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SOTU Liveblog 2007
Posted by: Dale Franks on Tuesday, January 23, 2007

And, we're off for another SOTU Liveblog! In what follows, quotes from the president will be in blockquotes. Snide paraphrases will be in italics. My direct remarks will be in normal text.

Divider

1749: Lots of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines—and families—will be guests in the First Lady's Gallery. Apparently, the president will be discussing some military-related matter of some sort. By the way, the White House should be aware that there is a more felicitous way to phrase it than "Guest List for the First Lady's Box." I really don't want to hear about that. Got my fill of that sort of information during the Clinton Presidency.

1754: On the president's domestic agenda tonight will be Energy, Health Care, Spending Reform, Education, Immigration reform, and Judges. Good luck on the Judges deal.

Oh, and if we really want spending reform, how's about the Federal government stop proposing policies on Energy, Health Care, and Education?

1758: Funny how Democrats like Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) always manage to get themselves in position for a Presidential hug when he walks into the chamber.

1802: Well, the big shots are all coming in. Except for Alberto Gonzales. If a bomb goes off and wipes out everybody else, President Gonzalez will lead us forward. One must point out that he would be the nation's first Hispanic president, which would be quite a momentous achievement. No doubt we'll all celebrate it in the concentration camps he will immediately set up to house his enemies.

1804: Apparently, Michael J. Fox has managed to get into the First Lady's box.

I love saying that.

1809: The big man enters! The place goes wild!

Hmm. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is also on hand to give the President a hearty handclasp.

1814: Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says it's an honor to introduce the president. Liar.

President Bush says it's an honor to say "Madame Speaker" for the first time in history. Liar.

1821: We have a divided government, but we can still accomplish big things. Be bipartisan. Make life better.

And make sure everybody has a unicorn.

We can do this with not more government, but more enterprise.

We haven't done so for the last six years, but there's always hope.
Next week, I will submit a federal budget that will eliminate the deficit in five years.
Well, that's an impressive goal. Wonder what the economic assumptions are behind it.

1822: We have to reform Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Well, yes, we do, but we've ben saying that for the last 12 years and haven't done it yet. So my hopes for getting it done in the upcoming legislative session are fairly low.

1823: Thanks to No Child Left Behind, our children is learning. Please re-authorize it.

Sure. I mean, who cares how much money it costs, or whether the Feds have any business meddling in education in the first place? It's For the Children!

1824: The president is laying out a new health reform plan to give a tax credit for private health insurance purchases. He will also give federal funds to states that implement some sort of deal to provide health coverage to people who need it. He's also calling for an expansion of health savings accounts, and association health plans for small businesses. He also wants to pass medical liability reform.

Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is laughing at that last bit. He knows, as we all do, that no Democratic-controlled Congress will ever turn off the money pump to the trial lawyers. Ore, really, do anything else the president asks for, since most of 'em think government-run health care is the cat's pajamas. They don't want any of that messy free-market stuff.

1829:
We need to have a serious, civil and conclusive debate, so I can sign immigration reform into law.
I notice he doesn't give any details about what, precisely, that reform might entail.

1831: Now it's energy reform. More ethanol, more wind and solar.

Ooooh! Reduce gasoline consumption by 20% in the next 10 years. How? Tell me?

Oh. Mandatory fuel efficiency standards. I guess that's some of that "more enterprise" he spoke of earlier.

*sigh*

I guess I better start shopping for a Toyota Echo.

1834: Give my judicial nomiees a fair hearing and up or down vote on the senate floor!

Yeah. Pat Leahy is really laughing at that one.

1838: OK. Now it's the war.
To win the war on terror, we must take the fight to the enemy.
Well, a standing O for that line. Even from the side of the aisle that's talking about bringing all our troops home from Iraq. Iraq, apparently, having nothing whatsoever to do with the War on Terror.

Our cops and first responders! And our soldiers! Are they the tits, or what?

1838: Our enemies are pretty bad guys. I mean, they're nasty! And it's not just the Sunnis. Those Shia are whack, too. And there masters in Tehran. But I will protect the American people!

Even if it means warrantless wiretaps!

