Obama Caught In Another Lie. Where Will It End?

Perhaps the question should be “What Is It Leading To?”

Once again, President Obama has been caught either telling a lie or not having his facts straight.  This time, it was his sales pitch of health care reform to the combined houses of Congress and an American TV audience in the millions on September 9th. This has been mentioned by both Glenn Beck (Barack Makin’ It Up!) as well as Michelle Malkin. However there’s more to this than meets the eye. First, a refresher if you’re just catching up to this latest swim in Barack-ish waters:

According to an article in the Wall St. Journal by Jonathan Weisman:

President Barack Obama, seeking to make a case for health-insurance regulation, told a poignant story to a joint session of Congress last week. An Illinois man getting chemotherapy was dropped from his insurance plan when his insurer discovered an unreported gallstone the patient hadn’t known about.

“They delayed his treatment, and he died because of it,” the president said in the nationally televised address.

In fact, the man, Otto S. Raddatz, didn’t die because the insurance company rescinded his coverage once he became ill, an act known as recission. The efforts of his sister and the office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan got Mr. Raddatz’s policy reinstated within three weeks of his April 2005 rescission and secured a life-extending stem-cell transplant for him. Mr. Raddatz died this year, nearly four years after the insurance showdown.

Obama aides say the president got the essence of the story correct. Mr. Raddatz was dropped from his insurance plan weeks before a scheduled stem-cell transplant.

What Obama’s aids say, of course, is incorrect. But did you catch that? Obama’s aides used a second falsehood to bolster the first.  Actually, the essence of the story was that an insurance company dropped a man’s coverage due to a misunderstanding, but was able to restore it within several weeks allowing him to continue with his cancer treatment.

Continuing from the article:

The patient’s sister, Peggy M. Raddatz, testified before the House Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee June 16 that her brother ultimately received treatment that “extended his life approximately three years.” Nowhere in the hearing did she say her brother died because of the delay. Ms. Raddatz didn’t return calls seeking comment.

Obama Addresses Congress On Health Care, September 9, 2009

Obama Addresses Congress On Health Care, September 9, 2009

One of two things is true here: Either Obama knowing lied in trying to present a dramatic representation of why we need a national health care system, or else he didn’t understand the facts completely before he presented them as true.

If the truth is the former (i.e., he is lying), than we cannot trust him because he seems to lie at every turn in order to make his case (remember his promises that we would have 72 hours to review legislation on the Internet, he would have no former lobbyists in the administration, his  administration would be transparent, etc.). By itself, this does not make him all that different from many other politicians; but he’s talking about implementing a drastic change that accounts for about 1/6th of our economy.

If it’s the latter (he didn’t have his information straight before presenting it as factual), then we’re in arguably just as bad a position, because we’d have a President who seems determined to establish his legacy in his first year by shoving a health care reform bill down our throats whether we want it or not.  Worse, he would do this in spite of the fact that he doesn’t really know how well it will work or what the cost will really be (even though the Congressional Budget Office has warned such a program would bankrupt the country).

In any event, that swollen feeling in your neck is not Swine Flu, ladies and gentlemen, it’s Congress and Obama getting ready to shove their national healthcare program past your vocal chords.  And if THAT doesn’t gag you, just wait until we get the bill for this new and improved system.

But perhaps the bigger issue here is that we have a President who the loony tune libs see as “The Second Coming” and yet he seems consistently unable to tell the truth or get his facts straight. I wish it were the latter, based solely on his lack of experience at running anything other than his mouth.

But I fear, dear readers, that it’s the former and that he has lots more surprises in store for us. Stay tuned. I am examining a list of his lies, misdirections, and sleight of hand. It adds up to a chilling prediction as to what lies ahead. Literally.

“MMM-MMM-MMM Barack Hussein Obama.”

OBEY!

Gerry Ashley

19 Responses to Obama Caught In Another Lie. Where Will It End?

  1. hippieprof says:

    So – we can quibble about whether 3 weeks makes a difference or not – oncologists do tend to think that delaying treatment is in fact a pretty bad option. But you seem to be missing the big picture – you are not addressing the important questions.

    Why should rescission for a technicality be allowable at all?

    Why should getting coverages restored require the Attorney General to be involved?

    How much critical energy does it take from a patient, having to fight the insurance company while simultaneously the disease?

    How many patients do end up dying because their coverages were denied but they didn’t think of going to the Attorney General?

    How is it right that part of my insurance premium goes to pay people whose sole job is to try to deny me coverages?

    How is the practice of rescission – in the name of profit margin – anything other than blood money?

    — hippieprof

  2. Gerry Ashley says:

    Hippieprof,

    Sorry, but your entire premise is false. It’s not that I’m missing the big picture at all. There is the big picture of “the issue regarding insurance companies” and then there is the point of my rant. You are apparently so wrapped in the insurance issue that you have missed the latter.

    I have no argument with you about insurance companies delaying treatment whether it’s by design or by incompetence on the part of employees at the company.

    I DO have an issue, however, with a President who lies to establish his point (as Obama seems to do regularly). I also have a problem if POTUS presents information as fact when he (or his staff members who write his speeches) don’t take the time to check the information before presenting as such. Obama is not the first, nor will he be the last. But he does it so brazenly and frequently. Much of his support base gladly looks the other way when this happens or else tries to explain it as a simple mistake. At the level of POTUS, there are no simple mistakes.

    The irony here is that Obama (and, apparently, you) feel the issue is the delay in treatment. Yet you think a National Health Care program will end delays? Just wait and see what kind of delays are encountered if this national health care plan is actually implemented.

    There are endless examples from across the border in Canada of delayed services that have cost people’s lives. My childhood sweetheart died in England waiting for treatment because she and her husband didn’t have the funds to come to America (which was their goal) to get treatment before it was too late. Notice that their goal was to come to America to pay for treatment immediately. They weren’t trying to go to Canada or some European country that had National Health Care. There’s a reason for it.

