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NY Times:
The Obama administration is debating a more robust intervention in Syria, including possible American airstrikes, in a significant escalation of its weeks-long military assault on the Islamic extremist group that has destabilized neighboring Iraq and killed an American journalist, officials said Friday.

While President Obama has long resisted being drawn into Syria’s bloody civil war, officials said recent advances by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria had made clear that it represents a threat to the interests of the United States and its allies. The beheading of James Foley, the American journalist, has contributed to what officials called a “new context” for a challenge that has long divided the president’s team.

Officials said the options include speeding up and intensifying limited American efforts to train and arm moderate Syrian rebel forces that have been fighting both ISIS as well as the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Another option would be to bolster other partners on the ground to take on ISIS, including the Syrian Kurds.

It's likely that any president, D or R would now (after the beheading of an American journalist) find themselves in the same position: justifying an increased involvement to counter ISIS at a time the public wants none of it. We can only hope that a reluctance to go to war keeps us at the minimal level it takes to deal with this growing crisis. Rest assured Republicans who always wanted to bomb anything and everything are going to see this as exoneration of their position. Why the folks who got us into Iraq will be taken at all seriously is one of life's enduring mysteries.

WaPo:

The Obama administration is considering seeking congressional authorization for military action against the Islamic State under a revamped counter­terrorism strategy President Obama announced last year.

A mandate from Congress could provide domestic legal justification for the unlimited use of force against the Sunni Muslim group across Iraq and Syria, a senior administration official said. Congress last formally authorized such action in 2001, against al-Qaeda and its associates, and 2002, against Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

Given the gravity of the issue, it's even possible (though not likely) the press will give up on its idiotic obsession with Obama's vacation. I mean, this is all happening even though Obama's playing golf for a few hours. Imagine that. Well, good thing he didn't decide to play canasta or mah jongg.

More politics and policy below the fold.

LA Times:

Infuriated by Foley's grisly death, Obama is considering all options that might protect Americans from a threat that could reach the United States and other Western nations, a top advisor said, insisting that the president wouldn't be "restricted by borders."

"If you come after Americans, we're going to come after you wherever you are," said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor. "And that's what's going to guide our planning in the days to come."

So far, the U.S. air campaign against Islamic State has been contained to Iraq, where the group's stunningly fast takeover of a large swath of the country's north and west led Obama to order more than 90 airstrikes this month, reviving the American military presence in Iraq.

If Obama targets the militants in Syria, he'll be doing so in response to a direct threat to Americans, Rhodes said.

SF Chronicle:
At the heart of President Obama's quandary over the Islamic State militants is their haven in Syria.

The president may continue helping Iraqi forces try to reverse the group's land grabs in northern Iraq by providing more arms and American military advisers and by using U.S. warplanes to support Iraqi ground operations.

But what if the militants pull back, even partially, into Syria and regroup, as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday predicted they would, followed by a renewed offensive?

"In a sense, you're just sort of back to where you were" before they swept into Iraq, said Robert Ford, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria who quit in February in disillusionment over Obama's unwillingness to arm moderate Syrian rebels.

"I don't see how you can contain the Islamic State over the medium term if you don't address their base of operations in Syria," he said in an interview before an intensified round of U.S. air strikes this week helped Kurdish and Iraqi forces recapture a Tigris River dam near Mosul that had fallen under control of Islamic State militants.

On the other hand, Obama has been leery of getting drawn into the Syrian civil war, which began in 2011.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that the Islamic State militants can be contained only so long, and that at some point their Syrian sanctuary will have to be dealt with.

Reminder from WSJ why Syria's Assad is not our best bet here:
The Islamic State, which metastasized from a group of militants seeking to overthrow the Syrian government into a marauding army gobbling up chunks of the Middle East, gained momentum early on from a calculated decision by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to go easy on it, according to people close to the regime.

Earlier in the three-year-old Syrian uprising, Mr. Assad decided to mostly avoid fighting the Islamic State to enable it to cannibalize the more secular rebel group supported by the West, the Free Syrian Army, said Izzat Shahbandar, an Assad ally and former Iraqi lawmaker who was Baghdad's liaison to Damascus. The goal, he said, was to force the world to choose between the regime and extremists.

NPR:
President Obama said Wednesday that the Islamic State is a cancer that threatens all governments in the Middle East. But that raises the question of what the U.S. could or should do.

Two former U.S. ambassadors to Syria, Robert Ford and Ryan Crocker, have advocated different approaches to a conflict where there are many different options. But none is appealing and there's no guarantee, or even a likelihood that U.S. action would ultimately determine the outcome.

Ford, who stepped down from the post in February, has wanted the U.S. to do more to arm moderate rebels, who are battling both President Bashar Assad's regime and Islamic State militants.

Crocker, on the other hand, has long argued that the Assad regime may be bad, but it doesn't pose nearly the same threat compared with the Islamic State, which previously called itself the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

"I am no apologist for the Assad regime. I was there under father [Hafez Assad] and son [Bashar Assad]," says Crocker, who served as ambassador to Syria from 1998-2001. "They are a brutal bunch of bastards, without question. But in terms of our security, ISIS is by far the largest threat.

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Comment Preferences

  •  U.S. Isn’t Sure Just How Much to Fear ISIS (27+ / 0-)

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

    by Greg Dworkin on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 04:36:58 AM PDT

  •  If Obama and the DOD are gonna (41+ / 0-)

    drone innocent people to death against our wishes, it would at least make more sense to drone those bastards in ISIS.

    Just because we never should have gone to Iraq and should have left afghanistan ages ago doesn't mean we dont need to destroy a completely genuine threat.

    Although a better solution would be to send America's most violent macho cops.

    I figure wussies like ISIS would wet themselves to learn the Ferguson PD has been sent to get them.

    Game over, dudes

    •  .. (27+ / 0-)
      Major Strasser: How about New York?
      Rick: Well there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn't advise you to try to invade.
      -- Casablanca

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 04:40:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hear you (13+ / 0-)

      See Chuck Hagel on my teevee telling me to be very afraid of ISIS and I have a visceral reaction of rejecting any military involvement whatsoever. Anywhere, ever again.

      Just because we never should have gone to Iraq and should have left afghanistan ages ago doesn't mean we dont need to destroy a completely genuine threat.
    •  The threats keep on coming... (10+ / 0-)
      While President Obama has long resisted being drawn into Syria’s bloody civil war, officials said recent advances by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria had made clear that it represents a threat to the interests of the United States and its allies.

      The interests of the United States and its allies - AKA big banks / big business. No?

      ”If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” ~ Dalai Lama

      by third Party please on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:19:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "We" MUST include more than just OUR nation (8+ / 0-)

      And it cannot be some flimsy, PR-created "Coalition of the Willing" that "features" Bhutan, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Kingdom of Tonga.

      It's going to take a lot of time (8-20 months?) and sadly MANY more high profile, horrific deaths and atrocities for enough of the "Civilized World" to resolve to meaningfully confront ISIL/ISIS. And the "Civilized World" may well include Iran and an Assad-led Syria.

       Are the NeoCons prepared to embrace something other than "going it alone?" I doubt it, but by the time the required coalition is assembled, they will seamlessly shift to "this was 'OUR' idea all along, and 'WE' would have made it happen much sooner"...or something.

      Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:19:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yup! We need to talk to Iran (7+ / 0-)

        They have serious pull in both Iraq (Shiite majority section in particular) AND Syria. They could really help us out here.

        While we're at it, maybe we could work out our other issues with them. The new government has indicated it wants improved relations with us. Hell, the Iranian people poured out into the streets to support us on 9/11 & provided us with intel when we went after the Taliban. IIRC they even wanted to cut a deal with us before W opened his stupid cakehole with that "Axis of Evil" horseshit.

        So if we play our cards right, we take out ISIS and we make peace with Iran.

