Monday Open Thread

Christmas is over, the news is slow, I'm starting on my "end of year" tasks. What are you hoping to wrap up or change by New Year's?

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    You know... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 12:26:28 PM EST
    I turned 59 this month, and I think that the most important thing - THE most important thing - that I've learned in 59 years of lurching around this house of mirrors way the eff out in space on the leftest edge of the left 30,000 light years from the center of the galaxy is is not that life is very, very, very, very, very serious, and no one here gets out alive....

    But that ... if you're NOT laughing... you're doin' it WRONG!

    Have a nice 2012. Merry Happy, etc... :-)

    Well then, (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by NYShooter on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 04:46:05 PM EST
    I must be doing it right.

    I read your posts, and I can't stop laughing!


    Happy, Merry, and all that to you, and everyone else too.


    Heh! (none / 0) (#19)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 06:04:21 PM EST
    It works, doesn't it? ;-)

    How can I wrap up Fox News? (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 12:38:12 PM EST
    Facebook makes me melt down today, and I'm certain that Fox News has something to do with it.  Another German Shepherd breeder put up this link to Israel about to attack Iran, and then another ones freaks out about how we should never have left Iraq because now Iran is going to get very aggressive.  

    Phucking A people, get out a map and find Afghanistan if you are that worried about our troops being GONE from the region while Iran spins out of control!

    And do any rightwingers know what a SOFA agreement is?  Second question, do they care?  Do they care that the responsible thing our President does is that he removes his troops from Iraq when they will not give him a SOFA agreement for his troops.  Those are the actions of the sane.  And we have a SOFA agreement with Kuwait and we have a buttload of troops there now so what's the phucking difference really?

    I'm either going to have to wrap up Fox News by the end of the year or wrap up Facebook, one or the other.

    Tracy, sweetie (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 01:09:56 PM EST
    Take some deep, cleansing breaths and relax.  Ommmmmm.  Take what you like from Facebook (or anything else) and try to ignore the rest as much as possible.  OTOH, if Facebook is causing you such angst, either de-friend and block the people causing you such tsouris, or blow out of Facebook altogether.  You have enough on your plate that you don't need to tear your hair out over idiots and their opinions.  The idiots will always be with us, no matter where we are or where we go (either physically or virtually).  I get frustrated with certain people, too, but at the end of the day, I figure that karma will ultimately catch up to the really unpleasant ones, in one way or another.

    I think the issues are important (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 02:35:00 PM EST
    ones.  I invite every American to understand what is going on, what has happened and why, and then please have an educated informed opinion.  Fox News is literally these days, in my mind, a plague on humanity and a plague upon our democracy.  They spread flat out utter bull$hit and vile crap and so many people want to believe them. And listening to them does flat out make people ignorant and uninformed.

    I just don't get it.  Past Americans died, laid their lives on line to defend our right of some of us to choose to make ourselves ignorant idiots with the most firepower on the planet?  It's sad.


    Yes, of course the issues (none / 0) (#12)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 03:09:29 PM EST
    are terribly, terribly important.  And I encourage you to do everything you can to educate the ignorant, as do I.  But after you present the bold, stark facts, and people still refuse to see or hear, you need to realize that you can only do so much.  I write and call my local, state, and national representatives, I give money to a number of causes that are important to me, I try to educate the people around me.  But at the end of the day, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."  If they simply will not hear, there's not a d@mned thing you can do about it.  Do what you can, but don't let it raise your blood pressure.  You have a family (and yourself) to take care of.  
    PS  I really do think that it's simply much easier for most people to believe everything they are told by questionable sources, instead of thinking for themselves and doing further research.  But as much as I try, I can only change that incrementally.  Do I still try?  Of course.  I do realize that it will not change everyone's opinion, however, and there are times when I simply choose to disengage, instead of beating my head against a wall.

    I think I make them all feel like idiots (5.00 / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 11:23:43 PM EST
    Because they watch one news channel...FOX.  Eating only FOX NEWS is like living on Captain Crunch, it will make you fat, sick, and stupid.

    They are dead serious though when they get upset about the "facts" they gobble on FOX News.  And they tend to forget the past too, it is freaky eerie how that goes down.  I'm only a reminder of sorts.  Also an educator since Fox News isn't going to explain a SOFA to them or what it does to troops in a combat zone or any foreign country without a SOFA.


    MT, just curious (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 04:22:16 PM EST
    How much Fox News Channel do you watch, and why?

    I never watch it by my own choice (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 11:20:27 PM EST
    My husband turns it on a few hours each week.  He watches mostly MSNBC, but he watches about as much CNN as he does FOX.  He says everyone needs to watch all of them if for no other reason than to understand your enemy :)

    FOX News is all over Obama though right now for "pulling out" of Iraq.  Things they leave out as they have this "debate"?  Number One, this was George W. Bush's agreement with the Iraqi government.  Number Two, what is a SOFA and why do we have them and understand....we have a SOFA with every single country that U.S. troops are in.  Only an irresponsible insane President would leave our troops in a country without a SOFA.  It would literally be a betrayal of his or her troops as well and would destroy the morale of the military going through something like that.  Our troops answer to our President and our people at the voting booth, and that's that!


    This may interest you: (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 11:44:59 PM EST
    I have watched this with a bit of interest (5.00 / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 12:17:32 AM EST
    I don't know her, but oddly I know of her in the weirdest way.  She breeds and shows hunting dogs.  She doesn't show them herself, but I ran into her "handler" who is also a woman.  I was feeling her out for handling one of my dogs and she she gave me Cornum as a reference.

    I'm pretty skeptical of this program.  There isn't much out there right indicating what "facts" and what research they are basing any of this on.

