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1  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Markus Rühl's update - Legs Workout on: July 20, 2014, 09:16:34 AM
.

That's a great everyday look, easy to maintain without a ton of gear.



Still funny after all these years!  Grin
2  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: New Capt America is black and Thor becomes a woman. Thanks Marvel. on: July 19, 2014, 04:27:35 AM
These change ups happen every few years or so in comics and have for decades.   Now, I hate this change up, but Thor will come back and so will Steve Rogers.  

Plus, why did a woman "become" Thor?  A person that possesses Mjolnir doesn't become Thor they are simply worthy to possess Mjolnir and thereby wield the power of Thor, but they remain who they are.   Thor is still Thor.

One other thing, Captain America is a super-enhanced soldier that commands and leads.  Sam "Falcon" Wilson is not super-enhanced nor is he a military commander of sorts.

Sorry, not buying this change up either.....boo hiss Marvel!!  Angry

Are you a long time reader of Thor?  In issue #338 in the 1980s Beta Ray Bill proved worthy of lifting Mjolnir and effectively became Thor (one of the best Thor story lines).  Nonsense?  We are talking about comic books, remember, so anything can happen.  As has been suggested, the objections and similar reactions to these changes in the Marvel universe are not really about Thor and Captain America.  Our society IS changing and it is fitting that our mythologies and fantasies change with it.  Of course, some people do not like the idea of that change much less the reality of it.  They will get over it.
3  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Companies with the worst customer service on: July 18, 2014, 06:22:20 PM
Ranker.com, a platform that produces thousands of crowd sourced answers to opinion-based questions, collected nearly 14,000 votes on what people think are the companies with the worst customer service.

10. Ticketmaster
Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc. is an American ticket sales and distribution company based in West Hollywood, California, USA, with operations in many countries around the world.

9. Gold's Gym
Gold's Gym International, Inc. is an American chain of international co-ed fitness centers originally started in California by Joe Gold. Each gym features a wide array of exercise equipment, group exercise classes and personal trainers to assist clients. Its headquarters are in Irving, Texas.

8. Best Buy
The Best Buy Company, Inc. is an American multinational consumer electronics corporation headquartered in Richfield, Minnesota. It operates in the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Canada, and China. The company was founded by Richard M. Schulze and Gary Smoliak in 1966 as an audio specialty store; in 1983, it was renamed and rebranded with more emphasis placed on consumer electronics.

7. CitiBank
Citibank is the consumer banking division of financial services multinational Citigroup. Citibank was founded in 1812 as the City Bank of New York, later First National City Bank of New York. As of March 2010, Citigroup is the third largest bank holding company in the United States by total assets, after Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.

6. Comcast
Comcast Corporation is the largest mass media and communications company in the world by revenue. It is the largest cable company and home Internet service provider in the United States, and the nation's third largest home telephone service provider.

5. American Airlines
American Airlines, Inc. is a major U.S. airline headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. It operates an extensive international and domestic network, with scheduled flights throughout North America, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, and Asia. Its route network centers around five "cornerstone" hubs in Dallas/Fort Worth, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago.

4. Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., branded as Walmart, is an American multinational retail corporation that runs chains of large discount department stores and warehouse stores. The company is the world's second largest public corporation, according to the Fortune Global 500 list in 2013, the biggest private employer in the world with over two million employees, and is the largest retailer in the world.

3. Bank of America
The Bank of America Corporation is an American multinational banking and financial services corporation headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is the second largest bank holding company in the United States by assets. As of 2010, Bank of America is the fifth-largest company in the United States by total revenue.

2. AT&T
AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications corporation, headquartered at Whitacre Tower in downtown Dallas, Texas. AT&T is the largest provider both of mobile telephony and of fixed telephony in the United States, and also provides broadband subscription television services. AT&T is the third-largest company in Texas.

1. Time Warner Cable
Time Warner Cable Inc. is an American cable telecommunications company that operates in 29 states and has 31 operating divisions. It is the second largest cable company in the U.S. behind only Comcast. Its corporate headquarters are located in the Time Warner Center in Midtown Manhattan, New York.
4  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Cool pic of the Mentzer Bros on: July 03, 2014, 07:30:44 PM
Looks like Ray had better legs than Mike

I think they were about even in legs.
5  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Cool pic of the Mentzer Bros on: July 03, 2014, 02:52:37 PM
Who has the better physique? Mike or Ray?

Mike.

6  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Life after defeat for Mitt Romney & the GOP on: July 03, 2014, 05:58:26 AM
No, Mitt Romney isn’t running for president
By Chris Cillizza

Mitt Romney hasn't disappeared from the political scene the way many people thought he would after coming up on the losing end of the 2012 presidential race. But, that doesn't mean he's running for president -- or even thinking about running for president -- in 2016.

Talk of a possible third presidential bid for Romney has surfaced of late -- with poll numbers that show he is well regarded by Republican voters and a growing sense within the GOP smart set that no candidate has really emerged from the pack as of yet.

Romney has, of course, batted down such speculation. "I'm not running, and talk of a draft is kind of silly," Romney told "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory earlier this month. That's consistently been his position for quite some time; he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in February that  "I'm not running for president in 2016. It's time for someone else to take that responsibility and I'll be supporting our nominee." (Kudos to CNN for gathering the many ways Romney has said he's not running for president into a single blog post.)

But, one quirk of human nature is this: We always want what we can't have. Or, in Romney's own incredibly awkward (but accurate) phrasing: "The unavailable is always the most attractive, right? That goes in dating as well."

The more Romney insists he's not interested, the more people become intrigued at the prospect of him running. Remember how Al Gore suddenly became a figure of maximum intrigue in the political world just a few years removed from losing an ultra-winnable presidential race in 2000?  He did it by making clear he didn't want to run.  Works every time.

Now, Romney has been around the political game long enough to know that people are only interested in you as long as you are uninterested in them. As soon as Romney indicated that, well, sure, he might want to run again, all of the old complaints -- he's too wooden! he's out of touch! -- would come roaring back.

Think of Romney's current popularity like this: There is a ball just out of his reach. He could definitely grab it. But, as soon as he lunges for it, the ball starts to move away from him. The faster he runs toward it, the further it gets away from him.

Say what you will about Mitt Romney but he is no dummy. He gets it. And that's why he's not running.

Now, on to the 10 men (no women!) with the best chance of winding up as the Republican presidential nominee in 2016. Agree or disagree with our picks? That's what the comments section is made for.

10. Paul Ryan:  The Wisconsin Republican's total lack of interest in making a play for a House leadership post following Eric Cantor's stunning loss earlier this month left me, again, wondering just what the heck he wants out of his political career. The answer is elusive but now seems to be that he wants to bide his time and see where the party -- in Congress and nationally -- goes over the next few cycles. At 44 years old, he can afford to wait. (Previous ranking: 9)

9. Bobby Jindal: The Louisiana governor is running for president. The latest piece of evidence was a two-day swing through Iowa, stopping by the state Republican convention and raising money for the state party. Jindal, in his day job, is building a record that hard-core conservatives will love. He rejected the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act and, more recently, issued an executive order to withdraw the state from the Common Core education standards program. (Previous ranking: 7)

8. Ted Cruz: The last week in politics has to give the Texas Republican Senator some pause. His preferred candidate in Oklahoma's Republican Senate primary got walloped on Tuesday, the same night tea party insurgent Chris McDaniel inexplicably lost to establishment pick Thad Cochran in the Mississippi Senate runoff. Cruz has a loyal base of support. But, it's not big enough to be the nominee. (Previous ranking: 6)

