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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The South Carolina Foodfight


"While I was saving the world, you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board at Walmart"

"While I was saving the world, you were representing that slum lord contributor Rezko"


It looks like my recent posting (Hillary's Dilemma) was timely. In last night's Democratic debate in Myrtle Beach, SC, Hillary and Obama, while supposedly talking about economic matters, took off the gloves and went at each other while John Edwards stood by masquerading as a potted plant, and the hapless "moderator", Wolf Blitzer,looked like a referee at the World Wrestling Federation.

My observations:

Obama verbally dominated the debate-not with his brilliant debating skills-but by engaging in a repetitious monologue. It was like listening to a 2-hour speech. He complained about statements made about him by Bill Clinton, statements he said were not accurate.

Hillary fell off that tightrope I was referring to in (Hillary's Dilemma). She angered the largely black audience telling Obama that it was hard to make him take responsibility for his votes. At that, she was greeted with boos. She also lost her temper when Obama made reference to her work as a lawyer for Walmart, throwing Obama's relationship with accused Chicago racketeer, Tony Rezko, in his face.

Obama dodged challenges about his relationship with Tony Rezko and his voting "present" in Illinois senate votes, both times changing the subject.

How nice it would have been if the debate had gone deeper into Tony Rezko. How nice it would have been if this had led to a real food fight where Hillary's own "Rezkos" came out- You know, people like Norman Hsu, Charlie Trie and those characters.

Edwards, for his part, struggled to break into the verbal fray, once reminding everyone that it was a three-way debate, not two-way. He effectively joined Hillary in asking Obama why he would vote "present" instead of "yea" or "nay". Obama did not handle it well.

A large part of the debate was centered around economic issues. Here the three candidates competed with each other over whose programs would hand out the most government cheese.

"Can't pay your bills?- We can help."

"Can't keep up with that mortgage?" We'll crack down on those unscrupulous lending companies."

All in all, this debate just showed that among the three, there is very little or no difference between them. If you are a Democrat, you might as well vote for the one whose personality you like the most. I think Obama and Clinton did nothing to help their cause. They both came across as petulant and petty.

The winner in the debate?.....The Potted Plant.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention the losers: the American people.

Honestly though, I haven't even been watching the debates. I'm pretty jaded with both of the major parties. From what I've heard out of all of them, I like Obama the most, but honestly, that might just be because he's a good public speaker and I want a President who actually sounds like a President again. (That doesn't mean he'll get my vote though.)

Gary Fouse said...

I try to watch the debates because I like to comment on them afterward. Yes, Obama is likeable. I hope he beats Hillary in the primaries. (I can't stand Hillary, in case you haven't noticed yet). In my opinion, she must be stopped-by anybody.

Obama is a great speaker, but show me a great speaker and I'll show you- a great speaker. When you examine his words, he doesn't really say much.

I'll bet most people who heard Hillary's reference to Rezko didn't even know who she was talking about. They should. He is an indicted Chicago racketeer with whom Obama had financial dealings.
People should also do a little research on Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright, a buddy of Louis Farrakhan.

Ingrid said...

I have more and more the feeling that Bill is running. The whole thing remindes me of the German fairy tale, "The race between the hedgehog and the rabbit". Hillary is on one end, Bill on the other, and Obama has to run between the both of them until he drops.
I can't stand to look at Bills stupid expressions anymore, and I am sick of him, Hillary and Chelsey. I get sick thinking we'd have to look at them for the next four years.
I am to a point "Anyone for President" as long as it is not Clinton.

Gary Fouse said...

I agree. Politicians, by their very nature, are ambitious and power hungry, but the Clintons take it to a whole new level. It astounds me that so many Americans have been unable to see through the Clintons, their ruthlessness, dishonesty and corruption. If she gets elected, I am thinking about attending a 4-8-year beer fest in Germany. (If I could just convince my wife.)

Anonymous said...

Well, if they can't see through the dishonesty of the current administration, why would they be able to see through the dishonesty of the former (and GASP! future?) administration? Of course, some people are selective in the dishonesty that they see.

