Patterico's Pontifications

6/3/2013

Obama Adviser Smears Issa

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:27 am



Looks like Darrell Issa is hitting a nerve or two.

David Plouffe’s Twitter bio describes him as “2008 Obama Campaign Manager. White House Senior Adviser” (as well as a Bloomberg news analyst!). Jake Tapper describes Plouffe as “the political guru (and unofficial adviser) for President Obama.” Tapper reports that, responding to Darrell Issa’s charge that Jay Carney is a “paid liar” for the Obama administration, Plouffe took to Twitter to say:

The references are to a 1972 arrest for car theft where charges were ultimately dropped (Issa says it was a case of mistaken identity) and a 21-year-old arson investigation resulting in no arrest or charges.

Ah, but it gets better:

Asked why he brought up Issa’s criminal record from 1972 (when the charges were dismissed) and an arson investigation from 21 years ago where no one was charged with a crime, Plouffe told CNN that Issa’s “ethics issues are far more recent. Look at ethics complaints filed.”

There have been at least three ethics complaints filed against Issa, all from left-leaning groups. Complain[t]s filed in and of themselves don’t necessarily mean anything, of course. House Ethics Committee or Office of Congressional Ethics judgments are much more important, and as of now there have been none against Issa.

This is straight from the Neal Rauhauser and Brett Kimberlin playbook of smears: you file a baseless complaint against someone, and then cite the complaint or investigation as proof that the person is dirty.

What does it say about President Obama that he would choose such a man to manage his campaign and to be a senior adviser?

UPDATE: Via Kevin M., here is a nice response:

335 Responses to “Obama Adviser Smears Issa”

  1. What’s the Churchill line;

    going back in the wayback machine, same publication;

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/259377-plouffe-defends-response-to-benghazi-attack

    narciso (3fec35)

  2. Maybe Plouffe shouldn’t have even waded into that briar patch;

    http://www.bloomberg.com/video/90617515-plouffe-on-romney-s-tax-returns-political-capital.html

    narciso (3fec35)

  3. What does it say about President Obama that he would choose such a man to manage his campaign and to be a senior adviser?

    That he’s from Chicago?

    nk (875f57)

  4. The reply

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  5. “What does it say about President Obama that he would choose such a man to manage his campaign and to be a senior adviser?”

    That he’s a typical Progressive-Democrat political hack, one-each?

    C. S. P. Schofield (adb9dd)

  6. Of course Baghdad Bob Jay Carney is a paid liar; if we are honest about things, all Press Secretaries are there to tell the press what the President wants them to hear, regardless of whether it is the truth or not. In a lot of cases, Press Secretaries are deliberately kept out of the loop on things, so they can’t (officially) know that what they are telling the media is untruthful.

    But, with the Obama Administration, it goes beyond Press Secretaries: Susan Rice was deliberately lied to, so that she would go out and repeat the same lies. Dr Rice’s problem was that she f(ornicated) up and trusted the President and his minions, while Mr Carney knows that there are instances in which he will be lied to.

    The realistic Dana (3e4784)

  7. Where do I go to file an ethics charge against Plouffe? Pretty sure slander and libel (which is Twitter, btw?) are unethical.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  8. Of course, with Barack Hussein Obama it’s a bit more blatant: if you work for him, you know that you are working for a liar.

    The sad part is that if you voted for him, you know you are voting for a liar, and a majority of the voters went ahead and did so anyway.

    The saddened Dana (3e4784)

  9. these sorts of cheap shots are unbecoming of the fascist movement

    it makes them look like they lack confidence

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  10. A new Ring in Hell is currently under construction for the likes of Plouffe. Frank Lautenberg arrived too early and will have to bivouac at temporary quarters until it’s ready.

    dfbaskwill (ca54bb)

  11. Which makes one wonder, how quickly where there 501 c 3s certifications approved.

    narciso (3fec35)

  12. How did Obama choose this guy? To raise the tone.

    SPQR (768505)

  13. Yet another well-intentioned blog post that somehow misses the giant neon screaming elephant (donkey, actually) in the room. The issue is not “What does it say about President Obama that he would choose such a man to manage his campaign and to be a senior adviser?” The real issue is what does it say about the future of America that Obama not only was elected but then was reelected with room to spare and with a majority in the federal senate? Hint: The prospects are quite bleak.

    William Scalia (89a442)

  14. “What does it say about President Obama that he would choose such a man to manage his campaign and to be a senior adviser?”

    – Patterico

    Somebody smeared somebody in politics! Get out the fainting couch!

    Seriously, the only thing this says about Obama is that he knows how the game is played. What I hold against him most of all is that he ever wanted to play the game in the first place.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  15. Leviticus, you do understand that your purported cynicism is seen through by everyone as a gossamer veil over your exhuberant idealism, don’t you?

    nk (875f57)

  16. David Plouffe is using the same talking points to attack Issa as mg. Coincidence, you decide.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  17. “Somebody smeared somebody in politics! Get out the fainting couch!”

    Leviticus – Benghazi was a long time ago.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  18. “Leviticus, you do understand that your purported cynicism is seen through by everyone as a gossamer veil over your exhuberant idealism, don’t you?”

    – nk

    Pretty much, yeah. Is that a bad thing? A narrow slice of cynicism laid over a bunch of idealism doesn’t make either less real, I don’t think. Do you think it does?

    Leviticus (b98400)

  19. Point out the pure cynic or the pure idealist, and I’ll point out the guy with whom you can’t have a productive discussion.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  20. Plus, you made essentially the same comment that I did.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  21. 14. Seriously, the only thing this says about Obama is that he knows how the game is played. What I hold against him most of all is that he ever wanted to play the game in the first place.

    Comment by Leviticus (b98400) — 6/3/2013 @ 8:05 am

    Umm, no. What you should hold against him is he’s rewriting the rules of the game. If you’ve ever played checkers with a three year old you’d understand the concept.

    Except in this instance the three year old is the President and he has the IRS and the DoJ enforcing the rules on the fly that says he wins.

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  22. “What you should hold against him is he’s rewriting the rules of the game.”

    – Steve57

    No. He’s really not.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  23. 17. “Somebody smeared somebody in politics! Get out the fainting couch!”

    Leviticus – Benghazi was a long time ago.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 6/3/2013 @ 8:15 am

    But Issa’s 1972 dropped charge wasn’t too long ago.

    Looks to me like the Obama administration just green lighted everyone to dig into Obama’s entire history from when he was about 12 to date.

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  24. Tell me about this “new civility” again.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  25. An four decade old arrest record is the perfect rebuttal to a charge of malfeasance in office. Totally.

    SPQR (768505)

  26. ‘So Mr. Plouffe, back last April, when you were daring Romney to release his tax returns, had you any contact with Schulman, Lerner, or any of the outlets which had received USC 7213 information’

    narciso (3fec35)

  27. BTW, I am beginning to think that the re-election of Barack Obama was the biggest disaster to hit the USA in my lifetime, a place previously held by the VietNam War.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  28. Benghazi was a long time ago, but Issa’s dismissed charges from 41 years ago and no charges from 21 years ago are very relevant because hyper-leftist groups filed complaints.

    JD (b63a52)

  29. Issa is too tough a guy to let this do anything but urge him on. That’s fine with me. To deal with Chicago Rules, you have to be tough, and look both ways before crossing the street.

    Mike K (dc6ffe)

  30. 22. “What you should hold against him is he’s rewriting the rules of the game.”

    – Steve57

    No. He’s really not.

    Comment by Leviticus (b98400) — 6/3/2013 @ 8:23 am

    Yeah, actually he is. Despite media denials he’s bringing the game that was previously only played in Chicago nationwide. He’s doing stuff Nixon only dreamed about.

    Even the attorney that defended the NYT in the Pentagon Papers case said in a recent editorial that Obama has entered uncharted territory with his assault on the press. Which is only one illustration of how he’s rewriting the rules of “the game.”

    If you don’t think he’s rewriting the rules, then look at what he’s doing with a charge that was dropped in 1972 and imagine what he and his successors will do with your medical history once they have that.

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  31. “imagine what he and his successors will do with your medical history once they have that”

    Steve57 – Thomas Eagleton anybody?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  32. 27. BTW, I am beginning to think that the re-election of Barack Obama was the biggest disaster to hit the USA in my lifetime, a place previously held by the VietNam War.

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 6/3/2013 @ 8:29 am

    I’m don’t. I think Dave Swindle put it best in an article he wrote before the last election:

    http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/11/04/the-15-best-books-for-understanding-barack-obamas-mysterious-political-theology/?singlepage=true

    Sitting here on this Sunday morning before the election, the Sun now up, reflecting back on these years scouring through dusty old Marxist books, trying to understand a president who built his career on a mountain of lies, I confess a peace with either electoral result on Tuesday. A part of me almost wishes that Obama steals wins reelection (as I anticipate he will). The thought of him quietly retiring to a mansion in Hawaii in January to live out the rest of his life in comfort and adoration should inspire nausea. Only if Obama wins reelection do conservatives have a chance to hold him accountable for Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and all the crimes we don’t even know about yet. The man has blood on his hands and we can’t let him get away with it.

    An ancient dictum popularized in recent years by the late Christopher Hitchens on the path forward, should Tuesday disappoint:

    Fiat justitia ruat caelum
    Do Justice and Let the Skies Fall

    The man was prescient, no? We are now learning of crimes we didn’t know about last November. There are others that will come to light. As Chris Kyle wrote before his death about Obama, there are people in the military and in intelligence who know the real stories and will talk just as soon as they can. As Kyle put it (paraphrasing) “Mr. President your secrets are safe for now.”

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  33. 31. Steve57 – Thomas Eagleton anybody?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 6/3/2013 @ 8:40 am

    I was thinking more of “Joe the Plumber.”

    That’s an example of how Obama is rewriting the rules. In the past it was common for a politician to go after a politician. But now Obama is going after ordinary citizens.

    And if anyone wants to pipe up and say Obama, who only got elected Senator by rifling through the files the gub’mint had to find some dirt on his opponents, had nothing to do with democratic functionaries releasing dirt on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, stow it. Only Obama acolytes are stupid enough to believe that.

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  34. There have been at least three ethics complaints filed against Issa

    7.Where do I go to file an ethics charge against Plouffe? [And/or Obama]
    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 6/3/2013 @ 7:38 am

    Exactly, where do we go to file ethics complaints, we should out do 3 in about 1/100th of a second for the president. But it does show they must fear Issa is getting traction.

    What a picture.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  35. 29.Issa is too tough a guy to let this do anything but urge him on. That’s fine with me. To deal with Chicago Rules, you have to be tough, and look both ways before crossing the street.

    Comment by Mike K (dc6ffe) — 6/3/2013 @ 8:34 am

    Jim Treacher just emailed to say “Thanks for the advice, but where were you when I needed you?”

    Russ from Winterset (6354df)

  36. What it says about Obama is that he’s perfectly willing to use taxpayer money to pay Plouffe, and the whole sorry pack of prevaricators on the WH payroll, to tell wide-eyed whoppers so devoid of even tangential contact with the truth because he and his teleprompters would be laughed off the stage if he tried to sell such idiotic nonsense in person.

    Only a fool or a sycophant worships at the feet of a lying coward.

    ropelight (c77ced)

  37. Even if this is all true, what is the relevance?

    If Issa is dishonest, that might mean he might protect Obama, too, so maybe he’s going easy?

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  38. Damn Mr President, what a terrible hat.

    notsomsm (c66120)

  39. “I was thinking more of “Joe the Plumber.””

    Steve57 – Since your reference was to health records and the thread is about politicians, the disclosures about Eagleton immediately came to mind.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  40. Leviticus #14: Games have rules … it’s not clear to me that Teh One is constrained by any rules … moral, ethical, constitutional, traditional. This gives him enormous advantages when dealing with opponents like Republicans who feel “bad” when they break the rules. The rules that eh ignores are of two types, rules known to Hte One and exploited, and rules unknown to Hte One which result in little embarassments like Benghazi. Most of the rules that Teh One is unaware of are based on historical events, some quite recent. For example, unknown to Hte One, but nevertheless worth remembering, are “peace through strength” and “nature abhors a vacuum”. We are going to have an opportunity to experience any number of miseries as eh stumbles his way forward, learning failure by failure. Since Teh One is solely focused on crushing his opponents, who are currently domestic, each of these catastrophically mishandled events will present him with yet another chance to vilify those he considers enemies. Today’s drop in the manufacturing index to 49 (contraction) is being blamed on reductions in government spending, is one minute example.

    Life is good for Hte One since each new disaster will be exciting, giving him another chance to exercise his imagination and outflank his adversaries by ignoring a new set of rules that his “enemies” have taken for granted. The IRS scandal is a good example of this. Most of us foolishly thought that abusing the IRS was beyond the pale. But Teh One recognized this assumption as false and exploited it for two and a half years and one reelection before finally having to deal with the consequences. And this will prove to be yet another opportunity for him since he can ignore a new set of “rules” and flip the expected result.

    This is very liberating. At some point we won’t need any rules at all, except for the latest command from our block captain. For example, if Teh One needs to set a new steel production record for his next speech at the UN, we might be required to turn in our knives, forks, hoes, shovels, etc., all to be melted down to make maximum leader look omniscient. With Teh One’s lust for power, it is very unlikely that we will be able to stop at the banana republic stage. I’m looking for a Full Mao endpoint.

    bobathome (c0c2b5)

  41. No. He’s really not.

    Yes, he really is.

    Rob Crawford (e6f27f)

  42. Didn’t Obama win his first election by turning on a more senior democrat community activist, taking her out at the ankles by challenging signatures on her nomination petitions and having her disqualified?

    That sounds like breaking the rules at the start, and pulled along by experienced rule breakers Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn, no less.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  43. Lighten up on him, guys. It must have been absolutely H.E. double toothpicks to go through junior high school with a name like Pfluffy. It prolly scarred him for life.

    Besides, MSNBC ratings are stuck in the toilet and they desperately need a new demon to demonize. Romney and Seamus were defeated, Rove’s old hat and has turned into kind of a yawner for them, so they need new blood. Pfluffy’s just trying to help out his friends.

    elissa (090ff1)

  44. These are old charges:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/01/24/110124fa_fact_lizza?currentPage=all

    In 1997, he decided to run for the United States Senate….Issa didn’t even win the Republican primary. Although he outspent his main opponent, Matt Fong, the state treasurer, by some nine million dollars, he lost by five points. His campaign fell apart after a burst of investigative reporting raised serious questions about his honesty and his past. Many politicians have committed indiscretions in earlier years: maybe they had an affair or hired an illegal immigrant as a nanny. Issa, it turned out, had, among other things, been indicted for stealing a car, arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, and accused by former associates of burning down a building.

    This is what the Wikipedia article on Darrell Issa says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darrell_Issa Business career

    Quantum/Steal Stopper

    After leaving the military, Issa and his second wife, Kathy Stanton, moved back to the Cleveland area. They pooled their savings, sold their cars, and borrowed $50,000 from his family to invest in Quantum Enterprises, an electronics manufacturer run by a friend from Cleveland Heights that assembled bug zappers, CB radio parts and other consumer products for other companies. One of those clients, car alarm manufacturer Steal Stopper, would become the path to Issa’s fortune. It was struggling badly, and he took control of it by foreclosing a $60,000 loan he had made to it when its founder, Joey Adkins, missed a payment. Adkins remained as an employee.[9]

    Issa soon turned Steal Stopper around, to the point that it was supplying Ford with thousands of car alarms and negotiating a similar deal with Toyota. But early in the morning of September 7, 1982, the offices and factory of Quantum and Steal Stopper in the Cleveland suburb of Maple Heights, caught fire. The fire took three hours to put out. The buildings and almost all inventory within were destroyed. An investigation of the cause of the fire noted “suspicious burn patterns” with fires starting in two places aided by an accelerant such as gasoline.[9] Adkins said that Issa appeared to prepare for a fire by increasing the fire insurance policy 462% three weeks previously, and by removing computer equipment holding accounting and customer information. Adkins said that he thinks Issa set the fire on purpose. The insurance company was suspicious of arson and paid only about one-tenth the insured amount. [19]

    This is from the New Yorker article about him:

    A lieutenant in the Maple Heights Fire Department noted in his incident report that the “cause of this fire appears to be electrical.” The fire had started at a workbench where light bulbs for bug zappers were tested. Almost everything of value was gone. Fortunately for Issa, he had recently increased his fire insurance.

    Even if arson, there could be other people with motives. It could be a competitor, too, or someone with an interest in car thefts continuing!

