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27 December 2012


Paul Emery

So George , when Pat Robertson says that the Hatian earthquake is payback by the devil does that disqualify from voting because of his "innocent of science"?

Today on his 700 Club television show, Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson highlighted the tragedy and said that his network will be there “to help the people.” However, he then tried to offer an explanation for the earthquake, blaming Haiti’s own people for once making a “pact to the devil”:

ROBERTSON: [S]omething happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. Napoleon the Third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, “We will serve you if you get us free from the prince.” True story. And so the devil said, “OK, it’s a deal.” They kicked the French out, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free.

But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other, desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It’s cut down the middle, on the one side is Haiti, on the other side is the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty.


Russ Steele

To vote, a citizen should meet the minimum requirements of those seeking US citizenship. Those requirements include:

• “an understanding of the English language, including an ability to read, write, and speak...simple words and phrases...in ordinary usage in the English language....”

• “a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history, and of the principles and form of government, of the United States....”

If the voter cannot demonstrate proficiency in these simple requirements, then they should not be allowed to vote, regardless of their birth right. It is imperative that citizens understand the fundamental history and our constitutional form of government. It is unfortunate that the Constitution is no longer taught in many of our schools. Liberal’s do not like our Constitutional form of government, and want to create some bastardized version that absolved them of personal responsibility.

Douglas Keachie

There should be history tests, three of them. One written by the Dems, one by the Repubs, and one by independents, with the respective sides providing the correct answers for their tests. Anyone you can pass all three tests at 85% or better can vote. 20 multiple choice questions, drawn from pools of up to 500 questions per party. Both questions and answers are published ahead of time.

Douglas Keachie

Open book optional, if you can do it closed book, your vote counts twice.

Russ Steele


Are you saying that Republicans, Democrats and Independents read and interpret the Constitution differently? Can you give us some examples? How about the 2nd Amendment? It seems quite clear. What would be the differences?

George Rebane

PaulE 653pm - Don't know if I agree with ol' Pat, but he does present a plausible explanation from his understanding of Christianity. Again, I don't know where you are going with this. No one seems to grouse when God is credited with saving a life or causing the storm to abate. Giving faith based reasons for existential events is a hard thing to dispute, and it has been done for an awful long time. But I'd bet the ranch that PatR could pass a reasonable set of requirements such as in Russ's 713pm.

And DougK went into the weeds again in his 808pm. Somebody get that frustrated comedian a job on the stage (the next one leaving town).

Account Deleted

re: Doug at 8:08 - How about a Dem, Rep and Ind version of current events such as the violence at Benghazi? Taking a history test written by Dems is easy. The answer to all questions is: It's Bush's fault. So I pass that one already!
Seriously now - there is zero chance of any kind of testing for the ability to vote. Already we have seen the requirement for the possession of an ID to be beyond a seemingly large segment of the population. And the corollary issues would be troublesome. For example - if a person is not allowed to vote due to not passing a test, wouldn't it then be fair to exempt them from paying taxes?

Paul Emery

Yes Scott I believe they call that taxation without representation.

George Rebane

PaulE 956pm - I'm not sure that "taxation without representation" applies here. People who don't/can't vote (like the cited groups) are still represented because they belong to a population that has representatives in government, even if they didn't vote for them.

That phrase came from pre-Revolutionary times and expressed a grievance that truly existed since the colonists had no one in Parliament that represented their interests. They were governed and managed by a colonial affairs office. See what we can make of this -

Douglas Keachie

Those that cannot pass the tests should be exempt from paying taxes for schools, since they obviously didn't get their money's worth, providing they are smart enough to find the right check box on a constantly changing government website.


First, we need to change the proposition process. A college educated voter has great difficulty figuring out what the propositions are for/against. I think it needs to be much harder to get propositions on ballots or the wording needs to pass some simple tests.

#1.) Obviously, someone not paying income tax (lets say a minimum of $2,500 fed, and/or $1,500 state) should not be permitted to vote.

#2: I think a non-binding sheet should be included with ballots and tax returns sharing the priorities of said taxpayer; ranking the top 20 expense line items (education, prisons, parks, welfare, etc)."taxpayer, where should we be spending our time and your tax money, please rank the following.... This needs to be tallied and made available to the public.

Steve Frisch

I think only white men who own property and pay taxes should be able to vote. If we are going to be constitutionalists lets really be Constitutionalists!

George Rebane

What are thoughts on having to re-establish voting bona fides, say, as frequently as we have to do that to retain the ability to drive a car?

Russ Steele


What is wrong with the Constitution as amended? These amendment were done at the will of the people. While I do not agree with all the changes, I can live with the existing Constitution as Amended. Now all we have to do is get back to following the Amended Constitution.


I don't think property ownership should be required.

If you are not paying income taxes you should not be permitted to determine (via vote) how they are spent. Period. Common sense.

Steve Frisch

Not only were the amendments done by the will of the people, the definition of voting rights was done by the will of the people--the governing laws were passed by Congress and adjudicated by the SCOTUS--so they are law. The will of the people. In short, the people have spoken and will not tolerate literacy tests, means testing or civics testing to qualify to vote.

Peter Van Zant

I don't remember this subject coming up in 2010 when the tea party won big, or when the Bush's won. Must be something about the Dems and President Obama.

George Rebane

No one here is arguing that today's voting is done illegally; defending that hill is a non-starter in this discussion.

Is it done according to the current will of the people? That is problematic, since laws do change but at any time before the change it could be argued that the will of the people still ruled. So the current exercise is predicated on the proposition that 1) we, as a diverse population, are no longer effectively represented, and 2) that Jefferson's 'a nation ignorant and free, that never was and never shall be' is coming true in spades as the gimmes are outnumbering the givers.

Therefore, is there a need to change voting laws, and in what way? If you say NO, without a reasonable basis, you are effectively leaving the conversation. If YES, then how and why?

George Rebane

PeterZ 957am - Welcome again Peter, good to hear from you.

Of course the topic didn't came up in 2010, because after the election both sides felt they still had some levers of power - Dems had the presidency and retained the Senate, the Repubs just captured the House and had hopes for 2012.

Today the Repubs' mood is lower than a snake's belly, and given the 2012 results, there is reason to believe that the promised fundamental transformation is now fully underway. Conservatives see themselves now as not only a permanent minority, but a second class minority.


Frisch 9:46 is a rare instance of both cogency and relevance.

