Saturday, August 23, 2008

Quick Notes: Biden and Russia

Once again, it is time for an exciting issue of Quick Notes. There has been some "exciting" news on the Presidential front, and some distrubing news on the international front. On to my thoughts...

Democratic VP Candidate Joe Biden: After a really poor performance by the chosen one last Saturday at Saddleback, Presidential candidate Obama tapped Joe Biden for his VP candidate. I think the best you can say for this pick is that it was a "safe" pick. Biden is a little closer to the middle of the road than Obama. Of course, Obama is so far out in left field it doesn't take much to get closer to the middle. Biden has some of the same "elitist" baggage that Obama has. During the announcement today, Sen. Obama introduced Sen. Biden as the next President. "President" Biden then refered to Obama as Barack America. I am hoping for a number of slip ups like this over the next couple of days to really make the DNC convention exciting.

Russia: Russia has pulled some troops out of Georgia, and entrenched others. I think very few people believe that Russia is ready to give up Georgia. Russia now controls the port of Poti. I believe this gives Putin control of oil shipments leaving Georgia. At the very least, it is a huge hold on what comes and goes to Georgia.

Talk and threats aren't going to work to get Russia out of Georgia. It is time for the United States, the United Nations, and NATO to act. I purpose the following response:

First, the International Olympic Committee needs to remove the 2014 Olympic Games from Russia. These games are set to be held a few miles from Georgia. There is no better insult to democracy than to go through with them. A boycott isn't enough. Athletes shouldn't be penalized for the actions of a nation that acts like this. The games could be sent to somewhere else, somewhere that might send a clear message to Russia. Perhaps the Ukraine?

Second, The G-8 should immediately disolve and reconstitute itself as the G-7, minus Russia. This has been an imperial grab by mother Russia, and Putin needs to know the other nations of the world will not accept this.

Third, the Ukraine and other former Soviet states should be offered expidited admittance into NATO. If Russia's actions are a message to tell the U.S. and NATO to back off, our response should be clear. We will not back down from bullying tactis.

Finally, Russia has been very unhappy with the missle agreement the U.S. has agreed to with Poland. We should offer the same agreement to the Ukraine.

Russia wants to make a play to control all oil in that part of the world, and control all of the former Soviet states. The rest of the world needs to show mother Russia that the days of the empire are done. If Russia wants to be part of the mature world, it needs to act like it.


Brandon said...

Andy, I agree with you that Russia should not host the 2014 Games, but what makes you think the IOC is going to to grow a spine and stand up for the original ideals of the Games?

As for the G-8 idea, I would go for suspending their membership and their bid for WTO membership, with the threat of vetoing their WTO bid and revoking their G-8 membership.

As for NATO membership for Ukraine, I have no problem with that but we need to realize that part of the problem with Russia is related to their feeling threatened by NATO's expansion to their doorstep. Surrounding them an all sides with NATO members would probably be counterproductive if we're looking to prevent the start of another Cold War.

I'm confused about your final point. The Bush administration and DOD scientists have insisted that the missile defense system cannot be used against Russian ICBMs. We already have our radar site in the Czech Republic and our European missile interceptor site in Poland, putting more interceptor missiles in the Ukraine would only serve to piss them off and confirm in their minds that we have been lying all along about the true target of the system.

familyman said...

To call Obama elitist is a joke.

I know this is a label his opponents keep trying to stick to him. But I don't understand where it comes from.

Andy D said...

Thank you for both your comments. I was starting to worry that everyone was agreeing with me. If no one thinks I am wrong, what will I write about?


The only reason to put the missle defense shield in Ukraine is to piss the Russians off. I have read the same things as you; the shield isn't suppose to be good against Russian missles. However, when we agreed to put one in Poland, Russia immediately threatened a nuclear attack on Poland. They need to realize that if they want a voice in how the world works, then they need to work through those groups they are members of.

I have also heard the NATO arguement before. However, Russia can't be allowed to attack another nation simply becuase it doesn't like the fact that other nations are joining NATO. We can't let Russia's actions influence us in regards to NATO, unless it is to make NATO and smaller nations that are threatned by mother Russia stronger.

Andy D said...


Obama gets the "elitist" term becuase he looks down on anyone with a different point of view from his. He thinks everyday working people who cling to their faith and their guns are something to make a joke or a snide remark about. In truth, those are the people that make this nation great, not the Obamas or the McCains of the world.

pack04 said...

