After the Oxford debate…

Olemisshelmet Having watched it, I would say that Obama wins on points as a gentleman and McCain loses on coming across as a victim of coaching by brutes like Rick Davis et al.

There will be those, like the oaf Chris Matthews, who will think that McCain’s attitude shows him to be a leader.   I think it shows that he was not raised well.  His refusal to look at Obama throughout the debate, his dismissive tone of voice when continually speaking of Obama in the third person as though he were not there, his inability to say anything good about his opponent, all showed him to be a natural bully or someone who has been taught to be a bully.

I had hoped for a Queeg moment, but, it was not to be…  Maybe next time if he keeps sliding in the polls.

At one point he went on and on about his experience and how important that was in a president.  He must think that he is immortal.  Unlikely.  I suppose that he did not see the irony implicit in his choice of Sarah Palin as his designated successor.  pl

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56 Responses to After the Oxford debate…

  1. pbrownlee says:

    “The next president will have an international community anxious for a fresh start. The best advice: stay calm; do nothing rash; avoid commitments that cannot be backed up but also the impression that you are a soft touch; talk to anyone who has something to offer; work to build the country’s bruised reputation and financial position, and to reduce its energy dependence.
    “And keep in mind that, whatever the intent, some big crisis will still hit you from an unexpected direction.”
    Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, vice-principal of King’s College, London

  2. I listened to the debate as opposed to watching it. Trying to detect substantive distinctions for policy differences as to the future for both candidates. Unfortunately, both focused largely on the past. Biggest single difference over what Henry Kissinger had advised McCain (his “friend” of 35 years.) Obama clearly willing to find out for himself though what he wants to do. McCain unable to ferret out for himself what must be done and has to rely on others who he is told are “competent.” Personally, I believe Henry Kissinger is what has ailed US foreign policy since the Nixon era. But then I hold a grudge. Too many friends on Mya Lin’s Wall in the five years Kissinger and Nixon continued the war after traiterously sabotaging the peace talks during 1968. If Kissinger in his dotage is to be the out of view foreign policy advisor for McCain strongly suggest voting for Obama. Henry’s pre-emptive war in Cambodia started the US down the slippery slope to the current failures.

  3. DaveGood says:

    Were you watching the original debate as broadcast or the “Updated” Version because there are\will be differences….
    For Example… Bloomberg reported, correctly that the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher said in a speech yesterday that…
    “…the proposed $700 billion rescue of financial institutions backed by Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke would….. “plunge the U.S. government deeper into a fiscal abyss.”
    But that was swiftly upgraded into to a new improved update where according to Bloomberg he now “said” it’s…..
    “`..a critical first step” toward calming markets even while adding to the U.S. government’s fiscal burden.”
    Rewriting history before it’s finished happening.

  4. Homer says:

    McCain: “Nearly 300 Marines lost their lives in the bombing of the barracks.”
    (The 25th Anniversary of that event comes next month in OCT.)
    Despite that, McCain wants to keep spending oceans of American blood and treasure in order to prop up Dawa, i.e. the religio-political party of al-Maliki which is one and the same as the Dawa which bombed the US Embassy and played a role in the killing of the very same Marines whom McCain refers to.
    Loyal Bushies, like McCain, have done a heckuva job!!
    Remember ….
    1) Large Turnout Reported For 1st Iraqi Vote Since ’58 The Washington Post, June 21, 1980
    In another development today, Al Dawa, a clandestine Iraqi fundamentalist Moslem organization, claimed responsibility for yesterday’s grenade attack on the British Embassy here in which three gunmen reportedly were killed.
    An Al Dawa spokesman told Agence France-Presse by phone that the attack was a “punitive operation against a center of British and American plotters.”
    2) Iraq Keeps a Tight Rein on Shiites While Bidding to Win Their Loyalty The Washington Post, November 30, 1982
    Membership in Dawa, which means “the call,” is punishable by execution. Dawa guerrillas were known for hurling grenades into crowds during religious ceremonies, and attacks claimed by the party were frequent until the middle of 1980.
    Secretary of State George Shultz said Tuesday that there “quite likely” was a link between the U.S. Embassy bombing in Kuwait and attacks on American facilities in Lebanon. He warned of possible retaliation.
    The sources said the investigators matched the prints on the fingers with those on file with Kuwaiti authorities and
    tentatively identified the assailant as Raed Mukbil, an Iraqi automobile mechanic who lived in Kuwait and was a member of Hezb Al Dawa, a fundamentalist Iraqi Shiite Moslem group based in Iran.
    Kuwait Sunday announced the arrests of 10 Shiite Moslems with ties to Iran in the terrorist bombings that killed four people and wounded 66 last week at the U.S. Embassy and other targets.
    Hussein said fingerprints from the driver who died in the blast at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait identified him as Raad Akeel al Badran, an Iraqi mechanic who lived in Kuwait and belonged to the Dawa party.
    5) 10 Pro-Iranian Shiites Held in Kuwait Bombings, The Washington Post December 19, 1983
    Kuwait announced yesterday the arrest of 10 Shiite Moslems with ties to Iran in terrorist bombings that killed four people and wounded 66 last Monday at the U.S. Embassy and other targets.
    “All 10 have admitted involvement in the incidents as well as participating in planning the blasts,” Abdul Aziz Hussein, minister of state for Cabinet affairs, told reporters after a Cabinet session, United Press International reported.
    Hussein said the seven Iraqis and three Lebanese were members of the Al Dawa party, a radical Iraqi Shiite Moslem group with close ties to Iran.
    6) Beirut Bombers Seen Front for Iranian-Supported Shiite Faction, The Washington Post, January 4, 1984
    The terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the bombing of the U.S. Marine compound and the French military headquarters here may be a front for an exiled Iraqi Shiite opposition party based in Iran, in the view of a number of Arab and western diplomatic sources.
    Authorities in Kuwait say their questioning of suspects in the recent bombing there of the U.S. and French embassies indicates a clear link between Islamic Jihad, a shadowy group that says it carried out the Beirut attacks, and Al Dawa Islamiyah, the main source of resistance to the government of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
    Al Dawa (The Call) has been outlawed in Iraq, where it wants to establish a fundamentalist Islamic state to replace the secular Baath Socialist government of Saddam Hussein, who is a Sunni Moslem.
    It draws its strength from the large Shiite population in southern Iraq. Thousands of its most militant members were expelled to Iran in 1980 before the outbreak of the Iranian-Iraqi war and joined Al Dawa there. But it also has a large following in Lebanon among Iraqi exiles and sympathetic Lebanese Shiites.
    While Al Dawa operates out of Tehran, it is not clear whether its activities abroad are under direct Iranian control or merely have Iran’s tacit acceptance.
    7)Baalbek Seen As Staging Area For Terrorism, The Washington Post, January 9, 1984
    Al Dawa, according to Arab and western sources, is believed to have had a role in the Oct. 23 suicide bomb attacks on the U.S. Marine and French military compounds in Beirut.
    8) Message From Iran Triggered Bombing Spree In Kuwait, The Washington Post, February 3, 1984
    Al Dawa, for example, is no household name in the United States.
    But it is a name important to this story.
    It leads us back to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the ruling figure in Iran; to Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, the militant Lebanese Shiite leader who has been implicated–despite his denials–in the Marine and French bombings in Beirut; to Hussein Musawi, Fadlallah’s strong-arm lieutenant; to the Hakim brothers in Iran and their connections to the Middle East terrorism industry.
    9) KUWAIT ROUNDS UP BOMBING SUSPECTS. Chicago Tribune. Jul 13, 1985.
    The outlawed Iraqi Al-Daawa Party, which professes allegiance to Iranian
    leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, was blamed for bomb attacks on the
    U.S. and French Embassies and on four economic targets in Kuwait in
    December, 1983. Five people were killed and 86 injured.
    HIJACK ATTEMPT. Seattle Times. Dec 26, 1986. [snip]
    Another caller, saying he represented the Islamic Jihad terrorist group,
    said his group worked with the pro-Iranian outlawed Iraqi Al Daawa Party
    in staging the airplane hijacking.
    The mysterious Islamic Jihad holds at least two French and two American hostages in Lebanon. Al Daawa seeks to overthrow the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, which has been at war with Iran for six years.
    11) ‘Walk Free’ Prediction Gets Puzzled Reaction. San Francisco Chronicle.
    Jul 15, 1987.
    State Department officials indicated yesterday they were perplexed by
    Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North’s assertion that 17 men convicted in
    Kuwait of bomb attacks on the U.S. and French embassies will eventually
    “walk free.” …. The 17 are mainly Iraqi Shiites identified as members
    of the underground Al-Daawa Party, which is pro-Iranian.
    [keywords: Iraq; Iran; Islamic fundamentalism; Shiite fundamentalists; Dawa; Daawa; Islamic Jihad; Secretary of State George Shultz; Saddam Hussein; Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North; U.S. and French Embassies; Hizbollah; Hezbollah; Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini; Ayatollah Khomeini; 2008 presidential debates; Senator John McCain of Arizona]

