Obama vs. McCain on the Webb G.I. Bill

So, where have I been? Mostly working, but with whatever obsession time was left over going to things like telerobotically bird-watching at a Texas wildlife refuge and compiling correspondences between The Weepies and The Submarines.

But I’ve been following the presidential campaign. In the interest of giving y’all something new to comment on, I liked the following piece about the long-distance debate that Obama and McCain had yesterday about the new G.I. bill (which Obama supports and McCain opposes). From Mark Kleiman: Bad day for John McCain, Part II: anger management.

76 Responses to “Obama vs. McCain on the Webb G.I. Bill”

  1. ymatt Says:

    The war has made McCain completely lose his mind. I used to think of him as one of the few guys in either party that would stand up against bullshit when he saw it — pork spending, torture, etc. But he seems to have been so drawn in by this war that it’s bleeding into support for the President on stuff that I can’t imagine him supporting even a year or two ago.

    Seriously, McCain believes we shouldn’t give veterans real war-time benefits (such as we gave them returning from WWII) because it might encourage soldiers to leave? How the hell is it that the the soldiers fighting this war should bear the brunt of its unpopularity?

    This issue, and the willingness to engage in torture, seem to me a couple of the clearest signs that those who remain enthusiastic about this war have no regard for the American people and their interests, only the pursuit of narrow economic and/or ideological goals which they believe are worth any cost to achieve.

  2. knarlyknight Says:


  3. enkidu Says:

    after 8 years of watching McCain dryhump dumbya’s leg, I just can’t vote for him

    My tiny contribution to Jim Webb’s campaign is paying off every time I see him in the news. Well done Senator, you should consider a run at the Presidency in 2016 (after Obama’s two terms).

    jbc – I am liking the music! send more linky

  4. shcb Says:

    So what is wrong with giving guys with more service more benefits?

  5. ymatt Says:

    I agree completely. And anybody who’s participated in the Iraq war has put in an enormous amount more service than would be expected otherwise. Come on, you’re not honestly going to try to agree with McCain on this, are you shcb? You’re the “this is the WWII of our generation” guy, or does that not apply to the guys doing the fighting?

  6. shcb Says:

    The way I read it is the McCain proposal (or the one he endorses) would give guys who have re enlisted a number of times more money for college than those that just served one stint. Where as the Webb version gives them all the same amount. I would definitely give the guys that have seen combat more benefits than the guy who served in a non combat role. Then we have to address women who can’t serve in combat roles as easily, but one thing at a time. Did I misunderstand something?

  7. ymatt Says:

    It seems petty to me to send the message that “just because you’ve served one tour of duty in a war zone doesn’t mean you qualify for benefits befitting a real veteran. How about you risk your life again if you want to be able to afford to go to college?”

    I know I’m dramatizing, but this idea of a sliding scale only makes sense if your goal is to strike a compromise between rewarding veterans for service (or being able to claim you are), but also trying to incentivize them to keep risking their lives against their better judgment. The idea that we have to dangle the carrot of benefits — benefits previously given without reservation — as a bribe for risking death… well, if McCain believes that will work, then he’s doing nothing but taking advantage of the soldier who wants to better himself in order to support an unpopular war. Doesn’t that bother you? Do you really want men to die because they need just one more tour of duty to be able to afford to go to college?

  8. NorthernLite Says:

    I think this is a perfect example of how a lot of republicans support the war but not the troops, and how the democrats support the troops but not the war.

    I actually used to like McCain too. But latley he’s acting like a grumpy old bastard.

  9. shcb Says:

    I’m going to have to plead a little bit of ignorance here, I don’t know enough about the nuts and bolts of the current GI bill or either of these proposals to answer your question completely. But in general isn’t that what the GI bill does anyway? A person can have his parents pay for college, take a loan, or join the Army and have them pay for it. If they take the military option they are taking a chance they may end up in combat, which except for a few adrenalin junkies is “against their better judgment” but they do it anyway because they feel the risks are worth the rewards. I understand you are exaggerating a bit for effect, but I don’t think we are talking about go to combat for one stint and you don’t go to college, go for three and you get a full ride. My idea goes something like this, serve one term (that’s not the word I’m looking for, can’t remember the word for a 2 or 4 year …) serve one term of non combat you get the equivalent of 70% or 80% of a state college education, serve one combat term, 100% of a state college, two or three terms, maybe a better college, probably not Ivy League, but better, or a post graduate degree. The GI bill is first and foremost a recruiting tool. But as I say I don’t know how the current bill works, if it’s on a sliding scale, what the criteria are etc. I certainly wouldn’t do anything to lessen the standards of today, but if we need guys to re-up and if sweetening the pot helps I’m all for it. If it goes against a soldier’s better judgment to re-enlist then they should take the benefits they have accrued and pay for the rest of thier education themselves.

