We are the 99%

February 1, 2008

Meet The Candidates: Wayne Dudding

I met Wayne Dudding last night. He's running for Congress - Pennsylvania 18th District.

A few local bloggers were invited to a meet-and-greet with the candidate but as it was a last minute thing, only Johnny Mac and yours truly were there. It made for a far-reaching and yet close-knit discussion.

Full Disclosure: Dudding's wife Fran and I work in the same office and have known each other for a couple of years.

Chomping on some pizza (initially plain and then mushroom and olive), Dudding held forth on his number one reason for entering this race: The Iraq war.

We can do a lot better, he said. He began by saying that he's in favor of getting the troops out as soon as we possibly can. It's the "as soon as we possibly can" part that's tricky. While praising General Petraeus a number of times in the evening as having done a great job, he said that a military solution won't solve the problems of Iraq.

Only when some progress has been made on the non-Military issues in Iraq (the economy, reconstruction, government and so on) will it be possible to bring the troops home. Rushing them home too soon would only increase the danger they face. There are no easy answers. And this is where the American Government needs to do better. There's no single unified department to run the reconstruction. The infrastructure needs to be rebuilt. The Iraqi police and military needs to be rebuilt. The caliber of diplomats the US sends over there needs to be upgraded. He said that nowadays, the diplomats are rotated in every 90 to 120 days and so the Iraqis aren't even speaking to them - why bother when a new diplomat will be standing in the same place in three months.

In general, he doesn't think we should be occupying any country - it's "against America's values," - and occupying Iraq has only enhanced al-Qaeda.

The war was about oil - and by shifting the nation's energy dependence away from oil, we'd greatly reduce the possibility for fighting another war for oil. The nation's dependence on foreign oil needs to be reduced, he said.

The conversation swept far and wide, from Nigerian oil prices to the limitations of laisse-faire economics to the "disgrace" (his word) of Abu-Ghraib.

Healthcare needs to be tackled, he said. One possibility is to have the government pick up the tab for catastrophic issues and then offering to everyone a set of options (one being a government run single payer system) for everything else.

Speaking about his candidacy, he said that most people can spot BS and that the voters are looking for someone of substance, so perhaps a guy with 27 years in the military might have something to say about Iraq, a chemical engineer might have a few ideas about energy independence and someone with an MBA from CMU would be able to speak on the economy.

AND he has an iphone!

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

John K. says: The war was not about oil. What a myth.

"Fair and Balanced" Dave said...

Oh clueless troll, if you truly believe Bush/Cheney would have invaded Iraq if the country wasn't sitting above a huge pool of oil, I have some beachfront property in Arizona for sale at a bargain price.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Fair and balanced, I bet you got the lead on that AZ property from Juan McCain or perhaps Olbermouth. It was not about oil. The left hangs onto that myth because they cannot rationalize the fact that this guy threatened the stability of an entire region of the Earth. After all, when they think Saddam Hussein has more credibility than our President what else are we to think. Lefties and their delusions.

EdHeath said...

Is there any oil in that particular "entire region of the Earth"?

adrian2514 said...

I really enjoy reading your blog, it always has great insight. But I am very frustrated with the media’s lack of questions to the presidential candidates about global warming. Now that it is down to just a few candidates I would think that this would be a bigger issue.

Live Earth just picked up this topic and put out an article ( http://www.liveearth.org/news.php ) asking why the presidential candidates are not being solicited for their stance on the issue of the climate change. I just saw an article describing each candidate’s stance on global warming and climate change on earthlab.com http://www.earthlab.com/articles/PresidentialCandidates.aspx . So obviously they care about it. Is it the Medias fault for not asking the right questions or is it the candidates’ fault for not highlighting the right platforms? Does anyone know of other websites or articles that touch on this subject and candidates’ views? This is the biggest problem of the century and for generations to come…you would think the next president of the United States would be more vocal about it.

"Fair and Balanced" Dave said...

I'm glad to see that Arlen Specter is on top of the important issues affecting our nation.

We got rid of Santorum in 2006--we're halfway there!

infinonymous said...

So John K believes that if Saddam Hussein had threatened (allegedly, at least) an "entire region" consisting of the more barren parts of Africa, the United States would have unleashed the hounds?

