Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
In yesterday's Sunday column I mentioned Ted Cruz spending twenty-one hours lying about the Affordable Care Act. Guess I'm not the only one who noticed.
"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." Orwell
"“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” Plato
"The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant" Robespierre
I’d been looking forward to publishing the column I’d queued up as my penultimate one. Started right after Michele Bachmann announced she wasn’t running again, it described how perfectly she personifies the ignominious intellectual descent of her party, wondered if she actually believed the crazy stuff she said, or if she just sluiced it out there for the attention. (During her mind-devouring appearance in Egypt recently, straddled by two other avatars of emptiness, it became clear she really is imperviously clueless.) The column also referred to her skittering to the land of nyctophobic fantasy in which the Republican Party has lately pitched its doorless tent. I enjoyed writing that. It ended by saying I’d love to believe her exit foretold a return to reality by her party, but I can’t. For, as Yoda said to Obi-Wan, “There is another.” And another. (Star Wars references: reportedly now passé.)
I won’t indulge myself. Instead, I’ll tell you of meeting the other day with Ed, the man to whose letter I referred in my “bagging it” announcement; who pointed out I was no Charles Krauthammer, while making his preference clear. After my column, he emailed me. Following a pleasant conversation in cyberspace, we met in person, over coffee. What a good guy he is. Charming, funny, engaging, and, despite being ten years older than me, looking ten years younger. Or five. Good handshake, too: right in the palm, and firm.
For about two hours, we talked and easily could have gone on much longer. This was no corny sitcom where we ended up agreeing on everything or found out we’d been separated at birth. Fact is, we didn’t agree on much. But in those areas of opposition we contended without a lot of heat, and with recognition that neither of us was entirely right, or entirely wrong; that there was always wiggle-room. (Okay, there were issues about which I was entirely right: he thinks the stimulus accomplished nothing and I think it made a big difference. I agreed it fell short, though. Wasn’t enough, ended too soon, included too much tax cut and not enough job programs. Also, he’s skeptical about climate change, but listened when I talked about ocean acidification.)
Ed thought I shouldn’t quit writing the column. He said he mostly disagreed with me, but not always. (I’ll not embarrass him by revealing with what he agreed.) He said if I toned it down a little, it’d be more effective. On that point, we agreed entirely: I’d sort of acknowledged it in my column. I get outraged at the outrageous, too loudly to be persuasive, I know. But sometimes you just have to run into the street and scream until you can’t anymore, especially when it feels like your brains will squirt out your ears if you don’t.
We didn’t talk only politics. Each having a few years on us, there were tales to tell about where we’d been. As human beings, as Americans, we could disagree on everything political and still have more in common than not. Kids. Family. Things we like, and stuff we worry about. So it makes you wonder, doesn’t it: how have our politics gotten so unrecoverably nasty, when people are still people? If it’s been going on for a long time (I’d argue it detonated when Speaker Newt Gingrich decided his only purpose was to destroy Democrats, for perpetual power. Ed and I didn’t discuss that, and I doubt he’d agree), it’s gotten exponentially worse since Barack Hussein Obama was elected.
And if both parties have had representatives in Congress who are embarrassments to themselves and should be to those that elected them, there’s only one, currently, with legislators babbling insane conspiracies, who reject science while populating the majority of the House Science Committee. People categorically unwilling to compromise (Ed thinks the Affordable Care Act was a no-compromise railroaded deal, since no Republicans voted for it. I think it was the ultimate compromise: an idea born of conservatives that let down liberals who wanted single-payer); itching to crash the economy, uncaring whom it hurts, unconcerned about worldwide repercussions; hissy-fitting if they don’t get their way in yanking health care coverage from tens of millions of people, just as they’ve voted to do with food for the hungry.
So we don’t agree. But we talked respectfully and enjoyed each other’s company, and I’d bet that if people like us were in charge, we could find that workable, elusive middle ground. Too bad we’re not. Right, Ed?[Image source]
... So why then is Kentucky — more quickly than almost any other state — moving to implement the Affordable Care Act?
Because there’s a huge disconnect between the rank partisanship of national politics and the outlook of governors whose job it is to help beleaguered families, strengthen work forces, attract companies and create a balanced budget...
The state ranks among the worst, if not the worst, in almost every major health category, including smoking, cancer deaths, preventable hospitalizations, premature death, heart disease and diabetes...
