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chicago dyke's picture

Oh, joy. Hot in from his success on the 9/11 Committee and Iraq Study Group (ISG) the ever Wise and Civil Lee Hamilton explains why nothing is going to change in Iraq and the killing and draining of the treasury will go on and on and on...

President Bush staked out his position on Iraq in January, and the House has now staked out its own. Deep divisions between these positions signal a stalemate among our political leaders. There is no unity of effort. Yet the president and the Democratic majorities in Congress will remain in office for nearly two years. They must seek a bipartisan consensus in the months ahead; otherwise, our efforts in Iraq will falter.

That's right, "they" are the problem. All of them, a pox on both their houses, Clinton did it just like Bush, yadda, yadda. Nevermind Bush's long record of arrogance, "deciderism," stonewalling, petulance, pleasuring...It's because everyone in the Beltway can't play nice, and everyone shares equal blame and fault.

The American people have soured on the war. They clearly are looking for a responsible transition for U.S. forces out of Iraq.

Soured? Soured??? The American people hate this war, they hate the fact that it has cost them health care and good schools and decent jobs, they hate the fact that it has made us look impotent and stupid in the eyes of the world, and in those of real terrorists, they hate the fact that thousands of veterans are lying in beds of their own piss nursed by cockroaches and bats flying out of mold covered holes in the ceiling. Feh. I've got some 'sour' for you right here, Mr. Cushy Beltway cocktail circuit Brahman.

The House supplemental spending plan outlines a transition, as do proposals pending in the Senate. Moving forward, the president and Congress must become partners, and not antagonists, toward this end.

The Democrats offer a watered down, nonbinding, still fat with money of Halliburton, war extending bill, and it's not enough. Bush offers: jack fucking shit. But Democrats are the ones who need to think of "partnership" with Bush, which he had repeatedly demonstrated how he defines: The Decider's Way, or the highway.

A strategy of sustained pressure on the Iraqi government to advance national reconciliation, provide security and improve the lives of the Iraqi people offers the best chance of advancing stability.

You know, I keep reading about this "sustained pressure" on the Iraqi "government" and I have yet to read exactly what that is or who is responsible for it. Is pressure defined as harsh language? No cookies at teatime? Being left off the list of the latest Mclean lobbyist's blowout orgy? A spanking? Money keeps pouring out of the treasury to Iraq, schools keep getting painted, our troops keep dying...and best of all, the Iraqi "government" doesn't even meet with regularity, let alone accomplish anything. Please point out to me a concrete and productive example of how and when we've "pressured" them.

U.S. military forces have performed valiantly, but they cannot by themselves accomplish these goals -- only Iraqis can. As President Bush told the nation on Jan. 10, "only the Iraqis can end the sectarian violence and secure their people."
To that end, the House bill lays out the steps that the Iraqi government must take. These benchmarks are not new.

So they will work this time because...why?

They have been widely agreed upon by the White House and the Iraqi government, as have target dates for completion. At issue is the conditionality of U.S. support. Time and again, Iraqis have missed deadlines. Time and again, deadlines have been extended, and U.S. political, economic and military support has continued and even increased.

The House bill breaks this cycle. By compelling the president to report Iraq's performance to Congress, the House provides a necessary mechanism to track progress.

So who here thinks that the Chimp will read more than a version of "My Pet Goat," assuming he shows up at all, when it's time for him to have his PTA moment? How does this "tracking progress" bring an end to the war? Where are the specific, binding aspects of this legislation which will meaningfully compel the Iraqi government to do anything?

and By tying continued U.S. support -- including the presence of U.S. troops -- to benchmarks, it uses the strongest possible leverage to press Iraqi leaders to meet their commitments.

The House outlines a 2008 target date for U.S. forces to leave Iraq. It sets a direction for policy but leaves implementation to the president. The residual force it authorizes gives the president considerable flexibility to protect U.S. interests with a substantial presence of U.S. troops. The president manages the war and makes the decision about the force level needed to defend U.S. military forces and civilians in Iraq, conduct counterterrorism operations and train Iraqi security forces. This transition is flexible, not fixed. It is responsible, not precipitate.

Oh my fucking god, someone kill me now. Or: let me be ultra cynical. This bill is designed so that when it's President Hillary doing the deciderating, she can have all the money and troops she needs, ready to protect Israel's our national interests from the Global Terror Threat that just happens to morph into whatever form is best suited to keep pumping billions monthly into the military-industrial complex and jesus, it's too early to cut my head off.

