A Worthy Debate Hijacked

Wouldn’t it be nice if this debate over choosing the next Secretary of State could be about international policy? Instead, we get a high school tantrum thrown by John McCain and Lindsey Graham aimed at undermining President Obama. What about China? Africa? Emerging worlds that require visionary thinking if our nation is to remain viable and influential. Human rights? How about a Secretary of State who makes a difference for that? But we don’t get that debate if McCain/Graham insist on child’s play.

72 thoughts on “A Worthy Debate Hijacked”

  1. that philosphical discussion could also include whither dod. looks like another possible appointment is running up a flag to see who salutes him:

    During debate on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 on Tuesday, Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) reiterated his concerns about using funding intended for operations, maintenance, and acquisition programs to expand biofuel research-and-development (R&D) programs in the Department of Defense.

    Webb emphasized the importance of re-evaluating each DoD program to determine its value in the context of national security as well as current and future fiscal realities.
    “We should ask the Secretary of Defense … to examine which programs in DOD are the must-haves, which are absolutely vital to our national security,” said Webb, a member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services and former Secretary of the Navy, during debate on the floor. “I would say that the costly biofuels programs, in the sense that we are proposing to fund them in the operational environment at this time, would have to qualify as a nice-to-have. That does not mean that we should eliminate the biofuels program. There is money in R&D to continue to examine them, but I’ll tell you, Mr. President, what a must-have is. A must-have is our shipbuilding program.”


  2. We need to hold our representatives responsible. They work for us.

    Senators McCain,Graham:
    This is old. This is tiresome. It is embarrassing that you have devolved into negativity.
    Your Party lost the election. Lead by example of statemanship. In defeat, there can be honor. Be uniters, not dividers.
    The world will continue to rotate on its axis and revolve around the sun, despite your petty antics. The rest of us will continue to move forward.

  3. Frankly both sides of the debate are being sophomoric and defensive, starting with Obama. As well as the tone around here of late.

    What good are the MA dems? We are the ones that gave you all JFK, Teddy, Tip & Kerry.

  4. dod appointment has to be considered in same breath as sos since it seems kerry is to get one or the other.

  5. Craig,

    One of the reasons that we can’t have that debate is because the Senate is a broken institution.

    McCain can go before every camera in sight and flap his gums and get air time because he or any senator can put a hold on any nomination.Any individual that has that power automatically has a forum no matter how childish their concerns.

    Rachel Maddow addressed this very point in one of her segments last night, when she asked if our institutions of government particularly the Senate, were capable of governance in the 21st century?
    The current flap over Ambassador Rice would seem to indicate that the answer is no.

  6. RR, Harbor Woman, I also miss Dylan Ratigan. I’ve been searching for him and can’t find him anywhere. Only thing I found was that he sold his apartment in NY in October. Strange for him to disappear like that.

    And I like Chuck Hagel very much. I was sooo sorry to see him retire. He was one of the only reasonable Republicans. When talked, I listened.

  7. John McCain and Lindsy Graham. The president is most fortunate in his choice of enemies. 😉

  8. Carol…
    Dylan Ratigan decided to end his show on MSNBC in June. He left on good terms with NBC and wants to do television again sometime in the future. He said he’d be traveling around the country for at least a year to stay with some of the people he featured on his show. The ones he show cased that were making a real difference to solve this country’s problems…. he wants to learn from them. He has disappeared from television and all social media (website, twitter) on purpose and announced he would do so. He said when he’s ready, he’ll be back… with a bigger and better show. I eagerly await his return.

    OSH… you forgot to mention that MA dems have now given us Elizabeth Warren. I LOVE MA dems… I used to be one.

  9. very good points Craig.

    We have some serious problems out there and it would be nice to see a policy discussion about them, I think the problem is that there is little difference between a McCain foreign policy and a Susan Rice Foreign policy.

    And McCain/Graham are willing to put party politics above the interests of this country.
    As long as nobody calls them on it they get away with their behavior.
    IMO, if Kerry were half the great statesman that some believe him to be he would have been out hitting the talk shows pushing just what you said above.
    But that might cost him his chance at SoS, so “never mind”


  10. Last night I posted a link to James Fallow’s blog on the Atlantic web site. In my cold remedy induced fog I forgot to add any identifiers or explainations.
    There is a great map on there that shows just how expansionist the Chinese are behaving in regard to their control of the South China sea. here is the link

    Any time Fallows writes something about China it is a good read.


  11. There’s an outfit in Seattle that makes manly kilts. If we pooled our funds, and if Messrs McCain and Graham offered up their measurements, we could see just where this pair stands in the scheme of things.

  12. Dr Rice/Sen Kerry/Ms Blank
    Recognizing that as Secretary of State, you will be fourth in line to the Presidency, articulate how you believe the SoS should help form and execute presidential diplomatic priorities in today’s world?