The Affordable Care Act is one of those solutions....
Lack of health coverage puts their health and financial security at risk.
They roll the dice and pray they don’t get sick. They choose between food and medicine...
Furthermore, their children go long periods without checkups that focus on immunizations, preventive care and vision and hearing tests. If they have diabetes, asthma or infected gums, their conditions remain untreated and unchecked...
The Affordable Care Act will address these weaknesses...
In short, we couldn’t afford not to do it...
As for naysayers, I’m offended by their partisan gamesmanship, as they continue to pour time, money and energy into overturning or defunding the Affordable Care Act. It’s shameful that these critics haven’t invested that same level of energy into trying to improve the health of our citizens...
So, to those more worried about political power than Kentucky’s families, I say, “Get over it.”
... and get out of the way so I can help my people. Here in Kentucky, we cannot afford to waste another day or another life.[Image source]
Simply put: When you’ve reduced your entire movement to saying “no” to Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi, is it any surprise that whoever shouts “NO” the loudest will wind up defining what counts as “conservative”?
Indeed, if you happen to be a demagogue running for president on the platform that you are the only True Conservative and everyone else is a squish or a RINO or a secret liberal, then the best plan is to find the most convoluted, self-destructive, but nevertheless very loud way of saying “no.” Which is basically what Ted Cruz and his allies have done with the demand that Republicans tie keeping the government open to defunding the ACA.
The administration hasn't handled the sales job as well as it could have. (Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, one of the president's earliest supporters and the man to whom fell the job of selling Willard Romney's health-care reform in Massachusetts, told me as much last year.) But I think we can all agree that, for example, if you're trying to sell ice cream, and the people across the street start screaming that you're selling the kids frozen chocolate botulism, the sales job gets a bit harder.
The motives of the political opposition to health-care have been allowed deliberately to remain murky. The fact is that the opposition is funded by people who do not believe that the benefits of the country's wealth should be shared by all of its people. The fact is that the politicians funded by those people believe, implicitly and explicitly, that there are people in this country who deserve good health, and people who don't, and that they can be distinguished by what they can afford. To leave these motives shadowy and implied is a choice that the courtier press has made.If it's true -- and it is -- that the ACA is far from perfect (mainly because it was an total copout to conservatives in hopes they'd help make it work), there's no doubt about the cynicism with which Rs are dealing with it. I agree with the preceding sentiments; but I think it's also pretty clear that the main thing Rs fear is the distinct possibility that, given time, people will see the good to be had in the act; and that when they do, Rs will have been shown to be duplicitous liars, and it'll become clear as the space between Michele Bachmann's ears that R ideas, such as they are, are proven yet again to be utterly wrong.
A 24-year-old man was arrested in the shooting death of a 3-year-old Michigan City-area boy in what an official said was a game the man played with a gun...
... The child, Lance Wilson, was found dead from a gunshot to the head inside the trailer where Grisham lived with the boy and his mother and at least one other child.
... Grisham and the boy often played a game where the boy pointed his finger at Grisham and said, "bang, bang." Grisham would respond by pointing his gun at the boy and pulling the trigger.
... the investigation shows Grisham "this time forgot the chamber was loaded."
WASHINGTON — As the White House and Congress careen toward another fiscal showdown, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office warned on Tuesday that President Obama and lawmakers have been cutting the wrong kind of federal spending as they try to avoid unsustainable levels of debt in coming decades...
... The accumulated federal debt ... would reach 100 percent of the G.D.P. in 2038. But that probably understates the potential crisis, the budget office said, because it does not account for “the harmful effects that growing debt would have on the economy.”...
... Republicans have supported keeping the sequestration cuts in place rather than accepting Mr. Obama’s proposal for a mix of higher taxes on wealthy people and some corporations and cuts in future entitlement spending. And he will not accept their alternative for deeper reductions in Medicare and Medicaid without new taxes...
... Budgets proposed by House Republicans would replace Medicare with federal subsidies to buy private insurance, although at limited amounts, and would transform Medicaid into much-reduced block grants to states.
... Mr. Obama refuses to consider those far-reaching changes and has proposed savings for the existing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs. But Republicans refuse to accept the higher taxes he also demands.
