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Tuesday: New narrative-Hillary owes everything to Condi {{snort!}}

Ding!  Your Rice is Finished!

Ding! Your Rice is Finished!

David Brooks is a card, a real joker.  In his column today, Continuity We Can Believe In, he’s got to be kidding about how Clinton is going to take Condi’s initiatives and run with them:

It began with colonels and captains fighting terror on the ground. They found that they could clear a town of the bad guys, but they had little capacity to establish rule of law or quality of life for the people they were trying to help. They quickly realized that the big challenge in this new era is not killing the enemy, it’s repairing the zones of chaos where enemies grow and breed. They realized, too, that Washington wasn’t providing them with the tools they needed to accomplish their missions.

Their observations and arguments filtered through military channels and back home, producing serious rethinking at the highest levels. On Jan. 18, 2006, Condoleezza Rice delivered a policy address at Georgetown University in which she argued that the fundamental threats now come from weak and failed states, not enemy powers.

In this new world, she continued, it is impossible to draw neat lines between security, democratization and development efforts. She called for a transformational diplomacy, in which State Department employees would do less negotiating and communiqué-writing. Instead, they’d be out in towns and villages doing broad campaign planning with military colleagues, strengthening local governments and implementing development projects.

Fancy that!  Condi actually learned something on the job.  Will miracles never cease.  I mean, wasn’t this the same woman who couldn’t have imagined pilots who would deliberately slam their planes into people filled objects in order to cause death, destruction and defeat?  Did she think kamikaze only referred to a blue drink in a shotglass?

Yes, Brooks thinks the amazing Condoleeza Rice has spent hundreds of sleepless nights “toiling weak and weary” over some policy initiative that would spread money and assistance from the ground up,  It would start with the grassroots and try to change the world one poverty stricken person at a time.  It sounds like the plan we had promised Afghanistan right after we invaded them but this is *different* because it has the stamp of approval from Brooksie and that’s because Condi, who has problems with her working imagination, has tested it out. Sort of.

The Bush administration began to implement these ideas, but in small and symbolic ways. President Bush called for a civilian corps to do nation-building. National Security Presidential Directive 44 laid out a framework so different agencies could coordinate foreign reconstruction and stabilization. The Millennium Challenge Account program created a method for measuring effective governance.

Actual progress was slow, but the ideas developed during the second Bush term have taken hold.

Some theoreticians may still talk about Platonic concepts like realism and neoconservatism, but the actual foreign policy doctrine of the future will be hammered out in a bottom-up process as the U.S. and its allies use their varied tools to build government capacity in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, the Philippines and beyond. Grand strategists may imagine a new global architecture built at high-level summits, but the real global architecture of the future will emerge organically from these day-to-day nation-building operations.

A priori,  a posteriori, symbolically. What’s the diff?  What do you want from this woman?  Hasn’t it been enough that she’s given the best 8 years of her life to Bush and Co?!

Finally, Brooks admonishes Obama and Clinton to get something done:

As Stephen Flanagan of the Center for Strategic and International Studies notes, Obama’s challenge will be to actually implement the change. That would include increasing the size of the State Department, building a civilian corps that can do development in dangerous parts of the world, creating interagency nation-building institutions, helping local reformers build governing capacity in fragile places like Pakistan and the Palestinian territories and exporting American universities while importing more foreign students.

Given the events of the past years, the U.S. is not about to begin another explicit crusade to spread democracy. But decent, effective and responsive government would be a start.

Obama and his team didn’t invent this approach. But if they can put it into action, that would be continuity we can believe in.

Well, Condi and Gates didn’t invent the approach either.  And we shall see if there is any money left for action.  We may be left relying on the Clinton Global Initiative.  After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

121 Responses

  1. Thanks, RD – it will indeed be interesting to see someone with a creative mind and courage to be innovative in order to accomplish what is needed on the job. I’m looking forward to what can be achieved if one wants to pursue success and not merely go through the same old activities.

  2. Oy.

    Spinning is a media art to control public understanding, isn’t it?

  3. This is the most dismal and incompetent administration ever to serve. Condi is a card carrying member of this assembly and is most responsible for aiding and abetting the travesty of foreign affairs. Having risen to through the ranks of Bush enablers, her inability to see beyond what he laid out in the Bush doctrine had led us to our lowest ranking on the world stage.

    The damage this group will leave behind will be studied for decades to come. Their entire goal was to ensure a Bush legacy and they approached this end result wearing blinders. This is a woman whose chief attribute was her loyalty alone and she gladly wore that honor.

    Her forte was Russian studies but as an academic she was out of her comfort area, having no realistic or originality in her approach to foreign affairs.

    Perhaps Obama may be cited for establishing a realistic team of foreign affair advisers but at least we can assume they were chosen for what they could bring to the table by way of experience. Condi, on the other hand, was chosen for her ability to sanction, approve, and rubber stamp all that Bush desired. The disastrous results are breathtaking in scope.

    She should retire to a quiet life and be left to ruminate on her inaction to heed the call to danger when it was handed to her by way by those who called for action prior to 9/11. Her incompetence, and let us be direct in calling it for what it is, will be measured in terms of how many lives were lost and destroyed because of her service.

    Brooks is an apologist for the Bush travesty and his lack of reflection is evident throughout.

  4. Does that then also mean that Condi is ever beholden to Madeline Albright?

  5. Thank you for a cogent response, Pat. I couldn’t even make sense of what Brooks wrote. Condi Rice should go away and hide her head in shame. This administration will be remembered as perhaps the worst in our history. Hillary will be a breath of fresh air.

  6. the fundamental threats now come from weak and failed states, not enemy powers.

    If the Bushies had listened to the Clinton people, instead of deliberately doing everything 180 degrees different from them, they would have known this before they started.

    But I’m not going to trash Condi. I think things would have been a lot worse if she hadn’t been there.

  7. Happy Birthday Boston Boomer!

  8. [Sigh.]

