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President Obama announces nominations of Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense and John Brennan to be Director of the CIA. 01/07/2013.
Because the 2000s are ancient history
The tradition of liberty is old.  The common people will let it grow old, yes.  They will sell liberty for a quieter life...

-"The Writer," from Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange

On Monday, President Obama appointed former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to be his next secretary of defense, sending a curious signal to Democrats and progressives about the president's values. And while the nomination of Hagel received most of the attention, the president also on Monday appointed John Brennan to head the CIA. As explained by Salon's Alex Seitz-Waltz:
 
Meanwhile, no one on the left or the right seems to much care about Brennan’s nomination, despite the fact that he was forced to withdraw his name from consideration from the very same job in 2008 thanks to controversy over his alleged involvement with Bush-era interrogation programs. Brennan spent years at the CIA and served as chief of staff to former director George Tenet during the creation of the post-9/11 detention and interrogation programs. The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer described him as a “supporter” of the programs, which included torture and the use of secret prison “black sites.”

“There are some really important concerns that need to be publicly addressed before the Senate moves forward with the nomination,” said Laura Murphy, the ACLU’s Washington legislative office director, in an interview with Salon. The ACLU doesn’t take positions on nominees for executive branch jobs, but Murphy said Brennan’s appointment is “troubling,” adding, “We definitely are concerned.”

The man who was so controversial that his initially rumored nomination to head the CIA had to be withdrawn before Obama had even been inaugurated now finally will have his chance. So much has changed since late 2008.
In his current job, for example, Brennan has spearheaded some of Obama’s most controversial national security tactics, such as the aggressive escalation of drone strikes and so-called signature strikes, where targets are hit based on incomplete intelligence. He’s also caught flak for claiming drone attacks didn’t result in a “single” civilian death in Pakistan one year and for initially (and erroneously) claiming that Osama Bin Laden “engaged in a firefight” with Navy SEALs during the 2011 raid in which he was killed.

In 2008, liberals and civil libertarians were outraged by the possibility of Brennan heading the CIA.

On Monday, Meteor Blades quoted Spencer Ackerman:
Privately, Brennan has expressed doubts about the long-term efficacy of the drone war — even as it spreads from Pakistan to Yemen and perhaps elsewhere. But publicly, not only has Brennan defended the drone program, he’s claimed that “there hasn’t been a single collateral death” from drone strikes, which is difficult to square with what little evidence from the drone campaign is on display.

Accordingly, Brennan’s nomination is attracting criticism even before Obama announces it on Monday afternoon. Mary Ellen O’Connell, an international law expert at the University of Notre Dame, sent out a statement urging the Senate to vote against sending Brennan to the CIA on the grounds that the drone program is among “the most highly unlawful and immoral practices the United States has ever undertaken.” Council on Foreign Relations scholar Micah Zenko doesn’t explicitly oppose Brennan’s nomination, but called the claim that the drone strikes haven’t killed civilians “preposterous and in no way supported by reality.” Brennan withdrew as Obama’s choice to head the CIA once before, in 2008, when he came under criticism for alleged involvement in the CIA’s Bush-era torture efforts.

But that was a whole four years ago. Back then, Hagel was about to receive his first rating above zero from the Human Rights Campaign, for his one positive vote, in favor of emergency AIDS relief, which as John Aravosis points out, "isn't gay at all." So let's just forget that the new Defense nominee has a long history of virulent bigotry, and let's just forget that the new CIA nominee was considered too controversial for Democrats at the end of the Bush era, because of his activities during the Bush era. This is 2012, not the late-2000s, which is ancient history. The statute of limitations on outrage over abuses of human rights apparently is less than a handful of years.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

Also on Monday, the British newspaper The Guardian reported what the American media mostly did not:

The United States' use of drones is counter-productive, less effective than the White House claims, and is "encouraging a new arms race that will empower current and future rivals and lay the foundations for an international system that is increasingly violent", according to a study by one of President Obama's former security advisers.

Michael Boyle, who was on Obama's counter-terrorism group in the run-up to his election in 2008, said the US administration's growing reliance on drone technology was having "adverse strategic effects that have not been properly weighed against the tactical gains associated with killing terrorists".

Civilian casualties were likely to be far higher than had been acknowledged, he said.

Yeah, an occasional oops that kills civilians tends to have adverse strategic effects. Like making people hate the people and the nation responsible for killing them. But as Seitz-Wald continued, the new Obama CIA designee has a different, and demonstrably false, opinion:
In his current job, for example, Brennan has spearheaded some of Obama’s most controversial national security tactics, such as the aggressive escalation of drone strikes and so-called signature strikes, where targets are hit based on incomplete intelligence. He’s also caught flak for claiming drone attacks didn’t result in a “single” civilian death in Pakistan one year and for initially (and erroneously) claiming that Osama Bin Laden “engaged in a firefight” with Navy SEALs during the 2011 raid in which he was killed.
It is the new normal: What was unacceptable during the Bush era isn't anymore. And the Brennan nomination is not a unique example, even from just the past month. In December, almost unnoticed, the Senate by a 73-23-4 vote passed the FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012. As explained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
Incredibly, the Senate rejected all the proposed amendments that would have brought a modicum of transparency and oversight to the government's activities, despite previous refusals by the Executive branch to even estimate how many Americans are surveilled by this program or reveal critical secret court rulings interpreting it.

The common-sense amendments the Senate hastily rejected were modest in scope and written with the utmost deference to national security concerns. The Senate had months to consider them, but waited until four days before the law was to expire to bring them to the floor, and then used the contrived time crunch to stifle any chances of them passing.

And the ACLU:
Unfortunately, the public discussion of George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program may soon fade back into the shadows.

The heartbreak of another Senate vote in favor of dragnet collection of Americans’ communications, however, pales in comparison to the rejection of modest amendments in favor of more FISA transparency and accountability. These amendments would not have limited the government’s spying program in any way; they would have only compelled the government to tell the public what the law says and whether it protects us from government prying.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), a long-time member of the Intelligence Committee, valiantly fought for a year- and-a-half for basic information about how this surveillance program affects Americans and put a hold on the bill until a debate and amendment process was scheduled.  He finally got a vote to force disclosure of whether the National Security Agency is vacuuming up wholly domestic communications or searching through FISA taps for Americans, yet it failed by a vote of 42-52.  Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) also went to the mattress over the secret FISA court opinions that determine whether we have constitutional rights to privacy in foreign intelligence investigations.  He put the Senate to a vote on whether the administration should be forced to release the court opinions, supply unclassified summaries of them, or explain why they should be kept secret. That one went down 37-54.  Simply put, if the public were to find out what the government is doing with our information, or how many of us are affected, the program would be “destroyed,” according to Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

The ACLU does offer some hope that amendments still could be forthcoming.
Wyden will never, ever give up. Seriously.
And anyone who still has any hope for the protection of individual privacy in this nation must support him, Merkley, and all who are working to raise awareness and end complacency. And speaking of Merkley, all one has to do is read his brief statement, after the Senate, also over the holidays, sent to the president's desk the National Defense Authorization Act:
The freedom and liberty of American citizens are the bedrock, founding principles of our government. I am extremely disappointed that after the Senate unanimously passed this bill 98-0, it came back from negotiations with the House stripped of a bipartisan provision designed to safeguard that freedom and liberty. The indefinite detention of citizens, without due process or the right to a speedy trial, goes against our Constitution and our core principles as a nation. Though I support much of this bill, I voted no because allowing those policies to continue unchecked undermines the freedoms written into our founding documents, and that is unacceptable.
And the ACLU:
In January 2013, President Obama has signed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which jeopardizes his ability to meet his promise to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay during his presidency. The law also contains a troubling provision compelling the military to accommodate the conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of all members of the armed forces without accounting for the effect an accommodation would have.

The NDAA restricts Obama’s ability to transfer detainees for repatriation or resettlement in foreign countries or to prosecute them in federal criminal court. Originally set to expire on March 27, the transfer restrictions have been extended through Sept. 30. As recently as October, Obama reiterated his commitment to close Guantanamo. Currently, 166 prisoners remain at the prison camp.

ACLU Washington Legislative Office Director Laura Murphy explained:
The language is too broad. We strongly support accommodating beliefs, so long as doing so does not result in discrimination or harm to others. The hastily drafted provision, though, has the potential to give rise to dangerous claims of a right to discriminate against not just lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members, but also women, religious minorities, and in the provision of health care.
And while the president went through the motions of tempering some of the worst aspects of the legislation, using the same type of signing statement that Democrats such as Obama decried, when used by the Lesser Bush, he also used the signing statement to undermine some protections that were written into the legislation, to temper its possible abuse. As explained by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA):
The President’s objection to whistleblower protections for private sector employees who expose waste, fraud, and abuse in government programs is deeply disturbing. These protections, based on bipartisan legislation I introduced in the House, were passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the House and Senate. Congress has the authority and responsibility to oversee the operations of the executive branch. It is our duty to ensure the laws we create are faithfully executed, and that taxpayer dollars are used responsibly.
As bad as this all is, what makes it even worse is that none of it is necessary. These measures are not protecting the United States to any degree beyond which it already was protected, before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The various national security and intelligence services of that time were doing their jobs, and gave all manner of warnings, which would have been heeded and acted upon by any administration other than the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rice axis of incompetence. When that cabal then conspired to use those terrorist attacks to pursue a political agenda that had nothing to do with those attacks, many Americans were very vocal and active in opposing them and it. But now that a Democratic administration is codifying Bush administration abuses, and calcifying and normalizing what just a decade ago provoked outrage, it is not only that Bush and his cronies are winning, it is that all America and all the world are losing.

Either we stand for our principles and those basic rights that long have been celebrated all throughout the developed democratic world, or we never really had those principles to begin with. As Dostoyevsky's Grand Inquisitor said, more than a century ago:

Oh, we shall persuade them that they will only become free when they renounce their freedom to us and submit to us. And shall we be right or shall we be lying?
If we, the people, refuse to answer that question in defense of freedom itself, that question will be answered for us.

Under cover of the holidays, and of the media focus on the concocted fiscal "crisis," the end of last year and the beginning of this saw some terrible laws enacted or perpetuated, and to repeat what shouldn't need repeating, indeed what shouldn't even need to be said, even if you somehow trust this president and the people who work for him to use such powers wisely and judiciously, this president won't always be president. And we will again someday have a president from a more conservative opposing political party. And if history has taught us anything, it is that not only will legally sanctioned powers be used and misused, but they also inevitably will be but the takeoff point to even more extreme tactics and abuses. And as if to slam down the exclamation point on these new and renewed powers, the president started the new year by appointing to two of the most important national security posts two men who should be nowhere near a Democratic administration.

As the Grand Inquisitor continued:

And they will be glad to believe our answer, for it will save them from the great anxiety and terrible agony they endure at present in making a free decision for themselves.
Freedom is not easily won, and once lost, it is even harder to regain.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Good example of why I'm at my wit's end (65+ / 0-)

    This is just another reason why it will be easy for me to leave the party if Democrats cut Social Security or Medicare.  You have to swallow all this other garbage anyway.  

    I mean how do you ever get to simply say NO!  No more.  Too far. Can't go along with that.  

    Stop funding the security state and you will find the money for Social Security, Medicare and a whole lot more.  

    In any case, I will make ZERO concessions on either as long as there is money to repress civil liberties in the budget.  Who are we defending?  Not the sick.  Not the old.  Not the truly vulnerable.  

    Our priorities are totally wrong and that is why there is not enough money for the things we truly need.  

    •  New boss, same as the old boss. (4+ / 0-)
    •  If we can find money (0+ / 0-)

      to bomb children in foreign countries with multilmillion dollar pieces of equipment we should be able to find money in dismantling them and savings in not paying for their fuel and manufacture.  It saves lives the lives of children, as well as grown men and women overseas, and it saves lives here.  

      We can't grow bombs, but we sure as hell can grow food.  We can't fix lives with bullets, but we sure can if we fund our care for the mind and body.  We can't put families back together, but we sure can pay reparations and work to rebuild what was destroyed.

      "You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind." -Morpheus, The Matrix

      by Sarenth on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 01:26:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We have an empty Supermax in Illinois. (12+ / 0-)

    Wish they'd send Gitmo prisoners over here.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:14:55 AM PST

    •  I agree: (38+ / 0-)
      The silence from dKos was beginning to get to me.  I am so glad for this diary.
      There are a lot of us who haven't forgotten what these men have done.  I am disgusted with Obama for placing their names into nomination...but, in reality, it has been hard to find any reason to cheer for most of his nominations (Hillary being one of the exceptions).

      It is getting harder and harder to deny what is staring us in the face:  first Obama tells a reporter that his financial policies are more like a moderate republican than a Democrat's, then Rachel Maddow's guest (I think it was her program) telling her that Obama was basically a republican when it comes to foreign policy.  

      Obama has filled his administration with republicans, and he has constantly courted republican approval for his policies while slamming the door in the face of Progressives.  His policies on the environment (especially his 'all of the above' policy on drilling for oil) are more republican than traditional Democratic.  He is a war hawk (not a traditional position held by Democrats).  So why am I supposed to be thrilled by his presidency?

      And in essence, do we have to worry that the republicans are taking over the Democratic Party?  They've gained control of everything else...the third way certainly seems more republican than Democrat.  

      I don't want a republican who calls himself a Democrat to be the leader of our Party.  I want a Democrat who honors traditional Democratic values.  I want a deep gulf to separate republican and Democratic policies.

