President Obama's Cabinet. v 2.0

by: kirbybruno

Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:03:26 AM EST



Photobucket

It was all over the news this morning. Obama's second term cabinet lacks diversity, it's rocky, it's shaping up to be a boys club.  

kirbybruno :: President Obama's Cabinet. v 2.0
Is this another case of Obama can't win for losing?
He nominates, Republican Chuck Hagel, who isn't Republican enough for some Republicans. Thanks Wonkette for your usual most excellent analysis:

The Democrat must not only name Republicans to advise him and run his departments, he must name HOLY SHIT REPUBLICANS, like maybe Ghost Jesse Helms.

His cabinet is going to be less diverse than W's!

It's evident that he's going to have a less diverse cabinet this term, possibly even less diverse than the George W. Bush cabinet," says NYU professor Paul Light, who studies political appointments .

It is shaping up to be a boys club, dontcha know.

As Democrats in Congress celebrate a historic number of women elected to their ranks, the White House's top ranks reflect a very different picture -- one that is largely male.

Well, I would like to take a look at what has happened so far and see what y'all think.  

Granted, with the resignation last night of Hilda Solis and the previous news of Secretary of State Clinton, 2 very prominent positions are slated to be filled with white males. We all know what happened though to Obama's first choice to replace Clinton, Susan Rice, so it is not for lack of trying.

Also, not all diversity has been lost. Janet Napolitano, remains head of the Department of Homeland Security, and U.N. Ambassador Rice keeps her current spot in the administration, both being top national security roles.
Also:

Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki plan to remain with President Obama's administration as his second term begins, according to a White House official.

Jennifer Granholm, Former Michigan Governor, has also reportedly been on

a growing list of people the administration is looking to find spots for,

So are the headlines all hair on fire, or is Obama on track to lose some of the diversity that reflects not only his party but the country?  Is he choosing the best person for each job, and should we focus on that?

I look forward to a great discussion - how refreshing!  

Here is a breakdown of who is on and who is out, courtesy of CNN.

Thanks for reading.

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Thanks again for reading! (2.00 / 47)
I cannot tell you how excited I am to get all different points of view on this. :)

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

ya know what's cool about that picture? (2.00 / 33)
first thing you notice, with all the people surrounding the table, is Obama. Or maybe it's just me.

You're right, he can't win for trying. If he'd allowed us to go over the fiscal cliff, there'd be cries and rending of garments over people not getting their UI. Whatever he's for, they're against. Goes for people on both sides. :(


Raina, psst! I think you accidentally clicked on "fail" on (2.00 / 29)
kirbybruno's comment.  I've almost done it since it is opposite of how we do it at the GOS.  Thought I'd give you a heads up.  :)

"Pin your money to your girdle and don't talk to strangers."  My Grandmom's advice when I went away to school.  I don't wear a girdle and have never met a stranger.  Sorry Grandmom!

[ Parent ]
Thanks! (2.00 / 28)
Hey Raina, don't fail me, bro!  ;)

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
yikes thank you! (2.00 / 26)
sorry kirby!

[ Parent ]
I've already done it a few times (2.00 / 20)
that i noticed and then fixed it but it's quite possible I'll fail some of you in the near future and not mean it, so don't take it personally!

[ Parent ]
Oh, I will. (2.00 / 13)
SO you better go back and check every single one.

BTW, purple looks good on you. ;)

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.


[ Parent ]
Some people just have (2.00 / 27)
that type of presence, I totally agree. I think while being a leader can be learned, being a great leader is innate. some people just got it, and he got it in spades!  

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
He does have presence, but give credit to the photographer (2.00 / 14)
Obama is one of the few heads in full focus, he's lit  well, he's in the center of the frame and most people in the picture are looking at him, which further draws your eye right to him.  

But yeah, he does have a healthy dose of charisma and presence.


[ Parent ]
Those damn modern (2.00 / 11)
photographers and their tricksy "equipment" and "digital" editing.
;)

I think you have a point there, it is an excellent photo and did just what it was supposed to do. He or she does not need to quit their day job.

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.


[ Parent ]
Day job likely president photographer Peter Souza+team? (2.00 / 2)
That's his m.o. using lighting to single out BHO in situations Peter sees regularly without getting the natural lighting or right position to make it a great shot.

In interested, he has a note on his methods attached to his selection of what he things are his 2012 best on the whitehouse.gov flicker stream.
Also found in diary over at the orange place.

Especially in a photo of PBO arriving at night via diplomatic entrance and one in the Oval office.


[ Parent ]
Hmmm, (2.00 / 1)
I will check that out, thanks!

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
But he's also so animated (2.00 / 10)
Engaging other people. It's like the OBL operation photos. It's not like he's the star, or a monolithic figure of worship, he's just across it all - and taking responsibility

OMFG - I'm such an Obamabot!

That last line for any lurkers

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'


[ Parent ]
Well, to me it's because he's the only one facing the camera who (2.00 / 11)
is in focus, which makes sense - but that's merely an objective observation. I like a lot about him and a lot of his policies, dislike others, but don't expect miracles in view of the odds he has been facing and will continue to be confronted with for at least the next two years.

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht


[ Parent ]
Not at the "head" of the table, but definitely leading.... (2.00 / 5)
Does anybody else ever dream of this scene out of Dave, the movie?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

(I don't know how to correctly embed here, maybe somebody can fix this for me?)


[ Parent ]
On Youtube, (2.00 / 4)
choose, share, embed and make sure you check "Use Old Code" and you should be fine.

Not even Editors can edit a comment, but here's your clip.



John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Excellent!! Thanks for the tip and the clip. EOM (2.00 / 3)


[ Parent ]
I like President Obama's overall approach... (2.00 / 27)
of nominating the people he thinks best for the job without respect to race, gender, religion, political party, etc...

Most of his nominations have been really great, although I do admit that I'm disappointed with the Hagel nomination and, at the moment, would be strongly inclined to vote against his confirmation for a myriad of reasons.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.


PS I should also add that this falls in line with President Obama's belief... (2.00 / 28)
that his primary job is to get things done rather than play politics.  Some might call him the 'caver-in-chief' for that.  I call him one of the best presidents we've had in a very long time.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

[ Parent ]
I agree 100% (2.00 / 21)
I honestly believe that he is number one criteria, and because of that ends up with not only the best people, but diversity by default.

Why are you disappointed with Hagel, just curious.

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.


[ Parent ]
I see three issues... (2.00 / 21)
Ironically this represents both perceived conservative and liberal sides of the arguments.

  1. The fact that he is indicated support for negotiating with terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah without indicating any belief that this should only come after they renounce terrorism.
  2. His reference to a 'Jewish Lobby' rather than a 'Pro-Israel Lobby' or supporters of Israel.  This is perilously close to anti-Semitism, if not crossing the line.  This additionally ties into the first point because it does call into question the level of his commitment to our strongest ally in the region.  Think of what would happen if there was a nominee for Defense Secretary that was supportive of the IRA.
  3. His record and statements of LGBT rights and women's rights.  The man is a conservative Republican and, as far as I know, not a supporter of a woman's right to choose and is only a recent convert to believing that Americans should be allowed to serve in the military regardless of sexual orientation.


I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

[ Parent ]
Hi Mets102! Your concerns are good ones. I wonder, do you (2.00 / 20)
think Hagel, with regards to the "Jewish Lobby" comment, didn't understand how that would come across?  Some folks are more tone deaf than malicious.  I don't know the answer, want your take.
With the LGBT issue, maybe he's evolved?  Again, I don't know.  Throwing it out there for discussion.

