Wednesday, December 06, 2006

WE CAN'T WAIT UNTIL 2008 TO BRING THE TROOPS HOME

Here is a post from a friend, a Paratrooper stationed in Iraq: "All of us wont be out of here for some time. It wont be a full withdrawal for some years. You have to pay attention to their definitions and nuance. Combat troops: I dont really know what this means but the media has been slinging this phrase around re: "pull out all combat troops." First of all troop refers to a member of a Cavalry unit which are a minority of Army units, and two we are all over here in combat which would give everyone over here the first part of that moniker. But what they mean is pull out all Line tactical units aka Combat Arms personnel (Infantry/Armor/Cav/Arty/Engineers), which would leave Combat Support and Service Support (Logisitcs, Mechanics, MPs, MI, Medics etc.), to do what????? Drive convoys to supply Iraqi units on routes secured only by Iraqis with a few embedded American trainers? That seems like a bullshit proposition to me. They're trying to make it sound like we'll all be out of here by 2008 but I sincerely doubt it. We'll have PTTs and MTTs here for sometime and we have to build up there logistics infrastructure which takes more than one year. It briefs well and sounds great but I'm not counting out another deployment to Iraq." ANGER MANAGEMENT

When the good guys won back Congress, I felt as if we had awakened from a terrible nightmare, and there was hope again. But half-measures avail us nothing. We cannot stand by and let our troops be killed for the bully-dictator's ego. I am proud of the Iraq Study Group, but will wait to hear from Robert Dreyfuss (who has a cover story in this weeks NATION.) Dreyfuss was there today at Congress, and at the White House press conference and he has some wisdom on how this will pan out.

Here is a photo of Larry Johnson, of Kokomo Indiana, taken on my trip there with Robert Dreyfuss. I have an article in today's "Perspective on Labor" issue. I'll have a monthly column in the Kokomo Perspective starting in January.

THANK YOU TO ALL my BLOGGERS called in on Sunday. You guys are incredible, and I feel so lucky to have such a great support system. The show I did was BARRY GORDON FROM LEFT FIELD with Arianna Huffington, Congresswoman Holtzman and Swannee Hunt.
Here's the archive link: DEC 3 SHOW ARCHIVE
Here's the direct podcast link: PODCASTmp3 I am on in the 3rd hour, after Arianna.

Ten more U.S. troops died today. Ten innocent American lives. On NPR last night I heard of one young soldier who was on his third tour of duty, on his way home, and he was killed in a roadside explosion. This is too much to bear. And thinking about Bush having the gall to ask James Webb about his son, and then ordering Webb not to respond in a way that made the dictator "uncomfortable," is just too much.

864 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:28 PM

    Like I said in the last thread, I think the Baker Commission is a group convened by Bush's dad to help his son crawl out of this mess. Look who they picked. ALL were original supporters of the war. Many are close friends of Bush and Cheney, like Alan Simpson and James Baker himself. James Baker is a life long family friend and also has extensive business interests with the Bush's. And this is what they call an "independent bi-partisan commisssion"?

    Give me a break.

    But the good news is James Baker wasn't going to let his legacy be sucking up to George Junior. He's there because he is doing the father a favor, not the son. And he's trying to bail out the republican party. As for the fate of the Iraqi people I doubt he gives a damn. His goal is to try and salvage some semblence of dignity for the Bush family name.

    Why do you think George Sr broke down yesterday? Guilt, remorse, shame.

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  2. Lydia, in 1968 after the fire fights and counter attacks of TET had died down, the pentagon took stock in what was the real situation on the ground in Vietnam, it was a report that became known as the Pentagon Papers(When the NYT's printed them), and the low down was they could not win in South Vietnam militarily the strategic objective of preventing the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese army from attacking when and where they chose.

    That was 1968, it was not until the beginning of Richard Nixon's second term in 1973 the END of the Vietnam War was begun with a cease fire and moves by the US to remove the rest of it's troops out of that country.

    In between those two time frames we went through a period that is known as the Vietnamisation Stage of that war. And MORE soldiers gave their Lives in that stage than were killed when the pentagon brass thought they could win.

    The ISG has just forced the reality in IRAQ TET did in Vietnam. In fact a good part of their recommendations could be called Iraqification of this War. They want to train an army in Iraq to fight the insurgents, just like they tried to train and equip the ARVN soldiers in Vietnam between 1968 and 1973.

    Do not expect the people who LIED to get the war started, to change their spots and become HONEST all of a sudden. They went in to that country for a purpose, and WMD's and Democracy are just the fig leaf they put on it.

    The second stage of a failed counter insurgency where we are trying to force our ideals and economic policies on a foreign people is the stage where we explain we are training them to fight where we used to fight with our soldiers.

    Too much of what was recommended requires the Sunni insurgents and Shiite Militias to behave in some form, because if they keep ramping up their attacks and evolving their tactics, we will never get to the point where the Iraqi's are adequately trained for them to take over.

    Bush is receiving some good cover for moving the deck chairs around this Hindenburg he launched in 2003. As long as he can fly this Hindenburg I expect Bush to think he can safely get it back to the original purpose. It may be in flames and unsteerable, but the ISG gave Bush a good lift for at least six months.

    He can reshuffle the Army units into training the Iraqis and state they are working along fine, but with NO solid time lines, what do WE use as a measure if they are being honest or successful?

    He could request patience for the next six to nine months, and then try to extend it. what could we say, the Baker Group gave him a "new" strategy and he is simply trying to work it out with his NEW Sec of Def. In fact they suggest a temporary ramp up of troops to attempt to stabilize the situation.

    This would get him past the beginning of the new year and into the next congress who want to do a lot, but FIRST have to finish this years budget, nine approbations bills, everything for the US Government operations except for Defense and Homeland Security. That will make early investigations harder, and Bob Gates is not the one to ask for much for a few months as he realigns the top of the pentagon for him, and tries to remove Rumsfeld's holdovers.

    Cheney is biding his time, Iran is not going away, and the attempt by Condi to achieve a diplomatic fiat is failing, so Iran and the situation there could overtake the MSM cameras and columns, with Israel and Lebanon as a safe diversion if necessary.

    I for one am NOT very hopeful, if you hadn't figured it out yet. I believe they basic approach by Bush ET AL has NOT changed, and they still want to achieve the goals they sent Bremer to set the Iraqi government up to create.

    They have a good way to stay the course by changing how they describe the course. It is no longer victory in direct combat, but just as in the late summer of 1968 and especially the spring of 1969, Vietnamisation and Peace with Honor became the new war, which used the same troops to fight it and Domino Theory as justification. We are still fighting them over there, so we do not have to fight them here, just we are trying to get the Iraqi troops to fight in our place someday just as we tried to get the Vietnamese troops to do.

    Bush has shown he is willing to say anything whether he believes it or not, and to LIE if it serves his purposes. Those around him except for Rumsfeld have not changed, but have NEW code words for hiding what they want to achieve in Iraq. Expect all of them to use the ISG report exactly as they used 9-11, for their purposes and as cynically as possible.

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  3. Anonymous11:39 PM

    Are they concered with whats best for America? Sure. As long as it does not involve making the President look too bad.

    The problem for Bush is though, is that just the truth, no matter how watered down in this report, makes Bush look not just bad, but terrible. Bush JUST got through saying how we are winning in Iraq. Cheney just got through saying full steam ahead.

    And now a so called bi-partisan panel made up of family friends and right leaning sympathetic conservative liberals tells him he got it all wrong, and everything he's been trying to sell us is wrong. If he is to follow their recommendations it means a complete 180 on his policies so far. It means talking to people he swore he'd never talk to, under conditions he swore he'd never agree to. There is no good plan for Bush here to correlate the commissions report with what he's been saying. And perhaps thats fitting. After all, by going into Iraq he put us in a situation with no good options either. Bout time he got a taste of his own medicine.

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  4. All of us wont be out of here for some time. It wont be a full withdrawal for some years. You have to pay attention to their definitions and nuance.
    Combat troops: I dont really know what this means but the media has been slinging this phrase around re: "pull out all combat troops." First of all troop refers to a member of a Cavalry unit which are a minority of Army units, and two we are all over here in combat which would give everyone over here the first part of that moniker. But what they mean is pull out all Line tactical units aka Combat Arms personnel (Infantry/Armor/Cav/Arty/Engineers), which would leave Combat Support and Service Support (Logisitcs, Mechanics, MPs, MI, Medics etc.), to do what????? Drive convoys to supply Iraqi units on routes secured only by Iraqis with a few embedded American trainers? That seems like a bullshit proposition to me.
    They're trying to make it sound like we'll all be out of here by 2008 but I sincerely doubt it. We'll have PTTs and MTTs here for sometime and we have to build up there logistics infrastructure which takes more than one year. It briefs well and sounds great but I'm not counting out another deployment to Iraq.

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  5. Here is a good article which addresses Lydia's question;

    Baker and Hamilton and Hope

    While I cannot muster a full analysis of the Iraq Study Group Report, below are some off the cuff reactions. I will generally leave out the many points I agree with, other than to comment that I was pleasantly surprised by the Report's realistic and hard-headed take, having expected more sugar-coating to placate Bush.

    There's also something almost touchingly idealistic and optimistic about the Report, which lays out a lot of really difficult-to-accomplish and probably far-fetched goals in plain terms that makes them sound achievable.

    The New Diplomatic Offensive

    In arguing for a "diplomatic offensive" (personally I would leave out the offensive part), the Report's claim is that Iran and Syria have an interest in avoiding a chaotic Iraq. But is this motivation more powerful than their incentive in seeing the US continue to stew alone in its juices in Iraq when our Iraqi preoccupation, as the Report acknowledges, stands in the way of our aggressively confronting, for example, Iran's nuclear program? The Report suggests that Iran will look bad if it stands aloof from a regional process, but they'll undoubtedly couch the refusal to play so that it sounds like we refused to engage them on their own terms.

    As for other regional neighbors, like Saudi Arabia, who are more favorably disposed toward the US, I am skeptical that they'll be willing to assume the risks associated with aggressive border patrols, providing military assistance, and the other kinds of support suggested in recommendation #2. It would be great if it happened, but I don't think we have the leverage to force it, and I don't see these countries coming to our aid voluntarily right now.

    I have the same fear re the UNSC P5 and countries like Germany and Japan. The threat posed to them by a failed state in Iraq is pretty remote, and the Bush Administration has yet to eat the kind of humble pie that would be required to induce them to lend a serious hand. They won't refuse to participate, but once at the table getting concrete commitments will be slow and difficult. Knowing that this will be a very tough sell in capitals, will Bush be willing to attempt it at the risk of failure? Unclear.

    The Report also argues, on p 44, that the morass of Middle East issues - Iran, Israel-Palestine, Lebanon etc. are inextricably linked and must all be addressed in the context of a regional diplomatic initiative to enlist help on Iraq. But while I agree completely that the US should play - and has in recent years wrongly abdicated - a leadership role in mediating between Israel and the Palestinians and Arabs, the case for the near-term linkage between such efforts and a resolution in Iraq is not made clear.

    Prospects that a lame duck, widely discredited Bush Administration can successfully broker an Israel-Palestine settlement in this environment (Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, etc.) are at best remote. The Report suggests that nonetheless the credit the US will get for trying will have a material positive impact on Iraq's neighbor's willingness to cooperate with us. I doubt it, and frankly wonder whether the Administration has the leverage, bandwidth or energy to mount a MEPP effort right now (particularly given the parallel need for renewed efforts in Afghanistan). They made several half-hearted such attempts in the early days of their first term only to retreat once progress proved difficult, and my fear is a renewed push would similarly sputter out.

