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What Took You So Long, Joe?

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There are times when it’s crystal clear a candidate has serious issues. Such a time is upon us, but not for the reasons that are most obvious.

Barack Obama has serious issues. But I’m not going to talk about him directly today. He’s just going to be affected by the star of today’s episode.

As he often does, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Con) went to visit his FOX Friends today. There must have been a memo issued to get Lieberman to endorse a Republican for President like he did in 2008, for FOX put out everything they could to reach Joe.

First they tried Beauty. Gretchen Carlson was in Joe’s vision, reminding him about his endorsement of John McCain in 2008 and asking if he was going to back Obama in 2012. Lieberman demurred. “… as the independent that I am…” Joe replied, “…I want to see who’s got the plans…”

Now, if I were at work for FOX, I’d know that Joe Lieberman, for all his other faults, appears to be very attached to his wife. So putting Gretchen Carlson up to flirtatiously bait Lieberman into making a statement he clearly isn’t ready to make wasn’t going to work. It was time to try another approach.

FOX tried Beast: Eric Bolling was sent up to the Lieberman plate to take his swings. “If it were Rick Perry, could you get behind that one?” Lieberman declined to bite on that corn dog. He must have seen Michele’s picture from Iowa.

It was time to bring out the Mighty Casey, Sean Hannity.

Hanity brought out the proposal to have Israel pull back to the 1967 borders that Obama allegedly “surprised” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with during a recent visit. Netanyahu is on record as not overtly opposing the idea, and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak defended Obama against such charges.

What was Joe’s response? “I think [Obama]’s handled the relationship with Israel in a way that has encouraged Israel’s enemies and really unsettled the Israelis.”

Sean obviously knew what pitch Lieberman would swing at.

Then we find out that Joe has already spilled the beans the previous day to The Washington Times that he’s considering voting Republican in 2012. FOX must not still be on AIPAC’s press release mailing list to waste the time to conduct this campaign to get Joe to open up about his voting preference – or else Joe is an incredible tease and likes the attention and FOX knows it.

If Joe does decide to vote GOP next year, it will only be because he thinks Obama can’t win. You won’t need a weatherman to know which way the winds blow. Joe’s the one to watch.

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About pessimist

  • Cannonshop

    #28 I know how it works, Roger, but I hold out the hope that I’m dealing with individuals, rather than demographic ciphers-individuals can reason, learn, and change their minds, demographic ciphers only know what the Group tells them.

    I suppose, in a way, some of these arguments are like trying to discuss philosophy/theology with born-again-camp-meeting-Krisschuns, but there’s always the chance, neh?

  • Be my guest. No matter what you’ll say, I won’t chase you off the thread.

  • Iren-AY-do, is that how I’d pronounce it? OK, Roger, I’ll plan to read it sometime today, and if I can think of something useful to say. About Ron Paul or the War on Drugs. 😉

  • Man, handyguy, you’ve set yourself up for needing to take on all comers this morning. I don’t intend to be part of a “pile-on.” I can appreciate that anything that sounds like criticism of Obama sounds like character-assassinating propaganda to you. That isn’t a character flaw in you, it’s an artifact of wanting to defend someone whose ideas you supported passionately.

    Tearing down Obama’s character, or tearing down yours for believing in him, is NOT what I’m about when I bring up the Drug War and the BATF, Handyguy.

    You are misinformed (not evil or stupid) when you speak as if “Fast and Furious” calamity is some tiny pimple in an otherwise healthily functioning BATF, fighting valiantly in the grand and glorious War on Drugs. For example, The Assets Forfeiture program is now providing, not so much disincentives to sell drugs, but motivation to keep the War on Drugs going! It’s fostered corruption and abuses at all levels from the federal all the way down to local law enforcement. That’s just one of a MYRIAD of things that are dead wrong about the War on Drugs, and when I see an opportunity to rant about it a little, I’ve been taking advantage of it.

    I could go on and on and ON, and yes, I’m probably beginning to sound like a bore.

  • Irenedo,

    You’re still either to read or to comment on my preamble to “the portrait.” Even one comment, Irenedo, would make me happy as a lark. Pretty please!