        It probably won't happen because the very serious people who were wrong about everything else won't like it. They will feel an overwhelming desire to make us do the wrong thing here too.

        A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

        by METAL TREK on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 06:57:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Talk? SURE, but what you imply is insane... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sky Captain

          ...
          The PEOPLE of Iran are not the issue - they nearly had an "Arab Spring" a year or so ago - but their government is an Islamic Fundamentalist State. There's not going to be ANY peace between the West and Iran until the next Iranian revolution takes place - and the people actually win this next time.

          If you're suggesting the leaders in Iran be against the ISIS group taking over, well, that argument can likely only be made on the basis of intra-Islamic sect conflict, which is highly nuanced and not easily  understood by those without a dog in the fight. But if you're going to convince me (or anyone with any strategic sense) of your plan, THAT is where you have to focus your argument.

          Change the charter of corporations to serve the public interest BEFORE fiduciary concerns. 100% of Republicans and HALF the Dems are AGAINST We The People. We need TRUE Progressives, NOT Republican-Lite Dems - like Hillary, Pelosi, Feinstein...

          by RTIII on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:19:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Talking with them and working out a deal (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            liberte

            is preferable to going back in guns blazing, like some others are suggesting. It might also be better than doing nothing (though if it came down to a simple choice of more or war or nothing, I PERSONALLY would go for the latter; but it seems there ARE more choices than those two).

            I'm no fan of the Iranian government either, but the simple fact is they have significant power & influence in the region and they hate ISIS just as much, or even more, than we do (ISIS is also a bigger threat to them than it is to us).

            Using your logic we shouldn't have worked with Stalin in WW2 because he was also a brutal tyrant. Sometimes you work with people you don't like to achieve a mutual goal.

            As JFK said, "We should never negotiate out of fear but we should never fear to negotiate" (or something like that).

            Maybe I am wrong but I don't think we have anything to lose by talking to people, and that includes the Iranians. Bombing the shit out of them doesn't seem to have worked.

            A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

            by METAL TREK on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 08:20:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  We are already dealing with Iran (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RTIII, Egalitare

            and I would be amazed if various US spy agencies were not already cooperating with their counterparts in Iran. Lots goes on that we never hear about and may never hear about. Countries don't have permanent friends, just permanent interests. We cooperated closely with the USSR in WW2 even though we deeply opposed communism.

            Our real problem in the region is Saudi Arabia and its support of Salafism, an extremely intolerant form of Islam. ISIS comes directly out of this ideology and the USA should name Saudi Arabia a state sponsor of terrorism. It is Saudi (and Qatari) money that is funding a lot of the terrorism in Syria and Iraq, as well as the activities of extremist clerics throughout the world. It's high time we confronted the Saudis over this.

            Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

            by Anne Elk on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 08:50:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The people in Iran will only win NEXT time (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gffish

            ..if they tell the religious establishment to go fuck themselves, AND they separate church and state. That would be an amazing first-a Muslim-believing country displacing religion and telling it to deal with the 21st century and the secular world rather than let it be dictating what's to be done. But I doubt that it will ever happen.

            •  This already happened 90 years ago (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              codairem

              Mustafa Kemal is displeased with your forgetfulness.

              And when you think about it, the center of what was once a legit caliphate forming a secular republic, what happened in Turkey in the '20s was extremely impressive.

              "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." - Barack Obama

              by anshmishra on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 12:33:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Don't forget Poland! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Egalitare

        I'm sure the outriggers full of coconuts Palau sent were appreciated, but....

    •  Ferguson PD would run like the Iraqi army did... (8+ / 0-)

      from ISIS.  Too easy to murder an unarmed, defenseless black kid, and to abuse protesting citizens, and to harass journalists.  But too hard to actually face off against a force that could fight back.

    •  Agree on taking out ISIS but not with those idi... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sky Captain, gffish

      Agree on taking out ISIS but not with those idiots in the Ferguson PD, they couldn't plan a one car parade and it would be too hard for them to distinguish who the bad guys are when they all have the same color skin.

    •  Ferguson cops prefer their victims unarmed. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gffish

      "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

      by ImpeachKingBushII on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:38:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As does ISIS (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sky Captain

        James FOley and the Yazidis because they and they alone are on the true mission from Dog.

        It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before... Richard P. Feynman

        by TerryDarc on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:43:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  hmmmm (34+ / 0-)
    I serve a God who answers prayers – Brantly, Ebola survivor. It helps if you’re praying in a well-equipped hospital with ZMAPP drugs.
    @DrDamages

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

    by Greg Dworkin on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 04:39:00 AM PDT

  •  The ISIS should be dealt (5+ / 0-)

    with by the people of the region. Americans going in there is too much like a bad dream/Groundhog Day. I think we should provide arms and air support, but this thing needs to be stamped out by the people themselves. And they can if the have the resources.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 04:42:45 AM PDT

    •  they can't if they don't have the will (7+ / 0-)

      see regular iraqi army.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 04:43:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Like the Nazis in eastern Europe. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sylv

        Lining people up beside mass graves and killing them all.
        Lovely people, these.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:23:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If they don't have the will (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gffish, onionjim, codairem

        How they hell are "we" going to save them?

        I mean, it's just a situation just inviting one strongman usurper after another...

        Who could have foreseen?

        I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

        Trust, but verify. - Reagan
        Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

        by Words In Action on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:12:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  ISIS is making $3 million a day off oil (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OHdog, ivorybill, gffish

      They are huge and a real military needs to deal with them.

      I'd simply let special operations do what they do best: no real need of an "invasion'.

      ISIS just needs to be [kosacted].

      •  Can we stop the flow of oil? n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        liberte
      •  Cheney and the Neoclowns Win (8+ / 0-)

        The warmongers, war profiteers wanted permanent war on terra  in the middle east; it appears they succeeded.

        Here we are, six years after the main liars who got us into the war left office, free to pursue second careers as painters or whatever; we're still embroiled in the expensive, FUBAR quagmire.

        Not long ago the talking bobbleheads were claiming al Qaeda was "on the run", their leadership destroyed and thus less of a threat. While this "success" was going on, the continuing civil war in Syria and the U.S. recommended leader of Iraq, al Maliki, failed to create a new unified government made up of Shiites, Sunni, Kurds, etc. led to the vacuum easily exploited by ISIL.

        Now we have an even worse than al Qaeda Frankenstein monster running amok, "threatening U.S. interests in the region". None of the U.S. military people commenting on the mess have stated ISIL can be defeated solely by airstrikes.

        Even if we did for the most part destroy ISIL via airstrikes, why should I or anyone believe the monster won't simply morph again into something worse?

        when does this END?

        "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

        by Superpole on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 06:26:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  hard pressed (0+ / 0-)

          to come up with much worse than ISIS.

          Guess what, bad people never end. It ends at some point in the far distant future when war and anger and hate don't exist.

          Until that far distant time, we will always have to be prepared to defend others from the really bad people. Sucks absolutely, but the alternative is turning your back on the rest of the world.

          You know bad things happen in this world that either have nothing to do with us, or would have happened regardless of what we did.

          We could keep every single American inside our borders, stop all trade, stop all contact with the world, and guess what 10 years, 20 years, 100 years from now there would still be evil and killing and bad groups out there.

        •  When does this end? (0+ / 0-)

          With proper intelligence, great police work, and that would be it. Nothing else besides and other a military strike by the SEALS/GSG-9/Delta Force/SAS, etc. is needed-sure as fuck NOT the CYA security that we have in North American airports now.

    •  Well, if we go in with planes and drones (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      METAL TREK

      into Syria, we will essentially be establishing a no-fly zone because we won't want to have to worry about the Syrian air force shooting down our planes. That may also mean some action against Syrian AA and radar capability on the ground.
      That means we have to deal with Hezbollah/Iran and Russia on some level.
      If we can manage that then we may be able to open up some battered areas of Syria to humanitarian relief.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:42:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My understanding is that ISIS has plenty of (6+ / 0-)

      arms--ours and Russia's. The Iraqis and Kurds should too, given how much we brought into and left in the area.  How do we know more arms won't eventually become available to the "bad guys du jour?"  This is the MIC's dream come true.