  10. Craig Says:

    Obama suggesting that somehow McCain is blocking Veteran’s chances to go to college seems a cheap shot to me. McCain’s bill is also raising the benefit levels for all Veterans, but a higher level of benefits kicks in at 6 years rather than 3 years. part of the issue is a disagreement on whether Webb’s bill may result in more people leaving (especially non-commissioned officers) after their first four years, thus unduly draining the experience of the military as a whole. Then again, a hugely attractive college benefit after just 4 years could raise enlistment levels instead. Thus, its a bit of a quality control/retention argument as well.

    So, as is usually the case, things are more complicated than some partisans would like to portray issues.

  11. ymatt Says:

    Anybody have links to the full text of both bills? I’m actually pretty annoyed that “gibill2008.org” doesn’t even link to it.

  12. enkidu Says:

    which bill came first?
    I’ll put a c-note that Webb’s bill came first and the Rs rushed theirs out to blunt the bad press.

    My understanding is that you don’t get any GI Bill edu benefits with the McCain bill until after (3?) 6 years? Can’t say I know those numbers are solid, but to say to a combat vet, hey we appreciate your risking your life these past few years, but no benes for you unless you re-up and risk it for another 3 years, well, that is just plain despicable.

  13. shcb Says:

    I’m looking for the text of those bills, in the process I found this article, with this passage

    The benefits – the brainchild of Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., a Vietnam War veteran — are attached to a $165 billion emergency war-funding package, which must be reconciled with a House-passed bill.


    I don’t care which side of the isle you cheer for or what you stance is on this bill or the war, A GI bill doesn’t belong in a piece of war funding legislation. Knarly, Enky and I were discussing the cost of this war in the last thread, Enky had stated that the cost of the war was going up, by a bunch. The previous supplemental bills had been 40 to 60 billion dollars, all of a sudden they were 150- 200 billion. It appears Enky may be right, but not because of the cost of the war. I wonder what else has been attached to this bill . I’ll keep looking for the text to those bills.

  14. shcb Says:

    I think this is the Webb bill, I haven’t read it yet but this site gives the text. none of the articles I have read give the bill number, I got this number from Webb’s site hope it’s the right bill.


  15. shcb Says:

    here is the Graham, Burr, McCain bill


    I think you would have won that C note Enky

  16. enkidu Says:

    You are wrong on the cost of the war thing (unsurprisingly)
    go to
    scroll down to Appropriations

    2003 – $78.5 to $54.4 billion
    2004 – $70.6 billion + $21.5 billion
    2005 – $58 billion
    2006 – $40 billion + $60 billion
    2007 – $70 billion + $100 billion
    2008 – $190 billion

    Long-term health care costs
    A recent study indicated that the long term health care costs for wounded Iraq war veterans could range from $250 billion to $650 billion

    On the new GI Bill
    date of introduction:
    Webb bill – Jan 4, 2007
    McBush bill – Apr 29, 2008

    It only took the Rs 16 months to come up with a response…

  17. knarlyknight Says:

    So what do the GI’s get now, isn’t that good enough?

    These men questioned why young men and women of the United States would join the US military …

    I responded that, despite an unpopular war, some young men and women find the US military their only option for jobs and future education. Military recruiters flood high schools, and there are few other options for many with marginal grades, much less a criminal record.

  18. knarlyknight Says:

    From: http://www.truthout.org:80/article/from-war-peace-japanese-style the author has interesting credentials.

  19. shcb Says:

    it looks like the current amount is $985 per month for a full time student in 2004, indexed to the CPI.


    the thing I noticed about the Webb bill that is a big departure from any recent GI bill is it seems to be open ended, the money given to the soldier is equal to whatever the cost of the college tuition or dorm fees, not a set amount like the current GI bill or the Graham bill. I just wonder how do you decide who gets what? Seems to be taylor made for corruption.

  20. shcb Says:

    To answer your question, isn’t the current plan enough? Judging from my daughters college costs, it is somewhere between 80% and 95% of the costs of going to a state college. I’m using $10,000 to $12,000 per year.

    The following comparison is $10,000 per year with 3% per year increase in CPI

    The Graham bill would provide 165% of an education after 2011 with 12 years service. The Webb bill would provide 100% plus a $1,000 per month stipend, after two years (or 30 days after Sept 11, 2001). That would equate to 171% of an education. A lot of bluster over 6% for something that is way over 100%. I say give them 100% and a raise. I do like the idea in the Graham bill of being able to transfer benefits to a spouse or child. So maybe the 165% of the Graham bill makes sense, give them enough to send the child to Stanford.

  21. shcb Says:


    This is from today’s Huffington post. Please, please call this source a right wing mouthpiece.

