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November 06, 2008

Serious Social Issue We Had Not Considered...

...until now. As if the continual worry about Andrew Sullivan's mental health weren't enough (now that Sarah Palin's uterus is safely tucked away back in Wasilla, where it can no longer undermine the security of the Republic) what will Green Glennwald do once The Shrub stops eviscerating the Bill of Rights and returns to drinking the blood of freshly sacrificed African American infants from the skull of an endangered tufted owl?

Oh. Stupid question:

In response to my post last night poking fun at both sides of the aisle for their (forthcoming) switch in arguments, Glenn Greenwald writes, with my emphasis added:

George Washington University Law Professor Orin Kerr — a leading apologist for many (though not all) of the lawless and radical Bush policies of the last eight years — last night smugly predicted that Democrats who spent the last eight years opposing executive power expansions and an oversight-free Presidency will now reverse positions, while Republicans who have been vehement advocates of a strong executive and opposed to meaningful Congressional oversight will do the same.

I suppose if you're going to be labeled an "apologist," it's nice to be a "leading" one. No point in being a following apologist, after all. But does anyone know what "lawless and radical" policies I apparently served as an apologist for? I am genuinely curious.

It's going to be an entertaining four years, folks.

But on the bright side, The One's smart economic policeh is already working miracles, and he hasn't even taken office yet!

Looking ahead to the possibility of an Obama administration, some baseball agents already are thinking about trying to beat a possible tax increase for their well-paid clients.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has proposed increasing the top federal income tax rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, where it was under the Clinton administration. If signing bonuses are paid before Jan. 1, they likely would be taxed at the current rate and would not be subject to any tax increase.

As we noted before the election, rational actors (that's people to the folks at home) adjust their decisions in response to incentives.

With entirely foreseeable consequences.
Via OBH.

Posted by Cassandra at November 6, 2008 08:35 AM

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Get the money now, guys, before the folks who buy the tickets realize they can't afford them anymore.

I predict a rise in attendance at minor league ballgames...

Posted by: BillT at November 6, 2008 11:13 AM

Meet the new Boss, same as the old Boss. We just got fooled again (paraphrasing).

Posted by: a former european at November 6, 2008 11:28 AM

Cass, I'd like to get your thoughts on this.


FLOOD Senator McCain’s offices with calls telling him to GET OUT AND DEFEND HIS VP PICK, after all, SHE didn’t ask for the job and then in addition, the ruin of herself and her family. These rumors are all LIES, one of them already debunked on Fox and Friends this morning. The names of the people doing this should be REVEALED AND BLACKLISTED. These people should never work in power positions in politics again. NO WONDER THE REPUBLICANS LOST, WITH THIS TYPE OF SC UM WORKING THE CAMPAIGN. And WHERE THE HE*L IS MCCAIN? Silent, just silent.

McCain offices:

Phoenix Phone: 602-952-2410 Fax: 602-952-8702
Tempe Phone: 480-897-6289 Fax: 480-897-8389
Tucson Phone: 520-670-6334 Fax: 520-670-6637
Washington DC: Phone 202-224-2235 Fax: 202-228-2862

And reserve some choice words for the slimeballs at the CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS ITSELF:


update: 12:05am — I posted all these emails in a hurry during commercial breaks of ON THE RECORD…but I just want to remind all of you: I AM in favor of aggressively challenging people running for office so that we can get information that might help you in making your decisions about who to vote for…this is our job as journalists..I think men and women should get the same type of questions and challenges…women should not get a pass for being women but they also should not get gratuitously insulted for being women…what I object to is reporting that is not helpful and which is only telling gossip…if the person who makes the statement identifies himself or herself, I feel better about it so we can ask that person if he or she has an axe to grind etc but what is being reported tonight by others is by anonymous sources….an unnamed source gratuitously insulting a candidate is not fair. And let me remind you, gossip about internal sniping is not Watergate. Watergate was about a felony. Yes, anonymous sources do have a role in journalism, but gossip (trashing) is not journalism. By the way, after hearing the report, I talked to two different people in the campaign who traveled with Governor Palin and they denied the gossip and said it was a disgruntled staffer. Hence I took the position I did tonight ON THE RECORD - that this was just mean gossip. This is not to say that I am always perfect but rather what I am attempting to achieve ON THE RECORD. If I fail, call me out on it…you have GretaWire to do it.-Greta Van Susteren


Posted by: Ymarsakar at November 6, 2008 08:12 PM


Has some background stories on this.