    Is this what audacious Condi bashing might look like?

  9. Most of those Bush advisers stood around with their heads up their ass while Bush/Cheney swaggered around the world demanding other countries follow their lead. Those who balked were considered outcasts in the world community. Had someone been ballsy enough to point out the folly of these policies perhaps we would not be where we are today. The neocons ruled and did so ruthlessly while the nation was left to be branded either patriotic or sell outs if they failed to get in line.

    Only those people with direct access may have made a difference. Better to resign than to play along with idiotic policies designed to make their C in Chief a wartime hero, something that he evaded during his time of service.

    Eight blighted years of Bush/Cheney is what is left to the next administration. God only knows what will be discovered as we go forward. The press played pattycake with the Bushies in order to maintain access. Better to speak truth to power than to be assured an invitation to the next WH bash.

    Bush leaves office with no regrets. One can hardly look to this group for any form of introspection. The regret for us is that we let it happen.

  10. I am not now and never have been a fan of Condoleezza Rice. But she is not to blame for David Brooks’s inanity. That David Brooks is a pundit simply shows once again that we have a media for morons.

    I thought Rice’s comments about Senator Clinton as SoS were dignified and classy. I understand that they are actually “friends” as hard as that may be for some of us to understand. Politics does actually seem to make very strange bedfellows.

    From things I have read Dr. Rice was indeed in way over her head and her attempts to rein in the Bush Administration from time to time were not successful because Dubya always sided with Cheney and his crew of neo-cons.

    That said, she is also a serial liar but then I would find it difficult to name anyone in politics or Washington D.C. that is not.

    I am sure that as much as is allowed, Senator Clinton will steer her own course. The problem with that is; she may be Secretary of State, but Obama is the one that sets the policies. And I wouldn’t trust him to chart the course for a rowboat across a very narrow creek.

  11. Maybe we can rely on Obama’s past performances in the debates when he kept uttering, “what she said” after every question. This way we can at least be assured that his is following Hillary’s lead once again since he too is in so far over his head.

    His inexperience so far only adds to the theory that this guy is meant to also learn on the job as he goes along. Leaning on those whose vast experience at this time far outshines anything he has ever done in his life is perhaps the only bright spot in an otherwise tenuous beginning.

  12. If anyone tries to say that Condi has done a good job just remind them that her area of strength is Russia. That’s been handled well.

  13. BernieO: But remember, Bush looked into Putin’s eyes and that was all that was needed to ensure stability. Russia disappeared under the radar after that illustrious stamp of approval.

  14. Kenosha: Hillary makes friends all over the place. It’s her thing. But Condi does not deserve any credit for the last eight years. She ignored the warnings on 9/11 and for that alone she should have been fired. As we may recall, she was dragged kicking and screaming in front of the 9/11 commitee instead. She has done nothing noteworthy at State. We have no ideas she hasn’t implemented. There’s no THERE there.

  15. We have now been informed that the country has been in recession for the last 12 months. I sit here leafing through catalogues and checking online shopping sites for gift bargains this year as I watch the economy sink lower each day.

    But cheer up! Obama is about to present MO with a $30,000 ring as a gift for her work during the campaign! While most of his support group ekes out a living and prepares for the worst crisis to face us in years, he is out there lavishly spending on a ring!

    What is wrong with this picture? Did someone just utter the word “elitist”?

  16. While his $600,000,000 goes unchecked, he makes Bill put out his foundation donor list, as if charity were somehow suspect.

  17. I hate to sound repetitive, but local Food Pantries are going empty and many people are shopping at the Dollar Stores this year yet this moron is buying his wife a ring worth $30,000 to wear on her bony finger.

    Seems like all but a few will be sacrificing this year. And was this not the same candidate who kept informing us of his mother and the food stamps? Oh, to rise to such heights!

    He must be channeling Marie Antoinette as well as the Clinton administration. I am hearing chants of “let them eat cake”.

  18. This is a rather harsh verdict.

    I cannot and will not criticize Condeleeza Rice. As an actual survivor of September 11th in New York City, I can say that there was a lot that she did for some of us on a personal level. While I agree that she has never played the role of dissenter to Bush’s Neocon policies, she has also achieved the highest position yet for an African-American woman in government. Unlike Obama, Rice never IMHO used the race card to garner sympathy or for political gain. She was branded as a traitor to her race by a large percentage of African Americans.

    Condoleezza Rice was also named as a traitor to her gender by none other than political genius Babs Streisand.

    Hmmm Condi Rice who is a PhD, Secretary of State, former Stanford Provost, concert pianist, speaks five languages. ice-skater, and sports buff is yet another smear of lipstick on the shirts of women and African Americans? ??? Not in my book.

    While I do not agree with her on many levels, I hope we do not see the end of her in politics. She was loyal to Bush and this was her Waterloo but it does not mean that her character and leadership has to be completely assassinated.

  19. I guess I am left with the same question: who is this man?

  20. He’s a very rich man from his books, isn’t he? And his salary as president will be $400,000 a year.

  21. I am sure Brooks meant Hillary will be running FROM Condiliar’s initiatives NOT with them!

    O/T….but if there is anyone interested in knowing what happened to the Traveling Pantsuits site, please drop me a line…PssttCmereathotmaildot.com. Kenosha, I hope you see this….

  22. A $30,000 ring? Who does he think they are? Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor? Is that really true?! This guy is utterly tone deaf.

  23. Since we are facing bailouts and the possibility of job losses, home foreclosures, lack of medical coverage, rising food costs, elevated home heating prices, major recession predictions, one would think that the president elect would be a little more realistic on how this bauble may effect the rest of us who will undoubtedly share the pain of those losses.

    If his desire is to show her how much he appreciated her support during the campaign, why not reach down to our level and take her out to a nice dinner, settle down with a video, and give her a boink later on that she is sure to remember.

    Works for most of us. And that secret smile? Priceless!

