Because Shut Up, That’s Why

I’m watching Monica Crowley and Pat Buchanan on the McLaughlin group and so help me God, I am praying for a dirty bomb in Georgetown.

These people will destroy us all.

Don’t be fooled by Obama — we are fucked.

DougJ in 2009


I read this yesterday and started to write about it and forgot to publish it because I got distracted (oh look- a squirrel), but you really have to read this article to believe it. Basically, Caroline Felsenthal has a fact free piece up at Politico demanding that President Obama fire Valerie Jarrett because. And no, that is not a typo, that is her entire argument. “Fire Valerie Harrett- because…See for yourself:

Almost since the start of Barack Obama’s presidency, people who have actual, real duties in the West Wing of the White House—the working, executive part of the government, that is—have been urging him to do something about Valerie Jarrett. Push her into the East Wing, where she can hang out with Michelle Obama and the White House social secretary, or give her an ambassadorship—or something—but for Pete’s sake get her out of the way of the hard work of governing that needs to be done.

Now it’s really time to do it.

Let’s stipulate right away that it would be unfair to blame Jarrett, the longtime Obama family friend and confidante, for the walloping that the president and his party suffered at the polls on Tuesday. And Jarrett will no doubt be needed in the weeks ahead to comfort her old pals, Barack and Michelle. What happened on Tuesday almost couldn’t be worse for Obama personally—not just the Senate’s going Republican but all those governorships lost, including Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s defeat in Obama’s adopted home state, even after the president and first lady came to Illinois to campaign for him. The morning after the elections, Democrats and their top staffers were hopping mad, blaming Obama and, by extension, his staff for the defeat.

But let’s also face facts—and expect the president to do so as well. We’re at that point in an already long-toothed presidency when things inside really need to change. In the days before anyone knew how brutally the Democrats would get beaten, politicians and staffers and pundits were urging a shakeup of the White House staff.

This is, after all, a time-honored practice for an administration in trouble. Somebody’s got to take the blame other than president, who’s not going to resign himself. Past presidents who fared badly in midterm elections have not been shy about making high-level changes—George W. Bush fired Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after the 2006 midterms and also replaced his chief of staff. Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan at the same low point in their administrations replaced their chiefs of staff when they failed to perform up to expectations or fell from grace. George H.W. Bush did the same to chief of staff John Sununu.

So it would be unfair to blame her, in fact there is no reason to blame her, and there is no evidence that she has done anything wrong or led Obama astray, but fire her anyway because, well fuck it. Just fire her.

A couple of quick notes- notice the inherent sexism in the piece. Throw her into the East wing with the ladies and get her out of the real job of governing. Because…

Also, maybe we should re-examine all of her examples of people who have been fired. Donald Rumsfeld was fired after the elections because of gross incompetence, lack of planning, torture, and basically his handprints were on everything that was fucked up in Iraq and the Pentagon. Not only that, but you can trace a DIRECT line to the thumping the GOP took in 2006 to Donald Rumsfeld. I recommend googling the Generals Revolt, Caroline. You might learn something.

John Sununu was fired because he was a disaster- between his using the Air Force as his own personal jet and the fact that the WH was in complete disarray mere months after Bush had extraordinary poll numbers after Iraq v. 1.0, and because there basically was no domestic policy that could be pointed to beyond the flip flop on “No new taxes.” It’s more complicated than just that, but the lack of an economic plan was the truth (that also became a beltway narrative to the point that we had nonsense like the grocery scanner nonsense in the press), including the fact that Sununu was a complete asshole, but there was a reason to can Sununu.

And so on. These individuals were fired because there was a reason for them to be fired, unlike Jarrett. And in the second paragraph, the author admits as much, noting it would be unfair, but then plowing again and demanding she be fired for the kind of banalities that are the received view in the beltway- “to shake things up” and that “it appears that Jarrett has been more an obstructer than a facilitator…” Whatever the fuck that means, but don’t expect Caroline to tell you. She just read it in books written recently, including Chuck Todd’s new fact free static display of beltway conventional wisdom (if you want to read a delicious review of Todd’s hate crime against trees and your common sense, I highly recommend this Columbia Journalism Review titled “Chuck Todd’s Obama book says more about the author than it does about the president.”).

So when you boil it all down, what you are left with is “Fire Valerie Jarrett. Because.” That’s it. That is really all there is to the piece. It’s just a mean, petty hit job that makes you want to sit Caroline Felsenthal down in a private room and ask her to show you on the doll where Valerie touched her.