This is the vid link of O'Reilly airing the anonymous reports Cameron gave him

Cass, you wrote before about how Republicans should clean house if there house is dirty and should help Democrats if their house is dirty for we all live in America and dirt affects all of us.

To what extent do we need to get rid of corrupt and lying colon discharges in McCain's campaign staff?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at November 6, 2008 08:30 PM

A disgruntled staffer that late in the campaign?

Be interesting to see what his day job is and how his employer rates him for "loyalty"...

Posted by: BillT at November 7, 2008 03:07 AM

"Be interesting to see what his day job is and how his employer rates him for "loyalty"..."
Being an equal opportunity, new age kinda Neanderthal saddled with an Old Testament sense of justice, I'm compelled to add or her to the above.

Now if weasel holds true to form, the employer probably has no idea of this backstabbing trait. Such weasels are the original stealth bombers.

A week in the stocks in the town square with a tomato cart positioned 10 paces from the stocks under a sign announcing free tomato's might do wonders for the person's self esteem and perception of their place in the pecking order.

But that's just the Old Testament temperament in me oozing out.

Posted by: bt_warmed-by-the-burning-bush_hun at November 7, 2008 08:09 AM

This has been with us for a while. I think the roots of most of the negative attacks on Palin were actually within the Republican Party. She was not McCain's first choice (Lieberman was), and was not the choice of other voices (who wanted Wendell Wilkie, er Mitt Romney).

So the infighting and disinformation about had its roots inside the Republican party. That's all the MSM needed to start there little rituals.

Sarah Palin may or may not be "the Future" of the Republican Party, but she is a decent human being who did not deserve to have the trash heaped upon her that was during this campaign. Anyone in the McCain campaign that participated in this should be pushed out into the cold....forever from Republican campaigns.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at November 7, 2008 08:48 AM

Gratuitous disclaimer: The pronouns "his" and "him" are used to provide grammatical congruity with the object of the sentence and are to be construed neither as referring exclusively to someone of male gender nor of excluding someone of female gender.

The reverse side of this comment has been intentionally left blank.

Posted by: BillT at November 7, 2008 09:11 AM

Heheh. I suppose I could say that I'm simply trying to steer this onto the relationship and sex vector and get it over with...

Or I could claim that Don started it by picking on poor old Zuul's typo.

No, wait a minute... On reflection it all began when someone started going on about a poofty undergarment.

Posted by: bthun at November 7, 2008 09:21 AM

No joke, when I read your opening sentence I read 'Andrew Sullivan's menstrual health.' I had to do a double take.

Posted by: Cricket at November 7, 2008 10:50 AM

It *doesn't*?

*wiping dust off screen*

Huh. Sho' nuff...

Posted by: BillT at November 7, 2008 11:05 AM

A couple of pieces of evidence for the analysts here.

One, I read, explicitly, a note of warning in a commenter/blogger (lost in the blogosphere somewhere) concerning how Sarah Palin should beware of sabotage from staffers because campaign people have their own little niche power structures they don't want upset by politicians. Similar to how bureaucracy in such institutions as the State Department thinks about the political representatives. This was a specific warning, seemingly based upon either inside information or personal experience that Sarah Palin should beware of corrupt Washington insiders in the McCain camp and should not assume that her handlers will have her best interests at heart. It warned Sarah to make sure she got her own backers to tell her what was going on because she will be blindsided otherwise.

Now some notes on why this is relevant. This bit of commentary was read by me soon after the nomination of Sarah Palin. It was not directed towards the attacks on Sarah Palin, which I remember had not started steamrolling down the hill yet at the time. It was not directed against me cause the authors definitely did not have my psyche profile. There were no news or rumors about insiders in the McCain campaign being responsible for leaked information leading to attacks on Sarah, either.