Even with the more assertive congressional role outlined in the bill, determinations on Iraqi benchmark performance and certifications on the readiness of U.S. military units are left to the president. He has the authority to waive limitations on troop deployments. The president must retain this flexibility and authority as commander in chief.

Throws rope over roofbeam, aligns chair

But more needs to be done. Just as a narrow focus on a "surge" of U.S. forces will not bring stability to Iraq, neither will a narrow focus on the readiness of U.S. forces and the conditions of U.S. support. What we need is a "surge" of political, economic and diplomatic engagement as well.

And just who is doing all that? Condi? Shooter? The Easter bunny? Last time I checked, we were importing translators from Jordan, so few experts in Iraqi culture have we in our military and diplomatic forces in Iraq. "What we need" sounds great. What is actually being done? Anyone? Bueller?

The Senate leadership's resolution speaks appropriately to the importance of a comprehensive approach and a diplomatic offensive in the region. The administration's efforts to engage all of Iraq's neighbors -- including Iran and Syria -- in a regional forum represent a good first step.

Lambert, this is enough to make me fall off the wagon for all time. "A good first step?" By demonizing both states and emboldening the reactionary and theocratic forces there to take even greater control? By giving them all the motivation in the world to arm proxy armies and aquire nukes??? By telling them to fuck off when they actually do come to the diplomatic table? Christ.

These efforts must be energized with high-level contacts. They must be sustained through careful preparation and follow-through, as well as the creation of an international support group on behalf of national reconciliation in Iraq and stability in the region.

Your wisdom and insight are like mead from the gods, o Wise Man of Washington. Such manly, forceful language you use...I'm wet.

Congress and the administration should also place greater emphasis on training Iraqi security forces, both police and military. Unless their training becomes the primary mission of U.S. forces, it will be difficult to withdraw U.S. combat troops.

Wow. I bet no one in Iraq has ever thought of that! I mean, gee, if we could just get some trainers over there and give the Iraqi police some guns and money and some functional buildings and electricity. Hey! Look! It's Santa Claus! Let's ask him for all that stuff. Then, in just one or two more FUs, the flowers and candy will flow in the streets of Baghdad.

The House bill is a step forward. Yet it is only one step in a process that will unfold in many ways over several months. With our young men and women in harm's way, the debate will be understandably passionate.

It makes all the fuzzy, civil people in the Beltway feel good about themselves, of that I have no doubt.

It is my hope that out of this debate a better policy on Iraq will emerge: That is how our Founders designed the system to work. The president must respect the views of the American people and the role of Congress, and Congress must respect the president's responsibility for carrying out foreign policy.

You know what I hope for, Lee? Republican traitors and criminals hanging from lamp posts on every street in America. Also, a billion dollars accidentially shipped to my home instead of to CACI coffers in Iraq. Your eyes still work, right geezer? Well then take a fucking look at who is sitting in the White House and tell me how the fuck you expect anything with even a semblence of "respect for the views of the American focus group people" is to be found there?

To bring the war to a responsible conclusion, our leaders have an obligation to come together. They must find a bipartisan consensus and rally public opinion behind it. The best way to move forward in Iraq is to unify America's effort.

And always close with a Dogwhistle, kids- that's how the pros do it. "Bipartisanship" will bring us flowers and candy and ponies and Jesus, praise Allah and let the healing begin.

I am going to go throw heavy objects now.

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Submitted by lambert on

Matt Stoller has an interesting post up on what we're fighting:

Paul Rosenberg pointed me to this book, the Rise of Gunbelt America, on the military industrial economy.  Here's the summary.

Since World War II, America's economic landscape has undergone a profound transformation. The effects of this change can be seen in the decline of the traditional industrial heartland and the emergence of new high tech industrial complexes in California, Texas, Boston, and Florida. The Rise of the Gunbelt demonstrates that this economic restructuring is a direct result of the rise of the military industrial complex (MIC) and a wholly new industry based on defense spending and Pentagon contacts. Chronicling the dramatic growth of this vast complex, the authors analyze the roles played by the shift from land and sea warfare to aerial combat in World War II, the Cold War, the birth of aerospace and the consequent radical transformation of the airplane industry, and labor and major defense corporations such as Boeing, Lockheed, and McDonnell Douglas. Exploring the reasons for the shifts in defense spending--including the role of lobbyists and the Department of Defense in awarding contracts--and the effects on regional and national economic development, this comprehensive study reveals the complexities of the MIC.

