Despite “Facts on the Ground”, Happy 4th of July

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washington monument fireworks.jpg
I’ve had a tough time getting on the internet the last couple of days here in Guilin, China — but eureka! It worked this morning.
I’m told that Brian Beutler, who was shot three times in a mugging the other morning, is making good progress. Thanks to all who have donated to help this important young writer out.
My enthusiasm for the 4th of July will be greater next year. The current administration has made it harder each year to celebrate this holiday. We are still in a war we shouldn’t be in — and as I listen to Obama triangulate now on his views about getting out of Iraq, I feel diminishing enthusiasm at the moment for this election.
If Senator Obama wants to become President Obama and be there on the mall in DC on July 4th next year, then he needs to go back and study what the advisers to Al Gore did to turn him into an unappealing, bland, constantly triangulating pol in the race with Bush. That is why years later, when Gore came out on climate change, folks continued to say — “Wow, why didn’t we see that Al Gore in the election?” He all of a sudden had passion, purpose, edginess. People saw a completely new person in Gore.
Obama seems to be losing some of his sizzle as nearly every time he refers to Iraq he qualifies his views with dithering clauses such as “depending on facts on the ground” and I’ll “listen to the real experts, the military advisers.” He has created escape hatches from the apparently not hard promises he made earlier in his campaign on getting out of Iraq.
Obama needs to change course has he is slowly becoming Al Gore in the Bush-Gore race. And McCain is salivating.
So, happy 4th of July in any case. My friend Bruce Wolpe — who used to serve as Henry Waxman’s Chief of Staff and now has a great political blog attached to the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia thinks that this election will change the game, particularly if Obama is elected.
I was buoyed by his enthusiasm a bit, but after watching the BBC here in a piece on Obama’s statements on Iraq, the bubble is losing air again. I hope Obama gets back on track soon.
Next check in will be from Xian, China.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

95 comments on “Despite “Facts on the Ground”, Happy 4th of July

  1. Tahoe Editor says:

    Caught Between Iraq and a Hard Base

    Reply

  2. Tahoe Editor says:

    Froma Harrop:
    Obama has shown contempt toward the thinking liberals who handed over their hearts based on his stances concerning — among other things — warrantless wiretapping, campaign finance reform and our continued presence in Iraq.
    Obama hasn’t just shortened a sleeve here, taken in a waist there. He’s come out with a whole new summer wardrobe of policy positions.
    Obama seems to have lumped the wonks in with the bouncing kids for whom he need only be young and cool. He no doubt calculates that, happy or not, the left has nowhere else to go. But the speed with which he chucked his promises suggests that he also regarded the intellectuals as an easier sell than they thought themselves.
    The challenge of Obama is figuring out what he would do if elected. It’s really hard to connect the dots on this guy. His short time in the Senate has produced few fixed positions, and the dots he’s left during the campaign are all over the place.
    How will the Woodstock blowout planned for the Denver convention sit with weary observers of the rock-star candidacy? Rather than accept the nomination in the convention space, as is usually done, Obama will be anointed before a sea of 75,000 fans in a football stadium — Invesco Field at Mile High.
    Obama’s fine words are sure to send shivers down spines in the cheap seats. But you wonder how liberals confounded by his elastic principles will receive the show. With less enthusiasm than before, one imagines.

    Reply

  3. Kathleen says:

    Telling voters they have nowhere else to go after the nomination is equally risky… …every time I try to talk myself into voting straight Dem, they come up with some flop that disgusts me all over again and I’m back to Ralph Nader, on principle… it is the only avenue open to me to make a statement at the ballot box… other wise I’m just as bad as Pelosi, saying no matter what you do or don’t do, I’ll vote for you. I just can’t do it. Besides, they’ve shown me that they don’t need me… just like Darth, they basically said “So?”.
    Basta, already.

    Reply

  4. Tahoe Editor says:

    Joan Walsh | Betrayed by Obama:
    Obama needs to watch himself. Telling voters they have no place else to go, before he officially has the nomination, is not a winning strategy. That’s what his people told Clinton voters. That’s what they’re saying about opponents of the FISA sellout. That’s the line on those concerned about his “partial-birth” abortion remarks. It’s arrogant — up against the backdrop of Obama’s big plans for an Invesco Field acceptance speech in Denver and a Brandenberg Gate extravaganza in Berlin, I’m starting to worry about grandiosity — and it could backfire.

    Reply

  5. Kathleen says:

    WigWag.. thanks for the roll call, painful as it was to read…

    Reply

  6. pauline says:

    Not really connected to this post, but maybe Barry O and McCrankster can debate this with their legal expertise —
    “Does Government Owe Royalties on Torture Music?”
    By Eliot Van Buskirk July 08, 2008 | 10:08:26
    AMCategories: Digital Music News
    “It may not be the Bush administration’s biggest worry about Gitmo policy — after all, they’ve lost both Supreme Court cases about detainee treatment and Barack Obama and John McCain, who agree on little else, both want the place shut down.
    Insult, meet injury: Now there is talk that the US government may owe royalties on the song that has been blared over and over and over again to to weaken detainees’ resolve of “War on Terror” prisoners warehoused there.
    Most prominently US forces in Guantanamo Bay have played David Gray’s “Babylon” on heavy rotation –not that the song itself constitutes torture, of course.
    Arguably, that constitutes a public performance and conceivably makes it subject to royalties owed ASCAP and BMI.
    As Howard Knopf of Excess Copyright notes via techdirt: “Certain collectives are quick to collect money from those in nursing homes, hospitals, prisons etc. on the basis that these are ‘public’ places. Never mind that the audience is captive and it’s their home, like it or not.
    There are a couple of problems, of course. For example, ASCAP generally relies on the user of their content or third parties they pay to monitor use — not exactly an honor system, but close. Good luck with that.
    Update: In addition, a BMI spokeswoman told us the company doesn’t license military bases (whether that means music cannot be played there or that it can, but copyright holders don’t have to be compensated for it remains unclear).
    Although it has no bearing on the royalties issue on US territories, Gray objects, for the record, to this use of his song. (In Europe, artists enjoy a “moral right” that allows them to bar their songs from being used in unapproved contexts, so Gray might stand a chance of having his song played in detention centers there.)
    Of the heavy rotation of his song he told the BBC: “That is nothing but torture. It doesn’t matter what the music is – it could be Tchaikovsky’s finest or it could be Barney the Dinosaur. It really doesn’t matter, it’s going to drive you completely nuts.”
    Even the publicity Gray has received as a result of the US government’s use of his song has been the wrong kind, he maintains. “Only the novelty aspect of this story gets it noticed… ‘Guantanamo Greatest Hits,'” he said. “What we’re talking about here is people in a darkened room, physically inhibited by handcuffs, bags over their heads and music blaring at them.”
    see —
    http://blog.wired.com/music/2008/07/does-us-governm.html

    Reply

  7. ... says:

    aipac and the israel lobby were behind whitehouse and not chafee during that race… it appears their support/money was enough to get whitehouse elected… i guess those are the fauxgressives you are referring to… some people pay attention to these ”minor” details….
    11th try on captcha…

    Reply

  8. lurker says:

    Susan, your note is just strange. This is one of the greatest foreign policy blogs in the blogosphere. Do you know any other bloggers who had it out with Cheney in person and had the story told on the front page of the New York Times? I think not because there are no others like this blog that provide a look into the inside. That’s exciting, and Steve’s announcement on the North Korea delisting and the subsequent mainstream report on his question to Cheney and the huge number of items and people he brings to this blog simply make your comment strange.
    You may be judging his blog by his management of the comments and commenters. But that’s wrong. Clemons regularly states that he takes a light hand to any of the comments and commenters here and even the vaulted POA who can be quite blustery here respects Clemons’ light hand. So too do some of the others who have erupted now and then.
    Read Clemons and you get smart on foreign policy and politics. If you don’t like it though, you can read Kos or Salon or others that are more predictable.
    I can’t believe that Clemons is leaving your comment up, and then he sort of laughs it off. That’s classic TWN.

    Reply

  9. WigWag says:

    Democrats voting in favor of final passage of the FISA bill:
    Bayh – Carper – Casey – Conrad – Dorgan – Feinstein – Innuoye – Kohl – Landrieu – Lincoln – McCaskill – Mukulski – Nelson (Neb.) – Nelson (Fla.) – Obama – Pryor – Rockefeller – Salazar – Webb – Whitehouse.
    Democrats voting against final passage of the FISA bill:
    Akaka – Biden – Bingaman – Boxer – Brown – Cantwell – Cardin – Clinton – Dodd – Dorgan – Durbin – Feingold – Harkin – Kerry – Leahy – Levin – Lautenberg – Murray – Reed – Reid – Sanders – Schumer – Stabenow – Tester – Wyden.
    It is stunning that Sheldon Whitehouse caved in on this. Does anyone think Lincoln Chafee would have voted for this bill? I don’t. Of course the junior senator from Illinois voted with the most conservative democrats. Just another wake up call for the fauxgressives whose support got him the nomination.

    Reply

  10. Tahoe Editor says:

    NYT Blogtalk: Obama’s F.I.S.A. Vote

    Reply

  11. Tahoe Editor says:

    Martin Bosworth:
    Barack Obama’s surrender on the FISA fight was a perfect example of giving in when fighting back could have accomplished so much more. Obama surrendered both his base and his convictions (He’s a Constitutional law professor, for fvck’s sake!) to please the chattering class of so-called “centrist” pundits and weed carriers who demand repeated obeisance to Republican and corporatist aims in order to appear Sensible, Serious, and Respectable. With a word, he could have roused his supporters and activists to fight this thing to the bitter end, and assured his place in history as an avatar of real change. Instead, he folded, and now it’s hard to see him as anything more than a typical politician who promises whatever’s politically convenient at the time.

    Reply

  12. Tahoe Editor says:

    Mark Crispin Miller

    Reply

  13. pauline says:

    Almost 35 years ago, president # 37 was forced to resign due to lawbreaking and surveillance abuses. Today, the Senate voted to cover up and protect far worse lawbreaking.

    Reply

  14. Tahoe Editor says:

    Glenn Greenwald & Jonathan Turley

    Reply

  15. pauline says:

    There had been a very large and loud call on Barry O’s own site for him to vote against the FISA renewal.
    Barry O can now be counted as one of the hallowed hundred who flushed the Fourth Amendment down a larry craig DC toilet.
    Barry O may now lose considerable independent voters.