Gary Fouse said...

",,,dishonesty of the current adminstration..."

For example?

Anonymous said...

How about the whole Iraq/9-11 connection? Yeah, I know, nowhere did any of Bush or his cronies explicitly say, "Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9-11." But come on, they played the fears of the American public like a fiddle and got what they wanted because of it. How else do you explain why half of the American population thought that we were attacked by Iraq? (I don't remember the exact figure, but it was a significant percentage of the population.)

How about Rumsfeld's statement that they "knew" where the WMDs were, and when asked about why he said that later, he said that he "never said that." (I'll thank The Daily Show for pointing that one out - they showed both clips of him saying both contradictory statements. And yeah, I know, it's a comedy show, but that doesn't change the fact that he was lying.)

Are you just trying to keep me from making baseless assertions, or do you think that this administration is some paragon of virtue?

I honestly get why people bash the Clintons. I don't understand why anybody would defend Bush.

Also, I'm hesitant to just post websites, but the Center for Public Integrity did count 935 lies that the administration told after 9-11.

Gary Fouse said...

Lance,

If half of the American people thought Saddam was part of 9-11, it was not because the Bush Administration told them that. It is because they were ill-informed-as so many folks are.

The Center for Public Integrity-which claims to be non-partison-is definitely left wing-they are supported by contributions from folks like Bill Moyers and George Soros. In other words, I don't trust anything they say. They come up with all these lies that Bush told, but no lies told by Clinton et al.

So what is the biggest lie that Bush told? WMD in Iraq. True, we have not found wmd. But if Bush lied about WMD, then Clinton lied too. Albright lied. Wm Cohen lied. The American, British, French, Israeli intelligence agencies lied.The whole world believed that Saddam had wmd.

In Feb 1998, Clinton sent Albright, Berger and Cohen on a PR tour to prepare the public for action against Iraq based on wmd. I was watching an appearance at Ohio State Univ hosted by CNN. The event was disrupted by students who protested verbally from the balcony as the hapless Albright protested "But what about the weapons of mass destruction?".
After that, the whole movement went down the tubes.

Don't forget that Saddam used chemical and bio weapons against Iran. Then after being driven out of Kuwait, he used them against Kurdish villages who were revolting, killing thousands. There are Iraqi scientists who are now in the West that confirm they were working on such weapons.

What happened to the weapons? Well, your guess is as good as mine, but after he kicked the un inspectors out, he had several months in the run-up to the war to hide them, dismantle them, move them to Syria or whatever.

What I am trying to say is that I do not believe Bush manufactured the WMD issue to invade Iraq. Others may think he and Cheney and Rumsfeld are evil. I don't.

Let's be honest. There are so many out there who hate Bush with a passion and will attribute everything to him. They say that Bush invaded Iraq for the oil and to help Halliburton. That would mean they are truly evil people to throw away American military lives for such purposes.

There are several areas where I criticize Bush very severely. When it comes to illegal immigration, government spending, Bush is wrong in my view. But I support him on the War on Terror and I think (though reasonable people can disagree)that Iraq is a legitimite front in this war. (At least it is now).

To sum it up, if Bush lied, a lot of other people in the prvious administration also lied.

Anonymous said...

C'mon, Gary. Even if they are leftist, that doesn't change the facts. I read a bit of their quotes, and most of it was what I had read before.

This is pretty typical of conservatives whenever I criticize Bush. They turn it into a "What about Clinton?" What about him? I didn't vote for him either, and I won't vote for the latest incarnation. But if I was a Clinton supporter, I could play the same game with the things that you write and say that I don't trust you when you write about them because you're a self-professed conservative with an axe to grind. I don't say that because from what I read, you don't just put up wild speculation and obvious falsehoods. You're an intelligent guy with something to say, and like it or not, there are perfectly intelligent people who see things differently from you. If they refuse to go after Clinton, then bad on them, but that doesn't change the truth. Facts are facts no matter who says them.

