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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-07-03 06:57
Subject: [links] Link salad celebrates JayCon X
Security: Public
Tags:art, culture, funny, gay, links, personal, photos, politics, science
SMBC on gay engineers — I always suspected this.

Draperyman — From the department of specializations you've never heard of. Art history courtesy of James Gurney.

Another image of extrasolar planets! — From the always awesome APOD.

Early Multicellular Life and Its Implications — interesting reading on several levels, from Centauri Dreams.

Yeah well you can prove anything with science — Interesting stuff on confirmation bias and the power of pre-existing belief.

Conservative commentator Daniel Larison on Michael Steele's Afghanistan remarks — In case you missed it, that's the RNC Chairman who said that "Afghanistan was a war of Obama's choosing." Pretty amazing feat by Obama to have started a war in October, 2001, nine years before he was elected. Some Republican dude was president then, but clearly the chairman of the Republican party has forgotten this. All of this reminds of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani saying there were no terrorist attacks during Bush's presidency. Because I guess 9-11 was either during the Clinton or Obama administration, and happened in some city Rudy wasn't mayor of at the time. (And yes, Steele is rightly catching a lot of criticism from Republicans and conservatives for his remarks. At some point the "blame Obama for everything Bush did" strategy does break down.)

?otD: How do you celebrate your birthday?

Writing time yesterday: n/a
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 9.5 (decent but interrupted)
This morning's weigh-in: 227.6
Yesterday's chemo stress index: 3/10 (fatigue, peripheral neuropathy)
Currently (re)reading: Ringworld by Larry Niven

Post A Comment | 4 Comments | | Link

User: bemused_leftist
Date: 2010-07-03 14:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
When necessary, read 'Obama's choosing' as 'Obama's starting.'

Obama is on record from summer of 2007 saying he wanted to move the US troops from Iraq to "the right battlefield in Pakistan and Afganistan." [I'm quoting from memory.]

This was not a mis-speak, it was in writing in a serious position paper composed with help of staff.

(Hillary and Bush had to reassure Pakistan that we weren't really going to invade them.)
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-07-03 17:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
No argument with their points. I have sharp disagreements with Obama's Afghanistan policy. There are enormous legitimate criticisms to be applied here.

But to describe a war that's been ongoing for the past nine years as a "war of Obama's choosing" is at best disingenuous rhetoric, and basically a damned lie designed to make the Afghan mess look like all Obama's fault. As the Republicans have somewhat successfully managed to make the fiscal and economic mess look like all his fault, at least to their own base, which is also deeply counterfactual.

As bonus meta-weirdness, Steele is criticizing Obama for conforming to a cherished Republican policy position which until recently he himself is on the record as strongly supporting.
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User: bemused_leftist
Date: 2010-07-03 20:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Bush may have declared the Afgan war, but Obama criticized him for years for not pushing it hard enough. Obama's main criticism of the Iraq war was that it was 'distracting' us from the war we should be fighting in Afganistan.*

If we compare the situation in Afgan now with the situation when Obama took office, the difference is the result (doubtless unintended) of Obama's choices as CIC.

Steele said 'choosing'. To counter with 'Bush started' is in effect to misquote Steele.

*Obama said this often in 2008.
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Jo Rhett
User: jorhett
Date: 2010-07-04 07:20 (UTC)
Subject: 7 years before he was elected.
Obama wasn't elected this year, I don't believe ;-)
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January 2014
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