I am honestly sorry you feel that way. It is also the first time you have made a rather nasty personal remark.
You are exactly right that I have no proof they used the program for nothing other than getting terrorists. You would be exactly right that anyone who thinks otherwise is just being paranoid - if this operation didn't sit in a backdrop of everything else that surrounds this administration. I would very much like to believe our president and his intentions. I don't anymore. And the manner in which they tried to continue this operation does not fill me with any confidence. That does not make me an "idiot" or "paranoid". It means I no longer trust him. No more and no less.
This is your blog after all. I was under the impression that we were allowed to comment and I don't think I was "trolling" so I will avoid further comment.Comment Posted By Hallfasthero On 17.05.2007 @ 10:14
The initial "interpretation" that warrantless wiretapping was legal does not alter the fact that it was illegal. That Ashcroft refused to sign off on the program because it was flawed and - by the way - illegal, opens up GWB and whomever was involved to impeachment. One company - QWEST - concluded the program was illegal and did not agree to cooperate unless they had something in writing certifying the legality. The WH made financial promises to the companies that did and never provided anything in writing to QWEST. So the gov't acted outside the law and they knew it all along.
You can belive they were using the program to find terrorists if you want but that is naivety at its most extreme. They were likely using the program for whatever they could get away with (which had nothing to do with finding terrorists). What would possibly motivate me to conclude this? Just everything else they have been caught red-handed doing - and not doing. I am not going to list them off, they are already known. This administration has proven to be so sleazy, they keep managing to lower my opinion of them every time I think it has hit rock bottom.Comment Posted By Hallfasthero On 17.05.2007 @ 09:28
My point is that four years into this campaign, after changing our strategy from...
What a laugh. If you have been reading anything - and you haven't - you would know that the problems we have been having revolve around the fact that the strategy has NEVER changed. Remember "stay the course" or do you just simply choose to believe what you want to believe and damn the facts. You are right though, if this generation had been around during WWII, we just might have lost - because our generation chose to elect this president who would have guaranteed that our army would have gone without a plan, unallied, ill-equipped, undermanned and our treasury would have been bankrupted because the miltary industrial complex would have been legally allowed to milk us dry financially.Comment Posted By Hallfasthero On 11.05.2007 @ 15:30
Had GWB worked with the Democrats as though they were fellow Americans instead of the enemy to be put down or muzzled, circumstances would not have been nearly as adversarial. He should have read the book "How to Make Friends and Influence People" for starters.
Partisanship is hurting things now as you said and you are exactly right. As I posted earlier, this war is not going to end nicely and everyone is going to look dirty in the end.
OT: Did your brother give up his blog at Vivid Air?Comment Posted By Hallfasthero On 11.05.2007 @ 10:22
I did not read the poll in question carefully. I compare that to the people who still consider that Iraq had been in involved in 9/11, even though that has been repeatedly debunked. In any case, your VP still thinks so. Mock that 59% all you want. The right side of the pendulum is far more insane.
What I think it does point out is that GWB has been caught involving us in matters based on grossly inaccurate/deceptive information. The question after a while becomes simple after that...
How deep does this run?Comment Posted By Hallfasthero On 7.05.2007 @ 08:53
So if youâ€™re in my shoes, what do you do? Continue to defend a position you know is becoming untenable as a result of changing realities (and new information not available at the time you formed your original assumptions)? Or do you alter your assumptions and change your opinion?
Clearly, nuanced thinking is what is getting you into trouble with people on the right which you clearly acknowledge. Reading through the posts you are not getting anywhere near the same foul treatment from the left. I don't agree with you as to why Iraq is not working out - the lack of compromise and reassessment is the biggest culprit. Bush's p/r was not the problem - the outcome was the problem. You can't spin a mess forever before people start seeing it for what it is - a mess.
I do understand that everyone has a shared interest in the outcome and have said so at every opportunity. What some people don't seem to understand judging from the responses you are getting is that creating a dialogue does NOT begin with badmouthing the other side. Trying to work together with someone but calling them a "defeatist" and a "traitor" in the process is only going to result in failure. That is pure wilful ignorance.
One of your posters basically said that if the Democrats withhdraw the troops, they will own this defeat. Never mind the reality of the situation. Using that same baseball analogy, lets say a team (the Cubs, for instance) is down by 10-0 going into the 9th inning, he would argue that the last pitcher on the mound for the losing team cost them the game. Or the last batter at the plate. Not the starter who gave up all the runs or all the previous batters who couldn't get a hit. It doesn't wash. GWB left a mess and there are no good options left that arnen't going to be costly in one form or another.
The Chicago Cub analogy is brilliant but would probably only be fully understood by a Chicago fan. I haven't been following them much this year but even as a Twins fan, I find myself rooting for them.
Anyway - just my two cents.Comment Posted By Hallfasthero On 30.04.2007 @ 11:05
As Harry said, Iraq needs to be handled diplomatically, not militarily. Rick, I wonder if you read your own posts. The fact that the Americans are looking at the prospect of leaving (which we should) is likely forcing the issue of resolution. Put more simply, no project ever gets done unless a deadline is set for it.
If GWB had his way, we would be there forever and a day and would be stuck in the middle of a civil war that no one sees any point in ending. May I remind you that the soldiers are getting their tours of duty extended, the hardware they have is getting worn out. They are being sent back without even being entirely healed up and they are the only ones in the entire country sacrificing for this war. You are not and you never have. Neither for that matter am I.