    And no, I don’t insist on agreement.

  • @29

    Really, Handy? It seems to fit some of the people here to a T. It’s the same kind of error that “pure market” advocates are guilty of, the difference in this case being a kind of yearning for “pure liberalism,” marching and triumphant.

    Rather than calling my comment silly or idiotic, I’d think it’d behoove you to at least look up the source I linked to; it’s not the easiest read, but I’m certain you’ll be able to stumble through it. Who knows, you, too, might learn something you don’t yet know?

    And BTW, Handy, I didn’t name you by name, did I now? so why are you personalizing the comment? You don’t really have to do that, to identify yourself, that is, with my sketch of a “typical liberal.” Just say you ain’t that way and prove me wrong. But you don’t need to speak for others, do you now? unless it’s some deep-seated psychological need.

  • Handygu (it fixes your shoe!) something’s gotten turned around here.

    I was on a tear about the War on Drugs (operation “Fast and Furious” specifically.) You told me I was writing propaganda. “Propaganda” you sniffed, “is neither a valuable nor an interesting way to communicate.”

    I reminded you that, no, propaganda was something that governments use on ordinary people to get them to believe something (like the War on Drugs) is good, so they won’t put up a stink about paying for it or sending their people to die for it. [Page break.]

    I also reminded you that, for this reason, people who stood to profit from enterprises like the war on drugs, would find propaganda immensely valuable, as would people hired to disseminate it.

    What the heck, handygu, how do you think I stand to profit by “indulg[ing] in propaganda” against the Drug War?

  • #27: As I pointed out, Gunrunner and Fast & Furious are two different things. Gunrunner has accomplished a lot of good and has been around since 2005. Fast & Furious started months after the ARRA bill, and has since been discredited.

    The [relatively puny] funds directed towards Gunrunner were part of an effort to help local law enforcement facing budget cuts. They were not deliberately aimed toward Fast & Furious, which didn’t exist yet. And there is still some real dispute over whether stimulus funds were even used for F&F in Arizona. Yet both you and Irene treat this as a given; that’s what I mean by propaganda.

    Again, you can agree with the bill or not, and that’s fine. But in your sputtering, angry posts you simply choose to ignore facts too often. This doesn’t help your arguments seem more, um, reasonable.

  • #26: But does that mean you want to indulge in propaganda yourself, Irene? Sure, governments do it; but if we follow their example on here, the quality of the dialogue goes straight down the tubes.

  • Hmm, when did my name change to handygu? lol

  • Roger, your line of argument on this and other threads is turning nonsensical and deliberately offensive again.

    Don’t you also disagree with Republican/right-wing/Tea Party ideas/policy/rhetoric 100% of the time, or nearly so? When I or Glenn or zing express similar disagreement, is it not possible that we also genuinely dispute those ideas, that we are smart, well-informed people honestly expressing our distaste?

    Instead you portray us as robots following some theoretical ‘classic patterns and techniques of liberalism.’ You accuse me, with zero basis in fact, of rewriting economic history by slavishly following the writings of Paul Krugman and Ezra Klein [with whom you also agree nearly 100% of the time on individual matters of policy, or would if you bothered to read their columns].

    This is a remarkably condescending and counterfactual analysis. I can assure you it will not lead to any conversations of value with me, because I will eventually stop responding. So I am asking, politely this one time: cut it out.

  • It’s a closed and fool-proof system you’re arguing against, Cannon, and you can’t possibly win, an in-built mechanisms as it were which is part and parcel of any ideology, and the purpose is: to be able to tolerate failure in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, so as to enable the ideologue to plug along.

    In the instance of liberal political philosophy, as understood and propagated by some of BC practitioners, one can identify the following elements:

    (1) The liberals’ driven progress is infinitesimal and we won’t see it in our lifetimes, but it’s progress nonetheless;

    (2a) Anything that goes wrong, blame in on the opposition party – the Republicans, the Tea Party, etc.;

    (2b) Anything that goes wrong, blame in on the opposition party, whose members are also racist;

    (3) By nature, the government and all its agencies (by virtue of being bureaucracies) are somewhat inefficient, so we must expect a tolerable level of corruption, mismanagement, etc — because the world isn’t perfect;

    I’ll expand on this in the conclusion of my “Portrait” papers, so feel free to add to this list for future consideration.

