown ran for the Senate, though one of the Democratic endorsers, Flynn, former ambassador to the Vatican, is basically a Republican at this point due to anti-choice.) I think some national Democrats are speaking highly of Christie as well. And there are already polls showing Hillary would beat Christie in New Jersey.

In all, I believe we are going to have even less of an illusion of choice come 2016 primaries than we usually do--and that's been less and less since Bubba ran. Maybe even before that, but I don't know.

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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-12-13 05:51 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. I think the misinformation mechanism
or the media establishment, as is more commonly known, can destroy any presidential candidate. We no longer have a viable choice except on social issues. I guess the case could be made that the Republican Party has become the party of war. War on other nations and war on the 99%.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-12-13 07:26 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I think a very similar case can be made about the Democrats.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-12-13 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. The Democrats haven't started a war since Vietnam.
Edited on Tue Nov-12-13 05:37 PM by Enthusiast
They supported a W Bush war that was based on falsified intelligence. Democrats might have had second thoughts had they known there really were no WMDs. That's false equivalency, No Elephants.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-13-13 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I very respectfully, but very strongly, disagree.
Edited on Wed Nov-13-13 12:33 PM by No Elephants
You said:
I guess the case could be made that the Republican Party has become the party of war. War on other nations and war on the 99%.

Note that your original statement--the one to which I responded-- did not limit the time period in question to post-Vietnam, nor did it define "war" in any particular way and the original statement included war on the 99%.

To that original statement, I replied:

I think a very similar case can be made about the Democrats.

"Very similar case" is not the same as saying the two parties are equivalent. (I would not even begin to know how to equate wars.)

In all, I think my reply to your statement--as you originally stated it--was accurate.

It may be convenient to start the "war" clock after Vietnam, but that was not part of the statement to which I replied. And, with all due respect to Teflon Bill, it all depends on what your definition of "war" is.

Here is a list of American military engagements (many,many more than I had realized).

In some cases, you may have to look up who was President at the time, but most of the entries seem to mention a President. (The nature of our activities is often described euphemistically. Bearing in mind that our original involvement in Vietnam and other locales was described as "advisory," or some such. So, I read broadly an entry on a list of U.S. military operations that says that we are assisting the Philippines with anti-terrorist activity.)

Looking at only some of the major conflicts during the last century--Democrats took us into the only two world wars in which we have been engaged, the Korean War and, for the most part, into the Vietnam War, but Vietnam is more complicated than the other three I just mentioned.

As far as we know, Truman sent only money to Vietnam. I think Eisenhower sent some troops that were theoretically only "military advisors," but Kennedy escalated and, LBJ, don't even ask. For his part, though, Nixon kept it going until Congress denied him any more funds. Still, I think I have to blame the Democrats more.

Carter, to his credit, got the hostages back from Iran without going to war, but there were other military actions during his administration and Reagans and Poppy's and Clinton's. Poppy Bush was also responsible for a relatively limited war in Desert Storm.

As far as Iraq, I don't buy for a minute that Democrats voted for it only because Bush fooled them about WMDs. In fact, I don't think he fooled them at all, not even a teensy.

As you watched Condi, Cheney, Powell and others making the rounds of the news shows to sell the Iraq War to the American public, you knew the reasons to go to war were being trumped up, didn't you? I did. Susan Sarandon did. DU did. I would guess millions of Americans did. It was blatantly obvious.

On what basis shall we assume that that the general public is all that much smarter than very smart people like Hillary, Biden, Schumer, and the rest of Democrats in the federal government who voted for the Iraq War, some of whom had been in one house or another of congress for decades?

They also got intelligence all along during those decades to which you and I were not privy. I think they were more than our equals in being able to figure out what Bushco was doing; and I think they did figure it out.

And, let's not forget, they also voted for the Global War on Terror and "Homeland Security," which, frankly, I see as war on us. Those things may be far more significant in the long run than the Iraq War. Oh, and the Afganistan War, for which they also voted, and which had nothing at all to do with any evidence trumped up by Bushco.

