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May 09, 2006

Comments

"Mr. Cohen" is a clever boy and good at sophisms, but I can think of a number of companies who got juicy contracts in Iraq often without bidding who we *know* gave significant contributions to Mr Bush and Cheney.

So according to "Mr. Cohen" there are billions and bilions in illegal contracts. Bad boy you accused those you are defending of crime. I will leave it as an exercise to the reader to find the logical flaws in the other sophisms "Mr. Cohen" spouts.

My guess is "Mr. Cohen" is a sophomore far right pretending to be a Jew because he knows they liberal as in "liberal MSM" and will soon shift to deciding Mr. Bush is a liberal as in "traitor" and find some other position to cleverly argue.

Whoa, whoa. It's totally irrelevant to his arguments about HUD contracts whether Brian Cohen is Jewish or not. Let's NOT go there. Please.

My guess is "Mr. Cohen" is a sophomore far right pretending to be a Jew because he knows they liberal as in "liberal MSM" and will soon shift to deciding Mr. Bush is a liberal as in "traitor" and find some other position to cleverly argue.

What the hell is going on here? Then there's this further back:

Man, these Bush apologists really are pathetic. And pretending to be "dems" is pretty thin color. (Like pretending to be a Californian by saying you're from Frisco). Better trolls, please.

As an apparent DINO, I know where I'm not wanted...

Angle: "My guess is "Mr. Cohen" is a sophomore far right pretending to be a Jew because he knows they liberal as in "liberal MSM" and will soon shift to deciding Mr. Bush is a liberal as in "traitor" and find some other position to cleverly argue."

Your speculations as to BrianCohen's identity are pointless, and violate the posting rules. What his religion and/or ethnic background might be is irrelevant and (to me) offensive. Please read the posting rules; future violations will lead to banning.

Jonas: you are wanted.

Jonas, has angie ever commented here before? It seems a bit much to take her comment as representative of ObWi, especially since a regular immediately jumped on it. Same with the comment by oops.

And I haven't noticed you ranting about "socialist misfits" or bending over backward to excuse behavior by administration officials that they weren't even excusing themselves, so what makes you think any of this relates to you?

I apologize if my comments struck some as lacking in civility. It wasn't my intent to offend.

And please don't lump me in with briancohen, who is most assuredly a fake. I think it is a joke on Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen (I'm surprised none of you thought of that, given the lefty blogs' obsession with him).

Jonas: you are wanted.

Thank's Hilzoy, I appreciate it.


KCinDC,

Jonas, has angie ever commented here before? It seems a bit much to take her comment as representative of ObWi, especially since a regular immediately jumped on it. Same with the comment by oops.

Yeah, I'm a little too touchy about this, I suppose.

And I haven't noticed you ranting about "socialist misfits"...

... no I don't, you have that right. I bite my tongue ;-)

...or bending over backward to excuse behavior by administration officials that they weren't even excusing themselves, so what makes you think any of this relates to you?

Actually, I do often play devil's advocate and defend Administration actions when I believe the criticism to be rather unsound. And I'm also guilty of not taking the Administrations word for things - for instance, I don't know that the Administrations defense of warantless wiretapping means that it has actually taken place. My cynical side tells me it hasn't, and they defend something they haven't done because it polls well. But this sort of knee-jerk contrarian conjecture on my part usually gets me lumped into an undifferentiated mass of Bush Admin true believers, which pisses me off, because I never did believe in the first place.

But enough of my whining! Back to answering the question: "If Brian Cohen pisses in the woods, does he exist?"*

*I'd actually prefer to have my existence questioned rather than be accused of being a Republican. I think everyone can understand ;-)

I've been keeping quiet up until now, but I've long suspected that Slartibartfast isn't really a Magrathean planet designer.

There, I've said it.

I apologize if my comments struck some as lacking in civility. It wasn't my intent to offend.

A perfect example of a non-apology.

Don't worry, Leonidas. Nobody will lump you in with Brian Cohen. He makes actual substantive arguments, avoids ad homs, and doesn't bring up the Clenis where it has no relevance.

