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‘Round the Water Cooler *Open Thread

The pundits talked, and I typed. Below are some of what I’ve been hearing on the pundit cable news channels, including one particularly great prospect for HillaryGary Berntsen, an expert on the CIA, special operations and and Agfghanistan, Pakistan and the AfPak strategy was on Parker Spitzer Thursday night (Berntsen is a good, longtime friend of Larry Johnson‘s) … and DO NOT MISS the appearance of climate change skeptic Bjorn Lomborg who has a gift for explaining the science so we can all understand it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Here you go! The following are some great, time-sensitive water cooler topics you can share with your buddies. As I listened to the TV today, I typed, and here’s what I heard:

  • John Thune is a GOP name we hear a lot. Sounds like some of the top-tier GOPers are looking at him.
  • Sarah Palin / it doesn’t look like she’s going to run in 2012 because of these “clues”: One of her personal top aides has left her to work for a member of Congress + there’s talk about creating a second season of Palin’s popular Discovery Channel show.
  • No, no, no. Hillary won’t run in 2012. If Hillary goes anywhere, she’ll go to Defense when Gates leaves. (IMAGINE THAT. HILLARY AS DEFSEC. Talk about breaking a big thick glass ceiling. And, if she runs in 2016, she’ll have 4 years heading the Dept of Defense under her belt. I like it. She already enjoys a LOT of respect throughout the military community because they find that she knows her stuff, and is a smart, rational advocate.)
  • GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will be a magnet for Wall Street money. (Referring to Romney, the pundit noted that the establishment candidate, i.e. the one who lost last time, often wins the nomination.)
  • Appointing an ambassador to Damascus is a “complete capitulation” by the Obama administration since, in the last five years, Syria has not changed its behavior in any meaningful way – John Bolton says.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Via CNN: “Climate change skeptic Bjorn Lomborg (featured in the documentary film “Cool It”) says we’re so panicked about climate change we can’t think straight (click here to watch that video).”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Gary Berntsen appeared on Thursday’s Parker/Spitzer/ Since Larry Johnson is likely to write up this story, I[‘m just going to post the transcript, which is a great read:

—– TRANSCRIPT BEGINS HERE —–

PARKER: Well, Eliot, you’re re not the only person for him it’s not clear. I think a lot of people are confused about why we’re still there nine years later. Al Qaeda has moved on and dispersed to other countries. But let’s hope by the end of next year, we have a different story to tell.

SPITZER: I hope.

PARKER: In the meantime, one of the smart people we talked about what’s going on in Afghanistan is Gary Berntsen, a former CIA officer who has spent a lot of time on the ground in Afghanistan and the region. Bernstein more than 21 years of experience and is an expert on counterterrorism and insurgency and he was, in fact, in Tora Bora in December 2001 when Osama bin Laden escaped capture.

So, we talked to him about that and about the ongoing search for bin Laden. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY BERNTSEN, FORMER CIA OFFICER: He’s a problem. He’s still out there. We still have to do our best to capture him.

The problem is that Pakistan, you know, the state, Pakistan has got 175 million people, over 20 militant groups, over 900,000 people that have cycled through the terrorist training camps or less 20 years. There’s infrastructure that he can hide within. There are tribal groups that because of Pashtunwali, the honor code, that will hide him.

If he is still actually even in that area and hasn’t moved on to Yemen, it’s a problem for us and it’s something that we’re going to continue to work at and eventually we’ll have success on this — eventually. But I know it’s disappointing. It’s almost 10 years.

PARKER: Almost 10 years. But what exactly will be the benefit of catching bin Laden and killing him?

BERNTSEN: Oh, you know, it will be symbolic at that point. You know, Al Qaeda has morphed over the years. And what al Qaeda does now in a place like Pakistan is it’s a — it’s almost like a coordinating body among the militant organizations. It provides training to them. It will send operatives in with militants to teach them how to create IEDs.

PARKER: And by killing him, do we defeat the idea or at least degrade it?

BERNTSEN: Well, you know, anyone who can execute an operation that kills 3,000 Americans has got to be captured and is going to have to be tried and executed. And at — you know, at a principle, you know, and because we owe them and we owe those that lost their lives.

