Census interruptus

Marc Ambinder and Sully have a pretty good discussion about the Gregg withdrawl here. They both agree the census story is bullshit. Now, Ambinder is incredibly credulous but has good sources (these two facts are not unrelated — why not talk to him, when he believes everything you say, no matter how dumb). He says the Gregg people told him they knew this wouldn’t work out and were just waiting for the other shoe to drop and that the other shoe was the stimulus package, or maybe the census thing, or maybe something else. They say Gregg’s never lost an election so he’s a delicate Washington virgin who woke up before Obama’s roofie kicked in. That’s bullshit. This thing is a career-killer for Gregg, he’s got a decent staff I’m sure (all Senators do), and I’m sure his staff told him if he dipped his toes in and then withdrew that he was fucked. Which he is.

So obviously something happened between when he essentially accepted and now.

So what happened? Gregg probably got threatened, possibly in some not-that-ominous way, by someone in the Republican party. They told him if he took this he couldn’t be a lobbyist afterward or that his kid of one of his cousins would lose their patronage job or that their juvy record would get unsealed or that he’d lose his low-numbered license plate. Or maybe it was something a little worse. That 800K lottery story has always sounded a little strange to me (though who knows, of course).

But it has to involve some kind of a threat. What else could it be? (Even Ambinder suggests this may be the case.)

Update: Fred Hiatt in tomorrow’s WaPo:

There was something appealingly human in Mr. Gregg’s explanation of his change of heart. He said that he had been seduced by the euphoria of a new job in a new administration but came to realize that after 30 years of working independently and making decisions himself, he couldn’t be a part of a team….Mr. Gregg’s concern about potential changes at the Census Bureau, particularly news that the census director would report to the White House instead of the commerce secretary, are understandable: Either this administration trusts me or it does not, he might fairly have felt.

Fifty-three years old and never been kissed.

But Gregg can make all well by…wait for it…gutting Social Security:

On one such goal — entitlement reform — Mr. Gregg may be a better ally in the Senate than in the Cabinet. There could be redemption all around if the New Hampshire Republican, in what he says will probably be his last two years in the Senate, helps the president he says he admires put the nation on a sounder fiscal course.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the Villagers will be the death of us all.






89 replies
  1. 1
    Stuck says:

    What else could it be?

    What is it that all wingnuts have, and even other politicians. Hubris. I think he thought of the status of a Cabinet Sec. as a career topper really was like that roofie, so I kind of believe that part. But you may well be right about the threats to his livelyhood, which overcame the status high he was on. And from there he probably realized he’d be the Cinderella in the dem ball when the day to day grind set in.

    If there was some scandal stuff, I think we would have heard about it, and it would have to be more than dealings with Abramoff. He would also have realized that the GOP would expect him to be a shit stirrer in the dem camp and help them when he could and he probably didn’t have the stomach for that.

  2. 2
    DougJ says:

    If there was some scandal stuff,

    I don’t think it’s scandal stuff. I think it’s some penny ante bullshit. But you may be right that he just couldn’t scrape that elephant tatoo off his right ass cheek.

  3. 3
    cyntax says:

    I’m all for some sane attempts at bipartisanship, but I think it’s time for the Obama administration to call a duck a duck, and admit to themselves that the Repugs are not not interested in anything or anyone but themselves. It ain’t gonna be country first with these sh*ts anytime soon.

  4. 4
    That Anonymous Guy says:

    I’m getting an image of Gregg waking up next to a bloody severed horse head.

    And tied to the thing is a note: "With love. Your pal, Rush."

    [Insert blood-curdling scream here.]

  5. 5
    Dave says:

    One of his staffers is being investigated in the Abramoff Scandal.
     
    And that lottery thing always sounded like BS to me as well.

  6. 6
    Stuck says:

    @DougJ:

    I don’t think it’s scandal stuff. I think it’s some penny ante bullshit.

    i know, but there have been others who’ve been speculating maybe there was, of something more substantial.

