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February 19, 2008

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They don't need any real dirt. She's pre-slimed so fake dirt can stick just as well as real stuff. With 48% of the population predisposed to think the worst of her, who needs real dirt?

seeing how the Clinton campaign is falling apart at the seams ("wait, there's a deadline for WHAT in Pennsylvania?", "texas decides its delegates HOW?") after being challenged by Obama, i have grave doubts about the veracity of HRC's "I'm tougher than Obama, nothing rattles me" claims.

Also, who's to say they won't rehash the 99 gazillion metric tons of vintage dirt they first mined back in the 1990s? I, for one, can't wait to have Lewinsky et. al dragged back into the national discourse. GAG.

As if the Republicans needed a factual basis for any allegations they might toss at Clinton. The "I'm pre-vetted" schtick only works if the other side isn't willing to lie about you.

A dramatic graph of the Clinton's recent meteoric rise in wealth.

This page also includes lots of links to articles about Bill Clinton's recent business activities.


http://thememlingindex.com/hillary_clinton_net_worth-wealth.html

A dramatic graph of the Clinton's recent meteoric rise in wealth.

This page also includes lots of links to articles about Bill Clinton's recent business activities.


http://thememlingindex.com/hillary_clinton_net_worth-wealth.html

@Ugh,

Conversely, the Republicans will come up will all kinds of slime, invented if necessary, to attack Obama if he wins the nomination. It's what they do.

I hope Obama beats the crap out of H. Clinton, but the quaint notion that the GOP will somehow be on its best behavior doesn't seem like a good reason to vote for him. Now, I do believe the public is more predisposed to believe the worst about Clinton, and not so predisposed in the case of Obama, and that could be a very valid reason to vote for him. But it's not for the Republicans' lack of trying. They pull out all the stops, no matter what.

The GOP folks know that a Hail Mary is their only chance to win the game this time around.

I never bought this logic either. It's not like scandals are like the flu, where once you have it you're inoculated from further effect. In fact, a lot of the Clinton scandals from the 80s and 90s will be new to people in the 18-30 range.

And on top of whatever may have happened since leaving office, the Clintons never really got hammered for their outgoing pardons which were largely (though not entirely) overshadowed by the Bush-Gore battle:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Clinton_pardons_controversy

You think when McCain and the RNC start running "Clinton pardoned convicted terrorists" ads it will be brushed off as old news?

There's been a lot of talk about how Obama is being tested politically for the first time by the "brass-knuckle" tactics of the Clinton campaign. But it occurred to me this morning, reading the Bloomberg News piece about Bill Clinton's fund-raising activities, that the converse--Obama throwing everything at Sen. Clinton's campaign--really hasn't happened.

We've seen Bill Clinton, the candidate and the president, attacked ferociously with charges true, exaggerated and false. (Mostly but not exclusively the last two.) We've seen Hillary Clinton, the spouse and the political personality, attacked with mostly baseless stuff. We haven't yet really seen Hillary Clinton the candidate (or Senator) attacked. Dissected, psychoanalyzed, pundit-mocked, sure. But neither Obama nor any of the other candidates have really gone after her as such, nor did the Republicans in her two easy Senate wins. (Lazio kind of tried, but he was like Dan Quayle's dumber ethnic cousin; it didn't take.)

I agree with hilzoy's bigger point here, but would add that not only don't we know what else might be waiting as far as new attacks on the Clintons, we also don't really know how, or how effectively, this Clinton will respond in a role to which she's unaccustomed.

It's interesting that the same NY Times editorial board that endorsed her felt compelled, after revelations of her 5 million dollar loan-to-self, to be all incredulous and sh--:

But the campaign said the money came from her share of the Clintons’ joint resources, and that calls attention to the lack of information about their family finances. As a former president, Bill Clinton has been making millions annually giving speeches and traveling the globe. What is publicly known about his business dealings is sketchy, and clearer disclosure of them is required to reassure voters that Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy is unencumbered by hidden entanglements.

Show Us the Money? The Clinton position is that it can wait until after the convention...but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Conversely, the Republicans will come up will all kinds of slime, invented if necessary, to attack Obama if he wins the nomination. It's what they do.

Of course, I wasn't trying to make the point that Obama will somehow be immune.

It would be surprising if all of Bill Clinton's post-Presidential moneymaking and fundraising passes the smell test.

dajafi has it exactly right. Hillary Clinton has had it easy in the primaries because Obama -- whether through private conviction or political calculation -- hasn't gone negative on her. (His aggressive comebacks when she goes negative on him don't count.)

But if she's the nominee, expect to see two things: first, not just new dirt, but new wrinkles on all the old dirt.

Second, most of the negative shit won't even make it to the networks, but will bubble underground in the same way the 'Obama is a secret Muslim' email has. And not just on mailing lists, but on talkback radio. This is what the right wing echo chamber was created for, folks. It will be their defining moment.

Not to mention: How many people believe that Bill has completely given up other women?

Do the supporters of Hillary have a double standard with regard to the office of First Mate? Do you think a candidate with a wife who wandered from her marriage vows would stand a chance?

Agreed, this is a ridiculous argument. A lot of the swift-boating nonsense that was used against Kerry had been around for decades, accruing since around the time he first testified to Congress. That didn't mean that it couldn't be whipped out and spun on the old phonograph again. Nothing a sleaze-merchant likes better than an oldie but a goodie.

cyn2: I was thinking about putting that in the post, but I really was trying not to say that I thought there was anything there, and not to be inflammatory, so I decided against it. However:

It should go without saying that any attack based on Bill Clinton's infidelities would be unfair and vile. He isn't President, or running for President, now. And if he has been unfaithful, that would in no way reflect on Hillary.