    This was Cleveland.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  45. Unfortunately for David Plouffe this is a peculiar scandal – he can’t suggest or start an IRS audit of Darrell Issa.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  46. “Unfortunately for David Plouffe this is a peculiar scandal – he can’t suggest or start an IRS audit of Darrell Issa.”

    Sammy – You are mistaken. There is no reason Plouffe cannot suggest an audit of Issa.

    If you take the time to read through the old hit pieces by Lizza and Eisenberg(? then at the LA Times), you will see that they are based largely upon hearsay and interviews with people potentially with axes to grind against Issa. The only charge that stuck was for the possession of an unregistered gun in college, for which he received probation.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  47. Plouffe & Co. sound pretty desperate.

    Good!

    Patricia (be0117)

  48. “Yeah, actually he is. Despite media denials he’s bringing the game that was previously only played in Chicago nationwide. He’s doing stuff Nixon only dreamed about.”

    – Steve57

    What year did “Advise and Consent” come out, again? 2009?

    Leviticus (b98400)

  49. I think if the press was 1/2 as hostile to Obama as they were to Nixon, Obama would have never made it past 2 years in office.

    And that was with Nixon not being a Conservative. I think the only aspects of Nixon that was in line with conservativism was his desire to prosecute the Vietnam War to victory and that he was a Republican, not a Democrat.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  50. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 6/3/2013 @ 10:08 am

    Sammy – You are mistaken. There is no reason Plouffe cannot suggest an audit of Issa.

    This is probably not an opportune time for that. It would kind of backfire.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  51. “he took control of it by foreclosing a $60,000 loan he had made to it when its founder, Joey Adkins, missed a payment. Adkins remained as an employee.”

    If you are looking for someone with a motive to nail Issa, how about the guy who told the cops about Issa supposedly taking stuff out ?

    “Adkins said that he thinks Issa set the fire on purpose.”

    Cui bono, as the Romans said.

    Mike K (dc6ffe)

  52. Sammy Finkelman #44 – it would appear, more and more, that you should be attending your High School reunion in Chelm …

    Alasdair (867c8a)

  53. 48. What year did “Advise and Consent” come out, again? 2009?

    Comment by Leviticus (b98400) — 6/3/2013 @ 10:21 am

    I hate to break it to you, Leviticus, but that movie was fiction. The Obama administration isn’t some Hollywood flight of fantasy about what could happen.

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  54. Steve57 #53 – isn’t that part of our current problems ? The current Administration trying to apply Hollywood themes to actual governing ?

    Alasdair (867c8a)

  55. Alasdair, I think the real problem is that the electorate has been largely conditioned to believe that their government should look like what they see in “The American President”…

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112346/

    …or episodes of “The West Wing.”

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  56. The attempted-smearing of Congressman Issa by the President’s henchman Dan Plouffe actually reinforces the notion that the White House is not above smearing people…which is why they’re being investigated in the first place.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  57. All the King’s Men was fiction, too – that doesn’t mean it wasn’t rooted in reality.

    How unbelievably starry-eyed do people have to be to think that American politics hasn’t been shot through with every sort of vice, corruption, and dirty-dealing since its earliest days?

    Leviticus (b98400)

  58. …(I)n both the Ohio and Nebraska primaries, back to back, McGovern was confronted for the first time with the politics of the rabbit-punch and the groin shot, and in both states he found himself dangerously vulnerable to this kind of thing. Dirty politics confused him. He was not ready for it….

    This is one of the oldest and most effective tricks in politics. Every hack in the business has used it in times of trouble, and it has even been elevated to the level of political mythology in a story about one of Lyndon Johnson’s early campaigns in Texas. The race was close and Johnson was getting worried. Finally he told his campaign manager to start a massive rumor campaign about his opponent’s life-long habit of enjoying carnal knowledge of his own barnyard sows.

    “Christ, we can’t get a way calling him a pig-f*cker,” the campaign manager protested. “Nobody’s going to believe a thing like that.”

    “I know,” Johnson replied. “But let’s make the sonofabitch deny it.”

    Leviticus (b98400)

  59. The casual reaction by some people to the smearing of Congressman Issa reminds me of the ink blot test, which is more formally called the Rorschach Test.
    One person looks at an ink blot, and sees a playful bunny rabbit in a meadow. Someone else viewing the same ink blot sees the visage of the laughing Koch Brothers casting a spell upon disabled, orphaned children.
    In the case of Congressman Issa, I suppose a person’s reaction to Dan Plouffe’s smear-tactics depends on how one feels about the American system of jurisprudence which affords the benefit of innocence until proven guilty in court.

    Of course, Darrel Issa was not even prosecuted for either of those two situations. And for people who don’t put great weight upon truth or facts, it might not matter to them.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  60. My mother onmce met someone who was originally and she said that she laughed. (because she had read a book aboiut Chelm stories)

    This was about, I guess, 1953.

    There was a pretty big city by that name in Poland.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  61. Comment by Elephant Stone (6a6f37) — 6/3/2013 @ 12:37 pm

    I suppose a person’s reaction to Dan Plouffe’s smear-tactics depends on how one feels about the American system of jurisprudence which affords the benefit of innocence until proven guilty in court.

    It’s more, I think how one feels, or can be made to feel, about Republicans.

    Halfof David Plouffe’s job in years past was cultivating prejudice against Republicans who run for office. In many ways it was the whole 2012 campaign.

    That somebody could be guilty and not prosecuted is a pretty universal belief.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  62. Leviticus,
    I was surprised to learn that VP Jefferson paid someone to print up nasty things about P Adams (I think that was it)
    but just because things have “always been nasty” is not a reason to excuse nastiness when you find it
    and institutionalizing it doesn’t have to be tolerated, especially when only one party gets away with it

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  63. “This is probably not an opportune time for that. It would kind of backfire.”

    Sammy – Is there a reason Plouffe would have to disclose what he communicates to the IRS?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  64. 57. How unbelievably starry-eyed do people have to be to think that American politics hasn’t been shot through with every sort of vice, corruption, and dirty-dealing since its earliest days?

    Comment by Leviticus (b98400) — 6/3/2013 @ 12:34 pm

    How is it starry-eyed to say that at least during the days of Tammany Hall or the spoils system you understood exactly what was going on, as opposed to now when you’re supposed to pretend that the unionistas that not only infest the bureaucracy but demand more bureaucracy are somehow well intentioned?

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  65. MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 6/3/2013 @ 1:01 pm:
    I was surprised to learn that VP Jefferson paid someone to print up nasty things about P Adams…

    Yeah. Then he stiffed the hatchetman. Who turned around and became the chief promoter of the Sally Hemings story against Jefferson.

    Rich Rostrom (47c4e2)

  66. I don’t understand how Jody Arias recently got convicted of murder in Arizona.
    I guess her attorney hadn’t heard of the “Other people have committed murder, so what’s the big deal ??!” defense.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  67. “just because things have “always been nasty” is not a reason to excuse nastiness when you find it
    and institutionalizing it doesn’t have to be tolerated, especially when only one party gets away with it.”

    – MD in Philly

    True, true. But it’s also important to keep in mind how common this sort of thing is, lest we vilify selectively.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  68. James Callender, the subject in Safire’s ‘Scandalmonger’

    narciso (3fec35)

  69. “I don’t understand how Jody Arias recently got convicted of murder in Arizona.
    I guess her attorney hadn’t heard of the “Other people have committed murder, so what’s the big deal ??!” defense.”

    – Elephant Stone

    I also didn’t see anyone arguing that Jody Arias had “Changed the Game!!!”, murder-wise.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  70. Beyond what level of corruption are we vilifying selectively? Just saying “they all do it” when demonstratively they don’t all do it isn’t any kind of standard.

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  71. I also didn’t see anyone arguing that Jody Arias had “Changed the Game!!!”, murder-wise.

    Jody Arias was writing federal regulations which have the force of law? I thought she was a former waitress. Do tell!

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  72. “Just saying “they all do it” when demonstratively they don’t all do it isn’t any kind of standard.”

    – Steve57

    I’m not saying they “all” do it. I’m saying it’s age-old and currently common, and that you should put away your fainting couch.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  73. And ask Elephant Stone about the Arias thing, it’s his analogy.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  74. Smearing is like Facebook or Twitter—everyone’s doing it !

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  75. 73. I’m not saying they “all” do it. I’m saying it’s age-old and currently common, and that you should put away your fainting couch.

    Comment by Leviticus (b98400) — 6/3/2013 @ 1:20 pm

    Just because a bunch of Chicago aldermen and several Illinois governors commonly do it, and have been convicted of it, doesn’t make it common on a nationwide basis.

    And speaking of basis, what basis do you have to accuse me of being on my “fainting couch” when I predicted before his election in 2008 that Barack Obama was not only a socialist but a Cook County machine politician?

    He’s doing exactly what I warned people he would do. Why would I be on my “fainting couch” when someone uncovers evidence he’s doing it? That just doesn’t make sense.

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  76. See, Steve, we’re allll just a bunch of sissies who need to revive ourselves from the comfort of a tufted Victorian-era fainting couch—all because we think it is wrong for the President’s henchman to smear the Congressman who is investigating government malfeasance which actually may lead a trail back to the White House.

    All this from the most transparent, most ethical administration in history. Or something.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  77. “Just because a bunch of Chicago aldermen and several Illinois governors commonly do it, and have been convicted of it, doesn’t make it common on a nationwide basis.”

    – Steve57

    You want to pretend that political corruption and dirty tricks are limited to Illinois, that’s your business. Being from New Mexico, I know that’s not the case.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  78. At times we are “surprised” when things hit us personally in the face that we knew happened in abstract,
    and then we are surprised by things that happen which we think are beyond the norm.
    Leviticus, you seem to think that no matter how bad something is, it is still within the norm,
    well, maybe in some ways some things are
    BUT
    many things with Obama and co have not been so common as they have been excused when it has come out in the press.
    Somehow JFK got away with what seems like pretty outrageous stuff to some of us, even though it was 50 yrs ago.
    Does that mean we would not be outraged to find out today of Secret Service people asked to sneak people in and out of the WH for sexual laisons and a president dependent on daily adjustment of doses of narcotics, stimulants, and, tranquilizers?
    I think we would be surprised and shocked as a whole
    and if it was George W. I think we would hear about is as soon as there was even a suspicion and no one would make excuses
    and if it was a dem many would try to bury it and excuse it if it got out

    part of the reason is that Repubs/ conservatives especially generally claim to stand for something, so if you don’t live up to your own standards, especially if you try to hide it, you get called a hypocrite
    but Dems don’t seem to have standards

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  79. When you have five governors in prison, then we can talk, the last being Blago,

    narciso (3fec35)

  80. I don’t think most conservatives do villify selectively, we’re just tired when conservatives get pounced on for things that others get away with.

    Conservatives who defend Bush re Iraq, for example, do not think that all president’s lie about National Security, we think that:
    1. the majority of the world’s intel did believe that saddam had WMD
    2. we know Bush gave many reasons for invading Iraq and that WMD was just one of them
    3. we know there is still the possibility we will find saddam’s WMD in Syria, if they get looked for

    and, we’re happy to discuss the merits of invading Iraq, whether it was a good or bad idea, if someone wants to drop the “Bush lied and did it for oil” mantra and think

    meanwhile others want to praise Obama for going into libya without Congressional approval because he is Obama

    and that is selective, but not by conservatives

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  81. Rake me over the coals, fueled by the warming goo of dead hobos for this, but I tend to agree with Dana Perino’s take on this earlier on The Five…

    While Issa’s observation was entirely accurate, he made himself part of the story, which doesn’t help us. His case is strong enough to bring these people into kicking and screaming into the light of truth, without encouraging Plouffe’s mendouchity (terrific word, BTW).

    Poking at the lemurs through the cage only gives them a new direction in which to chase after the LIV’s.

    Make of that what you will. Just my .02.

    My Sharia Moor (59f74c)

  82. 1. Issa was never convicted and is ergo innocent as a matter of law and anyone having information to the contrary as a matter of fact has the burden of proof in providing it.

    2. The law on marijuana itself is evil. There is nothing immoral about smoking it and Obama is blameless in that.

    3. He is not, however, blameless in enforcing that evil law. Neither are any who do so.

    4. Whatever. Obama’s administration is taking on more holes than British and German warships at Jutland.

    5. Hey, that’s a maritime reference Obama’s ghost writer himself just might appreciate!

    Former Conservative (f9e702)

  83. There has been a game change. But as others have pointed out it is not really a change in people. The sea change is not within politicians’ hearts and souls, or a change in the ethics of their benefactors and supporters (including yellow journalists), the lies are no different, nor are there changes in the degree of their lust for power and access to the powerful. There have always been agents provocateur. That stuff has all has been going on over the millenniums.

    What has changed drastically is the method and breadth and speed of communication which magnifies all these traits and acts and messaging. Today we have internet, twitter, blanket email, computer databases to be hacked, Anonymous, and 24 hour cable news cycles.

    Anybody who thinks this hasn’t changed the game and how the game is played for all sides and interests all around the world is not paying attention.

    elissa (090ff1)

  84. Make that millennia. geez

    elissa (090ff1)

  85. is not a reason to excuse nastiness when you find it and institutionalizing it doesn’t have to be tolerated, especially when only one party gets away with it

    No, not excused, it is celebrated in some quarters, because it re-inforces their belief that every man is a low down, despicable, conniving sunuvabeech despite whatever acts of charity or good said man has done. The straight-arrow, stand-up guy is to be mocked because nobody is that way, deep down beneath the layers of the onion.

    Colonel Haiku (048509)

  86. I’m not saying they “all” do it. I’m saying it’s age-old and currently common

    So?

    and that you should put away your fainting couch.

    Explain who is on a “fainting couch” and what precisely they said to earn that description.

    Your unspoken contention seems to be that we are not allow to point out a smear because there have been many smears throughout American political history.

    (Smears that you are able to point out to us because . . .

    . . . somebody once pointed them out to you.)

    If that it your argument I reject it. If that is not your argument then you’re going to have to be a little more clear about what you’re criticizing — and why you seem to have more disdain for those of us who point out a smear than for those who perpetrate it.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  87. it’s always ok to smear an american politician I think

    but it’s also ok for people to point it out when it happens

    it’s an I’m ok you’re ok thing

    happyfeet (c60db2)

  88. Leviticus:

    How unbelievably starry-eyed do people have to be to think that American politics hasn’t been shot through with every sort of vice, corruption, and dirty-dealing since its earliest days?

    I think being a complete cynic about politics is the only way your ideas can compete — not only here but in any adult conversation, so that’s what you’ve done. It’s what many young people do until they gain enough experience to be able to make knowledgeable judgments about what works and what doesn’t work.

    It’s the equivalent of saying that everyone in school cheats so why bother studying or trying, because you will always lose. But even if it’s true that everyone cheats, that’s the game you’re stuck with if you decide to participate. Politics is the game we’re stuck with if we decide to participate in self-government. Like it, change it, or opt out completely — those are the only options I see. However, playing the role of detached critic doesn’t seem very productive.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  89. If Leviticus wants to learn cynicism I could tell him about a lawyer who defended a middle-aged man accused of having sex with a fourteen-year old girl, a felony in Illinois. It so happened, that the old man paid for the sex, and “that the child was a prostitute” was a defense for sex with a child above the age of 13. The state recognized this and reduced the charge to misdemeanor statutory rape, for which the defense of prostitution was not available. The day of the trial, the defense attorney interviewed the parents of the child. They somehow got the impression that the fact that they knew of their daughter’s conduct and were the beneficiaries of some of the “gifts” she got from the defendant would come out at trial. They told the prosecutor that they and their daughter wanted the charges dropped. The misdemeanor branch prosecutor thought she had no choice but to have the case “stricken on leave to reinstate” which under Illinois’s speedy trial statute meant that the defendant could never be prosecuted after the passage of 160 days. Which he was not.

    Mahankatman (875f57)

  90. I’ve said something like this (probably several times) before, and I would like to say it in a way that does not sound condescending or paternalistic, but in a way that is friendly and paternal (in a good way).
    I went through phases in life concerning politics
    1) first phase, infancy until maybe 10, America is great, what else?
    2) second phase, preteen through mid-late 30’s (both my personal BC and AD) America is bad like everyone else, few people can be trusted, and I’m not sure who they are
    3) third phase, the last 15 years or so, America is filled with problems, but there is no other country on earth that has a reason to look down on us. America is the only nation in the history of the world (that I know of) that had opportunity to have essentially world domination, but used that power to reconstruct the world
    and many people can’t be as trusted as much as you think or would like, but there are others you can trust to be deceitful at every opportunity they get, and don’t let them get in power if you can help it

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  91. “and why you seem to have more disdain for those of us who point out a smear than for those who perpetrate it.”

