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Rasmussen Reports

Forty-two percent (42%) of Americans say that if Israel launches an attack against Iran, the United States should help Israel. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 46% believe the United States should do nothing while just 1% believe the U.S. should help Iran.
I have a feeling, based on nothing more than my own silly notions, that the one-percent is made up of half ethnic Iranians and the other half are people that have actually read and understand our international obligations under the UN Charter to come to the aid of member nations who are victims of an otherwise unprovoked attacked by a rogue nation acting outside of the the rule of law.

I'm not saying what we should do, although even if we just stand by and watch Israel do everybody else's dirty work when it comes to Iran's nuclear aspirational goals, it's certain that we could be counted on to veto any interference by the UN against our closest Middle Eastern ally.

However, it's interesting that less than one percent of Americans even care what the UN obligates us to do.

I've had my fair share of run-ins with wingnuts, but I was reminded of one in particular while reading Daniel De Groot's rendition of the counter-conference Malkin and company were holding to bolster their lagging self-confidence in the shadow of Netroots Nation in Austin. I was physically accosted and called a commie for supporting Reagan.

Anyone really want to make the case that conservativism is anything more than a set of shallow authoritarian personality cults to rationalize socially destructive behaviour?
All they have is Reagan. And only their posthumous fictional version of him to boot. The one in office pissed them off by making nuclear arms reduction agreements with the Soviets.
I remember the Reykjavik conference, the one Reagan ended up walking out on, leaving most of us who were against wasting more money on more missiles and more nukes slapping our skulls and wondering how a geriatric moron could ever become president. (Some things never change.)

They had a special kind of lapel bling going around then that had both the Soviet and American flags crossed, and I got a hold of some as well as some stickers with both flags together. I was in law school at the time, and involved in running the Cleveland National Model United Nations Conference.

See boys and girls, way back when before the scary Muslamonazis threatened our very existence with dime-store box cutters, there was this guy named Gorbechev who had at his disposal thousands of nuke-u-ler missiles aimed at every square mile of this land-o-plenty on hair trigger release. And what did the great Saint Ronny Ray-gun do about this monstrous threat? He sat down and held face-to-face talks with him so we wouldn't soot our missiles at them if they didn't shoot theirs at us -- and maybe they thought they might get rid of some of them since they promised not to use them anyway.

President Ronald Reagan and Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev entered into an unprecedented dialogue regarding their desire to eliminate their countries' nuclear weapons. "It would be fine with me if we eliminated all nuclear weapons," Reagan said. Gorbachev replied, "We can do that."
That was the theory, the "aspirational goal horizon" if you will. Of course Saint Ronny thought the best way to get an agreement for fewer missiles was to build more. The usual counter-intuitive wingnut nonsense. But the idea that the two leaders would talk face-to-face, that Reagan would meet with the head of what he labeled the "Evil Empire" was music to the ears of us lefties. Together they worked to keep the peace, just as the logo symbolized with each flag's "pole" merged into the other, neither on top. Neither dominating the other.

So I was wearing one of these pins with both superpowers' flags, using it as a tie-tac actually, and handing out the stickers to anyone in our lobby who might be interested in the Model UN conference. Then this huge guy came by to rain on my parade, calling me pinko scum and assorted other nasty things having to do with my heritage and politics because he saw the USSR flag.

I asked him if he knew what the logo symbolized, tried to explain what it was about, but he literally stuck his chest in my face, hollering and refusing to let me get a word in edgewise about his hero approving the pin, that it came from out own State Department. He didn't care. He just "saw red," and chest-thumped me a couple of times, trying to get me to throw the first punch -- and I was tempted despite his six inch reach advantage.

I walked away to the taunts of liberals all being cowards and his buddies led him out of the lobby. This bully was a college grad. I know that since you have to be "educated" before accepted to law schoolm and he was indeed a fellow student. When it came flag pins and talking with our rivals he had no desire to be further educated. His mind long since closed.

No, you'll never hear from me how there's more to conservatism than belonging to a tribal culture who spit on the very idea that inspired this nation's beginning, E. Pluribus Unum -- or as Ara likes to say, we're all in this together.

My son is a huge fan of Hillary Clinton and took it pretty hard when she lost to Barack Obama. He's even threatened to vote for John McCain. Well, Saturday the DNC and Howard Dean brought their cross-country "Register for Change" bus tour to Baton Rouge. So we attended.

On the way there Miss Julie had an idea.

"Wouldn't it be cool if you got Howard Dean to make a personal appeal to Michael to vote for Barack Obama?" I laughed at the thought. But she had something there. Below is the video of what happened next:

I emailed Michael the video.

"How did you get Howard Dean to do this?" he shouted, laughing, on the phone 3 minutes later. "At first I thought it was some sort of promotion," -- imagine Dean making a series of videos naming every single name in the book like those "personalized" coffee cups and key chains you see in souvenir shops -- "but then I heard your voice."

"So," I say, "is that enough or what? You gonna vote for Obama now?"

"I'm still thinking about it, but I'm getting closer. This helps."

There's still hope.

P.S. First Rove, now Dean. Who's got the mojo, baby?

Yeah, I know it sounds either like a neo-con version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show's Time Warp, or there has been a really big shoe drop with the PrezNitWit accepting even the notion of the word "time" to be associated in any way with his Iraq War final solution.

Never fear my pretties. The administration indeed keeps faithful to it's roots in Orwellian double-speak by "agreeing" to sometime down the road, maybe, talking about negotiating an agreement in a statement so vague and meaningless it's announcement can only have one possible effect -- put an annoying speed bump in Barack Obama's triumphant sprint to the White House.

The statement, if you can call it that since usually those imply some sort of declarative sentence, speaks of inclusion of a "general time horizon for meeting aspirational goals."

Aspirational goals. Say that with me one more time.

Go ahead. No one's listening.

Aspirational goals. Not just goals. You know, things that you aspire to, but Aspirational goals.

After all these years of Bush Speak, I still marvel that they can confound and confuse me again and again. Not over what they are trying to sell us, which is the usual bar-b-qued defecation, but that I still can't figure out whether I should be resentful they treat us like children or horrified they are working at the intellectual level of a second grader.

Sometime, almost out of sight down on that horizon somewhere, maybe, hopefully, if we're all good boys and girls and click our heels together they might actually agree that the Iraqis will stand up so we can stand the fuck down. Useless bureaucratic, power-mad morons.

If we haven't kicked enough ass over there by now so that the guys we've been training for five frickin' years can at least handle the mop-up operation, they're hopeless, and so are we.



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