      •  Very well said! agree fully. nt (6+ / 0-)

        I know you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. -- S.I. Hayakawa

        by tapu dali on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:04:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  the last few weeks have been very enlightening (18+ / 0-)

        there is no more reelection excuse...I have been astounded by those who seemingly are more interested in toeing the party line as opposed to standing for party principle

        "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

        by justmy2 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:05:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, whatever: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        v2aggie2, Jack Hare, cherish0708
        Obama has filled his administration with republicans, and he has constantly courted republican approval for his policies while slamming the door in the face of Progressives.  His policies on the environment (especially his 'all of the above' policy on drilling for oil) are more republican than traditional Democratic.  He is a war hawk (not a traditional position held by Democrats).  So why am I supposed to be thrilled by his presidency?
        You know, I really have no problem with real criticisms of the President, but distorting shit to the extent that it becomes twisted like a pretzel is just lame.

        Obama's environmental record and results are better than we've seen from any President since, at the very least, Jimmy Carter.  The strongly strengthened CAFE standards alone would qualify him for that honor.  Add the myriad of other things that the Obama EPA has done, and the actual results of where this country is moving with renewables, and Obama has a pretty good record on the environment.  It's really frigging odd how some here love to ignore those facts and also completely ignore the fact that the only reason we still have such things as the wind power production tax credit is because Obama fought so hard for it during fiscal negotiations.  Republican environmental policies, my ass...

        In regards to Obama being a "war hawk", as you say.... why don't you tell us in detail what exactly qualifies a President who ended one active war during his first term and is ending the other during his second term qualifies him as a "war hawk"??!  That's just plain ridiculous.  It'd be like calling Dubya and Rumsfeld doves.

        I swear, some of the stuff that is posted in comments here makes DailyKos look really kooky and uninformed....

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:25:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So you're happy with your issue (7+ / 0-)

          Fine.  Vote on that.  But we won't all choose the same core values.  

          As to war, he merely ended the wars the Republicans were going to end anyway and at that "ending" wars never seems to actually happen in fact.  We're still wasting billions in Iraq.  Heck, we're still wasting billions in Korea.  

          I can close my eyes and put up with most of it BUT, BUT, BUT it seems we can no longer afford guns and butter and I flat out will not accept cuts to Social Security or Medicare in order to continue funding the war machine and the security state.  I will not make that tradeoff.  I will not vote for that deal.  

          •  Whatever. Again. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cherish0708, Jack Hare, Phoenix Woman

            If you really think that McCain, who ragged on Obama for being too dovish both on Iraq and Afghanistan, was gung-ho about ending those engagements, then you're just plain not reality-based.

            When you distort stuff that bad, then your take on other issues probably isn't trustworthy either.

            Anyway, I'm not interested in discussing with people who try and distort reality to fit some weird kind of dogmatism.

            "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

            by Lawrence on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:38:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I suspect that public opinion might have (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              glitterscale, aliasalias, Sarenth

              made the decision for him, if he had been elected. Or, he would have been clobbered in his reelection bid.

              I think the reality is about halfway between those on one side of this thread's argument, and those on the other. Neither the Obama/McCain nor the Obama/Romney pairing is a simple comparison of Tweedledee/Tweedledum (to paraphrase the well-known Gore/Bush complaint).

              At the same time, Obama is decisively, substantively to the right of Progressives on a great variety of issues. We should not be happy about the drone strikes, or about the lingering legacy of detention without due process, or (and this is my opinion, I recognize) the troubling signals from the various debt ceiling/fiscal cliff/budgetary negotiations.

              It may be true that the offer of COLA adjustments to Soc. Security are just part of a long-game negotiating strategy. But he doesn't seem to especially care how that looks to progressives. No Democratic officeholder should be seriously entertaining any Soc. Security revenue reform that does not include a raising of the highly regressive cap on payroll taxes for the wealthy. (Getting that through the House, I ruefully admit, is a different matter.)

              Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

              by Dale on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:20:57 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  This is a false choice really (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              praenomen

              McCain was (and is) and also ran too many times to be put in charge and so was Romney. The rethugs have run their course. But have we, as dems, run our course. i would damn sure hope not.

              American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

              by glitterscale on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:30:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  You already distorted. So whatever. (0+ / 0-)
            •  Your cry against dogmaticism (0+ / 0-)

              is the cry for responsible, moral government.

              I find it odd that to call for an end to war is somehow dogmaticism; that to call for taking care of our poor rather than destroying the poor of another's country is dogmaticism.

              EPA and CAFE standards, improved or no, do not erase the immense amount of blood on this Administration's hands.  Yet we are told 'be patient' while drones kill droves of children and civilians with every launch, our economy suffers, and we look at cutting out a program designed so that our elders would not have to suffer ignominy in their later years.

              "You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind." -Morpheus, The Matrix

              by Sarenth on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 01:37:45 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  That last line should read with (0+ / 0-)

                "cutting funding for"

                "You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind." -Morpheus, The Matrix

                by Sarenth on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 01:39:34 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  And here we go with the hyperbole again... (0+ / 0-)

                "drones kill droves of children and civilians with every launch".

                Proof?

                And no, some anti-Obama op-ed does not constitute proof.

                Because that statement is a flat-out lie.

                BTW, how many children do you think were killed when U.S. flying fortresses bombed the hell out of Nazi Germany?

                "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

                by Lawrence on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 03:02:45 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  What about (0+ / 0-)

                  this?
                  Obama's Drone War in Pakistan

                  Or this?


                  "TBIJ reports that from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562 - 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474 - 881 were civilians, including 176 children. TBIJ reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228 - 1,362 individuals," according to the Stanford/NYU study.
                  It is not just about civilian deaths, either, but the long-term destitution and misery that these drones deliver.
                  The numbers debate aside, one civilian death or injury is enough to dramatically alter
                  families’ lives. In Pakistan, families are often large, and their well being is intricately connected
                  among many members. The death of one member can create long-lasting instability,
                  particularly if a breadwinner is killed. A man named Hakeem Khan told Center for Civilians
                  in Conflict that he lives in pain and struggles to move since he lost his leg to flying debris
                  after a drone strike struck his neighbor’s house.

                  In regions most often targeted by drones,
                  women often have a limited earning capacity, and savings and insurance are not common,
                  which leaves widows and orphans extremely vulnerable. Sons may drop out of school to provide for their family, and daughters may forgo education to become caretakers.

                  Similar familial dynamics exist in Somalia.

                  Link is a PDF: Civilian Impact of Drones

                  "You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind." -Morpheus, The Matrix

                  by Sarenth on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 10:15:47 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Many effective, well respected (9+ / 0-)

          environmental organizations have been highly critical of both Obama and Salazar.  And for good reason.

          •  I don't give a shit. (0+ / 0-)

            There are even more environmental orgs that praise him and anyone who actually has an inkling of all the global aspects and angles that flow into environmental issues knows that this President has accomplished a hell of a lot in a very difficult political and economic environment.  

            Stating that Obama's environmental policies "are more republican than traditional Democratic" is just plain ignorant.

            "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

            by Lawrence on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:43:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Windpowering Native America survived 8 yrs of Bush (9+ / 0-)

          only to get the axe under Obama. This program was run through National Renewable Energy Labs and was putting up anemometers all through N.America to capture accurate wind data on Native American land.

          Over 30 tribes participated in this program over several years in order to get to the next step in developing RE projects to kickstart economic development.

          This was a small project that had an enormous upside for both tribes and everyone else.

          Now we have a database of wind info collecting electronic dust.

          •  And how exactly is this the President's fault? (0+ / 0-)

            Care to provide specifics?!  Or details?!  Or Links?!

            Because you sure must not be talking about this:

            DOI Finalizes Regulations For Renewable Energy Development On Tribal Lands

            by NAW Staff on Wednesday 28 November 2012

            The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) has finalized regulations designed to streamline the leasing process for development on tribal lands, including for renewable energy projects.

            The DOI consulted with American Indian tribes and considered public comment when developing the regulations, which the agency says overhaul antiquated rules governing the Bureau of Indian Affairs' (BIA) process for approving the surface leases on lands the federal government holds in trust for American Indian tribes and individuals.

            The DOI says the new rule complements and helps to implement the recently passed Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act, which allows federally recognized tribes to assume greater control of leasing on tribal lands.

            http://www.nawindpower.com/...

            Oh, that "dastardly" Obama Administration!!!  They're giving more power tribes and are making it easier for tribes to lease out the lands for renewables projects!

            So horrible!!!!

            "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

            by Lawrence on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:50:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  And then there's the chemical and oil filled Gulf (12+ / 0-)

          the pipeline that will pollute aquifers in the US from top the bottom, more drilling than even Bush allowed, and not to mention fraking.  And the killing wolves.   And the frankenfish, And Monsanto shills still in plum positions.  And on and on.

          Climate Change is bad.  It's getting worse.  And whatever Obama's done with his "all of the above" energy approach isn't going to do shit.  We needed an adult to take this issue on, we didn't get one.

          And he's a war hawk, just a different type than Cheney.  Obama likes using robots instead of flesh and blood soldiers.

          Obama: self-described moderate Republican

          by The Dead Man on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:55:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Do you want to count the republicans in his (5+ / 0-)

          administration?  You will find a lot, especially people from Wall Street.  

          How about Progressives?  Labor?  Not so many.  

          How many times has he allowed the CEO of Goldman Sachs to help develop financial policies behind closed doors?  A lot... how many progressives have been invited to participate in those discussions?...almost none....just an occasional bone thrown to keep them in line.

          As far as the environment goes, why don't you read the 2013 report on Global Risks prepared by the World Economic Forum?  It is a real eye opener...Obama doesn't look so good.  How about the US National Climate Assessment report prepared by 240 scientists?  Once again, his policy of 'all of the above' regarding big oil is going to reek devastation on a planet that is already clinging to life-support.  I don't care what shit he has done...it is not enough...not even close...and all of the other nations are very disappointed with his stance.

          Kooky?  How about idol worship?

          •  Yeah man, it is kooky: (0+ / 0-)
            all of the other nations are very disappointed with his stance.
            As someone who currently lives abroad, I can unequivocally say that you have absolutely no clue what you are talking about.

            President Obama is more popular abroad than in the U.S. and he's definitely more popular abroad than he is amongst the holier-than-thou faction on DailyKos.

            "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

            by Lawrence on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:26:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  and here we go. (0+ / 0-)

          if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 12:41:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not breaking an agreement. That's all. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vacantlook
          a President who ended one active war during his first term
          And if you'll remember, he tried to renegotiate the agreement to keep some soldiers there.
        •  Obama's record on the environment (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          glitterscale, Sarenth

          has to be judged in light of the present-day looming crisis. Steady step-wise progress may have been good enough 30 years ago; it just isn't now. The world is waiting for the most powerful person on the planet to step up and lead, and he isn't doing it. As long as he doesn't, no one else will or can.

          We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

          by denise b on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:13:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It also has to be judged in the light of the (0+ / 0-)

            present-day political and economic situation.

            And that's something which not a single one of the people who have inundated me with their hyperbolic anti-Obama comments here has done.

            At least you acknowledge that "stead step-wise progress" is taking place.

            What you don't seem to understand, however, is that steady step wise support for renewables inevitably leads to a renewable energy revolution in which renewables/cleantech explosively expand across the globe because they have become the most inexpensive way to produce new energy.  After being a force of drag on that development for decades, the U.S. is now finally contributing in a major manner to that increasingly becoming a reality.  And as that becomes a reality, renewables kick into exponential growth mode.

            I'm not interested in listening to the nihilist, short-sighted group of Obama bashers congregating here anymore.  While they rant and rave about all the perceived imperfections and virtually never acknowledge major accomplishments, President Obama does more for the environment with his little pinky than they will ever do.

            "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

            by Lawrence on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 03:19:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Your aside about Hillary (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snoopydawg, Phoenix Woman

        being one of Obama's appointments you would approve is curious.    In the 2008 campaign she swerved to the right of Obama on the wars and to the left on domestic issues.  Her unsuccessful candidacy, along with Obama's successful presidency, illustrates how mainstream politicians have the tendency to tack back and forth through political head winds.

      •  He isn't a war hawk. He is against "stupid" wars (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jack Hare, No10oX

        As he said at the Democratic convention. In other words, he believes that there are "necessary" wars. Obama is no Eisenhower but he is a reasonable person. I can only hope that he listens to other reasonable people. For all his flaws,
        Hagel was willing to go up against the status quo to protest Vietnam.

        My biggest hope is that we will survive his presidency with much less damage than Romney and that we will set the stage for a candidate who honors traditional Democratic values.

        Our political balance is so out of wack that being a moderate Republican like Ike almost seems liberal by today's standards. I wish Obama would aim for a more liberal stance to restore the balance but we have seen what happens when he does. He makes deals to achieve consensus but it always comes with a price. I wonder about the value of his strategy.

        Live in the Present. Learn from the Past. Plan for the Future.  

      •  Short answer: Yes. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        apimomfan2, Sarenth
        And in essence, do we have to worry that the republicans are taking over the Democratic Party?  They've gained control of everything else...the third way certainly seems more republican than Democrat.
        Longer answer:  Absolutely yes.

        If the Democratic leaders, especially Obama, keep governing like this, the smart move for moderate republicans, if they want to win their primary, would be for them to change parties and run as a Democrat.

      •  Time to get past the labels, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sarenth

        when they mean nothing.

        Show us what you do, and not just what you say you'll do.