    Moving on to recommendations 20 onward which deal with, in layman's terms, the Iraqi government's (in)ability to get its act together, the Report resorts to the suggestion that its simply a matter of the Iraqi government's willingness to pull itself up by its bootstraps. But the introductory section of the Report details al-Maliki's dependence on Sadr and other factors that make it clear that he can't push through things like a reverse de-Baathification law without risking his life, his government or both.

    Likewise on oil revenue, the Report calls for a population-based formula for sharing the wealth, despite an earlier conclusion that some essential predicates for such a system - such as a reliable census - don't exist in Iraq and won't for some time.

    In the section on military operations (recommendation 40 onward) its unclear what exactly the incentive is for the Iraqi government to get its act together, since we're pledging to leave if they do or if they don't. Personally I don't believe that the obstacle to greater Iraqi control over conditions on the ground is lack of incentive, but the Study Group seems to think that is a factor, so their proposal to leave in either scenario is confusing. The idea may be that the prospect of continuing economic aid helps drive the Iraqi government to forge reconciliation to an extent not yet seen.

    One under-addressed point in this section is the raging popular mistrust of Iraqi security forces and perceptions of sectarianism. This won't be resolved with larger numbers or more training. The introduction to the Report addresses this, referencing the infiltration of the Iraqi police by the Badr Brigade. Yet the recommendations section leaves out how to address it.

    Overall, there seems to be a disconnect between the time it will take to continue to get the Iraqi military up to speed given the shortcomings the Report sites, and the Q1 2008 departure date set out for all US combat troops. The reality seems to be the our departure will leave a gaping, essentially unfillable in the medium-term security gap. This may not be a reason to stay, but it needs to be faced.

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  6. Anonymous12:08 AM

    Good to see you Marcus. Missed you lately. Yea, I don't see this as getting everyone home in its recommendations either, but I have a hunch it is going to act as the catalyst for more drastic changes other than what is recommended in the report. The report does one thing that it tried so hard not to do. It condemns the Bush policy, and Americans are starting to ask why their sons and daughters need to stay there, if we already know we messed up.

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  7. Anonymous12:21 AM

    BTW, its a good thing Lydia said thats you Larry.

    I thought that was Danny Bonaduce. :P

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  8. Worfeus, I see Bush using this report the same way he use the 9-11 commission, push what he really wants in the form of a suggestion or two in the report even if they do not match up.

    He has never listened to the American people up to now, and has shown a stubborn streak that comes close to being a form of psychosis. This report is a form of cover for him, because a lot of it could be used by very cynical people to make their former stay the course into parts of the suggestions of the report. Also Gates has been a Bush family yes man for years. He will make a show of "changing the course" setting fuzzy goals and changing the tune the pentagon signs, but the major parts of this tragic play has NOT changed.

    They will still try to create a "democratic" government which allows the "laws" of the CPA to become the laws of Iraq. They will still try to find a way to keep the bases like Balad they have spent billions building to American spec's. They will never give up on the Green Zone or the embassy the size of the Vatican in the middle of Baghdad.

    And to way too many Iraqis that will still smack of American Imperialism, so the troops will remain for years, maybe not 140,00 but tens of thousands of them.

    Preforming Duties for the neo-cons ideal of American dominance in that region. Dominance for further operations which if people like Daniel Ellsburg are right might not be that far off.

    Bush is all around this report, but the policy up to this point has been Cheney's much more than Bush's. Bush was the public face for the photo ops, but Cheney was Dr Frankenstein on this monster.

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  9. Anonymous12:31 AM

    If he does they'll impeach him Clif. I really think he has no room left to wriggle. Sometimes the people wake up slow but once they do then the games over.

    I think this report has pretty much ended his reign.

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  10. Anonymous12:42 AM

    Monday marked the day that we had been in Iraq longer than we were in all of World War II.

    That's right. We were able to defeat all of Nazi Germany, Mussolini, and the entire Japanese empire in LESS time than it's taken the world's only superpower to secure the road from the airport to downtown Baghdad.

    And we haven't even done THAT. After 1,347 days, in the same time it took us to took us to sweep across North Africa, storm the beaches of Italy, conquer the South Pacific, and liberate all of Western Europe, we cannot, after over 3 and 1/2 years, even take over a single highway and protect ourselves from a homemade device of two tin cans placed in a pothole. No wonder the cab fare from the airport into Baghdad is now running around $35,000 for the 25-minute ride. And that doesn't even include a friggin' helmet.

    Is this utter failure the fault of our troops? Hardly. That's because no amount of troops or choppers or democracy shot out of the barrel of a gun is ever going to "win" the war in Iraq. It is a lost war, lost because it never had a right to be won, lost because it was started by men who have never been to war, men who hide behind others sent to fight and die.


    Michael Moore

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  11. Worfeus I am not as hopeful as you are, the republicans have 49 senators + Joe Lieberman to get the tie breaker to Dick Cheney on very sticky issues.

    Impeachment is gonna be HARD if Bush has Gates running an operation like he ran as Bill Casey's #2 at CIA during the real dirty part of Iran Contra.

    Bush could get Jim Baker to act as a special envoy for him in the region, which means Baker could still run cover for the Attempt to keep the CPA goals operative, in fact the recommendation is even in the report;

    By the end of 2006–early 2007:

    *Approval of the Provincial Election Law and setting an
    election date

    *Approval of the Petroleum Law

    *Approval of the De-Baathification Law

    *Approval of the Militia Law


    page 62

    The Oil Law, is the one that L Paul Bremer wrote very early as part of the CPA package, and he wrote it must be part of the Iraqi legal code, which is a real part of the reason for the invasion in the first place.

    and this;

    GOVERNANCE
    By the end of 2006:

    *The Central Bank of Iraq will raise interest rates to 20
    percent and appreciate the Iraqi dinar by 10 percent to
    combat accelerating inflation.

    *Iraq will continue increasing domestic prices for refined petroleum
    products and sell imported fuel at market prices.


    what does THIS have to do with calming the situation?

    Raising prices by the end of THIS year, when over 50% of the population has NO real job?

    I wonder why the Baker Group even worried about this?

    20% interest rates?

    Remember stagflation, 21% was as bad as it ever got here, and Baker ET AL thinks that will stabilize a poor unemployed people?

    Neo-cons to the end.

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  12. In fact they Bush administration could create a sensation for much cover if they asked Jim Baker to work on Iraq, at the same time ask Bill Clinton to work on the Palestinian Israeli problem. That would get everybody to focus on hopes that Clinton could achieve in 2006 what slipped through his hands in 2000. Clinton couldn't resist, and it would provide Bush with a very large Bi-partisan cover, because he would appear to opening up, but Baker is doing almost exactly what they have been attempting all along, and IF Clinton achieves any real success, Bush would get the Historical credit, and say the war in Iraq made it all possible.

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  13. They do not care much about real democracy inn Iraq NOW, just the passage of the oil law, Bremer wrote, and if Clinton could achieve any progress that would take Iraq off the front pages for a while, and the Arabs might even try to ramp down the insurgents to see IF Clinton could succeed.

    There are many ways for the Bush Administration to turn this into a coup for them, if they play it right, IN fact I'll bet Karl Rove is spinning this all night.

    Baker has street cred with most of the region, even Syria. Clinton with both the Israelis and Palestinians. That would give them some maneuver room and time to work.

    At the same time Gates has some knowledge of Iran where he could try to revive old acquaintances, and maybe work out something in Iraq.

    If they could pull anything out of a situation like this, Bush could revive his status from worst president ever.

    Could you see him standing between the Palistinians and Israeli leadership, while they made a peace deal, like Jimmy Carter did with the Egypt.

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  14. The real variable is NOT even in Washington, but Ramadi, Basra, Baghdad, the remnants of Fallugha, Tikrit, Balad, and other places around Iraq, because if the Iraqi sectarians do not allow the time for Bush to adjust, and the time for the US to change strategy, the suggestions will turn out to be too little way too late.

    In a way the Iraqis are holding a lighter to large parts of this report if they keep ramping up the violence as they have this fall.

    And if the undercut the Government, or attack the green zone in a large scale operation, a lot of the report has been turned to ashes in NO time.

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  15. Well Clif, I agree that it appears that Bush is buying time and still trying to achieve his original goals, but I am glad we are headed in a somewhat new direction and Bush's former strategies, catch phrases and talking points are being discredited.

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  16. TomPaine said...
    clif said...
    People like Dolty Boy complain about how Iraq was reported, but the ISG report shows it was slanted to KEEP the bad news out.


    In addition, there is significant underreporting of the violence
    in Iraq.

    ISG page 94

    You dont even hear about 1/2 the shit that goes on over here. Sure you get the reports on MAJOR stuff that happens in Baghdad, but there is stuff that happens all the time that doesnt get reported. I wait to see reporting on the repeated huge attacks here in Ramadi but they NEVER make the news. Just imagine that on a scale throughout the entire country. It's gotten so bad that in order for it to make the news a minimum of 4 Americans or 20 Iraqis must die. You're not getting the whole story as much as the tinfoil hat wearing conservatives like to think the "Liberal" media is out to get the President and everyone of his policies. Any attack occuring outside the Green Zone has to be pretty dynamic to make it on the news.

    11:26 PM

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  17. I agree about bringing the troops home now, Lydia, the trouble is, the jackass in the Oval Office has final say.

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  18. Mike, I am on a business trip (Seattle).

    I just listened to the podcast. BG, nice of you to call in, but you couldn't quite artcilate your thoughts. Clif, you sounded like you just walked off the set of the movie Deliverance. Did Jeff Foxworthy use you as inspiration for his redneck jokes?

    Otherwise, good show. Lydia sounded lovely (as usual), but the rest of you, well... Seems like every caller was from this blog.

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  19. Ellen Snortland sounded fine too. Did they change her name for show biz reasons?

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  20. Anonymous9:55 AM

    TT is travelling and he took the time to drop in and insult everyone. Now thats dedication.

    But every call was NOT from this Blog TT. As usual you have your facts wrong. They took Gary's call over other ones because he was in England. Clif was the first to call in, but the lady that called in, Mary I think they said her name was, is not a blog member and has not posted in here.

    But thanks for insulting everyone and trying to diminish and belittle Lydia's efforts.

    You're a tribute to your cause.

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  21. Anonymous9:59 AM

    Hey TT, I've heard that in Texass you have to watch your own ass. Is that true? You guys a little too "friendly" down there?

    I've heard when you're in Texass look behind you.....cause thats where the rangers gonna be.

    Is that true?

    Are they talking about "rump rangers"?

    Just curious.

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  22. Carl said"
    Mike,

    It's hard to say the British media is more objective (and less scandalous...ever read The Sun? LOL!), as much as it's accurate to say the British media presents ALL viewpoints across several diverse publications, and leaves it to the consumer to sort it all out.

    See, in America, the news media are dominated by a handful of right wing corporations who make it their business to insert their viewpoints into the news.

    This means anything you read, with one or two exceptions, is going to be right wing pablum. Period. The only liberal media is Air America Radio, perhaps the Village Voice and Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and one or two other newspapers.

    And if your fortunate to have DISH, you can get Free Speech TV and LinkTV. Independent progressive media at its finest and the single reason you should drop cable right now.

    The main stream media is beholden to the ad dollar which means its beholden to the entertainment division which means its beholden to the network. You will never get honest, unbiased news from a profit-driven outlet. You will ALWAYS get your news filtered thru a corporatist, Republican screen.

