Why are Republicans Wrong about Everything?


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Mar 4, 2014 - 01:56pm PT
I give talks on surveillance - I've got two coming up this month. I've been doing this for 13 years now - so I'm quite familiar with all the 'hampering our intelligence community' arguments. Anyone who believes that our intelligence community remains hampered after Sections 215 and 702 of the PATRIOT ACT, the FISA Amendments act of 2008, its reauthorization in 2012, the ballooning of the NSA's budget, and Snowden's revelations simply doesn't know what they're talking about.

Unless one is advocating the return of clandestine assassination of foreign leaders, like, say, Assad. Well, THAT can go both ways, can't it?

Suffice to say that

a) there has long been a contingent that sees the 4th Amendment as an inconvenience rather than the rule of law and a bedrock principle of our democracy.

b) National security is big business

c) An 'unfettered' intelligence community without oversight breaks the law and abuses its powers - and it doesn't focus on the very things it should - counter terrorism, predicting international crises, etc. Instead, it spies on innocent Americans, including ex spouses and girlfriends (LOVEINT!), digs up dirt on such political enemies such as Doctors without Borders and Unicef, scoops up confidential corporate data for god knows what, hacks into online games, weakens the very standards that protect our personal financial security, and violates the privacy of our closest allies. Oh, and it also fights the Drug War - the War on Terror, not so much. What it clearly does not do is predict things like Egypt, Syria, Tunisia or the Ukraine.

Too busy stalking That Bitch that Dumped Me, I reckon.

Trad climber
Mar 4, 2014 - 02:03pm PT

Big Wall climber
Mar 4, 2014 - 02:18pm PT

Topic Author's Reply - Mar 4, 2014 - 08:33am PT
I heard the people that said that were lying treasonous bastards on the radio
Why would anyone say that other than to be an a-hole

Also on the radio, I heard that all Republicans were brain dead morons with a combined IQ of 40,
and at band camp, I heard that Tea Baggars are part of a Satanic Cult!!

I love it!
DR f have a good day

Mar 4, 2014 - 02:50pm PT
Tvash, your killing me. So spot on.

Seriously, WTF is with this trying to portray the CIA as incompetent and misinformed, and trying to say that Obama's Middle Eastern policy in ANY WAY reflects that of the GOP. Seriously, talk about some extremely uninformed opinions here, on one particular side of things.

I must say though, it is right in line with expectations. Some people just can't use the rational part of their brains no matter what, and are forever slaves to their emotional judgements. Those tend to be the people who are wrong about everything, regardless of political affiliation.

However, if we used "votes ones interests" as a litmus test for which politically organized group (democrats and republicans primarily) in our country votes rationally vs. emotionally, with voting ones interests obviously representing rational voting and not voting ones interests obviously representing emotional voting, we could make a strong argument for republicans recieving emotionally "rationalized" votes and therefore they, along with the people who voted for them, tend to be wrong about everything. It's certainly not rocket science.

Anyway, Thank you Tvash for being the voice of reason here :). It was dearly needed.

Social climber
Some Rehab in Bolivia
Mar 4, 2014 - 02:59pm PT

you never answered this question...


Which is more disgraceful...

A group of people trying to HELP another group gain security...
(Health Care)

or a group of people trying to BLOCK that help???..."...(Too many LEMONS in the TEA!!!)


Social climber
Falls Church, VA
Mar 4, 2014 - 03:09pm PT
barry finally decides to act like an adult in response to putin's aggression:



Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Mar 4, 2014 - 03:16pm PT
Locker this may not pertain to you,, BUT there is much more to "security" than healthcare. What good does healthcare do you if you cant afford to LIVE, a roof over the head, power, water, FOOD, etc.. Part time work= working poverty now. Those numbers the knumbnuts in washington like to throw out about employment IS those part time poverty positions. I get to see all of this FIRST hand in the nations bullseye of poverty levels.

Mar 4, 2014 - 03:17pm PT
Everyone 'stovepipes' their information to some degree. Cognitive bias and all that.

I try to use primary sources whenever possible - government and peer reviewed reports and studies, judicial rulings/opinions/amicus briefs, actual statutory language, interviews of the persons involved, in depth, investigative journalism. I'm not an attorney, but this stuff is all in the King's English - of a sort.

I don't look to punditry or the blogosphere, or media outlets that do not have their own investigative journalistic capability or, worse yet, aren't really news outlets at all in any real sense.

I have noticed that many conservatives do not vet their sources well. The most common mistake is referencing FOX and its pundits. Another is referencing decades old events or sources that lack contemporary relevance. The ACLU frequently invite conservatives, typically through the GOP, to participate in debates or public events - they almost never respond, nevermind accept, the invitation.

That's too bad.

I have enjoyed debating a handful of conservatives in front of an audience - the former Deputy CIA Director under Reagan being the highest level of the bunch. I respectfully destroyed his bullshit thesis (according to audience feedback), and he was PISSED. That's just about the most fun a civil libertarian can have with his clothes on. (I took mine off midway through - always knocks em off kilter). He was the only blowhard who got mad - I became friends with my other opponents afterwards. Unfortunately, such point/counterpoint debates are few and far between, and that's too bad, because I think the public hungers for them.

