Wednesday Morning Open Thread — GOP: J/K U GUYS!!!!!

iran letter gop jester sheneman

(Drew Sheneman via

That does indeed seem to be the “responsible, permanent-party, establishment” GOP fallback, if you believe the Daily Beast:

… “Before the letter, the national conversation was about Netanyahu’s speech and how Obama’s negotiations with Iran are leading to a terrible deal that could ultimately harm U.S. national security. Now, the Obama administration and its Capitol Hill partisans are cynically trying to push the conversation away from policy, and towards a deeply political pie fight over presidential and congressional prerogatives,” said a Senate Republican aide whose boss signed the letter.

However, while some on the Republican side are now rethinking the wisdom of sending a letter, none of the 47 Republican signatories are recanting their support for it or signaling an intent to do so…

Of course they’re not, because IOKIYAR (and besides, this stunt seems to have greatly impressed Tom Cotton’s base voters). Nor is the Man Who Is Always Wrong About Everything…

Apart from giving thanks to Voltaire’s God, what’s on the agenda for the day?

166 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Next up: Rick-rolling the Iranians.

  2. 2
    raven says:

    Thomas Roberts having his own show means we get to hear how Joe and Mika feel about shit at 5:30 instead of 6!

  3. 3
  4. 4

    My 2007 Mustang turned over 100,000 miles on the way to work. I bought it almost exactly six years ago when it had 36,000 on it, so I’ve driven it a little more than 10,000 miles a year since then, mostly city driving. It’s been a pretty good ride all along … well, yeah, there was that whole new transmission thing back in December… but other than that, it’s been fun and I’ll probably hang on to it for the foreseeable future.

  5. 5
    geg6 says:

    Heh. I hear #47traitors is still trending. Related?

  6. 6
    Applejinx says:

    Nuclear Iran? Thanks, Tom Cotton!

    ‘Thanks Tom Cotton’ is the new Thanks Obama…

  7. 7
    raven says:

    @Mustang Bobby: My mom bought a Mustang soon after her husband died about 12 years ago. She had no business with a ride like that, way overpowered and poor visibility. I drove it for a week when I was in LA but and it was nice but no for an 70 something!

  8. 8
    David Koch says:

    Obama Said to Resist Growing Pressure From All Sides to Arm Ukraine

    WASHINGTON — (NYT) As American intelligence agencies have detected new Russian tanks and artillery crossing the border into Ukraine in recent days, President Obama is coming under increasing pressure from both parties and more officials inside his own government to send arms to the country.

    But the president has signaled privately that despite all the pressure, he remains reluctant to send arms. In part, he has told aides and visitors that arming the Ukrainians would encourage the notion that they could actually defeat the far more powerful Russians, and so it would potentially draw a more forceful response from Moscow.

    Mr. Obama continues to pose questions indicating his doubts. “O.K., what happens if we send in equipment — do we have to send in trainers?” said one person paraphrasing the discussion on the condition of anonymity. “What if it ends up in the hands of thugs? What if Putin escalates?”

  9. 9

    @raven: The Mustang I had before this one was a 1995 GT laser-red convertible with the 5.0L V8, leather interior, and went like stink. I bought it from my mom in August 2003 when she was 74 and had owned it for five years; she wanted a Mini Cooper, which she still has.

    She bought the Mustang in 1998, trading in a 20-year-old Volvo.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @David Koch: Leaders don’t ask questions; they take action!

  11. 11
    raven says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Could she see out the back?

    eta You would love the back window on my 66 Chevy truck. I’ve got a diamond steel tool box and the sun bounces off of that into the huge window right on the back of your head!

  12. 12

    @raven: Yeah, the sightlines on a convertible suck. She sat up pretty high, though, and in the summer drove with the top down.

  13. 13
    raven says:

    Cool, Joe is screaming at Halperin too!

  14. 14
  15. 15
    raven says:

    He is trying to explain what Hillary said and Joe is going apeshit.

  16. 16
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @raven: Ron Fournier agrees with Joe.

  17. 17

    I would love to see someone ask Joe why it was okay for Dick Cheney and his wormtongues to keep all of their e-mails private but not HRC. Then we’d need to bring in a hazmat team to clean up the cranial effluence.

  18. 18
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Can we please, pretty please have these media folk talk to their IT people. A mail server has more accounts than Hillary’s, a mail server could have 100’s or 1000’s of accounts.

  19. 19
    raven says:


    At the hearing, Payton and GOP lawmakers attacked the 2005 White House study overseen by McDevitt, calling it flawed and unreliable. McDevitt said the 250-page study involved numerous senior technology officials as well as outside contractors.

    Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (Va.), the committee’s ranking Republican, said in a statement that the missing e-mail allegations are “based on a discredited internal report conveniently leaked to the media.” He also said that yesterday’s hearing was “less about preserving records and more about resurrecting the spurious claim that the White House ‘lost millions of official e-mails.’ ”

    Davis also said, based on a briefing by Payton, that the actual number of days with missing e-mails was 202. “A substantial portion of the so-called ‘missing’ e-mails appear not to be missing at all, just filed in the wrong digital drawer,” Davis said. No other committee member followed up on that allegation during the hearing.

  20. 20
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @raven: Ah, gone into the wrong tubes.

  21. 21
    Zinsky says:

    These people have no common sense, do they? That’s really it, The modern GOP is so wrapped up in their sophomoric fantasies about “limited government” and a “strong military” being the solution to every possible problem, they have lost all common sense. A freshman in college would have known this was a stupid move before the ink was dry on the letter. Given their extremely poor reasoning skills, these people shouldn’t be in charge of the pony ride at the circus, let alone the U.S. government!

  22. 22
    Mary G says:

    That profile picture of Bill K. makes me want to punch him. It reeks of smug.

    My dad was an Episcopalian priest and in 1965 he shocked and scandalized the congregation by buying a bright yellow Mustang. The words “hot rodder” were bandied about. He had cancer and died in 1967, and I smile every time I see a Mustang. Bucket list!

    The radio was my joy. He was a grammar Nazi and every time “Satisfaction” by the Stones came on, I had to demand he change the channel immediately. The double negative in the chorus would have gotten the radio pulled out for good. The Winston pitch (wow, it’s been a long time since cigarettes were advertised on TV) of “tastes good like a cigarette should” gave him fits.

  23. 23

    @Mary G:

    I smile every time I see a Mustang. Bucket list!

    I know where you can get your hands on a yellow 1965 Mustang convertible. A co-worker of mine’s dad had one and now it’s for sale through a charity in North Carolina. I have pictures.

