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Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Friday, June 06, 2008

Surely this is just my imagination...

Thus far, in every interview I've seen, every Hillary Clinton supporter who has sworn to vote for McCain has been white. That tugs at the back of my mind. Let's see: what is it that they might find comforting about McCain. His politics? No...his gender? No...his experience? That's a possibility, of course, although if they had wanted experience, they might have gone there in the first place: Hillary's elected experience is less than Barack's. Age? Maybe. Wisdom/Intelligence? Well, I would suspect they haven't any reason to rank either McCain or Clinton above Obama on that, but I could certainly respect an alternative opinion. When people shift allegiances, I would think that they are moving where they feel more...comfortable. Yes, that's the polite word I'm looking for. Is it my imagination that a disproportionate number of these folks are white, and if so, is it unfair to wonder if that has something to do with it?

86 comments:

Michelle said...

All the interviews I've heard of (not seen any at all at this point) seem to be older(50+) white folks.

Another question where are they finding them?

I haven't met anyone who has decided on this voting choice. Which is bizarre and makes me wonder of their stability in the first place.

Really if you can't stomach Obama aren't there better places for Democrats to run to than the Republicans?

either way it's more than distasteful...but I do have to wonder if we wouldn't be getting the same but opposite reaction if Obama had lost the nomination.

Still not planning to vote for him my self...but then I'm not voting for McCain either. Really the reasons are separate...being that I'm a pro choice gun toting hippy neither seem to be fully my candidate.

But boiling it down to the nutshell: It is not right and in the extra stupid category.

suzanne said...

some more optimistic news

gloriam steinem backs Obama now
and will actively campaign for him

http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/6/5/1924/00687

and here a letter from the head of Emily's List
to all the Hillary supporter's

http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/6/5/1924/00687

I think the number of women who are so self destructive that they'd
vote for McCain over Obama
are few and the number will drop
as November approaches

suzanne said...

opps!

the emily's list email is here

http://www.emilyslist.org/news/releases/2008_dem_nomination_malcolm_statement/

Kukulkan said...

Steve:

Surely it's my imagination, but I thought Sen. Obama was pulling in 90% of the Black vote. Doesn't leave a lot of disappointed Black voters to interview. In my opinion the 90% Black vote is a clear indication that Blacks are strongly influenced by Sen. Obama's racial background. Is it surprising that race plays a factor in the remaining 10% of Black Democratic voters? The only big difference I see is that you are not offended by huge numbers of Black voters being influenced by race but are offended by a few White voters being influenced by race.

Dan Moran said...

I would think that they are moving where they feel more...comfortable. Yes, that's the polite word I'm looking for.

I think you're reaching. Weren't you threatening to vote for McCain fairly recently?

Anonymous said...

Steve: As some for whom Hillary was the top choice even though I usually vote republican I think it is fair to say that those who were pro Hillary based upon most confidence in her ability to handle world affairs might decide that McCain is their second choice in this arena. Since almost all Hillary supporters were white, those making this decision with respect to foreign affairs would be white and this would be a perfectly reasonable non-racist decision.

Marty S

Brian Wood said...

It's not your imagination. Father Flager said it best. And Hillary's white woman base is OUTRAGED!

I wrote an essay on it. Here's a part near the end:

"I’m going to say out loud no one on television or radio or on the campaign dares to say for fear of losing their jobs: White people are afraid of the revenge of the black people. Whites are afraid if America elects a black president who has such an impassioned but still-in-pain reverend, will that pain be reflected by the president? In other words, will it be open season on whites as it not long ago was open season on black people; hangings and burnings and beatings and rapes. Once we have a black president, will it be okay to return such abuses in like kind upon white people?

I’m going to let white people in on a little secret here about the black race. I don’t think the black race will be overly offended if I tell one of their unspoken secrets: The black race is the most passionate, the most accepting of differences, and the most forgiving you would ever meet. Also the strongest. After all, white people, they do put up with your BS everyday. And have put up with the BS for centuries. Do you think you could claim the same?"

Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if the brown paper-bag test is put into use once more. Came pretty close to that in Florida in 2000.

Kukulkan:
I can assure you blacks would not act in this manner. And blacks have ALWAYS, since they could vote, voted for the white guy in presidential elections. (Just ask Bill, who proudly wore the helm of "first black president".) Did we, as a nation, see such an outburst from angry blacks when Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson didn't go far in their respective primaries? Blacks don't just throw their votes away. The black race is tighter and more organised and smarter; surely this was shown in contrasting the styles of Hillary and Barack. (In the beginning of the contest, blacks were backing Hillary more.)

The only other time I have seen white people this OUTRAGED over a black man versus a white woman verdict was during the aftermath of the OJ trial.

Steve Perry said...

Sounds like people who are angry their candidate lost are trying to punish the guy who beat her. 'Twould seem like a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face to me -- Obama is a lot closer to Clinton than McCain has been or ever will be and a vote for him would be against most of what Clinton said she stood for.

People get pissy. I would guess that after some of them cool down, they'll rethink their stances. It was Hillary's to lose, and she lost it as much as Barack won it. She zigged when she should have zagged, and he didn't. C'est la vie.

Steven Barnes said...

I never said I was offended. And the reason I don't care about 90% of the black vote voting Obama. Bill Clinton got almost that much. More importantly, they've voted for white people in every election in this nation's history. Not surprising that a little pressure might have built up. If they did this every time, I'd be WAY pissed.

Josh Jasper said...

There we interviews with registered democrats in Kentucky who were repeating the claim that he's a Muslim, and others who came right out and said they weren't going to vote for a black man.

No need to be coy, Steve, it's out there in the media. There's a measurable number of rural, working class, non-college educated whites who'd have supported Hilary Clinton, but won't vote for Obama because he's black, and will probably vote McCain instead. Is it everyone? No. Marty may vote McCain based on threats against Iran, but I doubt he'd vote against Obama because of race.

Me, I'll take a chance and vote for someone who leans towards peace. It's time that stopped being a dirty word.

Steven Barnes said...

Wait a minute: there are some other black men in "Bird". That lowers the death percent--I gotta be fair. Still lousy stats, though.

Dan Moran said...

I think the general consensus is right. The % of people who were strongly pro-Clinton, who are going to vote for McCain in November, is trivial. It might be matched by the number of Republicans who hate McCain and are going to vote for Obama.

People say things in the heat of the moment, but the truth is, almost all Republicans are going to vote for McCain, however reluctantly in some cases, and almost all Democrats are going to vote for Obama, however reluctantly in some cases. The people most attracted to Hillary -- feminists like myself -- can't possibly imagine that McCain would be a fraction as good as Obama on the issues they deeply care about. They can't, they don't, they'll look at Antonin Scalia and John Robert, and they'll vote appropriately.

AF1 said...

I can understand Hillary supporters being angry at how things have turned out.

But to turn around and vote Republican.....that really is a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face like Steve Perry says.

Anonymous said...

A couple of observations from your local republican.

Steve Perry: You say Hillary is closer to Obama on the issues than McCain so Hillary voters will return to Obama. I think thats true for liberal democrats, but there were moderate democrats and independants who supported Hillary. They may not care as much about feminist issues and other issues near and dear to the liberal heart and feel McCain is closer to Hillary on the issues they care about.

Dan:
You brought up the supreme court. As a moderately conservative republican let me give you my view on the court. Before Bush's appointee's the supreme court was way too liberal. With the Bush appointees the court is just about perfect, with a balance between liberals and conservatives with one or two centrists that will swing either way depending on the case. It is my expectation that most of those retiring in the near future will be the liberals. I would prefer to see them replaced by others with at least moderately liberal tendencies than with hard line conservatives, because then I fear the court would make overly conservative decisions which would be as bad as when it was too liberal. Based upon my perception of McCain I suspect any appointees he makes will be moderates and not necessarily right leaning moderates. I would expect Obama to nominate more extreme liberals, but I could live with that as long as they were replacing retiring liberals.

