Skip to main content

Daniel Byman is opposed to drawing public lines of any color.

Last week, the American intelligence community assessed “with varying degrees of confidence” that the Syrians had used the chemical agent sarin in their attacks on the opposition.

The administration’s ultimatum now seems like cheap talk, and it illustrates the risks of carelessly drawing red lines and issuing highly public threats that won’t be enforced.

So far, at least, the Obama administration has put off both consequences and accountability and simply pushed for further investigation. Meanwhile, Mr. Assad has not blinked, and the president’s political opponents, like Representative Mike Rogers, Republican of Michigan, argue that Iran and North Korea will draw the wrong lessons if the president lets Mr. Assad call his bluff.

Of course, the president's political opponents would be claiming Obama was sending weak signals even if he was in Syria, personally whacking Assad with Teddy Roosevelt's big stick.

Come on, lets see what the rest of them have to say.

David Leonhardt looks at the idle (not by choice) young.

For all of Europe’s troubles — a left-right combination of sclerotic labor markets and austerity — the United States has quietly surpassed much of Europe in the percentage of young adults without jobs. It’s not just Europe, either. Over the last 12 years, the United States has gone from having the highest share of employed 25- to 34-year-olds among large, wealthy economies to having among the lowest.

The grim shift — “a historic turnaround,” says Robert A. Moffitt, a Johns Hopkins University economist — stems from two underappreciated aspects of our long economic slump. First, it has exacted the harshest toll on the young — even harsher than on people in their 50s and 60s, who have also suffered. And while the American economy has come back more robustly than some of its global rivals in terms of overall production, the recovery has been strangely light on new jobs, even after Friday’s better-than-expected unemployment report. American companies are doing more with less.

The New York Times editorial board reminds us again that austerity doesn't work.
Economic conditions in Europe, especially in troubled nations like Spain, Portugal and Italy, have deteriorated sharply in recent months. Worse, new data released last week provides no hope for a recovery soon. The unemployment rate in the 17 countries that use the euro hit a record of 12.1 percent in March, up from 11 percent a year earlier. In Spain and Greece, more than half of the labor force under 25 is looking for work.

The good news, if it can be called that, is that a barrage of negative economic data appears to have stirred European leaders and senior officials at the International Monetary Fund into finally acknowledging that the Continent’s austerity policies are imposing unnecessary pain and suffering on average Europeans while doing little to lower debts and deficits.

Of course, that argument wouldn't work in the US, where the GOP looks on causing misery as a goal.

Dana Milbank accuses the president of hiding behind sports metaphors.  Which seems like something you complain about when you really have nothing to complain about.

Karen J. Greenberg looks at Guantanamo mythology.

Guantanamo Bay is in limbo. It’s neither closed nor fully open. The prison hasn’t accepted any new detainees since authorities brought Muhammad Rahim al Afghani there in March 2008 — several months after President George W. Bush announced his desire to close the camp. No one has been added since Obama took office. Instead, in recent months, non-U.S. citizens accused of international terrorism and apprehended abroad have been brought into federal custody; 12 are held in Manhattan and Brooklyn, awaiting trial or recently convicted.
The Miami Herald on the kind of state-level GOP Medicaid policy that is screwing citizens in way too many states with righter-than-thou politics.
Surely the people of Florida had a right to expect that during the 60 days of the annual legislative session lawmakers would find a way to accept the federal government’s offer of $51 billion over the next decade to expand Medicaid.

And yet House Republicans, led by Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, failed to reach a workable compromise with their counterparts in the Republican-led Senate, effectively killing any deal for now and leaving Florida’s uninsured in jeopardy.

Carl Hiaasen looks at the obsession over terrorist classification.
Authorities say that the two brothers who allegedly bombed the Boston Marathon were probably “self-radicalized.”

The media has embraced this catchy term, partly because of the assurance it seems to offer: Don’t worry, folks — Tamarlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev weren’t recruited and deployed by al Qaeda or any other terrorist group; they hatched their own plot with no tactical help from abroad.

That might well be true, but little comfort can be taken from it.

Some of the most notorious acts of political violence in our history were carried out by pissed-off loners or impromptu zealots who belonged to no organized cabal.

Doyle McManus is also casting his gaze south to Guantanamo.

President Obama sounded genuinely outraged last week when he talked about the Kafkaesque situation at the Guantanamo prison camp, where the United States has been holding 166 men without trial for terms that are, at this point, officially endless.

"It's not sustainable," the president thundered. "I mean, the notion that we're going to continue to keep over 100 individuals in a no man's land in perpetuity?"

But at least some of Obama's anger should be directed at himself, because his own silence and passivity on Guantanamo are part of the problem.

Psychological Science looks at the relationship between extreme positions and ignorance.
People often hold extreme political attitudes about complex policies. We hypothesized that people typically know less about such policies than they think they do (the illusion of explanatory depth) and that polarized attitudes are enabled by simplistic causal models.
What did it take to get them to moderate? Ask them to explain the policy they don't really understand.

Originally posted to Devil's Tower on Sun May 05, 2013 at 04:41 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

    •  I don't think they ever signed a peace treaty. Nt (3+ / 0-)

      "We're now in one of those periods when the reality of intense pressure on the middle class diverges from long-held assumptions of how the American bargain should work" --James Fallows

      by Inland on Sun May 05, 2013 at 05:03:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's true (0+ / 0-)

        The sticking point since '67 has been Israel's demand to hold on to the Golan Heights, which it seized from Syria during the Six Day War and which it claims is essential to its security.