    We have one real solid piece of research indicating that people who have a certain type of Serotonin in abundance don't develop PTSD and it doesn't seem all that common.  My husband has something that causes him to not be able to sleep.  The guy who is a STATFOR subscriber who I phoned this morning and said that he had already heard, he is slightly older than my husband, saw combat in Iraq at an older age even and he doesn't sleep either.  He had a nightmare at 1:00 am last night and never was able to go back to sleep.

    Thinking good thoughts isn't going to make the horrible go away, particularly if you are 18 years old going into that stuff and your frontal lobe is still forming.


    The pilot in command of the Apache (none / 0) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 12:26:54 AM EST
    that was shot down during the beginning of this Iraq War, and who was a POW and was found with the others, he has horrible PTSD.  They let him have a key role though in reworking the SERE school on Fort Rucker in order to make sure that pilots know what to expect.  His gunner, frontseater, was really young and he really fought them...he paid too.  Anyhow, the pilot in command graduated from flight school in my husband's class and I guess Fort Rucker SERE school now will make a survivor out of you if nothing else if you can make it through it.  They must all make it through it though to fly for the United States.

    So you never watch it of your own choice (none / 0) (#37)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 08:59:07 AM EST
    yet you are an expert on it.


    Like your husband I spread my watching around with the understanding that CNN is to the Left of Fox and MSNBC is Left of CNN. I almost never watch the Networks outside of some sports having learned long ago that NBC, CBS and ABC are just peas in the pod all with the same message.

    As for it being "Bush's agreement," it was signed at the end of Bush's term, in November 2008. Obama did inherit it just as he did the new oil drilling guidelines put in place by Bush and the Democrats.

    Yet he had no problem rejecting those guidelines and putting his own in place.

    So let's not hear how Obama's hand's were tied. They weren't.


    Fox News isn't News (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 09:45:18 AM EST
    It is a propaganda machine that more than one study has discovered makes its viewers actually dumber and less informed than if they didn't watch news at all.  They purposefully make people upset by leaving out facts.  I will work to expose them for what they are, and I'm not alone in that department either.

    We currently serve Jim.  A member of this family goes out there, deploys into the combat zones.  When the people we serve are running around with cherry picked facts sans all the rest of the facts that would allow them to fully understand and be something other than pissed off at a certain President because he is a "D",  it is very upsetting to us.  We serve them.  We protect them.  People are currently dying in the midst of ALL OF THIS.

    Being in Iraq without a SOFA is extremely morale damaging.  When a soldier gets an order, he/she must know at the core of their being that whatever happens, the people who gave them that order are able and will fight for them with full authority.

    You know what happened over Abu Ghraib and the Bush Administration?  They demonstrated they would give orders, horrible orders, to their soldiers and when push came to shove they would abuse a handful of low rankers to cover their arses because the whole world was watching what they had done.  That was a morale destroying moment too.

    Thankfully I can look at this President and fully take notice that he has never done anything like that to those serving.  And Fox News literally $hits on soldiers and their families with their lies and propaganda.  Having people not understand that there was no SOFA, and what that means to their troops, is journalism of such high neglect you should be able to sue them over it.


    MT, they are all propaganda machines (none / 0) (#41)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 10:36:07 AM EST
    if that is what you want to call journalism with a bias.

    And my view on those "studies" is that they are as accurate, and from the same type people, who do "studies/polls" and declare that conservatives are dumber than liberals. You might want to remember the false rape claims at Duke and note that none of the facility members who attacked the students have never apologized.

    There are  people on both sides with agendas.

    As for your comments re no SOFA:

    American-led Coalition forces participating in the 2003 invasion of Iraq were initially subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of their parent states. After the handover of sovereign power to an Iraqi administration, Coalition forces in Iraq were nominally subject to Iraqi jurisdiction, and operated without any Status of Forces Agreement.[16] In theory, Iraqi Courts had the right to try Coalition forces for any alleged offenses, though this right was never exercised.


    In the meantime it appears that Obama was handed a victory in Iraq and he has now lost the peace.

    If the FNC has people on saying that I would say they may be a bit early, but I think they will be proved correct.


    No Jim, sorry (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 10:53:52 AM EST
    No other "news" organization in the studies came up making their viewers actually dumber and less informed than if they had not watched it at all, only Fox News is blessed with that.  It IS a propaganda machine of the most shameful kind.

    Uh, Tracy (none / 0) (#45)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 12:43:36 PM EST
    that was my point.

    The "people" who do the "studies" are biased and their studies are biased.

    But I guess you think MSNBC is "fair and balanced."



    Jim (5.00 / 0) (#48)
    by sj on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 12:55:54 PM EST
    some things really are measurable.  Not all studies are simply a matter of opinion and spin.  And the "all studies are biased" crap is just that.  Crap.

    If your feeling is both sides do it then you should be just as critical eyeing the pap you get from FOX as you are the pap you get from MSNBC.  With a little work, the truth -- and it's relationship to the "reporting" -- is out there.

    If however, you are using the "both sides do it" mantra just so you can hold on to the propaganda that you get from a single station then maybe old dogs really can't learn new tricks.


    SJ (none / 0) (#52)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 01:20:07 PM EST
    Studies showing conservatives are dumber than liberals??? Really? Studies that show FNC viewers are dumber than liberals??? Really?

    What's next? Genetics?? Bumps on heads?

    And that's what I said. I watch some of all of them and find all of them biased. So I view them through that lens. And I am careful to understand the difference between hard news and opinion. O'Reilly is opinion. Joe in the morning is opinion. I enjoy some of both and believe 100% neither.

    Also, I suspect that few here actually watch FNC. That's okay. But if you don't watch it then you aren't an expert, or even knowledgeable, about it than any die hard conservative who never watches CNN or MSNBC.


