Hyperpartisan pr**k open thread

Bird Dog's picture

Non-tribal. The lede was buried, but Bird Dog is not a Republican anymore. As an independent moderate conservative, don't expect any easing up on the Left, and don't expect any spirited defenses of conservatives who say and do stupid things. It's a target-rich environment, with cluelessness on the left and right. Bachmann is one less target after she leaves Congress (but I suspect she'll still be in headlines), but Ted Cruz is ably picking up her slack.

Racial/ethnic. Judicial Watch raises the specter of the Department of Justice pursuing those who would say mean things about Muslims. Quote:

In its latest effort to protect followers of Islam in the U.S. the Obama Justice Department warns against using social media to spread information considered inflammatory against Muslims, threatening that it could constitute a violation of civil rights.

Sounds bad, but its fails to flesh out the context that sparked the DOJ announcement.

Killian referred to a Facebook posting made by Coffee County Commissioner Barry West that showed a picture of a man pointing a double-barreled shotgun at a camera lens with the caption saying, “How to Wink at a Muslim.”

To provide a little more context, here is the actual picture.

 

 

So, uh, yeah, if I were in a minority group--Muslim, Mexican, Jew, gay, black--I might find the image a bit threatening. However, after the Justice Department pissed on the First Amendment in the AP/Rosen scandal, they should be careful about wading into more free speech infringement, especially if such pursuit is legally dubious (more here from Volokh). The DOJ would be much more successful in Turkey. Glenn Beck provides even a little more context.

“I thought it was humorous,” West told The Tullahoma News, adding that he is “prejudiced against anyone who’s trying to tear down this country.”

That could include “Muslims, Mexicans, anybody,” West explained. “If you come into this country illegally or harm us or take away benefits, I’m against it.”

So, in other words, good ole boy Barry West was just having a little racist fun. What's the big deal. To add even more context, Councilman West is a Democrat.

Also a Democrat is Dick Harpootlian, who chairs his party in South Carolina.

South Carolina Democratic Chairman Dick Harpootlian, imploring party activists Friday night to defeat this state’s Indian-American governor, predicted next year’s Democratic standard-bearer would “send Nikki Haley back to wherever the hell she came from.”
Haley was raised in South Carolina and attended college here, but her parents were Sikh immigrants.

So far, Dick has only dug his hole deeper. I bring this up to make the point that racism is not the sole province of the GOP. If anything, it's more a problem with southern white culture in general, IMO. Unfortunately, a majority of those southern white boys have migrated to the GOP, which is a problem for that party.

IRS scandal. Just a few rogue agents. "Few" is now defined as "88". The number was chosen by the IRS, not House investigators. The climate between Obama and House Republicans has just worsened.

The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee blasted White House press secretary Jay Carney on Sunday, calling him a “paid liar” who is not being truthful about the scandal at the Internal Revenue Service.

Well, I don't know about the IRS, but I assume Carney is paid for his work, and he did lie about Benghazi. Still, Issa is guilty of overreach.

Best title of the day. Far-Right Extremists Chased Through London by Women Dressed as Badgers. With a title like that, why even read the story, but the picture helps.

Boy, does it help. Actually, I did read the story and I still don't know what to think about it. I guess democracy can be messy at times.

Second best title of the day. Amanda Bynes suing police, said cop 'slapped my vagina'. Owee.

Turkey. Major protests underway, in part because the government approved the removal of a city park to make way for a real estate development, but it's also a protest of the ever more authoritarian and Islamist Erdogan regime. Erdogan's party is the AKP:

Mahmut Macit, an AKP official in Ankara, raised hackles last week when he tweeted: “My blood boils when spineless psychopaths pretending to be atheists swear at my religion. These people, who have been raped, should be annihilated.” He continued to declare, “Insulting Islam could not be considered freedom of expression.”

This, of course, comes against the backdrop of a tweet by Ahmet Kavas, Turkey’s ambassador to Chad (and a product of one of Turkey’s religious high schools) who declared, “al-Qaeda is not a terrorist organization.” On February 6, 2012, Erdoğan unleashed a furor when he declared, “We want to raise religious generations,” and, indeed, he has also counseled Turkish women about how many children to have and when. A number of earlier statements by Erdoğan from his tenure as Istanbul mayor should have raised eyebrows, for seldom do intolerant men suddenly find tolerance overnight.

Iraq. May was a bad month. I remember a tough month a few years back. This time around, it looks like the Syrian Civil War is having is ripple effects.

Pakistan. Dr. Afridi helped the Americans by extracting DNA from bin Laden and others at the Abbottabad compound. Nine days after the raid, Dr. Afridi was jailed. In January 2012, Leon Panetta affirmed Afridi's role, stating that the man is not a traitor. The ISI interpreted Panetta's admission a little differently, and the good doctor is serving a 33-year sentence.

Iran. In 2012, there was "marked resurgence of Iran's state sponsorship of terrorism, through its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), its Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), and Tehran's ally Hezballah," according to the State Department.

The WAMI. Thomas Jocelyn takes issue with Obama's "path to defeat" rhetoric, and with good reason.

American culture. Meathead's mother-in-law dead. RIP, Jean Stapleton. All in the Family was one of those iconic series that reflected our tranisitioning culture. She played her role brilliantly.

More on Columbia professor Massad. I brought up Dr. Massad's hate speech in this thread. Several years earlier he wrote a book about gay Arabs. Here's an excerpt of the book review.

Massad isn’t a Queer Theorist; his focus at Columbia is modern Arab politics, and in his book the rich history of Arab culture around sex and desire is drowned in a lot of nonsense about a “Gay International,” which he seems to think is a reactionary imperialist idea. Massad understands that visibility attracts the bullet; he just thinks that those who come out have brought it on themselves and, worse, are pawns of Western neocolonialists bent on “destroying social and sexual configurations of desire in the interest of reproducing a world in [their] own image” in the name of liberation.

“By inciting discourse about homosexuals where none existed before,” he writes, “the Gay International is in fact heterosexualizing a world that is being forced to be fixed by a Western binary.”