  24. 24
    Keith G says:

    Scanning the Wash Post, I get the impression that there are folks on the Right who want the expelled OU students to sue to be reinstated on the basis that the University had no right to regulate their speech in that instance.

    If I were a family member, I would advise them to lick their (self-inflicted) wounds and slink away into the ether.

    On the other hand, I would like to see a case such as this play out in the courts.

  25. 25

    @Keith G: They may have a point. Speech alone isn’t conduct, and while it’s vile and indefensible, a video doesn’t constitute harassment.

  26. 26
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    Speaking of email servers, mine is currently on my coffee table in several pieces. I decided to replace the processor in it with one a bit faster and with virtualization. So I got the new processor on Saturday, including a new fan with thermal paste pre-applied. So after I had removed the existing processor fan, it turns out that the existing fan screws into posts beneath the motherboard, the new one expects to be clipped into holes in the moboard. So off to Fry’s to get some thermal paste to put the old fan/heat sink on the new processor.

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Except when a tenured liberal professor says something offensive to conservatives.

  28. 28
    Botsplainer says:

    @Keith G:

    The only Washington Post content I’ve seen thus far this week was this morning, when I read a “Both Sides” piece lamenting the relationship between the White House and congressional Republicans.

    I found myself wishing that the writer becomes a victim in a future workplace massacre.

  29. 29

    @Baud: Well, yeah, of course.

  30. 30
    JPL says:

    @Baud: That would be awesome.

    I streamed about 30 seconds of Morning Joe. It’s just to early to see Joe screaming.

  31. 31
    JPL says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Parker Rice’s apology said he withdrew. Now he might have withdrawn under duress but none the less, it’s apparent that he is not going to contest the decision. Levi Pettit’s parents issued a statement and they are not happy with their son.

  32. 32
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @JPL: I turned it off after the first Bill Kristol segment. One was quite enough.

  33. 33
    Sherparick says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: What shock that Karl Rove’s pen pal agrees with Joe (I hate the Clintons) Scarborough. Joe must really have juicy stuff on Phil Griffin to keep this awful show on the network.

  34. 34
  35. 35
    PaulW says:

    There was a court ruling back in 1936 – U.S. vs. Curtiss-Wright Export – where the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the President using his powers to go after arms dealers selling to foreign nations/powers. Part 9 of the ruling says “In international relations, the President is the sole organ of the Federal Government.” To wit:

    “…In this vast external realm, with its important, complicated, delicate and manifold problems, the President alone has the power to speak or listen as a representative of the nation. He makes treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate; but he alone negotiates. Into the field of negotiation the Senate cannot intrude, and Congress itself is powerless to invade it… They think the interference of the Senate in the direction of foreign negotiations calculated to diminish that responsibility, and thereby to impair the best security for the national safety…”

    I really believe the 47 Senators broke the law: they calculated to diminish President Obama’s responsibility to negotiate with the world. I really believe they should be charged and held accountable. The Logan Act requires it. The Supreme Court confirms it. The only question now should be “who has standing to file the charge?” If it’s Obama, dammit man NOW is the time to fight the fire burning down our political system. If it’s the State Department, your very office DEMANDS you secure your ability to negotiate with foreign powers. If it can be someone in the Senate, dammit Democrats MAN UP.

  36. 36
    The Ancient Randonneur says:

    Kristol quite predictably toes the AIPAC line and supports the GOP letter, in contrast to his lashing out at then Speaker Pelvis traveling to Syria in 2007 to meet with Assad.

  37. 37
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Sherparick: I was shocked, just shocked.

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    @PaulW: No one is going to file charges. This is a political, not legal.

  39. 39
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur:

    Speaker Pelvis

    I assume autocorrect got the best of ya.

  40. 40
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Maybe best not to pry.

  41. 41
    mai naem mobile says:

    Ron Fourrnier was on Diane Rehm yesterday. He called Hills server a “dark” server,like OMG a dark scary ghoul hiding in the basement. And then he goes on about how he thought the RNC was wrong too when they used the private system during Dubbya. I don’t remember people making a.big deal about the Bush emails. I think Hillary could have done it better but jeezus I don’t believe the former president of the US with his wife thinking of running for POTUS some half ass server set up. And,oh yeah, he also runs a major charitable organization and still has secret service protection.

  42. 42
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: True, I’m about to head to the bed chamber and sleep with my girls.

  43. 43
    mai naem mobile says:

    The press and Trey Gowdy just come across as a bunch of panty sniffers.

  44. 44
    MattF says:

    The thread on Donna Edwards is dead, so I’m adding a bit of info about her beating Al Wynne in 2008. No one should doubt her politicial abilities:

  45. 45
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @mai naem mobile: Yup, they say they want to look at ALL her emails. In fact they want to look at everything on the server.

  46. 46

    @Sherparick: I went to high school with Phil Griffin. I know some things…

  47. 47
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Maybe Joe does as well, and that’s how we’re “blessed” with Morning Hoe each morning.

  48. 48
    Alex S. says:

    @mai naem mobile:

    Hillary’s server is her secret black affair?

    I wonder if the treasonous letter was pushed by Netanyahu.

  49. 49

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Well, here’s a photo of him from high school. Check out the hair.

  50. 50
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Looks like guys from my high school, I was about 5 years later(class of 78).

  51. 51
    Botsplainer says:

    @Keith G:

    I had already just checked that article – thanks.

    There are two comments that stand out – the good one, where someone pointed that it is likely that Boren considered and balanced the institutional hit from doing nothing with the cost and attendant risk of litigation from doling out discipline, and wisely chose discipline.

    The stupid comment was the one talking about campus ostracization of the frat boys as a form of lynching, which, of course, makes blacks the real racists.

    Heritage, not hate, y’know. Get over slavery, it was a long time ago but honor the sacred memory of that great great great uncle that rode with Stonewall Jackson – he was a courtly and polite man. And just because there are millions of Americans who, within living memory, subsisted under enforced legal segregation spent mean that people think like that anymore. Now, why can’t you colored folk make your way on your own?

    Snark aside, it looks like Jeremiah Wright was in fact right.
    The bad

  52. 52
  53. 53
    beltane says:

    @Alex S.: Maybe not by Netanyahu directly, but by one of his GOP minions. Bill Kristol’s PAC invested heavily in Cotton’s campaign. it’s to be expected that bought a whole lot of FAIL with that money.

  54. 54
    beltane says:

    @debbie: Republicans believe in transparency. They display their corruption openly for all the world to see.

  55. 55
    Botsplainer says:


    Country First!

  56. 56

    The fact that the Cotton letter is backfiring so spectacularly strongly suggests that the idea originated with Bill Kristol.

