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The New York Times is leading with this one today:

Use of Drones for Killings Risks a War Without End, Panel Concludes in Report

Let's visit this blogs abysmal record of wanking to the drone beat and sitting in the 101st Kossock Keyboard Kockpit of Hellfire shall we?

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The Logic Goes

If the main argument to the "far left" progressive (we are now in a fragmented territory as much as the right wing is) is that ObamaCare is better than nothing and we can fix it. We can rebuild it. Make it faster, better, stronger. Then how can the proponents of ObamaCare and supporters of a market based solution complain so fiercely about having to compromise with the Tea Party to avoid deadlock and shutdown?

Following the logic we should be able to allow their demands to the medical device industry, the options to employers to withhold certain women based health coverage, and yet another years delay to lift the damaging shutdown/debt ceiling standoffs. Because we all accept that the financial sector dominated economy which includes the Insurance industry will have to be the priority as it was 5 years ago. If we carry this too far by not relenting the Powers will come down hard on the party to stand down anyhow.

Of course we cannot allow this. We are locked in.

The reason is politics. This time Obama is playing the gambit or is forced into a gambit by a series of unfortunate choices that this can be the Final Conflict that puts down the Tea Party the rest of his term. Just as much as the Tea Party and a failed Republican leadership are playing a gambit. These are battles that should've been fought two years ago but Presidential Election politics being what they are Obama wouldn't risk another term calling the bluff.

So in the end it is simply politics that will energize both sides of the standoff and not some kind of righteous cause that the American public will somehow come to understand as their fight. If it is a righteous cause then Obama WILL have to compromise like always and make the case that all can be revisited when the public sees how great an idea ObamaCare is as the germ of universal health care. If it is a political gambit by both sides to take this to an ugly conclusion without compromise, then one or the other will have to blink. And we know which side ALWAYS blinks.

Let's call it a WinWin for a nominal and new version of ObamaCare if not for the Democratic Party and Health Care Reform. And yet another huge blow to the public by the Villagers, Wonks and lobbyists in DC who always love a good Punch and Judy show to distract from the rigged situation they've set themselves up in as consultants and "navigators" at the public trough and private mercenaries on K street.

And if you believe that Obama can use this crisis as an opportunity to vanquish the Tea Party upstarts once and for all and that the gambit is worth it without compromising ObamaCare any further, I salute you. For being the ultimate idealist.

Poll

Do you think ObamaCare is a workable, political solution to Health Care Reform?

14%5 votes
80%28 votes
5%2 votes

| 35 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 10:49 AM PDT

ObamaCare. The End.

by Aeolos

Tuesday I'll be hunting down the information on how to apply for health coverage through a labyrinthine set of algorithms, exchanges and propaganda swirling about the 3.5 yrs and counting rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

I believe once we start seeing this process through our eyes as consumers and not as ideologues on either side of the debate over this approach to health care delivery, we will fully appreciate the daunting task ahead of instituting the ACA into America's health future.

"Can it work?" should be the questions and not "should it work". Joe Firestone, a contributor here and elsewhere on the net has posted a breakdown in a body count on how might ObamaCare fallout in time in best case scenarios. It has a provocative title but the metrics back up his conclusions:

ObamaCare's Shameful and Lethal Three Year History -- And Future

In it, Joe makes the point, not otherwise discussed much elsewhere about the true hidden cost of ObamaCare: Opportunity Cost. Three point five years and counting has it's own drag and death count in terms of a compromise made with no political gain through the chimera of "bipartisanship". In fact he makes a damn good case (underscored by this week's events on Capital Hill) that this illusion made things much worse with time. One missed opportunity being a stimulator of jobs if they hadn't made ACA deficit neutral.

I'm confident as the launch of ObamaCare happens through the fall, that the past three years will be seen as a tremendous waste of the resources the Federal Gov't could've applied to use a rollout of a health care program to lift the economy. If from the start, many people come away from this process resentful, mystified and managed by Insurance schemes with President Obama's visage as a front, you well could see this aborted for a year or two. Hell, they did it for small businesses because of still unsettled issues over taxes and the qualifiers for coverage, and labor unions are squawking awfully loud now about having their Insurance Funds discriminated against by the law.