    Reply

  16. WigWag says:

    Roll Call Vote on FISA. In addition to the Obama (Yea) vote and the Clinton (Nay) vote notice the vote of that erstwhile hero of some, Chuck Hagel. He voted, Yea! Maybe Obama should pick Hagel for a running mate after all. It looks like they both think that spying on Americans and giving the telephone companies a pass is just fine.
    Akaka (D-HI), Nay
    Alexander (R-TN), Yea
    Allard (R-CO), Yea
    Barrasso (R-WY), Yea
    Baucus (D-MT), Yea
    Bayh (D-IN), Yea
    Bennett (R-UT), Yea
    Biden (D-DE), Nay
    Bingaman (D-NM), Nay
    Bond (R-MO), Yea
    Boxer (D-CA), Nay
    Brown (D-OH), Nay
    Brownback (R-KS), Yea
    Bunning (R-KY), Yea
    Burr (R-NC), Yea
    Byrd (D-WV), Nay
    Cantwell (D-WA), Nay
    Cardin (D-MD), Nay
    Carper (D-DE), Yea
    Casey (D-PA), Yea
    Chambliss (R-GA), Yea
    Clinton (D-NY), Nay
    Coburn (R-OK), Yea
    Cochran (R-MS), Yea
    Coleman (R-MN), Yea
    Collins (R-ME), Yea
    Conrad (D-ND), Yea
    Corker (R-TN), Yea
    Cornyn (R-TX), Yea
    Craig (R-ID), Yea
    Crapo (R-ID), Yea
    DeMint (R-SC), Yea
    Dodd (D-CT), Nay
    Dole (R-NC), Yea
    Domenici (R-NM), Yea
    Dorgan (D-ND), Nay
    Durbin (D-IL), Nay
    Ensign (R-NV), Yea
    Enzi (R-WY), Yea
    Feingold (D-WI), Nay
    Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
    Graham (R-SC), Yea
    Grassley (R-IA), Yea
    Gregg (R-NH), Yea
    Hagel (R-NE), Yea
    Harkin (D-IA), Nay
    Hatch (R-UT), Yea
    Hutchison (R-TX), Yea
    Inhofe (R-OK), Yea
    Inouye (D-HI), Yea
    Isakson (R-GA), Yea
    Johnson (D-SD), Yea
    Kennedy (D-MA), Not Voting
    Kerry (D-MA), Nay
    Klobuchar (D-MN), Nay
    Kohl (D-WI), Yea
    Kyl (R-AZ), Yea
    Landrieu (D-LA), Yea
    Lautenberg (D-NJ), Nay
    Leahy (D-VT), Nay
    Levin (D-MI), Nay
    Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea
    Lincoln (D-AR), Yea
    Lugar (R-IN), Yea
    Martinez (R-FL), Yea
    McCain (R-AZ), Not Voting
    McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
    McConnell (R-KY), Yea
    Menendez (D-NJ), Nay
    Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
    Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
    Murray (D-WA), Nay
    Nelson (D-FL), Yea
    Nelson (D-NE), Yea
    Obama (D-IL), Yea
    Pryor (D-AR), Yea
    Reed (D-RI), Nay
    Reid (D-NV), Nay
    Roberts (R-KS), Yea
    Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
    Salazar (D-CO), Yea
    Sanders (I-VT), Nay
    Schumer (D-NY), Nay
    Sessions (R-AL), Not Voting
    Shelby (R-AL), Yea
    Smith (R-OR), Yea
    Snowe (R-ME), Yea
    Specter (R-PA), Yea
    Stabenow (D-MI), Nay
    Stevens (R-AK), Yea
    Sununu (R-NH), Yea
    Tester (D-MT), Nay
    Thune (R-SD), Yea
    Vitter (R-LA), Yea
    Voinovich (R-OH), Yea
    Warner (R-VA), Yea
    Webb (D-VA), Yea
    Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
    Wicker (R-MS), Yea
    Wyden (D-OR), Nay

    Reply

  17. WigWag says:

    FISA BILL PASSES SENATE BY A VOTE OF 69-28. OBAMA ANNOUNCED HIS SUPPORT FOR THE BILL, CLINTON VOTED AGAINST IT.
    YOU OBAMA SUPPORTERS MUST BE SO PROUD!

    Reply

  18. Tahoe Editor says:

    Changeâ„¢ I Can Believe In

    Reply

  19. Kathleen says:

    P.s Ironbelle… it’s “you’re curious”, not “your curious”…but then you don’t want grammar lessons from the likes of me.

    Reply

  20. Kathleen says:

    Ironbelle… by “curious” I didn’t mean actually interested…and my “buddy” Steve is on vacation… why would I bother him with such trivialities? Nothing in POA’s comments indicates that he hates women and by the way it’s “too much” not “to much”.

    Reply

  21. Ironbelle says:

    Oh your curious, post your e-mail address and I would be happy to send it to you. Or ask your buddy Steve not to erase it and I will be happy to post it again.
    Somehow I knew that Tiny wouldn’t be on his best behavior for long. He just hates women to much. Tiny is concerned about someone’s “panties in a wad.”
    Am I going to have to wash your mouth out with soap again, Tiny?

    Reply

  22. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “pauline… I think you’re right… we have been operating under the continuity of gov’t suspension of our Constitution under the guise of fighting a ‘”war on terror”. I believe we’ll.never be able to end this war until we end this war presidency”
    I see this poodle Waxman is playing bulldog again, threatening contempt citations.
    Pffffft. Just like all the other empty threats the guy throws out there. Bush farts, and Waxman runs for cover.
    This Administration has managed to completely remove itself from the rule of law and any resemblance of accountability.
    Now, I read where this piece of shit Pelosi is working behind the scenes to discourage going after Rove.
    How many subpoenas are being ignored now by how many Bush lackeys in how many branches of our government??? I’ve lost count.
    We read about Waxman’s ferocious posturing and issuance of threats, than we read about the “fuck you” he gets in return from the White House, then the failure to make good on those threats recieves no press. Just like what haqppened when that mealy-mouthed little pissant Reid pulled his stunt in the Senate about Phase Two.
    Gads what a bunch of corrupt posturing fakes, cowards, and liars. I never thought I would see this country sink so low.

    Reply

  23. Kathleen says:

    pauline… I think you’re right… we have been operating under the continuity of gov’t suspension of our Constitution under the guise of fighting a ‘”war on terror”. I believe we’ll.never be able to end this war until we end this war presidency.
    POA… I remember when Steve shut the comment section down for a cooling off period… that must have been the time you were deleted? You very courteously apologized to Steve, if I recall correctly. In any case, an Ironbelle by any other name is still an Ironbelle. Now I’m curious about what she said, but from the sound of the discussion, I’m glad I missed it.

    Reply

  24. Steve Clemons says:

    Susan Pearlstein:
    Glad you got a chance to clear your throat on your views of the blog. While I don’t agree with all that you post here, I do appreciate the fact that you have been a long term reader.
    I don’t police all of these comments. I have a policy on comments I posted a while back, and its mostly enforced based on complaints from others. I am simply too busy to read all of them — and thus tend to be reactive. For me, Ironbelle’s last post was over the top. I know a lot about PUMA. One of my best friends helped create it. It’s not for me — but hey, DC is a free trade zone for those who want to pursue their interests and objectives.
    I’m sorry you haven’t been into my reporting on Cheney lately, or the meetings I’ve hosted with the National Intel Council chair on Iran and Iraq…or with Soros, etc. You have the right to read or not — as you like. But this is my blog. I do with it what I want. I write what interests me. I’m not a full time blogger — I have a full time life as Director of a Foreign Policy group and an Economic Policy group at the New America Foundation. I squeeze blogging in when I can — and I tend to work on big stories…some of which work out and some of which don’t. I fill in with easier stuff…that’s just the way it is.
    I was one of the first to note that Obama had begun to triangulate a bit. It was an important story then and it is now. Frank Rich finally picked it up in the Times…but a bit late by my count.
    I’m on a long trip to China now — two weeks. Part vacation, part work….so some folks are filling in for me. That’s part of blogging — and on top of that, I have a mom who is not well in Oklahoma and a few other distractions. I think some of the most tough commenters here — and I’d put your note in that category Susan — ignore the fact that when things seem to have lightened up in the quality or frequency of a blogger, that blogger may be dealing with other issues. Take my recently shot friend Brian Beutler for instance. I think that he’s going to be off line for a bit.
    Listen, we all have our preferences. I have mine on the Middle East, and I work hard to generate fair, provocative, but constructive discussion about what I consider to be one of the most important foreign policy challenges of our time. I read and listen to Kathleen, Linda, POA, WigWag, Paul Norheim and many others here.
    I want to see a peace deal in the region. I don’t believe in false choices between the Israeli-side and Arab-side. I like what J Street is trying to do — but I know there are limitations…and I know that there are problematic, violent factions on the Arab side (and Israeli side) that make getting to equilibrium/peace difficult. But I will keep writing about this. It’s a big interest of mine — so take it or leave it.
    In any case, I don’t censor often. But when I do, I do. That’s the end of it. I try to set a good tone on this blog, but I can’t be chasing after everyone who walks across the line.
    We are all doing the best we can I think…or at least I’d like to think so.
    I hope you continue to be an occasional lurker — and I look forward to future commentary. Feel free to write to me privately about your thoughts as well, or about what you’d like to see on the blog.
    Back to my vacation — but thanks again….and all of you, be good to each other now and then,
    steve clemons

    Reply

  25. pauline says:

    Remember just a couple of weeks ago when Johnny Boy Bolton uttered —
    “Israel will strike Iran if Obama is elected [and]
    I think if they are to do anything, the most likely period is after our elections and before the inauguration of the next president. . .” Bolton said this in an interview with FOX News.
    Yea, I have the Mearsheimer and Walt book on my shelf. Mearsheimer and Walt contend that Israeli/AIPAC’s lobbying of policies that both have so deeply encouraged are in neither America’s national interest nor Israel’s long-term interest.
    Why does Israel though get a free pass from our presidential candidates, when its own citizens are often deeply critical of its present policies and when these same presidential candidates are all too willing to criticize many of the things that other countries do? hmm?
    And if I read, study and share what I find important in this book, am I anti-semetic?
    Some part-time trollers on TWN apparently think so.
    for Johnny Boy’s crapola see —
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3559502,00.html

    Reply

  26. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Note how this “susan” attempts to imply that Steve is somehow complicit in fostering “anti-semitism”. The message here, from this “susan” personna, is that because susan says something is anti-semitic, Steve best remove it, because if he doesn’t, Steve is anti-semitic.
    Never mind the Islamophobia that WigWag exhibited in his comments about the Iranians. Never mind the fact that I have rarely seen anti-semitism here, and on at least one occassion that I recall, when a truly anti-semitic post appeared, Steve admonished the author, and removed the post.
    I am not buying “susan”‘s schtick. She is basically accusing Steve of “guilt by association” for abetting a “crime” that isn’t even occurring.
    And the mnore I think about it, the more inexplicable it seems for “susan” to decry the quality of the comments here, while defending Ironbelle’s vulgar and vicious attack on Kathleen. Me thinks “susan” doth protest too much.
    But hey, if she wants to provide us with specific examples of the “anti-semitism” that she implies Steve allows…………

    Reply

  27. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “When commentators cross the line between harsh but legitimate criticism of Israel and lapse into anti Semitism”
    How about you provide us with an exact example of the “anti-semitism” that has your panties in a wad? Lets see a direct quote that you are willing to point to and proclaim the author to be a jew hater.
    I see a bunch of much needed criticism of the inhumane and criminal policies of the Israelis, and a few posters, (or, a poster that would like us to believe its a “few” posters), like yourself, that would rather we don’t level those criticisms. And you counter them with this timeworn, cowardly, and despicable accusation of bigotry.
    And anyone that thinks IronBelle’s comment didn’t warrant being removed is an idiot, or an Ironbelle.
    Anyway, lets see a few quotes that you consider “anti-semitic”.

