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Wayward Son
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Whatever else anyone says about Mitt, he does have his priorities straight.

Back in 1996, Romney helped find the missing daught of his partner in Bain Capital. In fact, they shut down the whole company for about a week to look for the girl.

It may be old news, but it's the first I heard of it, and it's a good story anyway. Kudos to Romney. [Smile]

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JoshuaD
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This is pretty awesome. [Smile]
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LoverOfJoy
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Snopes had additional information that I found interesting.

The more I learn about Romney from people who know him the more I think he's a genuinely good, well-meaning (if sometimes flawed) person. That said, I can believe people who think he's a flip-flopper and says a lot of things because they are politically expedient. The two aren't mutually exclusive.

Most accusations of flip-flopping I've seen leveled against both Romney and Huntsman when I examined further really looked more like nuance to me that still seemed consistent.

Personally, I would have seen Romney in a much more favorable light if he hadn't been involved in the commercial (e.g. if it had been created by a PAC). That he paraded it in a commercial for himself was a bit disappointing to me. I think what he did for his coworker's daughter I believe was heartfelt and selfless at the time. I think it's good that people see that side of him. I just don't know that he should be the one sharing it with everyone. *shrug*

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D.W.
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quote:
I think it's good that people see that side of him. I just don't know that he should be the one sharing it with everyone. *shrug*
If all people with political aspirations chose this method to bank away good will for a rainy day I think the overall quality of candidates would be well served. Even if his motivations were entirely self serving, which I strongly doubt, I can’t think of anything I’ve done for a friend that is even close to as impressive. Awesome indeed.


edited for rogue cut and paste...

[ February 01, 2012, 03:52 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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JoshuaD
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I have to admit, the more I see of Governor Romney, the more I like. I'm still putting my vote in for Newt, but I would be perfectly happy to have Governor Romney as the candidate.
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Viking_Longship
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He certainly doesn't have the charachter flaws of a Gingrich or a Clinton, but neither does Obama.
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Pete at Home
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I know Mitt's family from Michigan; his dad, some siblings and nephews were in our congregation ... really nice family. One of his nephews was in love with my sister. Never heard anything bad about any of them. Decent, generous people.

I met Rose Kennedy once, in the airport, when I was a kid. She seemed like an incredible and generous human being; my mom was flummoxed moving to France to join my dad, and we the kids were making life hell for her in JFK airport, and Rose Kennedy out of no where saw us and had her bodyguards help my mom out. From what I know about them, the Romneys seem to have the same aura and reputation.

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seekingprometheus
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My dad went to school with Romney--same major at BYU, then MBA at Harvard, so they had several classes together, though Mitt was doing a joint MBA/JD at the graduate level. He always speaks glowingly of him.

But whether he seems like a good guy shouldn't really matter in choosing an executive leader, even though democracy makes the game almost entirely about perceptions of likability.

Personally, his endless pandering bugs me. My instinct is generally to make allowances for what people seem to MEAN when they make a poorly worded statement, or appear to shift positions based on differing nuances, but I honestly have zero idea what this guy actually means--everything he says seems to depend on what he thinks a given audience wants to hear.

Take his faux pas on "not concerned about the truly poor," yesterday. In spite of the sound-bite, I don't think he doesn't care about the plight of poor people, I think he clearly was trying to emphasize that his focus is gonna be on prioritizing the needs of the middle class.

But while I wouldn't overread into the implication of his verbal gaffe, I must admit that I see no reason for believing that his intended meaning actually represents his priorities--it's simply him pandering to the majority of actual voters.

The truly poor don't turn out to vote, and the truly rich are a vanishingly small percentage of voters. So I wouldn't take him to task for making a statement that misrepresents what I'd guess he actually thinks about the plight of the poor, any more than I'd take him at his word about not caring about the wants of the rich (who, realistically, are his colleagues and associates, and represent the relationships that have put him into the position he has attained). It's a meaningless statement which doesn't say anything about his convictions or actual intentions, it only reflects the audience to which he is obviously pandering in making such a statement.

It would be no more fair to take him at his word that he doesn't care about the poor, than it would to take him at his word that he doesn't care about the rich. He clearly didn't mean any of it, he was simply pandering to the biggest demographic of voters.