I didn't want to mention this up until now, but I strongly suspect that hilzoy does, in fact, have a capitalized name in real life. Also, I think von is short for Yvonne.

I hate to say it, but I bet Steve and Josh have surnames, and I don't think Gromit is really a dog. Also, I'm not actually an arm clad in white samite.

One thing many people say, which you should NEVER say, is, “If I offended you, I apologize." That is the worst sort of fake apology: It’s like stealing someone's wallet, and saying, “I'm sorry if you felt you were inconvenienced.” When you say “If I offended you, I apologize,” you’re implying that the other person is to blame-for being so over-sensitive as to be offended, or so selfish a to demand an apology. You’re making it clear that you’re not sorry for anything YOU did; you just resent the other person’s reaction. link

I hate to say it, but I bet Steve and Josh have surnames, and I don't think Gromit is really a dog.

You flatter me.

Guys, we already lost a regular and poster because he got bushwhacked. The nasty attacks on Brian are twice as bad as anything in that thread if not worse. If you disagree with his position, that is one thing, but all of the personal comments and accusations that he isn't really a dem or is just an undercover troll are quite uncalled for and, IMHO, as much violations of the posting rules here as Leonidas's contributions.

At the very least, they serve only to shut down legitimate and open debate. I have been reading here for several years now because the arguments are usually both heated and civil. I haven't been able to find that dynamic anywhere else, and I really don't want to lose it here.

Perhaps I went a little far in saying Brian wasn't a Democrat (stranger things have turned out to be true), but I never accused him of being a troll. The main problem was that he was making statements about the law that no one else was making, not even the administration or its other defenders, and then not providing any evidence to back up his assertions. It's not surprising that that caused some strain in the conversation.

Not to belabor an already belabored point, but while Brian Cohen is most likely simply his real name, it's also the name of the titular character in Monty Python's Life of Brian, which if it is not his real name is its likely provenance.

OT:

hilzoy - have you had the opportunity to read this Harold Meyerson op-ed in todays WaPo? Apparently the MSM sharks smell GOP blood and have decided to strike:

The Republicans' problem is not simply their inability to run their government and wage their war of choice, it is also their bankruptcy of ideas. On taxes, the Republican legislative leaders' top priorities are to make permanent the tax cut on investment income and to repeal the estate tax -- economics, as ever, for our wealthiest 1 percent. (This at a time when the entire theory of trickle-down has been negated by the propensity of U.S. corporations to use their shareholders' investments to expand abroad rather than at home.) On energy, the notions of tougher fuel economy standards and mandating a shift to renewable energy sources are so alien to the Republicans' DNA that they come forth with such proposals as Bill Frist's $100 rebate, the most short-lived legislative initiative in recent memory.

There's no concealing the Republican collapse. In a USA Today-Gallup poll released this week, the president's approval rating had deflated to a dismal 31 percent -- and to just 52 percent among conservatives. Other recent polls have shown that the public prefers shifting congressional control to the Democrats by margins as high as 17 percent. Numbers can change, of course, but it's hard to see what the Republicans can do to reverse this tsunami. They can mount an October surprise attack on Iran, but that would require someone making a convincing public case that Iran poses an imminent threat to us and that preemptive war is the only solution. And who, in the wake of the deceptions with which they justified their war in Iraq, has the credibility to do that? Bush? Cheney? Rumsfeld? These guys have turned themselves into Lucy holding the football, while the American people no longer afford them a Charlie Brown benefit of the doubt.

Hopefully the tired 'Party of No' meme has been permanently buried under the weight of negative GOP poll numbers.

Man has this thread deteriorated into a bunch of name calling. A lot of drek has been posted here to filter through. If I miss something, let me know.

Steve: unless you think the Dallas Business News is a bunch of socialist misfits,

I didn't say that. So far as I know, the Dallas Business News is not running my party. By Nancy Pelosi (among others) IS a nutty socialist misfit, and, unfortunately, she is running my party.