    Reply

  28. Tahoe Editor says:

    Obama went into Wisconsin just before the Feb. 19 primary and was proud to “stand with” Russ Feingold on filibustering telecom immunity, no doubt in part to secure his 17-point win in the Badger State. Now?
    Russ Feingold: Obama “capitulates” on FISA.
    http://www.thenation.com/blogs/thebeat/334933
    That’s the kind of change I can believe in.
    How many more times do we have to hear him say, “I’m happy to have that debate” while he ducks debate left and right?

    Reply

  29. Tahoe Editor says:

    Re: craptchas
    Steve, our complaint isn’t that you use craptchas to control spam; our collective complaint is that the particular craptcha program you use has about a 30% failure rate. Nowhere else do I experience anything near that.

    Reply

  30. Paul Norheim says:

    “But in the past few months there has been a real
    deterioration in the quality of the Washington Note.” (Susan
    Pearlstein)
    Susan Pearlstein, it was interesting to read your impressions of
    The Washington Note. However, if you`ve noticed a “real
    deterioration in the quality” of TWN, including the
    commentators, I`m surprised that you use Ironbelle`s
    comments as an example of contributions going against that
    trend. Ironbelle`s posts can be divided into three groups: 1)
    being a missionary for PUMA. 2) Claiming that Obama was a
    sexist. 3) Insulting commentators ad hominem. The personal
    insults became one of her specialities during the last weeks of
    her comments here.
    If that`s your idea of contriboutions that may raise the level of
    the comments here, I`m not with you.
    Paul

    Reply

  31. pauline says:

    POA wrote:
    “I’m inclined to agree with him, (Justin), on Obama’s posture on Iraq, but am still blown away by Obama’s position on FISA and his shameless and status quo pandering to Israel and its lobbies.”
    It looks like tomorrow is the day when the hallowed 100 in the Senate will flush the 4th Amendment down a larry craig DC toilet with their approval of the FISA renewal.
    Maybe it is true that the bushwacker crowd has been operating since 9/11 under the bill-of-rights-burying, super-secretive “Continuity of Government” plans where the U.S. Constitution is suspended and the exec branch does what the h*ll it wants and congress turns into a lapdog all in the name of fighting the war on terror. Have we really seen anything different for the last 7 1/2 years?
    If this is Barry Obama’s idea of “change” by voting for an unconstitutional FISA, he is giving us “change” all right — he’s “short changing” us taxpayers and citizens. That’s a DC insider’s game at its cunningly best — say one thing to the crowd and tv camera and do the exact opposite.
    That’s “no change” and “short-changed” from Barry O all in one vote tomorrow!

    Reply

  32. Kathleen says:

    Susan Perlstein…I didn’t see Ironbelle’s response to my comment so I can;t speak to its content… I did not attack her or use the N-word or Hitler, either. I do trust Steve’s judgement… he has shown great respect for everyone’s freedom of speech here… it is his site and he has every right to delete what he thinks is inappropriate.
    There has been no ‘”discussion'” of using screenames… I simply pointed out that I didn’t use one when Ironbelle suggested I was someone in drag….this hardly qualifies as a “discussion”.
    I disagree that the quality of Steve’s posts and those of his guests has diminished in any way. He and his guests unfailingly provide us with a full variety of topics to discuss, rich in content and provactive questions to consider.
    I do agree that the commentary is not as much fun as it was a while back… possibly the problems with captcha decreases the variety, but the presence of the trolls does turn a normally lively comment section into a tedious sand box fight, which is of course, the sole purpose of the trolls.

    Reply

  33. Tahoe Editor says:

    WaPo Editorial: Mr. Obama on Iraq

    Reply

  34. Susan Pearlstein says:

    I am a long time lurker who comments only occasionally, but after reflecting
    on what’s been going on here for the past few months I’ve decided to put in my two cents worth. I was once a regular reader of this site, but I find myself returning here much less frequently than I once did.
    There was a time that this was one of the smartest and freshest sites around. It was a place where foreign policy professionals and interested
    lay people could read Steve’s take on things and engage in intelligent and spirited discussion. But in the past few months there has been a real
    deterioration in the quality of the Washington Note.
    It’s not just the quality of the posts that are declining, but the quality of the commentary as well. It seems that the people who comment regularly have run out of interesting things to say and instead just keep repeating the same old canards. And there seems to be an inverse relationship between how often a person comments and how thought provoking their comments are.
    Much of the commentary is little more than the same old rants about Israel and the United States repeated ad nauseum. Some of it is smart, some of it is ignorant and some of it is anti Semitic. Unfortunately, all of it has become repetitious and boring. Many of the people who comment regularly must be quite narcissistic or have enormous egos, or surely they would understand that after they’ve said something 20 times, it’s not necessary to repeat it 20 more times. And Steve should be welcoming of people with
    diverse points of view. At least WigWag argues a pro Zionist point of view at a site where the anti Israel point of view predominates. I think this
    makes for interesting discussion and I have enjoyed WigWags repartee with other commentators who disagree. Most of that discussion is quite civil. The only time I’ve witnessed WigWag get carried away is when s/he is attacked personally or when someone posts something that’s blatantly
    anti-Semitic
    And I was surprised to see Steve remove IronBelle’s response to Kathleen from this thread. I read it before Steve censored it. The comment was brash, nasty and mostly devoid of substance, but it was no worse than lots of the commentary that goes on here. When commentators cross the line between harsh but legitimate criticism of Israel and lapse into anti Semitism, Steve the censor, is no where to be found. This gives me pause and makes me wonder about exactly what Steve must be thinking.
    IronBelle is certainly bellicose, but she only comments when she’s reacting to an equally bellicose commentator like someone accusing another person of being a “Hitler” or when someone uses the “N” word. It isn’t political
    correctness to object to that type of language; nor does it mean the person using that language in context, is a racist. There’s a big debate about
    whether it’s ever appropriate to us the “N” word under any circumstances. I don’t think it is. IronBelle wasn’t the only person who objected to that language, I did too. I am sure others did as well. Obviously Steve is comfortable with that
    kind of language on his site, because he didn’t see fit to censor it. Steve is wrong about this. And by the way, the commentator who thought it was
    funny to refer to another commentator as an “ignorant slut” should also be ashamed of himself/herself.
    And all this discussion of whether a person uses their real name or a handle is just about as dumb as the frenzied discussion about whether WigWag and IronBelle or POA and Arthur Decco are the same commentators. Who cares? This isn’t the second grade. Does anyone really come to this site to
    speculate about this stuff? And the way commentators defend their “allies”reminds me of the way little boys choose up sides to play tag or not so little boys form themselves into street gangs.
    Ultimately, I am sorry to say that Steve Clemons is most to blame for the deterioration of his own site. The Washington Note has always offered
    perspectives on the Middle East, but if he has nothing new to say about Iraq or Iran or Saudi Arabia or Israel or Palestine, why post about those subjects at all? Recently, the only fresh perspectives about the Middle East have come from the guest posters. And the same goes for the
    presidential election. The same tired posts about Senator Obama and whether he is bold enough or not, are bound to elicit the same tired old commentary. Most readers of the Washington Note are fully capable of finding our own sources of news. Commentators on the presidential election who fill up the threads with hundreds of links or verbatim copies of articles that they’ve
    cut and pasted from elsewhere aren’t being smart or convincing, they’re being tedious.
    And Steve, in your response to IronBelle’s first comment on this thread, you mentioned that you don’t want anyone advertising 527 organizations at the Washington Note. I am surprised that you don’t know that the PUMA movement is not a 527 organization. It is a grass roots movement of hundreds of websites that are all united by their opinion that Senator Obama benefited from a sexist media and didn’t secure the nomination fairly. While I don’t agree, it’s obviously a movement that is catching on, because these sites
    are becoming increasingly popular and CNN has a poll out that shows the number of Clinton supporters who plan to vote for Obama is dwindling. While I don’t agree with their action plan (voting for McCain or staying home) I
    am sympathetic to their concerns. Actually, the existence of this type of movement, and how it was enabled by the internet, is something new and
    unprecedented in the history of presidential elections. Given how stale much of the discussion about the presidential election has become, it is
    perplexing why you would decide to put a discussion of this phenomenon off limits on your site. Finally something new to discuss, but you’re not having any of it.
    I apologize for the length of my comment, but I thought it would be better to get all my thoughts out at once rather than have them come out in dribs and drabs.
    Now I am very happy to return to obscurity and my status as an occasional lurker.