  7. 7
    Fencedude says:

    Like I said in the other thread, "North Hollow Files". If anyone else here reads Honorverse.

    Someone’s got something on him.

  8. 8
    That Anonymous Guy says:

    By the way, I’m highly amused by the banner ad across the top calling for me to join forces with Joe the Plumber in resisting socialism.

    Wolverines!!!!!

  9. 9
    grimc says:

    Why just a threat? Why not a bribe, or both?

  10. 10

    What else could it be?

    My guess is that Senator Gregg has had a few meetings with Rahm recently. New Hampshire is not Cook County.

    I cannot imagine a scenario where a rational, honest, and financially-independent Citizen would be willing to report to Rahm.

  11. 11
    Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the Villagers will be the death of us all.

    They can try, but if they were that influential wouldn’t we be discussing the cabinet picks of President McCain?

  12. 12
    DougJ says:

    @grimc

    He wouldn’t make this much of an ass of himself for money, only out of fear. I actually have some respect for this guy.

  13. 13
    DougJ says:

    I cannot imagine a scenario where a rational, honest, and financially-independent Citizen would be willing to report to Rahm.

    We’re talking about a Senator here, not an Eagle Scout. I don’t see how your claim, if accurate, applies to this situation.

  14. 14
    Tom says:

    @That Anonymous Guy:

    I had the same thought.

  15. 15
    Stuck says:

    But Gregg can make all well by…wait for it…gutting Social Security:

    This is why i tend to lay this squarely on Obama. As in, what was he thinking if he thought this Leopard would change it’s spots. I watch the Senate a lot and this guy is as loyal to the gooper ideology as anyone, though he’s a pretty nice guy about it.

    He carried at least as much Bush water as Norm Coleman, and because of his seniority and status, it was mostly more important water. I have a sneaky feeling they hoped to pick off his seat in 2010, or have an even shot at his GOP replacement, who by most accounts is (or was) a RINO that would vote with dems a good portion of the time. Now that he isn’t running the tact paid off, even if by accident.

    File under lesson learned for the MUP.

  16. 16
    John Cole says:

    There is always the possibility he is telling the truth. After he thought about it, he didn’t want the job.

    I think the principle of parsimony should be at play- if you are going to assume scandal, the first place I would look is what we already know, and that is the Abramoff bit with his aide.

    Also, David Gergen said something in AC360 that felt very plausible, and that was that Gregg just felt isolated after agreeing to work for the other side. Being ostracized and shunned by the people you thought were you friends could be just as powerful than a cabal of insiders holding damaging info over your head.

    I think the simplest reasons should be explored before heading into Trig Palin territory. Not saying that couldn’t ultimately be what it is- stranger things have happened. But I would look to the the other things first (he did change his mind, he felt ostracized, the Abramoff connection) before the more “out there” stuff.

  17. 17
    DougJ says:

    Also, David Gergen said something in AC360 that felt very plausible

    You lost me at “David Gergen”.

    And I *don’t* think it’s necessarily something that nuts. Just that someone got to him.

  18. 18
    Emma Anne says:

    @Fencedude:

    Like I said in the other thread, "North Hollow Files". If anyone else here reads Honorverse.

    Heh. Yep. Northhollow files – Republicans has them.

  19. 19
    Rome Again says:

    He was for bipartisanship before he was against it?

  20. 20
    DougJ says:

    I think the simplest reasons should be explored before heading into Trig Palin territory.

    I’m scanning in some pictures of Judd Gregg looking not that pregnant from just a few months ago though. This isn’t going away.

  21. 21
    burnspbesq says:

    OT, but too good not to share:

    The deposition of Norm Coleman’s statistics expert – the one his lawyers plan to use in support of their argument that not counting ballots that Coleman concedes are invalid violates the Equal Protection Clause – is pure comedy gold. And you don’t need to be a lawyer or a stat geek to join the fun.

    http://blogs.twincities.com/po.....testi.html

  22. 22
    Lola says:

    @ John Cole

    But why would Gregg lobby for the job if he wasn’t sure he wanted it? It is one thing to get offered the job and take it on a whim but Gregg asked Reid to recommend him. He specifically said he would support the Obama agenda according to all reports. So this story of changing his mind does not ring true.