In other words, sex was all cool and fluid in the ancient East, and guys used to be able to “penetrate” other guys and not have to worry about being called anything. Those were the good old days, when sex didn’t have to have horrible Western identities. Everyone was straight, so life was easy and gay. Then along came the “Gay International” and ruined it all, compelling poor straight people or bisexuals in those countries who are practicing their same-sex expressions into a gay (or straight) identity, and bringing out the worst in governments that previously paid no attention but now are forced to call in the hangman for the lovers who choose the wrong side.

Of course, Massad says this all very academically, with tons of footnotes, so you automatically think he must know what he is talking about. But when all is said and done, it reminds me of arguments we’ve all heard about gay people ruining the American male bonding party of old days because they insist on being gay.

Sounds like a familiar pattern.

More eliminationist rhetoric. Some professors should not write angry.

To turn the song lyric they so love to quote back on them, “We’ll put a boot in your —, it’s the American way.”

Except it won’t be a boot. It’ll be an M1A Abrams tank, supported by an F22 Raptor squadron with Hellfire missiles. Try treason on for size. See how that suits. And their assault arsenal and RPGs won’t do them any good.

A rejoinder here.

Eliminationist bomb-making materials. The story here.

A Ridgewood physician has been indicted on charges that he caused the risk of widespread damage by stashing large amounts of bomb-making materials at his home.

Roberto Rivera, 60, also is charged with the criminal possession of two Cobray M11 9mm assault rifles, a stun gun and a large-capacity ammunition magazine that authorities said were found at his home.

The 11-count indictment returned Wednesday by a grand jury in Bergen County also charges Rivera with possessing two other rifles and a .40-caliber handgun despite having been prohibited from possessing firearms because he had previously been committed to an institution for a mental disorder. Prosecutors declined comment on Friday about his commitment to a hospital.

Police said they responded to Rivera’s home on Nov. 16, 2012, on a hazardous-material report and found chemicals in his basement, prompting a Bergen County bomb squad and an FBI terrorism task force to join the search.

They said that as the search continued, they found large amounts of nitric acid, hydrogen peroxide, glycerin, sulfuric acid, calcium hypochlorite and potassium perchlorate — all chemicals that can be used in making explosives. They also said they found 10 pounds of thermite and 10 thermite lighters, which can be used to detonate bombs.

Prosecutors have not commented on Rivera’s motive in collecting the material, whether he had a specific plan or whether he acted alone or with a group. They did, however, say they found folders marked “revolution” and “anarchism” in his home, along with documents on how to make explosives.

Rivera was "deeply involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement."

Tsarnaev's accomplice. At first, Todashev was knife-wielding, but it turns out that he was unarmed when an FBI agent killed him. There are problems.

No evidence of vote fraud. Except when there is.

Congressman Joe Garcia’s chief of staff abruptly resigned Friday after being implicated in a sophisticated scheme to manipulate last year’s primary elections by submitting hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests.

[...]

Jeffrey Garcia, 40, declined to comment. He also worked last year on the campaign of Democrat Patrick Murphy of Jupiter, who unseated tea-party Republican congressman Allen West. Murphy has not been implicated in the phantom-requests operation.

The Miami-Dade state attorney’s office, seeking electronic equipment such as computers, served search warrants Friday at the homes of Giancarlo Sopo, 30, Joe Garcia’s communications director; and John Estes, 26, his 2012 campaign manager. Neither Estes nor Sopo responded to requests for comment.

A third search warrant was also executed, though it wasn’t clear where.

Joe Garcia said he would likely put Sopo on administrative leave for the time being.

The raids marked a sign of significant progress in the probe that prosecutors reopened in February, after a Herald investigation found that hundreds of 2,552 fraudulent requests for the Aug. 14 primaries originated from Internet Protocol addresses in Miami. The bulk of the requests were masked by foreign IP addresses.

It is unclear if the requests from domestic and foreign IP addresses are related to the same operatives.

Patrick Murphy beat Allen West by a little over 2,000 votes. He questioned the accuracy at the time, but did not have any evidence.

 

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Gray Lady Belatedly Remembers Who Holds Their Leash

(#304984)
M Scott Eiland's picture

NYT quietly edits their editorial to soften its anti-Obama tone.

Do you idiots *really* think you can get away with this crap in this day and age?

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

It's been back and forth.

(#304987)

They don't seem to know how to handle it. Their original article was a work of pure spin, with emphasis on the fact that it was "only" metadata, while leaving the tiny detail that the order covered all calls deeply buried several paragraphs down.

 

The reader reaction was damning and they gradually toughened it up, then the editorial came out. Now they might be backtracking again.

 

People are obviously wary of screwing around with the NSA and the FBI. I don't think it's political partisanship. I think it's a plain desire to stay out of cross hairs, real or imagined. Coverage of the BP spill was similarly spineless, though that spin cycle played out over weeks, not hours.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Obama quote

(#304971)

So I want to be very clear: some of the hype that we've hearing over the last day or so, nobody's listening to the content of peoples' phone calls.

 

Do you believe the president on this?

If, peoples' phone calls = every single phone call

(#305012)
brutusettu's picture

and, nobody's listening to the content (in real time)

 

Then I think Obama is probably technically correct.

 

 

Regardless, if I was a writer, I would be looking forward to writing the new totally unlike parallel of nanohelicopters that follow anyone and everyone around everywhere they go (so long as the nanohelos stay above public ground or far above private property where the owner *consents*).   

I'm Sorry, I Don't Care...Who Hasn't Committed the Crime...

(#304976)

...of warning people where the Police are are massing for a counter attack and mass arrests?

 

I worried about this a little with Occupy Los Angeles, but one has to make a decision and I while I found and did then sent out police massing locations, they in fact did not move until 5 days later.

 

This can be difficult everywhere. From Turkey yesterday:

 

Earlier this week, groups of police raided the homes of internet users in the city. Around 30 young people were arrested for "inciting crime" after they posted messages on Twitter and Facebook, warning protestors of police locations during demonstrations.

 

The massive cctv presence all over England has probably (maybe) proved to be a positive thing. This is much more intrusive in my opinion...the world changes, we as citizens have to adjust our own behaviors.

 

(I was fortunate enough, though by accident, to be present for the Student Christmas Riots in London and even the assault on the car of Charles and Camilla, as well as the French student demonstrations the previous year...the point being, if you are going to practice Civil Disobedience or Anti-Government behavior...they are going to watch you, these violations of privacy that you are only just now seeing have long been just standard tools).

