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January 31, 2009

Comments

Yes, I wrote about how amused by this I was back when it was news yesterday afternoon.

...and we'll all be surprised when ever-bluer NH elects a dem to fill the seat...

Shocked. Shocked.

"Commerce should be straight guy."

A straight man is often a good companion to the funny one, but I'm unclear on what's wrong with homosexuals, or people who swallow semen. I'm really rather fond of some folks who do the latter, myself.

Has someone changed the name to the Department Of Heterosexual Commerce while I wasn't looking?

i'm about to go delete that comment. you're banned next time rick - this is a warning

You may want to get to this one, too, publius.

"i'm about to go delete that comment."

Wait, since when do the Posting Rules call for deleting comments? What posting rule says comments get deleted?

A warning for bigotry is clearly in order, but if there's a new rule allowing deleting of comments that deserve warnings, shouldn't it be publically announced, and put in the Posting Rules? Or you guys suddenly inventing new, unwritten, secret rules?

publius -
Well I hadn't read all the comments on Eric's Somalia thread until I found the references here. So out of curiosity I went and looked...

Its certainly true that Rick's comments, especially the one cited by Phil, are out of bounds by the sensibilities of this blog and most of its readers/commenters.

That having been said, if you read both Rick and yusuf in the Somalia thread its clear that English isn't either one's first language. In Rick's case, I'd guess it isn't even his second or third. Unless he's spoofing us, and I don't get that vibe at all. Not excusing what he said, but expecting him to respect or even understand ObWi's cultural norms is kind of like looking back at otherwise admirable 19th-century Americans and being shocked and appalled by their casual racism. Everyone is of their own place, time and culture.

Again, not excusing, just suggesting a little more tolerance. Clearly he feels VERY strongly about the subject.

Wait, since when do the Posting Rules call for deleting comments? What posting rule says comments get deleted?
Regarding the decision to delete an offensive comment: without knowing (or, frankly, bothering to look) what the rules are, it seems obvious that some offending comments can be so offensive that deleting them would be an obvious Good, and others might trespass but merit only a warning and maybe flagging. Still, when obscuring of hateful speech is called for, I've always been fond of Disemvowelling rather than outright disappearances.
...and we'll all be surprised when ever-bluer NH elects a dem to fill the seat...

Shocked. Shocked.
Efgoldman, from what I've seen it would appear that New Hampshire, like all too many other states, doesn't have special elections that could provide the scenario you anticipate; it's in the hands of the Governor, who although a Democrat is seen as being fairly likely to appoint a centrist Republican out of a sense of fair play.

ef - the comment here was several orders of magnitude more offensive than the one phil noted. I'm inclined to delete that one too, but we can see if the warning is enough in light of what you say.

gary - i'll look into making an addition to the posting rules. i don't delete comments lightly -- and never ever for substantive arguments that may sound offensive to me. but this (as you will hopefully concede) was nothing more than a vulgar homophobic slur.

"...but this (as you will hopefully concede) was nothing more than a vulgar homophobic slur."

Oh, sure. I'm just big on having clear processes, so people can't complain that they weren't warned, and so no precedents are set that might cause problems in the future, is all. I don't think there need to be a hundred rules, setting out every possible violation and procedure -- that only encourages rules lawyering arguments -- so a smattering of generalities is largely sufficient, but I don't recall -- or see -- deleting comments being specially mentioned as a remedy for anything other than spam. If you guys want to throw in a new rule about what would be in the category of deletable material, that's up to you.

(I'm a little skeptical about deletions, myself: one reason being that it leaves a puzzle for anyone who didn't read the comment; but I don't have a problem with it, and it's not up to me, anyway.)

"Still, when obscuring of hateful speech is called for, I've always been fond of Disemvowelling rather than outright disappearances."

Ditto.

"In Rick's case, I'd guess it isn't even his second or third."

Then there's also the fact that I asked Ricks' Nut's several days ago if English was his second or third language, and he said third.

The CW develping on the leftie blogs that I read is that the Dem governor of NH will appoint a Republican replacement for Gregg, but one who has pledged to vote for the stimulus package.

FWIT.

Jeez, as if there weren't enough freaking Republicans in the cabinet already. NO to this b.s.

I support Feingold's bill to start the process of ending gubernatorial appointments to fill Senate seats. Tom Geoghegan's op-ed opposing the practice is worth reading.

