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02/03/2009

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I will never figure out how an otherwise rational human being can harbor such irrational hatred.

We "hate" Joe the Plumber because he willingly stepped into the role of know-nothing as something to be emulated and admired. He summed up the eight years of the Bush Administration perfectly and previewed what a McCain-Palin administration would look like. He skipped his property taxes, didn't get the required license to practice his trade and spoke confidently to crowds on subjects he knew nothing about. He's bullshit just like Daschle and Barney Frank are bullshit.
So can I "hate" Tom Daschle for being a scumbag? I do. Keeping his "tax problems" and his million dollar a year "consulting fee" a secret in order to cash in on the new Democratic gravy train is more DC business as usual. And using Joe as a symbol of the trades and "real Americans" is just more divisive politics aimed at convincing the white, middle-class voter that the Republicans are on their side against all those brown and yellow people who want to live on welfare. He does not represent a plan or a vision for working towards any goal other than getting the other guys thrown out of office.
Does that help you figure it out or is my take completely biased by my left-wing hate of America?

Interesting rant Wally. I especially like the closing where you inserted something I never said (hate of America?). Like I said, simply not rational.

Oh, and while discussing Daschle and DC business as usual, I suggest you open that up to many other Obama nominees (Solis, Killefer, Geithner...the list continues to grow) and therefore Obama himself.

Your comment "He does not represent a plan or a vision for working towards any goal other than getting the other guys thrown out of office." sounds a lot like the last 8 years.

I don't hate Joe the Plumber, and I don't hate Sarah Palin, and I don't hate George W. Bush. You insist that I do because I scorn them, and apparently you equate scorn and hatred. They're not the same thing at all.

Joe the Plumber is, as a national political figure, a joke. The idea that the Republican Party has something valuable to learn from him is ridiculous, and that he's occupying a high visibility spot in a high visibility meeting of conservatives says something significant about Republicans at this point in time. It says, among other things, that they're worthy of scorn.

You may have noticed that I like jokes. I like people who are self-righteously unaware of obvious reality. They're good material, and when they're good material that matches my political point of view, I don't think you need to assume anything as big as hatred is necessary to motivate me.

But, you know, if assuming I'm boiling with irrational hatred helps you get through the day: hey, I'm here for you.

Al Franken may soon take a democratic senate seat. Obama despite his constant mantra of change and ethics continues to nominate people who flout the law and/or are the same lobbyists Obama claims to dislike, and yet all you find worthy of your scorn is Joe the Plumber talking at a GOP function?

Your scorn seems awfully one sided Tom.

All I know is, considering that I have paid my taxes on time, I figure I may actually be over-qualified for a position on the current administration Cabinet.

Your scorn seems awfully one-sided, Tom.

Perhaps, but it is still not hatred.

I see Daschle finally did something useful and withdrew. Maybe Joe will get on board and stand up at the meeting to announce he really doesn't have a clue...

It was a good rant wasn't it? By the way the "hate America" bit was all mine and tongue-in-cheek. I've been told since 9/11 that my disagreement with US foreign policy meant I hated this country. Couldn't be farther from the truth.
You are correct that the Democratic Party's strategy was "anybody but Bush" for most of the last eight years. We even let the Machine serve up Kerry as our candidate. But when they tried to shove Hillary down our throats we finally woke up and seized the reins. Now, we have Obama soft-peddling the change that was supposed to come. Trying to show everyone that he's not going to overthrow the system. I'm not pleased with the results so far. All our President's will make mistakes. What we need is someone who then recognizes a mistake and works to correct it. When asked if he still stands behind Tom Daschle, "absolutely" was not the correct answer.
Maybe we can get someone like the head of NIH or CDC to advise the President on Health and Human Services. This should NOT be a political appointment.

Wally, it's interesting that you're disappointed in the "results" President Obama has got so far. He's been in office exactly two weeks.

Why don't you give him a couple more hours, see if he can turn his Presidency around?

Tom,
You know that I'm disappointed by the long list of names being put forward to implement change. So many of them have been part and parcel of the very problems that need to be addressed. The Street was relieved when Geithner was named. That alone indicates he was the wrong choice. Despite Hillary's best intentions, Middle East negotiations will be about the Middle East AND Hillary as long as she's involved. Forget Daschle's tax and consulting baggage, his pitiful performance as Minority Leader should relegate him to history's dustbin.
I'm still hopey- Obama is a lot smarter than I am and I still believe he has a plan beyond the stimulus package. But can we start bringing in the intellectual heavy artillery to bear on our problems instead of political hacks and Wall Street insiders? Roubini as Treasury? Why that would cause stocks to fall by 35%. Oh, I forget, that's what happened when we let the Lords of Finance do as they wished.

The results so far- Difficulty getting nominees confirmeded. This was the kind of vetting that we ridiculed when it involved Sarah Palin. A stimulus bill that began from a compromise position to show bipartisanship, compromised further to bring Republicans on board, failed to attract a single minority vote and was allowed to contain controversial pork and non-stimulus hot-button issue spending to give the minority ammunition for their bull-headed opposition.
Yes, he did sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which puts his batting average at about .175 with no RBI's. There's no exhibition games in the league Obama just joined. My standards on every one of his decisions are as high as those I held W. to.
Barack is a brilliant, thoughtful man and I don't want to see his desire for consensus prevent him from making brilliant, thoughtful decisions.

.175? That means he's missed on five of six? I'm curious: what are his misses?