    Anyway, we are all lucky for this. It only hurts Gregg in his home state and now we get a decent Dem to put in there. This is the kind of story non-Villagers care nothing about. A lot of people will never even hear about and still think Obama has three Republicans in his Cabinet. Everything seems to work out for Obama in the end.

  23. 23
    jrcjr says:

    @John Cole:

    It’s going to take me a while longer to stop assuming a conspiracy first. It saved a lot of time over the past 8 years or so.

  24. 24
    Stuck says:

    DougJ

    I think I basically know what Villagers mean, or not. But could you give a brief definition so I’ll know for sure what you mean.

    Slow Stuck

  25. 25
    fredrick of hollywood says:

    I know Obama is trying his best to do the kumbayah thing, but the President ought to surround himself with the best and brightest and most effective people he possibly can. Gregg is a Republican, and in my book that immediately disqualifies him from consideration. Anyone who sees fit to remain registered in that miserable party is by definition a regressive dipshit, and is not to be trusted with any serious responsibilities.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    Stuck says:

    @DougJ:

    Gracias. So it’s Beltway Binkies, or the same difference.

  28. 28

    So what happened?

    You know me, I’m a fool for rampant and useless speculation in the absence of real information.

    Okay. I think am sure he has a brain tumor.

    ‘Night.

  29. 29
    wilfred says:

    I think they must have threatened to kill his whole family and frame him for the murders. What else can explain the shift?

    You’re losing the fucking plot by the hour.

  30. 30
    John Cole says:

    @wilfred: What do you think it is?

  31. 31

    Oh oh. Bad plane crash in Buffalo NY.

    Gads. Very bad.

  32. 32
    DougJ says:

    I was afraid I’d gone off the rails here, but when TZ and Wilfred both disagree…

  33. 33
    Rome Again says:

    Hey Doug? How far is Clarence from you?

    Plane hit a house in Clarence. Continental Airlines Newark to Buffalo.

  34. 34
  35. 35
    DougJ says:

    Hey Doug? How far is Clarence from you?

    About 60 miles.

  36. 36
    GSD says:

    I heard that Judd Gregg was the father of Trigg Palin.

    -GSD

  37. 37
    Stuck says:

    @ThymeZoneThePlumber:

    Yea, I was just going to post it. In a residential neighborhood. Continental again, I think.

  38. 38
    wilfred says:

    @John Cole:

    Politics, nothing more, nothing less. Gregg might have reconsidered the risks of political isolation in exchange to what amounts to political tokenism and decided that it wasn’t worth it.

    The stimulus bill is being presented with such intense, save-the-republic hyperbole that is easy to overlook the real question of ideological difference. That plus the fact that it might not actually work.

    I reckon he made a pragmatic decision based on what was best for him, not that he was ‘threatened’ with anything.

  39. 39
    stickler says:

    Our host opines:

    There is always the possibility he is telling the truth. After he thought about it, he didn’t want the job.

    NO. No way a guy with his ego would jump without looking. He knew he was betraying the GOP by agreeing to work with the Obama team (a.k.a., "The Enemy Within," in GOP-speak). He knew what he was doing. I mean, c’mon, Senators may be stupid, but they have finely-tuned senses for glory. Every Senator looks in the mirror and sees a President staring back.

    Something else must have happened. Horse-head threat, maybe, or lurking Powerball scandal?

    He can’t have been stupid enough to think he could piss off the GOP … and the new President, and get away with it? That’d be dumber than a bag of ball-peen onion hammers.

  40. 40
    Stuck says:

    @wilfred:

    Who is they? Obama, wingnuts, Hari Krishnas

    Ok wingnuts I guess is right answer

  41. 41
    DougJ says:

    @Stuck

    I fly those things all the time, often Continental to Newark from Rochester (that was one was probably Newark to Buffalo).

    They never seem that safe to me.

