World’s Dumbest Headline?

From the WaPo:


There have probably been stupider ones, but it’s pretty goddamn dumb, even if it does bring good tidings about Turd Blossom’s attempt to make an issue out of Hillary’s owie. Brain flap? Jeebus. Open thread.

146 replies
  1. 1
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    It IS a pretty stupid headline, but then again, Kkkarl Rove’s “genius” is of the Wile E. Coyote variety.

    Of course, this is an attempt to shore up Rove, who is one of the most beloved political figures of the WaPo editorial board, all of whom should be early passengers on tumbrels.

  2. 2
    Morzer says:

    A fascinating story here:

    When Republican David Jolly ran for the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young’s (R-FL) seat Jolly had the support of Young’s widow, who campaigned for him. Now, Young’s widow, Beverly Young, is saying she plans to challenge him in 2016 as a Democrat.

    “I am absolutely going to run against David in 2016,” Beverly Young told the Tampa Bay Times. “I’d do it now if I could. If I’d known that the Democrats wouldn’t put anyone up on that ballot, I’d have been there myself this time. I thought they had a candidate. I wouldn’t have been ready. But I would have run anyway.”

    I would love to know the inside story of the Young family and what they talked about over breakfast.

  3. 3
    Morzer says:

    Old Man Slither seems to have run himself into a buzzsaw down in Kentucky

    “If Obamacare is repealed, Kentucky should decide for itself whether to keep Kynect or set up a different marketplace,” McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore told TPM on Tuesday.

    That doesn’t quite add up to the editorial board of the Lexington Herald-Leader.

    “Repeal the federal law, which McConnell calls ‘Obamacare,’ and the state exchange would collapse,” the editorial said on Wednesday. “Kynect could not survive without the ACA’s insurance reforms, including no longer allowing insurance companies to cancel policies when people get sick or deny them coverage because of pre-existing conditions, as well as the provision ending lifetime limits on benefit payments. (Kentucky tried to enact such reforms in the 1990s and found out we were too small a market to do it alone.)”

    The editorial goes on to say that Kynect wouldn’t be able to survive without the federal funding from Obamacare.

    “Kynect is the Affordable Care Act is Obamacare — even if Kentuckians are confused about which is which,” the editorial continued.

    The editorial went on to say that the talking points it received from the McConnell campaign in response to questions about McConnell on Kynect and Obamacare are “unconnected to reality.”

  4. 4
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Morzer: There are more intrigues with that bunch than the Borgias, I can tell you that.

  5. 5
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Morzer: Yeah, there’s something going on here that we’re not privy to. My curiosity is peaked.

  6. 6
    Morzer says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    What with Charlie Crist and all, Florida is starting to look like Recovering Republican central. Maybe Cole should move there and promote the revolution?

  7. 7
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Betty Cracker: They make Tywinn Lannister look like a naif?

  8. 8
    eric says:

    makes more sense as “brain fap”

  9. 9

    Genius? Karl Rove steps on his own dick again. This is what he and W had in common, by the way. A shared ability to stumble over their own cocks while wearing cleats.

    A stumblebum’s hamfisted political attack that couldn’t have been better designed to offend old folks. Who overwhelmingly vote GOP. Good going, Karl. No wonder your mother blew her brains out.

  10. 10
    Belafon says:

    As described at DailyKos:

    This is a sign of Clinton’s strength, but it’s also pretty much mission accomplished for Rove: He’s got major news organizations going out to poll 1,017 people about whether they “approve or disapprove of political strategist Karl Rove raising questions about Hillary Clinton’s age and health.” Not whether they approve or disapprove of Karl Rove claiming Clinton was in the hospital when she was only there for a few days, but her “age and health.” Whatever the approval levels in this poll, Rove has successfully gotten the basic question into the media debate about the presidential race. He doesn’t mind if he looks like a pile of crap doing it.

    Later on, someone, maybe Rove, can say “People have discussed Clinton’s health before. There have even been polls on the issue.”

  11. 11
    Bonnie says:

    Ol’ Karl needs to be careful, he is only three years younger than Hillary.

  12. 12
    Morzer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Tywin Lannister: secretly bankrupt, but spending other people’s money on his wars and his family’s welfare. Basically he’s a Westeros Teabagger with better writing skills.

  13. 13
    Anoniminous says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Many people would proudly proclaim, “I am dining with the Borgias tonight!” Somewhat fewer could say, “I dined with the Borgias last night.”

  14. 14
    Morzer says:


    Yeah. No-one but extreme political junkies remembers who exactly ran the Swift Boat nonsense – but Kerry still lost.

  15. 15
    Gorgon Zola says:

    That’s not even the dumbest WaPo headline today.

    This is.

  16. 16
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Morzer: Reality has a liberal bias. You know that.