  5. Michael singer says:

    Dear PAT, Though Obama never connected Bush’s economic disasters to the lives of peole in supermarkets, filling stations and the like at least he referenced Americans. McCain had nothing to say about middle class people. He never denied or defended the subsidies for big oil he supports or the Bush tax cuts for the rich. I just wish BO would lean forward, starting pointing and nail McCain on his disinterest in regular Americans. Further, his soppy mention of grunts and how they know he will take care of them must have gone over eeal well with the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who can’t get their disability payments. Yeah he’s really taken care of them and the soldiers at Walter Reed. Michael Singer

  6. Mad Dog says:

    My reaction was that of “Bully-boy mean versus Altar-boy polite”.
    There were moments when I felt that Obama should stop turning the other cheek to McSame’s schoolyard taunts of being naive, or “he just doesn’t understand”, and perhaps Obama will take the gloves off in the next debate.
    But after some reflection, I think it might have been wise on Obama’s part not to respond in kind to McSame’s bullying because to do so might have further alienated those of the electorate who fear making the choice of voting for a man of color (yes, race and racism will never be airbrushed away even if it is not spoken of out loud).
    If Obama decides that he just can’t get down in the dirt with McSame, I would like Obama to at least not appear so defensive and wounded by McSame’s attacks.
    Not ignorant of the obvious pain that such attacks cause, but instead sure, confident and serious about Obama’s own beliefs, vision and skills.

  7. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    If Obama loses, can a State secede from the Union?
    Confusing times we live in, are they not? But, I mean, who wants to call themselves part of the USA if we preemptively launch military strikes against nations that pose no threat to our citizenry? Of course, this secessionist desire is particularly true if such a “strategy” includes using weapons of mass destruction and ends up as a modern day incarnation of Victor Hanson’s vision from the inferno — Sherman’s March through the Islamic world that kills innocents by the tens of thousands, including children, all under the pretext of proclaiming freedom for all.
    Apparently, Mr. SC Gamecock himself, Sen. Lindsey Graham, does not believe that our founding fathers had envisioned a balance of power that allowed state legislatures to lodge a compliant against an authoritarian government — particularly one that creates a corporate welfare state at home and spreads imperialistic wars against other cultures abroad. A little torture here, a little torture there…
    And while I am no scholar — and admit I don’t yet know the answers — I am yet to find anyone who can counter DiLorenzo’s arguments supporting the idea that our founding fathers believed in the constitutionality of secession as a way to check the rise of an authoritarian state. As he has explained in his two books on Lincoln, secession was assumed by nearly all before the WBS, including most particularly New Englanders, who were close to seceding themselves in the early part of the 19th century.
    DiLorenzo relies heavily on the views of the great abolitionist Lysander Spooner. Spooner, prior to the WBS, wrote a brilliant tract proving the unconstitutionality of slavery — one that left everyone, including Southerners, speechless. But Spooner vehemently opposed the WBS for the exact same rationale and then went on to say that Lincoln and his campaigns of shock and awe were basically all about a war in the name of imposing punitive tariffs against the South, so as to give a revenue stream for corporate subsidies. We all know the routine today, as people are taxed to help bail out Wall Street as the wars against other cultures rage on.
    And in an attempt to pay tribute to War Eagle Raimondo’s brilliant description of our times as “bizarro”, perhaps Obama’s supporters should let Jeff Davis own arguments lead the way. Perhaps Biden, know for breathtaking gaffes, during some rally before the enlightened ones could lift Jeff Davis’ work above his head and say, “Secession — yes, we can!” And the rebuttal from the crowd, “Change, you need!”
    Then again, maybe not. But, on a more serious note, it is a pity that our state legislatures are not vehicles that can oppose the rise of a fascist government that intends to create a corporate welfare state at the expense of others and spread carnage to the rest of the world.
    And, if DiLorenzo is correct — and, again, I don’t yet know — then those who use Lincoln as a rallying call are typically part of the left (you know) or right (William Kristol) who want an executive office to spread some type of imperialism, either here or abroad, in the name of corporate welfare, among other things.

