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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Regarding the Obama camp's leaks about confidential talks with the POTUS

On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama will become the 44th president of the United States. We call him the "president elect" in recognition of that fact, and it's an important fact. Indeed, since the passage of the Twentieth Amendment, being "president elect" has had constitutional significance.

President-elect Obama, with silly seal, at a press conference on Nov. 10, 2008

But until he takes the oath administered by Chief Justice John Roberts on January 20, 2009, Barack Obama is also still the junior senator from Illinois — complete with a goofy pretend seal of office (you'd think he would have learned, but no; and he even chose his tie color to match it) for his temporary new job, and with the apparent political maturity of an eighth grader.

Permitting his staff to leak details of his private discussions with the current President of the United States — completely apart from the fact that those details were given a political spin which both the White House and the Obama transition team were then at pains to deny within hours — is like peeing in the pool, and then bragging about it.

Posted by Beldar at 12:10 AM in Obama, Politics (2008) | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Regarding the Obama camp's leaks about confidential talks with the POTUS and sent a trackback ping are listed here:


(1) Bill Brandt made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 1:32:07 AM | Permalink

The way this thing works for most of us, extreme hubris results in a hard fall - you know, Pride comes before a fall - I am wondering when BO will fall

(2) Larry Sheldon made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 6:58:15 AM | Permalink

I'm wondering how the no-preconditions-talks will go since to the best of my knowledge such talks have the pre-condition that the participants will keep their mouths shut about it except for what might be contained in a "joint communique".

(3) hunter made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 7:33:40 AM | Permalink

The good news is that the corruption and laziness of the Obamatons is being demonstrated right from the start.
The bad news is we no longer have a free press that would point this out and underscore just how destructive and dangerous this is.
The big picture on this is that if they cannot manage something as innocuous as a civil and professional transition, they are not going to shine very bright.
But then, they are surrounded by dim bulbs indeed.

(4) Mark Alger made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 8:43:19 AM | Permalink

Seems as though Democrats can't be bothered to be concerned about the tastelessness of their behavior.


(5) Paul_In_Houston made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 9:59:04 AM | Permalink

This guy will soon be meeting with foreign leaders; in fact, he can hardly wait to do so.

By this act, he's just told them that he cannot be trusted with private and sensitive information, and that his word means nothing; it's just noise.

I don't think he's grown up enough to understand what he's just done.

(6) Carol Herman made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 10:12:37 AM | Permalink

Some leak. Dubya is leaving office with about as much popularity as Jimmy Carter owned. So, if you'd do a "reality check" you'd find Dubya coming up pretty short.

As to Obama's visit; Bush might want you to think "he doesn't have to let Obama into the White House one day before January 20th. If this was a landlord tenant dispute, that would be true.

Obama, on the other hand, here, accepted Dubya's invitation. "To look around."

Now, we're told Bush doesn't think Obama knows how to "hold secrets." Well, it's NOT a secret that Bush isn't popular! And, it's not a secret that Bush somehow wanted to include Columbia into Congress' concerns for our economy.

If truth be told, and Obama wasn't supposed to mention Bush's request ... exactly how would he get that information to his own staff? And, to Congress. Where they are working, together, to solve the problems created under the Bush presidency? Bush was co-opting Obama? He was going to get Obama to "change course?"

Hardly likely.

And, it's hardly likely that Bush gained a thing with his stupid ploy. It's not as if cameras didn't follow Obama along on this visit. Historic. Or not.

Perhaps, you'd have had to catch Poppy's face, when he was on a visit to Bill Clinton's White House, to realize there are no friendships between the Bush's and any democrats.

As a "public relations" ploy? Bush will wish, after January 20th, they people stop talking about his terrible job. And, again, Obama won't keep quiet. Can't make a secret deal on this mess, for sure.

What if Bush refuses to leave the White House on January 20th? Sure. It's never happened, before. But what if he claims he has no intention to leave; and the Obama's can go live in the garage?


Well, it wouldn't be the first time a lawyer was handed a business deal, where he represents some fool.

Let alone that even in his last steps in office, Bush just can't help being a mean old fart.

Up ahead? We're still hearing about bail outs. And, the money from DC is still being requested. Soon? Harry Reid's already called a "lame duck session" into Congress. And, yes. The topic's gonna be "bail outs."

If you want to take Dubya's conversation with Obama, seriously, you get the impression that Dubya will VETO any bill that comes out of Congress, now. (Because it doesn't contain a treaty with Columbia. Label it: FREE TRADE IN COCAINE, for all I care. It won't be popular.)

Bush, it seems, can't recognize a popular issue on its face.