Lastly all this attitude about republicans and how could any democrat ever vote republican disturbs me. It reminds me of racists who can't see past a person's black skin to see the individual. There is a whole spectrum of republicans from those on the far right, to those who are liberal on at least a spectrum of issues. From my point of view Rudy and Hillary are practically Tweedledee and Tweedledum despite the fact that one is a democrat and one is a republican.


Marty S

Frank said...

Marty

I think thats true for liberal democrats, but there were moderate democrats and independants who supported Hillary.

It's funny how people tend to forget that. And the general election will be yet another demographic.

As if people think the universe of people who are Democrats also vote in the Primaries.

People who elect Blue Dogs to Congress are not going to go for Obama. Mark my words.

And then there's independents, not all of whom think that peace is a simple as no shooting, though some do.

There is a whole spectrum of republicans from those on the far right, to those who are liberal on at least a spectrum of issues.

Yeah, this reminds me of the eulogy for Charlton Heston I heard on NPR on the occasion of his death. (Yes, I listen to NPR regularly)

The commentator pointed out that Heston had marched with Dr King but later turned "conservative" when he took up with the NRA.

As if a person can't march with Dr King AND be a conservative. She seemed completely oblivious to the fact that it was Democrats in the South that Dr King was pitted against.

Steve Perry said...

Frank --

If your cat has kittens in the oven, that doesn't make them biscuits. The "democrats" King was pitted against were republicans in everything but name. They couldn't bring themselves to join Lincoln's party. When I grew up there, the republicans in Louisiana could hold their convention in a phone booth. You will notice they got over that.

And while peace might not be so simple as "not shooting," that certainly is part of it. If you are shooting, it sure as hell ain't peace.

Marty --

Somebody who identifies himself as a conservative who thinks the SCOTUS is balanced just right? That indicates to me that it isn't ...

Speaking here as a member of both the NRA and the ACLU, and not affiliated with either D's or R's.

Dan Moran said...

The current SCOTUS is unambiguously conservative, and has been since 1991, when Clarence Thomas replaced Thurgood Marshall.

Anyone who likes what SCOTUS has done since, including stopping the counting of votes in Florida in 2000, should definitely vote for McCain. If you're fed up with conservative management of this country, I'd think McCain would be a bad choice.

Dan Moran said...

"Lastly all this attitude about republicans and how could any democrat ever vote republican disturbs me. It reminds me of racists who can't see past a person's black skin to see the individual"

Really? A vast ideological gulf with a political group puts one in the same category with people who judge others on the color of their skin?

The things I learn, on this blog.

I thought I was out of patience with conservatives because they'd trashed the budget, the economy, the Constitution, and America's reputation, while getting thousands of our soldiers killed in a pointless war that made us no safer.

But maybe it really is just the sight of that fucking elephant. I'll meditate on it. :-)

Frank said...

Dan Moran

Anyone who likes what SCOTUS has done since, including stopping the counting of votes in Florida in 2000, should definitely vote for McCain.

I do and I will.

Well, except for the Court's Kelo v the City New London case where the Left side of the court decided that it was OK for governments to confiscate people's homes and property and hand them over to Mall and Real Estate developers, expanding the idea of Eminent Domain to transferring private property not to the government, but to another private citizen.

But then the Left has never been a fan of private property.

And voting for McCain would certainly help get rid of at least one, if not two of the perpetrators.

Dan Moran said...

"I do and I will."

Frank, I never doubted it.

Kelo was a dreadful decision, no doubt. Not up to the standards of Gore V Bush, but pretty bad. You can have the perpetrators of Kelo if I can have the perpetrators of Gore V Bush. This would remove every member of the court except for Roberts and Alito ... freeing up President Obama to add 7 young liberals to the court.

Possibly this isn't what you meant, but I find it a cheery prospect my own self....

mjholt said...

The Hillary supporters who will vote for McCain were voting only for a woman (any woman) and not for the politics or party. It looks like Obama could take 40% (who knows where that figure came from) of the evangelical vote. That would be nice, even if it isn't as large as their PR would like us to believe.

I did not have the heart to watch Hillary's speech today, and I truly teared up reading it. Even though I have not supported her candidacy since mid February, I really feel that more than Hillary lost and really mourn that. Yet, so much was won.

America will be better off when it is no longer run by Bushites and Neo-cons.

I am so disturbed by McCain's change of heart on everything that distinguishes him from Bush, that he reminds me of Howard Beale after he is co-opted by Arthur Jensen Network (1976). I am not sure who is playing Jensen in this 2008 election drama.

Frank, I've read McCain's statement about Kelo v City of New London, and I a disgusted with how the court ruled, but I don't trust that McCain will do anything about it, any more than he is for Veterans Benefits. I will vote against McCain on Veterans Benefits, although I find much to vote for when I vote for Obama.

Frank said...

Dan Moran

Possibly this isn't what you meant, but I find it a cheery prospect my own self....

Don't take this the wrong way, because in general, I want to see you happy. But this case, I am very much hoping you will be crying in your beer.

Anonymous said...

Dan: Sandra Day O conner was a swing vote. She voted with the conservatives more often than the liberals on the court, but she did vote with the liberals when she felt their position was correct. Yes she did vote with the conservatives on Bush vs Gore, but that was much more a political decision than a constitutional issue.


Marty S

Pat Logan said...

Don't forget Operation Chaos. Some of those folks who voted for Hillary never intended to vote for anyone but McCain in the general.

Josh Jasper said...

Anyone thinking McCain will nominate more Sandra Day O'Connor's is delusional.

HANNITY: Who is your favorite Supreme Court justice?

MCCAIN: I would have to say Roberts, probably. I think — and I think particularly in his position as chief justice. I think he is really a remarkable leader. I respect and admire Alito. Scalia I have disagreed with on a couple of things, but the fact is he is a staunch conservative.

But I would have to say Roberts. But the important thing — the important thing is nominate judges who have a strict interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. And that is going to be a big job for the next president because everybody says there could be at least two vacancies on the United States Supreme Court.


Of course, one can claim that he's just lying to sooth far right conservatives, but he's been on the record about this multiple times. But really, I don't trust the motivations of people who make those claims.

Anonymous said...

Josh: I wouldn't worry about McCain nominating conservative justices. Even if he wins, he is going to have an overwhelmingly democratic congress and will have to pick compromise candidates.

Marty S

Dan Moran said...

Yeah, what Marty said. When it comes time for the two liberal Supreme Court justices to retire, it won't make a difference whether McCain or Obama is picking the replacement.

So conservatives have one fewer reason to vote for McCain ...

Josh Jasper said...

Marty: I wouldn't worry about McCain nominating conservative justices.

I know YOU wouldn't. I doubt that any justice he'd appoint would do anything to affect your comfortable life.

I do worry. Any justice he appoints is going to be anti-choice, and the Democratic Party denying every justice he might choose is just going to get them painted as obstructionist.

Did you miss the fact that Democrats confirmed Roberts, who IS anti choice?

Some of us are paying attention here. I don't think you are.

Anonymous said...

Josh: If all I cared about was my comfortable life, then no I wouldn't care what type of justices were apppointed or racism, or sexism or anything except three issues
1) Nothing is done to reduce my social security check.
2) Medicaid premiums don't become prohibitive.
3) I continue to be allowed to deduct my medical expenses, mortgage interest and real estate taxes which together amount to 55% of my retirement income.

However, I do care about a lot of issues. I care because

1) believe or not some of us conservatives do care about people other than ourselves and
2)Because I very much care about the world and the U.S. that my grandkids will grow up in.

Marty S

Josh Jasper said...

I never said you didn't care about issues, Marty, just not ones that more Scalia-like judges would change.

And of course, I think that you're mistaken in thinking that McCain will actually improve the planet for your grandchildren. Like Bush, I think he'll be a disaster of epic proportions. Outside of campaign finance reform, he's cut from the same mold as Bush.

But really, your generation is the last one that expects to see a social security check. As for your tax deductions, and Medicaid, I think those are safe no matter what, unless you're earning in the mid six figure range.

A lot of the problem is that someone has to pay for all of this debt we've been racking up. It will likely be your grandchildren, and my generation who does that. That's one of the reasons I don't expect to see any social security money. My parent's generation, and the bill for the Iraq occupation will devour it.