  8. lina says:

    I thought the only glaring error on Obama’s part was letting McCain get away with that weepy sililoquy about his love for veterans. I waited for Obama to come back with “then why did you vote against Jim Webb’s GI bill?” He did not. I was disappointed.
    On the upside, Obama seems to have cured himself of that meandering professorial style he displayed in the primary debates.
    I, too, was hoping for a senior moment from McCain, but at least his overt rudeness seems to have swung independents away from voting for him – as gleaned from the focus groups.

  9. “John Was Right”

    “John Was Right” Last night, the fact that Obama said that McCain was right on several occasions caused consternation among some liberals, and great rejoicing on the right. I didn’t agree. It would have been one thing had Obama not…

  10. jonst says:

    Matt Tabbi wrote the other day that he was amazed how long the GOP has gotten running against ‘the Sixties’. And that it still works.
    I thought that was an interesting insight.

  11. Dan M says:

    Poor John,
    I wonder how the Senators lack of basic courtesy and respect will play in the south? Can’t help him.
    These are things he thinks Americans care about:
    He opposes bears — they’re too expensive.
    He supports the Strategic Defense Initiative. Money well spent.
    He opposes our ill-advised military adventure in lebanon (proof that it was a bad idea? Marines died).
    He supports our ill-advised military adventure in Iraq (more Marines must die so that bracelet-bestowing mothers everywhere can sleep at night).
    He thinks Ronald Reagen was a swell president.
    He opposes calling for all sides in a conflict to show restraint. It’s “naive.”
    He dislikes the KGB, which is apparently a major threat to our way of life.
    He thinks the words “Saakashvili, “Ossetia,” and “Abkhazia” are important.
    He believes voters care passionately about the difference between “tactics” and “strategy.”
    He supports sub-committee chairmen holding fact-finding hearings.
    He opposes Washington’s gas-bag political culture.
    He says his opponent doesn’t “understand” when he should just assert his opponent is “wrong.”

  12. David W. says:

    As an independent, I am supporting Obama, but am not one to ‘drink the Koolaid.’ That said, I thought there was one man on the stage last night who acted, spoke and looked Presidential, and that was Obama.
    I am saying this only because in 2000 and 2004, I felt neither candidate was truly Presidential in the debates.

  13. Will says:

    the Israelis used to always condemn the late PLO chair and PA president Y. Arafat for the disparity of his statements for those abroad and for home consumption, i.e. his English and his Arabic statements did not match.
    I wonder whether B, Husein Obama’s private and public statements would also betray some incongruence.
    On some sundry topics, first the public posture followed perhaps by the private or backroom talk.
    1. Russia-Caucus GA.
    A. The behavior of the Russkies is unacceptable. Pure aggression. they must roll back. Such aggression in the 21st Century- who would have thought it?
    B. Come on now kids- Russia is a lot more important to us than Uke or GA. They got deliverable nukes, Europe’s gas & and oil in a choke hold. How can we forget that this former communist nation is now a Christian nation? After all, that idiot ShakkCash conducted a nightime artillery raid on a civilian city with Russian peacekeepers inside. How stupid can you get?
    How come we didn’t see this coming? Where was our HUMINT? We need somebody like W. Pat Lang running HUMINT at DIA again!!!
    2. What is the greatest national security threat?
    A. Iran acquiring Nukes and becoming an existintial threat to Israel.
    B. We got to say this shit to get elected. Gen Abizaid said a while ago that we could live with a few Iranian nukes. What would be the big deal? But that is the reality of Jewish leverage in tight U.S. elections. Eh, after all, that kind of reality check would have to come from Axlerod and Rahm Emmanuel, my controllers, not from my lips.
    3. What is this about McCain sayin Mahmoud Ahmed Nezadi says Israel must be destroyed?
    A. That is a vile thing this nut is saying.
    B. Of course that is not what he is saying. Professor Cole and Jonathan Steele and even Ne(j)zadi (See how easy it is to prononuce when you de-agglutinate it) have explained he is talking about disappearance of the apartheid state through the process of historical process analogous to what happened to the Soviet Union. he is repeating a saying of the Ayatollah Khomeini.)
    For those w/ classical background contrast that with Cato the Elder who ended every speech with “Cartago Delenda Est.”
    (more correctly-Carthaginem esse delendam ). Carthage must be destroyed
    4. The War on Terror- where it must be fought?
    A. Afghanistan + Waziristan where it started.
    B. that is bullcrap. We will be fighting the Pushtu speakers for fifty years. This war against the Muslims started in Palestine. It blew up bigtime in 1967 when LBJ green lighted the total defeat of secular Egypt, Syria and Jordan. We killed the last powerful secularist regime in Iraq. Now the crazy fundamentalists rule. Sunni in one corner and Shiite in the other and they are striving for dominance.
    Undil we do something in Palestine, there is no hope of unraveling this knot. The facts on the ground under Bush have made a two state solution impossible. A binational state is the next step. But with West Bank and Hamas under different political leadership, who knows how to bring it about?
    we have sown the wind, and are reaping the whirlwind.
    5. What is going on with this 700 billion dollars?
    A. it is an immense burden on the taxpayers and it will delay other programs.
    B. Shh. Don’t let the secret out. Yes there are printing presses for $100 bills. But the more important presses spit out the T-bills. We just refloat incoming T-Bills with bigger issues. As long as people are working and the economy is growing, it don’t matter. Keynes explained it a long time ago-keep the money supply just right. The only danger is running out of ink or paper.

  14. JohnS says:

    I thought the debate was more or less fought to a draw, maybe slight advantage Obama. Not the pundits, however, who were busy studying body language, eye contact and who knows what else. They appear to give it overwhelmingly to Obama. as do independents in most overnight polls I’m seeing.
    I never call these things right!

