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Monday, Sep. 22, 2014

Late November/Early December Observations

Posted Friday, December 4, 2009, at 9:03 AM

Sorry for my absence over the last week. Nothing bad has happened but in the last week we have had Thanksgiving and my birthday so I thought I would stay away from the blogs during that time period. Without further adieu some observations over what has happened over the last few weeks.

_

Hackers in Russia successfully hacked into computers of Englilsh scientists and released their personal emails to the web. the only REAL revelation that came from these emails is that the scientists are trying to figure out a start date of the current warming of the globe. but with so many outliers they can't pinpoint a start date. That's the real story. To conspiracists and global warming deniers they were able to perform some pretty neat acrobatic moves and announce to the world that these emails prove without a doubt that these emails prove global warming is a hoax. It has even led some on this site to call for the arrest of former Vice President Gore. These people are a hoot, I love watching them chase their own tails in an effort to prove that what isn't there is actually there. In the words of former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, "There is no there, there."

_

Over Thanksgiving, Tiger Woods wrecked his vehicle and suffered minor injuries. If you happened to be watching Fox News or on their website early Friday morning you would have been told that his injuries were serious and that he was in the hospital. Within an hour every news organization was running with the serious injuries story. It led my brother and I to a conversation on Facebook as to how someone could sustain serious injuries in a vehicle crash over a fire hydrant and a tree going less than 33 miles per hour, without being drunk. Finally late Friday afternoon the story of his injuries was finally resolved. Early this week the police officially charged Tiger Woods with wreckless driving. For me that is where the story ends. Whatever else is going on in his private life is just that his private life. I don't really care how many waitresses or servers he's been romantically involved with and neither should anyone else. Unfortunately the news agencies are still treating this as news. As I said at one point, "He may be a public figure but he still deserves a private life. Anything not involving the police at this point is just rumor and speculation. If people have a problem with Tiger not putting his private life on display that's their problem not his."

_

Former presidential hopeful and Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee had his Willie Horton moment recently and he failed it miserably. Actually by all accounts this was his third Horton moment and he has failed all of them. The most recent being the rape of a child, assault of a police officer, and murder of four cops in Washington by former convicted Arkansas felon Maurice Clemmons. If you haven't been paying attention to the story, during Huckabee's run as governor of Arkansas he gave clemency to Clemmons. At the time Clemmons had served about 10 years of a 105 year sentence. Clemmons was giving clemency with 95 years remaining in his prison sentence. Huckabee, who has always been known to accept responsibility (yes that's sarcasm) immediately blamed the court systems in Arkansas and Washington for Clemmons still being free. He accepted no responsibility at all. He even went on Bill O'Reilly's (someone who hates all judges if they don't agree with him) to plead his case. For those who will undoubtedly say that Huckabee did take responsibility saying that "if I would have known 9 years ago" isn't taking responsiblity it's a cop out.

A little background into a couple of the other 1033 clemencies that Huckabee issued in his 10 years as governor. One of the first surrounded a convicted rapist who apparently convinced Huckabee that he had been railroaded by then governor Clinton because the girl he raped was a distant cousin of Clinton. Huckabee gave that man clemency and he promptly went to Missouri and raped and killed a woman their. Another story involves a man who had been arrested while intoxicated four times and was serving time in prison. Just days after the man's wife had given a huge donation to the Arkansas Republican Party, Huckabee saw it in his heart to give this man clemency. The man went on to be arrested two more times for drinking and driving.

Like I said this was Huckabee's Willie Horton moment and he swung and miss. He is now putting just how shifty he really is for the American people. This is something that most Arkansans already knew about him. I don't see Huckabee being much of a factor in 2012 if he decides to run.

_

For weeks we have been hearing the constant hum from the conservative and Republican Party machine that President Obama needed to send more troops to Afghanistan and do it quickly. On Tuesday he finally made his announcement that was in fact going to listen to his general on the ground and send 30,000 more troops into the country. Currently there are triple the amount of troops that were EVER in Afghanistan during the Bush Presidency and we are sending more. So are the Republican and conservatives happy? Of course they aren't. In their attempt to oppose EVERYTHING that Obama does they are now opposed to what they were wanting just a few weeks ago. For most Americans the reaction from the right really isn't shocking. It's just more of the same. The funniest thing to come out of this is the whining, show-boating, and out right lying coming from officials from the Bush Administration. This is a group of people that started the war in Afghanistan to run the Taliban out and get Osama. They were initially successful on the Taliban and could have been successful with getting Osama (we had him cornered). But then they decided that a despot ruler in Iraq was a more serious threat to us than the man who actually masterminded and pulled off the most deadly terrorist attack on American soil. So in the eight years since the Bush Administration forgot about Afganistan the Taliban has successfully made it back into certain areas of the country and Osama is still alive. Why anyone listens to anything the Bush Administration has to say is amazing.