I'm saying this as a consumer of health care. Which is how they've wanted to approach this through insurance markets. The Democratic Party has internalized the Republican consumer paradigm over health care, adopted the prescribed solutions to correcting market turbulence by embracing a price fixing scheme, and now are about to see how the "product" performs after launch. Of course it demands our participation. Through the IRS. That alone is one damn dark cloud hovering over the launch. As this "consumer" sees it, one that should've never been in the fine print for average and working American's already struggling with their taxes while billionaires pay less than a secretary's share.

They could've put Americans in a much different frame of mind as participants of a pool of Americans looking for basic but affordable options away from the private health care mess. Instead ObamaCare in many ways blocks the door by forcing us to remain in the consumer frame since by that logic we will behave accordingly and seek out a market solution toward the best plan at the best price. But what if that market is predetermined and not really a market at all? What if most plans will be offering the same goods at nearly the same pre-determined pricing? This will all be private, mind you and fulfill the requirement of being lucrative for the insurance industry but it will still be a farce underwritten by massive federal subsidy.

If consumers, who are already disenfranchised from or disenchanted with an economic system which is clearly only benefiting the uber rich in this anemic recovery experience ObamaCare as marketing scheme that flops the first month, the chances for the ACA, indeed for a gov't based solution of our heath care crisis will veer into nil territories.

One quote from Joe's piece before anyone feels tempted to offer the boilerplate line the past three years:

Many people, and especially Obama supporters, characterize the ACA (ObamaCare) as “just starting” or a “work in progress” and then go on to urge that the program will have “glitches,” needs to be “tweaked,” isn’t yet “fully implemented,” and so forth. We think it’s a mistake to see the ACA as just starting. We also think it’s a mistake not to weigh the costs of ObamaCare’s stately three-year progress toward partial coverage for the the American people, and just as important to weigh the opportunity costs.
Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/...
Opportunity Costs. You see even the judgement of the success of this program is going to be market based. And its going to be brutal in that paradigm, justifiably so. Since we were asked to put away ideals and a vision of health care delivery that made economic sense and chided into a false pragmatism where capitulation over the ideology of the marketplace rules, the end judgements will also market based.
Mind you we were asked this in the immediate wake of a vast and unprecedented underwriting of said marketplace rules.

So as consumers, this program will live or die. The customer always being right - but not necessarily being a willing participant of a scheme.

Good Night. And Good Shutdown.
   

Discuss

Let's take a look at the state of things on Capital Hill as they are. The House passed a bill today rolling the stopgap Continuing Resolution in with an appropriations bill covering some of the sacred cows for the effects of sequestration. Here is Sen. Barbara Mikulski's explanation of the bill that passed the Senate that was aligned with HR 933.
Not many folks are aware that the CR from 2012 was in fact a bigger more odious issue for some of these big moos than the sequester in principle was. That's because they were funded at levels that didn't reflect projections into 2013 on mainly military/national security considerations. This bill was meant to reflect FULL budgeting priorities and the requests/commitments that were made to Hill members back before sequester became political reality.
So what we are witnessing here is that no matter the bluster about a standoff between Congress and fiscal adults over at the White House, the politics of appropriations is going to take the day anyhow you slice it. So What Was The Point?

Poll

Should the President Sign HR 933?

41%42 votes
34%35 votes
6%7 votes
4%5 votes
11%12 votes

| 101 votes | Vote | Results

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Ezra Klein, the ballyhoo'd wonk of wonks, is the prime example of the wonk who jumps the shark.