However: I think that if some infidelity (a) exists and (b) became public, it would absolutely help the GOP, not by being a good reason to vote against Hillary Clinton, but by a more visceral route: I imagine a lot of people would be rather vividly reminded of what they didn't like about the Clinton years, and consciously or unconsciously go: ugh! not again!

Yuck.

But what are the possible reasons for voting Hillary over Obama? I would say her health care plan is better, but is there anything else? Anything?

The latest national Gallup polling, if anyone's interested.

And about double standards: I have a single standard, since I think that candidates' spouses' sexual behavior is pretty much never relevant, unless some issue beyond mere infidelity comes into the picture, and/or the candidate is somehow involved or complicit, or something. (Where complicit doesn't mean "doesn't get divorced even after finding out", but something more like: "helps spouse smuggle those underage ferrets across state lines".)

Jason: health care mandates are what I was thinking of when I wrote that. Maybe also First Woman President, although personally I've never seen why anyone would think that was a good reason without also thinking that First African-American President is an equally good reason, in which case it's a wash. But I'm sure there are others, especially if you focus on policy details and/or neglected issues.

ugh! not again!

Wasn't me. ;-)

What part of "the Republican attack machine will simply make stuff up" do these people not get? Did they miss the Swift Boating episode three years ago?

Gary, here's the newer tracking poll:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/104437/Gallup-Daily-Tracking-Election-2008.aspx

Seems Clinton has narrowed to within a tie again on the back of her plagiarism charges.

This sort of crap happens on the eve of every primary. Between this and the last-day rush back to the Clinton brand name, Obama really does need to build up a buffer of 3%~5% in the polls.

Tested and vetted?? Wouldn't that vetting need to include a careful examination of their financial dealings? But Hillary refuses to release her tax returns....

"Inoculation" doesn't work with scandals, and from the pardon for billionaire Marc Rich to the sleazy personal finance issues, they will all be rehashed, and considering the Clintons do not exactly have a reputation for financial prudence, the fact that she won't release her returns ought to set off clanging warning bells.

For those who assume Bill Clinton still has other women, why assume Barack Obama only has one? 3-4 nights a week in DC, wife back in Chicago? I think Gary Hart set the gold standard of "catch me if you can". Let's just stick to policies and plagiarism, shall we?

I still think that the library issue has the most potential. It’s really a no win situation for the Clintons.

Speed up the release and every document will be mined for the tiniest potential speck of dirt.

Appear to be blocking the release and it will become a much bigger issue: “What are you hiding?” In fact, even when they release some documents but hold others back that will be the question.

Right now the blocking charge can be made as the National Archive has completed their review of 26,000 pages and it’s up to Bruce Lindsey at this point (Clinton’s designated representative for this), followed by a final WH review.

The chances that we’ll see anything before the March primaries seem pretty slim. The chances that we’ll see something before November are much better however.

For those who assume Bill Clinton still has other women, why assume Barack Obama only has one?

I'm sure the "Obama has a Mistriss in DC" story will be floated by the GOP at some point should Obama win the primary. Though I think they'd rather play the "he's black and went to a madrassa and is a secret muslim named HUSSEIN" card, which will work much better.

I stuck this on the PA thread but it belongs here:

Why">http://www.youtube.com/v/EdDzvmY1XPo&rel=1&border=0">Why Obama, not Hillary.

Amen to those making the point that the Republican attack machine -- and particularly the Hillary-hating wing of it -- observes some kind of statute of limitations on its sliming efforts. There will be no compunction about recycle prior sleaze reports, be they genuine, genuine-but-exagerrated, or just-plain-made-up. And there are tons. Much more than what peeked above the surface during Bill's woebegone White House years. There is much more that you can see today in the festering swamp of Hillary hate sites. One has to get a full set of inocculations before wading into these waters in full.

Moreover, none of this is to suggest that there isn't a good deal of genuine sleaze ther as well.

Just as a couple of f'rinstances, I think many Democrats would be surprised to find out that Hillary had insisted that acceptance of the ethically-challenged Web Hubbel as No. 2 at DoJ was a precondition for appoitnment as Attorney General. This ridiculous proviso caused the best candidate for the job, liberal D.C. Circuit Judge Pat Wald, to (wisely) turn down the job. Then we got the short-lived nomination of corporate/insurance lawyer/shill Zoe Baird (torpedoed for failing to pay payroll taxes for the brown help) and then Janet Reno, a truly awful AG.

Many would also be surprised to learn that it was Hillary who brought Dick Morris into the inner counsels of the Clinton presidency, thus spawning the out-Republican the Republicans excesses of the years before the '96 election.

Yech.

Ugh -- Actually, there's already a sex "scandal" brewing in Obama's past. It involves gay oral sex, crack cocaine, and two men partying like it was 1999.

The original accusation was on some crap talk radio show, and it's now migrated to YouTube. However, while I'm no connoisseur, I prefer the far juicier Kucinich/Ron Paul/Lyndon Larouche chimpanzee limo sex scandal:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lq9uiEm5_T8

(Yes, this one's a parody, but the original Obama/Larry Sinclair one is "real")

Misogyny at its finest -- the wife made to pay for the purported sins of the husband -- one of "man"'s favorites

Can you say "Geraldine Ferraro"?

Yes, well, the "I've been vetted" argument is so silly that it's an insult to our intelligence. Just an insult.

There is plenty of new sleaze.