        Syria wants its land back.

        When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

        by litho on Sun May 05, 2013 at 05:09:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Syria wants? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          US Blues, lostboyjim, agoldnyc

          A whole bunch of stuff, like half it's population dead, missiles for the terrorists they support, more economic aid from Russia, the US to stay out of its affairs, Saddam back in power, the Golan Heights......

          I'm from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party

          by voicemail on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:12:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Something tells me that even in the unlikely (6+ / 0-)

            event that a liberal secular government were to emerge from the Syrian civil war, even it would want Golan back.

            People don't like having their things stolen by military force.

            When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

            by litho on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:46:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But Jim DeMint and the Neocons (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              litho, happymisanthropy

              Still believe that US hard power can install a friendly puppet regime that will not seek to regain the Golan, not press for resolution of the Palestinian Refugee situation, and allow for US controls of pipelines carrying Iraqi oil to the med.

              Where is the Syrian Chalabi?

              •  Benghazi! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                billlaurelMD

                And of course if we facilitate an al Qaeda takeover of Syria, the new rulers will love us...

                /Graham logic.

                When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

                by litho on Sun May 05, 2013 at 07:08:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  DeMint is being irresponsible (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  litho

                  He knows that the Islamist anti-western Syrian rebels are the best organized, best equipped, least corrupt and most effective elements of the opposition.

                  It the Assad regime were to collapse tomorrow, the Islamists would take power.  

                  And nobody has a clue how to prevent that, short of a full scale sequel to the Iraq war.  Epic fail.

                  And DeMint would gleefully blame the president.

                  what happened to domestic politics stopping at the shoreline?

                  •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

                    DeMint was responsible as a senator, a paragon of responsibility, so that earned his political capital to be less so now that he heads the shadow government. We have to learn not to turn over rocks because of what crawls out.  

                    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party

                    by voicemail on Sun May 05, 2013 at 08:25:50 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Not only "irresonsible" (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    whizdom

                    but "Deminted".

                    "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

                    by gritsngumbo on Sun May 05, 2013 at 08:50:23 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Then they shouldn't have attacked Israel in 1967. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lostboyjim

              That's what happens when you lose a war you started.

              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 May 05, 2013 at 08:39:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not quite true (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                litho

                In any sense.  Not that it matters.  

              •  While I can understand, though disagree (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aufklaerer

                with, a historical argument that Egypt started the Six Day War, this is absolutely the first time ever I've seen the accusation that Syria started it.*

                What did they do?  Park their airplanes on the landing fields in a hostile manner, forcing the Israelis to destroy them before they could take off?

                *Ok, I lied.  Back in Hebrew school I was exposed to the Zionist propaganda that undifferentiated "Arabs started the war!"  But that was jingoistic nationalism, not a serious historical argument...

                When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

                by litho on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:09:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  There were numerous (0+ / 0-)

                  skirmishes on the Northern armistice line for years before.    the IDF was pushing North through the plains below the heights.  Great efforts to get to the headwaters of the Dan river.  Some skirmishes, mostly artilliery exchanges, got quite hot.  Right before Israel attacked the Egyptian Air Force pre-emptively, or by choice,  there was an air to air combat between Syria and Israel, which the Syrians lost.  

                  There were no Syrian Army incursions into Israel of any significance.

                  Most of the action in the war was in the south and West, the Syrian army stayed put.   Syria agreed to the cease fire, and 4 hours later, Dayan attacked and won the heights.  

        •  golan heights (0+ / 0-)

          The problem is that they're high, and Israel is about the size of New Jersey. I'm not an artillery expert, but Markos and anyone who is can tell you how much of the nation is within artillery range of the heights.

          The BBC says "Syrian artillery regularly shelled the whole of northern Israel from 1948 to 1967 when Syria controlled the Heights" http://www.bbc.co.uk/... and notes that Damascus is also clearly visible from the heights

          "Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place." -- Mandela

          by agoldnyc on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:02:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  From Wikipedia (0+ / 0-)
            On Israeli settlements on the Golan Heights and in Hebron, in a 1976 interview with Rami Tal, as quoted in Associated Press reports (11 May 1997)
            Along the Syria border there were no farms and no refugee camps — there was only the Syrian army... The kibbutzim saw the good agricultural land ... and they dreamed about it... They didn't even try to hide their greed for the land... We would send a tractor to plow some area where it wasn't possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn't shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance further, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that's how it was...The Syrians, on the fourth day of the war, were not a threat to us.
            On pre-1967 clashes with the Syrians, in a 1976 interview with Rami Tal, as quoted in The New York Times and Associated Press reports (11 May 1997)
    •  I believe the attack (5+ / 0-)

      should be considered Obama's response to Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons against the opposition.

      The target, as I understand it, was a research facility, and it is unlikely Israel would have acted so boldly without at least a wink from the US.

      When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

      by litho on Sun May 05, 2013 at 05:11:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reports are (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        the targets were conventional weapons allegedly destined for hezbollah.  Also two battalions of Assads top tier troops.  havent seen a casualty count yet.

        The January strike was specifically to take out a moving convoy of SA-17s, which are defensive weapons and represent no direct threat to Israel's territory or people, but could deny or restrict Israel's ability to transit Lebanese Airspace.