    What a shame.

  42. 42
    Xenos says:

    Lets at least try to tie it to some larger scandal we already know about.

    Creeping Abramoffity is certainly possible, although I suspect if there were anything juicy it would have been leaked in the last few hours.

    Alternately, maybe operatives at the RNC have files full of sensitive telephone transcripts for Gregg, his wife, his kids, his brother and brother in law, and so on. I would not be surprised by that at all, because the first people Rove & Co. would want to control would be wet Tories like Gregg.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    Stuck says:

    @DougJ:

    It was in Buffalo. Man, that’s just awful. it does seem these things happen in clusters. People were just recently pointing out the last couple of years or so, there haven’t been any fatal air crashes.

  45. 45
    Martin says:

    I’m all for some sane attempts at bipartisanship, but I think it’s time for the Obama administration to call a duck a duck, and admit to themselves that the Repugs are not not interested in anything or anyone but themselves. It ain’t gonna be country first with these sh*ts anytime soon.

    That’s what the GOP wants.

    Obama needs to consistently show voters that he’ll work with the GOP, and when the GOP doesn’t come do their part, to point that out publicly and harshly.

    The GOP is trying to get Obama to give up trying so they can spend the next 4 years treating him like they did Bill Clinton. I think they realize a Lewinsky size scandal is unlikely with Obama, so they need to force him to go against his biggest campaign promise then they can paint him as a lying partisan DFH. Obama needs to not take the bait, but to keep trying to work with the GOP but also to call them out when the GOP doesn’t show up. He didn’t do too badly on the stimulus bill – a little more practice, and a little more willingness to hit back hard.

    The GOP has no message for independents. They can’t win them over. Their only hope is to bloody Obama.

  46. 46
    Rome Again says:

    Conflicting reports. MSNBC is now reporting 49 dead (44 commuters, 4 crew, 1 on the ground) – but earlier I saw a crawler stating people had been taken to emergency rooms.

  47. 47
    Warren Terra says:

    All joking about "good news" aside, couldn’t this be good news for Obama? He gets credit for extending his hand to the R’s, they get the blame for biting it, he gets someone compliant or gets to buy some new person off with the Commerce slot. Win-Win-Win.

    My favorite response though, nicked from a couple of comments in a Yglesias thread, is:
    In the future, we will all be Commerce Secretary Nominee for fifteen minutes.

  48. 48
    EtTuBrutus? says:

    Please, it should be obvious, the entire episode was designed from start to finish solely to embarrass Obama. Rovian in nature: the Repugs knew O could not resist the chance to have another R in his administration, and he had worked with Gregg. Having him pull out ,sans heads up, right before O’s big Lincoln moment, thereby controlling the news cycle was the tactical objective from the start. Ya all underestimate the R’s.

  49. 49
    Xenos says:

    @Fencedude: Honorverse: you mean people actually read those long, dull parts between the exploding starship episodes?

  50. 50
    pattonbt says:

    Who cares why. Obama still looks like the adult here. This Gregg thing is the daily news cycle stuff which Obama could care less about. In 15 days outside of NH it will be Judge Dredd? Wasnt he some comic book guy? When was the last time you heard Daschle’s name?

    And the only people harmed in any way, as usual, are the Republicans. Death by a thousand paper cuts. Obama will not stop with the bipartisan attempts (whether they be for show or real) because he doesnt care if he ‘wins the day’. As noted above he will always have his hand oustretched with an earnest, serious smile on his face and then when rebuffed he will scold the opposition like a child and win.

    The village really has no clue what goes on outside the bubble. Honestly. A black man named Barack Hussein Obama won the presidency. By a landslide. I dont think the people outside the beltway are worrying about a commerce secretary and the census.

    The village and republicans seem to be pushing themselves further and further out of touch with reality every day. But, by all means, I hope they continue. I look forward to their further irrelevancy.