    I laughed until my sides ached.

    No. They’re wrapped up in fantasies about how black men can’t do anything right and will never be a match for any white man. In their desperation to prove it and put Obama back in his place, they trip over their own feet over and over and over.

    Never, ever underestimate the power of racism as the driving force in the GOP. The shit I’ve seen since Obama was elected is unreal.

  57. 57
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: I haven’t kept up with the details after the initial NY Times story. But isn’t the “smartphone” in this case a BlackBerry? Didn’t those have an issue connecting to multiple accounts back in 2008?

    USAToday – yesterday.


    (Who still thinks it was a bone-headed move on her part to set things up that way.)

  58. 58
    debbie says:

    Two GOP aides separately described their letter as a “cheeky” reminder of the congressional branch’s prerogatives.

    If this were so, then the letter should have gone to the President. What kind of of “responsible, serious” lawmaker would send a “cheeky” letter to a belligerent nation?

    I think the real problem is freshmen lawmakers. Combined, Cotton and Cruz have contributed nothing positive to this country.

  59. 59
    Princess says:

    I love it how the senators all got the newbie, Cotton to write the letter. “Let him take the hits.”

    It won’t cost most of them much for signing, but it could cost some. Mark Kirk of Illinois is already vulnerable, and if his opponent plays it as “disrespecting Obama” this could hurt him badly.

  60. 60
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I suspect they throw Iranians into that non-white, stupid people bin too. The patronizing tone of the letter was embarrassing, not to mention translating it into Farsi, “just in case they need a translation.”

    Just reading about this makes my blood pressure rise. It’s a good thing I’m going to the gym in a few minutes.

  61. 61
    Origuy says:

    Here in California, water is falling from the sky. I am frightened by this strange occurrence. The Apocalyse is nigh!

  62. 62
    rk says:

    Never, ever underestimate the power of racism as the driving force in the GOP. The shit I’ve seen since Obama was elected is unreal.

    You ain’t seen nothing yet. Wait till a woman gets elected.

  63. 63
    Matt McIrvin says:

    u mad bro?

  64. 64
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    Btw, that Daily Beast article says two GOP “separately” called the letter “cheeky.” That “separately” means a memo has gone out.

  65. 65
    bemused says:

    I love the picture of Thurston from thread below. It’s easy to see that his coat is so silky soft no one could resist petting him as often as possible.

    If it’s true that there has been Steve and puppy playing episodes, I respectfully request video before the pups go to their new home(s). Please!

  66. 66
    Kay says:

    Frank Bruni:

    It was all so very yesterday.
    And elections are about tomorrow. Yes, that’s a cliché, but it’s also unassailable political truth.
    And Clinton’s challenge is to persuade an electorate that has known her since the Mesozoic era and trudged wearily with her through so much political melodrama that to vote for her is to turn the page, to embrace a new chapter, to move forward.

    I think I disagree with this. I think this is an economically privileged view of what the election will be about. I think most people feel profoundly economically insecure and that’s part of why we see so much nuttiness and extreme behavior. I think Clinton would do well to ignore this advice and go out and talk to people. Her appeal is not and has never been as a “change agent” and the appeal of “change” (whether that’s positive or potentially negative) has a lot to do with how much risk a person can bear. I think most people are risk-averse right now, and there’s a good reason for that- they got burned in the crash and they don’t feel they have any economic security.

  67. 67
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Keith G: Speech alone isn’t conduct, but that video (plus the other video of the 70-something (!) housemother giggling (!!) “nigger” over and over while apparently intoxicated (!!!)) is suggestive of a pattern of conduct creating the “hostile climate” which the University would work to establish. I don’t think any of those overentitled douchenuggets would do well under oath in discovery, let alone cross-examination.

    And while IANAL my understanding is that the foundational case about the intersection of 1A with public education does allow institutions to regulate speech to protect the educational process.

  68. 68
    Baud says:

    @Kay: That seems right. Clinton’s image seems like more of an indefatigable grinder rather than an aspirational visionary.

  69. 69
    Cervantes says:

    @Mary G:

    I miss your dad.

    And I didn’t even know him.

  70. 70
    Cervantes says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    Speech alone isn’t conduct

    How do you figure that?

    Comments in this forum are “speech alone,” yes? Almost the purest form thereof, one might even argue. And yet, should people not be concerned about how they conduct themselves here?

  71. 71
    MattF says:

    @rk: Not to mention a Clinton-female. We’re going to continue seeing this nonsense for the next ten years.

  72. 72
    debbie says:


    Maybe instead of a “change agent,” she (or whoever ends up as the candidate), could be a leader who “makes it right.”

    (Jeez, I’d love that elephant up top on a t-shirt.)

  73. 73
    Bystander says:

    Just caught a clip of Stewart last night. He compared what the 47 Repubs did to try and derail negotiations to Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Assad in Syria trying to establish a dialogue. Stewart is the master of the false equivalence. This veneration of him as the Great Truthteller has always seemed way off the mark to me. His desire to make jokes usually impedes any real intellect.

  74. 74
    Cervantes says:


    Nothing positive would be an improvement.

  75. 75
    Kay says:


    indefatigable grinder

    And dismissing the value of indefatigable grinders is sort of a hallmark of the “disruptive transformation!” the NYTimes is so ln love with. If you make 30k a year “disruption” just means “what do I lose?”

    I think she could run a strong almost underground campaign based simply on “I will restore some of the supports that we recklessly kicked out from under you” – overtime, Workers Comp, minimum wage, Social Security would be the specifics but the specifics aren’t as important as accurately identifying what is causing the anxiety, because it’s real and it’s also rational. They’re right. They are more economically insecure.

    Political media would hate it, so she’d have to be a bit of a risk taker herself to do it, but I think it would resonate with people.

  76. 76
    Cervantes says:


    I can barely believe you’re wasting your time on Frank Bruni.

  77. 77
    Baud says:

    @Bystander: He’s more good than bad, but when he’s bad, he’s insufferable.

    @Kay: In some ways, that sort of campaign would be disruptive.

  78. 78
    Botsplainer says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    I would gain some enjoyment of Boren had said something like “y’know, I rethought the utility of this whole Greek system. I’m u recognizing all of your organizations and evicting you from university property this week – your houses will become dormitories, that none of you will be allowed to stay in. The names of the SAE members who are not being expelled are …..”

    I think that might get some attention.

  79. 79
    Kay says:



    I read this study the other day about how poor and lower middle class children are much more cautious and fearful than higher income kids. They’re literally more pessimistic. If you tell them you’re going to change something they assume “danger!”