I’d normally end the post right now, but there is something else that needs to be discussed about Ms. Felsenthal and her piece. When I initially read this yesterday, I chortled at a specific line because it was such a ridiculous argument to fire Jarrett. When I revisited the article today, oddly enough, it was gone. I thought I must be hallucinating, because I swore I could remember that being in that article. So I did a little google fu, and guess what? I found the line that has been deleted- deleted and just made to go down the mystery hole with no acknowledgment whatsoever in the piece. Let’s take a look:


See what happened there? The original piece said:

Past presidents who fared badly in midterm elections have not been shy about making high-level changes—George W. Bush fired Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill after the 2002 midterms and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after the 2006 midterms…

The new and improved version states:

Past presidents who fared badly in midterm elections have not been shy about making high-level changes—George W. Bush fired Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after the 2006 midterms…

You can see why I laughed, of course. George Bush Darth Cheney fired Paul O’Neill for… telling the truth:

If anyone would listen to him, Paul O’Neill thought, Dick Cheney would. The two had served together during the Ford Administration, and now as the Treasury Secretary fought a losing battle against another round of tax cuts, he figured that his longtime colleague would give him a hearing.

O’Neill had been preaching that a fiscal crisis was looming and more tax cuts would exacerbate it. But others in the White House saw a chance to capitalize on the historic Republican congressional gains in the 2002 elections. Surely, Cheney would not be so smug. He would hear O’Neill out. In an economic meeting in the Vice President’s office, O’Neill started pitching, describing how the numbers showed that growing budget deficits threatened the economy. Cheney cut him off. “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter,” he said. O’Neill was too dumbfounded to respond. Cheney continued: “We won the midterms. This is our due.”

A month later, Paul O’Neill was fired, ending the rocky two-year tenure of Bush’s first Treasury Secretary, who became known for his candid statements and the controversies that followed them. Rarely had a person who spoke so freely been embedded so high in an Administration that valued frank public remarks so little.

So you can see why Felsenthal and the Politico edited the piece without acknowledging the changes. If you are going to write a fact free, anonymously source, petty hit piece, the last thing you would want to do is to accidentally attribute to Jarrett the qualities of prescience, honesty, and straightforwardness. That wouldn’t, as the hacks at Politico like to say, “fit the narrative.”

132 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Jarett might leave simply because she’s been there a long time. Most people don’t stay that long.

    I’m done being outraged by this type of reporting. I don’t want to participate in the Village circlejerk at even that level.

  2. 2
    MattF says:

    Also, Obama should kill Vince Foster to prevent him from becoming a zombie. And to make Hillary angry. And because.

  3. 3
    Baud says:


    I hope Obama fires the White House travel office.

  4. 4
    different-church-lady says:

    Maybe if people stopped paying attention to Politico, it would go away.

  5. 5
    Hal says:

    people who have actual, real duties in the West Wing of the White House—the working, executive part of the government, that is—have been urging him to do something about Valerie Jarrett. Push her into the East Wing, where she can hang out with Michelle Obama and the White House social secretary, or give her an ambassadorship—or something

    Why not just go ahead and make her the White House maid? Maybe the Secret Service needs some cars washed.

  6. 6
    Trentrunner says:

    Good reporting and analysis, John. Truly.

  7. 7
    beltane says:

    My middle school-aged twins have far more gravitas than anyone who writes for Politico.

  8. 8
    beltane says:

    Caroline Felsenthal sounds like a poor man’s MoDo.

  9. 9
    Cacti says:

    Dems made no effort to turn out the Obama coalition, but are angry at Obama that they lost.

    Sounds about right.

    Newsflash losers, he won his two elections. It’s you cretins who couldn’t lead flies to a garbage pile.

  10. 10
    Poopyman says:

    Let’s speculate – and why not – that someone at Politico got wind that Jarrett was leaving. Voluntarily or not, doesn’t matter. A hack journalist might then decide to write a piece like this so that when it’s finally announced, they look like a genius. Or hopefully at least like the White House might be following their advice.

    It might once have been too cynical to speculate like this, but I don’t think anyone who’s been paying attention [1] would find it at all implausible any more.

    [1] Too few, too few.

  11. 11
    Baud says:


    Who’s angry at Obama? I’m certainly not.

  12. 12
    gogol's wife says:


    He means the people in the article.

  13. 13
    Baud says:


    I can see that.

  14. 14
    Cacti says:


    I should have clarified Dem politicians.

  15. 15
    beltane says:

    @Cacti: Obama also had coattails in his two elections. The rest of the sad sack Dem party can hardly manage to breathe without Superman helping them.

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Like I would click on a Politico link.



  17. 17
    Kathleen says:

    Good piece, John. Booman also has a good analysis and agrees that it’s a hit job.

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The same treatment the WaPo deserves needs to be visited on Politico:

    Mass drivers from orbit. The few souls who don’t deserve instant death are evacuated, and cordons set up around the places to make sure those who do are unable to escape their worthy fate.