  51. 51
    gwangung says:

    Please, it should be obvious, the entire episode was designed from start to finish solely to embarrass Obama. Rovian in nature: the Repugs knew O could not resist the chance to have another R in his administration, and he had worked with Gregg. Having him pull out ,sans heads up, right before O’s big Lincoln moment, thereby controlling the news cycle was the tactical objective from the start. Ya all underestimate the R’s.

    And exactly how embarassed is the President? I mean, across the country, not among the Villagers?

    At most, he’s inconvenienced. Far as the rest of the country’s concerned, it’s a case of a local politician with the yips.

  52. 52
    Martin says:

    And the only people harmed in any way, as usual, are the Republicans.

    I don’t think this is as obvious as you present it. Yeah, to us they look like total douches, but the media is more than happy to parrot whatever the GOP says. Obama has to win the media war. I think he did okay this time, but he got behind early and I don’t think he was entirely sure in what way he should get back ahead. Obama needs to keep coming out and speaking – the town halls went very well – he needs to keep calling the GOP out clearly after there is adequate evidence that would be hard for the media to overlook that the GOP is acting in bad faith, and I think he needs to mock them as the way to get the message across.

    It won’t be clear whether the GOP looks bad until the stimulus is signed and everyone gets a chance to hit the sunday circuit – so maybe this weekend we’ll know. If the GOP attacks Obama over what happened in committee and Obama doesn’t hit back, the GOP could well come out ahead here.

  53. 53
    N M says:

    MAn, can WaPo’s Freddy suck the chrome off a trailer hitch or what? What an utterly ridiculous tract.

    OT: Honorverse is the shiz, but man, a little to much "woman feelings" in recent titles. I will say though, the mainline novels are pretty good compared to the offshoots – "Crown of Slaves" was just garbage plotwise and poorly written to boot. I can’t believe Weber allowed his name to be on it. Worse than Tom Clancy’s "XYZ" (e.g. Netforce) ghostwritten/collaborative offshoots even.

    Of course I await the next Honorverse mainline title with baited breath (and it’s been a while Mr. Weber, hurry up!).

  54. 54
    AnneLaurie says:

    Alternately, maybe operatives at the RNC have files full of sensitive telephone transcripts for Gregg, his wife, his kids, his brother and brother in law, and so on. I would not be surprised by that at all, because the first people Rove & Co. would want to control would be wet Tories like Gregg.

    Dunno. It always seemed like Gregg had New Hampshire’s best interests at heart, insofar as those interests mostly paralleled the standard Rethuglican political philosophy. But New Hampshire’s in trouble economically, not as bad as Nevada or California yet, but facing what may be the budgetary equivalent of the perfect storm. Gregg’s "I’m in, no, I’m out" hokey-pokey doesn’t make any long-term difference to the Obama White House, but it does make it less likely that NH will get any special love when the Shovel-Ready Stimulus projects get handed out. Unless he’s been speculating very heavily on the Powerball market, Gregg doesn’t need to worry about having to live on a government pension, but being identified as "the guy who hosed NH’s chances of keeping its public schools open" doesn’t seem like the sort of publicity he’s always wanted.

  55. 55
    Fencedude says:

    @Xenos:

    Honorverse: you mean people actually read those long, dull parts between the exploding starship episodes?

    I actually like the infodumping and intricate politicking and whatnot…

  56. 56

    Good Lord, Bobo has one of those columns written from the future today.

    That is a great tie in Brooks’ photo on the NYT website. That’s the only positive thing I have to say about him, but it is a fucking fabulous tie.

  57. 57
    gwangung says:

    I actually like the infodumping and intricate politicking and whatnot…

    I had thought the Manti scum sucking politicians were paper-thin stereotypes…the usual comic book villains. BAD comic book villains.

    Then, Bush got elected….

  58. 58
    Martin says:

    Please, it should be obvious, the entire episode was designed from start to finish solely to embarrass Obama

    Bullshit. You don’t sacrifice Senators like that. What are the odds the GOP will keep that seat in 2010 now?

