Comments Posted By michael reynolds
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No, genius, because even if Obama had instantly pulled the trigger on McChrystal's requests those troops would not yet be in theater. They don't just hop on Jet Blue's red-eye to Kabul. They kind of like to take their guns and their trucks and their food with them.

In fact, as you no doubt fail to recall, Obama rushed troops to Afghanistan back in February, as one of his earliest acts in office. He did so because your imbecile president and his lying fraud of a vice president had left the situation a desperate, rapidly deteriorating mess.

Why? Because it took them years to figure out that Rumsfeld was an idiot. And because they preferred tax cuts to troop increases. And because credulous, brain dead Rushbot Republicans preferred ill-informed sneering to actual war fighting.

Going forward this war belongs to Obama. But do not try and sell the mess we have today as Obama's mess. That, along with a shattered economy, a pointless stalemate in Iraq, nukes in North Korea, an empowered Iran, massive deficits, and even a vast new entitlement program, are the legacy of 8 years of Republican rule.

We are mopping as fast as we can but you guys left one hell of a mess and it takes some time to clean up after you.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 30.10.2009 @ 08:02

There are a lot of reasons I wouldn't want to be president but having to face kids whose father you sent to die would be right at the top of the list.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 29.10.2009 @ 21:54


Govt = Daddy, so eat your veggies and let Govt tell you what to do - infantilization of laws.

Yeah, I hate that. Like when some people think the government should decide whether a woman can get an abortion? Or when the government decides who can and cannot get married? Or when government tells people what words they can use on the radio or TV? Or when some people think government should have an unfettered right to listen to your phone calls?

That's like, so liberal and all.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 28.10.2009 @ 22:21

Wait a minute, I thought conservatives argued precisely that the people who ended up underwater or signed lousy deals were stupid. That thy had been foolish. Responsible, but stupid.

Isn't that a big part of why the country almost went 1929? That people were stupid enough to sign mortgages they couldn't pay? Wasn't that a key theme as conservative politicians bobbed and weaved and tried to avoid taking any responsibility?

The problem is not outright fraud, it's deceptive practices. It's using endless documents full of legalese to baffle and confuse the suckers. Not everyone has a lawyer to interpret. And the assumption by a lot of people is that the financial institution wouldn't give them a mortgage they were unable to pay.

Blaming the customer for failing to understand deliberately obscure deals written in deliberately obscure language makes no more sense than demanding that patients read their own charts and take responsibility for all medical decisions.

Possibly the very last thing we need right now is a lot of clever, clever financial innovation. These masters of the universe just innovated us into disaster and had to be rescued by the taxpayers.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 28.10.2009 @ 10:54


I don't think GOP litmus tests should be confined to the candidates, I think in fairness you guys should apply them to voters as well. Republicans should stand by their core values and actively discourage votes from anyone who is pro-choice or pro gay marriage.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 27.10.2009 @ 20:54


When I tell people I grew up in a military family they often ask if my dad was strict. No, he wasn't. But because he was a skipper on various Army boats (Army yacht, ocean-going tug among others) my take-away was a somewhat nautical notion of responsibility.

Basically, the Captain is in charge. If the First Officer runs the boat into a sandbar the Captain is still responsible. If the engineer burns out the engine the Captain is still responsible.

So I tend to be intolerant of failure. You succeed or you fail, and the "why" of it is an interesting detail, but doesn't change the basic fact: you did it, or you didn't.

Following that same line of reasoning I give a new Captain a grace period -- especially if the previous Captain was a buffoon -- but my patience is limited. Don't come to me and say, "I want to be president, I want you to pay me 400k a year, pay for a private jet and a big white house, and enter me in the ranks alongside Washington and Lincoln," but I don't want to be responsible.

I had no tolerance for Bush's failures. Up to 911, okay, I don't blame him for what carried over from the previous admin, but I hold him absolutely responsible for what followed. And I will hold Obama responsible for what comes.

So yeah, I hold him responsible for the implementation of the flu response. His HHS, his responsibility. Don't tell me why you failed, just tell me you succeeded.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 26.10.2009 @ 22:52


You're an idiot.

Katrina, torture, Iraq, Afghanistan, nukes in North Korea, an Iranian nuke effort, massive deficits and the biggest economic collapse since the Great Depression.

Yeah, it's a good thing Gore didn't win. He might have f--ked something up.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 26.10.2009 @ 12:10

You know I hate to disagree with you, Rick, but I do blame the administration to the extent that what vaccine has gone out has done so in a haphazard way.

Both my kids got the vaccine last Saturday. So did my wife and I, which should not have been possible. We'd been searching it out for days and finally found some vaccine at a pediatric urgent care.

There were no lines. The place was empty. Only my wife's obsessive searching located this little batch of vaccine -- none of the bigger companies had it. The nurse on duty was less well-informed than we were. I said, "Just the kids, we're not priority. And we're both over 50." The nurse kept insisting -- plenty more on the way, my doctor told me to give it to anyone, etc...

So all 4 of us got the vaccine. In defense of our dubious moral decision, at that point we didn't know there was to be a major shortfall, we just thought there was a small delay. And we'd heard about the Luddites and decided better to get it and provide some small fire break than not. And the nurse seemed to be confident that the protocol had been expanded to families with children.

Why was the vaccine at an obscure clinic and not at CVS, Costco, Target, etc..? Why wasn't the nurse properly briefed? Why is my county health department still useless? Why isn't the vaccine being given in schools?

It's incompetence, some of it state and local, and even down to the level of the specific doctor, but some of it goes to HHS. Making plans is great: carrying them out is even better.

Give the vaccine to WalMart, Costco, CVS and Target. I went down to Alabama right after Katrina: no one runs distribution as well as WalMart.

Bound to be some misappropriation. We're talking about a scale of almost unheard of distribution. And I would guess that HHS involvement stops with a state's health department. Could they have mandated certain locations get more doses? Not sure of the procedural problems that would entail.

The real problems are institutional - few vaccine manufacturers, antiquated way of making vaccines, and a virtually impossible goal of prioritizing by location. Maybe government should have been more anticipatory of these problems but hey! This is the US government wer're talking about.


Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 26.10.2009 @ 10:44



Yes, and so very different from Mr. Bush actually holding his hand and tra-la-la-ing down the lane.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 26.10.2009 @ 07:56


Neither you nor I know why Obama may be taking it easy on Hezbollah in some irrelevant statement that literally no one cares about.

Either of us could come up with theories. Let's start with the possibility that we are trying to reach out to Hezbollah. Or maybe we're sending a veiled message to Israel. Or maybe there are hostage or other type of negotiations going on and taking an easy shot would be a bad idea right at this moment. You don't know, and neither do I.

As for understanding the ins and outs of Lebanese politics please don't try to tell me that anyone -- including the Lebanese themselves -- know who is playing which game at which moment. All we know for sure is what Israel wants us to do, and despite the uncritical Likud-love of the Right wing, the desires of the current Israeli government are not synonymous with our interests.

Obama calling out Hezbollah would do precisely nothing to advance US interests. Nothing. And failing to do so likewise has no impact. This game does not rise or fall on some boilerplate commemorative message issued in Washington. Christ, if it was that easy we'd be able to save the world with press releases.

So this is again manufactured outrage. The Right wing noise machine will use Bibi's displeasure to gin up another disingenuous attack on Obama. Limbaugh will rant, Beck will slobber, Hannity and the rest will have yet another excuse to lie and slander and avoid talking about issues.

Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 25.10.2009 @ 22:10

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