2:00PM Water Cooler 3/9/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


Clinton Email

DiFi: “I think that she needs to step up and come out and state exactly what the situation is” [New York Times]. “From this point on, the silence is going to hurt her.”

Gail Sheehy, [New York Daily News].

She has reacted to a series of legitimate press reports raising serious questions about her use of a private email server to conduct the public’s business while secretary of state by going into bunker stance and attacking the messengers. We have seen this face on Hillary too often before, and it is deeply unappealing. … The obvious challenger, the one with a real opportunity to sharpen Hillary’s candidacy if not derail it entirely, is Elizabeth Warren.

I don’t get the logic of this idea. Warren is supposed to run, but not supposed to win? What’s in it for Warren?

John Wonderlich, policy director for Sunlight Foundation in [Vice]:

I keep imaging if a cabinet secretary said they were going to have their own office, their own security, and hired a private public relations firm to do all their work. No one would accept that and that’s what Clinton set up for her information.

This is such an easy call to make. I don’t understand why Democrats have such a hard time making it.

“Governors and other elected officials routinely use private emails, laptops and cellphones for government business, a popular strategy that sometimes helps them avoid public scrutiny of their actions” [McClatchy]. “Just because everybody does it, doesn’t make it right!”

Hillary Clinton pens introduction to No Ceilings, a report on the status of women and girls produced by the The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, The Economist Intelligence Unit, WORLD Policy Analysis Center at UCLA [AP].

“Watching [Bill] Clinton in Miami, it was clear how his political skills carried him from Hope, Arkansas, to the White House” [CNN]. Like they said in Arkansas, he can shake hands with you while pissing down your leg. Which is why the only way to take him on is with policy. Hang NAFTA and Glass-Steagall round his neck like the stinking albatrosses that they are.

O’Malley on immigration in New Hampshire [Bloomberg]. Kudos:

O’MALLEY: I actually think that when you have people living in the shadows of our society, people living off the books and not being fully recognized citizens, that you create a couple of things that are bad for wages. You create an underground economy. It’s bad for our security–you create an underground society. And that’s bad for our country. One cannot point to an extended period of time in American history when newly arriving groups of immigrants did anything but make our country stronger.”

Lose the “I actually think that…”

Iowa Ag Summit, Republicans on ethanol: Support: Huckabee, Santorum; Qualified support: Walker, Bush; Against: Cruz, Pataki (?!), Mumblespeak: Perry [Des Moines Register].

Iowa Ag Summit, Immigration: Bush, Pataki (?!), Graham for legal protections [Wall Street Journal]. And everybody is for sphincter border control.


Liberty City Charter School, co-founded in 1996 by Jebbie, is “a ruin baking in the Miami sun” [New York Times]. Well, I hope at least somebody made a profit!

“42% of Republican primary voters say they couldn’t see themselves supporting Mr. Bush for the GOP presidential nomination, compared with 49% who said they could” [Wall Street Journal].

Perry goes on a hiring spree [CNN].

Principled Insurgents

Walker in Iowa, of Dubuque: “I’ve ridden [US Highway 151] many a time on my Harley” [Bloomberg].

Clown Car

Lindsay Graham on email: “I don’t e-mail. I’ve tried not to have a system where I can just say the first dumb thing that comes to my mind…I’ve had a chance to kind of carve out some time for myself not responding to every 15-second crisis.”

I’m not going to say “He’s got my vote!” over this, but it’s actually a sane viewpoint.

Chris Christie’s campaign bid: “One to forget” [Bloomberg]. Obama’s hug of death….

Jonathon Chait’s exit interview with White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer [New York Magazine].

The original premise of Obama’s first presidential campaign was that he could reason with Republicans—or else, by staking out obviously reasonable stances, force them to moderate or be exposed as extreme and unyielding. It took years [until 2011] for the White House to conclude that this was false.

Craazyman summed up the debacle that has been the Obama administration like this: “[Obama] had a bridge to cross in 2009 and he stayed home.” And if Chait and Pfeiffer are to be believed, now we know why. Now does anybody see why when I read the words “Democratic strategist” I want to put my fist through the screen? Obama wanted to “reason with” the party that impeached Bill Clinton over a b******! When Gingrich, Livingston, and Hyde — the leadership — were all adulterers themselves! And they followed that up with the Florida felon’s list and Bush v. Gore, and arguably stole election 2004! For starters.

States with voting restrictions since 2010 [The Nation].