In the current budget debate, Republicans propose to repeal or delay Mr. Obama’s health insurance program. Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, a Republican who leads the House Budget Committee, responded to the budget office’s report with a statement suggesting that eliminating or delaying the program, called the Affordable Care Act, would address the nation’s fiscal woes.
But the Congressional Budget Office has reported that the Affordable Care Act would reduce deficits and that repealing it would increase them, largely because its costs would be offset by taxes and savings from care providers who benefit from an increase in insured patients.[Image source]
Among the many baffling bogglements of American politics is the derisive disregard held by most Republicans – lovers of liberty, of small government, of “Don’t tread on me,” of our constitution (which, inconveniently, includes The Bill of Rights) – for the ACLU. The “American Civil Liberties Union.” Not the “Big Government Union;” not “Americans for Ignoring Your Rights, “or the “Let Government Run Rampant Coalition.” It’s an outfit concerned about preservation of the freedom of individuals caught in the clutches of governmental or private attempts at overreach, and guarding against illegal discrimination.
So why the reflexive rejection of that organization by the very people who claim to have a virtual monopoly on its central concerns? It’s liberals, their leaders and media idols love to declaim, who hate the Constitution.
Not that it’s a unique disconnect. The Tea Party, created and financed by the most wealthy and powerful, mendaciously manipulated by their wholly-owned and propagandistic “news” outlets, and designed specifically to foment resentment among regular folks for the very things that regular folks actually need, while ignoring the fact that they’re obligingly facilitating the takeover of government by the most regressive and oligarchical and un-regular-folks elements, is proof of how easy it can be to manipulate people into working against their own interests. (Phew. What a sentence! Passed it like a kidney stone.) The point: lots of people seem unable to recognize when they’re being deceived by those who absolutely do not have their best interests at heart. The ACLU, on the contrary, does.
Not known for his sense of irony, Rush Limbaugh, who considered the ACLU some lefty-commie-America-destroyer, happily accepted their help in asserting that his privacy had been violated when his illegal trafficking in prescription drugs was revealed. And why not? Protecting the individual, no matter who, is precisely their mission.
Advocating civil rights isn’t for the easily cowed. Pretty much by definition, an organization willing to stick its neck out the way the ACLU does is asking for controversy. For one important thing, goring is in the eye of the begored. If you never much liked gays, for example, you’re not going to be all that enthusiastic when the ACLU stands up for them. Nor, if you’re for biblical theocracy, are you likely to be thrilled when they argue for the right to build mosques. But if we are indeed a nation of laws, and if we do indeed give more than lip service to the other nine amendments (the second, of course, goes without saying. Did you know the ACLU has expressed reservations about recently proposed Democratic gun restrictions?) and if we acknowledge that government has a tendency to abuse its power (what is the Tea Party if not a proclaimer of that?) then having people willing to take heat from all sides in the name of the law and of fairness is something for which we should all be grateful. In a nation that places its constitution deservedly highest among documents, it’s the last thing you’d expect to break along party lines. But like so many things in America nowadays – even science! – it does.
Some may recall that, in the 1970s, the ACLU supported the right of American Nazis to march in Skokie, Illinois, a town with a large Jewish population, many of whom were Holocaust survivors. In doing so, the ACLU lost many of its Jewish supporters; but because civil liberties are civil liberties, even when disagreeing with the exercisers thereof, they did it anyway. Growing up in a Jewish family, I recall heated discussions among my parents and their friends at the time; and I remember being proud that my mom and dad argued, strongly, much as they hated the very idea of American Nazis, that the ACLU was right.
The fact is, Republican animus isn’t much of a mystery: the current leaders of that formerly honorable conservative party don’t actually believe in democracy anymore. Thus the widespread suppression of those voters with whom they disagree, and the impenetrable, conspiracy-based refusal to accept election results. Twice. Nor do they value civil rights or religious freedom, except as they apply to themselves. Thus, their transcontinental efforts to embed biblical law and homophobia into our legal codes; their attempts to expunge science from classrooms; their claims of religious persecution despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, not the least of which is the radical fundamentalism of nearly all their recent presidential candidates. The ACLU demands consistency in following the law. Isn’t it weird that today’s Republicans don’t like that?Special bonus for blog readers: watch this and know why we need the ACLU.
... President Putin claims his purpose is to restore Russia to greatness at home and among the nations of the world. But by what measure has he restored your greatness? ... He has given you a political system that is sustained by corruption and repression and isn't strong enough to tolerate dissent.