    Wipe them out. All of them.

  19. 19
    Mike in NC says:

    Von Rumsfeld offered to resign at least once after Iraq turned into a complete shitstorm, but Cheney wouldn’t allow him to leave until the losses in 2006.

  20. 20
    Cacti says:


    Obama also had coattails in his two elections. The rest of the sad sack Dem party can hardly manage to breathe without Superman helping them.

    Still way too much post-Reagan “play not to lose” mentality when BHO isn’t topping the ticket.

  21. 21
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cacti: Which Dem politicians?

  22. 22
    Redshift says:

    A couple of quick notes- notice the inherent sexism in the piece. Throw her into the East wing with the ladies and get her out of the real job of governing. Because…

    Plus the slightly less obvious sexism of comparing her to unnamed “people who have actual, real duties.” She’s just an advisor to the President of the United States; it’s not like she had a real job…

  23. 23
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cacti: Well, I was bombarded by email from Barack, Joe, Michelle, Nancy, various Senate candidates, Working Families, LCV (featuring Robert Redford), Working Families, Daily Kos (even after I told them to stop). I went and phone banked to GOTV put in probably about 12 hours over the last two months on it, I helped Jeff Merkley eat pizza at Dem HQ last Saturday.

    Obviously, what happened in Oregon did not happen elsewhere. I don’t know what the problem is with a bunch of other states, other than the stupid, it burns.

    Perhaps a lot of people were Imperiused. Or they’re just natural Dark Lord supporters.

  24. 24
    Cacti says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    The unnamed ones in this article.

  25. 25
    Cacti says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I’m mystified at how Colorado Dems managed to lose the state senate and a US Senate seat. Colorado has 5.1% unemployment FFS.

    ETA: with last month’s job numbers, CO has dropped to 4.7% unemployment. Reminds me of when Gore managed to fumble away the Clinton economic record to dim son.

  26. 26
    Betty Cracker says:

    I truly don’t get the antipathy toward Jarrett. Ron Fournier and like-minded hacks have been screeching for her head for years. For no particular reason.

  27. 27
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Von RumsfeldFAILED offered to resign at least once after Iraq turned into a complete shitstorm, but Cheney wouldn’t allow him to leave until the losses in 2006.


    Technically (German pedantry here) it should be von, lower case, not Von. It means “of”, and is the usual indicator of high birth in Germany. “von und zu” is even more hoity-toity.

    Or you could just call him “vile fuckhead” and that would do the trick, too.

  28. 28
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cacti: Oh, we’re supposed to believe actual Democrats confided in this hack? I suppose it’s possible. I made the assumption it was bullshit.

  29. 29
    beltane says:

    @Betty Cracker: Lanny Davis? Marc Penn? Washington is crawling with Dem affiliated hacks with nothing else to do but go shopping and badmouth the President.

  30. 30
    Mike in NC says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I truly don’t get the antipathy toward Jarrett. Ron Fournier and like-minded hacks have been screeching for her head for years.

    And we saw last week that FOX News contributor Ron Fournier decided Obama needed to “fire himself” and bring in a bunch of GOP operatives to “turn things around” (using FOX-logic).

  31. 31
    Violet says:

    That is just pathetic.

    I really think there is a pundit bubble. We have far too many of them, we get more every day and it’s a bubble waiting to burst. Who the hell cares what they think? Who even reads this crap? It’s pundit circle jerking. There’s no need for editorial pages. There’s no need for pundits on TV. Save it for blogs. Anyone writing in newspapers or blathering away on TV should be doing actual news reporting or useful things like gardening columns. Otherwise, stfu.

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cacti: GOTV failure.

    Lane County OR had 66.47 participation by registered voters Statewide, it was 62ish percent. Both really pathetic numbers, IMHO…I’m more used to topping 70%.

    Still, we managed to increase Dem majorities in both houses of the state legislature, Kitz was reelected to an unprecedented 4th term, Merkley kicked Wehby’s ass all over the national forests, we decisively rejected a top two voting system, we legalized MaryJane, and we came really close to requiring GMO labeling…the most expensive ballot measure campaign in Oregon’s history.

    Dunno what Colorado’s problem is. They elected a shithead to the Governor’s mansion who is determined to re criminalize pot. Christianist vermin turned out to vote. Normal people did not do so in sufficient numbers to counterbalance that.

  33. 33
    MattF says:

    @Betty Cracker: I think there’s a clause, somewheres in the current Pundit Contract With America, that says you have to succumb to an irrational hatred of some member of Obama’s administration.

  34. 34
    Cacti says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    What’s extra depressing is that three of the GOPer Senate candidates won with less than 50% of the vote (AK, CO, NC).