The Hill

Megan Brennan, new US Postmaster: The Post Office “embrace a faster pace of change” and “constantly improve our competitiveness” [WaPo]. A Post Office Bank would do both. No word on that.

Herd on the Street

Apple Watch launches, though won’t be on sale ’til next year. Nothing on battery life [Verge]. And if a power supply overheats when it’s right on your wrist, that would be bad.

Apple considers special show rooms for the Apple Watches meant for conspicuous consumption [WaPo]. “I’m not going to buy a watch if I can’t stand on carpet.” With a genius polishing your shoes with the oil on their nose, no doubt.

“Speculators pared their net-long position in West Texas Intermediate crude by 19 percent in the week ended March 3” [Bloomberg].

LeNovo is still shipping “notebooks pre-installed with dangerous, HTTPS-breaking [Superfish] adware” [Ars Technica]. Two weeks after the debacle broke.

Health Care

Jonathon Gruber messed up his Vermont billing [CNBC]. Sleazy to the end.


Secret Rahm memo to Clinton: Step up attack on immigrants. Be Nixon on crime [Fred Klonsky].

Rahm to remove 50 red light cameras, offer first-time offenders the option of classes instead of fines [DNAinfo]. So Rahm reacts to pressure? Good. Keep at it. Interestingly, Rahm calls the classes a “mulligan,” “a golf term that refers to a second chance after a one-time blunder.” So Rahm still has time — and money — to play golf?

Rahm “plans to use black ministers, elected officials and business leaders to carry his message” to Black voters [Chicago Sun-Times]. Well, the black misleadership class has done well for him in the past, so….

“[T]he promised presidential library rings hollow with voters who backed Mr. Garcia on the south and west sides. They want a trauma center, not a tourist attraction” [Wall Street Journal]. I bet they’d like to keep their park intact, too, instead of slicing 20 acres off it for the so-called library.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Ferguson is by no means the only St Louis, Missouri, or American city to treat law enforcement as a profit center, and to target blacks [New York Times].

Protests and march over police shooting in Bridgeton, New Jersey [Newark Star-Ledger]. I wonder how many otherwise unknown protests and marches there are. Presumably, the DHS knows…

James Fallows thinks Obama’s Selma speech was great [Atlantic]. “When the political passions of our time have passed, people of all parties will quote this speech as expressing an essence of our American creed.” Which is a less positive statement than one might think, on close examination.

Long-form atmospheric piece on Selma [Los Angeles Times].

Democrats make Loretta Lynch hold-up an issue in Selma [Politico]. Great optics.

Class Warfare

“…unusually low share of productivity gains going to workers…” [Bloomberg]. Since 2009 — surprise! — and Bloomberg only notices now?

“The Winning Streak Continues” [The Economist]. More triumphalism.

Only a few [industries] have seen employment rise beyond its pre-recession high. Excluding energy, says Mr Blitz, the American economy is shifting to one that really focuses on servicing “those with high enough incomes to afford more leisure time and the increasing number of people retiring—whose time is all about leisure and visiting doctors.”

So, “winning streak for whom?” one might well ask.

Miserable wages and working conditions for adjuncts [WaPo]. But administrators are living off the fat of the land, so it’s even.

News of the Wired

  • Windows 93 [www.windows93.net]. I can get the apps from the Start menu work, but not the icons on the desktop.
  • The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Chinese Fonts [Web Design].
  • Community solar gardens taking off [Denver Post].
  • EPA to regulate (newly manufactured) wood stoves [McClatchy].
  • No red flags were raised in the interim report on MH370 [Wall Street Journal]. The Marie Celeste of aircraft?
  • “Malaysia Airlines Expands Investigation To Include General Scope Of Space, Time” [The Onion]. A year ago.
  • “In politics, the polestar must be the health of the republic alone” [The Atlantic]. Hilariously, the author is Michael Ignatieff. Oh well, at least not Tony Blair.
  • “Seniors at a New Mexico high school have voted to hold a prom with a communism theme, which they’ve dubbed “prom-munism” [McClatchy]. Hard to imagine the equivalent of the Prom King and Prom Queen. Marx and Engels?
  • “Researchers conclude they are 99 percent certain that hormone-altering chemicals are linked to attention problems, diabetes, other health problems” [National Geographic].

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant, the first of, er, Miscellaneous Week* (JN):


From Zilker Park Austin.

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. It’s the heating season!

* My concept was “Humorous Vegetables Week” (a Terry Pratchett reference) but the only submission was, well, not suitable for a family blog. So maybe that was not such a good idea. I wonder what would have been better?

