Yes We Can . . . Try

Matt Yglesias makes some sense:

I’m not really sure why Obama would lack the credibility necessary. [. . .] But does “credibility” really matter? Probably not. [. . . A]s far as I know, [the White House is] not actively trying to persuade anyone because the White House is afraid that if they try to persuade key legislators they might fail. That’s circular. There seems to be some feeling that the President has an obligation to act like he’s a Prime Minister and not bring proposals to the floor unless he’s sure they can pass [. . .] [T]here’s little reason to believe that trying and failing would somehow turn out much worse than simply refusing the try.

Indeed, Yglesias should go a step farther, NOT trying, or being perceived as not trying is now clearly much worse, for President Obama and all the Democrats in DC. I wonder if they realize that yet.

Speaking for me only

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    But Tim Kaine was on CNN this (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 12:20:03 PM EST
    morning and he said that none of what's happened reflects negatively on Obama.  He said that Obama's approval ratings are really high - like at 60% - so it's all good.  

    He's right isn't he?  


    Does that answer your question about whether or not they are starting to get it?

    Um (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 12:30:15 PM EST
    Last I saw (yesterday), Obama's ratings in Virginia were 48 or 49%.  In NJ it was something like 52%.  

    And I know we aren't supposed to like Ras polls, but this one is a bit interesting.

    So, not sure where he's getting these numbers.  Also, Kaine needs to deflect criticism away from himself.  He's the governor of Virginia and head of the DNC and Dems got wiped out in his own state!


    Kaine (5.00 / 10) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 12:37:14 PM EST
    is a perfect example of what's currently wrong with the party IMO. He spends too much time pandering to evangelicals and not enough time developing ideas and policies that will acutally make people's lives better.

    Can we bring back Dean and get rid of Kaine. I saw that disaster coming a mile down the road. It also didnt help that the party ended up with a weak candidate to run to boot.


    Dr. Gov. Dean was on VT (none / 0) (#91)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 11:55:34 PM EST
    public radio yesterday talking about health care reform for an hour and I almost wept with relief to hear somebody so utterly plain-spoken and without a shred of pol-speak crapola.  He did duck a couple of pointed questions about Obama, but he's not ready to flatly challenge him yet.  I think he will as time goes on.  In effect, he's treating him as irrelevant in the health care fight, which I think must make him just nuts privately.  Can you even imagine a President Dean taking a hands-off approach to health care reform?

    Dean is vehemently of the "no public option, no bill" camp.  He said the House bill is just barely worth doing, but anything less than that, or any trigger or "opt in" provision would make it worse than worthless and should not be passed.

    Not surprisingly, he's with BTD on the "camel's nose under the tent" idea, though he didn't use that phrase.

    I sure wish I knew what happened to him during the primaries.  It's hard to believe somebody so incredibly clear-eyed could have behaved the way he did.  He was totally hamstrung by something, but I've never heard/seen a hint of what it might have been.


    My (none / 0) (#96)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 09:55:52 AM EST
    personal opinion is that hiring Joe Trippi was his biggest mistake. But if you're still hoping for him to be President one day then it's probably a good thing he lost the primary in 2004. I don't know that any of the candidates would have won that year.

    And in Iowa, where it all began (5.00 / 7) (#4)
    by Cream City on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 12:41:27 PM EST
    Obama support has dropped in double digits, per a story about a poll that I read in recent days.  

    Most states show the drop is in Indies, but in Iowa, it includes Dems.  Another harbinger?


    He's not delivering "change" as (5.00 / 14) (#6)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 12:51:25 PM EST
    promised.  None of this is surprising really.  The White House operation seems to be under the mistaken impression that all they have to do is keep up Obama's image through well placed and timed speeches and PR appearances and that all will be good.  The thing is that like Bush before him, if one doesn't deliver when people are hurting - Katrina - it doesn't matter how great the words are, how charming your family is or whether or not you can appear to be athletic - all that matters is that people aren't getting what they think they should - and that the leader of the day doesn't appear to be advocating zealously for their interests.