If so, that could explain some of his other nearly inexplicable beliefs.

Actually, the guy who was a threat to that region, consequent to his delusions and stupidity, wasn't Saddam Hussein. And it turned out the real threat wasn't just a threat -- he did in fact inflict untold misery, death, immorality and uncertainty on the region.

That guy is still in the White House. For just shy of another year. Then he gets tossed out on his discredited ear, and his countrymen can turn to the task of cleaning up the enormous mess he created.

Speaking of credibility . . . we have found neither the promised weapons of mass destruction nor Osama bin Laden. Couple of extreme credibility-killers, right there.

C.H. said...

So what are the biggest differences between the right, the left, and the voices of moderation?

For starters, us moderates try our best to see the REAL bad guys for what they are. We're most concerned about the murderers who will strap up unwilling disabled people with bomb belts and blow up markets...or the people who blow up a mosque simply to mow down a prime target...or the people who hack others to death with machetes because of their ethnicity, or the people who plant bombs in front of school buses, blow them up, and then rake them with gunfire.

In other words, free-thinking individuals like myself see Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Rwandan and Kenyan militias, and the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka as the true villains of the world. Those of you on the far-left and the far-right direct your rage, hatred, and anger upon each other, always blaming the other side for the problems of the world when we should all be putting aside our differences so we can all have a more peaceful community.

Sure, you'll dispute what I say, but answer this for me...why hasn't 2pjs done a nice post about the evils of terrorism, Saddam Hussein, or the Taliban? Is it because your ferocious verbal assaults are aimed at our president? How come you don't do a post about the horrors of genocide in Africa? Is it because you have nothing to gain politically by doing so?

The same goes for the far-right. Just look at the right-wing fanatics who get on the radio every morning and attack John Mccain over something as stupid as illegal immigration. Mccain, who has the potential to serve as a uniter and a much needed voice of moderation, isn't bound by their ideology so they attack him (as John K. demonstrated earlier with his clever "Juan" Mccain attack). Tell me John, how do you plan on deporting 12-20 million people? The idea of thousands upon thousands of buses backing up the interstate all the way up to Alaska is almost as humorous as the thought of human beings controlling the climate and thinking we can impact it.

Then of course you have the far-left, which in my mind is even more angry and bitter...you guys have Keith Olbermann, perhaps the biggest hater of all. Sure O'Reilly can be divisive as well, but at least he can say to his opponent at the end of the segment that he/she made a good point. When's the last time Olbermann did that? It is also the left that is primarily responsible for the "its a hopeless civil war" talking point in regards to Iraq. That of course, is a load of crap, seeing as Al-Qaeda and Iran are responsible for the state Iraq is in today. If I'm wrong, why are Sunnis and Shiites not killing each other in this country?

Where is the love? Where is the good in this world? It's certainly not on this blog. It's definetely not on capitol hill, and its definetely not on prime time news.

...sometimes I think I might just be the last voice of reason, moderation, and peace out there.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Where is the love? Where is the good in this world?
Look right over there. On the left.

...sometimes I think I might just be the last voice of reason, moderation, and peace out there.
The part about reason, moderation, and peace is wrong, of course; but you're out there all right.

not-shitrock said...

Let me see if I can simplify things for our friend John K.

John K: no military service
Wayne Dudding: Colonel in the Army, Bronze Star recipient, 27 years in the military (including time actually IN Iraq)

Dudding says the war was about OIL.
John K says that's a myth.

Gee, I don't know. It's so close. I mean you have a chickenhawk on one side and a decorated military man on the other.

Who would YOU believe?

Anonymous said...