    – Patterico

    I have infinitely more disdain for those who perpetrate and you know it.

    I think MD in Philly’s third-phase conception of America is spot-on, and I agree with it.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  92. “I think being a complete cynic about politics is the only way your ideas can compete — not only here but in any adult conversation, so that’s what you’ve done.”

    – DRJ

    I think a lot of people on this site talk to me about having adult conversations without actually trying to have them. elissa did the same thing the other day – asked me if I wanted to “contribute to adult discussion” or some such. I said I would love to, and what did she wish to discuss? There was no answer.

    Want to discuss an idea? I would love to discuss an idea. You can pick. And we can use the classic “discuss until you can state the other side’s perspective to their satisfaction” method.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  93. you want we can talk about jewish pasta dishes

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  94. “I think being a complete cynic about politics is the only way your ideas can compete — not only here but in any adult conversation.”

    – DRJ

    And I think there’s far more empirical support for holding politicians in contempt than there is for respecting them.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  95. I have infinitely more disdain for those who perpetrate and you know it.

    Who is the target of your disdain in this thread? The smearers, or the people who noted the smears?

    Patterico (9c670f)

  96. I have no disdain for anyone commenting on this thread. I’m just perplexed that something so relatively innocuous is being treated so seriously. It’s a mountain out of a molehill.

    And I’ve said this like a million times, and wish people would hear it and process it: my disdain for Obama is off the charts.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  97. Want to discuss an idea? I would love to discuss an idea. You can pick.

    Who do you think asked Patterico to post on the newest Zimmerman development and other topics, because you’ve been pleading for more substance? I won’t speak for Patterico but do you really think we want to talk about criminal law or Zimmerman when we see Obama destroying America and our children’s future?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  98. And why would you have any disdain for Patterico pointing out a wrong?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  99. OK. Thanks. What do you want me to say? Talk about what you want to talk about, and I’ll do the same, and at some point we’ll overlap with a polite and productive disagreement on a substantive issue and remember what it was we used to love so much about this place.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  100. There is no disdain here – none at all. We are just processing things completely differently, and it’s immensely puzzling to me.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  101. What is this passive aggressive carp, seriously, Plouffe, the handmaiden for a firm that trades with Iran, MTM, is trying to rationalize the systemic abuses of power with the IRS, as he tried to whitewash the assasination of Amb. Stevens, this is really standard operating procedure.

    narciso (3fec35)

  102. leviticus is a disdainful disdainer is what I heard but I’m not sure i believe it

    I think it might could be hyperbole

    you have to vet these kinds of smears carefully cause some people

    they try to trick ya is what they do

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  103. Leviticus,

    You have responsibility for the discussion, too. Instead of berating people for not talking about what you want to talk about — you know, productive things — why not ask questions to figure out why people are so upset about these topics? Doesn’t it interest you at all to see why people who you claim to like talking to are so focused on these topics? Do you really think we are so shallow that we sense a political victory in these scandals so we’re consumed with them?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  104. What can we do to reign in the use of Executive Orders? Are they constitutional? Were they ever constitutional? What are the implications of drone proliferation for life in America? The rest of the world? Do we have a sensible drug policy? Why? Is Gonzales v. Raich more offensive as drug policy, or as an expansion of the commerce power? Do we need more parties? Why? Will Californian emigration be better for the Mountain West than it is for California? How do we interpret the Constitution? How do we justify theoretically judicial deference to non-binding administrative decisions? What does that even mean? What is actions are morally justifiable in the fight against systemic abortion? What exactly is wrong with “amnesty”?

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  105. Or is it the political stuff you find so distasteful? I used to feel that way. It made me feel dirty to think people didn’t care passionately about politics but just saw it as an occupation or even a game. I suppose that was disheartening to realize that, but that also applies to life.

    Frankly, I find it comforting that people in all walks of life and professions work to earn a living and provide for themselves and their families. It’s people like Obama who seem to have devoted their lives to an ideological agenda that scare me.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  106. Well when I think of Plouffe, I think of him as the “not yet indicted, but certain to be convicted Plouffe’ster”.

    Comanche Voter (29e1a6)

  107. I’ll be glad to talk about everything in comment 104 but it will be a purely academic exercise until Republicans control the Presidency and/or Congress. Despite what the media and academics claim, only Republicans compromise. Having Democrats in control means the only possible discussion will be deciding what Democratic policies we should root for.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  108. “Instead of berating people for not talking about what you want to talk about — you know, productive things — why not ask questions to figure out why people are so upset about these topics?”

    – DRJ

    I know why you’re upset – Rome is burning and Obama knows it, but the only thing he can think to do is implicate once-charged arsonist Darrell Issa. I know why you’re upset.

    Let me put it a different way? What are you gonna do about it? Obama doesn’t want to talk to you. I do. You have no chance to change his mind; you might change mine. You already have, many times.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  109. “Frankly, I find it comforting that people in all walks of life and professions work to earn a living and provide for themselves and their families. It’s people like Obama who seem to have devoted their lives to an ideological agenda that scare me.”

    – DRJ

    Yes. Exactly.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  110. Leviticus,

    Also, if you want to change the topic then you should start your own blog. All of those topics are valid and interesting, but Patterico and his commenters are talking about other things. You used to like talking about those things but now you don’t. That’s fine — our interests change — but I didn’t ask you for suggestions of things to talk about. I asked you to explore why we are talking about other topics.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  111. “I’ll be glad to talk about everything in comment 104 but it will be a purely academic exercise until Republicans control the Presidency and/or Congress. Despite what the media and academics claim, only Republicans compromise. Having Democrats in control means the only possible discussion will be deciding what Democratic policies we should root for.”

    – DRJ

    That’s fine. At least we can get a head start on things, so we’re ready to go with some actual vetted ideas when the Republicans step in to fix everything. I’m down with that.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  112. teh wisp of a guy
    lightly loafered limp of wrist
    it’s just david poof

    Colonel Haiku (4d19f2)

  113. “Also, if you want to change the topic then you should start your own blog.”

    – DRJ

    That’s fair enough, I suppose.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  114. Leviticus,

    Here’s an example of what I’m thinking: Are people upset that Obama threatens their livelihoods? The rule of law? Traditional values? Or something else?

    I suspect different people would answer these questions in different ways, and the first step to finding answers is figuring out what the problem is. It’s not enough to say “Rome is burning” and leave it at that. There’s more to it than that.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  115. How bout you and I start a blog where we talk about all those things from comment 104 that you’re so happy to talk about? You and I get some interesting, productive discussion, and everybody else on this blog gets my irritating ringing sound out of their ears – everybody’s happy!

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  116. ==OK. I’m truly not trying to give you a hard time, L. But I confess I am on something of a quest to understand if you come here because you want to be taken seriously as a respected intellectual contributor/challenger to the dialogue on this blog –or just as a purveyor of one liners. And I guess I’m having some trouble figuring that out lately.
    Comment by elissa (07b801) — 5/31/2013 @ 12:55 pm
    ==

    Leviticus@93–I believe this is my comment on the Cruz thread to which you refer. Your memory of it is somewhat faulty as reflected in your paraphrase as you can see. I do consider you to be an adult, and I did not use the phrase “adult conversation” which I feel in that context would have been patronizing. I apologize to you for not responding to your later request to select a new/different topic on which we could have a serious discussion, but since I consider this to be Pat’s blog and therefore generally defer to him as the thread subject matter setter, I did not feel it was my place.

    elissa (090ff1)

  117. Because that’s all he’s ever done, that’s what did to Alice Palmer and other rivals in the State senate, to Jack Ryan and Blair Hull, what he did to a degree in 2008, to the only one who fought him
    (not McCain) and to Romney, there is no positive agenda to him, that’s why ‘you have to vote for bills in order to find what’s in them’ then he attacks the Court, when they try to overrule him.

    narciso (3fec35)

  118. “Here’s an example of what I’m thinking: Are people upset that Obama threatens their livelihoods? The rule of law? Traditional values? Or something else?”

    – DRJ

    That’s a fantastic question. Let’s talk about that.

    I think it’s the rule of law, more than anything – because I think Americans value the rule of law, more than anything (or at least more consistently than anything). I mean that in the best possible way: for decades an aristocracy has tried to convince us that the thing we care most about is a livelihood, but I think what we care most about is the rule of law.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  119. Leviticus,

    IMO talking about how Republicans would fix things is probably fruitless, for at least two reasons: First, the answers that work today probably won’t work in a different place and time. Second, it reminds me of Romney’s detailed plan for his Presidency. It looks efficient but it never helps to get the cart before the horse.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  120. Easy, guys. Leviticus, say what you want but be prepared to be called on it. No biggie.

    nk (875f57)

  121. I actually don’t want to reign in use of executive orders. This seems to be a problem with the party out of power at any particular time in history. It’s up to the Supreme Court to decide the Constitutionality. I will leave it to them if it ever comes up.

    I don’t think we have a sensible drug policy.

    I don’t think we need more parties. The two we have are entertaining enough.

    I don’t think the Mountain West has much chance as a conference.

    I am not a lawyer nor a Constitutional scholar, but that doesn’t mean I have no opinion. Judicial deference has a long tradition in history. I’ll leave it up to you to explain what it means.

    Moral arguments in the fight against systemic abortion are up to the individual based on his or her moral code. No one has the right to hurt individuals or damage private or public property to pursue or fight any issue.

    It is impossible to judge the right or wrong of amnesty without context.

    So, there we go.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  122. elissa,

    No need to apologize. I realized why you didn’t start up a new topic, and your reasoning was understood and respected.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  123. “Leviticus, say what you want but be prepared to be called on it. No biggie.”

    – nk

    Totally fair. I’ve been called out plenty of times on this blog, often to my betterment. It’s part of my education.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  124. amnesty is less important than trying to cowardly ram through a convoluted rube goldberg immigration scheme without debate

    at the end of the day what are Team R’s principles concerning immigration and border security?

    the Meghan’s Coward Daddy plan what he worked out with smarmy smarmy roobs and the odious Chuck Schumer is purposefully designed not to answer that question

    that’s really messed up and sick

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  125. “IMO talking about how Republicans would fix things is probably fruitless, for at least two reasons.”

    – DRJ

    What I want to talk about, more than anything, is how WE would fix things. We. Us. This community that you and Pat have built here. I want us to think about solutions instead of complaining about obvious problems. If every post on this site ended with “How do we fix this?” and the community took that plea to heart, I would be as happy as a clam.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  126. I want us to have an idea of how we would fix things so that we have a better idea of who we ought to vote for.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  127. Leviticus,

    I think one reason Obama is such a threat is that he is changing every area of our lives — our livelihoods, respect for the rule of law, our relationship to government and its intrusion into our lives, education, and traditional values like marriage. Even issues that were fairly stable (like abortion and contraception) are being changed or expanded. And that doesn’t even touch on things like health care, which is going to change dramatically.

    IMO one of America’s strengths has always been that it is a society that is resistant to big change. It’s the reason I think Americans have been viewed as a largely conservative population. Asking us to change so much and so fast is a problem. Asking us to do it in virtually every area of our lives will change who we are.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  128. Just not leaving Issa dangling helps — Obama has to talk to him. Showing contempt for Obama helps — taking some of the sheen off the fool’s gold. And if you’re not going to pick on the most powerful man on Earth, whom are you going to feel good picking on? It helps our morale.

    nk (875f57)

  129. “IMO one of America’s strengths has always been that it is a society that is resistant to big change. It’s the reason I think Americans have been viewed as a largely conservative population. Asking us to change so much and so fast is a problem. Asking us to do it in virtually every area of our lives will change who we are.”

    – DRJ

    And yet here we are – changing quickly, or supporting someone who would change us quickly. So who is this “us” you speak of, if by “us” you mean Americans? How do things change without our consent, tacit or implicit? What perplexes so many so much is that Obama was elected to a second term – that people who were duped weren’t the people who voted for Obama in 2008 so much as the people who thought that his election in 2008 was an accident.

    I think that if our institutions change, or our government changes, it’s because we have changed. It’s the cruelly beautiful thing about republican government – we are as accountable for our decisions as politicians are for theirs.

    The thing I hold against Obama, more than anything, is his failure to respect the legitimacy of the political minority in America. That is the most un-American thing about him.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  130. I’m happy to pontificate on how I would fix things but I know that my answer today probably won’t be the same as my answer next year.

    It’s like saying how I would fix Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, pensions, etc., during the Bush years vs now. In general, my answer is to privatize them at the state and federal level, and to push as much of the control and responsibility down to the state level as we can do politically. (In other words, I would endorse the Wisconsin model.) But if you are looking for detail, today’s fix won’t fix tomorrow’s problems.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  131. I don’t think Americans have changed, Leviticus, and thus the pendulum will swing back in response to Obama’s extremism.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  132. Well it was a smaller cohort, who should have known better, they succeeded not because of any talent he has, but with the cooperation of the press, and the beck and call of the mechanisms of government,

    narciso (3fec35)

  133. Leviticus:

    The thing I hold against Obama, more than anything, is his failure to respect the legitimacy of the political minority in America. That is the most un-American thing about him.

    My feeling is that this is a Western value you and I share, but that may not be as common in the rest of the country. I wonder if Obama’s “Chicago-way” approach is characteristic of political leaders in the larger cities of the East and Midwest.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  134. Okay. Let me take it back a step, then – because you are right.

    “why not ask questions to figure out why people are so upset about these topics? Doesn’t it interest you at all to see why people who you claim to like talking to are so focused on these topics?”

    In the 1940s, LBJ purportedly ordered his Chief of Staff to spread the rumor that his opponent was engaged in serial bestiality. In 1972, McGovern had to contend with “Acid, Amnesty, and Abortion.” In 2013, Darrell Issa has to deal with David Plouffe bringing up some nonsense about an essentially fabricated criminal history.

    Are you particularly upset by Plouffe’s conduct? If so, why?

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  135. “I don’t think Americans have changed, Leviticus, and thus the pendulum will swing back in response to Obama’s extremism.”

    – DRJ

    Why didn’t it swing back in 2012, then? I mean that as an honest question. What do you think will be different in 2016, or whenever the pendulum finally swings back?

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  136. More allegations of Obama administration dirty tricks, this time regarding the campaign to compromise Petraeus into resigning from CIA Director.

    SPQR (768505)

  137. the propaganda sluts carried the day

    you saw candy crowley’s obscene contortions

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  138. Leviticus, how much of “why” it didn’t swing back can be attributed to the IRS harassment and hindering of pro-Republican organizations? How much to other Democrat dirty tricks like the ballot fraud just now coming to light from 2012?

    SPQR (768505)

  139. I don’t think anyone pays much attention to Candy Crowley, feets. Obama’s base less than anyone.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  140. Corruption in any area of life is bad, but most (if not all) of the corruption you detailed was not known to the public for years. When it became widely known, it hurt the reputations of the people responsible and tarnished their legacies. And in the case of people like Nixon, it impacted their careers.

    The problem today is we know what Obama and his henchmen are doing but the media and academics are convincing enough people that it doesn’t matter. This combination of media/academic revisionist history and governmental corruption/coverups is toxic. Americans can’t make good judgments with bad information, and this is institutionalized bad information.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  141. SPQR. That’s a good question. Is it a sustainable one?

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  142. One corrupt election can change history. Just imagine what one corrupt President can do.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  143. oh.

    I just thought the whole candy crowley thing was very disheartening. An open mockery of the electoral process.

    But whatever. That election mattered. I’m not at all sure the next one means much more than a handful of warm

    Game over failmerica but don’t worry you can still ask porky porky chris christie to win you a teddy bear, but you better ask very very nicely.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  144. “The problem today is we know what Obama and his henchmen are doing but the media and academics are convincing enough people that it doesn’t matter. This combination of media/academic revisionist history and governmental corruption/coverups is toxic. Americans can’t make good judgments with bad information, and this is institutionalized bad information.”

    – DRJ

    If modern Americans are spoon-fed their political information by dishonest media and academics, doesn’t that in itself mean that America has changed? And if the answer is “no” and Americans have always been spoon-fed their political information by dishonest media and talking heads, then doesn’t that mean that America ought to change?

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  145. Leviticus–please refer to my comment back @84 which I think addresses your question @135. How many people then heard about the bestiality rumor LBJ wanted to spread? Compare the method of dissemination and the political damage of that episode to its target, compared to Plouffe’s recent fabricated criminal accusations against Rep. Issa and how it is being packaged.

    elissa (090ff1)

  146. “One corrupt election can change history.”

    – DRJ

    You’re telling me.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  147. Why didn’t it swing back in 2012, then?