    Reply

  35. Tahoe Editor says:

    Rich Lowry: Obama’s Astounding Bad Faith

    Reply

  36. Tahoe Editor says:

    Bob Herbert: Obama Lurching Right with Abandon

    Reply

  37. Paul Norheim says:

    What is the difference between Obamas and Bush/McCains
    position regarding Iraq?
    As a start you could say that Bush and McCain are still
    defending the decision to invade Iraq, while Obama always have
    seen it as foolish, unnecessary and wrong under the
    circumstances.
    Secondly, John McCain and George Bush may disagree on some
    details on a tactical level, but agree on the goal: winning the
    war.
    Which war, you may ask?
    Also here, there may be some differences between Bush and
    McCain. Bush junior seem to be obsessed by his ambition to
    finish the job his father should have done in the first Gulf war,
    two decades ago, while older people like McCain, as well as
    Cheney and Kissinger, share the obsession of not repeating the
    outcome of the Vietnam war.
    Obama sees clearly that the Americans are unable to win the
    “hearts and minds” of the Iraqis: they may fight for 50 or 100
    years and still not be able to win the war. And he belongs to a
    generation that, with the benefit of hindsight, sees the Vietnam
    war as foolish, unnecessary and wrong under the circumstances.
    His goal is not to win the war, but somehow to get out of a war
    that should not had been started in the first place.
    Obamas dilemma is that the current US government by A)
    invading Iraq, B) removing Saddam, the Baath Party and thus
    destroyed the glue that held the nation together, as well as
    created a power vacuum, and by C) making several other tactical
    and political mistakes that have resulted in instability and ethnic
    conflicts in Iraq, and made Iran more powerful in the region —
    well, Obamas dilemma is that Bush and his people have created
    a catch 22.
    Leaving Iraq will result in tragedies and horror. Staying there
    will result in tragedies and horror. His goal still is, I believe, to
    get out. But how and when – these are big and hard question in
    the chaos created by the current US leadership.
    So I agree with you, POA, that Obamas hesitations and
    reservations regarding Iraq may to a lesser degree represent
    “flip flop” than his FISA position. And his support for an
    “undivided Jerusalem” was not even flip flop. It was simply
    foolish, unnecessary and wrong under the current
    circumstances.

    Reply

  38. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Heres an interesting take on Obama’s so called “flip-flop” on Iraq, by Justin Raimondo from the site “Antiwar.com”.
    http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=13100
    I’m inclined to agree with him, (Justin), on Obama’s posture on Iraq, but am still blown away by Obama’s position on FISA and his shameless and status quo pandering to Israel and its lobbies.
    Truth is, any attempt to predict, or to accurately assess the Presidential race, is a feckless endeavor. It is fairly obvious that the economy is tanking fast, fuel costs are skyrocketing exponentially, and if Bush or Israel behaves in character, and pulls something insane, all bets are off. Alot can happen between now and November, and probably will. Cheney’s crew, and McCain, could sure use another trifecta right now, and a few thousand dead American citizens would certainly do the trick. My bet is its the Western United State’s turn. Frisco or LA would do nicely. Might as well kill two birds with one stone, and get rid of a batch of the Huffington kinda crowd.

    Reply

  39. Paul Norheim says:

    Any comments so far from the grassroots movement about
    Obama`s support for retroactive immunity to telecommunications
    companies or an “undivided Jerusalem”? At least the peace
    movement should realize that an undivided Jerusalem =
    permanent conflict.

    Reply

  40. Kathleen says:

    Tom Hayden on Obama’s Iraq positions.
    No Retreat: If you Want to Win, Stop the War! Barack [Not to Mention Human Lives] at Risk
    Submitted by davidswanson on Sat, 2008-07-05 20:24.
    Elections By Tom Hayden, Huffington Post
    Call him slippery or nuanced, Barack Obama’s core position on Iraq has always been more ambiguous than audacious. Now it is catching up with him as his latest remarks are questioned by the Republicans, the mainstream media, and the antiwar movement. He could put his candidacy at risk if his audacity continues to shrivel.
    I first endorsed Obama because of the nature of the movement supporting him, not his particular stands on issues. The excitement among African-Americans and young people, the audacity of their hope, still holds the promise of a new era of social activism. The force of their rising expectations, I believe, could pressure a President Obama in a progressive direction and also energize a new wave of social movements.
    And of course, there is the need to end the Republican reign that began with a stolen election followed by eight years of war and torture, corporate gouging, environmental decay, domestic spying and right-wing court appointments, just in case we forget who Obama is running against.
    Besides the transforming nature of an African-American presidency, the issue that matters most to me is achieving a peaceful settlement of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and preventing American escalations in Iran and Latin America. From the beginning, Obama’s symbolic 2002 position on Iraq has been very promising, reinforced again and again by his campaign pledge to “end the war” in 2009.
    But that pledge also has been laced with loopholes all along, caveats that the mainstream media and his opponents [excepting Bill Richardson] have ignored or avoided until now. As I pointed out in Ending the War in Iraq [2007], Obama’s 2002 speech opposed the coming war with Iraq as “dumb”, while avoiding what position he would take once the war was underway. Then he wrote of almost changing his position from anti- to pro-war after a trip to Iraq. He never took as forthright a position as Senator Russ Feingold, among others. Then he adopted the safe, nonpartisan formula of the Baker-Hamilton Study Group, which advocated the withdrawal of combat troops while leaving thousands of American counter-terrorism units, advisers and trainers behind.
    That would mean at least 50,000 Americans, including back up forces, engaged in counter-insurgency after the withdrawal of combat troops, a contradiction the media and Hillary Clinton failed to explore in the primary debates. To his credit, Obama said that these American units would not become caught up in a lengthy sectarian civil war, leaving the question of their role unanswered.
    The most shocking aspect of Samantha Powers’ forced resignation earlier this year was not that she called Hillary Clinton a “monster” off-camera, but that she flatly stated that Obama would review his whole position on Iraq once becoming president. Again, no one in the media or rival campaigns questioned whether this assertion by Powers was true. Since Obama credited Powers with helping for months in writing his book, The Audacity of Hope, her comments on his inner thinking should have been pounced upon by the pundits.
    Finally, it has taken the pressure of the general election to raise questions about whether his parsed and lawyerly language is empty of credible meaning. Consider carefully his July 4 statements:
    The first one, promising a “thorough reassessment” of his Iraq position later this summer:
    “I’ve always said that the pace of our withdrawal would be dictated by the safety and security of our troops and the need to maintain stability” — two conditions that could justify leaving American troops in combat indefinitely. “And when I go to Iraq and have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground, I’m sure I’ll have more information and will continue to refine my policies” — another loophole which could allow the war to drag on.
    Then there came the later “clarification”:
    “Let me be as clear as I can be” [not, “let me be absolutely clear”].
    “I intend to end this war.” [intention only].
    “My first day in office I will bring the Joint Chiefs of Staff in, and I will give them a new mission, and that is to end this war — responsibly, deliberately, but decisively.” [ Sounds positive, but “decisively” can mean by military threat in the worst case. And it’s pure theatre, borrowed from Clinton, since the plans most likely will be drafted and finalized immediately after the November election.]
    “And I have seen no information that contradicts the notion that we can bring our troops out safely at a pace of one or two brigades a month…” [but what if the military commanders on the ground assert that it is too dangerous to pull out those troops?]
    Obama’s position, which always left a trail of unasked questions, now plants a seed of doubt, justifiably, among the peace bloc of American voters who harbor a legacy of betrayals beginning with Lyndon Johnson’s 1064 pledge of “no wider war” through Richard Nixon’s “secret plan for peace” to Ronald Reagan’s Iran-Contra scandal and the deep complicity of Democrats in the evolution of the Iraq War.
    It is difficult to understand Obama’s motivation. Perhaps it is his lifetime success at straddling positions and disarming potential opponents. Perhaps it is a lawyer’s training. Perhaps being surrounded by national security advisers who oppose what they call “precipitous withdrawal”, and pragmatic Democrats distinctly uncomfortable with their antiwar roots.
    What is clear is that Obama is responsive to pressures from the grass-roots base of a party that is overwhelmingly in favor of a shorter timetable for withdrawal than his, and favoring diplomatic rather than military solutions in Afghanistan and Pakistan. At a time that public interest in the war is receeding before economic concerns, it is time for the strongest possible reassertion of voter demands for peace.
    The challenge for the peace and justice movement is to avoid falling into Republican divide-and-conquer traps while maintaining a powerful and independent presence in key electoral states, including Congressional battlegrounds, between now and November. There should be at the least:
    – A demand that Obama talk to legitimate representatives of the peace movement, not simply hawkish national security advisers.
    – A Democratic platform debate and plank that is unequivocal in pledging to end the war and avoid military escalation elsewhere.
    – An energized antiwar voter education campaign that builds towards a clear November peace mandate to end the military occupation and shifr to political and diplomatic approraches.
    – An organizational strategy to widen the base of the antiwar movement through the presidential campaign in preparation for a massive peace mobilization in early 2009.
    Grass-roots people power is the only force that can keep alive the astute sense of pragmatism that led Obama to criticize the coming war in 2002. The stakes are higher now, and the enemies far more shrewd, wishing to rip asunder the Obama coalition. The peace movement assumption should be that there is no one in Obama’s inner circle of advisers to be counted on, no mainstream columnist to catch his eye with a persuasive column favoring withdrawal. They never have. Only the voice of the peace voters – and the countless activists who have volunteered on his behalf – can command his attention now.
    Tom Hayden is a former state senator and leader of Sixties peace, justice and environmental movements. He currently teaches at Pitzer College in Los Angeles. His books include The Port Huron Statement [new edition], Street Wars and The Zapatista Reader.
    © 2008 Huffington Post

    Reply

  41. Kathleen says:

    Carroll…interesting tidbit about Abe Ribicoff’s Kennedy connection… apparently the Kennedys got over their little problem…
    In 1968, Abe was US Senator from CT. and up for re-election. After Bobby Kennedy was shot, Teddy used Abe to nominate George McGovern, even though McGovern had not entered the race. It was a way to hand the nomination to Humphrey, without seeming to have betrayed the anti-war movement by voting against McCarthy.
    Ribicoff was actually an alternate delegate to the Chicago Convention because he gave up his seat to make room for nine McCarthy delegates. We didn’t have enough delegates to the State Convention to elect a slate of delegates to the National Convention, but we did have enough to challenge Ribicoff to a primary. I was the Floor Manager of the McCarthy delegates at the State Convention in Hartford and asked Steve’s friend, Joe Duffey, if we could nominate him to challenge Ribicoff to a primary.. National and State Chairman, John Bailey bargained with us and gave us the nine seats, if we didn’t challenge Abe and waited until 1970, when the party would back Joe Duffey, over former Senator Tom Dodd, who was embroiled in a scandal at the time. Ribicoff hired me to work on his campaign in 1968.
    On hacking… I was hacked right after General Petraeus testified about “The Surge” and I said here that listening to the questions and answers made me feel like I was in the Tower of Babble watching the Olympics of Babbling… and again raised my pet question,… why did the US reject the peace plan proposed by the newly elected Iraqi Parliament?
    It was this exchange that caused Jonathan Moseley to call me a liar, etc. and for POA to google Moseley. This was how we learned that he was a Swiftboater and about this Legal Affairs Council. Suddenly, my computer was taken over, literally. Perhaps it was simply a co-incidence, but when I heard the House debating the issue and the same problem, even the same MalWare, it put a question mark in my head. I don’t have any other explaination. There was a time when someone could click on a commenter’s name here and contact them, so my e-mail was available.
    The one other time I was hacked, was on another blog, Luke ‘Ryland’s Wotisitgood4 when one of those pretend caring Dem troolls, signing on as WakeUp and claiming to be an attorney, got all over my case because I said that I didn’t think Fitz had cleared Karl Rove as Luskin was claiming, or he would have shown Fitz’s letter to the press.
    I felt that, because it came on the eve of Fitz and Luskin having to present their list of witnesses and evidence to Judge Reggie Walton in the Libby trial, and Rove and Cheney were allegedly being called as witnesses, that Fitz had imposed immunity on Rove, so he couldn’t take the 5th under cross examination in the Libby trial.
    After Luskin presented to the Court was he was calling Rove as a witness, he then changed…why? Being immune from prosectuion is not the same as being ‘”cleared”.
    Personally, I think Congress is wasting time arresting Rove… it would be much easier to open Impeachment hearings and subpoena Rove. Miers and Bolten, because ‘”Executive Privilege”‘ doesn’t apply to Impeachment. ..end of debate on that one.. time to get down and dirty digging into this murky mess.