Same thing with the flip-flopping charges he's been dealing with since the last election. I don't really see his lack of commitment to a specific extreme ideological bent as a negative per se--I think it's necessary and prudent to compromise to provide for the goals of people on both sides of complex politicsl issues, and I personally generally hope that political promises made to the rabid folk at either extreme of the political spectrum turn out to be meaningless rabble-pleasing demagoguery rather than statements of actual intent--but again, who actually knows where he stands or what he'll do--it all just seems to be pandering, meaningless fustian that indicates nothing other than an attempt to please the plebes at the polls...

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AI Wessex
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I don't much care for Romney's supposed policy positions, but there is a tendency to demonize anybody and everybody for every verbal flourish that can be turned into a headline, whether it accurately or adequately reflects a reasoned position or not. His clarification of the remark sounded a lot like the gaffe version, so I take him to mean that he wouldn't do much to support programs that most help the most poor. That's an unfortunate position that I don't much care for, but not a gaffe. It won't influence anybody, except maybe a small percentage of undecided independents.
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seekingprometheus
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Oh, but speaking of his extraordinary efforts to organize a rescue for the partner's daughter--I think it's clearly selfless and noble, and it evinces deep loyalty and concern for family ties, but I also think it reflects what his actual practice is likely to be in office: he's willing to use his power to shut down standard business operations, and divert the resources at his disposal to go to extraordinary lengths to do a favor for a close personal peer.

In other words, the anecdote seems to shed some light on what his real priorities will be--it's not a story about him mobilizing forces to help a low-level employee (or middle class Everyman) who had a personal crisis but didn't have the resources to deal with it, it's him suspending business protocols to do a favor for a wealthy partner and peer with a decidedly upper class problem.

Contrast this anecdote with his claims about not caring about the problems of the rich, who have extraordinary resources to deal with their rich-people problems. Do you suppose that in his years at Bain, none of his low-level employees ever had a personal crisis with a child? Would he have shut down the whole shop to provide a solution for such an individual--or does the anecdote tell us about the lengths he'll go to suspend protocol for a partner and wealthy peer?

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AI Wessex
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That's unanswerable. That he did it for anybody is better than never doing it. I tend to think he's a decent human being with strong ambitions to accomplish things. I don't hold his business success against him, and I don't know quite enough about his real business behavior to hold his methods against him. I'm just not happy with what he thinks he ought to do if he becomes President.
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Pyrtolin
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To me the bigger problem with what he said is that it suggests that he has some strange misconception that there's some fundamental difference between the "truly poor" and middle income people and doesn't quite get that most of the folks that he's trying to address are just a lost paycheck or two away from becoming on of those truly poor.

And, on that issue- we don't have a safety net for the truly poor; we have a safety net to prevent people from ever becoming that poor in the first place, and the existence of the truly poor (who represent at least about 15% of the population) means that the net has already failed.

As long as he rests on that false dichotomy and he's not going to be able to actually see and address the biggest problems that middle income people face, never mind halt their decline into the ranks of the poor to be trapped there by flawed "safety net" policies that only serve to trap more people in poverty because the don't prevent people from reaching it in the first place.

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seekingprometheus
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Al:

No questions regarding the intents of politicians have reliable answers.

But I think you missed my point. In the context I hinted at, Romney is a powerful executive leader, responsible for a large company comprised of many, many people working together through predefined protocols to fulfill a predefined set of functions.

So, for the purposes of my comparison, think of the company as "America." The employees and clients of the company represent the general public, his wealthy business partner represents the wealthy associates who have partnered with Mitt in attaining his presidential position, the plight of the daughter who has over-indulged in expensive hedonism represents the personal problems the wealthy face as a result of self-indulgence, and Mitt of course, still represents the President.

Wealthy elite comes to President with a personal problem that arises from sybaritic over-indulgence. President cancels the functions of entire large-scale social entity and sets aside all other responsibilities to everyone else to divert all resources to resolving problem of personal friend and powerful peer.

This anecdote is about priorities. The "family" angle seems superficially unimpeachable--but the story actually shows him abusing a position of authority, and undermining the large-scale operations for which he was responsible to do a personal favor for a wealthy friend and partner.

He clearly cares deeply about the problems of the rich, and is willing to circumvent the responsibilities of an office he holds to take care of their needs, to the point of abandoning the obligations for which his office nominally exists...

Just saying...

[ February 02, 2012, 10:53 PM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

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Viking_Longship
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Personally my problem with Romney isn't his mistatements, it's his beating the war drum endlessly and playing into the myth that Obama isn't commited to funneling tax revenue into the military industrial complex....uh I meant that Obama is weak on defense.