Talk amongst yourselves!

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Jim Haygood

    ‘Secret Rahm memo to Clinton: Be Nixon on crime.’

    Might as well, since she’s already Nixon on document discovery.

    Hillary Milhous Rodham, cloth-coat Democrat.

  2. Garrett Pace

    Ignatieff on bin Laden assassination raid:

    “This is a Machiavellian moment: a political leader taking the ultimate risks that go with the exercise of power, now awaiting the judgment of fate. He knows that if the mission fails, his presidency is over, while if it succeeds, no one should ever again question his willingness to risk all.”

    WTF this guy is a piece of work. There was no risk to political careers. If it failed we would never hear anything about it.

    All societies mythologize their history, but does anyone do it dumber than us?

    1. El Guapo

      Ignatieff is a despicable moron. The only positive thing about that fascist Harper’s reign is that he stomped Ignatieff into the mud and sent him off in embarrassment.

  3. Jim Haygood

    Monkey-wrenching the Database state:

    (CNSNews.com) – The SSA’s inspector general has identified 6.5 million number-holders age 112 — or older — for whom no death date has been entered in the main electronic file, called Numident.

    “We obtained Numident data that identified approximately 6.5 million numberholders born before June 16, 1901 who did not have a date of death on their record,” the report states.

    Some of the numbers assigned to long-dead people were used fraudulently to open bank accounts.


    The takeaway: if you’re gonna use an ‘adopted’ SSN, pick one with a birth date of June 17, 1901 or later.

    Cuz they’re about to crack down on the over-112 crowd.

      1. ambrit

        I think they have to get a Green Card first.
        By the way, immigrants from Magonia don’t need Green Cards. With interdimensional travel, no physical borders are crossed.

  4. Garrett Pace

    Wood burning article

    “About 10 percent of U.S. households burn wood, and the number relying on it as their primary heating source rose by nearly a third from 2005 to 2012”

    What is that all about!

    1. bob

      There are places in the US with more trees than access to hydrocarbons.

      The EPA has been “regulating” wood stoves for a while now. It’s nothing new. Most of the ones they don’t like are very inefficient and cheap. Outdoor wood boilers are a neighbors worst nightmare in some places. They look like small sheds placed pretty far away from the house, so the smoke can’t get back to the house. They usually run a very low, very damped down “burn” which results in clouds of dark smoke. The wood doesn’t burn at a high enough temperature and ends up releasing LOTS of particulate matter.

      In places where wood heat is common, there is already a huge 2nd hand market for older woods stoves. Newer ones are required to meet standards on efficiency, which can add to the cost. If you are looking for a wood stove, look for older, well made units that haven’t been burned out.

      They “regulate” by not allowing new, bad stoves to be sold, or more likely imported. Of course there is the other side of the story, where the bigger manufactures of wood stoves help write regs that benefit their models.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The EPA’s next goals – smokeless tobacco and smokeless marijuana only.

        1. bob

          That and cow farts. Every few years another story about this comes out, likely source- anyone who sees the EPA as “environmentalist”.

          They got Cheny’s anti- “clean water act” in, and they still bitch– Because gov.

  5. timbers

    Obama declares Venezuela a threat to U.S. national security:


    This is so surreal, it looks as though Obama is becoming more visibly truly unhinged, almost insane.

    No wonder Merkel is letting Der Spiegel make comments based on “leaks” from German intelligence officials like:

    “The picture it gives of the mood in Washington is a very alarming one – of a war party almost completely out of control and itching for a fight that European governments led by Germany almost unanimously see as calamitous. One gets from the article a sense the Germans feel the Americans have taken leave of their senses. Thus we read comments like “many in the Chancellery simply shake their heads….”

    1. steviefinn

      Doesn’t pay to live in an oil rich country that refuses to become a gas station for the empire. At least Obama was elected, if under false pretenses. Still if you like power, used to run a tinpot tax haven of a country with a population of around half a million with no armed forces – become an un-elected Eurocrat & then get to set up a European army. Germany is according to this, happy to comply – I ask myself the same question now in regard to these truly empty suits – What could possibly go right ?


  6. Vatch

    “Hard to imagine the equivalent of the Prom King and Prom Queen. Marx and Engels?”

    No, no, no. Karl and Jenny, not Karl and Fred.

    1. hunkerdown

      People seem to think vaginal intercourse is a human right. Actually, it’s a lack of imagination.

      If they were really interested in an achievable goal, they’d be teaching people how to have better sex without such atavistic activities involved.