    That’s rational.

  80. 80
    bemused says:


    I’ve been imagining what the reaction of US Republicans would be if 47 members of a political party in Iran or other country had written a similar open letter to the US.

  81. 81
    Mike E says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: They shoulda translated it in Yiddish… “Chutzpah” might be closer to “cheek”, tho “ass” sounds about right.

    But, regardless of the target language, “Dumbass” is a universal idiom best translated by actions rather than words.

  82. 82
    Peale says:

    @bemused: nothing. They want that reaction. They would love to hear hard line Iranians issue statements how they aren’t begotiating in good faith and can’t be trusted. It would confirm that Obama is a pu$$y chamberlain for not going to war with Iran. Threats from Iran make those tiny neocon pricks stand at attention.

  83. 83
    Kay says:


    Well, that’s pretty much what she ran on in the Ohio primary in ’08. “I know how to fix this and you know me”

    That has value. Dismissing it as not exciting enough is a luxury that a lot of people don’t have.

  84. 84
    El Caganer says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: Those mullahs really can’t take a joke, can they?

  85. 85
    debbie says:

    Well, this should be fun. I expected Glenn Beck to go on for hours about Hillary, but after 5 minutes, he changed subjects and brought on Frank Gaffney who’s claiming that Grover Norquist has been working with the Muslim Brotherhood as an “agent of influence” since 1998. Glenn’s concerned because Grover’s up for reelection for the NRA Board, and he states he’ll resign his membership.

  86. 86
    Cervantes says:


    The two statements are here.

  87. 87
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Mustang Bobby: I’m waiting for it to sit alongside the Pontiac at some show: hopefully it, too, will earn a few trophies.

  88. 88
    japa21 says:

    @Princess: Not the first time Kirk has pulled this stunt of telling a foreign government not to trust the US. He told China back in 2009 not to trust economic figures put out by the US, in effect trying to get them not to buy any more of our debt.
    I always wondered why his 2010 opponent didn’t push on that. But then Alex ran one of the mosrt godawul campaigns ever seen.
    I think whoever his opponent is in 2016 (and if it is Duckworth, I know she will) slams him against the wall with this stuff.

  89. 89
    debbie says:


    I like that bit in his statement about being concerned for his brothers’ safety. As if the perpetrators are the real victims.

  90. 90
    D58826 says:

    With regard to the Congressional role in the Iran negotiations. While it certainly would help if Obama consulted with the appropriate Congressional leaders, i.e. Intelligence (insert snark here), defense and foreign affairs, it seems that he really doesn’t have to. I’ve seen a couple of articles that make the case that this is a UN security Council resolution not an American presidential executive order or treaty. If the agreement is approved by the SC then it automatically becomes binding on the US because we are part of the security council/UN. Of course a future GOOPer president could simply say he is not going to be bound by the resolution (he could say the same thing about a treaty – remember W walked away from the ABM treaty) but it would have a major negative impact on the ability of the US top conduct diplomacy.

    With regard to Hillary and her e-mails. What she did was stupid but it seems that other public officials have done the same thing. Even if she had two e-mail addresses it is still up to her which one she uses. Issa is now demanding a full ‘forensic analysis’ of the Clinton’s server. Which presumably will allow the GOP to poke thru the truly private e-mails of the Clinton’s as well as any government related e-mails. Even if Hillary had used two e-mail accounts, the GOP would be demanding access to the server because who knows maybe she plotted the murder of the 4 Americans in BENGHAZI on her private account. And if they find Bill’s little black book or that Hillary really is a Lesbian, why that’s just icing on the cake.

  91. 91
    Peale says:

    @debbie: gosh. I’m sure the NRA won’t be able to find anyone as jovial Frank Gaffney to sit on its board. I hear he’s the Puckster pranker who has been keeping it real during those audit committee meetings.

  92. 92
    Cervantes says:


    I’ve seen a couple of articles that make the case that this is a UN security Council resolution not an American presidential executive order or treaty. If the agreement is approved by the SC then it automatically becomes binding on the US because we are part of the security council/UN.

    “Automatically”? Well, there are complications. For example, our economic sanctions against Iran were imposed via legislation. If the President negotiates an agreement with Iran that requires lifting or modifying those sanctions (which requirement seems likely), then Congressional action may be needed.

  93. 93
    Joey Maloney says:

    @debbie: What do you think the chances are of AR-15s at 50 paces for those two to settle their differences? The Pay-per-view alone could fund both of their pet hate orgs into the next century.

  94. 94
    beltane says:

    I hate to be linking to Tom Friedman, but he actually wrote a useful column about Sheldon Adelson’s purchasing of the Republicans’ Iran position:

  95. 95
    NotMax says:


    Which e-mail(s) did she use while in the Senate? And how grossly inconvenienced was she while there? The whole “convenience” trope smells mighty funny and is a bit too… slick.

  96. 96
    boatboy_srq says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: BBs still have that issue. One device, one email account. BB users are diehards: you’ll get their devices when you can pry them from their cold dead fingers (unless you replace it with a newer BB). They were big in medical and legal circles, so it’s not surprising to see a pol with one. RIM’s troubles only began about that time, and even today’s mail clients for smartphones don’t offer anything better (and in many cases far worse) for messaging security than the native BB software, so it’s less of a “vulnerability” than is made out: BB emails are encrypted by default and secured (a feature that cannot be disabled without some serious effort), where most other phones’ clients aren’t. Had HRC been using an iPhone or other device there would be far more cause for concern.

    It strikes me also that all the whinging from the Reichwing is sexist in a way not usually visible in the mainstream: HRC may or may not be sufficiently tech-savvy to maintain her own mail servers, but she certainly knows people who are who could maintain the boxes for her – and the suggestion that she doesn’t reeks of “girl with smartphone taking selfies and posting embarrassing stuff because she doesn’t understand tech” stereotype. Women in IT are a definite minority, and the presumption that tech is beyond them is a good part of the reason; the anti-HRC squeals are a facet of that simply because she had the [gasp] capacity to set up (or have set up) her own system, which everyone knows women can’t do properly (/snark). The handwringing over HRC having her own mail servers and her own connections is uncomfortably close to the same handwringing over giving one’s daughter a smartphone because you just know she’ll do stupid, compromising things with it and just get herself in trouble.

  97. 97
    g says:

    I see Kristol’s batting average has not improved.

  98. 98
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mustang Bobby: When I was 20, my 21-year old boyfriend died in a tragic accident. His parents wanted me to have his 57 Chevy, but I thanked them and declined. I thought it should go to another car person who would be thrilled to have it.