Right now Obama is basically saying he might choose to go to war with Iran and Romney and Santorum are saying they propbably will (I think Gingrich is too).

Not a situation I am pleased with.

[ February 02, 2012, 11:11 PM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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seekingprometheus
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I'm not a fan of Obama, so I don't much care about how Mitt riles up the public by calling Barack weak...

To me the issue would be Romney's hawkish plans, examined on their own merits. I really don't follow the stumping that closely--is Mitt really standing on a sabre-rattling platform, or is he just calling Obama a pus*y?

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by seekingprometheus:
I'm not a fan of Obama, so I don't much care about how Mitt riles up the public by calling Barack weak...

To me the issue would be Romney's hawkish plans, examined on their own merits. I really don't follow the stumping that closely--is Mitt really standing on a sabre-rattling platform, or is he just calling Obama a pus*y?

It is probbly politicaly incorrect to invoke uncle remus, but "weak on war" is obama's briar patch. O is the most hawkish prez since make.my.day Reagan. He nailed bin laden in an operation that while perfectly legal under Nuremberg, humiliated and flouted the sovereigntyof an unstable Nuclear power. Hell, man, even Reagan would not have had the balls to make that rid. Just like only Nixon could make peace with China, i think it's perfectly clear that only Obama can take us to war with Iran.

[ February 03, 2012, 02:21 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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AI Wessex
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VL, I don't believe much of what Romney says (even though I don't like it), which counts in his favor more than the idiotic rhetoric coming from Gingrich, who I believe might actually try to do some of what he says. The dire accusations against Obama coming from all of the Republicans are par for the course these days and so extreme as to be clownish. They act like all they have to do to win the nomination and then the election is to think up ever more absurd and apocalyptic things to say about him.

Bob Dole was in some ways the best candidate the GOP has put forward in the last 40 years because he was fairly rational and (more importantly) willing to compromise in order to be effective. McCain had flashes of sanity over the past decade or so, but by the 2008 election cycle he was too far gone (picking Palin and brain farts like calling the crowd at one of his rallies "my fellow prisoners"). His military positions weren't taken to enrich the corporate elite, they were taken because he believes that diplomacy is war and vice versa.

I'm not sure any Republican can run against the party machine any longer, which is essentially funded by millionaires and billionaires for their private enrichment and amusement. Romney is best-positioned to be their useful tool because he also happens to be one of them. He feels their pain, and no pain-no gain, and gain is what they're all about.

He will win the nomination, which I hope scares Democrats and Independents enough that they will finally wake up and rally behind Obama in enough numbers to win. But the Republican machine is very rich, very powerful, very determined.

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by seekingprometheus:
I'm not a fan of Obama, so I don't much care about how Mitt riles up the public by calling Barack weak...

To me the issue would be Romney's hawkish plans, examined on their own merits. I really don't follow the stumping that closely--is Mitt really standing on a sabre-rattling platform, or is he just calling Obama a pus*y?

Mitt is really standing on a sabre rattling platform.

I don't care that he's insulting Obama. I do care that attacking the Obama strawman they've built entials treating any attempt at diplomacy or even humility as a sign of weakness and that no matter how agressive Obama is with our military it's not nearly aggressive enough.

If Romeny is elected he's promissing a build up we can't afford and don't need and "get tough" foriegn policies we also can't afford and don't need.

Pete what makes you think only Obama can take us to war with Iran? The idea seems to have a lot of bipartisan support in Washington.

[ February 03, 2012, 07:07 AM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
He will win the nomination, which I hope scares Democrats and Independents enough that they will finally wake up and rally behind Obama in enough numbers to win. But the Republican machine is very rich, very powerful, very determined.
Romney is not a frightening figure in the way that Gingrich or McCain (in his manic phases) are. If Obama wants to beat him he's going to actually have to work for it, not rely on Democrats and Independents to rally behind him out of fear of his opponent.
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D.W.
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seekingprometheus, your rather cynical take on the abuse of power and favor brokering is disturbing food for thought. I wish I could suggest you get fit for a tinfoil hat but I have to admit the hypothetical you set up does make sense. [Frown] Way to glass half empty that story…

Pete at Home, I’m right there with you. I think anyone who attacks him on military matters needs to throw away that old play book and pay more attention to the last few years.

