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How to Get Out of Iraq March 7, 2008

Posted by chuckwh in News and politics.
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I haven’t had much time to write lately. Writing is my passion. I write fiction, too, besides this blog (believe it not!). Anyway, no time to write much.

I think rather than trying to sound scholarly about this difficult issue, I’ll just let my writing mind shut up for a bit and say what needs to be done for the next president to exit Iraq.

First off, even though I’m a bit of a Obamanut, I need to say that I agree with those who say if America pulls out immediately, it will be a disaster. If you can imagine a giant cherry bomb filled with a bunch of people igniting, spreading their limbs all over the place, you can only begin to imagine what will happen when we leave. The American invasion created a cherry bomb that makes Yugoslavia look like a picnic among friends.

First thing we need to do is just admit to ourselves, all of us, that we RE-ELECTED the dude who got us into this mess.

We also might want to think about how Belgrade could have been a different city if Bill Clinton had thought more like Obama.

You can argue with me that Bush didn’t win either of his elections. But it’s not like you rose up and overthrew him, so the argument is, now, bogus.

The responsibility, therefore, is among us all. And even if it’s not, even if you won’t admit to ANY responsibility, you have to deal with facts.

Since the invasion, there are conservative estimates that say at least 80,000 Iraqis have died. But that’s, like, the lowest end of lowest ends. Most reasonable estimates are that the American invasion has cost many, many more lives than the evil dictator did. And their lives were lost in the most horrific way. You step out of your house to go shopping, and you don’t know if you’ll be killed. At least under Saddam, pretty much, if you kept your mouth shut, you were okay.

So, like it or not, we have a moral obligation to at least make a reasonable effort to help these people survive the American policy that, we, the American people, created.

So you look at Iraq, and my argument, and you’ve got to say, “Whoah, McCain is right, another hundred years.”

Not so.

I honestly think we could “win the war” if we spend twice the amount we spend in military spending on education in Iraq (and if we have to, the rest of the Middle Eastern poor areas) .

By that I mean, for every dollar we spend on military dollars, we spend two on education in the country we are occupying (be it Iraq or Afghanistan).

Actually, that should be a bill of Congress. Sure, a lot of good, righteous, rural people would complain on the domestic front, saying, “what about us?” but the war would be over in about a year. And those good people would be taken care of by the simple fact that the war is over. A good man on the pulpit would explain that to the American people, much in the same way that the American people have been bled to believe in Iraq and other futilities.

Look. We have to pull out anyway. Why not leave gifts behind us, at the very least. And I’m not talking about Bibles, or books on Thomas Jefferson. Let’s create libraries in Iraq, full of books written by people of that region.

You know what? I bet most literary types in Iraq or anywhere else in the Middle East are NOT into suicide bombings. Have you read any Middle Eastern literature? I have. Writers tend to be peace mongers. Why not help their own intellectuals spread the word?

Why is this such a difficult concept for Americans and their politicians?

It’s never been hard for the Saudis, who spread their own fear, via Wahabbism.

How stupid will we continue to be?

We reap what we sow.

https://thegoreyears.wordpress.com/iraq-during-the-gore-years/

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How Does Obama Stay Obama? March 7, 2008

Posted by chuckwh in News and politics.
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Dave Winer’s talk with UC-Berkeley professor George Lakoff really was a home run:

http://www.scripting.com/stories/2008/03/05/lakoffHitsItOutOfThePark.html

Is the reason Obama did badly in Ohio (especially) because he now has too many handlers? That’s not a question Lakoff brings up, but it is one that worries me.

Regarding some specifics of what Lakoff said, I’ll reiterate that The Gore Years has written extensively on how the world might have been different if Iraq had not been invaded.

The Iraq war is the one, single reason the American economy is falling so fast.

It’s not NAFTA, it’s the war.

Side note. I sent a comment to Dave’s site:

Thanks Dave for this podcast. What’s neat about this podcast is that it is so unlike talking head TV where the interviewer is almost as much a part of the interview as the guest. You got out of the way and let the man speak.

Dave’s questions were few and intelligent. Much better than the blather you’ll find on any national broadcast of talking heads. I even appreciated the phone hanging up at the end.

William F. Buckley, RIP February 29, 2008

Posted by chuckwh in News and politics.
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Note: This is another of several occasional posts referring to today’s “real world” as opposed to the more hopeful one of The Gore Years.

As the sane Republicans keep falling off the face of the earth let us keep in mind what one of his guests, Noam Chomsky, said in regards to Vietnam during a visit with Buckley on Buckley’s TV show, Firing Line:

“…What seems to me a very, in a sense, terrifying aspect of our society and other societies is the equanimity and the detachment with which sane, reasonable, sensible people can observe such events. I think that’s more terrifying than the occasional Hitler or LeMay or other that crops up. These people would not be able to operate were it not for this apathy and equanimity, and therefore I think that it’s in some sense the sane and reasonable and tolerant people who should—who share a very serious burden of guilt that they very easily throw on the shoulders of others who seem more extreme and more violent.”