    •  mb (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glitterscale, Aunt Martha, aliasalias

      posted about both hagel and brennan.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:19:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  and it's bipartsan (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      apimomfan2

      Obama: self-described moderate Republican

      by The Dead Man on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:50:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Two words: President Huckabee. n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Is better than Romney good enough? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    apimomfan2, Sarenth
  •  We have had 4 years (14+ / 0-)

    of Obama's bipartisan policies. Nobody should be shocked and surprised that he is going to continue them for the next 4 years. He never really promised to do otherwise. Anybody who expects that he is going to somehow magically get out of bed one morning and become some kind of new deal social democrat is really not in tune with what is obvious reality.

  •  This is the first post I have seen here (38+ / 0-)

    that doesn't try to blame the GOP for what the Democratic Party is.

    The first step towards solving a problem is admitting what that problem is.

    The problem isn't that the GOP is forcing the Democratic Party to be a right wing party. The problem is that the Democratic Party is a right wing party.

    We must come to terms with the fact that we are witnessing the end of the U.S. democracy and seeing the birth of an oligarchy.

    Well, I say "We" but I really mean those who are interested in changing it who are unaware of this fact. There are others here who seem perfectly comfortable with the rise of an anti-democratic system, and indeed, argue we should "trust" him or them.

    I don't have any clear solutions. The vast bulk of the public seems oblivious to what's happening. I just don't think the next few decades are going to end well for the U.S. as far as its status as an empire.

    •  why not look at it a differnt way? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell, TracieLynn, Bisbonian
      I don't have any clear solutions. The vast bulk of the public seems oblivious to what's happening. I just don't think the next few decades are going to end well for the U.S. as far as its status as an empire.
      Who needs an empire?
      •  The rich . . . (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder, Dem Beans, apimomfan2

        "empire" is what feeds and protects them.

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:34:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Most of the middle class is served by empire (2+ / 0-)

          in the U.S.

          Not just the rich.

          The entire precise that we are going to economically one day return to the good old days of economic prosperity is based on the false idea that those good times weren't based on our dominance of the global economy, which mostly grew out of empire.

          •  Not really. (6+ / 0-)

            They're hollowing out SS, Medicare and Medicaid just to pay for those stupid wars and keep a ridiculously large military.

            "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

            by Bush Bites on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:49:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  How do you think the wealth was generated (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              native, Heart of the Rockies

              regardless of where it is now being used?

              What do you think the 50s, and 60s and 70s wealth came from?

              Magic?

              it came from the US's dominance in the world economy and a historic reality that the other countries were devastated. In return for shutting up the middle class was given things like SS and other benefits and low cost mortgages etc

              So when you say "not really" this is just denial and is a part of the reason we see things happening as they do.

              The middle class is fearful of losing that bargain

              •  Actually, it's even earlier than that (0+ / 0-)

                For about 150 years, from 1820 to 1970, there was a labor shortage in America.  The job of "opening the frontier" -- that is, exploiting the lands we stole from the people who we killed to get those lands -- required lots of warm bodies to accomplish, so employers were forced to keep paying higher and higher wages.  Furthermore, if you didn't like your boss, you could always light out for the territories and hunt, fish or farm.

                This all ended in the early 1970s, as the computer took away tens of millions of jobs at the same time as women entered the workforce on a large scale.  But the workers couldn't accept that the American Dream was over, so they tried to delay the day of reckoning by going massively into debt, via mortgages, student loans and credit cards.  That bubble popped in 2007, leaving us where we are right now.

                Visit http://theuptake.org/ for Minnesota news as it happens.

                by Phoenix Woman on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 03:09:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  God, I hope you're right. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BOHICA, JerseyKC
        I just don't think the next few decades are going to end well for the U.S. as far as its status as an empire.
        Running an empire sucks.

        "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

        by Bush Bites on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:46:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The empire will do fine... (5+ / 0-)

      it's the subjects of this empire, us, that are going to suffer greatly. Environmental degradation to a degree never seen before, rampant homelessness, the elimination of the middle class...oh, we're already seeing this. Pardon me.

      •  The key element is that I am referring to the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Heart of the Rockies

        subjects who have previously not understood that much of the prosperity of "growth being forever" or that things would always work out

        I am not really concerned what happens with the leadership of the empire.

        I am referring to what is embedded in American optimism and the belief that we are always on top. eg that despite our health care system sucking there are a lot of people who believe we are the best in the world

    •  I don't think they're oblivious (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      apimomfan2

      not to all of it, anyway.

      They're giving the government, in particular Obama, time to work it out. They still think they can trust him. In that sense, maybe they're oblivious. They still think Republicans are the (worse) problem, and that Obama is a good guy trying his best.

      But it's not that they don't see the larger problems of corruption. they just think Obama is their friend up there fighting for them.

      They seem to be about where I was in 08.

      That'll go away really fast if/when Obama and the Democrats cut Social Security or Medicare.

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 01:02:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The idea of trusting any politician is alien to me (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        apimomfan2

        especially one in a corrupt system

        What I trust is their actions. That tells me who they are more than any words out of their mouth.

        I told a friend of mind that I watched Michelle Obama during the convention, and I remember being affected emotionally by it, but then I remember almost as soon thinking "wait this is theatrics'

        I am just not wired to believe something a pol says. I know that politics is about power and interests. It seems to me that I get what politics is, while others seem to think they are joining a social club where they are hanging out with their buddies down the street. The George Bush "i can drink a beer with him" also never worked on me. Its all misquided as far as "what ar ehteir policis and how does it affect real people in real life"

  •  No collateral deaths? (12+ / 0-)

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof except in Bizzaro-World.

    Welcome.

    Poor people have too much money and vote too often. Republican platform plank, 1980 - present

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:20:01 AM PST

  •  Seems odd to me that so much of the info.. (8+ / 0-)

    ....the government is collecting on ordinary people is being collected from private companies.

    Yes, get the government to stop collecting data.

    But who's going to stop Amazon, Apple and Google, not to mention the cell carriers and credit card companies?

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:23:49 AM PST

    •  How to propose to get the private actors to (5+ / 0-)

      stop doing that if the government that creates the laws are in league with those private interest?

      •  If you're going to pass a law... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Words In Action, Sarenth

        ...against the gov doing it, which I assume is the point of this diary, you'd better include the private actors and the infrastructure that is generating the data to begin with, is all I'm saying.

        They've been doing it long before the government got into the act and if you leave them in charge of your personal information, any future government can just plug back into the data stream without missing a beat.

        "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

        by Bush Bites on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:40:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The point of the diary is that the government (5+ / 0-)

          is screwed up

          My rebuttal to you is that the government is screwed up so how are you going to achieve your goal

          You don't say, but assume you will

          This is the ACA situation again. I kept pointing out to attacks that the bill liked teeth, and that without enforcement mechanisms the bill was meaningless

          Same thing here. How do you propose to get to the issue  you want to address without dealing first with the Democratic Party being the servants of corporate interests? I see the discussion of the government abuses of power as representative of why you can't reach the issue of the private sector. Until you deal with the government side,t he private sector will continue unabated.

          •  Have to control both or it's meaningless. (0+ / 0-)

            They'll still be collecting data and that data will still go somewhere, like it did before the government even got into the act.

            "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

            by Bush Bites on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:55:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think youundrestand the process (0+ / 0-)

              To have policies, you have to have a government that enforces them, otherwise you end up with regulatory capture as just happened with the FTC and Google. The laws are on the books but no one enforced them. So until you deal with that, there's really nothing that changes for either

              You keep telling me about the private sector enforcement like that happenes somehow without government.

    •  Direct action. (0+ / 0-)

      We need a movement to stop using Amazon, Apple, Google and FACEBOOK!

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

      by Words In Action on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:45:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  customers? (0+ / 0-)

      It's all we-the-people have left.  It's unreasonable and unfair to have yet another complex problem dumped in consumers laps.  Yet it is still possible to find the information and make a consumer choice about your phone/cable/Internet carrier.  I'm sorry.  It ain't much, but it may be all we can do.  Outside of waiting for the next election and kicking the stand out from under the security state Senators in the ballot box.  Change requires risk.

  •  Greenwald nailed it years ago (37+ / 0-)
    Here again, we see one of the principal and longest-lasting effect[s] of the Obama presidency: to put a pretty, eloquent, progressive face on what (until quite recently) were considered by a large segment of the citizenry to be tyrannical right-wing extremism (e.g., indefinite detention, military commissions, an endless and always-expanding "War on Terror," immunity for war criminals, rampant corporatism -- and now unchecked presidential assassinations of Americans), and thus to transform what were once bitter, partisan controversies into harmonious, bipartisan consensus
  •  It isn't a problem because (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BOHICA, apimomfan2, Sarenth

    we need strong and forceful leadership.

    Since our leadership is terrified of everything, internally and externally, the only way to combat all of the threats to our national interests is to be armed to the teeth.

    I'm surprised Obama is thumbing down the death star!

  •  Murderous Big Brother President (25+ / 0-)

    It's not me. It's the system. Because there's not a goddamn thing I can do about Brennan, or Obama who's employed Brennan since Obama got the power.

    This is the Obama who ran in the Democratic primaries on being "unequivocally opposed" to renewing FISA with its warrantless wiretapping powers - and literally the day after he won them, voted for FISA with warrantless wiretapping powers. And then after winning the general election, refused to even investigate the telcos or the Bush admin stooges who arranged for them to wiretap every single American, literally billions of 4th Amendment violations for years. And indeed, there's no reason not to believe Obama continues to warrantlessly wiretap all of us.

    This is the Obama who renewed the term of Defense Secretary Gates, who ran the "dumb war" in Iraq as a terrible loss, even if not quite as terrible as Rumsfeld who started it. That's the Gates who ran the Afghanistan part of Iran/Contra from the CIA, where they created the Qaeda. Gates also ran the Afghanistan War as a worse loss, without catching Binladen - though his successor at the Pentagon took only a year and a half to kill Gates' creation. Now Obama's installing Hegel, another Republican who took us into Iraq and actively failed to protect us from the Qaeda.

    This is the Obama who hasn't actually stopped CIA torture of people kidnapped in the "Terror War". Either at Guantanamo as he ran on in 2008, or as we are learning was going on at the Benghazi "CIA safehouse". Nor has he ever taken legal action against the many Bush demons who created the torture regime to produce false confessions for tricking us into war in Iraq. Even though Obama is obligated to prosecute under Geneva Conventions, US treaties implementing them, and our own law - not to mention our moral obligation to our own leadership clear of barbarism that already toppled our integrity and Treasury.

    This is the Obama who's got his Pentagon murdering people with drones, denying they exist or that they're bystanders - under Brennan's command. Some of these executed people have been Americans - violating due process and the core of the Constitution's requirement for justice, though it would be trivial for a court to declare them traitors, strip them of citizenship, and write a warrant for their execution.

    This is the Obama who ran against Hillary Clinton and her healthcare mandatory private insurance, then against John McCain and his 3rd Bush term, and then used his two years of Democratic monopoly of government to install Clinton's mandatory private insurance.

    What the hell can we do about someone like that? We have to vote for them, because they either convincingly lie to us about rejecting a bad policy until they get the power to implement it - or their opponent is going to do it anyway, and far worse. And since he does a lot that we do want that their opponent won't, we have positive reasons to vote in someone who then betrays us on other essential actions.

    George Orwell's 1984 was about life under a tyrannical "Big Brother". Not "Big Bully", though the system was that. But "Big Brother", because it also looked out for you, and took care of you - when it wasn't abusing you. Just like a big brother can be (in a realistic nightmare). And just like a big brother, there's nothing you can do about it.

    He's Obama. He's a murderer, a world-class snoop in everyone's private affairs. And we're stuck with him.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:26:14 AM PST

  •  just because the right is insane (6+ / 0-)

    doesnt mean the left ...

    add your own twist on the old joke, just because you are paranoid doesnt mean they are not out to get you.

    war is immoral. both parties are now fully complicit in the wars. bring everyone home. get to work.

    by just want to comment on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:26:44 AM PST

  •  Was the 2012 election (20+ / 0-)

    ...the funeral for progressive Democrats?

    Does not the election show that there are too few progressives and those few are concentrated geographically so tightly that they are impotent for the most important issues in local, state, and national politics?

    Has Wall Street and the Wilsonian imperialists bought the American government so well that common sense is no longer possible in government?

    I'll wait until after the President's budget come out to definitively decide about those, but the straws in the wind are not encouraging.

    And more and more of my progressive friends are feeling like they were had---twice.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:26:57 AM PST

    •  We weren't "had" twice - just once. The second (17+ / 0-)

      time, it was quite clear what the alternatives were.

      I voted "for" Obama's first term. I definitely voted "against" Romney.

      It doesn't make the situation any better, though.

    •  No, it shows that the labels you throw out (16+ / 0-)

      are irrelevant without substantive policy debates about the ideas.

      If 2012 had been a battle over policies you might have a point. but please, let's not rewrite the last year of politics now.

      We have not had a fight between progressive and conservative ideas in decades. We have had disputes between conservative (Democratic Party) and reactionary (GOP) policies.

      I am not going to post it again, but I linked to a video from 1980 between Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr

      The arguments when compared to the Obama Romney debate casts Obama essentially as in accord or to the right of Bush Sr and Romey in accord or to the right of Reagan

      That's not a debate between progressives, and nor has the last 4 years been despite the attempts to use Orwellian techniques to label it as such

      •  Or more accurately, between repressive (Dem) (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bisbonian, theboz, bruh1, apimomfan2, Sarenth

        and full-out batshit insane Fascist (Repuke) policies.

        I think this country may already be past the point of no return.

