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  #41  
Old 12-05-2008, 04:07 AM
Eastwest Eastwest is offline
 
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Default Re: Obama's Thinking on HRC for SOC...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
I'm curious; What do you think of the Lieberman decision? Allowing him to keep his chairmanship and his honor?

Should the Dems have given in to their inner-Republican and punished him for his heresy? Or were they smart to let him retain his dignity and turn him into an ally?
It's just more good poker playing. Lieberman is of course a nauseatingly despicable person, the sort one would only shake hands with whilst wearing rubber gloves. But he can be useful. If publicly humiliated, he could do a lot of damage. So Obama was right to intervene early and set the tone for a reconciliation. I'm sure he had to hold his nose while doing it, though.

EW
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  #42  
Old 12-05-2008, 04:26 AM
Eastwest Eastwest is offline
 
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Default Re: Obama's Thinking on HRC for SOC...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Good analysis. I agree completely.
Addendum: Also, what better way to destroy a political opponent than to put them in an impossible situation with heavy responsibilities where they're likely to fail most of the time? Nobody can make India and Pakistan love one another. Nobody can get the Palistinians and Israelis to cozy up. Who's going to make N. Korea into a teddy-bear? Taint nobody gonna charm Putin out of being a cunning KGB mafioso. Chavez, etc. will just call her a whore to her face. I suspect HRC couldl look real dirty and damaged before too long whilst Obama smiles thinly a smoothly from his distant perch in the Oval Office.

Should serious dissonances arise in the House of Obama, he will have no end of opportunities to let HRC take the blame for failures and gradually make her own way toward the logical exit, to be replaced by a fresh face in whom he has greater trust, with whom he has better chemistry, and over whom he has greater control (S. Rice, S. Power, etc.).

None of this either really good or bad. Politics is a black art (no pun intended), and you either master it or get ruined by it. Obama seems to have a pretty good hit rate so far. Hopefully he'll be a survivor, but a survivor with an essentially benign and populist agenda.

EW

Last edited by Eastwest; 12-05-2008 at 04:28 AM..
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  #43  
Old 12-05-2008, 05:41 AM
a Duoist a Duoist is offline
 
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Default Re: Dreams and Nightmares

Mr. Wright might like to note that Pakistan's 'Lashka-e Tioba' translates into "Army of the Pure." Exactly like Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia and Qutbism in Egypt (Osama bin Laden's favorite philosopher), 'purity' is the ideological mandate in Pakistan's premier radical philosopher, Abul ala Mawdudi.

When does BTV begin to read up on the ideal of purity, and its place in the history of mass murder by the radical, religious Right? The radical socialist Left has its own history of mass murder, but there is no Left remaining in Iran, where 'purity' dominates all of Khomeini's writings.

There is no 'clash of civilizations.' But there very definitely is a toxic homicidal/suicidal (duocidal) ideo/theology at work in the Middle East, and it is NOT going to be resolved before Iran completes its 60,000 array of nuclear centrifuges.

To understand religious terrorism, look the ideal of 'purity' in the eye and then think of how cleansing a nuclear incineration would be.

"One can not understand fascism without knowing its spiritual base." - Mussonlini
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  #44  
Old 12-05-2008, 07:10 AM
vidal_olmos vidal_olmos is offline
 
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Default Re: Dreams and Nightmares

Just a quick point: Kagan did not win that debate against Bob, unless winning a debate is taken to mean displaying contempt. As a foreigner living in the US, it strikes me how easy it is for incurably hawkish loudmouths like Kagan to get away with painting sensible foreign policy types as utterly naive.
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  #45  
Old 12-05-2008, 11:03 AM
David Edenden David Edenden is offline
 
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Posts: 156
Default Re: Russia

I guess what I am saying, maybe not very coherently, is that continued US hegemony in Europe, via control of Nato, has not been in the interest of the US in its global responsibilities.

The EU has 500 million people with a standard of living approaching the US. Russia has a population of 142 million (and falling).Europe can handle Russia with zero problems.

It is amazing that the entire US political class can convince the American people that Russia is still treat. The only threat that Russia poses is its continued orneriness in supporting Iran in response to the continuing US policy of coming to Russia's doorstep and pissing on it welcome mat.