  17. 17
    Morzer says:

    @Gorgon Zola:

    Must be difficult for the WaPo “editorial board” to retain much dignity with Bill Kristol’s hand up their collective ass.

  18. 18
    Belafon says:

    @Morzer: Kentucky would decide: The representatives of the rich in their legislature would decide that they couldn’t come up with money for Kynect on their own, and therefore the people would have “decided,” and McConnell would say “see, it worked as expected.”

  19. 19
    NotMax says:

    Could have been worse.

    Could have been Braingate.

  20. 20
    cmorenc says:

    Rove’s actual game may not be whether he directly scores any points or even loses a few with the Hillary brain-damage meme; instead, it may be to string along a slow, but steady barrage of accusations against Hillary such that even though none individually gains traction outside hard-core GOP partisans, nevertheless the cumulative effect is to induce Clinton fatigue in the electorate. Of course, if Rove’s preferred GOP candidate Jeb Bush prevails, I’ll gladly take the handicap of working against Clinton fatigue versus their handicap of working against Bush fatigue.

  21. 21
    Morzer says:


    Well, you know who else called himself The Decider.

  22. 22
    Morzer says:



  23. 23
    Anoniminous says:

    The old One-Two media attack. Rove a couple of days ago:

    JEB! is the smartest person ever!


    Clinton is a brain-addled old fart.

    Wonder what their polling is telling them.

  24. 24

    That’s not even the dumbest WaPo headline today.

    This is.

    @Gorgon Zola: That may be the most staggeringly offensive editorial I’ve ever read. By anyone.

  25. 25
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Belafon: They’d just set up those Remote Area Medical tents twice a year, call it ‘Kynect’ and say ‘See, it’s still here.’

  26. 26
    Morzer says:


    Honest polling would tell them that “Bush” on the ballot is a surefire loser and that Clinton is crushing any and all GOP challengers.

    But hey, this is Karl “Obama cannot be winning Ohio!” Rove.

  27. 27
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @cmorenc: OK, Poppy didn’t seem to have much influence on the deserting coward (the Dark Lord saw to that) but do you suppose the deserting coward would try to coach his little brother?

    Oh, I see where the deserting coward had his knee replaced. You can write your own jokes about what else needs to be replaced.

  28. 28
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @🌷 Martin: That’s sort of like calling what’s delivered in a Domino’s box a “pizza”, isn’t it?

  29. 29
    Tommy says:

    @Belafon: Of all the ACA successes isn’t Kynect right at the top? McConnell, clearly as others have said and many have written about, is stuck between a rock and hard place. Kynect is working. It is popular. More than 400,000 people are using it. And there is no way around it, Kynect would not be around if not for the ACA.

    But of all the positions he could take, saying the two are not directly connected, well I didn’t see that coming :).

  30. 30
    Morzer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Or Papa John’s bizarre cardboard-based “product”.

  31. 31
    yam says:

    Turtle just wants to disKynect people from their health care because he has a cunning plan…

  32. 32
    deep says:

    FUCK WaPo

  33. 33
    Morzer says:


    “These are not the Obamacare droids you are looking for.”

  34. 34
    Anoniminous says:


    My guess is he’s testing different Narratives. His historic technique is to throw a bunch of stuff “out there” and then poll to see what resonates. If it connects with the opponents campaign messaging, all the better as every time the opposition mentions it Rove’s attack is carried along and presented, either directly or indirectly.

  35. 35

    Brains have flaps? who knew.

  36. 36
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @yam: {Insert five pages of Blackadder berating Baldrick and his “cunning plans” here]

  37. 37
    Morzer says:


    Right. I have doubts that he’s going to get anywhere, because the GOP are so manifestly an idea-free, compassion-free rabble of haters, grifters, morons and white domestic terrorist fanbois.

  38. 38
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Morzer: As a Floridian, I’m ecstatic about the possibility of kicking Rick Scott to the curb. I’ve already signed up and donated to Charlie Crist’s campaign. Unless you’ve actually lived under a jack booted criminal like Scott, you have no idea how much difference there can be between “the lesser of 2 evils”. Although, I never thought Crist was evil just not left like me.

  39. 39
    Anoniminous says:


    You are assuming the average Kentuckian:

    a.) has a brain

    b.) uses it

    The first is a scientific fact. The second, not so much.

  40. 40
    dmsilev says:

    @🌷 Martin: And if someone then accused the Republicans of ‘ending Kynect’, Politifact would tut tut and call that a massive lie.

  41. 41
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: For some reason, your always calling GWB “the deserting coward” makes me smile. Maybe because you’re so damn consistent about it! Rock on.

  42. 42
    Morzer says:


    Politifact would rate it “Partly true” if Der Turtlemeister was found covered in blood, clutching a knife and standing over Kynect’s corpse screaming hysterically “I killed Kynect! I killed Kynect!”