    The 75-22 vote also added billions of dollars in other domestic funds such as heating subsidies for the poor and money for fighting wildfires to the $165 billion for the military operations overseas.

  22. knarlyknight Says:


    Please spell it out for me what the point of your last post was (besides the partisan crap.)

    Are you saying domestic heating subsidies for the poor etc. are being accounted for as war operations overseas, or,

    Are you saying that the military spending Bill would not have passed without the domestic spending elements, or,

    Are you saying that the domestic spending elements wouldn’t pass on their own and needed to be attached to something and explodes and kills people in order for your leaders to pass it?

  23. knarlyknight Says:

    oops, should be: “…to something THAT explodes and…”

    Also, maybe I missed a possibility so please spell it out. Thanks.

  24. enkidu Says:

    yeah, I don’t get it either

    I think both bills have some merit, but there would have been no McBush bill without Webb’s bill (one of his first legislative initiatives too). Webb’s is more generous but I also support increasing benefits based on length of service (of course). It took you Rs 16 months to get a bill going when yall saw Webb’s bill was going to (once again) point out what incredible hypocrites and incompetent poltroons Rs really are.

    Can you point out to me where I have celebrated larding bills with earmarks? (however good – or bad – these things may be) Once again, I’ll save you the time: I can’t ever recall celebrating earmarks. Like your assertion all us libs wuz claimin that soldier done him 2 hunert atrocities! typical! just a rwnj fantasy/strawman.

    I would like to see the entire list of earmarks for that emergency appropriations bill. I bet the majority of the added earmarks have to do with the war, eventual withdrawl and similar. I would further guess that it contains about the same amount of earmarks/pork as every other bill. So if the total bill is for $190B and the military operations total is $165B, this leaves us with $25B in possible earmarks (+15% in added earmarks/pork). It may have a bit more pork, because our misleaders know that not funding a defense bill for our forces over there is political poison.

  25. shcb Says:

    Congratulations Knarly, you are starting to figure out the political process. In Enky’s mind heating subsidies etc are part of the cost of the war because he is only citing the emergency appropriation bills in total in his assertion the cost of the war is going up by a factor of 3 or more as the war is winding down. You will be reading Enky’s numbers recited other in web sites you read, now you know that not all that money is for the war, in fact probably only a quarter of that money is funding the war.

    The military spending bill would pass no matter what, no political party is going to cut off funding of a war we are about to win, at this point this bill that has to be passed every year has become the safest bet in town. Every piece of legislation that is in the least bit in doubt will be attached to bills like this. It has nothing to do with your last paragraph (partisan crap). It’s all about winning and losing, Congressmen all have their pet projects, they wheel and deal with bills they care little about to get their pets passed. This attachment of these pets to sure fire bills, whether the bill is sure fired to pass or be defeated is the oldest trick in the book.


    You have never celebrated earmarks as far as I can remember, you simply don’t understand the political process enough to realize all this crap was attached to these bills. Just because you don’t support something doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, but it doesn’t make your assertions correct either. If you want to know how much the attached monies (they aren’t really pork or earmarks) amount to you should be able to find that information by finding the text of the bills on the sites I have linked to above. You will have to find the senate or house bill number, you can usually find that out by reading several articles on the major news web sites, then find the text of the bill and read it, I find printing out is easier to read and make notes on, the two bills above were over 25 pages each so I bound them into a book. Of course these bills are usually just revisions of previous bills or laws so you have to search out those documents and read them as well, you usually don’t have to read the whole bill, just the section that is being amended. That is what I did before I made the calculations to compare the Graham and Webb bills. Have fun!

    The flip side to your first paragraph is, why has it taken the D’s so long to bring the bill to a vote? It is too late in the session now to be passed unless it is put on some sort of fast track so the process will have to be started all over again in the next session of congress.

  26. shcb Says:

    Or….you can wait for a condescending cartoon character on You Tube to answer your questions.

  27. knarlyknight Says:


    Approx. 25% of the funding set out in emergency war funding bills is for war, the remaining ~ 75% is for other pet projects?

    You can’t be serious…

  28. NorthernLite Says:

    The bottom line is that the people who are already sacrificing the most for this war (the troops and their families) are being asked to sacrifice even more.

    During this war, the wealthiest Americans get a nice tax cut from McBush and the troops get penny-pinched on their pay and benefits. If that sounds okay to you than the human race is more f*cked than I thought.

  29. enkidu Says:

    riiiight rwnj, I iz just stoopid
    thx for the clarification

    The numbers remain $165B for military operations and $25B in ‘other stuff’
    until you give me a OMB or GAO type reference for what the breakdown of those ‘other’ expenses really are, then you are just pushing your strawman agenda.

    “heating subsidies for the poor and money for fighting wildfires” both sound like things we should be spending money on. I don’t think it is a great idea to shove these extras into emergency defense appropriations bills. What exactly is your problem again?