7. Mike Huckabee: The former Arkansas governor is doing the sorts of things one does when he wants to run for president.   He stumped for Mike Campbell, a candidate for North Carolina South Carolina lieutenant governor earlier this month. He's giving the wink and nod statements of interest that are part of the game. And, polling in Iowa at least shows he remains popular; a recent Des Moines Register poll showed Huckabee had the second highest favorable ratings of any potential 2016 GOPer. (Paul Ryan was at the top.) (Previous ranking: Cool

6. John Kasich: The Ohio governor is the "it boy" of the smart-set in DC at the moment. He looks to be on his way to a comfortable re-election victory in the swingiest state in the country at the presidential level. He's run for president before and no one we talk to says he doesn't want to again.  If Kasich wins this fall and shows some interest in the race, he could move up these rankings. (Previous ranking: N/A)

5. Chris Christie: Just when he thought he was out, they pulled him back in. The news, which broke this week, that the feds are investigating the New Jersey governor's use of Port Authority funds to repair the Pulaski Skyway, further complicates Christie's political rehabilitation efforts. Whether or not anything in this latest investigation gets to Christie remains very unclear but it's just another bad storyline that he has to deal with at a time when he wants to pivot to the process of running for president. (Previous ranking: 4)

4. Scott Walker:  Speaking of bad headlines, the Wisconsin governor has had to weather some of his own lately over allegations of illegal coordination between his 2012 recall campaign and outside groups aiding that effort. But, earlier this week, an attorney for the special prosecutor tasked with looking into the allegations made clear that Walker was not a target of the probe. That was a nice piece of news for Walker -- and should help him quiet the storm of coverage that had popped up over the past 10 days or so. (Previous ranking: 5)

3.  Rand Paul: Paul is the most interesting candidate running for the Republican presidential nomination. He's also the one -- with the possible exceptions of Rubio and Jeb Bush -- who can make a credible case that nominating him would expand the GOP into parts of the electorate it hasn't been able to reach in recent years. Paul remains somewhat unpredictable -- that's also part of his appeal -- and it remains to be seen whether he could win a one-on-one fight with a more establishment candidate. (Previous ranking: 2)

2. Marco Rubio: The last time we wrote about the 2016 presidential field in this space, we recommended buying stock in the Florida Senator. That's still our recommendation -- particularly as Walker and Christie have stumbled a bit as of late.  Rubio's record in the Senate -- with the exception of immigration reform -- is solidly conservative and he is probably the most naturally gifted candidate in the field.  We keep hearing whispers that Rubio's record during his time as Speaker of the Florida house is ripe for an opposition researcher but we're not there yet. (Previous ranking: 3)

1. Jeb Bush: Until he says "no" -- and we still think that's more likely than him saying "yes"  -- we are going to keep the former Florida governor at the top of these rankings. That ranking is largely built on his last name and the political and fundraising muscle it represents. As Philip Bump noted in a recent Fix post, however, Jeb's record on core conservative policies is not so good. (Previous ranking: 1)
7  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Maybe listening to Dick Cheney on Iraq isn’t a good idea on: July 03, 2014, 05:47:06 AM
Cheney’s Back, Blitzing Rivals and Drawing Scorn
By PETER BAKER

As his heart failed a couple of summers after leaving office, former Vice President Dick Cheney slipped into a coma and, by his later account, spent weeks dreaming that he was in a countryside villa north of Rome, padding down a stone path every morning to pick up a newspaper or coffee.

Yet Mr. Cheney was never one to slip into quiet retirement in Italy or, for that matter, at his Wyoming ranch. Two years after a heart transplant reinvigorated him physically, he seems reinvigorated politically, too, as he takes on President Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bill Clinton, radical Islam, Senator Rand Paul, his own party — and history.

Frustrated by what he considers the president’s weakness as extremist groups seize wide portions of Iraq, Mr. Cheney, 73, has blitzed the airwaves in recent weeks and formed a new organization to promote American national security in a perilous time. He has drawn nothing but scorn from Democrats and even some Republicans who view his remonstrations as the height of hubris from someone they blame for many of the country’s difficulties. To them, he is a punch line.

But Mr. Cheney’s ability to command attention speaks to his distinctive place in the public arena. He is blunt, he is unapologetic and he is seemingly immune to the barbs aimed his way. He remains driven by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and determined to guard the nation against the dangers he sees. If the rest of the world has moved on, he has not. “I’m not running for anything,” he told Charlie Rose in one of his multiple interviews of late. “I get to say exactly what I think.”

Some have no interest in listening. On MSNBC and on liberal op-ed pages and websites, his re-emergence has provided endless fodder for who-is-he-to-talk commentary. Some activists even argued he should be barred from television because they view him as discredited.

For a White House beleaguered on multiple fronts, the former vice president’s return is in fact a welcome opportunity to focus attention on decisions made by Mr. Cheney and President George W. Bush rather than defending Mr. Obama’s own handling of foreign policy, which most Americans disapprove of in polls.

“He’s like the A-Rod of politics,” said David Plouffe, the longtime Obama strategist, referring to Alex Rodriguez, the scandal-tarnished baseball star. “No one wants to hear from him, especially when he is trying to create an alternate reality to the one he is responsible for.”

Mr. Cheney thrust himself back into the debate with a Wall Street Journal op-ed on June 17 that was written with his daughter, Liz Cheney, assailing Mr. Obama’s foreign policy as Islamic militants carve a virtual state of their own in Syria and Iraq. “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many,” they wrote.

The broadside prompted a variety of retorts. Mr. Clinton scoffed at Mr. Cheney for trying to blame Mr. Obama for “not cleaning up the mess that he made.” It was, Mr. Clinton said, “unseemly.” Mr. Cheney fired back with an allusion to Mr. Clinton’s sexual scandals. “If there’s somebody who knows something about unseemly, it’s Bill Clinton,” he said.

Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story
Even some Republicans took aim at Mr. Cheney. Rather than blame Mr. Obama for the current mess in the Middle East, Mr. Paul, the Kentucky senator considering a run for the White House, said, “The same questions could be asked of those who supported the Iraq war.” Mr. Cheney called Mr. Paul “basically an isolationist” and said “that didn’t work in the 1930s; it sure as heck won’t work in the aftermath of 9/11.”

The back and forth highlights the tension inside a party where some want to move away from the hawkish internationalism championed by Mr. Cheney. “With his long track record of bad judgment, Cheney’s efforts to depict more prudent and thoughtful Republicans, such as Rand Paul, as isolationists is ridiculous,” said Richard Burt, a former diplomat for President Ronald Reagan and the elder President George Bush who has been advising Mr. Paul.

Still others in the party worry that Mr. Cheney crowds out the growth of a new generation. “One of the challenges of a Cheney re-emergence is the party does need new leaders, new voices, new visions on national security policy and overall foreign policy to emerge,” said Kevin Madden, a party strategist who advised Mitt Romney.

But Mr. Cheney still has a strong following in some corners of the Republican Party that are glad to have him making the case when others do not. “A good number of people have contacted me and said it’s great to see him out there,” said John McConnell, a former speechwriter for Mr. Cheney.

Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, said Mr. Obama’s failures made Americans more receptive to hawkish arguments. “A lot of people will say: ‘Good points. Does it have to be Dick Cheney making them? He’s got so much baggage,’ ” Mr. Kristol said. “I always find that too clever by half. I think Dick Cheney is very popular among conservative Republicans.”

Mr. Cheney’s latest public foray, friends said, reflects a genuine dismay about the chaos rocking the Middle East. He and Liz Cheney, a former State Department official, returned from a March trip to the region expressing surprise at how much consternation they detected about what they see as America’s retreat.

In television interviews, Mr. Cheney acknowledged the Iraq war did not go as well as predicted but said he and Mr. Bush turned things around with a troop increase and alliances with Sunni tribes in 2007, leaving behind a relatively stable situation that in his view Mr. Obama then squandered.