"Pin your money to your girdle and don't talk to strangers."  My Grandmom's advice when I went away to school.  I don't wear a girdle and have never met a stranger.  Sorry Grandmom!

[ Parent ]
I could understand the possibility for tone-deafness... (2.00 / 15)
But that's a really bad one.  It's the equivalent of the bigots trying to scare people with "The Gay Agenda."

AFAIK, he's somewhat evolved in that he apologized and he now favors allowing open service.  I have no idea where he stands on marriage equality.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.


[ Parent ]
Agree about the bad tone deafness, if that's what it was. Again, I don't (2.00 / 9)
know.  Hopefully he's evolved on that too.

"Pin your money to your girdle and don't talk to strangers."  My Grandmom's advice when I went away to school.  I don't wear a girdle and have never met a stranger.  Sorry Grandmom!

[ Parent ]
I don't really trust his 'evolution' on LGBT issues (2.00 / 12)
As far as I know, he issued an apology, but it was a general apology and not made directly to the person; also it is suspect to me because the apology was made once he knew he was under consideration for nomination.  Doesn't exactly ring sincere to me.

[ Parent ]
Actually, it's on LGBT issues (2.00 / 17)
where I trust his 'evolution' the most-and I say this as a gay person.  The reason is that his statement was in '98 and many people have undergone a sea-change in their views on LGBT issues since then.  The rate and depth of change has been nothing short of miraculous.

[ Parent ]
I agree there's been a lot of progress in general (2.00 / 10)
on LGBT issues (and I'm part of that rainbow under the B category); but I'm still not convinced.  If he actually stands by what he said in the apology, and treats LGBT people and families equally, then I'll rethink my position.  But for now, I just don't trust him.

[ Parent ]
indeed. (2.00 / 9)
Obama himself has shown significant progress on LGBT issues.

[ Parent ]
How much of what he will be doing, (2.00 / 18)
do you think, will force him to go against some of his beliefs or past beliefs? Do you think this appointment could help shift his views since they will have to reflect the administration and not his personal point of view?

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
Not sure... (2.00 / 17)
It happens that his clock is generally broken in areas where he agrees with the Obama Administration.  Also, given his background of military service, I do believe that even if he does have issues with specific aspects of policy he will nonetheless do his duty and implement them so long as they do not conflict with the law or with his oath of office.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

[ Parent ]
I think he elected him because of old trust (2.00 / 15)
I don't care for Hagel either, but I think Obama knows him pretty well and appointed him due to trust. My opinion is that there's been a major crisis of trust with Hagel's predecessors, Obama's sick of it, and so he picked the guy based less on ideology as much as trust and mutual respect. I think it goes back to their previously co-sponsored bill(s?). That's speculation, but still how I imagine this; also, Hagel's hard to put through the Republican Rice mill, so to speak. I remember Hagel being part of the basis for Obama's belief in bipartisanship working going back to before his candidacy. So my take there is that this is personal and based on not getting sort of shit-canned by his own appointee again?

[ Parent ]
Republican Rice Mill. Double Entendre of Day, Mine made. woopee,nt. (2.00 / 2)


[ Parent ]
Yes, the (2.00 / 14)
Jewish lobby comment was certainly tone deaf at best, and his comments on LGBT issues are ghastly.  

I am a little baffled as to why Pres. Obama went with Hegel even if he wanted to send a signal on a shift on US policy towards the settlements (getting tougher).  But overall, I think it's an interesting choice and not awful.


[ Parent ]
Hegel is in the cabinet? (2.00 / 8)
Marx would be delighted

Only kidding ya!

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'


[ Parent ]
Oops, my (2.00 / 3)
bias just showed!  uh hem "Hagel" I meant : D

[ Parent ]
Given that he is going to be DefSec 3 doesn't bother me, (2.00 / 13)
and 1 and 2 reflect a changing world.

On 2, the only way it could be seen as anti-semitic is if the word "lobby" was a slur, which it isn't. Lobbying is a neutral term and part of not just politics but life. There is a Jewish lobby, as well as a lobby for about everything else.

On 1, while Hamas and Hezbollah piss me off no end, Hamas at least is in some form of government position. Iran supports terrorism as well, and not negotiating with them at all is prolematic to say the least.

The reality is that the Middle East is changing, and has been for a long time. Allied countries such as Saudi, Qatar, UAE and Bahrain have been changing their cultures to fit much more closely with western standards and have made enormous progress. Arab Spring countries like Libya, Egypt and Yemen are moving in fits and starts in that direction and away from the stereotype of radical Muslim countries. The views of many in the region is that Iran is inevitably going in the same direction in the next decade, and Syria is set to begin that path in the foreseeable future.

I have been very vocal in the past about support for Israel as a relatively sane country in the region in the past. The alternative of giving in to extremism is not an option. But the Muslim countries in the region are moving away from both the dictatorial as well as terroristic tendencies which have defined them in the past.

Over the next twenty years I expect that the middle east as a whole will become a vibrant part of the global community and global economy. Petroleum is only the fourth largest business in Saudi now, Qatar and the UAE are rapidly becoming global business centers and when Egypt settles down (imho in a few years after another change in government) it will as well become more like a France than like Syria still is.

The US needs to think deeply about its role in the region. Israel will always remain an ally, but our past focus on "The US and Israel against the Muslim countries" has already changed. Bibi is a problem as he clings to the old world view of constant conflict, but the population of Israel - like surrounding nations - is moving past that position. As the Millenials around the world move up and the Boomers around the world move into the shadows the paradigms of the Cold War era will fade into memory. Our regional strategy needs to look forward, not backward.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Problem is that 'Jewish Lobby' is generally used for anti-Semitic purposes... (2.00 / 10)
And part of the anti-Semitic conflation of Jewishness/Judaism (former being an ethnicity and the latter a religion) and Israel.

Bibi is a problem, but we also don't know that the other countries in the region are moving away from dictatorship.  Tunisia seems like it will do okay.  Egypt has a leader who seems comfortable with the idea of dictatorship so long as he and his followers are the ones in power.  Who knows what will happen in Syria?

As for negotiating with Iran, yes, that will likely be necessary.  However, I'm not sure I like the idea that we have a Defense Secretary that thinks we should just negotiate instead of being part of a package deal that involves them renouncing their nuclear weapons program.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.


[ Parent ]
Hagel might be more accountable for getting the terminology right, being a pol, (2.00 / 7)
but mae culpa as well.

That being said, Israel as a nation has issues which fall into my bad books. If it were surrounded by secular nations my thoughts about it would be largely different.

By its nature it lends conversation about it to semantic mistakes like mine above. I am in no way in favor of theocracies of any sort, and as the only Jewish nation it stands alone as the symbol of that for its associated theism. Europe and the US were, until after WWII, known as "Christendom" and still bear the scars of that. The notion that the US or any other country today is "a Christian Country" not only fails the taste test but raises earned ire from anyone interested in liberal or even democratic ideals.

While I do not expect to see it, having nations defined by theology or ethnicity is an idea that future generations will eventually come to see as insulting and inane. As genes continue to mix with increased fluidity, the "races" that our primitive past created situationally will fade until, perhaps 100 generations from now, they will have no meaning. Ethnocentric views rankle at the idea, for my part I wish I could be here to see it.

However, I'm not sure I like the idea that we have a Defense Secretary that thinks we should just negotiate instead of being part of a package deal that involves them renouncing their nuclear weapons program.

I am not informed enough about the man to be definitive, but I would find it highly unlikely that he holds those views. Pretty well anyone viable today to hold US political office has to tie Iranian nukes to any potential negotiations.