  15. Green Zone Cafe says:

    I applaud your endorsement of Obama. It is the only way to restore America’s image in the world and probably to avoid apocalypse.
    That said, your hope for a Queeg moment for McCain surprised me. Although I am considering whether McCain “deserves it” for his campaign and his reckless choice of Palin, I thought of Lt. Barney Greenwald’s words:
    “Question is, in the last analysis–last analysis–what do you do for dough? Old Yellowstain, for dough, was standing guard on this fat dumb and happy country of ours. Meantime me, I was advancing little free non-Prussian life for dough. Of course, we figured in those days, only fools go into armed service. Bad pay, no millionaire future, and You can’t call your mind or body your own. Not for sensitive intellectuals. So when all hell broke loose and the Germans started running out of soap and figured, well it’s time to come over and melt down old Mrs. Greenwald–who’s gonna stop them? Not her boy Barney. Can’t stop a Nazi with a lawbook. So I dropped the lawbooks and ran to learn how to fly. Stout fellow. Meantime, and it took a year and a half before I was any good, who was keeping Mama out of the soap dish? Captain Queeg.”

  16. Bobo says:

    Debates are always in the eye of the beholder as to the winner.
    Its obvious McCain has taken some of Obama’s ads personally, thus the animosity. As to being a Bully, thats a stretch or is that some sort of Army-Navy thing.
    Both candidates got what they wanted out of the debate. Obama held his own and raised his stature while McCain continued to pummel Obama on his experience and naivete.
    McCain missed an opportunity when Obama speaking about Bush said to McCain “Your President”, we all know he is OUR President whether you like him or not. Obama needs to get this speaking to foreign despots without conditions behind him. I know he tried but he needs set it straight, diplomacy first, or McCain will continue to eat his lunch on it.
    It all came down to a trained wordsmith versus a naval aviator and McCain did better than I thought he would.

  17. Nobody says:

    “The only danger is running out of ink or paper.”
    In 1923, the German finance ministry planned for months to get enough paper and ink to do it. No longer a practical problem. Now all you have to do is inconvenience a few electrons.

  18. Will says:

    it still sticks in my craw that neither McCain, Obama, nor Lehrer got antennae sensitive enough to detect “Republican” Guards when the context called for “Revolutionary” Guards.
    It’s that Sunni-Shiite thing. Obama could have cleaned three-sticks’ clock on that.
    ” As you well know, the Republican Guards worked for the former President Saddam , whereas the Revolutionary Guards, work for the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

  19. Cieran says:

    I couldn’t help but notice how stuck in the 60’s McCain still seems to be. Almost all of his little speeches last night seemed to involve only the past tense, which isn’t going to do us much good with the myriad problems that complicate our future.
    I was formerly of the opinion that most of the disparity between where Obama ought to be in the polls and where he is in the polls was due to the color of his skin. I still believe that (due to the fact that I voted for Tom Bradley in 1982 and 1986, and have observed the Bradley effect in actual practice), but I now think there’s another factor in play here…
    The GOP is increasingly the party of the delusional, and we have a plentiful supply of voters who fit that description.
    GOP positions on almost all issues are obviously contradicted by reality (e.g., the GOP House members’ plan for fixing the economy, or the continued assertions that we’ve won the war in Iraq), but the unreality that guides GOP beliefs is one that is remarkably attractive to many Americans, e.g., you can keep borrowing without making any concomitant investments, there’s infinite oil and gas right here in the US-of-A, and all complex problems have simple solutions that usually involve nothing more than dropping bombs on other countries.
    For those Americans who are invested in those myths the GOP has propagated since the Reagan era, hearing Obama talk about the need to live in a larger world, or make explicit the likelihood that the nation’s economy is in danger of falling apart, merely makes them cling more tightly to their fantasies of American exceptionalism.
    Obama and the Democratic party are asking Americans to roll up their sleeves and get to work fixing the problems of this nation, including dealing with the awful costs of foolish wars and even more foolish investment policies. And much of the population simply doesn’t want to hear that message of accountability and responsibility, so they tune in to the gibberish that McCain and Palin are selling instead.

  20. par4 says:

    Will,you sound like a Maureen Dowd column.

  21. DeLudendwarf says:

    I thought Obama did well in the debate, when many of the punditry were predicting that McCain would mop the floor with him.
    McCain seemed old,looking backwards, rather than forwards, a one-tracked old mind.
    In fact, he reminded me a lot of Barry Goldwater in ’64.
    The old lumbering, completely predictable heavyweight, ran into a pretty damned good counter-puncher in Obama.
    My take on it.
    I was impressed.

  22. Andrew Kitz says:

    A short time ago, Col. Lang referred to Mr. McCain as a “man in decline.” Having watched the debate, I would firmly agree. I would add that the rigors of his current “mission” have undoubtedly accelerated the trend. Mr McCain’s face reveals a man who appears to be in near constant pain, and given his personality type, I’m sure much of that pain is kept from the world. I’ve spent much time recently with a man living in constant pain, and the look is unmistakeable.
    Mr McCain’s decisions reflect a man who is no longer in control of his own destiny. His campaign has long ceased to be governed to any degree by his own will. He has lost the battle for his soul, and I believe we are witnessing the tragic twilight of a once proud political career. Even if he emerges victorious, his administration will hardly be a manifestation of his influence. He is owned. When we see by whom, the affair is all the more tragic. This will become all too apparent very soon into his first term. Thus, ignominy awaits him even in victory.
    Are we to expect that once he assumes office, Mr McCain will reassert his more admirable qualities and his former capabilities? No. The horse has been broken, and things will not improve once he is subject to the daily demands of the job. Mr McCain is clearly a man in personal turmoil, an anthropomorphic metaphor for the state of our union itself. He doesn’t have much left, spiritually or physically, and he is ever so susceptible to some dangerous people and dangerous ideologies with which he has surrounded himself. If this sad saga must play itself out, let it not happen with our nation’s future at stake.

  23. I thought the debate was more or less fought to a draw,…
    Me too. McCain did better than I thought he would considering some of the short clips of him I’ve seen the last few weeks.
    I liked this format much better than the older ones. Better, but not perfect…we INTJs need lots more details!

  24. rjj says:

    “I never call these things right!” (JohnS.)
    Are you sure?

  25. Paul says:

    John McCain is an old man who should not be running for this office. He is the bore and offensive person described in the blog. BTW, that he would not look at or address Obama is racism in its purest form. (Pretend he does not exist)
    The same crowd (and it is really only a handful) that brought us a stolen election in 2000 is at it again.
    There is something physically wrong with McCain. He will not stand up to the rigors of the office. Incapacitation has an 80% to 100% chance in my opinion. Why won’t they release his health records?
    Should he be incapacitated, we would be subjected to a government far worse that the one George Bush delivered. It is especially scary because a proven robot (Palin) would be controlled by unknown right wing zealots.
    Americans should forget the posturing and hollow promises and vote for own interests. Vote Obama for to do otherwise risks an uncertain future.