DaveC: There is a lot of local level cronyism by Democrats in power in Chicago,

It's never mattered who is in power in Chicago. There's just something about that city that breeds corruption. Jesus himself would be demanding kickbacks if he were awardng contracts in Chicago.

angie: I can think of a number of companies who got juicy contracts in Iraq often without bidding who we *know* gave significant contributions to Mr Bush and Cheney.

Don't get me started on the issue of "no bid" contracts. But we are talking about competitive contracts here.

And yes, it is common knowledge that companies awarded contracts in Iraq have made contributions to the bushies. But I can guarantee they made a point of explicitely _not_ mentioning the fact while bidding one any particular contract. Otherwise, they'd be asking for serious trouble.

> My guess is "Mr. Cohen" is a sophmore far right pretending to be a Jew

Well, not that it's any of your business, or even relevant, but no, I am not a jew. I think my grandparents were, but that's about it. And I'm not entirely sure where your coming from with the whole jewish angle anyways.

Phil: Brian Cohen is most likely simply his real name,

It's Brian Alvin Cohen. Really and truly.

> it's also the name of the titular character in Monty Python's Life of Brian, which if it is not his real name is its likely provenance.

This is a bit off topic. I saw that movie and I thought one of the jokes was that the main character was the son of a roman soldier named Biggus Dickus, so wouldn't that make him Brian Dickus?

You know, I really had no idea people would go off the handle here so much and get so personal. I never intended to defend the bushies, but merely wanted to introduce a little knowledge and experience and perspective to a discussion that was getting all out of sorts over procedural matters on awarding contracts.

And yes, I am a registered democrat, though one who doesn't particularly like the direction my party is going (though I can't stomach where the republicans already are). One of the things that really bothers me with where the party is going right now has been their knee-jerk opposition to everything the bushies have done, whether it makes sense or not. Regardless of what the bushies have done, the democrat leadership simply hasn't been managing itself well.

The reason nothing ever seems to stick to the bushies is because we keep hurling anything and everything at them without thought or preparation. We can't tell the mountains from the molehills, so just try to make mountains out of everything. We say things like "this would be a major scandal" before we even know if it's a scandal, or just more HUD nitwittery. (For the record, Housing and Urban Development always seems to get run by incompetents, no matter which party is in power.)

If we'd bothered to pick just a single thing they've done, analyze it thoroughly, and turn it into a simple rock solid case against them, they'd have been toseed out years ago. But instead, every legitimate complaint against them gets sent off half baked and mixed up and confused with a dozen complicated wacky conspiracy theories of dubious merit. And it's not just the picketing kids doing this. Lets face it, the party leadership hasn't been any too restrained or logical in their opposition to bush. Or the people in the media who are supposed to be investigating him. For example: DAN RATHER SCREWED US. Thanks to him and all the rest of the noise against the bushies, Joe Voter doesn't know what to think. How's he supposed to pick out the ugly truth from the even uglier noise?

I forgot this:

Josh: doesn't bring up the Clenis where it has no relevance.

What is a "Clenis"?

Brian Cohen: some of your background in federal contracts might have been relevant to the conversation since you claimed knowledge, but I can't explain or defend the people who thought you were a troll. I'm mortified by association that you should feel obliged to talk about your genealogy. If angie shows up again to throw around incomprehensible accusations like that, I hope everyone ignores or denounces them while awaiting the banning.

As for the issue of political speech and the awarding of competitive federal contracts, I don't know squat, but this Volokh thread suggests that whatever the practice has been, this case may very well be illegal. That site leans conservative-libertarian, and there aren't many lawyers arguing the HUD secretary's side.

Oh, a "Clenis" is a contraction of "Clinton's penis." Josh was comparing Leonidas unfavorably with you in that comment, in case it wasn't clear; the comment was snarky, but to you at least, complimentary.

Ok, now I'm done being self-annointed moderator-for-a-thread.

Jackmormon: I'm mortified by association that you should feel obliged to talk about your genealogy.

The whole jewish thing kind of came out of left field. I have no idea where angie was coming from or where she was going, but I figured I shoud nip it in the bud.

> this case may very well be illegal.

