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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 30, 2008 2:08 AM. The previous post in this blog was Flush draw. The next post in this blog is The bandwagon's going to get awfully crowded. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Now hear this

I'll be substituting for Marc Abrams on the Kremer & Abrams radio show this morning from 9 to 11 on KXL Radio, 750AM here in Portland. Kremer's the staunch Republican, and I am the lefty foil. He and his listeners lob whatever they can at me, and I try to defend myself. Some Sundays I succeed better than others. This week, when cornered, I plan to fall back on "Nyah nyah, we won." Tune in, and if I'm floundering, feel free to call in and bail me out.

Comments (25)

Please thank Rob and the rest of the right-wing radio mouths who cloned him for leading the Republican Party towards and finally over a cliff these last 8 years. A grateful nation applauds them. I’ve listened to more right-wing radio than ever lately - they have no clue how funny they sound – and several things leapt out: They all say the GOP has to return to its values such as fiscal responsibility. When exactly was that? During the trillions of debt Reagan rang up? What they’re really saying is, “We have to return to a time when Americans believed us when we shoveled that bit about fiscal responsibility.” The trouble with the right wing is that they had their chance to enact all these conservative policies and they screwed up so spectacularly that it’ll take decades just to assess the damage. So now they’re trying to talk their way out of it. It’s what they do: Talk. The conservative movement is a million flapping tongues and moving jaws - sort of like Monica without the sex. The giant sucking sound in Ross Perot's day referred to lost jobs - what conservatives would call the Free Market when they aren't running to government for a bailout. But Ross got it wrong: The real giant sucking sound came from right-wing talk radio. It's funny to hear them now knowing they finally got stuck in a big steaming pile of their own BS. In fact, if these self-righteous con artists hadn’t damaged America so badly, it would be hilarious.

It's like Christmas Day!!! Yipee! Love it when Jack is on the air. Have fun.

Rob Kremer seems to accept the fact that a New Deal type of economic recovery package is inevitable--and is not freaking out.

OK Bill we get your take on Republicans.

But your extreme exaggerations on all things Republican/Bush/Talk radio leaves you just a bit Tensky-like.
I've listened to a lot of left wing radio (and watched cable access) where the worst veiw of America spawns ideas based on pure kookery.

And whether it be the Reagan, Clinton, Bush or Obama the run up in debt is a product of all of government. Just like our own state and cities such as Portland.

So I have tough time seeing where you have some good advice for policy making.

Other than "stop the war now" or "impeach Bush", or prosecute Lucifer Chaney what do you advise?

IMO all levels of government are too large to manage. Ever new "deal" ends up a fiscal calamity.
This new bail out, same.
Prescription drug program, a whoppper,
Kulongoski's Clmiate Intitiative, madness,
City Of Portland,,,,beyond weird.

And whether it be the Reagan, Clinton, Bush or Obama the run up in debt is a product of all of government.

I don't know what you're smoking, Ben, but your post is totally moronic. Clinton deficit? Not. Prescription drug program? A sociopathic scheme to sink medicare, perpetrated by the Republicans with a lot of criminal chicanery in the Congress to get it passed. But I guess you forgot that stuff.

Allan, get a grip.

Clinton and Republican Congress enjoyed the tech boom for a few years while both expanded government which spends the country into oblivion.
Democrats had their hands all over the prescription drug clamity and were most repsonsible for there not being any measn testing.
But both paties share that latest boondoggle and they'll share the fiscal monster grown fromn this bailout.
Neither Obama or Clinton will make the government monster work.

Ben, I'd check on the history of our national debt before assuming it's all the same no matter who is in charge. And I'll give you an idea on what to do about it:
Our defense budget equals the rest of the world's combined even after a great Republican President named Dwight Eisenhower warned us of the dangers of the military/industrial complex. Even after we witnessed the Soviet Union implode economically. I'd start there.
I'd end the Iraq and Afghanistan wars even though "victory is in sight." I consider them disasters and I think officials who say victory is almost here are lying.
Here's another idea:
We would not fight forest fires with old DC-3s. We would have a fleet of water bombers
and a satellite to track the fires when they were small, and some quick strike capability with fighter planes. This has been a pet peeve of mine for decades and I wrote about it in my column in the Tribune, and I wrote a movie script about it.
Watching states catch fire every year is embarrassing.

But you're missing the point: I never signed on to tell the suits what to do. My hope was that they would perform in such a way that I could concentrate on leading my own life.
I only got really involved after I sensed they were screwing up on a level that threatened my own people.

And you missed my point. That being that government, Rs and Ds, can now only make huge blunders like that prescription drug program.
Now if you want to fantasize that the only problem with the prescription drug program is what Republidcans did to it then we can't communicate very well.
Which demonstrates another BIG problem.