But that does bring up a curious point. Republicans and conservatives want all Americans to remember how great it was in America during the Reagan Administration (though when you look at the actual numbers it wasn't great just slightly better than the seventies, Reagan using the government to bust up strikes, the Reagan Administration bailing out an auto company-Reagan does it good, Obama does it bad, raising taxes, the federal deficity going through the roof, illegal gun trades with terrorists, detente with the Soviet Union, and on and on and on) which was almost 30 years ago but somehow forget the last eight years.

By the way I also do not agree with Obama's proposal but not just because I want to oppose him. I think we need to get out of Afghanistan and Iraq and bring our men and women home. Our military is stretched way to thin and if something ever happens on our soil, we won't be able to respond to it properly. I do stand behind our President and hope this decision brings this war to a close in the three years that Obama has proposed. Remember all the naysaying now about a withdrawal strategy about all the bloodshed that will occur because they know we are leaving was used exactly the same way when Bush announced a similar strategy for Iraq, by some of the same people. It never happened.

But like I said I don't like Obama's proposal but I will support his decision for now. Look a liberal can disagree with the president.

_

The Senate yesterday defeated a proposal by Republicans that would have deleted needed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. They claim that these cuts will hurt senior citizens. They are of course lying. The Republican Party has been trying to get rid of Medicare and Medicaid for years so why do they all of sudden care about cutting the waste of out the programs? They need to win in 2010 and they are going back to their old adage of "If we can scare them they will vote for us." Oddly enough John McCain was one of the most outspoken critics of these cuts to these programs. Apparently he has forgotten that in the 2008 presidential campaign he called for many of the same cuts to these programs that are now being considered. Well he hasn't forgotten he's just lying.

I'm sure I'll write another blog this month but in case I don't I just want to say to all my friends (and yes even those that hate me) Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.

Happy posting.

_

Addendum:

I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of comments on my last blog. I don't know if you all were concentrated on my other blogs or what happened. Nothing more to add, it was just percolating in my mind.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

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I would argue that you support everything Obama does.

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Fri, Dec 4, 2009, at 10:49 AM

Just because I support doesn't mean I agree. I give him latitude as the president. I don't agree with his decision for the time being to put more troops into Afghanistan. I could either be a good decision or a bad decision. I'm still going to support his decision, but at the same time I going to voice my concern and dissent over the decision.

The real world isn't as simple as black and white where if you support the decision you have to agree with it or if you don't support the decision you have to disagree with it. There are many shades of gray. My shade happens to be supporting while disagreeing with the decission.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Dec 4, 2009, at 12:48 PM

I do support everything Obama does. I may not agree with it and there in lies the difference. I support his decision to increase the troop levels but I don't agree with the decision. As I stated in my original blog I believe we need to bring them home.

The real world is not as simple as black and white where if you support a decision you have to agree with and if you don't support a decision you have to disagree with it. There are many shades of gray and on this one I support the President's decision but I don't agree with it.

But then again what's wrong with supporting everything the President does? Didn't we just spend the last eight years where the Republicans and conservatives called anyone who didn't support every decision made by Bush as evil, un American, and America haters?

Aren't these same people now using the same terms for anyone who doesn't cowtow to everything the right wants to do in this country? I remember a candidate in last years race that called people who agreed with everything they said as "Real Americans" which left roughly 80% of the population in the lurch of being I guess fake Americans.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Dec 4, 2009, at 12:59 PM

Sorry for the double post all. My original post wasn't showing up for some reason so I typed it again and added some, so now I have two posts saying the same thing, essentially.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Dec 4, 2009, at 1:00 PM

Snow in Houston today. The earliest on record. The first time in recorded history Houston has had snow two years in a row. Snowed in 1974 and 2002. Now 2008 and 2009.

If Global warming were real you would not expect this sort of thing.