  26. Patrick Lang says:

    A couple of people have written objecting to my suggesting that McCain might have disintegrated last night into a moment of frothing rage along the lines of “Lieutenant Commander Queeg” on the witness stand in the “Caine Mutiny Court Martial.” Someone suggested that Queeg (the character) was a really, really, brave soul and this person cited Lt Greenwald’s (Jose Ferrar) empassioned defense of Queeg after the lieutenants, these feckless civilians in uniform are acquitted of the charge of mutiny.
    I share the sentiment that long service regulars deserve a special credit for their patiently endured years of suffering. It would be odd if I did not feel that way.
    Nevertheless, in the end Queeg was still mad as a hatter.
    Well, pilgrims, I have served with a lot of brave, devoted men who were at the same time people who should not have had command. McCain is impaired. Wait and see. pl

  27. rjj says:

    His refusal to look at Obama throughout the debate, his dismissive tone of voice when continually speaking of Obama in the third person as though he were not there, his inability to say anything good about his opponent, all showed him to be a natural bully or someone who has been taught to be a bully.

    It is also how people behave when they haven’t mastered their aversion or anger. (and where command of affect IS command of situation).
    Dubya types are the latent Queegs. McCain is a different species of evil-tempered little hothead.
    I don’t question the statement that he is impaired.
    To weigh the merits of the impaired against those of the defective folks need a St. Michael® Brand balance.
    Ebay has none on offer. Choose wisely.

  28. Fitz says:

    Here is what Chis Matthews had to say:

  29. alnval says:

    At one point he went on and on about his experience and how important that was in a president. He must think that he is immortal. Unlikely. I suppose that he did not see the irony implicit in his choice of Sarah Palin as his designated successor. pl
    Col. Lang:
    I thought there might be some interest in one psychologist’s take on why McCain relies so heavily on experience.
    As a kid and adolescent, McCain was restless, outgoing, attention seeking, and angry. Although he could interact easily with others he often used this skill to disrupt the lives of the people around him so as to diminish their ability to control him. Cocky, self-confident in the extreme, risk taking, and with an impulsive style that resulted in lapses of common sense and good judgment, he did not fit easily into any setting. He always had something to prove.
    Up until the time of his capture in Vietnam, he was an outlier; someone who did not incorporate or acknowledge the importance of social rules unless forced to do so. He always knew better and felt unappreciated.
    He relates that his five and one/half years as a POW offered the opportunity for self examination that led him to understand that if he was going to survive he needed to rein in his impulsivity and anger. That experience as a POW did little, however, to modify or undo his prior behavior or thinking. Like his earlier experiences with other negative reinforcers, it simply pushed his impulsivity and anger a little farther from public view.
    [Negative reinforcement (punishment) does that to you. If you’re going to survive you learn quickly to stop showing the behavior that gets you in trouble. The problem is that all you learn how to do is to avoid the punishment. You never learn other, better ways of getting your needs met.]
    Since his release from captivity, McCain’s basic world view hasn’t changed much. Like most things over time, it’s matured a bit. Although still the cocky, self confident, risk taking, impulsive, lapses-in-good-judgment, action-oriented, angry person he’s always been, he’s learned that there are some settings where “letting it all hang out” is really not in his best interest. Regardless, his important interpersonal relationships continue to be dictated by a fear of being controlled and diminished by others and the need to keep that from happening.
    Aware that he may have limitations, he constantly assesses the behavior of others to make sure that they have neither discovered nor are using them to control him. Under stress he easily misinterprets others behavior as critical and judgmental. He then angrily and publicly lashes out. He is not aware of how his own behavior can provoke negative judgment. He allows few into his inner circle and then only those who have learned to be careful what they say to him.
    He routinely keeps others away by angry posturing coupled with a patent and public willingness to be irrationally confrontive over what others would see as trivialities. Disdainful of feelings, he thinks nothing of trying to provoke others into challenging him so he can prove how truly powerful he is. Those who do not take up the gauntlet of his taunts and challenges (as did Obama) he treats with contempt as weak and unworthy of having a relationship with him.
    Although disdainful of authority, he has learned to subordinate himself to it for his own personal ends. Even so, he tries constantly to minimize its influence so as to preserve as much of his autonomy and independence as possible. When doing this he often becomes “The Maverick.” He tells stories about himself and others and believes them.
    He believes that if you want to do something right, do it yourself. His interpersonal style does not encourage him to work cooperatively with others or to work as part of a team. He is willing to delegate but only to those he believes actively share his point of view.
    He relies heavily and trusts the tangible and concrete nature of his own life experiences as the basis for his decisions. It is difficult for him to integrate into his thinking ideas that are outside this personal experience base.
    Not a person who appreciates the value of planning ahead, he relies heavily on rules, regulations and procedures to organize and control his world. Aware intellectually that there is value in thinking something through before responding, nevertheless, when in a crisis situation, he is capable of reacting without thinking.

  30. Patrick Lang says:

    I see that I wronged Matthews in this case. My bad. pl

  31. ServingPatriot says:

    Obama and the Democratic party are asking Americans to roll up their sleeves and get to work fixing the problems of this nation, including dealing with the awful costs of foolish wars and even more foolish investment policies. And much of the population simply doesn’t want to hear that message of accountability and responsibility, so they tune in to the gibberish that McCain and Palin are selling instead.
    The examples abound… but the most obvious is the unwillingness to join in the “generational struggle” of our lifetime against terra(TM). Or in the smallest steps towards energy conservation and diversification. Or even in working together because our nation needs us to. Nascar’s on dontcha’ know?
    On September 12th, 2001, the Nation was ready to work together, was already beginning to gel together without prompting, and was desperate for some inspiring, guiding leadership. Instead, we were told to go shopping. Be consumers. Let the “Pros” handle it. The bright shining moment flickered out.
    In Bacevich’s latest, The Limits of Power, he explores this very moral malaise, identifying it as a key basis for the Republic’s steady decline. And until the People throw it off, we’ll continue to muddle along, oblivious to our weakness and rapid decline on the world stage.
    Maybe the People will wake up when everything they see is owned by a foreigner?