    GO read mediamatters.org, or FAIR.org for a few thousand examples of this. THe right wing has nothing comparable, not even AIM, which has had to resort to "inferences and implications" to present a wholly inaccurate view that the media has a "liberal bias".

    Utter bullshit, as any thinking person would see in a minute."

    great post, right on the money!

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  23. Worf, i'm glad you commented on Troll Tex's post, i was going to say basically the same thing but now i wont waste my time.

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  24. Hey TT, i'm going to be in Austin on business next week, i'd kind of like to see what a slimy political operative like you actually looks like...............i picture a Karl Rove wannabe/

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  25. Clif, I am in complete agreement with your 11:28PM post............however the thing that is different now that gives me some hope is that The Dems have taken Congress and now there will be some oversight and checks and balances, the other is that the MSM is no longer playing dead and the fact that the Neo Cons are discredited and we have a lame duck president should embolden them more to call BS and expose Bush for what he is a corrupt liar and a big hat with no cattle, no one is afraid of these fools anymore hopefully Rove will be in the unemployment line soon because America has spoken and said they dont want HIS type of politics or campaigns.

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  26. Anonymous10:44 AM

    Clif is worried about the Lieberman vote, and well he should be. Lieberman could give a crap about the troops or the Iraqi people.

    He will make it about him, and he will try and make the dems pay for shunning him. But its not about him, and I am hoping that some good republicans or at least some smart ones will vote with the dems and make Lieberman the slug irrelevant.

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  27. WORFEUS the Sailorman said...
    Hey TT, I've heard that in Texass you have to watch your own ass. Is that true? You guys a little too "friendly" down there?


    Only two things come out of Texas: steers and queers.

    I ain't seein' any horns on TT...

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  28. He's worried about Loserman for an attempted impeachment, but I think he's right that Bush's appointment of Gates and the ISG report along with Baker's involvement is a way to buy time and deflect the heat by making it "APPEAR" to be a change in policy and direction while he really just stays the course but changes semantics and terninology and appears more reasonable by saying things are bad instead of spewing BS like we are making great progress, or the insurgency is in its last throes....................BUSH doesnt want to admit his mistakes and wants to try to salvage his legacy............i just hope congress holds his feet to the fire and provides oversight and accountability to this administration because it sure needs it.

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  29. Well TT sure was a big fan of and aweful cozy with Ken Mehlman LOL :D

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  30. Mike, no worries here. Mehlman is not a friend, but I did meet him once at a fundraiser.

    His personal life is his own.

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  31. "WORFEUS the Sailorman said...
    Hey TT, I've heard that in Texass you have to watch your own ass. Is that true? You guys a little too "friendly" down there?

    I've heard when you're in Texass look behind you.....cause thats where the rangers gonna be.

    Is that true?

    Are they talking about "rump rangers"?

    Just curious."

    I have no idea if that's true, but ask BG since he is the bisexual here. (AT least that's what Ive heard.)

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  32. INCOMING CONGRESS PREPARES TO LAUNCH 'OPERATION SURRENDER'

    by Ann Coulter

    December 6, 2006

    The "bipartisan" Iraq panel has recommended that Iran and Syria can help stabilize Iraq. You know, the way Germany and Russia helped stabilize Poland in '39.

    Now that Democrats have won the House, they can concentrate on losing the war. Despite all the phony conservative Democrats who got elected as gun-totin' hawks, the Democrats will uniformly vote to dismantle every aspect of the war on terrorism. They've started a runaway train and can't stop it now.

    The Democratic base is at a fever pitch with visions of storm troopers listening to their phone calls and ruthlessly torturing innocent accountants at Guantanamo, where the average inmate has his own lawyer, his own prayer rug and is wondering what to do about that extra weight — known as the "Gitmo 20" — he's put on since being captured. They are oddly copacetic about actual storm troopers' daily harassment of actual citizens at airport security checkpoints. Liberals have no problem with government oppression as long as it's mandatory and applied equally to all Americans.

    In a broadcast on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, NBC's Matt Lauer tried to nail down the Manhattan portion of his audience by aggressively questioning President Bush about the possible use of "waterboarding" against terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Lauer said ominously, "It's been reported that with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he was what they call 'waterboarded.'"

    At NBC, they apparently expected most Americans to react to this fact by exclaiming: They did WHAT to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? Wait — are you sure about that? OK, that's it. I will never vote Republican again!

    President Bush refused to discuss techniques used on terrorists, saying, "We don't want the enemy to adjust." But Americans "need to know," he said, "we're using techniques within the law to protect them."

    While normal people would be happy if we were using cattle prods on the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Lauer was testy about the possible use of waterboarding against him. "I don't want to let this 'within the law' issue slip," he said.

    "I mean, if, in fact, there was waterboarding used with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — and for the viewers, that's basically you strap someone to a board, and you make them feel as if they're going to drown. You put them under water. If that was legal and within the law, why couldn't you do it at Guantanamo? Why'd you have to go to a secret location around the world?"

    In point of fact, we strap people to wooden boards and make them feel like they're drowning all the time in this country. Mostly at theme parks like Six Flags.

    Bush again said he wasn't going to talk about techniques. But Lauer's relentless grilling was getting to him. If he'd been at Gitmo, at this point Bush would have demanded a lawyer, another copy of the Quran and a couple of chocolate eclairs.

    Lauer continued to pester the president, demanding to know whether these "alternative techniques you use ... if they are used, are you at all concerned that at some point, even if you get results, there's a blurring the lines of — between ourselves and the people we're trying to protect us against?"

    Hey, I forget: When did Khalid Sheikh Mohammed use aggressive interrogation techniques against a known mass murderer in an effort to thwart another 9/11-style attack on thousands of innocent civilians?

    There are few better examples of how out of touch liberals are. They go right to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and expect Americans to be outraged that he may have been waterboarded.

    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks and is believed to have played a role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the Bali nightclub bombings, the filmed beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, a thwarted 2002 attack on a bank tower in Los Angeles, and Operation Bojinka, a plot to blow up 11 commercial airliners simultaneously. Oh, and he took home the coveted "world's craziest terrorist" prize at al-Qaida's end-of-season office party last year.

    I think waterboarding should be a reward for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: OK, you've been good, Mohammed, we're only going to waterboard you today. Let's get you out of those cold electrodes and onto a nice, warm waterboard, OK?

    Now that they're our new best friends, how about we turn to Iran and Syria for help on our interrogation techniques?

    anncoulter.com

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  33. Worf, my kidding is just that: kidding. Don't take it too seriously.

    I did compliment Lydia. No matter my poltical disagreements with her, I've decided that she gets enough grief from lots of others here that I won't add to it.

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  34. Nice to see Tiny is spewing :LIARS again, criminals who claim they are SON STUPID they do not know where to vote.

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  35. Sean Hannity the GUY who on the AIR slanders gays, but runs a website FOR money so they can meet, nicely hypocritical of him, money OVER his supposed moral standards eh TINY?

    Nothing like saying ONE thing to the sheeple who listen to him, but do another for the almighty buck.

    Good hypocritical repugnant friends you got there son.

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  36. BTW son what about the fact Anny Tranny admitted (s)he undercut Paula Jones case when Paula actually stood a GOOD chance for a real settlement just so your favorite LIAR and criminal could get what IT wanted, nice to see IT is NOT a real HONEST Lawyer after all.

    Nice to see IT will break the oath to defend the rights of the client ABOVE any personal motives.

    Nice to see HOWE slimy the useless foole really is.

    Nice to see you still think people like these two (and people LIKE them) are still part of YOUR moral compass son.

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  37. Clif, you made the same point on that CB radio show, but got any proof?

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  38. Didnt Coulter's hero GWB appoint Gates who agrees with the Iraq panel which I would hardly call bi partisan since it consists of mostly Bush 41 loyalists trying to save the repug party from morons like GWB, Cheney, Coulter and you.

    are you or Coulter trying to say that the Bush appointed Sec of Def Gates, or James Baker and the ISG are incomptent traitors and cowards????????/

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  39. Come on TT, i'm curious to hear if you support the ISG and Gates or feel that Bush is appointing and listening to incompetent traitors?

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  40. Tiny, IT admitted it in print before, so deal with the fact you spewed for Limpballs BEFORE he admitted ON AIR he lied, and NOW you wanna play games, well son, she admitted it, so deal with it.

    You assclowns went after Bill Clinton for lying, but at the same time, Newt Gingrich was having an affair on his second wife, and Bob Livingstone was guilty of what they were trying to impeach Bill Clinton for, and Anny Tranny had to violate the oath of ethics of a lawyer to keep Paula Jones from settling, deal with the fact YOU run around with some pretty deceitful assholes.

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  41. CLif, your premise is faulty.

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  42. BTW son did you HEAR the DIXIE CHICKS got FIVE NOMINATIONS FOR THE GRAMMYS , they must be doing something RIGHT.

    The Idiot in the White House, according to the ISG....Not so much eh son?

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  43. I really do NOT give a rats as what YOU think Texan boy

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  44. So TT do you support the ISG findings or the idiot in Chief's failed stay the course policies.

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  45. "clif said...
    BTW son did you HEAR the DIXIE CHICKS got FIVE NOMINATIONS FOR THE GRAMMYS , they must be doing something RIGHT.

    The Idiot in the White House, according to the ISG....Not so much eh son?

    11:58 AM"

    You are REALLY reaching there, Clif. Grammy Awards are given for musical talent.

    Time for you to milk the goats.

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  46. are you a Neo Con Tt or a mainstream repug like Baker, Gates or Bush 41..................which is it Troll Tex?

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  47. You have BEEN SO WRONG on so much, BTW when you gonna verify you sent the DNC the money you offered if the Dems won BOTH the House, LIKE THEY DID, and senate, LIKE THEY DID....when you gonna do what you said you were gonna do Big Man?

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  48. BTW Foole I do not need to milk the goats little boy, I had a good disability program son.

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  49. BTW son, how about Mary Cheney undercutting the STUPID repugs again?

    She's gonna have a BABY, ain't it grand?

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  50. I made Worf a wager offer and he turned it down. End of story.

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  51. Kind of hard for the idiot Cheney and his screech owl wife to slam the Gays on that one eh Tiny?

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  52. No TT I made you a wager and you accepted, if you didnt delete it the post is orobably still there.

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  53. You said "I accept!"

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  54. NO asswipe, YOU said after you would sent the check, but as usual a repug renigs when it is THEIR money or life eh son?

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  55. Gutless little troll, can't defend the country, or back up his BIG words, now they seem so small and STUPID.

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  56. See TT you ORIGINALY said the dems only had to take one of the houses then you changed the bet as you went along and said both and finally i accepted your questionably revised bet you you acknowledged that you accepted as well.

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  57. Mike, you asked if my original offer was open, and I said that it was. However, the offer was directed to Worf and he declined.

    Go search the records if you want.

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  58. Tiny a gutless chicken hawk who can not even keep his word let alone serve to defend the country when HE says it is so important....real Big Texan Pussy you are boy.

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  59. If we search the records then your post where you said "I accept" should still be there............. if you didnt delete it.

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  60. Clif answer this one question: Did you and I enter into a wager agreement?

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  61. Sorry pussy boy But that is another of your GUTLESS distractions son.

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  62. When YOU gonna be a real MAN and back up your words PUSSY?

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  63. if neither of us accepted your wager TT, what exactly were YOU accepting, you know damn straight you lost....................it was a balsy call on my part as the odds CLEARLY favored you but i had a strong feeling the nation would speak loud and clear they were sick and tired of repug misrule and corruption and i was right.

