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Obama and the pirates

I don't have time to say much about this other than that I'm disappointed (though not surprised) that so many on the right can't bring themselves to celebrate this because their guy didn't get elected in November. And yes, much of the Left did the same thing for the past eight years, but that doesn't make it okay. So even if I never have occasion to do it again, I'm drinking a toast to Obama and dead pirates.


You're right there SHOULD be a lot more celebration on the Right.

Personally, I've celebrated, the ramping UP of the rendition program, calling for UAW concessions to help U.S. Auto Makers, the NSA Surveillance program, ratcheting UP Afghanistan, as well as the swift, decisive and deadly negotiations with the Somali pirates....I feared we were geting another Jimmy Carter, but it seems we have another G W Bush - a dedicated, albeit cautious Keynesian, determined to keep us engaged in a military WoT.

Although, to be fair, I doubt G W Bush would've demanded such concessions from the UAW....he lacked both the gravitas and he guts.

So, while I'd much prefer a Gingrich, I'll count my blessings, to this point.

Agreed on all points. Just perusing The Corner.com and not a peep of congrats to the Administration, god forbid. Apparently, though, it was vital for them to note that the captain's brother is a fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

>Agreed on all points. Just perusing The Corner.com and not a peep of congrats to the Administration, god forbid.

Not true, Fred. Jonah Goldberg congratulated and then reiterated.

It's my understanding that Obama had very little influence on the decisions that went on in this case. But I guess he could have stepped in if he felt strongly that they shouldn't move forward.

Agreed. But I think as C-in-C he rightly shares the credit/blame, even if all he did was stand out of the way.

I'm not toasting Obama. Not to be mean spirited (I liked that he finally got his girls the dog he wanted) but he let the guys do their job -just like a president should. Celebrating the fact that O *did* do what he was supposed to do is scary. And quite a few conservatives (Ed Morrissey et al) are giving credit where it's due. Instead they are pitching a fit over Megan McCain for some odd reason.

not "he" but "they".

Hey JMK, try Hot Air. I went there solely for Ed Morrissey. He and a few other bloggers and bloggees are pretty fair when it comes to Obama and his actions. But they are getting wonky over Megan McCain because she supports gay marriage and doesn't like Limbaugh (shrugs)

Dead Pirates are indeed worth celebrating.

Obama will rue the day he allowed this however. Somalis will eventually take a bigger prize and should they make good on their threats to kill their captives, Obama will have to become the American Bully he campaigned against.

"Celebrating the fact that O *did* do what he was supposed to do is scary." (Rachel)

Understandable, BUT, given that (1) the Democrats have traditionally been loathe to use the military and relatively incompetent in its use (Carter's failed Iranian hostage rescue and the fiasco in Mogadishu come to mind) and (2) the fact that the mindless anti-war Left supported Barack Obama....the fact that he bucked BOTH trends in this instance, as well as others - rendition has been increased under Obama, so have "targeted assassinations," and his stalwart support for the NSA surveillance program have all been welcome reliefs to many on the Right.

"Hey JMK, try Hot Air. I went there solely for Ed Morrissey. He and a few other bloggers and bloggees are pretty fair when it comes to Obama and his actions. But they are getting wonky over Megan McCain because she supports gay marriage and doesn't like Limbaugh (shrugs)" (Rachel)

I haven't gotten over there lately, Rachel. I'm sure you're right about their stance.

I've heard Megan McCain and while I'm not on the same page as she is (I DON'T believe that Republicans "need to embrace a more Moderate/Liberal tone" - her Dad's failed "Moderate Republican" campaign showed that to be untrue, in my view).

She certainly has every right to like/dislike whomever she chooses and as I said, my ONLY reservation on "gay MARRIAGE" is my vehement opposition to ANY assault on the 1st Amendment's religious freedoms.

Personally, I think the so-called Moderate-wing of the GOP should just STFU at this point.

G W Bush, was as much as a Nixonian Keynesian Republican as both Nixon himself and his Dad!

McCain and Giuliani were BOTH Moderate ("Country-Club Republicans"). McCain's campaign showed that the milqtoast, watered-down liberalism of McCain and the Rockefeller-wing appeals to just about NO ONE.

G W Bush presided over six years of unbridled Keynesianism - Sarb-Ox was one of the most expensive and far-reaching pieces of business regulation in decades, while Bush not only spent MORE (even adjusted for inflation) on reckless social spending than even LBJ did...and his push to "close the gap on minority homeownership," though perhaps a noble goal, in theory, the way government sought to do that - signing onto 0% DOWN on FHA mortgages and having Fannie & Freddie increase their share of the mortgage market FROM 24% to just under 50% (almost ALL of that increase in new subprime loans) allowed bankers and brokers to, in effect, gamble with the taxpayer's wallets, while encouraging, backing/guaranteeing the outright counterfeiting of credit (a form of wealth)...and THAT has proven to be a disaster.