Nice post Bill... Anyone who thinks our excessive military spending is so great ought to read up on Eisenhower's speeches.

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/speeches/19530416%20Chance%20for%20Peace.htm

When on KXL today:

Thanks for pointing out that we manufacture very little here in the US which is obvious to any who visit our ghost town industrial areas.

The positive numbers our government touts include the many products that we import in a state of 99% completion and after we install the decals and complete the repackaging they are claimed as being Made in the USA.

Anyone for Home Made pie at Denny's?

Bill,
Your point about the fighting fires is a bulls eye for my point. Government, while expanding far from what they should be doing can't handle something so plain and simple as using smarts to put out fires.
YOU are EXACTLY right on that issue. So much so that you echo my exact thoughts on it.

Why don't we have fleet for quick response attacks on these destructive fires?
One reason is because we spend BILLIONS instead on bureaucracies to attack everything with environmental policies.

There is never enough money for fundamental things like putting out a fire when countless other things take the funding. It aint that we don't tax enough. The pace of mission creep has far out paced the growth in basic funding.

Portland does it, the State does it and the country does it.


On the war fronts, "victory" or resolution is clearly on the horizon for Iraq. Afghanistan has more challenges but I don't buy the left's emerging take that it's the new quagmire with only defeat and mayhem ahead. Air America-Ring of Fire's RFK Jr. tried to suggest we are "destablizing nuclear armed Pakistan" like we were "responsible" for the destabilizing and genocide of Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Yeah. Of course his NE Senator guest didn't follow his lead in.
I can see RFK Jr criticism vanishing once Obama takes over. Even though our policy and approach may not change much.

There is much you and I, left and right, could agree on, especially on things like fighting those fires. But there's nothing signaling us from either party that "government" at any level, is going to anytime soon find that sort of sanity we need.
They're just too big and to dysfunctional.

Ben, you're right about the ineptitude of Democrats in the congress and their contribution to the prescription drug plan give-away to the pharma companies. And you might be right about the congress being fatally dysfunctional and corrupt, but I hope you're not.

Bill, you can't put out the fires. It is environmentally incorrect to do so. If you ask all the various environmental groups you'll get numerous answers for the "correct" solution. We have so many politically correct solutions to each problem that changes every few years that the public is bewildered.

On the war fronts, "victory" or resolution is clearly on the horizon for Iraq.

prove it. far more informed (and experienced) men than you have said otherwise--most of them military men.

Afghanistan has more challenges but I don't buy the left's emerging take that it's the new quagmire with only defeat and mayhem ahead.

given the last 1,000 years of history on Afghan invasions--including a modern Russian force just as well-equipped as the US--and the resulting "quagmires", I'm going out on a limb and siding with history.

They're just too big and to dysfunctional.

light a candle (hope) or curse the darkness (fear and hatred), man. your choice.

I realize the role of fires in the regeneration of the forest but that assumes the ecological system is intact to begin with. You could let the fires burn in the parks or whatever but watching California go up in smoke every year is a problem, and a security concern.
When I started thinking about this years ago it was the summer the satellite pictures showed one third of Oregon covered by smoke. One third.
If you need another national security reason just think back to when a forest fire was racing towards the Los Alamos lab in New Mexico a few years ago.
I could also see using the water to knock down a dust cloud and a persistent fire in a city. How long did the Twin Towers burn? Days? Of course, that involved high temperatures from molten metals, etc...whoops, that's another area where debate is frowned upon.
The one time I got to chat with Carl Sagan he mentioned in his speech that we are really quite primitive - we haven't even conquered fire, and we're trying nuclear power?
Early detection, rapid response, high tech deployment of things like super-cold heat sinks, then you bring in the water bombers. It would be one less thing on the list of problems and besides, it would look cool.

Ok Bill,, you've become me.

I want to see the fleet of water bomders and water fighters too.
Take it out of the military budget and the planes can be used for military training when not fighting fires.

Now if we can just find a sleazy politician with any leadership skills.


AND BTW,,, I think Jack does an excellent job filling in for Abrams.


Ben says: Clinton and Republican Congress enjoyed the tech boom for a few years ...

Which would not have happened is Al Gore did not invent the Internet.

Eco - "including a modern Russian force just as well-equipped as the US"

Really?

That's not even close to being true. The difference in military equipment, logistics/maintenance, and more importantly TACTICS, between the 80's Soviet military and today's US army is like the difference between Tensky and LIARS.

If you want to make the point that Afghanistan is a mess, feel free. But please be honest about your "facts".

Eco - "including a modern Russian force just as well-equipped as the US"

Really?

That's not even close to being true.

you're comparing the Russian miitary of 25+ years ago to the US military of today. I wasn't.

good try, though.

