Once Upon A Time


As the Middle East swirls deeper and deeper into the quagmire, creating more enemies for the future as it goes, it is hard to remember that there was a time when it all could probably have been solved. In 2006 there was a proposal to divide Iraq into three parts written by Leslie H. Gelb and then Senator Joseph Biden. In their essay, Biden and Gelb wrote: “It is increasingly clear that President Bush does not have a strategy for victory in Iraq. Rather, he hopes to prevent defeat and pass the problem along to his successor.”

With the election now a year away and the keys to the White House about to be turned over to a new someone in 2017, are we just buying more time before admitting that the whole excursion into Iraq in the first place was a massive error and that once it happened, we should have just let the inhabitants decide their own fate or is there anything left to be done by some new POTUS.


About Jamie

Retired Writer Editor - Loves Books, Musical Theater, politics for a good argument, genealogy, Scotland and owls
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68 Responses to Once Upon A Time

  1. patd says:

    “the whole excursion into Iraq in the first place was a massive error”
    starting with the british mandate for Mesopotamia (aka “messy- potamia”) early last century


    • Jamie says:

      Which is why I always recommend that everyone read up on Gertrude Bell and how Iraq was created. The whole era following WW I that devolved into the British Mandate is fascinating and more than a little horrifying as we watch the continuing fallout.


  2. whskyjack says:

    Do we still Woo Hoo ?

    Darn, pat beat me to first comment.



  3. whskyjack says:

    The plan needs to be updated to include Syria. Just redraw the whole map.



    • patd says:

      brilliant idea! get the brits to cart out their ancient cartographer and carve up the place again. this time to assuage mother rusky and the irate iranis by setting aside a few acres named assad-istan, create several states dedicated to the various islamic sects, declare jerusalem an independent state a la vatican, and of course gerrymander to include all the oil fields into a nation of its own up for grabs to the highest bidder.


  4. Flatus says:

    “…written by Leslie H. Gelb and then Senator Joseph Biden.”
    Jamie, I thought Joe said he wasn’t going to do that any more.


  5. patd says:

    After the Democratic debate, Donald Trump attacked Bernie Sanders by calling him a Communist. He then acted as if he’s the first person brave enough to say what we’re all thinking. Surely nobody on Fox News or AM radio has ever mused about Bernie Sanders being a communist. No you see it takes a strong capitalist maniac to properly identify communist maniacs. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian (The Point), hosts of the The Young Turks, break it down.


  6. patd says:

    hmmm, the clown above looks a lot like the clown below


  7. patd says:

    wonder how they’ll pronounce it,,,, “hillary and hulian” or “jillary and julian”

    from http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/15/politics/hillary-clinton-latino-voters-texas/?iid=ob_article_racetoWH_pool&iref=obnetwork
    Clinton walked into the event with Castro, and the two worked the ropeline before climbing on stage. Afterward, they clasped hands and raised them in the air, striking a pose often associated with presidential running mates.
    Introducing her as the country’s next “Democratic nominee and the next president of the United States,” Castro cast Clinton as the candidate best prepared to address the immigration system and someone who has “has a strong vision for America’s future.”
    Clinton returned the favor. “Of course, I am thrilled to have the support and endorsement of your former mayor,” she told the audience. “Julian, thank you, not only for those kind and stirring words, but for your leadership.”
    The drumbeat around Castro becoming Clinton’s vice presidential candidate is louder than any other rising Democrat. And nowhere can that drumbeat be felt louder than in San Antonio, where men and women at Thursday’s event spoke of growing up with the Castros or knowing their parents well.
    “He is the perfect one,” said Angie Perez, who, speaking of Clincton and Castro, said they “represent the color of the nation.”


    • divalicias says:

      I like the idea of Castro as one of those on the shortlist for an HRC Veep. Also Deval Patrick, except maybe he’s tainted himself by going to work at Bain Capital. Who are the other contenders?


  8. divalicias says:

    Hey y’all! I’ve sure missed the Mix. Thank you, Jamie, for providing a home for us whilst Craig is caught in the Webb.