Familyman to look into your question and to clear up possible debate later can you explain to me a definition of elitist?
I have found from
1. practice of or belief in rule by an elite.
(definition of elite: 1. the choice or best of anything considered collectively, as of a group or class of persons. 2. persons of the highest class. 3. a group of persons exercising the major share of authority or influence within a larger group)

2. consciousness of or pride in belonging to a select or favored group.

By the definitions above with out really looking into it: Senator Obama does believe rule by the best of anything considered collectively. If not why would he presumably accept the nomination from the DNC on Thursday?

As for the claims on Senator McCain of being old and more of the same old, thank you Senator Obama for picking an old candidate who has been in congress 10 years longer then Senator McCain.

Kram said...


I don't totally agree with your comment that Russia can't attack other nations because they are joining NATO. Russia can attack anyone they want for any reason they want. Using your argument, then Israel shouldn't be allowed to attack Iran. The United States shouldn't be allowed to attack anyone who threatens us. No matter what the DOD or scientists say, Russia is going to view the installation of a missile defense system as a threat.

With all that said, I personally don't think that NATO membership is the primary reason behind Putin's movements. I think it comes back to some previous comments you've made. Putin sees financial benefits to controlling Georgia.

familyman said...


In the context we are discussing here, there is a difference between being elite and being elitist.

I would hope that a candidate for any elected office, especially President would be elite - meaning the best and most qualified. I don't know about you, but I want a President that is smarter than me.

The term elitist in the context it is being used here takes on an especially derogatory connotation that I don't think is warranted. Obama has a very impressive record of community service that I think counters any charges of elitism in the negative sense.

As for Biden vs. McCain. I think the charges against McCain of being the Same Old thing are based on the fact that many of the policy proposals coming out of his campaign are very much in line with the current Bush administration. While Biden's position on policy matters is not.

Andy D said...

Kram, Russia has tried to conquer another nation in order to gain control of it. Georgia represented no threat to Russia at all. This is an attempt to grab land, and to grab a control of oil.


Be careful citing Obama's work as a community organizer. The term has a different connotation in Chicago politics than it does in the rest of the United States. And even if you think his community service is impressive, how does that qualify him for President of the United States?

familyman said...

Andy - Did I say that his previous record of community service qualifies him to be President?

I think I said that his record of community service counters any charges of elitism.

You're not trying to twist my words around are you?

Andy D said...


I am sorry if I misunderstood your words. Even re-reading them now, it looks to me like you are citing his community service as a positive toward him becoming President. However, if you are not, then forgive me.

On the other hand, his community service doesn't seem to counter elitism charges. Much of it was spent organizing the community for political means. I have heard it discribed as a massive get out the vote type organization that he has now applied to his presidential campaign.

Out of curiosity, if you don't believe his community service qualifies him to be president, what do you believe qualifies him? His resume is pretty thin, so discounting the community service is a pretty big thing.

familyman said...

1. I said "Obama has a very impressive record of community service that I think counters any charges of elitism in the negative sense." How do you construe that as meaning that his community service qualifies him to be President?

2. How does organizing a "get-out-the-vote" organization make him elitist? I wish all politicians would get involved in "get-out-the-vote" movements. The more people voting, the better.

3. I wasn't discounting his community service.

As for other reasons I think he is qualified to be President -
I won't get into the policy positions of Obama's that I agree with because I know that you and I would just end up going back and forth with "is" "is not" "is" "is not"

There are two things I really like about Obama.

First is that he is very smart. I'm sick of having a President who, regardless of his actual IQ, comes across as dumb and classless.

And secondly Obama inspires people to get involved. A true leader inspires others to take action. And that's what;s happening.

pack04 said...

I think he is an elitist similar to most other politicians. I believe that they think they are above everybody else and that is disappointing. I cannot speak for the rest of the people in the world but somebody who is an elitist and tries his best to pretend he is not and have people defend him as not being one makes him SEEM even worse of one or perhaps stick out a little more as one. Additionally, I do not think that community service counters elitist behavior just like I do not believe community service for criminals counters criminal behavior.

I am not sure what action he is inspiring people to take, polls are even with McCain, plus we have to be a little careful of leaders inspiring people to take action in addition to wanting a firm, widespread and increased control over the country and its government. That plan did not really work out well for Europe when Hitler did that.

Now as a preemptive counter think about Hitler's message. He convinced a group of poor people that another group of people with lots of money is the reason for their problems.

Senior Lady said...