    I think he just fucked up. Obama needed the support on the stimulus and Gregg stepped back instead. Rahm had to work the hill to get Collins and Specter when his incoming Commerce Sec should have been a freebie (Commerce sec, for Christ sake…). I think Obama and Rahm made it clear exactly what kind of support they expected out of their Cabinet members and Gregg wasn’t willing to destroy himself with the GOP to get there. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Democratic Governor of NH decided that agreement or not, his state needed that stimulus and he’d appoint someone that would deliver. Gregg thought he could go halfway in and got called on it. Now he’s screwed from both sides.

  59. 59
    TenguPhule says:

    Like I said in the other thread, "North Hollow Files". If anyone else here reads Honorverse.

    Heh, pity we don’t have dueling laws anymore.

    We could have used the same solution.

  60. 60
    bago says:

    Who was it that said the US should emulate Dubai?
    Yeah.

  61. 61
    TenguPhule says:

    Bullshit. You don’t sacrifice Senators like that.

    The Great Right Hype will do anything to anyone at any time, especially if it’s stupid.

  62. 62
    plus C says:

    Meh, entitlement reform is easy, just put everyone on Tricare. Once the military’s involved, the Republicans will instinctively throw money at it.

  63. 63
    EtTuBrutus? says:

    Only the opening salvo, man, with the next shot the downing of the Stim bill ( Specter is the weak link, and a no show with Ted), down in flames, man, that’s their plan.

  64. 64
    Fern says:

    @EtTuBrutus?:

    That’s what I was wondering – yanked him to get one more no vote.

  65. 65
    Calouste says:

    Any explanation for Gregg’s behavior needs to take into account that a) he campaigned for the job, and b) he announced he wouldn’t run again in 2010. Senators just don’t retire in their mid 50s like that.

  66. 66

    The deposition of Norm Coleman’s statistics expert – the one his lawyers plan to use in support of their argument that not counting ballots that Coleman concedes are invalid violates the Equal Protection Clause – is pure comedy gold. And you don’t need to be a lawyer or a stat geek to join the fun.

    Jesus H. Fucking Christ. That’s hysterical. Key takeaways:

    1) All Banaian did was drop the figures for accepted and rejected absentee ballots from each county into an Excel spreadsheet, and ran p-tests based on the binomial and poisson distributions on them to see if the differences in rejection rates were due purely to chance. Honest-to-god, that isn’t any more sophisticated than I would do (and have done) to look at data for arguments on internet discussion boards. Lame.

    2) The Franken attorney hammers him repeatedly on the fact that he has no idea what explanation there might be as to why different counties have different rejection rates. When I say he only looked to see if the differences were due to random chance, I mean that literally. Any other reason there might be is just as likely as any other, under the analysis he’s done. Maybe everyone in Stearns County is a moron. (No, not true; just enough of them to elect Michelle Bachman.) Maybe some elections official was systematically rejecting likely Coleman ballots. Maybe anything.

    3) This is why, towards the end, the Franken lawyer asks him if he ever considered regression analysis. Basically, he’s asking Banaian whether he bothered to look at any of the demographic data and see if they explain the difference, rather than different standards by the county canvassing board. Banaian not only says he never considered it, he isn’t sure how you would do it.

    4) Banaian admits that he’s never done any work with the question of rejected ballots. In fact, he hasn’t done any professional work in the field at all. He’s an economist, and the sum total of his qualifications is that he sometimes teaches classes in introductory statistical methods. For christ sakes, my e-mail address book contains probably 5-6 names of people more qualified to do this then he is. Of course, one of them is my father, and another one teaches at Wisconsin, so you can’t trust him.

    5) The takeaway is that his testimony is worthless. It’s value is less than the figure he quotes for the variance of Hennepin County’s distribution.

    6) This guy teaches at St. Cloud State. That should be all you need to know. SCSU is the safety school for people applying to the University of Phoenix.

  67. 67
    Xel says:

    Strategy always beats tactics. You’d think republicans would learn SOMETHING from the Second Indochina War.

  68. 68
    Fencedude says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Heh, pity we don’t have dueling laws anymore. We could have used the same solution.