We've just had a six year return to Nixonian Keynesiansim and are embarking on what easily COULD BECOME a return to "Carterism", or "Democratic Keynesianism" - THIS TIME, with the added wrinkle of all that counterfeited credit creating the ongoing global credit crisis - the results may ultimately be worse than those we suffered under Carter.

AND the "Moderate"/"Country Club" Republicans have been primarily responsible for a LOT of this mess....yes, the Keynesian Democrats seem headed toward policies that will only exacerbate that, but on the GOP side of things, the so-called "Moderates" of the GOP's Rockefeller-wing should simply have the grace to bow out gracefully and cede that Party to the likes of Gingrich.

At least they have the guts to offer something more than Keynesianism-light!

One of the reasons why I voted against Carter in 1980 was his politicizing the hostage crisis.

So I credit Obama this time for just giving authority and then allowing the professionals to do their job. No hand wringing or fist pumping. Just let the people responsible do their jobs and don't give the hostage takers any sense that they are throwing the government off guard.

Jimmy Carter would've dragged back out the Christmas tree so he could dim it. George W would've said "bring them on."

Obama said nothing pretty much, except thank you to the Navy SEALS who shot these assholes dead.

Great sentiments, PE. No 'mission accomplished' banner, no White House 'welcome home crew' ceremony. No White House crowing from the rooftops. Crisis over, move on. Good.

"No 'mission accomplished' banner, no White House 'welcome home crew' ceremony. No White House crowing from the rooftops. Crisis over, move on. Good." (Fred)

Sought of an invidious comparison, really.

After all, the Iranian hostage crisis was politicized by the U.S. media...but that's NOT what sunk Jimmy Carter in 1980, the implosion of Keynesianism and the real WORST economy since the GReat Depression did that.

The Navy SEALS did a masterful job, under incredibly averse conditions, but bringing down a few "pirates" in a row boat isn't on par with toppling Saddam's Baathist government - a feat accomplished by the U.S. military in less than three weeeks - THAT was what the "Mission Accomplished" banner was for.

Now, should the U.S. move in and destroy those "pirate" base camps and permanently eradicate that threat, THAT may well be banner worthy.

Why stop there JMKKK, let's just kill all Somalians. Then we can finally get to the rest of those black people, right JMKKK?

Anonymous, your comment is stupid.

Bush cut taxes, the estate tax, and allowed tax evasion, price gouging, and anything else his rich friends wanted to do.

Trickle down? No. Free market took care of itself? No.

Massive theft, fraud, and abuse, with every wingnut giddily going along with it every step of the way, cheering Bush on.

Result: economic catastrophe.

Bush did it first.

"Anonymous, your comment is stupid." (PE)

Thanks PE, for confronting hatred. We don’t have to agree on much, for me to appreciate that…and not for my sake at all, but for the sake of respecting free speech, which requires opposing those who’d try and silence it with personal attacks.

I still can’t understand why would ANYONE defend the so-called “pirates” and other terrorists, many with direct links to al Qaida?

Somalia has not had a stable government in decades and there are many radical factions there with deep ties to al Qaida.

The “Black Hawk Down” incident occurred over America seeking to bring in a Somali war-lord named Aidid who was an al Qaida member.

These “pirates” have vowed to kill Americans in the wake of the hostage rescue involving the Maersk Alabama.

People can disagree over a slew of issues, as you know, since you and I disagree for more often than not.

But I have no problem with those who believe, for instance, “Iraq was a mistake.”

While I certainly DON’T believe that, as Saddam Hussein’s regime became an enemy during Bush Sr.’s administration, I DO believe that many logistical errors were made in the aftermath of the defeat of Saddam’s regime and I can understand where decent people can decently disagree on such matters.

To me, it doesn’t matter at all that the USA “deliberately made an enemy of the secular Saddam Hussein.”

While it’s true that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq came to President George Bush Sr., complaining about Kuwait’s slant drilling across their border with Iraq and were told by the U.S., in effect, “We don’t get involved in such petty border disputes,” giving Iraq the proverbial “green light” to deal with Kuwait as they saw fit. The Bush Sr. double cross, of then reacting in shock and anger over “The Rape of Kuwait,” sealed Saddam Hussein as an enemy of America’s.

It doesn’t matter to me that we may have been wrong, that we may have even deliberately provoked Saddam Hussein, by that betrayal, into becoming an enemy. To me, NONE of that matters because it was done in all our names with no real or even noticeable opposition from the American people.