  99. 99
    GregB says:

    Is Dame Judi Dench writing press releases for the GOP? Who the heck in the US calls anything cheeky?

  100. 100
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @boatboy_srq: BBs still have that issue. One device, one email account.

    Sorry, but not true. We’ve moved on from BB, so I don’t recall how far back this was possible, but I had my BB reading from two e-mail accounts at least 5 years ago, maybe longer. One was a BB account, the other was a standard POP3 account. Trying to recall the setup, but I think I could have had more POP3 accounts (it didn’t do IMAP, IIRC.)

    And the email server was contracted out. This “server in the basement of her home in Chappaqua” is just rank BS. Nobody on her staff, let alone her, was writing sendmail configs.

  101. 101
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: I am ashamed that the University of Illinois here revoked the job offer to the professor who tweeted something they didn’t like about Palestine. It’s really a shameful incident, and the administration is really digging in their heels. I hope he wins his lawsuit since he had resigned his previous position.

    We are so screwed when universities try to control the speech of their faculty and students.

  102. 102
    D58826 says:

    @Cervantes: From what I’ve seen there are two pieces to the sanctions – some by executive order and some by legislation. Therefore the president could relax the former but he would need congressional action for the later. It also seems that even for the congressional sanctions there are waiver provisions that Obama could invoke. Obviously a GOP president could reverse the waiver and reimpose the congressional sanctions and add his own sanctions by executive order. But the basic agreement that is being negotiated falls under the Security Council and the Senate has no roil. It is not like the START treaty negotiated by Reagan which required Senate action or the SOFA signed by W, which was just an executive agreement like all of the other SOFAs agreed to over the years.

    There is another aspect to the sanctions and that is the US has done very little business with Iran over the past 30 years (well except maybe selling them missiles) so our piece of the sanctions plays a minor role in the Iranian economy. Russia and China are much bigger players and it those sanctions that bite and the Goopers have no control over that.

    The GOOPers want a policy of regime change where the hard line mullahs are replaced by more moderate Iranians. Now let me see where did the hear the words ‘Iranian moderates’ before. Maybe a Gooper president would put Ollie North in charge of the negotiations after all he is an expert in finding Iran moderates

  103. 103
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: I agree with every word in Paul’s last paragraph. Why don’t you think any action will be taken? Or should be taken?

  104. 104
    beltane says:

    It’s funny. My non-political junkie husband was perusing the headlines this morning and asked me “What’s the deal with this Hillary thing? It looks like bullshit to me.”

    I told him to get used to it. A steady diet of “Bullshit” is what’s on the menu for the foreseeable future.

  105. 105
    Ruckus says:

    I still have a crackberry that I’ve had for years. Yes I’m older. Get over it, at least it’s not a flip phone. I had multiple emails sent to mine, both personal and work. Wasn’t a problem at all. The problem was that for all (or any) of the emails to be sent to the phone they had to go to the crackberry servers first, if I remember correctly.

  106. 106
    beltane says:

    Bill Kristol is on a roll these days. Now he is claiming that Oklahoma fraternity’s racist chant is the fault of hip-hop music.

  107. 107
    D58826 says:

    @NotMax: I said her actions were stupid. But after living thru the Bill scandals, the GOP is going to try a make an impeachable offense out of some unpaid library fines when she was in the 4th grade. I can seed why they are defensive about this stuff. She still should have used a government account for her state department work. As far as when she was in the Senate, I have no idea. It might be interesting to find out how all 534 Congress critters have their e-mail accounts set up. Grahmcracker doesn’t use e-mail, or so he says, so we can leave him off the list

  108. 108
    PaulW says:


    It should be a legal matter. It was back in 1936: it should be today.

    If no one stands up now, the GOP will keep pushing further, breaking more laws in the process.

  109. 109
    Cervantes says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    And the email server was contracted out. […] Nobody on her staff, let alone her, was writing sendmail configs.

    Yes. Anyone making such assertions is, at best, ignorant.

  110. 110
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    A persistent, abusive and possibly deranged RW troll on a different progressive blog cut and paste this:

    In 1974 Hillary Clinton worked under Jerry Zeifam as a member of the impeachment inquiry staff for the House Committee on the Judiciary during the Watergate scandal
    During a 1998 interview with the Sacramento Bee in which he discussed his work with Clinton on Watergate, Zeifman said;

    “If I had the power to fire her, I would have fired her.”

    Ten years later, Zeifman said;

    Well, let me put it this way. I terminated her, along with some other staff members who were — we no longer needed, and advised her that I would not — could not recommend her for any further positions.”

    I suspect we’ll be hearing a lot more about this, as it gets blown up into a BIG THING.

  111. 111
    Tripod says:

    Let me guess – the GOP (and Bibi) believed they were moving Jewish voters with this perfidy.

    Now it’s exploded in their face like an Acme Dynamite Kit.


  112. 112
    beltane says:

    @This was circulated extensively back in 2008, as were various lurid details contained in the Lewinsky transcripts.

  113. 113
    scav says:

    @beltane: So, are only the frail pale males assumed so incapable of autonomous moral agency as to be blown about by the gusting environment of song, or will everybody be able to claim the benefit of the hippity-hop before the impartial bench of responsibility for one’s actions?

  114. 114
    Josie says:

    @Kay: I agree with you. She could use the age issue in her favor. She could be the strong “Mom” who is going to make things right again and knows how to get it done. In a time of insecurity, it would be a winner for a large number of people.

  115. 115

    @Iowa Old Lady:
    Lecturing ignorant, uncivilized foreigners is as classic a racist trope as putting a black man back in his place.

    I expect more overt insults and less pathological opposition. They view black men as scary threats, and women as weak targets. Plus, misogyny is not nearly as taboo as racism without deniability. They won’t disguise that it’s about her being a woman.

    You don’t have to buy a true believer, but they’ll happily beg for your cash anyway. In fact, ‘Give me your money because nobody wants to nuke the Arabs more than I do’ is a powerful argument. For the same reason, the corporate press rarely has to pressure their pundits to slant Republican. Old, rich white men who made their mark in the time of Reagan are as conservative a group as you get.

  116. 116
    beltane says:

    @Tripod: I don’t even think it’s a case of moving votes. According to the Tom Friedman piece I linked to (I know, I know), it’s more a case of both the GOP and Netanyahu acting in accordance with the wishes of billionaire Sheldon Adelson. It’s not like the Republicans are going to turn tricks for free, nor do abstractions such as “voters” or the “Constitution” come into play much.

  117. 117
    Tone in DC says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    I would love to see someone ask Joe why it was okay for Dick Cheney and his wormtongues to keep all of their e-mails private but not HRC. Then we’d need to bring in a hazmat team to clean up the cranial effluence.

