One of my primary sites for insight on the Middle East is the most excellent "Informed Comment" of Professor Juan Cole. He dissects the neocon, revisionist, naive pronouncements of "the smart one" succinctly in this article: http://www.juancole.com/....
A short quote:
Jeb Bush gave a maiden foreign police speech in Chicago yesterday in which he mixed up Iran with Iraq and alleged with science fictional inaccuracy that Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) has 200,000 men under arms. The actual number of fighters is probably 20,000. His office later admitted that he ‘misspoke.’
Please take time to read the rest of the article. It's important.
That is the title to one of so many great Irving Berlin songs sung by the incomparable Bing Crosby. (Although Bing's politics left a lot to be desired, as a crooner, he was second to none.) As I was looking at my news sites this morning, it occurred to me that there are actually a lot of good things happening in the midst of the unrelenting RW invective which would have one believe our great country is going to hell in a handbasket. As a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia, I am dangerously close to the Potomac and am perhaps more exposed to the echo chamber than many, so the wingnut wackiness has a little more exposure here than in other states.
Anyway, I started mentally ticking off the good things that are happening and thought this would be a good way for me to get going on a Saturday. Follow below for my list, in no particular order, of what I see good happening all around me:
At this point in my life, I have a good employer healthcare plan which covers me, my wife, and 24 year old son. I consider myself in the ranks of the very fortunate, and if my premium rises (legitimately) because of the cost of the ACA, I am happy to contribute more. I especially say this because I know at least two people who have directly and materially benefited from it. Please follow below for the real life stories of two very happy Obamacare recipients!
Like everyone in my purple state of Virginia, I have friends, acquaintances, and business colleagues of both Democratic and Republican bent, liberal and conservative. Now most but by no means all of my personal friends share my liberal Democratic views, but the majority of my business colleagues are Republicans.
Thursday night at a business function, one of those Republican businessfolk told me his story about election night. I knew he was no Obama fan, and perhaps a drinker of the Fox Juice, so I was interested and ultimately amused at his tale. Follow over the squiggle....
I have often been struck with the degree that ridicule and sarcasm can affect one's perception of political candidates and parties. The effect, if done "correctly" is to make the target appear callow, feckless, hypocritical, or ineffective. Vice President Biden did this to great effect in his debate with Candidate Ryan. Several of his lines such as "Can you believe these guys", delivered in a semi-sneer, hit the mark and drew blood.
Now Robert Gibbs has made an immense contribution to our political lexicon. Here is what he said (h/t to TPM):
"Let's figure out what happened, okay" he said on CNN's "State of the Union." "But you know what, we don't need wingtip cowboys. We don't need shoot from the hip diplomacy."
This hits the mark in two ways: we already had the image of "cowboys" as being reckless foreign policy adventurers (q.v. "Bush went cowboy"). Now he has added "wingtip" to that, making the entire phrase even more demeaning, a la "armchair warriors" or "chickenhawk".
Thanks, Robert. That was brilliant!