  35. 35
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @beltane: Both of them (along with Carville, who literally sleeps with a Death Eater/Sith Apprentice, pick your pop culture meme, I’m flexible) need to be manifested for tumbrel rides.

  36. 36
    Mike in NC says:


    CO has dropped to 4.7% unemployment.

    These midterms had nothing to do with the lower unemployment rate, or the improved health of the economy, or anything else except angry old conservative white people still unhappy that one of those horrible people is still sitting inside of their White House.

  37. 37
    GregB says:

    Don’t blame NH, we held on to 3 of at the top of the ticket.

    The rest of local elections filled the clown-car back up to capacity, but the front lines held.

    Oh and that tool Republican who called Anne Kuster ugly lost.

    Too bad Politico is web-based, I won’t line my birdcage with my laptop no matter how much Halperin chomps.

  38. 38

    @Betty Cracker: Perhaps it is the same reason that they don’t particularly care for her boss. Something they can’t put their finger on, but they feel it in their bones.

  39. 39
    Kay says:


    Kasich, Snyder and Walker ran on the economy. Ya know, that they fixed it. Happy days are here again.

    Oddly, national Democrats would not. Maybe there’s some other “economy” that doesn’t include the economy in…states.

    I’m trying to figure out how Gary Peters in Michigan didn’t get sucked into this national Democratic crouch, where GOP governors can claim success on “the economy” but the Democratic President cannot. Peters had a terrible opponent but a lot of the Republicans were terrible.

  40. 40

    If Democrats don’t turn out in the midterms, what happened in 2006? They need to repeat that performance the next midterm.

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: He’s near. That’s the problem.

  42. 42
    beltane says:

    @GregB: NH-01 is the hot potato seat. It switches back and forth with each election.

  43. 43
    GregB says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The Democrat Hickenlooper won the Governorship in CO.

  44. 44
    beltane says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Democrats do well when they run joyful optimistic campaigns. For whatever reason, this is what motivates our side to get to the polls. They need to feel good voting.

  45. 45

    @Kay: I think the Democrats were too defensive, this cycle. You want to vote for someone who will fight for you, not cower in a corner, when asked a hard question.

  46. 46

    @beltane: Really? I thought they turned out in droves in 2006 because they were pissed with Bush and company.

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: First, there’s the historic trend of the second midterm going against the party in the WH, but furthermore, the country was fed the fuck up with the deserting coward’s great Mesopotamian adventure.

    1998 bucked the historical trend, in part because people were fed up with all the Monicagate crap, and that vile fuck Gingrich.

  48. 48
    Kay says:

    I think it’s because she’s an outsider, people are mad at DC, and they want to blame the outsiders rather than think they’re all loathed by the populace.

    They’re just like us. Main Street. Not like this Chicago crowd who came in and ruined everything.

  49. 49
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @GregB: He did? Good. The GOP guy is your typical asshole…when I stopped watching MSNBC on Tuesday, it was close with the GOPer slightly ahead, so I jumped to a conclusion.

    Local fishwrap not very heavy on Colorado coverage.

  50. 50
    Poopyman says:

    In Maryland, a state with ~3,563,971 registered voters (2012 numbers), 739,678 bothered to vote. 20.75%

    In 2012, 2,734,176 Marylanders voted. I assume the numbers are similar in other states.

  51. 51
    SRW1 says:

    You don’t understand, Mr Cole: All this is, is a villager going through the rites of demanding that the president adhere to the sacrificial rites. That the rites are important is, like, eo ipso..

    And besides, if you knew what Caroline Felsenthal hears at cocktail parties about that Valery woman, you’d agree: she’s stinking up ‘the place’. And it’s not her place.

  52. 52
    muddy says:

    I haven’t heard a peep about ebola since the election.

  53. 53
    Poopyman says:


    … who came in and ruined everything.

    I believe the correct phrase is “… trashed the place. And it wasn’t even their place.”

  54. 54
    TheMIghtyTrowel says:

    @muddy: I noticed that too. It’s almost like cynically manipulating news coverage to promote deep existential anxiety in the public isn’t useful when an election isn’t on the horizon. strange that.

  55. 55
    Kay says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    It was weird if you were in a state with a GOP governor. It doesn’t make any sense to brag about the “Ohio revival” or the “Michigan comeback” outside of the context of the United States, but Democrats somehow managed to miss that vital connection between the “states” they were standing in and “the United States of America”.

    I’m sort of mildly curious how Kasich and Walker pull it off in the GOP Prez primary. The economy is perking right along on their watch, except not in Obama’s America.

  56. 56
    GregB says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Both Malloy in CT and Hickenlooper in CO won despite pushing gun safety laws and earning the wrath of the gun absolutists.