  24. The Other Side of the Mountain

    http://insightanalytical.wordpress.com/2008/12/02/the-other-side-of-the-mountain/

    Join me as I escape all this crap (I told you so, btw…)

    Some wonderful pictures that will renew your spirits, too!!!!!

  25. David Brooks exemplifies why I will not read the pundits or MSM on Senator Clinton’s appointment. They simply cannot write about Senator Clinton without braying.

    Braying = being “shrill” and obnoxious about powerful women in general, Senator Clinton in particular.

    (Some of you will have seen this post but if you submit comments with links to braying about Senator Clinton’s appointment as SoS, I will put them up – it would be good to have a collection: http://tdg.typepad.com/heidi_lis_potpourri/2008/11/could-you-stop-braying-at-me.html
    Thank you in advance.)

  26. The obama’s are wrong on so many levels that I have lost count. Many of the electorate were bamboozled but good!! Trouble is that those of us who could see the forest for the trees will fall victim to his practices…

  27. As Boston Boomer said: tone deaf.

  28. Pat Johnson, on December 2nd, 2008 at 9:17 am Said:

    He is the emptiest of empty suits.
    As for how his base will react to news of a 30,000 dollar ring (assuming the truth of the story), sadly: the wealthy ones won’t see the cruel disregard for others’ economic struggles; the young obots will think it is “romantic”; the poor ones will, in keeping with the ideology of Oprah and The View will applaud it as an act of generosity and love.

  29. insightanalytical, on December 2nd, 2008 at 9:28 am Said:
    You are right – I enjoyed the post and the pix.

  30. nsightanalytical: Thanks, the pictures were wonderful!

  31. Why my comment is in moderation I don’t know.

  32. I just do not see how anyone can be beholdened to anyone connected with Bush’s foreign policy. It took over 200 years for this countrty to become a super power and in only 8 short years the Bush Administration single handedly brought it down. So Brooks thinks he knows what Obama should do …… right. If Brooks really wanted “decent, effective and responsive government” he should have backed Clinton. “The “Press” and Pundits got us President Eddie Haskell, what the hell do they know. Bottom line, David Brooks is a moron.

  33. FLVoter….I like your style

  34. In Bush, we had a president not unlike Lucy when she attempted to put the barbecue back together in one episode. A complete and utter mess!

  35. I see the Bush Presidency and all of its trappings as one of the single most tragic events that this country has ever survived. My biggest concern is can we also survive the inept and bumbling Obama Administration. Any time a Presidency must be buoyed by the “Press” it is bad for the country and its people.

  36. FLVoter, I am not defending Bush but if it took only 8 years then America was never much of a super power to begin with. America has survived many administrations and it will survive the bush administration just like it survived Johnson’s , Nixon’s. I am a historian and base things on historical facts Calvin Coolidge was a disaster. Zachary Taylor did virtually nothing about slavery. It will take some time before we can truly assess the damage that a president has done.

  37. Has Brooks ever heard about JFK’s vision for the Peace Corps as a means to build coalitions from the grassroots level up? I am so tired of partisan blindness–never accountable, always taking credit–on both sides.

    Re: the ring story:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1090653/Barack-Obama-buy-rare-20-000-rhodium-ring-wife-say-thanks-support.html

    Quick denial:
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1208/Obama_aide_denies_ring_story.html

  38. We survive due to a strong Constitution, the erosion of which we have also been witnessing the past 8 years. Obama needs to reinstitute the full measure of that document or we fail. So far, the inclusion of FISA as a form of domestic spying, does not bode well for his intentions. The dismantling of habeas corpus is another feature.

    Until, or unless, he upholds our rights under the law, we may not survive. This is how tenuous our hold is on what our Founding Fathers wrote.

  39. oh goddess what is this about a 30k ring for ME chelle?
    please say it isn’t so.

  40. catarina: tis

  41. I just read a report at Politico, but then stopped because with my long MSM hiatus, I have become allergic to all propaganda and punditocracy. As RD said, you really develop an instinct for the manipulative vocabulary and framing if you take a break. I could care less about their constant “braying” as Heidi calls it. Anyway, the report was calling BO out about his (& Greg Craig & Susan Rice’s) constant attacks on HRC’s lack of foreign policy experience, and how it made her unfit to be president.

    How can ANYONE write or read this crap and not ask: BUT WHAT EXPERIENCE DID/DOES HE HAVE TO BE PRESIDENT?! How dare he mock HER, when he had even LESS to present to the American people!?! The in-your-face irony and arrogance is revolting. We have this man-child, pouting like a president, and we are supposed to pretend it’s normal? I still cannot believe this is really happening. Oh, I forgot, it’s his magical powers and “superior judgment” (that included Rezko, Wright, Ayers et. al.).

    This is why I don’t read this stuff anymore, except in passing here if you guys think it’s relevant. My blood pressure instantly peaks at the hypocrisy and stupidity.

  42. Pat Johnson,

    I agree whole heartedly.

  43. fif: So true. I watched him yesterday standing in front of a group whose individual experiences far outweigh his yet they must defer to him. Spending less than 200 days in the Senate and the last two years running around as a candidate does not make him an expert on anything.

    Yet, as you said, they keep going after her. The world has indeed turned on its axis.

  44. fif no kidding
    time to find a non politics related hobby!
    was thinking about how I sometimes envy the low-info voters who have no idea what happened during this election
    they’ll outlive us, for sure

  45. Pat, haven’t you heard? Whenever I mention caucus fraud or the voter suppression in FL & MI, or the Convention delegate intimidation to people to explain my rejection of the illegitimate One, each person responds:

    “But that’s just politics–they ALL do that.”

    That’s the problem with not setting a line in the sand. If an example is not made, the precedent is set and then extended again in the future. Pelosi’s “impeachment is off the table” was exactly the wrong message. Now, it’s considered normal to wiretap and impose a civilian army. BO is going to keep the extended executive powers for “flexibility.” Nothing is sacred, it seems. If we could not find a basis on which to at least attempt to impeach Bush & Cheney–to send a message if nothing else–then what will it take, outright treason?

