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« Beyond subprime | Main | Clipping the Mustache »

Jan 18, 2009


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Big L

King Hussein's reign "reality based?" If I didn't know better, I'd call this satire.

Your head is so far up King Hussein's ass you call his shit "hope" and "ideas."

With garbage like this, no wonder local papers are going under. Can only wait for the News and Record to follow suit; more crap like this and it'll be only a matter of time.


Friend Big L speaks for millions, but not for me. He may not even have a friend, but I know how pragmatists think. If an engineer informs a pragmatist that the foundation is compromising the integrity of the entire structure, the pragmatist will say, "that's your opinion. All I need to do is put on some paint, window treatments and carpet. I have too many tenants and I don't want them informed of this or they will become nervous." If the right result is achieved using this method, the process does not matter. There were other groups to claim that the results were more important than the process. The most recent were put on trial at Nuremberg and some were hanged. I hope this doesn't occur with the more recent cult of cults who sling the "P" word as if it were a virtue. The motive of the pragmatistic cult leader is not to enlighten and inform, but to obfuscate. They can change what reality really is with a simple explanation of the new and improved reality. Suskind's unnamed source was describing all prags. How this trait became a political virtue baffles the baby bejezzus out of me.


"...Obama needs all the details of current antiterrorism policy before making big changes. "I think that was pretty good advice," said Obama. "I should know what's going on before we make judgments; we shouldn't be making judgments on the basis of incomplete information or campaign rhetoric."

If only the rest of you would have heeded that same advice over the past four years. Putting that quote in a piece by Ed Cone is the ultimate of ironies.

Dr. Mary Johnson

Big L's point, if colorfully expressed, is well taken.

Perhaps in this new "reality-based" Presidency, Democrats (like the Clintons/Reid/Franks/Pelosi) could acknowledge that George Bush did not have the power to either raise the sun or shoot the moon . . . that they were actually THERE - helping make - or even making the decisions that now have the American sky falling.

Perhaps in this new "reality-based" Presidency, the press (once it's past the next 48 hours of slurping down the Obama Kool-aid) can come out of its coma and get real?

Heavy sigh. I think I'm dreaming too big.


Four paragraphs of Bush-bashing----Yawningly predictable.

"I came here not to bash Bush--I'm too much of a rugged pragmatic for that"----mildly amusing in it's well-worn irony.

"Oh yeah, I was supposed to talk about Obama,..OK."....
Four paragraphs of "he will make a great president if he shares my ideology, which of course means he denies any and is a rugged pragmatist like me----PRICELESS.


The problem is that Bush has been dealing in reality for better or for worse. This is why Obama isn't likely to change much in terms of foreign policy from the Bush policies- because Obama is getting hit with that reality. Same thing on the economy. The big surprise for the Obama era may likely be just how similar his policies are to those of his predecessor. The big difference will be in the response from those who relentlessly criticized Bush.


"I hope this doesn't occur with the more recent cult of cults who sling the "P" word as if it were a virtue.The motive of the pragmatistic cult leader is not to enlighten and inform, but to obfuscate." (quote selected at random from above post)

Again, how do you do it? HOW DO YOU DO IT??


oh my my, oh hell yes, Obama put on that party dress..wait..was that nice? Obama is in a tough spot. His very own Sec of Something and McCain have already called him a pussy in double-speak. Now he has to have a surge of his own, find his own Saracen scalps and skins to put on his own lodge pole. He must avert a crisis using a method which has never previously worked - regulation and legislation. I've been looking for a literary or mythological character to compare this with. All I come up with is W, standing on a pile of rubble with bullhorn explaining how it wasn't his fault and why no one will be fired, demoted or given a time-out and telling me the reason I am hated is for my freedom. If Pragmata VI can top that, he deserves what's coming. Ed seems to think he can.


He grew up in an Illinois town
Had a goodlookin papa
Who never was around
But he grew up tall and he grew up right
With them Illinois boys on them Illinois nights

First dance with King Hussein,
One more dem to feel your paayeeyaanne!!

Ed Cone

Americans seem to be taking a positive but reality-based view: "President-elect Barack Obama is riding a powerful wave of optimism into the White House, with Americans confident he can turn the economy around but prepared to give him years to deal with the crush of problems he faces starting Tuesday."

