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December 01, 2009

Comments

Melinda Romanoff

I like election deadlines. They're so convenient.

Bah.

Mustang0302

I didn't watch. From what I've seen of various accounts, I'd sum it up like this:

BHO stands in front of the Corps of Cadets, apologizing profusely to the moonbats for breaking their hearts, blaming GWB for everything, and threatening the rest of us with the charge of being divisive.

Did I get it about right?

ben

Setting deadlines for wars is like calling in to say what time you are going to rob a bank. You won't be successful in either endeavor.

ben

Chris Matthews is upset cadets didn't show more "warmth".

Charlie (Colorado)

I've always said that I try never to use language my grandmother wouldn't have used.

This has not been an issue, because granny swore like a sailor.

Trying to express what I think of that remark of Chris Matthews may be the first time I've ever felt constrained by that personal rule.

Narciso

It was a disgraceful and cynical effort, one wonders if there will be a repeat of Lon Nol and Sirik Matak letter to the US govt

Pofarmer

So, where does one get the feeling that other Americans are the enemy? Why, if you disagree with a liberal, must you be evil?

Pofarmer

Hannity (I think) was quoting a poll today saying that 71% of the country is MAD at the job this administration is doing. I believe that congressional approval is also below 20%.

Jim Miller

Years and years and years ago, Richard Nixon convinced me that, in general, I should read political speeches, rather than watching them.

I watched one of Nixon's speeches and was annoyed by his mannerisms. Then the next day I read the speech (probably in the NYT) and found it thoughtful and well-reasoned, even though I didn't agree with parts of his argument.

Ever since, I have tried to read the speeches instead of watching them. Not only do you avoid the show, but you can stop and check points as you go, instead of being borne along with the speaker's flow.

So I don't have any reactions to Obama's speech because I didn't watch it, and don't plan to read it until tomorrow, at the earliest. And, though some may think this cynical, I have come to the opinion that, with Obama, even more than with most politicians, you should watch what he does, not listen to what he says. So you have to read any speech he makes very carefully.

(Exception: If I am trying to judge the political effects of a speech -- how voters will react to it -- then I may watch it.)

Narciso

From Pagar's lun, wasn't that the Pentagon official who greenlightef the Salahis

PaulL

I'm looking forward to the Successful Conclusion Parade in New York in 2011.

JM Hanes

Since Obama, per usual was short on substance, I'll go straight to the style section:

At 4,582 words, Obama's Afghan speech was nearly twice as long as his Inaugural Address which clocked in at 2401 words.

He alloted himself 1711 words to recap recent history, blame Bush, and defend the Dither Policy.

In 1064 words, or technically less if you exclude the boilerplate, we heard the Bush strategy as new, thoughtfully time & date stamped by his successor.

With another 1812 words to spare, after the obligatory round or two with the strawmen du jour, Obama filled the cadets in on American values.

Tune in tomorrow to hear Chris Matthews apologize for calling West Point the enemy camp.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

What are the odds that there will be another icon shot of a US helicopter leaving a capitol city in 2011. Kabul or DC?

bgates

the Successful Conclusion Parade

Sounds awful carbon-footprinty, Paul. How about a Conclusion Memorial Day of Service? We could do it every year at the end of May.

clarice

Very good jmh and very witty {aulL..No confetti of course, think of the forests.
Maybe we could light a match or two as the parade travels thru a darkened Manhattan.

JM Hanes

Jim Miller:

"I have come to the opinion that, with Obama, even more than with most politicians, you should watch what he does, not listen to what he says. So you have to read any speech he makes very carefully.

Isn't that sort of a contradiction? I listened to the Afghanistan speech because this was one time when I wanted to check out his demeanor. At this point, though, it hardly seems worth even reading them any more without a game plan, like find the mix 'n match, spot the difference, or trap the weasel.....

Neo
... announced the filing of a five-count Criminal Information charging attorney Scott Rothstein, 47, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute; one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering; one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud; and two counts of wire fraud. In addition, the information seeks the forfeiture of $1.2 billion, including 24 pieces of real property, numerous luxury cars, boats, and other vessels, jewelry, sports memorabilia, business interests, bank accounts and more.
Pofarmer

In 1064 words, or technically less if you exclude the boilerplate, we heard the Bush strategy as new, thoughtfully time & date stamped by his successor.

Glad it wasn't just me then.

verner

JMH, Obama doesn't know what the hell he's doing. This speech was written by a focus group. As usual, he has tried to appease everyone, which means he will please no one. His weakness is nauseating. Our enemies love it.

His non-committal commitment is going to get our people killed on Afghanistan.

