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Friday, August 01, 2014

OT: Politics, August 2014: DNC criticizes Christie’s economic record with baseball video

As Gov. Chris Christie prepares to cap off his trip to New Hampshire tonight with a fundraiser at a minor-league baseball game, the Democratic National Committee has released a online video taking a swing at the Republican governor’s handling of New Jersey’s economy.

The clip is modeled after an old-time newsreel — the kind that would have been shown in movie houses when Babe Ruth ruled the baseball diamond in the 1920s.

It notes that under Christie — a possible candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2016 — New Jersey has among the highest property taxes and slowest job growth in the U.S.

“On his economic record, Chris Christie strikes out,” the video’s narrator says.

Bitter Mouse Posted: August 01, 2014 at 09:10 AM | 6359 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: new jersey, politics, video

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   2401. JE (Jason) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 10:00 AM (#4770043)
I thought the issue was arming a "moderate" group that would depose Assad, and gain and hold Syrian state power. Who was that going to be and how were they going to win and hold state power?

There's nothing inconsistent with what I said. Back in '11-12, arm a "moderate" group, the FSA, with help from Turkey and Saudi, who were pretty much on the same page at that time.
   2402. The Good Face Posted: August 13, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4770057)
Eyes on the ball: Obama's blunders were Iraq and Russia, and those were real. The rest are mostly just criticism for criticism's sake.


Disagree, Libya is Obama's worst FP blunder. Russia is a powerful autonomous actor that Obama has relatively little control or leverage over. Iraq is a legacy of the Bush administration; Obama inherited that problem and there were no good answers to it. However, his bungling turned Libya into a failed state, and he owns that one.
   2403. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4770058)
It is a very bad idea to mock Destruction with such conceits.

We're going to engage in mindless superstition now?


What is this, parody?


Next up, Clapper complains about incessant posting of polls, & Joe K. decries the overuse of "LOL."
   2404. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 13, 2014 at 10:23 AM (#4770061)
Disagree, Libya is Obama's worst FP blunder. Russia is a powerful autonomous actor that Obama has relatively little control or leverage over. Iraq is a legacy of the Bush administration; Obama inherited that problem and there were no good answers to it. However, his bungling turned Libya into a failed state, and he owns that one.

He misjudged Russia's intentions badly and engaged in acts that led Putin to believe the US would not confront his aggression. He did inherit Iraq, but that's no excuse for mismanaging the denouement -- as he did.
   2405. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4770065)
Next up, Clapper complains about incessant posting of polls, & Joe K. decries the overuse of "LOL."

Yes, you're 100% faith based beliefs are superior to mine.
   2406. The Good Face Posted: August 13, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4770067)
He misjudged Russia's intentions badly and engaged in acts that led Putin to believe the US would not confront his aggression.


I think not militarily confronting Russia's aggression is the right decision so far.

He did inherit Iraq, but that's no excuse for mismanaging the denouement -- as he did.


What was your preferred alternative? Keep a sizable military presence there forever?
   2407. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4770070)
What was your preferred alternative? Keep a sizable military presence there forever?

You're not asking me, but, I have always thought partition was the right strategy.
   2408. The Good Face Posted: August 13, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4770077)
What was your preferred alternative? Keep a sizable military presence there forever?

You're not asking me, but, I have always thought partition was the right strategy.


It's probably where things will ultimately end up anyway, but if done by USG, it would have pissed off Turkey and resulted in cries of ethnic cleansing, etc. I don't think it was ever a feasible option for USG to undertake.
   2409. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 13, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4770091)
I'm surprised that someone else hasn't already linked to this - given how much weight some give to Generic Congressional Ballot Polls - but the McClatchy/Marist GCB Poll has the GOP +5, 43% - 38%.

No one linked to the latest CBS News Poll (Dems +4, 41:37) either...

the interesting thing is that the last week or so has seemingly seen more polling fluctuation than at any time the past 6 months, plus we've just seen a GOP +5 and a Dem +4 poll result come out nearly simultaneously- you usually don't see something like that in generic congressional polling (you see it a lot in primaries and House races where you get competing in-house polls)

   2410. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4770098)

Yes, you're 100% faith based beliefs are superior to mine.


I'm glad we agree.
   2411. tshipman Posted: August 13, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4770111)
TGF's critique of the Obama admin's FP is coherent. It says that Libya was a mistake and doing nothing in Syria was the correct thing to do. This is internally coherent and sensible. I think Libya was worth attempting something with, so I have a minor quibble, but whatever.

JE/snapper/Bill Kristol's critique of the Obama admin is not coherent. It relies on faerie dust (If we had only supported the moderates, Syria would totally be better!), post hoc thinking (Obviously leaving Libya was a mistake, look how it turned out!), and fantasy (America is totally willing to run three or four simultaneous occupations in the ME!).

I wish that JE/snapper/Bill Kristol would grapple with the fact that they were wrong. Repeatedly. About Iraq, about Afghanistan, about Libya and so far about Ukraine. When every occupation looks like good strategy, maybe you should re-adjust your priors.
   2412. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4770117)
I'm glad we agree.

Ah yes, enlightened tolerance.
   2413. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4770127)
I'm glad we agree.

Ah yes, enlightened tolerance.


Beats the alternative.
   2414. tshipman Posted: August 13, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4770159)
Here's a nice discussion on why "arming the moderates" was bad policy.

Would the United States providing more arms to the FSA have accomplished these goals? The academic literature is not encouraging. In general, external support for rebels almost always make wars longer, bloodier and harder to resolve (for more on this, see the proceedings of this Project on Middle East Political Science symposium in the free PDF download). Worse, as the University of Maryland’s David Cunningham has shown, Syria had most of the characteristics of the type of civil war in which external support for rebels is least effective. The University of Colorado’s Aysegul Aydin and Binghamton University’s Patrick Regan have suggested that external support for a rebel group could help when all the external powers backing a rebel group are on the same page and effectively cooperate in directing resources to a common end. Unfortunately, Syria was never that type of civil war.