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  64. When you gonna put YOUR ass on the line GUTLESS?

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  65. Clif, what's gutless is you trying to say that you and I had a bet when we didn't.

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  66. i'll let you off the hook easy TT you can donate $5000 to Lydia to promote her upcoming books and speaking engagements and publicity that way we wont need to see a canceled check to verify you kept your word.

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  67. No TT, you and I had a bet, clif and Worf were not involved.

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  68. "Mike said...
    if neither of us accepted your wager TT, what exactly were YOU accepting, you know damn straight you lost....................it was a balsy call on my part as the odds CLEARLY favored you but i had a strong feeling the nation would speak loud and clear they were sick and tired of repug misrule and corruption and i was right.

    12:12 PM"

    Mike, if lost a legit bet, I'd pay up, but before we get to that point, show me (quote the actual text) that shows that entered into a bet with anyone.

    (And I didn't delete any posts either.)

    Now you too, run along and find the text.

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  69. TT you still havent answered WHAT you were saying you accepted if you werent accepting my wager.........................the wheels must be turning OT to lie your way out of this one.

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  70. Hey the October threads are gone, any idea how we can find them to look for the quotes?

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  71. My original wager offer was to Worf. You asked if it was still open. I said yes. Worf never agreed to the bet, hence there was no wager agreement. Got it?

    If I'm wrong, I'll send 10K to the DNC, but I don't think I am wrong.

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  72. your original wager was the dems only had to take one of the houses..................so you are saying you reverted to your original offer again?

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  73. You son ARE wrong because you left it OPEN to all, pony up and back up your BIG mouth son.

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  74. "clif said...
    You son ARE wrong because you left it OPEN to all, pony up and back up your BIG mouth son.

    12:25 PM"

    Show me where I said that. The wager was to Worf, who declined.

    Lydia's archives go back to 2005, so why would October 2006 be missing?

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  75. go look September and October are missing and many of the earlier archives only have one blog in them.

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  76. Nice dodge son, but your quibbling son.

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  77. Your trying to wiggle OUT of a bet you should have never made son, the country is tired of FOOLES like you son and the said so LOUDLY Nov 7th, so grow a set son, pony up and PAY your bets son.

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  78. See son it is the only HONORABLE thing to do, pay the wager you so STUPIDLY made son.

    You put it out there son, Mike accepted, so PAY UP SON.

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  79. I'm sure Howard Dean would appreciate it, and would even give you a free scream son.

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  80. Clif, you are trying to create a wager that never existed. Had Worf accepted, the DNC would have had my 10K many weeks ago. I DO honor my bets.

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  81. You repugs USED to play that moment so much even looping it to make it longer, YOU must love HIS screams so he proly would give you a free one for HONORING your word.

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  82. Clif said "Mike accepted, so PAY UP SON."

    Mike can't accept a wager offer directed to Worf. Nice try.

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  83. NO YOU DO NOT PUSSY

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  84. I clearly remember you saying "I accept" TT, if there was no wager why would you say "I accept" the wager?

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  85. You are just another LYING repug, and we all can see it NOW.

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  86. No wonder YOPU like the dishonorable trollip and fat limp Liar.

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  87. Mike, Tiny is another LYING REPUG, typical, gutless and dishonest, what else would you expect out of a repug?

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  88. TT you changed your wager midstream to the dems had to take both houses i asked you for about 3 weeks to go back to your original offer of either house and you refused saying yoour current bet that the dems had to take both houses was open to anyone and eventually i accepted.

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  89. He has spent so much time HERE spewing repug LIES he can no longer see the truth, and will NEVER back up his BIG MOUTH.

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  90. Until you pay up boy your Lying Tiny.

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  91. If our recollections differ, then you need to go back and get the actual text, which you have, so far, failed to do for some curious reason.

    Heck, ask Lydia to go through her email since all posts are emailed to her. I'm sure our exchanges are recorded SOMEWHERE.

    I really don't care about the money, but I won't be suckered into paying off a bet that was never made.

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  92. Lying Tiny is a gutless dishonest repug troll, HOW TYPICAL.

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  93. No son you will NOT back up YOUR bets typical big mouth but NO back up, the reason you screech about the war but allow somebody else to fight it in your place.

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  94. like I said those threads are no longer there for some reason, but even if they were it would take some time to search through about 4 weeks of posts to find them.

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  95. Clif, it's real simple: show me the text. If it turns out that the bet was open those other than Worf, I'll pay up. Until then, stop crying about this.

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  96. I'm NOT crying Pussy boy...YOU ARE because you got caught welshing on YOU bet you made son.

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  97. Ask Lydia to go through her email. I'm sure the exchange is there.

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  98. Beside GUTLESS a real man would own up to the bet HE made and pay up with out demanding proof a month LATE.

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  99. Clif, you act as if our recollections are the same on this. They are not.

    I'll tell you what, Clif, I'll donate 10K to the DNC IF, in the next two months, you can find supporting text from this blog or Lydia's email that such a wager was properly made. If not, then you can donate 10K to the RNC. Deal?

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  100. No son because I did NOT make the BET you did, gonna cut and run from your bet like you cut and ran from defending the country eh pussy?

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  101. Tiny your pathetic.

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  102. Clif, it was over two months ago. I will not rely on your recollections to force me into a wager I don't think I entered into. You should have raised this the day after the election, but now, having waited two months, your recollections are not enough. You me the text, or stop balling because you waited over two months to raise the topic.

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  103. The last sentence should read:

    You show me the text, or stop balling because you waited over two months to raise the topic.

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  104. Tiny go back to being a GUTLESS troll and don't worry son I really never expected you to pay up, in fact I forgot about it till today.

    You will slither out of your bet just like you and all the chicken hawks slither out of serving but asking another to serve in YOUR place son.

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  105. You are just another lying hypocritical repug troll here son...nothing more.

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  106. Actually, if Worf had accepted the bet, I WOULD HAVE paid off. But he didn't, and now you are trying to falsely claim that you accepted on his behalf. THAT is not honorable.

    I honor my obligations.

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  107. TT said "I'll tell you what, Clif, I'll donate 10K to the DNC IF, in the next two months, you can find supporting text from this blog or Lydia's email that such a wager was properly made. If not, then you can donate 10K to the RNC. Deal?"

    Now thats a suckers bet if I ever heard one, TT could very well have deleted his acceptance of the wager the day after the election when I called him on it.

    The thing is most mere mortals would be highly unlikely to forget a $10,000 bet since most regular joes dont make many $10,000 bets.

    I would be more than happy to dig through the old blogs if they are available, in fact i'm going to see if the November archives are still available.

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  108. TalllTexan said...
    Sean Hannity online at 3P ET/ 12P PT


    I thought MySpace banned pedophiles?

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  109. Dudes, why are you giving mouth-to-mouth to TallTaxes?

    He's barely living as it is, yet you guys keep giving him reason to fight on.

    Let the creep die like the slug in beer that he is.

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  110. Tiny a gutless chicken hawk who can not even keep his word let alone serve to defend the country when HE says it is so important....real Big Texan Pussy you are boy.
    -clif

    clif I implore you to keep our discourse civil lest some gentle lurkers be discouraged from contributing to our erudite topic. You may not realize that some of our readers are women and women are often too timid to comment if they feel threatened. I am hoping that some of the gentle women will be checking out my piccie so please cooperate. Pardon while I adjust my powdered wig.

    bwahahaha

    /channelling bg (british wannabe gary)

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  111. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  112. Let the Day of Reckoning Come

    Spencer Ackerman:

    The trouble is that the Iraq Study Group is ultimately providing false hope for an extended war. Its assessment is appropriately bleak. For example, "Key Shia and Kurdish leaders," the commission finds, "have little commitment to national reconciliation." Now, given that these leaders comprise the Iraqi government, one might think that would lead to the conclusion that Iraq is doomed to an intensifying sectarian conflict, and unless one believes it is in the United States' interest to pick a side in someone else's civil war, that means it's time to go home. Instead, the commission, despite its own better judgment in its report, is gearing up for what Hamilton called "one last chance at making Iraq work." It's hard to see what's responsible about this.

    Yes. Sure. But...there is one problem. America's wise-men (plus Near Eastern expert Sandra Day O'Connor) are scared to death. Our Muslim allies are scared to death. The Israelis are scared to death. And things are bad now, but they seem manageable. That is, things seem manageable until you start looking at things like troop rotations, equipment maintenence, projected costs for the Veteran's Administration, and public opinion. In the end, the Iraq Study Group got it right before they got it wrong.

    Current U.S. policy is not working, as the level of violence in Iraq is rising and the government is not advancing national reconciliation. Making no changes in policy would simply delay the day of reckoning at a high cost.

    The Iraq Study Group offers a false hope by providing changes that purport to do more than 'delay the day of reckoning'. Yet, it reality, they do not offer anything more than delay.

    More Ackerman:

    The commission quotes a senior U.S. general as saying that the Iraqis "still do not know what kind of country they want to have." The bottom line, the commission says rather aptly, is "there are many armed groups within Iraq, and very little will to lay down arms." Put differently, each side believes it has more to gain through war than through negotiation.

    The commission is right about this. Where it goes wrong is in its recommendation that we should be actively supporting an Iraqi political process that is hostage to such dysfunction and sectarian chaos. After all, if none of the relevant actors within the Iraqi government or in the political structure at large is interested in peace, pressuring them to just make nice with one another isn't going to work.


    Correctumundo.

    I don't want be a downer, but someone needs to talk sense to (waning) power, here. Individual Iraqis may want peace but, collectively, they do not want peace. And if our aim is peace, then it makes little sense for us to be training and arming the Shi'a in a country devolved into all out sectarian conflict. It might seem all abstract and antiseptic when you look at it from afar, but Baghdad is a city that suffers mortar attacks at night only to wake up to eighty to a hundred headless, tortured corpses each morning. This is not something we want to arbitrate. And our leadership lacks all the requisite good will and curiosity to have any chance as peacemakers.

    We really need to get a grip. I know that the Establishment is terrified. They should be terrified. I'm terrified. But I know a losing strategy when I see one. I don't want any more soldiers to die just to put off the day of reckoning. Let that day come soon. And we can finally take a reckoning of our leadership and our Establishment...and what they have wrought, and begin to fashion a better day.

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  113. Check out this jem from our illustrious Volt

    Volt said "Mikey, they (muslims) don't NEED a military. All they need to do is emigrate, then multiply and convert as many as possible. Blend in to the fabric of society and get involved in politics.
    Become community leaders, local and state politicians. Get elected to the federal government and start affecting policy descisions, all the while more emigrate and more are converted until they hold the reins of power.

    That's what they're doing in India and Indonesia. Thats what they've done in much of Africa. Thats what they're attempting in many European countries.

    I think it was in the Netherlands the prime minister said he's willing to implement Sharia if that's what the people want."


    It appears our tinfoil hat wearing friend is implying a different set of fascists(islamic) will hijack our country and rule it with an iron glove.........you oughta take of the tinfoil hat and stop watching so many sci fi movies volt I dont think our government leaders will be wearing turbans and bowing to Mecca severaltimes per day any time soon........................see I think America is sick and tired of being hijacked by extremist wacco's.

    What I dont get is the Islamic Fascist comment, granted it came from the halfwit idiot in chief, but calling terrorists facists is kinda riddiculous the may be authoritarian but they are more relogious loons than in league with the corporate powers that be, so that phrase is laughably ignorant as usual, i think it was developed as a form of projection since the Neo Cons are clearly fascists they want fascism to become associated with the terrorists rather than themselves, kinda like when they call libs traitors when they are really the traitors.

