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May 10, 2008

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He has. (more specific link from Robin's google results.)

"But some allies worry that Goodyear's selection could fuel perceptions that McCain—who has portrayed himself as a crusader against special interests—is surrounded by lobbyists."

Sounds like an accurate perception to me.

The local employees are distributing the food fine. If there is a problem, the foreigners should explain clearly why and send the information to the military who is coordinating. I won't support anything that thinks it knows why those names are on those boxes. They may have a real good reason for doing that. The aid cut off just reinforced that the foreigners are using the aid to run Burma.


There are military juntas all over the world that get US dollars for their militaries when there are US and UN sanctions. If they participate in the Iraq war or send troops to the UN, they get cash for their soldiers. So, why is Burma different? No soldiers in Iraq and and no soldiers working for the UN. No cash and no friends.

Goodyear should be running foreign policy because all foreign policy is no cash and no votes until Obama is in the White house; then it's billions overseas.

Nell: I didn't want to be too confident, being as that was the only source I found for the rumor, but yes, that's what I was looking at.

Of course, judging by the dozens of follow-ups to both the Newsweek and PRNewsWire stories, even the hasty resignation may not save McCain from bad coverage.

Well, a similar situation exists for Hilary Clinton's arch-super-delegate Dianne Feinstein, whose husband Richard Blum, not only are the wealthiest in Congress, but whose Perini Corp. is the recipient of huge military contracts, which may explain Feinstein's approval of Mukasey against her party's leaders.

She was censured by the California Democratic Party, but one would have to read the British Guardian to get that news. Of course, once Dianne folded, Charles Schumer, Joe Lieberman, and Arlan Specter found their cover to also support Mukasey.

But then, months later, Feinstein felt betrayed by Mukasey. What do the American voters feel? Like Hilary, I suspect, when Dianne "suggested" she might throw in the towel? Hilary did not vote to Invade Iraq for Dianne, Joe, Arlan, and Charles -- without reading the N.I.E. -- just to have them throw her under the bus.

California is a No-Fault Insurance State.

P.S. Since McCain's "assistance" of a supporter's acquisition of de-militarized Fort Ord in Monterey County could not proceed with California's two senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer's approval, in a jurisdiction once represented by Norman Mineta (D), who served as the only Democrat in Bush's Administration as the Secretary of Transportation until 2006. It was during this period, that 72 "gay" Arabic-speaking translators at the Monterey Naval Post-Graduate School, were "busted" for being "gay." No reason to give the Arabs and Gays a hand-up on the precipice of the U.S. Invasion and Occupation of Iraq for the sake of --

Sake of what? Oh, Wolfowitz's Plan. Blum's Perini Corporation? Neo-Conservative's Defense of Israel? I don't know, but nor does anyone else. What more do billionaires need than more millions?

The Gay Species:

To be fair, Feinstein has always been on board with any bullshit Republican foreign policy/homeland security idea that gets thrown out there in the senate, regardless of how it may financially benefit her husband. Unlike Clinton I don't think she's doing it out of political expediency, either. She represents one of the bluest states in the country, has an incredibly safe position and (to my knowledge) doesn't really have any bigger ambitions that may be hindered by her votes. It's a shame that she'll continue to ride incumbency and name recognition to re-elections for as long as she pleases, we deserve a better representative.

It's rather amazing to me how quickly Goodyear was thrown under a bus. Potential PR problem? Outtahere, loyalty be damned.

Questions for students: (1) Is this a significant difference from the reputed Bush "loyalty code? (2) More generally, how does one best draw the line between the short-term benefits of political expediency and the long-term benefits of downward loyalty, and how do the Bush and nascent McCain approaches compare to the ideal?

Discuss.

Yeah, Feinstein is dependably awful on a variety of things. I'd say her spousal conflict of interest is not so much the explanation for her behavior as it is just consistent with the kind of politician she is: culturally liberal in some ways, but hawkish and pro-business to the core. I don't think Perini Corp. got any particular benefit from DiFi's votes on warrantless surveillance, flag burning, limiting death penalty appeals, or welfare "reform". There's a type of wealthy conservative Democrat that's surprisingly common in San Francisco, and she fits that mold very well.

The Keating Five story is nearly as old as McCain. But this beyond coziness with uber-lobbyists is current, and must be researched, emphasized--and made an issue.

When the Republicans were in the Senate majority, and McCain was Commerce Committee chair, corporations and lobbyists did very, very well. I'm really not saying anything illegal, no bags of cash. Just a total convergence of perspective; they truly read out of the same hymnbook. harmoniously.

There is no, repeat no reason to think that a McCain White House would be anything different. Look at his campaign for a sneak preview.

As I just noted in an update. Marc Ambinder is reporting that the person who actually oversaw the Burma account is also on McCain's staff.

None of this quite compares to the various people who were lobbying for Renamo, the unbelievably horrible S. African funded rebel group in Mozambique -- a group that iirc includes Grover Norquist. Renamo used to nail people to trees, force kids to hack their parents apart, etc. But Burma is still right up there.