    •  and if they can't deal with them? (0+ / 0-)

      Then what? Too bad for them?

      Should we arm them? How is that any different than going in ourselves?

      Just because one historical bad administration used forces historically badly, does not mean that we are absolved of all obligation to help fellow humans under this threat.

      There are very few legit uses of military force, really only two: defense of self, and defense of others.

      To me, this strongly qualifies as defense of others. ISIS is a threat to the people of the entire region. Forget us, they are a threat to all sorts of groups of people who are looking to someone to save them, and that isn't going to be Syria, or Iraq, or Iran, or Saudi Arabia.

  •  I see Snotty Scotty is in the soup a bit deeper (12+ / 0-)

    than it first appeared. Seems a number of billionaires and wannabees like old dead orange rat on the head "The Donald" were getting lap dances from the Guv and filling his garter with money to fight the recall and to support destroying public sector unions. It should be clear now to everyone in this country that can fog a mirror that the .001% is out to screw the rest of us and get those kids back in the mines to pick clinkers out of their coal loads. Time to fight back tirelessly for as long as it takes. Their interest is in making the lives of most of our citizens third worldish so they can move their factories back to the States and be able to overlook their plantations from the porch while they sip mint juleps again.

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

  •  Attacking US not ISIS' 1st priority - for now (10+ / 0-)

    Judging on how rapidly their cause and ranks have grown, that priority will be sooner rather than later I'm afraid.

    As much as I am against intervention in Syria -- which undoubtedly will lead to war -- I am much more open to the discussion/probability than I would have thought possible.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 04:51:25 AM PDT

  •  I'm a lot more concerned about Ukraine (5+ / 0-)

    right now than IS.  But, ah well, we do enjoy our middle eastern wars.  European wars tend to get so very. . . messy.

    A drowning man can not learn to swim. -- Chris Lonsdale

    by Rikon Snow on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 04:55:37 AM PDT

  •  3 dimensional chess where crippling ISIS means (6+ / 0-)

    less pressure on the new Iraq government which undercuts the "Obama lost Iraq" cherleaders pressure to go back to Iraq to finish the job even though they can't define what that job really is or how would we know when it was finished (hint: never).

    Life is just a bowl of Cherries, that stain your hands and clothes and have pits that break your teeth.

    by OHdog on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:00:06 AM PDT

    •  If Obama attacks ISIL in Syria, it should be made (0+ / 0-)

      very clear to Assad that our fight is with ISIL, not Assad.

      As much as Assad may be despised, we cannot be drawn into that mess.

      Whether Assad is smart enough to follow that advice?  Who knows?  The egocentric bastard may just yank the tiger by the tail.

      I don't want to kill civilians, although I know that comes with the territory.  If Assad insists on poking his nose into an anti-ISIL campaign, I think we should start dropping the leaflets over Damascus, and give civilians as much warning to evacuate as humanly possible.

      Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

      by ZedMont on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 06:33:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Assad = Saddam Lite (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ZedMont

        And I mean that in the kindest possible way. Given that many people would trade the current bollixed up politics in Iraq for good ole Saddam in a moment.

        It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before... Richard P. Feynman

        by TerryDarc on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 08:18:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, Support Assad! GREAT PLAN! _not._ (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ZedMont

        If we did that, it'd be groundhog day all over again.

        Change the charter of corporations to serve the public interest BEFORE fiduciary concerns. 100% of Republicans and HALF the Dems are AGAINST We The People. We need TRUE Progressives, NOT Republican-Lite Dems - like Hillary, Pelosi, Feinstein...

        by RTIII on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 08:22:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hope you don't take my comment as advocating (0+ / 0-)

          support for Assad.  I agree with both of you.  I want to avoid Assad if at all possible.

          It's amazing to me that the people of Syria cannot focus on Assad as their enemy.  They have to kill each other while he watches.  Incredible.

          Who knows what will rise from the ashes of that place, no matter who prevails?

          Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

          by ZedMont on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 08:35:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You can't split this baby King Solomon style: (0+ / 0-)
            If Obama attacks ISIL in Syria, it should be made very clear to Assad that our fight is with ISIL, not Assad.
            So yes I absolutely took your comment as Pro-Assad because that's the practical outcome you advocate.

            Change the charter of corporations to serve the public interest BEFORE fiduciary concerns. 100% of Republicans and HALF the Dems are AGAINST We The People. We need TRUE Progressives, NOT Republican-Lite Dems - like Hillary, Pelosi, Feinstein...

            by RTIII on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 09:07:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Went to a workshop on Motivational Interviewing (7+ / 0-)

    yesterday and the lecturer, Dr. Bill Matulich started by showing this Ted Talk.

    Apparently I have been tying my shoes wrong my entire life....

    •  This appears to work!!...thanx!! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xxdr zombiexx, skohayes, TerryDarc
      •  The 'tie in" (thanks, I'll be here all week) (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skillet, Rikon Snow, skohayes

        was that a "small advantage one place is a huge advantage someplace else".

      •  Have been tying my shoes correctly for 5 years (0+ / 0-)

        and evangelizing the correct method shown by Terry Moore on TED.

        It's so neat, it's positively Zen: simple test (does your knotted lace tend to run the long axis, hence incorrect or did you learn to tie your laces properly?). And the fix is equally simple, just loop the other way round.

        Some people do but I did not knot correctly. Since then my shoes have been coming untied next to never. Great tip!

        It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before... Richard P. Feynman

        by TerryDarc on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 08:28:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  ha! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      klance801, AllTheWayWithLBJ85

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:49:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As a knotting evangelist I must say, knot true (0+ / 0-)

        If you look at others shoes, you will find some 50% of the population does it correctly. You can tell from the bow, pretty much.

        I'm sure these hapless souls blundered into this quite by accident. Much better and more Zen to understand and do it correctly.

        It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before... Richard P. Feynman

        by TerryDarc on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 08:30:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm left handed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jestbill

          comes naturally to me.

          "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

          by Greg Dworkin on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 09:08:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Me too, but I found a different denial system (0+ / 0-)

            I figured it's the mirror image problem. Mom who ties her shoes correctly faces her child and shows her/him how to do it in mirror image and wrong.

            Next generation gets a wrong-way Mom to teach her kids to do it right. Simple.

            It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before... Richard P. Feynman

            by TerryDarc on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 09:42:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wait, what's the buybull verse for correct shoe... (0+ / 0-)

              Wait, what's the buybull verse for correct shoe tying?

              •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
                Criss Cross and go under the bridge
                Then you got to pull it tight.
                Make a loop but keep a long tail
                That is how to do it right
                Then you take the other string
                and you wrap it 'round the loop
                Pull it through the hole
                Now you got the scoop

                Criss Cross and go under the bridge (this is where you tie the loops together)
                Now you made a Double Knot!!

                It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before... Richard P. Feynman

                by TerryDarc on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 03:08:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  North Carolina's short session nightmare is over.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, Egalitare, TerryDarc
    •  Lots of news about NC lately (4+ / 0-)

      North Carolina GOP finds appalling new level of anti-democratic treachery
      -Diary from Adam Bonin on GOP plan to stymie lawsuits against their extremist legislation.