There are plenty of reasons to vote against Hillary. Obama and Hillary-style populism are unsustainable and unethical in my opinion.

A critique of ‘Mother of All Meltdowns’; an interview with Nouriel Roubini (on Drudge now):

Professor Roubini likes lists and names twelve steps:

1. 20-30% drop in home prices, $4-$6 trillion in lost paper value. (probably 35% and $7 trillion).
2. See Step One.
3. Losses on unsecured consumer credit (see all those boats and campers for sale?).
4. Insurers go under (yes, Moody’s has put the ‘don’t blame me’ warning out for MBIA already).
5. Commercial property (yes before Step Six; no after since real estate will eventually have more value than paper money).
6. Regional bank failures (Wrong. the Fed will deflate the currency to prevent this; only small banks will be allowed to fail; oil $100 is just getting started).
7. Leveraged buy outs (no idea).
8. Corporate defaults (yes).
9. Shadow financial system (poor guys and Chelsea Clinton too, but I think she’ll be OK).
10. Stocks (values-yes; averages-not as much, see Step Six).
11. Liquity (yes).
12. Fire sale of assets (I don’t know).

But Professor Roubini does not extrapolate to the social arena. The Fed will work to save the banks by deflating the currency, which will drive up the cost of living (food, fuel) for those on government programs. The only option in a state of plunging tax revenues will be to borrow more money (see Step 11). And that’s that for our little experiment. It’s the natural cycle in a pure democracy. The Americans who will get hurt the most are those who the Democratic Party claims to care about. Forget about the people who depend on the UN.

I regret to say it, but this post has somewhat eroded my respect for Obsidian Wings and even, I am afraid, Hilzoy.

As a complete outsider to this arena I have little right to comment, but I have observed the balanced and reasoned viewpoint I value gradually dissipate.

I am well aware of the Clintons' past an perhaps not aware of element of their present but this post came perilously close the the "muck raking" I abhor.

I would suggest that the democratic party has the enormous luxury of gaining a candidate on her or his virtues. The appalling behavious of the republicans is, like all bad behaviour, not a standard to adopt.

Barnabas, if Clinton makes the argument that we should choose her over Obama because she's been vetted and there will be no new scandals, then it's awfully hard to refute it without mentioning any new possible scandals. Is your position that we just have to accept it as the truth and can't respond?

"this post came perilously close the the 'muck raking' I abhor"

An odd choice of phrasing, since the muckrakers, and muckraking, were good things. Why abhor "serv[ing] the public interest by uncovering crime, corruption, waste, fraud and abuse in both the public and private sectors"?

Alternatively, if you don't abhor the public interest, why are you labeling that which you abhor with such an admirable label, with such an ahistoric contradictory meaning to that which you appear to intend?

Generally speaking, it's rare for people to speak up in favor of corruption, fraud, criminality, and and the killing of innocent people, and to oppose fighting and unearthing it, and to abhor such good work.

Shorter version: that word, "muckraking," doesn't mean what you seem to think it means.

In any case, setting that aside, your comment still seems peculiar, given that Hilzoy's post specifically disclaimed: "Again: I absolutely do not want to suggest that there is any actual dirt on the Clintons for the Republicans to dig up," and that her point was simply to say that the argument that "there are no surprises" possible as regards the Clintons makes no sense.

That's neither investigating muck, or throwing it -- which seems to be what you actually mean, rather than raking it -- in the slightest, of course.

No more than if I or anyone also observes that declaring that it's impossible for there to be any "surprises" about Barack Obama would be illogical and incorrect. Did I just say something incorrect or unethical or improper about Obama? As it happens, absent god-like power, surprises are always possible about every human being. This is an offensive statement?

But I guess it's not a surprise that Clinton is yet again pushing Obama's "present" votes in a last-minute mailing in Wisconsin. Hasn't he already been vetted on that issue? I thought the Clinton campaign was telling us the rule is you can't bring stuff up again after it's been debunked, or does that only apply to Republicans (and even then only fantasy Republicans)?

Speaking of the slime-machine, Foxnews.com has had the "Michelle Obama hates america" non-story on their front page for several hours now, but at least now it's not the lead story with a picture like it was a while ago (that's reserved for the incredibly important "teacher who slept with 5 teenage boys pleads guilty" story - but it's NOT on the front page because Foxnews, the network of the wholesome and the family friendly, would want to draw eyeballs by running a sensational sex story. Nope, not at all).

"But I guess it's not a surprise that Clinton is yet again pushing Obama's 'present' votes in a last-minute mailing in Wisconsin. Hasn't he already been vetted on that issue?"

For whatever tiny value a single anecdote has, I don't think I mentioned that when I was talking to at considerable length to the two undecided members of our precinct caucus, that the "present" votes were a major sticking point that they'd heard about, and still clearly weren't entirely reassured about after my explanations.

For an ordinary voter, who doesn't fanatically look into all charges, and read multiple sources, and look beyond what's asserted in a single, or two or three, badly written articles, it can be impossible to sort out the truth or falsity of all the charges thrown around in the middle of a campaign. If stuff sounds plausible, some of it is always going to stick with some people, and the "plausible" part is optional.

Clinton has never even won a contested election. Her two Senate campaigns were bigger jokes than Obama's back in 2004.

My prediction for tonight: Clinton eeks out a small win or loses by what most people consider an insignificant margin, and thus the "comeback" story line gets two weeks of play leading up to TX/OH, which she wins by enough to bring her to a virtual tie with Obama and we have a messy, messy summer and convention, with Obama eventually throwing in the towel in disgust of Clinton's tactics, and then giving a tepid-endorsement of her and VP Edwards. She then loses the general election to McCain, who becomes the most disastrous one term president in US history (which ain't good coming after the most disastrous two-term president in US history). Obama returns to win in a landslide in 2012, if we survive that long.