The partisan differences on education and infrastructure are smaller than they are on taxes and spending. As for health care, we’ve actually kept costs under control in recent years, we’ve already passed the Affordable Care Act, and we’re seeing movement among Republican governors to engage constructively with the law. All of which suggests that we’re entering a more productive period of implementation, reforming the reforms and building on ongoing trends — and we should focus on that.- Washington Should Be Worried About Education, Health Care and Infrastructure
Not sure if he is ignoring the data but Time magazine's Stephen Brill report on spiraling costs upward trajectory despite insurance reform is breaking that silence.
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I published the first diary/poll on Drone attacks here on September 30, 2011 after the vaporization of U.S. citizen, Islamic cleric and al Qaeda recruiter, Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen on the same day.
The results of that poll are here: This Terrorist was an American Citizen
The question was: Do you believe we should use Airstrikes to Assassinate suspected Terrorists?
The results were 40% yes, 26% no. This was just as Occupy Wall Street was taking hold and the reverberations into casual lefty assumptions was still lagging on sites like this.

Poll

Do you believe we should use Airstrikes to assassinate suspected Terrorists?

55%102 votes
44%82 votes

| 184 votes | Vote | Results

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Brinksmanship as outlined in Naomi Klein's seminal "The Shock Doctrine" is the driving force behind a false narrative that's taken over our politics and democracy in Washington D.C.

Here's a fantastic post at HuffPo written by Dave Johnson if you'd like to see it dissected in the "Fiscal Cliff" meme of this past New Year.

The conundrum for the left or what remains of it as most everything to the left of right seems to have post-mordial existence in a kind of soup of the "art of the possible" otherwise known as pragmatic, incremental politics, is how to defuse the constant ticking of the improvised device called Brinksmanship.

Poll

Is Obama Leading the Nation Away from Brinksmanship?

34%33 votes
26%25 votes
7%7 votes
2%2 votes
9%9 votes
7%7 votes
3%3 votes
4%4 votes
1%1 votes
4%4 votes

| 96 votes | Vote | Results

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Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 10:47 AM PDT

Poll: Drone Attacks PC Here?

by Aeolos

A little over a year ago I posted a diary on the assassination of a U.S. citizen by the POTUS using a drone in Yemen:This Terrorist was an American Citizen

This was before the paradigm shift of Occupy had gotten traction within progressive blogs last fall. Where that week many at Daily Kos were still slamming the dirty fucking hippies at Zucotti as clueless utopians who would harm the reputation of the "reality based" but inert incrementalist left.

I was wondering if the Setrak(s) of Daily Kos still had sway with the believers here of the pragmatism of "smoking them out over there before they come here" assassinations from the Oval Office. I left this site in disgust last fall for it being totally overridden by the NeoLiberal triumphalists like Setrak and other 101st Fighting Keyboardists and iPad app Drone gamers.

Poll

Do you believe we should use Airstrikes to assassinate suspected Terrorists?

52%64 votes
24%30 votes
1%2 votes
1%2 votes
4%5 votes
0%0 votes
3%4 votes
1%2 votes
0%0 votes
1%2 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
4%6 votes
0%1 votes
3%4 votes

| 122 votes | Vote | Results

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Fri Sep 30, 2011 at 09:02 AM PDT

This Terrorist was an American Citizen

by Aeolos

This is a diary in response to Semdem's How many terrorists does Obama Have to Kill?

This isn't a contest, I hope.

By order of Barack H. Obama, President of the United States of America, a drone strike was carried out in the mountains of Yemen on Friday to kill a top al-Qaida tool used for propaganda here in the west.  They also suspected him of helping to plot with the new recruit, the Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab the attempted bombing of 2009 Christmas Day bombing of an airliner heading to Detroit.

al-Awlaki was an American citizen.

He was suspected and thus "eliminated" with little deliberation about the consequences of assassinating a fellow American with the use of the CIA's new mechanized arm of death.

This is what we've come to. A Democrat in the White House, more assassinations and a broadening of the Bush policies on War on Terror™.  Barack Obama has relied on and expanded the use of Drone strikes to enter sovereign air space and take out targets suspected of plotting and speechifying against the United States and its interests in the Middle East.

