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Pew Center for the People & the Press
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Thursday the announcement from the Obama administration that U.S. combat troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan next year puts "in jeopardy the mission of the United States of America and our commitments to freedom." That's the standard Democratic-patriotism-is-suspect line Republicans have been using since 1949 when Mao Zedong took over China.
“Today, [President Obama's] secretary of defense unleashed such a policy,” said Romney. “The secretary of defense said that on a day certain, the middle of 2013, we’re going to pull out our combat troops from Afghanistan.” [...]

“He announced that. He announced that. So the Taliban hears it, the Pakistanis hear it, the Afghan leaders hear it,” said Romney. “Why in the world do you go to the people that you’re fighting with and tell them the date you’re pulling out your troops? It makes absolutely no sense.”

Romney has no skin in this fight. Indeed, when it comes to matters of national defense, he has shown himself to be as tin-earred as he is on poor people, taxes and income inequality. Queried during his campaign for the 2008 nomination about what his sons would be doing to "support this war on terrorism" since they weren't in the military, Romney responded,  “[O]ne of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected.”

Getting him elected apparently would keep U.S. combat troops fighting a lot longer in Afghanistan than the majority of Americans want, according to the latest poll on the subject by the Pew Center for the People & the Press.

There is plenty to criticize the administration over with regards to its Afghanistan policy. Getting Osama bin Laden did not require tripling the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and spending tens of billions of dollars more than had already been spent. Putting Afghanistan on a secure footing against the Taliban, rooting out corruption and establishing a trusted central government backed by a military that that country can actually pay for was never in the cards, as many critics said when the escalation began in 2009. Now, more people than before realize this.

Romney says he will listen to what the generals say about Afghanistan. That's what Obama did. It didn't work. And now, too slowly to be sure, the troops they advised be sent there are coming home. Romney thinks this is a bad idea. An idea that puts us in danger. Most Americans don't agree.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 08:47 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Mitt wants a war in Iran and one (24+ / 0-)

    Afghanistan, increased defense spending and more tax breaks for the wealthy.

    The 99% will pay in blood and treasure for Mitt's wars!

    Are you willing  to die for Mitt's ego?

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

    by TomP on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 08:53:25 AM PST

    •  How about Mitt's sons? You know the ones fighting (17+ / 0-)

      the war on terror by working for their father's campaign?  

      As James McMurtry said:

      Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
      or the shape of their eyes or the shape I'm in
      Should I hate em for having our jobs today
      No I hate the men who sent the jobs away
      I can see them all now they haunt my dreams
      All lily white and squeaky clean
      They've never known want they'll never know need
      Their shit don't stink and their kids won't bleed
      Their kids won't bleed in the damn little war
      and we can't make it here anymore.

      Will work for food
      Will die for oil
      Will kill for power and to us the spoils
      The billionaires get to pay less tax
      The working poor get to fall through the cracks
      Let em eat jelly beans let em eat cake
      Let em eat shit whatever it takes
      They can join the Air Force or join the Corp
      If they can't make it here anymore.

      Mitts theme song.

      •  I was just thinking (5+ / 0-)

        the same thing.  My husband was in Viet Nam, my brother in Iraq.  I think it is time for the 1% to have their own children have a little more skin the "game," as they put it.

        The rich have been excused from service since Vietnam and I'm sick of it.  

        "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

        by zaka1 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:51:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Whither The 99% (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zaka1

          If it keeps getting harder to live in this country, people will decide to throw in with other countries.  Eventually, the US will be populated only by a few rich people who will have to depend on machines to defend themselves, because there will be no more poors to hide behind.

          •  The trouble is (0+ / 0-)

            many can't leave this country, and a lot of other countries are having problems with debt and unemployment as well.  For some it has become a way to support their families.

            "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

            by zaka1 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 04:12:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  How about North Korea? Willard could call the 3 (11+ / 0-)

      countries "the axis of evil." Pretty catchy, eh?

    •  Obama is going to get some Ron Paul supporters (7+ / 0-)

      They hate the wars. It is what drove them to vehemently support Paul to begin with.

      The Ron Paul supporters aren't going to get in line behind Romney if he keeps being hawkish on Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran. Tough sell here for Romney - his base really wants Romney to call Obama weak on Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran - and the Ron Paul 15% want absolutely nothing to do with any overseas adventures at all. It is just another instance of how here on out winning the Presidency as a Republican is akin to drawing to an inside straight.

      Obama is going to get some of these folks, or more probably most are going to stay home next November.

      •  The other way to win the presidency (0+ / 0-)

        is if the Dem candidate is weak.  Having a crappy field of candidates is not a purely republican disease.  The Dem field in  1984, 1988 and 2004 was pretty weak, and other than Bill Clinton, there was no Dem of that generation who could win.

        While Obama may not have turned out to be that transformational, once-in-a-generation leader everybody thought he would be, he is a once-in-a-generation candidate.