    Good one.

  118. 118
    Cervantes says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    We’ve already heard too much about it.

    It’s nonsense.

  119. 119
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    @El Caganer: Yeah, and Obama needs to get “a sense of humor” about trying to prevent nuclear war.


  120. 120
    beltane says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: The only thing most Republicans believe in is money and power, and that he with the most money deserves the most power. If it was just about a desire to bomb Muslims, they wouldn’t be perpetually cavorting with the Saudis, etc. Likewise, it would be theoretical possible for some Iranian regime of the future to grease the Republicans’ palms to the point where they did a pivot and became rabidly anti-Saudi. That’s how Republicans roll, in the mud, in the sewers.

  121. 121
    Tripod says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    What’s a Watergate Grandpa?

  122. 122
    Tripod says:


    Well, that’s an even stupider reason to roll around in the dung, so it’s probably true.

  123. 123
    Cervantes says:


    Commas. They’re not just for breakfast any more.

  124. 124
    beltane says:

    @Cervantes: I’m someone who can probably rattle off a few dozen things I despise about the Clintons, and yet when presented with this type of stale, rancid “scandal” even I am moved to defend them. My reaction is probably typical. The non-wingnut faction of the country will end up rallying around Hillary the more the Republicans push nonsense. They should have figured this out a long time ago, but they’re too stupid to learn anything.

  125. 125
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Cervantes: I don’t think the RW Troll™ even noticed the contradiction when he cut and pasted it; the claim that this guy would have fired Hillary if he’d had the power, and then ten years later claiming he DID fire her. Do the wingnuts actually read half of what they pass around?

    My point is stuff from 1974 is bubbling to the surface. They’re desperate. They have no intention of losing.

  126. 126
    beltane says:

    Totally different subject, but it looks like the FBI embarrassed themselves yesterday at the Boston bomber trial.

  127. 127
    Cervantes says:


    I don’t disagree with your main points. As noted, my quibble was only with the word “automatically.”

    And yes, even with the Iran Sanctions Act, the President can suspend the imposed constraints for a time certain — and has asserted that he will do so if agreement is reached — but he cannot terminate them. Doing the latter will require Congressional action — which will obviously be anything but automatic.

  128. 128
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Gin & Tonic: BBs do IMAP to BES native, and encrypt between device and BES. There’s a lot of proprietary security under the hood, and that’s the biggest reason I know that BlackBerry stays in business. CONSUMER-GRADE BBs probably do have multi-client capability (I haven’t used one), but a business-grade device will be secured by much more than just a screen password.

    I have no doubt HRC was smart enough to hire professionals to handle her servers, and I wouldn’t expect HRC in her Sec’y role to spend the time learning the systems and building her own setup. I would actually expect that she would have, either on staff or on contract, a handful of IT professionals tasked with maintaining her systems, precisely because she’s savvy enough to know that her time is more valuable, that they know the systems well enough to maintain them, and that due diligence should be delegated both for cost-effectiveness and efficiency. None of that, however, diminishes her in itself. We aren’t in a good position to know how capable or informed she is on IT security, and we aren’t privy to her payroll or her contracts. The connotations of the “server in a basement” assumption are a crock. We need to be careful that, in pointing out the sexism and Clinton derangement in those connotations, we don’t fall into “of course HRC doesn’t have one because she can’t do tech” trap: the actual location of the hardware isn’t relevant either to the discussion or to the underlying biases in the assumption, and if she’s smart enough to see how porous DoS systems are then she’s smart enough to understand the design specifications of an email system and approve the work even if she doesn’t do the work herself.

  129. 129
    Paul in KY says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: He’ll love it when she’s President!

  130. 130
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Paul in KY: If she’s elected, his head will explode. I checked the archives of the other blog, and he started trolling when Obama was elected. It used to be a fairly active place, full of smart comments, but the more he started trolling, the more the others left. Now it’s just him and a few progressives who appear now and then to disprove his bullshit. Whenever he’s caught in a lie, he simply moves on to his next line of bullshit.

    I think his goal was to disrupt the blog, and he succeeded. He chased 95% of the commenters away. He’d steal their names and post his RW stuff, and after a while folks just got discouraged.

    I’m not counting any unhatched chickens. For all I know, he’ll be crowing like a rooster when Jeb! or Walker! takes the oath of office.

  131. 131

    The events of the last six years disprove that. Hell, Bush’s administration disproved that. Iraq could have been milked for a HELL of a lot more money handled competently. The default threat worked against the interests of the rich. The Republican base – IE, actual Republicans, 99% of the party – vote against their own economic interest time and again, because they care more about hate.

    Let’s take a prime, outspoken Republican, John Schnatter. I worked for Papa Johns for awhile. I saw him blow millions, MANY millions, on redecorating his oldest stores with marble and copper when there was no return for it. He was building shrines to his own glory. Obamacare would have cost him a pittance, and the money the Kochs get back buying candidates doesn’t touch the billions they spend in PAC after PAC. Oh, they’re greedy and corrupt, but greed almost always takes a back seat to ego and hate.

  132. 132
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @boatboy_srq: I had “business-grade” BB’s for years, and administered our own BES. My device would receive corporate e-mail pushed out from the BES, and would also poll a POP3 mailbox on my own personal e-mail account. This worked through more than one device. As I said, we dropped them so I can’t recall the model numbers.

  133. 133
    Cervantes says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    I agree.

    The particular tidbit you mention is one of Limbaugh’s specials, and it’s made from nothing.

  134. 134
    beltane says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Hate is still not the same as principle. Like greed, it is a passion. If a President Romney had enacted Obamacare under another name, they’d viciously attack any liberals who criticized it. The principle of the thing means nothing to them. Any unscrupulous entity with could easily herd the Republican base and their representatives like the dumb beasts they are.

  135. 135

    If that were true, 2009 would not have seen politician after politician apologizing to Rush Limbaugh, or the terrified capitulation of Republican congressmen to the threat of primaries between 2010 and 2012. I’ll grant they can be herded, but there are too many shepherds, and the shepherds themselves are just as insane. As a result, the flock rampages.

  136. 136


    I think that if Hillary’s campaign managers are smart, she’ll run on a message that President Obama started the work of making people more economically secure with PPACA and financial reform, and she wants to continue and expand that work. Hopefully her advisers are smart enough to do that rather than trying to run away from the “unpopular” Obamacare.

  137. 137
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I would assume that such a construct would encrypt only the BES mail (something I expect HRC to be especially sensitive to), and might send the POP mail outbound via the BES server and not direct from the device. Not doubting you, just pointing out the limitations.