  57. 57
    Kay says:


    DC would be humming right along but for these interlopers cluttering up the aisles.

  58. 58
    Baud says:


    Every time Obama tried to talk up the economy, he’d be critized because people are still struggling.

    Only Nixon could go to China. Only Republicans can be praised for anything positive.

  59. 59
    Betty Cracker says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I don’t think it’s that simple. The same people kissed Condi Rice’s ass nonstop — and she was directly culpable for actual policy disasters.

    @schrodinger’s cat: You thought right. This time, all the fear and anger was on the other side.

  60. 60
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    If Democrats don’t turn out in the midterms, what happened in 2006?

    The old people of 2006 weren’t as radicalized as the old people of 2010 and 2014.

  61. 61
    Mike E says:

    Heh, lest we forget the how our betters felt about their brand being so tarnished just before that historic midterm in ’98…

    Money quote: “He came in here and he trashed the place,” says Washington Post columnist David Broder, “and it’s not his place.”

  62. 62
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @GregB: You saw where the NRA got its clock cleaned, thoroughly, in Washington?

  63. 63
    Kay says:


    I know. I don’t know how to handle that myself. I think that is a genuinely difficult thing to do. They probably over thought it. God knows Kasich just plowed ahead with nary a care for the long-term unemployed. That’s probably baked into Democrats, the “on the other hand” reflex.

    I think it’s more boring than that. I think they held the Senate last time by pointing out that the GOP candidates were insane, and they tried the exact same thing this time. But Republicans were ready for them! :)

    People really are mad at DC. They don’t like “Congress” much in general but this cycle they just loathed them. I don’t think they’ll be less mad now that there’s more Republicans. They will have a short honeymoon.

  64. 64
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Von RumsfeldFAILED offered to resign at least once after Iraq turned into a complete shitstorm, but Cheney wouldn’t allow him to leave until the losses in 2006.

    FTFY. You’re most welcome!

    BTW, German pedantry time: It’s von with a lowercase v, as it means “of”, the signifier of high birth in the rigid German social system, which eased up after WWII when the Junkers were effectively wiped out by the consequences of Hitler’s great adventure in the East.

  65. 65
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kay: Traditionally, it’s the other 434 clowns in the House who are the problem, not my guy. Repeat for all 435 districts, and you see the issue.

    But then my guy is Peter DeFazio, so I can actually say this.

  66. 66
    Felonius Monk says:

    Even if Politico was printed on paper, you still couldn’t use it as toilet paper. It’s already so full of shit, it drips.

  67. 67
    Baud says:


    Well, I’m going to sound like a broken record, but we Democrats top to bottom need to learn how to toot our own horn and take credit for our accomplishments. That includes zero tolerance for those on the right OT left who try to tear us down.

  68. 68
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Darn, my strikethrough tags didn’t work right. Must have been a FAIL on my part…

  69. 69
    Kay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Ugh, not me. Mr. Latta is the problem.

    I went to a continuing legal ed thing for lawyers about a month ago and Latta was there. I suppose he’s a lawyer and he needs continuing legal ed, but it was weird. He spoke to almost no one and said nothing. He’s really only in Congress because his father was, but I didn’t expect him to be completely non-communicative in his own district.

  70. 70
    Tree With Water says:

    Great post, Cole.

    Asked if he harbored fears of retaliation by the administration for his candid remarks after being fired, O’neil [in essence] said, “I’ve made my mountain of dough already, so what can they do to me”?

  71. 71
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mike E:

    Money quote: “He came in here and he trashed the place,” says Washington Post columnist David Broder, “and it’s not his place.”

    That was Broder? For some reason, I always always thought it was Sally Quinn. Have I been doing her a disservice all these years?

  72. 72
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @beltane: Hell my new bromeliad has more gravitas than anyone who writes for Tiger Beat on the Potomac, as Pierce calls it.

  73. 73
    Mike E says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: It’s Quinn quoting Border…sorta like that old saying about the Sith: There’s always two.

  74. 74
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    The difference? Vote by Mail. Democrats tend to run away from voting access issues and the fact that even with GOTV, our base finds it hard to actually get to the polls. Not to mention that having to wait in line for 3 hours really does take a toll on enthusiasm and voter energy. And being rushed when one gets there.

    National Dems should be pushing for VBM universally. Dems won’t win every race, but at the least their hands wouldn’t be tied because of physical obstacles to voting, or the voter suppression of various tactics.

    When the ballot is mailed to you, like in Oregon and Washington, voting is anytime convenient to you. There’s no having to find a sitter for the kids, no standing in long lines, no having to ask for time off from work, and vote intimidators have nothing to do.
    Ballots are dropped off anywhere in town, so no targeting precincts for dirty tricks either.