    And people like POTUS would throw it all away for some pie-in-the-sky theory which has NEVER worked successfully. Yet he has the arrogance to think HE can succeed where every other government has failed. It’s nice that he has confidence, but he’s betting OUR lives on it. No thanks. The failure record of socialized medicine world-wide and Obama’s lack of ever having finished ANYTHING is just too great a risk.

    We’ve plundered Social Security, a system that was designed to essentially run itself without interference from those who ultimately looted it. Medicare is practically on life-support itself. And yet folks like Obama look at National Health Care and believe it’s the answer to our prayers. Wow… just wow…

  3. hippieprof says:

    Gerry – just have a minute here – but wanted to respond quickly….

    You say: The irony here is that Obama (and, apparently, you) feel the issue is the delay in treatment. Yet you think a National Health Care program will end delays? Just wait and see what kind of delays are encountered if this national health care plan is actually implemented.

    We aren’t looking at a national healthcare program similar to England. We are looking at making sure everyone has insurance. That is a very very different thing.

    Are there that many delays for Medicare patients now? No – not really. Why would it get worse under a public OPTION.

    Gotta run – I will come back with a bit more later….

    — hippieprof

    • Gerry Ashley says:

      Hi, hippieprof

      As with any seemingly ideal system, the devil is in the detail. Socialized Health (which is, in reality, what Obama is going for), is a far different animal than Medicare. For starters, the sheer numbers alone of people needing coverage will skyrocket and gag the system.

      Many doctors have stated that they will simply close up shop if there isn’t some significant torte reform. And both Congress and Obama have made it clear that Torte reform is not on their agenda (small wonder since they receive so much support from the torte law industry).

      As previously stated, under the best of circumstances, the sheer numbers will choke the system. We need a massive INCREASE in the number of available doctgors, but there’s little incentive for doctors to get or stay in that field without the reform they need to survive financially. That would make the crowding even worse.

      Seriously, do you know of any socialized healthcare system in the world that can even come CLOSE to matching our current system? Of course you can’t, because it doesn’t exist except maybe in the minds of those who live in fantasies. America has been (and continues to be) the number one destination in the world for people seeking health care outside of their own broken socialist system.

      I also find it ironic that idealogs like Obama and the left fringe are rushing towards socialism when the rest of the free world is trying to get away from it because they tried it already and found it just doesn’t work.

      I spent time in the former Soviet Union when I worked in the High Tech industry. I met (and eventually married) a woman I met while there. I got to see the way life is for people living under socialism (don’t kid yourself. They called it communism but the government was set up to run as soclalism. I watched how socialism stripped away all incentive to work hard and strive for excellence. Most people in this country who espouse socialism have NO IDEA what they are talking about. Reading about it in books is a far cry from seeing it in action. Socialism often seems desirable when you get to read about it from the luxury of democracy, but it’s a far different scenario actually living under it. I’d keep that in mind.

      Gerry Ashley

      • hippieprof says:

        Seriously, do you know of any socialized healthcare system in the world that can even come CLOSE to matching our current system? Of course you can’t, because it doesn’t exist except maybe in the minds of those who live in fantasies. America has been (and continues to be) the number one destination in the world for people seeking health care outside of their own broken socialist system.

        Gotta run again – but if this is the case, why are we ranked #37? Why is France ranked #1?

        (I suspect you will want to attack those statistics and the WHO as biased – but lets not go there, OK? How can the statistics be THAT biased?)

        — hippieprof

  4. hippieprof says:

    Gerry – back again for a quick comment….

    You and I actually do agree on a couple of things, it looks like….

    1) I agree we need tort reform, and can’t figure why Democrats are against it (other than the cynical view that they get money for opposing it). I do think there are some sticky issues involved, and blogged on one possible solution here:

    http://hippieprofessor.com/2009/09/20/hoosier-tort-reformer/

    I haven’t had a lot of comments on that – I would be interested in what you think.

    2) I agree that communism and socialism are a bad idea. They fail precisely for the reason you state – they take away incentive to work hard. But – what Obama wants isn’t socialism. What I want isn’t socialism. I want to see everyone with health insurance.

    If I thought Obama was a socialist or wanted socialism I most certainly would not have voted for him.

    You mention that America has been the “number one destination for health care” – even if that is true, that is only if you have money to pay for it. If you are poor (or even middle class) you don’t have that option. Sorry – call me a crazy liberal – but I just don’t think that is right.

    — hippieprof

    • Gerry Ashley says:

      Hippieprof:

      Let me reply to your last two posts here.

      You ask me why it is that America is only ranked 37th by the World Health Organization (WHO) if we are the number one destination for people who seek medical treatment outside their own country when
      a. They can afford it and
      b. Time is of the essence

      But then you tell me I’m not allowed to attack the stats of the WHO or mention any bias they have. I’m sorry, but any response I have will be within the boundaries of my own choosing (and that will be established by my research) and not governed by the person asking the question. That would be like asking someone why they don’t like President Obama but then quickly adding the caveat, “But you’re not allowed to mention the 37 campaign promises he’s broken or failed to address, like lack of transparency and his failure to put legislation on-line before signing it. It doesn’t work that way. You ask a question, I’ll give you my answers regardless of “where it goes.”

      It is my opinion that WHO’s credibility in general is questionable at best, merely due to the fact that they are a branch of the United Nations. And if anyone out there actually believes the UN doesn’t have a bias, then there’s no point in continuing any discussion with them until they pull their heads out of the sand.

      Even if I were to set that point aside, that rating you refer to was from back in 2000. The WHO no longer produces that ranking list because of the complexity of the task.

      But let’s even set THAT aside for the moment. Whenever someone pulls this Michael Moore-used statistic out of thin air, I immediately ask them, “Can you define the process of exactly HOW WHO came up with that ranking?” The answer has always been, “Uh, no. BUT…”

      WHO used a very complex eight measure system using data from 1997. The system is too complex to go into detail here, but you can check it out on their web site. But I would note with interest that two of the most important and defining categories included in the ranking process (Health expenditure per capita in international dollars, and responsiveness) the US Ranked #1. There is your answer as to why people choose to come here if they can afford it… it’s the best medical system in the world (Health expenditure per capita in international dollars) and it’s available NOW.