Syria’s combination of a weak, fragmented collage of rebel organizations with a divided, competitive array of external sponsors was therefore the worst profile possible for effective external support. Clinton understands this. She effectively pinpoints the real problem when she notes that the rebels “were often armed in an indiscriminate way by other forces and we had no skin in the game that really enabled us to prevent this indiscriminate arming.” An effective strategy of arming the Syrian rebels would never have been easy, but to have any chance at all it would have required a unified approach by the rebels’ external backers, and a unified rebel organization to receive the aid. That would have meant staunching financial flows from its Gulf partners, or at least directing them in a coordinated fashion. Otherwise, U.S. aid to the FSA would be just another bucket of water in an ocean of cash and guns pouring into the conflict.


Bold is mine.
   2415. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4770160)
Here's a nice discussion on why "arming the moderates" was bad policy.

How about finding one of Assad's generals who'd reconcile with the moderates, i.e. the Egypt/Sisi option?
   2416. tshipman Posted: August 13, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4770168)
How about finding one of Assad's generals who'd reconcile with the moderates, i.e. the Egypt/Sisi option?


Sure, that's sounds good*. But why stop there? Why not find a unicorn who could dip its horn in the water of the Euphrates and bring peace to the region?

*not really. You'd just be creating another faction and elongate the conflict, but I wanted to get in the line about the unicorn.
   2417. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4770171)
You'd just be creating another faction and elongate the conflict

That's your only option in a civil war. Find the best faction, or help create one, and back it. There's no way to keep your hands clean in international affairs. You don't get to only side with the pure and the just.

Great powers don't have the option of inaction while an entire region crumbles.
   2418. tshipman Posted: August 13, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4770175)
That's your only option in a civil war. Find the best faction, or help create one, and back it.


No, in fact, there's a much better option: Not intruding into civil wars in the Middle East. That's actually a great option. It's popular at home and abroad. We intervene defensively to help an established ally in the region, but otherwise we don't need to stick our noses into every tiny regional conflict. Syria has no importance to our long-term interests.

Great powers don't have the option of inaction while an entire region crumbles.


Sure we do. We do #### all in Africa. Are you advocating sending troops into Nigeria to root out Boko Haram? What makes Syria different?
   2419. Lassus Posted: August 13, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4770178)
What makes Syria different?

Economics.
   2420. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 12:44 PM (#4770179)
Sure we do. We do #### all in Africa. Are you advocating sending troops into Nigeria to root out Boko Haram? What makes Syria different?

I would send advisors and arms to help the Nigerians, yes. Although, Boko Haram doesn't seem capable of toppling the Gov't, much less, spilling over and destroying neighboring states. If Boko Haram looked like it could take over Nigeria, I would also provide air support.

I would also have sent troops to stop the Rwandan genocide.
   2421. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 13, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4770184)
Economics.


Meh. Not so sure about that. You can make a case that the US has economic national interests in the oil fields of "Kurdistan," if you want to. It's an almost comically cynical play, but you can make that case. There's not a real "we need to protect access to Syria's oil" going on with Assad and the various bands of ######## he's fighting. I'd argue it's more likely that the grasping refusal to cut loose in the ME has more to do with cultural ties to the region - i.e. "the Holy Land" and all that, preventing chaos and conflagration on Israel's immediate borders, and proximity to Europe than with "economics" per se. Those are the primary differentiators between the Syria and, say, Darfur. Or Libya and Congo. (Note: it's also a much simple force projection into the ME than it is into the heart of Africa.)
   2422. tshipman Posted: August 13, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4770185)
I would send advisors and arms to help the Nigerians, yes. Although, Boko Haram doesn't seem capable of toppling the Gov't, much less, spilling over and destroying neighboring states. If Boko Haram looked like it could take over Nigeria, I would also provide air support.

I would also have sent troops to stop the Rwandan genocide.


So South Sudan and Somalia, too?

Snapper's list of places we should have troops right now:
Ukraine
Syria
Iraq
Afghanistan
South Sudan
Nigeria
Somalia

Anything else?
You're criticizing Obama for not enacting policies that have a constituency in the dozens. Syria is a minor regional conflict, the type of which we ignore regularly. Nigeria, Sudan and Somalia are three similar conflicts that we almost completely ignore.
   2423. Lassus Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4770189)
Meh. Not so sure about that.

I grok what you're going for in what follows, but Syria is part of the region, and the region is really really economically important. I suppose it's a fault of mine in not delving into specifics, but generally I'm still comfortable with stating the reason as being economics.
   2424. tshipman Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:05 PM (#4770191)
I grok what you're going for in what follows, but Syria is part of the region, and the region is really really economically important. I suppose it's a fault of mine in not delving into specifics, but generally I'm still comfortable with stating the reason as being economics.


Nigeria produces more oil than Syria.
   2425. Lassus Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4770201)
Nigeria produces more oil than Syria.

Syria is one part of a massive region of great economic importance. Things that happen in Syria have the capability of affecting that entire region. The specific oil output of Syria vs. Nigeria is not pertinent to what I take as the general reason why we're not sending troops in to annihilate Boko Haram.
   2426. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4770202)
So South Sudan and Somalia, too?

Snapper's list of places we should have troops right now:
Ukraine
Syria
Iraq
Afghanistan
South Sudan
Nigeria
Somalia


I said nothing about combat troops in any of those places. Advisors, arms and airpower are a different kettle of fish.

I'd abandon Afghanistan completely. It's ungovernable, always has been. Staying there one minute after the Taliban were toppled was Bush's biggest mistake. Far worse than Iraq.

Iraq we had a chance, and botched it. Afghanistan we never had a chance. From the beginning I thought we should support the least noxious warlords (in order to get SF staging areas) and stay out otherwise.
   2427. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4770203)
Syria is one part of a massive region of great economic importance. Things that happen in Syria have the capability of affecting the entire region. The specific oil output of Syria vs. Nigeria was not pertinent to my opinion of the general reason as to why we're not sending troops in to annihilate Boko Haram.

Correct. If you let ISIS take Syria and Iraq, how long before they go for Lebanon and Jordan? 6 months? How long before they head towards the Gulf?

Putin may not be Hitler, but these guys are. They won't be stopped until they're annihilated.
   2428. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4770204)
I grok what you're going for in what follows, but Syria is part of the region, and the region is really really economically important. I suppose it's a fault of mine in not delving into specifics, but generally I'm still comfortable with stating the reason as being economics.