    I don’t know. I thought it would. My guess is Romney didn’t turn out voters the way Obama did, e.g., he didn’t get people excited enough about him to vote. I think there are many reasons for that: Obama’s relentless personal attacks and fearmongering were effective, and/or Romney didn’t speak well or convincingly to the base. With some voters, it might have been a negative reaction to Romney’s religion or wealth.

    A different candidate might change that, or not. I don’t know. I know what appeals to people in Texas but I’ve given up on what appeals to people in the other 49 states.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  148. If modern Americans are spoon-fed their political information by dishonest media and academics, doesn’t that in itself mean that America has changed?

    I think Americans have changed in their ability to think critically. Especially young people.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  149. elissa,

    I missed that comment. I think it’s spot-on: the intent may remain static, but now the tools are better.

    I don’t know what to do about that. If the answer to speech is more speech, than it’s really up to individuals to see through the smokescreens that new media facilitates. I don’t see a structural solution to the problem you pinpoint. I’d be interested to hear if you thought there was one.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  150. hyperinflation and widespread food insecurity is one possible structural solution what might could help people see through the smokescreens that new media facilitates

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  151. “I think Americans have changed in their ability to think critically. Especially young people.”

    – DRJ

    How does something like that happen? I’ll blame my kids’ stupidity on laptop batteries; what’s my dad’s excuse?

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  152. Newt, Chris Christie or Rudy (as examples) would not have let Candy Crowley get away with what she said at that debate. But Candy and her ilk would never have even tried those stunts at a presidential debate a generation ago.

    elissa (090ff1)

  153. His excuse for me, I mean.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  154. I think the left has changed. They are emboldened. Just look at the way they attack private citizens, the Koch’s, for example. They spend a pittance compared to the professional leftists and unions, and despite that, are portrayed as a threat to America. The mere rumor of them purchasing a newspaper has the activists in a tizzy, and government officials are trying to intercede in private business transactions. Dems are trying to deny them making a private purchase be ause if a libertarian point of view. Surreal. Maybe this has always happened, but I can’t think of anything comparable. Throw in the existing recently surfaced scandals, election fraud, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS, Sebelius, and it seems abundantly clear that they were pushed out past the election, with assistance from the MFM.

    JD (20406c)

  155. I do think it’s possible, DRJ, that a mountain of electronic distractions has deprived young Americans of their ability to focus on anything very seriously, or for very long.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  156. I think communications have changed and change the way politics work, but I don’t think that’s the complete answer. I think we’re also seeing a population that chooses to be low information voters because they have the luxury of so much entertainment and free time. Furthermore, continually indulging in that lifestyle makes it hard to think critically when it is needed. Add in a popular media, academic and entertainment class that presents themselves as elite thinkers who are happy to share their vision of America, and we have a perfect Democratic storm. But I also believe Americans will see this as a mistake and swing back to more traditional economic and family values. Hopefully in 2016, but maybe not.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  157. My concern is that it will come too late for the damage to be repaired or even repairable.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  158. I don’t know about your father, Leviticus, but every generation since at least the 1960’s has had far more free time than the generations that came before. IMO that’s when our intellectual decline started.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  159. I think we have a young population that chooses to be low information voters because every political speech they’ve ever heard has struck them as complete and utter bullsh*t. We didn’t have any heroes to make politics seem high-minded. I know that argument frustrates you, but I think there’s truth in it.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  160. SPQR

    If you run 2 democrats for president – ones likely to win.

    E.PWJ (c3dbb4)

  161. I’m not saying people are dumb because I don’t think they are. We simply don’t have to work as hard or think as well as past generations, and unfortunately we’ve gotten lazy in almost every way.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  162. Why do you think your generation is the first to be disenchanted with politics and politicians?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  163. I think it’s more about electronic entertainment than free time itself. Plenty of value in free time, if it results in learning. I never learned anything from a videogame.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  164. “Why do you think your generation is the first to be disenchanted with politics and politicians?”

    – DRJ

    What makes you think I think that?

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  165. And if the young are so disenchanted, Leviticus, why have they been voting in record numbers?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  166. I don’t think the young equate voting with politics – which is perverse, obviously. Thanks, MTV!

    The left gets full blame for that one.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  167. Seriously, the only thing this says about Obama is that he knows how the game is played. What I hold against him most of all is that he ever wanted to play the game in the first place.

    Wow, that’s a lame rationalization, Leviticus. But since you’re still a rather young person, I can’t be too surprised you still feel beholden to left-leaning biases. But if you’re reacting the same way a few decades from today — when you’re well past your college years — that will be another matter. Or at that time it will be a case of arrested development, stunted maturity, willful adolescence, or 51-year-old-Obama-ism.

    Mark (6e8726)

  168. Leviticus:

    I think we have a young population that chooses to be low information voters because every political speech they’ve ever heard has struck them as complete and utter bullsh*t. We didn’t have any heroes to make politics seem high-minded.

    I thought you meant that young voters were more disenchanted than in the past, but perhaps your point is we don’t have any heroes today. Is that what you meant?

    If so, I disagree. There are people to look up to in America. McCain and Romney have both accomplished a lot, but Obama worked to make their accomplishments look unimportant or selfish. And American education has worked hard to downplay personal accomplishments, unless they are for a social good. Obama took advantage of that failure in both education and critical thinking.

    And FWIW, Obama is a hero to your generation who speaks with flowery and high-minded rhetoric. So you do have your heroes.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  169. But what about the argument, MarkBot?

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  170. When the stipulated political heroes are John McCain and Mitt Romney, we’ve got a serious problem. feets will back me up on that one.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  171. I have my heroes. You won’t be surprised to hear that they aren’t politicians.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  172. When the stipulated political heroes are John McCain and Mitt Romney, we’ve got a serious problem

    Heroes are still human, but if you think these men aren’t worth admiring and emulating then I’d like to hear what it takes for you to consider someone a hero.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  173. I think communications have changed and change the way politics work, but I don’t think that’s the complete answer.

    DRJ, what surprises me is how in this age of the personal computer and the internet, when communication is faster and easier than ever before, and when getting facts and figures — and countervailing opinions — is available at the touch of a mouse, that the socio-political trends evident decades ago still are evident today.

    What I mean is I didn’t think that the greater, faster dissemination of information in the 21st century, when the foolishness of liberalism is more easily illustrated than before (eg, in past decades everyone was stuck with the conventional wisdom of CBS-ABC-NBC-NYT-LAT-etc, while Fox News cable and non-liberal-mouthpiece websites were still off in the distant future) would not change the patterns evident during the last major economic decline of America, of the 1930s and 1940s. A time when big-mommy Franklin Delano Roosevelt — a slightly less corroded version of Obama/Clinton — was seen by many as their hero and savior.

    That’s why I think the dynamic of “those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it” must be an innate aspect of human nature.

    Mark (6e8726)

  174. admiring and emulating Meghan’s Coward Daddy and Mitt Romney makes you go blind is what I heard and I believe it

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  175. Humility and honesty are a good start.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  176. As far as being a hero goes.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  177. Are you trying to limit their accomplishments by calling them “political heroes”? I don’t agree with some of their politics, either, but that doesn’t keep them from being very admirable people. And I define as a hero as someone with admirable/noble qualities and accomplishments.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  178. Banksy is a hero even though he’s a fascist twist

    love him more than beans i do

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  179. Leviticus and happyfeet,

    You can disagree with them but failing to recognize their accomplishments makes you both look very, very small.

    It would be like the time I tried to question Obama’s accomplishment in graduating from Harvard with honors. That is a significant accomplishment that should be acknowledged and admired, and it made me look small to suggest otherwise.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  180. No, I’m not trying to limit their accomplishments. I weigh their non-political accomplishments against their respective oft-demonstrated penchants for arrogance and dishonesty, and find myself unwilling to call them “heroes.” And as far as defining a hero as “someone with admirable/noble qualities and accomplishments” goes, I’m sure you are more selective than that.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  181. Insofar as Obama would be a “hero” by that standard, as you just cross-posted.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  182. “I weigh their non-political accomplishments against their respective oft-demonstrated penchants for arrogance and dishonesty, and find myself unwilling to call them “heroes.””

    I would imagine this is similar to your process re: Obama. Would I be mistaken?

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  183. But what about the argument, MarkBot?

    So if Obama were a conservative instead of a scroungy liberal, would you truly want to proclaim “what I hold against him most of all is that he ever wanted to play the game in the first place”? I doubt it. You’d likely want to say “not only do I find him to be a devious SOB, but what I hold against him most of all are his ideas and policies.”

    I wouldn’t even mind your approach to real-life Obama if he at least were a decent, ethical, honorable — and perhaps truly compassionate — liberal. But he isn’t.

    Mark (6e8726)

  184. I define a hero the way the dictionary does: “A man (or woman) admired for his achievements and noble qualities” or “who shows great courage.”

    To base someone’s status as a hero on something other than their achievements, nobility or courage is another example of PC education. We’re all human so we’re all fallible, but we rise above that when we accomplish something courageous or noble. McCain has shown great courage. Romney has shown nobility in helping his fellow man. I think that makes them eligible to be considered heroes.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  185. i don’t want to emulate these people

    i just don’t

    time for to go to sleep now

    g’night everybody

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  186. against their respective oft-demonstrated penchants for arrogance and dishonesty,

    His can that apply to Romney?

    JD (b63a52)

  187. Is Obama a hero? I’m not sure, but I don’t disqualify him because I think he’s been dishonest. Some might consider him courageous for overcoming discrimination, and I’m willing to consider that if he’s faced significant obstacles. Others consider his accomplishments as a community organizer and President to be noble and admirable. I’m not sure they are, but I acknowledge that anyone who becomes President is worthy of respect.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  188. Leviticus, At this point it would be useful if you could state what amount of evidence would be sufficient to convince you the Obama administration was doing wrong.

    Because right now the answer appears to be “none.”

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  189. DRJ,

    McCain has shown great courage, and Romney has shown both great business acumen and great personal charity. Each has also shown great arrogance and dishonesty. If the balance is close, between the good and the bad, I wouldn’t call either a hero – just a good man. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    You are one of my heroes. You are the gold standard of civility, honesty, patience, and intelligence to an entire community – without a single negative quality on the other side of the ledger.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  190. harry reid right now is on the cnn propaganda slut channel pimping dead fred’s corpse for to push gun control

    these people are nasty

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  191. “Leviticus, At this point it would be useful if you could state what amount of evidence would be sufficient to convince you the Obama administration was doing wrong.”

    – Steve57

    With due respect, I think you have not paid sufficient attention to my actual words throughout this thread.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  192. dead frank I mean

    is bedtime the pills are kicking in

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  193. “Is Obama a hero? I’m not sure…”

    – DRJ

    Do you think of him as a hero? He is “a man (or woman) admired for his achievements and noble qualities.” Is that really enough for you, as you claim?

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  194. nighty night feets

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  195. He is “a man (or woman) admired for his achievements and noble qualities.

    I cannot think of a noble quality of Obama’s. He speaks of some lofty goals, aspirations, desire to work together, and some high ideals, but his actions stand in stark contrast to his empty words.

    JD (b63a52)

  196. That’s nice of you to say, Leviticus, and I try to be a Christian role model in how I deal with people. But I’m a flawed sinner so I fail every day, and then I try again tomorrow. Please give credit to anyone who tries to do the right thing, even if they don’t do it perfectly. Their numbers are legion and I think their basic morality is what makes America succeed.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  197. I think Obama is a hero for being a good father and role model for black men … even if he publicized it solely to gain votes. It is a worthy achievement.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  198. But I don’t think Obama is a good man, and I’m not sure McCain is. I think Romney is.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  199. I guess the difference between us is that I don’t think someone has to be good to be a hero. But it certainly helps.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  200. Thanks for the discussion, Leviticus, but I have to go to bed now.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  201. “But I’m a flawed sinner so I fail every day.”

    – DRJ

    I know. But until I see it, I can’t help but hold you in a class of your own.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  202. Each has also shown great arrogance and dishonesty

    If that doesn’t flow off your tongue as smoothly when you’re characterizing Obama, allow me to guffaw and snicker. If so, even you would have to admit — at least in private — that you’re doing a contortionist routine to either ramp up or ramp down the meaning of “arrogance” and “dishonesty.”

    Mark (6e8726)

  203. “I guess the difference between us is that I don’t think someone has to be good to be a hero. But it certainly helps.”

    – DRJ

    That’s interesting. I hadn’t thought of it that way – that the crowd makes the hero.

    I think it’s better to keep it as a personal thing.

    Goodnight. Thank you for the discussion, and your patience.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  204. “If that doesn’t flow off your tongue as smoothly when you’re characterizing Obama, allow me to guffaw and snicker.”

    – Mark

    It absolutely does, and I don’t know how many times I have to say or how hard you have to squint to avoid me saying it.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  205. “Please give credit to anyone who tries to do the right thing, even if they don’t do it perfectly. Their numbers are legion and I think their basic morality is what makes America succeed.”

    – DRJ

    I do, for the record. I just don’t call them heroes – I stick to “human beings.”

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  206. The older I get, the more I see heroes. Not super heroes but what I call everyday heroes — people who do things that make the world a little better. I think we need everyday heroes more than super heroes.

    Good night, Leviticus.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  207. and I don’t know how many times I have to say or how hard you have to squint to avoid me saying it.

    Leviticus, I guess in the context of this thread, beginning with your comment “seriously, the only thing this says about Obama is that he knows how the game is played” — or what’s a very rubbery, pliable rationalization to prop up Obama — it’s easy to overlook your past comments about the guy. After all, in light of Obama’s truly scroungy past, any adviser in the current White House should realize that extra caution was necessary in the game of “kettle, pot, black.”

    Mark (6e8726)

  208. “I guess in the context of this thread, beginning with your comment “seriously, the only thing this says about Obama is that he knows how the game is played” — or what’s a very rubbery, pliable rationalization to prop up Obama — it’s easy to overlook your past comments about the guy.”

    – Mark

    It’s easy for you, but that’s because you don’t actually care what I say. You just spin your CommentWheel.

    Leviticus (2c236c)

  209. Leviticus, even you, a grad student, should know that your attempt to inflate the false image of your idol Obama requires you to produce evidence.

    😉

    Dustin (303dca)

  210. I wunner if Plouffe will carry on the family tradition and pimp his daughter when she gits into grade school?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  211. Idealism, college-speak for willfully ignorant.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  212. A brief comment/obsewrvation.

    The topic of this thread, as with some/many others, is pointing out how substantive discsussion on real topics like corruption within the IRS are undermined or derailed by specific behaviors.

    Policy is important, so are the tricks being used to misdirect the conversation.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  213. Speaking of misdirection, is Obama engaged in psychological warfare?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  214. Bob Beckel: Holder should wind down his tenure and resign—death by a thousand cuts.

    Rovin (47f04d)

  215. leviticus is of a generation that grew up with the notion that ALL should receive accolades just for participating in something, e.g., sports, dance, etc…, regardless of merit. Everyone gets an “A” for trying.

    A proven record of success is not important, hence the election and then re-election of Barack Obama. This mind-set makes everything else relative. It’s also why a great many people believe that America as WE know it is doomed.

    Colonel Haiku (9fea4c)

  216. It’s easy for you, but that’s because you don’t actually care what I say.

    Leviticus, but you have to admit that your first comment in this thread (#14) was an attempt on your part to excuse or rationalize away the scroungy nature of Obama. It was a bit of moral equivalency, a slice of “well, maybe the guy sucks, but so do the others!”

    If the tables were turned, I have a hunch you wouldn’t proclaim: “Seriously, the only thing this says about [George Bush or, say, Bobby Jindal, etc] is that he knows how the game is played.”

    I know if a conservative president were pulling off the stunts emanating from the current White House, I wouldn’t be rationalizing, rationalizing, excusing, excusing. I’d instead wander off into a corner, totally pissed off at what such a person was doing to my side of the ideological spectrum.

    Mark (6e8726)

  217. 193. With due respect, I think you have not paid sufficient attention to my actual words throughout this thread.

    Comment by Leviticus (2c236c) — 6/3/2013 @ 9:46 pm

    With due respect, I’ve read your words as a backhanded defense of Obama. He’s just playing the game.

    But he isn’t just playing the game. He’s a game changer.

    This was in the banner on Drudge this morning. It captures two of the ways he’s changing the game.

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20130604/DA6MPFHG2.html

    WASHINGTON (AP) – Some of President Barack Obama’s political appointees, including the Cabinet secretary for the Health and Human Services Department, are using secret government email accounts they say are necessary to prevent their inboxes from being overwhelmed with unwanted messages, according to a review by The Associated Press.

    This administration’s willingness to break the law in order to control the narrative is unique. And when you look at it, that’s what’s at the heart of every one of Obama’s scandals.