  75. 75
    raven says:

    Now I see why there is no football thread. Hook em.

  76. 76
    Violet says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    Even if Politico was printed on paper, you still couldn’t use it as toilet paper. It’s already so full of shit, it drips.

    It is printed on paper. I was shocked when I stopped into some Starbucks or something in D.C. last summer and saw Politico by the door. On paper. A stack of them. Can’t remember if you had to buy them or they were free. Who the hell would pay for that crap?

  77. 77
    horizoneyes says:

    Mrs. Alan Greenspan has been on a mission to see White House staff replaced daily on MSNBC. Generally I switch off that channel when she or Luke Russert comes on, but I subjected myself because I knew for sure John McCain was going to be on crying about something.

  78. 78
    Baud says:


    OT should be “or”.

  79. 79
    Tenar Darell says:

    @Violet: Seriously, we need mohr of this little girl telling pundits what to do. Whee!

  80. 80
    GregB says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Yes, it was a good night for gun safety advocacy and a bad night for the guys who want to sell guns to the drug cartels and international terrorists unfettered by oversight.

  81. 81
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mike E:

    I’m glad I wasn’t totally imagining it. Thanks.

  82. 82
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    Holy crap. I just tried to listen to Steve Kornacki’s show from this morning and there was the smuggest, assholiest R operative I’ve ever heard. I turned the show off.

  83. 83
    Tenar Darell says:

    @CarolDuhart2: What do you do if you’re homeless? What if you’ve moved? I’d have no problem, but if you’re living in your car how do you vote then? Most places have restrictions on PO Boxes for certain important documents. Up front, I haven’t dug into it, but I would guess that VBM or Absentee Ballots may vary by state in certain discriminatory ways.

  84. 84
  85. 85
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: All we need for that kind of success is a Republican President who starts two disastrous wars and stands idly by while a major city drowns.

  86. 86
    ruemara says:

    Saw Interstellar. It was a bit ponderous, but good.

    I was going to be a better person, but I’m rather angry. OzarkHillbilly said a really shitty thing to me in the open thread and it’s fascinating how many people just skipped over it to talk about games and what not. It’s not ok.

  87. 87
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @CarolDuhart2: Seems to me that in an environment not sufficiently conducive to democracy, vote-by-mail would make intimidation easier, not harder. They’d just have to shift tactics from vote-prevention to positive coercion. Since the ballot isn’t enforceably secret, you could easily have, say, employers demanding that employees vote the right way in their presence on pain of termination.

  88. 88

    @Villago Delenda Est: @GregB:

    Malloy in CT and Hickenlooper in CO won despite pushing gun safety laws and earning the wrath of the gun absolutists

    …and in Washington, the 5th victim died last night.

    So all we need to keep strong Dems who will stand up to the ghouls at the NRA is a mass shooting of children within 28 months of the election in 47 more states, and we’re set.

    Sadly, this plan is destined to ‘succeed’.

  89. 89

    @Matt McIrvin: One of us is holding the same sheet of music we’re singing from sideways. I put the title at the top of my copy.

    “No Matter How Cynical I Get…I can’t keep up”

  90. 90
    Schlemazel says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Saw a chart of voter turn out. MN finished second & did very well by the Dems. The only state with reasonable turnout that did not was Wisconsin & if you look it was the traditional D areas that dragged down the total.

    When we turn out we win. When we don’t we lose. Just about any other thing is bullshit spread by the pros in DC looking to convince people they are smart & can lead the way to victory next time.

  91. 91
    mai naem says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: Will Cain. He’s not a Repub operative, just a Republican pundit. He’s another one who tries to call himself libertarian depending on what flavor of wingnut is in style. I watched part of it and Barney Frank did a pretty decent job of smacking him around, at least the part I saw.
    As far as Hickenlooper, I don’t give a crap of pot recriminalization. It ain’t gonna happen as long as Colorado is getting all that sweet sweet tax money from it. What’s amazing is that Hickenlooper won. The NRA had a big target on this guy. Remember the state legislators who lost their recall bids a couple of years ago? I’m just surprised he didn’t drag Udall across the finish line.

  92. 92
    raven says:

    @ruemara: If your response had made any sense maybe someone would have pursued it?

    That’s a thing to say that I already know, but if that’s what you want to be known for saying to me, it’s your reputation.

    What exactly does that mean and what did you expect other people to do?

  93. 93
    Mike E says:

    @ruemara: Agree. One mustn’t minimize another’s suffering, and lashing out in pain is still no excuse.

    If we’re all feeling raw about these times, it’s because we’ve seen it before. We should be better by now, and we’re’s totally unacceptable. I feel ashamed as well as angry about where we are now.