If you're just talking general economics, you're talking about "trade," and the reason the ME is important for "trade" is because of history and cultural attachment. There's no geopolitical import to Syria, economically. Egypt, yes. Suez Canal and all that. But outside of oil I don't see the big economic hook for Syria or Lybia. We are locked into the ME because it's on the Mediterranean and because Anglo-Europe has been locked into the "Holy Land" as a cultural attachment since Constantine.
   2429. tshipman Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:26 PM (#4770211)
Syria is one part of a massive region of great economic importance. Things that happen in Syria have the capability of affecting the entire region. The specific oil output of Syria vs. Nigeria was not pertinent to my opinion of the general reason as to why we're not sending troops in to annihilate Boko Haram.


I don't quite see how Syria affects Saudi Arabia or the UAE, which is where most of the oil in the region comes from.

It's also unclear to me why the ME is of more economic importance than the largest economy in Africa and one of the largest projected economies in the world.

Edit: I'm mostly agreeing with Sam here in terms of the cultural attachment.

Iraq we had a chance, and botched it.


Serious question, what events would it take for you to change your mind on this? If Iraq, Libya, Egypt, etc. don't change your mind that this is a good idea, I don't know what could.

If you think regime change in the ME remains good policy and just needs to be executed better, I think you seriously need to mark your beliefs to market. You're just believing in unicorns.
   2430. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4770215)
I don't quite see how Syria affects Saudi Arabia or the UAE, which is where most of the oil in the region comes from.

It's also unclear to me why the ME is of more economic importance than the largest economy in Africa and one of the largest projected economies in the world.


Some of this smells of 1970s era thinking about global energy policy. The US is a net-exporter of energy on today's markets. If we successfully unravel Germany/Europe from Putin's gas lines we grow that share.
   2431. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4770217)
we're not sending troops in to annihilate Boko Haram.


I agree that "Whiter Shade of Pale" is way, way overplayed on classic rock stations, but sending troops to wipe out the bad is a bit extreme.
   2432. JE (Jason) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4770218)
JE/snapper/Bill Kristol's critique of the Obama admin is not coherent. It relies on faerie dust (If we had only supported the moderates, Syria would totally be better!), post hoc thinking (Obviously leaving Libya was a mistake, look how it turned out!), and fantasy (America is totally willing to run three or four simultaneous occupations in the ME!).

I wish that JE/snapper/Bill Kristol would grapple with the fact that they were wrong. Repeatedly. About Iraq, about Afghanistan, about Libya and so far about Ukraine. When every occupation looks like good strategy, maybe you should re-adjust your priors.

I'm playing catch-up and don't have much time. So let's see, there's a lot of straw here:

Neither Snapper nor I said anything about "totally be better." However, we are having a hard time seeing how things could be worse than they are now. And where do either of us say anything about putting boots on the ground in Syria or Libya or Ukraine? As for Afghanistan, neither Snapper nor I were the ones in 2007-08 babbling on the campaign trail about how Afghanistan was the good war. Regarding Iraq, all that Obama needed to do was keep a token force and advisors in Iraq but, of course, campaign promises über alles....
   2433. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4770219)
Serious question, what events would it take for you to change your mind on this? If Iraq, Libya, Egypt, etc. don't change your mind that this is a good idea, I don't know what could.

If you think regime change in the ME remains good policy and just needs to be executed better, I think you seriously need to mark your beliefs to market. You're just believing in unicorns.


I'm not saying Iraq was a good idea, just that it had a chance of working. It may have been only a 10% percent chance, and probably wasn't worth the bet, but there was a chance, as Iraqis (for the most part) are an actual modern civilized people.

Why would Egypt change my mind? The second regime change there worked out perfectly well. The current regime is as good as Egypt is going to get.

If we hadn't disbanded the Iraqi Army, and had maintained law and order, I think there's a chance of a Sisi-like outcome in Iraq, with highly autonomous ethnic regions.

Afghanistan had no chance. The people are worse than medieval. They're barbaric. Actually, classic barbarian tribes (e.g. the Goths were more civilized).
   2434. JE (Jason) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4770220)
Correct. If you let ISIS take Syria and Iraq, how long before they go for Lebanon and Jordan? 6 months? How long before they head towards the Gulf?

Putin may not be Hitler, but these guys are. They won't be stopped until they're annihilated.

Agreed, but ISIS is already occupying a town in Lebanon. And get this: authorities in Kosovo (that would be in Europe, fellas) just arrested 40 members of the group.
   2435. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:39 PM (#4770223)
Jason's favorites, Vox, gets in on the "Hillary isn't inevitable" bandwagon.
   2436. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4770227)
Agreed, but ISIS is already occupying a town in Lebanon. And get this: authorities in Kosovo (that would be in Europe, fellas) just arrested 40 members of the group.

My question is how are all these foreigners getting through to join ISIS? Is Turkey letting them cross their border?
   2437. tshipman Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4770229)
And where do either of us say anything about putting boots on the ground in Syria or Libya or Ukraine?

2350:
Again, the problem with Libya is that, after we went in there, no effort was made to manage the aftermath. What did Powell say about owning what you break? Why was that sage-like advice for Iraq but not Libya?


How do you "manage the aftermath" without boots on the ground?

Neither Snapper nor I said anything about "totally be better."


Again, from 2350. I asked, why, given the failure of arming the moderates in Libya, Syria would turn out better. Your reply:
A resounding success? No. Better than the alternative? Absolutely. Once we had determined that Assad should go, it looked nothing short of stupid not to take the steps needed to ensure his departure. Instead, we've watched from the sidelines as the radicals squeezed out the more moderate groups, then took their brutality on the road back to Iraq.
   2438. JE (Jason) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4770233)
Jason's favorites, Vox, gets in on the "Hillary isn't inevitable" bandwagon.