It would surprise me more than not to see that Iran is still under the same regime in five years, though, at which point having or not having nukes is an entirely different conversation. Without the current regime they probably wouldn't necessarily want them, anyway, and certainly wouldn't present the same issues they have with them.

Iran is a funny duck all around in the region. More theocratic and extreme than all the rest, but also more secular and educated than most in many ways. Their circle of support is shrinking with each passing year, as even Russia finds it harder to say nice things about them. Their population is suffering viscerally every day due to the regime's position and composition, and like elsewhere the emerging younger population is getting more and more tired of it every day.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
I've only heard him say we need to talk to them... (2.00 / 7)
and not the conditions that would be necessary for those direct negotiations to happen.

As for Israel, I would point out that Judaism is not technically established there.  By 'Jewish State' it refers to the Jewish ethnicity, much the same way that there are plenty of other ethnic-based states in Europe.  That Jewish religious holidays are also state holidays is a function of the fact that the Jewish People are an ethno-religious group.  Thus it is hard to categorize neatly as either pure ethnicity or religion.  Many Jews that don't believe in the religion, or aspects of the religion, nonetheless keep certain traditions because of that.  Perhaps the best example being the Jewish atheist that fasts on Yom Kippur and doesn't eat bread on Passover.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.


[ Parent ]
Contradictorially, those contradictions are the things I like about Jewishness(ism ;~) (2.00 / 3)
But I am of course an ex-Christian non-theist who celebrates Christmas and Easter, so who am I to talk?

Judiasm/Jewishness is an interesting complex state of being/theology/ethnicity/whatever. Not to begin to scratch the surface, but on the ethnic side it isn't even clear since you are able (aren't you? I know folks who have, anyway) convert to Judaism without carrying a genome. You could marry another convert and branch off an entire wing of Judaism that has no genetic link with Jewish ethnicity, which I imagine must have happened many times. Are you now Jewish theologically and not Jewish ethnically? My experience with the Jewishism would lead me to guess that it both doesn't matter and that rabbinical thought has already delved into it deeply.

All that said, while Israel may not be by some definitions a "Jewish State", by many other practical definitions it is. There would not be the cloud of complexity about the country if it weren't, at least in the eyes of many, just that.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Think of conversion as being akin to adoption... (2.00 / 5)
Where you decide to join the Jewish People.  Thus, while have no strict blood connection, there is, nonetheless, a familial connection that's been established.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

[ Parent ]
...and then, as the generations of Jewish by Conversion not Blood go on, (2.00 / 5)
you end up with non-theist Jews who aren't Jewish by genetics or theology, but are nonetheless Jewish.

Were all the other ethnicities so plastic, other issues might be less contentious...

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Having Yemen on my mind so much recently, (2.00 / 4)
the topic of ethnicity just gets sillier in reality.

Everyone not of African descent is of Yemeni descent (who, of course, are of African descent). Arab ethnicities have an intrinsic spiritual and cultural tie to Yemen woven into their fabric, but in the long view every middle-eastern, Asian, European and Americas ethnicity and culture traces straight back to Yemen as well.

The whole ethnicity thing is, everyone will please pardon my french, a pile of hooey. Human beings are genetically homogeneous with spicing of tendencies towards superficial traits due to family lines. Cultures are more important, as these are the memetic structures that have developed in geographies and are the basis of who we are, with the genetic commonalities we call "ethnicity" a largely unimportant footnote.

The Creek cultural content did not outwardly make it down the memetic tree to me, though I bet it is in there thanks to Grand^4ma Winnie Muscogee. All of it mixed into the American memetic me with some influence of Canadian culture stirring that up, and travel and discourse like this has added strings of memetic material to who I am. I will pass that code along to not only my children by people within my sphere of communication, and so we as intellectual creatures procreate.

The genetic material I carry is a slow and inconsequential set of data compared to all of that.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
I hear your concern about the 'Jewish Lobby' remark (2.00 / 8)
But it's not quite analogous with support for the IRA.

It's really back to the whole AIPAC business. In truth he should have said 'Likudite Lobby'. And it's a major hostage to fortune that he put it that way.

As you know, I don't think criticising Likudite policies should be intepreted as being 'anti-Israel'. With many Israeli friends, and having been there several times, my support for Israel is for its secular cosmpolitan spirit: not just the incumbent ideology.

Back to the IRA, and the parallels with Hizbollah and Hamas. I remember throughout my youth Margaret Thatcher banning Sinn Fein on the airwaves, and telling us she'd never negotiate with terrorists. I remember being told by Ulster relatives that this was 300 year long war, and would never be resolved.

Last year, Gerry Adams shook the hand of the Queen.

You use negotiations to stop the violence - political compromise as conflict by other means. One day, Hamas and Hizbollah will have be bought to a negotiating table.

The question is: would Hagel's appointment bring that closer?  

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'


[ Parent ]
That's the problem that people on both sides have... (2.00 / 6)
There are those on the pro-Israel side that believe they have to out-Likud the Likud.  I would point out that the first peace treaty Israel signed — with Egypt — was signed by her first Likud govenrment, led by Menachem Begin.  And he was someone that had said he planned to retire to a settlement in the Sinai before proceeding to give up the Sinai.

On the other side, of course, there are those that don't realize that the Likud is merely a party and that the government is not the state itself.  That said, many of them, when they speak of settlements, are not only referring to places like Ariel or Itamar, but also Petah Tikva and Tel Aviv.  I find them indistinguishable from the one-staters on my own side with the exception that they believe it's the Palestinians, rather than the Jews, that should be in charge.  Both of those groups are a major part of the problem.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.


[ Parent ]
Hiyah Mets, (2.00 / 14)
Would be interested to hear your "myriad of reasons" that you dislike the Hagel nomination (beyond the fact that he's not a dem.)

BTW, I was just reading Booman's take on this subject and he pointed out that nominating Jack Lew for Treasury is a case for greater diversity as Mr. Lew is an Orthodox Jew.


[ Parent ]
I am curious (2.00 / 15)
about your feelings about  Hagel.  I am inclined to approve of him, though he's far from the choice I'd have preferred.  

[ Parent ]
Oddly Hagel is probably my favorite nomination so far. (2.00 / 10)
Nothing against Kerry who likely will drift off into the private sector in 2016.  Just seems very "inside Washington" to me.  I have serious concerns abut Brennan and look forward to his testimony; will likely prove eye-opening one way or the other.

Steve Clemons signed off on Hagel's stance on LGBT so I'm good with that.  I think the "Jewish Lobby" comment was tone deaf but true in spirit.  He's made many other comments on other topics that make me happy.  And I appreciate that he actually served (as an enlisted guy) who may actually think of the troops as more than mere assets.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
I'm a woman and just not really concerned about how many (2.00 / 30)
of us are in President Obama's cabinet because he's had Clinton as SOS, still has Rice and others in top spots and appointed two women to the SCOTUS.  I don't see him as a "boys club" kind of guy.  Obviously he has his reasons for those he has chosen so far but since mind reading isn't my day job I wouldn't presume to so much as guess what those reasons are.  Just my .02.

"Pin your money to your girdle and don't talk to strangers."  My Grandmom's advice when I went away to school.  I don't wear a girdle and have never met a stranger.  Sorry Grandmom!

Thank you. (2.00 / 25)
I totally forgot to mention the SCOTUS, I had intended on doing that.

I think this is so important, because he has a ridiculous amount of information when making these decisions that we are not privy too.

Obviously he has his reasons for those he has chosen so far but since mind reading isn't my day job I wouldn't presume to so much as guess what those reasons are.

I have gotten slammed in the past for saying that I voted for him because I trust him, but I do. I trust that he will take all the info at his disposal and make smart, rational decisions.