The second bit of data I have concerns Gibson and Couric. I would be intensely interested in just who thought it was a great idea to have Sarah Palin interview with Gibson/Couric rather than Greta/Brit Hume or even O'Reilly. Obama had O'Reilly, so why isn't O'Reilly and Fox News good enough for Sarah Palin? Coverage and exposure? Bullscheisse. Sarah didn't need coverage so much as she needed protection from MSM attack dogs that would attempt to tarnish her image and thus the image and character of John McCain. But she was sent to these people, who we already knew or suspected were fake liberal mines waiting to take our legs off when activated, but she has been in ALaska all these recent times and concerned about local issues: she would not have our feel for the treacherous waters of the MSM yet. And it seemed like her advisers didn't tell her about such troubles spots either.

The third piece of data I have concerns John McCain. He tends to want to work with fake liberals thinking they won't stab him in the back. His history in the Senate perhaps exacerbates this tendency since his gang of 14 and various other things seem to have turned out well (McCain-Feingold) in his opinion at least. Reality, however, had something else to say but that is beside the point. Suffice it to say that John McCain liked reaching across the aisle and did so on an all too common basis, acquiring contamination as a result. What is this contamination I speak of? It is the same contamination Bush got when he helped to pass Ted Kennedy's No Child Left Behind bill. These things are not designed to help Bush, the Republicans, or the American people. Such things are designed to help the Democrats screw all of us over. The additional power Kennedy acquired with that bill (through favors and repayment to other Congress critters) were used to sabotage the Iraq war. The no Child Left Behind Bill was used to attack Bush in 2004, with no mention of Ted Kennedy at all. This is contamination. McCain thus has a serious security vulnerability in terms of his judgment on character. He wants to believe the best of Democrats yet there is no "best" of Democrats. There are only principled individuals like Lieberman and then there are all the opportunists and serfs. Trying to confuse the two and pretend they are both the same (through something like McCain-Feingold on campaign contributions) leads to an Obama outspending McCain by 10-5 to 1: including Obama's illegal overseas donations and public financing and various other goodies.

The fourth corner concerns how the Republican party seems to be split between the elite intellectuals at the top (the people who tend to jump ship when Iraq got hard) and the people at the bottom (loyalist to the core). Sarah Palin was a threat not only to Democrats but to the good old boy networks in Alaska and the Washington elite. Except that the Washington elite, or as far as campaign managers could go, were the same kinds of people McCain has known for much of his Senate career and which he put in charge of his campaign.

Sarah Palin had the double problem of enemies on the inside and enemies on the outside, just like America does. It's a tricky situation to navigate. And it seems, on a tentative analysis, that the tendency of some "Republicans" to seek to undermine and harm Sarah Palin was truly a suicide pact for it also damaged McCain.

I've criticized Bush's judgment of character before. Tenet, for one example, although it looks like Bush already found WMDs and covered it up cause he didn't want terrorists to know that the US was sitting on tons of yellow cake from Iraq. People from Clinton's administration were kept on by Bush (probably because Clinton didn't give Bush much of a head start so maybe Bush started wanting former Clinton guys to handle the deals).

However, I don't quite believe that the Bush family had the political naivety that rendered them vulnerable to the things that McCain became vulnerable to. Executives have to handle people and get their little personal egos working together and not against each other. McCain is a Senator and Senators use bribes and favors to get what they want. HOwever, whether promises or deals are kept or not depends wholly on the character of the people in question. If it happens McCain chose some people that were weak of character and virtue in his campaign, McCain would have no real experience disciplining such folks.

C4 has some other background up concerning Obama campaign insiders

Our donors, are the same people who finance the MSM. Their interests are tied, Barack then tends to come across as teflon. Nothing sticks. And trust, there were meetings with Fox news. The goal was to blunt them as much as possible. Watch Bill Oreilly he has become much more diplomatic and “fair and balanced” and soft. Its because he wants to retain the #1 spot on cable news and to do that he has to have access to the Obama campaign and we worked hard at stringing him a long and keeping him soft for an interview swap. It worked and now he is anticipating more access. So he is playing it still soft.