John K. says: I got to get this straight. Everyone in here is going to vote McCain over the Clinton or Obama in November? Or do you just want McCain on the ballot so the Democrat wil win. Because I do not believe for second you folks actually support McCain. (Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran) So what, Dudding says it is about oil and I say it is not. Military service places credibility on either statement. I think Dudding is wrong and is just pandering to you lefties.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: You left wing kooks and make me laugh. You block military recruiting stations and throw recruiters out of school. And then tell me that Dudding has credibility. Not one Democrat Presidential candidate has military service. And in 1992 you tried to paint Bush41 as a coward for bailing out of a shot down plane. You painted the one armed Dole as an out of touch old man in 1996. At that time, according to the left, military service ment nothing. Now because Dudding has spent time in the military he has credibility? He tells you the war is about oil because that is what you want to hear. You want someone from the military, this same military you loath, to back up your ideas. Wrong though they be. Mostly because you think it gives you credibility with the right. If any of you left wing kooks had any reverence for the military at all, this blog would be staunchly behind McCain. But you aren't. You just want me to be to behind McCain. Don't make me laugh. Wait, make me laugh because you left wing kooks are funny. Hey fair and balanced kook, keep getting your facts from both sides, the left and the liberals. LOL LOL LMAO at the insanity that is left wing thought.

Infinonymous said...

You lost me (and your credibility), C.H., when attempting to ascribe blame for Iraq's current catastrophic condition on Iran and al Qaeda.

The precipitate was a counterproductive, unprovoked and immoral invasion (followed by a botched attempted occupation) launched on false premises by the United States.

Dredging up the old Al Qaeda-9/11 lies? That's so 2003. Not even the neocons fall for that line any more.

C.H. said...

10:58,

Please learn to read. I said absolutely nothing about ties between al-qaeda and Saddam Hussein. What I was referring to was Al-Qaeda's sabotage of what was a noble effort, which was to bring peace and freedom to the people of Iraq. Surely your not denying that Al-Qaeda is in Iraq right now? It's pretty obvious they're carrying out bomb attacks in order to make the two sides fight one another and make things as difficult as possible for the United States.

This is not to say Saddam Hussein did not have ties to terror. Iraqi money was flowing to Palestinian suicide bombers in the west bank and Saddam gave shelter to Mohammed Abbas...the terrorist leader who hijacked the Achille Lauro in 1985.

read all about it here:

http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/04/15/sprj.irq.abbas.arrested/

To say Saddam Hussein had no ties to terrorism is false and incorrect.

Bram Reichbaum said...

"Sure, you'll dispute what I say, but answer this for me...why hasn't 2pjs done a nice post about the evils of terrorism, Saddam Hussein, or the Taliban?"

It could be because the readership of 2pjs doesn't get to vote on what terrorists, Saddam Hussein, or the Taliban do. However, we do have a responsibility to exercise control over our own country, so that is what they are helping us do.

Bram Reichbaum said...

Also, "the terrorists are evil" is not a novel idea, and more importantly it does not help us solve anything.

That is, unless you believe "the terrorists are evil" necessarily implies "so we must invade their host countries and combat them militarily." That seems like something only a terribly simple-minded person would suggest.

not-shitrock said...

John K.: You said that Dudding is pandering to the left.

Does that mean you say he's LYING?

You're telling us that a Bronze Star recipient is LYING?

And you say you support the military.

LOL! LMAO!

John K says a war here is LYING.

Incredible.

C.H. said...

Bram,

Just how do you think we should describe the terrorists?

People who strap bombs to unwilling disabled people and blow up innocent men, women, and children are evil, no matter what you or anyone else says. The left has no problem with verbally massacring Bush and Cheney by calling them evil but have reservations about a using such terms for a deranged movement that has hijacked a religion and is inflicting tremendous harm on people all over the world.

Do we need to be nicer do them? Would you be in favor of sitting down and chatting with a salafist terror group hellbent on the destruction of all those who refuse to submit to their extreme ideology? If so, good luck.

Sherry said...

there have been and always will be people and groups and governments that use terror as a weapon.

but this bull line about the "war on terror"

terror is a tactic not a person or a group or a government.

to go to war on a tactic is to go to a permenent state of war.

Bram Reichbaum said...

Sherry is correct as a matter of nomenclature and therefore thought, of course. Now,

"Just how do you think we should describe the terrorists?"

Evil! Yes, yes very evil.

[salutes]

"Do we need to be nicer do them? Would you be in favor of sitting down and chatting with a salafist terror group hellbent on the destruction of all those who refuse to submit to their extreme ideology?"

It's called diplomacy, C.H. ... bold, powerful, strategic and manly diplomacy. You are clearly not Christopher Hitchens, for one thing.