        •  There was another Israeli missle attack (4+ / 0-)

          this morning - on a military complex northwest of Damascus.

          Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

          by InAntalya on Sun May 05, 2013 at 05:38:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What is the reaction in Turkey? (4+ / 0-)

            on the Damascus strike?  

            •  "It's just Israel being Israel." (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              whizdom, skohayes, happymisanthropy

              "One day Lebanon, another day Gaza,  today Damascus, tomorrow probably Gaza again."

              is the general reaction.

              But it does put PM Erdoğan in a bit of a bind for making nice with Israel again. He's going to go to Gaza this month, I think, to try to balance that out.

              Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

              by InAntalya on Sun May 05, 2013 at 05:59:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I wonder what this might mean (0+ / 0-)

                for the Israel/Turkey rapproachmont initiative the President was pushing.  

                Syria post Assad will necessarily involve regional cooperation, Turkey is our only major ally in the region with constructive relationships with the principal actors (Russia, Iran, Lebanon).

              •  Doesn't Turkey view Assad with dismay? (0+ / 0-)

                Don't they view Iran's shipping of arms with some discomfort? If so, I would think that Turkey is not greatly displeased by Israeli strikes on Iranian weapons being destroyed. Syria is, despite Turkey's remarkable passivity, a huge security problem for the Turks. That their moment to act passed them by quite some time ago is all too obvious now. Back when protests first started, Turkey had its moment, but a lack of courage in Ankara sidelined the only force that could have fundamentally altered the path Syria is now on. But history is littered with missed opportunities. Indeed, one might almost say that history is nothing but.

                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 May 05, 2013 at 08:49:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  See below (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  whizdom, aufklaerer
                  Doesn't Turkey view Assad with dismay?
                  - No. What is there to be dismayed about? The government saw an opportunity, tried it, it didn't work out and became a liability, and they moved on.
                  The people of Turkey were never interested in getting involved in Syria, and even in the beginning there was not much public support for the opposition. There is essentially none now.
                  The people in Turkey never swallowed the 'pure, noble, innocents who only want to be free' line that the opposition pushed so hard.
                  Don't they view Iran's shipping of arms with some discomfort? If so, I would think that Turkey is not greatly displeased by Israeli strikes on Iranian weapons being destroyed.
                  - No. The government and people of Turkey do not think Iran or Syria are threats to them. And Turkey's being a member of NATO adds a level of security.
                  There is actually displeasure with Israel attacking Syria. Just as there is when Israel attacks Gaza and Lebanon.
                  Syria is, despite Turkey's remarkable passivity, a huge security problem for the Turks.
                  No, it isn't. 1 - See the answer above. 2 - Turkey has a large military. 3 - There are more than 600,000 land mines along the Turkish/Syrian border.
                  The possible security problems for Turkey are that thousands of armed rebel fighters might try to escape to Turkey if the current string of rebel losses continues, and a small possibility that the PKK will be able to use northern Syria as a base, but the flatness and openness of most of the border makes that unlikely.
                  And what passivity? Do you really think that Turkey should have sent it's military into Syria on its own just because they felt like doing it? Turkey isn't Israel.
                  That their moment to act passed them by quite some time ago is all too obvious now. Back when protests first started, Turkey had its moment, but a lack of courage in Ankara sidelined the only force that could have fundamentally altered the path Syria is now on.
                  - What is most obvious is that Turkey had no business getting militarily involved in Syria and didn't. That's not a lack of courage.
                  I have no idea which force you are referring to, but if you are referring to the Turkish military I can only say again that Turkey isn't Israel who 'courageously' tried to 'fundamentally alter the paths' of Gaza and Lebanon several times. That worked out well, didn't it.

                  Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

                  by InAntalya on Sun May 05, 2013 at 09:56:59 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thanks for your point of view. (0+ / 0-)

                    It's comforting to hear from someone who can speak on behalf of Turkey. I was wondering what the official position of the Turksh government was. So thanks for communicating that.

                    I do remember that, back in 1982, when Hafez Al Assad massacred almost 20,000 people in a single town, Turkey amassed troops on its border with Syria and made it pretty clear that this wouldn't be tolerated. Times have changed. Maybe Turkey just doesn't care about chaos and murder right across its border, but it used to.

                    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 May 05, 2013 at 03:44:43 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't think that is correct. (0+ / 0-)

                      When the Hama massacre occcurred in Feb., 1982 as the culmination of the 1976-1982 period of unrest in Syria, Turkey was just beginning its transition back to civilian government (in 1983) following the military coup of 1980.

                      You may remember that at that time (Feb. 1982):

                      the Reagan phase of the Cold War was in full swing,

                      the Soviet war in Afghanistan was in full swing,

                      the Iran-Iraq War was in full swing, and

                      the Lebanese Civil War was in full swing.

                      In 1982 Turkey was mostly just trying to keep itself secure in a very insecure region, and the military/civilian ggovernment was trying to rebuild and liberalize the economy and to open the economy to foreign trade and investment.

                      I have not heard of any massive military buildup on the Turkish/Syrian border or of any attempt by the Turkish government to try to intimidate the Syrian government at that time.

                      If there was a military buildup it was probably preparation for any possible influx of refugees.

                      I also know that at that time the Turkish government was trying to improve relations with Syria and in March, 1982 two Turkish/Syrian trade and cooperation agreements were signed.