SPITZER: You said he’s hiding. Is he hiding or is he being protected? And the difference is not one without significance in my view. If he’s being protected perhaps by forces within the Pakistani government, the ISI — whomever it may be — that creates an entirely different set of issues for us, both with respect to Pakistan and Afghanistan. So, which do you think it is?

BERNTSEN: Clearly, there’s a sort of gray area in there. And, you know, do they really want him? Did they want him in the beginning? Why haven’t they captured Mullah Omar and turned him over to us, the Pakistanis? This is something that they should do immediately. And that would help us and provide great assistance to us in terms of the fight in Afghanistan where Americans are dying.

SPITZER: And this, of course, goes to the very heart of the problem I think so many people have with our policies in Afghanistan and consequently in Pakistan. We don’t know who our partners are. We know who they pretend to be.

But the Pakistani government, Karzai over in Afghanistan, there is such doubt about whether we can rely upon them the moment we either withdraw troops or start giving them hard, cold cash. What are they? Are they partners? And if they aren’t, is there a future there?

BERNTSEN: Look, part of the problem is with the creation of Pakistan, you know, almost immediately, they were conducting insurgency inside of Kashmir. And ISI was created and the individuals that managed that, you know, that organization was born running insurgencies and doing, you know — and conducting violent types of operations.

And they’ve continued throughout their history. They had a love affair with Kashmir militancy which then blended over into working with the Afghans and the Taliban when control was lost essentially in Afghanistan by — you know, this is President Rabbani period of time.

So Americans have misjudged the Pakistanis, at a time we were helping them fight, you know, the Soviets, they were siphoning off large amounts of that aid and using it to train Kashmiris to kill Indians. So, they’re not reliable partners completely. They’ve gotten a little bit better. You have to continue to maintain pressure on the Pakistanis, but the problem with Pakistan is the 90 nuclear weapons.

PARKER: Yes.

BERNTSEN: And, you know, the one thing we don’t want to have happen is a collapse of a failed state and loss of control of that arsenal.

PARKER: And –

SPITZER: Can we go back to — go ahead.

PARKER: Well, I was going to ask your view of our place in Afghanistan and our progress to this point. Of course, one of the main arguments is we don’t want the Taliban to regain strength and thus create a safe haven for al Qaeda. Is the Taliban getting stronger?

BERNTSEN: I think that the report the Obama administration put out, accurate in the sense that we’ve made some gains. You know, I’ve been in Afghanistan constantly over the years. I had a son that just finished a year in combat there, with the 82nd Airborne. And from discussions with him, too, I can see where there’s been improvement, certain areas where there hasn’t been.

You know, most Americans didn’t understand how heavy this lift was going to be. You know, where Saddam Hussein had trained a generation of teachers, engineers, people like that to help him seize control of the Middle East, he was — you know, a power hungry man; Afghanistan has had a complete collapse of civil society.

Afghans, you know, there was a recent survey done in Afghanistan among 1,000 young men from the age of 18 to 20 or 29 or 30 or so, and 90 percent of them never heard of 9/11. They don’t know why we’re there.

PARKER: And that’s stunning.

BERNTSEN: They believe, 40 percent of them think America is out to destroy Islam and another 70 percent think that we don’t respect Islam. We have failed in the public policy war there.

PARKER: Well, how do we turn that around? How do you –

BERNTSEN: The State Department has got to do that.

Part of the problem in America is everybody wants to throw everything on the U.S. military. This is State’s responsibility, selling America there.

SPITZER: Well, here’s what I don’t understand. There’s been really an effort at nation-building.

BERNTSEN: Right.

SPITZER: And even though we don’t want to call it that, that’s what we’re doing in Afghanistan. Yet, we haven’t even begun, it seems to me, as you just said, to persuade the public in Afghanistan that we are there and we are their partners and if we don’t cross that emotional divide, we will never succeed.

BERNTSEN: The most — that’s the most fundamental piece of this that we’ve missed. And that’s what — this polling — this poll was taken in November 2010.

PARKER: Right.