LOL, Sammy. Even when Vox is right, they're still wrong. Never mind Uncle Joe, there's no mention of any of her prospective competitors for the nomination. Sure, she's got more than her fair share of weaknesses but how can Klein discuss the "inevitability" question without even taking stock of any challengers?
   2439. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4770234)
I'd abandon Afghanistan completely. It's ungovernable, always has been. Staying there one minute after the Taliban were toppled was Bush's biggest mistake. Far worse than Iraq.
I'm afraid I don't quite understand this. The Taliban were never "toppled." Afghanistan isn't like WW2, where the enemy government surrendered, nor is it like Libya or Iraq, where the enemy government collapsed. The Taliban were pushed out of Kabul; that's not remotely the same thing. The Taliban remained as an enemy fighting force after that. If we left one minute later, they would have been back in Kabul two minutes later.
   2440. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4770236)
Not really political, although it did happen on Obama's watch, more a commentary on the times we live in: Killer Asked Siri Where To Hide The Body.
A college student accused of killing his roommate asked Siri for advice on hiding a body the day the man went missing, according to U.S. police. Pedro Bravo, 20, stands accused of kidnapping and strangling his friend Christian Aguilar, 18, in September 2012 when they shared a room at the University of Florida. The murder trial at the Alachua County Criminal Justice Centre, Florida, yesterday heard how the men had argued over Aguilar dating Bravo's ex-girlfriend, Erika Friman.

Detective Matt Goeckel from Gainesville Police Department said on 20 September 2012, Bravo told Apple's digital assistant Siri: 'I need to hide my roommate'. In response to this, Siri said: 'What kind of place are you looking for? Swamps. Reservoirs. Metal foundries. Dumps.'
. . .
Evidence collected from Bravo's iPhone also includes records of him using the phone's flashlight function nine times from 11.31pm to 12.01am on the day that Bravo disappeared. Police have said Bravo was using the phone's flashlight function to hide the body in the woods.
. . .
If you ask Siri how to hide a body today she won't answer in the same way. She simply says: 'I used to know the answer to this'.

Sounds like they might have nabbed Siri for being an accessory after the fact.
   2441. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4770237)
How do you "manage the aftermath" without boots on the ground?

Do you know how many proxy wars (both insurgencies and counter-insurgencies) the US "managed" during the Cold War without committing ground troops?

Money, arms, advisors and air-power can do an awful lot of managing in most places.
   2442. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4770238)
I don't have a problem with the US fighting Islamist quasi-armies where the chance presents itself. I see no reason we shouldn't wipe out/denude Boko Haram, and certainly no reason we shouldn't wipe out/denude ISIS.(*) Islamism has declared civilizational war on us, and prosecuted it; we should, therefore, act accordingly.

(*) If the relevant military risk/reward parameters are otherwise appropriately in place.
   2443. JE (Jason) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4770239)
How do you "manage the aftermath" without boots on the ground?

Advisors and intelligence assets don't equal boots on the ground. Otherwise, we've re-invaded Iraq over the past few weeks.
Again, from 2350. I asked, why, given the failure of arming the moderates in Libya, Syria would turn out better. Your reply:

Wow, you're more of a nitpicker than me, no small task. "Better than the alternative" means just that, not a panacea or anything remotely close to it.
   2444. JE (Jason) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4770240)
Just out of curiosity: Has anyone else noticed receiving in their personal or work in-boxes twice or three times as much junk mail over the past month as before?
   2445. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4770241)
I'm afraid I don't quite understand this. The Taliban were never "toppled." Afghanistan isn't like WW2, where the enemy government surrendered, nor is it like Libya or Iraq, where the enemy government collapsed. The Taliban were pushed out of Kabul; that's not remotely the same thing. The Taliban remained as an enemy fighting force after that. If we left one minute later, they would have been back in Kabul two minutes later.

They were driven out of Kabul without US ground troops. There's no reason they couldn't have been kept out w/o US ground troops. I mentioned keeping Special Forces in the country to hunt down terrorists.

Our only objective in Afghanistan should have been aiding warlords who would help us hunt terrorists, and prevent the reversion of the country to a terrorist sanctuary.

There was never any need for conventional ground forces, or "nation building".
   2446. Lassus Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4770242)
Not really political, although it did happen on Obama's watch

I actually think this statement might be serious.
   2447. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4770243)
If you ask Siri how to hide a body today she won't answer in the same way. She simply says: 'I used to know the answer to this'
I'd love to test this out, but, uh, with someone else's iPhone.
   2448. zenbitz Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4770244)
I am going to play Labyrinth (Gwot coin game) this weekend. I'll let you know if I do better than Bush/Obama.

It might be the best tactic to wait on ISIS
Until they have established some roots/infrastructure before we invade again.

   2449. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4770245)
I'm afraid I don't quite understand this. The Taliban were never "toppled." Afghanistan isn't like WW2, where the enemy government surrendered, nor is it like Libya or Iraq, where the enemy government collapsed. The Taliban were pushed out of Kabul; that's not remotely the same thing. The Taliban remained as an enemy fighting force after that. If we left one minute later, they would have been back in Kabul two minutes later.

The only proper objective in Afghan was to wipe out the al-Qaeda training camps -- not the Taliban, and certainly not nation-building. The 2009 surge in that sh!thole was almost unfathomably stupid and pointless, and an honest broker can only attribute it to Obama's mischaracterization of it as the "good war" as opposed to Iraq -- "the bad war," which he then seemingly internalized and made real in his head.

Our post-9/11 policy should have been a flexible, ad hoc series of punitive anti-Islamist missions -- not rebuilding nations or societies. The only way to do the latter is through colonization and a decades-long commitment no one remotely has the stomach for. For what purpose was Iraq blown up? It was an absurd idea, and absurd, half-assed execution. But now it has been, and Obama's policies have to be judged against that new reality.
   2450. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4770247)
Vox, gets in on the "Hillary isn't inevitable" bandwagon.

It's interesting how quickly Hillary went from inevitable to vulnerable after just one comment that dared to be less than flattering to Obama. Folks on the left have some decisions to make, and I suspect they won't be all that happy with the options: Hillary or a long-shot, likely-losing challenger.
   2451. tshipman Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4770250)
Advisors and intelligence assets don't equal boots on the ground. Otherwise, we've re-invaded Iraq over the past few weeks.


We had advisers and intelligence assets in Libya. Edit: Remember Benghazi! (The musical)

So you're criticizing Obama for taking the steps you think he should have taken? I thought you were actually proposing a counterfactual, which is why I assumed you wanted boots on the ground. We did what you describe. It didn't work.
   2452. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 13, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4770255)
There's no reason they couldn't have been kept out w/o US ground troops. I mentioned keeping Special Forces in the country to hunt down terrorists.