I agree with Familyman. Obama is a man we can be proud to be our representative to the world - and what a nice change that will be!

Kram said...

Andy, I agree with you on what Russia did and why they did it. I'm saying that they can conquer any country they want, especially if they are or feel threatened. Are they threatened, yes, at least from their view they are. Georgia is very pro-Republic and pro-America. Russia doesn't want that and doesn't like it. Russia wanted to do something about it, so they did. Should the rest of the world just accept that and move on, no, that's not what I'm saying at all. But, what will the rest of the World do? Nothing, because America isn't leading the way. Why, because we're weak, very weak... thanks to the Democrats and their poor support of our military.

You guys should stop writing about Mr. Obama. I'm sure it can be linked to global warming. Also, he is a non-factor. After November he'll be back to just being a Senator. The Democrats will be much happier with their other candidate, John McCain.

Andy D said...

Senior Lady, but what is it you are proud of? What has Obama done that makes you say, "Yes, that is the candidate I can throw my wholehearted support behind."?

Kram, I thought your previous post were approving of Russia's action. I stand corrected. And you point out something I hadn't considered, maybe this is all because of Global Warming...

Senior Lady said...

Kram: Obama a "non-factor"? What world (or fantasy land) are you living in?

Senior Lady said...

Andy: Here are a few reasons I can be proud of a "President Obama"

l)He voted against the war in Iraq from the get-go
2)He understands that the policies
of the Bush administration have hurt this country in so many ways
3)His promise to work to change those policies
4)His intelligence; how he presents himself, speaks, and conducts himself
5)His leadership abilities. He has proven his ability to unite
6)His choice of Joe Biden as a running mate
7)He will restore integrity to the Oval Office

Andy D said...

Senior Lady, obviously I can’t tell you what you can and can’t be proud of. That is a personal decision that everyone makes. I just don’t understand why people support Barack Obama for President. I don’t believe his resume qualifies him for the position. Obviously, he meets the Constitutional requirements. However, there were many in the Democratic Party that did, who didn’t win the nomination. I am not a McCain fan either, but I just don’t see anything with Obama that recommends him to the highest office in our government. Here is my understanding of your bullet points:

1) He wasn’t in office when the initial votes were cast to go to war. He did come out against the war as a politician in Illinois, but he was certainly not alone in that.

2) That is a debatable point. It is certainly not a unique viewpoint to Sen. Obama.

3) But how is he going to change those policies? Change simply for changes sake is not a good thing. Obama has only gotten specific on a few points, and those points will dramatically increase the tax burden on all Americans.

4) He is obviously a smart guy. I think he is an incredible speaker when he has a prepared speech in front of him. However, get him to speak off the cuff and he is absolutely terrible. That is one of the reasons he doesn’t do well in debates. Very few people think he did well at the “Saddleback debates”, and that was all about presenting yourself to a group of voters without a typed speech.

5) Name one instance in the U.S. Senate where he has reached across the aisle to unite Republicans and Democrats? He hasn’t done it. He has one of the most liberal voting records in the Senate (if not the most liberal). He may well win the election, but a “Great Uniter” he isn’t.

6) Why do you like Biden? I don’t mean this to be a snide remark. I think Biden was a safe choice for Obama, but it doesn’t represent “Change”.

7) That remains to be determined. Clinton obviously didn’t have integrity in the oval office. I don’t agree with all of Bush’s policies, but I do believe he tried to do his best. Obama has to many relationships with questionable people for us to say he is a man of integrity at this point in his career.

I just think the junior Senator from Illinois resume is too thin to be President of the United Sates.

pack04 said...

elitist = 70,000 + people and stage fit for a roman emperor for an acceptance speech

Of course some will call that showing how popular he is. Of course showing off how popular you are is another sign of elitism.

Not that I believe anything is wrong with elitism nor do I think there is anything wrong with having 7 houses. Hell if I could have a house in 3 places I would like that. I am tried of paying to rent a hotel when I went to go to the beach. I also think I would like to be an elitist either in a good or bad context.

familyman said...

Andy - You and other Obama detractors like to say we don't need change simply for change's sake. I'd like you to show me where Obama has ever said he's campaigning for change just for the sake of change. It's pretty obvious that a lot of the policies of the last 7+ years have not panned out so well. And Obama is campaigning on a platform of changing a lot of those failed policies.

Pack - Of course there's nothing wrong with having seven houses if yo can afford it. The problem is when you don't know how many houses you own.