Makes sense. O'Reilly was never what I would call a fanatic loyalist to certain causes. He kept saying "Iraq was a mess" back in 2005. A loyalist to the core would have said "we need to kill more enemies and get rid of the trash". THe specific means to do that may have been unclear but that goal would have been central and paramount first and foremost: not endless repetitions of "Iraq is a mess". He has a lack of focus and not just on military issues. He is more of a cultural and sensationalist figure. Like all reporters, he has certain levers you can pull and manipulate. One of the reasons Bush got savaged so much was because Bush refused to use the powers of the Presidency to pull those levers. I trust Obama will not be so merciful and kind hearted.

Sarah Palin is a huge threat, and our campaign has feared her like you can’t imagine. If it seems unfair how she has been treated, well its because she has had a team working round the clock to make her look like a fool.

Interesting that this "team" may also have included the managers of McCain's campaign.

There are rumors floating around that Romney directed the leaks and attacks on Sarah Palin. Have people so easily forgotten that Democrats are better at lying, divide and conquer (Alinsky), than any Republican, including Mitt Romney? Stop buying the propaganda and misdirection that Romney had the most to gain from attacks on Sarah Palin. Obama had the most to gain from attacks on Sarah Palin. All the leaks are coming out after the campaign but what did the leakers actually do to try to help Sarah in the campaign?


I like Byzantine politics. It makes for interesting analysis and teaches me some things that can rarely be gotten anywhere else. But primarily it teaches one to be vigilant against the most dangerous type of opponent there is. An opponent inside your own camp pretending to be a friend while enemies outside carry their allegiances and banners openly.

Iraq was a most interesting lesson on how the most difficult problems may never arise from enemy actions or plans but from your own side.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at November 7, 2008 12:51 PM

That did read like a Byzantine play. Michelle Obama is supposed to shop for TP at Target, but take it to a million dollar mansion? Don't they have domestic staff that do the shopping? Sounds kind of like she wants people to think she is one of them, but she is not. It is class envy and warfare.

After reading your analysis, I offer this: Do you think that the insiders that brought down Sarah Palin did so because she slammed the good old boy network in Alaska and then had the bad taste to speak of it openly?

Plots within plots...

Posted by: Cricket at November 7, 2008 01:12 PM

I've had it up to here with the idiots who keep saying that Romney is behind the attacks on Palin.

That is just stupid.

I long ago learned not to pay any attention to what people say in life because words are cheap. It's their actions that count. Romney dropped out of the race and threw his support behind McCain because that was the right thing to do. McCain (IMO) was a fool not to pick him for the VP slot, but that's on him. His campaign, his decision.

For any number of reasons Palin was not the worst choice but she was a risk. On balance she helped the ticket. I'm not sure she helped it enough but we will never know. I'm not sure anything could have helped it enough.

The thing is, this election was close and there's really no point in jawboning over might have beens. It's destructive. The key is to pick up and move forward.

Posted by: Cassandra at November 7, 2008 01:19 PM

And none of that was aimed at you, Ymar. I'm just frustrated with the people who are being catty. That's all. No one here.

Posted by: Cassandra at November 7, 2008 01:20 PM

Oh... and regarding pronouns?

Just use "him".

It's so much easier. I get annoyed with all the PC crap. No one is going to think you're a sexist and if they do, they need to get a life :p

Posted by: Cassandra at November 7, 2008 01:21 PM

To answer your question Ymar, I think I will do a short post.

Posted by: Cassandra at November 7, 2008 01:22 PM

No one is going to think you're a sexist and if they do, they need to get a life :p


I need to lose the subtle streak...

Posted by: BillT at November 7, 2008 01:38 PM

I sit corrected.

Posted by: bthun at November 7, 2008 01:41 PM

Relax, she just said that to humor me...

Posted by: BillT at November 7, 2008 02:08 PM

After reading your analysis, I offer this: Do you think that the insiders that brought down Sarah Palin did so because she slammed the good old boy network in Alaska and then had the bad taste to speak of it openly?