    I think it is safe to say that every one of Obama’s political appointees is using secret, personal email accounts in violation of federal records laws in order to insulate their activities from FOIA requests. It wasn’t just “Richard Windsor” at EPA and it isn’t just department secretaries and agency commissioners going “rogue.” And when caught the Obama administration invents exemptions to these laws that don’t actually exist. Such as the “SPAM exemption” tossed out in the article.

    It needs to be pointed out that Barack Obama personally approves of this activity. Former DoJ appointee Tom Perez is Obama’s pick to head the department of labor despite the fact that he violated federal sunshine laws and security regulations at least 1,200 times by using his personal email account to conduct DoJ business. The facts aren’t in dispute. The DoJ admitted in a letter to Darrell Issa that he had done so. But they made up an excuse for Perez; he had to work from home.

    This would be laughable under different circumstances. The DoJ like other federal agencies provides its employees with training and equipment to work from home if that’s necessary. If Perez had a legitimate need to work from home, the federal government would have provided him with the devices and the security protocols to log onto secure DoJ servers to do so. But Perez reveals the true nature of his work was illegitimate by fighting the subpoena from Congress for those emails. If he was conducting work for the DoJ from home on his personal Verizon account as both he and the DoJ claim then Congress has a right to those emails.

    The brazenness of Perez’s and the DoJ’s lies pales in comparison to the brazenness of the the President’s. I recall Senator Bob Kerrey (D-NE) saying at the time Bill Clinton was a really, really good liar, then asking “do you have any idea what that means?” Obama isn’t a good liar but a bold liar. And he’s picked his appointees on that basis. He, and they, don’t care how stupid they look in persisting in their lies. As the elevation of Tom Perez demonstrates he will reward them from doing so.

    He’s the historic first black president. He can get away with things previous Democratic presidents couldn’t and dare you to your face (how many times has he talked about “getting in their face”) to do something about it. Which is really the only way to read the DoJ response about Perez. “Yeah, Perez broke the law. But like immigration law we found the law inconvenient to follow. So what are you going to do now?”

    They don’t even make the pretense of following the law anymore. That isn’t how the game used to be played.

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  218. Leviticus, DRJ, MD, Col. and others,
    FWIW, I would like to add just one more thing to the interesting “hero” discussion from yesterday’s nite-owl commenters which I read this morning. I guess my take on heroes is a little different from what I saw some others saying here.

    I have a pretty rigid standard about who I think can legitimately be called heroes. For me it’s their actions which involve physical bravery or intellectual courage that change the trajectory of events, and that also involve some personal risk to themselves. For me, the designation of hero does not take into account their entire body of work or the whole of their lifetimes–it is deserved for a moment or a period of time in which they stood apart or alone. I think a lot of people confuse “role model” with “hero”.

    Here are a few examples of my heroes:

    1. Our 56 founding fathers who with their signatures on a piece of paper pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. They would have been hung as traitors and their lands confiscated had things turned our differently. As it is, many of them and their families suffered great hardship 1776 and beyond; while some achieved accolades and great fame. But regardless of what they later did or did not do in their lives, what they did that hot July in Philadelphia is what makes them heroes.

    2.Lenny Skutnik, Jan 13, 1982 diving into the icy Potomac to save Priscilla Tirado’s life following the crash of Air Florida flight 90. Hundreds of people including emergency personnel watched her struggle, too weak to hold on to the line dropped by a helicopter. Skutnik alone did something about it. Skutnik, at the time was a low level assistant in the Congressional budget office. He held various other jobs as a painter, supermarket porter, and cook for the Burger Chef restaurant chain. He had also worked in a meat packing plant and in a furniture factory.

    3.Jackie Robinson. Today he’d just be on some lucky team’s roster as a very talented baseball player. But for a time in the mid/late 1940’s he stood alone. The threats and physical and mental abuse he took while integrating America’s Pastime would have laid low most men of any color or background. Yes, he was specifically chosen to be placed in that position and it is said that a few other black players of the time may have been more deserving of the “honor” But Jackie Robinson was the one in the spotlight when the spotlight came, and he had to “do it” alone, by himself, on the strength of his character.

    elissa (00d7a7)

  219. Good examples elissa.
    yes, individuals who themselves acted with courage to do “what needed to be done”
    Jackie Robinson and to a lesser extent Branch Rickey, Peewee Reese, and others who played what small parts they could, did much more for race relations and “baseball” than any legislation could have ever done.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  220. elissa, I don’t disagree with your criteria. Just an observation.

    For me it’s their actions which involve physical bravery or intellectual courage that change the trajectory of events, and that also involve some personal risk to themselves.

    Sometimes things don’t work out the way you want. I think if you have the courage not to abandon your post, even if ultimately your efforts don’t change the trajectory of events, you can still be a hero.

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  221. “For me it’s their actions which involve physical bravery or intellectual courage that change the trajectory of events, and that also involve some personal risk to themselves. For me, the designation of hero does not take into account their entire body of work or the whole of their lifetimes–it is deserved for a moment or a period of time in which they stood apart or alone.”

    – elissa

    My first instinct was to agree with your “some personal risk to themselves” criteria, but I’m not sure I do. Unless you broaden the notion of risk to a significant degree, I think it’s not a necessary element of heroism – for instance, I view an author like Wendell Berry as a hero for his writings and the clarity of his vision, without requiring that he place himself in a position of personal risk.

    That said, I would agree that personal risk can magnify other goods – otherwise minor goods – and make them much more heroic in context. It’s the difference between standing in front of a tank in America and standing between a tank in Tianamen Square is the difference between getting arrested and getting crushed to death, and one is more heroic than the other.

    I guess I view the question as an exercise in balancing more than an exercise in bright-line determination, which is why I’m more inclined to view the “body of work” (as you aptly describe it).

    Leviticus (b98400)

  222. As an addendum, a “magnifying effect” of personal risk would account for Steve’s point about not abandoning your post.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  223. A hero has to do lots and lots of good things that benefit all humanity and descend into Hell and return triumphant. Sine quibus non. Take it as literally or as figuratively as you wish.

    The word is overused these days. I doubt we will ever vote for such a guy for anything. We crucified the last one.

    nk (875f57)

  224. Leviticus – I dare not speak for DRJ, but I suspect this is along the lines of the themes she was referring to last night.

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/06/03/is-obama-waging-psychological-warfare-on-americans/

    JD (20406c)

  225. In reference to the link, I guess I never thought of it in terms of “psychological warfare”, just in terms of “being manipulated”.

    But I guess that may capture the issue, to some it is “just a matter of a politician manipulating the public like they all do”, and to others it has the intensity and objective such as it earns the description “psychological warfare”.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  226. change the trajectory of events

    That’s a hard thing to measure. It’s always possible to go back in time and construe an individual’s actions as changing the trajectory of events. Assuming one knew ahead of time what that trajectory would be. But I’m confident there are people who we don’t even know about who just said “no” without effect when confronted with a wrong buried in graves I’m not aware of who are heroes.

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  227. Like I said, Leviticus. I think a lot of people confuse “role model” with “hero”. People, including me, might see Wendell the writer as an inspiration and even role model in defense of some of the life values he believes in and espouses. But while I suppose Wendell Berry may be a “hero” to some individuals based on his impassioned activism over the years on a specific individual topic– his lifetime body of work is really all over the map on hot button issues, often with altogether different constituencies. These topics have ranged from the Vietnam war to farming methods/agrarian issues, to environmental (coal, nuclear power), etc. etc. Personally, I particularly like and appreciate his stance on sustainable agriculture, localism and traditional healthy rural communities. I applaud his stance against NAIS for which he says he is willing to go to jail in defiance of. But I certainly don’t see him as a “hero” for saying this.

    On what issues to you consider Wendell Berry to be a hero, Leviticus?

    elissa (00d7a7)

  228. I suppose one could differentiate between people whose actions are heroic but never are seen in the public eye and those whose actions are heroic and are known by the public and so get the admiration they deserve/opportunity to encourage others to do likewise.

    But then again that is only related to whether or not their actions change the trajectory of events.

    I imagine Medal of Honor awardees are judged by what they did, not on the basis of how favorable the outcome of their actions. IDK

    I think of a hero as somone who inspires others to courage and action in the face of danger/difficulty, and often that means “do the right thing” whether an action has a guaranteed outcome or not.

    I think we are discussing fine points here, not major disagreements.
    And I guess there are heroes and heroes and heroes, etc. One can be a hero without being the greatest hero.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  229. Steve I understand where you are going with the unsung heroes. I agree there are probably many no one knows about.

    elissa (00d7a7)

  230. Off-topic: Chris Christie has apparently announced that he will NOT appoint anyone to the vacant Senate seat and will instead call for a special election in October.

    JVW (23867e)

  231. elissa,

    I understand your well-stated point but hero is a synonym for role model, so I view them as basically interchangeable.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  232. Profiles in courage, JVW.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  233. I’m being sarcastic.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  234. “Personally, I particularly like and appreciate his stance on sustainable agriculture, localism and traditional healthy rural communities.”

    – elissa

    I appreciate his stance on these issues as well, but I suppose that the thing that makes him heroic (in my eyes) is his persistence in articulating a vision of holistic Christianity to which I can aspire. I think he has made his life’s work a battle against the worst aspects of post-modernism, and he has done so by quietly but forcefully reminding us of the most important things we have lost as a people.

    I understand your point about confusing heroes and role models, but I think I lean more towards MD in Philly’s sentiment that “one can be a hero without being the greatest hero.” I don’t take it quite as far as DRJ, though, as best an I can tell.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  235. What team is Christie on ?

    JD (20406c)

  236. Simply put, I think of Wendell Berry as a sort of modern C.S. Lewis, and both are personal heroes to me.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  237. Understood, DRJ.

    He could have nominated a Repub which would have pleased some and have been reasonable, elections have consequences and all of that.
    He could have said that the people had voted in a Dem and so he would replace with a Dem, which I think would have been reasonable, but would have made others unhappy.
    So he is standing back and washing his hands of his power to choose and giving it directly to the people.

    Yes, in some ways not a heroic thing to do, while we are at it, but I have to say probably reasonable and wise.
    And if I was going to criticize gov Christie, this would not be very high in the list, for myself.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  238. There would be zero wrong with him appointing a conservative. Nothing. It is the way the system works.

    JD (20406c)

  239. 231. Steve I understand where you are going with the unsung heroes. I agree there are probably many no one knows about.

    Comment by elissa (00d7a7) — 6/4/2013 @ 11:26 am

    elissa, thank you.

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  240. Steve I understand where you are going with the unsung heroes. I agree there are probably many no one knows about.

    Yup. Renown is not a requirement for heroism.

    nk (875f57)

  241. Comment by JD (20406c) — 6/4/2013 @ 11:44 am

    I agree with you, which is what I meant when I said it would have been reasonable.
    But many, obviously non-conservatives, would have blamed him anyway.
    I think nominating a Dem would have been defensible, but not something that would have been expected and I don’t expect most dems to have apppinted a repub if a Repub had been in the seat.

    So, by punting he declines to take responsiblity for it.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  242. Isn’t Christie a Springsteen fan?

    Well, I’m no hero that’s understood
    All the redemption I can offer girl is
    beneath this dirty hood

    nk (875f57)

  243. The “Chicago Way” is to make sure there is a minority in politics that a good majority will never vote for, but that itself neither shrinks nor grows too much. A permanent 20-35%.

    Too small to win, and too big for somebody independent to win without.

    And always make every strong opponent looks like a special case of something wrong with him.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  244. 60. I left out the name of the city of Chelm.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  245. Re: number 220… well said, Elissa.

    Colonel Haiku (1d6084)

  246. 138. Comment by SPQR (768505) — 6/3/2013 @ 8:33 pm

    More allegations of Obama administration dirty tricks, this time regarding the campaign to compromise Petraeus into resigning from CIA Director.

    This is a lawsuit by Jill Kelley! She did the whole thing.

    And had contact with foreign diplomats.

    Where do you Obama Administration dirty tricks? I see CIA moles and a loose network of allied people in the government. Tom Clapper seems to be involved. Obama did not want Petraeus to resign.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  247. About Oct. 25 (or maybe “the week of (Sunday) Oct. 28) :
    FBI meets with David Petraeus and asks to examine the
    contents of his private, personal, non-official G-Mail
    account, on grounds that there may be some security breach
    (someone tried to break in) and Petraeus agrees. They
    already know of possible affair and have already gone
    through the e-mail of the woman, Paula Broadwell. She
    has some classified information she should not have, but
    also a Top Secret clearance. They want to check to see if
    he gave her some information. Another source says that
    one e-mail Petraeus sent to Broadwell, is interpreted
    by “mistake” as an indication of possible corruption,
    and leads to a warrant to intercept new email to and
    from Petraeus’s account.

    Late October: Eric Cantor gets a call from Rep. David Reichert (R-Wash)
    that an FBI whistle blower wishes to speak to someone in
    the Congressional leadership about a securty concern. He
    says November 10 that he was informed by this person his
    staff regards as an FBI whistle-blower that CIA Director
    David Petraeus had had an affair and now they are
    investigating a possible security breach that would have
    occurred after the investgation started. (The investigation
    has been going on for months – since “late this spring” –
    and started with a complaint by a woman that David Petraeus’
    biographer, Paula Broadwell, was harassing her. Maybe.

    The security breach is probably the presence of a classified
    document on PB’s computer. They CLAIM TO want to know if he
    sent it.)

    October 27: Eric Cantor talks by telephone with the FBI agent, and
    tells his chief of staff to contact the FBI but because
    most federal government offices are closed for the weekend
    and then because of Hurricane Sandy, nothing happens till
    Wednesday, October 31.

    October 31: Eric Cantor’s Chief of Staff, Steve Sombres, contacts the
    FBI, but all the FBI says is their usual refusal to confirm
    or deny an investgation and that all steps are being taken
    to make sure no confidential information is at risk. Cantor
    makes sure the FBI Director knows about this. Some accounts
    place this contact with the Director on November 1.

    Early Nov: FBI discovers, or maybe “discovers” evidence of an extramarital
    adulterous affair in David Petraeus’ e-mails. They already have
    gone through her e-mails. They also conclude he was not her
    source. Who did? Or is that going to remain a mystery?? Prior
    to this search with permission, there was no legal way to
    disclose what they knew to very many people. Adultery is not
    a crime, except, on occasion, under military law, when it will
    bring discredit on the armed forces, and there isn’t any other
    violation of law here. Petraeus’ consent to the search has given
    them the right to reveal what they found out even without
    bringing any kind of charges, which they would not have had
    a right to do if they discovered it only by virtue of a search
    warrant, and certainly not with a national security warrant.

    There are huge penalties in law for revealing irrelevant private
    information found out pursuant to a national security warrant,
    if any happened. (There is a real possibility there were two
    separate investigations – one national security and one criminal)

    But now, because of Petraeus’s consent, that doesn’t apply,
    especially if the adultery is rediscovered by a “clean,”
    uncontaminated, group of FBI agents with no prior knowledge.
    (I don’t know if anybody else has figured this out.)

    Tuesday November 6: Election Day. Someone in the Justice Department calls
    someone in the FBI who did not know about the investigation.

    November 6-7: Election Night. Obama carries almost all the swing states:
    New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa (getting 270 Electoral
    votes if it holds) and then Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico
    (taking him to 290) Mitt Romney is shellshocked since this
    contradicts everything his pollsters told him. The worst he
    expected is that it might go into recount overtime. When
    Virginia is called for Obama by some networks, or when his
    people double check Ohio, he concedes. Obama ends the night
    with 303 Electoral votes, leading by a minimum of 3 states,
    to 206 for Romney, with Florida undecided but with Obama in
    a slight lead there. The only states Obama carried in 2008
    that he loses this time are North Carolina and Indiana.

    November 6: 5 PM EST. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper
    is informed of the Petraeus investigation by the FBI. The
    adultery is portrayed as having just been accidentally
    discovered, and possibly Clapper also gets a bit of advice
    to pass along to Petraeus.

    November 6-7: Later that night, as the votes are being counted, and also
    the next day, Wednesday, Clapper and Petraeus discuss the
    situation, at night on the phone and later in person. Clapper
    tells Petraeus that he thought the right thing to do is to
    resign. Clapper does not inform the President of any of this.

    November 7: It is David Petraeus’ 60th birthday.

    Novemver 7: The White House is informed of the Petraeus investigation,
    but not the president. Clapper first briefs other people,
    that is, he tells the senior national security staff that
    David Petraeus is considering resigning from the CIA because
    of an affair. Nobody calls the president, who, at the time,
    is on a plane heading back to Washington from Chicago,
    where he stayed over most of the day. (Is this Clapper’s
    usual method of proceeding – to tell the president last?
    One thing would be “good” about it. That way, everybody
    in front of the president can look and be prepared.)