  94. 94
    mai naem says:

    @horizoneyes: I know Andrea Mitchell is a Wall Street because of her hubby. Who knows but I really don’t think she’s a Republican, at least not the current teahadi version. I think she’s more like a DLC’r. She seems to like the Clintons. What surprises me sometimes with her is there’s certain things that you can tell just offend her – one is the Voter suppression stuff and the other is women’s rights/pro-choice stuff. You can just kind of see her reaction like WTF? I thought this stuff was settled stuff.

  95. 95
    raven says:

    If we are going to have 5 hour threads on a Saturday in the fall about some clown with a fucking flag on the interstate people are going to comment on what the hell ever they want to. No one makes anyone come here.

  96. 96
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @efgoldman: It’s a clear-enough liquid, but the alcohol dehydrates you and it is “not recommended.”

  97. 97
    Hal says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: Will Cain. That whole panel irritated me. Will Cain is making the ridiculous argument that the intent of the ACA was no subsidies unless states set up their own exchanges. Why would a law be crafted that would doom it from the start?

    Kornacki asked if a ruling in favor of Halbig would doom the law, and the panel was like “uh, gee, I don’t know.” Seriously? I know it’s early, but yeesh. But hey, Congress can fix it if needed.

  98. 98
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Tenar Darell: If you are homeless, most shelters allow you to use their address for important papers. Oregon has voter registration right up to 2 days before ballots are mailed out. I don’t live in Oregon, but I do know that shelters do allow this. And many homeless could use an address of a friend or relative or some agency to get documents.

  99. 99
    rikyrah says:

    They have been mad since the beginning. Jarrett is close to both the President and First Lady. And the reason Michelle Obama has not had stories about her ‘nosing in the West Wing’ is because Jarrett is her eyes and ears in the West Wing.

  100. 100
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Matt McIrvin: But with mail, employers don’t know when a ballot would come-it depends on the mail. And what if a voter fills it out right away? Nothing can be done there. Plus such coercion is hard to hide.

  101. 101
    Dee Loralei says:

    @ruemara: You’re right, it was pretty shitty, and I’m sorry I didn’t say anything.

  102. 102
    Heywood J. says:

    Jarrett was born in Tehran, so she fits the teahadis’ paranoid narrative.

  103. 103
    Ruckus says:

    @Tenar Darell:
    When I moved back to CA I was living in a non residential area. When I tried to register to vote the lady told me that she couldn’t register me at that address. My question to her was what about the homeless, how do they register? And then I asked her where in the constitution or the state laws does it say I have to have any address to vote? All I have to be is a citizen. I threw in the “I served my country and this is how I get treated?” just for effect. About a minute later I walked out, registered to vote by mail.

  104. 104
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    @Hal: @mai naem: He went on about how the question before the Supremes on the exchanges was whether Congress meant what it said when it wrote the law. Gee, I don’t know, Will. Here’s an idea. Why not ask them rather than looking in your scrying bowl?

  105. 105
    Ruckus says:

    I didn’t know what to say. It was far worse than the lady at the post office who told me if I don’t like the service I should move out of the country. I figured going postal at the post office would be a bit much and calling her the only word I could think of at that moment wouldn’t go over very well, so I walked out. I should have complained to her superiors but that would have been anybody breathing.
    I thought your answer to him was about as good as it was going to get. But his comment was a very shitty thing to say.

  106. 106
    Mike E says:

    Hometown pride: Loretta Lynch leads off my local teevee newscast with her nomination, having been born in Greensboro and raised in Durham. Her dad, a preacher, was interviewed and said, “Support your child’s dream, let her live her own life but do not live your life through them. Even if it’s a bitter pill to swallow.” He was referring to Lynch turning down a full ride scholarship to UNC to go to Harvard instead. The anchor chuckled, saying “clearly it was the right call.”

  107. 107
    Morzer says:


    It was poorly said, but not, I think, a serious suggestion or assessment of your personal merits. It seemed to me to be a not entirely serious respose to what OH saw as extreme pessimism on your part.

  108. 108
    Denali says:


    It was a most uncalled for comment.

  109. 109
    catclub says:

    @efgoldman: One way to get her nomination passed: Have Eric Holder say he is about to go after the bankers hammer and tongs.
    Or that he will release the torture report and go after the people who approved those crimes.

    IN other words, I am dreaming.

  110. 110
    Morzer says:


    It’ll be interesting to see what sort of tangle Baby Doc gets himself into over this one.

  111. 111
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Morzer: I agree with you. I cringed when I read the reply – which was totally fair. I think OH was tactlessly mocking what seems to be in abundance “the sky is falling” pessimism, without any thought to how it might be taken. I’d likely have ripped him a couple of new orifices and given an unsolicited mental health/sensitivity/stigma lecture had he said it to me. I should have done when he said it to ruemara.