I've always been suspicious that the culture war was a proxy for economic and political control, and I've also noticed that the rise of the blogosphere roughly correlates to an emerging economic instability for white liberals.  If you accept, as many of us do, that right-wing arguments always mean the opposite of what they say, then taking the 'free market' mantra suggests that there is an incredibly controlled socialist economy in our midst.  And lo and behold, there is, but not for Democrats.

In other words, it's not just that there are two Americas, it's that there are two different economies within America.  The religious and cultural 'difference' between Republicans and Democrats come from entirely different incentive models.  I'm not determinative about this, in that I don't think it's all economic, nor do I think the economic structures came first and the culture emerged around it.

What is clear though is that we need to begin to understand economic policies and tax structures as tools in remapping America.  There is a moment for the next ten years, during which a non-Southern culture controls the political machinery of the Federal government and the South's veto can be overcome with a brutal series of threats to the region's excessive Federal subsidies and reliance on socialist corporate welfare.  If we're smart, we can puncture the institutional architecture that allows the Gunbelt to thrive and build a new America along the networked rule-based freedom-enhancing tolerant lines that exist in the bulwark areas of Blue America.  

I keep trying to get a rise out of our TN and TX Fellows by posting this analysis, but so far, crickets.

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

well, he is cute and i suppose you two would make an attractive couple.

i'm glad you liked that essay so much. the comments were good too. our southern friends will have something to say, i'm sure. just give them time.

Submitted by lambert on

I thought you knew that!

Of course, nothing would prevent me from double-dippping. All the best consultants do that.

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.

Ruth's picture
Submitted by Ruth on

Please, don't stop on my account. That gunbelt is what keeps the ignorance and poverty fixed right on top of the southern culture. Low paying jobs in poor living and educational environments would be most welcome to leave, and that's what your military socialism complex maintains.

Don't stop any cuts to obsolete weapons manufacturing for our sake, thanks.

Gotta love too; 'creation of an international support group on behalf of national reconciliation in Iraq and stability in the region'. Is that where we get to talk about horse sex and get out our mirrors? Because good vibes aren't exactly the ticket for making Iraqi grafters play nice with each other. They all want all the goodies, and it doesn't look like our sweet intentions are going to change that.

Ruth

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

I have no doubt that as a generalization the analysis is right. However I am in a position to assure you that this putative industrio-military wealth has not been spread at all equally over the Southern region, cuz I'm looking increasingly desperately for a job and outside of long-haul truck driving and nursing-home aides, there ain't none to speak of around here.

However on the general subject of 1860 I can point out that at the time you cite the entire membership roll of the United States Army numbered approximately 16,000, of whom a large majority (I've seen estimates as high as 90%) were out on the Western frontier guarding the Wire (aka Telegraph) Road from Native incursions. (You can look at a map today and see where this road ran: start at about Kansas City, near which you will see Leavenworth (their "Fort" kinda got rubbed off over the years), then south to Fort Scott, further south to Fort Smith, Arkansas. Someplace I have a book I got at Fort Scott as a matter of fact which details the whole system. It also served as a stagecoach line and mail distribution system, but this is somewhat OT.)

Many others were in California and other parts of the West Coast defending us from...well, Canada mostly. Duty out there was so dull and miserable that Grant took to drink, Pickett took to fathering children with Indian women, Hooker made a name for himself by welching on a gambling debt and, when sued for the money, defending on the grounds that gambling was illegal in California (he won), and otherwise doing nothing particularly useful.

Officer corps was similarly miniscule in this period because the pay was godawful and opportunity for promotion required waiting for the guy above you to retire or die.

There was huge demand to get in to West Point because it was the best engineering school in the New World, not to mention it was free, but the majority of graduates served their required time and quit the Army asap, usually to take jobs with railroads. Much is often made of the fact that Robert E. Lee graduated the school without a single demerit. Less is made of the fact that he still finished No. 2 in his class. The man who was the No. 1 in his class...moved to Iowa, became a lawyer and was never heard from again, historically or militarily speaking.

Thus concludes my idle historical ramblings for this afternoon.

Ruth's picture
Submitted by Ruth on

Xan, from some one who's been trying to find something engaging to work at in a town that totally lacks any kind of employment, I send you great sympathies. All I can imagine for your area is setting up some sort of service doing papers for kids in school.

But then - if you're in TN you might look into moonshine.

Ruth

Submitted by lambert on

That's not the purpose of the MIC. If Stoller's not saying that it's the ruling class that's set it up this way and is creaming off the money, he should be.