  9. blueINdallas says:

    Hmm, and here I thought she would run with Juaquin. Oh, well. Clinton/Castro. No surprise there.

    As for the sandbox, it has always been full of turds. One smells just as much as the next. Put a fence around it and let them figure it out.


  10. patd says:

    from pbs newshour last night:

    MARK SHIELDS: You can’t talk at the money, Hari, without talking about the concentration of big money in this campaign.

    And The New York Times did a story last Sunday of 158 families in the United States that have given over half the money in this campaign.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: So far, yes.

    MARK SHIELDS: Citizens United, thank you, Justice Roberts, Justice Alito, Justice Scalia and Thomas and Kennedy. I mean, this is truly oligarchy.

    And people who worry about big money having too large a voice, this has given them a megaphone. And the golden rule operates, where who he has the gold rules. And it is truly terrifying for those who care about democracy.


  11. patd says:

    from http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/lincoln-chafee-jim-webb-campaign-offices-iowa-hampshire/story?id=34504493
    …. Webb and Chafee’s campaigns confirmed to ABC News that neither has yet to open a single campaign office in either Iowa or New Hampshire — the states that traditionally kick of the primary and caucus season. Chafee spokesperson said it was “strictly a budget matter.”
    Webb’s team says they were running a different kind of campaign. “We’re not running a Fortune 500 campaign counting offices and paid staff. This is an insurgent campaign mostly run by volunteers,” a campaign rep told ABC News.


  12. Tony says:

    ‘It can’t get any worse than being gay in Syria today’
    Dan McDougall
    In parts of the Middle East, homosexuals are hunted down and subjected to barbaric torture – and
    not only by Islamic State.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/good-weekend/it-cant-get-any-worse-than-being-gay-in-syria-today-20151001-gjze4o.html#ixzz3opBCj2S2


    • patd says:

      tony, not too great to be a woman there either. but especially any where near the isil gangs

      from http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/08/middleeast/isis-rape-theology-soldiers-rape-women-to-make-them-muslim/index.html

      ISIS chief’s former slave says he beat her
      Noor (not her real name) was sold into slavery after ISIS overran her village in the Iraqi province of Sinjar. The 22-year-old says the militant who picked her out raped her — but not before trying to justify himself.
      “He showed me a letter and said, ‘This shows any captured women will become Muslim if 10 ISIS fighters rape her.’ There was a flag of ISIS and a picture of Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi.”
      After abusing her, he passed her on to 11 of his friends, who also raped her.

      In ISIS territory, Yazidi women can be bought and sold for money, bartered for weapons, even given as a gift; but this is not a simple commercial transaction — ISIS has made rape and slavery part and parcel of its — brutal — theology.

      “ISIS fighters told us, ‘This is the rule of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and we must do it,'” Noor explains.


  13. rebelliousrenee says:

    Hi Diva!

    As for Webb’s “different kind of campaign”…. I will once again bring up a rule that Craig wrote in The Politics of Life: 25 Rules for Survival in a Brutal and Manipulative World…. rule# 7… Better to Imitate a Winner Than Be an Original Loser.


  14. patd says:

    It’s “worth considering” whether the United States should emulate Australia by instituting a national gun buyback program, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Friday at a town hall in New Hampshire.
    The candidate has made gun control a central part of her campaign since the Oct. 1. mass shooting at a community college in Oregon renewed the national debate over how to address gun violence. She has promised to take executive action to close gun show and Internet sale loopholes and to make it more difficult for domestic abusers and stalkers to buy and own firearms.

    Clinton has pushed to repeal the law that allows gun manufacturers and dealers to have legal immunity from civil lawsuits — a law her leading primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), voted for as a member of the House of Representatives. She has also called for “a national movement” to counteract the political power of the National Rifle Association, and for gun rights supporters to form an alternative organization that is willing to compromise.

    The NRA said Friday in a press release that Clinton’s comments reveal that “the real goal of gun control supporters is gun confiscation” — a sentiment various conservative websites echoed.


  15. bluINdallas says:

    PatD – The litter box I mentioned is the Middle East.