    O-family eye-melting pix are already losing lustre (5.00 / 8) (#13)
    by Ellie on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 01:28:35 PM EST
    Yes, we get it, they're a gorgeous smart ideal modern family, as temporarily uplifting as a daily LOLcat fix.

    But the more pap the image keepers put out there, the more negatively it will register on a  votership growing getting increasingly hammered in desperate times.

    After delivering a solid mandate for being promised bold, affirmative leadership, getting "our" side's leisure trend version of another recreational brush-clearer is going to cost the Dems.


    Think this will help? (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:10:56 PM EST
    IC Pap Battle turns into a literal food fight! (5.00 / 5) (#21)
    by Ellie on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:18:29 PM EST
    Oh good grief:

    "Words like rémoulade, ice cream, dirty rice and stuffed turkey roulade were thrown around as the chefs prepared to lay their offerings before the judges ..."

    If you weren't sick enough before to need excellent health care coverage, this'll do it.


    And arugula, never forget arugula! :-) (5.00 / 6) (#30)
    by Cream City on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:45:54 PM EST
    That's my favorite green. (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:56:50 PM EST
    Why are people so mean about it?  It is extremely versitile and yummy.

    Mean? Mean about arugula? (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:02:50 PM EST
    How in the world can a person be mean about arugula?

    By pushing the slander that arugula (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Spamlet on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:22:39 PM EST
    constitutes a one-plant elite corps of impudent snobs.

    Okay - disparaging. (none / 0) (#60)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:21:47 PM EST
    is probably a better word.

    Never, and it grows all winter here (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:59:21 PM EST
    It is great slightly wilted in light sauce pasta dishes.

    I like Iron Chef America, (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:12:31 PM EST
    so, glad to read that Michelle is not going to be one of the judges.  Nigella Lawson, Jane Seymour and Natalie Coughlin will be on the judging panel.

    The Obamas are becoming those people you can just never get away from because they are everywhere, to the point where you are tempted to ask, when being invited to dinner or a party, "oh, are the so-and-so's going to be there, too?" so you can start thinking of a good reason why you will have to decline.

    And, I'm sorry, but she couldn't look more ridiculous even if she isn't also wearing Mario Batali's neon orange socks 'n' Crocs.


    LOL - it reminds me (none / 0) (#58)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:18:38 PM EST
    of the outfit my older sister dressed me in for my 3rd grade all class photo (she was in 5th grade).

    I intentionally chose kind of an (none / 0) (#62)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:43:09 PM EST
    "international orange" fabric years ago to make myself a shirtwaist dress. Nice dress but color was blinding.

    My bad. "Cameo." (none / 0) (#59)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:20:19 PM EST
    You think she coordinated her (4.20 / 5) (#22)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:21:20 PM EST
    outfit with the chef standing to her left on purpose?

    Her fashion sense is outside anything I've ever described as classy. I do, however, have a pair of high-top athletic shoes in that color combo. Maybe that reality show about the hollywood stylist will be the next to show up at the WH.


    Wow really (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:51:11 PM EST
    most of the outfits see tends to wear pretty closely fit the definition of classy- it might be due to a generation gap or something though.

    You're right....there's a generational gap (4.00 / 4) (#47)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:01:33 PM EST
    But, it's between Michelle and her closet. I don't see a lot of photos of her, but plenty of those I have seen have her in inappropriate clothing for her age: too young, too small, too tight in spots, too short, etc. It doesn't take being in the same generation to recognize a good fit.

    That link ought to come with a warning (4.00 / 4) (#29)
    by Cream City on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:44:59 PM EST
    to put on sunglasses first.  Ouch.

    I have liked some of her outfits, but she seems to once again have given a day off to whomever dressed her on the days when she dressed appropriately for the ambience, for her figure, for her age, etc.


    Totally wrong backdrop. (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by Fabian on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:14:48 PM EST
    The background is off white.  The people on either side of her are wearing white.  The color contrasts are awful.  The man on the left who is wearing black blends into the foliage.  He should have changed places with the one on the right.  The shot is take from about waist level, which is completely unflattering to anyone in that photo.

    Frankly, the dress does not look good in that photo - but neither does anything else.  The composition stinks.