As to whether Bush is as evil as his detractors say, well, I'm as willing to believe that as I'm willing to believe that Clinton is as bad as you say.

As for the 9/11 connection and the ignorance of the American people, yeah, the people themselves are primarily to blame. I don't take away any fault from Bush though, as he and his cronies were always sure to use words like "terrorism" "Al Quaeda" and "9/11" when discussing Iraq. Pretty clever stuff, as they never directly blamed Iraq for what happened. One of the things I teach is propaganda though, and this was a classic "transfer" scenario. If you think that Bush & co. didn't realize that, you give them even less credit than I do! You have to admit, they played this one up as much as they could and took advantage of the fears of the American people. For me, I find that absolutely dispicable.

As for Iraq being a front on the war on terror, I don't know if you meant it, but you're right - it definitely has become a hotbed for terrorist activity and Al Quaeda now that we got involved! And again, I knew that one was coming - how come the administration didn't?

At worst, the Bush Administration is full of liars. At best, they're incompetent. Either way, it's pretty scary.

Gary Fouse said...

I am not saying, "what about Clinton?' I am saying that Clinton and his administration also believed that there were WMD. It was also the policy of Clinton Adm to remove Saddam from power. I don't mean that as criticism, I state it as fact. What I am pointing out to you is that Bush's critics condemn him for using wmd as an excuse to get us into a war with Iraq, but never mention the fact that Clinton believed the same things as did the whole international community. You can argue that before 9-11 it was prudent not to invade Iraq. In a post-911 world, Bush came to a different conclusion-and that is not blaming Iraq for 9-11.

As for incompetence by Bush, even conservatives concede that after we toppled Saddam, there was incompetence and errors in handling the situation in Iraq. The question is: what do we do now? Do we abandon Iraq to Al-Quaida and Iran and allow that country to be a base for terror operations? If that happens-guess what? We will have to go back someday.

As for cleverly playing on the fears of the American people, in my view we have reason to be afraid. If Bush et al used lies and deceit to get us into war with Iraq, then I ask why? The reflex answer from the left is that he wanted to get Iraqi oil and help his pals at Haliburton. That would put him on a par with Hitler. And I don't accept that. I feel that after 9-11, Bush was determined to defeat Islamic terrorism and prevent more 9-11s. There is a lot to disagree about in strategy and tactics, but I do think Bush's intentions were honorable.

Remember, if nothing else, we removed a horrible despot from power. If we had not, the mass graves, torture chambers and rape rooms would still be in operation.
The rest of the world with few exceptions, cared not a whit about that because they were bought off by Saddam-inc the UN. In that respect, what we did was noble.
If you want to argue that Iraqis freedom was not worth one US soldier's life, I can agree with you to a point. But if somehow, halfway decent governments can take root in the ME, that will help stop Islamic radicalism in the long run.

I will predict however that no matter who becomes president, the terror situation is going to get much worse, and we will have to defend ourselves.

Anonymous said...

I see what you're saying about Clinton. What I was getting at that to me it's irrelevant as to whether he lied about WMDs or not if Bush lied about them. That just makes two liars.

While I don't necessarily think that Bush's plan was to help his pals at Halliburton (but I don't deny that was a factor - I tend to stay away from any answer that sounds too simple) I don't buy that Bush's main concern was fighting the war on terror either. If it was, then he wouldn't be holding hands with that dictator in Saudi Arabia. We'd put more focus on Afghanistan and Bin Laden - even if that means going into Pakistan.

Yeah, Saddam was a bad guy. There's no denying it. There's also no denying that he was OUR bad guy for the longest time, and our government did its part in cementing his power. (Let's not forget the photo of Rumsfeld shaking his hand.) It's amusing to me that the outrage over his use of poison gas came long after he ever did it and right around the time when he became our enemy. Nobody seemed to give a crap about his evil ways when he was our friend.

It's not like he was the only dictator with rape rooms, etc. out there. We don't seem to care about any of the others though. Interesting that we care about the one who has oil though. (And again, I don't think that it's ALL about that, but it's naive to think that it has NOTHING to do with it.)