Wait, maybe that wasn't a prediction just for tonight.

One of my (many) major problems with Hillary as a candidate has been her refusal to release financial information. It is virtually pointless to release financial information after the primary is concluded (and unfortunately, by our election rules it is perfectly fine to do so). If there is nothing to hide then release your financials.

Speaking as a government employee in medical research, I am forbidden from making certain financial investments within Biotech/Pharma, even if I have no expertise, solely because of potential conflict of interests. Why then, isn’t the reverse requirement true (releasing financials) for a prospective presidential candidate, considering it is potentially the greatest conflict of interest in government?

Personally, I think the country has clearly seen the damage President CEOs can do. I’m not suggesting Hillary would be that. However, both the Clinton and Bush family dynasties have a long history of peddling with sketchy money transactions to stay in power. Can we ever reasonably assume a President Hillary would be able to restrain Bill’s involvement of the type detailed in the NYT's article? Shouldn't she have already been doing it given her intentions?

Many say having Bill onboard would be beneficial. I would claim the exact opposite. Once in a position of power and leadership it is not common to sit back and shut up. If we look at the issue of nuclear proliferation for instance, how could anyone take Hillary’s positions (whatever that might be at the time) to be serious, when her husband has been meddling in the uranium business? I believe the Clintons look out for their best interests first and foremost, while the country is a distant second. We know where that thinking gets us.

And, for the first time ever in my life I would like not to hear President as a prefix to the last names Bush and/or Clinton.

"Clinton has never even won a contested election. Her two Senate campaigns were bigger jokes than Obama's back in 2004."

This is just silly. I lived in NY for Clinton's first campaign, and Rick Lazio certainly did contest it. Until the last debate, it was definitely not a sure thing who would win.

Her re-election had no serious contender, but to say that of her first campaign is simply untrue.

Thursday, September 07, 2000
:

Hamilton, New York—Republican Rick Lazio leads Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton among upstate New York voters in the race for U.S. Senate, according to the latest results of the Colgate/Zogby Upstate New York poll. The survey of 1,200 likely upstate New York voters taken August 29 – Sept. 2 finds Lazio leading Clinton among upstate voters 50.8 percent to 41.1 percent. Another 7.0 percent were undecided and 1.1 percent chose another candidate.

[...]

Among Upstate Republicans, 75.3 percent back Lazio while 17.1 percent support Clinton. At the same time, Lazio enjoys a large lead among upstate Independents 53.3 percent - 37.2 percent. All upstate area codes support Lazio, including suburban (53 percent - 37.5 percent) and rural areas (58.5 percent - 33.2 percent). Clinton leads among upstate’s large cities (53.7 percent - 39 percent) and small cities (50 percent - 43.3 percent). Lazio leads by 24 points among men (34.6 percent Clinton, 58.2 percent Lazio), while Clinton has the advantage among women (47.1 percent Clinton, 43.9 percent Lazio).

Barnabas: There are certainly legitimate points to discuss here. If a candidate wants to claim vetting as a strength, if she wants to claim she is more electable because those mean old Republicans have already given her their best shot, if she literally promises voters “no surprises” – it would be irresponsible not to consider and debate these points. And even if there is nothing new, as has been pointed out up-thread, there is an entire new generation of voters mostly unfamiliar with all the old stuff.

For a candidate who has railed against the current administration’s secrecy, she has not been completely forthcoming. Is it fair to note that she has refused to release tax returns while Obama has not? Or is that out of bounds?

And in general I’m adamant about leaving a candidate’s spouse out of these things. But Bill is a very special case, one that is unique in our history. He’s making a personal fortune trading on both his old position and the potential of his new position, a position he will mostly define by nature of being first. That puts him in bounds for me.

And if you think hilzoy is adopting the behavior of the Republicans – you really don’t know what the GOP is capable of. ;)

"If we look at the issue of nuclear proliferation for instance, how could anyone take Hillary’s positions (whatever that might be at the time) to be serious, when her husband has been meddling in the uranium business?"

Wait, what? How's that?

Are you saying that the existence of uranium mining is a cause of nuclear proliferation, and that in order to minimize and fight nuclear proliferation, we should... what, ban uranium mining? Ban people from having financial interests in it?

It's one thing to object to politicians making deals, but I'm unclear what exactly it is you're asserting as regards uranimum and nuclear proliferation, per se.

Ugh's 6:36 wins for Bleakest Prediction Of The Day!

sadly, i think the lesson HRC's going to learn from her recent uptick in GE polling is that her recent slimy negative nonsense works. and it's going to get worse.

And in general I’m adamant about leaving a candidate’s spouse out of these things. But Bill is a very special case...

especially since Hillary is apparently counting Bill's time in office towards her own experience.

Ugh: "Michelle Obama hates america" non-story

I don’t agree it’s a non-story, because a) she (or whoever wrote that but still ultimately she) obviously did not have a clue how that would come across to a good part of the country and b) it was a free shot for Cindy McCain to come back today with “I love my country.” Very subtle “libruls hate America”. Sheesh – why don’t they all keep their spouses off the campaign trail…


IMO the non-story (and the slime) would be digging up her 1985 thesis, or trying to, and then spreading it around that is unavailable until November 5, 2008 at the Princeton library to raise more interest in it. “Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community” – must be something juicy in there…


My prediction for tonight...