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.


[ Parent ]
I feel the same way but don't often express it because I'm not into (2.00 / 20)
rox/sux.  I don't always agree with President Obama but respect him and believe he's trying amid a minefield of "stuff".  What would cause me to light my hair on fire would be, gag, President Rmoney.  

"Pin your money to your girdle and don't talk to strangers."  My Grandmom's advice when I went away to school.  I don't wear a girdle and have never met a stranger.  Sorry Grandmom!

[ Parent ]
He was the sanest of the major candidates on the GOP side... (2.00 / 19)
Could you imagine a President Santorum or a President Bachmann or a President Gingrich?

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

[ Parent ]
Oh, then I'd be bald with bad head scars! I cannot figure out (2.00 / 19)
why the media are still reporting things like Santorum's opinion on the Hagel nomination but they are.

"Pin your money to your girdle and don't talk to strangers."  My Grandmom's advice when I went away to school.  I don't wear a girdle and have never met a stranger.  Sorry Grandmom!

[ Parent ]
I know, it makes me sick because (2.00 / 18)
it could give people the impression that they actually have a credible opinion to share.  

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
There aren't any kidnapped, young blonde white women to (2.00 / 8)
report about right now. So Santorum is it. Ugh.

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht


[ Parent ]
I was about to mention SCOTUS - No Puerto Rican woman (2.00 / 8)
in history has ever risen to the heights that Justice Sotomayor has.

For me it's not just about her ethnicity - it's important to me that she's from the projects in the Bronx.  

Diversity? How can anyone question BHO's commitment to diversity and excellence.

Republicans are known for selecting asshole of any color or gender to serve as fronts for their elitist/racist/sexist party.  

BHO has never foisted dimwits on us. Period. I may not always agree with his selections - but I'm not the President.  My opinion is that he should be allowed to build his own team.  

I'm still enraged by what was done to Susan Rice. And there were voices on the left who contributed.  

"If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition"

Bernice Johnson Reagon


[ Parent ]
The voices on the (2.00 / 6)
left that contributed to what happened to Rice were by far the most disappointing to me.


Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
I'm going to have to disagree with you a bit on *two* counts. :) (2.00 / 1)
Presidents should be granted wide latitude to nominate who they want but if someone (John Bolton) is nominated for a post for which he /she is utterly unsuited we have the duty to point that out.  And while I think Brennan is qualified to run the CIA I am anxious to hear his testimony on torture and rendition.

There were concerns about Rice's ties to Keystone and the ability of the State Department to determine the fate of the pipeline.  I would have liked for her to be given the opportunity to address those in testimony but I will relish POTUS naming her his does-not-need-confirmation Nation Security Advisor.  Brcause I' convinced there was a smidge of in-your-face with Kerry.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
Rice will likely move over to become (2.00 / 13)
National Security Advisor sometime in the coming year or so.

I am for the individual over government, government over big business and the environment over all. -- William O. Douglas

[ Parent ]
I was sad to see Hilda Solis leaving ... (2.00 / 25)
(and might write something about that later under the IVFD label, which will be moving to the Moose).

But JHC on a popsicle stick!! Can you imagine the high-pressure job a cabinet position is? From crazee Republicans to stupifyingly inane members of the press to being ON 24/7.

And not to mention having to clean up the gawdawful mess left by Elaine Chou (Mrs. Mitch McConnell), the former Secretary of Labor. Eight years of Bush probably left the Department of Labor more like the Department of Silly Walks ... a huge joke.

I think I will wait to see what President Obama actually does before I set my hair on fire.


Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


Oh do not get me started on Elaine Chou! (1.95 / 20)
(insert really bad words here)

"Pin your money to your girdle and don't talk to strangers."  My Grandmom's advice when I went away to school.  I don't wear a girdle and have never met a stranger.  Sorry Grandmom!

[ Parent ]
I agree that it must be (2.00 / 17)
so stressful to be in some of these positions that for health reasons it may be almost necessary to limit yourself to one term.

This is an excellent idea.

I think I will wait to see what President Obama actually does before I set my hair on fire.
 

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
Is there word of Hilda Solis's replacement yet? (2.00 / 17)
From the article
Granted, with the resignation last night of Hilda Solis and the previous news of Secretary of State Clinton, 2 very prominent positions are slated to be filled with white males.

it sounds like she's going to be replaced by a man, but who?  I won't care so much if it's someone like Paul Krugman (although I'd rather he replaced Tim Geithner), but I haven't heard any speculation yet as to who the nominee will be.  

[ Parent ]
Robert Reich for the lulz (2.00 / 5)
Heads would be explodin'.

There was only one joker in L.A. sensitive enough to wear that scent...and I had to find out who he was!

[ Parent ]
Blaming the first African-American President for not having (2.00 / 20)
a diverse cabinet strikes me as very tone-deaf. Admittedly, I'm not crazy about all of the new appointments, however, that criticism of all criticisms seems to ignore the elephant (or in this case, the black-skinned man) in the room, doesn't it?

Far be it for me to make any suggestions about cabinet appointments which might offend the proud fee-fees of the geniuses over at Wonkette, but alleging that President Obama is not committed to "diversity" strikes me as rhetoric at its most ignorant. Unless they are implying he's some kind of Uncle Tom figure playing a fine minstrel show for all the nice old clapping white men? In other words, a puppet a la GWB. And I haven't heard that chestnut thrown around yet. So is this a chick thing? If so, someone needs to pull their head out of their ass and check out Obama's wife, mother, and all of the strong women he very much surrounds himself with. Oh, and that Susan Rice thing.

Sigh.


diversity is more than gender/sex & skin color (2.00 / 18)
it includes education, experience, beliefs & perhaps social status.  

by gender/sex, i mean: gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

the supreme court only looks diverse.  

i am nearly always a bit disappointed when a white guy is nominated for anything.  some part of me feels like white guys had their chances as a group.  

 


The white guy thing... I'm always saying I don't want a bunch of (2.00 / 16)
hairy old white guys making decisions about my body.  That's what I see when states approve vaginal ultrasounds be made mandatory prior to abortion.  Then I get vindictive in my head and want it to be mandatory that those guys have a proctological exam before being sworn into office.

"Pin your money to your girdle and don't talk to strangers."  My Grandmom's advice when I went away to school.  I don't wear a girdle and have never met a stranger.  Sorry Grandmom!

[ Parent ]
Excellent point, jlms qkw. (2.00 / 14)
If we have people of color and women but they all went to the same prep school, graduated from Harvard and clerked for the same Supreme Court justice, is that "diversity"? When we insist on gender/sexual orientation/race diversity, we are overlooking how important diverse experiences are.

Hilda Solis was an excellent choice not because she was a Hispanic woman but because she was a strong progressive and was in the labor trenches, not just writing about it or reading about it.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
At the same time that these talking heads are (2.00 / 23)
talking about the cabinet "lacking diversity", the WH announces that an African-American will remain as AG, a woman will remain as Secy of HHS, and an Asian-American will remain as Sec. Vets Affairs.

Say what?

I am for the individual over government, government over big business and the environment over all. -- William O. Douglas


Well, CNN has to stay (1.94 / 17)
balanced doncha know.

Hope the link works, it's my first here.

"Pin your money to your girdle and don't talk to strangers."  My Grandmom's advice when I went away to school.  I don't wear a girdle and have never met a stranger.  Sorry Grandmom!


[ Parent ]
What link? I haven't figured out yet how to post them. (2.00 / 10)
Can you let us know how if you find out before I do? Thanks.