Oftentimes, people come wanting to hate on the ACLU due to a bunch of misconceptions, only to thank me for an informative and thought provoking event afterwards. We really are more alike than we are different.

Social climber
the Wastelands
Mar 4, 2014 - 03:21pm PT

Social climber
Some Rehab in Bolivia
Mar 4, 2014 - 03:40pm PT

"Locker this may not pertain to you,, BUT there is much more to "security" than healthcare."...

So in essence you've chosen to DODGE answering my question...

I see how it goes...



For the record...

health is pretty important and without it, uh, the rest sort of isn't there...



Keeping people healthy = More people in the workforce = more taxes paid = less food stamps = less welfare = Plus/plus!!!...(Edited: also keeps them out of the ER more which is a HUGE plus!!!)

Now if only they'd UP the fuking way too low minimum wage...


Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Mar 4, 2014 - 03:42pm PT
Part time work= working poverty now

Now? Been that way a loooooong time. Long time.

Hell, it's been that way for a long time for many full-time workers!

Here's a link to a really interesting book published over a decade ago (and it wasn't a new phenomenon then): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel_and_Dimed

edit: To Ron A and others in his boat, I sincerely wish you great luck and success in finding the work you want.

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Mar 4, 2014 - 03:58pm PT
The Administration seems to have lost the confidence of the Washington Post Editorial Board. Please permit me to do a "Dr. F.:"


The Post’s View

By Editorial Board, Published: March 2

FOR FIVE YEARS, President Obama has led a foreign policy based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality. It was a world in which “the tide of war is receding” and the United States could, without much risk, radically reduce the size of its armed forces. Other leaders, in this vision, would behave rationally and in the interest of their people and the world. Invasions, brute force, great-power games and shifting alliances — these were things of the past. Secretary of State John F. Kerry displayed this mindset on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday when he said, of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, “It’s a 19th century act in the 21st century.”

That’s a nice thought, and we all know what he means. A country’s standing is no longer measured in throw-weight or battalions. The world is too interconnected to break into blocs. A small country that plugs into cyberspace can deliver more prosperity to its people (think Singapore or Estonia) than a giant with natural resources and standing armies.

Unfortunately, Russian President Vladimir Putin has not received the memo on 21st-century behavior. Neither has China’s president, Xi Jinping, who is engaging in gunboat diplomacy against Japan and the weaker nations of Southeast Asia. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is waging a very 20th-century war against his own people, sending helicopters to drop exploding barrels full of screws, nails and other shrapnel onto apartment buildings where families cower in basements. These men will not be deterred by the disapproval of their peers, the weight of world opinion or even disinvestment by Silicon Valley companies. They are concerned primarily with maintaining their holds on power.

Mr. Obama is not responsible for their misbehavior. But he does, or could, play a leading role in structuring the costs and benefits they must consider before acting. The model for Mr. Putin’s occupation of Crimea was his incursion into Georgia in 2008, when George W. Bush was president. Mr. Putin paid no price for that action; in fact, with parts of Georgia still under Russia’s control, he was permitted to host a Winter Olympics just around the corner. China has bullied the Philippines and unilaterally staked claims to wide swaths of international air space and sea lanes as it continues a rapid and technologically impressive military buildup. Arguably, it has paid a price in the nervousness of its neighbors, who are desperate for the United States to play a balancing role in the region. But none of those neighbors feel confident that the United States can be counted on. Since the Syrian dictator crossed Mr. Obama’s red line with a chemical weapons attack that killed 1,400 civilians, the dictator’s military and diplomatic position has steadily strengthened.

The urge to pull back — to concentrate on what Mr. Obama calls “nation-building at home” — is nothing new, as former ambassador Stephen Sestanovich recounts in his illuminating history of U.S. foreign policy, “Maximalist.” There were similar retrenchments after the Korea and Vietnam wars and when the Soviet Union crumbled. But the United States discovered each time that the world became a more dangerous place without its leadership and that disorder in the world could threaten U.S. prosperity. Each period of retrenchment was followed by more active (though not always wiser) policy. Today Mr. Obama has plenty of company in his impulse, within both parties and as reflected by public opinion. But he’s also in part responsible for the national mood: If a president doesn’t make the case for global engagement, no one else effectively can.

The White House often responds by accusing critics of being warmongers who want American “boots on the ground” all over the world and have yet to learn the lessons of Iraq. So let’s stipulate: We don’t want U.S. troops in Syria, and we don’t want U.S. troops in Crimea. A great power can become overextended, and if its economy falters, so will its ability to lead. None of this is simple.

But it’s also true that, as long as some leaders play by what Mr. Kerry dismisses as 19th-century rules, the United States can’t pretend that the only game is in another arena altogether. Military strength, trustworthiness as an ally, staying power in difficult corners of the world such as Afghanistan — these still matter, much as we might wish they did not. While the United States has been retrenching, the tide of democracy in the world, which once seemed inexorable, has been receding. In the long run, that’s harmful to U.S. national security, too.