Fortunately, I'm not having any kids, so I expect to eat through any 'legacy' my parents leave me in my declining years. If I can't take it with me, I might as well spend it. I'll leave the rest to a writers organization.

But getting back to the topic at hand, if push comes to shove, Democrats will OK an anti-Roe v. Wade who's been appointed by a Republican president. So yes, there is a reason to worry if Roe v Wade is important to you. It is to me. For all I know, you may not care about it. Voting Republican in the presidential election is supporting evidence that it doesn't mean as much to you as it does to me.

That said, all we've seen of Obama is his fight against Clinton. Perhaps he'll convince you that he's a better choice than McCain.

One thing you might want to pay attention to is the link between gas prices going up, and Israel, or the US threatening Iran with war.

Frank said...

Josh Jasper

Outside of campaign finance reform, he's cut from the same mold as Bush.

But really, your generation is the last one that expects to see a social security check.


I find this pretty amusing. It was Bush, early in his term that said that Social Security needed to be fixed.

The Democratic Leadership said everything was fine, nothing to see, let's all just move along.

No, a lot of the problem has to do with this:

In 1950, there was about 15 workers per every retiree. In other words, the load was pretty well spread across a group of people paying payroll taxes. Today, there's 3.3 workers per retiree. Soon there's going to be two workers per retiree, trying to take care of a generation which is going to be living longer with greater benefits and a lot of us. So that's the problem. That's the math. That's the beginning of your understanding -- or the country's understanding of why we have a problem.

Oh, and by the way, the two things that make the debt go up are entitlement programs and the size of government. Because each and every government worker's pay, benefits, and retirement payout are all liabilities against the government assets.

And every entitlement program is projected out and amortized over the years.

So to cut the debt, you have to reduce the size of government and cut entitlements.

Or generate more income...

Dan Moran said...

Marty, this is a serious question: what, precisely, do you think a Republican administration is going to do better than a Democratic administration at this point in time? I can give you my checklist --


Pro-Choice: Dems
Pro-Gay Rights: Dems
Anti-Torture: Dems
Anti-Iraq War: Dems
Management of Economy: Dems
Management of Budget: Dems
Taxes: Dems
Honest government: Dems
America's Reputation: Dems
Keeping our soldiers alive: Dems
Immigration: Dems

1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th Amendments: Dems

The recent attempt to run this country by conservative principles has been such a screaming disaster it's hard for me to come up with much good to say about conservative thinking....

1st Amendment (hate speech): Repub
2nd Amendment: Repub
5th Amendment (eminent domain): Repub

I'm runnin' low here after this ...

Anonymous said...

Dan: I obviously disagree with you that dems would do a better job on all of the 11 items you listed. To discuss where I stand on all the issues you raised would take more space than its worth. But let me say that some democrats would do better than some republicans on at least some of the issues and some republicans would do better on some of the issues than some democrats. I would vote for a moderate democrat over a republican who is as conservative as Obama is liberal unless there were some overriding personal issue with the democrat.
I tend prefer moderate republicans over moderate democrats, but in individual cases this might not be true. What I do try to do is evaluate each candidate on the issues that are most important to me.

The most important of these to me are

A Strong and free United States of America.

An economically strong and sound America.

On the second issue it has little to do with which party is in power and more to do with how good the economic advisers to any president have been. There has been good and bad in both parties.

Oh by the way I would vote for Joe Lieberman over both the current candidates, but you probably don't consider him a democrat any more. Too moderate and makes up his own mind based upon the merits of an issue.

Marty S

Dan Moran said...

No, I don't consider Lieberman a Democrat -- working to elect a Republican to the Presidency pretty much put a nail in that. I'm looking forward to the Dems stripping him of his chairmanships after the election, for that matter -- why he hasn't simply changed parties is beyond me.

The problem with your "vote for the best guy" approach is that it takes policy issues and tries to substitute personality for it. While it's probably true that most people would rather have had a beer with George Bush than with Al Gore, it's a dreadful way to decide how to run a country. John McCain could be a saint in his private life -- not that he is; Obama looks closer on that count to me, fwiw -- and I wouldn't care. A saint who makes bad decisions and implements bad policies and fills the executive branch with Republicans who will implement and continue those bad decisions and bad policies ... is a rotten President.

I think George Bush is a really bad guy at the core -- vastly worse than Bill Clinton, who's merely scummy. I think John McCain is a pretty good guy. But I doubt he'd be 5% a better President than Bush, and we need much more than that.

Josh Jasper said...

Frank:

I find this pretty amusing. It was Bush, early in his term that said that Social Security needed to be fixed.

The Democratic Leadership said everything was fine, nothing to see, let's all just move along.


Yep. Both of them are pretty much lying. What Bush wants to do is use it to create a new stock bubble for the rich. Democrats know it'll be long enough before voters like me who should expect to see it realize it's not enough to pay out to us, or that it's been sunk into a collapsed stock market, or that the bill for a lot of wars and military spending programs has come due, and we have no way to pa them, and oh, hey, here's this wad of cash.


My generation expects the previous generations to be greedy and stupid. Experience has borne this out. It's not a party line thing, though you'd like it to be. Both parties are greedy and stupid in different ways. It's a generational thing, not a party thing.

Marty:


The most important of these to me are

A Strong and free United States of America.

An economically strong and sound America.


Right. So by "strong" you mean warlike? As for economically sound, it strike me that the surge in gas prices has mostly been caused by wars and conflicts, and lack of peace. We're in a global economy whether you like t or not. War in one region of the world still screws with our economy. Conflict and belligerence without the war screws with our economy. Every time we threaten Iran with oblivion, gas prices jump. And yet your man choices are all warmongers.

You say you want a strong, secure America. I think you just want to kick sand in people's faces, rather than make peace. Peace takes hard work. Making war gets to to feel good about how tough you are. It gives you a sense of revenge.

Anonymous said...

Dan: I said I vote the issues unless an individual is overwhelmingly unacceptable personally. That means someone like Richard Nixon who was scum. Not just who I would prefer to be out with.
As far as policy issues on a lot of them I see less difference between the two parties than you do. Take taxes. Both parties screw the middle. If you look closely at Bush's tax cuts you will see that they actually do the most for the poor and higher earners on a percent of income basis and do least for the middle class.

Josh:
Strong doesn't mean warlike, although it does mean being strong enough militarily that someone will think twice before starting up with you. Strong also includes a strong economy. This is a very important part of strong to me so I gave it extra emphasis. Strong also means that we make the best use of our citizens and see that they have the opportunity to contribute to our society to the maximum of their potential. I could go on, but this enough to tell you that by strong I don't mean warlike.
By the way I was against going into Iraq before the war started. My position was I don't see how this can turn out well and I sure hope There is something in the intelligence reports that hasn't been made public to justify going in.

Marty S

Josh Jasper said...

Marty : Strong doesn't mean warlike, although it does mean being strong enough militarily that someone will think twice before starting up with you.

No, actually, it doesn't. It certainly didn't stop Osama Bin Ladin. It would stop another country, but terrorists do not seem to be cowed by how big our military is.

I could go on, but this enough to tell you that by strong I don't mean warlike.

This is contrary to how often you've cheered on Hillary Clinton making threats to iran, or spoke against Obama for being willing to talk. You may think you're not warlike, but from where I sit, you support the warlike, and don't have much interest in peace. So I class you as warlike.

By the way I was against going into Iraq before the war started. My position was I don't see how this can turn out well and I sure hope There is something in the intelligence reports that hasn't been made public to justify going in.

That's like building a house based on hoping to win the lottery.

Frank said...

Marty : Strong doesn't mean warlike, although it does mean being strong enough militarily that someone will think twice before starting up with you.

Josh No, actually, it doesn't. It certainly didn't stop Osama Bin Ladin. It would stop another country, but terrorists do not seem to be cowed by how big our military is.

Strong also means convincing your enemies that you will use power if necessary. I'm sorry, but many in our political class, especially, though not restricted to, Democrats have given our enemies the impression that we will not use force.