In other words, it is we, the voters, who bear responsibility for what is happening today in Iraq. And it is we who will bear the responsibility if John McCain wins the next election.

The Chomsky quote is from http://www.democracynow.org/2008/2/28/william_f_buckley_dies_at_82

Presidential Candidates Assault the Senses February 5, 2008

Posted by chuckwh in News and politics, Obama, Politics.
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Note to regular readers: As the campaign heats up, The Gore Years will be continuing the news on real events, rather than the fantasy world of The Gore Years. We leave it up to our readers to discern the difference between reality and that other thing, whatever that other thing might be. We appreciate your patience.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Buoyed by cheering crowds and bolstered by more than $1.3 million a day in TV ads, Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton continued their love fest as they raced through the final hours of an unpredictable Super Tuesday campaign across 22 states. The Republican race turned negative on the eve of the busiest day in primary history.

“We’re going to hand the liberals in our party a little surprise,” boasted Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, holding a small, hand-held telescope to help him search the tiny crowd for liberals.

He then criticized John McCain for his positions on tax cuts, gay marriage and immigration and predicted an upset win in delegate-rich California. “McCain will try to undo the damage of the Bush administration, and that can’t be a good thing,” he told an excited crowd of Republican ex-office holders in Tennessee. “If we cannot maintain the policies of this administration, then we can’t keep getting you all to vote against your own interests. We believe in moral majorities!” he screamed to the small crowd, which responded by tossing foreclosure notices into the air.

And then, in an apparent dig at McCain, he screamed, “And we believe in standing up!”

Shortly afterwards, eBay’s CEO Meg Whitman, who heralds from the same venture capital fund company as Romney, Bain Capital, stunned the crowd and approached the podium and announced that all eBay sellers who were willing to vote for Romney would never pay eBay insertion fees for as long as they live.

“We need to give eBay sellers something to live for in this economy,” she explained to TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington.

McCain struck back a few hours later Monday with a television ad that showed Romney sitting at a desk, pining away for Whitman. The ad clearly shows a despondent Romney drumming his fingers on a huge, walnut desk while staring at one of several computer video screens showing Whitman captivating a crowd of eBay sellers with promises of “better things to come.” The crowd threw various artifacts at her, and there is a rumored YouTube video of her getting nailed on the head by a Pez dispenser, but, according to Romney pollsters, it hasn’t stopped the Romney juggernaut, and didn’t change Romney’s infatuation.

Meanwhile, outwardly, McCain projected confidence, not only about wrapping up the nomination but about staying healthy until November’s general election as well. “I can lead this nation in medication, and motivate all Americans to serve a cause greater than their self-interest, as long as they continue to stuff their throats with pharmaceuticals” he said while campaigning at a fire station in New Jersey, during a photo opp with Merck. Asked by The Gore Years if he might accidentally fart during some future press event helping to solidify America’s hundred year commitment to Iraq, he replied, “God, I hope not.” The Gore Years has always appreciated his honesty.

Unwilling to leave anything to chance, both men hastily rearranged their schedules to make one more late stop in California, the largest state, with 170 delegates.

After months on the road, the wear on the candidates was showing, and the schedules strained human endurance.

Clinton’s voice was raspy, and at one stop, she struggled to control her coughing. She denied it had anything to do with the Obama love fest. “Don’t you ever compare me to that nasty intern,” she scolded one reporter who asked how she was holding up.

Romney had breakfast in Tennessee, was in Georgia at lunchtime, was touching down in Oklahoma at the dinner hour, got drunk with former candidate George W. Bush after dinner, arranged for a Britney Spears-like pickup of Baseball Commisioner Bush around 10 pm, and was scheduled to arrive in California for a rally at the Spears residence just before midnight local time, partly, his aides said, because he was in the mood for “more debauchery”.

All before flying through the night so he could attend the West Virginia state convention on Tuesday morning and meet the few people still left in America who might vote Republican in the next election.

The Democrats were spending unprecedented amounts of money on television advertising. Records showed Obama and Clinton each spent $1.3 million last Wednesday and have been increasing their purchases in the days since. In fact, some broadcast industry analysts have been reporting that Clinton, through a proxy, has purchased KRON-TV from Young Broadcasting and will, according to one source, “begin broadcasting All Billary, all the Time.”