      On to your last two points:

      1.) You don’t think Obama is a socialist or wants a socialist America? He has openly stated he prefers to “spread the wealth around” or did you not understand what he meant by that (and he’s on video stating as such). More… MUCH more than that is his background. All his life he has been surrounded by rebels and radicals beginning with his parents and grandfather. One of his lapdogs, Jay Rockerfeller from West Virginia has drawn up legislation that would allow Obama to cut us off from the Internet… our last source of informatione exchange… in an emergency. And who gets to declare the emergency? Why, that would be Barack Obama himself. This reply is already too long; there’s not enough room to go into all that here, but simply read our rants going as far back as a year and you will find AMPLE evidence that Obama IS, in fact, a proponant of socialism.

      And finally, You complain because our medical system here is good enough to lure people from around the globe who can afford to come and avail themselves as our “pay-as-you go guests.”

      The fact that people who have money and have the choice of going anywhere in the world in seek of a medical treatment choose to come here says it ALL.

      Gerry

  5. hippieprof says:

    Gerry….

    The reason I said “lets not go there” on the WHO data is that I have heard your argument before and you have probably heard mine too. I wasn’t so much trying to shut off the response as to recognize that I had heard it before.

    I don’t agree with you that being ranked #1 in “health spending per capita” is a good thing – unless we are also number one in outcome measures. If we are ranked high in spending but ranked lower in outcome measures it means we are spending more to get less, does it not?

    I would also note that our lower ranking occurs in part because we have so many people not covered at all. Coupled with your statistic on overall spending it means that the disparity between those who get healthcare in our country and those who do not is very large – and to me that is a serious problem both on a moral level and on a societal level.

    No – Obama is not a socialist. He is a liberal democrat favoring a larger role for government than what you are comfortable with – but he is not a socialist. Look – I work in a very liberal environment. Each and every day I work with some very very liberal people, most of whom are considerably left of me in their views. Of all of these people, I know perhaps one socialist. We tend to believe that government should have a bigger role with more social safty nets – but we also believe in freedom and democracy the same way you do.

    Obama can’t be called a socialist because of an off-handed remark about spreading the wealth. Socialism is about nationalizing the means of production – and that is not what he is all about. You might argue that TARP represents such nationalization – but of course it started under Bush. You might argue that the GM and Chrysler bailouts were nationalization – but you can’t really argue that since the alternative was liquidation of their assets.

    I hear this a lot from folks on the right and I just wish I could convince people that the “specter of socialism” isn’t something to be worried about. You can certainly oppose Obama because he wants government to be too big – but he does not want socialism – nor do I, nor do the vast majority of liberals.

    — hippieprof

    • Gerry Ashley says:

      Hippieprof:

      Before responding, I would like to thank you for bringing up your side of the issue. Honestly, when we write our rants, we sometimes wonder if we are preaching to the choir. When someone like yourself comes along either challenging what we write or stating their opposing views, it gives us a chance to make our case. It also gives other readers a chance to see WHY we take the position we take. In short, it makes for interesting reading.

      In all likelihood, neither of us will come away from this discussion with our positions changed. But sometimes, a light will go on that causes a reader to see something more clearly based on the FACTS presented. All too often, what gets stated on a lot of blogs is simply rhetoric. Now I don’t know about you, but my day is pretty packed and I don’t have time for a lot of rhetoric.

      That said, on to my reply to your most recent comment. You write: “The reason I said “lets not go there” on the WHO data is that I have heard your argument before and you have probably heard mine too. I wasn’t so much trying to shut off the response as to recognize that I had heard it before.”

      Doesn’t matter. If this was a private conversation between us, that request might be valid. This is a public forum and I’m not going to assume that others who read this have heard both sides of the WHO issue. The fact is, much of the criticism is valid.

      Glen Whitman, an associate professor of economics at California State University at Northridge wrote an article on this for the CATO Institute in February of 2008 in which he points out:

      “Those who cite the WHO rankings typically present them as an objective measure of the relative performance of national health care systems. They are not. The WHO rankings depend crucially on a number of underlying assumptions— some of them logically incoherent, some characterized by substantial uncertainty, and some rooted in ideological beliefs and values that not everyone shares.

      “The analysts behind the WHO rankings express the hope that their framework ‘will lay the basis for a shift from ideological discourse on health policy to a more empirical one.’ Yet the WHO rankings themselves have a strong ideological component. They include factors that are arguably unrelated to actual health performance, some of which could even improve in response to worse health performance. Even setting those concerns aside, the rankings are still highly sensitive to both measurement error and assumptions about the relative importance of the components. And finally, the WHO rankings reflect implicit value judgments and lifestyle preferences that differ among individuals and across countries.”

      So if you are predicating your argument on the Michael Moore-ish claim that we’re # 37, you’re only skimming the surface of reality. As I said, the devil is in the detail. And WHO’s rankings most definitely show a bias to support their ideology.

      On to Obama. If you choose to live in the fantasy that “Obama isn’t a socialist,” be my guest. But even Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez stated in a live television broadcast recently: “Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama! Fidel, careful or we are going to end up to his right!”

      Not Socialist?

      One of the first things Obama did when he took office was to nationalize GM. He fired their CEO. I don’t think there’s any other occurance in this country’s history where a President has fired the CEO of a private enterprise. Yet that’s exactly what Obama did. NOT SOCIALIST? Give me a break.

      He then restructured GM so that the UNIONS are in charge and stand first in line to benefit from whatever is raised if and when they sell off GM. That’s unprecidented (and un-Presidented for those of you who like bad puns). Obama put the Stockholders – the ones who provided the actual funding for GM – last in line to recoup anything.

      30 years ago, the US Government bailed out Chrysler corporation similar to what we did this year for Chrysler and GM. We didn’t nationalize Chrysler. They re-tooled, got their act together and developed some of the finest cars they’ve ever made. They paid back the loan to the government ahead of schedule and moved forward. No nationalization required.