BERNTSEN: You know, in the first three or four years that we lost, when we went into Iraq, we did lose those first few years. We didn’t have programs we were providing literacy training. We didn’t help women and development. We missed the first couple of years because we got stuck in Iraq –

SPITZER: Here’s what I don’t get, the president says over and over again we’re not involved in nation-building. Of course, you can’t use those words. People will say, no, we don’t want to go there. But you’re saying we can’t win unless we get involved in nation-building.

We’re not putting enough resources in to succeed at nation- building but we’re also not withdrawing the resources because we’re not involved in nation-building. So, we seem to be stuck in a netherworld, neither success nor failure. It’s going to go on for another four years.

Does this make sense to you?

BERNTSEN: Well, you know, we can’t flee Afghanistan because the Taliban would return and al Qaeda would return with them. They have a symbiotic relationship.

We’re going to have to do it but it is nation-building that no one wants to talk about. We’re going to have to help them with the development issues that are critical. And by doing so, then simultaneously, draw down traditional troops, you know, U.S. military, and have a larger sort SOCOM, special operations community, footprint there.

SPITZER: What is wrong with the strategy that goes almost immediately just to counter terrorism? You specialty and says, look, we will use Special Ops, all the high tech stuff. Go right out al Qaeda and do it in a surgical way rather than the nation-building.

(CROSSTALK) BERNTSEN: But it’s not just about al Qaeda. Look, you got on the other side of the border in Pakistan, you got, you know, Lashkar- e-Taiba, you got Lashar-e-Jhangvi. You’ve got the Tariki Taliban Pakistan.

SPITZER: But they’re in Pakistan.

BERNTSEN: But they all cross over and they’re all fighting on the ground. We’re fighting against not just the Taliban inside of Afghanistan, but multiple number of groups.

PARKER: They come in and they participate and then they go back home and take a little nap.

SPITZER: But if the Pakistani government won’t help us eradicate those forces, then will nation-building in Afghanistan get us there?

BERNTSEN: We have to do both. And, sadly, the late Richard Holbrooke understood this. This is the guy the first guy that came in and said, we need an Af-Pak solution.

Really, what we need is an Af/Pak/India solution. I would take one country further because the entire Indo-Pak problem sort of, you know, shadows over this and it increases Pakistani paranoia when they see Indian involvement in Afghanistan. This is part of this. This is all part of this, too.

SPITZER: But, Gary, our concerns about al Qaeda coming back into Afghanistan, legitimate as they are, how do we fight this battle against al Qaeda when they are in Yemen and in northern Africa and other places, and they can keep popping up and keep re-inventing themselves? I don’t know how many hundreds of second in commands we’ve killed and yet they keep reproducing.

BERNTSEN: Americans failed to recognize that CIA and the clandestine service is a very, very small organization. The D.O. should probably be double the size, the director of operations. Now, it’s called the National Clandestine Service.

You know, you probably have, you know, one-fifth or one-tenth the number of CIA officers compared to the FBI officers that are — you know, that are covering the United States. It’s a very small organization. We need to invest in intelligence and in diplomacy.

We need to do those sorts of things because the entire burden cannot always fall on the military. They catch a lot of heat unnecessarily and they’re asked to do more than they should be doing.

SPITZER: OK. If you could in one sentence say what our policy should be for clarity because it’s one of these things, nobody quite –

BERNTSEN: We need — we need to create an Afghanistan that — or assist Afghanistan to get to the point where they can help defend themselves. We can have a significant drawdown of forces by 2014. I’m glad the administration has moved from 2011 back to 2014. That is possibly achievable.

And recognize that we need to have much, much lower number of troops on the ground. We cannot afford this. If you look at the economy in the United States, can we afford what we’re spending in Afghanistan? No, we cannot over the long haul. We have to reduce that.

So — and we’ve already spent enough in blood and, you know, blood and treasure in Afghanistan. We need to be thinking about the fastest way to put this thing together, a secure way, so that we can exit that theater and leave it where it has a modicum of stability. We’re not here to build Jeffersonian democracy.

PARKER: All right. Gary Berntsen, thank you so much for being with us.

BERNTSEN: A pleasure.

PARKER: We’ll be right back.