  43. 43
    Belafon says:

    @Tommy: He’s trying to take advantage of some people’s ignorance (most, who don’t pay attention to politics, but some who just refuse to accept that the federal government could have done something like Kynect). And if he got his way, and it closed, he’d just blame it on minorities in the state costing too much, so we have to cut Food Stamps in California.

    ETA: I remember the stories, when navigators were getting people to sign up, they would have to decide whether to tell the people that what they signed up for was Obamacare or just allow them to have their insurance but be under the delusion that it was something different. I have always thought that this would bite us at some point.

  44. 44
    Randy P says:

    @Morzer: Since when has being connected to reality mattered to Republicans or their supporters and water carriers in the press? Is this a paper which has up till now been willing to echo Republican talking points?

    Is there any evidence in the nation in general that reality is starting to penetrate Foxnewsistan?

  45. 45
    Betty Cracker says:

    @pamelabrown53: Amen and amen, fellow Flori-diddlian. We can’t get rid of Voldemort fast enough to suit me. Have you seen how he’s glommed onto the VA issue in a desperate bid to raise his sub-chlamydia popularity rating? What a disgusting piece of garbage that bastard is.

  46. 46
    Lyrebird says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: @Gorgon Zola: Sure doesn’t seem like that editorial board includes any of the voices we heard sharing their combat experience and perspective here on Monday, does it?

    I love drums, but not the drums they’re beating.

  47. 47
    Tommy says:

    @Anoniminous: Honestly I am stunned the Grimes campaign isn’t pounded McConnell into the ground over this. I guess they hope the media does. They don’t want to come out in open support for that darn Obama socialist health care plan that will kill you with death panels.

    But it is one of the stupidest if not most dishonest things I’ve heard recently and that is really saying a lot. I mean Grimes should be clear, if McConnell gets what he wants 400,000 KY residents will lose their health care. If that isn’t something to campaign on 24/7 I am not sure what is.

  48. 48
    Morzer says:

    @Randy P:

    IANAK, but it is supposedly the biggest newspaper in Kentucky, so it’s probably something like a BFD. That said, you’d have to ask a Kentuckian (if that is the right word.)

  49. 49
    Morzer says:


    The Grimes people seem to be letting McConnell step on his own rake and helpfully pointing the fact out afterwards.

  50. 50
    Anoniminous says:


    I share your doubts. Rove’s schtick is aging past usefulness, as we saw in 2012. But it’s all the GOP has so they have to run with it.

    But this little burst convinces me JEB! is running and Rove will be important in the campaign, maybe even the campaign manager.

  51. 51
    Tommy says:

    @Belafon: No I know that is exactly what he is doing. Heck I saw a news program during the enrollment period and people in KY said how much they loved their exchange and the plans they were able to buy. Asked about Obamacare and they freaked out. Totally against it. Look I think it takes a lot of time to be really informed about a lot of issues in detail. But come on KY residents, this is pretty straightforward. You have Kynect only because of the ACA. Period. The bill just gave your state, and every state the ability to use the Federal exchange or develop your own. You know state rights and all :). You developed your own and it worked.

  52. 52
    Morzer says:


    They’ve captured the key demographic that runs from Joe the Plumber to Jeb the Bummer.

  53. 53
    dmsilev says:

    @Morzer: via TPM, :

    “Mitch McConnell has been in the fantasyland that is Washington for so long that he cannot tell the difference between fact and fiction. McConnell has voted to destroy Kynect – and he has said he will do it again,” Grimes campaign manager Jonathan Hurst said in a statement. “In the U.S. Senate, Alison Lundergan Grimes will fix the law to ensure it is working for all Kentuckians.”

    It’s a start.

  54. 54
    Belafon says:

    @Tommy: Her campaign manager made a statement. Hopefully, she will as well.

  55. 55
    Morzer says:


    I do hate that formulation about fixing the law. I wish they would say that the law is already working for 400,000 Kentuckians and ALG will work to make it even better.

  56. 56
    Mike in NC says:

    Fred Hiatt must have gone to his usual warmonger sources to fine-tune that idiotic editorial: Gerson, Krauthammer, and Will. Maybe with the added blessing of shadow presidents McCain and Rmoney.

  57. 57
    Anoniminous says:


    There are reasons Obama went outside the party to build a campaign organization. This is only one of them.

  58. 58
    Morzer says:

    @Mike in NC:

    It reads like Krauthammer’s blend of self-applauding twerpery and thinly veiled rage.

  59. 59
    Tommy says:

    @Morzer: It is the choice of words. Words are important. By saying you are going to “fix” it you imply it is broken. Say improve it. Heck say “tweak” it on the edges after you see what is working and not working the way intended. Stop saying FIX it.

  60. 60
    artem1s says:


    I’ll gladly take the handicap of working against Clinton fatigue versus their handicap of working against Bush fatigue.