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  114. A very observant comment at Booman tribute;

    Re: Let the Day of Reckoning Come

    I don't want be a downer, but someone needs to talk sense to (waning) power, here. Individual Iraqis may want peace but, collectively, they do not want peace.

    I don't think this is entirely true. The problem is that you can no longer think of Iraqis in terms of that: Iraqis. The past three years of sectarian violence and chaos have eliminated whatever shreds of national identity remained.

    Collectively (which is to say the vast majority of), Sunnis want peace, Shias want peace, and Kurds want peace. But they want it negotiated on their own terms, and the less likely that becomes, the more likely they are to resort to violence.

    All but a few want the security that comes with peace. But a Sunni peace is not a Shia peace. The biggest obstacle to peace in Iraq is that there are no more Iraqis.

    by zenbowl

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  115. shows how the right thinks eh.........................secretly seize controlof all the reigns of power in government...........................................How does that saying go Dolty "fool me once Shame on you, fool me twice............cant git Fool....

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  116. But the Wise Old Men Agreed!

    William Arkin is a bad person. All the wise people of Washington made a proclamation, and they agreed to agree on everything, and David Broder praised them. Then Sandra Day O'Connor said it was the job of people like William Arkin to make sure that the entire country got behind the plan, because as Lee Hamilton said that was even more important than the plan succeeding!

    So, William Arkin is a very bad man.


    I understand that this "new" solution is Washington's way of withdrawing without saying it is withdrawing. But there is too much hope associated with the shift: hope that if we just redouble our effort with the Iraqis, they will all of a sudden get it and transform. In here as well is the strange article of faith that less capable Iraqi military units will succeed where more capable U.S. units failed. It seems to me that if we are admitting that there is no military solution to the problem, there is no Iraqi military solution either.

    And then there is the question of Americans in uniform being thrust into an impossible position. I know that the embedded American will be there to teach their Iraqi counterparts how to shoot straight, as show an example of camaraderie, and to school them in human rights and the laws of war. But it is only a matter of time before Americans are thrust in the middle of blood letting and abuse.

    Here's how I see Iraq playing out in the short term: The president makes an announcement within a month about his "new" plan. Washington is ever so pleased with a new approach. But the a la carte plan is seen by the Iraqis for what it is; it is not a U.S. timetable for withdrawal. It is not an unequivocal pledge not to establish permanent bases. It is sovereignty and authority in name only for Iraq with continued American control behind the scenes. I can't see who any of this equivocation will deflate the insurgency or stem the hatred for America that is fueled by our presence.


    The "plan," in other words, is neither what the American people nor the Iraqi people want.


    Doubleplus ungood William Arkin!

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  117. WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE YOUR FLIGHT MORE UNCOMFORTABLE?

    by Ann Coulter

    November 22, 2006

    Six imams removed from a US Airways flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix are calling on Muslims to boycott the airline. If only we could get Muslims to boycott all airlines, we could dispense with airport security altogether.

    Witnesses said the imams stood to do their evening prayers in the terminal before boarding, chanting "Allah, Allah, Allah" — coincidentally, the last words heard by hundreds of airline passengers on 9/11 before they died.

    Witnesses also said that the imams were talking about Saddam Hussein, and denouncing America and the war in Iraq. About the only scary preflight ritual the imams didn't perform was the signing of last wills and testaments.

    After boarding, the imams did not sit together and some asked for seat belt extensions, although none were morbidly obese. Three of the men had one-way tickets and no checked baggage.

    Also they were Muslims.

    The idea that a Muslim boycott against US Airways would hurt the airline proves that Arabs are utterly tone-deaf. This is roughly the equivalent of Cindy Sheehan taking a vow of silence. How can we hope to deal with people with no sense of irony? The next thing you know, New York City cab drivers will be threatening to bathe.

    Come to think of it, the whole affair may have been a madcap advertising scheme cooked up by US Airways.

    It worked with me. US Airways is my official airline now. Northwest, which eventually flew the Allah-spouting Muslims to their destinations, is off my list. You want to really hurt a U.S. air carrier's business? Have Muslims announce that it's their favorite airline.

    The clerics had been attending an imam conference in Minneapolis (imam conference slogan: "What Happens in Minneapolis — Actually, Nothing Happened in Minneapolis"). But instead of investigating the conference, the government is now investigating my favorite airline.

    What threat could Muslims flying from Minnesota to Arizona be?

    Three of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 received their flight training in Arizona. Long before the attacks, an FBI agent in Phoenix found it curious that so many Arabs were enrolled in flight school. But the FBI rebuffed his request for an investigation on the grounds that his suspicions were based on the same invidious racial profiling that has brought US Airways under investigation and into my good graces.

    Lynne Stewart's client, the Blind Sheik, Omar Abdel-Rahman, is serving life in prison in a maximum security lock-up in Minnesota. One of the six imams removed from the US Airways plane was blind, so Lynne Stewart was the one missing clue that would have sent all the passengers screaming from the plane.

    Wholly apart from the issue of terrorism, don't we have a seller's market for new immigrants? How does a blind Muslim get to the top of the visa list? Is there a shortage of blind, fanatical clerics in this country that I haven't noticed? Couldn't we get some Burmese with leprosy instead? A 4-year-old could do a better job choosing visa applicants than the U.S. Department of Immigration.

    One of the stunt-imams in US Airways' advertising scheme, Omar Shahin, complained about being removed from the plane, saying: "Six scholars in handcuffs. It's terrible."

    Yes, especially when there was a whole conference of them! Six out of 150 is called "poor law enforcement." How did the other 144 "scholars" get off so easy?

    Shahin's own "scholarship" consisted of continuing to deny Muslims were behind 9/11 nearly two months after the attacks. On Nov. 4, 2001, The Arizona Republic cited Shahin's "skepticism that Muslims or bin Laden carried out attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon." Shahin complained that the government was "focusing on the Arabs, the Muslims. And all the evidence shows that the Muslims are not involved in this terrorist act."

    In case your memory of that time is hazy, within three days of the attack, the Justice Department had released the names of all 19 hijackers — names like Majed Moqed, Ahmed Alghamdi, Mohand Alshehri, Ahmed Ibrahim A. Al Haznawi and Ahmed Alnami. The government had excluded all but 19 passengers as possible hijackers based on extensive interviews with friends and family of nearly every passenger on all four flights. Some of the hijackers' seat numbers had been called in by flight attendants on the planes.

    By early October, bin Laden had produced a videotape claiming credit for the attacks. And by Nov. 4, 2001, The New York Times had run well over 100 articles on the connections between bin Laden and the hijackers — even more detailed and sinister than the Times' flowcharts on neoconservatives!

    Also, if I remember correctly, al-Qaida had taken out full-page ads in Variety and the Hollywood Reporter thanking their agents for the attacks.

    But now, on the eve of the busiest travel day in America, these "scholars" have ginned up America's PC victim machinery to intimidate airlines and passengers from noticing six imams chanting "Allah" before boarding a commercial jet.

    anncoulter.com

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  118. Tiny the "{GUTLESS LIAR}" is spewing Anny Tranny(I do not know where to vote) again.

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  119. Clif, you're the one who said I made a bet with you. Who's the gutless liar now?

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  120. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  121. Seriously, listen to that podcast. Clif has a southern drawl as thick as it gets.

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  122. TT said "Seriously, listen to that podcast. Clif has a southern drawl as thick as it gets."

    yes TT your absolutely right......Rednecks and the military WERE supposed to be YOUR repug base......things are getting bleak for the repug party indeed, better take off the tinfoil hate and jump ship and become a Democrat before its too late.

    because once we win the presidency in 2008 we just might declare you traitors and enemy combatants and you just may be shipped of to Gitmo with no due process or Habeous corpus to await torture and execution for your treason thanks to GWB..........BAHWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    ReplyDelete
  123. Sean Hannity had a hilarious bit on a few minutes ago. He was doing a man-on-the-street interview with Democrats, and said, "Listen, if someone has two million dolloars, lets take 80% of that and give it to the government." EVERY Liberal and Democrat went along with him."

    ReplyDelete
  124. No son it was NOT me



    ..try Hooked om phonics son,




    that WAS................MIKE numbnuts.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Mike, did you find the post where I made a bet with you?

    ReplyDelete
  126. Hell Tiny the LIAR, you can't ever read the thread you are on correctly let alone back up your BIG MOUTH either on the bets you make, or in UNIFORM.

    ReplyDelete
  127. He's been looking for a long time now.

    ReplyDelete
  128. Clif, I found the thread and it's NOT there.

    ReplyDelete
  129. Obviously, Mike can't search properly.

    ReplyDelete
  130. Yo Tiny the LIAR where is YOU apology to me for LYING and saying I said what YOU claimed I said in this post son?

    TalllTexan said...

    Clif, you're the one who said I made a bet with you. Who's the gutless liar now?

    2:04 PM


    When you gonna admit your clueless in this aspect son?

    ReplyDelete
  131. Clif, would you say your southern accent is more from Texas, for more of a "Deep South" accent?

    ReplyDelete
  132. Clif, what is your position on the question of whether you and I entered into a bet?

    ReplyDelete
  133. its not there lying texan you found the Nov 10 veterans day thread not the pre election threads I saw your cute little post at the bottom.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Gandalf, yes there are lots of women who visit (gentle lurkers!) and you're right, they are too shy to comment. I agree your piccie is so handsome.

    TT, thanks for the compliments, but please don't insult Gary or Clif.

    Gary spoke very eloquently on the radio. He was articulate, you just need to get the cobwebs out of your ears.

    ReplyDelete
  135. BTW son you can change the posts all you want, but YOU did make the offer, and Mike accepted.

    Using the computer abilities and sneaky slimy troll tricks you do son, will just make you a bigger gutless lying pussy son.

    That is your character son, and changing the electronic records in some mainfame can not change the fact your a flawed gutless liar, you have to do that on your own, by OWNING up to the repulsive actions you pursue son.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Freedom Fan said...
    clif I implore you to keep our discourse civil lest some gentle lurkers be discouraged from contributing to our erudite topic. You may not realize that some of our readers are women and women are often too timid to comment if they feel threatened. I am hoping that some of the gentle women will be checking out my piccie so please cooperate. Pardon while I adjust my powdered wig.


    This is "refined humour"?

    Bet you made the pig laugh in bed last night with it...how is your wife, anyway?

    ReplyDelete
  137. CLIF - I LOVE your voice, your Southern accent.
    Just proves all the manly men are DEMOCRATS!!

    ReplyDelete
  138. Tiny the LIAR, I never said anything about betting, IT was MIKE that made the bet with you son.

    I do not have enough cash to bet $10,000 with out cutting into money I use to take care of my younger daughter, and helping out my older daughter, as she tries to find a job after a year in Iraq.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Clif, I didn't chnage nor delete one post, FYI.

    OK, Lydia, I'll take it easy on them, but, to be fair, you should call them on it when they do it.

    Otherwise, it was a very nice interview.

    ReplyDelete
  140. But I will always have a weakness for British accents too.

    ReplyDelete
  141. Al Franken Is Leaving, All Right... for Iraq

    -- Right wing media outlets in the know about liberal talk reported the breaking "news" that Al Franken would be leaving Air America on December 8.

    Newsbusters, Brian Maloney's Radioequalizer, and a number of other sites all gleefully reported Al's departure from AA.

    One right wing site announced that they only reported on the story because it could be "verified via the affiliates."

    Perhaps they got the info from the same guy at the Quake in San Francisco who has posted premature and inaccurate news of Al's departure in the past.