    I am hard-pressed to think of a (5.00 / 5) (#71)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:58:59 PM EST
    background that would have complemented that migraine-inducing neon orange/electric blue combination; maybe the Denver Broncos - the colors are close - but with the Iron Chefs?  Not so much.

    Flak for slamming FLOTUS's style sense (5.00 / 5) (#64)
    by Ellie on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:49:01 PM EST
    Yep, caught a lot of it for picking it apart during the campaign, but my criticism wasn't for the obvious Jackie O-redux. Nor was it for the outfits themselves.

    It was more for the attempt to belittle, with dress, a strong, imposing athletic woman with real hips, broad shoulders and a righteous big @ss. Michelle Obama's face also honestly reflected her thoughts and feelings at any given moment -- a quality I admire.

    Yet she'd be festooned with these ickle bickle accoutrements more suitable for one of the daughters.

    She's a little more herself, style-wise, but some of the clothes look like what a Grade Two teacher would wear on a rainy day.


    I agree. Just caught on the teevee (3.66 / 3) (#89)
    by Cream City on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 07:17:21 PM EST
    MO on the campaign trail, in a sort of Jackie-O style but one that she made her own -- looking like the lawyer and businesswoman she is in a pinstripe suit (accentuating the height, the shoulders) and pearls (but not a single strand; instead, a multi-strand that a tall woman can wear so well), etc.  

    She looked great.  And I also think that, of course, her coloring allows her to wear great, bright colors -- just not necessarily the combo in the link!  Of course, of all the photos of her that I have seen, I thought she looked her best when she was most herself -- in an Afro and a kinte-cloth outfit.  

    But that was before her husband got into politics.  We have seen how many women have had to give up so much, even their names, to pander to the public for the sake of political careers.


    Now, sher, you don't like Michelle Obama (none / 0) (#94)
    by Cream City on Thu Nov 05, 2009 at 12:05:30 PM EST
    and that's why you gave the comment a 1?  Or you don't like her looking great, as I said that she did?  Explain yourself, sher.  For once, come out of the shadows.  Or I will go ahead and tell one and all that you are a Michelle Obama-hater.

    Ouch! (none / 0) (#37)
    by desertswine on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:53:41 PM EST
    Fried baloney.

    I think Tim Kaine should be really (5.00 / 8) (#5)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 12:46:32 PM EST
    embarassed by such a devastating loss on his watch as both the outgoing gov and as DNC Chair.

    I don't know where he got those numbers either - neither did the talking head who was interviewing him.

    Also, completely understand that he is trying to deflect criticism, but I still think that in the face of these embarassing losses the smarter answer to a question like, "Do you think this reflects on your party/president?" is something along the lines of, "We are listening."  Not, "No. Its all good everyone still loves us a lot.  This was all 'local' issues."

    Those polls showing that overwhelming numbers of voters in both states were concerned about the economy, prove that these elections were not "all local" at all as Kaine repeatedly claimed this morning.


    More articles like that are showing (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 01:21:20 PM EST
    up....Newsweek had an unfavorable article this week. I think we are going to see many more articles exposing the downside of this administration. I never believe the polls that don't resemble what I know just from paying attention to the world around me. I would be surprised if the true approval ratings were greater than 40%...polls are as easy to manipulate as the unemployment rates are.

    Ahh the Pauline Kael style of analysis (none / 0) (#35)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:52:38 PM EST
    can't see how that would lead to confirmation bias.

    I know several men who (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by hairspray on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 05:41:58 PM EST
    were big Obama supporters who are really angry with him.  Clint Reilly writes in the SF Chronicle on Monday that Obama has three important things to do and has failed to show leadership on any of them.  They are Afghanistan, Health Care and reform of the financial system.  The fact that not one piece of legislation born out of anger for what the system did to the country is telling.  Where is the righteous indignation.  Nothing!! No sense talking of health care on this site, its been done.  But Reilly goes into Afghanistan too. I am terrible with links! sorry.