    Reply

  42. pauline says:

    “Those who can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    Benjamin Franklin
    Back in July ,1776, British troops, operating on flimsy warrants handed out by local magistrates, were kicking in the doors of ordinary Americans and rifling through their pantries and papers in search of smuggled, untaxed goods was a prime reason why our ancestors rebelled against their king and went to war.
    more at —
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/251/story/43123.html

    Reply

  43. Carroll says:

    Phil Weiss is wondering if Obama is going to be “secretly ticked off” like JFK was at having to go thru the bends to keep the zionist and jewish press off his a** and raise money. Could be, wouldn’t be the first time a prez said one thing and did another.
    I remember little Georgie saying he wasn’t a nation builder and wanted a humble foreign policy.
    July 05, 2008
    JFK Was Enraged at ‘Zionist Control’ Effected by Campaign Contributions
    Back in the shtetl the two highest values in Jewish life were wealth and learning. Well I’m pitting the learning against the wealth here. I’m going to keep on my theme of Jewish wealth in politics, inasmuch as it distorts our policy in the Middle East.
    Last year Seymour Hersh, god bless him, openly spoke of “Jewish money” when he criticized the push to attack Iran. And my correspondent Nim Chimpsky just sent me a selection from Hersh’s 1991 book “The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy”:
    “… [Governor Abraham Ribicoff of Connecticut said that in 1960,] ‘I told Kennedy I was going to get in touch with Abe Feinberg, who I thought was a key Jew. I arranged a meeting [with Kennedy] in Feinberg’s apartment in the Hotel Pierre and we invited all the leading Jews.’ About twenty prominent businessmen and financiers showed up.
    “… The group agreed on an initial contribution of $500,000 to the presidential campaign, with more to come.
    ‘I called him [Kennedy] right away,’ said Feinberg. ‘His voice broke. He got emotional’ with gratitude.
    “Kennedy was anything but grateful the next morning in describing the session to Charles L. Bartlett, a newspaper columnist and close friend. He had driven to Bartlett’s home in northwest Washington and dragged his friend on a walk, where he recounted a much different version of the meeting the night before. ‘As an American citizen he was outraged,’ Bartlett recalled, ‘to have a Zionist group come to him and say: “We know your campaign is in trouble. We’re willing to pay your bills if you’ll let us have control of your Middle East policy.'” Kennedy, as a presidential candidate, also resented the crudity with which he’d been approached. ‘They wanted control,’ he angrily told Bartlett.
    “Bartlett further recalled Kennedy promising to himself that if he ever did get to be President, he was going to do something about it”–a candidate’s perennial need for money and resulting vulnerability to the demands of those who contributed. Kennedy, in fact, kept that promise before the end of his first year in office, appointing a bipartisan commission in October to recommend ways to broaden “the financial base of our presidential campaigns.” In a statement that was far more heartfelt than the public or the press could perceive, he criticized the current method of financing campaigns as “highly undesirable” and “not healthy” because it made candidates “dependent on large financial contributions of those with special interests.” Presidential elections, Kennedy declared, were “the supreme test of the democratic process” in the United States. (pages 96-97)
    Nim adds: JFK wanted a nuclear-free near east with inspectors at Dimona and a resolution to the Palestinian refugee problem (which would be a policy based on American interests or perhaps even regional or international interests). I don’t think his patrons liked those ideas much. they wanted a policy based on Israel’s interests. and as they say, when you pay the piper, you call the tune.
    To which I’d add: Israel got nukes. Nukes seem to have played a role in causing the ’67 War. Now Iran wants nukes; and this time around the U.S. is contemplating military attacks. Maybe it’s time to get nukes out of the Middle East? Isn’t Dimona a bargaining chip?
    As for the Pierre Hotel incident, here is Abba Eban writing (in “Dewey David Stone: Prototype of an American Zionist,” published in an American Jewish Historical Society collection) on the same subject:
    “[W]hen he became a presidential candidate in 1960, John F. Kennedy was again plagued by memories of his father’s equivocal attitude on Nazism. Dewey [Stone, a leading Israel lobbyist] suggested that the candidate accept the invitation of the Zionist Organization of America to be the principal speaker at its convention. Kennedy presented his views with eloquence and passion and firmly dissociated himself from his father’s war-time attitude. At a meeting arranged in the apartment of Abraham Feinberg at the Hotel Pierre in August 1960, Dewey Stone, with a group of influential Jewish leaders, interrogated Kennedy stringently on matters affecting Jews and Israel. It appeared that Kennedy made honest and candid responses to the questions asked of him….
    “No historian would question the judgment that without the support of American Jewry, Israel’s emergence out of vulnerability and weakness into sovereignty and successful resistance could not have been conceived.”
    Reminds you of Obama and AIPAC, doesn’t it? I wonder how secretly ticked off Obama is. Of course the only religious obeisance anyone mentions apropos of Kennedy is his speech to the Houston Protestant ministers in ’60. Slowly but surely, knowledge of the Israel lobby is growing.
    Posted at 02:03 PM in Books, Israel, Religion, U.S. Policy in the Mideast | Permalink

    Reply

  44. Carroll says:

    Slightly OT but too rich to pass up
    The US and all’s offer to Iran.
    All well and good until you get to the part below…they expect Iran to contribute to a nuclear free ME and not threaten other countries.
    Totally leaving out Israel and their nukes in this desired “nuclear free ME” and of course Israel is the one who has been issuing all the threats…invading Lebanon, Bombing Syria, ad nausum.
    If I were Iran I would tell them to go F themselves unless they wanted to include taking away Israel’s nukes also.
    And they want Iran to abide by the UN?.. that’s REALLY rich coming from the US.
    Iran Nuclear: Joint letter (14/06/2008)
    Joint letter signed by the E3+3 Foreign Ministers (UK, US, China, France, Germany and Russia) and handed over to the Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki by Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union Javier Solana on Saturday 14 June. The letter is followed by possible areas of wider cooperation with Iran as identified by the E3+3 countries.
    http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/newsroom/latest-news/?view=News&id=3772654
    – Reaffirmation that a solution to the Iranian nuclear issue would contribute to non-proliferation efforts and to realizing the objective of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, including their means of delivery.
    – Reaffirmation of the obligation under the UN Charter to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations.

    Reply

  45. Carroll says:

    Posted by Steve:
    “and as I listen to Obama triangulate now on his views about getting out of Iraq, I feel diminishing enthusiasm at the moment for this election”
    Me too. Why he is doing the tango to try and get voters who won’t vote for him anyway is beyond me. Hillary did the same thing, trying to get the neoliberals and cross over rethugs…and lost my vote..and the only reason she lost it was her tough guy foreign policy screeching.
    Posted by Kathleen Jul 05, 2:05PM – Link
    “POA… I was hacked back when Jonathan Moseley reared his ugly head at me here and you posted the links to his Legal Affairs Council.”
    You got hacked by someone on here? Where was I,somehow I missed that. Who is this guy?
    You won’t believe who attempted to hack me…JINSA! I sent them an email inguiry several years ago and they tried to bomb my computer. I guess they didn’t like what I had to say. LOL

    Reply

  46. .... says:

    lots of nitpickers out today… i agree with steve – lets have constructive discussion and debate, while sparing the board the acrimony… it is unproductive..

    Reply

  47. WigWag says:

    “Obama seems to be losing some of his sizzle as nearly every time he refers to Iraq he qualifies his views with dithering clauses such as “depending on facts on the ground” and I’ll “listen to the real experts, the military advisers.” He has created escape hatches from the apparently not hard promises he made earlier in his campaign on getting out of Iraq.”
    This is the transcript of what Senator Obama said in the Pennsylvania debate sponsored by ABC News:
    “GIBSON: And, Senator Obama, your campaign manager, David Plouffe, said, “When he is” — this is talking about you — “When he is elected president, we will be out of Iraq in 16 months at the most. There should be no confusion about that.”
    So you’d give the same rock-hard pledge, that no matter what the military commanders said, you would give the order to bring them home?
    OBAMA: Because the commander-in-chief sets the mission, Charlie.
    That’s not the role of the generals.
    And one of the things that’s been interesting about the president’s approach lately has been to say, “Well, I’m just taking cues from General Petraeus.”
    Well, the president sets the mission. The general and our troops carry out that mission. And, unfortunately, we have had a bad mission set by our civilian leadership, which our military has performed brilliantly. But it is time for us to set a strategy that is going to make the American people safer.
    Now, I will always listen to our commanders on the ground with respect to tactics, once I’ve given them a new mission, that we are going to proceed deliberately, in an orderly fashion, out of Iraq, and we are going to have our combat troops out. We will not have permanent bases there.
    Once I have provided that mission, if they come to me and want to adjust tactics, then I will certainly take their recommendations into consideration. But, ultimately, the buck stops with me as the commander-in-chief.”
    To be fair to Senator Obama, his new position articulated in North Dakota is very similar to the position that Hillary Clinton articulated all along. But there is one difference. Hillary Clinton was honest about her position. Barack Obama dissembled. When he needed the votes of Move On and the graduate school crowd, he said one thing. Now that he thinks he needs to woo the votes of moderates in Ohio and Pennsylvania he directly contradicts the comments he made in the debate.
    Sorry, Steve, it’s not that Obama has lost his sizzle, it’s that what you thought was sizzle was just another lie.
    And by the way, if you think people are making inappropriate comments on this site, why don’t you just moderate it, like so many other sites do. You seem to read all the comments anyway, so it hardly seems like it would be that much extra work. But if it is, why not just get an intern to do it? It seems like that could solve alot of your problems and might act as a salve for some of the paranoia around here.