  13. Sea, unbunch please. :-) I doubt that anyone here discounts MA’s Dem contributions to sane, progressive governance, at least for the past 52 years. And if anything falls into the “what have you done for me lately” category, it has to be Elizabeth Warren. I believe her stature in the senate will be consistent with her previous accomplishments, and if she doesn’t get co-opted by the campaign money machine, will be a noted advocate for the little guys financially oppressed by the big guys. But the MA Dems will need to step up yet again and keep the pickup driver from winning his next race in your fair state should Kerry end up in a cabinet position. I don’t have a great sense about MA Dems who might fill that bill, but I feel pretty confident there are folks who could. Since all the currently serving ones (except Brown) are Dems, and the MA house is overwhelmingly Dem I don’t really see a problem there. Of the MA reps, Ed Markey springs to mind.

  14. Jack…
    I know this advice is a tad bit too late… but save it for next time…

    Last Wednesday I woke up with a sore throat and a runny nose. I anticipated going into my Thanksgiving weekend fair with a head banger cold. But then I remembered Craig’s advice and drove to the closest pharmacy and bought a bottle of 1000 milligrams of vitamin C. I immediately downed 2… took another one at noontime and another at bedtime. I kept up this regimen for several days. My symptoms disappeared and the actual cold never came on.

    This winter I will keep that bottle ready, handy, and waiting. I hope you feel better soon.

  15. Jack, I take old folks vitamins every a.m. with a good-sized glass of O.J..

    The vitamins have 60-mg, the juice container claims I’m getting 160% of the daily requirement.

    Even though I usually feel like the bottom of the bird cage, I don’t get colds.

  16. Flatus

    They have a link to the real thing in a tin. The Vegetarian is quite good … the non vegetarian …. don’t buy the tinned version, go to Scotland.

  17. RR glad you beat that cold, timing is everything with Vit C

    Oldsea, sorry I dissed your state. Pogo raises a good question, must be some MA dems who can keep Brown from winning Kerry seat if it comes to it. Any ideas?

    Been completely swallowed up last couple days installing Windows 8 on my laptop. Think i’ll like it but had no idea how radically different from past Microsoft OS vers — for anyone who goes there be prepared for a steep learning curve

  18. I am sure that haggis probably tastes good – most things that can be chopped up small and put in gravy usually are. There’s just something about stuffing a sheep’s stomach that I have never quite gotten past.

  19. I initially misspelled jib, then I kinda thought gib fit the context as well.

    flatus, i misread your gib to be “the cut of their glibs” which i tho’t was very funny and clever of you.

  20. Poobah, I raised a good question? Had to happen eventually I guess. Please report back on Win8 issues. Our IT guy said there are lots of complaints out there in the MS chats and he advised us against installing it on the company computers.

  21. There’s just something about stuffing a sheep’s stomach that I have never quite gotten past.

    pogo, and how do you feel about wine in a goat’s bladder? a good hardy red in a bota bag.

  22. Jamie,
    I’d be happy to try a veggie version of a freshly prepared haggis–I don’t know about a tinned one. My McLeish forbears would probably disavow any claim I might have to the bloodline if they had any hint that I was participating in this thread. :)

  23. Pat,
    Is a bladder lined with tripe?

    BTW, in the current issue (Jan) of Consumer Reports there’s a really scary warning about uncooked pork. No, not trichinosis, but a bunch of other much more nasty stuff.

    All the rules that we’ve used with poultry now apply to raw pork.

  24. “Hillary 2016!!!”O.D.@1428

    I, of course, agree if, and only if, she has the heart for it at that stage of her life.

    On a separate, but related, subject, I’ve been curious about your unbridled enthusiasm for Dr Rice as SoS. If you have the time, what are you seeing that I’m missing?

    I’ve got to go to the bank now, but I’ll be back in an hour or so.

  25. Pat,
    Had it, but not from an actual bota. All the “botas” I’ve ever used just looked like goat’s bladders – and had plastic liners. I guess thousands of Spaniards through the ages can’t be wrong. Does sound a bit unsanitary, though, doesn’t it?

  26. Pogo, yep that’s why i’m only playing with it on my laptop, which was long overdue for an OS upgrade anyway. Win8 works beautifully for me, much faster and definitely prettier. But you’ll probably need to do a lot of training if putting it in the workplace. Everything is very different and the new Office product (365) is still in beta, i think.

  27. actually Flatus, microsoft web site is very confusing on that point. could find no mention of 13. instead they are selling 2010 with a deal to get a free upgrade. haven’t studied it thoroughly tho, as i probably won’t need it on my laptop

  28. Craig,

    This was in an email from msft two days ago:

    “Inside Office 2013 and Office 365 ProPlus
    Top Stories

    Download Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013

    Office Professional Plus 2013 includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, and Lync. Installation and deployment videos, whitepapers, and library articles are available now with your free evaluation. You also can download trial versions of these new Office products: Visio Professional 2013; Project Professional 2013; Project Server 2013.
    Try Windows 8 with Internet Explorer 10

    The Windows 8 Enterprise evaluation provides up to a 90-day evaluation to start planning for Windows 8 with Internet Explorer 10. See the Internet Explorer 10 Features Overview and download the Internet Explorer Administration Kit 10 (IEAK 10). “

  29. I think I’m going to hit my head against the wall for a while. I’m dealing with the insurance company.
    The doctor gave me a prescription for long acting insulin The delivery device is a pen looking object(called a pen, imagine that) you dial the dose put on the tiny needle and just stick in to your skin. The needle is just long enough to get under the skin.
    Now the problem, My insurance company will pay for the “pens” full of insulin but they won’t pay for the needles that fit the end of the pen that let me inject it. Not only that but when I pay for them they won’t go toward my deductible.
    The worst part of the experince is that the person on the other end of the line is more ignorant than I am.