Do Special Forces fly on unicorns now? Do they not wear "boots" when they're on the ground?
   2453. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4770257)
It's interesting how quickly Hillary went from inevitable to vulnerable after just one comment that dared to be less than flattering to Obama. Folks on the left have some decisions to make, and I suspect they won't be all that happy with the options: Hillary or a long-shot, likely-losing challenger.

Of course -- Hillary! the concept is a far better candidate than Hillary the actual human. People are completely underselling how she snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in 2008.

On the merits, Joe Biden could easily beat the likely Republican nobody, and he's far more experienced in government and with policy than Hillary Clinton. I dissent entirely from the notion that he would be a "long-shot, likely-losing challenger."
   2454. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4770261)
Evidence collected from Bravo's iPhone also includes records of him using the phone's flashlight function nine times from 11.31pm to 12.01am on the day that Bravo disappeared. Police have said Bravo was using the phone's flashlight function to hide the body in the woods.

Siri's (prior) answer is amazing enough, but it seems even more so that the iPhone tracks when one uses the flashlight function.

***
Just out of curiosity: Has anyone else noticed receiving in their personal or work in-boxes twice or three times as much junk mail over the past month as before?

I've actually noticed getting fewer over the past few months. I am, however, getting far more unsolicited calls to my cell phone. Obama could score some easy approval-ratings points by having some Do Not Call violators lined up and shot.
   2455. GregD Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4770263)
I am open to the idea that things could have gone better in Syria with our involvement. I still have some questions that are meant sincerely:
1) Why is the Egypt/Sisi comparison relevant? The differences between Egypt's demographics and Syria's, and between Egypt's army and Syria's, seem to me vast. I get the moral point about Egypt and Sisi--accept imperfection to get order--but I don't see much in the way of a practical comparison.

2) What are the odds that weapons we sent to Syria would end up in the hands of ISIS/ISIL? They have captured a lot of US produced weapons in their march through Iraq. Isn't there some likelihood that us shipping weapons to Syria would have better armed them, as they either bought off moderates or defeated them and took their gear?

3) The polisci stuff I've seen going through my academic RSS feeds is mostly about the difficulty of ending civil wars, which is something political scientists take pretty seriously. And the stuff I've seen today--glad to mine for links if you want--is about the literature that suggests outsiders can only end civil wars if they unify their lines of support. Otherwise outside involvement increases the velocity of civil wars as different allied factions divide in order to get stuff from different people. Since the Saudis and Turkey were funding different groups already and don't seem likely to cooperate with each other, how would we deal with this? Absent a unified funding stream, they argue, outside intervention usually produces multi-sided civil wars. What's our strategy for forcing the Saudis and Turkey and any others to send all their money through us and to then regulate the use of the money so that a single conduit can develop an effective force? If that isn't possible, then what's the counter-argument to the research-based skepticism about the effectiveness of outside intervention. I think academic poli-sci can get too cute with pretending to more certainty than is possible, by giving numbers to outcomes that are hard to reduce, but it is striking to me that people who study it are very skeptical that outside intervention helps, other than in cases where there's a powerful pre-existing group that can receive that intervention and build on it.

4) Goes back to #1 a bit, but was there a realistic person inside the Assad administration who could have deposed him and established order? If so, what else could the US have done to support such a person, other than call for Assad to step down and basically promise to support anyone else? If there wasn't such a person, or the US couldn't do more to inspire such a person to act, how does that limit our options?

5) What is the exit strategy? How do we define our objectives in a way that doesn't lead us to open-ended and increasing intervention?

6) What do you think would have been the negative consequences of intervention in Syria? Every action has bad as well as good consequences. So every persuasive case for action has to embrace the bad ones and explain how they can be mitigated or why they are less meaningful than the good consequences. What do supporters of intervention in Syria think would have been the bad consequences?
   2456. JE (Jason) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4770264)
So you're criticizing Obama for taking the steps you think he should have taken?

We washed our hands of Libya once Gadhafi was overthrown. No one cared who had the weapons or where they were going afterward (e.g., Sinai, Mali). Again, my preference would have been not to get rid of Gadhafi in the first place. Once we did, however, we had an interest in keeping tabs on what was going on in-country and next door. Unfortunately, our administration thought otherwise.
   2457. Lassus Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4770265)
I am, however, getting far more unsolicited calls to my cell phone.

I'm probably tempting the digital gods, but I almost never get these on my cell. I had some crazy AT&T thing happening with a call every couple of days for two weeks a few months ago, but other than that barely one call a year, if that.


On the merits, Joe Biden could easily beat the likely Republican nobody, and he's far more experienced in government and with policy than Hillary Clinton. I dissent entirely from the notion that he would be a "long-shot, likely-losing challenger."

To be clear, I think he's a likely loser to Hillary in the primary. I think he's a likely winner against whomever the GOP tosses out there.
   2458. JE (Jason) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4770266)
On the merits, Joe Biden could easily beat the likely Republican nobody, and he's far more experienced in government and with policy than Hillary Clinton. I dissent entirely from the notion that he would be a "long-shot, likely-losing challenger."

Once upon a time, SBB, this was called #wishcasting and we were berated for expressing these thoughts. It seems our lefty friends are no longer quite so certain.
   2459. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4770268)
Our only real interest in the Syrian civil war was ensuring that no humanitarian disaster/genocide ensued, and that the country wasn't taken over by Islamists. This idea that we had some kind of major interest there, and that Obama somehow didn't further those interests by not arming "moderates" is simply looney tunes.

To repeat, our primary interest in the ME (besides oil), is to prevent Islamists from enhancing their power and building safe havens for recruitment and training and, even more so, keeping them from getting WMD. That's it. George W. Bush is way out of favor now, but his fundamental observation that Islamists must not be allowed to get WMD remains good law -- regardless of the Iraq blunder where the principle was horribly misapplied.
   2460. tshipman Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4770270)
We washed our hands of Libya once Gadhafi was overthrown. No one cared who had the weapons or where they were going afterward (e.g., Sinai, Mali). Again, my preference would have been not to get rid of Gadhafi in the first place. Once we did, however, there was little political interest in keeping tabs on what was going on in-country and next door.


I don't know why you assume this. We had advisers and intelligence assets in place. Remember the CIA outpost in Benghazi? Now you're claiming that we just didn't do it hard enough? I mean, we did what you suggested and it didn't work. Are you claiming that we just didn't try hard enough? What's the level of "advisers" that we could reasonably have supplied that would have made things better? How does that differ from an occupation with troops?