JM Hanes

bgates:

"Sounds awful carbon-footprinty"

Not to worry. Everyone will obviously be on foot, wearing their Bloomberg mandated rebreathers.

Jim Miller

JM Hanes - Perhaps poorly expressed, but not, I hope, contradictory. Perhaps this is a better way to say what I meant:

I generally prefer to read political speeches rather than watch them or listen to them. With Obama, even more than with most politicians, I have to read his speeches very, very carefully because his words so often do not match his deeds. (And often contain blatant falsehoods, which also require checking.)

Because it can be so much work -- at least for me -- to read his speeches, sometimes I just skip them and look directly at the policy decisions.

JM Hanes

I basically agree verner, I just don't feel like bashing my head against that wall tonight.

For the moment, I'm putting as much faith as I can muster up in Petraeus and McChrystal to spin what silk they can from the sow's ear, and going with the relief I feel that Obama didn't order his general into the COIN field with only 15,000 more feet on the ground to work with.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

The headline of one of Ace's posts:

Chris Matthews: West Point an "Enemy Camp" Full of "Rabble"

Gregory Koster

JMH, not to pile on, but Matthews will not apologize. He's giving MSNBC exactly what it wants, and is saying what he really believes.

Jim, interesting point about reading speeches, particularly from Nixon. In the first 1960 presidential debate with Kennedy, those who listened to the debate on radio thought Nixon had the edge. Not so with those who watched. Reading takes it one step farther away. Russell Baker confirms this account of the dbates in THE GOOD TIMES.

McChrystal is in an impossible situation. If his plan is not successful, he gets blamed, and everyone gets out in disarray. If he's successful, The Once declares victory and gets out, leaving everything in disarray. Such an attitude, typifying The Once's regard for the services, will strain the civil-military relationship at a time when it doesn't need it. It will solidify the perception that only a GOP president can fight wars successfuly, driving the Democrats even farther into Left anit-war nuttiness. This makes bipartisan foreign policy still more difficult, dividing the country yet more. For all his horrendous faults, we would not have this particular problem if McCain had been elected. We are all going to pay an enormous tuition in money, blood, and honor for The Once's education.

Next up: another torrent of wind from Stockholm when The Once collects his dam prize and the dough. This speech will have even more vertical pronouns than the 39 that were in tonight's effusion.

JM Hanes

Jim Miller:

I always scout out a transcript immediately, too, even when I've listened in. There have been times when the embargo ran out just soon enough to grab the speech and follow along. I annotate by changing font colors, or search on words like "partner." But then, I was one of folks who used to enjoy parsing sentences in school.

Most of it is for my own entertainment these days, because, as you suggest, you won't learn much from what Obama says -- aside from the obvious bone tossing. Sops to the union are sometimes too subtle for me to catch without an assist from others in the blogosphere. The most obvious tell I can remember is the day the Administration switched from to creating jobs to savin' 'n creatin.'

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Text of Obama’s West Point Afghanistan speech

Frau  Hochzeitstag

With the failure to deliver on most of his promises, perhaps Obama will not close shop in Afghanistan on time. We all remember Clinton's promises:
WASHINGTON, May 15 (1999)-- The Pentagon announced yesterday that 12,000 American ground troops will be deployed to strife-torn Kosovo as part of a NATO peacekeeping force.
A Defense spokesman said the 14,000 troops would be home by July 4.
"There's no reason to keep 16,000 Americans away from our shores any later than Labor Day," said the spokesman.
...
While many of the soldiers already are stationed at U.S. bases in Germany and in Bosnia, the balance of the 25,000 will likely deploy from Dover Air Force base in Delaware and will return from Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia by Christmas.
...
The administration also renewed its pledge to withdraw remaining American troops in Bosnia by the end of this year. Originally, they were to be home by Christmas 1995, but an unforeseeable spread in the Yugoslav conflict from Bosnia to Kosovo complicated plans, the Pentagon said."

Confused?

JM Hanes

Gregory:

Chris Matthews has been known to apologize before, and as emblematically knee-jerk as his comment may be, I think he'll want to make it right. He can't really make it right, of course, because it was obviously a spontaneous comment, but I'm betting he'll try. In some ways, it may even have been a pretty accurate statement about how Obama felt about the audience....

If we were talking Olbermann, it would be a different story. Matthews' problem is myopic idiocy, but I believe he cares about the troops and has put in time visiting the wounded. He also cares about young people generally and college age kids in particular, no matter how misshapen his political judgment may be.

Gregory Koster

JMH, you could be right. But I'll stand pat on my bet. If it's a real, sincere apology, send me a plate of crow, by Federal Express. Nor would I count a "Hahahahaha, I was only jokin'" as an apology. We'll see.

bgates

Wow: Obama's focus on withdrawal could jeopardize Afghan mission, says McClatchy of all people. This is just a broadside (in case anybody from the administration is reading, a "broadside" is a big attack). Sorry for the length, but this is amazing.