    Even an idjut who sometimes uses my body took off with the story.

    Yessir, they were right on the money -- except for a couple little things.

    1. Al is leaving, all right...for Iraq and Afghanistan, on a USO Tour.

    This is Al's third trip to entertain the troops in the war torn area. You know, like Sean Hannity and O'Reil... Oh, yeah. Better nix those last two. I forgot. It's only the ones who undermine the troops who head over to the front lines with our guys. The ones pushing to send them over...well, you know. Busy, busy.

    2. While some have said he's leaving Air America, he himself hasn't. As Al told me, at this point, he's "made no decision on leaving the show." And it is up to him. Which means, as of today, when he returns, he could just as well be back at the Air America mike as begin a run for Senate or study the history of bakliva. Nothing has been determined.

    So, if you've heard of Al's AA demise, it might serve well not to believe everything you read.

    It's kind of like believing right wing talk radio. You'll only get misinformation and, quite possibly, lose an election. Better to listen directly to Al. And depite what you might have heard, you still can.


    Al Franken is DOING his third USO tour in either Iraq or Afghanistan, but the gutless punks Bill O or Sean H have yet to do one?

    They must be as gutless as the LIAR Tiny.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Actually the southern accent is acquired after living down south since 1986, but I'm originally a Yankee, and am still a very dedicated Yankees fan.

    BTW Tiny, accents can be acquired

    but real GUTS either you got them or you DO not,

    and it seems YOU...

    NOT SO MUCH.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Just Like your hero's

    Limpballs

    Anny Tranny

    Sean Hannity

    Bill O'Riely

    seems gutless trolls have a lot in common with gutless spin meisters eh TINY?

    ReplyDelete
  144. Lydia, after my first Australian girlfriend, that accent (when spoken by a female) would always make me melt. In addition, I suddenly acquired a taste for Olivia Newton John.

    A good London accent is more stately, but I find Autralian women to be more fun loving.

    It's a great country with wonderful people.

    ReplyDelete
  145. Crusty the Clown, not so Much

    Dolty Boy Not so Much

    Tiny the LIAR not so much

    Dead Eye five deferments NOT AT ALL.

    The Foole at least he hid in the reserves during the end of Vietnam.....just like his HERO Georgie the clueless.

    ReplyDelete
  146. Who Brought Us to the Iraq Abyss?


    By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers

    Here are five predictions for the short-term in Iraq. After that, some context and explanations.

    1. Maliki will be gone shortly. Not only is he an ineffective Iraqi Prime Minister, but he had the temerity to stiff Bush at the summit's first meeting. Bad move! Dubya has no tolerance for that kind of push-back. Bush did a Brown/Rumsfeld on the Iraqi Prime Minister ("heckuva job, Maliki-man"), which in Bushworld is the kiss of death. Expect him to be forced out, or a coup to topple him.
    2. I think we can anticipate Iraq's "Tet Offensive": There may soon be a major, frontal assault by the insurgents against and perhaps even inside the Green Zone in Baghdad, along with coordinated major attacks all around the country. This assault will serve as a clear demonstration of how vulnerable and untenable the U.S. position is in Iraq. That will be the beginning of the end of the U.S. Occupation.
    3. Events on the ground (large ethnic population shifts inside, mass emigration outside) will lead to de facto recognition that Iraq is splitting into three relatively autonomous zones: Sh'ia, Sunni, Kurd. Whether there will be a weak central organizing authority is unclear, though that is likely, at least in the beginning, to parcel out the oil revenues.
    4. The Bush Administration will seek to negotiate with whoever is in charge in Iraq to maintain control of its large military bases in that country. Eventually, even those "permanent" bases will be abandoned as a result of violent Iraqi opposition to their existence.
    5. Bush will seek, through one delaying tactic after another, to postpone the inevitable U.S. retreat from Iraq. His aim is to make it through January 2009, so that America's acknowledged defeat in Iraq does not happen on his watch. If a Republican cannot be inauguarated that month as the new President, all the better for Bush: the defeat in Iraq will happen under the Democrats. But it is highly unlikely that Bush will make it to 2009, maybe not even through 2007.


    IN SEARCH OF SCAPEGOATS

    For most Americans, as the recent midterm elections made clear, the issue is how do we get our young men and women out of Iraq as quickly and safely as possible. For the Administration, it would appear that the issue is how to avoid blame for the catastrophe of Bush's war and occupation.

    In Iraq, it looks like the scapegoats are going to be the Maliki government
    specifically and the Iraqi people in general.

    Domestically, the scapegoats being targeted are the Democrats, activist peace groups, liberal bloggers, and the American people as a whole who didn't have the patience to wait for Bush's certain "victory" in Iraq. (The Republicans will conveniently omit mention of the huge number of traditional conservatives and military leaders who abandoned Bush's senseless war.)

    In all of this maneuvering to locate the appropriate blame-patsies, there will be no acknowledgement by the Bush Administration that its policies might have had the slightest thing to do with the chaotic horror that is Iraq today. However, the American electorate was not so addicted to reality-avoidance: At the midterm elections, the citizens, in no uncertain terms, correctly fingered the Bush Administration as the progenitors of this unconscionable, unnecessary war.

    HOW IRAQ FELL APART

    Bush has been a loser all his life. He determined from the outset of his residency in the White House to reverse that syndrome in the post-9/11 era by engaging in an amazingly ambitious imperial adventure that, in his simplistic mind, was bound to succeed: unleashing America's enormous military might on a country ill-equipped to respond in kind, and with no Superpower that could stop the U.S.

    The idea was that the "coalition" forces would quickly topple the Saddam regime, establish a friendly government in its place (originally with puppet Chalabi as the new Iraqi leader), build hardened military bases there, and set about re-shaping the geopolitical face of the Middle East. The Bush legacy as an effective, heroic "winner" would follow.

    Everything was going swimmingly. Iraq fell easily, Saddam was captured, there was little resistance. Two months after the invasion. Bush proudly proclaimed that the U.S. had "prevailed" in the war -- "Mission Accomplished."

    Domestically, Bush acted as a virtual dictator: choosing what laws to ignore, authorizing clandestine eavesdropping on American citizens, moving suspects around the world for torture, arresting U.S. citizens and popping them into secret prisons on military bases, neutering the Democratic opposition in Congress, effectively controlling the mass-media, etc.

    In Iraq, there was no Plan B for winning the peace, therefore the post-"Mission Accomplished" honeymoon didn't last very long. The Iraqi populace realized it was at the mercy of an Occupation regime. The leftover Iraqi Army remnants quickly figured out that the U.S. had no Plan B, offerred little if any employment scheme other than serving the U.S. master as police, and had left all the armament dumps unguarded. Bingo! The "insurgency," at first mainly Sunni in nature, began operating big time.

    A number of Occupation administrations came and went, leaving incompetency and massive corruption in their wake. Young GOP political appointees, there for patronage reasons rather than out of any expertise in nation-building, just added fuel to the fire of a bungling colonialist mentality. The widespread torture and abuse of Iraqi citizens by the U.S. and its client-state police forces added fuel to this speading fire of resentment and anger, at times even melding the Sh'ia and Sunni hatred of America.

    Perhaps if the Occupation authorities could have provided enough jobs and electricity and clean running water, the Iraqi population might have hung in there with the Americans. But, almost from the beginning, it was clear that wasn't going to happen and that the Iraqi civilian population was in for hard, dangerous times, in significant ways worse than what they had to endure under the dictator Saddam. Various polls indicate that the number of Iraqis who want the U.S. to leave is now in the 70-90% range. The Iraqi people clearly believe that the American presence only makes the situation worse.

    BUMBLING INTO LATE RESPONSES

    Domestically, there was no major problem for the Administration as long as the illegalities and power-grabbing remained secret. But more and more traditional conservatives inside the administration, especially in the higher reaches of the Pentagon and intelligence agencies, began leaking data about a wide range of White House horrors and Iraqi corruptions. These conservatives were appalled at the extremists who had taken over the GOP and Administration and, perhaps even moreso, at the wholesale greed and incompetence that were doing great damage to the military, the intel profession, and America's reputation abroad.

    Having no real post-war strategic planning to rely on when the military and political situations started to fall apart in Iraq, the U.S. was always late in responding to changing conditions on the ground. It took the Bushies several years to admit that they were engaging a "guerrilla" enemy, for example, and even to this day they still refuse to concede that the situation has deteriorated into a Sunni/Sh'ia civil war.

    And the ultimate "whoops-we're-late sign": After not encouraging or permitting a full-scale debate on the war in the Congress, and denigrating and insulting those who pointed out how bad the situation had deteriorated on Bush's watch, now, at least four years late, the "wise men" were assembled by the White House to think long and hard about the war and what can be done at this late stage.

    The recommendations of that Baker-Hamilton Commission, based on preliminary leaks, amount to a tepid bi-partisan compromise that remains mostly unattached to the realities on the ground. Even so, Bush seems destined to refuse any of their major recommendations. Were he to accept them, he would be implicitly conceding he'd made mistakes.

    THE DANGEROUS ILLUSION OF CONTROL

    The Bush Administration and the Baker-Hamilton commission are proceeding under the assumption that the United States these days still has great leverage in Iraq; indeed, their likely strategies seem to rest on the dangerously incorrect premise that the U.S. can pretty much control the situation through its will and political/military power. But so badly has the war been bungled by CheneyRumsfeld and their lackeys that the U.S. is faced not with a number of viable options but with choosing among a small number of terrible alternatives.

    1. Bush and the neocons undergirding him, especially those in the rightwing mass-media, continue to behave as if a miracle will occur and Bush will get his "victory"; it's stay-the-course with hope for godly intervention. The "gods" might even include asking arch-enemies Syria and Iran to help out the U.S.! Yeah, sure.

    This option rests on the belief that the Maliki government will suddenly produce several hundred thousand dedicated, well-trained soldiers loyal to the central government and willing to fight and die for it. The truth is that the fledgling Iraqi army is thoroughly infiltrated with insurgent agents and militia brigades, and their first loyalty is not to the weak central government.

    (Late flash: Apparently, judging from this weekend's leaked memo, even Rumsfeld had great qualms about continuing the Administration's stale, ineffective Iraq policies. I am suspicious of the timing of the Rumsfeld-memo leak; it could be CYA for Rummy and/or a planted memo to demonstrate that the impetus of major policy change in Iraq is really coming from inside the Administration, rather than being forced on them by outsiders.)

    2. Another bad option is to put another 20,000 or 30,000 U.S. troops into the Baghdad mix to stop the military/political hemorrhaging, at the least buying some time to figure out something better down the line.

    3. The third option, of course, is for the U.S. to pack up and leave, either starting to withdraw ("re-deploy") ASAP and complete the process over a period of months, and/or to give a date-certain when the bulk of their forces will be gone.

    PLAYING THE DELAY-GAME

    As suggested above, the Bush Administration might better spend its limited energies by coming up with realistic solutions -- none of them good, but some preferable to others -- for how to exit as gracefully as possible from Iraq. But instead, Bush is content to play the delay-and-blame game, in a last desperate effort to avoid responsibility for the chaos and deaths his arrogant stupidity and stubbornness have caused.

    In short, we're going to be treated to the tragic spectacle of one of the world's great military train wrecks right before our eyes, as the events on the ground in Iraq take down Bush and Cheney and Hadley and Rice (and Rumsfeld/Gates) and the rest of the crew down in the White House bunker.

    Unfortunately, unless something can stop them, that selfish, power-mad crew's death throes are going to take down an enormous number of young American troops, and innocent Iraqi civilians, with them. And possibly our beloved Constitution as well.