Dammmmn dude…

Is it just me or have the folks at Talkleft gone bonkers?

Gary: I knew you were going to call me out on this :) I will just say upfront that I really know nothing about nuclear proliferation but I have read threads/comments related to it in the past.

My thinking is essentially something like this:

The alleged attempt at yellow cake (an intermediate uranium ore) purchases by Iraq from Niger was used as a justification for military action against Iraq. It is far from being a nuclear weapon nor refined enough for use in nuclear reactors. However, our country still feels it is important enough to monitor it’s sales activity. Should a president-to-be have any financial interests (whether direct or indirect through a spouse) in facilitating a new uranium mine for their profit? I personally do not think they should be involved. Many are worried about Iran and their nuclear projects, and whatever Iranian intentions may be, how can a president ever seriously address the issue with an existing conflict of interest. It seems pretty straightforward and unacceptable to me. But hey, it’s only me.

Is it just me or have the folks at Talkleft gone bonkers?

i had never visited there until this week. and now that i've been there one time, been there two times... mm mmm mm... never goin back again.

I think the most reasonable interpretation of Michelle Obama's statement is that this is the first time X has made her proud of her country, but whoever wrote the speech screwed it up and wrote it as "this is the first time I'm proud of my country, because of X," thus giving the "rage pimps" (stolen from John Cole here) an excuse to wail into the night.

Speaking of John Cole's website, fncking jeebus. I think that might be bad enough that it'll actually get pulled from the Corner.

Speaking of Mr. Cole, h/t for this.

Now there’s the Republican slime machine in action.

Wow.

Hah. I followed your other link and saw that.

The Corner's Andrew Stuttaford doesn't like it, Ugh.

"or have the folks at Talkleft gone bonkers"

I'm not sure, but most times I click over there it's because BTD is making some contrarian claim about what it all means (his track record hasn't been very good, IMHO). I do have to say that, on caucus night here in Denver, I tapped the only person with a laptop in the entire auditorium on the shoulder to ask what numbers were coming in for Super Tuesday...it was Jeralyn and she was very gracious about sharing the results and chatting for a few. Turns out she lives in my precinct, and was the first blogger I met in real life who I recognized from being a political junky.

"The alleged attempt at yellow cake (an intermediate uranium ore) purchases by Iraq from Niger was used as a justification for military action against Iraq. It is far from being a nuclear weapon nor refined enough for use in nuclear reactors. However, our country still feels it is important enough to monitor it’s sales activity. Should a president-to-be have any financial interests (whether direct or indirect through a spouse) in facilitating a new uranium mine for their profit? I personally do not think they should be involved."

Fair enough. You left out why, though. You seem to have leapt over that part.

Uranium mining is necessary to keep the hundreds of nuclear reactors across the world running. Uranium isn't inherently evil, and Uranium 238 isn't particularly more dangerous than lead, or any of the other heavy metals.

Why is it any more improper for a former president, or anyone else, to invest in uranium mining than in coal mining, or corn farming, or solar energy panel manufacturing, exactly?

If a deal is financially or ethically questionable, than that's what it is. But what's uranium mining got to do with it? What do Iran or Iraq or Niger or nuclear weapons proliferation have to do with it? Is it your position that uranium mining is an unethical industry, and that people shouldn't be allowed to engage in it in order to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons?

Because if that's your position, it's a rather unusual one: can you cite any reputable NGOs, or other credible sources on non-proliferation, that hold that position?

Did you know that if you have a daily tracking poll, about once every three weeks the number will be more than the margin of error away from the true value (which you will never know)? And that's assuming the only source of error is sampling error, which isn't true by a long shot.

I mention this in passing, as various blogs (and probably the traditional media) focus on the result of one Gallup poll, which hasn't been confirmed by any other polls, and are poised to launch into a full-blown analysis of how it proves that the "plagiarism" smear has saved Clinton if the Wisconsin primary results make the argument at all plausible.

Todd Beeton at MyDD is now saying that if Obama's lead in Wisconsin isn't so big that the networks call it for him immediately after the polls close, then that's "good news for Clinton". Can expectations be lowered any further?

"Turns out she lives in my precinct, and was the first blogger I met in real life who I recognized from being a political junky."

For whatever little it's worth, I wrote about meeting Jeralyn (and Andy Olmsted and Amanda Wilson, and a bunch of other bloggers) four years ago.

As regards Ms. Schiffren, I Just Want To Say that my mother was a Jewish former card-carrying member of the Communist Party (she quit after the Stalin-Hitler Pact), so that clearly makes me untrustworthy for elected office, and extremely likely to sell us out to the commies, if only I could find some somewhere who were still ideologically correct.

Maybe the Nepalese revolutionaries.

There must be some left somewhere. Other than a handful of Revolutionary Communist Party bots. All hail Bob Avakian! Our Vanguard is the Revolutionary Communist Party! Word! We await the secret trigger message from Leader Obama, at which time comes the revolution, comrades! Death to the capitalist running dogs! Only then will I be proud of my country! In the immortal words of our other Hidden Agent, Mitt Romney, Patria o muerte, venceremos! [begins singing The Internationale]

The secret meaning of Yes, We Can! is revealed!

Is it just me or have the folks at Talkleft gone bonkers?

Yes. I look forward to their return to sanity after the primaries.

Barnabas: I wrote the post because I had come across this argument as a reason to vote for Clinton a number of times, and the three of those times that were in the last 24 hours were the straw that broke the camel's back. In all cases the people making the argument really did seem to think that the fact that the GOP had thrown everything they had as of 2000 at HRC meant that there were no surprises.