 

I will say...that by in large, your life and actions are Very important to you...to other people and especially the Government, not so much.

 

Traveller

 

 

Again, Puig

(#304938)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Yasiel Puig hits 400+ foot opposite field grand slam to break game open as Dodgers shut out Braves 5-0.

This moment was truly the alpha and the omega of the Dodger franchise as it stands today: the brilliant young star performing at an astonishing level in his first few games in The Show, and 85 year old broadcasting legend Vin Scully making the grand slam call with equal measures of astonishment and delight in his voice--after which he followed his practice of dead silence following great moments in Dodger history as Puig trotted around the bases and met his deleriously happy teammates at home plate, letting the roar of the crowd and the images on the screen tell the tale. If the Dodgers manage to recover from their two months of misery this season and make a deep postseason run, it will be this moment that will be referenced time and again in the aftermath.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

more DHS BS

(#304894)

http://boingboing.net/2013/06/06/dhs-on-border-laptop-searches.html

 

“The laptop border searches in the [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and [Customs and Border Protection] do not violate travelers’ First Amendment rights as defined by the courts." 

its called the 4th amendment, dumbasses.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

There's Apparently A First Amendment Claim. . .

(#304897)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .associated with the searches (it's mentioned in the comments) that suggests that a burden will be put on free speech if possessions are subject to warrantless searches at borders. Apparently for some reason the paragraphs that lay out the argument are among the redacted ones for some reason. The reason that someone would bother to make such a claim rather than concentrate on the Fourth Amendment ones is the border search exception to the Fourth Amendment. However, the same considerations that led to the border search exception would prevent most courts from prohibiting such searches under the First Amendment, particularly since the connection is less direct.*

*---or so I would guess: who knows what a court will do, really.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

A related laptop issue

(#304901)

is whether a border search has to take place at the border.   The case I was reading about involved taking the laptop at the border, sending it to another city,  where forensics guys worked on it for quite a while.

 

Obviously seizing it is OK if there is cause to believe there's something illegal on the laptop,   but seizing stuff just for a random search lasting days would seem like a stretch to me.   If that was allowed there's no reason it couldn't be extended to persons (since the border exception applies to people as well) to allow for random indefinite detention of the 75% of the population that lives within 100 miles of a border or coastline.

thx

(#304899)

for teh clarification.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

40% of Americans have used marijuana? Phew.

(#304890)
mmghosh's picture

Link

According to a World Health Organization  survey of 17 countries, 42.2% of Americans have tried marijuana in their lifetime.

That's nearing a majority.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

I think that's understating it, Manish

(#304892)

Add another 10-20% for the "I tried it but I didn't inhale crowd" and you're about there.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

I Suspect That Usage Will Top Out At 420%. . .

(#304898)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .in the year 2420, as will be confirmed by the greatest pollster of the era Dr. Crunchy Stoner. ]:-)

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

we've seen BD turn away from the Republican party and I wonder

(#304887)

if this 

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-co...

 

might be enough to turn some of the Dems here.

 

The order, signed by Judge Roger Vinson, compels Verizon to produce to the NSA electronic copies of "all call detail records or 'telephony metadata' created by Verizon for communications between the United States and abroad" or "wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls".

 

It's probably safe to assume that the other telecos are subject to similar secret orders. So every call made in America is catalogued, including location data, both parties involved, duration etc andthis data is sent to the NSA.

 

It is East Germany steaming the envelopes open for every letter sent or photographing post boxes every time a letter is posted.

 

Now perhaps in this new internet age people are OK with this and expet to be surveilled 24/7 anyway, but the collateral casualty in this is not just privacy it is the rule of law. In a country where a secret court order can be made with such questionable interpretations of the law there is no law left. There is only executive power and the people who carry it out.

 

 

I've been poo-pooing the scandals?

(#304893)

This is a real one. It's illegal and unconstitutional.

 

Of course, the Bush administration and people on both sides of the aisle (with the noble exception of Wyden and maybe a couple of others) are up to their eyeballs in this, so I don't expect it will get half as much play as Benghazi! The Musical.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

I saw that on LGM

(#304889)
brutusettu's picture

1st thought was there grounds to impeach.

 

2nd thought was, oh man, most of Congress still should get expelled for giving/continuing to give the POTUS the discretion to do that stuff under the Patriot Act.

 

 

lgm link

What's to impeach over?

(#304891)

The president used his legal power to secretly apply for a secret order to secretly gather data about every single electronic communication in the country and have the NSA sift it. The idea that there's any kind of dialectic in operation here between the executive and the deliberative is laughable. Unless you count the 2 senators who haev been trying to warn you about this for months.

 

Just think about that - how is democracy supposed to operate ifsenators can't even publicly discuss this?

 

Constitutional lawyer my ass.

A reminder that there's nothing to lose by impeaching Obama

(#304931)

He's not going to get anything good done this term anyway and it would be good for the country to make the executive branch pay for these multiple, systematic, and dangerous overreaches on national security.

 

Impeach Obama.

Why?

(#304934)
Bird Dog's picture

What exactly did Obama do that was worse than Bush? Break liberals' hearts? Doesn't sound like a high crime and misdemeanor to me.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Unconstitutionally spying on the entire country's

(#304936)

phone records and emails, and depriving citizens of due process on their way to execution, isn't a high crime or misdemeanor?

Pelosi had her shot

(#304939)
Bird Dog's picture

And she didn't pull the trigger. Precedent was set. If Bush was not impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and if Obama basically just continued the same policies (with some expansions here and there), why is Obama guilty and Bush not guilty?

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Bush Should Have Been Impeached

(#304961)

I'm pretty sure I've said this in the past.

 

But he wasn't. So? Are you saying that any crime that goes unpunished then enables everybody else to commit it? What kind of thinking is that?

 

I love this place, where two liberals are arguing against Obama and a conservative is defending him.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Well,

(#304964)
Bird Dog's picture

if a person is going to be charged for a high crime or misdemeanor, it would be helpful if such an act were actually illegal, which is arguable in this case. I think the law pushes constitutional boundaries, and I think Obama has pushed the law to its farthest limits. The key issue here is to change the law. Pushing impeachment would be a big, fat waste of time, especially since the previous commander-in-chief did pretty much the same thing without repercussion from Pelosi.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

The post you linked

(#304975)

wonders whether the broad language and a broad interpretation of the Patriot Act might allow for the NSA program.