Speaking of Bush's intentions though, would you even be willing to be convinced that it's all about oil and Halliburton? You know, if the facts all pointed in that direction?

What if the exact same thing happened, but it was Bill Clinton, and he had ties to those companies? I imagine that you'd be pretty quick to condemn him for that. I could be wrong though, as you yourself have pointed out that you're willing to criticize the President. But your response makes me think that you won't believe that no matter what.

Gary Fouse said...

I do not maintain that Clinton was lying about wmd. I only brought up Clinton to show that Bush did not dream up the subject of wmd. Everybody believed it and with good reason.

I am certainly no defender of the Saudi royal family. They are playing a double game trying to buy off their own demise from the militants. Often, it is necessary to try to work with undesireable elements if we have a common enemy.
No question, we are walking a tightrope in SA. Clinton did the same as did every other president and so will the next president.

Yes, we gave support to Saddam during the Iraq- Iran war even though he was the aggressor. Remember that this was in the wake of the hostage crisis. I was rooting for Iraq too because at that point, I hated Iran. (We also sided with USSR in WW2-with good reason.
No, I don't think I can be convinced that Bush marched us off to war for oil and Haliburton. Whatever his weaknesses are, I maintain that he and Cheney, and yes Rumsfeld are honorable men. Did they make mistakes? Sure.
As for Clinton, I have given him a pass on many things. I gave him the benefit of the doubt on Bosnia and Kosovo-even though I felt that the Euros should have taken the brunt of that war. I have pointed out many of Clinton's unsavory connections, but I never claimed that he went into war for personal reasons, inc the charge of "wag the dog". I have also (not on this blog) waved off accusations by some that Clinton had people killed in Arkansas. Wild charges like those don't help our cause when we rightfully point out the corruption of the Clintons.

Anonymous said...

I realized as I was typing that I was painting myself into a corner, and of course, you caught me on it. Basically, I don't think that "lie" is the right word regarding the WMD thing. A bit of incompetence and dishonesty mixed with some bad information is what it was. However, when Rumsfeld stated that he "knew" where they were, that wasn't very honest since they weren't there. Even if he was mistaken, he was DEFINITELY lying when he said "I never said that I knew where they were." Kinda like how when Bush claimed that his message had never been "stay the course." Ummm...okay.

I personally don't think that oil and Halliburton stocks are the sole reason that Bush & co. wanted to go into Iraq. I do, however, think it was a contributing factor in diverting the War on Terror from where we should have been focusing into the clusterf*^% we have now. After all, Richard Clarke even said that Bush asked him to find evidence linking Iraq with 9/11. (Or is he not a trustworthy source either?)

I'm no socialist, but you have to admit that with capitalism, economic factors will always play a big part. If the government was truly 100% about freedom and democracy, we'd say to hell with Saudi Arabia, and we would have told Kuwait that we'd only kick Iraq out if they'd institute democratic reforms.

Gary Fouse said...

60 Minutes on Sunday is inteviewing FBI Agent, Georg Piro, an Arabic speaker who spent 7 months interviewing Saddam. According to Piro, Saddam-after months of questioning finally stated that the UN weapons inspectors had destroyed most of the wmd, and in the run-up to the war, he ordered the destruction of the rest. Why? According to Saddam, he wanted to maintain the facade of wmd to keep Iran from invading and because he never really believed the US would launch a full-scale invasion-beyond a few days of bombing, such as Clinton did.

Of course, Saddam's statements must always be questioned, but the story seems plausible. If true, it would refute claims that Bush lied about it.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem believing that. Like I mentioned before, if the explanation leans away from lying, then it leans closer to incompetence on the part of our intelligence gathering capabilities, despite Dubya's statement of "The intelligence I get is darned good intelligence." Somehow, that doesn't make me feel any better.

Gary Fouse said...

Take my word for it. Faulty intelligence is a very, very plausible explanation.