But Lincoln 1860 in the sense that if we can control Congress and the country without worrying about the states that the MIC has got it's claws into, the "Gun Belt," then there are some prospects for change.

In some ways, discussing our imperial role is verboten for the same reason that discussing slavery was verboten for so long.

The other reason I like this analysis is that it's less simplistic than Red/Blue....

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.

Submitted by lambert on

Here:

David Broder is trying to sound reasonable while again pretending that when criminals commit outrageous crimes, you should ignore it. The hell of it is, the whole article would sound less like shilling for the RNC if he'd just shift his focus from, "Democrats are foolishly investigating the Republicans, but it won't help them politically," to, "Despite the fact that it is unlikely to help them politically, the Democrats are holding the administration accountable because it is the right and necessary thing to do." Of course, he's not going to say that, because he probably knows that holding the administration accountable will help the Democrats politically, and he's trying to snow them into doing the wrong thing.)

Ouch!

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

This past November I voted D for the first time in my life. Straight Ticket. First time I have ever voted for a D.

Why? Because the war was not being waged to be won. Ds were the ones pressing for a change, for more troops, to get rid of Rumsfeld.

I wanted to win. But, if we couldnt win, then I say get out. Bush was stuck in one frame of mind, and wouldnt change. A mssg needed to be sent. And it was.

Bush listened. He fired Rumsfeld. He changed tactics and strategy. He put a Patraeus in charge, with a whole new vision of counterinsurgency fighting. He. listened. and. actually. put. more. troops. in.

Message received. Some of us wanted to send that message. Some of us wanted to send the message to leave yesterday. Some wanted to stick with the same old. (They voted Republican.) Where does that make you think that EVERY SINGLE person who voted for the Ds voted to leave NO MATTER WHAT the facts on the ground were or how they changed?

I was sickened by the seemingly stuck in quicksand nature of how the war was going, how we were losing men without seeming to gain anything in return. How the Iraqis didnt seem to holding up their end, even after we sacrificed to give them the chance at democracy. Something had to be done. Bush wasnt getting the message. America sent him one. Change. Some meant leave, others meant do it different after 4+ years. But the point was change. NOT leave. Not for EVERYONE anyway. If they determined we HAD to leave, fine, then leave. But, they determined we could still win. All said, the slim chance of winning is better than the certainty of defeat, so long as the chance remained. The professional officers, military, generals, new Commander, new SecDef looked at the situation, and said...there is still a chance -- if we change things up. We did. I say give it a chance. The ISG was to provide RECOMMENDATIONS. They were not elected. They were not appointed by advice and consent. They were not binding. The Admin. listened to some recs, disregarded others. As is his right: every 4 years, you get your say. Either defund, impeach, or let them try and fail or try and succeed. But let them try.

I knew when I was throwing in my lot with the Ds there was the chance that withdrawl would happen. But I also knew it would cause change. That's what I wanted. Who the HECK am I to know the military strategy, situation, facts on the ground, tactics, potential for victory/defeat, etc.? Learned men say we have no chance. Learned men say we can still win. Who are we to be sure we know whats best. That is why we vote and elect representatives in our constitutional democratic republic.

You have your voice, your freedom of speech to say your piece. That is your right. Nevertheless, I am again sickened.

Never again will I vote D again. I will vote some pissant third party that has no chance before I ever do so again. The Ds have been taken over by your type. Retreat at any cost. Not what I bargained for. I voted for something, anything different. But I expected measured, intelligent, introspection and analysis of the changing dynamics of new situations.

That is not what I got. I am sick of you partisan hacks. God speed to our military. May they win in Iraq. The rest of you, both parties, both D and R...put your petty partisanship aside and root for VICTORY if it is possible, no matter what party tag is attached to the commander in chief. For f's sake.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

sorry to disagree with you, but the dems are a long way to being "taken over" by people like me. hahaha, trust me on this, i do light consulting with some of them and they almost never listen to me.

and as far as "winning" in iraq: would you care to define what that is? because i promise you, almost any answer that you come up with will remain as unseen there as peace is now. you guys wanted this war, and for what? how have you gained, you, personally? what is better in your life because of it?

it's funny that you talk about "change" so much in your post but don't seem to want to apply it to yourself. you've been had, and fascists have taken over your party. you don't have to support the dems, but i encourage you to go and clean up your former one. that's change we could all use.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

"never again" bit, it's a concern troll.

Not a very good one either IMNVHO.