  46. now what about this ring?
    come on give me links turn my dry heaves into full blown puke

  47. catarina: My ex husband, a low info at any level, used to chide me by saying I read too much. Apparently being informed is so outdated! Yet it is from the uninformed that an Obama and Bush presidency arises. Give the suckers a photo opportunity and plenty of that old time flag waving and you are in!

  48. was thinking about how I sometimes envy the low-info voters who have no idea what happened during this election
    they’ll outlive us, for sure

    cat: so true! Awareness is a b*tch. It truly is amazing that the vast majority of Americans have absolutely NO idea what Obama & Co. did to win. Meanwhile, he was claiming at every opportunity that “HRC will do or say anything to win,” thus reinforcing all the old stereotypes about her. Ugh. I have to stop–makes my blood boil again just thinking about it.

  49. catarina; He has had a ring designed out of some very expensive material which costs $30,000 which he was to give her on the day he took office. It is in lieu of her “support” during the campaign. It has a certain design made in I think South Africa.

    Give me a break!!!!!!!!!!

  50. cat: I put the links about the ring above. First the report, then the BO denial.

  51. Lance Mannion watches the media’s new round of Clinton feeding frenzy and embarrasses me with another episode of : Things I wished I had written

    They just won’t grow up, ever!

    Think about it. Bob Woodward helped bring down Richard Nixon. Within his lifetime, the country has seen the rise and fall of Joe McCarthy. J. Edgar Hoover headed the FBI. George Wallace ran for President, twice! Jesse Helms had a long and powerful career as a United States Senator. Tom DeLay ran the US House of Representatives. We are finishing up eight years of the puppet Presidency of George W. Bush.

    Throw Lyndon Johnson in there.

    And what American politicians have gotten deepest under his skin?

    The Clintons.

    “She never goes away, she and her husband.”

    This is the case for most of the Washington Press Corps.

    The most senior and influential journalists and pundits have been alive to see some of the most despicable and destructive characters to ever occupy the American stage and yet none of them seem to be able to get through a conversation or an op-ed piece without taking a shot at Bill and Hillary.

    Which just goes to show you. You can destroy thousands of lives with lies and false accusations. You can start wars and engineer coups to bring down legitimate governments. You can run a Presidential campaign based on hatred and racial resentments. You can use your office as a United States Senator to advance an agenda of racism and religious bigotry. You can turn the US House of Representatives into a Protection Racket. You can start an unnecessary war based on lies and then go and lose it, let a great American city drown, trash the Constitution, and oversee the greatest financial meltdown since 1929.

    But you can’t be a Democrat and a successful politician after the Washington Insiders have decided you just aren’t their kind of people.

    They never grow up, Woodward and his ilk.

    What a brilliant observation! Really, after all the characters we’ve seen on the political scene the last 40 years, the object of passionate hatred in the media is The Clintons?

    Go figure!

  52. Afrocity:

    I agree with you on Condi Rice. I’m not sure what outcomes may have been different if she was not there, but I believe she did fight the battle at times only to lose to Cheyney.

    We all know that women have to work twice as hard as men to get half of the recognition. But even we women sometimes seem to put twice as much expectation on women once they achieve some recognition.

    Unless Hillary falls on her sword and says I won’t campaign for O, she loses esteem. If Rice doesn’t fall on her sword, she is a failure.

    These women are human, not icons as we sometimes make them out to be. And they are intelligent and pragmatic. Any of us struggling to succeed in a male dominated environment must learn how to live to fight another day.

    Until we reach parity, or at least 30%, we have to survive. We have to pick our battles. We don’t know what it may have been if Rice wasn’t there.

  53. Why am I in moderation? HELP!

  54. MABlue: Mannion speaks the truth. Thanks for sharing.

  55. fif, on December 2nd, 2008 at 10:20 am Said:

    You are so right about the line in the sand and the need for it.

  56. *barfing*

    fif I didn’t see the links but maybe that’s better…
    O supporters see nothing wrong or odd here?

    If the queen gets a ring I want my fucking pony.
    Change. Yeah, right.

  57. I watched him yesterday standing in front of a group whose individual experiences far outweigh his yet they must defer to him.

    Pat: I started to cry again, just watching her stand next to him. It’s so mind-boggling that these career public servants are being led by this selfish, presumptuous neophyte. Of course, she will be brilliant as always, but it should be her vision and course we are following. Since he stole most of her policy ideas anyway, we will, but he will take all of the credit. He is already being proclaimed the Best President Evah!

    And she is still be blamed and insulted each day. I read a piece in the WSJ, “Hillary of State,” and this woman made an entire case based on HRC’s egomaniacal thirst for power and control, and how BO is taking a big risk yada yada yada. How about–he’s desperate for some professionals to do the work, because he has no idea what he is doing?!

  58. Just more fodder for the “perspective”: both Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich are political contributors on Fox News! Two criminal pols who shoud be enjoying time with their respective lawyers and they are seen nightly on national tv as if their misdeeds were of no consequence!

    Tom Delay is another crook they march out now and then; none possess a modicum of shame yet the Hillary bashing continues unabated.

    We seem to have significantly lost our way.

  59. Pat Johnson, on December 2nd, 2008 at 10:21 am Said:

    catarina: My ex husband, a low info at any level, used to chide me by saying I read too much. Apparently being informed is so outdated!

    When I first got married my husband made a comment that I had “enough books.” (probably b/c all available surfaces, including the bed, were covered with various reading material 😉
    I shot him such a hairy eyeball he never complained about my books again. teehee!

  60. Really, after all the characters we’ve seen on the political scene the last 40 years, the object of passionate hatred in the media is The Clintons?

    MABlue: it’s bizarre to witness. Last night on the way home from a trip, I heard a former Ambassador to Morrocco (can’t remember his name) talking about the new team, and he was very pleased with HRC’s appointment. The announced mentioned Dick Morris’ reaction, and the former Ambassador said, “Well, Dick Morris always has his hair on fire about Hillary Clinton.”