He thinks he's in baseball; and he can trade Sammy Sosa if he wants to. Heck. He did. Said "Sosa wasn't a team player." So, as team players go, Bush is in the Bush-leagues. Let him veto the bill. (Harry Reid's already worked out all the knots in the problems that would create.) Seems it hurts the GOP.

Besides, in the voting world, where you need at least half the people to vote for your party's guys ... Dubya found a way to wound the GOP. Wanna bet for how many generations?

If you pick two. Then you've picked the time it took Moses to lead his troops out of the desert.

You know I think Bush showed a card from his hand before it got to be played in poker. Don't compliment players who do that.

(7) hunter made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 11:12:58 AM | Permalink

CVS pharmacy is looking for you. Something about your psychiatric meds refill.

(8) DKH made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 2:39:52 PM | Permalink


Huh? I can't determine any coherent line of thought in your post. Except that you don't like President Bush. However, that's not much of a philosophy. What are your premises and what are your conclusions?

(9) dhmosquito made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 3:16:50 PM | Permalink

Hey, Beldar, I know you believe in free speech, but your blog has been invaded by a deluded individual with some weird hatred of all things Republican and, especially, George Bush. I know we shouldn't "feed the trolls" but I cannot restrain myself any longer. Her posts add nothing to the discussion, and are incoherent, as others have indicated. I find it unconscionable that she is trolling the blog of one of the most eloquent conservatives on the internet (sorry for the flattery, but I've read you for over a year now and I don't miss anything you write). Now, you have honorably accepted our defeat in the Presidential race, and are willing to give Mr Obama a chance. That's the correct attitude. Nevertheless, this troll is, at this point, just rubbing our faces in her smug satisfaction at the election results. I suppose I could discipline myself to just overlook her rantings, but FWIW I (and I suspect a lot of other BeldarBlog readers) wouldn't mind it too much if you just sorta omitted these raving lunatic comments. Given the length of them, she evidently wants exposure for her writing. Fine. Go start your own blog, lady, or head over to DailyKos.

(10) Dale MacInnis made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 4:18:21 PM | Permalink

I agree with dhmosquito on all points. Hit the switch, Beldar.

(11) s1c made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 5:47:30 PM | Permalink

The plan here in CT is 1 year from now, if not sooner, when someone starts complaining about gas prices, the economy, the troops not being pulled out of Iraq, etc. I will just ask one question - "who did you vote for president in 2008". Now, 66% of the people will say Barack - at which point I will just start laughing like a maniac as I walk away.

(12) tmac made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 6:25:50 PM | Permalink

If you don't like trolls, don't feed 'em and don't read 'em. When trolls find that no one is stroking them, they will go elsewhere.

(13) Darcy made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 6:50:26 PM | Permalink

Excellent take on Obama's behavior. He hasn't even taken office yet, and he's already a creep.

(14) Luc made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 7:26:31 PM | Permalink

FWIW I also agree with dhmosquito (9)and Dale MacInnis (10). tmac (12) having seen many of C. Hermann's post over the years I reached the conclusion that she is not a typical troll which responds to being ignored by going away, sadly, she is deeply mentally deranged and completely out of touch with reality.

(15) David Blue made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 9:12:01 PM | Permalink

It's ".... like peeing in the pool, and then bragging about it."

Yes, that's his nature as was also shown by his subtly but literally giving Hillary Clinton the finger when he figured he had her beat, and by doing the same gesture for John McCain again on camera when Obama figured he had John McCain beat, and by the story of the stinky old fish and the lipstick-ed pig that his audience loved so much. In every case he was being impolite, and sneaky enough that he couldn't be pinned with responsibility for it. It's the same attitude some kids have in school and even in kindergarten.

It's good this happened now, so everybody knows what he's like. George W. Bush has a thick hide. Not all foreign leaders necessarily do. But now that everyone can see how Barack Obama handles confidentiality in the Oval Office, everyone can adapt, as everyone adapted to William Jefferson Clinton.

(16) Carol Herman made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 9:42:33 PM | Permalink

Well, there ya go. You insult people and think you're clever.

Meanwhile, Bush isn't polling all that high among the public. He is soon to leave office.

And, if you go to DRUDGE, you'd see the focus is, in fact, on bail outs and bankruptcies. Not unknown subjects to some lawyers. And, non-lawyers, alike.

If Bush chooses to veto any legislation that comes out of Congress; now that a "lame duck" session has been called; it wouldn't come as a surprise to legislatures. But, it would come as a surprise as people are watching the economic melt down.

Lots of Americans are now paying attention to the economics, and the termoil.