Oh, wait, not any more. Sorry. Carry on.

1841: What every terrorist fears most is freedom.

Yeah. Maybe. Be nice to give the a choice between their fear of freedom, and their fear of daisy cutters dropping in their laps, though.

1842: The Iraqis have a democratic government. They voted. That got the terrorists PO'd, so they're hitting back. They hate freedom, you see. That's why they're hittingn us so hard in Iraq. That's why we have to stay and fight, even though it isn't the fight we wanted.

Well, that's getting a standing ovation! But only from the Republicans.

1845: Now he's explaining the surge. Gen Peter Pace is clapping in response. Democrats sitting behind him are not.

The Iraqis know that they've got to really get serious about helping out this time.

Maybe, but I note that Moqtada al-Sadr sent his people back to participate in the government. And I suspect that the sole purpose for doing so is to prevent US troops from grabbing him. If he's not in chains when this surge is finished, then I'm not sanguine about the ultimate result.

1849:
Nothing is more important at this moment in our history to succeed in the Middle East, to succeed in Iraq, and to spare the American people from this danger.
Once again, the republicans give a standing O, but the Democrats sit on thir hands. They don't like Iraq, and don't care, ultimately, about the negative consequences from a failure there.

But, when the President says immediately after, that we need to support our troops, the Democrats join in a standing O.

So, the message from Democrats: Support our troops! Bring them home! And the subtext on Iraq: Let them all kill each other. God will know his own. Meanwhile, we'll just hunker down over here.

1853: We will not allow the Iranians to develop nuclear weapons. And we're gonna clean up the North Korea nuclear mess, too.

Huh. Saying a thing does not make it so.

1855: We need to continue funding the fight against AIDS in Africa. And while we're at it, we need another $1.5 billion to reduce malaria.

But not by shipping over cannisters of DDT. Because that would be wrong. Although it would work.

1858: Now we're being treated to the obligatory introductions of ordinary citizens. And NBA stars. One of the guests, though, has that hot MILF deal happening. She's an entrepreneur of some sort, selling videos. Children's videos, unfortunately. Then there's the guy who saved the dude who fell on the subway tracks in New York. Then we get to say "hi" to a wounded soldier, and Silver Star winner. He's got quite a lot of fruit salad for an E-5 Sergeant. Earned with his own blood, too.

1902: Finally! "The state of the Union is strong!" Talk about burying the lede...

Divider

This was a fairly short speech. Not thematic. Not really anything more than a laundry list of legislation requests. The response from Congress was...polite, if restrained.

The speech itself was competently delivered, but the speech itself was missing something. One hardly got the impression from listening to it that we are, as a nation, engaged in either a monumental, perhaps existential, struggle against radical Islam. Or that our armed forces in Iraq are part of the most controversial military action in a generation, the success or failure of which depends substantially upon Congress supporting the policy they are engaged in carrying out.

It was almost as if the president realized that he had to say certain things, and said them, knowing that many people to whom he would be talking were uninterested in hearing those things. And, having checked off the box that said, "Deliver SOTU speech", he was happy to retire.

So, now let's see what the Democratic Party's response will be. le's hope it rises above the response from Gov. Tim Kaine last year. Not that that's a very high bar.

Divider

Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) decorated Vietnam veteran, will now speak.

1916: There are two big issues: Economic justice and Iraq.

So, basically, socialism and pacifism. All right.

1919: CEOs make too much money. And heathen foreigners are taking American Jobs!

Can anyone say tax increases and protectionism? I knew you could.

1922: Iraq is a distraction from the war on terror. I served, and My kid is serving as amarine in Iraq. But the Bush Administration has f*cked it all up.

Well, he's got a point. Many things that should've been done haven't. Many things that shouldn't have been done have.

The question is not what we did then, but what do we do now.

1925: We need to concentrate on the real enemy, al-Qaida, brig the war in Iraq to an end, but without a precipitous withdrawal.

Yeah. OK. But what does that mean?

And how do you reconcile the "we will not precipitously withdraw", with "we must bring our troops home from Iraq"? I think you can do one or the other of those things, but not both.