    I’m sorry rumemara. I think OH was flip and thoughtless, and not malicious. Which doesn’t really help. Again, I’m sorry.

  112. 112
    Little Boots says:

    omnes are you angry?

  113. 113
    Steeplejack says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Von capitalized at beginning of sentence.

  114. 114
    Tenar Darell says:

    So Oregon and California are not plagues of horribilitá. We can’t really extrapolate from this two places. Even Ruckus had to start a bit of a ruckus. /ducks

    Then look at this explanatory site for Texas. Check out the list in the sixth section. Not user friendly. I’d also look at Kansas because Kobach (of ALEC fame) has been practicing disenfranchisement methods there.

    I suppose I’m fishing for proof of my point. But, after the pure d nasty of refusing ACA, and the reaction to the gutting of section 5 of the VRA, I lack the necessary trust in state governments.

  115. 115
    Full metal Wingnut says:

    @Mike in NC: I thought the “accepting a resignation” was just a formality. Surely the President can’t actually make someone continue being a Cabinet member?

  116. 116

    @ruemara: Some reviews of Interstellar that I saw were critical of the physics. The idea of planets orbiting a black hole is laughable in the first place.
    Yes, what OzarkHillbilly said to you was uncalled for, I just went down and checked the thread.

  117. 117

    @Betty Cracker: Everything is forgiven if you are a Republican.

  118. 118
    Cervantes says:

    @Full metal Wingnut:

    It has happened before that people have submitted a letter of resignation to the President only to have him talk them out of resigning, or talk them into staying for another year, or what-have-you.

  119. 119
    Marc says:


    In Maryland, a state with ~3,563,971 registered voters (2012 numbers), 739,678 bothered to vote. 20.75%

    Your numbers are way off. More than twice as many people voted in Maryland, about 1.6 million.

    And apparently all of them were cranky assholes from the suburbs.

  120. 120
    Gravie says:

    I googled Carol Felsenthal to find out more about her. Nada. I think that”s weird for someone who has the forum she enjoys.

  121. 121
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Matt McIrvin: The churches are the ones to watch. Pastor Bob and the rest of his worship team helping you to prayerfully execute your civic duty, after the Wednesday evening service…

  122. 122
    Steeplejack says:


    Let me Google that for you.

    Her own Web site comes up at the top, followed by some stuff from Chicago magazine.

  123. 123
    Crissa says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Top two is awesome, though. Gets rid of spoiler false choices, and has worked quite well in California to get competition inside parties.

  124. 124
    Crissa says:

    13% more people aged 65 or older voted in 2014 than 55 or older in 2006.

  125. 125
    Gravie says:

    @ Steeplejack:
    Huh. I thought my Google skills were better than that. Thanks. Although I’d still like to see something about her, and not just by her. Doesn’t answer my question about who she is, and where she’s coming from.

  126. 126
    Crissa says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: “The idea of planets orbiting a black hole is laughable in the first place.”

    Standard Sci-Fi trope. Anyhow, if pushed, I’d point out the entire galaxy orbits a black hole.

  127. 127
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Steeplejack: I don’t think so. It seems to ALWAYS be lower case…or they avoid (at least in German) using von at the beginning of a sentence for that reason. While formally it’s “von Bismarck” the “von” is usually dropped. Same with all those generals…Gerd von Rundstedt, but just “Rundstedt” if they drop the first name.

  128. 128
    Scott hollander says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: national dems should all drop dead and die, they blame Obama for their stupidity and timidity? I will not give those dumb added at national another dime until there is a wholesale change with the leadership and who ever the he’ll was running their poor excuse for “strategic” planning

  129. 129
    Steeplejack says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    All I meant was that in English prose, if you’re going to use a “von” name at the beginning of a sentence, as Mike in NC did, the “von” gets capitalized, just like every other lowercase word. If he had used “von Rumsfeld” in the middle of a sentence—which he didn’t—I agree that the “von” should be lowercase. Your pedant trigger seemed a little too sensitive.

    What they do in German is up to the Germans.

  130. 130
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Steeplejack: OK, so we’ll agree to disagree. My seconds will contact your seconds, and we’ll quaff some root beer while debating if the Red Baron’s von should be capitalized at the beginning of a sentence. “Von” is just NOT RIGHT anywhere…but then again, I took three years of college German and was stationed in Rheinland-Pfalz and Hessen for three years…

    Your kilometer count on the Autobahn may vary. Waiting for our Malaysian German speaker to offer his opinion…he’s a better pendant than I am :)

  131. 131
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Or pedant even.

  132. 132

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