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht


[ Parent ]
The word "balanced" (2.00 / 8)
has the link. The purple is very subtle, so depending on your browser it may be tricky to see. :)

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
You're right. I can't see it unless I mouse over it. Thank you! (2.00 / 8)
So HOW did you do it?

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht


[ Parent ]
Now that, (2.00 / 8)
I am still learning myself. There is a explanation in the faq, but I failed when I tried it that way. I had to cheat to get links in my diary. :)

JanF, among others knows, maybe she will see this!

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.


[ Parent ]
You just use the automated Kos code (2.00 / 5)
(a href=http:yourlink)Highlighted link word(/a)

But put <> brackets instead

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'


[ Parent ]
I am embarrassingly bad at this, (2.00 / 5)
I am sure the mistake I was making was a stupid one. I am going to practice in the comments before my next diary. Thanks!

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
I used the html code which I cannot offer you or when (2.00 / 8)
I preview it's in purple like it's a link.

"Pin your money to your girdle and don't talk to strangers."  My Grandmom's advice when I went away to school.  I don't wear a girdle and have never met a stranger.  Sorry Grandmom!

[ Parent ]
The code to turn a word into a link is: (2.00 / 7)

. ..shows up as...

Motley Moose

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.


[ Parent ]
Thank you very much! n/t (2.00 / 7)


Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
It worked perfectly! (2.00 / 10)
That is one of the headlines that prompted me to write this, as a matter of fact. :)

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
Now, now, (2.00 / 10)
we can only talk about the parts that fit our narrative. The rest is superfluous.  

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
I'm of two minds (2.00 / 19)
(which is not an unusual state for me...see my sig).

On the one hand, I do hate seeing Congres, the Senate, the Cabinet so dominated by white males. There's been progress, but it's been slooooow.

On the other hand, suggesting that Obama wants to build a white boys club is a little silly. What's he going to do, leave the room?

The root of the problem goes so much deeper than white male dominance of Congress, the Senate, the Cabinet, CEOs. The root is that while most glass ceilings have been shattered in that women have achieved these positions, to stretch a metaphor we've not yet removed the glass shards that hinder other women from following.

As a result, the majority of folks who have ended up building a resume to fit these positions tend to be white males. Are there qualified female candidates? Absolutely and we could do a much better job seeking them out. But more importantly, we could do a much better job allowing women to develop those strong resumes to begin with.

Conflicted. I am it.

Enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.

Barack Obama 1/21/2013


at the state level (2.00 / 12)
some states have some diversity, some don't.  #also

[ Parent ]
This is an excellent point, iriti. (2.00 / 12)
we could do a much better job allowing women to develop those strong resumes to begin with

and I think it holds true for minorities as well. I wonder if a close inspection of some of less prominent positions in his cabinet would reveal some of this taking place?

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.


[ Parent ]
This applies (2.00 / 8)
To all under-represented groups, not just women. My mind was on women due to the specific folks involved, but obviously the problem is much broader.

Sorry, did not mean to appear to dismiss other affected groups.

Enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.

Barack Obama 1/21/2013


[ Parent ]
I don't think you were dismissive at all! (2.00 / 8)
Just focused. I wish I could stay focused today. :)

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
Like you kirbybruno, I trust President's decision making process (2.00 / 17)
And it feels good to say so!

I enjoyed reading Andrew Sullivan's opinion roundup re the Hagel nomination, Why Hagel Matters  http://andrewsullivan.thedaily...

Steve Bennen, from The Maddow Blog re the R's huffing and puffing....

There is, however, an unintended consequence to all of this chest-thumping: Republicans are making an excellent case for filibuster reform, just as Senate Democrats have to decide on how best to proceed.

http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_n...

Charles P Pierce, just because he's always fun to read...

It is quite plain that the congressional Republicans have learned nothing from the fiscal-cliff fiasco, even less from the election in November, and that they're just ignoring the fact entirely that their approval rating has to be studied with an electron microscope. The president and his people seem to be coming to the realization - belatedly, I will grant you - that there is no bargain to be struck with these people worth having. So, instead, because, like lice and Nickelback, he is more popular than this Congress, the president has adopted a new strategy, one that relies on the fact that the people seem to be on his side. He's is now governing by wolf tickets.

Read more: Daily Politics Blog - Charles P. Pierce - Political Blogging - Esquire http://www.esquire.com/blogs/p...

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives


I know he gets a bad rap, (2.00 / 9)
but I enjoy reading Andrew Sullivan. I read him every day leading up to the 2008 election. Thanks for the links, I shall peruse them!

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
I've enjoyed his writing since his New Republic Days..... (2.00 / 9)
I don't always agree, but watching his evolving politics is fascinating, and he gives me an insight re conservative writing....his selected reading is enough for me!  

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

[ Parent ]
I go through phases of reading Sullivan. I only started reading him (2.00 / 7)
some years ago because Josh Marshall does, and TPM is the only other Democratic blog I read regularly, next to DK. I like reading Sullivan occasionally, for a slightly different slant. Same with others - if there's a hot topic, I peruse a few other bloggers, like Greg Sargent or digby, but don't always have the time to read as many as I would like to.

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht


[ Parent ]
On the nominations (2.00 / 16)
The lack of diversity in institutional America is a result of not considering qualified applicants, and this administration need not defend itself on that score it has.  Any screaming about a lack of diversity is merely cynicism of a corporate media that is pretty non diverse itself and in the business of perpetuating both sides do it.  

The President's cabinet reflect the people he chooses to implement his policy, and i'm not applying any litmus test to it. My only real thought on who he chooses is to protect them from the inevitable shit storm the media will manufacture  because I understand the President's policies and trust he will choose the correct people to implement them.

I will say it's not escaped my notice that some of the same institutions that allowed and helped Susan Rice be trashed, then placed the blame for the trashing on the Obama administration are now decrying this lack of diversity, and at this point I'm mostly ignoring them.

"I honor the place in you where Spirit lives
I honor the place in you which is
of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace,
when you are in that place in you,
and I am in that place in me,
then we are One."  Namaste Friends!


Similar to what (2.00 / 11)
iriti said above. Also, the Susan Rice thing was deplorable.

I know I should just ignore, but I get so annoyed sometimes, and then start to doubt myself and wonder, which I guess is what they want. Between this and the EMERGENCY FLU EPIDEMIC, they are so getting on my nerves!

Thanks a lot for reading. :)

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.


[ Parent ]
it's January, (2.00 / 2)
there's a letdown post-Christmas stuff, and so there's always a slow news period. We always have some kind of national health emergency ranted over, thrown at us, shouted about, debated in January. It fills air time.

Even if the voices aren't real, they have some pretty good ideas. -- Anonymous

[ Parent ]
True, (2.00 / 1)
I just get tired of them leaving out crucial details and selectively reporting the "news".   ::grumble grumble::

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
Brennan defended Bush's torture. (2.00 / 8)
I will be contacting those on the Justice Committee to ask them to vote against him.

    Standing for justice and accountability,
                 For Dan,
                 Heather

Torture is Always wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.


Do you have any (2.00 / 9)
other candidates in mind, are there any on the horizon that you could push for?

Here is IMO a pretty good Slate article that discusses his interrogation/detention policies, for anyone that hasn't seen it and wants a quick summary.

http://www.salon.com/2008/11/1...

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.


[ Parent ]
No one in particular yet, but I'll do some pondering. (2.00 / 6)
Thanks for the link to the article :)

      Standing for justice and accountability,
               For Dan,
               Heather

Torture is Always wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.


[ Parent ]
No prob, (2.00 / 6)
keep us posted, the more voices the better. :)


Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
Argh, Salon not Slate. (2.00 / 5)
D'oh! Sorry. :/

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
I would rather have a Cabinet (2.00 / 11)
staffed with competent people who have empathy, even sympathy, for those less fortunate/gifted/rich than one that is carefully balanced on the surface and is composed of sycophants who do nothing.