    LOL!

  61. You know what is a beauty to behold though? HRC ignores them all, and just keeps performing. It makes them apoplectic. WWTBJQ?! Fortunately, the American people recognize true grit when they see it. As an old wise man once said, “Let the dogs bark.”

  62. Dick has got a serious chip on his shoulder about her. Can someone plz ask him why?

  63. Rege:

    Cuz she wouldn’t suck his toes?

  64. Catarina:

    When you use ther term “jihad” you classify all violence as religion-based.

    It’s not.

  65. Oops, that last comment was for another thread

  66. So let me get this straight: Hillary only got to be a Senator because of her husband. And she got to be a SoS because of Condi?

  67. fif – The media hates the Clintons because the Clintons are independent of the media. They succeed despite the Village and its Villagers.

    Every sin is pardonable except the sin of not worshiping at David Broder’s feet.

    As for David Brooks, he recently claimed that in times of great government reform, the American people choose Republican Presidents to rein in the excesses of the Democrats. He used TR and Benjamin Disraeli (?) as examples. I guess he didn’t read any history after 1938.

    He is a complete shill for the corporate interests. It is somewhat amusing to watch his pretzelification as his tries to justify his preposterous propositions, but in the end, he’s just another poseur with a Thesaurus and nothing to say.

  68. RD, Wasn’t aware that I said that Condi deserved any credit for the past 8 years. I think she has been a complete failure. I also believe that her failure over 9/11 was a reason for being fired. But look at who she worked for and you see why she wasn’t. I think I also “said” that she was a serial liar. I personally believe she was an abysmal failure. Makes me wonder what I am missing if Senator Clinton has her for a friend.

    I did think her statement about Senator Clinton as Sos was classy. Particulary in comparison to how many Democrats are reacting. Far be it from me to tout Condi Rice for anything except that.

  69. Gee. The front page news is ummmmmmm. Not so good ala Biden’s proclamation. The US is not liked much right now. Another arrogant leader won’t go over very well, I don’t think.

    It’s extremely tasteless (the ring) in such times?

    Very tasteless.

    hugs.

    Hillary can probably learn a lot from Rice, I guess. I just hope she can restore what we had once — that “safe” feeling under the Clintons when all was well.

    Heidi’s comment above was spot on about the ring and how it will be perceived by various demographics…

    Pretty grotesque and wreaks of Imelda. But then, what were we expecting when “transcending the middle class” was the goal all along …

    It was an ouch fest to see Hillary behind the faux logo at the podium.

    Ouch.

  70. kenoshamarge & afrocity — just wanted to chime in before getting back to work to let you two know that I agree with you both re: C.ondi.

  71. HRC’s egomaniacal thirst for power and control

    Never mind that this is a complete and utter fiction.

  72. Some theoreticians may still talk about Platonic concepts like realism and neoconservatism, but the actual foreign policy doctrine of the future will be hammered out in a bottom-up process as the U.S. and its allies use their varied tools to build government capacity in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, the Philippines and beyond. Grand strategists may imagine a new global architecture built at high-level summits, but the real global architecture of the future will emerge organically from these day-to-day nation-building operations.

    Theoreticians could do worse than return to talk about a return to American isolationism, or even toAmerican exceptionalism, and wander away from those concepts of “neo-realism” which have so plagued US foreign policy since the eighties.

    Organic global architecture of the future sounds ok but what the US needs is a new Domestic Architecture , and to take a good, hard, long look at itself.

    America needs to look inward, not outward. The UN is there to police the world. Global intelligence is in place to fight terrorism.
    Why not build up government capacity at home? Or to echo Voltaire, tend one’s own garden?

  73. Thanks Angie. I knew I could count on you 😉

  74. vbonnaire – What did Biden say? I had to tune him out. The bloviation was too much.

    Remember, folks, if Condi hadn’t been NSA during 9/11, there’s a very good chance 9/11 would not have happened.

    I cannot imagine why people feel the need to defend her. Is she a r*ce traitor? Of course not. Was she good at her job? Hell f*cking no. On the day of 9/11 she was off pushing that ridiculous missile defense system and said “no one could have imagined” the events of 9/11. A competent NSA would never, ever have said that.

    The woman helped Bush destroy my city. It has never recovered from the attack on the World Trade Center. Sorry, Afrocity, my friend, but don’t expect me to praise her. I can play the piano too, and yes, at a concert level. Does that mean I am ready to be National Security Adviser?

    And as for RD’s post, Hillary is far more prepared and able to do the job as SOS than Condi is now after four years. Please. This whole thing is laughable and I cannot believe anyone is falling for it.

    (grumble grumble grumble)

  75. Afrocity:

    Unlike Obama, Rice never IMHO used the race card to garner sympathy or for political gain. She was branded as a traitor to her race by a large percentage of African Americans.

    Condoleezza Rice was also named as a traitor to her gender by none other than political genius Babs Streisand.

    Hmmm Condi Rice who is a PhD, Secretary of State, former Stanford Provost, concert pianist, speaks five languages. ice-skater, and sports buff is yet another smear of lipstick on the shirts of women and African Americans? ??? Not in my book.

    She is seen that way in Europe. There is no real dislike, and there is respect for her qualifications. She is just seen as a little ineffectual, and hemmed in by hawks like Cheney and Rummy.

  76. madamab — I don’t think afrocity, kenoshamarge or I were exactly praising C.ondi just advocating not burying her. LOL. Really, she wasn’t exactly the only person “not good at her job” in the Bush WH, (in fact, I’m hard pressed to think of ONE person who was good at his/her job in the Bush WH — except maybe Rove if you count “evil mastermind” as a job) yet she seems to get a disproportionate share of the blame, IMHO.