How has he strengthened Russia's international stature? By allying Russia with some of the world's most offensive and threatening tyrannies. By supporting a Syrian regime that is murdering tens of thousands of its own people to remain in power and by blocking the United Nations from even condemning its atrocities. ... He is not enhancing Russia's global reputation. He is destroying it. He has made her a friend to tyrants and an enemy to the oppressed, and untrusted by nations that seek to build a safer, more peaceful and prosperous world.
President Putin doesn't believe in these values because he doesn't believe in you. He doesn't believe that human nature at liberty can rise above its weaknesses and build just, peaceful, prosperous societies. Or, at least, he doesn't believe Russians can. ...
I do believe in you. ... When I criticize your government, it is not because I am anti-Russian. It is because I believe you deserve a government that believes in you and answers to you. And, I long for the day when you have it.So, good for him. It's said that that version of Pravda doesn't get read much; but I'd bet the piece will go viralskii pretty fast over there. If there is such a thing.
The man who crashed in the 2000 primaries, the man who acquiesced to CIA torture (the same methods once used on him) in 2006, the man who claimed to put country first in 2008 and then impetuously picked an unstable half-wit as a veep candidate, the man who wanted to launch a war with Russia over Georgia, and the man who has spent the last five years actively trying to undermine the president’s foreign policy when visiting Israel … well, we should expect stupid amateurish displays of ego like an op-ed in the wrong Pravda.
Yes, it was the wrong Pravda, one founded online in 1999 and not connected to the other Pravda founded in 1912. But McCain is not exactly known for his precision, is he? And at a moment when the US needs to keep relations with Russia stable – because Russia is critical to controlling and destroying Assad’s chemical weapons – McCain lobs a rhetorical hand-grenade at the Kremlin...
... But this pointlessly provocative op-ed is also obviously serving a purpose. McCain wants the US to go to war in Syria in order to achieve regime change. For him, remember, Iraq was a huge success. Now that he has been stymied in this effort – stymied by the president and the Congress and a huge majority of the American people, 79 percent of whom back the US-Russia agreement – he has decided to try and sabotage it.Well, now that I think about it, and given McCain's penchant for self-serving glory-seeking and the fact that he loves him some war, I might have been wrong, and Sullivan right. After all, McCain has been nothing but an Obama-pricking asshole since the American people rejected him and his "half-wit."
Conclusions. We observed a robust correlation between higher levels of gun ownership and higher firearm homicide rates. Although we could not determine causation, we found that states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print September 12, 2013: e1–e8. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301409)
Objective: To assess readiness of general surgery graduate trainees entering accredited surgical subspecialty fellowships in North America.
Methods: A multidomain, global assessment survey designed by the Fellowship Council research committee was electronically sent to all subspecialty program directors. Respondents spanned minimally invasive surgery, bariatric, colorectal, hepatobiliary, and thoracic specialties. There were 46 quantitative questions distributed across 5 domains and 1 or more reflective qualitative questions/domains.
Results: There was a 63% response rate (n = 91/145). Of respondent program directors, 21% felt that new fellows arrived unprepared for the operating room, 38% demonstrated lack of patient ownership, 30% could not independently perform a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, and 66% were deemed unable to operate for 30 unsupervised minutes of a major procedure. With regard to laparoscopic skills, 30% could not atraumatically manipulate tissue, 26% could not recognize anatomical planes, and 56% could not suture. Furthermore, 28% of fellows were not familiar with therapeutic options and 24% were unable to recognize early signs of complications. Finally, it was felt that the majority of new fellows were unable to conceive, design, and conduct research/academic projects.
Thematic clustering of qualitative data revealed deficits in domains of operative autonomy, progressive responsibility, longitudinal follow-up, and scholarly focus after general surgery education.
“There is little I can do to assuage the lack of credibility this misrepresentation has created, as well as the confidence my colleagues and others who have relied on me may have lost the past several weeks. Their anger and distrust is understandable, however, I never intended to willfully deceive anyone,” O’Bagy said.What sort of person can say that with a straight face? Only a pathological liar. "Never intended to willfully deceive." Really? What did you intend?
A recent letter writer has a point: I’m no Charles Krauthammer. Ever since I started doing this column thing, I’ve asked myself why, and who am I to be doing it? Krauthammer, despite his hyper-partisanship and blinding contempt for our president, has a national forum and a Pulitzer. Me, I’m just some guy who reads too much, thinks too much, and gets upset.