President Barack Obama's effort Tuesday night to reassure Democrats...and to emphasize a U.S. exit strategy to pressure Afghan President Hamid Karzai to reform his corruption-riddled government could backfire.

The Taliban, al Qaida, their allies and their patrons in Pakistan and the Middle East, as well as America's partners, may think that Obama's pledge to begin withdrawing troops by July 2011 signals a lack of U.S. staying power and dilutes any incentives for insurgents to switch sides or negotiate a political accord.

Instead, the extremists may persevere in their fight, thinking they can run out the clock and further erode support for the war in the United States as congressional elections loom in 2010, while pumping up their own ranks. Some members of the U.S.-led international force already have announced their intention to leave.

"It's a big mistake," a U.S. defense official, who requested anonymity to speak freely, said of Obama's announcement that a U.S. withdrawal would begin in 19 months. "It just tells the Taliban and everyone else how long they need to last."
...
"We say we don't have a reliable partner in Kabul . They will now say that they don't have a responsible partner in Washington ," said the U.S. defense official, whose apprehensions are widely shared in the U.S. military and intelligence communities.
...
...Obama, no longer calling Afghanistan "a war of necessity,"...

"This approach makes perfect sense in the context of American politics, where compromise is the order of the day," said a senior U.S. intelligence official with long experience in the Middle East and South Asia , speaking on the condition of anonymity to voice criticism of the president's policy. "It makes a lot less sense in Afghanistan and Pakistan , where you either win or you lose, and whoever lasts longer usually wins."

"Our enemies believe we'll always cut and run, like they say we did in Lebanon and Somalia , and by the same token, our allies don't trust us to stand with them for as long as it takes," said a senior U.S. military official, who requested anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the news media. "I'm afraid that this speech will ring those bells again...."
...
"What is going to matter much, much more is the degree to which Obama over time radiates complete firmness," he said. "If he sounds like everything is always up for review, that will be a problem."

That's how the McClatchy piece ends. "If he sounds like everything is always up for review, that will be a problem."

daddy

"I have come to the opinion that, with Obama, even more than with most politicians, you should watch what he does, not listen to what he says."

I'm with that. We already know that the media will supply any unstated outrage or compassion or intelligence or suaveness or whatever they want him to actually have said, (as in the fake anger statements made up during the release of the Lockerbie Bomber example) so they do.

We also know that since way back during campaign season he can't say what he really thinks or wants in ordr to get elected, so the only words of his worth paying attention to were the ones he uttered back before he hit the big time, or in small settings when he thought he was not being taped and was talking to friendly fellow travelers. Examples of that pop up on Glenn Becks' show frequently:

--the "I want to re-distribute the wealth of America speech"

--the "I want a Government option Health Care Plan but we have to conceal that as our goal in order to accomplish it speech"

--the "I do nothing without David Stearn's advice and consent speech"

--the "Constitution is a negative document speech" etc.

And when he does foolishly speak his mind without a prompter, he reveals the stupidity we've all come to know and despise in his "I don't know the facts but the police acted stupidly" comment.

So for those reasons (and I fully admit I'm way biased against this guy) I don't give a crap whatever comes of his mouth any day of the week because I know its artificial.

The only legitimate way to understand this guy is the age old way---by watching what he does, what company he keeps, and by listening to what comes out of his mouth when he thinks nobodies looking. All the rest is dismissable.

srp

DOTUS really is a punk sometimes. The whole speech is defensive, egocentric, transparently pandering to his base, calculated to outrage supporters of the Iraq war, and self-indulgently political with its idiotic withdrawal pseudo-deadline. And the "some say" passages showing how his policy is the Goldilocks solution derived from long deliberation are ridiculous. The people paying enough attention to understand what he's talking about in those passages can tell that he's full of it.

Depressing, but maybe our end of the stadium can make enough noise to buck the punk up and make him follow through appropriately on his promises. And who knows, maybe we'll get lucky and actually kick their asses by 2011.

bgates

the "Constitution is a negative document speech"

I think you're conflating a couple of things from that speech. He said the Constitution is a charter of "negative liberties", which it is. "Positive liberty" is the kind of thing FDR got so much mileage out of - freedom from want and freedom from fear, and all the rest of the Dem canon. Negative liberty means freedom from the sort of government that will free somebody else from want by giving them your stuff.