  77. There’s no way for us to know how good the chances of stopping 9/11 would have been with a different NSA.

    I think Rice and Powell suffer a similar fate because of their inability to stand up to Bush/Cheney. Privately, of course, we don’t know who said what to whom, but it’s obvious that Rice and Powell – who we know are both moderate and pragmatic – clearly lost. Did they lose every battle? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe there’d be even more shit flying with different SoSs. I don’t think we should lump Rice and Powell in with Bush/Cheney. They deserve a category of their own. Well-meaning and ineffective. Maybe there’s a special place in hell for them, but I doubt it’s in the main fire pit with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Bolten, etc.

  78. I have been in moderation for an hour and a half. Somebody help!!!!

  79. Since we all come here to vent, just let me say I am royally pissed right now and it has nothing to do with politics!

    My Book Club met last month and a new member suggested a book, “Prodigal Summer” by Barbara Kinsolving for the Decemeber 2nd meeting. The book was awful! Boring could not begin to describe it! However, that being said, I began to receive e-mails last week that some members had not quite finished it and were kind of on the fence as to whether they could make this meeting.

    I went out this morning after preparing a chili in the crockpot and got fresh rolls, salad, etc. for tonight. Just getting back I checked my messages and out of 14 people, only 3 are able to attend. All the others have found one stupid reason after another to back out. Had I known this as of earlier today, or at least yesterday, I would have been saved the trouble of buying food and the preparation.

    I just sent a message asking to “postpone” tonight since there will only be 4 of us here. It is all because they did not finish the stupid book which I admit was terrible but that is the function of a Book Club!!!!!!

    I am now stuck with a pot of chili, 2 doz rolls, salad, and a big chip on my shoulder!!!

    That scream you hear from MA is me!

  80. Madamab,

    I never said any of those things. I lived in NYC during those times. Personally I don’t blame anyone one or two people for destroying NYC or any other US site of attack. Such as the Pentagon or PA. IMO neither HRC or CR are the Einsteins of foreign policy. Lets hope things turn out better for HRC for the sake of ANY major US city. I don’t believe ANYONE in history has ever handled FP perfectly there is no such animal.

    I tend to look at the totality of a person’s life that is my career. We elect these people. They appoint other people and those people are human. They make mistakes and HRC will have her share I am sure. That is reality.

    Meanwhile I ate my scones at Alice’s Tea Cup on 72nd and Columbus Ave, without managing to have my guts resemble strawberry jam. I personally suffered 5 years of panic disorder after 9/11 and I have my wall shelved with the 12,000 empty prescription bottles of Xanax to prove it. Am I glad that the US has not had an attack since 9/11?Hell yes. Do I give a crap what genie in heaven is responsible for that? Not really.

    Am I a cynic? yep.
    Am I a democrat? Nope not anymore.
    Am I alive yep?
    I am glad to be alive. Yes.
    I miss my friend Hannah (RIP).

    I ask for my destiny to be controlled spiritually and not by any one person. I like HRC, but I wouldn’t put my life in her hands, Condi’s or anyone else.

  81. ah, in moderation again.

  82. Afrocity, thanks for the info – I wasn’t aware of all of that about Condi – I think she was indeed out of her element but wanted to be part of W team.

    fif said:I read a piece in the WSJ, “Hillary of State,” and this woman made an entire case based on HRC’s egomaniacal thirst for power and control, and how BO is taking a big risk yada yada yada. How about–he’s desperate for some professionals to do the work, because he has no idea what he is doing?!
    Everytime we see something like that we should call the writer or commentator on it and let them know that we don’t agree and that it is their opinion and they are wrong.
    If they get enough of us calling them on their fiction they will eventually get the message.

  83. OBL determined to strike in the US….how can Hillary ever attain such greatness? “We thought there would be regular hijackings – so we never alerted the airlines so as not to interfere with business…”

  84. LOL PJ! I’ll be over tonight and we can discuss a better book.

    🙂

    Angie – I hear what you’re saying. It’s the 9/11 thing that really gets me. She does bear a large responsibility for that disaster, by virtue of her position as National Security Adviser.

    The SOS thing, well, I just can’t believe she was promoted instead of fired for her poor performance on 9/11.

    See how I get stuck? I just can’t think of her with any respect. I don’t blame her for Bush’s foreign policy (I believe it’s summarized as “Yee-HAW!”), but once an incompetent, always an incompetent.

    We will have to agree to disagree on Dr. Rice.

  85. madamab – right on! I feel exactly the same!
    W’s incompetence was only matched by hers.

  86. Hey, Pat if you were closer we would all come over and help you out with that food! Will it freeze well?

    My chili doesn’t last too long – I usually make a big pot of it and it disappears almost in a heartbeat – my guys all love it.

  87. Pat, your story made me hungry for some yummy chili. Sorry to hear the turkeys let you down.

  88. For those in moderation:

    Any word with “tr0ll” in it, INCLUDING “contr0lled”, will be caught by Spammy. That was afrocity’s “sin.”

    Any mention of C*lin P*well will also be caught by Spammy. That was mlhath’s “sin.”

    If you repost your comments without the “offending” words, Spammy should spit them out.

  89. Sorry for sounding off and interrupting the thread but I would never think of doing this to a hostess at the last minute. Now two who were planning on attending have both indicated they had not finished the damn book either. For God’s sake, what a slap in the face to the newest member who suggested it in the first place!

    Some of my friends, sorry to say, are morons!

  90. It will be interesting to see how much visibility HRC’s ideas will actually have.

    I have always been suspicious that the messaging we get from anyone, particularly in W’s version of government, has been tightly managed. We don’t know what really happened, Condi was talking the company line at any point we actually hear her.

    Knowing our famous free press, there probably are lots of important things said/done that are ignored in favor of letting us know what Brittney or Paris are doing.

  91. I’m in moderation at 11:59!

  92. I’m reposting my message from 11:59 with the appropriate censoring!

    There’s no way for us to know how good the chances of stopping 9/11 would have been with a different NSA.