I’d argue the writer misses an important point, though: he’s correct when he says I’m, shall we say, unkind to today’s Republicans. But he overlooks the “today’s” part. If there’s been a consistent message in my writing, it’s lamenting the insanity that’s officially overtaken that party, nationally. As many ways as I can, I’ve said we need two opposing parties to make our democracy work. But when one has gone galloping over the edge, electing people like Bachmann, Gohmert, Braun, and so many others, science-rejectionists all, spinners of conspiracies, uncaring obstructers who offer no alternatives except defunding everything our future requires, well, there’s a problem. And Sarah Palin! Proudly simplistic, hard work averse, slogan-slinging and hypocritical self-promoter. Still considered credible. Seriously?
So I’ve cried out. Clearly, though, the message doesn’t get through. Maybe it’s because I lack persuasive eloquence; or maybe it’s because of the insanity itself: the writer says Krauthammer calls the facts “as he sees them.” That, in a nutshell, is the problem. I state the facts as they are. Then offer my opinion. There’s a difference.
I’ll argue until my last breath that there’s no comparison between our current political parties in terms of seriousness, of trying to do what’s most right for the most people. Among Democrats there’s no equivalent to Louis Gohmert, who just said he thinks liberals might be trying to “cull the population” using vaccines. That’s insanity of galactic proportions: if his words were fog, there’d be thousand-car pileups on interstates across the land. I mean, vaccines have wiped out polio and smallpox, right? Worst culling ever. Republicans elected that guy; his wild-eyed pronouncements are countenanced by his peers, and greeted with enthusiasm by his voters, who’ll surely reelect him. We’ve always had raving lunatics, and always will. But how is it that one party’s solution is to send them all to Congress? When has one party so unwaveringly refused to rise above petty politics?
Absent Democrats, nothing George Bush proposed would have become law. Literally nothing. TARP, No Child Left Behind, Medicare part D, the awful authorization to invade Iraq. Without Democrats, the flaws in NCLB and Medicare part D would have been left to fester; instead, they joined the battle to help fix them. It’s how good stuff happens. Compare and contrast: The Affordable Care Act. Balancing the budget.
I wish today’s Republicans would come to their senses and engage the process with sincerity, because actual conservative ideas, long since abandoned by the people in control of their party today, need to be part of the mix. Snohomish County hasn’t elected Gohmert/Bachmann equivalents. Yet. Maybe we have enough thoughtful voters that if they were to speak out and not reflexively defend the indefensible, it could help bring our political process back to workable. I’m not optimistic.
But here’s the real point of today’s column: I’m gonna bag it. I agree with that writer: I have no business doing this, even though the facts are on my side. Maybe if I weren’t so troubled by comparing today’s decidedly not conservative party to what once was, I could write with less exasperation. But, so help me, I can’t help it. I might have a grandkid one day, and I’d like her to be born into a world where there’s hope. But today’s Republican party, with its denial of science, its attacks on public education, its hidebound refusal to spend money where it’s needed for our posterity, makes me think there is none, and won’t ever be.
I could write more about our community, I guess; but the fact is, I’m not concerned about it: our worst local Republican is better than the best national one. (Admittedly a low bar.) Washington will hang in, until Congressional Republicans ruin everything for everyone.
It isn’t the criticism. That’s been the fun part. One writer said I brought his fish back to life when he wrapped it with my column. Great line! But I agree: I’m not the one to be producing a column like this. I have three more pieces I’ve already written. After that, as they say in the business: -30-[Image source]
... have you heard of the Iowa youth pastor who is walking free after confessing to raping boys to “cure” them of homosexuality?
Well, that’s precisely what happened in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Brent Girouex, 31, was arrested on 60 counts of suspicion of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist...
... Girouex told detectives that his actions were meant to “help with homosexual urges by praying while he had sexual contact with [them]” in order to keep them “sexually pure” for God. He then allegedly told police that “when they would ejaculate, they would be getting rid of the evil thoughts in their mind.” (ed note: haven't had an evil thought in years.)
Victims say Girouex took them to his own home to violate them. It’s the same home Girouex’s wife and four children resided in.