In New York, the Pakistani-American man who pleaded guilty to the May 2010 Times Square car bombing attempt told interrogators he was “inspired” by al-Awlaki after making contact over the Internet. WAPO
Al-Awlaki, born in New Mexico to Yemeni parents, also exchanged up to 20 emails with U.S. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, alleged killer of 13 people in the Nov. 5, 2009, rampage at Fort Hood. Hasan initiated the contacts, drawn by al-Awlaki’s Internet sermons, and approached him for religious advice.
Al-Awlaki’s East-West cross-appeal was seen as a potential model for the next generation of al-Qaida leaders. But his rise to prominence also drew the attention of the CIA, and landed him on its capture-or-kill list, the first American so targeted.
Poll

Do you believe we should use Airstrikes to Assassinate suspected Terrorists?

27%30 votes
40%45 votes
2%3 votes
0%1 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
5%6 votes
1%2 votes
0%0 votes
4%5 votes
1%2 votes
0%1 votes
8%9 votes
0%0 votes
5%6 votes

| 110 votes | Vote | Results

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We need a poster child for the deficit hypocrisy embedded deep into every battle field on deficit reduction and priorities.
My nomination would be for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

An excellent primer on the issue was written by Dominic Tierney of Atlantic Magazine: The F-35: A Weapon That Costs More Than Australia

Here are the eye popping price tags:

  • Each plane clocks in at around $90 million.
  • Washington intends to buy 2,443, at a price tag of $382 billion.
  • Add in the $650 billion that the Government Accountability Office estimates is needed to operate and maintain the aircraft, and the total cost reaches a staggering $1 trillion.
  • In fiscal 2012, the Obama administration requested $9.7 billion for development and procurement of the stealthy, supersonic aircraft.

In other words, we're spending more on this plane than Australia's entire GDP ($924 billion).

Continue Reading

Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 01:34 AM PDT

Politics

by Aeolos

No Mr. President, the only thing holding us back is not politics.

PBO

Pol•i•tics |'pälǝˌtiks|
noun
Politics (from Greek πολιτικός, "of, for, or relating to citizens"), is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions.
-wikipedia

You've come to the wrong place on Pennsylvania Avenue if you are looking to escape politics. First off.

Traveling to small towns and farm towns in the heartland of this country, there you will find politics.  Whether it be small business owners in Guttenberg, Iowa or ranchers and farmers in Peosta, there too you have politics. Having lunch with veterans in Cannon Falls, Minnesota you can't escape politics. Plant workers and seed distributors in Atkinson, Illinois you will also find politics. For the girls volleyball team in Maquoketa you can be sure of it - politics - at least in nascent forms. Go Cardinals!

If you're out there, Mr. President, for one reason - so that Washington D.C. can learn something from the folks of Atkinson and Peosta and Cannon Falls, and that our country could be a whole lot better off if our elected leaders showed the same kind of discipline and integrity and responsibility that most Americans demonstrate in their lives every single day, then what you are doing is politics. You might add a fourth virtue to your list and include a smidgeon of honesty.

But if you are being honestly naive, and are unaware of the primacy of politics in making collective decisions then God help this country.

Because the fact is, we are going through a tough time right now. We're coming through a terrible recession realizing the terrible recession is about to get a whole lot worse. A lot of folks are joining the folks still looking for work. A lot of people are getting by on smaller paychecks, no more unemployment benefits or less money for health care.  So we need folks in Washington, the people whose job it is to deal with the country's problems, the people who we elected to serve, we need them to put aside their nonsense and maybe not their differences, to get things done.

But maybe that train has left the station.  The last train for the coast.

See, politics is all about differences between folks. Collective decision making does not mean homogeneous assent.  On a national level, in our nation's capital, the folks in Washington like you sir have interests. They come to Washington to serve those interests.  You may think that is un-American. But the people who funded your campaigns and the people who elected you have interests too.  Are they un-American for refusing to put aside their interests?

As down home and folksy as you're campaign for a second term is becoming, I should think you'd be aware of the past 30 years and how the stereotype of the Heartland of America has been employed in the service of...politics. As late as last week, Mr. President, we witnessed a new permutation in the fetishing of the Corn Dog. Not that there's anything wrong in seeking out "real" Americans and the hardworking midwesterners in their natural habitat, nothing wrong at all especially in the service of politics.  But to deliver such a lame appeal that we've heard maybe a dozen times in the past three months about the evil of politics while politicking seems to me a bit incongruent.  The integrity takes a hit. And the consistency of the speech begins to resemble grits.