Rebane 10:07, George, cheer up. Maybe conservatives will manage to bitch slap the evangelical wing enough to make nice with libertarians in order to make a new majority.

Todd Juvinall

Only men and women should be able to vote.

Douglas Keachie

Those who pay too much in income taxes should not be allowed to vote either. Obviously they've mastered gaming the system and it should be illegal for them to change it any more in their favor.

Douglas Keachie

Only cat and dog owners should vote. They obviously have compassion for other living beings. BTW, is the 20 dead kids so "last weeks news?" Don't see any solutions beyond mine as yet.

Steve Frisch

Jeez George, isn't may answer obvious, its NO. What I am pointing out here is that we have had this discussion as a nation from our founding and the trend has been to liberalize voting laws to create universal suffrage. I am not leaving the discussion, I am pointing out that you, and everyone else here, are engaged in an exercise in magical thinking.

Meanwhile, this magical thinking is why "Conservatives see themselves now as not only a permanent minority, but a second class minority."

This topic is all about President Obama, and becoming a permanent minority. You think that because you lost it must be because the 'people' are stupid. What you should be addressing is that you lost because your positions are stupid.

Lets get something straight: Latinos are now a part of our culture just as Italians became part of our culture, no one gives a darn if people of the same sex marry, reproductive health is part of HEALTH there is no rational for treating one part of the body as legally different from another, no one thinks that we are at risk of adopting Sharia law, no one gives a damn about the UN, and people think that the rich get a free ride in the good old USA compared to their tax rates in the 1940-70's.

Until "conservatarians" can come up with a case that resonates with latinos and women, people who support equal rights and seculars, people who care about planning efficient communities and working families, you will be a minority, albeit not a second class one, since you get the same right to magical thinking that everyone else has.


Let's get something straight: the assumptions left unstated in Frisch's 11:03 is where the meat is.

It isn't about "Latinos" being a part in our culture, it's about illegal immigration. Emphasis on "illegal"; either we have an open border for every other nationality, or we don't.

It isn't about one's reproductive organs being part of HEALTH care, it's about the Federal government demanding the providing of free contraceptives (not necessarily the WalMart $9/mo birth control pills, it's the sky's the limit) and elective abortions (i.e. kill my baby, please) on demand to those who want it, paid for by someone else. Either your coworkers or the taxpayers as a whole.

It isn't about gays and lesbians living together in stable units, it's about centuries of family law being reapplied as a new relationship is called the same old thing, the tax law that has been built up with a biological family model (yes, women on average make less than men do and it's almost entirely covered by the time in the workforce that is sacrificed to perhaps the most human of endeavors, having and rearing children) and the desire to ease the tax burdens on the nuclear family. In short, the 'gay marriage' debate is about the money, not the bedroom. In California, civil unions provide every spousal right and obligation possible, just not Federal goodies and the right to married benefits that might be part of one's employment (ie the money and time off).

Then there's the slight of hand confusing "tax rates" and "taxes paid". If you want tax rates of the '50's, expect the tax deductions of the '50's. How many of you recall that ALL interest on ANY loan being tax deductible? The rationale was that interest was income to someone else, and THEY will pay taxes on it, if owed.

Really, Frisch, and you were doing so well earlier today. Magical thinking, indeed.

Paul Emery

Gregory re 28 December 2012 at 10:31 AM

Are you referring to a new majority within the Repub party or a new party?

George, just for fun what percentage of our current voters would likely qualify for voting if the testing you propose was in effect?

"In short, there should be some intellectual and/or cognitive skills that the citizen should demonstrate that may even alleviate the majority and/or mental incompetency requirements. But what would these skills be and how would they be measured and certified?"

Russ Steele


If the Republican Conservatives are not on message how can you explain this? They keep gaining governorships.

"Republicans holding governorships in 30 of the 50 states, the highest number for either party in 12 years." It is true that in the last election Democrats retook 7 chambers, but Republican's made some gains elsewhere:

"They [Republicans] may have lost supermajorities in four states, but they gained supermajorities in four others—with a possible fifth in Georgia hinging on which party an independent house member chooses to caucus with. Overall, while Republicans lost control of seven chambers, they picked up four others.

Bottom line is that at the State level conservative are gaining strength and it will become even more so in 2014 as States Rights become the next big Tea Party issue.


"Are you referring to a new majority within the Repub party or a new party?"

Paul, it's a lot easier to change an existing party than make a new one. The GOP could conceivably change enough for me to stop holding my nose by curbing their Evangelicals and a few other excesses, but I don't see the Dems voluntarily changing as state and federal spending is the glue that holds them together, and that's a hard addiction to kick.

Paul Emery

A hard addiction for the Repubs to is massive military spending and support for the role of the worlds police force. That alone will keep any self respectable Libertarian away. The Evangelicals are about 46% of the party and of course they have god on their side so I don't see them being pragmatic.


Paul, Dems are nearly as addicted to military spending, and both Clinton and Obama have bombed countries and killed their civilians without the quaint formality of actually being at war.

They just want *different* wars and killing, along with a slashing of the defense budget so they can spend the money buying votes more directly.

Paul Emery

I agree Gregory about the Dems on Military spending. I was pointing out that as long as we have the police force of the world agenda the Pubbers or Dems will likely not get enthusiastic support from Libertarians in general. Also, the way Ron Paul was treated at the convention will not be soon forgotten.


I would not in my wildest dreams think the GOP would change to make even libertarians in general(not specifically Libertarian Party members) enthusiastic about being Republican. However, it wouldn't take much movement to gain a few percent, and they'd not lose many Evangelicals as long as they at least paid lip service to their hot button issues.


I realize this is a minority position but I'm of the opinion that the franchise should only be granted to those who have voluntarily served their country honorably either through military service or in some civilian version (say, 2 years community service - hospice - seasonal fire crews - anything that can indicate a commitment to the greater community) and are otherwise law abiding, tax paying legal residents.

if you don't have skin in the game, if your life isn't on the line, if you don't pay for it, it has no value.

case on point; our current condition...


Vid, what we have now is more about free Obamaphones and pretending we can change the weather with carbon taxes than a lack of teenaged cannonfodder.

"Service guarantees Citizenship"; sounds like the tag line from a shlock sci-fi action flick with a little T&A thrown in for the kiddies.

George Rebane

DougK 1053am - I thought I also gave a fairly detailed solution - perhaps you missed it.

Gregory 1234am - Amen.