                      Two years later, in 1984, Turkish/Syrian relations began to seriously deteriorate.

                      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

                      by InAntalya on Mon May 06, 2013 at 12:18:07 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Probably too early to know Turkey's (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              skohayes, whizdom

              reaction to this particular strike, but Turkey has made known its fears relating to the spread of the conflict in the area.  A couple days ago, Juan Cole included in his blog an article entitled Syria's Neighbors Have Rising Anxiety about Crisis that included three Aljazeera videos, one of which focused on Turkish concerns.

              Turkey is strategizing how to limit the impact of the Syria war on Turkey. Ankara is particularly concerned by the emergence of a relatively autonomous Kurdish area in northern Syria, fearing that PKK guerrillas might find refuge there. Turkey is also deeply worried about chemical weapons falling into hands of various sorts of guerrillas. Turkey would like the conflict to end sooner rather than later.

              "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

              by SueDe on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:03:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The Aljazerra video about Turkey (0+ / 0-)

                is a steaming pile of bullshit - but it is Aljazerra doing what Aljazeera does - and I am surprised that Juan Cole would use it.

                Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

                by InAntalya on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:14:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  The target, as I understand it, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        was a weapons depot preparing to ship weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon.  Israel's "red line" is Syria's attempt to ship arms to the terrorist group that can be used to attack Israel.  This makes the second time Israel has bombed a Syrian installation for attempting to make long-range weapons available to the group.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Sun May 05, 2013 at 05:33:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was reading headlines, not articles (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skohayes, Heart of the Rockies, SueDe

          and the one that caught my attention was based on this bit:

          The attack, the second in three days, signaled a sharp escalation of Israel's involvement in Syria's bloody civil war. Syrian state media reported that Israeli missiles struck a military and scientific research center near Damascus and caused casualties.
          Since that early report by the Syrians, later reporting based on Israeli sources points to the missiles based for Hezbollah you mentioned.

          I'm still thinking the Israeli airstrikes are an escalation, and are probably related to the US desire to respond to the reports of chemical weapons use.  That AP piece in USA Today also reports this:

          The strikes put the Assad regime in a tricky position. If it fails to respond, it looks weak and leaves itself open to such airstrikes becoming a common occurrence. But if it retaliates militarily against Israel, it risks dragging the Jewish state and its powerful military into a broader conflict.

          When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

          by litho on Sun May 05, 2013 at 05:46:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yup (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Heart of the Rockies, SueDe

            Escalation is the biggest danger.  And the recent action by Israel increases the risk of escalation, in my view.  Israel is betting on a minor or limited retaliation and escalation.  The instability in Syria just opened a window of opportunity to continue their policy of interdiction and denial of weapons to Hezbollah.

            Russia is pissed.  Iran is pissed.  

            I dunno

            SoS Kerry heads to Russia this week and Syria is on the agenda.  Hard to figger out how the Israeli strike helps or hurts US Foreign policy.

            •  I don't expect any retaliation. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              whizdom, SueDe

              Government forces are making major advances and there are indications that the rebels are in a worsening situation.

              The government will, I think, not let themselves be distracted.

              Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

              by InAntalya on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:04:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think Israel asks the US for permission. (0+ / 0-)

        They probably tell them about some things, but not everything. The Americans blab too much.

        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 May 05, 2013 at 08:41:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No, but the Israeli government . . . (0+ / 0-)

      is trying to goad the U.S. into intervention. This was simply its next escalation after its public declaration of "chemical weapons use" in Syria didn't succeed in pushing the Obama administration into intervention. The pundits & "serious people" of foreign-policy commentary are all atwitter today, pronouncing intervention "inevitable" & starting the sales job to a rightly sceptical American public.

  •  Sorry that this is so brief and hasty (8+ / 0-)

    I kind of fell asleep while writing.  Now that I'm (mostly) awake, I'll try and brace it up a bit.

  •  Parties of Austerity (9+ / 0-)

    The GOP is not the only party forcing us into austerity.  A large chunk of the Democratic Party, the President included, has been forcing austerity on the country for the past few years as well.  His obsession with cutting the deficit started way before the GOP took over.  For instance, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (aka Simpson-Bowles) was created in January 2010. And the President likes to drone on and on about "tightening the belt" or "getting the fiscal house in order"--using the array of cliched, often inaccurate budget metaphors.

  •  GOP rallies around guns....Hoorah for the Culture (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, litho, skohayes, Miggles

    Wars!

    •  I was actually happy to read that quote (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skillet

      because the fact is guns is kind of a sticky issue for us.

      The Culture Wars, on the other hand, we can win those. If they want to link gun rights to opposition to gay marriage, bring it on!

      When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

      by litho on Sun May 05, 2013 at 05:14:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Red Lines (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, SueDe, Heart of the Rockies, jec

    As much as it pains me, I have to agree with Daniel Byman's comment that "Iran and North Korea will draw the wrong lessons if the president lets Mr. Assad call his bluff". The question is what type of "measured" response would deter other governments from crossing such Obama administration decried "red lines".

    •  Another question is (3+ / 0-)

      what would be the goal of any intervention the U.S. might take in Syria?  Stopping the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian population?  Stopping the use of Scud missles against the Syrian ?  Stopping the proliferation of WMD to other organizations in the region (unlike Iraq, we know for a fact Syria has stockpiles of these weapons)?  Removing the Assad regime?