Remember, politics is as American as apple  pie.  And it's made right here in America . These are common sense observations. Convictions that are shared by Democrats and Republicans alike. The only thing keeping you from realizing what you were elected to do is...your desire to be above the collective decisions. Politics.

The only thing preventing the passage of your ideas is the refusal by some in Congress to pass your ideas.  Politics.

See, this isn't about the "Country". Country above party (and in turn, interests) is a myth.  A myth served with a corn dog and washed down with lemonade.  Even on this site, this private blog community, it's all about party first (electing democrats - at least that's what Kos says its about), then Country.  We know as much when it comes to local politics here.

I dare say things might've been too easy for you on the road to the White House.  Politically speaking. That's the problem we have right now. That's what's holding this country back. That's what we have to change.

Little kids with American flags. Grandparents in lawnchairs.  I'm not sure that's what change meant three years back.  Maybe thirty years back we went Back to the Future. But we've had those images for quite some time along with the handshakes outside of machine shops and churches.  And maybe it reminds you of why you got into public service in the first place but more and more I'm less sure of why I supported and voted for you to begin with. Not because you do politics but because you attempt to excuse your politics. And believe you can get what you want - which of course is what the Country wants if your a politician - without politics.

There in Alpha, if it's that clear, if you believe that that's coming together, that's putting differences aside and there's no stopping America and there's no doubt that our future is bright, then God help this country.  Because this isn't "Morning in America". That only comes after the long dark night in America.  And you ain't Ronald Reagan.  And the only way our country gets put ahead of party and the only way we put aside our differences is through politics.

And if that's not clear, you don't belong in Washington D.C. let alone the White House. And that will become clear enough soon enough if you're already done with

Politics.

Discuss

Rec this diary and make it one of Greatest Meta Diaries Eva!

This is a diary all about Obama.  Or at least a diary about my need to make it All About Obama (and of course, myself + meta).

I've always resisted the obligatory provocative title and the diary written to justify the title and the Rec's but today, like Troubadour feels "Numb", I feel Dumb.

This kind of Dumb needs Dumber. So if you will recommend this and we can work together to eliminate just one relevant piece of work on the wReck list and help start off another purging round of what we seem to do best lately, it might just shame me enough never to post a diary on this site again.  It would be like a goodbye cruel world in reverse.  Not provocative enough for you?  Well then how about this:

Jane Hamsher.

No?

Firebagger.

What, does that mean?

A bunny with a pancake on its head. (no pic cause it's funny just picturing it)

Obamabot.
Ooooh, now where getting somewhere.

[1200px pic of First Family on vacation eating elephant ears] Again, imagine using a composite of the 212 photos on google image exploring countless scenes like it.  Whe're going for the jugular here.

You're mother is a Neoliberal.
Whoa now.  Getting personal.

Drew Westen.

PAUL KRUGMAN! No?

I'm just getting started. See this kind of diary can only happen in a quantum vacuum. One man's meta is another man's anti-meta. There always is a counterpart. And it must absolutely annihilate and cancel out the others narcissistic attempt to foist a completely unoriginal take on why our President is the Greatest or Sorriest Excuse of a President as we see fit.  Superlatives must be our currency and the ALL CAPS along with the strong bolds our denominations.  We must shout it out on the rooftops.  Why? Because it seems that nothing short of the future of mankind depends upon the American electoral system and the cult of personality.

We must shout and write silly diaries.

What might've happened to our economy if we didn't act and write these diaries?  We had double digit unemployment, and a meltdown of Wall Street before all of these diaries.  So look around, be thankful.

I'd write more and include links but I'm tired and need a nap. You get the point.  I just need the Rec's and am frankly not here to entertain you.

I just wanted to make sure you understood just how urgent this diary and its message is 'cause frankly I'm sick of it.  Sick and tired of it.  Mostly tired...yawn...time for a nap.

Discuss
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