DC went for Obama at 93% or something of the total popular vote?

Based upon that, what do you think I think about staffers from Washington DC, whether Republican or Democrat?

Bookworm worked for the local Republican chapter in California. But California Republican staffers are a long way from mcCain's pool of DC "managers" in my view. And Southern Republican staffers are a long Long way from even California campaign volunteers: in both figurative and literal senses.

Another note: Cindy McCain backed Sarah not Lieberman. So who did back Lieberman aside from McCain? McCain's staffers probably. Lieberman was an "insider" politician. They knew what they could get with him. Sarah, however, with her guns and anti-corruption (and McCain-Feingold anti-corruption either), is a different issue.

I'm not sure she helped it enough but we will never know. I'm not sure anything could have helped it enough.

I believe, based on what I have seen and the way the swing voters voted, was that Sarah Palin caused a lot of conservatives to vote for McCain that would otherwise have stayed home. She also helped increase campaign contributions but given that it was only a month or two before the election once she was nominated, that didn't really do anything in the long term given how McCain allowed Obama to do campaign re-financing while McCain stayed with his principles (principles that didn't actually seem to get incorporated into law in McCain-Feingold). There's compromise for ya.

The swinger voters, like I said, went Obama. They are susceptible to propaganda like that, not to mention that went on in 8 years of Bush. After 8 years of this kind of indoctrination and enemy propaganda, even the WWII generation would have been losing morale and faith.

It's so much easier. I get annoyed with all the PC crap.

If I say "he or she", and I often do, it is not due to taking counsel of PC fears so much as I am trying to be as accurate as I can in targeting. Target Focus Training, for example, would never forgive it if I tried to kick someone in the balls and I never realized the target was a woman.

It pays to have good intel, after all.


Cricket, I looked on realclearpolitics to check my memory on this. guess what I found.

DC (3) 93% 7% (100%)

Guess who that 93% was for, Cricket.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at November 8, 2008 10:19 AM

That is just stupid.

Have mercy on the sheep, Cass, they know not what they do. Most of humanity, the 68% of the bell curve, are followers and they just tend to latch unto whatever others tell them to believe. That's not a really big problem, since it also means they will latch unto our leaders as well given certain external stimuli.

I'm just frustrated with the people who are being catty. That's all. No one here.

Not even Miguel slash M in Irvine? ; )

Posted by: Ymarsakar at November 8, 2008 03:07 PM

Why am I not surprised? Being raised as a Goldwater Republican, then moving to SoCal as a child, I know what you mean about the differences between Republicans.

My cousin, who has lived in Lancaster for over 40 years, is very liberal, and our other cousin, is also very liberal...despite that both were brought up in Utah and moved to California as young adults.

Makes for interesting family reunions.

Anyway, I brought that up because your comment about being tainted got me to thinking about that...and are we really true to our principles or do we compromise them in a certain place and time and think we are doing a greater good by not being so rigid?

While I can believe that Sarah Palin was savaged, I would like to think that Lieberman's people were not involved. I have to believe that there is one honest person in DC who is an insider.

Should I clap my hands?

Posted by: Cricket at November 8, 2008 03:51 PM

I meant to say McCain's people. Maybe a Mitt/Lieberman ticket.

Whaddaya think?

Posted by: Cricket at November 8, 2008 03:54 PM

I have to believe that there is one honest person in DC who is an insider.

Honest people don't get inside.

There's a force-field...

Posted by: BillT at November 8, 2008 04:34 PM

While I can believe that Sarah Palin was savaged, I would like to think that Lieberman's people were not involved. I have to believe that there is one honest person in DC who is an insider.

I don't believe Lieberman gave any orders, official or unofficial on this score. I speak more about the personal biases of folks.

If, say, you were in a corporation and you wanted to bring in a certain guy, someone you knew or liked, for VP to be in charge of the marketing department. The CEO brings in an entirely new guy who is different from your preferred VP in ALL kinds of ways. When that new VP starts saying things or doing things in a way that you don't like, do you support that VP's decisions in the marketing campaign or do you work on your own little pet goals?