    The Democrats, once installed in charge in the House and Senate, have the power to force Bush's hands. But they've given scant evidence that, when push comes to shove, they will actually do anything significant, such as authorizing funds for the Iraq war only to bring the troops home or beginning the initial phases of an impeachment hearing or scrapping HAVA and coming up with true electoral reform to take the vote-counting out of the hands of private companies allied with one party or the other.

    Instead we can expect the Democratic Congress to nibble away at the edges of Bush&Co. power, even as investigations by the Dem bulldogs (Conyers, Leahy, Waxman, et al.) will be revealing even more corruption, malfeasance and potential war crimes.

    COMING: A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS

    The next six months most likely will highlight a monumental confrontation, probably leading to a constitutional crisis, between the Democratic-controlled Congreee and the bunker crew in the White House, raising their political middle-finger to the Dems whenever a sensitive issue is being investigated. The Administration may well refuse demands for documents, ignore subpoenas, go into court to keep Congress from digging too deeply, veto even more bills and/or attach more "signing statements" to passed legislation, etc.

    Will the Democrats permit Bush&Co. to continue rolling them, or will they put up a stiff, principled fight on Iraq, torture, domestic spying, taxes, the environment, civil liberties, defense of the Constitution, campaign-financing reform, voting-integrity changes, etc.?

    Ultimately, how the Democrats respond will help determine whether the 2008 election will be between just a Democratic and Republican, or whether enough Democrats and traditional conservative Republicans will have deserted their dessicated parties to found a new, viable third party. Stay tuned.

    ReplyDelete
  147. Ann Coulter will be on the John Gibson Show at about 9:25 PM ET.

    John Gibson Show

    ReplyDelete
  148. Anonymous3:49 PM

    Thats Gibsons problem.

    ReplyDelete
  149. Considering that this blog was started in direct response to Coulter, I figured someone might care.

    ReplyDelete
  150. care to explain how you CLAIMED to see the pre election blogs when september through the first week of November is not available ?

    ReplyDelete
  151. Anonymous3:57 PM

    But as for the wager, TT's right. I didn't bet him. I declined. I don't remember him making the bet with anyone else, at least I don't remember reading "we have a deal" or anything like that.

    The October archives should all be there. So should November and even if anyone deletes a post it still shows up in the archives.

    ReplyDelete
  152. Anonymous3:59 PM

    I see they are not there in the links Mike, but I think they are there somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  153. Well I cant find them, also another thing i noticed the older blogs from last year only have one thread.................hope Lydia didnt lose those we had some interesting discussions on some of those threads.

    ReplyDelete
  154. Tiny the ONLY thing I want from Frau Coulter is for Her to STFU.

    BTW son, it is interesting you want to comment on the pronunciation of a word, NOT the meaning of what the words mean.

    Typical repug debate, they screech about trivia while ignoring real substance.

    Tiny your exhibit #1.

    The Gutless Lying Troll.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Two members of the "vaulted" ISG are working for the same basic goals as the neo-cons who brought us the Iraqi Fiasco...

    Oil for Sale: Iraq Study Group Recommends Privatization

    The Iraq Study Group may not have a solution for how to end the war, but it does have a way for its corporate friends to make money

    In its heavily anticipated report released on Wednesday, the Iraq Study Group made at least four truly radical proposals.

    The report calls for the United States to assist in privatizing Iraq's national oil industry, opening Iraq to private foreign oil and energy companies, providing direct technical assistance for the "drafting" of a new national oil law for Iraq, and assuring that all of Iraq's oil revenues accrue to the central government.

    President Bush hired an employee from the U.S. consultancy firm Bearing Point Inc. over a year ago to advise the Iraq Oil Ministry on the drafting and passage of a new national oil law. As previously drafted, the law opens Iraq's nationalized oil sector to private foreign corporate investment, but stops short of full privatization. The ISG report, however, goes further, stating that "the United States should assist Iraqi leaders to reorganize the national oil industry as a commercial enterprise." In addition, the current Constitution of Iraq is ambiguous as to whether control over Iraq's oil should be shared among its regional provinces or held under the central government. The report specifically recommends the latter: "Oil revenues should accrue to the central government and be shared on the basis of population." If these proposals are followed, Iraq's national oil industry will be privatized and opened to foreign firms, and in control of all of Iraq's oil wealth.

    The proposals should come as little surprise given that two authors of the report, James A. Baker III and Lawrence Eagleburger, have each spent much of their political and corporate careers in pursuit of greater access to Iraq's oil and wealth.

    "Pragmatist" is the word most often used to describe Iraq Study Group co-chair James A. Baker III. It is equally appropriate for Lawrence Eagleburger. The term applies particularly well to each man's efforts to expand U.S. economic engagement with Saddam Hussein throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. Not only did their efforts enrich Hussein and U.S. corporations, particularly oil companies, it also served the interests of their own private firms.

    On April 21,1990, a U.S. delegation was sent to Iraq to placate Saddam Hussein as his anti-American rhetoric and threats of a Kuwaiti invasion intensified. James A. Baker III, then President George H.W. Bush's secretary of state, personally sent a cable to the U.S embassy in Baghdad instructing the U.S. ambassador to meet with Hussein and to make clear that, "as concerned as we are about Iraq's chemical, nuclear, and missile programs, we are not in any sense preparing the way for preemptive military unilateral effort to eliminate these programs."*

    Instead, Baker's interest was focused on trade, which he described as the "central factor in the U.S-Iraq relationship." From 1982, when Reagan removed Iraq from the list of countries supporting terrorism, until August 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait, Baker and Eagleburger worked with others in the Reagan and Bush administrations to aggressively and successfully expand this trade.

    The efficacy of such a move may best be described in a memo written in 1988 by the Bush transition team arguing that the United States would have "to decide whether to treat Iraq as a distasteful dictatorship to be shunned where possible, or to recognize Iraq's present and potential power in the region and accord it relatively high priority. We strongly urge the latter view." Two reasons offered were Iraq's "vast oil reserves," which promised "a lucrative market for U.S. goods," and the fact that U.S. oil imports from Iraq were skyrocketing. Bush and Baker took the transition team's advice and ran with it.

    In fact, from 1983 to 1989, annual trade between the United States and Iraq grew nearly sevenfold and was expected to double in 1990, before Iraq invaded Kuwait. In 1989, Iraq became the United States' second-largest trading partner in the Middle East: Iraq purchased $5.2 billion in U.S. exports, while the U.S. bought $5.5 billion in Iraqi petroleum. From 1987 to July 1990, U.S. imports of Iraqi oil increased from 80,000 to 1.1 million barrels per day.

    Eagleburger and Baker had much to do with that skyrocketing trade. In December 1983, then undersecretary of state Eagleburger wrote the U.S. Export-Import Bank to personally urge it to begin extending loans to Iraq to "signal our belief in the future viability of the Iraqi economy and secure a U.S. foothold in a potentially large export market." He noted that Iraq "has plans well advanced for an additional 50 percent increase in its oil exports by the end of 1984." Ultimately, billions of loans would be made or backed by the U.S. government to the Iraqi dictator, money used by Hussein to purchase U.S. goods.

    In 1984, Baker became treasury secretary, Reagan opened full diplomatic relations with Iraq, and Eagleburger became president of Henry Kissinger's corporate consultancy firm, Kissinger Associates.

    Kissinger Associates participated in the U.S.-Iraq Business Forum through managing director Alan Stoga. The Forum was a trade association representing some 60 American companies, including Bechtel, Lockheed, Texaco, Exxon, Mobil, and Hunt Oil. The Iraqi ambassador to the United States told a Washington, D.C., audience in 1985, "Our people in Baghdad will give priority -- when there is a competition between two companies -- to the one that is a member of the Forum." Stoga appeared regularly at Forum events and traveled to Iraq on a Forum-sponsored trip in 1989 during which he met directly with Hussein. Many Kissinger clients were also members of the Forum and became recipients of contracts with Hussein.

    In 1989, Eagleburger returned to the state department now under Secretary Baker. That same year, President Bush signed National Security Directive 26 stating, "We should pursue, and seek to facilitate, opportunities for U.S. firms to participate in the reconstruction of the Iraqi economy, particularly in the energy area."

    The president then began discussions of a $1 billion loan guarantee for Iraq one week before Secretary Baker met with Tariq Aziz at the state department to seal the deal.

    But once Hussein invaded Kuwait, all bets were off. Baker made a public plea for support of military action against Hussein, arguing, "The economic lifeline of the industrial world runs from the Gulf and we cannot permit a dictator such as this to sit astride that economic lifeline."

    Baker had much to gain from increased access to Iraq's oil. According to author Robert Bryce, Baker and his immediate family's personal investments in the oil industry at the time of the first Gulf War included investments in Amoco, Exxon and Texaco. The family law firm, Baker Botts, has represented Texaco, Exxon, Halliburton and Conoco Phillips, among other companies, in some cases since 1914 and in many cases for decades. (Eagleburger is also connected to Halliburton, having only recently departed the company's board of directors). Baker is a longtime associate and now senior partner of Baker Botts, which this year, for the second year running, was recipient of "The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers Oil & Gas Law Firm of the Year Award," while the Middle East remains a central focus of the firm.

    This past July, U.S. Energy Secretary Bodman announced in Baghdad that senior U.S. oil company executives would not enter Iraq without passage of the new law. Petroleum Economist magazine later reported that U.S. oil companies put passage of the oil law before security concerns as the deciding factor over their entry into Iraq. Put simply, the oil companies are trying to get what they were denied before the war or at anytime in modern Iraqi history: access to Iraq's oil under the ground. They are also trying to get the best deal possible out of a war-ravaged and occupied nation. However, waiting for the law's passage and the need to guarantee security of U.S. firms once they get to work, may well be a key factor driving the one proposal by the Iraq Study Group that has received great media attention: extending the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq at least until 2008.

    As the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group are more thoroughly considered, we should remain ever vigilant and wary of corporate war profiteers in pragmatist's clothing.

    *All quotes are referenced in my book, "The Bush Agenda."

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  156. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  157. Israelis piqued by Gates nuclear "confirmation"

    Robert Gates, the incoming U.S. secretary of defense, won plaudits in Washington this week for his candour on the Iraq war.

    Some Israelis were less pleased, however, to hear Gates mention with equal frankness what U.S. administrations have long avoided saying in public -- that the Jewish state has the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal.

    To be fair, it was pretty oblique.

    During his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Gates mentioned why Iran might be seeking the means to build an atomic bomb: "They are surrounded by powers with nuclear weapons: Pakistan to their east, the Russians to the north, the Israelis to the west and us in the Persian Gulf," he said.

    The remark led Israeli news bulletins. State-run radio suggested Gates may have breached a U.S. "don't ask, don't tell" policy that dates back to the late 1960s.

    "It's quite unprecedented," a retired Israeli diplomat told Reuters on Thursday when asked about Gates's testimony. "I can only assume he has yet to get to grips with the understandings that exist between us and the Americans."

    According to recently declassifed documents cited by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists magazine, under President Richard Nixon the United States knew Israel had developed nuclear weapons but opted against pressing its ally to come clean on the capability and accept international regulation.

    Israel neither confirms nor denies having the bomb as part of a "strategic ambiguity" policy that it says fends off numerically superior enemies while avoiding an arms race.

    This sanctioned reticence is a major irritant for Arabs and Iran, which see a double-standard in U.S. policy in the region.