If Kagan, Holebrooke and company advocated a Nato clone to encircle China, people would think they were nuts, but because old habits die hard, its it easy to gain support for encircling Russia, for no good reason, I might add.

And don't get me started on Russian moves on Georgia or the Ukraine. When the US expels Turkey from Nato for trying to wipe out ethnic Kurdish culture off the map, or when John McCain says "We are all Kurdish" in response to Turkey's denial of basic haman rights to Kurds, then I might listen to Kagan's concerns about Georgia.

Memo to Bob Wright: get Kagan and Holbrooke to discuss how brilliant they were in advocating the baiting of Russia for the last twenty years!

In the mean time, the clock is ticking in Iran!
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  #46  
Old 12-05-2008, 11:38 AM
David Edenden David Edenden is offline
 
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Default Re: Dreams and Nightmares

McCain as president would have continued Bush's policy of recognizing Macedonia's by its constitutional name.

Obama is really a "same old, same old" politician caving to the Greek lobby, but I really think that Hillary Clinton is just fine. If she could fashion a coherent policy on the Balkans it would be a great help for peace in that fractured region. Here is what I have said about current US policy in the past.

Quote:
The Balkan counties are being destabilized, but not by Russia. They are destabilized by the US/EU and the destabilization program seems to have its own momentum without a brake or reverse gear! If Olli Rehn can make any sense of the US/EU policies below, I am willing to listen.

US/EU to Serbia: Kosovo must be independent. "BECAUSE I SAID SO!"

US/EU to Kosovo: No union with Albania. "BECAUSE I SAID SO!"

US/EU to Bosnia: No independence for Republica Srbska. "BECAUSE I SAID SO!"

US/EU to Macedonia: Increased rights for Albanians. "BECAUSE I SAID SO!"

US/EU to Bulgaria and Greece: No rights for ethnic Macedonians. "BECAUSE I SAID SO!"

US/EU Russia: Subsidize oil to Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia. "BECAUSE I SAID SO!"

The best favor that Bush can do for Obama is to secure a vote in the UN recognizing the "Republic of Macedonia" by its constitution name, rather than "The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (aka FYROM ... a ****** name).

That would get this issue off the table an stabilize Macedonia. If not, Albanians in Macedonia (25% of the population, will continue to bide their time for the opportunity to partition Macedonia in favor of a "Greater Albania"

In the meantime, lest you think that people in the Balkans have no sense of humour, check this out. (here) (here)
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  #47  
Old 12-05-2008, 11:47 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Obama's Thinking on HRC for SOC...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastwest View Post
Seems pretty obvious to me that Obama is just playing yet more of his strategic poker (an excellent & necessary political skill for which I give him much credit): ...
Your scenarios hang together well. I think there is a lot of prestige associated with the Clintons worldwide. For better or worse, they are de facto royalty in some lights, and are at least seen as the top tier of American political power in many others. So, yes, HRC could be a very good Secretary of State.

I also agree with you in the machinations scenario. For the moment, I would like not to assume the worst about the Clintons, but I have thought plenty of times since HRC's name was floated for this job that this could be seen as Obama skillfully defusing a potential threat of disruption to his agenda.

If you continue with that second line of thinking, though, you have to admit that the Clintons are at least as able to figure this out as we are. So under the assumption that HRC's self-interest is paramount, what do you think made her take the job? Would you say that she viewed returning to the Senate as anti-climactic after coming so close to winning the presidency? Especially since she really is not much more than a junior member of that body? Do you think she thinks the SoS job gives her more power, or is a step up, and/or does more to enhance her future political ambitions?

Or do you think that she sees this as a good way to cap her career? After all, there is potential for enormous success in that job; e.g., making real progress on the Israeli/Palestinian issue.
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  #48  
Old 12-05-2008, 11:57 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Dreams and Nightmares

Quote:
Originally Posted by vidal_olmos View Post
Just a quick point: Kagan did not win that debate against Bob, unless winning a debate is taken to mean displaying contempt. As a foreigner living in the US, it strikes me how easy it is for incurably hawkish loudmouths like Kagan to get away with painting sensible foreign policy types as utterly naive.
Very well said, Vidal. Sadly, the same applies to other issues as well -- the blowhard can sell the reactionary position a lot easier when the format of the discussion rewards pithiness.