  32. Will says:

    Did somebody say MODO (Maureen Dowd)?
    She’s already dissected the debate and Woe upon Mr. Big Ears. He has flubbed his chance again.
    “It would have been easy for smarty-pants Obama to get in the face of the temperamental older guy.

    “McCain kept painting Obama as naïve, and dangerous, insisting that he “doesn’t quite understand or doesn’t get it.”
    Obama should have responded “Senator, I understand perfectly, I’m just saying you’re wrong.”
    On the surge, he could have said that McCain was the arsonist who wanted to be praised for the great job he’s doing putting out the fire he started.
    When Obama took quiet umbrage at McCain’s attack about troop-funding, he could have pounded the lectern and said with real anger: “John, I am sick and tired of you suggesting that I would take funds away from our brave soldiers. I no more voted for that than you did when you voted against our funding proposals that would have imposed a timetable. And unlike you, I did not vote against funding increases for the troops that have come home with devastating physical and mental injuries.”
    And who cares what Henry Kissinger thinks? He was wrong 35 years ago, and it’s only gotten worse since then.
    Obama did a poor job of getting under McCain’s skin. Or maybe McCain did an exceptional job of not letting Obama get under his skin. McCain nattered about earmarks and Obama ran out of gas.
    We’re left waiting for a knockout debate. On to Palin-Biden

  33. Castellio says:

    I think Andrew Kitz hits the nail on the head. McCain is longer in control of his own destiny.
    Now, as with Palin, I have this impression he is saying: “I can make the choices I know you think are right”.. not, “here are the choices I have made and here’s why.”

  34. TomB says:

    Consistent with the fact that almost by definition the folks who visit here tend to be political junkies of a sort I think we oughta take a step back and look at the big picture.
    Obama’s big burden is of course his newness, which then is further troublesome given his somewhat exotic name and background.
    So for the vast majority of folks much of what they are going to be looking for is simply whether the man appears—personality wise, intelligence wise, character-wise and etc.—to be just as credible a President as McCain.
    I didn’t watch the debate but by all accounts Obama did this and more. And I suspect that as these debates go on and people focus more now on making up their minds, Obama will do nothing but go up in the polls and win barring some insane gaffe on his part.
    In this respect then Obama is however making a big mistake by not taking up McCain’s challenge to have a helluva lot more debates. The more Obama shows himself, the better. And since I agree with Col. Lang that McCain is one big, twitchy and unstable bag of ego, the greater the chances that he’ll no longer be able to hold it in and will start foaming at the mouth about Martians tapping his brain-waves. And even if not Obama could then just keep subtly and politely pounding away at *McCain’s* big burdens which are his age/mental decreptitude and his “experience” at being nothing but a slavish follower of Bush’s policies as to both our present foreign affairs debacle and our present economic debacle.
    Obama is going to win anyway I believe, but he’s still missing a helluva beat I think. He oughta call the little nutball out all he can; the innumerable comparisons with McCain can only help him.

  35. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    For the folks who want Obama to get angry on TV so that all 300 million of us can see it; just three words: angry black man.
    IMHO, Obama does us all a favor by containing and channeling his anger so that the country doesn’t have to deal with “angry black man.”
    We’ve come a long way but the veneer is thin, the history long and the myths are still powerful.

  36. Marcus says:

    Obama won the body language contest. All he had to do was keep his own with McCain’s strength. The real fight is forthcoming.
    Obama is a counter-puncher, very cautious and feels out his opponent for the first few rounds. There will probably be some solid blows landed when he sees his opening.
    PL ” McCain is impaired.”
    This is what this is all about–Supreme Court picks– and McCain would choose someone impaired as he.

  37. Jack Kemp says:

    Why are McCains’ health records off limits? That should be a legitimate metric for consideration.

  38. Jack Kemp says:

    Kudos and thanks, btw, to COL Lang, for the consistently great photo intros to his posts. Humour is a weapon in the hands of the skilled. Although, that stealth shot of Blackwater in N.O. haunts.

  39. jonst says:

    Serving Patriot,
    I would argue that the gap between what Obama and the Dems are proposing, and what Col Bacevich is calling for, especially in his book, American Empire, is as wide as the Pacific Ocean. Obama and the Dems could not, even in the bathroom, alone, at 3AM whisper the words “American Empire”, to say nothing of denouncing the militarization of American life that Bacevich–rightly, in my opinion-warns us about.
    Further, you wrote:
    On September 12th, 2001, the Nation was ready to work together, was already beginning to gel together without prompting, and was desperate for some inspiring, guiding leadership. Instead, we were told to go shopping. Be consumers. Let the “Pros” handle it. The bright shining moment flickered out.”
    Really? I saw no rush to the recruiting station. And I was there on the 12th. Foolishly, as it turned out, inquiring about the age limit for the Judge Advocate’s Office. Further, I saw no rush to raise taxes to pay for what, obviously, was going to be a huge outlay in spending. I heard no talk of a draft. Now, perhaps all these ideas and proposals, including my own, might have turned out to be bad ideas and proposals. Over reactions. Or not, as the case may be, that is not my point. My point is there was no call for anything like this. There was no rush to recruiting stations. The majority of Americans seemed just fine with the go shopping go to Disneyland advice. Though I think we did have the ‘decency’ to be a bit—but only a bit– embarrassed by that.

  40. ServingPatriot says:

    I agree with you on the wide gulf between current Dem (or can we agree, citizen?) position on Empire and what Bacevich warns against.
    But, in comparing the two candidates, BHO seems far more likely to call the citizens to question their belief in consumerism and lazy-ness in support of their own country. JSMiii only calls for us to accept the present situation and, in fact, embrace the Empire (without embracing the costs of manging such).
    As to 12 Sept, perhaps my views were colored by my proximity to the attacked Acela corridor, the copious coverage of volunteer responses (especially to NYC) and my own status in the service of my country. You write, “The majority of Americans seemed just fine with the go shopping go to Disneyland advice”. To this, I agree. But, I believe this attitude speaks to the paucity of national leadership in time of crisis. Americans were, innately, ready to pitch in; they were desperate to be told how to help. And they were told – go shopping and go to Disneyland – and that’s what they did. The leading political party used the moment to enlarge its power and discredit its political opponents; that party COULD have used the moment to address root causes and mobilize needed strengths. The unification moment came and went. Subsequent events demonstrate the inauthentic nature of the government’s response; cynicism, skepticism and outright (grassroots) opposition ensued.
    A chicken-egg conundrum? Which comes first, the self-motivation or the government encouragement? To me, the govt HAD to lead and it chose not to. Others will view it differently. I do hope, though, that the actual situation is not one in which our citizens would fail to mobilize themselves even WITH government leadership; if this is the case, even a charismatic leader like BHO will be unable to turn our supertanker of state from its course towards the rocks.