Claiming “I didn’t vote for Bush Sr.” doesn’t absolve you (HELL, I didn’t vote for Bush Sr. – I supported Buchanan and then voted for the LP candidate)...the ONLY way to truly absolve yourself is to deliberately challenge America on the grounds of that kind of illegal action. NOT merely protesting fashionably with like-minded folks, REAL protest involves putting your own freedom at stake for what you believe. That would involve something like not paying ones taxes to “an administration engaged in illegalities” and suffering whatever penalties that country would impose.

FEW, if ANY people have had the guts to do that. THAT is genuine protest – life altering, at extreme personal cost, protest.

I didn’t do that (and I did disagreed with Bush Sr.’s policies regarding Iraq over Kuwait, just as I disagreed with Carter’s policies vis-à-vis the Shah of Iran), so that “betrayal of the once allied Iraq” is OURS. It’s all of OURS who didn’t refuse to support it, by putting ourselves in jeopardy. We OWN that now.

What's more, I understand that to many people (A) all of that DOES matter and (B) to some people Party affiliation is everything.

It DOES NOT to me.

I disagreed with our policies over the Balkans too. I KNOW that the Christian Serbs were the initial victims of a Muslim genocide (the Kosovar Muslims slaughtered 3,000 Christian Serbs and Milocevic and Co. responded by slaughtering 10,000 Muslims) and yet the American government, knowing this, still decided to join the initiators of genocide in seeking retribution, because it was in our best interests and the best interests of NATO, which needed the Albanian oil pipeline.

I and apparently 99.999% of Americans either knew, and accepted that “sometimes you engage in a bit of injustice for personal benefit,” or they didn’t care enough to know.

As I’ve noted many times, the Balkan campaign was as much a “UN opposed, unilateral assault on a sovereign nation” as Iraq was, so those who reacted as if Iraq were some deviation from previous American practices are not only dead wrong, but willfully ignorant, as well.

It’s the same with economic policies, I don’t believe I’ve ever posted anything that would suggest that I wouldn’t live happily under a Keynesian, even socialist government. Hell, I could live happily and I’d bet, pretty well, in a feudal state...what I’ve stated clearly is that these forms of economic policies DO NOT provide more prosperity to more people and I oppose them because of that.

I did just that in the 1970s, a far more Keynesian period. I oppose the "Exclusionary Rule" that barred any evidence obtained by police sans warrant that wasn't "in plain sight."

I opposed that, but I had no problem using it. Back then citizens, and non-police personnel (such as car repossessors) COULD find and deliver such evidence to police "in good faith" and the Exclusionary Rule could be circumvented.

Pete and I "bent" most of the rules of car repossession and that oftenmeant trouble with the law, BUT you could bend the law a lot easier IF you first got the police on your side...often, all it took was just an officer or two to go to bat for you.

Pete and I did that for two cops who'd had evidence that a certain guy was...what we called "a perv" back then - a pedophile or child molester, today.

What they needed was some evidence taken from this guy's place and "carelessly" placed "in plain sight" in the guy's vehicle. We were more than happy to oblige.

In fact, it wouldn't have mattered to me (at the time) if the guy was guilty or not, I WANTED to curry favor with the police and the perv meant nothing to me - he couldn't help us bend the rules.

So, I was able to deal very well, albeit at times, vilely, perhaps even amorally, but I dealt fine in that kind of environment.

My problem with Keynesian economic policy isn't personal, though one problem I have is that Keynesian economic policies inevitably lead to a more disassociative world, where a good deal of anti-social behavior becomes the norm.

But the biggest problem I have with even Keynesian economic policies is that they violate America’s Founding ideals...and (again, to me) America is an ideological state, NOT merely one that seeks “the most pragmatic path.”

If the most pragmatic path violates our Founding ideals, then ideology SHOULD trump practicality for any and all devoted or true Americans.

BUT as luck would have it, the most pragmatic path is also in-line with our Founding ideals. Less government intervention and MORE open markets have consistently produced more prosperity for more people – Reagan’s Supply Side embrace reversed what remains the real WORST economy since the Great Depression and the Gingrich Congress’ cutting government spending and slashing the Capital Gains tax rate by 1/3 delivered the BEST U.S. economy in over four decades.

People can reasonably disagree over any of those issues.

That’s not the case above, as the hater above couldn’t even sign onto those comments....which is underatandable.

"Trickle down? No. Free market took care of itself? No.

"Massive theft, fraud, and abuse, with every wingnut giddily going along with it every step of the way, cheering Bush on.

"Result: economic catastrophe." (Barely Hanging)

You know what would be a good idea for you Barely – trying to avoid posting while under the influence. At your best, you have sub-par intelligence and a poor grasp of the facts and at your worst, you come off as both ignorant AND emotionally disturbed – a very bad combination.

The fact is, G W Bush was as much a Keynesian as Nixon, Carter, Bush Sr. and almost as much of one as is Obama & Co.