PaulE 1246am - Before my parents became US citizens in 1955, they had to attend citizenship class for approximately one year, and then pass an exam that demonstrated they were literate in English, knew the main themes of American history, and understood how the government was constituted and worked. As a high school teenager, they had me quiz them in the evenings. They took considerable pride in mastering that curriculum, and were continually amazed at how little native Americans knew about their own country.

I would be surprised if two out of five adults today could pass that citizenship exam. Should every voter be literate and possess such a fundamental knowledge base about our country - I would say yes. And if they don't, then it's time to go to a local high school or community college in the evenings and pick up some smarts to help them cast their own vote, instead of someone else's.

Videodrone 313pm - Intriguing notion, one that has been discussed for many years. National service, in its various forms, is still required in many countries as milestone to full franchisement. (Sure wish you'd take off the sack with eye holes.)

Ben Emery

What an elitist anti-American anti-liberty and anti-freedom post George. Over the last year or so I sat and watched you piece by piece propose the exact forms of government that the American Revolution was fought against. This post is the epitome of class warfare and tyranny.

The answer is better education for all citizens as an investment as a collective society not making it only available for privileged.

How on earth can anyone who believes in literacy tests or poll tax call themselves a proponent of liberty and freedom?

How is there liberty and freedom if a person doesn't have a say in the laws that they live under? Not having a vote means having no representation and I believe it was Paul who nailed it with taxation without representation. Having to pay a stamp tax was were the coined phrase that came from the Stamp Act, which was put in place to pay for the French and Indian War. Really it was a way to put more control over the American colonies.

George and his followers promote Defense, Military, and American Empire but ignore the fact these are the traditional tools of tyranny and despotism. Send those who have no representation on the declaration of that war to fight and then tax them or their families to pay for the war itself.

I am against American Hegemony and war but is not a pacifist. I say this because if George and those who agree with him were ever to really gain any traction I would be the first in line to fight against them from implementing their oppressive ideas.

So what George wants is the poor to have no voting rights, no right to education thus no way of obtaining voting rights, which means no ability to afford higher education thus never qualifying for public office, no ability to afford health care, and no ability to obtain land or decent shelter. I will stop there but we all get the point.

What George Rebane wants is something equivalent to a poll tax that discriminates against the poor.

1) No Public Schools = only those with the ability to pay for education can have one

2) Private Teachers who only teach the agenda of those who control the wealth and power

3) Voting rights, which would cease to exist due to those with absolute power don't let others vote on how much power they can keep, but in George's fantasy world only those who can pass such tests that are prepared by those who fund and control education

4) Workers should be paid virtually nothing if they don't have an education for skilled labor, which means workers will never be able to afford education

This is basis of a caste system and unless any of the regulars on this blog come from very old money we would all be the uneducated and wage slaves who would live at the mercy of the Aristocratic form of government that would engulf the US within a few generations.

Steve Frisch

Thats OK Ben, when we talk about returning to our roots, we really mean it over here. If it weren't for the failed War for Southern Independence we could go back to indentured servitude and slavery, then we would not have any problems getting cheap labor and capital would really thrive! Oh, wait, lets re-litigate that little dispute too!

Here is the simple truth of America: we have been on a quest expanding individual rights, by that I mean the rights of the individual, since our founding.

Conservatives have struggled to restrict the growth of individual rights and liberty.

Liberals have struggled to expand them.

It is the story of our nation....


Indentured Servitude

interesting concept, some of my ancestors came over indentured (and one or two were paying for the servant)

on the face of it - how is it different from the contract one signs and swears to when joining (the all volunteer - for the last 30 plus years) military? (Ooh evil! I heard someone say)

as a once upon law school student seem to remember that if you have two parties that freely and willingly engage in a contract with "offer" "acceptance" and "consideration" that does constitute a legal and binding contract.

so, you're a refugee, someone offers you passage to the new world in exchange for x number of years of your work while you are fed, housed and clothed and often learned a trade (caveat - it has to be decent, humane, which given the conditions that many signed up for was not a difficult threshold to achieve)

something about giving a man a fish as opposed to teaching him to fish

George Rebane

BenE 639pm - I have not proposed anything that our government, reflecting the will of the people, did not impose upon my family and me (and millions of other immigrants) in order for us to become fully franchised American citizens. In your fine essay condemning me, I may have missed what your ideas are regarding the qualifications for voting.

BTW, by any of the international measures duly applied, during the 40+ year reign of the progressives, America has been on the decline in the ranking of freedoms for the individual and for enterprise.

Ben Emery

I challenge you to do a search on socioeconomic class of the "all volunteer" US military and see what you find. The rural poor who have less access to services and well funded education systems due to low tax revenues. This is the truth despite having smaller population % they will make up over 50% of those who are enlisted. Predatory recruiting is nothing to be proud of. I will say this those who volunteer to give up their lives to protect the US Constitution should have access to affordable housing, job placement, higher education, and health care along with their families who also contribute so much.

I would much rather have a $10:1 investment of good education system that produces and educated electorate then to have a huge undereducated poor standing army/ military.

“And say, finally, whether peace is best preserved by giving energy to the government, or information to the people. This last is the most certain, and the most legitimate engine of government. Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. Enable them to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order, and they will preserve them.... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.” Thomas Jefferson letter to James Madison

George Rebane

Re BenE's 1004pm - fortunately for the rest of us, there is nothing in Jefferson's quote that supports Ben's diatribe against the poor being used by the rich to man their evil military. The military of most developed countries have served the careers of the less wealthy and given them an honorable career in and out of the service. It has always been the lot of the second and succeeding sons to seek their fortunes in the military, clergy, or commerce. And America stands in the forefront of those countries whose military has enormously benefited those who did their duty.



and I'll challenge you back with real life, My birthday was the 3rd one out of the last draft "bowl" I was in my 2nd year of college having recently transferred from UC Berkeley to CalTech (yeah, I'm a nerd) and given the choices I had at the time (not "Surviving Son", "Pre-med" or any of the other exempt-able classes) I had few choices - go underground and never be legitimate, go to Canada or go C.O. (had a good friend who did - spent 4 years in "servitude") so rather than be teenage cannon fodder I volunteered (and as the Coast Guard was full up ended up in the Navy) - both my younger brothers - who were not subject to the draft also volunteered and ended up as a Nuclear engineer and Air Traffic controller (we used to tell Mom that I was still playing piano in the brothel rather than working in "TV") and I know many recent service folks (and a few reserves) if you wish to think of us as some lower socioeconomic class by all means go for it, just because you believe it does not make it true.