    Reply

  48. arthurdecco says:

    POA, speaking to Paul Norheim: “The naive positive reinforcement you have dispensed towards WigWag/Ironbelle has actually just contributed to the problem.”
    I raised this point in an earlier thread. I’m glad you brought it up again. …Interesting that he denied it then and continues to deny it now…
    Mr. Norheim, for all his self-proclaimed veneer of “reasonableness”, and in spite of his many interesting contributions to the Washington Note’s comments section, continuously displays evidence of an appallingly thin skin and the willingness to distort and misrepresent the positions of those whose opinions he doesn’t share. I wasn’t the first to be the focus of his less-than-honest approach to disagreement. I believe he’s used the same techniques on you, POA, at one time or another. As well as with several other posters.
    That’s how I’ve started to read him since his latest assault on me took place – an assault he hid behind lofty claims of “reasonableness” and his own invented and imagined interpretations of a very few of my varied past blog posts.
    I took it personally. As would anyone whose opinions were deliberately distorted and misrepresented to gain advantage. Especially when the hatefilled posts of ironbelle cited his opinions as reason and justification for her more outrageous hyperbole and invention.
    I hope Mr. Clemons’ warnings that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable slows these kinds of comments to a trickle – especially from those who we potentially look to for inspiration, not recrimination or brow-beating.
    The ironbelle’s of the world lack the thoughtfulness and insight required to be taken seriously. Machinations undertaken by the Paul Norheim’s of our world are much more troubling, precisely because we lean towards taking the opinions of posters like him more seriously.
    Don’t we all have a responsibility to be as honest and deliberately truthful in our posts as humanly possible? Otherwise, aren’t we as guilty of hypocrisy as the criminals and mountebanks we rail against here?
    And that’s all I have to say about that.
    Let’s get back to Mr. Clemons wonderful and instructive blog and to the future of America and leave the acrimony behind.
    Peace.

    Reply

  49. Kathleen says:

    Steve… it seems Ray McGovern, Veteran Intelligence Officer, agrees with you on FISA/Obama…
    Fri Jul 04th 2008, 01:07 PM
    Ray McGovern’s Response to Obama’s FISA Explanation
    Submitted by davidswanson on Fri, 2008-07-04 09:29. Elections Spying
    ees with youIt’s a Deal Breaker for This Intelligence Officer
    Submitted by Ray McGovern on July 3, 2008 – 11:11pm.
    Dear Senator Obama,
    I speak from 30 years of experience in intelligence work. I don’t know who actually briefed you on the eavesdropping legislation, but the bill is unnecessary for intelligence collection and POISON for our civil liberties—not even to mention the unconscionable retroactive immunity provision.
    You have made a big mistake, Senator, in indicating you intend to vote for it. There is still time to change your mind. That’s what big people do.
    Your penultimate paragraph seals it for me. What you are saying relies not on principle—and still less on respect for the law, or respect for our Constitutional rights.
    What I hear you saying is an all too familiar refrain: “Tough s___, progressive voter. You know you’ve got nowhere else to go. You want McCain in there?”
    A painful reminder that the Republicans have no corner on arrogance. You think you have us over a barrel. Well let me tell you something those suits from K Street haven’t told you; you need our active support, and you are about to blow it.
    Your “explanation” was unworthy of one who has sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States (including the Fourth Amendment).
    And your attitude is not that of a person I THOUGHT was different—and would be genuinely for change I could believe in.
    We live just a couple of miles from where George Mason is buried. (As you may remember, professor of the Constitution that you have been, Mason actually refused to approve the Constitution—although he and fellow Virginian James Madison had pretty much drafted it—BECAUSE IT LACKED THE BILL OF RIGHTS).
    Well, the air is still this evening. Our windows are open and George Mason can be heard tossing and turning in his grave, loudly moaning. Yes, moaning.
    I went over to his grave; between the moans he explained that he had just heard of your plan to play fast and loose with his beloved Bill of Rights. “Hard to enjoy the Fourth tomorrow with the Constitution being shredded Right and Left,” he whispered.
    Remember, Senator, what Emerson said about those unable to change their “little” minds. Beware the K Street hobgoblins!
    Again: Dissing us by the “So-you-want-McCain?” riposte is unworthy. Not only is it clear that you are “mis-underestimating” us but, frankly, I find it insulting.
    Please get back on track.
    Respectfully,
    Ray McGovern
    US Army Infantry/Intelligence Officer: 1962-64
    CIA Analyst, 1964-1990
    Co-Founder, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

    Reply

  50. Kathleen says:

    POA… I was hacked back when Jonathan Moseley reared his ugly head at me here and you posted the links to his Legal Affairs Council. then a few weeks ago, I heard the HR debating gov’t computers being hacked….curiosly, the only gov’t computers being hacked had to do with committees that addressed human rights. .. the Reps were of the opinion that the hackers were in China. The way they described the hacking sounded just like what happened to me, even the same MalWare. I remember just learning of WhatReallyHappened and now its off the map, so to speak?
    I actually find it very instructive, in a weird sort of way, to deal with the trolls here. ..like working with lab rats… you get to see their stufff. and eventually people get hip to how it operates.

    Reply

  51. Paul Norheim says:

    Or it was the ambiguity of the word “stuff”…
    Anyway, I appreciated the friendly signal behind your words, POA.
    Cheers!

    Reply

  52. Paul Norheim says:

    Well POA, actually I was capable of removing those colorful
    chinese things as well as the Christmas three from my living room
    a while ago, If that`s what you meant…

    Reply

  53. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Kathleen, along those lines “WhatReallyHappened” was hacked yesterday, and is offline. Rivero confirms he has been hacked and sabotaged.
    One has to wonder if its his steady efforts to expose the corrosive effect our subsidation of Israel’s campaign of genocide has on our world standing and our nation’s security that has made him a constant target of cyber attack.

    Reply

  54. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Most of the stuff hanging on the Christmas trees here in Norway is also made in China….”
    Thats a hell of a note.
    Do you own a decent respirator?

    Reply

  55. Kathleen says:

    POA…..has he? Well hat’s off to you for that one, then.
    I agree that the troll issue is serious…part of the Rovester’s efforts to keep public opinion in favor of their agedna and on their talking points…. by agressively pursuing any who disagree, by any means, including hacking computers…in 2006, there were reports of Rove’s dirty tricksters…one was a Neocon troll, named Anonymous Army, allegedly a DOJ lawyer. I always felt Anonymous Army was a small army of trolls all posting as Anonymous, assigned to patrol liberal blogs to discredit those who criticize and oppose the company line… or as Swiftboater Jonathan Moseley’s’ Legal Affairs Council’s mission statements says, “identify gov’t issues” and teach gov’t officials the “benefits of interactive advertising”.. ahem.

    Reply

  56. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Actually, Kathleen, Steve has erased a couple of my worst temper tantrums too, but its been awhile now.
    Amir’s post reminds me of the obvious and glaring double standards that don’t seem to catch the public’s eyes.
    Am I the only one that remembers the loud squealing that was emanating from the Oval Office when the Chinese “paraded our aircrew in front of the cameras” following the air collision of one of our aircraft with a Chinese aircraft? Gads, how the monkey squealed in protest, invoking the Geneva Convention, and decrying the inhumanity of showing our healthy and unbruised aircrew to the world.
    Times have certainly changed, haven’t they, as we parade hooded and shackled Muslims before the world, deprived of due process, stacked in stark corridors naked and abused, given labels in lieu of habeaus corpus.
    Instead of fireworks, we should have had public hangings on the White House lawn. Only then could we have been congratulated on our nation’s aniversary.
    There should be no celebration for the birthdays of tyranny.
    And Paul, you are incorrectly interpreting my comments towards you as animosity. They are not intended that way, nor is that the “feeling” that has driven their construction.

    Reply

  57. Paul Norheim says:

    Ok, ok Kathleen. Maybe I was getting a bit paranoid here, after
    POA just had accused me of “feeding the trolls”.
    I`m sure I`m a troll or monster myself, in someone`s eyes…
    BTW, I enjoy reading your comments.
    Paul

    Reply

  58. Kathleen says:

    PN…I was joking… Now that you taught me how to get around captcha, I don’t lose any of my comments…. some might think that’s not so good.

    Reply

  59. Paul Norheim says:

    Well POA, I just don`t see any point in going into a discussing
    with you regarding who is “encouraging” the trolls. Just like you,
    I`ve often ignored their comments. But some times I have not
    ignored them (unfortunately). Just like you (unfortunately).
    Trolls seem to be encouraged by arguments, but also by
    invectives.

    Reply

  60. Paul Norheim says:

    “…you may have created a monster here….”
    ??

    Reply

  61. Kathleen says:

    Wow, guys… I missed it….thanks for coming to my defense, POA…in a way, I’m honored to have been the topic of the very first delete here. Steve has always been so respectfrul of the concept of free speech … it must have been a dooozy.
    Paul Norheim… thanks for the tips on how to get around the captcha drama… you may have created a monster here….ironbelle, my grandmother always told me the best fruit trees have the most sticks and stones under them.
    Mr. Murder… King George the Worst….love it. Can I borrow it?

    Reply

  62. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And Amir. Do not make the same mistake many American’s make, of blaming a people for the actions of their government. Increasingly, as time moves on, the government of the United States Of America does not represent the wishes, the welfare, or the ideological beliefs of its citizens.
    If you read this blog at all, then surely you are witness to the abhorance that many of us feel towards the actions committed in our name by what is increasingly becoming a rogue government, completely detached from its people.

    Reply

  63. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Heres a must read for you, if you want to see the kind of behaviour billions of American tax payer dollars buys from the Israelis…..
    http://www.ips.org/blog/jimlobe/?p=163
    And Paul and Steve. I am aware that Paul was defending Kathleen. And yes, I saw WigWag/Ironbelle’s comment before it was deleted.
    My point, to Paul, was that his lauditory comments towards any feigned moderation on WigWag/Ironbelle’s part only encourages the troll, and if his suggestion to “ignore” is going to be effective, he must ignore ALL the commentary from this apparition, as the “moderate” posts are merely a setup for further disruption, in other words; baiting.