My expectations for the Obama era, as published the weekend after the election: "I expect to be frustrated and disappointed by the failings of human beings and human systems, and to see slow progress at best against the very large problems we face as a country. That's life in the real world." Also: Coloring VA and NC blue "doesn't mean a permanent realignment is at hand. Obama and the Democrats will have to earn that in the years ahead."


I expect the positiveness to quickly evaporate if, for example gas goes up to $4 or higher.

The above ground factors can override geologic reality in the short term.

Those who see the world first and foremost through a partisan political (US)filter will be the least positive - it's the nature of that kind of worldview.

I've already read those that self-identify as left leaning complaining about Obama.

I'm willing to wait and see. I think the odds are against him. Those odds flip if the sheeple wake up.


In other words "I am willing to treat Obama with the patience that I did not afford Bush. I am willing to overlook the same mistakes if Obama makes them that I wasn't willing to overlook with Bush. I am willing to support Obama if he adopts the same policies that I trashed when adopted by Bush."

Personally, I hope Obama does great things. He seems capable enough. But in the end, I suspect that his path to success will lay closer to many of those policies blasted by liberals over the past eight years. They will be the ones with the hard task of reconciling their past with the present and finding some path to consistency.


@ Spag

Were you addressing me - since your post follows mine and you didn't otherwise indicate ?


No, I was referring to Ed but if I had written that, he would accuse me again of obsessing over him rather than simply disagreeing yet again with what I perceive as a double standard.

Already the list of things that Bush was harshly criticized for yet appear to be close to adoption by Obama is growing with no comment from the gallery.

Raising taxes on "the rich", Guantanamo, timeline for pulling out of Iraq, negotiating with enemy heads of state, wiretapping, etc.

Ed Cone

You are incorrect, Sam.

I want my country to do well, and I had hopes for Bush even though I disagreed with him on some things. I was heartened by much of his response to 9/11.

Things began to go downhill in my view with the axis of evil speech. Still, I hoped (and wrote publicly) that we needed to succeed in Iraq, even as the administration denied the obvious problems developing there.

I don't think the man did a very good job as president. I wish that I could say otherwise.

I hope the next few years are better than the last several.

Dr. Mary Johnson

Indeed, Sam.

Ed, if you simply insert "George Bush" into your perfectly worded excerpts, you'd be looking at the reality of the world back in 2001 - America emerging from unfathomable disaster . . . people on "the right" calling for the country to get beyond partisianship and pull together - to give the President the benefit of the doubt AND TIME as he dealt with infrastructure failures YEARS in the making - the likes of which no other President had ever encountered . . . people on "the left" pausing all of two seconds before they started calling for his blood.

And "the left" never stopped - and it was never willing/able to acknowledge its own culpability in any of the messes that surfaced (especially the financial one). You somehow expect it to be different now that the liberal/"Hollywood" elite and the-entitled-masses-they-pander-to have finally risen to put almost all the power in the Democratic party's hands.

I'm still reading that the big Dems in DC would not rule out "prosecuting" Bush for his "crimes". Very productive, progressive and forward-thinking. And it's not very smart in the long run, if Obama's eight years are as turbulent/difficult to navigate as his predecessor's.

North Carolina has been "blue" for years in Raleigh. And the state could not be in worse shape. Yet "We The People" still keep sending the same crooks - or more crooks that learned at their knee - back. The Democrats have not had to "earn" anything in NC - they've rested on their laurels for years. The question, cheripicker is not how Ed does it, but WHY do WE do it?

I think a good 98% of the NC populace is in a some kind of political coma (else we would not have candidates like John Edwards spring from our loins) . . . and wouldn't know what reality was if it hit them in the face (and it's going to - no doubt that will be Bush's fault too).

Ed/other "journalists" seem content for it to remain that way.


"I don't think the man (Bush) did a very good job as president. I wish that I could say otherwise.
I hope the next few years are better than the last several."

I agree with that for the most part. Bush was a disappointment to me but probably for different reasons than he was a disappointment to you. I do think it is important to support Obama and give him a chance rather than tear him down from the outset. He appears capable to me, but he does not yet have a record for me to make conclusions about his judgment. To me, that is the unknown and will be the deciding factor in my ultimate opinion of him.