I wonder who North Korea has hired?

Answer: a group of Brits. (pdf)

I love the internet.

Questions for students: (1) Is this a significant difference from the reputed Bush "loyalty code?

bleh,

The circumstances have changed significantly since 2000/2004. McCain is facing an uphill battle in the general election against a well funded and formidably organized Democratic campaign led by a skilled orator who is well positioned vs. the GOP on major issues, during a period when the brand name of the GOP is at a low ebb (time will tell how temporarily) with independent voters and partisan identification stats have shifted in favor the Democrats over the last decade.

To make matters worse, McCain passed on an important opportunity to work hard at running against Bush's record so as to redefine himself as something other than Bush's heir during the period of time when his Democratic rivals were deeply engaged in their own nominating process and had little attention to spare for him.

He will now need to make that case during the general election campaign in the teeth of Democratic opposition and advertising, when he would have been well advised to do so sooner rather than later. If McCain loses the general election, I predict that political historians picking over his campaign will see the March-May 2008 period as the crucial point where he failed to sieze this opportuntity to redefine himself in the public eye while it was essentially uncontested. That this may be due to a lack of money for advertising as much as a lack of political accumen or will power only highlights what a weak hand McCain is playing from.

Thus the good will of the press corps and their lazy investment in the meme of St. John the straight talker is the only serious political asset McCain has to count on in the coming election, so he cannot afford to allow any story to gain legs which would undermine that meme, or it is all over. I expect that Gooyear will not be the last Republican to be thrown "under the bus" for the sake of maintaining that asset; it may get a bit crowded under the suspension of the hard-working mass transit vehicle before this is over.

"She was censured by the California Democratic Party, but one would have to read the British Guardian to get that news."

I guess so. What day did that censure vote succeed, exactly? Is there some reason you don't provide a cite to this event?

Also, aside from the Grauniad, "Results 1 - 10 of about 43,500 for 'Dianne Feinstein" censure'.

But who's counting?

"Hilary Clinton's"

"Hilary"

Hillary. Hillary. Hillary.

"P.S. Since McCain's 'assistance' of a supporter's acquisition of de-militarized Fort Ord in Monterey County could not proceed with California's two senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer's approval, in a jurisdiction once represented by Norman Mineta (D), who served as the only Democrat in Bush's Administration as the Secretary of Transportation until 2006."

Perhaps you might try recasting that as a sentence? What was it you were trying to say there?

I wonder who North Korea has hired?

Well, certainly Hamas has hired Obama, and it looks like HizbAllah has hired Obama as well. Perhaps he will bring the subject of Lebanon up when the Iranians allow him to meet with them.

DaveC: honestly, that's beneath you.

And, looking at the piece you linked to, I can only say: yeah, since "fighting Hizbullah all those years with rockets", not to mention one of the world's best armies, worked out so very well for the Israelis, as Hezbollah's present position of utter powerlessness makes clear.

It's only fair, though: Obama needs something to compete against bin Laden's alliance with Bush.

Dammit hilzoy, you ruined my snark! :'(

You have to consider who you are proposing to negotiate with. Now I do realize that Obama has recently fired his Hamas connection, and somewhat repudiated the pro-Hamas (church bulletin), anti-Israeli (sermon) stances of his former pastor. But I am quite wary of this stuff. You know, the UN is in Lebanon, and I suppose that they should be straightening this all out, but they simply are not and cannot do that. Same deal with Burma. For criminently, Human Rights Commission is chaired by Libya. And we have got the Speaker of the House visiting Syria, what in the world good did that do? Syria and Iran are behind all this mess in Lebanon; people have already gone to Syria, hat in hand, and there is nothing to show for it. Why say that the US is going to kowtow to Iran as well?

I like how DaveC uses the word kowtow to describe behavior that most people might call "bilateral discussion" or "diplomatic relations" or "have a fraking embassy in your country". You know what I love about visiting DC? Wandering the streets and looking at all the embassies. I tell ya, its better than viagra seeing all those edifices testifying to how nations around the world are kowtowing to us.

DaveC: you are aware that Obama does not support negotiating with Hamas, right?

Personally, I think he's wrong on this one. I don't think that talking to people -- as opposed to actually giving them something -- harms anyone, and Hamas did, after all, win the elections. (Elections, recall, that Bush insisted on, over the objections of a whole lot of people, including the Israelis. Speaking of allies, etc.) But that's my position, and it's different from Obama's.

So Davis, Manafort & Freedman represented Marcos and Yanukovich, which makes Manafort unfit to be convention chair, but it's perfectly fine for McCain to have Davis as his campaign chair? What's the logic there?

IOKIYAR.

Would it be too much to hope for, that Obama would address our rush to monetize everything/?