  61. 61
    Amir Khalid says:

    I find myself wondering: are Hillary and her friends on the inside of the brain flap, rather than on the outside with Karl and his friends? Or are the two parties to the left and right of the flap respectively?

    This is actually an improvement. At first, I was thinking of people haranguing each other while standing around a guy in a wet pink deerstalker cap.

  62. 62
    Morzer says:


    I swear, whoever came up with the “fixing” formulation should be fired stat. It’s a terrible way of giving in to all the lies about the law.

  63. 63

    When an enemy does something stupid, I find it easier to believe that they really did something stupid rather than it being part of a diabolical plan.

  64. 64
    Tommy says:

    @artem1s: Same here. I am nothing close to a raving fan of Hillary. But it is almost impossible to argue she has not served her country at many different levels. Smart. She understands policy, even if the conclusions she comes to are often different then mine. First lady of Arkansas. First Lady of the United States. Senator from a large, major state. Secretary of State. That is pretty darn impressive no matter how you look at it.

  65. 65
    Morzer says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Some people would say that brain flap was half full….

  66. 66
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @dmsilev: Exactly! Politifact would go off the rails on a technicality: COULD Kentucky reconstruct Kynect? Yes but would require a prodigious effort to recoup all the free federal $$$, certainly necessitate a tax increase, plus would it even include the preventive requirements of the ACA or anything like the 80/20 rule?. WOULD they do what it takes? A huge, most definite No, Nada, No Way.

  67. 67
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Tommy: She was SoS for four years. Please list her top three accomplishments in that post.

  68. 68
    Tommy says:

    @Morzer: Every time I read “fix it” and I read it way more often then I should, I throw up a little in my mouth.

  69. 69
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Tommy: You know what really disturbs me when a politician tells such a whopper? It’s the increase in voter cynicism and decrease in voters. The sad news is it seems that cynicism and apathy play a larger role with our voters than the wingers.

  70. 70
    GregB says:

    Has the Washington Post polled on whether or not people would be as receptive to Karl Rove as a strategist if they knew that he was showing overt signs of brain damage due to long term untreated syphilis?

  71. 71
    Brendan in NC says:

    @Anoniminous: That Rove is a brain addled old fart

  72. 72
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    1. BENGHAZI!
    2. BENGHAZI!!
    3. BENGHAZI!!!

  73. 73
    Tommy says:

    @pamelabrown53: And I think that is both true and a problem. Many people I know don’t vote. Almost apolitical. Yet knowing them, most might vote Democratic. But with all the BS they just view all politicians, regardless of party, as liars and cheats. Almost hard to argue with them.

  74. 74
    Belafon says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: You missed where she was responsible for those girls in Nigeria getting kidnapped.

  75. 75
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon: Didn’t she also lose Ukraine?

  76. 76
    Belafon says:

    She’s probably also responsible for losing China.

  77. 77
    Mandalay says:

    “World’s Dumbest Headline?”

    TBF WaPo also had a pretty good one today: ‘Man up’: John Kerry adopts the battle cry of the politically powerless

    Kerry constantly huffs and pufs about Snowden, but can’t do a damn thing about it. It’s a shame he doesn’t direct some of his bluster on addressing the actual problems Snowden revealed rather than highlighting his own impotence.

  78. 78
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Betty Cracker: Ahahhh! “…sub-chlamydia popularity rating”. Fits for Scott who is like a primordial ooze. I don’t want to get cocky but I really think we can banish Rick Scott to the annals of “Worst Governor…Even for Florida”.

  79. 79
    Patrick says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    She was SoS for four years. Please list her top three accomplishments in that post.

    Please list Obama’s top three accomplishments as senator.

  80. 80


    That said, you’d have to ask a Kentuckian (if that is the right word.)

    Unless its a Kentucky teabagger, in which case the term is Kinfucker.

  81. 81
    Patrick says:


    “Kynect is the Affordable Care Act is Obamacare — even if Kentuckians are confused about which is which,” the editorial continued.

    I don’t understand why this is so confusing to people. But it seems to be. For example, in poll after all, voters think much more highly of the ACA than Obamacare. This, eventhough, the two are same darned thing! And these are the same voters that have the authority to vote for our next President. Scary!

  82. 82
    Tommy says:

    @Patrick: I almost wonder if there isn’t a lot of cognitive dissonance in play here. That many of those 400,000 dislike if not hate Obama so much that even saying just one thing he did, the ACA worked, is too hard for them. Impossible. Cover their eyes and ears and just say Kynect isn’t related to the ACA. Then McConnell says it and they get justification for what they want to believe even if it isn’t remotely true.

  83. 83
    raven says:

    @Tommy: Buncha stupid motherfuckers is more like it.

  84. 84
    rikyrah says:


    But it is one of the stupidest if not most dishonest things I’ve heard recently and that is really saying a lot. I mean Grimes should be clear, if McConnell gets what he wants 400,000 KY residents will lose their health care. If that isn’t something to campaign on 24/7 I am not sure what is.

    that’s how I see it

  85. 85
    MattF says:

    Maybe Rove is trying to burnish his winger cred– “See, I’m not really an establishment type, I can be as dumb and offensive as anyone.”