Most people that have professional standards would say the former. But who says these campaign managers have professional standards, Cricket? Power tends to attract sycophants, after all. Sycophants and fanatics are not well known for their tolerance and foresight. It is one reason why you need to keep them on a short leash.

My preferences for President and Vice President were said in the thread here concerning McCain's VP choice, where Cass polled folks on what they would like to see in McCain's VP choice.

I said I would like to see someone that would destroy America's enemies and stack them up like cordwood. Sarah Palin qualified. Those are my criteria, perhaps only criteria: it includes for the Presidency as well.

I actually believed, at the time, that were no politicians that could fit my criteria. Even when Sarah Palin was announced, it wasn't certain. By now, however, it is.

Any enemy of the Left that hated is an ally of mine. Any enemy of the Left that comes from the frontier where matters of equality are dictated by the harsh environment appeals to my sense of survival and anti-decadence preferences.

The capital of any land is always corrupt and getting ever more decadent. It is only from the far flung provinces that fresh blood will help revitalize things.

Read David Weber and Steve White's Insurrection for one such case example.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at November 8, 2008 05:01 PM

Ymar, I think that is why I like reading what you have to say. I am overly simplistic, as the poor knavery here knows, and you and I tend to see things the same way. Unlike me, who tends to the visceral (odd for a Virgo), you analyze it and it makes sense.

That is another reason why I like reading VC. All the comments, even from liberals, are instructive to me, but I guess you and Bill make it easier for me to have that 'aha' moment.

After all, I am a recovering blond.


Posted by: Cricket at November 8, 2008 07:31 PM

...you and Bill make it easier for me to have that 'aha' moment.

I was trying to catch your shoulders during your last fainting spell. Not my fault you twisted around face-first when you did...

Posted by: BillT at November 9, 2008 05:08 AM

Wouldn't that be a *Ha ha* moment?

Posted by: DL Sly at November 10, 2008 04:15 PM

Anyway, I brought that up because your comment about being tainted got me to thinking about that...and are we really true to our principles or do we compromise them in a certain place and time and think we are doing a greater good by not being so rigid?

If I was negotiating with the Taliban or AQ, my limitations would be severe and extremely rigid. I could not offer them what they really want because they wouldn't keep their bargain.

However, if I was negotiating with the Sunnis of Al Anbar, then the restrictions would be less. Any compromise you made with them would stay true to your principles for their goals are not mutually exclusive with your principles and methods.

It all depends on who your counter-part. If the person sitting on the other side is honorable and is part of the loyal opposition, then well, you can loosen up quite a bit without sacrificing duty and honor to pragmatism and convenience. If, however, your opponent is not honorable, then any compromise you make, regardless of the amount or type, will break your principles.

I'll leave you to imagine which category the Democrats fit under.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at November 11, 2008 12:26 AM

...and are we really true to our principles or do we compromise them in a certain place and time...

Ask Dubya how well reaching out to the Boston Beluga on that Education thang worked out for him.

Posted by: BillT at November 11, 2008 12:34 AM

Wouldn't that be a *Ha ha* moment?

It wasn't that funny unless you derive humor from throwing me into cardiac arrest...

Posted by: BillT at November 11, 2008 12:40 AM

Ask Dubya how well reaching out to the Boston Beluga on that Education thang worked out for him.

Wasn't that bad. He wasn't left under the river, after all.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at November 11, 2008 01:19 AM

It would have been worse if Petraeus hadn't pulled Dubya out, true, but still.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at November 11, 2008 01:24 AM

"... throwing me into cardiac arrest..."

So, I'm guessing you've finally figured out that the 27" zipper was seriously over-sized, huh?

Posted by: DL Sly at November 12, 2008 12:11 PM

Nope -- matter of fact, I have to keep it zipped all the way up in mixed company or I'm not allowed to mingle.

Well, "not allowed" isn't quite right -- "unable" would be a better term, because I usually get backed into a corner. Never knew cougars would gather into a pack...

Posted by: BillT at November 12, 2008 01:28 PM