    The extra stay in Chicago had been built into Obama’s
    schedule in case it took a long time to decide the election,
    or planning for a recount would be needed. Obama uses his
    extra free time there to thank his campaign workers, and
    maybe discuss ideas for Cabinet changes and appointments
    with his political advisers.

    November 8: As Obama gets ready to contemplate Cabinet changes, he is
    informed, at his morning briefing, of the affair Petraeus
    had and that Petraeus wants to resign. There are people
    telling Petraeus he should resign to get ahead of the
    story and also that this is a bad example for the CIA. It
    amounts to an “intervention.”

    In the afternoon, Obama meets with David Petraeus, who offers
    his resignation. Obama tells him that, as with the final
    go-ahead to the decision to kill bin Laden, he wants to
    sleep on it – in fact he wants 24 hours to think about this –
    and he does not accept his resignation. Petraeus insists he
    must resign, but Obama says no. There is no emergency.

    Friday November 9: Obama calls David Petraeus and tells him that he
    will accept his resignation. About six hours before the
    official announcement, the House and Senate Intelligence
    Committees are briefed. Members are alerted one by one and
    some, like Senator Dianne Feinstein, do not get called
    before the official announcement. They are peeved they were
    not informed of the investigation before.

    Shortly before 3 P.M. Clapper distributes a statement about
    Petraeus resignation that talks about “Dave’s decision to step
    down” several minutes before CIA releases David Petraeus’s
    statement to employees. Later, a statement comes from Obama.

    It is first reported on MSNBC. Jay Carney gets asked about
    this at the daily briefing, and ducks the question. The plan
    had been to make the announcement only after the briefing was
    over.

    Website for Paula Broadwell’s book (All in: The Education
    of David Petraeus) taken down. It is her 40th birthday
    and she and husband are away at a sort of second honeymoon
    in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia.

    November 10-11 Many members of Congress very suspicious of the whole
    thing.

    Few people can get in contact with the woman but David Gergen says he
    knows both of them and taled to both of them. He does not have confirmation
    from Petraeus about Clapper encouraging him to resign. Bob Woodward is
    one of the few people who says outright that Petraeus should have resigned.
    Woodward has known Petraeus for 20 years. The New York FDaily News hits on
    the idea of contacting first degree relatives (parents, siblings – also
    grandparents) of some of the principles.

    November 11: Neither David Petraeus nor Paula Broadwell are speaking
    to the press, except for David Gergen, and neither tells
    him anything really, but her father, “Paul Krantz” tells
    the New York Daily News, who catch up to him outside his
    home in Bismark, North Dakota, that “This is about
    something else entirely, and the truth will come out” and
    “There is a lot more that is going to come out” and “You
    wait and see,” but that he is not allowed to elaborate further.

    He also speaks with MailOnline of the United Kingdom.

    Jill and Scott Kelley release a statement that says nothing
    about the investigation or her complaints.

    November 11: Rep. David Reichert (R-Wash) tells Fox News his original
    source was a friend who knows Jill Kelley, and he arranged
    with Eric Cantor to put Kelly in touch with FBI Director
    Robert Mueller. (This sounds like the thrust of the complaint
    was that her complaints were not being investigated) It
    later becomes clear that there were two FBI agents involved2
    in going to members of Congress, and it is only the second
    one who is a friend of Dave Reichert. It is reported in the
    Nov 13, 2012 New York Times that he knew her because of some
    previous matter the FBI had handledand that he had then sent
    shirtless photographs of himself to her. He actually was
    never assigned to the case, but did attend briefings.

    The New York Times reports that “High level officials” at
    the FBI and Justice Department were notified in “late summer”
    (i.e Aug. 1- Sept 20) that FBI agents had uncovered what
    seemed to be an extramarital affair involving CIA Director
    David Petraeus, but the concerns about security breaches
    was unfounded, and the investigation was incomplete.

    A “close friend of the Petraeus family” says the affair only
    began two months after he became CIA Director in Sept. 2011,
    that is only November, 2011, and probably after the book
    was completed, and that it ended about four months ago, that
    is, about June or July of this year. It develops later that
    this friend, only sometimes anonymous, is probably Steve
    Boylan, who was General Petraeus’ spokesman in Iraq. He says
    his understanding is that Paula Broadwell visited him only
    two times at CIA HQ.

    He has only limited knowledge, and only spoke to Petraeus
    over the weekend. Or maybe even his only communication was
    an e-mail David Petraeus sent to him explaining the
    situation, and the communication was entirely one-way.

    Wall Street Journal reports the e-mails began arriving in
    Jill Kelley’s e-mail inbox in May. The New York Times
    reports the accounts had been registered anonymously, but
    by checking what other e-mail accounts had been accessed from the same e-mail address, they identified Paula Broadwell
    as a prime suspect. Once gaining access to her e-mail, they
    found sexually explicit e-mails from an account that was
    later identified as belonging to David Petraeus.

    The New York Times does not say that Paula Broadwell was ever
    identified as the sender of the e-mails Jill Kelley complained
    about to her local FBI office – and this is one case where
    absence of evidence is evidence of absence – almost certainly
    the FBI did not find any record of these e-mails on her
    account and possibly found exculpatory evidence. They in
    fact then began to investigate the possibility that David
    Petraeus had sent the e-mails!!! This was late summer.

    The FBI apparently had traced some other e-mails, but not the
    alarming e-mails, to the hotels Paula Broadwell was staying
    in. At some point also, not in the New York Times story, they
    opened up an investigation into the possibility that David
    Petraeus was sharing some classified information with her.
    (This was first reported by NBC News on Friday.)

    It would probably have been possible for the right person(s)
    at the CIA to, before all this started, find out the log in
    name and password of his GMail account if he used it at work,
    or took a computer or phone with which he had logged in to
    that account with him to work, and then, furthermore, find
    out about the affair, and that there was documentary evidence
    of it on his computer or in the GMail account.

    In October, the CIA Security Director, Mary Rose McCaffrey
    said that because he is so visible every day they scan his
    computer “because he has both his classified and his
    unclassified computers.”

    Furthermore, undoubtably all communications coming out of
    CIA headquarters are monitored and this would not only include
    landlines, but anything wireless. If he used that e-mail
    account while in the building, the log in information would
    be captured and saved, if they are doing their job properly.

    Of course if this is something irrelevant they are not supposed
    to save such information, especially the content, or tell anyone,
    but if some nontrustworthy person was entrusted with this job,
    well,things would be different.

    My best theory is that there is some foreign intelligence agency
    involved here that pernetrated the CIA and recruited Jill Kelley.

    The New York Times reports that Paula Broadwell was
    interviewed by the FBI for the first time on Oct. 21,
    but later, other reports say that was in September. The
    next day the New York Times accepts the earlier date.

    November 12: FBI agent who Jill Kelley contacted is reported under
    investigation for being too interested in the case and
    maybe sending her a shirtless picture of himself.

    At 8:40 p.m. FBI conducts a two hour search at Paula
    Broadwell’s home in Charlotte, North Carolina. This was
    apparently with consent and she gave them a key.

    Later it gets reported that Petraeus’s successor in Afghanistan,
    Gen. John Allen, is under investigation for sending something
    inappropriate in 20,000 to 30,000 worth of printed out pages of
    e-mail to Jill Kelley. Why and how is she in contact with him,
    anyway?

    She’s not a writer and scholar, like Paula Broadwell. (and
    should love missives and pictures total as many bytes as
    would be equivalent to 20,000 or 30,000 pages? I don’t
    know: One picture could be worth 1 million bytes, even
    when compressed into a *.JPG file.)

    Nov. 13 Later it is explained the FBI delivered that many pages
    (so it’s all text) to the Pentagon and only some of that
    is e-mail. The Defense Department’s Inspector General is
    going to examine it) It is said to be 22,000 pages. It is
    later reported this page count may be inflated by quoting
    older messages in e-mail replies, as required by federal
    formatting rules.

    Nov. 12 It is revealed that sometime in the last two months, (about
    Sept. 22, or seven weeks ago) David Petraeus wrote a letter
    supporting Jill Kelley’s twin sister Natalie Khawam in a
    child custody fight.

    (Her ex-husband had obtained custody of their 4-year old son
    about a year ago, on grounds of serious reservations about
    her honesty and mental stability. She had made a whole series
    of dubious domestic violence and child abuse complaints,
    (quite possibly as a legal tactic, because this is a known
    dishonest legal tactic that often works, and the people who
    advocate this also make claims it is true, and they get some
    women to believe that actually these sorts of things are
    common, or that this or that innocent thing is a sign of them)

    A court ordered psychiatrist had found her to be offering an
    ever expanding set of sensational accusations so numerous and
    extraordinary that they defy any common sense view of reality.

    The judge had also found some evidence to be flat-out false,
    and was very critical of her dishonesty, saying she placed
    no value on the truth, or words to that effect. She had been
    ordered to pay his legal bills of $ 350,000.

    She had also sent e-mails to her ex-husband’s friends and
    business parters (under her own name?) excoriating him as a
    horrible father and husband, and had defied court orders to
    let her son see his father. The judge had called her a
    psychologically unstable person, although maybe she wasn’t
    when not dealing with the subject of custody of her son.)

    By the way, if Grayson Wolfe didn’t want a psychologically
    unstable woman as the mother of his son, why did he marry
    her? A son that age needs his mother. He probably just
    wants to avoid paying child support.

    But he’s rich enough to probably afford just about anything
    – his goal should be to settle on a fixed amount and then
    buy an annuity to pay for it, so he wouldn’t have to
    bother with her any more in court.

    Nov. 13 It is later revealed that John Allen also wrote a letter
    on behalf of the twin sister. The letters were pretty
    simple and said that she was a dedicated mother and other
    words to that effect.

    It also comes out that the twin sister is living in the same
    house with Jill Kelley.

    And that she and her surgeon husband owe lots of money, and
    their house is actually in foreclosure. Some debts have been
    settled, and some have not, and they are being sued by a
    credit card company or two. They sometimes do that when the
    person seems to have assets or earning capacity and is not
    likely to go bankrupt, or full bankruptcy anyway, and also
    owes on the range of $100,000 or more. (They also sue when
    they think they can get default judgements and where there
    may be some easy way to collect.)

    (Khawam is the sisters’ maiden name, by the way, and they have
    a brother, too. They are or were Lebanese Catholics, which
    probably means Maronites. I am not sure if that word Maronite
    is used any more.)

    Petraeus was at the Khawam’s for dinenr a lot. This
    constitutes a bribe. “And Isaac loved Esau,m because captured
    prey was in his mouth, but Rebecca was loving Jacob” –
    – Genesis 25:28. The food at their parties are all catered.

    November 13? It is revealed that Jill Kelley and her husband have
    financial difficulties. They stopped paying their
    mortgage and credit card debt in the fall of 2009 or
    at least that’ about when they began to be sued. Some
    lawsuits have been settled, but they had at least two
    mortgages on different buildings and two lawsuits from
    credit card companies. They have a lot of equity in their
    home – it is not underwater.

    The chronology is as follows: They stopped paying their
    mortgage on their home, valued at $1,837,571 in Sept. 2009
    and were sued by the Bank of America for $328,338 in March,
    2010. The most recent motion filed in the foreclosure case
    was filed on October 12.

    In February, 2010, they were sued by the Chase bank for
    $25,088.56 in credit card debt. The bank voluntarily
    dismissed the lawsuit in 2011.

    In April 2010, Central Bank said they owed $2.2 million on
    a second property in downtown Tampa. The case was resolved,
    but the New York Daily News had no details by the time its
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 paper went to print. I think
    their information came from the Tampa Bay Times. The Wall
    Street Journal of Saturday/Sunday November 17/18, 2012 says
    that they lost a major tenant in the office building. It had
    been bought by something called Kelley Land Holdings, and
    their own home had been collateral. They defaulted on the
    business loan in late 2009. A Hillsborough Circuit County
    judge sided with the bank, but they continue to fight the
    foreclosure, arguing in court filings, for instance, that
    the bank improperly encouraged them to take out the loan.

    Also in April, 2010, Regions Bank sued them for $253,437.31
    in credit card bills. The case was resolved by a one-time
    $8,500 payment, and a promise to pay $850 a month until the
    bill is paid down.

    There have been altogether 9 lawsuits since they moved to
    Florida.

    Back in 2004, they were sued in Montgomery County
    Pennsylvania over a condo rental that fell through. They
    refused, or were not able to, return a $10,000 deposit,
    and a default judgment was issued, which they paid a year
    later.

    They also had a charitable foundation, which probably
    paid for parties, that last filed a tax return in 2007
    and may be defunct.

    Besides all that, Jill’s sister Natalie filed for
    bankruptcy in April, 2012, claiming $3 million in
    debt, including an $800,000 personal loan from Jill
    and Scott Kelley.

    November ?? Jill Kelley’s 911 calls to police about the people camping
    on her doorstep are released pursuant to Florida’s version
    of the Freedom of Information Act. She states that she has
    “inviolability” saying “You know, I’m an honorary counsel
    general, so I have inviolability. I don’t know if you want
    to get diplomatic, uh, protection involved as well.” It is
    not clear if she beleives any of this, or what she thinks
    she is saying.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  248. It develops she is an honorary counsel general of the Republic
    of Korea, (South Korea) and has been since August, and she
    got it for arranging meetings between businessmen in Tampa and
    South Korea’s Ambassador to the United States, and that the
    vanity license plate on her Mercedes Benz reads: “Honorary
    Counsel 1JK” Florida’s DMV investigates whether this should
    have been issued.

    Nov. 12 The FBI notified the Defense Department on Sunday and Leon
    Panetta ordered an investigation to begin on Monday. The
    general stays in his job, but the Administration asks his
    confirmation hearing on Thursday before the Senate Armed
    Services Committee for his next job as Supreme Allied
    Commander of NATO be postponed, but the hearing for his
    proposed successor in Afghanistan, Joseph Dunford, not be
    postponed. John Allen heads back to Afghanistan from
    Washington.

    November 13: It comes out that actually the first e-mail message that
    triggered the investigaion was sent not to Jill Kelley,
    but John Allen, and he forwarded it to her. It had come
    from a new address – called Kelley watch or something like
    that – and accused her of being involved with John Allen.

    It also comes out that at some point this year, after
    discussing this with friends in Tampa, Jill Kelley had tried
    to stop the investigation.

    Paula Broadwell has gone to her brother’s home in
    Washington. She loses her driver’s license jogging,
    but it is found Nov. 12 (and returned to her?) because
    she is now so famous.

    November 14: Congressional intelligence committee leaders will meet with
    FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce and CIA Deputy (now Acting)
    Director Michael Morell.

    November 13 or 14: It is revealed that messages warning about Jill Kelley,
    coming from “KelleyPatrol” or “kelleypatrol were sent to
    numerous generals in the Central command, (Nov 15 in Friday
    NYT: law enforcement official: at least two more) and the
    way Jill Kelley got the one which started the investigation
    was because John Allen sent it to her. The e-mail said she
    was a seductress.

    November 14: The Wall Street Journal reports that Jill Kelley, on the
    advice of “friends on her Tampa social circle” had tried to
    get the investigation halted sometime during the summer
    after it began to get into larger national security issues,
    because she was afraid it would cause bigger problems. How
    do we know this? Are the problems she talked about (the
    disclosure of personal informatio) different than the
    problems she perhaps was really worried about?

    November 14: Petraeus agrees to testify tomorrow in closes session (or
    or possibly Friday) Senators McCain, Lindsey Graham, and
    Kelly Ayotte call for a special select Joint Committee to
    be appointed to look into Benghazi and also indicate they
    oppose confirmation of Susan Rice as Secretary of State.
    Obama holds news conference. Main topic expected to be the
    economy. Nancy Pelosi announces she will not leave her
    leadership position, but trots out lots of women to make
    it look better.

    November 14
    or 15? David Petraeus scheduled to testify about Benghazi in closed
    session of the Senate Intelligence Committee. When he
    resigns, it is announced that Michael Morell, the deputy
    and now Acting Director of the CIA, will testify instead.

    Later, he agrees to testify. The announcement comes Wednesday.

    November 14: Senators John McCain (R-Ariz), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C)
    and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) hold a press conference in which
    they call for a Joint House Senaate Select Committee to be
    appointed to look into the Benghazi incident, as with done
    with Iran-Contra, and Watergate and the 9/11 Commission are
    also mentioned. They indicate they would oppose the confirmation
    of Susan Rice as Secretary of State, should she be nominated,
    and McCain indicates he might filibuster.