    The turds comment had nothing to do with the twins; they’re OK in my book. The Dems have been grooming them to do this for years. I don’t think it mattered which one, as long as they had a smart, photogenic person of Hispanic decent. They were looking for someone to check all of the boxes, given the change in the demographics of this country.

    I’m still on team Bernie.


    • patd says:

      what a relief to hear they’re turd-free. hate to give the gopers (and the media looking for feud fuel) anymore ammo to shoot at the dems. it’s essential that the ticket is strong enough to provide a good coattail effect across the ballot.


  16. patd says:

    from http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-10-14/jim-webb-is-just-fine-with-all-the-republican-love
    “There is a huge contradiction in this campaign: part[i]sans on both sides demonize each other and then brag about how they will ‘get things done,’” the former Virginia senator’s spokesman, Craig Crawford, told Bloomberg. “Jim seems to be the only candidate in either party not doing that. Treating the other side with some respect in the campaign might irritate one’s own party droolers but it could free up some of the gridlock when it comes time to govern.”
    Aside from his onetime registration, Webb certainly has Republican bona fides. He staunchly defended the Vietnam War, in which he earned a Navy Cross for shielding a fellow Marine from a grenade with his own body, and he served (briefly) as Ronald Reagan’s secretary of the navy, a fact not lost on Crawford.
    “Jim was the only candidate on that stage who will bring Reagan Democrats home,” Crawford said earlier, referring to the 40th president’s electoral coalition that included some southern, male, and hawkish Democrats.
    Still, he also quit that administration in a huff, and later told a friend where he thought that had left him with the GOP.
    “I burned all my bridges with the Republican Party,” he said.


  17. I’m not sure how they feel about it in more important circles than the little tiny ones I run around in, but my first inclination is to heck with the Reagan democrats and the gopers they rode in on…..they probably also became Bush-2 democrats as well……time to give it a name……GOP enablers.


  18. The more I think about it, there may be no room for “common ground” with that bunch of rattlers who’ve hijacked the Republican Party. What could there be in common with a bunch of Whiney-babies who want to take their balls and run home every time they don’t get everything they want?
    And what could they possibly have in common with any people who are not anti-science, anti-education, violently anti-separation of church and state, etc. In short……….well, those people call common ground a weakness.

    Ignorant dinosaurs.



  19. If anyone has Mustard’s email please be so good as to convey my apologies to him. Mustard put up a FB post about the Eagles and me the dummy in a fit of humor commented with a famous line from the big lebowski, I e., “I hate the effing eagles, man.” Which is what lebowski says in the cab right before the cabbie screeches to a halt and comes around to forcibly remove him from the cab.
    I thought the mustard being a movie guy would get it and it would be hilarious……but no……when I next looked at it the mustard had taken offense and departed from the FB…..

    So anyway if you see him just tell him I thought it would be funny, and that I ain’t the least bit sophisticated…….


  20. blueINdallas says:

    The best thing going for Webb is Craig. I think more of Webb for having Craig push for him than due to things on his resume.

    Tedious Cruz on tomorrow’s shows, so I think I’ll skip them. Listening to The Nasal Nasty One is no way to spend a Sunday.


  21. I didn’t see those debates the other night…….I went to sleep, like an old dude……..I know ’bout what they said, anyway.

    I watched some of the GOP debates, and Trump’s right, it was mostly causa him……haha…..that’s what presidential debates have become since the great Nixon didn’t shave days……


    Since humans is still humans, we are still Rome…….and Athens, Sparta, Macedonia, and
    the Medes, the Lydians, the Sassanids, the judges and kings of the bible, the Plantagenets, the western Roman Empire, the Nazis, and……….

    Right now…….we is all of ’em all rolled into a nuclear ball of wax……..

    We always hope that enlightened behavior can make some kind of headway against the natural human impulses of counter-productive violence, but Lucy can be relied upon to always move the football…….

    come to think of it……i realized when i wrote that, that Lucy thing, that’s kind of like some weird Adam and Eve bit…….hmmmmm.