 

Kerr's post doesn't say anything about whether the broad language or a broad interpretation of the Patriot Act are constitutional.

 

The ACLU has long claimed that this section of the Patriot Act clearly isn't constitutional and the Obama admin. should be on the hook for following the document to which they swore an oath to uphold, even if Congress passed a sloppy law:

 

Is Section 215 Constitutional?

 

Normally, the government cannot effect a search without obtaining a warrant and showing probable cause to believe that the person has committed or will commit a crime. Section 215 violates the Fourth Amendment by allowing the government to effect Fourth Amendment searches without a warrant and without showing probable cause.

The violation of the Fourth Amendment is made more egregious by the fact that Section 215 might be used to obtain information about the exercise of First Amendment rights. For example, the FBI could invoke Section 215 to require a library to produce records showing who had borrowed a particular book or to produce records showing who had visited a particular web site.

Section 215 might also be used to obtain material that implicates privacy interests other than those protected by the First Amendment. For example, the FBI could use Section 215 to obtain medical records.

The provision violates the First Amendment by prohibiting those served with Section 215 orders from disclosing that fact to others, even where there is no real need for secrecy.

The provision violates the First Amendment by effectively authorizing the FBI to investigate U.S. persons, including American citizens, based in part on their exercise of First Amendment activity, and by authorizing the FBI to investigate non-U.S. persons based solely on their exercise of First Amendment activity.

 

The provision violates the Fourth and Fifth Amendments by failing to require that those who are the subject of Section 215 orders be told that their privacy has been compromised. 

Principle or Politics?

(#304968)

Yeah, I know that impeachment won't happen, and would likely be unproductive for the country if it did.

 

I am talking about the principles involved, not the politics or the practicality.

 

I am not entirely sure about the benefit of changing the law when they can have secret laws or secret interpretation of the laws, and secret courts to enforce them.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Both

(#304972)
Bird Dog's picture

There's a reason why impeachment is done through the House and then the Senate, and not the courts. The impeachment process by its very nature is political as it involves elected representatives playing the role of judge and jury.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

"unproductive for the country"

(#304969)

I'm not sure about that. The "look forward not backward" approach has been terrible for the country. 

That's Not The Reason

(#304977)

It would be unproductive because the GOP is currently if not insane certainly untrustworthy.

 

Real-life Obama impeachment would be not be a defense of the Bill of Rights. It would be a political circus where the point of civil liberties would be buried. Remember that the GOP is aligned with this program, whatever they may say now.

 

I find it hard to see how an opportunistic attack on the president would be productive, given the current makeup of the House.

 

I don't know, maybe it's worth it anyway, but I have a feeling I would change my mind quickly after the first few House impeachment speeches. I mean, half the House should be impeached themselves.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Yeah, they'd have to fundamentally re-organize

(#304981)

and give up on painting Obama as a terrorist sympathizer. What did Rumsfeld say the other day? "I can't tell" if Obama has "switched sides" in the War On Terror.

 

But mere political circus or craven partisanship would not be a reason to withhold support.

 

Self-serving and hypocritical invocation of correct principles is about the best one can expect from our politicians, is better than nothing, but is apparently too high a standard for out worthless opposition.

Half the House should be impeached themselves....LOL..nt

(#304979)

Traveller

I'm not sure why you keep bringing Bush into this

(#304940)

his actions aren't relevant. 

 

Are you just curious about whether I personally hold consistent attitudes across different presidencies?

 

I'll answer your question if you answer mine.

Uh, no

(#304943)
Bird Dog's picture

I'm bringing Pelosi and her Democratic majority into this, not Bush. I don't doubt that your attitudes are consistent. The problem is that your party does not agree with you, and they set the pattern going forward. If these actions didn't cross the threshhold for Bush, how could it cross the same threshhold for his successor who basically did the same thing?

As for me, I find these acts supremely unsettling. What I don't know is whether they are illegal or unconstitutional under the law. They feel constitutional, especially PRISM.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Since when have Republicans felt bound by Pelosi's standards?

(#304957)

As for the Democratic party not agreeing with me, that's obvious given that I'm advocating impeaching the party leader.

 

Anyway, my comments aren't aimed at Pelosi, they're aimed at the rank and file. 

 

If Republican politicians ever get their act together and defend the Constitution from these national security overreaches, people left of center should support them. Up to and including impeaching Obama.

 

I'm saying to Democratic voters (I voted for Obama) that it's more important to make Obama pay a political price for violating civil liberties than to support his non-existent political agenda.

Yeah

(#304960)

The appropriate standard here is whether this NSA stuff is more or less serious than perjury about one's prior acts of sexual harassment (which by the way, IMO was serious enough).

Isn't harassment unwanted sexual activity?

(#304970)

I thought Lewinsky consented.

Catchy, there are a few schools of thought on that

(#305003)

One that may apply is that when there is an imbalance of power then coercion/harassment  is assumed.  It's a feminist approach but it's also the standard by which the military operates.  I used to not buy this argument but over time I've come to realize that it is essentially correct.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

ditto

(#305016)

I used to not buy this argument but over time I've come to realize that it is essentially correct.

i second catchy, i'd be very interested if you could expand on how you came to change your mind.

 

 

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

'How I came to change my mind' by D. Cuddly

(#305018)

Let's put sex aside.  If your boss's, boss's, boss asks you to pick up his dry cleaning* is he asking you in such a way that you can respond 'no' and not be making a career decision?  No threat is stated or implied but the authority the individual has over you is coercive, call it soft coercion if it helps.  Harassment requires that the behavior be unwanted but what if the victim (for lack of a better term) feels they can't freely signal that the behavior is unwanted. Now inside the 'problem' the individuals involved have numerous factors that affect that relationship, but we make rules from outside the problem and being outside we see high-muckety-muck vs peon and we have to make assumptions about just how free the free will of the peon is. 