  30. knarlyknight Says:


    The troops may get penny pinched by the federal government, but they are unfairly coddled by others.

    Veterans benefit at the expense of people who refused to sign up to participate in the immoral and the illegal (by international standards) invasion and occupation of Iraq. A case in point, unemployed peaceful people are discriminated against in favor of people who signed up to “kill people and blow things up” in foreign lands: http://www.record-eagle.com/local/local_story_146093037.html

    Beside, why do the veterans get all the attention for their neglect when the true heroes, the first responders on 911, get hardly any attention after being double crossed by Bush with insufficient medical benefits for health problems resulting from asbestos poinsioning and other toxins absorbed in the days and weeks following 911? http://www.fealgoodfoundation.com/

  31. shcb Says:

    Ok Knarly, now you have an example of a strawman argument, a real one, you saying all war funding bills when I (and the Huffington Post) was referring to this present bill. Look at Enky’s figures in his May 24, 15:48 post. The numbers hold steady at 50 to 80 billion and then pop up to 190 as the war is winding down some. Doesn’t make sense. Then I cite two references that say this bill is loaded with extras not involved with the war. And use you guys numbers as evidence. Pathetic.

    Enky, the last time I gave you GAO numbers you rejected them. Why should I take the time to look them up this time? Have any of you read those bills yet? Or are you waiting for the You Tube versions?

  32. shcb Says:

    By the way Enky, I’m not saying you’re stupid, I’m saying you’re lazy.

  33. enkidu Says:

    “you simply don’t understand the political process enough to realize all this crap was attached to these bills” No, you are talking out of both sides of your ass here pal. No surprise there.

    The Iraq War numbers are not 50 to 80

    in sequence (and of course not including any of the other costs associated with this foolhardy endeavor, costs that I have identified over and over, but which you magically disbelieve)

    2003 $80B
    2004 $90B
    2005 $60B
    2006 $100B
    2007 $140B
    2008 $190B

    You had one good year in 2005 where you could say ‘see! the cost is exactly what we were promised! $60 billion bushbucks!’ Unfortunately for you the estimates in 2002 and 2003 were for $50 billion to $60 billion in total. We are at well over 10X that cost and climbing at an increasing rate. Facts simply don’t support your rwnj strawman douchebuggery. You claim that 75% of the most recent bill is for non-military extras? Back up that claim with something other than rwnj blather, please. I can’t recall any of your numbers being backed up by facts, please point those rare assertions out to me again (cuz I iz so lazee/stoopid).

    The war isn’t “winding down some”. McBush wants us there for the next 100 years. What are the goalposts now again? That America wants to be occupying Iraq for a century? Maybe rwnj duhmerkkkuh wants that, but roughly 75% of Americans want our boys home.

  34. knarlyknight Says:

    Who said “all war funding bills” ? Not I.

    I said “war funding bills” which means more than one. If you just want to talk about the one, that is fine with me too. To restate the question,
    rather than:

    Approx. 25% of the funding set out in emergency war funding bills is for war, the remaining ~ 75% is for other pet projects?
    You can’t be serious…

    How about this:

    Approx. 25% of the funding set out in this one emergency war funding bill is for war, the remaining ~ 75% is for other pet projects?
    You can’t be serious…

    Are you going to answer the question now or are you going to keep playing silly bugger?

  35. knarlyknight Says:


    For clarity, lets recap. shcb stated on May 26th, 2008 at 10:34 am:

    Congratulations… now you know that not all that money is for the war, in fact probably only a quarter of that money is funding the war.

    So you said about a quarter of the emergency war funding is actually for the war.

    Do you seriously believe that approximately 75% of war funding measures are not military but are actually for other “pet” projects? ???


  36. shcb Says:

    So the best I can come up with is the amount in this bill for the war is 108 billion. I can’t even get a consensus on the amount of the bill. I’ve read as low as 165 billion to as high as 213. Most seem to have settled on 195. It’s a little hard to get a handle on an 84 page 28,000 word document that covers everything from construction projects in Louisiana to unconstitutional matters like section 10012 (b)

    It is hard to determine what is for Iraq and what isn’t when you make these calculations, for instance the first five sections of chapter 3 add up to over 5 billion dollars, but they can’t be used for Iraq since section 10007 would prohibit that, wouldn’t you agree? So why are the even in this bill?

  37. knarlyknight Says:

    Nice work, old Boxer, but perhaps you should keep trying to come up with a better answer. Because that answer does not reflect very well on the Republican Party.