The Cheneys in turn decided to form the Alliance for a Strong America and tapped Brian Jones, a former adviser to Senator John McCain, to help out. “The primary focus of the group will be to educate people of the dangers of an isolationist foreign policy, the type being advocated inside and outside the party,” Mr. Jones said.

The organization also provides a new public platform for Ms. Cheney after an abortive campaign for Senate, when Ms. Cheney spoke out against same-sex marriage. The Cheneys have tried to move beyond the subsequent family rupture that occurred: The vice president’s other daughter, Mary Cheney, who is married to another woman, publicly criticized her sister. Liz Cheney ultimately dropped out of the race, citing an unrelated family emergency.

It is not clear whether the sisters have made up. Asked about the foreign policy group, Mary Cheney demurred. “I’m not involved in his new organization,” she said by email, without elaborating.

Former Senator Alan K. Simpson, a longtime Cheney friend, said Mr. Cheney understood that speaking out on Iraq would draw fire from “the haters” who “love to demonize him.”

No matter, he said. “He’s got a skin that’s like a rhinoceros,” Mr. Simpson said. “When you have your skin ripped off as many times as I have and he has, it grows back double strength.”
8  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Maybe listening to Dick Cheney on Iraq isn’t a good idea on: June 22, 2014, 05:26:42 PM
Dick Cheney's Op-Ed about the war in Iraq is full of lies
BY Linda Stasi

 Why can’t you ever find a cop when you need one?

Take, for example, one man who – were he in an opposing government, we would probably accuse of mass murderer – is on the loose in our country and on full display in Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal.

Vice President Dick Cheney, who should have been convicted of murder and crimes against humanity, remains, instead, as loose as his lips.

In fact, last week the shameless sociopath and his daughter, Liz, (who seemed to be there in name only) wrote an Op-Ed piece in the Journal, expressing his disgust at the way the current administration has handled his war.

Clearly unfazed that he and his unindicted coconspirator, George The Brain Dead, were responsible for the deaths of 4,500 American and at least 500,000 Iraqis (two-thirds of whom were women and children, according to The Lancet) in an illegal war that left 51,000 Americans wounded, Little Dick-of-Death, is still trying to shove his lies down our throats.

 Problem is, nobody but The Wall Street Journal seems to be opening wide and saying, “ahhh.”

It’s particularly interesting that Dickie’s Op-Ed appeared in the bible of finance, and yet there was no mention of the financial burden his 12-year war has put upon us taxpaying slobs.

Estimates go as high as $6 trillion, even though the Bush administration had predicted the whole thing would cost between $100 and $200 billion, done, finished, the end.

That bit of over-budgeting comes to about $75,000 for every U.S. household.

Dick, formerly the CEO of Halliburton, also forgot to mention that a Halliburton subsidiary, KBR, reaped $39.5 billion from the war, according to the Financial Times.

In the Op-Ed, Cheney scoffs at the naiveté of President Obama for claiming in 2011, “The tide of war is receding.”

Apparently Dickie forgot about his boss’ famous “Mission Accomplished” speech just weeks after invading Iraq in 2003.

Cheney even criticized President Obama for taking a day off, saying, “Terrorists take control of more territory and resources than ever before in history, and (Obama) goes golfing.”

Meantime, No. 43 spent more than one year of his presidency at his ranch, often shooting doves (tragic irony noted).

But of all the lies in Cheney’s disgusting Op-Ed none is as insulting to the American people as this one: “Rarely has a U.S. President been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”

This from the man who helped usher in one of the longest wars in U.S. history, based on the bald-faced lie that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction to destroy the United States.

Cheney should return to shooting just his friends in the heart, because the rest of us are already heartbroken by what he did.
9  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Maybe listening to Dick Cheney on Iraq isn’t a good idea on: June 22, 2014, 01:05:58 PM
Dick Cheney, Rand Paul spar over blame for Iraq crisis
By Benjy Sarlin

Senator Rand Paul and former Vice President Dick Cheney sparred over Iraq on Sunday in dueling TV appearances, with the Kentucky Republican blaming the Bush administration for the current crisis and Cheney accusing President Obama of inviting “another 9/11.”

Paul, who has long called for reducing American involvement in foreign conflicts, suggested in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press” that Cheney lacked credibility in the debate. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed last week, the ex-vice president and daughter Liz Cheney wrote: “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”

“You know, were they right in their predictions? Were there weapons of mass destruction there? Was the war won in 2005, when many of those people said it was won?” Paul asked.

Paul said that he did not see recent insurgent gains as a failure of the Obama administration, but as one of a number of dire consequences of the second Iraq War.

“I don’t blame President Obama,” Paul said. “Has he really got the solution? Maybe there is no solution. But I do blame those who are for the Iraq War for emboldening Iran. These are the same people now who are petrified of what Iran may become, and I understand some of their worry.”

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a radical Sunni insurgency, has taken over large swaths of Iraq in recent weeks with much of the American-trained Iraqi military abandoning its posts in Sunni cities. In recent days, ISIS forces have reportedly seized border crossings with Syria and are threatening the country’s largest oil refineries. Shiite fighters have taken to the streets in Baghdad, pledging to repel any advance on the nation’s largest city and raising the specter of a broadening sectarian war in the region.

Paul did criticize the Obama administration for supplying aid to rebels in Syria engaged in a brutal civil war against dictator Bashar al-Assad, rebutting Republican and Democratic hawks who argue the White House should have backed moderate anti-Assad factions even earlier to foster an alternative to the radical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

“I personally believe [ISIS] would not be in Iraq and not be as powerful if we had not been supplying their allies in the war,” Paul said. Without American aid, he suggested that Assad might have “wiped these people out months ago.”

In a separate interview with CNN’s ”State of the Union,” Paul said countries like Iraq and Libya where the US had intervened militarily had become a “jihadist wonderland” and predicted the same fate for Syria if Assad fell.

Cheney, in an appearance on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopolous,” rebutted Paul’s charge that his previous failures to predict developments in Iraq and stabilize the country made his views less relevant.

“If we spend our time debating what happened 11 or 12 years ago we’re going to miss the threat that is growing,” Cheney said. “Rand Paul, with all due respect, is basically an isolationist. He doesn’t believe we ought to be involved with that part of the world.”

Cheney offered few specific prescriptions for how to handle the crisis in Iraq, instead accusing Obama of a broad failure to confront gathering threats in Pakistan, North Korea, Syria, and elsewhere.

“I think at this point there are no good easy answers in Iraq,” he said.
10  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Would you ever date a girl with a child? on: June 21, 2014, 02:52:27 PM
The relationship between a father and son and father and daughter are different. The relationship a father has with a daughter is generally more affectionate and paternal.  Its more socially acceptable for a father to show affection toward his daughter than it is toward a son, especially as the son ages.   For a lot of men, the intent of their relationship with a son is to raise a man while with a daughter it is to preserve their idealized perception of purity and youth.

This is an archaic and dangerous perception of women.  The goal should be to raise an educated and self sufficient man or woman.  Thinking about "preserving... purity and youth" is something we see in the Middle East and even leads to things like "honor killings" where a family decides to kill their daughter because they decide she is no longer "pure" or she is otherwise corrupted.  Sounds absurd but it is true. 

•Your daughter is raped so instead of going after the rapist, you kill the daughter?

•Just a few moths ago they killed a young woman outside of a courthouse because she dared to marry the man she loved rather than the man the family had chosen for her.

• Just a couple years ago a father killed his daughter because they decided she had become too Westernized. Sad

'Westernized' Daughter Dies After Being Run Over by Father
http://abcnews.go.com/WN/US/westernized-muslim-daughter-dies-run-father/story?id=8983198
11  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Would you ever date a girl with a child? on: June 21, 2014, 12:58:33 PM
just out of curiosity why would you feel different if it was a daughter?