    Reply

  64. amir says:

    Before 4th of the July you should remember 3th of July ;In 1988 the U.S. Navy cruiser Vincennes shoots down an Iranian passenger jet and KILL all 290 passengers U.S. officials defended the action, claiming that the aircraft was outside the commercial jet flight corridor, flying at only 7,800 feet, and was on a descent toward the Vincennes. However, one month later, U.S. authorities acknowledged that the airbus was in the commercial flight corridor, flying at 12,000 feet, and not descending. The U.S. Navy report blamed crew error caused by psychological stress on men in combat for the first time
    http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/this_day_in_history/this_day_July_3.php
    Interesting?haaah? If Iran did such a mistake
    What did happen? I think USA NUKE Iran but you
    know what did happen for USA?
    Noting ,Bush(the first) even didn’t give an apology for that crime. and give the Captain medal of honor ….
    In 1983 USSR drop a Koren air plane in similar way. Here is the speech by Reagan at that time:
    “My fellow Americans:
    I’m coming before you tonight about the Korean airline massacre, the attack by the Soviet Union against 269 innocent men, women, and children aboard an unarmed Korean passenger plane. This crime against humanity must never be forgotten, here or throughout the world……

    http://reagan2020.us/speeches/soviet_attack_on_korean_airliner.asp
    Do u see any similarity between these events?
    Unfortunately Iranian blood was not red enough and so it was not a crime against humanity and could forgiven .
    So you should not be surprise for events like
    11 September 2001. Untie u act as savages u should respect reactions like yours. I don’t support 11 September or action like that but
    YOU(American) and your leaders are the main guilty
    for that actions.
    I’m really sorry for u

    Reply

  65. amir says:

    Before 4th of the July you should remember 3th of July ;In 1988 the U.S. Navy cruiser Vincennes shoots down an Iranian passenger jet and KILL all 290 passengers U.S. officials defended the action, claiming that the aircraft was outside the commercial jet flight corridor, flying at only 7,800 feet, and was on a descent toward the Vincennes. However, one month later, U.S. authorities acknowledged that the airbus was in the commercial flight corridor, flying at 12,000 feet, and not descending. The U.S. Navy report blamed crew error caused by psychological stress on men in combat for the first time
    http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/this_day_in_history/this_day_July_3.php
    Interesting?haaah? If Iran did such a mistake
    What did happen? I think USA NUKE Iran but you
    know what did happen for USA?
    Noting ,Bush(the first) even didn’t give an apology for that crime. and give the Captain medal of honor ….
    In 1983 USSR drop a Koren air plane in similar way. Here is the speech by Reagan at that time:
    “My fellow Americans:
    I’m coming before you tonight about the Korean airline massacre, the attack by the Soviet Union against 269 innocent men, women, and children aboard an unarmed Korean passenger plane. This crime against humanity must never be forgotten, here or throughout the world……

    http://reagan2020.us/speeches/soviet_attack_on_korean_airliner.asp
    Do u see any similarity between these events?
    Unfortunately Iranian blood was not red enough and so it was not a crime against humanity and could forgiven .
    So you should not be surprise for events like
    11 September 2001. Untie u act as savages u should respect reactions like yours. I don’t support 11 September or action like that but
    YOU(American) and your leaders are the main guilty
    for that actions.
    I’m really sorry for u

    Reply

  66. Amir says:

    Before 4th of the July you should remember 3th of July ;In 1988 the U.S. Navy cruiser Vincennes shoots down an Iranian passenger jet and KILL all 290 passengers U.S. officials defended the action, claiming that the aircraft was outside the commercial jet flight corridor, flying at only 7,800 feet, and was on a descent toward the Vincennes. However, one month later, U.S. authorities acknowledged that the airbus was in the commercial flight corridor, flying at 12,000 feet, and not descending. The U.S. Navy report blamed crew error caused by psychological stress on men in combat for the first time
    http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/this_day_in_history/this_day_July_3.php
    Interesting?haaah? If Iran did such a mistake
    What did happen? I think USA NUKE Iran but you
    know what did happen for USA?
    Noting ,Bush(the first) even didn’t give an apology for that crime. and give the Captain medal of honor ….
    In 1983 USSR drop a Koren air plane in similar way. Here is the speech by Reagan at that time:
    “My fellow Americans:
    I’m coming before you tonight about the Korean airline massacre, the attack by the Soviet Union against 269 innocent men, women, and children aboard an unarmed Korean passenger plane. This crime against humanity must never be forgotten, here or throughout the world……

    http://reagan2020.us/speeches/soviet_attack_on_korean_airliner.asp
    Do u see any similarity between these events?
    Unfortunately Iranian blood was not red enough and so it was not a crime against humanity and could forgiven .
    So you should not be surprise for events like
    11 September 2001. Untie u act as savages u should respect reactions like yours. I don’t support 11 September or action like that but
    YOU(American) and your leaders are the main guilty
    for that actions.
    I’m really sorry for u

    Reply

  67. amir says:

    Before 4th of the July you should remember 3th of July ;In 1988 the U.S. Navy cruiser Vincennes shoots down an Iranian passenger jet and KILL all 290 passengers U.S. officials defended the action, claiming that the aircraft was outside the commercial jet flight corridor, flying at only 7,800 feet, and was on a descent toward the Vincennes. However, one month later, U.S. authorities acknowledged that the airbus was in the commercial flight corridor, flying at 12,000 feet, and not descending. The U.S. Navy report blamed crew error caused by psychological stress on men in combat for the first time
    http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/this_day_in_history/this_day_July_3.php
    Interesting?haaah? If Iran did such a mistake
    What did happen? I think USA NUKE Iran but you
    know what did happen for USA?
    Noting ,Bush(the first) even didn’t give an apology for that crime. and give the Captain medal of honor ….
    In 1983 USSR drop a Koren air plane in similar way. Here is the speech by Reagan at that time:
    “My fellow Americans:
    I’m coming before you tonight about the Korean airline massacre, the attack by the Soviet Union against 269 innocent men, women, and children aboard an unarmed Korean passenger plane. This crime against humanity must never be forgotten, here or throughout the world……

    http://reagan2020.us/speeches/soviet_attack_on_korean_airliner.asp
    Do u see any similarity between these events?
    Unfortunately Iranian blood was not red enough and so it was not a crime against humanity and could forgiven .
    So you should not be surprise for events like
    11 September 2001. Untie u act as savages u should respect reactions like yours. I don’t support 11 September or action like that but
    YOU(American) and your leaders are the main guilty
    for that actions.
    I’m really sorry for u

    Reply

  68. Paul Norheim says:

    Mr.Murder, you have a point – but to be fair to the Chinese, the
    firework was also invented by them.
    A contextual quote from Wikipedia:
    “Fireworks were originally invented by the Chinese, for
    entertainment purposes, as a natural extension of the Chinese
    invention of gunpowder. In China, they were first made by
    firework masters who were well respected for their knowledge
    of the many complex techniques used to create firework
    displays. Such important events and festivities as New Year’s
    and the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival were and still are times
    when fireworks are guaranteed sights. China is the largest
    manufacturer and exporter of fireworks in the world. China is
    estimated to have exported over 6 million cases or 120,000
    tons of fireworks to the US in 2005.”
    Most of the stuff hanging on the Christmas threes here in
    Norway is also made in China (but probably not invented by
    them).
    Cheers!

    Reply

  69. Mr.Murder says:

    July 4th, where we celebrate fredom by expending inordinate amounts of fireworks ordinance, all of it Made in China(tm) and sent here to be consumed by Americans.
    For those who celebrate for other reasons, best of Holidays to you as we toil under the reign of King George the Worst.

    Reply

  70. Steve Clemons says:

    POA — I think that Paul was defending Kathleen. I removed a post to which he was referring to. All the best — have to catch a flight.
    I think we are moving to better debate and discussion now.
    More soon.
    steve

    Reply

  71. omonubi says:

    Doesn’t sound like Obama is triangulating to me…
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_07/014031.php
    Anyways, for what its worth.

    Reply

  72. Paul Norheim says:

    POA, my last comment was a direct response to an ad hominem
    comment that Steve deleted (and that ad hominem attack did
    certainly not come from Kathleen).
    No further comment.

    Reply

  73. PissedOffAmerican, chuckling says:

    My suggestion would be for YOU, Paul, to stop feeding the trolls.
    Kathleen has done more actual POSITIVE activism than anyone posting at this blog, perhaps including Steve Clemons. She has truly made a difference. Not many people can say that.
    But really, it makes WigWag/Ironbelle’s attack all the more despicable, for Ironbelle has certainly shown us what kind of contribution she is willing to put forward, hasn’t she?
    The naive positive reinforcement you have dispensed towards WigWag/Ironbelle has actually just contributed to the problem.
    I respect your contributions here, but I really don’t think you realize how destructive the above kind of troll behavior can be to a forum such as this one. The goal here for this despicable social pervert is to destroy the flow of the debate, and discourage people from participating, usually because the general “direction” on the forum is counter to the direction these trolls would like to see aired. The good guy/badguy horseshit demonstrated by WigWag/Ironbelle is textbook troll behaviour. You’re on the right track here with the “ignore” suggestion, but such a tactic will bite you in the ass if you only ignore one side of the equation.
    The feigned “butch” personna is equally as despicable, stereotypically demeaning, and designed to elicit comment that can then be construed as “homophobic”, giving the troll yet one more avenue to pursue in its efforts to destroy the flow of reasonable debate.
    Its not rocket science, Paul.
    Smile Steve. Check your email. And don’t invest in any Chinese dog food companies while you’re over there.