      My gut tells me there’s danger ahead. He sems to be possessed by a need to be “The Great World Leader.” But he’s exposing his weakness to some very dangerous people in the process. Stay tuned.

      Gerry

  6. I’d like to jump in here with my $.02… (HippieProf, just to give you a heads up, like Gerry, I’m one of the writers here at Grand Rants.) Thoughts…

    * Gerry’s initial point is all too true. Obama has a very bad habit of either bold-faced lying (or stretching the truth to the breaking point), or being blatantly ignorant of the facts. His 72 hr doctrine and promise of transparency are examples of the former, and his inititial handling of the Harvard prof is a great example of the latter.

    * As for insurance for all? I think it’s a great idea so long as they work for. I say the only people society helps are the very young with crappy parents, and the mentally retarded. Life has been very unfair to them, and we as a society have an obligation to help them.

    Note I didn’t mention the aging, and here’s why… Back in the ’60s (I was there) everyone was worried about health insurance, and some of us acted. We paid through the nose for it, but we got our health insurance. I worked three jobs to get through college, but I got my 3rd degree (that one in engineering) and made damned sure I got my health insurance. I’m sorry if other people didn’t work as hard, or failed to recognize the obvious, but don’t expect me to pay for their laziness or stupidity. I guess my approach is akin to motorcycle helmet laws… If you don’t want to wear a helmet… Fine. Just sign off to the fact when you get your motorcycle license, and adorn your ride with a mandatory sticker… If there’s an accident and the doctors at the hospital determine that you have head injuries, you’re on the street unless you’ve got deep pockets. Am I suggesting that we pull the plug on Grandma the biker? Yes.

    * I know the above sounds terribly cruel, but here’s the simple fact that nobody has the guts to face… If we don’t reign in the cost of health care, the United States of America is doomed. Period. I have written ad nauseum about this, but here are just two links… https://grandrants.wordpress.com/2009/01/07/soylent-green-and-social-security/ and https://grandrants.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/financial-speech-for-the-ages-uh-oh/… Hippieprof… Please read these.

    * One of the things that’s most frightening about “liberals” or “conservatives” is that we buy into the political agenda. Because we’re republicans we suspend common sense and give Larry Craig the benifit of the doubt. Because we’re democrats, we turn away from the massive power grab that was Obama’s when he went after the census a week into his presidency. Both sides of the political spectrum turn away from gay marriage claiming “legal union” is as good as marriage. (As if separate but equal works…)

    Yeah, this response has gone on too long… But one of the driving points behind Grand Rants is that we speak well-documented truths, and appeal to common sense. In light of that, speaking as a conservative, I can say Bush was a fool to have thought he “looked into the soul” of Putin. Bush was a fool to make China a MFN. Bush was a fool not to seal our borders. Hippieprof… Why is it so tough to admit that Obama is is either lying his tush off or woefully uninformed?

    Alan

  7. hippieprof says:

    Ack – I always seem to be responding to these posts on the run and this is no exception – but I want to get something down before this thread scrolls off my comments page… obviously I have way to many simultaneous discussions going on….

    I am just going to respond to Alan quickly and will post more later….

    Alan closes with….

    Yeah, this response has gone on too long… But one of the driving points behind Grand Rants is that we speak well-documented truths, and appeal to common sense. In light of that, speaking as a conservative, I can say Bush was a fool to have thought he “looked into the soul” of Putin. Bush was a fool to make China a MFN. Bush was a fool not to seal our borders. Hippieprof… Why is it so tough to admit that Obama is is either lying his tush off or woefully uninformed?

    I admire your candor on the issue – I haven’t seen many conservatives willing to criticize Bush lately, and I must admit that part of my defensiveness stems from what I see as very one-sided criticisms of Obama.

    This is going to sound like a cop-out, but it is a truism that all politicians lie – or to be a little gentler I think all politicians shade the truth to their utmost advantage. I don’t like it – but I know it is part of how the game is played. Sadly, it helps politicians be successful because if you can successfully frame your opponent with a lie you put them on the defensive and come out ahead.

    This having been said, I have been pretty bothered by some of the lies Bush may have told – particularly about WMDs in Iraq. I know nothing is proven – but I suspect Bush (or Cheney) knew very well prior to the invasion that the WMDs were not there, and thousands of people died as a result.

    By comparison, it seems like the things Obama has “lied” about are pretty minor.

    OK – gotta run – more later.

    — hp

  8. Hi HP,

    Thanks for the honest candor… At least we can put down clubs named “repub” and “dem”… And HP, I think you nailed an absolutely critical issue that the MSM won’t face… That of truly facing radical Islam…
    Here’s a backdrop…

    You mentioned Bush and WMDs… The facts are:

    * We did find 500 tons of yellowcake in Iraq. Yeah, that’s the stuff of refinement and mushroom clouds. But even as is, it’s damned spooky stuff. I wonder what would have happened if Saddam packed a few scuds with that stuff and launched them towards Israel?
    * Saddam did reward the families of suicide bombers in Israel. Sounds like state-sponsored terrorism to me.
    * Iraq’s former bomb master (Mahdi Obeide) wrote a book about their WMD program… Hmmm…
    * Then there’s the horrors of villages like Halabja… Yeah, we’re yacking serious WMD…
    * Let’s not forget Saddam’s happy tendency toward trying to kill American pilots as they patrolled the no-fly zone. (Hell, all us evil conservatives imperialists were trying to do was stop genocide. On the other hand, in the case of Kosovo we rightfully hailed Clinton as a hero… But Bush… Not so much…
    * Oh, and then there’s the little issue of Saddam trying to kill Bush I…
    * Who can forget the glory days of Kuwait and Saddam’s environmental barbarism that followed?