  138. 138


    There’s also the question of what the State Dept. uses for their email servers. When my boss switched from a BB to an iPhone (probably around 2010 or so), it was a pain in the ass because we had to pay for a separate $100 bridge app that would let the company’s Exchange servers talk to the iPhone. I work for a fairly technologically advanced company, too. I still think people vastly overestimate how modern the government’s computer infrastructure is and how often it gets updated.

  139. 139
    Bill Arnold says:


    2009 would not have seen politician after politician apologizing to Rush Limbaugh

    There was a bizarre comic around 2000, Rush Limbaugh Eats Everything (Patrick S. Farley)
    It was way too long, but lampooned the Rush Limbaugh show and fanbase well. Slides 88-93 are the capsule version for me.
    (Hillary Clinton plays in the comic.)

  140. 140
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): “Hopefully her advisers are smart enough to do that rather than trying to run away from the “unpopular” Obamacare.”

    I worry that’s exactly what they’ll do.

    I wish I could be as optimistic as some others, but I have a feeling there’s gonna be a repub in the white house.

  141. 141
    D58826 says:

    Totally OT but there is a fascinating article over on Juan Cole’s blog – ‘Ghosts of Saladin, Saddam & Khomeini: Tikrit Campaign’s Historical Meaning’ It just reinforces the notion of how little the US really understand what is going on in the middle east and that ‘history’ in the middle east has no meaning. Everything is tied together as if it happened yesterday. And the neo-cons want us to wade back into that mess.

  142. 142
    Archon says:

    If ridiculous positions were important to voters the Republican party wouldn’t exist right now.

    I truly believe that if Republicans advocated for a nuclear first strike on Iran and prefaced the question by saying “against Obama’s wishes”, it would have a plurality of support over “no” and “not sure”.

  143. 143
    D58826 says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: I suspect the same thing

  144. 144
  145. 145
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): BES only went device-agnostic with the most recent version (published less than a year ago). iPhones in the workplace have faced this problem globally until quite recently if there was any messaging security applied: the typical practice has been to select a technology (Apple/Android/RIM) and harden it as much as possible, which hardening often includes an edge server (such as BES) distinct from the core mail servers. No business I’ve seen allows internal mail server POP access to smartphones without some serious constraints. I’ve seen messaging solutions for non-RIM devices hit the tens of thousands: it sounds like you may have gotten off light.

  146. 146
    Aimai says:

    @Kay: a GREAT snalysis Kay. And its what i felt, personally, watching her deal with the press. Unlike Bruni im not bored or overfamiliar with her at sll. Its more like becoming reaquainted with an old, reliable, friend.

  147. 147
    JDM says:

    OMG, really? “It was just a joke”? “Just kidding, Prez”? THAT’s what they’re trying on?

  148. 148
    SFAW says:


    “Cheeky” is calling the Queen of England “Lizzie” to her face. (Assuming you’re not Prince Philip.)

    Saying to an enemy (more or less) of the US that “No matter what that mofo in the Black White House does, we’re going to fuck your shit UP!” is not “cheeky.” Trying to start a fight/war, maybe, but not cheeky.

    I would love Holder to bring Cotton up on a Logan Act violation, and then say “Where’s your sense of humor now, AssHOLE?”

  149. 149
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Botsplainer: You can be fired from your job for contributing to a hostile work environment. You can be expelled from public school for behavior disruptive to learning. So why can’t a state college expel a student who is actively contributing to an environment hostile to learning and the welfare of other students?

  150. 150
    Another Holocene Human says:


    No. They’re wrapped up in fantasies about how black men can’t do anything right and will never be a match for any white man. In their desperation to prove it and put Obama back in his place, they trip over their own feet over and over and over.

    So. True.

    It also shows who they really are. And as Aaron Rand Freeman said the other day and one of my coworkers stated this morning, if they can treat Columbia/Harvard Law/showered in accolades Barack Obama that way, what chance does Jamal or Dereck Shmoe have with these people?

  151. 151
    Another Holocene Human says:


    I think the real problem is freshmen lawmakers. Combined, Cotton and Cruz have contributed nothing positive to this country.

    Lol, I walked past a car yesterday with a sticker advocating term limits of one. (Btw, it was tried in Mexico and made corruption worse–hey-oh!)

    The cry for term limits was some cynical crap from the GOP to try to flip the legislature away from incumbent well-liked conservative Democrats and into their hands because money and power is all they care about. A lot of Americans really believe it though … but they are wrong. Term limits empower lobbyists, not you, the constituent. You’ve just taken away the power of your vote and given it to corporate donors, and you’ve guaranteed that your interests will always be represented by someone naive, inexperienced, and likely ineffectual.

    We have term limits in the Florida lege and some heavy Dem districts have legislators who rotate in and out to keep serving their district. The heavy GOP districts are never happy with their representation, often holding purity purges but getting the same insiders or bought and paid for clowns over and over.

  152. 152
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    The patronizing tone of the letter was embarrassing, not to mention translating it into Farsi, “just in case they need a translation.”

    That made the bitchslap from the Iranian foreign minister even sweeter.

  153. 153
    louc says:

    @beltane: Unfortunately, the media is completely backing up the Republicans on this. NPR’s Mara Liassen (sp?) used all the code words in her report about it. No context whatsoever. I think Hillary is going to get Gore’d by the press.

  154. 154
    Another Holocene Human says:


    We are so screwed when universities try to control the speech of their faculty and students.

    Academic speech is different from creating a hostile environment for other students. Although technically his speech was political and on twitter? Sort of blogging? Which is often uncomfortable for academics but they do it anyway.

    The Salaita flap was the president imposing a thoughtcrime sentence (and breaking a contract) on something where reasonable people can disagree. There isn’t “another side to the story” when we’re talking about mob mentality, naked hatred, and violence, racist rhetoric.

    Just because white supremacy has a political arm and political consequences does not mean that what was on that video was the same kind of speech as Salaita’s twitter feed.

    Screaming chanting racial slurs and talk about lynching is far removed from, say, equally vile but bloodless essays on VDare about the benefits of single-race organizations for white youth argle bargle.

  155. 155
    TopClimber says:

    I am not sure my adblocker is letting me do this the OFFICIAL BJ WAY (is there such a thing?) but to followup on Cervantes #102:

    As of 2000 (to pick a year when sanctions were probably not a factor), Germany was the #1 exporter to Iran, India #10, US not even in the top 10. So losing the American market after two years probably doesn’t mean much to Iran.