Gregg has said he won't take the Cabinet post if a Republican isn't appointed to replace him.

Well, doesn't he have to resign to take the Cabinet post?

So tell him, sure, we'll appoint a Republican.

He resigns, gets sworn in at Commerce, and the Gov of NY appoints a Democrat.

What's he gonna do? Resign from the Cabinet?

I call that "win win."

Call me naive, but I think Governor Lynch might have a bit more trouble governing if he's famously known as a complete liar.

Gary,
Hate to be cynical about this but I didn't notice it having much effect on Bush the Lesser's ability to govern until other issues sent his popularity into the basement.

Baskaborr, the media doesn't come after you if you lie the country into a bloody and expensive war. Breaking a high-profile promise to other politicians who are trying to do something bipartisan, however, could get you in trouble.

I'm wondering what the RS strike farce will suggest sending to Jon Kyl after reading this

What is the matter with the world? The Commerce Dept. is traditionally overseen by the PResident's bagman.

Maurice Stans

Ron Browm

That guy from Midlands TX.

Geez

To be honest, as much as I love the idea of getting to 60, I'm not sure the precedent of plucking Senators from the other part into your Cabinet is a great way to do it. There are a number of reasons for this, of course. For one, I really wouldn't want done to me if I was on the other side. For another, it does call into question the President's motives in nominating that particular individual, and there really shouldn't be a cloud of suspicion of ulterior motives hanging over the cabinet, no?

That said, if Republicans want to leave the Senate and join the cabinet, that's something that should be possible. I'm just wondering if we would all benefit from a convention of governor's not using these vacancies as an opportunity to shift the composition of the Senate.

"Jeez, as if there weren't enough freaking Republicans in the cabinet already."

Well, Nell, Change We Can Believe In is now Change We Need -- or something like that, I guess. Hillary would not have taken such turns to the right before veering back to the middle/left, but never mind . . .

Also, what Ara said.

"Hillary would not have taken such turns to the right before veering back to the middle/left"

I admire your ability to see into alternative worlds.

And, after all, Bill Clinton never tacked right, never veered towards the "middle," and never made compromises with Republicans. Everyone remembers how famous he was for adhering to a strict left wing line, no matter what.

And setting aside the Clintons, taking a Republican out of the Senate certainly is a dreadful idea; we need as many of them there as possible!

Gregg won't go without a promise to name a Repulican -- probably Rudman, a moderate.

I don't think it's asking too much to make the choice for Secretary of Commerce the very best person to head the Department of Commerce. Or someone who would bring something else very useful to cabinet or economic-council meetings. Or the like; in other words, something to do with the job that needs doing.

It is wrong, both ethically and politically, to choose someone who is not the very best person in order to substitute someone else into the Senate seat, particularly if that someone else will not be chosen by the constituents of that state.

It's wrong to do so to put in a Democrat, even if it were likely to happen, which it apparently is not. It's wrong to do so to put in a Republican who will vote for the stimulus program. What a piece of incredibly short-term thinking: What other votes is that person going to cast? What's the impact on the 2010 race?

Gaming the system to get the stimulus through at all costs sends a message of weakness, desperation, and politicking exactly opposite to what Obama should be wanting to convey.

Also, I trust no current GOP Senators any further than I could throw them, and think there is a considerable risk of Gregg being a conduit to the party leaders for information they'll use against the administration.

It's wrong and stupid.

It's probable that the Obama people are thinking that Gregg is going to be a wonderful sort of diplomatic conduit to the Republicans in the Senate. Good luck with that. Mitch McConnell and Jon Kyl and Lindsay Graham and Jim DeMint and Arlen Specter are snakes. Don't expect me to help bandage the wound when you get bitten.

I don't think it's asking too much to make the choice for Secretary of Commerce the very best person to head the Department of Commerce.

You can ask for whatever you like, but I think comparing costs and benefits might be useful here. Commerce isn't a terribly important department and in any case, skilled subordinates will be running its day to day operations.

Or someone who would bring something else very useful to cabinet or economic-council meetings. Or the like; in other words, something to do with the job that needs doing.

Not all jobs are important. I'm not too worried about having the Commerce Secretary add lots of knowledge in Cabinet meetings. I've never in my life seen useful discussion occur in a meeting involving as many people as fill the Cabinet.

It is wrong, both ethically and politically, to choose someone who is not the very best person in order to substitute someone else into the Senate seat, particularly if that someone else will not be chosen by the constituents of that state.