      1. Jack

        Many cultures don’t even engage in mouth-to-mouth kissing. Teaching them alternative ways to have sex is going to be a challenge.

  7. James Levy

    “Now does anybody see why when I read the words “Democratic strategist” I want to put my fist through the screen? Obama wanted to “reason with” the party that impeached Bill Clinton over a b******! When Gingrich, Livingston, and Hyde — the leadership — were all adulterers themselves! And they followed that up with the Florida felon’s list and Bush v. Gore, and arguably stole election 2004! For starters”

    The mantra of all alpha males is: I’m different; I can do this. Clinton was too cocky and Gore a pussy, but me, I’m going to ride into town and straighten these clowns out. I’ll run rings around these Republican rubes!

    Obama drank his own “transformative presidency” Koolaid. Like all these presidents and would-be presidents since Kennedy showed you didn’t need the party elders and city bosses to grab the nomination (you could buy them or outflank them with television) Obama has had the temerity and the self-belief to imagine himself as the “leader of the free world” since he was a teenager. Victory in 2008 sealed the vision he had of himself, as victory does with all these clowns. I am special. I am the chosen one. I’m different, and I can do this. Obama’s self-image is wrapped up in the delusion that all the things you mention about the Republicans are incidental compared to his own wondrousness. I doubt he’ll ever fully comprehend just how deluded he was and is.

    1. ambrit

      My favourite part about the Bob Livingston melt down was that Larry Flints people had no ‘hard’ evidence of wrongdoing. They essentially bluffed Livingston out of office. The ‘Word on the Street’ down in the French Quarter was that Bob liked to dress up trans gender. Not do anything about it, just play ‘dress up.’ Down in the Quarter, this kind of thing is almost “normal,” for whatever that word means. You will see tons of full nudity, of both, or perhaps I should say all, genders on Bourbon Street and surrounding thoroughfares on Fat Tuesday. [In most cases, it’s “Thank Dionysus for cold weather”, concerning that. The run of the mill nudist there on that day would merit a citation for not only a morals charge, but also an esthetics offence.]

  8. DJG

    Come on, Lambert: Lindsey Graham on technology and gravitas, “I don’t e-mail. I’ve tried not to have a system where I can just say the first dumb thing that comes to my mind…I’ve had a chance to kind of carve out some time for myself not responding to every 15-second crisis.” Are we talking about the same Lindsey Graham? (The distinguished South Carolinian known mainly for being the first and out of the 1000-Clown Car?) If he’s pausing not to be dumb, he may have to engage in longer pauses.

    1. bob

      He’s a cspan favorite of mine. He had Holder in a BANKING COMMITTEE meeting, right after the Lanny Breuer truth outbreak, and proceeded to use his 5 minutes to ask him if an AR-15 would be a good alternative in a zombie outbreak. “the people of new orleans thought they worked well”.

      He meant that Blackwater, at that time, thought they worked well– for scaring off black people.

      The senate, where things are done “civilized” like.

    2. Peter Pan

      Lindsey Graham: “I’ve tried not to have a system where I can just say the first dumb thing that comes to my mind.”

      Huge Fail, Dude ! Do you wait for the 10th dumb thing that comes to your mind?

    3. hunkerdown

      We already know that anyone who doesn’t believe what the bourgeoisie believes is “dumb”. You, on the other hand, are smug and unimaginative.

      What this SHOULD be telling you, if you could get out of your identity politics for a sec, is that Lindsey Graham intends the effect of every word he speaks.

      Belief… gods you Western people and your phrenologies!

    4. steelhead23

      And even when the shrill conservatives tout him, his sound bites sound like poorly considered emails. “Free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war,” Lindsay Graham. Hence, Graham’s anti-email hypothesis may make sense, its just that its subsumed by his idiotic mouth.

    5. Lambert Strether Post author

      Email is a horrible time-sink and an easy way to wreck relationships. That Graham is leery of using it is a sign that he’s not a complete whack job (although certainly he meets the Clown Car standard. Anyhow, he’s just running for future funding on the Islamic Menace, not for President, seriously).

  9. DJG

    The Guardian:
    Obama doesn’t notice that her e-mail address doesn’t end in .gov
    I suppose he was too busy reading the various trade agreements being negotiated in secret. The irony here is that Barack and Hillary are being hoist on the kind of reverse of what Edward Snowden pointed out from his role as a private contract brought in to do surveillance of the general public. He pointed out private corporations being used for public functions (among many other things), and they can’t seem to realize that the government isn’t a private corporation that they can quietly loot. Hmm. [And then the article ends with some bromides about Hillary’s feminism, proving again that only one woman is capable of being the first woman to be elected president.]