The combo of Kerry and Hagel for State and Defense strikes me as a very interesting choice, two Vietnam vets running the two big departments, and maybe that'll say something about this country and the possibility of moving into a post-all-military world.

Even if the voices aren't real, they have some pretty good ideas. -- Anonymous


I am thankful that they are vets, (2.00 / 8)
but having someone in the position of Secretary of Defense who has defended the torture of real live human beings, especially when that torture has gone unpunished and has in fact been rewarded is a HUGE problem.

        Standing for justice and accountability,
                     For Dan,
                     Heather

Torture is Always wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.


[ Parent ]
Hagel or Brennan or both? (2.00 / 7)
And it is nice to see you in purple!

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Thanks :) (2.00 / 2)
Brennan defended torture. This is what he said on CBS:
The CIA has acknowledged that it has detained about 100 terrorists since 9/11, and about a third of them have been subjected to what the CIA refers to as enhanced interrogation tactics, and only a small proportion of those have in fact been subjected to the most serious types of enhanced procedures.... There have been a lot of information that has come out from these interrogation procedures that the agency has in fact used against the real hard-core terrorists. It has saved lives. And let's not forget, these are hardened terrorists who have been responsible for 9/11, who have shown no remorse at all for the deaths of 3,000 innocents.
  NB: I wish this site had blockquoting built into the comment system :)

Hagel actually fought against it, including a letter to Bush with Dianne Feinstein and other Democratic senators (which I can't find a copy of right now, but will try to find tomorrow), and a column in Washington Monthly
http://www.washingtonmonthly.c...

        Standing for justice and accountability,
                 For Dan,
                 Heather

Torture is Always wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.


[ Parent ]
thanks for the quote. (2.00 / 3)
There is blockquoting we just call it "quote" - third utton on the bottom left of your comment box.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
I think being a veteran (2.00 / 9)
should be a mandatory requirement for SecDef for exactly the reasons you stated.

I'm ok with Hagel. I'd much rather have him than who I am afraid is the backup plan - my former Senator Jim Webb.  


[ Parent ]
I agree with you that being a veteran should be mandatory. (2.00 / 7)
Not as comfortable with Hagel's stands on Gays and Lesbians in the military.        

           Hugs,
          Heather

Torture is Always wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.


[ Parent ]
HRC stood up for Hagel (2.00 / 2)
So I was impressed by that. I'll also be looking to see how Hagel answers relevant questions in his confirmation hearings.

[ Parent ]
Good to leave the trash-Obama-for-everything behind, wow! (2.00 / 10)
Re Cabinet: He should choose whom he wants, which will probably the best qualified people he/his staff can find for the policies he still is planning to implement. I really think he plans for the future, and can see the big picture, whereas I certainly cannot, and wouldn't even try to. That's not my strong point, but one of his.

I have mixed feelings about one-termers, but can see the positives in both - experience vs. fresh ideas, and nuances thereof. I imagine the last four years have been very taxing for most of the administration, considering the huge problems left in the wake of Bush's disastrous tenure, not to forget that Bush people were quickly promoted to permanent positions in many agencies in his last few months, so they couldn't be replaced easily. That must have made a bad situation even harder to deal with.

Apart from real objections I had to Geithner, whose selection I was dismayed by, I'm fine with the President's choices. I think Holder is probably doing a lot more than he is given credit for, and Obama seems to like people around him who get the job he wants done accomplished, with little fanfare or drama. That's a-ok in my book.

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht


A lot of the problems with a cabinet position is that, with (2.00 / 6)
some exceptions, cabinet secretaries who do well (e.g. Solis) stay out of the news.  Sort of like how you probably won't be able to rate your local fire department until something catches on fire.

[ Parent ]
So, it is okay with you if someone who defended the torture (1.00 / 5)
of real live human beings by the United States, which was, in part, undertaken by the CIA, is the Head of the CIA ? Really ? Truly ?

Sorry, I will NEVER agree with you about that.

It is completely outrageous that those at the top who were responsible for the torture inflicted by the United States on real live human beings have not only not been punished but have been rewarded, by being given time and attention on tv and radio, space in newspapers, and gravitas, and being made even more wealthy than we can imagine, but now one of the people defending that inhuman conduct should be put in charge of those who tortured? NO !

Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

       Standing for justice and accountability,
                For Dan,
                Heather

Torture is Always wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.


[ Parent ]
Sorry, that was uncalled for. (2.00 / 10)
So, it is okay with you if someone who defended the torture

We can all assume that we all feel strongly about the treatment of human beings, as I am certain you both do. Even those - who are not here - who might defend the actions you are talking about we would assume have justifications that fit a balance that they believe ethical. We might assume they are wrong, which I and likely anyone here would, and we would attempt to peel apart that erroneous stack.

We would not suggest that they lack ethics, we would question the basis of them.

I can appreciate your passion and believe you speak from your heart, but by questioning the ethics of your fellows in conversation you stray out of a discourse that can lead anywhere positive.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Chris, (0.00 / 0)
Moozmuse said:
I'm fine with the President's choices.
Brennan defended torture of real live human beings.
Brennan is being nominated to be head of the agency who did
much of the actual torture inflicted by the US since 9/11.
That was what I was saying I disagree with, and asking if
Moozmuse is okay with.

Yes, I will most certainly question the ethics of someone who defends torture.

This is not a theoretical exercise for me. My husband survived torture and suffered from his injuries for over thirty years. I hear the screams of those who are being tortured every single day in my minds ears. I feel their wounds in my bones every day.

If those at the top who ordered the torture of real live human beings cannot be punished, and are in fact being rewarded, and those who defended them in an official capacity are going to be put in charge of the agency that actually did the torturing, and we cannot question that in the strongest possible terms, HOW do we stop torture from happening again ?

I realize this may lead to my leaving the Moose, and that will be unfortunate, but I will not be silent about this. Too many Americans remained silent. Cheney and Rumsfeld were in the positions to do what they did because they weren't punished for their parts in Iran Contra.

   Standing for justice and accountability,
            For Dan,
            Heather


Torture is Always wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.


[ Parent ]
We all choose. (2.00 / 8)
Questioning ethics, as any exchange of words, can be done many ways. Some may lead to the results we are looking for, others may not.

Whether Hagel's ethical model is correct I do not know, and given the chance I would question that model directly with him. Others whom I have had the chance to speak directly who defend the torture carried out in Gitmo have been the subject of such discussion and, perhaps incorrectly, I feel that I have changed an opinion or two along the way.

But Mr. Hagel is not here, so his ethics we can discuss only in abstract. Those who are here have neither performed nor defended the performance of torture, so the question of their ethics is not the same conversation.

If you were to question my ethics on this or another topic, though, I would hope your approach would be less accusational and more inquiring. You might, through that method, cause me to reconsider my position. Were you to suggest that the basis of my position were nefarious, particularly with the use of pugalistic phrasing and punctuation, it is unlikely my response would be constructive for either of us.

We all choose how we converse, and we all sometimes choose poorly. While I do not question the intent behind the direction of your discourse in this case, I do question your choice of method. I believe you are able to see my point, here, and hope you choose to contemplate it in context rather than react to it reflexively.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Brennan. (2.00 / 5)
I chose the name poorly. ;~)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Far too many Americans have not been pugalistic enough (0.00 / 0)
on the subject of torture.

They are content to say it is a bad thing, but allow those who have authorized torture to literally get away with murder.