    If you wonder why I call you old Boxer, or if it is too tiring trying to figure out the laws that your leaders pass, check this out: http://www.keyholepublishing.com/Orwellian%20America.htm

  38. shcb Says:

    We graduated my last daughter from high school this weekend, her two sisters were much smarter than she, school came easy to them, my wife said the youngest has an IQ of 110, I don’t know what that means. Both her sisters were in the gifted and talented programs, when the youngest got to junior high school they not only told her she wasn’t being accepted into the GT program but that she would never be in any advanced classes. She graduated this weekend valedictorian of a class of 350 kids, it was all hard work, I’m very proud of her.

    Ps, she was also captain of the tennis team, section leader in band, and a member of the national honors society, she placed fourth in the state fair in dog handling and was reserve grand champion in showing sheep. Hard work my friend, hard work.

    Yours truly,
    Old Boxer

  39. enkidu Says:

    interesting link knarls, (tho the author’s UFO book raises a big red flag for me) I was just thinking of rereading Animal Farm! I wanted to review it for my elder son, he may still be a bit young, but he is fascinated w history. At 8 he devoured an entire year of home schooling history books in less than 6 months (on top of his public school studies and reading). We read the Illiad and the Odyssey (kid versions – he has the real books on his shelf for later) together.

    so, shcb, sounds like you can’t quite distort the facts to fit your 25% military to 75% pork preconception… so many of your rwnj talking points pan out just the same. Strawmen stuck together with bullshit and prejudice, stubbornness and anger, fear and a proud ignorance. How they must comfort you and provide the opponents you deserve in your triumphal fight against liberalism.

    Oh and that is nice about your daughter. A nice distraction, but nice none the less. Congrats!


  40. knarlyknight Says:

    You must be very proud of your daughters. So when do they sign up to serve their country?

  41. knarlyknight Says:

    Yes, perhaps his first book documents all the verifiable and strange unidentified flying objects and does not venture to conjecture about visiting aliens.

    Whatever the case, that reference has no bearing on his perceptiveness in relating Animal Farm to shcb.

    It is telling that shcb’s response fails to address substance and instead exhibits a droll pride as a loyal prole of the dark side.

    I’d love to be a politician if all voters were like shcb.

  42. enkidu Says:

    and speaking of good books and the cost of the Iraq War, Charles Stross (an excellent sf writer, start with his free on line Accelerando) has a discussion going on about what we could have done with the cost of the Iraq War ($500B US on the low side to $6 Trillion high side – I hadn’t thought of the costs to the global economy)

    Send a 500 human being colony to Mars?
    Make the US carbon neutral (by shifting to a nuclear power driven economy? errr no thanks!)
    convert the world to solar power?
    algae biodiesel?

    the comments are very interesting so far
    (haven’t finished reading them all, so ymmv)

  43. knarlyknight Says:

    You mean this link here http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2008/05/alternative_boondoggles.html ?

  44. knarlyknight Says:

    Just embed the link into your post (i.e. type some text, insert the link and replace the “html//” leading characters with “www” and then leave a space after the link) That usually works.

  45. knarlyknight Says:

    Unless the site is Rense or 911Blogger, those seem to be blocked here.

  46. knarlyknight Says:


    I’ll look at that site tonight if I can find the time.

    Have you looked at this yet? If so let me know if it is worthwhile or just more of what we already know and of what shcb refuses to admit: http://www.ivaw.org/node/3526

  47. knarlyknight Says:

    • Bush was “clearly irritated, … steamed,” when McClellan informed him that chief economic adviser Larry Lindsey had told The Wall Street Journal that a possible war in Iraq could cost from $100 billion to $200 billion: “‘It’s unacceptable,’ Bush continued, his voice rising. ‘He shouldn’t be talking about that.’”

    • “History appears poised to confirm what most Americans today have decided: that the decision to invade Iraq was a serious strategic blunder. No one, including me, can know with absolute certainty how the war will be viewed decades from now when we can more fully understand its impact. What I do know is that war should only be waged when necessary, and the Iraq war was not necessary.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0508/10649.html hmmmm.

  48. enkidu Says:

    that ivaw link is probably why dear ol rwnj isn’t posting a reply: when you have video of US soldiers saying they committed crimes and watched US soldiers commit crimes (ooops, sorry in the right winger’s world every dead Iraqi is Osama’s number 2 lieutenant in Iraq! only 9 million to go until we all get ponies!) it simply doesn’t dignify a response. Similarly when his 25/75 analysis of war spending didn’t pan out to be remotely true, the 84 page 28,000 word spending bill is just too hard to fathom (try searching for the dollar signs, or use the TOC or the index or… I don’t have all day to hold rwnj’s hand while he figures out his rwnj beliefs are hurting America and the world).

    I think major tool Scott McClellan should sell about zero books: anyone who bothered to look into it before the Iraq War started knew the ‘reasons’ the neocon war machine gave for getting their war on were plain and simple bull. No WMDs. No imminent attack. No world shaking threat to western civilization.