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:25:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The leader's debates (5+ / 0-)

        ...reflect what's happening in general at the grassroots.  The striking absence of debate from progressives about progressive principles is locally and through social networks.

        Occupy Wall Street sparked some debate about progressive principles.  Idle No More has the possibility to do the same.  But I don't see a broad range of progressives picking up on the issues and the interrelation of the issues that both these movements have articulated.

        IF the problem is us.  It's (1) our silence outside of comfortable contexts; (2) our geographic concentration in certain parts of the geography; (3) our failure to grasp more creative ways of engaging public conversation.

        Our failure is in sustaining a political culture in which progressive principles cannot be ignored.  Or marginalized.  Or folks holding to those principles arrested and imprisoned.

        When my friends ask me "Why Brennan?"  My flip answer is "He's Barack Obama's minder."  or "He told Barack Obama what really happened to JFK."

        But there is something definitely amiss with the Democratic Party, and it dates to December 2008-the transition period, in which a lot of positive possibilities were tossed aside.

        50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

        by TarheelDem on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:34:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think its interesting you cast (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sarenth

          what is essentially a right wing take over of the systems of government as the fault of progressive arguments and techniques. by your logic, the reason any oligarchy rises to power is the failure of the people rather than because there is a corrupt system in place.

          Let's take one example to underscore why your argument is false.

          Congressional seats. They are kept artificially low according to what the numbers were expected to be. I read somewhere that the ratio was supposed to be 50,000 voters to 1 represetnative but is now at 750000 to 1 representative. Is that the fault of progressives or the fault of oligarchial forces trying to keep control through anti democratic processes?

          The problem pre dates 2008 and Obama. Its a structural problem. I just named one of them.

          •  What part of (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            3goldens, lotlizard

            ...consent by the governed don't you understand.

            If the "governed" stop consenting, the system changes.  If they accept a rigged system it doesn't.  Sometimes the need is not for paralyzingly accurate analysis but for practical grassroots action.

            By your logic, folks should stop talking and just take it.  Oh, and wait for the inevitable collapse that will hurt large numbers of people?

            Oligarchy depends on followers to implement their commands.  Those followers are the folks who have jobs and do them untinkiningly.  Most folks have some of them in their personal networks.  Yes, indeed it is a structural problem.  But it's a structural problem that can be worked on.

            If the Democratic Party is going to be the vehcile of change, progressives who take that route are going to fight like hell in the precinct and county organizations in order to bring change in the state organizations.

            There is no excuse for the lack of significant progressive presence in every state in the union--except for the fact that a lot of progressives self-select to be near progressives.  Ideologically-minded conservatives rhetorically invade every space they can with their arguments; that gives the public the  the illusion of conservatives being the majority.

            50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

            by TarheelDem on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:30:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  my logic is that you are blaming the victim (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sarenth

              and don't seem to get that you are so there's really no point in this exchange

              it rminds me of the obama fanatics here who do that whenever issue comes up where obama does something right wing

              "oh well you didn't push him to do it"

              What I am certain of it that using terms like consent of the govern means you don't understand what I meant by the aritifically high numbers. Thats designed to prevent the very thing  you ironically mention. If you keep the numbers high, it utlimaely means that one will receive less not more representation - by design. And yet you don't get the argument at all so you keep returing to individual responsibility (a conservative mantra) as a way to define progressive values

              if you want to argue for change, you argue wat I am arguing: how do we increase representation. not tweak around the ages about messaging.

              •  So if the "victims" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                3goldens

                ...are not going to bring about change, who the heck is?

                If you think I was talking about messaging, I apparently failed to communicate it.

                How do you think we increase representation?  Pray for it?

                Politics is conversation and communication through action.  What exactly stops this train to nowhere?

                50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

                by TarheelDem on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 11:07:55 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Revolution (0+ / 0-)

                  by thought or by other means.  We have people on the right salivating about an Armageddon and a left that is finding itself increasingly marginalized.  This when the right, by any goal post we have now, is getting bigger because the Democrats refused to stop upending it and carrying it closer across the aisle.

                  When the system is rigged, as it is in my home State, where the election would have gone to Democratic candidates but they were denied their seats by dint of jerrymandering, what hope is there when even our basic voice of who we pick to represent us is squelched?  When the Treasury Dept., EPA, FDA, and USDA, not to mention a good many elected officials has members on it that are part and parcel of who should be regulated by it, or benefit by them, what hope is there that our basic functions of government serve our interest?

                  If you have little hope you have capitulation or revolution.

                  "You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind." -Morpheus, The Matrix

                  by Sarenth on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 02:06:53 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Wasn't Tarheel Dem responding to the title (0+ / 0-)

            of this diary?

            if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 01:18:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Forward! Into Oblivion! (0+ / 0-)

          It's BiPartisanly Delicious!

    •  No. Because what we're fighting for now (5+ / 0-)

      is not progressive. It's mainstream.

      Saying we want a focus on jobs, a rebuilding of infrastructure, a new-deal-style job creation system, money put into american small businesses, fair trade treaties instead of NAFTA, and the protection of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security is mainstream. Majorities want these things. Majorities want us to bring money back from overseas and spend it here at home too.

      The only thing we're fighting for that might not be mainstream is climate change.  And enough natural disasters and that might change. There are some indications it's changing already.

      Fighting for progressive values would be fighting for full employment, Medicare for All, a command-and-control style regulatory structure that takes the fossil fuel industries to the woodshed on a regular basis, and other things that we haven't even thought about fighting for since 2009 at the latest.

      Right now we're fighting for a middle- and working-class bipartisan American consensus, which exists.  It just doesn't exist on the Hill, in the White House, in the think tanks and NGOs that surround Congress, in the punditocracy, on Wall St or at the National Chamber of Congress.  In other words, where established power is.

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 01:17:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well how many civil liberties (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sarenth

        ...will we have to trade for that mainstream vision?

        And when can we expect restoration of the rule of equal protection under the law, where results don't depend on the size of your checkbook?

        And how come it's Wall Street that gets to define that vision and not ordinary people?

        50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

        by TarheelDem on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 03:12:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  hey I agree about civil liberties (0+ / 0-)

          but I don't understand what you're saying about Wall St.
          Wall St isn't defining that vision, far from it. Wall St is trying to kill the vision by lowering expectations. Just ask Lloyd Blankfein.

          if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:46:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Losing our humanity (13+ / 0-)

    No one cares about this anymore.  The pendulum has swung so far that the clock is broken.  Technology has something to do with it.  I don't see it shifting back in my lifetime, as people increasingly let computers make decisions for them.

    It's going to come back to bite us, though. With climate change ruining agriculture,  we'll be eating each other before you know it.

  •  The real issue is not so much who heads (18+ / 0-)

    the CIA so much as why we should allow this spectacularly awful agency to exist for even one more day. I say this not from any ideological vantage, but simply on the basis of the sheer incompetence of this organization. For an agency founded by Truman to centralize intelligence gathering into a single organization, it's record is spectacularly bad, stupendously bad in fact. The CIA may be one of the least successful organizations of its type anywhere. Every major foreign policy issue since 1954 has seen the CIA on the stupid side of the equation. Vietnam, Afghanistan, Cuba, the fall of the USSR, 9/11, Iraq. You name it, they have failed to get it right. If you had an employee like that, you would either be out of business or you would have personally shown them the door. The CIA couldn't even detect Aldrich Ames, their head of their Soviet section, as he sold CIA agents and assets to the Russians over a period of years, when he would drive a brand new Jaguar into the CIA lot and plonked down $540K for a swanky new house. Even when the spy was in their own damned building, they couldn't detect him. So, pardon me if I don't get to fussed over who heads the CIA. It's the stinking toilet block I can't stand; the choice of head janitor is irrelevant.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:33:10 AM PST

  •  Only Nixon could go to China (7+ / 0-)

    And apparently only Obama could appoint John Brennan to head up the CIA.

  •  Probably should mention gun control too. (0+ / 0-)

    I mean, if you're talking about a fascist superstate, Biden's gun panel would be another obvious thing to bring up.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:34:53 AM PST

  •  At least now (22+ / 0-)

    They won't "hate us for our freedom" anymore since we won't have any.

    "No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."

    James Madison--April 20, 1795

    Hobbs: "How come we play war and not peace?" Calvin: "Too few role models."

    by BOHICA on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:34:57 AM PST

  •  The White House Petition site - a stroke of genius (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    praenomen, Words In Action, Simplify

    People won't write or sign a petition unless they are worked up about something.

    They mostly get worked up about stupid shit.

    If they only care about things, they will fight among themselves over details and never get organized.

    Remember President Obama was a community organizer.  He fucking knows about this.  He wasn't carrying a basket of cookies to grandma's house.

    The White House Petition site is a perfect barometer for what people are willing to put up with.

    Sign my White House Petition Enforce the KEEP in the Second Amendment We don't have a problem with gun control, we have a problem with gun owners controlling their guns.

    by 88kathy on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:36:01 AM PST

    •  Yea, but you have to have an "account" (6+ / 0-)

      to even sign a petition on the White House site. I'm not setting up an account with the NDAA president. No thanks.

      •  You aren't worked up. You have to go to (3+ / 0-)

        Zuccotti Park to OWS.

        Sign my White House Petition Enforce the KEEP in the Second Amendment We don't have a problem with gun control, we have a problem with gun owners controlling their guns.

        by 88kathy on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:40:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  In other words if you don't go to the park you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Words In Action

        aren't in the movement.  Stay at homes = stay at homes.  No matter what they feel.

        Sign my White House Petition Enforce the KEEP in the Second Amendment We don't have a problem with gun control, we have a problem with gun owners controlling their guns.

        by 88kathy on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:43:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  maybe if OWS had established better bonds (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lotlizard

          with the "stay at homes" it might have survived the militarized police onslaught better. That's not to say that OWS deserved to get the crap beaten out of it. I think people here know where I stand on that.  But I constantly urged Occupy DC, through Occupy Faith, which I was part of, to form ties and connections with the people who weren't sleeping on the concrete.  A lot of people didn't want that; they wanted the suburbanites to come sleep on concrete or else just funnel money toward those who did.  It was sort of put into the frame of not having enough real street cred/skin in the game/not making enough sacrifices to be "real." But the fact was, and is, that a lot of people aren't going to want to be out in the streets, or sleep on concrete, or endanger their physical well-being, until and unless everything collapses.  The intelligent thing to do, logistically and strategically, was to connect with the mainstream, and the best way to do that was through faith organizations: churches, temples, mosques, etc.  Not intending to piss off the atheists here, but you guys don't build infrastructure. I'm a pagan, so I understand; we don't do it either, for the most part.

          We needed conversations to happen between the Occupiers and ordinary middle- and working-class people who weren't Occupying. We needed relationships to develop. We're getting some of that with Occupy Homes, which is why Occupy Homes still survives. Occupy Sandy also may bear some fruit that way.

          if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 01:30:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  that's been my issue. -nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  and then when they do get worked up (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      apimomfan2, aliasalias, lotlizard, Sarenth

      their petitions get ignored. like the marijuana legalization folks.

      and once people see that, they know the fucking website is a fucking optics-generator for the President, to make him look "populist" at no cost to him.

      So no, it's not a barometer of what people are willing to put up with.

      It's the online equivalent of a vapid photo-op.

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 01:20:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The war on terror a/k/a the (0+ / 0-)

    war with radical Islam does reduce our civil liberties at home with GITMO detention and abroad with drone strikes. Unfortunately for most US citizens, including me, it's a trade-off we have to make.  The barbaric nature of our enemy leaves us little choice but to respond as best we can.

    As to drone strikes, it appears they are planned to minimize civilian casualties and hit the right target.

  •  Re: Hagel/Brennan. Don't let the perfect (11+ / 0-)

    be the enemy of the just plain wrong.

    Ditto for Lew.

    When will this administration drop this practice of rewarding people who were wrong? When will the apologists stop defending it?

    Sorry, but you can't get to better Democracy with approaches like this. You just can't.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:38:31 AM PST

  •  The morphing of Obama into Bush is (8+ / 1-)

    now complete.

  •  Anthony Burgess (8+ / 0-)

    wrote A Clockwork Orange before Kubrick ruined the story in a so-so movie.  The quote is as follows:

    "The tradition of liberty means all. The common people will let it go, oh yes. They will sell liberty for a quieter life.”

  •  we want to set policy? win elections (8+ / 0-)

    Obama is who he is. With some exceptions ("I'll walk that picket line ..." IIRC) he is who he claimed to be - while leaving the slate relatively clean except for (great) rhetoric.

    Here in the echo chamber we have a litany of demands and woulda-coulda-shouldas. In Wash DC the cloud coo coo right have a majority of the majority party in the House. I understand about the redistricting, and I'd like to think with that level of egregious political hardball coming from some (at this point only hypothetical) progressive state houses that the progressive House caucus would be large enough to shift the ol' Overton on lots of issues. Autopilot techno happy imperial foreign policy is one of them.

    That is to say I agree with the complaints listed above and with the general level of complaints that Obama shows very little progressive leanings and then only after "much reflection" and that he has shown no desire to shift the ship of state off its long term course (if you don't think Clinton would have used drones ... wait ... let me check ...).

    However ... electorally there is no evidence that the country agrees with us (here on the progressive side) except on some of the big ticket hot button culture war issues (that we used to lose on).