    In my view (none / 0) (#56)
    by sj on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 01:50:34 PM EST
    "dumber" was an unfortunate choice of words.  I would have gone with ignorant.  But, heck, maybe y'all are dumber.  Because the takeaway from those studies should have been that FOX viewers are the most ill-informed.  That is a measurable quantity.  The takeaway should not have been conservatives are dumber than liberals.

    However, as for dumber, well I'm left to wonder:  is lack of reading comprehension an aspect of "dumber"?


    Ill-inforfmed (none / 0) (#60)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 02:36:42 PM EST
    Based on what, the poll questions????

    Just how comprehensive was the poll? Who chose the questions?

    What I find "dumber" is how quickly the Left goes on the personal attack.

    And perhaps the greatest failure of all is the inability to write clearly.


    Okay (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by sj on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 02:47:42 PM EST
    Maybe Tracy was right.  Someone who wallows in -- and practically glories in -- his or her ignorance can't be terribly bright.

    Ignorance with no desire to learn beyond that ignorance really is pretty dumb.  Even if that particular ignorant being knows how to spell.

    And this says so much:

    And perhaps the greatest failure of all is the inability to write clearly.

    Apparently it isn't a great failure to be unable to think clearly if one is able to clearly write about his misperceptions.

    I have no doubt that you'll respond to this because you are pathologically unable to give someone else the last word.  Personally, I don't have that problem so, for today, but I'm done with you and your thread monopolizing ways.  So I may or may not read your next bit of nonsense.


    I knew you would go there (none / 0) (#71)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:02:02 PM EST
    Where did I say that I believed anything??? In fact, I wrote:

    I enjoy some of both and believe 100% neither.

    Now, what about that was not written plainly?

    SJ, you're just trying to find something to argue about. Why?? I dunno. Is it because I disagree with all of them part of the time?

    The whole argument that liberals or conservatives are better informed/smarter/dumber/ignorant than the other is just silly. There are no "fair and balanced" parties involved.

    Of course if your ego needs boosting so badly you want to believe..... be my guest.... Being one of the Ancients the only thing I want to be impressed by is the results of my annual blood tests.



    they don't fraudulently call themselves (none / 0) (#46)
    by jondee on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 12:50:45 PM EST
    "Fair and Balanced", which means, among other things, that they don't assume they can insult the intelligence of their viewers without said viewers noticing (a state of affairs which doesn't exactly argue against the dumb-conservative stereotype..)

    Oh please (none / 0) (#49)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 12:57:26 PM EST
    Making much ado about an advertising gimmick demonstrates that you have no serious comment. As I said, they are all biased. Pick your poison.

    I try a bit of all them.


    Oh please (none / 0) (#72)
    by jondee on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:09:48 PM EST
    it figures you'd have no problem with a your favorite news program using a bald-faced lie as it's tagline..

    ..Because, after all, The important thing is that the fraud and lies are put to work in the service of the cause..


    And triple shameful of you Jim (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 11:01:22 AM EST
    Obama was handed a victory in Iraq?  Our leaving right now was orchestrated by the Bush administration.  This was the agreement they signed with the Iraqi government.  Obama lobbied for a new one, but once Bush signed that agreement that was what they were sticking with....fine....whatever.  Our troops will sit in Kuwait then if something horrible happens that we must address.

    Iraq has known no peace since we invaded either.  You are crazy out of your phucking mind.  And it was only when Obama promised our soldiers a leave taking of Iraq that morale returned to the military and soldiers stopped leaving active duty service as soon as possible.

    I don't care if you like it or not, but we the families....we aren't having our soldiers die in Iraq for idiots like you and what you call winning.  Go yourself a$$hole, leave my soldier and my family out of your crazy!  Thank God for this President.  It is people like you who remind me how much I need to be grateful for him.  I think you may have inspired a diary from me Jim.


    Tracy (none / 0) (#47)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 12:55:06 PM EST
    can you ever make a comment with out eventually engaging in a nasty personal attack?

    Idiots like me?? Tracy, even if I thought you an idiot I wouldn't call you one. But then again, I don't need to.

    Tracy, it is an all volunteer military. You don't seem to understand this but you don't get to pick the war or the policies. And if that is a problem, then leave at the first opportunity.

    Obama's total foreign policy has been based on attacking our allies and apologizing to our enemies. His actions in Afghanistan told the radicals in Iraq that all they had to do was wait and he would leave. This was telegraphed to them about three years ago and it undercut any hope by the moderates in Iraq that a democracy could be established in Iraq. And Afghanistan for that matter.

    Grateful??? Obama's foreign policies will kill more people than Bush's. Just be patient.


    I can make lots and lots of comments (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:44:38 PM EST
    without making a personal attack.  But when you accuse my Extremely successful militarily President for not winning enough for you, and not getting enough U.S. soldiers killed to make it a win for you...well, I have my limits and I think maybe you should quit whining and get yourself over there now and fix and win whatever it is you insist must be won because the rest of us are DONE!

    MT, you always tell me about (none / 0) (#82)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:05:53 PM EST
    your limits.

    Maybe you need to expand them a bit and start considering some facts.

    War is just an expansion of diplomacy. So far Obama has, among other things, given up our missile defense in Poland to Russia and has rec'd nothing. You would have thought he would have traded that for Russia giving up its support in Iran.


    And you have selective memory (none / 0) (#94)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:58:44 AM EST
    Until Obama was elected, and elected on saying that we were leaving Iraq, we had to stop-loss soldiers.  As soon as Obama's word seemed good, we were able to end the stop-loss.