As Mr. Putin ponders whether to advance further — into eastern Ukraine, say — he will measure the seriousness of U.S. and allied actions, not their statements. China, pondering its next steps in the East China Sea, will do the same. Sadly, that’s the nature of the century we’re living in.


Social climber
Joshua Tree
Mar 4, 2014 - 04:04pm PT
seems to have lost the confidence of the Washington Post Editorial Board

Two points:
1. He's never had the confidence of the WaPo editorial board, who've repeatedly sniped at him for his entire presidency.

2. Fred Hiatt and the WaPo in general have purt near no credibility. They were neocon cheerleaders in the 00s, and their prized columnists have been wrong about everything for a decade or more. They employ blowhard no knowthings like George Will and Jenny Rubin. No big secret why they are slowly but surely circling the drain and all their young talent is GTFO while the getting is good, see: Klein, Ezra.


Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Mar 4, 2014 - 04:07pm PT
All of this latest foreign policy yammering is simply the latest opportunity for the GOP to try and wrest away the mantle of 'strong on defense' away from the Dems, who have been every bit as hawkish as the GOP for the last 6 years.

Nothing more than presidential politics, really. The GOP knows it's platform for 2016 is pretty damn weak (basically, obstructionism, and that's all), and as the economy continues to improve, they know the Dems will be in a stronger position.

Social climber
Some Rehab in Bolivia
Mar 4, 2014 - 04:13pm PT

"The GOP knows it's platform for 2016 is pretty damn weak (basically, obstructionism"...

It's really sad because that's pretty much ALL they do...

Totally not cool and about as Anti American as it get's...


They block only for political purposes...

totally SH!TTING on the American people...


Trad climber
Mar 4, 2014 - 04:51pm PT
Two points:
1. He's never had the confidence of the WaPo editorial board, who've repeatedly sniped at him for his entire presidency.

2. Fred Hiatt and the WaPo in general have purt near no credibility. They were neocon cheerleaders in the 00s, and their prized columnists have been wrong about everything for a decade or more. They employ blowhard no knowthings like George Will and Jenny Rubin. No big secret why they are slowly but surely circling the drain and all their young talent is GTFO while the getting is good, see: Klein, Ezra.

How astute of you. That explains why The Post endorsed Obama in 2008 and again in 2012.


Social climber
Joshua Tree
Mar 4, 2014 - 04:58pm PT
Which has exactly nothing to do with my points above.

Fred Hiatt is a neocon cheerleader. They endorsed him and have sniped at every opportunity. The fact that he was the lesser of two evils in their eyes because his opponents were first a senile geriatric warmonger with a bimbo ditz for a running mate, then a clueless plutocrat with a charlatan innumerate running mate who tried to make his bones as a "budget specialiast" who's budget numbers don't add up, led to an acceptance of the fact that they'd better take this guy.

Mostly because A. He was going to win, everyone with a realistic look at polling knew it, and nobody wants to be on the losing side, and B. The others were almost certain to f*#k up the fragile economic recovery by kissing up to the Tea-oh-P morons who suddenly developed a deficit fetish during a recession, despite having no such fetish when the prior war monger was looting the treasury to kill Iraqis and pad the pockets of Dick Cheney's Halliburton and KBR.

Mar 4, 2014 - 05:02pm PT
For all the talk of Obama the weak - he's sure kilt or kaptured a Stark load more Al Qaeda boys than Bush ever did.

And a bunch of civilians along with them.

But ignoring all those dead women and children for a moment, as far as taking Al Qaeda apart in a deadly efficient and cost effective manner - I know who I'd hire again. I mean, wow, the Kenyan Weakling has really decimated those f*#kers. No Shock and Awe required.

Bush couldn't do it because you need the cooperation of the host countries (with some notable exceptions), and that just wasn't his thang.

Besides, that backdoor nerd sheeit just don't fly in Texas.

Social climber
the Wastelands
Mar 4, 2014 - 05:05pm PT
well, until President Obama finds my brother a good paying job with full benefits, i am going to continue to insist that he is a "weak" and "ineffectual" President

Mar 4, 2014 - 05:09pm PT
Gordo, if you actually read that article it explains that the Palestinians are "not recognizing Israel" because doing so in the presented context under the present circumstances would entirely exonerate Israel from any responsibility for the Palestinians who were originally displaced when Israel was founded as a country in 1948, or at least that is the general perception. Given that nothing in the article discredits this as a valid perception, I am going to assume it is in fact a valid perception, especially given the fact that much of the turmoil over there is related to this specific issue, and has been since around about 1948.

So to translate for you, Nyetanyahu just told the Palestinians to completely f*#k off and go away forever. How in touch with reality he is indeed...

So, how you conclude that the people who have unjustifiably slammed the door (Nyetanyahu and apparently according to you the GOP? Not really following you there honestly...) on any kind of peace in the near future are the ones in touch with reality I just don't know.
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