    We want the US empire tamed down? Win lots of elections. And for those saying "lesser evil" is a false choice? It is but your other option is sitting out. And, with very few exceptions, if the disgusted with the lesser evilism sat out it wouldn't shift the balance of power. (Unless it's Fla. 2000 but that's another thread.) Obama's not (currently) bombing Iran and is apparently resisting that military option. That's what we get for the last four years. It is what it is.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:44:45 AM PST

    •  I never thought that Obama was anything .... (3+ / 0-)

      other than a politician!

    •  I wish. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      apimomfan2

      Look, at some point, we have to consider the definition of insanity:  doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 01:32:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  do you mean voting? or drone strikes? (0+ / 0-)

        If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

        by jgnyc on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 03:57:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I mean focusing, sometimes obsessively (0+ / 0-)

          on getting people elected.

          I love focusing on getting people elected, because it's something I know how to do. It's something I've had some success in. So I love it, and it's easy to focus on it. When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But trying over and over again to change things through getting people elected, when regardless of whether we win or lose the political discourse of both parties keeps moving rightward and we keep losing ground, seems--

          Well, it seems like we need to stop and at the very least figure out why that's happening. And we might need to start thinking outside the (ballot) box.

          if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:50:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  try education (0+ / 0-)

            The crazies currently the majority of the majority in the House were elected. My theory is they have a plan and a movement and all we have is "remember the good old days".
            Educate people on a way forward. Some of the ecological problems we face are actually too big for government - though it would be great if government didn't work against solutions.

            If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

            by jgnyc on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 01:33:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I figure if (0+ / 0-)

              our government could mobilize a nation for war they can do the same for peace, or for taking care of our backyards.  If they can mobilize people to make 'Victory Gardens' and recycle and sacrifice so we could commit to war we certainly can do so now.  What is lacking is the political will.

              "You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind." -Morpheus, The Matrix

              by Sarenth on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 02:17:38 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  could ... but would? (0+ / 0-)

                We elect them. The crazies are getting too many of theirs elected. The problem isn't big money in politics, the problem is their endless leveraging of culture war issues to slander any civic initiative ever. They're still mad about civil rights and bummed that Bush screwed up so bad. The only solution is to get enough people to the ballot box that there's a firm, sane coalition. But we have to change their minds or they'll keep voting "crazy".

                It all comes down to voting. It's why I read this site.

                If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

                by jgnyc on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 12:19:44 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  education is great but (0+ / 0-)

              we need to have a possible way forward to offer, something that people can believe will make a difference. And in 5 weeks or so, the Democrats might have just blown the credibility of the party. I'm not going to start organizing any attempt that involves ordinary working people believing in the Democratic party until I see whether or not the party is going to cut Social Security and Medicare. If they do, that will be a big sign to everyone in this country that the Democratic party doesn't give a shit what they think.  These programs are not just liberal sacred cows, nor even just Democratic sacred cows. A majority of the American people believe in them as part of the social contract. After everything that's happened. with the vast majority of people struggling and the rich rolling in dough and also getting off scot-free from their financial crimes, people are not going to be OK with this sort of cut.

              Attempting to activate them on behalf of the Democratic party will, after that point, be time wasted. So I'm waiting to see what the party intends to do.  If they finally and thoroughly wreck their brand, it will be pointless to try and help them do anything involving working people.

              if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 01:43:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  send in the drones..... (0+ / 0-)

    when it is unnecessary for crazy jihad heaven seeking dudes armed w box cutters to fly the planes into the buildings because everybody who has an ipad and a socket set is flying their drones below radar are we safer or less safe?

    uuhhh send in the drones, there's gotta be drones, they're already heeeeeeeeere.

  •  Thank you for this truly excellent (8+ / 0-)

    diary which I wish I could rec more than once.

  •  When (9+ / 0-)

    Bush left office, my fear was that without a clear repudiation of the Unitary Executive theory, the War on Terror, and warrantless wiretapping we were looking at the new normal.

    Well, welcome to the new normal.

    This goes to show that one election, one candidate, one victory is not enough. Our work here didn't end when we helped President Obama get elected; our work has barely begun.

    We are here to work to elect more and better Democrats. The direction that Bush took this country will not change as long as the Democrats see the value of the governing theories that he introduced.

    It will take work. Although President Obama has done, continues to do great things for us and for the nation, we did not - I did not fight to elect him to make things wonderful, but only to stop things from getting too much worse. That I have to choose the candidate for POTUS based on who is less actively malevolent says much about where we are as a nation, but we are here and we need to work from here.

    It took sixty years for today's GOP to reduce the Republican Party from otherwise reasonable Eisenhower Republicans who supported the social contract and distrusted the military-industrial complex to today's neo-fascist New Confederate Astroturf Tea Party. It will take at least that long for us to change the Democratic Party from the GOP's allies and punching bags to the champions of progressive, competent government that we need.

    We will face many more elections like this one, where someone we support implements and strengthens policies we can't stomach. But with hard, thankless, and unglamorous work at the local, county, and state levels and with tireless organization online, we may (for nothing in this cherry-blossom World is guaranteed save death, taxes, and disappointment) yet see a progressive, benevolent federal government. We may yet see the end to living in a country that tortures, that wiretaps its citizens, that enshrines the corporate financial manager over the laborer.

    But we are not there yet, and today is not that day.

    I don't know which candidates to support. I suspect that many have not been born yet. But understand that this is the beginning of the fight and President Obama is the vanguard and not the culmination.

    We have work to do.

    •  "It took sixty years for today's GOP... (4+ / 0-)

      ... to reduce the Republican Party from otherwise reasonable Eisenhower Republicans who supported the social contract and distrusted the military-industrial complex to today's neo-fascist New Confederate Astroturf Tea Party. It will take at least that long for us to change the Democratic Party from the GOP's allies and punching bags to the champions of progressive, competent government that we need."

      It will take considerably longer than that, since it is currently headed in the opposite direction.

      When banjos are outlawed, only outlaws will have banjos.

      by Bisbonian on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:39:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Very good comment. Rec'ced w/pleasure. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, Moody Loner, Sarenth

      Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

      by orlbucfan on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:29:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I bet Lewis will enthusiastically cast a vote for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, apimomfan2

    Hillary Clinton, who was at one time a staunch supporter of DOMA (and whose husband passed that piece of odious legislation).  People change.

    Moreover, Hillary is STILL not sorry about her vote for the Iraq war.  Unlike Hagel who changed his position on Iraq pretty quickly after it became clear Bush lied to the country about WMDs.

    Fact of the matter is Hagel is Secretary of Defense and his values in that arena matches that of the progressive community.  He is extremely averse to going to war with Iran.  He wants to get out of Afghanistan.  And he is very itchy to make cuts to the Pentagon, unlike Leon Panetta.

    •  i wasn't aware (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Martha, aliasalias

      that this was about hillary. you know nothing about my hopes for 2016. i know everything about you.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:04:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No but I'm using her as an example of your (0+ / 0-)

        hypocrisy on Hagel.  You made some pretty full throated defenses of her in 2008.  Yet she is decidedly to the right of Hagel on the very issues that progressives care about in terms of defense policy (i.e. Iraq, defense spending, Afghanistan etc.).

        I just find your inconsistency and choice of criticism on the topic bizarre.

        •  i defended her (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SouthernLiberalinMD, wsexson

          from idiotic criticism. i don't defend her centrism. i would like the party to move past clinton/obama centrism.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:56:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Clinton is in the DLC (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jack Hare

            Obama isn't.  Obama is a mainstream Democrat, maybe even to the left of mainstream Democrats.  Obama was staunchly against the Iraq War.  And has always been a proponent of gay rights.

            Calling Obama a centrist is incorrect and offensive to those who care about the issues he has stood with progressives on.

            •  um (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              orlbucfan, 3goldens, aliasalias, lotlizard

              there is no dlc anymore. and obama is hatdly a mainstream democrat. and obama was so staunchly against the iraq war that he voted to keep funding it every time hillary did. and so staunchly for gay rights that he had to parse his evolving on it.

              you obviously haven't a clue as to what progressivism means. i also note your new uid and your trying to refight long gone blog battles. i also note the one person who is following you.

              The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

              by Laurence Lewis on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:10:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Obama was for gay marriage in the 90's (0+ / 0-)

                When gay marriage was a lot more unpopular.  I don't think anyone was under any illusion what he really believed in.  As soon as he got into office he stopped defending DOMA in the courts.  And surprise surprise he came out for gay marriage last year.

                You are probably the only one who thought he was sincere when he said he did not believe in gay marriage.

                And I'm not trying to refight battles.  You brought Obama into this.  I'm just pointing out that your criticisms of Hagel are unfair and hypocritical.

              •  and the DLC only dissolved 2 years ago. (0+ / 0-)
            •  Nope, Obama is a 1980s YUPPIE (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              3goldens, apimomfan2

              who admires Ronald Rayguns and that RW mindset.

              Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

              by orlbucfan on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:31:47 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  But now we are getting off the rails (0+ / 0-)

            you were a Hillary supporter and now you are criticizing Hagel on issues he is decidedly to the left of Hillary on.  Sorry but your criticisms of Hagel don't hold any water.

            •  wrong again (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              orlbucfan, 3goldens, aliasalias, lotlizard

              hillary was my fourth choice. fifth, actually, but my first didn't run. but do please keep revealing yourself.

              The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

              by Laurence Lewis on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:10:56 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  At least I'm open about my support for Obama (0+ / 0-)

                Looking at your comments and diaries you spent a good amount of time defending Hillary.  But it was all a coincidence I'm sure.

                Anyhow, I don't want to single you out, let me expand my criticism to the rest of the Democratic party.  Democrats will enthusiastically nominate Hillary if she decides to run, and this site during the nomination process will in all likelihood look very favorable on that outcome.  This is truly bizarre since she is to the right of Hagel (who you guys seem to dislike) on almost every issue related to Defense and Foreign policy.  That is the definition of hypocrisy.

                •  many of us, no doubt (0+ / 0-)

                  would prefer someone else. i assume we all will support her if she's the nominee. i really hoped for gore in 2008, and worked my way down to hillary, after my other preferences dropped out. but i will defend her or any other democrat from dishonest sliming. she received a lot of it, in 2008. it was ugly. and sort of amusing, now that everyone knows what i and some others knew back then- that on the issues, she and obama were nearly identical.

                  but gee, how did we get on the topic of hillary and 2008? and funny that you think you know so much about me from 2008, and want to relive long gone meta wars, and still apparently nurse grievances over hillary. i wonder who you were, back then.

                  The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                  by Laurence Lewis on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:10:09 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Obama received much more sliming (0+ / 0-)

                    the endless media barrage of Reverend Wright was nauseous.  Hillary never had to endure anything like that.  And on top of that Obama disavowed Wright and the media still played up the whole Wright thing ad nauseum.  Think how many politicians have anti-gay preachers and never disavow them.

                    Anyhow, that is neither here nor there.  Point is yo will defend Clinton because she is our nominee.  Now Hagel is the nominee for Defense, and whether you would like to admit it or not he is fairly progressive on most things pertaining to his job description as Defense Secretary.  Maybe he is still more conservative when it comes to other things, but that is irrelevant to what he will be doing as Defense Secretary.  

                    We Democrats like to think of ourselves as being a big tent party.  Well here is a perfect opportunity to prove that.  It doesn't matter who you are or even what party you hail from.  What matters if you desire to move our country forward.  And based on his foreign policy and military views Hagel fits that bill regardless of what he may believe on unrelated matters.

                    •  there's a difference (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      aliasalias

                      between being our party's nominee in an election against a republican and being a republican political nominee. hagel is not our anything, he is obama's choice, and a lousy one. if he were withdrawn as nominee, we wouldn't be stuck with a lousy republican. unless obama chose another. but we could actually end up with a democrat. if obama chose one.

                      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:49:40 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Hagel is a not a lousy choice (0+ / 0-)

                        He is a great choice.  And if he was withdrawn we would in all likelihood be stuck with a neo-con dem like panetta before him.

                        Most of the hate directed at hagel is because of issues unrelated to defense policy or because of the (R) after his name.  Thats pretty lame and petty.

          •  interestingly, the country is not with them (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Laurence Lewis

            but the country has no voice in DC.

            if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 01:34:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  The bottom line is this: (15+ / 0-)

    The work that the CIA does is fundamentally, irretrievably, and incontrovertibly unethical and amoral.

    Before people start parading their straw men, note: This doesn't mean that nothing good ever comes of the work the CIA does. It does not mean that good people are not sometimes protected/saved/rescued as a result of the CIA's work. It does not mean that bad people are not sometimes thwarted by the CIA's operations.

    What it does mean is that the baseline operational maxim of the CIA, whether explicit or not, is that the ends justify the means.

    And because that is the baseline operational maxim, it is inevitable that:

    A. in the short run of the institution's existence there will be unavoidable statistical "false positive" operations based on faulty analysis or faulty data, in which in hindsight the ends clearly did not justify the means, by any reasonable metric.

    B. in the long run -- and we are deep, deep into the CIA's long run at this point -- the human beings involved will cease to care whether a particular end justifies a particular means. Once you've wallowed in evil behavior without having the wrath of God come down on you, you're not going to suddenly get more reluctant to do evil.

    Fretting because the new director is a facile liar and probable sociopath is pointless: The 2004 election made it quite clear that there is broad public support for an utterly unethical, immoral, violent, vicious, evil, hateful, hurtful, appalling, loathsome, diabolical approach to "intelligence gathering". No significant percentage of Americans cares about collateral damage in Pakistan, just as no significant percentage of us thought GWB's performance in the 6 months after 9/11 was an odious parade of anti-human tribalist death-mongering. (And I've heard plenty of rationalizations, and precious few apologies, from the 80% or so of self-styled Democrats/Liberals/Progressives who must have contributed to GWB's stratospheric approval ratings circa January 2002.)