The problem with that speech is that Obama is opposed to negative liberty, and the idea of restrictions on what government can do to you; he prefers a government that is empowered to do things for The People. Because he's a fucking Communist.

daddy

But on a brighter OT note:

Current read has a large section on the 1839-1843 English Expedition to Antarctica by Captain Ross in the sailing ship Erebus. Fascinating that they discover an active, 12,800 foot tall volcano in Antarctica, ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Erebus"> Mount Erebus, blowing fire and lava as they approach.

Obviously these are guys with hugh cajone's, but of fun is that on New Year's Eve, 1841, 250 miles within the pack ice at 66.32 South and 156.28 West, the 2 shiploads of Britons decide to have an Ice Party---a New Years Eve Ball in Antarctica.

Botanist Hooker, a decent artist,
is tasked with sculpting an 8 foot seated Ice statue of "The Venus Of Medici" for the Ice Ballroom. Various enlisted boys are tasked with constructing "ice sofas, tables, goblets and grog glasses." Then the sailors under the Boatswain built "a tavern, complete with a taproom, coffee room, and an entertainment area. In an inclusive spirit, the ice pub carried a sign intended to entice both officers and men...On a flagpole nearby was hoisted the silk, Union Jack that Ross had flown when he discovered the north magnetic pole a decade earlier."

Eventually, after dinner, Ross comes out dressed as a gal and starts the Ball by dancing with Captain Crozier of the sister-ship "Terror."

Apparently it's a great time, everybody gets stinking drunk, smoking cigars, and even watching a Circus put on by the troops from the Terror. Then it's heated barley and snowball fights.

Anyhow, in all this discussion of Antarctica's warming or cooling or whatever the heck it's doing, thought this forgotten incident of sailors being stupid 170 years ago on News Years Eve might amuse. Sorry I can't find a link to the painting of the party in my book. Sure looks like brisk fun.

JM Hanes

Gregory:

You'll have to watch him yourself to find out, because I won't be doing the honors.

bgates

The whole speech is defensive, egocentric, transparently pandering to his base, calculated to outrage supporters of the Iraq war, and self-indulgently political

I haven't read it - did he mention that on the day the Twin Towers were destroyed, few could have imagined that eight years later the United States Military Academy would be the site of a speech by a President of African descent?

srp

No but he did mention how we were all unified then and now through his Oneness we shall all be united again.

daddy

Thanks bgates,

You're correct and I was just dredging the memory banks, but your particulars knocked it out of the ball park.

Rats. Still can't find that picture of drunken sailors at the South Pole in 1841. Maybe somebody else can if anybody cares. It's by J. E. Davis, "The Ice Ball, of Eerebus and Terror" or something close to that.

pagar

Happy Birthday, Clarice!

Narciso @11:33 PM ---That was the one.

May God bless Gen McClatchy and every American who tries their best to carry out their duties under conditions that have been made much worse than they were 24 hours ago,IMO.

Extraneus

Couldn't find it either, daddy, but it sounds like fun.

pagar

Lots of Good stories on Climategate at PM including an fine post from Charlie.

However, this one puzzles me. Were there two different speeches given by Obama last night?

"The speech is over. It was, in many ways, refreshing to see Barack Obama sounding Presidential and accepting the mantel of Commander in Chief."

LUN

IMO, the writer is writing what he wanted Obama to say.

2 completely different views on the first two comments.

Old Lurker

Happy Real Birthday, Clarice!

pagar

Riehl World View says that even AP is smart enough to figure out that we should try to win. I'm not sure AP is swinging to our side, that much, but I guess stranger things could happen.

"Despite any real, or perceived bias, even the AP knows the score when it comes to fighting a war. You either fight it to win, or it makes little sense to fight it at all. I can't recall a single instance in which America deployed significant numbers of troops with an objective other than winning."

LUN

In the comments, someone has laid out the ROIs for this so-called surge. If the ROIs
listed are true, Heaven help our troops.

narciso

As you can guess, I'm rotating between laptop and Iphone, so my posting is sporadic
at best. The speech itself was an incoherent
mess, it performed below my diminished expectations. It will encourage the most
Taliban (they aren't the enemy any more, right) to dig in, as well as the Kashmiri and Salafi phile members of the ISI and the Army to be more so, likely with their brief democratic interlude cut short


Petraeus and Machrystal are West Point '76, don't think they ever forget that. He seems willing to go forth even under this circumstance. Hopefully the graduates of the class of '10 and '11, will not have that memory to contend with, but I doubt it.
For what it's worth, guess who did give it a qualified thumbs up

BTW, I took the desktop to the Office Depot for diagnosis, and I might as well been speaking in Advanced Sanskrit to them.

daddy

Anybody know what's the response to the speech from the enemy camp?

pagar

An update on the "enemy camp"

": Here’s the story of a soldier in the West Point “enemy camp” tonight:

“In the audience tonight, a West Point graduate and Army veteran who lost both legs in Afghanistan: First Lt. Dan Berschinski."