It is not that I would feel dramatically different, but I think--and certainly historically this is true--men tend to have an emotional connection with their sons that they do not have with their daughters (women have a similar connection with their daughters that they don't have with their sons).  This is a connection that cuts across timelines and virtually all cultures.  If you are male, your son is a part of you--literally an extension of you--in a way that your daughter is not.  I would no more give up my son than cut off my right arm.  And I would do anything possible--legal or illegal--to retain custody of my male child.  Is that sexist?  Perhaps some would view it that way, but I would expect a mother to do the same thing for her daughter, and I would think it perfectly appropriate--not sexist or wrong.

There are some differences between men and women, but different does not have to mean wrong, superior, or inferior.  Think of it this way: when a woman gives birth, historically the one person she wants by her side during that moment is her mother.  That is a special bond that mother's and daughters share.  In modern times, fathers have been welcomed into the delivery room.  I think that is great for couples who want to that, but it is different from having a mother there.  There is a unity between mothers and daughters that no man can ever understand, copy, or replace.  A similar, but different, unity exists between a father and son and no woman can copy or replace it.  Again this a very ancient idea that cuts across virtually all cultures; it should hardly need explaining.  That said, obviously, there are a lot of "men" who do not feel very connected to their sons, have no qualms about giving up custody, or having some other guy raising and providing for his son--while he enjoys visitation rights.  That could never be me.
12  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Would you ever date a girl with a child? on: June 20, 2014, 09:43:08 PM
Hate to say this as my biggest fear dumping my kid's mom was the thought of my son calling another man "dad" but my ex's (now) husband is a good lad and looks after my son well. They have another kid together which helps I guess. Son calls me dad and his "other dad" by his Christian name. Long as my son is happy and being brought up well I can't complain. I made choice to end relationship I have to deal with results and from that perspective all is good.

Did you want custody? Did you try to get it?  No matter how "good" or decent the other guy is, how can you stand to see your own son raised by another man?  If you had a terminal disease or were on your deathbed, I could see you giving it your blessing, but otherwise, no way!  I have never understood how any guy who considers himself a "man" could walk away from parenting his own son.  A daughter I could see (I know it's horribly sexist to say that) but your own son?  Never!  I would break the law, kidnap my child, move abroad, or take a life before I let someone take my son away from me.

If the other guy is decent your son will come to think of him as his father.  You will just be the guy who visits.  That decent man is there every single day.  When your son has nightmares, learns to ride a bike, has his first date, needs help with homework, flies a kite, learns to drive etc. That guy will be there for him.  You won't.  You can't compete with that kind of presence--not to mention emotional and financial support.  Of course, if you don't care or don't love the kid maybe it is just as well you are not the father in his life.  Cry

13  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Maybe listening to Dick Cheney on Iraq isn’t a good idea on: June 20, 2014, 06:39:46 AM
Dick Cheney wants to forget history and write his own version
by WALTER PINCUS

Why should anyone take seriously what Dick Cheney says about President Obama’s policy in Iraq?

In their Wall Street Journal op-ed this week, Cheney and his daughter Liz began by cherry- picking Obama quotes from over three years about the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

That warmed-over technique is what Cheney, President George W. Bush and other top aides cleverly used with intelligence reports in the fall of 2002 as they drummed up public support for their invasion of Iraq. That, of course, set the stage for today’s terrible events.

“Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many,” the Cheneys chortled. “Too many times to count, Mr. Obama has told us he is ‘ending’ the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — as though wishing made it so.”

Let’s return to a Dick Cheney speech on Aug. 27, 2002, in Nashville, before the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and see how many times a vice president could be “so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”

He told his audience: “In Afghanistan, the Taliban regime and al-Qaeda terrorists have met the fate they chose for themselves. And they saw . . . the new methods and capabilities of America’s armed services.”

Here’s another applause line: “In the case of Osama bin Laden — as President Bush said recently — ‘If he’s alive, we’ll get him. If he’s not alive — we already got him.”

The Bush team never got him. Obama did.

When Cheney was speaking, bin Laden was very much alive. Al-Qaeda terrorists and the Taliban had just retreated, but they were able to regroup as the Bush team, satisfied with its “victory” in Afghanistan, had turned its attention and U.S. military forces toward Iraq.

It was in this speech that Cheney began what a former Bush chief of staff, Andrew Card, would describe as the fall 2002 public-relations plan to “educate the public” about the so-called threat from Iraq. That effort would lead to a congressional joint resolution authorizing the president to use U.S. armed forces to “defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq” and “enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.”

Cheney told the VFW: “The Iraqi regime has in fact been very busy enhancing its capabilities in the field of chemical and biological agents. And they continue to pursue the nuclear program they began so many years ago.”

He added: “We’ve gotten this from the firsthand testimony of defectors — including Saddam’s own son-in-law, who was subsequently murdered at Saddam’s direction. Many of us are convinced that Saddam will acquire nuclear weapons fairly soon.”

A former White House deputy press secretary, Scott McClellan, would later write that a White House Iraq Group (WHIG) was “set up in the summer of 2002 to coordinate the marketing of the [Iraq] war,” and will continue “as a strategic communications group after the invasion had toppled Saddam [Hussein]’s regime.”

It was Cheney at the VFW convention who first said: “Regime change in Iraq would bring about a number of benefits to the region. When the gravest of threats are eliminated, the freedom-loving peoples of the region will have a chance to promote the values that can bring lasting peace.”

He also said: “Extremists in the region would have to rethink their strategy of Jihad. Moderates throughout the region would take heart. And our ability to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process would be enhanced, just as it was following the liberation of Kuwait in 1991.”

Show me a better example of “as though wishing made it so.”

The Cheneys also cavalierly forget that the status of forces agreement with Iraq that Bush signed Dec. 14, 2008, made way for the withdrawal of all U.S. combat troops by the end of 2011. That agreement protected U.S. forces on duty from prosecution by Iraqi courts. It was the Iraqis’ desire to modify this that led Obama — on the advice of his military chiefs — to not leave a residual force of military trainers.

One more sign of the Cheneys’ convenient amnesia: They said of Obama’s initiative toward involving Tehran in the effort to put down ISIS advances in Iraq, “Only a fool would believe American policy in Iraq should be ceded to Iran, the world’s largest sponsor of terror.”

In November 2001, the Bush White House, despite icy relations, approved talking directly to Iran diplomats before and during the Bonn conference called to try to establish a post-Taliban government in Afghanistan. As a result, U.S. Ambassador James Dobbin got what he described as Tehran’s “major contribution to forge a solution” among various Afghan groups, which in turn led to a unified temporary Kabul government under Hamid Karzai.

On Dec. 5, 2001, a White House spokesman described Bush as “very pleased” with the Afghan agreement. However, in his Jan. 29, 2002, State of the Union speech, Bush described Iran, Iraq and North Korea as the “axis of evil” at the same time there were meetings underway between U.S. and Iranian diplomats to see whether talks could go beyond Afghanistan.

In contrast to the Cheneys, people should listen to former secretary of state James Baker III, who in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal called on the United States to organize an international coalition of regional countries, including Iran. Recalling Iran’s cooperation on Afghanistan, Baker said today’s “reality is that Iran is already the most influential external player in Iraq and so any effort without Iranian participation will likely fail.”

Baker has a successful track record and a memory. The Cheneys have neither.
14  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Maybe listening to Dick Cheney on Iraq isn’t a good idea on: June 19, 2014, 09:14:00 PM
Shame on you, Dick Cheney, for forgetting who really got us into this Iraq mess
Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz sent some harsh words toward President Obama in a letter printed by The Wall Street Journal. Unfortunately, he forgot his own 'misleading, empty rhetoric' got us involved in Iraq in the first place.
by MIKE LUPICA

So here is an old war profiteer like Dick Cheney, one who received five deferments so as not to serve in Vietnam but couldn’t wait to send young Americans into a war in Iraq first chance he got, writing with his daughter Liz the other day in The Wall Street Journal.