    Just a simple grab for power, oil and money. Lots and lots of money. Unless of course dear ol rwnj is also calling Greenspan a DFH (dirty fucking hippy). Like Alan said: it was always all about the oil.

  49. shcb Says:

    so Enky, can you tell me the number of the bill you are holding my hand on to search for those dollars? Hell, can you tell me if it’s a House or Senate bill?

  50. knarlyknight Says:

    hi shcb,

    I’ll let Enky answer for himself, but just to give you a prelude:

    It appears you have again mashed up Enky’s meaning to create another straw man that you would rather deal with instead of the actual statement that Enky made.

    Enky said he was holding your hand through the process your figuring out that your rwnj beliefs are hurting America and the world. Enky did not say that he was holding your hand in searcing through a Bill for dollars.

    The distinction is quite clear, unless you mash together sentences containing quite different thoughts. However, Enky’s thought about the Bill was that it was a big convoluted mess, in fact his words strongly imply that he seemed to be saying the exact opposite (about who was holding whose hand in going through the Bill) than what you assert he said.

    Sorry old Boxer, your Republican game is getting tired.

  51. knarlyknight Says:

    “Enky said he * did not have time to be * holding your hand through the process * of * your figuring out that your rwnj beliefs are hurting America and the world.”

  52. knarlyknight Says:

    If people sense a lot of hostility against right wing opinions lately, just understand that is a normal reaction to the promotion of unnecessary suffering, murder and mayhem.

  53. shcb Says:


    Your assessment of what Enky was referring to in his holding your hand statement is bullshit. Read the four preceding lines. But it is to be expected for you to try and reinvent what was said, it’s what liberals do, they change the rules when it looks like they may lose. Let me be more clear. Matt asked if anyone had the text of the bills. I provided them. Haven’t heard from him since, no surprise there. I then studied them so I could be more informed. I admitted I was wrong on my estimation of what the cost of the war is this year. At one point I said 40 to 60 bil and at another I estimated as high as 80, that was before I studied anything, it seems it is around 108 so I was at 50 to 80%, Enky said 195, about 50%.

    The big difference is I studied the bills. I am informed. Why you guys prefer to remain in ignorant bliss, in my opinion, is one of two reasons, you’re lazy, or you’re afraid to know the truth, I think Enky is the former and you are the latter. Is that plain enough for you?

  54. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb, it speaks for itself.

    Enk was talking about your errors in underestimating the cost of the war, but then said: “I don’t have all day to hold shcb’s hand while he figures out his rwnj beliefs are hurting America and the world.”

    shcb said: “so Enky, can you tell me the number of the bill you are holding my hand on to search for those dollars?”

    That’s sort of a non-sequitor response. When Enk said: “I don’t have all day to hold shcb’s hand while he figures out his rwnj beliefs are hurting America and the world,” I took that to mean that Enk does not have all day to hold your hand while you figure out that your rwnj beliefs are hurting America and the world. I did not take that to mean that he does not have time to hold your hand as you go through the Bill.

    See there is a difference: “Bill” vs. “beliefs” it really is simple.

  55. knarlyknight Says:

    However, I do understand your position in calling such an argument bullshit, and I commend your ability to distract attention from the substantive comment on the issue at hand: the enormous cost of this war(a cost that your neo-con friends got horribly wrong and that Bush himself got upset about when McClellan told him in 2003 that his chief economic advisor was saying it could cost upwards of $100 to $200 billion dollars!!!)

    The one thing worse than Bush being a total idiot about the cost of the war (that would be palatable) is that he is really an arrogant total idiot (and that is a hopeless and despicable thing.)

    I also congratulate you in your well practiced and smooth, yet utterly juvenile and tiredly Rovian attempt to turn the discussion from the disasterous cost of the war to a pithy discussion about whether Enk is lazy or if I do not want to face the truth. What truth is that, whether the disaster foisted on the Iraqi people by your militaryindustrial war profiteeers on a pack of lies cost $195 billion in the latest round of emergency funding measures or whether it is closer to $108 billion? You can’t even face the truth about 911, no wonder you can’t even face your own veterans of the Iraqi war about the utter debacle and horrendous abuse to which America has subjected the Iraqi people.

    Here old Boxer, maybe it is not too late for you:

  56. knarlyknight Says:

    Hi Enk,

    Your link to Charlie’s Diary has some good stuff. Entertaining too, like this eye opener:

    Another comparison: www . blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2008/05/25/three-trillion-dollar-war-in-iraq/

    For the price of the Iraq war, you could instead have distributed suit cases full of 1.5 million dollars to each family living in Iraq at the time the war began.