LUN

If saying things about lady basketball players is enough to get a TV personality fired; Why does Chris Matthews still have a job this morning?

Janet

Thanks for the link to the speech Sara.

West Point is the "enemy camp"?...I just don't have the words to express my sadness and disgust with the television talking heads.

My daughter, Naomi, is going to attend a West Point Christmas Ball. I am so excited for her...what a great experience. It is a privilege to have my daughter go into the "enemy camp"!

Jack is Back!

Charlie Foxtrot public service announcement:

Word count = "I" 45 times, "Afghanistan" 39 times, "Victory" 0 times.

Its all about him, don't ya know?

Jack is Back!

Interesting that Matthews who is supposed to be a government expert would call any military facility an "enemy camp" since Obama is the CinC. Is he implying that The Once is actually a modern Benedict Arnold?

Tom Bowler

I'm changing my mind. Before I read the speech I was convinced Obama would pay lip service to winning the war while letting it slip away. His dithering reinforced that impression.

But with his strategy is so much like the Iraq surge, I think he's discovered that his feet are to the fire. (No surprise that he preferred to raise a comparison to Vietnam.) But now, if he fails in Afghanistan he fails at a surge strategy -- a strategy with which George W. Bush succeeded in Iraq. Fail where Bush succeeded? He can't let that happen.

So now, I think he's all in on this one. I think his deadline will slip before he can let Afghanistan slip back to Taliban.

hit and run

Ironically,with all the "Blame Bush" carp Obama likes to rhetorically brandish in his speeches,Bush would gladly and without hesitation take that blame if it would help win the war/enable Obama to become serious about the war.

Unfortunately,it is not an easy question as to whether Obama would be willing to become serious about the war if it would help prove the success of Bush's insistence in implementing and persistence in carrying out the surge in Iraq,and his courage in doing so in the most toxic of domestic political environments.

Obama "bravely" told us recently that he was willing to become a one term president if that was a necessary condition of uncompromisingly implementing his domestic agenda.

Now,Obama makes it necessary to evaluate whether he views the war as a political part of his re-election agenda to avoid the one term fate,adding and removing troops as a means to secure votes not victory.

Jane

Morning guys! Happy real birthday Clarice. I am afraid my faith in Tiger's fidelity is fading. There are so many women lined up I am now mad that I wasn't on the list! Harumph!

Janet

Here is First Lt. Dan Berschinski from Pagar's link -

Jake Tapper adds -
You can write him here:
Lt. Dan Berschinski
c/o Walter Reed Medical Hospital
Bldg. 2, Ward 57
6900 Georgia Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20307

I'm adding one more to my Christmas list.

hit and run

Tom Bowler:
But with his strategy is so much like the Iraq surge, I think he's discovered that his feet are to the fire. (No surprise that he preferred to raise a comparison to Vietnam.) But now, if he fails in Afghanistan he fails at a surge strategy -- a strategy with which George W. Bush succeeded in Iraq. Fail where Bush succeeded? He can't let that happen.

Very interesting. I think that Obama still has a hard time admitting that Bush succeeded in Iraq -- and that he would still say that the surge in Iraq was wrong,that other factors besides Bush's surge made Iraq succeed.

I think Obama will go to great pains to convince people that his surge is very much unlike Bush's.

I think Obama will expend every last ounce of his foreign policy energy on creating an environment where he gets the glory for any success and Bush/McChrystal/anyone nearby gets the blame for any failure.

I'm not sure he is convinced yet that any failure in Afghanistan will be seen as his,any more than he sees the failure of the stimulus,continued high unemployment and lack of a real and meaningful economic recovery as anything but a judgment on how bad an economy Bush left him to deal with.

But I hope you are right and that Obama is going all in,even if only for political CYA.

Porchlight

Happy actual birthday, Clarice! And happy birthday to the other birthday folks, too...

MayBee

Happy birthday Clarice and Topper!
Happy birthday Mrs. Hit!

anduril

Ralph Peters:

What messages did our president's bait-and-switch speech just send?

To our troops: Risk your lives for a mission I've written off.

To our allies: Race you to the exit ramp.

To the Taliban: Allah is merciful, your prayers will soon be answered.

To Afghan leaders: Get your stolen wealth out of the country.

To Pakistan: Renew your Taliban friendships now (and be nice to al Qaeda).