Ok, so once I asked a subordinate to do me a personal favor, nothing huge but put him out of his way a bit.  Had he declined I'd have had no issue with him.  Knowing that I'd have no issue I didn't feel wrong for asking.  He didn't decline, but after the favor was done it struck me, I don't know if he was doing me a favor, or doing what his boss wanted.  Don't get me wrong, I don't lose sleep over it, but its one of those little low-cost experiences that helps me keep myself in check.

 

*assuming your job description doesn't include dry cleaner picker-upper

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Thanks, I believe that's very fair-minded thinking

(#305179)

suppose the underling initiates the advances, however?

She did more than initiate.

(#305287)
Zelig's picture

The reason "the feminists" barely had their feathers ruffled is as follows. She schemed with an "older sister" type, who was extremely unhappy by expression and obese by modern standards. That would be Linda Tripp, R-MD, convicted petty thief who lied repeatedly on DOD job applications, and illegally recorded her conversations with Lewinsky in violation of MD state law. She remains a miserable, obese person, running a year round Christmas store with her new husband. I don't know who Tripp was scheming with. Republican operatives? Likely. 

 

Ms. Lewinsky is extremely bright and affable, sexy and alluring, and... a scheming harpy. Clinton was a fool, however I trust in the fact that Clinton and Lewinsky did not engage in "real" sex. It's a cultural thing. Twenty somethings at that time, especially bright college students thought that real sex involves coitus. Heads rolled when hard statistics as to this fact were published or about to be published in a respected journal. Republican string pulling, again, was at work here. 

Me: We! -- Ali

Catchy, I believe that relationship would still be considered

(#305283)

suspect for two reasons.  First, would be the verification that there is no coercion.  Taking your scenario, and confirming there is no coercion and that the relationship is mutually desirable then the next test would be ensuring there is no quid pro quo going on. 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I think you know the procedure

(#305200)

at most workplaces.  Disciplinary/legal actions related to harassment are initiated by a complaint,  and if the "underling" is filing the complaint,  he/she is very unlikely to claim they made the advance.

 

IMO if a supervisor enters into a relationship with an employee, they have no possible defense if the relationship turns bad.  We shouldn't go all NSA in seeking out and persecuting happy couples,  but if it turns into an issue at all (and that includes co-workers taking notice and reasonably believing someone is getting special treatment),  someone needs to move to another position.

thx darth.

(#305095)

well put.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Nilsey, I appreciate your reply

(#305100)

but what's a fella got to do to get a 'Darth, you're right.' outta you?

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Hmm

(#305014)

I haven't given this much thought to be honest. Feel free to expand on what changed your mind.

The case wasn't about her

(#304983)

It was about Paula Jones,  who did not consent,  and the questioning about Lewinsky was a valid attempt to show a pattern of conduct in the workplace.

  

but the Paula Jones incident happened

(#304989)

before Clinton was president. I don't think "sexually harassed at your previous job" constitutes a high crime or misdemeanor.

 

Lying about consensual oral sex is ... borderline at best. 

 

GWB and Obama have trashed the constitution post 9-11. That's a different level of serious, and the country would benefit from some scalps and accountability. Scalping Clinton seems pt.less in comparison.  

Lying is routine, lying under

(#304990)

oath isn't,  and contrary to the propaganda at the time, people have felony records and/or jail time for nothing more than lying under oath in a civil case.

 

Of course you're right that this is incomparably more serious.  However, "high crimes and misdemeanors"  means committing an illegal act while the opposing party has a majority of the House of Representatives and two-thirds of the Senate,  so from that definition Clinton, GWB, and Obama are all off the hook.

 

 

Lying under oath

(#304996)

Senator Wyden: ... what I wanted to see is if you could give me a yes or no answer to the question: Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"

 

Clapper: "No, sir."

 

Wyden: "It does not."

 

Clapper: "Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect, but not wittingly."

 

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/spy-chief-clapper-denies-misleading-c...

A reasonable strategy for Republicans

(#304999)

to pursue without appearing to overreach would be impeachment of some subordinates.   It appears Clapper is flat out caught,  and taking out someone at his level or Holder's would not look like a coup attempt.

That seems reasonable

(#305001)

and may draw support from some D senators.

 

BD's suggestion of repealing/changing the AUMF and Patriot Act is also good (tho insufficient by itself, since the admin. is lying about the programs and interpreting statutes too broadly).

 

Where are the Republicans on this? The loudest criticisms are coming from the president's own party. Guess the GOP prefers to maintain the "palling around with terrorists" strategy uber alles.

There's A Fair Question As To Whether. . .

(#304985)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .the rules of evidence should allow questioning that is that broad--but Bubba signed the change in law that allowed it. If anyone had this sort of thing coming given his past conduct, it was him.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

And Yet. . .

(#304980)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .the federal rules of evidence had been expanded to allow sexual harassment plaintiffs to ask defendants about their past histories of, ahem, dipping their pen in the company inkwell. The President who signed the newly updated rules of evidence? William Jefferson Clinton. Petard. Hoisted.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Moonbat Mental Defectives On Parade

(#304878)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Martin Bashir claims that IRS is the new 'n" word--countless Huffington Post moonbats agree with him.

I will definitely enjoy the spectacle of MSNBC continuing to bleed out as it drifts into a zone where only the truly insane are willing to follow.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Emmanuel Goldstein, also crazy and over the top

(#304881)
brutusettu's picture

ableit Bashir has a clearly marked overreach with % that his claim applies to.

 

Former candidate for VP calling POTUS "arrogant" (i.e. uppity) more than slight chance it wasn't used by accident, with hopes from Ryan someone would call that a dog whistle and he'd get more strident support on this, that or him/his speech writers are ignorant.

Um, No

(#304885)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Sorry--liberals don't get to expropriate the perfectly legitimate (and, when describing Obama, accurate) word "arrogant" in the name of PC b*****it deflection efforts. Particularly given lefty willingness to direct it at a certain black woman who had the nerve not to be a Democrat.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Definitely not an automatic expropriation

(#304888)
brutusettu's picture

it will just get routinely pegged for further scrutiny at the least.

 

Not 100% unlike having a headline for fired Rutgers Scarlett Knights coach Mike Rice as Chink in the Armour, in that contest, it's ok.  Start saying that phrase about players of less obvious Asian ancestry, Johnnie Morton or Tedi Bruschi and some people might delve into why that phrase was used.