A majority of our troops disagree with the war in Iraq.

I'd really like to know what his empirical basis is for that statement. That seems like the kind of thing that should be supported with some verifiable facts. It may be true for all I know, but how does Jim Webb know it?

Divider


The delivery was polished, and Jim Web has always had a certain personal charisma. But the starkest difference between the president's speech and Mr. Webb's response was that the president called for victory in Iraq. Mr. Webb called for an appropriate end to our intervention there.

That is not an insignificant difference.

The question, of course, is whether this President can deliver a victory in Iraq.
 
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Comments
One hardly got the impression from listening to it that we are, as a nation, engaged in either a monumental, perhaps existential, struggle against radical Islam.
Are we? I mean that as a serious question. I’m not sure Islamic extremism is really any kind of existential or monumental threat. It’s not really popular among Muslims; take away the emotion of the anti-Americanism due to the war, and it is supported by only a small minority. Even most insurgents in Iraq are more concerned about Iraqi power distribution.

I think the real threat is what you wrote about the other day — legislation that chips away at our freedom (such as the law proposed in Bangor to outlaw adults smoking in their cars if children are present). Maybe if our government didn’t intervene so much in other peoples’ affairs we wouldn’t inspire anger. And perhaps if our government didn’t intervene so much in our own citizens’ affairs, we’d not be sacrificing our freedoms.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
In regard to Webb’s comment about the military’s view of the handling of the war, I contacted Pollster.com about Webb’s comments, and Mark Blumenthal thought Webb might be referring to the Military Times poll that showed "only 35% of the military members polled this year said they approve of the way President Bush is handling the war."

A lot of people, including conservatives, don’t approve of how Bush has handled the war of late so the military sharing that view is not completely extraordinary. However, Webb and the democrats shouldn’t equate that with an interest in immediate withdrawl by the military.
 
Written By: Sensible Mom
URL: http://sensiblemom.typepad.com
I was struck by Webb bringing up Eisenhower. Is that really a good comparison? I don’t think so.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Watch Pelosi’s facial expressions while President Bush praises the heroic Sergeant for his voluntary sacrifice. She managed to control her reactions most of the time, but lost it at that moment. Pelosi’s disgust of the military was "writ large" in her face. She really hates them.

I wondered why Obama wouldn’t take his eyes off the floor. Was he concentrating on Bush’s voice, showing his disagreement, or attempting to hide his reactions?

Am I the only one that thinks that when Leahy smirks, his face resembles the Grinch stealing Christmas trees?

ragnell

 
Written By: Ragnell
URL: http://
Webb is a strong speaker.In part, due to his sincerity. His objectives are suspect, but those emotions were not faked. He was clenching his jaws while making accusations about Bush ["these people put us in this ..."] the anger was real. This could be his Achilles heel,. Occasionally politicians can get away with publicly emoting, but not on a regular basis.
 
Written By: Ragnell
URL: http://
His objectives are suspect, but those emotions were not faked.
And you know this how?
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
DDT would work? Tim Lambert has done yoeman’s work in discussing and analyzing this issue; widespread spraying of DDT, particularly if it’s not maintained regularly, does little but spread resistance to DDT. Nets seem to be cheaper and more portable, and require a lot less infrastructure — all important concerns for work in Africa.
 
Written By: Brian
URL: http://
More government as far as the eye can see. Is there anybody left that even mouths the principals of limited government? I’m glad Ronald Reagan isn’t around to see what these people have done to his party.
 
Written By: DS
URL: http://
DDT would work? Tim Lambert has done yoeman’s work in discussing and analyzing this issue;
Tim Lambert is a frickin’ computer scientist. Who appears to hate the very idea of DDT use, pretty much anywhere.

Nice try. Next time, look for a little more unbiased sourcing. From someone who maybe has a background in chemistry or entomology, rather than computers.