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      While we are still waiting for the first woman to govern here, let’s remind ourselves that the first human to
      be governed anywhere was a woman.

      That’s my chiasmus of the day.

      1. ambrit

        What about self-governed?
        I like to make a distinction between “governed” and “dominated.”
        While we’re on the subject, what about Graves’ and others assertion that the earliest “religions” were matriarchal fertility cults?
        I lean towards the idea that very early social units divided the labour of existence fairly equally between hunters and gatherers. Raising the children almost had to be a cooperative effort. Otherwise, the young males wouldn’t have become socialized into extended family groups.

    2. timbers

      “Obama doesn’t notice that the people on his kill list are innocent”

      Same thing

      1. vidimi

        i hate the use of words such as ‘innocent’ in discussing such policies. it’s such a red herring. everyone’s a little guilty of something but nobody is guilty enough of anything to deserve being incinerated out of the blue. if the country were to try civility and abolish the death penalty then such conversations might finally become moot.

    3. Jim Haygood

      Oops, wait, he did notice! Furious backpedaling ensues:

      (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton exchanged emails during her time as secretary of state, the White House said on Monday, confirming the president was aware that his potential successor used a private email address for government work.

      Obama said in an interview with CBS on Saturday that he found out about Clinton’s use of a personal email account through recent news reports, but White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama was aware of her address earlier.

      “The president, as I think many people expected, did over the course of his first several years in office trade emails with his secretary of state,” Earnest told reporters.

      “The point that the president was making is not that he didn’t know Secretary Clinton’s email address. He did. But he was not aware of the details of how that email address and that server had been set up, or how Secretary Clinton and her team were planning to comply with the Federal Records Act.”


      Progressive disclosure: it’s how you make teapot tempests into show-stoppers.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Do you think Obama knew beyond a theoretical understanding? He was a Senator. What staffer is going to go over email protocols with the President? It’s not classified if the President shares it. My guess is someone handles his communications, so the President doesn’t have to do the dial, hangup, save the number thing.

        I despise the Clinton’s, but like Brian Williams Iraq story, the wrong email address is a red herring from the Clinton’s larger issues.

        Don’t get me wrong, I like to see Clinton and Team Blue hacks squirm, so I really don’t care how Hill gets knocked out of the race.

  10. neo-realist

    Re Dan Pfeiffer’s interview and perspectives on dealing with and moderating republicans, I suspect that glad handing republicans and so-called “post-partisanship” was a ruse to give the President cover to govern from the center-right and stiff arm the left–no single payer, underfunded stimulus, using flacks to bash the left (Rahm’s retarded remark about liberals), and empty reassurance to the base (“we have to keep our powder dry”).

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      It’s the eternal question: Stupid or evil? If Pfeiffer is telling the truth, it means they’re not just stupid, but really, really, REALLY stupid (and ditto the other way).

  11. Aaron

    windows93.net–Is that a nod to Keynote, my favorite notes program ever, in the Programs menu?

    1. Peter Pan

      Funny, windows93.net and Keynote instantly make me think this is an NSA inspired proposition.

  12. craazyboy

    Hooray! My quadcopter parts just arrived from China! Finally.

    After mucho research I settled on my design and selected the parts. I placed the order with a large Hong Kong exporter that I’ve purchased from before and always got delivery in less than 2 weeks. This time, 2 weeks later I got an e-mail advising the order is backordered! Then they finally shipped the order and it got stuck in the HK post office for Chinese New Year! It’s now 2 months later and the parts are finally here. But at least everything looks good – and hopefully nothing is defective.

    So now I start my build. I’m doing this in phases – the airframe is designed for high quality aerial photography and eventually I’ll buy a stabilized gimbal and GoPro clone for it. Right now I’m using a simple flight controller, but eventually I’ll upgrade to a fully autonomous capable autopilot.

    But first things first – get the basics working and learn to fly the thing.

      1. craazyboy

        Maybe short Radio Shack [the company that’s known for price screwing their customers] – but it may be too late, I think they tanked already.

  13. FederalismForever

    O’Malley: “One cannot point to an extended period of time in American history when newly arriving groups of immigrants did anything but make our country stronger.”