    This is a volunteer military Jim.  We all wanted out of Iraq, I'm not just speaking for me alone there. They had to stop-loss all of us to even pull off the surge because we were all getting out.  Everyone was so miserable back then, just flat out living in misery because if you weren't there right now you would be going soon enough.  If John McCain had been elected I doubt I would be married and our family together.  I would have divorced my husband, and he would not have allowed that so he would have retired at 20.  I probably would have still divorced him at some point because they would have sent him Iraq in the reserves and I was DONE!  You go ahead and take a look at the divorce rates of established marriages during Bush's Iraq Fiasco.

    The military was spine and morale broken when Obama was elected Jim.  Sorry I won't conveniently forget that for you.  And when he upped his ante in Afghanistan he really pissed off his base, but he won his soldier's hearts and souls because that was always where the real problem was and it was being ignored.  That was killing many who serve too from the inside out. It broke their hearts. Iraq was a lie, rich men who wanted oil that wasn't theirs, and our nation remained at risk with the original attackers safe and sound and flourishing.  People began enlisting again too in huge numbers right after that, after Obama announced we were now going to Afghanistan as we always should have.  We now turn people away who want to serve because we are so flush.

    We had pulled all the way back in Iraq then too.  We did not engage, even when fired upon, we did not engage we only got ourselves to safety.  A few IEDs continued to sadly kill us, but we weren't in fire fights anymore on the ground.  It made winding up Iraq tolerable enough to finish what needed to be done.   AND WE ARE DONE!  IN THE PROCESS OF GETTING TO DONE, ONE LYING CHEATING POS PRESIDENT ALMOST DID BREAK ALL OF US THOUGH.


    This is a volunteer military Jim. (none / 0) (#100)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 09:17:37 PM EST
    And that's the problem.

    We need UMS so that everyone can have some skin in the game.


    And attacking our allies? (none / 0) (#80)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:50:53 PM EST
    We had no allies once Bush was done with us.  President Obama rebuilt our NATO relations, snatched them from the depths of hell.  You are so funny.  As for Iran, well they planned for all that too.  And I will sit here and ignore you while it is handled right in your face, which you will not be able to deal with either.

    Strange bedfellows over there at (none / 0) (#44)
    by jondee on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 12:27:06 PM EST
    the Washington Times: the American religious right and a self-proclaimed world Messiah from Korea..

    All fighting the war against the advancemant of knowledge in all it's forms, and for the right to pretend that whats good for Big Oil shareholders is good for the future of the U.S..


    Beyond ignorant (none / 0) (#85)
    by Yman on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 06:40:02 PM EST
    As for it being "Bush's agreement," it was signed at the end of Bush's term, in November 2008. Obama did inherit it just as he did the new oil drilling guidelines put in place by Bush and the Democrats.

    Yet he had no problem rejecting those guidelines and putting his own in place.

    So let's not hear how Obama's hand's were tied. They weren't.

    Really, Jim?  The DOI - BOEMRE (which put the brakes on Bush's last minute expansion of offshore drilling) has the legal authority - and obligation - to regulate offshore drilling under 43 U.S.C. 1344, among other federal laws.  Under what authority, precisely, would Obama have the authority to keep troops in Iraq?  I'll give you a little clue ...

    ... without the permission of the Iraq government, ...

    ... he can't.

    The 2008 SOFA agreement (signed by Bush), requires the removal of all US troops, except as otherwise permitted by the express agreement of the Iraqi Parliament - the same parliament that refused to grant US troops immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts.  Yet you insist that it was within Obama's power to keep US troops in Iraq because he (lawfully) exercised his legal authority in putting the brakes on Bush's plans to expand offshore drilling.

    You're funny.


    And you're risible (none / 0) (#89)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 07:51:19 PM EST
    I knew you would show up at the end with an insult.

    It's what you do and I enjoy you displaying who you are. But,on to facts.

    Obama did not have to do what he did re oil drilling. There was no requirement beyond his desire to keep energy prices high so as to justify his mistaken belief that this will allow him to hide his desire to drive the economy into collapse and make people dependent on the government for such basic things as gasoline and utilities....

    And..... without permission of the Iraqi government??? We had about 250,000 or so troops there and we needed permission??

    Know what? You just defined the total failure of the Left's foreign policy and one of the core reasons Independents such as myself haven't pulled a lever for a Demo since '76.

    As was reputed to have been asked of Antony:

    Why are you in Egypt and what is your authority?

    Antony: To secure peace and I have 10 Legions to make it legal.

    You're not funny. You're just completely out of touch.


    Yes, Jim ... we DID ... (none / 0) (#90)
    by Yman on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 09:06:45 PM EST
    ... need the permission of the Iraqi government.  Hence my link to the SOFA agreement.  The very agreement Bush negotiated and signed into law.  The agreement which requires us to withdraw our troops absent the agreement of the Iraqi Parliament.  There's a lot of words in there, but I bet you can read through it if you try.

    BTW - No one said the Obama administration had to undo Bush's oil drilling plan.  The point was to illustrate your flawed logic.  You cited Obama's nixing of Bush's oil drilling plan as some type of evidence that he wasn't required to withdraw our troops from Iraq.  In the case of the oil drilling plan, the DOI has the legal authority to negate Bush's plan.  In the case of the SOFA, Obama had no authority to keep our troops in Iraq without the permission of the Iraqi Parliament, which is precisely why you couldn't cite any legal authority - just the winger's favorite authority ... "Because we got da biggest guns, ... that's why!".

    If you're upset about that, you should give GW a call and let him know.


    No Yman (none / 0) (#91)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 09:25:33 PM EST
    we didn't need permission... except perhaps in your mind....

    I mean, we didn't need permission to invade....

    So Bush's SOFA became Obama's SOFA and now he can't deny it.

    And because of that the failure is his, not Bush's.

    Have a nice night, Yman.