    Anyway, getting the backdrop of Saddam and WMDs out of the way (not to mention that he was just a twisted puppy in a part of the world that doesn’t need any more twisted puppies)… On to your point about politicians lying… (Which of course goes right back to Gerry’s original post…) I don’t like Obama… But I think he’s a million percent correct on one issue – Afghanistan is the heart of radical Islam, and it needs to be cut out. Bush went after Iraq knowing that it had a sizable and well educated middle class with a monster at the helm. Good. Now Obama takes aim at Afghanistan. Fantastic. I hope Obama has the guts to speak the truth (not lie or deflect)… There is a cancer upon this world, and its name is Radical Islam. If Obama can address places like Afghanistan and Pakistan, he’ll be a hero in my book for all his other shortcomings…

    Time will tell..

    Thanks for your comments…

    Alan

  9. hippieprof says:

    Alan,

    Looks like we are getting to some points of agreement here…

    You and I agree that radical Islam is a big problem – and I like that you separate the radical version from the mainstream version. We also agree that Afghanistan and Pakistan are the keys to confronting radical Islam.

    You and I also seem to agreed that Saddam Hussein was a seriously bad guy. Sadly, there are lots of bad guys in the world – some considerably worse than Saddam – but we don’t go invading those countries unless there is a direct threat. The possibility of WMDs was indeed a potential direct threat – but with that removed from the equation I don’t think we had much justification to invade.

    I also believe – and you may or may not agree – that the invasion of Iraq has diminished our ability to deal with radical Islam. The fact that it has forced us to split our resources is obvious – but there is more to it than that. Al Qaeda loves it when we do something overtly against an Islamic nation – especially when our actions don’t hurt them at all. Invading Iraq did nothing to hurt Al Qaeda, but did give them a huge recruiting tool. Invading solo (well, nearly solo) also weakened our ties with our traditional allies – making it less likely they will be there at times when we really need them.

    So – WMDs might have been a reasonable justification to invade – but the fact they were not there has really hurt our standing worldwide.

    Did Bush know ahead of time the WMDs were not there? We will probably never know. If he did know, he is indeed guilty of telling one of the worst lies in the history of the presidency – and is very possibly guilty of a criminal offense.

    If he really didn’t know – well – then he simply took an enormous risk that, in the end, has been a very bad policy move. I initially supported the invasion thinking “he has to know exactly where those weapons are because nobody could be so stupid as to invade with being absolutely certain….” Well – the best case we can make is that he didn’t know for certain – and to me that amounts to a tremendous policy blunder – a blunder it will take years to recover from.

    — hippieprof

  10. Hi HippieProf,

    Glad to hear from you… Thoughts…

    * You wrote: “You and I also seem to agreed that Saddam Hussein was a seriously bad guy. Sadly, there are lots of bad guys in the world – some considerably worse than Saddam – but we don’t go invading those countries unless there is a direct threat.” And who was worse? N. Korea? Iran? They weren’t threatening Israel. They didn’t strike the Stark. They weren’t paying the families of suicide bombers. They didn’t invade Kuwait and threaten the stability of the entire region. They weren’t planning on ruling a Pan-Arab world.

    * You wrote: “The possibility of WMDs was indeed a potential direct threat – but with that removed from the equation I don’t think we had much justification to invade.” Ummm… It’s no great secret that as the UN played pocket pool with itself, Saddam was shipping crap off to Syria or just destroying it… Still HippieProf, PLEASE speak to the 500 tons of yellowcake we (and the Canadians) discovered. That’s plenty O’ WMD for me. If you disagree, I’d like to see you shoveling that stuff without a bunny suit.

    * You wrote: “I also believe – and you may or may not agree – that the invasion of Iraq has diminished our ability to deal with radical Islam.” Don’t know where I stand on this one… Certainly, Iraq drove a dagger into traditional Islam. Just consider 7,000,000 purple fingers, many of whom belonged to women. If nothing else… If nothing else… Invading Iraq was the moral thing to do from a women’s-rights perspective.

    * You wrote: “Al Qaeda loves it when we do something overtly against an Islamic nation – especially when our actions don’t hurt them at all. Invading Iraq did nothing to hurt Al Qaeda, but did give them a huge recruiting tool. Invading solo (well, nearly solo) also weakened our ties with our traditional allies – making it less likely they will be there at times when we really need them.” Didn’t hurt Al Qaeda??? I thought all you liberals said that Al Qaeda flooded into Iraq where we’ve been killing them by the thousands? Solo??? 30+ countries. Traditional allies? With friends like Scotland, who needs enemies? Make no mistake about it, America isn’t the most popular country in Europe, and hasn’t been for a long, long time. Recruiting tool? Be careful here… It’s dangerous to impose our societal reasoning on another culture. The fact that Iraq is now embracing some form of representational government speaks volumes.

    * You wrote: “So – WMDs might have been a reasonable justification to invade – but the fact they were not there…” Like I said about the yellowcake…

    * You wrote: “Did Bush know ahead of time the WMDs were not there? We will probably never know. If he did know, he is indeed guilty of telling one of the worst lies in the history of the presidency – and is very possibly guilty of a criminal offense.” Just stop for a minute. Just stop. Consider this… As a conservative I don’t think for one nano second that Clinton ever spilled a single drop of American blood for his political agenda. Period. Were there nights that he held his head in his hands and prayed to God for help in making decisions about actions that would cost young American lives? Absolutely. Was he right all the time? I don’t think so. But did he give it his absolute best? As a conservative I’d say, “Yes.” I think Clinton did what he thought in his heart of hearts was best for American soldiers. So now you as a liberal are telling me that Bush put American lives on the chopping block for cheap agenda? Do you really believe that? As for the WMDs themselves… Once again, you explain the 500 tons of yellowcake.

    * You wrote, “If he really didn’t know – well – then he simply took an enormous risk that, in the end, has been a very bad policy move.” Isn’t it convenient how you liberals trust the intell community for Iran, but dis it when it comes to Dubya.