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Fri, Dec 4, 2009, at 4:38 PM

Actually quite the opposite wallis. This is exactly something you would expect. Global Warming isn't solely responsible for higher temperatures.

Global Warming is responsible for wilder weather extremes. It's the same debate from hurricane season. It doesn't cause more hurricanes it causes more powerful hurricanes. It doesn't cause snow only in the north it creates more snow. It also cause generally more precipitation. The fact that Houston has now gotten measurable snow two years in a row fits into Global Warming perfectly. It is a weather extreme.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Dec 4, 2009, at 5:55 PM

wallis if global warming is not occurring then how do you explain for the first time in recorded history man being able to pass through the the arctic year round now because the ice is receding?

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 5:30 AM

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...

Just returned from San Fran. Attended the Rockets/Golden State game. This counts as first of December.

http://blogs.chron.com/socialclimbing/20...

I attend many Rockets West Coast games. I spend 20 days a year in NoCal and 30 days a year in SoCal. Most of the people who comment on this blog needs to travel more.

Right winger you are incorrect in your data. I am an engineer. Send me an email and we can discuss. My website is below.

www.extex.net

I will crunch numbers with you all day long. Ed Moran is also a meterologist.

We will select our Coach of the year nominees on Tuesday. Nebraska needs a big win for Bo to be considered.

http://mccookgazette.mycapture.com/mycap...

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 10:04 AM

wallis let me get this straight. You are challenged on your claim that global warming isn't real. Your response is to completely change the subject to syphilis, NBA, engineering, and Coach of the Year? With just a small mention of weather not climate?

Okay then, as I've said many times before, back on topic please.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 12:50 PM

Be careful wallismarsh, you changed the subject, a clear violation of mike's rules. Only he can do that.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 10:37 PM

Did anything you said in the Chunky have anything to do with the topic?

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 11:34 PM

Good point about troop levels in Afghanistan. Many people on the right are totally oblivious to this fact. They were all up in arms after General Stanley McChrystal's three options were leaked to the media because Obama didn't "immediately support the general on the ground with his request of 40,000 additional troops". Completely overshadowed in the argument was that the 40,000 figure was only one of the hypothetical scenarios, of three total, proposed by the general. The less you know the more attention you get on the "conservative" side of the argument.

There is also talk that the Taliban will simply "wait us out" until our surge is over. That may be the case. But if the Taliban do wait us out and in the meantime we get a competent Afghan army and police structure, the local population will get used to the lower levels of violence. Hopefully, when the Taliban get excited enough and attack, they are repelled by a strong Afghan army. Hopefully the local population, getting used to not having to deal with bombings and violence every day, will join the Afghan army and kick the Taliban out. Hopefully, the neighboring country of Pakistan will keep up its offensive and not give the Taliban/Al Qaeda a backdoor safety net. These are all hopeful scenarios, and I truly hope that things do work out over there. However, for these right wingers that don't want any timelines on American occupation of Afghanistan, the reality is that the US military cannot continue to indefinitely occupy the country. We are not an imperialist country and our Armed Forces are not geared to long term occupation and nation building.

The whole scandal behind the climate change emails is interesting. Inside the climatology community, the debate over whether global warming is actually happening and if human activities are a major factor (not the only factor) is virtually nonexistent. It is a widely accepted fact. According to people like Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma senator and leading climate change skeptic, these emails by a few misguided scientists totally prove that global warming is a false science perpetrated by lying politicians and scientists. Trouble is, if we use that same yardstick to decide if things are true, or if a group of people is lying to the public, we would have virtually no institutions left in the USA. Every time a cop excessively beats individual or a crooked detective plants evidence on a suspect, we would have to question the integrity of all cops. Every time a crooked banker or Wall Street trader committed a crime and pilfered millions of dollars from people, we would have to question the merits of capitalism. The ironic thing here is that Jim Inhofe isn't a climatologist. He isn't even a scientist or an engineer. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree at the age of 38. Before entering politics he was a real estate developer, and then became president of the Quaker Life Insurance Company, which was liquidated on his watch.

Who better to question the validity of science than this guy? The less you know the more attention you get on the "conservative" side of the argument.

-- Posted by jeffhager on Mon, Dec 7, 2009, at 1:08 AM

Mike,

I'm still waiting for some of these HATERS and BASHERS to volunteer their back yard for Al Qaeda to deliver one of Pakistan's nuclear warheads.