      After passing laws imposing new conditions on abortions and elections, taking away teacher tenure and providing vouchers for private school tuition, Republican state legislators have seen those policies stymied in state and federal courtrooms.
      So they have passed another law, this one making those kinds of lawsuits less likely to succeed when filed in state court. Beginning in September, all constitutional challenges to laws will be heard by three-judge trial court panels appointed by the chief justice of the state Supreme Court.
      Tea Party Kills Job Creation In North Carolina
      -GOP cuts funding for tax incentives for movie making in North Carolina
      ushback from Tea Party ideologues who oppose all forms of tax incentives that favor one industry over another is largely responsible for the growing trend. That’s especially true in red states whose legislatures or state houses are dominated by fiscal conservatives — as is the case in North Carolina. “The Tea Party faction played a huge role,” said an entertainment-industry source familiar with the situation in the state. “It’s not just about film incentives; it’s about an anti-government spending philosophy across the board.”

      Image (2) Iron-Man-3__140102215039-275x154.jpg for post 657174Beginning January 1, North Carolina will replace its 25% refundable tax credit with a $10 million competitive grant program, capped at $5 million per production. Funding for the program will be cut from $60 million a year to $10 million. The MPAA had urged NC legislators to continue funding at current levels, which the trade association says was responsible for more than 12,000 jobs in the state (including more than 3,000 production jobs) and more than $538 million in wages from production and distribution-related jobs.

      If trees gave off WIFi signals, we would probably plant so many trees, we would save the planet. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.

      by skohayes on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:36:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If President Obama... (0+ / 0-)

    were to decide to 'take on' ISIL in some form inside of Syria's boarders, (shy of boots on the ground), what effect would that have on the civil war there, Assad's relationship with ISiL?
    Could our ramped-up intervention destabilize Assad's regime to the breaking point?
    If so,that would make further intervention a bit easier to swallow.

    "These 'Yet To Be' United States" --James Baldwin-- -6.75, -5.78

    by kevinbr38 on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:09:38 AM PDT

    •  I forgot to add... (5+ / 0-)

      that I admire and appreciate the restraint the President has shown thus far.

      "These 'Yet To Be' United States" --James Baldwin-- -6.75, -5.78

      by kevinbr38 on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:26:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I want to avoid any military conflict with Assad (6+ / 0-)

        as is humanly possible.  We've already seen what happens when you overthrow a dictator in the middle east.

        I have asked myself many, many times, would the world be a better place if Saddam Hussein had been left in place?  Hell, forget the world, would Iraq be a better place?

        It would be far from perfect, and a human rights nightmare, but I can't imagine it being worse for Iraq or the world than what we got from invading Iraq.

        Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

        by ZedMont on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 06:38:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ZedMont, TerryDarc

          with you.
          Btw,
          Great tag line.

          "These 'Yet To Be' United States" --James Baldwin-- -6.75, -5.78

          by kevinbr38 on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:05:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  WHO is "you?" (0+ / 0-)
          We've already seen what happens when you overthrow a dictator in the middle east.
          No, darling, you're misguided.

          What we've seen is when an OUTSIDE POWER succeeds in overthrowing a dictator.

          What we have NOT seen is when you overthrow you're OWN dictator, which is what the civil war in Syria is all about.

          Get With The Program!

          Change the charter of corporations to serve the public interest BEFORE fiduciary concerns. 100% of Republicans and HALF the Dems are AGAINST We The People. We need TRUE Progressives, NOT Republican-Lite Dems - like Hillary, Pelosi, Feinstein...

          by RTIII on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 08:29:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, really? It seems to me that the civil war in (0+ / 0-)

            Syria is about Assad's enemies killing each other as fast as they can, rather than focusing on their common enemy.

            I'm not misguided, and I'm nobody's "darling."

            Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

            by ZedMont on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 08:40:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your comments read like you don't know the first (0+ / 0-)

              thing about what's happening in Syria today.

              SIMPLE question: How did this war - civil or not - start?

              If you knew the answer you likely wouldn't have made your "what happens" comment I cited in my previous comment to you.

              Or maybe you're just incompetent with English? Second Language perhaps? The issue is the meaning of the word "you."

              Change the charter of corporations to serve the public interest BEFORE fiduciary concerns. 100% of Republicans and HALF the Dems are AGAINST We The People. We need TRUE Progressives, NOT Republican-Lite Dems - like Hillary, Pelosi, Feinstein...

              by RTIII on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 09:11:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Better the dictator you know (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ZedMont

          that the cobbled together faux-democracy we got in Iraq, e.g.

          It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before... Richard P. Feynman

          by TerryDarc on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 08:39:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  UK re cooperation with Assad: (8+ / 0-)

      "Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has ruled out working with Syria's President Assad to defeat the threat from Islamic State (IS) militants."

      He goes on (I'm paraphrasing because I don't have a transcript:

      "We may find that we are aligned against a common enemy but that doesn't make us friends with someone, it doesn't make us able to trust them, it does make us able to work with them, and it would poison what we are trying to achieve in separating moderate Sunni opinion from the poisonous ideology of ISIL if we were to align ourselves with Assad."  Here.

      I'm sure this subtleties will be lost on McCain.

      A drowning man can not learn to swim. -- Chris Lonsdale

      by Rikon Snow on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:34:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Broken regimes don't result in stability. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZedMont, Sunspots

      In fact, the power vacuum can be a lot worse than the broken regime.  We can all rather quickly generate a list of areas that have descended into chaos after the physical and political infrastructure is demolished.  Or another authoritarian regime may flourish.

  •  The I heart Ferguson campaign (6+ / 0-)

    kicked off Friday night - a group called the "Table of Knowledge" came up with the idea of putting up I heart Ferguson yard signs to show people how great their town is - good synopsis of the meeting in the New Yorker. I think it was the mayor discussing this with Chris Hayes as they walked through an obviously affluent part of town, with the signs planted in huge green yards. I don't know, the idea of a group of wealthy white residents trying to come up with a plan to change the "image" of their town seems pretty ridiculous (marketing is the least of their problems) but who knows. At least they are trying I guess - it seems one in the crowd gets it.

    Eventually, a white woman said, “We’re having all these lovely ideas, but … we have a part of our community that is feeling oppressed. They feel unheard. They feel uninformed. They do not feel included.” She suggested redrawing the town’s political wards to create more representation on the city council.
    http://www.newyorker.com/...
  •  Elizabeth Warren disavows "Ready for Warren PAC" (5+ / 0-)

    Warren's attorney writes to FEC formally disavowing "Ready for Warren PAC".

    http://www.scribd.com/...

    Now commenting as Eric Eitreim aka ratcityreprobate.

    by ratcityreprobate on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:13:34 AM PDT

  •  This is good news for John McCain! (14+ / 0-)

    Seriously, I anticipate herds of Republicans falling all over themselves getting in front of Fox News cameras to say that attacking Syria is a terrible idea and they would have done it sooner.

  •  the cycle continues (4+ / 0-)

    http://www.alternet.org/...

    Someday maybe we'll treat smaller arms like nuclear arms and there can be a movement to reduce their production all around the world.

    •  We're awash in arms, here at home, (6+ / 0-)

      and in the rest of the world.  As I said in another comment, the MIC's dream come true.

    •  do we have a coalition of the willing or does the (0+ / 0-)

      USG act alone? And if so, why?

      I just listened to Barbara Lee on MSNBC who stated congress must be involved in any decision for further involvement. I agree with that.

      But where are our usual allies and what steps are they taking? Is the UK ready this time to attack Syria? Where are the European countries on this?

      It cannot be the USG acting alone.

      from your link, Harry....

      Iraq is now fragmented, with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria imposing its harsh rule on communities in northern Iraq and executing those they see as un-Islamic.

      But it wasn’t just that ISIS strong-armed its way through these communities. It was helped along by disaffected Sunnis and former members of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Some Sunnis welcomed ISIS’ rule because they thought it was a way to get rid of Maliki’s deeply sectarian reign.

      The combination of some Sunni support  for the group and the American-made weapons it captured helped ISIS take over parts of Iraq.