Michael Anderson

I don't even know where to begin. I have a huge collection of quotes from the usual suspects here, and I will respond to them accordingly. But to you I have just one thing we need to get straightened out immediately: if you are born here, you get all the rights automatically; if you want to move here, you have a higher hurdle. Sorry, but them's the facts. Your parents, and yourself, did an admirable job of inculcating the American precepts into your very being.

Dumbass born-here Americans? Not so much. But you will never be able to change the rules; it's in the Constitution as GG, SF, Vid, and even TJ have explained.

This movement to narrow the voters is a non-starter. It will go nowhere. Never. Ever. Try a new tactic.


George Rebane

MichaelA 1042pm - well enough then. But since the right to vote has been a public issue since the Revolution, and continues to this day, who do you think should determine who can and cannot vote?

Michael Anderson

"...who do you think should determine who can and cannot vote?"



From Frisch:

"Conservatives have struggled to restrict the growth of individual rights and liberty."

That's the cartoon version from the current left.

"Liberals have struggled to expand them."
Only the politically correct rights, mostly those granted by group membership, have been what the current self described 'liberals' have granted. You have the right to believe what you are supposed to believe.

Just look at how the Frischies of the world treat scientific dissent over catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. Some are even calling for the death penalty.

"It is the story of our nation...."
It's the classic liberals, aka libertarians, who wrote that story, Steve. The debts racked up by the massive growth of the State under the direction of the Federalists mostly of the Democratic persuasion is on the verge of enslaving us all.


I think that we should adopt the progressive idea of graduated taxes; the more you make the more you pay; to voting. Everyone of legal age who is a US citizen and does not have criminal convictions that restrict voting gets one vote. Then you would get one additional vote for every $5000.00 that the individual pays in federal income taxes. The States could be free to set up a similar progressive system in the name of those more fortunate then others to be "fair".

Todd Juvinall

Dogs and cats. living together. That is America. The left only wants the dogs.

Brad Croul

121,745,725 people voted. Obama won by only 3,476,775. If we have a "voter" problem, at least it is pretty evenly distributed. Voting does not really require as much personal responsibility as, say, driving a car, or owning a gun, in that, for one thing, you cannot irresponsibly or maliciously just go out and kill someone with a voter registration card.

Congress is the group that needs to be sent to the re-education camps for remedial instruction in ethics, morality, responsibility, accountability, honesty and integrity.


George, thanks for the comical comment stream... it has been a doozy. The concept of liberals fighting for individual liberty and conservatives for tyranny is priceless (considering the focus of liberals is on collectivism, central power, central planning, individual sacrifice). Perhaps I am missing some sarcasm?

I think emotions are running high (maybe because Obama turned out to be politician and not a deity).

I still believe that only taxpayers should be able to vote. But, I am logical and I know that nothing is going to change regarding voting requirements.

FACT: Conservatives cannot compete with the freebies-for-votes offered by the liberalsand are passed the tipping point (debt is unsustainable and tax structure mortally broken).


Our current condition is a byproduct of our society's values/morality (or lack thereof).

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams

This fact gives solace to us on the moral high ground, despite losses at the polls. If winning requires an ideology based in hate then I don't want to win (I take pride in losing).

Douglas Keachie

Let's see, Mikey, it is impossible to find examples of hatred towards Obama in the last election and on into today, on the part of registered voters self identified as members of the Republican party? The exhaust manifold of your Duesenberg must be connected to some pretty heady stuff, the Ridge's finest, to come to that conclusion, as you commit political suicide.

George Rebane

The 29dec12 update has been appended.

Michael Anderson

George wrote: "[Progressives believe that deciding who can vote] should be left to the sharp wits who gather in the various branches of the federal government – SCOTUS seems to be a favorite...But I am of those who believe that it is we the citizens who should launch such re-examinations and keep them going to the profit of all...It is actually Congress and the state legislatures that have the power to say who votes and who doesn’t."

And after the people and the legislature have spoken, SCOTUS has the final word.

The real debate should be regarding whether voting is a state right or a federal right. We have legislatures in places like Florida coming up with voting procedures that can only be explained by them having deliberated while on LSD, for example.

George Rebane

MichaelA 125pm - please give us a link to the Florida procedures that pique your ire.

And in a free land, there is never an "after" for people, legislatures, and SCOTUS "speaking"; such speaking goes on forever. In the meanwhile we must abide by the existing laws as we see how they work and continue seeking to improve them. That may be another deep division in between conservative and progressive ideologies. We conservetarians are a feisty lot, and never sign up for either statism, and most certainly not for stasis.

Michael Anderson

GR 147pm - "...such speaking goes on forever."

No argument there, George. Just so long as we have the order correct in the process.

A quick Google search turned up oodles of examples of how the partisan voting rules in Florida are a disgrace. Here are just a handful.

"Democratic Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher..." http://www.policymic.com/articles/19206/florida-election-results-2012-allen-west-decries-voter-fraud-in-florida-and-he-is-right

Eight hours to cast a ballot? The election officials should have to spend some time in jail if that's what it takes: http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/political/election-2012-results-delayed-florida-voters-frustrated-calls-for-change-to-election-laws

Sheesh! http://thevotingnews.com/dems-to-justice-department-probe-florida-election-law-palm-beach-post/



Looks like I was being kind in trying to assign blame to massive LSD abuse. It looks a lot more like corruption and criminal behavior that needs a painful rectal probe from the US Justice Department. Maybe the next election in Florida should be held courtesy of the National Guard. Nothing like uniformed men standing around with M16s to get the attention of a bunch of "elected" thugs and criminals.

Russ Steele

Speaking of voting, how should the Republicans Vote on any compromised to keep us from going off the fiscal cliff?

I have a suggestion they might want to follow. Do nothing! Vote Present and sit on there hands. There are going to be tax increases regardless of what they do. Let the Democrats suddenly come to the realization they are the sole proprietors of the 2013 economic bomb and start fighting among themselves. The Republican's need to just focus on 2014, developing a stronger majority in the House, removing the limp Boehner leadership and replacing him with a strong conservative. Then retake the Senate, putting Harry Reid our to pasture on the back 40.

Once the Republican's control of the Senate, it will be possible to reign in the Obama executive orders and we can return to econmic sanity.

Michael Anderson


It is highly unlikely that Boehner is going anywhere. The votes just aren't there to get rid of him. The Republicans are kinda stuck at the moment, which is sad to see.