This isn't just stupid: It's immoral. No American president has ever espoused such a worthless, self-absorbed non-strategy for his own political gratification.

anduril

Der Spiegel is disillusioned:

It was as though Obama had taken one of his old campaign speeches and merged it with a text from the library of ex-President George W. Bush. Extremists kill in the name of Islam, he said, before adding that it is one of the "world's great religions." He promised that responsibility for the country's security would soon be transferred to the government of President Hamid Karzai -- a government which he said was "corrupt." The Taliban is dangerous and growing stronger. But "America will have to show our strength in the way that we end wars," he added.

It was a dizzying combination of surge and withdrawal, of marching to and fro. The fast pace was reminiscent of plays about the French revolution: Troops enter from the right to loud cannon fire and then they exit to the left. And at the end, the dead are left on stage.

Jack is Back!

What do the following have in common:

General Alexander Haig, Jr.

Ed Meese

Harry Reid

Britney Spears

Clarice Feldman

Happy Birthday, Clarice. Just wanted you to know some of your fellow birth-mates.

anduril

Where's the next Dubai? As I said a few days ago, the consensus seems to be Greece, but this article goes through some of the other contenders and closes with:

"Dubai was very likely NOT the last in the series of post-credit-bubble aftershocks," Gluskin Sheff economist David Rosenberg wrote in a note to clients.

centralcal

Happy Birthday DAY to Clarice! May you have a blessed year ahead.

anduril

Obama's Afghan speech hasn't stopped the world from turning (shades of Niall Ferguson): The Last Great Dollar Crisis.

Proponents of the "dollar trap" view argue no reasonable creditor would undermine its asset values by a starting a dollar sell-off. However, if a creditor believes the United States is not serious about containing inflation and expects the dollar's decline to persist, it is perfectly rational for the creditor to sell dollar assets at the best possible price.

The lesson here is that the stability of U.S.-China economic relations is highly contingent on the expectations of other major U.S. creditors: It is no longer solely the province of the two superpowers. In addition, the more the U.S. becomes financially overextended, the more it is at the mercy of seemingly insignificant financial events.

While China can use "dollar diplomacy" to find a way out of a difficult situation, the U.S. has few viable alternatives to deficit reduction and eventually tightening the money supply. If the U.S. government cannot muster the will to rein in the money supply and the national debt on its own, it faces the prospect of a rival power increasingly constraining U.S. economic policy options or a collapse in global confidence in the dollar. Neither scenario bodes well for the United States, which is all the more reason for Congress and the Administration to get serious about the dollar.

daddy

Another OT but ">http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8385560.stm"> this BBC Science Link is interesting because it is applauding the Royal Society for putting on line 60 of its most memorable Science papers of the last 350 years. This allows any Joe Blow around the world to check the Science for himself, and to the BBC this is a good thing.

So how come the BBC can't aggressively suggest that the same rule should apply to the Climate Scientists they've been shilling for these last dozen years?

So what's the difference? Why should Isaac Newton and Ben Franklin have to publish, but not CRU? That's my BBC headscratcher for today.



anduril

There's never any particular reason to believe the USG when it talks money matters. This article gets into some of the gory details: What The Afghanistan Surge Will Really Cost: Expect America to shell out far more than the $30 billion Obama estimates. Here's why.

Extraneus

Happy Birthday Clarice!

anduril

Telegraph blog has a good round up of fast breaking and developing Climategate news: Climategate: it's all unravelling now.

“The ferocious determination to impose hair-shirt policies on the public – taxes on holiday flights, or covering our beautiful countryside with wind turbines that look like props from War of the Worlds – is bound to cause a reaction in any democratic country.”

Do the GOPers understand that yet?

narciso

Anduril, you linked to this same thread, that's I don't know, redundant.

Charlie (Colorado)

Anduril, you linked to this same thread, that's I don't know, redundant.

Recursive.

Charlie (Colorado)

By the way, my interview with Roger Pielke Sr is up.

anduril

This article is a useful overview of the world of Jewish American organizations, based on Dan Fleshler's book (sorry, haven't read it so can't vouch for it): Hawkish ‘Israel Lobby’ More Bark Than Bite?

It's a long article with some interesting ideas in it, including re money (always at the center of politics). Here's an interesting insight, re the "diaspora lag:"

Despite the wide range of positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict within the American Jewish community, the "Center" of the organized American Jewish community – which also includes the American Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the American Zionist Movement, B’nai Brith, Hadassah, and United Jewish Communities – hold the most influence and receive the most fundraising dollars.

Notably, AIPAC, seen as the figurehead of the "Israel Lobby" by Walt and Mearsheimer, stands to the right of most of these groups.

AIPAC’s strength lies in its ability to give American Jews a link to Israel when increasing numbers of American Jews are finding themselves detached from the narrative of Israel’s founding and the Holocaust.