—– TRANSCRIPT ENDS –

  • Breeze

    -  
    Radical-In-Chief: Truth Finally Comes Out On Jeremiah Wright

    Connection News Real Blog ^

    | December 31 2010
    | Paul Cooper

    Most of the the nation was shocked during the 2008 presidential campaign when videos came out of Reverend Jeremiah Wright. After all, this was candidate Barack Obama’s spiritual advisor and mentor.  The initial reaction was typical of our divided nation.  Conservatives pushed the Wright videos and the Left tried to silence their importance.  After a while people just got sick of talking about it. When the dust settled the accepted ‘reality’ was that Jeremiah Wright was nuts but Obama barely knew the guy and never heard any of Wright’s more extreme teaching. 

    Today if you bring up Jeremiah Wright, eyes…

  • Breeze

    -
    Radical-In-Chief: Truth Finally Comes Out On Jeremiah Wright Connection News Real Blog ^ | December 31 2010 | Paul CooperMost of the the nation was shocked during the 2008 presidential campaign when videos came out of Reverend Jeremiah Wright. After all, this was candidate Barack Obama’s spiritual advisor and mentor.  The initial reaction was typical of our divided nation.  Conservatives pushed the Wright videos and the Left tried to silence their importance.  After a while people just got sick of talking about it. When the dust settled the accepted ‘reality’ was that Jeremiah Wright was nuts but Obama barely knew the guy and never heard any of Wright’s more extreme teaching.  Today if you bring up Jeremiah Wright, eyes…

  • Breeze

    -  
     
    Kenyan Lessons For Obama  
     
     
    The Standard, Nairobi ^
    | 10/12/2010
    | Edward Indakwa

    “Obama should fly back home for Christmas, spend quality time with Mama Sarah, quaff a beer or two at Nyalenda and watch our TV stations and read our newspapers. In one short week, he would have gathered more knowledge on political science than they taught him at Harvard for years.”

  • Breeze

    -

    Kenyan Lessons For Obama

    The Standard, Nairobi ^ | 10/12/2010 | Edward Indakwa”Obama should fly back home for Christmas, spend quality time with Mama Sarah, quaff a beer or two at Nyalenda and watch our TV stations and read our newspapers. In one short week, he would have gathered more knowledge on political science than they taught him at Harvard for years.”

  • Guest

    My theory has always been that he is actually the son of his grandmother and Frank Davis and Stanley Ann was used to cover it up.  And they paid Barrack Sr. to marry Stanley Ann to make it believable.

  • AbigailAdams

    wbboei:  Happy New Year from your friends in Seattle who have a shared friend in Harley.  How are you and how is he doing?

  • wbboei

    That watercooler stuff is about 100% inaccurate–starting with Thune, or Hillary moving to defense.  Thune was co sponsor of a bill I wrote years ago for the cattle industry and he is not the man for the job.  The Hillary to defense business is the brain child of Leslie Gelb of NYT a big Obama lover, and former chairman of the Council of Foreign Relations.  Whoever comes up with these ideas is blindfolded and is throwing darts at the board.  Hillary had twenty six flag rank officers endorse her in the primary, as oppose to one or two for Bambi.  The main Bambi supporter was Queen for a day General McPeak whose knickname is McPrick.  He was Secretary of the Air Force for a few weeks or months and the only noteworthy accomplishment was to change the enlisted mens uniforms and they were quickly changed back after he was relieved.  McPrick was the one who was disparaging Hillary early in the campaign and was forced to recant.  He is about as military as Harpo Marx. 

  • Bronwyn

    Thank you!  i missed me too. the blog me.  the computer-addicted me  oh, i was a sorry sort, without my computer.  tearing my hair out at 4 in the morning (woke up early, and my ‘puter wouldnt boot up.  the computer-dependent me was panic-stricken for hours,  waiting for companies to open up their support lines and to get help.  Help is on the way now, and my coolest neighbors are letting me use their ‘puter.

    Hmmm … the image that goes with my name must be in my regular computer?  Maureen O’Hara! Where are you?

    Now, Breeze, I must get caught up on your postings!