        Given how bad the state of the Union really is, and how disallusioned most Americans feel, if Obama wins it will only be because of his personal appeal, and clean image (which always scores 5-10 points higher than his "Job Approval").  He also benefits from much higher than typical black turnout, that cannot be expected without him on the ticket.

        Regardless of what happens in 2012, 2016 is wide open for the Dem nomination, with no obvious heir apparent.  If the next four years are anything like the last three, the GOP might be able to win the presidency with a pair of deuces.

        •  The GOP field in 2016 will be much stronger (0+ / 0-)

          I think Huntsman is a strong candidate and I think this go around was about getting name recognition and getting in line like the GOP nominating process generally adheres to. Personally, I liked Huntsman before he went all super wingnut on us this past 8 months.

          I think Ron Paul is going to pass his ambitions on his son, as I think his 2012 campaign is all about establishing the "Paul" brand name right now. Rand carries the given name of the Patron Saint of Libertarianism. Although he is more christian wacko then you thought a libertarian could be.

          I think there are a slew of GOP Governors angling for a run including Walker, Christie and a bunch of others. The best way to derail these potential candidates is to beat them when they run for their respective Statehouses next time.

          I really wish Hillary was about 5 or 6 years younger because - #1 she is a superstar and #2 I think she would have made a good/great President. I was angry with her and the long drawn out nomination process in 2008, but I have loved her grace and talent since then.

          •  Walker and Christie don't look like much to me, (0+ / 0-)

            especially since they might lose their governorships before 2016.

            "Mistress of the Topaz" is now available in paperback! Link here: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-55404-900-8

            by Kimball Cross on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 01:47:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Not only will I not die for Willard M's ego (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP

      My sons and daughters shall not, either.

      In fact, I wouldn't lift my cheek to fart for the benefit of Mitt's ego.

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'ya aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il ya toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:55:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Romney On Bin Laden. (6+ / 0-)

      Remember Romney the GWOT warrior?  But he was weak on Bin Laden.  :-)

      I wonder if we will see this in an ad from Obama or a PAC?

      ABC’s Teddy Davis reports: When Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney seemed to downplay the value of catching Osama Bin Laden this week by saying that "it’s not worth moving heaven and earth (and) spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person,” Howard Dean’s Democratic National Committee was quick to pounce.

      "It seems Mitt Romney and his Republican cohorts need to be reminded that Osama Bin Laden was the mastermind behind the September 11th attack on America," said DNC Communications Director Karen Finney.

      abcnews, Apr 28, 2007

      I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

      by TomP on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:57:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What does Mitt Romney know about heaven..!?!? (0+ / 0-)

        Does he mean Kolob...!?!?

        •  Yeah, that's right. He hopes to get his own planet (0+ / 0-)

          someday. Being President will be fine OTJ training for that.

          "Mistress of the Topaz" is now available in paperback! Link here: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-55404-900-8

          by Kimball Cross on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 01:48:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Doesn't matter (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades

        Republicans NEVER have to prove their creds on foreign policy.  It's one of the three planks of mdern conservative messaging (and conventional wisdom):

        Low Taxes/Small Government
        Family Values
        Strong National Defense

        Word could leak that Romney wants to sell Nukes to Iran, and he'd get the benefit of the doubt, because he's a Republican.

        Dems almost never get any credit for foreign policy successes.  Jimmy Carter's greatest (only?) accomplishment was the Camp David Accord, and that got him a big fat squat, while Reagan is lionized as defender of the free world, despite Oliver North funneling arms to Iran.  I knew Obama's bounce from getting Osama wouldn't last, because the Dem base was embarrassed to celebrate it, and the GOP base was both elated he was killed, and disappointed that Obama was the one who killed him.

    •  I think that's a bit of an exaggeration, Tom (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark

      Romney doesn't want anything except to be President. he doesn't actually want to DO anything.

      •  Oh yes he does. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades, vcmvo2

        He wants to further loosen whatever reins are left on the financial community and further cut taxes on top earners.  He also wants to play big shot on the world stage.  And that's about it.  Despite what he says about closing up the holes in the social safety net, he wouldn't know what a hole in the safety net looked like if he tripped over it.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 10:34:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think so (0+ / 0-)

          You are forgetting that he is saying all these things to win the primary. But, if he won the election, all this would be out the window. He is a younger version of Bush Sr., the guy who promised he wouldn't raise taxes and then did. So, sure, he's a Republican and probably is sincere in some things, but I don't see him as some big ideologue. Not that I think he should be elected or anything. It wouldn't be good for the country. I can honestly say, though, that I don't know really what he would do about anything because he has changed his position on nearly everything and he lies a lot. So, how you know so much about what he would do as President is a bit of a mystery to me.

    •  All that and deficit reduction too. Makes sense to (0+ / 0-)

      me!