Tim Lambert. Jebus.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
One hardly got the impression from listening to it that we are, as a nation, engaged in either a monumental, perhaps existential, struggle against radical Islam
If you don’t already know it by now, you either disagree or don’t care. Either way, you won’t change your mind at this point, so why bother?
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
The real threat is legislation? The “existential” remark clued me in. Erb has to be a troll just trying to push some buttons. I’ll try to get into the spirit when reading his future comments. I apologize for not catching on sooner.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
Tim Lambert is a computer scientist; who happens to write about DDT. Should I sneer at everything you write about taxes, Dale, since you’re not an economist? (Oh, and you might also want to figure out what "unbiased" means — because someone comes to a conclusion on a subject doesn’t mean they’re then unfit to opine on that subject ever after.).

On the other hand,someone who can only laugh at another who -has- done research; links to verifiable assertions made by independent people in the field; and skips over the obvious point that using a poison like DDT may select for resistance to it — that first person may just be worth ignoring when it comes to biology.
 
Written By: Brian
URL: http://
This year’s “State of the Union” speech followed the pattern of recent years. President Bush presented a mundane list of proposals that have little chance of being passed by the Democratic controlled Congress, or having any real effect on changing the State of The Union.

The President has a reputation of being a poor speaker, and once again he proved his critics right. The days of eloquent, passionate, stemwindng rhetoric is long gone. The great orators such as Senators Everett Dirksen and Daniel Patrick Moynihan are a thing of the past. The art of fine oratory is dead, replaced by speeches written by committee designed to offend no one.

The Democratic response, given by Senator Jim Webb was a rehash of the Party’s complaints against the Bush administration, offering no real solutions to the Party’s objections. Like Bush, Webb’s speech seemed to be a committee project.

The difference between a Politician and a Statesman is, the Politician does what is necessary to get reelected, while the Statesman does what he thinks is best for the country. Both speeches were given by Politicians, in a time in which we need Statesmen.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
"Nets seem to be cheaper and more portable, and require a lot less infrastructure — all important concerns for work in Africa"

Cheaper is a relative thing. If your entire wardrobe consists of an old tshirt and a pair of shorts, and your annual income is in double digits(in any currency you wish), nets are a major investment. Particularly for households with more than one or two people. Nets also only protect a limited area.
Periodic spraying, on the other hand, protects everyone, including those that choose food over a mosquito net.


" I’d really like to know what his empirical basis is for that statement. That seems like the kind of thing that should be supported with some verifiable facts. It may be true for all I know, but how does Jim Webb know it?"

I had the same reaction.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
The difference between a Politician and a Statesman is, the Politician does what is necessary to get reelected, while the Statesman does what he thinks is best for the country
By that definition, vis a vis Iraq and his idea to transform the ME via spreading democracy, Bush is a statesman.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Well done Dale. How fast to you type?
 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
Should I sneer at everything you write about taxes, Dale, since you’re not an economist?
Heh.

Sure. Go ahead.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Great. I’ll go ahead and do that, then; and I’ll go ahead and rely on actual biology when thinking about whether things will work.
 
Written By: Brian
URL: http://
The “existential” remark clued me in. Erb has to be a troll just trying to push some buttons.
Existential was a quote from the original post. But there is a divide in this country. A minority believe that Iraq is the center of some kind of war against Islamic extremism that represents a threat to this country that is similar to the threat of communism or fascism. These people talk about our civilization being at risk, and the stakes being high.

Most people see Iraq as an unnecessary or mistaken war, and many see it as a distraction from true counter terrorism efforts. Everything I’ve read when looking at the actual facts and news suggests that: 1) Radical, violent Islamic extremists are a small minority in the Muslim and evne more limited Arab world; 2) the capacity to commit acts of terror that does damage is real, but their ability to launch a true assault on the West or the US doesn’t exist; 3) their real anger is with leaders in the Arab and wider Muslim world, almost all of whom don’t share any of their ideals; and 4) the conflict is more likely to be intra-Islam rather than Islam against the West.

I have yet to see a credible analysis that demonstrates that there is some kind of "monumental or existential" threat (as the original post said). There is a lot of rhetoric, but no one seems to be making a strong case. Bush asserts ’our enemies are working against us’ but that is vague at best.