OBL figured, initially that the US was a paper Tiger: given the Somalia experience and the fact that we were reluctant to put boots on the ground in Kosovo even while people were being exterminated. But he also figured that even if we weren't, he could lure the US into Afghanistan and that the Islamists would be able to defeat us there as they did the Soviets earlier. They were wrong for a whole host of reasons: one was forgetting that the Afghan/Soviet war was Charlie Wilson's war not theirs.

Without the US they would still be a Soviet occupied state.

And one must also keep in mind that both Iran and Syria, while not Russian occupied, are certainly Russian proxy states:

And good clients as well.

Anonymous said...

Josh: My positions on Hillary's "threat to nuke Iran if Iran nuked someone else first and my position on Obama's statement on "talking" to Iran are both based upon my desire to prevent war. If a security guard at a school with a gun tells someone with a gun pointed at a bunch of kids that he will shoot them if they don't put down their gun, the security guard is not a madman looking to do violence he is a guardian of those kids trying to protect them from a madman. I see Hilary as the security guard doing her job. I see Obama as the security guard who believes this person with a gun out in a school is just misunderstood and thinks all he has to do is "talk" nice to the gunman and everything will work out.
On the issue of Iraq saying I hope Bush knows something we don't is like building house based upon winning the lottery. What it actually was is recognizing that someone was going to do something foolish and that you couldn't stop them and hoping against hope that it wasn't as foolish as it seemed because hope was all you could do.

Marty s

Dan Moran said...

The Social Security disinformation again ...