    He might want to study the history of Irish Catholic immigration to this country. For many decades, this immigrant group voted overwhelmingly with the slave power Democrats, further solidifying that party’s wretched hold over America prior to the Civil War. In the decades following the Civil War, waves of Irish immigrants would continue to vote overwhelmingly with the Democratic Party – often 80% to 90%. In this way, they often provided a crucial additional block of voting support which, when combined with the voting habits of the racist white Democrats of the post-Civil War South, would eventually grow large enough to effectively prevent further efforts to build on the civil rights legislation and voting protections achieved by the Radical Republicans during Reconstruction. (This is a key part of the explanation for why President James A. Garfield’s civil rights efforts ultimately failed.)

    Not trying to pick on Irish Catholics per se. It’s just worth keeping in mind that there have been periods when newly arrived groups have brought with them views and beliefs that were more readily adaptable to the less progressive elements of the existing population, at least for a time. In the case of the Radical Republican post-Civil War civil rights agenda, “diversity” often proved to be a drag, rather than a boon.

  14. different clue

    “Obama wanted to reason with the Republicans” is just diversionary disinformational cover. Obama wanted to co-conspire with the Republicans against the vestiges of the New Deal, and the Republicans wanted to co-conspire with him right back. And that’s what they both did. Making the Bush Tax Cuts permanent was what Obama and the Republicans BOTH wanted, for example. That is why Obama conspired with Boehner to manipulate and expose the “debt ceiling crisis” and then the “fiscal cliff” . . . . as leverage to permanentize the Bush Tax Cuts.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Like I said, stupid or evil…

      It is worth noting that the Obama faction actually got wording to this effect inserted into the 2008 Democratic platform. Perhaps they were crazy/stupid enough to actually believe it? They’ve certainly been crazy/stupid about enough other things.

  15. Jack

    The F-35 got a brief mention yesterday. Wonder what’s going on with that thing? A quick news search reveals this: http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/03/09/f35-will-not-reach-close-air-support-potential-until-2022.html

    So just to be clear, it won’t be able to fire its cannon for another 5 years minimum, and it won’t be able to use the latest bomb for even longer. So the only possible thing this overweight chicken a plane could ever do remotely well, close-air support, it won’t be able to do for the better part of a decade after it enters service. Awesome.

  16. Matthew G. Saroff

    Lindsey Graham’s refusal to use email is not sanity, it is a calculation deception.

    I agree with what Eric Falkenstein said:

    Clearly, he understood phone calls are best. People who meticulously avoid email should not be trusted, because it is simply too calculating, as if they know they are regularly committing crimes. A phone conversation can always be disavowed, you just say you were talking about last weekend’s bar mitzvah.

    1. DanB

      Without going into details, I can attest -admittedly an N of 1- to this preference to avoid emails. I had dealings with the office of one of my senators and her chief of staff -who was trying to get rid of me gently because another politician had referred me to his boss, the senator- wold not respond to repeated emails and letters from me. I for some reason I sensed that I need to get him to communicate with me in writing, but he would not reply to my emails or letters because, I speculate, he wanted to leave no paper trail. In the end I finally spoke on the phone with one of his assistants and was told he’d already done all he could! Which was exactly nothing at all.

  17. Demeter

    If Elizabeth Warren runs, she wins. The problem is: where does she find her team?

    Nobody becomes President in a vacuum. So if Warren ran, she’d need a campaign team–a great place for infiltrators to really screw her game up.

    Then, assuming she finessed that–she needs an Administration team. She can’t look to the Democratic Party for that–the Party is a potemkin party, full of double agents, frauds and crooks. So it will be resume time. Who is going to go through all those resumes? Surely not the lady on her own!

    Running for President is like starting up a large manufacturer. You need a million friends in the right places. All Elizabeth Warren has is the voters.

    1. dannyc

      Demeter, Doesn’t a figure like Rand Paul have the same problem? I would think it would be even more difficult for him to find a campaign or administrative team he could trust. Had Ralph Nader ever been elected he could’ve had 10.000 resumes the next day on his desk of experienced competent people he could trust. Not only had he been around so long, he’d solidly established himself as someone who did his own thinking. Hillary needs this “high powered” team to support a shifting message that isn’t hers. And even with her billion dollars to spend, she’s still gonna have infiltrators. Highly paid infiltrators. She’s the head of the Democratic Party you very well describe. She’s a creation of it. Warren should abandon any moderate posturing — go all out for principles. Voters support will only deepen. She could campaign from home — say she doesn’t have the money, and won’t take it otherwise. It’s ok to dream, right?

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