So far, it appears that he is dealing with many realities that Bush dealt with and seems poised to address many of them in the same way. We may learn a lot more about Bush by what Obama does than anything else. Hopefully, he won't make the same mistakes. By the same token it may become clear that what we consider mistakes made by Bush now weren't mistakes at all.

I have said from the beginning that my problem was less with Obama himself than it was with many of his supporters.

Dr. Mary Johnson

"He does not yet have a record for me to make conclusions about his judgment".

But Spag, get with the program! Obama IS Lincoln. Where have you been?


"I don't think the man did a very good job as president. I wish that I could say otherwise." ///ED///
I am sure Obama will be happy to give Clinton a pass on the sex education for his two girls.
Lewinskys are OK if no-one else knows!


I do hope Obama is a good president.
I do not agree that he is the first African-American president. I hate hyphenated words that describe people. I am not Native-American; I am an American!


"I do not agree that he is the first African-American president. I hate hyphenated words that describe people. I am not Native-American; I am an American!"
I hear you 4ty8er. I am a caucasian-American (couldn't resist) and Obama is no more African-American than I am. He is half caucasian, half native Kenyan. Not that the distinction is of any particular importance. We're (almost) all ultimately imports.


As far as hating hyphenated words that describe people, I hate to tell you, but if you hang out here much you are probably by definition manic-depressive, obsessive-compulsive, passive-aggressive, etc, etc.


@ 4ty8er

Yeah, the Natives I know would agree with the distaste for the hypenated term but for totally different reasons.


@ 4ty8er

I do not agree that he is the first African-American president.

What do you mean ? What's your angle ?


" Not that the distinction is of any particular importance. We're (almost) all ultimately imports." -- Picker

Agreed. That Obama is to become president of a nation whose history includes a time when a man of Obama's hue would have been owned as property, followed by a civil war over the practice, followed by still more decades for true equality are of no particular importance. It's just a guy assuming the office with no relevance to the story of America.

Dr. Mary Johnson

"Obama's hue"? My God, that's worse than "African-American". We can't even say "black man" anymore.

Roch, that card has been over-played to the nth degree in this campaign and its aftermath.

At some point, in order to deal with reality, you're going to have to STOP looking back before 1865 . . . or even around 1965 . . . and look at what's going on RIGHT NOW.

Barack Obama - a black man - in the White House puts a whole new spin on real responsibility (especially that of the individual for his/her choices) and collective societal guilt.


"a man of Obama's hue would have been owned as property,"

Obama in no way shape or form can trace his family history to those circumstances.

Is there something wrong with me being colorblind regarding the present and future without obsessing about the past?


BUSH'S FAREWELL SPEECH, in case you missed it

Normally, I start these things out by saying 'My Fellow Americans.' Not doing it this time.

If the polls are any indication, I don't know who more than half of you are anymore.

I do know something terrible has happened, and that you're really not fellow Americans any longer.

I'll cut right to the chase here: I quit. Now before anyone gets all in a lather about me quitting to avoid impeachment, or to avoid prosecution or something, let me assure you:

There's been no breaking of laws or impeachable offenses in this office.

The reason I'm quitting is simple. I'm fed up with you people.

I'm fed up because you have no understanding of what's really going on in the world.

Or of what's going on in this once-great nation of ours.

And the majority of you are too damned lazy to do your homework and figure it out.

Let's start local. You've been sold a bill of goods by politicians and the news media.

Meanwhile, all you can do is whine about gas prices, and most of you are too damn stupid to realize that gas prices are high because there's increased demand in other parts of the world, and because a small handful of noisy idiots are more worried about polar bears and beachfront property than your economic security.

We face real threats in the world. Don't give me this 'blood for oil' thing. If I were trading blood for oil I would've already seized Iraq 's oil fields and let the rest of the country go to hell. And don't give me this 'Bush Lied...People Died' crap either. If I were the liar you morons take me for, I could've easily had chemical weapons planted in Iraq so they could be 'discovered.' Instead, I owned up to the fact that the intelligence was faulty.

