I had a discussion with a conservative friend, and he made the point that Obama lied by ommission by stating that he had ordered the CIA to begin an intensive search for Bin Laden, since "Bush's CIA never stopped looking! He made it sound like it was all Obama!"
The Central Intelligence Agency has closed a unit that for a decade had the mission of hunting Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants, intelligence officials confirmed Monday.Bush was a quitter, for whom Bin Laden "really wasn't a high priority," who Bush "didn't think about much."
The unit, known as Alec Station, was disbanded late last year and its analysts reassigned within the C.I.A. Counterterrorist Center, the officials said.
David Frum comes from the Bush White House to tell us the following:
It's an important piece.
Especially after 2000, incomes did not much improve for middle-class Americans. The promise of macroeconomic stability proved a mirage: America and the world were hit in 2008 by the sharpest and widest financial crisis since the 1930s. Conservatives do not like to hear it, but the crisis originated in the malfunctioning of an under-regulated financial sector, not in government overspending or government over-generosity to less affluent homebuyers. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were bad actors, yes, but they could not have capsized the world economy by themselves. It took Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, AIG, and — maybe above all -- Standard & Poor's and Moody's to do that.
In the aftermath of the catastrophe, the free-market assumption and expectation that an unemployed person could always find work somewhere has been massively falsified: at the trough of this recession, there were almost 6 jobseekers in the US for every unfilled job. Nothing like such a disparity had been seen since the 1930s. The young faced the worst job odds. But some of the most dismal outcomes were endured by workers in their 50s, laid off from middle-class jobs likely never to see middle-class employment again.
GK Chesterton once wrote that we should never tear down a fence until we knew why it had been built. In the calamity after 2008, we rediscovered why the fences of the old social insurance state had been built....
......I cannot take seriously the idea that the worst thing that has happened in the past three years is that government got bigger. Or that money was borrowed. Or that the number of people on food stamps and unemployment insurance and Medicaid increased. The worst thing was that tens of millions of Americans -- and not only Americans -- were plunged into unemployment, foreclosure, poverty. If food stamps and unemployment insurance, and Medicaid mitigated those disasters, then two cheers for food stamps, unemployment insurance, and Medicaid. [...]
I strongly suspect that today's Ayn Rand moment will end in frustration or worse for Republicans. The future beyond the welfare state imagined by Yuval Levin will not arrive. At that point, Republicans will face a choice. (I'd argue we face that choice now, whether we recognize it or not.) We can fulminate against unchangeable realities, alienate ourselves from a country that will not accede to the changes we demand. That way lies bitterness and irrelevance. Or we can go back to work on the core questions facing all center right parties in the advanced economies since World War II: how do we champion entrepreneurship and individualism within the context of a social insurance state?
It's an important piece.
Making a Note of it - Kevin Drum's intro, but click the link to read the whole thing.
From Tim Pawlenty, possibly the most boring person ever to be considered a front runner for a presidential nomination:
Anybody who’s going to run for this office who’s been in an executive position, or may run, has got some clunkers in their record. Laura, mine I think are fewer and less severe than most. As to climate change, or more specifically cap-and-trade, I’ve just come out and admitted it — look, it was a mistake, it was stupid....Everybody in the race, well at least the big names in the race, embraced climate change or cap-and-trade at one point or another. Every one of us.
That's true. And then, suddenly, every one of them didn't. Why is that?
One possibility is that they just like taking stands that piss off liberals. But opposing cap-and-trade would have pissed off liberals four years ago and they didn't do it then. So what changed?
Making a note of it - Kevin Drum in his entirety:
Fox News VP Bill Sammon told a conservative audience last year that he engaged in a wee bit of fabrication during the 2008 campaign:
At that time, I have to admit, that I went on TV on Fox News and publicly engaged in what I guess was some rather mischievous speculation about whether Barack Obama really advocated socialism, a premise that privately I found rather far-fetched.
Today he explains himself to Howard Kurtz:
He doesn’t regret repeatedly raising it on the air because, Sammon says, “it was a main point of discussion on all the channels, in all the media” — and by 2009 he was “astonished by how the needle had moved.”
Actually, no: I don't think it was a "main point of discussion" on all the channels. It was a main point of discussion on Fox News. On the other channels it was mainly treated as something ridiculous that Fox was promoting.
As for Sammon's moving needle, Greg Sargent sums things up: "Sammon is conceding that the idea did indeed strike him as far fetched in 2008, even though he and his network aggressively promoted it day in and day out throughout the campaign. And he’s defending this by pointing out that the idea ended up gaining traction, as if this somehow justifies the original act of dishonesty!"
Which, of course, it does. All Sammon was doing was creating a new reality, which the rest of us merely get to study judiciously. And while we're studying it (and mocking it), Fox will create another new reality. This is the way the empire works these days.
Making a note of it - Kevin Drum in his entirety:
This is an oddly fascinating quote from a GOP staffer:
Republicans are poised to reject a White House offer, TPM has learned, that would cut over $30 billion in current spending because of disagreements over whether the package should include cuts to mandatory spending programs. Democrats are pushing for such cuts, which include the big entitlement programs, though the specific cuts they're proposing remain unclear. In an ironic twist, Republicans oppose those cuts and want to limit the negotiations to non-defense discretionary spending, a smaller subset of the federal budget.....Asked about the offer the White House has floated, a top Republican aide says, "This debate has always been about discretionary spending — not autopilot 'mandatory' spending or tax hikes."
This isn't a big surprise or anything, but I've never seen it put quite so baldly. This guy is literally saying that Republicans don't want to cut spending, they only want to cut nondefense discretionary spending. That's it. This, of course, is the one part of the budget that's (a) too small to really matter much, and (b) includes social welfare spending for poor people. Again, no big surprise, but at least it clears up what Republicans really care about cutting. And it's not the deficit.
I thought Sarah Palin's "blood libel" comment was crude and stupid. And I understand that many found it offensive, though I can't say I was really offended in any personal way. The truth is very few things actually offend me. But this actually did. The Washington Times says that the reaction to Palin is part of an "ongoing pogrom" against conservatives in America.
That strikes me as offensive and even disgusting.
I really don't know what's with this people.
You and me both, Brother.