 

I'll buy that Ryan or his writers don't know* about that dog whistle and the likely backlash they'll receive from it when I find an NFL roster with 2 players that don't know that NFL regular season games can end in a tie. 

 

*separate from if they know if they mulled it over for .1 nanoseconds, but it's not something that's hit them upside the head obvious if they use it.

Rick "Blah People" Santorum probably hears it as a dog whistle even if it's not intended to be one.

Insanity is pretty rare. nt

(#304879)
mmghosh's picture

-

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

In a Republican administration, this would be called a bribe

(#304877)
Bird Dog's picture

Sure, you can have those records, but it'll cost ya:

The Associated Press has gone all investigative on electronic mail addresses. The imperative is public accountability: A trend toward secret e-mail addresses for top bureaucrats threatens to circumvent official investigations as well as probes from media outlets on government deliberations. Here’s how the AP puts things:

The secret email accounts complicate an agency’s legal responsibilities to find and turn over emails in response to congressional or internal investigations, civil lawsuits or public records requests because employees assigned to compile such responses would necessarily need to know about the accounts to search them. Secret accounts also drive perceptions that government officials are trying to hide actions or decisions.

So the AP went after e-mail addresses across the government, with by far the most interesting response coming from the Labor Department, where the minimum wage for records-fetching is apparently quite generous:

The Labor Department initially asked the AP to pay just over $1.03 million when the AP asked for email addresses of political appointees there. It said it needed pull 2,236 computer backup tapes from its archives and pay 50 people to pore over old records. Those costs included three weeks to identify tapes and ship them to a vendor, and pay each person $2,500 for nearly a month’s work.

Labor later back off and “provided the AP with email addresses for the agency’s Senate-confirmed appointees.”

This goes to AP's report on Obama administration opacity and its employees' use of secret email accounts. If they could only have emulated Sockpuppet Jackson at the EPA, their aliases could have been recognized as "scholars of ethical behavior" by their departments.

Transparency!

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

No, It Would Be Called Stonewalling

(#304882)

Clearly AP was never going to pay that, and even if they did, it would be an official transaction where the money would go to the Treasury or at least the Labor Department's budget. It would not line private pockets.

 

But it still sucks because the intent was most likely to stop the request and restrict the access to documents and the ability to trace their authorship. Being the Labor Department, I see no justification in terms of national security in order to try this, and apparently neither did they, so they concocted this ridiculous response instead.

 

 

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

This Little Data Point. . .

(#304876)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .has probably exploded the heads of countless members of the Antonin Scalia Haters Society by now.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

maybe some heads

(#304880)
brutusettu's picture

from Scott Lemieux

Akhil Reed Amar and Neal Katyal have a (less unequivocal than the title implies) defense of the Court’s DNA testing opinion yesterday, which of course is worth reading. It does, alas, have an unfortunate opening hook:

SOMETHING astonishing happened Monday: Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court’s longest-serving member and one of its most conservative justices, joined three liberal justices in a sharply worded dissent arguing for the rights of criminal suspects.

As Amar and Katyal both know, Scalia’s vote and opinion were in fact distinctly non-astonishing. As Orin Kerr points out, “Justice Scalia has been on the defense side of every non-unanimous Fourth Amendment case this term.” As Kerr also points out, this isn’t to make Scalia out to be William Douglas; his support for the rights of criminal defendants has historically been much more sporadic than his votes this term would suggest (cf. last year’s strip-search case.) Still, this year’s string of votes is hardly out of the blue; he’s long had a civil-libertarian streak. On a Fourth Amendment case like this, Thomas and Breyer are the swing votes; Scalia is just on the left of the Court. It would have been significantly more surprising had he joined the majority.

Today's word of the day is...

(#304873)
Bird Dog's picture

...derpy, brought to you by Josh Barro.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

"How dare the First Lady confront me after I was being...

(#304872)
Bird Dog's picture

...loudmouthed bitch." Okay, maybe I was paraphrasing a little.

Obama was addressing a Democratic Party fundraiser in a private Kalorama home in Northwest Washington when Ellen Sturtz, 56, a lesbian activist, interrupted her remarks to demand that President Obama sign an anti-discrimination executive order.
Obama showed her displeasure – pausing to confront Sturtz eye to eye, according to witnesses.
“One of the things that I don’t do well is this,” she said to applause from most of the guests, according to a White House transcript. “Do you understand?”
A pool report from a reporter in the room said Obama “left the lectern and moved over to the protester.” The pool report quoted Obama as saying: “Listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.”
Obama’s suggestion that she would leave was not included in the official White House transcript.
The audience responded by asking Obama to remain, according to the pool report, which quoted a woman nearby telling Sturtz, “You need to go.”
Sturtz was escorted out of the room. She said in an interview later she was stunned by Obama’s response.

“She came right down in my face,” Sturtz said. “I was taken aback.”

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Good For Her

(#304875)
M Scott Eiland's picture

I doubt that the next would-be heckler will be inclined to provoke that sort of reaction.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Michelle Obama and the heckler

(#304874)
Jay C's picture

Obama’s suggestion that she would leave was not included in the official White House transcript.

 

It's been filed away in the secret archives in the same file with the "Whitey tape".

It is Going to be a Bad Morning for Scott & Harley & BB Lovers..

(#304870)

...major drug scandal a comin`

 

Yet, in a performance is everything world, where slipping a few percentage points in batting average means Certain being sent down...

 

...The Boy of Summer almost have to cheat.

 

I feel bad for everyone.

 

Traveller

Yep, This Is Gonna Suck

(#304871)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Though as a Dodger fan I will have a bit of dark joy in seeing Ryan Braun permanently discounted after the MVP race of 2011 and his miraculous dodge of a drug test failure. Unless Matt Kemp can recover from his recent fall in performance, it will be a cold comfort indeed.

On the other hand. . .Google Yasiel Puig. Dodger Nation is in a state of epic bliss right now, as they seem to have landed a prospect who is more or less a Bryce Harper clone (though admittedly a couple of years older, so the upside development scenario might be slightly less breathtaking).