    Source: “Joseph Schumpeter Lecture, Ideology,”, courtesy “troll.”

  • Cannonshop

    #24 The mistakes?? No, I’m not attributing MISTAKES to the stimulus bill-I’m pointedly referencing that after the MISTAKES were being made, they got ten million dollars of “Stimulus” to EXTEND AND EXPAND those mistakes, to MAGNIFY them, and most importantly, to defend themselves from the consequences of said “Mistakes”.

    In the GUISE of fixing a broken economy, Handy, get it??

    But back to ‘Stimulus’ for a moment.

    The ‘studies’ claiming it “Must’ve worked” in spite of every single dark prognostication of what would happen if it WEREN’T done has come true-(and many of those things at greater damage than predicted if nothing were done), read as excuse-making and ass-covering, and false, a sales-job based on the same thinking that got us INTO the current fiscal, economic, mess we’re in.

    The Neocons are wrong-you can’t adopt Democrat Economics and paper it over with praising Jesus, it doesn’t WORK.

    The Long run, that Keynes was so dismissive of, is HERE.

  • Propaganda is an IMMENSELY valuable way to communicate. Otherwise, governments wouldn’t invest so much money in its dissemination, nor would they be able to find so many recruits to distribute it.

  • Yes, I do think that at least some of those who designed “Fast and Furious” did so with the with the deliberate intent to kill innocents. Such people are called psychopaths. The responses from the superiors of federal BATF agent John Dodson in his letters of protests included many whose callousness typify a sociopath, e.g. “if you don’t think this is FUN you can go work at the jail feeding inmates for $30K a year.”

    People who endeavor to make the covert and unpalatable actions of psychopaths in power appear to be noble and worthwhile, who participate in the effort to extort money from the population to PAY for those unpalatable actions, are called propagandists.

  • I’m not particularly fond of any of your guises, hon. I think you suffer from tunnel-vision cast-in-concrete ideological stinkin’ thinkin’ — not to mention that you are fond of taking cheap shots. In this case your argument is typically narrow and selective.

    The funds put into a February bill earmarked for Project Gunrunner were not intended for the Fast and Furious program that didn’t begin until seven months later, so why is your outrage directed at the ARRA bill?

    I’m not here to defend the ATF’s misguided program. But do you think anyone designed it with the deliberate intent to kill innocents? If not, what’s your point? To attribute these mistakes to the stimulus bill is a major stretch, especially if the MediaMatters claim is correct [they are pretty good with research, better I suspect than you or I].

    Project Gunrunner has been around since 2005. It apparently has accomplished some good things. You seem to have left these tidbits out of your selective version. This is called propaganda. I don’t think propaganda is a very valuable or interesting way to communicate.

  • Like me better when I play the comedienne, doncha hon’? *snaps gum and waves bye-bye*

  • Now, mediatmatters.org, claimed that none of that stimulus money was allocated to Arizona, the homebase of Operation Fast and Furious. Maybe that was a knee-jerk reaction to the stimulus connection being reported on Fox news. I don’t know why mediamatters.org would make that claim, as Arizona has been designated a Southwest Border HIDTA (High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area), which designation qualifies it for stimulus money through the BATF, according to the section of ARRA I quoted.

    Do you know handyguy, or is the War on Drugs that is killing so many Mexicans and vulnerable immigrants of so little importance to you that you really don’t CARE whether or not the stimulus money is going to support illegal operations like “Fast and Furious?” If it’s the latter, I quite understand.

  • Yes handyguy, to the US citizens who were and who will be gunned down by automatic weapons the BATF hypocritically placed right into the hands of criminals–a law-abiding citizen would have to jump through all KINDS of hoops to get one of these for self-defense)–that $10M extracted from the American taxpayer WAS the most important part of the ARRA bill.

    The government of Mexico might agree with your estimation of the importance of that $10M, too, as it was kept in the dark about any of this going on.