      "Mistress of the Topaz" is now available in paperback! Link here: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-55404-900-8

      by Kimball Cross on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 01:39:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  He has seen the polls. (7+ / 0-)

    Once he secures the nomination he will execute a 180 degree flip-flop.

    Classic Weather-vane Willard.

    I started with nothing and still have most of it left. - Seasick Steve

    by ruleoflaw on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 08:53:46 AM PST

  •  Obama has already won the debate on these issues (19+ / 0-)

    I just don't see how Republicans can assail Obama on national security/defense issues in any way that will be effective with swing voters.  Obama has these very simple to say and understand list of accomplishments:
    - Killed Bin Laden and many top Al Quaeda leaders
    - Ended the war in Iraq
    - is ending the war in Afghanistan
    - no terrorist attacks on American soil (crosses fingers)
    - replacement of authoritarian regimes in Libya, Egypt, and elsewhere in the middle east
    - did all of the above while managing to cut defense spending and not start any new wars

    •  Agreed. Obama Is Much, Much More Of A Hawk (16+ / 0-)

      than I ever thought possible. In fact I am not so happy about it. But there is just no logical way you can say the guy is weak on defense. But logic and Republicans don't know each other that well.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:01:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well it's always been a culture war issue (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dougymi, TofG, Meteor Blades, NearlyNormal

        Dems have long been hawks, but the GOP portrays them as traitors, and often successfully so.

        Perhaps Obama's "tough-on-terra" accomplishments will neutralize the impact of the attacks among independents and conservative Dems, but not entirely. This is about tribalism and symbolism, not facts. The economy, in any case, will be more important.

        I, too, think Obama has been very weak on defense, but for reasons different than Romney's.

        By the way that list could use a fact-checker: Obama replaced Mubarak? Come one.

        •  sorry, politifact (6+ / 0-)

          It's something that happened "on his watch" but of course he cannot take credit for the replacement of Mubarak and Gaddafi.  He can however take credit for not screwing those situations up and handling them correctly as far as the American response to them.

        •  I Wouldn't Argue With That (8+ / 0-)

          and it seems when we are in office and we do something we don't beat our chests about it. I mean if Bush would have gotten OBL no telling the fanfare there would have been.

          When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

          by webranding on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:14:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  According to Condi Rice, Bush killed bin Laden. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TofG
            – it’s a victory for having learned more how to fight the counter terrorism fight. But there’s no doubt that as President Bush had to make some very, very hard calls that frankly helped to set this up,

            "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have too much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little… I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clothed, ill-nourished." -Franklin Roosevelt

            by shoeless on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:49:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That woman must believe (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              shoeless

              her mission in life is to rationalize the Bush baby's bad acts.  What a waste.

              "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

              by SueDe on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 10:40:28 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  She enjoys it. (0+ / 0-)

                Condi is a serial liar. Telling lies to cover for Bush is her passion. Like all pathological liars, she doesn't care that everyone knows she is lying. The thrill is in telling the lie.

                "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have too much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little… I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clothed, ill-nourished." -Franklin Roosevelt

                by shoeless on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 11:27:48 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Obama didn't screw it up when the people (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vcmvo2

          of Egypt replaced Mubarak. What do you suppose McCain would have done? And by "didn't screw it up" I don't mean he behaved perfectly or optimally. Just that Mubarak is gone and US influence was not used to prop him up at the end.

          In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'ya aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il ya toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

          by blue aardvark on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 10:02:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I wouldn't even bring up Egypt and Libya (0+ / 0-)

            Both are a mess, much as Iraq was after Saddam fell.  There is as good a chance as not, that a jihadist movement takes over in both countries (especially in Egypt), and the people end up worse off than they were under the dictators.

            There has never really been a long term stable democracy in the middle east, unless you count Israel (and I don't call 64 years long-term).  Democracy is really not compatible with the Islamic religion.  Hasn't been for over 1,000 years.  In it's corrupted middle eastern form, it's an authoritarian religion, that needs that type of control to thrive.

            If these places devolve into terrorism or anarchy in 2012, Obama doesn't need any of that on him.

            •  I'm sure the people of Indonesia, Malaysia, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tbounnak

              and others, will be thrilled to know their religion and their government are incompatible.

              In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'ya aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il ya toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

              by blue aardvark on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 10:38:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  How far would Romney have gone (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blue aardvark

            to keep Mubarak in power?

            "Mistress of the Topaz" is now available in paperback! Link here: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-55404-900-8

            by Kimball Cross on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 01:53:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Depends on what you mean by hawk (14+ / 0-)

        I have no problem with the Bin laden raid, and I'm betting most on the left dont either. Same with Libya, where I think Obama managed a difficult situation very well. He did increase troops in Afghanistan, which I have mixed feelings about, but it was something he was in favor of during the campaign.