He directed the Joint Chiefs to plan an exit from Iraq, issued orders to close Gitmo, ended sanctioned torture, ended extraordinary rendition, and opened a dialogue with the opposition party. Those are all good things and he's doing them as promised. Consider the first three, which are huge reversals of the most disastrous of President Bush's policies.

Along with Ledbetter, that makes five big victories. I'm curious: what are the 30 losses that have you so disappointed?

Yeah, a media stunt to announce closing gitmo in a year with NO thought given to how to actually do that. I'll take the over. Miss. A tax cheat as head of the IRS? Miss Opened a dialog with comments like "I won" and a president stooping to attack a talk radio host? Miss. Hilary as sec of state. Miss A "stimulus" bill that is laden with pork? Miss. "Absolutely" supporting Daschle until Daschle withdrew. Miss
Ending "torture" and rendition. God forbid we make those who want to kill Americans uncomfortable. They treat us so well and all. Miss and Miss

As for Ledbetter, do you plan to credit Obama with every bill that comes out of congress, or just those that you agree with? walk

Planning an exit from Iraq. Hit.

1-8. .125 and dropping.

One-by-one:

First you set a goal (close Gitmo) and then you figure out how to get it done. Nothing wrong with that at all. From the standpoint of Wally, setting the goal and meeting it decides whether it's a hit or miss. At this point, I call it a hit because he publicly set the goal.

Tax cheat? Not extra bases, that's for sure, but the real question is whether he got the right guy into the position and, according to just about everyone, he did. Obama's choice is known and respected by all the key financial players, and seems to have the chops to get the job done. It may be a walk, but it's not an out.

Opened dialogue with "I won"...you're taking it wildly out of context. By all accounts, it was not stated at the beginning of the meeting and contained no element of gloating. It was a statement of fact in a political discussion. Walk.

Ending torture and rendition. He didn't end rendition. He ended extraordinary rendition, which is an entirely different thing. People like Wally and me don't believe that sanctioned torture is necessary to protect the country; you do. Thus, I'm not surprised that -- with little evidence to support your opinion -- you're in favor of turning the United States into East Germany. On the other hand, I'm shocked that Wally wouldn't consider that particular Executive Order a home run rather than an out. And remember: Obama won. He has the support of a clear majority of the American people to do just what he said he would do on the campaign trail: end torture. Home run, out of the park, wave the flag in pride and joy.

Stimulus bill laden with pork. It is not, at least as pork is conventionally defined. In the current version of the bill there is not a single earmark -- the conventional definition of pork. There are lots of big government projects. Not all government projects are pork. So: irrelevant.

Stooping to attack a talk radio host. He didnt' attack Rush Limbaugh. He simply stated a political reality: if the Republican Party remains the party of nuts like Limbaugh, it will remain in the minority. Walk.

Ledbetter. The law certainly didn't originate with President Obama, and he's made no claim that it did. He signed it; his predecessor wouldn't. Single up the middle.

Daschle is an embarrassing error -- akin in obviousness to making the third out at third base -- to which President Obama has owned up. It's reasonable to expect that more embarrassing errors will be made; new Presidents do that kind of thing.

But all of two weeks into Obama's term, I think he's doing just fine. And I'm surprised Wally doesn't agree. I think we're all a little caught-up in the 14-hour news cycle and it's crisis-of-the-day promotional strategy. Let the man work.

Let's not forget Richardson. With Richardson and Daschle, Obama had two "Casey at the Bat" opportunities. Bases loaded each time. Goes down swinging for lack of vetting and for trying to put familiar faces in place while paying off political debt. That's not change. Commerce needs to be someone versed in Ecommerce as well as traditional economies. It's 2009. HHS needs to be a health and human services expert to advise the President. Cabinet positions shouldn't need to guide a bill through Congress when one POTUS and the majority are Democrats. That's Ried and Pelosi's job. Experts, not politicians. That's change.

"But all of two weeks into Obama's term, I think he's doing just fine."

I doubt Obama could do anything that would change that opinion Tom.

I've wanted to jump in on this for a couple of days, but don't have the time to do all the research to address everything. However, I will take you on concerning the "end to torture" under Obama. Yes, he made a big deal about ending this "harsh interrogation techniques", but did he really end them?

From that noted right-wing site The New York Times
"They could also allow Mr. Obama to reinstate the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation operations in the future, by presidential order, as some have argued would be appropriate if Osama bin Laden or another top-level leader of Al Qaeda were captured. "

Which seems to be to be exactly the same as George W.'s policy. You know, keep in on the books for when it's needed, but only used three times since the war on terror began.

But hey, he said we're ending torture, so all the Dems are lapping it up, whether or not he actually means it or not.

Sorry about the random bold. Fat fingers and all that.

So, you can see my dilemma when I am forced by my candidate's actions to agree with Frank. What is so hard about plain speaking? Want to stop torture? Okay, executive order: no more torture. Period. Done. Close Gitmo? Handcuff and shackle them and put them on a plane to a maximum security block in Leavenworth. It's a Federal prison. We don't need to ask permission from the local mayor.
Anything that goes through Congress will be a compromise but Cabinet choices and these executive decisions should be clear indicators of the President's vision. So far it's been kinda fuzzy.

So, you can see my dilemma when I am forced by my candidate's actions to agree with Frank. What is so hard about plain speaking? Want to stop torture? Okay, executive order: no more torture. Period. Done. Close Gitmo? Handcuff and shackle them and put them on a plane to a maximum security block in Leavenworth. It's a Federal prison. We don't need to ask permission from the local mayor.
Anything that goes through Congress will be a compromise but Cabinet choices and these executive decisions should be clear indicators of the President's vision. So far it's been kinda fuzzy.

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