    Not an explanation so much as an excuse (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Ellie on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 01:11:33 PM EST
    This crunching is as much superstitious hooey as "analysis" tying crop failures to lunar eclipses:

    In both Virginia and New Jersey we had strong candidates who were running against a significant historical tide and faced uphill battles from the start of this campaign.  In New Jersey, the party in power in the White House hasn't won the Governor's office since 1985 and the party in power in the White House hasn't won the Governor's office in Virginia since 1977.  It would have been historic if not unprecedented to win one or both of these races given historical trends. ... "

    I'd imagine that in the new, slate-clearing era of Obama, the DNC Chair anywhere would do better than flop like a flounder in the undertow of a pre-Obama "historical" trend.

    DISCLAIMER: I cheerfully know SFA about these various races and am just rubbernecking the media / pol / blog fallout.


    lol!~ (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by nycstray on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 01:30:06 PM EST
    It would have been historic if not unprecedented to win one or both of these races given historical trends. ...

    I thought that was Obama's specialty?  /s


    He's probably right about Obama (none / 0) (#32)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:49:05 PM EST
    there's a reason almost every President in recent memory has been re-elected by a larger majority than the one that initially swept him into office. Only once has there been a hold on the Whitehouse of less than 8 years (by a party) in this century- Carter, that's literally it every other time its been at least two terms by one party.

    Carter is so "last century." (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:53:08 PM EST
    Unfortunately for Obama, a lot of (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:00:50 PM EST
    the conditions on the ground are very similar to those during the Carter era.  His people are modeling his presidency on the Clinton era, when they probably ought to be thinking about the Carter era a bit more than they seem to be.

    "I knew Bill Clinton" (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:06:03 PM EST
    "Bill Clinton was a friend of mine.  Obama is no Bill Clinton."

    Unfortunately (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:47:08 PM EST
    I have to disagree with you especially on the economy, my biggest single disappointement with Obama was his decision to bring in the Clinton Admin people who set up the house of cards in the first place.

    He's had time to fire them. (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by hairspray on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 05:50:24 PM EST
    A good leader would have pulled them out pretty quickly.  I don't think Obama understands the financial system and is relying on them too much.

    I didn't realize Axelrod, Geithner, Gates (none / 0) (#87)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 06:05:58 PM EST
    were from the Clinton Administration. Does he also have Clinton's speech writer?

    Yes (none / 0) (#88)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 06:07:18 PM EST
    one who groped cardboard cut-outs of the then-First Lady

    Geithner definitely is (none / 0) (#92)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Nov 05, 2009 at 12:10:04 AM EST
    Rubin protege.

    Summers is (none / 0) (#95)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Nov 05, 2009 at 03:54:24 PM EST
    and Geithner is a Rubin one off.

    Oh, brother... (5.00 / 12) (#10)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 01:14:56 PM EST
    are we really going to have another three-plus years of having to explain leadership to the freakin' POTUS?  Seriously?  This is just too painful to contemplate, it really is.

    I'm already feeling a tad motion-sick from the constant veering and swerving and lane-changing, and usually, when that happens, the solution is to stop the car and get out.

    I have a sense that another year of this, and we will be looking at a lot of people "getting out of the car" and just not showing up to vote in 2010.


    NYT (yesterday) analyzing Obama (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 01:16:43 PM EST
    presidency to date:  link

    "Everything about the politics of Washington works against hope and optimism and unity. So you have to push against that every day, understanding that it's going to be an imperfect end result." He [David Axelrod] added: "That night was sublime. And much of what goes on in Washington is prosaic. Or profane."

    That's a difficult article to read (5.00 / 8) (#17)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 01:40:38 PM EST
    There was this deafening noise distracting me...then, I realized it was just me screaming.

    On a chuckle per paragraph basis that article ... (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Ellie on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:11:03 PM EST
    ... rates a solid 22/22.

    frighteningly (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 01:33:04 PM EST
    I think they do not realize it.