  86. 86

    Kerry constantly huffs and pufs about Snowden, but can’t do a damn thing about it. It’s a shame he doesn’t direct some of his bluster on addressing the actual problems Snowden revealed rather than highlighting his own impotence.

    @Mandalay: I’ll just say this because it has to be said: his performance as SOS and as a member of this admin has been disastrous. He’d have been better than the alternative in 2004, but he would have been a world-class failure as president.

  87. 87
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mandalay: It’s true Kerry is powerless to actually take Snowden into custody, but I don’t think the “man up” remark an expression of political powerlessness so much as a zinger designed specifically for Snowden’s demographic. Young, privileged males — especially those who have exhibited delusions of grandeur — tend to be pretty damn touchy about their masculinity.

  88. 88
    cckids says:


    Smart. She understands policy, even if the conclusions she comes to are often different then mine. First lady of Arkansas. First Lady of the United States. Senator from a large, major state. Secretary of State. That is pretty darn impressive no matter how you look at it.

    This. I, too, am not convinced that we MUST have Hillary, but over & over, the story that comes out about her on a job is competence, intelligence, willingness to learn. Sure, she had a leg up when running for Senator, but reports from New York were that she listened, she put in the time & work, when elected she wasn’t a glory hog, she kept her head down & connected with people from NY and in the Senate.

    We could, for damn sure, do worse.

  89. 89
    Mandalay says:


    I’ve already signed up and donated to Charlie Crist’s campaign.

    Your rant just persuaded me to do the same thing. Crist is a shameless opportunist, but still a gazillion times better than Scott.

  90. 90
    Tommy says:

    @Betty Cracker: I am beginning not to know what to think about the guy. Some of the experts from the NBC/Williams interview that runs tonight, where Snowden says he was a spy. Not a low level tech guy. That he taught spy craft. Well I just don’t know what to say, much less think about all that.

  91. 91
    Tommy says:

    @cckids: That is what I heard about her as well. I recall stories after getting elected to the Senate a lot of veteran members wondered if it was more of an ego/vanity thing for her. But by all accounts, even some Republicans, said she took the job very seriously. Listened. Learned. Studied. This is sad I guess to say, but it is getting to the point I am almost willing just to take that from most of my elected leaders!

  92. 92
    pj says:

    in no particular order:

    she negotiated the release of chinese dissident chen guangcheng.

    she negotiated a cease-fire between hamas and israel.

    she was the first sec. of state in 50 years to visit myanmar, meeting with nobel laureate aung san suu kyi after kyi had been released from house arrest.

    name the top 3 accomplishments of the sec of state of your choice. i’d wager you would be listing similar diplomatic efforts.

  93. 93
    Chyron HR says:



  94. 94
    dmsilev says:


    name the top 3 accomplishments of the sec of state of your choice. i’d wager you would be listing similar diplomatic efforts.

    How about Henry Kissinger?
    1. Bombed country A
    2. Bombed country B
    3. Bombed, invaded, strafed country C

  95. 95
    Kay says:

    I wonder about Rove’s comments that people want something “fresh” and “new”, I really do.
    I think people want some security more than “something new!” I don’t mean the sentimental “back when America was great” type thing, but just some basic reassurances that they can depend on certain things; Social Security or a regulated banking system or not waking up and finding out your water supply is poisoned or a shot at getting decent health care.
    My sense here is people are exhausted. They’re just coming out of a crash and the last thing they want is more upheaval.
    I think one of the reasons this hasn’t penetrated the pundit class is they didn’t really suffer as result of the economic crash. They’re big risk takers but capacity for risk is partly a function of one of two things; being insulated from downside or being so far down you don’t having anything to lose. They’re in the first group: insulated from downside.
    I wonder if Clinton would benefit from that. It’s not sexy or exciting, but I wonder if she would benefit from “you’re familiar with me and I’m not going to spring any big surprises on you. We’ll just be doing Social Security in a lockbox and green jobs and all the other things mainstream Democrats say”.
    My opinion could change. I think the electorate could get less risk averse if the economy continues to improve, but I don’t really think there’s a huge thirst for dramatic change right now, IF that change brings a big downside risk which of course it always does.

  96. 96
    rikyrah says:

    Charlie Crist is a Human Oil Slick.

    But, he can beat Governor Voldemort.

    Which is all that matters.

  97. 97
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Tommy: You wouldn’t necessarily know it from reading this blog, but it’s entirely possible to be glad NSA overreach got the attention it deserves without thinking that Snowden is a selfless patriot or that his actions were 100% justified and smart. Nuance is in short supply on both sides of the Snowden/Greenwald topic.