No one is sure why Liz Cheney’s byline was on the piece, other than perhaps her father looking for something for her to do. Or trying to convince the country that she is part of some budding political dynasty.

But the money quote from the two of them, as they assail President Obama for his handling of the current situation in Iraq, is in the first sentence of the second paragraph:

“Rarely has a U.S. President been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”

Forget that Dick Cheney in particular here does such an embarrassingly bad job of channeling the language of Winston Churchill. Somehow Cheney, as much of a chowderhead about his place in American history as he is about most things, always saw himself as a Churchillian figure. Maybe so. He was carrying around way too much weight once.

All he has become, though, is noise, as he tries to point fingers and change the subject about the wreckage of a doomed policy on Iraq that he helped sell to George W. Bush, one built on the lie Cheney sold as hard as anyone about Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction.

In the process, Cheney became every bustout old politician who ever sent American soldiers off to die in the kind of war he never had much interest in fighting himself. Now he thinks that earns him the right to lecture Barack Obama about a situation that Cheney and the Son of Bush helped create, in the most cynical possible way:

Trying to link Saddam Hussein and Iraq to Sept. 11.

“The President is willfully blind to the impact of his policies,” Cheney and his daughter, most recently notable as a failed Senate candidate in Wyoming, write.

No, it was Cheney who was blind to the impact of his own policies, in addition to being arrogant and stupid about the terrible consequences of his actions on Iraq, which ended up killing 4,500 American men and women and wounding nearly 10 times that; and wasting so much money in Iraq that the effects of the decisions they made in the early part of this century will probably still be felt in the next one.

Of course, he is defended by the pep squad boys and girls of the bullhorn media of the right, as if somehow he and Bush were the ones with the right answers about Iraq; as if the only relevant blood is on Obama’s hands, even though it is Obama who inherited this war the way he inherited an economy from Bush and Cheney that put this country into a sinkhole. Through it all, he still sees himself as the voice of reason and patriotism in Iraq.

He wants you to forget that it was his President, George W. Bush, who agreed to withdraw all troops from Iraq by the end of 2011, Bush’s way of procuring a status-of-forces agreement three years earlier. You are supposed to forget that a dim bulb like Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister of Iraq, became a made man in that country on Bush’s watch.

Now all this time later, there is no sound military solution for Obama in Iraq because there is no solution at all. Now Sunni militants are battling for control of the country’s largest oil refinery, in Baiji, about 150 miles from Baghdad, and foreign workers at that refinery are being evacuated. This goes on while Obama tries to figure out a way to prop up Maliki one more time, or last time, with possible air strikes.
“Defeating (our enemies) will require a strategy — not a fantasy,” the Cheneys write. “It will require sustained, difficult military, intelligence and diplomatic efforts — not misleading, empty rhetoric.”

The fantasy, about weapons of mass destruction, actually came 11 years ago, from Cheney and Bush. The misleading, empty rhetoric was theirs. But the Cheneys say in the Journal that our security and the security of our allies can be assured only by the “fundamental reversal of the policies of the past six years.”

Americans who aren’t point-missers realize that the problem isn’t the last six years. The problem is the policies of the six years before Obama took office, and a military strategy that cost us all those American lives, and ruined so many countless others, all because neocons like Cheney needed a war to show the rest of the world how tough he and his President were.

Now here we are. Now Cheney wants to make this Obama’s fault. It is the last lie of the Bush administration, from its war-loving vice president. You know who the bum of Baghdad really is?

Dick Cheney.
15  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Maybe listening to Dick Cheney on Iraq isn’t a good idea on: June 19, 2014, 02:00:11 PM
The Gall of Dick Cheney
by Charles Blow

The situation in Iraq is truly worrisome, as militants threaten to tear the country asunder and disrupt the fragile, short-lived period absent all-out war there.

We have strategic interests in preventing Iraq from unraveling, not least of which is that we don’t need the country to become a haven for terrorists, particularly those who might see America as a target.

And of course, there is the uneasy subject of oil: Volatility in the region has already sent global oil prices soaring. On Wednesday, militants were said to have taken control of Iraq’s largest oil refinery.

We have to tread carefully here. There are no saints to be seen in this situation. Everyone’s hands are bloody. And, we don’t want to again get mired in a conflict in a country from which we have only recently extricated ourselves.

As we weigh our response, one of the last people who should say anything on the subject is a man who is partly responsible for the problem.

But former Vice President Dick Cheney, who was in the administration that deceived us into a nine-year war in Iraq, just can’t seem to keep his peace.

In an Op-Ed published with his daughter, Liz, in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, the Cheneys write:

“Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”

This, from the man who helped lead us into this trumped-up war, searching for nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, a war in which some 4,500 members of the American military were killed, many thousands more injured, and that is running a tab of trillions of dollars.

During the lead-up to the war, Mr. Cheney said to Tim Russert: “I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators.” Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Even if it were indeed rare to be “so wrong,” as Mr. Cheney puts it, he was vice president in an administration that was much more tragically wrong. His whole legacy is wrapped in wrong.

At one point in the article, the Cheneys state:

“Iraq is at risk of falling to a radical Islamic terror group and Mr. Obama is talking climate change. Terrorists take control of more territory and resources than ever before in history, and he goes golfing.”

Mr. Cheney must think that we have all forgotten the scene from “Fahrenheit 9/11,” Michael Moore’s 2004 documentary, in which President George W. Bush, brandishing a club on a golf course, looks into the camera and says,

“I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you.”

That is quickly followed by, “Now, watch this drive,”
and a shot of Bush swinging at the ball.

In fact, on one of the rare occasions that Mr. Cheney was actually right, in 1994, he warned about the problems that would be created by deposing Saddam Hussein:

“Once you got to Iraq and took it over, and took down Saddam Hussein’s government, then what are you going to put in its place? That’s a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government of Iraq you can easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off. Part of it the Syrians would like to have to the west. Part of eastern Iraq, the Iranians would like to claim, fought over for eight years. In the north you’ve got the Kurds, and if the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey. It’s a quagmire.”

That was quite prescient. And yet, the Bush administration pushed us into the Iraq war anyway, and the quagmire we now confront.

That’s why it’s so galling to read Mr. Cheney chastising this administration for its handling of the disaster that Mr. Cheney himself foresaw, but ignored.

I know that we as Americans have short attention spans, but most of us don’t suffer from amnesia. The Bush administration created this mess, and the Obama administration now has to clean it up.

The Cheneys wrote: “This president is willfully blind to the impact of his policies,” Mr. Cheney seemingly oblivious to the irony.

George W. Bush may well have been a disaster of a president (in a 2010 Siena College Research Institute survey, 238 presidential scholars ranked Bush among the five “worst ever” presidents in American history), but at least he has the dignity and grace — or shame and humility — to recede from public life with his family and his painting, and not chide and meddle with the current administration as it tries to right his wrong.

Mr. Cheney, meanwhile, is still trying to bend history toward an exoneration of his guilt and an expunging of his record. But history, on this, is stiff, and his record is written in blood.
16  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Maybe listening to Dick Cheney on Iraq isn’t a good idea on: June 19, 2014, 01:47:40 PM
Dick Cheney's amazing chutzpah on Iraq
By Paul Waldman

You have to hand it to Dick Cheney. How many people, knowing what has happened in Iraq over the last 12 years, would dare to write an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal containing this line: "Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many" -- and not be talking about George W. Bush? The man has chutzpah.

The op-ed in question was co-written with Cheney's daughter Liz, former State Department worker and failed Senate candidate. The two are forming a new organization, the Alliance for a Strong America.