And the crux of the matter is that if most of us remain unconvinced about a monumental threat and believe that Iraq is not all that important to national security, and in fact Islamic extremism is a limited threat, with extremists aided by US military action to fan the flames of anger at outside intervention, then there will not be support for continuing the war. That division cannot be ended by vague claims that "it helps our enemies" when war opponents speak out (Susan Collins chided Joe Lieberman today pretty effectively on that — interesting that it was a Republican countering a Democrat). The only way the country will unite behind President Bush in Iraq is if people became convinced it really was necessary and the threat really was monumental. But I don’t even see them trying, and I am convinced its because the facts and evidence are pretty strong that the threat is NOT monumental.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Should I sneer at everything you write about taxes, Dale, since you’re not an economist?
Heh.

Sure. Go ahead.
Yeah, Dale likes it when one sneers at him. Especially about knowing what one is talking about. It reminds me of the last live blogging he did during the ’06 returns...
2110 (Dale): So far, only one House seat has definitively crossed to the Democrats. They can still get a majority, but it isn’t quite the overwhelming wave that many were predicting just yesterday.
2145 (Dale): So far I’m not seeing any indication that the Democrats have any chance of a big turnover, i.e., on the order of 20+ seats. yesterday, there were calls for 30+ Democratic house seats. Unless something odd happens out West, I don’t see how that happens, based on the results so far. Dem strength for a House turnover is really concentrated in the Northeast, and they just aren’t winning big there.
Hmmm. How did that work out for you?

Dale Franks. Jeebus.

 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com
Yes, Pogue. And as the night went on, the numbers changed. What was true at 9 wasn’t true at midnight. So, what’s your point?
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
" Bush asserts ’our enemies are working against us’ but that is vague at best."

You doubt that they are? Why is it necessary to say more, since so much has already been said and written about it? I am sure FDR said much the same thing at one time or another. He could easily go into more detail, the speechwriters are available, but none of us really wants to hear him speak any longer than necessary.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
" Bush asserts ’our enemies are working against us’ but that is vague at best."

You doubt that they are? Why is it necessary to say more, since so much has already been said and written about it? I am sure FDR said much the same thing at one time or another. He could easily go into more detail, the speechwriters are available, but none of us really wants to hear him speak any longer than necessary.
What are they doing? What kind of threat do they pose? We need specifics. A vague "our enemies are working against us" is meaningless. That’s just rhetoric.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"We need specifics."

Read a newspaper. Even network news mentions specifics now and then.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Yes, Pogue. And as the night went on, the numbers changed. What was true at 9 wasn’t true at midnight.
Of course. But that doesn’t negate the fact that your analysis was flawed. Predicting the numbers is a difficult game, even the so called experts often get it wrong. But why I remember this particular passage is that at the time I saw no evidence to give cause to believe that, "They can still get a majority, but it isn’t quite the overwhelming wave that many were predicting just yesterday." Yet you did.
And what I so humorously found strikingly memorable is that at the very same time that you were portraying that the numbers suggested modest Democratic gain, Keith Olbermann - you remember Olbermann, right... the one you sarcastically describe as "political genius" - was saying that the numbers suggested a large Democratic gain. And I thought to myself, ’I wonder who will be right... Keith "political genius" Olbermann or Dale "political genius" Franks?’

I’m certainly not suggesting that Olbermann is indeed a political genius, his analysis could have been colored with his desire for a large Democratic gain. Just as I believe that your analysis was colored with a desire for less than a large Democratic gain.
But Olbermann was right. And you were wrong.
Tim Lambert is a frickin’ computer scientist. Who appears to hate the very idea of DDT use, pretty much anywhere.

Nice try. Next time, look for a little more unbiased sourcing. From someone who maybe has a background in chemistry or entomology, rather than computers.
To paraphrase Mr. Franks: Tim Lambert is a computer guy who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

And apparently, sometimes neither do you.

I’m Dale Franks and I hates Democrats.

So, what’s your point?
I guess my point is... is not computers your day job?