"Another important aspect of American Jews’ Israel narrative is that it is secondhand," writes Fleshler. AIPAC and the most mainstream American Jewish organizations give their membership an opportunity to rally around Israel but leaves them in a "rhetorical time warp" or "Diaspora lag," where controversial topics often remain verboten even when they have been publicly discussed in the Israeli media.

Such issues have included discussions of a Palestinian state, talking to the PLO, and negotiating with Hamas.

Cecil Turner

I'm out of the country and somewhat constrained on information, but I did get to see highlights of the speech and some of the testimony before Congress (mostly from SecDef Gates). From what I can tell, the surge strategy actually looks fairly sensible. Basic COIN, making State and DoD work together, rollback the Taliban and encourage AF to streamline government (which incidentally roots out corruption). Dunno why he couldn't have announced it immediately after getting McChrystal's report, and the intervening dithering was inexcusable, but the final product is a pleasant surprise.

The deadline talks and other domestic politics silliness to assuage the base are counterproductive, but that seemed like a relatively minor part of the whole. The lack of a coherent IW strategy and the inevitable posturing by peaceniks in Congress--which has started already--are a disappointment, but hardly a surprise.

anduril

The anti-warriors speak: Obama’s War Speech: An Unconvincing Flop. While I disagree (I think) with much of what Justin Raimondo has to say, he does, I believe, raise issues that get to the heart of the central concept of the GWOT: what is it, what should it be, what should our goals be?

Charlie (Colorado)

Looks like China and Denmark both are running carbon credit scams.

anduril

narciso, I tried to offer you some computer related help yesterday on another thread, but my efforts got a pretty unsympathetic response. DrJ says the way to stay out of trouble on the internet is to avoid porn and online gambling. Advice that's wasted on me, therefore I can't say whether it's safe to engage in that kind of activity while using Linux. I suspect not, and am not about to try to find out.

peter

Jeez! Clarice, how many birthdays do you think you should have?

Happy Birthday, this time for real.

anduril

Hey, I love revisionist science: Is there an endless supply of oil?

While the concept has had little past support in the West, an article published in the July issue of Nature Geoscience, co-authored by the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution in Washington, the Lomonosov State Academy of Fine Chemical Technology in Moscow and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, reports research that indicates this process is scientifically viable.

narciso

Anduril, you are really starting to tick me off, they started the war, you could set the clock in 2001, 1993, 1453, or 711, They were at war with Israel almost from the start, count 1920 and 1929 as some
landmarks. One might say they opened up a new front at Ft. Hood, last month.

Justin Raimondo is in someways the anti-Sullivan, but that doesn't make him any less of a fool. When one surrenders while the other side is still fighting, that doesn't make you any less dead.

Charlie (Colorado)

Anduril, the abiogenesis theory was pushed by Tom Gold at Cornell for quite a while. I did some asking around about it; turned out one of my planetary science friends knew Gold when he was in grad school. The general consensus is that Gold was a crank, but his predictions keep coming true.

Given the amount of clathrates etc that keep being found, I wouldn't want to bet against it myself.

Charlie (Colorado)

DrJ says the way to stay out of trouble on the internet is to avoid porn and online gambling.

Either it's not the porn, or Macs are immune.

anduril

I forgot to include this rather effective opening to Raimondo's article:

After 92 days of waiting for the Word from on high, the nation received its marching orders from our commander-in-chief – and it was a flop of major proportions. As his West Point audience looked on disdainfully – applauding only twice, and then tepidly – President Obama tried to make the case that his escalation of the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan is really just a prelude to withdrawal.

hit and run

I see Charlie got a http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NzA0MWFkNWMyZTA5YmU3ZTVlOGNhNmJkYjZiNWViZmU=>mention by Jonah at the Corner

Rick Ballard

Happy B-day Clarice!

Wrt Matthews comment re "enemy camp" - how else would one describe a situation where a Kendonesian commie bastard is surrounded by warriors sworn to defend and protect the Constitution?

Matthews was correct - Obama was among patriots and patriots are definitely and eternally his enemy.

anduril

Well, I'm proud to say I was on board with the Hot Blooded Dinosaur theory from its first appearance in Scientific American. I'm a late-comer to this.

narciso, what you mean "they." Spell it out, my friend.

DrJ

Happy birthday Clarice, Mrs. Hit and TSK9!!! I hope I didn't miss any...

Charlie, your Pielke interview is a pretty good summary of what he has written before. Thanks for bringing it to a wider audience.

What happened to that other submission you were working on?

Rob Crawford

Justin Raimondo is in someways the anti-Sullivan...

No. He's as much a lunatic, just a different way.

Charlie (Colorado)

What happened to that other submission you were working on?

I've got about 17 things in the pipe now; they're getting out sort of as the editor wills.