I tried to make it clear that I was not saying that there was anything there, just that whatever good reasons might exist for voting for Clinton, that wasn't one of them. I did that because I really didn't want to make any such suggestion, just point out that this argument really does assume that nothing has happened since 2000, and that that assumption, while quite possibly true, is nonetheless not obviously true.

The Corner's Andrew Stuttaford doesn't like it, Ugh.

Thanks. I thought there might be some outerbound for at least a few people at the Corner (Bizarro World is another matter, of course).

Can expectations be lowered any further?

If Jesus Christ himself appears and announces that Obama is the candidate of God, but doesn't use his otherwordly powers to ensure an Obama victory, that's good news for Clinton as it fits the "cult" meme.

And before anybody accuses me of equating Christianity with a cult, I thought that phrase carried with it the perfect Mark Penn-ish combination of lowering expectations while simultaneously putting foot-in-mouth.

Running with a whole meme now. Not just Barack, but Michelle as well.

See Michelle went to Princeton. As I mentioned her thesis is no longer available until after the election. More importantly, her adviser is not listed!

Now Michelle worked in the Third World Center for her work-study requirement.

Who gave a speech for the 30th anniversary of Princeton University's Third World Center in 2000 (15 years after Michelle left)? It was that old commie Angela Davis! Bingo! Michelle is a commie too!

I seriously wish I was kidding you here. I’m not, but it’s too embarrassing to link.

"I am just embarrassed they fooled me for so damned long. Although my leaving the GOP did roughly coincide with me cutting down on how much and how often I drink, so I may use that as an excuse."
—John Cole

I've gotten out my lucky election-night hat to watch the Wisconsin results, even though I'm at home alone. This could be bad.

OCSteve, if Obama wins the nomination, based upon the way Clinton is trying to attack, it will tell me that the public is finally wising up to some of those tactics, and the ones most likely to fall for them wouldn't vote for a Democrat anyway.

At least, I hope so. But then I have felt that way for the last few election cycles, so maybe I am just refusing to grow up.

Perhaps someone should explain to Mr. Penn that stuff like "everyone already hates our candidate" or "we're losing because our campaign stinks" isn't actually helpful spin.

See Michelle went to Princeton.

Well, two can play that game. You see, my wife went to Princeton. Plus, she also wrote a thesis that is not available, at all. Finally, she is related to (now former) officials in the Bush administration. Thus Michelle Obama is secretly ... a republican!! And a communist!!

I'm so confused. ;-)

OCSteve: wow. (I googled.)

In case anyone is wondering, the Third World Center was a couple of things: first, a place where students of color hung out (and remember that Princeton had a long and unfortunate history as the Ivy school where Southern families sent their sons because there were no blacks; it was very, very culturally white at the time), and second, politically left. (By which I do not mean e.g. Communist; I really don't recall Princeton being awash with Communists of any kind, at the time. I think I was around 4 years ahead of Michelle, iirc. I mean: left.) Also, iirc, the "politically left" part wasn't e.g. a condition of membership or an explicit anything; more like an atmosphere.

The eating club I belonged to also tended left (as did the student body), but it by no means follows that everyone there had any particular political view. We were also known as the drug club, but I suspect had one of the higher percentages of people who did no drugs at all, along with a higher than normal percentage of people who did them to excess. Whoop de do. Drawing conclusions about any individual member of my eating club, or the TWC, on the basis of general tendencies would have been a mistake.

If Michelle Obama hung out there, she would have been exposed to left politics, but it doesn't particularly follow that she would have espoused them.

So if I'm reading you right here, ugh, this shared "history" clearly indicates that Michelle Obama is not just a republican!! And a communist!! But also a lesbian!!

I remember how Lieberman's campaign was saying that Ned Lamont was a wild-eyed leftist (supported by rabid bloggers!) as well as a closet Republican (because he worked with Republicans as a Greenwich selectman).

It's 9:07 with the race not called, so I guess the Clintonites can start their victory dance, by Todd Beeton's definition.

KC, but all the networks are saying the exit polls show a sizable advantage to Obama. Perhaps they just want to have a reason to stay on the air.

McCain Rally in Ohio on TV:

I think I can count the number of people who I hear clapping (the camera does not show the crowd). It sounds to be around fifteen. Maybe eighteen. No more than two dozen.

Obama declared winner by MSNBC.

Michelle Obama is not just a republican!! And a communist!! But also a lesbian!!

Married to a communist Muslim!

The hat worked, but I'm still worried about the margin. And Hawaii. The media are still looking for something to hang an "Obama bubble is deflating" story on.

If they declared this early I would expect a double digit margin. And since but one poll had Obama with less than that, it would be hard for her to spin.

I was listening to her speech in Ohio. She used the old "Speeches vs solutions" line and it didn't seem to resonate too much.

"but one" = "All but one."

hilzoy:The eating club I belonged to ...

Huh, I didn't know you went to Princeton.

Ugh: Class of 1981. For the record, by the time I went there, most the eating clubs had stopped being selective, and were just very nice houses bought by previous generations so we could have parties in them, plus welcome alternatives to university dining.

If you want to see what a long-term demonization campaign can do, look no further than Saddam.

Who actually told the truth about WMDs, unlike certain US officials.

Getting people to re-evaluate an opinion after being propagandized over a decade is near impossible.

"If you want to see what a long-term demonization campaign can do, look no further than Saddam."

I'm going out on a limb to suggest that he helped give a bit more of a running start than Barack Obama does.

“Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community” – must be something juicy in there…

Speaking as another Princetonian... wait, we had a black community?

[I kid, I kid! But seriously, the only whiter place I've ever been is... well, here in Wisconsin. Oy, the non-diversity.]

And hilzoy: were you in Terrace?

Anarch: yeah.

This has been one hell of a depressing thread.

Here is the reality: whether Clinton gets the nomination, or Obama, the Democratic nominee is going to be in for the ratf**king of their lives. It worked for Lee Atwater, it worked (and works) for Roger Ailes, it worked for Karl Rove, and by God, it'll work for whoever is running the show this year.

Obama is as vulnerable as Clinton. Rezko goes on trial next week. You will see Michele Obama talking about "being proud of the US for the first time" 24/7 for the next month at least. Obama's black, he has a weird Muslim name, he attends an unusual church, he did coke, he went to primary school in Indonesia. That's all they need.

He's a gold mine. Trust me on this.

Clinton's point is apt. She and Bill have already been run through the meatgrinder often enough that they'd have to be caught running a sex slavery ring for it to do any damage. Anyone inclined to think the worst of them already does. Some of those folks seem to be right here at ObWi.

Obama, on the other hand, is fresh meat.

If you like Obama better, vote for him. If you think a vote for Obama represents some kind of insurance against Republican dirty pool, you're going to be disappointed.

It's going to get ugly enough when the spiritual heirs of Atwater get busy. No need for the rest of us to join in.

Thanks -

Thanks for the link Gary, didn't know there were that many bloggers out here.

About this:

"It's going to get ugly enough when the spiritual heirs of Atwater get busy. No need for the rest of us to join in."

A recommended diary over on Kos has a pretty funny cuss-filled take on what we should think about the spiritual heirs to Atwater...

Russell,
There is no insurance against dirty pool. It will come. But:

a) I don't buy the idea that the press is a timid little organization with no loose airtime to fill, who have never before printed a story critical of a black politiician. One thing the lack of slime says is that there isn't much substantial stuff a serious outlet can put up without looking ridiculous. The house buy for instance just keeps getting knocked down.

b) Wisconsin exit polls showed that people thought Clinton went unfairly negative, not Obama, by 2 to 1. And they're handing him a lopsided victory. The nasty divisive stuff still works at times, but it works less and less well as people come to expect it and see through it. And to punish the perpetrators more than the slimed.

One of the things that impresses me about Obama's "change" message is that it already happened. After 15 years of bitter partisan character shredding, a sufficient mass of people had moved into the "time to do something new" center and were milling around, almost a parade. Obama's now heading that parade. He had the wisdom to see it forming and guide it, which to me is one of the most useful qualities in a leader. You don't need to always create the change; sometimes you can give voice to the change that people already feel but no one has successfully articulated and directed. Then it can spread out, as more people watching the parade say "You know, I don't care that much what Rush thinks any more," or "Republican or not, Luger makes a lot of sense there."

If you think a vote for Obama represents some kind of insurance against Republican dirty pool, you're going to be disappointed.

There is no insurance against Republican dirty pool. Clinton sure as hell isn't it, and that's the only thing I've seen people claiming here.

Gary: I realize this may not be the best example of a conflict of interest in a Hillary presidency. Regardless of that, I will try to further explain why the NYT’s article makes me upset with the Clintons.

First, I agree with you that Uranium isn’t inherently evil. I never said it was. Also, it is more dangerous than lead. Lead can’t be refined to fission grade material capable of nuclear chain reactions. Lead is also not an element that is tracked by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission or IAEA. Also, as we’ve seen through Bush’s case for war, uranium mines and uranium ore appear to be under a close eye from agencies like the CIA. Why? Because we have national security interests in knowing where these materials are going, etc.

“Why is it any more improper for a former president, or anyone else, to invest in uranium mining than in coal mining, or corn farming, or solar energy panel manufacturing, exactly?”

The common denominator you seem to be suggesting here is the energy industry (coal, corn, solar, etc.). But there are fundamental differences between investing in solar panel manufacturing and material that could be used for peaceful energy production or nuclear weapons.

The former president is married to a presidential candidate who is currently running for office. Bill and Hillary’s financials are tied together. Therefore, Bill’s actions are relevant. Let’s be completely hypothetical and imagine that this mining facility signs a contract with Iran or N. Korea for Uranium ore. Wouldn’t our national security policies, economic sanctions, and ability of our President to act professionally be completely undermined by a serious conflict of interest?

My major concern is the Clinton’s concern for themselves and their own wellbeing over the interests of our country.

"First, I agree with you that Uranium isn’t inherently evil. I never said it was. Also, it is more dangerous than lead. Lead can’t be refined to fission grade material capable of nuclear chain reactions."

And yet, what I wrote wasn't "uranium isn't particularly more dangerous than lead"; I wrote that "Uranium 238 isn't particularly more dangerous than lead, or any of the other heavy metals."

Yes, if you turn U238 into highly refined U235, it's highly dangerous.

And if you turn water into hydrogen and oxygen, it's highly explosive. That doesn't mean water is explosive.

Turning U238 into U235 is not a simple or easy process. So, to repeat: U238 isn't particularly more dangerous than any of the other heavy metals.

"Let’s be completely hypothetical and imagine that this mining facility signs a contract with Iran or N. Korea for Uranium ore. Wouldn’t our national security policies, economic sanctions, and ability of our President to act professionally be completely undermined by a serious conflict of interest?"

No. It can't happen, since U.S. law wouldn't allow a citizen to sell uranium or to North Korea or Iran.