      The U.S. military is now stepping up airstrikes and arming Kurdish militias to attempt to defeat a monster they helped create and which is the ongoing recipient of funding from U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

      _______________The DOD/ War Department, which consumes 22% of the national budget, is the world's largest employer with 3.2 million employees.

      by allenjo on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 06:49:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Syrian "civil war" (3+ / 0-)

    I'm beginning to wonder what the Hell is going on in Syria.

    With ISIS/ISIL/DAFFODIL/BITTER PILL/WHAT'S THAT, BILL? in the equation, is it really a civil war?  There seem to be a lot of non-Syrian combatants there, including British assassins.

    As the Assad government allowing ISIS to operate? Do they have a choice? Would "moderate rebels", assuming there is such a thing, be able to make a meaningful dent on ISIS's capabilities?

    Place is a mess.
    If there is something for us to do, what is it?
    Is it something we can do? Is it something we must do?
    And...why us?
    Or, at least, why us alone?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:21:30 AM PDT

  •  Is mission creep less likely in this case? (8+ / 0-)

    Perhaps because ISIS really are the set of irredeemably evil bastards that we were always told that (Omar, Saddam 1, Saddam 2, Ho Chi Minh, Ortega...) were, I find myself oddly open to the idea of the US taking them on.

    A declaration of war isn't even necessary, since the "Islamic State" is, at least so far, nothing like a sovereign state.

    Obama doesn't seem to be contemplating boots on the ground, except where they're already in place to protect our own assets like embassies. The question is whether any mission begun now will escalate as others have, and end up with "advisors" and boots on the ground.

    It doesn't seem like ISIS can be dismantled by military action, least of all by US military action. So far their greatest asset has been the fear inspired by their cruelty and inhumanity; but those also inspire universal revulsion, even among Sunni state actors who were relatively blase about Al Qaeda (because it's dawning on them that none of them are pure enough not to be ISIS targets.) So long as the US can keep a low enough profile, theirs cannot become an insurgency with serious support among the general populace.

    It feels like the most promising line of action then is to engage just enough to hold them at bay, until that revulsion catches up with them. That would mean providing arms to Kurds and to the elusive "moderate opposition" in Syria, and providing air support.

    The latter unfortunately will work only where ISIS is physically isolated from the population - where they've formed an attack front, or are simply overconfident. They'll learn quickly how to hide behind civilians, and then it's a stalemate. A stalemate, unless we are foolish enough to start bombing with the old attitude that we just have to accept a lot of collateral damage. If we do that, they appear to enough people to be the lesser of two evils, begin garnering support, and they win. The only hope of actually defeating them would lie in accepting such a stalemate, and letting our proxies do the close-in work. And that would be only a hope, not a guarantee.

    The GOP would make any President who adopted such a "keep our fingerprints off it, and wait for them to collapse" strategy pay an enormous political price.  I'd like another four years of Obama. I think he's got a cool enough head to withstand that political pressure. I very much doubt that Hillary has it.

    Hm. I appear to be talking myself into "Yes, there is a viable but chancy strategy to win without mission creep. It's a strategy that would have to be maintained for several years. US politics will not allow the viable strategy to be maintained. Therefore, if we widen military action now, a quagmire is in practical terms inevitable."

    Makes me feel just a little paralyzed.

    The real USA Patriot Act was written in 1789. It's called the Bill of Rights.

    by nicteis on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:30:10 AM PDT

    •  my goal for today (12+ / 0-)

      is to get us thinking and talking about this and work out what we want to do and maybe even where we stand.

      Won't be easy. There are many conflicting impulses.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:32:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No solution with a reasonable chance of (10+ / 0-)

        success presents itself to me.  I dish out my share of criticism of what Obama has and hasn't done during his 6 years in office, but he's got a whole plate full of intractable problems right now.  No matter what he does, it will be wrong in some respect.  What a burden.

        •  it's a good excuse for rapprochement and diplomacy (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sunspots, VeggiElaine, I love OCD, tb mare

          between the US and the nations affected. We used to hope democracy might spread that way.

          •  I dont think (0+ / 0-)

            ISIS is interested in democracy.

            Democracy doesn't spread everywhere.

            You can't grow flowers in Salt Lake.

            •  I'm talking about diplomacy with (0+ / 0-)

              the other nations affected by ISIS in the region. Syria and Iran, for instance.

              But I disagree with the idea that there are many people who aren't vitally interested in their own governance. Maybe if we weren't perpetually salting the earth with weapons and bombs, democracy would find better growing environs.

              •  not everyone values (0+ / 0-)

                freedom or democracy, some value religious beliefs, some value security, some are too busy not dying or feeding themselves to spend time thinking about any of it.

                And no, the world would be just as evil without us, as with us, we are not the source of all ill in the world, people were killing each other before we came along, and will do so after we leave.

                •  and why are they worried about dying? (0+ / 0-)

                  or feeding themselves? If you ignore the role American imperialism has played in many recent crises, you are very deluded. I seem to remember someone named Mossadegh whose interest in democracy was subverted by...someone or other. But the Iranians were just more interested in religion, right?

                  •  for a whole host of reasons (0+ / 0-)

                    that boil down to a wee bit more than "America = all bad in the world."

                    American actions have a ROLE in some things, in other things they don't. Even where they have a role in some bad things, there are other things that have a role as well.

                    EVEN in areas where America is the sole source of evil or wrong or whatever you want to label it, all that does is reinforce the need to rectify past ills, and that does not equal "retreat to our borders and self-flagellate."

                    Iranians are interested in multiple things. Yes, religion is one of those things. Iran is patently not a democracy. They've had 30+ years of independence from "American meddling" to become a great, free democracy. They haven't. Places like Vietnam are more democratic and free and the level of ill/evil/influence from us there is far greater than Iran.

                    Are you saying even today, we are stopping them? I don't think so.

                    You don't have solutions to the world's ills, you just have America is evil repeated ad infinitum which solves nada.

                    •  not interested in strawmen (0+ / 0-)

                      If you have to do that to what I've said, I don't think you're particularly interested in a real discussion here.

                      •  yes strawmen (0+ / 0-)

                        like "ignore the role American imperialism has played...you are deluded" when I said nothing of the sort.

                        Like that strawman?

                        Of course you don't think I'm interested in a real discussion, because it's only real if I fully accept your premise/argument, which is ridiculously one-sided and completely predicated on America is bad, so America shouldn't be involved in any solutions other than removing itself so that all good things can happen.

                        •  yep (0+ / 0-)
                          And no, the world would be just as evil without us, as with us
                          That seems like an attempt to ignore the role American imperialism has played to me. Claiming that people aren't interested in democracy when it has been US policy to subvert their attempts at it all over the globe is cruel and disingenuous.

                          The United States is fairly unique in history when it comes to the extent of our meddling. And no, "someone else would have done it if we hadn't" is not a valid defense. You're a lawyer, you should know better.

                          •  yeah (0+ / 0-)

                            just as I thought, you're one of those, America is the source of all evil folks with whom it's pointless to discuss anything with.

                            History shows plenty of examples of countries that "meddled" as much if not more than us globally from Great Britain, France and Spain, to the Roman Empire and the Soviet Union.

                            There is not a ton "fairly unique" about us in regards to other large superpowers in human history, a mix of bad good and indifferent.

                    •  Vietnam is more democratic? (0+ / 0-)

                      I mean, I get what you're getting at, and that's true. American actions do have a huge effect all over, and we need to rectify our errors.

                      I just have to say that in Iran, they elect an (admittedly not too powerful president, subservient to Khamenei)

                      In Vietnam, as in the other remaining Communist states, the Communists rule with an iron, unforgiving fist, slowly interjecting elements of state capitalism and corporatocracy.

                      "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." - Barack Obama

                      by anshmishra on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 12:43:10 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  from my pov (0+ / 0-)

      they can be decimated enough by constant pressure, air strikes, drones, perhaps some secret special forces attacks, that the rest of the region becomes much more able to finish them off.