Mercenary army contractors, accountable to no one, available to anyone, and a built in political constituency? Prison operators, efficient and aggressively self sustaining? 'Faith based' social service enterprises, loyal and self-interested? The insidious 'lobbyist' and K Street Project alumni? The Eisenhower 'military-industrial complex', infinitely more powerful and entrenched today than 1960? The list goes on. Is there an effective public policy way to address this kudzu?

DaveC: honestly, that's beneath you.

Pshaw. That assumes that there is a floor beneath which DaveC will not sink, an assumption that history and evidence do not bear out.

As Michael Savage says, "You think you are voting for puppeteers, but all you are getting is marionettes".

I think DaveC’s concern is honest and he isn’t just being contrary.
That said, I laughed out loud when I read his comment, thinking it was juicy irony, and kept smiling for a couple of minutes after recognizing my mistake.
He managed to overlook the first sentence in Obama’s statement; “Hezbollah's power grab in Beirut has once more plunged that city into violence and chaos.” Not precisely a move to obsequiously accommodate.

it's perfectly fine for McCain to have Davis as his campaign chair?

But yes. McCain’s entire campaign staff is stuffed with lobbyists. To jettison all those with whom he has postured as having no affiliation will force him to start over with a whole new organization operating under a different set of principles.
That sounds kind of crippling right there, but still doesn’t address his inattention and bad judgment for which he must be held accountable.
Judgment and hypocrisy are his hugely weak spots.
If the Obama campaign does its job, as we have reason to hope, McCain is a lame if not dead duck.

Gary,

Sorry for the garble, simply that Fort Ord's property is a "public sale," thus requiring the California senators' approval, before the McCain-assisted purchase. Mineta represented the district in which Fort Ord once stood, and served as Transportation Secretary in the Bush Administration. Mineta, Feinstein, and Boxer are obviously well-ensconced, and a link between the three not outside the bounds.

Others:

I agree that Feinstein surely has no "financial" motive, which is why I stressed the billionairess. So what other motive might Feinstein have to buck her party's opposition to Mukasey, along with Schumer, Specter, Lieberman, only to chastise him later for what seems inevitable?

T.G.: I imagine Feinstein's "motive", like Schumer's and Lieberman's, is simply that she has no real objection to Mukasey or to the policies of Bush's Justice Department, in principle. Meddling in an investigation of Republicans in California is a different matter. DiFi's letter specifically talks about California, and the subtitles go something like this:

"You jerk, I gave you my vote and pretended to think you were against torture -- which everyone cares about for some reason -- because you were smarter than Gonzales and would know better than to play these clumsy games. Now you pull this blatant crap in my back yard, just to protect some dumb crook. Don't be greedy, just focus on keeping the big boys out of jail or the Hague."

As for "bucking her party's opposition"... sadly, in most cases, that really doesn't take a lot of bucking.

Note to self:

Bucking. The word is "bucking."

So the big question is, how will the MSM spin this for "Straight Talkin, Maverick" McCain? Or will the MSM even bother to report these "personnel matters"? What if a top advisor and regional manager to Obama had to resign to save Obama's campaign some embarrassment? Would it only be Faux News running the story 24/7? Or would Obama's "personnel matters" knock everything off the front page till another cyclone kills 100,000 people?

Yeah, it Hillary, not Hilary. Named after Sir Edmund Hillaryclinton.

"Mineta represented the district in which Fort Ord once stood, and served as Transportation Secretary in the Bush Administration. Mineta, Feinstein, and Boxer are obviously well-ensconced, and a link between the three not outside the bounds."

Actually, Mineta represented the 15th district, which is in San Jose, 45 miles to the north. And you bet there is a link between him and the two senators, all of them being long-time Bay Area politicos. The guy you're thinking of, a guy who would never have helped McCain's buddy, and who is actually pretty honest, is Leon Panetta.

Depending on the circumstances, either Feinstein or Mineta could have easily helped McCain's buddy. They've long been known for corner cutting. Boxer wouldn't ordinarily help McCain, but might have done so as a favor to Feinstein, with whom she is tight. I think Panetta was no longer in the House; he moved around this time to be Clinton's White House CofS.

"It was during this period, that 72 "gay" Arabic-speaking translators at the Monterey Naval Post-Graduate School, were "busted" for being "gay."

Close, but no cigar. The linguists were enlisted students at the Defense Language Institute, across town from the Naval Post-Graduate School.

OT, a bit of good news if you haven’t seen it from Juan Cole:
“The al-Maliki government and the Sadrists pulled back from the brink in Sadr City on Saturday”.

But then there’s this;
“the Iraqi occupation is generating a wave of terrorism in the Middle East as trained insurgents return home from Iraq”.

And some black humor:
“Lebanon has things so backwards. Its political parties are fighting military battles and its army is negotiating a political settlement.”

majun - Exactly "crickets". Now with the unfortunate Chinese earthquake, it will disappear completely...

OT - Mass arrests and detentions in the good old US of A. I'm sure it's time and money well spent protecting us from the brown menace from the south (and I don't mean diarrhea).

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