    U.S. AID

    By not declaring itself to be nuclear armed, Israel also skirts a U.S. ban on funding countries that proliferate weapons of mass destruction. It can thus enjoy more than $2 billion in annual military and other aid from Washington.

    Though Gates was appointed as part of a move by U.S. President George W. Bush to revitalise prospects for Iraq and a wider peace in the Middle East, no one has yet gone as far as to propose openly that Washington review Israel's open secret.

    "I am not aware of any change in U.S. policy on discussing Israel and its nuclear capability," said Stewart Tuttle, spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv.

    Shimon Peres, who helped found Israel's main atomic reactor in the 1950s, officially for civilian use, and is now senior deputy to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, sounded similarly unperturbed.

    "This announcement makes no fundamental difference," he told Israel Radio. "

    "Whether or not Israel has nuclear weapons, the fact is that Israel is the only country threatened with destruction ... Israel is not threatening any country. Weapons do not fire themselves, people fire them."

    He was apparently referring to arch-foe Iran, whose President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for the elimination of the "Zionist regime" but denied his country seeks nuclear arms.


    OOPS

    As a former CIA director he WOULD know what Israel does have.

    Seems he is NOT willing to LIE for them.

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  158. Anonymous4:47 PM

    No, Lydia hasn't lost anything. I think there is an eblogger issue with the links.

    All of the comments are there, if you know the exact URL you want.

    ReplyDelete
  159. Anonymous4:47 PM

    TT probably has them all saved.

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  160. Anonymous4:47 PM

    Because his boss told him to.

    ReplyDelete
  161. Anonymous6:50 PM

    It sure got quiet all of a sudden.

    Hey I wasn't taking sides, I was just saying I just remembered I refused to bet and then I remember TT changing the bet with you guys, to if we only one 1 house, instead of both houses of Congress, that he'd do it. I seem to remember you not wanting to take that bet (I wouldn't have either, as that was the odds favorite, even though it didn't work out that way) and wanted to hold him to the first bet, which at that point he had already weaseled out of. He's lucky I didn't take it. He would have lost bad.

    But if he did make the bet with you Mike, tell me, and I try and and dig up the old archives and post a link. Lydia made me a member blogger so I can look that kind of stuff up now.

    ReplyDelete
  162. I remember TT making the offer and I thought Mike accepted, because I remember Mike saying something like that, it was after the Mark Foley Affair broke IF I remember right, and that seemed to doom the congress.

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  163. I would really like to see those archives because for about 3 weeks TT kept trumpeting his REVISED bet to ALL takers, and I kept riding him and needling him to stand by the original bet that he offered to Worf, I think about three days before the election after Folygate TT became real arrogant trying to dredge up a 15 year old story and spin it like WMD were JUST discovered in Iraq, I got fed up and said if your so confident this BS repug story will do the dems in accept my offer to take your bet he said "I accept"

    Then the night of the election when Webb was still down 2000 vores TT started talking more smack and I again said I can feel the dems will take both houses "I accept your bet" it will be nice to see you cough up $10,000 after you lose and TT "we'll just see about that Mike"

    Then the next day when i brought it up he accused me of accepting his bet after the election, when I threatend to show his posts re said he would pay up if I did that, I was busy for the next week or so then those threads were just gone.

    I brought it up a couple of times but I never really pushed it hard or asked Lydia what happened to those posts.

    But I did notice that as Lydia posts new threads the ones on the bottom disappear and dont seem to be saved in the archives.

    I would like to find them but it will take some work as the discussion of the bets occured over a 4 week period although the acceptance was right around the election.

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  164. I mean if you didnt accept his bet and i'm saying he did then why would he say "I accept your wager" he said "I accept" that I remeber clearly and I ask him if his bet was still on the table and he said yes and I said I accept.

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  165. Anonymous7:36 PM

    I will see if I can find them and post a link Mike.

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  166. "Mike said...
    I mean if you didnt accept his bet and i'm saying he did then why would he say "I accept your wager" he said "I accept" that I remeber clearly and I ask him if his bet was still on the table and he said yes and I said I accept.

    7:33 PM"

    The offer that was still on the table was my offer to Worfeus, which he declined, but, Mike, you can't accept an offer directed to someone else. Truth be told, Mike, had you proposed a similar wager with me, I probably would have accepted, but it was always a bet to pay money to the DNC or the RNC. I recall this because Mike said that if he won, he would use the money for a vacation, and I reminded him of the terms of the wager were not to pay the bettors, but to pay the DNC or the RNC.

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  167. Want some humility to approach Christmas by?

    See how rich you stack up against the rest of the planet,HERE

    according to them I'm the;

    I'm the 173,043,479 richest person in the world!

    Out of 6,610,314,450 people as of now.

    I'm in the TOP 2.88%
    richest people in the world!

    And for an American I am definately not very rich at all.

    Makes me thankful for what I have, and realize so many other people have so much less.

    ReplyDelete
  168. BTW hat tip to Carl for the website, I found it on his blog.

    ReplyDelete
  169. Anonymous8:13 PM

    I'm the 5,780,722,892 richest person on earth!

    I bet TT is way up that list if he's got 10 thousand dollars to hand out.

    ReplyDelete
  170. Yes TT, I did say that, you however corected me and I accepted your wager at a later time.

    In fact TT you were acting like a real big man offering that wager to ALL takers, sure INITIALLY you directed it to worf but you later offered it to anyone particularly after you altered your inintial offer mid stream and made it BOTH houses........................you figured you could look like a big tough guy and no one would have the balls to accept.

    to use a poker analogy TT you made a real big over bet trying to steal the pot and I pushed all in and and kept you honest and made you play for all your chips.

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  171. We should all be thankfull this time of year for our health, family, and good friends. Compared to those, money ranks very low on the list.

    ReplyDelete
  172. Anonymous8:20 PM

    Wait, I did it wrong.


    I'm the 45,439,321 richest person in the world!

    Only 45 million people make more money than me.

    :D

    ReplyDelete
  173. Mike, when the eBlogger issues get resolved, we can find out exactly what was offerred and to whom, and what was accepted.

    ReplyDelete
  174. Anonymous8:22 PM

    TalllTexan said...
    We should all be thankfull this time of year for our health, family, and good friends. Compared to those, money ranks very low on the list.


    You're right. And since money does rank so low on the list...gimme 10,000 dollars.

    ReplyDelete
  175. I notice TINY will NOT do the deed....

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  176. I question the validity of that calculation, according to it, i'm 57,087,865

    theres no way i'm richer than you guys particularly by that much it ranked me in the top .95%

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  177. TT said "Mike, when the eBlogger issues get resolved, we can find out exactly what was offerred and to whom, and what was accepted."

    sounds fair to me as long as you didnt delete your post on November 8th when I called you on it.

    ReplyDelete
  178. Anonymous8:26 PM

    Mike, TT. It would help if you could give me the title of the post these bets were made in, or at least get me close to the date.

    ReplyDelete
  179. Anonymous8:27 PM

    Mike said...


    sounds fair to me as long as you didnt delete your post on November 8th when I called you on it.


    Mike, even if he did it won't delete from the archives. The way Lydia has it set up the archives are stored almost immediately and therefore when someone deletes something it only deletes it from the current blog page, not the archived page.

    Everything should still be there.

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  180. Looks like Tiny IS back peddling on his statement he ONLY bet Worf, like he NEVER admitted he called ME a liar falsely claiming I accepted any bet.

    Mike was the ONE Tiny NOT me, now about YOUR post here;

    TalllTexan said...

    Clif, you're the one who said I made a bet with you. Who's the gutless liar now?

    2:04 PM


    Anything YOU want to say son?

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  181. "WORFEUS the Sailorman said...
    Mike, TT. It would help if you could give me the title of the post these bets were made in, or at least get me close to the date.

    8:26 PM"

    If I had them or remembered them I would, but I don't. Sorry. Try searching for the words "wager," "bet," "$10,000" or anything else that seems relevent

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  182. Mike the site is comparing you to all the other WAGE earners around the world.

    It seems Worfeus makes more than YOU, but You make more than ME.

    You put in your pretax income.

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  183. I haven't deleted anything on this subject, FYI.

    ReplyDelete
  184. Anonymous8:35 PM

    Ok, I'm finding some of it. Looks like he made it at the end of September.

    TalllTexan said...

    Worf, I give at least 25% of my income away every year -- sometimes more.

    However, since you have been intimating that Lydia is going to close her blog down, let me get this one prediction out: The GOP will retain control of both houses of Congress.

    How about a "gentleman's bet"? No money.

    By TalllTexan, at 4:33 PM

    ReplyDelete
  185. Anonymous8:36 PM

    And then I said...

    Tall Texan said...
    Worf, I give at least 25% of my income away every year -- sometimes more.

    Yea, but I wasn't talking about alimony.

    By WORFEUS, at 4:38 PM

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  186. Anonymous8:36 PM

    Sorry. I just thought that was funny.

    ReplyDelete
  187. Anonymous8:36 PM

    Then I said;

    Tall Texan said..


    How about a "gentleman's bet"? No money.


    Fine.

    Where's the gentleman?

    ReplyDelete
  188. ...and I said your "alimony" comment was funny.

    ReplyDelete
  189. Anonymous8:39 PM

    Worf, I have proposal for you. If the Dems retake either house of Congress, then I'll donate $10,000 to the the DNC. If they don't, then you donate $10,000 to the RNC. Deal?

    By TalllTexan, at 4:20 PM

    ReplyDelete
  190. Anonymous8:40 PM

    I'm still searching. I am trying to figure out how to link this thing too.

    ReplyDelete
  191. I think it might have transpired in more than one blog, if I remember right TT was pushing that BS 15 year old WMD story in iraq and trying to spin it as cut news that was going to break the election wide open for the repugs then i challenged him that if he was so confident i wanted to take his bet, I think that was probably the 3rd or 4th then it continued on the 7th and 8th.

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  192. Anonymous8:50 PM

    I found this post Mike that you made on October 6th, where you talk about him backing out. I haven't found one yet where you guys made the bet though. I'm still looking.

    He doesnt have $10,000 Clif notice how the coward backed down and basically admitted the democrats will take the house when I said I wanted to take him up on his original bet, like a typical repug coward he changes and makes up the rules as he goes along.

    By Mike, at 12:46 AM

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  193. honestly theres a lot of stuff to sort through because I rode TT pretty hard for about a month to stand by his original bet of only one house....................I felt the bet of the Dems having to win both houses was a suckers bet, but right before the election i got this feeling that the tide was turning and I KNEW the dems were going to take BOTH the senmate and the house.

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  194. Anonymous8:56 PM

    Ok, I gotta post this one.

    Yes, Worf, I just saved this thread and we'll see who is right and who is wrong.

    By TalllTexan, at 12:25 PM


    LOL.

    Yea.

    Guess we did, huh TT?

    ReplyDelete
  195. Anonymous8:58 PM

    Then I gave another prediction that came true.

    On second thought, we probably won't see you if you lose both houses.

    Liberals are able to deal with loss, and keep moving ahead.

    Conservatives tend to crawl into a hole and hide, like Saddam did.

    By WORFEUS, at 12:27 PM



    And we all know the trolls disappeared after the elections, and hid.

    See TT?

    You should listen to the Prophet Worfeus, more often.

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  196. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA thats good, I hope you find the one where I challenged TT and guarenteed the Dems win both houses and he says "we'll just see about that mike"

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  197. If I had to guess I think I told TT I accept on Friday the 3rd and then the night of the election, I remember the night of the election Webb was down by like 2000-3000 votes and I Told TT I accept his bet of both houses and said that Webb would win.

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