    I think this is also the same (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:26:24 PM EST
    paralysis of decision and commitment surrounding Afghanistan.  No matter what he does in Afghanistan though he will never place that one squarely in the "win" column.  After all the years of the situation and our policies in Afghanistan being neglected there isn't any way he can come off a big winner.  And no matter what he does, whatever win he claims, will never receive bipartisan applause.  In this war there are only degrees of loss, and he needs to decide what those are going to be for him and his troops and then also go to "political" guns when the Conservatives attack, because they don't have a winning strategy outside of "stay the course" and sadly allowed the complete failure of everything Afghanistan to occur as well as accrue interest.  I don't know why he doesn't trust that the American majority won't support him in making logically supported choices in Afghanistan.  He doesn't seem to care a fig about such support though.  It's every other support out there that he wants, mine is last on his list of desired support to obtain.

    Seriously, MT? (none / 0) (#93)
    by FreakyBeaky on Thu Nov 05, 2009 at 12:17:07 AM EST
    I don't know why he doesn't trust that the American majority won't support him in making logically supported choices in Afghanistan.  

    The only AfPak policy I can see a majority of Americans supporting is Biden's pull back and bomb the crap out of anything that looks like a terrorist from 30,000 feet plan.  I'm convinced it is the wrong move, but it has the advantage of being out of sight, out of mind, relatively cheap, and costly "only" in the future.  And who does not like out of sight, out of mind, and deferred costs?  

    Me personally, I am reluctantly leaning towards giving COIN and McChrystal's 40k troops + NATO a chance to work, IF Karzai proves he is willing to deliver for his people instead of for his warlords and cronies - I mean that has to be an integral part of the strategy as I understand it, and it's out of our hands.  I don't expect it ever to have majority support.

    Ugly stuff.


    Compared to Afghanistan (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:29:33 PM EST
    He has a much better chance of "winning" a very good outcome for his people getting us all health-care that isn't going to break all of us and excludes nobody.  He is missing an excellent opportunity here.  This fight is much more certain than anything he'll find outside of the United States to win.

    But didn't some female GOP Congressperson (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:44:06 PM EST
    recently state HCR is a bigger threat to people in the U.S. than terrorism?

    When it comes time for Obama to play some (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:56:27 PM EST
    hardball against the GOP, who do you think she's going to side with when they begin talking about Obama's losses?  I live in winger central.  Obama can't do ANYTHING in Afghanistan in their book that would add up to a "win" of any kind.  In fact, they already have him on this dithering thing and extreme troop losses we are experiencing at the same time.  And there is no delineation between his policies and the Bush administrations other than he isn't a decider. Perhaps he hoped to not distinguish himself on the topic of Afghanistan but a War President NEVER gets that option and Afghanistan is getting hotter and hotter every passing day.  Perhaps attacks will fall off during the winter months like they do in Iraq.  But Iraq was not used to thirty years of constant war (they still thought taking days off was okay) and the people of the Afghan region are seasoned.  Those that fight us there take advantage of every possible opportunity.

    Wasn't he the anti-Iraq war candidate? (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:59:48 PM EST
    He was the candidate who didn't (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:05:40 PM EST
    vote for the AUMF....even though he couldn't have :)  And he was the candidate who got Iraq right.....now he can get anything in Iraq right that he wants to and chooses to ummmmmmm..........that damned Odierno, this is ALL HIS FAULT. He says things to Obama about the insurgency there that are factual and that causes Obama to do nothing!

    Very true, but Odierno (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Dadler on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:54:29 PM EST
    Was one of the major league morons in the military who turned Iraq into the disaster it was. I'm not sure I'd be confident listening to him either. Which is part of the bigger problem: those who were right from the beginning were tossed out summarily and we haven't exactly seen their return. All that said, I have no idea who or what Obama is thinking about anything, war, peace, healthcare, none of it. On so many things he seems an enigma wrapped in thinly sliced ham. And I still think he is who he is, the guy who worked very hard to get into the in-crowd, and very few people (less than that) who take this route have it in them to get themselves selflessly expelled.