    Here’s the bottom line HippieProf as I see it… I can be objective and blast Bush for umpteen reasons though I’m still a conservative. I can also applaud Clinton for Kosovo. But no matter what issue comes up, in your eyes it’s always going to be Dubya’s fault… So, please speak to the following (which I posed before):
    * We did find 500 tons of yellowcake in Iraq. Yeah, that’s the stuff of refinement and mushroom clouds. But even as is, it’s damned spooky stuff. I wonder what would have happened if Saddam packed a few scuds with that stuff and launched them towards Israel?
    * Saddam did reward the families of suicide bombers in Israel. Sounds like state-sponsored terrorism to me.
    * Iraq’s former bomb master (Mahdi Obeide) wrote a book about their WMD program… Hmmm…
    * Then there’s the horrors of villages like Halabja… Yeah, we’re yacking serious WMD…
    * Let’s not forget Saddam’s happy tendency toward trying to kill American pilots as they patrolled the no-fly zone. (Hell, all us evil conservatives imperialists were trying to do was stop genocide. On the other hand, in the case of Kosovo we rightfully hailed Clinton as a hero… But Bush… Not so much…)
    * Oh, and then there’s the little issue of Saddam trying to kill Bush I…
    * Who can forget the glory days of Kuwait and Saddam’s environmental barbarism that followed?

    When you’re done with those, you can go back to Gerry’s original point… Either Obama is lying his butt off, or he’s terribly uninformed… He’s not going to raise the taxes???? Well maybe not. Maybe he’s just going to cut down on the federal funding for the states, and let them raise the taxes. Or maybe there will be a “surcharge” here or there. And why aren’t we paying taxes on health care insurance? Oh, and then there’s the Internet.

    HippieProf… I hope you listen very carefully to an old JFK liberal (conservative by today’s standards.) You’re being played. You’re being played big time by a liberal media and a Chicago machine. Liberals like Whoopie have the gall to insult your intelligence by trying to explain what is “rape rape” vs. what is “rape”… I don’t know how old you are HippieProf, but I was there in the 60s. I “walked for peace”. I lived through Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter… I remember vividly the day JFK was slaughtered… Aside from Reagan (and even that terrible Dubya) both parties are rotten to the core. Would you by a used car from Pelosi? From Reid? From Boxer? From Obama? How do you justify a remark like “this is the first time I’ve felt pride in my country in my adult life” from the First Lady because her husband was headed for 1600. Didn’t she feel pride on 9/11 when the first responders (some of whom were black) raced into the twin towers? Doesn’t something just feel terribly wrong here?

    I don’t know HippieProf… In some respects I’m probably more liberal than you… But at least I can put the politics aside and use my noggin… Wish you could do the same.

    Alan

  11. hippieprof says:

    Alan…

    Sorry to be so long in responding – I have been out of town for a few days with very limited internet access, and returned home with a pile of work waiting. I don’t have a lot of time now – but will hit on a few points.

    First, some personal history. You note:

    I don’t know how old you are HippieProf, but I was there in the 60s. I “walked for peace”. I lived through Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter… I remember vividly the day JFK was slaughtered…

    I suspect we are fairly close in age, with you a few years older (maybe as much as 10 years). It also looks like our political odyssey has taken us in opposite directions.

    I remember the Kennedy assassination too – though I was only 5. I was certainly a witness to the 60s, though too young to really participate. I doubt I would have anyway, because I was raised in a very conservative household in a very conservative community and absorbed a lot of those values.

    I didn’t start my slide to the left until I was well into my 20s – and even then it took a good 20 years before I started calling myself a democrat. The reasons for my change are complex – but a lot of it had to do with the realization that the conservative values on which I was raised were often thinly veiled excuses for greed and racism. This is certainly not true of all conservatives – but it is true of enough of them that it turned me off to the message.

    Some specific points: Still HippieProf, PLEASE speak to the 500 tons of yellowcake we (and the Canadians) discovered. That’s plenty O’ WMD for me.

    The whole yellowcake issue is surreal, and to be honest I don’t know what to make of it. Yeah – it is not a good thing that Saddam had it sitting there. However, the news has certainly not received very much attention in the press – and why is that? You can argue that the “liberal media” has suppressed it – but even FOX and other conservative news agencies have not been pushing the story. If indeed the yellowcake was vindication for the invasion you would think Bush would have been pushing it in talking points? McCain too? But they didn’t.

    It seems that if the stuff were really a big deal then people would have been making it a HUGE part of the political debate in the run-up to the election – but they didn’t. Do you have any theories on why not? (that is an honest question…. I honestly don’t have an answer).

    You say: If nothing else… Invading Iraq was the moral thing to do from a women’s-rights perspective.

    I agree on the morality issue – but we really can’t go invading other countries on moral issues alone. If we are looking to make morality a justification for military action we should probably be in Darfur.

    Solo??? 30+ countries.

    Ahhhh…. perhaps a slight exaggeration? Beyond the US and Britain there were – what – something like 3000 troops from four other countries involved in the initial invasion? That is less that 1 percent of the total force. Other countries were involved in the aftermath – but their total commitment has been very very small. Many of our strongest historical allies – NATO members – came out strongly against the invasion and refused to be involved. Make no mistake, either – the invasion damaged our status with those allies.

    Look – why don’t you just admit it. Bush’s failure to put together a strong multinational coalition prior to the invasion was a diplomatic disaster. His choice to invade anyway was very risky (I would call it reckless) and was a tremendous waste of international political capital. That risk of political capital would have been justified had he indeed located the WMDs he expected to find – which brings me back to the question of the yellowcake – why wasn’t it widely heralded as vindication?

    You seem to want to draw a parallel with Kosovo – why am I giving Clinton a free pass and not Bush? Perhaps because Kosovo was a NATO action and was backed by the international community. The invasion or Iraq had neither thing going for it.

    You ask: So now you as a liberal are telling me that Bush put American lives on the chopping block for cheap agenda?

    I am not actually saying that. I believe that Bush did what he thought was the right thing – I believe that Bush is indeed a good man and I don’t think he did it for political gain. I do suspect the motives of some of his advisers – but I still won’t go there because I have no direct evidence. What I do believe is that Bush discounted the opinion of our allies and of the international community in an almost unprecedented way. There are indeed times for bold action – but this wasn’t one of those. Yes – hindsight is 20/20 – but I think there was ample evidence that we needed to needed to move with caution in this one – and we didn’t.

    I am running out of time here….. quick points….