    A nation with:

    A. Forgotten soldiers fighting a decade-long war far from home -- a war lacking any sense of urgency on the part of the populace;

    B. A cadre of technocratic video-game warriors who guide drone missiles to assassinate, under wholly, indisputably extrajudicial circumstances, arbitrary persons and whomever happens to be standing next to them;

    C. A phalanx of known, admitted, unapologetic former -- and in some cases, presumably current -- agents of torture going about their daily lives as "respectable" members of our society

    D.  a Department of Homeland Security;

    E. etc etc etc

    ...  has long since marched its collective self down from whatever moral high ground it may ever have held, and cheerfully encamped itself down in the fetid marshes of moral depravity. We are already beset by the predictable onslaught of fevers: malaria, yellow, dengue, blackwater ...

    Beyond which, I simply refer the reader to my sig line, which I do not expect I will ever have any cause to replace:

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:58:04 AM PST

    •  the 2004 election was crap (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sarenth

      I know, b/c I worked it. And apparently things were even worse in Ohio than in Florida.

      And yeah, I know that for some reason it's a bannable offense on here to suggest that the Republicans might have stolen 2004 as they stole 2000. God only knows why.

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 01:36:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They may or may not have stolen it, but that's (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SouthernLiberalinMD, Sarenth

        not really germaine to my point. It's not as if the Dems cleaned up in the House and Senate, presidential politics aside.

        Americans (probably a majority, if not then a substantial plurality) don't particularly object to torture. They don't mind unending war. They don't mind the evil doings of those who are their proxies. If they did mind, they'd put a stop to it. Instead, they encourage it.

        And BTW, it's not a bannable offense to suggest that they "stole" the 2004 election by voter suppression, (which is pretty much how they stole 2000). In fact, that's more or less taken for granted. The bannable offense is to endorse conspiracy theories involving falsification of electronic voting. Personally, I'm not taking a stand on that either way.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 01:59:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You might find it surprising (7+ / 0-)

    that, based on what I know about him, I agree with you about the Brennan nomination (although I'd take issue with some of the specific arguments you made).

    But I don't think you do that position much good by equating it with the Hagel nomination. That one is much more nuanced. Glenn Greenwald makes an argument about that one that is near and dear to my heart. He suggests that if having said/done anti-gay things in the past were a yardstick, we'd need to reject Paul Wellstone - who voted FOR DOMA.

    He goes on from there:

    There's a reason Hagel's nomination has become so intensely controversial and such a vicious target for war-cheering neocons such as Bill Kristol and the Washington Post Editorial Board. It's because Hagel is one of the very, very few prominent national politicians from either party who has been brave enough to question and dissent from the destructive bipartisan orthodoxies on foreign policy. What plausible Democratic candidate for this job has been willing publicly to point out that the US and Israel are separate countries and American interests should trump Israeli interests when they conflict, or to advocate for direct negotiations with Hamas, or to candidly point out that America's Middle East wars are fought for oil, or to condemn the power of the pro-Israel lobby within both parties, or to harshly point out the stupidity of attacking Iran rather than cowardly mouth the "all-options-on-the-table" platitude?
    Yep, when it comes to foreign policy, its clear that Hagel is to the left of most Democrats who might have been up for the job.

    Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by NLinStPaul on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:00:44 AM PST

    •  if it were only about doma (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens

      i could see past it. wellstone never made virulent comments such as hagel made about hormel. hagel had a 0% rating from the human rights campaign through 2007.

      greenwald, like too many, gives hagel a pass because hagel won't kowtow to aipac. but obama doesn't need hagel for that. obama himself hasn't been afraid to piss off aipac, and had netanyahu openly supporting romney.

      the bottom line is that hagel has a long history as a hateful bigot.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:18:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What you fail to see (5+ / 0-)

        is that most everyone alive who is over 50 has "a long history as a hateful bigot." I'm sorry to say that that would include me - and yes, it included Wellstone who sold gays and lesbians out for political reasons (he admitted as much before he died).

        Please note that I'm not giving myself or anyone else a pass for our past. It just is what it is. And to miss that is to also miss the tremendous pace of change that is underway right now.

        Please note that I suggested there was much more nuance to the Hagel nomination that there is to Brennan's. You do your argument against Brennan a disservice by lumping Hagel in there.

        Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by NLinStPaul on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:33:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  wrong (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens, Meteor Blades

          most democrats were not getting zero ratings from the human rights campaign five years ago.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:52:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well Hagel is not a Democrat (0+ / 0-)

            Being a Republican from Nebraska puts certain constraints on what you can vote for.  His views on gay rights have changed.  And that is all that should matter at this point.  I sincerely doubt he will not institute the repeal of DADT.

            However, there is one Democrat I can think of that didn't have a stellar record on human rights 5 years ago: Hillary Clinton.  During the '08 campaigned she promised to only partially repeal DOMA and allow certain provisions to remain.

            •  wrong (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SpecialKinFlag, 3goldens

              being a republican from nebraska gave him a lot if leeway. you're right that he's a republican, and a very conservative one. i'm a democrat, and i voted for a democratic president.

              The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

              by Laurence Lewis on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:01:02 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well I am a Democrat but I am a Progressive first (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NLinStPaul

                I want him to appoint people that will carry out progressive values.

                Panetta and Hillary certainly are a stronger Democrats than Hagel, but when it comes to Defense this bleeding heart Progressive trusts Hagel more.

                •  yes (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SpecialKinFlag, 3goldens

                  bigoty and anti-environment are progressive values. bye now.

                  The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                  by Laurence Lewis on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:12:47 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Hagel is not anti-gay anymore (0+ / 0-)

                    just like a lot of Dems used to be but now aren't.  You are being unfair.

                    •  Call me when he stops being a climate-change... (1+ / 0-)

                      ...denier.

                      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                      by Meteor Blades on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 11:44:46 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Good thing he is not going to be head of the EPA (0+ / 0-)

                        then.  Your litmus tests are crazy.  Judging him on issues that are completely unrelated to the position he has been charged with.

                        I agree with him on his defense policy for the most part and that is what his job is going to be.  Bringing up completely unrelated issues to tar him with is unfair and silly.  Democrats and Progressives are supposed to be more open minded than that.  We are not teabaggers.

                        •  hmm. "completely unrelated?" (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Laurence Lewis

                          climate change has impacts and implications for national security and military per reports over years by our government!

                          Climate Change Seen as Threat to U.S. Security.

                          Climate Change Report Outlines Perils for U.S. Military

                          "It is in the shelter of each other that people live." Irish Proverb

                          by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 02:13:42 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  But it is the EPA chief that sets environmental (0+ / 0-)

                            policy.  The issue itself may be related, but it is not something the Defense chief has control over.  That power lies with another agency.

                          •  You should do some research on this... (2+ / 0-)

                            ...subject.

                            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                            by Meteor Blades on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:54:12 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh I have (0+ / 0-)

                            Thanks for your concern.

                          •  The secretary of defense will be heavily... (2+ / 0-)

                            ...involved over the next year with the drafting of the Quadrennial Defense Review that will appear in early 2014. Hagel's climate change denialism could have a negative impact on that document. That may not be of concern to you, but it is to others. The 2010 QDR notes:

                            Crafting a Strategic Approach to Climate and Energy  

                            Climate change and energy are two key issues that will play a significant role in shaping the future security environment. Although they produce distinct types of challenges, climate change, energy security, and economic stability are inextricably linked. The actions that the Department takes now can prepare us to respond effectively to these challenges in the near term and in the future.  

                            Climate change will affect DoD in two broad ways. First, climate change will shape the operating environment, roles, and missions that we undertake. The U.S. Global Change Research Program, composed of 13 federal agencies, reported in 2009 that climate-related changes are already being observed in every region of the world, including the United States and its coastal waters. Among these physical changes are increases in heavy downpours, rising temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, lengthening growing seasons, lengthening ice-free seasons in the oceans and on lakes and rivers, earlier snowmelt, and alterations in river flows.  

                            Assessments conducted by the intelligence community indicate that climate change could have significant geopolitical impacts around the  world, contributing to poverty, environmental degradation, and the further weakening of fragile governments. Climate change will contribute to food and water scarcity, will increase the spread of disease, and may spur or exacerbate mass migration.  

                            While climate change alone does not cause conflict, it may act as an accelerant of instability or conflict, placing a burden to respond on civilian institutions and militaries around the world. In addition, extreme weather events may lead to increased demands for defense support to civil authorities for humanitarian assistance or disaster response both within the United States and overseas. In some nations, the military is the only institution with the capacity to respond to a large-scale natural disaster. Proactive engagement with these countries can help build their capability to respond to such events. Working  closely with relevant U.S. departments and agencies, DoD has undertaken environmental security cooperative initiatives with foreign militaries that represent a nonthreatening way  of building trust, sharing best practices on installations management and operations, and developing response capacity.

                            Second, DoD will need to adjust to the impacts of climate change on our facilities and military capabilities. The Department already provides environmental stewardship at hundreds of DoD installations throughout the United States and around the world, working diligently to meet resource efficiency and sustainability goals as set by relevant laws and executive orders. Although the United States has significant capacity to adapt to climate change, it will pose challenges for civil society and DoD alike, particularly in light of the nation’s extensive coastal infrastructure. In 2008, the National Intelligence Council judged that more than 30 U.S. military installations were already facing elevated levels of risk from rising sea levels. DoD’s operational readiness hinges on continued access to land, air, and sea training and test space. Consequently, the Department must complete a comprehensive assessment of all installations to assess the potential impacts of climate change on its missions and adapt as required.

                            In this regard, DoD will work to foster efforts to assess, adapt to, and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Domestically, the Department will leverage the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, a joint effort among DoD, the Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency, to develop climate change assessment tools. Abroad, the Department will increase its investment  in the Defense Environmental International Cooperation Program not only to promote cooperation on environmental security issues, but also to augment international adaptation efforts. The Department will also speed innovative energy and conservation technologies from laboratories to military end users. The Environmental Security and Technology Certification Program uses military installations as a test bed to demonstrate and create a market for innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies coming out of the private sector and DoD and Department of Energy laboratories. Finally, the Department is improving small-scale energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at military installations through our Energy Conservation Investment Program.

                            The effect of changing climate on the Department's operating environment is evident in the maritime commons of the Arctic. The opening of the Arctic waters in the decades ahead which will permit seasonal commerce and transit presents a unique opportunity to work collaboratively in multilateral forums to promote a balanced approach to improving human and environmental security in the region. In that effort, DoD must work with the Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security to address gaps in Arctic communications, domain awareness, search and rescue, and environmental observation and forecasting capabilities to support both current and future planning and operations. To support cooperative engagement in the Arctic, DoD strongly supports accession to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

                            As climate science advances, the Department will regularly reevaluate climate change risks and opportunities in order to develop policies and plans to manage its effects on the Department’s operating environment, missions, and facilities. Managing the national security effects of climate change will require DoD to work collaboratively, through a whole-of-government approach, with both traditional allies and new partners. Energy security for the Department means having assured access to reliable supplies of energy and the ability to protect and deliver sufficient energy to meet operational needs. Energy efficiency can serve as a force multiplier, because it increases the range and endurance of forces in the field and can reduce the number of combat forces diverted to protect energy supply lines, which are vulnerable to both asymmetric and conventional attacks and disruptions. DoD must incorporate geostrategic and operational energy considerations into force planning, requirements development, and acquisition processes. To address these challenges, DoD will fully implement the statutory requirement for the energy efficiency Key Performance Parameter and fully burdened cost of fuel set forth in the  2009 National Defense Authorization Act. The Department will also investigate alternative  concepts for improving operational energy use, including the creation of an innovation fund administered by the new Director of Operational Energy to enable components to compete for funding on projects that advance integrated energy solutions.

                            The Department is increasing its use of renewable energy supplies and reducing energy demand to improve operational effectiveness, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in support of U.S. climate change initiatives, and protect the Department  from energy price fluctuations. The Military Departments have invested in noncarbon power sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass energy at domestic installations and in vehicles powered by alternative fuels, including hybrid power, electricity, hydrogen, and compressed national gas. Solving military challenges—through such innovations as more efficient generators, better batteries, lighter materials, and tactically deployed energy sources—has the potential to yield spin-off technologies that benefit the civilian community as well. DoD will partner with academia, other U.S. agencies, and international partners to research, develop, test, and evaluate new sustainable energy technologies.

                            Indeed, the following examples demonstrate the broad range of Service energy innovations. By 2016, the Air Force will be postured to cost-competitively acquire 50 percent of its domestic aviation fuel via an alternative fuel blend that is greener than conventional petroleum fuel. Further, Air Force testing and standard-setting in this arena paves the way for the much larger commercial aviation sector to follow.  The Army is in the midst of a significant transformation of its fleet of 70,000 non-tactical vehicles (NTVs), including the current deployment of more than 500 hybrids and the acquisition of 4,000 low-speed electric vehicles at domestic installations to help cut fossil fuel usage. The Army is also exploring ways to exploit the opportunities for renewable power generation to support operational needs: for instance, the Rucksack Enhanced Portable Power System (REPPS). The Navy commissioned the USS Makin Island, its first electric-drive surface combatant, and tested an F/A-18 engine on camelina-based biofuel in 2009—two key steps toward the vision of deploying a  “green” carrier strike group using biofuel and nuclear power by 2016. The  Marine Corps has created an Expeditionary Energy Office to address operational energy risk, and its Energy Assessment Team has identified ways to achieve efficiencies in today’s highly energy-intensive operations in Afghanistan and Iraq in order to reduce logistics and related force protection requirements.