    I will always have a problem (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 05:11:01 PM EST
    with people saying that some Generals got things wrong.  Some Generals are certainly more accomplished and successful than others but I know of no General who didn't want the Powell doctrine first and foremost as we went into Iraq.  Those who were the most admant and vocal about it were fired.  The Generals who decided to work with the Bush Administration and attempt to deliver them a win in Iraq with the number of troops they were told they could have are now suddenly "these guys who got it wrong".  Look, soldiers to the best of their ability figure out how to do what they are told 90% of the time period whether they like what they are told to do or not.  Some are so committed that they take that to 100% of the time.  They will advise one thing but the minute they are told NO, they do what they can with what they are given from there. And then you have troublemakers like Shinseki and McChrystal who boldface tell administrations that the plan they want enacted cannot be done to any degree of success with the numbers the administration is willing to provide.  If you give a competent General a different mission though he can probably accomplish that with a different number of troops.  If Odierno is not a competent General then Obama is obligated to fire him.  Presidents set the goals people.  Generals advise Presidents and sometimes Generals are allowed to set certain goals but not always....that too is up to their command.

    I read an article recently extensively (none / 0) (#53)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:08:35 PM EST
    quoting a general under McC in Afghanistan.  Can't remember the general's name or re-find the article.  Anyhow, it was interesting because the general analyzed connection or lack thereof between Taliban and al Qaeda.  Shifting sands apparently.

    Hmmm, I'll have to see if I can find that (none / 0) (#78)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 04:57:24 PM EST
    I don't know how anybody can't see a connection between Al Qaeda and the Taliban though.

    I think the general's conclusions were (none / 0) (#79)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 05:04:08 PM EST
    not supposed to be made public.  Odierno and Mc'C were referenced in the article/blog post.  Which seems to have disappeared.  I even checked Technorati.

    Was it James Jones? (none / 0) (#81)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 05:16:57 PM EST
    It may have been Jones and may have (none / 0) (#82)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 05:23:58 PM EST
    been in WSJ, to which I do not subscribe.  But a friend gave me an issue reviewing Gustavo Dudamel conducting LA Phil. at Disney Hall.  

    If it was Jones (none / 0) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 05:46:41 PM EST
    For the record I think of him as little more than someone who wanted to be a Playa sooooo bad. I think he's David Axelrod with a military career to hide behind.  He is the guy who first ran Afghanistan....and boy, he did a first rate job huh?  What did he fight for that the mission needed?  He also liked to war on poppies.  He used to command NATO forces and he said this in March of this year, and then sometime around that time NATO told him to get bent on his poppy free zone plans :)

    QUESTION: Willie Lora with CNN International. Thank you, General. Two things; with the root of the problem -- security problem in Pakistan, what makes you think that all of this is going to work? And also, a lot has been said about the drug problem in Afghanistan and a lot of the analysts are saying that that's part of the big problem. And there was little said this morning by the President about that issue. What do you think about that?

    GEN JONES: About drugs?

    QUESTION: Drugs and drug trafficking.

    GEN JONES: Well, I think all of us who have spent time on this issue know that the production of poppies has grown exponentially every year until this year. If I'm -- if I read the reports correctly, this is the first year where we've actually had a decline, and that decline has been -- has been fairly impressive. My information tells me that of the 34 provinces in Afghanistan, 18 are now poppy-free, if I could use that term, and we hope to continue that progress.

    Now, part of it is climate change. We've had droughts. And part of it is the fact that wheat is producing more revenue on the market and so farmers are growing more wheat in Afghanistan. And part of it has to do with the fact that we're paying a little bit more attention to the drug trade.

    But this is an example of a problem that is a regional problem. It affects every country, including Iran, including Russia, China, including Pakistan, and certainly Afghanistan. And those are the -- these are the kinds of economic discussions and legal discussions that I think nations can now have with this regional approach to confront a problem.

    And the first part of your question was?

     Here are some more of his stellar roles and idiot ideas.

    He obviously knows how to fix everything, even things that aren't his to fix. And he obviously knows more than any of the rest of us about anything, even things he can't know about.  I myself only think that he is secretly very jealous of McChrystal and sees his own personal failings in everything that McChrystal is now trying to fix.


    Yes but on Afghanistan he was always hawkish (none / 0) (#65)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:49:10 PM EST
    as was every major canidate from either party- remember Afghanistan is/was viewed by every single presidential contender as the "good war" the  war we had to fight.