Let me remind you that the rest of the world thought Saddam had the goods, same as me. Let me also remind you that regime change in Iraq was official US policy before I came into office.

Some guy named ' Clinton ' established that policy. Bet you didn't know that, did you?

Now some of you morons want to be led by a junior senator with no understanding of foreign policy or economics, and this nitwit says we should attack Pakistan , a nuclear ally. And then he wants to go to Iran and make peace with a terrorist who says he's going to destroy us. While he's doing that, he wants to give Iraq to al Qaeda, Afghanistan to the Taliban, Israel to the Palestinians, and your money to the IRS so the government can give welfare to illegal aliens, who he will make into citizens, so they can vote to re-elect him. He also thinks it's okay for Iran to have nuclear weapons, and we should stop our foreign aid to Israel. Did you sleep through high school?

You idiots need to understand that we face a unique enemy. Back during the cold war, there were two major competing political and economic models squaring off. We won that war, but we did so because fundamentally, the Communists wanted to survive, just as we do. We were simply able to out spend and out-tech them.

That's not the case this time. The soldiers of our new enemy don't care if they survive. In fact, they want to die.

That'd be fine, as long as they weren't also committed to taking as many of you with them as they can.

But they are.. They want to kill you, and they are all over the globe.

You should be grateful that they haven't gotten any more of us here in the United States since September 11. But you're not. That's because you've got no idea how hard a small number of intelligence, military, law enforcement, and homeland security people have worked to make sure of that. When this whole mess started, I warned you that this would be a long and difficult fight. I'm disappointed how many of you people think a long and difficult fight amounts to a single season of 'Survivor.'

Instead, you've grown impatient. You're incapable of seeing things through the long lens of history, the way our enemies do. You think that wars should last a few months, a few years, tops.

Making matters worse, you actively support those who help the enemy.

Every time you buy the New York Times, every time you send a donation to a cut-and-run Democrat's political campaign, well, dang it, you might just as well Fed Ex a grenade launcher to a Jihadist. It amounts to the same thing.

In this day and age, it's easy enough to find the truth. It's all over the Internet. It just isn't on the pages of the New York Times, USA Today, or on NBC News. But even if it were, I doubt you'd be any smarter.

Most of you would rather watch American Idol or Dancing with Stars.

I could say more about your expectations that the government will always be there to bail you out,

even if you're too stupid to leave a city that's below ow sea level and has a hurricane approaching.

I could say more about your insane belief that government, not your own wallet, is where the money comes from.

But I've come to the conclusion that were I to do so, it would sail right over your heads.

So I quit. I'm going back to Crawford. I've got an energy-efficient house down there (Al Gore could only dream) and the capability to be fully self-sufficient for years. No one ever heard of Crawford before I got elected, and as soon as I'm done here pretty much no one will ever hear of it again.

Maybe I'll be lucky enough to die of old age before the last pillars of America fall.

Oh, and by the way, Cheney's quitting too. That means Pelosi is your new President. You asked for it.

So that's it. God bless what's left of America.

Some of you know what I mean. The rest of you, kiss off.

PS - You might want to start learning Farsi, and buy a Koran.


That Bush is one bitter man.

Dr. Mary Johnson

No. Not so much: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/01/president_bushs_farewell_addre.html


Picker, despite your protests that we not consider the things that make it so, in the context of America's history and Obama's skin color, his elections is important. Argue it's not all you want. You are arguing for a myopic view of current events and for ignoring their relationship to history.


His election IS important. Period. I just don't require liberal guilt, original sin, etc to enable that realization. I don't mean to inspire your anger in not elevating the importance of this presidency to a higher level than those preceding it. Feel free to see it otherwise.


CP, we all have e-mail accounts, and most of us have conservative family or friends who forward clever little fictional stories about Liberals being clueless, Socialists trying to control everything, gun control advocates being shot by criminals, God working miracles in a trailer park, etc.

If you're going to post one of these things, at least make it entertaining, like the redneck houseboat or a husband and wife joke.


sorry, don't spank me, just thought it was timely, light humor. Entertainment is in the ideology of the beholder. Wish you could post pictures in here.


@ CP

I don't mean to inspire your anger in not elevating the importance of this presidency to a higher level than those preceding it

Whew, there's a black hole of an analysis opportunity ! ROTLMAO !