        •  My Issue Is With The Drone Strikes (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jj32, dougymi, DSPS owl

          As best I can tell we are bombing 5-7 countries. I have a HUGE issue with that. Killing OBL. No problem with that. Getting US citizens held hostage. No problem with that. But those drone strikes, I am not so happy about that.

          When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

          by webranding on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:18:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Drone warfare (3+ / 0-)

            certainly has the potential for great misuse.  5 to 7 countries is nuts.  Restraint is in order.  Robust civilian oversight of the military is in order.  Diplomatic solutions are in order.  

            But ... if the choice is between targeted police actions hunting down a finite number of individuals, versus large-scale long-term occupations with ground troops, I have to say drones look better.  

            "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

            by lgmcp on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:49:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  If shit isn't blowing up (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy, filby, vcmvo2

        those Republicans think that you aren't using the military enough.  

        The love crap like "Full Thunder" or whatever the saying Bush used for the beginning of the Iraq war.   This wimpy bringing the troops home stuff is for cowards and democrats.

        Republicans - they measure our national success by corporate profit margin, not the well being of the citizens.

        by egarratt on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:50:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, they don't (0+ / 0-)

          mostly they believe that if we have enough bombs, we can use bluster and threats to get the rest of the world to do exactly what we want them to do without ever actually dropping any.

          If that fails, however, we might need to make an occasional example...

          Ask your barista what her degree is in.

          by happymisanthropy on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 10:00:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Shock and Awe (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vcmvo2, DSPS owl

          I, personally, am shocked at how awful Bush was.

          In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'ya aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il ya toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

          by blue aardvark on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 10:02:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Quibble (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcmvo2
        But logic and Republicans don't know each other that well.

        They are mortal enemies - nemesi, if you will.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'ya aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il ya toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:59:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Panetta's plan signals Progress towards Peace (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG, TheLizardKing, filby, vcmvo2, Eric Nelson

      The many moves that have gone on in just the last few weeks strongly suggest to me that the possibility of a workable peace deal in Afghanistan is right around the corner.

      The Taliban opening an office in Qatar, heavy signals the Taliban are ready to jettison Al Qaeda, discussions of prisoner swaps (including possible release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, American held by the Taliban) and now this suggest that this is happening sooner rather than later.

      Speculative on my part, but I think the media analysts are underestimating the chances of a ceasefire and path towards reconciliation.

  •  The fundamentals of war in Afghanistan are sound (16+ / 0-)

    Romney sees ending war as a lost  business opportunity.  

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 08:59:03 AM PST

  •  I guess he can run on that. (13+ / 0-)
    ...the announcement from the Obama administration that U.S. combat troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan next year puts "in jeopardy the mission of the United States of America and our commitments to freedom."
    I'd like to hear Mitt explain what the hell our mission is there. He's such a gifted speaker, maybe then I'll understand what that mission is.

    ...and dropping a bar bell he points to the sky, saying "The sun's not yellow-it's CHICKEN!"

    by porchdog1961 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 08:59:55 AM PST

    •  we can only hope he says something like (6+ / 0-)

      "i'm not concerned with our troops in Afghanistan".

    •  Our mission ... should we decide to accept it ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      porchdog1961

      Mission Impossible Theme begins

      Now, I can give a one sentence mission: to ensure that when we leave, the Taliban are not restored to the power they held prior to the invasion. But I doubt Willard will like that one.

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'ya aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il ya toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 10:05:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  38% of the people polled by Pew, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades

        according to the graph in the diary, believe we should stay in Afghanistan until "the situation is stabilized."  Those polled who claim to want the situation to be stabilized have no idea what that means.  Not even the generals know what that means.  If the U.S. military stayed there until the turn of the next century - especially if the military stayed - the situation wouldn't be stabilized.  Afghanistan is the Taliban's country.  They're not going anywhere.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 10:51:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Taliban are one faction (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vcmvo2

          They do not have the support of the majority of the people. They are, however, armed and fanatical.

          In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'ya aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il ya toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

          by blue aardvark on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 10:52:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  If the Objective is to stop the Taliban (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, blue aardvark

    does it matter who blows their brains out, really in the cosmic scheme of things?

    Response: If you "got it" you wouldn't be a republican

    by JML9999 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:03:17 AM PST

  •  Romney aside, they seem to like this scheduling (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allenjo, happymisanthropy

    the end of wars thing.  I can see how it keeps the people off their backs abit.  Nothing to see here, the war will end in two years.  Unless they ask us to stay longer of course.  

  •  Someone should tell him that troops are, by and (13+ / 0-)

    large, poor people, and that he shouldn't worry about them.

    I really dislike fucking Romney. (adjective, not verb)

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:13:00 AM PST

  •  Just a guess, but... (1+ / 2-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy
    Hidden by:
    qannabbos, FrugalGranny

    After we've killed essentially everyone who doesn't crave apple pie, kept Guantanamo open, expanded state surveillance over citizens, created additional unconstitutional capabilities to detain citizens and non-citizens forEVER without trial, droned allies to death and will be on the ground in Iran in months...