      Each one of these goals requires a different level of intervention and a different set of tactics to be successful.

      Another question is whether there is a tipping point in the number of Syrians killed in the conflict that would determine our level of intervention.  If I remember correctly, Clinton's tipping point was 100,000 dead in Bosnia that precipitated our invention there.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sun May 05, 2013 at 05:47:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A gruesome measure (0+ / 0-)

        What was the death toll in Rwanda before we acted?

      •  Military Response (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DRo, SueDe

        Bill Richardson, on ABC's This Week, just said that Obama will have a "military response" soon (he didn't elaborate). "No Fly Zone"? "Targeted Strikes"? I guess we'll find out soon. Meanwhile, Mary Matlin and Jim DeMint are ranting about how "inconsistent", "confused", "feckless", etc. ,etc., etc. Obama's Syrian policy is.

        •  A much more sensible way to respond to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SueDe

          the crossing of the chemical weapons "red line" would be for Obama to send the Syrian resistance more NON-LETHAL aid (food, medicines and doctors, transport for refugees).

          Sending weapons or responding with military force would ultimately backfire on the US-- as it did during our support of the Afghan mujahidin against the Soviets.

          No one should be taking McCain's advice seriously. He has been consistently wrong on Afghanistan, Iraq, Georgia, and Chechnya. It may be time to change his nickname from "Crash" McCain to "Blowback" McCain.

          •  I agree. The Republicans are divided (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LanceBoyle

            a half-dozen different ways in what they think Obama should be doing (and of course many of them, particularly pundits, are concentrating on just bitching, ala GoodGod's comment above).  The Republican split personality syndrom actually works in Obama's favor.  Trying to pick sides inside Syria to support (al Qaida?  small groups of rag-tag independent fighters that could very well be swallowed up by al Qaida?) is a losing proposition, for the specific reason you mentioned - the chance that our support could backfire on us.  I would be happy just to see him send more help to Jordan and Turkey to aid them in addressing all the refugees from the war zone.

            As long as we don't get involved with what Israel is doing, we stand a chance of being able to make things some better instead of a lot worse.

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Sun May 05, 2013 at 03:22:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  North Korea looks pretty much (0+ / 0-)

      like a very large gulag. What's our red line with them in terms of how they treat their population? I know things have been pretty quiet and civilized here on the I/P front for a while, but Israel has a long history of limited pre-emptive strikes while Syria has a history, over the same period, of pre-emptive wars. An my country, right or wrong, is the last major power to launch a major pre-emptive war. I'll take strikes.  

      I'm from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party

      by voicemail on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:22:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No matter what he did, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare, GoodGod, happymisanthropy

      to the beltway media, it would either be too much or not enough.
      Let's let our intelligence and security people figure this out, not the media.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:32:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        I really hope the President doesn't react to the pressure to "do something" for sake of doing something.  He is trying build an international consensus with Russia in particular, of a coordinated International response.  US Unilateral action, or worse, EU/US action in that region would be worse than nothing.

        Iran and Russia and Lebanon are supporting Assad.   The Emirates and the EU are supporting the rebels.  

        Sunni Iraq supports the rebels, Maliki is tactily supporting Assad.

        Jordan supports the rebels.

        Israel wants to cut the Iranian weapons supply chain through Syria and Iraq, and resist any challenge to the Occupation of the Golan and Shebaa.

        Almost any outcome that isn't Internationally supported is gonna make a lot of sore losers and dangerous regional instability

        •  Obama has never been one (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          whizdom, Anne Elk

          to rush into something this serious without a lot of discussion and thought.
          The right can sit on the Sunday shows and blow hot air to feel better about themselves.

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:53:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That kind of underestimates North Korea, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy

      one of the most skilled players of brinksmanship ever. NK doesn't draw the wrong lessons ever. They are extremely tough, seasoned players with three generations of leaders running the same basic game. They don't "draw lessons". They know exactly who they are up against.

      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 May 05, 2013 at 08:56:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  well, they should have considered (0+ / 0-)

      the lessons Iran and North Korea learned when we invaded Iraq and left North Korea alone.  Lesson: Get nukes at any cost.

      What are you doing to fight the dangerous and counterproductive error of treating dirtbag terrorist criminals as though they were comic book supervillains? I can't believe we still have to argue this shit, let alone on Daily Kos.

      by happymisanthropy on Sun May 05, 2013 at 10:30:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "American companies are doing more with less" (7+ / 0-)

    And that trajectory won't change for a very long time, if ever.

    We need massive amounts of Public Sector employment because the most successful of the Financial Elites don't give a damn about the consequences of chronic disengagement of millions of us lesser mortals from meaningful, legal and (largely) constructive economic activity.

     They believe they can build fences high enough, hire enough mercenaries, ultimately pick up physical stakes and relocate somewhere else if they really did underestimate the impact on their immediate selves.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Sun May 05, 2013 at 05:08:23 AM PDT

    •  Productivity (8+ / 0-)

      That much bragged about, ever-rising statistic in the United States, is nothing more than a measure of how automation and paring back of supply chains is ousting workers.

      We're building toward a system that's the most economically and logistically fragile economy ever built, which doesn't give me a great feeling about its sustainability.

      •  With just a little miscalculation, "just in time" (7+ / 0-)

        ...gets to be "out of time" so quickly.

      •  There's nothing "fragile" about increased (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wintergreen8694

        productivity.