                            To address energy security while simultaneously enhancing mission assurance at domestic facilities, the Department is focusing on making them more resilient. U.S. forces at home and abroad rely on support from installations in the United States. DoD will conduct a coordinated energy assessment, prioritize critical assets, and promote investments in energy efficiency to ensure that critical installations are adequately prepared for prolonged outages caused by natural disasters, accidents, or attacks. At the same time, the Department will also take steps to balance energy production and transmission with the requirement to preserve the test and training ranges and the operating areas that are needed to maintain readiness.

                            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                            by Meteor Blades on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:47:48 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Hagel can say whatever the heck he wants (0+ / 0-)

                            in his Defense review, but it is the EPA that will implement environmental policy.

                      •  Ring-ring... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Lawrence

                        Just calling as per your request.

                        In 2005, Hagel declared climate change to be one of his top priorities and introduced a trio of climate-related bills. One had an international focus, calling for the U.S. to help developing countries adopt technologies that would reduce greenhouse-gas intensity. “This bill directs the secretary of state to engage global climate change as a foreign policy issue,” Hagel explained in a speech at the Brookings Institution [PDF]. The two others were aimed at spurring domestic cleantech development by authorizing billions in government-sponsored loans, incentives, and tax credits for businesses. The bills were passed as amendments to the 2005 Energy Policy Act.

                        In 2007, he and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced a bill “that would require federal intelligence agencies to collaborate on a National Intelligence Estimate to evaluate the security challenges presented by climate change,” as Grist reported at the time. Though this one didn’t make it to the president’s desk, it did prod the intelligence community to conduct an assessment, which found that climate change does indeed pose numerous security threats.

                        Hagel currently serves on the board of directors of the American Security Project, which last year put out its own report on climate change as a global security threat. Of the report, Hagel said: “America and the world face unprecedented, complex and interconnected 21st Century challenges. Environmental issues will continue to have unpredictable and destabilizing effects on developing and developed countries alike.”...

                        Hagel is nowhere near as climate-savvy as John Kerry, who’s poised to become secretary of state. But it might not hurt to have another member of Obama’s foreign policy team who understands the strategic global importance of climate change, not to mention one who might want to cut bloat at DoD and rein in U.S. military adventurism.

                        Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

                        by NLinStPaul on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:49:40 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

  •  While we may not need to totally denounce (7+ / 0-)

    government as an institution, we need to take heed that the government unmoored often is the enemy.

    The main problem is that we do not know how to do anything about what is going on.  The occupy movement was a try.  What's next?

    "To recognize error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government." Historian Barbara Tuchman

    by Publius2008 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:00:52 AM PST

  •  No collateral death=US targeted the Al-Awlaki kid (0+ / 0-)

    Not that the US has ever really denied he was targeted, but this would be an admission that he was. I don't know enough -- and I suspect no more than a handful of Americans would -- to know if the young man was involved in activities that might have attracted US attention, so I won't make a judgment as to whether he was a legitimate target, even under the rules the program is operating -- but it seems to me that this would be the closest thing we've seen to an admission that he was the strike target. That's bound to upset some folks.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:03:44 AM PST

  •  willing to pick a fight with progressives (3+ / 0-)

    but not McCain or Graham..

    Susan Rice should think about whether the loyalty she has shown to the President is being returned in favor...

    "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

    by justmy2 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:03:49 AM PST

  •  Two choices on Brennan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lotlizard

    The collective we (and the administration) is/was just BSing on actually caring about torture, renditions, etc. It was just nasty divisive rhetoric manufactured to gin up the base, get some righteous outrage going, and win elections. Sort of like the right does with abortion. So you were either part of the scam or played by it.

    OK, there's a third choice: lot of people have been body snatched.

  •  Why Isn't Brennan Being Prosecuted? (9+ / 0-)

    Your link (Potential CIA chief cites critics in ending bid) says that Brennan was directly responsible for the illegal torture program:

    Brennan served as Tenet's chief of staff from 1999 to 2001 and as deputy executive director of the CIA from 2001 to 2003, as the interrogation and rendition program was created.
    Why isn't he being prosecuted? He must have known about the torture program. Why isn't he on trial or in jail?

    This again seriously raises the question of the complicity of the Obama Administration in covering up the Bush war crimes. It's been four years now, and they haven't done anything to end the Bush dictatorship. In fact, they keep extending it. This is causing serious damage to the Democratic brand. Members of the Democratic Party need to send a strong message to the White House to change course.

  •  Look, Obama wants to stop this crap (0+ / 0-)

    But we're at war here, and if the bad guys get the upper hand, the Saudis will be mad, and they might just could cut off our oil.

  •  Hoping Confirmation Hearings Will Put Procedures (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chrississippi, native

    regarding drone strikes on the front burner. Encouraged that Obama and Brennan were going to try to formalize the process during the campaign as a Romney victory was a possibility. Brennan is said to want to put the program under the authority of the defense department rather than the CIA.  It is necessary that progressives apply pressure to demand accountability for the drone program.  Irony is that focusing on drones could amount to charging Obama with impeachable offenses. But Republicans will not go there.

    Mixed feelings here. Can the case be made that drones are an alternative to massive costly military intervention?  Do drones invite as much blowback as occupying countries for years?

    •  Possibly. A more important question in my (5+ / 0-)

      mind is how you can justify killing someone, remotely, that you can't even really see, because he MIGHT be a militant (and keep in mind that a recent "militant" was designated as such because he opposed the use of drones to kill his neighbors)?  

      What sort of human asks which sort of killing is more likely to come back and bite us later?

      When banjos are outlawed, only outlaws will have banjos.

      by Bisbonian on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:46:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Drones are worshipped by GOPers and Democrats (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leo Flinnwood, lotlizard, Sarenth

      for different reasons ... GOPers love them because they wipe out brown people and Democrats have accepted them because they are the simplest and cheapest way to keep the corporate blood-lust campaign contributions coming.

      If you want Exhibition A of our dying empire, it's this crimes-against-humanity drone shit. Nobody in Washington as it is currently comprised is going to put an end to it ever. It will take some future GOPer president to use drones on Americans on our own land before the nation even starts talking about ending it.

  •  I tend to be an Obama partisan in most things, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, lotlizard

    the appointment of Brennan is a horrible, immoral and unnecessary choice.  It's not as if there were no other appropriate candidates for the post. Perhaps Obama would say that drone wars are preferable to boots-on-the-ground wars.  But both are wrong.  This is not the way I expect my Democratic president to conduct his foreign policy.  

    "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand." ~ Atticus Finch, "To Kill a Mockingbird"

    by SottoVoce on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:35:37 AM PST

  •  The real Obama has always been obvious in deed. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bisbonian, 3goldens, aliasalias

    At least now we won't have to suffer the phony Obama of word since there are no more campaigns for him.

  •  Ummmmmm, (5+ / 0-)

    First of all, and most importantly, both men were not appointed, they were nominated, which means their nominations have to go through the senate.

    John Brennan defended torture. I urge all Kossacks to contact their senators and the White House to tell them he should not be the next head of the agency which has inflicted much of the torture since 9/11.

                 Standing for justice and accountability,
                                     For Dan,
                                     Heather

    Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

    by Chacounne on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:46:46 AM PST

  •  Absolute power corrupts absolutely. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, aliasalias

    ‘We’ didn’t impeach Bush, now we’re getting what ‘we’ deserve.

  •  If the Democrats are so evil, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jack Hare, Obamalover20122, Lawrence

    why are you all at this site? Shouldn't you be working AGAINST electing more Democrats?

    God knows, the party has problems. But if you agree with this statement, "He's Obama. He's a murderer, a world-class snoop in everyone's private affairs. And we're stuck with him", you are in the wrong place.

    I would love to be able to discuss the problems with the men being nominated, and how we can discourage such behavior from our party, but this comments thread has become nothing more than "Isn't Obama evil!", which does not encourage problem solving in any way. Those of us who still have faith in the Party and believe that its problems can be fixed should not have to wade through such hate.

    "The Democrats are the lesser evil and that has to count for something. Good and evil aren't binary states. All of us are both good and evil. Being less evil is the trajectory of morality." --SC

    by tb92 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:57:50 AM PST

    •  People see what they want to see (0+ / 0-)
      I would love to be able to discuss the problems with the men being nominated, and how we can discourage such behavior from our party, but this comments thread has become nothing more than "Isn't Obama evil!"
      You see some bad comments, then conveniently conclude that all the comments are bad. I say conveniently because you quickly use that untruth as an excuse for why you can't "discuss the problems with the men being nominated, and how we can discourage such behavior from our party"

      We see what you did there.

      Self-described political "centrists" believe the best policy is halfway between right and wrong. — @RBReich via web

      by BentLiberal on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 01:41:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just went back and re-read the first (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence

        hundred and fifty or so comments. Of them, a full hundred were about how awful Obama and the Democrats are. Ten were at least vaguely in defense of the President. We had side conversations about Gitmo, Hillary, the power of empire, and data mining. TarheelDem tried to start a conversation about the importance of local involvement in fixing the problem.

        But I see only ONE comment talking about the men who were nominated for these posts. Thank you Phoenix Woman for trying to stay on topic.

        I openly admit that I do not have enough information about these men to form an intelligent opinion on this choice. One of the reasons I come to DKos is to be educated. But all I have learned from the comments thread of this diary is that a large number of people here think Obama is a murderer and that the Dems are only slightly less horrible than the Republicans.

        This leaves me with two important questions--Why are these people supporting a party that they consider actively evil? And where can I find a diary that discusses what we should do about this nomination? I refuse to drown myself in more hatred in the hope that I might find that answer here.

        Seriously, people, saying the party needs to be improved is wonderful. Acting to do so even better. But if you truly believe that Obama is a murderer and the Dems willingly supporting evil, why are in on a site dedicated to electing more of them? Either you don't have the guts to act on that belief, or you don't truly believe it and this is no more than useless hyperbole.

        "The Democrats are the lesser evil and that has to count for something. Good and evil aren't binary states. All of us are both good and evil. Being less evil is the trajectory of morality." --SC

        by tb92 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 03:49:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You said (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sarenth
          this comments thread has become nothing more than "Isn't Obama evil"
          Then when it was pointed out to you that you were exaggerating to fit your purposes, you doubled down, while nominally moving the goalposts of your first hyperbolic statement:
          I openly admit that I do not have enough information about these men to form an intelligent opinion on this choice. One of the reasons I come to DKos is to be educated. But all I have learned from the comments thread of this diary is that a large number of people here think Obama is a murderer
          You've also conveniently ignored the diary, which gives reason upon reason why the nominations are bad. The author of this diary doesn't hit and run. He debates people in the comments. He'd likely be glad to have a discussion with you on the issues and the men nominated.

          Like I said, it's more convenient for you to throw up your hands and sputter about everyone here is so evil that you can't debate.

          That's why I'm not very impressed with you throwing the hyperbole stone, twice now.

          If you have an argument to make in favor of these nominations or taking issue with the diarist, then make it. But I"m not going to hold my breath.

          Self-described political "centrists" believe the best policy is halfway between right and wrong. — @RBReich via web

          by BentLiberal on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:04:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Hey, they're ok, because ... (5+ / 0-)
    So let's just forget that the new Defense nominee has a long history of virulent bigotry, and let's just forget that the new CIA nominee was considered too controversial for Democrats at the end of the Bush era, because of his activities during the Bush era.
    Obama.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:58:36 AM PST

  •  Only thing I'd like to know (5+ / 0-)

    is why anyone ever thought Obama was a liberal on defense matters relating to terrorism. He never said he was. He campaigned as a terrorism hawk both fucking times.

    We can be against such hawkishness. I am, though probably a lot less than most people here. But we cannot pretend Obama was ever anything but militarily aggressive with regards to what they call terror.

    He likes drones. A lot. Says he does. A lot.

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:05:10 AM PST

    •  He relies on drones n/t. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens
    •  President Obama also ran as a Democrat. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard

      People thought they were getting someone who would at least take a tempered approach to military matters.  They did NOT expect the continuation of the Bush military policies.  Obama NEVER indicated that he would follow and even increase Bush war policies.

      "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

      by 3goldens on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 11:26:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No they did not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence

        they were getting someone who would at least take a tempered approach to military matters.

        They had their choice between Democrats who would and would not in 2008. They chose someone who would not. In fact, if they'd chosen Mrs. Clinton, she would have been just as militarily un-tempered. Maybe more-so.

        You want someone tempered? Kucinich. Hell, Ron Paul.

        Neither was chosen by voters.

        It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

        by Fishgrease on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 03:15:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  his vote on FISA made me very, very suspicious n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fishgrease, aliasalias, lotlizard

      big badda boom : GRB 090423

      by squarewheel on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 12:18:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama's "bipartisanship" is poison, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence

    if you haven't noticed, precisely to Republicans.   He's done very well beating them around the head with it, becoming the first President since Eisenhower to get 51% of the popular vote in both presidential campaigns, and watching 1.5 million more voters voting for Democratic congressional candidates than for Republicans.  His good policies wrapped in bipartisanship is the reason for his success.

    •  I have to disagree with you. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard, Sarenth

      He got the popular vote at least in part because Romney scared the bejesus out of people and they wanted to be sure that he did not get elected.  President Obama was someone people were at least familiar with and even if they didn't fully support him, they knew he'd kept the country more or less on track for the last four years.  That doesn't translate into any great affection for his policies and I know people who despise his "bipartisanship" but voted for him because Romney scared them worse.