Who exactly is the "very best" person to run commerce? Is there a special test administered to everyone that scores them on their ability administer the Commerce Department?

Of course not. The truth is, there are many people in this country who could do a perfectly fine job of running Commerce and it is extremely difficult to rank them.


It's wrong to do so to put in a Democrat, even if it were likely to happen, which it apparently is not. It's wrong to do so to put in a Republican who will vote for the stimulus program. What a piece of incredibly short-term thinking: What other votes is that person going to cast? What's the impact on the 2010 race?

No matter what else happens, Obama has made it harder for Gregg to keep his seat in 2010. Gregg has ticked off a lot of conservatives by admitting to his consideration of the proposal, so a strong primary fight that could bloody him enough to lose against the Dem in 2010 is now a real possibility. In exchange for seriously increasing the odds of winning a new seat in 2010, what exactly has Obama lost so far? Nothing. Nothing at all. He's scared the Republican leadership, made things a little easier for a Dem pickup in 2010 and lost nothing at all. This doesn't look like short term thinking to me.

"Gregg won't go without a promise to name a Repulican -- probably Rudman, a moderate."

According to all the news reports I've read, this is wrong: what Gregg has said is that he won't go unless Governor Lynch promised to "seriously consider" nominating a Republican. If you have a cite that says otherwise, I'd really like to see it.

Thanks!

My cites, for instance:

Sen. Kyl said the balance-of-power issue has "been thought through," but he declined to say whether a deal had been struck to ensure that New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch would appoint a Republican to finish out the balance of Gregg's term, which is up next year, if Gregg were to become commerce secretary.
The closest I've seen to your assertion is that a lot of Republican Senators are claiming Gregg wouldn't go without a promise that he'd be replaced by a Republican. Which is nice, but I've nowhere seen such an actual pledge from Gregg, or Lynch. Have you?

"I'm not too worried about having the Commerce Secretary add lots of knowledge in Cabinet meetings."

Full Cabinet meetings are purely ceremonial, and more or less never are decision-making, and almost never happen as other than photo ops.

The Hill:

[...] Cullen also dismissed speculation that Lynch is working on a deal to replace Gregg with a Republican.

“I almost dismiss the idea of a deal out of hand,” said Cullen. “It’s politically unrealistic. John Lynch likes to avoid controversy and making enemies.

Appointing a Republican would enrage New Hampshire Democrats.”

Non-partisan political experts in New Hampshire agree with that part of that analysis.

“If Lynch were to appoint a Republican he would really aggravate and alienate a significant part of Democratic Party establishment. He might do it but it will cost him politically,” said Andrew Smith, associate professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire.

All this morning's quotes seem to be based on Mitch McConnell's on Face The Nation, which is certainly something that may be true, but not exactly yet a fact, or as convincing as would be a direct statement by either Gregg or Lynch.


Sorry for say thing of Judd Gregg. My wife tells me in terms strong that it not funny to mocks homosexuals in U.S. I do not hate homosexuals. This just I'd been raised. I dislike Gregg because I mad at all Republicans in U.S. I not care whom he sex with just his party. But if it reduces below threshold by which filibuster maybe then it not all bad.

Maybe one day it won't be funny to mock homosexuals anywhere.

@ Phil 7:27 pm
Maybe one day it won't be funny to mock homosexuals anywhere.

Right.

Just after it isn't funny anymore to mock Jews or Muslims or Christians or Atheists or short people or tall people or blacks or Asians or Somalians or Ethiopians or.......

Sorry. Maybe I just have less faith in human nature than you do.

Not that I don't hope you're right. I just don't expect it in our lifetime.

Does anyone else find it very difficult to say his name correctly? It took me three tries before I stopped calling him Judge Dredd.

"I admire your ability to see into alternative worlds."

Thank you.

I have a certain affinity for all of the varied and enduring universes I inhabit, especially Planet Hillary, where the dear leader invites me over once a week to the Winter Palace -- it is very cold on the Planet Rodham -- for homebaked oatmeal cookies and Earl Grey tea while we discuss the relative merits of Tammy Wynnette songs, Cuban cigars, the verse of Wendell Berry, the vast right-wing conspiracy, Chelsea's brillance, Wrigley Field, Lenin, Greek architecture, Pushkin's poetry, and the unending love and devotion of my Bonzo and her Buddy.

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