There is no doubt we're going off the "fiscal cliff" (more like the fiscal speed bump). The first week of January or so, tax cuts (going back to the Bush cuts) for everyone under either $400K or $250K (my bet is on $400K) will pass in the House, then the Senate. Mixed into that will be continuing unemployment benefits and other minor gimmes.

After that, real negotiations will begin regarding spending cuts, entitlement and tax reform, and immigration reform. But adult behavior in this arena is severely in danger if the idiotic gridlock continues.

The real "cliff" is the debt ceiling limit. It needs to be raised. Not raising the debt limit is like deciding not to pay your monthly minimum credit card payment because you're pissed off at yourself for charging too much. Anyone who supports this is insane as far as I'm concerned. As in 5150 material.

The Republicans use it as leverage because that's all they have. It's wreckless, it's childish, and it should be illegal. Not raising the debt ceiling will have a really negative effect on my home and business, and I will fight it tooth and nail.

Michael A.


Sorry manderson, but Congress has the power to limit the debt, and I salute them for bringing out the big guns and not bowing to one of Obama's early demands that they push the next debt ceiling debate out a year or two. A demand he knew would be refused, not a serious position.

It isn't the only thing they have; the Speaker remains the gatekeeper for taxes and budgets, but the childish and *reckless* abandonment (your "wreckless" means no wrecks) of Congressional oversight would be to cede the power to the Executive branch, which is what Dems want.

Personally, I suspect Dems will come out smelling better in January but it will be a Pyhrric victory in the short term only.

Michael Anderson

GG, thanks for the editing services--please send me an invoice.

Ruining the good faith and credit of the USA is irresponsible. It's "drown the baby" behavior. Does it border on treason?

Our debt is no worse than it was during WWII. We survived that...what is different now? Are we a lesser country? Hardly.

Greg, I agree with you that the Democratic victory in January will be Pyrrhic [I guess our editing service invoices will cancel each other out here], which is why the main discussion in Washington D.C. is within the Democratic Party: how far will they go to destroy the Republican Party?

The first strategy is to hobble them, but let them back on the playing field severely diminished. The other strategy is to attempt to destroy them completely, turn them into a rump party, let them Whig themselves to death. After which another, more reasonable (and libertarian), party emerges to pick up where the other one left off.

I happen to favor the first strategy, but see the efficacy in the second if it becomes necessary.

Michael Anderson

Dear Republicans,

You've boxed yourselves into an extremely deleterious corner. You have no escape. You need to negotiate your way out of your self-created mess, and all of your options are unpleasant.

You realistically have only two choices: come out of the negotiation extremely hobbled, or be utterly destroyed.

If I were in your shoes, I would choose RUMP with a delicious libertarian twist. Let the Teas be Teas, and see if they can overcome their hidden predilection for Moral Majority nonsense, to join a party that doesn't believe in legislating personal behavior.

Exciting times, these. It amazes me that the super lame Democratic Party is on the top of the heap right now. How horrible is that?

Michael A.

George Rebane

Re MichaelA 810pm - "Our debt is no worse than it was during WWII. We survived that...what is different now? Are we a lesser country? Hardly."

In 1945 we emerged as the only industrial country that survived the war undamaged and practiced in new ways of industry that no one thought possible before the war. The world that needed to be rebuilt was our customer for retooled commercial goods and even more armaments as our friends rearmed for the Cold War.

Today our debt exceeds our GDP, and our unfunded and unmentioned liabilities are north of $100T. Since the Great Doubling our workforce competes with 3 billion workers worldwide, workers who are hungry, more educated, and to gain their place in the sun, willing to work for less than our pampered workers. And today we have competition from several quarters in not only commerce, but also in matters of hegemony. And there are even more differences.

So today are we a lesser country when compared to our competition? The answer is an emphatic YES. And saddest of all, today we are doing everything possible to ourselves to cripple our under-educated workforce, our military, and the nation's economy. Even a light reading of history (not the crap taught in our public schools) will confirm that now we are not the country that emerged victorious from WW2.

Michael Anderson

My replies below:

"The world that needed to be rebuilt was our customer for retooled commercial goods and even more armaments as our friends rearmed for the Cold War."

And so we continue to arm the world, one of our most prodigious industries up to this day. Our predominance here is not going away any time soon.

"Today our debt exceeds our GDP, and our unfunded and unmentioned liabilities are north of $100T."

Our debt is 16 trillion +, which is just a bit over our annual gross GDP. Big whoop. If the Rethuglicans would stop messing with our "good faith and credit," we could start to move our debt in the other direction. The "$100T unfunded liabilities" is a conservatarian talking point, a shibboleth for that tribe, describing a disparate pile of we-owe-yous that may are may not be honored. In the aggregate, they are not worthy of bringing down the USA, unless that is the unspoken goal.

"And today we have competition from several quarters in not only commerce, but also in matters of hegemony. And there are even more differences."

Yeah, but we still have the capital and brain-trust mojo. Plus real estate, i.e. location. And a great capitalist economy, which draws people from all over the world to try to succeed in whatever enterprise they choose.

"So today are we a lesser country when compared to our competition? The answer is an emphatic YES."

What competition are you talking about? China?? A flash in the pan. England or Europe? Yeah, maybe Germany but not much else. Russia, India, Burma, Vietnam? It is to laugh...

"Even a light reading of history (not the crap taught in our public schools) will confirm that now we are not the country that emerged victorious from WW2."

Links please...

Michael A.

Michael Anderson

PS This is the most important question in the 21st century: "Why the microline through the brain, instead of a less invasive harness?"



Todd Juvinall

Only conservatives and libertarians should be allowed to vote. All the rest are dumbkoffs. Happy New Year to all!

Steve Frisch

Only people with IQ's above 100 should be allowed to vote. That way my vote would not be offset by Todd's at every election!

George Rebane

MichaelA 1023pm - Thanks for your considered reply. I believe it summarizes nicely the progressives' sanguine attitudes and perceptions about the state of the nation and America's global standing. The references and detailed discussions outlining America's decline are given throughout RR and can be easily googled. The debate about the nature and progress of that decline for the last 15-20 years has been publicly debated, much published, and visible to most observers. Some recent commentary -

Don't misunderstand, our fate is our own doing. And we have made a big commitment to downgrade our stature and role in the global community. Your attitude reminds me of the Greeks and Spaniards, and soon the Italians and the French.

But then, we digress from the matter of who should vote.