    @pj: Also, regarding HRC’s SoS stint, she took on the task of rehabilitating this country’s global standing in the wake of the disastrous GWB administration, which is akin to cleaning the Augean Stables.

  98. 98
    SatanicPanic says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: He would’ve been lousy, but that’s how US Presidents usually are. At this point I almost feel like Barack Obama has raised expectations too high. We should all resign ourselves to sucky presidents. It’s better that way.

  99. 99
    Cassidy says:

    @Morzer: Republicans run in Democratic Primaries, winning in conservative leaning districts, and then drop out leaving the GOP candidate unopposed.

  100. 100
    Morzer says:


    It’s also worth asking what a Secretary of State can achieve in an age when you mostly don’t have big alliances to be negotiated or world wars to end. You just aren’t going to get the big legacy achievements of “great” Secretaries of State. Much of the job is about smoothing ruffled feathers, making sure solid trade deals are negotiated, every so often trying to get Israel to behave in a constructive way, generally getting along with China while having some sort of stand on human rights and climate change etc etc. It’s very much a keeping things running day to day with the rest of the world job – which doesn’t sound like a great achievement, but still takes quite a bit of doing.

  101. 101
    Mandalay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I don’t think the “man up” remark an expression of political powerlessness so much as a zinger designed specifically for Snowden’s demographic.

    Maybe you are right, but I felt the remark said more about Kerry than Snowden, and was a bit cringeworthy coming from our SoS.

    Whenever I hear/read the phrase “man up” I automatically think of Sarah Palin, and all politicians would be wise avoid it.

    Politico rightly points out that the phrase is often used by those in a weak position.

  102. 102
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Patrick: If you don’t see a fundamental difference between being 1% of one-half of a legislature vs being the CEO of a department with ~50,000 employees, a budget over $50B and offices in over 150 countries, then there’s probably not much to discuss.

  103. 103
    Morzer says:


    That doesn’t sound like the story here. She’s proposing to run against a Republican who beat the Democrat (Alex Sink Sank Sunk) in that district. She’s talking about not letting Washington ruin her husband’s achievements – whatever she takes those to be, and however she finds them more compatible with the Democrats than the GOP. If she’d wanted to run as a Republican, I would guess she’d have got the nod over Jolly, thanks to the sympathy vote plus a lingering bit of Young family incumbency.

  104. 104
    Roger Moore says:


    I have always thought that this would bite us at some point.

    I don’t think it’s coming back to bite us. The strategy is that you get the people signed up, let them experience the program and get to like it, and then tell them it’s actually Obamacare. They’re going to have to change their mind about something, and they’re a lot more likely to stick with their personal experience than their ideological preconceptions.

  105. 105
    Morzer says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I can’t wait for the Big Reveal when we tell the baggers that Medicare is actually a government program. Oh the big fat bagger heads exploding atop the free scooters!

  106. 106
    Jeremy says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: I wouldn’t call say his tenure has been terrible. A number of things have happened that are beyond the control of the Sec. of state and the President. The negotiations with Iran so far has been a huge success, and we are close to a long term deal. It seems like the media doesn’t care about this success.

  107. 107
    Patrick says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    You are right. There isn’t. I don’t know of anybody who decide who they are voting for President based on their accomplishments. They voted based on their own pocketbook. Have a nice day.

  108. 108
    shelley says:

    Could have been Braingate.

    Or BrainBenghazi.

  109. 109
    Mandalay says:


    she was the first sec. of state in 50 years to visit myanmar, meeting with nobel laureate aung san suu kyi after kyi had been released from house arrest.

    To be fair to Kerry, Hillary Clinton was simply in the right place at the right time for that “achievement”, and much of what befalls SoS is due to good or bad luck.

    That said, Clinton had a pretty solid track record as SoS overall, but Kerry makes reckless and idiotic comments all the time. He is unfit for the job. He is out of his league.

  110. 110
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mandalay: I agree it’s cringe-worthy. It always reminds me of Palin’s sneering, incoherent rhetoric as well.

  111. 111
    piratedan says:

    @Mandalay: like how people like Snowden get hired by the government in the first place….

  112. 112
    jl says:

    HRC and Rove have been fighting inside a brain flap? I need to keep up with current events better.

    OTOH, if WsPo is going Variety in its headlines, they should do better.

    ‘Hill’s gets tap in Rove brain flap.’ That has more ring to it, though sure a practiced Variety editor would do better.

  113. 113
    Calouste says:


    How long has l’affaire Snowden been going on? 2 years now? Why has he never said before that he was a spy? And a late twenties contractor teaching spycraft, are we supposed to believe that?

  114. 114
    Shana says:

    OT, but just wanted to say that our sweet Border Collie mix, almost 14, has cancer and will be released tomorrow afternoon. He’s just the sweetest, friendliest dog, loved by everyone he comes in contact with including the vet, and will be mightily missed and mourned by his family.