Watching the Republican primaries is always a confusing thing for me. I never know to cheer for someone rational and somewhat agreeable to come out ahead, just in case the Democrats loose, or hope for someone who gets my bile up in the hopes that they prove unelectable by independents. [Frown] What if that unthinkable candidate wins?

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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:

Pete what makes you think only Obama can take us to war with Iran? The idea seems to have a lot of bipartisan support in Washington.

Do you think there'd be more democrats/independents or less in support if Bush was bouncing around the idea of war with Iran instead of Obama?

The whole Nixon/China idea tends to get brought up to show how bipartisan support can be found when the leader who might oppose, doesn't. Then many of his followers start to consider what they never would have otherwise.

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AI Wessex
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"If Obama wants to beat him he's going to actually have to work for it, not rely on Democrats and Independents to rally behind him out of fear of his opponent."

He'll have to do that for sure, but he won't win unless he reels a significant number of Independents back in. He'll need Romney's help to do that.

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by LoverOfJoy:
quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:

Pete what makes you think only Obama can take us to war with Iran? The idea seems to have a lot of bipartisan support in Washington.

Do you think there'd be more democrats/independents or less in support if Bush was bouncing around the idea of war with Iran instead of Obama?

The whole Nixon/China idea tends to get brought up to show how bipartisan support can be found when the leader who might oppose, doesn't. Then many of his followers start to consider what they never would have otherwise.

Whoever is in the White House will not wait for congressional approval. They'll start with strategic bombing and when Iran retailates by closing the Strait of Hormuz most of the Democrats will be on board faster than you can say "spineless."
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AI Wessex
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But when Republicans get on board, isn't that called "strong"?
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seekingprometheus
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VL:

Like I said, I don't care much for the national pageant, so maybe I'm missing nuances in the stumping, but this isn't Teddy Roosevelt's Republican party anymore. Nowadays, in order to be a viable gopper candidate, you've got to speak loudly and brashly about the size of your stick, and how quickly you'll whip it out to prick a b*tch.

And Romney's a consummate panderer--the only consistent conviction I've seen him evince is a commitment to say whatever he conceives will best please the plebes. I see no reason to believe the requisite Ramboesque rhetoric really reflects the policy he'll direct--he doesn't seem the type to really unzip, flip out the stick and let rip at the first b*tch with a saucy lip; on the contrary, he seems like a stilted choir boy taking up a chorus he can't really cotton with the cool kids in the locker room in an awkward attempt to conceal the fact that he's not completely certain exactly what is meant by this metaphor of a "stick," and he doesn't want anyone to know he's never actually taken out a stick to rail on a b*tch.

[Wink]

DW:

Don't pay too much heed to cynical old me, I just get a kick out of finding the funny foolery in the futile farce. I don't believe in the puffery of the public puppetry, and it's fun for me to point out that the lustrous gleam of a golden sheen more often than not isn't really golden at all--metallically speaking, it's actually more irony...

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Greg Davidson
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If Obama were to attack Iran with strategic bombing, he'd lose my support. Or rather, he get the same kind of support I had for Bush during the attack on Iraq (which was grudging acceptance, strong concern about risk, but hope for the best).
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Pete at Home
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When a republican says a democrat is weak on defense, its like when a Democrat says that a republican is going to get Roe v Wade repealed. Pure bullshyt. Everyone knows that we are going to keep on having wars and killing fetused. For some reason, peaceniks and pro lifers are appeased by these ritual collaborative falsehoods.

Both parties understand that preserving the ceremony of innocence, the civil lies that sustain civilization, is more important than winning elections. So Republicans help dems pretend that Democrats stand for peace, and Dems help Reps pretend that Republicans stand for life.

Its a falsehood so pervasive that it cannot be termed a "lie" because we forget that it isn't really true.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
If Obama were to attack Iran with strategic bombing, he'd lose my support.

Since he will do so after the 2012 elections, what repercussions do you anticipate O-man will suffer as a consequence of losing your personal support, Tom?

....


I am a wee bit vain at predicting pre 2009 that O-man would go after Obama more aggressively than bush did, because dems like india while repubs historically kiss Paki butt. Plus O-man did make threats to Paki sovereignty in 2008 that at the time alarmed me ... but i'm not too proud to admit that O was right and that i was too timid towards the Pakis.