    More worrisome no doubt are the international sanctions on banking. If these are lifted by the P5+1 plus UN, it sure as hell will take more than the US Congress and/or President to reinstate them unilaterally.

    Of course, GOP being the party of business, they know this economic stuff, right?

  156. 156
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @beltane: when has the FBI not embarrassed themselves, especially the Boston branch?

    losing millions of computer equipment with who knows what data on it
    lobbying against national reporting of crime statistics because they don’t want to “impose”, while criminals laugh
    tipping off a white Irish gangster to evade the state police because it’s better to have a white heroin pusher than some n******s, amirite?
    killing a witness in an interview because somehow he was able to overpower several armed agents in Florida
    pushing pseudoscience as in their criminal profiler office and elsewhere particularly when they’re supposed to be supporting local police agencies
    political ineffectiveness, as when Bush pulled the Bin Ladens out from under them, or when the CIA muscled into their turf

    The FBI needs massive reform. But all of our policing needs reform. They need to get away from the notion of hiring stupid cops and start hiring good-hearted cops. There needs to be accountability within the FBI which is utterly lacking on every level. They need to respect science and the fact that sometimes you need a psychologist to do a psychologist’s job, not a thinly trained cop. They need to stop fighting with other parts of the Justice dep’t and get on board with national crime reporting and data sharing as well as cooperating better with authorities in Mexico and Canada or they will keep failing at their mandate to assist local agencies at catching interstate criminals and disrupting and prosecuting major crimes.

  157. 157
    SFAW says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    what chance does Jamal or Dereck Shmoe have with these people?

    Oh, they should just pull themselves up by their bootstraps, the way George W. and Jeb Bush did. And Poppy before them (although at least Poppy did some actual military service). Not to mention Barry Goldwater and Darrell Issa.

  158. 158
    WaterGirl says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I wasn’t intending to state or imply that the two situations are similar. Something Baud had written reminded me of this faculty flap, which is really disappointing for me in an institution where I went to undergrad, grad school, and spent the bulk of my professional life working.

    I completely agree that the two situations are very different, and I can see why that wouldn’t be clear since I wrote about the faculty situation in this thread!

  159. 159
    Cervantes says:


    Well, there are many people at the University — even some in positions of authority — who oppose what the administration and the trustees have done.

    Small consolation, to you and Salaita both, but it’s something.

  160. 160
    WaterGirl says:

    @Cervantes: I’m just angry all over again after reading this recent communication:

    Dear Colleagues:

    In my time as your chancellor, I have come to understand that one of the most important qualities I can bring to the campus community is to be an active and careful listener. Over the past months, I have had many frank, open and productive discussions with faculty, staff and students across the entire campus around our hiring policies, better faculty communication, academic freedom and freedom of expression. Your concerns have been clear and they have led to actions.

    A joint Academic Senate-Provost faculty committee has reviewed the current faculty hiring and appointment processes and submitted recommendations to improve them. One of these already being implemented will facilitate final faculty appointment approval by the Board of Trustees much sooner and well in advance of the arrival of potential new hires. This full report is scheduled for presentation to the Academic Senate at the March 9 meeting.

    To ensure that there is strong, consistent and open communication between our academic units and my own office, I will soon ask for nominations for new Chancellor’s Faculty Fellows in both the Humanities and in the Arts. Modeled after similar positions in the Provost’s Office, these fellows will facilitate frequent and rapid faculty guidance around critical campus issues. These will offer one more avenue to enhance the shared governance system that guides our campus.

    I have met with the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure (CAFT) to discuss its report and recommendations regarding Steven Salaita. After broad consultation across campus and in light of the Board’s clear statement that it will not reconsider its decision regarding Dr. Salaita, I have decided not to remand the decision to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for further consideration. While the employment decision is now in front of a federal court, I want to reiterate that we have undertaken significant and meaningful efforts to engage Dr. Salaita and his representatives in attempts to resolve this issue.

    I also wish to clarify the intent of my Aug. 22 massmail, which has generated so much debate around issues of academic freedom and expression in regards to civility. I want to make absolutely clear that my statement was not intended to establish a policy on speech or a campus speech code. I believe any such code would represent an unacceptable restriction on the academic freedom of our faculty. This is consistent with the principles described in the American Association of University Professors’ (AAUP’s) 1994 Statement “On Freedom of Expression and Campus Speech Codes.” These are foundational issues to American higher education and bedrock principles of our own university. It was not my intention in my message to make our campus a focal point for the complicated, nuanced and ongoing national debate on the nature of civility and higher education. Instead, I was using the term within my understanding of it in the context of the 1940 and 1994 AAUP statements. The purpose of my August message was to enunciate my aspirations for Illinois to be a community where respectful discourse is championed and where together, we recognize that intolerance may impede the educational experiences of our students. These are aspirations that can only be achieved by inspiring new ideas and new avenues of exploration.

    I have valued the honest and open conversations I have had with many of you across campus over the past months. I offer my thanks to all who have taken the time to voice their opinions. These are exactly the kind of free discussions that we must have to bring us together and help us move forward to face the short-term challenges ahead and to seize the long-term opportunities that are opening up before us.


    Phyllis M. Wise

  161. 161
    JDM says:

    @rk: You ain’t seen nothing yet. Wait till a woman gets elected.

    It’s all about ethics in government.

  162. 162
    Kay says:


    They are using it more and more. This is Obama on RTW:

    In his statement on the Wisconsin law, Obama said that “it’s inexcusable that, over the past several years, just when middle-class families and workers need that kind of security the most, there’s been a sustained, coordinated assault on unions, led by powerful interests and their allies in government.”

    I think it’s akin to when Republicans realized the vast majority of people aren’t “bosses”. Remember that, in 2012? They had a retreat where they realized that :)

    This will reach more people than “opportunity ladders” or whatever the hell was the 2014 “message”

  163. 163
    Fred says:

    @PaulW: While I agree with your sentiment I believe that members of Congress are immune from such charges. Certainly the executive would be precluded from bringing charges (separation of powers) and if not the exec. then who?

    On the other hand the court of public opinion seems to be finding them guilty, Guilty, GUILTY! I don’t know how much good that will do but we shall see. Maybe not as satisfying as a big fine and/or a prison stint but it just might be enough to move the world.

  164. 164
    ruemara says:

    @rk: bull. We’ll see misogyny, yes, but to think that borderline treason will be a daily occurrence is disingenuous.

  165. 165
    Cervantes says:


    In a case like this, public opinion will count more than anything else, I’d say.

  166. 166
    EthylEster says:


    Get over it, at least it’s not a flip phone.

    ouch, i still have a flip phone.

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