Obama spent about $250,000 to run a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl in selected, less expensive regions. Clinton bought one hour of time on the Hallmark Channel for Monday evening to air a live town hall meeting from New York. However, the Hallmark Channel refused to air the meeting. One reason, sources say, is that Hallmark is concerned about rumors that Hillary and Obama got a room (see above link). The other, more significant issue, according to pundits and Hallmark insiders (assuming there is such a thing as a Hallmark insider), is that Hallmark CEO Donald J. Hall, Jr. is not a fan of Bill Clinton. “I have seen poster boys for Hallmark Cards,” Hall is known to have said, “And my friends, Bill Clinton is no poster boy.”

The prize in each race was a huge cache of delegates on the biggest primary-season day ever. The biggest concern about that cache was that somehow the Republicans would find a way to get Diebold to create an electronic cache of Democratic votes and somehow turn them into Republican votes, and throw the election again in 2008.

But for today, it was all smiles as Hillary and Obama continued their love fest, and McCain and Romney each tried to figure out which part of the past to represent.

Associated Press reporters Beth Fouhy, Glen Johnson, Jim Kuhnhenn, Nedra Pickler, Libby Quaid and Liz Sidoti contributed to this report. The Gore Years reporter Chuck White made it all right.

Baseball Commissioner Bush Leaves Wife, Takes on Lover January 15, 2008

Posted by chuckwh in News and politics.
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In a stunning development that is sure to rile fundamentalists of all persuasions, Baseball Commissioner George W. Bush today King and Bush kissleft his wife, Laura, for Saudi King Abdullah. It has long been rumored that Bush and Abdullah have been meeting in Monaco frequently over the last several months, but this is the first indication that the rendezvous were part of an oil-based tryst that some baseball insiders who know Bush well are now saying has lasted nearly 20 years.

We’ll post more info and world reaction on this stunning development as it occurs. Maybe.

Image source: http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/POLITICS/01/15/bush.mideast/art.bush.kiss.gi.afp.jpg

Obamamania January 8, 2008

Posted by chuckwh in Al Gore, Barack Obama, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Iraq War, News and politics, Obama.
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Barack Obama’s apparent impending sweep of the Democratic primaries speaks loudly about the American mood. Even in a time of unprecedented prosperity under Al Gore, Democratic voters are shunning his would-be successor, Vice President Hillary Clinton.

It may be that Americans simply don’t like the idea of dynasties. If Clinton would be elected, not only would it be the second Clinton in office, but it would extend the Clinton/Gore dynasty to, potentially, nearly a quarter century. Americans are understandably squeamish about such things.

Ironically, this kind of feeling could have been exacerbated by some of the fears generated by progressives who have repeatedly pointed out that a cadre of Republicans such as Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney, pushed hard for an invasion of Iraq and have since written that had George W. Bush won the election, they would have launched preemptive strikes against Sadaam.

A Newsweek journalist even raised the hairs of many Americans by posting a fictional blog called The Bush Years which painted a nightmarish, almost science fiction-like alternative future that had America sending ground troops into Iraq and spending hundreds of billions of dollars funding a long-term quagmire. Most economists scoffed at the premise: that the war is largely funded via long-term debts to China. In the blog, the American dollar becomes nearly worthless, and America is reviled throughout most of the world.

These are events that, had they happened, would have been blamed at least partly on dynastic politics.

In real life, of course, Sadaam, has long since disappeared from the scene, having been stricken down by his own people. The Middle East is thriving even as the U.S. is throwing off the chains of its oil dependency. The American economy, fueled in no small part to a host of emerging technologies spurred on by the Gore Administration’s industrial policies, is humming along like a well oiled machine.

Still, voters appear to be on the brink of rejecting Hillary and embracing Obama.

There are two things that Gore has not accomplished that might help explain this phenomenon. One, he has not healed the divisiveness between Republicans and Democrats that has existed since the Clinton years. In fact, under Gore, it may be worse, as the Republican Party has become marginalized because of the domination in that party of evangelicals and the far right. Eventually, though, the GOP will return to a more moderate focus, and the pendulum in Congress will swing back. It always does.

Obama, though, isn’t waiting. He’s already reaching out to Republicans and leveraging his long-term mantra of unity by pointing out that we don’t live in red states or blue states, but in the United States. This message is resonating.

The other thing Gore hasn’t accomplished is in regards to lobbyists. They still have way too much control, and Obama has promised to do something about that. These are two powerful messages. Combine that with Americans’ inherent distaste for dynasties, and you have a rout in the making.

Hillary’s mistake may have been to simply assume she was the appointed successor to the throne. The Bush Years did a nice job of pointing out how dangerous a dynasty can be, even if it did seem a little far-fetched in its apocalyptic tone. And the American people don’t need much help anyway in rejecting the concept of the throne. They’ve been doing it for 232 years.