Ben Emery

This goes towards a general theme and you 8:16 comment.

What has happened is materialism has replaced critical thinking, spirituality, and faith in something larger than ourselves. Marketing has become far superior than the mindless screen zombi's ability to think for themselves. I am sure you are familiar with the term and history of "Bread and Circuses" As we see the middle class sliding into poverty we are seeing more and more of this strategy at play. Keep credit accessible to make up for loss of wages so the working class can keep the guts full and the minds entertained enough where they don't want to rock the boat to much because they don't want to lose the little they have.

I know you love to talk about public debt but have you looked at private debt lately? It is around 600% of the public debt.



Steve Frisch, that IQ threshold would wipe out Ben Emery's vote while letting Todd squeak by, so be careful what you wish for.

Ben, private debt is backed by assets that exceed the value of the debt and a promise to pay lest the lender foreclose and take the asset as agreed before the loan is made; public debt is backed only by the promise to extract taxes from the people. There is a difference.

George Rebane

BenE 1131am - what you say is true. I venture that we may differ on the causes and the remedies to what you describe. Critical thinking is no longer taught (nay, shunned in academe), and spirituality is effectively proscribed in the public round by prohibiting expression of the tenets that anchor our faiths. And the people will assume debt to the extent that they perceive it to be 'free' - low interest rates and promise of government rescue programs.

Joe Koyote

I think there should be an IQ requirement for president. The highest presidential IQs in resent history were (in order ) Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Richard Nixon. Had the IQ rule been set at 100 (considered to be average) our country would not have suffered under the Bush regime. While HW came in close at 98 (below average), son George, at 91, came in just two points above "mentally disabled formally called moron" which explains a lot.

Joe Koyote

Could Sarah Palin have passed your proposed voting test?

Russ Steele


Joe you did not provide an links to the reported IQs. Here is what a quick search found:

"First, Bush is definitely intelligent. The IQ estimates range between 111.1 and 138.5, with an average around 125. That places him in the upper range of college graduates in raw intellect (Cronbach, 1960). Admittedly, this average is influenced by Cox's (1926) corrected scores, which may be overestimates. Yet even if we focus on just the uncorrected IQs, the range is between 111.1 and 128.5, with a mean around 120, which is about the average IQ for a college graduate in the United States. In addition, the figure is more than one standard deviation above the population mean, placing Bush in the upper 10% of the intelligence distribution (Storfer, 1990). These results endorse what has been claimed on the basis of his SAT scores and his Harvard MBA, namely, that his IQ most likely exceeds 115 (Immelman, 2001). He is certainly smart enough to be president of the United States (Simonton, 1985)."


Here is a table for the Other Presidents: http://cseweb.ucsd.edu/users/gary/bush-iq.tiff

There is no doubt the Clinton had a higher IQ, but in many cases high IQ does not relate well to common sense, like when to keep your zipper up.

Russ Steele


Regardless of what you think of Sarah Palin, she was a high school honor graduate and had a high enough SAT score to enter the University. She was smart enough to be elected governor, to out smart the political crooks in state government, write two book and get a gig as political commentator on Fox News. My guess, based on her successes she is smarter than your average liberal.

Oh, but the way the IQ scores on the Internet were photoshopped according to Snopes.


When one's excess IQ is consumed by Bimbo eruptions and discussions on what the meaning of "is" is to dance around perjury charges, it *is* wasted.

George, I think you're talking past Ben on the "critical thinking" issue. You probably have a traditional view that it somehow involves a large amount of intellectual capital involving subject knowledge, knowledge of events, their causes and effects, and a mastery of inductive and deductive logic and the limitations of induction and deduction.

Ben, and especially Keach, seem to think it's more an issue of being able to make wild inferences based upon tenuous and superficial facts, and misunderstandings.

Joe Koyote

RE: zippers .. You might want to add David Patreaus, Newt Gingrich, and a host of politicos world wide to the list. I agree that IQ does not equate to common sense. Neither does wealth. Rather than a focus on whose zippers were up or down, one might want to ask how it is that a president with any common sense at all would invade another country under false pretenses and instead the focus is zippers. These are the real questions.. not zippers

Russ Steele


Joe, are we going back to Bush Lied About WMDs again? What is it that liberal like yourself do not understand about the facts.

• Iraq under Saddam had and used WMDs, in the guise of chemical weapons, against the Kurds and the Iranians.
• His agents spent years and millions of dollars trying to acquire the technology for nuclear weapons and a delivery system.
• It was the official position of the US Congress in the 1990s, and the Clinton administration, along with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and CIA Director George Tenet, that Saddam sought to develop nuclear weapons.
• All the world's intel services reported the same thing. President Bush, who kept Tenet at CIA, accepted the wisdom of the world's intel wise men, and acted upon it.

What else should Bush have done? Take a chance that everybody is wrong, and that Saddam had no nukes or nuke program? Saddam thought he had a nuclear weapon, certainly many of his senior military thought Iraq had a nuclear weapons program. He bragged that he had WMDs. The Iranians certainly thought he had or was about to get a nuclear weapon. Were they wrong also?

Where is your smoking gun? Do you have any evidence that Bush lied, or are you just being a good liberal foot solder and repeating the established manta -- Bush Lied?

Joe Koyote

Russ: You correct with your chronology as far as it goes. After the Gulf War Saddam disarmed as requested but kept the fact hidden out of fear Iran would invade again. I have seen a taped interview with the head weapons inspector for the CIA in Iraq David Kay and well as another inspector Scott Ritter, both of whom said there were NO WMDs and haven't been any for years. When the Kay report was issued stating that fact, Bush went on TV and stated that the Kay report found evidence of WMDs. Kays resigned the next day in protest. Yes Bush lied to the American people in order to legitimize his actions.. Most of the info on Iraq the administration used for its excuse came from unvetted unreliable sources with axes to grind and billions to make. Ask Colin Powell what he thinks. Every piece of information he presented to the UN assembly, all assured by Tenet to be true, turned out to be false. Did you ever see the movie Wag the Dog?