Of all the former Bush administration officials who have emerged in the last few days to blame the deteriorating situation in Iraq on Barack Obama, one might think Cheney would be among the last.
It's one thing to turn on your TV and hear that Obama is a dangerous weakling from people like Paul Wolfowitz and William Kristol, the ones who told us that war with Iraq would be cheap and easy, then bring a wave of peace and democracy across the Middle East.

But Cheney?

Cheney was the war's chief propagandist, who told the American public more spectacular falsehoods than anyone, including Bush himself. Cheney was the one who told us in 2002 that "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us."

He's the one who tried to convince us that Saddam Hussein might have helped engineer the September 11 attacks, and who said in 2005 that the insurgency in Iraq was "in its last throes." (The war went on for 6½ more years.)

Cheney had a central role in bringing on a war in which 4,500 Americans gave their lives, tens of thousands more were gravely injured, we spent a couple of trillion dollars, and somewhere between 100,000 and 500,000 Iraqis died.

Cheney's opinion appears to be that all that death and expense never really happened (he doesn't mention them), and that everything bad in Iraq can only be Obama's fault -- because the Bush administration did such a bang-up job there. "Mr. Obama had only to negotiate an agreement to leave behind some residual American forces, training and intelligence capabilities to help secure the peace," he writes. "Instead, he abandoned Iraq and we are watching American defeat snatched from the jaws of victory."

Would "some residual American forces" have been able to keep a lid on the unending Iraqi civil war that Bush and Cheney so effectively unleashed? We'll never really know, but here's what we do know: The agreement mandating that all American troops leave Iraq by the end of 2011 was signed by one George W. Bush, before Obama took office.

As negotiations over our departure proceeded in Obama's first term, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki -- eager to have the Americans gone so he could consolidate what would turn out to be a corrupt sectarian rule -- refused to grant American troops immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts. Without that immunity, there was simply no way American forces could remain there. We've heard many people say Obama "should have pushed harder," but nobody says exactly what that's supposed to mean, or why al-Maliki would have given in, especially considering how he's acted since.

And what does Cheney think we should do now? He doesn't seem to have any idea. The op-ed contains precisely zero recommendations about Iraq. Defeating al Qaeda, it says, "will require a strategy -- not a fantasy." But what is that strategy? "Sustained difficult military, intelligence and diplomatic efforts"? Oh, of course -- if only we had known!

At least he's not alone in his arrogance and befuddlement. None of Obama's other critics seem to have much of an idea what we should do in Iraq, or Syria, or anywhere else. They're happy to say that whatever Obama is doing isn't enough, and it isn't strong. But if you ask them to be specific about what different decisions they would make, you'll be met with hemming and hawing.

That's because there are only bad options for America in Iraq, as is often the case in the Middle East. If you delude yourself into thinking that wars are simple and easy, and all that matters is whether you're "strong," then sometimes things become quite clear. We'll just invade, we'll be "greeted as liberators" (that was Cheney, too), and everyone will live happily ever after.

And when what actually results is not that glorious and easy victory, but a tidal wave of violence and despair, then all you need to do is wait until after you leave office, when you can blame it all on someone else.
17  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Life after defeat for Mitt Romney & the GOP on: June 19, 2014, 01:33:18 PM
Poll: Romney the frontrunner in 2016?
by Paul Steinhauser

He's said over and over that he won't run for the White House a third time, but a new poll indicates that if Mitt Romney changed his mind and made another bid for president, he'd be the frontrunner among Republicans in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire.

According to the Suffolk University/Boston Herald survey, which was released Thursday, 24% of Granite State Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP say that Romney would be their first choice for their party's presidential nomination.

Among the potential 2016 GOP contenders, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was a distant second, at 9%, with Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky at 8%, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 7%.

While the survey may make headlines, it's important to remember that Romney's very well known in New Hampshire. He owns a vacation home in the state, has often appeared at GOP events in New Hampshire, and was governor of neighboring Massachusetts. Romney easily won the 2012 Republican primary, but lost the state by six percentage points to President Barack Obama in the general election.

And the 2012 GOP presidential nominee has been very clear about his 2016 intentions.

"I'm not running," Romney said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," a line Romney's used in interviews every time he's asked about whether he'll make a third bid for the White House. Romney's wife, Ann, has also been adamant against another run.

"Very sorry, Mrs. Romney. We had to ask the question," Suffolk University Political Research Center Director David Paleologos joked to CNN.

Paleologos added that the results speak to "the weakness of the GOP field at this point in time."

Without Romney, Christie and Paul were tied at 11% as the first choice for the nomination among Republicans in New Hampshire, with Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas each at 8%.

The Suffolk University/Boston Herald poll was conducted June 14-15 and June 17-18, with 800 likely voters in New Hampshire questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
18  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Maybe listening to Dick Cheney on Iraq isn’t a good idea on: June 19, 2014, 09:20:31 AM
No - Cheney was a disaster, as is Obama.  Both are psycopaths and NWO shills

You now believe Bush/Cheney was a disaster?  Or was Bush a success and Cheney (Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, etc.) the disaster?
19  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Maybe listening to Dick Cheney on Iraq isn’t a good idea on: June 19, 2014, 09:11:14 AM
He needs to go far away and stay there - same w his daughter. 

OMG! Has hell frozen over?  Grin
20  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Maybe listening to Dick Cheney on Iraq isn’t a good idea on: June 18, 2014, 10:31:12 PM
Dick Cheney, did you really want to go there?
by E.J. DIONNE JR.

The infinitely valuable Yiddish word chutzpah is defined as “shameless audacity” or “impudence.”

It’s singularly appropriate for the astonishing op-ed from former vice president Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz that was published in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. It’s not every day that a leader of the previous administration suggests that the current president is a “fool” and accuses him of intentionally weakening the United States.

“President Obama seems determined to leave office ensuring he has taken America down a notch,” the Cheneys write. Are they charging our president with treason? “President Obama,” they write, “is on track to securing his legacy as the man who betrayed our past and squandered our freedom.”

Squandered our freedom?

“Only a fool,” they say, “would believe American policy in Iraq should be ceded to Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terror.” As if this is what Obama is doing — and as if it weren’t the invasion Cheney so passionately supported that vastly strengthened Iran’s hand long before Obama took office.

The Cheney polemic would be outrageous even if our former vice president’s record on Iraq had been one of absolute clairvoyance. As it happens, he was wrong in almost every prediction he made about the war.

On March 16, 2003, days before the war started, Cheney sat down with the late Tim Russert on NBC’s “Meet the Press” for what still stands as the most revealing of the prewar interviews. Cheney was adamant that “to suggest that we need several hundred thousand troops there after military operations cease, after the conflict ends, I don’t think is accurate. I think that’s an overstatement.”

“We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators,” he famously said and proceeded to play down the very sectarian divisions that are plaguing the country now. Russert asked: “And you are convinced the Kurds, the Sunnis, the Shiites will come together in a democracy?” Cheney replied quickly: “They have so far.” He went on:

“If you look at the opposition, they’ve come together, I think, very effectively, with representatives from Shia, Sunni and Kurdish elements in the population. They understand the importance of preserving and building on an Iraqi national identity. They don’t like to have the U.S., for example, come in and insist on dealing with people sort of on a hyphenated basis — the Iraqi-Shia, Iraqi-Sunni — but rather to focus on Iraq as a nation and all that it can accomplish as a nation, and we try to be sensitive to those concerns. I think the prospects of being able to achieve this kind of success, if you will, from a political standpoint, are probably better than they would be for virtually any other country and under similar circumstances in that part of the world.”

Ah yes, regime change would work out just fine — better than fine. “Extremists in the region would have to rethink their strategy of jihad,” Cheney had told the Veterans of Foreign Wars seven months earlier. “Moderates throughout the region would take heart.” Plus a bonus: “Our ability to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process would be enhanced.” This was the war that would cure all that ailed us.