When McCain was asked how many houses he owns, he said he would have to ask his staff.

Andy D said...

Obama doesn't really have a platform yet. Again, the few policies he has talked about seem pretty bad at best. But you have to admit that his campaign has talked about change a lot without really going into what those changes would be.

familyman said...

Andy, you like to say that Barack Obama does not have the experience to be President.

Two terms in the Illinois State legislature and one term in Congress.

Abraham Lincoln had the same amount of experience when he was elected. So obviously that is enough experience.

pack04 said...

So when asked a question he did not know the answer to he said he would have to ask somebody who knows. I like that. It is better than an answer of " a min...uh..." then providing an answer that has to be backed up and explain that is not what he really meant the next day after somebody tells him what he should have said. what does saying i don't know how many houses i have say...that he is not as into his personal life as he should be?

exactly what policies has President Bush had over the last 7 years have not panned out so well?
As far as I can tell the country has gone "down hill" in the last year and a half, or shall we say since the democrats have been in control in the congress. Or even more since Senators Obama and Clinton have been running for president.
With my previous question I am not being naive and thinking President Bush has done nothing I don't agree with. I would just like to know exactly what policies have not panned out and what Senator Obama plans to do to change them? He and others have made claims of things not working and that they need to change. I have not really been told what those things are or what does they plan to change them.
Seems like that should be a simple answer to make.

Kram said...

Senior Lady, I live on the same planet as you do and I don't think Obama will win. But, of course, that is my wacked out opinion.

I don't have a problem with Obama's experience. There have been Presidents with more experience than him that have been horrible, such as Jimmy Carter. The first President of the United States had ZERO experience. So, as long as he meets the Constitutional requirements I think the experience argument is not valid. Not to say that there isn't experience that can help with the every day rigors of the office. Barak Obama is no George Washington or Abraham Lincoln... I'd compare him more to Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin. Both were charismatic, which seems to be Obamas selling point. I read that Karl Marx was a scholar and "Political Activist." Hmmmm!?!?!

Obama is going to have leadership issues as this election goes along. He's already shown that he can't pick quality advisors as an Illinois Senator. His spiritual advisors are entrenched in Black Liberation Theology, which has its roots founded in Marxism. And, more importantly, he doesn't hold his position on an issue.

Andy D said...

Let me be crystal clear: Barack Obama is not in the same ball park as Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln had four terms in the Illinois House of Representatives and had definitive views you could point to in order to illustrate his stance on issues. Obama served for eleven years in state senate, and had 120+ votes of “present” on an assortment of legislation. Lincoln served a full term in the U.S. House of Representatives and again took definitive stances on issues. Obama is still in his first term, and has spent the last two years of it campaigning to be President.

In the United States darkest hour, Lincoln still believed that the U.S. was a great nation. In today’s world, which is nowhere near as dark as during the civil war, Obama believes we might one day be great.

Finally, the experience Lincoln had was more than enough for a great Republican mind. The experience Obama has isn’t near enough for a Democrat to govern.

familyman said...

Andy Andy Andy. Stop the knee jerk reactions.

First of all I didn't say that Obama was in the same ball park as Lincoln. I said their experience is very similar.

Only time will tell us if they are in the same ballpark. There's no way to know right now. He might be. He might not be.

Before Lincoln was President, I'm sure no one looked at him and said, That guy's going to be one of the greatest Presidents ever."

Plus - If you are really that in the dark about what Obama's stance on the issues, then I can only assume willful ignorance on your part.

Senior Lady said...

Kram: I understand you don't think he'll win; that's your right and you're certainly not alone in your thinking. But to say he's a "non factor" is what I was chiding. I lived during the Civil Rights movement; I have friends, black and hispanic, who grew up in the South and werent' allowed into certain establishments or to use the "white" bathrooms. To see this man running for President is profound for them, to say the very least. No matter what the outcome in November, Barack Obama will never go back to "just being a Senator" again.

Senior Lady said...

1)Sorry, I intended to say "spoke against" the war, my point being it goes to good judgment.
2)I don't know anybody who thinks we're better off (individually or as a country)than we were 8 years ago.
3)I think he did a good job of laying out his plans last night.
4)Time will tell
5)I meant as a grass-roots uniter. Again, a great leader's ability to get people fired up and organized toward setting and meeting goals. History has shown that Congress will make changes when enough people mandate those changes.
6)I've always liked Joe Biden. I admire his stand on supporting our military, even though opposing the war. He's a smart guy who brings great experience to Obama.
7)Integrity (personal): a debate for another day. I don't think President Bush is a "bad" person; but what's happened in this country under his watch has (in my opinion) eroded the integrity of the office and this nation.