    Yeah, Jim ... we DID (none / 0) (#92)
    by Yman on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 09:39:09 PM EST
    Unless, of course, you like invading other countries without any legal authority.  Even GW wouldn't try that one, which is why the supporters of the war kept citing the UN Security Council resolutions and the ceasefire agreements as justification for the invasion of Iraq.  See, ... if only you were President, Jim ... we wouldn't even need to try to create a facade of legality.  We could just do what we want, when we want to, because we have the biggest guns.  Never mind those pesky agreements we signed.  Never mind that any international agreements or treaties would be worthless because no other country would believe us.

    Might makes right in Winger World.

    BTW - Almost forgot

    ... one of the core reasons Independents such as myself haven't pulled a lever for a Demo since '76

    You're an "independent"?!?!? - heh, heh

    Uhhhhhmmmmm ... Obama won the independent vote in 2008.


    Yes, Obama won the Independent (none / 0) (#93)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 09:15:56 AM EST
    vote in 2008. Polls show him currently behind.

    No legal authority??? Guess we can tell that old Senate to go home, we don't need them...

    I guess you would ask the UN first... that's what Kerry announced he would do in 2004. One of the things that cost him the election.

    In my world, Yman, once you decide to take action, you take action. Doesn't mean you can't/shouldn't ever change your mind.

    Now, if Obama believed that Iraq would not fall apart after the troops pulled out then there was no need to tell Iraqi that we would be changing things.

    If he believed that it would fall apart then he should have announced that we were staying and that we would work out a new SOFA with Iraq.

    That's what that huge military let leaders do. Exercise options.

    Obama wanted out. That's what his base wanted.


    Try logic - you might like it (none / 0) (#95)
    by Yman on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 12:33:34 PM EST
    Straw arguments can be fun, but yours are a little too transparent to be even a little amusing.

    If he believed that it would fall apart then he should have announced that we were staying and that we would work out a new SOFA with Iraq.

    That's what that huge military let leaders do. Exercise options.

    Obama wanted out. That's what his base wanted.

    Of course he wanted out ... he's said so since he was campaigning.  But it's not just "his base" that wanted us to withdraw from Iraq.  It's the vast majority of Americans, including 77% of those "Independent voters" you were speaking about, and even 43% of Republicans - pretty much everyone but die-hard wingers and some retired, armchair warriors who are sooooooooo brave when it comes to spilling the blood of others.

    No legal authority??? Guess we can tell that old Senate to go home, we don't need them...

    Uhhhh, yeah, Jim .... no legal authority.  The Senate vote for the AUMF did not give Obama authority to ignore the 2008 SOFA agreement signed by Bush, which required us to withdraw from Iraq absent the agreement of the Iraqi Parliament.  The Iraqi government was not willing to grant US soldiers immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts, and most people don't want our soldiers being prosecuted in Iraqi courts.  But I can understand why that wouldn't be a major concern for some armchair warriors ...

    BTW -

    Yes, Obama won the Independent vote in 2008. Polls show him currently behind.

    True - his support from independents has slipped a lot this past month.  But, of course, that wasn't your original (false) claim:

    ...one of the core reasons Independents such as myself haven't pulled a lever for a Demo since '76

    Don'tcha just hate it when the facts just get in the way of a good fairy tale?


    Y (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by jondee on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 02:18:49 PM EST
    you have to understand that in some dark corner of Jim's mind it's ALWAYS 1968, and the peace creeps and dirty hippies (in the form of liberal Democrats and Carter, Clinton, and Obama et al) are "stabbing us in the back" over and over and over again. Forever, in fact.

    I'm just wondering (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by jondee on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 03:10:57 PM EST
    just how many MORE "Independents such as myself" are self-proclaimed Independents because they don't like being associated with the abysmal approval ratings of a hack they voted into office in 2000 and 2004.

    Rhetorical question of the day..


    Look, you kid your friends (none / 0) (#99)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 09:03:15 PM EST
    and that's okay.

    But we all know that you'd crawl a mile over broken glass to vote for Obama.


    Yes (none / 0) (#102)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 01:44:50 PM EST
    and you're a social liberal who's glad Clarence Thomas is sitting on the Supreme Court.

    I'm just wondering, who do you think gives any credence to your line of bull?


    The point (none / 0) (#98)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 09:02:00 PM EST
    is that Obama could have asked. He didn't.

    That means he approved.

    That means the failure is his.

    What I enjoy is watching you make things up that display who and what you are.

    Good night.


    Facts and logic (none / 0) (#101)
    by Yman on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 09:51:13 PM EST
    While you may find them a foreign concept, they're much more convincing than fairy tales and disjointed ramblings.

    BTW - Obama did "ask".  Problem is, the Obama administration (wisely) was insistent on US troops being immune from prosecution in Iraqi courts, while the Iraqi government refused to grant US troops immunity from prosecution.

    Throughout the discussions, Iraqi leaders have adamantly refused to give U.S. troops immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts, and the Americans have refused to stay without it.


    Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has told U.S. military officials that he does not have the votes in parliament to provide immunity to the American trainers, the U.S. military official said.

    A western diplomatic official in Iraq said al-Maliki told international diplomats he will not bring the immunity issue to parliament because lawmakers will not approve it.

    MT (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by CoralGables on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 01:12:58 PM EST
    if you google the definition of Facebook you will find, "middle school drama for grownups"

    For some time now, I have not found (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Anne on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:24:29 PM EST
    any of the major media outlets to be all that concerned with educating anyone as much as they are focused on herding us into some specific direction - and those of us who recognize that are more resistant to what we are being told, and more skeptical of the agenda behind it; that's why the news doesn't calm us, it gets us stirred up.

    As for Facebook, I hate it; I have a page because my kids insisted on it, but I'm never on it.  I see people posting that I not only don't know,  but don't care about - and they are, of course, the most prolific users.  I guess they are friends with someone who is also friends with me, but I can't seem to make them disappear.  I would say that the group, as a whole, are not Fox-watchers, so I don't have that problem, lol.