Thanks to the Cheney op-ed, we can see how Obama’s hawkish critics are out to create a double standard. Whenever they are called out for how mistaken they were about Iraq in the first place, they piously lecture against “relitigating the past” and say we must instead look forward. At the same time, many of them feel perfectly free to trash the president in extreme and even vile terms.

I am all for looking forward and trying to find an approach that squares the many contradictions we face: of needing to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria while also pushing Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to stop pursuing anti-Sunni policies that are empowering the forces we need to turn back; of being on the same side as Iran in Iraq’s current emergency but on opposite sides over Syria; of wanting to avoid steps that will make things worse while not being paralyzed; and of not plunging into the middle of a Shiite-Sunni civil war while trying to stop the region’s descent into chaos.

Obama sees these contradictions and says he won’t act rashly. You don’t have to agree with Obama’s every move to prefer his prudence to the utter certainty that “we will be greeted as liberators” and to a habit of underestimating the costs of military action.
21  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Maybe listening to Dick Cheney on Iraq isn’t a good idea on: June 18, 2014, 04:54:03 PM
The Collapsing Obama Doctrine
Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.
by DICK CHENEY And LIZ CHENEY

As the terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) threaten Baghdad, thousands of slaughtered Iraqis in their wake, it is worth recalling a few of President Obama's past statements about ISIS and al Qaeda. "If a J.V. team puts on Lakers' uniforms that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant" (January 2014). "[C]ore al Qaeda is on its heels, has been decimated" (August 2013). "So, let there be no doubt: The tide of war is receding" (September 2011).

Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many. Too many times to count, Mr. Obama has told us he is "ending" the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—as though wishing made it so. His rhetoric has now come crashing into reality. Watching the black-clad ISIS jihadists take territory once secured by American blood is final proof, if any were needed, that America's enemies are not "decimated." They are emboldened and on the march.

The fall of the Iraqi cities of Fallujah, Tikrit, Mosul and Tel Afar, and the establishment of terrorist safe havens across a large swath of the Arab world, present a strategic threat to the security of the United States. Mr. Obama's actions—before and after ISIS's recent advances in Iraq—have the effect of increasing that threat.

On a trip to the Middle East this spring, we heard a constant refrain in capitals from the Persian Gulf to Israel, "Can you please explain what your president is doing?" "Why is he walking away?" "Why is he so blithely sacrificing the hard fought gains you secured in Iraq?" "Why is he abandoning your friends?" "Why is he doing deals with your enemies?"

In one Arab capital, a senior official pulled out a map of Syria and Iraq. Drawing an arc with his finger from Raqqa province in northern Syria to Anbar province in western Iraq, he said, "They will control this territory. Al Qaeda is building safe havens and training camps here. Don't the Americans care?"

Our president doesn't seem to. Iraq is at risk of falling to a radical Islamic terror group and Mr. Obama is talking climate change. Terrorists take control of more territory and resources than ever before in history, and he goes golfing. He seems blithely unaware, or indifferent to the fact, that a resurgent al Qaeda presents a clear and present danger to the United States of America.

When Mr. Obama and his team came into office in 2009, al Qaeda in Iraq had been largely defeated, thanks primarily to the heroic efforts of U.S. armed forces during the surge. Mr. Obama had only to negotiate an agreement to leave behind some residual American forces, training and intelligence capabilities to help secure the peace. Instead, he abandoned Iraq and we are watching American defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.

The tragedy unfolding in Iraq today is only part of the story. Al Qaeda and its affiliates are resurgent across the globe. According to a recent Rand study, between 2010 and 2013, there was a 58% increase in the number of Salafi-jihadist terror groups around the world. During that same period, the number of terrorists doubled.

In the face of this threat, Mr. Obama is busy ushering America's adversaries into positions of power in the Middle East. First it was the Russians in Syria. Now, in a move that defies credulity, he toys with the idea of ushering Iran into Iraq. Only a fool would believe American policy in Iraq should be ceded to Iran, the world's largest state sponsor of terror.

This president is willfully blind to the impact of his policies. Despite the threat to America unfolding across the Middle East, aided by his abandonment of Iraq, he has announced he intends to follow the same policy in Afghanistan.

Despite clear evidence of the dire need for American leadership around the world, the desperation of our allies and the glee of our enemies, President Obama seems determined to leave office ensuring he has taken America down a notch. Indeed, the speed of the terrorists' takeover of territory in Iraq has been matched only by the speed of American decline on his watch.

The president explained his view in his Sept. 23, 2009, speech before the United Nations General Assembly. "Any world order," he said, "that elevates one nation above others cannot long survive." Tragically, he is quickly proving the opposite—through one dangerous policy after another—that without American pre-eminence, there can be no world order.

It is time the president and his allies faced some hard truths: America remains at war, and withdrawing troops from the field of battle while our enemies stay in the fight does not "end" wars. Weakness and retreat are provocative. U.S. withdrawal from the world is disastrous and puts our own security at risk.

Al Qaeda and its affiliates are resurgent and they present a security threat not seen since the Cold War. Defeating them will require a strategy—not a fantasy. It will require sustained difficult military, intelligence and diplomatic efforts—not empty misleading rhetoric. It will require rebuilding America's military capacity—reversing the Obama policies that have weakened our armed forces and reduced our ability to influence events around the world.

American freedom will not be secured by empty threats, meaningless red lines, leading from behind, appeasing our enemies, abandoning our allies, or apologizing for our great nation—all hallmarks to date of the Obama doctrine. Our security, and the security of our friends around the world, can only be guaranteed with a fundamental reversal of the policies of the past six years.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan said, "If history teaches anything, it teaches that simple-minded appeasement or wishful thinking about our adversaries is folly. It means the betrayal of our past, the squandering of our freedom." President Obama is on track to securing his legacy as the man who betrayed our past and squandered our freedom.

Mr. Cheney was U.S. vice president from 2001-09. Ms. Cheney was the deputy assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs from 2002-04 and 2005-06.

22  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Maybe listening to Dick Cheney on Iraq isn’t a good idea on: June 18, 2014, 04:49:15 PM
Maybe listening to Dick Cheney on Iraq isn’t a good idea
by PAUL WALDMAN June 18 at 12:35 PM

Today, on the Senate floor, Harry Reid said: “Being on the wrong side of Dick Cheney is being on the right side of history.”

Reid was responding to Cheney’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal with his daughter Liz attacking the Obama administration’s policies in the Middle East and elsewhere, a piece that has already generated much discussion. The Cheneys have also formed an organization, the Alliance for a Strong America, to advocate Cheneyite policies (you can tell it’ll be strong and resolute, because in the announcement video, Dick is wearing a cowboy hat).

The Cheneys’ op ed and new organization capture a key facet of conservatives’ approach to the foreign policies of the Obama era: They ply their ideas from a strange place where history started in January 2009.

The Cheneys offer no discussion of the disastrous decision to invade Iraq in the first place (though they still surely believe the war was a great idea, they apparently realize most Americans don’t agree). But anything that happened afterward can only be Obama’s fault. They write, “Mr. Obama had only to negotiate an agreement to leave behind some residual American forces, training and intelligence capabilities to help secure the peace. Instead, he abandoned Iraq and we are watching American defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.”

Yes, he “had only” to do that, and everything would have turned out fine. But who was it who signed the agreement mandating the removal of all American forces from Iraq by the end of 2011? It was George W. Bush. When the time arrived, the Maliki government was determined to get all American troops out, and refused to negotiate a new agreement without putting American troops at the mercy of the Iraqi justice system — something no American president would ever have accepted.