        The recession has simply forced employers to seek out more efficient means to produce their products and services.

        And they won't be hiring new employees with job-killing policies like Obamacare unless they absolutely need them.

        There has been a fundamental shift in the US in regards to how businesses work.  The jobs won't be coming back any time soon.

        •  "Increased productivity," defined as (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Heart of the Rockies, Bon Temps

          everything from utilizing automation to replace workers domestically, shipping manufacturing and jobs to low-wage locales, acquisitions and mergers to eliminate competition, lowering workers' wages to increase shareholder value, taking steps to block union organizing - a whole range of steps corporations have taken to raise their share prices and reduce the cost of doing business - was happening long before Obama came to office and implemented what you call his "job-killing" policies (only one of which is ever referenced, Obamacare).

          Businesses are not hiring because aggregate demand is markedly reduced as a result of continued deleveraging in the private sector, most notably by households.  Demand is only lately picking up, and some sectors of the economy dependent on household spending, such as retail, are still suffering the effects of the recession because those sectors of the economy are still experiencing recession.

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:36:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  "Job killing" policies? (4+ / 0-)

          Is this snark? Because employment in the health care sector is one of the fastest growing in the nation right now.

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:41:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  He's using a Repub talking point. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            happymisanthropy, skohayes

            They call it "job killing" because a study showed that one of the results of Obamacare is that older workers may be able to retire earlier.

            Repubs twisted that to mean -- less people working = less jobs = "job killing"

            Repubs want old people to work until they're in the grave.

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

            by Bush Bites on Sun May 05, 2013 at 07:29:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You haven't been keeping up (0+ / 0-)

            or you would have seen the tons of articles letting us know just how big a disaster will be for businesses, and most especially, employees.

            The Coming ObamaCare Shock

            In recent weeks, there have been increasing expressions of concern from surprising quarters about the implementation of ObamaCare. Montana Sen. Max Baucus, a Democrat, called it a "train wreck." A Democratic colleague, West Virginia's Sen. Jay Rockefeller, described the massive Affordable Care Act as "beyond comprehension." Henry Chao, the government's chief technical officer in charge of putting in place the insurance exchanges mandated by the law, was quoted in the Congressional Quarterly as saying "I'm pretty nervous . . . Let's just make sure it's not a third-world experience."
            None of this counts the people whose employment opportunities will suffer because of disincentives under ObamaCare. Some, whose employers have to pay a tax penalty because their policies do not carry sufficiently generous insurance, will see their wages fall. Others will lose their jobs or see their hours reduced.

            Anecdotal evidence already suggests that these disincentives will really matter in the job market, as full-time jobs are converted to part time. Why would employers do this? Because they aren't subject to a tax penalty for employees who work less than 30 hours per week.

            There is some debate over how large these effects will be, and how long they will take to manifest.  However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports on a category of workers who will almost surely be involuntarily underemployed as a result of health reform: the 10 million part-timers who now work 30-34 hours per week.
            I would argue we are already seeing these effects.
        •  Wingnuts like you call Obamacare "job killing"... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wonmug, happymisanthropy

          ...because it will allow some people to retire earlier.

          I think that's a good thing.

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

          by Bush Bites on Sun May 05, 2013 at 07:01:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  One of the items that brought GM (2+ / 0-)

          to its knees was the cost of providing health care benefits.  How could Obamacare be more expensive than what they had before?

    •  Not only are they doing more with fewer employees, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy

      but they have access to interest rates that are approaching zero.

    •  The public sector is doing more with less. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wonmug

      I'm reminded of that every time they put more kids in my classes and expect me to raise student achievement with less time, less materials, no professional development for the new curriculum, giving me more students and cutting my pay.  Yup.  That's a recipe for success.

      “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

      by musiclady on Sun May 05, 2013 at 08:07:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Something is fishy (4+ / 0-)

    about the 'evidence" of use of nerve gas.  We have some soil and blood specimens that aren't yielding any data.  We have some anonymous on scene reports.

    1.  Sarin, s a weapons system, it makes no sense to use a strategic weapon on such as small scale.  It is an area weapons

    2.  Assad knows the consequences of deployment of WMD, and he doesn't need to to achieve his objectives

    3.  We monitor the stockpiles pretty closely, as do our allies.  

    4.  Current assessments are that Assad has affirmative control over the WMD.

    5.  Almost anything we would do would probably make things worse, relative to the liklihood of WMD falling under control of non state actors.  

    Bynum is an idiot, I support the president's position, politicizing national security and foreign policy in this way is totally fucked up.  The red line/pink line narrative is bogus.  

  •  "Sclerotic labor markets" (4+ / 0-)

    is  political/economist speak for workers making too money or receiving too many benefits.

    Keep the TVA public.

    by Paleo on Sun May 05, 2013 at 05:36:56 AM PDT

  •  Syria: The Obvious Disconnect (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Anne Elk

    The disconnect here is massive.

    It's not just the phony red line drawn in the sand regarding use of "chemical weapons" (otherwise known as WMD's) it's the fact Assad has killed 80,000 people (otherwise known as genocide) using conventional weapons, bombs, etc. Surely this fact is not lost on Assad; obviously he is free to continue to kill his own people, as long as he uses conventional weapons only.

    In the run up to the attack of and occupation of Iraq, the justification for this from Cheney and the rest was that Hussein was "crazy", he was killing his own people, he had WMD's (he actually didn't) and he was a threat to the region.