  22. Now I’m wondering about old Charlie………the red headed girl…….Lucy……the little freckled face girl with the ponytail……and that little girl with the glasses……..I can’t remember all their names but there’s some kinda Schultz hoo-doo going on there I’m a have to google.


  23. blueINdallas says:

    Alec Baldwin as Jim Webb!


  24. patd says:

    and so it goes….


  25. patd says:

    speaking of snl

    from http://bigstory.ap.org/article/efe664e151c849098776829cb47f2bea/hispanic-coalition-take-trump-saturday-night-live
    NBC is enabling Donald Trump’s “hateful speech” about Hispanics by giving him a platform as host of “Saturday Night Live” and should pull the invitation, a coalition of Hispanic advocacy groups said.

    In a letter to NBC Universal CEO Stephen Burke and “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda said it applauded the company when it severed its beauty-pageant ties with Trump over his remarks about Hispanic immigrants.

    Trump hasn’t apologized for his “bigoted comments” that included describing some Mexicans in the United States illegally as criminals and rapists, the group said, and it is “flabbergasted” by NBC’s decision to put Trump on “SNL” on Nov. 7.

    “We are appalled that you would enable Trump’s hateful speech for nothing (more) than a ratings ploy and ask that you rescind the SNL invitation,” the group said in a letter sent Thursday and released publicly.


  26. jacew2003 says:

    Sunday Serendipity.

    Something energetic for today. Just for the fun of it.
    Enjoy the music and enjoy the day!


    • Flatus says:

      I enjoyed reading the performance reviews to this impossible work by Liszt. I don’t know of a living artist who could play it with as much passion, damn the inevitable torpedos. Well done, Jace!


  27. patd says:

    from http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/18/ted-cruz-volcanic-rage-conservatives-donald-trump
    ….Cruz spoke with elemental fury about the “Republican leadership”.
    Such “volcanic rage” among conservative voters, he said, had produced “tidal wave” and “tsunami” elections of Republicans to Congress but had not produced results, leading to the primacy of Trump, Carson and himself.
    “Leadership voted to fund Obamacare,” he said. “Then they voted to fund amnesty [for undocumented migrants]. Then they voted to fund Planned Parenthood. And then Republican leadership took the lead confirming Loretta Lynch as attorney general.
    “Now Chuck, which one of those decisions is one iota different than what would happened under [Senate minority leader] Harry Reid and the Democrats? The truth of the matter is Republican leadership are the most effective Democrat leaders we’ve ever seen.”


  28. patd says:

    There hasn’t been a bloc like the Freedom Caucus for at least a century, one that refuses to work with its own party leadership while being steadfastly unwilling to reach across the aisle. “There have been groups that often broke from the party, but in doing so, they didn’t stand as a third force,” says former GOP Rep. Mickey Edwards. “This group is very different.”

    The Freedom Caucus, rather than breaking from Republican ranks, has forced Republican leaders to break from them. It’s a perverse sort of political jujitsu.


  29. Tony says:

    Ben Carson, a grifter on the wingnut welfare circuit: How he just gave away the act
    Wingnuts hate government, love the market. So why are they surprised when their heroes pick riches over governing?


  30. rebelliousrenee says:

    “Since humans is still humans, we are still Rome…….and Athens, Sparta, Macedonia, and
    the Medes, the Lydians, the Sassanids, the judges and kings of the bible, the Plantagenets, the western Roman Empire, the Nazis, and……….

    Right now…….we is all of ’em all rolled into a nuclear ball of wax……..”

    Sturg…. think I’ll take that big ol’ ball of wax and make me some mustaches… then I’m gonna distribute them out to my friends for Halloween… anybody want some….


  31. rebelliousrenee says:

    thanks so much for posting those videos…. I wouldn’t know what the hell Blue was talking about (no offense meant, Blue) if it wasn’t for you sometimes. LOVE the SNL sketch…. yup… they nailed it!


  32. Jamie says:

    The Sunday shows were uniformly boring. Something of interest better happen or the next year is going to be like slogging through mire and muck.