... The judge in the case sentenced Girouex to 17 years in prison last week, and then immediately suspended the sentence in favor of sex offender treatment and five years probation. All Girouex has to do is avoid violating his probation and he’ll NEVER spend a single minute in a prison cell.
Brian Beutler raised a good point today.
When the full story of the Obama administration's clumsy involvement in, and (possible) disengagement with, Syria is told, we'll have a clearer sense of whether it was bungled all the way, or whether a diplomatic resolution was actually the product of a credible military threat and clever negotiating. Or maybe a bit of both.
But whoever tells that story should reserve a footnote for the handful of politicians and public figures who did a complete about-face from opposing President Obama's proposed military strikes to mocking -- and even rooting against -- an unexpected diplomatic alternative.
If you took both of those positions you have some 'splainin' to do.
Karl Rove offers a helpful example, having insisted a few weeks ago that Obama go to Congress because lawmakers would obviously approve a resolution to use force, only to then condemn Obama for having gone to Congress because there's no way lawmakers will approve a resolution to use force.
But Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) has been even more brazen. He demanded that the president answer his questions about Syria and then asked no questions when he met with the president; he supported military strikes until Obama endorsed the same idea; and as Brian noted, Cornyn is now questioning the value of a possible diplomatic solution.
In other words, the #2 Republican in the Senate is, quite literally, against whatever President Obama is for -- even when the president changes course.In a democracy that, heretofore, has succeeded because of the good that comes from serious conversations between people with differing approaches, one can only conclude the obvious: we're screwed. The Republican Party is no longer a serious player; and those that mindlessly support it are doing so, either blindly or willingly, with total disregard for addressing issues seriously. Having that black guy in that white house has, I must conclude, simply blown their minds. I can't think of anything else at this point. Because from the point of view of logic, of politics, of history, of humanity, it simply makes no sense in any other context.
... A few feet away stood Steven Martin, 53, a recall supporter with a Beretta handgun holstered on his hip. "It's a deterrent," he said. "I love my country."
A gun. Outside a polling place. I knew I missed something not growing up in Argentina.
Guns have won. Period. The people who make them have won. The people who sell them have won. The people who want to use them to shoot up elementary schools have won. Iowa's arming the blind. The NRA's fighting state laws to reduce the amount of lead in the bullets used for hunting because there's evidence that the lead in abandoned carcasses is leaching into the environment, and lead does very bad things to the body. We have decided to be an armed nation. And the next time some lunatic opens fire in a movie theater, it really would be nice if we could dispense with the maudlin national mourning pageants on cable-TV and admit that these are the kind of things with which we have chosen to live. It at least would be honest.So we've gone from "a well-regulated militia" to everyone packing, everywhere. And any politician foolish enough to think that trying to moderate that in order to lower the incidences of mass killings or, as is a practically every-day occurrence nowadays, little kids blowing themselves away because their idiot parents left loaded guns around, is toast.
“Putin is angry. He thinks the United States doesn’t take him seriously or treat Russia as a major player. Okay, fine, that’s how he feels. If I were president, I’d get in a room with him and say, ‘Look at the slaughter going on in Syria. You can stop it. Do it, and I’ll see to it that you can get all the credit. I’ll tell the world it was you who saved the innocent children of Syria from slaughter. You’ll be an international hero. You’ll go down in history.’ Hell, Putin would go to bed thinking, ‘That’s not a bad offer.’ There will still be plenty of other issues I’d have with Russia. But instead of looking for one huge deal that settles everything, you take a piece of the problem and solve it. Give an incentive for good behavior. Show the other guy his self-interest. Everybody has an ego. Everybody needs dignity. And what does it cost? You get what you want you give up nothing.”
And I have a Terrrrrrrrrr-if-ick(HT Tony The Tiger) way for EICSSRLDOTUS(Evolver in Chief Skeet Shooting Red Line Drawing OTUS) to come out of this thang a Hero.Get this(Whispering)
Parachute the 82 and 101st Airborne Divisions, Amphibious Land the 1st, 2d, 3rd, and 4th(Marine Unit Numbering is so much simpler) onto Syria's Coast(They have one! I checked), Infiltrate Seal Teams, Launch Tom Cruise Missiles, and the Air Force can do what they do best,
Fly Really Fast, Low, and Loud,
everybody wears "Sneakers" not "Boots" so technically, there won't be any "Boots on the Ground" maybe 400,000 pairs of Sneakers, but No boots.