    I think Rice and P0well suffer a similar fate because of their inability to stand up to Bush/Cheney. Privately, of course, we don’t know who said what to whom, but it’s obvious that Rice and P0well – who we know are both moderate and pragmatic – clearly lost. Did they lose every battle? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe there’d be even more shit flying with different SoSs. I don’t think we should lump Rice and Powell in with Bush/Cheney. They deserve a category of their own. Well-meaning and ineffective. Maybe there’s a special place in hell for them, but I doubt it’s in the main fire pit with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Bolten, etc.

  93. I’m reposting my message from 11:59 with the appropriate censoring!
    There’s no way for us to know how good the chances of stopping 9/11 would have been with a different NSA.
    I think Rice and P0well suffer a similar fate because of their inability to stand up to Bush/Cheney. Privately, of course, we don’t know who said what to whom, but it’s obvious that Rice and P0well – who we know are both moderate and pragmatic – clearly lost. Did they lose every battle? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe there’d be even more shit flying with different SoSs. I don’t think we should lump Rice and P0well in with Bush/Cheney. They deserve a category of their own. Well-meaning and ineffective. Maybe there’s a special place in hell for them, but I doubt it’s in the main fire pit with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Bolten, etc.

  94. Okay. Can someone please tell me why so many people feel the need to make excuses for Condi?

    9/11 was not solely on her shoulders. Of course not. But it was her job to advise Bush on National Security. And 9/11 happened – 9/11, which was the worst-kept secret in the intelligence community. The 9/11 Commission concluded that it could easily have been prevented. In fact, the Clinton Administration had just come off some great successes in preventing the Milennium bombings. Clearly, the problem was within the head honchos in the Bush Administration, of which she was one.

    Not one single person was fired for allowing a preventable, large-scale terrorist attack to take place on our soil. And Condi was promoted.

    I don’t get it.

  95. DYB – Was going before the U.N. and lying to their faces about Iraq’s non-existent WMD “well-meaning?”

    No. It wasn’t. P0well is a war criminal, going back to My Lai.

    I don’t get it.

  96. No one’s making excuses for Condi. We’re simply stating that she was far from the only incompetent person in the room when 9/11 happened. It goes back to many of our concerns about Hillary being SoS. You can recommend action until you’re blue in the face but if the leader is too stupid to listen… well, you serve at the pleasure of the president.

  97. It’s called the Peter Principle –

    “In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence… in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out his duties” and “work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence”

    It appears that W and others in his administration may have all been Peter Principle victims.

  98. that’s why it’s important to mix in new people and a flatter organization creates opportunities for those with new and better and different skills, talents, etc. but yes, Reg, you need to have someone who listens and encourages innovation and the ability to act!

  99. Now that he has come to the end of his hellacious term, some pundits will feel obligated to give him a pass on much of what he has done. These eulogies will not differ much from those given to someone who has passed onto his greater reward who in life was a total bastard. Instead of pointing out the flaws, we will be hearing how “safe” he kept us since 9/11.

    That “safety” was due in large part to a worldwide effort made by intelligence communities who were than allowed to do their jobs. Bush/Cheney cooked the books in their insistence upon going to war against a country we had pretty much contained. To say we had no idea when Saddam went to the bathroom is ridiculous. The entire administration along with those who led the cheers should all be held equally accountable.

    Incompetence rose to a new level of meaning under Bush. And he could not have done it all on his own.

  100. madamab: I don’t know enough about Condi’s influence or lack there of – to weigh in on her effectiveness. I just think there is a TON of shit we don’t know.

    The American (low information) public would completely freak out if they didn’t get to believe that 9/11 could have been prevented. It’s kind of like Santa… This country was paralyzed by the terrorist threats, the economy tanked, people wouldn’t travel, unemployment was climbing. They had to say it was preventable and that we now know what we didn’t know…

    As for P0well – I think he is opportunistic. If the U.N. lies had worked out better, he would never have made the move away from GWB. He ended up looking like a liar (appropriately, I think – considering his knowledge of Iraq to begin with) and now he is absolved by kissing BO’s ass. Nice.

  101. Joanelle: Agreed. Unfortunately, every senator and congressperson sees themselves as a future President. It’s blind ambition, mixed in with those with those of lesser ambition and a calling towards different goals.

    There should be escalators for these people. If you want to be President, go up. If you want to serve the people, go down. In typical D.C. fashion, the elevator up would transform into a slide and the elevator down would have a ladder attached. Ya always know where ya wanna go but you can never be sure where you’ll end up.

  102. Regency – That makes a lot of sense. Thanks!

    🙂

    I think my attitude for now regarding HRC is cautious optimism. I trust her to take care of herself. I do expect the media to slice and dice her, though, no matter what happens. It’s just what they do. We will have to brace ourselves for it…

  103. I like that approach madamab. Think I’ll take it too.

  104. Mad: I think we’re all permanently tense now in preparation of the beating she’ll continue to take. It’s hard but we persevere.

    I trust her personal experience with many of the foreign leaders of the world to carry us through. We often worry how she would be perceived by the world if BO is as incompetent as we predict. I think her record will continue to stand for itself. She will stand for women and children, the weak and abused. That is who she has always been and world’s leaders will vouch for her even if they can’t—or won’t–vouch for th administration.

  105. Reposted from moderation. Since I didn’t have any of the sin words you mentioned, I’m still clueless.

    Afrocity:

    I agree with you on Condi Rice. I’m not sure what outcomes may have been different if she was not there, but I believe she did fight the battle at times only to lose to Cheyney.

    We all know that women have to work twice as hard as men to get half of the recognition. But even we women sometimes seem to put twice as much expectation on women once they achieve some recognition.

    Unless Hillary falls on her sword and says I won’t campaign for O, she loses esteem. If Rice doesn’t fall on her sword, she is a failure.

    These women are human, not icons as we sometimes make them out to be. And they are intelligent and pragmatic. Any of us struggling to succeed in a male dominated environment must learn how to live to fight another day.