    Standing for justice and accountability,
                 For Dan,
                 Heather

Torture is Always wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.


[ Parent ]
I am not so certain pugalism is the answer. (2.00 / 8)
An eye for an eye, meeting violence with violence. These are rarely the paths that lead to resolution.

While this topic is at its end a simple one, and we agree with that end, the road to that end is not. I doubt very much if it is as simple as needing to raise our voices more or pound our fists harder. Neither the path to building support for our position nor to delivering that position to those in power is to be found by way of the same map that leads those we oppose on this issue to believe they can force truth by violence and intimidation.

Many have perhaps been too quiet on this issue. Certainly those who have argued the side we share have not succeeded in winning the support we would need to prevail in our goals. It is exceedingly unlikely, however, that we have failed due to an insufficient use of force.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
What I am talking about is too many Americans have been (2.00 / 5)
willing to allow the issue to slide. To allow those at the top who authorized torture to be rewarded without a peep of complaint, to defend someone who facilitated torture to run as a Democratic senate candidate (he withdrew for family reasons), and now to not have a problem with putting someone who defended torture in as the head of the agency who inflicted much of the torture by the US since 9/11. That is a HUGE problem.

    Standing for justice and accountability,
             For Dan,
             Heather

Torture is Always wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.


[ Parent ]
Exactly, (2.00 / 5)
it is not an issue of intent but of means.

The issue we are talking is not the issue (that's another issue), the issue is the way we are talking about it. To make it easier for you and I to talk about that way, let's pick a different issue: pie.

Were pie contentious, we might have two ways to question someone we think might be somehow in favor of the horrible pastry.

So, you think then it is just fine to have pie just anytime you like? Really?? Just flinging pie through the air all the time without any consideration of the consequences?

Well, I guess that was just the way you were raised.

A different way might be,

While I assume we share a similar desire for heart and dental health, I find it difficult to understand your argument that unrestricted pieing comes without consequence. In my experience pie leads to cake, and cake to cookies, and we have both already stated our opposition to cookies.

While there is likely an end-state we would agree on, I cannot find it in myself to agree with your pie position. If I understand what you have said correctly I would like to share the reasons for my opposition more fully and see if it  is possible to convince you to foresake your pie promotion stance.

The latter may not at first satisfy the urge to reach out and slam the pie being held into the smug face of the holder before you, but it is much less likely to lead to a spike in pie production.

;~)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
That is such a great analogy, (2.00 / 4)
especially since I love pie!


Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
Pieist. (2.00 / 2)
We know how you people are...

:~)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Flaming! (2.00 / 2)
Although it is not my fault, I was taught how to find the circumference of a circle using 3.14159265359 so blame the schools!  

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
Please don't leave (2.00 / 11)
We need passionate conversations like this - and there are few things more important than torture.

There's nothing in your statement that should make you not feel at home here. The last point,

HOW do we stop torture from happening again ?

...I'm sure would be echoed by every Mooz.

All I think that Chris is saying is let's not assume someone who has a different take on politcal personnel or the history of War on Terror, is on the side of the bad guys. We assume good faith on the Moose, and that differences of opinion are not absolute moral differences, but mutual blindness. We have arguments, but not to accuse the other of being a defender of the bad, but to persuade them of their error, or be persuaded of our own.

Please stay, and write passionately about this important subject. You may not get complete agreement about the boundaries of torture, or indeed who is or is not tarnished by this sad chapter in US foreign policy. But no one will ever criticise your motives

Best

Peter

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'


[ Parent ]
I don't think this is going to work. (2.00 / 4)
In my world, there are moral and ethical boundaries, and one of them is defending torture. I have so many of these conversations over the last seven years, people saying "oh, torture is horrible" or "how awful what your husband went through", etc. But when the push comes to shove, too few people are willing to stand up and help stop it. Too many have told me "oh but we have other priorities", in terms of stopping a Democratic senate candidate who facilitated torture, or in terms holding those at the top who authorized torture legally accountable, and now in terms of helping to stop a nominee for the head of an agency who inflicted torture from being someone who defended torture. Now I'm being criticized for calling that out.

"HOW do we stop torture from happening again ?
...I'm sure would be echoed by every Mooz."

One of the ways you DON'T stop torture is by putting someone who defended it in charge of the agency who committed it.

Sorry for causing a problem.

   Standing for justice and accountability,
            For Dan,
            Heather


Torture is Always wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.


[ Parent ]
You're not causing a problem at all (2.00 / 8)
Criticising a potential head of the CIA for their past positions on torture is completely legitimate and unproblematic.

All I'm suggesting is that, when it comes to interlocutors who have a different opinion, one listens first to their arguments before positioning them outside some moral pale. If, after that, you feel it's a defence of torture - then say so.

However, we try to attack the arguments and the comments on the Moose, not the character of those who made them. People's opinions should be deemed separable from their selves. Hate the sinner not the sin as the old phrase goes.

It's just the way we've proceeded here to avoid personalised flame wars - even on the touchiest of subjects like racism, feminism, or I/P. We're not perfect, and there have been flare ups, but very rarely has any Moose (and there are Obamicans and Republicans posting here aswell as some to the far left) ever despaired of another Moose

Hope this makes sense

Best

Peter

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'


[ Parent ]
But I DON'T have a different opinion, I didn't mention it at all because (2.00 / 7)
it never crossed my mind that anyone would think I could possibly be in support of torture. Neither Brennan nor his name means anything to me, so I was a bit shocked to be accused of supporting torture (especially here at the Moose), but we sorted it out farther down.  

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht


[ Parent ]
In a way I could kiss you for it. (2.00 / 6)
We have a new bunch of folks in the community, and as always at such times there is a need to promote the memes that make our community what it is. What this community has prided itself on is pie management and this sub-thread has provided, I hope, a demonstration of that piece of local culture that is in no way contrived and yet neither toxic enough to overload the buffers.

Your passion for your belief and willingness not to simply walk away from the table are appreciated.

:~)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
You should continue to be passionate (2.00 / 2)
I think the issue was the blockquoted statedment implying Moozmuse is ok with torture. I don't entirely agree with your views, but I respect them and enjoy reading your comments.

[ Parent ]
Changed to Meh from Fail, (2.00 / 4)
because I don't want to be a dick about it. But it's a serious Meh.

-best

-chris

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
I was speaking generally, not specifically. (2.00 / 6)
Topics important to you are not necessarily on my radar because I have no experience with them. Let's just leave it at that.

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht


[ Parent ]
One other thing: my father was a vet and is buried at Arlington. I grew up (2.00 / 6)
on military bases. I have a question for you: a few other people said basically the same thing I did, yet you chose to attack me for making a very generic statement that made no mention of torture at all, but not others who said essentially the same thing. Why is that?

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht


[ Parent ]
I guess I read your comment differently, (2.00 / 7)
not sure why. You make a good point. I do apologize for singling you out.

Perhaps you wrote and posted your comment before you recommended my comment upthread ?

Maybe I'm just too frustrated right now ?
         Heather



Torture is Always wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.


[ Parent ]
Thank you, I accept your apology. May I make a suggestion? (2.00 / 11)
Instead of taking out your frustration on other commenters on a blog that is supposed to be a safe haven from personal attacks, why don't you write a diary about why you are so passionate about your subject and tell people what we can do about it? It's a topic that doesn't get enough attention, I'll agree with you on that point. However, I was quite taken aback by the ferocity of your attack, and found it unjustified because I wasn't even thinking about Brennan in particular, but more about the Cabinet members who would have an effect on me personally. I wouldn't think you'd want to turn people off to your most important issue by going on the offensive, so a diary would be welcome and educational, I'm sure.