      They have some substantial technical advantages right now that can be taken out by air power and SF.  

      You aren't going to take out all of the individual members with air strikes, but if they are hiding and afraid to mass in numbers, then they become vulnerable to local forces.

  •  Al Qaeda Needs To Be Communicated With (4+ / 0-)

    As well as the Saudis who are financing ISIS.

    The Qaeda hates ISIS for their own reasons (power) and might finally be at a point where they can be reasoned with on some level. Maybe not out-and-out negotiation but something that will soften their stance against the West in exchange for certain quiet concessions about the region -- like distancing ourselves from Saudi Arabia.

    Iran will have to be negotiated with and there will have to be some understanding that we recognize them as the legitimate power in the region. Long term goal of demilitarizing the Palestinian threat to Israel in exchange for direct and open support of the political, peace-seeking faction of Fatah (or their successor). Israel might be a problem because the Neo-Cons simply want to exterminate the Palestinians and expand Israeli territory. That too shall pass when the $$$ is put on the line.

    The Saudis are a problem. The millionaires and billionaires who are financing ISIS need a real talking to. That might mean some of them take long walks in the desert with no food or water.

    And as the song and dance begins, the children play at home with needles, needles and pins.

    by The Lone Apple on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:34:37 AM PDT

    •  well (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Lone Apple

      AQ doesn't have the power or influence to do anything, and ISIS is beyond needing Saudi funding anymore.

      I don't think Iran is going to commit the forces needed to take out ISIS unless/until they become a threat to Iran, and at that point, boy that entire region is in big trouble.

  •  New Yorker cover (16+ / 0-)

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

    by Greg Dworkin on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:36:14 AM PDT

  •  The only way to persuade the public to get more (11+ / 0-)

    involved in the war in the middle east is to make us afraid that they will attack us here at home.

    How are they going to do that? Pack up their army and board a plane?

    They can send individuals theoretically as the 9/11 gang did, but they cannot send their army. The best they can do is to try to provoke us into sending our army to them.

    We shouldn't fall for that old gambit, and we shouldn't let our politicians fall for it either. Whatever happens there will be a tragedy no matter we do or don't do.

    But the worst thing we can do is to provoke them to ever more terrible acts of war on themselves by getting involved with ground troops in Syria.

    •  How about legally deporting ISIS (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZedMont

      members and supporters living in the west as a first step? Here they are holding a rally in the Hague several weeks ago.

      https://www.youtube.com/...

    •  eh, just tell republicans (4+ / 0-)

      ISIS supports Common Core.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 06:05:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Falling for the old gambit" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sunspots, VeggiElaine

      right, the problem with the claim "ISIL is coming here to commit terrorist acts" is again, we're spending tens of billions of dollars per year on various security agencies whose job it is to STOP terrorists from getting into our country.

      the notion our security agencies can't protect us is nonsense. if it is in fact true, we have a much larger problem than terrorist groups operating in the middle east and elsewhere in the world.

      "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

      by Superpole on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 06:38:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  YMBK! (0+ / 0-)
      "But the worst thing we can do is to provoke them to ever more terrible acts of war"
      Yeah, sure!

      ISIS is Pure Evil. You apparently don't get that. If YOU had to live with them near by, you probably wouldn't live long at all.

      Change the charter of corporations to serve the public interest BEFORE fiduciary concerns. 100% of Republicans and HALF the Dems are AGAINST We The People. We need TRUE Progressives, NOT Republican-Lite Dems - like Hillary, Pelosi, Feinstein...

      by RTIII on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:41:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's an interesting article (15+ / 0-)

    I came across earlier this week:

    There's been a flood of local news stories in recent months about FBI raids on charter schools all over the country.
    From Pittsburgh to Baton Rouge, from Hartford to Cincinnatti to Albuquerque, FBI agents have been busting into schools, carting off documents and making arrests leading to high-profile indictments.
    The troubled Hartford charter school operator FUSE was dealt another blow Friday when FBI agents served it with subpoenas to a grand jury that is examining the group's operations. When two Courant reporters arrived at FUSE offices on Asylum Hill on Friday morning, minutes after the FBI's visit, they saw a woman feeding sheaves of documents into a shredder.
    The Hartford Courant, July 18, 2014
    The FBI has raided an Albuquerque school just months after the state started peering into the school's finances. KRQE News 13 learned federal agents were there because of allegations that someone may have been taking money that was meant for the classroom at the Southwest Secondary Learning Center on Candelaria, near Morris in northwest Albuquerque ...
    KRQE News 13, August 1 2014
    Wednesday evening's FBI raid on a charter school in East Baton Rouge is the latest item in a list of scandals involving the organization that holds the charter for the Kenilworth Science and Technology School. ... Pelican Educational Foundation runs the school and has ties to a family from Turkey. The school receives about $5,000,000 in local, state, and federal tax money. ... the FBI raided the school six days after the agency renewed the Baton Rouge school's charter through the year 2019.
    The Advocate, January 14, 2014
    It gets worse from there:
    The Con Artistry of Charter Schools

    If trees gave off WIFi signals, we would probably plant so many trees, we would save the planet. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.

    by skohayes on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:45:58 AM PDT

    •  Good article (12+ / 0-)

      I am conflicted on the issue. My now sixteen year old attended a local charter school and it changed her life. She spent 2 full years in deep study of human rights, one Africa, one WWII. She knows the UDHR like the back of her hand - my thought has always been to take the methods and curriculum to the public schools because it made a huge difference in how she views herself and her role in promoting the greater good in her community and around the world. But as a whole the charter school idea has been corrupted.

      Over the last decade, the charter school movement has morphed from a small, community-based effort to foster alternative education into a national push to privatize public schools, pushed by free-market foundations and big education-management companies. This transformation opened the door to profit-seekers looking for a way to cash in on public funds.
    •  That is an excellent article. (9+ / 0-)
      In 2010, Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp. has been an ALEC member, declared for-profit K-12 public education "a $500 billion sector in the U.S. alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed."
      What a big surprise...Not!

      As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

      by JaxDem on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 06:00:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's money to be made (8+ / 0-)
      Rebecca Fox Blair, a teacher who helped to found a small, alternative high school program in Monona, Wisconsin, says she was struck by the massive change in the charter school movement when she attended a national charter school conference recently.

      "It's all these huge operators, and they look down on schools like ours," she says. "They call us the 'mom and pop' schools."

      And for those who believe there is net good in the so-called Charter Movement, what dynamic(s) will facilitate "mom and pop" schools becoming the dominant model?

       

      Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 06:08:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Funny, I didn't hear any pundits criticizing (14+ / 0-)

    Dubya when he took 1,000 days of vacation over 8 years to "clear brush" offa his ranch.

    Given the gravity of the issue, it's even possible (though not likely) the press will give up on its idiotic obsession with Obama's vacation.
    Guess the rule is--don't take vacations while black if you're serving in public office? Wish the pundits would choke on their porridge.

    Thanks for the roundup, Greg!

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:48:55 AM PDT

    •  We "on the left" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare, Stude Dude, anshmishra

      didn't complain because we CORRECTLY figured that he'd do less damage to the USA and the world when he was away on vacation.

      -heavy-sigh-

      Change the charter of corporations to serve the public interest BEFORE fiduciary concerns. 100% of Republicans and HALF the Dems are AGAINST We The People. We need TRUE Progressives, NOT Republican-Lite Dems - like Hillary, Pelosi, Feinstein...

      by RTIII on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:44:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  IOK (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anshmishra

      IYAR

      It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before... Richard P. Feynman

      by TerryDarc on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 09:06:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For all the provocations to a new ground war (7+ / 0-)

    that Obama has faced in the last 6 years, his pattern is to avoid a "boots on the ground" war at almost all costs.  He, however, is singularly motivated by what appears to be or is genocide, having learned the lessons of the Holocaust and especially Rwanda...  This is what he means be not being opposed to all wars... The closest he's come to engaging in another entangling war is Syria - but whatever he does, he won't commit to another ground war without an act of Congress giving him authority, having learned the lessons of Vietnam.