  41. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Why no mention of the 2007 NIE during a US Presidential debate on national security?
    At the Oxford debate, both candidates avoided the 2007 NIE as if it an adversarial government had drafted its conclusions that Iran, at this time, poses no security threat to the US. With the likes of Norman Podhoretz whispering in McCain’s ear, one can reasonably assume that the McCain brain trust disagrees with its findings. So such a stance from the “country first” crowd illustrates what everyone already knows — when it comes to a US foreign policy stance towards Iran, the Republicans are not placing first the security interests of the US, at least according to the US intelligence community.
    And it is at this point that one can see that the Axelrod brain trust missed a golden opportunity during the debates. Obama could have relied on an official US Government document — the 2007 NIE — to prove that McCain has ignored the findings of the US intel community and even held it in disdain.
    Even better, Obama could have used the 2007 NIE to deliver a major knock-out punch. If McCain had refused to agree with Obama’s endorsement of the findings of the NIE, then, number one, McCain has proven himself unAmerican and, number two, that, despite his heroism in the past, McCain has admitted in front of the American public that he no longer is an expert on national security affairs. In other words, by shunning the findings of the 2007 NIE, McCain, by his own actions, disqualified himself as expert on US foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East.
    Best I can tell, no better way exists to have triggered a McCain meltdown in public. Think about it — an articulate community organizer from Chicago tells Mr. Navy that, by shunning the 2007 NIE, he no longer has any expertise on national security issues. And by doing so, Obama intimates at a sub textual level that McCain has treated the US intel community in much the same manner as Abbie Hoffman, if not William Ayers, and therefore has proven himself decidedly unAmerican. Then stand back for fireworks, as Mr. Navy says, “my friend” and proceeds to go apoplectic.
    It gets even better because all the while the smiling Obama now carries the banner, “country first”, which would have gone a long way to help him overcome some reasonable doubts raised by his spiritual director raging, “g-d America”, something MLK Jr would have never said and may explain why MLK Jr. avoided the hatred that emanates from Chicago. Wish Obama had too.
    The NIE would have helped Obama overcome the Chicago problem and, as a final lagniappe, Obama, by relying upon the NIE, would have publicized its findings to such an extent that Joe Citizen would have become keenly interested in a document that the msm wants us all to forget. Make of the msm what you will.
    So looked at from that point of view, the 2007 NIE was a gift to Obama. And my God, if nothing else, it would have been so much fun to have raised the NIE to McCain’s ire before millions of Americans. That kind of gift only comes around once in a blue moon.
    So if true, then disturbing questions arise. Why did not the Axelrod brain trust and the enlightened ones make the 2007 NIE the centerpiece of Obama’s national security views, particularly in regard to Iran and the Middle East? It is because they too disagree with the work of the US intel community or is it because they don’t have the wherewithal to conduct a proper cross examination of John McCain? Or both?
    Perhaps both, particularly when you look at the initial attack launched against Sarah Palin, not by Obama, I quickly add, but by the enlightened ones that surround Obama. In Obama’s defense, Obama seems to have a natural ability to understand others — he seems gifted in that area — but it is his advisors and most fanatical supporters who do not have this aptitude, in my opinion. Strangely, Obama’s most rabid supporters are his antithesis in that regard.
    And only now are undecided voters getting over the rather haughty comments towards Palin’s culture made by the enlightened ones, particularly those of daily kos. It almost as if the Republicans put her on the stand in front of a jury of undecided voters and the Democrats started their cross examination by saying, “And your down syndrome baby is not yours, is it?” Not sure that approach wins over undecided juries but maybe I am wrong
    But now that the classless attack by the enlightened ones is receding in the collective memory, it looks like Palin is starting to show that she is not qualified, which was not that hard to accomplish. Just ask her questions in the most respectful tone possible and then stand back for amazingly entertaining answers. Honestly, it is not hard to do.
    So the point is obvious: you counter McCain in a different way than Palin. By focusing on the 2007 NIE, Obama could have delivered a knock-out punch and, even more fun, triggered a McCain meltdown which, to rely upon the Southern vernacular, would have been a sight to see, especially on Friday night t-v.

  42. DaveGood says:

    When debating whether to cast your vote for Obama or McCain, consider this….
    Which one, in front of witnesses called his wife a ” Trollop!” And a C**t!”
    Or perhaps he was thinking of his future pick for VP.
    Consider also his nickname while flying Navy Jets was “Wet Start”…. then go look at what happened to the USS Forrestal on the 29th of July 1967… and ask yourselves….. why was John McCain ( The son of a US Navy Admiral) transferred off the ship the next day?

  43. Cieran says:

    In Bacevich’s latest, The Limits of Power, he explores this very moral malaise, identifying it as a key basis for the Republic’s steady decline.
    I’m currently reading this book, and it’s excellent, i.e., thoughtful, accessible and cogent. Bacevich has certainly seen the full extent of these problems, and is reporting back with feasible solutions… if we Americans are ever ready to listen and learn.
    Bacevich was recently interviewed for a full hour of Bill Moyers PBS show. It was one of the most informative and moving examples of educational television I’ve ever seen.

  44. rjj says:

    There will be those, like the oaf Chris Matthews, who will think that McCain’s attitude shows him to be a leader.

    This seems an odd thing to expect from Chris “Tingly” Matthews, whose livelihood depends on pleasing his GE masters.

  45. rjj says:

    RE: alnval | 27 September 2008 at 07:08 PM One psychologist’s take.
    Who is that psychologist and what does s/he have to say about Obama? I have no quibbles with the take on McCain.
    I am most interested in personality traits that might predict how each would abuse the powers of the Unitary Executive. [Expletive deleted] the lofty principles, everybody talks lofty principles – show me on-the-record scruples in action !!!!
    Good intentions don’t count.