    Yeah, but none of the R’s have enough honor to actually show up for the duel.

    Even more pathetic than Pavel was.

  69. 69

    .
    Vacillating wussy Republican? Deliberate plant meant to cause media damage to Obama in mid-stimulus? Terrified rat scurrying away from his cheese in fear of conservative cats?

    Here’s how we’ll know: Either he gets a good job and/or nice retirement package from the Repukes, or he doesn’t.

    Say howdy to the cabal, yawl.
    .

  70. 70
    BruceK says:

    @TenguPhile:

    "Heh, pity we don’t have dueling laws anymore. We could have used the same solution."

    And it probably would have ended the same way: the bad guy empties his gun into the good guy’s back before the turn command is given, gets thoroughly minced by return fire, and his supporters whine about him being killed by an unsportsmanlike opponent who "shot a man with an empty gun".

    No winners, just more wingnut hysteria.

    Come to think of it, the modern Republican method would be to give the Dem a dueling pistol, then draw a submachine gun, have his second break out a bazooka, and then complain when the Dem brought sniper support to keep the Rethuglican honest.

  71. 71

    Uhmmm I just noticed one of the PJ Ads touting JTP’s book and the title has in it "Resist Socialism"? That dumbass couldn’t even SPELL socialism. Did anybody else notice the add?

    I would love to see a markup of the demographics of the people who end up actually buying that book.

  72. 72
    Montysano says:

    If reports are to be believed, the White House was blindsided by this, which just happened to occur during Obama’s Lincoln speech. I think Sully and Rachel are right: this is a declaration of war. Otherwise, Gregg would have given the White House the news and let them handle it on their schedule. The only other explanation is that Gregg is just totally clueless and hamhanded. I’m not buying it.

  73. 73
    Xenos says:

    @gwangung: Agreed. I enjoy reading that kind of politically-based science fiction, as the issue of how to politically structure a colonial system is an interesting one. What repels me about Weber (and Pournelle) is that incredibly corrupt lefties and idealistic but cynical and morally flawed righties allow the heroes to be complete militarist jerks. They are the only honorable ones in the entire damn galaxy, and the stories ooze contempt for democracy and humanistic principles.

    Smells a lot like the conservatarian creeps that Cheney had running the Pentagon.

    Feh.

  74. 74
    headpan says:

    Shall we now, finally, be a tribal as they are? Shall we? Why extend an olive branch to the asshole that just blew away your family? I don’t give a FUCK who is considered "moderate" because that term is a JOKE now. Why, (for the love of god!!), would we want to reach out to these people in ANY way. Okay, so Obama tried. Nice, warm fuzzy gestures look good but please don’t offer anything substantial because see what happens here. We’re wasting time with these fuckers. Which is exactly the point, I’m sure.

  75. 75
    J Royce says:

    Martin says: "Yeah, to us they look like total douches, but the media is more than happy to parrot whatever the GOP says."

    Everything the Right does hinges on people not grasping that they own the media. Yes, people KNOW that corporations own the media, and they may even KNOW that corporatism is a historical tool and mask of the Right … but those dots just never connect.

    Amazing init. Yeah sure: the media "parrots" Right-wing propaganda. That is when it’s not being "clueless" or "afraid of losing access" or "out of touch." This is their power ticket, and the citizenry still punches it.

  76. 76
    Montysano says:

    @headpan:

    Shall we now, finally, be a tribal as they are? Shall we? Why extend an olive branch to the asshole that just blew away your family?

    (*** nervously ***) Wouldn’t a strongly worded letter suffice?

  77. 77
    Xenos says:

    The GOP is about to lose every structural advantage. Wall Street is being cut down to size. The plutocracy is going to cough up a lot of unpaid taxes or go to jail. Corporations are going up against a revived department of labor. And the RNC itself will be under DOJ scrutiny.

    That is why it is panicking. The villager media is all it has left.

  78. 78
    Napoleon says:

    For what ever its worth, I think Gregg withdrew for the reason he stated and there is nothing more to it. He just had second thoughts. It happens.