You back up your diplomacy with force, C.H., you don't go investing it in every sodden country.

C.H. said...

If by diplomacy, you mean working with the Muslim community and the Arab Nations by convincing them that Al-Qaeda and other terrorists are destroying their people and their religion, then you are correct. I for one believe that is the best way to defeat them.

However, if you believe we need to chat with Al-Qaeda and have a diologue with them, you are wrong. If you think you can do that, go for it. You could fly over the Waziristan or North Africa and voice your concerns with al-sahab.

Good luck with that, as I said before...I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that bands of thugs who detonate fuel tankers in crowds of people and blow up babies don't care what this country, the west, you, or I have to say.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

It has now been 6-1/2 years since 9/11 and 5 years since we invaded Iraq. We have spent more money on a military solution to these problems than all the nations in all the wars in the history of civilization. It seems reasonable to me that if things were going to improve with regard to either situation using the current tactics and strategies, we would have seen it happen by now.

Some other points:
-- The so-called "War on Terror", which is actually no such thing, did not start on 11-Sep-2001. It was going on for many years before that, but the American people didn't care because it was happening to someone else or far away and we didn't have neoconservative chickenhawks whipping the rabble into a war-crazed frenzy.

-- If Al Qaeda in Iraq were to suddenly convert to Christianity, embrace the United States as brothers in arms, and declare war on the infidel Islamic terrorists, no one would be able to see a difference. Al Qaeda is an extremely small segment of the insurgency in Iraq, and its name is used in the United States as a propaganda tool.

-- The longer we keep fighting forces in Iraq, the more terrorists we create and the more the Iraqi people suffer.

-- President McCain will have a vested interest in keeping this war going and getting more Americans and more Iraqis killed. He has already promised us 100 years of military occupation in Iraq as well as, in his words, "more wars."

-- Sooner or later, someone is going to have to pay the bill for this war. It will have to be paid with the economic lives of our grandchildren. It sickens me that even the 30% of Americans who still support this failed effort are willing to sacrifice their progeny for it.

Infinonymous said...

There was nothing noble about invading Iraq.

Not one thing.

It was roughly as noble as our relationship with Saudi Arabia, or our role in overthrowing a democratically elected leader in Iran, or arming Saddam Hussein a couple of decades ago, or . . . am I the only one beginning to discern a pattern of self-serving, immoral, hypocritical conduct?

Opinions based on the "nobility" of invading Iraq are destined to fail for lack of a logical foundation.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Yah Dudding is lying. That does that make it clearer for you. And don't take a pompous note with me you loon. LOL LOL "Gen Betrayus. We lost the war Reid. Gen Petrayus has lied to us says Schumer." Like you left wing kooks even know what a bronze star is. LMAO LMAO

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Like you left wing kooks even know what a bronze star is.
I have Army buddies who have one, John. You? Got a bunch of Army buddies, do you?

Anonymous said...

John K. says: LOL LOL LOL at shitrock. Man are you funny. You have Army buddies, so that makes you a veteran. LMAO. By the way, I still want to know how having a Bronze Star means you support my position on tax cuts and abortion and less Govt. Can some left wing kook define how that equates.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

John, I would be happy to answer your question if I could figure out what you are asking me. Care to rephrase, say, in some language spoken in the Western Hemisphere?

You didn't ask, but I was in the US Army from Feb, 1969 to Feb, 1972. When was your service again?

Infinonymous said...

John K. says he wants less government?

What about fewer prosecutions of those who possess marijuana or sell water pipes?

What about an end to warrantless surveillance?

What about less restriction of abortions?

What about less government spending on military misadventures?

What about fewer seven-figure government grants for abstinence-only education, intelligent design curricula and other ideological pursuits masquerading as science?

What about an end to "extraordinary rendition" and torture?

What about an end to staggering deficit spending?

I have a hunch you are no more a small government guy or a lover of freedom than Bush has been a fiscal conservative, John K. Hollow slogans all around.

Schultz said...

I met Dudding twice at committee meetings this week. I got to speak with him one on one about the Iraq War and also about energy independence. He is not lying. He seems to know more about the war, how to withdrawl, why we fight(oil!) and how we can end our dependence on foreign oil than any candidate in this race.