Extraneus

The pdf document from Lord Monckton is excellent. After explaining the fraud, he asks and answers the key question.

WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

In public policy terms, the revelation that the international scientific and political establishment has been inventing, bending, distorting, manipulating, hiding, blocking, and destroying scientific data for the sake of advancing a narrow, extremist, and bitterly anti-Western political viewpoint cannot be safely ignored.

Climate science is too important to be left to politicized scientists, just as climate politics is too important to be left to unscientific politicians.

The first step is to close the Climate Research Unit (and perhaps the University of East Anglia with it), to dismiss all of its personnel, and not to allow any of them to be funded by taxpayers ever again. Scientific fraud and corruption on the scale that has now been revealed must be firmly rooted out and prevented from recurring.

Those responsible for the deliberate blocking, altering, concealing, or destroying of scientific data must be put on trial – to use James Hansen’s term – for “high crimes against humanity”. For it is on the word of crooks and racketeers such as these that, in the name of addressing the non-problem that they had invented and fostered and festered, the Third World has been flung into food riots and mass starvation by the doubling of world food prices that followed the biofuel scam that the “global-warming” profiteers invented as just one of a bewildering array of boondoggles to enrich themselves at the expense of the little guy, who, as always, suffers when the political elite merely exploit him when it is their duty to serve him.

anduril

Here's a tutorial on installing Linux via a Live CD: The Perfect Desktop - Linux Mint 8 (Helena).

What's nice about this tutorial is it's done through a long series of screen shots--every picture tells a story! But there's also some text. This is nice for people who may think that an installation of Linux is some hopelessly geekish process for the average user. With the Live CD you should know if installation will be a "go" on your hardware before you start.

Linux Mint has a rep as being very user friendly, and I see that their software repositories include multi-media codecs.

Two caveats:

1. They don't seem to mention setting up the root (system administrator) account--all Linux systems (as most Unixish systems) have a root account plus however many "ordinary user" accounts you need. It's the most basic of security measures. Installations I'm familiar with have you log in as root and then create the user accounts that you need--at least one, to start out. I suspect this was just an oversight in the tutorial.

2. This tutorial recommends a single large / (root) partition. I won't say that's wrong, but I do think it's a much better idea to have at least two partitions, / plus /home. This is a good idea when it comes to backing up and updating.

narciso

By they I mean the assorted nomadic tribes that comprise the idea of Palestinians, but more generally the Arabs, or the Turks, Seljuk and Ottoman. Anduril do you not notice how your anti Zionist attitude, kind
of clashes with your Anti Islamist one

I didn't think I would need to resort to freesb after I tried malwarebytes, but I suppose I might. I talked with my local computer store, and I might as well be speaking Sanskrit. So I appreciate your tech advice.LOL, Charlie,

Old Lurker

"I've got about 17 things in the pipe now; they're getting out sort of as the editor wills."

Comes with being a rock star, Charlie.

Clarice has warned many time that blogging can become all-consuming if you are not careful.

But for now, please keep it up.

Old Lurker

Anduril 10:58

Ain't gonna make no computer posts today. No siree. Too close to Christmas!

Charlie (Colorado)

Clarice has warned many time that blogging can become all-consuming if you are not careful.

Well, luckily, this comes with a little cash too. But with this, the day job — which has me co-writing a book for Sun — and writing a novel, the ends of my fingers are getting real blunt.

DrJ

Ain't gonna make no computer posts today.

Me neither, OL.

Fresh Air

What is to be done? How about returning "climate science" to the weather departments where it belongs? It can be like the study or hurricanes or tornadoes once again: an unexciting scientific backwater. My prediction: Within 20 years, this is exactly what will happen. We will be talking about "global warming" in two decades just as they talked about Paul Ehrlich in, well....now.

anduril

Tiger took Kudlows advice.

anduril

Sorry, Kudlow's

DrJ

Narciso,

I would need to resort to freesb after I tried malwarebytes, but I suppose I might.

Please don't. If the discussion with the guy at OfficeMax (or wherever it was) sounded foreign, you would be lost. Contact me by email if you want to discuss.

I broke my pledge. Oops!

narciso

The problem of course lies in the fact, that we have a disciple of Ehrlich in Holdren in the highest councils of policy.
Imagine a follower of Lysenko or a proponent
of the Piltdown Man, anywhere in the
political arena, it can't be done

I really do appreciate all of your advice on the subject, truly

sbw

JIB, I heard General Haig speak once a few years back. Clearly his brain had gone on ahead to prepare for the rest of his body.

cathyf

Doing the birthday boogie for clarice, tsk9 and Lady H&R...

Happy Birthday, chicas!

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Wilson/Plame