    If this was Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton, we'd already be engaged in several new wars.  If this was Bill Clinton, he'd check with Dick Morris, and then he'd send one air strike.  If this was Reagan, he'd wag the dog and invade some small vacation island in the Caribbean with Seal Team 1-6s, Rangers, and Green Berets and declare it a glorious triumph over the Evil Empire.

    Barack Obama has shown singular resistance and restraint in the push for another "glorious" ground war somewhere, anywhere.  He has used tactical air strikes and, now, drones, and rescue missions as his use of military power.  Whether or not, long-term, this is the most effective means of protecting others or making your political will known without troop involvement remains to be seen, I think.  

    Bush W changed our national war policy by engaging in "First Strike" acts of war.  Until him, the US had retained a policy of counter-attack, not the aggressor, but the defender.  Obama has reversed the Bush W war policy anomaly and returned back to what was, arguably, our national war policy for over 200 years.  He sees our DoD as a Department of Defense, not a Rumsfeld Department of War.  Who and how gets "defended" is up for criticism, of course, but his frame is clear and consistent I think.  And ISIS, like McCain, has mistaken the lack of bombast and hyperbolic public pronouncements in this President's decisions to order military acts, for a lack of resolve.  They do so at their peril.

    What ISIS put on the table with the murder of Foley was a future that involved increased international terrorism by their members in Europe and the US.  Because we won't fight them on the ground in the Middle East.  In the game of chess, this means the only Western option is to extinguish the ability of ISIS to function anywhere else in the world before they get any further by its superior use and access to remote war technology.  Not sure why ISIS doesn't seem to understand that the West tends to put up with despots and dictators as long as we're not actively harmed or they don't engage in public and egregious acts of mass civilian murder.  ISIS still has a choice, to be a big fish in a small freshwater pond they own, or take on the ocean predators in the big seas.

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:53:32 AM PDT

    •  That's not an accurate assessment of the USA's (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HarryTurtledove

      history WRT war.

      You're overlooking a lot.

      In short, this country has never faced publicly the dissonance between our actual actions and the rhetoric we tell ourselves.  The truth is that we started out as both bloodthirsty savages that successfully stole pretty much a whole continent through bloody and violent means and a nation which sees itself (and sometimes behaves) as defenders of the individual, of the right to self determination, and solidly on the side of justice the world over.

      The big problem with Obama is that he's a terrible strategist when it comes to issues of war.

      If you can't see that ISIS (or whatever they want to call themselves) is a serious threat to not only everyone in their local region but also "The West", you're blind. They have proven themselves to be capable killers of Muslims and non-Muslims alike; as Fundamentalists, there are likely few who can live up to their standards of who is permitted to live.  In short, they are evil.

      Your fish / pond metaphor is old; you're advocating a strategy from a world that doesn't exist any more.

      Change the charter of corporations to serve the public interest BEFORE fiduciary concerns. 100% of Republicans and HALF the Dems are AGAINST We The People. We need TRUE Progressives, NOT Republican-Lite Dems - like Hillary, Pelosi, Feinstein...

      by RTIII on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 08:46:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  so basically (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        anshmishra

        we've acted like every relatively large influential country ever?

        Look, I'm on board to the idea that we aren't any better than other historical superpowers, but I'm also on board to the idea that we aren't any worse either.

        (And I get you are trying to take a middle line, like me, here, this is more a general comment, not a reply per se to yours).

        What I don't get here is, this isn't about America. ISIS would have been around in some form regardless.  Fundamentalism is a tiny minority of Islam, a very tiny minority, but unfortunately, it's an outsized and violent minority tied to really extreme religious beliefs.

        Folks can talk about Iraq and our interactions in the ME, but if we'd TOTALLY stayed out, that doesn't solve the Shia-Sunni problem, it doesn't solve the fact that before we even cared about the ME, the European powers had already carved it up to the point of guaranteeing centuries of conflict, it doesn't solve the fact that the region has very little economically supporting it except for the sale of oil...and poverty breeds fundamentalism.

        Now, we are responsible for a lot of ills, but no we are not responsible for the heinous acts done by ISIS. And EVEN if we were, that just makes all the more responsible for stopping them.

        This group is killing, maiming, torturing, enslaving, and raping a lot of disparate people...Muslims, Christians, Arabs, pretty much everyone in their path, and they have money AQ could have only dreamed about having, and they have military equipment that rivals the Iraqis.

        They need to be cut down to size and addressed. I would prefer that the region could do it, but by all accounts they can't and/or won't. I'd like a global response but if it's just us and a few others, so be it.

        The use of force is rarely justified, it certainly wasn't in the Iraq War, it certainly is now IMO.

      •  Why would you suggest that I don't see (0+ / 0-)

        ISIS or ISIL as a serious threat to the world?  It's nice to go off on me about how blind I am, but you clearly missed something in your rush to declaim the evil of ISIS.  I have no disagreement with your assessment on how vicious and dangerous ISIS is - I rarely use the word "evil" because it has religious connotations that I do not believe in, and which I find unhelpful.  

        The Bush Doctrine and it's use of "pre-emptive strike"  was a change in US policy (even if it did not change US practice, which is what you argue as inseparable).  You may argue and I will agree that the justification for "defensive reaction" to "an unprovoked attack" was often thin or a lie, but that doesn't change my statement that the Bush Doctrine was a open dismissal of even the semblance that we were a nation that did not invade or first strike or "sneak attack".  That's history.  Whether or not or how closely or not Presidents have hewn to a national view of ourselves as non-aggressors varies by President.  But Bush made what you seem to believe was ALWAYS a fact, that we are always an aggressor nation, an actual fact of national policy. I disagree with you that we have always been the aggressor nation, even as I agree with you that our actual history, as the actual history of any nation, is pocked with the too present differences between national ideals and national truths.  

        And in one last paragraph of disagreement, I don't agree that Obama has been a "terrible strategist" when it comes to war.  I don't know that that's true.  What I know is that we did not mass US troop and invade Libya or Egypt or Ukraine or Russia or Palestine or Israel or Syria or Iran or North Korea, as some would have had us.  Whether you agree that any of that shows good or bad judgement in global strategy is your opinion, but frankly,  I see the impact that the decade plus of fighting has caused US service members and their families and I am loathe to jump back into putting their lives again in the death zone every time someone raises the specter of "evil."  When and what that line is, I am not prepared to assert, which is why I am glad I am not President.  Clearly that is a line that you are perfectly willing to define for others, and that's your right of argument.

        "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

        by Uncle Moji on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 12:42:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Did we vote for a 2-year ceasefire or withdrawal? (4+ / 0-)

    I thought it was withdrawal.  As in, GET OUT AND STAY OUT of Iraq.    Leaving Iraq was the single issue that gave Democrats the majorities they still hold.    It wasn't just another issue.  It was THE issue.   I'm sitting here wondering why we even have elections.

    I still like the original plan that the American people voted for:  end this war – permanently.

  •  One of the basic problems... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sunspots

    for US policymakers is that decision-making wrt Syria has for decades been shaped by two overarching (and simplistic) interests: defend Israel, block Iran. IS / Da'ish poses challenges that defy the US' traditional thinking and require a fundamental shift in how we think about MENA, preferably before we act.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 06:21:20 AM PDT

    •  what is Netanyahu urging USG to do? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angry marmot
      One of the basic problems... for US policymakers is that decision-making wrt Syria has for decades been shaped by two overarching (and simplistic) interests: defend Israel, block Iran.

