While WE waste time on the stupid debt ceiling…

Bud has a legitimate desire to read more about the debt debate here. And if I can when I get done with ADCO stuff today, I’ll have something to say about the embarrassing behavior of South Carolina’s House Republicans.

But in the meantime, I’ll take just a second to express my utter frustration that we’re having such a big fight over THAT (which we should have been able to work out in a few hours, long before now), when there are things such as this going on in the world:

WASHINGTON—The U.S. for the first time formally accused Iran of forging an alliance with al Qaeda in a pact that allows the terrorist group to use Iranian soil as a transit point for moving money, arms and fighters to its bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Treasury Department outlined on Thursday what it said was an extensive fund-raising operation that uses Iran-based operatives and draws from donors in oil-rich Persian Gulf countries such as Kuwait and Qatar. The Treasury said it had sanctioned six al Qaeda members for allegedly overseeing this network.

The U.S. has long been concerned about alleged Iranian support for the terrorist group, though Iran and al Qaeda hold differing interpretations of Islam and divergent strategic interests.

But Tehran, anticipating the U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, has been moving increasingly to assert its regional influence. Iran has helped smuggle sophisticated weapons into those countries to hasten the withdrawal of American forces, the U.S. says—a charge Tehran has denied….

That was the lede story in the WSJ today. But this idiotic ideological garbage over debt is sucking up all the oxygen…

16 thoughts on “While WE waste time on the stupid debt ceiling…

  1. bud

    Iran has helped smuggle sophisticated weapons into those countries to hasten the withdrawal of American forces, the U.S. says—a charge Tehran has denied….

    This all seems so familiar. And just for the record the president is a Democrat and I’m still skeptical of the risk to our security. So I can’t be accussed of being a Democratic Partisan. Even if it’s true and the threat real our only recourse is to engage in even more military operations. Given the hysteria over the national debt now is that really a viable option?

  2. bud

    There’s an easy solution to this. If we’re concerned about IEDs etc. killing Americans in Iraq then let’s just remove Americans from Iraq. Problem solved. And we’d save a boatload of money to boot. If Iran successfully increases it’s influence over the region, Great! They can have it plus all the headaches that go with it.

  3. bud

    Let’s do a little recap. We attacked Iraq and deposed Saddam Hussein back in 2003. Once in we attempted to do some nation building in order to gain a new ally in the region who would be friendly to America’s “vital” interests in the region.

    But things didn’t go according to plan and we ended up with thousands of casualties, trillions of dollars spent and an ongoing environment of caos and violence. The situation did calm down somewhat after the surge. However it’s unclear how much of a role that played in the improvement. Even so the bombings and terrorist acts continue to this day even as we draw troops down.

    So now a new report comes out that Iran wants to increase it’s influence over the region. And why shouldn’t they? After all they are actually in the region. Perhaps they can calm the whole situation down once and for all where we have been unable to completely do so. What would be wrong with that?

    If Iran controls the oil fields so what? They would still want to sell the oil on the open market and perhaps they could succeed in bringing enough calm to the region so that Iraqi oil production could at long last reach it’s potential. If that happens the price of oil would drop as there would be more in the world market. That would help our economy by reducing gasoline prices thus freeing up more income for consumers to spend in the economy. The long awaited robust recovery would be achieved and all would be right with the world.

  4. Lynn T

    As a reflection of how ideological and idiotic the current mess is, look at the current NY Times graphic poll (debt matrix) on whether we should approach the deficit through spending cuts or revenue, and how willing to compromise responders are. It is a beautifully designed poll. There is a clear dominance of responses in the upper right quadrant (a blend of new revenues and reduced spending) and a clearly emerging regression line leading diagonally up the center. Most responses are some shade of green (willing to compromise). Then, there is a tiny little bunch of orange (no compromise) responses in favor of no revenue increase and reduce spending, in the upper left hand corner. Our entire nation is being held hostage by those creeps in the upper lefthand corner, even though they are a minority. Sadly, all of South Carolina’s intransigent Republican Congressmen are up in the left corner. I can see why the rest of the country might be forgiven for wishing they’d just let us secede before we did more damage to the U.S.