    Reply

  74. ... says:

    keep the positive attitude steve and happy trails this 4th of july… thanks too for the comments on the captcha…

    Reply

  75. Steve Clemons says:

    Just a reminder, I will delete ad hominem attacks on anyone. All of you — please stay on politics and policy. I don’t want to play hall monitor and very rarely censor anyone on this blog — but that depends upon reasonable behavior.
    If you can’t maintain a decent level of civility in your commentary and debate, then first step will simply be deleted messages. If the problem persists, your coordinates will be banned from the site.
    so, let’s get back to a course of constructive debate and discussion. I’m in a great mood — and don’t plan to tolerate any efforts here to get me off track.
    best regards — steve

    Reply

  76. Paul Norheim says:

    Kathleen,
    since Ironbelle obviously is incapable of writing more then a
    couple of sentences before she insults somebody on a personal
    level, I suggest that you ignore her.
    Paul

    Reply

  77. Steve Clemons says:

    let’s stay on policy and politics — and drop the personal stuff.
    greetings to all from guilin, china — which has been visited I’m told by locals by Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter.
    on 527 issues — just to be clear Ironbelle, I don’t want any 527 ads up on the blog — not from any source. So if you see others up, drop me a line.
    you are entitled to debate policy and politics here — but i really don’t like 527 campaigning through blogs. it stifles discussion and starts a series of rants to my private email account. so, just stick to political discourse — and try and be reasonable with each other.
    on the captcha thing, it is what it is. I try to be a good host — but after enduring a tsunami of tens of thousands of spam posts a day, mostly porn and viagra ads, i need a more effective filter, and this is the only one I can use at this time.
    I’m glad you are able to get your comments up — but I will not make it easier than it is at the moment because the spammers take advantage of that lower bar.
    if anyone has difficulty posting a comment, just send it to me and let me know under what name you want it posted, and I’ll get it up.
    Do realize though that this will be easier to do when I return to the US on July 14.
    thanks, steve clemons

    Reply

  78. Kathleen says:

    Ironbelle…”the likes of me”, meaning what, exactly? I’ll say whatever I want to say about grammar, whenever I want….I was pointing out that you and WigWag made the same grammatical error, hence the impression that you are both the same person…. as for ‘”I know where to find you”… is that some veiled threat… You remind me of a past commenter signing on as NSA who said I was being watched…. Take a number and get in line. I don’t use a screen name and don’t try to hide who and what I am. I don’t give a damn who you are or what you are. Your choice of screename does create a certain image, though. Why would anyone need “drag” in a comment section… what difference does it make what gender one is?

    Reply

  79. Bob says:

    http://calitics.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=6307
    Barack Obama Opposes Prop 8, the anti-marriage amendment
    by: Brian Leubitz
    Sun Jun 29, 2008 at 19:05:08 PM PDT
    In a letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, Sen. Barack Obama stated his opposition to the California constitutional amendment.
    * * *
    Dear Friends,
    Thank you for the opportunity to welcome everyone to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club’s Pridc Breakfast and to congratulate you on continuing a legacy of success, stretching back thirty-six years. As one of the oldest and most influential LGBT organizations in the country, you have continually rallied to support Democratic candidates and causes, and have fought tirelessly to secure equal rights and opportunities for LGBT Americans in California and throughout the country.
    As the Democratic nominee for President, I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law. That is why I support extending fully equal rights and benefits to same sex couples under both state and federal law. That is why I support repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, and the passage of laws to protect LGBT Americans from hate crimes and employment discrimination. And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states.
    For too long. issues of LGBT rights have been exploited by those seeking to divide us. It’s time to move beyond polarization and live up to our founding promise of equality by treating all our citizens with dignity and respect. This is no less than a core issue about who we are as Democrats and as Americans.
    […]
    Barack Obama
    * * *
    Of course, the press will portray Obama’s “anti-8” position as radically liberal, or as a flip-flop — or probably as BOTH. That’s their narrative and they’ll stick with it.

    Reply

  80. Ironbelle says:

    You don’t think the media hated Al Gore. It’s hard to believe that a person smart enough to be invited all over the world doesn’t realize that the press hated Gore and loved Bush. I didn’t make this stuff up, it’s common knowledge. You should pay a visit to a website called the Daily Howler (which I don’t believe is a 527). You would learn alot about Gore versus Bush.
    So you can tell I think Obama is a sexist pig. And that his cable channel friends like Chris Matthews and Ticker Carlson are sexist pigs. Well its not just me and its not just 527 organizations, millions of women feel the same way.
    And by the way, you think Obama could become a great leader by returning to the way he was a few months ago. Isn’t that just about the time he told Mayor Gavin Newsome of San Francisco to take a hike because he couldn’t afford to have his picture taken with a mayor who supported the LGBT community? Compared to the other things you discuss at the washingtonnote that may seem like small potatoes to you, but it doesn’t seem like small potatoes to me. If you don’t believe Obama did this, pay a visit to the Advocate and you will see what I am saying is true.
    I don’t represent any organization when I put my comments here. I represent me. You own this site and if you want to make the rules for what goes on here, that makes all the sense in the world to me.
    But spell out your rules so everyone can understand them and apply them to everybody. I look at the comments here. I see this organization or that organization or this article or that article mentioned all over the place. Do these rules apply to everyone or just to people who don’t like Obama?
    And Kathleen good comment on Obama, but if I want a grammar lesson from the likes of you I know where to find you. Until then, I really suggest you keep your grammar lessons to yourself. And as for the Wig Wag-Ironbelle comment, can we be sure that your not Arthur Decco in drag?
    One more thing Steve. Your captca here is a disaster. Half the time it never works and the other half of the time you have to click sumbit over and over again before it works. Many people who comment have mentioned this to you, but as far as I can tell you never bother to respond to this problem. You own the site, you make the rules. I have no problem with that. But if you want to be a good host you would either try to solve this problems or would tell everyone why you can’t. IMHO that would be the polite thing to do.

    Reply

  81. Spunkmeyer says:

    Complete faith in any candidate or politician is a recipe for
    disaster and disillusionment. I supported Obama in the primary
    and obviously in the GE but not because I have blind faith in him,
    but because I feel he’s the only one in the race that can change
    the dynamic of events moving forward in a positive way for the
    U.S., especially in foreign relations.
    I’ve said before on this board (only half-jokingly) that the next
    election is ultimately about the next President being a Jimmy
    Carter or a Herbert Hoover. Obama will be a good President but
    his hands are tied by a lot of structural finance issues that will crash down through 2011-2012. One just hopes he articulates to
    the American voters how screwed we are so as to win himself a
    second term.

    Reply

  82. Bob says:

    Here’s what Obama said in March 2008, at the height of the primary battle:
    * * *
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/02/AR2008030201982_pf.html
    Q&A: Obama on Foreign Policy
    Sunday, March 2, 2008; 8:11 PM
    Illinois senator responds to written questions submitted by the Washington Post.
    Q. […] What type of increased U.S. presence would you like to see in […] Afghanistan?
    A. […] As president, I would send at least two additional combat brigades to Afghanistan. […]
    Q. In implementing your plan to immediately begin withdrawing U.S. combat forces from Iraq and to complete the process within 16 months, what weight will you give to the counsel of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the CENTCOM [U.S. Central Command] commander, the combatant commander on the ground in Iraq and current intelligence chiefs on the ground in Iraq regarding an immediate phased withdrawal?
    A. I will give their counsel great weight. […] I will also have to take into consideration the counsel of other senior military leaders who may be concerned that Iraq is undercutting our ability to confront other security challenges.
    Q. You have called for retention of a “minimal over-the-horizon force . . . to protect American personnel and facilities, continue training Iraqi security forces and root out al-Qaeda.” How many troops does that involve and where would they be based?
    A. The precise size of the residual force will depend on consultations with our military commanders and will depend on the circumstances on the ground […]
    * * *
    What Barack Obama said on July 3, 2008, was no different from what he said to the Washington Post on March 2, 2008.

    Reply

  83. ... says:

    Krauthammer : article writer for neocon central..
    in a race to see who can flipflop more, it is a very tight race, lol….
    captcha forcing me to try to post for the 5th? time… what is up with this steve??

    Reply

  84. Bob says:

    Hey, I’m plenty disappointed and disgusted with some of Obama’s flip-flops (take FISA – – please!) and I don’t place my faith in any mortal politician, but this case isn’t a real flip-flop, it’s a totally fake flip-flop invented by the McCain campaign and propagated by McCain’s “base” – – the press.
    McCain’s press release (which is totally dishonest, but which the press is pushing):
    http://johnmccain.com/Informing/News/PressReleases/Read.aspx?guid=0C24A25C-D207-4379-930F-89998D369DDF“Since announcing his campaign in 2007, the central premise of Barack Obama’s candidacy was his commitment to begin withdrawing American troops from Iraq immediately. He campaigned in Iowa, New Hampshire and across the country reaffirming this pledge to the American people.
    “Today, Barack Obama reversed that position proving once again that his words do not matter. He has now adopted John McCain’s position […]” Yes, this would be discouraging news IF IT WERE TRUE.
    And a hearty congratulations to the McCain campaign’s spinmeisters at getting so much of the news media (and even anti-McCain bloggers!) to believe these untruths.
    Obama supporters discouraged?
    Yes.
    Mission accomplished!
    So now you believe that Obama’s “words do not matter.”
    So now you’ll ignore all of Obama’s pretty speeches.
    Mission accomplished!

    Reply

  85. Paul Norheim says:

    Ironbelle, although I basically happen to agree with Steve here,
    I`m glad to see your sincere effort to write a political comment at
    TWN. It`s not your first attempt (actually I think it`s your second
    one…).
    But kudos anyway!

    Reply

  86. Kathleen says:

    If a candidate doesn’t stick to his/her convictions from Day One of the campaign, it’s just a very slippery slope from the first time you shrink away from your position… To me it indicates no real conviction, just convenient, test-marketed positions, geared to sell soap.
    I never got the Obama magic. I liked the idea of our country electing a black American or a woman, but I was not happy with either front running candidate.
    Intellectually and ethically, I did support Dennis Kucinich, but have always known that no matter how right he was or how well thought through his positions were, he wouldn’t stand a chance with the MSM.
    Russ Feingold had the right mix for me, courage of his convictions and mainstream acceptability.
    How can you tell when something is 527 stuff, as opposed to political commentary?
    WigWag/Ironbelle… the contraction of “you are” is “you’re” not “your”..

    Reply

  87. Tahoe Editor says:

    New York Times: The New and Not Improved Obama

    Reply

  88. Steve Clemons says:

    Ironbelle — Your take is just at odds with what happened. Al Gore allowed himself to become a product fashioned by others in that race. Both he and Obama have incredible core passions that can appeal to a majority in this country….but they should not cover up what is best in them with blandness.
    I completely disagree with you on Obama. He can win this election and even be a great leader — but he needs to get back to the Obama we saw in July/August.
    By the way, no more 527 posts here — that’s my policy. I won’t have it. Your political commentary is fine but any more 527 stuff, and we’ll have to part ways.
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  89. Ironbelle says:

    Al Gore wasn’t a bland, triangulating candidate. The media hated Al Gore. They lied about his positions and they lied about him. And instead of focusing on his positions, they focused on things of no importance, like how much he weighed, whether he wore plaid shirts, whether he was comfortable in his own skin and other such bull. The pulled the same shit on Gore that they pulled on Hillary.
    Obama supporters don’t need to worry. He may only be half the man Gore was, but the media loves him. They will find a way to make sure he wins.
    Party Unity My Ass! Go Puma!

    Reply

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