  30. Or, check on-line, find the head guru who handles the pen’s PR account and tell that individual that there’s a problem and that it’s about to get bigger if you don’t get some relief.

  31. Flatus…I have always been very impressed with Susan Rice…She is very bright and thoughtful…I have been dismayed at the knee-jerk reaction to her Sunday show statements…Each time she qualified her statements repeatedly making clear that the information was in the process of being determined…

    I expect nonsense and over-reaction from the likes of Graham and McCain…

    I see no validity in the sloppy attacks on a talented and principled public official…

    Too many have accepted the false predicate that she was either being untruthful or was concealing information for political purposes…

  32. Flatus

    I’m on step one, now I’ve got to climb that ladder. In the end I’ll spend more of my time than it is worth I suspect, we are only talking $130 a year and it is not going to take very many hours messing with it to say “never mind”. I think that is their intent.
    But thanks for the idea.
    I think I will wait a day or two until my brain clears up. I was a little short tempered.


  33. Even though my vitamin C dose didn’t prevent this horrible cold I got ten days ago, aggressive extra vitamin C therapy has seemed to help knock it out.

    My Chevrolet Blazer’s engine blew a gasket silently, all the oil ran out on the roadway, and my engine seized up, ruined. Last summer all junk and salvage places were giving $350. Now…just $200 for a junk vehicle. I thought China was screaming for steel. Why did the bottom fall out of scrap metal?

  34. Glad to hear you are on the mend Dexter. When they found vitamin C they cured the common cold. But nobody makes much money on it so the drug companies keep it a secret so they can make a fortune selling crap that only treats the symptoms

  35. Dexter –
    Why is scrap down ? You need the right scrap. Thieves stole the copper off the Navaho Reservation for cell phones and internet service.

    The Navaho Reservation , and Syria have something in common , . Neither have cell phone and internet service.

  36. Craig –
    They found ice on Mercury .

    No atmosphere , no oceans, and no tilt to conduct the heat to the dark parts……… They found ice on Mercury in the shadows of the craters, at the poles.
    This ice find is a real teachable thing . You may not care about the atmosphere , but the atmosphere cares about you.
    Little Mercury sitting there next door to the Sun , and the shady spots have ice houses. What teachable thing about how wonderful our gas shell is . Step out to Venus it has gas shell . There’s no ice on Venus.

  37. The government is ineffective , then why has NASA gone so far and seen so much ?

  38. by the way, meant to tell you guys we’re going to the Jefferson Memorial on Saturday afternoon with friends to toss some of Sean’s ashes in the Tidal Basin (this week marks a year since his passing, hence my disconnect this week). If the mood strikes and the camera works maybe we’ll have some video. Sean loved the place, called it “TJ’s”

  39. Welcome to Dec. 2012.
    The Corps of Engineers will be blasting in the Mississippi this month , as the drought gets bigger fingers.

  40. We have so many ‘Little Dutch Boy’ fingers out there running around now , that is why this debate hijack is so naked .
    Clearly we need ….. Little Dutch Boys, and their fingers.
    John Mac Cain at the end of life, was seen pissing on a fence post.
    A 3rd son of a cast system .
    A short, little jack-ass pilot right to the end.

  41. CBob, thanks so much for the Tornado Gallery hats

    They are cast members in a puppet theater. You guys will figure it out. My nephew was at the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge , and I didn’t give him a cap before he left. But when he comes home .

  42. I love it that Sean has friends who continue to honor him…

    I am a big believer in going to grave sites to honor loved ones on Memorial Day…

    Our society is so selfish that honoring those we love has become out of fashion…

  43. CBob, thanks so much for the Tornado Gallery hats

    A couple “Atta Boys” from all of us.

    You wear that Red hat and bolo tie on TV , and Don Imus will put you in his will.

  44. Oregon, I talk to Sean every day. He is not gone to me. He’ll luv our little ”service” at TJ’s, then we’re all going to see the Bond film

  45. Oh and CBob, of course I’ll be wearing gallery cap, and offer my traditional salute to both Gen. Lee’s home across the river and to A. Lincoln memorial nearby. All within sight from TJ’s

  46. CBob, I agree with you so completely about John McCain. There are many greats who have faded in their last years and it’s always saad, but I believe
    their best days are the ones we remember, thank god.
    It’s still not pleasant to see it in action.

    We have several rivers here that are expected to flood…but then go down quickly. The Truckee in Tahoe is one. Owners are building berms of huge rocks – what mess, and it’s such a beautiful river.

    I emptied my rain gauge at a little over 4″ late last night, and the forecast is for a ton more. I hate the damage it does but I love love rain.

    Craig, also have thought of Sean and Patsi and missed them. Your place of memorium is wonderful.

    My sentiments re politics now? Give’em hell, Barry!

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