    A spokesman for Jill Kelley, who asked not to be identified,
    has two conference calls with reporters. He says she took
    the e-mails to Humphries because she was afraid somebody
    was “stalking” both David Petraeus and John Allen.

    November 15: It is revealed that the “shirtless photo” that FBI agent
    Frederick W. Humphries II sent to Jill Kelley was actually
    a photo of him standing between two shirtless shooting range
    dummies, who bear a close resemblance to him, and was taken
    some years ago (in 2010?) and sent out to many people,
    including a Seattle Times reporter who knew him, with the
    caption: “Which one’s Fred?”

    In May, 2010, Humphries fatally shot a knife wielding man
    and neither the state prosecutor, nor, later, the Justice
    Department’s Civil Rights division, nor an FBI review board,
    found cause to bring any charges.

    He is being investigated by the FBI’s Office of Professional
    Responsibility for sending the picture, interfering with the
    Petraeus probe (where he had absolutely no authority) and
    contactimg Congress to complain that FBI was dragging its
    feet (with the message that this was being done to protect
    Obama)

    So Humphries wanted the investigation to continue, and
    earlier Jill Kelley had tried, unsuccessfully, to get it
    stopped.

    It is revealed that Paula Broadwell last showed up in public
    with General David Petraeus at the annual dinenr of the
    Office of Strategic Service Society (a grouo that honors
    the CIA’s World War II predecessor) on Saturday Oct. 27,
    as Hurricane Sandy was heading to the northeast. At the
    dinner, Paula Broadwell told fellow guests that they had
    two ideas for their next project, and expected to publish
    something again in the next two years….

    On Sunday, November 18 New York Post’s “Page Six”, which
    is on page 12, and never on page 6, reveals that in the spring,
    Paula Broadwell had been seeking to build her “brand,” trying
    to see if she could take advantage of her book tour and
    leverage it into other things, like a production company, or
    becoming a regular guest on TV. She was also pondering
    running for public office and said she had been contacted
    by people in both parties.

    On that, the November 26, 2012 issue of TIME Magazine, in
    mailboxes November 16, reports that at the Aspen Security
    Forum on July 28, 2012, she had discussed this matter of
    running for public office with at least six people over
    drinks. She told them she had already discussed this with
    David Petraeus and he had counseled her against it and she
    didn’t like the answer. Some Republicans, she said, had
    come to her offering to help finance a run for the Senate
    in North Carolina. Petraeus had asked her what was her
    position on abortion, climate change, gun control, tax cuts
    gay marriage and Social Security and then todl her that
    her answers did not fit either party and that she should
    not sell herself out.

    The New York post article also mentions that she was looking at
    the idea of becoming a fitness expert on TV and appearing in
    women’s magazines and wanted to do more philantrophic work for
    Wounded Warriors.

    David Petraeus skips a black tie event at the Holland
    Society of New York honoring him, although he still gets
    the Gold medal for Outstanding Achieveent in World Leadership
    from the Netherlands ambassador to the United States, Rudolf
    Simon Bekink.

    The CIA says it has started an internal investigation of
    its ex-director, David Petraeus, by its Inspector General,
    into whether he misused CIA assets to further his relatonship
    with Paula Broadwell. (This sounds like did he take a trip
    only to see her, and who paid for the coffee, if he gave
    her any.)

    The Wall Street Journal reports that under the Electronic
    Communications Privacy Act of 1986, no warrant is needed
    to access e-mails older than 6 months, (on third party
    servers I would think) because they are considered abandoned,
    and Google wants the law changed. (This abandonment rule
    may apply only to e-mail that was never opened or read)

    The Wall Strett Journal reports that the 2007 Justice
    Department memo that restricts discussion of criminal
    probes with White House personnel contains exceptions
    for a litigation issue in a specific case, and for
    probes that relate to a national security matter.

    TIME Magazine, on age 28 of its November 26, 2012 (in
    mailboxes Friday, November 16) reports that actually
    the 2007 Mukasey memo says specifically that in national
    security cases there is no restriction, and in (other)
    crimimal cases, the Justice Department should balance the
    value of secrecy from “the law enforcement perspective”
    against whether they have information that’s “important for
    the performance of the President’s duties.” In other words,
    let’s say there is evidence someone is corrupt, or the DOJ
    is letting guns be smuggled to Mexico or Honduras for
    investigatory purposes, that shouldn’t be kept from the
    President, let alone a terrorist plot..

    Former Atrorney General Michael Mukasey told TIME Magazine
    that an extramarital affair by the CIA director is a potential
    national security issue. He said they know enough at the point
    where his name turns up.

    November 1? Jill Kelley loses base privileges at MacDill Air Force Base.
    She had been part of a “Friends of MacDill” program that
    allowed members to travel around the base.

    That doesn’t mean she is now barred from the base. It means
    she can no longer enter the base with a wave, without signing
    in at the visitor’s gate and getting approval.

    November 15: It is revealed that Gen Allen’s wife had wanted Jill Kelley
    to stop writing to Gen Allen, but she persisted. Gen Allen’s
    wife had complained to the wife of Mark Rosenthal, who is
    a military liason of some sort, and that he, Mark Rosenthal
    telephoned her repeatedly asking her not to send any more
    e-mails. He told this to the Tampa Bay Times.

    It is revealed that [some more] classified documents were
    found on Paula Broadwell’s computer after the FBI search
    on November 12, but David Petraeus says he didnt send “them”
    to her. She is under investigation for not taking proper
    care of classified information.

    November 15: State Department report by “independent board” headed by
    former State Department official Thomas Pickering about State
    Department decisions made before Sept. 11, 2012 about
    security for the Benghazi mission due. (Security was
    actually being reduced as prospect of dan3er increased.)

    Sen Feinstein indicates they expect to hold at least three
    more days of hearings after Friday and issue a report.

    November 16: David Petraeus testifies behind closed doors. Elements of
    what he said communicated second hand. He says that the CIA
    ‘talking points’ were revised rather late, but with his
    consent, after it had gone out to other agencies and he
    does not know who proposed or drafted the revisions. The
    revision, however, was mainly to strike out “Al Qaeda” and
    replace it with “extremists” and was justified on grounds
    of secrecy. Senator Dianne Feinstein releases the 3-paragraph
    “talking points.”

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  249. MD,

    New Jersey voters were going to elect a new Senator in 2014 even if Lautenberg hadn’t died, so this would have been a fairly short-term appointment. It would give Christie a chance to demonstrate his judgment, is willing to lead, and will thoughtfully exercise the powers delegated to him by the voters. It would also give New Jersey voters a chance to see a Republican for a change — admittedly not my idea of a conservative Republican, but someone they might like as much as they like Christie. In other words, it would give the blue state voters who claim to like change a look at some real change.

    Let’s face it. Christie is just thinking about himself and his re-election. He isn’t thinking about the voters and their right to choose, because they were going to choose next year anyway. If anything, this will only increase the possibility that the entrenched Democratic New Jersey machine will win.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  250. Sammy’s comment 249 makes this thread a lot more difficult to read and is not on topic. The strange format suggests it was copied and pasted (but there is no attribution).

    Dustin (303dca)

  251. DRJ–He names a Repub, the Dems nationwide are outraged and raise mega money on the fact that he circumvented the last election result. He names a Dem, every Repub in America uses it against him in any future election run. It was a totally lose/lose proposition for a very short term appointment. As a conservative the additional cost to their state for a separate election to get the N.J. senate replacement for Lautenberg does bother me a lot– but considering all the factors involved, I think letting the voters decide was really his only viable option here.

    elissa (00d7a7)

  252. 253. It was copied and pasted from something I wrote before, and there’s even more of it.

    248, 249 and 250 are a response to 138 which went:

    <

    138.More allegations of Obama administration dirty tricks, this time regarding the campaign to compromise Petraeus into resigning from CIA Director.

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 6/3/2013 @ 8:33 pm

    But that was probably off-topic too.

    I don’t see the link indicates that Petraeus was pressured by Obama. Clapper, yes.

    I probably better should have written something in regards to 63 and 66 (anbout thomas Jeffesrson and Sally Hemings.

    The point is, Jefferson, in my opinion, fed Callendar the story, or details of it, in order so that he should be able to refute it!!

    (Callendar called Sally Hemings “dusky Sally” but she was really white – three quarters white – and his late wife’s half sister. Callendar never got to see Sally Hemings.

    Now anybody who had read Thomas Jefferson’s book “Notes on Virginia” (1784) (writetn well before the affair could possibly have begun) knew that Thomas Jefferson had written he did not find himself attracted to people with dark skin and he could not explain that.

    So that made the whole story look false. Plus Callendar spoke of a son named “Tom” while the real “Tom” had probably died as an infant shortly after being taken back to Virginia. There was no Tom living at Monticello.)

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  253. Christie is going to name Senator. He set the date of the election for October, but that doesn’t mean he is not going to appoint a Senator!

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  254. What really impressed me initially about Christie was his frankness on spending. Sacred cows were unaffordable, and he held the line.

    And then it became clear the path he was on would lead to losing the next election, and he’s been muddled ever since. Still, probably the best New Jersey can do, which speaks volumes about that state.

    So many of our ‘leaders’ will take any excuse, be it a committee, investigation, panel, or something else, to avoid making decisions. Elissa is correct that this was a tough decision with consequences either way. But that is what Christie’s job is. By refusing to do his job, the taxpayers will lose a significant amount of money in a broke state.

    Christie could have selected a moderate Mike Castle type Republican. Christie doesn’t have a political future outside NJ anyway, so he also could have picked a reasonable Democrat if that species exists anymore.

    Dustin (303dca)

  255. It was copied and pasted from something I wrote before, and there’s even more of it.

    Flooding every thread with your novel about Benghazi is lame.

    Dustin (303dca)

  256. elissa,

    I’m sure that’s true, but it’s a perfect example of why red state Republicans don’t trust blue state Republicans. They can’t afford to have courage or convictions.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  257. Except Scott Walker. He’s got both.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  258. I just want to remind everyone of the “little” kerfuffle and political intrigue ex-Gov Blago got involved with around the drama of naming a temporary replacement to Sen. Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat. Can anyone see why Christie would possibly want to avoid all that?

    Also, I just want to remind everyone that when the special election for that seat was finally held in Illinois, it was a Republican candidate who won. Hey, it could happen again.

    elissa (00d7a7)

  259. I think it’s clear Christie wants to avoid a lot of conservative things. He seems to fancy liberal leaders these days.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  260. Food for thought about Ka href=”http://hotair.com/archives/2013/06/04/christie-thwarts-gop-again-sets-special-election-for-october-instead-of-letting-appointee-serve-until-next-year/”>Christie’s motivations, elissa.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  261. Sorry, I blew the link.

    Food for thought about Christie’s motivations, elissa.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  262. Baste that turkey.

    mg (31009b)

  263. DRJ@258–Here’s the choice: There’s either going to be Republicans in blue states you sometimes don’t like and respect, or there’s not going to be very many Republican office holders in blue states to even slightly affect policy matters-period.

    I heart Scott Walker and I wish we could clone him. But his success does not suggest that Wisconsin is like Illinois or New Jersey and that he would automatically translate there.

    elissa (00d7a7)

  264. I hope third time’s a charm:

    Food for thought about Christie’s motivations, elissa.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  265. Do you really think there is hope for states like Illinois? Even when you elect Republicans, nothing changes.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  266. Elissa – much as I respect you, it was an absolute unequivocal cop out on his part. He was elected Gov. He gets to appoint.

    JD (20406c)

  267. R.I.P. Deacon Jones

    Icy (828f0f)

  268. Christie doesn’t care how much the special election costs.

    As long as the election is in October and not November … because having a Senator for that extra month is very important, but having one between now and then isn’t.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  269. food stamp’s pig boy is lying when he says he doesn’t know how much a special election costs

    happyfeet (c60db2)

  270. ==Do you really think there is hope for states like Illinois? Even when you elect Republicans, nothing changes==

    In the spirit of comity was going to ignore this, but I find that I just can’t. If you are suggesting that you can’t see that Mark Kirk in the Senate has voted differently on many many issues than Barack Obama did, or than a Sen. Giannoulias would have, I just don’t even know how to deal with that. The statement was probably not meant that way, but it feels disrespectful and a disservice to Sen. Kirk, to the Illinoisans who elected him, and to those of us who worked our butts off to help get him elected.

    elissa (00d7a7)

  271. one thing I like about Mark Kirk is that he’s not morbidly obese and deceitful

    happyfeet (c60db2)

  272. that’s actually two things if you’re keeping score

    happyfeet (c60db2)

  273. 242. Steve I understand where you are going with the unsung heroes. I agree there are probably many no one knows about.

    Yup. Renown is not a requirement for heroism.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 6/4/2013 @ 11:56 am

    I think you are mistaking my meaning. I’m not talking about merely being unreknowned for the effort. I’m giving a bravo zulu to the troops for making the effort.

    Just saying no may not have stopped a thing. Still it was pretty heroic to say no.

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  274. Christie wouldn’t make a half-bad Democrat VP ticket choice. Is there a place I can register my guess for a Clinton Christie vs Bush Walker match?

    :(

    Dustin (303dca)

  275. Oh, the Humanity…..
    Piffle is upset with Issa?
    He better be looking over his shoulder for the Grand Jury subpoena along with a few others in the campaign (Axelfraud) and think about how he’s going to answer the question: What communications have you had with the IRS Commissioner and any other person within the IRS?

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  276. I’m glad you helped elect Mark Kirk to the Senate, elissa. He seems like a legitimate conservative when he was able to vote. But like my State’s conservative Senators, his votes haven’t made any difference because he was always in the minority. Admittedly, it’s good to have them there so the Senate has some limits, but it’s hard to see how they’ve made a significant difference in the way our nation is governed given the liberal attitude of the majority of the remaining Senators. And frankly I fail to see how Kirk’s election has made a difference in the way Illinois is governed, but I don’t know much about Illinois state government so I’m willing to be educated.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  277. I get it, Steve. It’s classic heroism, not to ask for victory but for courage.

    If there is anyone close to my view of a classic hero in this modern age, though, it would have to be Nelson Mandela. Including the going to hell and kicking its butt, part.

    nk (875f57)

  278. Painful visual, Dustin.

    mg (31009b)

  279. Oh, my. Forgot to close my tags.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  280. It’s funny. I have been watching Chicago politics for 45 years. The “liberals” of my youth were “Lake Shore Republicans” — synonymous. Mark Kirk is ok for a middle-aged man with a hole in the head err wait a minute there …. 😉

    nk (875f57)

  281. I thought the piece you linked from the Von Mises Institute was a good read, DRJ. I admit I have been rather confused by the tone of some of your postings on this particular thread and am wondering what the point is that you are trying to make and that you want us to take away. On the one hand you seem desperate to turn our country around (I certainly agree with this). Yet you seem unduly negative and dismissive of the tiny steps that have sometimes taken great effort to come by, as we try in our own manner and in our own unique and complex places to help get it turned around the best and most realistic way we know how.

    elissa (a81db6)

  282. The more I read about Christie’s decision, or non-decision, it makes me even more contemptuous of him. It seems that he didnt want Booker to be on the ballot for Senate while he was running for re-election. This way, the Dems get energized for Booker the Golden Child and he gets a clear ticket the next month. And gets to spend millions of OPM while doing it.

    JD (b63a52)

  283. That’s it, JD. He doesn’t want Booker’s coattails helping his gubernatorial opponent. Pragmatism. For himself. Where’s Leviticus?

    nk (875f57)

  284. jersey trash does not have the character to be president any more than chicago trash did

    so this has been very clarifying in that respect

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  285. From the comment section at national review:

    We New Jerseyeans know that Booker is inevitable. His election to the Senate is a mortal lock…it’s just a matter of deciding when. The question faced by CC was whether to have Booker and [cannon fodder GOP candidate] at the top of the ballot in November (federal candidates appear above state candidates), or whether CC wanted to have to top of the ballot. CC is so popular in this state, there are many, many state, county and local GOP candidates that are going to ride his coattails to election. CC undoubtedly made the best choice for the party.
    There is a myth that CC could have easily postponed the senate election until 2014. Had he tried to, litigation was promised. The matter would be thrown to the uber-liberal court system, with the result being Booker on the November 2013 general ballot.

    elissa (a81db6)

  286. From Charles Edison, to Chris Christie, sort of an inverted curve.

    narciso (3fec35)

  287. The more I read about Christie’s decision, or non-decision, it makes me even more contemptuous of him.

    I’ve always been contemptuous of him. During the last election when several commenters were wishing that they could vote for him as President, I was warning that he wasn’t even conservative or brave enough to make a good RINO.

    peedoffamerican (ee1de0)

  288. There is a myth that CC could have easily postponed the senate election until 2014. Had he tried to, litigation was promised. The matter would be thrown to the uber-liberal court system, with the result being Booker on the November 2013 general ballot.
    Comment by elissa (a81db6) — 6/4/2013 @ 8:37 pm

    Well, that’s a good thought, especially when one remembers how Lautenberg returned to the Senate after a court allowed the scandel tainted dem candidate (Toricelli?) to drop out and let Lautenberg run in spite of regs at the time.