 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com/
And what I so humorously found strikingly memorable is that at the very same time that you were portraying that the numbers suggested modest Democratic gain, Keith Olbermann - you remember Olbermann, right... the one you sarcastically describe as "political genius" - was saying that the numbers suggested a large Democratic gain. And I thought to myself, ’I wonder who will be right... Keith "political genius" Olbermann or Dale "political genius" Franks?’
Well, to be fair, Keith Oblbermann was sitting in a studio being fed information from a large number of analysts. I was a guy sitting at home watching the returns come in. Olbermann had a lot of info I wasn’t privy to. So, I was reduced to watching it unfold as it was reported. When it began to turn around, I wrote about that as it happened. And what was happening looked different on TV at 9:30 than it did at midnight.
I guess my point is... is not computers your day job?
Yeah. But The reason I work in computers now is really the result of an accident, rather than because I have any formal training at it. I have, however, been programming since I was a kid, starting off in 1980 programming in BASIC on a Tandy TRS-80 Model 1. Computers is an avocation that somehow turned into a lucrative vocation that I enjoy. The only formal computer courses I took was way back in 1982, when I went to college for the first time, none of which is really relevant to modern computing.

Since then, all my undergraduate and postgraduate degree work has been in economics and business. I’ve written a book on basic economics. I’ve worked as an economics journalist and writer off and on since 1993, including a 3-year stint with a daily, four-hour radio show on a business and financial radio station in Los Angeles, where I spent a significant portion of every single working day discussing and debating economics live, on the air, with the top business and academic economists in the country. And I’m thinking seriously about retreating a bit from computer work, and finding a part-time undergraduate teaching position in economics and/or business in the next year or so, perhaps at one of the local junior colleges, or one of the off-campus institutions like UoP.

So, when I do a blog post on economics, I’m not simply pulling stuff out of my @ss. I do have an educational and professional background in the field, even though I don’t work in it regularly any more. But I also don’t pick through economic reports to cherry-pick only the stuff that supports my view, and castigate any views that disagree with mine. And when I do choose to cite an authority for support, I choose, you know, an actual authority in the field, not some other guy who has a blog, and an agenda.

The problem with Mr. Lambert’s site is that he rails against DDT constantly, without, as far as I can tell, any background on the subject other than he just doesn’t like DDT. He ridicules scientists who do work in the field, and who happen to disagree with him. He’s not interested in scientific work that shows that DDT, when used appropriately, is an extraordinarily valuable tool for malaria abatement. he doesn’t care that the WHO recommends the use of DDT for indoor spraying. He doesn’t agree with the science showing that the use of nets is not an effective replacement for DDT spraying. That’s not simply "coming to a conclusion" as Brian terms it. That’s coming to the conclusion he wants to come to.

He complains that insects build a resistance to DDT. So what? Insects build a resistance to...well...everything. Parathion. Malathion. Whatever. If you use practically any insecticide, a resistant insect population eventually appears. It’s called natural selection.

By that reasoning, we shouldn’t use any insecticide, ever. So, when it comes to DDT, Mr. Lambert exudes more than a whiff of crankery. As one of the commenters on his blog notes:
Tim Lambert’s endless sniffing out and lambasting of those who claim somewhat inaccurately that DDT has been banned worldwide (instead of just de jure in the USA and de facto elsewhere) whilst himself demanding that there should be a ban seems more than a little perverse.
Yes. It does.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
"We need specifics."

Read a newspaper. Even network news mentions specifics now and then.
In other words, you have nothing.

And that’s the point. Right now a vast majority of the country is not convinced that the stakes in Iraq are "monumental," and instead believe that the war was a mistake. They are split on whether we should get out fast, or if we have a responsibility to leave Iraq in better shape, but there aren’t many who really think this is of fundamental importance to our national interest. Unless that changes, the political pressure will be intense to end the conflict soon, and the 2008 election will see both parties going to where the voters are.

And yet, claims that this is of fundamental national importance are backed up only by vague rhetoric, or something like your evasive "go read a newspaper" comment.