    Liberals like Whoopie have the gall to insult your intelligence by trying to explain what is “rape rape” vs. what is “rape”…

    Her response was indeed idiotic – rape is rape, and for a liberal woman to say otherwise is particularly unconscionable. As I remember she also said that Vick’s dog torture was some kind of black thing. She can certainly make some insane statements.

    You seem to think I get my talking points from some vast liberal think tank. I don’t – my talking points are my own, and I arrive at them by looking at the issues. I spent enough of my life right of center to recognize liberal craziness when I see it. I also recognize conservative craziness – the kind I see coming from Limbaugh and Beck and others. I wonder if you recognize it when it comes from your own side?

    You close by noting…. But at least I can put the politics aside and use my noggin… Wish you could do the same.

    I should probably be insulted but this and I should probably insult you back – but instead I will just note that in most any field outside of mathematics and formal logic it is possible for two intelligent people to use their heads and yet come to different conclusions, all in good faith.

    — hippieprof

    • Hi HP,

      We have to stop meeting like this…🙂

      Prof: I didn’t start my slide to the left until I was well into my 20s – and even then it took a good 20 years before I started calling myself a democrat. The reasons for my change are complex – but a lot of it had to do with the realization that the conservative values on which I was raised were often thinly veiled excuses for greed and racism. This is certainly not true of all conservatives – but it is true of enough of them that it turned me off to the message.
      My response: Greed and racism… Ouch. Greed is tricky… Racism is not. I understand Tiger Woods being greedy because there isn’t another human who walks the planet who can do what he can do. We all derive enjoyment, and he ought to get his fair cut. Racism on the other hand is just wrong and stupid.

      Prof: The whole yellowcake issue is surreal, and to be honest I don’t know what to make of it. Yeah – it is not a good thing that Saddam had it sitting there. However, the news has certainly not received very much attention in the press – and why is that? You can argue that the “liberal media” has suppressed it – but even FOX and other conservative news agencies have not been pushing the story. If indeed the yellowcake was vindication for the invasion you would think Bush would have been pushing it in talking points? McCain too? But they didn’t.
      My response: I don’t think yellowcake is surreal. As to why the story didn’t get “pushed”? I can only speak for Grand Rants… We didn’t push it because no one wanted to hear it, and even if we had, how many would have understood it? How many know of Halabja, and how many care? Iraq WMDs were just a dirty little inconvenient truth that everyone wanted to push back… Think of as surreal.

      Prof: I agree on the morality issue – but we really can’t go invading other countries on moral issues alone. If we are looking to make morality a justification for military action we should probably be in Darfur. We can’t invade on morality issues???
      My response: I stand firmly by JFK: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” Hippieprof… If the cops in your town were corrupt and useless, and one of your neighbors (a proven violent muderous thug) stood on his lawn and was beating the living hell out of his family, would you or would you not have an obligation to try to stop him???

      Prof: Solo??? 30+ countries.
      My response: You’re right here… I’m splitting hairs. 30+ is insignificant.

      Prof: Look – why don’t you just admit it. Bush’s failure to put together a strong multinational coalition prior to the invasion was a diplomatic disaster. His choice to invade anyway was very risky (I would call it reckless) and was a tremendous waste of international political capital. That risk of political capital would have been justified had he indeed located the WMDs he expected to find – which brings me back to the question of the yellowcake – why wasn’t it widely heralded as vindication?
      My respose: See above.

      Prof: You seem to want to draw a parallel with Kosovo – why am I giving Clinton a free pass and not Bush? Perhaps because Kosovo was a NATO action and was backed by the international community. The invasion or Iraq had neither thing going for it.
      My response: I’d hardly hang my hat on NATO given their robust efforts in Afghanistan.

      Prof: I am not actually saying that. I believe that Bush did what he thought was the right thing – I believe that Bush is indeed a good man and I don’t think he did it for political gain. I do suspect the motives of some of his advisers – but I still won’t go there because I have no direct evidence.
      My response: Yeah… It was those evil other guys who spilled American blood, and Bush was too stupid to see it.

      Prof: What I do believe is that Bush discounted the opinion of our allies and of the international community in an almost unprecedented way.
      My response: Ummm… What about U.N. resolutions 660, 661, 678, 686, 687, 688, 707, 715, 986, 1284, and of course 1441.)

      Prof: Yes – hindsight is 20/20
      My response: Yes indeed it is. Do you remember after the first Gulf War? Do you remember how the liberals bashed Bush I because he didn’t roll right on into Bahgdad? Which way do you want it?

      Prof: You seem to think I get my talking points from some vast liberal think tank. I don’t – my talking points are my own, and I arrive at them by looking at the issues. I spent enough of my life right of center to recognize liberal craziness when I see it. I also recognize conservative craziness – the kind I see coming from Limbaugh and Beck and others. I wonder if you recognize it when it comes from your own side?
      My response: No I don’t think you take your talking points from anyone… If you did, I wouldn’t waste my time. Yes, I do know right crazies and left crazies too… Anyone who doesn’t believe in gay marriage is a raging idiot. (And you know I’ve Bush bashed ad nauseum.) As for Beck… Aside from the foolishness about religion he’s spot on. (ACORN hasn’t been doing too well…)

      Prof: I should probably be insulted but this and I should probably insult you back – but instead I will just note that in most any field outside of mathematics and formal logic it is possible for two intelligent people to use their heads and yet come to different conclusions, all in good faith.
      My response: Sorry, but I’m an engineer. I tend to see things in right and wrong. But also being an engineer, I have to use real-world common sense. And real world common sense says that Gerry is right… Either Obama is lying his tail section off, or he’s woefully unprepared for his position… WAIT… Breaking news… Pelosi says she’s willing to look at a VAT… Gee… I’ll bet that blind-sided Obama.

      Alan

    • hippieprof says:

      Hey Alan…..

      We have to stop meeting like this…

      Yeah – probably😉

      Ouch. Greed is tricky… Racism is not. I understand Tiger Woods being greedy because there isn’t another human who walks the planet who can do what he can do. We all derive enjoyment, and he ought to get his fair cut. Racism on the other hand is just wrong and stupid.