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht


[ Parent ]
Seconded. (2.00 / 1)
Moose even remain classy under pressure. The only time it counts, really.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
hucuddanode? (2.00 / 12)
apparantly, all you gotta do to get certain crusty white folks to care about diversity is elect a black prez.  twice.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


LOL! (2.00 / 11)
So true, so very true.

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

[ Parent ]
His cabinet choices are of little concern to me (2.00 / 6)
I trust Obama implicitly when it comes to picking his team. If people had doubts about him doing that job well, he would have never been elected.

I do hope he finds room for Granholm. I like her and she was a good Governor in Michigan.

I'm more annoyed by hearing that Kelly Clarkson will be singing at the Inauguration. She is a shameless Ron Paul supporter.  


Clarkson voted for Obama in the end (2.00 / 7)


[ Parent ]
Didn't know that (2.00 / 5)
But, I'm not sure how to wrap my head around Ron Paul being my first choice and my second choice being Obama. Makes no sense.

[ Parent ]
Socially liberal (2.00 / 6)
personal freedoms, anti-war, that type of thing.

Paulites tend to not realize or fully understand his economic standpoints. They know he's anti-war, pro-pot, believes in social libertarianism.  


[ Parent ]
I pick on Paul more than he deserves, (0.00 / 0)
almost like a tag for others. My fault, really.

As most of older Moose have heard me say before, I had a long conversation with Libertarian Party chairman Bill Redpath a few years ago. I actually share a lot of the basic ideals Mr. Redpath expressed in that conversation, and he agreed that we do in fact need social programs.

Even Libertarians like Paul and Redpath are not as wacky as they look. It's just a different view on how to get to very similar ends that most people believe in.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Wow, didn't know that about Clarkson. Ugh. UGH. (2.00 / 5)
Still, inaugurations are about as consequential as platforms remembers that nonsense that convulsed the GOS about the last-minute changes to the Democratic platform.  So... I can't bring myself to care.

Man, I'm still annoyed about Clarkson.  I don't even like her music ;p.


[ Parent ]
Hrm. Preview FAIL. (2.00 / 5)
I'm always used to using asterisks for "emotes" (for any online gamers out there.

I'll learn someday.


[ Parent ]
So many of those at the GOS (2.00 / 7)
Even all the manufactured controversy over Obama's first inauguration. Some were already calling for impeachment even before he was inaugurated. Oh, and it happened to be the same group which flung all the racist BS in Black KOS and the same group that called for sitting on the sidelines in 2012 and the same group which is now raking Obama over the coals for the FIscal Cliff deal. YAWN

[ Parent ]
I'm really disappointed that you support (2.00 / 1)
Brennan. He defended torture.

   Standing for justice and accountability,
            For Dan,
            Heather

Torture is Always wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.


[ Parent ]
Mooz, this has been a terrific comment thread, kudos. (2.00 / 8)
my .02, i'm not particularly thrilled about Hagel for some of the same reasons mentioned upthread but i havn't seen this one mentioned, so i thought i'd throw it in the mix.

the President was well on his way in dispelling the Republican propaganda meme that R's and only R's are 'good' and 'strong' on defense issues. it's been a pleasure not hearing that for a few years. i hope this doesn't open the door for this baloney to begin again in 2016.

time...it seems to move so slowly until that day, when it doesn't.


Doubt it. (2.00 / 8)
i hope this doesn't open the door for this baloney to begin again in 2016.

Although nothing is outside the realm of possibility with the GOP, they've been so quick to disavow Hagel I have a hard time seeing them being able to claim him again.  Or him letting them.  He is plainly not running for any election anytime soon so has the ability to say whatever to whomever.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
Yeah, you're probably right (2.00 / 5)
but you KNOW it's absolutely killing the R's that they've lost this longtime argument. i can't help but think they'll try and reclaim it, someway, somehow.

time...it seems to move so slowly until that day, when it doesn't.


[ Parent ]
The thing about Hagel (2.00 / 8)
while he may be a Republican, when it came to use of the military, he's practically a Democrat.

Republicans often use Democrats as props when they fit their agenda (i.e. Zell Miller, Joe Lieberman), so why not return the favor?


[ Parent ]
You are such a not-a-troll. (2.00 / 2)
Trolls never say smart things. ;~)

What passes for "Republican" on military issues these days is actually just nuts. What I have seen of Hagel is that his view on the use of the military is what military people think. Only the ditto-heading Tea Party GOP party-line that has dominated particularly for the past few years wants the military used as a party favor.

Real military people understand the actual cost.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
I guess the only nomination that I'm not sure I get is Hagel. (2.00 / 5)
And I haven't decided if I'm opposed or in favor - I think that people can change and I think that we spend too much time emphasizing one-time statements - doing that kind of high-level work means that you're almost always on record and often working very hard.  I'm ready to accept that some people just fuck up.  I have before, but thankfully mine are not national news.

What I don't get is what Hagel brings Obama.  He's not looking for a token Republican, Hagel has few Republican friends than a lot of Democrats at this point.  What does Hagel bring that's special?  The only thing that I can think of (and this is rank speculation) is that perhaps he thinks that having a Vietnam vet at Defense during a period of intense demobilization may be important.

Suppose we're likely to find out once confirmation hearings commence.


That's the only reason we have hope with ourselves (2.00 / 7)
I think that people can change

and the reason we can have hope in others.

We all change, all the time. In my recent obsession with interracial marriage in ITSCS' recent SCOTUS threads the evolution of us as cultures over very recent time has had me pondering change of us as groups.

In the mid-1970s, 55 per cent of Canadians approved of marriage between blacks and whites,

That was when I entered Canada as a teen. I know that time and culture well, then and since. My 86-year-old Canadian father in law was certainly among the "no" votes in the aforementioned survey. He not only has changed that vote since but his two black grandson-in-laws are among his favorite family members. He represents not just the period in the lives of everyone old enough to drink when we crossed the 50/50 line on such votes but from the time when 94% of his peers agreed with his previous No vote. He is part of a demographic that voted 94% or more against racial marriage equality in their thirties, 62% of whom have changed their minds.

In my adult life I have heard this phrase often enough to recognize it as a commonality:

"I don't know if it is fair to the children"

often spoken by people I would never call 'racist' in any fashion at all, some of them very liberal folks. Because, during my adult life, most people had stupid opinions that they have since changed.

Since Barack Obama registered as a candidate for President until today the support for interracial marriage has gone up at least 9%, and it was a linear continuation of long-term trends. Staggers me how able people are to change themselves over so little time.

We have to be able to allow people to change opinions they had yesterday. Opinions they had ten or fourteen years ago were held in a different world.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
I am so glad to read this, (2.00 / 3)
because I love having hope in others, and I hate to me made to feel like I am naive because of it.

I had no idea that support of interracial marriage has gone up 9% since Obama became President, what a great statistic!

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.


[ Parent ]
Did the NYT start this diversity talk stuff? How new is this meme? (2.00 / 4)
Any one notice if before the NYT published the phone of the male circle of advisors from 12/29/12 on 1/09/12, under title, "Obama's Remade Inner Circle Has an All-Male Look, So Far", and while lthough CNN then corrected it, after that, the flood gates opened.

So how new is this meme? Did it originate in right wing?

A single google search shows one newspaper precedent, UK Daily Male, sorry, Mail, from 11 April 2012, "Women paid significantly less in Obama White House than their male counterparts" that argues salaries are lower.

And yes, I will learn to embed. But right now, getting to converse with my first priority. Civility before Technology.  


Addon: getting to converse with my IS MY first priority (2.00 / 3)
Not yell. just calling attention to missing words.

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