    Did Hussein kill 80,000 of his people? Debate-worthy I guess, if you want to go back to the Iran-Iraq war (the one where we supported "crazy" Hussein), but not sure if one can count the Kurds; fair to assume they don't consider themselves to be Iraqis.

    The point is using the previous requirements for intervention, Assad long ago crossed the line on two of them-- he's killing his own people, and the war there is a threat to the ME region. the latter fact recently reinforced by Israel's air force taking out a "military research center" in Damascus.

    Thus the red line drawn by Obama looks more than a bit bogus. The situation in Syria is hideous. the fact the U.S. and the rest of the great nations of the world aren't doing much about it is also hideous.

    I'm not advocating the invasion/occupation of Syria, I'm merely pointing out the absurdity of it all; once we bought into the bogus justification for invading/occupying Iraq, we were sure to be faced with the problem we face now: an oppressed people being murdered by their government in another nation in the ME region while we talk but don't do much about it.

    http://www.cnn.com/...

    "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

    by Superpole on Sun May 05, 2013 at 05:41:16 AM PDT

    •  Think about what we did learn from Iraq: (4+ / 0-)

      The problem with "doing something" about Syria at a time of internal conflict, is that you then own the rebuilding process which involves deciding how you glue the pieces of a shattered nation back together, some of the pieces not willing to be glued of course.

      You cannot remove the "absurdity" of the situation. We should have never invaded Iraq, and if we had not, if we still faced a Syrian situation like we have its not clear we could or should do more, or nothing at all. The actions of the Leader of Syria are what creates the absurdity.

      Obama is drawing a red line because the nature of leading the American people demands you say something "decisive" about serious situations you cannot possible solve by intervening, or not intervening. What the USA "says" does not really matter to anyone other than other posturing nations outside of Syria.

      We can't solve unemployment, gun control, a budget or health care (the ACA does not even come close as we will find out- you can't cure cancer by finding a way to keep the tumors alive and growing). What do you think we have to add to the situation in Syria, past actions or not?

    •  It is estimated that Saddam Hussein (3+ / 0-)

      killed about 100,000 of his own people in Iraq, some with chemical weapons (that we sold to them), and the United States did nothing, declaring themselves "neutral" in the Iran/Iraq war.
       photo rumsfeld-saddam.jpg

      Obama and his administration are being naturally cautious, after the Bush debacle and the invasion of Iraq using phony evidence of WMD.
      We also know that some of the rebel groups are affiliated with Al Qaeda, so it would be idiotic to arm the rebels until we know more.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:50:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Arming the rebels seems like a stupid policy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        in nearly all cases.  We laugh out loud every time we read about all the troops/police we have armed and trained in Iraq and Afghanistan who will now supposedly help stabilize the country.  Why anyone would think this would work is beyond me.

        •  Agreed, yet (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Heart of the Rockies

          arming the rebels is exactly what we did when the CIA ran the largest covert war in our history-- in Afghanistan, in order to get the Soviet military out of there.

          It's all in the book Charlie Wilson's War.

          We can see how well this worked for us.

          "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

          by Superpole on Sun May 05, 2013 at 01:24:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This circumstance of a ruthless dictator killing (0+ / 0-)

      thousands of his own people has happened many, many times before.  It's useful to look further back than Iraq, since Iraq was a case where the world was blatently lied into intervention.  Historically the U.S. and other countries have intervened in another country's internal massacres when the violence spread or threatened to spread to surrounding countries in the region.

      As fears of the conflict's spreading to Syria's neighbors become more pronounced, the calls for U.S. intervention at some level will become more pronounced and public as well.  Already, fears in Jordan, Turkey, Israel and Lebanon are ratcheting up and becoming more public.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:53:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Right. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Superpole

      There's also the point that, if Turkey won't act militarily as Syria's most powerful neighbor, why should we? Turkey is a member of NATO and a US ally (officially anyway). It would have all the backing needed to go into Syria with overwhelming force. Presumably, Turkey knows something we don't and it isn't just their Kurdish obsession.

      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 May 05, 2013 at 09:02:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fair to assume Turkey (0+ / 0-)

        and the other nations in the region being impacted by this disaster have observed/are observing the result of our occupation of Iraq-- and the billions of dollars of cost incurred thus far.

        They don't have that sort of funding. Plus, why should they spend blood and treasure when we've already set a precedent for meddling in the ME region-- since at least 1953? and the British well before that?

        Israel OTOH is a different story, and we'd be assisting them whether overtly/covertly.

        "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

        by Superpole on Sun May 05, 2013 at 01:31:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If Obama were in Syria, whacking Assad with a big (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whizdom, tb mare

    stick, the Right would be complaining about that too.

    That and the obstruction-by-default in Congress should be more than enough to establish the official Right's irrelevance. Yet there are those rank-and-file Republicans,  Fox News, many Independents and Democrats in the middle, and all that portion of the media that dons gravitas, who insist on taking the Right seriously, to the great chagrin and detriment of us all.

    The singularity we are witnessing is the passing of the last wave of people who had the luxury to behave as if the past 30 years did not happen.

    by Words In Action on Sun May 05, 2013 at 05:59:17 AM PDT

  •  State Republicans Against Medicaid Expansion (5+ / 0-)

    When the "Buy Insurance or Pay Higher Income Tax" provision of the ACA goes into effect, what will happen to the group of people in those Republican states who will not be getting assistance to buy health insurance through the Medicaid expansion?