Until someone can absolutely prove ability to prevent Al Qaeda and the Taliban from grabbing Pakistan's nuclear arsenal -- I support this administrations decisions.

DECISIONS BASED upon full information, discussion and debate among all responsible parties.

Unlike DubYah's original decision to go into Iraq, because he though Sadaam hired killers to go after Poppa Bush.

Early Bush administration officials have revealed the details of DubYah planning to go after Sadaam -- BEFORE THE YEAR 2000.

-- Posted by HerndonHank on Tue, Dec 8, 2009, at 6:37 AM

Here's a December tidbit you missed Mike,

http://biggovernment.com/2009/12/08/fist...

Do you still say there are no radicals in education?

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Wed, Dec 9, 2009, at 9:07 AM

Mike I have a couple of questions:

I may be reading too much into your statements but let me see if I have this clear. You support everything the President does although you don't necessarily agree with him? If that is so did you support everything Bush did without agreeing? If not how do you explain the apparent hypocrisy?

When you lambaste the Bush administration for leaving the job undone in Afghanistan, perhaps rightly, why then do you call for the Taliban and Al-Qaida to be unhingered in the region? Do you think America will be safer with our troops home waiting for another attack than in the field in Afghanistan?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Thu, Dec 10, 2009, at 11:13 AM

CPB, first of all I have never made the claim that there aren't radicals in education. There are, just like any profession. But just like any profession their numbers are in the vast minority and do not represent the vast majority of hard working great educators in the system whose only goal is to educate. So to answer your question, I never said there weren't radicals and to suggest that I did is either a misunderstanding on your part or complete fabrication on your part.

SWNebr, I do not support everything a president does. The reason I support Obama on this decision is because he took the time to make his decision instead of shooting first and asking questions later. I don't agree with the troop escalation but if the end game is capturing or killing Osama then I am supportive.

I do happen to believe that America will be safer with our troops home. We can't effectively defend our country if the vast majority of our troops are somewhere else. The Taliban and Al-Qaida have been unhingered in the region since we neglected the region to attack Iraq.

I hear a lot of attacks on Clinton based on an unsubstantiated claim that a country offered to capture Osama for us late in his term, but the same people that lob these attacks at Clinton seem uncaring that we had Osama cornered several times in Afghanistan/Pakistan but didn't have the resources to capture or kill him because Bush sent those resources to Iraq.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Dec 10, 2009, at 12:15 PM

Mike,

So you don't support everything A president does only everything THIS president does? Ok I had some difficulty understanding your point especially when you later made the comment about people supporting everything Bush did. That however raises the question of hypocrisy again in my eyes.

How can you mock the complete supporters of Bush while proclaiming yourself a complete supporter of Obama without it being hypocrisy?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Thu, Dec 10, 2009, at 3:00 PM

On the issue of Sudan offering up Osama Bin Laden, I have read (and I encourage others to do so as well) "The Looming Tower" by Lawrence Wright. He makes this claim based on an interview with Maj. Gen. Elfatih Erwa. He claims this to be fact and, judging by the accuracy of the numerous facts presented in this book, it is possible. However, President Bill Clinton, then-National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, and Director of Counterterrorism Richard Clark deny any offer was ever made. The 9/11 Commission also rejects this scenario.

It appears that even if it was true that the US did not have any hard evidence to connect him to harming American citizens at the time. You can read more at the following site.

http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/di...

Again, "The Looming Tower" by Lawrence Wright is a fascinating book and well worth the read.

-- Posted by jeffhager on Thu, Dec 10, 2009, at 3:31 PM

SWNebr if I left you with the impression that I have supported every decision that Obama has made then I apologize. I have not supported everything he has done.

My original point however on supporting President Bush was not disparaging those that supported everything he did it was disparaging those that supported everything Bush did and then calling those who didn't un American, anti-America, haters of America, and my personal favorite "those openly rooting for America to fail".

If you support everything a president does then that's your choice I have no qualms with it. It's when you turn around and try to force other people to support what you support that I have a problem with.

I don't care if people support President Obama it's when they have previously stated (in this case anyways) that they want more troops in Afghanistan and when Obama promises more troops they still complain that bugs me. Those people continue to prove that no matter what this president does, even when they support it before hand, they will criticize him for it. But you will never see me type or hear me call these people what they called me and others when we didn't fully support Bush 100% with no questions asked.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Dec 10, 2009, at 5:31 PM


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