There is no upside for Bush in any of this!

Nor did Bush touch Obama's visit on his recent White House Tour visit. Bush still has to leave on January 20th.

Not having been around the the last big one: October 29, 1929; I have no idea if there are similarities between a president's departure; another party winning the Presidential nomination in 1932. And, now. But if there is?

The GOP learned back in 1932 that FDR was "unknown" coming into office. But very bold. Herbert Hoover was not.

Facts get written into history books when events pass.

As to both Bushes, their legacies seem to have suffered some defects. True, no sex scandals. But the defects that can bring a party to its knees just the same.

Meanwhile the extent of the economic mess, ahead, has not been entirely calculated. Bush's attempts to link a serious bail out of our automotive industry to a trade agreement with Columbia? Sounds pretty out there in left field.

(17) David Blue made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 10:36:34 PM | Permalink

Also deserving of Beldar's response (link): Ramesh Ponnuru: "Reviving Conservatism The National Review Institute and Hillsdale College are throwing a conference devoted to that very topic in Washington a week from today. Confirmed speakers include Rich Lowry, Heather MacDonald, David Brooks, Andrew McCarthy, Frederick Kagan, and Yuval Levin."

Thanks to Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom, (link): "And if this somehow doesn’t work, the next step will be to dig up William Buckley and hold a seance..."

"Because really, who beside such Beltway pundits whose guidance and boosterism allowed us to embrace a McCain nomination — some of whom have even referred to Sarah Palin a “cancer” on the GOP (and in so doing, conflated conservatism with their own blue blooded country club Republicanism) — are more qualified to help us “revive” conservatism?"

David Brooks' program of flattering the sensitivities of those he regards as the best people and scorning the rural hoi polloi while growing government, ditching the life plank and social conservatives with it, and refocusing the Republican Party on global warming (and any other fashion that comes along) is neither conservative nor serious nor a vote-winner.

It won't even win his own vote: after the Republican Party had gone as far as it could stretch in the direction of the committed on global warming, conservative-lashing bipartisan Maverick, David Brooks was still won over by the knee-tingling appeal of Barack Obama, who flattered his snobbish sensibilities better and is more credibly committed to growing the state and and throwing money at any cause the hard Green Left thinks is important.

What is the point of a program that is automatically outbid by your political rivals? And what is the point of conferences where this is considered indispensable wisdom?

These are the kinds of people to pay attention to: Rebuild the Party (link) and The Next Right (link).

Whatever else needs to happen in the Republican Party, there's a crying need for generational change, technical modernization and reorganization. These things will not come from the opinion pages of the New York Times.

(18) David Blue made the following comment | Nov 12, 2008 11:32:17 PM | Permalink

I should back up what I said about David Brooks's position - I mean his recommendations, not his non-credible position telling conservatives what their party should be about from the pages of the New York Times.

This is hard because he presents his positions by rejecting straw men, rather than directly. (I suspect because if you put his recommendations directly, they're too unappealing.) But anyway...

He did not say that the Republican Party needed to "flatter" the sensibilities of the best people. He did say:

"Moreover, the Reformers say, conservatives [...] cannot continue to insult the sensibilities of the educated class and the entire East and West Coasts."

In combination with his "fatal cancer" tag on Sarah Palin and the baseline of the Republican Party's presidential candidate constantly reaching across the aisle and relying for a great part of his career of the mainstream Liberal media as his main constituency, that leaves no room for anything less than rejection of the distant hoi-pollio (such as the efficient and popular governor of Alaska) and all-out flattery of the sensibilities of the New York Times's educated, urban, coastal and liberal preferred readership. Anything less is taken as an insult.

David Brooks did not say he was for the Republican Party growing the government. He said:

"The reformers tend to believe that American voters will not support a party whose main idea is slashing government."

Given that our baseline is the berserk spending of the Bush years culminating in the 700 billion dollar *s**t sandwich" of a bailout endorsed both by George W. Bush and John McCain, there's no room for the Republican Party to take a position that, comparatively speaking, rejects "slashing government" without being positively for growing government.

And so on.

I think the Republican Party and the conservative movement don't need advice from a New York Times pundit whose ideas are so unattractive that the only way to parade them in public is hidden in exaggerated rhetoric and embedded in straw man attacks.

When there's someone worth listening to, he or she will be able to say plainly what they think.