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seekingprometheus
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...wrong Davidson, Pete...
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Greg Davidson
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I don't think that Obama will bomb Iran, because that's stupid, and he's already come out against stupid wars (for example, can someone explain to me why Iran with nukes is more of a threat than Pakistan with nukes?).
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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
When a republican says a democrat is weak on defense, its like when a Democrat says that a republican is going to get Roe v Wade repealed. Pure bullshyt. Everyone knows that we are going to keep on having wars and killing fetused. For some reason, peaceniks and pro lifers are appeased by these ritual collaborative falsehoods.

Both parties understand that preserving the ceremony of innocence, the civil lies that sustain civilization, is more important than winning elections. So Republicans help dems pretend that Democrats stand for peace, and Dems help Reps pretend that Republicans stand for life.

Its a falsehood so pervasive that it cannot be termed a "lie" because we forget that it isn't really true.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons so many people are disturbed by Ron Paul.

Oh sorry, racist 20 year old newsletters invalidate everything he says. I forgot...

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
I don't think that Obama will bomb Iran, because that's stupid, and he's already come out against stupid wars (for example, can someone explain to me why Iran with nukes is more of a threat than Pakistan with nukes?).

You have any substanitial evidence Obama isn't in the "Iran must not have nukes, no matter what" crowd?

Edited to add: There are two heavily pro-Isreal voting blocks in the US. Evangellicals and Jews. The Jewish voting block has been very good to the Demmocrats historically. Obama is under enourmous pressure not to appear weak on Iran and losing the Jewish vote.

[ February 04, 2012, 11:35 AM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by seekingprometheus:
...wrong Davidson, Pete...

Thanks sp and apologies to both davidsons
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
Oh sorry, racist 20 year old newsletters invalidate everything he says. I forgot... [/QB]

? Missed the reference.

Me, I grudgingly respect Paul for his honesty, but would not vote for him for president, unless he was running against some wank job like Newt Gingrich or Ronald Reagan. (who, lest we forget, helped arm the Iranians while they were murdering our marines in Lebanon ... talk about weak on defense!).

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
There are two heavily pro-Isreal voting blocks in the US. Evangellicals and Jews. The Jewish voting block has been very good to the Demmocrats historically. Obama is under enourmous pressure not to appear weak on Iran and losing the Jewish vote.

In terms of sheer numbers, the Jewish vote is about as significant as say, the mormon vote. Giggle.

What has O-man pissing himself isn't the Jewish vote per se, but the approval of the state of Israel, which for some reason has been really nasty to our current commander in chief. Israel's used the fact that Obama is *perceived* (wrongfully, I might add!) as weak on Israel, to extort concessions from the Obama administration. The threat isn't that Israel is going to (gasp) take the Jewish vote away from Obama, but rather that Israel might refuse to play ball with Obama on the things that matter. Most significantly, Israel might refuse to bomb Iran for us, and force Obama to do it himself.

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Viking_Longship
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Pete due the electoral college the Jewish vote isn't just a matter of numbers in the overall population, its important in how it effects key states. Obama's better off with New York and New Jersey as givens instead of swing states. Florida will be a swing state. In Ohio he'll need all the help he can get.

The Mormon vote matters in places with much smaller electoral value like Nevada and Utah.

[ February 04, 2012, 05:42 PM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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Greg Davidson
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Pete, is there a compelling argument why war with Iran is preferable to Iran getting a nuclear weapon?
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
Pete due the electoral college the Jewish vote isn't just a matter of numbers in the overall population, its important in how it effects key states. Obama's better off with New York and New Jersey as givens instead of swing states. Florida will be a swing state. In Ohio he'll need all the help he can get.

Does anyone seriously think that New York might not vote for Obama under any circumstances whatsoever?

Do you really think that Netanyahu's posturing will sway many American Jews?

quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Pete, is there a compelling argument why war with Iran is preferable to Iran getting a nuclear weapon?

Iran's been at war with us since the 1980s. Pakistan hasn't been. But if Pakistan has a fundy coup, then yes, I'd be all for taking out its nukes preemptively.
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It's funny how affectionate we've become for Communism since the thawing of the cold war. Apparently fundamentalist Muslims are too fanatatical to own nukes, but the communists, whom we were assured back then were all brainwashed fanatics, in reality were rational enough to have them.

Now let's presume we decide to take out Pakistan's nukes. So let's say we got 90% of them but they had 10% hidden somewhere. What do you think they're going to do?

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cherrypoptart
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Russians aren't known for their suicide attacks. Or lunacy. In chess, Russians might sacrifice their queen to achieve victory. Muslims will sacrifice their king and call that a win.
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