  • And for you and Cannon, that’s the most important tiny fraction of the large bill. Whether the other 99.9999% of it had any positive effects just might be significant too.

  • Change “drug runners” to “gun runners to Mexico” in the next to last line of #18.

  • So many wars, so little time. Handy, you’d have to actually READ the stimulus bill itself (admittedly a tall order, at 1588 pages) rather than the “good summary…on Wikipedia” before you’d be justified in telling Cannonshop that his claims that stimulus money funded Operation Fast and Furious are “counter-factual and conspiracy-minded.” As it turns out, you are NOT justified.

    Page 16 of the ARRA: For an additional amount for ‘‘State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance’’, $40,000,000, for competitive grants to provide assistance and equipment to local law enforcement along the Southern border and in High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas to combat criminal narcotics activity stemming from the Southern border, of which $10,000,000 shall be transferred to ‘‘Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Salaries and Expenses’’ for the ATF Project Gunrunner.

    There it is, handyguy: $10M of stimulus money to be transferred to the BATF for Project Gunrunner. (Operation Fast and Furious is part of Project Gunrunner.)

    That $10M money DID provide salaries for the federal agents involved post-ARRA operations of Project Gunrunner. Part of that money, at least, did some good when Federal Agent John Dodson blew the whistle.

    In Operation Fast and Furious, Federal agents were ordered to allow guns to be sold to Mexican drug trafficking cartels, some of which have been recovered at the scenes of 11 violent crime scenes in the US. As there were thousands of weapons that ATF agents allowed to be sold to known drug runners, who knows how many innocent Mexicans lost their lives as well?

  • There is also this distinction. The ARRA stimulus bill, large as it was, was not specifically jobs-focused. It was finance-focused, meaning it was a Keynesian attempt to make up for the fact that both individuals and companies had stopped spending money, so it was up to the government to step in and promote economic activity.

    There really should have been a second stimulus that was more jobs-focused. But the toxic politics of the first bill probably ruined the chances for that.

    The jobs programs the president plans to unveil in an early-September speech may be as close as we get to that kind of stimulus. Maybe the public will supply enough pressure to change a few GOP minds, enough to pass the programs. I sure hope so.

  • Perhaps I was doing it. Got to check on that.

  • Roger, I think you are just conflating two things: the bailouts and the stimulus. Both happened, but they are not the same thing, they are two separate efforts.

  • Almost completely counterfactual and conspiracy-minded, as usual, Cannon. You don’t have to wonder “what Handy means” by tax breaks and small business incentives; you can read a good summary of the stimulus bill [ARRA] on Wikipedia. You can favor or oppose the bill, and claim that it worked or it didn’t, but you need not make up your own facts about what was in it.

    The Obama administration was put in the unenviable position of carrying out the Wall Street [and auto] bailouts started under Bush. They added the details of the Chrysler and GM restructurings. But considering how wound up everyone was about TARP and the auto companies at the time, they did restore the companies they were intended to restore, and at much lower cost than originally estimated.

    The populist myth is that they did this instead of putting Main Street back to work, as if putting Main Street back to work involves some simple formula that was deliberately avoided. [Pray share this magic formula with us now if you know what it is.] If Wall Street and the auto companies had been allowed to fail, there might well not have been a Main Street left.

  • Cannonshop

    It’s worth checking to see what Handy is referring to by tax cuts, small businesses, and individuals, about 10M$ of it was used to sell guns to mexican drug-gangs in an ATF operation, so I suppose some of it might be construed as helping either individuals (Mexican Gang Members), Small businesses (Funeral homes, Coyotes and Mexican Drug Cartels), etc. etc.

    Some of it was traced to political advocacy groups-but you ask your local corner-store owner if he got a tax break from the 2009 stimulus, and he’s likely to laugh in your face (or swear a lot.)

    I suppose someone might construe Private Jet refitters as small businesses, but that’s such a niche market you might as well lump them with Yacht and Race Car builders.

  • Stand corrected then. So what was the big stink about the stimulus as supposedly helping out the bankers? According to Handy, as per his breakdown above, everything was kosher and taxpayers got a break. Two conflicting narratives, it seems.