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

A Pretty Cool Republican Senator (Check it Out!) And it Pains Me

(#304866)

...to say anything positive about any Republican, but, honestly, I am impressed, him as a man, him as a father...and so maybe a good Senator?

 

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/2013/06/03/tsr-pkg-todd-senat...

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

Historic Central European flooding.

(#304863)
mmghosh's picture

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22770876

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

So

(#304858)

First off, congratulations on no longer being a Republican.

 

Long diary, but I'll answer the first part. I think it's ok for the Justice Department to attempt to rein in inflammatory, deliberate misinformation about minorities. Though I am not sure how the Constitution can be dealt with, if someone goes around claiming that Muslims drink children's blood on Ramadan or something along those lines, something has to be done. Not sure what, but something.

 

Having said that, the above picture is a provocation, but not a manipulative lie. It is, in my view, protected by free speech. I speak as a minority. The guy hates Muslims. Fine. He's out in the open about it, and as a result might end up on the wrong side of somebody else's shotgun, but that's his problem.

 

He sure won't change anybody's mind about Muslims with that picture. He might succeed in reinforcing common stereotypes about bigoted rednecks though.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

There's freedom of speech

(#304862)

which IMO ought to be almost absolute,  when it comes to actually using criminal penalties to punish certain type of speech*.  

 

However, the right to be a public official or employee (like the county commissioner in this case) isn't absolute at all.  If an elected official's statements reach the point where there's good cause to believe the official isn't going to give people equal treatment under the law, I think there should be a mechanism for removing them.

 

If it's an unelected public employee, the employer ought to be able to fire them for no reason other than a subjective decision that their attitude is doing more harm than good.   No one doubts that if someone is hired for an anti-littering campaign and they proceed to promote littering,  they could be fired.  Just make "promoting the ideal of equality under the law" a formal part of the employee's written job description.  It might not be necessary for guys doing lawn care at the park or filing papers in the back room,  but it would be a reasonable requirement for anyone that sets policy,  decides on permits,  or deals directly with the public.

 

--

*If it gets specific to a person or family,  e.g.  saying that you want a particular person out of town because all Muslims are terrorists, he's a Muslim, and therefore he's a terrorist, then there's a good case for a slander / libel suit,  and for changing the venue to a place where people holding similar opinions aren't likely to make in onto the jury.

I'm Pretty Sure Such Mechanisms Exist

(#304864)
M Scott Eiland's picture

They're called "elections." Many elected bodies also have built in procedures for removing a member who offends their standards in some way (a member of the House of Representatives or Senate can be expelled by a two thirds vote of the house they sit in). Beyond that, I'm not sure I trust an elected body not to abuse such a power if based on anything other than a huge supermajority.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Kind of disagree on reining in misinformation

(#304860)

For a number of reasons.  First, to the extent that you'd make something illegal, I'm not sure the rationale for making it only applicable when minorities are targeted.  Second, I'm not too sure of the utility.  IMHO, this sort of stuff is only taken seriously by those who already believe it.  Third, the Constitution you mentioned, seems the 1st Amendment is clear and I don't see a way of avoiding 14th Amendment SNAFUs.  You see something needing to be done, I see a fool showing his true colors and I'd like to encourage that as much as possible.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

That's Just Ahistorical

(#304865)

If you look at the history of late 19th and early 20th century anti-Jewish propaganda, and how it lubricated the holocaust later on (if not caused it altogether, since Hitler himself was an avid consumer), then you might not feel quite so liberal about it.

 

The problem is still difficult. It's not a good thing to have any government entity in a position to judge what is true and what isn't. A "truth commission" is rarely a good sign of political health.

 

On the other hand, systematic misinformation can alter the course of events in a very bad way, to the point of causing irreversible damage, economic panic, war, persecution, genocide, and the consumption of really bad beer.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Lubricated the holocaust?

(#304869)

Crap! Just this morning I made a bet that I wouldn't read that phrase today. Thanks.
Anyway, I'd have thought the 18.5 centuries of Euro antisemitism might have put a few folks in with 'believe it already' crowd.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Sure

(#304883)

The ground was fertile, though previous anti-semitism had been far less specific and more plainly religious in-grouping by Christians. The innovation was to build on general distrust by fabricating detailed horror stories on top of it.

 

There are always ready-made "believe it already" memes going around that can be exploited. No population is immune. For example, the Fox News segment of the population has been skillfully primed to believe nearly anything about the government and its employees, that they will run death panels or are building FEMA camps to round up gun owners, or worse.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

I would have gone with 10 centuries,

(#304886)

rather than 18 because although there is evidence of pogroms going right back to the Helenic world 300BC the cultural line from the 11th century to the present is clear and unbroken and I would be happy to lump that under the title of "Euro anti-semitism".

 

If I understand your point correctly then I would also just note that fabricating detailed horror stories was no innovation and had been practised since at least the 12th century in Europe with the tale of Saint William (or the 1st BC if we take Josephus' story into account). 

Massad doesn't seem to be wrong.

(#304855)
mmghosh's picture

I haven't read the book, but going by the review, I don't think his views are that far out.

Massad says gay identity is a Western construct, as if to say to Arab political exiles who call themselves gay, among them some of the Cairo 52, “No, no, no, you can’t have gay feelings, that’s Western; you can have only sex feelings.”

A gay "identity" is certainly a Western construct, even, one might say, a post WW2 Western liberal construct.  In the whole of the Communist Second World, for example, there was very little in the way of identity celebration - IIRC, there was pretty overt repression by Castro's regime.  Even in the West, a "gay identity" is a pretty recent thing, AFAIK.

 

As for

In other words, sex was all cool and fluid in the ancient East, and guys used to be able to “penetrate” other guys and not have to worry about being called anything.

This was true both in the East and West.  Read CS Lewis' autobiography about life as a young boy in English public schools at the turn of the 20th century, or Joe Orton's diaries.  Also, in this context, bacha bazi.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Not Quite

(#304884)

You seem well read. You've heard about Wilde I presume? Way before World War II, or I even.

 

Homosexuality is a biological, not a cultural, phenomenon, and as such it is certainly universal and not a Western construct. The fact that in some cultures or times or places homosexual sex was also practiced among heterosexuals does not change that at all. In the West this is still true in prison populations, for example.