    I'm almost at the point where I believe that, in terms of the credibility level of what is being broadcast, there is little difference beween network news and the entertainment shows - Inside Edition, Entertainment Tonight, etc.  At least with those, I know it's all straight-up fluff!


    Pain relief for those (none / 0) (#6)
    by the capstan on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 02:26:10 PM EST
    seeking peace in the midst of craziness: get rid of both Facebook (I did, with apologies to grand-daughter) and Fox News (slightly less timely news on the net allows censoring for sanity).

    What are you hoping to wrap up (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by desertswine on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 01:38:37 PM EST
    What are you hoping to wrap up or change by New Year's?

    Oh Gawd.. no more Xmas parties.  At least not till next year.  The place looks like a bunch of savages ate and drank here. And they did!

    Giving up gorging self on sweets just because (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 02:41:58 PM EST
    they're there.  Left chocolate brownie (read "fudge") graham cracker pie and Hershey chocolate kiss peanut butter cookies at friends' home where we ate Christmas dinner.  He will schlep all that stuff to work.  

    If you've never seen (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 02:27:38 PM EST
    The Uterus of The United States of America, you probably shouldn't...

    LOL! (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 02:33:11 PM EST
    My eyes!  My eyes!  They burn!  I can't unsee this, unfortunately!   ;-)

    See! (5.00 / 0) (#10)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 02:38:56 PM EST
    I told you you probably shouldn't. But would you listen to me?

    Noooooo..... you just had to click it. Didn't you? ;-)


    Your fault, Edger! (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 03:10:32 PM EST
    You issued the challenge!  LOL!

    Beware of (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 03:49:01 PM EST
    the exploding churros!  Be very, very careful about following every recipe that is published, apparently.  You never know.  (Geez- exploding churros?  Who knew?)  

    In a nod to Seinfeld (none / 0) (#26)
    by CoralGables on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 10:39:08 PM EST
    I'm betting they were Dominican churros.

    I am a sick and heartless person (none / 0) (#32)
    by sj on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 12:15:36 AM EST
    I know I shouldn't be laughing.

    I don't think it sounds macabre, Donald (5.00 / 0) (#18)
    by shoephone on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 05:43:09 PM EST
    You were quite young when he died, and the trip sounds like something you may have been contemplating for awhile. You have the need for understanding. Are you taking anyone else with you, or going alone? I suspect the journey will very be different than you can imagine now, but that you will not be sorry for having gone.

    I had a few friends in college that had served in Vietnam (they were older, returning students.) Some would talk about it -- and I heard some pretty horrible stories from one of them -- but there was one very stoic Marine, who came back with both knees and legs damaged, who didn't want to talk about it all. It was only after reading Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" that I felt I had been introduced to the reality of that war - and really, all war.

    Do lots of reading (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Towanda on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 07:58:11 PM EST
    as you no doubt already do, but if it helps, I can ask for a list of readings from one of my children, who was to go to Vietnam this week (to student-teach) but had to cancel.  She did all of the preparation classes, though, and I got to learn along with some of the readings.

    Or are you interested in auditing an online course on the history of the Vietnam War (and thus much that went before)?  A friend of mine teaches one, just recently taken online.  Of course, other campuses no doubt do so, but she brings a rather incredible perspective to it, as she is the first Hmong American woman to earn a Ph.D. in history.  I can send a link if you like (and auditing is a low-cost way, as you may know, not at all like college tuition costs).


    Recommended reading: The Cat from Hue. (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 08:11:34 PM EST
    I'm interested in what (none / 0) (#57)
    by brodie on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 01:54:12 PM EST
    your Hmong friend's perspective is about the VN War either as it's expressed overtly or by the events she most emphasizes.

    Inevitable we'd get massively mired there since our early post-WW2 involvement (the gradualist traditional view)?  The discontinuity/Johnson's War/Presidents Matter approach of more modern scholars?  The Deep Dark Establishment pulling the president's strings pov taken by some lefty writers? The Michael Lind With A Little More Public Support We Could Have Won?  Etc.


    Here's info on her and her works (none / 0) (#58)
    by Towanda on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 02:20:50 PM EST
    including some that touch on your question, if it is not her focus from her Hmong perspective, a different view of the Vietnam War than has been seen in the literature before.

    And if anyone is interested in a very fast  experience in her Vietnam War course, it is offered online this January -- as well as in summers and regular semesters -- this year.  In January every other year, she has taken students to Vietnam, Laos, etc., which is said to be an extraordinary trek with her contacts there.


    Agreed on the books above (none / 0) (#59)
    by Towanda on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 02:26:45 PM EST
    which I have read years ago with my Viet vet spouse, who also agreed that they were must-reads.

    And agreed, of course, re the events of 1954 -- if the course gets to 1954 only by midterm time, with so much else that needs to be understood about the even-earlier context of the late American entry in an age-old conflict that we, like the French, also could not "win."


    Thx for the rec of the B Fall (none / 0) (#65)
    by brodie on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:21:23 PM EST

    Me, I recommend mostly more recent books espec those works done by historians after many docs on the war (early 60s particularly) were declassified starting in the late 1980s (ie making standard VN War books by Karnow and Halberstam very out of date).

    American Tragedy by David Kaiser

    JFK and Vietnam by John Newman

    Virtual JFK by Blight et al (re a fascinating and spirited 2005 conference/debate on the war)

    Lessons in Disaster by Gordon Goldstein (in part the book McGeorge Bundy was working on before he died)


    I should go to the libray for the B. Fall book (none / 0) (#69)
    by shoephone on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:50:19 PM EST
    That really piques my interest. But I just started "Cutting For Stone" and, at over 600 pages, it's going to take me awhile.