      "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

      by 3goldens on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 11:24:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I never had any illusions about BO. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, lotlizard

    Just the fact that some guy who didn't even finish his first Senate term before he ran for POTUS raised the cynical markers for me. I then tracked his 2008 campaign mean green trail right to Goldman-Sucks and the Wall St. Bankster cartels. I also noted his Raygun admiration.

    Folks, we have a very serious problem facing us. It is not PBO and his cohorts. It's climate change. What are we gonna do about it? LL, T and R on your diary. I don't mean to hijack it.

    Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

    by orlbucfan on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:48:11 AM PST

  •  In response to those comments (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, lotlizard, Sarenth

    that point out that there is not a hellavalot of difference between Obama's American Power used illegally, illegitimately, in the face of American values, operated by our expensive little(?) hidden security apparatus and the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice torture apparatus.
     Sometimes I  think that maybe it would have been better for the country to have split apart instead of the North subjugating the south during the Civil War. Maybe 600,000 dead was too high a price. Maybe this power machine that all 300+ million of us pay for every day (except maybe the Romney/Bains of this world) could be defeated if it were starved of money.

    I don't mean this, of course, with respect to the long struggle to end slavery that even today is a powerful force in human brutality. We're a vicious bunch or a too passive bunch or a combo - just like the sheep (Eloi) and their subterranean devourers in H G Wells "The Time Machine".

    I just mean that if this country were several smaller hamlets, the intelligence and power apparatus would be gone. Our taxes are funneled to the country's security power structure with the blood money to satisfy the likes of a Dick Cheney, whose evil is right there on his evil little face.
    But the evil he loves, even now, with Obama, permeates our secret seats of power and I don't see any way that if someone like the Obama-that-we-know or think we know falls prey to it, how on earth can we, kept in the dark, huddled and frightened, stop it?
    I just wonder sometimes how Obama can cry at the tragic murder of school children victimized by the NRA's stubborn, sick, fear mongering of Congress and yet seems to ignore the children who are collateral damage in the ludicrous "war on terror".
    9/11 was and always will be a criminal act and should have been dealt with that way - a police action - find the perpetrators and bring them to trial.  I felt that way from the start and was disgusted as most people are at  Bush/Cheney's using it as an excuse for a "preventive war".
     John P O'Neill who tried to warn Washington about the Al Qaeda threat was murdered on 9/11 - he was last seen running toward one of the twin towers.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...
    O'Neill tried to warn the FBI in vain  and was kicked out of the FBI for trumped up reasons of not going along with the bureaucracy. -  He drank too much and was too human.
    This is all so very ugly.

    Sometimes I think that this is all about palace intrigue.
    I don't believe that Obama gets his jollies from killing people. Maybe I'm naive.
    I wonder sometimes - maybe I'm just trying to make excuses for Obama - whether there are and have always been evil forces in our security services and maybe Brennan is one of them - a leader of them and therefore a route to getting inside the nest......
    to do what?
    I've always been puzzled by Obama's pushing for the war against Afghanistan - what the fuck?????
    And I usually come back to the politics of it.  It was part of his 2008 election schtick.
    There's something in our power structure that draws evil out of our leaders or they're done in by the forces within.
    Why are presidents killed? Money, power?
    It's an ugly mess and if it continues this country will implode because as Wes Clark has pointed out many times - ultimately living up to what is right what is accepted by most of us as fairness and justice is what makes us strong - not the use of brutal vicious power that inevitably devours the victims and the perpetrator.

    Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

    by eve on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:52:33 AM PST

    •  The following from your comment (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eve, lotlizard, Sarenth

      is for me words that all of us would do well to learn from:

      t's an ugly mess and if it continues this country will implode because as Wes Clark has pointed out many times - ultimately living up to what is right what is accepted by most of us as fairness and justice is what makes us strong - not the use of brutal vicious power that inevitably devours the victims and the perpetrator.
      Wes Clark said a mouthful with those words.  Bless him for saying it so clearly because it is TRUE.

      "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

      by 3goldens on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 11:19:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes - thank you Wes Clark (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, lotlizard, Sarenth

        if only you weren't destroyed during the 2004 campaign by a force that I just don't understand in this country.
        If one tells the truth one is publicly destroyed and unfairly discredited.

        Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

        by eve on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 11:34:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why is it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias, lotlizard

    that people insist on using this kind of framing with false choices.  Of course the problem is John Brennan too.  

    There's no need to do this.  I don't understand why you do.


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:54:34 AM PST

  •  "occasional oops that kills civilians" (5+ / 0-)

    It's even  worse than that.

    This article in the Military Times admits that we target children:
    http://www.militarytimes.com/...

    And the double tap strikes are deliberate attacks on civilians, first responders, neighbors, etc.  And war crimes.  And it happens too often to be an "oops".  It's pretty clear that it is policy.


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 11:01:45 AM PST

  •  Something that really strikes me (5+ / 0-)

    regarding the use of military force as well as the fiscal decisions of this administration come down to something that's really very simple and uncomplicated:  in one word, it's VALUES.  And I finally understand why I find so much of what this administration has put forward to be so disconcerting:  it's the clear disconnect between what I hold as my own personal values and what this administration holds as its values.  Some things, as teacherken said in a diary out today, are not negotiable.  They simply aren't.  

    I can't help but notice the sharp difference between the respected individual who was the CEO of the healthcare organization where I worked for 21 years and this President.  And that difference that continually just grates on me is that the CEO was a values-driven leader who articulated and lived those values every single day.  I have tried to figure out what this President's values are----and I can't say that I know what they are.   Added to that is the disconnect between what he has said and what he does.  The inconsistency, the apparent willingness to trade off anything in order to get a deal is not something to be proud of or to defend.  It is the sign of someone who is not values-anchored.

    If we don't know what our own personal values are (and that takes work and honesty about ourselves to accomplish), then our words and our actions will not be very trustworthy since they will seem to fluctuate given where we are, who we're talking to, and what we're trying to do or accomplish.

    People tell us who they are and what they value by their words, their actions, and sometimes, even by their silence.   Values matter.

    "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

    by 3goldens on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 11:13:46 AM PST

    •  Certainly values matter, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, Lawrence

      but power matters too. A US President needs to be able to effectively implement policy, and this involves dealing with power structures that have contradictory values, or even no values. It's often not a matter of what should be done, but of what can be done, under a given set of circumstances.

      A President's ability is determined by how much influence he can bring to bear on people and structures that are strongly entrenched. They might be antithetical to his own values but resistant to pressure, or maybe there's not enough pressure to be immediately effective, or something else. So maybe he has to compromise, to cut unsavory deals, to work behind the scenes, in order to get anything done.

      Power corrupts, it's true.

      •  I think you missed a step--- (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        native, aliasalias, lotlizard

        before a US President implements policy, he has to create it.  As part of creating a policy he desires to implement, he puts his own imprint on that policy.  He's not acted on with respect to policy creation---he actively participates in its creation.  And that is where a person of integrity puts his/her own imprint (personal vision and values) on the policy.

        Politics is a game of power.  And if one is not competent in operating within that paradigm, then perhaps one should not be in the position to begin with.  Being grounded in and committed to living out one's personal values for the betterment of others can also be very powerful and influential on others.  It is a trait of those who are exemplary leaders.

        Power can corrupt if one is not able to operate within the paradigm----but if one is of sufficient strength and courage and integrity, such an individual influences the "game" such that rather than falling prey to corruption, one controls the outcome in accordance with one's own strength and integrity and values.  

        "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

        by 3goldens on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 12:53:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And where can we find such an individual? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lawrence, 3goldens, Sarenth

          One who is able to operate within the paradigm that is. The paradigm itself is corrupt. They trade favors, peddle influence, lie, cheat, and steal to get to where they are or climb higher. Money talks, bullshit walks.

          If you want to eat you need to do one of three things: You either get up and boil the rice yourself, or force somebody else to do it, or persuade somebody else to do it. Carrots and sticks get things done not ideals, when you're dealing with thieves and cutthroats.

          I'd love to have a President who could cut through all the DC crap and just do the right thing, or get the right thing done. But I don't see anyone who could, anywhere on the horizon.

          I don't think Obama's doing too bad a job, all things considered.

          •  I appreciate what you're saying (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            native

            and, quite honestly, I think what I'm really saying is that our presidential candidates since at least the 1980s really haven't been much to admire.  But, we have to take what/who we get because the truly great leaders are few and far between.  We can't expect great leaders every single presidential election.  The influence of big money in elections and in both houses of Congress is also undeniable.  It has created an utterly corrupt body of politicians and lobbyists and at the WORST possible time.  

            I wouldn't grade the President----until his term is over; I don't think it would be fair to do so.  My background includes 21 years of educating/coaching/evaluating managers at all levels in a large healthcare system so I'm steeped in the skills and abilities and behaviors of top-flight leaders.  I'm being tough on him because I think he's capable of better and I wish for him to be successful.  I think it would help if he had a "mentor" (and perhaps he has one---someone who has experience in the politics of DC and who can serve as a confidential sounding board for him).  I do know this---his job is terribly taxing and difficult and wearing and based on my experience in business, there's a ton of stuff that goes on behind that scenes that those of us "regular people" have zero idea of.  I'm aware that most of us have no idea of the intricacies of leading an entire nation, especially when one-half of the individuals you must interact with are psychopaths.  I don't envy him his job.  (I've enjoyed exchanging thoughts with you.  Thanks for your civility.)

            "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

            by 3goldens on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:37:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  between 2008 and now, for a lot of us... (9+ / 0-)

    hope died. that hope that things were gonna change, that we would have a champion to fight for what was right (even some of the time) was misguided and the way things have been have slowly battered our hope to the point where it is gone now.

    for the rest of us, some things became IOKIYAD simply because of the WH occupant.

    anyway, that's my theory in a nutshell.

    There’s a word for the people who keep complaining that the “ideologues” are getting in their way: Lobbyists. ~ RJ Eskow

    by poligirl on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 11:57:39 AM PST

  •  people put up with being frisked at airports (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lotlizard, Sarenth

    they'll put up with anything.

    the American people have decided that freedom is highly overrated.

    and drone strikes which kill innocent people are way, way down on their priority list.

    Obama is a smart politician.  He knows killing terrorists plays well.  and as a Very Serious Person he knows that the unfortunate death of civilians is the hard price of "freedom". it doesn't hurt that heknows he'll never pay a political price for it.

    big badda boom : GRB 090423

    by squarewheel on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 12:07:42 PM PST

  •  Because Obama is doing it. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias, Sarenth

    And It's OK if It's Obama.
    And It's OK If You're A Democrat.

    Obama is there to put a kind, rational, calm face on terrible policies, and apparently it's working. God knows that those of us who point out these contradictions on DKos usually get taken to the woodshed for being disloyal to the Democratic party, being disloyal to Obama, being racist, or being Republican plants.

    if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 12:33:51 PM PST

  •  we have met the enemy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sarenth

    What happened to us?  What happened to liberalism, progressivism.  Things have happened and are happening every day that would have had so many of us, filled with passion and commitment, marching in the streets, if they had been done or were being done by Bush or any other Republican.  The American Right has moved very very far into the terra incognita of ghoulish absurdity, we know that, we see new jaw-dropping examples of it every day.  But we acquiesced, we enabled our own American Left expedition into that terrible new world, because we could not risk opposing the incumbent.  Oh, yes, we did grumble some – no accountability, no meaningful reform, Afghan surge, Patriot Act, FISA compromise, naughty, naughty – but we accepted.  We made thoughtful, sensible, principled choices between greater and lesser evils.  What we didn’t notice was that the water in the big pot we were sitting in was getting hotter and hotter, and now, little frogs, we’re boiled.  By making the defeat of the absolute Right our only agenda, we have become a de facto Right, the lesser evil Right.

    What I can’t understand, and what I think people like us in the future will not be able to understand, is how this happened without a fight.  How we could fail to oppose the enormously vulnerable Right, the widely-despised Romney/Koch, Rove Right, the minority crazy Right, with a progressive candidate?  This is a democracy: this was our responsibility.  We are responsible for where we and the country are now.  We nominated John Brennan and accepted his enhanced interrogation, we voted for Obama’s drones, when we failed to field a progressive candidate in the New Hampshire primary, our own Eugene McCarthy.  I think he – or she would have rallied the nation, but even if that progressive champion lost, we wouldn’t be where we are now, trying to maintain a victory glow with increasingly feeble cheers (Hagel, yay! Lew, yay!, whistleblowers undercut, uh. . . ), yearning for more of the sorts of wins we used to call losses, yearning for real change next time.  (President Hillary? President Joe? – Neither would represent anything but a continuation of the triumphant Right.  Neither yes-war Hillary nor credit-card Joe represents or has championed the progressive ideals and policies so crucial for restoring the democracy or saving the planet.)  If Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren or someone none of us had heard of – few had heard of Eugene McCarthy – had sparked a national progressive movement in a nation staggering through the endless now-Democratic war and stifled by the endless still-Republican Depression, we wouldn’t be where we are now, so feeble, so paralyzed, vaguely aware something bad (what?!) had happened to us while we were sitting in that big pot, and trying to figure out what to do about it.  And what can the boiled frog do about it, after all?  Too late, frog.  Too late.

  •  Added tag: Torture, so when I go looking for (0+ / 0-)

    Bu$hCo's effects on the Constitution and the body politic.

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