http://www.ssa.gov/qa.htm

Q. I am retired and receiving a monthly check from Social Security. Are my monthly payments going to be cut?

A. No, there are no plans to cut benefits for current retirees. In fact, benefits will continue to be increased each year with inflation. Even without any changes, current benefits are expected to be fully payable on a timely basis until 2041.

~~~~~

There's no question that, leading up to 2041, something will have to change. But it's worth noting that Republicans are attempting to "solve" a "problem" that they caused. When Bill Clinton left office in 2000 ...

President Clinton announces another record budget surplus

From CNN White House Correspondent Kelly Wallace

September 27, 2000
Web posted at: 4:51 p.m. EDT (2051 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton announced Wednesday that the federal budget surplus for fiscal year 2000 amounted to at least $230 billion, making it the largest in U.S. history and topping last year's record surplus of $122.7 billion.


"The largest in U.S. history."

And what did George Bush and his conservative allies manage to accomplish, in a mere three years in charge?

President George Bush's stunning July announcement that fiscal year 2003 would register the largest budget deficit in U.S. history, $455 billion, to be followed by an even larger deficit of some $475 billion in 2004, brought home the reality of the depth of the economic crisis facing American capitalism.

"Largest budget deficit in U.S. history."

I used to be nicer about conservative philosophy, but I'm well past that these days. They got to run things the way they wanted to with zero interference ... they held the House, the Senate, the Presidency, the Supreme Court, and a huge chunk of the media. They had a President with carte blanche, a 90% approval rating ...

And you see the results all around you.

Anonymous said...

"President Clinton announces another record budget surplus."

Dan,

You are aware that when there was this surplus, the Republicans had dominated Congress for several years and had been responsible for creating the nation's budget? They were largely responsible for the country's financial management then, not the Democrats, and certainly not President Clinton.

Also, while the tech bubble popped by the end of President Clinton's term in office, during his terms the economy was driven by entrepreneurs, inventors, investors, and others in the computer and electronics industries - not by politicians. Neither party had much to do with the economy's prosperity then.

I still have not heard anyone clearly explain what it was that Bill Clinton supposedly did to cause the US economy to boom during his administration. If you can do so, do you also hold him responsible for the tech bubble bursting?

Marco

Dan Moran said...

Yeah, I heard about that Republican Congress thing. Let me ask you this: what changed? Was there something that happened in 2000 that let Republicans do whatever they wanted with the budget? Because somehow we went from a 230 billion dollar surplus to a 450 billion dollar deficit, a swing of 680 billion dollars ... in 3 years?

What happened? Was there some triggering event in 2000 that might have been responsible?

Dan Moran said...

Oh, and if you haven't heard what Bill Clinton did to help cause the 90s boom, I'm happy to oblige. In 1990 the national deficit was $220 billion. George H W Bush ... raised taxes. In August 1993 Bill Clinton signed a budget that ... raised taxes on the wealthy, cut them on the poor, and implemented various spending restraints.

And what happened? Well, the American government no longer had to borrow as much money to pay for its deficit spending. The debt itself shrank as a % of GDP. That extra money had to go somewhere, and it went into investment. While it wasn't the only cause of the tech boom and 90s prosperity, it was certainly a big chunk of it. Real wages for the average American family rose for the first time in a generation.

1990: -280B deficit
1991: -327B deficit
1992: -341B deficit
Clinton Presidency:
1993: -292B deficit
1994: -228B deficit
1995: -179B deficit
1996: -115B deficit
1997: - 23B deficit
1998: + 72B SURPLUS
1999: +129B SURPLUS
2000: +236B SURPLUS
Bush Presidency
2001: +125B SURPLUS
2002: -151B deficit
2003: -352B deficit
2004: -374B deficit
2005: -279B deficit
2006: -210B deficit

What changed?

Dan Moran said...

BTW, one guy I know volunteered that Bill Clinton had gotten lucky. Works for me.

Vote Democratic! The party of good luck!

Frank said...

Marty

I still have not heard anyone clearly explain what it was that Bill Clinton supposedly did to cause the US economy to boom during his administration.

Well nothing.

Dan Moran

In August 1993 Bill Clinton signed a budget that ... raised taxes on the wealthy, cut them on the poor, and implemented various spending restraints.

He did gut the military, cashing in on the "peace dividend". The active-duty military totaled 1.8-million at the start of his presidency in 1993 and declined to 1.4-million in 2000. The Blue Water Navy shrank dramatically. The Navy had 454 ships in 1993, but as vessels were retired and not replaced, the fleet was down to 341 by 2000.

And I know people who were active duty during Clinton's Presidency. They lacked the ammunition necessary to conduct regular training.

Do click on the link I provided.

I doubt it will open any eyes that were not already open, but the numbers tell the story.

Frank said...

Part of the current problem in military spending is making up for the losses incurred by Clinton that were not reinvested properly.

When people say that our military is stretched, just remember it is precisely due to The Peace Dividend; because it wasn't too long ago that our strength was geared to fighting two major wars with a reserve.

Now, the National Guard is, for all intents and purposes, the reserve.

Dan Moran said...

"And I know people who were active duty during Clinton's Presidency. They lacked the ammunition necessary to conduct regular training."

I know people who are on duty during Bush's presidency. They lacked the body armor to save their lives in Iraq despite Bush increasing military spending by hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

Our military is stretched because George Bush invaded a country for atrocious reasons, while cutting taxes on his friends.

Frank said...

I know people who are on duty during Bush's presidency. They lacked the body armor to save their lives in Iraq despite Bush increasing military spending by hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

Our military is stretched because George Bush invaded a country for atrocious reasons, while cutting taxes on his friends.


Well I guess my argument was effective:

You went for the fall back position: It all Bush's fault because, well, it is.

Forgetting that at the beginning, 75% of Congress and 75% of the population were all for it based on what we knew then. Most everyone agreed to start this thing, now we have to see it through.

The problem is, of course, once you pull the trigger, you can't get the bullet back in the gun.

But there is no doubt that Clinton rode "the surplus" on the back of our military readiness.

Dan Moran said...

Bush was President. He had access to intelligence no one else outside his administration had. He and his administration told the world a variety of untruths (out of sheer contempt for the truth, IMO) ... which resulted in that 75% number you mention.

Yes, it's his fault because it's his fault. That works for me.

But there is no doubt that Clinton rode "the surplus" on the back of our military readiness.

At the end of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, Franken gives his prescription for liberal action. He bases it on an incident he describes earlier in the book, in which he approached Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz at a Washington social event and said, "Hi, Dr. Wolfowitz. Hey, the Clinton military did a great job in Iraq, didn't it?" According to Franken, Wolfowitz paused and then answered, "F**k you."

Frank said...

Dan

Hey, the Clinton military did a great job in Iraq, didn't it?" According to Franken, Wolfowitz paused and then answered, "F**k you."

Except, the military was completely reorganized after Clinton to make the greatest use from the reduced forces. This is something people who observe the military from the outside fail to appreciate.

The Army had the biggest change. They were reorganized to the Brigade Combat Team (BCT) which were modeled on the Marine MEUs. The BCTs were also designed to be "plug'n'play" components that could make up larger operational units. Since each BCT has it's own Command Structure, including support units, this model became possible.

People also fail to appreciate the effect that putting Special Operations in the forefront had as well. The success in Afghanistan was implemented by a handful of CIA Case Agents and a few hundred A-Team Special Operators.

The military that went to war in 2001 and 2003 was definitely not the Clinton war machine.

Dan Moran said...

Frank,

You can't have this both ways. (I can; the timing works for me.)

Moran scenario:
Afghanistan invasion -- 9 months after Bush takes office -- the "Clinton military" mostly responsible

Iraq invasion -- 26 months after Bush takes office -- the "Clinton military" largely responsible

Degeneration of military readiness, stretched to breaking point -- 2003-2008 -- Bush.

Or we can go with your scenario:

Afghanistan invasion -- Bush
Iraq invasion -- Bush

Degeneration of military readiness, stretched to breaking point -- 2003-2008 -- Clinton. From beyond the grave.

Pagan Topologist said...

Frank, from what I understand, the reduction in military personnell numbers has not worked as planned at all, and may well be the reason that Iraq is in stalemate. An initial Iraq invasion force of 550,000 might well have led to a different outcome.

Still would have been a pointless war, of course.

Frank said...

an

You can't have this both ways. (I can; the timing works for me.)

First, I should point out, that you are changing the conversation. I pointed out that Clinton's "surplus" was largely due to Clinton (and the Democratic Congress') gutting of the military.

Just to be clear.

Now we can approach the new conversation. Which is good because I don't mind informing people about the military. It is clear that the Media, for the most part, can not do the job: most never served and most don't even know people who have served.

Degeneration of military readiness, stretched to breaking point -- 2003-2008 -- Clinton. From beyond the grave.

The degeneration that occurred during the Clinton years was the that they were no longer configured to fight in two theatres simultaneously, the measure than had been used for decades. The defense budget had been cut by a third and the active duty service members by almost the same amount.

Clinton's Sec-Def Les Aspin reenvisioned what the military should be called to do as a result. Instead of two major theatres, we would support two major conflicts (MRCs)

But none of this is historical revisionism. All of this was recognized at the time. Mark Halprin wrote in Oct of 2000

If Gov. Bush becomes president, the armies his father sent to the Gulf will not be available to him, not after eight years of degradation at the hands of Bill Clinton. Given that their parlous condition is an invitation to enemies of the United States and, therefore, Mr. Bush might need them, and because the years of the locust are always paid for in blood, he should take this issue and with it hammer upon the doors of the White House at dawn.