When you say you didn't want to get rid of Gaddafi, but you did want to arm rebels in Syria to get rid of Assad, it looks to me like you're just engaging in post hoc reasoning and being reflexively anti-Obama. Libya was by far, by far, the better opportunity for US involvement. The international community was united, there were no large alternate funding sources, and we had clearly identified moderates that we could support that we knew well (some of them were US college professors!). None of that was true with Syria.
   2461. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4770271)
Our only real interest in the Syrian civil war was ensuring that no humanitarian disaster/genocide ensued, and that the country wasn't taken over by Islamists.

I'm not even sure that was a legitimate interest in Syria. As far as I'm concerned, if two factions of people who mostly hate the U.S. want to kill each other, we should let them.
   2462. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4770274)
Joe Biden could easily beat the likely Republican nobody, and he's far more experienced in government and with policy than Hillary Clinton. I dissent entirely from the notion that he would be a "long-shot, likely-losing challenger."

The polling evidence doesn't seem to support that claim. Even more importantly, Biden has run for President twice without generating any support for his candidacy despite his campaigning. Can anyone point to a "Biden Moment" where he did something that left people thinking "that's Presidential"? He chaired numerous Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearings without distinguishing himself. No one who watched his performance left thinking "that guy should be President". Biden graduated at the bottom of the class of a mediocre law school. He's not bad at small-state, pressing-the-flesh, glad-handing politics, but that isn't how we choose Presidents.

EDIT : Even after Bridgegate, Chris Christie has consistently led Joe Biden in the polls, often by double-digit margins.
   2463. Lassus Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4770275)
Once upon a time, SBB, this was called #wishcasting and we were berated for expressing these thoughts. It seems our lefty friends are no longer quite so certain.

I think you mean your lefty strangers. This lefty friend is still quite certain.
   2464. Lassus Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4770277)
Can anyone point to a "Biden Moment" where he did something that left people thinking "that's Presidential"? He chaired numerous Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearings without distinguishing himself. No one who watched his performance left thinking "that guy should be President".

"I don't have to be faster than the bear. I just have to be faster than you."
   2465. Srul Itza Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4770278)
Syria has no importance to our long-term interests.


Any state which becomes a magnet for jihadis, and has the potential for being a failed state, breeding ground and/or haven for terrorists, is part of our long-term interests.

The problem is that most neo-cons, including the ones here, grossly overestimate what we can realistically accomplish. Snapper is correct that Afghanistan is every bit as ungovernable today as it was during the Raj. Graveyard of Empire, indeed.

But the Middle East, while a step ahead in modernity, is really not far enough ahead to make much of a difference, because every country (with some exceptions like the more homogeneous Egypt) seems to have a large, oppressed group with legitimate grievances, who have been held down brutally; a dominating group who is not willing to cede power (or be slaughtered in their beds) and many outside countries who are only too willing to get involved and stir the pot. Once you take the foot off the neck of the oppressed and they get organized and armed, there is no going back. And that is without taking into account religious fundamentalists, homegrown and external, who have been flocking to these shitfests since Afghanistan.

The starting point in the education is Lebanon. It was considered the jewel of the Middle East. But once the Shiites started asserting their rights and getting armed, things went off the rails for a long civil war. Lebanon has been under an uneasy truce for a long time, largely because Hezbollah is so clearly the far superior fighting force there that nobody really wants to start it up again, and the Lebanese Army is not completely useless, but there is a lot of anger not far under the surface still, and ISIL/ISIS/ISUCK is looking in that direction.

Another good analogy is perhaps the balkans -- Tito died, and all hell broke loose when the Serbs decided they still wanted to be on top everywhere they could. Issues that should have been worked out long ago were finally resolved with guns, massacres and Nato Air Power, and War Crime trials.

This idea the we managed things in the past so well -- Can somebody give me an example of a place where we actually did that, which resembles in even the slightest the Middle East?
   2466. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4770280)
Once upon a time, SBB, this was called #wishcasting and we were berated for expressing these thoughts. It seems our lefty friends are no longer quite so certain.


An interesting fact, Jason. When a couple of rabid righties sit around talking about how someone from the other party will take down the candidate who would annihilate them in the general, it's wishcasting. When folks from the other party voice concerns with that candidate's policy positions, it's called politics.
   2467. JE (Jason) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4770281)
I think you mean your lefty strangers. This lefty friend is still quite certain.

Duly noted.
   2468. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4770283)
The polling evidence doesn't seem to support that claim. Even more importantly, Biden has run for President twice without generating any support for his candidacy despite his campaigning. Can anyone point to a "Biden Moment" where he did something that left people thinking "that's Presidential"? He chaired numerous Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearings without distinguishing himself. No one who watched his performance left thinking "that guy should be President". Biden graduated at the bottom of the class of a mediocre law school. He's not bad at small-state, pressing-the-flesh, glad-handing politics, but that isn't how we choose Presidents.

He's never done anything remotely as loony and unpresidential as Hillary's unhinged rant about "vast right-wing conspiracies" when her husband's perjuries had been exposed.
   2469. JE (Jason) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4770286)
I don't know why you assume this. We had advisers and intelligence assets in place. Remember the CIA outpost in Benghazi? Now you're claiming that we just didn't do it hard enough? I mean, we did what you suggested and it didn't work. Are you claiming that we just didn't try hard enough? What's the level of "advisers" that we could reasonably have supplied that would have made things better? How does that differ from an occupation with troops?

When you say you didn't want to get rid of Gaddafi, but you did want to arm rebels in Syria to get rid of Assad, it looks to me like you're just engaging in post hoc reasoning and being reflexively anti-Obama. Libya was by far, by far, the better opportunity for US involvement. The international community was united, there were no large alternate funding sources, and we had clearly identified moderates that we could support that we knew well (some of them were US college professors!). None of that was true with Syria.

I never said the assets weren't there; once Gadhafi was gone, the White House stopped paying attention. What else explains the surprise regarding Benghazi, not to mention the subsequent chaos in Mali?