    Isn't this the wrong time for THAT card to be played?

    Romney Ads Slam 1 Adulterer While He Kisses The Ass Of Another! Thoughts at 3 A.M. And Now, A Word From An Asshole! http://thoughtsatthreeam.blogspot.com/...

  •  Weak on defense... (7+ / 0-)

    has for decades been a dogwhistle repugs use to attack their opponents.

    What Romney really means is "Obama is going to cut spending on wasteful programs and war toys which further enrich my already obscenely rich buddies."

  •  Mitt wanted to start a war over a robot (12+ / 0-)

    He's called the President 'weak' for not having sent in living American soldiers to "rescue" or destroy the RQ-170 stealth recon drone that went down inside Iranian territory.

    Neverminding that the whole fucking point of using drones is that when they crash or are shot down...you don't have to send a rescue mission.

    Neverminding that we didn't immediately know what was at play inside Iran...if they had indeed shot down our supposedly stealthy craft...and that any quick reaction infiltration would have to be undertaken by comparatively unstealthy assets such as F-15s or Black Hawk helicopters.

    And neverminding the underlying fact of the story...that President Barack Obama has ordered reconaissance overflights over Iranian territory...in and of itself a risky, provocative act.

    Barack Obama sends Navy SEALs to rescue hostages and hunt down terrorist leaders. Mitt Romney would send them to go rescue the battle droids from Star Wars.

  •  I predicted Obama would pull troops early AND (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    figbash, TofG

    mitt would jump on this because he is a dumbshit.

    My best guess was a reflection that did not look back, an image lost in every mirror.

    by Zacapoet on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:22:10 AM PST

  •  Like Dick "other priorities" Cheney... (5+ / 0-)

    ...and Saxby "Trick knee" Chambliss, Mitt "missionary and student deferments" Cheney also found ways to avoid military service during the Vietnam era. To me, he's just another chicken hawk who wants more war but couldn't find the gall to fight in one. That's just one thing. The other is this: there's one simple answer to Mitt's canard about Obama being soft on defense-- ask Osama Bin Laden.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Gandhi

    by alaprst on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:30:11 AM PST

  •  Staying in Afghanistan indefinitely longer (5+ / 0-)

    and for what?  Good luck selling THAT to the American voter at this point in time.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:34:53 AM PST

  •  Perhaps (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, Sue B, happymisanthropy

    All the troops should just be moved over to France like Romney did during the Vietnam War.

    "Children lack morality, but they also lack fake morality." Mignon McLaughlin

    by djbender on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:35:18 AM PST

  •  If We Just Send All The Mormons (5+ / 0-)

    It's got mountains, it's got deserts, it's got heathens. Perfect!

    Seriously though, Machievelli said you had three choices when conquering a distant land:

    1) Plunder and go home (not much to plunder in Afghanistan).
    2)  Set up a colonial government.
    3)  Colonize and displace the natives.

    Nowhere did he say an indefinite military occupation is a viable strategy.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:40:40 AM PST

    •  with the ann coulter corollary... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG, Meteor Blades, Eric Nelson
      We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.

      A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

      by dougymi on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:47:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  #4 Spend billions, nothing to plunder, make (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl

      it worse.

      Obama made Afghanistan his war, and it is a disaster.

      Thankfully Romney is too tin eared to ever make a dent here.

      As for taking his orders from the Generals, I think that much of the American public doesn't get that when elected civilian leaders take their orders from Generals, then we no longer have a democratic Republic.  The C in Chief gives the orders and provides the objectives, the Generals develop strategies to achieve those ends.

      "The attack on the truth by war begins long before war starts and continues long after a war ends." -Julian Assange

      by Pierro Sraffa on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 10:19:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The President can seek advice from the Joint (0+ / 0-)

        Chiefs or other senior generals / flag officers, but he / she must seek advice from civilians also. That was JFK's mistake at the Bay of Pigs. He didn't talk to anybody but the military.

        After the Bay of Pigs, he learned not to make that mistake again.

        "Mistress of the Topaz" is now available in paperback! Link here: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-55404-900-8

        by Kimball Cross on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 01:59:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Except that it does make sense, Mitt (6+ / 0-)

    Mitt's argument is that if you telegraph your plan, the enemy will just lie back and wait until we leave and then attack.  The Generals have suggested in fact that IS a good idea because it gives us a greater chance of establishing higher quality peace and security structures while not under attack.  When the time comes to leave, the momentum of the enemy is gone and dividends of 18-24 months of relative peace are already taking effect.