And it is clear that Bush recognized the problem. In Oct of 2000 Mike Wasylik wrote:

A recent Salon article (http://www.salon.com/politics/feature/2000/08/07/lie_week/index.html) has put GOP nominee George W. Bush under fire for his claim that two entire divisions of our Army are not ready for duty. As it turns out, these two divisions -- the Fourth Infantry and the Tenth Mountain Division -- are unready to fight two simultaneous conflicts because they're currently being frittered away as "peacekeeping" forces in Bosnia and Kosovo -- exactly what Bush meant when he said, "We have seen a steady erosion of American power and an unsteady exercise of American influence." But the sad fact is that Bush was dead wrong. NONE of our military is ready for duty at the levels they were eight years ago, and the fault lies solely with the Clinton-Gore administration.

So Bush takes office and replaces Les Aspin with Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld famously said "As you know, you have to go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want."

Rumsfeld had to take what he had and reorganize it to be able to fight.

And one of the things he did was create the BCT

When Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld speaks of creating a faster and more flexible Army, this is where it begins. The idea is to emphasize smaller units like the 1-28, pushing materiel and manpower - like these cooks and mechanics - further down the Army's organizational chain.

By giving these smaller units more resources, the Army is making them more self-sufficient - and that gives Pentagon leaders more options. In the past, the smallest unit the Army could send to any global hot spot was a division of nearly 20,000 troops. By pushing its resources downward, now the Army can mobilize individual brigade combat teams as small as 3,500 troops.


This also made the Army force committed scalable: you could piece the BCTs (usually 800 - 1600 troops) together to make a force-size that is appropriate to the theatre.

The other thing he did was bring Special Operations to the front.

Now this didn't happen overnight. Special Ops, Rangers, and Airborne units like the 101st and the 82nd always trained a lot. But after taking office, Rumsfeld requested and got from Congress more money for training and applied it. This all was happening before 9-11.

Then 9-11 happened and everything was accelerated.

Still, even in March of 2003 when we invaded Iraq, the Army was still in transition to the BCT organizational model.

And the fact is, Rumsfeld could not have fielded an Army that Bush senior did in the first Gulf War: they simply were not available.

So the strategy had to change. And the strategy was essentially combined arms (Army, Air Force, Navy working seamlessly) in a Blitzkrieg configuration: Go for the throat, bypass major resistance, mop up later.

So there was nothing about Aspin's military that resembled Rumsfeld's military.

So it is true that Bush started with a reduced, unready military, and got it trained up and reconfigured to what it did.

Dan Moran said...

Changing the conversation? Frank, in 3 years Bush reversed field on Clinton's budget accomplishments to the tune of 680 BILLION DOLLARS. Clinton didn't cut military spending by 680 billion, I swear.

I'll respond to the rest of your post later tonight.

Frank said...

Pagan

Frank, from what I understand, the reduction in military personnell numbers has not worked as planned at all, and may well be the reason that Iraq is in stalemate. An initial Iraq invasion force of 550,000 might well have led to a different outcome.

There are a couple of things here: First, the force level for the military is set by Congress. Bush could not have unilaterally increased the force level.

Second, the actual invasion went superbly: probably the greatest military victory in history.

The aftermath, is a different matter.

Rumsfeld felt that a minimum number troops would force the Iraqi's to have to step up. (Something, BTW, Democrats are advocating today). This may have worked if the Defense Department and Paul Bremers CPA were on the same page. But they weren't. Bremer, as part of his deBa'athification plan dismissed the Iraqi Army. That left a security hole too biog for the forces on the ground to fill and Bush et al were too slow in fixing this problem.

Still would have been a pointless war, of course.

Well that's your opinion and you are free to hold it.

I'm just trying to set the facts straight.

Josh Jasper said...

Marty : Josh: My positions on Hillary's "threat to nuke Iran if Iran nuked someone else first and my position on Obama's statement on "talking" to Iran are both based upon my desire to prevent war.

Could have fooled me. Right now, the only way to get Iran not to build an atomic bomb is to invade them and stop them, or convince the entire rest of the world to get them to stop by talking them down form it.

The former decision would probablt mean a word war. The later requires trying to be polite, understanding, a no look like we're champing at the bit to repeat our previous mistake.

Public opinion of the US in the rest of the world is shit, and trying to act as if we've got the biggest military and are looking for an excuse to use it is continuing to turn world opinion against us. Not recognizing that is living in a bubble. Which is exactly what Bush has been doing.


On the issue of Iraq saying I hope Bush knows something we don't is like building house based upon winning the lottery. What it actually was is recognizing that someone was going to do something foolish and that you couldn't stop them and hoping against hope that it wasn't as foolish as it seemed because hope was all you could do.


Try not electing someone who's essentially the same guy - McCain.

Anonymous said...

Josh: As someone else said everyone is entitled to their own opinion. In my opinion on rating scale of presidents from -10 for worst and +10 for best Bush rates a -5. However, Jimmy Carter rates a -10. If I vote for McCain its because I'm trying not to elect somebody who is the same guy.

Marty S

Frank said...

Marty

...Bush rates a -5. However, Jimmy Carter rates a -10. If I vote for McCain its because I'm trying not to elect somebody who is the same guy.

And not elect the successor to the Carter Administration

And Josh? Hasn't Obama stated that he would attack Pakistan unilaterally?

Josh Jasper said...

Marty:

Josh: As someone else said everyone is entitled to their own opinion. In my opinion on rating scale of presidents from -10 for worst and +10 for best Bush rates a -5. However, Jimmy Carter rates a -10. If I vote for McCain its because I'm trying not to elect somebody who is the same guy.

Well, if he's elected, that's pretty much what you'll get. Hes' been lockstep in support of Bush, as has the rest of the Republican party. I'm not seeing any new direction there.

Barak Obama does not seem to be much like Jimmy Carter.

From my perspective, Bush rates a -10. But then, his policies are more destructive to myself and my community than they are to you and yours.

Josh Jasper said...

Frank:


And Josh? Hasn't Obama stated that he would attack Pakistan unilaterally?


Sorry, Frank, I've actually been paying attention to what he said actually said, not what FOX news says he said.

He said that, if there were clear indications of Al Qaeda activity in Pakistan, he'd send in a strike force of some kind without specifying what sort (depends on the terrain and the target).

Did YOU know that that's exactly what your candidate supports doing as well? Heck, everyone supports doing that. I do too. In fact. we're already doing it.

Sorry Frank, recycle those Hannity generated sound bytes on someone who wasn't paying attention.

Barak Obama never voted on any policy created by Carter. Are any of his advisor's former Carter administration officials? Other than Zbigniew Brzezinski? If you've got an objection to Brzezinski, feel free to share it. But he's also been part of Republican advisory boards as well.

Frank said...

Josh

He said that, if there were clear indications of Al Qaeda activity in Pakistan, he'd send in a strike force of some kind without specifying what sort (depends on the terrain and the target).

No, he said:

"I understand that President Musharraf (of Pakistan) has his own challenges. But let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again."

(emphasis is mine)

You do not need Fox News, just read his speech.

So it was not that he was waiting to find out if terrorist are in Pakistan, everyone knows there are.

Continuing:

It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al-Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will."

So it is clear: as soon as he knows where to strike (i.e. actionable intelligence) he will strike: unilaterally, without regard for Pakistan's wishes.

I'm not saying he's wrong, I very much would like to see it happen.

I'm not sure I'd like to see what the consequences of such an action would be given that Pakistan is now a wannabe nuclear nation as Iran is, and I hope he has a plan for dealing with the fallout.

But don't be dinging McCain for saber rattling when your man is doing the very same thing.

Frank said...

Oh, and Josh, I should also point out that this policy of Obama's is no so different than Bush's. Bush has capitalized on actionable intelligence with Pakistan on a number of occasions.

But he coordinated it with Pakistan so their political leadership could mitigate the fallout. In some cases the operations were in conjunction with Pakistan and in some cases it was denied that the US was involved and the operation "cover" was that it was a Pakistani operation.

Frank said...

Correction "Pakistan is NOT a wannabe nuclear power as Iran is"

Josh Jasper said...

Force levels aside, the blunders of the Bush administration in setting up the CPA are incontrovertible. Fresh college graduates who's daddy's happen to be major Bush donors involved in setting up the central economy of a country that used to be centrally planned, and was abruptly re-opened to a free market?

Anonymous said...

"Oh, and if you haven't heard what Bill Clinton did to help cause the 90s boom, I'm happy to oblige."

Dan,

The actions you cite related to altering taxes - did Bill Clinton make these changes or did the Republican Congress do so? If Bill Clinton did so himself, by executive order for example, and you can demonstrate that this change in taxation is the main factor that helped the economy, you have an argument. If the Republican Congress passed this legislation and/or you can't show a direct cause and effect relationship between this legislation and economic growth, you don't have an argument. Do you really think that the entrepreneurial and inventive minds of private individuals and their companies were not largely responsible for the tech boom, but that took place in that sector was pretty much due to President Clinton's actions? And again, if you credit Bill Clinton with the tech boom's growth, do you also also hold him responsible for the tech bubble breaking and the economic downturn which happened because of it? And didn't the GDP and tax revenues rise largely because of growth in the tech sector?

I don't see Bill Clinton as an important factor in the invention of the PC or software development. I don't see him as responsible for improving cell phones or satellite designs, or for improving the technology that put satellites in orbit. I don't think that he had much to do with improving cameras or CD players, or any of the technology which drove a good part of the U.S. economy during his time in office. I don't give George Bush credit for recent improvements in flash drives, televisions, or IPods either. If a president raises or cuts taxes, I doubt that you can give him much credit for the innovative ingenuity that drives such tech. Do you credit George Bush for the tech innovations and improvements that have taken place in the last seven years? I guess you'd have to, if you give Bill Clinton credit for such developments when he was in office, no?