  115. 115
    🌷 Martin says:

    Watch a former red state turn blue…

    California Republicans are struggling this year to find a candidate that can beat Gov. Jerry Brown, state polls show. That’s partly due to Brown’s popularity and partly due to the shrinking proportion of the state’s voters registered as Republicans.

    About 28.6 percent of the state’s voters are registered as Republicans, down from 35.7 percent a decade ago, according to the latest figures from the California Secretary of State. The proportion of voters registered as Democrats — 43.5 percent — has fluctuated during that period but today stands equal to where it was in 2004.

    The percentage of voters declining to state a party preference — 21.1 percent — has grown significantly. If the trends of the next decade mirror the last, “no party preference” voters will outnumber Republicans in California by 2024.

    Those two growing counties – Modoc and Lassen. Lassen has 34,000 people. Modoc has 6,000. To put that in perspective, my HOA covers 30,000 people. The Leisure World near me has 16,000 people.

  116. 116
    piratedan says:

    @Shana: my condolences Shana, I know where you are and where you’ll be. Time will help to dull the pain and eventually you’ll be left with only the happy memories on the time and joy spent in their company and make you forever glad that you risked letting a furry something into your heart and family.

  117. 117
    Ash Can says:

    @Shana: So sorry to hear. Deepest sympathies on the loss of your family member.

  118. 118
    Belafon says:

    @🌷 Martin: There’s an interesting case study for Republicans. With so many “non-declared” types, a functioning party would see issues where they could pick up votes. But that isn’t going to happen while the Republicans feel that they have to appeal to the Tea Party, and CA Republicans won’t be able to do anything accept what the national party says.

  119. 119
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Mandalay: I think that’s a little uncharitable to Clinton. Myanmar didn’t wake up one day and just invite her for a visit. One of the the more noble things we endeavor to do is to reach out to nations like Myanmar and offer a dialogue and apparently the State Dept under her spent 3 years working with the nation to allow that trip to happen. Now, the hard work all happened on the Myanmar side – they needed to change, but it would have been easy for the State Department to ignore Myanmar in favor of higher profile places. They didn’t.

  120. 120
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Shana: I’m sorry.

  121. 121
    Cassidy says:

    @Morzer: Maybe. I don’t trust any of them and they’ve done it before. Hell, they do it in a couple local races in my district last year.

  122. 122
    jl says:

    @🌷 Martin: Down around 20% in Fresno, Kern and San Diego counties? And down around 15% in Madera…. Madera?? And Ventura? That is sad. What is left?

    My only quibble is that I don’t see how the CA GOP is ‘struggling’ to find a candidate who can beat Jerry Brown. The CA GOP is joyfully backing a crazy person, and they don’t give a damn. Maybe their sad sack political consultants (who are about all anyone hears from the CA GOP in the media anymore) are ‘struggling’. Struggling for excuses and explanations, and reasons to feign hope.

  123. 123
    jl says:

    @Shana: Sorry about your loss of such a sweet dog.

  124. 124
  125. 125
    AliceBlue says:

    I’ve been there more than once. I’m so very sorry.

  126. 126
    Patrick says:


    I assume Mr Hatch realizes that there is no chance in hell that he will get that constitutional amendment passed.

  127. 127
    Roger Moore says:

    I guess I see it as being kind of like those Folgers commercials where they secretly replace people’s coffee with instant. A lot of those people would never accept instant coffee if you offered it to them straight up but are willing to change their minds after a blind taste. Sure, not everyone will do that. Some people will genuinely hate it because they can taste the difference, and some people will change their minds after learning what they’ve just been drinking. But some people will change their minds based on personal experience, and that’s a group of people you probably wouldn’t have gotten to any other way.

    The same thing is true of people who just know they’re going to hate Obamacare without actually knowing what’s in the law. If you make a big deal about how it’s really Obamacare, most of them aren’t going to sign up, and the ones who do will only do it because they’re desperate and aren’t likely to admit they like it even when it saves their bacon. If you let them experience it as Kynect and only make a big deal about it being Obamacare after they’ve had a chance to experience it without preconceptions, they’re a lot more likely to change their minds. Sure, some of them will hate it all along, and some of them will go back and decide they hate it once they know it’s really Obamacare. But there are some people who will decide that maybe they were wrong and Obamacare isn’t that terrible after all. Getting any people into that category is a win.

  128. 128
    Roger Moore says:

    @🌷 Martin:
    Another big thing that happened under Clinton was all the behind the scenes contacts with Iran that led up to our first public negotiations with them. The meetings only happened when Kerry was Secretary, but the work that led up to them was mostly under Clinton. That is, in the words of the VP, a Big Fucking Deal, and it was really mostly Clinton’s State Department that did the work.

  129. 129
    jl says:

    @Patrick: So, for once I support Hatch. It will be a good use of his time.