    West. No further west. All sea. -- Robert Grenier

    by Nicolas Fouquet on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:41:28 AM PST

    •  The enemy, presumably the Taliban, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541

      will have the same opportunity to attack no matter when we leave.  THEY LIVE THERE.  It's my opinion that when we leave Karzai will just invite them in and work with them anyway; our being there is just holding up the process.  Best we leave now.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 11:05:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Go ahead and bring up national security...PLEASE (5+ / 0-)

    Only Romney would walk smack dab into the middle of Obama's wheelhouse and give the President the platform to discuss what a badass he's been.

    I don't understand who he thinks he's appealing to here. Defense contractors, I guess. That's about it. Even the Marines are saying "let's get the fuck out of this place."

  •  We need to change the terms from weak or (3+ / 0-)

    strong on defense, to weak or strong on imperialism, or military empire.  

  •  why should we listen to MITT about this? (5+ / 0-)

    Mitt is the man who believes that serving our nation during wartime means campaigning for HIM...as long as you are one of his sons.   WHY should anyone take a single word about afganistan seriously if it comes out of Mitt's mouth?

    Mitt should be hounded with ONE QUESTION on this subject...

    IF you got to continue the war in afganistan will YOUR SONS finally stop shirking their patriotic duty and enlist, as an example to the rest of our nation?

    "Orwell was an optimist"

    by KnotIookin on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:45:25 AM PST

    •  Anytime he brings up sending troops.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark, Amber6541

      or (other peoples kids) to war, he'll be subjecting himself to that comment about his sons! I'm starting to think he's not very bright!

      •  He's smart (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pierro Sraffa, Amber6541

        He got extremely good grades.

        He's just NOT an effective politician.

        The two are weakly correlated.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'ya aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il ya toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 10:08:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Romney may be book smart but... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blue aardvark, Amber6541

          that won't help get his giant foot out of his mouth!

        •  He may have a high IQ (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jennyp

          but his emotional intelligence is negligible, which is one of the reasons that he is such a god awful candidate. He's not a politician. Some people just aren't good with policy and persuasion.

          Obama has both. It makes him an extraordinary politician like Bill Clinton, even GW Bush had it as much as I hate to admit it. John McCain and Romney don't have it at all.

          In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

          by vcmvo2 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 11:04:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe he has McCain's plan (5+ / 0-)

    The super-secret insta-win stateragy that he was going to unveil when he became prezident in 2008.

    Maybe Mi-Lord Romney can make a video where he looks for the plan under his desk.

    "I am sure I misplaced that plan somewhere, what...Hallo! No. Drat. The servants left the lobster bibs in my refuse basket. How untidy. I shall have to talk to the Missus about dismissing one or two to set an example."

    "You know, just because the thing I saw wasn't there doesn't mean there wasn't something there that I didn't see." Ann Althouse, Conservative Thoughtmeister

    by Bill Section 147 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:46:28 AM PST

  •  meh - if Obama instead wanted to annex them into (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    the U.S. Romney would no doubt freak out over that too. There's no winning.

    "There's nothing in the dark that's not there when the lights are on" ~ Rod Serling

    by jwinIL14 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:47:19 AM PST

  •  Maybe Willard (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AllanTBG, jennyp

    should let his boys enter the service?   Cowardly bastards.

    "A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by bobski on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:47:44 AM PST

  •  Yep, Mitt and the GOP have an uphill battle on... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, jennyp, vcmvo2, Amber6541, Eric Nelson

    ... this one.

    Most Americans want us out and all that money repatriated to help us generate more jobs.

  •  The USA has a "mission"? When did that happen? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    I thought the USA was a sovereign nation. So who ordered this nation on this "mission" to stay in Afghanistan forever.

    We all know Romney and GOP logic is unfailing stupid, so this sort of statement will just be eaten up with a spoon by them. But if the GOPpers ever paused to think about the sound bites they cheer, the US would never had to go through the embarrassment that is the 2012 GOP Presidential slate.

  •  Romney's Right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    One day, in the middle or beginning or end of a month or week or then again maybe not, we will leave Afghanistan under the cover of darkness and BOOM!!!!!!!!! The Taliban will never know what hit them.  YEAH!!!!!  We're leaving and we're not telling you when, assholes.  Try and find out.

  •  The Afganistan war is/was/will be a failure (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, Amber6541

    When it began as a limited response to 9-11 there was a small chance of success. The USA was appreciated for throwing out the hated Taliban rulers and they had Osama trapped at Tora Bora. Bush failed miserably and turned his efforts to Iraq.

    In the ensuing years the situation changed and by the time Obama came to power it was much too late to be saved. The once hated Taliban was now regarded as fighting for the people and the USA was/is regarded as a foreign invader. Foreign invaders always lose in Afganistan.

    For some reason President Obama allowed himself to be boxed in by generals and hawks into denying reality and pursuing a failed war policy and a failing war. Now he must face the consequences of sticking with the failed Bush policy. This is now Obama's war and it's a loser.