It quite probably is, but not according to what the original article in the Business Journal. From the (now dubious) facts in the original article, Jackson was guilty of being a twit, but not actually committing any real crime. Later information shows that he's a liar, at least, but I still don't see how this is a "Major Scandal". It still looks to my like the same old "idiocy as usual" at the HUD.

And my original point is still valid that anyone bidding for a contract must never introduce their political beliefs into the bid.

> Clenis

That's pathetic. Never heard that term before, but then I'm new to the whole blogging thing. It almost looked like a real word or acronym.

And my original point is still valid that anyone bidding for a contract must never introduce their political beliefs into the bid.

And I'm sorry that the people making personal comments about you have distracted you from making the effort to demonstrate that this is in fact true.

In my view, this is analogous to discussing religion in a job interview. One often hears people say that it's illegal for an interviewer to ask the religion of an applicant. It isn't (in most states). What's illegal is denying someone the job on account of religion.

To import your point into that context, you're saying that if someone tells the interviewer their religion, then the interviewer can't hire them. I'm interviewing Jackmormon, and she blurts out that, yes, she was in fact raised in that faith. (She's said so -- don't be distracted). I'm supposed to say, well, I'd have liked to hire you, but now that I know your religion, I can't? Not in this universe.

So it is with federal contracting. There's no prohibition on your telling the CO that you voted for Kerry. Or that you donated to Schwartzenegger's campaign. So long as you didn't use federal money. It might not be wise, and the CO might cover his ears, but no way can it be a disqualification.

And more to the point, you haven't (and I think can't) show us the FAR provision upon which you are relying. Or some language from CICA, if that's where you think it is.

(The more likely scenario is in the resumes of the key people, whose resumes you have to submit for many contracts -- suppose your VP sales had a position at the RNC for 5 years: are you saying this can't be disclosed? What if it's the CEO? That's the same as the resume I get that shows the applicant went to BYU both undergrad and law school, and includes under experience a couple years of LDS mission work in Paraguay. Guess what, this tells me something. Are you saying I have to disqualify the person?)

Brian, most of are human here, sometimes though, they speculate that some comments by names they haven't seen before are from people that are the equivalent to what Rush Limbaugh dubs "seminar callers".

So you and Leonidas responded, and that's really all you needed to do. Good so far.

Jesus himself would be demanding kickbacks if he were awardng contracts in Chicago.

I'd like to point that Jesus would never demand a kickback, but his nephew might like a job in the Park District.

All is not lost.

Clenis and Biggus Dickus in the same thread.

DaveC, don't put Brian and Leonidas in the same category. Leonidas has commented here (and elsewhere) plenty of times before, and people have plenty to base their judgment on.

DaveC: I'd like to point that Jesus would never demand a kickback, but his nephew might like a job in the Park District.

I have to tell you that claiming that Jesus has a nephew will get you prosecuted for blasphemy in some countries.

So you and Leonidas responded, and that's really all you needed to do. Good so far.

Leonidas is a troll.

BrianCohen is presenting a typical Bushite defense of indefensible behavior.

It's perfectly possible to tell the difference, but if you find it difficult, note that Hilzoy issued a mod's warning to Leonidas, and not to BrianCohen.

I disagree with BrianCohen's ideas of how public officials ought to behave: I disagree with Leonidas's rude behavior and his failure to apologize for it even after a mod's warning.

Oh, and: angie's comment about BrianCohen "pretending to be Jewish" was indefensible: note that not a single ObWing regular defended it, and angie too got warned by Hilzoy. There is, you see, a difference between presenting indefensible ideas (which BrianCohen is certainly doing) and behaving indefensibly, which Leonidas and angie both did.

pelosi is a socialist? who knew.

as to the direction of the democratic party, how can you tell? right now, the only direction is in opposition. note that Lieberman, H. Clinton and R. Feingold are all democrats and have radically different ideas about domestic and foreign policy.

as to what the progessive blogs want, atrios posted a perfectly reasonable list the other day.

[oh kitten, could we get a reprint of that list here and open up a discussion?]

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