  • Cannonshop

    #10 NO, AIG was bailed out by BUSH (With the eager assistance of both Candidate McCain, and Candidate Obama). One could look at the bailoouts of 2008, and Stimulus of 2009 as being the only evidence of “Bipartisanship” on Capital Hill-and proof that Bipartisanship really means raping the taxpayers to pay off the same crooked bankers regardless of party.

  • The AIG bailout, wasn’t that under Obama? If my recollection serves, there was quite an opposition to stimulus under Obama, and from both sides of the aisle, precisely because the bulk of the money was going to save firms, financial or otherwise, that were deemed “too big to fail.”

  • Roger: if you want to criticize the president, fine, but please get your facts straight. The stimulus bill passed in early 2009 had virtually nothing to do with Wall Street. It was 1/3 tax cuts for individuals and small businesses, and 2/3 spending of various kinds intended to goose economic activity.

    The Wall Street bailout bills were passed during the Bush administration, and despite being widely despised, ended up costing much less than originally predicted.

    The size of the stimulus [700-800 billion] seemed audacious at the time, and the GOP at least pretended to be horrified by it. But liberal and not-so-liberal economists warned that it was not enough considering the depth of the hole the economy had fallen into.

    Remember that even that high-water-mark of political will required 3 Republican votes in the Senate to pass. Because of filibuster rules, Obama has never really had working majorities in both houses. The health care bill and the financial reform bill were even harder to pass.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Arch –

    The BC editors in all their nonexistent wisdom banned him. Normally I stick up for the editors – they do a lot of good things. But in this, they were flat wrong.

  • Interesting angle, Realist.

    Of course it’s not foreign policy that will be Obama’s downfall — bin Laden, still hawkish policies in the Middle East, etc — so he won’t be perceived by the independents as a serious threat to national security (Israel notwithstanding) but mismanagement of domestic affair.

    The recent campaign tour was really pathetic, blaming the budget wars on the unemployment situation. Shoot, he had more than substantial majority in both Houses during the first two years of his thus far lame presidency, and he squandered it, just as he squandered the first stimulus in bailing out Wall Street. This is not going to sit well with the bulk of the electorate. And if Romney, the most credible of challengers, overcomes doubts about his Mormon background and stays the course, the odds are he will pull it. He’s got the presence, experience, and a centrist enough record for the American people to just give him a shot. So yes, in this respect I agree with Archie.

  • Arch Conservative

    Whatever happened to Ruvy?

    I’m sure he’d having something to say about Lieberman.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    But while the president should not micromanage – see Nixon and Vietnam – there are times when the president needs to step in. No president will ever get it all right or all wrong.

  • Clavos

    Executives delegate and supervise, they don’t micromanage — not the good ones, anyway.

  • The sitting president shouldn’t be required to micromanage. That’s what the Cabinet is for, and so on and so forth down the line of command. It’s a poor executive indeed, whether in the corporate world or in politics, who is reduced to “micromanagement.”

  • John Lake

    The trouble with Obama may lie in his inability to micro-manage. One of the worst errors of Obama’s first four was the plan for Israel. My suspicions are that that plan came from the well connected Secretary of State, Secretary Clinton. She also faux pas’d seriously with North Korea, and may have cost us some big bucks in her dealing with Pakistan. In fact Pakistan is quickly becoming a nuclear power to invoke concern. Has Obama reviewed some of the Secretary’s effort with an eye toward adjustment, we might be in a better position today, on the celebrated world stage.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    “Joe’s the one to watch”?

    Just like he was the one to watch in the 2008 election when he was trying to get McCain to choose him to be the VP?

    Here’s a different viewpoint – one that may or may not be true, but the possibility should be borne in mind. There’s some bad blood between the black and the Jewish communities. It’s not as bad as it’s been in the past, but it’s still there.

    But again, this may not be a factor at all. I hope it isn’t.

    In any case, Joe’s support of the Republicans doesn’t mean much to me at all, except that Gore made a really, really bad pick for VP in 2000.