  • FLDemFem

    As I recall, Halliburton changed its name and moved to Dubai. And they stole more than they made for the American people. They took billions in bonuses for jobs undone. I think its great that Cheney donates to charity, but that doesn’t change the facts about his relationship with Halliburton. Or their flat-out robbery of the American taxpayer. And their involvement in the BP disaster just goes to show how much they have done for the American people.

  • Noogan

    WikiLeaks cables: MI5 offered files on Finucane killing to inquiry

    Leaked dispatches strengthen Finucane family’s demands for inquiry into collusion between UFF gunmen and security forceshttp://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/dec/13/wikileaks-mi5-files-patrick-finucane
    MI5 has said that it is prepared to hand over sensitive files on one of the most high-profile murders during the Northern Ireland Troubles carried out by loyalist gunmen working with members of the British security forces.
    The offer in the case of the Pat Finucane, the well-known civil rights and defence lawyer murdered in front of his wife and three young children in 1989, is contained in confidential US embassy cables passed to WikiLeaks.
    Supporters of Finucane welcomed the revelation of the offer as “highly significant” and believe it could pave the way for a fresh inquiry into the killing that would be acceptable to the family.
    Owen Paterson, the Northern Ireland secretary, has told Finucane’s widow that he will decide early next year whether to hold a hearing that could shine a new light on collusion between gunmen from the Ulster Freedom Fighters and members of the security forces.
    A refusal to hold such a hearing, which Paterson has questioned in the past, would prevent an examination of the MI5 files.
    Finucane’s supporters spoke out after leaked US embassy cables, published by WikiLeaks, showed that:
    • Bertie Ahern, the Irish prime minister between 1997 and 2008, told US diplomats that “everyone knows the UK was involved” in the murder.
    • US diplomats feared that “elements of the security-legal establishments” in Britain beyond MI5 were fighting hard to resist an inquiry.
    • Brian Cowen, the current Irish prime minister, warned that a failure to hold an inquiry could be a “deal breaker”.

  • rosa

    that was a big issue way back but like so many things now its considered untrue.

  • Breeze

    -
    The Stealthy Spread of Socialism in the U.S.


    American Thinker,
    by K.E. Campbell   

    Original Article

    1/1/2011

    The biggest challenge facing Republicans in the 112th Congress is not Barack Obama. It is not Harry Reid and the Democrat-controlled Senate. It isn’t high unemployment, repealing ObamaCare, the threat of Islamism and shariah in America, the deficit, or the looming insolvency of several (mostly blue) states. These, broadly speaking, are symptoms. The disease is socialism or, at the very least, a pervasive socialistic mindset.

  • Breeze

    -  
     
    FROM THE COMMENTS:  
     
    Posted by: Obamarx  

    Thank you, Jeanne. Finally someone noticed. I made this picture of MO and the menu 2 days ago: 
     
    [sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net]

  • Breeze

    -

    FROM THE COMMENTS:

    Posted by: Obamarx <!–
    –><!– Comment: #2 –>  Jan 01, 03:32 AM<!–
    <td align=”right”>Report Abuse
    Reply</td>
    –>
    Thank you, Jeanne. Finally someone noticed. I made this picture of MO and the menu 2 days ago:
    [sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net]

  • Breeze

    -

    Foie Gras and Other Healthy Fare
     
    American Thinker,
    by Jeannie DeAngelis   

    Original Article

    1/1/2011

    President and Mrs. Obama promote one lifestyle for the peons, but when it comes to their lifestyle it’s another story.

    (Snip) It takes brazen effrontery for Mrs. Obama to wag her finger at America after licking “soy-braised short rib” drippings off it. I don’t know about you, but if I promoted myself as the female version of health guru Dr. Mehmet Oz, the last thing I would want the world to see is me gorging on unhealthy fare with the wild abandon of Albert Finney in “Tom Jones.” Yet Alan Wong’s restaurant, “one of the President’s favorite restaurants in Hawaii,” was….

  • Breeze

    -

    Hate Crimes Against
    Jews in U.S. on the Rise

    American Spectator,
    by Aaron Goldstein   

    Original Article

    1/1/2011

    While I don’t want to end the year on a down note I would like to draw your attention to a disturbing trend. It seems that incidences of anti-Semitism are on the rise in this country. According to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, Jews were targeted for hate crimes more frequently than any other group. In 2009, of 37% of all hate crimes committed in the Empire State were directed against Jews. With regard to hate crimes motivated by religious affiliation, Jews were targeted 85%.