  46. Patrick Lang says:

    Matthews tends to support agrressive nastiness as a methodolgy in politics. In this case, he did not.
    If you are going to say that McCain said that about his wife, I think you have to provide evidence. pl

  47. DaveGood says:

    It’s in a book published by Cliff Schecter.
    Here’s just one of many ( over 4,000) links you’ll get if you type in MacCain, wife, and the two offensive words.
    I heard about this some years back.
    And if untrue I’m certain McCain would have sued by now, if not put out a restraining on the order on the book being published at all.

  48. DaveGood says:

    When debating whether to cast your vote for Obama or McCain, consider this….
    Which one, in front of witnesses called his wife a ” Trollop!” And a C**t!”
    Or perhaps he was thinking of his future pick for VP.
    Consider also his nickname while flying Navy Jets was “Wet Start”…. then go look at what happened to the USS Forrestal on the 29th of July 1967… and ask yourselves….. why was John McCain ( The son of a US Navy Admiral) transferred off the ship the next day?

  49. rjj says:

    PL, I don’t remember who reported that McCain said that to his wife, but it did happen. She took the wifely liberty of getting in his physical space and teasing him about his thinning hair while he was “doing business” with the person who reported it. My take: it distracted, undermined, and infuriated him.
    Had some female pol’s husband grabbed an anatomical part and teased her about being fat assed (or flat chested or fill in the blank) as she was concentrating on “doing business,” feminists and the Defenders of Womanhood would be howling for his head.
    Her little gesture was thoughtless, inappropriate, and subversive (assume unintentionally); his response was intemperate, inappropriate, and self-destructive: inexcusable — but understandable.

  50. alnval says:

    Rjj wrote: Who is that psychologist and what does s/he have to say about Obama? I have no quibbles with the take on McCain.
    I am most interested in personality traits that might predict how each would abuse the powers of the Unitary Executive. [Expletive deleted] the lofty principles, everybody talks lofty principles – show me on-the-record scruples in action !!!!
    Col. Lang:
    I am the psychologist: Retired, licensed with 50 years of teaching and consulting to government and private sectors including organizational effectiveness and personnel selection.
    Obama’s history, unlike McCain’s, suggests an orientation to getting things done that recognizes the importance of identifying, bringing together and motivating the people with the skills sets required for the task. I would describe him as having an approach to the decision making process that is primarily participative and which values the inclusion of people whose ideas differ from his own. Of all the recent candidates for president, Obama is the least likely to create “Group Think.” (Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs)
    For Obama, getting public personal recognition is not part of his management style. One can easily infer that he follows the maxim, “By their works ye shall know them.” As a result, it was amusing the other day to hear Obama remind a pundit who was complaining to him about his lack of management experience that he (Obama) had been the manager of his campaign and thought that so far he’d done a pretty good job. (In this context, Obama’s campaign manager David Plouffe is the COO and not the CEO.)
    It’s also instructive to read Politico’s June article on Obama’s work as President of the Harvard Law Review. (Obama kept Law Review balanced Jeffrey Ressner & Ben Smith Politico June 2, 2008.)
    They conclude:
    “. . . Obama’s time on the Review mirrored other aspects of his life. Even in the staunchly liberal milieus in which he has spent his entire adult life, Obama has managed to lead without leaving a clear ideological stamp, and to respect — and even, at times, to embrace — opposing views. To his critics, that’s a sign of a lack of core beliefs. To his admirers, it’s the root of his appeal.”
    Convinced of the value of this approach, Obama has not been reluctant to modify it when necessary. His failure to defeat Congressman Bobbie Rush in 2000 is a good example. Obama thought he had it made. Thinking his work in the Illinois State Senate and in Chicago’s south side would carry the day, he was wrong. He ran without the support of the Daley machine and was soundly a margin of two to one. He returned chastened to the Illinois legislature and in 2004 was elected to the US Senate.
    Unlike McCain’s, Obama’s behavioral history does not have wide arc pendulum swings. He presents as steady, predictable, consistent, reliable and constant. His history does not show, as does McCain’s, uneven judgment, questionable decision making, and the need for public retreat from rash, impulsive choices.
    History continues to be the best predictor of the future, and, Leopards really don’t change their spots. For these reasons, and given what I’ve learned about Obama, I don’t worry about his ability to lead the country.

  51. Duncan Kinder says:

    Having watched it, I would say that Obama wins on points as a gentleman and McCain loses on coming across as a victim of coaching by brutes like Rick Davis et al.
    The problem with the Republican party is that – while they are or purport to be conservative – they are not gentlemen.
    There was a time when I once routinely pledged:

    I pledge on my honor as a gentleman that I will neither lie, cheat, nor steal nor tolerate those who do.

    Obviously the 43 odd percent who support McCain or the 25-30 percent who support Bush do not subscribe to this pledge.
    The concept of the “gentleman” is not sacrosanct; there are many critiques of it. But these lead one toward a liberal position. ( Of course, it is also possible to be a liberal while also a gentleman. ).
    The boorish, Social Darwinist Republican “base” is fully as repulsive in its own way as that bastardization of liberalism known as PC.
    Would that we had a genuine Tory party instead of these Republican thugs.

  52. mike says:

    DaveGood – That BS about McC starting the Forrestal disaster was started by the right-wing Republican freepers back in 2000, when he was running against their chosen one. They swiftboated him the same way they swiftboated Kerry in 2004 and Max Cleland in 2002. We should not be stooping to their level by repeating slanderous BS like that.
    However, I have no problem if you want to call McCain a reverse Ace with his score of -5 US aircraft.

  53. DaveGood says:

    Fair point.
    If this story originated from right wing Freepers and Swift boaters… I was not aware of it.
    How sick must they feel now?
    “Reverse Ace” is a phrase that made me grin.

  54. Pat, excellent post, and important insight from a gentleman and scholar.
    Here’s my take on McCain’s erratic behavior:
    Keep up the good work.
    Jerry Loftus

  55. rollingmyeyes says:

    Did McCain have anything to do with Georgia’s invasion of Ossetia? He had a Noble Leaders Speech ready to go when it happened. I personally am not sure that I am a Georgian Now. Tugging on the bear’s tail doesn’t make sense right now. Putin can say, “Yeah, you and what army?” The one that has been taught to do counterinsurgency in Iraq, and whose tanks are too warn out to imagining them swarming the fields of Europe?

  56. JustPlainDave says:

    @ Sidney O Smith III,
    I rather suspect they stayed away from the NIE because it hinges almost entirely on Iranian intentions.
    Can’t see a pol trying to sell that to an electorate not exactly renowned for its understanding or trust of Iranian intentions.

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