"We are killers. But today, we choose not to kill." Capt. James Kirk

There is but one way for a newspaperman to look at a politician and that is down." Frank H. Simonds

"No rendirse, muchachos!" William Barrett Travis, 1836

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

I'm no troll. But, believe what you will. I occasionally read blogs, almost never post. But I am tripped out about this Iran thing. And, as you can tell, I am PO'd about this Iraq thing.

Trust me, CD, as disgusted as I am with your "side," as soon as "my side" gets back in power, I know it'll be same ole same ole...talk about how much the Ds will spend, while they spend like the cliched drunken sailors...talk about how much Ds want the terrorists to win, but do NOTHING when they are actually in power to actually spur the president to change things up when theyre obviously not working so that our soldiers stop getting killed in this war of attrition in Iraq...talk about how Ds want to ruin marriage, but insist on backing archaic laws putting gays in jail for the crime of having sex...etc...etc...etc...Point is, I have no political home anymore. Because politics is ALL that matters in politics.

And, as disgusted as I am with you guys, the invective and close-mindedness on their side is just as bad. If ONLY the Ds would stop giving the terrorists "moral support" THEN we would win, no problem, no questions asked, it would be a certainty. That thinking is why I couldnt stomach voting for same ole same ole again...zero introspection. My memory is not so short that I will run back to them just bc how sick I am of you. And, I know pollyannish visions of victory in the face of serious problems is no better than being convinced that it's worthless. But I know that reports from the BBC are saying things are a teensy bit better, and I say give it a chance.

Thing is, I can see and read what my eyes tell me: things were going shitty. Rs werent facing reality. But neither are the Ds now.

Other thing i have major problem with, is the aftermath. I have no clue if WWIII really will happen if we leave, like all the Rs predict. But you don't have to be a brain surgeon to see that the shia and sunni hate each other, and will slaughter each other in untold masses if we leave, and we started this shit, and I dont want that on my conscience. If I were SURE that the there was no chance for some kind of stable govt, then, as shitty as Id feel about it, I would face reality and say let them be slaughtered, bc, whats the pt of staying for god knows how much longer if instead of them being slaughtered its our troops. Sorry, but if i have to choose, I choose Americans first.

But, I don't KNOW that we can't turn it around. I dont KNOW that the roadblock of getting the shia and sunni to stop killing each other is not possible for them to put behind them, if it was based on living under tyranny for decades, or if they is zero chance of these religiosu fanatics to actually live in peace. Bush has been so friggin stubborn about admitting mistakes and changing strategy, god forbid he cant save face, that he did the same damn thing for 4,5 years, supposedly after the mssion had been "accomplished." Clearly it hadnt been. But, FINALLY, they change things up, in a significant way. I Dont know if it will work. I am not well versed (or versed at all, actually) in military strategy. I don't know how close we are to reaching a tipping point and getting things possibly on the right track. It makes sense that there is a possibility that these backasswards bunch are so shellshocked and tramautized after 40 years or barbarism that they wouldnt know freedom if it kicked them on the ass, like it has. As horrible as his implementation, vision, communication, diplomacy, and everything else has been, I have to admit, Bush's appeal to human values and yearning for freedom, syaing its something which everyone ultimately wants, is appealing to me. Who am I to say that they are genetically or culturally or religiosuly incapable or living in freedom? Sure, it wouldnt be American democracy, but...well, it just rings hollow that these ppl really, innately actually cannot, no, dont even want, to have some basic freedoms. Call me biased by my western values, but I just find it hard to fathom. Maybe Im wrong. But, i think its worth it for the chance. In November, I didnt care. I was fed up. The optimism for the region had been ebbing away till, at that pt, I felt it was fruitless - I really didnt care if we left at that pt, I just was tired of it all. But, f'n A, Mr. Decider actually got some sort of mssg for once, and changed thigns up. That spark of optimism I had, pollyannish though it may seem, was barely rekindled. I just want to see this thing given a chance. Thats it.

I, personally, CD, have zero idea if we could win or change things, but how do you know for sure it couldnt change. To answer your question, I'm not gonna try to recap all the possibilities I have read about how it is POSSIBLE for it to work, just if you care, just go to any rightwing website...they have enough theories up there that one of them should seem remotely conceivably possible of working, (blind squirrels find nuts and all...) so that we see real tangible progress within a year or so, I mean enough for us to say, hey, this seems like the Administration has taken its head out of its collective ass long enough to actually have done something right. (only the most fantasyland righwingers think we have it all wrapped up in a bowtie and be gone by the end of the year).