This conflict has gone on longer than WWII and still has little or nothing to show for it. There is a possible blip in the radar concerning a story of one faction and suddenly you want to scream from the top of the hills that GWB is right and the Dem's are wrong. You are willing to leave those soldiers in that meat grinder based on that? Don't you have any sense of what you are talking about?
Sorry but if GWB had been more forthcoming about the circumstances and had not been busted for telling one fairy tale after another about how the war was truly going, I might concede he deserved another chance. Trust is something that I think GWB feels he is entitled to. He has either forgotten or, perhaps never knew that it is earned. Under the circumstances, he has lost trust. Maybe the news in Iraq is getting better, but I no longer believe the news enough to risk any more lives. Too little and too late.
Sorry if the post seems a little disjointed, I could only work on it in parts. Mock away.Comment Posted By Hallfasthero On 26.04.2007 @ 10:22
The Dems could end this war tomorrow â€“ if they had the guts. But they donâ€™t which is the thrust of my post.
As with everything that exists in politics today, the all or nothing attitude seems to exist. Suppose just cutting funding and pulling out immediately is determined to be too unnecessarily destructive vs. a timed withdrawal. Have you considered that this might be their reason? No, you are saying that this should be their path to prove their convictions. It could be that it would not make a difference either way, however the idea that the Dems should just cut off funding to prove they have guts is unreasonable to say the least.
GWB painted himself into this corner by cutting off all debate about how he should conduct his war. He listens to no one. And he is perfectly willing to veto a bill that funds the war in order to get his way because he will not withdrawal. You don't like the idea of pulling out? Want to keep those troops in and keep running them into the ground like GWB does and want to brook no denial? Set up this all or nothing choice and then accuse them of being weak. The soldiers still need the funds so what exactly are you proposing the Dems do? Cut off funding just like that and play GWB's almost juvenile game? Maybe the Dems are playing politics with soldiers lives. But at least their politics has a timetable for when this whole affair ends. GWB doens't seem to care. Trying to preach morality at the Dems is walking a very fine line of hypocrisy.
This should be worked out together because, like it or not, the consequences are going to hit Democrat and Republican alike when it blows. And it will blow up, make no mistake about it. No one is going to come out of this clean. Least of all, GWB. Like putting up sand to hold back a levee that is overflowing only we are running out of sand (in this case, soldiers).
I have a great idea. How about Republicans and Democrats start acting like we both live in the same country? How about we stop referring to differences of opinions as being tantamount to being an act of a traitor? How about we decide to carefully examine what is best for those soldiers that are dying in our name - or worse? GWB doesn't want that, he wants everyone to get together to agree to do it his way. Without conditions and, I am just guessing, without consequences for him. He is acting like he is just trying to run out the clock on his presidency. Like someone who left a mess of graffiti on a wall and is looking to get away and leave someone else to clean it up. Real leadership. Real morality.Comment Posted By Hallfasthero On 20.04.2007 @ 10:45
"There is nothing inherently unpatriotic in believing that weâ€™ve lost in Iraq. But by refusing to act on this belief, the Democrats have revealed themselves to be traitors to their own conscience."
Yes they did - a timeline for withdrawl. Bush intends to veto it. You cannot argue that GWB has been given a lot of latitude to try and succeed in this war. He had two houses in his favor to back his policies and minimal oversight. He went into the wat with absolute certainty of victory and that everything was goig to be roses. Even with a "Mission Accomplished" sign to support it in the background.
So Reid is out of line, is he?
When things started going bad they kept playing it down and playing it down saying it was no big deal. Comments of "last throes" and "they are doing this because they are desparate" (referring to suicide bombings )were also used for cover. After a while, you can only sweep things under a rug for so long before the dirt starts to show. I don't know how much of all this was preventable but I put far more weight in the words of Reid than I do GWB at this point. Is Reid right? I don't know for certain. What I do know is that this president has run our military into the ground in 4 short years. It is underfunded, undermanned and (medically) undercared for.
I don't want to think that GWB didn't care about this, but nothing he has said or done indicates that he puts their lives before his own damn pride. He fires generals who don't agree with him and then in the next breath says he follows the recommendations of the generals. He is trying to run out the clock so that he isn't the one who "lost the war" when his presidency ends. And at this point, anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool or willfully blind.Comment Posted By Hallfasthero On 20.04.2007 @ 09:29
I would agree that this Department is not a good idea. It smacks too much of holistic thinking and is a road to hell paved with good intentions.
Having said that, I think posters above me pretty much sum up your attempt at being the pot calling the kettle black. Incompetence was/is the rule with this White House and they were beautifully enabled by the Republican house and senate. Gay marriage and flag burning constitutional amendments. Schiavo laws. Tax cuts for already bloated fat cats. Pointless laws that serve no purpose other than sucking up to the base. Earmarks for bridges to land these lawmakers own.
Bush expanded spending 36% while cutting taxes. By the time we have blown countless billions in Iraq and bankrolled Pharma and all those poor destitute oil companies, we will be knee deep in hock and borrowing from the Chinese. There will be nothing to show for all that money that was squandered. Not a thing. Zero. This president is a disaster of astronomical proportions. Supposedly intelligent Republicans are still worshiping the ground he falls on.
Lecture and laugh at Democrats all you want and ignore the 500 lb gorilla(s) in your room. Asnine law? Perhaps. The most asnine? Give me a break.Comment Posted By Hallfasthero On 16.04.2007 @ 14:54