    I haven't forgotten. (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:57:09 PM EST
    For the record (5.00 / 3) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 05:51:45 PM EST
    I honestly don't care if he was hawkish during the campaign or not.  An effective President makes war choices based on the needs of his country and his troops.  If he decided to not do Afghanistan and he chooses to leave tomorrow, then let's get it on.  He has as many valid reason to choose to do that as he has to choose any of the other options on the table. He has a job now, to command these troops and to define this mission, and he can't get away from that because it comes with the job that he wanted so badly.

    D'oh! (none / 0) (#7)
    by lilburro on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 01:00:21 PM EST
    I thought this was about healthcare...but it is about another stimulus.

    I think he has the credibility to work with on both, but on the stimulus in particular.  The stimulus worked as well as it could.  Cleverly package an extension to the stimulus and sell it to the people.  Paul Krugman's recent column was a great argument for more stimulus.

    I am befuddled....Perhaps the Obama Admin is trying to space out stimulus, one in the first term, one in the second, so they can't be run against for spending all that money in 2012...but if it's WORKING and it IS there's nothing to be ASHAMED ABOUT....good lord.

    It is? (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 01:05:59 PM EST
    It is (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:55:02 PM EST
    most economic analysts seem to credit the stimulus and the bailout with starting a slow turnaround, and more importantly (though far less popular)-- preventing a complete economic collapse).

    Not to the everyday voter (none / 0) (#51)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:06:45 PM EST
    And that's all that really matters.  

    Here's one poll (none / 0) (#54)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:12:29 PM EST

    2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling: (RANDOM ORDER)
    The economy  

                          Approve Disapprove No Opinion
    Oct. 30 - Nov. 1,  46%      54%          1%
    September 11-13,   54%      45%          1%
    August 28-31*    49%      51%          *
    March 12-15,       59%      40%          2%

    Look for the recent poll (none / 0) (#72)
    by Steve M on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 04:03:21 PM EST
    where they asked people if they thought the stimulus had helped them.  Like 57% said yes.

    Of course, that was the poll they (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 04:41:26 PM EST
    took standing on the sidewalk outside the "employees only" entrance to the big banks :)

    And yet Voters don't hold Obama responsible (none / 0) (#73)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 04:03:23 PM EST
    for the state of the economy- if anything the steep swings in opinion make it hard to judge one way or the other what voters think of Obama's job performance.

    Depending on the poll (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 04:10:50 PM EST
    45% of voters DO blame Obama for the economy.  And 75% of the voters in NJ and VA who put the economy as their biggest worry, voted for Republicans yesterday.

    What kind of stimulus though? (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:39:54 PM EST
    If Larry Summers keeps raging and raving that nothing can be done about the bleeding of jobs and housing foreclosures (and Summers is a table pounder...he's no wall flower), what is this stimulus going to be made of and who gets it?  Cuz I'm thinking that as long as Larry Summers runs things, the most that you and I or all of our adult kids now living with us will receive will be our tried and true trickledown.

    And that trickle... (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Dadler on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:57:47 PM EST
    ...ain't gonna be milk and honey. More like what said liquids become after Larry Summers shovels them down his elite gullet.

    Comment all you want, but (none / 0) (#16)
    by bocajeff on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 01:33:14 PM EST
    Absent War the most important thing people will vote for is the economy. People are hurting therefore they vote anti-incumbent. When the economy is good then they'll vote for incumbent. Navel gazing aside, fix the economy first then move on to other things like health care, etc...

    Interesting theory (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Steve M on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 01:51:55 PM EST
    so how come FDR got reelected in 1936?  How come Al Gore didn't win in 2000?

    It's pretty silly to imply that the economy could just be "fixed" if only Obama weren't wasting his time on silly issues like health care, but I'm pretty sure you know that's not how it works.


    Uhhh. Well, of course, Gore (5.00 / 5) (#25)
    by Cream City on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:39:37 PM EST
    did win, except in the Electoral College.  And going back farther, FDR had put people back to work and, especially with the Second New Deal of 1935 -- which also provided them with security aka old-pensions aka Social Security.

    So he defied critics and went even more liberal to get re-elected.  Could be a usable past there, hmmm?


    Gore lost (none / 0) (#28)
    by Spamlet on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:44:25 PM EST
    in the Supreme Court before he lost in the Electoral College.