I know that you are not one, but I thought the "Blue Dogs" actually had testicles bigger than chihuahuas'. They are the ones who have really disgusted me, I thought I voted for something else. (Nick Lampson) Shouldve known, both sides are the same, just want to be re-elected. But, then again, disregard all this, since I am a rightwing troll, right? Whatever, this is cathartic, venting, at least no one here told me I want the terrorists to win like they did on ProteinWisdom when I broached the possibility last year that we shouldnt keep giving the Rs a blank check when they wont make Bush do anything different, and when I (correctly) brought up right after the midterms last year that it may be a good thing that we now had a divided govt, so that there would be a spur to change, and then they said (correctly) on that same site (one of the few right websites I used to like and occassionally did comment on, as they were not nearly as preachy as some of the other sites, but now i see they were just as rabidly partisan) that I am an idiot for thinking that the Ds would actually let us try to win. Like I said, two sides, same coin.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

i always enjoy an exchange with those with different views.

you say:

If ONLY the Ds would stop giving the terrorists “moral support” THEN we would win, no problem, no questions asked, it would be a certainty.

if you can learn one thing from us, learn this- nothing the democrats say makes a whit of difference to the success of the insurgents and "terrorists" around the world. they may chuckle to see our internal dissent, they may mock or play with words our politicians use, but how well they do against our forces comes entirely from their skill with weapons.

think of it this way- do you know what the mullahs in iran say about you, from day to day? do you read their local papers, follow their internal party discussions? no, because you don't care. you have an opinion about iran, and probably one about iraqi insurgents, and you got that from your own sources, not from iranian or iraqi media.

why do you think it's any different for them?

what "emboldens" terrorists: watching western corporations move in and take all the iraqi oil. American troops who rape and burn and kill iraqi women and children. having no electricity for 22 hours a day, in burning sun temperature of ~110degrees F. no potable water. food and gas price spikes when there were none under saddam. watching iraqi heritage be sold off by looters, profiteers, american mercenary employees. i can go on.

quick- name the gov't official in charge of iraqi agriculture, his religion and party. you probably can't without looking it up on google. same diff in iraq and the rest of the middle east. most "terrorists" and insurgents are just like you. old, rich, specific-ethnic men tell them what to think, how to live, who to hate. at the same time, they are denied the opportunity to live, take care of their families, love whom they want to- and some of them turn to hate. it's safer and easier for them to hate you, just as it's easier and safer for you to believe they are all out to get you. but both groups should turn that hatred to those in power. that's still mostly republicans in this country, who in almost every way are just like the mullahs in iran and iraq.

the people who are "getting you" are right here, my friend. they are white, male, "christian," and they mock and laugh at you behind closed doors. they call you "stupid sheep" and laugh as they take your hard earned tax dollars. some of them are even democrats, but right now, the worst are republicans.

if we work together, people like you and i, we can stop them all. i offer you that opening and i hope you'll keep commenting, and sharing what you read here with your friends. thanks for stopping by.

kelley b's picture
Submitted by kelley b on

" If you accept, as many of us do, that right-wing arguments always mean the opposite of what they say, then taking the ‘free market’ mantra suggests that there is an incredibly controlled socialist economy in our midst. And lo and behold, there is, but not for Democrats."

Very correct.

How likely is it the concern troll really is a troll, but really has some of these concerns? Turn it inside out, and you may see, quite possibly. The delusion that words are going to change economic realities are straight out of the corporatist playbook of Rove: after all, Orwell, their reciprocal prophet, said it worked for Big Brother, right?

Their reality is this: their Empire is stretched tight as a drum, and their own economic models suggest everything is about to come crashing down. Their markets. Their Wars. Their whole game.

Chaos may be the plan for the top 1%, but for the vast number of their minions and sycophants, chaos means ruin, for them as much as us.

No Hell below us
Above us, only sky

Submitted by lambert on

You can't have Halliburton, you can't "lose" $8.6 billion, and at the same time have a functional military.

Of course, the Republicans chose to loot, as they always do, and so the empire is, as you say KB, "tight as a drum."

There's no margin anymore. The Republicans pissed it away.

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.

Submitted by lambert on

Well, there we're agreed.

At some point very soon, we're going to have to choose -- pray that we have not already chosen -- whether we want the facade of a Democratic system, or a return to Constitutional government.

We can't have both. To me, "America first" means Constitution first--no more "unitary executive," no more authoritarianism, no more imperial fantasies.

As far as "give it a chance"--you've never heard of the idea that insanity is going the same thing and expecting a different result? Five years in, and we're still six months away from success?

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.