As to your last comment about Obama's resume, you must be in shock at John McCain's VP choice!

Senior Lady said...

Why is it because someone believes this country can be better is their patriotism questioned? We have serious problems that need to be addressed. John McCain acknowledges that. Is he unpatriotic? When has Obama ever said he didn't believe this was a great country?

Kram said...

Senior Lady - I was only referring to Obamas politics and how they will play out in this election, thus making him a non-factor. The historical significance of Obama being nominated for the President of the United States is important for our times. If he loses I think that will be an asterisk in the history books. Again, just my opinion. =)

Andy D said...

Wow, lots of defense for the "Chosen One". Let's see if I can answer everything...


I didn't think my response was a knee jerk reaction. I thought it was very well thought out. And it isn't just me that is in the dark, I think most people are. He has changed his point of view on a number of issues. The ones he has stayed constant with (raising taxes and no medical care for babies who survive abortions) really scare the hell out of me.

Senior Lady,

I think the fact that we haven't had a terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11 has to count for something. I think my life, and the lives of my family are better now than eight years ago.

Just to be clear, when you say "grass roots uniter" you mean bringing people together on the left side of the political spectrum? I don't mean to sound sarcastic (even on the web), I just want to make sure you and I are on the same page.

I think compared to Clinton, or Carter, there is no way Bush has eroded the integrity of the office. I am not as worried about our standing in the world as I am worried about the safety of our citizens and our natures future.

I was very surprised by McCain's choice. You commented on my article on Sarah Palin already. I hope more people check it out.

And for the record, I am not questioning Obama's Patriotism. I am questioning his judgment. As I read speeches he gives (for example the "More Perfect Union" speech), I get the impression that Obama doesn't think much of the United States as it is today. He thinks we can be great down the road, and we have been great. I just don't feel he thinks we are a great country today.

Mark43 said...

I want a leader who will make the tough decisions to come. The experience, wisdom and judgement to protect America are all traits that Senato Obama doe NOT possess. There are no polls to read when Russia launces a strike on out missle shield abroad.
I will also not take part in voting for someone who has no respect for life. If you do not want kids then stop having sex or use protection! In the rare case of rape or danger to the mom then common sense takes place. Our country is in danger of becoming a instant gratification society. If Senator Obama is elected, all these irresponsible people who have their hands out will have then filled with money that hard working American earned. I say no to the socialism he wants and no to the inhumanity he displays. America is great NOW and just needs some fine tuning, as it always has and always will. Choose individual responsibility and hard work in November, not handouts, "give me more" and "hope"!

familyman said...

Well Andy. It's taken a while but I've finally come to the conclusion that trying to debate you and the other right-wing idealogues is a giant waste of my time.

I am moving on and I am going to try to put my time and energy toward other political pursuits that will actually yield some positive results.

So, this is good bye.

I can only hope that the national trend toward a more liberally minded citizenry that's been building the last couple years, continues.

And I'd like to urge any other liberals who have been banging their head against the wall here at "Political Friends", please take that energy and passion and instead of spending it here go out and work for a campaign - local or national. Do something that will really count.

Andy D said...

Sorry Family. I posted a goodbye comment under the wrong post. For anyone wishing to see it, it was posted under the Sarah Palin article. Sorry about any confusion.

pack04 said...

Just in case you check back for one last time, I would like you to think about something. You claim this website is a waste of your time because we do not agree with your point of view nor show any signs of us coming around to your point of view. The same is true of you, talking with you is difficult because it appears that you have no intention of changing your mind. I have asked you 3 direct questions on here and you have ignored me. I thought that it was because I was correct and you had no come back. Now I realize it is because you do not care. If a person has a R next to their name or votes for a republican they are evil, wrong and can never be correct and you care nothing for their point of view.

So to sum it all dare you accuse us of not opening our minds when you yourself have no interest in opening your own mind.

familyman said...

pack - well, you've made my case for me better than I could have myself.

You are saying that I said something I didn't say. Which happens here all the time.

I did not accuse anyone of anything in my last post.

I agree that I hold onto my views very strongly. As do you.

And so, I feel my time could be much more wisely doing something other than going around in circles here...

Like I'm doing right now. Ugh.