  5. `Kathryn Fenner

    My husband was just saying that he had trouble sleeping last night thinking about the debt ceiling, but today, he realizes there’s nothing he can do about it. Either our politicians will drive the economy into a ditch because they won’t compromise or not, but our actual representatives, other than Jim Clyburn have clearly lost their sense of statesmanship and do not care what anyone other than the rabid Tea Partiers want.

  6. Steven Davis

    So Jim Clyburn is the only one that has any sense? Holy cow, I didn’t think I’d ever read that… anywhere. This guy is about two things, himself and his race.

  7. Brad

    Hmmm… I’m not at all convinced that I’d be happy with six Jim Clyburns, either. I did agree with this thought that he expressed yesterday:

    “Speaker Boehner does not even pretend that this is a serious attempt to solve the problem — he sold this bill to his Conference by telling them that it WASN’T bipartisan. And with divided government, a plan that isn’t bipartisan is no plan at all, it’s just a game.”

    Indeed. But then, when he statement went on and on about partisanship and how awful it was, I was thinking, “THIS from Jim Clyburn?” He’s the Democrats’ answer to Joe Wilson, as partisan as the day is long. He’s the third ranking Democratic partisan in the House. Most of his statements are about party, party, party.

    But if he’s willing to convert to the UnParty, hey, I’ll welcome him. Joe Wilson, too. But they’ll have to sincerely repent, and sin no more.

  8. Karen McLeod

    @Steven. I’ve heard Rep. Clyburn respond in a civil way regarding members of the other party even when the reporter talking with him was clearly trying to get him to say something inflammatory and/or highly partisan. I have found him to be responsive to concerns (unlike Sen. Demint). I do not always agree with him, but at least I can consider him my representative. Thank goodness I’m not in the district that elected Joe Wilson.

  9. Karen McLeod

    re: Iran. Yes, Iran does sound like it’s getting ready to ramp up its association with terrorists. Too bad we had 2 unfunded wars. If we’d paid for them we might be able to afford a war now, but….oh, well, maybe next decade.

  10. bud

    The bud manifesto:

    All people should be treated with dignity and respect. Civility should rule in all interactions between people. Violence in the name of religion should be discredited wherever it occurs and in the name of whatever religion it is done for.

    Both government and business are important players in our society but neither is perfect and both need constraints.

    Economic prosperity works best when capitalism is regulated in a fair and equitable manner that recognizes that hard work and talent should be rewarded. It should also be recognized that greed and luck exist within a capitalist environment and that spillover costs should be mitigated through appropriate government regulation.

    Big government should not be allowed to intrude on personal decisions by individuals in areas that do not affect others or the broader societal environment. As such laws regulating consumption, spending, entertainment and religion should not be infringed. And the rights of ones body should be absolute neither restricting end of life, health and pregancy decisions by government. Those decisions should be left entirely to individuals.

    The government must never interfere in the functions of people in foreign countries unless there is a direct and immediate threat to the health and welfare of the citizens of the U.S. Never should American troops be used for nation building or other vague goals related to “national interest”. Any violation of this tenant and especially any and all deception to implement such interference is grounds for discipline up to and including impeachment.

    Debt should not be regarded as a dirty word and is an essential part of a nation’s economy. Running deficits during hard times is critical to maintaining a viable and healthy economy. Conversely budget surpluses should be run during times of prosperity to help offset the inevitable down turns.

    Government doctraine should recognize the needs of it’s citizens through a variety of common sense programs to alleviate the costs of medical care and retirement. These programs should be simple to understand and properly funded by appropriate taxes.

  11. Doug Ross

    Didn’t the Unabomber and the Norway killer each have manifestos?

    I’d go along with the sentiments you expressed, bud, but I am realistic and cynical enough to know that anything involving humans will be driven by greed and the desire for power.

    But if you want to join me in my commune when I win the lottery, you are welcome.

  12. bud

    It’s a shame that manifesto has become a tainted term. It’s sort of what happened to the word intern back in the 90s.

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