Marco

Dan Moran said...

Frank, you're posting faster than I can keep up.

First, I should point out, that you are changing the conversation. I pointed out that Clinton's "surplus" was largely due to Clinton (and the Democratic Congress') gutting of the military.

OK, back to my previous post: there's a 3-year, 680 BILLION DOLLAR swing from the Clinton surplus to the Bush deficit, between 2000 and 2003. I'm pretty sure Clinton didn't cut 680 billion in military spending, so there's simply no way for you to be correct about this.

Just to be clear.

The degeneration that occurred during the Clinton years was the that they were no longer configured to fight in two theatres simultaneously, the measure than had been used for decades.

Plainly the US military left by Clinton to Bush was capable of fighting in two theatres simultaneously. Essentially the Clinton military, 9 months after Bush took office, invaded Afghanistan. Pretty much the Clinton military, 2 years after Bush took office, invaded Iraq. Both actions were overwhelming successes; it's the occupations that have been disasters. The Iraq war is five years old, and with attempting to credit Bush for his initial success with the military Clinton left him, followed by a 5 year disaster, won't fly.

Mark Halprin wrote in Oct of 2000

I read what Mark Halprin wrote in Oct of 2000. The part where he blames homosexuals and feminists is priceless, and typical.

Rumsfeld had to take what he had and reorganize it to be able to fight.

Did Rumfeld reorganize the military prior to the invasion of Afghanistan? Iraq? My recollection is most of Rumsfeld's reorganizations started after the Iraq invasion. (Which, in fact, you go on to say a little later in your post. OK.)

And the fact is, Rumsfeld could not have fielded an Army that Bush senior did in the first Gulf War: they simply were not available.

Yeah, no argument. Could he have fielded more forces than he chose to? Plainly. And once again, we're discussing the occupation, not the invasion.

So it is true that Bush started with a reduced, unready military, and got it trained up and reconfigured to what it did.

If by unready you mean it was unready to invade Iraq and occupy it with far fewer troops than Rumsfeld had available ... yeah, that's true.

And Josh? Hasn't Obama stated that he would attack Pakistan unilaterally?

You then go on to post his actual words, which I appreciate:

"I understand that President Musharraf (of Pakistan) has his own challenges. But let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again ... It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al-Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will."

I missed the part where he announced a plan to attack Pakistan, unless the terrorists within Pakistan now equal Pakistan.

Which might be a defensible position. It's probably mean of me to label this Yet Another Bush Failure, but I will anyway.

Dan Moran said...

Marco, Clinton, without a single Republican vote, passed a budget that raised taxes and set spending limits -- that, plus the Bush tax hike of some years previous, was the principle cause of the deficit shrinking. (Much as the Bush tax cuts are the principle cause of the deficit exploding.) The money that had gone to servicing the debt -- hundreds of billions a year -- became available for investment. It's a simple principle.

And no, aside from Bush the Elder, Republicans had very little to do with it.

As to the tech crash, I work in tech. It was a necessary correction -- and all that excess capacity built out during the boom contributed directly to the current health of the industry. We're in a very good place today because of the Clinton tech boom, even counting the crash.

Frank said...

Dan

Essentially the Clinton military, 9 months after Bush took office, invaded Afghanistan.

Tis is gonna have to piecemeal as I have a lot on my plate at the moment but:

You call a handfull of CIA Case Officers and a few hundred Special Operators a military?

I would recommend two books to you

First In: An Insider's Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan by Gary Schroen the former CIA station chief in Pakistan, who lead the effort to establish contact with the Northern Alliance in the days following 9/11

and

Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA's Key Field Commander Gary Berntsen

There was such a small footprint on the ground it is a stunning and amazing story.

Of course, it had its flaws...

Such as the escape of bin Laden which is covered in the book Jawbreaker.

More later...

Dan Moran said...

Frank,

"You call a handfull of CIA Case Officers and a few hundred Special Operators a military?"

No, fair's fair: I wouldn't call that a military.

CNN released exclusive footage of Kabul being bombed to all the American broadcasters at approximately 5:08pm October 7, 2001. [24] A number of different technologies were employed in the strike. US Air Force general Richard Myers, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that approximately 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles, launched by British and U.S. submarines and ships, 25 strike aircraft from US aircraft carriers, USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and USS Enterprise (CVN-65) and 15 US Air Force bombers, such as B-1 Lancer, B-2 Spirit, B-52 Stratofortress were involved in the first wave, launched from Diego Garcia. Two C-17 Globemaster transport jets were to deliver 37,500 daily rations by airdrop to refugees inside Afghanistan on the first day of the attack.

I'd call that a military, though.

Josh Jasper said...

Frank: Fallout? You mean like Bush is already having? We just struck inside Pakistan with bombs, and according to Pakistan, without premission, and now there's fallout.

like this

May I compliment your timing on making an issue of this? It's almost as if you predicted your incoming foot, and maneuvered your mouth in front of it.

Yes, Obama's foreign policy is no different than Bush's. I'm not sure why this is a point of contention. Are you trying to prove that Obama is not a pacifist? I never claimed he was.

Frank said...

Josh

Are you trying to prove that Obama is not a pacifist?

No, I'm saying that in this respect he's no different than Bush.

Something you keep trying to hang around the neck of McCain.

And I have been saying for a long time, that when push comes to shove, he won't prematurely withdraw from Iraq, nor will he be "talking" to Iran anytime soon after he is elected.

So you're being sold a bill of goods, as they say.

OTOH, he still and for a long time to come, does not have the Foreign policy experience McCain does.

And that's just a fact.

Josh Jasper said...


No, I'm saying that in this respect he's no different than Bush.


I never argued with that.


Something you keep trying to hang around the neck of McCain.


No, I'm not. McCain is making threats against Iran. which is not hosting Al Qaeda. That's my main objection. Peace against Al Qaeda is not something I've argued we should entertain.



And I have been saying for a long time, that when push comes to shove, he won't prematurely withdraw from Iraq, nor will he be "talking" to Iran anytime soon after he is elected.


Right. And I disagree that a drawdown in Iraq is "premature", or that victory is worth declaring.

OTOH, he still and for a long time to come, does not have the Foreign policy experience McCain does.

Nor does he have the foreign policy experience Bush has. And I think Bush is a total idiot advised by total idiots when it comes to diplomacy. If experience=good judgment, Bush should be improving. He's not.

Obama is at least advised by some people who's sense I actually trust more than McCain.

Frank said...

Dan

OK, back to my previous post: there's a 3-year, 680 BILLION DOLLAR swing from the Clinton surplus to the Bush deficit, between 2000 and 2003. I'm pretty sure Clinton didn't cut 680 billion in military spending, so there's simply no way for you to be correct about this.

C'mon. I provided data and analysis to backup my point. You at least owe me more that "that's unreasonable"

At least provide:

a) Data that disproves mine
b) another way to interpret the data I provided that supports your position
c) Some other data that supports you position

Thanks for your attention

Frank said...

Dan

Did Rumfeld reorganize the military prior to the invasion of Afghanistan? Iraq?

Yes.

Rumsfeld was named Defense Secretary soon after President George W. Bush took office in 2001. He immediately announced a series of sweeping reviews intended to transform the U.S. military into a lighter force. These studies were led by Pentagon analyst Andrew Marshall.

My recollection is most of Rumsfeld's reorganizations started after the Iraq invasion. (Which, in fact, you go on to say a little later in your post. OK.)

No. I said that the reorganization was still underway during the invasion. Some units had been reorganized by then and some hadn't.

A reorganization of this magnitude does not happen overnight. The units have to be manned and, most importantly, they have to train using the new doctrine. Because such a reorganization requires a new war-fighting doctrine.

So all of that had to have happened long before they went to war. And, of course, the units are converted in phases.

Yeah, no argument. Could he have fielded more forces than he chose to? Plainly. And once again, we're discussing the occupation, not the invasion.

Yes he could have. And in fact, if you remember, they wound up executing the invasion short the 4th Infantry division that was denied passage through Turkey. Their mission was suppose to sweep down from the North and serve as a blocking force for enemy fleeing from the main thrust from the South.

The elements of the 82nd had to cover that mission. And though they did a great job, they were supposed to link up with the 4th but couldn't so the blocking force was much smaller than the plan design and the 4th had to get back on their naval transport and re-enter from the South. As a result, they came late to the party and out of place.

But with regards to the occupation, clearly the DOD was thinking of leaving the Iraqi Army pretty much intact, so the US would act in much the same way we are acting today. Only it would have heppended sooner.

But things went off the rails when the CPA did something else.

And it is incredible to think about how long the situation was allowed to continue before someone thought to fix it.

I missed the part where he announced a plan to attack Pakistan, unless the terrorists within Pakistan now equal Pakistan.

I'm sorry, but military incursions into a country where you were not invited constitutes "attacking the country". This is true even with embassies where the embassy soil is considered a sovereign part of the tenant nation.

The recent incident shows precisely that. The deal we had with Musharif was that we could go after bad guys and cross into Pakistan if we were in "hot pursuit". This arrangement was never specifically abrogated with the new government took power. But it now seems that the new government is not so interested in keeping this arrangement.

What's more, the new Pakistani government is making increased efforts to make peace with "Waziristan" which is going to make things even more difficult.