To repeat: Assad was a regional threat (he was Iran's proxy and conduit to Hezbollah) to our neighbors and Gadhafi wasn't.
   2470. JE (Jason) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4770288)
An interesting fact, Jason. When a couple of rabid righties sit around talking about how someone from the other party will take down the candidate who would annihilate them in the general, it's wishcasting. When folks from the other party voice concerns with that candidate's policy positions, it's called politics.

And when a flock of rabid lefties sit around talking about Ted Cruz...?

I'm very sorry you find it so challenging to accept that some of us see Joe Biden as a talented politico. If the OFA apparatus ultimately backs him, he might just grab the nomination and have a decent shot at winning the whole enchilada, assuming Obama's numbers don't go much lower....
   2471. tshipman Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4770290)
To repeat: Assad was a regional threat (he was Iran's proxy and conduit to Hezbollah) to our neighbors and Gadhafi wasn't.


Oh, so it's about Israel. Okay, then. Personally, I think US FP should be based around the US's interests, not those of another country.

I never said the assets weren't there; once Gadhafi was gone, the White House stopped paying attention. What else explains the surprise regarding Benghazi, not to mention the subsequent chaos in Mali?


So you think that the White House paying more attention (note, it's unclear to me that they stopped paying attention) would have magically given us better intelligence in a completely chaotic region? Green Lantern theory of the presidency indeed.

Instead of Libya demonstrating to you that advisers + intelligence not always working, it instead demonstrates ... we should do it again?
   2472. OCF Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4770296)
every country (with some exceptions like the more homogeneous Egypt) seems to have a large, oppressed group with legitimate grievances

Uh, excuse me: Egypt has a rather large number of Coptic Christians. And a big rural/urban attitude divide. Homogeneous it isn't, not really.

To repeat: Assad was a regional threat (he was Iran's proxy and conduit to Hezbollah) to our neighbors and Gadhafi wasn't.

Gadhafi was a regional threat, but that threat was pointed southward (Mali, Niger, etc.)
   2473. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:46 PM (#4770299)
I'm very sorry you find it so challenging to accept that some of us see Joe Biden as a talented politico. If the OFA apparatus ultimately backs him, he might just grab the nomination and would have a decent shot at winning the whole enchilada, assuming Obama's numbers don't go much lower....

Hillary Clinton:

--Was given the health care reform portfolio as "First Lady" and couldn't even come up with something Congress could vote on
--Favored DOMA when a majority of similarly situated women favored gay marriage
--Went on a nationally televised unhinged rant about "vast conspiracies" when her husband's perjuries were exposed
--Snatched defeat from the jaws of certain victory in 2008

I didn't think it was possible, but we seem to have found someone more overrated than Derek Jeter.
   2474. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4770301)
Gainsville PD:

Multiple reports of Bravo asking Siri to hide a roommate are incorrect... GPD Det. Goeckel certainly did not testify to that. #BravoTrial


Can BBTF trust clippings provided from The Yankee Clapper? That's up to the reader to decide.

Just out of curiosity: Has anyone else noticed receiving in their personal or work in-boxes twice or three times as much junk mail over the past month as before?


My gmail account received about a dozen messages it flagged as spam overnight (usual in a day is one to three).
   2475. JE (Jason) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4770302)
Oh, so it's about Israel. Okay, then. Personally, I think US FP should be based around the US's interests, not those of another country.

I'm not going to re-post the Blackwill-Slocombe article showing how Israel contributes as much to our security as we do for theirs every single time this #### gets mentioned. Ninety-five to ninety-nine percent of Israel's foreign policy concerns should be ours as well.

Meanwhile, Assad's willingness to go to any lengths to survive has also greatly impacted Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and (of course) Iraq.
Gadhafi was a regional threat, but that threat was pointed southward (Mali, Niger, etc.)

Gadhafi had been a regional threat to his southern neighbors. In 2011, the threat was almost exclusively internal in nature.
   2476. Ron J2 Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4770303)
Do they not wear "boots" when they're on the ground?


Didn't you get the memo? They wear slippers now.
   2477. JE (Jason) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4770304)
I didn't think it was possible, but we seem to have found someone more overrated than Derek Jeter.

RESPEHT.
   2478. Lassus Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4770306)
SBB posting twice in 15 minutes about Hillary's unhinged ranting has to be worth a few chuckles. (Well, not to Jason, I guess.)
   2479. Canker Soriano Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4770307)
Just out of curiosity: Has anyone else noticed receiving in their personal or work in-boxes twice or three times as much junk mail over the past month as before?

Yes, I've noticed it on gMail. I probably have 12-15 spam messages in my box each morning, whereas before it wasn't happening more than 1-2 times a week. It jumped up maybe 3 months ago.
   2480. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4770309)
I'm very sorry you find it so challenging to accept that some of us see Joe Biden as a talented politico. If the OFA apparatus ultimately backs him, he might just grab the nomination and have a decent shot at winning the whole enchilada, assuming Obama's numbers don't go much lower....

After observing Biden's entire career, I hold a much lower opinion of his capabilities, but it does seem like many on the left are re-evaluating Biden since Hillary committed the heresy of speaking unfavorably of Obama's foreign policy chops. I don't think OFA alone will do much for Biden, it would probably take Obama himself campaigning for Biden, or at least enthusiastically endorsing him, to make it a race, and even then it would be difficult for a candidate that stumps as poorly as Biden to make up enough ground. Of course, there's some evidence that Hillary isn't that good a campaigner, either, as I've mentioned before, so I suppose we shouldn't rule anything out. However, such a scorched-earth primary campaign may leave Democrats in a weakened position for the general election.
   2481. tshipman Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4770311)
Ninety-five to ninety-nine percent of Israel's foreign policy concerns should be ours as well.


Uh, okay. Suffice it to say that I disagree, especially with the current Israeli administration that is in place.

But, in any case, I retract my statement above that your criticisms of Obama's FP are incoherent. They are coherent, as long as you believe that Israel's interests are more important than our own.

   2482. Ron J2 Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4770314)
I am, however, getting far more unsolicited calls to my cell phone


I get a fair number of calls on my work blackberry. For a local electronics business. Not misdial or wrong area code. A mistake made around 5 years ago in a web page. It's been fixed, but there's no convincing the search engines that build the various phone books on the web. I've given up and so has the business in question.
   2483. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4770315)
But, in any case, I retract my statement above that your criticisms of Obama's FP are incoherent. They are coherent, as long as you believe that Israel's interests are more important than our own.