(19) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Nov 13, 2008 12:16:18 AM | Permalink

Dear Mr. Dyer: Count me as one vote for leaving Carol Herman's posts alone. Whatever any of us think of the coherence, she always has something to say. Puzzling it out is a chore, but after all, no one is clapping a pistol to anyone's head saying, Read Carol or else. I don't like Geo. W. either. He's been bad for the GOP, conservatism, and even the nation, with one exception: the conflict with Islamic extremism. That he got right. Success at that would justify everything else. But he hasn't been successful. What do I mean by success? This: a successful policy would allow immediate withdrawal of American forces with no consequences, or an acknowledgement by the American people that American forces must stay abroad to finish the job. Geo. W. has not succeeded in either task. It will be up to his successor to determine the fate of Geo. W's policies. No wonder he is being polite and gracious to The One. He can foresee that any precipitate withdrawal will make him (Geo.) look much better than he has for the last six years. Is The One dumb enough to swallow the foreign policy bunkum he shoveled out to his supporters during the campaign? We will find out, a lot sooner than most of the commenters here seem to think. The economic troubles of this nation and the world are serious, and The One is going to make them worse with his left wing imbecilities. But the nation can survive hard times. Airplanes flying into skyscrapers, subways being bombed are different stories.

Leave Carol be, say I.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

(20) David Blue made the following comment | Nov 13, 2008 1:26:20 AM | Permalink

Sorry: I accidentally posted my comments numbers 17 and 18 in the wrong thread.

(21) Carol Herman made the following comment | Nov 13, 2008 6:03:34 AM | Permalink

Well, like most opinions, some people agree. And, some disagree. Since I didn't vote for either McCain, or Obama; I had difficulty choosing between two. And, living as I do in California, where Obama was guaranteed to win, I thought a vote for Bob Barr, even if it "doesn't send a message," does put votes in a column that states: Neither of the above.

I do believe in this historic election something on this order did take place. Meaning that "out there" are people who could vote for a republican candidate, ahead; but you need to do things, internally, within the fabric of the party; that doesn't distort the party "into a one pony" show.

It looks, however, that something of this sort is going on, now. In other words, as some here such for "the purity of the message" ... the insults to RINO's, and others, looks as if someone is trying "to grab the ball," in order to run home with it.

Also, since George W. Bush is foremost a politician; and, one who is somewhat aware of bankruptcy ... since he's headed a number of businesses that tanked. And, hurt his investors. You've got to wonder WHAT MOTIVATED HIM to take this attack against Obama?

Just what was this visit about, anyway? "Hello. Let me show you around your new home." Oh, "And, by the way, let me test you for secret-keeping."

Here? The offer was made that the President wouldn't be veto-ing the upcoming bail out ... Congress is coming together in a "lame duck" session ... to write up. No siree. If Obama could keep a secret, all he had to do was "steer" his own people towards a "peace pipe treaty on trade with Columbia; having nothing to do with cocaine" ... Just free shipping rights.

But don't say a word.

Seems Obama couldn't contain himself. Though no one is reporting just how he told his staff. I mean, was he doubled-over in laughter? It's pretty hard to repeat an unbelievable conversation, ya know?

On the other hand, Dubya is a politician. And, when he read the papers in the morning, following the election debacle to McCain, he could have seen a way to "shift" the headlines?

Now, I don't know if this is true. Or not.

But what if watching Palin getting beaten up with "leaks" from inside the McCain campaign. He grabbed "the leaking ball" so to speak ... And, shifted the accusation of "leaks" to Obama?

That seems to be at least possible. Probable? You'd have to be crazy to think an out-going, UNpopular president, would use his last times in the public eye ... to be so STUPID! Dubya's "advice" sticking on Obama, you say?

McCain lost because Dubya has been that unpopular!

Okay. WIthout pre-thought. All Dubya did was "trade Sammy Sosa." Dubya didn't think Sammy Sosa was a team player.

Dubya just loves the headlines that follow.

As to Obama's visit to the White House, where he and his family will be moving in ... Didn't have to occur! Plenty of times in our history the change-over from one president to another only occurred on January 20th. As stipulated.

On the other hand, Bush extended this invitation.

And, then? Instead of basking in the good headlines; we're treated to Dubya's "advice" to Obama. Oh, yeah. On "secret-keeping." Just you wait, now, ya hear?

Because one of the charges that will fly at Dubya, ahead, will have to do with the fact that he treated his entire presidency to the lunacy of limited debates.

Also, up at DRUDGE, today, is the "developing" headline that Congress intends to run investigations into crimes committed by Dubya. And, his staff.

Is this just a counter-measure to the "promised" veto of bail out legislation for America's car industry?

Here, I'm just asking.

Here, it can only be a theory. Events have to actually take place to know for sure.

On the other hand? Dubya's popularity index is still in the toilet.