The discussion about Iraq should take place in a framework about American national interest. If it’s in our interest to be there, that argument has to be made. If it is not in our interest, then we should leave. If it’s not in our interest but there are humanitarian reasons to stay there (those who think the killing will be worse if we leave argue that — given how little we are able to stop the killing now, I have doubts about the ’bloodbath if we go’ argument), then we need to rethink our strategy and actively internationalize the effort.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Scott if you have not heard the PoTUS say that regional stability and oil stability based on freedom are not in our best interested YOU haven’t been listing. By the way your UN can save the world mantra, is boring and old. If you believe so strongly in the UN then I would like you to show proof that the US is excluding the "International community" from supporting the IRAQ effort. It’s hard to dialogue with someone who is so emotionally committed to the concept that Iraq is a failure and the US is imperialist.
 
Written By: coaster
URL: http://
"In other words, you have nothing."

Are you seriously arguing that we have no enemies, and that if we have any they are not working against us?
I notice that you have skipped the post "Questioning Carter’s Accuracy". There are none so blind as those who will not see.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Scott if you have not heard the PoTUS say that regional stability and oil stability based on freedom are not in our best interested YOU haven’t been listing. By the way your UN can save the world mantra, is boring and old. If you believe so strongly in the UN then I would like you to show proof that the US is excluding the "International community" from supporting the IRAQ effort. It’s hard to dialogue with someone who is so emotionally committed to the concept that Iraq is a failure and the US is imperialist.
OK, you have at least an assertion there: regional stability and oil stability based on freedom is in our interest (your wording is a bit awkward, I presume that’s what you mean).

Yet almost everyone admits that regional instability has grown because of this conflict, and that also could threaten oil stability. And the assertion itself is vague — and certainly doesn’t posit some kind of "monumental" threat to American security. Finally, the idea that we can spread to other cultures our political beliefs is misguided; democracy is a process, ours had slavery for 80 years and women couldn’t vote for 140. You won’t see the Mideast suddenly brimming with western style democracies any time soon.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

Are you seriously arguing that we have no enemies, and that if we have any they are not working against us?
No, I’m arguing that Iraq does not entail a "monumental or existential threat", and that no one has demonstrated that it is in our national interest to be there.
I notice that you have skipped the post "Questioning Carter’s Accuracy". There are none so blind as those who will not see.
Only a quick read — I’m not impressed, it’s just another attempt by people to try to discredit Carter than deal with his real argument. If you dare criticize Israel, you get attacked personally. I find that disgusting, but luckily the attacks on Carter aren’t very effective; face it, you’re part of a diminishing part of the political spectrum who hasn’t yet quite understood that militarism doesn’t work, and Israel is not blameless. Wake up.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"If you dare criticize Israel, you get attacked personally."

Sort of like criticizing Carter or Kerry.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
So when Tim Lambert writes things like
"DDT is not banned and WHO has always supported its use."; and "The agricultural use of DDT in the US was banned in 1972. Use in public health was not. The Stockholm treaty on Persistent Organic Pollutants permits the use of DDT against malaria. The ban on the agricultural use of DDT has undoubtedly saved lives by slowing the spread of resistance."; and "DDT is a useful tool against malaria and it is being used for that, but it won’t eradicate malaria. Gates is right to fund research into a vaccine and the development of new drugs and insecticides. (We desperately need new drugs and insecticides because the parasites and mosquitoes keep evolving resistance to the ones we have.)" he’s showing he doesn’t care that WHO recommends DDT for indoor spraying; and doesn’t care that DDT is a useful tool for malaria abatement. I see it now.

When he quotes doctors criticizing over-reliance on DDT (http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/09/new_who_malaria_policy_is_oper.php ), who point out things like nets’ portability vs infrastructure required to regularly spray DDT, maybe he is just cherry picking his results — if a doctor working in malaria control has a blog, how could they be worth listening to? But the quoted arguments are a lot more plausible than an intimation that a one-off spraying would eradicate malaria.

I gave a direct link to all of Tim Lambert’s writings on DDT, conveniently categorized by his blogging software. You can go and read his entries in their entirety; there aren’t that many of them. His position is pretty much nothing like what Dale says.

(And I did miss any mention of your economics background, Dale, when I looked around for your background; my bad).
 
Written By: Brian
URL: http://

 
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