    Until we reach parity, or at least 30%, we have to survive. We have to pick our battles. We don’t know what it may have been if Rice wasn’t there.

  106. madamab — Biden with the “grid your loins” and the latest in the news, yesterday. It’s just creepy. One semi-good thing I just am researching Napolitano to see what she is about.

    Here is a good piece on her — she is like a Hillary, and she also got her start with Anita Hill — so she is perhaps of a feminist bent?

    Her whole life has been about work, it seems. She seems solid. Like Hillary is solid and perhaps the two of them will be a dynamic duo right now. Geez. Biden inspires NO confidence with what he said above given yesterday’s news.

    Anyway— here is Napolitano article:
    (I wish she had been for Hillary, like us.)

    http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=janet_napolitano_and_the_new_third_way

  107. Give me a hint somebody, what word am I using to keep me in moderation. It was none that were previously mentioned.

  108. A spokesperson for top Italian designer Giovanni Bosco allegedly said that President-Elect Barack Obama is looking to purchase a $30,000 Harmony ring made of rhodium and encrusted with diamonds as a thank you gift to Michelle.
    The Harmony ring is made of rhodium – the world’s most expensive metal –and encrusted with diamonds. It is being hastily made by Italian designer Giovanni Bosco in time for January’s inauguration ceremony.

    Only about 25 tons of rhodium are mined each year, mostly in South Africa, and as a result its price is typically around £5,000($7,500 USD) an ounce.

    Wow he couldn”t find an AMERICAN Designer and a ring that would not cost as much as a car ?? and mined in South Africa ???
    Didn’t the South African miners union just march against racism, deaths of miners and discrimination against women just this past Oct ??

    oh never mind ,,, its the bo and mo train ;
    they can go off the tracks at any given time and no one will say train wreck ..
    unless you want to be called the r word

  109. IMO, Colin Powell, Clarence Thomas, Condi Rice and now Obama are part of a pattern of AA trojan horses the Upper Crust has used to further its ends. Nothing more and nothing less. They have been used very effectively .

    As far as doing squat , no one ” in charge” of any dept mattered. They were fronts for Dick Cheney. The End.
    I believe during Katrina,( or was it 9/11? ) Condi was busy buying shoes .

  110. The Harmony ring is made of rhodium – the world’s most expensive metal

    And I have never heard of it ! We need a new round of ” Live styles of the Rich and Famous” So I can get back into the loop! ..oh wait,…we do have it, it’s called the Evening News

  111. I’m in moderation. …
    I think it’s cause I said the C word….Colin

  112. According to Moore’s Fahrenheit 911, Bush did receive the warnigs while on vacation for a month at his ghetto ranch. Then too, how much C. Rice did to pull the alarm switch is debatable.

    Rice and Powell represent the ‘house negro’ if you will. They admire the master and have no backbone less they lose their ‘privileged’ position. Both were used by Bush and the Republicans to represent a buffer to insanity and to reassure thinking Americans. However, having a backbone in the critical position of Secretary of State is the number one criteria for the job.

    The whole Bush Administration is fails from top to bottom. Even repugs probably spit when they say George Dubya’s name. Repugs should feel ashamed for even thinking he has an ounce of humanity.

    Bush is like a terrible nightmare where, once over, its difficult to want to review it, let alone expend intellectual capital over. Never look back will become our mantra.

  113. The point we’re making is that laying the blame for everything at the feet of Rice and P0well isn’t realistic. What you call “excuses” are, to my mind, reasons. To suggest that Rice is to blame for 9/11 is absurd. Did she contribute? Yes. To suggest it’s her fault is nonsense. To suggest that P0well is to blame for the Iraq war is equally false. Did he contribute? Yes. Would Bush have gone to war without him? Absolutely. Rice and P0well’s failures are that they went along blindly and enabled Bush/Cheney/etc. But to proclaim them the worst people in the room makes no sense to me. There are degrees, gradations, and shades of grey.

  114. afrocity and kenoshamarge…I agree with you as well

  115. P0well is hardly to blame for the war, but cannot come and claim credibility for saying ” but I criticized years after”. For some strange reason (he lied publicly before) he had a lot of credibility and he spent it all selling the war to the UN. And no one can absolve him of this.
    Condi was hardly the only incompetent in that crony administration, but she was one of them – and her mistakes were visible (the “historical memo of September 6?)

  116. getting more of a sense of Napolitano, RD & Co. Here is a read off the Village Voice with a ton of info:

    http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-11-26/news/janet-napolitano-homeland-futility-mexico-border/1

    funny the art they chose….

  117. The thing is Condee should not have been put in the NSA in the first place. She had no experience (beyond accademic)…..

  118. Afrocity: personal accomplishments notwithstanding, Condi Rice and others should have been fired after 9/11. Instead of fighting the commission on her hearing, she should have volunteered information. Instead of helping to cover up what happened, she should have resigned. Her confirmation hearing for SOS was an exercise in rudeness from her and I’ve heard that her Russian isn’t all that good.
    Seriously, you can have all the accomplishments in the world but the way you react in a crisis tells me everything I needed to know about her character. It was lacking.
    I’m sorry we have to differ on this.
    Oh and you’re right about Bush. From a conservative Grover Norquist POV, he was wildly successful. But he was a failure as a great American leader. We don’t need a decade to tell us that. A visit to New Orleans, right now, should suffice.

  119. The only thing Cndi Rice has worked over the last few years is her GOLF GAME. She just took up the game and at her age she broke 90 and has shot in the mid 80’s. What does that tell one? She spends alot of time on the golf course. Had she only spent 1/2 as much time on peace!!!!!!!!!!

  120. Condi’s qualifications to be SoS was basically that she was the Bush family’s loyal pal. She has remained their faithful loyalist all these years. And they will continue to look after her long after she leaves the White House / SoS position. She’s set for life. She has played her game very well.

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