Joe Koyote

Did I forget to mention the whole African yellow cake uranium affair in which Bush underlings outted the primary CIA undercover agent on nuclear proliferation in the middle east, Valarie Plame, after her husband, a well respected Republican diplomat came back from Africa having found no evidence to support Bush's claim that Iraq was buying yellow cake? Are those enough smoking guns? We could go into Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress, the main source of the false info. Chalibi was a con man later indicted in several different countries for fraud. All of the "eye witnesses" he "found" that testified about the existence of WMD programs in Iraq were later discredited. A simple investigation would have solved that. All of this and more, was ignored. Yes Bush lied to the American people, and so did Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of them. Any President who sends soldiers into harms way on a fabrication is guilty of high treason and should be punished as such no matter who was involved. Wouldn't you agree? Or we can go on and ask the question of why a Republican controlled Congress chose to spend $48 million tax payer dollars investigating Clinton's zipper but only $800,000 investigating the attack on 911 that Bush immediately and wrongly linked to Iraq.
Try reading the book (Against all Enemies) by former chief of terrorism under Clinton and Bush, Richard Clark, where-in he describes Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al discussing ways to legitimize regime change in Iraq.... during the very first security meeting they held after Bush took office as well as discussions right after the 911 crisis in which they tried to figure out how to blame Saddam for the attacks despite all evidence to the contrary.

Russ Steele

Joe at 4:44PM

So, the whole intelligence community lied, including Tenet. As I recall we recently had another incident were Ms Rice used intelligence information, or so she claimed, in reporting the Benghazi incident. So, it Colin Powell lied for Bush, did Rice lie for Obama?

Are you saying that the other world wide intelligence agencies used "unvetted unreliable sources" Are your saying that the Clinton administration and the US Congress also used those same "unvetted unreliable sources." What is it in my last post that your did not understand. The whole world thought that Saddam has WMD's. Why not Bush?

You have provided no evidence that Buch lied, he use the best available intelligence information provided by the world wide community. Where is the your smoking gun?


It had been so long since Plame had been in the field she wasn't even covered by the legislation criminalizing revealing the secret and besides, it wasn't Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld or any other Bush crony who "outed" her. It was Richard Armitage, and it was unwitting. Plame and Wilson both got caught with prevarications on the record, but remain main characters for those with chronic cases of Bush Derangement Syndrome, like the usual suspects here.

Oh, and the words used by Bush in the state of the union remain true; British intelligence still thinks Iraq was in Niger looking for yellowcake. A bipartisan Congressional committee came to the same conclusion.

One of the folks who believed Iraq had chemical weapons was one Senator Hillary Clinton, who opposed the resumption of direct military action because of the threat of chemical weapons against our troops. So did the Saudis and the Iranians.


"A simple investigation would have solved that."

Funny. The UN had required Iraq to cooperate with the team investigating in order to *prove* there were no WMDs or programs to develop them, and they bugged their quarters and played a game of cat and mouse apparently designed to make their neighbors continue to think they had the programs going.

Sadaam was questioned on that after he was captured and iirc, he thought the Americans would have realized the cat and mouse act was a sham and let him get away with it. Bad bet.

Paul Emery

The decision to go to war in Iraq will unquestionably go down in history as one of the worst foreign policy decisions of all time. Bush is destined to be in the lowest half dozen of any Presidents. Bush was such a disgrace he has been banned from the Party and exiled to his ranch. Nuff said about that.

Russ Steele


Yes, "Nuff said about that" because you all have no facts to support your position. Time to move on, "nothing here" to examine.

Bush was more than willing to let future historians judge is place in history. It too early to tell where he will fall in the ranking. Neither you or I will be here to know the results.

Paul Emery

Why then is he shunned from the Republican party? Was that because he was a good President?

Yes, George W. Bush has said that history will determine the greatness of his presidency. According to an informal poll by George Mason University’s History News Network, 98 percent of historians polled rated Bush’s presidency a failure. Sixty-one percent ranked him last among presidents, while only 4 percent placed him among the top two-thirds.

Here's a sample

"In the eight years since George W. Bush took office, nearly every component of the U.S. economy has deteriorated. The nation’s budget deficits, trade deficits, and debt have reached record levels. Unemployment and inflation are up, and household savings are down. Nearly 4 million manufacturing jobs have disappeared and, not coincidentally, 5 million more Americans have no health insurance. Consumer debt has almost doubled, and nearly one fifth of American homeowners are likely to owe more in mortgage debt than their homes are actually worth. Meanwhile, as we have reported previously, the final price for the war in Iraq is expected to reach at least $3 trillion."


Douglas Keachie

20,000 dead Kurds kinda suspect that Saddam had chemical weapons.

George Rebane

PaulE 845pm - Don't sidestep but weigh carefully Gregory's 740pm and Russ's 552pm contributions. None of the anti-Bush2 railings have withstood the facts of the matter. All that you and yours are left with again is citing popular consensus which can be and has been bent like a young sapling in the direction of your choosing. Of course the Repubs shunned Bush2, they're politicians and they were trying to win votes from the carefully convinced cohorts.

And contemporary historians making a decision on how history will see that President is laughable. They have no perspective. Even though I think Obama is a rock bottom chief executive, and have made a case for that, I'd be the last to predict how future historians will view him. Historians of any perspective and ilk can be bought even more cheaply than politicians. At best the vast number of them are entertaining, with an occasional insight thrown in here and there. Instead, give me an accurate chronicler any time.

Paul Emery


Let's see,

being asleep at the wheel and ignoring intelligence allowing sabotaged jets to smash into our cities

The greatest economic collapse in recent history

Engaging in an unconstitutional invasion of a sovereign nations based on faulty intelligence

nearly doubling of the national debt

massive housing defaults while paying off too big to fail banks and insurance companies

inheriting a surplus and leaving massive debt

Now that's a legacy few can match


Paul, it's silly to put any stock in the scholar surveys on Presidents, at least to put Bush II or Obama in perspective. It's obvious that in 2008 on, they're entirely political.

The idea that the greatness of Obama is tied with that of James Monroe is just beyond the pale and I'm afraid every single one of your insinuating enumerations on Bush is way off base. Bush derangement syndrome is still in full bloom.

1) The CIA was still lead by a Clinton appointee (Tenet) and the idea that Bush was anymore asleep at the wheel as Clinton (tell me again why Clinton had the Egyptians let Osama bin Laden go) is ludicrous. There just wasn't any credible intelligence as to date or method.

2) The economic collapse was a direct result of a Democratic sacred cow... shoveling home loans to any American who could sign bogus loan applications.

3) Democrats were key in doubling the debt, and most of it was the Keynesian stimulus almost everyone (outside of the Ron Paul types) demanded when, as we were *emerging* from the Clinton recession (remember the dot com bubble collapse? that was Clintons) when the World Trade Center was reduced to rubble and over a trillion$ worth of capital evaporated overnight.