(22) Paul_In_Houston made the following comment | Nov 13, 2008 12:53:46 PM | Permalink

"On the other hand? Dubya's popularity index is still in the toilet."

Unless I missed something recently, he's not running for anything anymore.

For God's sake! Give it a rest, PLEASE!!!

(23) Rhodium Heart made the following comment | Nov 13, 2008 1:33:21 PM | Permalink

What the heck is up with these Obama people and their obsession with seals? It's like they're playing at being president. At least this "Office of the President Elect" seal doesn't use some faux Latin motto.

(24) Bill Brandt made the following comment | Nov 14, 2008 1:27:25 AM | Permalink

Regarding Carol - I have followed Beldar from Townhall to here and believe me the posts on Townhall - many seem to have come from Bellview Hospital. Simply posted to inflame others - mean spirited (left and right I would say) - it is too bad that Hugh (or whoever) can't or won't use some editorial discretion.

The few that I have read from Carol are simply disagreements. I don't think her posts are inflammatory in any way. And it is healthy to have disagreements as long as everyone is respectful of each other.

On GW - as someone said his lasting legacy will be that after 9/11 "he kept us safe". I would have loved to have been a "fly on the wall" in the Oval Office hearing the daily intelligence briefings on what was foiled over the years.

I do think we are in for another attack in the next 4 years because the left doesn't like the "harsh" ways GW has conducted the war. And Jamie Gorelick has been mentioned as the new AG. Oh great, the person who codified the "Wall" during Clinton prohibiting the CIA and FBI from talking to each other.

I wonder where his popularity would be if so much of the MSM hadn't tried to sabotage him - the NYT for example reporting on the US Govts plans (and ways) they were disrupting al Queda's financing. And while on that subject even (before Bush I believe) reporting that the NSA had a way to triangulate bin Laden's satellite phone. Which caused him to change his communication ways. Then criticizing Bush for not capturing him yet. He couldn't win with them no matter what he did.

Ah, the free press. Gotta love them. I am just glad that this group wasn't around in 1942 when we had the Japanese code cracked and knew their Navy movements. Just think if Bill Kellner had been around with the Times the Japanese would have sunk our remaining carriers at Midway.

Still I fault Bush (as must of us) with that crazy spending - while nobody has shown me a chart detailing how much of what goes where, the Iraq War would be just a small part of it IMO. The National debt has doubled under GWs watch, something no liberal Democrat has been able to do. Until probably now ;-)

And the Republican-dominated Congress - well, Bush should have used a veto more.

(25) narciso made the following comment | Nov 14, 2008 9:06:17 AM | Permalink

Yes, the New York Times, along with the networks and MSNBC; most of the magazines have gone completely "Chicago Tribune"
to use the 1942 analogy. They have undermined terrorist surveilance, financial transaction tracking, burned legitimate intelligence officers,leaked defense plans; all to achieve their objectives. A toothless war on islamic extremism, surrender at a McGovern if not Wallace level. The enemy hasn't stopped plotting, either in Peshawar, Ramadi or even within Gitmo itself. They have the candidate
they wanted; someone totally illiterate and contemptuous of America's proud traditions, who will repeat every mistake
in economic and foreign policy terms. We know who the Wahhabi Ilkwan, the russian silovki, the chavez junta, AQ
the IRGC made their preference for. It will cost us in lives, fortunes, and every other way possible.

Was McCain an inperfect vessel for the alternate case; one could legitimately argue so. We had a choice in the primaries, Huckabee was too Elmer Gantry, Guiliani was too serious, Romney was too coifed, and a Mormon, Ron Paul was too insane.People wanted a reform candidate; well they got him. (it didn't matter, to the press, or the majority of the electorate ) Would at least some of his advisors (I'm being charitable here) have the right policies to impart to him; and have the right instincts. Yet we chased perfection as the enemy of the possible; Palin was too green, McCain was too old, too irrascible. The press coverage, would have embarassed Pulitzer, Hearst, and Gordon in its vacuity; incoherence and partisanship. Every shortcoming of the opposition was buried or explained away. Every perceived flaw was blown up in 'grand guignol style.

Would it have been better for the incumbent administration
and the peripacetic legislative plurality to have been less profligate with our funds, Probably, but we know from Reagan's '82 interims, and the Gingrich interlude, that wouldn't have won us any points. All the major centers of institutional power would have rained contempt upon him regardless. We are in a poignantly distant yet real shooting
war abroad; where the basis of which was undermined by the media. Ironically, even when the proof of the victory has shown fruit; it was ignored like yesterday's box scores.

(26) Paul_In_Houston made the following comment | Nov 14, 2008 9:17:09 AM | Permalink

I know, Mr. Brandt.