Obama criticized Musharif, and he deserved criticism. But to a great extent, he was doing as much as he could. No, he wasn't a great democrat, and he did play both sides of the fence, but at least he had a dog in the fight: al Qaida wanted him dead.

That tends to be a motivator.

Now he's gone, and now Obama, if President, is going to have to deal with a nation that seems, if the current kerfluffle is indicative, to be more hostile to us pursuing al Qaida within Pakistan.

That is a red flag.

hich might be a defensible position. It's probably mean of me to label this Yet Another Bush Failure, but I will anyway

Yeah well possibly. But it must be clear to you that he was trying to thread a needle. Perhaps he should have just sent in an expeditionary force and just cleaned them out and said "There. Now it is done."

But the calculus always changes when your dealing with a nuclear country.

This is why no one wants Iran to go nuclear. Once they get a bomb, everything changes.

Frank said...

Dan

I'd call that a military, though.

Yeah, well, if you recal my examples, the neglect was specifically among the ground component: the Army and the Marines.

The Air Force and Navy, though reduced, had had plenty of exercise: remember Kosovo was almost exclusively an Air War. And Clinton used the Navy to launch cruise missiles at al Qaida on a number of occasions.

Frank said...

Dan, I should, in fairness concede to you a number of points:

First is that just like the President usually can't take credit for the economy, so too it is unfair to entirely lay the blame of force reduction on Clinton. The Democratic Congress set the force level and decided to cash in the "peace dividend".

I can blame Clinton for the lack of training and the decisions that allowed al Qaida to believe we were a paper tiger.

So too, it is clear that the technology that allowed the Special Forces to call in airstrikes, and lase targets for air platforms were developed under Clinton and the tactics were as well.

This was useful in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

It is also true that the development of precision guided munitions, and JDAMS were developed and perfected under Clinton.

Their use was greatly expanded in Iraq and Afghanistan than was even thought possible during the first Gulf War.

And it is clear that the Special Operations Command was well trained and well developed by the time of Afghanistan. It takes many many years to train a Special Operator so it is absolutely true that for them to have operated as well as they did means they were not neglected under Clinton.

Josh Jasper said...

Frank:
I'm sorry, but military incursions into a country where you were not invited constitutes "attacking the country".


Turkey has been attacking Iraq for the past few months. We've yet to defend Iraq against this invasion.

These were your terms. Or do they just apply to where you think they should, an not evenly.

Frank said...

Josh

Turkey has been attacking Iraq for the past few months. We've yet to defend Iraq against this invasion.

These were your terms. Or do they just apply to where you think they should, an not evenly.


Not only are we standing down, but (and more importantly) the Iraqi Government is as well.

Clearly the Iraqis are allowing the incursion so long as remains limited to the mountain areas along the border from which the terrorists are basing their incursions into Turkey.

If Pakistan would be so accommodating, al Qaida would have been eliminated.

Josh Jasper said...

Frank: Not only are we standing down, but (and more importantly) the Iraqi Government is as well.

Clearly the Iraqis are allowing the incursion so long as remains limited to the mountain areas along the border from which the terrorists are basing their incursions into Turkey.

If Pakistan would be so accommodating, al Qaida would have been eliminated.


Which is sort of the point of the policy that ignores the lack of invitation by Pakistan, while trying to avoid actual conflict with Pakistan's government and military. No one sane, including Barak Obama is saying it's the wrong policy.

But the DPKK in Iraq is far from gone, and claims of being able to eliminate Al Qaeda are about as optimistic as banners proclaiming "Mission Accomplished" from an aircraft carrier flight deck.

Al Qaeda is not limited to just the Pakistan / Afghanistan border.

Anonymous said...

Josh: This reply is a little late, but I have been having problems with my internet connection.
1) The fact that Obama doesn't have the same advisers as Carter 28 years after Carter doesn't prove he isn't similar to Carter in philosophy.

2) That said I don't believe Obama would be anywhere near as bad as Carter. That would take a lot of doing, but I also don't think McCain would be near as bad as Bush.

By the way a short brag. When Carter was elected I worked for Chase Manhattan Bank as an analyst. About two weeks after the election I received a copy of the latest economic prediction from Chase Econometrics(one of the most respected predictors of the economies near future course) and it predicted inflation to continue at about the then current 5.5% rate for the foreseeable future. After reading it I turned to the woman at the next desk and said whoever wrote this report has their head buried in numbers. They haven't paid attention to who just got elected and what he has stated his policies will be. I predicted double digit inflation in the near future. I was right and Chase Econometrics was wrong.

So yes,you can by listening closely to a candidate get a sense of what they will do and the probable consequences of their actions.

Marty S

Dan Moran said...

C'mon. I provided data and analysis to backup my point. You at least owe me more that "that's unreasonable"

I have no idea which post you're talking about re data and analysis. As far as I can see I'm the only one who's provided meaningful budget numbers, even if they were only deficit spending numbers. I've scanned back and the only one I see that looks close is the one where you observe that the active duty military declined from 1.8M to 1.4M.

There's no doubt that Bill Clinton cut military spending. No one disputes this. Personally, I might have cut it a bit more, myself, but then I'd have slashed farm subsidies and corporate subsidies and about half the staff of the social security and medicare administrations. One of the places where the Republicans used to have me was the argument that the government was too large -- until Bush, when abruptly they expanded spending in virtually every area of the government, with the enthusiastic cooperation of the conservatives in Congress.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2009/pdf/hist.pdf

This is the 2009 budget. Let's go back and compare by year (I'm using Table 1.3, central columns -- constant dollars adjusted for inflation -- for the deficit figures, and Table 6.1, Composition of Outlays, constant FY 2000 dollars, for the defense figures):

Year: -- Deficit -- Defense Spending
1990: -280B deficit -- 382.7B
1991: -327B deficit -- 333.7B
1992: -341B deficit -- 354.3B
Clinton Presidency:
1993: -292B deficit -- 340.3B
1994: -228B deficit -- 322.8B
1995: -179B deficit -- 305.9b
1996: -115B deficit -- 299.2B
1997: - 23B deficit -- 298.4B
1998: + 72B SURPLUS -- 292.4B
1999: +129B SURPLUS -- 293.6B
2000: +236B SURPLUS -- 294.4B
Bush Presidency
2001: +125B SURPLUS -- 297.2B
2002: -151B deficit -- 329.3B
2003: -352B deficit -- 364.4B
2004: -374B deficit -- 394.3B
2005: -279B deficit -- 407.3B
2006: -210B deficit -- 412.4B
2007: -134B deficit -- 426.4B
2008 (est): -330B deficit -- 463.9B

The numbers aren't complex. You assert that Bill Clinton's reduction of military spending was the source of his surpluses. It's not so.

In 1992 the deficit was 341 billion dollars. Defense spending was 354 billion.

In 2000 the SURPLUS was 236 billion dollars. Defense spending was 294 billion -- 60 billion less than in 1992, while the deficit/surplus was 577 billion dollars to the good. Take 60 out of that: that's 517 billion dollars in budget improvement your theory doesn't account for. At best, your theory accounts for 10% of the difference.

Thanks for the kind words about military development under Clinton. I'm not sure his administration entirely deserves them -- much of that development would have gone on anyway regardless of who was President. But certainly some percent of the 90's focus on improved military technology was due to Clinton; I won't try to determine the percentage.

The first Bush military budget went into effect in October of 2002, btw, and it was only a minor upgrade on the previous Clinton budget. The military that went into Iraq was almost entirely running on Clinton's money, if not entirely on the Clinton organization.

Dan Moran said...

After reading it I turned to the woman at the next desk and said whoever wrote this report has their head buried in numbers. They haven't paid attention to who just got elected and what he has stated his policies will be. I predicted double digit inflation in the near future. I was right and Chase Econometrics was wrong.

After Bush took office in 2000 I said to my wife, "We're going to war with Iraq again."

So yes,you can by listening closely to a candidate get a sense of what they will do and the probable consequences of their actions.

I won't dispute you.

Frank said...

Dan

I have no idea which post you're talking about re data and analysis.

These data and analysis.

Anonymous said...

Dan, Frank: I've looked at what economic data I can find on the Clinton-Bush years and there is enough variability and oddities there so that you can select the figures you want to prove on or the other did this well or this badly. I don't think there is a real smoking gun there either way.
In any case overall Bush has been a terrible president and Clinton even though I consider him slime as a person, was actually a pretty good president. Of the nine presidents we've had since I have been old enough to pay attention, I rank Clinton fourth and Bush eighth.

Josh Jasper said...

Marty: This reply is a little late, but I have been having problems with my internet connection.
1) The fact that Obama doesn't have the same advisers as Carter 28 years after Carter doesn't prove he isn't similar to Carter in philosophy.


By that logic, you can't prove that McCain isn't close to Nixon in ethics.

That said I don't believe Obama would be anywhere near as bad as Carter. That would take a lot of doing, but I also don't think McCain would be near as bad as Bush.

He's mostly supported Bush, and will follow Bush's foreign and domestic policies. Where's the improvement?

Marty S said...

Josh: To compare McCain to Nixon on ethics you would have to have evidence of McCain doing some pretty slimy things which I think you will have a hard time doing. My comparison of Carter's philosophy to Obama's is based upon my interpretation of evidence I do have about Obama. One I have done some research on Obama's advisor's and find them and their positions reinforce that belief at least for me. Furthermore, Obama's own statements both confirm this belief and scare the hell out me. Today I heard his comparison of the Nuremberg trials, with the detainees at Guantanamo. Comparing these two situations indication of a serious inability to detect the serious difference between the two . In the case Nuremberg we were trying to access the degree of guilt of agents of a defeated nation that no longer presented any threat to us. In the case of Guantanamo we are dealing with agents of a terrorist organization which is almost certainly still a threat. There were no issues at Nuremberg of possibly compromising during a trial our sources of information which we might need to avoid future terrorist acts.