    So, I guess the issue is not only that he is doing an election instead of an appointment, but that he is making an effort for a separate election only 20 days from the regular for political reasons.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  289. the jersey trash love his corpulent jersey trash ass and they can keep him and love on him and rub his belly and have pork festivals and whatever

    America has real problems and this ass taco is a waste of everyone’s time

    saw him on the zuckerfail network recently eulogizing the dead fascist jersey trash cadaver what died

    is it an accident that Bill Gates’s fascist MSNBC network was born in Jersey?

    probably not

    seriously doubt it

    too much of a coincidence

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  290. you’re being kind of exra foul this evening feets

    elissa (a81db6)

  291. “you’re being kind of exra foul this evening feets”

    elissa – That’s ony because Mr. Feets doesn’t know Gov. Christie is gay. If Mr. Feets knew that he would be singing a whole nother tune cuz of how staunch Mr. Feets is.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  292. elissa,

    This is a recurring national debate over whether it’s better to be a political pragmatist or an ideological conservative. There are pros and cons to both but I’m having a hard time seeing Christie as anything other than a pragmatist who is letting his re-election drive this decision.

    I’m not disappointed in his decision nor do I disagree with it from a political standpoint, but it’s not a shining example of conservative courage.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  293. It’s easyish to be a conservative in Texas. Sure, you’ll get audited and stuff like that, but it’s not too bad.

    I have a ton of respect for conservatives in Cali or Illinois (like Elissa) or NJ (Liberty Chick is the only one I know of).

    I don’t disagree that NJ should be ridiculed for its poor decisions, and I am very disappointed in Christie’s decision, which puts his own political future over the interests of his state (moving an election up two weeks at a cost of $24 mill is not defensible to anyone with good sense).

    Elissa is probably right about the way the legal system would handle this matter had Christie held the election 18 months from now. They are tilted and have proven so. I think the best way to handle that is to expose it and condemn it like a leader. That’s not the easy path. The times call for a little backbone in anyone who wants to call himself a governor.

    Dustin (9f9a54)

  294. The Dems were gonna she him if he didnt appoint a Dem. so why worry about litigation? Let them go to Court and argue they own the seat.

    JD (b63a52)

  295. elissa,

    This may be quibbling and, if so, I apologize but I don’t feel desperate to change our country’s leadership. I probably felt that way in 2012 but Obama’s re-election convinced me the electorate has changed and it will take a while (if ever) to undo what he’s doing to our values and institutions. Now I’d describe my attitude as hoping for the best and planning for the worst.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  296. With an 80% plus incumbent reelection rate, it’s well not to be desperate. That’s the thing, the worst politician for the country could be the best for his local constituency. (My father told me the same thing about wives too one time.)

    nk (875f57)

  297. porky porky chris christie is an appeaser of fascism

    not unlike the vast bulk of his jersey trash constituents more generally

    it is what it is

    it’s not my fault

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  298. i try to set a good example

    I didn’t appease fascism all day

    didn’t do a whole lot of good what I can tell but tomorrow morning I’ll be right back at it

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  299. DRJ, I work with young people every day, and it is absolutely shocking how little they know or think about politics. They sneer at the Right, because of Jon Stewart and that gibbering Colbert (but even Stewart is getting nervous). So they support this administration in an effort to be with the “cool kids.” Ask them specifically what they support and they have trouble. And these aren’t stupid young men and women.

    “Low Information Voter” is not just about people looking for handouts.

    I have a student who swears up and down that HRC is the greatest politician in the world. So I asked her what specifically made her think HRC is da bomb. She could not answer, and became piqued at the question. I asked her what she knew about HRC’s background. Nothing. I absolutely despise it when faculty push politics on students, so I took it easy on her…but I hope I got her to at least look into the people she supports.

    Our culture has spent forty years making sheep out of intelligent young men and women. The best evince a quite insincere “above it all” vibe, while not having any real knowledge of history or context (which doesn’t mean, of course, “agree with me”). The worst literally take their politics from comedians. It was horrifying for me to ask very simple historical and political questions of my freshmen (and I teach at a top 50 institution).

    I shouldn’t be surprised. In college, I found the “Do your own thing” crowd needed to add “…so long as it is my kind of thing you do.” No different from their squaresville parents…just a different set of prejudices.

    I suspect what we have been seeing will happen again and again, but as things deteriorate (and you should see the pensive looks from Leftist faculty over the current administration), an opportunity will be created. I just hope that the Right doesn’t get all “purity” minded. Sitting out elections and allowing Leftists to win is…letting Leftists win. The goal is to minimize statism, and maximize freedom.

    And not blow the world up.

    Sorry for the speech.

    Simon Jester (910aac)

  300. Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    peedoffamerican (ee1de0)

  301. Much as I enjoy WB Yeats, I think the metaphor behind the Tower of Babel is what is behind most of our problems. Celebrating diversity is great, but we must also have a central core of common values.

    If nothing else, the ideals of our nation, which are quite remarkable.

    Which takes us back to Santayana, and history.

    Simon Jester (910aac)

  302. falconer needs to invest in one of them bullhorn thingers like what Mr. President George W. Bush used to make a speech what was so gladly received several septembers ago

    this was before the fascist ascendance

    they still make bullhorns though

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  303. The falconer brings the falcon back by waving fake falcon food stamp food in the air, happyfeet.

    nk (875f57)

  304. that’s American ingenuity at its very best Mr. nk

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  305. I seem to have gotten on the spam filter’s fecal roster. One last try with the correct link, then I give up. http://imgur.com/wTDm1OZ

    nk (875f57)

  306. elissa,

    Sean Trende at RCP sets forth a similar argument to yours (about the wisdom of Christie’s position).

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  307. DRJ–thanks. I had not seen that Trende article but I think it is well laid out and a good and fair analysis of the situation written by someone whose knowledge of politics is quite sturdy.

    elissa (4d9fe8)

  308. It’s easyish to be a conservative in Texas. Sure, you’ll get audited and stuff like that, but it’s not too bad.

    Dustin, just so you know, I’ve written Rick Perry and asked him to get the IRS declared a terrorist organization just like the IRA.

    Legislation is pending.

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  309. Hopefully the IRS will no longer be allowed to function openly in Texas in the near future.

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  310. Thank God for crass commercialism.

    Through the miracle of crass commercialism you can still buy the book “A Dawn Like Thunder.”

    http://www.amazon.com/Dawn-Like-Thunder-Torpedo-Squadron/dp/B004IK9EL4

    That is all.

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  311. Seems to me when you get a close Obama surrogate like Plouffe dredging up 30 year-old non-troversies to smear one of the lead House investigators it casts substantial doubt on the Administration’s “this was too dumb to be political” narrative.

    Add to that Stephanie Cutter’s admission that she was in meetings with the IRS Commissioner at the White House, which makes you wonder what communications or campaign purpose the meeting had. A more transparent administration might put out explanations of those White House visits rather than leaving people to ponder whether they had something to hide.

    Remaining unexplored is the role of prior White House Counsel and rabid speech squelcher Bob Bauer and whether he met with the IRS or requested investigations.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  312. I imagine there are some smoking guns waiting to be unearthed—otherwise, there would be no need to take the fifth, or to attempt to smear Issa.

    If the evidence reallllly will show that the IRS scandal was just a couple of rogue agents in Cincy, then Team Obama shouldn’t have a darn thang to worry about—they should welcome the investigation.

    But they don’t welcome the investigation.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  313. It’s still the anniversary of the battle of Midway. I say this as an American who just sipped a cup of coffee in air that was fit to breath.

    I toast the memory of John Waldron. And I don’t apologize for thinking maybe Walrdron’s Soux heritage had something to do with it.

    Steve57 (9b1cdb)

  314. 316. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 6/5/2013 @ 10:34 am

    Seems to me when you get a close Obama surrogate like Plouffe dredging up 30 year-old non-troversies to smear one of the lead House investigators it casts substantial doubt on the Administration’s “this was too dumb to be political” narrative.

    Here what you have is a bit of desperation, or at least someone;s hope of ending this – or more likely, just getting repoorters to pay less attention, go slower, maybe get negative information about teh accusers into stories.

    It wasn’t convenient for the Obama campaign (or not very useful) was what David Axelrod argued on the Sunday shows and that seems right.

    It was maybe convenient for lobbyists for liberal interest groups – people with an interest in government spending. Maybe people whose own contributions would be lower if the TEA PARTY was thought to be strong.

    Spending and legislation in Congress was what the “Tea Party” focused on, more than the Presidential election.

    Add to that Stephanie Cutter’s admission that she was in meetings with the IRS Commissioner at the White House, which makes you wonder what communications or campaign purpose the meeting had.

    That’s pretty obvious: Obamacare. The IRS and HHS were writing or supposed to write regulations, and there were political landmines there.

    Although maybe there were other things involvinmg the IRS besides Obamacare that the Obama White House was interested in controlling. Not only policy, but maybe statistics.

    A more transparent administration might put out explanations of those White House visits rather than leaving people to ponder whether they had something to hide.

    Oh, they do have something to hide, and they hid them.

    (although given the competence of the Romney campaign, maybe they shouldn’t have bothered)

    There really is not supposed to be political calculation going into the issuance of government regulations.

    But right now, these meetings are a squirrel. The whole scandal may be. It was deleiberately leaked. Maybe it takes away from the AP story and Benghazi. (although the Inspectors’ General’s report was coming out anyway)

    By the way Obama neglected to name a lot of inspector generals. The State Department had an deputy/acting IG who was ineligible by law to take the permanent job because he’d been in the Foreign Service.

    Remaining unexplored is the role of prior White House Counsel and rabid speech squelcher Bob Bauer and whether he met with the IRS or requested investigations.

    This would have bene done through second and third ranking officials and much more privately than White House meetings.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  315. Have you ever been audited, Sammy?

    elissa (dba240)

  316. too many scandals
    for one man colonel for teh
    overreacharound

    Colonel Haiku (12a909)

  317. 320. Comment by SPQR (768505) — 6/5/2013 @ 6:04 pm

    No, Sammy, Hotair uses Cutter’s own statements to blow up your defense of the IRS Commissioner’s visits.

    Once again, you got cut by Occam’s Razor.

    No, HotAir is bearing out exactly what I said.

    I said:

    “they do have something to hide, and they hid them.”

    I said they were most likely discussing was…

    “Obamacare. The IRS and HHS were writing or supposed to write regulations, and there were political landmines there.

    Although maybe there were other things involvinmg the IRS besides Obamacare that the Obama White House was interested in controlling. Not only policy, but maybe statistics.”

    I said:

    “There really is not supposed to be political calculation going into the issuance of government regulations.”

    The only difference is that HotAir seems to think these meetings concerned targeting conservatives.

    I say they concerned (in part at least) exactly what Stephanie Cutter said they did. She also argues they were not “nefarious”

    Hot Air argues that what Stephanie Cutter said she was doing is, in fact, “nefarious” I agree. I also think it’s true. I also thought if it had beemn known the Romney campaign wouldn’t have done anything with it, once they got a bit oif pushback.

    I also think it’s maybe only half of it, and I also think what she said is almost euphemistic.

    But it’s true. I agree with Hot Air it’s not a defense. I don’t agree that means in any way these meetings ahd something to do with the IRS scandal in the news. I said that in fact the release by the white house of these meetings was a squirrel. If in fact the whole scandal wasn’t (as far as danmage to Obama is concerned)

    Hot Air seems to think that because such meetings would be nefarious…her story is not true, and once you agree what she did is nefarious, we can decide what nefarious things she did.

    And they like the idea that these were meeting to target conservative organizations better, than the idea they were interfering with government regulations and concocting statistics for the President to argue with on the campaign trail and whatnot.

    So they’ll say persecution of Tea Party Group’s is what these meetings were about…because somehow that comes to mind first.

    As David Axelrod intimated, if that’s what some people in the White House did, with the intent of affecting the Presidential election, they’d have been wasting their time. This is virtually undeniable.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  318. It looks like English. And sounds kind of like English. But WTF?!

    JD (b63a52)

  319. 322. No.

    The audits – and they weren’t audits of the Tea Party.

    What they were doing was holding up applications, and asking questions they had no right to ask.

    That was not run through White House meetings with the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. I don’t think so.

    The Wall Street Journal reports today that the was organized by an IRS lawyer in Washington by the name of Carter Hull.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324069104578527713122409302.html

    Transcripts of the interviews, viewed Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal, appear to contradict earlier statements by top IRS officials, who have blamed lower-level workers in Cincinnati.

    Elizabeth Hofacre said her office in Cincinnati sought help from IRS officials in the Washington unit that oversees tax-exempt organizations after she started getting the tea-party cases in April 2010. Ms. Hofacre said Carter Hull, an IRS lawyer in Washington, closely oversaw her work and suggested some of the questions asked applicants.

    “I was essentially a front person, because I had no autonomy or no authority to act on [applications] without Carter Hull’s influence or input,” she said, according to the transcripts.

    For more on this see:

    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/carolplattliebau/2013/06/06/who-is-carter-hull-n1614319 (they don’t know too much)

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  320. And consider this: The parties thrown for people in the IRS paid for by who knows whom.

    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2013/06/06/irs-officials-in-the-hot-seat-again-on-capitol-hill-for-lavish-conference-spending-n1614313

    This is corruption, not political interference. Corruption maybe by liberal political interest groups, who maybe hired some lobbyists, but corruption, not orders from the White House. As a whole.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  321. 325. Comment by JD (b63a52) — 6/6/2013 @ 2:28 pm

    It looks like English. And sounds kind of like English. But WTF?!

    Hot Air thinks that because what Stephanie Cutter admits amounts to something nefarious, it therefore proves that their favorite way of being nefarious was what hapepened.

    I didn’t say this was a defense.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  322. Plouffee would not have to disclose what he says to the IRS, but at this time iot would risk coming out, and if anything happened as a result, it would probably backfire.

    Therefore he recirculates something public.

    It does indicate this is a problem for the Administration. The problem is that what the IRS did is a lot worse than many people realize. It wasn’t just selective law enforcement. It was holding up applications illegally, and asking illegal queswtions. And some people who were promoted or appointed or soemthing did this.

    And this happened under Obama’s watch.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  323. Don’t froget the union. IRS employees are members of the National Treasury Employees Union, headed by Colleen Kelley. And, well, just read:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323728204578517812641275502.html

    Finally, it’s important to focus on the political stew that many IRS employees marinate in as members of the National Treasury Employees Union, which is headed by Colleen Kelley. Ms. Kelley has publicly vilified “extreme Tea Party elements,” portraying their agenda as a threat to the IRS workers her union represents. In 2011, Ms. Kelley mobilized IRS employees to “lean on” members of Congress against tea-party-backed spending cuts, boasting that “anywhere there’s an IRS service center, we have four to eight thousand” union members. When you have a union boss who demonizes private citizens and conscripts front-line IRS employees as boots-on-the-ground activists, you’ve got toxic culture from the ground up.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  324. Carter Hull was also involved with something having to do with the National Association of securities dealers in 2006.

    http://www.thesipa.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/a.pdf

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  325. I missed reading Morning Jolt yesterday, so I missed this, which they linked to:

    http://watchdoglabs.org/blog/2013/06/05/irs-obamacare-official-at-165-white-house-meetings/

    There were 157 visits to the White House by former IRS Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman, and 165 White House visits by the IRS ‘Obamacare’ official Sarah Hall Ingram. None of the two attended the same meetings.

    All of Ingram’s 165 meetings were with with staff. Ingram mostly met only with Jeanne Lambrew, the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Health Reform.

    Six of the meetings Shulman had included President Barack Obama and 151 were only with staff. Shulman’s name was spelled 3 different ways. (sometimes with his middle initial, and sometimes without, and two times he was “Doug H Shulman” )

    Shulman might have been there for discussions of policy, and what they could do, and Ingram for working out details.

    Shulman might also have been discussing otehr matters, like creating favorable statistics for Obama or preventing or countering unfavorable ones..

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  326. The big question about this data gathering is how is it being used.

    I think there’s only one bad outcome – people can get put on the “No Fly” list or itherwise identified as being possibly in league with terorists.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)


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