I do have to admit, though, that Kagan had a lot of facts at his fingertips. If one were to view the diavlog as a debate (as a contest) (which I don't), he did score a lot of points. At least some of those times, there was probably an sound bite answer that Bob could have snapped back. Not that it likely would have been anything other than equally superficial, but sometimes one has to be ready to do that. The reality of our system is that the more succinct and coherent story all too often moves the voters and drives the policy decisions, irrespective of how much merit the underlying viewpoint deserves, so it's important to be able to "win" or at least hold one's own in such conversations, no matter how meaningless they ultimately are.
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  #49  
Old 12-05-2008, 02:17 PM
Markos Markos is offline
 
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Default Re: Dreams and Nightmares

Maybe Kagan's logic of saying to "work with the Pakistanis" would also "violate Pakistan's sovereignty" because Pakistan is so factionalized, so when we're working with some Pakistanis, we would simultaneously be seen by other Pakistanis as violating Pakistan's sovereignty.
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  #50  
Old 12-05-2008, 03:06 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default Re: brilliant point!

Quote:
Originally Posted by timba View Post
... that Holder, but not Hillary, would be raked over the coals about the Clinton pardon of Marc Rich! I can't believe no one's brought that up.

Did Mickey come up with this on his own or was he just reading from the BHTV teleprompter?
i believe he credits Lawrence O'Donnell for the insight.
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  #51  
Old 12-05-2008, 06:49 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Dreams and Nightmares

Quote:
Originally Posted by robinho View Post
Mumbai was Mumbai before it was Bombay.

djw has a good post on LGM, with lots of links, on this issue.
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  #52  
Old 12-05-2008, 06:51 PM
SYA SYA is offline
 
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Default Re: Dreams and Nightmares

The pronunciation of Mumbai is definitely MOOM-bai. It's my native language so take my word for it. The goddess it is said to be named after is Mumba-devi - pronounced Moombaa-devi. "Devi" means goddess.
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  #53  
Old 12-05-2008, 07:28 PM
Eastwest Eastwest is offline
 
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Default Re: Obama's Thinking on HRC for SOC...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
Or do you think that she sees this as a good way to cap her career? After all, there is potential for enormous success in that job; e.g., making real progress on the Israeli/Palestinian issue.
I've mostly just been riffing here on what's perhaps been going on in Barack's head in his doing the unthinkable, doing what for many of his young Lefty loyalists is surely appalling: Bringing on board the dreaded Clinton she-devil. (I of course completely disdain those HRC conspiracy-theory scenarios as ghosts of primary-era hysteria.)

Now, as for HRC herself, I think she genuinely does have the best of motivations, really does want to make a difference, really does feel she can do it better from the inside than from the outside, and really does feel that, if anybody can crowbar some of these intractable international disputes into shape, she is the one to do it.

HRC has real moxie, a can-do attitude, can deliver "an offer you can't refuse" with a charming smile, and doesn't mind playing royalty on the world stage at all. So she might be right: Maybe she (perhaps with a little extra help from Bill) really can make a difference on seemingly insoluable issues like Israel-Palestine and India-Kashmir.

But both HRC and Bill have to know they're both taking a huge gamble here. Barack could get really peeved at them a year or two down the line, could make them both look really tainted and evil, and so could effectively sideline them from developing the glowing legacy which they both want to create for themselves.

A quick flip side: Obama needs as many big-league power players working on his side as he can get. His only real issue would be whether or not he can keep them under control, playing out of his playbook. I think he's quite confident this won't be a problem and if things go sour, he can show H&B the door fairly easily.

So, yeah, a really fascinating drama unfolding as a big crew of impressive heavy-hitters decide they want to have a go at playing on the same team. Should be awesome to watch as, given the unprecedentedly freaky nature of US economic and international vulnerabilities, the fallout from failure could be catastrophic.

So far, I'm really impressed with the signs out of Obama. I think he ought to just keep doing what he's doing: pulling in the best and brightest, including the likes even of seemingly peripheral but potentially very useful figures like Bill Gates, Buffet, etc.

You couldn't come up with a more fascinating plot even writing your own story line. Movies will be made. My biggest freak-out scenario at this point is whether or not he's going to be taken down by a white-supremacist bullet.