  130. 130
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Belafon: I’m curious what local issues the CA-GOP could champion that wouldn’t just destroy their standing with the national party?

    We’re 20 years ahead of the nation on taxation policy, so we know first hand what low taxes buys us. We’re 20 years ahead on immigration. We’re in quite different places with regard to abortion, guns, and so on.

    The national GOP is as best can be described the anti-California party.

  131. 131
    Roger Moore says:


    The CA GOP is joyfully backing a crazy person, and they don’t give a damn.

    I don’t think that’s true; I haven’t gotten the impression that the Republicans are enthusiastic about any of their candidates. That may be because none of them are crazy enough, but I don’t think they are “joyfully backing” anyone.

  132. 132

    @🌷 Martin: There are a number of Californians, myself included, who did the “no party preference” registration, not because we are too far right for the Republicans, but too far left for the Dems. The “independent” vote is not a lock for either Republican scum nor libertarian jihadists.

    The GOP is pretty much done here in California, reduced to trying to secede out the least successful counties into the 51st state of “Jefferson”. I would love to see them actually do it, but the human cost would be unacceptable. I used to live up there for a few years and if you remove marijuana growing and Fed payments from the economy of the area, the average household income would be on a par with Guatemala.

  133. 133
    raycharles90 says:

    Whenever I see/hear/sense that turd blossom, I have succeeded in replacing his craven image with either “Ham Rove” or “the little fat man with a note pad in his hand” . It makes for a happier life.

  134. 134
    🌷 Martin says:

    @jl: Well, they are struggling in the sense that they can only advance someone that registered Republican voters approve of. The state party knows that these candidates are insane and unelectable, but people keep voting for them.

    I would note that the national trend isn’t any better. While Dem registration is hardly up (around 32%), GOP registration is down around 24%, which is near historical lows. It was in the mid-high 30s when Bush was re-elected and started dropping from there. So, nationally they’ve got the same dynamic going.

  135. 135


    So sorry. “Sweetest, friendliest” means to me that you gave him a secure, loving home and a great, very happy life. That doesn’t make it suck any less, but at least you know you did right by him.

  136. 136
    Patrick says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Excellent point.

  137. 137
    Mandalay says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    I think that’s a little uncharitable to Clinton.

    Fair comment, and I didn’t really mean to disrespect Clinton. My larger point was that even Kerry could have pulled off the Myanmar visit had he been SoS at that time.

    The authorities in Myanmar were practically falling over themselves to show how much they suddenly embraced the rest of the world. Had that occurred a few years earlier or later then a different SoS would have been getting the credit.

  138. 138
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    “Why should Kentuckians pay any taxes to the federal government? We can form our own army, maintain our own airports, bridges, and highways…”

  139. 139
    Morzer says:


    Much sympathy to you. It’ll take a while to get over the absence of a good friend. Don’t try and tough it out too much, but share the good memories with your family and allow yourselves to grieve as is fitting.

  140. 140
    Amir Khalid says:

    It’s never off-topic here to mention the passing of a member of the family, especially if they were furry and much loved. ((((hugs))))

  141. 141
    Shana says:

    Thanks to all of you for your kind words. We’re all pretty upset, but especially younger daughter who’s away at college and won’t have the opportunity to say goodbye. We will be sending her Lightning’s favorite stuffed animal though, which may help.

  142. 142
    Goblue72 says:

    26% agreed with Rove. That’s pretty close to that magic number again,

  143. 143
    catclub says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Well, they do have all of our gold at Fort Knox.

  144. 144
    Procopius says:

    @cmorenc: Hey, I don’t give a hoot what Rove has to say about anything and I’m suffering Hillary fatigue already. I’ve come to the conclusion I don’t want another neoliberal fake progressive war hawk whacking away at “entitlements” so she can raise $25 million for her Presidential Library. I don’t know who else the Dems have, but Alan Grayson would be good. Not Elizabeth Warren, we need her whare she is too badly.

  145. 145
    Procopius says:

    @Tommy: This is something that’s been baffling me since 2010. I hated that Obamacare was what we got, but was horrified that the Dems tried to pretend it had never happened. For Dog’s sake, they spent a year and a half on it, threw out any chance of stimulus because of it, tried to “pivot” to reducing the deficit, and never made any effort to convince people that even though it wasn’t perfect it still was as good as we could get in the face of solid Republican opposition. Point out over and over that we could have gotten better if it hadn’t been for Republican opposition. OK, I’m not living in the U.S., so maybe the reality on the ground is even worse than I think, but the Democratic Party has been acting brain-dead since about 2006. Why is Steve Israel still in charge of the DCCC and why do people still send him money?

  146. 146
    Procopius says:

    @artem1s: It’s too bad the Republican nominee is going to be Chthulhu. They can use the slogan, “Why vote for the lesser evil?” If the Democrats could only snag him instead of Hillary.

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