    Tip re Temple complexes in Cambodia. (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 08:41:37 PM EST
    Get up and eat breakfast ashen the Japanese do. Then take Tim til to sites ASAP. Knock off by about 1 pm and enjoy A/C and Massage etc @ hotel. Repeat the next day. It is beyond hot and humid in the afternoon.

    O'Brien was a Harvard (none / 0) (#28)
    by MKS on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 10:46:25 PM EST
    student iirc after he came back.....His descriptions of combat and how soldiers would get up and head into fire when everything told them to run.....very memorable.....

    Finally emerging from the Christmas (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Anne on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 06:24:59 PM EST

    We've had a really great couple of days - Christmas Eve was busy, but fun, and the fun continued on Christmas; it was just a great time with family and friends.

    One of my most unexpected gifts was the laptop I am posting this comment from - my husband just totally surprised me with it.  We've had 2 computers in the house, but with four of us wanting to be online, two of them currently obsessed with the time-suck that is Ancestry.com, and one newly-engaged and obsessed with all things wedding, we had reached a kind of computer gridlock.

    Tomorrow, it is back to reality...I took the day off, but one of the retired partners from my department died on Thursday night (he was 91), and his memorial service is tomorrow morning - it just wouldn't be right not to go.

    In any event, I hope everyone here celebrated the holiday - whichever holiday - happily and in the company of family and friends.

    It doesn't sound macabre (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by sj on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 12:19:35 AM EST
    to me at all.  I think you want to visit a sacred place.  And I think it takes great courage.  I lost my Mom and my brother in a car accident and I cannot pass that site again.  Not yet, anyway.  My sister, on the other hand, feels close to them there.  To her it feels like holy ground.  Perhaps someday I will be as brave as you are being.

    I had set up a trip (none / 0) (#27)
    by MKS on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 10:43:43 PM EST
    to dive the wreck of my grandfather's plane that went down in the lagoon at Tarawa.  He had been flying since the 1920s and his flight instructor had been Chenault.

    It didn't work out for a number of reasons.....none of which had to do with the idea of finding the wreck.

    In terms of being attacked in Saigon, Pops was ambushed outside of Tan Son Nhut airbase....Saw it just in time....

    Your trip sounds like a good idea.  Good luck to you.  

    Court (none / 0) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 09:29:34 AM EST
    documents released from Gingrich's first divorce and they don't back up the story he has been telling.

    "You know, and I know, she's not young (5.00 / 0) (#53)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 01:21:57 PM EST
    enough or pretty enough."

    "When asked, Gingrich has admitted he has not led a perfect life and has at times had to go to God for forgiveness," Hammond said.


    Hahahahaha! (5.00 / 4) (#55)
    by Zorba on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 01:47:47 PM EST
    Is Newt himself "pretty enough" to run for President?  Oh, never mind.  I just have a vision of Newt someday standing before St. Peter and his ledger, trying to tell St. Peter, "Well, Pete, I asked God for forgiveness each time, so I'm good to go."  And St. Peter answering, "And what makes you think that God gave you forgiveness?  In fact, I overheard the Almighty saying, 'Oh, for My sake, he keeps doing the same thing over and over again, and he thinks that I will wipe the slate clean each time.  Frankly, I'm getting tired of it.  He never learns, and he is not truly repentant.'"  

    Oh, for My sake. Good one. (5.00 / 0) (#61)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 02:39:34 PM EST
    I know, right? (5.00 / 0) (#63)
    by sj on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 02:48:46 PM EST
    I love that bit, too.

    Thank you, thank you (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Zorba on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:22:37 PM EST
    You've been a great audience.  Zorba will be here all week.  Next time, try the veal.  ;-)

    Oh... may I? (5.00 / 0) (#70)
    by sj on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:58:22 PM EST
    How do you prepare it?  :)

    Hahahahaha! (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Zorba on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:32:06 PM EST
    I make stuffed veal breast a lot.  Very similar to this recipe. Either that, or veal scallopini- pound veal cutlets flat and dredge in flour with salt, pepper, and any seasonings that you like.  Saute in olive oil (with a bit of butter, if you're not worried about your cholesterol) until browned on both sides.  Then add chopped onions, mushrooms, or what-have-you to the pan and brown.  Serve them on or with the veal.  I also like Blanquette de Veau.  This is pretty much the recipe I use, except I serve it over egg noodles.

    PS (none / 0) (#81)
    by Zorba on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:54:33 PM EST
    I forgot to say, add a dash of fresh lemon juice to the pan when making veal scallopini.  A bit of white wine helps, too.  ;-)

    SITE VIOLATOR -- chendan!! (none / 0) (#40)
    by sj on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 10:03:18 AM EST
    And a very busy one indeed.

    Ben Nelson (none / 0) (#50)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 01:00:40 PM EST
    "Nebraska Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson will not seek re-election, shrinking the margin of error for Democrats trying to hold on to a majority of the upper chamber."

    This is terrible news, but I wonder if others see it that way.  That seat will now become republican, and there is a difference between the republican and democrat when on most issues.

    This is a loss.

    Ben Nelson showed his "commitment" (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by shoephone on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 02:58:29 PM EST
    to his Democratic constituents by waiting until ridiculously late in the election cycle to bow out. With just eleven months to go -- and a current senate campaign needing about $10 million to make it viable -- Nelson has made it very difficult for the Dems to find someone to mount anything close to a strong race.

    Nelson pissed off his own constituents with his support of the health insurance bill sans a public option. Many of them are glad to see him go. It seems to me Nelson is a bit of a narcissist, and really doesn't give a sh*t about Dems keeping the seat (because he's not much of a Dem to begin with). Otherwise, he would have announced his decision five months ago, like Kent Conrad did.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.