  • Breeze

    -

    ‘Let them sip latte’: Revolt brewing
    in Spain over ‘green energy’ crisis

     
    Daily Caller,
    by Chris Horner   

    Original Article

    1/1/2011

    So here’s the latest from our president’s erstwhile glorious peoples’ economic model — which he, oddly, no longer cites — socialist Spain, where a revolt is brewing. It is by now fairly well-known in these parts, to the great embarrassment of the Obama administration, that the Spanish government’s “green economy” power grab that Obama so often publicly praised actually proved to be enormously destructive. As is pretty much always the case with the greens’ harebrained schemes these days.

    But it just keeps getting worse, and news from Spain indicates a dawning realization….

  • Breeze

    -

    FROM THE COMMENTS:

    Posted by: Attercliffe
    FTA: Rather than squirm over the latest Biden gaffe, the administration treats it as plainspoken candor that may appeal to a portion of the electorate that is unmoved by Obama’s disciplined, explanatory rhetoric.

    And it “may” cause those with more acute minds to attack him even more. The more and bigger responsibility Biden is given, the more and bigger gaffes he’ll make.

    An unidentified staffer says:

    “But there’s a recognition that [Biden], probably more than anyone in the White House inner circle, knows how Congress works,”

    Ah, but this is not your father’s Congress! This will contain the first big group of Teaple congress critters. If they’re anything like their supporters, they will not have a great deal of patience with Biden.

    Go ahead, White House strategery [intended] wonks–increase the size of your “linchpin.” Someone should have told you, size doesn’t always matter.

  • Breeze

    -

    Biden is a linchpin
    of Obama’s presidency

     
    Los Angeles Times,
    by Peter Nicholas   

    Original Article

    1/1/2011

    Reporting from Washington — Vice President Joe Biden is a career politician who has spent virtually his entire adult life in Washington politics — seemingly the antithesis of Barack Obama’s hope-and-change message. Yet with a new political order in Washington, the success of Obama’s presidency hinges more and more on the negotiating skills and political instincts of his No. 2. Facing a revived Republican Party, the White House is expected to increasingly deploy Biden as a presidential surrogate to find compromises and coax reluctant lawmakers into crossing party lines. Even Biden’s penchant for veering off message….

  • Breeze

    -

    Chief Justice Roberts Blasts
    Lawmakers On Judicial Nominations

    Fox News,
    by Lee Ross   

    Original Article

    1/1/2011

    Citing the economic downturn as one of two “immediate obstacles” to improving the performance of the federal judiciary, Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts also focuses part of his annual year-end report on the other problem he sees hampering the judicial branch: political intransigence in confirming federal judges. Roberts says the nomination and confirmation of federal judges has become a persistent problem. “Each political party has found it easy to turn on a dime from decrying to defending the blocking of judicial nominations, depending on their changing political fortunes,” Roberts said in his report released Friday.

  • Breeze

    -
    The 10 Biggest ‘Non-Story’ Stories of 2010


    American Thinker,
    by George Scaggs   

    Original Article

    1/1/2011

    No doubt, 2010 was a historic year.  While it’s not unusual for Big Media’s undeniable bias to lead them to miss if not intentionally ignore certain stories, in terms of volume 2010 seems to have offered a banner crop.  Albeit, no single story in 2010 compares to the biggie they missed in 2009; the ascendancy of the “Tea Party” movement. After the better part of a year the mainstream press finally caught up in 2010.  Oh sure, they’re still miscasting and criticizing the phenomenon but they no longer deny its existence or impact.

  • Breeze

    -  
     
     
    The Year That Humbled  
    the DC Establishment
     
     
    Real Clear Politics,  
    by David Paul Kuhn     
     
    Original Article  
     
    1/1/2011  
     
    The media establishment that hyped this Democratic president but refused to be humbled with him.  Pundits’ premises so fundamentally disproved.  The conservative collapse that was not.  The so-told emerging liberal era that was not.  The Democratic leaders who bought the hype, acting on the masochistic premise that if big liberal things were done, the American mind’s apprehension to big liberal things could be undone.  The Republican generals saved by conservative foot soldiers.  A liberal opposition that, all over again, undid itself in Pyrrhic victory.  It was a year of conventional irony.  