Thus, there's nothing whatever to be alarmed about by anyone's investment in uranium mining. It's a perfectly legitimate business.

There is no insurance against Republican dirty pool. Clinton sure as hell isn't it, and that's the only thing I've seen people claiming here.

Fair enough.

One thing the lack of slime says is that there isn't much substantial stuff a serious outlet can put up without looking ridiculous.

All I can say is, good luck with that.

I think Obama's a great guy. I'd be damned pleased to vote for him in November. I think he'd be a better candidate than Clinton, not least because so many folks, for reasons that defy rational explanation, simply hate her guts.

hilzoy's point -- that Clinton, unbelievable as it may seem, may have yet more dirty laundry to air -- may well be so. And, as KC has pointed out, that's really the only claim hilzoy has made.

I'm sorry to say, however, that IMO the relative lack of character assassination by innuendo targeted at Obama so far is no indication that there isn't plenty to come. Look, he even has a communist mentor now.

Is it serious? No. It's just a plateful of poo, flung to see what might stick. It's the "could it be... Satan?" school of political analysis. But there's plenty more where that came from.

Buckle up.

Thus, there's nothing whatever to be alarmed about by anyone's investment in uranium mining. It's a perfectly legitimate business.

Quite right. I don't have facts and figures but I would hazard a guess that a generous number of federal officeholders have some interest in uranium mining, even as we speak.

The question of how to manage potential conflicts of interest between an officeholder's responsibilities and the financial interests of members of their families is a good one, however. I don't know what the policy is.

Can anyone point to a good resource for information?

Thanks -

"Can anyone point to a good resource for information?"

You can find the Congressional rules here, if that's what you're asking for. If it's not what you're asking for, I'm not sure what you're asking for, and could use clarification.

Gary: you educate as always. I shall use muckraker more carefully in future.

OCSteve/Hilzoy (sorry to conflate you): while I accept the intent was to undermine a specific claim, it seemed to raise more question marks about Ms Clinton than were, in my limited view, strictly necessary to do so.

I appreciate (Hilzoy) that you stated you had no intent to "say that there was something there" but unfortunately I was left with an impression of potential corruption in the areas you mentioned. If I were to say in detail that there is no evidence that Mr X is a child molester alhough he has not indicated where actually was on the date in question it leaves an implication with the reader.

I would propose an exercise so you can ALL show me how wrong I am. Spend a post and comment thread on the strengths and value of Hillary Clinton. You need not diminish Mr Obama.

I draw as a hobby and the way to see if a picture is off balance is to hold it against the light and look at the reversed image, it is often surprising.

I'm not conserned about the specifics of Clinton corrutption, real or imagined. I am afraid to have her for a candidate for a number of reasons, among them thses two: she is a symbol to the right, a way of justifying to themselves their party's abusive and criminal behavior all of these years and she uses tactics which increase her already high negatives.
. Bullies always blame their target. If Clinton is our candidate the right will turn out to vote against her because hating her is the only thing they have left that unites them or justifies their past behavior.

She is widely percieved as being unscrupuloulsy ambitious. Independent voters, who vote for personality more than issues, don't like her because she is percieved as the antitheisis of the kind of politician they do like: the streaight talking, honest principled, etc politician kind. And she has so far shown that her campaign tactics will contribute to her negatives. She can't afford to go negative because it plays right inot the bad streotype of her.

So her candidacy would inspire the right to vote and turn off the independents. That's a recipe for an electin with no coattails and very possibly an election lost, another 2004.

More slime from the right isn't even necessary for her to lose.

Spend a post and comment thread on the strengths and value of Hillary Clinton. You need not diminish Mr Obama.

And this would show how wrong you are about what? No one has claimed that Hilzoy or ObWi is neutral in the choice between Obama and Clinton.

If you want a pro-Clinton post, perhaps you should get your own blog for that. Then you can also spend a post and comment thread on the strengths and value of John McCain, who is, after all, not a monster and surely has some good qualities. No doubt it would be an interesting exercise and would prove something or other.


I've been seeing it in a variety of media. Presidential Candidate Obama is not perfect. He is said to have had dealings with people whose interests are not in the best interest of the American people. He has espoused policies that many of us do not agree to be in line with our own.

There are no perfect people, no candidates for elected office who can pass any possible test of political correctness or be gloriously free of nits to be picked.

I am even quite willing to believe that our whole political process is controlled by some evil imperial cabal, and we have no real choice. That being the case, we may as well support the candidate we will most enjoy listening to over the next 4 years. I am an over fifty, working class, white woman who enthusiatically supported President Clinton through the '90s. I now enthusiastically support Senator Obama's candidacy for President, because his is the message I want to see spread throughout this land. I am not settling for any lesser anything. In my estimate (ymmv) he is the best candidate I've seen in my lifetime.

The way I am coming to view it, the dichotomy in this country over the candidates is not about gender or race. If you want a good manager who will keep things in line, under control, take care of us, you are probably supporting Senator Clinton. If you want an inspirational leader who will help us find our own voices and aspirations and become a movement of people working together for the common good, you are probably supporting Senator Obama. If you want the old American values of war and big business, you are probably supporting Senator McCain.

Face it, the only way we will have real choices, real control over how our common issues are worked out, without oppression from big government and monied interests, is to take back our power and take care of ourselves and each other on the local level. Of course, it's much easier to make the perfect the enemy of the good, spread rumors and malcontent, make ugly battle out of what could be uplifting debate, than to take on the real work of improving our common lot.

Peace,
Laurie

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