G W Bush nobly sought to close the homeownership gap between whites and minorities.

I APPROVED of that goal...and still do.

I DID NOT and DO NOT approve of the credit counterfeiting that was allowed under Bush-Pelosi-Reid, where banks and brokerages were pushed to loosen lending parameters and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac increased their share of the mortgage market FROM 24% in 2001 TO just under 50% in 2007 (nearly ALL of that increase in the form of newer, high-risk, “subprime loans”). Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s buying all those high-risk mortgages gave banks and brokers carte blanche to write more and MORE “bad loans.”

The current and ongoing Credit Crisis was a bipartisan (Bush-Pelosi-Reid) bit of Keynesianism, born of the most altruistic of motives – to help more working poor people afford homes.

It WAS ill-conceived.

Should the government known that this kind of credit counterfeiting would have such disastrous results?


Should the SEC have been more vigilant?

The SEC has been a shell of its former self since 1990!

Were bankers and brokers doing anything immoral in taking advantage of the government, in effect, backing their bad loans with taxpayer monies?

NO! There’s nothing immoral about taking advantage of a situation. It may have been UNETHICAL, but not immoral and certainly NOT illegal. In fact, the government not only condoned it, but encouraged and backed it!

So THAT’S the credit crisis, which is NOT, by any stretch the only economic problem facing us.

OVERSPENDING which has been going on since 2003, has seen the national debt increase under every U.S. President in recent memory.

The National DEBT in 1981 (which Ronald Reagan inherited) was $930 BILLION and was appx. 34% of GDP (N.B. That $930 BILLION would be appx. $2.3 TRILLION in 2008 dollars).

The National DEBT in 1992 (which Bill Clinton inherited) was $3.4 TRILLION, appx 55% of GDP.

The National DEBT in 2001 (which G W Bush inherited) was $5.6 TRILLION, appx 58% of GDP

The National DEBT in 2009 (which Barack Obama inherited) was $10.6 TRILLION, appx. 74.6% of GDP. Most of that $5 TRILLION increase came over the last two years of his administration - bailouts, stimulus packages and increased entitlement spending all contributed to that.

To date, Barack Obama has more added more debt than all the previous Presidents combined. This overspending will ultimately result in higher inflation, higher interest rates and almost certainly more unemployment hasn’t even been felt yet.

Comparing Barack Obama’s spending and G W Bush’s is insane. While Bush was a Keynesian and DID spend excessively, he didn't come near the level of reckless spending we've witnessed over the past few months! Moreover, Bush did NOT enact ANY Supply Side policies.

Still, GW Bush gets a LOT of credit for (1) engaging in the global War on Terrorism in a military manner and (2) cutting across-the-board tax rates, which had tax revenues skyrocketing in their wake. The deficit under G W Bush had been cut in half by 2006.....perhaps he's gotten too much credit for that, but I'd largely disagree, there too.

Those two major pluses, though he used the exploding tax revenues to spend more, rather than to pay down what we already owe, overshadowed a LOT of his blunders – which included a very bad policy regarding our Southern border and amnesty for illegal immigrants, more reckless social spending (even adjusted for inflation) than LBJ enacted and some of the most expensive and far-reaching business regulation – Sarbannes-Oxley was and remains one of the most prohibitively expensive pieces of business regulation in history. Some of that regulation was good and effective and some of it was ineffective and incredibly costly.

Now we have a Democratic Keynesian who is NOT on board with the Bush goal of closing the minority home ownership gap (understandable, considering the most recent debacle), but he is apparently very much on board with MORE of the same Pelosi-Reid-Bush spending – MORE bailouts, MORE non-stimulating “stimulus packages” and MORE excessive spending than every preceding U.S. President COMBINED!

I’ve uttered few if ANY complaints about the Obama administration outside the economic sphere and my PRIMARY economic complaint is “Where’s the CHANGE?”

How is doubling down on Bush’s Keynesianism (excessive government spending) CHANGE?

Reports are that now, with the government facing some of the most dire fiscal predictions the Obama administration will use that leverage to drastically CUT entitlement spending (Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security)...THAT would be welcome news!

In FACT, I think that Obama has a much better chance of doing that than ANY Republican ever would! After all, there was not a peep from the MSM and their ditto-heads over the "UN Opposed, unilateral assault on the sovereign Balkan states in the late 1990s," as there was over Iraq a scant few years later. To date there hasn’t been a peep of outrage over Afghanistan being ratcheted UP, the NSA Surveillance program and the Telecom immunities continued, the use of Rendition and targeted assassinations INCREASED, or the Bagram Airbase being used as “the new Gitmo”...and while I revile the hypocrisy, I DO very much appreciate the fact that it allows pragmatic policies to override traditional Left-wing resistance.

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