It's just that her constant harping on Bush, and her "Mission From God" approach to informing us of his poll numbers, are becoming like nails on a blackboard.

By raising "beating a dead horse" to Olympic levels, she redefines "obsession".

(27) Bill Brandt made the following comment | Nov 14, 2008 10:48:54 AM | Permalink

Narciso - I think we got McCain because of some states with open primaries. Heck, I started out wanting Guiliani - and he quit before he even got to California. "OK", I thought, Thompson is supposed to be Reaganisque - I'll wait for him to run - I waited - and waited - and he is in and out like a flash in the pan. Then I wanted Romney - with his financial background he would have been The Man today. Never will forget in the WV primary Huckabee and McCain ganged up on him - Mike giving his delegates to McCain (for how that benefited Huckabee I haven't a clue) - Finally I half heartedly support McCain until he picks Palin. I knew the left would despise Palin because she was everything a true feminist would be proud of but darn it, she was a conservative. I honestly thought McCain would have won - some of the polls (admittedly in retrospect the ones I wanted to read) were a statistical dead heat.

On Bush's spending I read that he didn't veto things because he needed support from the Republican Congress on the Iraq War. The Congress and Bush blew an historic opportunity.

I do fault GW for not defending himself more vigorously when all these Dems started attacking him - he allowed himself to be a Pinata- most of his critiques voted for the war and wnem it went "too long" then wanted it both ways. And it took about 3 years of reading of IED deaths before he brought in Petraeus - but then being an armchair quarterback is easy. I think one of the reasons his poll numbers were bad is that the public simply read negativity for years with no counter arguements. Same thing with this mortgage mess - in 2006 he lobbied Congress to look into the matter - warning them - and of course they did nothing. So this mess is blamed on him, too. I do tend to get cynical about the MSM but I think it is a normal reaction ;-)

Paul - I haven't been on here long and have to admit I haven't read all of Carol's stuff but to borrow a phrase from Nancy Reagan - "Just say no" ;-)

(28) Paul_In_Houston made the following comment | Nov 14, 2008 11:08:30 AM | Permalink

"Just say no" ;-)

Good point, Mr. Brandt.
I will make an effort to follow it.

"I do tend to get cynical about the MSM"

Same here; I am getting SO cynical in my old age.
If anyone here can disprove the Easter Bunny, Please Don't!
One needs SOMETHING to believe in. :-)

Welcome to the blog.

(29) Carol Herman made the following comment | Nov 14, 2008 12:25:32 PM | Permalink

"Just say no" actually failed as a policy.

But as a label, on the other hand? Dubya will make sure that the GOP is "labeled for life" ... as carriers of this disease: "Just Say No." And, Compassionate Conservatism."

Michael Lewis has another "Wall Street" book coming out. Could be bigger than Liar's Poker. About the PANIC in the markets. And, the fraud that was committed, using rating agencies to "swear the bonds were Triple A's. Which is basically what's tipped over our economy.

Can the tidal wave ahead look like Herbert Hoover wasn't the worst president to deal with an economy based on greed, where people entered Wall Street without the slightest idea?

Sure. There will always be a conservative base. Less than half the voters, though.

And, if you can't attract at least half the voters, with candidates you have a hand in selecting, you'll be able to replace "Just Say No" with the Sky Is Falling.

Not that I'm willing to predict anything.

(30) Maura made the following comment | Nov 14, 2008 3:31:19 PM | Permalink

Just take a second long look at the photo included with this post.

I have done so, and find it odd and thought provoking. Why, just Why would the Smartest Man in the World be trifling with the schtick employed by that "office of the president-elect.." ? I mean, that really is 8th grade level, don't you think?

And...is Joe Biden looking embarrassed? Or is he musing something? Hard to figure out, but as I gaze at the photo I feel a little embarrassed for BHO, even as much as I despise everything for which he stands.

I'm actually becoming quite fearful of what lies ahead.

(31) Bill Brandt made the following comment | Nov 14, 2008 9:54:04 PM | Permalink

Paul - Maura - I have always been a believer that the smallest details and revelations can usually bring the most profound headlines - if one knows how to listen.

Case in point: Over a year ago I remember reading on about page A23 that Israel purchased 5,000 bunker-busting bombs.

Then Joe Biden's "slip" about how something nasty in foreign policy will come early in their administration. Will they pull the rug out from Israel to try and make them force peace with Syria and Hamas?

