Bill Scher's LiberalOasis

Home of the This Is Not Normal podcast, Bill Scher columns and other liberal commentary

Month: September 2010

The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Don’t Ask Edition

The latest LiberalOasis Radio Show podcast is up. Bill Scher and Traci Olsen discuss: who’s to blame for the DADT filibuster? Why did Dems punt on the Bush tax cuts? Is Jon Stewart depressing the youth vote? Plus, the weekly Stabby Five.
You can download the podcast at these links: (iTunes / XML feed / MP3).

The Week In Blog: Pledge Edition

The latest The Week In Blog is up at featuring Guy Benson and myself discussing blog reaction to the GOP “Pledge To America,” Bob Woodward’s latest tome and the ongoing developments in the 2010 elections. Watch it below.

The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Scher v. Stewart Edition

The latest LiberalOasis Radio Show podcast is up. Bill Scher and Traci Olsen marvel at the political suicide conservatives are committing in Delaware and Alaska, Jon Stewart gets on Bill’s bad side for dismissing the Dems ’10 strategy, and how Elizabeth Warren won the job. Plus, the weekly Stabby Five!
You can download the podcast at these links: (iTunes / XML feed / MP3).

The Week In Blog: Political Suicide Edition

The latest The Week In Blog is up at featuring The Heritage Foundation’s Conn Carroll and myself discussing blog reaction to Christine O’Donnell, Elizabeth Warren, Basel III and the White House blog outreach strategy. Watch it below.

Credit Souffle

If you want to understand the roots our credit crisis, I have the book for you. It was recommended by a friend and I have had a hard time putting it down since. The name is Confidence Game, by Bloomberg Reporter Christine Richards.

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The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Stabby Five Debut Edition

The latest LiberalOasis Radio Show podcast is up. Traci Olsen debuts the weekly “Stabby Five” — the top five news stories that make you want to stab someone in the face. Plus, we discuss how the Tea Party is driving the GOP off the cliff, break down President Obama’s jobs plan, wonder what is up with Jon Stewart and add to the Terry Jones media overkill.
You can download the podcast at these links: (iTunes / XML feed / MP3).

The Week In Blog: Tea Party Too Hard Edition

The latest The Week In Blog is up at featuring Kristen Soltis and myself discussing blog reaction to 2010 polls, Tea Party candidates, the brewing tax cut debate and Rahm’s next move. Watch it below.

I Have This Uneasy Feeling About Iraq

As many of you know, I love and admire President Barack Obama. What he has accomplished is truly remarkable. Not only did he get elected president but is also taken over the helm and truly rocky times. We have wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. With escalating tensions in the Middle East, Iran and North Korea, the world is looking to us for leadership. Africa, South America and South Asia are in desperate poverty. Our polar ice caps are melting. Here at home, where in the middle of the worst economic slowdown since the Great Depression and our political atmosphere is truly toxic. Through all of this, our president has stood tall and managed to pull together coalitions to get significant legislation passed Congress. Yet, I have this uneasy feeling, nausea really, over Iraq.

Before we unwisely invaded Iraq, there was a balance of power in the Middle East. Iraq and Iran hate each other. They would truly like to annihilate each other but after fighting a fruitless war which cost hundreds of thousands of lives and there is no clear victor, they were content to scowl angrily at each other. The third point in the Middle East triangle was Israel. So when we swooped in and took out Saddam Hussein, we tipped the balance of power. It is really unclear how this will play out in the long run but for now, Iran seems to be the big winner.

Last week President Obama addressed the nation. He told us that combat operations in Iraq had been completed. Our troops were coming home. Cool. Let’s break out the champagne. Then, before I was able to get the refrigerator, our president stated, “a transitional force of US troops remain in Iraq with a different mission: advising and assisting Iraqi security forces, supporting Iraqi troops and targeted counterterrorism missions and protecting our civilians.” What? Then, just for a moment, our president seemed to transform into President George W. Bush and talked about extremists, terrorists bombings and sectarian strife. We’re leaving 50,000 troops in Iraq to do the exact same job they’ve been doing for the last three years. I was flabbergasted. I began to feel like Fred Sanford, from Sanford and Son, and grabbed my chest.

As soon as President Barack Obama ended his speech with what I thought was an overly gracious tip of the hat to President George W. Bush, the Republicans, instead of being grateful, went on the attack. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner were two of the first to step up and criticize the president for not praising the surge and George W. Bush. Did we just enter the twilight zone? Did the conservatives say that the surge worked? To review, the surge had six key elements, these elements were unveiled to the American public by President George W. Bush, himself. Two of the six elements were to create space for political progress, diversify political and economic efforts. There has been no political progress over the last three years. None. Elections were held. No government was formed. The Sunnis, Shiites and the Kurdish Iraqis in the north continue to argue like school children. The surge did help decrease the sectarian violence but that was only one part of the plan (1 out of 6 is an F isn’t it). Iraqis were supposed to form a functional government. That has not happened. We were supposed to create the space for Iraqis to lead this simply hasn’t happened.

With Republicans giving each other high fives and congratulating themselves on the surge, I feel uneasy. With President Obama slipping into a George W. Bush type trance and telling us that combat missions have ended but they really haven’t, I feel uneasy. This may be my whole problem with the Middle East — my feeling of uncertainty. I’m not sure it’s clear who our friends are (with the exception of Israel) and I’m not sure who our enemies are. We are embracing the Iraqi people as our friends but does that include all of the Iraqi people including the Sunnis? I just feel that nobody has any good answers.

The Matt & Bill Montage

The good folks at honored Matt Lewis’ final turn as regular co-host of The Week In Blog with one classy montage.

The Week In Blog: Farewell Matt Edition

The latest The Week In Blog is up at which was the final edition with Matt Lewis as regular co-host. We discussed blog reaction to the possibility of a Republican wave in November, the nomination of Joe Miller in the Alaska senate race, the President’s Oval Office address and the state of the blogosphere over the course of our year-and-a-half co-hosting TWIB. Watch it below.