      _______________The DOD/ War Department, which consumes 22% of the national budget, is the world's largest employer with 3.2 million employees.

      by allenjo on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 06:56:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure if he's made any more recent... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allenjo

        suggestions re US policy toward IS, but there's this from late June:

        Threatening a borderless conflict between "extremist Shi'ites," funded by leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and equally extreme Sunnis— a soft "alliance" between ISIS and al Qaeda— the Israeli prime minister suggested the United States should largely stay out of the fight, and instead allow the parties to weaken one another.

        "Don't strengthen either of them. Weaken both," Netanyahu said.

        Typically shallow and obsessive neocon thought.

        Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

        by angry marmot on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:03:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Netanyahu on US and Iran cooperating against IS (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          angry marmot
          During that interview Netanyahu related to the concern that the US might seek cooperation with Iran to combat ISIS, and that this might lead to less Western vigilance to keep Iran from gaining nuclear arms.

          Netanyahu said that the worst outcome by far would be that Iran “would come out with nuclear weapons capability.”

          “That would be a tragic mistake,” he said. “It will make everything else pale in comparison. I think the ultimate and the most important goal in the Middle East is to make sure Iran does not have nuclear weapons capability, because those weapons, unlike mortars and machine guns that can kill thousands and chemical weapons that kill tens of thousands, these weapons – nuclear weapons – could kill millions. That should be prevented at all cost.”

          _______________The DOD/ War Department, which consumes 22% of the national budget, is the world's largest employer with 3.2 million employees.

          by allenjo on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:30:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'll agree with overly simplistic, but... (0+ / 0-)

      ... if we were trying to block Iran,

      we would not have invaded Iraq. Talk about stupid! -face-palm-

      Change the charter of corporations to serve the public interest BEFORE fiduciary concerns. 100% of Republicans and HALF the Dems are AGAINST We The People. We need TRUE Progressives, NOT Republican-Lite Dems - like Hillary, Pelosi, Feinstein...

      by RTIII on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 08:49:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well yes (0+ / 0-)

        that's absolutely true...Saddam was a paper tiger (and a brutal dictator but the world's full of 'em unfortunately) but an effective counter-weight to Iran in the region.

        Strategically insipid to get rid of him, and it was only the ridiculous idea that somehow Iraq would become America in the Middle East that led to it.

  •  It WILL be war, yes, as IT ALREADY IS. (0+ / 0-)

    ...
    On the ONE hand, Obama has been a war hawk from DAY 1, doubling down in Afghanistan for no good reason, for example.

    (One might well ponder the question of whether he has been threatened, say on Malia's life?, into going along with the MILC's war plans.)

    And ON THE OTHER hand, Obama is a pathetically bad war strategist.

    Any fool could tell that from Day 1 in Syria, that:

    1) Syria's strategic location makes the outcome of their civil war vital for "The West" as well as the region, and;

    2) Bashar Assad and company are PURE EVIL, and;

    3) OTHER evil people would use the civil war to try and take over the country for "Islamic Fundamentalism," and;

    4) The original protesters who became reluctant rebels - the so-called-moderates - have few natural allies, are guaranteed to be under-funded, under-armed, etc and would desperately need help to succeed in overthrowing BOTH the government AND the Other Evil People.

    The overwhelming conclusion anyone with any strategic skills whatsoever would immediately conclude that The West should at every opportunity help the moderates, that it would be in our national interest, our interest in "humanity."

    ...Sometimes War IS the correct option - would you have allowed Hitler to win and keep all of Europe back in the 1940s?  No, of course not! We did the right thing then...

    Therefore, though long delayed, FULL SUPPORT of the moderates IS THE WAY AHEAD. The only real trick here is to ensure that we're VERY closely coordinated with the exactly right people in Syria. And, that is MUCH easier said than done - yet, we CAN do it.

    Change the charter of corporations to serve the public interest BEFORE fiduciary concerns. 100% of Republicans and HALF the Dems are AGAINST We The People. We need TRUE Progressives, NOT Republican-Lite Dems - like Hillary, Pelosi, Feinstein...

    by RTIII on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:12:23 AM PDT

    •  Except you simplify this down to good (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anshmishra

      guys versus bad guys, with hats that indicate who to support or something equally easy.  Choosing who to support in Syria isn't simple.  Knowing Al Maliki will fuck up in Iraq isn't a good enough reason to ignore a SOFA, knowing Assad is a tyrant isn't a good enough reason to funnel arms to his opponants, knowing Iran is a fundamentalist country controlled by religious maniacs isn't a good enough reason to funnel arms to those who oppose the ayatollah.  I'm betting Obama and the NSA haven't been ignoring any factions at work in the ME.  I'm betting they know perfectly well that whoever they support in any given area is a less than ideal group.  A Saudi Prince told a friend of mine who asked why his security detail was entirely German that he found it simpler.  They're harder to bribe and you don't have to worry about dying because one of your guard's great-great-great grandfathers was killed by YOUR g-g-g-grandfather.  We have no clue about these deep loyalties and clan divisions.  The closest we come is jokes about the Hatfields and the McCoys.  

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 08:18:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I'm glad we're in agreement then: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        I love OCD
        "And, that is MUCH easier said than done - yet, we CAN do it."
        Yep, much easier said than done, but I do believe it's doable, and we should try. The only other option is to resign the entire region as a lost cause, and that would be foolish. It would also involve giving up on "humanity" - all the millions of innocents involved.

        BTW, waiting around while the best / most innocent of the good guys who want to and can act are killed off is a pretty stupid strategic move, but appears to be what Obama has been doing.  

        Change the charter of corporations to serve the public interest BEFORE fiduciary concerns. 100% of Republicans and HALF the Dems are AGAINST We The People. We need TRUE Progressives, NOT Republican-Lite Dems - like Hillary, Pelosi, Feinstein...

        by RTIII on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 09:18:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If it could be done so simply it would (0+ / 0-)

          be underway.  Seriously, you can't believe Obama is just playing golf and ignoring the ME.  You have to know he knows the players and knows the risks.  He's the best FP President of my lifetime.  We'd be lobbing nukes if he wasn't in charge.  

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 03:19:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  agreed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        I love OCD

        folks want to make this all black/white, binary, good guys bad guys and easily solved by doing just the right thing.

        Just about the only easy part of this is the recognition that there's nothing good about ISIS and it needs to be gone.  That's it. Everything else is a lot more complicated (including how to go about getting rid of ISIS).

  •  This place's head will explode ... (0+ / 0-)

    If/when Obama goes to Congress for authorization and Saint Liz votes with him.

    I would love to see that.

  •  Captured Racist Comments (0+ / 0-)

    I was able to get a number of the choice Facebook comments posted earlier this week:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Nobody expects "free stuff" as much as the 2%!

    by epforrester on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 10:42:19 AM PDT

  •  Inhoff says: (0+ / 0-)

    This is “the most dangerous position we’ve ever been in.”

    I've been trying to think of the many times I've heard that kind of thing in a run-up to a military aggression.  Places like the Dominican Republic, Grenada and the Gulf of Sidra, where US 'national interests' were endangered and where suffering humanity required invasion, destruction and occupation.

    In this kind of thing, the war parties' PR campaign always follows the same rising arc, combining demonization of the new enemy and canonization of the discovered injured parties with imagined destruction of vital US 'interests', and culminating in a vision of a comfortable future in which the danger has been inexpensively removed without undo injury to innocent parties.

    In these cases I've tried to envision the alternative scenario in which the US does not intervene militarily.  For instance, what if the US had not invaded Grenada?  Or in the current case, what if the US fails to bomb ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and those occupied areas descend into a darkness induced by religious mania?  

    Even in that extreme case, the warrior punditry has to stretch very uncomfortably to show that any particular harm would come to those outside that new darkness.  In the US it might mean hiring more TSA agents...

    Play chess for the Kossacks on Chess.com. Join the site, then the group at http://www.chess.com/groups/view/kossacks.

    by rhutcheson on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 11:58:58 AM PDT

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