Or will they pull the rug out from Poland who after committing to host our ABMs - and provoking Putin's ire - will BO make "Peace in our time" particularity after Putin is making nice with Venezuela and Cuba? Will he try and station missiles in Cuba (violating the 46 year old treaty with JFK and Khrushchev?) If we does will BO stand up to him like JFK or capitulate and claim he has given us "peace"

Whatever it will be you can be sure that it won't be good.

Carol - I don't believe that conservatism will be less than half the voters. There is a reason over a million people turned out for the funeral of an old President who was in office a generation ago. We need a spokesman like Reagan though after GW and the late Republican Congress trampled on the Republican brand of less spending and smaller govt. It depends on how bad BO is (I love those initials) to determine the speed at which Reagan conservatism will return. I see shades of Jimmy Carter all over again.

And you are right about the bond agencies messing up with the ratings. There is lots of blame to go around but it all started with Congress in the 1990s with politicians wanting to interfere with the market- creating a mortgage class for people who would otherwise not be able to get credit. The chickens came home to roost.

(32) Carol Herman made the following comment | Nov 15, 2008 11:41:41 AM | Permalink

Dear Bill Brandt: Let me give you the origin of the sentence "at least half the people." It's an old story.

E. B. White wrote for the New Yorker Magazine. And, back in the late 1930's, or early '40s, FDR fell in love with an article E. B. White wrote. The purpose was an essay. Covering the topic "What Democracy Means To Me." And, White starts out with "Democracy means to me that more than half the time, more than half the people vote the right guy into office." (Something like that.) What stuck was the "more than half" requirement. After elections are over you can see if your team scored "more than half." Or less. Seems in 2008 "less" became what the GOP "took in."

There's also the losses, in 3 states, that were peppered with money to restrict abortions. (It was another "set up" to push the topic back up to the Supremes. This needs to be done years ahead.) So, the money got spent. And, all 3 restrictive measures FAILED. (Again, judge for yourself. Since to "pass" you need to attract "more than half the voters." And, this was done in 3 different states; including one of the Dakota's, known to be GOP territory.)

Anyway, the measures didn't pass. So there's nothing to "send up" to the Supreme's. Let alone Barack Obama has a majority of democrats in Congress. (Plus, McCain and Joe Lieberman, in search of a new home, where there's some power to turn on the lights.) And, if you arrive at any number above 57 votes; you can see how candidates, selected by Obama, pass the "ADVISE" test; in "Advise & Consent.") No. I didn't make these rules.

Facts can't really be disputed. Though opinions really run the gamut!

As to the economy, the terrible bailout. And, what went wrong. I've read a few pieces by Michael Lewis (who wrote Liar's Poker). And, you'd think the "beast of Wall Street" slathered in greed, got done in by the failures back in the late 1980's. Nothing doing!)

Perhaps, you've heard that it was "giving loans to poor people" that brought the whole house of cards down. But Michael Lewis, familiar with hedge funds and bonds, shows that the crappiest bonds ... that got AAA ratings ... were a "novelty" called C.D.O.'s. What's this? Hard to explain! On purpose! If you went and read the legalese, you'd get a headache just from shaking your head and saying "this doesn't make sense." Let alone "sense" since it involved NO PEOPLE! Yup. You read that right. The blames not just "poor people," but the NO PEOPLE who never existed. Who were part and parcel of these "toxic" loans.

While Hank Paulson, From Goldman, sitting on top, BET AGAINST HIS OWN PEOPLE! Yeah. It's finance. People by now have their eyes rolling upwards in their heads. They're in a stupor. But the SCAM was to give wealth to Wall Streeters on stuff that could never get repaid. While the pension funds, etc., went into these "bonds" in a very big way.

When the bubble bursts there's no way to set things right, again. But there ya go. Bush didn't fire Paulson. Goldman, by betting (shorting) this particular market made BILLIONS. And, caused havoc. Perhaps, its just greed?

Winston Churchill wrote an article in December 1929. He was in the "out's" in England. And, so was actually in Manhattan, when Black Monday rolled around. And, wiped people (who shouldn't have even been investing ... because they didn't understand what they were doing) ... And, left a wide swath of misfortune in its wake.

As a matter of fact, in August 1929, while getting a shoe shine, Jospeh Kennedy (counter-intuitively, hearing his shoe shine boy recommending stocks, ran to the office and sold off his entire portfolio.) During the Big Depression, Joseph Kennedy remained a very, very, very rich man. With cash. (In situations like that you buy gold, for pennies on the dollar.)

Anyway, what Churchill marveled out was the fact that Herbert Hoover didn't have to resign! He'd just been elected president. And, what remained stable was our SYSTEM. President elected. President stays in office until he runs again. (Of course, there was a shift! In 1932, FDR got elected. Wasn't hampered by paralysis.)