Can't wait for the first XX Prez to become POTUS for your take.


?ROTLMAO? ?sarconal? Sorry, I know you are tired of my denseness, but it IS Monday

Dr. Mary Johnson

Roch, didn't you mean to say his "hue"?

"Can't wait for the first XX Prez to become POTUS for your take.

WOOHOO! Especially if it's Clinton. Does anyone honestly think that SOS is going to appease her . . . or that the scheming has not already begun?

And, scharrison, God works miracles in trailer parks every day;)


Picker, anger? What anger? You said something dumb. I called it dumb and you defended it. That hasn't made me angry.


you sound angry

Dr. Mary Johnson

Roch always sounds that way.

And everyone else is dumb.


I'm sure they do, Doc. But you know, coming really really close to solving the puzzle on Wheel Of Fortune, or having 3 of your 6 numbers show up on the Lottery drawing, don't really qualify as miracles, in the classic sense...

disclaimer: I was the moderately proud owner of a 14'X 60' Dream Home with Wheels for about five years. It even had a bay window, which...well, looking at a bunch of other trailers sort of soured the whole bay window effect, but it was a great spot to watch for tornadoes.

Dr. Mary Johnson

Well, that certainly was an enlightened and tolerant, "reach across the aisle" kind of response.

And what happened to your dream home, sharrison?

Did it collide with a monster truck?


To all that absolutely know they're right ...

A book ON BEING CERTAIN: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not

The day after the space shuttle Challenger disaster, a psychology professor named Ulric Neisser had his students write precisely where they'd been when they heard about the explosion. Two-and-a-half years later, he asked them for the same information. While fewer than one in ten got the details right, almost all were certain that their memories were accurate, and many couldn't be dissuaded even after seeing their original notes.
When he interviewed the students two and a half years later, 25 percent of them gave strikingly different accounts. But when confronted with their original journal entries, many students defended their beliefs... ”

Ever had this happen in your life ?

... One of them answered, “That’s my handwriting, but that’s not what happened.

Throughout his book, Burton makes the compelling argument that certainty “is neither a conscious choice nor even a thought process.” Instead, he says, that unmistakable sense of certainty “arises out of involuntary brain mechanisms that, like love or anger, function independently
of reason.”

I suspect it can be seen quite readily in political partisanship.

Ed Cone

Obama's election clearly has great importance in the context of American history and the long struggle for racial equality.

His parents' marriage would have been illegal in many states during his own lifetime. This is not ancient history.

His inauguration does not mean an end to racial issues in this country. To say it does is at best wishful thinking.

It is, however, a hopeful moment, and one to celebrate, in terms of moving past (if not forgetting) the worst of our history.

I'm happy and proud.

Dr. Mary Johnson

Well RBM, I was at work in a lab at a chemical plant in High Point - standing right at the outside door to the lab - not believing what I had just heard - and trying to get the details from another employee listening to a radio. Vivid memory. I remember looking up into the sky and feeling very, very sad.

I could follow this thread all day, but I think my little foray into the land of Cone is over - at least for now. It's been fun.

In terms of partisianship, what changes tomorrow about this blog (and it's going to be oh-so-much-fun to watch) is that is goes from being on the whiney, nit-picky, never-ending attack to being on the defensive.

I look forward to it. Pop the popcorn.


No, it collided with a divorce, and then took several months before it could be married off to someone willing to take up payments. For a while I thought we were going to have to come up with a dowry to sweeten the deal...


@ Dr Mary

What you just posted has to have a comparison - it's a difference comparison. Otherwise the human brain's work can't be identified.

Yeah, partisanship fights are fun to observe.


Obama becoming president is an important and historical moment. It is one that we all should feel good about if only for its historical significance. That said, Jesus is not coming back tomorrow despite what the media and some of the people blogging here might think. And if you don't believe in Jesus, you can at least stop pretending that tomorrow Obama will come down from Mt. Sinai with words from God.

I think his inauguration does warrant a little more attention than others might because it is a milestone for America. Still, it has gone way overboard and the media orgasms over Obama shed any pretense of objectivity and are simply annoying at this point. I really do question whether they will ever be able to be objective about the man.

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