The difference in military equipment, logistics/maintenance, and more importantly TACTICS, between the 80's Soviet military and today's US army is like the difference between Tensky and LIARS.

I'm sure it's just a matter of finding the right tactics. the 1,200 year history of tactics used there notwithstanding, of course.

ever read any meaningful, *non-American* analysis of Afghanistan, Larry?

Eco - "including a modern Russian force just as well-equipped as the US"

Really?

That's not even close to being true.

you're comparing the Russian miitary of 25+ years ago to the US military of today. I wasn't.

good try, though.

The difference in military equipment, logistics/maintenance, and more importantly TACTICS, between the 80's Soviet military and today's US army is like the difference between Tensky and LIARS.

I'm sure it's just a matter of finding the right tactics. the 1,200 year history of tactics used there notwithstanding, of course.

ever read any meaningful, *non-American* analysis of Afghanistan, Larry?

Glad to hear your such a big reader, Eco.

Forgive me if I misunderstood you, but you were comparing 1000 years of Afghan warfare with what is happening right now. If your intent was to say that in the 80's the Soviet Army was as advanced as the US Army was, well so what? First off, I'd dispute that, but secondly, that's not relevant at all to what is happening there today.

The fact is that our combination of advanced weaponry, combined with SF tactics, absolutely routed the Taliban, with a very minimal expenditure of US life. Unlike the Soviets, we didn't go in there with large armor and mechanized infantry divisions, which ended up being sitting ducks in the mountain passes.

Unfortunately, some huge tactical errors were also made - most notably not pursuing bin Laden aggressively enough in Tora Bora. And in the ensuing years, they've creeped back in. I blame that firmly on the Bush administration, because we haven't committed enough follow-on resources.

But you know, it wouldn't surprise me that in the end, that Afghanistan could never REALLY be won... because unlike Iraq, there are no real resources there. No resources = no employment, no infrastructure, no functioning government. I'm guessing you and I are probably in pretty close agreement on that topic?

First off, I'd dispute that, but secondly, that's not relevant at all to what is happening there today.

then we have little to discuss. you're claiming past lessons don't teach a hard lesson. I'm claiming they do, and nothing more.

beyond that, you'll pardon me if I find a millenia-long history of example to be more authoritative than you (or me, for that matter).

But you know, it wouldn't surprise me that in the end, that Afghanistan could never REALLY be won... because unlike Iraq, there are no real resources there. No resources = no employment, no infrastructure, no functioning government. I'm guessing you and I are probably in pretty close agreement on that topic?

before the US invasion, there were resources, employment, infrastructure, culture. both in Iraq and Afghanistan.

the main thing that's changed in Afghanistan is that the US military, like the Soviet military, has devastated infrastructure and destabilized what cultural and political infrastructure there was--then put in money and a puppet government and claimed it "improved the situation. the US's actions closely mirror the Soviet actions. and the British. and so on, back a thousand years or more.

there are many reasons for that, and all the high-tech hihg-altitude weaponry we have isn't the answer. when both the Soviet and US military hit the ground, like they eventually had to do, they are rarely superior to the so-called enemy.

Eco, you're putting words in my mouth. I didn't at all say that past lessons are irelevant. In fact, I said just the opposite - that we did things differently than the failed Soviet occupation 25 years ago.

Afghanistan certainly had culture, but outside of the poppy trade, what resources and employment opportunities did they have pre-US invasion? As far as destablizing the political infrastructure, I'd count that as a good thing, since that consisted of the Taliban.

First off, I'd dispute that, but secondly, that's not relevant at all to what is happening there today.

maybe you weren't being clear, but this sounded like "not relevant" to me.

Afghanistan certainly had culture, but outside of the poppy trade, what resources and employment opportunities did they have pre-US invasion?

you're applying first world requirements on a third-world country. Afghanistan was (and is) a country with a host of agricultural goods. in fact, poppies were only one crop among many--until the US invasion. now, it's the primary crop.

As far as destablizing the political infrastructure, I'd count that as a good thing, since that consisted of the Taliban.

dude. seriously. HISTORY. the USSR invaded to support the government faction (not Taliban) seeking to move towards socialism. the US used Afghanistan to take a whack at the USSR, destabilizing the entire Afghan structure in the process and *helping to bring the fundamentalists and Taliban to power in the early 90s.*

then, the US invades, less than ten years later, on the premise of "rooting out terrorism" which, if you follow, *it helped create.*

and lastly, Afghanistan is not a "country" at all, really.

Larry, all I'm really saying is--events don't occur in a vacuum, and the US has done exactly the same thing that the two previous superpowers failed to do--to subdue a diverse, tough, proud, geographically harsh region, simply by first bombing it then moving into it.

and the US has done exactly the same thing

correction: "failed to do."


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