  33. Tony says:

    Bush’s Painful Defense of Benghazi Investigation Video
    Oh god, Jeb is pathetic.. Worse than his brother at trying to talk.. Painful to watch him..


  34. Tony says:

    Pennsylvania Candidate Promises to Discriminate Against Gays if Elected
    by Andy Towle


  35. Tony says:

    Mitt Romney Can’t Bring Himself To Say He’d Vote For Donald Trump
    He said he doesn’t think Trump will become the nominee.
    Amanda Terkel


  36. Tony says:

    Andrea Mitchell Explodes at Benghazi Committee Member: ‘That Is Factually Not Correct!’
    by Andrew Husband


  37. jacew2003 says:

    “Webb’s team says they were running a different kind of campaign. “We’re not running a Fortune 500 campaign counting offices and paid staff. This is an insurgent campaign mostly run by volunteers,” a campaign rep told ABC News.”

    OK I love an insurgent campaign as much as the next guy, but sooner or later the campaign has to make enough noise to make like minded ‘insurgents’ want to join.

    Webb is a solid guy with some good ideas. I fear that he is not much of a campaigner.


    • patd says:

      jace, this guy pretty well covers it re webb and the voters
      from http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/editorials/2015/10/19/1-webb-has-the-good-qualities-nobody-really-wants.html

      Now, Webb would be far more conservative than the GOP front-runner, but his moderate positions on tax policy, immigration and foreign affairs would make him just as disagreeable to most conservatives as he is to most liberals. He isn’t exactly right for either party — not because of some triangulation or convenient moderation but because he’s not an ideologue. He’s also not a coward, as he’s unwilling to say whatever his party demands in the pursuit of power.

      In theory, these are all commendable traits. These, in fact, are the sorts of things voters are always pretending to look for in a candidate. In reality, this authenticity gets you to about 0.7 percent in the polls. Americans claim not to like the partisanship of Washington. What they mean is they dislike the other guy’s partisanship. What it means for Jim Webb and candidates like him, serious people who deserve to be heard, is obscurity.

      David Harsanyi is a senior editor at the web magazine The Federalist.


  38. Don’t forget the wax teefs….


  39. patd says:

    “The Sunday shows were uniformly boring.”?? Jamie, you must have missed this one
    from http://www.rawstory.com/2015/10/john-oliver-rips-politicians-who-use-fake-founding-father-quotes-and-its-hilarious/
    On HBO’s Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver took note of politicians from both sides of the aisle who use fake historical quotes supposedly uttered by our founding fathers in order to score cheap political points.


  40. patd says:

    john also blasted our friends up north last night


  41. Jamie says:

    I watch John Oliver on Monday morning 🙂


  42. Tony says:

    Another Bad Day for the Benghazi Committee
    “If it’s Sunday, it must be Benghazi time. The 17-month-long quest by the House Select Committee on Benghazi to find an Obama administration conspiracy related to the 2012 terror attacks in Libya took another bashing on the Sunday, on and off the air.

    Already wobbling with accusations, some by its own Republican members, that it’s been running a Hillary Clinton hit squad since May 2014, leaders of the panel struggled Sunday to fend off new charges that they had mischaracterized the former secretary of state’s handling of sensitive intelligence.”


    • patd says:

      tony, thanks for the newsweek link. interesting little factoid therein:

      “The problem with your accusation—as with so many others during this investigation,” Cummings responded in a letter Sunday, “is that you failed to check your facts before you made it, and the CIA has now informed the Select Committee that you were wrong.”
      Indeed, according to committee correspondence reviewed by Newsweek, the CIA did tell the panel on Saturday that it had reviewed 127 emails between Clinton and her close friend and outside adviser, Sidney Blumenthal, and none of it was deemed classified.
      “The CIA reviewed the material in question and informed State that it required no redactions,” the agency informed Susan Sachsman Grooms, staff director and general counsel for the panel’s Democrats, on October 17.

      new goper motto: been gauzy, done that


  43. Flatus says:

    The Upstate of South Carolina deserves Harold Gowdy; he need not be inflicted on the rest of us in this great state, especially considering we have Joe “He Lies!” Wilson.


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