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:50:29 AM PST

  •  This shows how weak a candidate Willard is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, Amber6541

    Taking an unpopular position (as shown in your nice graph) to attack a President with a tired old meme.

    Memo to Willard M. Romney:

    Osama bin Laden is dead

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'ya aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il ya toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:53:44 AM PST

  •  Like they don't know already.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, looking and listening

    It fits in with the patronizing, racist worldview of republicans they think all the little brown people "over there" are just idling their time, blissfully unaware, just waiting to be overwhelmed by the superior intellect and will of the invading Americans.

    Like when Cheney and Rumsfeld were outraged that the Iraqi army refused to stand still and be slaughtered by our overwhelming military force and had the temerity--no, the unmitigated GALL--to preemptively disperse and carry out the battle using asynchronous tactics.

    Trust me, Mittens, whether we remain one more day or 50 more years, they will know our exact timetable and will be more than willing to wait us out. Fucking dumbass.

    Voting for a republican because you are disappointed in Obama is like leaving your kids with a pedophile because you're pissed that the babysitter was late.

    by Azdak on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 09:54:02 AM PST

  •  I heard that Mitt Romney could see Nova Scotia (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jennyp, vcmvo2

    from his Bain Capital high-rise....

    I heard he could see Cuba when his yacht went past to make some Cayman Island deposits.....

    MITT ROMNEY - FOREIGN POLICY.....HAHAHAHAHAHAHHA...!!!!!!

  •  Why should Romney care (0+ / 0-)

    if hundreds or thousands more die in Afghanistan? None of them are his sons.

    He'll gladly sacrifice everyone else's children so he can appear macho.

  •  If I were Rmoney, I would say the same thing. (0+ / 0-)

    What do expect him to say? "The President has once again shown tremendous leadership?"

    •  Yes, Mittsie (3+ / 0-)

      is kinda in a no-win place here...he can't be complimentary about anything the President has done in his role as Commander-In-Chief at the risk of irritating the party base, but the tired old "Democrats are weak on defense" GOP talking point has been rendered ineffective.

      "...now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!" -French Knight From "Monty Python & The Holy Grail"

      by Kellybee on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 10:21:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  the shit they say just doesn't resonate anymore (0+ / 0-)

    The tactic of just saying anything and expecting it to stick doesn't inherently work.  It used to work well because poople were receptive to it.  A lot of independents were already suspicious of Democrats.  The crap just confirmed their bias.

    But people aren't so receptive anymore.  Biases do fall apart eventually, once the truth repeatedly or egregiously breaks them down.  And most Americans now see that Republicans are not fiscally responsible, strong, honest, or good, and that Democrats are the opposite.

    Their base will buy it, but not ordinary people.  They will keep trying, but it will not succeed.

    "You're not stuck in traffic, you are traffic."

    by nominalize on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 10:13:01 AM PST

  •  The Obvious Questions for Romney Are (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, Amber6541, Eric Nelson

    Now, the questions for Romney and his campaign must be how many more divisions does he feel he needs to keep in Afghanistan and for how long?  

    Either he is willing to answer this question or he can be painted as an air-headed, flip-flopper, willing to talk as talk is cheap, but totally unwilling to show leadership.

    America needs to get tough on Romney and continue to demand an answer to these question.  

  •  What the public wants and what Obama has been (0+ / 0-)

    giving them and talking more about giving them have been dovetailing nicely this election year.

    I think this guy takes the long view, and even while disappointing some on this blog who only see short-term
    effects or "bad policy" decisions from day to day, if given enough time it all looks like one

    big, massive, clever, winning meep, meep motherfucker
    bunch of strategy
    .

    "...be still, and cry not aloud; for it is an unholy thing to boast over slain men." Odysseus, in Homer's Odyssey

    by Wildthumb on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 10:17:04 AM PST

  •  Romney is proving to be quite Pathetic..daily (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    If the indy's have any taste for this ass then we can all give up.

  •  Oh, and another thing. Over on The Dish, (0+ / 0-)

    Sullivan quotes a former Special Ops guy who wired him:

    "We are getting out of Afghanistan. No way that that isn't AWESOME." (Caps mine.)

    Sullivan is awed, himself, and doubted if Obama could have pulled all this off. Well, he has. Another meep, meep motherfucker moment.

    "...be still, and cry not aloud; for it is an unholy thing to boast over slain men." Odysseus, in Homer's Odyssey

    by Wildthumb on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 10:20:46 AM PST

  •  Romney might want to read the Constitution... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, Meteor Blades

    and understand the role of Commander in Chief. Our military was intentionally set up with civilian leadership, with clearly defined roles for the civilian and military components. The President along with the Congress (at least that's the way it was supposed to work when we actually declared wars) sets the policies. The generals give feedback about the costs and consequences of the policies, and ultimately are in charge of figuring out how to implement those policies. But they should not have a final say in which policies are implemented.