EW
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  #54  
Old 12-05-2008, 07:29 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Dreams and Nightmares

Quote:
Originally Posted by SYA View Post
The pronunciation of Mumbai is definitely MOOM-bai. It's my native language so take my word for it.
Hah! Ask native American English speakers how to pronounce route, Nevada, and err. Then run.
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  #55  
Old 12-05-2008, 07:36 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Obama's Thinking on HRC for SOC...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastwest View Post
I've mostly just been riffing here on what's perhaps been going on in Barack's head in his doing the unthinkable, doing what for many of his young Lefty loyalists is surely appalling: Bringing on board the dreaded Clinton she-devil. (I of course completely disdain those HRC conspiracy-theory scenarios as ghosts of primary-era hysteria.)
At this point, I think there's far more angst about the Clintons from the Villagers than from the young Obamabots.

Quote:
Now, as for HRC herself, I think she genuinely does have the best of motivations, really does want to make a difference, really does feel she can do it better from the inside than from the outside, and really does feel that, if anybody can crowbar some of these intractable international disputes into shape, she is the one to do it.

HRC has real moxie, a can-do attitude, can deliver "an offer you can't refuse" with a charming smile, and doesn't mind playing royalty on the world stage at all. So she might be right: Maybe she (perhaps with a little extra help from Bill) really can make a difference on seemingly insoluable issues like Israel-Palestine and India-Kashmir.
Well said. I could believe all of that on any day when I'm not at my most pessimistic or cynical.

Quote:
So far, I'm really impressed with the signs out of Obama.
Delighted to hear that. For reinforcement, did you see this?

Quote:
My biggest freak-out scenario at this point is whether or not he's going to be taken down by a white-supremacist bullet.
That dark thought never completely leaves my mind, either, but if there's one branch of the gummint I'm always confident about, it's the Secret Service.
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  #56  
Old 12-06-2008, 12:07 PM
frankbruno frankbruno is offline
 
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Default Whither Climate Change?

I know Bob and Mickey have their idiosyncratic interests (and that's one reason I enjoy BHTV!), but it's pretty surprising that they made it through an entire podcast about Obama's priorities without mentioning climate change legislation. From everything Obama's said, to the fight between Waxman and Dingell in the house, to Obama's hiring of former Waxman aides, this is clearly one of Obama's big priorities, right up there with health care.

He's certainly put more emphasis on it than relatively minor stuff like the DREAM act and card check, no?
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  #57  
Old 12-06-2008, 02:55 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Whither Climate Change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbruno View Post
I know Bob and Mickey have their idiosyncratic interests (and that's one reason I enjoy BHTV!), but it's pretty surprising that they made it through an entire podcast about Obama's priorities without mentioning climate change legislation. From everything Obama's said, to the fight between Waxman and Dingell in the house, to Obama's hiring of former Waxman aides, this is clearly one of Obama's big priorities, right up there with health care.

He's certainly put more emphasis on it than relatively minor stuff like the DREAM act and card check, no?
Good call, Frank.
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  #58  
Old 12-07-2008, 11:34 PM
Jon0815 Jon0815 is offline
 
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Default Re: Dreams and Nightmares

Re: Mickey's fear of DREAM, he's being too fatalistic about its prospects for passage.

The WaPo article he linked on kausfiles says that "For the 111th Congress, seven Democrats will replace Republicans who voted against the bill."

That's true, but the WaPo neglects to mention that three Republicans who voted for the bill (Craig, Hagel, and Lott) have retired and been replaced by other Republicans, two of whom (Johanns and Risch) will vote against it, while the third (Wicker) is a likely vote against it.

So the net gain for DREAM supporters is probably at most 4, not 7.

That would still be 60 votes, assuming that the 4 Senators who weren't present last time (3 Dems and McCain) all vote for it this time.

But at least one of the incoming Democrats (Begich) isn't a sure vote for it.

And if it appears that DREAM will pass by exactly 60 votes, that would make every Republican who voted for it the deciding vote, which could motivate one of the Republicans who previously voted for it to vote against it this time.

So while the vote will be very close, there's a reasonable chance, maybe as much as 50/50, that DREAM can be stopped.
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