Obama faces an almost impossible situation. Short of an outright invasion, whatever we choose to do military is only going to have a limited impact on how this all ends. Some argue that Obama should have tried harder to negotiate a new agreement, to keep a small force there. The administration claims that would have been fruitless, because Maliki wouldn’t have allowed it. But this is all a counter-factual — and it should be noted that even if we had left a smaller force there, it still might not have been enough to determine the course of events.  The big picture is that, if you were for withdrawal, you were inevitably going to be for giving up our influence over the country’s future.

Maybe that’s why the Cheneys’ op ed is silent on what they would do differently in Iraq today. The op-ed contains nothing even approaching a specific suggestion for what , other than to say that defeating terrorists “will require a strategy — not a fantasy. It will require sustained difficult military, intelligence and diplomatic efforts — not empty misleading rhetoric. It will require rebuilding America’s military capacity — reversing the Obama policies that have weakened our armed forces and reduced our ability to influence events around the world.”

So to recap: we need a strategy, and though they won’t tell us what that strategy might be, it should involve military, intelligence, and diplomatic efforts, and rebuilding the military. Apart from the absurd claim that the armed forces have been “weakened” (we’re still spending over $600 billion a year on the military even with the war in Iraq behind us and Afghanistan winding down), the Cheneys are about as clear on what we should do now as they were on how invading Iraq was supposed to spread peace and democracy across the Middle East.

Watch closely as Republicans troop to the TV studios in the coming days, because they’ll be saying much the same thing. They won’t bring up what a disaster the war was; they’ll hope you forget that they supported it, and they won’t mention that it was Bush who signed the agreement to remove all the troops from Iraq. They will say almost nothing about what they would do differently now, other than to say we have to be “strong” and “send the right message” to the terrorists.

When it comes to being wrong about Iraq, Dick Cheney has been in a class by himself. It was Cheney who said, “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.”

It was Cheney who said: “it’s been pretty well confirmed” that 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta “did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service.”

It was Cheney who said: “we do know, with absolute certainty, that [Saddam Hussein] is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs in order to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon”

It was Cheney who said in 2005: “I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.”

All those things, and many more, were false. There is not a single person in America — not Bill Kristol, not Paul Wolfowitz, not Don Rumsfeld, no pundit, not even President Bush himself — who has been more wrong and more shamelessly dishonest on the topic of Iraq than Dick Cheney.

And now, as the cascade of misery and death and chaos he did so much to unleash rages anew, Cheney has the unadulterated gall to come before the country and tell us that it’s all someone else’s fault, and if we would only listen to him then we could keep America safe forever. How dumb would we have to be to listen?
23  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Genetic Defect Gives Him A Massive Right Arm on: June 18, 2014, 08:50:37 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkwAurO3Xn8
24  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Genetic Defect Gives Him A Massive Right Arm on: June 18, 2014, 08:33:15 AM
German 'Popeye' Enters Professional Arm Wrestling After Genetic Defect Gives Him A Massive Right Arm
By Justin Caba

Professional arm wrestler Matthias “Hellboy” Schlitte was born with a genetic defect that caused his right arm to develop to almost twice the size of his left arm. Described as the German “Popeye,” Schlitte learned from a young age how to use his 18-inch right bicep to his advantage.

"I first discovered I could use my gift when I was three years of age,” Schlitte told Yahoo7 Sport. “We had a family oven at home in Germany and I picked up a rather large bucket of coal for the oven and carried it around for my mother, which was probably very uncommon for a three-year-old."

After entering an arm wrestling competition at a local bar in the small village of Haldensleben when he was 16 years old, Schlitte started to turn heads with the impressive amount of strength he displayed with one arm. He began taking on other arm wrestlers who were much bigger than him but couldn’t compete with the power of his abnormally large right arm.

Today, Schlitte has eight national arm wrestling championships in Germany and 14 international championships under his belt. He also became the youngest to ever win a Sylvester Stallone-inspired “Over The Top” Tournament and even defeated an arm wrestling robot after breaking the machine. It’s safe to say there is nothing Schlitte would like to change regarding his appearance.

Professional arm wrestler Matthias “Hellboy” Schlitte was born with a genetic defect that caused his right arm to develop to almost twice the size of his left arm. Described as the German “Popeye,” Schlitte learned from a young age how to use his 18-inch right bicep to his advantage.

"I first discovered I could use my gift when I was three years of age,” Schlitte told Yahoo7 Sport. “We had a family oven at home in Germany and I picked up a rather large bucket of coal for the oven and carried it around for my mother, which was probably very uncommon for a three-year-old."

After entering an arm wrestling competition at a local bar in the small village of Haldensleben when he was 16 years old, Schlitte started to turn heads with the impressive amount of strength he displayed with one arm. He began taking on other arm wrestlers who were much bigger than him but couldn’t compete with the power of his abnormally large right arm.

Today, Schlitte has eight national arm wrestling championships in Germany and 14 international championships under his belt. He also became the youngest to ever win a Sylvester Stallone-inspired “Over The Top” Tournament and even defeated an arm wrestling robot after breaking the machine. It’s safe to say there is nothing Schlitte would like to change regarding his appearance.
25  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Life after defeat for Mitt Romney & the GOP on: June 16, 2014, 12:10:06 PM
Romney blasts Hillary Clinton as 'clueless'
Her tenure as secretary of state was 'a monumental bust,' former GOP nominee says
By Dylan Stableford

Mitt Romney had some harsh words on Sunday for the person many believe will be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016: Hillary Clinton.

"Consider what's happened around the world during the years that she was secretary of state," the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee said on NBC's "Meet the Press", calling her tenure "a monumental bust."

Romney slammed U.S. foreign policy, saying both Clinton and President Barack Obama have "repeatedly underestimated" America's enemies on the international stage.

"This administration, from Secretary Clinton to President Obama, has repeatedly underestimated the threats that are faced by America," Romney said. "It has repeatedly underestimated our adversaries. And whether that's Russia or [Syrian President Bashar] Assad or ISIS or al-Qaida itself, it has not taken the action necessary to prevent things from happening. We have not used our influence to do what's necessary to protect our interests."

Romney also blasted Clinton for comments she made during her recent book tour about the decision to release five Taliban prisoners in order to free U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl.

"She was asked whether the Bowe Bergdahl trade was one that presented a threat to the United States," Romney said. "And she came back with a clueless answer. She was clueless. She said, 'Look, these commandos don't represent a threat to the United States.' Well, of course they do. And then she went on to say, 'They only represent a threat to Afghanistan and Pakistan.' Are you kidding? I mean, we're in Afghanistan. And we're in Afghanistan in part to protect America's security."

To defeat Clinton in 2016, Romney said, the GOP "playbook, I believe, is to look at her record."

"I think her clueless comments about the Bergdahl exchange as well as her record as the secretary of state are really going to be the foundation of how a Republican candidate is able to take back the White House," he said.

Romney also downplayed House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's shocking loss in last week's Virginia GOP primary, saying Cantor's defeat doesn't signal the tea party's resurgence within the GOP.

“Our party is becoming stronger,” Romney said, noting South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham's primary victory against tea party challengers on Tuesday.

“In a very conservative state, Lindsey Graham won in a landslide,” Romney said. “This has a lot to do with the effectiveness of relative campaigns.”

Romney spoke after a GOP fundraising event he headed in Park City, Utah. He dismissed talk that the event — attended by heavy hitters including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan — was precursor to another presidential run for him.

"I'm not running for president," Romney said. "I brought a number of the 2016 contenders here to meet with my fundraisers. If I had been running, I wouldn't be doing that.

"Look, I want to find the best candidate for us to take our message to the American people," he added. "That we can bring better jobs, higher incomes, and more security globally. We can do that. And I'm convinced that the field of Republican candidates that I'm seeing is [in] a lot better position to do that than I am."
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