Obama had no problem whatever with the war in Afghanistan. Indeed, while Bush had pretty much let it dwindle, Obama surged it soon after taking office.

Not only that, but, despite saying during his campaign that Iraq was the "wrong war," Obama also attempted to get Iraq to agree to our staying beyond the withdrawal date that Dummya had negotiated.

We are not still in Iraq, IMO, only because Iraq politely said they'd just as soon we leave on the agreed date. Well, actually, we are still in Iraq, supposedly only protecting our embassy and military bases there, but we still have a significant number of troops there. And if Iraq were to give us a green light, we'd be back in a Baghdad minute.

And then (shhh), there's Pakistan, Yemen, the Philippines and, apparently, anywhere populated by brown people that Obamaco feels like doing something.

Obama also got into military action in Libya, though not (as far as we know "boots on the ground", but, if bombing is not war, what the hell is it?

Ten members of Congress sued him for going to war without Congressional approval (including my own much admired former rep.) and Boehner challenged Obama's action on legal grounds, but went no further than a letter.

The plaintiffs are Democratic Reps. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, John Conyers of Michigan and Michael Capuano of Massachusetts and Republican Reps. Walter Jones and Howard Coble of North Carolina, Tim Johnson and Dan Burton of Indiana, Jimmy Duncan of Tennessee, Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland and Ron Paul of Texas.

The suit is just the latest clash between Congress and the White House over the Libya intervention.

Rep. John Boehner, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives urged Mr. Obama on Tuesday to explain the legal grounds for the continued U.S. military involvement and set a Friday deadline for the commander in chief's response.

That case was dismissed because the ten plaintiffs could not show that they were speaking for the House as a whole (no standing).

Obama was also going to start bombing Syria. The general public may believe its calls changed his mind. Against all my beliefs in the utter futility of such calls, I even called myself. However, I do not believe for a minute that calls from the general public changed Obama's mind. For that matter, the only reason the public got focused on Obama's plans for Syria was a media campaign initiated by a Republican member of the House.

There was a letter, initiated by that Republican and signed by about 150 members of Congress, Democrat and Republican. There was also another written legal challenge by Boehner.

IMO, I think, that time, the Obama administration feared that the house might initiate a lawsuit with bipartisan support. If so, that would would have eliminated the standing problem that had proven fatal to the earlier lawsuit over undeclared war in Libya.

If initiated and won, the lawsuit would have set a precedent that Obama and future presidents would have to abide by, unless they wanted to openly abrogate the rule of law. And fear of that precedent, IMO, is what stopped Obama from bombing Syria. (Even a lawsuit with bipartisan support might have been enough to halt Obama. There was enough bipartisan support that it would have been impossible to chalk it up to Republican hatred of Obama or the usual dismissals.)

Last but not least, Obama's "extra curricular" killings in the "global war on terror" have far exceeded those of Bush.

As far as "tough talk" that has never actually manifested in actual acts of war, some Republicans engage in that, but so do some Democrats, though McCain is the only one I know of who set his pseudo macho bullshit to music.

So, out of all that, which party can most fairly be called the party of war? I certainly do think a case can be made for whichever political party one desires to nail with that label.

Besides, originally, you also mentioned the war on the 99%. The Democrats have done exceedingly well with that war, too.

As with physical wars, verbiage is one thing, action another. When it comes to actual legislation, I'd be very hard pressed to say that what Republicans have actually done and tried to do exceeds what Democrats have actually done and tried to do.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-13-13 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I stand by what I said. The Republican Party is the war party.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-13-13 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. As do I. They both are war parties, wars against people and countries.
Edited on Wed Nov-13-13 03:25 PM by No Elephants
I'd give you that Republicans may have the edge on war rhetoric, but both parties are odious when it comes to actual actions against "people and other living things."
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