    My guess is since they probably can't afford to buy health insurance without assistance, they will get saddled with the having to pay higher taxes, be without health insurance, and getting only emergency care which the rest of us pay for in higher hospital bills and insurance premiums.

    So why are the State Republicans doing this?  Besides never turning down an opportunity to "F" poor folk, they may figure that getting hit with more taxes and getting no insurance may turn them against ObamaCare.  Am I being too cynical?

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:01:20 AM PDT

  •  No See Austerity Doesn't Cause Pain-- It's the (5+ / 0-)

    prior dependence on taxpayer support that made so many people vulnerable. Once we end government promotion of the general welfare, everyone will be better off, because, Jesus.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:05:53 AM PDT

  •  court (0+ / 0-)

    Has the Supreme Court ruled on the lack of habeas corpus?  What about the lack of Miranda rights?  What about the Hague?  
    I always figured this should be an impeachable offense when Bush was president-- the Rs so want to impeach Obama--yet can't where he's most vulnerable.  Inalienable rights are seemingly alienable.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:17:18 AM PDT

  •  Why Obama screwed up on drawing a red line (0+ / 0-)

    for the use of chemical weapons:

    He's had no experience drawing lines.  He's had not practiced doing it.
    As President he's never taken a strong stand.  Take a position?  Sure.  Express a preference? Yes, lots of times.  But a line in the sand?  Nah.  So the first time he does it, he screws up.  Not surprising.  We'd all be likely to mess up doing something we never did before.  Unfortunately, in this case, it a life and death screw up.

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

    by accumbens on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:41:27 AM PDT

  •  Clinton/Castro 2016....Castro/Cuomo 2024.... (0+ / 0-)

    I don't see anything stopping them....

    YOU CAN'T CHANGE CRAZY.....

  •  I am wondering why we use red lines for (3+ / 0-)

    everyone but ourselves.  We have red lines in Israel and Syria and just about anywhere in the Middle East.  But what about red lines around the atrocities that are going on in our own prison systems.  There atrocities are those  being perpetrating in Gitmo.  What about the corporate chemical warfare used on our citizens when chemicals are dumped into our water, ground, and into the air?  Why is the chemical warfare in the name of greed, profit and free market capitalism not marked with red lines?  We are allowing monopolies of our news, television and radio systems, isn't information control the first step to tyranny?  This is approved by one political party and we have no red lines around that.  Our freedom of speech and voting rights and free elections are being threatened and the only freedom that excites people is the one on guns, and the others have no red lines.

    I think we need to take the crayons away from the politicians since clearly they are only using them from graffiti.  Our children have a better sense of right and wrong than they do.

    "To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medication to the dead." Thomas Paine

    by My two cents worth on Sun May 05, 2013 at 07:08:27 AM PDT

  •  Psychological Science adjunct: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes

    Ezra Klein in "How Van Halen explains Obamacare, salmon regulation and scientific grants" notes:

    This is the famed rider to Van Halen’s 1982 concert contract. In a sentence fragment that would define rock-star excess forevermore, the band demanded a bowl of M&M’s with the brown ones laboriously excluded. It was such a ridiculous, over- the-top demand, such an extreme example of superstar narcissism, that the contract passed almost instantly into rock lore.

    It also wasn’t true.

    He then points to Obama making using regulation of salmon with a false spin of a bureaucratic mess needing clean up. It isn't quite that way, an example of even a well educated person in a position of responsibility for the subject can just be wrong.
    “The salmon issue isn’t some kind of blunder,” Slate’s Matthew Yglesias wrote last week. “It just reflects the fact that large bureaucracies — whether private sector or public sector in nature — need to make some choices about dividing up responsibilities. Any set of choices entails dealing with some edge cases. It’s tough. But absent a constructive suggestion, just pointing and laughing is silly.”
    We even see it here, lots of discussion at times with barely any facts becoming evident.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Sun May 05, 2013 at 07:14:11 AM PDT

  •  Gop can blow it out their ass. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whizdom

    I trust Obama to chart the wisest course through the mess in Syria.
    I don't agree with everything he does, but on this one we really don't  need a "cowboy" going in and making things worse down the line.

    Critics of the President are going to criticize him regardless of what he does. They'll find a way.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sun May 05, 2013 at 07:35:19 AM PDT

    •  With the exception of Senator McWar and a few (0+ / 0-)

      of his flunkies, most of the criticism has been over President Obama's red line declaration. It's bad enough that he's full of bluff with the GOP but when dealing with foreign governments? Come on.

  •  We don't need a war in Syria. I think Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsPlasmodesmata

    wants to establish in the American political psyche that it isn't necessary to militarily intervene into every single conflict.  His preferred model is Libya.  For some reason, people who wear white collar shirts and commute in their expensive cars to drive to fancy DC offices seem to always want war.  As far as a red line is concerned, it is not as significant as the media make it out to be. Intervention brings longer term costs and unintended consequences. If the President wants to take more time to think it through, I think that's wise, not weak.

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Sun May 05, 2013 at 08:35:14 AM PDT

  •  Doesn't the President have the legal authority (0+ / 0-)

    to order the release of the people at Guantanamo? Congress, I assume, can appropriate funds to keep it open, but the President can make it empty.

    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 May 05, 2013 at 08:37:36 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site