So, when people go all out now, saying Obama is a socialist; I think they fail to see the picture. (Which includes the dictum. To win, again, in 2012, Obama has to please "more than half the people.") That leaves a very big group of grumblers unable to get elected dog-catcher. Like dogs, these things come with fads.

Heck, for all I know, Obama (needing a dog that doesn't shed, because one of his daughter's is alergic), may bring in a new fad of dog? Hairless wonders. (My cousin has an Italian Greyhound. So, don't think I'm making fun, here. The dog's her baby. And, he has human qualities. In that like a baby he knows how to smile and get along.) But I digress.

All groups, by definition, are "below the thresh-hold of getting elected. That's why there has to be a national candidate, on the national ticket, that appeals to a broad range of groups. Not limited. And, certainly not limited to Whites, alone, anymore. Even church groups can't pull in enough voters to hang a difference on ballot measures. At least this lesson was just taught by people who voted to keep abortion rights accessible. And, enough voters tossed out the "restrictions." There are no refunds. All the money that went into this, got spent.

Right now?

Since I love Michael Lewis' writings. And, I even followed The Blind Side, about football, easily ... I was able to see things in the game, I had never even noticed, before. (Up at U-Tube, there's a sequence from an Old Miss game; showing Michael Oher on the field. Remember this. He covers the blind side. He's not the quarterback. So it takes a moment to focus on just him. While I kept seeing the quarterback, with the ball.) Till I learned to re-focus.

Now, just to repeat on the economy. As things become clearer: Hank Paulson, as head of Goldman, Sach's. Instructed the upper eschelon to bet against the bond traders. To short them. To earn BILLIONS. (He's the head of the only Wall Street company to do so.)

Profits are interesting. Not shared "all around." But they go to people who take the most risk.

Of course, Paulson and Bernanke were Executive appointments; and they sent money flying. Close to a trillion. Without any oversight. ANd, without any idea, even, what types of bonuses, the idiots who lost so much money, will get, anyway.

When a trader talks. DO. NOT. BELIEVE. WHAT. YOU. HEAR. Expect, within a year or two for fur to go flying. While, using the football analogy, I see Dubya's fumble. And, a few bodies are running out, (before the party goes into "defense.") Trying to recover the ball. Perhaps? It will be Palin's to carry? But I'm a cynic. I think there's enough blood, now, inside the GOP tent that 2012 "could be" meaningless.) Yup. It's always hard to call the future. Unless you're in on a game that skirts dishonesty.

[Edited slightly, only to convert a few tiny paragraphs into longer ones, with fewer inches of total text. Carol, I think you might have amused some other commenters with this one, especially with the admission "But I digress." At least that amused me, since no one has ever justifiably accused me of concision either. — Beldar, Sat Nov 15 @ 2:10pm]

(33) Carol Herman made the following comment | Nov 15, 2008 4:35:41 PM | Permalink

OKay, Beldar. You say you "EDITED." I have no idea what got cut! It looks just like I wrote it, #32 does.

And, because I mentioned Michael Lewis, I thought it only fair to send him an email. With the above cut & pasted. Don't forget. I'm NOT the lawyer! And, I'm NOT the bond trader. Nor do I play football. I read a lot. And, when I write I can remember stuff that I felt was very important.

Anyway, I think you for the privilege of allowing me my posts.

Your "editing" could be worse. You could do an e.e.commings. (Would that add poetry?) Space-saving ... no periods.

Now, here's something I'd like you to see. Because you're a lawyer you may be unfamilar with how the market place works. Where you take risks with your money, buying at wholesale, hoping to sell everything at a good profit.

Since we're discussing politics, however, what does the "shelf" look like? How do you offer up to voters, something "more than half want to buy?" Remember the bankers are there. You've got bills to pay when they come due. And, a dead inventory doesn't give you the where-with-all to go into to the market place, again; to buy for the next season.

There really are "next seasons." In good times. And, bad. And, even Mr. Macy understood "get it off the shelves!" Even if you have to sell it for less than you paid! Stop falling in love. Biggest mistake in sales is that you love something too much to let it go at fire sale prices.

Every four years it's a national ticket. Ya gotta appeal to GROUPS. Not just beer buddies.

[Carol, nothing was cut ... just some sentences combined into longer paragraphs. — Beldar, Sun Nov 16 @ 9:50am.]

(34) DRJ made the following comment | Nov 20, 2008 9:55:59 PM | Permalink

As always, I agree with you Beldar ... with one tiny caveat. I have a higher regard for the political maturity of eighth graders than your post suggests they deserve.

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