    Aha (none / 0) (#33)
    by Steve M on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:49:56 PM EST
    so it seems there is a strategy to win even if the economy remains bad.  That would have been my contention as well!

    As noted, (none / 0) (#42)
    by bocajeff on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:59:14 PM EST
    In 1936 some of the New Deal was enacted which was giving people hope that things were being done. Also, in 2000 the tech bubble had already burst and their were signs of an impending recession which did happen.

    Obama's been in office a little less than a year, we'll see what happens in the future.

    I'm not saying that my theory is a rule, but it's usually a pretty good guide.


    I don't think you can separate (5.00 / 6) (#31)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:46:19 PM EST
    health care from the economy - not this economy, anyway.

    Yes, we can do things that help the economy, but health care will continue to be a drag on it until it's fixed - and fixed right.  And, since  the signs are not pointing in the direction of it being done right, the effect of poorly conceived reform on an economy that is struggling to rebound may be fairly toxic.


    disagree completely, (none / 0) (#46)
    by bocajeff on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:01:03 PM EST
    health care is important to fix but when you don't have a job and there's no money to live on health care isn't as important. Get people working, get the economy moving and people will be able to do other things...like get health care or pay for it through taxes...

    Voters Responses (none / 0) (#39)
    by WillieB on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 02:55:34 PM EST
    I was working the polls yesterday and the response from most of the people about Obama's performance so far. "He's only been in office nine months, what do you expect him to do".

    Now he won't be able to count on that support forever but for now I think that the opinion of folks who don't follow politics closely is mostly favorable.

    Interesting (5.00 / 4) (#56)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:14:28 PM EST
    the opinion of folks who don't follow politics closely is mostly favorable.

    [my italics]

    So, it's the uniformed who find him favorable. Sounds about right to me.

    BTW - did you ask the favorables if they were employed or unemployed? Being foreclosed on, or underwater on their mortgages?


    I would argue that if said people are voting now (none / 0) (#66)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:52:04 PM EST
    then they're probably more engaged than the General Populace not less- voter turnout in odd years (not mid-term or presidential) seldom tops 30%.

    Of course among the "informed" (none / 0) (#68)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:56:54 PM EST
    the problem seems to be that Obama's either too far left and that he's moving too fast, or that he's to far right and that's he's being too cautious. Seriously, if we lose congress in 2010 (40% chance right now) there is going to be debate with the Democratic party much like the one that the GOP had in 2010- Did we lose because we were too liberal? Did we lose because we were to conservative? And both pundits and the opposite side will of course say that it was because of being too far from the middle- its what we said in 2006 and 2008- the GOP lost because they moved too far right, and its what the village will say in 2010- Dem's lost because they moved too far left (obviously, the GOP base and the Dem base did say/ will say the exact opposite).

    The Dems will decide... (5.00 / 4) (#74)
    by Dadler on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 04:09:34 PM EST
    ...to become more liberal when Rush Limbaugh legally marries another man in Texas.  Liberal, the word, is dead in America.  The right managed to essentially equate it with child molesting.  (They do get things done, at least.)  Not that it can't be taken back, but that would require creative and bold leadership.  Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, the Dem party hacks will, as they usually do, react with a stunning lack of imagination equaled only by their enthusiasm for its absence.  

    There's only one question they need ask (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 04:40:29 PM EST

    Did we lose because we let the people of the country down with our greedy, self-focused agenda?

    Those other questions are simply showing their lack of accountability.


    Voters (none / 0) (#90)
    by WillieB on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 09:31:58 PM EST
    BTW - did you ask the favorables if they were employed or unemployed? Being foreclosed on, or underwater on their mortgages?

    I work the polls in a somewhat depressed area, mostly middle, no probably lower middle class.

    So I'm sure there were quite a few un- or underemployed voters there.

    Most people don't read political blogs they get their news from CBS,NBC etc. or (shudder) Fox News.

    I was surprised by his support myself. That's why I mentioned it.


    Check back about....March. (none / 0) (#52)
    by Fabian on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 03:06:57 PM EST
    See how the long winter and the economy is affecting people.