3a) Pelosi and Reid controlled Congress for the last 1/4 of Bush's time in office. Did things get worse or better?

4) Iraq had been shooting at us for years; the Desert Storm didn't end with a peace treaty, it ended with a cease fire giving the UN authority to rehabilitate Iraq but, out of what, 17 resolutions, Iraq complied with (iirc) none of them, including the last one demanding they help prove the didn't have WMDs or programs to develop them. They punted that one, too.

5) Most of the paying off Wall St. was on Obama's watch, with insiders like Geithner directing Executive branch policy.

6) Clinton was dragged to a surplus by Gingrich, and spending was enthusiastically bipartisan under Bush.

6a) Obama is the most profligate spender in the history of the presidency

Nothing succeeds like success. Personally, I think Obama is still on track to be one of the worst presidents in our history, but don't expect partisan academics to agree anytime soon.


Oh, and Paul, George Mason University is almost entirely uninvolved in the "HNN":

"George Mason University and HNN

History News Network (HNN) operates independently of George Mason University. The views expressed are those of its authors and editors and not GMU or the Center for History and New Media. The website resides on GMU's server."

They get use of the GMU server. That's apparently it. HNN is otherwise in Seattle, WA.

Todd Juvinall

RE:Steve Frisch | 30 December 2012 at 08:12 AM

I am hust back from a Menza meeting where we discussed SteveF's expertise as a failed restauranteur. There were many guffaws at the Lienings of his efforts! LOL!

Happy New Year all!

George Rebane

PaulE 947pm - Oh my, we're into another Bush Bashing go-around. Can you imagine if the same list were made for FDR who kept the country in Depression for eight years, increased debt to historical heights, stood by (abetted?) while three major tyrannies grew to global dominating proportions, was totally "asleep at the wheel" when Hitler/Stalin started WW2, and comatose when Japan attacked us. Created the basis for communist expansion and the Cold War at Yalta, ... . And these are just the highlights; we haven't gone into his autocratic and ineffective policies that left the country with scars seen today. But you have to give him credit for what? the TVA?

Is all this dredge stimulating or what?

Ken Jones

Russ is looking for the "smoking gun". Well Russ speaking of the smoking gun maybe we need to go back to what President Bush and Condoleezza Rice stated on that subject.

When asked how “close” Saddam was to “developing a nuclear capacity,” Rice replied:

RICE: The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.

It was also used by President Bush on Oct. 7, 2002,
"Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud. … "

The onerous task of proof belonged to the Bush administration, and there they failed miserably. No WMDs. No Iraq connection to the events of 911.
The smoking gun theory was put forth by the Bush administration and they couldn't provide the final proof, the WMDs. Enough evidence exists that the move to war in Iraq was based on embellishment by the Bush administration.
It isn't incumbent that those who opposed the Iraq war for many reasons provide the proverbial smoking gun on why or how the Bush administration lied to initiate a war against a sovereign nation. Already enough evidence exists to show President Bush did embellish.
Russ asked "What else should Bush have done?" Simple continue on the same path that President Clinton followed. Continue to support The Iraq Liberation Act, keep Iraq under tight containment and sanctions. It was unnecessary for the US to put troops in Iraq. The US lost ~4,500 US soldiers and over 32,000 were injured. The monetary cost is ~$1 Trillion with another $9 billion lost or unaccounted for from the Iraq War.

Russ Steele


And I assume that you would also support the Oil for Food program that kept Saddam's bank account flush to build his castles and continue his nuclear weapons program, while his people starved. How effective are Obama constraints and sanction on Iran? Not very, and it was clear they were not working in Iraq. The US aircraft enforcing the peace accord following the Kuwait attack were being fired on and Saddam was buying Russian antiaircraft missile systems with the oil for food money, under the Clinton "tight containment and sanctions." It was clearly not working. Now we will see how effective "tight containment and sanctions" when Iran tests it first nuke.

The real issue in this whole discussion should be the failure of the first Bush to finish the job in the first place. He wimped out, worried about what the lefty world would say. Stupid decision.

Steve Frisch

Perhaps Todd should spend more time at Addicts Anonymous and relationship counseling working on where his real flaws lay.


KJ, The Bush admin never claimed an "Iraq connection to the events of 911" but they did mention Iraq in one sentence and then 9/11 in the next. An emotional linkage that I think they were wrong to make.

Russ, yes, it was Bush the first who left the job unfinished but he bought brownie points from social democrats who thought the UN would do a great job. Yessiree. Even better would have been for Bush the elder to have said to the Saudis and Iranians, "Folks, you're on your own. Your backyard, your fight, not ours. We'll help with intelligence and material but we won't fight your fights for you. The Islamic street needs to police the Islamic streets."


"Continue to support The Iraq Liberation Act, keep Iraq under tight containment and sanctions. It was unnecessary for the US to put troops in Iraq." KJ

Wishful thinking. Iraq wasn't under tight containment; it was leaky as a sieve, with the Oil for Palaces debacle funneling cash to allies in high places in a number of Security Council states including France, Britain, Russia and others. Even war material, like night vision sniper rifles, were making their way from Europe to Iraq which was just biding their time until the US gave up and went home.

Yes, they were looking for yellowcake uranium, and, like Iran, would be busily on a path towards the nuclear age. That genie is out of the bottle and it will be a miracle, when human history is written, for Nagasaki to be the last use of such a weapon.

George Rebane

Even if we attribute Bush2's rush to war as a false alarm, we have learned from the past three Democratic presidents who led us into large wars (WW2, Korea, Vietnam) that cost us many times the cost of Gulf2 in lives and treasure. We can now carry on a ten year military intervention (I wouldn't call it a war) with relatively few casualties and marginal cost to our national fisc. In the process we have had the advantage of retaining and advancing the systems and skills needed to maintain hegemony in the face of disastrous mistakes in foreign policy and running our economy. (This is not meant as definitive justification for Bush2's invasion of Iraq.)

Ken Jones

While not explicitly declaring Iraqi culpability in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, administration officials did, at various times, imply a link. In late 2001, Cheney said it was "pretty well confirmed" that attack mastermind Mohamed Atta had met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official. Later, Cheney called Iraq the "geographic base of the terrorists who had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11."

Bush, in 2003, said "the battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11th, 2001."

Not my words Gregory but those of Bush and Cheney.
And Russ the actions of Clinton were working, despite your protests. One key factor, no WMDs were ever discovered.

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