    But there was a particular irony to the chasm….

  • Breeze

    -

    The Year That Humbled
    the DC Establishment

    Real Clear Politics,
    by David Paul Kuhn   

    Original Article

    1/1/2011

    The media establishment that hyped this Democratic president but refused to be humbled with him.  Pundits’ premises so fundamentally disproved.  The conservative collapse that was not.  The so-told emerging liberal era that was not.  The Democratic leaders who bought the hype, acting on the masochistic premise that if big liberal things were done, the American mind’s apprehension to big liberal things could be undone.  The Republican generals saved by conservative foot soldiers.  A liberal opposition that, all over again, undid itself in Pyrrhic victory.  It was a year of conventional irony.
    But there was a particular irony to the chasm….

  • Breeze

    -

    Roll Back the Hippie Damage
     
    American Thinker,
    by Samuel Pennell   

    Original Article

    1/1/2011 

    We have seen the hippie damage, and we hate it. Conservative America has been witness to the cultural damage and decay perpetrated on it by the left since the 1960s. We have stood back with jaw agape at the horrifying images of the American family disintegrating and drug use soaring, while the liberals nod approvingly, and call it “progress.” 

    This is astonishing. Without further investigation into their motives, you would think that they are simply trying to destroy our culture simply because they are hateful. It makes one wonder.

  • Breeze

    -

    Obama will ‘work with anyone
    of either party who’s got a good idea’

    The Hill,
    by Bridget Johnson   

    Original Article

    1/1/2011

    President Obama promised an effort to work with the other side of the aisle in his weekly address on New Year’s Day, just days before the 112th Congress and a new GOP House majority begin.

    “At the start of 2011, we’re still just emerging from a once-in-a-lifetime recession that’s taken a terrible toll on millions of families,” Obama said. “We all have friends and neighbors trying to get their lives back on track.” The president said that the recovery is “gaining traction,” but noted “serious decisions” loom about keeping the economy on track …..

  • Breeze

    -

    Bill of Rights a forgotten document

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
    by Bob Barr   

    Original Article

    1/1/2011

    After fighting a war to win liberty from a tyrannical government, Anti-Federalists — a faction of our Founding Fathers led primarily by Patrick Henry distrustful of a strong national government — pushed for amendments to the Constitution to identify fundamental natural rights and civil liberties.

    Such a Bill of Rights, they believed, was necessary because of the known propensity of governments generally to usurp powers not delegated to it. Yet some, such as James Madison, initially fought such a move, based on the principle that there is no need to say what a government cannot do, because that could….

  • Breeze

    -  
     
    ABC Warns Republicans  
    Against Challenging ObamaCare
     
     
    Newsbusters,  
    by Mark Finkelstein     
     
    Original Article  
     
    1/1/2011  
     
    If Pres. Obama’s signal fight in the coming year will be preserving ObamaCare, he can count on at least one ally in his struggle with Republicans:

    ABC News and in particular its Political Director, Amy Walters.  On GMA today, Walters issued a stern warning to Republicans who might have the audacity of hoping to repeal ObamaCare.  The segment began with a montage of Republicans vowing to do do, including an oddly mocking replay of a Mitch McConnell moment.

    Then Walters appeared and pronounced her admonition.

  • Breeze

    -

    ‘A big f—— deal’ and
    more: The top 10
    political quotes of 2010

    The Hill (Washington D.C.),
    by Bob Cusack   

    Original Article

    1/1/2011

    Vice President Joe Biden’s use of profanity, a New York congressman’s admission of groping and a denial of witchcraft were among the top 10 political quotes of 2010. The healthcare reform debate is featured in several others, ranging from a Texas lawmaker’s outburst of “baby killer” to President Obama’s admission that he and his party took a “shellacking” in the midterm elections. Democrats were jubilant after they narrowly passed the healthcare bill in March, as evidenced by Biden’s comment to Obama that it was “a big f—— deal.”