      I wasn’t arguing that Tiger Woods is greedy. Here is an example of what I do think is greedy. The Walton family makes huge profits while simultaneously refusing to pay their employees a living wage. Further, they are able to use their economies of scale to drive competitors (some of whom do pay a living wage) out of the marketplace. Their size allows them to operate as a near monopoly, and they are able to use predatory practices to further establish their control of a market.

      You will respond, I suspect, by telling me that they are able to do this because it is a free market and the supply of unskilled labor is larger than the demand. You are right – but the free market can indeed be immoral. They could give their employees a better wage and still make a tidy profit – but they choose not to.

      Never mind that this damages the community, increasing the poverty rate – it is all just fine because of the profit flowing into corporate headquarters.

      To me, that is nothing but pure greed.

      Iraq WMDs were just a dirty little inconvenient truth that everyone wanted to push back…

      Well, that isn’t true for me. I very much wanted to find WMDs because that would have indeed justified the invasion. Call it what you like, but the yellowcake is not what people had in mind that they would find prior to the invasion, either.

      If the cops in your town were corrupt and useless, and one of your neighbors (a proven violent muderous thug) stood on his lawn and was beating the living hell out of his family, would you or would you not have an obligation to try to stop him???

      Yes, obviously I would. However, I also have to pick my battles wisely or I might not live to fight the next battle. If I live in a neighborhood in which I have lots of violent neighbors, and if those violent neighbors have some influence with other neighbors, I have to be very careful before I go rushing into someone else’s yard. I have to be sure that I can win the fight, I have to be sure that I have the support of the other neighbors, and I have to be sure that the family is indeed better off once I eliminate their breadwinner. I have to be careful that the family and other neighbors won’t resent me for interfering. If I don’t take these things into account I can win the battle and lose the war – in the end losing my effectiveness as the “good” neighbor.

      You’re right here… I’m splitting hairs. 30+ is insignificant.

      I will ignore the sarcasm and agree with you – 30+ is indeed insignificant. It is especially so when you note who is NOT on the list. It is especially so when you realize the list is largely made up of of tiny countries with tiny troop allotments (55 soldiers from Tonga!) – and that most of these tiny countries could be strong-armed into participating. You might argue that there were fewer nations involved in the first Gulf War. Remember, though, that Gulf #1 was essentially only an invasion operation. Six nations were involved in the initial phases recent Iraq invasion – the others came later as occupation forces. Over 30 were involved in the early states of the first Gulf war.

      Yes – I think that is a striking difference.

      Yeah… It was those evil other guys who spilled American blood, and Bush was too stupid to see it.

      Call it stupid if you like. I am not confident that Bush was fully briefed on the entire strategic picture. I may be wrong – and I will probably never know.

      s for Beck… Aside from the foolishness about religion he’s spot on.

      Ummm…. and maybe the outrageous suggestion that Obama is a racist and hates white people and white culture? (interesting too that when asked directly by Katie Couric to define “white culture” Beck refused to do so….) Maybe his sympathy for the birthers? Maybe his idiotic crying fits? Come on, Alan – you are too smart to be fooled by the guy….

      Gerry is right… Either Obama is lying his tail section off, or he’s woefully unprepared for his position…

      I will concede this – Obama greatly overestimated his ability to get congress to act on his agenda. He is no whip – he does not have LBJ’s ability to get things done in congress. If you like, I will call this naive. Believe me, it frustrates the hell out of me. If he had shown some leadership at the start of the health care debate we could have ignored the summer of tea-party screaming and we would have produced a far stronger health care bill.

      That is why I voted for him, and believe me that it frustrates me the way he has bungled this.

      The Saturday Night Live skit was spot-on. I like to hope that he can learn from this and get the job done – but it will be a lot harder than if he had shown some guts from the start.

      — hippieprof

      • Hi HippieProf…

        I guess we could go back and forth forever…

        I offer up these simple points and I’ll let you respond…

        * Halabja – Saddam had WMDs and used them

        * Chemical Ali

        * Yellowcake – One doesn’t own 500 tons for nothing. And before you say that really doesn’t count… I suggest that if you really are a professor (or just a student) you head over to your Chemistry Dept. and ask a prof to let you handle real radioactive crap using the standard safety measures. If you’re like me, it will still make your skin crawl. (An engineering education can at times be frightening.) Now imagine 500 tons of the stuff… Another story that goes untold about the Iraq War was how the Americans and Canadians were scared spitless as they tried to get that stuff out of Iraq before someone found out that they had it.

        * The there’s the unfortunate Mahdi Obeidi

        * As for dealing with a vile violent neighbor… So far, Iraq is looking pretty dog gone good. That was Dubya’s war… Let’s see how Obama does with his war – Afghanistan.

        * Greed? Nice computer OS that you’re looking at… Here’s the deal… If you want to study, bust hump, and be thoughtful, America offers untold opportunity. If you want to be less than that, sucks to be you. One of my best friends lives about a mile from here… He started working at a nice restaurant when he was 13. He worked every miserable position imaginable. But he graduated from HS, and put himself through college all the while working his way up through the restaurant to become manager. (Not bad for a black kid way back when.) A few years ago, he bought the place… He’s a millionaire, complete with a huge house, two hummers, and two beemers. So is he being greedy? He sweat blood for what he owns. Work was and is 12 – 20 hours/day… 7 days/wk. He pays a fair salary. He pays a disproportionate tax burden. He donates gobs of money and time to the community. So is he greedy to have his house and bling?

        Look HippeProf… Don’t bother answering these questions/issues. All I can tell you is that I made it the hard way… No mommy or daddy at all. And along the way I picked up some common sense.

        And last of all, I don’t want to leave without addressing Gerry’s initial point. Obama is either lying or ignorant. So far, the 72 hour rule has gone down the toilet. No lobbyists in 1600? Don’t make me laugh. And increase in taxes? ROTFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Obama is either lying like Dubya never could, or he’s lost. I think it’s both.

        Alan

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