    For example, President should ask the generals how many troops it will take to meet a military objective, but the President should not be asking the generals what the military objectives should be. That's the job of the President! If Romney doesn't understand this concept then he's too incompetent to be President. Even worse, it could be that Romney understands this and wants to make policy decisions (he seems to want to stay in Afghanistan), but he wants to be able to hide behind the generals and point the finger if something goes wrong. And that would be beyond despicable.

  •  It's almost as if Romney assumes it is his.. (0+ / 0-)

    ..inborn right to inherit this war along with his "obvious" right to inherit the Whitehouse.

    “His naivete is putting in jeopardy the mission of the United States of America and our commitments to freedom,” he said. “He is wrong. We need new leadership in Washington.”
    like every asshole-know-it-all-favored-one; the priveleged talking down to his subjects.
  •  Romney and Paul. What's nutty is that I just heard (0+ / 0-)

    a suggestion that Romney and Paul are entering into a "strategic partnership". Which is nutty if Romney is expecting people to take him serious on the "defense" issue.

    •  Wouldn't surprise me that whoever the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David54

      winner is, they will end up choosing some of their opponents for VP and potential cabinet posts. A lot of promises will be made, but to no avail, because President Obama will be taking the oath again in January 2013.

      "He is no fool who forsakes things that he cannot keep, so that he might gain things that he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

      by looking and listening on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 11:52:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I thought Romney was responding to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    looking and listening

    the planned cuts to the defense budget, rather than specifically to the Afghan withdrawal plans.

    I would love to know how he plans to continue to grow the defense budget, while reining in spending overall.... AND fixing those holes in the safety net.

    Seriously! I wish someone would answer that question.

  •  Let him run on that. Let him go to the people and (0+ / 0-)

    try to make a case for staying in Afghanistan until ... what? The cows come home by themselves? Hell freezes over? The Second Coming? No, that's this December.

    "Mistress of the Topaz" is now available in paperback! Link here: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-55404-900-8

    by Kimball Cross on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 01:38:55 PM PST

  •  The left needs to put its own criticisms wrt (0+ / 0-)

    Afghanistan in perspective.

    Andrew Sullivan, yes a "conservative", but having loudly pushed the "left's" attitudes wrt the administration's Afghanistan policy wrote an interestig piece today:

    Change You Can Believe In: Two Wars Ended

    It seems so so long ago, when Barack Obama decided to throw his highly improbable hat into the ring of the 2008 election cycle. But back then, before we knew how deeply Wall Street would cripple the global economy with its recklessness, the primary issue that dominated politics and that made his victory possible was the Iraq war - and to a lesser extent, the Afghanistan war. He pledged to end one and win the other. By any secure metric, he has done both.

    I remain staggered by this achievement and doubted it from the get-go. I assumed that we could not get out of Iraq without a civil war breaking out and harassing our departing troops. I feared that Obama's Afghanistan surge was a dreadful error that would make ending the war impossible.

    ...
    ...

    It goes on from there, talks about how the goals of the adminstration were narrowed and largely achieved, contrary to the predictions of the critics that predicted endless futility/quagmire/etc.

  •  In this kind of war, which we are fighting for (0+ / 0-)

    someone else, not for ourselves - bullshit rhetoric to the contrary notwithstanding - I think announcing the time you will pull out is not only defensible, it's brilliant!

    Karzai-rella now knows exactly how long he has before his chariot turns into a pumpkin.

    He will either bust his ass building a viable defense force (unlikely) or he will reach a political settlement with the Taliban, Pakistan, whoever (most likely).

    Will the Taliban take over?  Probably.   Romney:  Omigod! Omigod! Omigod!

    But that's no longer our problem.  We did everything we could to help a corrupt government uncorrupt itself and it didn't work.  If the Taliban takes over after we leave, it doesn't make any difference, because they would have taken over if we were there for 50 years.These people don't forget and they don't give up.  

    Unfortunately, if the Afghans want freedom, they have to fight and die for it just like the rest of us.  They.  Not us. You can install governments for someone else, but it doesn't take much to uninstall them.

    On the other hand I would imagine that we could make the Taliban's life hell with air support alone.  It's one thing to have to hunt them down in the mountains, and something else altogether when they are sitting in government ministry buildings.

    I think they know this, and contrary to popular belief, their leaders don't want to die any more than anyone else.  Oh, yes, they can convince the religiously deluded to die in glory for Allah, but when was the last time you saw a Zawahiri or a Mullah Omar strap on a suicide vest?

    Pulling out on a definite date is the best thing that could happen to us and for that matter to the Afghans, because we kill more of them by accident than the Taliban could ever kill on purpose.

    What'd the devil give you for your soul, Tommy? He taught me to play this here guitar REAL good. Oh son, for that you traded your everlastin' soul? Well, I wuddn' usin' it.

    by ZedMont on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 03:37:59 PM PST

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