    How many hearts and minds would that win over? Isn’t that what it’s all about?

    but no, we all know that it is not about that. It is about profit. As this comment suggests:

    Money doesn’t simply evaporate* – it changes hands. Besides thinking of what could have been done with the money spent, I think it’s more important to know where it ended up/went through. A good, solid investigation would be very useful for people to wake up, and see exactly who profited from the Iraq “war”. As a gedankenexperiment it would open a lot of eyes for the coming US presidential elections…

    (* yes, the M3 soufflé can collapse if the oven door is banged a bit too hard and make all that “real” credit money just go kablooie)

    By the way, have you seen the Hassle McCain is going to have to deal with from the Prof. of Islamic studies on a hunger strike out front of his Arizona office? The comments below the Day 1 blog give some perspective and the Day 2 blog shows some dramatic growth media impact wise. The link doesn’t get through on this site but it’s easy to find at 911 blogger com (without the spaces)

  57. knarlyknight Says:

    Charlie’s Diary, a catalogue of alternative boondoggles referenced by Enk: http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2008/05/alternative_boondoggles.html

    I should add that we could have just given half a trillion $ directly to Halliburton et al and saved a lot of human agony.

  58. shcb Says:

    Amazing, simply amazing

  59. enkidu Says:

    Yes, it is amazing that you can’t back up any of your wwnj talking points (25/75 funding, the war will cost just $50B, you libs blah blah blah) but continue to claim the problem is with anyone who isn’t as die hard wwnj as ye.

    By the way, I have changed shcb’s acronym to Wrong Wing Nut Job: the Rs haven’t been right about anything for several decades.

    And this idiot?
    oh yeah that sure is restoring dignity to the office…

  60. enkidu Says:

    thx for the tip on the URL thing knarls
    is yMom really blocking links to your 911truther sites?

    you still haven’t convinced me the shrubco morans are smart enough to pull off a clean demolition of 3 massive buildings along with all the hijackings, etc (and not get caught redhanded, pants down, jimberjawedflopperrejuicenick – whatever the hell that means)

  61. knarlyknight Says:

    Testing – does this get censored? http://www.rense.com hmmm

  62. knarlyknight Says:

    Enk, Yes someone is blocking the 911 blogger com site.

    You can not enter anything resembling a URL to the 911 blogger com site here on LIES. I thought it also applied to the Rense site, but that test worked (see above)

    SHCB – re your post, Thanks! I knew it was good but had no idea that you, of all people would be so impressed.

  63. enkidu Says:

    gak, surely you jest with that rense.com link?
    it is a parody right?

  64. enkidu Says:

    Hey speaking of the new GI bill, post-conflict care of returning soldiers and the like, there is quite the firestorm of wwnj indignation building about a speech Obama made where he talks about a (great) uncle who had PTSD after liberating a nazi death camp (note that he isn’t speaking from prepared notes, no teleprompters or handlers, just talking from the heart). Here is a wwnj link to the actual speech on video – see for yourself:


    Basically he gets the name of the camp wrong (Ohrdruf rather than Auschwitz), but every other part of his story checks out. So the point of Obama’s speech is that his family has experience with PTSD and veterans medical care, and it matters to him.

    wwnjs have inflated this to a Grand Lie that Once Again Proves that libs is Evil/Bad/Liars etc. And once again the wwnjs are completely and utterly wrong. So Obama misspoke the name of the camp. Have you wwnjs no shame? Have you no decency? Evidently the answer is NO.

  65. knarlyknight Says:

    They have no shame and people have grown so accustomed to wwnj’s lack of shame that we don’t even become indignant by their arrogant idiocy and hypocracy anymore. Sad really, really sad.

    But there are exceptions, or people are beginning to notice. For example, Rense had a link to a Commondreams (?) article yesterday covering Bush’s memorial day radio address. You’ll find it under the recent news section with a link that goes something like this: “BUSH’s Worst Speach EVER” and the Title of the commondreams (?) was something about how Bush should be ASHAMED for a remark but isn’t. I’ll provide the link later if you can’t find it or don’t want to look for it.

    The remark was something along the lines that people shouldn’t feel so sad about US soldier’s who die in Iraq because they are happier being dead than being miserable serving their military duty in Iraq. And that was a prepared remark, not off the cuff. Cripes, even his speech writers are looney.

    It seems the wwnj prznitwit has fallen for the evangelical christian line about purity and bliss in heaven… that’s a little like Osama’s followers believing they’ll be rewarded with 99 virgins. (Off topic: but who would you say has the better sales pitch?)

  66. knarlyknight Says:

    Here it is:

    Published on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 by CommonDreams.org
    Some Call It Faith
    An American President Steps Over the Line (Again)
    by Douglas Milburn http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/05/28/9235/

  67. knarlyknight Says:

    and I wish I could take full credit for the after-life quip, but alas that is an old, old meme. I was reminded of it by this hilarious take on Islamo-fascists, complete with improbable cell phone call etc. Just tasteless enough to insult everyone, yet still a bizarely hilarious satire of the OCT:

  68. shcb Says:

    That speech and the one he gave at Arlington are both very touching speeches if you a patriotic American, too bad you guys will never read them.