 

I would not say the West has constructed a gay identity. I'd say it has recognized it after centuries of attempts to repress it.

 

The Arab approach to sex and gender is frankly indefensible and Massad should not even try. A culture that allows, indeed encourages, the stoning, burning, or murder of women under a variety of circumstances that would be ordinary, or at worst result in shaming in pretty much any other culture, is a culture that needs to be changed, not respected.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Just Having a Gay Identity to latch onto is in Fact a Problem...

(#304856)

...expressing homosexual behaviors does not make one gay...this probably only really marks one as normal in the wide range of experiences that can be had through the span of a long life.

 

The option, sometimes the compulsion, to say that any homosexual behavior makes one gay is a modern construct and a distinct problem, in my opinion.

 

(I'd write more, but I'm hungry...lol)

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

 

 

RIP Sen. Frank Lautenberg

(#304848)
Jay C's picture

Frank R. Lautenberg, senior Senator from new Jersey, died today at the age of 89. Aside from having served his state for a total of 30 years in the Senate (albeit nonconsecutively), Lautenberg held the distinction of being the last veteran of WWII to sit in the Upper House.

 

RIP

 

He has also left behind an interesting political dilemma: in the present situation, the NJ State Constitution specifies that the seat be filled (temporary appointments aside) at the "next general election", which for New Jersey is this November. So the fall elections just got another dimension to be chewed over....

Memo To The Big Guy

(#304849)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Don't screw this one up. No need to appoint a hard right Republican who has no chance of winning the election in NJ (whenever it happens), but I'd recommend avoiding anyone with a history that would tick off the base. If you have a candidate in mind and your reaction is "David Frum would LOVE this guy!", burn that page and move on to the next candidate. Trust me.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Christie goes with a conventional approach...

(#304867)
Jay C's picture

...more or less. He has called for a special election to fill the late Sen. Lautenberg's term: a special primary on August 13, and a special election on October 16. Though no word (yet) on whether or not he will appoint a placeholder. (seems not)

 

Personally, I think this is ridiculous: the special election is only three weeks before the scheduled general - and for a Governor who has made a point of bitching about the costs of elections, it seems a needless expense. And, of course, Bruce Springsteen will be disappointed (not!)....

Some Conservatives Seem To Be Complaining, Too

(#304868)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Which seems odd--if avoiding an increased Democratic turnout at the general election for the presumed easy Cory Booker win is CC's goal, it should help other Republican candidates on the general ballot as well. I'm not a big CC fan these days, but this seems like a dumb thing to snipe at him for if one is a Republican. Presumbly the NJ equivalent of The Dick From South Carolina will be along momentarily to call him racist or something for staging the special election.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Given How He Was Treated

(#304859)

I find it very hard to believe he would appoint a hard liner.

 

Much more likely, he will appoint someone like himself whom he trusts. And frankly, my dear, he won't give a damn about "the base" outside of New Jersey. He knows they are never going to forgive him anyway. If Christie has a future, it's hoping for a Tea Party overreach to backfire and respond by running as a moderate.

 

Today, that's a long shot, but I don't see any other road for him after Sandy (and possibly before then as well).

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

The problem(s) for Big Chris

(#304851)
Jay C's picture

that he's facing with the unexpected* vacancy is that the Constitutional provisions I cited above provide that:

 

1. A Senate vacancy must be filled by election at the next general election.

2. If the vacancy occurs < 70 days prior to a general election, then the seat must be contested at the NEXT g.e.

3. The Governor has the option to call a special election at his discretion.

 

[4. IANAL, of course, but there does also seem to be the possibility that Christie might refuse to nominate anyone to fill the seat til the election: it just doesn't make sense as a political move, though, but who knows?]

 

So Christie (or any Gov) has the choices, in this situation, of:

 

A. Appointing a "placeholder" Senator  who isn't going to run for re-election/confirmation at the next election.

B. Appoint a Senator who will run in November.

C. Leave the seat vacant til the election.

 

So more fun with politics in the Garden State...

 

 

* OK, Lautenberg was 89: still "unexpected"....

Option D

(#304853)

It has several steps:

 

1. Gov states that he intends to decide and act quickly but "officially" can't proceed until he has the death certificate.  When he gets the death certificate,  sit on it for a while, maybe 3-4 weeks.

3. When the media pressure gets intense,  announce that the death certificate he received was not the "long form" death certificate.

4. When it's pointed out that there isn't any such thing,  assign his AG and SoS to "investigate" with haste on this urgent matter of public concern.  Privately, arrange to have them jack around for 3-4 weeks.

5. When the pressure mounts again, reprimand the AG and SoS and demand action. Have them announce conflicting decisions.  It doesn't matter what the conflict is, just anything to muddy the issue.   Take it to the State Supreme Court.

6. While "preparing" the court filing,  the August 25th (November 5th minus 70 day) deadline passes.

7. Gov appoints a Senator with a full 2 yrs + 4mo term.

 

 

 

A couple of probs with Option D

(#304857)
Jay C's picture

...which, in fact, I had thought of, but forgot to put down. Thanks, eeyn.

 

First, Christie and/or his creature wouldn't get "2yrs +4mo": the seat would be up for election at the general in Nov. '14 in any case - that was the termination of Lautenberg's term - so he/she would only have just over a year to do damage serve the people of New Jersey.

 

Secondly, Big Chris (barring his promoting himself into another job) still has to run for reelection to the governorship this November: political "superstar" as he (and assorted flacks and hacks and lickspittle media) promotes himself to be, besmirching his rep with TOO obvious a round of political circus might not be in his best interest. Huge poll leads notwithstanding. 

Can Christie Appoint Himself? This Seems THE Smart Move to Me/nt

(#304852)

Traveller

Technically, yes.

(#304854)
Jay C's picture

Presumably, Christie could "resign" on the proviso that his successor (Kim Guadagno, NJ's Lt. Gov) then appoints him to the Senate (It's been done before, I think) , which seat he would then, presumably, have to defend in the November election.

 

How "smart" this move might be is a matter for discussion: myself, I think it might have negative repercussions - and, depending on his opponent, the chance that he might lose (which would scuttle his career tout suite). So I'm guessing The Big Guy will be just as happy to stay in his "prestigious" executive-branch position.