  79. 79
    Stuck says:

    OT

    The say anything party strikes again
    David Vitter at a Federalist Society event.

    Vitter got right down to red meat. After quoting comments from President Obama suggesting that he’d like his judicial nominees to be able to empathize with the downtrodden, Vitter declared that demanding empathy in a judge was something you’d expect in a "dictatorship." How empathy equates with repressive rule, Vitter didn’t really explain, except to say that it had little to do with ensuring checks and balances on an imperial government. (Vitter also claimed–and it was hard to tell if he was joking or not–that he routinely walks from the Senate to the House of Representatives to use the apparently more populist House water fountains, instead of imbibing the stuff the Senate is drinking these days.)

  80. 80

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the Villagers will be the death of us all.

    We all die, may as well die laughing.

  81. 81
    Laura W says:

    …and the Buffalo plane crash has totally obliterated any blah blah about Gregg from both CNN and MSNBC since I tuned in, 6:45am. (Sound is muted…I’m just tracking it to see how long they show the same two photos of the plane model and the fire at the scene.)
    Coupled with the Hudson episode 1/15, so close to Inaug Day, can’t help but be struck by the interesting timing of these things.
    What can it all mean?

  82. 82

    […] all appearances, Gregg must have caught hell from his party for considering a cabinet position. It’s the most likely explanation for his […]

  83. 83

    Coupled with the Hudson episode 1/15, so close to Inaug Day, can’t help but be struck by the interesting timing of these things.
    What can it all mean?

    Please. Don’t. Or at least, check here to view the stats on fatal plane crashes.

  84. 84
    JL says:

    @The Mahablog » Eating Their Own (Friday the 13th): That is certainly possible but why announce that he is not going to seek re-election?

  85. 85
    Faux News says:

    I’m scanning in some pictures of Judd Gregg looking not that pregnant from just a few months ago though. This isn’t going away.

    DougJ: I hate to tell you this, but with that post you have just won a date (and possibly even the heart) of Andrew Sullivan.

    Enjoy.

  86. 86
    Ash Can says:

    So far the most plausible explanation I’ve seen is that the Abramoff investigation is now on Gregg’s tail. (There’s an article about it here — yes, I know, it’s DKos. But it seems to be fairly rigorously researched, and the author has been investigating this subject for some time.)

    Second most plausible to me is the pressure-from-the-GOP theory, and it could go hand-in-hand with the Abramoff connection heating up. I can see GOP leaders (whoever they are) leaning on Gregg to get out of the spotlight, especially with the web of scandal creeping so far throughout the GOP. If he were being leaned on for purely partisan reasons, however, damn. Getting leaned on hard enough to make him want to quit politics altogether? Yuck.

  87. 87
    Laura W says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor:

    Please. Don’t.

    I am not sure what you think I meant. I am not even sure what I meant. I think I meant a few different things, actually. But I did not mean what I think you think I meant.
    Know what I mean?

  88. 88
    jcricket says:

    Did anyone see this post at Politico:

    In a way, it’s all a testament to just how far the Republican Party have fallen; what passes for victory now is an embarrassing flip-flop by an admired GOP senator and the passage of a massive economic recovery bill that most Republicans on the Hill oppose bitterly

    Even the "Villager-approved" center-right Politico is starting to get it. Yes, the GOP is emboldened and united. They’re all in the same clown car headed off the cliff together. Or clinging around the same anchor while drowning in the water. Whatever.

    Fine, let ’em brand themselves as the party of "no" to economic recovery. The party of historical revisionism about the New Deal. Remember, SS and Medicare are incredibly popular and built a whole generation of Democrats when they were first implemented by Democrats and opposed by Republicans. The party of cultural conservatism, supported by an ever dwindling faction of reactionaries.

    Fine with me. Makes the choice easy for the normal folks.

  89. 89
    Wayne T says:

    I’d be interested to see in what new "career" he starts up in 2011-

    since he’s not running for re-election there’s apparently something he suddenly seems to be $$$banking$$$ on –

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