  69. shcb Says:


    I don’t think conservatives are the only ones to find microscopic faults in an election season. I was watching Hannity and Colmes Tuesday night and they had Carl Rove on the show. He and Hannity were talking about this issue, they both said the candidates and public speakers in general should be given some latitude when it comes to these little mistakes they make in their speeches. So what if a guy says Minnesota when he meant Montana. If what you are saying about Obama’s uncle is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, Obama remembered this family member was involved in liberating camps and the only one that came to mind was Auschwitz, no big deal. When he says he will meet with enemies unconditionally, or McCain says we will be in Iraq for a hundred years, those are statements that deserve scrutiny. After Hannity and Rove had discussed this for a couple minutes it was Alan’s turn to question the guest. He immediately went into a list of gaffs McCain had made and asked what the difference was between those mistakes and Obama’s. Rove gave him that “weren’t you listening Alan?” look but of course Rove is too nice a guy to berate him. Colmes realized what had just come out of his mouth, stumbled over a few words and continued on.

  70. enkidu Says:

    so many reichwing strawmen, so little time

    Talking to people we don’t like is not appeasement. For instance, you rwnjs have often threatened me and other posters here with death, hanging, mutilation etc, but here I am trying to rub your nose in the filth of the disgusting corpse that is right wing ‘conservative’ politics – errr I mean ‘discussing’ the issues of the day. The shrubco approach of demanding the Bad Guys unilaterally agree to all your demands before you graciously allow them to talk with you/surrender hasn’t gotten us anywhere. How is the road map to peace going after 8 years?

    Misspeaking the name of an obscure sub-camp of Buchenwald isn’t the same as not knowing the difference between Sunni and Shia, or flip flopping on every principle or stand (sometimes several times) that The Maverick has taken on the important issues of the day.

    I’ve been an Independent voter my entire life, but I wouldn’t vote for McBush after watching him hump dumbya’s leg for the last 8 years. Pathetic.

  71. knarlyknight Says:

    The speeches might have been very touching for you. However not for many other people because Bush has lost all credibility with most the world’s population and all but about 28% of Amerca.

    For the remaining 28%, mostly wwnj’s,who haven’t the capacity to realize that the lies and deceptions of Bush and his administration are pathological, criminal, and have seriously undermined the country, I understand that his speeches would still have some appeal. After all, everyone likes good fiction, and what’s considered good is usually a personal thing.

    I doubt however that the speeches were all that good compared to the great orators from past empires. Did he have an audience as adorning as I’ve seen in old footage of Hitler’s patriotic speeches?

  72. shcb Says:


    I didn’t see the speeches, I read the transcripts so I don’t know the crowd’s reaction. Which part of the speeches did he say anything that would validate your criticism?


    I would agree that knowing Sunni from Shia is a bigger mistake than which camp a distant relative liberated, but that was the point Rove was making, which camp is very minor, Sunni and Shia is more egregious but understandable given the closeness of the pronunciation, but not understanding the gravity of a presidential visit without condition is a serious flaw. Hillary by the way answered the question correctly a few minutes later. Since you guys seem to be stuck on the strawman buzzword, you just done it. We aren’t saying we shouldn’t have dialogue and behind the scenes negotiations, or that we need an unconditional surrender (I am, but that is just my opinion, and I don’t count for much) so you are beating the hell out of that strawman on both sides of the issue. In Obama’s example that we (Reagan) talked to the Russians and they were more of a threat, yes we did, but it wasn’t without condition and it wasn’t without months of talks by lower level diplomats. Obama has tempered those remarks some lately, but not to the point where he has said he was wrong, he is kind of trying to play the middle on this one.

    So what unholy soil his uncle was on in 1945 is irrelevant to me, I am more concerned with statements like Iran is too small of a country with too small a defense budget to be a threat, a statement he completely reversed the very next day. I am a little less worried he thinks he can talk to these dictators without condition without being seen as weak. Kennedy made that mistake and we had the Berlin wall for 28 years. But I am more worried about that statement than whether we are talking about Sunni’s or Shea’s. As John Fund said in today’s Wall Street Journal, “Iran is probably arming both groups anyway”.

  73. knarlyknight Says:

    He’s lost all credibility, so most non-crazy people stopped listening to him ages ago, except sometimes for entertainment purposes.

  74. shcb Says:

    So Milborn is crazy? he atleast bothered to read the last sentence.

  75. shcb Says:

    I reread the speeches and don’t see anything that is fictional, which passage are you refering to?

  76. knarlyknight Says:

    Who is it that you want to hold your hand while they show you that your mistaken beliefs are hurting America and the world, shcb?

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