    Nelson was the Joe Lieberman (5.00 / 0) (#67)
    by brodie on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:28:49 PM EST
    of the Cornbelt and was far worse than even the frustrating and too mavericky by half Bob Kerrey who looks like a doctrinaire liberal compared to Big Insurance Ben.

    Dems need to get back to offering authentic for the people populist Dems in that state, preferably someone with a little charisma too.


    While I have no use for Bob Kerrey (none / 0) (#68)
    by shoephone on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 03:43:18 PM EST
    I agree with the last part of your comment.  

    Ben Nelson shouldn't let the door (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Anne on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:13:55 PM EST
    hit him on the a$$ on his way out...and shame on the DSCC for wasting $1 million on ads trying to boost what looked like a lost cause even if he had decided to run.

    Ben Nelson is one more example of someone for whom the (D) after his name must have stood for something other than "Democrat," since he was a much more reliable vote for GOP legislation than he ever was for the truly Democratic kind - although I think Obama's election ushered in a not-so-welcome rightward shift in Democratic goals, and the likes of Ben Nelson were part and parcel of that.

    Not much of a loss for the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, in my opinion...


    mixed feelings (none / 0) (#51)
    by CST on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 01:13:11 PM EST
    I would rather have Ben Nelson there than a republican.  But I would rather spend my money on a different race, like Warren over Brown, for example.  Also, there are no guarantees he would have won that seat again.

    So yea, I guess this is the lesser of the two alternatives (to run or not run).  But there are much more important races to be worrying about, and it seems like they have at least a semi-popular quasi-Dem waiting in the wings.


    This is all true. (none / 0) (#54)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 01:31:41 PM EST
    A great life lived well (none / 0) (#73)
    by shoephone on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:09:57 PM EST
    by creating. Darn, though. Helen Frankenthaler has died. She was a big influence on me way back when.

    4th Dimensional Chess (none / 0) (#75)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:16:34 PM EST

    "It's looking less likely now that the Obama administration's announcement today that it would raise the debt ceiling this week was a power play to prevent Congress from voting to disapprove the move (Congress is in recess beyond the 15 days it has by law to register its disapproval). Folks on the Hill have been scrambling since this morning's announcement. Brian Beutler has been trying to track down what happened."

    If this works, I expect all of the people who claim to be objective observers to chime in with grudging statements that this has been a great couple of weeks for the president and his strategy.


    Come on.  Not all at once now.

    Yes, ABG, it's all about what's good for (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by shoephone on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:26:43 PM EST
    "the president and his strategy." Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

    If he raises the debt ceiling, then good. I only care about the policies. You only care about the politics.

    And the world continues to spin on its axis.


    No (none / 0) (#83)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:15:41 PM EST
    I care about both.

    But it is easier to paint me as a villain if we pretend otherwise.

    Let me say this again:

    I care about both.

    I don't know how many other ways to say the same thing.


    In addition (none / 0) (#84)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 05:34:39 PM EST
    This is also a material point in evaluating where we are.  The debt ceiling debate, in the end, turned out to be a situation where we traded cuts in defense now for cuts that spared entitlements. It also gave Obama the ability to raise the debt ceiling without fight. Etc.

    These were all issues debated hotly here.  For example, many expected a prolonged fight over the ceiling increase that Obama is going to invoke now. It's not going to happen.

    We can't just pretend that this is a minor event.  This is something that many spent the better part of a week debating constantly on this very forum.

    Now that we are seeing the results, no one wants to discuss?

    That's some weak sauce right there.  It's important for both present and future policy and strategy.

    My mantra has been lose the battle/win the war/advance policy forward.  It's happening.

    Now if I were to be talking politics, I'd be talking about the Gallop poll numbers . . .


    Are you aware that Obama's request (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Anne on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 07:01:37 PM EST
    is not some political coup, but part of what was negotiated in August?

    This week, the White House will ask Congress for the second tranche of increases to the debt limit, as negotiated in the August deal. The conditions for the second debt limit increase have been satisfied by the pulling of the trigger, caused by the collapse of the Super Committee. Republicans can only stop this second increase through a "resolution of disapproval," a vote that the President can then veto. Not only would Republicans be unlikely to override that veto, but the last time around, on the first tranche of the debt limit increase, the resolution of disapproval didn't even pass the Senate and get to the President, as Democrats voted in lockstep to block the resolution

    I'm not sure I understand why you, or anyone else, is trying to make more of this than what it is - totally expected.


    The timing (none / 0) (#87)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 07:22:03 PM EST
    Was unexpected.  I understand how it works Anne.

    Not so sure you do, ABG, (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Anne on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 07:38:26 PM EST
    especially based on a previous comment in this very thread.

    From CBS News:

    The Treasury Department put out word today that by the close of business on Friday, President Obama will have certified to Congress that the National Debt is within $100 billion of the debt limit and must be raised again: up $1.2 trillion to $16.394 trillion - the highest in U.S. history.

    Today's numbers show that since the debt limit was last raised less than five months ago on August 2nd, the National Debt has soared another $648 billion.

    Under the provisions of the Budget Control Act enacted this year, once the president makes his certification, Congress would have 15 days to pass a resolution of disapproval on raising the debt limit. But that would only serve to send the U.S. Treasury toward another borrowing crisis that would likely result in its credit rating being downgraded once again.

    If Congress does not vote a resolution of disapproval after receiving the president's notice on December 30th, then the debt limit would increase by $1.2 trillion on January 14th.

    I don't read any shock there, ABG - but if there is, it might be in how little time it took for the debt to be within the 100 million it had to be in order for Obama to make this next request.

    It isn't that people are resisting your vision of Obama as some kind of political wizard, but that people understand that this process is exactly what had been negotiated.