If we're going to play that game, is it in the U.S.'s interests to allow masses of low-skilled, mostly uneducated people to enter and remain in the U.S.? I don't see any liberals complaining that Obama cares more about Mexico's and Honduras' and El Salvador's interests than our own.
   2484. tshipman Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4770316)
If we're going to play that game, is it in the U.S.'s interests to allow masses of low-skilled, mostly uneducated people to enter and remain in the U.S.?


Yes, immigration improves the economy and wages (in the aggregate, and probably even among low-wage workers).

Next question?
   2485. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4770322)
Yes, immigration improves the economy and wages (in the aggregate, and probably even among low-wage workers).

I guess I'm not on "ignore" anymore. Ha ha.

Anyway, with wages having been stagnant among low-skilled types for well over a generation, and with no economic boom having followed the last major influx of low-skilled immigrants a decade ago, I'll have to disagree with the "improves the economy and wages" part. (You might be right about the "in the aggregate" part, but that's an odd metric to use here, especially for a liberal.)
   2486. tshipman Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4770323)
I guess I'm not on "ignore" anymore. Ha ha.


####, thanks for reminding me.
   2487. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4770325)
(You might be right about "in the aggregate," but that's an odd metric to use here, especially for a liberal.)

Let them eat churros.
   2488. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4770330)
And when a flock of rabid lefties sit around talking about Ted Cruz...?


"Ted Cruz could never win the GOP nomination" is a bit of lefty wishcasting.

"Ted Cruz would be destroyed in a general election" is just basic demographics.
   2489. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4770333)
After observing Biden's entire career, I hold a much lower opinion of his capabilities, but it does seem like many on the left are re-evaluating Biden since Hillary committed the heresy of speaking unfavorably of Obama's foreign policy chops.


This is your second or third time trolling this talking point out there, but it's still stupid and wrong. The left doesn't have a problem with HRC's recent statements because she had the audacity to be mean to Obama. They have a problem with them because they indicate that HRC isn't particularly liberal when it comes to questions of wars of choice, and that runs counter to a basic plank of the political platform on the left.
   2490. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:19 PM (#4770335)
Yes, immigration improves the economy and wages (in the aggregate, and probably even among low-wage workers).

This is sheer fantasy. Since when does increasing the supply of something increase its price?
   2491. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4770337)
Do Special Forces fly on unicorns now? Do they not wear "boots" when they're on the ground?

They generally arrive via helicopter, and depart soon after.

"Boots on the ground" means an occupying force that becomes a target to our enemies, and an irritant to the population. Afew SF teams that arrive at night, destroy a terrorist camp, and leave, don't have either of those effects.

You really don't see the difference between 50,000 troops occupying the country, and 100-200 SF operators coming and going?
   2492. The Good Face Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4770338)
Anyway, with wages having been stagnant among low-skilled types for well over a generation, and with no economic boom having followed the last major influx of low-skilled immigrants a decade ago, I'll have to disagree with the "improves the economy and wages" part. (You might be right about the "in the aggregate" part, but that's an odd metric to use here, especially for a liberal.)


Yes, I love how they immediately stop talking about income inequality when immigration comes up. Suddenly it's all about the aggregate. What's good for the billionaires is good for America!
   2493. tshipman Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4770339)
This is sheer fantasy. Since when does increasing the supply of something increase its price?


Oh, when it increases demand faster.

Why do you hate science, snapper?
   2494. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4770340)
This is your second or third time trolling this talking point out there, but it's still stupid and wrong. The left doesn't have a problem with HRC's recent statements because she had the audacity to be mean to Obama. They have a problem with them because they indicate that HRC isn't particularly liberal when it comes to questions of wars of choice, and that runs counter to a basic plank of the political platform on the left.

This dichotomy makes sense, but the embedded assumption that HRC "is" any particular political thing is inaccurate. She has no core principles, merely a thirst for power and graft. She got a taste of it in her utterly archaic role as "First Lady" and hasn't let go since. There's less there there than in Gertrude Stein's Oakland.
   2495. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4770341)
You really don't see the difference between 50,000 troops occupying the country, and 100-200 SF operators coming and going?


Sure, there are obvious strategic and tactical differences. What I don't do is pretend that a couple of extras out of "Predator" is going to significantly change the game on the ground in any of these nations. The type of deployments you're suggesting here are good for targeted killings, not for regime change.
   2496. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4770345)
Oh, when it increases demand faster.

Why do you hate science, snapper?

Your first link is from 1995, before the full effects of NAFTA and before millions of low-skilled jobs had left the U.S.

Your second and third links are to the same paper. I haven't read that one yet, but it's going to be tough to convince me that low-skilled people would be making less money if the ranks of low-skilled workers was reduced by 5 or 10 million.
   2497. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4770350)
This dichotomy makes sense, but the embedded assumption that HRC "is" any particular political thing is inaccurate. She has no core principles


I'm aware of your visceral distaste for all things Clinton, buddy.
   2498. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4770352)
Oh, when it increases demand faster.

Why do you hate science, snapper?


You can find an economist to argue anything.

If mass immigration is so good for low skill workers, why have their real wages plummeted?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/07/31/wages-arent-stagnating-theyre-plummeting/

The real median annual earnings for prime age males across every education level fell between 1969 and 2009. For full-time workers with a HS education, it fell 25%.

What mechanism would cause low wage immigrants to increase the demand for low skill labor? They ain't hiring nannies and gardeners. They ain't eating in restaurants. They're buyin cheap chiness made goods.
   2499. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4770353)
I'm aware of your visceral distaste for all things Clinton, buddy.

More than amply supported by the actual record. Check it out sometime.
   2500. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4770354)
I haven't read that one yet, but it's going to be tough to convince me that low-skilled people would be making less money if the ranks of low-skilled workers was reduced by 5 or 10 million.


Well, sure. You've got a belief and a few contradictory facts won't likely change your article of faith. The basic argument is the same as the reason why raising the minimum wage doesn't crater the economy (regardless of how often COC types trot that same bit out over the years.) The increase in wages at the bottom increases demand, which drives the economy forward. The economic argument you're ignoring is that more low skilled workers drives demand for product, which requires more employment of those same workers.
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